Transformatrix 4000: Two Months Later
Written by Spulo :: [Tuesday, 06 February 2007 15:17] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 05 March 2013 16:21]
Transformatrix 4000: Two Months Later
WRITTEN FOR SGI WORKSHOP 1.10
Setting – between the end of the first interactive T4000 section, and Argonaut's 'Three Months Later' story …
As Bobby Franklin brought his car to a stop, Amber Slater looked across the street at her boyfriend Greg's house, and started to feel sick. She had so many happy memories of that place, all soured now that she'd gained her powers and Greg had decided he couldn't remain in a relationship with someone stronger than he was. Still, she was hoping that even if their romance was over, she could still try to salvage a friendship. She glanced nervously at Bobby, and smiled. "It was sweet of you to bring me here, Bobby – you didn't have to."
"Are you sure you don't want me to come with you?" he asked.
"No, thank you … I appreciate the offer, but I have to do this alone."
"Alright, well … good luck …"
Amber stepped out of the car, then leaned in through the open passenger window to say "Thanks … for bringing me here … and for being such a good friend. I'll call you later, alright?" She waved as Bobby pulled away, then crossed the road and knocked on Greg's front door. She was on the verge of scanning with her x-ray vision to check that he actually was home when the door finally opened.
"What do you want?" he asked tersely.
"Hi." she replied. "Can I come in?"
The smile began to fade from her face. "I thought, maybe … we could talk?"
"You've still got your powers?" Amber nodded. "Then there's nothing to say."
"I think there's plenty to say." she replied. "You've not returned any of my calls … you've been avoiding me …"
"Sure I have. Amber, think about what you did … the way you humiliated me …"
"I beat you at arm-wrestling." Amber reminded him. "That was all … I had to find some way to show you what happened … you didn't believe me when I told you-"
"And now I can't even bring myself to look at you." Greg told her. "You've changed, Amber … I don't know what you are now …"
"I thought you cared about me … how can you just walk away from we have?"
"Had." he replied. "If you've still got your powers, then there's no going back to the way things were before."
"Why?" she asked. "Because I'm stronger than you now, is that it? If I could get rid of these powers, would that make it better? I can't get rid of them, Greg – and I don't want to get rid of them either …"
"Stop it – just stop it!" Greg hissed. "My God, Amber … I've seen girls like you on TV, lifting up trains and tanks as if they don't weight anything …"
"They don't weigh anything." Amber whispered. "Not to me."
"And … you don't think that's scary?"
"The only thing that's scary is how you've reacted!" she replied. "I've never seen you like this! My parents understand why I did it … they've accepted that I'm … different … because they love me, and I thought you loved me too …"
"That was before you had yourself turned into an inhuman freak!!! Get this into your head, Amber – we're finished, and I don't want to see you again, ever!" With that, Greg pushed Amber away – but his nerves got the better of him, and he pushed a little harder than needed. Amber, too upset to keep her balance, was shoved to the ground, and she watched as the love of her life disappeared behind the slammed door.
"But … but I love you …" she whispered. "Don't do this to me …"
It wasn't until Bobby, who had parked around the corner and had been watching from a distance, came to help her up and take her back to the car that she finally broke down in tears …
"You want me to move in with you?"
Kara nodded. "Or I could move in with you?"
Kara's question had taken Jill by surprise. When her girlfriend had suggested they go out for lunch today, she hadn't even guessed that she might have had some reason beyond simply wanting to spend time with her. "Are you sure it's not too soon? We've only been dating a couple of months …"
"Exactly – I think we know each other well enough by now. We sleep together every night. Heck, half your stuff's at my place already anyway. Look, when was the last time you slept or ate at your apartment – alone?"
Jill struggled to come up with a reply. "I don't hear an answer, sweetheart." Kara teased. "Could it be that we've been together so long that you can't even remember what life was like by yourself?"
"Hardly." Jill replied. "But you're right … we do seem to spend all our free time together … and I like it that way."
Kara leaned in close. "So why don't you move in with me? Or I can move in with you? I really don't mind where we live, so long as we're together …"
Jill considered it, and as she did Kara's hand slowly crept across the table to gently squeeze her own. "Alright … why not? Let's … let's move in together."
"You mean it?"
Jill nodded. "Your place. I don't wanna put you though the hassle of moving – and besides, like you said, half of my stuff's there already."
"Plus my apartment is much bigger than yours." Kara added.
"There is that …"
"And it's ideally placed so that no-one can notice our, er … comings and goings."
Jill smiled. "Well, obviously until the new term starts I'm not doing anything for a few more weeks yet. You up for helping me pack things up this afternoon, then?"
"Yeah, but y'know … I reckon we could have it done in half the time if we had Supergirl to help us. Lifting heavy boxes from your place to mine, that kind of thing …"
"If only we knew Supergirl, huh?"
"It's funny you should mention that …" Both women smiled. "I'll see what I can do … but I want you to know this means a hell of a lot to me."
"Oh, and to me." Jill took hold of Kara's hand, and the two sat gazing into each other's eyes. "It's silly, really. We pretty much do live together already. Right … I suppose I can make a bit of a start – get the rent paid, and-"
" … help … somebody help!"
The smiles fell from each woman's face as they heard the cry for help. A quick glance at the people around them calmly carrying on with their meals showed that there were no other superhumans in the room to hear it, and Kara quickly got to her feet. "I … have to use the little girls room." she whispered. "I'll be as quick as I can …"
"Good luck …" Jill replied, and she watched as Kara walked away quickly but calmly – just beginning to tug at her clothes as she disappeared out of sight. With a longing sigh, Jill turned to the window, and as passers-by began to point to the sky she knew what was coming. Her girlfriend, now in her Supergirl costume, had just taken off from the roof of the restaurant. People cheered and pointed as she rose into the sky – but only Jill, with her superhuman vision, could see the Girl of Steel blowing her a kiss before she hurtled into the distance …
She could never have imagined how much Kara would come to mean to her when they had first starting dating. Jill had assumed that nothing would come of it, but was surprised to discover that something between them just clicked, and their relationship had rapidly moved from friendship to a full-blown romance from then on. Suddenly Jill, who had always put her teaching career before her love life, found herself sharing in the life of the world's greatest superheroine in a way that no-one else ever had done. She quickly realized just how little she, or anyone, really knew about the girl behind Supergirl. In Kara, Jill found a passionate, gentle, but above all lonely soul, someone she felt very few people had been able, or been allowed, to get close to. She got the feeling that it took great courage for Kara to talk to her about her past, about her long-lost family and homeworld. Not only was Kara the best lover Jill had ever had, but also she was her very best friend.
That wasn't to say that she didn't have other friends. During her time at the facility, she had formed a close friendship with Denise Jordan, who continued to this day, and through Kara she had gotten to know the now-powerless Superman, and his recently-repowered girlfriend Lois Lane, who was now spending more and more time as Ultrawoman. There was Amber Slater, the schoolgirl she'd been asked to take care of while in the facility, and DeeAnn Donovan, who now was Superwoman, Kara's partner. Jill knew that DeeAnn had a special place in Kara's heart, but there was of course no question who she truly loved.
Jill still had other friends, of course, from before her transformation, but she felt much more comfortable being around others of her own kind – other superwomen, other people with whom she shared an incredible, wonderful secret …
Jill's life had been enhanced immensely since she'd gained her powers, but at the same time others were feeling that they were more of a curse than a blessing. Bobby had taken Amber to a nearby diner, and there she sat staring into her strawberry milkshake, wondering just where it had all gone wrong. Her tears were long since dried up, but she was clearly still very upset. Whatever Bobby tried to talk to her about, he couldn't get a response, so eventually he put his hand on her shoulder. "Amber? Talk to me, please …"
"He said I was a freak …"
"I know … if it had been me, I'd have totally lost it. I'd have smashed the whole place up." The look of horror on Amber's face told him that that probably wasn't the smartest thing to have said. "Did it even occur to you that you could do that?"
"No." she replied quietly. "That's scary …"
"He didn't deserve you, Amber. You're much too good for someone like that …"
"It's not just what he said … as we pulled away from his house, I used my x-ray vision, and … and I saw a girl in his bed, and now I'm wondering whether he was seeing her at the same time as he seeing me … or if he's just tried as hard as he can to forget about me." She sniffed, and tried not to break down in tears again. "What did I do wrong?"
"Nothing." Bobby told her firmly, gripping hold of her hands tightly. "You did nothing wrong, Amber. You just got mixed up with some jerk who doesn't realize how wonderful you are …"
"Me? Wonderful?" Amber shook her head. "No … he's right, I am a freak …"
"Amber, don't talk like that …"
"Why not? It's the truth!" Realizing that she'd raised her voice and was disturbing the people around her, Amber took a second to calm herself before saying "I'm sorry … but that is how I see myself now …"
"Then I'm sorry, Amber, but you're so wrong. You're smart, you're friendly, you're kind, you're funny, you're very very beautiful … you're many things, but you're not a freak." Amber didn't reply, and he added "Do you want me to take you home?"
"Yeah, I need to go …" she whispered.
"What … up, up and away?" Bobby teased, managing to raise a little smile from Amber.
"No, no, nothing like that." she replied. "My parents and I have a meeting with the principal of Metropolis University this afternoon, so I should be getting back …"
" … anything wrong?"
"They said they couldn't talk about it over the phone. So, yeah, it'll probably be something else I don't really need to hear right now." Amber got to her feet, and Bobby handed her her handbag. Her voice was wavering as she said "My life just keeps on getting better and better, huh?"
"It will, Amber. Just need to give it time …"
Amber shook her head – she couldn't believe that right now. Bobby took her hand, leading her out of the diner and into the car park. As they approached his car, Amber stared at Bobby for a moment, before asking "Could I hug you?"
"Of course." Amber wrapped her arms around him as gently as she could, and he hugged her back. "You don't even have to ask …"
"I do … the last time I hugged someone was Greg, and that didn't go too well … if I hugged too tight-"
"You can hug me any time, Amber. I know you. I trust you. You're in complete control of your powers, no matter what you think."
Amber let go, and smiled fondly at him. "You're a real friend, Bobby. Thanks for … for everything."
"You're worth it." he told her, and opened the car door for her. "After you?"
"This is silly, Jill."
"This! Me carrying you home when you can already fly …"
"I don't know what you mean." Jill replied innocently. "I'm just an ordinary schoolteacher … I don't have any special powers."
"I think if I dropped you right now, you'd manage to develop some pretty quickly …"
Jill gazed down at the bustling city below. "You won't drop me though, will you?"
Kara grinned. "Never."
With Jill clutched tightly to her chest, Kara soared down towards her open apartment window, and made a graceful landing in their front room. "Welcome to your new home." she said, as she set her lover down.
Jill gave Kara a quick kiss on her cheek. "Thank you, darling."
"OK … this is your home now, as much as it is mine … so whatever you don't like about the place, we can change it. Anything you wanna suggest, I'll go with it. Anything-"
"Kara, Kara …" Jill put her finger on Kara's lips, and the Girl of Steel fell silent. "I've always liked your home … but of course, now that it's our home, I do have one or two suggestions." Jill smiled as she saw that Kara was eager to hear them. "But not right now." She slid down onto the sofa, and patted the space next to her. "Right now, I have other things on my mind …"
Kara sat down next to Jill, who put her hand on her knee and gazed into her eyes. "This is crazy …" she said after a moment.
"This! Us! … my God, I'm dating Supergirl."
"No – you're dating Kara Zor-El." Kara reached out to remove Jill's glasses, and affectionately brushed a stray strand of hair back behind her lover's ear. "And actually, I think we're way past the dating stage … don't you?" With that, Kara began to plant soft kisses on Jill's neck, and Jill couldn't help herself – her hand crept up Kara's thigh and underneath her red miniskirt.
"You're right." she replied quietly, as Kara's lips got closer and closer to her mouth. "Way way past …"
As she and her parents filed into the principal's office at Metropolis University, Amber was starting to wish she'd asked Bobby to come along too. She knew that whatever she was about to hear could only be bad …
"I'll get right to the point." the principal told them. "It's about Amber's exam results. As you know, her entry here is determined on those results, and in Amber's case those results were … well, perfect. They couldn't be graded anything less than 100%." The principal eyed Amber cautiously, before asking "Miss Slater … do you have superpowers?"
Amber looked at her mother and father, before shrugging. "Yeah … is that a problem?"
"I see. Then … I regret to inform you that we can't process your college application."
"You can't be serious!" her mother exclaimed.
"We're not allowed to process the application, Mrs Slater. Your daughter had an unfair advantage over the other students."
"But … but I didn't cheat!" Amber cried. "I studied hard for those exams …"
"Exactly – your papers are ungradable because they're just too good. I've heard rumors that these powers include heightened intellect … now I'm willing to believe that you didn't intentionally use that to pass your exams, but-"
"I can't go on to medical school if I don't get this placement." Amber said quietly. "Please … I promise, I'll never use them … just don't do this, please …"
"I am sorry." the principal replied. "But the fact is that you had an unfair advantage – and you would have the same advantage if you went to college. It's unfortunate that you have to be affected like this, but your place has to given to someone without your special skills."
"You can't be doing this to me … you can't …"
"Now, Miss Slater, I trust you won't get violent …"
As soon as he'd said it, the principal knew he shouldn't have. There was silence. All eyes were on Amber as she slowly got to her feet. "Violent?" she repeated, as if unable to believe her ears. "I'm listening to you throwing away my future … everything I've ever dreamed of, everything I've ever wanted … and you expect me to take it calmly?"
Amber's mother reached for her daughter's hand. "Amber, maybe we-"
"NO!" Unable to control her rage any longer, Amber suddenly smashed a fist she hadn't even realized she'd clenched down onto the principal's desk, instantly shattering it into several pieces.
Silence. Amber was stunned, unable to believe what she'd done. "I-I'm sorry!" she stammered. "Oh God, I … I'm sorry, I didn't mean to!" Her words seemed to fall on deaf ears. The combined looks of shock and horror she was receiving – even on the faces of her parents – was too much for her to take, and she hurtled through the office window in tears …
Gaining superpowers had, for many women, become something of a curse when it came to the bedroom. Their new abilities meant that although they could satisfy their partner, providing that they were very careful, said partner was unable to do the same for them, and as a result the relationship could suffer. For Jill Henderson and Kara Zor-El, and other superpowered lesbian couples, it was nothing but a blessing. Kara was the first lover Jill had had since gaining her powers, and she was surprised to discover just how much her transformation had changed her. Making love had become a much deeper and intense experience than she had ever known, as her improved body now required tremendous stimulus in order to achieve climax – which, when it came, was almost too much for her to stand. Kara had also enjoyed introducing Jill to the delights of making love in flight or freefall, in space, inside active volcanoes, and even at the crushing depths of the sea – anywhere that would remind Jill of how powerful she now was, and anywhere that they could be truly alone.
There was only one problem for them now – once they got started, losing themselves in their passion for each other, it was difficult to stop. Out in the middle of nowhere, that was no problem as they could do whatever they wanted with no fear of causing any destruction. Here in their apartment, however, they were well aware that if their lovemaking could end up destroying the entire building, and that they had to control themselves. Making love in the air over their bed instead of in it was the safest way for Kara and Jill to enjoy themselves.
As they floated back down onto the bed, still cuddled together, Jill could see Kara's eyes glistening with faint tears. "What's wrong?" she asked. "Did I hurt you?"
"No, of course not, it's just …" Kara shrugged. "I didn't think I'd ever find anyone to be with … now I've got you, and I'm so happy …"
Jill smiled, and snuggled close to her lover. "I'm happy too." she whispered. The two women lay there, exhausted, until the sound of a ringtone could be heard from the kitchen.
"Sounds like my phone." Jill replied, sitting up.. "I should probably go answer it …"
Kara squealed in dismay, and grabbed hold of her lover's waist. "No! Jill no leave!"
"I'll only be a moment …"
Kara growled, but she let Jill remove her fingers from around her waist one by one. "Kara no like being alone in bed …"
"Kara will no be alone in bed ever again." Jill replied, and pushed Kara backwards. "You won't even notice I've gone." With that, Jill rushed for her phone at superspeed, and was back in bed beside Kara in less than a second. "It's a text from Bobby …" she explained.
"Oh." I must remember to thank him for doing this to Jill some day, Kara thought. Seeing that the smile had faded from Jill's face, replaced with a look of concern, she instinctively grabbed her Supergirl uniform from the floor. "Jill? What's happened?"
"It's Amber." Jill explained. "She's run away …"
Holly Harrison whimpered as the man brought the knife to her throat. "You scream, baby, and it'll be the last thing you ever do." he growled.
Holly winced as the man's cold dirty hands began to tear her blouse off, throwing her hard against the cold alley wall. "Nice tits." he said. "The rest of you that good?"
Tears streamed down Holly's face. "Don't … please …"
"Leave her alone."
Both the man and Holly turned in the direction of the voice of a teenage girl, standing at the end of the alley with her hands on her hips. The man grinned.
"Sure baby, I'll leave this bitch alone … if you can stop me." He started to pull Holly's shorts down, and that was when Amber made her move. Moving faster than the human eye could see, she rushed forward and grabbed the man's throat in her hand. Squeezing it enough to cause him a little pain, and lifting him up against the wall, she fixed him with a stony glare.
"How's this for stopping you?" she asked sweetly. "You give up?"
The man nodded as much as he could, and Amber released him. "On your way." she ordered. She turned to help Holly, who screamed as the man drew his knife and charged at Amber.
Amber spun around, and twin beams of heat vision fired out from her eyes, striking the blade and instantly melting it. The man shrieked in pain as the searing heat burned his hand, until he finally gave up and ran for his life.
Satisfied, Amber turned back to Holly. "Are you alright?" she asked.
The girl looked up at her rescuer. "Yes … thank you …"
"Can you make it home OK?"
"Um … yes, sure …"
Amber helped Holly to her feet, and told her "I'm sorry … I was just in the neighborhood, and … well, I couldn't let him do whatever he was gonna do."
"Don't worry. I promise, he won't get very far. I'm sorry I have to rush off like this, but … well, I'm sorry."
"Who … who are you?"
Amber wanted to tell her, but in the end she just gave a small shrug. "I wish I knew." she replied sadly, before launching herself into the sky …
Amber's drink sat on the bar untouched, and the cigarette she had been offered her remained unlit in her hand. The girl clearly had a lot of things she wanted to get off her chest, and all she really needed was someone to listen. Barmaid Beth Taylor was happy to do that – at this time of night there wasn't much else going on, and it made a change to be talking to someone nearer her own age for once.
Amber was trying to explain her problems to Beth without being too specific, and without mentioning her powers. Taking advantage of a moment of silence from Amber, Beth asked "Where you from?"
"Whoa … when you run away from home, you don't mess around … can I say something?"
"Well … look, I don't know you, and I don't know what your situation is … but it seems like you're trying too hard. You're trying to please everybody, when what you really need to focus on is yourself. What do you want to do, Amber?"
Amber considered the question for a moment, before shrugging. "I wanna help people." she said. "I did that tonight, I helped someone … it felt good. I'm a position to really do some good … I never realized it before." She sighed. "I guess I just want to do the right thing … I want my parents and my friends to be proud of me … but I don't want them to be angry with my choice …"
"That's not answering my question, Amber. What do you want to do?" When Amber didn't reply, she added "Look, if they don't respect whatever choice you make, then they're not people you need in your life."
"I'm starting to understand that." Amber replied. "My boyfriend … he couldn't accept me, and we've split."
"I'm sorry … I know you can't see it now, but that is a good thing. Cut the crap, keep the good people. You'll find someone else, believe me … someone so much better."
Maybe I already have, Amber thought to herself. And then she heard it – another cry for help not too far away. "I have to go." she said, and she ran for the door, stopping only to call back "Thanks for the drink … and for listening … but I'm sorry, I have to go!" And with that, Amber was gone, leaving Beth very much alone in the bar.
She looked down at the cigarette Amber had dropped, and picked it up – lighting it for herself with her heat vision. As she blew a thick cone of smoke out towards the ceiling, she shook her head. "Well, one of us had to … good luck …"
"Just a minute!" Jill called, as the doorbell rang and she hurried to open it. By now, Amber had been missing for four days, and despite the best efforts of Kara and the others Jill was beginning to lose hope of ever seeing her friend again, so it was quite a surprise to see her standing right there on the other side of the door.
"Amber!" Jill eagerly hugged her friend, and Amber found herself hugging back. "Oh, we've been so worried about you – where've you been?"
Amber shrugged. "Here and there. On the Moon, mostly." she explained simply.
"The Moon?" Jill studied Amber – she seemed somehow distant, or deep in thought. Jill took her hand, and led her over to the couch. "You sit down here, hun … it's alright, Amber. Everything's alright."
Amber looked up, and slowly shook her head. "I'm a freak."
"No … no you're not." Jill replied. "If you're a freak, then what does that make me, and everyone else who was in the facility with us?"
"Jill?" A look of realization crept across Amber's face, as if she'd only just realized who she'd actually been talking to. "What are you doing here?"
"I live here now, Amber. With Kara."
"You live here? But …" Amber glanced around, and suddenly noticed the mountains of boxes that had been brought over from Jill's old apartment. "You've moved in?"
Jill nodded happily. "I have."
"Things are going that well between you?"
"They are, and it's all thanks to you."
Before Amber could reply, a blue and red blur hurtled in through the open window, eventually taking the form of Kara. "You're back!" she gasped, on seeing Amber. "Oh, thank goodness … where've you been?"
"The Moon." Jill told her.
"The Moon." Amber confirmed. "I needed somewhere to think …"
There was a moment's silence, broken when Jill grabbed Amber for another hug. "We've all missed you." she told her.
"Would you like something to eat, Amber?" Kara asked. "Or a drink?"
Amber nodded. "Thanks … some water would be great." As Kara went to fetch her some, Jill put a reassuring arm around her friend.
"We're not gonna let the University get away with this, alright?" she said. "Lois has been doing some research, and she thinks-"
"No … no what?"
"I appreciate that everyone wants to help, and that I must have scared everyone …"
"We were just worried about you, that's all." Kara told her, as she returned from the kitchen with Amber's glass of water.
"I know … and I'm sorry … I just couldn't stick around after what I'd done …"
"Amber – you destroyed a desk. That's all."
"I lost control." Amber replied quietly. "I could have killed someone …"
"You didn't. Amber, you got upset, and with very good reason. No-one thinks any less of you, and you're not in trouble."
"Bobby told us what happened with your boyfriend …" Jill added. "I'm so sorry, Amber … but if he said those horrible things, then you're well rid of him."
Amber nodded. "I'm starting to realize that." she replied. "And Bobby's been so supportive … he's always there for me, no matter what … I never really had that with Greg …"
"He's been phoning here every other hour, hoping you've come back." Jill told her. "Have you been to see him yet?"
"No, and I know I have to … I just wanted to come her first … see, there's something I need your help with."
Kara glanced at Jill. "Anything we can do …" she said.
"Well, being on my own … it gave me time to think about what I can do with my life now that I can't be a doctor. And I kept on coming back to the same answer. I have these powers … I wanted these powers … but I haven't been using them, and that's wrong." She smiled. "Do you know what I do to earn money? I work in a bookshop, at weekends … can you believe I still take the bus into town? That I still wear glasses to read?" She looked up at Kara. "When you and the others came to the facility to get us out, you asked me if maybe I'd like to become a superheroine, and I said no thanks, cos' at the time I didn't know what I wanted to do. But now I know, and you said that if I ever changed my mind … well, that there'd be a Supergirl costume here for me …"
"… Yes, I did say that … but to make it your whole life … you're not gonna keep it a secret, are you?" Amber shook her head. "Are you sure about this?"
"More than I've ever been about anything else in my whole life." Amber replied. "I really wanna do this. I can't gone on hiding what I am."
"Amber … it'll change your life. There'll be no way back. You've seen the way DeeAnn gets treated in the press and on TV when she's Superwoman …"
"They love her."
"Right … and they'll love you too … but your privacy is going to be severely compromised. The whole world will be watching you … and I don't think you would ever be able to walk away from it."
"Would you ever walk away from being Supergirl?" Amber asked.
There was no answer. "She's got you there." Jill pointed out. "Besides … her secret's already out. After what she did in the principal's office, everyone knows about her powers now …"
"Alright." Kara replied, putting her hand on Amber's shoulder. "Now, I've got spare costumes, you're welcome to one of them … but I'd like you to have a unique costume. Still a Supergirl costume … but something to make you stand out. Would you let me design a costume just for you?"
"Would you really?" Amber asked. "That would be wonderful, Kara, thank you …"
"I think I'm ready!"
"Come on out, then!" called Jill. "I'm dying to see you!"
There was silence from the bedroom where Amber was changing into her new costume. "You won't … won't laugh at me … will you?"
"You know we wouldn't!" Kara replied.
"Alright … here I come …" The door opened, and after a moment Amber stepped out. "Oh my …" Jill whispered.
The costume Kara had designed for Amber featured the usual red boots and cape of a Supergirl costume, but with blue shorts, white gloves, and a white halter top with the 'S' shield emblazoned on it. Amber twirled around nervously, and glanced at herself in the mirror.
"How do you feel?" Kara asked.
"I don't know … a bit silly …"
"Oh, the costume is brilliant, it really is, it's just … me, wearing it … doesn't seem right …"
"Amber, when I first asked you if you wanted to do this, I wasn't asking you just to be polite. I was asking you because I see so much potential in you. I think … no, I know … that you are going to be a great hero … perhaps the greatest your world has ever known." She smiled. "Please don't crawl back inside your shell."
"I don't want to, I just … I'm nervous …"
"Of course you are. I was, the first time I went out in public like this – but I got over it, and you will too."
Amber glanced back at her reflection. "What can I call myself?" she wondered out loud.
"Supergirl, of course." Kara replied. "What else?"
"But you're Supergirl … wouldn't it get confusing?"
"Look, I've been Supergirl for the past ten years … by your calendar, I'm nearly thirty. I'm not a girl anymore, so I think it's time for me to become a Superwoman, and pass the Supergirl name on to someone else." Kara smiled. "You, Amber. You are now the one and only Supergirl – if you want to be."
"What?" Amber gasped, and even Jill was more than a little surprised.
"Um … are you sure, hun?"
"Absolutely." Kara replied. "She can do it. Just look at her, and tell me she isn't exactly what Supergirl is supposed to be."
"… I can't. Sorry Amber, but you really look the part."
"If this is all happening too fast, just tell us and we can put all that on hold for a while." Kara told Amber. "But it'd be silly for me to carry on calling myself Supergirl for much longer … and I really want you to take that name." She put her hand on her shoulder, and whispered "I believe in you. We both do."
"I don't know what to say … except thank you. Thank you so much!" Amber threw herself at Kara for a hug, and then gave Jill one too.
"Would you like to go for a test flight?" Kara asked.
"I'd love to, but … I-I think I'd better go home soon … my parents must be so worried … How am I ever gonna explain to them that I've decided to become a superhero?"
"Don't worry about that. They'll just be glad to see you're back – but if you like, I could come with you, for a bit of support?"
"That's a good idea – they might be more likely to accept it if Kara's there to back you up." Jill suggested.
"Would you like to go for a flight, then?" Kara asked. "We can just cruise around for a while, people can see you in your costume, with me … and then we can take you home."
But Amber looked to her reflection yet again. "I'm Supergirl." she whispered, as if trying to believe it. Then she put her hands on her hips, and tried not to giggle. "I am Supergirl!" she said, much more confidently. "I think I like the sound of that …"
A few moments later, Kara and Amber flew out the window and Jill was left alone. She sighed as she watched her lover and friend disappeared into the distance, then turned and began to tidy the apartment. She stopped as she saw today's paper, where on the cover as usual was a picture of the world's greatest superhero team, Superwoman and Supergirl, in action.
An idea crossed her mind, but she dismissed it as silly. The longer she stared at the newspaper photo, however, the more the idea came back, and soon Jill found herself heading for the bedroom …
Kara sat on the floor as Amber outlined her plans for the future to her parents, who were, as she'd expected, not entirely thrilled with their daughter's choice. Her display of superstrength in the principal's office was still fresh in their minds, and while they weren't actually scared of her they were aware that she could cause unintentional damage if she got upset.
A painful silence settled over the room as Amber's latest reason for wanting to become a superhero was countered by her father. Seeing that the discussion of going nowhere fast, Kara handed Amber her costume. "Amber … why don't you go and get changed?" Amber nodded, and headed for the stairs. Her parents and Kara watched until she was out of sight, then Kara got to her feet.
"I know this must be difficult for you," she said, "and I know that you both want what's best for your daughter. So do I. Amber is my friend … and what's happened to her over the last few days has really shaken her."
"We're going to fight it." said Mr Slater. "She deserves to be able to go to that university."
"Yes, she does." Kara replied. "I bet she's always wanted to be a doctor, hasn't she?"
Mrs Slater nodded. "When she was 7 years old, one of her friends was hit by a car, and Amber went with her to the hospital. Ever since then, it's all she's ever wanted … to help people in need."
"Right … and now she's realized that she could help far more people as a superhero than she could as a doctor." said Kara. "Look, we've discussed this at length. She knows it isn't going to be easy; her privacy, and yours, will most likely be severely compromised once she's established herself … but she wants to make a go of it, and I have no doubt that she'll succeed … with your help. Give her a chance – let her make you proud of her."
Mrs Slater looked at her husband. "John … she's our little girl. If this is what she wants to do-"
"Can you guarantee her safety?" interrupted Mr Slater.
Kara nodded slowly. "Your daughter is a very intelligent young woman, and with the strength and powers she now has she's more than capable of looking after herself." she pointed out. "But Amber is special to me. My lifestyle doesn't allow for many genuine friends, but Amber is my friend … and I gladly take responsibility for her safety."
"And she made me my costume." said a quiet voice from the direction of the stairs.
"Oh my …" whispered Mrs Slater, at her first sight of her daughter in full costume. While she ran to join her, Kara took Mr Slater aside.
"Amber did a little matchmaking on my behalf." she told him quietly. "I can never thank her enough for that. Mr Slater, I promise I will always look after your daughter – I give you my word."
"Then that's good enough for me." he replied, not taking his eyes off his daughter.
Amber was doing a little twirl for her mother, when she suddenly noticed her father looking at her. "Can I do it?" she asked. "Is it OK with you?"
Seeing that his wife had been converted to Amber's cause, Mr Slater shrugged. "I suppose so … but-"
"Thank you, daddy!" Amber had already grabbed her father for a hug. "It'll all work out just fine, I promise. Sorry, what were you gonna say?"
"Um … it was about money. Your mom and I aren't gonna be around forever … how are you going to support yourself?"
"That's something we'll have to look into." Kara said. "But DeeAnn Donovan – Superwoman – she manages to keep herself, through modeling. I'm sure Amber'll get plenty of offers once she's established herself, but at the moment, all I can suggest is that we set up some sort of account, or fund … to accept donations from those people that she'll help."
"We had set aside some money to see her through college …" Mrs Slater said.
"That's a start, at least." Kara replied. "But that is really something you're going to have to discuss as a family … and this is probably the point that I should go … oh, Amber – one request."
"This is top secret, so no telling anyone else … but some of us are working on a sort of superheroine academy, out in the Nevada facility … would you attend once we start classes?"
"Oh, absolutely!" Amber replied. "How many other students will be there?"
"Well, probably more than we have places for at the moment, but we've not asked anyone yet." Kara replied. "I've, um … sort of had your name at the top of the list ever since the idea first came up. I really hoped you'd say yes."
After saying her goodbyes to Amber's parents, Kara followed her friend out into the garden, where Amber surprised her with a hug and a kiss. "You've done so much for me." she said. "How can I ever thank you?"
"You don't have to." Kara replied. "Just … be the Supergirl I know you were born to be."
"I'll try." Amber said. "Love to Jill!"
Kara smiled. "You'll be lucky." she replied, and leapt into the sky …
Kara would never know.
Those four words kept flashing across Jill's mind as she stood over the crate of spare Supergirl costumes that her lover kept under her … their … bed. It would only be for a few minutes at most, she told herself, as she picked out the one that most closely resembled Kara's, and changed into it at superspeed.
She thought it would feel tighter than it did. It was snug without being uncomfortable, and as she turned to admire her reflection in the mirror Jill had to admit that it looked pretty good on her. She did a few twirls, and smiled as her cape brushed against the back of her knees. The smile became a broad grin, and she couldn't help giggling. What would mom and dad say if they could see me now?
Jill spun round – was she really so wrapped in the costume that she hadn't even heard Kara fly back in? "Kara! I … um, ah … that is … er … hi …" She gave up, and laughed. "OK … you caught me …" She started to take the costume off, but Kara stopped her.
"Oh, no, don't take it off … do not take it off …" Kara walked all the way around her. "I had no idea you were interested, hun …"
"I just wanted to try it." Jill said quietly. "Just to see how it feels …"
Kara smiled. "And how does it feel?"
"I'm not sure … not really like a part of me … but it feels like it could be if I wore it long enough." She turned to face Kara, and tried to change the subject. "Did you get Amber home safe?"
"I did …"
"And … her parents took a little persuading … but yeah, I think it's gonna be OK. You should have seen their faces when she came down in her costume …"
Jill smiled. "So there's yet another Supergirl in town?"
"Don't you ever get a little upset about that?"
"Why should I?"
"Well … you've done so much for this planet, and for so long you were alone. Now there are dozens of girls flying around in knockoffs of your costume … don't you resent not being the only one any more?"
Kara shook her head. "Not at all. I can't be everywhere. This way, I get a lot more free time … to spend with people I care about …"
"And with the people who love you." Jill replied. "Like me."
Kara smiled. "Tomorrow night, you get taken out for dinner for saying that." she said quietly.
"Uh-huh. Just you and me, somewhere really romantic and expensive, or not – wherever you wanna go."
"That's really sweet of you, hun."
Kara raised her hand. "One condition, though – you have to wear this costume."
The smile fell from Jill's face. "What? You mean … go out in public like this?"
"It's what I do." Kara replied seriously.
The two women stared at each other for a moment, then a broad grin crept across Kara's face. "Bitch." hissed Jill.
"That's Superbitch, actually." Kara replied haughtily. "But seriously, I do kinda mean it. I'll buy you dinner if you wear this costume under your normal clothes – just so you can feel what it's like. That's all."
"Won't anyone notice?"
Kara shook her head. "It's easy to hide. What do you say?"
Jill considered it for a moment. "Alright … but this isn't me committing myself to any superhero stuff, alright?"
"I know." Kara replied, gently pulling Jill to her feet and leading her over to the mirror. "But look at yourself." she said. "You can't tell me that you don't look the part."
"Looking the part isn't enough though, is it?"
"No … but then, I never said you only looked the part, did I? If I was gonna list all your other virtues, we could be here a very long time …"
Jill was about to reply when she felt Kara's hands slip round her waist, and she looked at her reflection again … their reflection. She couldn't help smiling as Kara began to plant tender kisses on the back of her neck, and in return she took her girlfriend's hands and placed them on her breasts.
"I love you too." Kara whispered in her ear … before gently nibbling on it and making Jill giggle …
Bobby Franklin couldn't sleep. Usually he'd have dozed off within ten minutes of his head hitting the pillow, his dreams full of beautiful superhuman women flying around and saving the world. At the moment, however, Bobby's thoughts were taken up with just one superhuman, and what she might be going through wherever she was.
It was a cooler night than usual, with a slight breeze blowing in through his open window that was starting to annoy him. He sat up, planning to close it – but stopped. The moonlight illuminated the shadowy figure of a girl, floating just outside the window.
"Amber – is that you?"
Amber couldn't help smiling – how many other girls her age did Bobby know who could fly? "Yes, it's me." she replied as she floated in through the window. "No, no don't turn the light on." she told him. "How've you been?"
"Oh, fine, but … I've missed you. Everyone's been so worried."
"I know … but I'm back now, and I'm not going to be going away again …"
Bobby felt Amber's strong, powerful arms wrap themselves around him in a gentle hug, and there was a moment's silence before he said "They accepted me. Metropolis University, I got in …"
"You did? Oh, Bobby, that's marvellous! I'm so proud of you! " Bobby suddenly felt the hug get much tighter, and he struggled in vain to get loose.
"Thanks." he replied as Amber finally released her hold on him. "But I'm gonna refuse it."
"Because of what they did to you! How can I take the placement if you've been denied the one you should have had?"
"Because you earned it." Amber said firmly.
"You earned yours, too."
"Exactly." she replied. "I did earn a place … I just didn't realize that I had the chance to do something even better. Look … I want you to go to university, Bobby. Don't let what happened to me destroy your future … I've decided I'm not gonna let it destroy mine."
"What do you mean?" he asked.
Amber knelt down beside Bobby's bed. Taking hold of her cape, she began to brush it gently against his face. "What is that?" he asked.
"What does it feel like?"
"It's soft … almost like Ultrawoman's … oh my God. You haven't-"
"I have." she replied – before slapping his hand away from the lamp for a second time. "No peeking! You wanna see this costume? Buy any newspaper tomorrow – assuming that I can find something within the next few hours that'll get me into them." She smiled. "I have to go …"
"Would you … maybe … if you're not too busy … like to go out on a date … some time?"
She smiled. "Would you be asking this if you didn't think I was wearing a Supergirl costume?" she asked.
"A Superg-" He paused. "Sorry … yes, I would be asking you … and I'd be asking you even if you didn't have superpowers. You're the prettiest, gentlest, sweetest girl I've ever met … and I really wanna get to know you better."
"Bless you." Amber replied quietly, leaning forward and giving him a quick peck on the lips. "I'd love to go out with you sometime …"
"I'll come and find you tomorrow." she told him. "For now … just go back to sleep, Bobby … if you can."
She headed for the window, knowing that Bobby would be unable to resist switching on the lamp, and taking just enough time so that he would catch her before she got there. The room was suddenly lit up, and she spun round, hands on hips, allowing him a good look at her Supergirl costume.
"Oh … God …" he whispered.
Amber just smiled, and shook her head. "You're such a naughty boy." she teased – before blowing him a kiss and leaping out of the window.
The following afternoon, Amber and Bobby sat on the swings in the park, ice cream cones in hand, Bobby listening intently as Amber finished explaining her plans for the future.
"Can it really work?" he asked.
"I think it can. And Kara thinks it can too. She's promised to help me, and train me … she's even decided to let me take over being Supergirl, just like that! Can you believe that? Me – Supergirl!"
"From what you've just said, I'm surprised you're wearing ordinary clothes over your costume."
Amber licked her ice cream thoughtfully. "There's no need to attract unwanted attention, is there?" she said. "Especially when I'm on a date …"
"I'm sorry it's nothing expensive …"
"No, don't be … you'll be starting college soon, you don't need to waste your money on me. I can't think of anything nicer than ice creams in the park on a day like today. Besides, it's not how much it costs that matters, it's the company." She smiled. "And I do like spending time with you, Bobby."
Amber's free hand gently took hold of Bobby's own, and he found himself staring down at it. The thought that that one gentle hand could crush the hardest substances known to man crossed his mind … but he was surprised to find himself realizing that that didn't matter any more. She could be an ordinary girl with no superpowers and he would still be thoroughly smitten with her.
Suddenly Amber spun around, and stared off into the distance. "What is it?" Bobby asked.
"Crude oil freighter off-course in the Atlantic … it'll run aground …"
"Have you gotta go?"
" … DeeAnn's on it … but she'll need a hand." Amber jumped to her feet and began to change, unbuttoning her skirt and letting it fall away. "Can you do without me for five or ten minutes?"
"Sure …" Bobby replied as Amber removed her t-shirt, revealing her white top beneath. Reaching into her collar, she pulled out her long red cape and allowed it to billow free. After handing Bobby her ice ream cone, Amber reached into a pouch in her cape and pulled out her gloves – then kissed him on the cheek.
"Keep thinking whatever it was you were thinking, Bobby." she whispered. "I'll be as quick as I can."
And then she was gone. Bobby watched her hurtle across the sky until she was out of sight – then suddenly realized that everyone in the park was looking at him for an explanation. He just shrugged, and went back to his ice cream …
"Do we have to go home just yet?"
"No … What have you got in mind?"
"Well … it's such a lovely night … couldn't we go for a-" She looked around the street, to make sure no-one was watching, before whispering "Flight?"
Kara smiled. "What – you want me to carry you?"
"Well … no, I … look, it's dark. No-one's gonna be able to see us, so … what's the harm in me maybe taking my clothes off, and … well …"
"Being a Supergirl for the night?" Jill nodded. "Well, you've certainly changed your tune."
"I know, but … can we?" When Kara didn't reply, Jill sighed. "Maybe it's the wine talking …"
"No, I don't think it is. Maybe it's helped you along a little … but I think this is something that's been niggling at you for a long time – am I right?"
Jill sighed. "You're right – as always. Ever since this Transformatrix thing started, I've wondered what it would be like to be a superhero, but I've not done anything about it. I've got superhero friends, and friends deciding to become superheroes, and a superhero girlfriend … Kara, whenever I see you going off to save people, part of me always wishes I could come along …"
"There's nothing stopping you."
"Yes there is … fear. I'm afraid that I'd be found out … and that somehow I wouldn't be up to the job. You know me, I'm not exactly the outgoing type, and I figure that that's what you need to be to be a superhero … but with this costume under my clothes … in the restaurant, and out here … I don't know, it feels so different to what I was expecting. It doesn't feel silly or revealing … it feels good … it feels like a part of me, and I think it's a part I wanna explore."
"It sounds like you've come to a decision?" Kara asked.
"Yes … I think I have." Jill took a deep breath. "If you'll have me … I'd like to join your school. I think I might wanna become a sort of superhero …"
"Oh, Jill … you don't know how I've longed to hear you say that."
"Not full time though." Jill added. "I just couldn't do it the way Amber and DeeAnn do, or even the way you do … I really enjoy teaching, and I don't wanna risk my career by having a high-profile second identity … do you understand?"
"Yes, I do." Kara replied. "Look, whatever you decide to do, I'll support you all the way. Except … join the school? Oh, no no no …"
"Well, it wouldn't be fair to the other students to have my girlfriend as a pupil, would it?"
"… Kara … I really mean this. Please let me …"
"No, Jill." Kara replied firmly – before smiling. "Not when I can give you private personal tuition. That's the least you deserve."
Jill grinned. "One on one, is it?"
Kara nodded. "If we really work at it, hopefully I can teach you everything there is to know about being a superhero before the term starts. Even if you're not gonna use it much, you can still be a reserve superhero … and maybe one day you could come and be a teacher at our school as well as at your own?"
"You mean it?"
"Sure. Every day, dozens of women are gaining superpowers – we've got a backlog of applicants for the academy, and we might end up expanding. If we do, then we'll need more teachers … so if ever you want a job there if one comes up …"
"You're the best, you know that?"
"Of course – that's why I'm called Supergirl. Come on – there's an alley over there where we can change. Let's go."
Kara led Jill across the road and into the alley, whereupon both women stripped out of their clothes, revealing their Supergirl uniforms beneath. Jill was about to gather up her clothes when Kara stopped her. "Leave them, babe. For tonight, forget the old Jill. Be SuperJill … and fly at my side." Kara rose a few feet off the ground, and then reached down for Jill
Taking her hand, Jill floated up beside her, smiling. "Kara?"
"I just want you to know that … well, that I love you. I'll always love you."
With tears in her eyes, Kara reached out to gently stroke Jill's face. Her voice had dropped to barely a whisper as she replied "I love you too."
The two women hugged each other tightly, and the world beneath them gradually grew smaller as the pair began float higher and higher into the night sky. For Kara and Jill, the only thing that mattered to either of them now was only the other.
But if they'd been looking, they would have spotted a girl in a white Supergirl costume watching them from a few miles away with a big smile on her face … and silently saying 'thank you' for all they had done for her, before taking off into the night …
A few weeks later, Amber and Bobby sat on a plane bound for Metropolis, where Bobby would soon be beginning his studies at the university. They'd just past through a patch of what had felt like turbulence – which was confirmed when the captain got on the intercom and gave the passengers that explanation.
"Well, that's alright then." Bobby said, but it was then that Bobby noticed that Amber seemed to be listening to something far away. "Amber?"
"They're sending out a mayday." she whispered.
"Oh … is it very bad?"
Amber nodded. "Engine trouble." she whispered. "I don't believe this. I told you I could fly you into Metropolis, but no, you wanted to take a plane and now look what's happening …"
"Well … now's your chance, I guess … you are gonna do something, aren't you?"
"Yeah … yeah, this does look like a job … for me." Amber cracked her knuckles as if it would be a difficult task, before undoing her seatbelt and heading for the front of the plane.
"I'd like to see the Captain, please." she told the stewardess.
"I'm afraid I can't allow anyone onto the flight deck at the moment, Miss." the girl replied. "Now please, just back to your seat, and-"
"Maybe you're right … they don't need any distractions right now." Amber smiled. "I'll explain it to you then."
"My plan. I know that the plane is in trouble … that we probably won't make it. And that your people on the flight deck are trying their hardest … but that's not gonna be enough. They need my help."
"Your help?" the stewardess asked. "Now look, I understand that you might be frightened, but really-"
Amber suddenly tore open her blouse, revealing her Supergirl uniform beneath. "I can help." she repeated, as she floated into the air to prove her point. "I can save this aircraft, and everyone on it, I just need a way to get out of here." Amber said urgently. "But I guess the doors are locked in flight, huh?"
"Uh-huh." the stunned stewardess managed to reply.
"Alright … ooh, I have an idea. OK, look … I'm going to try to get underneath the plane, and sort of … carry it, to the airport. I'll need you to explain that to the Captain for me, alright?"
"Sure …" As Amber turned to leave, the stewardess called "Wait! Are you really strong enough to carry the whole plane?"
"I'm strong enough to carry anything." Amber grinned, and then she ran, back down past the passengers, heading for the rear of the plane and stripping out of the rest of her normal clothes along the way. She slowed a little as she neared Bobby's seat. She had been planning to wink at him, but instead her face turned red with embarrassment and she just kept running.
Hoping that no-one would read too much into the fact that this Supergirl in their midst eventually ended up in the lavatory at the rear of the plane, Amber then locked the door behind her and unleashed her heat vision on the lock and the door, melting it to the doorframe and ensuring that no-one would be able to get in. After a quick x-ray of the room, she tore her way through the wall to the outside, trying to cause as little damage as possible. The sudden change in pressure blew her out of the hole she'd created, and as she caught herself from falling she hoped no-one aboard the plane had seen her somewhat undignified exit.
Amber matched speed with the plane, and swooped in underneath, feeling very small in comparison to the gigantic aircraft – but feeling for the first time a real sensation of power, because she was the only thing that could save it from destruction. As she positioned herself underneath the center of the aircraft, and took hold, she realized that none of her superhero friends were here to help her. Not DeeAnn, not Lois, not even Kara.
They couldn't not know about this, she thought to herself. But
they're not here, so that must mean that they think I can handle it
by myself …
She suddenly didn't know whether to feel very proud or very
Not ten minutes later, Amber had successfully brought the plane in for a safe landing at Metropolis Airport, and as the emergency services helped the passengers and crew off, she stood some distance away, trying to take in the fact that she'd just carried out her first big successful rescue.
She smiled broadly as Bobby ran up to her. "Amber, you were fantastic." he told her.
"It went well, didn't it?" she replied – before grabbing Bobby and laying such a kiss on him. "Uh-oh." Amber had caught sight of the flight deck crew coming towards her. "Question time. Maybe I should go?"
"No, no, stay." Bobby urged her. "This is your big moment, remember?"
"You're right. OK, here goes." Amber put her hands on her hips, just
like she'd seen Kara do on TV hundreds of times, and tried to look
as heroic as possible as the captain and crew approached her.
"I don't know who you are, or how you did that," said the captain, "but on behalf of the crew, the passengers, and myself, all I can say is thank you. You saved all of us."
"Just doing my job." Amber replied cheerfully.
"Who are you?"
Amber looked at Bobby, who took hold of her hand and squeezed it reassuringly. "My name is Amber Slater." she replied proudly. "I'm the new Supergirl."