Did We Just Become Besties?

January 01, 2016:

In the midst of the Star Wars Marathon, Caitlin and Kara find common ground and bond.

JL:A Lakehouse rec room

The rec room at the JLA's Lakehouse building is a great place for those who are staying at the Lakehouse to unwind. A generous entertainment area, game tables, and most importantly— a big screen TV and industrial surround system.



Mentions: Carol Danvers, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Caitlin's curled up on the Lakehouse rec room sofa, wearing soft flannel pajamas and a cotton tank top. Her heels are tucked under her butt, toes hanging off the end of the sofa and she's hugging her knees with the wide-eyed attentiveness of a nerd thoroughly enjoying her favorite movie. They're just into the marathon and the bombastic music plays on the big TV (and 1000W surround), filling the room with a musical chorus as the titular characters recieve their accolades and awards.

"Yaaay! Okay, first episode done," Caitlin says, as Carol excuses herself briefly. She gets up from the couch awkwardly and moves to her little tablet, which is plugged into the big television set and streaming an HD rip of the films.

"Okay, so the /next/ one? Arguably the best in the series, if you ask me. 'The Empire Strikes Back'." She gets it readied, but doesn't start the film up yet, waiting for Carol to return.

While she doesn't have the same nerd-love for Star Wars that Caitlyn has, Kara still enjoyed the movie. She too is dressed for a sleepover, wearing light grey sweatpants and a blue 'Metropolis Meteors' football jersey. "That was pretty good," she says with a smile. "It's really interesting to see how far film and effects have come in…40 years? I think that the aliens look more realistic here than ones that are made with computer graphics." Being an artist, she has a fondness for the hand-crafted nature of the old-school prostetics. "But I'm a bit confused….this was the first film, right? Why was it labeled as 'Episode 4'?"

"Umm… okay." Caitlin touches her tongue to her upper lip, scooting to the floor in front of Kara and sitting in a boneless kneeling position the floor, toes pointed outwards behind her. "So basically when George Lucas was first writing the series, he envisioned this, like… giant, nine-movie arc," she says. "Talking about the rise and fall of the Empire, of Luke Skywalker, the family adventures. Okay? But no one had ever really tried a, well, 'family' sci-fi epic before. I mean, there was Buck Rogers," she amends, "and 2001: Odyssey, but this was something new, in the 70s." She reaches back to pull her ponytail from the scunchie holding it back from her face, tugging and frowning as she tries to extricate her hair from the elastic.

"Lucas picked the most fully developed part of his story he'd done, which was what you just saw— plucky rebels stop the Empire's superweapon." She gestures vaguely at the TV. "So he finished telling Luke Skywalker's story arc, and then he did the prequels, which talks about the rise of the Empire and Darth Vader."

"Ah, okay," Kara replies, although it still sounds a bit strange to her. "Overall, it was nice. I liked the idea of this 'Force'. It's mixing magical fantasy with science fiction, which I've never seen before. And considering how popular this series is, I'm surprised there's not more examples of it. And the love triangle between Luke, Han, and Princess Leia is interesting; I want to see how that ends." The huge smile on her face shows how much a sucker Kara is for romances. "So while we're waiting…" He sits up and tucks her legs under her. "Did you want to talk about anything? I know you were interested in talking about your hair, but we can talk about anything."The smile on the blonde girl's face is warm and inviting.

Caitlin smacks a hand over her mouth, choking back a laugh. "Okay, so… yeah, like that's… gonna get interesting here after Empire," she sniggers. Poor Kara. "Just try not to think about it too much."

At the suggestion of 'girl talk', Caitlin blinks her green eyes a few times. "Uhh… I … okay," Caitlin agrees, cautiously, yanking on her hair a few times. She finally gives up and with a grumble snaps the scunchie in half, flinging the little object away. She runs her palms over her hair, somehow making it even worse than it had been in the ponytail.

"Now I can't think of anything," she admits, after a few minutes. "Oh!" She claps her hands on her thighs quickly. "Wanna go clothes shopping with me an' Carol? She says once my first check from the new job lands, we're getting me new clothes. Like, real stuff. /Skirts/," Caitlin says for emphasis, clearly unsure how she feels about that idea.

"Sure, that sounds fun," Kara says. "It was certainly interesting when Superman had to take me clothes shopping the first time. I didn't know what half of the things were for." The blonde laughs and shakes her head. "But I'm getting the hang of it, now." She looks over Caitlin for a bit, with a sort of considering expression. "So, don't take this the wrong way," she says cautiously. "But I've been getting the feeling that a lot of this is kind of new for you. Not just the superhero stuff, but also like clothes shopping. And the hair. It's just things that I'd think a human girl would have learned growing up." Kara shrugs and gives her freind a warm smile. "I mean, I have an excuse for not knowing all this, being born on another planet and all that."

Caitlin immediately does her best Johnny Storm impression, ears turning a flaming shade of pink. She senses the blood flushing to them and claps her hands over her ears, then realizes how silly she looks and screws her eyes shut.

"Urrgh, yes, this is all new, and it's the /worst/," she admits in a mournful groan. Her shoulders slump and she lets her arms flop bonelessly in front of her. Impossibly, the towering redhead looks small and a bit childish. "I don't know how to do any of this and I feel like a moron when everyone's talking about outfits and charities and social stuff and I'm like, 'I'm just here playing Ultima Online'," she says. She twists her fingers into loops, not quite looking at Kara, but clearly unable to check the rush of words that tumble faster and faster.

"I mean it was just me and Daddy for years and years, and I was really sick a lot when I was younger so I just did home schooling. I had six kids in my class, and all of them but me were gone all fall for harvest season. Iowa," she says, that one word explaining it with a shrug. "So I just stayed on my computer, and hid indoors, away from everyone. I didn't have a single kid to play with when I was younger, let alone, y'know, a girlfriend to help me learn how to /do/ this stuff."

As Caitlin opens up, Kara nods along in sympathy, knowing all too well the feeling of isolation that the red head is talking about. Kara scoots over and gives her freind a strong hug, knowing that Cait can take a bit of a harder squeeze than she usually gives. "Well, that's part of being a team. We all help each other out when we can, right?" Her smile turns bright and encouraging. "I mean, I know I'm not the perfect shopping or fashion or make-up partner, but we can both sort of muddle through all that stuff." She gives Caitlin another hug before continuing. "And you know…you don't have to be anyone that others expect you to be. Just be yourself. I can tell you that none of the other League members are going to like you or respect you any less for being a Star Wars geek or wanting to play computer games. You don't have to pretend around us."

Some girls can cry and make it look pretty, but Caitlin's complexion renders her blotchy looking, and it doesn't help that even when she returns Kara's hug, she jams the heel of her palm into an eye to try and squeeze away some tears threatening to fall.

She leans against Kara momentarily, a small expression of relief, and nods enthusiastically at Kara's reassurances. "Okay. Thanks, Kara," she says, a small but real smile appearing. She gives Kara's forearms an affectionate squeeze. "Okay. That … it'd be really awesome to have a friend," she admits. "Everyone I know is either a doddy old engineer who's older than me, or they're like… y'know, superheroes and teammates. And Carol… she's totally my mentor and I love her to death, but she still intimidates the heck outta me sometimes, even if she doesn't mean to," she says, glancing at where Carol'd departed. "She's just… so… Carol." Caitlin's hands flicker up in frustration— and in fairness, Carol's appearance generally ranges for 'Sexy, but not trying too hard', to being a bombshell somewhere in the 'nuclear' category. "I think she forgets how hard it is for the rest of us sometimes."

"Oh, Rao…" Kara nods and laughs. "I know exactly what you mean. I love my cousin, but sometimes…ugh." She sighs and rolls her eyes. "He has this way of being judgemental without even realizing it. And he takes so much of Earth culture for granted sometimes. He doesn't realize how hard it is for a complete stranger to learn. And even then, it's just the United States! Earth has like dozens of cultures and languages. Krypton only had one." There's definately some frustration in her voice, but Kara sighs and smiles. "But I love him and admire him. And I want to do right by him. You just need to find the path that you're comfortable with, and that comes with time."

"Uh, well, yeah, he's friggin' Superman," Caitlin says with a chuckle that turns into a snort. "He just goes anywhere he wants, flexes his pecs, and thrusts his jaw out at everyone."

She forces her frame into a heroic pose and props her fists on her hips, turning her head at a 'nobly heroic' angle and looking vaguely skywards. "Never fear, citizens, I'm here to save the day," she intones, in a pretty good imitation of Clark's voice.

"I mean, c'mon, he's like the McDonald's arches. You don't have to know the language, you can just point at him and go 'I'll take a large #2 Help, to go'."

Kara can't help but giggle and she puts her hands in front of her mouth, blushing madly. "And then there's Bataman…" The blonde girl drops her voice down and scowls hard. "There are 400 bones in the human body. Tell me what I want to know or I'll break them one by one, raaah." The voice impression proves to be too much for her and she starts coughing and laughing at the same time. "And then there's Captain America…" There's a hint of a sigh when Kara mentions his name. "He's like Kal, only more…" Kara smirks as she tries to think of the right words.

"Human," Caitlin supplies. She smiles apologetically, one shoulder rising and falling awkwardly. "I mean, let's face it, Kal's… kind of infalliable. I don't think I've ever even heard him swear," she admits. "He never loses his temper, he doesn't drink or smoke, he doesn't eat meat, he's always super patient…" She counts on her fingers. "He's not just Kryptonian, he's also like this… parall.. no. Parabno… paragon!" she says, finding the right word. "He's like everything everyone wants a hero to be. Steve's just… y'know, he makes mistakes. It's easier to relate to someone like that."

She twists her fingers again, though more in absent thought. "I used to think Diana was the coolest person, ever. But… you know, after meeting Carol, I realized that she's maybe more special than Diana is. Diana has always been perfect because she always did exactly what she was supposed to do, what she was born and raised to do, and everyone stood around encouraging her to… /be perfect/. Carol has horror stories about fighting for every inch of respect she /ever/ got in her life."

"Diana has her moments," Kara replies. "Not many, but there are times when you can see or feel the frustration she deals with. Or maybe I've just been around her long enough to notice them." She stretches out a bit, then goes back to her sitting position. "Carol…I think she's just had to do things better than anyone else for so long, it's second nature to her. But regardless of our individual faults, I have nothing but respect for everyone on the team and everyone that I've ever worked with as a hero."

Caitlin blinks. "O-oh. I mean, y'know, me too," she hurriedly assures Kara. "I… I wasn't trying to … y'know, insult Kal or Diana, or nothin'," she tells the slender blonde. "Just everyone's, y'know, different. And stuff."

She runs her fingers through her hair, head tilting as she catches a knurl. "Dangit," she grumbles. "I need another comb. I keep breaking mine," she mutters, looking a bit unsure of how to redress any offense she might have rendered.

"Hey, what do you do with your hair?" Caitlin says, ventuing back to safer topics of discussion. "I started growing mine out a few months ago. Yours is only a bit longer, but how do you keep it from getting all frizzy?" she asks, gesturing vaguely. Clearly, no one's introduced Cait to the concept of a hairbrush.

"I never thought you were complaining," Kara says with a reassuring smile. "Becasue I know you had love and respect behind it, just like I did. Everyone's different, but everyone's also special in their own way. And that includes you." Kara smiles and pats Caitlin on the shoulder. Then there's the topic change and Kara bites her lip some. "Well, I use a conditioning shampoo. That helps a lot. Also, I use a softer brush, instead of a comb." With a *woosh*, Kara flies off to quickly grab her brush and bring it back to Caitlin. "The bristles are more flexible than a comb, so it helps to get the knots out." She hands the brush over to her friend. "Give it try. And it will take a lot of strokes, not just a few quick passes."

Caitlin gives Kara's abrupt departure and return a look green with envy. "Man, I wish /I/ could fly," she mutters. "It gets old bumming a ride with you and Carol anytime I need to leave the city."

She eyes the comb with narrow-eyed speculation, then working on her hair. It takes her a few minutes to get a feel for it, but she quickly figures out how to make most efficient use of the brush and her hair starts to go from wild frizz-induced curls to a more natural, wavy mane. "'zat workin'?" she asks Kara.

"Okay, so like, totes honest time," she tells the Kryptonian. "You're totally rocking the skirt and midriff look, but you know, you're like, flying around. In a skirt," Caitlin says, belaboring the obvious a bit. "I tried to go with the whole leotard look for a while, but between my butt falling outta it and Carol kind of dropping some, um, y'know, suggestions about 'appropriate work attire', and stuff," she says, "I went with the catsuit look. How do you deal with all the pervy dudes staring at you?"

Kara nods as Caitlin uses the brush. "It's looking better. Try some of my shampoo and I think you'll be happy with the results." Kara smiles wide, happy with the progress being made. Caitlin's next question, though, brings a blush and rolling of the eyes to the Kryptonian. "I won't lie; it used to bother me. I need to have a bit more skin showing to soak up the solar radiation, which gives me powers. Kal's been exposed to it his entire life, I've only had a few years worth of exposure, so I have to catch up. So I chose an outfit that i thought was both feminine and gave me the ratio of coverage that wasn't too risque. And yeah, the perverted guys really bugged me when I found out about them. But I didn't want to change becasue of them. There are going to be guys that objectify you no matter what you wear. I just got better at making sure I didn't give any opportunities for upskirt photos." She goes back to smiling with encouragement. "It's all about being yourself, remember?"

Caitlin looks a bit uneasy, but nods. "Okay," she says, looking uncertain. "I … I kinda go around and around with it," she admits, sitting on the floor and looking up at Kara. "I mean, on the one hand, y'know— girl power, wear what you want," she says, making a fist. "On the other hand, there's definitely sort of a media thing where they like seeing us in, y'know, skimpier stuff. My instagram stopped gaining followers as fast when I switched from the leotard to the catsuit. And part of me doesn't really wanna be, y'know, like… objectified? But I like how confident it makes me feel, too. Does that make any kinda sense?"

"It does," Kara says after taking a bit of time to think about it. "Diana would probably say that you were raised in a culture where approval of women is linked to how attractive you are. Or something like that." The blonde girl adds in a grin and nudges Caitlin in the shoulder. "My own thoughts would be, it's just the way humans are right now. But I guess what I'm wondering is…why worry about an Instagram account? Or Twitter or Facebook, or any of that?" Kara takes a bit to think of her next words. "I don't mean this in a mean or cruel way, but in the long run, that stuff just doesn't matter. It's how much we help others as heroes that matters. All this social media stuff…" Her Kara shrugs and shakes her head. "I just don't get it. Do you think Captain Marvel worries about how many followers she has?" Kara goes back to smiling and puts her hand on Caitlin's shoulder. "Just keep doing what you're doing, be yourself, and you'll find that you'll be more than a hero; you'll become an inspiration. The guys that follow you just for pictures will be replaced by girls that look up to you, people you've saved. Popularity comes and goes, but doing good deeds grows and lasts forever."

"Wow. That's… heavy," Catilin says, blinking at Kara's thoughtful observations. "I was expecting more of a 'go girl' or whatever."

She quirks her lips thoughtfully. "Well… my Instagram isn't like my personal self-validation machine. I have like, four hundred thousand followers, something like that. I've had a few pics hit the million view mark. I curate the Supers page, so I find some good stuff and I relink it, hash them, that kinda thing. It started out in college when I was getting photos of some local heroes and adding them to my Twitter, then it kinda blew up. So I mean, it's like, lots of selfies mostly. Admittedly," she says, pinking a bit, "some of the, uh, wardrobe malfunctions from my first costume got most of the views. But it's like… I don't know. A community. Lots of people who support the League and other heroes. They all uptweet pics of being rescued, or like that time that Captain America visited the Veteran's Home— it's a bit of celebrity, but it's also a lot of community."

Caitlin's explanation gets Kara nodding and smilng. "Then it sounds like you're doing just fine there. You're always going to have the creeps and the pervs hanging around for the sexy pics. And there's nothing you can do about that. You've just got to accept that along with all the good people, you're also going to attract the bad ones. Like I said, it's just part of humanity. Just keep being yourself and don't let the creepy guys get to you. Over time, you'll tune out the jerks, and they'll move on to some other poor new heroine, whom you can share your experiences with." Kara grins broadly and sings, "It's the circle of life!"

Caitlin beams again. "Thanks, Kara," she says, sincerity in her tones. "That's… really helpful."

She blinks. "Wow, gosh, I feel super lame, I've been just like, crying on your shoulder this whole time," she apologizes. "I guess I really /did/ need to get some stuff off my chest. I feel a lot better, though." She finishes brushing her hair out and hands the brush back to Kara, and lo and behold, for once her hair doesn't look like humidity and bad tangles conspired to kill her hairdo in her sleep. "Howzzat look?"

"What are freinds for," Kara aasks with a smile and a hug when Caitlin expresses her thanks. "And don't worry, I'll probably need your shoulder to cry on sometime." As Caitlin presents her hair, Kara nods, beaming proudly. "One hundred percent better! Another week of hair rehab, and you're going to have hair that every girl is going to envy." She taps her lips as she looks over Caitlin again, pondering. "Needs something…" Snapping her fingers, Kara quickly zips off and returns with a black hairband. "Here, try this…"

Caitlin beams and hugs Kara back. As shy as she is at times, she's definitely a huggin' type. The redhead waits the beat for Kara to zip off and come back, and examines the headband curiously. "Ooh, neat! I've never tried headbands." She promptly pulls it onto her head and tugs it to brow level, wearing it like a sweatband instead of a hair restraint. Needless to say, the look doesn't work for her. "Looks good, right?" she beams up at Kara.

"I'm kidding, I know how it's worn," she says with a goofy grin, before Kara can speak. She rights the hairband, playing with it until it sits atop her crown, letting red bangs spill in a neat curl and holding back her wealth of red hair. "Like that?"

"Perfect!" Kara beams and gives Caitlin a thumbs-up. "Super-cute! I bet you'll get like an extra 100 thousand followers with that look." Kara smirks, then giggles. "Wow…when I first arrived here, I never dreamed that in a year or so, I'd be givig fashion tips to Earth girls. Crazy."

"Right?" Caitlin peers down the hall, brightening. "Oh! Carol's back. Okay, now we can start the movie!" She scrambles to her tablet and taps on the 'play' icon, and a bombastic musical score accompanies the familiar scroll of yellow text…

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