Kara Zor-El - Cerberus_Spectre - Supergirl (TV 2015) [Archive of Our Own] (2024)

Chapter 1: The Death of Krypton

Chapter Text

Krypton was being invaded!

Alone in her private quarters Kara jerked awake the moment the panic alarm sounded throughout the base. She sprang from her bed and ran to her personal armory as she felt the violent quake from above ground—the fight having already been started. They must have been ambushed! It was the only conclusion she could come to because Krypton should have never been caught off guard for an attack.

Quickly stripping out of her sleep wear Kara began putting on her maille designed all black body-suit. It wasn't exactly modest but it was more spry than it looked. It was the rest of her armor that was a pain in her ass. Kara's standard dark gray heavy duty battle ready armor was bulky and heavy. It covered her entire torso and arms with tines lined down her left side, complimented with a flowing black cape. It was dramatic, but Kara did live for the flare of it all.

Briefly after a silent prayer, her fingers brushed over the emblem on her chest before she grabbed her weapons and stepped out of her quarters and into the chaos to face this enemy that was stupid enough to invade their home.

.

.

.

Kara wasn't sure what she was expecting to find on the surface of the base, but it wasn't this. There were Brainiac bots everywhere. She'd been startled when she finally realized just who this 'stupid' invader was. She loathed to admit how wrong she was because Brainiac was far from stupid...and he was utterly terrifying.

Fire rained down on Krypton turning the planet's skies as red as the blood staining the streets. There wasn't a military unit in sight as Kara sprinted through the ruins of the city and over the fallen citizens and officers. It sickened Kara's soul but she had to keep moving and her head low as possible. Kara vaulted over an overturned pod, launching herself onto the back of a Brainiac drone. Kara rode the machine onto the ground,rolling away and taking cover before it self-destructed.

Kara crouched low behind heavy debris, catching her breath and regrouping. Hardly anyone was screaming anymore and those that were foolish enough to do so were immediately sought out by the Brainiac squadrons and murdered on sight. Brainiac wasn't taking any prisoners—he never did.

High in the sky, Kara saw the Kryptonian pilots swarming with Brainiac's fighters—the ground fight may have been lost, but maybe there was still hope then. Somewhere. Kara just needed to find them.

The attack from Brainiac was foreseen a long time ago, having heard of his brutal exploits through the stars—but nothing of this caliber. The military was not prepared for this sort of fight. Not for the lack of trying but Krypton's government was too ignorant for their own good. Choosing their science over the safety of their home—too co*cky to admit they might have miscalculated. It wouldn't be the first time Krypton's pride wounded its people...but this time might be it's last.

Every tremble the planet suffered was lasting longer and longer causing structural damage. Krypton was lost long before this and Kara knew it wouldn't be too long before the planet's core exploded, but even so...their home deserved its last shred of dignity. But Brainiac's forces were overwhelming. Krypton's core instability was rising quickly judging by the force of the tremors and how close together they were. This was bad and getting worse by the minute.

Kara checked her plasma gun again, but the damned thing was fried. Completely overheated and useless. She tossed it aside, dropping her head back with her eyes closed. She ran the tips of her fingers across the emblem on her chest again, whispering to Rao. Hoping that he was listening.

Because it looked as if she'd now be making a run for it with nothing but her fists and her courage.

But Lt Zor-El knew that she had to get to the military hangar that wasn't too far from her current position with hopes to contact her superiors Sub Commander Faora and General Zod. Kara knew how to survive and follow orders, but she by no means had any clue what to do now. She didn't think any of them, whoever was still alive, did either—but it would be nice if she wasn't alone.

Zod and Faora had taken her in when she was a young girl after her parents were murdered in cold blood in the middle of their family dinner. Kara's guardianship would have fallen to Non and Astra In-Ze, her Aunt and Uncle, but the two had been sentenced to death for their heinous crimes against Krypton and its citizens. It had been Astra's own twin sister, Kara's mother, who gave the verdict.

Another explosion went off nearby, abruptly breaking Kara's thoughts. The young Kryptonian got to her feet quietly, now peering over the top of her hiding spot.

There were two groups of Brainiac drones surrounding a small family with their mechanical tentacles out—but it was too late for her to do anything for them now...they were dead. Kara dropped back down into her spot and picked up her plasma gun. Thinking quickly, Kara opened the panel and began tinkering with the weapons energy core. She may be a soldier, but she was always an engineer at heart like her father.

When the weapon began to hum and warm in her hands Kara closed the panel and quickly tossed the thing over her shoulder and covered her ears. A second later, the area was clear of any immediate danger but Kara's ears were ringing loudly and it was hard for to hear much past it other than her own heavy breathing and pounding heart. She stumbled from her hiding spot and began to make a run for it.

She ran for all of five minutes before a Brainiac unit was on her tail. She quickened her pace, her destination was now in sight. Just then a drone dropped down in front of her but Kara didn’t stop, she ran faster and jumped onto the shoulders of the seven foot tall robot taking it by surprise. She used her momentum and the weight of her armor to knock the machine off balance.

It began firing it's lasers wildly but Kara took a hold of it's arm and aimed at the other drones that had been chasing her making quick work of them before turning her attention on the one she was sitting on. Kara busted up her knuckles but the drone was a pile of metal under her boots when she was finished.

The military hangar was destroyed by the time Kara got there on foot. There was smoke and fires everywhere up and down the tarmac. More ships were destroyed, and many more soldiers' bodies were strewn everywhere. Tossed aside carelessly like they didn't matter and it made her sick.

Kara heard something loud and nearly deafening in the sky and she gasped with what she saw. Brainiac's ship was looming over the entire city, its eyes were fiery, promising death. Kara was so transfixed with the horrifying sight she didn’t hear the drone coming up behind her from the bushes.

“Look out soldier!”

Sub Commander Faora ran out of the last hanger standing even though it was currently on fire. Faora had the look of a woman who has just been through the fight of her life which may very well be an accurate assessment.

Faora pointed her weapon at Kara, her blasts whizzing just over her shoulder blasting the head off another Brainiac drone. Faora continued to fire, covering Kara before following her into the hanger and sealing the entire facility off the best she could in its damaged state.

“Holy sh*t, what—”

“No time, Lieutenant, let's go!”

Kara finally got a good look at her mentor, wincing when she saw the amount of blood running down Faora's legs from the stomach wound that was badly treated. Faora's short dark hair was stuck to her forehead that had a nasty gash across it and she looked about ready to collapse.

Kara took a step forward, prepared to catch her but Faora slung her weapon onto her back with a grimace and forcibly turned Kara around by her shoulders, leading her to a silver pod that was covered in soot and scratches however otherwise intact.

“Faora—”

“Kara, there is no time to explain, you need to go!”

“Where is Zod?”

“Zod is dead.” Faora hissed painfully, glancing over her shoulder as the doors of the hanger were pounded on “Kara, you need to get into this pod and leave while you still can!”

Kara let Faora guide her into the pod, until realizing that there was only one seat, “Faora, where the hell did you get this? What about you?!”

“Don't worry about that none of that matters anymore. What matters is that you live past this day. You need to live and keep our culture alive. You're now the last daughter of Krypton, Kara Zor-El.” Kara was starting to shake her head, but Faora cut her off by heavily pressing her bloodied fist into Kara's chest over her crest, “Honor. This.”

“I will, Faora, I will.”

Faora nodded curtly, holding Kara's gaze steadily even as death hovered around them, “Krypton will die today,” Faora swallowed, the banging on the hangar doors getting louder as she reached into the pod to activate the engines, “Do not forget what I have taught you. Do not forget your principles. Rao be with you, Lieutenant.” The doors of the hanger were blown open and Faora was gone back to the fight. And Kara was off into the stars.

Kara watched the battle with troubled eyes as long as she could but Kara couldn't bear to witness her home being destroyed any longer, so she turned away.

Soon, the abyss was brighter than the sun and Kara exhaled calmly, “Rao.”

The shock-wave reached her quickly, shaking her pod roughly but it was a piece of burning debris that hit one of her thrusters and knocked her pod off course toward an unknown destination.

Chapter 2: Dreams of Krypton

Summary:

This can get brutal at one point… ⚠️ heads up 🫡

Notes:

I don’t own anything DC related. Please note the additional tags that I forgot to put up! 😉

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Kara stood at the edge of the platform her eyes glued to two coffins that were floating away into space, so far now that they looked like stars in the distance. But it was actually her late mother and father; Alura and Zor-El. Two of the most prominent figures Krypton could offer until their vicious untimely deaths.

A premeditated act of vengeance against the Zor-El family, more specifically Alura who had been an influential judge. Highly esteemed for her firm sense of justice and the needs of Krypton—it kept their family well above poverty but it wasn't always a blessing.

It was still a mystery as to why no one had thought to alert the judge and her family of the unfortunate news of a particularly violent Czarnian criminal escaping his confinement during his transport to the phantom zone considering her prominent role in his life long sentencing.

Though by the time the authorities arrived to the Zor-El residence via an activated distress signal it had been too late. The front door was shattered completely and they found Zor-El's body first laying face up in a pool of his own blood with a large dagger nestled deeply in his chest. It was clear that Zor-El put a good fight against his assailant but the man simply wasn't enough.

Further into the Zor-El home, the Kryptonian police saw that the entire place had been destroyed and vandalized. But one thing that did stand out was Alura's body at the center of it all. The judge was bare as the day she was bred on the living room floor with her throat gaping. It was glaringly obvious what had occurred that horrendous evening just moments before they arrived.

One of the officers turned away, unable to stomach the sight any longer. While his partner called for back up. Krypton was on immediate lock down in hopes to capture the vile prisoner, preferably dead. Back up arrived quickly, relieving the two officers and they began to the rest of the residence, praying to Rao that they found the youngest Zor-El alive and well—no doubt traumatized.

Their hopes for a silver lining to this horrifying story were diminishing when they discovered that Kara's room was completely demolished. More than the rest of the Zor-El residence but there wasn't a body to be discovered yet.

Kara's mother was as tough as nails when it came to justice, often times, very harshly so. She sentenced her own twin sister and her brother in law to death for crimes Kara couldn't ever hope to understand. But Kara knew that her mother and father loved her very much, they doted on her when they could and when she earned it, of course.

It was just not something that she expected all of the time. Their affections towards her were secondary to their careers, and sometimes to the point that Kara sought out the attentions from her Aunt Astra and Uncle Non behind their backs. Until her mother found her late one night speaking to them both and ultimately put an end to it by destroying the communicating device Astra had given to her on Kara's seventh name day.

But whatever reservations she held for her parents forgotten as her father jumped out of his seat at the dining table the moment the door was kicked in with a loud crash and glass breaking.

He gave his life making sure that Alura had time to hide their daughter in the secret cupboard that blended with the wall. It was Kara's favorite hiding spot, but not tonight. Not as her mother harshly whispered for her to stay very quiet and to be a brave little girl. Kara did not miss the tears falling from her mothers blue eyes that mirrored her own. At the last second Alura gave her necklace to Kara before kissing her daughters forehead, almost a second too long, before closing the door.

Even at a young age, Kara knew that would be the last time she would see her mother ever again. She sat in the still darkness with her knee's brought up to her chest and mouth pressed into a tight line.

She heard the muffled sounds of a struggle before a loud thump against the wall right above her. She yelped but quickly slapped her hand over her mouth with her eyes wide in terror but her mothers cries covered any sound that Kara had made.

Kara heard another loud crash followed by aggressive grunting and her mothers wails—Kara covered her ears, not wishing to hear anymore. She remained in that position until the pained howls from her mother stopped completely. Kara heard the man violently thrashing around their home and she nearly peed her pants when the beast screamed her name over and over and over.

Kara pushed herself further back into the darkness when he punched the wall, just above the secret door. She watched with eyes full of terror as the wall gave away, bending to this monsters will with every yell and punch.

Kara didn’t move. She didn’t make a sound nor did she blink. The young girl was frozen.

And then it all stopped and all became quiet again, but Kara couldn't tear her eyes away from the bent wall above her expecting it to break open at any moment.

It felt like forever that she had been sitting there in the box shaped cove hidden behind a wall. Her legs were numb, her bottom lip felt raw and stung from how hard she had been biting it to keep quiet.

Kara didn’t move when the authorities arrived and called for her. She didn't move even after they did a full scan of the Zor-El residence and found her in the wall. The look on Kara's face when the Officer finally pried the door open was that officer would never forget.

The small child nearly jumped out of her skin when a calloused heavy hand landed on her shoulder. Kara finally tore her eyes from the stars beyond and looked at the scarred hand that was covering her scrawny little shoulder. Scared blue eyes followed the hand up the armor covered arm, past the equally padded torso and her eyes landed on the crest on the imposing man's chest before meeting his dark gaze.

General Zod was an intimidating man. Just his name alone sent goosebumps down anyone's spine let alone just seeing him and having him touching you. Him being gentle was far more terrifying than having the man gunning for your throat. But for a child, he was just big and scary looking.

But Kara already knew who this man was, her Aunt and Uncle admired and looked to him for their guidance. Astra and Non trusted General Zod, they talked about his adventures and his successes many times during their late night chats and uncommon visits. General Zod was a feared Kryptonian for a reason, but Kara wasn't scared of him. She was taught at an early age that there were far worse creatures in the galaxy to be afraid of than Krypton's leading military General.

General Zod was not known for his gentleness, so Kara was confused as to why he was standing next to her with such a strange look on his face. Her eyes drifted to his second in command, Sub Commander Faora-Ul, when she approached quietly. Her gaze met Kara's steadily and held it, only blinking once.

I am here to honor a promise, Kara.” General Zod continued to stare down at Kara, bringing her attention back to him, “Astra and Non were a pair of my best warriors, and their untimely death was most unfortunate as were your parents.” he went on, his gaze boring down into Kara's wide eyes, “Astra predicted this terrible tragedy and asked me to take you in—to not hold your mothers crimes against you. To instead strengthen your mind, your soul and your body for the hardships your parents have put in place before you.”

Kara swallowed harshly, desperately wanting to break eye contact with him but unable to do so as he now knelt in front of her, his metal covered knee clanking loudly on the platform.

I will honor their wishes. I will help you elevate the House of El once more, young Kara Zor-El. Better than it once was before. You will be strong. You will be wise. And you will be a leader for the right cause. Nod if you understand.”

Kara nodded, and General Zod smiled ever so slightly that Kara almost missed. His tiny smile made the scar on the left side of his face crinkle. He stood and pulled something from behind his back, it was black and had a certain pattern that Kara has seen on her Uncle Non's military skin suit several times. It was folded neatly and the House of El's crest was in the center.

Put this on, then come with me.”

Kara looked back out to the stars, hoping to find her parents once again but they were gone—she listened to the General's heavy footsteps leaving the room without another word.

Kara looked down at the heavy material in her hands, then at the sub-commander that still remained a few feet away staring at her with those cold blue eyes. Kara set the material down on the floor and began to strip. Shedding her nonexistent armor of a life that was no longer hers.

And donning the beginning of a new era for Kara Zor-El.

If any of General Zod's soldiers were surprised to see a tiny Kryptonian keeping good pace between him and sub-commander Faora-Ul, they did not show it—much. Those who were foolish enough to stare met the glares of both Zod and Faora, and the thousand mile stare from Kara.

That stare was more haunting on an eight year old than it could ever be on a seasoned warrior.

Zod and Faora led Kara further and further onto the General's ship, and beneath her small feet, Kara felt the humming intensify and she instinctively knew they were leaving Krypton. Kara wasn't sure how she felt about leaving the only home she's ever known. But her eight year old self couldn't fathom how it was a much of a home anymore. Her mother had her Aunt and Uncle executed, and her parents were murdered not a year later.

Kara was not close with the other members of the House of El. She was not sure how she could have fit in with them. Thanks to her mother, they were the richest family in the House of El and they didn't see much of their family, if ever at all.

She was grateful for the familiarity that Zod and Faora were providing for her. They reminded her of her Aunt and Uncle.

Even if the ship creaked here and there as it moved, picking up speed through space—traveling further and further away from their home planet. Even if the walls were dark gray almost black, and bare, with few windows. The strange mean and scarred faces and that funny smell she couldn't identify—it was all strangely comforting.

Kara wanted to make them proud. To show them all that she could be strong, that she could have the brains and brawn all in one—that it didn’t have to be one or the other. She knew her father and mother had high hopes for her to follow either of them in their respective careers. Made her study, live and breath the law and the science of Krypton.

Unknowing that Kara was more interested in Astra and Non's choice of career.

This was Kara's chance to prove herself to her parents and to her surrogate parents. Even if they were all dead. And a chance to prove it to herself. That she was Kara Zor-El and she told fate what she was going to do, not the other way around.

They finally came to a stop in front of a large black door that held the emblem that was sitting proudly on sub-commander Faora's chest. General Zod nodded at them both and silently walked away, Kara was confused but allowed herself to be ushered into the room by the short haired brunette.

The room had a large window that took up the entire outer wall, and there was a small cot next to it with a folded blanket and pillow on top of it.

There was a bigger, softer looking bed on the other side of the room, furthest from the window. There was an armor footlocker next to it as well a footlocker that held the sub-commander's formal and informal uniforms.

The personal quarters obviously belonged to Faora, of course Kara wouldn't be having a room to herself. Not after what she has been through.

Zod trusted Faora above all else to care for Kara where he could not. He was the leading General of the entire Kryptonian military force. His time and energy was spread thin enough. As was Faora's but hers could be helped whereas his could never be.

Kara remained quiet as she listened to the tall woman tell her the rules of her...their personal quarters as well as the ship. Wherever Faora went, Kara did as well unless told otherwise. She would be getting her own footlocker soon, as well as uniforms and armor to fit her small frame. Zod was overly paranoid about having a child on his ship and refused to leave her unprotected. He made a promise to Astra and Non.

He did not lie when he sealed it. He was everything in the book but a liar. Zod pulled a lot of strings and cut a throat or two to keep his promise, and he did. Kara had a fire that was ignited in her, a fire that was dying to be stroked and fed. Zod saw it. He felt it when he looked into her eyes.

Faora was going to train Kara to be the best of them both, better even, given the brains the girl had on her shoulders and whose DNA she had in her veins. It was just a matter of time along with patience and guidance. Zod's main purpose was to protect Krypton and it's people, and what better way to do that than have the best of the best of the best in his guild?

~~

Five years later…

Again!” Faora snapped at the thirteen year old, pulling blades from the practice wall. She had them custom made when they stopped by the Thanagarian home-world. “I've taught you better than this, Kara, what is going on in that mind of yours, little one?”

Kara huffed loudly, plopping down on the weapons table with a loud thud. The young Kryptonian shrugged her shoulders, “Why am I doing all of this training if I never get to do anything? All you guys have me do is translate stupid scrolls and study technology. That's boring!”

Faora set the daggers down on the table next to Kara noisily, ignoring the curious stares from the other troops in the training room. Even after five years, it was still a hell of sight to see a child aboard General Zod's ship, much less said child who was now Faora and Zod's shadow.

It is too dangerous to take you into battle, little one.”

Kara scoffed, rolling her eyes, “Yes, you tell me that all the time.”

Because it is true. You have one of the brightest minds Krypton has to offer but you were meant to be more than a scientist or some high council member...and you are meant to be more than a soldier.”

Kara looked at her mentor, her guardian for all intents and purposes, with confusion, “So why am I doing all of this then? Am I meant to be nothing?”

You are evolution.”

…“That doesn’t even make any sense!”

It shall, some day.” Faora handed over a sharp dagger, “Again.”

Notes:

Sorry for traumatizing kid Kara 😅 but all the greatest heroes must have tragic pasts to become the greatest they can be. Well according to Zoom (Flash enemy) haha. Anywho…next chapter is gonna pick up, and we might have Diana finally 😁

Thank you all for subbing, kudos, and commenting! I appreciate it much!

Chapter 3: Arrival

Summary:

Action, action!

Notes:

I don’t own anything DC related.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Present time...

Shazam was flying outside of National City over the desert ground and leaving a trail of dust in his wake. He made it terribly easy for anyone to track him if they were looking but the young hero wasn't too worried because he knew that he had back up on stand-by.

Today was one of his scheduled days with the DEO and he was assigned with patrolling the city limits, which wasn't unusual but they never asked Shazam to fly this low before either.

But given the recent events that were unfolding in Metropolis with Superman and the Kryptonian invaders; the DEO securities increased by tenfold and by association, National City's part time hero had to increase his workload as well.

No more hanging out at the pizza parlor after school with his friends for a while it seemed. Not until the threats were neutralized. He just hoped that happened before Metropolis was completely destroyed.

Billy knew that he wasn't on the same tier as the woman overseas who carried a freakin' sword and shield, or that dude on the east coast that wore red and ran really fast—but he will be. One day. And working with the DEO was Billy's shot at proving that he could hang in the big leagues. He had magic for crying out loud!

The comm in his ear crackled to life, “Heads up, fly-boy! Something big is coming your way!”

“It's Shazam, not fly-boy!”

“Whatever kid, you got eyes on the prize or what?”

Billy came to a quick landing, looking around and spotting a thick trail of black smoke he somehow did not notice sooner during his fantasizing about his future.

“Holy sh*t...”

“Language buddy,” they chuckled, “Alright fly-boy, Director said to stand-by, back up is on the way. ETA ten minutes.”

Shazam felt the Earth shake beneath his feet as the unknown object crash landed miles away from his position. He knew that orders were orders but Billy just couldn't stand around and wait when there could be someone in serious danger! He paced a little bit, waiting, feeling the seconds weighing down on his broad shoulders—seconds that could mean life or death. Decision made, Shazam was off.

Shazam landed softly several feet away from the silver space pod. Almost immediately Shazam noticed that it looked eerily similar to Superman's pod that he was carried in when he was a baby. Or at least the replica they had in the National City museum downtown.

He's only been there once on a school trip and the pod looked plenty big then. It was just that this one well...this one was much bigger and more banged up.

Billy approached the scorched vessel cautiously, unsure of what it would contain. Superman was a baby when he arrived on Earth. Helpless and innocent, so if this was truly a Kryptonian space pod—there was no guarantee that whatever was inside the vessel would be so small and innocent this time.

“Awe man,” Billy swallowed nervously, what if this was another bad Kryptonian? Like Zod and his insane crew?

Getting closer, Billy wiped away the dirt and soot from the glass so that he could get a good look inside. He was shocked to see a beautiful blonde woman sleeping peacefully and unharmed from the crash at all. From his viewpoint she looked incredibly nice and innocent. Insanely hot too. But then he was starting to take notice of the energy rolling off of the pod, the stench of it making his nose crinkle with disgust the longer he stood there.

The Phantom Zone. Any magic dweller worth their salt would know that particular stench anywhere.

Using his strength, Shazam pried open the glass and tossed a majority of it away somewhere behind him. Now that he could see her better, he saw that she was wearing some sort of battle armor with with a black cape neatly folded over her left shoulder. Her armor looked highly sophisticated and incredibly deadly.

Shazam felt the pit of his stomach twisting into a knot, he's sure that he's never seen anything like this before but there was a sense of familiarity to it that he couldn't quite place yet.

But the insignia sitting proudly on her chest beneath her armor was something that Billy has seen before, many times in his life. It was the same one that Superman wore on his super suit, except this one was without the vibrant colors. It did not readily give off a sense of hope and cheerfulness, but instead firm authority.

The dried blood on the Kryptonian woman's knuckles suggested that she had been in a battle prior to getting inside of the space pod. It was clear that she had been asleep inside of the Phantom Zone for a very long time. Thirty years or more Billy guessed using Superman's current age as a reference.

Suddenly pale blue eyes snapped open, zeroing in on him far quicker than he was comfortable with. “Hey-”

Faster than he could even think, her fist was connecting with his jaw and knocking him back nearly a mile before his back roughly hit the ground cracking it wide open.

And it was in that moment that Billy knew he screwed up. And if this woman didn't kill him, his superiors at the DEO very much would. So much for being mister big shot, he thought grimly, spitting dirt out of his mouth.

Billy pulled himself from his crater, and dusted off his shoulders. He watched from a distance as the woman crawled out of the pod. In reality, hitting Billy had just been a knee jerk reaction. Kara had been caught off guard by the strange man hovering directly in her face.

Kara pushed herself out of her pod with her black cape falling gracefully behind her, it was so long that the end of it was just barely licking the heels of her boots. Her eyes finally settled back on the man that she had hit, standing a distance away in a defensive posture.

Kara sighed and rolled her shoulders to iron out the kinks and air bubbles that have built up from sitting in the same cramped position for all of those empty meaningless years.

“I mean you no harm!” Kara told the man in her native tongue, her brain still a little foggy though the longer she stood beneath the yellow sun's rays, the stronger and more awake she began to feel. She recognized it immediately. “Ah, of course this primitive planet is the one I would find salvation...”

Still sorting through her chaotic memories that were clashing with her current reality, Kara paid little attention to the other man until she was being tackled from the side.

Grunting from the force of the impact, Kara quickly readjusted herself in his strong grip and flipped the man over her shoulders with scary ease. Once again Shazam was digging himself out of another hole made with his own body, and this time it actually hurt him.

The blonde was suddenly standing directly in front of him and Billy cursed his ego because he should've listened and just waited for the freakin’ backup. “Awe man.”

Diana Prince was leaving National City through a private airport when she both heard and saw the burning object fall from the sky. Anyone with two working eyes would've seen that thing and despite her weariness from her week long business endeavors Diana couldn't just ignore it. Someone could very well be in danger or it could actually be danger itself. She did not know, but she was going to find out.

Following the dark trail of smoke Diana took witness to Shazam locking into combat with a woman wearing dark armor. There were government standard vehicles arriving onto the scene but they were giving the two fighters a wide berth. Diana's eyes widened comically when she caught a glimpse of the emblem on the woman's chest.

She would know that crest anywhere. They all would.

The blonde rolled into a crouch before her fingers dug deep into the Earth to stop her slide. Faster than Diana could process, the Kryptonian was in front of Shazam once more and she was easily dodging two of his lightning charged fists before tossing him high into the air, moving aside at the last second for him to hit the ground with a sickening impact.

Diana quietly sheathed her sword and replaced it with her lasso while taking her shield from her back with her other hand. This was going to be interesting.

She felt the eyes of the DEO soldiers on her back as she stealthily positioned herself behind the two opponents in attempts to spot the perfect opportunity to wrangle down their new Kryptonian 'friend'.

Judging by the armor worn and her unwillingness to yield—she was either a part of General Zod's formation and just another Kryptonian problem Superman did not need.

But Diana had to admit, even with the bulky armor this woman knew how to move; she was agile and very quick on her feet, and she wasn't relying on her brute strength to get her out of this fight. She was as clever as she was strong and clearly very well trained in hand to hand combat, using moves the Amazon has never seen before herself.

She was an elite warrior that much was obvious.

It was only when the Kryptonian was busy dodging Shazam's rapid lightning bolts that Diana saw her opportunity. Shazam managed to transport himself directly behind her and pulled her flush against his body with one arm wrapped tightly around her neck while the other raised to the sky as they began to hover a few feet off the ground.

SHAZAM!”

Diana readied her lasso the moment the heavy lightning strike disappeared and Shazam dropped their enemy but to everyone's astonishment, she landed on her feet even though she was slightly unbalanced.

Wonder Woman released an attention grabbing battle cry and the Kryptonian female looked over her shoulder at Diana—looking completely unbothered and pissed off. Diana realized in that moment that the Kryptonian might've been aware of her presence the entire time but that still didn’t stop what happened next.

Diana lassoed the Kryptonian, the noose fell around her neck before Diana tightened it with two quick twists of her raised ankle before forcefully placing her foot behind her. The move would’ve snapped any normal person's neck but instead it just brought her flying towards Diana. The Amazon bent her knees and used her shield to deliver a brutal uppercut before throwing said object up into the air and hitting the alien in the throat with it.

Wonder Woman then leaped into the air, and punched the woman in the face sending her hurtling back towards the ground. Diana then did a controlled dive from above and stomped on the blonde before she could get back to her feet.

Both feet firmly planted on the Kryptonians upper back, she was right where she needed to be. Diana heard her growl into the dirt as the Amazon quickly reclaimed her lasso and bound it around the woman down from her neck to her knees, effectively immobilizing her.

Billy had watched the entire scene unfold before his very eyes, wiping the blood from his upper lip. He made his way over to the two women when Diana hefted their restrained Kryptonian to her feet, keeping a tight grip on her armored arm to keep her from falling over…or escaping.

Diana looked at Shazam with an eyebrow raised, “This is not how I saw my day going.”

A tall woman with short cropped dark hair walked over, armed to the teeth and she did not look happy if the glare she gave the male superhero indicated anything. “Wonder Woman. We really appreciate the assistance.”

“Of course. I saw the crash and came to help in any way that I could. I guess I arrived on time.”

“Think you can stick around a little longer? We're gonna take our new friend home and ask her some questions...and it would be helpful if she wasn't able to lie, if you catch my meaning.”

“It would be my pleasure...” Diana trailed off, unsure how to address the brunette.

“Oh, sorry, DEO Deputy Director Alex Danvers. Officially.”

“And unofficially?”

“His babysitter.” Alex tossed a thumb in Billy's direction as she began walking away from the three and Billy's shoulders sagged with resignation, “Oh and Shazam? Grab the pod. Don't break it, huh?”

Wonder Woman took the Kryptonian in her arms, throwing her over her shoulder without a word while Shazam went to go do as he was told though he was mumbling under his breath the entire time until someone told him that his comms was still on.

Upon arrival the Kryptonian female was immediately injected with a light dose of hydrogen based Kryptonite that was designed to strip a Kryptonian of their powers for a few hours—and since the DEO was underground and far away from the sun she'd be mortal for the foreseeable future. She had been stripped of her armor and was now in just her boots and black body suit. Now the House of El insignia is more visible and glaringly obvious than it was before.

Wonder Woman was currently in the interrogation room with the mysterious woman along with Shazam as extra protection just in case—the blonde has already proven that she didn't exactly need superpowers to defend herself.

There were some Agents attempting to restart her pod but the thing was fried and they weren't going to get any easy answers from that.

Director Henshaw looked over his shoulder when the door to the private observation room opened revealing his Deputy Director holding two Styrofoam cups full of coffee, immediately handing him one which he took gratefully.

“Is she talking yet?”

“Nope.”

“Well, it's obvious she's with General Zod and the rest of his asylum. You've seen her suit...it looks exactly like theirs.”

Hank nodded, sipping a good amount of his coffee, “Yes, that much is obvious, but we still have to proceed with caution. These Kryptonians aren't like the one we know now. They’re obviously more sophisticated and coordinated.”

“No kidding,” Alex huffed, “Would be nice to knock that smug smile off of her face though.”

Hank looked away from the two-way mirror to his second in command, “This one owe you money or something, Danvers?”

“I'm sorry,” Alex exhaled heavily, “People are out there dying and we could have the key to stopping it all sitting right there in that room. And she's just just so goddamn smug, look at her! Why are we even bothering with protocol, sir? I mean, really? Why? Let's pull it from her mind and lock her away for good.”

“Put a lid on it Danvers and get in there before Waller figures out what we have down here and comes knocking.”

“Fine.”

Diana was standing directly behind the female Kryptonians chair patiently waiting with the lasso humming softly on her waist when Alex finally walked into the room with a file in hand, Superman's file to be exact.

“My name is Deputy Director Danvers, you’ll be talking to me as I am the only person standing between you and a very dark hole. So, lets not make this harder than it has to be, alright?”

Shazam, now unsure of what he was supposed to be doing exactly, just remained in the dark corner with his arms crossed over his broad chest acting as if he were the muscle. But they all knew, including the prisoner, that Wonder Woman was the real muscle in the room.

Alex set the folder down with a nod at Wonder Woman that it was time to start doing her thing.

Understanding, the Amazon hooked her powerful lasso around Kara’s torso and tightened it until the enhanced rope glowed a brilliant gold and it was a little too warm for Kara’s comfort.

“This is the lasso of truth,” Diana explained quietly, “It compels you to tell the truth and to obey. Fighting its command will be pointless. And that warmth that you feel now, Kryptonian? It will get hotter the harder and longer you try to resist. So I suggest that you play nice. Do you understand?”

Kara nodded slowly, not realizing her mistake until she did it but in Kara’s defense it was the damn rope and it’s magic. She’d planned on sitting in utter silence but it seemed as if the humans were smarter than that. They had magic now, and magic didn't usually bode well for Kryptonians. On any planet.

Diana narrowed her eyes just as Alex did, both women catching on to Kara’s slip. The Deputy Director set her elbows on the table and stared hard at Kara from across the table.

“You understand us more than you let on, don't you?” Another nod, “Can you speak our language too? Or any Earth based language?”

Resisting the growing heat, Kara nodded again, and Alex raised an eyebrow growing irritated at the non-verbal responses. Alex has seen her fair share of weirdos come through these halls—she could play this game too.

How about something you can’t nod your way out of…

“What is your name?”

Kara’s lips pressed into a hard line when the lasso grew hotter the longer she resisted the urge to answer the question—as she refused to actually speak. Diana frowned down at Kara as she pulled the rope a little tighter making it hurt just that much more. “It can hurt a lot more if you continue to resist.”

“What is. Your. Name?”

Kara glared almost sneering at the Deputy Director, her lips still pressed into a hard line but unfortunately for Kara the Amazon was right—she was now starting to feel it more through her body suit.

“Your name! What is it?” Alex pressed as Diana tightened her hold and Kara grunted, “Hurts? Good, might wanna start talking then, because believe it or not, we're being nice. There are others out there who would love to torture someone like you. For fun. So tell us your name...now!”

“My name...” Kara hissed, swallowing thickly as sweat began to bubble at her hairline, “My name is...is Kara Z...Zor-El.”

“So you can speak English.” Alex and Diana shared a look briefly before Alex's attention was back on the Kryptonian, on Kara, “Okay...okay good, that's a start. I know you got off on the wrong foot here but we can help you, Kara, if you help us.”

Kara’s eyes shifted slightly looking at Shazam then back to Alex but she was wisely keeping her thoughts to herself while she still had the choice to do so because it was clear that these humans wouldn't let her. She could only hope their questions remained bland.

“Your armor...it's interesting enough that I have to ask what it was that you did on Krypton.”

“Is that a question?” Kara sneered and Diana tugged the rope, making Kara wince and glare up at the Amazon who stared right back just as hard.

“Yeah, it was a question,” Alex said, “So answer it, what was your occupation on Krypton?”

Kara sighed heavily, “I was a Lieutenant in the Kryptonian military guild.”

Alex picked up on the past tense as did Diana, but the Deputy Director would circle back to that, “Lieutenant in the military, good to know. So you're an Officer? That explains the armor and the fighting style, but it still doesn't explain why you're here on Earth. How ‘bout it? Why are you here on Earth?”

Kara forced back those brutal memories that were still attempting to plague her consciousness after all these years, “I was unaware of my destination at the time but my ultimate goal is to seek refuge.”

“Yeah, right...” Shazam scoffed from his corner, rubbing his jaw even though the bruising was long gone it was still sore as hell.

Alex frowned, she hoped that Hank was recording all of this because what the hell had this woman running away? Was it the same thing those other Kryptonian invaders were running from as well? Was Earth in danger? There were too many questions and not enough answers.

“Refuge? Refuge from what, Lieutenant?”

“The Collector of Worlds.”

The room was pin drop silent and Alex leaned back in her chair. She had no idea who the 'Collector of Worlds' was but it didn’t sound as if this person or creature was to be trifled with especially if it had a bunch of Kryptonians on the run.

Alex turned back to Kara, “Elaborate, Lieutenant.”

“On what?” Kara stared at Alex coolly, “You should really be more specific with your questions, Deputy Director—mmph!”

Diana had pulled on the rope again, “Mind your manners, Kryptonian, and answer the question. Who is this collector of worlds?”

Kara jerked in the chair but she settled quickly, knowing that she was outnumbered and she wasn’t going to be escaping anytime soon. “A conqueror from Colu. He travels the cosmos studying and then exterminating civilizations; whole planets for the sake of knowledge for himself and himself alone.”

Alex’s eyes widened slightly, “Was he responsible for Krypton?”

“Not entirely, but his invasion was the final strike for my home planet,” Kara remained stoic, forcing herself not to listen to her howling memories of that day, “Krypton was always doomed anyway. He just expedited it.”

“You keep saying 'he'; does he have a name?”

Kara licked her lips, biting back a bitter smile, “Brainiac. His name means nothing to you now...but I have a feeling that it will.”

“No offense new girl, but Earth isn't dying and we won't be letting some geek punk us around either. Krypton may have been on its last legs but Earth sure as hell ain't.” Shazam smirked, crossing his arms again—completely oblivious to Diana glaring daggers at him.

“You’re a lot dumber than I assumed you were. The magic you carry is wasted on you.”

“Quiet!” Diana ordered from above Kara.

Kara smiled at his wounded pride, and there was a small glimmer in her blue eyes that Alex could not read and it made her a little uneasy. She had half a mind to kick Shazam out of the room but they were pressed for time to bother with the shenanigans.

Pulling a single photo from the folder, Alex tapped the photo on the table with her knuckles gaining Kara's attention once more, “Do you recognize this man, Kara?”

Kara stared down at the photo for a beat then met Alex's heavy stare, “No...yes...” she felt a twinge of intense heat around her arms from the lasso and tried to force herself to relax, “I don't know him personally but he looks like my dead uncle Jor-El.”

Alex frowned, sharing a brief look with Diana—the truth was terrifying sometimes, “Dead Uncle? So just to be clear this man in this photo may be...your cousin?”

“...yes.” Kara nodded slowly, studying the photo closer, “My uncle only had one heir, a son...it would only make sense. How interesting that Kal-El managed to survive through his infancy.”

“That symbol on your chest. You both wear it. Your cousin says that it stands for hope, but I'm starting to think that was his own perspective on it. Wanna give me your version, Lieutenant?”

Kara shook her head, “No, because Kal-El was right...it does stand for hope. Though I imagine that my hopes and his hopes differ greatly.”

“Are you a threat?”

“Not currently.”

Kara's answer silenced the room and even on the other side of the glass Hank Henshaw was tense as a bowstring. Alex leaned forward slowly her chair creaking a little too loud.

Having his own question, Shazam cleared his throat staring at Kara's forehead rather than look her in the eye again—not that he was scared or anything, “Earlier, you moved pretty good. Like you knew what you were doing under our yellow sun, kinda like Superman...have you been here before?”

“Yes.”

“Wait...you've been to Earth before? Elaborate, Lieutenant.”

Alex blinked, choosing to ignore Shazam's interruption because his question was legitimate but again Alex also knew that time was not on their side, Amanda Waller or someone far worse were probably on their way. Kara's crash landing wasn't exactly quiet and they needed to get her underground before The Wall showed up. God I need more coffee for this sh*t.

“Not just myself,” Kara chuckled, shaking her head, “My entire unit has been to Earth several times before. We were studying this planet's ecosystem and it's inhabitants. None of our visit lasted longer than a couple of weeks of course. I can't give you an accurate time frame at the moment, but Earth was always one of our favorite planets to visit. At least...it was one of mine.”

“But...why?”

“We have an appreciation for healthy planets.” Kara smirked, and Alex sneered at her. “Be more specific, Deputy Director.”

Alex wanted to strangle her, “But why on Earth? Why is Earth so special?”

“Answer!” Diana once again commanded above Kara, glaring down at her coolly with half a mind to smack her again for still trying to resist the power of the lasso. Her will was strong but Diana could do this all day if she had to.

“Our own planet was dying. We needed a new suitable home for our people, Deputy Director. We were seeking out promising planets to be our new home...and Earth was on the top of our list. We could not protect Krypton but with a new home, we would've been able to right our wrongs.”

Alex swallowed involuntarily loud, loud enough that even Kara heard her. She just hoped that Hank was listening—because Kara's purpose was the exactly the same as Zod and his militia. It opened a line of new questions for Alex and a new headache.

“But you're not a threat to Earth and its people? Sure as hell sounds like you are, Lieutenant.”

Kara chuckled, gesturing around herself with her eyes with another half shrug, “Krypton is dead along with a chunk of her people, my people. I don't have the resources to terraform this planet.”

“But if you did...would you?” Diana asked this time and Kara hummed thoughtfully.

“I don't know.” That wasn't very comforting because Kara was telling the truth, she truly did not know if she was a threat or not—and so far, neither did they.

Alex combed her hand through her hair a couple of times, and Diana shifted her footing, they were getting off topic, “Kara you said that you were with a unit, correct?”

“Yes.” Kara tilted her head back to meet the Amazon's eyes, unwilling to cower beneath anyone.

“Were you their Commander?” Diana pressed, wanting to get to the bottom of this and quickly.

“No. I was third in command. I mostly lead the research team and protected them when necessary.”

“The research team?”

“Yes, they were scientists first and soldiers second.”

“And which are you?” Kara looked at Alex again, confused prompting Alex to explain what she meant, “Scientist or soldier?”

“Scientist, naturally. I get it from my father.” Kara swore to Rao against the yellow rope around her upper body forcing her thoughts from her mind. Kara despised this damned thing.

“What kind of science?”

Kara rolled her eyes, “All of it, but my favorite was genetic modification and biomedical engineering. Reattachment of limbs and what not, messy and tricky but interesting.”

Alex stared at Kara with wide eyes, “Impossible.”

“For humans, yes...this planet hasn't reached its full potential yet.”

Alex scowled, then sighed—the comm in her ear tingling, they were pushing the clock, “Alright...one more...Kara?...What was the name of your Commanding Officer?”

Kara blinked, wondering why the human asked such a meaningless question but of course, it wasn't as if Kara could resist answering anyway, “General Dru-Zod.”

Shazam balked at the name, his eyes bulging and the hulking man's pre-teen alter ego came barreling through, “I knew it! I totally knew she was one of them! We have to warn Superman!”

“Out, get the f*ck out now!” Alex sprang from her seat and yanked Shazam by the arm to all but throw the young hero towards the door and out of the room, “Out!”

All too fast Kara was suddenly free of the golden lasso as the Amazon followed the other two fussing humans out of the room, leaving her alone and completely confused.

What...what did that magic wielding buffoon mean? Why did he react so strongly at Zod's name? Why did the other two get so worked up? Was...was Zod alive? No? No! No, it's impossible...Faora...Faora said he was dead. But...could it be? Did he somehow survive?

The door swung open harshly startling Kara from her thoughts as Alex came back into the room, her face as stony as the concrete walls around them. Two other soldiers dressed similar in all black came on either side of Kara to unlock her chains before forcing her to stand and cuffing her again. The metal was beginning to rub her skin raw but Kara wasn't going to complain—they wouldn't care anyway.

“Zod is alive isn't he?” Kara asked although her tone suggest that she'd already worked out most of it herself.

Alex eyed the woman in front of her having half a mind to just flat out deny everything that Shazam had unintentionally, and idiotically, revealed. To at least try to undo some of the damage. It made Alex's blood boil that a potential asset was ruined. Realistically it wouldn't have been a long lasting partnership but it would’ve been something. Instead now they were going to get nothing.

Diana warned her that Kara could die if she resisted the rope too long—and they both knew that she would do it if she were anything like those zealots attacking Metropolis.

The Deputy Director slowly stepped into Kara's personal space, surprised that she hadn't realized how tall Kara was until now but that didn't deter her, “Whatever plans you had for Earth, know that I will do anything in my power to make sure that you fail because this is our planet. General Zod and his followers will fail, whether they die in battle or join you in a dark little hole; it is entirely up to them.”

Kara stared unblinkingly at Alex, the anger in her eyes saying more than words ever could not that Alex needed them. Diana had been correct with her assessment of Kara’s loyalty.

“Take her to the pit.”

“Yes ma'am!”

.

.

.

Kara was shockingly docile as the two soldiers practically dragged her through the DEO base to her new prison. She would've been offended that these humans only thought that two soldiers would be enough to contain her but she was so tired and overwhelmed that Kara would've escorted herself. Kara was in no shape for a suicide mission. Not yet at least.

He is alive. Alive and here. And the others? Were they...no...yes? Yes.

That was all Kara could think about, those were the only thoughts on her mind when she was tossed inside of her holding cell with the door firmly hissing shut behind her. Kara barely looked around her holding cell since she didn't care too much—if Zod really was alive, Kara knew that she wouldn't be here for long anyway.

Notes:

This is not the last we see of Kara and Diana squaring up 😏💥it was self defense tho 😭

Anywho thanks for reading! ❤️

Chapter 4: Restless

Notes:

I don’t own anything DC related.

Action, drama and plot pushing 😏 enjoy!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Kara wasn't sure how long she'd been trapped in this holding cell. It could've been hours or maybe even days but at least they were merciful enough to remove those heavy restraints. Small petty victories, but victories no less.

Taking full advantage of having a bit of freedom again—Kara paced the entire length of the room like a caged beast several times bored out her mind. She was doing everything she could to not think about Zod and the rest of her unit, if they were really alive or not—and how. It would drive her insane especially being cooped up the way she currently was. Honestly, Kara has had enough of the confined spaces.

“A window would have been nice...”

Of course, Kara had a secondary plan to get out of this entire ordeal but that would require a great deal of pain—nothing that she couldn't handle, but Kara was aware that she was being monitored and that she would have to plan her escape wisely...obviously.

She had two aces up her sleeve and one of them was the fact that the humans wouldn't kill her. They couldn't because they were too hung up on the fact that she was related to their precious Kal-El.

Humans were stupid, that much was obvious...even the ones with abilities. As long as Kara remained one step ahead of them at all times until she reconnected with her unit to escape. It should be easy. The same unit that was supposed to be dead.

Kara had questions and lots of them but they'd have to wait until she got out of this cell in one piece first.

Easier said than done, Kara thought with a loud sigh…that would be her second ace. But it was not as much fun as the first trick.

“Vasquez, how's our resident Kryptonian?”

Agent Vasquez looked up from the prisoner files she was reviewing to see her two bosses entering the room, looking exhausted. She didn't envy their jobs at all—the DEO was nearly booked full of prisoners that mostly made up of deranged metahumans and the occasional low tier alien that wanted to make a name for themselves in the city.

Recently the DEO has been busier than usual given recent events but now busy was going to start looking like 'stretched too thin' if things kept up without transferring some of their prisoners soon.

“Restless but...she's been a model citizen, but I can see the crazy starting to settle in. She's paced that room at least four times since I started my watch. Then she laid down and that was that.”

Alex chuckled as she placed her bottled water down on the desk before taking a seat in the empty chair next to Vasquez, “Four walls will do that to you after a couple of hours. But according to Billy she's been asleep in the Phantom Zone for maybe thirty years give or take.”

“In that pod thing? sh*t...”

“Yep, I'd be going bonkers if I was stuck in another container.” Alex sighed, getting comfortable. “Sucks to suck.”

“Ha, maybe you guys should get Wonder Woman to go ask her what's on her mind.”

Hank scoffed as he brought his chair to the monitors, “That was a one time thing. We don't need any more outside interference with these Kryptonians, besides we can't rely on magic every time we bring in a hard nut to crack. They have their own responsibilities too.”

“Responsibilities? Yeah...okay, unpopular opinion here but...wouldn't that mean that they 'd be in Metropolis helping Superman?” Alex frowned while shaking her head, “From what I've seen, the only hero I've been seeing lately is Superman.”

Agent Vasquez wisely kept her mouth shut but she did subtly side-eye her boss as if she really wasn’t just welcoming Wonder Woman with open arms to make their super alien prisoner answer basic questions. She was used to Alex having hang-ups on heroes every now and then but Vasquez wished that the Deputy Director would just hurry up and pick a side.

Hank shrugged looking over at his second curiously, “We do know that there are some like The Flash helping with city wide evacuation but really, it's not like everyone is equipped to go up against a Kryptonian let alone several of those bastards at the same time, Danvers.”

Alex raised an eyebrow, “Alright, then why is Wonder Woman here instead of being out there? Not that I don't appreciate her help today but—”

“Thank god, it's dinner time.” Agent Vasquez interrupted the two before they got into one of their disagreements again.

“How is she with the first feeding?” Hank asked, also glad to be off the topic of Superman and superheroes in general as well, knowing how worked up his partner could get on the subject.

Agent Vasquez shrugged, “She's neat and doesn't throw a fit like the others. Like I said earlier, she's eerily well behaved considering how she was brought in but so far no trouble.”

Alex and Hank glanced at each other the Agent's head, “She's giving up way too easily.”

“I know...”

“Holy sh*t! Code red, code red!” Agent Vasquez jumped up, hitting the cell alarm for Kara's room just as the two Director's were out of their seats and out of the room before Vasquez could utter another word.

Kara audibly groaned when she realized that it was time to eat—she was positive that they were feeding her less than ideal protein on purpose for beating up their little magician. And trying to drug her but it wasn’t working.

They really expected her to be happy with this disgusting slop. They expected her to eat with her hands like some filthy animal while they watched on camera. There was no doubt in Kara's mind that they were laughing at her predicament.

With a shout of determined pent up rage and frustration, Kara threw the tray at the door with a shout of anger—out of patience. The hard way it is then.

Kara ran full speed into the opposite wall, making sure to turn her head at the very last second, exposing the left side of her face just before impact. Kara crumpled to the ground holding the side of her face with a groan. The moment she hit the wall the alarm sounded and Kara could hear yelling outside her cell door.

“sh*t—” Kara knew that she was on borrowed time, she could be in pain later.

Kara quickly reached inside of her mouth and found her last molar on the left. It was the very last one and while there was another tooth that was loose—the one she actually needed was still firmly in place. Goddamn!

The locks turned on the door, Kara was out of time.

f*ck.

Kara got to her feet just as the door opened and charged at the soldier, shoving his rifle muzzle away from her chest, Kara executed a perfect uppercut and he went down faster than she expected. Not wasting more time with him, Kara closed her cell door again to buy herself another minute.

She began to dig inside of her mouth once more, uncaring of the drool and blood that was flowing down her chin.

Kara's thumb and index finger gripped the molar tightly with sheer determination to get it the hell out—she twisted as hard as she could and pulled simultaneously, successfully ripping the tooth right from its root.

“Ugh...ow...” Kara's knees buckled right as the door was forced open again and she was immediately blitzed by three soldiers.

Deputy Director Danvers stepped over the unconscious soldier Kara attacked and got right in Kara's face as she was forced to her feet by the men that tackled her, “We have a special place for aliens like you, Lieutenant. It's dark, it stinks and I hope you enjoy it because you're gonna be there for a few days until I think you've calmed down.”

Kara's smile was as bloody as it was smug, holding the tooth tightly in her right hand. These humans didn't know it yet, but their time was running out now.

Across the country...

On the Kryptonian ship at the center of Metropolis, Faora stood on the command deck preparing the remaining soldiers for a final stand against Kal-El and his pathetic human allies.

Zod was out pursuing Kal-El in hopes to convince the human raised Kryptonian one last time to fight for Krypton instead of against them. But Faora knew that it was a waste of time as Kal-El was too conditioned by the humans. He loved them too much...Kal-El was a lost cause for them all.

He may have been born on their homeworld but he was by no means a true Kryptonian. Kal-El did not know the beauty that was Krypton nor did he know the history of the generations before. The success and the tragedies of their people time and time again that would've tumbled nations but instead lifted Krypton to new glories.

Kal-El would never understand, and for that criminal ignorance; he must die.

“Sub Commander!”

“Speak quickly, soldier. I am busy.”

“Ma'am, we've intercepted a transmission from the west.”

“The west?... Is it the General?”

“No ma'am, it's...it reads as a molar homing beacon. It's Kryptonian, I've checked the frequency twice.”

Faora's head snapped around to the soldier behind her and he visibly resisted the urge to step back. Faora-Ul was an intimidating woman with or without her facial scars. After Krypton fell, Faora recovered from her near fatal wounds but now she was blind in her right eye.

It was still a mystery how Faora managed to survive that attack at all. Though she never talked about it, the scars and the burn marks that littered her body spoke volumes telling a story that no one, not even Zod knew how she pulled herself from ruins on the chunk of rock he found her stranded on.

The only other person who probably could've gotten the real story from Faora was long dead...just like a majority of their unit.

“How long ago was this?”

“Five minutes.”

Faora processed this, Impossible...can it be...? No, if it was who she thought it was—then wouldn't she have come to them the moment she arrived on this wretched planet?

“Do you have a location? An exact location.”

“Yes, just outside of National City in the middle of nowhere ma'am. Our scans show that there is a military base underground and the transmission is coming from several feet beneath the base.”

Ah.

“Captured.” Faora frowned, hands now clasped behind her back beneath her dark cloak, but...how? Faora couldn't even be certain if she should trust it, but her gut instinct told her that she should. A molar homing beacon was technology that Kryptonian used eons before Krypton's demise, it was old school and basic.

But she had given it to Kara when she was a child just in case anyway, as a last resort if she were ever in trouble and had no other means of communication. If it was Kara; then her protege was in some trouble with the human government. The same government that continued to get in their way since their arrival to Earth.

Faora frowned. Their resources were already spread thin, but there were bigger stakes at play here now. Faora worried how they were going to move forward with their plan after defeating Earth's defenses. Terraformation was a sensitive procedure, and they did not have the resources nor would they know where to start. But she would.

“Orders, Commander?”

Faora's lips pursed thoughtfully, “Alert a squadron to prepare for a rescue mission against the human government in the West. It seems that we have an old comrade in need of assistance.”

The Commander looked down at the city Kal-El seemed to love so much with a renewed smirk. Faora turned from the view with a dramatic flourish of her cape as her helmet activated and concealed her entire face.

National City…middle of nowhere…

There were DEO Agents running around their underground base in preparation for the incoming sh*t-storm that was flying towards them. Coming all the way from the heart of Metropolis at breakneck speeds.

The DEO clocked the Kryptonians the moment they passed over Texas and it didn't take long for the two DEO Directors to figure out what the they were hauling ass for—or rather for who.

It was the very same reason why Agent Danvers had on her military grade ballistic vest while carrying her modified M-4 assault rifle. Along with twenty-four other DEO Agent's at her back as they made their way down to Kara Zor-El's new holding cell.

They all had prototype kryptonite bullets thanks to LexCorp but they only had a limited supply for special occasions—the Luthor's weren't cheap contractors. Especially lately but their toys were a necessary evil sometimes. And this was one of those times.

The public criticized the family for their anti-kryptonian weapons given there was only one Kryptonian on Earth plus the fact that he was often seen as a superhero.

But after this was all done with, Alex had a hunch that they would have all of the supply that they could ever need. And there won’t be much idolization and forgiveness for the man of steel.

“Bravo Strike post for ambush. Delta with me and everyone watch your twenty.”

The chorus of 'yes ma'am' would never get old for Alex but she couldn't stop herself from wondering though—how many would come out of this squabble alive? Hell, would she?

The Deputy Director didn't want to think about the odds that were obviously stacked against them because that would mean that they had already lost the fight.

As long as Kara Zor-El, Zods Leading researcher, was still in the DEO's custody humanity was still winning.

As instructed the Delta Strike team followed her further down the dark and dank corridor until they reached the metal door all the way at the end. The remaining twelve brave men and women posted on either side of the hallway and took their standard positions, weapons hot and radio chatter to a minimum.

Alex opened the cell door and stepped into the dimly lit room. This cell was similar to the one Kara was in earlier except it was smaller, stinkier and further underground. No bed or a mattress, just a rusty old toilet that maybe worked. This cell wasn't meant for long term holding but instead to prove a very hard point. The DEO were not playing games.

Most never had to visit this place more than once.

Alex saw that Kara was sitting up against the far wall still handcuffed and bloody—Alex hadn't bothered to let her clean up before dragging her down here.

“Deputy Director...visiting so soon?”

There weren't camera's in these particular rooms so Alex had no problem using the butt of her rifle to wipe that smug smirk off of Kara's face. Alex's strike cut open Kara's forehead just between her eyebrows making her grunt in pain.

“What did you do?!” Alex demanded now standing over Kara, not allowing her to sit up again, “Earlier in the room—you weren't trying to commit suicide were you? You were calling for help! Weren't you?” Alex hit her again, harder this time, “Weren't you?!”

Kara reached up to wipe the blood out of her eyes but Alex kicked her hands away and Kara huffed loudly, spitting out more blood, “If it's any consolation Deputy Director, your death will be quick. I promise.”

Just as Kara said that, a loud explosion was both heard and felt from above them but the impact was dulled due to their location so far beneath the Earth's soil. Alex hit Kara again when she started chuckling, forcing the back of her head to bounce off the hard floor—shutting Kara up again when she bit her tongue on accident.

“When I'm done with your friends, you're next.”

The lights that were hanging above were shaking violently threatening to fall on their heads at any given moment but none of the soldiers moved—not even when the walls around them cracked a few inches while dust and small debris fell down all around them.

Their radios were cackling with incoming messages but nothing coherent was coming through. But they were all getting a sense that the panic and chaos above them was trying to come down to them. And eventually...it was going to find them.

Alex turned from her spot and looked at every soldier behind her, she saw the terror in their eyes despite their hardened postures with steady hands that held their weapons close to their chests. They were laying down their lives to protect all of humanity.

There was another explosion above them, shaking the ground harder than before. The fight was getting closer—Alex trembled slightly, before steeling her nerves. There were people counting on them now.

“Some of us may not make it out of here, hell, probably none of us will—but we are soldiers committed to this very cause. We are what the DEO stands for—we protect humanity with everything we can and when we fall...if...we fall, so does the rest of the world. That alien in that room behind us is the key to saving humanity and destroying it. As long as she is powerless and in our custody, she is our key to survival! Do you copy?”

“We copy, Agent Danvers, loud and clear.”

“Copy that soldier. Get—”

The ceiling caved in behind them sending the soldiers scampering out of the way to avoid behind crushed by the falling Earth and the broken cement.

Alex quickly raised her rifle and flicked on the UV light that was attached to her muzzle as she pushed through the dust with narrowed eyes. She felt two other soldiers flanking her, bringing her a small comfort but not much.

She held up her fist to signal for them to stop, thankfully they were both close enough to see her to follow the quiet command. The dust finally cleared up after a while but it seemed to take forever, and some of the Earth's soil was still spilling in through the hole in the ceiling but Alex wasn't going to let the breach distract her from the threat she could now physically see.

Alex has seen this woman before. She was the very same one that General Zod sent to retrieve Superman and Lois Lane before all hell had broken loose on live TV. Alex never caught the woman's name but it wouldn't be a wild guess to figure out that she was the second in command. And if Zod was willing to spare one of his right-hands for a rescue mission…then Alex was right on the money with her theory of Kara being important.

“I believe that you have someone who belongs to us. Release her and you will not die today.”

The blatant lie was as beautiful and bold as the woman telling it. Alex scoffed, “She's not going anywhere, and neither are you.”

On the off chance that this woman was telling the truth, Alex knew that Kara would never leave without killing her first anyway. Too many risks she was not willing to take.

Faora smiled, but it wasn't a pretty smile; it was the sort of smile that made anyone think twice about anything they've done or said in the last five minutes of their life.

“No prisoners.”

Alex felt her heart plummet into her stomach. Time slowed down as beads of sweat rolled down from her hairline to the tip of her nose and literally dripped down onto her arm, her nose was runny with trepidation of the reality she was facing as everything around her began to move.

This was not how she envisioned her death, at the hands of an alien…Alex pulled the trigger.

Faora turned on her heel, her back to the chaos and she used her super-strength to tear the locking mechanism from Kara's cell door watching it swing open with a loud ear bleeding screech. Faora stepped into the shadows of the room, the gun shots behind her slowing…

Alex lay in a broken heap against the wall next to one of her men, still clinging to a little life and her weapon. She couldn’t feel half her body, it was numb…that’s what she believed. But didn’t stand a chance, not a single one. Their specialized bullets couldn’t even pierce the Kryptonians armor. They were prepared for Superman, not this.

The rustling of chains being broken and dropped onto the hard concrete floor had Alex subtly placing her finger on the trigger.

She still had a magazine full of bullets laced with Kryptonite and she was not going to let them go to waste. Alex waited patiently, her sight growing weary but the Deputy Director refused to give up as long as she drew breath.

Faora walked out of the cell room first but she was closely followed by the barefoot Kara Zor-El. Smug as she ever was since arriving.

With the last of the strength she had left without hesitating another second Alex squeezed the trigger, her sights set on Kara's heart and predictably Faora moved to intercept the bullets to save her powerless protege.

Alex felt her soul grow cold—her last breath, her last shot at anything...stopped by alien armor and tech.

Above them, Alex heard a very familiar and enraged battle cry and that filled her with some sort of hope. Hope that this wasn't going to be her end afterall.

Alex tried to fire off three more rounds but the unseen Kryptonian who was in full battle armor blocked the shots with ease as he or she...it...reached out and snatched the rifle from her hands before snapping it in half like it was just a pencil.

But Alex didn't have much of a chance, she knew that the moment she felt hands on either side of her face as the last thing she saw was Kara Zor-El's triumphant blue eyes.

Notes:

As usual any grammar mistake is mine, sorry lol it’s just me here

Chapter 5: Shackled

Notes:

I don't own anything DC related.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Kara let the human fall from her grasp and slowly rose out of her crouch, though she was a tad unsteady. She was still feeling a little dizzy and nauseous from that extra Kryptonite injection Deputy Director Danvers gave her earlier. That was a nasty little substance that the humans have come up with, no doubt they created it to stop Kal-El but Kara planned on studying it the first chance she could get. She had ideas on how to reverse the effects, or at least help her fellow comrades resist it better.

Kara used the wall for support and looked at the burly Kryptonian soldier standing a few feet away, the designs on his armor plating, recognizing them as Nam-Ek. Kara nodded gratefully in his direction but they didn't have time for that sort of reminiscing. The humans would no doubt have reinforcements coming very soon and Kara could feel the walls trembling from the ongoing fight above them.

“Clear us a path, soldier.”

“Yes, Commander!”

Kara watched him jump up through the hole above them before she faced a familiar face; still processing that this was all real. That Faora didn't perish on Krypton like she believed. Kara wasn’t sure what she wanted to believe anymore..

Kara had so many damn questions but nothing was coming out. Faora looked the same, almost, she had facial scars now and burns that ran beneath her collar. Kara saw that she looked a bit thinner but she was still the same woman that raised her and saved her life.

“Commander...how...how are you not dead right now? How are you here? I saw you die, I watched you die on Krypton, everything burned…so how?”

“Zod.” Faora came closer to the Lieutenant. Taking Kara in just as much as she was doing to her, “I was caught in the explosion shortly after your departure but that hangar was more durable than expected but....I don't really recall much after that. Not as Zod tells it anyway. According to him...I was lifeless and floating about on a rock when my body was found. It was my suit that saved my life, but only just barely. It was burned and shredded but it managed to hold up long enough and my reserves were just about depleted.”

Kara stared at Faora with widened eyes, still unable to believe what her eyes were seeing and what her ears were hearing but the immense relief was something she couldn't deny. “Rao…and how many are…how many of our people survived Brainiac's attack?”

“Just a small percentage of our guild. We are small, yes, but we aren’t dead yet, and that will not be the end of Krypton, Kara.”

Kara looked almost hopeful, almost, “You found a World Engine?”

Faora shook her head, exhaling heavily through her nose, “Hm. The ones we’ve tried to salvage in the past thirty years were all but useless, the one we’ve found on Daxamite was near perfect. It was damaged but we’ve mostly repaired it…having an actual genius of science with us now will further its progress while Black Zero begins.”

“The Black Zero won’t be enough, Commander.” Kara didn’t want to sound as if she were questioning orders, but she was concerned about their last hope to have their home again being wasted on a premature invasion. “Two or more World Engines spells for success. Not one.”

The walls around them trembled and dirt fell from the hole above, reminding them both that they were still in the middle of a fight.

“I know, the other is hidden on Mars. You’ll go there to finish it but we will have time to talk later, Lieutenant.” Faora placed her hand on Kara's shoulder, squeezing her firmly as she prepared to take flight, “Let's get you refitted for a new skin-suit and armor—UGH!”

A blur of red tore between the two officers, simultaneously kicking Faora through the opposite wall and knocking Kara back. When the dust cleared, it was revealed to be that goddamn wizard from before. Kara jumped to her feet but she didn't get a chance to attack because she was suddenly yanked by the collar of her suit and tossed through the hole in the ceiling.

“You're in no shape to fight, I will find you on the surface! Go!” Faora ordered right before she punched Shazam away with enough force to knock his jaw loose then dove after him, driving his body further down into the Earth.

Kara made it to the surface fairly quickly without any more dramatics or trouble. The military base that was containing her was now partially destroyed and it was beginning to crumble around them. There were bodies everywhere, human of course—though there was residue of Kryptonite projectiles everywhere. Due to all the destruction, it was not very hard for Kara to find an exit.

.

.

The sand was hot on the palm of her hands and between her toes, not hot enough to hurt but enough to be uncomfortable for her. But the more Kara rested in this spot soaking up the rays of the Earth's young sun; the less achy she began to feel. Earth’s yellow sun was always a fascination for her even if she didn’t care too much for the effects of their sun. It was an added bonus, sure, but not a necessity.

“Hey!”

Sitting back on her haunches, Kara looked over her shoulder lazily as if she didn't have a care in the world, and she didn’t, “If you know what's good for you, you’ll just leave right now. I’ll judge you, but I won’t kill you…today.”

Shazam scoffed, and brushed the dust from his shoulder causing Kara to sneer at his blatant disrespect and arrogance, “I got rid of your friends, blondie. They learned the hard way that Kryptonians and magic? They don't make nice so don't make the same mistake they did. Again. Just surrender and—”

“I will never surrender to the likes of you or anyone else on this wretched planet!” Kara seethed as she was now standing and fully turned around to face Shazam with the intent of killing him without landing a single blow. Kara hovered off of the ground while her eyes blazed red, “You were warned.”

Shazam prepared himself for the attack that he was sure he probably wouldn't survive, or at the very least it was going to hurt a lot, when he spotted something far above them. Kara noticed his shifted gaze but before she could properly react it was too late. The golden noose was already around her neck and had Kara been human—her neck would've snapped from the force that yanked her backwards and into the Earth's crust as if she weighed nothing.

“Wonder Woman!” Shazam cheered, “Sight for sore eyes, I heard you were still on base but figured they got to you too. We were just jumped by some aliens! Holy sh*t!”

Wonder Woman sighed, it wasn’t a laughing matter, but he wasn't wrong. Yet like himself she also wielded magic coupled with her natural talents—the Kryptonians were a hefty challenge but they weren’t Gods.

“Where are the others?”

“I...” Billy sighed sadly, half shrugging, “Everyone's dead...or gone. I tried to save as many of my friends as I could, but the DEO didn’t stand a real chance against a full Kryptonian assault…”

“No. They did not,” Wonder Woman set her lasso back on her waist, noticing that Kara was starting to come to, “Go help the wounded, Shazam. I will handle this one myself.”

Shazam looked like he was ready to argue but no one in their right mind would ever argue with Wonder Woman; so Shazam did as he was told by the older hero, leaving her to deal with Superman’s psycho cousin.

Kara rubbed at her neck, she hated magic. And Earth was full of it...the universe was full of it. Magic never ceased to be a bane to Kara's existence. Hell, she spent nearly thirty years in the magical prison that was the Phantom Zone. Kara has had her fill of magic to last her several lifetimes.

Wonder Woman positioned herself into her preferred fighting stance with her sword drawn and her shield lowered but Kara wasn't naive this time, knowing just what those weapons were capable of whether she had new abilities or not. Kara would have loved to have her armor right about now as her bodysuit would do nothing against this woman and her magical prowess but the Lieutenant was not going to back down.

“Earth is my home, I will not let you destroy it.”

Kara's frown deepened, “Destroying this planet is not our intention.”

Diana's eyes narrowed significantly as she readied her shield, “I will not let you conquer it either.”

In all of her years, Diana has fought many opponents, near Gods and Goddesses...hell, she's even gone against Superman once when his mind was poisoned by Lex Luthor. Diana took Superman when he was using his full strength and he, like many others, submitted to Diana's will one way or the other.

However, fighting Lt. Zor-El without interruption was a lot different than battling her cousin for several different reasons. Unlike Kal, Kara didn't rely on her brute strength and super speed to aid her in her fight against Diana. Kara took the fight to the Amazon Princess instead, tactile and clever. She was unpredictable and kept the Amazon Princess on her toes, and her guard.

But Diana wasn't aiming to kill Kara even though her opponent did not share that same sentiment but Diana needed to slow her down quickly before another problem arose.

Diana gasped between clenched teeth when her back was being used to carve the face of a mountain before she and Kara tumbled back onto the ground in a tangle of limbs and hair.

During their descent, Kara got an arm hooked around Diana’s neck. The Amazon twisted around to avoid taking the impact face first, allowing her back to once again take the brunt of Kara’s attack.

Both warriors grappled for the upper hand in a match of strength, speed and agility. Once again, Kara was on Diana’s abused back, this time with her legs wrapped around her waist and arms back around her neck. Forcing the Amazon into a submissive position.

It was then that Diana realized something curious about her opponent, something she had mistaken as a protective design in her suit. It was an odd thing to realize while in her current predicament, but it was also Diana’s way out of this vice hold.

Diana pressed herself further into Kara’s death grip, and struck her down with a well placed elbow followed by a fully powered reverse headbutt the minute Kara’s arms loosened. Kara rolled away from Diana, holding both her groin and her pained nose.

With Kara now temporarily subdued, Diana took this moment to catch her breath.

“That was a cheap shot,” Kara spat, moving to sit up on her knees, her glare dark and heated. “Too scared to die with some dignity?”

“Don’t get co*cky, you have not defeated me yet.”

Both warriors were now sporting cuts and bruises all over their bodies. Some that continued to bleed as the battle wore on and other parts crusted over with dried blood and dirt. With Wonder Woman's weapons, she was able to leave lasting hits against Kara along with her own fists. But taking her down the second time was proving to be a lot more work than it was the first time.

Kara grunted on shaky legs, her groin area still throbbing painfully. She wiped away the blood under her nose, sneering when she saw Diana collecting her sword from the ground along with her shield that was on the verge of shattering.

“You fight well, it's a shame that you will die today. And once I’m done with you, I’ll get rid of that idiot with the lightning!”

Diana's eyes narrowed and she straightened her spine, standing at her full height now, “I am Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons! In the name that is good, your wrath upon this world is over!”

Kara knew that her attack was coming but the burst of speed caught her off guard as Diana hadn't used it before. Diana's shield shattered when she knocked Kara upside the head with it, pushing the younger woman several feet back.

Kara caught herself mid-air, flipping over so that she landed on her feet. She didn't give the Amazon time to recover and was on Wonder Woman in a second, throwing a series of combined kicks and punches so fast it was almost a blur but Diana was just as fast. She parried Kara, marveling at her hand to hand combat but Diana knew that she would have to end this battle. And soon.

Aha! Kara finally slipped...it was so slight that Diana almost missed it—Wonder Woman side stepped a super-kick, stepping inside of Kara's personal space and delivered a blood rippling uppercut, nearly sending Kara straight into the clouds. Diana was hot on her tail, flying well above Kara's body and she punched Kara back down to Earth with a mean right hook. Kara hit the ground face first so hard she put another hole in the Earth.

argh!” Kara growled into the dirt when she felt Diana land directly on her shoulders, feet first and the Lasso of Truth was back around her neck and Kara tried to roll over to prevent Diana from killing her but a heavy knee in the middle of her back stopped her cold. Kara winced when Diana wretched both of her arms behind her back, and proceeded to tie her up. And as much as Kara tried, she couldn't break through that damn rope.

“Submit.” Diana told her firmly panting heavily, blood, sweat and saliva dripping down her chin. “Submit!”

A loud crash caught both of their attention and Diana saw Faora breaking through the ground and tossing away a lifeless marine like he was made of nothing several feet away. There were two more Kryptonians flanking the brunette and Diana swore to Hades.

Within that same minute, Shazam also emerged from below and struck down the Kryptonians with an impressive burst of lightning, catching all three enemies at once.

Eyes wide with horror, Kara watched all three of her comrades fall out of the sky like flies, and fear gripped her when she realized that they might be dead.

“No!!”

With a last valiant effort from her reserves, Kara managed to roll over onto her back and tried to buck Diana off of her. Grunting from Kara’s effort, Diana was firmly keeping Kara in place between her powerful thighs, and she pushed her hips down harder, forcing Kara to lay still and to yield to her will.

“It is over now, Kara. Stop fighting!”

Kara's eyes began to glow bright red, her face twisted with rage but Diana was expecting this too. Using the side of her bracelet, she hit Kara in the temple. Diana did it twice more until the light in Kara's eyes faded away and she fell back completely unconscious.

Diana sat there for a few more seconds straddling Kara’s lap and staring up at the sky for a moment.

Soon enough, she got to her feet and finished securing Kara. Diana threw the unconscious Kryptonian over her shoulder and took flight to the skies. Diana didn't bother going back to the DEO, she was confident that Shazam could handle the remainder of the Kryptonians without her since they were all fried now more or less. Whether they were alive or not did not concern Diana.

Yet she also had no intention of returning Kara back into the hands of the government to suffer the same fate as her comrades, whatever that may be. Kara didn't know it but today she was fortunate that she was Kal-El's family otherwise Diana would've eliminated a major threat on this day.

It was nearly well into the evening when Diana finally broke through the barrier that protected Themyscira from the rest of the world and her home island came into view. It was always as beautiful as she remembered every single time and it never ceased to fail to make Diana's heart swell with pride but she was here on important business. She could cure her home sickness another time. Diana was sore and she was exhausted but there was still a mission to be completed.

Thankfully, her travel companion was still drooling down her back when Diana landed in the courtyard of the palace. Normally Diana would make her presence known at the end of the city and walk back towards the Amaaon palace while greeting all of friends and the shop vendors and such.

The two that were patrolling together weren't startled with her sudden appearance, but they were surprised to see that someone was with her. More specifically, hog tied by the Lasso of Truth thrown over Diana's shoulder like a sack of potatoes. It was most obvious that the two women had endured a great battle against one another and it filled them with pride to know that their Princess came out on top.

Diana nodded politely to the two guards, but she didn't have time to converse with them. Kara was finally beginning to stir on her shoulder. “Hello, sisters. Please inform my mother of my arrival and that I will be down in the dungeons. I am admitting another prisoner.”

“Yes, Princess.” “Right away!”

With that taken care of, Diana sped walk in the opposite direction towards the entrance that led to the lower levels of Themyscira. But Diana went a little further where the walls were a bit more narrow, and the torches were spaced further apart. Many were not permitted down this far as they were now in the prison levels of Themyscira.

So rarely were they ever used, but for people like Kara? It was necessary.

Finally, Diana reached a torch that had not yet been lit, signaling that the prison cell was not yet occupied. Diana said something under her breath followed by a prayer...almost immediately the solid wall in front of her shimmered away and she was greeted by a steel door. The door creaked loudly when Diana pushed it open. These cells were designed by old ancient magic to hold beings as powerful as Kara if needed. And try as she undoubtedly will, Kara would never break free from this room.

There was a full sized bed in the far corner of the room with a single pillow. On the other side of the room was a half empty bookshelf, mostly philosophical books remained, and it was standing next to a worn desk that was without a chair. Diana crossed the room and placed Kara on the bed, then she removed her lasso and set it back on her waist.

It wasn't long until Diana heard multiple footsteps approaching, and she turned slightly to greet her mother, Artemis and Epione, their Chief healer. Not surprised to see them even though she did not call for them.

“Diana! What is going on here?”

“Mother,” Diana bowed her head in respect and she smiled at the other two, “I apologize for dropping in so unexpectedly like this but this was an urgent matter.”

“Is she from the outside world?” Artemis asked, looking at Kara with a frown, she looked human but there was something more to her, “Diana—”

“She's not.” Diana quickly cut in, stopping whatever heated protest Artemis was about to throw at her, “She is not from this world, but she’s very different.”

“How different, Diana?” her mother asked, eyeing her daughter's battle wounds carefully, “Given by your state of appearance, I'd say that this one is very strong indeed.”

“Calm yourself, mother, I’m fine. Nothing a good night’s rest won’t fix.” Diana smiled briefly but reassuringly, “but yes she is stronger obviously and she can’t be entrusted in the care of men and their governments. It’s already worrisome enough that there’s unchecked technology.”

“Hmm.” Hippolyta took her daughter's words as the truth and nodded. Then there was a scoff behind them, and Diana saw that Epione was now checking over Kara's injuries, “The Princess did a number on her too, but she'll be fine. Very sore but fine.”

“Epione.” Diana cautioned when she noticed Kara's eyebrows pulling forward, signs of her waking up, “Please step back.”

Thankfully the healer took heed of Diana's warning and went to stand with the Queen while Diana quietly took a defensive stance as well along with Artemis.

Kara's eyes popped open and the first thing she noticed was how tired and sore she felt. Her body felt like lead, worse than she felt the first time she fought with the Amazon.

Kara was aware enough to know that she was no longer in the desert and that her rescue had been a complete failure. The softness beneath her suggested that she was in a bed of some kind but it didn't really explain as to where she was now.

It took some effort but Kara managed to sit up, swinging her feet over the edge of the bed and onto the floor. Her glare swept over the three unfamiliar faces in the room, the two nearest the door were watching her with blank expressions, while the redhead next to Diana looked determined for a fight. She wanted to see how tough this woman was.

Kara scoffed, yeah...no. She was a proud warrior like the best of them, but she had enough common sense to know when to pick her battles. And this was a battle she would not win. At least for now.

“Well, Diana of Themyscira, it looks like you've won...this time. Where am I now? Another government facility?”

Diana studied Kara, looking into her eyes for any signs of deception but she found none. Kara may have proved herself to be a lot of things, but at least she was a warrior with some sort of honor and dignity. The Amazon Princess relaxed her stance except Artemis who remained ready just in case this was a trap.

“You are on Themyscira and far away from any form of civilization, Kara.” Diana crossed her arms over her chest, and Kara would be lying if she said that she wasn't proud of the bruises Diana was sporting, “This room is designed to hold people like you. You will be bound to this room and confined within its walls by magic.”

“Magic again...of course. I really can’t catch a break from that stuff,” Kara hummed softly, smirking somewhat—it was a little unnerving how calmly she was taking this news… as if it were a game, or perhaps the reality of facing yet another eternal and inescapable prison hasn’t dawned on her yet. “So that’s it then? I get put away without trial, this doesn’t seem very fair.

“Fair? Honorable?” Diana repeatedly almost offended, her hands on her hips now, “You’re here due to your crimes against humanity.”

“Humanity? Well, I’m not a human…so that law doesn’t apply to me.”

“If that’s your argument then yes, you are correct: that law doesn’t apply to you, Kara. And therefore, neither does a fair trial.” Diana raised an eyebrow in face of Kara’s glare. “ You came to our home seeking refuge and we could have helped you, but instead you picked a losing side, and during that time you murdered good innocent people, Kara! This is your consequence.”

“A losing side? I chose my family! You would have done the exact same thing, Princess!” Kara snapped, red in the face, “Tell me that you wouldn’t have.”

“Genocide is not the Amazon way.”

The muscles in Kara’s jaw flexed, her frustration peeking through her smug facade momentarily before she sighed and bottled it all up again. She didn’t have an answer for that because as loyal as she was to Krypton…she had no idea why Zod chose Earth, but Kara wasn’t going to turn her back on him after finding out that he was alive. No matter how brief it was.

When it was clear that Kara wasn’t going to say anything more, Diana nodded and signaled to the others that it was time to leave. But before Diana left the room completely, she paused in the doorway. She turned slightly and gazed at Kara, taking her in thoughtfully.

“You were correct earlier…if it were my people, I would not have abandoned them either. You still have a chance, Kara. But you can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one. You’ll be here forever if you do.”

“After all that I’ve done already…all that I planned to do,” Kara started, locking onto Diana’s steady gaze, “Do you really believe that, Diana?”

“Yes. The beauty of redemption is that it can make a new start out of any life, no matter how broken or hopeless. You’re strong Kara, and I don’t just mean physically.”

“I think you’re putting too much faith in my bloodline, Princess.”

“A friend once told me a long time ago that you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. And so far…I haven’t missed my mark.”

Kara sat completely still as the door closed behind Diana and she watched as it shimmered away, morphing into the stone wall. She waited and waited for something else to happen but there was nothing. Just her and the silence, the empty space. It was just like the phantom zone all over again except that Kara was now going to be conscious during this stint in hell…

Kara scooted back on the bed until her back was pressed against the cool stone wall and she brought her knees to her chest, as hot silent tears finally spilled over. She hasn’t felt this hurt and alone since she was eight years old.

And the five minutes that she spent feeling sorry for herself sent Kara into a fit. Pissed at everyone and everything including herself and Kara took it out on the room she was now cursed with. And her anger only heightened when she realized that everything she destroyed magically fixed itself seconds later.

Kara watched the bookshelf she knocked over right itself and mend its broken shelves before the books flew from all corners of the room back to their rightful places. Kara batted away the ones that flew too close but she managed to catch one that was aimed right at her face. And somehow that seemed to break Kara out of her angry trance that she’d found herself stuck in…the room was quiet now, Kara’s breathing finally evening out and the stillness of the room around her settled.

Kara turned the book side to side curiously before releasing it and watched as it floated back to its designated spot on the bookshelf with a heavy and ultimately defeated sigh, “sh*t…I’ve really done it this time. Rao, Lor-Em, Cythonna… if you haven’t given up on me already…I could really use some guidance here.”

And little did Kara know as she began to strip out of her ruined skin suit, that a million light years away…unreachable by many, her plea was heard by the most unlikely source.

Notes:

All mistakes are my own...this chapter was a bit violent, lol...sorry for any typos! I do my best to catch em all.

At the end, those were all the kryptonian gods...that I could find, but there's something coming for Kara. Good for her, bad for all...but that won't be til later, just be on the look out for Kara's temperature checks. Who's gonna need a yellow sun...not that she gives a damn about that anyway.

Thank you all for the kind kudos and comments! It's still surprising haha but thanksss

Chapter 6: Time

Notes:

I don't own anything DC.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Once again time was Kara's number one enemy. At first, she tried to keep track of the hour of the days based on the sort of food that she was given but Kara wasn't very well versed with the food that Amazon's cooked versus the rest of their primitive planet. It was mostly meat and some vegetables. Oh and fruits...the fruits were her favorites, they were always so sweet and juicy. At least the Amazons were decent farmers.

Meal times and her trips to the bathing hall were the only time Kara actually saw another person, always a guard and armed but Kara had no intentions of causing trouble. There wouldn’t be much of a point anyway, her situation was already dire enough.

Kara had no one to talk to. She had no one to listen to. This left Kara up at all hours, her mind haunting her of past mistakes and 'what should have been'. As far as Kara was concerned, Zod and the others had failed and were locked away like she was or…dead.

But her thoughts weren’t always filled with doom and gloom, Kara spent time meditating and self-care…it kept her from going insane most days.

There was a lot to read too—it was honestly surprising how many books were already in the room once she stopped tossing them about during one of her tantrums. It started with one then Kara couldn’t stop, she quickly learned to keep any novels she wanted to read off the bookshelf if she wanted to finish it as it was reset. Kara still hasn’t figured out when it resets either, she’s never caught it…it was a game she’s yet to win.

Presently...Kara had just finished her meal and gotten her trip to the bathing hall, now she was free to do as she pleased without interruption. And today, she was feeling a little more pent up than usual. Kara lay back on her bed, on top of the furs bare as the day she was bred. One of her hands rested beneath her pillow behind her head while the other was—

The air in the room rippled and Kara sighed heavily, annoyed at the interruption. When the magic rippled like that, the door to the room was revealed. Kara quickly pulled a corner of the quilt beneath her to cover her lower half, at least, just as the door opened. She’d rather be caught half naked than fully caught in the buff.

Kara was expecting Artemis or even Philippus to walk through the door as they were her usual handlers but to her surprise, and mild mortification, it was Diana coming into her room. Kara groaned quietly, her gaze drifting back to the ceiling. Diana was the last person she wanted to see right now…for reasons not even her Gods could squeeze out of her. She squeezed them out of herself plenty already.

Kara groaned again at her thoughts, they weren’t helping at all…

“Princess. I don’t suppose you’ve heard of knocking?”

Diana stopped a few inches from Kara's bed, keeping her eyes well above the other woman's collarbone. She’d been warned by the other guards that Kara had taken…some liberties as far as clothing went and Diana remembered that fact in one of the numerous monthly reports she’s requested. Kara didn’t know it (and Diana wanted to keep it that way) but the Princess has been keeping tabs on her during her stay, ensuring that she wasn’t causing trouble of course.

“Artemis tells me that you've been on your best behavior during your stay, Kara.”

“Surprised?” With some effort, Kara managed to sit up and pull the fur blanket around her shoulders without giving much else away and she noticed that Diana’s shoulders lowered some as she relaxed too, “I can be good when I want to. Besides, I’ve had a lot of time to think. As if there is much else I can do in here aside from reading and sleeping.”

“Should I be worried about what you’re thinking so long and hard about lately?”

“This and that…” Kara shrugged, pulling the fur tighter around her shoulders as Diana went to lean against the desk, “What not to do when we fight again. That was a joke.” Kara clarified drily when all Diana did was glare at her, “I’ve been working on my humor. Har har. No?”

“Keep working on it.” Diana shook her head, “And your issues with clothes, what is that about?”

“Clothes?” Kara scoffed, eyeing the small pile sitting in the corner of her room, “I wouldn’t necessarily call pieces of those threads clothing.”

“If it covers everything as it should, I don’t see the issue.”

Of course you don’t…“I do not like dresses, Diana.”

“It is called a tunic, not a dress.”

“If it looks like a dress…” Kara started, before she decided it wasn’t worth an argument—she’d taken to arguing with Phillipus every now and then just out of boredom. She was just lucky that the Amazon enjoyed a healthy debate.

Artemis on the other hand? She’d sooner try to rearrange Kara’s face. So Kara didn’t bother, lest she defend herself…and get thrown in a less glamorous prison for self-defense. Again.

“Anyway,” the Kryptonian huffed before she could piss herself off, “I didn’t think that we’d be seeing one another so soon after our last talk. Miss me already, Princess?”

Diana’s careful expression twisted uncomfortably for a moment before she schooled it away expertly but Kara caught it, but she wasn’t sure what to make of it yet. But she quickly discarded the thought when Diana pulled a small carrier pouch from her belt and tossed it on the bed next to Kara.

“I want to know what that is.”

The Kryptonian looked between the pouch and Diana, unsure if she really wanted to pick that up but her curiosity was stronger than her caution. With the hand that wasn’t keeping the blanket around her shoulders, Kara reached out and picked it up, noting the weight immediately.

Before she opened it, she looked back at Diana who was already watching her, “This isn’t any of that green crap, right?”

“If it were Kryptonite, you’d know it by now.” Diana said, meaning it, “I didn’t come here to poison you, Kara. You can trust my word that I do not mean you any harm unless you give me reason.”

“Whatever,” Kara mumbled, flipping the pouch until the contents tumbled out—and it turned out to be just a rock. Made of metal. Very specific metal. “Where did you get this?”

“It fell from the sky outside of Metropolis city. It nearly brought down a plane and caused significant damage to the city. Fortunately no one was fatally injured.”

“Mhm.” Kara examined the rock sized metal closely, not really caring about the other stuff, “and now you wanna know how this little thing was able to cause that much chaos?”

Diana’s eyes narrowed, crossing her arms, “What do you know, Zor-El?”

“You’re actually asking, color me surprised.” Blue eyes accusingly dropped to Diana’s waist, specifically landing on the lasso she remembered not so fondly, “Besides why are you even asking me? Your governments don’t have any other aliens locked away that can’t help you?”

“They are not my governments, I am an Amazon Diplomat. But yes, there are other aliens that could potentially help us with this matter but-”

“But since Kal-El is my cousin…” Kara finished with a tiny eye roll, “anyway, if this is as strong as you say it is; then it’s Adamantium. I think.”

“You think?”

“Pretty certain.”

“Kara–”

“Tell me what’s really going on, and I’ll tell you what I really know.” Kara casually tossed the rock against the stone wall behind her, creating a small dent despite the minimum amount of force used and unsurprisingly, the room repaired itself a second later. “Or you could just make me talk and be done with it. Again.”

Diana stared Kara down for a good minute, obviously contemplating her options but her hand never strayed towards that cursed rope sitting on her hip. Finally after what felt like forever, Diana uncrossed her arms and pushed off the desk, walking towards the bed again. Kara wasn’t sure what she was expecting from the Amazon Princess, maybe a firm slap or something, but Diana simply collected the rock and put it back in the pouch.

“You make it hard to like you.”

“I prefer respect anyway.” Kara smirked, crossing her ankles smugly, “and buttered croissants. I’d like more of those too after this.”

Diana closed her eyes briefly, already regretting this whole thing, “Put on some clothes, Lieutenant. We’re going for a walk.”

The walk down the long corridors were just as boring and confusing to Kara as they usually were, but like her previous escorts: Diana seemed to know where she was going without pause. Kara has admittedly tried and failed to memorize these tunnels but it all looked exactly the same. So Kara simply accepted the fact that it could just be an Amazon thing. Maybe they saw something that she didn't. f*cking magic…

The walk was a little longer than she was used to though but eventually Kara understood just why that was. Diana had taken her to a room that she’d never seen before and waiting in this private room was the Queen of the Amazons herself, Hippolyta, along with Artemis and Philippus on the other side of the room, guarding the other exit just in case she tried to make a run for it, Kara assumed.

“All this for me? You all know those cute powers of mine are gone, right?”

Diana gave Kara a look, they both knew that Kara was still a very dangerous individual with or without those powers, “Have a seat, Lieutenant.”

Kara looked around the room at the other three women seeing how they were all watching her, waiting. As much as she preferred to stand for whatever this was, Kara indulged Diana’s command and took the seat across from the Amazon Queen while Diana claimed the empty chair next to her mother.

“Lieutenant, thank you for joining us.”

Kara scoffed, “You all insist that I ever had a choice.”

Hippolyta gracefully ignored that remark, “I’m sure that Diana explained to you that your behavior has been exceptional thus far, enough that you're being considered for parole.”

“You're joking, right? I've been here for...what? A few months?” Kara blinked, confused. Not sure if she was hearing the Queen right. She felt a wave of relief but alongside that relief was a slew of other emotions she’s managed to bottle away before they drove her insane.

“You've been on Themyscira for seven years, Lieutenant,” Hippolyta said, and Diana shifted slightly and kept a close eye on Kara’s reactions, “Time in these tunnels are quite a bit slower than time on the surface. Things work differently when magic is involved.”

“But it…it barely felt like weeks! How is it that seven years have gone by…everything still feels so recent.”

Hippolyta nodded softly, “Right now you may feel some discomfort and disorientation, that is perfectly normal, I know it’s overwhelming but it will pass. Just stay calm.”

“Obviously,” Kara grumbled, seven years... Rao... so much time has passed, Kara’s barely been awake from the Phantom Zone and less than twenty-four hours she’d been locked away again. Magic was quickly rising to the top of her list of her most hated things in the universe. Rao! Another decade, stolen from her life. Who was the real villain here?

“Kara?” Diana brought her back to reality, and Kara quickly shook her head, clearing her consciousness of her darkening thoughts, “Are you alright?”

Kara snorted at the question without meaning to; but really? Was she alright? What kind of question was that? Sure she would have answered that question with brutal honesty but that probably would have added another seven years underground. So Kara instead made a show of exhaling deeply and combing her fingers through her hair, giving the impression that she was calming down but really Kara wasn’t sure how she felt. She bottled it later to be unpacked (even though that list was quickly growing and she’d yet to unpack even her parents murder).

“I’m fine, Diana, but I’m disappointed with you. I know that you don’t play fair but I didn’t take you for a liar.”

“Excuse me?” Wonder Woman bristled, hating that Kara could get under her skin so quickly but the woman was quite good at making anyone both respect and or like and hate her at the same time.

“I’m on parole for ‘good behavior’? I wasn’t born under a rock, Diana. Why am I really sitting here in this room with you and your mother? We all know what I have done, and what I planned to do, to land me in this hell. I’m not a licensed jailor…but even I know that’s an extremely light slap on the wrist for attempted genocide.”

Swiftly the Queen turned slightly and gestured for Artemis and Phillipus to step out, “Give us the room.”

Artemis and Phillipus shared a concerned look but they weren’t going to disobey orders from their Queen. For all this time, neither of them knew what crimes were charged against the Kryptonian as no one thought to question their Princess, they never had a need to, but genocide was another level of crazy. Kara was an obvious menace…but this was a big deal.

Diana waited patiently until the door closed again before she addressed Kara again, “You said it yourself that you didn’t know if you’d go through with it or not. You had no idea what you were going to do when you first landed here on Earth, Kara. It wasn’t until you learned of your unit’s survival that you flipped a switch.”

“Huh. So you were listening.”

“I am always listening, Kara. What would you have done had your unit not been here, if they were truly dead like you believed them to be. What was your plan for Earth?”

For Earth?” Kara laughed sarcastically, “Again with the assumptions that I was here of my own free will in the first place or that I had any plan at all. I was alone, fresh out of a f*cking thirty year coma. The last thing I remembered was my entire f*cking world being eliminated without remorse! Then I woke up with some man in my face. Next thing you know, I’m fighting him and then I’m fighting you…and then I get poisoned…and…and,” Kara huffed heavily, unsure where to even start for that point, it was one of the boiling points of her never ending frustration, “Look, what’s your point here? What does the past have to do with the now? Because it’s too late for any of that.”

“Your loyalty to your people was not unfounded. We all understood your position, Kara, and many of us would have done the same thing. Mistakes were made, consequences were dealt…but it’s not too late. Kal-El has been petitioning for you. And your overall attitude here has been helping your case in the last seven years.”

“He doesn’t even know me. And neither do you, so why–”

“You’re not the only Kryptonian that’s all alone…and yes Kal-El is also my friend,but I also understand you too, Kara.”

“You don’t understand anything, so don’t sit there and pretend that you do!” Kara all but yelled at Diana, almost offended. Outside the room, Artemis and Phillipus grew weary at the increased noise level from inside the room but they knew not to move unless it was obvious a fight was happening, “He’s naive and so are you!”

“Then I guess you will just have to share that opinion for the rest of the League as well,” Hippolyta stated coolly, stepping in before this could derail even further, “This was put to a vote and they were all willing to give you a chance, Lieutenant, if you choose to take it. However, if you don’t…you may finish your sentence back in your cell.”

“Finish my sentence? Oh you mean my life sentence? Ha.” Kara smirked, biting her tongue so that she didn’t say what was really on her mind. Kara licked her lips as her eyes darted between mother and daughter, before settling on Diana, “I guess this answers my question about the Adamantium, hm? Was that a test?”

“Partially, yes.”

“Did I pass then?” Kara’s eyebrows raised slightly, almost mocking the Princess.

“No. Not yet.” Diana held Kara’s stare, unwilling to yield first, aware that she was being challenged, “You’re still a wildcard. There are still some precautions that need to be put in place before you can leave this ward.”

“Precautions?” Kara frowned, she wasn’t sure if she liked the sound of that too much.

“Here, Lieutenant.” Hippolyta cleared her throat softly after she pulled out two pure gold bracelets, similar to the ones Diana wore and an equally plain gold necklace from a satchel that was hidden out of Kara’s sight. Hippolyta had a mysterious smirk on her face and tossed said jewelry to Kara who caught them easily, and Kara’s frown deepened when she realized that they were much heavier than she anticipated.

“And just what the hell are these?” Kara was forced to look away from the Princess but her suspicions won out over her annoyance of Hippolyta interrupting…whatever that was.

“Enchanted accessories.” Diana explained, still watching Kara as she examined the gold, and hyper aware that her mother was now side-eyeing her but Diana would deal with that later, “We are aware of your bond with our yellow sun and these will prohibit you from gaining any access to your dormant abilities without permission. Only myself or my mother may remove them from your person, and we will only do so once we deem you ready.”

Diana didn't bother to elaborate on the fact that the jewelry was also capable of not only keeping track of Kara’s whereabouts but her bracelets could easily become shackles if Kara truly got out of hand.

“The illusion of freedom made of gold. Priceless.” Kara set the items down in her lap carefully, like they would bite her or something. She sighed, absorbed in thought, “Before, you said that I only partially passed your test…I won’t sit here and belittle our intelligence. I’m guessing that as long as I answer any intergalactic questions, my parole will hold up.”

“You assume correctly. After…the invasion, Earth has been the target of many unwanted visitors. Fighting is the easy part but being a diplomat between two worlds…well, it is easier when you actually know your opponent. With your help, we’re hoping to avoid more potential world ending battles in the future.”

“So what? I tell you more about that little rock, you make better weapons and resources? Then I get to run around Themyscira until you need me again?”

“In a way, yes,” Hippolyta answered before Diana could, “You will become a temporary citizen on the island. You will work, you will follow the law and prove that you are not a threat to mankind anymore. And during this process, hopefully you will find a new purpose for yourself.”

It would not have been the first solution Kara would have come up with for herself but that was sort of the point. The weight of the jewelry in her lap became more noticeable, but Kara was still hesitant to agree to any of this.

“What happened after I was brought here? What happened to my Commander?”

Diana exhaled heavily, knowing that this question was going to come at some point, “Your General died fighting Kal-El who was protecting his city and this world, as did a great many of your soldiers. As for your Commander…she survived the ordeal. (Kara’s relief was noticeable) She was sent back into the phantom zone with the remaining survivors to serve their life sentences for their crimes against Earth and her people.”

Kara hummed softly—not the news she wanted to hear but it was better than what she was expecting in any case. The phantom zone was nearly a death sentence, but she was relieved to know that her mentor was still breathing at least. Faora was the last person she had left in this damn galaxy…it gave Kara a little hope for her future, that it wasn’t all going to be bleak and unfair.

Silently under the watchful eyes of Wonder Woman and Queen Hippolyta, Kara slipped on the bracelets and she felt the cool steel tightening around her wrist until Kara instinctively clenched her fist when it was starting to grow uncomfortably and surprisingly, the bracelets stopped. Next was the necklace, but thankfully that didn’t do anything but sit around her neck.

Two months later…

As usual the sun was unforgiving as it glared on Kara's back while she worked. Kara had gotten a job that required basic physical labor in one of the market stores—it was really the only job she was actually trusted for really. Either that or working in the stables, and Kara would've rather gone back to prison than work in those damn stables scooping feces and stacking hay all day.

Cetane, the shopkeeper that gave her a chance, was an elderly woman...on paper. But her age wasn't so obvious by her physical features as the woman's body was a work of wonders. But then again, no one would know that Kara was technically in her sixties by just looking at her either.

Cetane was nice enough though. She didn't treat Kara differently from the others just because of her background or because she was an outsider. And she wouldn't allow anyone to disrespect Kara in her presence either. She didn’t know it, but she’d gained a great deal of respect from Kara for that.

The Amazons were a tight knit community, but they weren't strangers to strays either but they didn’t come hailing straight out of the palace dungeons either. Usually whenever someone was down there, they were never seen again.

Most of them left her alone, but there were a few that messed with her but Kara held her own against her would be assailants. They had a chip on their shoulder with her because she bruised their Princess’ pretty face and to them, that was a disrespect that could not go unpunished. Kara guessed that those women were infatuated with Diana, and wanted to avenge…something. Kara didn’t know but she rewarded their naive loyalties by breaking some of their bones. It was self-defense and the Queen pardoned her…this time. There were witnesses to back Kara’s story…but she was still reprimanded for using such brutal tactics. Hippolyta made her swear to avoid breaking any more bones if she got into another altercation…Kara wasn’t sure how well she’d be able to hold up that promise though. They had no such restrictions against her afterall.

With a heavy sigh, Kara set the bag of potatoes down and wiped the sweat away from her brow, not surprised that her arm came back glistening. It was a little gross and Kara could not wait to get herself cleaned and cooled off.

Cetane chuckled behind her, “The sun is not kind today, is it?”

“No...but nothing here really is apparently. Except for maybe you, which I'm still trying to figure out why, by the way,” Kara scratched her brow tiredly but she managed a small smile over shoulder, making sure that Cetane knew not to take her dry tone too seriously, “I have five more bags to bring in before I start organizing the shelves. Then I’ll be done for the day.”

Cetane nodded, watching Kara leave through the backdoor once again. Cetane will remind her to take a water break when she is done. Just then the shop door opened and two people stepped inside.

She was prepared to greet them when she realized just who walked into her shop and she was confused, they were early—Kara's monthly evaluation wasn't due for another week.

“Where is she?” Artemis frowned, fingers already curling around the hilt of her bow on her back but Cetane 'tsked' and shook her head, stopping her. She knew that Artemis now had a bone to pick with Kara after seeing what the Kryptonian did to her assailants despite the woman justifiably defending herself. But she suspected that Kara and Artemis would likely never get along.

“She's out back bringing in the rest of the produce.”

“How have things been coming along?” Philippus asked when it was clear that Artemis wasn't going to say anything else, unlike her partner she believed that Kara was well within her rights, gruesome or not, everyone had a right to defend themselves.

“Pleasant, really,” Cetane answered honestly, “She's definitely rough around the edges, but pleasant. The others still don't like her but there won't be any more trouble, not like last time.”

Cetane had been there to witness the entire thing, as were many others, yet she was the only one who spoke up to defend Kara's actions thus keeping the Kryptonian out of prison. It hadn't earned Cetane any brownie points from her neighbors and she lost a few customers but those that were loyal kept her afloat.

Just then Kara came through the backdoor, growling and complaining under her breath through clenched teeth as she carried five very full bags of potatoes and greens with sweat dripping down her face onto the floor. No doubt cursing the idiot who over packed the bags, swearing they were doing it on purpose just to annoy her.

Kara's muscles were bulging, her bicep veins were straining with all the weight they were forced to bear and her thighs were screaming at the abuse. Cetane had no idea how she was doing it as she was no Amazon but she suspected that while Kara may look human, she certainly was not. Her eyes gave it away, being so clear and intense…they were otherworldly, but Cetane was too polite to ask.

Kara wasn't aware that she was being watched until she set the bags down near the other ones and straightened herself out, popping the kinks out of her back and her neck. When Kara spotted Philippus and Artemis, she rolled her eyes. “Seriously? I haven't beaten down anymore of your Amazon friends if that's what you're here for. They're lucky I spared their pathetic lives the first time.”

Cetane snorted, shaking her head as she moved back around the counter—she'd let those two deal with Kara since they were so keen on disturbing the girl's peace.

Artemis growled at Kara, “Mind your tongue!”

“Or what? Are you going to cut it out Artie? Please...try it.”

Enough.”

Everyone froze at the voice, well except Kara who only rolled her eyes again and continued stocking the shelves as the Princess of Themyscira walked in, stoic as ever. Cetane would've smacked Kara for being this disrespectful but the girl was too far out of her reach. Philippus and Artemis stepped aside to allow Diana to enter.

Cetane bowed her head respectfully, “Princess.”

“Cetane.” Diana looked around briefly as she set a bag of currency on the counter near Cetane, “The room please.”

Cetane glanced at Kara silently praying for the girl as she moved to follow Philippus and Artemis out of her own shop. Once the door was closed soundly behind them did Kara finally turn around and fold her arms over her chest to address Diana.

“I’m gone for a couple of months and you’re already in trouble.”

“If you even care to hear my side of the story this time, they started it. I was minding my own business.”

“Did you have to injure them so badly?”

“It was four against one, Princess. They’re lucky I didn’t kill them.”

Diana regarded Kara carefully...she could practically see and feel the anger rolling off of the Kryptonian in waves. Kara, having once been a Commanding Officer, recognized the look Diana was giving her immediately; she was being analyzed. Kara took a half step back, clearly uncomfortable.

“Stop looking at me like that, Diana. Anway, can you make this quick, I don’t get paid overtime here apparently.”

“Mother told me that you chose to live away from the palace.”

“Yep.”

“Why?”

“You gave me a choice, your first mistake.”

“And how are you liking accommodations now? Better than the cell, I’m guessing?”

Kara stared at Diana for a second or two in disbelief before scoffing, “Seriously? This is what you—okay. Fine. It’s fine, no complaints. A hundred percent privacy and no one breathing down my back like you are…right now.”

One of Diana's arched eyebrows rose slowly along with the corner of her mouth, and pissed Kara off even more when she quickly realized that Diana was messing with her. Goddamn this woman.

Diana ignored the question (accusation) with one of her own, “Would your pride even allow you to complain if your living situation wasn’t ideal?”

Kara's eye twitched slightly before she exhaled slowly with forced patience, “Did you really come here to get into a pissing match with me? Because I think that we both know which one of us would win.”

“No, I really did come just to check on you. And make sure that you were settling in without any further issues.” Despite Kara visibly tensing, Diana moved closer to her, “I’m not trying to be your enemy here, Kara. I don’t want to be.”

Kara didn’t know how to receive that…hell she didn’t even know how to deal with Diana in general. There were moments where she wanted to punch her lights out and then there were moments like these when Diana showed her compassion and clear signals, but truthfully those just confused Kara even more, ironically enough.

But one thing that Kara wasn’t confused about was her attraction to Diana. She was a beautiful woman, beyond beautiful. Even her flaws added to her physical charms, and be that as it may…that wasn’t what drew Kara to the Princess. It was her strength and the way Diana carried herself. Nevermind the fact that she’s kicked Kara’s ass twice now. And Kara was all too aware of this issue of hers.

“It’s a little late for that, Princess. Besides, all of my friends are either dead or trapped in space.” Kara held her arms out, missing Diana’s quick appreciative glance at her slightly swollen muscles–namely her arms and shoulders.

“Whether you like it or not, Kara, Earth is now your home too. You’re going to need friends eventually, you don’t have to have enemies.”

“Sure, whatever. You people keep rubbing the fact that I have nothing else left in my face, but you’re right.” Kara shot back through clenched teeth, “There will come a day when I might want a friend, but need? I will never need anyone, Diana, especially not you.”

Diana looked hurt but Kara ignored it even though she immediately felt bad for being unnecessarily cruel during her bout of frustration. Diana was starting to frustrate her. Kara licked her lips for the thousandth time and shook her head slowly.

“I can't be who you want me to be. I won’t. I'll hold up my end of the bargain until these things come off but that's it.”

“Kara—”

“If there aren't any pressing intergalactic issues that need addressing...I'm busy.”

Kara turned her back on Diana, moving back to the bags of produce she abandoned so she could finish putting away the inventory for Cetane. Kara wanted to finish the rest of her tasks and get the hell away from the Amazons for the next couple of days.

“Your hatred will keep you here forever, Kara,” Diana started softly, almost breathing down Kara's neck, “You must accept that the past is the past and that it can never be a future.”

“The future? Funny you say that.” Kara put away more produce, keeping her back to Diana, “Because it’s not much of a future if I can’t even make my own decision on what I even want to do with it. Look, I hear you but I don’t care. Whatever your Kryptonian is involved in; it is none of my business! He has his goals, which are clearly your goals too…and I have mine.”

Diana glared down at Kara, disappointed but not surprised, “There is good in you Kara...deep down, I know that there is, but I don't understand why you fight it!”

“Princess, I've made my choice! Don't like it? Then kill me, you'd be doing me a favor anyway.”

Diana shook her head, eyeing Kara with contempt, “The last of your people...wasted.”

Fists tightly balled, Kara didn't move nor did she flinch when Diana's dark hair hit her in the face when the Amazon spun around and stormed out of the shop. But what she said struck a chord deep in Kara...one she's long since buried. Or at least that's what Kara liked to tell herself. Kara shook it away when she saw Cetane coming through the door slowly, looking at her—the unspoken question clear in her eyes.

“Good news,” Kara sucked in a deep breath, forcing a wry grin for the older Amazon, “I'm not going back to prison. Heh.”

Cetane didn't buy the easy going act so easily though because she and the others were nearly run down by a very grumpy Diana, but she wasn't going to push Kara for any answers either. Whatever happened in here was none of her business as long as her roof was still intact.

Queen Hippolyta looked up when her daughter stormed into her study like a raging bull and judging by the look on Diana's face the visit with Kara hadn't gone very well. Still, Hippolyta smiled at her daughter as she moved to set her tea aside.

“Well?”

“Well nothing!” Diana huffed, practically throwing herself into one of the chairs, “Kal-El’s ambition to do the right thing by his bloodline is admirable but she will never change! She’s as stubborn and selfish as I predicted. Kal-El will just have to accept that he cannot help everyone.”

“Ah, must you be so dramatic, Diana? No solution will always be so easy or forgiving in a manner you want it to be, my dear.”

Forgiving? Her? You're not making any sense, mother.”

“I make perfect sense, daughter. Let’s see, you've beaten her, twice, then locked her up for seven years after serving a three decade sentence in this phantom zone…only after she’s lost everything…twice? That is a very long time for someone with that amount of grief and rage to be in solitude for so long. She's surrounded by our people; her prison guards, in a world unknown all alone with her fate in the hands of a man she’s never met. I’m sure that this is all overwhelming. She needs time, Diana, as ironic as that is.”

Diana hated that her mother had a point. It was so obvious and yet Diana did not stop for one second to consider what Kara had to go through that led up to this point. It embarrassed her.

“Oh…”

“Yes,” Hippolyta smiled, glad that Diana was catching on, “It seems that fate has given you quite the challenge, haven't they?”

“Gods,” Diana resisted her need to roll her eyes, lest she get lectured for manners again, “What would you suggest that I do then, mother? Approach her without armor bearing gifts and a soft smile?”

“It could be a start,” Hippolyta shrugged, picking up her tea once more, “Diana. This woman has been through more than either of us will understand. What is a little kindness hm?”

Diana shook her head slowly, her mind drifting back to when she and Kara first crossed paths...the woman was on a warpath the moment she set foot on Earth and she never stopped. There wasn’t an ounce of kindness in her eyes when she threw Shazam back into the earth like he was nothing. Nor was there any during their other encounters either.

“She's too much of a loose cannon, mother. I already feel that it was a risk of releasing her too soon!”

“What do you truly know about this woman, besides the obvious?”

“I...” Diana hesitated, unable to answer her mothers question and Hippolyta patiently nursed her tea as she waited for Diana to catch on to what she was hinting at, “I don't anything but why would I need to? She's proven time and time again that she is selfish, arrogant, a murderer and—”

“Not your Superman.” Hippolyta cut in softly, but her point sharp as the blade on her hip, “You can't force his legacy onto her, dear daughter, she has her own. Long before coming to our planet it seems. She's not perfect now, but in time she might come to surprise us all.”

Diana huffed, almost laughing and shook her head, “Mother, I see what you're trying to tell me, but you did not see her in her element as I have! Did you not see what she did to our sisters? I never should have listened to Kal-El…”

“Yes I have. But from my understanding, they were the ones that started the altercation with her.”

“Ugh!”

Hippolyta sighed deeply, “She can't feel what you feel because this is not her home, Diana, this woman has nothing. There is nothing here for her on this planet—so perhaps you were right, it was a waste of your time to come here if you want to give up so easily. Are you?”

Diana didn't answer immediately—though they both knew the answer to that. Hippolyta knew the whole story of how Kara ended up on their island, as well as Kara’s two ‘parole officers’.

Diana didn't have a choice but to fill them in completely—she couldn't very well stay and monitor the Kryptonian herself all day and night, but she also didn't want her sisters in arms to underestimate Kara either.

Not that they would but Diana believed in being extra cautious. She also blamed that on hanging around Bruce too long—his paranoia could be contagious sometimes.

“Diana let me ask you something…and be honest with me, dear. Why are you so determined about this?”

“Mother? What…”

“Is it really for her benefit…or to ease your guilt about your own feelings?” Diana looked up at her mother sharply, and Hipplyta simply raised her eyebrows, “I am your mother, Diana, and my eyes are better than most.”

Diana's eyebrows pulled forward in deep thought as she thought over what Hippolyta was saying to her. The Amazon Princess shook her head and rose from her seat, bowing her head politely to her mother, “Please excuse me mother, I have some...thinking to do.”

Hippolyta nodded, keeping quiet as she watched Diana leave her study just as quickly as she came.

“Oh little one…”

Notes:

Whew, well...I tried to go for tension with Diana and Kara, idk...I like it. Kara has issues, but in her shoes...really, who wouldn't?

Anyway, at least we know that there's attraction there...but it's toxic a little, probably a lot...who knows. This is probably what Sledehammer Diana and Kara would've been like had Lena not been in the picture heh...anyway, I'm gonna go play gotham knights. You guys have a good night!

Thank you again!

Chapter 7: Talk To Me

Notes:

I don’t own anything DC related

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

From her somewhat secluded little home on the cliff, Kara could see and somewhat hear the Amazon’s preparing for their bonfire party on the beach down below. She had no idea what they were ‘celebrating’ but she knew that she was not invited. In a weird way, Kara did feel mild disappointment but she wasn’t surprised by it either.

Not after her little stint with those other Amazon’s, it’s been harder for Kara to integrate herself into society which further hindered her parole. Which was all just fine with her, she’d find her own way, as usual.

Kara preferred more solitude these days anyway,it’s something that she’s grown accustomed to lately–most of it not by choice. Her little home wasn’t the most impressive, especially on rainy days as it was made of clay and it wasn’t entirely perfect, but the place was cheap and she was lucky that the Amazon that sold it to her had no issues with her. It was small and humble with one window near the front door, it also came with a stove, a table to eat and some dishes. Kara still purchased her own pottery…she was that desperate.

By choice Kara didn’t have much in terms of materials, it was only just the essentials that she needed—a thick quilt for those chilly nights and a handmade hammock using an old net she found along with a bigger pot to cook her stew in.

Kara wasn’t a great cook but it was edible, she was learning. The local butcher in the plaza thankfully didn’t despise Kara, she actually admired her for having the strength not to get jumped. Their business was friendly and Kara wasn’t cheated out of her protein. Those small interactions reminded Kara of her times when Zod would take them from planet to planet to explore, to learn…those memories were painful. She missed her friends…her home.

Kara sighed heavily, arms crossed as she leaned in the doorway, eyes looking down past the boisterous Amazon’s and towards the roaring sea. Kara’s gaze lazily drifted towards the orange sun that was setting directly behind the Palace. It reminded her of the buildings on Kandor with Krypton’s red sun. Hmm…how peaceful. As long as Brainiac existed, Kara knew that her hate and anger would never wane.

A faint movement caught her eye, mistaken for a falling star at first but it was red. But with the orange sun, it was hard for Kara to be sure. But it was moving quickly and…

“Penny for your thoughts?”

Kara’s eyes snapped to her left, alert and coiled tight—until she realized that it was just the Queen, Hippolyta. And she appeared to be alone. Now that was interesting and a little unnerving that Kara hadn’t even sensed her approach. Hippolyta wasn’t wearing her usual royal leathers either but her light tunic still represented her royalty with the gold clasps holding it to her body on her left shoulder. The Amazon Queen stopped a few feet away from Kara respecting her personal space.

“Uh, yeah, sure; what are you doing here?”

“I’ve come to check in on you, nothing more, I promise.”

Kara scoffed, “Well? You see me. I’m fine. Is that all?” When Hippolyta just looked at Kara with that all knowing look and Kara’s scowl worsened, “Look, whatever your daughter is involved in, it has nothing to do with me.”

“It doesn’t have anything to do with me either,” Hippolyta agreed with a slight raise of her eyebrow, almost amused that she blind sided Kara with that answer, “but that is not why I am here. I’ve only come to check on you...and to talk, if you're up for it. I find myself with a little bit of freetime, this evening.”

“Wow. That’s convenient. And you just happen to know that I was here, right now…?”

“Lucky guess?” Hippolyta’s grin was innocent, but Kara didn’t buy it.

Kara exhaled heavily, her irritation rolling off of her in heavy waves—was it really so much to ask to be left alone? “Whatever you’re trying to do, it won’t work. I’m not interested.”

“If you’re going to die on this rock with the rest of us...don’t you at least want one person to know who you were, Lieutenant?”

“Why would it matter if we’re all dead in the end?”

“I suppose you’re right.” Hippolyta shrugged, smiling softly while enjoying the soft breeze caressing her skin, “What a lonely way to exist then.”

Kara blinked before her eyes narrowed on the Queen—she knew the woman was up to something she had to be but Kara was patient sometimes. The Queen would voice her intentions eventually.

Hippolyta took Kara’s silence as an acceptance of sorts, but she was not a fool to believe it as such, “Would you be open to joining me down at the festivities tonight?”

Kara snorted, “No thank you, I don’t know if you know this or not, but your Amazon’s don’t take kindly to an outsider being in their village.”

Hippolyta tutted, “Has anyone been giving you any more trouble?”

“No,” Kara waved away Hippolyta’s concern, “Nothing I can’t handle on my own but I’m still not going down there with you.”

“You’ll be my guest, Kara. They wouldn’t dare lay a hand on you in my presence.”

“Yeah, that’s great and all but what about when you aren’t there, your highness? You think hanging around you is going to make my life here easier?” Kara shook her head, rolling her eyes, “You royals. Always making everything about yourselves and making it all worse. You remind me of my mother.” Kara said under her breath as she turned away to go back inside to check on her beef stew. She nearly forgot about it, last time she did that she was scraping that pot for days.

But she left the door open so Hippolyta followed her inside—she’d hoped that she could convince Kara to come with her and get a real look at their culture and to maybe help mend the bridges. But this young warrior was a stubborn one, as Diana stated earlier. Stubborn as she was quick-witted.

Hippolyta stopped in the doorway, surprised that Kara had her back to her as she stirred the pot. It gave the Amazon Queen a chance to look around Kara’s abode and she frowned a little. She would admit to being a little judgemental but she found Kara’s home to be so sparse and cold—it was lonely.

Hippolyta focused back on the Kryptonian, coughing lightly to alert Kara of her presence as if she weren’t already, “What was your mother like?”

Still, Kara looked over her shoulder, her eyebrows pulled forward, “What?”

“Your mother, what was she like?”

“My mother? Uh…I don’t know. She was a busy woman, calm and bossy—like you, except she was a Superior Judge not a Queen.” Kara turned back to her stew, her stomach growling loudly but she ignored it and stood straight, turning to address the Queen properly, “But she was a good mom, the best.”

Hippolyta nodded, getting the hint that the topic was off limits. Kara nodded gratefully, turning back around to tend to her dinner.

“How long have you been Queen?”

Hippolyta chuckled lightly, “A very long time.”

“Specifically?”

“Would you believe me if I said I’ve been around for a little more than three thousand years?”

Kara whistled slowly, pouring herself a bowl after Hippolyta politely declined, “Magic I’m assuming?”

“Healthy diet actually.” Hippolyta nodded towards the vast bottles of mead Kara had in the corner, “I see that you’ve taken a liking to our brand of rum...may I?”

Kara shrugged, sitting down at her dinner table, “It’s not fancy but sure, have at it.”

Hippolyta was quiet, focusing on her task. But her movements were slow as she noticed just how many astronomy books Kara has collected in such a short amount of time. There were handwritten notes written on pages and scrolls but it was in a language that Hippolyta has never seen before.

“It’s Kryptonian.”

“What is all of this for?”

Kara ate a spoonful of soup, stalling for a few extra seconds, “I’m refreshing my memory of the stars. Lately, I’ve been missing my comrades and our missions. Some of those are uh…stories. It’s uh…my diary.”

“That explains the…foreign language. Anything interesting?”

Kara slowly took the cup from the Queen as the other woman sat down across from her, “I got caught with my pants down in the airlock once?”

“Hmm, that’s interesting. What is an airlock?”

The very next morning…

Kara woke with a sharp gasp, her eyes wide with terror as she went face first onto her hard floor, nearly crashing into her empty mead bottle. Grunting painfully, Kara sat up on her knees holding her throbbing face in both hands. Hopefully that won't bruise later.

Of course all that reminiscing and drinking the night before would plague her dreams..the more haunting ones, and they just wouldn’t stop. She sat back on her rear clumsily, the image of Brainiac’s robotic faces sat on the forefront of her mind. Groaning, still hung over, Kara sagged under her own body weight and fell back onto the floor.

She wasn’t sure how long she gave into her exhaustion, and perhaps there was a bit of depression in there as well, but all Kara could think about was how grateful she was that she was not required to work today—she wouldn't have been much use to Cetane anyway. Not when she had murder on her mind.

Sometime later….

Shuffling down the dirt pathway Kara lazily snagged a few twigs here and there to mindlessly pick off their leaves in an absentminded manner.

Kara was in a foul mood, that much was obvious, and anyone with half a brain would take one look at her and get the hell out of her way, outsider or not. She’d spent a majority of her morning staring into the reflection of her water (which she barely had) and cleaning up the mess that she made. Of course she used her bare hands to pick up the broken shards, now her hands were covered in little cuts that burned and bled. And since she didn’t have anything for the healing she had to go into the village to talk to the local Medicus. Again.

As she’d been walking blindly, Kara didn’t see the Amazon until she collided into the other woman and the ground was immediately covered with bright red apples, tumbling from the overturned woven basket.

“Hey! Watch where you’re…” the Amazon trailed off when she got a good look at the klutz who ran into her and her eyes narrowed when she saw who it was, “You.”

Kara counted to ten backwards in her head, her back still turned to the other woman, “Today is not a good day.”

“Awe, is the outsider having a bad day? So here....let me make it worse!” The Amazon growled, stepping over the basket on the ground and closing ground between herself and Kara without any signs of slowing. “Tiana was my friend!”

“Tiana couldn’t fight.”

Kara hardly flinched when a hot calloused hand roughly grabbed her shoulder and forced her to turn around but she caught the Amazon's fist before it could connect with her nose. At a stalemate, the two women stared into each other's eyes for the longest ten seconds beneath the scorching unforgiving sun.

“I’ve seen your work, outsider,” the angry Amazon hissed, “You fight dishonorably and my sisters will never recover properly because of it!”

Kara scowled, did it not matter that they attacked first?! “I’m not sorry.”

The grunts and heavy breathing from their scrimmage went unnoticed as this was a path not commonly used during this time of day—mostly patrolling Amazons. And against the sweltering sun above them without a cloud in sight; neither women were keen on yielding to the other.

In the end, all it took was one well placed heel to the jaw and the Amazon was either knocked out cold or dead—Kara didn't give a damn which, she was in more pain than she was when she left her little home. Her hands were now filthy, and probably more prone to infection.

The Kryptonian stumbled off the path and beneath a tree with plenty of shade, leaving the Amazon where she lay. Kara leaned against the tree to catch her breath. She couldn't go to the medicus now...not looking the way that she was.

They'd know that she'd been in another fight, and they'd tell. Because why wouldn't they? She looked down at her knuckles, already bruised and swollen...the aches along her face told enough of a story of its own.

Kara didn't need a pathetic bucket of water to know that she looked a mess. She felt it too. Kara looked down at the bracelets on her forearms with another pathetic drawn out sigh.

“Is this my life? Is this what you sacrificed yourself for Faora?” Kara scoffed, her head falling back against the tree with a soft thump, “You should’ve killed me instead. You all should have…I would’ve been grateful.”

All Kara got in return was a gust of wind that felt nice against her sweaty skin. Kara sat for a few more minutes before she felt like she was pressing her luck and decided that it was time to leave before someone else came along and discovered what happened here.

Her muscles ached and protested against movement but Kara pushed through her uncomfortableness. She approached the body and nudged the woman’s ankle, feeling a slight fit of relief when the Amazon groaned weakly, beginning to stir.

Murdering an Amazon surrounded by Amazons on their own land? Dangerous and stupid. Kara was stubborn but she wasn’t dangerous and stupid…unnecessarily. Sometimes.

Forgoing going to the local doctor for supplies, she decided to visit the local supply store. They’d buy her story of having a bad night of drinking than the doctor would’ve. She’d been in there enough times after some self destructive nights—they wouldn’t say anything on their own unless asked. Kara was safe for the time being.

Kara sat on the edge of the cliff in the middle of the night with an empty rum canteen not too far from her position. The moon was full and bright and she just couldn't resist a night stroll but it was more like she didn't want to sleep.

She had the perfect view of the ocean that surrounded the Amazon's island of paradise...staring right back at her day and night but Kara was hell and high water away from it.

She scouted the patrol towers lined up on the beach ages ago. Four Amazon's each but the towers were spread out enough that she would only need to take out one to buy her enough time to escape.

Problem is...Kara knew that there were Amazon's that lingered in the tree's hidden from the naked eye. She only knew that because she ran into them. Thankfully she was still 'new' enough to claim to have not known better during her stroll.

It was bullsh*t but no one wanted to bother the Queen about it so she was slapped on the wrist and sent on her way.

That particular event always lingered on the back of the Kryptonians mind but she never pushed past that point.

The Amazons didn't keep any boats that she could see—or find—so even if Kara did make it to the sea. She'd likely drown eventually or get eaten by some sea creature she would be severely ill prepared to fend off.

There were too many unknown factors for her to formulate a plan properly...but even so…

“Where would I even go?”

Kara asked herself as she looked up to the sky, in near defeat...desperate but she didn't know what for. Her lost home? Her lost friends? No, they were gone...all of it, and Kara has accepted that, mostly. Even Rao has abandoned her...or was it the other way around?

“I didn't expect to find you throwing yourself a pity party.”

Kara exhaled loudly, letting her annoyance at her disturbed peace be known to the intruder, not that the other woman would actually care. And it wasn't like Kara was in any position to make the woman do anything anyway.

“I came here to be alone...or is that a crime now?”

“Just a surprise.”

“Good, now go be surprised somewhere else.”

“My mother is worried about you.”

Kara rolled her eyes, it was quite clear that she wasn't going away anytime soon and yet she didn't move when she felt that heavy presence behind her, standing over her like she had the right to.

The warrior in Kara recognized how vulnerable she was in this position as Diana quietly asserted her dominance over her. Yet she remained still, her eyes glued to the horizon, “Ah. So that's why you're here...well, you came here for nothing, Princess. Nothing to see here. Will you go away now?”

“No.”

Kara scoffed, pivoting around to answer but on the far side of the island, there was an explosion that shook the ground beneath them. But it was the shockwave that soon followed that knocked Kara backwards, nearly folding the unprepared woman while Diana braced herself, only sliding back a few inches from the impact.

“What the hell was that?” Kara grunted, getting back on her feet.

“I don’t know,” Diana’s gaze flittered towards the palace, hearing alarmed yells as the palace and the rest of the island awakened, “We may be under attack.”

“Attack?” Kara whirled around, her eyes widened and on Diana immediately, “Gee, hard to imagine the Amazons having any enemies at all.”

Ignoring Kara’s sarcastic remark Diana clicked her tongue gently, calling her steed from the bottom of the hill, “You’re coming with me.”

“Why? Is it really that hard for you to just leave me here to enjoy the view?”

“I could but I thought that you’d enjoy a good fight without getting into a mess over it this time.”

“Ha ha.” Kara deadpanned. She knew that Diana was baiting her and Kara hated that it was working because even she couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a good fight.

Kara sighed when Diana’s horse came trotting up, and unfortunately for her she knew which way this situation was going to go. Reluctantly, Kara took Diana’s outstretched hand before she changed her mind.

Upon seeing the damage, Diana was leaping off of her horse before the animal could come to a complete stop. There was a large fire near one of the armory caches and a bunch of Amazon’s were already working to put the fire out while others attempted to rescue those who were caught in the blast and crushed under the fallen stones.

Diana’s horse huffed and shifted his footing beneath Kara; he otherwise made no attempt to get closer. The two remained steady off to the side and content to watch the events unfold. Kara was ear hustling as she was much too stubborn to ask any nearby Amazons what happened—as if they’d answer her anyway.

Kara slid off the horse with less finesse than she had hoped. She looked around for anything that she could do, but it seemed like the Amazons had a good handle on things. Kara didn’t see a need to interfere. Then she side-eyed the horse when she caught him staring at her, “Well if you feel so strongly about it then you can go help.”

The horse huffed at her and Kara rolled her eyes, opting to go sit under a tree instead. So much for a good fight…

.

.

Kara wasn’t kept waiting very long thankfully, no more than an hour really. Kara’s attention was focused on the night sky as something caught her attention. Among the many stars shining tonight, there was one other soaring across the night sky at an alarming rate. Yet strangely enough, it was gone as quickly as it came and Kara thought about the strange star, or object, that she saw the night before.

“Homesick?”

Kara scoffed under her breath, “What would you know about being homesick, Princess?”

“A lot more than you’d think,” Diana chuckled when Kara looked at her doubtfully, then she looked back towards the chaos that she just left now that it was a lot calmer and she confirmed that no lives were lost, “So much for a good decent fight.”

“I didn’t have that much hope anyway.” Kara hummed, “So what happened? I didn’t expect arrows and swords to be flammable.”

“They aren’t.” Diana gave Kara a look while she called her horse over from where he was lazily grazing the grass, “Some of our more tactical battle methods were disturbed by some drunk soldiers trying to show off.”

“Amateurs. Heh, yeah, I accidentally started a fire once on Zod’s ship when I was eleven. I snuck out of my quarters and went to the starboard deck, which is also where the officers' kitchens were located too. Anyway, I wasn’t allowed out of the room without an escort, but Faora was asleep and I wasn’t.” Kara laughed, getting up from the seat she made on the ground.

“What happened?”

“I got hungry.” Kara’s laughter softened and she sighed wistfully, “I didn’t think making a sandwich would’ve been a big deal.”

“You burned down the kitchen making a sandwich?!”

“No.” Kara snorted, “it was after. I tried to make it toasty. Zod was pissed, Faora was pissed. I was on cleaning duty for four months after that, and my training doubled because I clearly had too much time on my hands.”

Diana smiled despite herself, “My mother would tell you the same about me. I was never up to any good.”

“Never would’ve guessed that you were the reason for those gray hairs I spotted.”

This time Diana really did laugh, loud enough that a few women nearby looked over curiously but quickly got back to work.

“I will tell her that you said that.”

“She’d probably kill you too. For collateral.” Kara watched Diana mount her steed, mildly jealous that she did it so well when all she could do was flail around the massive animal. Kara eyed Diana’s outstretched hand, then suddenly she smirked and Diana raised her eyebrow curiously, “Can we stop by the winery? I’m out of rum.”

“Would you mind company?”

Kara bit her bottom lip, weighing her options. It could’ve been the alcohol she’s already consumed beforehand or the fact that Hippolyta stirred Kara’s need for ordinary interactions; “I reserve the right to punch you in the face if you start to annoy me.”

“You can reserve the right to try.”

A few days later….

“Diana. Are you sure that this is a good idea?”

For the millionth time, Diana sighed at Bruce’s constant paranoia—it was beneficial at the most crucial times during battle. But sometimes it was just downright insulting otherwise.

“It’s part of her deal that we all agreed upon, Bruce. Besides, we don’t know if we should be worried or not, and she’s our lead to answer that question.”

“I didn’t agree to anything.” He corrected her gruffly, his eyes narrowed behind his cowl, “If I remember correctly, which I do, I voted for keeping Superman’s crazy cousin locked away for another five to ten years. Maybe even forever. It’s too soon. She’s still bitter and that may never go away.”

Diana’s expression gave nothing away, “How do you figure? You’ve never even met her.”

“Exactly.” Diana raised an eyebrow, silently urging him to elaborate, “If she wasn’t giving you problems on Themyscira, you would’ve brought her to Headquarters by now. Face it, she’s a lost cause.”

Diana wanted to punch him in the face for that dig. Instead, the Amazon just sighed and carefully picked up the container that held the unknown species that crash landed a few nights ago right outside of Gotham. It resembled a starfish, though it was shriveled and curled in on itself. Unfortunately, it was the only thing that Bruce could recover on the small ship it crashed in.

“I would feel better if you took someone with you.”

“I don’t need protection.” Diana rolled her eyes, men…

Bruce grunted.

“You know the rules, Bruce. There are no men allowed to set foot on Themyscira soil lest they wish to lose their life. And in case you’ve forgotten, Shayera and Carter are on their honeymoon off-world. I will not disturb Shayera’s moment of peace to soothe your state of mind for something so simple.”

“This is hardly simple, Diana.” Bruce’s frown deepened, “There are other female superheroes on the team, you know.”

“I will call if I have something for you.” Diana assured him as she walked out of the lab, pointedly ignoring Bruce’s last comment. While she was aware that Hawkgirl wasn’t the only woman on the team after the Justice League expanded their ranks…Hawkgirl was the only one Diana was truly friends with and would trust to bring directly to her home.

Wasting little time, Diana packed away her things from her private quarters, and carefully stowed away the specimens container. Diana took her private jet back activating her cloak and hitting the auto-pilot once she reached the right altitude.

Like her mother, Diana did not judge Kara’s living situation…much. But unlike the previous night, Kara moved some chairs outside and set the rather large gallon of rum between herself and Diana. For a good while neither woman said a word, they were both caught up in their own thoughts and also reluctant to break this rare comfortable silence.

When her cup was empty, Diana finally looked over at Kara but the other woman was staring up at the stars with her cup also empty. She didn’t even seem bothered when Diana carefully refilled her cup but she did give the woman her full attention now, watching her closely. Diana couldn’t tell if Kara was watching her in case she decided to attack her or if she was simply analyzing her and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“What is it like out there in space?” Diana set the gallon back down between them, closer to herself this time.

“Big and scary.” Kara sipped her rum, wincing again. Diana purchased the spicy rum that Kara normally shied away from. It warmed Kara’s insides with a promise of a good night and a bad morning, “It’s more political than you probably think it is, but there are rules to space. Kind of like your planet, I guess. It’s beautiful, scary and there’s just so much of it out there.”

“You miss it…”

Kara chuckled, going back to her stargazing when the eye-contact with Diana suddenly because a little too much, “I miss my family more.”

“I’m sorry, Kara.” Diana sounded like she really meant that and when Kara peeked over at her, she could see the regret on her expression. Some part of Kara actually appreciated the apology. A small part. But what Diana was sorry for exactly, Kara didn’t know…but she wasn’t in the mood to be drunk and sad tonight, so she didn’t ask. Besides…she had questions of her own.

“You know…I did a lot of reading while I was held against my will. Your culture is also intriguing but I’ve always wondered…what did you all do with the men?”

“We put them on a smaller island not too far away from Themyscira until we are in need of them again for breeding.” Diana smirked behind her cup when Kara nearly coughed up her rum that she just gulped down.

“Breeding?? The book didn’t say anything about that!”

.

.

Time had gone by faster than Diana anticipated because Themyscira was already in her sights. So with a happy smile, Diana carefully set her jet down in her designated spot.

“I heard that you were home.” Hippolyta entered the room just as Diana unpacked the container from her bag, “Ah I see. This isn’t another vacation, is it?”

“I’m afraid not, mother. My colleague discovered this creature a few nights ago after it crashed outside of his city.”

“And your first instinct was to pick it up? Hmph.” Diana and Hippolyta turned to see Kara walking into the room followed closely by Artemis. Kara looked well rested and sharper than the last time Diana saw her.

Granted that they were both drinking well into early the next morning, there was just something so tired and forlorn about Kara regardless of the tough exterior that she liked to put on. Diana saw right through it but there wasn’t a right moment for her to break that shell. But looking at Kara now, Diana realized that she just wasn’t looking hard enough.

She was curious as to what’s changed in just a few days that she was gone, and like she was somehow reading her mind Kara looked right at her and smiled. It didn’t show, thank the Gods, but Diana shivered a bit.

“Lieutenant,” The Queen greeted politely, “You’re looking jovial today. May I inquire why?”

Diana hated to admit that she was relieved that her mother asked because she wanted to know as well.

Kara just shrugged, still looking at Diana–neither of them blinking. “I had an epiphany.”

Artemis scoffed behind her (which Kara ignored) and Diana raised an eyebrow, “An epiphany. I’m almost afraid to ask…”

Kara folded her arms over her chest as she glanced down at the container on the table between them. She peered through the little glass then chuckled. Diana’s eyes narrowed a little more, because Kara was a little too co*cky for comfort.

“I’ve been thinking about this parole agreement…”

“Kara.” Diana warned, already seeing where this was going and it wasn’t going to go well if she allowed it to go any further. Unfortunately for her, Kara was stubborn.

“And I don’t like my payout.”

“Excuse me?” Diana placed her hands on her hips, not paying her mothers sighing any mind as the older woman went to sit down, “You don’t like your payout? You mean your freedom?”

“You made me realize something the other night, Diana. I want something else too. ”

“Excuse me?” Diana repeated through clenched teeth and behind her Hippolyta remained quiet, patiently waiting to see where this was going to go. “What are you doing?”

“Living up to my potential.”

“This is not what I meant.”

“You want my knowledge on this parasite in the box…then negotiate with me.”

“This creature is a parasite?”

Kara refrained from smiling too much, “Yes. There are dozens of them in the galaxy. Some more vicious than the next, my unit kept an impeccable record every time we found a compelling case. This one is one of the more common variants we’ve found.”

Kara didn’t miss the gears turning behind Diana’s piercing blue eyes, but she bit back her smirk and waited patiently,

Diana exhaled heavily, knowing that she should call back to HQ, so that the team could discuss this…yet, she did not. “What do you want?”

“Commander Faora-Ul.”

“No.”

“Then I have nothing else for you, Princess.”

Artemis stepped forward, “Then you’ll go right back to your cell, Zor-El!”

Kara didn’t blink, still looking directly at Diana, “Okay.”

“Just like that then? After…” Diana’s nostrils flared noticeably, “You’re going back to square one, Kara.”

“Faora-Ul has saved my life a total of three times now, Diana. You know that Zod and Faora took me in when my parents were murdered and I didn’t have any family left. She saved me when Krypton was destroyed, at the risk of her own life. And then again, here on Earth. She’s risked her life to give me a chance to live…I want to pay that respect back.”

Kara stepped forward, towards Diana and Artemis would’ve stopped her had the Queen not held up her hand and stopped her.

She is my family, Diana. Not Kal-el.” Kara shook her head, “He’s not, and he never will be for several reasons. I’m not going to do this for him.”

“But you would for her?”

It wasn’t a question that needed answering. Diana mulled over Kara’s request (demand), weighting the pros and cons of both declining and accepting. Every possibility was loaded but the longer Diana looked at Kara, the harder she looked into her eyes as she searched for any sign of deception—she thought it was worth a chance when she could not find any malice.

“That is the least selfish thing I’ve ever heard you say since I’ve met you, Kara Zor-El.”

Artemis stared at Diana wide eyed from behind Kara, the protest on the tip of her tongue but she, for her sake, remembered her place. Hippolyta on the other hand was pleased with the outcome of this, especially her daughter.

Kara stood a little straighter, also a little shocked, “Are you…?”

They would work out the details later, much later. (And Bruce can be pissed with her all he wants later). But Diana nodded.

“Are you willing to shoulder the weight of your Commander’s atonement? That means double the work and effort, Kara. If you can do that, then you will have my word that your Commander will not serve a life sentence.”

Kara swallowed softly and took the container out of Diana’s hands and held it higher so that she could examine it closer.

“Starro.”

“What?”

“The alien; it’s name is Starro.” Kara shook the container, indicating that it was the burnt creature inside that she was referring to, “My unit first discovered these things during the destruction of a planet long after their cities had fallen. It was another SOS scenario. Physically, we haven’t traced Starro back to their origins but these little starfish can be…not so little sometimes.”

“There are bigger ones like this out there?”

“Yep. In fact…this one is just a clone of a big one. You can tell by its spores. See? I’m also guessing that you haven’t killed the big one yet.”

Diana’s furrowed brows and set mouth was enough for the Lieutenant to get her answer.

“Well either your planet is very lucky or there’s a planetary threat coming your way and soon. From what we’ve gathered, this creature thrives with mind control and it’s scarily effective too, hive mind like. One thought, one unit. The ones this size come out of your mouth and attach itself to your face, controlling you. You wouldn’t even know that you were infected.”

“That’s what they do.” Kara chuckled darkly at everyone’s grimace, handing the box back to Diana, “I told you space was scary.”

“Should we be expecting more of these creatures?”

“Probably. The big one hovers somewhere off planet nearby, sending their little spies. They would only need to send one as they can replicate themselves once they’ve taken a host. Once that happens, the Starro infection spreads and it keeps going until the entire planet is under siege by the billions. The infection then becomes an invasion. By the time the governments figure out what the hell is even happening…Starro has conquered them from the inside out. Within a week, their resources are bled dry and their planet is destroyed.”

The room was eerily quiet while everyone took Kara’s description into serious consideration, Diana especially as she’s seen first hand what damage an alien can do to their precious planet and unsuspecting innocents. Metropolis was not a tragedy any of them wanted to repeat, ever.

“And how do you know all of this?” Hippolyta asked eventually, breaking the tense silence. She was not worried for Themyscira, having full faith in its magical shields to protect her sisters in arms. She worried for her daughter and her friends.

Kara scratched her chin, “We watched it happen and took notes.”

Artemis growled, “You people didn’t even try to help, did you?”

Kara glared over her shoulder at the redhead, “They were doomed already. Our interference would have been ineffective and we would’ve likely lost half of our own fleet if we did. So no. We minded our own business and observed from afar.”

Artemis scoffed, shaking her head. She still thought Kara would be better off locked up and long forgotten but of course none of this was up to her.

“Look how well that turned out for you all in the end.”

“What?! Say that to my face you bit-”

“Artemis!” Diana snapped, placing a hand on Kara’s shoulder halting her movement, “Mother and I can handle it from here, thank you.”

“My apologies, Princess. Your highness.” Artemis glowered in shame at the abrupt dismissal but she bowed respectfully. Artemis left the three women alone in the room.

It did not escape Hippolyta’s notice though, that Kara did not move away from Diana, nor did her daughter let her go until Artemis was gone. Interesting.

“Okay, Lieutenant. What more can you tell me about this Starro? And start from the beginning, with hunting tactics preferably.” Diana placed a small black device on the table next to the container and Kara realized that this was some sort of fancy recorder. “And finish by how we can destroy it.”

Notes:

Sooooooooooooooo…they’re hitting frenemy waters 🥹 they’ve come so far. Plus the liquor probably helped some too.

Artemis is a hater 💀 Bruce is too for sure 💀💀esp after this but the Queen is their biggest shipper rn

Does anyone know what that red thing was that Kara saw? 👀 heh.

Anyway, thank you all for reading. Honestly this got a lot more ❤️❤️ thank I expected 🥹 so that’s pretty awesome really. You guys are awesome

Chapter 8: Follow My Lead I

Notes:

I don't own anything DC related.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

It’s been about five weeks since Kara has last seen Diana after their very informative conversation about Starro and what his presence could mean for humanity if Diana and her friends could not stop this invading creature in time. And after that, she and Diana had another thorough conversation outlining Kara's new parole agreement.

Fortunately for Kara, not much about her routine had really changed, aside from the fact that the Queen stepped in at some point and all but ordered Kara to move into one of the rooms of the palace and out of the hut she was currently in. She'd taken both Kara and Diana by surprise with her sudden request, and all the Queen explained was that she enjoyed Kara's company and she simply did not want to make a thirty minute journey everyday to visit and vice versa.

It was a weak excuse, and Kara could have poked holes in it but she found herself agreeing this time. Kara missed being social and Diana's mother wasn't as irritating as Kara expected her to be. She was alright, for a royal. So Kara agreed to move into the palace and she was still able to work in Scetane’s shop—the commute was noticeably less hostile. Deep down, despite her never going to admit it, Kara was grateful.

Artemis was still a thorn in her side and vice versa, Kara had no doubt, but the redhead kept her distance now that Kara was in the palace and Kara wasn't complaining about that at all. But she did see a lot of Philippus now, and the Queen was never too far away. They had a curious dynamic but Kara would respect whatever privacy they had going just as they respected her enough to treat her like a person.

“Kara. Are you alright over here?” Cetane stopped next to the blonde with a soft smile, pulling Kara from her musings, “I know you’re strong but you’ve been standing there with that sack of oranges for ten minutes now daydreaming. Any longer and your shoulder will bruise, girl.”

Kara handed off the bag to the shop owner with a sheepish chuckle, “This is the last of the delivery.”

“I know, and you’re done an hour early again today. Have somewhere else to be I take?” Cetane teased gently, assuring Kara that she did not have to answer. For the past few weeks, the shop owner noticed a change in the Kryptonian. Kara was drinking a lot less and sleeping more as the bags under her eyes were nearly gone, she looked fuller in the face and she seemed more...defined and determined.

“Maybe.” Kara chuckled, rolling her shoulders slightly, “Do you want me to do anything else today before I go?”

“Nope. I’ll see you tomorrow. Thank you for your hard work today, Kara.” Scetane hefted the bag of oranges onto her strong shoulders like they weighed nothing to her. Kara watched the older woman disappear further into her shop before leaving.

The hike back to the palace was uneventful, she gained a few greeting nods from passing Amazons which she learned to return politely but often Kara was just ignored and she could deal with that too. Quickly slipping into her room, Kara went right to her vanity and began wrapping her hands with worn white cloth... Philippus had gifted it to her when she found Kara rinsing the blood off of her knuckles one night in the private training room. And then let her be.

That was another thing that Kara liked about the palace was that there were training rooms all over the place and Kara happened to have one not too far from her private quarters and it seemed to be all hers, no one else came this way except for her and a select few. It was not as spacious or advanced as the training rooms that she grew up with but the baseness of it proved to be raw and enlightening. The materials used were strong and sturdy, built for an Amazon's strength and endurance. Kara was a survivor and she adapted.

Philippus sat patiently on the single bench in the room near the door, quietly watching Kara take whatever was bothering her out on the punching bag made with leather and filled with sand. She didn't have any powers, but Philippus saw the raw strength that Kara possessed. It was obvious that Kara was a trained fighter already but what was even more interesting to the General was that Kara seemed to be practicing Amazon style boxing...and she was...good.

Her technique of the Amazon fighting form was getting better, smoother…and it was surprisingly effective. There were even some moves that Philippus did not recognize herself.

Granted it was against an inanimate object but the leather was wearing down as spurts of sand would strike back against Kara. She delivered one last satisfying high knee before backing down to finally catch her breath. Kara shivered when a brisk breeze curled around her sweaty body from the window—and also from the eyes she suddenly felt on her.

Shaking out of her tingling arms, Kara turned around to face her audience and she was both surprised and disappointed to see that it was just Philippus there. The General raised an eyebrow, but she didn't comment on the expression she spied before it was gone.

“General, uh, hey.” Kara huffed, wiping the sweat from her eyes, “Am I being summoned for something?”

“No, no,” Philippus shook her head, pushing her long dark locs from her shoulders as she stood. She was dressed casual and so Kara figured that this might be a friendly visit. “I came to invite you out actually.”

Glancing through the window and seeing the sun slowly beginning to set Kara grimaced, “Um...I’m not really a festival person or in the mood, General—”

“Relax, it’s not a festival. It’s something I believe is more of your interest.”

Kara began unwrapping her knuckles as she walked over to where the fountain was, her shoulders ached but in a good way. “Yeah? And what do you think that would be?”

Kara was in awe.

She’d seen this place from her cabin and observed from afar every night but Kara could not guess what this place was. Nor would this have been on the top of the list. The dome shaped building was just as beautiful as it was on the outside and it seemed to be another small library with one additional item at the far end of the warmly lit room.

Kara looked at the General when she saw the Queen waiting for them, suddenly nervous, “I should have cleaned up. I smell.”

Kara was still sweaty from her earlier work out and then the short walk here when the evening air was hot and humid, with a breeze occasionally cooling her off.

“Don’t worry, Diana was a lot worse growing up. At least you don’t have mud in your hair, just sand.” Philippus grinned, walking ahead knowing that Kara was going to follow her regardless. Though her strides were slower as Kara walked along the bookshelf, mouthing the titles. She noted a few familiar author names that she'd pick up later. Hippolyta and Philippus waited patiently for Kara to join them, both women were rather pleased and proud that Kara has shown such a liking to their culture and literature.

Understandably, Themyscira did not get a lot of visitors...none that lived to tell the tale, that is. Kara pretended not to notice how Philippus put a step of distance between herself and Hippolyta when she finally joined them. Still mindful of her previous activities before, Kara did keep her distance. But the moment she spied the telescope behind the Queen, she was excited and

“So...what exactly is this?”

“An observatory. Or...well, it once was,” Hippolyta admitted with a shrug, “I used it as a private space for when my duties as Queen were tested against my patience. Diana once used this space as well for her studies growing up, hence the books.”

Kara listened attentively but she did not know where the Queen was going with this though she was sure that she had a decent idea—but Kara was a woman of fact. She would wait for Hippolyta to spell it out for her.

“Anyway, it's been collecting dust for decades until Diana came out here and cleaned it up on her last few visits.” Hippolyta moved away from the telescope that Kara had not so subtly been eyeing since seeing it, “This can also be your sanctuary too, if you like...after our last talk about the stars...” Hippolyta trailed off as Kara slowly walked between her and Philippus to the telescope and bent slightly to peer through and she gasped with what she saw.

This telescope saw beyond Earth's moon and basic constellations...Kara could see planets and asteroid belts. Kara pulled away when her sight blurred...it's been so long since she's...

“Wow.”

Hippolyta smiled and shared a brief look with Philippus as she placed her hand on Kara's upper arm, squeezing gently, “This telescope looks simple, but it is enhanced for the user. As long as you know what you are looking for, you will find it.”

Kara's eyebrows furrowed in thought over the possibilities...now she desperately wanted to bathe and grab her notes from her room. She had a lot of work to do now. “Just like that?”

“Yes. It's surprisingly that simple.”

“But what if I didn't know what I was looking for? Will I be able to just...look?”

“Yes. We have another observatory on the other side of the palace, but that one is more common since it sits on the cliff and offers a better birds eye view. As I said before, Kara, this one is all yours. The General and I have some duties to fulfill before the day is over. Will we be expecting you for dinner, Lieutenant?” By her tone, Hippolyta already knew the answer to her own question.

“Thank you, Queen Hippolyta...I can't express how grateful I am for this.”

Philippus huffed fondly behind her, arms crossed over her broad chest, “You can thank Diana...this was really her idea after all.”

With one last arm squeeze, Hippolyta bid Kara a good evening and Philippus followed the older woman out of the building, leaving Kara completely alone and full of questions but she supposed that she could ask Diana when she saw the Amazon next. And thank her for this as well. Kara traced the Greek carvings that were engraved on the side of the telescope, marking it as Themysciran.

This was the opportunity that she was waiting for; what she jumped all of these hoops for. There was no time to start feeling guilty now, Kara thought grimly. Brainiac was still out there and Krypton was obsolete along with a number of other civilizations at that monster's hand.

Unable to help herself, she peered through the scope again with a single thought on her mind...and it took her a moment longer than she would've liked, but Kara found what she was looking for. Reduced to nothing more than a debris cloud, Krypton was still beautiful.

“One step at a time, Lieutenant.” Kara whispered, closing her eyes briefly and banishing the thought of Brainiac from her mind before it got the better of her again. Wiping the sweat from her brow, Kara figured now would be a good time to go clean herself up and grab an early dinner. It was going to be a very long night.

Nearby, hanging out in a large fully bloomed tree with an apple in hand, Artemis was perfectly camouflaged. Not even Hippolyta or Philippus had noticed her presence as they left the observatory. She expected Kara to be inside longer than she actually was but she was almost done with one side of the apple when Kara came out, clearly deep in thought. She was mumbling under her breath but it was far too low for Artemis to pick up on, but even if she had it was unlikely that she would understand anything Kara was saying anyway.

Days later…

Kara strolled along a narrow path further into the woods to avoid bumping into anyone. It was narrow and a little dangerous if the wrong step was taken. Hence why it was hardly ever used, apparently. But it had a beautiful view of the mass body of water that was as blue as the sky. Krypton had oceans but they were mostly polluted and a waste of resources, and they certainly weren't this blue either.

It was still early in the day but the sun was high in the sky and as hot as ever, thankfully the trees were tall enough to provide adequate shade.

Slowly coming to a stop, Kara continued to admire the view. She could smell the sea from where she stood and in this heat, the cool water was more than inviting today. It was tempting the longer she stood there thinking about it. She did not have to work today, nor was there anything pressing for her to do today. There was nothing stopping her.

“Hm.”

With that line of thinking, Kara deviated from the narrow path and she went exploring. And it didn’t take long for Kara to find another path, more jagged and uneven than the first one she was on but it went down, and she knew that it would take her straight to the tiny beach.

It took longer than she would’ve liked to reach the bottom as the trail sort of disappeared halfway down, as did the support beams. It was steeper than it looked, and Kara had to bend her knees a little more to keep from tumbling down like a clumsy idiot. She didn't get away from that treacherous route unscathed however, earning herself some new cuts from the sharp thorns from the flowered bushes—beautiful yet deadly.

The minor splotches of blood and angry red welts didn't matter to her as she quickly unlaced her sandals from around her ankles so that she could feel the soft sand between her toes—it was softer than the sand floors in her training room. Dropping her shoes, Kara pulled away the tunic that clung to her back before edging closer to the cool waters.

.

.

.

Kara floated in the shallow waters, nearly bare as the day she was brought to life and soaking in the hot rays of the sun while allowing the gentle waves rock her into a meditative state. A calming trick that her mother taught her when she was just a little girl whenever she felt overwhelmed or needed to clear her mind to think. One of the rare gems of a memory that she had with Alura. She felt the fins of fishes swimming around her, curious and safe in her aura and not once did Kara feel as if she were in any sort of danger.

For the first time since crashing onto this planet, Kara was beginning to feel some semblance of peace within herself. She could stay like this forever.

And that is exactly how Diana found Kara an hour later. Floating in the tides without a care in the world…or a stitch of clothing for that matter, save for the loin cloth around her waist. When it was dry, it was somewhat modest...but soaking wet, well, Kara may as well have taken the thing off. Diana politely looked away when she realized that she was staring.

Diana landed on the beach softly, careful not to get any sand on Kara's discarded clothing. She'd arrived on Themyscira less than an hour ago, weary from her adventures and she was longing for a nice two week reprieve. She'd cleaned up and changed into something more comfortable before setting off to find Kara, which actually was not very hard at all.

Diana wasn't surprised that Kara even found this place, it was a private beach not owned by anyone in particular but it was just one of the pockets of paradise on the island. Kara was adjusting to this a lot better than she did their first round, well according to Philippus. Her mother didn't count. Diana was positive that the woman somehow developed a soft spot for Kara in such a short amount of time. If the Amazon Princess did not know any better, she'd suspect Kara of putting a spell on her mother.

A bigger wave washed over Kara. She let the wave take her under, not bothering to fight it but she kept herself upright. She opened her eyes just in time to see a small blue and yellow colored fish swim right past her face and a school of other fish that she did not know about. They were beautiful and just as curious about her as she was them, but Kara forgot that she needed to breathe!

When she broke through the surface, Kara immediately felt that she was no longer alone. Slicking her hair out of her face, Kara turned slightly to see who was stalking her; it was Diana.

“Don’t tell me; I’m not supposed to be out here. Right?” she inquired quietly, casually, almost sarcastically but Diana offered a small smile and shook her head.

“My mother says that you’ve been gone all morning and Scetane mentioned that you’ve been done for two hours now.”

“You're starting to make a habit of meeting me like this, Diana.” Kara mumbled knowing that Diana could still hear her. Kara sounded annoyed but Diana didn't buy it this time, “Come to make sure that I haven’t run off?”

“Actually, I came to invite you to lunch, Lieutenant, if you're in the mood for a conversation.”

With her back still turned towards the shore, Kara pondered over Diana's invitation. The way Diana worded it made it known to Kara that this 'conversation' would be unavoidable but the lunch was an olive branch from Diana. It was speculation, but Kara wasn't ever one to question her own intuition. It's gotten her this far in life...even though her current situation was nothing to marvel at; she was alive at the very least.

“Sure, I could eat. Thank you, Diana.”

Kara had turned around fully at this point, exposing her upper body down to the v-cut on her lower abs before her skin disappeared behind the loin cloth. She didn’t miss the Amazon's quick appreciative glance, but Kara did keep her smile to herself. She knew at a young age that she was a pretty girl as she blossomed under Zod and Faoras careful care. Kara was disciplined but she wasn't blind. She was aware of her admirers, especially if they were as obvious as Diana just was.

It still made it far more difficult than necessary for her to find any suitors though. Not that she had been actively looking but she still had needs and getting a quickie in the med-bay or some random escape pod got tiring the first few times but everyone was all too damn afraid of Zod and Faora to openly pursue Kara.

And Kara refused to commit to a coward or be anyone's dirty secret.

Diana didn’t respond, nor did she move when Kara finally reached shore and stopped just in front of her to retrieve her discarded clothing and shake the sand off the light fabric. It was only when Kara's bare skin was covered once again that Diana finally blinked, and breathed.

Kara regarded the other woman nonchalantly, properly taking her in now, “You’ve seen better days. Interesting month, Princess?”

Diana scoffed, “Starro put up much more of a fight than we were anticipating.”

Kara smirked.

On a private balcony far away from any prying ears and eyes, Kara and Diana sat across from each other at a table that could fit two others. The spread of food between them consisted mainly of meat and buttered bread that was perfectly sliced. And Kara noticed that a few of her favorite snacks were also on the menu. She was quietly grateful...she'd been craving these honey glazed croissants lately.

Diana was currently recalling the events leading up to the confrontation with the alien starfish. But it didn't dawn on Kara until her third helping of the croissants that suspicion began to creep into her mind that Diana may have been attempting to butter her up for something.

“Anyway, Bruce has created a device that helps us discover any stragglers left behind and we're positive that we've cleaned up the last of Starro's remnants, but everything cannot be perfect. We're remaining vigilant, but the threat is finally over.”

“As long as the original Starro is dead, that’s all that matters.”

“The League is grateful for your assistance with this matter, Kara. You helped save many lives.” Diana was now staring out at the sea thoughtfully...and Kara felt that the other shoe was about to drop. She smiled somewhat, reaching for another croissant.

“If I’m going to be here for an extended time, it is in my best interest to help keep this planet intact, is it not?”

“And in due time, you will get to enjoy all of the wonders that Earth has to offer. And there are many, some even that I haven't come across...yet.”

“Yeah...that sounds great. Will Faora get to enjoy any of that too?”

“Yes.”

“Hm?” Kara paused, raising a dubious eyebrow, “So they actually agreed to it? Just like that?”

Diana didn’t miss a beat, “No.”

“Then-”

Diana sighed, fingers thrumming on the table, “You have to understand, Kara, after Zod's attack in Metropolis the world is not quite ready to have two Kryptonians, let alone three. Two of which were once associated with Zod . Your case is easier in that regard...you never made it past the DEO. (Diana ignored Kara's dirty look) but Faora’s identity was exposed during her fight with Superman, and even before that.”

“And?”

“And the world is still afraid, Kara.”

“The world? Or your league?” Kara sneered, hating what Diana was telling her…but hating herself even more for understanding what she was hearing. Even though she knew that things were not going to be that easy, she was hopeful.

“Does it matter, Kara? Without firm reassurance that Faora won’t try and finish what Zod started she will remain where she is. It’s already a general consensus that you're only using this entire situation to your advantage to get out of those shackles and take revenge for the deaths of your comrades and General.”

“Their concerns are valid...I guess.” Kara rolled her eyes.

“Kara, this is not a joking matter!” Diana scolded, irked that Kara was not taking her seriously, “Giving us useful information and being well behaved are no longer viable stipulations, Lieutenant. Not since you took it upon yourself to renegotiate the terms of your freedom.”

“My limited freedom.” Kara sighed around another slice of glazed bread, “ you agreed to it, they don’t trust you? I mean, did I not just save this planet from enslavement and doom from a giant starfish? What more do your people want from me, Diana? My f*cking skin?”

Diana’s glare narrowed, and Kara sighed. Wiping her hands clean on one of the rags provided, “Look, it's not like I can prove to them that Faora won't be bitter about everything that happened, but I can promise that she won't do anything about it. Not in the way that you're all thinking, anyhow.”

“What is that supposed to mean, Kara?”

Kara licked away some honey from her bottom lip, stalling and thinking—considering how much she wanted to tell Diana. About what Faora told her about Mars before their inevitable capture or what Kara was planning on doing with that information but she was hesitant. She wanted to trust Diana, the want was there...but Kara just shook her head with a shrug.

“I mean that she raised me and aside from Zod, she is loyal to me too...and I to her. Hell, I'm positive that I know her better than Zod did growing up. She was always...different when he was around anyway.” Kara exhaled heavily, “Plus, Zod didn't authorize my rescue.”

“He didn't?”

“He didn't even know. When Faora was breaking me out of my cell, she told me that we had to hurry before he realized that she took half of the squadron and left the world engine defenseless trying to save me. Zod would've killed her himself over something like that...he may not have done it right then and there, but he would have. So like I said before, she gave her life for mine...multiple times, and I'm not gonna let her f*cking rot like the common trash Kal-El thinks she is.”

The silence between the two women was loud and it was tense. Kara was having a difficult time reading Diana's expression and she was almost a hundred percent sure that she was about to get screwed or 'blindsided' with some 'bad news'. The small cynical part of her brain was now laughing at Kara and—

“You were right earlier.”

Huh... “About...what, exactly? I tend to be right about a lot of things really.”

“And arrogant.” Diana added, unnecessarily in Kara's opinion, “But you were right about the part about you renegotiating with me, and not the rest of the league. They did not accept your terms, but I did. And as one of the founding leaders of the Justice League and my status as Themyscira's ambassador, I was well within my right to do so despite their grievances about it.”

“But you just said...”

“I know what I said, and it was true, they are scared and distrustful. Many of them believe that you will stab me in the back but that's a chance that I'm willing to take.”

“Why?”

“Well...it's as I've said before; this is the most selfless thing I've seen you do since meeting you—”

“Don't give me that bullsh*t, Diana. Why? You want me to be honest with you all goddamn day, how about you do the same thing? Starting now.”

“Are you saying that I'm lying to you now, Kara?”

“No, but you're not being completely honest with me either. You're high strung for justice and whatever, but no one is that good.”

“I've made my fair share of selfish mistakes, and wishes, in the past too,... but I was given a second chance even when I did not deserve it. More than once.” Diana busied herself by fixing herself a healthy helping of one of everything from the food spread, “I believe that you deserve that too because I see what they don't see, that you're coming into your own. And yes...it did help, at first, that you are a relative to Kal-El but that's just a small part now, you're doing the rest yourself.”

Kara nodded, digesting what Diana revealed to her...she was insanely curious about these mistakes (and wishes) that Diana spoke of, but there was something else that Kara wanted to know too, “How did you convince your brown-nosed friends to agree to it then?”

A week ago at the Justice League's Hall of Justice...

Without that intel, the world might have been overrun by that starfish.” Green Lantern sighed from his seat at the founders table, rubbing the back of his neck hoping to get that crick out. He’d taken a nasty fall after getting blasted with a cannon by one of Starro’s clones, “But I still don’t trust that Kryptonian though. Er, no offense, Superman. I know that's family and all.”

No offense taken, John,” Clark nodded, looking around at his weary team–it had been a long last few weeks weeding out Starro hot-spots. They all worked tirelessly to free the people, and dismantle multiple doomsday devices around the world. “Luckily for all of us, she was telling the truth.”

I never would have thought that we would have to protect the Earth from an alien Starfish.” Barry grinned, just as tired as the rest of them, “Freaky if you ask me. Makes you wonder what other sea monsters are out there. Know anything about that, GL?”

John sighed, “If I did, I would've known about the damn starfish and how to defeat it.”

Oh right, still new on the job. Well...if it makes you feel any better, Hal would've tried to fight it with his face.”

Sure, this is fun but let’s not forget what this Amazon agreed to in order for us to get this so-called 'great information'.” Diana glared at Aquaman, “You had no right to alter the deal that we agreed to as a team.”

Coming from royal blood, Aquaman, you of all people should understand that politics and its dealings are never perfect. Yes I should have consulted the rest of you before agreeing to Kara's terms but I did not. And for that, I do apologize. However, I stand by my decision regardless of your personal issues towards me.”

Aquaman scoffed, “'Kara'? What happened to Lieutenant Zor-El? Making friends with the enemy now?”

Barry and Shayera shared an ‘uh-oh’ look, and the other founding leaders were just as confused, and or annoyed. Aquaman sneered at Diana, his patience already on a thin line, “Will you still be so self-righteous when you free those two maniacs and they finish what Zod started? I voted no for a reason.”

Diana chose to ignore his previous digs, knowing that he was simply trying to entrap her, Kara is difficult but she’s good. I’ve seen this for myself even if she tries to hide it.”

She tried to kill Shazam. Twice.”

Okay, yeah, but she didn't and technically she help us save the world a whole lot faster than we would've otherwise,” When Aquaman gave Barry a dirty and unimpressed look, the speedster raised his hands quickly, not wanting the Ambassador of Atlantis on his ass again, “Alright, geez, not like that matters or anything...”

Guys, let’s just cool it…” Superman cut in before it could go any further, “I get where Aquaman is coming from, but I’ve known Wonder Woman and Batman for a long time. I know that neither of them would do anything they weren’t sure about. They're protectors of Earth too, if Diana feels like this was the best course of action then I am inclined to agree with her.”

Diana nodded, grateful for Clark’s support but some of their teammates were not so sure just yet. Shayera sat forward, resting her elbows on the table, “Back on Thanagar, the criminals I busted used to say the same thing about being good and changing their ways. Never worked out, it's textbook for them to lie so they can save their skin. How can you be so sure that Kara or this Faora won't turn on us the moment the opportunity strikes?”

You’ve all seen the footage. Kara Zor-El is a force to be reckoned with but if she truly wanted vengeance she would've made an attempt by now, or she would have died trying.”

Arthur grumbled, “You can't possibly know that.”

Diana met his stare with one of her own, cold and regal, “Yet, here I sit...telling you that I do. I sat down with her and we talked for a long time. She’s like all of us when we first started our journeys; lost and nearly the last of her people. And I know for a fact that some of us sitting at this table know exactly what that feels like. (Diana let that sink in for a beat—as their own PTSD came back to them, forcing them to understand) She did not inherit a kingdom or a guild…instead she inherited tragedy but that does not mean that she has to become it either, and perhaps Faora will fall in line too.”

You’re hoping that Kara will become a hero and that will be enough to convince Faora to do the same?”

Yes. And if it fails…Kara will already be on our side and Faora will be outnumbered.”

John shrugged, “Well, it can’t hurt.”

Hmm.” Batman rubbed his chin thoughtfully, and no one could tell what he was thinking. They never could, not really, unless he wanted them to. And even still…the man was very hard to read.

And Starfire does have an open spot on her team now that Nightwing decided to branch off on his own (Batman grunted). The Titans have been doing a good job lately and Kori has proven to be an efficient leader.” John pointed out helpfully—or unhelpful in Aquaman’s opinion— “She could start there and we’ll see if she’s worth the trouble or not. And keep her powers contained.”

Yeah, she's got better footwork than Batman.” Shayera snickered, not at all afraid of the man like the others were—even though he did give her the creeps every now and then with his brooding and obsessive need to be in the shadows. “She'll be fine with the right gear, no powers needed. She kicked Shazam's pretty good to prove that.”

Superman nodded, “I agree.”

Of course you do,” Arthur huffed, crossing his arms and slouching further in his chair acting every bit of a child and not the grown man that he was supposed to be, “Word of advice, Superman, family will drag you down every time. (Arthur side eyed Diana briefly) And women.”

Charming. And I thought human males were full of themselves, I clearly haven’t been to Atlantis.” Shayera commented dryly, only tilting her chin upwards in challenge when Aquaman growled at her and she smirked when all he did was huff and frown even more.

With all due respect to Starfire and the Teen Titans, that is not the right call.” Diana stated, halting any sort of planning before her comrades got too far ahead of themselves, “I changed the deal under my terms, so the decision of Kara's progression is at my discretion.”

Arthur scoffed loudly, he had strong opinions on that...

She's right.” Batman cut in, finally breaking his non-verbal persona, and everyone who knew that whatever he had to say was priority, just like Wonder Woman and Superman. “The Teen Titans are formidable but not enough. Should the situation get out of hand, it is now Wonder Woman's problem.”

And mine.” Kal-El clarified, sounding a bit put out being excluded, “She's still my family, and we stand for hope, strength and protection. And I trust Wonder Woman to make the right decisions moving forward.”

John rubbed his chin, but he was wise enough to keep his mouth shut...and his poker face on. Barry? Not so much. His eyes were wide and darting all around the table, wishing that he brought something to snack on if he'd known the meeting was going to be this good.

Surprisingly, Arthur kept his mouth shut but it was clear on his face that he was not happy with the outcome. But there was little else that he could truly do about it anyway.

Shayera on the other hand was eating all of this up being her stoic mask, knowing the context of some of the things between a few members of the team—she knew that things were about to get a lot more interesting. If there was someone that could get their mild-mannered Amazon to flex...well then. Shayera wanted to meet this woman as soon as possible.

.

.

.

Kara chewed thoughtfully on the glazed ham, listening to every word that came out of Diana’s mouth as she retold the events leading up to her officially taking the role as Kara’s ‘mentor’ (as if she really needed another one of those). She wasn’t surprised that Kal-El stood up for her, Kara just wanted to know what it is that he expected from her in return. She wasn't going to ask however, that was his business...not hers. And as much as she wanted to object to being argued over like some damn pet...

“Are all of your meetings so…confrontational?”

“Fortunately no,” Diana sighed, “They’re peaceful most of the time.”

“And this Aquaman, he lives out there?” Kara pointed towards the sea, and Diana huffed, giving Kara the answer she was looking for, “There are humans that live under all of that water? Interesting.”

“Atlantis is home of the Atlantheans. They're humanoids that live in the oceans of this planet and are the sister race of humans. I'm surprised that you did not already know that.”

“We were aware of sentient life in your waters.” Kara corrected without missing a beat, “And what's this guy's problem with you? Is he upset that you don't need to drink salt water every five minutes?”

Diana laughed, she almost wished that Aquaman could hear that, “I reminded him that he was a married man…and that I wasn’t interested.” Diana waved away Kara's disgruntled look, “His brother, King Orm, recently attempted to broker a treaty between our two civilizations but mother declined his offer, and any other meeting they had planned.”

“Was that wise? I mean, I'm not questioning your mother's judgment but I'm just curious...with your entire island surrounded by the ocean...?” Kara trailed off unsure how to word her inquiry but Diana understood what she was trying to ask, and fortunately she did not take it as Kara attempting to undermine their policies but that she was only trying to understand the situation. It was a far cry from Kara outright insulting their intelligence like she did during their earlier interactions.

“He was suggesting that I marry him to bridge the ties between Themyscira and Atlantis. Mother did not hesitate to decline. Orm...made a scene and it was handled just as quickly, but Atlantis has not been invited back since. Tensions have been high, yes, but with Orm's younger brother Arthur joining the Justice League there was hope.”

“Until he proved to be another unfaithful horny bastard? Plenty of those in space too.” Kara snorted, rolling her eyes, “So what now? More fancy jewelry? Another alien invasion?”

Diana cleared her throat, “Neither. You're under my direct mentorship—”

Ownership.” Kara mumbled into her cup, rolling her eyes again.

“I've taken extended leave from league business for a while, but after... we will leave again, refreshed for whatever awaits us on the outside.”

“We?”

“Your cuffs are staying on, but yes...I believe you deserve to properly see the world that you helped save.”

The guilt was eating away at her more now, and gnawing at her to say something...Kara knew that this was her moment of truth. She wanted to trust Diana, to return the courtesy that the Amazon Princess was giving to her but once again, Kara's jaw remained locked and refused to move. She swallowed thickly, mentally burying her confessions, and returned Diana's smile with a smaller one of her own.

Notes:

All typos are mine cos it's just me here 💀💀💀 it's like 12:12 (angel numbers heyyy) anyway, so they're progressing and Kara is...more chill, still hell on two legs, but chill lol...they let her into a gym, and gave her toys...wonder how that's gonna play out. What do y'all think she's up to? Anything good?

Got to put in some character development and plotted some...well, plot seeds. That JL meeting went on longer than I planned tho💀

It seems like Diana is bringing Kara off the island early...but she never disclosed how long it would be until they left;) lots of Diana and Kara moments in the future.

Anyway...thank you all so much for your kind words and your lovely kudos! It never ceases to make me smile (I like to think of every Kudos with a quote along the lines of "yassssssssssss" 💀💀💀)!

Chapter 9: Follow My Lead II

Notes:

I don't own anything DC related here.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

It has been two weeks since Diana returned to Themyscira with the promise of taking Kara with her when she left again. Kara wasn't in a rush of any sort, she was a patient woman after all, but even patience had nothing on anxiety. Kara would never admit it, but for the first time since she crash landed on this planet she was starting to feel a little unsure of her situation. Kara knew that she had a lot riding on this 'freedom' of hers and that Diana, and Diana's friends, would be looking for any and all missteps whether they'd be big or small. Kara didn't want to give them the satisfaction.

She didn't want to give any of them the satisfaction of proving them right. Kara managed to survive on an island full of warrior women and not get herself killed, even though she was probably pushing her luck daily with that last one.

Currently Kara was sitting at the very top of the arena stands, partially hidden in the corner behind a streamer that hung a little too low, and it was also blocking out the bright sun. She'd finished her training earlier in the day in an attempt to get herself back on her previous military schedule to the best of her abilities. It was just another aspect of her life that she wanted to control, but hopefully soon, if she got her way...Kara would have more room to grow and...'redeem' herself.

It was just the matter of going about gaining this sense of delusional freedom the hard way or the easy way.

Nothing is ever truly easy. Kara's eyes drifted above the book that she was reading and immediately found her target.

Diana was below on the training grounds with her fellow Amazon warriors. The Princess was covered in sand that stuck to her sweaty skin but she didn't seem to mind the irritating texture as she was clearly in her element. This was her home and these people were her friends.

Sighing heavily, Kara rolled her eyes and set the book aside—reading up on modern philosophy not holding her interest like she thought it would. Since she wasn't so keen on burning any bridges anytime soon, Kara knew that she'd have to go the hard way on this. And that probably meant that there was a lot of groveling in her future. She and Diana have come far from their first meeting but they still had some ways to go, and they always will unless Kara could convince the Amazon to drop her leash.

Kara was aware that she could do the easy route; go through Hippolyta and play on her soft spot for her, but that would lose whatever trust that she and Diana have built between them. And for Kara's ambitions to be fulfilled; Kara needed Diana to trust her.

So Kara continued to observe the Princess from afar while she thought up an airtight argument for an hour an half until Diana finally threw in the towel and put away her training weapons. Kara gathered her belongings and she was gone before Diana could even leave the arena—and ultimately Kara missed the quick glance Diana threw in her little corner, and the little frown when she saw that it was empty.

.

.

.

Diana knew that Kara was getting anxious (she assumed about leaving the island), and really there was no real reason for them not to leave Themyscira this very night but selfishly, Diana was enjoying her stay at home. It was rare that she's ever gotten more than a week to visit before she was called off again. But the Justice League weren't going to call her until she's gotten Kara situated unless the world was really at risk, again. And it was also the fact that Diana realized that she wasn't quite ready to share Kara with the rest of the world, there was still so much about the woman that she wanted to explore and so little time.

After training, Diana cleaned up and she was now on her way to the private kitchen area reserved for anyone residing in the royal wing of the palace, which now included Kara. However when Diana walked into the room with a small brown leather satchel on her shoulder, she found just the person she'd been hoping to find.

Sitting at the table, Kara was chowing down on a roast beef sandwich with an assortment of crackers and cheeses on another plate next to her plus a large mug full of what Diana assumed to be squeezed juice from one of their sweetest honey fruits.

Hippolyta didn't keep the mead in the common areas. It was locked away along with the wine and some whiskey down in the cellar. It was reserved for special occasions.

Kara nodded in Diana's direction but she kept eating, and Diana figured a roast beef sandwich wasn't a bad idea. The silence between them in the kitchen wasn't uncomfortable but it wasn’t easy either. Diana pretends to focus on making her food and that she doesn’t notice that Kara is watching her. But the woman was being obvious about it and it was clear that Kara didn't care that she was.

“You should've joined us for training today, Kara. It was a lot of fun and I think you would've enjoyed it.”

“I don’t enjoy anything, Diana. Besides,” Kara raised an eyebrow, “There's not much anyone can teach me here. Especially about fighting.”

However true that statement might be, Diana found it to be slightly arrogant but she wasn't going to say anything about it, not wanting to start an argument with Kara.

It would’ve been petty and it wasn't worth the inevitable headache anyway. So, Diana picked up her plate and joined Kara at the table. She watched as Kara picked up the pitcher and poured some juice into Diana's empty cup before she could do it herself.

“Thank you.” Diana smiled. Kara was full of surprises today...and Diana was rightfully suspicious, “You're in a good mood today.”

“Am I?”

Diana paused momentarily, “I'm not sure, are you?”

Kara smiled but she sighed softly, and shrugged, “Yes.”

Diana was waiting for the rest but Kara let the silence fill the space again. The Princess suspected that she was dealing with a stubborn Kara today, despite her good mood, “You seem a little on edge as well. Are you worried about leaving the island?”

Kara hummed, “The last time I was out in your world, I wasn't so...welcomed nor was I very welcoming.”

Diana nodded, chewing thoughtfully before answering. This was an old argument. So she wasn't really sure why Kara was bringing it up again. However, in the short time since she's actually talked to the woman, Diana knew that Kara rarely said anything that she did not mean nor did she ever not have a reason.

Kara was too shrewd and calculating to be innocent and unassuming. Diana knew that Kara was watching her closely too but Diana did not shy away from those intense blue eyes.

“I had hoped that we were past the smoke and mirrors. If there's something you'd like to get off your chest, Lieutenant, please...tell me.” Diana said after taking a hearty sip of the honey juice, a little sweeter than she preferred but it was still delicious, “I am not your captor—”

Anymore.”

Diana ignored that comment, “I would like to be your friend, Kara, despite your difficult disposition.”

“Being difficult is not a bad thing. It keeps you alive,” Kara scoffed, mildly offended, “but you are right, Diana. I do have something on my mind. It’s about leaving Themyscira. I’m conflicted.”

Of all of the things that Diana expected from Kara, this was not one of them. “You’re conflicted? What about?”

Kara poured herself juice, and at this rate it would be gone before dinner, “I like it here.”

Probably a reach since there were only certain aspects of the island that Kara actually liked and very few individuals.

“I like the small independence I have here. I’m mostly left alone, and I like that.”

“Ah,” Diana smiled, no she smirked, as she pieced together where Kara was going with this, “So that’s what this is, your independence.”

“Can’t hardly blame me, Diana. I haven’t had an ounce of privacy to myself since I landed on this planet. If you’re going to hover over my shoulder off this island too, then I would rather just stay here.”

A bold move, very bold and Kara was slightly worried that she overplayed her hand, but she was also hopeful that the risk would be paid off.

“If my colleagues still had any say, you’d be under lock and key, you are correct.” Diana sighed, “What is it that you would like to do, Kara?”

Kara briefly thought of the many secrets that she was keeping at the forefront of her mind but instead of confessing anything, the Kryptonian just shrugged, “Independence. I don't care if you want me to stay in the same city as you, Diana, that won't bother me at all...but I'd like to be on my own for a while. If Earth is going to be my new home, I'd like to grow here on my own. And maybe do a little healing too. So, uh, yeah. If...any of that sounded reasonable to you, that's what I would like to do.”

Diana considered this, but she was not at all surprised by this—she expected Kara to ask for something along the lines of this, but the decision wasn't hard for Diana. As a woman of action, Diana often judged others by how they act versus what they say.

Quietly, Diana reached into the brown satchel that lay off to the side in another chair and she opened it and carefully pulled out a manila folder. She glanced at it for a short moment then she set it down on the table, next to Kara's cup. The Amazon Princess did all of this without uttering a single word but it was not like she really needed to anyway, Kara's eyes glued to the folder told her that the younger woman understood what she was implying. Kara gently pushed her plate aside while Diana looked on, Kara took out the papers and carefully scanned over the documents.

These were new identification papers, finance statements and even a birth certificate. Interesting...Kara dumped the rest of the contents in the folder onto the table and raised her eyebrow at the passport and the black credit card that lay there, and it was already engraved with her Earth name.

“This is...unexpected but appreciated, Diana.” Kara's grateful tone was genuine but the question was clear and Diana nodded.

“I had some help from a friend.”

“Hmm, you actually have friends outside of your Justice League?” Kara huffed slightly when Diana didn't immediately answer, and therefore answering Kara's tease, “I guess having some immortal friends takes away the hurt...or so I hear..”

Diana's eyes narrowed at Kara's callous tone, not appreciating the lighthearted approach the Kryptonian was taking with this subject but she kept her grievance to herself. Even though she would not wish this on her worst enemy, Diana knew that Kara would eventually experience that 'hurt' as well. There were just some life experiences that were learned first hand.

Kara cleared her throat, feeling a tad awkward—it wasn't very often that she apologized anything, but she'd seen the look of pain disturb Diana's serene expression before the Amazon schooled it away. But it was too late, Kara had spotted it. The weight of the repacked documents sitting in her lap made Kara feel even more like an ass. This time.

“Sorry...that was uncalled for.”

“Thank you.” Diana smiled, accepting Kara's small apology and just like that the moment passed. The atmosphere seemed lighter but neither of them dared to be the first to break it. So the Kryptonian and the Amazon continued to eat in comfortable silence, both of their minds miles away and thinking about their intertwined futures once they left Themyscira.

“You're predictable.”

Diana stopped mid-swing, her frown deepening as she dropped her guard against the other Amazon she was sparring with to turn and look at Kara with offense, “Pardon?”

“I said that you are predictable.” Kara repeated coolly with a slight smirk, and her arms crossed. Some of the Amazons nearby were looking on but were pretending that they weren't.

She'd been looking for Diana all morning to speak with the Princess about something, to clear her conscience maybe but the longer she looked, the less confident she felt about what she wanted to do. Kara was just about to give up her search for the Princess, when she found the woman in question back at the arena. In hindsight, this really should have been Kara's first place to look but ah well.

Even though the topic of whatever she wanted to talk about was long forgotten and locked away in a far corner of her mind yet again; Kara stayed. She stayed and she watched, standing idly in the shade next to the weapons rack. There were plenty of Amazons present today, also training and practicing their archery. But Kara's eye was on Diana, taking in her form much like she did the other day but this time much closer. Diana was a heavy hitter, brutal and unforgiving in her charge but graceful and very tactical. Diana was a wise fighter and she was always aware but there was one problem.

Diana was predictable. But she made up for it by her overwhelming strength, so it didn't matter if her opponent saw it coming or not. Of course Kara didn't say any of that out loud.

But surprisingly, Diana laughed, loudly, “You think that you can best me? Have you forgotten that it's two to none?”

“Both times you sucker punched me.” Kara raised an eyebrow slightly when she noticed that Diana's sparring partner was slowly backing away, “I've been wondering for a while if you could actually take me in an honest fight but now...I'm not sure. I'm thinking I let my emotions cloud my judgment.”

Kara was insulting her, Diana was aware but she took no offense this time because she knew now that Kara was only attempting to goad her...and it was working.

“I could say the same about you, Kara. I've managed to catch you twice and it was not due to luck. You fight with your emotions and that makes you sloppy.”

Kara grinned despite herself and she gave Diana a long look up and down before she took a shield and training sword from the weapons rack and stepped out onto the hot sand, “Well...I'm not very emotional right now. So how about a friendly squabble?”

Diana matched Kara's step, both warriors falling into a tense circling—both of them tuning out the excited chatter around them. Most of them wanted to see Diana kick Kara's ass since none of them could successfully do it and the other half just wanted to see a good fight.

“We are evenly matched in speed and strength, but experience we are not, Lieutenant. Come, I will show you predictable.”

For reasons that Kara didn’t want to get into, Diana’s words excited her and sure Kara has been in plenty of brawls lately but she was itching for a little payback with Diana who could also put up a real challenge. Kara liked her chances despite Diana having the upper hand with her abilities, but she suspected that Diana was fair enough to pull her punches.

maybe.

They continued to circle each other searching for an opening, waiting but it was Kara that stepped first. She tested Diana’s boundaries, pushing back against every parry from the Princess and so it began.

Even with the clouds the sun was harsh on the warriors’ exposed flesh, their bodies hot and covered with sweat and sand. Amazons cheered over the constant clash of metals along with the grunts and occasional hiss when flesh was cut open. The wounds were shallow but they still stung.

Kara and Diana have yet to make a signature move, both content to feel each other out and wear the other down. Which seemed to be more in Diana’s favor since her superficial wounds healed almost instantly whereas Kara’s did not. But that did not deter Kara.

But Kara wasn’t aiming to win by spilling all of Diana's blood—or attempting to. There were much less time consuming ways to do that. Deciding to make the first offensive strike, Kara rushed Diana and attacked the woman's raised shield but instead of attempting to break through it, Kara brought her dagger down behind it and ripped it roughly out of a surprised Diana’s hands. Kara kicked the shield, breaking it against Diana’s sternum and forcing the Amazon a few steps back but not knocking her down.

Diana was impressed and ignited now, it seemed that Kara’s practicing of Amazon fighting styles was paying off even though it wasn't exactly perfect, Kara knew not to waste her surprise. Now Diana really wanted to test Kara’s limits. With a short yell, Diana brought her sword down and Kara caught it on her shield to protect her upper body. The wooden guard was thick but under Diana's force, it cracked at the edges but held firm.

Kara twisted her grip on her shield, attempting to disarm Diana again but the Amazon seemed to be expecting it because she kicked the back of Kara's knee but Kara was quick to recover. She sacrificed her shield in order to spin around below Diana and force the blunt end of her sword in Diana's outer left knee.

The move was risky, maybe unnecessarily so as it left her entire backside exposed to Diana who still hovered above her, but Kara hooked Diana's stricken knee and pulled as hard as she could and Diana growled when her back roughly hit the ground.

Around them, more amazons were starting to fill in the ranks and cheering loudly while also making bets, a surprisingly good amount of them placing bets on Kara. Behind the group, Artemis frowned and stormed off towards the palace...

Diana and Kara were both breathing heavily but still controlled, they were back to circling around one another but the tempo has changed now. This was round two, Diana hit the ground first and Kara was smirking but she wasn't co*cky...her jaw still aches sometimes when she thinks back to their past more powerful fights. Kara knew not to let her guard down. The same tactic won't work twice here.

This time it was Diana that broke their pace, feigning left with her sword but quickly pivoting to kick Kara's sword out of grip, and she heard a small crack and heard Kara's grunt, but that did not stop Diana from delivering another round house kick, sending Kara spiraling back a few feet but she only fell to one knee. Diana smirked and tossed her sword aside. Kara's bloody mouth sneered at her, thanks from her busted nose, and she ran at Diana, engaging in tight hand to hand combat.

The spectators could barely keep up with the two, all eyes wide with bated breaths, currency on the line for many of them. The bracers that were on the two fighters arms were clashing and sparking everywhere but neither of them noticed. Diana and Kara looked like they were dancing instead of fighting. The Lieutenant was a warrior in her own right but Diana was closing in on Kara. Baiting her, drawing her near—and after the fifth bait, Kara took it and Diana struck. She caught Kara's left swing, hooked their elbows and brought their fronts together. Kara's eyes widened slightly and Diana grinned before she delivered the cleanest front suplex she's delivered in a long time, though she kept her other arm around Kara's neck, her intentions weren't to kill the other woman. This was friendly after all.

And with Kara on the ground, now sprawled out on her back...they were tied. Diana rolled onto her feet and she held out her hand with a gentle smile, her hair messy and she was sweaty but she looked very lively with the sun right behind her head. Kara gripped Diana's wrist after a moment and let the woman pull her to her feet.

“Using my weight and momentum against me, clever. I saw that coming and I still fell for it.” Kara's foreign space accent was coming back during her excitement and Diana wasn't sure if she even noticed.

“How's that for predictable, Lieutenant?”

“You're sufficient.” Diana raised her eyebrow, and Kara shrugged, “but Diana, if you wanted to wrestle, you didn't have to bust my nose. There are easier ways to ask, Princess.”

Diana picked up on Kara's teasing tone, it was surprisingly easy to read Kara's tone when she sounded like this, natural...but before she could respond, the crowd noise suddenly came back to her and reminded her that they were very much not alone. And they were quite boisterous in their demands of a tie breaker, and who was Diana one to disappoint her sisters?

Four weeks later...over the thunderous pacific ocean...

It was only about a month later when Diana decided that it was finally time to head back to her home outside of Themyscira and to her beloved city. Of course Diana left the safety of her city in good hands, but she was itching to get back her routine and back to protecting her city and its citizens. Sitting in the co-pilot's chair was Kara, fitted in a pair of gray sweatpants and a matching hoodie with casual running shoes that Diana had brought for her along with a few other necessities that she thought Kara would need and appreciate without overstepping.

The young woman was quiet with her hood pulled over her head while she stared out at the stormy skies but Kara was wide awake. However, Diana sensed a layer of nerves coming from her but Kara remained stoic, but after their spontaneous sparring match brought them a little closer to friendship. And trust because it was a week later that they both came to an agreement that Kara would take Diana's spare bedroom until she was used to living among the humans and found a place of her own. It was logical Kara decided and Diana let her think that's all that it was.

“What's on your mind?”

Kara sighed heavily after a moment too long when Diana thought she wasn't going to answer, “This weather reminds me of a super planet we found. It rained constantly there and it was freezing at the same time but there were minerals underground that would sell for a good portion and also be mined into fuel cells if they could be calibrated right. With that being said, Zod ordered us to make due and set up a research station despite the weight of the station immediately half sinking into the ground due to the weight of our armors being inside too.”

“That sounds like a mess that Batman would also put us through.” Diana grumbled.

“Oh it gets better, a lucky lightning strike took out our communications so we were stranded on that planet's surface for a week.”

“It took your supervisors that long to realize that their scout unit was missing?”

Kara sighed softly, eyes still glued to the darkened skies, “We were under orders to check in every seven days. We missed our first check in by twenty-four hours which prompted our rescue unit to come and assess the situation. We never mined the minerals, but...we got something more important down there. With the limited supplies we had, we all had to rely and trust on one another to survive. With the weather being so harsh and being in unknown terrain, we decided not to hunt so it was an...experience. We went down as soldiers and returned as comrades. In the Kryptonian military, something like that is rare.”

“Bonds like that are a precious thing,” Diana said wistfully, still thinking about her own fond memories and gaining a knowing look from Kara, “I hope this all works out for you, Kara.”

“Hmm, me too Diana, after all you sponsored so hard for my freedom. I would hate to disappoint you now, Princess.” Despite sounding sarcastic, Kara meant that but even so, that did not give her cause to inform Diana that there was something following them, something Kara has been noticing hovering in the night skies sometimes.

It was some distance behind them, just out of sight but Kara could sense it. It was only a matter of time before she would have to deal with that. Just another long list of lies she already had before she could even get to the mainland, but Kara knew that no one would understand her goals until the time was right.

Notes:

I dunno why but I really wanted to throw that spar scene in there, sorry if it seemed random--my brain just wouldn't let it go so here we are. :)) A teeny bit rushed, but we will see the Queen again and Themyscira again.

It seems that Diana and Kara are getting along a little better, and there's trust brewing...but as we can see, there are agenda's...wonder how all this play out? hmm. Besides Barry, anyone y'all wanna see be Kara's friend? I'm sure she'll reluctantly make some lmao.

Thank you guys for being patient, life gets hectic when ya least expect it and it's been so freakin' hot lately, sheesh man.

Chapter 10: Quiet Rage

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

National City was just how Diana described it to be, a city in the sky with all of its attractive and charming skyscrapers. The city never slept, it was always lively and energetic even at night...even more so at night. It reminded Kara of the cities on Krypton and it made her a little homesick but Kara never allowed herself to linger too long when those feelings began to bubble to the surface. Diana was gone a lot more often than Kara fully expected, between her moonlighting as a superhero in her spare time, Diana apparently had a day job as well.

Kara wasn't exactly sure what it was that the Amazon did when she wasn't beating the living hell out of someone trying to make a living, and she wasn't at the point where she cared enough to ask really. She's caught Diana leaving the apartment early in the morning multiple times and dressed in a sharp dress and heels, or a business suit. Kara could admit that Diana pulled off that look well, it was a wonder that she didn't have many suitors coming trying to break down her door every five minutes. Kara still hasn't really found a day job to keep herself busy and even though a small part of her missed her little work on Themyscira, so simple and mind numbing, but Kara wouldn't stoop that low now.

She was more concerned with getting her own living space and figuring out the layout of the city. When she was on Krypton everything was provided within a home, built to perfection but that was not the case here. Apartments came in all sorts of sizes, prices and all of them weren't furnished at all. And there were just a few that Kara found that she'd burn down to the ground herself.

At least Diana picked a sensible and clean building, but of course she would, she was royalty after all and there would be nothing but the best for the woman anyway. Kara was familiar, having been in the same position for a brief time in her life before tragedy struck her family. Diana's apartment reminded Kara of Themyscira via the ancient Greek artifacts and paintings she had displayed around her home. Diana was often away from home, it made sense that this would be her inner sanctum.

Maybe when she found her own area to eventually call home...Kara would like to make that her sanctuary too.

Pretending to be a part of this primitive race was easy and overwhelming at the same time, Kara couldn't make sense of it sometimes...but she's also spotted other aliens in the crowds. Recognizing cloaking devices on a wrist or two, and she's even caught a few 'foreign' languages mixed in the crowd that she knew that were not from this planet. It brought her small comfort that there were other refugees on Earth (at least that was what she was going to assume that they were, she wasn't exactly transparent either).

Kara watched a lot of TV too, it was entertaining and enlightening all at once. It also gave her an opportunity to spy on Kal-El without having to get unnecessarily close. The first time that Kara saw him, really saw him and not just a photo of him, she felt like she was slapped in the face. It was so uncanny how much Kal-El looked like his father. It was also easy to spot how weak Kal-El was too. How was it that he was able to beat Zod? Kal-El pulled his punches, an obvious drawback being raised by humans she supposed, it was disgusting to her. He was supposed to be the key? That is what Zod risked everything for? Kal-El certainly looked the part but he was not fit for it.

Kal-El was a selfish calculated risk by the hands of his cowardly parents, and then he was a desperate risk that Zod missed by a mile, further dooming their people. Kara made notes when they came to her, keeping true to her Kryptonian penmanship considering that she was still living with Diana and Kara's moderate paranoia had her scribbling in older dialect as well. Or what Kara could roughly remember from what Faora taught her decades ago.

“Excuse me? Is this seat taken?”

Kara was hardly startled when a soft feminine voice interrupted her brooding. Kara sighed and focused her sights on the woman standing next to her table. She looked as soft as she sounded, but her eyes were sharp—Kara could see that immediately, but she was human so Kara didn't think much of it. She looked around the small cafe she favored and saw that it was starting to fill up with the typical morning crowd, and the chatter was a little louder now that she was paying attention to it again. And worst of all...her coffee wasn't piping hot anymore.

Damn it....Kara looked back at the woman after observing all of this in less than ten seconds, and she nodded, “Go ahead.”

Kara went back to staring at her coffee but she was distracted now by the woman now preoccupying her table with her. A complete stranger, and Kara wasn't exactly sure...what it was that she wanted to do next. Should she leave, or say something? Did she even want to?

“You can relax over there, I'm not gonna attack you or anything,” the woman laughed, glancing up from her phone and caught Kara's eye but Kara hardly even blinked or looked embarrassed at being caught staring, “I'm just waiting for my order, I'll be out of your hair soon.”

“Military?” Kara asked, more like blurted out, before she could stop herself but her eyes were zeroed in on the small insignia sitting on the woman's shirt collar. It was small enough to miss at first glance but Kara recognized it. She studied human military rank during her free time in prison and knew that this woman was an Officer.

She smiled, following Kara's eye and reaching up to rub at the stitched insignia on her collar between her fingertips, “Yes, nine years strong this year.”

“Really?” Kara hummed, curious, “What...branch?” Was she even wording that correctly?

“Marines.”

“Oh. Wow, that's impressive.” Kara wasn't lying, she's watched hours of online videos about...well, just about everything, including the humans military training. But why these nations felt the need to show the entire world their rigorous training and trailblazing weapons, Kara did not know. It ruined the element of surprise in her opinion.

She laughed softly, almost self-deprecatingly, “I really only did it to impress my father but after that whole alien invasion fiasco seven years ago, I fully committed to it.”

Kara eyed the other woman curiously, she wasn't missing any body parts or heavily scarred... “Did you fight the Kryptonians too?”

The woman shook her head, “No, I was stationed in Germany while that happened...but I had some friends who did but...” she trailed off sadly, and Kara knew that look and tone. She's experienced it enough times to spot it a mile away, “Anyway, what about you, what's your story, Sunshine?”

Kara raised an eyebrow at the unexpected nickname, “Sunshine?”

She smiled sweetly, but kept quiet...keeping the ball firmly in Kara's court, and the Kryptonian sighed softly. But a shout across the busy cafe interrupted and the woman's smile turned apologetic as she excused herself to go collect her order and Kara stared after her, almost a little disappointed. Granted that she did have to go to work seeing as she was already late, the marine Officer couldn't help but swivel back to the table to the blonde Goddess...

But the table was empty, even the full cup of coffee was gone...taking whatever evidence of that interesting interaction with them.

.

.

.

Kara sat calmly on some random park bench, it was somewhat of a routine because she wasn't foolish enough to trust that the Justice League would just leave her alone and let her run around freely. They might trust Diana, but that would never extend to Kara because in their eyes she was still a threat. And Kara wasn't exactly a poster child of innocence. She knew that Diana's friends were still holding past grudges against her still and that wasn't going to change. She was always going to be one of Zod's people. Kara didn't care, she was going to be more than that soon enough.

Kara checked the time on her watch again, but that was unnecessary as she knew that she was always in the right spot at the right time, everyday. Her eyes casually scanned the moderate park crowd, her laser focused eyes taking in each and every face for less than two seconds before moving on to the next. Not until she found exactly who she was looking for and like clockwork...

Target located...

Kara looked away with a small sigh, getting comfortable and taking out her phone—something of a gift from Diana which Kara initially found useless and just another way to track her but Kara found use for the little thing even if it would inevitably be her undoing at some point or another if she wasn't careful.

The man she was stalking wasn't anyone of any alarming importance, well...not at first glance. This man was just one of the many few working pieces of a bigger picture. He was a diamond in the rough and he did not even know it yet. Kara continued to 'scroll' through her phone, nothing too specific but normal enough just in case someone was looking over her shoulder (as if she'd ever make it that easy...)

Kara kept up that facade while her target continued eating his lunch, a deli sandwich today with some chips and a sofa. It was very basic like his other meals, but fulfilling however today was a little different. He wasn't as engrossed in his phone like he usually was, he couldn't focus on it because he was too busy looking around every five minutes. For who or for what, Kara wasn't sure just yet but she was going to find out of course.

She found another interesting article to 'read', something about the state of global warming and activists being arrested for trying to warn people about it. It made Kara scoff because it reminded her so much of how things were back on Krypton when it came to the safety and longevity of their homeworld. Humans were going to find out the hard way too it seemed.

Her target perked up a little and Kara shifted on the bench when someone sat next to her but she barely spared them a glance when they greeted her gruffly. Kara briefly tracked her target's line of sight when he smiled and she almost did a double take.

It was the woman from the cafe. This was an interesting development, were these two friends? More than friends? Or even better...co-workers? Kara cleared her throat softly, sighing heavily and the man next to her glanced at her briefly but thankfully he didn't say anything. He found Kara incredibly attractive but she also looked like she could, and would, break his neck if he tried to come onto her.

Kara watched the cafe marine and her primary target greet each other like they were old friends, hugging briefly and smiling before they sat at the park table. The way that they were talking and smiling had Kara quickly deducting that they were friends...and Kara hummed softly, the gears turning quickly in her head.

The park entrance was crowded with people coming in and out, vendors were selling pretzels and hot-dogs at peak time. It was really easy for anyone to get lost or turned around in this area but somehow Kara was still able to hold a slush drink in one hand and a park map in the other, not that she cared for either item. Kara moved through the crowd like a hot knife to cold butter, people parted around the tall Kryptonian like the red sea but even so, it was still crowded despite people moving out of her way.

Kara was so engrossed with her 'reading' and her snack, that she failed to notice that she was on a head on collision with two people who were also unsuspecting. It all happened so quickly though, and twenty seconds later and three dramatically spilled slush's later...

“sh*t! I'm so sor—wait, Sunshine??”

Kara looked up at the woman with a sheepish smile, though she was still holding onto the man—her target—by his upper arms firmly. She'd hit him a little harder than she intended and Kara had quickly caught him by the shoulders, and ultimately realized that she did in fact tower over both of them.

Still being held by Kara, the man looked between the two of them with his eyebrows furrowed, “Uh...you two know each other?”

“No,” Kara shook her head though she was amused, “But what a coincidence of running into you again, Marine.”

She huffed, eyes narrowed, “I don't believe in coincidences.”

Chuckling, Kara finally released the man and took a step back, “A wise thought, but let's look at the silver lining here...none of our clothes were ruined and those drinks were cheap.”

Yeah, thank god for that too...the man thought with a roll of his eyes at the mere thought of having to run back home to change clothes before going back to work and possibly being late and then being screamed at by his egomaniac boss.

“And your ruined pretzel? What's the verdict on that?”

“Mm,” Kara shrugged easily, “It was too salty. I should've gone for the caramel pretzel bites instead.”

While his friend and this stranger continued to chat with each other like they were old friends, and that he didn't have somewhere to be, he just could not help but deeply check out the woman that nearly flattened him like a pancake but gently manhandled enough to keep him from falling on his ass and embarrassing himself. She was tall, taller than his five foot seven. He'd seen his fair share of tall women, but none of them have been built...quite like this. Her skin was beautifully tanned and it was obviously all natural (he was mildly jealous). With his eyes alone he knew that her skin would be very soft and smooth, belying the firm muscle underneath.

It was clear that this woman lived inside of a gym. She was toned from head to toe, even her blonde hair that fell over her shoulders seemed to have some life to it. She wasn't much of a fashion icon though, but he clocked her wealth by those subtle gold bracelets that were on both of her wrists. They were solid without a clear clasp in sight but Winn knew legit karats when he saw it. Aside from that, everything else was simply functional but she was filling those cargo pants and that plain red shirt like no one else's business. Damn... “You almost make me wish I was straight.”

Whatever they were talking about was quickly long forgotten as two pairs of amused gazes immediately snapped to him. It quickly dawned on him of what he had just said out loud, but it was too late...it was out there and there was no way to avoid this embarrassment.

“Thank you...?”

His lingering gaze on her wasn't lost on her as he probably would've liked. So she'd accept his comment as a compliment. However, Kara really wasn't exactly sure what he meant about 'straight' but she wasn't going to ask, she'd research it later. Humans loved to categorize things, and Kara wouldn't be surprised if this was one of such things.

“Er...can we just forget that I even opened my mouth? Please?”

Kara chuckled and shook her head, “And on that note, I have to get going. It was good seeing you again, marine. See you around?”

“It's Lucy.” the woman corrected, finally giving Kara a name to put to a pretty face, “And maybe you will, Sunshine.”

“Lucy,” Kara repeated quietly under her breath, nodding with a smile, “See you around, Lucy.”

With one last glance at Lucy's still flustered friend, Kara was gone and quickly disappearing into the crowd and leaving the two friends alone. Almost immediately, Lucy turned to her friend and pinched his arm, “Seriously, Winn?”

...Justice League Headquarters...

Green Lantern put his all into breaking the blood red construct that boxed him in like a caged animal but he’d only succeeded in cracking it. John grunted with effort, pouring more into his efforts as he grabbed his wrist with his other hand to steady his aim. The beads of sweat that collected on his forehead were falling down his face now.

Damn it!” He grunted, finally letting up and he growled in frustration when the wall healed itself as if he wasn’t doing anything to it in the last five minutes.

John checked on the others and saw that they were also having a hard time shaking their own blood red obstacles. Wonder Woman was battling a large red double ended sword and it was giving the Amazon quite the workout, reading her movements well as if it could read her mind.

Down below, Flash was on the move and unable to provide an assist as he was being chased by an angry red snake. It wasn’t nearly as fast as Flash but it was keeping the man busy.

John looked at the person responsible, he was closest to them but unable to reach them. John gripped his wrist again and blasted the sh*t out of the construct, managing to put a hole in the wall. Ha! He refocused his energy and pushed his green energy through, and he exploded, breaking free!

John rushed forward, his sole purpose was to rush the culprit and hopefully break their concentration but John ran head first into another wall, nearly breaking his neck in the process.

Son of a bitch…” he mumbled, holding his head painfully.

The Red Lantern turned their head slightly in his direction, as if they’d just realized he was actually there but just as quickly, they went back to what they were doing. Stealing millions of dollars of technology from S.T.A.R. labs. They were bringing the tech out of the building via a funnel they forced through the roof and into another, more solid box also created from their red ring.

It was incredible and terrifying how this one being could wield so much power and focus it. Even John couldn’t do this much with his ring and he was one of the strongest Green Lanterns of his time.

He’s heard of a Red Lantern before, he’s even tangled with one of the bastards in passing before. They were strong and dangerous, angry people but he didn’t know…that they could be this efficient. He knew it came down to the wearer of the ring and how determined they were, but this was a new level.

This Red Lantern was a mystery, he’s never heard or seen one of this caliber (well except the creator of the Red Lantern Corp himself, but even those were just stories). Every ring gave its wearer their own suit, tailored to their own specifications and preferences, but it seemed that this one also added a full face mask instead. Completely hiding their identity, even his ring could not read them. Only recalling an error every time he tried to scan them.

He couldn’t even tell if they were female or not, but their body shape was human-like, but that didn’t narrow it down. There were millions of humanoids in space. It couldn’t be anyone or anything wearing that ring.

A loud crash caught his attention and Wonder Woman went flying through a few buildings, the sword finally stopped being passive and cut through Diana’s defenses too easily and swatted the strong woman aside like she was nothing. When John looked back at the Red Lantern, he saw that they were watching Diana go flying as well before closing the funnel, seemingly gathering everything they needed and John still couldn't make sense of what he was looking at exactly. Then suddenly he was falling while still trapped in the red box and John could do nothing but yell at the retreating Red Lantern and braced for impact.

The TV was immediately muted and paused when the image cut back to the news anchor who was ready to give his two cents, no doubt to berate the Justice League for their excessive property damage...and failure to stop the S.T.A.R. Labs theft. It was embarrassing enough that the entire failure was captured by a CatCo news chopper. Of all the media companies...

“Well?” Aquaman huffed, “That was your sh*t show, John. Who was that red glow stick?”

“Uh, no offense taken,” John said dryly but Arthur just glared even more, “Anyway, I don't know.”

“What do you mean you don't know?” Barry asked, frowning behind his headgear, “I hate that I'm saying this, but Aquaman's right though; isn't this your thing being a Lantern and all? I got chased around downtown for an hour by a freakin' dragon, man!”

“Look. I'm not saying that you guys are wrong but you're a little misguided. Not all Lanterns know who wears a ring, especially if it's a different energy.” John explained but when he saw that everyone was still staring at him, he knew that he was about to give a history lesson, one that he was hoping to avoid, “Okay...the Green Lantern corps is just one of many Lantern corps out there, and each ring represents a different emotion and our abilities differ depending on that. More so if that individual is already gifted or not.”

“Whoa...” Barry whistled, “So emotions. Any emotion? That's wild...so is there one for, y'know? Ooo-la-la?” he wiggled his eyebrows with a smirk and Hawkgirl rolled her eyes in disgust at his antics and immaturity but John nodded anyway, knowing that his answer wasn't what Barry was really hinting at.

“Yes, there is a Lantern corp that represents love and their color is pink, I think.”

Clark rubbed his chin thoughtfully, “Hmm, while all of this is interesting, what you all encountered tonight wasn't a pink Lantern, John. He was red.”

“Or she,” Shayera threw in with a shrug, “What? It could be a woman, let's not assume here.”

“Focus. John, what is a Red Lantern exactly and what do we do about them?” Batman interrupted before Arthur could loudly voice his impatience again—the Dark Knight wanted to hurry this meeting along because he was positive that half of Gotham was on fire and that his Bat-Clan was somehow partially to blame for giving the commissioner more gray hairs. And himself.

“Red Lanterns harness rage. Pure rage and the need for revenge. They're strong...as strong as a Green Lantern. That corps are...what we would call the Spartans of the galaxy. Small but deadly, and effective if not nipped in the bud. Once a Red Lantern accepts the red ring, it replaces their hearts and their hearts are placed into their power source that charges their rings.” John grimaced slightly when he was met with horrified and disgusted looks (well, except for Batman), “When you join the red lantern corp, that lantern's blood is expelled and replaced with napalm like plasma. As long as their anger is present, that red fire will burn.”

“Jeez, is that why that cons-thingy whatever you called it was so hot?”

John nodded, “Being stuck in that box was like being stuck in a never ending hot spring.”

“That's horrible,” Diana gasped, eyes widened slightly at what she was hearing...not wanting to believe that any living creature would put themselves through such methods for power—a concern she did voice out loud.

“It's not power, Diana,” it was Batman who answered this time, having grasped what John was telling him quicker than the others, as usual, and he was thinking...real hard,It's about revenge. And speaking of...how is your house guest?”

That brought the entire table up short, everyone falling silent and staring at her expectantly. Diana's jaw clenched briefly in the face of Arthur's slight smirk but she didn't give him the satisfaction of showing her irritation, “Kara is settling in fine, as I've stated last week in my report.”

“Hmm.”

Diana glared at him, not liking what she knew he was trying to imply, “If you still suspected her, why did you bother to help secure her a new identity?”

Barry and Shayera shared a glance, knowing things were about to get tense...the speedster and the Thanagarian were always wise enough to just sit back and watch.

Batman grunted, his eyes narrowing slightly at Diana's defensive tone, “I wanted to decrease the possibility of her committing a crime in search of funds, and increase the success rate that she'd be on our side.”

Diana cut him off firmly, “Accusing her of this won't get you the results that you are looking for either.”

“Wonder Woman—”

“Kara is nowhere near this, Bruce.”

Diana calling Batman by his real name doubled down on how serious she was and for a beat, Batman didn't react but Arthur took this moment of hesitation to needle Diana’s temper a little more.

“How can you be so sure, Princess?”

Clark glanced back and forth, his shoulders nearly hunched to his ears with tension...he wanted to say something and defend his cousin, a woman he still didn't even know, but he was unsure of what exactly he should be saying. Or if he should be saying anything at all. He wasn't Kara's best advocate, he didn't know her...but Diana did. And she seemed to be holding her own defending his cousin.

“Because Kara likes a good fight, and hypothetically speaking; if she were to turn evil as you are suggesting and suddenly came into possession of a powerful artifact, we would have known this three weeks ago. So if I am not concerned, neither should any of you.”

Gimme a f*ckin' break...” Arthur mumbled under his breath but everyone just pretended not to hear him.

“This one didn't even try to fight us. They just...built constructs and kept us distracted long enough to finish the job and escape,” John shook his head, “But to make four active constructs while finishing their mission at the same time. It would take longer than three weeks for anyone to master that level of control. Diana is right, it's not Kara.”

“Great, now that we've gotten the bullsh*t out of the way,” Shayera thrummed her fingers on the table, her nails clicking loudly as she was getting bored with the speculating and now she was itching for a good fight and round two, “I guess the next question now would be is; what the hell is a Red Lantern doing here on Earth? And what exactly did they take from S.T.A.R. Labs?”

“Finally! The real questions!” Barry perked up, suddenly his lap was full of snacks...and Shayera had a few snacks in her lap as well.

.

.

“Wonder Woman.”

Diana stopped when she heard someone calling out to her and she knew that deep gruff anywhere. She literally just spent two long hours sitting in the room with the man not too long ago, but deep down Diana knew that Bruce would seek her out when the others weren't around. She knew it the minute that he asked about Kara. But instead of appearing annoyed, the Amazon Princess patiently waited for the man to fall into step with her before she resumed her normal gait which Bruce matched effortlessly.

“Batman, do you need something?”

“Yes, I wanted to check in with you. You're not letting your guilt cloud your judgment with Clark's cousin are you?” He was never one to beat around the bush.

Diana knew that Bruce meant no harm as he truly was just a paranoid man and trying to be a good friend, but Diana resented the question. Not only did he imply that Kara might've turned into a terrorist but now he was suggesting that Diana could not be objective.

Bruce seemed to realize that he might have overstepped with the Amazon when she did not immediately respond to his inquiries, and she never did.

...National City...Diana's high-rise apartment...

It was well into that evening that Kara found herself back at Diana's high rise apartment, standing in her grand kitchen cutting vegetables delicately on top of the cutting board while the sauce boiled in the large pot on the stove behind her.

Kara had the radio on as well, playing one of the local stations that she found relaxing and it quickly became one of her favorite hobbies. Cooking being another—Diana teased her about her obsession with HGTV but the Amazon was pleased that Kara was finding hobbies outside of fighting and drinking all day. Since Diana's apartment had an open floor plan, Kara was able to watch Diana's oversized wall TV right from the kitchen.

And currently, Kara was watching Metropolis' golden boy get his ass handed to him by some super-villain of the week in that overcrowded city. Despite being alone, Kara fought to keep the smile off of her face every time Kal-El was thrown through another building. If he knew how to put his guard up, Kal-El would have easily blocked that punch. It baffled Kara how the humans could possibly fawn over someone who causes their cities so much harm. Those damages could not have been cheap, and the crime rate was still an issue.

Kara checked on the sauce behind her, simply eyeballing the pan before she calmly pressed a button on the remote and switched the screen back over to the HGTV cooking channel, and right on time too. The commercials were over, they had those in space too, and they never ceased to annoy the hell out of Kara. Just then the apartment door opened , briefly pulling Kara's attention before she poured the vegetables into the pot and turned the fire down.

This wasn't a first for Diana but it continued to surprise her how seriously and quickly Kara took cooking as a hobby, and she was getting better at it every week. Diana set her work bag down on one of the stools and sat at the other.

“I don't know if I should be impressed or if I should be worried about not fitting into my tights.”

Kara smirked at Diana, raising an eyebrow, “I seriously doubt that you'd ever have that problem, Diana.”

That was another thing. The flirting. It was lighthearted and harmless, but Diana caught Kara's wandering eye when the Kryptonian thought she wasn't looking. But that was simply all that it was, what could have been when they were on Themyscira seemed like it was less urgent now...and more curious again. And Bruce's words began to echo in her mind again, was her judgment clouded? Maybe, but not for the reasons he thinks he knows.

“Anyway, you're back pretty early. No moonlighting tonight?”

“I'm not on rotation for patrol tonight, not unless it's a world ending emergency and I'm needed.”

“I still find it funny that superheroes have a schedule. Your villains don't seem to follow that same concept.” Kara began to cut the steak into smaller pieces—her hands moving a little too fast with that sharp cutting knife and Diana worried that she'd slice at one of her fingers but the blonde had it under control. Diana couldn't help herself though, she honed in on Kara's fingers...checking for any abnormalities...any...burns or blisters. But aside from the mess from handling the raw steak and seasoning...Kara's hands were normal. Like she expected them to be.

“Diana?” Sharp blue eyes met cool ones and Kara's head tilted slightly, this time both of her eyebrows were raised and she paused her cutting, “Are you alright, Princess?”

“Yes,” Still, Diana seemed torn about something but she didn't voice her thoughts. Instead the Amazon offered Kara a smile and once more rose from her bar stool, “Would you like a hand with dinner, Kara?”

That wasn't what Kara was expecting from Diana and her surprise must have been written all over her face if Diana's amused expression was anything to go by. Kara watched the Amazon come around the island and stand next to her, patiently awaiting instructions from Kara with that same expression and Kara scoffed, shaking her head.

Kara carefully handed Diana the knife that she was still holding, “Think you can handle cutting the rest of the steak while I stir the pot?”

It didn't escape Kara's notice how Diana's hand briefly covered Kara's own hand when she took the offered knife but the Kryptonian didn't say anything. Kara's smirk was sly as she moved back to the stove.

“I read somewhere that cooking was a great way to relieve stress...at first I thought it was just some misogynist crap that men were selling to make women more open to being in the kitchen. And I still think that, but...the book wasn't completely wrong.”

“What other hobbies have you found since we've left Themyscira? Do you still watch the stars at night?”

“Yes, even though this telescope is nowhere near as magnificent as the one on Themyscira and this city has a serious case of light pollution...it's adequate enough. I don't do much else aside from that and cooking but I do find myself exploring this city.”

“Do you like it?”

Kara shrugged, hesitating slightly, “Some parts of it remind me of Krypton.”

“Oh. I'm sorry, Kara.”

“For what? You didn't kill Krypton, Diana.”

“No, but those reminders can't have been easy to process and deal with. Not when you weren't expecting it, and I am the one who brought you here.”

“You couldn't have known, you've never seen Krypton before.” Kara looked over her shoulder when she felt eyes on her and she smiled at the Amazon in hopes to ease the frown on Diana's face, “Besides, I never said that this was a bad thing. Sure, it stings a little bit if I think too hard about it. But the memories...those give me something to hang on to. To use.”

“Use for what, Kara?”

“The will to keep going,” Kara exhaled softly, going back to stirring the pot, “I don’t think easy is a real thing for people like me. I realized that young.”

“What do you mean?”

“Hmm, before my mom was...taken from me, she told me once that there would be no correct paths in life and that I would lose my way many, many times. It was inevitable and that was just how life worked but what was important...is that I found my way back to my truth. To be wise and to be strong.”

“And I believe that you are doing an excellent job so far, Kara...I'm sure that your mother would be proud of you right now.”

“Even my prison stint?” Kara said it jokingly, but a small part of her did think about that every now and then when her nights got too quiet, “

A strong hand was gently laid on her shoulder as Diana came to stand next to Kara, and Kara immediately smelled the expensive perfume that the Amazon wore, though it was faint it smelled really nice. And in her other hand, Diana was holding the cutting board with a pile of perfectly cut steak, “You are worthier than you believe, Kara, stop doubting yourself.”

Kara stopped stirring long enough for Diana to pour the chunks of meat into the pot, but Kara kept quiet because she wasn't sure how to respond to that. Diana seemed to sense this and squeezed her shoulder reassuringly before she moved away and put the cutting board into the sink with the other dishes.

“I'll be back.” Diana grabbed her belongings, planning on going to her own bedroom for a nice hot shower before dinner. However before Diana could completely leave the common area, Kara called her name prompting the older woman to turn around and give Kara her attention.

“Uh, red or white wine?”

Diana thought it over for a second, “White.”

Notes:

Ah yes, and the plot thickens! We are getting new characters introduced along with new problems but not everything is what it seems. Or is it? Idk. I just work here.

Tags may be updated in upcoming chapters. Sledgehammer is on its way (for those that read that one too)

I didn't get a chance to reply to your thoughts on the last chapter yet but I will, but until I do thank you guys!! I love your thoughts and feelings on how these characters are progressing along with the shifting plot! This is one of those complex plots I try to avoid writing but can't help but write...I'm a victim to my own ideas.

Update, you guys if you read that first authors note please disregard. I was having a writers crisis last week and forgot to delete draft!! I constantly embarrass myself on this site 🤣

I hope you guys enjoyed, see you next time!

Chapter 11: Through The Ashes A Devil Will Rise

Summary:

Some fluff, action, cameos, more action...and a hint of NSFW.

Notes:

I don't own anything DCU related

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

“You keep dropping your left guard.” Diana breathed out, holding out a hand to pull Kara back to her feet on the mats, “What’s the matter with you today?”

“Do you really wanna know?”

“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t.” Kara glared at her behind her water bottle but Diana only placed her hands on her hips, eyebrows raised as she waited. Kara’s glares didn’t phase her one bit, not like it would’ve someone else.

“It’s nothing.” Kara mumbled, tossing her nearly empty bottle back into her gym bag and Diana sighed quietly. Stubborn Kara was difficult, especially early in the morning as Diana was getting used to.

Kara didn’t have any trouble waking up early but it was glaringly obvious the woman was not an early bird.

“Are you having trouble sleeping again?” Diana asked, she was guessing but their rooms weren’t too far apart and Diana did have excellent hearing. She could hear Kara grunting while tossing and turning some nights but Diana knew that Kara wouldn’t be very comfortable with her going in there to wake her up.

Kara grunted as she wrapped her hands with new tape, the first set ruined from the sweat and overuse. She and Diana have been going at it in the ring for about an hour and a half now, but Kara didn’t feel very tired yet. A little sore around the middle and shoulders but she was ready for a few more rounds.

Diana had been right about the lack of sleep that Kara was getting but not for the reasons she thought but it wasn’t like Kara could tell her about any of it. Even if she wanted to talk about it. Kara was looking forward to this morning's sparring exercise—she had a lot of pent up aggression she wanted to get off her chest. And she knew that Diana could take whatever she dished out.

Diana didn’t take Kara’s silence as an offense though, she knew how stubborn she was—and she’s yet found a way to break through that defense. The moment Diana stepped back into the mats though, Kara was on her. She was much more intense this round and stronger, oddly enough. Diana narrowly brushed aside a swift left hook and locked Kara’s arm into a chicken wing into her side in an attempted submission hold.

But Kara was quick, she twisted out of Diana's firm hold even though she did end up twisting her own arm a little but Kara powered through that slight pain. Without a second thought, Kara went for a tornado kick but being this close to Diana, it was a risk. Diana was surprised but it was brief. She blocked Kara's powerful kick and forced it back down, and delivered a very swift side kick. Kara pivoted away at the last second, lessening the impact of the kick but it still left her breathless.

Diana rushed Kara, digging her shoulder into her sternum and she brought Kara down flat on her back, pressing only half of her weight down on the blonde. Diana's thighs were on either side of Kara's, controlling her mobility and even though Diana left Kara's arms free, the strong forearm on Kara's throat kept her still.

Diana had her pinned. And Kara couldn't stop her silly grin despite having the wind knocked out of her, “If you wanted to be on top, why didn't you just say so?”

“You're sloppy today.” was all Diana said, her warm minty breath gracing Kara's senses before she pulled away to give Kara room to catch her breath, but Diana didn't move off her lap something Kara was acutely aware of, especially since Diana was only wearing a sports bra and leggings, “Do you want to talk about it, Kara?”

Talking is the last thing I wanna do, Diana...Kara licked her lips and quickly tore her eyes away from Diana's chest, and exhaled heavily. She was suddenly glad that Diana wasn't a mind reader, “There's nothing to talk about, Diana. Nightmares are normal. And today just isn't my day, I guess.”

“You know, it does help to talk about it. It won't make you look weak.”

Kara scoffed, “I know that, Princess. f*ck, I have the card to that shrink you recommended but I don't need to get my head sorted out. I'm...sorted, I just...there isn't enough time, and that's all I need.”

“Time? What do you need time for, Kara?”

It was then that Kara realized she was rubbing Diana's outer thighs in a soothing motion, something she found herself doing sometimes when she was deep in thought, “Why do you have a gym membership when you're naturally this fit? What's the point?”

“You're changing the subject.”

“Yeah, I usually do that when I don't wanna talk about what you're talking about.”

Diana didn't look impressed, and crossed her arms and stared down at Kara, “And you're also being an ass.”

“An espresso and a cinnamon roll will fix that.” Kara quickly said, her tone suggestive—she was still buzzing with energy but her stomach was also going to eat itself within the next hour if she didn't put something in it, “Oh c'mon...”

“Fine, but only because there's something I want to talk to you about as well.” Diana finally climbed off of Kara's warm lap and once again offered her hand, and after a quick check down to her groin to make sure nothing would be showing...or just obvious—Kara took Diana's hand. She was a tad bit embarrassed to think that Diana might have felt her semi hard-on but if she did, she wasn't showing any signs of it. Kara wasn't sure if that was better or worse...

“So, uh, another space parasite?” Kara asked, quickly pulling on her sweatpants while Diana was busy zipping up her wind-breaker, desperately trying to move on from a subject that wasn't even brought up, “If so, that's gonna cost you an extra cinnamon roll.”

“Something like that.” she answered vaguely, but only because they were no longer alone in the gym. Diana glanced over at Kara to see that she was fully dressed again, faster than usual, with her gym bag over her shoulder, and Kara's cheeks were a little pink. Diana smirked to herself a bit, “And if you keep eating all of those sweets, Kara, you—”

“Hey, hey.” Kara glared, cheeks still pink so it was hard for Diana to take her seriously in the moment, “No food shaming, Diana. You want answers? Then you respect the cinnamon rolls.”

Diana rolled her eyes, “You're getting decaf.”

.

.

.

Kara and Diana sat on the patio at the cafe that Kara favored and was just around the corner from Diana's building. Their table was small so that meant that her and Diana's legs were touching and pressed together—Kara was having a lot of trouble ignoring that.

She was still trying to recover from Diana sitting on her lap earlier at the gym and Kara was starting to get the idea that Diana didn't want her to either. The foot rubbing against her tense calves, slowly and deliberately, only confirmed what she was suspecting. And it was keeping her aroused much to her annoyance no matter how hard she tried to put it off her mind.

Diana was a tease and Kara still couldn't tell if she wasn't doing it on purpose or not. There was a short silence between them and Kara felt like she was sweating bullets right now and Diana was just sitting there, her eyes on the people on the sidewalk. Her hair was still in its ponytail and some strands were still sticking to areas around Diana's neck from their workout earlier...damn-it!

“So, uh, so why exactly did you pick this city?” Kara's sudden question and change of topic didn't surprise Diana, or maybe it did—Kara wouldn't know because Diana was doing a good job of hiding behind her mask. And Kara was also busy with her treat, hyper-focused really.

“I thought you liked it here?”

“Yeah sure, but this city doesn't exactly scream...you.” Kara shrugged, and shoved another piece of the cinnamon roll in her mouth, “I thought you would have settled for a place like Athens or maybe somewhere in Greece. Similar to your home?”

Diana smiled, pleased with Kara's insight and thoughtfulness, ”You almost sound disappointed...do you miss the island so soon too?”

“Maybe, but I just wanted to be sure that you didn't uproot your life to make my transition into this...civilization any easier.”

Kara actually did miss Themyscira but as much as she missed Cetane, Hippolyta and even Philippus along with the sweet rum and the overall tranquil that came with that island.

It would have held Kara back if she stayed there, she would've still been innocent...but it's not like she could've explained any of that to Diana, not without having to explain herself further. And Kara didn't feel very ready for that yet, if ever. Kara wasn't ready to—

“Well, it's as you said last night, Kara, I couldn't have known what your home looked like. I picked National City for more practical reasons and it is closer to both of my jobs of course, but I've come to love it here.”

“Alright, I guess I feel a little better. So where did you live before then?”

“Greece.”

Kara snorted and a small smile played at the corner of Diana's lips, “Wait—”

“I was pushing my age there,” Diana explained, quieter but they were sitting close enough that Kara heard her perfectly fine, “And after a few decades, I was running out of places to live for more than ten years at a time. It is one of the main reasons I prefer being a private contractor, it's easier to remain anonymous that way.”

Kara mulled over what Diana was telling her, it was something she had been considering well before they even left Themyscira. Hell, Kara even thought about it when she was stuck at the bottom of a rum bottle and contemplating making a swim for it to escape those damn Amazons. It was funny how things could change in such a small amount of time.

“I still haven't made a decision about what I want to do for a living. I'm a good soldier, I'm a good scientist...but I'm not sure where I would fit in here. I'm used to assigned roles...and a structured society.”

“How about trying something that you aren't so good at?”

“Which is what?”

“Relaxing.” Kara looked up and Diana was already looking at her softly before her hand that had been resting on the table next to Kara's now lay over it, “Something I've learned during my years (during my immortality) is that you cannot rush time nor destiny.”

“That doesn't make any sense.”

“It will. Because you're immortal now, Kara. Your journey just became that much longer.” Diana leaned forward, not breaking eye contact with her, “And please trust me when I say to you that you are not alone and that you have a friend in me, Kara. No matter what. You'll find your way, I'm sure of it.”

“No matter what,” Kara repeated in a whisper, her eyes narrowing a fraction, challenging Diana but Diana didn't blink. There were so many things that Kara wanted to say, mostly that Diana was going to regret making that promise but she couldn't find the right words, “Are you sure about this, Princess? I'm not—”

Diana's thumb caressed the back of her knuckles, quieting Kara, “I don't ever say anything that I do not mean, Lieutenant.”

Kara's eyes snapped away from their joined hands and back to Diana's intense gaze, increasingly aware that they were leaning very close, intimately so and that they were still in public but Kara didn't care and neither did Diana it seemed. But a bark of laughter a few tables away forced them to pull away and breathe, and Kara exhaled heavily, feeling warmer than usual. And a painful throb in her sweatpants told her that she need to f*cking cool it and fast.

Kara licked her lips, she had no idea what just happened but the intensity of that moment would've given her a heart attack if that were possible.

“So, ahem, you wanted to talk about something? Space related?”

.

.

Inside the cafe…

Lucy Lane and her close friend, Maggie Sawyer, were meeting for coffee this morning before they both had to report to their respective jobs. That and Maggie had also made herself Lucy’s self-appointed tour guide as she settled into the city after her big move from Metropolis. Maggie wasn't a coffee and muffin sort of woman in the morning all of the time but this was a nice break into her schedule, especially for a friend.

And Lucy could not have been more grateful as it has been nice having familiar and friendly faces during this big move. Lucy wasn't sure if she really made the right decision to accept this job and this move, and hell sometimes she still held those doubts. But Lucy wasn’t a quitter and she wasn’t one to doubt herself.

Yet despite meeting with a long time friend, Lucy was hoping to see the blonde woman, Sunshine—the woman she still couldn’t get a name from. Not yet anyhow. She ended up telling Maggie about this because Winn, of course, spilled the beans about their encounter at the park and just wouldn't shut up about it.

But it seemed now that’s all it was ever going to be, a crush. Which is just her luck, Lucy thought grimly as she watched what was unfolding outside.

“Nothing against just being friends,” Maggie suggested, her voice forcing Lucy to stop looking at her crush and the unknown, but gorgeous, woman sitting snugly out on the patio, “Besides, didn’t you just get out of a six year relationship like four months ago? You have to give yourself time to heal first, Luce.”

Lucy sighed, knowing that her friend was right, “I know, but I also haven’t gotten any since then either…I may not be ready for emotions but there’s nothing in the rule book against rebound sex. And she seemed like the ideal candidate, but maybe I read the situation wrong.”

“I don't know, I don't think they rented the U-Haul yet.” Maggie chuckled, and Lucy rolled her eyes, “Bet you won’t go say hi.”

“I’m not taking that bet asshole,” Lucy stole another glance, but quickly looked away when she saw them holding hands on the table, “They look like they’re busy anyway.”

Maggie smiled softly, deciding to give her friend a break from her teasing, “How’s everyone at the office?”

The office, right,” Lucy scoffed, “Everyone is fine, I guess, the change of leadership hasn’t disrupted anything. Not that I know of. Maybe it's because they know me already? I’m not sure, but with Hank retiring…it…it just left some really big shoes to fill. Y’know?”

“Hmm.”Maggie smiled sadly, the hurt present in her gaze but she’s had years to practice hiding it—because there were still days that Maggie couldn’t bear to get out of bed, “Hank said the same thing to me seven years ago.”

“Said what?”

“That he had some really big shoes to fill after Alex’s…” Maggie hesitated for a brief second, “Passing. He, uh, he came to me after the funeral…blaming himself for Alex’s death. Hank wanted to leave then but only with my blessing. He wanted me to tell him off and he wanted my permission to do it.”

“What?” This was the first time Lucy has ever heard of this. She just couldn’t imagine the normally stoic and hardass man doing that…“Hank…?”

“Yeah. He was so torn up about it, but that’s not what Alex would have wanted him to do and I told him so.” Maggie quickly wiped away her tears before they could fall and she waved away Lucy’s concern, “I’m fine, I just…it’s hard to talk about Alex sometimes. I still miss her so much, even after seven years.”

“She was your wife, Mags, you…you guys were a team. Seven years or twenty, grief doesn’t have a time limit.”

“I know. I know but sometimes…sometimes I think about the what ifs. I think about the different outcomes and if it would’ve made any difference. Would my wife still have died? Would Shazam still be here, in National City?”

Lucy sighed. That Kryptonian ambush left 'the office' so vulnerable there was nothing left. Nothing. Death still lingered in those halls despite the new and upgraded renovations and even a few agents reported hearing ghosts and even seeing them. Only the bravest and toughest souls operated in this city now. It made Lucy sick.

“What happened to Shazam is not on you, Mags. You didn’t tell him to go pick a fight with—”

“The last person to see my wife’s killer alive? I may as well have to him to with the way I yelled at him the night before.” Maggie finished with a chilling smile, one that shut Lucy up immediately, “That is on me and I’m living with it, I’ve accepted it. Just like everyone else.”

Just like you…just like Hank…

Their conversation fell quiet…even after all of these years there was so much to say, but as always…it was left unsaid.

“I’m sorry if I brought the mood down, Luce.”

“You didn’t babe, I promise you didn't,” Lucy quickly reassured her friend, privately vowing that if she ever got the chance—she was gonna ask the Amazon hero herself what happened that day. And Lucy wasn’t gonna take ‘f*ck off’ for an answer either. When she looked back at the patio, Sunshine and her girlfriend were still there, completely engrossed with themselves and whatever they were talking about causing Lucy to sighed to herself.

She wasn't jealous but she just missed being that intimate with someone...but maybe Maggie was right. It wouldn't hurt to make some more friends.

“I'm not really that bummed about this but I was hoping that I could've found a decent f*ck buddy if I have to deal with the Luthor's all day.”

“Which one? The terrorist or Luthor tweeting about the upcoming presidential run?”

“There's a difference?”

“Nope, and your job sucks already.” Maggie chuckled, she did not envy her friend.

“Tell me about it.” Lucy groaned.

“Maybe it's not what it seems, I could've been wrong,” Maggie tries but they both knew that it was pointless as it was obvious..., “You can borrow my Amazon prime account later if you're really that desperate?”

“Bitch,” That got a laugh out of Lucy and Maggie joined, and just like that the two friends moved on to lighter more joyful topics.

...Diana's Apartment...

“...mm...” Kara bit her bottom lip hard as she exhaled hard and slow in effort to keep quiet under the steady shower flow. She stood directly under the hot water, letting it swallow her whole with her forehead resting on her arm that was up on the shower wall while her other hand sought to relieve herself.

In vain, Kara tried to simply focus on her own pleasure but Diana stayed present at the forefront of her mind...and it was getting harder for Kara to ignore it. Her overactive imagination envisioned herself pinning Diana down and f*cking her senseless, getting her back for all of her teasing. Hell, Kara would even allow Diana to pin her down too, just like this morning.

“sh*t, Di...” she cut herself off before, not wanting to say it. Not out loud.

She wanted to curse Diana for making her think and feel these things—Kara didn't want to but she was a victim to her own desires.

Shifting her weight, Kara's fingers curled around her length tighter and her hips were nearly bucking into her hand, and staying quiet was getting harder with each thrust. Her heart pounded heavily at the thought of getting to touch Diana so intimately—to hear her moans and screams, and even her whimpers...

Kara's vision went white behind her eyes even though they were shut tightly, and she thought about this morning with Diana sitting on her lap with her legs firmly wrapped around her, trapping her with her arm on her throat...Kara came without warning, groaning louder than she intended but she couldn't stop it, any of it.

Kara's knees nearly buckled beneath her after she came all over the shower wall and her lower abs, breathing heavily and rapidly. Kara swallowed roughly...that's the hardest she's ever come in a while and by her own hand no less. When she finally gained some semblance of control over herself, Kara gave her softening length another tug or two before she twitched with a whimper—far too over sensitive for anything else aside from bathing. Really bathing this time.

And it wasn't until fifteen minutes later when Kara was walking out of her bathroom a lot more relaxed than she was when she went in and now she was ready for a good mid-morning nap. Still, she found herself going into the living room instead. Naps in the living room were better simply for the fact that Diana's living room has bigger windows and the sun always felt nice on her skin while she rested.

It was quiet when Kara entered the room but the TV was on yet Diana wasn't anywhere in sight but once Kara spotted the open balcony doors she knew that Diana was out on superhero business and she'd be gone for a while, if not all day.

Sliding on the wood floor in her socks, Kara launched herself onto the sofa and quickly switched on the news. Not that she was actually concerned for the Amazon but Kara wanted to stay in the loop. She was fully aware that she could simply ask Diana for these details but she did not want the woman to get the wrong idea. Which idea that may be, Kara didn't know nor did she want to find out.

She settled for CatCo news because it was the only news station worth watching in her opinion since they seemed to have all of the facts before anyone else and they were always first on the scene too. Kara was expecting an alien invasion but instead it seemed that the city of Gotham experienced an unexpected flood that nearly drowned the entire city and it was the fault of a giant mutated crocodile.

“Well...they don't have that in space.” Kara mumbled, squinting at the still photo that the news was showing of the creature. It was hideous with small beady eyes and rows of sharp teeth. A creature worthy of a good hunt, and maybe a meal if anyone was desperate enough to eat.

Eventually, Kara grew tired of watching the news and the idea of a post org*sm nap had lost its appeal as Kara now had other things on her mind. She glanced at the patio doors that were still open and sighed loudly...so much for a day off...

John Stewart was on watch duty tonight, his last day before he would have the weekend to himself (unless the world was in danger...again). Currently with Batman and Aquaman dealing with Gotham suddenly being underwater while Hawkgirl, Flash and Wonder Woman assist Superman with an active volcano situation halfway across the world. And there were other active part-time League members scattered around the globe as well, dealing with street level threats.

Everything was fine and it was quiet for a few hours and John was on the verge of falling asleep even as he was reading a magazine to get some ideas for the party that Bruce was hosting for the league in a week--when the sudden alert startled him awake and nearly gave him a heart attack. John quickly brought up the monitors connected to the satellites that had been triggered. Something was moving out of Earth's orbit and mighty fast too.

“What the...?”

Green Lantern pulled up Superman's comm link, even Wonder Woman's, but they were both still on the planet. There was no active or inactive League member breaking orbit. There weren't any scheduled test runs from NASA either so John pulled up the camera feed via another Wayne corp satellite and his glowing green eyes narrowed.

“You again.”

He was a second away from calling for backup but there was no time and everyone else was busy and needed elsewhere. This Red Lantern was tough but John had a fully powered ring and nothing but time.

“Alright, Red. Your ass is mine.”

.

.

Green Lantern soared through the great blue skies, heading straight up as fast as he could with his natural green force-field covering him from head to toe in order to protect his lungs and his skin from the harsh temperatures of space and the general lack of air, of course too. Once John cleared through Earth's atmosphere and the last of its gravitational pull he began to tuck his arms and pick up speed; shooting past the full moon light a bullet in the void. Despite his high speeds, well into the late triple digits by now, space was quiet all around him because of the lack of winds. He had the chatter of his teammates in his ear but it was mostly just for comfort noise in the background as he focused.

John finally passed Mars and began his venture through the dense asteroid belt when he finally spotted the Red Lantern just several miles ahead of him. John knew better than to increase his speed though, instead he maintained his focus on dodging asteroids and coming up with an airtight battle plan for how he was gonna stop this fool.

Damn..I should've called for backup! There was no time for regret now, he'd phone it in later. The Red Lantern cleared the belt before he did and it was clear that they were picking up speed and John grunted, “Alright, Red, time to put on the breaks!”

John threw a construct ahead, forming it into a giant fist which the Red Lantern tore through like it was absolutely nothing. They barely looked phased but John managed to slow them down just a little bit and gather their attention. This mysterious lantern turned slightly to look at him and that damned mask was back in place.

“Hey! I got some questions that have your name written all over it and starting with why you're in my sector.”

It was clear that the Red Lantern wasn't going to listen and John quickly aimed to lock them in place, creating a cage right around them and holding them in place, stopping their retreat in its tracks. But John wasn't a fool, this wasn't going to last. He knew that this was far from over but this might be his only time to get some answers and maybe figure out just who's under that mask.

He could not have been more wrong.

The Red Lantern exploded and broke his cage, forcing John backwards but the Green Lantern quickly righted himself and gave pursuit. They were flying dangerously low to Jupiter but John fired several shots at the evasive lantern ahead of him but they weren't that far but holy sh*t were they fast!

John closed a giant green fist around them and he was instantly matched with a red fist, shattering his construct. John's forearm ached a little but he brushed it off. Spotting a stray asteroid he grabbed it and slung it at the other Lantern.

The Red Lantern broke through the debris and charged him, leading with a left hook then a right, catching John off guard and splitting his lip. He fought back, elbowing them under the jaw hoping to crack their mask but they rolled with the hit before swiftly delivering a headbutt to the Green Lantern then kicking him away.

John wiped away the blood on his lip and gave pursuit again. He caught the Red Lantern by the ankles but this time he pulled them back and returned the favor. He knocked them back towards one of Jupiter's moons and John was quick to follow, not wanting to let up for a second.

It was a clash of green and red on the surface of the moon, intense and explosive. And the longer they lingered on this moon clashing like champions the more attention they would draw. Something John was anticipating and the Red Lantern was dreading.

“You're in a world of trouble so you may as well just give it up now!” John grunted as he fended off another aggressive downward strike from the red battle axe, this blow forcing him back a few inches and he felt the sweat on his brow starting to fall.

“Who the hell are you?” he growled, holding his wrist to steady his arm and he was forced down onto one knee, “And what do you want with Earth?!”

“I don't wanna kill you, but if you don't stay the f*ck out of my way I will.” their voice sounded distorted and chilling, and John couldn't tell if they were a man or a woman but he did know one thing...they were dangerous and a bigger problem than they thought.

The Red Lantern smashed their swords repeatedly until they broke through his defenses and John tried to throw up his shield but the Red Lantern was way too close to him. The corrosive blood was on the hero, sticking to him like lava like tar and burying him beneath it before they took flight yet again and quickly disappearing through Jupiter's belt.

.

.

.

The Red Lantern circled around Jupiter after laying the Green Lantern out and leaving him on some random moon. If he recovered quickly, then that was that...they would just hope that he followed the breadcrumbs they left behind leading into deep space towards another sector before he figured out it was a fake trail. By then...their own mission would be completed so it wouldn't make any difference then.

The Red Lantern hovered above the red planet, its gravitational pull licking at the heels of their boots.

“Ring...scan the planet for any signs of life.”

There are no signs of life on this planet.

“Of course not. The Martians took themselves out a long time ago...f*cking idiots...” the Red Lantern scoffed, rolling their eyes behind their mask, “Ring. Scan for technology, any technology. Now.”

Scanning...”

The red ring glowed brighter, coming to life as it began to follow the commands of it's wearer. They kept their arm straight and still as the ring scanned the entire planet creating a smaller version (no bigger than a basketball) right before their very eyes. There were marks pinpointed the more it began to fill in, and the Red Lantern was impressed by how much the Martians left behind and the fact that none of it was scavenged...yet.

It was another few seconds before the scan was complete and the Red Lantern slowly rotated the scan around until they found exactly what they were looking for. They zoomed in expertly with narrowed eyes.

“Who created this machine?”

This technology is Kryptonian. Made approximately sixty years ago.”

“So it's old. Great...give me the coordinates.”

The Red Lantern dropped their flight and allowed Mars' gravity to pull them down to the surface in a free fall though the fall wasn't as fast as it would have been if they were on Earth. Once they got close enough to the surface the Red Lantern took flight again, following the pattern that their ring set leading them to the Kryptonian machinery. They maneuvered through the vast rock formations and craters created by the Martian war, doing small tricks and practicing different flying styles.

Suddenly there was a hail of green bullets raining down from above them and they narrowly avoided getting shot. The Red Lantern quickly brought up their armor over their suit and flew faster as they flipped over to return fire but they ended up having to throw up their shield as the Green Lantern fired down on them again, suppressing their fire and gaining traction at the same time. And it was easy to see that the man was beyond pissed.

The Red Lantern dropped their shield with a swear, getting annoyed with this Lantern now. With a loud yell, the Red Lantern stopped mid-flight and blasted John right in the face with a hate filled energy blast, hoping to knock him back enough for a quick escape because this mission was now over. They had what they needed, it wasn't enough but they've worked with less.

Green Lantern groaned with the force of the heat directed at his face and he could feel some of his skin blistering under his jaw. When he finally stopped his spin out, the Red Lantern was making a fast break towards the atmosphere and John wasn't about to let them out of his sight again!

“Oh hell no you don't! Get back here and face me you coward!” Green Lantern lassoed the Red Lantern and forcefully tugged them back to the ground, a yank like that was enough to break someone's legs, especially at that distance. A tuft of red dirt kicked up when the Red Lantern hit the ground but they bounced back just as fast. John was expecting the blitz but the fury radiating off of this person's being wasn't.

He took the brunt of their tackle with both feet firmly planted on the ground but in doing that, he left his sides open and the Red Lantern attacked his ribs and his kidneys in a flurry of glowing red fists and John swore he felt something crack. He swung at them but all he caught was air, they ducked under his swing and came back with an uppercut. John pivoted away, putting distance between them and a green freight train took the Red Lantern off of their feet momentarily. John watched them roll face first in a rock before he brought a literal big boot down on them and repeatedly.

When he felt that they've had enough, John landed softly a few feet away—he was being cautious and he was now attempting to contact his fellow League members, well...the ones that could fly to his position. But when he felt the outside of his comm piece had melted, no doubt from that heat blast to the face, John knew that he was on his own for now.

A sharp whistle called his attention, he was immediately on guard and he barely had a second to put his shield up before he could be blasted into orbit. The hit was enough to crack the ground under his feet but thankfully it did not cave.

He pushed above the settling dust that was blinding him and saw the Red Lantern making another break for it but there was another Red Lantern also fleeing and another and...

John swiveled around in every direction as he tried to figure out which Red Lantern was the real one as they were all going in different directions and they were now too far for him to actually properly tell which one was the real one! Teeth grinding, John knew that he was running out of time but he counted eight different ones.

Deciding to side with logic, John took an educated guess. It would've been too obvious for him to go after the one flying towards Earth. It was too far on the nose and he immediately eliminated that lantern as the real one he was looking for. The one going towards the sun was purely for comedy he scoffed.

He eyed the one heading back towards deep space, towards mercury and he smirked.

In the further distance, the Red Lantern risked a glance over their shoulder, struggling to maintain the calm pace as the other illusions that they've put into place. They spied the speck of green high tailing it away from mars, chasing after one of their decoys and they grinned.

National City...

The city was bustling with evening traffic and it was grating on Cat Grants every last nerve as it did every time she left her office before ten at night but unfortunately for her, Cat was scheduled to meet with her demon, er, devil, ahem, dearest mother. Cat wasn't exactly looking forward to it as she knew that her mother would do nothing but berate her choice of career despite Cat creating a multi-billion dollar media corporation. Never mind that fact. That would only be during the appetizer of course...Cat's mother was the type to save the good stuff for dinner (Her failed marriage(s), one child hating her and the other off at boarding school getting the best education money could buy and then back again to her lack of a love life).

Cat exhaled heavily...the scotch she downed earlier before leaving her office wasn't enough, she should have had another glass before she left.

“Derek take the scenic route.” She demanded suddenly, exhausted...almost hoping that some catastrophe forced her to reschedule for never.

“Yes ma'am.” Was all her driver said, not bothering to mention that they would've been ten minutes late if he avoided the interstate but Cat Grant was a woman who knew everyone else's business before they did: so who was he to question her?

Cat sighed again, leaning back in her seat with her phone in her lap but the small device went ignored despite its constant buzzing and dinging. The scenery outside of this vehicle was far more interesting to the billionaire at the moment.

They were currently stopped at a red-light, one of many Cat thought hopefully. She was just about to check her phone when a sudden flash of bright color from her peripherals caught her eye and the seasoned reporter quickly turned her head to look. It was so quick it could've been her imagination stemming from her exhaustion, too much caffeine and candy and the forty-five power-nap she needed for a sixteen hour day; but Cat knew better than that.

With aliens and superpowered humans running amok, nothing was off the table except for one issue; Cat wasn't sure where she was supposed to be looking. About to give up, albeit reluctantly, as the light turned green...she saw her.

A goddamn millennial of course but she was out of place among the corporate crowd that was moving around her...she wasn't in a suit nor a dress but instead she was in these short black shorts that stopped mid-thigh and a graphic tank top, showing off her toned physique. Her hair was long and blonde, and Cat would've said it was fake if her roots weren't so damned light. She quickly put on black rimmed glasses that looked tacky to Cat from where she was sitting but somehow this woman made them look good. She looked strong, not just physically but there was a strength behind this young woman.

And Kara felt eyes on her, a moment too late after she stepped out of the alley but she was distracted with these damned glasses that Diana insisted that she wore. Kara didn't know why but if it got her to stop explaining some nonsense about a disguise that shouldn't even make sense...Kara just wore the damn things if it made the Amazon happy so much.

Kara's trek back to Diana's apartment wasn't a very long one but it still wore down on her patience. When Kara finally found herself in the quiet confines of the elevator and it was going up did she finally breathe.

But of course fate loved to laugh at her because it seemed that Kara's day was coming full circle...Diana was home. The living room TV was on, playing some movie that Diana clearly wasn't watching since she was out on the balcony enjoying the warm winds in just a loose white blouse and shorts short enough to not be seen apparently and she was barefoot and there was a glass of wine in her hand while she spoke on the phone with the other.

Kara closed and locked the door behind her, looking away a second before Diana's eyes landed on her. Kara scoffed under her breath while she took off her chucks at the door, Diana was probably on the phone with her other friends, updating them on her and—

Diana stepped back into the apartment, putting her phone in her back pocket, “I ordered Italian, I didn't know how late you were going to be so I ordered for you, is that alright?”

Kara blinked, surprised—not at all what she expected but she nodded anyway, “Yeah, that's fine. Extra garlic bread, right?”

“You don't deserve it, but yes, I ordered you extra bread too.” Diana rolled her eyes, Kara was too obsessed with these different breads, “You know you're eating too much bread, right? You're going to—”

“Why are you bread shaming me?” Why aren't you asking where I was all day?

“Alright, I give up. It's your stomach. Tums Tums and tea are in the cabinet over the stove, remember that.” Diana shook her head at Kara and sat back on the sofa, bringing her shapely legs under her before covering them with a blanket, “The food will arrive in forty-five minutes. Care to join me for movie night?”

“Movie night? You're off tonight?”

“Bruce likes to rotate the schedules again. It's mildly inconvenient but it's smart and effective to keep our enemies guessing. Well?”

Kara bit her lip, weighing her options as if she hadn't already decided the second she was asked. After her long day, she could use some relaxation so she nodded, “I'll shower first. Be back in ten, what are we watching?”

“Romance.”

Kara faltered, coming to a stop before she disappeared down the hall to her bedroom, “Uh, what? Again? No, pick a comedy or something.”

Diana raised an eyebrow, crossing her arms softly, “What's wrong with romance?”

Besides the fact that Kara knew that she wasn't mature enough to sit through another sex scene with Diana right next to her without reverting to her teen days? “Nothing, except that they're boring and disgusting and—”

“You seemed to enjoy the last romantic movie we watched together. I recall you wanting to watch it twice...and we did.”

“Well...Diana, I mean, okay, yeah I did so! The whole ship broke in half!” Kara pointed out, her cheeks a little pink, “Of course I wanted to see it again. Human engineering fails caught on...whatever, look. Besides, wait...” Kara paused to read the title on the screen again and her eyebrows furrowed cutely and Diana smirked, “Wait, what is so romantic about a notebook?”

Diana's eyes were going to get stuck with how much she rolled them at Kara, “You'll find out soon enough, hurry up.”

Knowing that she wasn't going to get out of watching another romance movie with Diana, especially since she already agreed to watch a movie with her. So Kara grumbled and continued down the hall to go shower, and come up with a game plan to avoid a repeat of this morning.

Kara stepped into the shower once the water was hot enough and she rested her forehead against the stone tile with a soft thump, her eyes closed.

“Rao, help me.”

Notes:

All mistakes are my own.

Character development is fun and annoying all at the same time lol I hope this chapter was enjoyable!

How'd y'all feel about that Alex follow up? Everything's never as it seems lol

I've taken some liberties with the Red Lantern ring and its lore in general. Basically...I tailored it to my plot armor haha and writing anger is a little repetitive cos it's basically just an itemized list of why Kara is so angry and angsty even though she hides it well. More lore will come in later chapters though.

The GL vs RL beef wasn't even supposed to have a second round lol Anyway, I hope you awesome folks have a wonderful rest of your week!

Chapter 12: Red, Red, Red...

Notes:

I don't own anything DCU related!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

• ───────────────── •

At the watchtower, Diana was getting dressed in her private quarters for patrol. As one of the more powerful founding members with the ability to fly, Diana was often the one selected for a global patrol as usual.

And tonight it was just going to be Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl patrolling the airs of the Eastern Seaboard. It usually wasn't like this but after hearing about what went down with the Green Lantern and his encounter with the Red Lantern, Diana was hoping that she and Hawkgirl would come across the Red Lantern themselves tonight. Hawkgirl would no doubt be looking for a little payback after seeing how John was so beat up and his minor burn injuries before his ring finished healing him back to good health. His report was different from the last report that was put on file about this red individual. They actually engaged in combat and according to John, it was no walk in the park either.

Diana checked the time and noted that she still had some extra time to stop by the chow hall to pick up a small snack before she and Hawkgirl left the watchtower. However, the moment Diana walked out of her quarter she saw that Bruce was waiting for her in the hallway, leaning against the wall opposite of her door. Seeing him made Diana pause, but she wasn't surprised to find him lurking about. She was surprised that he was here though and not in his beloved Gotham city.

“I hope you’re not here to tell me that the patrol schedule has changed again ?“ Diana asked, placing her hands on her hips and her signature don’t bullsh*t me pose. As if the slight irritation in her tone could be missed.

Batman shook his head, “No, but I am here to ask you if you’ve put more thought into the upcoming party.“

Diana sighed patiently. This again. Diana knew that there were high expectations of her to bring Superman's cousin to the watchtower for this so-called anniversary party; the party that Batman was referring to.

Even though the league had a network of heroes operating around the globe, and while it wasn't a whole lot, this was still a private get together. So private that not everyone knew about it and it wasn't being hosted at the watchtower either. Especially given that a few of the founders will be bringing their significant others and mingling outside of their superhero identities. As Flash would put it...it was a 'full time members only' thing. As rude and unfair as it seemed...Diana was relieved nonetheless anyway.

“Bruce, I’m just not so sure that is a good idea right now.”

“Don't tell me,” he deadpanned, “She's still settling in ?”

“I know why you want her to come in, Bruce. She doesn't want to, and I won't force her to do something she clearly does not wish to participate in.”

“You didn't have any issues manhandling her into prison for nearly a decade.” Bruce pointed out and Diana's expression shifted into a frown but she didn't respond. Batman huffed next to her, his expression mildly judging behind his cowl, “If she's doing so well, why are you hiding her away, Diana?”

“I'm not 'hiding her away',” Diana was relieved when they finally reached the chow hall and she could hear others inside, “I'm trying to respect her boundaries. Despite how this all came to be, Bruce, she's still a person with tremendous trauma...try to remember that please.”

“No.” Bruce stopped them a few feet away from the chow hall doors, and Diana crossed her arms waiting, “What I try to remember are the hundreds of soldiers she killed, including the Director at the time, so that she could escape to help Zod take over Earth, and likely kill Superman in the process.”

“This is an old argument, and I'm growing tired of it!” Diana snapped, though she kept her tone controlled and leveled, “Yes. That happened. And she's paid the price for it.”

“Hmph. I also remember you feeling guilty about putting someone away without proper trial despite the mounting evidence that she belonged there: hence the early release.”

The muscles in Diana's face tensed, “Bruce—”

“That's just what I remember, but this is what I know,” he continued on, as if she wasn't going to speak and Diana had half a mind to simply push the man aside and out of her way, but she respected him and would allow him to say his peace—as if he were really giving her a choice anyway.

“Ever since Superman's 'reformed' cousin left Themyscira, there've been multiple police reports from several high tech facilities that have been broken into all over the world. And all of them reported the same thing missing; high caliber energy nodes capable of powering cities for fifty plus years or more.” Batman's eyes narrowed, “Or something bigger . Something alien .”

“Your paranoia is getting the better of you, Bruce. When was the last time you took off the suit?”

He wasn't deterred by her dismissal, “Do you want to know what else I know? We've never had a Red Lantern problem until—”

“Enough! She's not the Red Lantern, Bruce, you must let this go and right now! Any number of the villains we chase down could be stealing those batteries!”

“How do you know?” he pressed, subconsciously stepping towards her as their discussion became more heated and tense, “Have you even bothered to ask her? Hmm, I thought so. Maybe it's time that you should, Diana. A Kryptonian with a red power ring is an extinction level threat.”

“The only threat here, Bruce, is your paranoia.”

“And your ignorance.”

Diana scowled at him, “I think we’re done here, Batman.”

“Right. Just think about what I said, Diana. Don’t let your guilt doom us all.”

Diana watched the caped crusader walk away without even giving her a chance to respond let alone defend herself or Kara and sometimes Diana couldn't stand that man but he wasn't the world's greatest detective because he was nice. Suddenly one of the chow hall doors opened and Barry stood there with a plate full of cheesy pizza slices and glazed donuts.

“Jeez, does Supes know that Batsy has a hard on for his cousin?” Diana turned to glare at Barry and he simply shrugged, not seeming very apologetic at all, “Hey, sorry, I didn't mean to eavesdrop but I was leaving when you two showed up. Public hallway and all. But seriously...Bats isn't right though, is he? ‘Cause...he's creepy but he's usually always right.”

“Not this time, he’s not.” Diana brushed past Barry, entering the shared common area—just a small kitchenette provided, an area that not many had access to and she spotted Shayera sitting at a far table near the window, also in her field gear and ready to go.

Diana retrieved a sandwich and bottled water from the tray before joining her friend. Shayera took in the other woman, “I would tell you that tall, dark and broody is looking for you but from that expression on your face he already found you.”

“He was waiting outside of my room.”

Shayera would’ve laughed had it not been for Wonder Woman’s obvious grouchiness. And since Shayera was to be spending the next ten hours with her, the Thanagarian wasn’t keen on making her already long night even longer.

“He’s back on the Lieutenants case again?”

“He’s obsessed, I don’t know how else to get him to see that Kara is a good person, just misunderstood.”

“Angsty.” Shayera joked lightly, unable to help herself, “But seriously, why not just bring her to the anniversary thing Bruce is throwing.”

“Because she doesn’t want to come.”

“You have a magic rope. You can’t make her?”

“That’s not funny.”

Shayera’s smirk remained but she held up her hands in surrender, “So, Eastern Seaboard…think we’ll catch up with that Red Lantern?”

“I’m not sure. If we do, we should call back up. This foe should not be approached alone.”

Shayera bristled a little bit, taking offense to Diana’s tone, “What are you trying to say, Princess?”

Diana raised an eyebrow, confused, “I’m only saying that we should proceed with caution, and with a plan, if we find them tonight.”

“Yeah. Yeah, you’re right.” Shayera grunted, realizing that Diana didn’t mean anything. But Shayera was still sore about John getting hurt and thankfully, Diana understood that.

.

.

.

Diana was distracted. This she knew yet no matter how hard she tried to stay in the present with Hawkgirl, Diana couldn’t help but ponder over Bruce’s advice…his warning, more like.

Barry wasn’t wrong when he pointed out that Batman was the greatest detective in the world for a reason. And Diana would know better than anyone if Kara was…if Kara was evil or not. Diana should know. And she did.

Maybe not for the seven years that she's been on Themyscira, or underneath it would be a more accurate description, but Diana has read every single report from Artemis and Philippus on Kara’s daily progress…and her setbacks.

Kara was…complicated but she wasn’t… “Kara’s just misunderstood.”

Shayera scoffed, not missing a beat despite the random outburst and she slowed her flight to match Diana’s, “Something on your mind, Princess?”

“Do you think that I…removed Kara too soon from the island?”

Hawkgirl shrugged, “She isn’t yours to keep, Wonder Woman, so you can’t just remove her from anything. She’s not a toy.”

“Yes, I’m aware.” Diana frowned, it wasn’t her intent to sound like a pet owner.

“And since when did you second guess yourself? Never thought I’d see the day the great Wonder Woman wasn’t sure of something.” Hawkgirl’s teasing was harmless but Diana couldn’t even force a smile. Her concern masked her entire face, and Shayera’s smile slowly fell away when she realized, “What’s got you so riled up, Princess? Really? Is it Bruce? Or Arthur? John and I will kick their ass—”

“I can handle them.” Diana interrupted, stopping her flight completely and Hawkgirl did as well, “It’s not them.”

“Then what is wrong?” Hawkgirl asked, confused, but Diana didn’t know how to answer even though she knew exactly. Her heart was once again getting the better of her.

Hawkgirl studied her long time friend closely, practically trying to read the other woman’s mind when she didn’t answer right away. “Is it because you like her?”

What ?”

Hawkgirl’s eyebrows rose behind her mask at Diana’s shocked, and defensive, tone and it took some effort for Shayera to keep the smirk off her face.

Shayera might’ve gone on to tease her friend a little more, and maybe help ease her mind but it seemed that the locals had better ideas. Playing with bombs late at night? Ugh.

Wonder Woman glared at Shayera one last time before she nose dived towards the chaos, and Hawkgirl huffed behind her, “Saved by the criminals, eh Princess?”

• ───────────────── •

..Deep, deep down in the North Atlantic Ocean...Atlantis…Orm's throne room...

“Ah, Arthur. Your timing is curious as always.”

“Orm.” Arthur greeted the King of Atlantis, his half-brother, when he stepped into the throne room, “You sent for me?”

“Yes. Two days ago.” Orm deadpanned, “But it doesn’t matter. Those Amazons are on my last nerve.”

Arthur paused, suddenly a lot more interested with this meeting than he was when he first received his brother's summons. “You met with the Amazons? Both of them?”

“One of them: Queen Hippolyta,” Orm grouched, waiting til Arthur took a seat next to him before continuing, “The Princess is too busy with her heroics to bother with her real duties. But it doesn't matter, Atlantis is going to get what she wants and there will be no more delays.”

“And how do you propose that is going to happen without Themyscira's corporation?” Arthur looked at his brother wearily, knowing how he could get when he was stuck on an idea, “Whatever you're planning, stop. They're a self-righteous bunch of bitches but it would not be wise to poke at their wrath, Orm.”

Orm smirked at Arthur, “Worried that it would further ruin your chances at bedding the Amazon Princess, dear brother?”

“Hmph.” Arthur scoffed, waving off Orm's prodding, “Diana and her mother are not so different. They do so love their Gods.

Recognition flashed over Orm's face, and he pulled back his teasing even though he still found it quite amusing, “Once we have the power of Poseidon in Atlantis' possession, we will be the Gods and we will finally have complete rule over the seven seas...and then some.”

“Is that why you called me here, Orm?”

“Partially, but I know that you can't be a part of the Amazon mission. However, there is something else I don't trust anyone else to handle which is really why you are here. Are you aware of what's happening in our own backyard?”

“Aside from the surface dwellers continuously dumping their toxic wastes, oil and trash into our home? No. I've been too busy making sure that they did not destroy their own homes altogether while they destroy ours.”

Orm hummed again, side-eyeing Arthur secretly—curious about that little rant, but he wasn't going to comment on it—Arthur seemed irritated enough and Orm needed him focused, “There's an intruder.”

Arthur tensed, “So get rid of them.”

“I've been trying.” Orm responded calmly but his jaw muscles were clenched, his own irritation beginning to show, “They've burrowed themselves and their lair rather deeply into the Earth's crust past the molten point.”

“That's not humanly possible.”

“Assuming that they're even human. It's too hot for any Atlanthean to go investigate even with our advanced deep dive deeps. And all thirty-seven of our drones have not returned, not whole at least. Anything we can recover comes back scorched and broken beyond repair. There's only one on this planet that is capable of such a feat...”

Arthur looked up sharply, meeting his brother's very serious glare and shook his head, “Superman wouldn't, he's a sanctimonious prick but he's not a fool, Orm. That and he prefers the cold. His fortress is in the Arctic.”

“Yes. I know. I have several eyes on the Kryptonian's little hideaway, and our spies above ground have cleared the human governments of this offense...fortunately for their sake. And the Kryptonian the Amazon's are keeping for themselves, what of her?”

Arthur grunted, “Powerless according to the Princess. That Kryptonian is trouble but not on this scale...not anymore. Is that really why you called this private meeting, Orm? Jesus. Who cares about the trespasser, once we have the power of Poseidon...we will wipe them out like all of the rest. Your priority should be solely on that brother, oh great King.”

“Mind your tone, little brother , I'd hate to take offense with my own family during these stressful times and act irrationally.” Orm sneered at Arthur, his fist clenching under the table in his lap, the warning crystal clear, “My priorities are exactly where they need to be as I can see the bigger picture, as always, which is why I am the King and you are not.”

“Go to hell, Orm—”

“Furthermore, this intruder is also in our direct line of fire to the Amazons.”

“Wha-?” That brought Arthur up short, he managed to look shocked, “The valley is blocked? That's impossible—”

“I once thought so as well but now there is a giant hole now on my ocean floor that we can neither get around nor go over in order to cross into the Amazon's territory quietly. Well...not without putting ourselves in a dangerous and vulnerable position for fifty miles. Whether we travel on the surface or under it, there risk is...fatal.”

“F-fifty...? Fifty miles?? How in the hell did you get to Themyscira then?”

“We were forced to go around and enter through from the north. The Amazons saw us coming miles away, and the Queen had plenty of time to prepare for guests.” Orm described dryly, something Arthur already predicted that had happened, “This is a very big problem for our plans, Arthur. And you need to fix it because if you don't, Atlantis will never rise to be the great city that it once was ever again.”

• ───────────────── •

Hours later...

Currently standing in the long line for a simple cup of coffee and maybe half a dozen mini-cinnamon rolls, Kara's impatience was nearly reaching the boiling point of toppling even herself. But it was her own fault for getting here so late and so now she had to deal with the corporate crowd with their complicated f*cking orders and short attention spans. Because how hard is it to stop talking on the phone for five damn minutes so the cashier can move on to the next guest. The longer Kara stood in this line, the more and more violent she was starting to feel and it was bubbling at the pit of her stomach. She wanted to explode, or yell or even hit something!

Breathe...Breathe... Breathe...

Kara finally exhaled heavily for the thousandth time and the person in front of her and her hands clenched into fists but they were thankfully hidden as she had them in the front pocket of her favorite hoodie. It made her feel warm and comfortable on days like this—days when she was struggling with even the most basic task, like brushing her teeth or even getting dressed.

It was only eight in the morning when Kara woke up feeling numb, her day already starting more difficult than it usually did. She could tell that it was going to be one of those days. And on these days, Kara tried to hide it, even from herself, but it was hard. It was hard for Kara to put on her 'game face' everyday so no one could see her falling apart underneath all of the figurative stitches and band-aids that kept her together.

It was eating away at Kara like a f*cking plague...but Kara didn't have the strength to pull away from the shadows, she didn't have the strength to power through her immense guilt and her staggering anger. It was all that was truly left of her miserable existence, taunting her and kicking her in the shins when she let her guard down.

Since she was eight years old, Kara has known nothing but trauma and it never stopped.

No one tried to stop it...her so-called good for nothing family didn't try, they weren't knocking down the committee's door to take care of her. They did not petition for her. They were not there to send off Kara’s parents with her...but they were as good as dead to her as Kara’s own mother and father were.

Zod wasn't ideal for a parent figure and neither was Faora, or any of them, but they were there. And now they were dead. And she wasn't but she should have been. But it wasn't for the lack of opportunity.

“Sunshine?”

Kara startled slightly, not noticing that anyone was approaching and she looked down to see a familiar smiling face and though it was small and tired, Kara smiled back, “Lucy, uh hi.”

“Hi.” Lucy chuckled, “Late start for you today, huh? You're usually here early to beat the rest of these NPCs.” Lucy ignored the glares she got from the other customers who heard her.

“Haha, uh, yeah...long night,” Kara shrugged, freeing one of her hands from her pocket to rub the back of her neck, “But I guess I could say the same for you since you're here too. Heading off to work?”

“Mhm, as usual.”

“Well, hey, let me walk you out then—” Lucy's eyebrows furrowed as Kara stepped out of the long line, but Kara was talking again before Lucy could protest, “I don't think I'm really in the mood for anything to be honest, I think I just wanted something...familiar and normal.”

“Familiar and normal?” Lucy questioned out loud, now walking alongside Kara as they stepped outside into the warm air but the cool breeze was a good reminder that winter was just around the corner now, “Hey, Sunshine? Is everything alright?”

“Yeah,” Kara smiled again, showing her pearly whites this time but it wasn't enough to convince Lucy as she was now sporting dark bags under her eyes and she seemed less energetic than the last time Lucy saw her, which was at the park with Winn, “And my name is Kara, by the way.”

“Kara.” Lucy repeated, then nodded, “Good to know, Sunshine (Kara rolled her eyes halfheartedly), now tell me what's wrong? Trouble in paradise? You don't look like a ray of sunshine right now.”

And if Lucy was fishing for some information about the woman she saw Kara with, no one had to know but her.

“Yeah and I don't feel like it either,” Kara admitted, shoving her hands back in her pocket when another breeze pushed through and under her clothing somehow, then she nodded towards an all black SUV sitting on the curb, “This is you? Looks very...government.”

“I have to supply my expensive coffee habits some way, right?” Lucy joked, knowing that Kara was changing the subject and if she had more time she wouldn't have allowed it, but as it were—she was already late but Lucy didn't want to wait another week to run into Kara again, “Winn tells me it's overpriced but it's worth it for those extra twenty minutes to sleep in.”

“Winn from the park, right? How's he doing?”

“Busy, poor guy can't catch a break, as if I'm the one to talk, but at least I get to sleep in my own bed every night.”

“Sounds like someone I know...she travels a lot for work too.”

“That's a lonely life. You two are close?”

“Close enough.” Kara raised her wrist and her sleeve fell back slightly, revealing one gold bracelet around her wrist, “She cuffed me, so we're kinda stuck together for a while.”

“Is that real gold??”

Kara shrugged, lowering her wrist, “Yep.”

“I-”

“Miss Lane!”

Lucy blinked, her lighthearted delusion falling away—Kara was clearly spoken for. Lucy figured she could hold her own in the looks department but her government salary wasn't in league with gold bracelets.

Kara and Lucy watched as a man in an all black suit exited from the passengers side of the SUV, ready to open the door for Lucy, sparking Kara's curiosity even more.

“Anyway, here...if you ever need to talk or just wanna hang out. It never hurts to have a friend for a few rounds of beer.”

Kara looked down at what Lucy was handing her, a card...Lucy's card. It was a standard business card, nothing special but it wasn't flimsy either.

Kara accepted it and flipped it over, finding Lucy's personal number scribbled on the back and raised an eyebrow, with a tiny smirk, “You always have your personal number on the back of your cards, Miss Lane?”

“Don't make me regret offering you my friendship already,” Lucy rolled her eyes, but she was still smiling, “Do you need a ride home or somewhere, I don't mind dropping you off?”

“No, no,” Kara carefully put the card away in her pants pocket and shook her head, “I need the fresh air today but thanks Lucy—” honk! honk!, “Guess that's your cue...see you around?”

“Call me and you'll see me sooner, Sunshine. But do me a favor?” Kara waited for Lucy's request with a simple and cute little tilt of her head, “Eat actual food and find something to smile about, okay? Whatever it is, it's not the end of the world, right?”

“Right.” Kara agreed but she didn't fully believe it, if at all but Lucy had to go and Kara didn't want to keep her new friend waiting, or make her worry anymore than she truly needed to be. Kara stood on the sidewalk, watching Lucy climb into the back of the SUV and waved before the door closed and Kara could no longer see her.

When the SUV was out of her sight, Kara's smile disappeared and she sighed yet again...so much for those sweet mini snacks she was craving for because there was no way that Kara was going back in there and getting in that line again.

With one last longing look at the morning cafe...Kara set off walking in the opposite direction after pulling her hood up over her head. The fresh air was nice and crisp today...and it smelled like it was going to rain soon too.

Kara walked for several more blocks with no real destination in mind until she found herself in one of the less desirable spots in downtown and she probably wouldn't have noticed had it not been for pain filled crying coming downing the alley between parking garage buildings. Kara glanced around but this area was void of any significant life and she could see the busy main street four blocks away but of course this just happened to be a road that wasn't used very often.

She thought about ignoring it but the sounds were too pitiful to ignore and so Kara followed the mewling until she found herself twenty-feet away from the street and squatting behind the smelliest dumpster in this alley and it didn't help that the ground smelled just as bad if not worse. But it was nothing compared to the tiny pathetic mass trembling before her, covered in...Kara didn't even know.

“Rao...so...you're what's making all this noise, hm?” it was a feline, a kitten to be more precise and he, or she, looked very fragile and starving. Kara checked her pockets but they were empty of anything to snack on and it wasn't like she could leave the kitten here while she went to hunt down some cat food. “No offense, cat, but I seriously do not want to touch you right now, uhhhh...”

Kara looked around for something but there was nothing...nothing she was willing to touch of course. Kara looked down at her feet and suddenly got a bright idea. Sliding one foot out of her croc, Kara was soon armed with one warm all black sock. And thankfully for her, the Cat was too weak to physically try and attack her hand while she carefully swaddled them, rolling them into a burrito with only his or her head sticking out.

Curious about it's lifespan, Kara's left hand hovered over the Cat's small head, “Rin—”

“Kara!”

Looking up quickly and closing her hand just as Diana, in her full Wonder Woman regalia, landed softly in front of her with a bright but curious smile as she took in the scene in front of her, “What in the world are you doing?”

Kara scoffed, her heart pounding at what almost just happened—“I could ask you the same thing, stalker, what are you doing?! You can't just go around scaring people half to death like that, Diana. Aren't you supposed to be half way across the world right now?”

Diana was smirking now, “My shift ended ten minutes ago and I was on my way home when I saw you. Your turn.”

Kara scoffed again, but Diana could see the little smile Kara was doing a poor job of trying to hide, “Well if you have to know, I was just getting some fresh air and touching the grass...and found this...creature.” The kitten wrapped in the sock was now fast asleep, a sliver of drool hanging from the corner of his or her mouth, “Can I keep them?”

“Wha...you want to keep the cat?” Diana asked, shocked but happily so. She moved closer so that she could see the tiny cat a little better which put her right next to Kara, “Oh, how precious! Of course you can keep her if you want to, Kara.”

“But why did you sound so damn surprised that I even asked?” Kara huffed, rolling her eyes though she was just a little flushed in the face but her heart was slowing to a slower and calmer rate as calmed down in Diana's presence, “I should feel offended, shouldn't I?”

“Heh, no. I meant no offense, Kara, you just didn't strike me as an animal lover, much less a cat person,” Diana scratched the kitten gingerly behind the ears with the tip of her nail. Then she chuckled, looking up at Kara from beneath her thick lashes teasingly, “But in hindsight, all of the signs were there. And an orange cat does suit you too (Kara glared and Diana winked) Do you have a name yet?”

“I just found it five minutes ago, Diana. Besides,” Kara frowned cutely, “What's wrong with 'cat'? Cat Grant pulls it off?” Diana blinked, giving Kara that 'really?' look, but Kara intentionally ignored it knowing that she was just pulling Diana's chain, “I'm gonna take this little one to a...well...can I take a cat to a hospital?” Kara asked, quite serious and Diana found it both amusing and endearing.

Diana straightened up to her full height, her hand dropping back to her side, “This sounds like a wonderful day waiting to happen, do you mind company?”

“Hm...” Kara took in Diana's superhero suit and shrugged, and she saw splotches of soot and whatever else on some parts of Diana...and she smelled like fire, “Do you know that cafe that's a few blocks from your apartment?”

“Yes?”

“We'll meet you there after you go home and shower, Princess...and bring your car, it might rain.”

“And what about you? Are you going to walk back? It's at least twenty minutes, let me drop you off, Kara,” Diana offered, half expecting Kara to decline but she couldn't help but offer anyway—Diana enjoyed seeing these softer sides of Kara. They were as rare as they were adorable.

“It'll be too cold for cat,” Kara reminded Diana of the precious cargo still sleeping in the palm of Kara's hand, “No worries, we'll meet you there and then you can tell me all about the good deeds you've done that you shouldn't have because some of these people don't deserve saving.”

“Now you sound just like my mother,” Diana pointed out with an eye roll as she began to hover a few inches off of the ground again, “I'll see you both soon.”

Kara watched Diana fly away, admiring her before she looked down at the Cat snuggled in her sock and made a face down at it even though it was asleep. Kara began walking out of the alley and back to Noonan's but then she noticed something behind one of the cats ears. She took a closer look and saw a reddish streak of fur that parted through the lighter orange, shaped like the end of a lightning bolt. Moving the sock down a little, she saw that it was instead down this cat's entire back.

“Streaky...”

• ───────────────── •

Notes:

Cat distribution system at work!! Did Diana and Kara just adopt a lil' fur baby? 👀👀👀

Thank you lovelies for all your patient and kudos! I enjoy you guys enjoying this sm! I've been following my outline lmaoooooooo never realized that sh*t is easier when I follow instructions applies to writing fanfic too💀😭 pls

Last chapter dealing with the plot for a while, just setting up for the future ones...next few ones are gonna be fluffy and Diana and Kara centric fasho! If you have anything specific you want to see them talk about or do just lemme know, next chapter soonish. I think I read too many graphic novels cos I feel like I write like that now haha. 🤷🏾♀️

Anyway, all mistakes are my own, and again thank you for your kudos!✨❤️✨

Chapter 13: Here Kitty Kitty I

Notes:

Well, well… look who ain’t dead 💀

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

(Five days before the Justice League Function…)

It’s only been twenty-four hours since Kara found Streaky barely hanging onto life and then Diana had come along and found them both. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a good day for all of them. Streaky was cleared by the vet as healthy but malnourished and around two weeks old and a girl.

The vet trip soothed a lot of Kara’s worries about the cat but it didn’t stop her from complaining about the lack of free healthcare on this planet and she would’ve gone on if Diana hadn’t been there to step in.

Now Diana’s apartment was cat proof, especially her balcony. Neither Kara or Diana wanted to take that risk should either of them not be home and Streaky wanted to test her nine lives theory. Some of the toys and gadgets were too big for Streaky now but for when she was older.

Truthfully, a lot of the items were based on Diana’s suggestions. Kara simply carried the cat and paid for everything. It was the most relaxed she’d felt since waking up that morning and by the time they arrived back at Diana's apartment Kara was able to relax. There were only two places on this wretched planet that Kara felt safe and Diana’s home was very quickly becoming the third.

“Why do you know so much about cats?” Kara asked Diana over the commercial chatter from the TV, “Did you want one and didn’t have time?”

“Not quite,” Diana shook her head, her eyes still glued to her work that she was doing at the dining room table. Her accent was a little heavier tonight but it was late and Diana was exhausted, “I have a friend that’s very good with cats in general. I could introduce you the next time she visits, Streaky will like her I bet.”

“Yeah, Streaky likes anyone,” Kara scoffed, moving one hand from behind her head to scratch Streaky’s full belly—the cat was fast asleep in a little loaf on Kara’s stomach, right over her heartbeat, “What does your friend do? For work? Is she a vet?”

“Mm, not quite. Barbara is… more in tune with Mother Nature than the average person. But her specialty is with felines so she spends a lot of her time rehabilitating and protecting them.”

“Protecting them from who?” Kara almost cooed when Streaky started purring again.

“Poachers.”

Kara’s eyes focused on the tv again as her movie came back on. She laid there for a minute letting the silence fall comfortably again. That is until another question popped up in her head, “Doesn’t that go against your morals or whatever?”

Diana paused her writing and she tried to catch Kara’s eye but the Kryptonians focus was still on the tv, “My morals? What do you mean?”

“The Justice League is all about truth and justice and blah blah blah, at least that’s what the commercials promote.” Kara shrugged, “And I’ve read Kal-El's little speech about hope and what it means to be a Kryptonian (Kara’s tone had a slight edge of mockery that Diana caught but did not comment on). It’s cute but naive, he doesn’t believe in killing after Zod and the Bat thinks there’s some kind of cure using fear? Give me a break.”

“Yes, they are both firm believers in sparing a life and before you say anything, yes I do agree that it is naive.”

Kara turned her head, blue eyes meeting from across the room, “But?”

“So I respect it, but it doesn’t mean that I’ve adopted that policy as well. They each have their own friends and foe, and we generally stay out of each other's way unless the world is in danger.”

Kara hummed in response, too lazy to say anything else—not that there was anything to say, Diana’s explanation made sense. It was something she would’ve done, but still…it just highlighted how doomed this planet was with the two supposedly greatest heroes too scared to take a life.

Even though she was watching TV again, Diana was unable to put her focus back on her work, not yet, because she was suddenly curious about Kara. More than usual, but looking at Kara lay so comfortable on the sofa with a small (smol) animal—Diana’s attraction to her grew.

“What about you, Kara?”

“My policy on killing?”

“Oh, I know your policy on that,” Diana says in a tone that makes Kara smile, “but I mean about having pets. Did you have any?”

“Mm, no, not really. My mother wasn’t a fan of animals and Zod demanded a sanitary ship and that meant no pets. But I’ve always wanted one.”

“What would that be like for you to have a pet in space?”

“There are weird creatures in space even by my standards but a lot of them can be tamed if you have the guts too. Even a Starro clone can be a pet, but you’d have to put a mental blocker on that thing.”

Kara stopped petting Streaky and settled for simply resting her hand on her little body.

“Zod and Faora kept me busy enough to the point that even the thought of caring for another creature stressed me out.”

Diana chuckled, switching her paperwork for another—relieved that she was nearly done, “My mother was the same way. It was all about focus with her and we butted heads all the time.”

“Your mother kinda reminds me of mine, you know that?”

“No, I didn’t,” Diana replied softly, “Your mother was a stickler for the rules too?”

“Oh, she was more than that,” Kara laughed though it lacked any real humor, but a touch of fondness, “She actually created and passed a few of the laws on Krypton, she was also in the military guild but a different branch; law. I know, it’s a little sketchy but the council didn’t want too many guilds so they stuck a few under an umbrella of sorts, and Law was one of them.”

“Your mother must have been a brilliant woman, Kara. I hope that you are proud.”

“Sometimes I do wonder if I would’ve turned out any different had they been able to raise me,” Kara shrugged, her attention no longer held by the tv, “But if that was what Rao intended then so be it, right?”

“You’re incredibly strong Kara, don’t sell yourself short. You lost your parents at a young age and still maintained your resilience through your hurt. They’d be proud to know that their only daughter can take care of herself.”

Kara pressed her lips together in a tight lipped smile that didn’t reach her eyes—wanting to mention that the bastard that murdered and humiliated them was still out there, living but he wouldn’t be for much longer. Kara knew his name, his face, his species…she just needed his location.

But she didn’t. Kara didn’t say any of that but she wanted to. Kara didn’t know if she wanted Diana to stop her or accept her—maybe it was both.

“Are you still up for sparring in the morning?”

“Yeah if you’re not still buried in paperwork by that time.” Kara replied easily, now scrolling through boring news articles on her phone, “I thought you said you work at some fancy art museum, why are you doing paperwork?”

“Yes, I work with ancient arts found all over the world but oftentimes those findings have very little history and it’s my job to find as much as I can and present it with the hopes of finding it a proper home in our museum or another.”

“Heh, I guess that’s easy for you since you’ve lived through some of those ancient times.”

“I’m not that old,” Diana glared half heartedly, “Do you plan on staying up with me?”

Upon Diana’s question Kara glanced at the time (11:39pm) and sighed. She was a little tired but sleep wasn’t on her current list of priorities, partially because she is incredibly comfortable where she is now and partially because of her nightmares.

“Yeah, I guess since you asked me so nicely,” Kara decided, switching over to her food delivery apps, “Potstickers?”

“This late?”

“Well, I certainly don’t plan on being insomniac and hungry at the same time. So?”

“Fine, get steamed rice this time, it tastes better with the orange chicken ... .and the shrimp egg rolls, please.”

Kara made a face at the request but added it to the order anyway—she wasn’t a huge fan of shrimp as they were tasteless and the food had a weird texture.

“I don’t understand how you like that crap.”

“Oh, I’m sure you’ve tried weirder things in space.”

“I have, which is why I usually stick to things on the ship or native to Krypton. The last time I tried to be cultural my dish literally blinked at me. No freaking thanks.”

Diana chuckled, “Well here on Earth we usually cook our food.”

Usually…”

When Kara came back to the land of consciousness she was disoriented for a moment but her senses quickly came back to her. It was daylight now, or at least very early morning—the living room wasn’t streaming with endless natural light but it would soon. Diana must’ve placed a blanket on her after she passed out shortly after scarfing down more food than she should’ve eaten.

She reached for Streaky but the kitten wasn’t there and Kara grunted, displeased but not worried since Diana was home. She wouldn’t let the little one get into too much trouble but still; Kara was forcing herself into a sitting position and rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

Kara looked around for any signs of life but it was quiet, and the balcony doors were closed and it seemed that Diana also cleaned up their shared mess.

Jingle…jingle…

Kara’s eyes were trained on the hallway, instantly zeroing in on the little reddish orange kitten that came running out of the hallway followed by Diana. Who was fully dressed in a pair of jeans that hugged her shapely legs tightly, and the high heels only made her calves look even more impressive in those jeans. Diana’s shirt was simple and fitting, partially covered by a casual blazer. The look was very much Diana and Kara was stuck on how attractive this woman simply was.

Diana smirked at Kara’s blatant subconscious ogling, “Well? How do I look?”

Kara blinked, licking her lips and clearing her throat, “That’s…not what you usually wear to work.”

“No. It’s not,” Diana’s smirk grew along with Kara’s blush, “This is what I usually wear when I go shopping.”

“Shopping? What happened with work?”

“I called off…”

Diana came to sit next to Kara, mindful of her heels with Kara’s bare feet and Streaky who was also attempting to maim one of Kara’s toes. With Diana closer, Kara smelled her expensive perfume and like all of the others, it was just as soft and alluring. It made Kara wonder if these scents Diana liked were made with magic as well.

“So I decided that I would rather shop instead. I finished my reports shortly after you fell asleep and emailed them. If it’s an emergency the office will call.”

“This early?” Kara reached down and scooped up the curious little kitten before she really did take one of her toes, “I’ve seen your closet Diana, what could you possibly need now?”

“A new dress, shoes and accessories for the anniversary party.”

Kara scoffed, rolling her eyes, “I repeat; I’ve seen your closet.”

“Maybe it’s time for something new, there’s nothing wrong with freshening up every now and then.” Diana pointed out, then she suddenly had a look on her face and Kara frowned, not liking that look one bit, “Do you have any plans today?”

“Sparring… but I guess that’s out?”

“You looked too peaceful to wake up and since I have the rest of the day to myself, I figured there would be no harm going tonight for a longer session.” Diana assured Kara, Lara didn’t know it but Diana was aware how much those times they spent together at the gym helped Kara, “I’ll make it up to you with lunch?”

“Lunch?”

“Yes. There’s a new Mediterranean restaurant at the outlet mall that I’ve been dying to try out for weeks.”

“Wait,” Kara eyebrows raised, still petting Streaky and combing through her fluffy fur, “You…you want me to come shopping with you?”

Diana nodded, “A second pair of eyes will make the day go by faster, so will you?”

“I don’t know…I have questions.” And Diana sighed, amused but not the least bit surprised that Kara was being stubborn, “One; what is Mediterranean and two; can Streaky come?”

.

.

Kara yawned for the fifth time in the passenger's seat of Diana’s car while the woman navigated through the morning traffic like a pro. Streaky wasn’t in her carrier since the trip wasn’t that long but Kara still had the napping kitten secured in her lap nonetheless with her kitten harness attached.

Kara had taken to being a cat mom very seriously and it was nice to see a change in her aside from that sarcastic brood she usually was daily.

Their car ride was quiet but comfortable, neither of them feeling the need for any small talk as they both had things on their mind.

Namely for Kara she was still staring at Diana from the corner of her, wondering for the thousandth time how this woman was actually unattached. Were suitors too afraid to approach the Princess? Did she not want anyone in that manner? There were too many questions and not enough answers, and Kara wasn’t sure if she was even brave enough to ask either. Not without giving herself away.

When they finally arrived at the shopping center that was pretty popular in this area but it was also Monday so the parking lot wasn’t nearly as full as it would’ve been on the weekend. Which also gave Diana the perfect opportunity to find the best parking spot—near the front doors.

The place was pretty big, and it offered a lot. It wasn’t Kara’s first time here so she wouldn’t be as overwhelmed as she was on her first day but still…this isn’t the sort of place she felt comfortable coming to alone.

“I love when the stores are empty like this,” Diana commented after turning off her car.

“Why, so you can be in and out?”

Diana smirked at Kara’s hopeful tone, knowing that she was about to shut that down, “No, so I can take my time and get more things.”

Kara grumbled and grabbed her single pocket backpack from the backseat, it only held all of the things Streaky would need while out…and Kara’s wallet.

The crowd in the building was a lot calmer due to it being mostly older people and a few smaller children who weren’t of age to actually attend school yet. This was perfect for Streaky too, she didn’t have to be overwhelmed with sounds and Kara wasn’t going to be overwhelmed with people trying to pet her.

Because the answer would have been a firm no. And Kara ignored all of the adoring looks they were getting from who actually noticed the tiny thing she cradled close in the palm of her hand.

“Hmm,” Diana’s soft musings broke Kara’s petty thoughts, “Should I wear a red dress or a black dress?”

“I guess that depends if you’re trying to get laid or not.” Kara shrugged, but she had no idea why she even said that. She set herself up for that because Kara most certainly did not want to know if Diana was looking for bed partners.

Kara wasn’t sure if she could actually handle having that knowledge. Just the thought pissed her off…and she knew that she had no right to be.

“That all depends on what color you decide for me to wear.”

Kara looked at Diana then who was already looking right back at her. Diana’s words were innocent enough but Kara knew better, she could read the daring look in Diana’s eyes and that small smirk was telling enough.

“So am I?” Diana inquired again, nudging Kara’s shoulder with her own, enjoying their close proximity—Kara wore cologne very well.

“Are you what?” Kara grumbled, scratching behind Streaky’s ears and stalling for an answer.

“Am I getting laid or not?” Diana repeated Kara’s words back to her in a suggestive whisper, mindful of the family walking past them.

Kara’s breath caught quietly and she just hoped that Diana didn’t hear. But there was no way that Diana could be on the same page that she was, Diana was a tease and she knew how to press her buttons. Kara’s eyes narrowed cautiously, deciding to simply go with the flow instead and maybe trying to call Diana’s bluff.

“Red.”

Kara had to stop from grinning when Diana’s smirk wavered and her blue eyes widened slightly. There was no doubt that she expected Kara to say ‘black’ but it was like Kara suddenly threw fuel onto the embers burning between them.

Diana didn’t know it, but Kara was now playing the long game. Nudging Diana’s shoulder, returning the favor from earlier, Kara nodded pointedly to show Diana that they’ve arrived at the first store on her list.

Diana caught Kara’s smugness though and she accepted the kryptonians nonverbal challenge.

This was the fanciest store Kara has been in since being in this city, but this is also further into the shopping center than she’s been in before. It was more expensive and the crowd was noticeably thinner.

The ladies in the front of course cooed at Streaky, waking her up in the process. But after Kara pointedly turned away the moment one of the ladies reached out to touch Streaky without permission it was back to business. Diana, surprisingly, didn’t comment on the interaction.

So now Kara and Diana were in a private changing room, with Kara and Streaky in the waiting area while Diana changed clothing.

Since Streaky was now very much awake most of Kara’s attention was on the kitten and keeping her entertained for the most part. But it was also so Kara didn’t get too bored—Diana has tried on at least eight or nine dresses so far and none of them were the right fit.

With Kara so enamored with the kitten, Diana was able to step out of her dressing room undetected and Diana may or may not have stood there for five minutes in a very expensive and a very tight red dress and equally stunning heels; simply watching Kara doing something as simple as caring for another.

Seeing Kara like this warmed Diana in a way that she hasn’t felt in many many years. And it grew increasingly harder for her to ignore. Kara was a protector, like herself in a way but not quite—a truth Diana is learning to come to terms with.

Streaky mewled cutely as she dashed in Diana’s direction and around her feet and Kara was struck dumb when she realized that Diana was there as well.

Kara drank in every inch of Diana unable to help herself. The dress itself was a deep red, it reminded Kara of something sinful and Diana had no right looking so good in it. It hugged her curves like the dress was literally made for her, it left Diana’s arms bare displaying her impressive build but also maintaining her femininity. As if the plunging neckline didn’t do it; the swells of Diana’s breast were enough to give anyone a heart attack, especially now since her hair was in a bun today.

Unable to handle the intensity of Kara’s heated gaze, Diana shifted towards the full length mirror further into the room. Doing so meant that Diana had to turn her back to Kara and the sharp exhale brought heat to Diana’s cheeks.

“I think I like this one,” Diana breathed, breaking the silence as she continued to gaze at herself in the mirror but she was watching Kara’s expression closely, “What’s your final verdict, Kara?”

“I, uh, I..” Kara swallowed thickly, barely noticing Streaky’s nails digging into her skin through her sweatpants as the cat climbed up her leg.

“Knock knock! How are we doing ladies? Whoa!”

Their designated attendant had the most horrid timing but it was probably for the best but Kara didn’t know if she wanted to glare at the girl or not yet. She didn’t even remember her name but maybe she saved Kara from saying something that she shouldn’t have. Something embarrassing.

“You look gorgeous, you have to get that dress! Please tell me that you are!” The girl continued to gush as she approached Diana, their height differences would’ve been comical had Kara not been so distracted, nearly frustratingly so.

Diana smiled politely, “Thank you, I believe that I just might,” her eyes drifted back to Kara via mirror but the woman was now reclined and staring at the ceiling, her own face flushed, “And the heels as well please.”

The girl nodded her head approvingly, “You are so gonna be fighting off men in this number.”

“I already do.”

“With help I hope,” The girl chuckled, then she glanced at Kara knowingly (to which the Kryptonian raised her eyebrow at the girl's audacity). But the comment made Kara realize that she was entirely right…especially if that fish man was there. Hmph.

When the attendant finally left, Kara looked up again. She looked calmer but a bit on edge, her glacier blue eyes darker when they met Diana’s through the reflection.

“You really do look like a Princess, Diana,”

Diana fixed her dark rimmed glasses, trying to hide her smile but it was useless because Kara saw it. The Amazon saw Kara slowly rise from her seat on the sofa, Streaky confined to air jail in one hand.

Kara stopped a few feet away, suddenly unsure but Diana nipped that the moment it presented itself, not wanting to lose this moment and she wanted to see this through.

“Help me with my zipper, Kara?”

It was cliche, Diana knew that—she’s seen this sort of thing in movies all the time and she’s never understood the appeal of it. Until now. She watched intently as Kara edged closer yet Diana still jumped slightly when she felt the gentleness of Kara’s knuckles brushing across her bare back when her fingers grasped the zipper.

Kara didn’t point out the fact that Diana managed to zip the dress on her own, it was quite obvious what this was yet Kara was powerless to stop it…if she even wanted to.

Kara was intimately familiar with the canvas of Diana’s well toned back from their many morning sparring sessions and even some of her work outfits, but this…this was…no, Diana is..

“…Beautiful.” Kara froze, as did Diana. Kara didn’t mean to say that out loud and Diana didn’t expect to hear it. Quickly Kara took a step back while clearing her throat, “um, yeah. Yeah, I’m gonna take Streaky out to stretch her legs or, or something,” Kara mumbled calmly, turning away with the cat still in hand.

Diana could read the internal panic in Kara’s eyes instantly though . She could hide the rest of herself but Diana has learned a long time ago that Kara’s eyes were more expressive than any other part of her. Diana turned her upper body to catch Kara but the Kryptonian was faster and she was out of the door, and nearly walked over the returning attendant.

Diana sighed disappointedly, but she managed to put on a convincing smile to the young girl that was back in the room.

With Kara’s forgotten backpack over one shoulder and her bags held in another hand, Diana was prepared to track that woman down. But she found that there was no need as Kara and Streaky didn’t get very far.

Diana’s heels were noticeable but soft as she approached the two, currently standing in front of another high end clothing store that specializes in suits. Even though she heard and saw Diana coming through the reflection of the glass, Kara continued to scrutinize what she was looking at.

“Are you alright, Kara?” Diana now stood next to Kara, close enough to feel her, and she took a deep breath, “I…apologize if I crossed a line back there.”

“You didn’t. Er, we…didn’t,” Kara assured Diana after sighing, turning fully towards the Amazon their eyes locking immediately through their fake glasses. Kara had more she wanted to say but it was clear that she couldn’t and Diana took pity on her, this one time.

“So, what were you looking at over here?”

“Oh, ah, this suit actually.” Kara smiled, relieved that Diana changed the subject—she wasn’t sure if she could feel any more nervous or embarrassed, “It just reminded me a lot of Krypton’s formal wear. I’d like to wear one, if I go to this party with you.”

“What?” Shocked, Diana nearly got whiplash for how fast she looked at Kara, “You want to come with me now?”

“I can’t avoid meeting those ass clowns friends of yours forever.” Kara shrugged, she actually could have (and would have) but she wasn’t going to put the real reason she changed her mind. She’s embarrassed too much already, “Just don’t leave me alone and everything will be fine, right?”

“Of course, you will be my plus one. I would be rude if I did that but Kara I…I just don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Why not?”

Diana struggled to find an answer until she came up with nothing but the truth, “They still don’t believe that you’re a good person…they still don’t trust you.”

Kara made a face and scoffed, “Okay?”

“Okay?”

“Do you trust me, Diana?”

Diana nodded, “You wouldn’t be living with me if I did not; so yes, Kara, I do trust you.”

“Then what else matters?” Kara made it sound so simple and perhaps…it was.

“Indeed then.” Diana beamed, placing her hand on Kara’s shoulder with a gentle squeeze, giving no acknowledgement to the slight shiver she felt from Kara, “We should probably get her a matching harness as well then.”

Diana wasn’t actually sure if animals were allowed but she’d ask permission later…she was going to need the backup if this entire thing went sideways, and what better partner could she have than an orange kitten?

Hours later…

The trunk of Diana’s truck (a Bronco) and some of the back seats were filled with their combined shopping bags. And Kara made sure to keep the leftover food bag well out of Streaky’s reach just in case she became curious. Truthfully though it was all Diana’s food, Kara declined taking the rest of her food home with her.

“The Mediterranean was…interesting,” Kara grimaced slightly, making Diana laugh as she caught the look from the corner of her eye,

“You didn’t like it,”

“No, no I did but some of it was a little too much for my palate,” Kara admitted and Diana hummed, “Maybe I just like my own cooking better, who knows.”

“Speaking of; when will you be gracing me with another dish? The last one was good.”

Kara preened internally, “There’s a steak and feta recipe I’ve collected last week, how does that sound?”

“Delicious. My schedule is free again Thursday evening,” Diana sped up once she was on the highway but she kept it at the speed limit of course, “Maybe we could watch that new movie you were interested in?” Diana hedged, testing the waters…she didn’t want to spook Kara again.

Kara licked her lips thoughtfully, feeling a spike of anxiety coming back but she kept her cool this time, “You’re not even into horror movies.”

“No, but you are and it did look somewhat interesting,” Diana glanced over briefly, “Besides, there’s this new show I’ve found—”

“I knew it,” Kara shook her head but she was grinning, “You just wanted to butter me up so I’d watch another rom-com movie with you.”

“It’s not,” Diana insisted, then she caved immediately after, “It’s a reality show called ‘Real Housewives’, a colleague was telling me about it. I think you’ll enjoy it, it has drama in it.”

Kara scoffed, “I’m offended by that, by the way, but fine I’ll watch it but if it sucks you owe me a box of Cinnabons, Diana.”

“Fine it’s a deal. But you’re going to like it, I'm certain of that.”

“Yeah? That makes one of us then.”

Kara huffed in the passenger's seat, but she let the conversation die as she sat quietly and stared out of the window. Diana did not mind the silence as she turned up the volume on the radio a little bit when she heard one of her favorite songs playing.

.

.

[ three days before the Justice League function ]

“It is considered very rude to show up to someone’s home unannounced!” Diana argued over Barry though she didn’t exactly have to raise her voice, her towering over him was enough to get her point across.

“Okay! Okay! Jeez why are you yelling at me though?! I’m not the only one here ya know!” Barry pointed accusingly at Shayera who was calmly sitting on the sofa watching this all unfold, “And, well whatever, you said we can drop in whenever we’re in town!”

Diana glares at him in a way that could only be described as big sister energy, “You could’ve had the decency to call. I could have been in the middle of something.”

Barry and Shayera shared a look that Diana did not miss, and she scoffed at her friends, “You two are exactly why my mother worries about me and now you’re leaving.”

“Leaving? But we just got here,” Barry stayed out of Diana’s reach, and Shayera giggled quietly, “C’mon, you don’t wanna hang out with your friends?”

Diana gave up trying to catch Barry and put her hands on her hips again, “Do neither of you seriously have nothing better to do?”

Shayera shrugged, “I’m free ‘til seven then I have to go; John and I have a date at some jazz bar he’s excited about.”

“Which gives us a grand total of eight hours,” Barry clapped his hands and rubbed them together, “So? Are you in or what? And before you answer, think about it; when do we ever have the same day off. Super rare.”

Diana sighed. Today was Thursday and she was really looking forward to a simple day off and then cooking that steak recipe with Kara tonight. “I’m free until seven as well.” She gave in, albeit reluctantly even though Barry did make a solid point.

Diana adored her friends dearly and the life the lead taught her not to take anything for granted but she also had something brewing in front of her that she hasn’t felt in over a hundred years.

“And y’know, if ya wanna invite Supes’ cousin, no biggie,” Barry shrugged nonchalantly but he wasn’t fooling anyone, “I can never have too many friends.”

“Yes, you can.” Shayera deadpanned, halfheartedly rolling her eyes, “And where is Kara anyway?”

“Who’s asking?” All three superheroes turned around, all of them just now realizing that the front door was being opened (Kara really felt safe with these three…).

Kara stepped into the apartment pulling a red wagon behind her that she and Diana normally used to haul groceries. Strapped to her chest in a one size fit all swaddle was Streaky and apparently chewing on a little treat. Only her head and small paw could be seen and the sight of them both made Diana smile.

Barry and Shayera didn’t know what to gape at really; seeing Kara Zor-El—Superman's supposedly dangerous cousin or at the sight of Diana making heart eyes at her…and Kara returning them, though she wasn’t smiling.

It was one thing to suspect but it was a new level to see a glimpse of it. It was terrifyingly…cute.

Kara kicked off her boots before coming further into the apartment, stopping next to Diana and she immediately reached out to scratch behind Streaky’s ears.

“What’s going on, Diana? Whatever happened, I was at the grocery store. There were camera’s.”

Shayera snorted, being the first to recover, “Relax, we’re not here to kick your ass, we wanted to see if you guys wanted to hang out.”

“Hang out?” Kara raised an eyebrow, her eyes drifting to her groceries then back to Shayera, “I’m busy—”

“Holy sh*t!” Barry suddenly exclaimed, startling everyone, but his baby blue eyes were honed in Streaky, “You have a Maine Coon cat?!”

Barry was across the room and in front of Kara before Diana or Shayera could warn him. Barry’s sudden appearance may not have scared Kara, but it certainly scared Streaky as Kara could feel the kittens trembling through the swaddle.

Barry, caught up in his own excitement, reached up to also pet the kitty but a solid grip on his wrist stopped him.

Shayera scooted forward on the sofa but she hadn’t gotten up yet, trusting that Diana would be fast enough to intervene since she was closer. Yet the Amazon barely even batted an eye at the scene happening in front of her.

Barry’s wide eyes found Kara’s icy blue eyes staring back at him calmly, “Don’t touch the cat without permission.”

“I-”

“Get out of my space, dude,” Kara let him go, and Barry rubbed his wrist but he quickly got out of Kara’s space and he was fiercely blushing with embarrassment.

Shayera let out a breath and relaxed back on the sofa after realizing that everything was fine. It explained Diana’s lack of concern too but Shayera always did tell Barry that his invasiveness was going to cross the right one.

It made sense that it would be Superman’s cousin.

“Sorry ‘bout that, I’m still working on the whole, uh, personal space thing,” Barry chuckles awkwardly rubbing the back of his neck, his wrist was throbbing but at least it wasn’t broken, “I’m Barry Allen, and that’s Shayera. We’re friends with Diana.”

“This is Streaky.” Kara nodded down to the cat on her chest, not bothering to introduce herself—it was obvious that these two were part of the Justice League, so they already knew who she was.

Diana sighed next to her, placing a hand on Kara’s shoulder, “I’ll only be gone for a few hours.”

“Hanging out?” Kara asked, finally taking Streaky out of her swaddle and putting her on the floor to which she immediately took off towards her play corner.

“We’re really just gonna go bowling at this adult arcade,” Barry said, still trying to make up for his blunder earlier which was also Shayera’s current entertainment, “Do you like bowling? The more the merrier, right?”

Kara looked at Diana and the Amazon only looked back, firmly setting the ball in Kara’s court. And as much as the kryptonian wanted to double down on the fact that she did not want to do anything else today…she was curious about Diana’s friends.

Even though Kara’s morning was a little rocky and very busy, a few hours spent beating a group of A-Class heroes at bowling didn’t sound that bad.

Kara pulled the wagon to the kitchen and Diana followed her—also noting how good Kara looked in those cargo pants, “Depends, what kind of food do they serve there?”

Barry smirked, already calling dibs on who he wanted to be his partner today, “They have wings, pizza, slushies and cheesecake.”

“Help with these groceries, and we’re in.”

Notes:

There are probably typos in my typos lol but hey, that’s life.

Diana and Kara are gettin closer 👀 Kara’s a little stubborn about it tho I wonder…

But look, finally! Super friends have finally entered the fray, albeit a tad rudely but what are friends for eh 😬

This is only part 1 of this week, some of the scene requests will be popping up in the next chapter. I split it in half cos it was getting long and I didn’t wanna leave y’all hangin cos I’m slow 🤣🤣

Anywho, thank you guys for the kudos and kind comments!

Chapter 14: Here Kitty Kitty II

Notes:

Why did it take me a month to update? I’m a slow writer and I had the flu a week ago 😭 so I’m sorry for the wait but here we go!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Kara wasn't what either Shayera or Barry were expecting. She had an actual personality aside from the bloodthirsty Kryptonian that Batman and Aquaman were trying to make her out to be. Yet as unfair as they were towards Superman's cousin; the evidence of her past actions were indeed stacked against her. But when Wonder Woman, the Wonder Woman vouched for someone...that was a pretty hard opinion to ignore.

So while Barry and Shayera were eager to spend time with their friend Diana and they did have conflicting interest in meeting the infamous Lieutenant Kara Zor-El. And so far, it was going better than anticipated.

Shayera wasn't sure about Barry but it didn't take her very long to notice that Kara had quirks. They were subtle but Shayera was an observant woman, and there wasn’t much that she missed.

But Kara’s quirks weren’t a bad thing but it was obvious that she was at the very least foreign. She had a very good stoic resting face but every now and then Shayera would catch her looking at something in awe or observing other bowlers around them, and mimicking some of their techniques until she got it down right and now she was leading the board alongside Diana. Big surprise.

Kara was actually funny too and every bit of the smartass Diana said she was. And it was easy to spot that 'infuriating' charisma that Diana always went on about, but now that Shayera was seeing it in person; Diana and Kara. She could now confidently call Diana's bluff, she was more amused and entertained with Kara more than she presented during their weekly meetings. In Shayera's eyes, Diana was comfortable.

She couldn't wait to tell John that she was right and that he owed her a foot massage.

It was almost scary that Kara was the perfect match for the Amazon...Shayera would even go as far as to say she is a better match than Superman, with or without her sun-kissed powers.

When the Justice League first formed with the seven of them, Superman and Wonder Woman were a hot trend for a long while but of course it never happened. Diana wasn't available to anyone by choice, and Clark had Lois. Maybe in another universe they would've worked, Shayera mused, maybe...but not this one.

And Kara was eons above the other men, and some women, who had their eyes on the Amazon Princess as well.

Shayera knew that she was looking at trouble brewing right before her eyes and she wasn't sure if she was simply just being paranoid because her friend was finding her happiness again. In their line of work, happiness was often burned fast 'til the bitter end.

Snap!

Barry snapped his fingers in front of Shayera's face, bringing her out of her deep musings and the noise of the arcade around them suddenly came rushing back to the Thanagarian, reminding her of where she was.

Licking her lips, Shayera twisted the ring on her finger, the one that was gifted to her to conceal her wings when she was out in public and did not feel like being stared at.

“Hey girl, where'd ya go? It's your turn again,” Barry's grin was bright and , “Better make this one count, Diana’s not playing around out there! But between you and me, I think she’s just showin’ off.”

Diana scoffed, catching the end of Barry’s statement as she came back from the restroom and reclaimed her seat next to Kara, and this time she left very little room between them.

“It’s not too late to put the bumper rails up for you, Barry.”

“Oh ha ha ha, you’re so funny,” Barry picked up an extra cheesy slice of pizza—the one Kara had been subtly eyeing thirty seconds prior, “I still don’t think it’s fair that you get to hog Kara all to yourself, I called dibs on her being my partner.”

Diana laughed, shaking her head at his pout, “I’m going to the ladies room, don’t try to poach Kara while I’m away, Barry.”

“Oh I wouldn’t dream of it, Princess…even though I called dibs first!”

Barry was mostly just teasing but a tiny part of him was just a wee bit pouty that he couldn’t hang with Kara even though they were technically hanging out now. His blunder earlier when he rudely invaded her personal space was still currently living rent free in his head and Barry just wanted to redeem himself.

As if she knew what he was thinking, Shayera fondly ruffled his hair as she walked past him to go bowl her turn. And Barry wasted very little time scarfing down his pizza slice and turning his sights onto the Kryptonian.

“So, Kara, I have to ask,” Barry cleared his throat nervously but he was fairly confident that she wouldn’t literally kill him (not in a public place that is) “What’s the deal with you and the cat?”

“What do you mean?” Kara co*cked her head to the side, her eyebrows furrowing slightly, “Are you asking how I found Streaky?”

“No, I mean yeah but like…why do you take the cat everywhere with you? Most people just leave their pets at home, ya know?”

“Well...I am not most people,” Kara shrugged, a little guarded as she was not sure if this was about to turn into an insult or not, “And Streaky isn't here now. So I guess I don't take her everywhere.

“No…okay, you have fair point there,” Barry suddenly got the gut feeling that he was on thin ice again, “but you took her grocery shopping and stuff. I guess I was just wondering…how come?”

Kara sighed and she straightened up with a small smile, she didn't understand the need for him to understand the quick bond between her and Streaky. It was obvious to Kara that he simply wanted to get to know her, however his approach could use some work before someone beat him up for it one day. Kara decided that it would simply be easier to just indulge him before he genuinely started to irritate her. She didn't think Diana would appreciate her snapping on her friends, at least not on the first day of meeting them.

“Streaky is very young, Barry. Diana works much too often and I’m also hardly ever home to properly care for the kitten. So, Streaky comes with me and its a win-win for us. And since I’m still new to this planet, I figured Streaky and I will learn this world together, right?”

“Oh.” Barry sat back, he wasn’t sure what he was expecting honestly…it was such an alien answer though, “That’s cool. Makes sense…in an alien sort of way, I guess.”

Kara ignored his last statement, choosing not to take offense even though she was, “Do you have any pets?”

“Nah, I’m too busy for any pets, not even a fish...”

“Oh, you have a day job then, like Diana?”

“I work in CSI, er, crime scene investigations. For the police, y'know? Heh,” Barry shrugged, rubbing the back of his neck, “Nothin’ as fancy as Diana or Bruce but I do okay.”

“It’s honest work, Barry, don't downplay your work. You are helping your world with both your mind and your body, most would not—and as far as I've seen during my time here, they don't. Be proud of what you do, fast one.”

“Thanks.” Barry smiled, appreciating Kara’s kind words, “Anyway, what do you do all day?”

Kara’s smile grew a little, “I like to cook.”

“Huh, really?” Barry wasn’t expecting that, but he was intrigued—a new friend that can cook? And could kick ass too? Today was his lucky day for a new friend, “No way, what do you cook? Like, dishes from Krypton? Or as close as you can get with our bland Earth ingredients, I guess, huh?”

Even though she was curious herself, Shayera tsked at Barry’s insensitivity while taking her seat again and that was right around the time that Diana returned from the ladies room, and of course she caught the end of Barry’s question.

“Earth doesn’t have the right ingredients for that. I’ve already checked multiple times.” Kara answered easily, not minding the question this time—she's concluded that Barry was just a curious child in a grown man's body, “But for all that was great about Krypton, the food wasn’t something my people really focused on.”

“What? Really?? How can food not be the top priority here? Did you guys eat ration bars like they did in Star Trek?”

Kara had no idea what the hell a Star Trek was but she shrugged anyway, “Sometimes but on Krypton, our days were longer and our work was very important. Meals weren’t completely obsolete but they weren’t always a priority, we developed tabs or even pills to curb our hunger when we were otherwise busy.” Kara's tone was wistful and Barry felt bad for even bringing the dead planet up at all.

“Wow.” Barry’s eyebrows shot up, “That’s intense. Clark showed me a menu from Krypton once, I guess I just figured…sorry, I didn’t mean to—I was just curious about your cooking that’s all.”

Kara's eye twitched. “Everything Kal-El knows about Krypton comes from the codex that was no doubt stored in his pod by his parents. Whatever he showed you was more than likely correct but the context…the history of it all, is what I’m afraid that he has wrong. You don't know anything about Krypton, Barry, because he doesn't. Okay?”

Kara was speaking so calmly but there was no denying the unyielding disdain in her tone. It was obvious that Barry struck a nerve and it was a little surprising that Kara didn't snap at him earlier on. All Barry could do was sit there and nod his head with wide eyes, an apology on the tip of his tongue but his gut was telling him to keep his mouth shut this time. Barry's anxious blue eyes quickly went to Diana but they were back on Kara's like a magnet to a refrigerator.

“Okay.” In a soothing manner, Diana placed her hand on Kara's thigh just above the her knee, “And on that note, how about we order another pizza?”

If Diana noticed that Shayera and Barry were staring at her hand sitting on Kara's leg, she didn't show it and neither did Kara. And thankfully, Kara wasn't looking at Barry anymore because the speedster was almost a hundred percent sure that Kara was about to use her heat vision, with or without the sun rays to power her up.

Diana squeezed Kara's leg gently, finally breaking her attention away from Barry and Shayera exhaled quietly, shooting Barry a disapproving look when neither Kara or Diana were looking to which he responded by shrugging sheepishly and rubbing the back of his neck, thoroughly embarrassed.

Not paying her friends any mind, Diana raised her eyebrows at Kara and Diana's eyes darted to the front doors of the bowling alley—the question was loud and clear even though Diana hadn't uttered another word. And Kara was tempted to end this whole thing right here and now and go back to Diana's apartment to finish their dinner plans. Kara was missing Streaky anyway—but instead, Kara consciously relaxed herself and smiled but it wasn't as open as it were before.

“I think I'll try the hot honey wings this time. I'm starting to work up a real appetite with all of this winning.” Seemingly unfazed with the tension only seconds ago, Kara patted Diana's hand before she stood and walked past the trio for her turn on the bowling lane.

“Oh please you’re only twenty points ahead,” Shayera pointed out, her competitive streak rising to Kara’s boasting as she too was eager to move past Barry's blunder and get back to having fun, “And we still have ten rounds to go.”

“I've beaten you all in the first ten turns, what's another?”

“You're luck is gonna run out sooner or later, Lieutenant.”

Hearing her former title being used in present time, and respectfully, made Kara pause at the lane line and she readjusted her grip on the ball before she looked over her shoulder at the Thanagarian and she smirked.

“This next strike is for you.”

It was later into the evening when Kara and Diana finally returned home. Neither of them anticipated coming back home at this hour and despite the hiccups, the outing turned out to be something fun for both of them...though that was only after the fact when Barry got the hint to stop pestering Kara...and bringing up Clark. Diana would have to have a talk with Barry later but for now, she was glad that they all parted tonight on good terms. Shayera and Barry were her friends and the people she trusted when they were out there saving the world.

And Kara was...well Kara was Kara. Diana just wanted them all to get along, and she wasn't quite ready to think too hard on the 'why' part either.

The only regret Diana had tonight was the fact that she missed out on a very delicious home cooked meal. There was nothing wrong with pizza, wings and sticky bowling balls—but Diana had been looking forward to her quiet night at home with Kara and fresh thick and juicy steak that Kara promised her.

“I bought those steaks fresh, and they were not cheap,” Kara plopped down on the sofa next to Diana with a loud huff, she was now half sitting half lying into Diana. And Streaky went from Diana’s lap to Kara's almost immediately, “Since you have patrol and work tomorrow, how does a Sunday meal sound to you?”

“Are you suddenly a mind reader?” Diana laughed lightly, watching Kara lovingly scratch Streaky under her furry chin and the kitten purred happily, “I was here thinking of ways to convince you for a Sunday dinner.”

“Life would be incredibly boring if I could read minds,” Kara pointed out, quietly as Streaky was starting to fall asleep already, “I like your friends, I didn’t think that I would.”

Diana glanced down at Kara before going back to the selection of shows and movies, “I think they liked you too. And Kara...thank you for being patient with Barry today. I know that he can be a little much sometimes but he means well.”

“Hmm, the call would be coming from inside of the house if I faulted Barry for his personality.”

Diana laughed quietly, and she finally settled on Kara's favorite cooking show instead and the two women were once again simply content on the sofa having a quiet moment. And while neither were aware of the other's thoughts, they both longed for this moment to continue on well past tonight.

Even if it wasn't meant to last.

Much, much later that night...on the other side of National City...

It was nearly one in the morning when his flight finally landed him back home in National City. Lately his boss as been on another tangent about the super secret project that they were working on but dealing with foreign technology always had its hiccups. Even seven years after the invasion, they were still only able to touch the surface of what that technology could do. It was incredible what it could do—how that knowledge could forward the human way of thinking and living for the better. Winn was hopeful that if they could crack the code or whatever network that was being used, they could save some of their planet. At least, that was the idea but given that his boss was a Luthor, Winn could only hope.

Yet as exhausting and tedious as it were to fly back and forth to work three to four times out of the week, Winn believed in his work and he believed in the endgame of it all. It would've been easier to relocate but his friends, his family were all in National City and seeing them gave him purpose and drive to keep going despite all of the setbacks. Like the one they had today.

They lost a crew but gained a mile and in the end, that's what it was about...they all signed up for the sacrifice for humanity.

Winn yawned loudly as he trekked through the airport along with the other tired red-eye stragglers. If Winn had been a little more alert he would've noticed that he had a shadow with him only a couple of steps behind him wearing a hooded over coat that came down to the top of their blood red boots. They were stalking him like a well trained predator but all Winn could think about was a hot shower and his cold bed waiting for him at home. And hopefully a tub of ice cream if it didn't go bad already.

Winn stepped out onto the shuttle pick up platform and he checked over his shoulder suddenly when a weird chill feel over him but when he looked, there wasn't anything or anyone there out of the ordinary. His eyes roamed the area for about ten seconds before he turned around and blaming his mild paranoia on the lack of sleep he's gotten in the past thirty six hours. Winn checked the time on the sign for the next incoming shuttle and saw that he still had at least a five minute wait.

He would've walked to the parking lot if he thought that would make a difference but it was just too far and he had no choice but to wait.

“That damn shuttle, huh?” a deep, muffled voice came from his right and scaring the sh*t out of Winn enough to make him yelp like a wounded pup.

“Oh Jesus!” Winn wheezed, shaking his head and getting his wits together, “You scared the sh*t out me, man.”

“Sorry 'bout that.” they replied after a moment and it was hard for Winn to decipher if it was a woman or a man standing next to him.

“Yeah, ha, it's okay uh, just make some noise or something next time before you give someone a heart attack!” Winn joked, still chuckling and his heart was still beating fast, “So, um, late night for you too, eh?”

“Somethin' like that.”

Winn cleared his throat and that prickly chill from earlier came back and Winn checked over his shoulder again but he and this mystery person were the only ones standing out here right now. And even though this was a well lit public place—Winn couldn't shake the trepidation he was feeling now. As subtly as he could, he checked out the newcomer...they were tall, certainly taller than he was. The overcoat they wore was thick but it couldn't hide how built this person was beneath it, but it seemed like they were trying to hide that fact. Their hands weren't visible instead stuffed in the pockets of their coat and their hood was so far drawn over their head, that Winn couldn't really see without making it obvious that he was staring.

Winn looked away to check his watch again when he clocked their blood red boots through his peripherals and froze.

It was then that the figure angled their head towards him, “Is something wrong, Winn?”

“O-oh God...please...”

“Begging already? Don't make me blush.”

“Please, I-I don't know anything!”

“Well that's just silly. Of course you don't...I haven't asked you anything yet.” The hooded figure tilted their head curiously down at him, and by their tone Winn knew that they were smiling and that scared him even more.

.

.

Winn came to with a start and he sat up quickly but his vision was still blurry and distorted. Winn groaned at the throbbing pain on the back of his head as he rolled over. Winn was used to having weird dreams after long work hours and even longer flights except that Winn didn't remember ever getting on the shuttle or even getting home to fall asleep.

“Ugh...” Winn's hand fell off the edge of his bed and...and it landed in something wet. What the...? Winn sat up a little more and rubbed his eyes with his other hand, hoping to clear up his eyesight Better.

“Whoa!!” Winn jumped back and landed on his ass when he realized that he was in fact not at home....he wasn't even in National City anymore. He was in some kind of underground lair. It wasn't dark and damp like it was in the movies but it spacious and warm, and well lit. Winn had been laying on the edge of a metal platform that was inches away from lava...lava that was still on his hand! Winn started to yell but he immediately stopped himself when his brain registered that he'd been sitting there for five minutes and nothing happened to him. Sitting this close to lava like this should've burned him alive by now, Winn knew that he shouldn't have even be alive right now.

He could see traces of a faint red hue covering his body, presumably from head to toe and whatever this could be was protecting him from certain death. He stared at his hand with wide eyed terror and awe, Winn couldn't believe that he dipped his hand in lava real lava and he was...he was okay!

“Holy sh*t.”

“Winn.”

“Ah! Jesus, f*cking hell!” he jumped, scrambling to his feet clumsily but Winn ended up fall back on his ass again, “It's you...I...where am I??” Winn asked frantically, scooting backwards towards the edge of the metal platform, his fingers catching in the holes painfully as he moved.

The person...the villain hovering above him wasn't wearing that hooded overcoat anymore, exposing him to their entirety. They weren't like any villain Winn has ever seen before, granted he's never actually seen a super villain up close and personal like this before, nevermind find himself kidnapped to their lair. And this one he's only recently seen on the news just once—and it didn't help that they'd completely obliterated the Justice League as well.

This was the infamous Red Lantern and Winn didn't know what in the world they could want with him.

He watched with baited breath as they came down and gently landed on the ground less than forty feet away from him.

“Get up.”

“Listen, listen! I..I..I don't have any money! Okay? I...”

The Red Lantern laughed dryly, cutting him off, “Get up before I make you, Winn.”

Winn quickly shut his mouth, knowing that it wasn't an empty threat—the Red Lantern clearly wanted him for something and they've already demonstrated that they'd hurt him to get what they wanted. It took some effort but Winn managed to get on his feet but his knees were so weak with fear that he was little hunched over and shaking despite trying his best not to.

The Red Lantern took a few steps closer to him and it was everything Winn could do to avoid moving backwards and falling feet first into the lava.

Winn licked his lips quickly, holding up his hand to make them stop, “I...I, someone's gonna notice me missing! I-I know important people and—”

“You're in the Earth's core, Winn. No one is gonna find us down here...and even if they did, how are they going to get here? You're only alive because I'm allowing you to be.” the Red Lantern pointed to his hand and suddenly Winn fell to his knees screaming in agony as his hand immediately began to blister and peel from the extreme heat around from the atmosphere around them, and it was over just as quickly as it started. “Understand?”

Whimpering and cradling his crisp hand to his chest, Winn nodded his understanding. His hand was no longer being disintegrated but he could still feel the intensity of the pain he'd endured just seconds ago.

“The technology that you are working on, the one in Metropolis; what is it?”

Winn took several deep breaths, his brain was kicking into overdrive in an rather pathetic attempt to stall the Red Lantern but Winn knew that there was very little point of him even trying. Not unless he wanted the rest of him to end up like his poor hand and Winn knew that he wouldn't be able to survive an experience like that. He'd been on this project for seven years now and never once has this been a problem. The Luthor family didn't want to shovel out more money on security details for each of their scientists and tech analysts that they had on payroll—so the dossiers of everyone was under an encrypted wrap and key that was in the possession of the Luthor siblings. Winn would know because he designed the hard-drive.

“If...if I answer, are you gonna kill me?”

The Red Lantern didn't answer but that was enough for Winn to get the hint that he'd better starting talk and quickly. This project was his life, it was going to be his legacy—but Winn never thought about if he'd actually die for it. Would he?

With his good hand, Winn helped himself back up—stumbling but he managed to right himself quickly and he was sure that he looked a mess but anyone kidnapped by a super villain and brought to the Earth's core wouldn't be looking like their best either.

“It's...it's....Kryptonian, okay? It's Kryptonian tech from seven years ago when they invaded and tried to take over Earth.” Winn started shakily, he couldn't believe that he was actually doing this but he had very little choice, “They...they left it behind after—”

“They left it behind?” the Red Lantern repeated sarcastically and they paced shortly in front of Winn, “And what exactly are you people doing with this technology? What are your intentions?”

“We uh,” Winn swallowed thickly, “We uh...we wanna save the world.”

The Red Lantern laughed and Winn frowned at them.

“We do! That's the entire initiative!” Winn defended hotly, “Better energy, better resources and less pollution. But...but that's all just an idea because we don't know how any of it works, and Superman won't help. He doesn't trust the government or the Luthor family to keep their word.”

“Yet he leaves the technology in your human hands? What a f*cking idiot.” the Red Lantern scoffed, saying that last part more to themselves than it was for Winn, “How far have you gotten, Winn?”

“In seven years? We've only just scratched the surface,” Winn admitted softly, his shoulders dropped, “We don't know how to start the damn thing and even if we did...no one us knows the language. But why do you wanna know all of this? Is that why you've been stealing all of that technology from Star Labs?”

The Red Lantern regarded Winn closely for a few uncomfortable moments before they turned and walked away from him without saying a word. Winn started to call out after them but what the hell was he going to say? His self preservation told him to stay put but his common sense told him that it would be in his best interest to simply follow, and so he did. Winn hadn't even seen this little corridor until now. It was narrow but he fit through easily enough. There were crevices in the walls that leaked tears of lava but that was all that was of interest.

The real show was when he finally exited the narrow path and Winn stopped, taking in the sight. It was...magnificent really. Winn didn't think he'd ever seen anything this beautiful before. This was like a mini mansion but underground, buried deep in some mountain and the not the literal crust of the planet.

The Earth's core was brighter than the sun itself yet Winn found himself staring right it without issue. He didn't know if it was because of whatever protective layer the Red Lantern put on him or whatever the hell this clear dome was made of but he just couldn't look away.

Winn was positive that he is the first and probably the last human being to ever see the core of mother Earth like this. Winn suddenly became aware of the quietness around him and he turned around, expecting sudden death but the Red Lantern wasn't even facing him. Instead they were looking at a screen that was filled with lines and scribbles that Winn couldn't even hope to understand himself and he was still confused as to why he was really here. This place, this area—it looked like a command center but there were things here that he didn't recognize yet somehow it seemed so familiar to him. Cautiously glancing at the Red Lantern, who still wasn't paying him any mind, Winn slowly made his way to what he assumed to be the command table. There was a holographic map hovering there but it wasn't one of Earth but another planet. Mars? Winn

“What do you want with me? I'm not the only tech analyst working on this project...there are others that have higher clearance than I do.”

“I'm aware.”

“So why me? Because...because it sounds like you're asking questions that you already know the answers to.”

The Red Lantern approached the command table across from Winn and they pushed the holographic Mars aside and replaced it with Earth, “Winn, I chose you because you're the only person on that team that believes that you're going to save the planet. I chose you because you're honest and you have a moral code, one that I think I can trust...am I wrong?”

“I-I don't know.”

“Tsk. See? Honest.” the Red Lantern chuckled, but Winn didn't find anything funny—he was terrified, “Believe it or not, Winn. I wanna save the planet too. And we're going to help one another.”

You want to save Earth? Er, I find that kind of hard to believe.” Winn scoffed, feeling bold.

“Well, the only other option I have is to finish what was started and that would require me to completely annihilate the surface of this planet...and everything that's on it.” that wiped away Winn's small grin, and the Red Lantern crossed their arms smugly, “That's what I thought. So if you don't want that to happen...we're going to be working together. I help you save your world, and you help me avoid doing something I don't wanna do.”

“And...and if I say no? Then what? What's gonna stop me from telling anyone once you cut me loose?”

“You do that; not only will you doom your planet, Winn, but think about this; I found you so easily...didn't I? How long do you think I've been watching you? Hm? You and everyone around you.” The Red Lantern stalked around the table calmly, and Winn tensed, his hands trembling at his sides as he kept his gaze focused on the rotating holo Earth in front of him, “You're smart, Winn. Do you see where I'm going with this now?”

“Mhm, mhm.” Winn nodded curtly, his lips pressed into a thin line, “You...you better promise me, right now, you won't hurt them. Promise me right now!”

The Red Lantern patted Winn's back firmly and gripped his shoulder painfully tight, “Do as you're told and you won't have to worry about a thing.”

[ Metropolis City…the evening of the Justice League party…]

Kara was exhausted, anxious and irritated all at the same time and she was having a hard time managing her emotions tonight. Tonight of all days at that as well. She and Diana arrived in Metropolis less than two hours ago and they had checked into the hotel room provided by Bruce Wayne so that they could get dressed in peace and so that neither of them felt rushed.

Kara wondered if all the other heroes received the same treatment but she didn’t care enough to actually ask and find out. Rao…Kara couldn’t believe that she actually agreed to this. And for what? Because she was jealous over someone that isn’t even…

Kara sighed harshly, and Streaky meowed from the middle of the massive hotel bed which prompted Kara to check on the growing kitten. And Kara’s expression softened a little when she took in Streaky’s cute black vest with the subtle red trimmings. It matched the black suit that Kara was prepared to wear tonight and Diana’s red dress. Streaky’s vest was a perfect match between the two and Kara thought she never looked cuter until now.

But even Streaky being adorable couldn’t curb Kara’s mood tonight. She turned back to the mirror with a determined expression, still only half dressed, and glared at her reflection.

“You are Lieutenant Kara Zor-El, and you will not be bested by anxiety.”

Streaky meowed again behind her but Kara checked her watch and realized that she only had twenty more minutes before Diana came looking for her again. Kara was almost positive that the Amazon was even more nerve wrecked than she was because on the flight over Diana continuously asked Kara if she was sure if she wanted to attend this thing.

And once Diana even asked if she pressured Kara into it.

“As if,” Kara had scoffed at that. As if anyone could make her do anything anymore. She may still be on this bullsh*t parole deal but Kara was a free woman and she was free to do as she pleased.

Which also included crashing a superhero party.

Kara finished doing her hair, only a tight ponytail and not a hair out of place either. It was always a go to style for Kara rather than wearing her hair down and Faora teased her for it sometimes. Kara considered cutting her hair short but she never did follow through on that.

Kara heard loud voices outside of her hotel bedroom and she smoothed down the front of her suit, still in awe over how much it resembled a traditional suit from Krypton. Even Faora would not have been able to deny its likeness.

Kara quickly tucked her small but matching pack around her waist beneath the jacket which mostly contained healthy snacks for Streaky and maybe some yarn as well. She gently scooped the cat in question from the center of the bed and kissed the top of her head.

“Well Streaky, time to crash a party.”

As she walked towards the main room, Kara heard Diana talking to Shayera and Barry but there was another person out there too. A man with a deep authoritative voice and Kara smirked a little bit before she schooled it away. Kara stopped at the end of the hallway and took everyone in, of course Barry was just in a tuxedo with the back of her shirt untucked and wrinkled but it suited him. Kara’s only met the man once but it wasn’t hard to realize that Barry probably led a very chaotic lifestyle and it only made sense if he dressed the part as well.

Shayera’s emerald evening gown wasn’t a surprise either and neither was John Stewart’s steel gray three piece suit and his emerald tie that not only matched Shayera’s dress but his glowing green eyes and the ring on his right hand.

But Kara’s focus was primarily on the Amazon. Sure Kara has seen her in this dress once before at the store, and helped Diana pick out even but seeing it all come together? Well. Kara would be a bold faced liar if she said that Diana wasn’t an attractive woman.

She always has been, even when she was being an asshole, Kara always appreciated Diana’s beauty. And tonight Diana glowed brighter than her gold earrings and necklace sitting pretty on her collarbone. Diana’s dark hair was curled and laid over her right shoulder, keeping her back exposed and Kara subconsciously licked her lips.

Rao…this woman is a distraction…

Of course it was too much for Kara to hope to lurk in peace but as it were, Barry spotted Kara first. But unlike last time, he didn’t rush towards them excitedly but his big grin and waving was enough, and it drew everyone’s attention to Kara.

Shayera whistled, “Well, well Lieutenant. You clean up very nicely.”

Kara coughed lightly behind her free hand, “Thank you, so do you. It’s nice to see you again.”

“And this is John Stewart, my date.”

“Also known as the Green Lantern, best out of all of ‘em ya ask me,” Barry supplied with a slight huff that Diana giggled at and John rolled his bright green eyes at.

“Thanks, hot shot. Just er…try to keep that to yourself tonight, we don’t want any brawls at this thing tonight. Anyway,” John held out his hand to Kara, “It’s nice to finally meet you, Lieutenant.”

Kara glanced at his hand before she switched Streaky into her other hand so that she could shake John’s hand properly, “Kara is fine, Lantern.”

“And I go by John when I’m not in the super suit. So who’s the little guy?”

Her name is Streaky,” Kara held up the kitten a little who was suddenly feeling very shy, “Found her about a week ago behind a nasty dumpster. No offense…but you humans are quite cruel to your animals.”

“No offense taken because it’s true.”

John made a face and it brought attention to the healed scar on top of his head, it was close to his forehead. John noticed her looking and he chuckled when Kara looked away.

“This kind of stuff comes with the territory. I’ve dealt with hits worse than this one, trust me.”

“Sorry ‘bout that.”

“You didn’t do it, why are you sorry, Kara?” Shayera shrugged, and linked her arm with John’s and pulled him close, “that damn Red Lantern will get what’s owed to them.”

“Alright, no more shop talk!” Barry interrupted, knowing that his friends will go on a tangent if they didn’t get moving soon, “We have a party to get to and lots of booze to drink!”

“Agreed,” John sighed, checking his silver Rolex, “the limo is downstairs waiting and we’re already late. C’mon.”

Kara smiled a little when Diana sidled up next to her and linked their arms, mirroring John and Shayera. She smelled really nice, it was floral with strong notes of velvety musk. In her high heels, Diana was just a smidge taller than Kara tonight.

But Kara didn’t mind it, she was too busy trying not to openly stare at Diana but it was hard not to and Diana preened under Kara’s attention.

“You look very handsome tonight, Kara. I’m afraid I’m going to be the one fighting off your admirers now.”

“That makes two of us then, Diana. Don’t sell yourself short…you’re gonna kill ‘em in this dress too.” Hell…you’re killing me now. “Do you always dress like this for parties?”

“Why? You’re going to start attending more with me?” Diana teased, and Kara just rolled her eyes yet she didn’t answer but her silence was enough for Diana.

Kara wasn’t going to openly admit that the sole reason she was even here was because she was envious of anyone else seeing Diana in this dress while she wasn’t around. Granted that was outlandishly possessive of her and Kara was sure that Diana has worn this and many other dresses like this in the past. But logic hasn’t really been Kara’s friend lately.

And she didn’t want to think too hard about any of that anyway.

“You’re a menace, Diana Prince.”

“Hey, why do I suddenly feel left out over here?”

Shayera poked her tongue out him, “I told you to bring a date! No one is going to be in costumes tonight.”

“What? Well yeah, but I thought we were all going as friends!” Barry ran over to the door to open it for everyone, “I didn’t get the memo that this wasn’t a friend group thing!”

“It is! Just…some of us wanna get laid tonight too, Barry.”

“Aw c’mon, how is this fair?? Even the Cat has a date!”

“Two actually.” Diana pointed out unhelpfully and Kara snorted, handing over Streaky when Diana prompted her too.

“Showed up by a cat, that ain’t right man…”

Shayera patted Barry’s cheek on her way out of the hotel room with John and Barry just groaned, and followed after the couple like a lost puppy.

Diana and Kara were the last to leave the room since it was their room after all and they had to make sure that the room was locked up. That and the two of them wanted a moment alone before they were surrounded by other people who would no doubt want their attention tonight.

Diana’s hand curled around Kara’s strong bicep, ultimately pulling them closer together and leaving very little space between the two of them, “Please don’t hesitate to let me know when you’re ready to leave.”

Surprised, Kara turned her head to meet Diana’s and saw that the Amazon was being very serious—and their faces were much closer now that Kara was looking at her.

“I thought you said that it was mandatory for you to be here tonight?”

“To show up, yes,” Diana sighed softly, “but we don’t have to stay all night, just long enough to mingle.”

“Hey you two!” Barry called from the elevators, “Hurry up will ya?”

Kara nodded with a deep breath, show time.

Bruce Wayne wouldn’t be Bruce Wayne if he didn’t bring out the whole nine when it came to a party, even when it was a private party. No matter how anyone actually felt about the man, everyone had to admit that the man knew how to throw a party.

It was in full swing when they arrived and Barry immediately separated from the group to go talk to a group of women, and Shayera rolled her eyes at his antics.

She was speaking but Kara wasn’t listening, she was busy taking everything and everyone in. There were people in all corners of the banquet hall, dressed in their best.

The DJ was playing some good dancing music that Kara’s never in her life heard of before but it was catchy enough that she didn’t quite mind it. She was also pleased that it wasn’t too loud either, for both her sake and Streaky’s.

The lights weren’t bright but dim enough to give that party atmosphere without turning it into a nightclub even though the first floor was quite literally the dance floor. And it was already packed, no doubt superheroes—and Kara tried not to be alarmed with how many heroes there actually were.

Gentle tugging on her arm brought Kara back to herself and Diana smiled at her, but her eyes were searching Kara’s, making sure that everything was still okay. Shayera and John had broken away a few moments ago to go dancing before they mingled with anyone else.

“Diana!!”

A tall burly man approached them, he had medium length dirty blonde hair and a scraggly unkempt beard to match. He wasn’t wearing a suit but more like dress pants and a silk shirt with one button in the middle. In Kara's opinion, he looked sleazy and out of place.

“Ha ha! I didn’t think you’d actually show up tonight. And damn, you look beautiful. More than usual.”

“Arthur.” Diana smiled tightly, “you’re here earlier than I thought you’d be.”

“I didn’t want to miss the party favors,” he chuckled, looking directly at Kara when he said that and Kara felt Diana tense next to her, and that was the only warning Kara got before Arthur started talking again, this time to her, “You must be Clark’s cousin, I thought you’d be…stronger lookin’. Arthur Curry.”

Kara’s grin was full of knives, and she blatantly ignored his hand, “Looks can be deceiving, Arthur Curry.”

Arthur chuckled, taking back his hand as if nothing happened, “Oh, of that I have very little doubt.”

Kara could smell the stench of salt water and booze oozing from his pores, and she could see past his slimy inebriated grin. She knew exactly who she was looking at and the Lieutenant was not impressed. And judging by the quiet hissing coming from Streaky, she wasn’t impressed either. Her hissing finally made Arthur take notice of her and he looked mildly surprised to see Kara holding a kitten.

“I fully expected to see Bruce's side piece with a cat tonight, but you? What's with the rodent?” he laughed, clearly with the intent to insult Kara but his pettiness went ignored.

“Where is Mera, Arthur? I was sure I’d be seeing your wife tonight. It's not every night that we get to unwind like this.”

Diana’s hand tightened around Kara’s bicep, enough to hurt but Kara didn’t outwardly react but she took the hint and let Diana lead this conversation.

“She had better things to do. Besides, I wasn't planning on staying long, I just wanted to see what the fuss was all about with this one.” Arthur shrugged. He may be playing the game of a drunk man but his eyes were sharp and locked onto Kara, just as hers were honed in on him. And neither were lost on Diana.

“Arthur…we're not doing this right now.” Diana knew what Arthur was trying to do, she's heard him spout enough bullsh*t and naysay during their weekly meetings not to fall for this nice guy act and Diana will be damned if she allowed him to provoke Kara into making a scene.

“Ah c’mon Diana, you can’t hog the woman of the hour for yourself all night. We’ve spent so long just hearing about her, after all. And anyways, she’s Clark’s cousin not yours. And I hear the big guy is excited to meet her.”

Kara’s jaw clenched, she hated being talked about like she was an object and not standing within hearing range. And she most certainly did not like this man either. Diana didn't say as much but Kara knew that Arthur wasn’t Diana’s favorite person either.

“Diana.” Kara interrupted them before the pissing match could start between the two, “If I wanted to spend my evening staring at a fish out of the water, I could've gone to SeaWorld or something,” Kara looked back at Arthur with a smile that didn't reach her eyes, “Which would kind of suck since Streaky hates fish.”

Arthur's offended expression made Diana laugh despite herself and she took the opportunity to steer her and Kara away from Arthur while he was still trying to recover his wits enough for a comeback. Diana knew that she wouldn’t be hearing the end of that exchange for a while. She could tell that Arthur wasn’t expecting Kara to bite back at him but he has always been pig headed and egotistical, especially when it came to women.

And it didn’t matter if the woman was stronger than he was, Arthur thought he was god's gift to women.

“The only gift that man has is to look like a sleaze and smell like rotten fish.” Kara commented under her breath so only that Diana heard her and the Amazon hadn’t even realized that she was narrating her thoughts out loud, “Too bad for his wife though, stuck with someone like that.”

Diana hummed softly, “I agree, and I am forever grateful that he is not the king of Atlantis even though his brother is not much better. He’s much more…tolerable.”

Still skeptical, Kara rolled her eyes, “Hmm, you should pick better company to associate yourself with, Princess.”

“I associate with you, don’t I?” Diana scoffed, glancing at Kara as they ventured up the stairs and away from the party floor.

It was set up like a lounge on this part of the floor and there was another open bar and a massive buffet that had Kara’s stomach caving in on itself immediately.

“I’m obviously the better choice anyway, and besides…you didn’t really give yourself a choice, did you?” Kara held up the hand holding Streaky to show off the gold bracelet that she was shackled with.

“Did you want a collar instead?”

“To complete your rope set? (The lasso of truth) Nah, I think you’d enjoy that too much to be honest.”

Diana rolled her eyes, “Will you be fine for a while? I’m going to the ladies room.”

Kara nodded, “We’ll be by the food table. We’ll be fine, Princess so stop looking so worried. I won’t punch your friends in the face.”

Diana gave Kara one last squeeze on her arm before pulling away and disappearing into the crowd, and Kara wasn’t ashamed that she watched Diana walk away for a moment before she tore her eyes away and made her way to the buffet.

With Streaky now securely on her shoulder, Kara went to work cherry picking samples of food from the buffet when they were approached.

It was a woman this time, wearing a sleek black co*cktail dress and scary high stilettos. Her hair was black and cropped short, she was very pretty but she didn’t compare to Diana.

Kara stopped that thought before it went any further.

“Well hello there, gorgeous.”

Kara paused, “Uh, hi?”

“Sorry, I don’t mean to disturb you. But this is the first time I’ve seen Diana bring a date to one of these things.” She didn’t sound very sorry at all.

“Jealous?” Kara couldn’t help but tease even though she hardly knew this woman—there was just something playful about her that Kara picked up on immediately. ,

“Curious.” She smirked, looking Kara up and down appreciatively, “Selena Kyle.”

This time, with her free hand, Kara did accept the handshake from this woman. “Kara.”

Selena raised an eyebrow, “Hmm, Kara no last name?”

“Last names are overrated.”

Selena hummed, like she didn’t believe Kara but thankfully she didn’t press it.

Kara purposely kept her introduction vague–the only Leaguers who were even aware of her existence, her true existence were the founders themselves. Diana had warned her about this days ago when Kara decided she wanted to come to this thing.

Selena plucked a martini from a passing waiter and she ate the olive gracefully before tossing the toothpick aside, “And who is this little one?”

Streaky meowed, making Kara smile—she was being vocal tonight, “This is—”

“Streaky.” Selina’s red lips stretched into a big grin, “What a unique name for such a precious gem.”

“You…you understand animals?” Kara hoped that she didn’t sound as panicked as she felt.

“No, not animals. Just kittys. May I?”

Kara hesitated for a second before she leaned down a little bit and allowed Selena to carefully collect her cat from her shoulder and Kara couldn’t help but smile when Streaky meowed again and swatted at Selena’s fingers.

Streaky meowed again, louder this time and Selena looked too amused, which prompted Kara to ask; “What secret is she telling you now?”

“That your favorite color is red.”

.

.

Diana stepped out of the ladies room and she nearly ran into Clark and Lois. Of course, Clark was wearing his Superman costume while Lois wore a gorgeous emerald green gown with her hair styled and pinned up with just a few strands loose.

Diana always thought it was a tad ridiculous that Clark always showed up these things in his super suit when he brought Lois along but Diana was not one to judge their relationship ethics. They both seemed happy so Diana would be happy for them…even if she thought some aspects of their relationship was ridiculous.

Though Diana suspected that Lois secretly liked being seen with Clark while he was Superman/ Kal-El rather than him just being Clark. In the beginning of their relationship, Lois was jealous and insecure when it came to Diana since she was one of the few people that could relate and fight steadily side by side with Superman.

And it certainly didn’t help matters when the public aggressively shipped Wonder Woman and Superman all those years ago.

Diana wanted nothing to do with the man but Lois didn’t believe her until Lois Lane and Superman became a thing for the ages.

But sometimes Diana still got the feeling that Lois still didn’t like her very much.

“Wow, Diana, you look great!” Clark started, smiling brightly and reaching out to oil his friend into a quick one armed hug, “wow, so uh, where’s Kara?”

Lois gave Clark a quick look that he missed but Diana did not—she had no idea what that look meant, but given their history…Diana put polite distance between her and Clark.

It was then that Diana realized what Clark had asked her and she bit back her urge to remind him that Kara was still very much reluctant to meet him.

“I actually brought her a gift. From the Fortress. Maybe…maybe that’ll get her to understand that I mean her no harm.”

“A gift? From the Fortress?” Diana licked her lips slowly, choosing her words carefully because she knew Kara. She knew her better than anyone in this building did—and a gift from Kal-El of all people may not go over so well, “Alright...”

Diana did not know what else to say. Some Ambassador she was…but this was matters between family, and it wasn’t her place to deter Clark from his last living relative any further—seven, almost eight years is enough. Clark would just have to learn on his own.

“Well, I last left her by the food table. Hopefully she and Streaky haven’t gone too far.”

“Streaky? What’s a Streaky?”

Lois sighed between them, “Kal, I’m sorry but I still think the gift is a little much…”

“Lois please, not now.”

Diana perked up a little, maybe a disaster could be avoided tonight after all…but in Lois Lane fashion, she just kept going.

“No, no, I honestly don’t understand why you’re so eager to meet a murderer.” Lois gripped, obviously exasperated, “I get it, she’s the last kryptonian alive—”

“That’s not exactly true,” Diana said, ignoring the dirty look from Lois at being interrupted and even worse: corrected, “There are others alive but they’re in prison.”

“And besides, it’s not just that, Lois, I’ve told you this. But Kara is my cousin and if it wasn’t for Diana…well, she’s my flesh and blood.”

“God, Smallville, you’re too trusting, do you know that? What if it gets out that Superman and Wonder Woman were harboring a fugitive that tried to take over the world eight years ago?!” Lois hissed and clearly this wasn’t a new argument between these two either.

Clark sighed harshly and he said something else to Lois but Diana had tuned both of them out. From across the lounge, Diana spotted Kara eating peacefully in one of the booths but she wasn’t alone…sitting across from her was none other than the seductive cat thief; Selena Kyle.

Selena was Bruce’s on and off girlfriend, and since Selena wasn’t currently hanging off of Bruce’s arm, instead it was some model—they were off again. And Selena was looking to sink her diamond crusted claws into something new.

Diana physically tensed up when Selena patted the back of Kara’s hand, her nails tracing the veins there but Diana carefully schooled away her frown but there was nothing that she could do about the butterflies in her stomach.

Kara wasn’t hers, they did not have what Clark and Lois did. Diana truly didn’t think it would even be possible as she was still Kara’s jailer.

Diana was… envious and that was hard to swallow.

“Fine. Whatever, Kal. When, not if, but when this blows up in your face, don’t forget that I told you so. Both of you.”

Diana raised an eyebrow at Lois’ audacity to speak to her in that manner, but of respect for her friend—as she has many times before—Diana let it slide.

She has grown used to mortal women being rude towards her for one reason or the other.

Clark rubbed his hands together, “Well as ma and pa would say, beating around the bush is for time wasters ,right?”

Lois rolled her eyes again, and Diana prayed to Hera for strength she did not have.

It was hard not to notice a man wearing bold red and blue colors walking across the room and no matter how many people stopped to talk to Superman, he had a one track mind.

And since Kara truthfully never lost sight of Diana—she was aware of Kal-El before Diana was. This moment was inevitable and yet…Kara still wasn’t ready.

She was about to meet the man who killed the man who took her in when she had nothing else. When her own family, Kal-El’s family specifically, did not want her. Afraid of the stench that her mother suffered from. As if any of them were any better. It was Kara’s mother who brought honor to the House of El. And Kara was willing to wager that whatever device Kal-El was using to get his ‘history’ of krypton from; failed to mention that part of their family history.

Kara didn’t know what pissed her off more—the fact that he didn’t realize that he took her whole family from her or the fact that he thinks that they are family.

The audacity and obliviousness of this man reminded Kara of Jor-El. He was a self righteous prick too.

“Hmm, it seems that you’re more important than you let on, darling.” Selena commented, spotting Superman making a beeline towards their table, “I’ll find you later, gorgeous…blue just isn’t my color.”

“I don’t blame you,” Kara said, feeding Streaky a thin piece of white chicken meat, “Nice meeting you, Selena.”

“Oh trust me dear. I have a feeling that you and I are gonna see a whole lot more of each other.” Selena purred in Kara’s voice ear after leaning down to kiss her cheek. And had Kara been paying attention she would’ve noticed that Selena was looking right at Diana who was glaring at the cat burglar.

Nor did Kara notice the glare she was receiving from the first floor from a certain broody billionaire.

Though after the cheeky little kiss, Kara did turn to look at Selena but the woman was already sashaying away, leaving Kara to wonder what the hell that was about.

“Having fun?”

Diana slid into the booth across from her and of course Streaky nearly broke a leg trying to get to her and meowing like crazy.

“Making friends, I think.” Kara watched Diana scoop up the talkative kitten, “She understood Streaky’s meowing, so I think they’re more friends than I am.”

Diana hummed, “I’m surprised she didn’t try to poach this one away from you.”

“I was worried about her being overwhelmed at this thing but she’s a natural extrovert I suppose.”

“Yeah? And what about you, Kara?”

Kara picked up another dumpling from her plate, “What about me? Am I overwhelmed?”

Diana nodded.

“Are you asking because you actually care, or are you asking because Kal-El hasn’t stopped looking at me since he’s spotted me?”

Diana sighed softly, “I warned you that this would happen, but you don’t have to talk to him if you don’t want to, Kara.”

“But…?”

“No but.” Diana shook her head, looking Kara in the eye so that she knew that Diana was being serious and that she was on Kara’s side, “if you tell me no right now, we will sit here and eat or whatever else that you’re more comfortable with.”

Kara ate another dumpling as she broke eye contact with Diana to gaze down at the dance floor. Kara spied John and Shayera in the middle and wrapped in their own bubble—and for a brief moment, Kara’s imagination put herself and Diana on the dance floor as well. Kara knew how well Diana could fight but how could she dance? Maybe she’d find out before the end of the night…or not.

But at least Barry wasn’t lonely anymore even though Kara wasn’t sure if dancing with four different women made him less lonelier than he was before.

“Kara?”

Kara and Diana looked up to see Kal-El standing there sheepishly—and up close, Kara could see just how much Kal-El resembled his father. And Kara could think back on the first day when first saw this man’s face and when she learned of his existence…back when she was still shackled like a pig for DEO and Wonder Woman…

The Kara then would’ve been foaming at the mouth for an opportunity to reign superior over this imposter Kryptonian. The so-called ‘Last Son of Krypton’. But Kara simply nodded after a moment.

“Kal-El.”

The greeting wasn’t warm but it wasn’t an outright cold shoulder either. In all honesty, Kal-El wasn’t exactly sure how to approach his cousin. He wanted them to be friends…friendly…at the very least. Superman cleared his throat pointedly again, prompting Kara to just raise an eyebrow at him but she wasn’t giving Kal-El much else to go and it seemed as if Diana was content to simply watch.

“Do you mind if we get some fresh air, Kara?”

Against her better judgment Kara agreed and Diana graciously accepted their kitten as Kara quietly rose from the table and of course she was taking her plate of food with her. Lois took Kara’s seat with a loud huff…and her frown grew even bigger when Diana actually left as well…and took the cat with her.

“Great.”

Kara was a hundred percent certain that her definition of fresh air and Kal-El’s were vastly different. Kara fully expected them to go on the roof or to go to some secret balcony she somehow didn’t notice before. Yet instead she was brought into a smaller room with a grand view of Metropolis—the city full of thousands and thousands of Skyscrapers. One taller than the next. The city was full of egos.

Kara set her plate down on one of the smaller tables, the food grown cold to her now, and she strolled towards one of the larger windows. She could see Kal-El's reflection still lingering by the door in his bright and ridiculous costume…at least the others had some sort of armor and gear on their costumes for protection.

Kal-El was so co*cky that he flew around in his tights. Kara had guessed a very long time ago that he had no idea what he wore. Or what it really symbolized. She wondered if he’d truly give a damn if he knew that he had no right to wear that because he did not earn it.

“Metropolis is a beautiful city, Kal-El.”

“Thank you,” Kal-El softened slightly, “I do my best to keep it that way. Is this your first visit?”

“I see why Zod was so obsessed with starting here.” Kara ignored Kal-El’s question, “This would’ve been the perfect place to lay new kryptonian roots.”

He sighed behind her, sounding like a disappointed brother, “You know… it’s talk like that why your friends are in the phantom zone. And it’s the reason why you are still restrained.” He added softly, as if that would lessen the sting of his words, as if she did not already know all of this.

“Hmm.”

“Even after all of this time…do you still…? Are you still—”

“No.” Kara interrupted before his inability to form a proper question turned into a whole moment, “I was just appreciating the beauty and making a tragic observation, so you can relax, Kal-El. I have no intention of finishing what Zod started in your beloved city.”

Kal-El finally made his way to the window, standing on the other side of the frame with his arms crossed (he didn’t have any pockets).

“For what it’s worth, I am sorry—”

“Don’t do that, Kal-El.”

Superman frowned, “Don’t do what?”

“Don’t apologize for protecting your planet.” Kara clarified, still not looking at him, “I would have done the same for Krypton. I have done the same for krypton.”

“Still…I wish things could have gone differently.”

Kara sighed and rolled her eyes at his naivety—she knew that he’d keep on if she fed into it so Kara opted not to. Instead she continued to silently stare at the tall skyline. Kal-El was the one that wanted to talk, not her.

“I like your choice of clothing by the way,” he chuckled, “Most people would’ve stuck to a tuxedo though.”

“Most people in this building are human and have human customs. I’m not so therefore I don’t share those same customs…this is the closest to a Kryptonian ceremonial wear that I could find. I’m surprised you didn’t recognize this, Kal-El.”

He cleared his throat and looked away, “There is so much about Krypton and its people that I don’t know about, isn’t there?”

‘It’s people’, Kal-El? Not ‘our’ people?

“Yes.”

Kara purposely sounded disappointed—because she was but she also was not surprised with his ignorance. He was raised by humans, so therefore Kal-El (in her eyes) was human as well.

The only person who knew the history behind Kara’s choice of style was Diana, of course. But the Lieutenant could not help but poke at Kal-El’s confidence and ego. And it was clearly working. It was pathetic really. This was the man entrusted to protecting this blue planet? Kara didn’t understand it.

There were so many more truths that Kara wanted to spew at him—hard truths but she did not. Instead Kara refrained while the mouthy Lieutenant rattled like a madwoman in the confines of her metal cage in Kara’s mind. She wasn’t far…but Kara had better restraint. Seven years was a long time to think. Seven years has also built up her patience, even for the smallest things that would normally set her off.

Though Kara suspected that her extended time being baptized in the lake of Ysmault helped as well.

“I’ve brought you something,” Kal said, it was more like he blurted it out to break the silence between him and Kara.

In a blink Kal shimmered slightly and Kara felt a slight breeze, he had used his super speed to go retrieve something that was nearby. Now cupped gently in his large hands was…an orb. Kara exhaled softly at the sight, recognizing it immediately despite it being so long…

And this only confirmed that he had no idea how his little fortress worked.

“It’s krypton.”

“Interesting observation.” Kara stated dryly, swiftly taking it out of his hands and she almost cooed at the warmth the sphere was emanating, “This feels like a bribe.”

Kal-El scoffed and shook his head, “No, no. But…I guess I am curious about something…”

Way to barge in, Kal…rude. Ugh, can Streaky yell or something?, “I suppose.”

“What are your plans?”

“Excuse me?” Kara weighed the sphere between idle hands.

“Just…you’ve,” he paused, “I noticed that you’ve been staying at Diana’s for a while.”

“Sure.” Kara wanted to laugh at his obvious discomfort, she had an idea of where he was going with this.

“I just want to know that you’ll be alright once you set off on your own.”

“Having figured that much out yet.”

“I understand where you’re coming from,” Kal-El nodded understandingly, “Blending in can be overwhelming, I’m still getting used to it myself sometimes. If you ever need anything, Kara, we’re family.”

“You don’t understand anything. I’m not a child, Kal-El, nor am I your charity case. I don’t need your pity. These humans may need you to save them but I don’t.” Kara juggled the sphere once more before she tossed it back to Kal-El, “I don’t need another paperweight.”

Kara pushed away from the window and Kal-El frowned while watching her walk back towards the door—and leaving him behind to clean up her plate. He had hoped that went better but Kal-El could only sigh and stare down at the Orb thoughtfully.

.

.

Elsewhere…unknown…

Amanda Waller watched as dozens upon dozens of photos were uploaded onto her wall screen inside of her office from the Justice Leagues little party. Her agents have been hard at work infiltrating the Justice League's ranks. After the Kryptonian invasion nearly a decade ago and with the Justice League forming right after—it left a lot of countries and officials nervous leaving the mass of powered people unchecked.

To keep the peace between the two groups, The JL founders agreed to give a list every other quarter of every hero (superhero names only) that were in their ranks and the ones that were no longer there.

It wasn’t a perfect solution but it was the best they could do with the public still on the side of Justice League. Too much publicity was bad in Amanda’s line of work…so she sent spies instead despite the truce. In her line of work, trust was fictional.

Her spies were highly trained and posing as just ordinary workers that kept the JL’s precious headquarters operational and efficient.

And tonight was a prime opportunity to account for all the unsanctioned heroes under the employment of the JL. And there were a lot of them that Amanda has never seen or even heard of before. She had a team cross referencing unmasked faces to masked ones, gaining a significant amount of blackmail material should she ever need it in the future. And she knew that she would.

Amanda flicked on her desk lamp, the only light in the room aside from her large screen and picked up her office phone.

“Ma’am?”

“Who is the woman with Wonder Woman?”

“We don’t know ma’am. She’s not showing up on any of the FBI, DEA, DEO, CIA, Homeland or Interpol databases.”

Amanda frowned, “Check the Space Force database.”

“We did ma’am. There’s nothing on this woman. She doesn’t exist on Earth.”

Amanda set the phone back on the receiver and turned off her lamp before lighting another cigarette. With a press of a key on the keyboard, she zoomed in on the mystery woman’s photo with narrowed eyes behind a thin wall of white smoke.

Notes:

I have no words for this chapter. I hate it but I refuse to delete that many scenes 🤣😩

The plot had to move forward, and I also told y’all who the RL is 👀 hope y’all caught that lol

Thank you for your patience, and I really hope this was a good enough read! I like to tell a story so it’s a little long haha

Hope all of you had a safe holiday!

Chapter 15: Growing Pains

Notes:

A tiny little rollercoaster here. Happy reads!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Wonder Woman grunted when her back hit the brick wall with enough force that would shatter the spine had she been a normal human woman, but instead the Amazon hit the ground and then she took a knee as she thought of another game plan for this enemy, or rather the group of enemies.

“Hyaahh!” Hawkgirl raged right past her with her mace ready and raised over her right shoulder towards the group that called themselves The Royal Flush Gang, consisting of King, Queen, Jack, Ace and Ten. A young villain group but efficient and quite powerful in their own right—and they should not be underestimated.

But Diana's knowledge of this particular group stems primarily through the notes from Bruces collection of criminal files that he insists that every member in the league memorizes should they find themselves up against said foe or similar.

This gang was originally created and mentored by the Joker himself but now they were branching out on their own, it seemed like causing mayhem in Gotham just wasn't enough for them anymore. So the gang went just about anywhere else that they saw fit and as an easy target. The gang mostly robbed casinos and a few federal reserves around the country.

How the Royal Flush found themselves in Metropolis was a mystery for another day because they were giving Superman a run for his money, enough that the man of steel was regrouping behind an overturned bus when his backup arrived.

Superman lucked out that Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman were already nearby on patrol and they were able to get to his location quickly, as well as the Flash and his partner Kid Flash who was helping Metropolis PD with crowd control. Diana was a little surprised that Batman wasn't already here—he was oddly possessive of not only his city but the villains that came with it too.

These villains were young but they were clever, and if Diana did not know the man so well she would be questioning how Bruce battled against them all alone so well. But Diana did know better and she also knew that it was often best not too look too closely at the things Batman did. This group was strong, they were fast and they had dangerous abilities—all of which was enough to knock the heroes around a little bit.

“Hey Princess! If you're done daydreaming, get your ass back in the game will ya!?” Shayera shouted from above, dodging another onslaught on sharp spade cards from Queen, successfully keeping the heroes away for the time being.

“Heads up pRiNcEsS!”

Diana somersaulted to the right just as Ace (the super strong one) landed roughly in the spot she was standing in just seconds prior. He laughed at her mockingly while cracking his knuckles, “Damn! I knocked ya boy outta the park. Did ya see? Weak sauce! I hope you're a lot tougher than he is, 'cause this about to get embarrassing!”

Ace swung on Diana at the very last second in attempt to surprise her but the Amazon saw the move coming and instead of stepping away, Diana stepped into his personal space leading with a charged right hook followed by a clean uppercut that gave Ace some air time. Ace growled when he landed awkwardly on his shoulder sixty feet away from the heroine.

Diana sneered at him with her arms crossed in her signature pose, and raised an eyebrow—clearly unimpressed, “You talk too much.”

“Alright, bitch, now you're askin' for it!” Ace quickly got back to his feet and he charged at Diana with everything that he had.

.

.

National City...Diana's apartment...

Wearing a gray pair of short shorts and a tank top, Kara was meticulously dicing onions on the cutting board in the kitchen while Streaky played around her ankles and occasionally attempting to nibble on her one or more of toes when the kitten wanted another snack thrown down for her. (Which was really just some dry kibble given to her one sweet piece at a time since she's already eaten).

Kara's eyes were glued to the TV in the living room though—more so the CatCo Heli-Cam that was hovering above the big fight happening over in Metropolis.

Kara liked to watch CatCo news for these specific events—Cat Grant may not be everyone's favorite media representative but the woman knew what the public wanted. A front row view of their heroes in action. And for people like Kara...well, her interests were a little bit more than just curiosity.

Without meaning to, Kara flinched slightly when the big man, Ace is what the reporter called him, went face first into a fire hydrant...and he stayed down this time.

Kara didn't sympathize with the man but she knew firsthand just how hard Diana could pack a punch and that was clearly a knock out hit. The woman could actually fight and she used those skills and prowess to do what she had to do. She didn't showboat, she didn't talk...she was a fighter. And it seemed like those clowns (pun not intended) were learning that the hard way. It was a hard fact that Kara respected Diana for...as if she'd ever tell her though.

Meow...

Kara wiggled her foot from beneath the greedy mass of fur and dropped another kibble down there, hoping the beast that was her kitten would be satisfied for another five minutes.

“Hey no,” Kara looked down at Streaky when she pawed at her ankles again for more treats, “I don't need you getting chonky on me and you were totally spilling my secrets to Selina! I thought we were friends, Streaky. Friends don't snitch on friends.”

Streaky meowed again, quieter this time, but she stopped pawing and Kara felt a little bad so she tossed down two more kibble bits to lessen the blow of her words and meaning.

“We don't know Selina, so no more talking about the big stuff, alright? I think we'd actually be homeless...and back in prison.” Kara said that last part more to herself because she didn't actually want to scare her cat.

Kara also didn't think that Diana would put Streaky in jail with her but Kara knew the deeper she went with this thing...the messier it was going to become in the end. It wasn't what Kara wanted but it was the inevitable way the cookie was bound to crumble this time.

Now putting the diced vegetables into the skillet that had been warming on the stove for a good minute now, Kara had to blink rapidly to expel the tears caused by the onions. “Damn onions. So good, so torturous...”

Kara turned back around to clean up the mess before she prepared the next step of her well thought out meal however red and yellow darting across the TV screen caught her attention momentarily but that was all that it took.

Now it was The Flash and Kid Flash dodging laser shots from Jack. Both of the speedsters were attempting to break his attack formation, yet Jack was proving himself to be a fast thinker and carved a deep circle into the ground around him. A destructive move, but one Kara would've done herself as well.

If either of the speedsters wanted to get to him, they'd have to jump and make themselves vulnerable for a few precious seconds. Kara suspected that Jack's laser eye was advanced enough that it would allow him to keep track of them both. Such an advancement would only explain how he was able to best two of the fastest people on the planet. And on live TV.

Kal-El darted into the frame then and he came up behind Jack to put him in a sleeper hold. It was well executed, it was tight and immediately locked in.

Kara would begrudgingly admit that whoever taught Kal-El that move was a good teacher however they were not that great. Jack's laser eye grew more powerful as he panicked in his failed attempts to break Kal-El's steel hold around him. Superman wisely put his hand over Jack's eyes to contain the blast and he was nearly successful until Hawkgirl's mace hit him square behind his head, thrown by a newly conscious Ace.

Superman was out cold.

Unfortunately for Jack, he ended up falling with Superman but not before he got another energy blast off and it hit Barry square in the chest, knocking the speedster off of his feet. Kara, like many many others, watched in growing horror as the yellow of The Flash's emblem grew as red as the rest of his suit.

Kara twisted the knife around between her fingers and embedded the sharp end into the cutting board, “f*ck.”

It was just Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl with a broken wing, and Kid Flash left to dismantle the remainder of the Royal Flush. Superman and the Flash were out of the fight now, and both men were in apparent critical condition but there was nothing to do for them until the threat was taken care of. With Jack still trapped underneath an unconscious Superman that left only Queen, Ace, Ten and King.

“Uh, I hate to point this out you guys...but, uh, yeah we're out numbered here. Are we getting any back up anytime soon?”

“We are the back up, kid. Don't get cold feet now,” Shayera eyed her mace that was next to Superman, five hundred feet away and she was itching for a good fight now, broken wing or not—she's had to endure much worse than this in the past.

“But he's right, we're outnumbered and at a slight disadvantage.”

“Okay, whatever, we've been in worse scenarios than this. So do we have a plan here or not?”

“We do. We're going to take the fight directly to them this time. Kid Flash, keep your distance and be distracting. Do enough of that and they'll break their formation eventually.”

“I'm gonna go after my mace, so be a good distraction, kid. There's a cookie with your name on it if you do.”

“Hera, help me. He's not a child, Shayera.”

Diana refrained from rolling her eyes, but Kid Flash had other things on his mind...like the incoming meteor, “Uhhh, hey? I thought we weren't gonna get any back up?”

“We aren't.” Shayera frowned, following his line of sight...and her frowned deepened when she caught on to what he was looking at, “Oh no. This has to be a joke. Our luck cannot be this sh*tty tonight, can it?!”

“Who the hell is that then??” Kid Flash asked, sounding a little more nervous than before, “Please tell me they're on our side??”

Diana sighed deeply, and she hoped that Kara wouldn't be too annoyed that she would not be in time for dinner tonight, “That's trouble.”

.

.

The Red Lantern landed directly between the Royal Flush gang and the Justice League members, drawing all of the attention onto them, quieting everything down while they waited to see what would happen next. Suffice to say, their arrival stunned both groups and the police wasted no time getting the streets clear and creating a wider parameter to avoid any unnecessary death and injury.

This was the first time that the Red Lantern had been properly caught on camera and this was also the first time any of the Justice League members got a good look at them too.

The Red Lantern looked around at the scared civilians cowering behind parked cars or inside of the stores on the street. All of them were pressed haphazardly against the glass with their phones out, hoping to get a good shot or a cool video to post online so they could go viral.

Their lack of self preservation was idiotic but not at all surprising. Heroes and villains were a step above celebrities—no matter the side, it was a fascination for these people to see the possibilities once only found in human imagination, now happening right before their very eyes.

“Ah hell yeah!” Ace boomed, pounding his fists together obnoxiously after his shock wore off, “Now it's about to be a real fight!”

“This ain't your fight, Red.” King said, completely disregarding what his strong friend said, and stepping forward in front of his gang, establishing himself as the leader. It was obvious that he didn't trust the newcomer, and probably for good reason, “We don't need your help here.”

“You think I'm here to help you?” the Red Lantern scoffed then pointed to themselves, “Do I look like I donate to charity?”

Their voice modulated made it difficult to tell if the Red Lantern was a man or a woman but it gave away one thing...they were mouthy.

“Ha ha ha, you think you're funny—”

“Yeah, and I also think you're a knock off Harley Quinn; that's why Joker rejected your girlfriend application, but hey, who's askin'?”

Kid Flash started to chuckle but quickly straightened up when Hawkgirl glared at him.

(And somewhere holed away in Gotham Harley Quinn howled with laughter, kicking her feet with her two best friends Selina Kyle and Poison Ivy on either side of her, one of them smirking while the other rolled her eyes and continued to file her nails).

Offended, Queen glared at the Red Lantern but it was King who spoke this time.

“Enough games! You're gonna regret sticking your nose where it don't belong red freak...and once we're done with you, I'm gonna take that shiny ring of yours and finish killin' you with it!”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” King sneered, “Nobody disrespects my lady and my crew without payin' the price for it.”

The Red Lantern tilted their head curiously, now fully turning to face the Royal Flush gang and boldly having their back turned towards the heroes completely. The Red Lantern was treating the Justice League as if they weren't even there.

“Well...? I'm waiting. You just threatened me with a good time and so far...I'm still bored.”

It was Diana who noticed it first, she had tuned out everything else the moment the Red Lantern arrived—so of course she was the first and only person to notice the Red Lantern pivoting their left heel slightly, a common trait of any fighter preparing for a blitz attack. But it took an experienced and conditioned brawler to be so subtle and disciplined to hold their total weight on that small bit of leverage.

Ace reacted first, taking a running leap but he was met with a with a brick wall—a red constructed brick wall. The Red Lantern came through the broken debris and nearly took Ace's head off with a left hook and wide right that shattered Ace's jaw upon impact.

“Whoa.” Kid Flash breathed, his eyes widening in awe behind his mask but he was gone and heading towards the fight before Hawkgirl could tell him to knock it off.

“Protect your wing, Hawkgirl.” Diana took her shield from her back and hastily handed it to Hawkgirl before she also ran off to join the fight.

Hawkgirl grunted as she readjusted her grip on Wonder Woman's shield. Hawkgirl had no idea how the Amazon tolerated carrying this thing on her back all the time—and people thought her mace had some weight to it. “f*ck this thing is heavy.”

The fight between the two groups, and the Red Lantern, only lasted a handful of minutes and it was obvious, even to the viewers safely at home, that the Red Lantern was not holding anything back. They were putting everything they had into their punches and kicks, barely making any constructs with their ring because they were more interested in a street fight instead. It was almost like they were treating this like a video game or something.

Diana made quick work of Queen, fighting back to back now with the Red Lantern who was also fending off ranged attacks from King. Both of the gang members, had the two fighters surrounded but they were not outmatched.

King was pouring his everything into his attacks, still pissed off about the Red Lantern's mockery earlier. But his frustrations made him sloppy and predictable.

Despite the situation, Diana couldn't help but feel a sense of familiarity fighting with the Red Lantern in a position like this. It felt practiced and natural yet she could not put her finger on why.

In a sudden move, the Red Lantern grabbed King with a giant red hand similar to a boa constructor snatching up their prey, and squeezed him tight enough to render him unconscious. The Red Lantern pulled him closer but stepped away at the last minute, sending the leader of the gang crashing into Diana's backside unexpectedly, and by proximity, Queen went flying as well.

The Red Lantern didn't wait to see how any of them recovered from that dirty move, and quickly grabbed the dropped duffel bags and they took flight immediately after—their mission was done.

“Hey! That Red Lantern is getting away, I'm on it!”

“No.” Diana stopped him, catching her shield that Shayera tossed back to her and the Amazon began to hover in the air, “Finish up here with Hawkgirl, then get everyone to medical. I will take care this one myself.”

“Be careful, Wonder Woman,” Shayera called out to her, warning her as the other heroine left them to the press and everything else.

Diana did feel bad and a little guilty for leaving them like that but it wasn't as if it would be their first time signing off the bad guys to the police or giving a quick statement to smooth things over with the tax paying public.

Despite the setting sun burning bright orange over the horizon, Diana spotted the Red Lantern very easily. They were flying low along the clouds in a decent attempt to blend with the setting sun rays,

The Red Lantern was pulling the three duffel bags behind them, duffel bags that were full of stolen bank money.

Diana pulled her lasso of truth from her waist once she was close enough and she lassoed the unbreakable rope around one of the Red Lantern's ankles stopping them mid-flight. Then Diana pulled them back towards her before they could counter the attack.

He or she dodged her punch by tilting their head to the side at the last second. They were fast enough to follow up with a hip throw trying put distance between themselves and Wonder Woman, and added a red brick wall for good measure. But they both knew that was a very minor obstacle for someone like Wonder Woman. If anything, it would probably agitate her even more.

The lantern barely gave Diana a second thought though as they dove through the thick clouds to catch the duffel bags they had dropped during that brief scuffle. The lantern spotted the bags hurtling towards an open field but they caught the bags with their ring just as they heard a whistle near their left ear—and a second later, Wonder Woman's sturdy shield ricocheted off the side of their head with a solid ping and then returned back to its owner.

“f*ckin' A!!”

The lantern tossed the duffel bags into a red cage behind them and locked it shut before letting it drop the rest of the way to the ground undamaged. They had an incredible skill and power mastery, but not much in the way of imagination Diana observed.

“This is the 'thank you' I'm gonna get for saving your asses?”

Diana put her hands on her hips, “We had everything under control.”

“Didn't look like it from what I saw. Your fearless leader is gonna be a meme on the internet by tomorrow morning, your winged friend has, well, a broken wing...and your fast one nearly had his chest caved in. What part of that did you have under control? Normally, I'd wait around for a decent answer, but I don't have a lot of time today for you, Wonder Woman.”

Diana frowned as a blanket of deja vu settled over her and she just couldn't shake the feeling that she's been down this road before with this particular individual. And if that were true...she certainly would've remembered them if they looked like this at the time too.

As cliché as it were, the Amazon warrior desperately wanted to ask the Red Lantern who they were. The question burned on the tip of her tongue even though she knew that it would be a waste of time because it was clear that they've gone through great lengths to conceal their true identity. She was tempted to go for her rope and get the truth the easier way but for some reason...she did not.

The Red Lantern crossed their arms and broke the silence first, “I don't wanna fight, that is not my intention despite it being yours. But I have no quarrel with you, Wonder Woman.”

“Some of my colleagues would say otherwise. You've put them in medical more than once.”

“Only after I told them to f*ck off, yes. But I was talking to you. I have no quarrel with you.” The Red Lantern shrugged, “So like I said...I don't wanna fight, but I don't want to be bothered either.”

Diana shook her head, even more confused, “Why are you here on Earth? From my understanding, you Lantern types prefer the stars.”

The Red Lantern was quiet. “I have an...unnatural draw to this planet. Magic on one hand, love (I think) on the other. f*cked up if you asked me, right?”

Diana's deep blue eyes narrowed slightly, that wasn't much of an answer at all...in fact, the most obvious answer would've been that the Red Lanterns found a human with so much rage and hatred pent up in their heart. Diana was expecting a homesick answer...not that.

To this planet? That was alien.

“Where are you from?”

“My mother. You?”

Diana's blue eyes narrowed, and she sighed, “Being a smart ass won't do you any favors here. Maybe we can help one another—”

“I've seen your kind of help, and it f*cking sucks, hero. No thanks. I'm doing just fine on my own.”

“By stealing, killing and—”

“Lies. Shame on you. I haven't killed anyone yet, at least not like...this, but I have taken a sudden liking to fishing so don't quote me on the killing thing just yet—”

“Is everything a joke to you?”

“No, you're just not listening. As usual.”

That only raised more questions for Diana and she already knew that if she voiced any of them then she would only get more cryptic answers and half truths. They were wasting them hovering here, staring and glaring, but a straight up brawl would have been an even bigger waste of time and resources.

Quite a ways down below them, a commercial train was coming out of the tunnel that cut through the mountain side...it was the train that commuted college students, businesswomen and men, etc to and from the cities surrounding this rocky juncture.

“Well, our time here is up, hero.”

“Don't do this...wait!”

Diana's heart sank when the Red Lantern raised their left hand and constructed three missiles. They fired two towards the train and then one towards the bridge the train was heading towards.

The Red Lantern mocked saluted as Diana growled and flew past them at break neck speeds—the Amazon had little choice but to let the Red Lantern go this time.

“Sorry 'bout that, Princess, I left the stove on!” The lantern called after her.

Two hours later...Justice League Headquarters...

Diana checked her phone for the thousandth time to see if Kara returned any of her calls or text messages yet while she was in the shower to washing the soot off of her skin and the dirt and oil out of her hair from rescuing that train and its passengers from a fiery doom.

Nothing irritated Diana more than when a villain took the easy way out. The cowardice way. She loathed when they used the innocent to cause suffering as a mean to save their own skin. Diana has been around for more than five hundred years...and nothing ever seems to change, no matter what she does for this world.

But...Diana could not hold onto the anger, to all of that frustration. It wasn't healthy to dwell on such things because for all of the bad, the darkness, in this world...there was still good around as well. It was the very innocence that she promised to protect when she left Themyscira against her mothers then wishes.

With a sigh, Diana sank down onto the edge of her bed now dressed in her denim jeans, boots and a tank top beneath her leather jacket—tonight she was craving for a night ride home instead of flying like she usually did. Her plan was to just just teleport forty-five minutes outside of the city with her motorcycle in tow.

Today was a lot for Diana—the Royal Flush gang and the Red Lantern shouldn't have caught them off guard as they did...yet, that is exactly what happened.

And now Flash, severely injured but alive, was out of the fight until his own healing abilities did their job and he was cleared for field work again. It was disturbing to see one of their own hurt, but they were all grateful that it he and others would live to see another day. A strange reality check from the least expected source. But in their line of work that was the dotted line.

Diana zipped her black bag closed and rose from her bed tiredly. She exited her room with a slight frown that others would think was a clear sign of her thoughts about how her last mission went and while that was true—Diana was in deep thought about something else. She couldn't help but over analyze her interaction with the Red Lantern. She couldn't quite put her finger on it...but-

“Diana.”

With her wing now carefully in a cast and her arm in a sling to help support the temporary dead weight on her back, Shayera was looking much livelier than she did when Diana last seen her, and freshly showered as well.

“Are you going to the debrief? Batman—”

“I'm going home.” That came out a little more aggressively than she intended. Diana would apologize later.

Shayera raised an eyebrow and she held her ground when Diana tried to walk around her. She was one of the few people who wasn't intimidated when Diana started glaring and got all haughty and rude like she was being now. Shayera has known Diana long enough to know when something was bothering her friend. And like the good friend she was, Shayera was going to pester it out of her, or at the very least try to.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“It's nothing.” Diana looked away quietly, “And I'm leaving. I will send my debrief to Bruce later.”

“I'm pretty sure he just wants to ask you about your encounter with the Red Lantern. Which you still haven't told anyone about, by the way.”

“It will all be in my debrief when I type it up.” Diana repeated, her tone a tad more bristled.

“Sure, he'll get over it eventually,” Shayera backed off the topic and shrugged slowly, careful not to jostle her wing too much, “So anyway I'll be on desk duty for two weeks...again.”

“How bad is the break?” Diana asked, relieved that the topic was off of her and her broody mood for the moment. And also relieved that when she tried to pass Shayera again, the woman moved...and fell into step with the Amazon towards the elevators.

“It was clean thankfully, so the healing is gonna be faster than last time. Too bad John is off world doing something for the Green Lanterns, I could really use the company.”

“You can always call me—”

“That's not the kind of company I was talking about, Princess.”

“Oh.” Diana blushed as she understood what Shayera meant, “Any idea when he will be back?”

“Unfortunately, no. There's always a war happening in space so there's no way to tell if he'll be gone for weeks or months sometimes.”

“That sounds so lonely.”

“It can be if I'm on bed rest, but our work keeps me busy all the same so the time is hardly noticeable most of the time.”

“Why not just go with him? You know space just as well as he does, if not better?”

“That's true, but...I like my time here, on Earth. Sometimes I go with John, but this just wasn't one of those times.”

“I see,” and Diana did..., “Well, my offer still stands, Shayera. And if I'm not available, Kara probably is.”

“Thanks, Di. And speaking of alien wonders, John is also looking into our Red Lantern problem. Hes been trying to learn more about the Red Lantern corp but there isn't that much to go on. Most of the other Green Lanterns that's ever confronted another Red Lantern...were killed and probably used in some blood ritual.”

“What?” Diana asked, appalled at that last part and Shayera snorted.

“Yeah, don't worry it's somewhere in deep space nowhere near Earth.”

“So how did we end up with one?”

“I don't know, but it looks like the one we have is here to stay and most likely human, and in financial trouble.”

Diana glanced at Shayera curiously, “What makes you so sure of that?”

“They watch the news.” when Diana continued to stare at her, Shayera rolled her eyes and mentally face-palmed, “How else would they have known where to find us and the gang? The only other time we've actually seen this lantern was when they were stealing, or when John found them in space doing who the hell knows what on Mars. It makes perfect sense.”

Diana disagreed greatly. “It's inconclusive.”

“How so? The clues are obviously there, this amateur is clever but not that clever. They all f*ck up eventually, and it's only a matter of time for the Red Lantern as well.”

“They're not amateurs though. Don't you remember what John said about Red Lanterns, about them being feral and driven crazy by hate and revenge?” when Shayera nodded, Diana continued, “We have yet to see anything from this Red Lantern except calm, collected and vexation. That is more than an amateur with a power ring.”

The stainless steel doors opened, revealing the ever busy and crowded transport deck—heroes reporting for their shifts and or patrols, and some going home back to their lives once more. Much like Diana was doing, Bruce's wrath was the least of Diana's worries.

Diana stepped off of the elevator and she turned slightly to wave over her shoulder at Shayera. It was a quiet goodbye but Shayera understood that Diana had a lot on her mind—she was still going to call her later just to check in, if she hadn't gone back to Themyscira by then.

It was another hour before Diana finally reached her home. The ride took a little longer than usual since she wasn't speeding in the triple digits tonight. Diana wanted to experience the life around her and actually think so she kept it at the speed limit, mostly.

Truthfully, she wasn't exactly sure what she was actually expecting when she entered her high rise apartment, but it certainly wasn't the lights being on or Streaky tangled up in a big ball of yarn underneath the dining room table. Nor was Diana expecting Kara to still be cooking in the kitchen...but upon closer inspection after shutting the door and coming further into her home, she saw that it was some sort of dessert.

Diana took in the state of her kitchen and realized that aside from the corner of the counter that Kara was using, Diana's kitchen was spotless. Yet she could still smell the dinner that Kara no doubt had prepared for them earlier and it was then that Diana noticed that there were still two wine glasses and two plates, all empty, at the dining room table.

Confused, Diana turned to Kara, who was already looking at her with a little smile, “You haven't eaten yet?”

“Long story short? I ruined one of our steaks so I went to the store for another one, it was pretty crowded tonight so it took me a while. And then I decided that we were missing dessert,” Kara shook her head, tutting at herself, “And I wanted to make everything homemade because I hear that homemade everything is the best way to go, right?”

Diana laughed softly, setting her duffel bag down on the floor behind the sofa, “I suppose so, yes.”

“Plus...we wanted to share this meal together, and you've been looking forward to it since Thursday. Once I finished cooking everything, I put it in the oven to keep it warm while we waited for you to come home.”

“What if I had come home much later? Still would've waited?” Diana teased.

“Nah, I probably would've eaten by then—but I wouldn't have gone to bed yet, if that's what you meant.”

Diana didn't even know what to say...it was such a small gesture but coming from Kara? It was grand and it warmed Diana's heart that Kara could be so thoughtful. The dark cloud hanging above her head couldn't even put a damper on that feeling either.

“Alright, so what's on the menu for dessert then?”

“Don't get too excited, it's just something simple; whipped cream and strawberries. See? Simple.”

“Simple or not, everything you make in this kitchen is delicious, Kara.”

“You should uh, go get comfortable and dinner will be served.” Kara coughed, looking away as she didn't know what else to say really. She didn't know if Diana meant to sound so sultry and inviting but she had to look away before she said something incredibly stupid and embarrassing.

Chuckling, Diana quietly took her things and did as Kara asked.

It only took Diana less than five minutes to get dressed in her favorite pajama short set and her matching slippers...she finally felt like she was home and safe enough to fully relax. When she came back out Streaky was now in her corner of the kitchen chowing down on her own food, and still wrapped in yarn with the ball of yarn sitting not too far away. The lights in the apartment were dimmed considerably and the TV was turned off as well.

Kara had the food laid out on the table beautifully with all of the hot dishes set on their own little mats so that the heat wouldn't ruin Diana's wood table, and she wine already poured into their glasses.

“Kara...” Diana breathed, still taking in the elegant setup as she came to stand next to the taller woman, “You didn't have to do all of this...wow, thank you.”

“HGTV suggested that this is a candlelight dinner...and you looked like you could use something like this tonight.”

Kara pulled out Diana's chair, and waited patiently for to take her seat and then she carefully pushed her closer to the table before moving to take her own.

“Thank you for waiting around for me...this smells and looks delicious, Kara. ”

“Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks. I saw the news and I just...well, I didn't want you eating dinner alone so I just waited. I...did eat a whole box of granola bars though. The peanut butter ones...just in case you go looking for them in the middle of the night.”

“That's fine,” Diana smiled softly, “How did you end up burning a steak though?”

Kara sighed dramatically, “I was distracted. Started daydreaming and next thing you know it was like I wasn't even here. Poof.”

Streaky meowed from the kitchen and Kara rolled her eyes at the cat, no doubt Streaky was saying something that she shouldn't. Who knew that Kara would adopt such a big mouth gossip.

“Well, my kitchen is still intact so it couldn't have been that bad. Just don't make a habit of it, please, I actually like this place. And I still have a chance of getting my deposit back too.” Diana chuckled, cutting into her steak—pleased to see a that it still retained a good amount of juice in the meat. Her stomach growled and tightened with anticipation. She's had a long day of nothing but roasted peanuts and flat water.

The moment Diana finally took her first bite, she sighed (nearly moaning) appreciatively at the savory flavor on hot tender meat. That was all the confirmation that Kara needed—her meal was a success, she'd been a little worried that she got a little overzealous with the seasoning. They ate quietly for a little while, simply enjoying a well cooked meal and each others company. Sharing solitude wasn't something either of them thought that they would like but it was a comfort they appreciated equally.

Kara moved to refill their wine glasses, “I also saw what happened to Barry, is he gonna be alright?”

Diana nodded, “He will live thankfully, yes. He'll be happy to hear that asked about him too.”

“Really, why?”

“He's convinced that you might secretly hate him.” Kara scoffed and Diana smirked, “I'm guessing he's wrong then?”

“Of course he's wrong,” Kara grouched, she knew Diana knew this but she was just torturing her to spell it out for her, “Barry's kinda annoying, sure, but he's okay. I don't hate him, so can you tell him to relax? Rao...”

“But you do hate Kal-El, don't you?” it wasn't something Diana actually wanted to talk about but the opportunity was there and she wasn't going to miss it.

Kara shrugged, “There's certainly no love there.”

Diana stared quietly at Kara across the table, “May I ask why?”

“Maybe. It depends.”

“On what?”

“On who's doing the asking. Do you really want to know or does Kal-El?”

Diana shrugged, raising her eyebrows, “I'm asking for myself based off of what I've seen between the two of you...and how you talk about him in general.”

Kara was quiet again, longer this time and she was hesitant to look back up at Diana. Kara knew that her loathing for Kal-El ran deeper than the actual man himself...and that level of negative emotions was hard to hide.

The Amazon was worried that Kara wasn't going to answer and that she might've overstepped with her question, but Kara nodded, whether it was to herself and whatever inner dialogue she was having Diana didn't know. Kara seemed to have come to some sort of decision, because when Kara's eyes found Diana's concerned blue eyes--Kara gave Diana a very long guarded and measured look. Diana didn't know what Kara was looking for exactly, was it trust? Or intent? Maybe it was both.

“It's a long story, and it's not a pretty one either.”

“We have nothing but time, Kara. I’m listening but only if you’re willing to share.”

“Jor-El, Kal-El’s father, and my mother were already at odds long before my mother and father were murdered.” Kara exhaled deeply, already wanting to stop but she continued on, “It was just an unfortunate incident. An error in the system that we thought to be perfect. As a science driven people, we strive for perfection but we also acknowledge that there will always be that one percent chance of something going horribly wrong. I thought that my parents' murders were an example of that one percent. I was too young then to understand what had really happened...and how wrong I was.”

“Zod and Faora were the only ones there to receive me after…after everything. They were friends with my Aunt Astra and Uncle Non, so they were family—and that extended to me too even if my parents didn't approve of it.”

“You've mentioned before that Zod and Faora adopted you, but if Jor-El was your blood relative, why didn't he take you in?”

“Because he was weak and gutless, and his guilt wouldn't let him.” Kara sneered, stabbing a piece of steak with her fork and eating it, “My mother had two last cases to settle that day before she came home to make dinner; Jor-El’s and this lowlife Czarnian named Lobo.”

“Jor-El was a criminal?”

Kara made a ‘kinda’ face and head motion, “Jor-El was a scientist too, like my father. That day he was there to be judged for unorthodox practices—his accusers? His own guild. Before Brainiac's invasion, there were already incoming reports of Krypton's core beginning to enter its failing stages. This was the period of planning, conspiracies and in house chaos and to make it all the better; the public hadn’t been aware of this phenomenon yet. Between the military guild and the science guild, both wanted to exhaust all options before giving up, going public and attempting to relocate our people.”

“What happened?”

Kara scratched her chin, “Well, let's get back to the story. That day in my mothers court was the day that the science guild was trying to push Jor-El completely, once and for all. All for his unnecessary and selfish ideas were a liability they could not deal with anymore. Jor-El was more interested with krypton's codex than he was with saving our planet because according to Jor-El, krypton was already dead.” Kara chuckled humorlessly, “our culture and beliefs were tit* up, and so were the people apparently. He wasn't looking for a solution...at least he wasn't looking for a world-wide one, I should say.”

“Are you saying that Kal-El’s father wanted your planet to die?” Diana asked in disbelief, and shock.

Kara shrugged again, “I'm saying that he wanted the codex bad enough that he tried to steal it.”

“Okay, and what exactly is this codex and why was it so important to make him do something so drastic?”

“Drastic? No, Diana, Jor-El wanted to commit treason, that's why he had to go. The codex or the Growth Codex is an ancient Kryptonian artifact that allows us to create other Kryptonians. The codex holds the genetic makeup of every artificially incubated baby ever.”

“Created? You weren't...born?”

Kara shook her head, “No, I was not. None of us are, not for a long time now. Kryptonians were perfectionists...and that started at birth. Or our awakening, whatever.” Kara chewed over a few pieces of steak before continuing after gathering her thoughts...probing over how much she should omit or not, “My parents wanted me to be genetically perfect, my genes are very strong...like my mothers, and to ensure that I remained as perfect (Kara scoffed and rolled her eyes at this) as I could be and that my genetic code would pass on even after my death, I was not created to be the standard Kryptonian female.”

“What do you mean? I-I mean, I know what you mean,” Diana clarified, her cheeks pinking again, “I meant,”

“I know what you meant. You've seen me naked enough times to know that I'm a little different. Kara laughed and Diana relaxed, relieved that she hadn't somehow offended Kara, “Anyway, I won't...get into it tonight, but my parents wanted a girl...but wanted me to do the breeding and not the other way around.”

“It sounds like they wanted a daughter without the drama that came with having a teenage daughter in the future.”

“Twisted but I don't blame them. I've been to the malls here, I know what my parents were trying to avoid.” Kara joked back.

Diana sobered up after a minute because she still had questions, “So...I'm almost afraid to ask, but what was Jor-El planning to do with it if he ever got the codex?”

“He wanted to use the codex to create Kal-El with the best of everything it had to offer…and then hide the rest of the codex within his DNA so that no one else could use it, not without Kal-El's permission since it would've been his blood.”

“What?? That's incredibly selfish and dangerous.”

Kara watched as Diana refilled their wine glasses this time and Kara wasted no time draining half of it—she should’ve opened the scotch instead.

“He obviously failed…the first time. But that’s how he ended up in my mothers court. Jor-El shamed his family that day, and it was in my mothers right to strip them of their status completely but she showed them mercy because they were family,” Kara spat, she was very obviously not agreeing with her mothers decision to show leniency, and if Diana were to be honest—she knew her mother would've done far worse to Jor-El, “She stripped him of his rank, making it so that he was just a scholar again. The only thing Jor-El would have access to is a library. He was a step away from being rankless, poor and undeserving of a second glance.”

Diana shook her head, “He couldn’t have been very happy about that; I’ve seen my own mother make some very tough calls…and the outcomes were almost always thoughtless and violent.”

“Hmm, well, Jor-El’s outcome was certainly violent…but it wasn’t thoughtless.” Kara swallowed softly, setting her now empty wine glass aside. She’d gone through it embarrassingly fast and Kara hoped that she wasn’t being judged for chugging the wine. Her story only got harder from here.

Diana was tempted to give Kara an out, to let her know that she didn’t have to keep going if she didn’t want to but she didn’t. Kara could and would stop if she wanted to.

So Diana kept quiet and let Kara sort out her thoughts. Kara hardly ever talked about her life before crashing down on Earth, and when she did—she’d bottle herself up immediately and brood for days.

“After Jor-El’s sentencing, it was the Czarnians' turn.”

“Wait so it was over? Jor-Els case? Just like that?”

“Yeah. That’s how the laws and courts operated on Krypton, we didn’t have lawyers to defend or present a case. There were facts and then there is a ruling, simple. My mothers position required her to know every Kryptonian law, old and new and that was for every guild. It made the decision process go much faster. But of course there were six other officers of the court present but they were always silent because my mother spoke for all of them.”

“Hmm that's...interesting. Was there ever a time there’s been a disagreement?”

Kara nodded, “Yeah. Those six officers weren't vowed into silence or anything, if they feel differently about the punishment the others will speak up and debate about it. That’s what makes court long but in the end, it is still up to my mother on how to resolve the issue.”

“That sounds a lot like a justice system with lawyers, doesn't it?”

“On paper, but it wasn't that they disagreed about dealing out a punishment...that's always agreed, but it was more so...how severe the punishment should've been or vice versa.”

“Hera, that sounds exhausting.” Diana scooped some more sides onto her plate—Kara wasn’t kidding about those steaks being huge, “Back to this Czarnian though, I’m guessing that he’s important?”

“Unfortunately yes.” Kara rolled her eyes, and for a split second Diana swore on her Gods that Kara’s eyes flashed but when she opened them again, they were the same icy blue they’ve always been, “He was...is the last Czarnian to exist.”

“I don't mean to be rude, but it seems as if space has a lot of extinct civilizations.”

Kara snorted, “'Cause it does, but this one was of his own doing. He killed all the other Czarnians on his homeworld. Millions of men, women and children...even the damn wild life, all of it wiped out. Just to be the ‘Main Man’, the only one of his kind. Sick isn’t it?”

“By the gods, that’s terrible!”

“Yeah, he's a lowlife. But resourceful.” Kara’s fists tightened noticeably on either side of her plate, “The Czarnian confessed that, that particular day was his first day ever setting foot Krypton and that he was on a job to kill someone for a 'fat check'.”

“He admitted to that? Freely??”

“He was a co*cky son of a bitch. That same night…he escaped his prison transport and attacked my home. I was only eight years old then and stuck inside of a wall while I was forced to listen as that bastard murdered my father and how he…and…he violated my mother before he killed her too. She suffered in his hands.”

Diana gasped, horrified—she knew that Kara’s parents met a particularly violent end but she…she never would’ve thought it could’ve ended like this. Diana couldn’t have imagined anything remotely close to this.

“I listened while he taunted me the entire time, he looked for me all over our house that night. Rao, it was so dark in that hideaway but I could hear him breaking our furniture and laughing like a maniac while stomping around. He banged on the walls and he tried to lure me out with my things before breaking them. And the whole time he told me what he was gonna do when he found me.”

Streaky curled around one of Kara’s ankles, purring loudly with the hope to provide some comfort to Kara.

“But I kept quiet until he gave up and eventually left. I never moved though, and I never made a sound. Not even when the police came and called out for me. They eventually found me in the wall…but…”

Kara exhaled shortly and brought her clenched fists down into her lap and glared down at them as the tears blurred her vision. It was always different recalling this memory subconsciously and against her will—versus willingly talking about. It was always more detailed and Kara remembered particular sounds and intense feelings than she really cared to.

“Kara, I am so so sorry,” Diana whispered solemnly, wanting to reach over to comfort Kara but she knew by Kara's body language that physical comfort wasn't what Kara desired at the moment.

“I, yeah, it's…yeah, thank you,” Kara licked her lips and sniffled quickly while wiping her eyes with the back of her hands, “Anyway...Faora and Zod took me in after that, taught me how to grow up...and, you know, I never really talked about my parents but I thought about them a lot. Even as I lived my life and tried to move on as I grew older, stronger and smarter...I was still confused. I had this secret obsession with finding my parents killer...but I didn't have access to much then because an unsupervised child on a warship wasn't really ideal so Zod put me under Faora's care, which included rooming with her. Oftentimes, she left me unsupervised during my learning hours or when she was planet side. Since she was an Officer...she had a computer in her room, and I...somehow had her information.”

Diana smirked, “You were a sneaky child. Why am I not surprised...”

“You shouldn't be...I'd be disappointed if you were actually.”

“Earlier you mentioned that Jor-El's guilt wouldn't allow him to take you in as one of his own...? Kara, I have to ask; do you think that Jor-El is directly responsible for your parents' murder?”

“I don't know, Diana. But answer me this, how the hell did some random outsider know where to find my mothers home? After conveniently appearing in her court room the same day?”

Diana huffed softly, “Well, I don't believe in coincidences very much.”

“Yeah, and neither do I. Especially involving someone as high ranked as Alura, her address was only known by close family members. And the only close family member of Alura's that the Czarnian had contact with was Jor-El.”

“On record.”

“Yes.” Kara sighed, glaring at Diana, “On record.”

Diana processed this information carefully, “How did you come to this conclusion? Or any of this?”

Kara rolled her shoulders and cracked a few joints loose—she hated that she was surprised that Diana was asking her actual questions and not just out right accusing her of being crazy. Or even taken defense for Kal-El's sake...Diana listened, and Kara was grateful. More than Diana probably even realized.

And not for the first time since leaving Themyscira, Kara wondered if Diana would see her any different if (when) she knew her truth...her real truth. Rao...what a mess I put myself in...

“I watched the recordings from that day. Kryptonian records, filing...everything was what humans call electronic. We had an AI that that kept track of things like that and it was much more convenient to watch old records rather than read about them. The facts remain facts that way.”

“How often did you watch those recordings?”

“I know 'em like the back of my hand. Even after forty plus years, I can still remember them. I've hunted this bastard for a very long time, Diana. I've studied him, tracked him—everything about and around him and yet I've always failed to come up with a solid solution to actually kill him...and keeping him dead.”

“Keeping him dead? Is he immortal?”

“Only a Czarnian can kill another.”

Diana's eyebrows shot up, “Hence him killing his entire homeworld.”

“Bingo. And I can assure you, that him being arrested and landing in my mothers court was more than random. He was there because he wanted to be. A week after that...the codex was stolen and two weeks after that Jor-El somehow took my fathers position in the science guild and he was announcing Krypton's critical state, deviating the attention away from the stolen codex.”

“But Krypton never actually died, not until the invasion years later,” Diana blurted out, eyebrows furrowed and Kara smirked, showing a bit of teeth.

“So you have been listening,” Kara smiled though it didn't reach her eyes, “Jor-El didn't lie, Krypton was dying...but he lied about the time line and managed to successfully covered his tracks in the process too. Fast forward years later with the codex still missing and the Czarnian still unaccounted for, and then Brainiac's invasion...you know the rest of my story.”

Diana nodded, and she watched Kara get up and go back into the kitchen and taking a much need breather from the conversation that got real heavy real fast.

Kara pulled out the dessert dish, its been an hour—Kara figured that was long enough to let it chill, and she also pulled out another bottle of wine from the freezer. If she and Diana were putting everything out over streak and wine—she wanted to be a little tipsy for it at least.

“What happened to the codex? I don't believe that Jor-El would do all of that scheming just to let it go to waste like that?”

Kara didn't answer at first. She took her time collecting two bowls and spoons, and carefully balancing them on the container of the dessert and the wine bottle in her other arm. When she was closer to the table, Diana reached out and took the wine before Kara dropped everything. She could be surprisingly clumsy sometimes.

When Kara sat back down again, she sighed loudly, “The codex... so, you believe me then?”

Diana popped the cork on the new bottle, her eyes flashed over to Kara so quickly that she almost missed it, “I'm following, so, the codex?”

“Hmm, well Zod didn't wanna just kill Kal-El because he was a treacherous wretch...no that was his father. Zod wanted to kill Kal-El because his blood holds the key to Krypton.”

Diana stilled, her eyes widening slightly, “Are you saying that Kal-El's blood holds Krypton's stolen codex?”

“Jor-El gave your friend the power of genocide...and he doesn't even know it.”

Another lull fell over their conversation, with Kara taking a break from talking...and reflecting on her past. A dark past that she hasn't spoken out loud about since she was fourteen years old...it didn't feel like a relief then and it didn't feel like much of a relief now either. Kara knew that she wouldn't feel any sort of comfort until she righted every injustice she's ever been dealt in her life.

Diana set her wine glass aside, her eyes were glued to the gold bracelets snug and proud around Kara’s wrists.

Hippolyta’s advice to Diana years ago haunted her in this very moment and perhaps the Amazon Queen was right. Maybe she was right about Diana failing to see all angles of the situation—judgment was rushed over personal beliefs and heated moments with bruised egos.

Diana’s mind reverted back to that fateful day—and it was painful to come to the realize of the magnitude of her decision to imprison Kara without trial. A seven year long fallacy. Diana knew that Kara was always harboring some anger and resentment but after hearing all of that…there was no denying that Kara had a darkness lurking inside of her.

It grew as she did and whatever was going on with Kara now…was also partially Diana's doing as well. Had she done things the right way, logically, would they be sitting here now? Diana thought she was protecting Kara from the world and the world from her...but Diana did nothing except force the hands of fate.

And her conversation with Shayera before leaving HQ...the signs were there.

Without thinking, and startling the hell out of Kara, Diana reached across the table and took hold of Kara’s wrists, forcing Kara to drop her whip cream covered spoon onto the table and onto the floor which Streaky greatly appreciated.

“Whoa, Diana? What the hell are you doing?”

“I know the rest of your story, because I'm apart of it and my involvement in your life hasn't been positive until recently.”

“What? Diana-” Kara tried to pull away but the Amazon wasn’t letting her, “What the hell has gotten into you, is the wine? Are you drunk?” Kara was mostly joking but she was very much concerned.

Suddenly realizing how intense and strange she was now acting, Diana forced herself to relax enough to settle back into her seat and she released Kara. Diana offered her unused spoon to Kara who took it gratefully even though she was still very confused.

“I'm sorry, I acted hastily.”

“It's okay, but what the hell was that about? You alright?”

“I had an epiphany and if my mother were here she'd say that it was about time.”

“I see. Well...you listened to my sob story, and I'm not going anywhere...” Kara trailed off, leaving her invitation on the table while shamelessly fixing herself a second helping of dessert.

“When I first came to this world, things were different. Much more different.” Diana combed her fingers through her hair before pulling it into a loose ponytail, “I've met a lot of interesting people but very few have left a lasting impression with me.”

“Hmm, I guess when you're immortal things can get a little dull.”

Diana nodded, chugging back some wine, “I'd gone back to Themyscira back in the nineteen thirties for a while. Man's world was...too much at the time, I felt that I needed a break from it for a while. When I came back...man's world had become a lot more modern than I remembered.”

“How long has it been since you've been back?” This is the first time Kara's heard this piece of information, she always assumed that Diana has been in this world since leaving Themyscira.

“Almost twenty years. I didn't have any friends left alive when I came back to mans world but I'd wondered from London, again, to Washington DC using old hidden funds. It's where I met Julia Kapatelis, she helped me catch up on modern history...and I also gained a friend out of it, two actually. She had a daughter, Vanessa.”

“I'm not surprised, you can be charming when you wanna be. You're likable Diana, even when you're a pain in the ass. So where are they now?”

“A few years ago, before you arrived, Julia died from cancer that no one even knew that she had.”

“Oh sh*t...”

“She was always asking me to look after her daughter in case something ever happened to her. Julia's job wasn't particularly dangerous but she was an overly cautious woman so after a while, I just assumed that she was one of those overprotective mothers. Having one myself, I just didn't think twice about it.”

“That's fair. Faora was the same way, I would've done the same. How old was Vanessa when her mother passed?”

“She was seventeen and she was a good kid with good grades and an even better attitude.”

“What happened?”

Diana picked up her wine glass and she turned to the side in her chair with the other arm thrown over the back and her legs crossed at the knee, “She fell in with the wrong crowd her senior year. The usual bad combination of drugs, sex and partying. Her aunt did her best, as did I…but with my schedule and the distance between our homes, I…” Diana trailed off, “I could’ve done better than what I did.”

Kara tilted her head to the side, “What did you do?”

“I did to her what I did to you.”

“You beat the sh*t out of a grieving teenager…for being a grieving teenager? Sounds like you.” Kara was teasing of course, even though there was a bit of truth in her statement. But she just couldn’t help it, someone had to call Diana on her sh*t and it may as well be her ...and it was totally worth Diana’s glare, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry but you totally had that coming.”

“I suppose I did,” Diana conceded with a heavy sigh, “instead of listening to Vanessa, I forced my beliefs on her and I did what I assumed to be the best course of action for her. I don't...I don't want to go into the details please, but I buried Vanessa right next to her mother that same year.”

“Wow. Uh, sh*t,” Kara breathed out softly, she wasn't expecting that evening (Kara didn't think that this was the mood HGTV meant for this dinner either), “I’m sorry, Diana.”

Diana shook her head, “So am I, Kara.”

“But can I ask why do you all of a sudden wanna free me now? I don't know exactly what happened with Vanessa but what happened to the kid couldn't have been your fault and what happened to me isn't your fault.”

“No, but what happened after...what happened after could've had better outcomes had I thought things through.”

Kara licked her lips thoughtfully, and shrugged halfheartedly, “Your accountability is appreciated Diana, but your friends thought I was the bad guy from the beginning…I don’t want to see you catch any sh*t from those losers over this.”

“My mother tried to warn me some time ago that I went about this entire thing with you the wrong way, and I dismissed her concerns as her just being overly compassionate. But now I’m starting to see that I was the one in the wrong.”

Diana turned to Kara then and leveled the Kryptonian with such a stern look that Kara physically had to sit back with widened almost worried eyes. She had no idea what that look meant or how to receive it without looking guilty for whatever point that Diana was trying to make.

There was so much going through Diana’s mind though. There was so much that Diana wanted to say and too little at the same time yet all of it will go unsaid anyway because Diana didn’t even know where to start. She didn't even have all of the facts aside from what her gut was telling her and against her very own character, Diana wanted nothing more than to ignore it.

“Diana?” Taking one last bite of her dessert, Kara was out of her chair and moving to sit in the one next to Diana’s in her direct line of sight, “Hello, Earth to Diana?”

Kara didn’t like to assume anything but she had a fairly good idea what was going on in Diana’s head right now. It was all over her face; the exhaustion, the guilt…the regret. It was the very same battle she struggled with on a daily basis.

“Y’know, Diana, a year ago…I would’ve cut off my genitals to punch you in the face one last time, and Artemis too.” Kara casually started when it was apparent that Diana was too far gone in her own head to answer properly, “now look at us; living together with a cat, sharing dinners, hanging out at the gym…like real friends, yeah?”

Diana's lips pressed tight together, “No.”

“No?” Kara rubbed the back of her neck with a sobersided smile, “Again, I don't know what went down between you and your friends, Diana, but my situation?” Kara paused then took a deep breath, deciding to go out on a limb, “Whatever you think I'm going through right now?...it was bound to happen with or without your intervention."

“While you’re still wearing those, none of that, this (Diana gestured between the two of them), is real.”

“I think I liked it better when we pretended that these things weren't there.” Kara sighed, looking down at the gold sitting on her wrists—the most beautiful pair of handcuffs she’s ever seen, “What does it say about me if I'm a little anxious not to have these things on me anymore?”

Those bracelets offered Kara a level of protection that she's been both grateful for and taking advantage of—truthfully, Kara wasn't actually sure if she wanted them off...she didn't particularly need what they were keeping at bay.

Warm hands found their way back to her wrist breaking her thoughts and Kara followed the hands up those smooth toned arms and shoulders, to a smooth collarbone and strong neck…

Kara’s eyes lingered on Diana’s lips for a second too long before meeting her eyes. Both women were quiet and simply staring at one another, a range of charged emotions flowing between them. Kara wasn't sure what she should be doing in this exact moment so she opted to go with the flow and follow her instincts.

Slightly hesitant, Kara leaned forward slightly...and then a little more. She was only a breath away from Diana's lips when Diana’s hands tightened around her wrists, signaling her to stop.

“Wait.”

“Ah,” Kara smirked but Diana was close enough to Kara now to see the walls starting to go back up faster than she could speak, “Second thoughts now?”

“No,” Diana shook her head quickly, her hands moving to grasp Kara’s hands tightly to keep her from pulling away, “it’s nothing like that.”

“Right well, I must've read that wrong or something,” Kara cleared her throat and put a little distance between them, as much as she could with Diana still keeping her anchored, “I was still a novice when it came to romance before I was forced into a fifty year celibacy. So, uh, yeah…sorry ‘bout that.”

Diana winced and closed her eyes momentarily, “Stop saying that.”

“What?”

“Stop...stop saying that you're sorry (“Okay whatever, can I have my hands back now?”).” Diana ran her thumbs over the bracelets, and ignoring Kara's grumbling about being held hostage while still blushing red as a tomato, “I don't want us to move into something else while those are still there and active.”

“But Diana-”

“I don't want anything else between us to be based on a lie.”

Diana was looking straight into Kara's eyes when she said that and Kara felt the weight of Diana's words and the meaning behind them in her soul. Kara's pink lips parted but nothing except air came out. Diana's hands slowly released Kara's wrists and Kara felt those warm, soft and calloused hands moving gently over her elbows and around her firm biceps.

Kara's breath hitched and her leg muscles twitched when Diana's hands reached her neck and she was sure that Diana could feel her pulse pounding beneath her fingertips. Diana scooted forward to the edge of her chair a bit, placed her legs around Kara's, trapping her. Kara's hands found purchase on Diana's strong thighs and Kara swallowed the saliva that built up in her mouth before she started to drool. And in a moment of boldness, Kara went a step further and wrapped one hand around Diana's waist then pulled the Amazon from her chair completely and right into her lap.

Diana gasped, her grip on Kara's neck tightening but Kara showed no signs of discomfort even though perhaps she should've, but Diana was too caught up in the moment to properly notice.

“Does that feel like a lie to you, Princess?” Kara whispered hotly, craving Diana's lips—they were so close, but she wanted Diana to make the first move this time...Kara's already made her intentions known.

Diana sighed softly above her, allowing herself this moment of pleasure—of being held in Kara's strong arms properly for the first time. Moving her arms around Kara's shoulders, Diana pulled the younger woman into a hug

She knew that her desire was returned to some degree before, but to physically feel it...Diana hadn't craved another person like this in over two hundred years. It took all of her self control to

Diana sighed softly above her, allowing herself this moment of pleasure—of being held in Kara's strong arms properly for the first time. Moving her arms around Kara's shoulders, Diana pulled the younger woman into a hug, resting her chin on top of Kara’s head while Kara’s head rested on her chest.

Being experienced as she was, Diana knew that her desire for something more was returned to some degree beforehand, but to physically feel it...Diana hadn't craved another person like this in over two hundred years. It took all of her self control to finally break their ‘hug’, both of them felt like horny teenagers fumbling around but there was truth to Diana’s statement. They’d never have anything substantial based on lies and half truths.

Reluctantly, Kara let Diana go but the lust was evident in her gray shorts and her icy blue eyes were as dark as their wine bottle. Diana noted both with a quick lip bite and she kissed the corner of Kara’s mouth before pulling away completely.

“That didn't feel very novice like.”

Kara shrugged her shoulders, but she was tongue tied—still processing what just happened. Kara was convinced that this was simply another dream and that she was passed out somewhere in the apartment.

Diana’s work phone chirped from her home office. With one last lingering look at Kara, who had still yet to utter a word, but the goofy little smile on her face was reassuring enough. Diana quietly excused herself and walked into her home office, shivering slightly when the cool air hit her bare skin.

Was the kitchen area really that warm or was it her and Kara that did that? Diana flipped on the light and she practically floated into her plush chair and pulled out her work phone from the top desk drawer. Well she was right about one thing, it was work. Just not museum work.

Diana wasn’t surprised that Bruce messaged her, the man never slept, but she was mildly annoyed to learn that he was on the roof of her building and demanding her attention.

“Bruce, your timing could not be worse.” Diana groaned.

Two minutes later in her full regalia, Diana stepped out into the open area of her apartment. Kara was still sitting at the table where she left her, no longer blushing but she seemed softer now. More relaxed and just a little less on edge than usual.

Kara rested her cheek on her upturned palm, “I’ll throw your left overs in your meal prep boxes.”

Diana walked over to Kara (Bruce could wait one more minute) and placed her hand on her shoulder, “Thank you for this tonight, you were right…I did need this.”

“I think we both did,” Kara admitted, “I can’t explain why but I feel better that you know who I am now.”

Diana’s phone chirping from her office again interrupted the Amazon before she could respond to Kara. The Kryptonian rolled her eyes and waved Diana away, “Go, go before something blows up again.”

Diana stepped out onto her balcony and in a blink she took flight to the roof, leaving Kara to close the patio double doors before the wind blew poor Streaky across the floor.

“It’s not a good look when one of the founders scoffs at a debrief. You can’t save the world if you don’t know what you’re supposed to be saving it from.”

Diana’s feet hadn’t even touched the ground when Bruce pushed off of her stealth bat-jet and began to lecture Diana like she was one of the sidekicks.

“Hello to you too, Batman.”

He scowled behind his cowl, as usual not appreciating her deflecting humor, “Where’s the Lieutenant?”

“Downstairs.” Diana answered, as if he did not already know.

Diana did not like the idea of Bruce spying on her and she was even more agitated at the thought of even asking him what he saw or heard. Diana decided that it was best that she didn’t know and that it was his problem not hers.

“What is so important that brings you all the way here, Bruce? The debriefing couldn’t have been that important?”

“It was. You went up against the Red Lantern today. The last person to get that close was John and he landed in the medical ward for a week.”

Diana canted her hips to the side and crossed her arms across her midsection, “Nothing happened out there Bruce. He got away by using a train full of innocent people as collateral. You and I both know how those situations end, my hands were tied.”

He?”

“Or she.” Diana shrugged, “John was right, their suit makes it hard to tell their gender.”

“Hmm. He mentioned that and a voice modulator too. Whoever it is, they’re determined to keep their identity a secret. And that makes them all the more dangerous.”

“Why are you so interested in something that’s clearly not Gotham related.” Diana didn't want to outright point out that Bruce just didn't like not knowing things...someone's secret identity being on that list.

“Because it’s my job.” He deadpanned and not elaborating as he stared her down but Diana only raised her eyebrow, more amused than intimidated, “Did they tell you anything?”

Diana thought back for a beat, “They don’t want to fight with us.”

“They don’t want to fight with us?” Batman repeated dryly, “Somehow I doubt that very much. John’s injuries tell a different story. They shouldn't have gotten away, Diana.”

“And what exactly was I supposed to do, Bruce? Allow a hundred and thirty eight souls perish on a chance that I'd be able to wrangle in this Red Lantern?”

“You handled the Kryptonian Officer pretty well.” Batman pointed out and Diana glared at him. Bruce sighed and looked away from Diana, “We can't afford to let them get away again. If we do, Waller might get ideas that we might need her help. And we don’t.”

Diana agreed—she’s never liked nor trusted Amanda Waller and she knew if they gave that woman an inch they’d never hear the end of it, “What do you suggest?”

“We’re going to set a trap for the Red Lantern.”

“A trap? We don’t have a clue on who they are, what they want or where they even come from.” Diana shook her head, “Setting a trap this early is too risky, even for you.”

“Normally I would agree and hold off, but this can’t wait. And we do know what the Red Lantern wants. I recreated everything that was stolen from Star Labs…and I have an idea of what they’re after.”

Themyscira…

Hippolyta stood on her balcony with her hands placed down on the stone balustrade as she leaned forward a little. The smell of the sea and the warm breeze along with the soft sounds of the waves crashing onto the shores of her beach both calmed and unnerved the Amazon Queen.

There was a storm on the horizon and not just Themyscira’s horizon, Hippolyta feared for her daughter as an uneasy feeling settled itself at the bottom of her stomach each passing day. And Hippolyta could only pray to the Gods that watch over Diana. And Kara as well.

Oh Kara…Hippolyta also feared that that young woman’s life was destined to be filled with hardship and woe. Hippolyta was not ashamed to pray to the Gods for Kara as well despite her not being of this world. A soul was a soul.

“My Queen?”

Turning slightly, Hippolyta greeted the other woman with a soft yet tired smile, “Philippus. It’s late, I was beginning to think that you wouldn't show tonight, my love.”

When Hippolyta saw that Philippus was not casually dressed but still in her uniform. She knew that this was not her lover tonight but her General. When the Queen turned around fully, her expression shifted from tired to stern and alert in less than a second.

“What has happened?”

Philippus frowned, “Two of our sea patrols have gone missing in the last hour and we’re still awaiting word from the scouts sent to retrieve them.”

“And nothing was left behind?”

“No, no signs of a struggle or distress.”

“Where?”

“South of the island. The moon is full tonight but the tides are gentle tonight. We’ve already ruled out an abnormal wave,” Philippus reported dutifully.

“Even if it were a wave, Amazons are well trained to handle it.”

“I agree…and it’s worth noting that the south of Themyscira is also our only blind spot.”

“I'm quite aware of this fact, General. And yes, it worries me too.”

Deeply disturbed, the Queen turned back to the sea with a pensive look—her previous meeting with King Orm occupied her thoughts in her free time and now she was starting to realize that perhaps it was not just her paranoia that kept her awake late into the night recently.

Orm was not the man his father was and his brother was not a fairer choice either. Both Prince Arthur and Prince Orm were hothead deviants when their father was alive but he kept them in line and honorable. Hippolyta foresaw the truce between Themyscira and Atlantis would crumble the moment the Crown of Atlantis was vacated.

It wasn’t a concern that she shared with Diana considering that she worked with the second Atlantean Prince, but perhaps that was a mistake on Hippolyta’s part. She'd put too much faith in their alliance and their goals to keep the Earth safe.

Hippolyta sighed hard, shaking her head and those thoughts away before they poisoned her focus.

“Increase the patrols around Themyscira. Double the units on foot and inform the towers to dip their arrows and spears with poison and oil,” Hippolyta paused momentarily, wondering if she should give into her paranoia but she’d rather be safe than sorry, “And pull every boat patrol from the sea for now. Reassign the warriors to the towers or to the tunnels, however you see fit to protect our home, General. I want every exit plugged, do you understand me?”

Philippus’ eyebrows raised slightly, “If we’re expecting an attack, may I suggest calling for Diana as well?”

She was already considering it. While she was not fully anticipating Orm to grow big enough balls to outright attack her and themyscira so soon—Hippolyta needed to speak with her daughter. Diana deserved to know what the status of her home had come to.

Hippolyta was interrupted by the sight that she loathed to see: the main tower Brazier being lit. Philippus was already leaving the room and barking orders at the Amazons outside of the Queens room to protect her with their lives.

The Queen fully expected to see those filthy treacherous Atlanteans storming her beautiful sandy shores but it was a much more dire situation than that.

The roar shook the entire island before the creature broke the surface of the calm waves two thousand yards from the island but it was too big to be unmistakable,and its glowing eyes were staring directly at Hippolyta and the Queen's jaw clenched tightly. Standing tall upon the sea creature’s bulbous head stood was the man with the ray shaped helmet that Hippolyta vaguely recognized.

The Amazon Queen turned away from the sight, making a beeline for her personal armory.

Notes:

Any and all mistakes are my own 😭

It feels really good to meet my first goal of my outline. I’m kinda proud of myself for staying on course ya know. 😭🔥

Anyway the plot thickens. Oh how it thickens. And we’re gonna slow down a bit now, gonna check in with other characters and arcs in the next coming chapters.

Will be Kara and Diana heavy too, more than ever. Hippolyta might’ve prayed a lil ✨ tew much✨ to the Gods. 😉.

See you next time, stay warm and hydrated!

Chapter 16: Themyscira I

Summary:

Smooches and revelations folks...did I mention smooches? 💋 💋

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Where are you going again?”

Thump. Thump thump thump. Thump thump. Thump.

Kara’s fists hit the punching bag in a smooth repetitive motion without falter while Diana watched from her seat on the bench with a white towel hanging around her neck. She couldn’t quite fathom how much energy Kara always seemed to have, especially after their regular two hour long sparring sessions.

Diana herself could go for much longer than two hours of course but Kara’s stamina was impressive despite the restrictions she still wore. Those were now serving as a cruel reminder of Diana’s misplaced judgment—

“Diana?” Kara huffed, glancing over her shoulder without missing a beat, and managing to look concerned while simultaneously beating the hell out of the gym equipment, “You okay?”

“Yes, sorry.” Diana snapped out of her thoughts, tearing her eyes away from Kara’s wrists, “I'm going to Washington, D.C. because Wonder Woman has to do a little hand shaking every now and then.”

“Ah, I see…clever way to say that you're gonna be kissing a little political ass.”

Diana rolled her eyes at Kara’s vulgar assumption, but she also knew that Kara wasn't exactly off the mark either, “One of the reasons my mother lifted my exile from Themyscira is that I agreed to be Themyscira’s ambassador. Brokering peace and introducing more humane ways of going about living and caring for the planet.”

Kara kicked the bag with a little more force than she intended and the chain moved back an inch. Diana stared at the mechanism curiously until Kara coughed, pulling her attention back to her.

“That all sounds good and well, but…doesn’t that kind of contradict your duties with the league?”

“It…possesses its own complications, yes.” Diana sighed, handing Kara a towel from their shared gym bag (it was easier than carrying two since their mornings were spent like this anyway…), “The Justice League has a list of countries that have given us their blessing to cross their borders when necessary. That’s made my hero work much easier lately but there is still a lot of red tape to work through.”

Kara wiped her face and neck with the towel, “That’s convenient I guess, what did that cost?”

“A headache and then some. I don’t normally get calls from Washington at the last moment unless it’s something important…and sensitive.”

“So what do they want from you this time?”

“Did you not just hear me say ‘sensitive’?”

“Yeah?” Kara rolled her eyes, “I’m also an alien living under a false alias on your planet to avoid your prejudice registry. We're well past sensitive .”

“It’s not my registry... ,” Diana said, exasperated, “I did not agree to it nor did I make it. By the time I returned from Themyscira, these new laws and requirements were already in place…and any talks of lifting them were eradicated after the invasion.”

“Hard to believe Superman was the one backing that law too.” Kara mumbled, obviously being sarcastic while she picked up their gym bag and put the strap over her shoulder.

“Believe it or not, Bruce wasn’t very happy with Superman’s decision either…along with a number of other League members.” Diana said, now following Kara out of the private gym.

“But after… the invasion… I assume that the sheep were swayed to Superman’s naive thinking even more, huh?”

Diana sighed, “Not naive, Kara, misguided. And ultimately, that is one of the main reasons that the Justice League was formed. Not only to keep the world safe from intergalactic and inter-dimensional threats but one man cannot be allowed to decide the future of our laws, and our people. Just because it is, and I quote Clark here, “doing what’s right for everyone” isn’t always just.”

“Spoken like a true Amazon ambassador.” Kara spotted some guy wearing a Superman shirt across the main floor of the gym as they were leaving and she shook her head, “I wonder how many of these people realize how intense being their savior can be.”

“We’re hiring.” Diana nudged Kara playfully, “you know you are more than welcome to join me on this trip. Washington DC is a beautiful place—”

“I’m sure it is, Princess but I’ll pass. Streaky and I are going to check out the mountains I think, and do some hiking. We might even fight a bear.”

“I fought a bear once.” Diana smiled fondly at the memory.

“Of course you have. Did you win?”

“Are you seriously asking me that?”

“I hope you didn’t actually win.”

“What? Wow-”

“You need to be humbled, Diana.”

“You’re such an ass, Kara.”

“Yes, and I have a rather nice one too.” Kara laughed loudly, and then she groaned happily only seconds later when they finally exited the gym building completely. The warmth from the sun hit Kara just right, and it was a stark relief from the cold air from inside the gym. Kara soaked up the warmth like a sponge. The western air just felt so tropical and so comforting, like a hug.

And she also felt Diana's eyes on her, but Diana wasn’t ashamed to admire Kara though, she never really was because it was hard not to. It was becoming increasingly difficult for Diana to ignore her feelings as well...

“After my visit in DC, I’m going to Themyscira for a week.”

Kara took a small but deep breath before she opened her eyes and turned her head towards Diana, “Is that your way of asking me to come with you?”

Diana eyebrows lifted, biting her bottom lip and Kara licked hers.

Kara fiddled with one of the bracelets gently and she smiled softly, her guard dropping momentarily, “Sure. I’m sure Artemis misses my pretty face.”

Diana chuckled, “Will you visit Cetane as well?”

“Will I—you’re asking me if I’m going to visit the only person to give me a f*cking chance on that island? Of course I am!” Kara whooshed out a breath of air, her smile dimming a little, “I don’t think I ever expressed my gratitude properly to her though.”

“Cetane? I believe she knows, Kara.” Diana placed her hand on Kara’s shoulder as they walked on the sidewalk, deciding to enjoy the morning warmth rather than take transportation, and Kara subconsciously gravitated closer, “But you could also bring her a gift and show her.”

“Is that legal? I thought Themyscira was strict about contraband?”

“Not necessarily,” Diana shook her head, understanding Kara’s confusion, “We don’t allow men nor many outsiders on our shores. Technology can also be an exception given that it comes from a proper, and trusted source.”

“Hmm. Interesting…but I suppose it’s a good thing that Cetane likes reading and hunting. Not much corruption there. There’s a game (hunting) store at the mall, I’m sure I can find something there, right?”

“Many, many years ago Cetane was Themyscira's greatest huntress, by sea or by land—Cetane had a kill that could feed at least two of the villages around the palace...” Diana trailed off because she was unsure of how much of Cetane's backstory that Kara knew, and she didn't want to overstep.

Kara nodded at Diana, “Yeah, she told me...that's when she tried her hand in the market and it stuck. Her hunt stories were glorious...it's a shame it ended the way that it did. Hmm...do you think she'd like something that's aim assisted so she wouldn't strain herself if she wanted to, I dunno, kill some fish or a stag?”

“I think she would love that.”

The two continued their walk home in comfortable silence together, both of them enjoying the rare calm morning in the city before all of the hustling and bustling started. Though Kara was still mildly distracted with Diana being so close and after clarifying some things during their dinner a few nights ago…Kara’s thoughts were bolder than they usually were. Their hands brushed a few times, and Kara was going crazy trying to figure out if Diana was actually doing it on purpose, without her being overly obvious about it.

But at last before Kara could combust in a mild gay panic, they finally reached their building and Kara immediately clocked the government vehicle parked across the street. A man in a navy blue suit stepped out and called Diana’s name with enough confidence that made Kara bristle. He was even waving for good measure as if no one heard him calling for Diana.

He was a handsome man, clean cut with dirty blonde hair and ocean blue eyes. He even had a crooked smile that Kara found rather annoying already…

“….who the hell is this guy?”

Diana groaned slightly, checking her wrist watch quickly, “Steve Trevor: he's my government aide whenever DC requests for my audience. Steve keeps up with the history and progress for me whereas I am unable to due to my other duties.”

“So he’s…your government lackey. Got it.” Kara eyed Steve up and down again as he approached, and Diana found Kara’s unprovoked disdain for the man more interesting than she probably should've.

“Yes, and he is four hours early.” Diana said dryly yet loud enough for Steve to hear and her tone was not a very lighthearted one either which caused Steve to falter slightly and he rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly.

“Ah, yeah. I’m sorry for dropping in on you so early, Diana. But the situation is kinda urgent up state. The President is…is…getting anxious. uh, huh? Hey who’s this?”

“Irrelevant.”

Diana sighed again—she had a feeling she was going to be doing a lot of that today, “She’s—no, she’s right, it doesn’t matter—you didn't have to fly all the way here to tell me to hurry up. I do have a work phone now.”

He chuckled, “Well, let’s just say that I was in the area then. (Kara would have laughed but she settled for a grunt) Besides, it’s rare that I get to stretch my wings anymore so I always take any opportunity. I know you’re a busy woman and a phone call seemed cheap.”

“So you wasted hours flying here from across the country instead?” Kara pointed out the flaw in his story, unable to help herself, “it can’t be that important then.”

This man was clearly trying to flirt with Diana and charm her with his flat lines and simping. As have many others in the past that Kara has seen—but she’s never felt this…angry or annoyed towards any of them before. Well, maybe the bat freak or fish breath…but this one? Hmm. Kara had him on the same list as the other two now.

Steve’s cheeks reddened slightly when Kara called him out but whether that was from his annoyance or embarrassment, she wasn’t sure…she didn’t care either way.

“And on that note, Steve, I’ll meet you at the airfield in half an hour. Okay? We’ll debrief then and not a moment before, if you don’t mind.”

Without thinking much about her actions, Diana reached for Kara's hand then she pulled Kara along towards the front door and the doorman held the door open for them both.

“Uh, sure, yeah! We’ll talk later!” Steve called after them after collecting his wits again—still wondering what the hell just happened and who the hell that blonde was. By the looks of her though she could’ve been another Amazon from Themyscira.

Steve sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, “Amazons...”

.

.

“You didn’t have to be so mean towards Steve. He means well.”

Kara didn’t respond to Diana, her eyes trained on the glowing buttons on the elevator panel as it climbed higher and higher to their floor without pause. The moment Steve Trevor was out of her sight, Kara was relaxed and while she wasn’t ashamed of how she went about that, it wasn’t exactly something she wanted to talk about either.

She couldn’t explain that she sometimes couldn’t help it. It didn't matter how much will and control she had over herself, her instincts were wired to be feral now…but Kara couldn’t exactly explain that.

So the only response Kara could provide for Diana was silence…and a quick glance that the Amazon didn’t miss since she was looking right at Kara. But the Amazon Princess could see right through Kara's cold shoulder.

Thankfully the elevator doors opened and Kara stepped off first.

“You’re cute when you pout.” Diana chuckled, handing Kara her key as they approached the front door.

“No, Streaky is cute. I’m menacing.”

“I don’t know, I think you’ve lost your edge a little bit.”

Kara laughed this time, she caught Diana's eye over her shoulder, “You think so? Whatever. Anyway, you better hurry up before your boy-toy follows you up here with those heart eyes.”

“Oh I see it now...you're jealous,” Diana teased, closing the door behind her and she turned only to find that Kara was standing right there and smirking, slightly startling the Amazon.

“I know you're the bringer of truth and justice, but does it physically kill you to not point out every little thing?”

Diana smirked, “Only when it comes to you, because I know you like it so much.”

“I was annoyed with him, 'cause being jealous would imply that I have something to worry about…” Kara dropped their gym bag on the floor at their feet, but neither women paid it any mind nor to the little cat that meows below for attention, “Correct me if I’m wrong, Diana, but I don't, do I?”

Taken aback, Diana stared at Kara with parted lips. Kara always had a playful audacity when they flirted but this forwardness was new. They continued to hold each other's gaze while Diana tried to figure out Kara’s intentions but there was nothing but that familiar teasing glint in her eye that Diana was used to seeing…Kara's intentions were just as clear as her own.

Diana stepped forward, reducing the already small distance between them—and Kara had stopped breathing for a moment, feeling their chests brush.

“No, Kara, you don’t have to worry about Steve…or anyone else…”

Maintaining eye contact, Diana slowly reached up until she was tracing Kara’s jawline with the tips of her fingers before cupping her cheek gently. The tip of Kara’s tongue darted out to lick her lips and Diana’s eyes were drawn to the little movement. Diana paused to study her, her eyes and then her mouth.

Hesitating just a moment, Diana leaned forward and brushed her lips over Kara’s quickly. Choosing not to linger. Kara’s expression was one of surprise but good. Diana’s other hand tugged gently at one of Kara’s bracelets with a smaller smile before continuing…

“But I think that we should…wait until Themyscira to have this conversation, don’t you think?”

Kara shrugged, choosing action over words this time. She stared deep into Diana’s eyes before she closed the distance between them this time, her mouth on Diana’s again and pressing closer. Their mouths fit perfectly together, soft lips caressed and parted the other as Diana and Kara explored one another, losing themselves in their growing passion for the first time of many.

Kara’s hand snaked around Diana’s waist, holding her tight while the other buried itself in her soft dark hair. Kara’s lips parted and Diana teased her lower lip, gently sucking it into her mouth and Kara shuddered, then Diana was back to kissing Kara fully. Her tongue crashing into Kara’s, exploring the softness of her mouth and Kara moaned, unable to hold it in.

The hand on Diana’s rear squeezed and pulled her in closer, causing the Amazon to gasp with both pleasure and surprise that Kara was able to not only move her but actually make her feel it as well. Yet the moment Diana felt Kara , all thoughts of Kara’s strength left her mind in an instant.

“Kara-” Diana breathed hotly, her lips still slotted over Kara’s.

Diana didn’t want this to end but deep down she knew that they both had to, and Kara knew that as well.

It was then that Diana pulled away slowly not wanting them to get carried away, but not wanting to lose the warmth created between them just yet either. When she opened her eyes, Kara was already looking at her with darkened eyes burning with desire. Diana imagined that she looked as wanton as she felt too.

Clearly her throat softly, Kara practically whispered, “Themyscira then.”

Diana’s skin tingles when Kara steals one last chaste kiss before she moves away completely, the hand on Diana’s waist lingered a second longer before that too was gone. Kara picked up their gym bag, and with a quick little head scratch to Streaky, she was off to her room but not before winking at Diana suggestively, making the Amazon huff as she tried to hide how flushed she was.

It wasn’t hard to miss Kara’s obvious arousal but Diana was graceful enough not to stare. She’s seen Kara plenty of times…however not like this. It was new and…it was exciting.

Diana wanted more, she craved it more now that she’s had a little bit of a taste…and goddess , Kara may claim a lack of experience but that kiss and her roaming hands proved otherwise. Diana licked her lips with a smirk on her way to her room with Streaky in tow, prancing behind her long strides with her tail held high.

Diana prayed to the Gods that whatever was happening with Washington, that it be quick.

An hour later…

In a pair of jeans and a regular plain white shirt, Kara sat in the living room on the sofa with her arms spread on the spine of the sofa, her head dropped back peacefully. She wasn’t asleep but she wasn’t far off from a good cat nap either—after her prolonged time in the shower, Kara was feeling more than content.

The apartment had been quiet when Kara emerged from her room. The TV playing cartoons in the living room with the lamps on, Diana must’ve put it on for Streaky before she left with Steve.

Kara couldn't stop replaying the moment she shared with Diana over and over…and a petty part of her hoped that she told Steve all about it. (Kara knew Diana wouldn't even though Kara totally would).

She felt little claws clinging to her leg through her jeans before Streaky was in her lap and making her way over Kara's torso. After a minute, Kara picked her head up and opened one eye when a small weight plopped itself down on her chest.

Meow…

“It was just a kiss, ya goof. Calm down.”

Streaky blinked slowly at her and tilted her head slightly as if to say ‘ really?’ And Kara couldn’t help but laugh happily and dropped her head back again with a deep breath.

“Yeah I know, I’m screwed.” Kara’s phone buzzed in her pocket and Streaky hissed at it but Kara ignored her all of a sudden cranky cat and sat up. It was a text from Lucy and Kara hummed curiously, “Game night? Free food, hell yeah count me in. A little spying to end the day never hurts.”

Streaky hissed and tried to pounce on Kara’s hands, nearly knocking the phone out of her hands, “Whoa what the hell is wrong with you, fuzzball? You don't like game nights? Fine you don't have to go, weirdo.”

Streaky’s airplane ears in fact did not relax but Kara risked a quick pet or two with a goofy smile, highly amused at her cats behavior, “Is this that orange car behavior I keep reading about on the internet? Heh, you’re still a good girl though.”

THE DEO PARKING GARAGE…

Ping ping.

“Ma’am? Are you alright?”

“…oh f*ck.”

Lucy had completely stopped walking when she opened the new email that had come in via her tablet. And Lucy knew it was her boss immediately by the annoying notification ringer she’d set for the woman specifically.

“Yeah, yes . Take me home please.” Lucy got into the backseat and slammed the door behind her before the agent could get a chance to close it, “f*ck.”

The very last person she expected to see come across her desk (virtual or otherwise) was her newly made friend Sunshine, or Jane Doe as the file labeled her as. With ‘human or foe?’ noted next to her photo.

It was a decent phone Lucy noticed offhandedly. Kara was in a suit, a very nice and tailored suit at that. It was a formal wear that didn’t get seen very often because most people wouldn’t be able to pull it off but Kara did very well, and Lucy wondered if she actually had it made for her.

But what the hell was she doing at a Justice League function? And who the hell did she…know…

Lucy got her answer quickly when she scrolled down and saw Kara speaking with the Man of Steel himself and she arrived with.

“I don’t believe it. I didn’t f*cking see it earlier!?” Lucy swore under her breath when she realized that the dark haired beauty that she’s Kara with often, was in fact Wonder Woman.

It wasn’t as if Wonder Woman had a secret identity anyway, Lucy just never looked past her infatuation with Kara to really look at the woman. Granted the world only saw Wonder Woman in her full costume and never in her civilian clothing. Not even when she was in DC doing ambassador work.

It probably helped that Lucy couldn’t recall ever seeing Wonder Woman wearing any clothes with a color that was also on her costume either. Wonder Woman blended in within plain sight. And the thought of a person that powerful, however good they may be, sent a chill down Lucy’s spine.

But still…Lucy felt like the world's biggest idiot for not realizing it sooner but she’d keep that oversight to herself.

Suddenly an incoming video call was coming through and the driver quickly put up the divider which Lucy was grateful for because she couldn’t find the damn button herself. Lucy took a deep calming breath before answering the call on the fourth ring.

“Waller.”

Did you get the file?”

“I did.” Was all Lucy said, still hesitant if she should tell Waller that she already had a way in with Kara, and by association Wonder Woman as well. Lucy wasn’t exactly the Amazon Warriors biggest fan…she didn't want to betray a new friend, Kara was too nice and this had to be some sort of mistake.

Good. We don’t know who she is but we know she has some kind of connection to the Justice League. The moles I planted reported that she came and left with Wonder Woman but she and Superman were gone for fifteen minutes before she left.”

Lucy frowned, “Do you think she's another recruit then?”

If she is then the Justice League are breaching their agreement with the US government, any and all recruits, potential or not, must be registered first if they’re not human.”

“You suspect that she’s not human?…Given her size and structure, do you think that she could be another Amazon?”

She didn’t come up on any database so assume ‘other’ for now.” Waller said, her stone expression barely shifting even as she cut her eyes off camera for a second (no doubt glaring at someone) before focusing back on Lucy, “I want to know something soon, Director Lane.”

“Yes ma’am…” Lucy hesitated again, for a second too long, and unfortunately for her Waller caught it. That woman didn’t miss sh*t.

Director Lane, do you know why I sent this to you directly and not to your field agents who actually have the time to do this?”

Lucy held back a sigh, “No ma’am but I will do my best.”

You’ll do better than that, Lane. This is the first real lead you’ve had to find former Director Danvers' killer, and the one responsible for the DEO’s original demise. And the only two people left alive to recount the whole event are Shazam and Wonder Woman.”

“And with Shazam missing…”

Two birds one stone, Director.” Waller smirked, smug as ever. “Well?”

Game night is about to be very interesting…

Lucy cleared her throat and nodded, “I guess now would be a good time to tell you that I know this woman to some degree…her name is Kara, and I believe that she’s in a romantic relationship with Wonder Woman.”

Director?”

“Yes ma’am?”

Don't get too deep.”

Danvers-Sawyer Resident…hours later…

The living room was set up with a variety of finger foods that were set out strategically on the outer tables leaving the main coffee table open for the board and card games.

Maggie, of course being the host tonight, was already present. Lucy had arrived a little after seven…she was at home frantically trying to figure out what the hell she wanted to wear. She finally settled on a sleeveless turtleneck and dark denim jeans and boots that made her ass look marvelous.

The last two to arrive were Winn and Mike, along with a new face that Lucy hasn’t seen before. She was short, blonde and definitely tough. She introduced herself as Emilia, one of Winn’s work friends and that was it.

Lucy was already running a check on her just to be sure though.

“Why are you acting so nervous?” Maggie asked her, chuckling quietly, “She said that she’s coming didn’t she?”

“Yeah, but she’s late.”

“She wouldn’t skip out on us,” Winn shook his head, “Kara’s cool, she’ll be here,”

Lucy smiled and picked up another small sandwich, and Emilia looked between Winn and Lucy, “So who is this chick then?”

Mike smirked, “She almost made Winn go straight.”

“I thought you said you cut that part out!” Winn shouted in Lucy’s direction, and Lucy couldn’t help but laugh and hold up her hands.

“I’m sorry, but you were too much of a mess for me not to share the full story, babe.”

“Betrayed. By my own friends. I should’ve seen this coming.” Winn dramatically shook his head and wiped away a fake tear, “in my defense, that woman is fine. And anyway, Lucy is the one with the big crush.” Winn totally threw Lucy under the bus in an attempt to get the spotlight off of him.

Emilia rolled her eyes, as did Maggie. Lucy threw a balled up napkin at Winn for his big mouth…the irony.

“I don’t have a crush, and she’s spoken for already anyway.”

“Yeah she is,” Maggie whistled, yet the doorbell chiming cut off the chatter of their new guest and everyone went to go refill their drinks while Lucy went to answer the door.

“Hey sorry I’m late, I was lost.” Kara said the moment Lucy opened the door, “there’s still some food left, right?”

Lucy shook her head with a charmed smile, “You’re not that late. You should’ve called, one of us would’ve met you outside.”

“I’ll remember that next time.” Kara entered the house when Lucy stepped aside, “Thanks for the invite too, again. My only plans today were going to the mall and then eating dinner with my cat.”

“I told you that I was gonna drag you to one of these things soon,” Lucy led Kara to the living room where the others were waiting, “do you want something to drink?”

“Uh yeah, strongest of whatever.” Lucy raised an eyebrow at her, “What?”

“You’re not driving are you?”

Kara snorted, “No, I don’t even have a driver's license.”

“Uh, why? Why don’t you have a driver's license?” Mike asked, “oh uh, I’m Mike by the way, and this is—”

“Emilia.” The blonde offered a short wave but she otherwise didn’t pay Kara much mind away from her phone.

“Shouldn’t all millennial's have a driver's license?” Lucy asked jokingly when she came back into the room with two cold beers, handing one of them to Kara before joining her on the sofa.

Kara shrugged, “Eh, I don’t know. Never really saw a need for one.”

“Driving is overrated anyway. Gas is too high, traffic is too slow, and potholes are on every street in this city.” Maggie stated, pulling out the fun drunk adult card game, “Okay, let's get down to business. Have you ever played cards against humanity?”

“No but I’ve seen a few video reels about it a few times. I know the rules, if that helps?”

“Helps plenty,” Winn said, fixing himself a plate of nachos, “we usually just wing it though. A game like this can last all night if you play it right. And I have all the time in the world to beat you guys.”

“Honestly, I’m surprised you’re even here, Winn. You’ve been putting in longer hours for Luthor lately, I figured you'd be at home asleep over this.”

Kara glanced at Winn after Maggie threw that out, Kara was interested in his answer too.

“Luthor wants to make the world a better place and so do I. I don’t mind the longer hours so much anyway. Not like I have anything to go home to anymore, right?”

Lucy tsked, and Kara felt like that was a topic she wasn’t privy to, not that she cared to know but it seemed like Winn might be sad about something. Or someone.

“Luthor doesn’t wanna save the planet, Winn. That was just some green ass idea she planted to get people like you to work for her. She’s just as crooked and crazy as the rest of ‘em.”

“Whatever. You guys will see eventually. Once we get that engine up and running, world pollution, climates, everything will be reset as it should be.”

“You’re gullible, Winn. There’s no hope for you man,” Mike said, patting his friend on the back.

“So Kara, enough about these idiots. What’s your story, where are ya from buttercup?” Emilia asked, and Kara startled slightly not expecting to be put on the spot—lest of all from someone she literally just met.

But she didn’t want to be rude or make the night awkward before it could really start. This was the perfect time to test out that fake alias Diana gave her.

“Wait wait, c’mon guys, are we playing twenty one questions or cards against humanity?” Lucy interrupted, saving Kara from answering right away.

“It’s alright, Lucy I didn’t mind. I’m from Norway but I was raised here in America.” Kara stated proudly, the lie flowing naturally.

“That explains a lot, actually.” Winn said with a mouth full of nachos, “Everyone from Norway looks like a freakin’ model.”

Everyone in the room agreed and Maggie finished shuffling the cards, signaling that it was game time. But Lucy was deep in thought and hiding behind her beer bottle, pretending to sip it. Waller said that this girl didn't pop up on anyone's facial recognition...but if she's international, wouldn't she have a passport or a dual citizen record? Something's going on here...

And for the next hour or two, that’s how it went down. Cards, laughing at inappropriate jokes and drinking. Even though Lucy was surprisingly quiet tonight, everything was going well. Kara excused herself to the bathroom after her turn passed.

On her way per Maggie’s instructions, Kara wondered if Diana and her friends had game nights like this. She’d bring it up the next time she saw them. The bowling was fun, but Kara found a certain vibe with card games.

Wait a minute...

Kara stopped walking when a lone photo hanging on the wall caught her eye. At first she ignored it, figuring that it was just some random thing that brought her out of her thoughts but then she looked again. And again, this time closer to make sure that she wasn’t suddenly losing her mind.

It’s been a little over seven years but Kara would never ever forget a face. Especially a face belonging to the person that poisoned her, beat her and eventually tried to kill her.

“You okay?”

Kara hadn’t even noticed that she wasn’t alone in the hallway and her gaze shifted to the corner of the picture frame as she turned around, and she smiled at Lucy, “Yeah I was just distracted…who’s this?”

With a new beer in her hand, Lucy came to stand next to Kara and smiled fondly at the picture she was looking at. It was one of Maggie and Alex tubing on the river while on vacation. Lucy was the one who took their picture that day.

“That was Maggie’s wife, Alex. She…she passed a long time ago during the invasion.”

Kara turned back to the photo, unaware that Lucy was watching her closely. “They looked so happy.”

“They were,” Lucy sighed, taking a sip of her beer, “Alex’s death almost killed Maggie too but she’s okay, most days. They were high school sweethearts, y’know?”

Kara would break Alex’s neck all over again if she had to regardless…did Maggie know how much of a piece of sh*t her wife was? How they drugged and tortured what they feared and didn't understand? Kara had plenty of regrets. Killing Alex Danvers was not one.

“I’m gonna go use the bathroom.” Kara quietly excused herself before she said something damning…and incriminating.

Lucy watched Kara go before she returned to the living room with her friends, a fake smile plastered on her face.

“So I gotta ask, what does blondie do for work?” Mike asked, once he confirmed that Kara was out of ear shot, “I didn’t wanna ask or call her out, but homegirl is wearing some serious gold on her wrists.”

“Yeah I noticed that too,” Emilia nodded, “Everyone from Norway must be loaded too, huh Winn?”

“You guys need a hobby besides gossiping about other people’s lives.” Maggie sighed, but she wasn’t as annoyed with them as she fronted. However, she did want them to put a lid on it, Maggie didn't want to risk Kara to potentially overhear and become offended. That wouldn't do anyone any good.

“So wanting to get to know someone is toxic now?”

“You could always just ask her.” Lucy suggested, crossing her legs at the knee, getting comfortable again, “I'm sure she wouldn't mind.”

“Not on the first game night,” Winn hedged with a small wince—“we don’t wanna scare her off, alright?”

“She doesn’t seem the type to be ran off so easily,” Maggie pointed out , then she heard footsteps coming back to the living room, “Anyway…”

Kara stepped back into the living room, her expression was apologetic while she came to the sofa where Lucy was sitting and reached for her jacket.

“Aw no, heading out already?” Winn whined, “But we haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet!”

“I know, I know but something came up and I have to go.”

“It’s pretty dark out, do you need a lift?”

“Uhhhh, I think I’ll be fine, Lucy but thanks.”

“No, no, I insist, I can call my driver and he can drop you off, Kara. It’s not a big deal.”

“Plus we’d rather you be safe than sorry. Lots of wackos out there as is. Take it from a cop, Kara, you shouldn’t be walking home alone.” Maggie backed Lucy, she and Kara didn’t know one another that well yet but Maggie certainly didn’t want to hear about the woman being mugged or hurt while walking home when it could've been avoided.

“Okay, okay, you guys need to relax,” Kara laughed, holding up her hands after shrugging on her jacket, “I promise I’m fine, I don’t need a ride. Walking and breathing in the lovely polluted air of National City is my favorite pastime.”

“Robbing people is this city’s favorite pastime too.” Mike snorted.

After a few more minutes of going back and forth with the group, Kara finally managed to convince all of them that she was capable of getting home without their help and protection. But Lucy still insisted on walking Kara out.

“You’re not leaving because we’re boring you, are you?”

“Ha! Your friends are far from boring, Lucy. They’re entertaining and friendly. I had a good time. Emilia is a little intense though.” Kara managed to dodge the question.

“This was her first night too, she was probably just nervous.”

“Yeah you’re probably right,” Kara smiled even though she didn’t really mean it—Kara didn’t much like Emilia but she kept her real opinions to herself but Kara’s instincts were hardly ever incorrect.

“Anyway, I should get going. And if it makes you feel better, I will take the subway halfway there so I’m not just walking the entire time.”

“Alright, well,” Lucy grimaced but she seemed a bit more relieved, “just text me when you—”

“Thank god you’re still here!” Someone called from behind them, and Winn came running out of the house while struggling to put on his own jacket.

Lucy and Kara quietly watched the man nearly trip over his own feet twice coming down the steps. Winn even bumped into Maggie’s unmarked police vehicle (twice) before reaching them at the end of the driveway.

“Uh, Winn? You alright?”

“Yeah, yeah,” he huffed, wiping the thin layer of sweat from his forehead, “Right, uh, Kara, mind some company?”

Kara blinked, “No I don’t mind at all, but weren’t you the one who claimed I was about to miss the ‘good stuff’?”

Winn chuckled, “But you are! Well I guess we are now. One of my projects just came online and—”

“Winn seriously?” Lucy tsked for the second time, “You can’t just let Luthor dictate your time and energy so she and her egotistical brother can eat caviar and plot on a yacht somewhere!”

“It’s not Luthor, I-I mean it is, but Lucy c’mon! Making the world go green has been my thing since college and this is my first real opportunity to make the earth somewhat healthy again, wouldn’t you call that a win? No matter who funded it?”

Lucy's lips pressed into a thin line, but Kara grinned brightly at him and wrapped her arm around his shoulders in support, “Well, I’m moved. I think it’s great what you’re doing, dude.”

“Someone who gets it, thank you!” Winn said sarcastically, giving Lucy a look to which she just shook her head at the two.

“C’mon, we better get going before we still have time to get to the subway or we’ll have to wait for the next one.”

“Fine fine, you two call me later then. And be safe! Winn, don't talk to strangers!” Lucy laughed when all he did was flip her off.

Lucy made her way back to the porch but she kept an eye on the two until she couldn’t and the DEO Director sighed quietly, a lot on her mind.

.

.

“You really believe that the Luthor family is trying to help this planet, Winn?” Kara asked after a good few minutes of them walking in comfortable silence.

“Yeah, I mean, Lena Luthor definitely is but Lex? He’s…he’s different.”

“Different how? Bad?”

“Kind of. Depends on the day. Don't get me wrong though, he doesn’t get in his sister's way as long as she doesn’t get in his way, so it’s fine, I guess. My friends don’t really like the Luthor family, and with good reason, I mean Lex is the one that synthesized Kryptonite and tried to kill Superman—”

Winn kept rambling and he missed the way Kara’s eyes lit up at the bit of information and her soft humming. “Wow. Lex sounds like a dangerous individual. Especially for Superman.”

“Ha, You say that like it’s not a world class fact. That rivalry almost destroyed the entire world once…and it just might again with Lex announcing his presidential run and all.”

Kara nodded in understanding. It wasn’t as if she weren’t aware of Kal-El’s history with the Luthor family, particularly Lex Luthor himself and she was even aware of the fact that Kal-El was in fact not taking Lex Luthor’s presidency run very well. It was quite comical really.

“If Superman feels so strongly about the people, why does he allow them access to the left over Kryptonian technology?”

“Have you been living under a rock, Kara?” Winn looked at Kara confused, and a little more than suspicious, “That was what their whole first fight was about! The Alien Registration was nearly WWIII. In order to get Superman to back it was to lie to him about who wrote the damn thing. He agreed without even reading it I guess. Whole thing toured around the world for six months until it was finalized at the UN.”

“How did he find out then?”

Winn shrugged, “No one knows but when he did, so did the rest of the world.”

“But what does this have to do with—”

“The Luthor's are contracted with the government and since Superman didn’t read the act he ended up having no choice but to share the toys or risk treason against the act.”

That must've been the real reason Bruce was pissed.

“You seriously didn’t know about any of this??”

Kara shook her head, ignoring his bewildered glaring, “I didn’t find any of that on the internet, just muted videos of the badly filmed fight,”

“Yeah well, the government scrubbed the internet of the whole thing, which is illegal by the way. It wasn’t good publicity or something.”

“Then Superman should’ve killed him when he had the chance.”

Kara knew that she probably shouldn’t have said that, at least not out loud and to Winn of all people, but she simply wanted to get a feel for his thoughts about Superman and heroes in general. It was always interesting to Kara just how divided humans were, and so passionately too.

Winn shook his head, “There’s a whole thread on Reddit talking about that, even years later. A whole lot of people think he should’ve too…and a whole lot of people disagree.”

“Yeah, and what do you think then?”

Winn stumbled for an answer, shrugging and waving his hands a little wildly that Kara was worried he’d poke an eye out or something, “I, okay, I’m, (deep breath) I just…I like Superman, I-I do but I’m kind of on the side of him killing some bad guys.”

“Because some people are just too bad to be redeemed?”

“I mean yeah…sometimes, yeah.”

Subconsciously Winn began to walk a little closer to Kara because the sidewalks were getting a little busier once they turned on the nightlife area. There were a lot of influencers hanging around, being loud and trying to show off to their friends and the women hanging around.

Kara waited until they walked past a particularly loud and rowdy frat group, “You said ‘bad guys’ though, I was asking about Luthor.”

“Oh. I mean, there are ‘bad guys’ out there who do the wrong things for the right reasons too. And I…I think Luthor is one of ‘em.”

“Which one?”

“Both of them.”

“In what way?”

“Easy, Lena spearheaded the alien registration act, because Lex said that humanity is depending too much on superheroes…which he’s not wrong about.”

“Debatable, take for example Superman’s blunder with the ARA (alien registration act). He can’t even be trusted to take care of the aliens, much less humans. But then you have the likes of Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl who are willing to go that extra mile to protect humanity.”

“I said Lex wasn’t wrong, but he’s not right either.”

Kara pursed her lips contemplating Winn’s response, “That’s a lot of gray.”

“Yeah, well that’s reality. But like I said, a lot of us are in it for the right things but prejudice is gonna exist every time, so like it or not we still need those kinds of heroes...”

The two continued to talk moving into lighter topics as they walked until both of them had to go their separate ways for the evening. Kara could admit that she couldn’t have made a better decision making friends with him. She may have been watching him, but there was clearly a lot more to Winn than Kara realized.

When Kara walked back into the apartment she froze mid-step at the sight that awaited her. All the lights were on, even the overhead lights that Diana never wanted to use (because the specific light bulbs were expensive and hard to find) but they were on and set to their highest setting.

The balcony doors were wide open, the curtains tangled together with the wind from behind up this high. And there were footprints…bloody footprints that led from the balcony, and through the living room and past the kitchen. Halfway through, those bloody footprints were accompanied by bloody paw prints. Little ones.

“What the hell…”

Kara quietly closed the door behind her, she was on high alert as she followed the blood trail. Kara has seen Diana bleed before but not quite…like this.

When she got closer to Diana’s bedroom, Streaky darted out of the room—and nearly scared the sh*t out of her. Of all the things…

“That damn cat…Diana? Dia-” Kara’s eyes widened. Diana was in her bathroom, leaning against the doorway and the counter—but it was more like those were the only things holding her up.

She was holding her side and hunched over. Just one look at her, and it was obvious that Diana had been in one hell of a fight but what the hell with, Kara didn’t know.

But that was the furthest thing from Kara’s mind and she took off her jacket as fast as she could while crossing the room until she was directly behind Diana, and peering over her shoulder.

“Diana? Rao, why aren't you healing??”

“Hm…pois…nnn…”

“Poison? Someone poisoned you?”

Kara looked at Diana’s reflection, to check to see if her eyes were even open and they weren’t. Diana was in bad shape, so Kara shuffled closer with one arm around Diana’s waist. Kara felt the warm, sticky blood there and she practically picked Diana up the last few steps to the woman’s bed.

Diana’s pained grunts and hot breath hit Kara’s ear even though Kara placed her down as gently as possible. Diana might kill her for ruining her sheets…and her mattress but ideally, it was better than the hard floor.

“Dammit Diana, why didn’t you call for backup? Or better yet, go get medical help?! I’m not this kind of doctor!”

“Communicator…broken…” Diana breathed, finally losing consciousness and her head dropping off to the side, “Ch…Chee..”

“Rao, Princess...” Kara frowned, Diana must've been really out of it if she was talking about cheese of all things at a time like this. Kara had questions but those could wait until later.

Diana’s pants were shredded; the damage done to the tough fabric was irreparable. Her Wonder Woman bodice was in the same shape, and every rip and tear in her costume housed a nasty gash or scratch beneath it. Upon closer inspection, these injuries were made from some very sharp claws.

Kara rushed into the bathroom to wash her hand and get some towels because she was surely going to need them. Kara fashioned a large scarlet bowl out of thin air and filled it with warm water while she searched Diana's bathroom for the first aid kit. She was making a bit of a mess but she was in a rush.

Meow…

Streaky strutted back into the room, carrying a packet of band-aids and Kara sighed, it was too adorable for her to even do anything except roll her eyes. She opened the last cabinet and sighed with relief...she found the first aid kit.

Collecting all of the necessary items, Kara came back into the room. And set everything on the bed next to Diana, including a large pair of scissors. She gently took the band-aids from Streaky before she gently scooped up the kitten.

“Sorry baby girl, this is gonna get gnarly and Diana's strong. You don't need to get hurt if she starts kicking.” Streaky meowed in protest but Kara set her down in the hallway and closed the bedroom door with a deep breath.

Notes:

It only took 16 chapters of character development but we are finally reached the end of the slow romance phase…will it last though 🤔 (how much smut do y’all want 🤣 jk 👀)

Lucy's development shouldn't be a surprise tho, Ik some saw it coming though...there's gonna be a lot of hurt in that arc I think. Ah well.

Themyscira next, if it's still standing...and Diana too, but at least she has Kara there to take care of her, heh. Poor Diana though.🥹

Chapter 17: Themyscira II

Notes:

Hey you guys! Sorry for taking so long, got a double whammy for y'all.:) this is the beginning of something great (at least that's what I foresee in my head and in my outline).

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Diana’s apartment…

After closing the door behind Streaky, who immediately began to paw and meow incessantly at the door, Kara made her way back to an unconscious Diana. There were a thousand things going through her mind right now, and Kara wasn't sure which one she should latch onto first. This was not how she envisioned the rest of her night to go.

“Poison, poison…ugh…but what kind of poison? Humans and their stupid creative killing methods..” Kara ranted under her breath as she carefully began to unzip Diana’s boots and pulled them off of her feet one by one along with her blood stained socks. And judging by the weight of just one of those socks, Kara knew that Diana endured this longer than she realized. Kara threw those off to the side for later disposal as well.

Taking a deep breath but not lingering too long, Kara advanced towards Diana’s golden belt, but she first removed Diana’s lasso from her hip and the Sword of Athena from the other, and she set them aside for now. Diana's lasso wasn’t as warm as Kara knew that it should be and that concerned her because she knew that Diana and this rope had some sort of connection. She still wasn't sure how but if this was going to be Kara's only way to currently gauge Diana's time clock...she'd take it.

“And where the f*ck were you Steve, huh? Some government friend you turned out to be. Some big man you are.” An agitated Kara mumbled through clenched teeth as she worked to undo Diana’s belt, “You would be better off with the Red Lantern watching your back, Princess. Ring or no ring, sun or no sun, this wouldn’t have happened. There are other worlds out there that would be more grateful to have you, Diana...”

Kara respectfully averted her eyes when she finally found the clasp on Diana’s belt. Her pants were a lot tighter than they looked and Kara did her best not to further aggravate the deep wounds on Diana’s thighs but it was inevitable to pull and rub against them but she was finally able to get them off completely.

Kara chucked Diana’s pants with her socks and quickly grabbed a towel and set it over Diana’s lap. Still mumbling and grumbling, it took Kara a little longer to get Diana’s bodice off and she apologized to Diana over and over when the Amazon painfully whimpered when Kara pressed against her wound on accident.

With another towel over Diana’s chest now, Kara could finally see the damage in its entirety and it wasn’t pretty at all. She had some work to do.

Kara summoned the bowl closer and she picked up the wash towels that were sitting inside of it, then she knelt next to the bed though she was hovering a few inches off of the floor to be at perfect eye level.

With her superior eyesight, Kara could see small physical traces left behind from the poison that was hurting Diana. Along the ridges of her wounds, there were small specks of blue and orange shimmering in Diana’s blood like a glitter of diamonds.

“Whoever made this is clearly a professional,” Kara theorized out loud with a squint. The scientist in her was buzzing with curiosity but with Diana's DNA currently bled all over the apartment, she could catch a sample later.

It took Kara half an hour to clean any excess and dried blood off of Diana until she was satisfied and sure that nothing would get infected or be hindered while Diana was healing. Kara shudders at the memories that suddenly come to the forefront of her mind; she's seen plenty of soldiers who've gone into the healing chambers while out in the field without properly cleaning their wounds and were forced to reopen them to get rocks and other things from beneath their skin. It was a nasty and painful process for everyone involved and she'd rather avoid that here.

Kara didn’t have the tools present to come up with an antidote, and she certainly didn't have time to leave—or the willingness to leave Diana unattended, but there were other solutions to deal with the poison in Diana's bloodstream. Unfortunately, it wasn't going to be fun for either of them.

Stepping out of the room for a moment, Kara went to the apartment's thermostat…and she turned on the heat to the highest setting that it could go (Diana might murder her about the bill later). Kara went and found Streaky, giving her a few kisses before wrapping her in a protective bubble and opened one of the balcony doors, giving her an adequate way to keep cool without being in danger.

After ten minutes, Kara returned to Diana's room with a pitcher of water and she saw that Diana was already starting to sweat due to the raised heat. Setting the water down, Kara checked Diana's wounds, the bleeding had stopped but her wounds weren't closing. The central heating wasn't enough.

Kara licked her lips a little nervously, fidgeting with her left ring finger as she thought of what she wanted to do next—but the thing is; she already knew. Despite Diana being unconscious, this felt like a confession and Kara was...anxious about it. Kara glanced at the lasso of truth sitting on the nightstand...she felt as if the damn thing was looking right at her and she was grateful that it couldn't communicate with Diana. At least she hoped that it didn't.

Looking away from the rope, Kara stared down at Diana then looked down at her left hand, watching as that familiar angry blood-red ring shimmered into sight right before she began to transform into the Red Lantern...

“…I’m sorry about this next part in advance, but it's about to get really really warm and uncomfortable in here for you, Princess.”

.

.

Several hours later…sometime mid-morning...

Kara awoke with the sun directly shining in her face and for a moment she was disoriented and sluggish—but the hand resting on her armored shoulder reminded her of exactly where she was...and why.

After expelling copious amounts of heat to naturally flush a majority of the poison out of Diana's system for hours, Kara must've sat down on the floor next to the bed at some point and had fallen asleep. Kara wiped the sleep from her eyes while she slowly moved from beneath Diana's hand. Seeing as she was still in her Red Lantern armor, Kara panicked slightly thinking that Diana woke and saw her but one look at the Amazon and Kara knew that Diana had yet to emerge from her subconscious.

The open lacerations that were on Diana's thighs have all but closed completely but they’d need more time to heal as will the ones on her arms since they were dangerously deep before but the little ones on her face and neck were gone completely, as if nothing had ever happened. At least Diana's healing ability wasn't completely gone.

However it was the one on her side that was still giving Kara cause for concern. The crucial part of it was healed, ensuring that Diana wouldn’t be losing anymore blood but until Diana received proper care, the gazes and healing wraps were going to be Diana’s best friend for the coming days.

Knock Knock Knock Knock!

Diana? Diana, are you in there?”

Kara’s eye twitched, her keen hearing picking up on frantic whisper yelling on the other side of the front door, she knew that annoying voice despite only meeting the man only once before.

Trusting that Diana would be fine for five minutes unsupervised, Kara stormed out of Diana’s bedroom while stripping away her Red Lantern suit. She had completely forgotten that she was still in just her jeans and a sports bra underneath all of that—and opened the door before Steve could knock like a madman again.

“Oh thank God, where is Diana—”

With one hand Kara pushed him back hard enough before he could push his way into the apartment. Steve stumbled over his feet and right into the wall behind him, but he managed to stay upright. Kara closed the door behind her quietly.

“Hey what the fu—”

“Where the hell were you, Steve? I thought you were supposed to be her back up!”

“I was! I am!” Steve defended himself hotly, getting in Kara’s face despite there being a height difference between them, “You weren’t out there! It was a sh*t show the moment we landed. We walked right into an ambush and it all went to hell from there.”

We??” Kara crossed her arms and she checked Steve up and down slowly, and just like she suspected—he didn't have a scratch on him, “You look in good health to me, Steve Trevor, for someone who happened to walk into an ambush.”

Steve bristled at what Kara was trying to imply—no, what she was implying, “Diana covered our twenty fighting her arch nemesis Cheetah while we retreated and after that I don’t know, alright? No one was even supposed to know about this mission!”

“You left her behind.” Kara sneered down at him, refusing to back down. Though now she realized that Diana wasn’t talking about Cheese last night, but Cheetah. Kara wasn't overly familiar with the meta but she's heard Diana say their name in passing once or twice before.

“I didn’t know anything until this morning when I found out she didn't check in with the base all night! I don’t know who you are, girl, but this ain’t your show and this ain't our first rodeo. Diana and I have been through worse together and whatever you think went wrong, is child's play, alright?”

Kara looked Steve up and down again but with obvious disdain this time, and there was a certain vicious intent in her glacier blue eyes. The sheer ignorance from this man was almost enough to make Kara do something to him. Almost.

“I need to speak to Diana, so if you don’t mind?”

“Diana is not taking any visitors right now.”

Steve frowned at Kara, her attitude towards him starting to piss him off because he hadn't even done anything to her. Steve was starting to think the only Amazon without anger issues was Diana.

Kara wasn’t going to inform him that Diana has been unconscious since last night, or that she was poisoned and on the brink of death. She felt as if he didn’t deserve to know seeing as he and the other humans that Diana was presumably protecting had left her behind. Unlike Diana, Kara did not have any loyalties to these people and she did not owe any of them a damn thing.

Steve scoffed, he was affronted and growing more frustrated with Kara’s attitude and refusal to cooperate with him. “Listen, I know you Amazons like to stick together and protect each other but I promise I’m on your side. And I know Diana. She’s as independent as they come and she wouldn’t appreciate you speaking for her.”

“I doubt she appreciated that you didn’t know that she was missing until now.”

“Listen, honey, I’m not leaving until I talk to Diana and make sure she’s okay with my own two eyes.”

Kara wanted to eliminate this man on the spot for his audacity and his unwillingness to just leave. And she could but she very much could not because then Diana wouldn’t be happy with her for it and that just pissed her off even more. Because why would Diana even give a f*ck about a worm like this? He was nothing. He couldn’t even have the decency to make sure that Diana made it back to base with them.

“Hey, are you listening?” Steve snapped his fingers in Kara’s face, “You're interfering with government business here, and if I don't report back to my bosses about Wonder Woman's status—”

“Steve.” Interrupting him, Kara snapped out of her murderous cloud and swatted his hand out of her face harder than she actually meant to, “You’re exhausting my patience so I’m only going to tell you one more time. Diana will check in with your government when she’s ready, and not a moment sooner. Do you understand me?”

Still rubbing his hand, Steve looked prepared to argue and push back but there was something in Kara’s eye that stopped him in his tracks. It was different than the one she’d given him earlier, more intense and the longer Steve stared into Kara’s steely gaze, the more unnerved he felt.

Finally, he relented and nodded, taking a small step back, “ Just tell me one thing then will ya? Is Diana okay?”

“No thanks to any of you.” Kara dismissed, already turning away from Steve to head back inside, but of course, Steve wasn’t done, “Wait, one more thing…”

Kara stopped quietly, her hand remained on the doorknob tightly.

“Look, we still don’t know Cheetah’s status after she got the jump on Wonder Woman,” He shoved his hands in his pockets and reminded himself that he was doing this for Diana, “I don’t know who you are, but if Diana trusts you then I—”

“Hurry up and get to the point.”

Steve frowned and bit his tongue, “I’m not even supposed to be telling you this, but finding her hasn’t been marked as a priority.”

Kara’s disbelief and absolute rage must’ve been on her face because Steve immediately threw up his hands, which were still in his jacket pockets.

“We aren’t equipped to deal with meta humans like her!” He said quickly, “That’s why we…look, just, maybe you and Diana should consider laying low until…she’s taking visitors again.”

Kara’s eyes narrowed at his pointed choice of words, “Fine.”

“Are you two going back to the island?” He asked, but the only answer he received was a door slammed in his face, “Christ, that Amazon is grumpier than the last one…”

“I don’t know how Diana deals with this.” Kara mumbled to herself, having heard Steve’s parting words through the door and rolled her eyes. Yet despite her dislike for the man, she was in fact listening to what he was telling her earlier about Cheetah still largely being unaccounted for; and that was a mild concern.

Kara was fairly confident that she could handle this meta-human but if she was dishing out poison that could nearly kill the all mighty Wonder Woman, Kara would stray on the side of precaution as it was possible that Cheetah wasn't working alone. In Kara's opinion, someone named Cheetah couldn't have come up with something deadly enough to demi-god.

Kara stood in the middle of the living room and looked around slowly with a quiet hum. There was an advantage being this high up but the disadvantages of being here outweighed that. Cheetah might not be alone next time.

“Damn you, Steve Trevor.” Kara grouched—coming to the conclusion that staying here was not an option, Kara wasn’t willing to risk anything else.

Themyscira...two days before...

Queen Hippolyta was now in her full armor and sitting high up on her stallion holding his reins loosely though she was riding him as fast as he could go. Philippus was right behind her on her own horse with a platoon of foot warriors racing behind them down towards the beaches. Over the sound of her own hard breathing, and the thunderous gallops, Hippolyta could hear her archers giving it all that they had to give to keep their enemy on the shores.

With one last hill to crest to the beach, the warriors could see flaming arrows soaring through the air and brighter red beams lighting up the entire treeline and the sounds of metal clashing grew louder and louder. Gritting her teeth, the Queen pushed her steed harder, her eyes squinting against the stinging pain from the branches hitting her in the eyes and her bare arms. With the ground shaking beneath their feet from the explosions and the monster still miles away, Hippolyta strayed from the winding path and began to cut right through her forest towards the battle.

Hippolyta drew her sword from her waist with a mighty yell the moment she cleared the forest to the beach, saving one of her sisters from being slaughtered by three men in sleek black full body water suits. Hippolyta swing was as powerful as it was true, taking the man's head from his shoulders, her blade slicing through his suit and flesh like it was nothing. Coating her blade and her arm with the first taste of a very long battle.

From the archers high up on the cliffs carefully taking aim at their enemies, the battle on the beach looked like it stretched on for miles and without an end in sight—the enemy swarmed their sisters from all sides. The smoke from the fires shot from those destructive weapons were growing and starting to obscure the view from a majority of their archers, forcing them higher or to retreat to another post.

However there was one archer who refused to leave: Artemis's eyes stung from the thick smoke but that didn't stop her from scanning every inch of the battle field striking down every foe that was unfortunate to cross her line of sight.

Down below, Hippolyta feigned a right to trick one of the Manta-Men before running full speed into a slide and brutally gutting the man but not before his knife marked her skin with yet another scar between her neck and her shoulder, and thankfully the wound wasn't deep enough for concern. The Queen yelled out in a mixture of pain and determination, unable to stop as more Manta-Men continued to advance.

Queen Hippolyta did the best that she could but with the smoke spreading due to the growing fires, she couldn't keep track of her Amazon's without letting her guard down, and the sea monster was upon them now, pushing and the creature's glowing eyes pierced through the black fog and stared right down upon Hippolyta.

Despite being in the midst of a brutal battle, the Queen returned the creature's stare heatedly but it was only seconds later that the ground beneath her trembled and broke violently around her, nearly throwing her off of her feet completely. The creature had scooped the piece of land that Hippolyta was standing on and steadily raised her higher and higher until she was faced with large, yellow rotten teeth and even harsher and hotter breath.

Hippolyta grimaced but she remained steady and firm, raising her sword and shield when the creature brought her face to face with the very man responsible for this attack on Themyscira. He stood next to one of the broken horns atop of the creature's head, standing as if he were some sort of King. Hippolyta noticed the bright blue crystal hanging around his neck and she guessed that was how he, a mere mortal, was able to command a creature from the depths of the ocean's trenches.

“Black Manta.” Hippolyta sneered, her eyes narrowing through sweat and blood, “What is the meaning of this attack?!”

“Don't play dumb, your highness, you know exactly why I'm here.”

Black Manta crossed his arms over his broad chest, and even though the Amazon Queen could not see his face, his stance smug enough that she didn't have to see his face to know that the man was smiling underneath his helmet. Hippolyta's stance didn't falter nor did her expression because unfortunately, he was right...she did know why these sea urchins were trying to violate her lands and disrespect her sovereignty.

“So why don't you make this easier for yourself and your sisters and tell me where the damn Trident of Poseidon is located and maybe I won't let this beast sink your island.”

“It is my duty as Queen of Themyscira, protector of the underworld, to keep tyrants like you and Orm from disturbing the balance of this world. The secrets you search for will never be unearthed, Manta.”

Subtly, Hippolyta fingers flexed around her leather wrapped hilt of her sword...fully prepared to give her life to protect Themyscira...and the rest of the world.

Black Manta laughed sarcastically, and flicked at the crystal around his neck and the beast beneath them visibly twitched and grunted but otherwise held still, “Orm may have paid me handsomely to kill you and that annoying bitch Wonder Woman, something I would've done for free, but he will never pay me enough to follow his ideals.”

It didn't surprise Hippolyta that Black Manta gave Orm up so easily but then again there was hardly any honor between thieves and given Black Manta's history with Atlantis' kingdom, she knew that there was more to this than she was seeing—and it further drove the regret in her gut for not telling Diana of her concerns sooner. But Orm's words also alarmed her but Hippolyta mentally prayed to the Gods that whatever trouble her daughter ran into that she prevailed and returned to her safe.

“Orm wants to destroy the surface world, I want to destroy Atlantis and all that it stands for. You see, 'your highness', we're on the same side here. I know you hate Atlantis as much as I do. So give me the trident so I can do what you're too cowardly to do!” Black Manta uncrossed his arms and held them out, “Orm has your little island surrounded, Hippolyta, and it's only a matter of time before he attacks, and you know I'm right.”

He was. And she knew it, but Hippolyta wasn't going to play into his, or Orm's, mind game; “What did Orm really promise you to do this heinous attack?”

Black Manta was quiet for a few seconds, then he grabbed the pendant around his neck and held it tight in his fist and the trench monster immediately reacted, beginning to growl menacingly and drowning out the sounds of the battle below.

“A price that is unmatched by anything you have to offer; now where is the Trident!? I won't ask you again!”

Hippolyta reacted quickly and she twisted her blade expertly between her fingers before launching it right at Black Manta's head, right between those big red visors. The man saw the attack coming but Hippolyta was a split second faster than he was and her sword clipped his helmet just right to crack it open down the middle, and some of the shattered pieces cut Black Manta's already deeply scarred face.

The creature closed its clawed hand around Hippolyta, squeezing her unbearably tight and rendering the Amazon Queen wholly immobile and at the mercy or Black Manta. The man touched his forehead tenderly and winced when he felt a little jagged piece of his helmet embedded there and he pulled it out, examining it with a cruel smile growing on his face.

“Big mistake. I don't necessarily need you to find the damn thing,” he chuckled darkly, tossing the bloodied broken piece aside, “But it would've been easier had you played ball. Say hello to your daughter for me, will ya?”

“Wha—”

The creature reeled it's arm back and threw the Queen back down onto Themyscira, far from the beach and the fight itself and Black Manta's laughter could be heard even over the sea monsters roaring and the Amazon's cries for their Queen, all of the Amazons feeling the impact of their inevitable defeat moments later. They'd lost their spear.

Find the Trident! Find it now!” Black Manta yelled his orders out into the comms of his last remaining soldiers on the beach...and to the ones still standing by just half a mile away from shore beneath the rough waters. And he watched with sinister glee as the Amazon's retreated further into their island as his men advanced from the ocean in droves, “Heh. Where are your Gods now, Amazons?”

.

.

Present Time...

Themyscira was a shell of the beautiful island that it once was. The devastation that Themyscira suffered sank half of the island into the depths of the ocean already and the tides were steadily swallowing the island whole despite the surviving Amazon's doing the best that they could to prevent it. The island that was not currently succumbing to it's fate housed thousands of surviving, but wounded, Amazon's. Themyscira has never been in this stage of disaster before and without their Queen, the Amazon's were discombobulated as a whole.

Despite it being days since the attack, black smoke still polluted the gorgeous blue skies above them all, a cruel reminder of what they've endured just days ago—not even permitting some Amazon's to look up to their Gods for hope.

The island was in total ruin and Kara stared in horror from the clouds at what she was looking at and she was glad that Diana was unconscious to see this...in her current state. Diana probably would have hurt herself trying to get down there. Streaky meowed softly from her spot nestled between Kara and Diana's bodies, and she carefully peeked over Diana's limp arm to see what Kara was looking at. Kara knew that this had to be the work of Aquaman's people, it had to have been because who else would have a reason to attack Themyscira...let alone find it in the first place to attack.

Kara glared down at the calm ocean, her brain working overtime on how she could keep Streaky and Diana safe while she went and dismantled Atlantis tower by tower. It wouldn't be as if any of them could physically stop her either—the only person who would have a chance of doing that was resting peacefully in Kara's arms. Superman may even have a chance to get some good hits in but Kara ruled out his mental capacity to hold a comprehensible fight aside from throwing the hardest punches he can manage.

Streaky meowed again, louder this time, and pulled Kara from her murderous thoughts that were growing the longer she hovered above the clouds glaring at the water. Kara sighed audible and looked away...later then.

Kara slowly began to descend from the clouds. She was purposely taking her time so the Amazons, who were still alive, wouldn't be too alarmed with a sudden stranger invading their lands (again) and attacking them. They wouldn't get anywhere near hurting them but it seemed that time was incredibly crucial for the Amazons as well as their remaining resources. It both saddened and enraged Kara to see Themyscira like this, especially since she was so eager to return just a few days prior with Diana. This visit was supposed to be joyous and perhaps even a little progressive for herself and Diana.

Once she was close enough, Kara expanded her shield around the three of them just in case they were attacked but nothing of the sort happened which further proved that the Amazon's were worse off than she thought. Kara flew by the flooded areas—the bottom of her shield brushing against the leaves and branches that were peeking from the surface of the water. Those were one very tall trees that provided shade and healthy fruits—now ruined and forever lost.

With the palace in sight along with solid ground, the more Amazon's began to appear but they were just wounded soldiers and civilians tending to one another to the best of their abilities yet they all stopped whatever they were doing to watch the Red Lantern through their makeshift refugee camps that was once their primary market however Kara paid them little mind. Her eyes were scanning each face but there was no sign of Cetane, Philippus or even Artemis.

When Kara reached the palace grounds, she was met with more than a dozen spears and some very sharp arrows aimed right at causing her to stop her advance. In light of their mental and physical exhaustion, these Amazon warriors were still prepared to defend what was left of their home.

From the center of the group, the General; Philippus emerged, and the broad has certainly seen better days and the last time Kara checked, Philippus also had both of her eyes but now she had a cover over her left eye and many other fresh scars on her bare arms and legs. The General sported a slight limp, favoring her right leg subtly and in spite of that, the Amazon General still carried her sword and shield as if they weighed nothing on her tired body.

“You're trespassing, outsider; who are you and why are you here?!”

Kara glanced down at Diana and saw that the Princess' face was hidden by her dark locks of hair (they'd gone untamed for a while now) and Diana was also still dressed in random pajamas. Streaky looked up at Kara with wide eyes, obviously nervous but still curious about this new place and Kara smiled softly at her kitten even though Streaky couldn't see it through the mask Kara wore.

“I will not ask you again, outsider!” Philippus raised her voice, clearly irritated and low on patience and her sword was now drawn from her back and Kara shifted uncomfortably.

This was her plan all along but now that she was here, and seeing the destruction of Diana's home—Kara was starting to have second thoughts about revealing herself now but she couldn't very well leave now because she was already committed.

Kara exhaled heavily and she quickly dissolved her mask before she lost her nerve and the look on Philippus' face was priceless as her eye widened and her jaw dropped a little.

“K..Kara?...but what? I don't understand?” Philippus lowered her sword a bit, but the others did not follow their General's lead just yet, all of them still erring on the side of caution and rightfully so—Kara looked dangerous, “What is this?”

“It's a long story, General, one that I will happily explain...but Diana needs help, right now.”

Everyone's eyes darted to the woman in Kara's arms, they'd been so concerned with this 'intruder' that they failed to look closely at the woman in their arms until now. Immediately Philippus began demanding a healer be brought inside of the palace and Kara quickly followed the older Amazon, breezing past the other warriors without a second thought.

“What the hell happened here, General?” Kara asked the moment they stepped inside and she moved away when one of the other Amazon's offered to take Diana from her and if Philippus noticed this sudden possessiveness and protectiveness from Kara, she didn't speak on it.

“We're still trying to figure that out,” Philippus answered with a twinge of anger and disappointment coloring her tone as she led them to an empty room, “We were attacked in the middle of the night two moons ago. They came from the ocean like an infestation—we were eventually outnumbered and outmaneuvered but there is only so much that we could've done against a trench monster without our Queen. Here, take her inside of this room.”

Philippus opened the chipped wooden door and allowed Kara to walk into the room first. The room was small with only just a bed, a desk and a small window but it would do. Philippus watched as Kara carefully laid Diana down on the twin bed and Streaky immediately got comfortable next to the Amazon, curling up into her side near Diana's hand in hopes for some scratches soon.

“What did you mean 'without our Queen'?” Kara asked, still looking down at Diana, searching for any signs of discomfort from their long flight here, “Where is Queen Hippolyta?”

“She's...she's dead.”

“Oh f*ck...” Kara breathed, “So that means that Diana is...”

“Yes.”

Hurried footsteps halted their conversation and soon enough just as Philippus stepped aside from the doorway and not even a second later a shorter Amazon ran into the room carrying a full bearskin of what Kara hoped to be waters from the healing springs. Artemis came sprinting into the room soon after, huffing and puffing with her brilliant red hair braided and pulled back into a ponytail. She didn't have any obvious injuries but she looked just as haggard as the others.

“I had to see this for myself,” Artemis huffed and puffed, her eyes darting between Kara (who was still in her Red Lantern attire) and Diana, unsure where to even start first.

Kara never thought she'd be thinking this but she was actually happy to see that the redhead survived the ordeal...she had a feeling that the Amazon's were about to go into a war and they would need all their best warriors in their ranks.

“What happened to her?” the healer asked, checking over Diana's mostly healed wounds with a frown because Diana should've recovered from these sorts of injuries by now—but most of all she shouldn't have had them at all, “Don't skip on the details either please.”

Kara sighed heavily and pulled herself into sitting position on top of the desk, “I wasn't there but Diana went out on a mission with the American government and from what I was told they were ambushed and there was a metahuman there...Cheetah,” Kara paused noting that both Philippus and Artemis tensed, “She somehow managed to poison Diana and gain the upperhand during their fight. Those so-called humans left Diana on her own but somehow she managed to make her way home, and that's how I found her before she passed out completely.”

The healer checked Diana's pulse and she peeled back her eyelids but she shook her head with a frown, “She was poisoned but not nearly enough to prevent her healing...?”

“Not anymore,” Kara corrected, and the healer turned with raised eyebrows, silently demanding an answer and Kara shrugged, “Look, I don't know a lot about Earth magic and potions but I know poison, that's universal. I didn't have the proper equipment to cure it all, but I uh...I made her sweat it out all night.”

“Excuse me??” Artemis choked, her eyes bulging and Philippus elbowed her in the ribs while Kara and the healer rolled their eyes.

“Not like that,” Kara said, not yet, “I...it's part of my powers, I can create an insurmountable amount of heat. I locked us in a room for ten hours and I burned out as much poison from her system as I could manage. Most of her wounds healed overnight but the more critical ones weren't so lucky...I figured that there was still some left and bringing Diana home was a safer option now.”

“And in doing all of that you've saved her life,” the healer said, opening the top of the bearskin revealing bright glacial blue liquid inside and Kara was relieved to see that the healing waters have not been disturbed despite the more than half of the island being under water, “the trace amounts left in her system is non-lethal but had you left her overnight...we'd be without another Queen.”

Kara frowned, licking her lips. She didn't like the sound of that, “Do you know what kind of poison that is?”

“I do, it's from native serpent plant from the East lands of this island...or it was, and whoever created this knew that this would work perfectly on Diana. Truthfully there isn't a cure for this and the healing waters wouldn't have made a difference if the amount in Diana’s system was as significant as you said it was.” As the healer was explaining this, she tipped the top of the bearskin over Diana's chapped lips and forced her to drink the contents while ensuring that she did not choke, “We owe you thanks, Lieutenant.”

Kara nodded mutely, unsure of what to say because 'you're welcome' seemed cheap and Kara didn't save Diana's life to be praised...she saved her life because she cared. She stared down at her gloved hands and licked her lips subconsciously and she missed the look shared between Philippus and Artemis.

“Hmm, do you think all of this is connected then?” Artemis asked after a few minutes of them all watching the healer help Diana finish drinking all of the healing water, “I don't think it's a coincidence that Diana was attacked and then this happened...? I mean, Hippolyta...she...she...”

Philippus cleared her throat and she fixed Kara with a stare that had the Kryptonian Red Lantern straightening out her spine, “What happened to you out there, Lieutenant?”

Kara sighed heavily, and shrugged, “Like I said, General, it's a long story...and I'll be happy to share it with you but not before Diana wakes up.”

“And when will that be, healer?”

“I'd guess a few more hours, she'll be a little weak as this plant is particularly deadly but she'll be fine,” the woman said, rising from the bed, “If you need me again I'll be down in the mess hall making my rounds.”

Philippus pointed at Kara after the healer left the room, “Fine, you stay here and watch over Diana until she wakes up. Come find us when she does, understood?”

“What? You're going to just leave her here alone with our new Queen?? Didn't you hear what the healer just said?”

“And did you not hear what she ( Philippus pointed at Kara again) just said; if it wasn't for her, Artemis, we would not have a Queen. Your judgment is misplaced and I suggest that you fix it before this entire situation gets any worse than it already is.” Philippus snapped before she brushed past Artemis coldly, leaving the room after the healer.

Artemis glared at Kara and Kara glared right back, her light blue eyes taking on a red hue in challenge but Artemis was wise enough to back off...for now. “You might've saved Diana's life, but I still don't trust you.”

“Good thing I don't give a damn about your trust then, isn't it? Stay the hell out of my way and we won't have any problems...and by 'we' I mean you. And no, Artemis, that wasn't a threat because with the way I'm feeling right now, it's a promise I’ll be looking forward to fulfilling.”

Artemis glared at Kara with her lips pressed tight but the archer said nothing as she stepped out of the room and slammed the wooden door behind her firmly making Kara smirk. Artemis may not have said a word but Kara knew that the other woman was far from done with her but that was the least of Kara's worries. She fiddled with the ring on her finger beneath her gloves, wondering if she should change back before Diana woke up and saw her like this but she thought better of it. Prolonging the truth would only make it worse and she just hoped for the love of Rao that Diana would hear her out first this time.

Otherwise Kara would have to fight her way out of this place because there was no way in hell she was going back to prison.

Kara stood by the small window of the room, leaning up against the wall with her arms crossed while she watched some of the Amazon's going back and forth on horseback pulling wagons of supplies and other necessities behind them. Kara shook her head...none of this made any sense to her. She was aware of the Atlantheans lurking around Themyscira as of late when they shouldn't have been...but to attack the island and so brutally? And to kill Hippolyta?!

Rao...those bastards!

Exhaling heavily, Kara pulled herself away from the window and began pacing the length of the room, her boots solid on the stone floor. Kara paced and she paced, thinking of a rational explanation for this but she couldn't fathom the reason for this kind of destruction—and it was bringing back painful memories of her own homeworld coming to an abrupt end. The only good thing here was that there were actual survivors here but how long would this last? Their home was sinking into enemy territory and they've lost their Queen while their new one lays here, nearly murdered...

In the last two hours, Kara concluded that this was a joint attack and whoever planned this wanted more than to shake down Themyscira's sovereignty...whoever was doing this wanted to remove Wonder Woman and Themyscira completely. It only fueled more questions and made Kara even more suspicious of the American Government that Diana loved to work with so much...

“Too many coincidences and not enough answers...and this is so not my problem and yet here I am, thinking about it!” Kara grouched as she continued pace and even as she complained, her sh*t list was growing.

Mmph...

Kara stopped pacing mid-step and turned back to the bed and she saw that Diana was awakening, albeit she was still a bit groggy but the Amazon's eyes were blinking open. Kara remained absolutely still, simply watching with bated breath and her heart beating hard and fast behind her rib cage.

Kara watched Streaky perk up and meow softly, calling for Diana’s attention which the groggy woman lovingly gave to the cat with some heavy handed pets but still loving, and it didn’t seem to bother Streaky too much that Diana wasn’t minding her strength. (Though some of Kara’s powers flowed through Streaky so that helped as well).

Diana’s eyes slid closed while she and Streaky enjoyed some sleepy cuddle times and Kara was hesitant to disturb this scene as she knew firsthand what reality waited for Diana. It was another ten minutes before Diana’s eyes opened again, fully this time and she seemed a little more alert this time. Kara stood off to the side quietly as Diana finally began to take in her surroundings and she knew the moment that Diana realized that she was no longer in National City. Diana visibly tensed and she moved to sit up, wincing the entire time from her sore joints...that is until her eyes landed on Kara, standing on the other side of the room, but more specifically...what Kara was wearing.

Kara swallowed anxiously as Diana went terrifyingly still, taking in Kara from head to toe agonizingly slow and her expression, despite being tired, was unreadable. But it was undeniable that there were many thoughts going through Diana's mind at this moment.

The room was quiet and it was tense but Kara wasn't willing to take that first step without knowing the playing field first and the ball was firmly in Diana's court. The Amazon's eyes lingered on the Red Lantern symbol that sat firmly on Kara's chest, staring at it hard enough that Kara was sure that she was going to have two little holes piercing right through her at any moment.

After a few more tense seconds, Diana looked away but Kara caught the hint of disappointment in her eyes but the lack of surprise is what stood out to Kara the most, and it made her...unreasonably nervous. She shouldn't even give a damn what Diana thought, she didn't...she doesn't...but...here she stood, struggling not to fidget as she awaited judgment from the only person on this wretched planet that she liked and respected.

“Bruce was right...he's always right,” Diana admitted quietly to herself but loud enough for Kara to hear as well, “By the Gods, Kara, I defended you to them...you...”

“I what?” Kara challenged with narrowed eyes, taking a half step forward as Diana swung her legs over the edge of the bed, “I beat up your friends a few times? Yeah, so what? At least I didn't kill 'em.” Kara met Diana's glare with one of her own, “I kept it fair and blood free out of respect for you, Diana...so the least you could do this time is hear me out.”

“This time?”

“Yeah, 'cause the last time you caught me in a compromising position, you locked me up and threw away the f*cking key for seven years, and that alone warrants payback but I didn't, and now you know that I very well could've done a lot of things, a lot of terrible things...but I haven't and—”

“Kara,” Diana shook her head, rubbing her forehead while her hair curtained her entire face, hiding her away from Kara's view, “Were you ever going to tell me? Is that why you...is this why you pursued me romantically? To use me and—”

No. No, no... Kara stopped Diana's train of thought quickly when she realized where she was going with that. Kara exhaled heavily then she laughed in complete disbelief while staring up at the ceiling with her hands on her hips, “Diana, I could've left months ago without a trace but for some idiotic reason...I didn't. I lost my home... and I'm still trying to come to terms with that, and until I do, Earth is not my new home either...truthfully...”

Kara trailed off and began pacing again and this time Diana just watched while Streaky sat on the pillow behind her quietly, watching both of them curiously, “I was going to tell you, especially when I realized how deep I was getting with you the longer I stayed...but the further I dug, the harder the truth buried itself,” Kara ran her fingers through her hair, making it messier than it already was, and Diana couldn't help but think how beautiful Kara was, more than usual—now that she was truly seeing her as she was, “My feelings for you are real, Diana, but I can't be who you want me to be here. I'm not like your Superman and I never will be.”

Diana picked her head up again, but she didn't meet Kara's reddish blue eyes. There were so many questions that Diana had but she didn't even know where to start—for herself and for Kara. Their kiss that they shared days ago wasn't something that could be fabricated. “I know that.”

“Do you?” Kara challenged, not quite sure if she believed her just yet—and she knew that there were more important things outside of this room than just the two of them, but for five minutes...Kara was going to be selfish because she didn't know if she and Diana would ever have a chance to revisit this moment.

“Yes, I do...and if you were really a bad person Kara...you wouldn't have saved my life.” Kara looked up sharply, surprised and relieved though she was still guarded and unsure, “I wish that you would've come to me with this sooner.”

“Yeah, well I didn't know how, and there was just never a good time to tell you the truth.”

Diana smiled faintly, she was still showing signs of fatigue as the last of the poison was being cleansed out of her system but she scooted over on her bed and patted a spot for Kara, “Well, how about now, Kara?”

Kara glanced at the door quickly, something that Diana did not miss—and she was aware that something else was amiss but like Kara, Diana was not yet willing to break this moment as she too wanted to be selfish.

Kara licked her lips, taking a few steps forward as her Red Lantern attire faded away like liquid going down a drains and put her back into her civilian clothing and it was fascinating for Diana to watch—this was the same Kara that loved to cook for her and tease her on a daily basis, the same Kara that rescued the adorable little cat sitting behind her. This was the same woman that Diana's been steadily falling for, for the past several months...

Tentatively, Kara sat next to Diana on the edge of the small bed with her hands in her lap and Diana frowned, she couldn't recall ever seeing Kara this uneasy before and it worried her for what she was about to hear.

“I don't wanna put you in a difficult place with your friends, Diana,” Kara started, stalling and still avoiding any eye contact instead looking down at her hands, “This is only just the beginning for me, Diana.”

Diana placed a soft calloused hand on Kara's forearm reassuringly, “My friends do not determine who I am, nor do they influence my thinking. Please trust me when I say that I am listening to you this time.”

Kara nodded, then she allowed the Red Lantern ring to reappear on her hand and she let Diana run her fingers over the warm jewel, “This ring came to me the first night you brought me to National City...”

Notes:

Sorry it took so long to update, I wanted to push two big ones out at the same time plus I've been on vacation lol and I've some of this was written when I was lit soo...all mistakes are my own but I did my best to correct them.

I know a few of you might get hives from this chapter but Kara and Diana are officially locked in. Or are they? What do you think?

There's so much happening around them, and Diana's new status...will that change anything? We shall see soon.

Thank you all for your continued love for this story and dealing with my plot madness. I just like to tell a story ya know.

Chapter 18: Red Lantern

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Many, many, many months ago....

Kara whimpered in her sleep, in sync with the thunder and fierce lightning storm happening outside. Kara kicked away the comforter a while ago as it was making her feel too hot and she already felt as if the apartment were stuffy even before she'd gone to bed. Kara's nightmares were very rarely this intense but being in a new place surrounded by what she perceived to be a primitive race of aliens—it made Kara anxious.

Lieutenant Kara Zor-El of Krypton. You have great rage in your heart. You belong to the Red Lantern Corps.”

Kara blinked slowly, not quite processing what she was seeing in front of her—of course she knew a power ring when she saw one but she just couldn't quite believe that one was in front of her, much less a red one. And right in the middle of her new private quarters within Diana's home. Somehow this ring entered the Amazons home and snuck its way into her quarters despite the door being shut and locked. Despite that the Amazon was called away to help with some emergency flood, Kara wasn't going to take any chances.

The Red Lantern Corps were something of an urban legend in space—the biggest and most well known power ring corps were the Green Lanterns, but the few stories that existed in the Red Lantern Corps name were nothing short of destructive and quite frankly...terrifying.

And now, it was staring Kara in the face. And Kara was frozen. Even as the ring hovered closer she was locked in place, her eyes taking in the blood red jewelry with both awe and trepidation.

Lieutenant Kara Zor-El of Krypton. You have great rage in your heart. You belong to the Red Lantern Corps.”

The ring repeated itself as it floated closer and Kara could feel the immense amount of heat coming from the red ring as it was directly in her face now. It had a soft red aura surrounding it, it was like a protective barrier and as bizarre as it were—Kara suspected that this ring is what she saw on Themyscira when she was attempting to quite literally drink herself to death. Or at least get drunk enough to walk off of the cliff that her little clay house sat on the edge of. She did neither...

There was still so much to do...so much.

Brainiac was still out there and the foul machine was likely torturing another homeworld for the sake of f*cking knowledge and proving how much better he was over advanced species thriving in their prime. Kara couldn't wait to get her hands around that bald, green skinned android if it was the last thing she did. And she very well couldn't do that dead.

Kara felt the weight of the ring sliding onto her finger on its own but she was doing nothing to stop it...as much as Kara did not want to rely on her dormant abilities...she certainly wasn't going to complete her mission stuck on the surface of this wretched planet. And the tighter the ring felt around her finger, the strength began to flow through her veins like the rays of sun exploded inside of her and it wasn't pleasant. She felt an unforeseen force inside of her trying to take over.

“What...what is happening to me?!” Kara clutched at her chest, her heart was beating hard and fast, out of harmony. Kara was vaguely aware of things crashing to the floor around her as she struggled to pull the damn ring off of her finger and the harder she pulled, the more her heart swelled.

f*ck! Get! Off!” A small, but strong burst of energy emanated from Kara's core but the rage, the fury, was undeniably there, strong and growing. Kara's eyes shot open and they were bright red, the ring then budged only a centimeter, and Kara jolted with the worst shooting pain she's felt in her existence, “Ngh...”

Kara hit the floor with a solid thud as her muscles seized and Kara could only manage a small cry as her heart abruptly and painfully stopped at the same time she felt the ring lock tightly around her dominant middle finger.

The warmth Kara felt was spreading like slow liquid fire through her veins which she felt even as her eyes rolled to the back of her head while her vision faded into nothing. Her hands slowly fell away from her chest and onto the floor lifelessly seconds later.

The room was left in an eerie silence, even the heavy patter of the rainfall outside seemed to have quieted down as well. Like a virus, the powers of the red ring seeped through every vein and fiber of Kara's being.

It was only three minutes later that a duo appeared in the room dressed similarly with the matching red and black colors, standing over Kara and watching her carefully.

“So strong the idiot nearly killed herself before the transformation could finish.” Said the blue skinned woman with skeletal bat wings behind her, and smaller similar ones on her headgear.

“Hmm, perhaps Atrocitus was correct in sending two of us to retrieve our new member then. This one is strong.” The second blue skinned woman nodded in agreement. She was the taller of the two and she had fiery red hair down to her waist, “Let's hurry and pack her up before she becomes a problem.”

“I don't think I've ever seen you worry before, Antipathy,” the winged woman teased, and the redhead rolled her eyes.

“Don't patronize me, Bleez.” Antipathy huffed, reaching down with her ring hand and connecting it with Kara's, she then increased Kara's personal shield while Bleez opened another blood portal behind them. They wanted to be discreet as possible within this sector that belonged to the Green Lantern corps, and both Red Lantern's wanted to avoid a fight...this time.

“Where did this ring come from? Atrocitus only created five more Red Lantern rings, and no one has died yet. This will make her number six...but how?” Bleez asked as they both traveled through the portal and now found themselves near Saturn and far away from Earth.

“I can feel her power.” Antipathy glanced back at Kara, her expression unreadable but Bleez knew her friend well enough to know that something was bothering her, “She's strong. And her ring...it's not just rage that it's feeding on, it's her drive for revenge. It's so intense, I don't think I will be able to contain her if she wakes up and goes f*cking nuts on us.”

Bleez frowned, following after her friend...and she also used her ring to enforce the barrier around Kara receiving an appreciative nod from Antipathy, “It's been a very long time since an original ring was created. I doubt Atrocitus is aware of this...”

“Then he's going to be in for a rude surprise when we arrive at Ysmault.”

.

.

Bleez and Antipathy were half way to Ysmault when they both felt a tension against the barrier behind them. The pulses were light but both women were aware of the slight disturbances, and it had both of them on edge. Neither one of them knew what they were dealing with but if she were anything like Earth's Superman, another Kryptonian, then they would be in for a not so fun time.

“Sometimes I think Atrocitus gives us these missions on purpose.” Antipathy hissed, eyes narrowed as they flew past another sun. it was impossible for them to avoid the damn thing...the gravitational pull of its orbiting planet was too strong to risk it.

“How much further?” Bleez asked, ignoring Antipathy's complaining as she usually does...even though she did not necessarily disagree.

“Ring, how much – agh!”

Bleez and Antipathy narrowly avoided slamming into one another as they quickly righted themselves. It seems that their charge has woken up and she was not very happy. Her eyes glowed red and the tips of her hair burned along with the tips of her fingers. The Red Lantern rings were known for altering their wearers appearances and giving them abilities based on the wearer.

It was a tense moment between Kara and the other two Red Lanterns...hovering in the middle of space. Kara was having a bit of trouble remembering what led her to this moment but surely waking up to a giant yellow sun while lying in a red bubble wasn't...normal.

“...who the hell are you?”

“Rude.” Antipathy scoffed.

“I am Red Lantern Bleez and this is Antipathy.” Bleez started cautiously, very surprised at how coherent Kara was right now, and that she was talking clearly and calmly...for now at least, “We've been tasked with retrieving you for your initiation and training.”

Kara looked down at herself and she finally realized just what she was wearing...or wasn't. Well it wasn't clothes but rather an under-suit similar to the one she wore under her armor but without the insignia on her chest. Like the two women, she was also sporting red and black colors.

“I don't...” Kara shook her head, “No, no...no, I don't remember any of this...why am I not on Earth?”

“Believe it or not, it's too dangerous for you to be there right now.” Antipathy explained, sounding exasperated and she ignored Bleez's warning glare—testing the patience of a new Red Lantern was a death wish, “You're better off with us, kid.”

“Wait, no...Diana...who—?” Kara rubbed her temples, desperately trying to remember something—anything, but the harder she tried to think, the more it hurt, but the images of a dark haired woman with blue eyes flooded her thoughts...and a name, a single name, “Ugh. Where is Diana? And who is she?!”

Bleez and Antipathy shared a brief look, “Diana?”

“Yes...” Kara's eyes narrowed, she was seeing but unseeing at the same time, “The Amazon. She's an Amazon. Where is she?”

It was clear that Kara was teetering on a tightrope and that she could flip on them at any moment if the wrong move was made or even said. And even with the distance between the three of them, the power she was radiating couldn't be ignored or underestimated just because she was inexperienced with the ring.

“Uh, right. Yeah, that Diana. Well...Diana is waiting for you.”

Kara's red eyes narrowed even more, “Waiting for me...? Where?”

“On Ysmault. It's a planet in sector six-six-six (666) and the homeworld of the Red Lantern corps.” Bleez informed Kara, though her own power ring now brightened when Kara refused to relax her stance—and expected from a newly crowned Red Lantern. This wasn't going to end well for any of them if Bleez couldn't deescalate the situation and now.

Kara shook her head, her frown deepening, “I...I don't remember any of this! Why don't I remember any of this?!”

“Memory loss is pretty common when you go through the transformation.” Bleez explained, but kept her distance, “We're taking you somewhere that'll help you remember...and then some.”

Kara thought this over. She was confused and tired, yet she felt so powerful...so limitless but her mind...it wasn't right. But she knew one thing for certain...her gut was telling her to run. “No.”

“No?” Antipathy frowned, her patience was starting to wear thin and she was starving, “You don't really have a choice here, so don't make this any harder than it has to be. You don't wanna keep Diana waiting do you?”

Kara didn't show any sign of hearing or even listening to them at all anymore, instead she was more fascinated with the ring on her hand and the red aura surrounding her body.

“Hey!” Antipathy snapped at Kara, hovering closer, her ring now brighter than it was five seconds ago, but Antipathy didn't get a chance to say much else because a red energy blast sent her flying.

“Hey, what the—?! Alright, fine. The hard way it is then!” Bleez shouted, firing back at Kara with everything she had without hesitation.

Kara dodged the blast and followed the trail back to the source, leading with a heavy fist. Bleez grunted from the sheer force of the impact and she felt her jaw crack but she rolled with the punch, pushing back but it was like she was going up against a force unlike she's ever fought against before and it was right in her face. Bleez felt strong hands on her wings and the Havanian quickly headbutted Kara, twice, enough to distract her and bust her nose but not enough to dislodged the determined woman. And she was a lot more terrifying up close.

Antipathy tackled Kara from the side, snatching her away from Bleez before Kara could kill her. She blasted Kara again, and Bleez blazed past Antipathy with a red charged fist. She saw nothing but red, wanting to repay Kara the favor for trying to kill her but Bleez missed by an inch, barely grazing the tip of Kara's nose.

Antipathy's eyes widened, “No...”

For Kara, in her mind, it was as if time slowed down in this very moment. Her next move would be her last because while Bleez's fist glowed with rage but it was Kara's fist that burned with fury. The Kryptonian let her fist fly, and she wasn't holding back.

THWACK!

It sounded like a canon had been fired and for Bleez it felt ten times that. Antipathy hovered in shock as she watched her fellow Red Lantern and friend get punched right into the orbit of the nearby planet and Antipathy waited with bated breath to see Bleez's ring fly away to find a new owner. But the Kryptonian was coming at her, and fast! Antipathy extended her personal shield and tripled the thickness of it but it wasn't enough for the insurmountable power that Kara was wildly wielding.

“Aah!!”

Kara brought both of her fists down on Antipathy's shield, cracking open the first layer and Antipathy growled, she felt the brunt of that hit through every bone in her body and she knew she couldn't withstand another hit like that again. She hated to leave Bleez, not knowing if her friend was dead or alive, but Antipathy would surely be dead if she stayed put.

Kara was quick to give chase to the redhead, but Antipathy was faster than Kara but only by a small margin. Antipathy's only saving prayer she had to take advantage of right now was that Kara hadn't mastered proper flight...yet. Antipathy gritted her teeth after checking behind her, and she saw that Kara was close behind her—and she looked pissed. Antipathy growled and pushed harder, sweat forming at her brow now.

She brought her ring hand to her mouth which took some effort given how fast she was traveling, “This Antipathy. The new Red is awake—sh*t!?”

Two lasers flew over her shoulder, and Antipathy barrel rolled and banked a hard left just as Kara fired at Antipathy again and to the redheads surprise and horror, it wasn't coming from her ring but from her eyes!

Antipathy? Antipathy, you there?” voices came from her ring, but she was too busy dodging whatever extra powers the Kryptonian had and avoiding a fate similar to Bleez.

“What the f*ck did we pick up?!” Antipathy snarled, holding her burned side closely and she felt her blood seeping through her gloved fingers, “Argh! To hell with Atrocitus and his plans!”

Coming up on a familiar moon, Antipathy suddenly came up with a plan to slow Kara down long enough to give herself some breathing room. The moon was small but it was enough to do the trick. Antipathy came to an unexpected and abrupt halt. The blue skinned Red Lantern pivoted around and caught Kara with a straight jab, reinforcing her arm to brace for the impact.

Kara didn't quite expect the hit to actually hurt but it did, but her impact on the jagged moon hurt even more. The gravity on this moon was strong and Kara found herself digging herself out of her would be early grave if that mediocre hit actually killed her.

Kara gathered the saliva and blood pooling in her mouth and spat it out, a disgusting glob...Kara pulled herself completely free and she watched the blue woman fly away with a snarl on her face and still clutching her bleeding side.

In the distance, there was another planet that they'd traveled to—or where that woman had purposely led Kara no doubt. The planet was red, much like the ring on her finger and red on her suit. Kara pushed off the rock and once again gave chase, and she had no idea if it was the ring...or herself that was doing the pushing. Antipathy seemed to be aware of Kara's presence quickly gaining on her until Antipathy allowed herself to slip in Ysmault's atmosphere and dove through the gravitational pull, tucking her arms and picking up more speed.

“Ngh!!” Kara grunted when dozens of sharp blasts lit up her backside from above, knocking her off course just before she reached Antipathy—once again, Kara landed roughly, face first, and this time it was on Ysmault's dry, hard cracked surface. The Kryptonian had a heavy weight on her back before she could get up, legs were wrapped around her waist and arms were strategically locked around her head, an easy position to break her neck.

“I'm not dead yet, asshole!” It was Bleez, bloodied and battered, and somehow still alive.

Kara snapped her elbows back in a quick succession, driving her pointed joints as hard as could into Bleez's wounded upper body. The woman above her screeched with pain and fury, opening her jaws wide as hot blood pooled out at the corners of her mouth—

ENOUGH!”

Bleez was suddenly blasted away from Kara and another blast followed, this time hitting Kara directly in the face. And managed to successfully ground her—it was a strong blast, hard enough to straighten her neck and Kara's back cracked and crumbled the rock she crashed against. But before she could move she was encased with three large red bands, wrapped a little too tightly around her upper body.

Kara saw Antipathy quickly landing next to her fallen friend but Kara's attention was solely focused on the creature stepping out of the nearby blood portal. It was a red skin, seven foot creature that Kara has never seen before in her life. He was huge and Kara could sense his strength through the bindings he forced around her, but she was anything but intimidated. It was just pissing her off even more.

A feline with dark bluish fur followed after, its yellow eyes stared at Kara intensely with mischievous intent and Kara sneered at the creature—daring it to try. The feline hissed and leaped onto the red creature's shoulder.

“I am Atrocitus. Leader of the Red Lanterns and your new master!” He boasted loudly, confidently, as he pointed at Kara with a long clawed finger before he turned to Bleez and Antipathy and he, Atrocitus, scoffed at the pathetic sight, “I expected more from you, Bleez.”

Antipathy glared heatedly at Atrocitus, deciding right there and then that she was not going to inform him that Kara was an anomaly. But he was already moving on, too arrogant to notice Antipathy's vindictive smirk. He lifted his hand and ultimately Kara as well and pulled her along with him and the feline back through the portal, leaving Antipathy and Bleez on their own.

The scenery didn't change much...the skies were still red and the ground was still cracked and dry—but they were higher up now, standing over a single lake that surrounded an island holding a lantern. A very big and a very red lantern...the sheer size of it reached the height of the cliff they were on. Kara could imagine just how deep that 'lake' really was.

Down below along the shores, Kara could see other Red Lantern's lingering around...watching and waiting. There weren't many but enough that Kara knew they'd become a problem if she picked another fight.

“Do you know where you are, Kryptonian?” Atrocitus asked in his deep gravelly voice, he placed his hands behind his back with his chest puffed proudly, “You are now part of the strongest and feared Red Lantern corps. You're only here because you possess great rage in your soul. I—”

“Either you let me go, or I can fight my way out of here, and I will kill every single one of you.” Kara promised, meaning each and every word. Her fists were clenched tightly in her lap, her nails digging into her palms so hard, she would break her own skin soon, “And I can do that with or without this stupid f*cking ring.”

“Fool.” Atrocitus chuckled darkly, “That stupid ring is the only reason you're still alive, pest. Take it off and it will stop your heart where you stand. You will now forever be a Red Lantern. Forged from the blood of our enemies. And together with our combined powers we will topple all those that oppose me. And with you, Kryptonian, we will be unstoppable.”

“...No.”

Atrocitus glared down at her, mildly shocked that she said that...much less to him of all, “I was not asking.”

“Neither was I.”

Kara's eyes which were now just tinted with red instead of full on blazing, were locked onto him defiantly and it was in this moment that Atrocitus realized that...Kara wasn't very feral at all, not like the others that came before her hours prior. And that there were already five new recruits waiting on the shores of the blood lake already...and he has received no news about any of his Red Lanterns dying today.

Atrocitus picked Kara up via her bindings and brought her closer to him and then completely over the edge of the cliff before flipping the Kryptonian upside down. “You are an imposter! Where did you get that ring?!”

Another blood portal opened behind Atrocitus and the feline, but it was Antipathy—exhausted and angered, and it didn't escape Kara's notice that she was alone this time, “Finally figured out she's an anomaly, have you?”

Atrocitus whirled around and pointed an accusing finger at the red haired woman, “You! You knew?!”

“Of course I knew,” Antipathy scoffed, “She has an original ring and not one you just created for your little hybrid slave army.”

“You insolent ungrateful wench! Why didn't you say anything sooner?!”

“I thought you would've gotten the hint after seeing that she took out one of the strongest Red Lantern's we have.” more like Antipathy was hoping that Kara took him out too.

“Aside from me.” Atrocitus corrected, and the feline hissed.

While they bickered, Kara began to pay closer attention to the images filtering in and out of her mind—some of this Diana woman and a bright island with a warm yellow sun...and then there were other memories (?) of different parts of space—of Kandor...and Zod's military dreadnought. Yes...memories...these were memories then!

Hastily, Kara tilted her head so that she could see the ones below them again, easier this time. She was sure that Diana was not here as she was promised to be by the one currently arguing with Atrocitus but Kara still had to check...and despite her knowing the truth, she was still disappointed. And annoyed. That lying—

“Kryptonian.” Atrocitus approached the edge of the cliff with the feline on his shoulder and Antipathy stood in the background with her arms crossed petulantly like a child that was told no...repeatedly. Atrocitus had his hands behind his back again, and it reminded Kara of a dictator, “My...acolyte has informed me of your memory issues. I have a solution.”

Kara's eyes narrowed but she kept quiet—wanting to see where this went before she broke free and killed them all for trying to keep and indoctrinate her. Atrocitus' hard facial features shifted slightly, giving away his annoyance, obviously he was expecting a response from Kara—one she wasn't going to give him freely.

“Look below you. Do you see that lake? That is the most sacred mark of Ysmault. The blood lake is filled with magic beyond…the magic that grants the Red Lanterns the ability to harness their anger, their rage and fury into something…better.”

“I'm aware of blood magic but I’m not drinking blood.”

“Heh.” Atrocitus looked Kara in the eye, grinning sharply as if he knew something that she did not—and it was more than likely true, “You will bathe in it instead, Kryptonian. And when you resurface…with your memories intact, only then will we have words.”

“Your ‘words’ better be to my liking, creature.”

“Remember this oath, pest,” Atrocitus nearly spat at Kara, “With blood and rage of crimson red, ripped from a corpse so freshly dead, together with our hellish hate, we’ll burn you all, that is your fate!

And with that Atrocitus released her bonds and dropped Kara in a free fall headfirst towards the blood lake. She very easily could have stopped herself, and flew away, or even attacked the idiots that awaited below. But Kara’s curiosity won out, and if it helped fill in the gaps of her memories—she’d take the chance. She would play this Atrocitus’ game, she’d allow him to think he had the upper hand…for now.

The stench of the lake had reached her nostrils first, and Kara swallowed the bile in her throat. She knew that this was not going to be pleasant and she closed her eyes right before she breached the surface of Lake Ysmault.

.

.

The sky is still red…ugh*

Kara emerged from the blood lake a full hour later. She pulled herself free of the thick blood water and Kara walked on her own two feet to the shore. The Red Lantern towered greatly above her, easily the size of a dreadnought hull. The great machine looks obsolete…dead and a waste…but Kara could feel its raw power thrumming behind the metal. Unseen but alive, and hungry.

with blood and rage of crimson red, ripped from a corpse so freshly dead, together with our hellish hate, we’ll burn you all, that is your fate…

“Is it not as I promised? Your memories are restored.”

“At the price of reliving the very reasons I’m standing on this dust bowl planet now.”

Atrocitus bristled at Kara’s insult towards his homeworld, “It may be bare, Kryptonian, but it exists.”

Kara hummed humorlessly before she turned around to face Atrocitus and changed her costume as well—going from the standard Red Lantern pattern she was in before. Kara had put herself back in her old Lieutenant armor, but newer and sleeker than it was before—and without the House of El insignia on her chest.

She didn’t want Atrocitus to get any ideas. Kara’s inky black cape snapped at the heel of her boots as she walked to Atrocitus and his little feline.

“While I was in your…Blood Ocean, this…my ring told me of your plans. You want to start a war with the Green Lanterns? With OA? Fine, go ahead…”

Atrocitus smirked, “Good. I see you have come to your senses—”

“But I will have no part of it. And I won’t.” Kara stood in front of Atrocitus now, now looking up at him with her arms crossed but she and Atrocitus may as well have been the same height at this moment.

The other Red Lanterns on the other shore watched this standoff with baited breath, some of them using their keen hearing to listen in but the others could only just watch this confrontation unfold—and none of them wanted to get involved.

“My planet may be dead, monster, but I’m not. I have my own battles to fight, and I have no intentions of being anyone’s damn pet least of all yours.”

He glowered, fists clenching so tight his knuckles cracked, “You could have been useful, Kryptonian. If you will not willingly share your power with my corps then I will bleed you dry into the Blood Ocean myself.”

Kara shrugged, “You’re welcome to try, beast.”

“You disgust me.” In a blink, Atrocitus opened his mouth wide and projectile vomited right at Kara. Using his own steaming blood as a weapon against Kara.

Surprised, and greatly disturbed at the act, Kara threw her hands up and unwittingly constructed her first shield, blocking a majority of Atrocitus’ disgusting blood attack. She noted for a second that her shield was round and had intricate designs that reminded her of the ones from Themyscira.

Atrocitus roared, angrier at the amount of power and wit Kara was showing against him despite being a few hours old into the Red Lantern life—and in front of his subjects no less! This could not stand.

He flew higher above Kara, pushing against her shield hard with his Blood Vomit, and Kara's shield, despite being strong, cracked under the pressure Atrocitus put her under.

Holding her wrist tightly with her other hand with her eyes clenched shut, Kara was forced down into a crouch when that damn feline joined Atrocitus, making it a two on one fight.

Kara felt the tips of her fingers tingling hotly, just like they had earlier when she first woke up. But it was more this time and it was growing rapidly, she felt it filling her up and it was near overwhelming.

Kara focused on that feeling, holding it, even as her shield began to chip away at the combined onslaught from the two Red Lanterns.

“You will die as nothing Kryptonian pest! Your power will be mine! All mine!”

It wasn’t a fair fight. It was never a fair fight. Kara has been fighting the odds her whole damn life and she be damned if this is where her journey ended!

“Screw you! You ugly son of a bitch!” Kara screamed, launching herself through her own damn shield and throwing the messiest, heaviest left hook she could manage right through his big sharp teeth.

.

.

Across the Blood Ocean…

“sh*t. Did you see that Zox?...that construct...just like those greens!”

“Oh, this should be good.” One Red Lantern commented. He was a giant talking head with small but muscular arms and legs attached to his, well, his head.

“Yeah. Better him than us.” Another said, shaking his horned head as the ground shook again and again, repeatedly…until they simply stopped, “I think Atrocitus finally met his maker.”

“Heh.”

.

.

Blood coated Kara’s fist, drops of red staining the brown sand while she stood over, and on, Atrocitus’ prone and now weakened body, breathing heavily. The Red Lantern leader stood no chance against the angered, fully powered Kryptonian.

Kara wiped at her own bloodied nose from the few good shots Atrocitus did land on her, but Kara’s busted lip and nose was nothing compared to the heap that lay beneath her dark, dirty boots.

Crouching down on Atrocitus’ broad chest, making it incredibly difficult for him to take breaths in his current state, Kara picked up his ring finger.

No…you can’t…(cough)...fool, stop..!”

Swiftly, Kara pulled the ring from his finger…and rendered Atrocitus powerless and completely useless. Another dead tyrant…

The feline yowled at Kara menacingly and desperately, no doubt in distress watching their master die but it didn’t try anything more with Kara. The cat knew it would suffer the same fate as their master if they did.

Kara scoffed and finally took to the air, going over to the other Lanterns who had witnessed her kill their leader in less than five minutes. Kara could see that some of them wanted nothing to do with her after they displayed but she saw that some wanted to challenge her strength and wit.

Kara spied Antipathy high above at the edge of the cliff, watching her and Kara felt some regret for what she did to her friend now that she regained her memory. She had lashed out at them both but Kara didn’t mean to, she wasn’t entirely herself. Her brain…it felt…wrong. Like there were worms and ants having their way while she suffered and it drove her crazy.

Kara looked away from Antipathy and addressed the small group of Red Lanterns and held up Atrocitus’ ring, “Your leader is dead. It was not my choice but he forced my hand,”

She dropped the ring in the middle of the Blood Ocean and Kara pointed at where Atrocitus still lay while the feline put the red tyrant in a red cocoon.

“I’m a Red Lantern now, but I’m not one of you. If any of you come looking for me, you better bring it or you’ll end up worse than Atrocitus, you will be sent back in pieces.” Kara warned, her red tinted eyes landing on each of them before Kara decided that it was now time to take her leave.

Antipathy watched Kara fly away, presumably back to where they collected her from; Earth. This wouldn’t be the last time she would see the Kryptonian Red Lantern but right now—she had a corps to take over.

Despite her grievances about the planet, more so about its inhabitants rather than the planet itself—Kara felt a smidgen of relief when Earth finally came into view after her long flight back. Kara thought of many lies and excuses that she could tell Diana to explain her absence...and probably the mess that was left behind in her apartment. But none of them sounded good enough, or real...and given that Diana was the Harbinger of truth it seemed...Kara was screwed. Diana was going to throw her back in prison for another seven years...

Kara took a long look at the ring on her left hand and smirked.

Well...Diana could certainly try.

But that was another problem...the damn ring. It wouldn't...it couldn't come off, ever. Kara needed to figure out how to hide this red thing...and she'd have to get creative.

Kara landed softly on the moon, in one of its more shallow craters with a soft sigh. Earth was a beautiful planet, large and rich with life and potential. This planet was also home to more hidden gems than even she realized in the past...and to a certain extent...Earth was a more suitable planet than many of the ones Kara has visited thus far in her time.

But it was Earth's yellow sun that sang to her right now...just as it had seven years ago...it was much stronger than the sun that had awakened her in sector six-six-six (666). Kara held up her wrists, her black gloves and a partial amount of her wrist greaves became transparent for her eyes only...and for a moment, Kara thought it was the rings doing...but it was her. Her own eyes were looking through her clothing...and at the twin gold bracelets sitting snug around her wrist.

Beautiful as the island they come from...now rendered useless as the red power rings blood magic flowed through her veins. It was less pure and therefore stronger than the magic that shackled her—tethered her to mortality and the will of others and their fear and ignorance.

It would be all too easy for Kara to leave and never return...all too easy for her to find Brainiac, to find her parents' murderer...but Kara knew that she couldn't take Brainiac on her own, no matter how strong she became.

“Krypton first...Zod had the right idea but he was too short sighted, like always. Our legacies deserve a proper home and a proper end...I will do it right this time, by Rao I swear it.” Kara prayed to her God—she prayed for an easy journey that she knew would not be in the slightest, she prayed for the strength to mentally and physically carry this mission even if it killed her...she's worked her whole life to prove that she was worth something more than a burden, a hand-me down child and lost. Kara had nothing else but this...

But she refused to let that loneliness creep into her conscious...she's done it once before, when she was mentally weak and her consequence of such weakness led her to become a drunken fool; depressed and suicidal on most days. One of the lowest points in her life...a harsh reminder since it lived rent free in her mind.

“My name is Kara Zor-El...and I am...the lost child of Krypton.”

Notes:

All mistakes are my own! I think I'm having too much fun with this...

Have a great week lovelies!

Chapter 19: Themyscira III

Notes:

I am so sorry for dropping off the face of the planet :) I'm alive and okay though, if ya hit me up on Tumblr too, no worries I'ma get back with y'all ;). Sometimes we just need a lil break here and there. Thank you guys some much for all your kind comments and y'alls kudos. I appreciate it a lot! And some of y'all have been reading my online rambles for a while so thanks:)

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Kara stood with Artemis and Philippus just outside of Hippolyta's bedroom—the only part of the royal wing that wasn't completely destroyed during the attack. And Diana didn't want anyone else inside of her mothers room which was understandable. It was a sacred place, but none of them were willing to leave Diana alone after telling her the news of her mothers untimely demise...of her cold blooded murder. The situation was tense and awkward for all of them as they didn't know what they could do for their new Queen.

Earlier, as promised, Philippus came back to check on Diana and Kara carrying a plate of fruits and meat, but with the rations being so dangerously low, it was all the General could manage as well as a change of clothing for both of them. Kara was just finishing telling Diana how she made her way back to Earth after being on Ysmault but she didn't go any further than that yet. But as expected, there was another, and bigger, matter that called for Diana's attention and Kara dutifully stayed out of the way while still being present.

Truthfully, Kara was disappointed that she didn't get a proper reaction from Diana about her confession before they were interrupted yet as annoyed as she was about that fact, she wasn't selfish. She'd take it as a good sign that Diana hasn't immediately kicked off of what was left of Themyscira. Well...until said otherwise. Not knowing and all of this waiting around made Kara anxious and she needed to go find something useful to do. She wanted to feel useful in a time like this when she couldn't directly console Diana but how exactly would she do that?

Unlike the other two standing with her, Kara could actually hear Diana beyond those stone walls separating them—Kara wasn't going to visually peak but she couldn't exactly shut off her ears despite Diana doing her best to be quiet...Kara still heard and her heart ached for Diana. Kara knew what it was like to lose a parent and a home, a rug being ripped from under your feet wasn't something that anyone could be prepared for, no matter how powerful or strong that person was. It was always going to be a blow to the gut, hard and straight to the point.

If the other two Amazon's noticed Kara's growing restlessness, neither of them said anything though Artemis certainly wanted to put an end to Kara's nervous energy. But picking a fight with Kara wasn't going to do anyone any good right now.

Kara...” Diana's call was caught between a deep breath, it was so soft that Kara nearly missed it and it startled her a bit that Diana addressed her directly, like she knew that Kara was listening...

Kara's head suddenly snapping up caught Artemis and Philippus' attention, but her focus solely on a spot on the wall just left of the door where Kara was tentatively peering through the wall and saw that Diana was sitting at her mothers vanity, slumped defeatedly over the desk. Without hesitation, or even a glance at Artemis or Philippus, Kara was walking into the room and neither Amazon stopped her...they weren't really sure if they ever really could.

Carefully closing the door behind her, Kara's steps were quiet as she approached Diana but she knew that she was there. She was still in the tunic provided by Philippus. It was white, gold and backless just like the one that Kara was wearing except Kara's was black and gold. Kara stood under the arch of the closest, just a few steps behind Diana. Her hesitance only lasted for a beat before she closed the distance and placed a warm, comforting hand on Diana's shoulder.

Diana sighed heavily. She was tense—full of anger and confusion because none of this made any sense to her, and she expressed this thought quietly to Kara, “If we were having problems with Atlantis, mother would have told me so why didn't she? I knew tensions were thick but for them to destroy my home? My mother? It's all...gone.”

“I’m sorry.”

“So am I.” Diana whispered, and Kara felt her suppressing another shudder, “I should have been here. If I’d been here, things would’ve been different…my mother would still be here and Themyscira would not be halfway to Atlantis right now. Man’s world used me while my sisters cried for me.”

Kara squeezed Diana's shoulder, her eyes narrowed in deep thought—calculating her own risks and setbacks, wanting to be selfish and keep her mouth shut but in the end, it was always going to be Kara's heart that was going to kill her in the end.

“Diana, it’s not over yet. There’s something that I need to show you. If...if you're willing to trust me.”

“Kara...” Diana reached up and interlocked her fingers through Kara's as she raised her head and looked at Kara via the mirror with a watery and determined gaze, “You are at the very top of my list of people I should trust.”

“Seriously? Even after—I just told you—”

Diana's fingers tightened around Kara's “We'll have to talk about this later, at length, but Kara, please. I trust you.”

Kara nodded, her shoulders relaxing a slight in relief and Diana's fingers clenched around hers, and Kara leaned down to kiss Diana's temple, “Whatever you need, Diana. I'm with you through this.”

“Thank you, Kara,” Diana leaned into Kara, allowing herself this moment of vulnerability, “My mother didn't leave any note or a diary to help me figure any of this out and she never thought to tell me a damn thing...” Diana exhaled heavily again, pinching the bridge of her nose with her free hand, “I must make my rounds as the new Queen of Themyscira and reassure my people that all will be alright even if I have no idea how that can be with our island sinking by the hour. Even now I can feel the tremors getting stronger. Eventually they will tear these walls apart too.”

Diana rose from the vanity bench as she gave Kara’s fingers one last squeeze before unlinking their hands. She went to the tall wardrobe that held the Queen’s various outfits but of course the battle armor was missing. Diana stopped in front of the attire that was similar to her Wonder Woman costume except the trim on this one was silver instead of her usual gold.

The boots were also silver and came up to her knees, designed to bend as she did but what caught Kara’s attention was the lack of pants this one had. Instead it was a long loincloth design front and back, leaving Diana’s strong thighs on display. It did come with a cape, it was long and lined with fur of a snow leopard.

Kara liked this one, she liked it a lot.

Diana undid the clasps of her tunic and she let the smooth fabric pool around her bare feet, knowing that Kara was watching her but Diana has never been shy about her body. After a second, Kara averted her gaze but she didn't turn away. The room was quiet as Diana redressed into her new armor and Kara quietly watched Diana’s transformation right before her eyes, only looking when it was polite again.

The Kryptonian’s head was tilted as if she were trying to figure Diana out, and the new Queen noticed, “What’s on your mind, Lieutenant?”

Kara stepped closer, closing the distance between them once again but this time Diana turned around and met Kara face to face.

“Huh. I feel like I should be asking you that, Princess.”

“I’m not a princess anymore, Kara.”

Kara bit her lip, keeping her lewd comments to herself—but she just couldn't help but think them, they popped up so often especially lately, “Mmm. So? What’s on your mind? Because from where I was standing, you looked like you were thinking about murder. And murder is usually linked to revenge.”

Diana eyed the ring that was still visible on Kara’s left hand, “You’re not being a hypocrite right now are you?”

Kara scoffed, rolling her eyes, “Of course not, but it helps to actually have a plan.”

Diana sighed sharply, shaking her head, “I don’t even know where to start with any of this, so I’ll need to start the old fashioned way. But first I must find a new home for my sisters or I will be in this fight alone.”

“First of all, you’re not alone,” Kara said, voice firm and determined, drawing Diana's blue eyes back to her, “And second...uh, I, uh, I might have a solution for that second part.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Uh, it’ll be easier to explain once I show you but…I will need to go and get it.”

Now Diana was suspicious, “It? What exactly is it?

Kara hesitated and Diana, standing only inches away, caught it, “Kara? What is it?”

“It’s nothing bad, I…I will answer everything when I come back.”

Diana raised an eyebrow, even more inquisitive than before—she had too many questions but her attention was needed elsewhere. Diana wouldn't be ashamed to admit that she wanted Kara here, with her, at all times...not to keep an eye on her. That was made clear that she hadn't been doing a very good job at that. Having Kara watching her back, being in her corner...it was a comfort, a solid unyielding one. And in these trying times to come Diana was grateful and she hoped to the Gods that Kara did not have to go far.

“And where exactly are you going, Lieutenant?”

Kara licked her lips and smiled crookedly at Diana, “Mars.”

Ten hours.

Kara promised Diana that she’d only be gone for ten hours before leaving Diana with Philippus. Once Kara stepped outside of the palace walls did she feel like she could actually breathe again. It was claustrophobic inside, filled with destruction and tragedy, and the longer Kara stayed inside the more it reminded her of her prison cell. Kara felt those old feelings beginning to rear their ugly heads again, the same feelings that drove her to the bottom of the bottle and over a cliff.

Despite having a mission to do, Kara stalled on putting her Red Lantern suit back on…she came to a stop at the top of the stairs, just looking. Her memories of this very spot combated with what she was seeing now. It was Krypton all over again. But at least Themyscira still has a chance to survive this attack and grow stronger because of it. Atlantis didn’t finish the job and this marks their first mistake in this war.

Kara's thoughts drifted to Cetane as she overlooked the damage from this viewpoint, Kara's first thought was to go check on the woman, to see if she needed anything—Kara had been so caught up inside with Diana and herself, many things took the back burner for a short moment. But Kara only took half a step before stopping herself.

She had to get to Mars....that's what Cetane needed, and Diana, Philippus and Artemis, and all of the surviving Amazon's. Their anger was prevalent in the air, so thick and rich that Kara could taste it. It surrounded her but there was a bitterness to it—a certain sense of defeat and that didn't really sit well with Kara.

Slowly, Kara began to ascend as her suit began to take form over her body once again with her headgear being the last item. Kara paused just short of floating through the clouds, taking one last look at the beautiful island being swallowed up by a cold brutal ocean. Forcing herself to look away, the Red Lantern shot up towards the atmosphere.

She had to get to Mars as Kara had her own hard decisions to make.

.

.

Diana looked away from the sky once the red streak disappeared and she sighed softly. That was a lot to unpack though it wasn't like some part, perhaps a small part of her suspected that something was amiss with Kara lately but she couldn't quite pinpoint it...or maybe she ignored it. Diana turned back to Philippus who was waiting patiently along with Artemis.

Diana was raised for this moment growing up, she was taught and groomed for the crown since she learned how to walk and to talk but it was always an idea for her...a thought for the far future. Diana dreamed of the moment that her mother would willingly step down and pass the crown to Diana and they'd celebrate as they've always had, with games and followed by a feast and more festivities.

Unsure of what lay ahead of her on this sudden path, Diana dutifully followed Philippus and Artemis to the main grounds where the surviving and the injured had all gathered. Seeing Diana, alive and well, was meant to boost their morale about the daunting situation unfolding in front of all them. The Amazon’s all heard Black Manta hoisting about killing Hippolyta and Diana as he and his savage men rampaged through Themyscira with their high tech weapons.

“Where is she going?” Artemis asked Diana as the trio walked towards the refugee camp, “Kara isn’t my favorite person but she’s good to have in a fight just in case they come back to finish the job.”

Phillipus sent Artemis a warning glare to check her tone but the archer wasn’t wrong. “Artemis is correct. Our military is low on personnel and supplies, Diana, we need a solution and quickly.”

Diana didn’t want to leave both of them unanswered, their questions were valid and they were rightfully worried about the state of their home and even more; their futures. But she didn’t have a plan yet and she wasn’t keen on discussing one out in the open like this.

Artemis and Phillipus glanced at each other, both of them worried but for slightly different reasons.

Winn startled awake when his desk drawer began to chirp loudly, immediately giving him sensory overload. His poor knee hit the underside of his work bench, violently disturbing every loose item on the surface. He cursed when some of the smaller screws rolled off the edge before he could stop them, but Winn was now scrambling to find the small device that was making so much noise.

It was a communications device given to him by the Red Lantern, barely the size of a silver dollar and as thin as a few sheets of printing paper. It was alien technology that's for sure but Winn was unfamiliar with its origins of course.

He set the loud little device in front of him on his desk and immediately the Red Lanterns head popped up on the hologram and scared the sh*t out of Winn.

“Uh, h-hi? Hello? Can you hear me?” He wasn’t exactly sure how this thing was supposed to work truthfully. He’d been given the small item with the instructions ‘answer when I call.’ Nothing more nothing less. Winn had plenty more questions after that but he was too scared to actually voice them.

“Where are you with the project we’ve discussed?”

“Oh! Really close actually,” Winn scooted his chair to the right so he could reach the partially finished device, “It’s compact but it’ll hold the amount of energy you were talking about containing.”

“It looks fragile.”

“That’s because it is,” Winn shrugged, “It’s a prototype and I won’t know how to perfect it without some test runs first.”

“I see. And when will this protype be finished?”

Winn checked his calendar, looking at his work schedule, “Gimme a couple of days and the prototype one will be yours. As long as our deal stays the same right…? Is Earth still safe?”

“Earth is safe from me, Winn.” The Red Lantern assured the tech analysts and engineer, “I will be…away soon. Not permanently, maybe a week. I will come for you then, if your prototype works the way I hope it will; I will help your attempts to heal your planet.”

Winn’s grin grew but he was interrupted by loud knocking at his front door, and apparently the Red Lantern heard it as well.

“One week.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Winn hissed, ignoring whoever was at his door—probably one of the packages he’s been waiting for, “I, just, what if it doesn’t work, so to speak? What then? It’s…it’s over? I’m dead? And my friends?”

The Red Lantern was quiet, “I’ve recently come to believe in second chances. But I highly recommend you try and save that for a rainy day, Winn. Because I do not believe in third chances.”

The Red Lantern disconnected the call and Winn huffed loudly, throwing his hands behind his head—knock knock knock!

“Oh f*ck…” he’d totally forgot about that, panicking slightly, Winn shoved everything into his bottom drawer after shoving the communicator into his cargo pocket.

He rushed out of his work office and down the hall to his front door. Without thinking to check the peephole first, Winn simply swung open the door with his chest puffed out but that immediately deflated because it was just Lucy on the other side, wearing all black as usual.

“sh*t…sh*t, did I miss a lunch date or something? Jesus, I’m so sorry if I did!”

“No, no,” Lucy chuckled, shaking her head, “I haven't heard from you since game night and you weren’t answering, so I wanted to stop by and check in before I fly out.”

Winn stepped aside to let her in, “Fly out? Where to?”

“Classified,” Lucy smiled apologetically, her eyes darting around Winn’s apartment, noting how messier it was than usual—he was much better at maintaining his place than this, “You doing okay, man?”

“Huh? Yeah, I just, been busy with all of these projects and work.”

Lucy raised an eyebrow at that, “Projects and work? They’re kind of the same thing aren't they?”

Winn flushed with embarrassment as his dumb slip, “Yeah, I, yeah, that’s what I meant. Sorry, lack of sleep and I’m your average idiot.”

He leaned up against his kitchen counter while Lucy fished a can of flavored water from his fridge as she always did, “Maggie is throwing a party for her old partner that’s retiring, you going?”

“I’ll have to check my schedule but I don't see why not. Free food and drinks, count me in. Plus, I wouldn’t mind seeing some of Maggie’s cop buddies again, they’re cute.”

“Shut up,” Lucy smirked and rolled her eyes, “She asked me to invite Kara and maybe her girlfriend too but I haven’t heard from her since game night either…”

Winn smirked, “Oh I see how it is now, you didn’t come all the way over here for little ol’ me. You wanted to see if I heard from your crush huh? Home wrecker.” Winn was just teasing though. Mostly. “Did you drop in on her unannounced too?”

Lucy flipped him off, “f*ck you, no I’m not and no I didn’t…I don’t even know where she lives.”

“What, can’t you use and abuse your government strings to find out?”

“The DEO doesn’t work like that jerk, we help alien’s transition into Earth culture, we don’t stalk civilians.”

“Yeah yeah, I’m sure Kara is fine regardless. She’s tall, tough and beefy. She’s fine.”

Lucy looked at him dryly, “Are you referring to her being fine physically or in general health wise.”

“Why not both?”

Lucy tsked, her back against the warm fridge door, these weren’t the answers that she was looking for, “She seemed okay then? After you guys left game night?”

“Yeah,” Winn nodded, sliding onto the bar stool because he was tired of standing, “we talked, we laughed and then my stop came first and we called it a night. I still can’t believe she’s from Norway and I didn’t see it!”

“I know! It makes sense why she looks like a walking goddess now,” Lucy laughed. But it was fake. She’d ran Kara’s name, face and even her damn DNA from the bottle she’d been drinking from but there was nothing. Not a single blip.

“I hate to steal a drink and run but my flight leaves in less than an hour,” Lucy said reluctantly as she tossed her empty can, she really missed Winn but she had a job to do too, “I’ll call you later, okay?”

“I’ll try to answer,” Winn promised, getting up to walk Lucy to the door, “Be safe out there.”

Lucy nodded, “If you hear from Kara first—”

“I’ll pass along the invite, don’t worry.”

“Don’t forget the plus one.”

Winn scoffed, raising his eyebrows, “You want to meet the girlfriend??”

Lucy shrugged, turning and walking backwards towards the stairs, “Nothing has been confirmed yet.”

Kara landed on Mars’ surface with a soft thump, red dust clouding around her boots. Doing another quick check to her surrounding area, Kara, satisfied that she wouldn’t be rudely interrupted like she was the last time she ventured out this way. She knew that Mars was in the Justice Leagues line of sight via their watchtower, there wasn’t anything she could do about that short of blowing up the entire tower.

“Hm, now there’s a thought,” Kara mumbled under her breath, approaching a peculiar mountain of red sand. Unlike the other piles, the wind wasn’t disturbing this sand pile. Nonchalantly Kara kicked at a pebble nearby, disturbing the illusion. Huffing she kicked it again, harder this time, and the illusion completely dropped. Revealing the pile of sand to be the yet to be finished Kryptonian world engine.

Kara would never not admire the sheer size of this great piece of machinery. A heavy blanket of nostalgia washed over her while she admired the original Kryptonian technology—as she’s always done since she’s tracked it down.

Kara flew up to the center platform and immediately upon scanning her person from head to toe, the world engine’s interface hummed to life. Taking off her headgear, Kara approached the left center console where one of the two terraform crystals safely resided.

It glowed an off white, almost a blue color and hummed softly with life not yet created from its energy. It wasn’t very big, roughly fitting the entire size of Kara’s palm and few fingers.

Kara stared down at the crystal longingly and with confliction…she only had two of these left, the rest were destroyed with krypton and the remaining were wasted with Zod’s unsuccessful invasion. Kara had planned to use one as a Guinea pig and the second as a final test run…

…now she was leaving herself no choice but to get things done right the first time since it will be her only chance to do it. It was a sharp gamble, one that scared Kara to death.

“Oh Vohc (another kryptonian God), please let me be doing the right thing. You owe me from the afterlife, Hippolyta.”

Tucking the stone away securely, everything was back the way that it was before she arrived in seconds. With one last glance at the nest sand pile, Kara was off Mars and flying back towards Earth, cruising through some passing asteroids.

.

.

When kara returned back to earth and Themyscira, the sun was already setting. Time moves differently in space, slower than it did on Earth, and though Kara was flying as fast as she could…time would always be undefeated. She saw that the rising waters forced the Amazons to migrate closer to the palace, where it was warm and dry for now. They couldn’t even use their boats, the invaders destroyed everything.

Kara landed outside of the palace entrance, and she saw Diana inside, busy talking to the others and no doubt reassuring them of their worries. What she could be saying that would appease them with the ocean at their ankles—Kara didn’t know, but she was impressed with how orderly the situation still is. Mostly.

“I didn’t think you were coming back,”

“Artemis, I know you believe I’m many things but a deserter I am not.”

Artemis came around to stop in front of Kara and blocked her view of what was happening inside, “Where’d you go?”

Kara pointed upwards, “Mars.”

“How did the island look from up there?”

Kara shook her head, “Some pieces of the island have broken off, they’re floating nearby. The rest is beneath the ocean, all the vegetation and structures. And the stadium is almost under. It won’t be there in the morning.”

Artemis’s jaw clenched at Kara’s grim and blunt description of how bad the reality of it was.

“Then I suppose you returned just in time,” Diana said behind them, making Artemis turn around and stand next to Kara as the Queen, the General and another tall dark skinned woman approached, “while you were away, Phillipus and Lieutenant Nubia were able to fill in the gaps that Hippolyta hadn’t shared with me. Tensions between Themyscira and Atlantis have been worse than I’ve been led to believe. Orm is after Poiseden’s Trident.”

“Oh, I read about that thing while I was in prison; that’s real??”

Artemis side-eyed Kara, “Diana, is it really wise to be so loose with our secrets with this one?”

“Kara is an ally.” Phillipus answered, and Kara smirked at Artemis.

“Yes, it’s real and it’s very powerful. And two villainous groups are after it, I cannot let that happen.”

Kara pulled the red pouch from her waist and opened the surface of it, showing the others the bright contents.

Diana tore her eyes away and saw that Kara was already looking at her, “what is this?”

“It’s a terraforming crystal.” Kara closed the surface again and handed the case over to Diana, “It’s from Krypton, and those are what we use to create our cities. It’s still mostly unknown to us how they work; some argue magic, others believe it’s proof of living technology...Anyway, these stones were native to our planet but they were also extremely hard to mine. Which was a good thing because we probably would’ve been heavily dependent on these rocks.”

“How exactly does this stone work?” Diana asked, shifting the weight of it in her hands, “will this be dangerous?”

“Do you remember what I told you about the codex? Well in order for Zod to have taken over the entire Earth, he would’ve needed to bleed Kal-El dry. For a city, or an island, you’ll only need half of that…maybe. The intentions of the bloodied will create something new in their image or in this case…rebuild in their image. On Krypton, our cities were not only named after our pioneers…but only a handful of them were created from the blood of one as well.”

“Blood magic?!” Nubia exclaimed, “Nothing good has ever come of this sort of sorcery, my Queen. I must object to the idea of subjecting Themyscira to this!”

Kara rolled her eyes, “Depending on whose blood is being used, it can be a good thing too. Assuming that Diana will be doing this herself, there’s nothing to be worried about.”

Phillipus sighed heavily, “Saying that guarantees that we do need to be worried then.”

“What would our Queen have to do exactly?” Diana wondered if Nubia included Kara when she said “our”.

“Cut your hand, nice and deep—don’t be shy about it (Artemis glared at Kara while Nubia just smirked), then get a bowl: stick both the stone and your bloody hand inside and you tell the stone what you want. And when you’re done…bury it.”

“How did your people come about this knowledge if you’re not even sure of the origins of this crystal?” Nubia asked Kara to which the kryptonian shrugged for the thousandth time.

“I don’t know, it’s just something we’ve always known as far as I’m concerned. It’s just knowledge shared down generations that actually works even though it’s a rare item.”

“Rare and yet you just so happened to have one?” Artemis asked, not believing Kara as usual.

“Yes,” Kara found Diana’s gaze and didn’t let it go. “As far as my knowledge goes, there are only two left…and I was in possession of both. Diana now holds…one half of that.”

“What were you going to do with this?” Phillipus asked, and Kara was surprised at the dumb question—she expected it from Artemis, not the General.

“What are you going to do with this?” Kara threw the question back, asking all four of the Amazons even though she was still looking at their silent Queen. But after her question, the other three were looking to Diana for an answer as well.

Diana weighed the device in her hands, her thumbs subconsciously tracing random patterns on the surface of the device holding the stone while she continued to stare into Kara’s glacier blue eyes. The very same eyes she judged nearly a decade ago…that she now trusted…and…has come to love. Kara wasn’t always the easiest person to read, even for Diana who knew her quite well by this point, but Diana knew that Kara returned her feelings, and that this wasn’t going to be anything simple. Diana wondered if Kara knew what she was doing by giving this to her…

“You’re giving me the last natural resource from Krypton? But you’re people? I—”

“I still have one more, and that’s more than enough.” Kara interrupted softly, pulling Diana from her inner turmoil of guilt—besides a little white lie never hurt anyone.

“I don’t even know how to express my gratitude to you. I don’t—thank you, Kara.”

Kara nodded, “You’re welcome, Diana.”

To Nubia, Artemis and Philippus it was obvious that there were things not being said between Kara and Diana but they weren’t going to disturb the moment. Whether it was due to her respect for Diana or her begrudgingly growing respect for Kara, but not even Artemis was foolish enough to poke the bear this time.

A tremor suddenly shook the ground beneath them, down to its very foundation and further weakening it. Kara looked over her shoulder when she heard the ground tearing deeply behind her and to her horror, a crack with the width of a full sized bed was coming right at her. Artemis fell into Kara’s side when the island tilted back and forth violently.

Kara was about to put everyone under her shield before it stopped, less than twenty feet from where they were all standing. And Kara wasn’t ashamed to admit that her heart did seize for just a moment.

Close by, they could hear others yelling instructions and helping the sick not too far away. But none of them moved to go help, there would be no point. What they were doing right now, unfortunate to say, took precedence.

“Those getting stronger and closer together,” Nubia pointed out while she was still catching her breath, “The next one will tear this island apart if it’s stronger than that one.”

“Before I do this,” Diana started after a calming deep breath, and Kara had a funny feeling about whatever Diana was going to say next, “Kara, will you accept an official Amazon citizenship, and perhaps a position within the military ranks?”

Nubia and Phillipus didn’t seem as surprised by Diana’s offer but Artemis nearly choked on her own spit when she heard. Her reservations against Kara urged her to object to this, but Artemis, once again, held onto her dignity and remained quiet. Because Kara has earned a small amount of her respect…today. Just for today.

Kara blinked once, then twice with surprise, “You’re asking me to become an Amazon?”

Artemis scoffed, “You don’t just become an Amazon.”

Diana nodded, “Artemis is right, we train you, teach you our ways and rebuild your character but you don’t need any of that, it seems. You will be an Amazon citizen, protected under Themysciran law and operating safely under our discretion.”

Kara’s eyebrows raised at what Diana was really implying between the lines. Kara recalled their talk from earlier, and she was mildly worried about Diana’s train of thought about all of this–she didn’t want Diana to regret this decision later because she was emotional today, “Are you sure that Themyscira wants the Red Lantern on their payroll? That’s a lot of responsibility, Diana.”

It was too big of a risk, is what Kara really wanted to say.

“And that is still not enough to repay you for what you’re doing here for my sisters…and for me,” Diana held up the stone in her hands, “There are going to be changes, there is going to be a battle coming as this attack cannot and will not go unanswered.” Diana swallowed harshly, her eyes narrowing with resolve, “I am an Amazon first and I’ve forgotten, but I am no longer lost. It’s going to be hard but there are things that I must do because they have to be done. I want to lead my sisters to glory and success, it would be an honor for you to be there as well.”

Licking her lips, Kara crossed her arms and shifted nervously…none of that sounded like a bad thing at all, and Kara would love to go around busting up Aquaman’s people, it would be great practice for her real enemies but she still had her own goals…and Kara didn’t think that Diana would approve of some of them, and she didn’t want to bring bureaucracy into their relationship…if it even came to that. And with the way that things were shaping up to be lately, she wasn’t sure if either of them would really have the time anymore.

“I won’t change who I am, Diana, I..I can’t because it would literally kill me now,” Kara tried to joke, to settle away her nerves but it wasn’t really working, “I will gladly help you take out those fish people (Artemis and Nubia smirked) but you know that I have my own goals, for my own people as well.”

“And what better way to go about these goals than as sisters?” Nubia asked, casually placing her arm around Kara’s shoulders, “I don’t know you very well, Lieutenant, but I’ve heard the stories.”

“And I’ve lived them, not all of them were good stories.”

“True, but Artemis here was a deserter before she finally gained some sense–”

“Hey! Watch those loose lips, Nubia!”

Nubia ignored the redhead, keeping her focus on Kara, “From what I’ve heard and from what I’m seeing now? You’re alright in my ledger, Lieutenant. The Amazons would benefit from having a sister like you with us, and you’d surely benefit from having us flanking you in your battles as well.”

A small tremor brought them all back to reality, and how little time was left until the island was completely under water. Deciding to just throw her weight with faith, Kara caught Diana’s gaze again and nodded.

“Good, then once Themyscira is restored, we will take two weeks for the ceremonies to mourn our dead…as well as hold my official coronation and Kara’s induction will take place during the games.” Diana’s grip around the stone tightened, “I’m going to the highest peak we have left. This is something I must do alone. I don’t know what to expect from this, so the three of you will stay here and secure our sisters for anything.”

The two General’s and Artemis nodded, knowing when they were being dismissed, and the trio broke away from Kara and Diana moments later after wishing their Queen good luck and reminding her of their faith in her leadership. It was just Kara and Diana now, standing on the edge of the steps of the last standing architect on the island that had yet to sink. Diana moved further into Kara’s space, for no other reason than desiring to be closer.

“I wasn’t trying to change you when I offered you Citizenship.”

“Give me some credit, I know that,” Kara admitted softly, looking away but Diana reached out and softly brought her back, surprisingly both of them with the small but intimate gesture, especially so out in the open where others could see them, “I do. And I’ve told you before, Diana, my decisions will put you in a very tough spot one of these days.”

“The fact that you even care, thank you, but we will cross those bridges when we get there. You’ve helped me more than I deserve, please trust that I want to at least try and do the same for you. As Nubia said earlier; what better way than with your sisters?”

“Hm,” Kara chuckled, biting her lower lip, “Yeah, well, I won’t be thinking of you as my sister while I’m fu–”

Another tremor shook the ground beneath them and the tear in the stairs behind them widened and crept closer, and whatever playful banter that Kara was going to start quickly turned somber.

Kara removed the casing that the stone was in and they both watched as the warm stone landed in the palm of Diana’s hands, and it glowed brightly and hummed softly making Diana stare in wonder at its beauty and Kara smiled.

“Remember Diana, be as clear as you can with your intentions, and be honest. The more you want it, the better the results…it’s not an exact science but you want it as close to perfect as you can. You can always fix the rest.”

“Anything?”

Kara shrugged, “Anything.”

Hours later…somewhere in Washington…

“It is,” Amanda Waller took a quick glance at the clock on her night stand, “Three in the damn morning, doctor Simmons. Do you mind telling me, in layman's terms, what the hell I’m supposed to be looking at?”

The scientist on the small screen in the corner of her tablet screen nodded nervously, “Y-Yes ma’am! Uh, those-those seismic activities that we caught from the Mediterranean Sea a few days ago? Well the readings spiked off the charts a few hours ago and it hasn’t stopped until just now. When I called. Well. Not when I called directly, but—”

“An earthquake in the middle of the ocean? Who gives a f*ck, what does this have to do with the DEO?!”

He flinched at her raised voice as if she were really there and yelling at him in front of his peers, “We thought nothing of it as well, but it went on for hours, ma’am and uh, this is what we managed to find on satellite Rose once we were able to move it into position.”

“You moved a satellite to get a picture of a sinkhole, Simmons? On whose authority??” Amanda seethed, fully sitting up now and very much awake, “You’re due for an employee evaluation very soon anyway, Simmons.”

“No! Ma’am, please, just look at the photos please! On the left it shows a natural sinkhole and on the right…as you can see, this ‘sinkhole’ is the size of Gotham city!” he exhaled shakily, finally releasing the hot air he was holding in and when Amanda didn’t say anything, he took that as his only chance to save his career and his life, “We managed to stay long enough to get a scan before NATO’s satellite came by on patrol again…but ma’am you should note that sinkholes usually have a cavern at the bottom, like an hourglass, but the one on the right looks as if someone scooped a piece of the Earth out of the ocean!”

Amanda pinched the bridge of her nose, “Doctor Simmons, what I am looking at is a sinkhole. You woke me up for a damn hole and you touched my toys without permission. You have twenty four hours to get your affairs in order for your family.”

“No, no, please just listen to me! There is a giant size of Earth missing, big enough to destroy—”

“Twenty four hours, Doctor Simmons.” Amanda disconnected his call then blocked the number, preventing the man from calling her back. In the same motion, Amanda was calling another number and she was pleased that her call was answered on the second ring.

“Yes ma’am? (Stifled yawn)”

“Director. I’m sending you a file. Have your people look into it, my other divisions are…preoccupied at the moment.”

There was a short pause while the file transferred. “A sinkhole ma’am?”

“It could be nothing or something. It spooked one of my scientists out of his life, I want to know why.”

“Out of his life? What did he do?”

“He moved satellite Rose.”

“The one with the—”

“Yes.”

“Oh…”

“I received your first report. Are you sure that she’s an Amazon?”

“All signs point to it, ma’am. She fits the physical description, not to mention the gold she wears…I’m not a treasure Hunter by any means, but I know ancient gold when I see it. If she were a speedster wouldn’t she be with the Flash? Or with Superman if she were like him? It makes sense.”

“Too much sense.” Amanda tsked, “But you’re solid, Lane. One of the few I trust to make their own decisions. If you’re sure about this girl, then close the case.”

“I’m sure about her origins but not her motives. I’d like to keep this case open until I’m a hundred percent sure.”

“Keep me posted, Director.” Amanda hung up with a groan and she plopped back down onto her soft silk pillows, “f*cking children.”

Notes:

I didn't edit a damn thing, I did my best as I went to catch all the mistakes though 🤓

Y'know...I've always been into the idea of a city above the Earth...like Sokovia from Avengers Ultron? But stable lmao and not set for self destruction. 😉😉

Diana is suppressing her emotions 😢<(_ _)> but she's making Queen moves so go her (I know a few of y'all still can't stand her though, lmao 😂). Kara better get something niiiiice for all this trouble sis is going through for Diana right now, amirite? 👀

So much drama. Kara is like the main character of a video game and she keeps accepting all these side quests but she can't do the main quests because the side quests have all the sh*t she needs <(_ _)> lmao

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this update! See you next time!:)

Chapter 20: Rebirth I

Summary:

🌶️🌶️🌶️ 🥵

Notes:

Sorry for the wait!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Carefully concealed by her closed cloak, the stone weighed heavily in Diana's hands as she ascended to the highest peak remaining on her dying home. Her heart weighed heavily with emotions that she couldn't even begin to process and quite frankly, Diana wasn't even sure if she ever would. The amount of emotion that refused to stop boiling inside of her, her anger and her grief warring and combining at the same time, was enough to make Diana feel like exploding.

Diana's pretty new boots sank into the mud as she climbed but the new Queen could care less about the state of her clothing as she closed the distance to the top. A particularly strong gust of wind forced Diana down a few steps but the Queen only bared her teeth and she pushed harder against it, and she held onto the stone tighter when her cloak violently flew open.

It was a high cliff but Diana could not help but feel that the Gods were trying to punish her for her lack of diligence to her sisters and her home. They were testing her resolve and trying to make her failure look like some accident on the side of a ridge. Diana's wet hair whipped painfully around her face as she reached a break off point but the Queen didn't have time to waste for a quick rest. So she took the leap with one hand reaching out to the ledge above her while holding the stone close to her chest with the other.

Luck was not on the Queen's side. Another gust tore between her and the mountain wall, and Diana missed her holding by a fingertip and she grunted in both frustration and pain as she went face first into the wall, and she had no choice but to dig in to stop her fall. The Queen hung there, panting heavily, for a few heartbeats—and thanking the Gods who were not disappointed in her for providing her salvation, however small it was.

Diana caught a glimpse of the fires coming from the palace grounds, miles away below her. Her sisters were trying to stay warm from the cold waters that Diana could also see beginning to creep at their ankles now...the stairs that she was just on with Kara the last line of defense and it was nearly broken in half the last Diana saw it. Quickly looking away, Diana focused on her climb, pushing her tired, burning limbs harder as she kept her back to the wind and her front close to the wall. No more jumping. She would endure this journey and all its pains to come.

.

.

Diana dragged herself over the top, her legs and her arms, even some parts of her neck and chest were littered with cuts and scrapes by the time she got there. Once she figured out their game, the Gods were not pleased with this and short of further tearing Themyscira apart to get to her, the high winds continued to swirl around the cliff where Diana climbed. And though she was healed from the poison, the effects were still lingering and Diana felt it as her body strained like she's never felt before. The Queen was exhausted. She's rarely felt like this before and Diana was firmly believing that everything that led to this point has been her karma and now this is her judgment.

Surprisingly though, the wind finally stopped tormenting her but Diana could still hear its familiar whistling as it swirled around the peak and she felt wisps of it's coolness through her sweat soaked hair and clothing.

Diana turned her back towards the view of the vast ocean and turned her gaze to the tragedy of her home and sank to her knees. The Queen set the terraform stone down and she pulled her dagger from her waist. She didn't think to remember the bowl that Kara mentioned but Diana figured she'd used the handle of her dagger and dig one. Once it was deep enough, she placed the stone inside and Diana raised the blade to the palm of her left hand but she suddenly stopped...

...The intentions of the bloodied will create something new in their image or in this case…rebuild in their image...”

Anything?”

Kara shrugged, “Anything.”

“Anything,” Diana slid the blade across her skin…

[ Justice League Headquarters...days later...]

Hawkgirl stormed through the halls, her eyes darting sharply down every open corridor she passed but they were all either empty or the wrong people were there. Yet the closer she got to the founder's designated board room, the thinner the crowd became. They hardly had a lot of superheroes at this location anyway, but none of them were really comfortable to hang out so close to where the big seven usually were.

When she entered the room she wasn't surprised that she was the last one arriving. She was on her way to the damn transport so she could finally go home and get some sleep until she got the memo from Bruce. Flash, in his street clothes and his arm still in a sling with his chest still bandaged, smiled at Shayera when she took her seat next to him but the gesture was barely returned because her attention was on the man sitting across from them; John Stewart.

She was happy to see him but when the hell did he get back and why was she apparently the last one to know?! Next to him was Aquaman followed by Bruce and then Superman but...

“Where's Diana?” she asked, looking around the table quickly for any sign of an immediate answer. That was another reason she was ready to get the hell off of this tower—Diana hadn't been calling her back and that wasn't like the Amazon, not even when she went home to Themyscira.

“She's not answering.” Batman glowered even more behind his cowl, if that was even possible for him, “National City has been quiet but that's going to have to wait. We have more pressing matters here.”

“More pressing than a missing friend? Seriously?” Barry asked, under his breath but it wasn't like no one in this room didn't have exceptional hearing or advanced hearing devices.

“Barry.” Bruce called him out this time though, and the speedster went still in his chair, “Wonder Woman can handle herself. We're worried but she's capable. She's doing ambassador work with the government, more than likely she's undercover and she can't call.”

Barry deflated a bit at that...he forgot that Diana mentioned that at their last briefing which was just a week ago.

Superman cleared his throat when he saw that Barry was about to argue, “Right. Guys, c’mon. Diana is the most capable person on this team, so let’s focus on keeping the world safe so she has something to come back to huh?” Clark tried to joke but it sort of fell flat.

Shayera didn’t like Bruce or Clark’s answer anymore than Barry apparently did, and John wasn’t meeting her eyes from across the table. It wasn’t as if Bruce or Clark were wrong about Diana's whereabouts which they've all apparently forgotten from the last meeting. But Shayera’s gut was telling her that something wasn't right.

“John,” Bruce started once everyone had settled down, “What were you able to find out about our red friend while you were away?”

Everyone's attention focused on the Green Lantern but he remained as stoic as usual, “Unfortunately, not much. Turns out the OA records are accountable for all the energy spectrum in the universe but they barely know anything about any of the factions. They didn't create them so those who have those rings have zero obligation to the corps.”

“Great, so we're back to square one with this guy then?” Barry asked, shaking his head, “Bummer.”

“You didn't get anything else?” Bruce pressed, his blue eyes locked intently onto John from behind his visor, “Nothing?”

Shayera noticed a slight downturn from his lips before he spoke... “No, sorry.” He was lying.

“Hmm. Damn it.”

Bruce sighed harshly, leaning back in his chair and Superman opened the next topic; the Luthors city wide event in Metropolis. Shayera wasn't listening though because John's glowing green eyes finally met hers and she knew that he knew that she knew that he wasn't telling the truth. Shayera looked away first with her lips pressed into a thin line and her arms now crossed defensively.

Meanwhile, Aquaman remained uncharacteristically quiet the entire time as he tried not to stare at Diana's empty chair. He rocked subtly back and forth in his own chair, slouching as usual. But he kept the lower half of his face buried in the palm of his hand, giving off the excellent vibe of being absolutely bored. Instead of the anxious pensiveness that he was truly feeling.

.

.

“Shayera! Shayera, wait a minute,” John rushed out, jogging to catch up with her long strides, and he was still wearing his Green Lantern suit, “Can we talk?”

“If you're going to keep lying, then no, we can't talk, John!” Shayera snapped at him, barely even looking back at him.

John huffed, quickly looked around before he wrapped an arm around Shayera's waist and got her into an empty room before she could protest—or flatten him on the floor and leave him with a sore jaw.

John put up a green bubble around them despite being alone in the room, and that alone made Shayera stop in her tracks. He didn’t want anyone, or anything, to hear what he had to say.

“John? You're acting weird, what's going on? Why are you lying and being paranoid?” She didn't mean to hit him with so many questions at once but too much was happening lately and quite frankly, Shayera was sick of being out of the loop.

John, having never let Shayera go yet, leaned down and kissed his girlfriend and it was immediately returned, “Damn baby I missed you too.”

Shayera smirked, but...as much as she missed him too, among other things, she needed answers and there was always time for that later. Recognizing the serious expression on her face, John sobered up and let her go with a quiet sigh.

“For the record, I wasn't completely lying in there...Oa really didn't have any records about the Red Lantern other than what we already knew. But...” he hesitated and Shayera crossed her arms again.

“But?”

“I ran into one of 'em out in sector 2669 by the name of Antipathy...their leader.”

“I thought you said Atrocitus was their leader?”

“Things have changed apparently.” John shrugged, “Like I said, Oa isn’t privy to the inner workings of the other corps in the galaxy.”

“Fine, so did you ask her about the new Red Lantern?”

“I did...and she had quite the story to tell.”

[Elsewhere...unknown...]

The lack of hardships that the Amazon's dealt with compared to the rest of the world had given them a false sense of security...and superiority. The Amazon's were so focused on their tasks of protecting gates and artifacts for their Gods that the world passed them by as they isolated themselves. They've remained strong with their strength and their wisdom, and their traditions but the Amazons didn't think of war against technologically advanced foes such as the Atlantheans—now that was a specific magic and science that they could not comprehend.

And yet...after five thousand years...the Amazons evolved, because of one. The one who failed them would be the very one to pull Themyscira and her inhabitants from the brink of death and into a new life, into a rebirth that not even Olympus fully saw coming for all their wisdom and insights.

Perhaps it was not meant to happen the way that things did, but this was always the way. Diana brought Themyscira as close to the heavens and to the base of Olympus as she could. Diana has taken centuries of knowledge and patience that she's learned and applied all of the good, useful things to Themyscira...New Themyscira.

Diana introduced her sisters to a homeland that promised a more modern way of living without losing any of their traditions, forging a new era of Amazons...and thankfully, blessed by their Goddesses who've basked their new Queen with fair forgiveness. Diana nearly, but willingly, gave her life to rebuild Themyscira into the floating paradise that it was now; repopulated with reincarnated women who were slain by men. With the combination of magic and alien technology, Themyscira was thriving within days. Monuments were built in remembrance of their lost Queen, Roman inspired architectures and settlements were built. It was new but it still somehow felt like home.

Diana's steady gaze shifted from Themyscira and down towards her incoming company and she smiled. Unsuccessfully trying to blink away the little icicles on her eyelashes—she must've lost track of time of how long she'd been just hovering there, above her new home while thinking and reflecting.

“You know...putting your new home at the bottom of the exosphere, I'd say I'd have some questions but...” Kara stopped directly next to Diana, “putting your new home at the bottom of the exosphere on a teleporting timer? Even I wouldn't have thought of that.”

Diana huffed through her nose, “Am I to take that as your seal of approval?”

“Of course, Diana. I knew that the stone would be in good hands with you.” Kara cleared her throat lightly, indicating that she might've had an extra motive for seeking Diana out when the Queen specifically asked to be left alone.

“I know you're beating yourself up, but Hippolyta would've been proud of the ceremony you held in her honor...she would be proud of everything you've done to pull Themyscira out of that watery grave.”

Diana moved closer to Kara, gently linking their hands, “Thank you, Kara, for everything and for being here...there's a small part of me that knows that I don't deserve your sympathies and yet I'm receiving them from you anyway.”

Kara squeezed Diana's hand tightly, “I wouldn't be thanking me just yet. We still need to talk...all three of us.”

Diana paused, confused, “Three?”

Kara took a deep breath, her eyes looking up for a moment, “After I left the Red Lantern's planet...I didn't come straight back to Earth. I…I went to the phantom zone.” Kara paused, letting that sink in.

“You what??” Diana really shouldn't have been as surprised as she was and yet...she was. Perhaps she wasn't as upset as she should've been considering that there was a squadron of powerful Kryptonian soldiers that still had issues with Kal-El, “Kara, by the gods, what in the world have you been doing?!”

“Wait, wait, just come with me, and I'll tell you!I'll tell you everything.” Kara promised but she saw Diana's eyes straying towards Themyscira, understandably worried.

“To space?” Diana shook her head, “No. I can’t, it’s too soon.”

“I-”

“Have them come here instead...we will host your people and we will treat them honorably.”

Kara’s jaw snapped shut with an audible click, “…What?”

Diana nodded, her expression softer though she did still look a smidge worried, “If you promise me that no harm will come to Themyscira or the people of Earth, then yes Kara, I’d like to thank you all properly for your sacrifice and assistance.”

Still in a bit of shock, Kara just gaped at Diana until the Amazon Queen used her free hand to close Kara’s mouth with a soft smile.

“Kara? Are you still with me?”

“Barely,” Kara chuckled quietly, “but as I’ve said before, Zod was the one with the problem, not us. They’ll be fine for the most part,” Kara still looked skeptical as if she was still waiting for the other shoe to drop but nothing came, “but are you sure? I think you’ve broken enough laws for me already, Diana. This isn’t necessary.”

Was she sure? Not entirely but Diana trusted Kara wholeheartedly. She wasn’t sure if she trusted anyone more than she trusted Kara right now and she’d take Kara’s word; if she deemed her people safe for a visit then Diana would welcome them with open arms into Themyscira.

Letting go of Kara’s hand, Diana reached up and cupped the blonde's cheek and pulled her in for a quick but meaningful kiss, “Bring your family, Kara.”

Kara leaned forward, slipping her arm around Diana’s waist before the Queen could get away, holding her close. “Nahkluv.” (Thank you.)

Diana hugged Kara right back, she had a feeling that Kara whispered gratitude in her native tongue.

“A warm meal, good drinks and soft beds? They'll love a break from space living, but it will be a few days before they get here once I send the message.” Kara’s grin was large and wholly infectious, one Diana recuperated before they shared another kiss, longer this time until Diana pulled away lest they get carried away right in front of Themyscira.

“What exactly have your crew been doing since you’ve freed them? If I’m not mistaken, you’ve been a red lantern for the better part of the year…” Diana trailed off, her question there. She didn’t sound suspicious, just curious. But she also needed to know how to prepare for these Kryptonians accordingly.

Kara shrugged, making a slight face, “Hmm, bounty hunting for currency so we can buy the parts to fix the world engine—the parts that are unavailable for us to safely steal.”

Diana raised an eyebrow, bemused, “So…Bruce was right…again. You are making a giant battery to power this engine of yours?”

“Not a battery, per se…”

They were interrupted by an explosion in the far distance, down on the surface of the planet, far, far away from them and Themyscira. And Diana shook her head sadly, “They will never know peace.”

“And peace will never know them,” Kara’s warm breath tickled the shell of Diana’s ear, “You sure you can handle sitting in the heavens like this looking down on them while they're killing each other?”

“Yes.” Diana inhaled deeply as she turned back to Kara, there was something more serene about the determination in Diana’s eye, it was stronger too, “It will serve as a reminder to both myself and our sisters what awaits them down there. It will strengthen our resolve on what we strive to teach.”

“I really hate to say it but your planet needs Wonder Woman.”

“But the world does not need Diana.”

Another distance explosion went off almost mutely in the distance, but neither super powered being turned or batted an eye.

Meow!

“Hah! Gotcha!” Kara caught Streaky before her cat could latch herself onto her face again, and she kissed the top of her rowdy girl's head, “I missed you too, crazy!”

Cetane chuckled from her bed, finally awake and able to sit up after days of treatment to heal her wounds, “Your companion is quite the character, Kara. But she’s missed you quite dearly.”

“I’ve never left her alone for that long before,” Kara hugged Streaky closer before releasing the cat so she could lay across Kara’s strong shoulders, “how are you feeling, Cetane?”

“Better now that I can feel my legs and walk again.” The older Amazon looked around her medical room in marvel. “We’ve never seen such machines and yet we have sisters that know how to use them and heal us. How? We were on the brink of extinction and now I am expected to believe that this beautiful place is not Olympus?”

Kara smiled, coming to sit next to Cetane on the bed, careful of the wires that were still hooked up to her body. “Wait until you see the new view.”

Cetane blew out a breath of air, still taking everything in and Kara sympathized with her. She knew what it was like to wake from a coma to a new environment.

“Everything is new and a little different but it’s still Themyscira. It’s still your home,” Kara promised, pushing Streaky’s fluffy tail away from her mouth, “but it’s a piece of paradise in heaven now. Once you’re up for it, you should go out and have a look for yourself. Even your Greek gods were impressed with Diana’s ingenuity.”

“Kind words from you.” Cetane glanced sidelong at Kara, catching on to her fond tone when she brought up Diana but the older Amazon didn’t say anything about that. She didn’t want Kara to clam up as she was prone to do, “But I shouldn’t be surprised since I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about you since I’ve awakened.”

“Really?”

“Mhm, I was sure I was dead then.” Cetane jokes, nudging Kara gently.

Kara snorted through her nose at the comment, amused as it was quite the change for her as well, “I’ll admit it’s nice to be…respected again. Especially here. Themyscira kinda grew on me, you know?”

“You’ve earned that and then some,” Cetane agreed, but she’s been observing how much Kara’s been fidgeting for the past five minutes, “But there’s something else on your mind isn’t there?”

“Aside from the mission at hand? Maybe, yeah?” Kara sighed, mentally scolding herself for being so obvious about it, “I’m kinda lost with something and I don’t really know who the hell else I can talk to about this,”

Meow…meow…whatever the feline was attempting to communicate, Centane might have to be inclined to agree—Kara was indeed stressed about something. And it wasn’t ‘mission related’.

“How does one properly, um,” Kara trailed off, carefully thinking of the right words, “date an Amazon? Specifically…the Queen.”

Well. Cetane could certainly say that she wasn’t exactly surprised by this development, she saw it coming a mile away even when they were at each other's throats.

“And it’s not that I don’t know that she's interested,” Kara said, reaching up to bring Streaky down to her lap and off of her shoulders despite the yowling complaints from the fur ball, “and she knows that I am too. But I just don’t wanna ask her out by human standards. On krypton we had a certain way of doing things…so,”

“So you’re asking if we Amazons have our own customs for romance?” Cetane smirked and Kara rolled her eyes again, her cheeks reddening, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you blush before, Lieutenant.”

“Shut up,” Kara grumbled, “She’s a Queen now and I wanna try to respect her status.”

Cetane chuckled, patting Kara’s wrist as Streaky found a way back to Kara’s shoulders, “You’re overthinking it, Kara…simply ask her to dance.”

Rrehd?” (What?) Kara’s eyes widened comically, “dancing?”

“You’ve seen our festivals and celebrations, you’ve noticed the sensual dancing that happens outside of the traditional dancing, didn’t you?”

Kara nodded, still not following.

“Dancing, fighting and sex are all very similar,” Cetane explained, and Kara nodded as she was aware of this, “And once you find a partner in one, you find a partner in all.”

Kara’s eyebrows pulled forward as she mused over Cetane’s advice. Her mind went back to the near death fights that she and Diana have duked out before, and their non-lethal sparring matches. “Diana and I are great fighting partners and adversaries,” Kara concluded the obvious, “but you still suggest that I…ask her to dance with me?

Cetane smirked, clearly enjoying Kara’s overthinking about all of this, “Yes. Fighting shows how physically compatible you two are but dancing? Dancing is all about the emotion, it’s a connection; a bond between two lovers…or would be lovers, in your case.”

Suddenly it clicked for Kara what Cetane was telling her, “Oh! Is that why I see a lot of Amazons dancing alone or in groups, kind of? Because they’re available?”

“Yes, in our culture, dancing together is a sign of commitment and partnership. And it’s also a warning to others to back off.”

“This…still doesn’t really help me though,” Kara huffed heavily, and Streaky purred in support but the cat was mostly content just to listen and be in Kara’s space.

“Why not?”

“One, I don’t know how to dance and two…Diana doesn’t dance.”

Cetane almost laughed, “Diana doesn’t dance? Have you asked her?”

“No, but I’ve seen her declining to dance with a handful of people who’ve asked her; which is really irritating, but she doesn’t dance.”

“Because she doesn’t want to dance with them.” Cetane pointed out, glaring at Kara to get the hint.

“‘Cause…oh.” Kara deadpanned, her shoulders deflating as soon as she realized, “Oh…sh*t, but I still don’t know how to dance?!”

Cetane shrugged, leaning back on her pillows, “You don’t need to, it’s all about emotion, Lieutenant. Relax and allow yourself to simply feel and your body will do the rest.”

Now outside of the city walls, Kara sat on the porch of her new cabin. It was still as humble as it was before but this time Kara added more furniture and she seemed to want to take better care of it. It was most definitely a lot cleaner, and like before, Kara was on the edge of yet another cliff but with a beautiful waterfall this time, one of the biggest on the north side of the city.

Of course there was a room for her in the palace but Kara preferred her own space to be unbothered when she was feeling isolated.

She had a very generous view of everything and Kara was content to sit on her porch in her little hammock swing, watching Streaky try to catch a bunch of nasty little bugs.

It was a simple moment that Kara was content to enjoy even though she had a million things on her mind and also on her to-do list. But she just couldn’t fathom moving right now, instead Kara sat there like a stone rocking back and forth. She soaked up the rays of the sun and let her thoughts roam free while she watched her cat.

Cetane’s advice was rolling around in Kara’s head dominating over everything else. Kara had her answers and it was consuming her to the point she felt she’d go mad if she didn’t find an outlet soon. Diana was busy with her royal duties but lately she’s been seeking Kara out at the end of her days before retiring back to the palace. And Kara’s noticed that Diana has been staying later and later each visit.

“Maybe tonight I’ll give her a reason to stay…” Kara smiled to herself, a plan forming as she got up and went inside.

.

.

Soft instrumental music flowed through Kara’s home, adding to the beautiful mix of spices and sizzling meat wafting through the air. The smell alone nearly had Diana's mouth watering the moment she landed softly on Kara's porch.

After her day of continuously revising old laws to keep up with Themyscira’s new changes—it gave Diana a reality check just how much her mother had to do just to simply keep the peace. It was exhausting! And while Diana wished that Kara would use her room in the palace, Diana also enjoyed being away from the palace for a few hours during the evening. It was the only time that she had to herself, to her own thoughts...sometimes.

Though Nubia and Philippus always knew where to find her in case of an emergency.

Kara’s front door was open and Diana stepped inside, her sandals quiet on the wood floor. There were candles lit around the cozy living space, keeping the room dim and relaxing. Diana passed the stairs that led up to the bedroom, and she found Kara in the dining area just around the corner, having just finished pouring them both a healthy cup of honeyed wine.

Kara wasn’t dressed in a tunic like she was, instead she was in gray sweatpants and a black t-shirt that hugged her upper body tightly. And it stretched in all the right places too.

“I’ve missed your cooking, but what’s the occasion?”

“No occasion, perhaps...a motive,” Kara admitted boldly, pulling out Diana’s chair with a cheeky look on her face, an invitation to something…Diana wasn’t quite sure what yet (or maybe she did) but she was eager to find out.

She didn’t comment on Kara’s admission but the Amazon Queen accepted her seat without hesitation, and Kara’s eyes fell to the top of her dark blue dress as she pushed Diana in, her fingers brushing against Diana's exposed back where the tunic dipped just enough to tease.

Kara cleared her throat and quickly took her seat, mentally reminding herself to be cool, “Be honest with your review, I haven’t actually tried cooking with your native spices before so I put the sauce on the side ‘cause it might be a little strong. I also made two different types, just in case you didn’t like one of them—”

Diana slipped her foot out of her sandal and ran it up Kara’s leg, beneath her sweats and halting her mid-ramble, “It smells delicious, Kara, I know I’ll love this.”

“Sorry,” Kara breathed and relaxed back into her chair, making the wood groan a little under her weight, “I guess I’m a little nervous,”

“About dinner?” Diana asked innocently.

“Yeah,” Kara nodded, reaching for her drink, “I’m trying for a nice evening without interruption or shop talk. Like we used to.”

Diana was subtly searching Kara’s face but there was no need for her to look very hard for what she was looking for because all the signs were there. And there was no doubt how their evening would go, pray tell that there were no more distractions.

“Well, eat up, your majesty...don't want you passing out on me tonight.”

Diana's eyes flickered to Kara but the Kryptonian was too busy with her wine but Diana knew that Kara was patting herself on the back. Diana picked up her fork and selected a juicy strip of meat, followed by a gentle scoop of what appeared to be lemon rice. Kara watched Diana pick the sauce that she personally deemed too spicy, but she kept quiet...not wanting to spoil the review.

“Mm!” Diana chewed and quickly took a drink from her cup, “That is good, but this sauce is very spicy!”

“Damn. I figured,” Kara nodded defeatedly, “good thing I put the sauces on the side then, or it would’ve been a waste of good meat. The other sauce is a little more mild, I think.”

Diana tried the light sauce this time, and she nodded her approval, “Perfect.”

Kara smiled, pleased.

Dinner was a relatively quiet affair though, Kara had made a lot for them to eat, which wasn’t unusual for her to do, but normally between her and Diana—not a scrap would be left behind. But Diana had yet to remove her foot from Kara’s leg and they were both acutely aware of this too. And it didn’t help when Diana began caressing Kara’s calf with her soft toes.

The rising tension at the table made it difficult for them both to eat properly, mostly Kara. But they got through it fine with Diana finishing her plate first.

The Queen hadn’t eaten all day and as usual Kara’s cooking never missed the mark. Yet even so, Diana had an appetite for something else and judging by the looks of Kara’s half eaten plate and her darkened eyes, barely a speck of blue could be found in them, the sentiment was shared.

The music playing in the background changed tempo, still steady but the drums were a little harder, more intense and it matched the storm beginning to brew within Diana.

Diana opened her mouth, her question loaded and ready to be fired away but she stopped and closed her mouth. In that moment, while slipping off her other sandal beneath the table, Diana decided that enough talking had been done.

Kara was mid drink when she caught on that Diana was up to something but by then the Amazon Queen was out of her chair and pulling Kara out of her own by her wrist. Kara barely had time to put her cup back on the table before Diana had their bodies flushed together.

“Diana—”

“Dance with me,” Diana whispered, her lips ghosting over Kara’s before she twirled around, melding her backside into Kara, leaving no room between them. Instinctively Kara wrapped her arms around Diana’s torso.

Diana’s hands softly caressed Kara’s forearms, feeling the taut muscles beneath warm skin, “You’re too tense. Relax.”

“I’m not tense.”

“You are.”

“I have two left feet,” Kara warned Diana quietly, her lips close to her ear now as she rested her head in the crook of her neck, “I don’t…dance.”

“Don’t think of it as dancing then,” Diana chuckled, dancing closer to Kara—and if she thought doing that was going to help Kara relax, she was sorely mistaken.

“Then how should I think of this, Diana?” Kara wasn’t an idiot, she knew exactly what to think of this but she wanted to hear it from Diana. She needed to.

“Two women enjoying one another,” Diana sighed contently, still rubbing Kara’s soft skin and she was trying to put all of her own worries and fears aside. Diana wanted to simply enjoy this moment as they may be fleeting after tonight.

Kara quietly accepted this answer and finally allowed herself to fully relax behind Diana and the Queen wasn’t fully prepared for the amount of weight suddenly at her back but she carried it with ease all the same. She found comfort in it, in more ways than one, and for a while they both simply stood in the middle of Kara’s modest dining area, swaying a tad off beat but they didn’t care.

The outside world didn’t exist anymore. Not right now.

And in this moment, Diana felt a particular way of vulnerability that she couldn't shake, not anymore, and quite frankly, the new Queen of Themyscira wasn't even sure if she wanted to anymore. Not when she felt so safe in Kara arms. Slowly, Diana turned until she was facing Kara and she placed her arms around Kara's neck, locking her fingers with her arms hanging off the (slightly) taller woman's shoulders, bringing them closer.

Kara noticed the little frown on Diana's forehead, and quietly asked the Queen what was wrong. It was only just them here and the music wasn't loud enough for Kara to have to raise her voice...and she also didn't want to break their soft but strong atmosphere.

Diana took a moment to answer, gathering her thoughts, “I worry that once everything and everyone settles if I can truly be the Queen that my sisters need me to be. I wasn't a very good Princess...what confidence will they have in me as a Queen?”

Kara took a deep soft deep breath, her hands moving further around Diana's waist, squeezing the soft spots before she finally settled on Diana's lower back, hands splayed to keep Diana secure to her, and keep them moving as she chose her words carefully...but she wasn't the sort to sugarcoat anything either.

“Maybe...if Themyscira was still Themyscira back on Earth, it would've been a more difficult transition,” Kara started, licking her sudden lips quickly, “But that's all changed now, and the Amazons as a whole were forced into a new world that none of them, except for you, can really comprehend much less successfully guide themselves at the moment.”

Diana scoffed slightly, “You make it sound as if they're children, and not fully grown female warriors.”

“They can be both,” Kara said cheekily, smiling briefly, “But that's not to say that they won't eventually be able to do this on their own, but this is your prime opportunity to show them how to be an Amazon in this new era. Because you've already ‘been there, done that’ centuries ago.”

“Wise words, Kara, thank you,” Diana breathed, her eyes cast to the side, thinking and avoiding Kara's intense gaze, “Yet...”

“Yet nothing,” Kara interrupted, “Diana. You're strong, you're smart and resourceful and most of all, you're a natural leader; I've seen all of this from you with my own two eyes. There's a reason why so many people depend on you, including that idiot son of Jor-El (Kara refused to acknowledge Kal-El as her blood cousin), so don't start doubting yourself now. They're looking to you for guidance 'cause they believe in you. Any naysayers? They'll shut the f*ck up eventually, just give it time...or point them out to me, and I'll make the time.”

Diana hummed behind her smile as she dropped her head down onto Kara's shoulders, she shouldn't be encouraging Kara to make threats against her...well their sisters now, but it was just so Kara that Diana couldn't help but feel moved nonetheless.

“You gave part of yourself to ensure that they could have this...bask in that glory. 'Cause no matter how this all goes down, they can't say you never did sh*t for them, right?”

“Crass as ever, but you're not wrong,” Diana chuckled, raising her head while tightening her arms around Kara, “Thank you for understanding...and sympathizing.”

Kara's fingers dug into Diana's bare back, acknowledging her gratitude, “I'm hardly ever wrong, Diana.”

“Hmm, you really wanna go there, Lieutenant?”

Once again, Kara's eyes lowered, leaning in, “There are a lot of places I wanna go right now...”

Wasting little more time, Diana used her arms to pull Kara into a kiss, one they've desperately been seeking since Diana arrived. Their kiss was slow and sensual at first, savoring one another. Diana tilted her head slightly, deepening their kiss into unbridled passion and she almost smiled when Kara was the first of them to moan tonight.

It was the most passionate kiss they've shared since their kiss in Diana’s apartment, and Kara's arousal was starting to become very noticeable now. Purposely looking for buttons to push, Diana sucked on Kara's tongue, moaning deeply around the taut muscle. Kara's semi-hard co*ck jumped in her sweats, and Diana was surprised by how thick it felt against her—she's seen Kara naked plenty of times before, but she hadn't seen her when she was like…this.

“Sorry,” Kara breathed, opening her eyes and there wasn't a ring of blue to be found. Kara tried to pull her hips away so Diana couldn't feel just how excited she was becoming, but the Queen wasn't having it. She wrapped her left leg around Kara's hips, bringing their bodies back together and the new position allowed her to feel Kara where she needed her most. Kara's hand flew down to hold Diana's thigh tightly, her grip wide and firm.

Diana's core was covered by a thin cloth, and Kara wasn't sure if she wore actual panties or if it was the tunic getting between them, but the heat from Diana rubbing on the underside of her co*ck was nearly enough to make Kara lose control, and so soon. “D-Diana..it's been nearly fifty years—”

“Twice as much for me, but we have all night,” the Queen replied, raising her other leg without warning but Kara was prepared this time and held Diana easily, her second hand further up Diana's thigh, closer to her core “Bedroom, now,”

“Are you gonna be bossy all night?” Kara grinned, but her feet were moving. Diana didn't answer, instead she held Kara's face, initiating another kiss and effortlessly shutting Kara up.

Luckily for both of them, Kara knew her home well enough not to trip and soon enough, Kara was sitting on the edge of her big unmade bed. Though somehow on the way up, Diana managed to get Kara's shirt off of her and she was pleasantly surprised that Kara had also forgone a bra as well.

Without breaking their kiss, Kara's hands traveled further up Diana's strong thighs and pushed the dark blue fabric out of her way but she paused when her hands reached Diana's rib cage, just beneath her full breasts and Kara broke their kiss to look up at the dark haired woman hovering above her in her lap.

Instead of answering however, Diana simply leaned back and brushed her hands over Kara's before taking the fabric of her tunic and tossing it somewhere behind her once it was off, left in nothing but a simple black thong. Kara saw trimmed dark curls peaking out and she groaned at the sight.

Without warning, Kara quickly switched their positions so that she was on top and Diana was now on her back, trapped between Kara's toned arms—a change Diana didn't mind at all, though Kara pulled away, she couldn't get very far with Diana's still trapping her with her legs. Kara's eyes trailed Diana's body languidly, drinking in every detail; every freckle, blemish, scar that she could see and Diana watched her under hooded eyes, she wasn't shy about her body but the way that Kara was looking at her had her hot and it was exciting. Diana knew that she got lustful looks every single day, but the way Kara was looking at her? Stood out millions of miles from the rest...she always did.

“You're so beautiful, Diana,” Kara whispered, her words laced with lust, awe and sincerity, “Absolutely stunning,” and well worth the wait.

“As are you,” Diana moaned, meaning every word, but Kara's hot hands were cupping and squeezing her breasts, catching her hardening nipples between teasing fingers, pulling and pinching them, loving the way the way Diana felt beneath her, “but Kara, please don't tease me right now, I need you,”

Diana didn't feel embarrassed by her own begging, nor how needy she was feeling—their evening has been filled with teasing and anticipation since she's arrived, and she's just about had enough. Diana was more than ready, and she could feel that Kara was too.

While Kara was aware of her own throbbing needs, she still wanted to savor this moment just for a few seconds longer. Still sitting between Diana's legs, Kara didn't answer Diana's plea, but she managed to scoot Diana further up the bed to the pillows and giving herself room comfortably lay with Diana fully, and Kara wasted little time taking a dark puffy nipple into her eager mouth. Diana gasped when she felt Kara rolling her nipple between her teeth before soothing the sting with her tongue, while her other hand copied the ministrations of her mouth on her other breast. Alternating between being gentle and being rough.

The delicious sensations that went through Diana's body were ones she hasn't felt in so long. Releasing Diana's nipple with a soft pop, Kara bit the side of Diana's breast just hard enough to leave the imprint of her teeth, but not a mark...this time.

Though before Kara could go any further, she suddenly found herself on her back and looking up at the beautiful Amazon hovering above her, and she couldn't help but grin, “Impatient?”

“Very,” Diana scooted back until she was straddling Kara's thighs, and she licked her lips when she saw the very detailed print pressing again the front of Kara's briefs. Diana reached forward, her fingers dipping behind the waistband until she paused and she looked up at Kara, waiting and Kara quickly nodded for her to continue, raising her hips to help Diana slide them down her tanned legs and land somewhere on the floor behind them.

Kara's co*ck twitched and pulsed visibly when the cold air harshly hit her hot skin and she shuddered beneath Diana, now completely at her mercy in seconds when she had just been the one in control. But Kara wondered if she ever really was in the first place. She licked her lips when Diana wrapped her hand around her co*ck for the very first time, the tips of her fingers barely coming around full circle giving Diana an idea what she was in for the night, as if her eyes were deceiving her. Kara was more impressive than all of the males on this planet, of this Diana was absolutely sure.

Slowly, deliberately, Diana shifted until she was sitting in Kara's lap again, their centers touching and Diana's thong was soaking wet, hiding nothing from Kara. Strong hands found her waist and tore the thin fabric away, leaving Diana to directly grind her wet core against Kara's co*ck, and she did. The Amazon Queen rocked her hips back and forth slowly, Kara's head bumping her pulsing exposed cl*t.

When she felt the first gush of warmth flowing out of Diana and onto her length, Kara's grip tightened on the Amazon's waist, and she moved Diana's hips faster as she began to grind back against Diana. Removing one hand, Kara sucked on her thumb before bringing it to Diana's cl*t, and the Queen shuddered again above her, her lips parting,

“By the gods, Kara, yes!” Diana cried, louder than she has been thus far, a thin line of sweat already forming a trail down her cheek from her hairline, with one hand going to hold Kara's wrist on her waist, she placed her other by Kara's head on the pillows as her org*sm approached rather quickly. The way Diana was grinding all over Kara, would’ve broken a poor mortal in half but to Kara, it felt almost too damn good!

The air in the room was hot and heavy, and Kara's bed was rocking from their efforts. Diana cried out as her org*sm snapped inside of her and she came all over Kara's lap, Kara couldn't recall ever being this damn worked up, but Diana had her wanting to explode. And she simply couldn't wait to be inside of the other woman any longer.

Diana didn't protest when she was back on her back, laying directly in the spot that Kara was just in. Her lover was between her legs and Diana spread them a little more to give Kara more room to get comfortable. She reached up and pulled Kara to her by her broad shoulders, bringing her into a searing kiss, it was messy and full of promises. Kara reached down between their heated bodies to guide herself to where they both really needed her to be.

She teased Diana's entrance for a few moments, not that she really needed to.

“Please,” Diana whispered between their kisses, and Kara hummed, taking her kisses down Diana's strong jaw, and she felt Diana's fingernails digging into her shoulder blades when she finally began to work her way inside of her. And f*ck was Diana tight.

“f*ck, Diana,” Kara grunted when she sunk the first few inches into Diana's puss*, her warm breath fanning out over the Queen's ear, “You feel so f*ckin' good already and we haven't even started yet, baby,”

“We have all night,” Diana reminded her, gasping heavily and clinging to Kara when she felt her pushing further. Kara was so big and Diana already felt so full! It was almost too much, “nngh, slow down Kara...”

Smirking into the crook of Diana's neck, Kara stilled her hips and allowed Diana to get used to the feeling of having her halfway. When Kara felt the Queen relaxing again beneath her, she instead pulled her hips back slightly before she rocked gently back into Diana. It was taking every ounce of self control Kara had not to f*ck Diana how she really wanted to f*ck her, but she wanted this to be good for both of them, not just herself.

Diana's eyes rolled to the back of her head when she felt Kara's co*ck go just a little bit deeper every other thrust, she was sure that she couldn't possibly fit all of that but Kara was proving her wrong. Diana felt every vein and ridge of Kara’s co*ck massaging her inner walls beautifully and the pleasure mixed with a sliver of pain from the stretching only added to the surrealness of this moment.

Moments later, when Kara's hips finally met hers, and Diana was coming again and Kara grunted when she felt the Queen's fingernails break skin on her back, and she had an idea that it wouldn't be the last time tonight either.

Kara placed open mouth kisses on the skin of Diana’s neck she could reach, nipping with her teeth when she could, as she pulled her hips back and thrust back in slowly, painfully keeping her strokes deep and slow. But Diana could feel how hard Kara's heart was beating, and she heard her hard, heavy breathing as she tried to control herself for Diana's sake, but the Queen was ready for more now. She was ready for Kara. Dina raised her hips, meeting Kara’s thrusts steadily, pulling her in deeper.

And it wasn't too much longer before Kara's hips began to pick up the pace and her hips were slamming into Diana's, echoing through her entire home, along with the headboard banging against the wall roughly.

It was almost too much for Kara to handle to have Diana like this, that Diana wanted her like this, and f*cking Rao! Kara didn't want this euphoria to end. Diana was loud as she clung to her like she was her lifeline, but Kara had no intentions of letting the woman go, not now, not ever. She wanted to take Diana like this every night, fates knew she would if she could too.

Diana had been coming all night while Kara was busy fighting hers away selfishly because she didn't want this moment to end yet. But fifty years was fifty years and Kara knew she couldn't hold it in anymore.

“f*ck Diana, I'm so close! I'm so close,” she panted repeatedly, practically growling as she sat up, allowing some air between their hot bodies, and Kara grunted when Diana raised her knees higher, allowing Kara deeper access and the Kryptonian lost complete control of herself when Diana clenched around her tightly, the Queen's hands on her chest, fingernails raking over her hard pink nipples, tweaking them roughly, giving Kara one last push, and Kara couldn't stop it even if she wanted to.

Yet thankfully she still had enough sense to pull out at the very last second, and she came all over Diana's nether lips and her inner thighs, surprising Diana with how much she had to offer. Surely Diana would’ve been pregnant tonight had Kara actually come inside her…and the Queen found herself strangely unbothered by the fleeting idea.

Still breathing deeply, Kara gently let herself fall into Diana again and the Queen welcomed her lover with waiting arms, holding her close and savoring everything about this moment. She could still feel Kara against her, not as hard as she was before but she wasn't completely spent either, and neither was Diana.

Once the Queen caught her breath, she turned her head slightly and kissed Kara's cheek lovingly a few times, getting her to open her eyes which were still dark but lighter than they were earlier. Kara smiled tiredly at Diana, “You feel okay, Princess?”

“Mhm. For it to be fifty years, Kara, you haven't missed a stroke.”

Kara snorted at Diana's dirty joke, shifting a bit so she could properly kiss her, “You were pretty amazing yourself...no regrets?”

“No. You?”

“Mm-mm.” Kara shook her head, kissing Diana again, “Only that we didn't do this sooner. But sparring is gonna be a lot more interesting now, huh?” Kara wiggled her eyebrows cutely, “We can shower together now too,”

“I think I've unleashed a monster,” Diana chuckled, unable to resist bringing Kara closer and deepening their kiss...

.

.

.

Kara's cabin was quiet early the next morning except for Streaky pacing around downstairs with one of her fuzzy toys with the bell on it, but the jingling noise was nowhere near enough to wake either woman asleep upstairs. Diana and Kara stayed up well into the night and the early morning, tangled up in one another—and despite Diana knowing that she had an early morning, she just couldn't get enough of Kara, and it was apparent that Kara felt the same.

And sometime in the middle of the night, long after Kara passed out for good, Diana had come down to the kitchen on wobbly legs craving the spicy dip now that it’s cooled off a bit. And thankfully she refilled Streaky’s food and water bowl before retiring for the night as well.

Sunlight was now creeping into Kara's otherwise dark bedroom from the single window but her shutters were halfway closed, preventing the bright light from fully waking them before they were ready.

Kara's bed was a wreck from the night before, the only thing that managed to stay on was a single pillow and a sheet, which Diana was currently hogging as she practically slept right on top of Kara, using her as both her mattress and pillow. And ultimately that is what brought Kara out of her deep slumber—Diana's leg was putting some serious pressure on her bladder.

Kara wanted to lay there for a little while longer and enjoy waking up with Diana like this after the night they shared...but her bladder wasn't going to wait much longer. So as carefully as she could manage, Kara managed to slip from beneath Diana without disturbing her too much and she quickly rushed into her bathroom without turning on the light, there was enough natural light spilling into the room from the tiny skyline widow.

Kara couldn't suppress her big sigh of relief and back in her bedroom, Diana groaned as she rolled over while rubbing her eyes and further tangling herself in Kara's sheets. The Amazon Queen moaned softly when she stretched her sore muscles but the grin on her face couldn't be wiped away. Diana knew that she had some bruises on her thighs, and bite marks on her back...she'd have to remember to wear longer dresses and a cloak for a few days.

She opened her eyes when she heard the shower starting and she smirked. Untangling herself completely from the sheet, Diana was on her feet and gingerly walking towards the bathroom suite. Diana stood in the doorway and stared at Kara in all of her glory, unashamed in her staring.

Immediately noticing that she had company, Kara just smirked, “Good morning, your majesty,”

“Stop it,” Diana rolled her eyes, coming further into the bathroom, “Is there room for one more?”

“For you? Always,” Kara’s smirk was telling.

“I have to be back at the palace soon or Philippus will come looking,” Diana warned Kara, “No funny business, Kara, my legs still feel tingly from last night.”

Kara’s smirk remained, “It’ll be a quick shower, promise.”

Kara opened the shower door, letting the steam out and she gestured for Diana to step in first, but they both knew that this shower was going to be anything but quick.

[ National City... Diana’s apartment ]

In their regular civilian attire and disguise, John and Shayera stepped out of the cab that dropped them off directly in front of Diana's building. The doorman greeted them kindly at the door, and the couple kept their polite smiles on their faces as they walked through the lobby to the elevators.

“I don’t know about this, Shay. If Diana isn’t answering her phone or her JL communicator, maybe Batman is right about her being on some classified government mission.” John tried to reason with his girlfriend for the thousandth time but Shayera wasn’t hearing it, not until she got a concrete answer.

“I don’t care what he thinks, and I don’t care about the government and their secrets. My gut is telling me that something isn’t right here.”

John sighed, crossing his arms, “I know you told me a thousand times—”

“And yet you’re still not listening,” Shayera pointed out with a touch of irritation and John sighed again, “If you’re so annoyed, why did you tag along John?”

“Two reasons, one: I wasn’t gonna let you go down this rabbit hole alone and two: I’m looking for Kara, and this is as close of a lead as I’m gonna get.”

Both valid reasons but Shayera didn’t tell him that, she was still annoyed that he kept insisting that Diana wasn’t missing. Hell, Shayera didn’t know that for a fact herself either but she was here to find out.

Finally the elevator brought them to Diana’s floor. Everything was quiet and normal, and Shayera pulled the emergency spare key that Diana had given to her years ago. Just in case. Shayera slid the key into the lock and she looked at John who nodded and Shayera opened the door.

But it was…the apartment was normal. Exactly how Shayera remembered from her last visit but there was a thin layer of dust clinging to the surfaces indicating that neither Diana or Kara had been here in some time.

“Hmm,” Shayera frowned, looking around—her years as a detective on Thanagar made her move cautiously, like she was moving around a crime scene as she looked for some sort of clue as to where her friends were.

“My god!” John gasped behind her and Shayera turned and saw him still standing by the front door but he had his ring scanning the floor, “I was checking for footprints, and found this instead.”

Shayera came around the sofa to see what John was looking at and she stopped cold, staring wide eyed, “Was…was that blood??”

“Yeah,” John answered grimly, “and a lot of it, but I can’t tell whose it is, but there’s a trail that leads down that hall.”

“That’s Diana’s bedroom,” Shayera rushed past her boyfriend, and down the hall, “Diana?! Diana…” Shayera's voice trailed off when she burst into Diana’s bedroom.

It was empty but it was…a crime scene, “Oh my god,” Shayera’s stomach twisted at the thought of something happening to her friend, and that she was alone.

John appeared behind her seconds later and he sucked in a deep breath, “sh*t. This is not good! We gotta call this in now!”

John reached up to activate his JL comms—

Hello? Diana, you in here??” someone, a male, called from the front of the apartment, startling both the heroes.

“What the hell?” John mumbled, his hand falling away as he and Shayera stepped out of the bedroom, and both Justice Leaguers emerged from the hallway and saw a handsome blonde man standing there in a pair of jeans, a brown flight jacket and a pair of boots. He looked just as startled to see them as they were him, but that surprise quickly turned into suspicion for the heroes.

“Who the hell are you?” John demanded, sounding every bit of the marine he used to be, and Shayera smirked.

“Steve Trevor, Agent of the US government and former Air Force pilot...and you two are...?”

“It doesn't matter who we are, Steve Trevor, what are you doing in our friends apartment?” Shayera asked impatiently, the longer they wasted time with this guy the more time they wasted finding Diana, and now Kara, “You have five seconds to answer before I make you talk.”

“Whoa...whoa whoa now,” Steve quickly raised his hands, trying to appear nonthreatening, “Listen, I don't mean to raise any feathers here, I just wanted to come by and check on Diana. She's my friend too.”

“What do you mean check on Diana? What was wrong with her?” Shayera fired off, and John had to keep her from approaching the mortal man, knowing that Shayera would throttle him if he didn't answer quick enough.

“I can't go into details, but we had a...mission somewhere classified, and Cheetah managed to get the jump on us. Wonder Woman covered us while we got out of there...but she never returned to base after that. I stopped by a little over a week ago and the blonde Amazon wouldn't let me see her, so I couldn't exactly tell you what state Wonder Woman was really in.” Steve explained as best as he could, omitting the details he couldn't legally share...and the ones that made him look bad.

“What did this Amazon look like?” John inquired but he had a feeling he already knew the answer to his own question.

“Uh, well like I said, she's blonde, broad shoulders, tall...and the coldest blue eyes I've ever seen in my life.”

Shayera and John shared a look; Kara. Steve didn't miss it and he frowned, “Hey, you two know who I'm talking about, don't you?”

“If Diana was hurt then she must've taken her to Themyscira to help Diana heal,” Shayera theorized and John nodded, coming to the same conclusion. And it was a whole lot better than the first conclusion that he feared had happened. Kara was a fully powered Red Lantern Kryptonian, and while John believed that Diana was the strongest of them all...that was still a lot of power for one person to handle on their own.

“C'mon, we don't have much time then.”

“Wait a minute,” Steve stopped them from leaving, “Look whatever is going on, I'm coming with you.”

“What?” Shayera scoffed, frowning at him, “No you're not. Thank you for the information but you'd be a liability for us.”

“How the hell do you two know so much about Themyscira? Who are you really?”

“Sorry man, but but none of this is your business.” John patted Steve on the shoulder while ushering him out of Diana's apartment so Shayera could lock the door.

“The hell it isn't my business!” Steve shoved John's hand off him, and straightening his jacket, “Look, Diana is my friend alright? I left her out there to fend for herself and she could be hurt, I have to know if she's alright or not. I promise I won't get in the way, and besides...if something is going on, you'll want the US government on your side.”

John glared at Steve for a second or two before he sighed heavily. He turned to Shayera, mouth open but the glare she was giving him had him quickly shutting his mouth with an audible click.

“I said no, now let's go.”

“Sorry man, guess you're just gonna have to watch the news like the rest of 'em.” John chuckled while rubbing the back of his neck and following after his hotheaded girlfriend—and he did not want to be on the other-side of her ire, not today of all days.

Steve didn't say anything, he just stood quietly in the hallway watching them depart in the elevator before he growled and punched the wall, “Damn it!! Diana...where are you?”

[ New Themyscira...]

Now properly dressed as she should be, Diana was back at the palace after Phillipus had come to retrieve her from Kara’s cabin, embarrassingly enough. But thankfully the General didn’t comment on their disheveledness, or the bruises she spotted on Diana’s thighs.

Kara didn’t join her to the palace, stating that she had some things that she needed to take care of but she promised Diana that they’d still see one another before the day is over. And with one last parting kiss, Diana allowed herself to be whisked away back to reality.

Philippus led Diana through the secret passages to avoid unwanted gazes and questions for the Queen, and safely brought her to her private wing without much disturbance. Diana didn’t bother to take another shower, she found that she quite enjoyed smelling like Kara. The soaps and scents the Lieutenant used were a bit stronger than the ones in her own personal stock, but she still smelled good.

The Amazon Queen had barely settled behind her desk, attempting to try and sit comfortably, when the double doors burst open, and Artemis walked in with Nubia, neither of them looked very happy either and that immediately put Diana on edge.

“Queen Diana! Apologies for interrupting so rudely but this is of dire importance,” Artemis started, sounding slightly out of breath as if they’d run here.

“What is it?”

Nubia and Artemis shared a glance, and it was Nubia who stepped forward and spoke, “Atlantis responded to our summons.”

Diana’s mouth turned down slightly. Orm replied a lot sooner than she expected a coward like him to, “And?”

“Our messengers were returned to us in the bellies of oarfish.”

“As expected.” Diana exhaled heavily, saddened to hear that her messengers bore the brunt of the Atlantis Kings’ brutality, “What is the progress of our new warriors training, Nubia?”

“They’re strong and fast, and quick learners. A few more weeks and we will be ready to take the war to Atlantis.”

Diana nodded, “Good then there is one more thing that I must do then,”

“And what’s that?” Artemis asked.

“It is time that I renounce Wonder Woman from man’s world.”

Notes:

This chapter probably would’ve pushed 20k had I kept going lol next one will be about just as long as this one I think. I try to keep ‘em long I guess.

I give ALL the mf kudos to the writers who can push out those 20k bangers every other week 😅😅

Wonder why John lied though? Or why Arthur was feeling nervous? 👀 interesting.

Old Diana probably would’ve knocked Kara outta orbit if she told her about Faora any sooner 🤣🤣

I did my best with the smut, THATS what took me so gd long to write, smut always trips me up but I was high as hell and listening to Beyoncé when I wrote that so I hope you enjoyed! More to come though of course.

Also if you’re curious as to what I based New Themyscira on, here’s a link of the visuals I created for myself 😭.

https://www.tumblr.com/cerberus-spectre/749236083743686656/new-themyscira-taking-inspiration-from-asgard

Chapter 21: Red Horizon

Summary:

Just some short bonus scenes, that's why it's so short!

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

[ National City...Diana's apartment...]

It was very late into the night when Diana Prince's apartment was invaded for the third time before the day even ended. The entire building was quiet except for some few tenants listening to their stereos a little too loudly or the couple a few doors down were doing couple activities a bit too enthusiastically for their neighbors liking.

All things that the shadowy figure climbing over the balcony railing didn't care for. His boots landed with a soft nearly muted thud and even though he scanned the area multiple times, the Dark Knight still waited for anything out of the ordinary to greet him but again, all was quiet.

He frowned behind his cowl and he tried to handle on the balcony door, a little disappointed to find that it was already unlocked but since Diana lived so high up, she wouldn't have to worry about the average person scaling thirty plus stories just to steal ancient Greek artifacts and art pieces. He kept the lights off, opting to use his night vision to navigate around Diana's apartment and Bruce made sure to keep his steps light and cautious.

As he stalked around the apartment looking for any sign of a struggle, Batman unknowingly came to the same conclusion that Hawkgirl did earlier—Diana's apartment hasn't seen a sign of life in too long, even if she was away on some government mission...there was still Kara and the cat. And Batman could not find any recent signs of either, even the cats liter box was still fresh. Despite his earlier stance during the founders meeting this morning with his superhero colleagues—Bruce was worried about Diana personally.

She'd been radio silent too long and the government channels that he might be illegally monitoring hadn't used her call sign in ages, tipping his suspicions and with Kara being so close to Diana all of the time, well...despite trusting his friend's judgment on the situation, Bruce didn't trust Kara. Hell, he rarely trusted anyone. It took him a decade to even trust Clark and Diana as much as he did now.

“Hmm,” Bruce looked around Kara's bedroom. It was neat...and bare of anything personal. He's only been to Diana's apartment once, when he 'helped' her move in, and the room looked as it did then. (he knew she didn't even really needed the help truthfully, she was just being nice by accepting his offer...considering nothing ever came from it). Of course the bed and dresser set along with the paintings were new...but this room looked looked wholly unoccupied.

His frown deepening, Bruce switched lenses so that he could see the layers beneath what the naked eye couldn't see and Kara's room was clean. Of anything. Bruce checked the closest and the bathroom and he managed to find a few prints but that was all. It wasn't until he was back in the living room when he saw it...

Footfalls heavy, Bruce practically materialized to the spot. He gingerly touched this cold hard wood floor where there was once a pool of blood. Bruce also noted several different foot prints, and a faint pair of paw prints when the cat undoubtedly walked through the blood.

Batman quickly followed the UV trail down the hall and he saw that there might've been a struggle as their were blood smears on both sides of the hallway. When he crept into Diana's bedroom, Bruce felt his heart seize in his chest at the sight. He pressed the JL encrypted link in his ear and quickly found the frequency he was searching for.

“Superman. We have a problem. A big one.”

[ Somewhere near the Earth's Core...The Red Lantern/ Kara's lair...] (this is a link too btw)

Kara was in her private area so she had her mask off but her Red Lantern suit was still on. She could hear Winn out in the main lab tinkering around with the device that he was 'finishing up'. Kara was excited to finally finish this phase of her project but she knew better than to rush or crowd the man simply because she hated when others did that to her. It made her more prone to mistakes with someone breathing down her neck and she didn't want Winn f*cking anything up...she didn't want to have to kill him on principle alone. It would be a waste in her opinion.

Once she was sure that he'd be fine on his own for a little while, Kara ventured further down into her lair, walking down the long corridor until she reached another locked room. The micro camera that was above the door activated and once it scanned her, the door slid open. Kara stepped into the room with a big sigh, it was brighter in here and not as warm as it was in the hall. Kara saw that someone was trying to hail her and considering that there was only one other person in the universe that knew her precise coordinates and cardinal number, Kara quickly took a seat and answered the call.

Immediately Faora's familiar scarred face appeared on the big interactive screen in front of her. Considering the sensitive nature of their missions, Faora and Kara didn't make it a habit to contact each other like this often especially with Faora and their surviving unit hunting down Brainiac as they were.

I'm a days travel away from Earth.” Faora started and Kara nodded, she could tell by Faora's background that she was traveling in a single pilot fighter. It was Kryptonian made but repaired with many foreign parts unfortunately, but they did the job well so there wasn't much complaining...not really.

“Good. The Amazon's are expecting you so you won't be shot out of the sky.”

They could certainly try. I'm blind in one eye but I am still the best flier in our unit.” Faora smirked, but then she sighed, her expression turning serious, “I've brought what you've asked me too, but be warned that I only approved one round in it's chamber. We require the rest for that humanoid monster.”

“Understood, Commander...and thank you, for honoring my request, and trusting my judgment.”

I trust that you're thinking logically and not with your dick, Lieutenant,” Faora said it so bluntly, and though Kara was used to the woman having been raised by her since she was eight years old, but it still made her cheeks turn a little pink.

“I'm not. There's a lot more at stake here than just revenge, she doesn't know what they know so far about this Trident. And with the Amazon's still struggling to raise their numbers and train up the new warriors...Diana wants to level the playing field.”

It's a wise move.” Faora nodded, her stoic face shifting a bit though with the burns she was a just a tad more stiff nowadays, “And you're sure...that if we add her in her war, she will support us in ours against Brainiac?”

Kara nodded, “Yes.”

Good. I will hide the Thanix Cannon behind earths moon then. Do you have an update for Mars, Lieutenant?”

Kara crossed her arms, leaning back in her plush chair comfortably, “The core stabilizer is almost complete, the human I've recruited is here in the lab now finishing it up. He has the schematics for it so I'm confident that the first and second test will be come back with a hundred percent success rating. Once we copy Earth's core into Mars', Krypton's transforming rate goes from a seventeen (17%) percent survival rate, to eight-seven percent (87%). It's not over ninety like I wanted, but I'm happy with the projection none the less.” Kara finished with a deep sigh and a bright smile, “We'll be home soon, Commander.”

Faora smiled for the first time in months, a real genuine smile and even through the screen Kara could see that Faora was pleased with her work and progress, even though she became side tracked more than a few times, but Kara couldn't have know that Faora was also feeling very proud of Kara. It wasn't the first time that Kara made her feel like a mother and she was certain that this wouldn't be the last time either.

I will see you soon, Lieutenant.” Faora ended the call after a moment and Kara remained rooted to her seat for a little while longer until she was broken out of her thoughts by Winn, jumping up and down in the laboratory like a child, and patting himself on the back. Turning her chair slightly, Kara's eyes glowed a bright blue as she peered through the thick layers of Earths crust and molten lava until she found Winn.

Kara looked past the man and at the computer screen that was currently hooked up the core stabilizer...the entire checklist was green.

“Bingo.”

Notes:

I didn't edit anything, any mistakes? my bad...lol

Diana is not bullsh*ttin with Atlantis as you can see. Ooo. Sigh. Alright. Gotta go update my other stories I’ve been severely neglecting 😭

Kara Zor-El - Cerberus_Spectre - Supergirl (TV 2015) [Archive of Our Own] (2024)

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