(2014-06-02) Cousins Converse
Cousins Converse
Summary: The last time Linda Danvers and Karen Starr got together, the skies over Leesburg got rather exciting, and not in a good way. Linda has come to Metropolis in search of her cousin. This time, they only talk. No yelling. No screaming. No punching. How boring!
Date: 2014-06-02
Related: Various
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

Where: Dorms - Metropolis U — Metropolis Village

With finals long since over, Karen Starr is still in the dorms at Metropolis University, already engaged in the work for her summer semester. The way to graduate early with a dual Engineering degree is to work ones' butt off; no such thing as Spring Break or Party Summer for the likes of Karen Starr. Which doesn't mean she has no fun. Just not that kind of fun.

At the moment, the tall blonde has her StarkPad connected to her MetroTech computer, using its holographic display interfaces to display three-dimensional wireframes of two of her projects, which she is manipulating carefully for comparisons. It's not quite as good as using the JARVIS system on the station, or the symbioship, but it'll do. And it's the same tech everyone else is using for their projects, so fair is fair.

Word comes to Karen that her cousin is waiting down at the lobby. In this modern day and age no one just walks into a dorm anymore. There's security and check-ins. In theory, it keeps the students safe.

When Karen comes downstairs it will become clear why the desk clerk had no problem believing that Linda is Karen's cousin. After all, what's waiting isn't mousy little, tomboyish brown haired Linda Danvers but tall, curvy and blonde Linda Danvers, dressed in jeans and, as part of a fit of irony, a white t-shirt with Karen's version of the S shield on it.

Karen taps her earpiece to her StarrGaze glasses, and picks up the call. "Karen Starr. You have a guest in the lobby. Guest identifies as Linda Danvers." The blonde blinks a moment. She had just been talking and thinking about Linda last night, and now she's here? Here in Metropolis?

Karen locks up and logs out of her systems in an all-fired, blazing fury and dives for her door, practically running for the stairs rather than wait for the elevator. And then …

Karen looks a tad non-plussed. Sure, she knows this is Linda. But she thought Linda was still staying as herself in her civilian identity. Nevertheless, her hesitation is momentary.

"Computer, recognize Starr, Karen."

"Karen Starr, recognized."

"I acknowledge this woman is my guest, my cousin Linda Danvers. Please admit one, on my verification."

"Admitting one to your verification. Linda Danvers, please accept temporary visitor's pass, printing now."

The copper-oxide printed microdot code on a peel sticker base will scan by all of the systems at Metropolis University and identify Ms. Danvers, giving her appropriate Guest access to University facilities on Karen's provision.

Once Linda has her badge on, the door will buzz open to admit her, and Karen, a tad hesitatingly, moves forward to embrace her cousin. "Hi, Linda. Welcome to Metropolis. It's good to see you …" She's trying not to be too gushy, but damnit, all the feels.

The hug remains awkward. Not as awkward as it could be but it isn't all love and cuddles. Linda returns it, squeezing because she can and it is NICE to not have to treat someone as if they are made out of tissue paper.

"Hi." Linda says after a moment. "So. Um. Yeah. I guess we should talk. Not here, though."

In Karen's room. Away from eyes and ears and, in theory, cameras. Well, cameras not controlled directly by Karen anyway.

"I owe you an apology. Don't say anything, okay? I need to get this out." Linda says as she sits on the dorm room's futon and looks out into the Metropolis night. "For a long time I've been blaming you for my problems. You were the person everyone admired in the family. When they brought up accomplishments they were your accomplishments. Science fairs and perfect grades and multimillion dollar prizes. And you weren't even ugly." She smiles, though bleakly. "And then I found out you were a superhero and an alien and it seemed even less fair. Life, I mean. But…"

Linda takes a deep breath. But a normal one. She doesn't suck all the oxygen out of the room like she could.

"… that isn't fair of me. To you. You aren't responsible for the problems in my life. You didn't ruin my life just because you are you. I see that now."

"OK. Sure. C'mon up, we can talk in my room. If that's OK?" Karen offers, feeling all shy and unsure of herself. She so wants this to go well. So she leads Linda up the stairs, down the hall, and beeps them into her room, then closes the door. Linda's super-hearing would pick up that Karen did something to activate some white-noise countermeasures, and block the cameras. They are private, and alone.

Karen is about to say something - to welcome Linda again, or offer her a seat, or a drink, or something - when Linda starts. Karen nods, silenly, agreeing to the request that she let Linda lead. Instead, she sits down in her chair, and motions Linda towards the bed, hoping she'll make herself comfortable. And she stays quiet. Listening.

"Is it OK, if I say something, now?" Karen inquires, when Linda is done. She is deeply relieved that Linda can accept, on her own, that Karen wasn't responsible for those things. But that doesn't - yet - make them the friends, and family, she wants them to be.

"I'm glad that you see that, now. I want you to know that you are my cousin. It may be corny. I don't care. I love you. And I want you to be happy. I'm not sure what I can do to help that, but I want to try." Karen explains. "That's what family does. Or tries to do, anyway."

"Maybe." Linda doesn't give a positive response to that outreach. She doesn't even look at Karen. She scans the city, looking into the lives of the citizens with eyes that can see for miles and a day.

"I don't know you, Karen. You don't really know me." Linda says a simple truth. "I'm not sure I know me, either. But I'm done fighting with you. There won't be anymore of that."

"I don't know you, Linda? You don't know me?" Karen doesn't like that at all. "That's not true. Do we know each other as well as I would like? No. Do I hope we'll get to know each other better? You bet." Karen's not going to deny they could be closer - or that she wants that. "But I know how much you enjoyed riding, and brushing down and taking care of the horses at camp. And I remember us swimming together at the lake. And dishing about how handsome Pastor Marcus was, before he left."

Karen leans in, but she stays in her chair. She can tell Linda isn't ready for more yet. "I want us to be closer. I always have. And now, for reasons neither of us yet understands, we can be. The one thing I had to keep secret from you, no matter how much I didn't want to, I don't have to anymore. We can share that, together. And we don't have to just see each other once a year for a few weeks or a month or two. We could see each other every day, if we wanted." Not that she's advocating for that; she gets the they'll both need some distance now and again. To live their own lives.

"I made you a promise over Leesburg, Linda." Karen finally offers. "I intend to keep it. I'll tell you what I want. What I hope. And I hope you'll do the same. But the decisions are yours."

"We were eleven, that summer. Well, I was eleven and you were fifteen." See? She knows how old Karen is. Probably even remembers the date of her birthday.

Linda's quiet then as she scans Metropolis. That strange, futuristic city where everything seems so orderly and neat and simple. "I've got a hole in my memory. The years before that? Skipping school. Shoplifting. Some sex. Some drugs. Parties. Tagging and skating wherever I knew it would piss dad off." Her father, the cop.

"Yes, we were." Karen admits, nodding. They've spent time together since, but not as much. Some of that was because Karen had to rush off sometimes to be Power Woman; it was only a year later that started up. Has Linda realized how young Karen was when she started? Some of that was also Linda, becoming the more rebellious teenager, resisting time together, cutting it short any way she could. Karen never understood that stuff, until very recently.

"I knew some of that was going on. Not all of it, obviously." Karen admits. "And I won't pretend to fully understand why, either. I may have lots of tricks, but I'm no telepath. But I can promise you that I never stopped caring. I don't know, but I don't think your parents did, either. But I think maybe some of their priorities got a bit screwed up. Might even still be. And I know for sure that you got hurt. And I hate that. I never wanted that."

Linda lets out a long sigh. "Anyway. That's what I came to say." She stands up. "I'm sure it would screw up your security if I went through the window instead of back out through the door so… anyway. I'll see you around. I'm breaking rules by being here. I'm supposed to be in Salem Center right now, studying." She heads for the door. "I'll see you around, Karen."

"Listen. Any time you want to come see me, you're welcome. And if you need me to get the school off your back about it, I will." Karen offers. "I could hack the security and log you out. But it would be easier, if you went back out the front. I just hope you really will come see me again." Having put herself out and been completely vulnerable, Karen knows she has to leave it like that. She wants so much more. But clearly, she's not going to get it today.

Linda pauses by the door. "Maybe." She says. It is all she can say right now. She opens the door and leaves, closing it behind her. Not inviting Karen to see her off. She'll wait until she's outside and behind a corner before she morphs full into her Supergirl uniform and takes off into the sky. Heads for the school again. It wasn't a perfect visit but she couldn't be a teenager if she didn't still have some angst in her life now, could she?

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