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nocturnes and novacaine

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noc·turne

noun

  1. a short composition of a romantic or dreamy character suggestive of night, typically for piano.
  2. a picture of a night scene.


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They raise their glasses in unison and a million shiny golden lights are thrown across the room. Kara finds her between bare arms and cuffed wrists, her red lipstick a feral color against her black dress. Here, Kara thinks she looks like a wolf, triumphant and calculating and calm all at once.

 

Kara swallows the thought down with champagne as applause erupts in her eardrums and Lena smiles, smiles, smiles.


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The bathroom is the only source of light in her apartment. Lena stands under it, dusty yellow spotlighting her black hair and turning it a soft shade of brown. Kara watches her drag a wipe down her skin and the make-up smears. Black runs into whites and purples and when the wipe reaches her lips, the red looks like more like a stain and less like a statement.

 

When she is finished, Kara kisses her neck, her cheeks, her nose, her eyes, and whispers home, home, home.



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In the dark of their box seats, Kara can only make out the outline of her profile. Ghostly light covers her from the tip of her nose to the plump folds of her lips, illuminates some odd flyaway hairs, too. They sit in shadow as the orchestra crescendos and Kara has the silent pleasure of watching a moment unfold before her eyes:

 

Lena, in the safety of black and grey, lets the faintest of breaths tumble from her mouth right as the final note rings in the hall, timpanis boasting and strings soaring.

 

The applause shakes their seats. The conductor turns, bows.

 

Lena stands and Kara follows. Lena’s running a careful finger beneath each eye where wetness has gathered.

 

Kara’s about to turn, about to allow Lena this moment, this privacy, but Lena bumps their shoulders, leans in.

 

“Is it running?” she asks, her voice clear to only Kara’s ears above the roar of the crowd.

 

Lena’s make-up never runs. Kara knows this, knows that Lena knows this. She checks, anyways.

 

Lena’s eyeliner is perfect, there’s barely a stitch. But it’s her eyes that are the giveaway, something sad and bittersweet hanging around the edges. Kara’s heart yearns.

 

“No,” Kara tells her. “You’re good.”

 

Lena swipes under her eye one last time. “Okay.”

 

Kara intertwines their hands and presses a kiss to her temple.

 

“Okay.”


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“Opia.”

 

“Hmm?”

 

Kara nuzzles closer in their cocoon of blankets. She speaks into lena’s hair, “it’s a word I just remembered.”

 

“What does it mean?”

 

“When you look into someone’s eyes and feel vulnerable and invasive all at once.”

 

Lena’s side rises and falls. Her heartbeat is steady.

 

“Opia,” she tries, lets the word roll off of her tongue. “Opia…”

 

She wriggles around so that they can face each other. Lena catches her gaze and she searches. Kara lets her, welcomes her, and she searches, too.

 

After some time, Lena’s eyes crinkle with soft humor.

 

“What did you find?” she asks.

 

Kara hears the last note of the symphony echo throughout her head. Lena’s looking at her with a curious tilt, and there’s nothing cynical about the woman laying across from her.

 

“I don’t know,” Kara starts. “But I could look forever.”

 

Lena blinks and it’s like watching a butterfly land. She traces a finger over Kara’s face, memorizing, immortalizing.

 

“Me too,” she whispers. “Me too.”


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What Kara really wanted to do, above all else, was to strip out of her supersuit, find her girlfriend, and then convince said girlfriend to take a long, hot, meandering bath with her. A simple request, a totally doable request.

 

Kara ends up twisting halfway out of her suit before crashing facedown on the bed, sleep hitting her like the cement blocks that had flown her way an hour before.

 

She doesn't know if she passes out for an hour or for a year, but it’s a low, murmuring voice that pulls her out of her slumber, nimble fingers combing through her mess of curls that bring her back to the surface.

 

“Kara, darling.”

 

Kara must mumble something, she doesn’t really know, can’t really comprehend anything at this point in her life, because Lena’s chuckling fondling somewhere above her. Lena’s fingers feel really good though, the shift and slide of her fingers in Kara’s hair will forever be high on her list of senses. She focuses on that and lets out a low groan.

 

Lena’s fingers trail out of her curls and travel lightly down Kara’s neck. Kara shivers.

 

“Wake up, sleepy head.”

 

Kara answers by burrowing further into her pillow. Lena’s response is splaying her hand across Kara’s back. between her shoulder blades, Kara feels the heat of Lena’s hand blossom against her skin.

 

“You’re warm,” it comes out scratchy and muffled into her pillow.

 

“So are you.”

 

“I’m an eternal flame.” Kara pulls herself out of the last bit of her haze to properly look at her. Slowly, Lena comes into focus and Kara’s eyes widen.

 

Lena’s dressed to the nines, hair and makeup devastatingly flawless, her lips dark and forbidding. Her dress is black and perfect and makes her neck look especially tempting. Kara swallows.

 

“Woah,” she says, wipes a hand across her eyes. She hears more than sees Lena’s quiet delight. When she gets over her initial gaping, her eyebrows furrow. Lena’s dressed up, which means she’s definitely not going to join Kara for a post-nap nap.

 

“Did I miss something?” She frowns, looks to the clock on the nightstand.

 

“No, but I do have to leave soon.” Lena begins to rub small circles into Kara’s back. “You don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”

 

Kara turns onto her back to look up at Lena as she wills her mind to un-cloud itself, her sleepy brain trying to piece together the parts she can’t seem to find.

 

Lena’s fingers smooth the lines across Kara’s forehead. “It’s okay, sweetheart. It’s not a big function, anyways.”

 

Something clicks with her words and realization slowly dawns on Kara’s face.

 

“Oh my god, the mayor’s birthday. Crap, Lena, that’s - that’s totally a big function.” Kara groans. She sits up and Lena’s hands fall to the sheets. Kara feels heat rise to her cheeks, the guilt and shame ready to jump off of her tongue in apologies. Lena’s quicker, her touch returning, this time to Kara’s arm in a reassuring grip.

 

“It’s okay, Kara. You don’t have to go.”

 

“Yes I do. I promised you,” Kara protests. “I didn’t mean to forget about it, just between Snapper and Supergirl it just kind of…” Kara gestures to the twist of sheets and covers around her and her shoulders slump. “I’m sorry,” she finishes.

 

Lena only leans forward to press a kiss to the top of Kara’s head. “Don’t be. Even heroes need to rest.”

 

“Yeah, but I also need to be there for you.” Kara doesn’t mean to pout but she definitely pouts.

 

Lena turns a shade of pretty pink, just a shade from bashful. She takes Kara’s face gently with both hands, her thumbs smoothing across her cheeks. “In so many ways, you already are.”

 

Kara melts between Lena’s hands and Lena’s eyes, her face, her gravity, are the only things keeping her together - keeping her awake. She opens her mouth to say something else when a yawn slips out instead. Lena laughs quietly at that, quips “better for you to stay home, dear,” and Kara can only nod, because the bed is warm and her super suit is still stupidly wrapped around her lower half, trapping her.

 

“All I wanted to do tonight was to take a bath with you but now I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Kara says. Lena laughs and it makes her eyes crinkle wonderfully. She brings them together for a quick kiss before pulling away from Kara entirely. Kara mourns the loss of heat and keeps their hands intertwined as Lena stands at the side of the bed.

 

“As appealing as that sounds, I have to leave you,” Lena says, and she does honestly sound sad about it.

 

“I’m gonna make it up to you.”

 

“Don’t sweat it. I’m sure the mayor will have many other birthdays.”

 

Kara laughs at that, because Lena’s so good, so understanding and patient and Kara thanks her stars everyday that she’s able to call this woman hers. She pulls her closer, wraps her arms around her middle and their foreheads rest against each other.

 

“You can be mad that I forgot. I won’t be offended.” Kara can smell her perfume, a hint of toothpaste and soap and everything so unmistakably her . It muddles her, makes her want to pull her girlfriend under the covers with her and ask her to be selfish.

 

“But I’m not mad.” Lena’s breath is close too, and Kara can feel her self control slipping. “Contrary to what you think, I know what it’s like to need sleep.”

 

“You’re the best.” Kara kisses her hand and Lena sighs.

 

“If I hadn’t rsvp’d months ago I would just climb in bed with you.”

 

Kara grins. “You can still do that.” Lena rolls her eyes. Before Kara can try anything, Lena’s slipped out of her embrace and is standing two feet away from her as if she’d be swallowed by the warmth. Kara’s in full pout mode now and Lena sends a wink over her shoulder.

 

Kara watches as she readjusts her dress and hair in the mirror by the bedroom door.

 

“You’re pretty,” Kara whispers. And Lena is, with the yellow light from the hallway painting her in moody, auburn colors. Lena laughs softly, her smile shy as she tucks a strand of hair behind her ear.

 

“Thank you. You are, too.”

 

“Baby I know.” It comes with a smug grin, teasing, and Lena pretends to scoff at her.

 

It’s moments like these where she’s somebody else entirely. Kara thinks she’s seeing Lena in these moments.

 

“I won’t be long.” She strides back to Kara to kiss her one last time. She gives a small wave before exiting into the yellow light of the hallway and the door closes softly behind her.

 

Kara falls back into the mattress, smiling into her pillow.


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Kara Danvers had agreed to accompany Lena Luthor to the mayor’s birthday party. Supergirl, on the other hand, is an unexpected visitor.

 

It’s a bit awkward at first because she has to have a wait staff open the balcony windows for her, and it continues when the mayor is so starstruck he forgets to shake her hand so she’s just kind of left hanging. He’s a nice man though, and his wife does most of the talking while her husband recovers from the initial shock (“best birthday surprise ever!” he excitedly tells her later on).

 

She mingles with a few of the elite, some she recognizes from being a reporter and others from her runs as Supergirl. There are some higher department heads from the police station and she’s briefly distracted looking for Maggie’s head.

 

All in all, it’s a nice gathering and she’s glad she decided to come. She reminds herself to ask Lena about her definition of a “small function” because the mayor’s party is anything but.

 

It doesn’t take long for Lena to find her.  

 

“Supergirl, what a surprise.”

 

Kara turns and her smile grows. “Miss Luthor.”

 

Lena looks happy to see her but there’s a question to the tilt of her mouth. Kara decides to answer it for her. She takes a small step forward, careful to mind the space between them.

 

“I thought I should stop by,” she says, her hands on her hips. “To see a friend.”

 

Lena smirks. “A friend?”

 

“Yes.” Kara’s cheeks redden. “A good friend.”

 

“Just a good friend?”

 

“A very, very good friend.”

 

“The mayor is a lucky man.” Lena’s smirk blooms into a full smile when Kara rolls her eyes.

 

“It was important for me to come. I made a promise.” Kara locks eyes with her. Lena softens, her body looking to move into Kara’s space before she remembers herself. She raises her chin ever so regally and an understanding passes between them.

 

The smile they share is a secret one.


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Later, when they’re on the rooftop under stars and Lena’s taken off her heels and Kara’s put away her cape, Lena leans into her side.

 

“Thank you,” she whispers and places a lingering kiss on her cheek. “For being so thoughtful.”

 

Kara laces their fingers together. “Well,” she says with a grin. “I am Supergirl, after all.”

 

Lena kisses her again. “Super, that you are.”


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no·vo·caine

noun

  1. another term for procaine.
  2. crystalline hydrochloride used as a local anesthetic


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In high school, Kara’s lab partner was covered with hickeys.

 

She would hide them with scarves and high collars and long hair and make-up. Then there were the days where she didn’t bother and would instead let her neck bare all, a silent proudness in the curve of her spine and glint of her eyes.

 

Kara inspects her own neck in the mirror and wishes for a bruise.

 

Her closet is overflowing with scarves and high collars and she’s got long hair and make-up. She’s prepared, so really this whole impenetrable-skin situation is just unfortunate.

 

Lena goes to work with sharp skirts and pricey blouses that hide secrets; bites that bloom and then descend past the point of no return. Kara makes them, sees them, envies them. On those mornings, Lena leaves with a smirk on her lips and a glint in her eyes.

 

Kara digs her nail at her neck hard, hard enough for her to feel the pressure in her windpipe. For a blinding second, a sliver of a half-moon appears before it’s inevitable disappearance.

 

She pouts at her reflection and there’s no one around to blame.


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Lena’s entire weight is on top of her and Kara thinks that if this is how she goes, then it has been a great and wonderful life.

 

Lena’s hands are in her hair and she pulls, and Kara can’t feel it, not at first. Lena pulls harder then, tugs her closer, closer still, lips crashing and mouth wet. Lena’s mouth opens, latches, closes, and the bite is something that Kara does not see coming.

 

She sees stars and that’s better.

 

She nips at Lena’s collarbone and Lena squirms, her fingers digging into Kara’s scalp. Kara tests the waters, bites again, harder this time, and then soothes it with a flick of tongue.

 

The noise she gets out of Lena is better than music.

 

Pride swells in Kara and then there’s nothing to stop her from trying again, and again, and again, the pressure increased each time and Lena becomes a writhing mess with every passing second.

 

Kara feels her self control slip, can sense the tilt, but Lena’s so perfect like this, her skin so hot and voice breathy, and Kara can’t get marked, can’t parade around this adornment, can’t feel anything -

 

“Wait,”

 

Kara rears back, eyes wide. Lena pushes a curtain of hair out of her face.

 

“What’s wrong?” Kara’s face pinches in immediate worry. She messed up, she hurt her, oh god, Lena’s never gonna let Kara touch her again -

 

“Nothing,” Lena breathes out. “It’s just, I feel like,” she looks suddenly looks bashful, “like maybe you’re holding back?”

 

Kara blinks back her surprise. “Really?” she asks, voice lilting in amazement.

 

Lena giggles. Giggles . “I really appreciate that you’re trying to be careful, but it’s okay to, you know…”

 

Kara beams and leans up to capture her in a messy kiss, more smiles and bumps than anything else.

 

The next morning, Lena borrows a turtleneck and wears her hair down. They dress together and Kara smiles at her like they’ve got a secret.

 

Lena presses a quick kiss to Kara’s cheek on her way out the door and for a fleeting second Kara forgets to be jealous about the purple and red that’s hidden underneath her layers of clothes.  


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They settle on red lipstick. It isn’t the same as a bruise but its function is pretty close.

 

Kara runs her finger across the red streaks that mark her body head to thigh. In the mirror, she’s a canvas covered in shades of ruby and the whole image just screams lust.

 

Kara is wanted .

 

They’re not bruises but Kara will take what she can get.


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Lena Luthor is a tease.

 

Kara wants this known, wants this information published, because Lena Luthor is a tease and that’s so not fair . It’s an injustice, and isn’t Kara’s whole thing to fight against injustice?

 

For example:

 

Lena leaves the house with bites between her legs that only Kara knows about and then on her lunchbreak, Lena will tell Kara about how she hasn’t really been sitting comfortably all morning and Ms. Danvers, isn’t that odd? She’ll throw Kara these knowing looks and all Kara can do is shrug and squirm, because Jess is usually an earshot away and the last thing that Lena needs is a corporate scandal.

 

Lena has a closet full of beautiful clothes perfect for ballrooms and business rooms. Her style is impeccable and, Kara thinks secretly, could rival Cat Grant. It’s what’s underneath those dresses and pantsuits that are the real show, though.

 

Kara is the only one who knows what Lena puts on underneath her dresses, is the only one that knows what Lena Luthor looks like while getting ready for a gala, is the only one that is blessed enough to be the one who takes off Lena’s dress at the end of the night. Kara didn’t know that torture could taste so sweet, that waiting could burn so pleasantly.

 

Every small brush, every whiff of perfume and slight of skin, is pure torture. Kara finds herself balancing the merits of societal decency whenever Lena so much as looks her way, expression dark and mouth inviting, eyes dancing brightly like she knows exactly what she’s doing.

 

She hates it, really.

 

She hates the waiting. She hates watching Lena move around the room, her laughter echoing in her ears and Kara has to remind herself to breathe when she thinks of turning that laugh into something else, something deeper.

 

She hates sitting an arm’s length apart on the cab rides over, knowing that if she were any closer they would never make their destination in time, or at all. She hates waiting for the night to end so that she can start on what she wants.

 

Somewhere on her left, Lena lets out that stupid, throaty laugh and Kara finds herself turning towards the sound before she can stop, her glass midway to her lips and the conversation she was having reverting to background noise.

 

She looks just in time to see Lena throwing a headful of dark hair over her shoulder, her neck rising attractively as she bends her head back to laugh again.

 

Kara really, really hates this.

 

Lena’s gaze slides over to kara’s momentarily and her girlfriend, her wonderful, brilliant, totally wicked girlfriend, winks at her.

 

Kara manages a smile and drains her glass. It’s going to be a really, really, really long night.  


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Not that she actually hates her girlfriend.

 

Lena explains it perfectly well when she’s pressed against the elevator walls, dress obscenely rucked up and lipstick smeared on Kara’s neck.

 

“You have a thing for pretty women in dresses at fancy parties,” she breathes into Kara’s mouth.

 

“Mm,” Kara moves down her neck, nipping along the way. The elevator dings. “I have a thing for you in pretty dresses at fancy parties.” She finds that special spot on Lena’s collarbone and Lena’s head thumps against the wall.

 

“That is true,” Lena squeaks. “But,” she says, all breath and low and Kara’s heart spins. Lena places her hands firmly on Kara’s shoulders and pushes with enough force that Kara’s momentarily off-balance. “So do I.”

 

Kara squeals, her back hits the adjacent wall, and Lena presses the length of her body up against hers. Kara groans at the feel of her, lets herself drown in the scent, the touch, the will of Lena. The elevator dings again.

 

They don’t always wait for the night to end. Kara threads her fingers through dark locks of hair and smiles into her kisses until she can’t smile any longer.

 

Lena Luthor is a tease but Kara Danvers is a willing participant, and Kara would gladly go whenever, wherever Lena may.


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Kara’s sprawled facedown on top of the sheets, limbs heavy and unresponsive. She turns her head and breathes deeply.

 

Above her, the moon is high in the sky and pools liquid light into their bedroom. She hears a faint gasp behind her, something so small that only her ears could pick up.

 

“Mhmm?” she says.

 

She feels the mattress shift as Lena sits up towards the foot of the bed. Next comes the light, phantom brushes of fingers against her cooling skin. She breathes deeply through her nose.

 

“You look,” Lena’s voice is throaty, a different type of timbre from before. “Devastatingly beautiful.” Kara doesn’t miss the note of awe in her voice. Without moving her body, she turns her head towards Lena.

 

Lena’s mouth is parted slightly. Her hair washes down her shoulders in waves and Kara can just make out the faintest beginnings of red that start between her breasts and then dip lower, lower until it disappears between her legs and then reappears down the sides of her thighs. She looks like a painting.  

 

Lena’s hand follows the contours of Kara’s back, the dips and muscles that shiver in their oversensitive state.

 

“I understand now,” she says, quiet.

 

“Understand what?”

 

Lena smiles, secret and sure. “I just understand.”

 

Kara laughs and her hair flutters around her breath. She feels untethered. “I think I do too.” She reaches out a hand and Lena takes it.

 

Together, they lay side by side underneath the moonlight.


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no·va

noun

  1. a star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months.


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Kara isn’t the only one that has to leave at unexpected times.

 

Lena’s called to Vienna for work and Kara doesn’t really know how to occupy her time.

 

“It’s only a week, Kara,” Lena reminds her when she sees her pout.

 

“That’s like, a hundred-sixty-eight hours without you.” Kara doesn’t mean to whine. But she whines.

 

“You’ll be fine,” Lena soothes. “I’ll be back before you know it.”

 

Lena doesn’t stay one week, she stays three. It’s something about corporate politics and company merging and Kara’s smart enough to understand it but she doesn’t really focus on any of it because all she gets out of the call is that her girlfriend will be gone for five-hundred-and-four hours, and those are five hundred hours too many.

 

“I miss you,” she says one night three days in. Lena’s laugh warms Kara from her toes up.

 

“I miss you, too.” Kara picks up sounds of a street, muffled in the back of Lena’s voice. She smiles, pictures her laying down on the bed with the phone in her hand like a teenage girl, the city bustling outside of her hotel window.

 

“It hasn’t been that long,” Lena says.

 

“Seventy-four hours and twelve minutes,” Kara corrects.

 

“Nerd.”

 

“Says the nerd.”

 

Lena laughs again. Kara can hear the undertones of fatigue, no doubt the result of a long day’s work. She rests her head on her hand and looks out into sunny National City and thinks of Vienna at night.

 

“Big day?”

 

An exasperated sigh. “You wouldn’t believe.”

 

“I wouldn’t.”

 

“How about you?”

 

“Pretty good, as far as DEO shenanigans go. Snapper, not so much.”

 

“He can stick it.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

A beat of companionable silence. Kara aches for Lena at her side.

 

“I never realized how much you’ve affected my life.” It comes out without Kara filtering it and she holds her breath and prays she hasn’t accidentally spoken too soon, which, she might have.

 

Lena’s quiet for a few moments before speaking. “Yeah, yeah, no, I understand.” She pauses and Kara pictures her biting her lip, maybe threading a finger through her hair like she does when she’s choosing her words carefully. “I knew I was whipped but now I know that I'm super whipped.”

 

Kara chokes. “Was that a pun?”

 

“Maybe.”

 

Kara shakes her head. “Wow.”

 

“You liked it,” Lena tuts. Kara can see her eyebrow raising in jest and her heart yearns once more, and yeah, this woman’s got her wrapped around her pinky.

 

“Whatever. Super whipped, me too, I guess.”

 

They share a laugh and it eases Kara, makes her miss Lena even more. Three days. Seventy-four hours and fifteen minutes. She’s done for.

 

“I wouldn’t want anyone else,” Lena says. “To be super whipped with.”

 

Kara’s got her dopey grin on.

 

“Me too.”


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Kara gives in at the end of the week and flies out to Vienna.

 

She’s never been before and is immediately taken to the city and its charms. The air is clean and the people move differently, the language fast and direct.

 

On her first night, they go for dinner and a walk.

 

“It’s a regal city,” Lena says as they walk arm and arm down a white cobblestone backroad.

 

Kara takes in the buildings and the smells, notes the way the architecture juts out just so. “I can see that,” she agrees.

 

“I saw the Schönbrunn Palace with my father the last time I was here.”

 

Kara nods. She waits, listens. Lena rarely shares about her father.

 

“The gardens stretch on forever.” Lena smiles, gets caught in a memory. “You don’t really have a concept of how large it is until you’re walking up the hill and turn and see how small the palace is from how far away you are. At least that’s what it felt like.”

 

They turn a corner by a church. A group of boys and girls pass them.

 

“I tried to race my father up the path to the Glorietta,” Lena chuckles. “I made it in a breeze but he opted to walk the way, so I guess it wasn’t much of a race.”

 

“How old were you?” Kara asks.

 

“Twelve,” she says.

 

“We should go.”

 

“To the Glorietta?”

 

“To the gardens, the palace, everything.” Kara smiles, bright and sure. She wants this, wants to see what made Lena.  

 

Lena slides her hand down so they can swing their arms as they walk.

 

“I’d like that.”

 

They lean into each other as they round another corner.

 

“I’ll warn you though,” she says and Lena turns to her. “If you ask me to race you, I just might win.”

 

Lena raises her chin. “Is that a challenge?”

 

“Maybe.”

 

Lena raises up on her tiptoes then and pecks Kara’s cheek.

 

“Challenge accepted.”


.


Kara wins the race but it’s Lena who gets the last laugh because Kara accidentally almost runs into a family of four on her way up.

 

The palace itself is gorgeous. Kara doesn’t feel the slightest bit guilty that she’s taking an impromptu vacation from her responsibilities the moment she steps foot into the gardens.

 

Lena’s perception hadn’t warped. The gardens were indeed huge. Each terrace came with new flowers of bold yellows and reds, royal purples and soft blues. The statues bowed and the trees bent in the wind, the roses sweet and the sun forgiving.

 

Lena holds her hand and excitedly tells Kara all she knows about the gardens and the history of the palace and Kara hangs onto her every word.

 

They’re leaning against the pillars of the Glorietta as the sun starts to dip into the sky. Vienna is cast in a hue of gold. Beyond the palace, the city rises above, red rooftops shining in the late sun, the altitude making everything seem just out of their reach.

 

“Is it how you remembered?” Kara asks her.

 

Lena hums, rests her head against Kara’s shoulder.

 

“It’s better,” she says.


.


Kara’s getaway has to end that night. She doesn't want to leave the city and her girlfriend, but Lena gently pushes at her shoulders.

 

“Only four-hundred-and-twenty-two hours left,” she says and Kara laughs into her neck.

 

When she gets back to their apartment in National City she empties her bag. In her pocket she pulls out a napkin with a perfectly applied lipstick mark and a note scratched on the bottom in Lena’s loopy script, written in German:

 

till we’re together again

 

Kara sets the napkin on the nightstand next to her glasses. She dreams of city lights, old buildings, yellow roses, and Lena. Always, always Lena.


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de novo

adjective and adverb

  1. in general usage, de novo (literally "of new") is latin expression meaning from the beginning.


.


Kara’s just about to dig into her lunch that she’s brought for the two of them when Jess sticks her head into Lena’s office.

 

“Sorry Miss Luthor,” Jess begins. “There’s a reporter from Diva Pop here for a quote and,” Jess lowers her voice, “I can’t get rid of her.”

 

Lena frowns. “Diva Pop?”

 

Jess doesn’t explicitly do it but Kara can practically sense her urge to roll her eyes.

 

Lena shrugs. “Send her in.” She shoots Kara an apologetic look before straightening in her seat and pushing her lunch aside. Kara wordlessly migrates with her lunch in tow to the couch and settles in to watch the show. If CatCo is considered puff piece central in snobby journalists’ eyes, then Diva Pop is the sugar and spice and nothing nice.

 

The reporter is sunny and chipper, her hair up in such a tight ponytail that Kara’s head tingles just from looking at it. Her dress is pink and pressed and her lipstick is cherry-berry red. Lena’s eyebrows raise slightly when she enters the room.

 

“Miss Luthor!” the reporter exclaims. She’s shaking Lena’s hand before Lena has the chance to stand and greet her. “A pleasure. Shirley Smith from Diva Pop. I’m here on a special mission.”

 

“Nice to meet you, Shirley. How can I help?”

 

“Well, first we can start with the basics. What’s it like being in a polyamorous relationship with the Girl Of Steel and Cat Grant’s ex-assistant?”

 

From her seat on the couch, Kara chokes on her BLT.


.


Lena shuts down the rumors before they start.

 

“I don’t mind gossip,” she tells Kara once a dejected Shirley Smith leaves the office. “But if I’m gonna be honest, that whole spiel just seemed like too much work to keep up with.”

 

Kara chews her bite slowly and swallows. “Thanks for doing that. I don’t think I would’ve handled it as well as you did.”

 

Lena smiles. “That was nothing compared to the meeting I’m having later today.”

 

“You’ve got a knack for this kind of stuff.”

 

Lena pokes at her salad. Then, “a polyamorous relationship.”

 

Kara looks up. “With Supergirl and Cat Grant’s ex-assistant.”

 

Their eyes meet for a moment. Lena breaks first, giggles spilling out of the corner of her mouth and Kara goes soon after. They burst into a fit of laughter that has Kara clutching the side of her stomach and Lena throwing a hand over her eyes.

 

“People are crazy,” Kara wheezes. Both of them are leaning back on the couch, the laughter making their bones sated and lungs light.

 

“Yep.” Lena pops the ‘p’ with her lips.

 

“It’s creative though, I have to give them that.”

 

Lena hums. “I’m all for loving who you want but I don’t think we’re cut out to be the pioneers of the polyamory scene.” She pats Kara’s shoulder. “Sorry, babe.”

 

Kara sighs. “I’ll tell Supergirl.”

 

They fall into another pit of giggles. Lena props her arm up against the couch.

 

“I’m pretty lucky,” she says. There’s a glint in her eye.

 

Kara carefully unwraps the rest of her sandwich. “Oh?”

 

“Somehow I got the world’s most powerful woman and the world’s most charming reporter. Double jackpot.”

 

Kara scrunches her nose. “You let it get to your head.”

 

“Can you blame me?” Lena waggles an eyebrow. Kara waves her sandwich at her.

 

“Stop before you start.”

 

“Do you think they’d pit us against each other? Like down the line?”

 

“Oh my god.”

 

“They’d totally give us Twilight-esque scenarios. ‘Team Kara or Team Supergirl?’” Lena lowers her voice for the last part and gives Kara a silly wink.

 

“And what would you choose?” Kara asks, chin defiant.

 

Lena doesn’t miss a beat. “Team us, of course.” She leans over to kiss her. Kara laughs into her mouth.

 

“You’re ridiculous.”

 

“Yeah, but you’re still dating me.”

 

“I can’t argue with that.”


.


Kara cleans up the last of the bottles from the living room. Another successful game night, another deep cleaning. She likes cleaning up after game nights without her powers. It kinda caps off a night of comfort, of being reminded that she has a family who sees and accepts her as she is, powers or not.  

 

Lena’s packing up the leftover food in the kitchen as the radio plays softly through the speakers.

 

Kara discards the bottles and affectionately bumps their shoulders as she comes up next to her girlfriend. She starts with packing away the pizza but by the second container she’s switched to eating it instead.

 

Lena doesn’t say anything, only silently slides the rest of the tupperware towards Kara and moves around her to grab two beers out of the fridge. She opens them, gives one to Kara, and they toast.

 

The smile they share is a secret one.


.


The Wizard of Oz comes to the Los Angeles Theatre and Kara bends over backward to grab tickets.

 

She can barely contain her excitement during the coming weeks till the show. Alex has to cap her ‘Oz’ references to three per day.

 

Half an hour before showtime, her, Lena, Alex, and Maggie all settle into their seats. Kara’s buzzing with energy. Lena holds her hand the entire time, a small, delighted smile tugging on the edge of her face.

 

The show runs smoothly and Kara happily mouths along with the actors on stage.

 

The show is perfect. Absolutely, positively perfect.

 

It’s not until they’re outside waiting for their ride when the emotions hit her. She doesn’t really process that she’s going to cry until she just is. Somewhere between watching Alex and Maggie banter about Broadway trivia and Lena tucking a stray hair behind her ear she finds herself shedding silent tears that run swiftly down her cheeks and pool at the tip of her chin.

 

Lena keeps her alarm at bay, only rests her hand on Kara’s arm carefully. She gives Kara a moment to herself and allows her to turn away from the street and into the dark awning.

 

“Kara?”

 

Kara sniffles and breathes through her mouth.

 

“I don’t know why I’m crying,” she admits. She lets out a watery laugh.

 

“You don’t have to explain.” It’s whispered. The turn of Lena’s mouth is forgiving, understanding, and looks familiar. Kara’s seen it reflected on her own face.

 

Kara nods, The tears are falling faster now and without warning. Lena gathers Kara in her arms and holds her under the awning of the theatre as the city stumbles around them.

 

Alex has noticed the shift in Kara by now and is walking over to their side. Kara hears her footsteps, steady and sure, before she feels a gentle, warm hand on her back.

 

“Hey, everything okay?” Kara looks at her sister. Her brown eyes are wide and concerned and sweet , and Kara feels another splurge of tears coming and everything is just moving a little too fast for her tastes right now.

 

She swallows, finds the will in her to nod. “Yeah,” she says, mostly because it’s true and also because she wants to be done with this impromptu crying fest. “Yeah, just, I’m really glad I got to see the show.”

 

Even if they don’t believe her, the three of them take her word for it.

 

Lena wraps an arm around Kara’s middle. Alex nods and touches Kara’s shoulder comfortingly.

 

“Okay,” she says.

 

“It was a helluva production,” Maggie quips and it breaks the emotional wall. They all laugh and Kara enjoys the sweet contrast to the salt on her tongue.

 

“It was,” Kara agrees. Lena’s arm tightens. “It really was.”


.


Later, in the quiet of their apartment, Kara pulls Lena in for a bone crushing hug.

 

“Hey,” Lena whispers.

 

“Hey.”

 

They stand like that, leaning their weight into each other.

 

“Did my makeup run? Back there…?”

 

Lena huffs a laugh into the crook of Kara’s neck. “No, it did not.”

 

“Okay.”

 

“You used my makeup anyways, so you’re good.” It’s Kara’s turn to laugh. She holds Lena as tight as she possibly can without hurting her.

 

Lena wiggles so she can look Kara in the eye. Her hands drop to her neck and pull Kara in.

 

“Let’s go to bed,” she says.

 

Kara nods and takes Lena’s hand in hers and together, they walk down the hallway, shoulders bumping the entire way.


.


“I’m home,” Kara whispers into the dark. Lena shuffles sleepily, pulls at Kara to come closer.

 

“You are,” she says and pushes Kara’s hair away from her face.

 

Kara watches Lena in the pale moonlight and knows that Lena’s watching her with just as much care, with just as much tenderness.

 

Lena scoots closer still and kisses Kara’s forehead, her nose, her eyes, her cheeks, whispers, “you’re home, you’re home, you’re home,” and Kara melts.

 

An understanding passes between them, a silent exchange, a secret for only their eyes and lips and ears.

 

Lena holds her until she falls asleep, the gentle rhythm of her heart the last thing she hears before drifting off into a dreamland of colors; of yellows and reds and greens, and Lena, always Lena.


.


As the evening sun slips out of the sky, Kara Danvers, CatCo reporter, walks into Lena Luthor’s office with two bags of take-out and Supergirl’s suit rolled up at the bottom of her purse.

 

It’s a normal Thursday night in National City.

 

.