Kara Danver’s day started like it usually did. She woke up with the sun, blinking sleepily at the golden light, oh so different from the light of her home planet, and just stayed there for a minute or so, waiting for her brain to kick into gear.
And (un)fortunately, that kick into gear just so happened to come in the form of her younger cousin, Clark Kent, who crashed into her room, and landed right on her bed, somehow managing to deliver a blow to her stomach with his elbow. Kara wheezed, arms moving to wrap around the younger Kryptonian, holding him to her chest in a hug.
“What’s so exciting today?” she asked, letting her head fall back onto the pillow. Clark beamed at her, pushing himself up. She didn’t wince as he pushed down on the space right between her ribs. Clark was strong, but he wasn’t so strong yet that he caused any real damage to her.
“Can we start now?” Clark begged, doing the expression that he always used to try and get what he wanted. “Please? Please, please, please?”
Kara let out a small huff of amusement, remembering that, right, today was a gathering day, meaning they were getting visitors from the rest of the Justice League. That was both good, and bad.
She could understand why Clark loved getting visitors from the League. They all knew that he wasn’t human, and he knew their relatives’ identities, and it was just healthy all around for the gatherings to take place. No more lies. She knew that the other kids could take care of themselves; last time Clark had accidentally used too much strength, Kate had judo-flipped him and shoved him into the ground, hard.
It was bad because it meant last night they’d had to clean everything, because of social standards and whatnot, and well, neither she nor Clark were all that great at doing cleaning things. She thought it was passible, but she didn’t know.
The last few gatherings had been held on the Watchtower, at the Queen mansion, at Mount Justice, the Kane mansion, and a few other places that were all fairly secluded. It was the first time Kara and Clark were hosting the event. She wasn’t worried but… okay, fine. She was worried. The Kane mansion wasn’t the cleanest, but the Queen mansion had been spotless. And as for the Watchtower and Mount Justice… they weren’t exactly in need of a cleaning.
“Clark, some of them aren’t even awake right now,” she said, and he groaned, flopping down beside her. She let out a small breath of laughter, combing her fingers through his hair, and he buried his face into her arm, hiding. “Nobody’ll be here for another -” she glanced at the clock, “- half-hour. We still gotta eat and get dressed and do morning chores.”
Clark let out another groan, and she pushed him away, off of her. He made a grumpy face that meant he needed more instruction from Kate on how to glower at people, before he darted away, to change out of his Superwoman pyjamas and into his actual day clothes.
Kara herself sighed, giving herself a single second, before she blurred, moving at high-speed. She’d done her bed up, grabbed a change of clothes and changed, and was out the door in the time it took most people to get out of bed, if not less. Clark was already waiting on the porch, in jeans and a t-shirt and boots, and Kara led him across the gravel driveway that looped around the house and towards the barn.
They fed the cats - Eni, Meni, Minei, and Mo - filled the dog’s food bowl, and gave Bark a few pets on the back before moving on, and went through the barn’s horses. There were six total, three mares, and three stallions. Taking them out of the barn, feeding them, watering them, taking care of their hooves and manes and brushing them.
Kara mostly rented out the farmland, as she had very little of an idea about how farming worked. They made enough to stay afloat, which was good enough for her. They loaned the horses to the workers who rented the land, which was used for cattle pastures, instead of wheat or barley or canola or whatever else they might want to grow. But it was that weird time of year, where it wasn’t winter anymore, but nobody had seeded the fields just yet, meaning that it was practically the perfect time to have superpowered guests over. Nobody would notice, or at least, the chances were very, very low.
They finished with the horses, and released them to graze in the small, fenced-off pasture-esque section around the barn, before heading back into the house. Kara forced Clark into the shower - why do I have to shower today, we never shower after morning chores - took her shower, and started on breakfast.
The first to arrive were the Starling natives, Thea, Sara, Oliver, and Laurel. Thea, in a red leather jacket and jeans, Sara in her White Canary jacket, Oliver and Laurel in t-shirts. Both archers had bows and quivers, and the two canaries were seemingly unarmed. Kara knew that nobody in the League was ever defenceless - when Tim had heard that, he’d argued that inhibitor collars rendered those with powers practically defenceless, and Kara had amended that the non-meta members were never defenceless instead. She was certain that they had their cries somewhere, and that was good enough for her. She knew it was unlikely anybody would find the farm and try and attack it, but stranger things had happened.
“Hey guys,” she greeted, repeating the phrase in Kryptonian, just a simple greeting between friends. Sara laughed, and set down a plastic container, pulling the lid off to reveal freshly made raspberry tarts. Clark made a noise of clear interest, reaching forwards, but Sara swatted his hand away.
“Nuh-uh, Lil’ S,” she scolded, as Kara and Thea hugged, and Oliver scanned the room, eyes landing on the gun above the fireplace. Kara doesn’t ever keep it loaded, and it probably doesn’t even fire anymore, but it’s a nice enough decoration and other trespassers don’t know that it’s not loaded either. “Gotta wait for the others.”
Clark pouted, and Kara ran a hand over Laurel’s head, coming her fingers through her hair. The thirteen-year-old raised both eyebrows at her as if saying what are you doing, but didn’t say anything aloud, and Kara went back to the stove, picking up the bacon that’s sizzling with her fingers, and dropping the strips on the plate, which had a layer of paper towel on it to soak up the grease.
The kids, who were around the same age - they weren’t sure how old Kal was in relation to human years, but the League was reasonably certain that Krypton’s days were a lot different than Earth days; the planet was a lot further away from their sun, but their sun was much bigger, meaning that as a baseline, Kara and Kal were more durable against extremes than humans - gathered together, already chattering as Oliver snatched the remote from the coffee table in the living room, and flipped through channels, trying to find something good.
Thea and Sara found places to sit at the table, and Kara continued making the bacon and the pancakes, while the two vigilantes set out plates and cutlery. They’d brought their cutlery, which was smart since Kara had seen what the Gotham and Starling vigilantes acted like around each other, and heard a fair bit of their history. Using plastic knives and forks that probably weren’t going to be super-great at slitting throats, as opposed to the cutlery that she and Kal owned seemed like a good idea.
“Roy couldn’t come, finishing up some gang,” Thea said, as the three of them conversed, Sara leaning against the counter, waiting for the coffee machine to heat up. “But he doesn’t tend to like these gatherings unless Jason is here.”
That was true. Roy and Jason were, as Sara put it, heteroromantic platonic life partners. Kara found the entire gender and marriage debate more than stupid, but that was more because she was of Krypton than anything else; they had, well, they had a lot of genders. Kara didn’t even remember them all, and it was customary to introduce yourself in what most Earthlings thought was a very weird way. It was your name, your house, your occupation, secondary-addresses - on Earth, that would be what they called pronouns - and then a simple greeting. Earth’s greetings of just ‘Hi’ had been pretty odd to her.
“Eh, can’t win ‘em all,” is what Kara said instead of commenting on the potential implications of Thea’s phrasing, waving a hand around flippantly. “‘Sides, last time those two hooked up -”
In the living room, Laurel choked on nothing but air, and Oliver seemed more than happy to slam his hand into her back in an effort to clear her air passages.
“- there were more than a few explosions.”
Sara just shrugged. If her somewhat unstable grinning post-missions was any indication of her guilty pleasures, she liked when things went boom. Thea didn’t seem to be so happy about said explosions, but Thea had also gone deaf in one ear because of explosions, so she was allowed to hate them. Kara hated them because they hurt her ears.
A blur of energy whipped into the room, leaving Wally standing beside Thea, who’d reacted in a predictably manner for the former assassin, whirling around with one of the plastic knives and holding it to the speedster’s throat. Wally had both hands in the air instantly, and his nephew, Barry, was in the living room, having not picked up on the silent death threats that were happening behind him.
Laurel and Oliver however, did, both of them exchanging glances before shrugging and staring at the TV again. They’d ended up on what looked like a rerun of some old show, if the quality of the footage was any indicator, and Kara winced at the sound of polka music.
“Turn that off!” she shouted into the living room. “That fad died years ago, even I know that and I’m not from here!”
Kal scrambled for the remote, just like Barry did, but Laurel got there first, falling sideways across the chesterfield and pitching it over to Oliver as she hit the furniture, trying to get away from the meta-human and alien. He caught it in midair and started to browse channels again.
Thea had dropped her hands from Wally’s neck, and the Central City hero was relaxed again. He sped around the table, and by the time he stopped, there were another few containers opened, with what Kara recognized as STAR Labs high-calorie food bars, perfect for Kryptonians and speedsters.
“Where’s Jessie and Bart?” Thea asked, accepting the cup of coffee that Sara pressed into her hands, and taking a testing sip. She made a face, setting it down on the table, and sitting right beside her girlfriend-slash-partner, looking up at Wally. Kara flipped the pancakes, a stack of them already high on the table.
“Jess has, and I quote,” Wally began, the kids starting to argue over the remote. “A hot date with high school detention and Bart is showing solidarity.”
“They’re both in detention all weekend for more than a few things.”
Jessie and Bart Allen. They were Barry’s older cousins. For whatever reason, the West-Allen family was a lightning rod - no pun intended - for the Speedforce. Four members had already been hit by lightning and granted powers by it. Jessie and Bart by the same lightning bolt, Wally the first one, during the STAR Labs explosion, and Barry, only a few months prior.
“That’s just wonderful,” Sara said, with her usual amount of dry humour. She leaned forwards on the table, fingers wrapping around her coffee mug, hair tangled, signifying she’d had a shower before the Arrow’s had Zeta’d to the farm. “When are the others getting here?”
“So long as Gotham doesn’t have another crisis,” Kara sighed, because Gotham really was crisis central. There was a reason that the Clan didn’t let anybody run in willy-nilly, even if they had superpowers and were members of the League. “That group’ll show up soon. M’gann should be here around the same time.”
For a few minutes, it was peaceful, for their group. The kids had dissolved into an all-out wrestling war, with Laurel and Oliver kicking the other’s asses. It wasn’t unexpected since Kal had no intention of hurting anyone, and Barry was mostly just trying to get out of the way of the brawl. Kara finished up the bacon, setting it on the table, and Sara flipped open a switchblade when Wally made to grab the bacon, giving him the stink-eye. He froze and went back to watching the TV from the kitchen table.
Of course, the Clan came in with a fair amount of shouting and loud noise. Kara had been expecting such an entrance, had known it was coming. The first member of the Clan to burst into the farmhouse though wasn’t someone she knew. It was a dark-skinned boy, wearing a yellow and black windbreaker.
“Oh my god, why am I with this family?” he demanded, stumbling past the fridge and stove and table, and taking cover behind the far side of the stove, out of view of the doorway. “Somebody save me, please, oh god.”
“Duke!” Stephanie shouted, skidding in, somehow kicking off her shoes as she ran through the mudroom, and sliding across the kitchen tiles, which Kara knew were insanely slick. Despite having super-reflexes and being able to fly, she’d slipped on them the night before, as had Kal. But Stephanie kept her balance, making it look easy, and lunged for the boy, who was presumably Duke. “Jerkass!”
Duke let out a yelp, and scrambled to his feet, charging into the bathroom, Stephanie right behind him. Kate came in a few moments later, in leggings and a tank top, looking less than entertained by her siblings. She greeted the adults of the house with a sloppy two-fingered salute that Kara had thought was mocking the first eight times she’d done it but Kara could finally tell the difference between Kate being rude and Kate being Kate, so she knew it was more of a sign of respect. Slightly. Mostly, it was just Kate being Kate.
Kate trudged to the living room, and threw herself down on the couch, landing on Oliver. The kids had stopped arguing when Duke had burst in, scrambling to get to positions that might indicate some degree of orthodox behaviour, but when Kate landed on Oliver, more shouting broke out.
“What, it’s not like I’m going to kiss you!”
“Ew, Kate, that’s disgusting!”
“I’ll kiss Laurel instead, is that better?”
Cue the laughter from Batgirl. Kara heard the soft sigh from her right and turned to see a chunk of the Clan there. Dick and Barbara, with Tim, who was staring intently at his phone, fingers flying across the screen, and Cassandra. Either Damian was outside with the horses or had been left in Gotham alongside Carrie, Harper, Cullen, and all the others.
“Hey Kara,” Barbara greeted, stepping forwards for a hug. Cass was clinging to her back, despite being in her late teenage years, or early twenties. “Sorry about - Duke is still adjusting to what he calls -”
“You just bit me!”
“Biting is fair game!”
“Why the fuck are you guys insane!”
“You jumped off a bridge!”
“With no gear!”
“You don’t get to talk!”
“- I’m sure you can guess.” Barbara shook her head, moving towards the table, where Tim was already seated, looking longingly at the coffee that Thea had in her hands. “Tim, no coffee.”
He groaned, and his forehead dropped forwards, slamming down onto the table. Thea chuckled, and scratched at the back of his head, fingers combing through his hair. “Poor baby.”
He made a series of grumbling noises, and she laughed again. Cassandra appeared beside Tim, their chairs pressed close together, and rested the side of her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes. Tim just stayed there.
Greetings hadn’t even finished when M’gann arrived, with her nephew, J’onn. She was in the form of a woman who looked a great deal like Stephanie, if Stephanie was a brunette-redhead, while J’onn had gone for someone more like Duke, although perhaps a bit smaller. The proportions weren’t entirely right, his arms a bit too long, forearms and hands a bit too big, and he seemed too tall for the age he was mimicking, but it would hold up against anyone who saw him.
“M’gann!” Sara offered a fist-bump, which M’gann hesitantly returned, and the vigilante beamed. “And this would be?”
“John Jones,” J’onn introduced, glancing at his aunt, and then offering Sara a fist-bump, which she eagerly returned. “Megan is my aunt.”
“Nice.” Beaming, Sara, patted the seat beside her. “Stay with us, the kids are trying to murder each other.”
With excellent timing, Stephanie let out a war cry and body-slammed Laurel to the living room floor. Duke was pressed up against the wall, the TV off, Barry right beside him, vibrating half through the window. Kal was watching with interest, while Oliver was cheering the two girls on.
“I think I’ll stay here,” J’onn decided, and Sara laughed at that, even as M’gann sat down across from her, and beside her nephew. As J’onn was at the head of the table, it worked out like that. “It seems safer,”
“Nothing is safe when we’re around,” Tim said, sitting up straight, Cass still clinging to him. “We’ve met, I’m Red Robin.”
“Ah,” J’onn said, looking to M’gann a second time. She didn’t say anything, just raised an eyebrow at him, which was a skill that Martians in human form could pull off thanks to damn shapeshifting. Cheater. “Greetings.”
“You seem smart,” Tim leaned his head on Cass’s head, still watching J’onn. “Makes me wonder how you ended up with this band of crazies.”
“He flew after me in his ship and refused to let me take him back,” M’gann deadpanned, and Tim snorted.
“Oh yeah, you’ll fit right in.”
Done with the cooking, Kara called for everyone to gather around. As it turned out, Damian wasn’t around, which Kara was secretly glad about; the tiny assassin who’d nearly stabbed her with Kryptonite when they’d met was a metal image she never really got over, no matter how much time was placed between its occurrence and the presence. They had enough chairs, thank Rao, and breakfast went quickly, with the speedsters and Kryptonians ensuring that nothing went to waste.
And then it was clean-up time, which everyone under twenty-one - or anyone close enough - free to run around outside like the crazy people they were. Dishes, thankfully, didn’t take long, and Kara found herself on the doorstep, watching the kids run around playing some sort of tag.
She’d been more relaxed about using powers ever since she’d joined the League, and M’gann had helped retrofit a Kryptonian device that was meant to act as a perimeter alert and basic force field - it was more like a warning alarm than anything - to cloak any signs of meta-human or alien activity from sight, sound, and surveillance.
So Kara wasn’t worried when Kal jumped into the air to get away from Barry’s hand. She watched as the more noisy kids - or less shy ones - chased each other around, tackling each other to the ground, but kept an eye on Duke and J’onn, who were off to the side. They’d gotten on the barn roof, and Kara could hear them talking, seemingly energetically. They’d probably hooked up together as they were both new, and didn’t quite understand the social structure or whatever else might dictate the game below.
Oliver had started to shoot arrows as the game wore on, and Laurel released a meta-human-like scream from her Canary Cry, which was a sort of choker around her throat. It seemed to be a signal that everything was fair game, and both J’onn and Duke appeared in the playing field a minute later, at first wary, but then eager to join in.
“Got anything on that drug trafficking ring in Starling?” Thea asked Barbara, who sighed, leaning against the posts of the hand railing, a bottle of lemon-lime Gatorade dangling in one hand, the cap hanging from her fingers.
“Bigger than I thought it would be,” she admitted, taking a gulp. She tilted her head back, closing her eyes, and swallowed. “Most of it’s on paper, so I’m struggling to get what you need, but there is bad news.”
“Is this the bad news that made you scream and punch the wall?” Dick questioned, laying on his back on the concrete that paved the ground before the rock garden. Barbara opened her eyes, nodding. Dick groaned.
“They’re white supremacists. The real shitty ones who are against LGBTQ+ people. They’re kidnapping people, selling ‘em out, and -” she glanced at the kids on the field, before looking back at the rest of the League members. M’gann was sitting cross-legged on the top of the steps, Wally trying to coax a bug onto his finger on the second step. “- you’ve heard of correctional rape?”
Thea gagged. Kara winced. It was… it was bad. Anyone who wasn’t straight - that was pan, bi, gay, poly, lesbian, two-spirit, argr, and all the titles and sub-labels that people might choose to go by - would be forced into sexual activity, against their will, with someone of the opposing gender. And if they were trans female, they’d be forced to do it with someone who was female, regardless of how they identified. Same went for anyone non-cis.
“So, yeah.” Barbara guzzled about half the bottle before she spoke again, looking remarkably calm for someone who’d just dropped a bomb on the group around her. “Expect Kate to come flying in with a vengeance within a week, loudly screaming about her girlfriend. The one good thing about them though, they’re fairly open to feminism.”
“Joy,” Sara drawled blankly, nails digging into her kneecaps. “So they’re racist, bigoted pimps, but at least they think women are equal to men.”
“I wouldn’t say equal,” Barbara ventured, “But they’re not insanely sexist, so long as the person, they’re facing is white, straight, cis, and oh yeah, don’t have, and I quote, ‘A mental disease’.”
“Yeah, Kate is going to end up in Starling soon,” Dick agreed, covering his face with one arm as the sun came out. The dark veins that ran under his skin were showing, and had Kara not seen them many times before, she would have been creeped out. As it was, she wasn’t really. It was just how Dick was. Just like how Thea had tattoo’s and Sara had scars and how M’gann’s default appearance was supposed to be evil. They weren’t weird to her. They just… existed. “So if she vanishes, we’ll give you a heads up. Stephanie might be charging after her, she’s been very vocal about being aro of late.”
“That happens,” Thea said, leaning her head on Sara’s shoulder. “When you find yourself, you want to anchor yourself there. She’ll realize that she doesn’t have to try to be who she is soon enough. Just a matter of time.”
“Kara!” Kal shouted, and the Leaguers looked up, to the kids, who were all beaming. “Can we ride the horses?”
“Does everyone know how to ride?” Kara asked the adults. Everyone but Wally and M’gann nodded.
“J’onn doesn’t know how,” M’gann said, smiling fondly. “He’s never seen a horse, we had to spend some time around them before coming in. But he’s a quick learner.”
“Barry’s never seen a horse either. Not in person.” Wally added, and Kara looked back at her cousin.
“Make sure you do it right!” she called back, and there were several whoops of delight, the kids heading over to the barn, climbing and flying over the fence, and heading right into the building.
“Wish we did these more often,” M’gann admitted, lacing her fingers together and resting them on her ankles, which were crossed. “It’s always fun.”
“I think once every few months is enough,” Dick sat up straight, facing Wally, who’d coaxed the bug onto his fingers. The acrobat reached forwards, and pressed their fingertips together, giving the creature a place to escape too. “Remember last time?”
“That is a good point,” M’gann admitted. “But still. These are nice.”
“Good for your mental health.” Sara agreed. Dick snorted.
“Mental health? Does that even exist for any of us?”
“I meant the kids, dumbass.”
“Ah. That makes more sense.”