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caught in your orbit

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Kara is leaning heavily on the soot covered brick wall. Staring blankly at the burnt edges and cracked screen of her phone, she’s just trying to process the events of that day, but her mind is much too tired to do so.

“Oh, Kara,” Mrs. Anastasoupoulos cries, snapping her out of it. “This is terrible.” The tiny old woman sighs heavily in dismay as she turns and looks at the burnt wreckage of what used to be Kara’s apartment building.

“I-I’m sure the insurance will cover it,” Kara forces some assuring cheer into her voice, but fails completely. She desperately tries to shove the guilt far, far down. She should have kept herself more alert and never should have given that Taan’gek a chance to follow her home.

But no, she had to be distracted and floaty and giggly, like some teenager with a crush. She was 26 for Rao’s sake! Kara glumly wrung her hands, guilt still gnawing at her gut.

She walked home, super-senses dulled by inattention, utterly focused on scrolling down her phone’s camera roll and the memory of how closely Lena had pressed their cheeks together (so soft!) for the cutest photos (How are her eyes so sparkly? Why do they look blue sometimes and greener the next moment?)

She was so distracted by her daydreams that she had been completely oblivious to the fire-breathing camouflaged alien literally hovering on her trail only about a block behind.

“For a regular fire, they would. But covering an alien-caused fire? Good grief. Camels would have better luck walking through the eye of the needle!” She sighs and turns towards Kara.

“Are you gonna be all right, dear? Do you have a place to stay?”

Kara softened. Typical Mrs. Anastasoupoulos, genuinely caring as always. Source of income destroyed, and she was still worrying about others. At 70, she was as spry as ever and often preferred to take her 10,000 steps as the sun rose.

Mrs. Anastasoupoulos (Oh, just call me Yiayia, my dear, she had said with a fond pat on her arm and an offer of syrupy Greek pastries after helping her move her new furniture up five flights of stairs) had kindly given her the apartment rent free in return for being her building’s supervisor and catsitting on some weekends.

It was bit far from CatCo, sure, and some other tenants were downright mean. But for an unemployed fresh graduate to get a free apartment that had decent heating and wasn’t the size of a cardboard box? She’d take that miracle any day.

 “I’m going to be fine, yiayia,” she reassured the old woman with a gentle squeeze of her shoulder. “It’s you I’m worried about. You didn’t inhale much smoke, did you? Do you need help driving upstate to your daughter? I could help move your stuff,” she offered.

“Oh, I’m fine, dear. Thankfully, Supergirl was there. Such a strong, good child, you know.” Was that a knowing glint in yiayia’s eyes? “Carried me and Pippa right off! Didn’t even mind Pippa’s claws digging into her arm. Brought my thickest blanket along too! Somehow she knew I get cold easily. Even got the hospital staff to call my daughter!”

Kara let out an awkward laugh and adjusted the rumpled shirt she had haphazardly buttoned while changing from her suit. “Lucky she was there, then.”

“Quite,” the tiny woman agreed. “Well, dear, my daughter is driving down and meeting me in an hour. Would you like to have a cup of tea with me while I wait? A young woman like you should be alone at this hour. And in this terrible chill, too!” Taking Kara’s arm and rubbing it lightly, yiayia pulls her away from the wreckage deciding not to take no for an answer. “Come along, child. Let’s get ourselves warmed up.”

Kara spends a good while making good conversation by asking after yiayia’s family, but her mind is in a different place, drifting along the lines of where she would stay and how to replace her stuff and how much it would cost to replace her belongings. By the time yiayia had paid for their tea while waving away Kara’s protests and got into her daughter’s car, Kara still had not come to a viable decision.

 

Ducking into an alley, she quickly changes into her supersuit and glumly flies to the DEO, mind still abuzz on what to do.

The free rent had allowed her to save some money in the bank and allot more of her budget towards food. A minimum of 10,000 calories a day did not come cheap, after all. She has to buy five times the amount of food an average woman needs.

Cat had paid her quite generously as her assistant, too. But as a rookie reporter, her salary had decreased and now she has to find a new apartment on top of the cost to replace all of her stuff.

Not for the first time Kara laments that being an adult was just terrible.

She just thanked Rao that tomorrow – or considering the time now, today - was Saturday and she doesn’t have to work. She still has to redo that article on the orphanage renovation now that her laptop was literally burnt to a crisp, and what is she even going to wear? Besides her suit, all she has is the wrinkled yellow button-down and the plain black slacks and shoes she wore earlier that day.

With another sigh, she comes through the window and lands softly at the DEO lobby, noting the singed tiles and pillars with alarm.

“Alex?”

“There you are, Kara!”

Thankfully, Alex looked uninjured and unburnt, even if she was visibly tired.  “We just finished wrangling the Taan’gek to a holding cell,” she said as she walks to meet Kara. “It got… messy,” she added with an unnecessary gesture to the state of the room.  “Are you okay? Did you manage to get at least some of your stuff back?”

“No,” Kara admitted with a grimace. “Everything’s in ashes.” Even her phone was broken, she silently mourned. It had all her photos with Lena, too. Those recent ones hadn’t been backed up to her cloud yet, unlike her other photos with Alex, Eliza, and her friends, but she hoped to Rao that Winn could recover those.

Alex envelops her in a hug, and even now Kara marvels at how safe and loved Alex can make her feel.

“I’m so sorry, Kara. I know how much you loved that apartment.” With all the love and memories that had been infused into and within its walls, went unsaid.

And she really did. That was her first apartment - her first personal space that was completely her own. It had inside the very first pair of glasses that Jeremiah gave her – outgrown but kept safe in its case, scarves and sweaters that Eliza had knit with love, the first photos James had given her, her painting of the view from her room in Krypton, all her books and some of the flowers Lena sent pressed inside of their pages…

Kara shuts her eyes and tries to get her mind to stop listing everything she lost.

Kara knows it’s not the same as losing her planet all over again – the aching void from that reminds her every day. It’s different.

But this loss, even relatively miniscule compared to Krypton, brings to mind nearly all those demons from long ago.

Having to start again.

Having to deal with the aching loss of irreplaceable mementos.

Having to search and move and get used to a different space.

Having to re-structure her life then try to build it out of her loss.

She’s just grateful that this time, all she lost were her things, not her people.

This time, she gets to keep and be supported by her people.

And that’s all that matters, really. With her family by her side, Kara knows she’ll be just fine.

Kara says nothing through all these thoughts and just fractionally tightens her grip, as if Alex’s comforting warmth can erase her terrible day.

“Stay with me for now, okay?” Alex gently asks her as she strokes Kara’s sooty hair

“Alex, no!” Kara steps out of her embrace. “You and Maggie just moved in. I don’t want to be a burden.”

“You are never a burden, Kara.” Alex firmly insists. “Family first. And I’m sure Maggie won’t mind.”

“No, Alex,” she gently takes her sister’s hand even as her voice is firm. “Moving in together is a big milestone. And you two deserve to have your space to figure out your space sharing dynamic. I don’t want to disturb that.”

“Kara-“

“Plus I’m not sure the three of us would even fit in your little mouse hole,” she teases.

“If you think even for a moment that I’m leaving my own sister out to the streets-“

“I’m a big girl, Alex. Don’t be dramatic. It’s not as if I’m sleeping on the road.” she smiles reassuringly, squeezing Alex’s hand.

“I’ll always worry about you,” Alex huffs and squeezes back. “At least stay with us tonight. Where are you going to sleep?”

“I figured tonight I’d just stay in my sun bed. Deal with all this in the morning. Fighting that jerk really tired me out. But for now I really need to shower and put these clothes in the wash. Thank goodness I at least have some spare underwear in the locker.”

“Are you absolutely sure you’ll be all right tonight?”

“Go on, Alex,” Kara smiles with a little hip check. “Maggie’s probably waiting for you.”

Alex relents. For now, at least. “Okay. Call me, okay? For anything.” With another tight hug, Alex kisses her temple. “Love you, Kara.”

“I love you too, Alex. I’ll call you in the morning.”

 

 

The DEO showers are clean and big, but the water pressure is much too weak. Yet again, she misses another thing she had taken for granted in her apartment – the water pressure that perfectly hit against the muscles of her shoulders. She borrows Alex’s extra towel from her locker to dry off and steps into her own pair of clean underwear and her spare supersuit. Leaving her messy hair to air dry, (she doesn’t even have her own comb anymore! Could this get any worse?) she gathers her dirty clothes in a messy pile and heads down to the laundry room.

Despite the late hour, Vasquez is surprisingly still there, putting her own load of dark clothes in the washer.

“Vasquez?”

“Supergirl!” The agent turns quickly in surprise. “Ma’am,” she quickly clears her throat and nods, gathering herself.

Now that she’s facing Kara, the dark circles under her eyes and the way Susan is gingerly holding her arm seem obvious.

Kara uses her superspeed to throw her clothes in the washer and then zips to Susan’s side. “What happened? Have you had that checked yet?” she asks the shorter agent gently.

“No, ma’am. I figured I just needed a good nap first. I’m exhausted. But I wanted to wash off the blood from my uniform first before it stains. The shooting spikes on that Taan’gek did a real number on my arm.”

“May I?” Kara asks, gesturing to her arm. At Vasquez’s nod, she uses her x-ray vision to see the damage on Susan’s arm.

“I suggest you get that looked at first before napping, Susan. The tips of the spikes are still lodged under your skin. It isn’t toxic on its own, but if it stays long enough in human body temperature, it will rot your arm from the inside.”

Vasquez pales and nods quickly. “Thank you, Ma’am. I’ll be off to the med bay as soon as this load finishes.”

“Susan, you’re already in the know and it’s two a.m., I think we can do away with the ma’ams, can we? Call me Kara,” she smiles to set the injured woman at ease.

“I can do Kara. I mean, call you Kara, yes,” Susan laughs awkwardly, rubbing her eyes in exhaustion.

With a smile, Kara turns back to her own washer, about to zone out in the spinning image of her last remaining clothes, when Vasquez speaks again.

“I heard that it was your apartment that burned down tonight. I’m sorry to hear that.”

“It was. Thanks, Susan,” Kara attempts another strained smile.

“I just, I thought I could help you out. You could sleep with me!”

“Uh-“

“I mean, like, on my bed. No, I mean, on top of me.”

“Wha-“

“Top bunk! I have a bunk bed. You could have the one above me, I mean. My roommate moved out to be with her girlfriend so I thought – you could, you know, since your apartment uh,” Vasquez trails off awkwardly.

“Thank you, Susan," Kara saves her from rambling further. "But that fight really tired me out, so I’ll just spend tonight in the sun bed.”

“And I also have your old clothes!”

“What?”

“Sorry for the rambling, Kara. Just… more than 50 hours awake takes its toll. But I have your old clothes in DEO storage.”

“My old clothes?”

“Yes, from, uh… from the Red Kryptonite incident.”

Oh.

Those clothes.

She winces. That had been a blow to her savings.

Red Kara had chosen expensive brands – the brands Cat had favored, in fact. Red Kara had spent a solid four months’ worth of salaries on barely two weeks’ worth of clothes and more daring shades of make-up.

And Rao help her, the lingerie.

Kara had promptly forgotten about it all after the DEO repaired and cleared her apartment as Red Kryptonite free.

Now, though, it seems they were to be her saving grace. High-end luxury clothing for a homeless girl. Ha. They’re not her favorite well-worn Midvale High PE shirt with the softest fabric, or even Jeremiah’s old wool sweater that Eliza had handmade back when they were just engaged. But beggars can’t be choosers, can they?

“That’s actually really helpful, Susan! Thank you so much. Where did you say they were again?”

“In level 3, the Y storage area. Here, you can have my key card while I get my arm sorted. There are also a bunch of spare and unopened training clothes and accessories in there. You can help yourself to them. Just tell me how many you took so I can have the inventory updated.”

“Susan Vasquez, you are a lifesaver! Thank you!” Kara zips by and hugs her quickly, grabbing the keycard, shifting her wet clothes to the dryer, and zipping off to the storage in a burst of super speed.

 

 

Y storage was huge. Crates and boxes and shelves stretching anywhere the eye could see.

Luckily, Kara was in possession of both super speed and x-ray vision, so finding the box marked “SG Red K” with the date of the incident had been easy enough.

Liberating a few grey and black generic DEO t-shirts, a week’s worth of sports underwear (Red Kara’s lingerie is… not ideal for lounging about), some pairs of plain loose pants and a pair of running shoes had been easy as well, and she promptly added them to her box. She quickly adds some towels and a toothbrush, too.

She zips back to the locker room to get some of Alex’s toothpaste from her locker before quickly brushing her teeth and changing into a black shirt and loose pants. It’s gonna have to do as sleepwear considering she literally doesn’t have anything else.

Bringing her box of belongings along, she super speeds to her sun bed, switches it on, and lies down to get some rest.

She’ll deal with all this in the morning.

 

 

Apartment hunting during the weekend had been a bust as all the available options had turned out to be combinations of much too small, much too expensive, much too far, and much too Asbestos-infested. Not that she had to worry for the last two, considering her speed and invulnerability, but still.

Alex had been increasingly horrified with each option presented.

Her finances were still in question, too, as she wouldn't be able to go into the bank until later that Monday.

Alex had immediately volunteered to pay for any new apartment, or at least loan her any amount she needed, but Kara was firmly insistent in refusing.

Alex had sacrificed so much already in Kara’s first new beginning on Earth. Kara doesn’t want to take more from her, no matter how well the DEO pays her.

Kara did accept some of her own shirts that she’s left at Alex’s place way back, though. If Alex sneaks in her well-loved lightly-stained Stanford hoodie within the pile to comfort Kara when she finds it, Kara makes no mention of it and just hugs Alex tighter next time.

They don’t need words for that.

 

 

She spends the rest of her Saturday re-typing her article on the orphanage renovation charity drive and e-mailing it out to Snapper on a borrowed standard DEO-encrypted laptop. She very nearly throws the thing into deep space after Snapper makes her re-do it four more times.

(If she stress-eats three times her normal calorie intake, well, could anyone blame her?)

The Taan’gek’s rampage across midtown National City with Supergirl’s difficulty in apprehending it is in the headline of the Tribune and every other local newspaper that day, but luckily the reporter covering it was unaware of her involvement as Kara Danvers.

Kara is just grateful that despite her current homeless state, she still had some of her stuff, access to a shower, and a comfortable sun bed. She knows she’s much luckier than most, especially since she doesn’t have to worry about the cold weather.

The next day, she drops by Winn’s mess of an apartment to get him to look at her phone and what he could possibly recover from within its cracked and crispy state.

Winn offers to let her stay, and Kara loves him as a friend, she really does. But nothing could make her stay in such a messy bachelor’s pad. She’s not that desperate yet.

By Sunday evening, she gives into Alex’s gentle prodding and settles comfortably in their sofa-bed after a long day as Supergirl.

(“Just for a movie night,” Kara insisted. “I’ll be back at the DEO before midnight.”

But barely midway through The Addams Family, she’s already fast asleep)

 

 

Monday comes all too soon.

Faced with the array of Red Kara’s intimidatingly fashionable clothes, she chose the least threatening for today - the plainest one she could find: A strictly black mid-sleeved Givenchy bodycon and metallic gold Jimmy Choo pumps. Avoiding the dark smoky eye shadows and blood red lipsticks that Red Kara apparently preferred, she decides on sticking with just eyeliner, her normal base make-up, and clear gloss.

She's not sure how comfortable she'll be wearing the rest of it eventually. It's all so dark and projected aggression in luxury-form, but she doesn't really have a choice. It'll have to do for now.

She sighs, puts her hair into her signature ponytail, puts on her glasses, and hopes that the dress will give her the confidence and strength she can’t quite muster right now.

As soon as she steps out of the elevator, James immediately calls her to his office to check on her.

After firmly but politely declining his offer to stay with him, Kara lets herself be distracted by their easy conversation until Snapper’s temper makes itself known.

“PONYTAIL!!”

“Save me,” Kara groans in exasperation. She was not in the mood to deal with this jerk at all.

James’ easy smile met her as she turned to him. “Hey, you’re the Super. The only saving I do from this desk is from the evils of misinformation and sensationalism.”

“These days, that’s more of a heroic deed than people think,” Kara grinned back. “Well, I better go face his wrath. I bet it’s him nitpicking about a missing Oxford comma or something,” she jokingly grumbled.

“If that’s the case, I’m with him. That’s necessary, Kara.”

“Et tu?” she called back in playful exasperation.

She closes the office door with a smile. Kara is glad that they’ve recovered their friendship out of their break up quite easily – seamlessly, even.

But living with her ex for at least a month? Out of the question.

Kara would rather not compromise the easy camaraderie they’ve managed to keep by sharing their personal spaces for so long. She trusts James. He’s been the very definition of respectful. She’d rather avoid any possible awkwardness, that’s all.

 

 

She keeps working through the morning on the new story Snapper has assigned to her, glad that she at least has her work computer. It’s an odd piece on how so-called Bolivian Traffic Zebras make the city roads of La Paz, Bolivia safe, but researching the story had done the trick of cheering her up by lunch time, so she’ll gladly write it.

 

Stepping out of the CatCo building, she’s immediately greeted by a finely dressed woman in navy blue, facing away from her as she seemed to be texting furiously.

“Lena!”

“She said with surprise in her voice for some reason,” Lena quipped as she turned to face Kara, putting her phone back in her pocket.

“We didn’t have any plans, did we? Gosh, I’m so sorry. I’ve been so frazzled lately.”

“No, you just haven’t answered any of my texts. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I heard your apartment building burned down and then it was like you just disappeared. I was worried for you.”

Lena steps closer to her. Suddenly Kara can’t breathe. Those fine eyebrows, finely contoured cheekbones. Her eyes. That jaw, those red lips she just wants to bite-

Focus!

Kara shakes her head to gather her thoughts. “I-I’m sorry, Lena… My phone was damaged, too. I haven’t gotten around to replacing it.” She had dropped it immediately when the alien attempted its surprise attack, but she had managed to get Winn to recover her memory card’s data.

“But you’re okay now, right? Where are you staying?”

“Wi-with my sister and her girlfriend.” Technically partially true. She fell asleep there after last night’s movie and two pints of ice cream and just woke up early to shower and change back at the DEO.

It’s not like she can say that she, supposedly a normal human rookie reporter, is staying at a secret government facility.

“Is there anything at all I could do to help?”

”Don’t worry about me Lena, I’m okay,” she says breathlessly with a shake of the head.

Kryptonian lungs are supposed to withstand high altitudes beyond Everest and even the crushing pressure of the ocean and yet with Lena a respectful friendly distance away from her she’s…

“Kara, you look unwell,” Lena states with concern and steps even closer. Small warm palms grasp at Kara’s cheeks and lift her drooping head up to face Lena.

“You know you can rely on me, right? I won’t judge or pity you. You’re my best friend.” Iridescent greens meet her own sky blues and Kara gives in to the irresistible urge to hug her crush and breathe in Lena’s comforting scent.

“I know,” Kara murmurs against the soft skin of her neck.  “I trust you. You know that.”

Lena hugs her tighter, and then pulls back. Kara tries to not immediately miss her warmth, but fails.

“Come on. I’ll treat you to lunch and then we can discuss you moving in with me.” The wink Lena sends her is playful but lethal, and when Lena’s soft hand takes her own to lead her to Noonan’s, Kara is most definitely a goner.

 

 

Lena Luthor lives in a nice but lonely house at the end of a far cul-de-sac at the very edge of one of National City’s finest gated communities. The nearest neighbour seemed to be at least a kilometer away. (Well, when you have murderous family members out to kill you, you adjust to minimize potential bystander casualties, she had said wryly.)

It isn’t a mansion, as one would expect of a Luthor property. The small vegetable garden is also quite unexpected. But the place is big for just one woman, Kara notes as she steps out of the car and looks around. The single box holding what remained of her belongings remained under one arm as Lena takes her on a mini-tour.

 “It’s a three-bedroom, actually,” Lena tells her as they walk from the garage to the front steps. The fading sunset frames her quite nicely and Kara’s hands just itch uncontrollably to paint her profile.

 “A bit too large for just me, but I turned one bedroom next to the study into a workshop. You can take the bedroom upstairs. It has a nice view of the sunrise that I think you’ll love,” Lena comments with a fond look at her.

She opens the door with a fingerprint and waves Kara in.

 “This is the living room,” Lena gestures to a clean and minimalist-styled lounge area. It’s certainly pretty to look at, but it seems barely lived in.

They keep walking forward. “Through this is the formal dining room, but that is very rarely used. I prefer to eat in the breakfast nook.”

Kara is hyperaware of Lena’s hand on the small of her back guiding her towards it. Lena’s heartbeat seems to be elevated, too. But Kara doesn’t dare get her hopes up that it’s for the same reason her own heart is beating right out of her chest.

The tour is almost a blur for Kara. She’s too hyperfocused on the warmth of Lena’s palm, now in her own hand as she is led from room to room, on the way Lena’s eyes sparkle as she talks about the art on her walls, on the way her lips curve and shift with each word, on the steady quick beats of her heart, on the way the muscles of her back shift visibly underneath the fabric of her dress as she lifts her arms to point or gesture, on the way her voice forms her name…

“Kara… Kara… Kara? Are you okay?” Lena’s lovely eyes are hooded in concern.

“Yeah, absolutely. Just… admiring your lovely home.” It’s a weak lie. They both know it.

But Lena thankfully lets it pass.

“I know you must be tired after dealing with the bank and insurance on top of Snapper. I’ll let you get settled, okay?” With a gentle squeeze of her arm, Lena moves to leave and Kara realizes they’re already in what’s supposed to be Kara’s new bedroom.

Without thinking, Kara takes Lena’s hand back into her own. “I just… you didn’t have to do this for me. You don’t have to take on my burdens. To open your home to me is... Thank you. I- Words aren’t enough, Lena.”

“Kara, you’re my best friend. My only friend, even. While I know you can definitely handle yourself, the point is, you don’t have to. You have me and after all you’ve done for m-”

Kara’s growling stomach interrupts their moment and she can’t help but blush.

Lena gives her a fond look and shakes her head. “I’ll order in. Is your regular fine?”

Kara nods silently with a grateful smile. “Settle in then. We’ll feed the hungry beast its potstickers soon enough,” Lena winks with a playful tap of a finger on her abdomen and Rao, this must be what shortcircuiting feels like.

 

She sits on her firm new bed with a sigh a bit later and takes in the room. It’s clean and bare, with rose-tinged walls and large glass panels that led out to a nice east-facing balcony. The walk-in closet is empty except for some firm hangers and she superspeeds her way into arranging what’s left of her wardrobe.

Red Kara’s two pairs of pumps, her plain DEO running shoes, and the dark plain leathers she had been wearing the night of the fire go in the bottom shelf. The rest of Red Kara’s clothes hang on the left side while her loose shirts and pants hang on the right, and no matter how she arranges them, the empty spaces are just glaringly obvious.

Thankfully, her renter’s insurance seems like it will come through. Not any time soon, though. But she'll probably be able to get a few clothes in her real style.

As far as the insurance company is concerned, a fire-breathing alien randomly attacked and rookie reporter Kara Danvers is just a victim. Totally not her fault.

The super suit and cape goes at the back of the bottom drawer.

(The lingerie, she keeps in the box and shoves it as far behind as she can manage.)

 

 

The next morning, Kara wakes happily with the sun.

The comfort of her queen-size bed is so relaxing that for a moment she forgets she’s not at her apartment. For a moment, everything is right as it has always been.

Yet when she finally remembers it all through the remnants of sleep, the sting of loss isn’t quite as horrible as before.

Lena was right – the sunrise does look beautiful from her room’s view and the clear glass floor-to-ceiling glass panes let so much sunlight in that she can feel the hum of energy underneath her skin.

 

With a cat-like stretch, she finally musters up the willpower to drag herself away from the most comfortable bed she’s ever slept on.

Her mission this morning: Make Lena Luthor a thank-you breakfast.

After putting on her glasses and messily tying her hair up after running a cursory hand through her bedhead, she walks determinedly to the kitchen. Kara is so lost in thought while considering what Lena could possibly want to eat, that she nearly stumbles in surprise at seeing a stranger sitting on Lena’s kitchen table.

But now that she’s paying attention, it’s too easy to sense that it’s actually Lena. Lena’s strong, steady, and slow heartbeat pounds just so in Kara’s ears, even as the lead in her glasses’ temple tips dampens her super hearing to a manageable degree.

Kara takes a long moment to study the unfamiliar sight of her friend in a casual setting.

In the morning sunlight, Lena’s usually perfectly pinned midnight hair is in a messy bun, soft wisps falling this way and that. A large grey MIT shirt hangs loosely over her slight frame, its length almost concealing her blue sleep shorts that ends a bit above her pale mid-thighs. Her shoulders haven’t yet developed the tension Kara knows will be there later in the office as she’s nursing a mug of tea and answers emails from her phone.

Right now, she looks so soft and relaxed and Kara has to tamp down the urge to hug her and kiss her forehead.

And oh, she turns to Kara to greet her good morning with the most beautiful smile, and she’s wearing glasses!

“Good morning, Kara. Sleep well?” Gosh, her voice this morning may be slightly sleep rough, but the sound combined with this sight makes Kara’s stomach flutter.

Kara is inexplicably happy that she’s the first person Lena saw and talked to this morning, that she gets to see Lena, the girl, before she dons the mask of an unflappable CEO.

Without the veneer of her sharp dresses and pristine makeup, Lena looks every bit her 24 years of age.

“The best sleep I’ve had in a while,” Kara admits and returns her grin.

She can’t help but drink in this sight - Lena, in casual clothes, in glasses, and with no makeup. It’s so different, and yet so lovely.

“Good to hear. Do you want some tea?” Lena starts to put her phone down and stand up but Kara stops her with a gentle hand on her arm.

“Actually, may I make you breakfast?”

“Breakfast?”

Kara nods shyly.

“It’s… a thank-you breakfast. I wanted to surprise you but you’re up already,” she laughs lightly.

“I would love that, Kara,” Lena beams. “Need a helping hand?”

“I’ll be okay. You keep on clearing your inbox and I’ll make you something filling, okay? If the late lunches we go on are any indication, you need something to last you all morning.”

“I don’t normally eat breakfast,” Lena admits as she watches Kara prepare ingredients. “But I’m certainly curious to taste what you’ll make for me today.”

“Missing the most important meal of the day?” Kara gasps in mock outrage as she whisks eggs. “My, my, miss CEO. Isn’t that supposed to be part of the habits of effective people?”

“I guess I just don’t like that cooking and cleaning up take so much effort and yet eating is always very quick because I have to rush to work.” Lena shrugs. "I like having time to savour my meals."

They continue their light talk as Kara shows her efficiency in the kitchen. Yet Lena notices that Kara keeps on looking at her.

“Is there something on my face?”

Kara ducks her head, finally caught.

“Nothing… you just look different this morning.”

“Different? What, with just my hair up and my glasses?” Lena’s voice is teasing.

“Well, yeah, but also just the way you hold yourself up this morning. I’ve never seen you this casual. I like it,” Kara quietly admits, turning her head to hide a blush in the guise of focusing on her cooking.

“Well, I’ve never seen you this casual either. And I’ve never seen you cook. Guess this morning is just full of nice firsts for us, isn’t it?”

They share a small smile, before Kara turns back to add the bacon and tomatoes.

Wait…

Hair up and glasses?

Does she know?

Kara’s heart pounds in her chest.

But as she concentrates her super hearing, Lena’s is steady and slow, remaining relaxed.

Kara sneaks a peek. Lena is sipping tea from her mug, her other hand tapping lightly on her phone. No tension on her shoulders just yet, brows unfurrowed.

Absolutely zero signs of being ill-at-ease with an alien in the room or hurt at her friend hiding a secret from her.

So she must not know yet… right?

Or maybe... she accepts me?

Kara swallows her worry and her hope and just focuses on rolling up her omelettes and plating them perfectly.

“One cheesy omelette roll, courtesy of Chef Danvers,” she masks her anxiety with cheerfulness and presents Lena with her plate.

They eat happily, and though Kara will have to stop at Noonan’s for a second, larger breakfast, Kara feels full enough with Lena’s satisfied smile and obvious enjoyment of her cooking.

She doesn’t know how many mornings like this she’ll get with Lena, but privately, she thinks she’ll always remember this particular one.

Lena’s small frame in that well-worn shirt, the sparkle in her eyes through her glasses, her smile as she recounts a story of her and Jess back in MIT, the wisps of hair that Kara’s hands itch to push behind her ear, the sound of her laugh as Kara misses her own mouth with her fork because she’s too busy staring – all of it.

In her heart, Kara wishes earnestly for more simple mornings like this.