Welcome home nachos

February 07, 2016:

Superman returns! A bit sore, admittedly, and he's met by his cousin Kara and her friend Caitlin Fairchild.

Justice League HQ


NPCs: None.

Mentions: JLA members


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It's some hours after the incident with Superman's rather tumultuous return, and Kara and Caitlin have retreated to the Justice League headquarters. Waiting for word on what Kal's condition was, Caitlin had made the eminently practical suggestion of getting something hot to drink and finding some way to pass the time.

"Okay… so.." Caitlin eyes the cards in her hand, then eyes Kara, eyes narrowing shrewdly. She picks up a card from the deck and discards, then eyes her new hand again. "Hmm. Dangit," she mutters sourly. "This hand sucks."

She sips her soda and then reaches for the plate of nachos she'd whipped up in the community microwave, pulling a gooey, cheese-dangley mess of corn chip away and dipping it in salsa and sour cream. "I know it sounds super lame to whine, but I kinda wish that when I 'sploded, I'd gotten flight, too. You can fly, Carol can fly, Superman can fly… the best I can do is big jumps, and I get yelled at for leaving marks on the asphalt when I do. I tried it off a roof once and just managed to crack a bunch of rafters.

Appretntly, there's only so much mothering that a Man of Steel can take from anyone not named Martha Kent, as Superman shooed his cousin away after a few minutes of Kara tending to him once back at the Lakehouse. So, she's been playing with Caitlin, her foot tapping in frustration as she waits for Kal to come to the rec room. "You play what you're dealt," Kara says with a sigh. Flopping her cards down, Kara says, "I fold," and then gets up to head to the itchen, pacing back and forth.

Superman's status across the comms was rocky at first, in that there wasn't a lot of information. All the questions that were rained on him seemed to just cause him to be distant and tired, but at the very least, he's been communicative about that he's healing. It won't be immediate - and he's not sharing why - but fatigue of more than just a physical type is clear. And so, Superman's currently in the midst of some personal calls for now, but the word has gone out that he's not going to die, at least not right away.
So it appears the pacing will have to continue a bit longer.

"Aww, but I almost had gin," Caitlin complains, setting her cards down when Kara gets up.

"Kara, c'mon— pacing's not gonna help, and you're making me really twitchy," she says, after several long seconds. "He's Superman. He was alert and talking when you grabbed him, so he's not dead, dying, or in a coma. He's come back from some pretty big hits in the past. Once he's on his feet he'll walk in here with that, y'know, whole thing" she juts her jaw out and tries to make herself look noble. "and then tell me I shouldn't make up stories about bombs because it scares the peoples."

"I know, I know…" Supergirl says with a shake of her head, not feeling in the mood for levity. "I know he'll be fine, physically. It's everything else I worry about." The blonde heroine looks over in the direction where Superman would be, resisting the urge to spy on him with super hearing or X-Ray vision. "I don't think he's ever been away for so long. And I know that he's going to be blaming himself, wondering what he could have stopped or prevented if he had returned earlier. Crimes, wars, natural disasters…He's going to think that he's let down everyone that loves him, that he abandoned them. Even though we're only going to be happy he's back with us." Kara turns away and faces Caitlin. "He already carries the weight of the world; the last thing he needs is carrying around all those 'what if' scenarios."

"I'm glad I can live on in imitation even when I'm not around," Kal-El's voice says as he arrives on the scene, not unkindly, just … tired. He just looks exhausted, but did make an effort to clean up, and isn't covered in various dirt or gore anymore. He's in no hurry and exhibits no powers—-, though he's not being 'Clark' either: his head is up, awareness clear. Maybe the weight of the whole world and letting down everyone in it is slowing him down. If he heard part (…or all) of what Kara said, he chose not to react to it, though there's a quiet smile in his blue eyes. He stops in the doorway with a slow release of breath — not that he has to, but it's a human habit. He has lots of those. Taking in the room. It's been a while, and feels foreign.

Caitlin frowns. "He left for a good reason, probably," she reminds Kara. "I don't know why," she admits a moment later, "but he doesn't strike me as the sort to take a break for no real reason. I heard Diana saying a while ago that she hopes he's getting some rest."

She moves her thick shoulders up and down in a floppy shrug. "Even Superman needs a break once in a while. We can't do this all the time, every day, yearlong. It'll make you crazy." Her brow furrows a bit. "I haven't slept very well since Apokalips," she admits. "But when I feel myself falling asleep I have to turn my communicator off— otherwise I'll be a shambling ZombieCait."

She holds her arms out and starts walking towards Kara, arms extended, eyes glossy and vacant. "Zombie Cait wants braaaaaains." Her fingers start creeping at Kara's shoulder. "Wait, blondes have no brains. Need… braaaain—"

She comes up short and squaws, audibly, when Superman strolls into the room, turning a nearly flouresecent shade of red.

"Oh hi," she squeaks, snapping her hands behind her like she'd been caught filching cookies.

As soon as Kal enters the room, Kara runs to him and hugs him. It's a gentle enough hug to not risk injuring him, but it's very insistant, like he'll disappear again if she lets him go. "Kal…you don't know how good it is that you're back. We were all so worried…." Supergirl steps back a bit, looking up at him with some tears in the corners of her eyes. "What happened to you?" she asks quietly. "Where did you go?" She sighs and shakes her head. "Never mind. You're back now." Kara hugs Kal again, resting her head against him. "That's all that matters."

A few moments later, Kara steps back, smiling a bit. "Oh…this is Caitlin Fairchild," Kara says as she gestures to the red head. "I don't knkow if you two have officially met. But she's a newer member of the League. And a friend."

Superman embraces Kara warmly, smile clear with a relaxed, brief moment of relief in it that Caitlin will see but Kara probably not, since her face was buried in his chest for that time. He doesn't mind being clung to in the slightest. Perhaps he feared she'd be angry…. or something else… that isn't evident just from a look. But it does carry an unusual weight. "I didn't mean to make any of you worry, it wasn't supposed to be… what it was." Superman tells her gently, and will touch his cousin's cheek to sweep a tear away with a deep apologetic frown, if she doesn't pull back. Some things aren't in his control, which, well. They are what they are. But on to brighter things:

"Hello," Kal-El says simply, without judgement, to Caitlin, as she is introduced. "If ZombieCait has the power to make us laugh, I'm very glad you've joined us. And brought her along." Meaning, Zombie-Cait. He's tired, but the clear effort is there, to be welcoming, and help her to relax. He squeezes Kara's shoulder briefly. "…And I hope imitations don't /usually/ include me coming in and shutting down fun," he adds.

Caitlin shakes her head at Superman. "Oh- oh no," she stammers. "I didn't mean it like that," she hastens to assure him. "I'm really sorry if you thought I was making fun of you, it was just… y'know, a joke. I'm glad you're meet you— I mean nice to doing well—" she twitches a bit.

"How are you feeling?" she asks, venturing to simpler turns of phrase.

The hugs and squeezes are enough to make Kara relax. For now, anyways. "He does have a sense of humor, Caitlin. I can't remember the number of times he's caught me doing my imitation of him." She looks up to her big cousin and smirks. "Of course, I'm family. So he might let me get away with it." Another hug then Kara heads over to the kitchen. "So, all teasing out of the way, is there anything I can get anyone? Drinks? Snacks?"

"Only if the imitations are quality," Superman returns of Kara's imitation comments. He'll follow towards the kitchen, but not too far, he'll slide into a chair, forearms resting on a table, before rubbing across his eyes once with a thumb and forefinger — a small weakness he generally supresses. And then visually inspects the nachos that aren't too far from him. "I'll have something. Surprise me. If it's nacho shaped." He doesn't, of course, need to eat, but this is an offering in a way: if she needs to help, he'll enjoy what Kara brings him to eat.

"I feel glad to be back. It feels like years. …which is close to reality, sadly," Superman answers Caitlin's question, ignoring her mangled speech issues politely.

Caitlin's mercifully rescued from chewing on her own foot by Kara's rallying defense, and when Kal pinches the bridge of his nose, she mouths a 'thank you' to the other girl. One hand starts to tap nervously against her hip, and she stops it by clasping her fingers in front of her waist firmly.

She spots him eyeing the nachos, then eaaaases forward and with one finger, slides the plate within noshing range. "There's plenty more," she assures him. "I eat about ten times a day so I keep snack stuff around."

"And honestly, her Batman imitation's funnier. She does the whole raspy voice thing, it's… very convicing."

"Batman hurts my voice, so I only do it occasionally," Kara replies with a smirk. Moving ar super-speed, she prepares a cassorole dish portion of nachos, using her heat vision to precisely melt the cheese, rather than microwaving it all. Kara sets the dish down infront of Superman, letting him start before taking her own bites after sitting at the table. "So…" she starts nervously. "Things have been busy, but we've all been handling it. I've been keeping Metropolis safe. With help at times." Kara smiles and shrugs, admitting that she's not as effective as Kal is on his own. "But crime in Metropolis has been kept to a dull roar; not off too much from when it's just you holding down the fort. But we've all missed you and we're just so glad you're home now, Kal."

"Batman hurts everyone's voice," Kal-El agrees thoughtfully, after smiling a bit at Caitlin's comment to Kara, fine with playing a little, it seems. He only ends up having one or two from Caitlin's offered plate before the whole new one appears from Kara. He finds nothing abnormal or of note about Kara's cooking style and accepts it without any particular note other than a nod of thanks. "I'm glad to hear when I'm not needed," he remarks. From someone else, that might be a barbed comment, but it isn't from him. He /is/ glad that it's been handled, it's genuine, not rueful, but has a bit of a tease in it, too. "But I expect I have a lot to catch up on." When not eating nachos, anyway. He slows in his eating, with a mild hardened expression, as if aware he should probably be getting to that, and not sitting there in the rec room. After all, he's functional enough to sit in a rec room, one could argue he's functional enough to get the news and get to work.

Caitlin watches as Kal-El opts for Kara's food. On the one hand, that's her famous nacho recipe! On the other hand… that's food that's now unspoken for.

"There's been some excitement," she admits. "But nothing insurmountable. Diana's kept things on a pretty even keel here. I'm… I'm sorry," she says, tearing her eyes away from the spare nachos and up to Kal. "I'm still really new here. I've only been a member for couple months— I came on with Carol Danvers after Diana and the League rescued us from Apokalips."

"You're *always* needed," Kara says to her cousin, giving him a serious-tinged smile. "Maybe you're not always needed to keep Metropolis safe, but you're always going to be needed by your family, your freinds, and your teammates." She reaches over and puts her hand on Kal's shoulder for a bit before going back to sitting casually at the table. "There's lots of stuff to catch up on, yes." Kara looks over at Caitlin, smiling and winking at the girl. "Including, apparently, the new Star Wars film."

The extra nachos are easily slid back to Caitlin for sharing. Kal-El's tired, but that she was staring at them was obvious, and he's generally attentive. And learning a bit about a new team member is something that matters to put energy towards. "No need to feel sorry," he says as Caitlin apologises for her newness. The Apokalips mention gets a sharp look that slides to Kara, but he holds in the question. The world won't explode right now, it can wait.

Except for this latest news. He gains a long-suffering, skeptical expression. "Is it any good?" he wants to know.

"Soooooooooooooo good," Caitlin confirms immediately. "I made Kara watch all the original series in the right order. Her face, in Bespin, when Darth Vader says 'I am your father'— priceless. I wish I could watch the films like that," she says, envy in her tone. Her hands work independently of the rest of her to tear a few nachos loose. "Get to see Episode five again."

Realizing she's on the verge of nerding out, she reins it in a bit. "But yes, it's… fantastic. I've seen it ten times already."

Kara smiles and laughs a bit, enjoying Caitlin's zeal. "She's very…enthusiastic," Kara explains to Kal. "But she's a good hero. She's as strong and tough as I am, and she's got a good heart." Kara looks over to Caitlin and smiles encouragingly. "Think of how I was when I was getting a handle on my new powers. So I think she's going to turn out fine." Kara munches on some nachos while she thinks about a new subject to talk about, besides the obvious question of what happened to Kal. That will come in time, she's sure. "Other than the giant Elder god from beyond attacking Atlantis and other aquatic cities, it's been quiet." She looks over at Caitling quizically. "We fought that thing back, right? Or is it still an ongoing concern?"

"She's also sitting right here," Kal teases Kara as she talks about Caitlin, gesturing to Caitlin a little bit with a chip. "So, /do/ you have a good heart?" he asks Caitlin, in his most direct and scary Superman staredown, but then lets it dissolve into a smile. He's not seriously asking her that, and can't give her a hard time for long. "I liked Five the best." He considers that. "I'm not sure why. It gets fairly bleak." The Star Wars chat is really a cover, though, in an attempt to relax (or at least give Kara the illusion to enjoy that he'll relax): he's definitely paying attention to the discussion about the aquatic Elder God issue.

Caitlin almost turns into a living BSOD when Kal asks her so pointedly about the quality of her courage— her ears pink when he laughs, and she looks down at her feet for a moment, torn between surprise and amusement. "I'm… I think the Atlanteans are still sort of sitting on that," she tells Kara, trying to recover her aplomb. "Last I heard there was a bit of political arguing going on and they're discussing whether or not they'll even let 'outsiders' down there, let alone help them." She shrugs uneasily. "I don't have any contacts with them— Diana's the boss there."

"Ugh…politics," Kara says with a frustrated sigh. "Atlantis and other aquatic nations have been attacted by this Elder God…thing for months," Kara explains to Kal. "There's been no official request for aid from the surface nations by Atlantis because of the history. The League is semi-involved as Diana sent an envoy to speak with King Arthur and Queen Mera to offer aid." She shakes her head some, looking defeated. "So, in the end, there's a threat to all humanity that's not being dealt with fully becasue all the parties are too bull-headed to put the past aside." After another huff, Kara looks at her cousin appologetically. "Sorry. Just…kind of pushes my buttons, you know?"

Superman seems to let Caitlin entirely off the hook, he sends Kara a brief smile. Apparently he approves of her friend, though if Kara cares about what he thinks is another story. He leans back in his chair, one arm on the table, moving his fingers slowly: the tips against a thumb, listening to the whole description from both young women. "I don't know that I'll make headway with them, but I'll do what I can, if the issue isn't resolved soon," Kal says to Kara quietly, with a slight move of head to indicate it's fine, her apology isn't needed. He'll help, if he can. As always.

Caitlin nods sympathetically at Kara. "It's annoying," she agrees. "No- it's frustrating," she amends. "The Atlanteans are getting their butts kicked left and right, but they're just too proud to ask for help of any kind. And for all we know, this is some kind of Lovecraftian nightmare that'll be completely unstoppable in a few weeks. I don't get it," she admits. "I know the Atlanteans are really independent, but it's gonna be a question of dying for the sake of appearances soon."

"I know, Kal," Kara says. She lets out a long breath to calm herself, and looks better. "Anyways, Diana is taking the lead and I know the diplomacy is in very capable hands with her. All that's left to do is to fight the other probelms that crop up while we wait." She eats some more nachos, then smiles at her cousin. "Lex has been very quiet. So I don't know whether to be relaxed or petrified with fear." Kara lets out a little laugh, and shrugs. "Anyways, it's pretty much the usual around here. Nothing that we won't be able to handle, especially not that you're back."

"Diana is? Yes, exceptionally capable," Kal-El agrees. Diana is certainly one of the people he'd believe can make the most out of that type of situation. They all have their strengths. IS it really fine to recover and not immediately be all over everything? In a way, it's disconcerting. One step at a time.

"Thank you for the snack," Kal-El thanks them both. "And company. I'll get some real rest soon, but another flight is in my future, I think." He gets to his feet, intending to head off, quietly sliding the bowl towards where both women can reach it, if they want to finish it up. "I'm glad you're doing well," he says, directly and honestly to Kara. And then looks to Caitlin. "And you're most welcome here - don't let the serious types get to you /too/ much. Keep the joy, or what are we fighting for, really?" A warm smile, with his characteristic charisma, the smile of hope that's very difficult to not smile back at.

Caitlin smiles and rolls her eyes, cheeks dimpling. "Gosh, I see where Kara gets it from," she says with a shy laugh. "I'll try. It… it's really nice finally meeting you, Superman," she says, sticking a hand out to offer a shake. "I hope some day we can work together. Meanwhile, rest up, okay? We'll keep the place together until you're back on your feet."

Kara leans over to give her cousin a hug, and gives him a whisper in Kryptonian. <I'll stop by the farm later. Go see your parents. I'm sure they want a hug, too.> Sitting back in her chair, she turns to Caitlin. "You'll be used to him soon enough. Once you've caught him watching 'Old Yeller' and sniffling, the shock and awe kind of wears off." She giggles and winks to both of them. "Anyways, I should probably get gong myself. Thanks for the company, Caitlin. You helped make the waiting go easier." And Kara goes over to give Caitlin a hug too. Hey, she's a hugger.

Superman accepts the handshake, and doesn't do any weird macho hand-crushing manuever whatsoever. It's a relaxed, confident clasp and shake that has no need to prove anything at all… other than that he's pleased to meet her. And starts to reply to her describing that they'll continue to save the world, gives Kara a dour look at her comment on Old Yeller. "Hey now. It's /sad/," he says, with a quick smile, shake of head with a chuckle, and heads off.

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