Kara Zor-El was the most powerful being who had ever walked on Earth.
Alex worried about her immensely.
Over the last thirteen years, she had gotten quite good at reading her sister’s moods. Kara carried an immense burden with her constantly, one she often did not like to share. Her sister was selfless to a fault, ignoring her own emotions in favor of making others feel better.
Over the years, Kara learned she was able to share her pain with Alex. But her sister was still stubborn, and there were times when Kara insisted on pretending nothing wrong.
Now was one of those times.
“You know you can tell me what’s wrong, Kara.”
“Oh…uh nothing’s wrong, I’m just…tired,” said Kara as she nervously shifted on the couch.
Alex said nothing, instead using her Big Sister Look TM which seemed to get Kara to open up a bit.
“Ok…ok, I’ve just been… thinking about some stuff.”
“Yeah, just you know… lots of stuff.”
Kara was silent for a few seconds. “Alex… how did you know you liked Maggie?”
“Well,” said Alex, “I realized I really enjoyed spending time with her. And then she said all those things and it just…made sense. “
Alex shifted her position on the couch so that she was closer to Kara. “ And then I remembered all these feelings I had about Vicky, about Kathy, and I realized they weren’t as platonic as I thought.”
Alex could feel Kara’s entire body tense at her words. Her usually talkative sister was silent once again. Suddenly, it all clicked for Alex.
“Kara… is there a girl you think you like?”
Kara’s eyes went wide as she practically leaped off the couch. “ Oh no, no, no, no…. I was just curious. Yep, just curious.”
Alex stood and took her sister’s hand. “You know it’s okay if you do, Kara.”
“No Alex, I’m…I’m straight you know that,” said Kara almost desperately, “ and I.. uh just remembered I have to check in with Lena.”
Alex opened her mouth to express the absurdity that Kara would feel the need to see Lena this late at night but she barely had opened her mouth before she heard a “bye Alex!” and the whoosh of Kara flying out the window.
So Kara liked a girl. That was…interesting. Though Alex didn’t have the slightest idea of who it could be. Maybe Vasquez? Or Lucy? Those didn’t make much sense but Alex simply couldn’t think of anyone…
Well that complicated things.
They didn’t speak about it. Alex had realized that while sometimes Kara needed a push, there were also times when she needed space. So she gave that space to her sister, and it didn’t take long for them to fall back into their regular pattern.
That was until one night Alex was woken up by the sound of her doorbell ring followed by frantic knocking.
“Danvers, who the hell is knocking on your door at 3:00 AM?” said Maggie as she sleepily turned towards Alex.
Alex sighed. “I’ll get it, you stay here.”
“You’re such a good girlfriend,” smiled Maggie as she gave Alex a quick peck on the lips.
All Alex could think of as she got dressed and walked towards the door was how badly she to curl back in bed with Maggie. But those thoughts completely disappeared when she opened the door only to be faced with a tear streaked Kara.
Kara practically leaped into Alex’s arms, sobbing into her shoulder. Alex instinctually wrapped her arms protectively around her sister. They stood in the doorway for a few seconds, the only sound being Kara’s soft sobs.
“I’m so sorry… I didn’t mean to.”
Alex shushed her sister. “It’s okay- let’s just sit down alright?”
Kara nodded as they slowly made their way to the couch.
“Hey, Little Danvers,” smiled Maggie.
“Sorry Maggie- I didn’t know you were…”
Maggie shushed her. “You two talk. I’ll be in the kitchen.”
They settled on the couch, where Alex instinctually wrapped her arms around her younger sister. For a few moments, there was silence punctured only by the sound of Kara’s sniffles. There were times when Alex needed to push her sister to talk to her. But other times, she just needed to give Kara space, to let her know that she was there for her, and let Kara talk to here.
Now was one of those times. So Alex said nothing, merely focusing on keeping her arms wrapped around Kara.
“Lena and I kissed.”
There were- quite a lot of emotions running through Alex at that statement. Anger, apprehension, excitement, fear, terror, but for a moment Alex put that all aside. For Kara.
“You don’t seem surprised.”
“Kara, you basically told me you had a crush on a woman weeks ago. Considering how you look at Lena, it wasn’t that hard to figure out,” smiled Alex, “plus… I am a secret agent after all.”
Kara let out a weak laugh. “It just kind of happened,” she explained, “ at first, I-I really liked it. But then it felt so wrong and awful. I… kind of ran away.”
“And why’s that?”
Kara moved away from Alex so that she was sitting on the far end of the couch. “ I just… couldn’t help thinking that I was some kind of freak, that I was betraying the memory of my people.”
“Because you like women?”
Kara’s eyes suddenly went wide with realization. “Oh Rao, Alex… I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s okay- just…. forget about me for a second, Kara.”
Kara was silent for what felt like an eternity. “I know it’s okay Alex. I was so happy when you and Maggie got together. But when it comes to me, it’s just…hard,” she said as she shifted position on the couch, “on Krypton, relationships were all about creating heirs. If someone was in a relationship that couldn’t do that, they were considered jolum… a mistake. And now… that refers to me.”
Tears started rolling down Kara’s face once more. For the first time in her life, Alex had no idea what to say to her younger sibling. But luckily, she didn’t have to.
“Hey Little Danvers,” said Maggie as she handed Kara a cup of hot cocoa.
Maggie was a tough woman. She was snarky, rough around the edges and did not take any kind of shit from anyone. But she could also be kind, so understanding, and it was that Maggie whom Alex fell in love with. That was the Maggie face-to-face with Kara right now.
“Maggie,” said Kara through sniffles, “I’m sorry you had to listen to ... all that.”
Maggie gave Kara a soft smile in response. “You know, Little Danvers, I still feel ashamed about being gay sometimes.”
“But you’re… you know… you.”
Maggie gave a short laugh. “You know my parents disowned me when I came out,” said Maggie, “called me a freak, a disgrace to the family- that kind of thing. It was years ago but… I still hear them in my head sometimes.”
Alex felt her heart clinch at Maggie’s words. They had talked about it of course, on long nights when her girlfriend’s demons simply would not let her sleep. Still, hearing how others had hurt the woman she loved so dearly made her blood boil. She couldn’t help but put a reassuring hand on her girlfriend’s shoulder.
“But how…how do you live with that?”
Maggie’s gaze turned to steel. “You tell that voice to fuck off. It’ll never go away, but it gets…easier to ignore it over time.”
“But… I don’t know if I can do that.”
“Of course you can, Little Danvers. It takes time but we all learn to do it.”
God Alex loved that woman.
Kara became silent once again, mulling over Maggie’s words. “Can I stay here tonight?”
“Of course, Kara.”
It didn’t take long to get Kara settled on the couch and for her to fall asleep.
When Alex had realized that she was… less than straight, she had no one to turn to. No one who understood implicitly what she was going through besides Maggie, which was complicated due to Alex’s own feelings about the woman.
Now, in an apartment with the two most important people in her life, Alex swore the same promise she had made long ago… that she would always-always be there for Kara.
Kara Danvers was not avoiding Lena. Nope not at all.
It was just she had to sleep in because Snapper had been worse than usual this week. And then it was a Saturday so of course she had to grab some pastries from Noonan’s. But the line was really long, so by the time she got her donuts and ate, it was lunch time, and then there was that sushi place across town she wanted to try…
Ok, maybe she was avoiding Lena. Just a tiny bit.
Her phone buzzed with a text from Alex.
Alex (5:24 PM): Did you talk to Lena yet?
Kara (5:40 PM): Not yet…been busy
Alex (5:40 PM): Kara…
Kara could basically feel Alex’s judgement coming from her phone screen. And if she had a choice between facing Lena and dealing with Alex’s reprimand later, she would always chose the former.
It didn’t take long for Kara to reach the L-Corp building. Her heart sank as instead of being able to walk right in to see her best friend, she was told to wait by Jess.
When she did finally enter Lena’s office, what she found was not her Lena, but CEO Lena. She sat at her desk, eyes focused on her computer. Her face showed no emotion whatsoever.
“Um… hey, Lena.”
“Kara,” said Lena as she continued to keep her eyes focused on her laptop.
“Can we uh…talk? About… you know?”
Lena still refused to look up from her laptop. “I don’t particularly see what we need to talk about. And I’m busy now so if you wouldn’t mind…”
“I’m really, really sorry about yesterday,” interrupted Kara, “ I shouldn’t have run off like that.”
Lena slammed her laptop shut. “Kara… just forget it ever happened,” she sighed, “ there are lots of kisses I regret myself.”
“But I don’t want to forget it,” said Kara as she unsuccessfully tried to stop the tears from coming, “ it’s just where I’m from, people who, uh, are… people who do what we did, are considered mistakes. They brought shame to their family and I just…”
Kara couldn’t stop the tears from falling down her face or the soft sobs emanating from her body. Almost immediately, Lena’s façade cracked as she practically ran to hold Kara as she sobbed.
“Hey, I’m sorry for snapping, I didn’t know” said an apologetic Lena.
They stayed there, in the middle of Lena’s office, holding each other close.
“I’m so sorry, Lena. I was so immature and I… I hurt you.”
“I forgive you, Kara. My mother was Lillian Luthor of all people. I know what it’s like to feel ashamed of who you are,” said Lena with a soft smile on her lips, “ and for the record, no matter what your people believed, you’re still my hero, Kara Zor-El.”
“I didn’t want you to think it was because I didn’t want this,” Kara sniffled.
Kara could feel Lena stiffen in her arms as she moved to look at Kara in the eyes. “You…you want this?”
Kara had meant to respond but she suddenly found it impossible to even think with Lena so close. She was lost in Lena’s beautiful green eyes, the sound of her elevated heart rate, the sight of her teeth biting down just slightly on her bottom lip. She was unprepared for the bout of affection she felt for the woman in front of her.
Kiss her, whispered one part of her brain.
You’re a freak, whispered the other.
“Lena, can I…can I kiss you?” Kara finally managed to blurt out, immediately cringing at her words.
Those green eyes opened wide and Kara could hear Lena’s heart beat increase yet again. “Kara… I don’t want you to feel pressured into anything just because…”
“I want this,” said Kara with determination that surprised even her, “I don’t want to ignore this anymore. So if it’s okay with you, I want to try this again.”
Lena’s answer was to step even farther into Kara’s space. When Kara did not pull back, she positioned her forehead against Kara’s. Their lips only inches apart, Lena whispered Kara’s name reverently, like a prayer before moving to close the gap.
When their lips met, Kara was overwhelmed with how right this all felt. She still heard the voices, telling her she was a freak, that she brought shame to the House of El, but they were…less somehow. For a few moments in time, Kara’s entire world was Lena Luthor- the beating of her heart, the smell of her perfume, the movement of her soft lips.
Kara made a mental note to profusely thank Maggie.
After six months, Kara was still getting used to the fact that she could be affectionate towards her girlfriend. When she kissed Lena, she would kiss back. When she sat next to her on the couch, Lena would snuggle closer. When she said “I love you”, Lena would say it back with a shy smile on her face.
Most of all, she was surprised how easy it was to get lost in Lena, to ignore the angry voices of her ancestors.
At least, in private, when no one could see them.
They were at the alien bar with Alex and Maggie. Kara had initially worried about how her girlfriend would get along with her sister, but Alex, despite the badass secret agent façade she so desperately tried to maintain, only wanted Kara to be happy.
After just a few drinks, it was obvious to see how happy Alex and Maggie were together. Their PDA was nothing particularly explicit, but not one person could to blind enough to not see their love. It was in their quick, chaste kisses, how Alex was practically melting into her girlfriend’s side, and how both of their eyes lit up with happiness when they gazed at each other.
Feeling a sudden rush of bravery, when she was sure no one was watching, Kara planted a quick kiss on the corner of Lena’s mouth. Chaste, but clearly a bit more than friendly. When Kara pulled back, the world didn’t end around her, nor did she hear the voices of her people condemning her.
The only thing she saw was the beautiful, smiling face of the woman she loved.
If anyone else noticed the pair holding hands for the rest of the night, they didn’t say anything.
Alex and Kara both stared blankly at the TV as Xena and Gabriella seductively bathed each other.
“So, uh, this is pretty…”
There were a few more moments of silence before the two sisters broke out in laughter.
“Is this why you randomly wanted to do a Xena rewatch?” Kara giggled.
“Maggie said that it was essential queer culture.”
Kara snorted again. “Rao…how did we miss all this?”
Kara’s tone of voice made Alex think that she certainly wasn’t talking about Xena.
“I don’t know but… I’m glad we can share this,” said Alex as she reached over to hold Kara’s hand.
“Me too,” Kara smiled back, “I don’t know how I’d get through this without you and Maggie.”
Alex pulled her sister in for a hug. “And I don’t know how I would have figured any of this out without you, Kara.”
They sat in silence for the rest of the episode, content with the comfort the other provided.
“So did Maggie recommend anything else?”
“Well… there’s the Legend of Korra, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Carol, Agent Carter Season 1…”
“I know, let’s watch the L-Word!”
“Maggie said no one actually likes the L-Word.”
Kara pouted. “But I read online that it was a rite-of-passage, Alex…”
Kara cheered as she jumped off the couch to grab even more sugary snacks.
If someone told Alex two years ago that her future involved going to a dyke bar, she would have laughed. If they told her that her future involved going to a dyke bar with Kara, she would have called them insane. If they told her that her future involved going to a dyke bar on a double date with Kara and her girlfriend, she would have dropped dead on the spot.
Kara and Lena were engaging in some… pretty gratuitous PDA on the dance floor while her and Maggie sat a booth in the back.
“Kara seems to be okay,” Alex remarked to the woman cuddled against her side.
“I think Little Danvers is a little more than okay, sweetheart,” Maggie winked.
Alex sighed. “I was just worried about her, you know? With all the stuff she’s had to go through on top of everything else.”
“Your little sister is one tough woman. It takes more than a little internalized homophobia to take her out.”
Maggie detangled herself from Alex and stood up, smirking as Alex automatically let out a sigh in protest. “C’mon Agent Danvers, let’s join them.”
Alex smiled as she gulped down the last of her drink. “Whatever you say, Detective.”
Kara was in awe of the bar Maggie had suggested. It was a relatively small space in the basement of some nondescript building. But in that small basement, there was so much love and community that Kara could almost feel it in the air itself. It was in the laughter that seemed to echo around the walls, in the Pride flags hung up all over the space, in the sweet “what can I get for you and your girl, hon?” that the bartender with the half-shaved head had asked when they came in.
It was only a couple drinks of Tamaranian ale before Kara found herself dancing with Lena in the center of the bar. For what seemed like an eternity, the only thing Kara could focus on was Lena, the feeling of her tongue in her mouth, the silk of her dress that Kara clung to like a lifeline, the movement of her body against her own.
And when they finally pulled away, when Kara gazed into those beautiful, green eyes sparking with love and adoration, Kara was hit with another bout of love for Lena so strong that it felt like she was somehow drowning and soaring at the same time.
Kara saw the same thing reflected back in Lena’s eyes.
Before she knew it, their little bubble was popped, as Maggie sauntered over making some crude comment making Lena blush. Kara didn’t even have time to react before she was pulled into Maggie’s arms.
“Thanks for being one of us, Little Danvers.”
And for a few hours, dancing with three people she loved dearly, Kara Zor-El felt just a tiny bit less alone in this alien world.