in brightest day, there will be light
Living this life is getting easier. That’s what she tells herself, daily, without fail. She nods and accepts the demands that come with having the colossal power of stars, the space stone itself, at her fingertips, and supersonic speeds within reach. She casually bucks against the leash-and-collar that the government would have her wear. It’s all a part of the deal, she reminds herself. She keeps her loved ones as safe as she can, because she’s agreed to this; this mantle -- this responsibility -- now sits on her shoulders, as much as it has Carol Danvers’ once upon a time.
The Captain, according to Cara’s research (apart from Carol’s omnipresent opinions and anecdotes) holds herself steady, jaw set while so many threaten to shake and throw their hands up; Carol always stares ahead and furrows her eyebrows, determined to tow everyone along with her, step after heavy step, until her dying breath. It’s what she’s always done, some part of Cara -- the Danvers-reminiscent part of her that’s always existed -- has always known. It’s what she’s meant to do, and the bed she’s made. The Captain, with her wide mouth and blinding punches, boldly pierces through the surface tension, she rallies, and she leads by example.. Or tries to.
That the summary that Cara’s gleaning from the books. The woman in her head, she knows, has lived another story; one far richer than those saturated panels have described. Those details, however, aren’t hers to share or record.
Instead, Cara reads and reads; she watches and questions the artificial intelligence in the Avengers compound, questions herself as she paces back and forth in a conference room.
Who do you think you are? she finally asks her reflection in the glass; it’s a query grown with time, a reflex that dares to take her father’s accusatory tone, a blow that's cushioned by the misplaced concern of her mother.
How dare Cara even presume that she, of all people, could get away with running her mouth? For being a loud voice of passionate dissent?
Who do you think you are? Some kind of superhero?
The question drops like a stone into a deep well. For a moment, and only one, it cuts through the fantastic powers and the woman of war declarations and the rhetoric that comes with being an Avenger. It shreds through the many-diplomas and the million-dollar-home and the Perfect Life. It slices, grating up against the bone of her fear, and the wound bleeds, beading and trickling downward in phantom rivulets when she looks back at the plentiful volumes describing Carol Danvers’ life. Cara Leigh Davies feels her own doubt collect and puddle, threatening to contribute to the selection of people who want to say who she’s been, and why. What would Carol do? she's asked more than once, and the answer comes quicker than anticipated.
The woman in question knows love, greed, fear, and hope. She meets these emotions with willpower, compassion, and in some cases, rage. Everything has winding roots and everything has its blossoms, and Cara is the one person to follow them -- to intimately and willingly understand Carol Danvers in a way that very few can. This quiet confidence, this compassionate assurance and plucky determination she’s got, is a readied tourniquet to the blade that doubt holds to her jugular. Cara -- it seems -- is the one who meets these feelings head on, acknowledging them with a curious mind and cautious heart, before letting herself add to the house of cards that is their unity: superhero and scholar.