Everything looks softer at night. Even National City – in all its glittery, neon-laden dazzle – is tempered into something that almost approaches tranquility. It doesn't become any less busy, of course, but the bustle is deadened by the very darkness that also makes it that much harder for the average Joe to notice a lone figure zipping by overhead.
Not that most of them would bat an eye even if they did notice, Kara figures; winding her way between the skyscrapers and letting snippets of late-night life touch the edges of her extended hearing like a radio clicking through its channels. Supergirl has been a steady presence here for years, and while it would be something of an understatement to say that parts of that time have been rocky, for now, there is peace. Or at least as much of it as can be expected in a city that houses a Kryptonian expat.
She's almost done with the last circuit of her patrol when two things happen at once: sirens starts blaring from one direction, and then – before she can even set off that way – gunshots sound from another.
Kara halts with a soft groan; hovering in midair and casting her hearing towards a third place entirely until she can pick up the alternating rustle of papers and low clatter of laptop keys, overlaid with the background murmur of a running television.
Her phone buzzes before she's even pulled it out, and when the screen lights up, there's a message waiting from a number she could recite in her sleep.
Kara smiles – okay, she grins like an idiot, but who's counting? - into the bluish light of the screen, and taps out a response before setting off towards the gunshots with a whoosh of air.
She's going to be late no matter what, but she's at least going to do her best to make it by as little as possible.
Kara has an unfortunate, hard-to-help habit of being late for... well, for a lot of things. It's extra impractical when she can't provide the universally acceptable reason of 'supergirl stuff' because the person she owes the explanation to doesn't know about the stuff in question, but at least it also means that at this point, she's pretty much an expert in checking for empty hallways, changing on the go and thinking up relatively plausible, hard-to-disprove excuses.
It helps that she doesn't get winded easily, though she has also learned to leave a few strands of her Danvers updo as flyaway ones when she needs to look a little harried, and does that now as she presses the doorbell to Lena's home; taking deep, thoroughly unnecessary breaths and smiling in pure reflex when the door opens and her best friend comes into view.
“All done saving the day?” Lena asks by way of greeting; a tiny uptick appearing at the corner of her mouth while Kara's heart first skips a beat, and then resumes at twice its normal rate.
She has heard Lena Luthor called a great deal of things – many of them uncomplimentary, and some unsavory enough that she's had to clench at her own hands because anything else would break from the force – but no one has ever claimed the young head of L-Corp to be unobservant. And that little quirk of her lips, the glint in her eyes and the faint cant of her head all add up to the distinct possibility that if Lena doesn't know outright, she at the very least strongly suspects.
Kara doesn't know how to respond because her brain is basically short-circuiting from the effort of wrapping itself around the idea, so for lack of a better plan, she goes with pretending not to have noticed at all.
“You have a staggering amount of faith in what yet another puff piece will do, you know that?” she says, and takes care to add one of her sunniest grins to the mix. “Not that I don't appreciate the vote of confidence.”
“Mmhm.” Lena sends her a tolerant look, as well as a smile that has a hint of something wicked around its edges as she releases the door and moves back in wordless invitation. “Well, the pen is mightier than the sword, to quote a hoary old saying.”
And that's... well. Maybe Kara is over-analyzing and Lena actually has no idea? Maybe Lena does know and this is her backing off; letting Kara tell her secrets in her own time? As good of a read as she feels she's getting on this woman, she doesn't quite know how to figure this part out, and so settles on simply chuckling as she enters.
“So.” Lena shuts the door behind her; leans on it on one hand and drums her fingers against its surface as she watches Kara slip out of her shoes and jacket with a considering sort of look. “Can I trust you to slice tomatoes without injuring yourself?”
Kara almost – almost – spins around too fast. “Excuse you!” she sputters; setting one hand on her hip and struggling to maintain her indignant tone when Lena grins. “I'll have you know I'm the best dicer, slicer and peeler in the state.” Those eyes are twinkling at her in a way that makes her feel at once extremely nervous and utterly at ease, and Kara folds her arms with as haughty a sniff as she can manage. “I can cook my own meals and everything.”
“I'm a scientist, Miss Danvers,” Lena tells her as they walk; with a sly look from over one shoulder and in that faint, teasing drawl of hers that does... not entirely uncomfortable things to Kara's insides. “I don't believe anything without proof.”
“Ah.” Her glasses are as good a thing to fiddle with as any, and definitely a better option than stuttering at the immaculate flooring. “Is this your round-about way of challenging me?”
There's already an assortment of ingredients set out when they enter the kitchen, and Lena sets one hip against the counter as she selects a tomato from a small pile of them and turns it over in her hand. “And if it is?” she wonders; voice steady and eyes curious as she holds the tomato out as if in offering.
Like the forbidden fruit from one of this world's creational myths, Kara thinks, and weighs the layers in their conversation as she tries to decide if she's more intrigued or apprehensive. All she knows for sure is that Lena is very, very dangerous to her for reasons that have nothing to do with her family name.
Turning her back on danger, however, has never really been her thing. So she reaches for the offering with a smile. “Then I accept.”
She hears Lena's heartbeat pick up when their fingers brush, and hopes that her own isn't thudding loud enough for the reverse to be true.