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the heiress, the girl of steel, and the man who fell to earth

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Lena Luthor is curled up on her couch with a book propped up on her legs when a fiery orange blaze splits the sky in two. Not that she sees it, because she’s just about dozing off, glasses sitting askew on her nose, cheek smooshed up against the palm of her hand—but she does hear the thunderous crash coming from her backyard, and she certainly feels the way the entire house shakes from the impact.

She sits bolt upright, clenching onto the couch cushion, not even daring to breathe until her surroundings settle, the sound of glasses in her liquor cabinet tinkling into quiet stillness. After a few seconds of silence with no further disturbances, she springs up from the couch, pads over to her window to peer into the yard.

It’s completely dark. She can barely make out the familiar shapes of her garden through the inky blackness. Everything is still, except for an odd shape at the base of the huge oak tree in the far corner of the yard, which is on fire.

Lena lets out a gasp and sprints down the stairs into her basement, narrowly avoiding tripping over her own dressing gown during her descent, and retrieves her fire extinguisher (very useful for dealing with any unfortunate accidents in her at-home laboratory), and shoves an assortment of tools into a carry bag. With her supplies in hand, she races back upstairs and bursts outside, pulling her robe tightly around her as she’s hit with the chill of night.

When she approaches the tree and the fiery object, she throws her bag down on the ground and lets loose with the fire extinguisher, dousing the flames until they die out. She pants and wipes at her brow, dropping the empty extinguisher onto the grass.

The smoke and haze from the extinguisher gradually clear, revealing what looks to be some sort of space pod, all sleek and shiny metal, flawless in its design, emitting gently pulsing blue lights from beneath ornate wings, and Lena breathes a reverent gasp because she’s never seen anything like it before.

She approaches it slowly, extends a hand to press against the metal of the ship—then curses as she snaps her hand back upon discovering it’s very hot. Keeping more of a safe distance, she approaches the capsule’s glass lid where, presumably, a passenger would sit. She tries to peer through, but the glass is opaque, either by design or from the fire, she can’t be sure.

The pod emits a strange sound and Lena freezes, watching it closely for any sign that the glass lid might be opening, or that the whole thing itself is going to explode, but the sound settles and the pod is still once again. Lena breathes again, but doesn’t fully relax, and decisively grabs her carry bag, taking it with her to the rear of the pod, where she crouches down on the grass.

“Let’s see what we’re working with here,” she murmurs quietly. She retrieves a her trusty screwdriver from her bag, as well as a flashlight, which she clicks on and holds in her mouth.

She manages to jimmy open what she correctly guesses is the control panel, and it’s definitely not in English, or any other human language for that matter, but computers tend to speak the same language on some level, so it doesn't take Lena long to figure out how to talk to it. She pushes her glasses up her nose, swipes her dark hair away from her face as she works.

Her hand hovers over the keypad just as she’s about to execute the directive she’s eighty percent sure will open the pod, hesitation entering her mind for the first time. She removes the flashlight from her mouth, withdraws her hand slightly, then frowns and punches the final key, stepping back as the pod clicks open and the glass lifts away with a mechanical hiss.

Lena grips tightly onto her flashlight as she approaches the side of the pod again, and peers inside to see the pod’s occupant. It’s a man: young, chestnut brown hair, traces of facial hair at his chin and jawline. By all accounts he looks completely human, but judging by the specifically alien circumstances of his arrival, he decidedly is not.

And then, his eyes are open as he draws in a shuddering breath, and he’s launched himself out of the pod and his hand is gripping at Lena’s throat and, oh gosh, he’s strong—he’s really strong—and Lena can feel her windpipe constricting, can see stars spotting at the edges of her vision, can only just hear the strangled ‘please’ she manages to push past her lips.

He drops her, staggers back, and Lena crumples to the ground, oxygen reintroducing itself to her lungs through heaving, jagged breaths. The earth is cool beneath her palms, and when she looks up at her attacker, his face is twisted in confusion, and he won’t look away from his trembling hands. He looks up at her, then back down to his hands, takes a few steps back, looks like he’s about to bolt.

“Wait!” Lena gasps, voice ragged as she shakily pushes herself to her feet.

There’s a creaking from behind them, and the old oak tree the pod crashed into cracks straight down the middle, groaning as half of the trunk splinters off and succumbs to gravity. Lena braces herself for the impact, arms reaching up over her head, and screws her eyes shut tight.

When she opens them, she’s not dead, or crushed, or harmed in any way.

In fact, she’s on her roof, impossibly cradled in the arms of the man who had his hand around her throat not seconds ago. She blinks at him in shock—then flicks her eyes back to the now half-standing oak tree, performing some rough calculations factoring in time and distance travelled and comes to the conclusion that he is also really fast.

“It seems not even you know whether you want to hurt me or not,” she manages, surprising even herself by how casual she sounds.

He stares at her a moment, brow furrowed and jaw tense. “I don’t…I don’t want…” his words fall somewhat clumsily from his lips, but at least now Lena knows he can speak English. As he trails off, his eyes fixate on something just over Lena’s shoulder. Lena has barely craned her neck to see that he’s looking at her satellite dish when she’s dropped onto the roof, spun around and pulled against the man’s chest, his arm wrapped around her neck once again.

Lena grimaces, knowing that if he squeezes the stars will reappear in her vision, and she really didn’t enjoy that sensation the first time. “I guess we’re going with ‘hurt me’,” she winces.

“Help me.” His words come out strained, pleading, and he quickly clears his throat. “You will help me.” It’s more of a commanding growl this time.

“Whatever you need,” Lena says placatingly, hands reaching up to the arm across her throat in preparation to put up some sort of fight if he does decide to squeeze. “I can’t do much from up here, though. Let’s just get down, and we can discuss things calmly. Ok?”

The man pauses, seems to think for a moment, before he loosens his grip. As soon as she is able, Lena twists away, rubbing gingerly at her throat, which she knows is going to bruise. She meets his wary eyes, tries to convey nothing but sincerity in her own as she holds her palms up in surrender.

“Thank you. Now, let’s just get down and we can talk about how I’m going to help you.” She glances around at her feet for some way to climb down, but before she makes any progress, she finds herself scooped up by the stranger and they’re in the air, soaring high in the sky before slamming back down to the ground, both of them screaming the entire way.

Lena drops out of his arms shakily, crouching down on the grass for a few moments before she stands up to her full height, which is still considerably shorter than the stranger’s. “Well,” she clears her throat, strives for the calm tone she had somehow managed earlier. “That’s not exactly what I had in mind, but I suppose we did get down.”

The mysterious alien pats himself down, clenching his fists open and shut. “What’s happening to me?” he asks, and looks up at Lena with desperation she knows she isn't capable of handling, at least not on her own, but that doesn’t mean she won’t try.

“I don’t know,” she answers truthfully, “but you do need to stay calm. Please.” She swallows, does her best to become a model of calm for him, in case that’s what he needs. Her experience with aliens is, admittedly, limited to one, and she is certainly more well-adjusted than the one before her, so it’s no wonder Lena is feeling more than a little out of her depth.

Nonetheless, she draws in a breath, does her best to make her lavender purple dressing gown appear respectable. “Let’s try this again. You’re on Earth, where you’ve crash landed in my backyard, and that’s all I can tell you about your current situation. As for me, my name is Lena.” She tentatively holds a hand out in the space between them, which he eyes sceptically, one eyebrow cocked.

“It’s a handshake,” Lena explains quickly, “you just…you know what, never mind,” she sighs and drops her hand back down by her side. “Can you tell me your name? Where you’re from?” she tries instead.

He holds her gaze for a long time before he sighs, tucking his hands beneath his armpits. “Mon El. My name is Mon El. I’m from Daxam.”

Lena nods slowly, even though half of those words mean nothing to her. “Ok. That’s good. It’s nice to meet you, Mon El of Daxam,” she says, and Mon El seems to appreciate the greeting, as he tips his head favourably. “Now. What is it that I can do for you?” she asks, eyebrows arched inquisitively.

Mon El lets his mouth hang open for a moment, searching for the words, then he points up to the satellite dish on the roof. “That thing, up there. It’s some sort of…communication device, isn't it? I need to send a signal to my people. They need to know where I am, they could—I don't know. I just need to send out a distress call.”

Lena follows his finger up to the old satellite dish on her roof, then back down to Mon El with a frown, crossing her arms and tapping at her chin. “I’m afraid that old dish can barely catch basic cable, let alone send a message across space. However…” a grin spreads across her lips, and a twinkle sparks in her eyes, “you certainly are lucky to have crash landed in my backyard, Mon El of Daxam. I’ll get your message out.”

Without another word, she strides back over to the pod, Mon El jogging a few steps behind her, and stops short as she finds the pod has been covered by the fallen tree. “Do you think you could…” she gestures vaguely to the massive oak tree, eyebrows arched expectantly.

“What?” Mon El glances around. “Me? Lift that?”

Lena shrugs. “Why not? I’ve seen someone else like you lift a lot more. It’s worth a try, if you really want to get that distress call out.”

Mon El’s face slides into one of determination, and he grips one of the oak tree’s thick branches. Grunting with the effort, he lifts the tree off of the pod, giving a cry as he throws it away, managing to shift the entire fallen portion of the tree about ten metres away. He pants as he turns back to Lena, wearing a look somewhere between disbelief and self-satisfaction.

Lena gives a nod, which she hopes covers up the shiver running down her spine. “Not bad.” Her flashlight is still on the ground where she’d dropped it, and she picks it up as she returns to the pod. She rolls onto her back and shimmies herself underneath, flashlight firmly back in her mouth as she examines the underside.

Mon El approaches and bends over, looking at her upside down. “What are you doing?”

“Looking for the nav system,” is what Lena tries to say, but the words are obstructed by the flashlight and don’t come out in any way that makes sense.

“What?”

Lena sighs and extricates the flashlight from her mouth. “The navigation system. To send a message, I need a destination. Coordinates. The nav system will have a flight path, which will give me coordinates. Hand me the wrench from my bag, will you? The long metal thing with a claw on the end,” Lena elaborates upon seeing Mon El’s puzzled look.

She hears Mon El rummaging around in her bag, then he slides next to her and hands her the wrench. “Thanks. Hold this,” She passes Mon El the flashlight, and he dutifully shines the light in the space where Lena works. A crease forms in Lena’s brow as she wrestles with the machinery, letting out a small grunt as she finally removes one of the nuts securing the component she needs.

“What if I…” Mon El interjects and reaches up into the space, gives the component a sharp tug and breaks it off easily.

“Hm. Well that’s one way to do it,” Lena hums, and Mon El looks quite pleased with himself. They shuffle out from under the pod, Mon El helping Lena to her feet, and Lena brushes some leaves off of her dressing gown. “Right. Lets get to work.”

Lena shucks her dressing gown when she sets up in her basement slash workshop. The navigation system is now hooked up to her laptop via a complicated highway of cables and adaptors, and she types away speedily while Mon El paces back and forth in the background.

“You know,” she says breezily as she works, “you really hit the jackpot, crashing into my backyard. Not only do I have access to one of the world’s most extensive satellite networks…I’m also a certified genius.” She presses a button on her laptop and spins around to face Mon El, a smug grin on her face. “All yours, Mon El of Daxam. Record your distress call.”

Mon El eyes the microphone, hesitating momentarily, before he approaches it and draws in a breath, clearing his throat.

“Whenever you’re ready,” Lena says. Mon El nods, and Lena hits record.

“This is a distress call from Mon El, son of King Lar Grand and Queen Rhea, Prince of Daxam.” Lena’s eyes widen at this new information, but she stays quiet, carefully monitoring the levels of the recording. “I have crash landed on a planet called Earth. I am, at present, safe. If you are hearing this message and have any information about Daxam, or any survivors, please respond. Please…please find me.” His voice falters and he indicates for Lena to finish the recording, which she does.

“There we go,” she says, “now we just run it through a program to translate that into a range of frequencies, and…presto. Pretty soon, your message will be transmitted all through deep space. Easy as that,” she said with a grin.

(It’s not that easy—it’s actually really complicated; Lena just relishes in making highly complicated processes look easy.)

Mon El sighs and leans back on the counter, rubbing his hands on his face. “And now what?”

“Well…now, we wait,” Lena says with a shrug, and she’s suddenly all too aware of the somewhat awkward silence that falls around them. “So…” she says after a long pause. “Prince, huh? If I’d known I was going to be in the company of royalty, I would have made myself more presentable,” she says, aiming for levity as she gestures to her striped pyjama pants and old Weezer t-shirt.

Mon El cringes visibly at the words and shakes his head. “Not anymore. I just—my message will get more attention if I mention that part. And I’m unfamiliar with earth fashion, so what you’re wearing is,” he gives her an evaluative look up and down, “fine.”

“Right,” Lena says with a small frown. She retrieves her dressing gown from the hook on the wall and wraps it around herself, somewhat self consciously. She stifles a yawn—it has been an incredibly long night already, and she knows it’s still far from over. “I don’t know about you, but if I had travelled millions of miles through space, I’d be dying for a shower.”

Mon El doesn’t react, but he doesn’t disagree either, which is enough for Lena.

“Follow me,” she instructs, and leads him back upstairs to the main house. She leads him down the hallway and into the room that Lex used to sleep in when they stayed here, in their second home in the quiet acres just outside of National City. Now it has become Lena’s actual home, where she stays mostly on weekends and whenever she can. It’s peaceful here. Quiet. Lena doesn’t have another neighbour for miles—when she’s here, sometimes she can pretend she’s the last woman on earth. Which is nice, for a while, until she feels the weight of loneliness pressing on her chest, at which point she is glad to return to the city.

Lena rummages through the drawers, looking for something that might fit the broad-shouldered Daxamite with little luck. Lex was always on the tall, slender side, and his clothes are the same. She eventually finds a pair of sweats that should stretch to fit, and a larger shirt Lex got for completing a charity run. It’s blue, and in red letters it reads “METROPOLIS RUNS FOR CHANGE 2013”, and on the back it says “FINISHER”. Lex never really liked this shirt.

She gives the clothes to Mon El and directs him to the shower. “Left tap is for hot water, right is for cold,” she calls after him as he closes the door.

Finally alone, Lena pads her way out of Lex’s old room and closes the door behind her. She leans against the wall and slides down to the floor, hugging her knees to her chest as she takes in a few deep breaths. She presses the backs of her palms to her forehead, closes her eyes, and concentrates on the cool feeling of her skin in an effort to calm her.

After perhaps a few minutes like this, Lena finally lifts her chin and pushes her glasses atop her head to rub at her tired eyes with the heels of her palms. She retrieves her phone from the pocket of her dressing gown, deliberates with herself for only a few seconds before she calls, catching her bottom lip between her teeth as the phone rings. It rings four times before Kara Danvers answers, voice thick with sleep.

“Lena?”

The clenching feeling in Lena’s chest eases as soon as she hears Kara’s voice on the other line. She can imagine her so clearly: sleep-tousled Kara, blinking wearily as she sits up in bed, rubbing sleep from her eyes as she pushes a mass of blonde hair back out of her face.

“Kara, hey. I’m sorry to wake you, I know it’s ridiculously late. I just, I seem to have a bit of a situation on my hands.”

“What is it?”  Kara's voice is still croaky, but she sounds more awake this time, alert. “Are you safe?”

“Yes. Yes, I’m okay—sorry, I probably should have led with that, shouldn’t I?” she gives an unconvincing laugh. “I need your help—Supergirl’s help. I seem to have somewhat of an, um, alien visitor.”

“You what?!”

“It’s okay—he’s not going to hurt me, I think,” Lena says quickly, detecting the rising levels of panic in Kara’s voice. She can hear the sounds of movement on the other end of the line: padding footsteps, quiet cursing as Kara presumably bumps into something, rustling as Kara changes out of her pyjamas (Lena tries her best not to become too distracted thinking about Kara in various stages of undress).

“I’ll be right over. Just stay put and try not to engage with him any further.” Kara’s tone is commanding, all Supergirl, and Lena subconsciously pulls her knees closer to her chest.

“Kara, wait—“ she says quickly, remembering an important detail. “I…I’m not at my apartment.”

There’s a pause, then: “Where are you?”

“I’m at my house.”

“You have a house?”

“Yes. I—I’ll text you the address. And another thing,” she adds, “don’t bring anyone else. I just want you.”

Another pause. “Fine. I’ll be there soon.”

Lena sighs as she hangs up and clutches her phone to her chest once she has sent Kara her address. She lets her head fall back against the wall, closing her eyes as she listens to the sound of running water coming from the shower. When she opens her eyes again, it’s because the door next to her has opened, and Mon El is staring down at her with a frown.

“Did you fall?” he asks.

“No.” Lena pushes herself up from the wall and slips her glasses back down over her eyes. “Come on,” she says tiredly. “I think we’ve earned ourselves a cup of tea.”

Mon El sits on a stool at her counter, hands gripping at his elbows as Lena sets a kettle on the stove to boil. There’s silence, pierced only by the shrill whistle of the kettle, which peters out as Lena removes it from the burner and pours its contents into two mugs, one of which she slides over to Mon El. He eyes the mug apprehensively, tugging at the string of the teabag.

“Leave it in for a few minutes. Then you can take it out and drink it,” Lena says. She sighs and leans back on the counter.

“I called someone,” she says finally. “Someone who can help.” Mon El looks sharply up at her, something like anger and fear flashing in his eyes, reminding Lena that whatever trust they have managed to build between them in this short space of time is tenuous at best.

“She’s an alien, like you,” she continues quickly. “She crash landed on Earth, just like you did. She’ll know what to do. I trust her with my life,” Lena says calmly, eyes locked with Mon El’s, like she can convince him with a look alone.

He still looks uncertain, opens his mouth perhaps to voice his concerns, but there’s a knocking at the door that cuts him off.

“That’ll be her. Just…stay here. You can take your teabag out now—drink,” Lena insists, giving him a short nod before she pushes herself off the counter and pads down the hallway to the front door.

Kara is in full Supergirl regalia when Lena opens the door, hands on hips and crinkle in brow. Lena notices Kara’s eyes wandering over her, like she’s performing some sort of mental calculations, and it occurs to her that she’s never seen her like this: spectacled, hair in a loose bun, wearing her slippers and dressing gown.

“What’s the matter?” she gives her a teasing smirk, shifts her weight to one hip. “Can’t recognise me with my glasses on?”

“Ha.”

Lena shuffles to the side to allow Kara entry, then leads her down the hallway. She notices the way Kara looks around her home, like she’s searching for pieces of a puzzle to put together.

“Thank you for coming. I’m sorry again for the late hour,” Lena says as they walk.

“Always, Lena.”

And Lena can’t help but give a small smile at those two words, because she knows what they mean. Kara will always be there for her when she needs it, no matter what.

She pauses just before entering the kitchen, eyes lingering on her slippers before she flicks them up to meet Kara’s. “Yes, well. Tonight has been a very strange night for me, to say the least. I’m glad you’re here.” Kara gives her a smile, but it doesn’t quite make it to her concerned eyes, and Lena takes a nervous breath. “Okay. No sense in putting it off. Let’s meet my visitor.”

They round the corner into the kitchen, where Mon El sits perched on his stool, sipping at his tea. As soon as they enter the room, Mon El sets his mug down and just stares at Kara.

Lena sees the way Mon El’s eyes fixate on the crest emblazoned on Kara’s chest. His nostrils flare, and Lena is briefly reminded of the way she looked at that crest the first time she saw it—like it was a thorned rose, or a loaded gun. Kara just stares back, but Lena doesn’t miss the way she shifts ever so slightly, putting herself between Lena and Mon El.

“Supergirl…this is Mon El, of Daxam.” Lena watches as Kara’s eyes widen briefly, then rearrange into a glare, her fists clenched by her side.

“That’s Prince of Daxam to you, Kryptonian,” Mon El sneers, chest inflating with what Lena recognises as artificial pride as he stands up from the stool.

“What are you doing here, Daxamite?” Kara seethes, her voice taking on a menacing quality Lena has only heard a few times before, only when she’s really angry.

“I can assure you, I’m not here by choice. No offence, Lena,” he adds, nodding in Lena’s direction.

“None taken,” Lena shrugs. “You’re not exactly the glass of wine I had been expecting to be my company for the night either.”

Kara looks between Mon El and Lena, eyes bulging. “Are you two—are you friends?”

Lena shifts, frowning slightly. “Well, I wouldn't say that, exactly. He crash landed in my backyard, and I helped him send out a distress call, that’s all.”

Kara’s hands plant themselves on her hips. “You helped him with a distress call?!”

“He’s in distress!” Lena exclaims, heaves an exasperated sigh and pinches the bridge of her nose. “Could I have a word with you, Supergirl?” She doesn’t wait for an answer before taking Kara by the elbow into the other room, Kara’s eyes maintaining their filthy glare until Mon El is out of her sight.

Lena folds her arms, stares at Kara with a frown.

“What is the matter with you?” she hisses.

“Me? I can’t believe you brought a Daxamite into your house! And the prince of them, no less!” Kara huffs.

“Earth to Kara: you’re forgetting I’m only human. Those words mean absolutely nothing to me.”

Kara exhales, running a hand through her hair. “Daxamites are bad news, ok? They’re selfish, hedonistic, violent jerks—and the prince is the worst of them. Do you know what he was known as? The frat boy of the Universe! And now he’s here, in your house!” Kara paces back and forth, gesticulating wildly before she fixes Lena with a look that’s somewhat accusing.

Lena shakes her head incredulously, taking a few small steps back. “Wow. Who would have thought that we’d ever see a Luthor, telling a Super to watch their prejudices. You’ve barely said a word to him, and you’ve already made your mind up about him.”

Kara scowls, crossing her arms over her chest. She looks back up at Lena and freezes, eyes going wide.

“He—he hurt you,” Kara’s voice turns low, dangerous, and her eyes are fixed on Lena’s throat, where angry purple bruises that clearly denote a handprint have formed.

Lena shifts, curling into herself as she pulls her robe closer around her in an effort to cover up her neck. Kara steps forward, however, and slips her hand beneath the material. Her fingertips graze her skin so gently, like she’s made of glass. Lena doesn't dare breathe, and looks up into stormy blue eyes.

“I’m gonna,” Kara growls, not even finishing her sentence before she’s stalking off to head into the other room, but Lena darts a hand out, catching her by the wrist and halting her in her tracks.

“Kara don’t,” she says quietly. Her whole body sags and she drops her head against Kara’s back, right between her shoulder blades. “Just don’t.” 

Kara releases a slow, drawn out breath, forcibly pushing the air from her lungs until there’s nothing left, and drops her chin down to her chest. Lena brings her other hand up to grip Kara’s arm, slides it down until she reaches a fist, which slowly unclenches and relaxes.

“Okay,” Kara whispers, eyes shut tight.

“Okay?”

“Okay.”

Lena finally releases her grip on Kara’s wrist and steps back, shoulders rising and falling with a sigh. Kara turns around slowly, and her eyes won’t leave the marks on her neck. “This,” she says softly, reaching back up to trace the bruises, “is not okay.”

Lena takes Kara’s hand in her own, holds it against her chest. “He was scared.”

“That’s no excuse.”

“You must have been terrified when you first got out of your pod. But you had Kal. He—he just has me, Lena Luthor, of all people,” she laughs weakly. “And you, I suppose, now that I’ve dragged you into this.”

Kara’s mouth is set in a firm line. “You should have called me sooner. I would have protected you.”

“I know. But, what’s done is done, and I’m fine,” Lena urges, trying to instil some calm in the tumultuous oceans of Kara’s eyes. “I’ve done what I can for him, but he needs your help now. Please.”

Kara’s head drops and Lena gives a small smile because she knows it means she’s brought Kara back around to her corner. “Alright, Lena,” she says quietly, and Lena gives her hand a squeeze before letting go.

Kara sighs and straightens, running her hands over her face. Lena can tell that she’s tired, despite how well her Supergirl outfit distracts from the fact. They head back into the kitchen, where Mon El is back on his stool, glare back on his face as soon as Kara enters the room.

“Alright, Daxamite. I’m bringing you in,” Kara says, and Lena can tell she’s trying her best to keep the edge out of her voice, for her sake, but she still doesn't quite pull it off.

Mon El’s mouth drops open and his eyes dart wildly between Kara and Lena. “No. No way. I’m not going anywhere with you, Kryptonian. Lena, please,” he begs, turning to her, and Lena feels her breath catch in her throat because he’s looking at her with that same desperation again, like she is his only lifeline on Earth. Which, in a way, she is.

“Your arrival on this planet is completely unauthorised,” Kara says sternly, crossing her arms. “There are rules, not that you Daxamites pay much attention to them.”

“I’m not going,” Mon El says stubbornly.

“I didn’t say you had a choice—“ Kara growls, but falls silent when Lena gently lays a hand on her arm.

“He’ll stay with me.” She speaks softly, yet both arguing aliens turn to look at her—one with relief, the other with disbelief.

“He’s dangerous, Lena. I won’t leave you alone with him.”

“Then stay,” Lena proposes firmly, then softens, allowing some of the exhaustion she feels to show on her face. “It’s late, we’re all tired. We should all get some rest, and we can deal with this in the morning,” she decided. “Supergirl, since it seems you’ll be staying too, would you like to borrow something more comfortable?”

Kara wears a frown before she plants herself on the couch, arms folded across her chest. “No thank you, Lena. I won’t be sleeping.”

Lena lifts a brow, sighs, shrugs. “Suit yourself. Mon El, you can sleep in the room where you had a shower. If you need anything, just let me know.” Mon El holds her gaze for a long moment, then eyes Kara for even longer, before he nods slowly and takes his leave.

He pauses at the door to Lex’s old room, and looks up to say “goodnight, Lena,” before disappearing inside and closing the door behind him.

Lena sighs and flops down on the couch beside Kara, allowing her head to drop down onto her shoulder. Kara remains rigid, no doubt looking through the wall to make sure Lena’s guest is, indeed, going to sleep. After a minute, Kara exhales and seems to relax, just that little bit.

“I’ll have to bring him in tomorrow. You know that,” she says.

“I know. Just, let him have tonight. He’s been through a lot.” She barely stifles a yawn with her hand, and rubs at the tears forming in her eyes. “And so have I.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Stop apologising,” Lena commands, bumping Kara’s shoulder gently. “Are you sure you don’t want something to change into? I think I have some pyjama pants with donuts on them tucked away somewhere,” she says, flashing a lopsided grin.

Kara shakes her head no. “I meant what I said. I won’t be sleeping.” She gets up from the couch and pushes it effortlessly, Lena giving a small squeak and she holds onto the cushion. Kara slides the couch so it is right in front of the hallway, giving her full view of the doors to both Lena and Mon El’s rooms.

Lena cocks an eyebrow at her. “Is this really necessary?”

Kara sits down beside her once more, a sentry taking up her post. “Absolutely.”

Lena sighs, resigned by her friend’s stubbornness, and leans against Kara, resting her cheek on her shoulder. They sit there for a short while, and Lena is halfway through convincing herself to just stay there and sleep, but she gives her head a quick shake to dispel the tempting thoughts.

“Goodnight, Kara. Please, try to get some sleep,” she murmurs before she draws herself up from the couch stretching her arms up over her head. Just before she closes the door to her room, she hears Kara whisper a goodnight back into the dark.