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The Fifth Wall

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Kara wasn’t used to waking up with company.

She was used to waking up alone. She’d been waking up alone for most of her adult life.  So waking up naked, curled loosely around someone else who was also naked, limbs intertwined, soft skin under her cheek, blankets forgotten at the foot of the bed, and the early morning sun shining warmly across her back, was a fairly new experience for her all by itself.  

Given the novelty, perhaps she could be forgiven for not noticing immediately that something was... well... different.

Grumbling against the light trying to pry her eyes open, Kara snuggled closer, burying her face in long dark hair. The body underneath her shifted, and Kara protested by tightening her grip; winding her arms more firmly around a slim waist, and trapping the soft curve of rounded hips under her thigh.

“Five more minutes,” she mumbled against warm skin.

“Hmm...” her companion hummed sleepily in response, long, delicate fingers tracing lightly over the backs of Kara’s hands.

 Still, Kara didn’t quite get it. Not until she gave in, stretching languidly and pushing herself up on her hands to grin goofily down at...

“Lena!?” Kara squeaked, scrambling back off of the other woman and tugging hastily at the sheets trapped beneath them in an attempt to cover herself.

“Kara?” Lena looked equally confused, if not quite so panic stricken. She sat up, rubbing at her eyes and seemingly unconcerned with her nudity. “What are you doing in my bed?”

Me?” Kara demanded, finally succeeding in pulling the sheets up to her chest. “What are you doing in my bed?”

Lena blinked, looking around. “Oh.” She frowned. “This isn’t my apartment.”

“No, it’s my...” Kara broke off, following Lena’s gaze around the room. “Wait, this isn’t my apartment either...”

Lena pulled her knees up to her chest, draping her arms across them in a token attempt at modesty, though she appeared more annoyed than embarrassed. “Then whose is it?”   

A valid question.

One Kara had no idea how to answer.

“Umm...”

Any attempt they might have made find a plausible explanation was interrupted when a long, loud wail broke the silence of the unfamiliar apartment.

“Mommy!  Mooommmmeeeey!”

Kara winced, the high-pitched shriek cutting through her super hearing like the proverbial knife. Lena’s eyes widened, and for a moment they just stared at each other, neither one of them sure exactly what the protocol was when waking up in a stranger’s bed, in a stranger’s apartment... for dealing with what was, presumably, that same stranger’s very loud, very upset, baby.

“I guess I’ll just...” Kara gestured towards the door when the crying showed no signs of stopping, and Lena nodded.

“I’ll see if I can find us some clothes, and figure out where we are,” she offered.

“Good... that’s....Yes. ” Kara shook her head at her own complete lack of words, sliding off the bed and wrapping the sheet awkwardly around herself.  It figured, that even in the midst of what had to be one of the weirder experiences of her life, Lena was still about ten times more poised than Kara could ever hope to be.

Outside the room there was a short hallway. To Kara’s left, it led to what looked like an open concept living room and kitchen. And directly across from her there was another door, behind which the crying had subsided into little hiccupping sobs. There didn’t seem to be anyone else in the apartment; and Kara confirmed it with a quick sweep of her x-ray vision.  They were alone.

Well, except for the baby.

Kara pushed the door open cautiously, not wanting to startle the kid into further hysterics. She needn’t have worried. As soon as the baby saw her, the sniffling stopped and the little girl pulled herself up in her crib, arms stretching out over the top rung towards Kara.  

“Mama!” She squealed, her big blue eyes brightening with recognition. “Up!”

“Oh, Rao...” Kara whispered. This was... she had no idea what this was. Whatever weird alternate reality they had woken up in, this kid couldn’t be... right? It wasn’t possible. But there was no doubt or hesitation in those chubby little hands reaching for her, and the eyes...Kara knew those eyes, she’d seen them in the mirror often enough. The hair was wrong, though; curly, like Kara’s, but dark. She looked a little bit like Kal El as a baby actually, though clearly more toddler than baby, and there was something very familiar about the set of her chin when she pushed her lower lip out in a pout, undoubtedly annoyed that Kara was still halfway across the room.

“UP!” She demanded imperiously.   

What else could Kara do?

She picked her up.

 “Hey kiddo,” she said, balancing the little girl on her hip with one arm, and holding up her sheet with the other when the kid immediately grabbed onto it and pulled, stuffing a handful into her mouth. “I don’t know about you, but I’m a little confused right now. We’re gonna figure it out though, don’t worry...”

She looked around the room, hoping for clues. It was clearly a nursery, what with the crib, rocking chair, changing table and matching shelves filled to capacity with toys and books. Whoever this child was, this was her home; she wasn’t just visiting. The walls were painted white, with a powder blue border design that looked like it had been hand-stenciled, and the room had been decorated to match, all white and blue with silver accents. Kara very carefully didn’t examine the border too closely. The design absolutely did not look like stylized Kryptonian script. Nope.

Though speaking of script...  there were letters hanging above the crib that she hadn’t seen when she came in, though in Kara’s defence, they were white on white. Someone around here had a very definite aesthetic.

“Lizzy...” Kara tried it out, and decided she liked it. “I guess you have a name, kid.”

“And parents,” Lena added from behind her, startling Kara into nearly dropping her sheet.

Kara caught it just in time, but almost lost Lizzy instead when the little girl attempted to launch herself towards Lena, who, of course, was already dressed, in a black t-shirt and jeans that fit perfectly in a way that something borrowed shouldn’t have.

“Really...?” Kara asked, trying desperately to juggle both child and modesty. “I mean, where are they?”

“Right here,” Lena said, holding up a framed portrait for Kara to see. “I found this in the living room.”

 It was... them? In the photograph, Lena had her arms wrapped around Kara and she was pressing a kiss to her cheek. Kara was laughing, nose scrunched up under her glasses, and holding a child who was clearly a slightly younger Lizzy, wearing adorable little blue jeans and a Supergirl t-shirt. Silver script at the bottom of the frame read “Luthor-Danvers Family – 2016”

“Wow...”  

Lena raised a perfectly manicured brow. “I don’t suppose you have an explanation for this?”

Kara shook her head. “I really, really wish I did... Here,” she said, angling the squirming Lizzy towards Lena.  “Can you take her for a minute so I can get dressed?”

Lizzy was clearly on board with this plan, making grabby hands for Lena. “Mommy!” she shouted, her little feet trying to use Kara’s hip as leverage to push herself free. “Mommy, up ‘Izzy!”

Lena looked... well if Kara could only choose one word to describe her right now, that word would be terrified. She was always pale, but Kara could swear she’d gone a few shades whiter than usual, and she didn’t quite put her hands behind her back, but she clearly wanted to, long fingers twisting in the hem of her t-shirt.  “Can’t you just... put her back in her crib? Or on the floor?”

“She wants you,” Kara pointed out.

“I...” Lena let go of her shirt and lifted her hands slightly, eyeing Lizzy as if she was some kind of exotic animal with an as yet undetermined temperament. “Kara, I can’t... I don’t know anything about children...what if I drop her?”

“Lena, come on! I’m going to drop her in a minute.”

“Okay, fine!” Lena glared at Kara, but she stepped forward, reaching out for Lizzy. Taking her awkwardly, she held the girl up at arm’s length, clearly not lying about her inexperience. Lizzy however, seemed thrilled with the transfer, Giggling at Lena, she swung her legs and clapped her hands.

“’Izzy fy!” she said, reaching up in a not inaccurate imitation of Kara’s take-off pose.

“I sincerely hope not,” Lena said with a sideways glance at Kara that she was absolutely not up to trying to interpret right now.

“I’m going to... clothes....” Kara gestured towards the bedroom. “Is there...?”

“The dresser on the right,” Lena said. “And if I know anything about your style, the right half of the closet is yours too.”

“Right...” because they were sharing a room. This was a reality in which she and Lena Luthor slept in the same room... in the same bed... and apparently they had a daughter. Lena might be playing this extremely cool, well, aside from her apparent fear of children anyway, but Kara was quietly losing it.

Back in the bedroom, she closed the door behind her and leaned back against it, taking a few deep, steadying breaths. Everything was going to be okay. She was going to get dressed, and then they were going to figure out what was going on. She just... wasn’t going to think about it until then.

Lena was right about the closet.

Kara picked out a collared shirt and dark blue sweater that could have come off of her rack at home, and added a pair of khaki slacks. There were under things and socks in the dresser, and her glasses were on the bedside table. She slipped into the on suite bathroom to wash her face and fix her hair, pulling it back into its customary ponytail with one of the many elastics she found in a drawer. A quick search revealed that all of her hair and skin products were the same, not that she had many. There were far more on Lena’s side of the vanity.  

 Dressed and feeling a great deal more like herself, Kara made her way back out into the hallway, but a quick glance revealed that Lena and Lizzy were no longer in the adjacent room. She followed the sound of voices to the living room, where Lizzy was sitting on the floor on a blanket surrounded by piles of books and toys. She had a stuffed dog in one hand that she was having an actively one-sided and largely incomprehensible conversation with, and a half-eaten cookie in the other.

Lena was only a few steps away in the kitchen, just pouring a second cup of coffee.

“I swear she wanted down,” she said defensively when she saw Kara. “I’m watching her, and the box of cookies had a baby on it.”

“It’s fine,” Kara reassured her, reaching out to take the offered cup of coffee. She was usually a tea person, but extreme times... “You seem to be taking this all rather well...”

Lena leaned back against the counter, sipping from her own cup. Her hair was down, tucked neatly behind her ears, and jeans and a t shirt were easily the most casual clothing Kara had ever seen her in, other than the uniform she’d been wearing when Kara had rescued her from Metallo, of course. She looked different like this, softer, but more real, less the CEO of L Corp, and more Lena.

“I’m absolutely terrified,” she admitted. “But I’m not unfamiliar with, let’s say... unusual situations. Whether this is some kind of elaborate prank, or something more... foreign. I’m confidant you and I can find a solution. Besides,” She smirked up at Kara. “If I had to wake up married to someone, I’m glad it was you.”

Kara blushed. “Um... married?” she squeaked.

Lena held up the hand that wasn’t wrapped around her coffee. Sure enough, there were two rings on her left ring finger, both silver, one with a respectable diamond, and the other a simple band. “Looks like you’re the one who proposed,” she teased, reaching out to raise Kara’s hand, where there was a matching silver band, but no engagement ring.

The blush intensified, and Kara reclaimed her hand to cover her face. “I cannot believe this...” She muttered.

“Dissapointed?” Lena asked, archly.

“Oh, no!” Kara dropped her hand. “I mean... who could be disappointed with you...you’re... you. But I’m not... At least I don’t think...” She stammered, flustered when Lena just laughed.

“I’m teasing, Kara.” She winked, and took another sip of her coffee before sobering. “But seriously, what’s our next step here? You’re the one with the friends in high places, literally. What do we do?”

“Well...” Kara sat down on the couch, her eyes unconsciously seeking out Lizzy, playing contentedly on the floor. “I think we need to go talk to my sister.”