Disclaimer:Supergirl and other affiliated characters are owned by DC. Any original character in this story (The Shadow) is owned by JBAT13
Kara grumbles as she kicks through the Metropolis snow. The weatherman lied when he said Metropolis wouldn't get any until December. Not that she doesn't like snow, it's just she hadn't expected it. Besides, the snow isn't why she is mad, it's her cousin Clark Kent. When she told him she wanted to spend time with Oracle and Batgirl in Gotham City, he became extremely adamant.
The excuse he gave her was the city had grown too dangerous. She pointed out they are both invulnerable. So of course, his next excuse was Batman was out of town and apart from Batgirl, some kid called The Shadow were the only two heroes there. Clark told her he didn't know much about him and didn't feel comfortable having Kara work with him if the chance arose. Thankfully, Lois came to the rescue and told Clark to relax and let her go.
"It's good she's spending time with people other than us," said Lois while ordering Kara's plane tickets. Even though it would be easy for Kara to fly to Gotham on her own, Clark wanted her to travel once in a while on an actual plane.
While Lois typed on her laptop, Clark left to patrol. As soon as he left, she quietly closed the computer and helped Kara with her packing. "As much as I agree with my husband on things, I'm going to disagree with him this time. You can fly to Gotham on your own. Just make sure no one sees you."
"I'll travel at night."
Once they finished packing, she told Lois she was going for a walk. Before leaving though, Kara called Stephanie to tell her she was definitely spending Thanksgiving with her and her mom. That was another a reason Clark didn't want her to go, it would be the first holiday she didn't spend with him.
As she kicks the snow, her foot hits something and a brick flies out of it and shatters against a wall. Kara flinches and looks around to make sure no one saw her accident. Every so often she passed a couple or an individual racing to get home and get warm. The streets and sidewalks are practically empty with the exception of a few cars. Since the cold doesn't affect Kara, she has no reason to rush. She turns the corner and walks towards the Metro Diner. Just because the cold doesn't affect her, that doesn't mean she can't enjoy a cup of hot cocoa like everyone else.
The snow starts to fall in the November Gotham night. The streets seem quiet, too quiet for The Shadow as he swings through Gotham using his grapple. He looks for any signs of trouble but there are none. Batman said crime was at an all-time low. He thought they were waiting for a big December. Shadow does a quick loop around before heading home. He enters his room via his balcony and changes. He glances at the time, it is only 1 am. Great,he thinks, a chance for some real sleep. He looks at the comfort of his double bed before slowly climbing into it. He falls straight asleep, for once.
Kara arrives in Gotham City two days later with her suitcases. Clark caught wind of her plan to fly without a plane but didn't put up a real fight; mostly because Lois was in Kara's corner. Once everything got settled, she called Stephanie and showed up in Gotham fifteen minutes later. Clark made her promise to take her time getting to Gotham and enjoy the flight; that much she could agree on.
"Kara!" Stephanie runs out of the house once she sees Kara and gives her a big hug. She's not usually bubbly like this but sometimes Stephanie's girly side shows. Kara fixes her glasses and pulls away from the smiling blonde. "Let's go inside." Stephanie composes herself and leads Kara by the arm. "My mom isn't home. She won't be 'til later."
"Batman doesn't have you on patrol tonight?"
"No, he's got the new guy doin' it."
"You mean The Shadow." Stephanie looks back at Kara after she stops on the stairwell to fix a crooked picture hanging on the wall.
"Lemme guess, Superman told you." Kara nods and Stephanie continues to lead her to the bedroom. "Figured as much. Supes never met 'im, but that doesn't stop him from having some level of distrust of the guy." Stephanie plops on her bed and Kara drops her bag at the foot of the bed before doing the same. "Do you know why Superman doesn't like him?"
"Not really. Kal's usually quick to trust. I think Batman's gotten to him."
"I guess." Stephanie suddenly pops off the bed and goes to rummage through her drawers. "I'm gonna take a shower. Feel free to go down stairs and cook something up for us to eat."
"You want me to cook?"
Stephanie turns around and crosses her arms. "Would you rather I do it?"
Kara makes a face. "Good point." Stephanie narrows her eyes at Kara then throws a bra at her, who ducks out of the way then whacks Stephanie with a pillow before running out of the room.
Kara heats up a frozen garden pizza and sits at the table to read the funnies in today's newspaper. She goes through them quickly then turns to the back for the puzzles. Everything is done except for the Sudoku puzzle. Kara figures Stephanie left it alone for her. She finishes the puzzle with plenty of time to take the pizza out of the oven.
As she's pulling it out without using oven mitts, she can hear Stephanie come in the kitchen. "Every time you do that I have a mini-heart attack." She leans over Kara's right shoulder and sniffs the air. "Smells good."
Kara smiles before pulling a pizza cutter out of a drawer. "So, got anything planned for us?"
"Not really," says Stephanie as she sits at the kitchen table. "We can go ice-skating tomorrow and maybe see a movie before then. I'm kinda goin' day-by-day." Kara puts two slices, each on their own plates, and sets them on the table. "Ooh, I do have tickets for the Thanksgiving basketball game."
"Basketball? Steph, I'm not really one-"
"I know, I know. You're not really one for sports. But the point guard for GCC is really good. I think you might even like the game. Ouch!" Stephanie sticks her burnt fingers in her mouth after touching the hot pizza.
"Careful, it's hot." Stephanie throws a pen at Kara while the Kryptonian takes a bite of pizza; it misses her by an inch.
"Now you tell me."
They finish the pizza quickly and head upstairs to get ready for bed. Kara is done first and asks Stephanie about the point guard while she's getting ready. "What's his name?"
"The point guard's."
"Oh it's," Kara hears Stephanie spit before she continues, "James Rola."
"How do you know him?"
"We're in a math class together. He me gave the tickets a week ago and told me to bring a friend."
"That was nice of him."
Stephanie walks in the room and closes the door behind her. "Yeah, well James is a nice guy. Cute too."
"Do you fancy him?"
She plops down on the bed next to Kara and raises and eyebrow. "Fancy?"
"I'm trying out some new words."
"Obviously, and no." She rolls off the bed and pulls the sheets back. Kara follows suit. "Tim's more my type but you might like him. He's good looking, fit, smart, and everyone likes him."
"Let me guess, the downside is he's arrogant."
"Confident? Yes. Arrogant? No."
"Sounds too good to be true."
Stephanie turns out the light and settles into bed with Kara. "Hey, don't knock 'im 'til you try 'im."
"Whatever," Kara mumbles in her pillow. "Good night Steph."
James Rola wakes up and checks his emails and texts. It's 6:30 in the morning but he is wide awake. He never sleeps well so he's gotten used to sleeping lightly. It also means he doesn't need alarms. He sees a message from Batman. It says 'Equus was spotted in Metropolis last night. Superman dealt with it. Oracle and Batgirl will be inactive for part of this week, Supergirl will be with them. Watch for activity from Black Mask and Penguin in the Industrial District'.
James reads about Supergirl and has a slight memory fade. He then remembers Stephanie talking about her friend Kara visiting. He had read the file Batman kept on Supergirl. He had worked with Superman before and they seemed to understand each other fine, but Supergirl had some red flags in her file. He starts to download it from the Batcave server for future use.
He heads downstairs and sees Scarlett is up and made coffee. James walks through the kitchen and makes his own breakfast. He doesn't drink coffee, it would make him reliant on it to wake up and he doesn't want that. James and Scarlett casually talk while having breakfast. They are the only two in the house. Daniel is at his girlfriend's and spending the winter over there. Laura is traveling with her work and Charlotte, their mother, is not home. Much to no one's surprise.
James and Scarlett always interact well with each other. He always spends a lot of time with his older sister. But recently they haven't been able to spend quality time with each other like they used to. James is determined to change that.
Scarlett asks him, "Could you clear the snow away from the driveway? I'm going to need to get the groceries."
James nods and heads outside to do so. He heads out into the cold but ultimately sunny morning in heavy duty gear. He isn't that cold, but Scarlett wouldn't let him go out it if he didn't dress for the weather. The last thing he needs is his sister on his back. He grabs a shovel out of the garage and starts to clear the snow. The road is still relatively empty but the chimneys on his street are going at full capacity. He moves the snow out of the way and within 20 minutes clears the driveway of snow. He remembers he needs to go the Gotham City College's library to meet Ben. They're going over footage of the Metropolis College Giants so they have an idea what to expect for their Thanksgiving basketball game.
Basketball is a getaway for him, from the pain and the seriousness of what he does. It gives him a break from reality. James heads back inside to do his stretches to help strengthen his body. He also re-reads the Supergirl file; Superman's little cousin with a lot of potential and a lot to learn. Batman noted that she is headstrong and careless at times. He thinks he better monitor her and make sure she doesn't do anything destructive.
The warmth from the sun shining through Stephanie's bedroom window wakes Kara. She feels her body charge and enjoys the slow warmth that fills it, until the jarring whine of the alarm clock interrupts. She mumbles some unintelligible expletives as the alarm sounds. "Steph, turn it off."
"Idonwanna," is all she hears as Stephanie snuggles deeper into the sheets. Kara tries tolerating the incessant noise for another five seconds before reaching over Stephanie and crushing the clock. When she goes back to her side of the bed, Stephanie looks at the destroyed clock. "You owe me an alarm clock."
"I'll get you one for Christmas."
"Make it an early Christmas. I need it for classes."
Kara and Stephanie stay in bed for another half hour before unanimously deciding to get up for the day; mostly because the smell of pancakes makes its way up to them. Deciding food is a good incentive as any to get out of bed, they make their way downstairs to see Stephanie's mother cooking.
"Good morning Ms. Brown."
"Good morning Kara." Ms. Brown has her back to Kara so she doesn't see Stephanie shove Kara then point at her face. Just before Ms. Brown turns around, Kara super speeds upstairs and grabs her glasses off the nightstand. "Did you girls sleep well?"
Stephanie goes up to her mom and kisses her on the cheek before grabbing a hot pancake off the plate. "Yep." She doesn't expect them to be as hot as they are and inadvertently throws it at Kara, who catches it with ease. Ms. Brown doesn't see what happened or pretends like she didn't and goes back to the stove. She takes a small pot and pours its liquid content into a glass pitcher. "Mom? Did you heat up the syrup?"
"Of course sweetie."
"But you never do that. What's the occasion?"
"Nothing special, except," she kisses the top of her daughter's head and sets the pitcher on the table, "I get to spend Thanksgiving with two of the prettiest blondes in the world."
"Wow Ms. Brown. Who's the other blonde?" Stephanie kicks Kara underneath the table, but regrets it as soon as her toe makes a cracking sound when it hits the Kryptonian's shin.
Ms. Brown rolls her eyes and grabs three plates from the cabinet. "What do you girls have planned for today?"
"Well, I've got to grab some things from the library before it closes," says Stephanie while rubbing her foot. "Other than that, nothing much. Oh, Kara and I are gonna catch a matinee then go ice-skating. Wanna come?"
"I wish I could sweetie but I've got to work. But I'll see if I can meet you for skating. Can't promise anything though."
"Okay, that's fine." Kara doesn't need her powers to know Stephanie is disappointed. She understands her mom has to work, but sometimes all a girl wants is to spend time with her mom.
James starts to plan his patrol route for the night. With Supergirl in town, he wants to operate within the area that surrounds Stephanie's house. He checks his phone and sees it's time to go to the library. After saying goodbye to Scarlett, he gets into his car and sets off for the college. He notices while driving how quiet Gotham is, even at midmorning. He reaches the college and parks the car. The campus is empty, everyone is taking days off to study for upcoming exams. He gets out of the car and walks through the chilly air into the campus.
"Stay here. I'll only be a minute." Kara watches Stephanie run up the steps of GCC's Morris Library."And don't get into trouble while I'm gone."
"Hey! That's my line." Stephanie sticks her tongue out at her blonde counterpart and runs inside but not before slipping on ice and almost landing on her butt. Kara suppresses her laughter as Stephanie composes herself then walks inside the old building.
Not wanting to hang out at the bottom of the stairs, Kara walks across the snow covered campus. It snowed during the night so most of Gotham is covered in a fresh blanket of white. She walks across the quad and watches as each footprint leaves its mark. In fact, she becomes so fascinated with it she starts walking backwards to see how her footprints change. Unfortunately, it means she doesn't see the large sheet of ice on the ground.
The back of her head hits the stone walkway with a loud crack. The obvious good news is she's okay. The bad news is the pavement is not so lucky. She slowly gets up and turns to inspect the damage when someone calls out to her.
"Are you okay?" Kara looks up to see James Rola jogging towards her. He pulls Kara up with one hand and takes his first real life look at who Supergirl is. I hope she doesn't fight like this, is the thought that crosses his mind as he looks down at the sidewalk then back at her.
Kara tries to think of an excuse for the damage as he looks at the pavement then at her. "Guess the endless snow caused the sidewalk to crack. Looks like my fall didn't help either." Kara adjusts her glasses and looks James in the eyes. "Hi, I'm Kara."
James takes her hand in his and shakes it. "James."
"Nice to meet you James."
"Likewise, you sure you're okay?" Kara nods. An awkward silence follows until James looks at the library and sees Stephanie bounding down its stairs and rushing towards them.
He already knows the connection between the two blondes but plays dumb. "A friend of yours, Steph?"
Stephanie giggles a little. "Yeah." She grabs Kara by the elbow and drags her away but stops and turns back to him. "Um, could you drop your math notes off at my house later? Preferably before Thanksgiving if you're not too busy."
James replies. "Sure, I got to go. I'll see you around." He politely waves then climbs the steps before entering the library. He quickly heads to the basement. Ben told him there were rooms just for film analysis the English and Film Studies people use. It is free and ideal for what James and Ben need it for. He keeps thinking about Kara, the risks she poses being in Gotham, and without Superman around she could become a target.
He finds the room with Ben in it. "You're late."
James sits down in the empty chair left for him. "Had to help a girl up after she slipped on the ice."
Ben smiles. "She cute?"
James almost cracks a smile but replies. "If that's what you're into." Ben knows this stands for 'yes'.
"You get a name?"
James lies and says "No, didn't stop and chat."
"Come on man, you got to get yourself a girl. There are plenty here that can't resist you."
"I can't. It puts them in danger."
"You don't have to tell them about your hero side."
"But then I would be lying to someone I care about, I hate doing that. And all those awkward answers about why I can't spend the night with them will get too much." Ben nods understandingly then turns the TV on and the first game tape starts to play. "So we've played these guys before, what do you think we need to exploit?"
"I only grabbed plays revolving around their point guard and a side pick-and-roll. All the other positions, we need to track their movements on where the point guard goes to. We pick up on that, we should be able to make defensive adjustments and make scoring difficult for them."
James watches a few clips before asking "Defensively?"
"Their switching off picks and rolls to play help defense, when the ball starts to move around it's slow. If we make quick passes from screens, we should get open looks. Their point guard isn't exactly the fastest defender either." James smiles a little at this. They watch over 100 tapes, making observations and suggestions on how to disrupt their opponent. It's about 3pm when they call it. "I think we are ready."
James replies "I'll see you tomorrow at the game." They head for their cars and leave the snow ridden campus. When James gets home, the house is quiet. He heads up to his room and does a little bit of studying as he waits for the night to set in. As soon as it is dark and Scarlett lets him leave the table, he changes into his Shadow suit and heads out on patrol.
Kara and Stephanie's night flew by. They saw a matinee showing of the new Warrior Angel movie then went to Siegel & Shuster's Hollywood Diner for dinner. After spending two hours there, they took a walk to the outdoor ice-skating rink. Even though it was an excellent night, Kara could tell Stephanie was growing more upset by the hour when she realized her mom wasn't going to make it. When Stephanie's sadness was starting to overpower her happiness, Kara decided it was time to go home.
On their walk to Stephanie's house, Kara brought it up. "Your mom is doing her best, you know."
"I know, but I'm getting tired of her sacrificing time with me just to pay the bills."
"Sometimes sacrifice is needed."
Stephanie stops walking and faces Kara. "Why do I have to be its victim?"
Kara shrugs and kicks at a clump of snow. "I don't know. I just know that your mom loves you and thinks she's doing what's best for you. You can't blame her for that, can you?"
Stephanie sighs and shakes her head. "I guess not." They keep walking until their two blocks or so from Stephanie's house. Kara makes an abrupt stop and looks at the sky. "You okay?"
"No. The weirdest feeling just came over me. I think someone is watching us."
"Do you know who?" Kara scans the area around them and sees three men in the shadows watching them. She takes Stephanie by the arm and continues walking. "Three men are watching us. Seven-o-clock."
"Think they'll attack?" Kara sees the twinkle in Stephanie's eyes and knows she's itching to take the men down if they try anything.
"I'm not sure. Probably not though, it's too bright out."
Stephanie pats Kara hand. "Well don't worry. If anything happens, I'll protect you."
Kara tries to suppress a smile and shakes her head. "My hero." Stephanie smiles and picks up her pace. The two travel another block before Kara is positive the men are not following them.
When they get to the house, Stephanie goes upstairs and grabs a towel from the linen closet outside her room. "All that skating made me sweaty. I'm going to take a shower."
"Okay." Once Stephanie is in the shower, Kara changes into her Supergirl uniform and takes off. She needs to make sure those men aren't planning on trying something unsavory.
Shadow crouches on a gargoyle overlooking the streets. He is near Stephanie's house keeping an eye out for Supergirl. Oracle speaks to him saying Killer Moth is loose and if Shadow sees him to take him down. He ends the transmission and gets back to surveying the street. He watches couples walk in and out of diners and bars, happy. Some days he wishes he was down there. His dad said to him that he would have loved to see James' kids. He said that a week before he died. James would never forget that. Shadow thinks to himself, Someday maybe.
His train of thought is broken by a sudden gust of wind. He sees Supergirl land on a billboard and survey the area around her. Shadow narrows his eyes and gets prepared to tail her. As Supergirl takes off and soars through the Gotham night sky, she is unaware of Shadow's presence. He tracks her and waits for her to land. He remembers she can be unpredictable and he would need to be careful. Supergirl is distracted by the vast size of the Gotham area that she doesn't hear Shadow move across rooftops and slowly getting closer to her.
Supergirl finally lands on another rooftop and scans the Gotham nightlife. Gotham looks stony and almost medieval in some ways, well compared to Metropolis anyway. A voice from behind her makes her jump. "Another quiet night in Gotham, I'm not sure if that's good or not." She turns around to see a man dressed in black, standing only a couple of feet behind her.
She thinks to herself, how'd he get there? The man introduces himself. "Supergirl, I've heard a lot about you. I'm the Shadow." Supergirl thinks, of course he is. Shadow continues. "What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be in Metropolis?"
He knows the real reason; but he wants to test her and see what her true intentions are. He folds his arms. He looks menacing,Supergirl thinks, no wonder why criminals were scared of him.
Supergirl blurts out "Sightseeing?"
"You're a bad liar." Her shoulders slump like she'd been caught. "You are Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin. You're in Gotham staying with Batgirl and her family for Thanksgiving." Supergirl is shocked and feels vulnerable. This kid knows all about her yet she has no clue what this guy is about.
"How did you know?"
"It's my job to know what is happening in Gotham, especially when superheroes strong enough to level this city come to town."
Supergirl looks a little deflated, then smiles and asks, "Could you take me for a tour of Gotham then?"
Though she is turned off by his stern attitude, Supergirl decides to at least try to get to know The Shadow. He still hasn't moved an inch since first talking to her until he suddenly goes into a tensed stance. She looks at him weirdly and is about to ask him what he is doing when he runs past her and jumps off the roof.
Supergirl, still slightly confused about what is going on yells out to him. "Wait for me!" She takes off and watches Shadow grapple swung once before tackling Killer Moth in mid-air. Supergirl is amazed at his skill and timing to get that right. Killer Moth is strong enough to recover and takes Shadow for a ride in the air. Not wanting to stay out of the action, Supergirl flies in front of Killer Moth before putting her hand up and yelling "Stop!" Killer Moth knocks her aside and continues to carry Shadow who is trying to slow him down.
Shadow yells "Supergirl, go for his head, cover his eyes!" She follows orders and Killer Moth starts to lose control. He spirals towards the ground. She lets go of him so she won't hit the ground but forgets Shadow is still aboard. She watches as he grapples off Killer Moth at the last moment before joining her on the ground. The winged villain hits the ground but recovers quickly to get back up. They are now in a courtyard with no lights, with only the moon and the street lights in the distance providing any lighting.
Shadow sarcastically says, "Thanks," as Killer Moth gets ready to fight them.
Supergirl stops him by putting her hand up. "This won't take long." She charges at Killer Moth and Shadow tries to reach out to her to stop her.
"Supergirl, wait! He's got nerve gas grenades!" She hears this as Killer Moth strikes her with a grenade. To her surprise, her vision blurs and her body starts twitching, which causes her to slow down. She tries to recuperate but Killer Moth doesn't let her and punches her in the jaw. As she stumbles back, Shadow groans in disbelief.
He throws a couple of Shards of Darkness at Killer Moth. One hits Killer Moth's hand, dropping the grenade while the other cuts the strap holding the bag up. Killer Moth looks at the bag and then looks back at where Shadow was. Shadow has moved out of sight and the next thing Killer Moth sees is Shadow's fist crashing into the side of his head. Shadow follows up with elbows to the chest and well placed strikes to the stomach and head to make Killer Moth defenseless.
Supergirl watches how Shadow is able to keep making himself almost invisible by using darkness as cover. She watches how effortless and clinical his attacks are. As Shadow pummels him, Supergirl's vision recovers fully and her body stops twitching. When Shadow kicks Killer Moth in the back, it sends the villain towards her. So, she finishes the fight by punching the dazed Killer Moth into a brick wall. The force of the punch causes the brick of a wall to crack where Killer Moth strikes it.
Shadow drags Killer Moth's unconscious body from the street before grabbing handcuffs from his belt and cuffing him to a lamppost. Supergirl joins him as he climbs up onto another rooftop. "We make a good team," she says with an upbeat tone.
Shadow replies sharply and a little darkly. "Just because you have powers and are indestructible, you can't jump into situations. You need to think before you act."
"I do. I just didn't feel the need to for this situation. I mean, c'mon, it's Killer Moth. I can take him out in my sleep."
"It doesn't excuse your actions." He crosses his arms and the frown on his face gets deeper. Supergirl lets out a puff of air in frustration. It brushes her hair out of her face and unfortunately, knocks Shadow's head back a little violently in the process. Shadow is a little surprised but not impressed by the action but she finds it amusing. "This isn't funny."
"Oh come on. I put a little too much force behind it. Sometimes I can't control myself."
"My point exactly." Supergirl stops laughing and makes the face usually reserved for when Clark tells her off. But Shadow doesn't scold her, to her surprise. "Look, I don't mind working with you, but you need to take it a little more seriously. I'll see you around." He disappears by jumping off the roof and swinging away.
Supergirl goes to call out to him. "Wait! Can't I…" but stops as he vanishes into the Gotham night. Her shoulders slump in disappointment. She has so many questions about him. At least she knows one right person to ask about The Shadow; Stephanie.
Kara paces back and forth in front of Stephanie's bed. Once she got home, she started ranting about The Shadow. "He just doesn't get me. He's too serious. I like to have a little fun when I kick butt. Is that a crime? He's just…he's just so-"
"Much like Robin? Batman? And every other mask that's remarked on your sometimes inability to think before you act?"
Kara stops pacing and stares and Stephanie. "You're the same you know."
"Yeah, but I've learned to think a little bit. You, on the other hand, have yet to fully grasp that notion."
Kara frowns and crosses her arms. "College has ruined you."
Stephanie laughs and kicks her slippers off as she stretches across her bed. "Say what you like, but you know I'm right. You acted too quickly Kara. Just because it's Killer Moth, it doesn't mean you can blow off basic fighting tactics."
Kara sighs and spins around before falling across the bed by Stephanie's feet. "Yeah, I know. Still," she looks over at Stephanie, "he could have been a bit warmer to me."
"Batman was never warm to you."
"Because he's Batman. This Shadow looks around our age. He should be more friendly, like Tim."
Stephanie lifts her head off the bed and looks down at Kara. "So, what do you want me to do?"
Kara looks over at her and shrugs. "You work with the guy. Talk to him. See if you can get him to loosen up a bit."
"I doubt it'll work, but I'll see what I can do."
"You're welcome. Now, I have another thing to ask," Stephanie sits up and crosses her legs, "since when does nerve gas affect you?"
Kara sits up and frowns. "It doesn't, or it's not supposed to anyway."
"Then how did Killer Moth, a villain who's usually not that dangerous, get his hands on nerve gas that can affect you?"
"I don't know, but it looks like Thanksgiving Break isn't going to be much of a break."
Stephanie grabs a pillow, "You're tellin' me," and hits Kara over the head with it. Kara pretends like she didn't see it coming and blinks a few times, before grabbing another pillow and smacking Stephanie in the shoulder. Unfortunately, she does it too hard and Stephanie flies off the bed.
Kara jumps off the bed and sees if her friend is okay. "Steph, are you okay?" She gets a pillow to the face as Stephanie stands up.
"You play too hard. I'm telling mom!" Kara gets hit in the head again before a laughing Stephanie runs out of the room. Now, that's the Steph I know.
James reads the newspaper the next morning. A picture of Killer Moth flying through the air with Shadow and Supergirl nearby filled a third of the page; the headline read: Shadow and Supergirl, A Budding Partnership? He wasn't all that impressed by it. They stopped Killer Moth but in no way was it clean. Scarlett entered the kitchen and says, "That newspaper is a little crazy. Was it like that?"
"No, she has potential and ability, but she doesn't think. She is almost like Laura."
Scarlett rubs his shoulders. "I'm sure you can sort her out." James grunts as a maybe. He doesn't like the fact that as soon as she turned up, trouble followed.
James goes back to his room and mentally reviews the night. Supergirl seems fun and she knows how to take down a bad guy so a partnership could possibly be on the table. But he doesn't like the immaturity and the unpredictable nature of her. He can't trust her, not yet anyway. Her running into situations without assessing it is also a huge kink.
He assesses her behavior towards him in his head. The list in his head goes like this: slightly flirtatious, enquiring, wanting to know more, and slightly carefree. He also saw: confidence, even complacent at times but with a hint of nerves. James's knowledge in human behavior psychology helped him pick out that she was nervous as she wanted to impress him, get his attention. She liked him was the summary of all this, the signs were there. He is still a little unsure about her though. He decides to not press it and just keep her at an arm's length, until she has proven to be responsible and a better thinker.
James goes to his wardrobe to check his suit's belt. He opens the lead lined pocket and the small block of Kryptonite is still there. It isn't a big piece, but it would render her powerless. He closes the pocket and then the wardrobe. "Only in an emergency," he mutters under his breath.
James says goodbye to Scarlett then drives to the spot where Killer Moth landed and they arrested him. He couldn't see the extent of the crater at night, but in the daylight the damage is major. The whole wall had cracked. The imprint is so deep, it almost broke through to the other side of the wall. She hadn't even hit him that hard. She needs to learn to measure her powers before someone gets killed. James notes to himself that Supergirl will need to be under close surveillance as he drives home to prepare for the big game tonight.
The Gotham City College Basketball Gym is filling up fast, as the game is only 30 minutes away. James and Ben Williams have a banner of themselves above the entrance saying 'The Dynamic Duo'. When they play together, they are amazing. Both seem to know exactly where each other are and what they would do next. This game is the top of the table clash. The Gotham City College Gladiators are taking on the Metropolis City College Giants.
Stephanie and Kara find their courtside seats with 20 minutes before tipoff. James is warming up with his team. He is casual and relaxed but professional as he goes through a routine of layups, jumpers, and stretches. Kara looks at the rest of the players who seem to be head and shoulders taller than James and says, "Isn't he a little small to play basketball?"
Stephanie giggles and replies. "You're not the first person to say that."
Kara looks at her funny and asks "What's so funny?"
Stephanie smiles as she replies. "You'll find out."
James and his team huddle together and he gives them the captain speech. They take the court with the home crowd cheering eagerly. James collects the tip from Ben and the offense sets up. James looks, sees Ben posting up. He throws a pass a little over Ben and Ben seals off his defender, catches the ball and dunks it. The full crowd goes crazy as James and Ben do a little handshake on their way back to play defense. Stephanie and Kara watch in amazement as James plays a perfect first half. He scores 18 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and a block. He shot three 3-pointers and hit 1/1 free throws. He didn't miss a shot the whole first half and had no turnovers. As a result, Gotham is threatening to blow the game out, as they have a 13 point lead.
As the cheerleaders go on the court for their halftime performance, Stephanie asks Kara what she thinks of the game so far. "It's fine. I guess," she answers.
"It's fine? James and Ben just dominated the court. I'd say because of that it was more than fine."
Kara's brow furrows and she tilts her head to the right. "You talk quite highly about this James. Are you sure he's not your type?"
"Nah. Tim's more my type." Kara watches James disappear with his buddies in the locker room then turns back to Stephanie.
"They kind of look alike."
"I never said it had anything to do with their looks." Stephanie stands up and motions for Kara to follow her. "C'mon, let's go get some refreshments."
"Refreshments? Who says that?"
Stephanie narrows her eyes and not-so-gently pushes Kara in the direction of the stairs that lead to the concessions stands. "Everyone, now move."
The 3rd quarter begins with James and Ben sitting on the bench. They had played every second of the first half. All of a sudden, Metropolis puts on a 20-0 run; now leading by fourteen. Even when Ben and James come back in and Ben scores, Metropolis goes into the 4th quarter with a 10 point lead. The Gotham crowd is stunned. The Gotham offense had collapsed, the shooters couldn't hit.
Kara looks around a little worried but Stephanie is calm. "Chillax Kara, Rola will take over."
The 4th quarter starts with James setting Ben up for a trail man 3. The ball swishes the net as it goes in the hoop and Gotham trails by 7. Ben then gets a defensive rebound and James winds the shot clock down doing crossovers and in-out between the legs moves. He pulls up and hits a 3 over the defender to cut the lead to 4. The crowd started to become vocal again ,sensing another Rola and Williams takeover. The lead stays the same until there are three minutes left. James steals the ball and on the fast break, alley oops to the high flying Ben to send the crowd into a frenzy. Gotham is now down by 2. The crowd is then silenced by Metropolis 3 with 2:20 to go. Gotham looks like they have been clawing their way back into the game but they need a boost. James provides it.
A play is isolated for him to go straight at the Metropolis point guard, who is a good defender but James can beat him. James crosses him over and the Metropolis point guard falls over. He drives at the rim with the Metropolis power forward and center coming to play help defense. James goes all the way to the rim and throws down a powerful one-handed slam dunk. The crowd is now at a deafening level. It gets even louder when Metropolis turns it over and Ben finds James at the 3 point line. James catches the ball on the run and slams in a windmill dunk on the Metropolis Point Guard.
Kara smiles and nudges Stephanie in the arm. "If he jumped any higher, I'd think he was Kryptonian."
Now the score is 89-90 to Metropolis with 1:30 remaining. A timeout is taken. After the timeout, both teams miss shots until Metropolis gets a foul. The center only makes one free throw and the Gladiators take their final timeout with 12 seconds to go. James sees the coach call a play for James to get a shot. James gets the ball and waits for the screen. He fakes to drive and pulls up for a 3. The defender hits him late as the ball sails through the air. The arena is silent, all waiting to see if the shot would go. It swishes in and the crowd goes crazy. The Gotham players also go nuts except James, who is very calm and does a little fist pump before receiving high fives from his teammates.
James hits it with 4 seconds to go and a free throw to go. He makes it and now Gotham leads 93-91 with 4 seconds left. Metropolis can't get a free shot and Ben blocks a desperate 3 point attempt to secure the win. James finishes with 36 points, 17 assists, 10 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks. He only missed 3 shots.
Kara shoves the last of the popcorn in her mouth and tosses the container in the trash, as she and Stephanie leave the stadium. "So, what you think?" asks Stephanie. Kara holds up a hand as she's chewing and grabs the jumbo-size coke out of Stephanie's hands. She finishes it off and drops it in the trash before answering.
"It was good."
"So you liked it?" Kara sticks her hands in her pockets and shrugs nonchalantly but can't hide the smile creeping up. "Admit it, you liked it."
"Okay, yes it was good and I wouldn't mind seeing another one."
"Yay." Stephanie grabs Kara by the arm and leads her away from the stadium. They talk about the game; what they liked and didn't like, who the impressive players were, and what stuck out to them. They are sitting on a stone bench 100 yards or so from the stadium when they see James Rola come out the front exit. Immediately, he is hounded by Vicki Vale and other members of the media. "Considering I've been patiently waiting to bring him up, what did you think of him?"
Kara watches as James answers a few questions then kindly brushes off the rest of the reporters. They follow him a good distance until another member of his team leaves the stadium. She watches as he breathes a sigh of relief then gets in his car.
"He looks exhausted," comments Kara.
"Well, you would be too if you did all he does."
"What else does he do besides school and sports?"
"That's for me to know and you to find out," Stephanie says with a smile as she sits on a bench.
Kara crosses her arms and furrows her brow. "What does that mean?"
Stephanie simply smiles and leans back, only to spaz out when she realizes there's no back. She mumbles angrily under her breath as she gets up and brushes the snow off her butt. "Shut up," she says while pointing a finger at a snickering Kara, "and just go ask him yourself."
Kara's smile disappears and she shakes her head. "Maybe another time."
"When else are you going to see him?"
Kara watches James pulls out of his parking spot and drives away. "You never know," then turns back to Stephanie, "we could be destined to meet again."
Stephanie stands up and rolls her eyes before shoving Kara in the direction of the car. "Whatever you say."
As the they walk through the snow, Kara rubs the arm Stephanie had pushed on. "You've been awfully violent today. Are you okay? Do you need me to call Tim?"
"Don't you dare!" Kara laughs as Stephanie leans down and makes a snowball. "You can run but you can't hide Kent. I know where you're staying."
James leaves quickly after the post-game formalities. All the media wanted interviews which he expected, he is captain and the top college player and MVP the last two years. He handles the media well and gets himself home without much fuss. He then remembers he needs to drop some notes off to Stephanie for Mathematics. He is passing that class with A's, not far off A+ mostly because he's doing other work instead. He gets home and showers before grabbing a quick bite and leaving with his notes to go to Stephanie's house.