Game night remained a weekly event when it was quiet enough in National City for the friends to come together. On any given week there could be nearly a dozen of them being loud and rambunctious in Kara's sprawling apartment. It was the only way many of them even saw one another anymore.
Alex had skipped a week after her disastrous falling out with Maggie, but was later inundated with the gang's wondering where she had been. So much so that they all crashed her place with armloads of food, booze and games, despite Kara's protests on Alex's behalf. So she had set aside her own angst and returned to attending game night if for no other reason than to save the privacy of her own place.
And, as a bonus, if she had not attended, she would have missed the reactions of the usual gang to Lena Luthor arriving at Kara's door.
Alex acknowledged the woman with a head nod in the heartbeat of awkward lull before Winn noticed her and scampered over like a happy puppy. Lucy and James just seemed bewildered when their resident computer nerd was immediately engrossed in an excited discussion about electronics and engineering with the unexpected visitor. Kara shared a look with Alex that had them both amused and accepting of the newcomer and her new guard puppy. Somehow, Winn's acceptance made it easier on the others than even Kara's and he was fine being her partner when the games required it. Alex would have suspected a boyish crush if he hadn't clearly been in it for her brains.
Games turned to dinner and then a bizarre cross between trivia, storytelling and drinks; so, status quo. Not much in the mood for talking, Alex mostly sat back and observed, noting that the others had pretty much forgotten that the new girl was there-- aside from carefully editing details on certain stories-- and she seemed delighted just to be involved. But the camaraderie was exhausting in Alex's raw emotional state and she slipped away. Oh, not far-- she knew better than to try and sneak away from her sister's super-senses-- but just off to the roof to breathe in the night air.
The solitude did not last long, the click of the door giving Alex some warning. Warrior instincts had her remaining still in the shadows until she could judge the situation, and the newcomer walked right past her. There was no mistaking the designer jeans and fashionista boots, no matter how low the heel. Barely aware of her faint smile, Alex gave into temptation and simply admired the fine shape of Lena in the poor light.
She could do that now, give into that once-subconscious urge to really look at women, to appreciate their curves and angles. No, none of them would be the one she wanted, but maybe that wasn't the point.
Lena had produced an odd silvery tube from her purse and tucked one end of it between her lips to exhale a cloud of smoke moments later. No, not smoke, it dissipated too fast and the scent of it was spicy and complex when it carried to Alex's nose.
"You carry a lot of tension in your shoulders," she heard herself say and inwardly cursed herself for watching Ghostbusters for the who-knows-how-many-times with Kara. Channeling Jillian Holtzmann's peculiar style of flirting might not be her best bet. Startled, Lena jumped and whipped around, unable to find her companion until Alex unwound herself from the shadows.
"Very sneaky, special agent," Lena said with quiet amusement as her body's tension eased. Alex padded over on silent feet, scenting at the air, looking for all the world like some great, dark cat. Lena was not at all immune to the show and watched with real appreciation. "If you ever tire of government work, I'll bet I can find something useful for you to do."
Considering how they had met, Alex didn't bother to swallow her smirk.
"Certainly smells better than cigarettes."
Grinning, Lena raised her device, giving it a playful waggle before taking another hit of the intricate-smelling vapor. "I gave those up years ago, but sometimes a girl just wants something sweet to suck on."
In that moment, in the face of that teasing grin, Alex suddenly realized with a jolt… that she was being flirted with. Just a few weeks ago, a comment like that would have barely registered. Now? Alex actually found herself a bit flustered… and interested.
Watching her changing expression was a joy and Lena's smile widened. Flirting was like breathing for the youngest Luthor and getting such a lovely response was a rush a thousand times better than the faint wisps of vapor she exhaled.
"It's an Advanced Personal Vaporizer," she explained of the device. "I don't use it often enough to design my own or it would be less bulky. But I do get to design my own flavors and the nicotine level is so low in this mix that it barely registers in my bloodstream."
"A vice?" Alex was relieved to hear that her voice sounded so normal, light and teasing. "How plebian."
"Sassy," Lena fired back but her smile stayed put. "I grew out of self-harm. You?"
Alex couldn't avoid thinking about her love/hate relationship with hard liquor and made a so-so gesture that charmed Lena. It seemed the effortlessly sweet charisma ran in the family, even if this one ran deeper and darker. It was also clear the sisters had a library of secrets, but Lena would be the last one to critique that.
Taking another hit from the vaporizer, Lena watched those mysterious, dark eyes follow the movement, focus on her mouth and the smirk curling there. Oh, she was hungry, this one, even as she held back, tense and wary.
"Would you like a taste?"
Alex watched the wisps of vapor escape from the corners of that enticing red-lipped smile and wondered what exactly they were talking about in that moment. The banter was more than just words, only the ripples on the surface of deep water, she knew it, felt it in her guts… and lower. Without even realizing she had done so, Alex stepped forward, well into Lena's personal space, and once more sniffed at the scented air.
This was not at all what either had expected in their pursuit of isolation on the roof, but neither was willing to back away.
When Lena raised the vape machine, Alex reached for it, confused when Lena drew it close to her chest. "Oh no, Agent Grabby, there are so many more interesting ways to do this. Let me share?"
There was no mistaking the lilt of a question in Lena's deep voice. Alex could still walk away from the weird encounter and chalk it up to the night air, but she was still curious and the thrum of excitement in her nerves lingered.
"What did you have in mind?"
Was that her voice? Alex couldn't recall ever sounding quite so… raw before. And it was clear that Lena liked it, her smile taking on a filthy edge as she tapped the vape pipe against her bottom lip and looked at Alex with hooded, speculative eyes.
"I have to say, you are a pleasant surprise. Close your eyes," Lena ordered gently, still with that questioning edge to reassure Alex's well-honed danger instincts. Her delight was obvious at the mini-glare she received for the bossiness. "Oh, go on. I'm not going to bite." The 'yet' was silently implied and Alex could not stop the flush that crept up her neck and cheekbones.
With an exaggerated huff of exasperation, Alex fell back to her familiar power pose of hands on hips and made a production of squeezing her eyes shut. The husky thrum of Lena's chuckle was a warm and welcome sensation, as was the press of fingertips on her left bicep. Deprived of her sight, Alex was aware of that spot of heat through her flannel shirt, the faint hiss and crackle of the vape machine's tiny electric heating element, and Lena's inhale.
A small sound accompanied the sensation of radiant heat against breasts and belly-- a body pressing close-- and Alex drew in a hard breath, half choked by the scent of spices and botanicals carried on Lena's slow exhale. There was something so weirdly intimate in the exchange, the thick vapor traveling from one body to the other like a touchless caress. Wreathed in the scents, Alex could make out something caramel, possibly cinnamon, and beneath that a faint note of acidic bitterness, the scent of plain, normal, human saliva. It was a welcome hint of the ordinary woman beneath Lena's slick, high-femme veneer, behind the name and the weight of her own complicated history.
"Would you like a taste?"
There was no mistaking the real question this time, the weight of it on a whisper. Trembling with something that could be anticipation or nervous fear, Alex once again threw caution to the wind. After all, what did she have to lose this time?
Dizzy with her eyes closed and all the charged buildup, Alex shifted her hands, only hesitating a moment before letting them settle at Lena's waist. Despite thinking she was prepared, despite the anchoring weight of hands on her tense biceps, the warmth of flesh beneath her hands, Alex jumped a bit when there was a brush over the little crease of laugh-line that ran from nose to mouth, something even softer across her upper lip. A rush of breath clued her in, but there was no time to for the smarter parts of her brain to panic or ask questions before she was being gently kissed. With a light-headed rush of hormones, Alex absorbed the softness, the slick of expensive lipstick, the faint hum under Lena's breath that was a caress in itself.
For a moment she could not move, frozen against the softness as Lena brushed additional tender caresses over her lips and Alex just soaked up being kissed by a woman for the first time in her life.
There was nothing about Lena that was not a careful epitome of modern femininity, even the steely and dangerous-feeling fortitude she wore like armor. That femininity seeped into that well-guarded, confused place where Alex's protective mental door had been blown off its hinges and would not stay closed no matter how she might want it to. This… this was right, this was it. This softness and steel were exactly what she had denied herself for far too long.
Lena made a surprised, throaty sound when Alex lurched forward, clumsy and over-eager, their noses half-crushed, foreheads almost colliding. But she didn't let Alex jerk away in embarrassment, gripping down on her arms tightly, sharp nails digging in.
"Sorry, sorry, I…"
"Hey, Tiger, it's okay." Lena soothed, charmed by the clumsy enthusiasm that Alex shared with her younger sister, but wisely kept the thought to herself. "I'm flattered that I make you nervous."
"Everything about this makes me nervous," Alex sighed and was warmed by Lena's smile and a small chuckle.
"Well, we can't all be lucky enough for an all-girls boarding school education."
Alex took the tease for what it was, an attempt to ease the tension back a bit and her huff of amusement carried away many of the stressed-out butterflies that had taken up permanent refuge in her guts since meeting Maggie Sawyer.
"Try it again," Lena half coaxed and half ordered before biting enticingly at her lower lip. Not at all immune to the display, Alex leaned in to kiss that lip free and let herself really fall into the experience this time. It was a sexy heat that boiled from brain to tailbone to pool in her pelvic cradle like melted wax. There was sense of physical awareness that made so much of the rest of her life feel cold by comparison.
And all that with a stranger.
She still ached for Maggie, for the emotional connection she felt for her, but there was a real value to this experience. There was relief in not having so many choking emotions, in being able to just enjoy how her body felt, in relishing the carnal pull to an attractive stranger. Who also happened to be a damn good kisser.
Tilting her head for better access, Lena made a throaty sound that was a jolt of erotic lightning and nibbled at Alex's lower lip to deepen the kiss. Somehow Alex was not surprised that Lena Luthor was a biter. Mouths slotted intimately together, the kissing moved from introduction to foreplay.
And Alex liked it.
The taste and touch and feel of this woman was like nothing Alex had ever forced herself to tolerate in men before. The kisses were far more involved than what she had been able to experience with Maggie, and that sobered her a bit. Lena sensed the subtle change and was unsurprised when Alex eased back from the hot, open-mouthed kiss. The scratch of nails at the back of her head was a sensation Alex relished, having not even noticed Lena's hand moving. She herself had slid both hands to the small of Lena's back, pulling her closer.
"That… that was really nice."
It was not at all what Alex meant to say, but the breathless, unrehearsed words felt more honest. And honesty was a rare commodity for both women. The small moment of connection between strangers warmed them and Lena realized that charisma definitely ran in the family.
"You're welcome," she teased and then realized something was revealed in Alex's sheepish grin. "You haven't done that before, have you?"
Most of Alex's psyche wanted to deflect and hedge around the surprisingly gentle question, but really, honesty couldn't harm her in this moment. After all, she had nothing to lose. "I haven't done that before. Not exactly."
"Oh." Lena's small surprise was a minor thing, but the delight in her expression offset it nicely and the soothing stroke of her sharp-nailed fingertips at the nape of Alex's neck was unexpectedly soothing.
"Yeah, oh," Alex sassed with a roll of her eyes to deflect. The embarrassment was a small thing this time, not that crippling punch of rejection on the tail of her first kiss that still lingered like a raw wound. "I hope I didn't just make this really awkward. I've always said we Danvers sisters should come with a warning."
The shot at humor brought on the full spread of Lena's smile and she shrugged self-depreciatingly. "I wouldn't have listened. Frankly, the pair of you are walking fantasies, each in your own way." Chuckling, Lena kissed away the faint twist of distaste from Alex's mouth, putting a bit more teeth and tongue in to see how the other woman would react. It was easy to get lost in the sensual interaction. "You are a delight," Lena purred softly against Alex's lips, her voice low and throaty.
It was a gentle farewell kiss, long and slow and when Lena stepped away, Alex resisted the urge to follow, shoving her hands in her pockets to portray an ease she was not entirely feeling over her jangling hormones.
"If you'd ever like to do some more experimenting," she tossed over her shoulder with that notable smile. "Come see me."
Charmed-- and thoroughly tempted-- Alex had to take a shot at getting in the last word, her voice pausing Lena at the door back into the building. "I think I get more of why my sister likes you."
Something shifted in Lena's smile, a warmth and vulnerability that had been hidden before. She reached up to tap at the corner of her mouth and turned away, her voice floating back on the night air. "You might want to clean up a bit, Agent Tiger. I'm not the right color on you."
Chuckling, Alex scrubbed the inside edge of her shirt over her mouth, noting the faint smear of hot color left on the fabric. "Well, that's a new problem I haven't had to worry about before."