Supergirl (Kara of Rokyn):
Kal & Lyla
Nar-Es sat across from his charge, who was looking into the fireplace
of her home. “So, what are you going to do if Kal doesn’t like
“I’m not prepared for him to like it,” said Kara, sitting on the floor
in her pajamas, barefoot, and watching the flames flicker. “I’m
just hoping he’ll accept it.”
“And if he doesn’t?”
She looked at her old coach. “Then it still goes on. I
won’t have put out this much effort, involved this many people, and put
it in the tank. That’s not an option, Nar.”
The short man nodded, slowly. “But Kal might exercise an option,
Kara. He might cut you out of his life.”
“He won’t do that.”
She looked at him. “It’s a gift, Nar. The best gift I think
I can give to Kal.”
He spread his hands over his belly. “You sure about that?”
“What do you mean?”
“What I mean is that it seems more like a gift to yourself,” he
said. “You show your acting chops, you put together a movie
that’s bound to break the barriers at the box office, you make a lot of
money and you’ve got a triumph. All you have to do to get it is
break Kal-El’s heart.”
Kara sighed and sat cross-legged. “I can always count on you for
the truth, Nar. Or a truth I don’t want to face.”
“That’s one of the reasons why I’m here, Kara,” said Nar.
She smoothed her hair back with both hands and tied it in a bun at the
back. “I guess I’d better go see him tomorrow. I’m getting
good at confrontations with him. Maybe too good.”
“He’s got a big heart, Kara,” Nar said. “But that makes it so
much easier to break. You sure you want to do it?”
Kara paused. “I don’t want to hurt him, Nar. But I know now
what they mean when they talk about making art that hurts.
Sometimes it does, but even so...when you’ve got the art, you have to
make it. That’s a lame excuse.”
“Shouldn’t you have thought about this before you started?”
“I did. And if I thought about it too much, I never would have
started. Now I’ve got to finish it. I’ve got to go to
So it was that Kara Zor-El, in her Supergirl outfit, stepped out of the
WarPort in the Fortress of Solitude a day later and looked
around. Everything was pretty much the way it was a few months
ago, when she’d come to Earth to find a missing Kal. She hoped
that’d give her some leeway with him.
She also wore a version of her old Supergirl outfit, blue skirt and
all. The headband from her last outfit had been abandoned long
ago. It might have been intended as an equality statement, since
men were traditionally only headband wearers, but after awhile she just
thought it looked stupid. The suit she wore was patterned after
the one Allura had made for her, which Kal first saw her in. If
nostalgia could work for her, she wanted it to.
In one hand, she held a cube. Rubbing her fingers across its
facets, Kara walked through the entry hall of the Fortress, under the
big ship suspended from the ceiling on chains, beside the dinosaur,
within view of the big globe of Krypton held by the statues of Jor-El
and Lara. One of these days she had to build herself a secret
hideout on Rokyn, and she’d make sure it was equipped with a replica of
Argo City in the hands of Zor-El and Allura statues.
There were some cries from the animals in the alien zoo as she walked
along. Strange. She loved Earth, but more and more it felt
to her like a chapter in a book she had closed. Then again, she
thought, perhaps that wasn’t strange at all.
Well, to Sheol with that.
She leapt up, activated her flight power (holy Rao, that always felt
great!), and soared over the tiled floor to the golden front
doorway. This she unlocked with a simple mechanism and pulled
open with one hand, noting the great groaning noise and opining that
Kal should oil the hinges more often. Then she whisked out, into
the blowing snow and arctic cold. Showing off a bit, Kara blew
the door back in place. A second later, she plucked the
great gold key from its mountain peak socket, locked the Fortress door
anew, and flew the key back to the spot where, presumably, somebody
thought of it as an aircraft marker. That she doubted, but at
least nobody but Luthor among their foes seemed to care to come that
Then, squinting her eyes a bit against the snow, Supergirl streaked
southeast towards Metropolis. The falling snow against her
costume and body would be vaporized by air friction. The cube, as
invulnerable as herself, was safely tucked in the pouch of her cape.
It was time to meet with the cousin and cousin-in-law.
Clark Kent was carrying his early-fortyish age well, looked as
distinguished as a newscaster should, and all agreed that his marriage
to Lois Lane was beneficial to them both. Jimmy Olsen and Lucy
Lane took the copycat plunge shortly thereafter, though Lucy had to
endure a lot of Elastic Lad jokes from the bridesmaids.
“And that’s it for this evening,” finished Clark. “This is Clark
Kent, WGBS, hoping your news is good news. Good night.”
Josh Coyle pulled back the camera for a long shot of Clark fussing with
his papers and rolled the credits. In a few moments, he signalled
“Cut”. Clark exhaled loudly, pushed his glasses up a bit, and
rubbed the bridge of his nose. Lois was standing just off-camera,
visibly pregnant and smiling. Alongside her was a familiar
It took all his control for Clark not to call her “Kara.”
“Linda,” he said, getting up and being sure to wrap an arm about Lois’s
waist before he went to her. “What brings you back here?
And I’m glad to see you again.”
“Good to see you as well, Clark,” said Linda Danvers, pecking him on
the cheek. “I spoke a bit to Lois. Good to know you’ve got
another generation of Kents coming.”
“Two new ones, Linda,” said Lois. “Just like I told you.
Any chance you can be in town for the delivery?”
Linda shook her head. “Doubt it. Clark, can we talk in
He raised an eyebrow. “My office,” he said.
Lana Lang, Clark’s co-anchor, waved at the three of them. “Glad
you’re all getting back together,” she said. “For a long time
there, we thought Clark was gone for good.”
A shadow of sorts crossed Linda’s face, and was echoed by Lois and
Clark. The absence had been caused by Lex Luthor, who had
captured Superman for over a month. She had helped save him, but
the incident, in which Luthor had died, wasn’t something she cared to
dwell on overmuch.
“Yeah, Lana,” said Linda. “Good to see you, too.”
The three of them retired to Clark’s office, leaving a somewhat puzzled
Lana behind. Once the door was shut, Clark embraced his cousin
and she returned it. Lois smiled.
“Kara, Kara,” said Clark, his head on her shoulder. “Missed you
“Likewise, Kalian,” she said. “Blessings on your house.
Especially on the ones to come into it.”
“Well, if it hadn’t been for you, there wouldn’t be any new ones coming
into it,” said Lois. “Or a ‘house’, for that matter.”
Linda took a deep breath. “I need a favor from you, Kal.
And Lois, as well.”
Clark caught himself before answering. Kara’s pulse rate had gone
up, and she wasn’t bothering to conceal it. “Tell me,” he said.
She reached into her handbag and produced a cube. “I want you and
Lois to watch this with me. We’ll have to do it at the
Fortress. Do you have any plans tonight?”
“None that I can’t break,” he said. “Lois has to see this, as
“She should, Kal.”
“What is it?”
“Can’t tell you,” said Linda. “You have to see it first.”
Jaw set, Clark looked at Lois. She was resolute, but seemed as
clueless as he was, right now.
“Okay,” he said. “We’ll go to the apartment and take it from
One flight later, with Lois wrapped in her husband’s cape, the three of
them sat in the Fortress’s screening room. It was one of the few
places on Earth that could play the holocube Kara had brought with
her. She and Kal were in costume. Lois, in a brown suit,
felt a bit of nostalgia looking at them both.
Superman was showing some edginess. “Why can’t you tell us what
the movie’s about?”
“It would spoil the surprise,” said Kara, and knew how lame she sounded
as she said it. “Just do me a favor. Once it starts, watch
it to the end. And please, hold your comments.”
He said nothing. Kara went and put the cube in the player.
Within seconds, the logo of Ar-Rom studios materialized in the air
before them, in an English format. Lois, who had never seen a
holofilm, was awed.
The logo was replaced by a simulation of Krypton. Over it, a few
credits ran, including Kara’s own name and that of Van-Zee.
“Van?” said Kal.
“Oh, I know him,” said Lois. “He’s an actor now?”
Then the title came up: KAL & LYLA.
In a whisper, Kal said, “Holy Rao.”
Kara’s hand covered his, gently. “Please, Kal. Just watch.”
“Lyla?” said Lois.
Superman turned towards his wife, looking as grim as an
executioner. “Lyla. Lerrol. From Krypton.”
“Clark, what is this?”
“Please,” Kara said. “Just for me, both of you. Watch the
Kal fixed her with a look of absolute winter. Then he turned
towards the hologram.
Kara studied his face as he watched the show, and never once took her
hand from his.
When the end credits rolled, Kara wondered what Kal’s reaction would
be. She didn’t have very long to wait. He stood up and
stared directly into her eyes.
“Why did you do this to me?”
“Why did you do this to me?”
Lois was up as well, laying a hand on her husband’s arm. “Dear,
don’t do anything rash. Don’t do anything you might regret.”
“As if she hasn’t?” Kal was pointing to Kara. “You exposed
one of the most private parts of my personal life. You opened my
heart and splattered it all over a holoscreen. Am I supposed to
approve of it?”
“I did it to honor you, Kal,” Kara said, steadily. “I did it
because it was one of the greatest love stories of old Krypton. I
did it because you’re a human being, and the people of Rokyn deserve to
see you as human.”
“Oh. Good,” said Kal. “That way you can make pornography of
my life. That was you can exploit the memory of a woman I loved.”
“I wasn’t exploiting her, Kal! If anything, I was honoring her
more than I was honoring you. I got to know her, got to love her,
while I researched her and portrayed her. How many men and women
“—how many of them will learn who Lyla Lerrol was, because of this
After a few more seconds, Kal said, “You showed the most intimate
moments of my affair with Lyla.”
“Not the most intimate, Kal. Just the ones of the heart.”
“As I said.”
Lois said, “I’d like to say something here, Clark.”
“Lois, please,” he said.
“Don’t ‘Lois, please’ me, Clark! Even if you can pick up Mount
Everest with your bare hands and put it in the Gobi Desert, I am your
Kara made a small prayer circle of her two hands behind her back and
prayed to Rao, silently. Kal stared at her, close-mouthed.
“Does my opinion count for anything here? Or are you too hurt to
listen to anyone but yourself, at this point?” Lois looked at him
tenderly, but steadily.
He sighed. “She had no right to do that. Not without my
“Maybe she didn’t,” agreed Lois. “But it’s done now. And
you know what, Clark? It seems like a very, very good show from
what I saw.”
Kara stood open-mouthed. After an instant, she figured that was
the best thing she could do, for the moment.
“That was one of the most inspiring love stories I’ve seen as a movie,
and I’ve gone to a ton and a half of them,” said Lois. “You had
to take me to more than a few. Yes, Kara, it’s true: this old
newshen had a soft spot for Wuthering
“You don’t mean to tell me you’re taking her side on this?” With
the look Kal had, Kara was glad he was talking to his wife.
“It’s not about ‘taking sides’, Clark. She’s done a marvelous job
with this picture. Look. Your cousin saved your life,
almost a year ago. Didn’t she?”
“She did,” acknowledged Kal. “For which I’ll always be grateful.”
“Thanks, Kal.” Kara slipped her arm through his, and he didn’t
object. She sighed with relief.
“Do you think that someone who cared that much for you, who saved you
from Luthor, who enabled us to get married and me to be carrying your
child, would do something deliberately to hurt you, Clark?
Well? Would she?”
“It’s...not about what she deliberately did, Lois. It’s what she
did without thinking.”
Kara said, “It’s not that I didn’t think about it, Kal. I was
afraid of what kind of impact it would have on you. But it was
more a case of, once I’d thought of it, how could I not do it?”
“Oh, I can give you a lot of reasons why not to,” said Kal.
“Clark, hear me out,” said Lois. “I think Kara did this because
she loves you. Isn’t that true, Kara?”
Kara beamed. “Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Lois. Kal, listen
to my heartbeat and pulse rate. If I’ve just lied, you can tell.”
He looked into her eyes. “I can tell without doing that.
You’ve never lied to me, Kara.”
“She made a story about the greatest love affair in your life, before
you got married to me,” Lois continued. “Back then, neither one
of us was certain we were going to get hitched, even though I made a
lot of plots to that effect. You thought you were going to be
stranded on Krypton till it blew up. That is right, isn’t it?”
“Of course,” said Kal.
“Then how could I be offended by you opening your heart to a beautiful
woman and planning to marry her? If the real Lyla Lerrol was
anything like Kara portrayed her, I think she was worth loving.
Was she, Kal?”
“She was...that, and more,” said Kal. “More than even Kara could
“Oh.” Kara tried to put on her brave face.
“But you came closer than I could ever imagine anyone getting,” said
“Oh.” The brave face became much easier to maintain.
Kal sat. For a long time, he didn’t say anything. Kara went
to Lois’s side. “What should I say?”, she whispered.
“Nothing,” advised Lois.
“You’re really okay with a love story about Kal and somebody else?”
“Kara, honey, he has to do the news five nights a week sitting next to
the gal that was my biggest rival for years, and I’m not worried about
that. Lyla Lerrol is dead. I’m just glad he had something
before I landed him.”
“I’m glad he landed you.”
Lois smiled. “I’m glad you saved him so I could.”
Kal stood. “Kara.”
“I still don’t like what you did.”
Pause. “I’m sorry, Kal, for your hurt.”
“But you do have a lot of money invested in this show.”
“A lot of people who have to get paid.”
“Yes, Kal, they do.”
He turned away, then said, “I don’t want this movie playing on Earth.”
She hesitated. Cutting out the Earth market would cut a
significant part of the profits, but it would probably turn a profit on
Rokyn, at least. “Are you sure, Kal?”
“I’m sure,” he said. “And, Kara? If you ever do this sort
of thing again without asking my permission beforehand...I’ll never
speak to you again.”
“I understand, cousin.”
“I will not show up at any preview or give my endorsement to it,
period. Don’t have any newsies come to me for quotes or a
reaction. I won’t give them.”
“I’ll do what I can to keep them back. But you might want to come
to Rokyn soon, anyway.”
“And why is that?”
“Because I got Argo City back and had it de-Kryptonited.”
Kal turned back towards her. “Holy Rao.”
She nodded, smiling. “Think you might want to see that?”
“I would,” he said. “I would, indeed.”
Kal and Kara parted ways outside the Fortress, he carrying Lois
back to Metropolis, she headed in another direction. Within
seconds, both had reached their respective destinations. Hers was
one she hadn’t been to since her last trip to Earth, and she was a bit
nerved but excited as she landed in the backyard.
Midvale had expanded a bit, but not that much. She changed
clothes at hyperspeed and ran the comb through her hair that changed
its color from blonde to brunette. Finally, she opened the back
gate, walked around to the front, and rang the doorbell.
Edna Danvers opened the door and stepped back, wide-eyed and
Smiling, Kara nodded. “It’s me, Mom. The first me, that is.”
Edna’s mouth opened even wider. “You’re back again?”
“Yep. Can I come in?”
For answer, Edna opened the door wider and stepped back. As soon
as Linda crossed the threshold, her foster mother grabbed her in a big
hug. Kara gave it back. “Oh, Linda, it’s so good to see you
again,” she said. “Your sister was here not long ago. I
only wish she could have been here today.”
“Me, too. How are she and Dick getting along?”
“Oh, just marvelously. They’re planning on getting married in a
few months. How do I send you an invitation?”
“Just send it courtesy of Kal...I mean, Clark. He’ll make sure I
get it. Where is Dad?”
“Upstate at a power company meeting. I’ll give him a call.
Linda.” She looked seriously at her foster daughter. “Is
there something bad going on? Again?”
Kara sighed and shook her head. “No, Mom. I just had to see
Kal...that is, Clark...about something. How’s about we sit down
and I tell you about it?”
“I want to hear everything about it, and about you. Let me put
some water in the microwave for coffee. Taster’s Choice?”
And, over instant coffee, Kara explained to Edna Danvers just what had
been happening in her life for the past few months. As soon as
she got to a decent stopping place, Edna said, “When in heaven’s name
do I get to see it?”
“Uh, not right now, Mom. I didn’t bring more than one copy with
me, and you don’t have the equipment to play it on here.”
“It’s more than a DVD?”
Kara smiled wryly. “Just a bit. I’ll try to have a copy
converted for you, okay? I think you’ll enjoy it.”
“I should be very surprised if I didn’t, honey. Tell me some more
about this man you’re involved with.”
“He’s the guy who wrote the holo with me. He’s kind of short, but
he’s very sweet. Hasn’t been off-world yet, but I’ll try to bring
him along next time I come.”
Edna, sitting on the sofa beside Kara, shook her head in
wonderment. “You’ve made a big film. You got Argo City
back. Best of all, you’re safe and you’re not fighting anyone
this time. I’m so glad, Kara.”
“Thanks, Mom. Got any prayers left?”
“Because now that I’ve got Kal’s permission, I’ve got to release the
show. And if it doesn’t do well...I think I’d rather be facing