for the supercat slam: alternate universe
Lara Lor-Van watches time pass by as her niece procrastinates.
there’s something going on that Lara should have noticed earlier.
It’s not that she didn’t see that Kara was dealing something, it was simply the fact that she was a bit busy helping Kal-El with his newly-developed powers, though in retrospect it might have been easier to have her around to support then. After all, it wasn’t just Lara who had to get used to super-strength, super-speed, super-senses, freeze-breath and what Kara liked to call ‘solar flare’. Lily is a great help, but she isn’t Kryptonian, no matter how much advice she gives to their little boy.
Kara runs a flower shop in the centre of Metropolis and recently had been complaining about Perry White, editor in chief of the Daily Planet, on behalf of one of her regular customers – Perry White’s senior assistant slash second-best reporter, who had to buy flowers for him for his wife on the regular. Apparently he was a flirt and liked to take advantage of the interns lobbied in his direction, causing his wife to get pissy, for good reason. Kara’s regular customer, Cat Grant, thankfully never let herself be one of said advantaged employees.
Both Kara and Cat are each young twenty-somethings and had Lara any idea that Kara preferred women beforehand, she would have probably paid closer attention when that Kara wilfully admitted she had a crush.
As it is, Lara now has to deal with a crying Kara who had been rejected by Cat on the grounds of having a girlfriend already.
“Lois isn’t even nice to her! They fight all the time- she goes on about her all the time, I- I didn’t even realise they were together!” Lara listens to her niece rant, running her hand through Lillian’s hair. Her partner is listening just as Lara is and most likely has far more grasp on the circumstances than she does – Lily’s good at that, nevermind that it’s her own culture.
“Lois isn’t in love with her, Kara, just wait it out a few more weeks and see what happens – my sister is a brat,” Lillian advises, “If they stay together, I’ll be surprised.”
“Aunt Lois’ ability to stay with her partners is astronomically low,” Alexander even pipes up, not looking away from his advanced mathematics homework. Kara sniffs, wiping her eyes.
“But- but what if they stay together.”
“I doubt it,” Lillian and Alexander say as one, leaving Lara with a fleeting reminder of Astra and Alura, just for a moment. Lillian goes on to comfort her almost-niece, Kara coming over so sit down between Lara and the sofa-arm, curling up with a cushion in her lap. Lillian twist a hand up for Kara to hold, despite knowing Kara would do better to hold Lara’s – it’s another reason for Lara to love her partner, the woman who dragged her from a pit of darkness in the face of losing her planet and husband, with only her son and niece left as reminders. You left your husband for me, she thinks, treasuring the smiling human even more as Kara lets out a little laugh.
Later, Lois Lane and Cat Grant break up. Lara’s covering a shift in the flower shop, arranging a bouquet with gentle brushes of her fingers when Cat strides in, sunglasses hiding reddened eyes.
“Where’s Kara?” She sways a little as she comes to a stop and Lara straightens, pushing up the sleeves of her jumper like she’s seen on television, standing firmly in place. Cat seems to recognise the posture, matching her. “What is it?”
“Do you know who I am?”
“Catherine Grant, the one who turned down my niece,” Lara says with a shade of derision, narrowing her eyes, “Kara isn’t here. Do you need to buy Mrs White another apology bouquet?”
“No – I’m done with the Daily Planet. My loan finally came through. I’m heading to National City and I don’t know when I’m coming back. I- I had to say goodbye. I’ve been putting it off. I had my going-away party last night.”
“Oh,” Lara blinks, slightly taken-aback. Kara…Kara will be devastated. “You should have come sooner. To explain. Kara can’t come here to meet you – she’s looking after her cousins.”
“Your children?” Cat frowns lightly. “You look a little young to have…”
“One is my partners, but Kal-El is older, he’s ten,” Lara reveal reluctantly, “I am thirty-three.”
“Oh,” Cat echoes her earlier reaction, a silence following before Cat finally continues. “Would it be too much to ask for an address?”
Immediately, Lara wants to say no – their apartment is the only safe place their little family has, where Kal-El, Lara and Kara can all use their powers without fear that anyone will see. But Cat would have to know eventually, if Kara wanted to try having a relationship with her – she might already know because while Lara loves her niece, Kara isn’t at all subtle about using her powers in the flower-shop or even out in Metropolis. She whizzes about, practically flying, lifting heavy loads without ever seeming tired.
Also, the food. Their calorie intake every day is gastronomical, but rather than eat twice her weights worth every morning and night like the rest of them do, she snacks over the entire day. If Lara wasn’t sure she’d continue to do it anyway, even with six human’s worth of food at key points in the day, she’d force her to stop, if only for their secret and the mental health of those who actually bother to notice Kara’s always eating.
Shaking her head slightly, Lara gives an apologetic look, before finally deciding. “I’m sorry, I can’t.”
Cat leaves Metropolis and starts up her radio show. Lara takes the initiative and pays an extra monthly fee to get long-range so they can listen to her once a day, every afternoon from four till five. When her TV show starts to air, she switches from radio to television and they sit down before dinner to watch, Alexander and Kal-El doing their homework on the coffee table. At some point, a few years later, Alexander’s sister, Lena, joins them, a tiny girl with dark hair and sad eyes that light up in wonder when Kal-El flies up into the air to tidy a spider in the ceiling corner into a glass jar to take outside.
Kara pines. It’s sad to watch.
Somewhere around the millennium, however, there are new things to focus on. Kara moves out into the apartment above her flower-shop, studying part-time at Metropolis University to become a photographer, eventually advertising dual service as a wedding florist and wedding photographer, turning her apartment and the other two apartments above it into a gallery slash photography studio slash office. Lara is the one to help her renovate the attic into a new apartment, using the human architecture degree and builders’ diplomas she’d earned over her twenty years on earth to put in airy, slanted floor-to-ceiling windows and install a private bathroom.
Lara and Lillian themselves manage to get a townhouse around the same time Kal-El gets an internship at the Daily Planet, first payless and then paid as he proves himself up to the task, despite only having education in journalism via biweekly night-school. He even makes a friend, who he sends to Kara for an apprenticeship in photography. In Lara’s opinion, it’s the best idea he’s had since telling Alexander he should go to Oxford rather than Yale, reducing the fees they’d have to pay by literal thousands. James Olsen – Jimmy to everyone but Kara – is one of the most honest, caring boys Lara has ever met and she even forgives Kal-El for not telling them that James was his boyfriend, just because James told her it was fine.
Then Batman shows up in Metropolis and Lara is lucky that she’s Kryptonian, because otherwise she would have been killed by the explosions that subsequently wreaked havoc on their neighbourhood for over two months, before Batman caught the unlucky sucker.
Lena terrified and Lillian paranoid – after all, Lionel Luthor had been a close friend of Joseph ‘Firebug’ Rigger before his deployment – Lara orders her family to depart from Metropolis. Unfortunately, that is when the aliens start to attack their city and both Kal-El and Kara feel the pull to help. Lara, Lena and Lillian leave, but they all still worry. At least they know Alexander is safe in England, but more than once, Lara is reduced to tears by Kal-El and Kara’s many close calls and apparent deaths. Lillian is not much better, but she’s a doctor and knows her way around Kryptonian biology better than even Lara, who had studied it for close to a year in the Science Quarter when she went through the traditional year in each Guild as a teenager.
Lillian always knows whether different events can kill them and always has faith they’ll survive – Lara simply worries all the time.
Eventually, Kara moves away, following them to National City. She sets up a new building for her florist-photography business, leaving the deed and ownership of her first shop to James, who Kal-El moves into the attic apartment with.
“They’re fine in Metropolis, mom,” Kara assures her, “It’s Kal-El’s city – you know that he’ll keep it safe and in any case, if Superwoman is suddenly in National City, then maybe the attacks won’t be so centralised.”
“You promise to always have him on speed-dial?” Lara checks over her watch, flipping up the cover to view the crest of El in panic-button, panic-radio form. “You’ve made sure this works properly?”
“It’s works perfectly,” Kara assures her, “Not only did Alexander look over it once Kalex had produced it, but I went to Australia and Kal-El could still hear mine.” It does a lot to assure Lara that her son and niece would always be in contact.
Then, of course, Cat Grant comes swanning back into their lives, hiring Lena as a part-time babysitter for her five-year old son, Carter, in conjunction with another college-student, Alex Danvers. Kara is as smitten as always and the Queen of All Media looks properly at her now…
Except, that was always the way Cat looked at her.
Lara watches them dance around each other for a while, developing a routine that reminds Lara more of herself and Lillian than a set of best friends. Even Lena and Maggie’s relationship is far more paralleling than Lena and Alex’s – and Lena and Maggie have only been together for two months, at this point, Maggie busy with police academy. Kara brings Cat coffee, laser-hot and exactly how she likes it – sometimes, Cat even brings Kara her favourite, too, to Kara’s surprise every time, because she never thinks that Cat actually knows her favourite coffee order – and delivers her lunch to her office in the CatCo building, over twenty minutes from where Kara’s shop is based.
Cat in turn…Lara doesn’t know, most likely doesn’t even see it properly. Cat lives a different kind of life to anyone else’s she’s seen, except perhaps Alura – and Alura too, showed her love in ways Lara never comprehended. Though, to be quite fair, Lara and Jor-El were one of very few couples on Krypton that actually loved each other. To Lara’s knowledge, Alura and Zor-El were only best friends, even if they loved each other deeply as that, as friends.
Cat and Kara are not best friends.
Often, actually, they argue. It’s a companionable kind of arguing, but still argue – like how Superwoman should do more to earn the people’s trust and some likeability if the fire department doesn’t appreciate how she comes swanning in to do their job for them or that it wouldn’t be conducive to go through all the checks to see children in hospital, as it could lead to her secret identity being revealed.
Oh yes, Cat knows Kara is Superwoman. She’s also aware that the majority of Kara’s immediate family are aliens, too. Lara was horrified the day Kara came to visit with Cat and Carter in tow, just in time for the blonde to see Lara put out a minor electric fire from a toaster that Alexander had been fiddling with last time he was in the US, the week before, with freeze breath.
“Just kiss already,” however, is apparently too obvious a thing to say, even ten years later. Unfortunately, Lara said it and she refuses to take it back. Lillian just shakes her head before continuing to let Carter quiz her and Alex on their jobs in the DEO while never answering his questions directly.
Cat and Kara are together by the end of the day and engaged before the month is out. Lara just wonders if that was all it would have taken twenty-seven years ago.