On Twisting the Hellmouth
On Archive of Our Own
This is the first of six short chapters - I should post them reasonably quickly, I hope. All characters belong to their respective creators, giant megacorporations of doom, etc. and there is no intent to infringe on copyright.
Note – the first encounter is a reprise of the final scene of The Return from Supergirl’s viewpoint, the others are set later.
1: Timothy McGee
Marcus L Rowland
Linda’s been living in her new house for a month, and she enjoys the daily routine of life in Los Angeles. She moved in with a puppy from the Kent farm, Shelby Junior, and most days she takes him for a walk, picks up a coffee and the papers, and spends a little time reading them in the sun before heading in to college or patrolling the area as Supergirl. She’s learning to roller-skate, and plans to try ice-skating when she visits Metropolis next winter. It’s near-perfect camouflage; nobody expects a roller-skating girl with a puppy to be the most powerful woman on Earth.
The accident is exactly that – Junior runs off after a pigeon, and drags Linda after her. She’s just getting him back under control, and not really looking where she’s going, when she realises she’s going to hit someone, a man carrying two coffees. She swerves left, the man swerves right, and the puppy dodges between his legs; somehow they end up sprawled on the ground, with the coffees spilled on the sidewalk. As they go down Linda realises that he’s someone she knows and likes; Timothy McGee from Washington. She’s horribly embarrassed, then realises that there isn’t even a tiny glimmer of recognition in his eyes. Of course he knows her as Kara, so maybe the camouflage works. There’s something lumpy touching her stomach, and as she gets off him she realises it’s a gun, concealed under his jacket.
“Sorry about that,” she says as she gets back on her feet, “Here, let me give you a hand.” She reaches down and helps him up.
“I think it was my fault.” He rubs the back of his head; she checks, but he doesn’t seem to have taken any damage from the fall.
“I’m pretty sure it was me,” say Linda, wondering if McGee is really that unobservant. “Hey, I owe you a couple of coffees.”
“That’s okay,” says McGee, “I’m working, I get expenses; I’ll just buy more.”
“Then I’d better walk back with you, just in case you’ve got a concussion or something.”
“There’s no need, ah…”
“Linda.” She puts her arm through his. “Linda Lee.”
She insists on walking back with him, and tries to work out what’s wrong. This is what the movies call “meeting cute,” it should be romantic. Instead Tim seems to be wary, almost distrustful of her, and instead of feeling romantic she’s feeling annoyed. They argue about paying for the coffee again and she flirts just a little, and gives him her phone number, but doesn’t protest when he says he has to leave. She watches him through the wall, and sees him meet Gibbs a few minutes later. She can't resist listening for a moment.
"I made a mistake, boss, I was tripped by a dog and I think its owner spotted my gun."
"And she started coming on to me, it was kinda creepy. For all she knew I might have been some sort of crook."
"Some women like guns, it's how I met my second wife."
"Wasn't she the one who cleaned out your bank account?"
Gibbs swats the back of his head, and they move off. Linda's annoyed with herself; of course a stranger ought to be wary of someone carrying a gun, if she doesn't know who he is. She puts it down to experience.
Two weeks later she notices that her house is being watched, and recognizes one of the watchers as a local NCIS agent she’s met as Supergirl. For the next week she keeps a low profile, trying to avoid anything that might reveal her powers. Bruce knows the answers, of course; a few days after she and McGee met, an agent called Callan was shot in LA, and one of the suspects is a girl he met accidentally. They're checking up on the contacts of all the agents in the area, making sure that there aren't any other surprises. Eventually they lose interest and go away.
It’s a shame; she thinks McGee’s cute, if maybe just a little old for her, but there are just too many issues.
Comments please before I post to archives.
Revised to fix the major chronological error spotted by dsample, to whom all thanks!