It had been nearly a week since Nora had opted to take a short detour around the life that been planned so carefully on her behalf. Of course, the details of that oh-so-carefully planned life had been cut out of Boston like a constellation of small, benign tumors, only to be relocated to northern California and spread across the Bay Area at will. The home that she knew was no more. The hospital she had come up through was nothing but a memory. Most of her friends seemed to have moved as well, but with varying levels of awareness. None of it made sense, but it seemed obvious that this huge shift in their lives had happened at the hands of...well, whoever it was that made these decisions for supers like herself.
And in doing so, their secret lives had been suddenly made public. There was footage of fights online that normally would have disappeared and wiped from the public's memory, but instead of someone erasing their tracks, they had left them exposed for the world to see and watch over and over and over again. None of it made sense.
She had just finished making a rather elaborate turkey sandwich for herself when the phone rang. Were it not for her job that still relied on landlines, it would have sounded out of the ordinary, but her ears perked up at the ringing and she tried to zoom in on the caller ID using her enhanced vision. "Saylor," it read, and she furrowed her brow in confusion as she picked up her plate and headed over the the makeshift phone booth that had been setup for them. She set her sandwich down on the side table and grabbed the phone. "Hello?"
"Hi, sweetie." Her mom's warm voice greeted her from the other end of the line, and Nora felt herself relax a little bit. She sat down in the cushy armchair and tried to get comfortable.
"Hi, Mom," she said with a grin. "I wasn't expecting to hear from you. What's going on?" If this didn't feel normal, then she didn't know what did. It wasn't unusual for her to speak with either of her parents on the phone once or twice a week, and it was more common for them to have ongoing conversations via text. Of course, that had changed as soon as Nora had entered life in the house. With her phone confiscated and her connection to the outside world minimal at best, those conversations weren't happening with the same regularity that she was used to. But nonetheless, just hearing a familiar voice on the other line filled her with enough comfort and ease to provide some relief.
"Nothing," Elena answered breathily. "I just wanted to say hi and catch up. How's our Supergirl doing?"
The phrasing gave her pause. Our Supergirl. Our? Nora shook her head while her mother remained oblivious on the other line. Maybe she had heard wrong? She hadn't heard either of her parents refer to themselves as a unit in...well, over a year now, and she knew that even then, those had been lies. The divorce, the one that had been done in secret, had happened so unceremoniously and without telling the rest of their family and the people who would feel the ripple effect of their split. "Our Supergirl," Nora repeated, not sure what else to say. "I...uh—"
"You've always had a hard time taking credit for your accomplishments," Elena laughed, though the concern in her voice was evident. Nora shifted in her seat and nervously began to pick at the fabric of her yoga pants, removing invisible dust mites and brushing them onto the floor. "But you should be proud. That fight we saw on the news a couple of weeks ago, the one that looked like it was happening at some kind of harbor or on a ship out here. We talked about it afterwards, remember? Your father and I were so proud to see you there. I know you couldn't get too close because of the Kryptonite, but—"
"Oh, yeah, all of that," Nora answered, the color draining from her face. The battle, the one at The USS Constitution Museum. In Charlestown, near Boston. On the other side of the country. And...and her mom knew about it? Both of her parents did? And they knew about Kryptonite. Elena was talking about it like it had been just another uneventful Tuesday night. How was that even possible?
"Nora, are you still there?" her mom asked.
"Huh? Oh, yeah," she said hurriedly. "I'm here. Sorry. Got distracted by the housemates."
"Oh, I bet. I can see why," she said with a knowing laugh, which only caused the color to return to Nora's face, making it feel like it was suddenly on fire.
"Mom! Not like that, just...hang on, I need to eat this sandwich." Nora reached for her snack and took a sizable bite, chewing before she picked up the conversation again. She shifted in her chair and tried to get comfortable again as she digested all of this new information.
"Eat! You're getting too skinny. Your dad wants to talk to you, too. Peter, give just give us a few more minutes," she said distantly as if she was holding the phone away from her mouth.
She froze. Her mother was talking to her father. They were in the same room. The same...house? She knew the divorce had been amicable, and that they had started to be friends again, but this?
"Anyway," Elena continued. "Don't forget, Rosh Hashanah is this weekend. Sunday night. You'll probably be able to get out for a night for a family dinner, don't you think? Bring your housemates if you want, and I'll make sure Sam is there, too. Bubbe's flying out — she gets in on Thursday — and is making her brisket and kugel, and she'll be here for about two weeks, so you'll have to come home for services, too. Do you think Sam would — oh, here's your father. Love you, Norie."
Nora could barely get a word in edgewise and sat in shock as she waited for her father to take the phone. The high holidays at her parents'...which meant that they were nearby. And her grandmother was 'flying out'? The woman refused to leave Long Island on most days and now she was taking a cross-country flight out to California? Her scope of vision began to get smaller and smaller and the room started to spin, so Nora carefully leaned back into the chair and closed her eyes.
"Hello? You there, Scooter?" Peter Saylor asked in a concerned but cheerful voice.
"Dad. Hi," she answered in the affirmative, hoping her annoyance and confusion wasn't evidence in her voice. She could play it cool for a few more minutes, couldn't she? "What's up?" she asked in the chirpiest voice she could muster.
"Nothing, we just wanted to say hi." His warm smile was audible in his voice and she could all but see the smile lines forming around his eyes. "So you're coming home this weekend? You won't even recognize the place. It's been a few months since you've been back. All of that construction on Camino Pablo's done so it shouldn't be a hard time getting over here..."
Nora let him ramble in the way that he tended to while she tried to take in all of the information she had just learned.
Her parents lived in Orinda again.
Her parents were married again.
Her parents knew she was Supergirl.
Her parents had seen her fight as Supergirl.
She took a deep breath and curled up in the chair, burying her head in her knees as Peter rambled in her ear. "I don't want to keep you too long since I know that doesn't make for good television," he said with a jovial laugh. "But we'll see you on Sunday, okay, kiddo? Love you."
She heard the other end of the line go dead and didn't hesitate to hang up the phone on her end, too.
What in the world had happened?