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it showed me its teeth and went straight for my neck

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            The music was thumping loudly in the club, and Kara could feel the vibrations beneath her feet, and the effects of the alcohol she’d consumed made her feel like she was listening to the music underwater. The club was tightly packed with bodies, and Kara could feel claustrophobia creeping up on her as she slipped through the heaving crowd. A feeling of unease swept over Kara as the back of her neck prickled.

 

            Someone was watching her.

 

            She should leave.

 

            Seeking out Winn at the bar, Kara stumbled over to his side. Her face was ghostly in the flashing fluorescent lights as Winn turned to look at her, his smile disappearing as her took in the crinkle between Kara’s eyebrows. “Are you okay?”

 

            “I feel … I don’t know, weird?” Kara shrugged self-consciously, looking over her shoulder as she scanned the club. She didn’t see anyone looking straight at her, but the feeling was still there. “I think I’m going to go.”

 

            “Come on, Kara,” Winn whined, holding up the two shots he’d just bought them. “It’s barely even midnight.”

 

            “You stay,” Kara told him, waving away the drink. “I’m going to head home.”

 

            “Let me just drink these and I’ll come with you,” Winn told her, throwing his head back as he downed the shot.

 

            “It’s fine. I’m just going to get a cab,” Kara told him. “You stay.”

 

            Winn hesitated for a second, before nodding, “message me when you get home.”

 

            “Will do. Enjoy the rest of your night.”

 

            She stumbled over the threshold over the club, lurching out into the cold air of the night. It washed over her, freezing her instantly as she left the warmth of the club behind. Her breath billowed out before her as Kara crossed her arms over her chest, walking up the street to where a line of early home-goers were waiting for cabs.

 

            The back of Kara’s neck prickled, and she looked over her shoulder. She could swear that there was a shadow moving in the alleyway between the club and the old boarded up abandoned building next door. Taking a step back away from the curb, Kara’s heels clicked on the sidewalk as she crept towards the alleyway. Kara wasn’t a suspicious person, but she could almost swear someone had been following her all night; she had to make sure.

 

            She didn’t get close to the mouth of the alleyway – she wasn’t stupid – Kara moved close enough to just peer into the dark, wiping away a few flecks of rain that speckled the lenses of her glasses. In the dim light she could see the shadowy outline of trash bags scattered around the bottom of an overflowing dumpster.

 

            Nothing moved.

 

            Letting out a shaky breath, Kara rubbed her arms to keep the blood flowing as she wandered back over to the end of the taxi line. Maybe she was being a little paranoid.

 

            Or maybe not.

 

            She let out a startled yell as cold hands circled her arms and covered her mouth. Feeling like she’d barely blinked, Kara found herself at the end of the alleyway, and the silhouette of a person, barely visible, stood before her in the shadows.

 

            “Whoever you are, you’d better let me go because I have a friend waiting for a phone call to tell him I’m home, and I’ll scream if you move even an inch closer,” Kara threatened, backing up until her back hit the exposed brick of the club.

 

            “Oh, I’m not going to hurt you. I’m going to save you.”

 

            The words sent chills down Kara’s spine, and a feeling of dread settled in her stomach. She sucked in a deep breath, and as she was about to scream, a hand was clamped over her mouth. No, not over it - in her mouth. Kara choked on the coppery taste of blood as it filled her mouth, spluttering as the hand was removed.

 

            Coughing, she wiped at her chin, her hand coming away wet with something that glistened black in the darkness. She looked up as the person approached, gripping both sides of her head, and before she could make another sound, a sharp pain lanced through the side of her neck as teeth clamped down on the exposed skin.

 

            Fear swept over Kara, and everything went black as she struggled limply.

 

---

 

            Kara’s eyes fluttered open, and she winced as she took in the sunlight streaming through the blinds. Grumbling, Kara fumbled for the blinds and shut them, before sitting up in bed. Running her fingers through her hair, Kara sighed, listening to the loud sound of music coming from somewhere in the building.

 

            She felt strange.

 

            Not hungover, which was a good thing, but not like she usually did. Something was different, and Kara couldn’t remember what had happened last night. She didn’t remember coming home, yet here she was, in her own bed, in her own apartment. Wondering how she got here, Kara stretched, frowning as her muscles stretched – her arms felt leaden, almost like she was weak from the flu.

 

            Kara frowned – she didn’t feel right. She felt hollow. Craving something, but she wasn’t sure what it was she was craving. Wrapping a blanket around herself, Kara slid out of bed and walked to the fridge, opening it and staring at the food with disinterest. There was left over pizza, but Kara wrinkled her nose at the thought of it. Slamming the fridge door shut, Kara sighed, deciding on a shower instead of breakfast.

 

            She let out a loud yelp of shock as she took in her expression in the bathroom mirror. Her face looked two shades paler and there was a sharp, alien look to Kara’s usually soft face. As Kara looked at her reflection, she blinked in surprise, realising that she hadn’t put her glasses on when she’d woken up – that was something she’d usually notice straight away, because she was as blind as a bat without them, yet she could see as clearly as if she was wearing her glasses, and in a moment of confusion, Kara thought that she might’ve slept with contacts in, before remembering that she didn’t own contacts.

 

            That was odd.

 

            Turning on the hot water, Kara stepped under it, letting it wash over her. The water didn’t feel comforting like it usually did, and Kara rolled her shoulders to loosen her muscles, hoping to work some of the tension out of them. After a few more minutes, Kara gave up and shut the water off, accidentally pulling the tap off in the process.

 

            “Oh shit,” Kara muttered, trying to fit it back on, but failing despite her best efforts. As Kara wrapped a towel around herself, she abandoned the tap on the shower floor and stepped out. The bathroom was usually frigid in the morning, especially when Kara got out of the shower, but it was unusually mild this morning, despite the white sky visible through the little window. She should've been shivering.

 

            The buzzing of Kara’s phone caught her ears, and she frowned slightly as she quickly walked out of the bathroom and picked it up – it sounded louder than normal. It didn’t even have a chance to ring a second time before she’d answered it.

 

            “Ah, so you are alive then,” Winn’s disapproving voice came through, slightly too loud to Kara’s sensitive ears. Perhaps she was a little hungover, because every sound seemed too loud and too sharp this morning.

 

            “Hey, um, yeah, I guess so,” Kara said, frowning slightly. “Why? What time did I leave?”

 

            “You left about midnight, and you promised to text me when you got in,” Winn grumbled.

 

            Kara had the grace to feel slightly guilty that she hadn’t called. “Sorry! I can’t remember even getting home – or getting into the cab for that matter. The last thing I remember is that last round of shots we had.”

 

            Winn laughed slightly. “I guess that one really finished you off. I’m surprised you were still standing when you left. How’re you feeling this morning?”

 

            Kara hesitated slightly. “Strange.”

 

            “Strange?”

 

            “Yeah, I, uh, I don’t know. I feel … different. I don’t feel hungover, but I feel weird. Like I should be coming down with something, but the symptoms haven’t caught up to me yet.”

 

            “Okay weirdo,” Winn snorted. “That makes zero sense.”

 

            “I know,” Kara sighed. “I just … I don’t know what it is. Something’s not right.”

 

            “You’re probably still drunk,” Winn laughed, brushing aside Kara’s concerns. “Stop being so paranoid. Go and take a nap and some aspirin. You’ll feel fine in a few hours.”

 

            “Can’t,” Kara said, pulling out a pair of jeans. “I’m meeting Alex for lunch.”

 

            “Of course. Get a bagel for me,” Winn told her, and Kara laughed.

 

            “Are you not coming?”

 

            “Nope. I’m going to sleep for the rest of the day, and then I’ve got a long night of campaigning on WoW.”

 

            “Okay nerd, have fun,” Kara laughed. “Drink some water.”

 

            “Yes, boss,” Winn snorted. “Bye.”

 

            Kara threw her phone onto her bed, or at least she tried, but overestimated the distance and threw it straight into the wall. There was a resounding crack as the screen shattered and the phone fell onto the bed. “Shit!”

 

            Grumbling, Kara picked up her phone, wincing as she took in the smashed screen. With a sigh, she gently placed it on her nightstand and pulled on the shirt she’d taken out of her drawer. Despite the time of year, Kara didn’t feel cold, but she threw a sweater on for good measure, hoping that she could forgo a coat. Checking her watch, Kara saw that it was almost time for her to meet Alex. Fumbling under the bed for her shoes, she slipped on a pair of sneakers and quickly tied the laces, before fetching her bag and slipping out of her apartment, slamming the door shut. Making her way towards the stairs, Kara stopped as someone reached the top of the staircase.

 

            Kara felt a faint blush colour her cheeks as she came face to face with her neighbour. Dark hair was covered by a bobble hat, and half of Lena’s face was hidden by the scarf wound around her neck. “Good morning,” Kara said, giving her a nervous smile as she moved to the side to let her past.

 

            “Kara, hi. Oh, no glasses,” Lena noted, tilting her head to the side as she looked at Kara, whose hands instinctively went up to push the non-existent frames up her nose.

 

            “Oh, yeah, uh, not today,” Kara smiled, feeling nervous under Lena’s intense stare. Those eyes were as familiar to Kara as her own – she’d studied them intently every time she’d had the chance to talk to Lena, and a part of her hated to admit how much she adored them. Especially the fact the one was a little greener than the other. As Kara looked into her eyes today, she was surprised to see that they looked even more beautiful than usual – almost like she was looking at them again for the first time.

 

            “It’s cold outside; you might want a coat today,” Lena told her, brushing past Kara. “Careful on the sidewalk too, it’s a bit icy.”

 

            “Will do. Thanks,” Kara said, watching as Lena walked over to her apartment door and slid her key into the lock. “Have a good day.”

 

            “You too,” Lena said, giving Kara a small wave before she disappeared into her apartment.

 

            Smiling to herself, Kara walked downstairs and came out onto the sidewalk. Immediately, she could tell that something was wrong. Her face felt hot and itchy, and Kara felt weak, covering her eyes with a hand as she winced in pain. Scrambling back towards the door, she let herself back into her building, taking deep, shaky breaths as she calmed down in the shadowy alcove beneath the stairs.

 

            Perhaps she was coming down with something.

 

            Hurrying upstairs, Kara tripped up the last step, feeling warm hands right her and a quiet laugh reach her ears. “Whoa, slow down there. Coming back for that coat, huh?”

 

            Kara gave Lena a weak smile as she straightened up and took in the faint look of amusement on Lena’s face. “I, uh, yeah, I changed my mind,” Kara stammered.

 

            “Are you feeling okay? You look a little pale. I know I’m not one to talk, but you’re usually a little less ghostly,” Lena said, frowning as she kept her hands wrapped around Kara’s arms. Under any other circumstances, Kara would assume that the faint feeling she was experiencing was because of how close she was to Lena, or the fact that Lena was touching her. Lena’s fingers seemed to burn through the wool of Kara’s sweater, and she could feel the spot where every finger gripped her tightly. She could feel Lena’s heartbeat through her touch, and Kara’s eyes instinctively went to the pale, exposed skin of her neck, and the bluish hint of a vein snaking its way upwards, pumping blood through Lena’s body. Kara felt a pull, coaxing her closer to Lena, but she snapped herself out of it, shaking her head slightly.

 

            “I, uh, I don’t know. I-I think I’m coming down with something,” Kara said. “Best not get too close.” Pulling her arms out of Lena’s, Kara almost tripped over her own feet as she quickly walked away from Lena, unlocking her door and slipping into her dark apartment.

 

            What was happening to her?

Chapter Text

            The loud footsteps of someone walking down the hallway reached Kara’s ears from where she sat huddled in the corner of her bed, followed by a steady heartbeat. Sixteen footsteps and sixty beats of a slow heart – Kara counted them all.

 

            She hadn’t slept all night.

 

              She’d spent the entire day with her back jammed against the wall as her eyes trained in on the individual fibres of her coat hanging on a hook across the room and the overly loud sounds of the occupants of the building going about their life. Not that it made Kara feel tired, but she did feel like someone had set her throat on fire and drained all the energy out of her. She was hungry too.

 

            There were another three footsteps, and another twelve heartbeats and then there was a knock on Kara’s door. She was there in an instant, pulling open the door to reveal her sister with a hand still raised for the next knock.

 

            “Hey,” Alex said, blinking in surprise. “Oh, you look terrible. Is that why you blew me off for lunch yesterday?”

 

            “Oh shoot! I forgot to message you. I’m sorry,” Kara apologised, running a hand through her hair. “I, uh, I broke my phone.”

 

            “Bad luck,” Alex said, giving her a grimace as she breezed into the dark apartment. “Jesus, it’s like a cave in here. I brought coffee, and waffles.”

 

            “Oh, um, thanks,” Kara mumbled, frowning at the thought of it. She was craving something, and she didn’t know what it was but she knew it wasn’t waffles. Alex set the cup holder and the paper bag down on the counter, before turning to look at Kara. “Come on then, let me take a look at you.”

 

            “I’m fine, I think I’m just going down with the flu. Maybe a sore throat too,” Kara said, feeling her throat burn.

 

            “Do you have a fever?” Alex asked, taking a step forward and lifting her hand to rest it against Kara’s forehead. Kara brushed it aside, ducking her head out of the way as she frowned.

 

            “I’m fine, Alex,” Kara insisted. “I’ll get over it.”

 

            Alex snorted, rolling her eyes as she walked back over to the kitchen. “Whatever you say, Kara, but you look like shit. And where’s your glasses? Did you lose them again?”

 

            Kara laughed, as she flopped down on one of the kitchen stools. “Oh … um, no, I just forgot to put them on. I only got out of bed when you knocked. I’ll go to the doctor’s if it’ll make you happy.”

 

            “Yes, it will. Get some antibiotics, and maybe go outside and get some sunlight while you’re at it. You’re practically glowing in the dark. You spend too many nights at the observatory and not enough time in the sun,” Alex said, giving her sister a disapproving look. The sound of the sun made Kara’s skin itch as she remembered what had happened yesterday.

 

            “Sure,” Kara mumbled in agreement, picking up her own coffee. She took a sip and grimaced at the bitter taste of it, fighting down the urge to spit it out. Taking the lid off, Kara checked to make sure she had her latte and not Alex’s black coffee. Frowning slightly, Kara saw that she had her own, which meant that the two sugars should have been enough to take the edge off the bitterness – usually. The only thing she could think of was that her taste buds were a little off because she was coming down with something.

 

            “So, I guess you’re not coming to game night tonight then,” Alex sighed. “I guess that means I’ll only have one person to beat.”

 

            “No! I can come,” Kara protested. “I’m not that sick.”

 

            “I don’t think so; you look like death warmed up,” Alex laughed. “Here, eat your waffles.”

 

            “Thanks, mom,” Kara sighed, rolling her eyes as she opened the container. Her smile wavered as she took in the perfectly round waffles, and realised that she wasn’t hungry at all.

 

            “You know I’ll tell mom if you don’t listen to me,” Alex warned her. “So you better eat your waffles and get your ass back into bed, or I’ll be making a phone call.”

 

            “Don’t be such a snitch, Alex,” Kara laughed, cutting a small piece off her waffle and inspecting it. With a sigh, she took a bite. It wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t good, and Kara choked down the bland mouthful as quickly as she could.

 

            Under Alex’s watchful eyes, Kara ate her food slowly as they talked. A door slammed in the hallway, and Kara jumped slightly at the loud bang, earning her a strange look off Alex.

 

            “You good?” Alex asked, tilting her head to the side.

 

            Kara nodded slightly, her eyes flickering to Alex’s neck. Swallowing the burning sensation in her neck, Kara gave her sister a weak smile. “Yeah, I just didn’t get much sleep last night.”

 

            “Come on, back into bed,” Alex told her, hopping down off her stool and reaching out for Kara, who slid off her stool in one fluid movement and dodged her sister’s touch. She wasn’t sure what was happening, but if it was contagious, the last person she would want to catch it would be Alex.

 

            Abandoning her half-eaten breakfast and her cold coffee, Kara crawled into bed and let Alex tuck her in like she was a child. Knitting her eyebrows together in concern, Alex stared down at her sister, and Kara thought she saw a flicker of something in Alex’s eyes, but it vanished before she could question it.

 

            “Call me if you need anything,” Alex told her. “And make sure you stay hydrated.”

 

            “Will do,” Kara said, giving Alex a small smile. “Have a good day at work.”

 

            “Will do,” Alex replied, tucking the blankets up to Kara’s chin, before she made her way out, shutting the door hard enough for Kara to wince.

 

---

 

            A bang, followed by a series of uttered curse words reached Kara’s ears, and she shot up in bed - not that she'd been sleeping anyway. She knew that voice, and she’d spent the better part of last night listening to that heartbeat – not quite as slow as Alex’s, but just as steady. Within a second Kara was turning her door handle and peeking her head out into the hallway.

 

            Lena’s forehead was visible from Kara’s point of view, and she was trying to carry a box upstairs – Kara assumed with some difficulty, by the sounds of her swearing. Quickly walking over to the top of the stairs, Kara smiled in amusement.

 

            “Need a hand?”

 

            “Fuck!” Lena swore, dropping the box on ground as she jumped. “Kara! Hi. Sorry, you scared me. I didn’t hear you walk over.”

 

            Kara walked down a couple of steps, drawing level with Lena, and bent down to pick up the box. It felt feather light to Kara, and she almost laughed at the fact that Lena had been struggling with it.

 

            “Careful, it’s heavy,” Lena warned her, “let me help.”

 

            Kara waved away Lena’s help, giving her a smile. “I’ve got it.”

 

            “Oh, are you sure?” Lena asked, her eyes widening slightly at the sight of Kara handling the box with ease.

 

            “Yeah, it’s not too heavy,” Kara assured her. “Just to your apartment?”

 

            “Um, yes please!” Lena said, hurrying ahead of Kara to unlock her front door. Following closely behind, Kara carried the big box down the hallway and hesitated on the threshold of Lena’s apartment - she didn’t want to be rude and just barge into someone else’s home.

 

            “Do you-, um, should I leave it here or …” Kara asked.

 

            “Oh, right, come on in,” Lena said, gesturing for Kara to follow her. “If you could put it on the counter for me that would be amazing.” Carrying the box inside, Kara carefully placed it down on the counter the Lena gestured to, before having a quick glance around the place. She hadn’t been in Lena’s apartment before, and was surprised to see that it was twice the size of her own – realising that Lena must have knocked through to the next apartment too. It looked more like a lab than anything else, and the bright light streaming through the windows hurt Kara’s eyes.

 

            “Thank you. You’re a life saver.”

 

            “It’s no problem.”

 

            Meeting Lena’s gaze, Kara gave her a hesitant smile, listening to the quiet ticking of the watch on Lena’s wrist as neither of them said anything.

 

            Seventeen seconds passed, and Kara counted them all.

 

            “So, I, uh, I’ll leave you to it then,” Kara said after a moment.

 

            “Kara, wait,” Lena said, as Kara made to move. “Are you okay? You don’t really look well. Not to say that you look bad, but, well, you don’t look good. Do you need a rid to the doctor's or something?”

 

            Kara laughed, her eyes crinkling at the corners. “I’m good.  Just coming down with a cold I think. Nothing major.”

 

            “Oh, okay,” Lena mumbled. “Well, thank you again.”

 

            “You’re welcome,” Kara smiled. “Enjoy the rest of your day.”

 

            “You too.”

 

            Walking across the hall, Kara slipped back into her own apartment. Throat aching, Kara walked over to the fridge, pulling out a bottle of coconut water and swallowing a mouthful. Feeling thirsty, she drained the rest of the bottle and rummaged through the fridge for something to eat, coming up with some slightly wilted kale and a jar of peanut butter. Dumping the kale in the trash, Kara grabbed a spoon and took the jar of peanut butter and a new bottle of coconut water over to her bed, curling back up in the corner and eating spoonful’s straight out of the jar.

 

---

 

            The sunlight peeking through the gaps of the blinds slowly started to darken, and as Kara sipped her drink and made her way through the jar of peanut butter, she started to feel slightly better. There was still a nagging ache at the back of her throat, but she felt a bit more energised, and decided to go over the data she had recorded from her observations at the observatory the other night.

 

            Kara was typing away at her laptop, cross-referencing other findings and more data, when the sound of a door opening across the hallway alerted her ears.

 

            Four steps across the hallway.

 

            Two deliberate knocks on the door.

 

            Kara took a deep breath to steady herself, feeling slightly flustered that Lena was knocking on her door. Waiting a few seconds to make it look like she wasn’t eager, Kara crossed the room and opened the door, feigning surprise, because she was pretty sure she shouldn’t have been able to hear Lena walking to her room that clearly.

 

            “Lena! Hi,” Kara smiled at her, her hands fluttering nervously around her eyes as she went to fix glasses that weren’t there.

 

            Lena smiled hesitantly at her. “Sorry to bother you, I know you’re sick.”

 

            “It’s no bother, really,” Kara said, kicking herself for sounding so eager. “Um, what can I do for you? Would you like to come in?”

 

            “Oh, no, I’m fine, thank you. I don’t want to disturb you,” Lena said, holding a plastic container out towards Kara. “I, uh, I made you soup. A thank you for helping me with my box … and because you’re sick.”

 

            Kara could swear that her face was bright red, and she waited for the sound of her rapid heartbeat to hit her ears. It didn’t come, but she knew that it would be racing from her nervousness because Lena had made her soup.

 

            “Thank you! That’s so nice of you,” Kara said, almost stumbling over the words as she reached out for the tub. Her hands met Lena’s, which were really warm and sending heat flooding through Kara’s entire body, just from one little touch.

 

            “Oh! Your hands are freezing!” Lena frowned, quickly looking up at Kara with a slightly alarmed look.

 

            Kara laughed nervously, pulling them back, safely holding the container of soup in her hands. “Well you know what they say; cold hands, warm heart.”

 

            “Who says that?” Lena asked, tilting her head to the side.

 

            Kara shrugged with embarrassment, gesturing around vaguely with one hand as she beat herself up for saying something so stupid. “Um, I don’t know. People?”

 

            “Hm,” Lena said, looking amused. “So, my warm hands … does that mean I have a cold heart?”

 

            Biting her lip, Kara looked at Lena intently, taking in her green eyes that stared back expectantly, and the small scar under one of the eyebrows that Kara always wondered about. How did she get it? How old was she when it happened? And then her lips, which were quirked up at the corners with the barest hint of a smile.

 

            “No,” Kara said, after a few moments. Ten seconds to be exact. Seven steady beats of Lena’s heart – one stuttering slightly when Kara met her eyes.

 

            “Good to know,” Lena said, her smile growing slightly bigger. “Well I hope you enjoy the soup. It’s chicken.”

 

            “I will. Thank you,” Kara said, smiling back at her. They said goodnight and Kara waited until Lena was safely back in her apartment before she shut her door and carried the soup inside. It was still hot, and Kara poured it into a bowl, carrying it over to the table to eat while she worked. She was disappointed as she spooned the first mouthful into her mouth and was met with another bland tasting meal – yet she ate every single drop of it, purely because Lena had made it for her.

 

            Distracted by her work, Kara sat in one spot for the rest of the night. Her muscles didn’t protest at being stuck in one position for hours on end, and she didn’t feel tired at all – her eyes didn’t even prickle after staring at a computer screen for hours. The first time she moved since sitting down was when sunlight peeked through the gaps in the blinds, and Kara looked up, blinking in surprise at the fact that morning was here, bringing with it a fresh wave of weakness that tore through Kara’s throat.

 

            Shutting off her laptop, Kara ran her fingers through her hair and sat back in her chair. She still had no clue what was going on, but this wasn’t a normal virus, she was sure about that.

Chapter Text

            After another sleepless night, Kara knew something was wrong. She’d sat at the table all night and hadn’t bat an eye until the sun had come up, and with it came a drained feeling that swept over Kara, making her feel slightly nauseous. As the sun rose, the feeling grew, until Kara’s stomach was aching with an almost unbearable pain.

 

            In an instant she was knelt in front of the toilet, shoulders hunched over as she dry heaved. With some difficulty, Kara choked up yesterday’s food – taking note of the fact that there was no bile, just solid lumps of food, almost as if her body had absorbed all the moisture and had decided not to digest anything else.

 

            Climbing to her feet, Kara ran a tongue over her teeth, her nose wrinkling in disgust at the faint taste coating her tongue. Grabbing her toothbrush, Kara methodically cleaned her teeth as she stared at herself in the mirror, counting each second. Her skin seemed even paler than yesterday, and the bones more prominent, giving her a lean look. Spitting into the sink and rinsing her mouth out, Kara straightened up, running her tongue over her now clean teeth and frowning slightly as she pricked her tongue on a sharp tooth. Leaning closer to the mirror, Kara opened her mouth and inspected her teeth, gasping slightly as she prodded her sharp canines. They’d always been a little pointy, but Kara slightly alarmed – she almost looked as if she had fangs.

 

            Shaking her head, Kara stripped off her clothes and jumped in the shower, washing away her strange thoughts. Considering consulting Alex, or maybe even going to the doctors, Kara hoped that the hot water would help make her feel a little better. She was starving and weak – perhaps she should stay in bed today and catch up on some sleep. After a silent debate with herself, Kara decided that she’d go to the observatory instead. She didn’t need to go to the observatory – she could analyse the data from home – but Kara loved to spend time there, looking at the stars and planets that she was studying. It made things feel more interesting to Kara, and besides, she hadn’t been in two days and there wasn’t going to be a moon tonight, which meant that she’d have an excellent view of the sky.

 

            Getting dressed, and grabbing a coat that seemed unnecessary, given the fact that Kara didn’t thing it was cold, Kara gathered everything she’d need for work and stepped out into the hallway. Locking her door and gently pushing it, Kara checked to make sure her door was locked.

 

            She felt compelled to check it again.

 

            And again.

 

            During the sixteenth check, she heard a muffled laugh behind her, and whirled around to see Lena watching her with some amusement. “I think it’s locked.”

 

            “Oh, hi,” Kara said, smiling with embarrassment as she abandoned her door, which was most definitely locked.

 

            “Hey yourself,” Lena smiled at her. “How are you feeling today?”

 

            “Not too bad,” Kara shrugged. “Yourself?”

 

            “I’m not the one who’s sick,” Lena said, shutting her door behind her as she stepped out into the hallway. “Off to work?”

 

            “Mhm. Dark moon tonight, the stars should be amazing,” Kara excitedly explained, falling into step beside Lena as they walked over to the stairs.

 

            Lena smiled slightly at her enthusiasm. “I’ll keep an eye out.”

 

            Feeling Lena’s gaze on her, Kara looked up, giving her a hesitant smile as Lena’s eyes scrutinised her face. “I don’t mean to sound rude, but you still look … unwell. Should you be going into work today?”

 

            “It’s nothing, I guess it’s just running its course,” Kara said, waving away her concerns.

 

            “How was the soup?”

 

            Kara thought about the bland soup she’d forced down last night, and then proceeded to vomit along with the peanut butter and waffles she’d consumed yesterday too, before giving Lena a bright smile. “The soup was divine.”

 

            “Divine?” Lena smirked. “That good, huh?”

 

            “Of course.”

 

            Lena laughed, her eyes on Kara’s, and proceeded to stumbled slightly on a step. Kara’s hands immediately reached out to straighten her, and Lena’s cheeks reddened slightly in embarrassment. “Thanks. I’m such a clutz.”

 

            Kara gave her a smile, her hand lingering slightly on Lena’s back as they carried on walking downstairs. Lena had only been living across from Kara for the past three months, and Kara had been stunned by her beauty from the moment she’d laid eyes on her, and had found excuses to traipse up and down the stairs in hopes of catching Lena coming or going. They were on friendly terms, and took to walking together whenever their paths crossed on the stairs.

 

            As the reached the ground floor, Lena said goodbye to Kara, before going to fetch her mail, and Kara waved goodbye before slipping outside. Her skin started to itch as soon as she’d stepped outside, and Kara shook the feeling off as she squinted through the brightness of the sun beating down on her.

 

            A leaden feeling filled Kara’s limbs as she made her way down the sidewalk, and she soon felt hot and bothered by the sun. Reaching the corner, Kara winced, slipping into the shadowy alcove of a boarded up bakery. It offered a small relief from the sun, and Kara frowned as she looked down at her hands – they were red raw, almost as if she’d gotten sunburnt by the weak wintery sun. Stepping back into direct sunlight, Kara hissed, shaking her hand as a dull pain throbbed in it. Backtracking on her decision to go to work, Kara quickly made her way back to her apartment building, flitting upstairs faster than she thought she could.

 

            The cool interior of the building was a relief, and she sagged against the wall of her hallway as she reached the top of the staircase. Her skin felt sore when she moved her face muscles, and Kara winced as she made her way to her front door. Slow footsteps climbing the stairs below reached her ears as she rummaged through her bag for her keys. Slipping the key into the lock, Kara jiggled it and turned the lock, muttering a curse as the door stuck.

 

            “Oh, you’re back,” Lena’s surprised voice reached Kara’s ears.

 

            Looking up, Kara gave her a weak smile as she rattled her doorknob. “I guess I’m not feeling up to it yet.”

 

             “Need some help?”

 

            “I’ve got it. The door’s faulty, you just have to use a bit of-” Kara said, waving away Lena’s offer as she shoved her shoulder against the door, which flew inwards and off its hinges. “Force.”

 

            “Just a little, huh?” Lena asked, raising her eyebrows in amusement.

 

            “Usually,” Kara laughed nervously, reaching down and lifting her broken door with ease. “Um … well, I guess I, uh, I don’t know my own strength.”

 

            “I’ll say,” Lena said, flashing Kara an easy smile. “You might want to get some help to fix it.”

 

            “Yeah, I’ll get right on it,” Kara said, balancing the door just inside her apartment.

 

            Lena hesitated slightly. “I, um, I have a toolbox in my apartment. I could help you fix it, if you’d like.”

 

            “Oh, that’s really kind of you, but you don’t have to,” Kara said, blinking in surprise at Lena’s offer. “I’m sure you have better things to be doing.”

 

            “It’s no trouble, really,” Lena insisted. “Besides, you’re sick. You shouldn’t be fixing things. Wait here, I’ll be back in a second.”

 

            Kara watched Lena disappear into her own apartment with a look of surprise on her face – she hadn’t meant to rip the door of its hinges, but somehow it had worked to her advantage, because Lena was going to be coming over to her apartment. Kara’s eyes widened at the thought, and she quickly ducked inside to make her bed and dump all of her dirty dishes into the sink. She contemplated opening the blinds, but her skin was still crawling from the burning sensation from before, and she opted for keeping them closed. As Lena returned a few minutes later with a large toolbox in tow, Kara hovered near her broken door.

 

            Smiling, Lena set her toolbox down on the floor and rolled the sleeves of her shirt up. “Okay, let’s take a look at the hinges.”

 

            Crouching down, she inspected the hinges of the door, while Kara hovered nervously next to her, her eyes flickering to delicate curve of Lena’s exposed neck, or the graceful movements of her hands as she reached out to steady herself against the door.

 

            She looked up at Kara with wide eyes, and Kara quickly shook herself out of her thoughts, feeling embarrassed at being caught staring. Lena didn’t seem to notice though as she gazed at Kara with amazement. “I don’t believe it, you ripped the screws right out of the wall along with the door.”

 

            “Oh … I guess I need to stop hitting the gym,” Kara lamely joked, feeling a little better about it when she saw Lena biting back a smile. “Um, can you fix it?”

 

            Lena quietly scoffed, opening her toolbox and rummaging around in it. “Of course I can.”

 

            “Okay. Um, can I get you anything? Something to eat or drink?”

 

            “Yes, you can get yourself to bed. I feel like I’m catching something just by looking at you,” Lena muttered, pulling out a screwdriver and fitting it into the screw. She steadily began working the screws out, and Kara watched her with fascination – not her unscrewing the screws, but her. “Kara, you’re staring. Go and lay down.”

 

            “Sorry,” Kara murmured, hoping that she wasn’t blushing, and disappeared inside her apartment. She set some water on to boil, deciding that she’d make Lena tea, seeing as she hadn’t answered Kara’s original question. A few minutes later Kara was carrying it over to Lena, who had a couple of screws near her feet and a determined look on her face. Setting the cup down at a safe distance, Kara met Lena’s gaze.

 

            “Some tea,” Kara gestured towards it, and Lena smiled warmly at her.

 

            “Thanks,” Lena said, pulling it closer and taking a sip, before turning back to her work. Sitting down on the floor, Kara silently watched Lena work, ignoring her advice about going to bed.

 

            “So, that dark moon then,” Lena said, striking up a conversation.

 

            “I guess I’ll just have to use my own telescope,” Kara sighed. “It’s not the same with the city lights though. You can’t see some of the interesting stars.”

 

            “You have a telescope in here?” Lena asked, turning to look at Kara as she brushed a lock of hair out of her face.

 

            “Mhm, sometimes I like to take it up to the roof to get a better view of the whole sky,” Kara explained.

 

            Lena smiled, working another screw free. “Aha, so that’s what you’re doing so late at night.”

 

            “Have I been keeping you awake?” Kara asked, a guilty feeling welling up inside her.

 

            “Not at all. I’m usually up working on my own research, which is why I can hear you lugging that thing up and down the hallway,” Lena replied.

 

            “How’s your research going?” Kara asked with genuine interest.

 

            “Good. I’m making some good progress with the stem cells,” Lena said, smiling proudly.

 

            “So you’re going to be saving us all pretty soon, huh?” Kara smiled, and Lena let out a quick laugh as she picked up the pile of screws and handed them over to Kara.

 

            “Pretty soon,” Lena agreed as she stood up and made to move the door back into place. It was too heavy for her, and she frowned as she struggled with it. “How on earth did you manage to rip this off its hinges? I can’t even move it.”

 

            Shrugging slightly, Kara have her an uncertain smile. “I guess I don’t know my own strength. Here, let me do it.”

 

            Handing the screws back, Kara easily shifted the door so that the holes in the hinges were lined up with the holes from where the screws were supposed to go. Lena stood nearby, sipping her tea as she admired Kara’s strength as she handled the door. Swapping places, Kara stood by and watched Lena quickly fix the door into place and swinging it open and close a few times as she admired her work with pride.

 

            “There. All fixed!” Lena proclaimed, shutting the door, leaving her inside Kara’s apartment. She drained the rest of her tea, and Kara sipped from a bottle of coconut water as she watched Lena set the cup in the sink with a familiar ease, as if she frequented Kara’s apartment all the time. “Thank you for the tea, it was divine.”

 

            Kara rolled her eyes at Lena’s teasing. “Thank you for fixing my door.”

 

            “Don’t mention it,” Lena waved away her thanks, quickly washing her hands at the kitchen sink and drying them on a handtowel. Plucking the screwdriver out of her back pocket, Lena placed it safely back in her organised toolbox and did the clasp up. “Do you need anything else fixed while I’m here? Have you ripped the bathroom door of its hinges too?”

 

            “No, not yet, but the day is still young,” Kara joked, scratching the back of her neck as she ducked her head in embarrassment.

 

            “Well, just let me know if you need anything,” Lena told her, opening the front door and picking up her toolbox.

 

            “Thank you again,” Kara said, walking over to the door and watching Lena disappear into her own apartment, glancing back to give Kara a little wave, which she returned with a smile.

 

            Sighing, Kara leant against the doorframe, gazing at Lena’s shut door with longing. It would be ridiculous to say that she was in love with someone she’d known for three months, and had had limited contact with, but Kara knew for sure that she was infatuated with her mysterious neighbour who had a knack for dropping things and tripping down the stairs, yet had the mind of a scientific genius and had a toolbox ready to go at any given moment.

 

            If only Kara had the nerve to make a move.

 

---

 

            It was dark outside when Kara crossed the hallway, drawing closer to the steady heartbeat she could hear through the heavy wooden door. Taking a deep breath, Kara rapped on the door three times. A few moments passed before the sound of hurried footsteps and the chain being removed reached her ears, and then she was stood face to face with Lena.

 

            “Hi, I don’t want to disturb you, but I, uh, I brought you pie … as a thank you for fixing my door,” Kara explained, holding out the apple pie.

 

            “Oh! You didn’t have to do that,” Lena said, smiling at Kara as she took the box off her. “Thank you though. I’m sure it’ll be just as good as the one you made me when I moved in.”

 

            Kara laughed, covering her face with her hand as she smiled. “I, uh, I didn’t make it, it was store bought. I mean, I tried. I made three, actually, but I’d heard I was having a new neighbour and I wanted to welcome them with a nice pie, and I couldn’t give them a burnt pie, so I ended up running to the shop instead. This one is from the same bakery though, so it will be just as good as the last one,” Kara babbled.

 

            “You can’t cook?” Lena asked, arching an eyebrow.

 

            “No, I’m terrible,” Kara admitted, shrugging as she gave Lena a helpless smile.

 

            “Ah, that explains why that delivery guy is here at least three times a week,” Lena smirked, and Kara shrugged again.

 

            “Well I’ll get out of your hair then. I have some stars to go and watch,” Kara said, taking a small step back. “Enjoy the pie.”

 

            She turned around, but paused at the slight increase in Lena’s heartbeat and she quick inhale. “Kara?”

 

            Turning back around, Kara raised her eyebrows slightly, smiling as she looked at Lena expectantly. “Mhm?”

 

            “Um, do you- do you want some pie? I-I could come up to the roof with you,” Lena said, giving Kara an uncertain look.

 

            Kara’s face broke into a wide smile. “Of course! Let me just go and get my telescope.”

 

            “Get a coat too, it’s cold out,” Lena called after her, slipping her own coat off the hook. Kara obeyed, and a second later she was lugging her telescope out of her apartment, wearing a big puffy coat. As the two of them made their way over to the stairs, heading up to the roof, Kara felt a flicker of nervousness in her stomach, and a nagging thought of confusion as she carried her telescope with unusual ease – it usually took a lot more effort than this.

 

            Coming out onto the roof, Kara walked over to her usual spot and went about setting up her telescope, while Lena wandered around with the pie and a couple of forks clutched in her hands. It was dark on the roof, and a bitter wind swirled around them, although Kara remained unbothered, while Lena shivered slightly as fingers of it found its way through her own coat.

 

            Nearby, a cat skittered across the roof, and Lena jumped slightly, letting out a small sound of exclamation. Looking up, Kara shot her a questioning look her face ghostly pale in the darkness. “Are you okay?”

 

            “Yeah, it was just a cat,” Lena breathlessly explained.

 

            “That was probably one of Miss Grant’s,” Kara said, thinking about the woman who lived in the penthouse, alone with her seven cats.

 

            “I think she’s taking her name a bit too serious,” Lena laughed.

 

            “Mm, I always thought seven was a bit too excessive,” Kara said, joining in on Lena’s laughter.

 

            Soon enough, the two of them were huddled around the telescope, with Lena wearing Kara’s coat on top of her own as her shivering became almost uncontrollable. It took a lot of convincing on Kara’s behalf for Lena to accept her coat, and Lena kept shooting her quizzical looks, checking to make sure Kara actually wasn’t cold.

 

            They spent a couple of hours sharing the pie while Kara pointed out different constellations to Lena, sharing random facts with her and showing her how to use her telescope. In return, Lena explained the theory behind her stem cell research, and told Kara about the places she’d travelled to.

 

            When it became late, and too cold for her, Lena decided to leave Kara to her work, and disappeared back downstairs to work on her own research, taking Kara’s coat with her. Alone, Kara was left with a thirst for something, and as she sipped her coconut water, she hoped that it would help lessen the rawness of her sore throat.

 

            There was a nearby noise, and Kara’s eyes locked onto the cat again as it skulked along the edge of the roof. Standing completely still, Kara observed the cat as it inched closer to where she stood, oblivious to the danger it was in. As it moved closer, Kara listened to its heartbeat, feeling the fire in her throat flare up at the faint metallic smell of blood mixed I with the distinct feline scent.

 

            Almost as if she was in a trance, Kara watched the cat, hypnotised by the sound of its heartbeat. She didn’t need any light to see – she could see it clearly in the dark as it watched her with glowing eyes.

 

            She couldn’t stop herself as she struck out and plucked the cat off the ground before it could escape.

 

            She couldn’t stop herself as she sank her teeth into the scruff of the cat’s neck, ignoring the yowling noise it made as it struggled in Kara’s tight grip, its claws tearing into the skin of Kara’s hands.

 

            She didn’t stop until she’d gulped down a few mouthfuls of hot blood, feeling the hunger die down for the first time in three days. Realising what she was doing, Kara let go of the dazed cat, staring in horror as she watched it scamper off into the jungle of pipes and vents cluttering the roof. Kara wiped the back of her mouth with a shaking hand, looking down at the wet blood coating the back of it as she pulled it back.

 

            What had she done?

Chapter Text

            Kara flew downstairs, her feet moving so fast that everything was a blur around her, and she was too in shock to focus on her surroundings as she ran downstairs, abandoning her telescope on the roof. She almost ripped the door of its hinges again as she drew up outside her apartment, but had enough willpower to stop, take a shaky breath, and reach out with a trembling hand to carefully turn the knob and nudge it open.

 

            Scrambling towards the bathroom, Kara flung the door open with a resounding bang as it bounced off the wall, probably waking up her neighbours, but she didn’t care about that now. Looking in the mirror, Kara saw that, to her surprise, she looked almost normal. There was a bit of blood smeared on her chin, but besides that she looked the same as she had for the past few days. Pale skin, slightly pointed teeth visible through parted lips, angular cheekbones that seems to jut out of her face. Reaching up to touch her red lips, Kara brought her fingers away painted red, and she stared in horror as she looked at it. The burning sensation in her throat that had troubled her for days was now a gentle nagging at the back of her mind – almost non-existent.

 

            Panicking, Kara ran the hot water, scrubbing her hands clean until they were red raw, and then she splashed it on her face, her breathing hitching as she ran through what she’d done. She’s been having a good night with Lena, eating pie, ignoring the hunger for something else as she felt Lena’s warm body pressed up next to hers, watching the stars. The next thing she knew was that hunger taking over, and her attacking one of Miss Grant’s cats.

 

            Looking at her ghostly face in the mirror, Kara decided that she needed to get help. She needed to find out what was happening to her. She needed Alex – she would know what to do, her sister always knew what to do.

 

            Not even bothering to get changed, Kara left in her white t-shirt and jeans, which wasn’t exactly inconspicuous in the freezing cold weather – but it was nearing four o’clock in the morning, and there would be no one around except drunken idiots or alley cats to watched her pass. The wind caught Kara’s hair, tossing it around her face as she hurried through dark alleys and narrow streets, weaving through the city towards her sister’s apartment. Her breathing was shallow as she panicked, and she felt her feet moving fast across the sidewalk, rushing towards Alex. Her sister always had all the answers. She would help her; she would tell Kara she was okay.

 

            She didn’t see the small woman moving in the shadows, or hear her steady heartbeat – Kara was too busy trying to keep her panic down to even focus on her surroundings, the only thing she was aware of was the pavement beneath her feet. She almost seemed to materialise in front of Kara, who blinked in surprise as she drew closer.

 

            She didn’t see the piece of wood coming, punching a hole in Kara’s abdomen.

 

            She felt it though, the weight of it settling into Kara’s stomach, pushing up against her organs. It felt like her stomach was on fire, and Kara stared down at the long piece of wood poking out of her abdomen, watching her blood soak the front of her shirt – almost hypnotised by the sight. Looking up at the woman in shock, Kara stumbled back slightly.

 

            “What the hell?”

 

            She was met with a faceful of water, and reaching up to wipe it out of her face, Kara frowned at the girl, very unimpressed and about to get very angry. Her stomach burned slightly where the wood was, and Kara’s temper flared up as she glared at the woman, who was looking at her with surprise.

 

            “James!” the woman called out, and a man materialised from the shadows, frowning as he observed Kara. “I got her.”

 

            “Who the hell are you?” Kara asked, backing away from the two of them, a hand pressed against her stomach as she ached to pull out the piece of wood, but knew it was the only thing keeping her from bleeding out faster. The man – James – raised a crossbow, that Kara hadn’t noticed at his side, and levelled it at her chest.

 

            “Stay where you are. Don’t try and run,” he ordered her, and Kara looked around, hoping for a stranger walking past so that she could scream for help. They were on a deserted street, each side dotted with a number of alleyways that Kara knew these two strangers would drag her into at the first sign of trouble. Trouble for them at least – Kara was already in trouble; a very painful one.

 

            The woman whipped an aerosol can out of a holster on her belt, holding it out in front of her like a ward, and pulled a small pistol out of another holster, aiming that at Kara’s chest too. Feeling her anger grow, Kara opened her mouth to snap at them, or curse them out – she wasn’t sure which yet – and was met with a faceful of the spray held in the can. Choking off on words she hadn’t even managed to get out, Kara started coughing, feeling as though her lungs were on fire – it was worse than the feeling she’d been left with for the past few days.

 

            She felt warm hands come up and gently cradle her neck, and she looked up at the hulking man, surprised to find him looking at her with pity. Before she could protest, he jerked her neck to one side and Kara was none the wiser to anything that happened after that.

 

---

 

            Kara jerked awake with a panic, sucking in a deep breath for lungs that didn’t need it – she felt like she’d been held underwater for too long and used up all the oxygen, and was resurfacing for that grateful lungful of air. She felt weak, and Kara lifted her head to look around the room she was being kept in. It was small and cramped, but purposely built like that – containing nothing but the chair Kara was strapped to. A cell – it was a prison cell. The walls and door were made of metal etched was strange symbols, and Kara puzzled over them for a few minutes before deciding that she wouldn’t be able to budge open the door.

 

            Sighing, Kara looked down at her self. Her arms were strapped to the chair with metal carved with the same sigils, and so were her legs and chest by the looks of things. The spike of wood was still poking out of her stomach, and Kara frowned, puzzled as to how long she’d been unconscious for. She could have sworn that the man had snapped her neck, but if he’d only knocked her out then she should still have bled out by now, because judging from the large bloodstain on the front of her shirt, it had been a while.

 

            Sighing again, Kara settled back in her chair, gazing up at camera in the corner with a defiant look on her face. If they were determined to make her wait, she would wait, even if she was fighting down her panic every second. What if she couldn’t get out? What did they even want with her? No one would be able to find her.

 

            Luckily, she didn’t have to wait long, and the door was thrown open to a bigger surprise than Kara was expecting. A woman slightly smaller than Kara walked in with a furious look in her brown eyes and etched into the lines of her face, and Kara blinked in surprise. The slow heartbeat, those familiar eyes, that hair that waved to a gentle stop above her shoulders, and that hands on the hips pose that always let Kara know when her sister wasn’t impressed with her.

 

            “Alex?”

 

            “Kara,” Alex growled, her eyes burning with anger even as her voice betrayed her panic. Turning to look behind her, Alex waved someone inside. It was the woman who had originally stabbed her with the wood, and soaked her and sprayed her with something that burned. “Unlock her, now.”

 

            “Alex-“ the woman started to argue, and Kara was taken aback by the familiarity of her tone. Her sister knew this person well.

 

            “Now!” Alex snapped, and the girl silently obeyed, producing a small tablet and tapping away it until a moment later the chair made a whirring noise and the metal started to retract, freeing Kara from her shackles. Rubbing the slight grooves left in her forearms, Kara staggered to her feet, feeling worn out and a bit wary. Why was Alex here?

 

            “Alex-“ Kara started, but was cut off by her sister, who hushed her and reached out to grab Kara’s arm, flinching slightly as she touched her freezing cold skin. Wrapping her in a quick hug, Alex pulled back slightly and gave her a once over.

 

            “Are you okay?”

 

            “I mean, I have no idea where I am, and I’ve been stabbed with a piece of wood, so …” Kara replied, wincing slightly as Alex accidentally nudged the stake. Feeling Alex shake with silent laughter, and possibly out of fear, Kara hugged her back, filled with a sense of relief. Pulling back, Alex’s face turned stony and she grabbed Kara by the arm, dragging her out of the cell and into a hallway dotted with similar looking doors.

 

            “Shouldn’t she be wearing a blindfold?” the woman asked, locking the door and trailing after Alex.

 

            “Save it, Lucy,” Alex snapped, propelling Kara down the hallway to a reinforced metal door that was at least three feet thick. The doors parted, and Kara was roughly dragged through those too, and she wasn’t quite sure whether Alex was angry at her or the other woman – Lucy.

 

            A thousand questions were on the tip of Kara’s tongue, but she bit them all back and silently let Alex march her through the building, sneaking peeks at the high-tech equipment, hundreds of weapon racks, and the dozens of people milling around in black gear and armed to their teeth, gazing at Kara with wide eyes. Eventually they made it to a different sector of the building – this one mostly made up of labs – and Alex led them into an empty one, shutting the door in Lucy’s face before she could follow them in. Kara heard her sigh outside the door, and a gentle thud led her to believe that she was now sat on the floor, waiting for them to finish whatever Alex had in mind.

 

            “Alex-“

 

            “Why didn’t you tell me?” Alex asked, a furious look on her face, despite her hurt and slightly whiny tone.

 

            “Tell you what?” Kara asked, looking at her in confusion. She told her sister everything, which was why she was on her way to tell her that she’d attacked a cat and didn’t know what was happening to her.

 

            “That you’re a vampire, Kara!” Alex yelled at her, gesturing wildly with her anger. Kara blinked in surprise at Alex’s outburst, and then she started laughing, breaking the seriousness of the moment. Covering her mouth with her hand to muffle the sound, Kara looked at her sister with amusement.

 

            “What on earth are you talking about?” Kara asked, her eyebrows slightly raised as she looked at her sister expectantly.

 

            “Kara,” Alex said, warning her.

 

            “Oh come on, Alex,” Kara laughed. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” With a sigh, Alex reached out, grabbing the stake and pulling it out of Kara’s stomach.

 

            “Fuck!” Kara swore, clapping a hand to her mouth as she gave her sister a sheepish look. Alex raised her eyebrows slightly, and Kara looked back down, panicking as she pulled up the edge of her t-shirt and watched with amazement as the wound started to close itself up. Feeling slightly faint, Kara stumbled back against the lab table, one hand pressed against her stomach. “Oh.”

 

            “Yeah,” Alex snorted. “You’re not as sneaky as you think.”

 

            “Sneaky?” Kara echoed, looking up at Alex with a panicked look. “I don’t even know what’s happening to me, Alex! I-I just attacked a cat. I bit it! I’ve been locked inside my apartment for days, and every time I leave I feel like I’m about to have the worlds worst sunburn and pass out. I haven’t slept i-in three days, and everything tastes awful. I can hear everyone’s heartbeat, except my own, and I can hear them in their apartments – I can hear everything and it’s driving me insane – and I don’t have to wear my glasses anymore because I can literally see the fibres of your shirt, so there’s that too. I don’t know what’s happening.”

 

            “Y-you don’t know?” Alex hesitantly asked, frowning slightly as she looked at her sister with concern.

 

            “No! I-I don’t know! Tell me what’s happening!” Kara yelled at her, feeling a lump form in her throat as she tried not to cry.

 

            Alex opened and closed her mouth a few times, running a hand through her short hair as she stared at her sister with shock. Sighing, she took a step forward, gingerly reaching out to touch Kara’s shoulder. Boosting her up onto the lab table, Alex quickly hopped up beside her, and they sat shoulder to shoulder, with Alex holding Kara’s hand.

 

            “I wasn’t joking, Kara. Y-you’re a vampire. You must have been, uh, transitioning for the past few days. It takes a while for the virus to take control. Y-you weren’t sick. I’m so stupid, I can’t believe I blinded myself to the signs because you’re my sister. God, I could’ve helped you – I’m surprised you haven’t been out of your mind.”

 

            “I have,” Kara said, her voice hoarse. “I don’t know what’s happening to me.”

 

            “I’m sorry,” Alex whispered. “It’s true though.”

 

            Kara tore her hand out of her sisters, shooting her a look of anger. “Stop it! Just stop it, Alex. Tell me what’s wrong with me! Tell me the truth.”

 

            “I am!” Alex protested. “The world isn’t the way you think it is, Kara. There are creatures like monsters out there.”

 

            “Monsters,” Kara snorted. “Is that what I am to you? Is that why I’m here?”

 

            “You shouldn’t have been brought here. I should have known that you were-“ Alex cut off, looking down at her lap. “Let me prove it to you, that you’re a vampire.”

 

            Kara gave her a sceptical look. “How?”

 

            Alex reached for Kara’s hand and took a knife to it, neatly parting the skin and watching as blood welled up from it. It lasted all of two seconds, barely enough time for Kara to hiss with pain and try and draw her hand out of Alex’s tight grip. Then the cut healed. It was strange even the second time, and Kara knew the fact that she’d been stabbed with a piece of wood and healed as soon as it was pulled out should have been enough proof. Then Alex took the knife to the back of her hand, and Kara watched with hunger as beads of blood bled out of the shallow cut. The fire in her throat was back, more intense than ever, and Kara clapped a hand to her mouth. Alex shot her sister and apologetic look, and walked over to the door, flinging it open.

 

            “Can you get me a bag of A positive please,” Alex asked Lucy, who climbed to her feet and wandered off down the hallway. Coming back inside, Alex walked over to Kara, who was sat there in silence, a wide eyed look of shock on her face. “Look, I know it’s a lot to process, but I can help you.”

 

            “Why are you here, Alex?” Kara asked sharply.

 

            Alex hesitated for a second. “I work here.”

 

            “You work here?” Kara echoed.

 

            “I’m the deputy director of the operations division of Cadmus – uh, that’s what this place is,” Alex explained. “This is the science division, where they … test the samples.”

 

            “Test the samples- you mean you capture people like me and keep them in those cells so that you can test them?” Kara asked, giving her sister an incredulous look. She hopped down off the table and brushed past Alex. “I want to go home.”

 

            “Kara, it’s not like you think,” Alex begged. “We don’t test test them. We use willing participants.”

 

            “Oh, and I was willing to get stabbed and pepper-sprayed, was I?” Kara snorted.

 

            “I mean, technically it was garlic mixed with iron and rowan dust, but I see your point,” Alex muttered. “And that only happens when we have rogue vampires.”

 

            “And how am I a rogue one?” Kara asked, raising her eyebrows.

 

            “Well you’re not, but we have one who’s turning a lot of people. We don’t know who it is, so any unknowns have to be brought in for questioning,” Alex admitted. “I’m guessing they’re the one who turned you.”

 

            “Brilliant,” Kara snapped. “Can I go now?”

 

            Alex sighed, reaching out for her sister. She wrapped her in a hug, and Kara froze, still angry at Alex, but caved in, aching for the warmth of someone else’s caring touch. “You’ll be okay. I’ll help you.”

 

            And then her throat was a little too near for Kara’s comfort and she was out of Alex’s embrace in a heartbeat, in the back corner of the lab, leaving Alex still half-reaching out for her. “I’m sorry.”

 

            “Hey, it’s okay. The hunger-“ Alex trailed off. “The cat. Was that the only time?”

 

            “Yes,” Kara whispered, her skin crawling at the thought of what she’d done.

 

            “We’ll get you some blood. Human. It’ll make you feel better,” Alex promised.

 

            Kara scoffed. “I’m not drinking human blood, Alex.”

 

            “It’s fine. We all donate here – all the staff. We have a constant supply for anyone we bring in. We’re more of a helping service for vampires,” Alex said.

 

            Kara rolled her eyes. “Yeah, those weapons really look like they’re for helping.”

 

            “They kill people, Kara. We have to be able to protect ourselves, and innocent people, if they go rogue and starting attacking,” Alex said, and Kara thought about how easily she’d ripped her door of its hinges, just by trying to open it, and couldn’t fault her logic there. A part of Kara still felt like she was part of an elaborate joke though – even though she’d literally watched her own skin knit itself back together. She didn’t want to be a vampire.

 

            “How do I not …” Kara trailed off, unsure how to ask it.

 

            Alex seemed to understand what she was trying to ask, and shot her a pitying look, and somehow that made Kara angry. “I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do, Kara. You’ll get control of it, and it’ll get easier, but we can’t reverse it. Not yet. That’s part of what we’re working on here.”

 

            “Then how do I not need to feed?” Kara asked, her frustration rising. She wanted to be able to go about her daily life like she normally did. Luckily for her she spent a lot of nights watching the stars and slept during the day, so the sun wouldn’t affect her too much, but drinking blood wasn’t exactly a commonplace thing she could do at home – she wanted to drink the lattes her sister brought her again, and eat soup made by pretty girls without throwing up. “I thought I was just thirsty. I’ve been drinking coconut water nonstop and it felt like it was helping until I saw that bloody cat. How am I supposed to be around people if I’m going to attack them?”

 

            Alex groaned. “You were drinking coconut water? I’m not surprised you attacked a cat. In emergencies you can use coconut water for a blood transfusion – it kind of works as a saline solution, but without the properties of red blood cells, which is what you need. You probably thought you were getting rid of your thirst but really you were just keeping yourself hydrated while you starved yourself. I’m surprised you didn’t attack the first person you saw.”

 

            Kara’s mind flashed to Lena and all the times she’d gotten close. There had been a hunger, but Kara had just thought that it was lust – thought it was the urge to kiss someone that she knew that she shouldn’t kiss – not the urge to rip her throat out and drink her blood. Shivering, Kara looked at Alex with horror, thinking about how close Lena had been to her own death. If she hadn’t seen the cat, maybe tomorrow or the day after would’ve been too much for Kara to be close to Lena. Although, Kara had to admit, Lena didn’t smell quite as good as her sister, or even the cat for that matter, and Kara wondered why.

 

            The door slid open, and Lucy walked in, offering Kara a blood bag as she gazed at her curiously. Kara was hesitant to take it, but she did, mumbling a distracted thank you as she watched another woman follow Lucy inside. She was taller, and older, but still striking and formidable. She wasn’t someone Kara wanted to cross.

 

            “Hunter Danvers, this is your sister I presume?” the woman asked.

 

            Alex nodded, crossing her arms over her chest as she took a protective stance in front of Kara. “Yes, ma’am. Kara, this is Lillian Luthor, she’s the owner of Cadmus, and director of the science division. Ma’am, this is my sister, Kara.”

 

            “Well, should we do some tests? Set your mind at ease. Make sure she’s in working order,” the woman asked, arching an eyebrow at Alex’s tense pose. After a moment, Alex nodded, and the woman gave her a sharp smile.

 

            “Excellent. Now, Miss Danvers, I’m just going to run a basic physical exam. We’ll sort out your bloodwork, make sure you’re physically normal for your species, and ask a few questions,” Lillian briskly explained, walking over to the drawers and pulling out some rubber gloves.

 

            “Great,” Kara muttered, a gloomy look crossing her face. The last thing she wanted was to be poked and prodded like a freak in a science lab – and Kara bit back a smile when she realised that she was a freak in a science lab.

 

            The woman found a vein in Kara’s arm, and besides a small pinch, Kara felt nothing. She watched Alex watch Lillian drain her blood with an anxious look on her face, and felt a flicker of pain. She didn’t want to do this, but more importantly she didn’t want Alex to have to do this. At the feeling of the needle being pulled out of her arm, Kara looked back down, seeing a neat row of glass tubes filled with her blood lined up on the counter. Placing them in a Ziploc bag, Lillian handed them to Lucy.

 

            “Hunter Lane, if you would be so kind as to run these to the labs for me. I believe my daughter has just arrived,” Lillian said, and Lucy nodded, casting a look at Alex before disappearing back into the hallway. Kara jumped slightly at the touch of the woman’s fingers, warm even through the gloves, as they parted Kara’s lips. “Fangs seem fully formed. Good.”

 

            Alex snorted from where she stood. “You always had little fangs; no wonder you didn’t realise. How on earth did you manage to be the most oblivious vampire in the world though?”

 

            Kara smiled slightly, shrugging. “It’s not like I believed in them.”

 

            “Really though, Kara. Your eyesight was fixed and you didn’t even question it, you just magically thought your eyes got better on their own?” Kara shrugged again. “Your heart stopped beating and you just didn’t think anything of it?”

 

            “Wait what? My heart’s stopped beating?” Kara asked, her eyes widening. Lillian let out a quick, humourless laugh and her hands went to Kara’s sternum, just slightly off-centre as she listened for Kara’s heartbeat.

 

            “Yes, definitely stopped,” she told Kara, before checking her pulse at her neck and wrists. “Circulatory system is normal. Respiratory is clearly fine too. How’s your dietary system?”

 

            “I was sick when I ate food,” Kara admitted. “No fluid in it though. Just gross dried lumps.”

 

            “And you still didn’t question it,” Alex exclaimed, throwing her hands up as she shot Kara an exasperated look. “Anything else?”

 

            “I ripped my door off its hinges by accident,” Kara supplied and Alex groaned.

 

            “Did anyone see?”

 

            “Just my neighbour, but she helped fix it without asking any questions,” Kara said with a slight smile.

 

            “Have you tried walking into anyone’s home?”

 

            “Well no, I’d never just walk into someone’s home, I’d wait to be invite- ohh, I actually didn’t think of that,” Kara said, feeling stupid. “And the sun thing – I just thought it was sunburn, and the fact that I literally look like a vampire was because I don’t spend much time in the sun anyway. I actually am the most oblivious vampire ever. Oh my God.”

 

            Alex and the Lillian’s head both shot up at the end of Kara’s sentence. “Say that again,” Alex ordered her.

 

            “What? Are you going to tell me it’s blasphemy?”

 

            “Just say God again,” Alex commanded, waving away Kara’s joke, and Kara frowned slightly.

 

            “God?” Kara said, making it sound like a question as she looked at Alex with confusion.

 

            “You shouldn’t be able to say that,” Lillian said, sounding curious as she looked over at Alex. “Hunter Lane said that the holy water didn’t work. Any thoughts?”

 

            “None ma’am. It’s always worked before. We have it blessed by a member of every major religion, as well as some minor ones. The same goes for the holy symbols carved into anything used to cuff them and keep them weak,” Alex explained, looking thoughtful.

 

            Kara raised her hand hesitantly. “Um, I might have something.”

 

            Two pairs of eyes shot to her face, and she lowered her hand. “Oh God, this’ll be good,” Alex muttered, ignoring the exasperated look Kara shot her. “You didn’t even know you were a vampire until half an hour ago.”

 

            “No, I didn’t,” Kara agreed. “But I knew my parents were atheists.”

 

            “Wha- oh my God. You’re right,” Alex said, blinking in surprise. “You were old enough to make your own decisions when we adopted you, so mom didn’t have you baptised. And if your birth parents didn’t …”

 

            “I guess holy symbols and words don’t work on those who don’t believe,” Kara shrugged.

 

            “Hm, it makes sense,” Lillian agreed. “I wonder why we’ve never realised before.”

 

            “I’d say it’s because this is a very multi-cultural city and a lot of people follow some sort of religion, and for the most part it’s Christianity, so even the people that don’t believe were probably baptised by their parents as kids,” Alex thought out loud. “Given the fact that vampires aren’t exactly a large part of the population, there’s a very high chance that they were all from such religious families, or they’re old ones who have been around since people were being burnt as witches by the church, and of course they would’ve been religious back then.”

 

            “It’s a solid theory. We should run some tests. Maybe get holy water blessed by one denomination of religion and test all of them on one sample to see if there’s a different reaction based on it,” Lillian said, nodding to herself.

 

            “Yes ma’am.”

 

            After letting Lillian take a muscle tissue sample, which she had to admit hurt a lot, the examination was over, and Lillian removed her gloves and set about cleaning up after herself. “Nothing out of the ordinary, all things considered. Your bloodwork should be back in a second, and then we’ll be able to see if you’re all fine. While we wait; drink.”

 

            Kara looked down at the bag of blood she’d abandoned next to her on the table, and gingerly picked it up. Taking the cap off, she hesitated before bringing it to her lips and taking a small mouthful. Kara had to bite back a groan as the metallic taste of the blood flooded her mouth – she couldn’t remember ever tasting anything so good, and the thought sickened her. Aware of Alex and Lillian’s eyes on her, Kara lowered the blood and put the cap back on, setting it down on the counter.

 

            “I can’t.”

 

            “You have to, Kara,” Alex insisted.

 

            “You can either ingest it or consume it intravenously,” Lillian told her, scribbling away at a form on a clipboard. “Your choice.”

 

            “What happens if I don’t do either?” Kara asked, a slight challenge in her voice. She didn’t like how the woman had mostly ignored her, or spoke about her as if she wasn’t a person – which was true, but still, Kara was sat right in front of her and she didn’t like being excluded.

 

            “Then you either starve yourself until you go on a feeding spree – increasing you chances of killing people, or you hold out and start to dessicate. Neither of which sounds like fun,” Alex explained, and Kara scowled as she picked up the blood bag and started sipping at it again.

 

            She moodily drank her blood as she listened to Alex and Lillian babble on about things that Kara didn’t understand. About halfway through the bag, the door slid open and Kara looked up as someone walked in. She froze, lowering the bag as she took in the raven dark hair, pale skin and distinct heartbeat she’d come to associate with Lena.

 

            “I have the blood resu-“ Lena cut off, her green eyes darting to Kara and then doing a double take as she realised that the blood covered vampire sipping away at a bag of A positive blood was her neighbour. Her mouth open and closed a couple of times before she found her voice. “Kara?”

 

            “Lena?”

Chapter Text

            They both stood there wearing matching expressions of shock as they stared at each other.

 

            “Wait, you know my sister?” Alex asked, looking from Kara to Lena with raised eyebrows.

 

            “You know my daughter?” Lillian sharply asked at the same time.

 

            “Wait, your daughter?”

 

            “Your sister?”

 

            “We’re, uh, neighbours,” Kara mumbled, still looking at Lena with wide eyes. Lena didn’t quite meet her gaze, her eyes locked on Kara’s red lips and slightly pointed fangs and then they travelled further down, taking in the ragged hole in Kara’s t-shirt, and the white fabric stained red with blood.

 

            “You’re a-“ Lena was too shocked to even finish her sentence, staring at Kara with wide eyes.

 

            “Hang on a second, you’re neighbours?” Alex asked.

 

            “We live across the hall from each other,” Kara explained, putting down her blood bag and ducking her head in embarrassment and anger. Clenching her jaw, Kara looked up. “Wait, so you work here too?”

 

            “Yes,” Lena admitted, shrugging apologetically, having being caught in a lie.

 

            Kara let out a cold laugh, looking at Alex. “Is there anyone else I should know about who works here? Mom? Winn, perhaps?”

 

            “I didn’t know you two knew each other,” Alex huffed, crossing her arms over her chest. She shot Lena a look of anger. “And you should’ve told us. Protocol says that if you have knowledge of a known vampire then you have to report it.”

 

            “I didn’t-“ Lena started to defend herself, but Lillian cut her off.

 

            “Enough. I’ll deal with you later. Lab results,” she said, holding a hand out for the paper that Lena was carrying. Handing them over to her mom, Lena stared at Kara with longing written all over her face. The room was silent and tense, with Lena trying to catch Kara’s eye, Kara staring at Alex, who was anxiously watching Lillian reading the results.

 

            “You’re extremely hydrated, but your red blood cell count is a little low,” Lillian murmured, and Alex snorted with laughter.

 

            “That’ll be the coconut water,” she said, and the corner of Kara’s mouth quirked up into a small smile.

 

            “Finish off the rest of your bag and your levels should be back up to normal,” Lillian told Kara. “Other than that, you’re free to go. The sun’s up so you might want to wait it out a few hours, or you’ll find yourself looking a little crispy.”

 

            “I’d almost rather risk the sun than stay here,” Kara murmured, and Lena winced slightly, as if she’d been slapped.

 

            “Hunter Danvers, please escort your sister back to her cell,” Lillian ordered, and Alex hesitated for a moment, and Kara scowled. She wasn’t a rabid animal to be locked up in a cage.

 

            “Ma’am, with all due respect, I’d prefer not to lock her up in a cell again,” Alex slowly said. “I’d like permission for her to stay here in the lab. I’ll vouch for her.”

 

            Lillian hesitated, before nodding. “On your own head then. Lena, a word outside.” Stalking out of the room without another word to Kara, Lillian waited outside and Lena hesitated, casting another look in Kara’s direction before following her mom outside. Kara stared at the closed door, listening to the conversation happening in the hallway.

 

            “Your neighbour is a vampire and you didn’t report it,” Lillian hissed, clearly furious.

 

            “I wasn’t sure,” Lena replied stiffly.

 

            “You weren’t sure?” Lillian echoed. “You know the symptoms better than most people. How were you unsure, hm?”

 

            “It’s the middle of January, mom, people get colds. People have cold hands and don’t have tans. Am I supposed to start leaving crucifixes around for every person I see not wearing a coat?” Lena argued. “She’s a fledgling – barely four days into transitioning by the looks of things. There were a lot of variables.”

 

            “Oh come on, Lena. You’re not an idiot, you can spot the first signs from a mile away. There must’ve been some changes. How long have you known the girl?”

 

            “Almost four months now. Her routine hasn’t changed though, how was I supposed to know?” Lena muttered. “The first sign was yesterday when she tore a door off its hinges. Other than that – nothing.”

 

            “And you didn’t think to report it to the operations division immediately?” Lillian hissed.

 

            Lena snorted. “No, I didn’t. I was handling it – checking to make sure I was right before I did. I was with her all night; it was just like she had the flu. She was eating pie, mom.”

 

            “I don’t care what she was doing. You’re supposed to do your job, Lena. If you can’t do that then what good are you to me?”

 

            Kara listened to the receding sounds of Lillian’s heels clicking on the floor as she stalked off down the hallway, and to the quiet, frustrated sigh of Lena, who hovered outside, a few feet away from the door. With a lump in her throat, and a sinking feeling inside, Kara felt a flicker of hurt – she’d thought that her and Lena were friends. She hadn’t fooled herself into thinking they were anything more than that, but it hurt to hear Lena say that she’d been getting close to Kara to figure out whether her suspicions about her being a vampire were true.

 

            “Finished eavesdropping?” Alex asked, sidling up to Kara, who gave her a sheepish smile. “So, how long have you been pining after my boss’s daughter, and why didn’t you tell me?”

 

            “Wha- I’m not pining,” Kara scoffed, crossing her arms over her chest. “And I didn’t tell you because it’s not like that.”

 

            “Right,” Alex snorted. "Well I don't like it anyway."

 

            “What I do isn't up to you. Besides, what about you and that girl? You know, the one who stabbed me. Lucy, is it?” Kara asked, turning the conversation around on her sister.

 

            Alex looked flustered as she blushed slightly, surprising Kara - her sister never blushed. “It’s not like that.”

 

            “Yeah well it sure seems like it is,” Kara muttered. “What’s another lie though, right?”

 

            “Kara-“

 

            “I’d like to go back to my cell,” Kara interrupted. She was tired and angry and she didn’t want to listen to any excuses right now.

 

            “Kara-“

 

            Jumping down off the bed, Kara quickly scooped up the blood bag, taking off the cap and draining the rest of it quickly. Squeezing the empty bag in her hand, she threw it into the bin in the corner and walked over to the door. Alex sighed behind her and walked over to the door, opening it and waving Kara through.

 

            Lena was waiting outside, fiddling with her hands as she anxiously looked at Kara. “Can I have a word, please.“

 

            Kara blanked her dead as she brushed past, the only indication that she heard her being the twitching muscle in her jaw. Alex took the lead, and Kara trailed after her, leaving Lena behind. Making their way through the building, Kara’s eyes darted around the room, making eye contact with the man who had helped Lucy capture her – James, she recalled. He gave her a small, apologetic smile, and Kara scowled as she followed Alex.

 

            Unlocking the door to the cell Kara had occupied an hour before, Alex waved her in. Brushing past her, Kara made her way over to the chair and sat down, crossing her arms over her chest.

 

            “So, I, um, I have to lock the door. Sorry, but it’s the safety procedure – for everyone’s sake,” Alex said apologetically. “There’s a camera so I can keep an eye on you, and you can just wave if you need something. Do you need anything now?”

 

            Kara was silent as she picked at a loose thread on the cuff of her t-shirt, and Alex sighed. “The silent treatment? Really? Fine. Wave if you need anything then.”

 

            Shutting her in the dark, Alex left her alone. The sudden silence was deafening, and it was almost a relief to Kara. She wasn’t sure how, but the room completely blocked out the sound of everything outside of the room – she’d missed that earlier – leaving her alone with nothing but the sound of her unnecessary breathing and her loud thoughts.

 

            Kara wanted to cry.

 

            She wanted to scream and hit something.

 

            Her life had been completely turned upside down, slowly and then all at once. It had been changing for the past four days, she just hadn’t realised it until everything had come crashing down on her when Alex had told her the truth. Nothing was as it was supposed to be, and Kara didn’t even know who to blame it on.

 

            She could blame her sister for lying to her for years about where she worked, or she could blame Lena for lying to her about where she worked too, as well as why she’d come along with Kara to stargaze last night. A part of her blamed herself too, because she should’ve trusted herself when she’d known that something was off. Most importantly though, Kara blamed the person who had turned her – whoever that was.

 

---

 

            Kara counted every single second of the seven hours she was locked up for. Alex came to check on her every hour on the hour, cracking open the door to let a beam of light cut through the darkness. She’d mumble a question about Kara’s wellbeing, and the sigh and go away when she was met by stony silence. Eventually it was dark outside though, and the next time Alex opened the door it was to let her out. She was free to go home.

 

            “I’ll just ask permission to leave and then I’ll drive you home,” Alex said, standing aside as Kara stalked out of the cell, still simmering with rage.

 

            “I can take her,” Lena said, appearing at the end of the hallway, looking nervous as she fiddled with her car keys. She had a bag slung over one shoulder, and she was bundled up in a coat and scarf, ready to brave the cold weather outside. “I’m heading home now anyway.”

 

            “I’ll walk,” Kara told Alex, giving Lena the cold shoulder.

 

            “Kara, please,” Lena begged, and Kara’s resolve wavered slightly.

 

            Alex gave her an unimpressed look. “Either you let Lena drive you, or I do.”

 

            Kara turned around and walked towards Lena, who gave her a hopeful smile. “We’ll talk later,” Alex called after her, and Kara ignored her as she followed Lena through the door.

 

            They were silent as they made their way upstairs in the elevator; Kara wearing a pissed off look as she crossed her arms over her chest and sulked, and Lena fiddling nervously with her keys as she bit back the urge to say something. Lena was always a little reserved with her emotions, and Kara had always thought that it added to her mystery – it turned out she was just a liar, and Kara was hurt. She wore that hurt on her face, having always been bad at keeping her emotions in check.

 

            They came out into a dark alleyway, the door set into the side of a grimy building that hid the secrets of the operations going on inside. Kara would never have guessed that there were vampires and hunters hidden beneath their very feet – not that she would have had a reason to believe it anyway, until she’d been turned herself. As they walked down the alley, and over to Lena’s car parked down the street, she felt Lena take a deep breath.

 

            “Kara-“

 

            “Save it,” Kara snapped, stopping herself from ripping the car door of its hinges as she opened it. Climbing in and buckling her seatbelt within a second, she waited impatiently for Lena to get in and do the same. Soon enough they were making their way through the evening rush hour as the businesses closed for the day and the city’s nightlife came out to play. Kara caught snatches of conversations and thumping music as they drove in silence, and she felt slightly sick and overwhelmed – it was the first time she’d properly been outside since being turned, and her hearing seemed to be growing more and more sensitive as she fully transitioned into a vampire.

 

            The drive was quiet, and Lena knew better than to try and make small talk, so she left Kara to dwell on her anger in silence. It didn’t take long to reach their building, and Kara was out of the car the moment it had stopped, leaving Lena to quickly scramble out after her, trying to keep up.

 

            Hurried footsteps chased Kara upstairs, and she had to remind herself to move slowly just in case some other occupant was coming downstairs – it made no difference though, Lena couldn’t catch up to her. As Kara reached their floor, she flitted over to her door, rummaging around in her pockets for her key. Unlocking the door, and jiggling it carefully so that she didn’t break it again, Kara opened it and turned to look at Lena, who rushed over to her, trying to catch her breath.

 

            “Kara, please, let me expla-”

 

            Kara snorted, rolling her eyes as she walked inside her apartment and slammed the door in Lena’s face, cutting her off midsentence. She might not have been a vampire, but a closed door was just as affective at keeping Lena out, and Kara stood on the other side of the door, fighting back the urge to throw open the door as she listened to Lena’s muttered curses.

Chapter Text

            Kara ignored Lena for two weeks, staying locked inside her room, working on her analytical model of nuclear fusion, which meant that she holed up inside her room and tried not to count Lena’s heartbeats or footsteps from across the hall. The only time she’d come outside was to fetch her telescope off the rooftop so that she could stargaze from the window of her apartment.

 

            After Kara had stopped giving Alex the cold shoulder, she popped around a few times – enough to drop off some fresh blood for Kara, but not overstepping too much, considering that Kara was still a little pissed off at her. They said very little during Alex’s visits, because Kara was still mad, but most of all, she was hurt. It was bad enough that Lena had been lying to her, someone that Kara maybe kind of considered a friend – she was a little uncertain – but Alex was her sister. That made her lies even worse.

 

            She’d only come face to face with Lena once since she’d slammed the door in her face, and Kara had quickly flitted to her door and almost tore the doorknob off in her rush to get back inside her apartment. There had been a few timid steps across the hallway, and deep breaths, followed by a knock on the door, but Kara had ignored them all. A confrontation was the last thing she wanted. She couldn’t put it off forever though, and when Lena knocked on her door two weeks later, Kara sighed and moved to open it.

 

            “Oh!” Lena softly exclaimed as the door was opened. “I-I didn’t think you were going to answer.”

 

            “I considered it,” Kara shrugged, sighing as she looked at Lena. “What do you want, Lena?”

 

            “I have Twilight,” Lena blurted out, blushing slightly as Kara raised her eyebrows in question. “And the new Dracula movie, and the new Underworld one too. And I brought a new concoction of blood that I’ve been working on for you.”

 

            “You want to watch movies?” Kara asked, incredulously.

 

            Lena rolled her eyes. “No, Kara, I want to talk to you, but if you won’t talk then we can just watch a movie instead. So, are you going to let me in or not?”

 

            Kara let out a cold laugh, feeling slightly bitter as she stood aside. “Not all of us need to ask for permission.”

 

            Lena smiled slightly, walking into the dark apartment and bumping into the table as she blindly moved through the open room. The windows had been completely blacked out by boards that Alex had brought over a few days ago, blocking out even the slightest glimpse of sunlight. Kara could see every detail on Lena’s face though – right down to the tiny scar beneath her eyebrow - but to make Lena feel more comfortable she flicked on a nearby lamp.

 

            “Thanks,” Lena murmured. “Um, so I’ll just put the, uh, blood in the fridge for you.”

 

            “I already have blood,” Kara said, standing as still as a statue, with her arms folded over her chest.

 

            “Yes, but this one is coconut water, with some iron, cow’s blood, orange juice, and a little bit of cayenne pepper. Basically a mixture of things that are good for your blood. Garlic is good too, but I didn’t put that in it … for obvious reasons. Your body can absorb the nutrients of fluids, you just can’t digest actual food, so I thought … well, you might like a substitute – well not a real substitute, because cow’s blood … but still. No human blood bags.”

 

            Kara blinked in surprise, watching Lena walk over to the fridge and put the bottle inside. She was touched by the gesture, and Kara found herself willing to listen to what Lena had to say – even just as a thank you for the thoughtfulness of the blood.

 

            “Would you like a drink?” Kara asked after a moment, and Lena nodded, clutching the DVD’s she held to her chest. Quickly, Kara made Lena a cup of coffee and set it down on the table, before packing away her pile of notes and stacks of books – if she’d known Lena was coming over she would’ve tidied up a little.

 

            Lena mumbled a thank you, sitting down on the edge of one of the chairs as Kara resumed her position as a statue across the other side of the table. After a moment of silence, Kara sighed, taking a seat opposite Lena.

 

            “So, talk then.”

 

            “I’m sorry. I couldn’t tell you even if I wanted to – Cadmus is more covert than the FBI, Kara. Most people in the government don’t even know it exists, so I couldn’t exactly go around telling people, even if Ii-“

 

            “Yes?” Kara asked, arching an eyebrow, taking in the faint blush creeping into Lena’s cheeks and the irregular heartbeat.

 

            Lena hesitated for a second. “Even if I live across the hallway from them.”

 

            Kara was sure that wasn’t what she was going to say, but she didn’t press the matter. “You used me.”

 

            “I didn’t use you!” Lena argued.

 

            “I heard you tell your mom you got close to me so you could figure out if your theory about whether or not I was transitioning was right. What part of that isn’t using someone?” Kara snapped.

 

            “Ah yes, I spent almost four months being nice to you because I knew that in the future there was a slight possible chance that you’d become a vampire,” Lena said sarcastically, rolling her eyes at Kara. Opening her mouth, Kara didn’t know what to say and shut it again. Lena had a point there, but that didn’t make Kara feel any better.

 

            “You still lied to me! You told me you were working on stem cell research."

 

            "I am! I mean, not really stem cells, but I'm researching the properties of vampire blood. It kind of does the same thing. It can heal people that are sick - humans - and we're using stem cell research as a front for the organisation," Lena explained, trying not to reveal too much confidential information. "I didn't lie."

 

            "You lied by omission. I-”

 

            “What?”

 

            Kara hesitated. She couldn’t do it – she couldn’t tell Lena that she liked her. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she tried not to wipe the hurt look off her face. “I thought we were friends.”

 

            “I don’t have any friends,” Lena whispered, the muscles in her jaw working as she looked down at her cup of coffee, running a finger around the rim of the mug. “I moved here after a bad breakup because I didn’t have anywhere else to go. My mom, well, she’s not exactly a warm person. She’s always expected perfection and we’ve never really been close, but she’s all I have, so I came here. But you’re the first person who’s ever been nice to me for the sake of being nice – not for any other reason. I know that you’re mad, but I like you, Kara, and I don’t want you to stay mad at me.”

 

            Silently, Kara took in Lena’s words. If she thought about it rationally, she knew that Lena was in a tight spot with her situation, and she really couldn’t tell Kara what was happening – and let’s face it, Kara wouldn’t have believed her anyway – but Kara was still hurt. It hurt even more to hear Lena say that she liked Kara, but not in the way that Kara wanted her to.

 

            “Let’s start with Twilight,” Kara said, pushing her chair back from the table and walking over to her bed. Lena smiled, following her over and sitting down next to her. Kara didn’t own a TV, so the two of them huddled up next to each other to watch it on Kara’s laptop. Wedging a pillow between them, Kara draped the blankets over Lena so that she would be safe from the coldness that seemed to seep into everything that Kara touched.

 

---

 

            “Oh come on,” Kara snorted. “If I was him I’d just snap her neck and be done with it. Why is he wasting his time on a boring human that’s pining over him when they’ve spoken like twice, all because she smells nice.”

 

            “Are you saying you’d snap my neck if we were in their situation?” Lena asked, smirking as she raised her eyebrows, waiting for Kara’s reply.

 

            “Well we’re not in love,” Kara said without thinking. If she could blush, Kara knew that her cheeks would be red in the dim light of the room, and for the first time since being turned, she really appreciated her lack of a heartbeat. “And, well, I don’t want to eat you,” Kara mumbled.

 

            “Are you sure? Because thinking about it now, you did get a bit close to my throat the other day,” Lena said, her lips twitching as if she was about to smile.

 

            “You smell … different. Not like my sister, or your mom. It’s like … I don’t know, but I don’t want to eat you,” Kara admitted. “Your blood smells, well, weaker I guess.”

 

            “I’m anaemic,” Lena laughed. “Although I’m glad to know that it was a turn-off for you. I do eat a lot of garlic though, just as a precaution. I guess you must’ve been really hungry to get that close to me then.”

 

            Kara laughed, shaking her head slightly. “I didn’t want to bite you, I wanted to ki-“

 

            She pressed her lips together, cutting herself off before she could finish her sentence, although by the sound of Lena’s heart skipping a beat and the slight hitch in her breathing, Kara figured that she’d stopped talking a little too late. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath, waiting for Lena’s reaction.

  

            “You wanted to kill me? Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you,” Lena said, sounding slightly amused. Kara choked on a laugh, and she wanted to grab Lena by the shoulders and shake her. Kiss! I wanted to kiss you, you idiot! Kara wanted to scream at her. She wanted to kiss her now too, but she didn’t have the guts to do it, and now that she was a vampire, it looked like her chances were even slimmer.

 

            “Can I ask you something?” Kara whispered.

 

            Lena hesitated slightly. “I might not be able to answer it. There are things I can’t talk about outside of work, for legal reasons. I've probably already broken a dozen rules.”

 

            “It’s not about that,” Kara said, and Lena nodded for her to continue. “Why are you here?”

 

            “I wanted to apologise,” Lena frowned slightly in confusion.

 

            Kara laughed quietly, rolling her eyes. “I know that, but why did it matter to you, having to apologise? Why didn’t you move out of your apartment or nail a cross to your front door to keep me away?”

 

            “From what I’ve heard, religious symbols don’t do much for you, and well, I already told you – I like you. Being a vampire doesn’t really change things, does it? Well, personality wise at least. You’re still you.”

 

            Kara nodded, feeling a little better. She’d been afraid that Lena’s mom’s obvious prejudice might have rubbed off on Lena, leading her to believe that Kara was a monster. Apparently Lena’s differences with her mom extended all the way to their views on vampires though, which Kara was grateful for, because at least now she wouldn’t lose her friend, no matter what happened.

 

            “Well … thanks,” Kara mumbled.

 

            “What are friends for,” Lena said with a quiet laugh.

 

            Kara raised her eyebrows, looking at Lena with amusement. “I thought you said you didn’t have any friends.”

 

            Lena rolled her eyes. “Just watch the damn movie, Kara.”

 

---

 

            It was late when Lena left – the two of them having watched all three of the movies that Lena had brought over – and as Kara walked her to the door, she felt calmer. Sure, she had butterflies, and her heart used to skip a beat, whenever Lena talked or smiled to her, but she always felt so calm around her too, and Kara considered the fact that maybe part of the reason why she’d been so mad was because for once, she didn’t feel calm around Lena. She’d felt hurt whenever she thought about her working for a secret vampire organisation, and Kara didn’t like the way it made her felt.

 

            Lena hesitated in the doorway, extremely close to Kara, and there was a moment where it would’ve been so easy for Kara to just lean down slightly and touch their lips together. She didn’t though, and the moment passed, leaving them both stood close, waiting for the other to say something.

 

            It was Kara who spoke first.

 

            “I’m still mad at you.”

 

            Lena’s lips quirked up into a small smile. “I know, and I’m still sorry.”

 

            “Well okay then,” Kara murmured, aching to reach out and brush a stray lock of Lena’s hair behind her ear. “Goodnight, Lena. Sweet dreams.”

 

            “You to- never mind,” Lena laughed quietly, reaching out to briefly touch Kara on her arm. “Enjoy the stars.”

 

            As she turned away, Kara fought the urge to reach out and pull her back. To turn her around and press a gentle kiss to her lips, and cradle her perfect face in her hands. She wanted to kick herself for not having the guts to seize the moment a minute ago, but she wasn’t ready for rejection, so instead, she let another moment slip through her fingers.

 

            She watched Lena walk across the hallway and safely lock herself in her apartment, giving Kara a small smiled before shutting her door. Kara could’ve just shut the door and listened to Lena walk to her apartment, but Kara didn’t want to deny herself the simple pleasure of seeing Lena’s face for a second longer before the day ended.

 

            Closing her own door, Kara walked over to the window and opened it, resting her elbows on the windowsill as she gazed up at the stars, listening to the quiet, reassuring sound of Lena’s heartbeat.

Chapter Text

            After a few weeks of no sleep, Kara had found herself left with a lot of spare time, which excited her – she’d always thought sleep was a waste of time anyway. Perhaps it was because she’d always been fascinated with the stars, but she’d always preferred to stay up all night stargazing – there was something about the still early mornings when everyone else was still in bed that made watching the stars seem even more magical. Just Kara and her telescope. One of the perks of never sleeping again would be an eternity of those magic hours that Kara treasured.

 

            She watched the last star fade as the sky started to lighten on the horizon. With a sigh, Kara drew back from the window – she missed the warmth of the sun on her skin. The warmth that didn’t lead to an itching feeling that made Kara’s skin feel like it was on fire. She hated to admit it, but she’d been spending hours researching old vampire myths and legends – the real ones, not the young adult romance books that were all the rage these days – from googling to borrowing books from the library. She’d learnt a lot, but Kara was still unsure where she fitted into things. What would happen if she stayed in the sun too long? Would she actually burst into flames? How could she be killed? She didn’t have a heartbeat, so how did staking her in a non-working heart work?

 

            She needed Alex.

 

            Shutting the window, and plunging the apartment into total darkness, Kara walked towards her bathroom for a quick shower. Dressed and huddled up in the corner of her bed, Kara read one of the paperbacks she’d ventured out to borrow a few nights back. Her eyes quickly skimmed over the words, drinking in every piece of information as she added them to her collection. It took a lot of effort to read now, to fight back the urge to count the letters in every word she read, and even still, Kara sometimes found herself counting them anyway. She didn’t recognise the familiar heartbeat until it was at the top of the stairs, walking towards her apartment with deliberate, determined steps.

 

            Kara’s eyes locked onto her door as she waited for the inevitable knock, and she frowned slightly. Three knocks made the wood shudder, and she thought for a second that Alex was going to kick her door in.

 

            “Kara!” her sister’s voice barked. “I know you’re in there. The sun’s up, where else are you going to go?”

 

            Her frown deepened as Kara ignored her, trying to tune out the sound of her sister’s heartbeat, and the quieter sound of Lena’s across the hall. Trying to immerse herself in her book in vain, Kara counted twelve heartbeats, and two impatient sighs before another loud bang on the door – this time it was more like Alex her hit it in frustration.

 

            “Dammit, Kara, open the fucking door,” Alex snapped. “You can’t ignore me forever.”

 

            Listening to her sister’s muttered curses, Kara stayed firmly planted in her dark corner, brooding over her sister’s betrayal. It had been almost three weeks, and Kara was still giving her the cold soldier.

 

            “Luthor!” Alex shouted, turning away from Kara’s door. She walked over to the door opposite Kara’s and started knocking on it. “Which apartment are you in? It’s Danvers, open your door. It’s important.”

 

            The sound of a chain unlocking and a door opening drifted towards Kara’s ears. “Danvers, what the hell are you doing? It’s six o’clock in the fucking morning.”

 

            “Tell my sister to open her door,” Alex ordered her. “She’s still ignoring me.”

 

            “I’m not in charge of her,” Lena snorted. “Have you maybe tried asking nicely? Apologising maybe?”

 

            “How the fuck am I going to apologise when she won’t answer the door? And yes, I tried apologising last time I was over, but considering the fact that she ignored me for the total three minutes I was there, it didn't go so well,” Alex snapped.

 

            “You know she can hear our entire conversation right now, so you know, you could probably apologise from the bottom floor and she’d hear you,” Lena grumbled, clearly irritated. “Kara, I know you’re eavesdropping – open your bloody door so your sister stops waking up the entire building. I’m trying to sleep.”

 

            With a sigh, Kara flitted over to the door and unlocked it. Two pairs of eyes stared at her from across the hall, and Kara rolled her eyes as she stood aside for Alex to come inside. Her sister stomped over and brushed past her, leaving Lena stood in the doorway, looking slightly dishevelled as she tried to hide behind her door.

 

            “Sorry,” Kara loudly whispered, giving her an apologetic look as she took in the bunny slippers that Lena was wearing. “Nice slippers.”

 

            Lena blushed and shut her door without a word, leaving Kara smiling after her. She snapped out of it at Alex’s irritated voice coming from behind her. “Are you going to pine after her all day or come back inside?”

 

            Kara felt a flicker of embarrassment as she shut the door and turned to face Alex, who stared blindly back at her. “It’s like a fucking cave in here,” Alex grumbled.

 

            “Oh sorry, let me just open a window,” Kara sarcastically replied, darting over to the lamp near Alex and flicking it on. Alex let out a startled shout as Kara stood illuminated a foot in front of her.

 

            “Fucking hell, don’t do that!” Alex yelled, a hand clutching her chest as Kara listened to her erratic heart with amusement. Taking a couple of deep breaths, Alex managed to slow her heart down as she looked at Kara with interest. “So, what’ve you been doing?”

 

            “I was reading,” Kara answered, crossing her arms over her chest.

 

            “Anything good?” Alex ventured, trying to diffuse the tension. Kara gave her an unimpressed look, and Alex nodded slightly. “Right. I’ll cut to the chase then; I’m sorry. I lied to you, and I know that it was wrong, and I wish that I didn’t have to have lied to you, but I did. It was out of my control, there’s all sorts of legal stuff involved in the department and I couldn’t tell you even if I wanted to, but you still have every right to be pissed at me. I just- I miss my sister.”

 

            Kara swallowed the lump in her throat. “I miss you too.”

 

            “I don’t want you to be mad at me anymore, Kara,” Alex whispered, a pained look on her face. “I want to help you. You’ve only let me come in a handful of times, and only when it was necessary. We’ve barely spoken – you used to call or see me everyday. I’ve missed you telling me about your day. I’m just- I’m sorry. I can’t change the past, and what’s done is done, but I don’t want you to go through this alone. There’s so much that you don’t know.”

 

            “That’s why I was reading,” Kara mumbled.

 

            “I can help!” Alex eagerly offered. “What are you trying to find out?”

 

            “Why am I like this? How?” Kara asked. It was the one question she couldn’t find an answer to. The only sources were from fantasy books of myths and legends that was usually accompanied by witches, ghosts and werewolves.

 

            Alex hesitated for a second. “Maybe we should sit down.”

 

            “Right,” Kara mumbled. “Drink?”

 

            “Coffee please,” Alex replied, sitting down at the dinner table.

 

            Kara set a fresh pot to brew, and pottered around the kitchen. “I don’t have any milk – it went bad because … well I haven’t been drinking it.”

 

            “Black is fine,” Alex assured her. A few minutes later Kara set a cup down in front of her and took the seat opposite. “Okay, so, um, it’s a virus. It’s starts off just like swine flu or something like that. A virus specific to a different species that adapts in the new host. It’s passed on through saliva but there’s a whole process to it. You have to have vampire blood in your system first, and then you have to contract the virus through saliva – a bite is the quickest way – but all of that is useless if you aren’t drained of all your blood. It has to be in that order too.”

 

            “Drained of all my blood? I wasn’t drained though,” Kara argued. “I left the club and … and I came home.”

 

            “Did you though?”

 

            Kara hesitated, and uncertain look on her face. “I-I don’t know. I remember leaving – I had a strange feeling. I left the club, I’m sure of it, and the next thing I know, I woke up in bed.”

 

            “You were drinking – you probably blacked out,” Alex explained. “But you were definitely drained. Without it the virus can’t take hold of the host. It’s like … it’s like when you have a cold, or the chicken pox, and the virus invades your body, but your body fights back and your cells become stronger. You can fight it off next time. Only, this virus takes control and then makes your cells stronger instead of the other way around. And once you're turned, your body fights back against any human cells - turning them with the virus. That’s why you’re stronger, and faster, and you don’t need human bodily functions.”

 

            “Oh,” Kara quietly exclaimed. It made sense, from a biological perspective, but it was strange to think of it in terms of a virus. Just a normal virus, like a common cold.

 

            “It’s also why you need blood to survive. Your body can’t create new cells – they just shrivel up and die, and well, if you don’t feed then you just starve, and you stop functioning and you start to dessicate. The blood cells you get from feeding replenish the ones that die off, and the vampiric qualities are stronger than them so your body just takes over the human blood cells too – just like a human body fighting off invading cancer cells. Blood cells last around a hundred days, so you don’t have to feed that often – maybe like once a fortnight, although of course it's better if you do feed more often, just as a precaution. Your immortality comes from the fact that your vampiric cells regenerate if anything that happens to you, paired with the fact that your body doesn’t function like a human’s anymore. So there’s that.”

 

            “Immortality,” Kara said, her voice trembling slightly. “So that part’s true.”

 

            “Sorry. I know this is a lot to process,” Alex said, reaching across the table to rest her hand on top of Kara’s.

 

            “It’s okay. I just- I want to know the truth. No more lies.”

 

            “No more lies,” Alex promised. She hesitated slightly. “Well I ca-“

 

            “No more lies, unless it’s something confidential about work,” Kara amended, and Alex gave her a grateful smile.

 

            “Thank you,” Alex said, her relief evident in her voice. “And I’m still really sorry that I lied to you.”

 

            Kara grimaced slightly. “I know. I just- we’ve always told each other everything - or at least I thought we did – and it hurt to find out that wasn’t true.”

 

            “I’m sorry,” Alex whispered.

 

            “Hey, I forgive you,” Kara said, squeezing her sister’s hand. “Sister’s fight right?”

 

            “God, you don’t always have to be so forgiving, Kara. You’re allowed to be mad and you’re allowed to not give a shit about my feelings. You don’t have to try and make me feel better for lying to you,” Alex snorted, shaking her head.

 

            “I know,” Kara shrugged. “But I don’t want to. I want us to be okay again. It’s been like three weeks; I don’t like being bitter. It makes me feel worse.”

 

            “Fair enough,” Alex mumbled. “How’re you doing? Really.”

 

            “I don’t know,” Kara admitted. “It’s all …”

 

            “Yeah, I know,” Alex sighed.

 

            Kara gave her a grim smile. “It’s not all bad. At least I know what’s happening now. It’s just hard – sometimes I forget that I can move inhumanly fast, or the other day when I spilt some rice on the floor when I was cleaning out my cupboards, and I spent an hour counting all of the grains. It freaked me out.”

 

            “I’ve seen it all before. I know it takes some adjusting … but I can help a little. I already blacked out the windows for you, but you need to get rid of anything silver – you’ve clearly already taken your earrings out so I gather that you know it burns … and well, the silver tipped stake that Lucy stabbed you with. You also need to throw out anything that might make you compulsively count. Throw out your clock so you stop counting the seconds. Maybe consider seeing a therapist maybe to help with the compulsion.”

 

            “A therapist? How many do you know that work night time hours?” Kara asked, arching an eyebrow.

 

            “Right – the sun,” Alex murmured. “The wood too – what wood is this table made from?”

 

            “I don’t know, oak maybe?” Kara shrugged, looking slightly puzzled. “Why?”

 

            “There’s a lengthy list of wood that will be extremely painful if you get a splinter. You’ll probably be safe, but you might not want to risk it. Some herbs and flowers too. I’ll send you a copy.”

 

            “Right,” Kara nodded.

 

            Alex sighed. “Just, stay safe, okay? You might not be as vulnerable as a human, but you’re even more vulnerable in other ways. I don’t want to lose you.”

 

            Kara was at Alex’s side in a flash, and her hands hovered inches away from her sister. She wanted to feel the comfort of another’s touch again – she’d had minimal human contact in weeks, and her self-imposed exile had worn her out. The thought that Alex might not want to get too close to her crossed her mind though, which was why Kara stopped herself from touching her – her ice cold skin was hardly comforting. Alex rose out of her seat and wrapped her sister in a hug, holding her tightly as she stroked her hair.

 

            “I love you,” Kara murmured into Alex’s shoulder.

 

            “Yeah, I love you too, kid,” Alex said, giving her a quick squeeze.

 

---

 

            Alex didn’t stay long – she had to go to work to work on their strategy for Cadmus’ rogue vampire problem – leaving Kara home alone. To pass the time she got some trash bags and started dumping anything that was harmful or useless into the bags, ridding her apartment of anything that she didn’t need in her new life. She did keep some things though, like her winter coats and tinned food that wouldn’t expire for at least a decade, even if only for appearances sake.

 

            As soon as the sun started to set, Kara dashed downstairs and threw all of her trash in a dumpster, startling a few cats who hissed at her when they caught her scent. Admittedly, she’d never owned a pet before, but Miss Grant’s cats had always come to rub up against her legs, and Kara felt slightly betrayed that they skittered off as she approached.

 

            Miserably walking back upstairs, Kara’s slight frown turned into a smile as she saw Lena leaning against the wall next to Kara’s door. She looked up at the flicker of movement as Kara neared her, a smile crossing her face as she watched Kara silently approach. “Hi, I didn’t hear you leave.”

 

            “Sorry, I was just taking some trash downstairs, now that the sun’s down,” Kara explained. “Sorry about earlier, with my sister.”

 

            “No problem,” Lena said, waving her hand as if to brush away Kara’s apology. “Is, uh, everything okay between you two?”

 

            Kara sighed, walking over to her door and unlocking it. “Yeah, I’ve just been pushing her away a bit. I was mad and … adjusting. I wasn’t in the mood to deal with both.”

 

            “Speaking of adjusting, that’s actually why I’m here,” Lena told her, pushing off the wall and following Kara inside her apartment. Lena blinked as her eyes adjusted to the dark, and then back to the light as Kara turned a lamp on for her. “Do you have any plans tonight?”

 

            “Why? You got a hot date planned for us? More Twilight movies?” Kara joked, giving Lena a quick smile. She took in Lena’s exasperated look and laughed. “I was, uh, just going to hang out here. Maybe go up to the roof and look at the stars. The usual.”

 

            “Any chance you could cancel those exciting plans?” Lena asked, tilting her head slightly as she raised her eyebrows suggestively.

 

            “Already cancelled,” Kara smiled brightly at her. “Let me just get my coat - not that I need it.”

 

            “Great!” Lena said, walking over to the door and watching with concealed amazement as she watched Kara zip around the apartment, barely more than a white blur. A moment later, she had her shoes on and coat zipped up, and Lena looked at her with amusement, shrugging when Kara questioned her. Lena was just thinking about how Kara’s pastel cardigan and Keds were going to fit in with the place she was taking her to.

 

            Opening the door, Kara waved Lena ahead of her, and Lena watched with pity as Kara checked, re-checked and checked again to make sure her door was locked.

 

---

 

            They walked a few blocks away – Lena bundled up with a scarf and gloves as she shivered slightly at the wind that still managed to creep in, and Kara with her hands jammed in her pockets as she tried to stop herself from taking Lena’s hand in her own to see if they were just as cold. Walking up a dark alleyway, Kara kept a watchful eye on Lena, making sure that she didn’t trip over anything in the dark.

 

            “We’re here,” Lena mumbled as her foot struck metal, and Kara looked around in confusion.

 

            “Lena, we’re not anywhere.”

 

            Taking a step back and crouching down, Lena pulled the manhole cover up and looked up at Kara. Her teeth were white in the dark as she flashed her a smile. “After you.”

 

            “Down there? In the sewers? Kara asked, her eyebrows shooting up in surprise, and her nose wrinkling slightly in disgust.

 

            “You’re a vampire, Kara. There’s nothing down there that can hurt you,” Lena said, rolling her eyes slightly. “It’s more dangerous for me than you. Don’t you trust me?”

 

            “I trust you,” Kara immediately replied, peering over the edge of the hole in the ground. There was no ladder, but Kara could see the ground, and it wasn’t a long drop. With a quick smile at Lena, she crouched down and lowered herself into the hole, holding onto the edge by her fingertips, before letting go and landing in a crouch. She was in a tunnel – even darker than it was outside, and she could hear the faint sound of music thumping and people talking nearby.

 

            “Um, you’re going to have to catch me, please,” Lena’s voice floated down to Kara, who looked up as a pair of feet came through the hole, followed by the rest of Lena. “Ready?”

 

            “Mhm,” Kara assured her, standing beneath her. A second later Lena let go and Kara easily caught her, cradling her gently in her arms before lowering her to the ground and setting her on her feet. They were close, and while Kara could see every detail on Lena’s face, Lena’s hands blindly felt along Kara’s shoulders, trying to orient herself in the dark. There was an eyelash resting on one of Lena’s prominent cheekbones, and Kara’s fingers darted out to pluck it off her face.

 

            “Eyelash,” Kara whispered in explanation. “Make a wish.”

 

            Lena’s warm hands blindly reached out for Kara’s hand, holding it in her own as she gently blew the eyelash away with a quiet laugh. They were standing so close, and Kara wondered if Lena could feel the energy surrounding them, or if it was all in her head. Kara opened her mouth to say something – she wasn’t sure what – but was cut off by Lena, who beat her to the chase. “This way.”

 

            She dropped Kara’s hand and blindly walked in one direction, leaving Kara cradling her hand in the other as she thought about Lena’s warm, slender fingers touching her. Shaking herself out of it, Kara trailed after Lena, the sound of the partying growing louder as they neared the source. At the end of the tunnel they came to a heavy metal door, and Lena gestured for Kara to open it. It was heavy, and something about the layout of this whole thing made Kara suspect that it was a place made for vampires, and she was curious to see the inside.

 

            Opening the door, a massive open space revealed a thriving nightclub painted red by the strobe lights flashing in sync with the music. There were dozens of people writhing on the dancefloor, and Kara was surprised to find that there were equal numbers of heartbeats and no heartbeats. “It’s a vampire club,” Lena shouted over the music, holding her hand out as she let a ghostly pale man stamp her with a design in red ink. Kara smiled at the fact that Lena shouted as if Kara wouldn’t hear her otherwise, and she let the man stamp her too before going further into the club.

 

            “You didn’t tell me we were going to a club,” Kara shouted, her lips hovering near Lena’s ears so that she could make herself heard. “I would’ve worn something a little less … librarian-y.”

 

            Lena smiled as she looked at Kara. “You look perfect the way you are.”

 

            Rolling her eyes, Kara smiled, following Lena over to a dark corner. They shrugged out of their coats and sat down at a booth. “I’ll get us some drinks,” Lena shouted, moving through the crowd as she made her way towards the bar.

 

            Kara looked around in amazement, taking in the dozens of people with a sickly pallor to their skin, and a hungry look in their eyes. She didn’t like the stares that Lena was attracting as she made her way to the bar, and Kara’s mind flickered to her words earlier – it was more dangerous for her than Kara. She wanted to leave, she didn’t want to put Lena in unnecessary danger. Keeping a watchful eye on her, Kara watched as Lena squeezed through the crowd, carefully balancing two drinks as she tried not to spill any.

 

            “I-I don’t think we should be here,” Kara shouted as Lena set a drink down in front of her.

 

            “What do you mean?” Lena frowned, taking a sip of her own. Her red lipstick left a smudge on the wineglass, and Kara swallowed as she turned her eyes away – she wanted to smudge that perfect lipstick.

 

            “It’s too dangerous for you,” Kara told her. “I don’t want you to get hurt.”

 

            To Kara’s surprise, Lena laughed, a faint smirk gracing her face as she stared at Kara. “It’s safe. As safe as a normal nightclub at any rate. Cadmus know about these pop-up places – they monitor them. Everyone has stamps on entry, and if a dead body shows up with a stamp and two holes in their neck, they get to the bottom of it. No one feeds here, although some humans do choose to go home with them and let them feed off them. Everyone here knows - humans can't really get in without a vampire's help or special equipment.”

 

            Kara didn’t look too convinced, and she frowned slightly as she picked up her own drink. “It’s not the first time I’ve been to one of these,” Lena told her. “There’s more than you think. My mom doesn’t know, of course, and I doubt she’d be too happy about it, so if you could keep this a secret from your sister, that would be appreciated.”

 

            “I won’t lie to her,” Kara told Lena. “But she won’t tell your mom.”

 

            “I trust your judgement,” Lena nodded, “now please try and enjoy yourself, even just a little.” Kara brought her glass to her lips, taking a sip and choking on it. She fought down the urge to spit it out, and swallowed as quickly as possible, coughing slightly as it made its way down.

 

            “What the hell,” Kara frowned, eyeing the glass. “What did you give me?”

 

            “It’s called a Hot Haemo – it’s AB blood, tequila, paprika and hot sauce,” Lena explained. “They obviously cater to vampires here. They’ve got the Anaemic – pig’s blood, vodka, salt and red grenadine. Dracula’s Worst Nightmare – that one’s got garlic in it and I’m not sure why anyone would want to drink it, but the more hardcore vampires like to play with fire. Eternity must get boring after a while, so why not make yourself sick, right?”

 

            “Sounds fun,” Kara murmured, and Lena frowned slightly, the words inaudible to her ears, but Kara’s gloominess evident despite it.

 

            “Hey, is everything okay?” Lena asked, reaching across the table to touch Kara’s hand. She looked up, meeting Lena’s gaze. Her skin was bathed red, and her eyes reflected the flashing strobe lights. It was almost possible to believe that she was one of the vampires – a stereotypical classical type, with her pale, flawless skin and dark hair spilling around her shoulders. If it wasn’t for the feeling of warmth in her hands, or the fact that Kara could faintly hear the sound of her heart, she would’ve fit right in.

 

            “I just- I don’t-” Kara sighed in frustration, running a hand through her hair. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before opening them again. “Does the thought of me sat a foot away from you drinking blood not freak you out? You’re acting as if this is all totally normal.”

 

            “Why should it freak me out? It’s like saying that a cat eating a mouse should freak me out. Some species survive on different food. It’s the hierarchy – most people just don’t know that vampires are at the top,” Lena shrugged. “And it is normal – for a lot of people, as you can see. I’ve known about vampires my entire life, Kara, it’s nothing new to me. I just want you to feel comfortable. If you’re more comfortable not drinking it, then you don’t have to, but please don’t starve yourself for my benefit.”

 

            Kara blinked in surprise – Lena didn’t seem the least bit put off by Kara being a vampire. She wasn’t just faking it, she genuinely didn’t care, and it confused Kara a little. Lena had said that she hadn’t changed as a person, and she hadn’t, but that didn’t mean that people were always accepting of differences. Raising her glass to her lips, Kara took another sip, this time she wasn’t taken off guard by the burning sensation on top of the metallic taste of the blood. It was actually quite nice, but Kara couldn’t help but think that it was just because her hunger had flared up at the first sip.

 

---

 

            They were drunk - Lena more so than Kara because of her human body’s inability to process it as fast as Kara’s could. Lena had insisted that Kara make her way through the vampire selection of drinks – avoiding Dracula’s Worst Nightmare for the time being – and their table held a cluster of glasses. They’d been talking for hours, gravitating closer together so that Lena could hear Kara over the sound of the music. With no secrets between them, Kara found it easy to have fun with Lena, and a part of her dimly realised that this was actually the first time they’d been out of their apartments together.

 

            “Let’s dance,” Lena said, jerking her head towards the dancefloor.

 

            Kara laughed, shaking her head as she wrinkled her nose. “I don’t dance.”

 

            Lena smiled, reaching out for Kara’s hand as she raised an eyebrow. Her eyes drilled into Kara’s, and she found herself hypnotised by Lena’s stare, her hand finding its way into Lena’s of its own accord. And then she was being pulled out of her seat and Lena was leaning up to whisper in Kara’s ear. “Dance with me.”

 

            Letting herself be led onto the dancefloor, Kara stared at Lena as if she was in a dream. The music, the lights, the alcohol and the tightly packed crowd all added to the intoxicating effect of being near Lena. Feeling the pounding rhythm of the music through the floor, Kara started to dance, her eyes trained on Lena, who had her eyes closed as she swayed slightly to the beat. Her eyes opened, and Kara quickly looked down, embarrassed at being caught staring. Warm hands cupped her chin, lifting Kara’s head up so that she was eye to eye with Lena, whose hands slid along Kara’s jaw, down the sides of her neck and came to rest on her shoulders. Lena leant up again, this time her lips gently brushed against Kara’s ear, sending shivers down her spine as she whispered. “Dance with me.”

 

            Kara’s arms wrapped around Lena’s waist, holding her close as they swayed to the music. She could feel Lena’s breath on her neck, feel the warmth of her body pressed up against her own, and Kara closed her eyes, listening to the rapid heartbeat against her chest. Opening her eyes, she saw Lena staring at her, and she smiled slightly, feeling dazed. Bringing one hand up, Kara brushed Lena’s hair out of her face, gently touching their foreheads together. If Kara had a heartbeat she knew it’d be racing a mile a minute, just like Lena’s was right now.

 

            Opening her mouth, Kara wasn’t able to find her voice, and quickly closed it again. What would she say anyway? She was drunk, she wasn’t thinking straight, but she knew that she didn’t want to let Lena go. Trying again, Kara opened her mouth slightly. “I-I want to ki-“

 

            And she didn’t even have enough time to finish her sentence before Lena’s lips were on hers, and her hands were tangled in Kara’s hair. Frozen beneath her touch, Kara couldn’t move. Lena was kissing her, and it was better than Kara thought it would be, and she was so shocked that she couldn’t even kiss her back properly. Pulling back, leaving Kara trailing after her lips to recapture them, Lena looked at her with wide eyes, as if she couldn't believe she'd just kissed her.

 

            “Kill?” she hoarsely asked. “Did you mean kill?”

 

            “Kiss,” Kara breathlessly whispered, and then her lips were on Lena’s again, and this time she was kissing her back with a hunger that rivalled her desire to feed. It was like everything slowed down, and the music faded into the background, and Kara wasn’t even aware that she was in the club. All that she knew was that she was kissing Lena, and they were pressed up against each other and Kara didn’t want it to end.

 

            It was different than she thought. She wasn’t scared, and sure, she had butterflies, but she wasn’t nervous either. She was calm. A stillness had surrounded them, and everything felt quiet and right. There was no other word for it; it just felt right for her to be wrapped up in Lena, and Kara had never been so sure of anything in her life.

 

            As Lena pulled back again, everything came flooding back, nearly overwhelming Kara’s senses as she stood frozen in the middle of the dancefloor, one hand pressed against Lena’s hip and the other tangled in her hair.

 

            “What happens when we’re sober?” Kara asked, just loud enough to be heard over the music.

 

            “I don’t know,” Lena whispered, and if it wasn’t for Kara’s sensitive hearing, she would’ve missed it. Her thumb trailed along Lena’s cheekbone, and her eyes darted down to the smudged lipstick and Kara smiled as she looked back up, meeting Lena’s hungry gaze. Their lips found their way back together, and Kara smiled slightly as she pushed back against Lena’s lips, tasting the wine that she’d been drinking all night.

Chapter Text

            They’d stayed out late, stumbling home drunk in the early hours of the morning, laughing and getting themselves lost as the wandered back to their building. Kara could feel herself sobering up slightly by the time she’d helped Lena up to their floor. She’d snatched up Lena’s keys when she dropped them, unlocking the door and helping her inside. Helping her over to the bed, Kara had taken Lena’s coat and shoes off and draped the blanket over her, smiling slightly before whispering goodnight and returning to her own apartment across the hall.

 

            It wasn’t until late morning that Kara heard the sound of Lena stirring in her apartment. Turning on her coffee pot, Kara started brewing some coffee, feeling her nerves rising. She’d spent the past few hours sobering up and thinking about what had happened last night. They’d kissed. They’d kissed all night, unable to keep their hands off each other as they danced, and then more later on as they huddled up in their booth for more drinks. Lena had said that she didn’t know what would happen when they were sober, and neither did Kara, but she was about to find out.

 

            Pouring two cups of coffee, and adding a splash of blood to her own, Kara juggled the cups and let herself out into the hall. Taking a deep breath, she collected herself and awkwardly tried to knock on the door without spilling any coffee. It didn’t go so well, and as Lena opened the door, Kara was in the process of spilling coffee all down the front of her t-shirt.

 

            “Oh, shit,” Kara muttered, looking down at the reddish-brown stain that was seeping into the material. She’d luckily managed to save Lena’s cup, and held it out as she gave Lena an embarrassed smile. “Coffee?”

 

            “Thank you,” Lena laughed, taking the cup and eyeing Kara with amusement. “Would you like to come in?”

 

            “Thank you,” Kara mumbled, slipping past Lena and wincing at the brightness of the apartment as she stood in the shadows near the door. Lena quickly set her coffee down and darted over to the windows, closing the curtains and plunging them into darkness. “So, um, how are you feeling?”

 

            “Better than I thought I would be feeling,” Lena admitted. “We drank a lot, and I know that because it takes a lot to get me drunk.”

 

            Kara felt a sinking feeling inside – she was going to play the drunk card, and brush it off as if it had never happened. Nodding slightly, Kara stood there playing with the bottom of her soaked shirt. “Oh! Right. Let me get you something dry,” Lena said, realising that Kara was still wearing her drink.

 

            She disappeared into a room and returned a moment later with a sweatshirt, and waved Kara towards another door. “The sleeves might be a little short, but it’s dry. There’s towels in there too.”

 

            Murmuring her thanks, Kara took the sweatshirt and slipped into the bathroom. Stripping off the wet shirt clinging to her skin, she dried herself off and pulled Lena’s sweatshirt on, enveloping herself in the comforting scent of Lena’s washing powder and perfume. The sleeves were an inch too short and Lena smiled in amusement as she watched Kara walk out with the neatly folded towel. Walking towards her, Lena took the towel out of her hands and threw it onto the counter.

 

            “So, um, last night … do you-“

 

            “Yes,” Lena cut her off. “I remember. I remember everything. Is that why you’re so nervous?”

 

            Kara laughed nervously, fiddling with the drawstrings on the hood as she looked down. “Yes.”

 

            “What’s wrong?” Lena asked, reaching out to still Kara’s hand.

 

            “I don’t know where we stand,” Kara admitted, meeting Lena’s gaze. “You said you didn’t know what would happen in the morning. I don’t want to hold anything against you, but I just- I don’t want to pretend like it … like it never happened.”

 

            “What did it mean to you?” Lena asked, tilting her head to the side as she curiously stared at Kara, her own hand replacing Kara’s as she fiddled with the strings, giving one a playful tug as she smiled.

 

            “More than I think it should’ve,” Kara admitted with an embarrassed smile. “What did you want it to mean?”

 

            “I think you already know the answer to that,” Lena murmured, reaching up to cup Kara’s cheek. It was warm, and Kara turned to stone beneath her touch, barely daring to breathe.

 

            “It meant … everything,” Kara breathlessly whispered, and then Lena’s lips were on hers, softly kissing her as she gently cradled her face in her hands. It was brief, barely the brief brush of her lips against Kara’s, and then they were gone again.

 

            Lena smiled, brushing a lock of hair out of Kara’s surprised face. “I think that let’s you know where I stand at least,” Lena laughed.

 

            “Why though?” Kara blurted out, her teeth worrying at her lip.

 

            Raising her eyebrows, Lena gave her a questioning look. “Why what? Why did I kiss you? Why do I think that let’s you know where I stand? Why is the sky blue?”

 

            “Why did you kiss me?” Kara rolled her eyes, following Lena over to the sofa and sitting down at the opposite end.

 

            “Because I wanted to,” Lena shrugged, plainly stating it as if it was obvious. “Have for a long time actually. Now, why did you kiss me?”

 

            Kara laughed. “How could I not want to? You know part of the reason that I didn’t realise I was a vampire was because I wanted to kiss you so badly that I didn’t even realise it was hunger, not just … attraction.”

 

            “How flattering,” Lena laughed. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

 

            “I would’ve preferred to keep it to myself than risk you pushing me away. I actually like your company, you know,” Kara admitted, and she knew her face would be bright red if she could blush.

 

            “I like your company too, but thank god for alcohol, right?” Lena laughed. “It truly is liquid courage.”

 

            “Doesn’t the fact that I’m a- well, you know what I am. Doesn’t that bother you? I have fangs, Lena,” Kara said, her forehead wrinkling in concern.

 

            Lena hesitated, a torn look on her face as she stared at Kara. “I told you I moved here after a messy breakup, and that I’ve been to those vampire hangouts before … my ex used to take me there. He was like you.”

 

            “Oh,” Kara softly exclaimed. “So this doesn’t bother you at all then.”

 

            “No,” Lena agreed. She gave Kara an uncertain look. “Is-is that okay with you? That I’ve dated a vampire in the past?”

 

            Kara snorted, rolling her eyes at Lena. “I’ve dated before too, you know. Maybe not supernatural beings, but I think it still works the same way. Besides, I think it’s actually kind of reassuring for this … whatever this is.”

 

            “Whatever this is?” Lena asked, arching an eyebrow. Kara shrugged self-consciously, fiddling with her hands in her lap.

 

            “I just- I don’t want to assume too much,” Kara admitted.

 

            “So, where do you stand?”

 

            Fiddling with the drawstrings on the hood again, Kara looked down at her lap, a thoughtful expression on her face. “I’m just a little confused.”

 

            “Oh, well that’s okay. Have you never been in a relationship with a woman before?” Lena asked.

 

            “Not about that! I mean, no, I haven’t, but I’ve never really been in a full on real, proper one with a guy before either – just some casual dating. Why have yo-, wait, never mind, that’s beside the point anyway. I meant that I was confused about … us.”

 

            “Yes, I have been in a relationship with a woman before. She actually owns all the vampire hangouts in all the major cities – including this one. She wasn’t a vampire when we dated – we were still in boarding school at the time - but yeah. Now, what are you confused about?”

 

            “You went to boarding school?” Kara asked, her eyebrows shooting up as she looked at Lena in amusement.

 

            Lena gave her an exasperated look. “That’s the part that you’re focusing on?”

 

            “Right, yeah, good point. Um, I just- well, you said you don’t have any friends, and I thought we were friends. So I just don’t really get why you would want to kiss me when you never really wanted me to get close to you,” Kara explained with a slight grimace.

 

            Kara was surprised by the laugh that escaped Lena’s mouth, and the humour in her tone as she smiled at Kara. “You think that I didn’t want to get close to you? I said we weren’t friends because I didn’t want us to be friends, Kara. I wanted us to be more than that. I’ve been dropping hints since I moved in and we first got to talking.”

 

            “Wait, you’ve been flirting with me?” Kara asked, frowning slightly.

 

            “For at least the past three months – thanks for noticing,” Lena said, a faint smile playing on her lips as she looked at Kara.

 

            “I just thought you were being nice.”

 

            Lena snorted with laughter. “Nice? No, I’m not nice to people. Ever. In fact, I find people generally intolerable, but I’ve been told that’s my own paranoia and trust issues.”

 

            “Oh come on, I’m supposed to believe that you’re some big, tough, scary person? You’ve blushed at least five times since you let me into your apartment,” Kara reminded her.

 

            Lena’s cheeks warmed slightly again. “Well that’s different. And yes, I’m actually very scary at work – not that I try, but being the daughter of the owner of a nationwide vampire hunting company gives you that kind of rep without even trying.”

 

            “No offence, but your mom is terrifying,” Kara admitted, and Lena let out a cold laugh.

 

            “I’ll say. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her be affectionate – ever. When I was six I was sent to self defence lessons, and on my sixteenth birthday she gave me a stake, and I think that was as far as her caring for me has ever gone.”

 

            “Self defence?” Kara asked, raising her eyebrows slightly.

 

            “Black belt in five kinds of martial arts,” Lena smugly told her. “I could put you on your ass in less than a minute.”

 

            “Oh yeah?” Kara said, a challenge in her voice.

 

            Even with her vampire senses, Lena moved too fast for Kara, and she was too shocked to dart out of the way. She found herself on her back, with Lena straddling her, and the silver point of a stake pressing into her ribs. If it wasn’t for the sweatshirt, Kara was sure that her skin would be sizzling beneath the touch of the metal. With a wide-eyed look, Kara stared up at Lena, who was smirking as she added a little bit more pressure to the stake – a reminder that if she’d really wanted it, Kara would be truly dead. “Oh,” Kara mumbled faintly.

 

            Leaning down, Lena’s hair spilt down one side of her neck, exposing the pale skin on the other side as she brought her lips to Kara’s ear. “A fact for you; I don’t like to lose – ever.”

 

            Her lips grazed Kara’s earlobe, and she shivered at the touch, drawing in a shaky breath. The closeness of Lena’s exposed throat, on top of her body pressed up against Kara’s, was enough to have Kara feeling very nervous. “Lena, your throat,” Kara whispered, her voice coming out hoarse.

 

            Sitting upright in Kara’s lap, Lena shot her a slightly startled look. “Sorry! Are you okay? Do you need some blood? When was the last time you fed properly?”

 

            “I’m fine,” Kara brushed away her concern. “I just don’t trust myself – not around you.”

 

            “I trust you,” Lena told her, slowly climbing off the top of her and walking over to her fridge. She pulled out a bottle and carried it back over to Kara, handing it to her before sitting down next to her, her legs crossed as she watched her. Feeling embarrassed, Kara fiddled with the bottle, too shy to drink in front of Lena.

 

            “It’s not just the fact that I might … bite you. I’m strong now, and I forget sometimes, and when I’m near you I want to-“

 

            “What?” Lena asked, her curiosity piqued.

 

            Kara mumbled intelligibly, ducking her head down and avoiding Lena’s gaze. Gentle fingers lifted her chin, brushing her hair out of her face. “Hey, it’s okay. It was fine earlier, right? And last night?”

 

            “But what if I forget? Just for a second? I could accidentally kill you,” Kara protested.

 

            Lena gave her a faint smile. “You won’t forget. Drink up.”

 

            “I’m good actually,” Kara mumbled.

 

            “Kara, it’s fine. You can drink in front of me. I’ve seen vampires drink more times than I can count – it’s not going to scare me away. Besides, it’s a new blend I’ve been working on – I want your opinion.”

 

            With a quiet sigh, Kara unscrewed the bottle cap and took a small sip. It was surprisingly good, and she gave Lena her approval. “So is this what you’re working on at Cadmus?”

 

            “No, this is just a little personal project – for you,” Lena explained. “I know you don’t like to, but you should still drink some human blood. This will probably make you weaker than you should be, which might slow healing, strength, senses. I’m not too sure yet, but just drink both as a precaution.”

 

            “Right. Got it.”

 

            Lena’s phone started buzzing on the coffee table, and she stretched forward to pick it up, grumbling as she looked at the name on the screen, apologising to Kara when she said that she had to take it.

 

            “Yes. I’ll be there as soon as I can.” She sighed as she hung up, giving Kara an apologetic smile. “Duty calls. We’ve got a case of a vampire who’s been silver bombed by a bounty hunter – not very pretty.”

 

            “I’ll get out of your hair,” Kara said, internally wincing at the thought of being covered with silver powder, and biting back a dozen questions about bounty hunters. She stood up, taking her bottle of blood with her as Lena walked her to the door. Opening the door, Kara hesitated as she rounded on Lena.

 

            “So, thanks for the coffee,” Lena said with a smile. “Sorry that we didn’t get to finish our talk.”

 

            Kara let out a quiet laugh. “I think we got a little off topic anyway.”

 

            “I’ll call you later?” Lena said, a hopeful look on her face.

 

            “Sure,” Kara agreed, her eyes crinkling at the corners as she smiled. Reaching up, she brushed the hair out of Lena’s face. “Have a good day at work.”

 

            “Have a good day … not burning in the sun?” Lena said, smiling at the smile that flashed across Kara’s face. “Or whatever it is you’ll be doing all day.”

 

            Kara hesitated in the most human way possible. In the way a person hesitates before they kiss someone they like, knowing that they like them back, but still uncertain about whether they should do it. She did though, cupping Lena’s cheek and leaning down slightly to press a feather light kiss to her lips. Unsure of her own strength, Kara didn’t risk anything more, but it wasn’t enough for Lena, and she brought her hands up to tangle in Kara’s hair and crushed their lips together in a hard kiss.

 

            They broke apart a moment later, and both of them were breathing a little harder, and Kara looked slightly dazed as she stumbled across the hall, to her apartment. It took her three tries to fit the key in her lock, and Kara could hear Lena’s quiet laughter behind her as she practically fell into her apartment. Righting herself as gracefully as possible, Kara turned to give Lena an embarrassed smile.

 

            “Bye,” she said, smiling dopily as she gazed at Lena, who was watching her with amusement.

 

            “Bye,” Lena said, smirking slightly as she pushed off the doorframe and stepped into her apartment, shutting the door behind her. The last glimpse of her that Kara had was of those green eyes sparkling with humour. As Kara shut her own door, she stood still, listening to Lena’s slightly elevated heart rate, and smiled as she realised that there was no sound of movement. She could picture Lena stood there, leaning against her door as she touched her tingling lips, just like Kara was doing at that very moment.

 

            With wonder, Kara went over the events of the morning.

 

            She was somehow possibly dating Lena Luthor.

Chapter Text

            Kara was on the rooftop, her telescope set up so that she could watch the stars, and she was in the middle of counting all the stars in the Hydra constellation – she already knew how many there were, but she couldn’t stop herself. It was past midnight, and the faint sound of a familiar heartbeat approached. Smiling to herself, Kara pulled away from the telescope, closing her eyes as she listened to the sound of Lena coming home. A part of her wanted to go back downstairs and see her, but she figured that Lena would be tired, so Kara stayed on the roof, listening to the weary footsteps make their way down their hallway.

 

            They paused, not going into their apartment, and Kara’s eyes flew open at the sound of Lena’s voice. “Kara?”

 

            In a flash, she dropped down onto the fire escape in a lithe crouch, before straightening up and climbing in through her open window. She was at her door in an instant, unlocking it and in the process of running a hand through her windswept hair as she opened it to reveal a tired looking Lena.

 

            “Hi,” Kara smiled at her, and Lena’s face broke into an answering smile. “How was work?”

 

            “Tedious,” Lena grumbled, walking inside as Kara opened the door wider – Lena was clearly here to stay. She was already unwinding her scarf and unbuttoning her coat when she shivered at the freezing cold of Kara’s apartment, quickly reversing her actions.

 

            “Sorry, I was on the roof and I left my window open. I forgot that it’s supposed to be cold, how strange,” Kara mused, flitting around the room as she babbled. “Let me put some heating on for you. Do you want a blanket? Cup of coffee?”

 

            “Stargazing again?” Lena asked.

 

            “Mhm. Venus is the brightest it’ll be all year this week,” Kara explained with a smile.

 

            “I didn’t mean to interrupt,” Lena apologised, and Kara waved away her concern. “Could- could I join you? If that's okay with you. It’s fine if you’re working though.”

 

            Kara blinked in surprise. “Yeah, no, of course you can. I didn’t think you were that interested in astronomy.”

 

            Lena laughed, her nose crinkling slightly. “I’m not. Well, I mean it is fascinating, but I think I was more fascinated listening to you explain it to me the other week. I actually enjoyed it.”

 

            Kara smiled brightly at her. Sometimes she felt like she talked too much about things that didn’t interest other people – namely the stars – and while Alex encouraged her, most other people didn’t really find it as interesting as she did. It was surprising to Kara that someone else would be interested in what she had to talk about, and she eagerly leapt at the opportunity to spend more time with Lena.

 

            “Hang on a second,” Kara told her, holding up a finger, before dashing over to the coffee pot, switching it on, and grabbing her blanket off her bed, all within the blink of an eye. “Um, would you prefer to take the stairs or the fire escape?”

 

            “The fire escape is fine,” Lena assured her. “Um, I might need to change out of my work clothes though.”

 

            “Right! Of course. Um, just another second,” Kara said with a quick smile, before pulling out some sweatpants and a t-shirt for Lena, as well as a sweatshirt. Kara was still wearing the too short hoodie that Lena had lent to her earlier on, and Kara plucked at the front of it. “Um, did you want yours back or are you okay with mine?”

 

            Lena laughed, “yours is fine. Thank you.”

 

            “Bathroom’s through that door,” Kara gestured towards the only other door in her apartment, and Lena raised her eyebrows slightly as Kara shrugged. She watched her walk into the bathroom, and then quickly set about making her a cup of coffee and finding a thermos to put it in – she didn’t want Lena to be cold on the roof. A few minutes later, Lena came out dressed in Kara’s pyjamas, and Kara was trying to act like she wasn’t bothered by it, but she secretly liked how Lena looked in her casual clothes.

 

            “Shoes!” Kara exclaimed, shaking herself out of her thoughts as she quickly found a pair of shoes for Lena so that wouldn’t have to suffer in heels or barefoot. She scrounged up a pair of fluffy socks too, and Lena looked at her with amusement as she handed them over.

 

            “Anything else? A space heater? A thermal blanket?” Lena joked.

 

            “Sorry, I only have a normal blanket for you,” Kara said, rolling her eyes as she grabbed Lena’s hand, her quilt flung over one shoulder while the other hand held the thermos. Careful not to move too quickly, lest she accidentally rip Lena’s arm out of her socket. Ducking through the window, Kara easily helped lift Lena through, trying to be gentle, and then they were climbing up the ladder – or Lena was climbing, and Kara used her strength to jump up and neatly land on the roof, waiting at the top to help her up. There was a small building enclosing the staircase that led inside – for normal people to use to reach the roof – and Kara walked over to it, jumping on top to set down the blanket and the coffee next to her telescope.

 

            “Um, Kara, I can’t get up there,” Lena said, and Kara’s head peeked over the side of the building to look down at her with a smile.

 

            “Oh, right,” she laughed, jumping down. She hesitated slightly. “May I?” Lena nodded and Kara gently scooped her up in her arms, before bending her legs and leaping back up onto the roof. Her hands were gentle on Lena’s waist as she set her down and righted her.

 

            “Sorry, it’s just better the higher up you are – less light and heat diffusion, even if it’s only a few metres,” Kara explained, picking up the blanket and wrapping it around Lena’s shoulders and pressing the warm thermos into her hands.

 

            “Thank you,” Lena murmured, looking up at Kara in the dark. For her it was hard to make out anything except the extreme paleness of Kara’s face, but for Kara, it was like looking at her in excruciating detail – every perfect eyelash, and every dimple as she smiled was seen, and Kara couldn’t help herself from reaching up to gently run a thumb along Lena’s cheekbone, leaving a searing line of cold in its wake.

 

            Lena shivered slightly, and Kara drew her hand back. “Sorry. I shouldn’t touch – I’m too cold.”

 

            With a quick laugh, Lena grabbed her hand before Kara could fully pull it away, holding it tightly in her own warm one. Pressing a feather light kiss to the back of, Lena pressed it back to her cheek so that Kara could cradle her face. “Cold hands, warm heart, right?” Lena reminded her with a playful smile. “Besides, I bet you’re brilliant in summer.”

 

            “A life-size icicle,” Kara snorted.

 

            Laughing, Lena moved closer to her. “So, about Venus …”

 

            “Right!” Kara exclaimed, dropping her hand as she turned to her telescope. She waved Lena closer and slightly adjusted it for the shorter girl. “So, just angle it slightly more to the left. Can you see that kind of crescent shape? That’s it.”

 

            “Incredible,” Lena whispered, drawing back to give Kara a smile. “It’s so strange – that’s a whole other planet. Just think about what else could be out there.”

 

            “Oh no, you don’t want to get me started on alien theories,” Kara laughed, “we’ll be here all night.”

 

            “I have time.”

 

            Laughing in embarrassment, Kara ducked her head down and busied herself with the telescope. “It’s a bit early to start making myself look like an idiot in front of you, don’t you think?”

 

            “Like it would make a difference – I already told you where I stand with us,” Lena murmured, smiling slightly. Kara hesitated, opening and closing her mouth when she couldn’t find anything to say. Frowning slightly, Lena moved closer to her, picking up one of Kara’s hands and cradling it gently in her own. “What’s wrong?”

 

            “You said it was a messy breakup, Lena. It might not be my place to say it, but I don’t want to push you into something you’re not ready for,” Kara said, giving Lena a grim smile. “And I’m not saying you’re not ready, because that’s also not my place to say. There’s just a lot of things between us that we don’t know about each other.”

 

            Lena paused slightly. “His name was Jack. We started dating before he was turned – he used to work for Cadmus too. A lot of our research was done together. He was nice – he still is – but it wasn’t what I wanted. It wasn’t the fact that he was turned, or the fact that my mom tried to sabotage us, I just realised that I didn’t love him. I thought I did, and that’s why it was messy, because we were together for years and he loved me and I hurt him. So there’s that.”

 

            “I didn’t mean you had to tell me,” Kara murmured.

 

            Waving away Kara’s concern, Lena laughed. “It’s fine. No lies right?”

 

            Kara rolled her eyes. “Privacy isn’t lying, Lena. I know you’re not one for oversharing.”

 

            “I want to share things with you though. I want you to know all the things that you don’t already know about me – which is a lot,” Lena smiled. “And I want to know things about you too. I want to know your insane alien theories and all sorts. I want you to be silly around me.”

 

            Kara returned her smile. “Favourite colour?”

 

            “Blue,” Lena immediately answered. “A lighter blue – like your eyes. Favourite singer?”

 

            “Taylor Swift.”

 

            “I’m not surprised,” Lena smiled.

 

            “Don’t judge – she writes really good songs. And don’t think I haven’t heard you singing along to her music too.”

 

            “Like you said, she writes really good songs,” Lena shrugged in agreement. “Wait – does that mean you’ve been eavesdropping?”

 

            “I try very hard not to, but I can’t help it sometimes. You swear like a sailor, it’s hard not to hear your cursing every two seconds. I’ve taken to listening to music with earphones when you’re home though – just loud enough to block out everything but the really loud sounds,” Kara laughed, a guilty look on her face.

 

            “How sweet of you,” Lena mused. “Favourite foo- wait, never mind.”

 

            “It was Singapore noodles from the Jade Dragon three blocks away, but well, yeah,” Kara said with a half smile. “Favourite book?”

 

            “The Book Thief,” Lena replied. “I think the plot went over my head when I first read it because I went through this phase of stealing books up until the age of thirteen.”

 

            “Oh god, an actual book thief. That’s like the lamest thing to steal if you were going to steal,” Kara laughed.

 

            Lena snorted. “Yeah, and that’s why they didn’t press charges when I was arrested for stealing a copy of The Catcher in the Rye from Barnes and Noble. I read the book a few years later – wasn’t even worth it.”

 

            “Not only a thief, but a bad one at that. This is really painting a picture of what you’re actually like. Please, share some more,” Kara said, looking at Lena with amusement.

 

             “I can’t spill all my secrets right away,” Lena smirked, reaching out to give Kara’s hand a quick squeeze. “I’ll lose my air of mystery.”

 

            “Ah yes, the real reason I’m intrigued by you,” Kara laughed.

 

            Lena smiled, looking down at her lap, before she looked at Kara under her lashes, a small crease between her eyebrows as she frowned. “Why are you?”

 

            Kara hesitated, gesturing around vaguely as she tried to come up with an answer. “I don’t know. I mean, I do know, but I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like … I don’t know. From the moment I met you it’s like we existed on a different plane to everyone else – everything’s always felt so loud, and rushed, and the only time I’ve ever felt a calm silence is when I watched the stars. You know that feeling when it’s the early morning and everything’s quiet and you feel like you’re the only person in the world who’s awake? That’s what it feels like when I watch the stars, and then I met you, and just being with you is so soothing - just like the stars. I feel like I have all the time in the world when I’m with you.”

 

            “The stars?”

 

            Looking slightly embarrassed, Kara shrugged, her hand fluttering around her eyes as she went to push up her non-existent glasses – she still hadn’t broken the habit, and Lena smiled. “They’re fascinating.”

 

            “So are you – even more fascinating than the stars, to me at least, but then again, I’m not an astronomer,” Lena smiled.

 

            Kara smiled shyly back at her, and Lena sat down on the roof, holding a hand out to Kara to pull her down. Huddled up in her blanket, her shoulder brushing Kara’s, she looked up at the stars. After a slight pause, Kara hesitantly moved her arm, wrapping it around Lena’s shoulder, and she saw that Lena had her eyes closed and a small smile was playing on her face. She was bathed in moonlight and Kara couldn’t look away.

 

            Eyelids fluttered open, and Lena blinked in surprise as she caught Kara staring at her, and with a shy smile, she buried her face in Kara’s shoulder. Trying to act casual, Kara kept one arm wrapped around Lena’s shoulders, watching the stars as she felt Lena’s heartbeat pumping steadily. “Which one’s your favourite constellation?” Lena whispered.

 

            “Orion,” Kara quickly replied. “You see those three in a row there? That’s his belt. It was the first constellation I ever learnt. My dad, he was a scientist – not an astronomer - he taught me how to read the stars.”

 

            “Um, Kara, I-, uh, your father worked … he worked for Cadmus too,” Lena slowly told her. “It’s why your sister got recruited.”

 

            “Jeremiah? Yeah, Alex filled me in on all of that when she was trying to reason with me. I don’t think it helped her case,” Kara murmured with amusement. “I meant my birth father.”

 

            “You’re adopted?” Lena asked, jerking back as she looked at Kara with surprise. “Why didn’t I know that? Your sister-“

 

            “Is still my sister,” Kara firmly told her.

 

            “I know that,” Lena murmured. “It’s just- you’re so much like her. Your mannerisms, I mean. I’m adopted too, you know, and I’m not anything like them. I probably look more like my mom than act like her.”

 

            “I didn’t know you were adopted either,” Kara whispered.

 

            “I don’t broadcast it,” Lena shrugged.

 

            “Your brother-“ Kara started, but she felt Lena stiffen in her arms.

 

            Her voice was bitter when she replied. “Not everyone’s lucky to have a sibling like yours, I guess.”

 

            “Sorry,” Kara whispered, dropping the subject.

 

            They were silent for a moment, and Kara was trying to come up with something comforting to say when Lena broke the silence. “Which one’s the biggest?”

 

            “Hydra,” Kara replied, respecting Lena’s decision to turn the conversation on to something else. “It covers the biggest area, and has the most stars. Two hundred and thirty-eight. Only seventeen make up the key points though. See that bright one there? If you look through the telescope, you’ll see it’s kind of red. That’s Alphard – it’s the brightest one of the asterism.”

 

            “Two hundred and thirty-eight? Did you count them yourself?” Lena asked, sounding slightly amused.

 

            “Yes. Before I was turned though, for fun, not because I had to,” Kara said, pressing her lips together as she frowned. “Now I can’t enjoy looking at them unless I count them all first.”

 

            “How many lights on that building?” Lena asked, sounding curious yet almost sad.

 

            “Sixty-four.”

 

            “Tiles in my bathroom?”

 

            “Twenty-six,” Kara replied before she could stop herself. “Do you know how to make it stop?”

 

            “No,” Lena said after a slight pause. “It’s … it’s an expression of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Arithmomania. I don’t know why it expresses itself when you transition – I guess it might have something to do with chemical imbalances in your brain with the change in bodily functions. The neurotransmitters I'd say, but I don't know.”

 

            “Oh,” Kara murmured. “Well, at least I’ll know for sure that my front door will always be locked and that Hercules has two hundred and forty-five stars.”

 

            “Kara-“

 

            “It’s fine,” Kara sighed, giving Lena’s shoulder a quick squeeze. “I’m just feeling sorry for myself. It's a bit of an inconvenience. Want to look at some more stars or are you ready for bed?”

 

            “Hm, as fascinating as this is, I’m half-frozen and I can hear my bed calling me,” Lena laughed. In a heartbeat Kara had her scooped up in her arms and was setting her down on the actual roof of the building.

 

            “Just a second, I need to get all of my stuff. I can’t let the owner know that I’m sneaking up onto the roof without permission,” Kara said, jumping back up and picking up her telescope as easily as the blanket that she draped back around Lena’s shoulders when she reclaimed her spot beside her a heartbeat later.

 

            Lena gave her an amused smile, and Kara raised her eyebrows in question. “I don’t think the owner will mind,” Lena told her, her smile growing wider.

 

            “Oh yeah? Why not?”

 

            “Because it’s me.”

 

            “Wait, you own the whole building?” Kara exclaimed as Lena started walking back over to the fire escape. She turned around and nodded, holding a hand out for Kara to follow her. Processing the new piece of information, Kara took Lena’s hand and let herself be led over to the fire escape with her telescope in tow. “Why?”

 

            “Why do I own the building? Property is a good investment, so why not?” Lena shrugged. “Science isn’t all that I’m good at, you know. I’m also quite a good businesswoman. Another reason why I took my mom’s advice and moved here so I can help manage the company.”

 

            “Oh, right. I almost forgot that your mom owns it.”

 

            “Yeah, gotta keep it in the family business,” Lena snorted as she rolled her eyes. “At least it keeps things interesting.”

 

            Kara set her telescope down and quickly scooped Lena up again, landing outside her open window in a flash and helping Lena into the apartment. Going back up to retrieve her telescope, Kara joined her inside a moment later, shutting the window behind her. Flicking on a lamp, Kara neatly arranged her telescope while she watched Lena make her bed for her out of the corner of her eye.

 

            She was still wearing Kara’s pyjamas as she walked over to the door, with no intention of taking them off. With a small smile, Kara followed behind her, reaching out to grab the sleeve of her coat. Lena looked down at Kara’s hand on her arm, and looked up with a slight look of amusement on her expectant face. Leaning down, Kara placed an obliging kiss on Lena’s lips, smiling at the softness of her warm lips beneath Kara’s cold ones.

 

            “Goodnight,” Lena murmured, pulling back and brushing Kara’s face out of her hair.

 

            “Sweet dreams,” Kara said, opening the door to let Lena slip out. She caught her as Lena tripped over something placed on the floor outside Kara’s door, straightening her, before bending down to pick up the parcel. Her name was neatly written on the front, and Kara frowned, her eyes flickering up to Lena’s questioning gaze.

 

            “I’ll see you tomorrow then?” Lena asked, and Kara nodded as she tore open the brown paper. Quickly opening the box, she stared down at the red rose nestled inside and pulled out the little card and scanned over the words.

 

            Dear Kara, 

            I hope you’re adjusting to your new life as well as it looks like you are. Here’s a token of my affection – I hope you appreciate it as much as the gift of immortality. 

            I’ll come for you soon.

 

            She dropped the box and Lena, who was slipping the key into her lock, turned around with a look of concern on her face. Taking in Kara’s wide eyes, and her statue-like pose, Lena took a hesitant step towards her. “Kara?”

 

            “Someone’s watching me.”

Chapter Text

            Within half an hour, Alex was at Kara’s apartment, along with Lucy, bagging up the rose, box and card for evidence and sweeping down Kara’s apartment for any other signs of someone coming inside. The door had been locked from the outside though, and there were no signs of forced entry, so it was a small comfort to Kara to know that they hadn’t actually been inside her apartment. It still made her uneasy to think that someone had been just two floors below her, leaving the parcel outside her door without Kara’s knowledge, and the only reason why she hadn’t noticed was because they didn’t have a heartbeat.

 

            Lena was still awake, hovering just outside her front door while she watched Kara answer Alex’s questions. She looked tense, and a little bit tired, but she stubbornly waited up with Kara to make sure that everything was okay.

 

            “So what time do you think it was left outside? When was the last time you opened your door?” Alex asked.

 

            “I don’t know. I opened it at like one, I think,” her eyes darted to Lena’s for a second as she thought about opening the door for Lena. “It wasn’t outside then.”

 

            “You’re sure?” Alex pressed, and Kara nodded.

 

            “It wasn’t outside when I got home from work,” Lena added, and Alex turned to give her a quick nod.

 

            “So, um, what time was that?”

 

            “About one-ish,” Lena said, and Kara looked slightly alarmed when she realised that Alex would quickly connect the dots. Not that she didn’t want her sister to know about her and Lena, but it had only been a day, and she wasn’t even sure how to explain it.

 

            “Yeah I was just going up to the roof to stargaze,” Kara added, and Lena shot her a quick look at the white lie.

 

            “Well, we have the fingerprints of all vampires we’ve brought in in our system, so I’ll cross-reference any prints on this with our database and see if there’s a match,” Lucy said, and Alex frowned slightly.

 

            Alex fiddled with the evidence bag she held in her hands, looking worried. “I wish there was more that I could do but-“

 

            “It doesn’t sound like they want to hurt me,” Kara sighed. “I’ll be okay.”

 

            “Are you sure you don’t want me to stay over?” Alex asked.

 

            Kara gave her sister’s arm a quick squeeze. “It’s fine. Besides, I think I’m pretty safe with the practically immortal thing, so they’d be hard pressed to kill me if they wanted to.”

 

            “Not funny,” Alex said, a serious look on her face. She seemed a bit jittery, kind of like how Kara was feeling on the inside, and Kara gave her a reassuring smile.

 

            “I’m just across the hall if anything happens,” Lena piped up. “If you need anything you can just let me know.”

 

            “Okay,” Alex said, hesitating slightly before wrapping Kara in a hug. “Call me if you need anything, okay?”

 

            “Okay,” Kara murmured, returning the hug. “Have a good night.”

 

            “Yeah, you too. I’ll call you when the results come back,” Alex told her, pulling out of the hug and giving Kara a small smile. Lucy waited nearby, and Alex gave Lena a quick nod as she left. “Luthor.”

 

            “Danvers, Lane,” Lena nodded to the two of them, her eyes trained on Kara.

 

            They left a moment later, with Alex casting a backwards glance at the two girls still stood out in the hallway. Waiting until they were a few floors down, Kara looked at Lena and gave her a reassuring smile.

 

            “Just going up to the roof to stargaze, huh?” Lena asked, arching an eyebrow in amusement. “Are you sure your concerns are about me and my ex?”

 

            “I don’t know what to tell her,” Kara shrugged, giving Lena a pained look.

 

            Lena laughed quietly. “It’s fine, Kara. I’d prefer to keep it between us anyway.”

 

            “Oh okay. Yeah, that’s all good,” Kara agreed. “Um, well, I’d better let you sleep. You look exhausted.”

 

            “Are you sure you don’t want me to stay up with you?” Lena asked, frowning in concern. “You could come and sit in my apartment while I sleep – that way they couldn’t cross the boundary line because I’m human.”

 

            “I’m fine, honestly,” Kara assured her. “Go and get some rest. I’ll see you in the morning – well, in a few hours.”

 

            “Okay,” Lena sighed, grimacing slightly. “Enjoy the stars.”

 

            “Sleep well, Lena,” Kara murmured, watching as Lena gave her a hesitant smile and disappeared into her apartment. Only then did Kara walk into her own, throwing open the window and grabbing a book, before going to sit on the fire escape so that she could feel the wind caress her skin while she read beneath the stars.

 

---

 

            Kara read until the horizon started to lighten, and then she slipped back in through her window, watching the sunrise from her shadowy room. She was alone, watching the sun come up through the small square window as a wave of sickness rolled over her, and for the first time she really realised that this was her life now – forever.

 

            Lena stirred a few hours later, the sounds reaching Kara’s ears as she lay on her bed, staring up at the ceiling while she quietly listened to music. A flicker of disappointment flashed through her when she heard Lena leave her apartment and walk down the hallway, and Kara assumed that she had work. Not that she expected Lena to be by her side every second of the day because they’d kissed a few times, but Kara was bored and she enjoyed Lena’s company probably more than she knew herself.

 

            Half an hour later Lena was back, her feet leading her to Kara’s apartment where she unnecessarily knocked on her door. Slightly surprised, Kara was opening the door before Lena had even finished knocking.

 

            “Good morning,” Kara smiled at her, taking in the sight of the flowers and coffee Lena was holding. “How did you sleep?”

 

            “Not very well,” Lena admitted. “These are for you. I didn’t want flowers to be ruined for you after last night.”

 

            A feeling of warmth spread through Kara at Lena’s kind gesture, and she noticed that there weren’t any red flowers in the bouquet. “Thank you – they’re beautiful.”

 

            Smiling she carried the flowers inside, and Lena followed her in, shutting the door behind her. “I got coffee too. Do you have any blood to put in yours?”

 

            Kara nodded, darting to the fridge to pull out one of the plastic bottles that Alex had delivered for her. Lena took the bottle out of Kara’s hands, her fingers lingering slightly as she kept her steady gaze on Kara’s. Taking a sip out of one of the coffee’s, Lena topped it up with some blood and then replaced the cap and handed it to Kara with a smile.

 

            Reaching out to take it, Kara gave Lena an exasperated look when the coffee was pulled out of her reach, followed by Lena’s quiet laughter. “Give me a kiss first.”

 

            Plucking the coffee out of Lena’s hand, Kara smiled as she leant down to place a quick kiss to her cheek. “Have you had breakfast yet?” Kara asked, taking a sip of her coffee.

 

            Lena produced a paper bag with a flourish. “Bagels. I accidentally bought two, but then I realised that you can’t eat them.”

 

            “It’s the thought that counts,” Kara smiled. She didn’t have a couch, so she took her coffee over to her bed, and Lena sat down next to her, curling her legs up beneath her. “Do you have work later?”

 

            “It’s my day off today,” Lena said, her shoulder gently bumping against Kara’s. She was wearing a sweater, but Kara was still concerned about how cold she was, and quickly draped a blanket across Lena’s shoulders.

 

            “Any plans?” Kara asked.

 

            “Well I would ask you if you wanted to run some errands with me later on, but I don’t really want you to burst into flames.”

 

            “So I will burst into flames if I go into the sun?” Kara asked, a curious look on her face. There was still so much that she didn’t know, and she’d mostly avoided talking to Alex about it, trying to keep things normal instead.

 

            Lena laughed, flashing Kara her dimples. “No, you won’t. It’s a ridiculous myth told to make humans feel better about the fact that they’re screwed if they meet a vampire who’s hell bent on snacking on them. I mean you’re for sure going to blister and get the world’s worst sunburn imaginable, so it’s not exactly fun either way, but you’ll heal as soon as you’re out of UV rays.”

 

            “Oh … well, that’s reassuring I guess,” Kara murmured, a little bit relieved that she wouldn’t die if she was caught outside by accident.

 

            They were interrupted by a knock on the door, and Kara frowned. She’d heard the footsteps, but she’d ignored them because they were unfamiliar so she knew it wasn’t Alex. There was a heartbeat though, so she wasn’t worried that it was her mysterious visitor last night. Planning on ignoring it, Kara didn’t budge an inch until a familiar voice reached her ears.

 

            “Kara, it’s me. Open up, we’ve got some serious gaming to do,” Winn called, and Kara quietly laughed, shooting Lena an apologetic look before zipping to the door and opening it. Winn was carrying a laptop bag slung over one shoulder, and he breezed past Kara. “You’ve blown me off for game night for the past three weeks – I figured I’d take matters into my own hand. Get ready to- oh.“

 

            “Winn, this is my … neighbour, Lena,” Kara said, making introductions. Lena gave him a small wave from where she sat on Kara’s bed, draped in the blanket and nursing her coffee.

 

            “Oh! You’re Lena,” Winn said, shooting Kara a quick look. “Kara’s mentioned you before.” Eyes wide with panic, Kara shot Lena a look of alarm, but saw that Lena had a small smile on her face.

 

            “Nice to meet you,” Lena said, giving him a quick nod. “Bagel?”

 

            “Likewise,” Winn said, accepting the bagel with a quick thank you before turning to Kara. “Sorry to interrupt. I’ll, um, just go back to my place and you we’ll chat when you login later?”

 

            “Please, don’t leave on my account,” Lena said. “I’ll just, uh, leave you to whatever plans you have.”

 

            Kara looked from Lena to Winn, opening her mouth to come up with some excuse, but Winn beat her to it. “No, no, stay. We were just going to be playing computer games all day – nothing important.”

 

            “Computer games?” Lena asked, arching an eyebrow at Kara, who shrugged self-consciously.

 

            “Warcraft,” Kara mumbled.

 

            “Are you playing the Legion expansion? Personally I think that Wrath of the Lich King was the best expansion, but to each their own.”

 

            “Wait, you play WoW?” Kara asked incredulously, and Lena gave her a smug smile as she nodded.

 

            “You have to play with us!” Winn excitedly exclaimed.

 

            Kara bit back a smile, and Lena looked mildly surprised at Winn’s enthusiasm. “Um, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. I know you said you had errands to run, but if you want to …” Kara said, trailing off with a hopeful sound in her voice.

 

            “I’ll get my laptop.”

 

---

 

            There was a knock on the door, and Alex’s familiar heartbeat reached Kara’s ears. With a smile she left Lena and Winn bickering over the best weapons and armour for each class and went to answer the door.

 

            Alex stalked inside as soon as Kara opened the door, already launching into conversation. “Hey, so I ran the prints and- wait, what the hell is going on here?” Alex asked, looking at the three laptops set up around the table was she interrupted Lena and Winn’s conversation. “Fucking hell, they’re sucking you into their little nerd ring too?” Alex asked Lena.

 

            “Um, us?” Kara asked. “She’s a higher level than both of us. I can’t believe I didn’t know.” Lena looked slightly embarrassed at Alex finding out that she played computer games – part of that was because she was so young and she didn’t want people to think she was childish for playing fantasy games.

 

            “Anyway, um, can I talk to you for a second?” Alex said, widening her eyes as she jerked her head at Winn. Kara went to open her mouth, but Lena cut her off.

 

            “Yeah, sure. I’ve got those files in my apartment. Kara, do you want to come and help your sister carry them down to her car?” Lena said, giving her a pointed look.

 

            “Oh, oh, yeah, of course,” Kara agreed, looking at Winn who was looking at the three of them without suspicion. “Um, we’ll be back in a second. They, uh, work together.”

 

            “No way!” Winn exclaimed, looking surprised. “That’s so weird. Well I’m still working on this quest, so don’t mind me.”

 

            The three girls slipped out of the apartment and waited as Lena unlocked her door and ushered them inside. It was strange for Kara to be stood in Lena’s apartment with her sister, and the three of them stood around in the middle of the room, all eyes on Alex.

 

            “So, I ran the prints and there wasn’t a match to anyone except yours,” Alex told Kara, who frowned in confusion.

 

            “Mine? Why do you have my prints?” Kara asked. Alex closed her eyes, sighing as she realised she’d said the wrong thing. She didn’t reply and Kara shot Lena a questioning look, but she was biting her lip as she avoided Kara’s gaze. “Why do you have my prints, Alex?”

 

            “We take them on intake,” Alex admitted.

 

            “You fingerprinted me when I was unconscious?” Kara asked, her anger bubbling up. “You’re unbelievable.”

 

            “It’s not like I had a choice, Kara!” Alex argued. “I wasn’t even there when they brought you in.”

 

            Standing off to the side, Lena tried to act like she was a fly on the wall, ignoring the conversation going on as much as she could – which wasn’t very well when they were starting to raise their voices.

 

            “What else did they do to me, huh? How else was my privacy invaded?” Kara snapped, the muscles in her jaw working as she clenched her teeth.

 

            “Nothing! You were just fingerprinted and then taken to-“

 

            “To a cell. A cell where they chained me to a chair and left me alone with no clue what was happening. What kind of company are you even working for?”

 

            “You know what I’m working for- what we’re working for. It looks like I’m the only one under fire here,” Alex said, and Lena’s head snapped up to shoot her a glare.

 

            “This has nothing to do with me,” Lena coolly replied.

 

            Alex shot her a look of annoyance. “Like hell it isn’t. Your mom owns the company – you’re more involved than I am. Don’t act like you’re not the one poking and prodding your test subjects that I have to risk my life to bring you.”

 

            “This isn’t about Lena,” Kara said, frowning as she crossed her arms over her chest. “This is about you keeping things from me again, Alex.”

 

            “I’ll go and check on Winn,” Lena mumbled, slipping past Kara and walking back across the hall, leaving the two sisters alone in her apartment. It reminded her too much of fighting with Lex – but the only difference was that his ideals weren’t similar to Alex’s, who Lena knew only had Kara’s best interests at heart.

 

            “I’m just trying to keep you safe, Kara. I’d never be able to forgive myself if anything happened to you, so please just trust that anything I do is to make sure nothing happens to you. Trust me. I’m your sister,” Alex begged.

 

            “I do trust you – it seems like you’re the one who doesn’t trust me,” Kara argued, and Alex sighed.

 

            “That’s a lie and you know it,” Alex told her. “I’m not lying to you, Kara. You know that I trust you more than anyone else in the world. I just can’t tell you some things, but that doesn’t mean I’m lying. Ask me anything, and if I can tell you, I will.”

 

            “Tell me how you’re going to find the person if there’s no match?” Kara asked, and Alex hesitated, before sighing and realising that she was better off just telling her than risking another argument.

 

            Taking a deep breath, Alex grimaced at Kara. “There was a match, just no identification for the prints. It’s the same prints lifted from all the crime scenes with the rogue one we’re hunting.”

 

            “Your rogue vampire is the one that’s been watching me?” Kara asked, blinking in surprise. It made her feel even more uneasy to know that the creature that had evaded Cadmus for so long was the one that was keeping tabs on her. If Cadmus couldn’t catch them, then how was Kara going to avoid it?

 

            “Looks like it. I’ll set up surveillance footage here though, and some extra wards – you’ll need to be careful around them. I won’t let anything happen to you,” Alex assured her, and Kara sighed, the last remnants of her anger fading away.

 

            “I know,” Kara mumbled, reaching out to hug her sister. She was tired – not physically, but mentally – and she wished that she could sleep. Her confinement to her room and the nightlife of the city was taking its toll on Kara’s moods, and she knew that she shouldn’t snap at Alex, but she couldn’t help herself. Things were so different and sometimes it was hard for her to adjust. “Sorry for biting your head off.”

 

            Alex let out a quiet laugh, giving Kara a quick squeeze before pulling out of the hug. “As long as you don’t actually bite my head off.”

 

            Kara rolled her eyes, smiling slightly. They both stood there in silence for a moment, and Alex took the opportunity to let her eyes wander around Lena’s apartment. “So, you and my boss’ daughter …”

 

            “We’re friends Alex,” Kara told her – not exactly a lie, but not the truth either – and she was glad that she couldn’t blush, because it would’ve betrayed her deeper feelings in an instant.

 

            "A friend who just so happened to be awake at three o'clock this morning, standing in your hallway with you while she was still wearing her coat? Been for an early morning walk had she?" Alex asked, arching an eyebrow at Kara, who pressed her lips together as she stood there in silence. "Or perhaps a friend who lends you too small hoodies with MIT written on the front? Or has your coat hanging up next to her door?"

 

            Kara's eyes flickered over to the coat rack next to Lena's door, and she couldn't even argue when she saw that the coat that she'd let Lena borrow a few weeks ago was neatly hanging next to Lena's own coats. Having no use for her coats anymore, Kara had completely forgotten that Lena even had it. She couldn't even come up with a defence for the other things that Alex had picked up, because they were all true too. Choosing not to comment on any of it, Kara just turned around and avoided the topic - Kara didn't want to talk to her sister about something that she wasn't even sure was a real thing yet. It could wait.

 

            “She let you into her apartment,” Alex noted, arching an eyebrow at Kara as they walked over to the front door.

 

            “That was before she realised I was a vampire,” Kara shrugged, and Alex shot her a look that Kara didn’t know what to make of. Rolling her eyes, Kara gave her a playful push out of the apartment and locked Lena’s front door behind her, checking it six times to make sure it was closed properly.

 

            By the time that Kara had crossed the hall and joined everyone else back in her apartment, she was just in time to walk in on Winn stood before her open fridge, a bottle of blood in hand, Lena looking at Kara with eyes wide with alarm, and Alex muttering a string of curses under her breath as she took in the scene. Groaning, Kara wasn't looking forward to the conversation that was about to go down.

 

            Her day just kept getting better and better.

Chapter Text

            Winn took the news with all the wonder and amazement of someone who’d just found out that Santa was actually real. He was acting like it was the greatest thing in the world, and spent every day bombarding Kara with questions that she didn’t even know how to answer. It was a relief to Kara to have someone else she was close to in on the loop, but a part of her still felt guilty that she hadn’t told Eliza. Her mom visited occasionally, and she was dreading her next visit because Eliza would pick up on her changes in an instant.

 

            For now, Kara was just trying to get her life back on track. She’d been kind of sort of dating Lena for a few weeks now, without defining what exactly they were doing, and Kara was still buzzing with the thrill of being able to kiss Lena whenever she wanted to, and the excitement of having their own little secret. Even if Alex was suspicious, she didn’t push Kara on the matter, and Kara didn’t press her about her relationship with Lucy – not when she came with Alex to drop off fresh blood, or when she helped set up the security system outside Kara’s apartment, and kept finding little ways to casually touch Alex’s arm, or let their fingers brush slightly. Kara was happy just knowing that Alex wasn’t as alone as Kara had thought. All those hours spent over-working herself hadn’t left her with no one but her sister – she had other people who cared about her too.

 

            Speaking of work, Kara hadn’t been to the observatory in almost three months – not since she’d been turned. She’d been meaning to, but she was confined to her apartment during the day, and once night came around, she was usually being dragged off to an underground vampire bar by Lena, or heading out to do the things that she hadn’t been able to do during the day. It wasn’t like the observatory was a requirement for her job anyway, all of her work could be done at home, or at the office if she felt like it – she mostly just went to the observatory for her own enjoyment. For the first time since being turned though, she decided to go and enjoy the stars from the best view in the city.

 

            It was the first time Kara had been out by herself since she’d gone out in search of Alex and ended up being staked and kidnapped by Lucy and James, and Kara was a little nervous as she hesitantly crept out of the building. It was dark outside, and windy even though she couldn’t feel the chill, and Kara shoved her hands into the pockets of her useless coat as she tried to remain inconspicuous. She’d used to catch a cab to the outskirts of the city, but after being cooped up for so long, Kara thought that she’d walk, even if it took hours.

 

            Everything was fine until she reached the bridge crossing the river that cut through the city. There was a sidewalk for pedestrians, and Kara stepped onto it, quickly walking across the bridge as a feeling of nausea rose up inside her. Fighting it down, she kept on walking, hoping that the feeling would pass as she counted all of her steps, but with every step, the feeling grew stronger. Looking down at the running water below her, Kara’s legs buckled beneath her and she fell to her knees. Her breathing was laboured, even though she didn’t need oxygen, and she struggled to her feet, feeling faint. She didn’t know what was happening to her, but she knew that she’d need to get off the bridge so she could catch a cab home, and she was already almost halfway across, so she may as well keep going.

 

            Stumbling forwards a few more steps, Kara passed out in the middle of the bridge.

 

---

 

            She came to not long after, and came to the assumption that only a few minutes must have passed, because the moon was still where it had been and no one seemed to have noticed the passed out figure of a woman on the sidewalk - not that they would've, because it was already after midnight and traffic on the bridge was light. Climbing to her feet, Kara didn’t even bother with the pretence of being human, and darted back the way she’d come as fast as possible, not caring what people made of the strange white streak.

 

            As she made her way back to her side of the bridge, the sickly feeling started to fade, and Kara’s strength returned, leaving her feeling more confused than ever. Testing it out, she took a hesitant few steps forward, igniting a fresh wave of weakness and nausea, and quickly scrambled backwards to relieve herself of the feelings.

 

            The water.

 

            All of her reading had given her a wealth of knowledge about vampires, and the memory of reading something about running water came back to her. She couldn’t cross the river – even if it was little more than a strip of water separating one part of the city from the other. A part of Kara was curious about what would happen if she made it all the way across the bridge, and she almost considered testing it out, but she knew Alex would murder her if she found out – if the running water didn’t beat her to it.

 

            With a sigh, Kara resigned herself to the fact that she wouldn’t be going to the observatory tonight, and decided to wander around the city by herself until the sun came up and try and puzzle over what her new body would and wouldn’t allow her to do. There were some things she’d gotten used to, or that Alex had explained, but she was still caught off guard sometimes by the limits to being a vampire.

 

            She wandered aimlessly through the city, block by block, taking in the bright lights and drunken laughter of the clubs and bars, and the dark shadows and still night of the dangerous areas of town. Caught up in her own thoughts, Kara didn’t realise there was anything wrong until she heard a scream. She jerked her head in the direction of the sound and was off in a flash, seeking the source. It didn’t take long for her to find a woman at the end of an alleyway with two shadowed figured bearing down on her. For a moment, Kara didn’t want to imagine what they were after, but then she realised that they didn’t have heartbeats – they were after blood.

 

            “Hey!”

 

            One of the figures turned at the sound of Kara’s angry shout, but the other paid her no mind as she grabbed the woman by the throat and slammed her against the wall.

 

            “Hey! Leave her alone!”

 

            “This is none of your business, little vampire,” the man said, casually meandering towards Kara, his tone careless as if he hadn’t been caught just about to drain the woman of blood.

 

            “It is my business when you’re hurting an innocent person,” Kara argued, raising her chin as she stood in the mouth of the alleyway.

 

            The other vampire – the woman – groaned when it was evident that Kara wasn’t going to let her feed in peace. “Piss off, little girl.”

 

            In a flash, Kara flew herself at the man, using all of her strength to push him backwards. He was caught off guard, and couldn’t stop himself from being hurled into the brick wall, cracking the stone beneath the force of the throw. With a snarl, he threw himself at Kara, a pale blur with all the force of a train slamming into an unexpected victim. Kara was launched backwards, out of the mouth of the alley and into the side of a car, the windows shattering beneath Kara’s body, and jagged lines were carved into her body by spikes of glass. Extracting herself from the crumpled side of the car, Kara glared at the man, gritting her teeth and throwing herself back into the fight.

 

            A sigh reached her ears, and before she reached the man, the woman had released her prey and darted towards Kara, knocking her down. The three of them brawled, throwing punches, snapping bones that healed as quickly as they broke, and hurling each other into walls and to the ground. Kara was furious, and a part of her thought that it might have been all of her pent up frustration and anger fuelling her, and the other part was for her concern for the woman whose scream had shattered the quiet night.

 

            She didn’t stop fighting until until her lungs felt like they were on fire, and she was coughing as she clutched at her throat. Looking up, Kara groaned as she took in the dark outline of a short woman pointing a stake and a can of spray at her. It was Lucy.

 

---

 

            She’d been cuffed with silver, leaving red burn marks circling her wrists, and Kara miserably sat in the back of the van, staring down at the other two vampires that had been staked and left unconscious for the trip to the Cadmus headquarters. Kara suspected that she’d been spared the same treatment because she was Alex’s sister, and she was starting to resent it, because at least if she was unconscious she wouldn’t have to sit in uncomfortable silence with metal cuffs that burnt her and a throat that felt like a branding iron had been shoved down it due to the faceful of spray that she’d received.

 

            James sat in the front seat next to Lucy, and she could hear their mumbled conversation as the car bumpily made its way through the city. All Kara could think about was how Alex was going to murder her. The whole purpose of Cadmus was to help keep vampires inconspicuous - bringing in those who couldn’t manage that – and researching a way to cure them of their disease. She couldn’t imagine getting into a fight with two other vampires was something that they would be impressed by, and Kara was worried about the kind of trouble she would be in.

 

            “This is Hunter Olsen,” James’ deep voice drifted through the small metal grill separating the front of the van from the back. “We’re approaching headquarters with three prisoners. Two staked, one … conscious.”

 

            They came to a grinding halt after a few more minutes, and a moment later the back of the van was thrown open and James gave her a reassuring smile. “Come on, out you get.”

 

            Resigning herself to her fate, Kara sprang out of the back of the van, landing surefooted, even though her hands were cuffed behind her back. They were in a pitch black warehouse – it would keep out even the slightest glimmer of sunlight – and as Kara stood off to the side, more hunters poured out of the lone elevator, bringing two stretchers with them to load the two staked vampires onto. They disappeared back into the elevator, and a warm hand jerked Kara out of her thoughts. James gave her a warm smile as her looked down at her, his big hand gentle on her shoulder as he steered her towards the elevator. She hadn’t had the opportunity to talk to James, but Kara liked him. He was a gentle soul, so steady and sure on the surface, but deadly beneath his calm exterior. If he wanted to hurt Kara, she had no problem believing that he would, but he hadn’t – not even when he hadn’t known she was Alex’s little sister. Kara still had her reservations about Lucy though, but she chalked that up to the fact that this was the second time she’d been captured by the small woman. Yet Alex trusted her, and that had to count for something, so Kara bore her no ill will, even if her wrists stung with pain.

 

            They descended through the sub-levels of the warehouse, making their way into the belly of Cadmus, and Kara grew impatient at the cuffs binding her wrists together – surely she wouldn’t stand a chance if she decided to run now. The three of them were silent as they sank lower and lower, until the elevator finally stopped and the heavy doors slid open to reveal a familiar sight from when she was last here. Hunters gathered around computers, dressed in fighting gear and carrying light weaponry, and a few scientists milled around in their lab coats, talking to the hunters who had just brought in the two staked vampires.

 

            “Kara!” The angry shout cut through the buzz of multiple conversations, and Kara quietly groaned as she pinpointed Alex across the room, a face like thunder as she stalked towards her sister.

 

            “Here we go,” Lucy muttered, stood at Kara’s left with a hand on her elbow as she urged them forwards. Kara let out a surprised laugh, despite the circumstances, and she heard a quiet chuckle from James too as the three of them wove through the dozens of people. Keeping her head down, Kara avoided Alex’s gaze, hoping to escape the inevitable lecture she was going to get just for a few minutes longer. She was surprised when Lucy let go of her arm and stepped in front of her, almost taking a defensive position.

 

            “Alex, not here,” Lucy muttered, reaching out to stop her with a soft touch on her arm. “Don’t cause a scene.”

 

            “A scene?!” Alex exclaimed, her eyebrows shooting up in disbelief.

 

            “Yes, a scene,” Lucy curtly replied. “You’re the deputy director. Act like it. Don’t lose your head in front of everyone.”

 

            The muscles in Alex’s jaw twitched and she seemed to hesitate before nodding and turning around. With a small sigh, Lucy turned, giving Kara a small grimace as she grabbed her by the arm and propelled her forward, following Alex through the room.

 

            She was taken to one of the interrogation rooms, nothing but a couple of chairs and a table taking up the middle of the room. James murmured something about going to give his report, leaving Lucy to lead Kara into the room after Alex. It was silent for a moment as the door was shut behind them and Alex leant on the table, taking a deep breath.

 

            “You’re okay?” she hoarsely asked, not turning around.

 

            “I’m fine,” Kara assured her.

 

            Whirling around, Alex’s eyes were blazing with anger. “Then why the fuck do you look like you’ve been dragged through a bush backwards? Have you seen yourself? Why is it every time I leave you alone, you get yourself into trouble again?”

 

            “I didn’t do anything wrong!” Kara protested, trying to hold her hands out in a helpless gesture. Instead, the metal cut into her wrists and she hissed in pain. “Can you take these stupid handcuffs off me?”

 

            Lucy’s delicate fingers quickly unlocked them and Kara cradled her wrists, frowning as she took in the harsh red marks. “She didn’t do anything wrong, Alex,” Lucy said, “at least not intentionally.”

 

            “Not intentionally?” Alex scoffed. “You don’t know my sister like I do. She never does something without thinking it through first – so please, Kara, enlighten me.”

 

            Sighing, Kara sat down in the chair Alex gestured to, crossing her arms over her chest as she scowled. “I went for a walk – to the observatory an-“

 

            “The observatory?” Alex interrupted. “That’s across the river.”

 

            “Yeah, I found that out the hard way,” Kara grumbled, watching the burns on her wrists slowly heal right before her eyes. “I passed out halfway across – thanks for the warning – and then I went back, taking a walk through the city. I heard a scream. There was a woman and two vampires, they were going to feed on her – both of them – she could’ve died, Alex, I couldn’t just stand there and let them kill her.”

 

            “So what?”

 

            “So I … fought them,” Kara mumbled, seeming to shrink in her chair.

 

            “I see that,” Alex snapped. “Did you even think that they could’ve killed you?”

 

            Kara shrugged, not meeting her sister’s gaze. “She was human, Alex. What if it’d been you?”

 

            “That’s a bullshit excuse and you know it. I can take care of myself,” Alex argued. “You were reckless, and stupid, and you could’ve been hurt or seen. That woman alone is enough to expose you. You should’ve known that we wouldn’t have let them kill her. You know that we keep tabs on your kind – you’re lucky I have Lucy and James keeping tabs on you otherwise you could’ve died, Kara.”

 

            “Keeping tabs on me?” Kara echoed. “You’ve had your girlfriend spying on me?”

 

            Alex blushed at the term girlfriend, her eyes flickering to Lucy’s for a second. Kara had almost forgotten that she was in the room, a silent figure stood in the corner watching Alex pace back and forth across the table from her sister. “It’s for your own protection – I already told you that. Anything I do is to protect you, and thank god for that, or those two might’ve torn your throat out without a second’s hesitation. A second, Kara. You don’t know what kind of mon-”

 

            “Monster? You think I’m a monster?” Kara laughed, the sound so different from her usual warm laugh.

 

            “No! Not you,” Alex quickly assured her. “But some of them are – just like some humans are monsters. When have I ever liked you wandering around the city alone at night? You think because you don’t have a heartbeat and you’re stronger that you can’t be hurt.”

 

            “Don’t be ridiculous,” Kara scoffed. “I know I can be hurt, but what kind of person would I be if I didn’t try and help people who needed my help? That’s why you’re doing this job, right? To keep people safe? The only difference between us is that you’re a human fighting against my kind, and I’m fighting against others like me.”

 

            “No, the difference is that I’m a trained operative, working for a legitimate organisation - not beating up strangers on a street like some vigilante! It doesn’t matter what your motive was,” Alex argued.

 

            Kara was on her feet in a flash, frowning at Alex as her anger flared up. There was a sound behind her, and Kara spun around to see Lucy holding a pistol by her side, and Kara's eyes widened in surprise – did Lucy really think she’d hurt her sister? Slowly, Kara sank back into her seat, the metal legs dragging on the floor as she pushed herself in. “Lane, put the gun away,” Alex barked at her.

 

            “I can help,” Kara quietly said.

 

            “You’re dangerous, Kara, we can’t let you in here,” Alex said, her voice soft as she took a seat across from her.

 

            “I’m still learning! I can help you keep people safe!”

 

            “Kara, you couldn’t even stop us from bringing you in.”

 

            “Well then train me,” Kara suggested, and Lucy snorted with laughter behind her.

 

            Alex sighed heavily. “I can’t make that decision – besides, we don’t hire vamp-”

 

            She cut off as the door opened, and all eyes turned to see who it was.

 

            It was Lena.

 

            There were dark circles under her eyes from her long day at work, but aside from her wide, panicked eyes, she looked as sleek and professional as always. Paying Alex and Lucy no attention, Lena crossed the room and took Kara’s face in her hands, her eyes searching Kara’s face for any sign of her being hurt. A look of relief washed over her face as she realised that Kara was fine, and the bloody and tattered coat covered wounds that had already healed.

 

            “You’re okay?” Lena murmured, and Kara nodded, closing her eyes as she brought her hand up to cover one of the ones cupping her cheek. Aware of the intimate nature of their gentle touches and intense looks, Kara jerked her head out of Lena’s hands, clearing her throat slightly. “Come on, we’re going.”

 

            “Hey, that’s not up-“ Alex protested, but Lena arched an eyebrow at her, looking slightly smug as Alex fell silent, while Lucy moved to block the door.

 

            “Oh I think you’ll find that it is up to me,” Lena coolly replied. “Or have you forgotten that my mom owns the company? If she has a problem with it then she can bring it up with me. Until then, get out of my way.” The last part was thrown at Lucy, who hesitated before she stood aside, a look of anger on her face.

 

            All eyes went to Kara, who was still sat in the seat. She looked from Alex, whose eyes silently begged her to stay and talk, and then to Lena, who looked pissed as she waited patiently for Kara to make up her mind, one hand held out for Kara to come and take. They were both just trying to protect her, and Kara wasn’t picking sides, but she also didn’t want to be held in the tiny interrogation room arguing with her sister. Instead, she climbed to her feet and went over to Lena, taking her outstretched hand and letting her pull her out into the hallway.

 

            “Lena,” Kara murmured as she was dragged down corridor after corridor in silence. She almost walked into Lena as she came to a halt, turning around and pushing Kara through the nearest door, her eyes burning with anger as she looked at her.

 

            “What the fuck were you thinking?!”

 

            “You’re angry at me too?” Kara exclaimed, throwing her hands up in defeat as she sighed.

 

            “You’re damn right I’m fucking angry. I’m pissed! Furious!” Lena rambled, running a shaking hand through her hair. Kara blinked in surprise at the sight of Lena losing her cool – this was a side to her that Kara had never seen before. “You scared me. I didn’t even know you were here! I overheard Olsen saying that he and Lane brought you in. I thought that you’d been hurt. God, you could’ve been hurt and no one would’ve even told me because no one even knows what you mean to me!”

 

            Kara was in front of her in a flash, reaching out to stop her frantic pacing. “Hey. Hey, I’m fine. Just a little scuffle. Everything’s all good, I promise.” Lena closed her eyes, letting out a shaky breath, and Kara reached up to brush her hair out of her face and place a gentle kiss to her forehead. She held Lena close for a moment, before pulling back. “Let’s go home.”

 

---

 

            Lena had been slowly coming to terms with her relationship with Kara – she wanted this more than anything – but it was still a new thing for her, and that was why she’d panicked when she’d found out that Kara had been hurt. She cared for her more than she dared to admit, and for a moment Lena’s mind had flashed to thoughts of Kara being hurt – possibly by the rogue vampire stalking her.

 

            She was filled with relief the entire car ride back to their building, her hand entwined with Kara’s as her wild eyes kept flickering over to the passenger seat to make sure she was okay. “I’m fine,” Kara whispered, noticing another look from Lena.

 

            Giving her hand a quick squeeze, Kara lifted them and pressed a kiss to the back of Lena’s. A small smile curled the corner of Lena’s lips, and her eyes flickered over to Kara again. “I think I might’ve blew it with our little secret.”

 

            Kara quietly laughed. “Yeah, I don’t think storming around headquarters, giving orders to the deputy director of operations and dragging me out of the building by the hand was really inconspicuous. I wonder how your mom will react.”

 

            Lena groaned slightly. “I don’t even want to think about it. She’ll be pissed – say I’m interfering with a case and try and make it about work. Then she’ll threaten to fire me, which she won’t do, and then she’ll be even more pissed because she knows she has no leverage. So then she’ll threaten you and then that’ll make me hesitate, but I know that it’s a lie, so ultimately it wont make a difference – and she also knows that your sister is the deputy director of operations, and she wouldn’t want to piss her off now, would she? It’d be amusing to watch your sister threaten my mom though. Which will bring us a full circle, back to my mom and I pissing each other off and talking as little as possible, and you and I will happily carry on with … this.”

 

            “Yes, this,” Kara agreed, kissing the back of Lena’s hand again.

 

            “If only I could skip the fuss of that conversation though,” Lena sighed.

 

            They were home a moment later, walking upstairs hand in hand, and Kara wearily sighed at the thought of being alone, because Lena was tired and Kara wouldn’t keep her up just so that she didn’t have to be alone. Dawn was only a couple of hours away, and Kara would have to lock herself back up in her apartment until night fell again.

 

            Reaching their level, they both froze as they climbed the last step and saw a small brown parcel waiting at the foot of Kara’s door. They both knew what it was, and Kara was filled with dread, as she dropped Lena’s hand and darted over to it to pick it up. Her name was neatly written on the front again, and she opened the paper to reveal another box holding another red rose. Beneath that was another smaller box – one for jewellery – and she opened it to find a pair of diamond earrings set in gold. Picking up the little card, Kara’s eyes scanned the words, listening to Lena’s hurried footsteps.

 

            My dearest Kara, golden earrings for my golden haired beauty. These ones won’t burn, as my love does for you. I’m holding onto the day when I can lay eyes upon you and wishing for that day to come soon.

 

            Kara frowned, looking up at Lena and letting her take the note out of her hands. Lena quickly read the note and looked up at Kara with wide eyes filled with panic.

 

            “Fuck.”

Chapter Text

            Kara had her phone in her hand within a beat of Lena’s rapid heart – she was scared for her, she knew better than Kara what they were up against. Quickly dialling Alex’s number, Kara pressed her phone to her ear, frowning at the parcel she still held. Lena delicately held the card, and Kara realised she was trying not to get her prints all over it – not that it’d make a difference anyway, because their prints weren’t a match for any in the Cadmus system. As she listened to the phone ring, Kara reached up to smooth Lena’s hair, giving her a small, reassuring smile as she tried to put on a brave face – there was no reason for them both to look like they were panicking.

 

            “Yes?” Alex stiffly answered the phone, and Kara bit back a sigh – she was clearly still pissed off at her.

 

            “I need you to check the cameras outside my apartment,” Kara told her, and Alex’s voice quickly lost its bitter tone as her role as a hunter kicked in. Kara listened to the quieter sound of her ordering someone around, her voice only slightly betraying her panic.

 

            “I need the cameras outside my sister’s place. Luce, quick, pull up the footage for me.” There was a few minutes of silence, and then the soft sounds of Alex swearing before she turned her attention back to Kara. “We’ve got him. I’m sending you a picture now, let me know if you’ve seen him before.”

 

            Kara’s phone buzzed in her hand, and her heart was in her throat as she opened the photo that Alex sent her. Lena was at Kara’s side in an instant, peering down at the clear photo of one of the monitors at Cadmus. There was a guy wearing a uniform for a takeaway business for Chinese food, and Kara’s eyes widened at the face.

 

            “Mike?!” she exclaimed, bringing the phone closer to her face, as if her eyes were playing a trick on her.

 

            “Who the fuck is Mike?” Alex’s voice came through on the speaker.

 

            “Her takeout delivery guy,” Lena murmured, frowning down at the photo. Her eyes flickered up to Kara’s for a moment, and her frown deepened when she saw the determined look on her face.

 

            “Where does he work?”

 

            “The Jade Dragon,” Kara replied.

 

            “I’ll handle it,” Alex told her, pausing for a moment. “Stay safe.”

 

            The line went dead, leaving Kara and Lena stood silently in the hallway. Neither of them moved for a moment, and then Kara reached out and plucked the card out of Lena’s hand, returning it to the box, before fishing her keys out of the pocket of her ruined coat. Opening the door of her apartment, Kara walked inside, dumping the parcel onto her counter and removing her torn coat.

 

            “Kara,” Lena murmured from behind her, resting a gentle hand on Kara’s tense shoulder.

 

            “He’s human, Lena, it’s not him,” Kara murmured. She knew without a doubt that it wasn’t Mike. The changes in her appearance had been so different compared to her human appearance, and Mike didn’t have any of the characteristics – she was sure.

 

            “I know,” Lena murmured. “Which worries me even more. Whoever it really is is smart. They’re getting humans to help them – they don’t need permission to cross boundaries.”

 

            Closing her eyes, Kara took a deep breath, inhaling through her nose to take in the scent of her apartment. She opened her eyes and looked at Lena. “No one’s been in here.”

 

            “That’s not exactly reassuring, Kara,” Lena muttered.

 

            Giving her a soft smile, Kara slowly walked over to Lena, picking up one of her hands and pressing a gentle kiss to the back of her hand. Carefully, she wrapped her arms around Lena, holding her against her chest and listening to the reassuring beat of her heart. As they stood there, Kara’s mind was turning over an idea, and almost as if Lena could hear her thinking, she mumbled into the front of Kara’s shirt. “Whatever it is you’re going to do-“

 

            Stiffening, Kara pulled out of the hug, and clenched her jaw. “You can’t stop me.”

 

            Lena rolled her eyes and carried on talking, ignoring Kara’s interruption. “Let me help you do it.”

 

            “Wait, you’re not going to try and stop me?” Kara said, blinking in surprise.

 

            “I know you wouldn’t listen anyway, so why bother trying right? At least this way I can help you – try and keep you out of trouble, even if your sister will kill me for not stopping you.”

 

            “I’ll worry about Alex,” Kara said, giving Lena a loving smile. She was relieved that they weren’t about to have their first fight over this, and Kara knew that Lena could handle herself if they got themselves into trouble. “Let me get changed and then we’ll go.”

 

            A firm hand stopped her in her tracks, and Lena looked at her with alarm. “Kara, dawn is an hour away – at the most – you can’t go out now. Whatever it is will have to wait.”

 

            “Shit,” Kara cursed, running a hand through her hair. She’d completely forgotten about the sun, and she was agitated, needing to do something – anything – to catch the person who was stalking her. She didn’t feel comfortable in her own home knowing that someone was watching her, and she couldn’t sit by and do nothing to find the person. It made no difference what she wanted right now though; she couldn’t go outside, and Lena needed to sleep. “Right, yeah, um, you should get some rest. We can start when the sun goes down.”

 

            Lena hesitated, reaching out to grab Kara by the shoulders. “Hey, are you going to be okay? Do you want to come to my place?”

 

            Kara flashed her a quick smile. “And watch you sleep? I know you made me watch Twilight, but really, Lena.”

 

            “Very funny,” Lena sighed, rolling her eyes. “Really though. I don’t want to leave you alone if you’re scared.”

 

            “I’m not sca-“

 

            “It’s okay to be scared, Kara. I’m fucking terrified for you. You’re a normal person – a lot of your kind are – but some of them have lost their humanity. They’re centuries old and they think themselves Gods. Not all of them are nice, and I’m scared that they might do something to hurt you if you anger them.”

 

            Kara swallowed the lump in her throat, nodding slightly. Lena was right, and Kara realised that it was serious, and her previous thoughts about Lena being able to take care of herself came back to her. Kara was going to have to go back on her word – if Lena was scared for her, then Kara knew that she couldn’t let Lena help her.

 

            “Stay here,” Kara blurted out, and Lena raised her eyebrows slightly. “I mean … for the night.”

 

            “Here?”

 

            “If he comes back, I’d rather know where you are,” Kara mumbled, feeling a bit stupid at admitting that she was afraid to leave Lena alone. She wasn’t worried about her own safety – she felt uneasy, but it didn’t sound like whoever it was bore her any ill will – but she was terrified about what could happen to Lena. It sounded like this person was a secret admirer, and the thought of what they would do to the person who had captured Kara’s attention filled her with dread.

 

            “Okay,” Lena agreed.

 

            “I’ll, um, get you some pyjamas,” Kara murmured, feeling slightly relieved. Darting over to her closet, Kara pulled out a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt, handing them over to Lena and busying herself with fussing with the bed. Lena came out of the bathroom a few minutes later, yawning as she ran a hand through her hair, and Kara quickly grabbed her own pyjamas and went to clean herself up in the bathroom, before coming back out.

 

            Lena was sat on her bed, the sheets pulled up to her waist while she waited expectantly for Kara to return. Smiling, she patted the empty space beside her, and Kara warily moved over to her, climbing on top of the covers so that Lena wouldn’t be pressed up next to her cold body. Slowly settling down on the pillows, Lena threw an arm across Kara, cuddling up close to her, and Kara smiled, pressing a gentle kiss to the top of Lena’s head.

 

            “Hey,” Lena murmured, and Kara looked down at her. “It’s going to be okay.”

 

            “I know,” Kara said, giving her a quick squeeze.

 

---

 

            Lena fell asleep in Kara’s arms, and too scared to move in case she woke her up, Kara lay there for hours, listening to Lena’s heartbeat and feeling her chest steadily rise and fall. She looked so young when she slept – the cold lines to her face relaxing, making her look so innocent and sweet, like she was around Kara – and Kara stared at her face in wonder. The room was pitch black, yet Kara could see with perfect clarity – see the perfection of Lena’s face. The thick lashes that dusted her cheekbones as they fluttered gently with the rapid eye movement beneath Lena’s eyelids – she was dreaming – or the perfectly shaped lips, slightly parted as she evenly breathed. Kara could hardly believe that Lena was in her bed, with her, and she trusted Kara enough – felt safe enough - to fall asleep asleep in her arms. It was all Kara needed to know that Lena truly did care for her, the way that Kara cared about her.

 

            It wasn’t until footsteps clicked down the hallway that Kara looked away from Lena’s face. They didn’t stop outside Kara’s door, but Lena’s, and Kara bit back a groan at the voice that floated towards her, accompanied by a knock on the door. “Lena! Open up, we need to talk.”

 

            Lillian sounded angry, and Kara shot a worried look down at Lena, who was still fast asleep on her chest. She wondered if she should wake her up, but decided that there was no point disturbing her when it would only result in Lena arguing with her mom.

 

            “I know you’re in there, Lena! Answer the door, or if you’d prefer I can wait for you to come to work tonight and we can discuss things there. Although, I should warn you that I might not be so lenient,” Lillian barked, and Kara winced slightly at the thought of Lena getting into trouble because of her. She heard a heavy sigh and the muttered curses of someone losing their patience, and then Lillian raised her voice slightly. “Ah yes, Miss Danvers, I seem to recall my daughter mentioning you were neighbours. Considering the fact that it’s broad daylight outside, I doubt you’ve left your apartment during that time, so please, enlighten me – where’s my daughter?”

 

            Biting her tongue to hold back a stream of muttered curses, Kara carefully extracted herself from Lena’s embrace and flew to the door, quietly unlocking it. As the door opened, Lillian turned around, locking eyes with Kara, grinning with smug triumph. “So you could hear me – good. Now, if you would be so kind – my daughter. Where is she?”

 

            Kara stared back at her with the same contempt, raising her chin slightly as her stubbornness took over. “I couldn’t say. Perhaps you should try calling her.”

 

            “I have,” Lillian snapped, her eye flashing with anger. “She’s not answering.”

 

            “Pity. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful,” Kara replied, giving her a slight smile. “If that’ll be all then, ma’am.”

 

            “Not so fast, Miss Danvers,” Lillian said, taking a few measured steps closer to Kara’s door. There was a lethal power in all of her movements, and Kara didn’t want to know what kind of danger lurked beneath the carefully crafted mask of control. She didn’t have to look far to see where Lena’s cold front came from – but she doubted that Lillian’s was hiding the caring and loving side that Lena’s was. “I believe you were involved in an altercation early hours this morning. Now, I’m not sure what role you played in that, but my daughter didn’t have the authority to release you. It would be a pity for me to have to bring you back in for an interrogation – and even worse if you were unwilling to … cooperate.”

 

            The threat was clear, and Kara glared at Lillian. Either she gave up Lena or Lillian would cuff her and drag her back to Cadmus headquarters, and Kara doubted that Alex would be there to rescue her when she got there. Still, Kara wouldn’t subject Lena to her mom’s anger just to save her own skin, and so she straightened up and squared her shoulders. “Sorry, ma’am, I’d love to help you, but I don’t think your daughter is available to see you. She’s not home – as you can so clearly tell. Please, try knocking again though, if you don’t believe me.”

 

            “Listen here,” Lillian hissed, stalking closer to Kara. “If you don’t-“

 

            “Kara? Who’re you talking to?” Lena’s tired voice floated towards Kara, and she groaned internally. Perfect timing.

 

            “Lena!” Lillian barked, recognising her daughter’s voice, and Kara bit her lip at the sound of muttered curses that reached her ears. Padding barefoot across the room, Lena appeared at Kara’s shoulder, and Lillian’s eyes blazed with poorly concealed anger at the sight of her daughter running a hand through her bed hair, and dressed in too big clothes that clearly weren’t hers.

 

            “Mother,” Lena stiffly muttered.

 

            “So it’s true,” Lillian sniffed with disapproval, her lip curling slightly in disgust. “What on earth do you think you’re doing?”

 

            “Well I was sleeping,” Lena said, pursing her lips slightly as she narrowed her eyes.

 

            “Get out,” Lillian ordered her, and Lena defiantly lifted her chin.

 

            “I-“

 

            “Outside, now,” Lillian barked, and Lena scowled at her, brushing past Kara and padding barefoot across the hall to unlock her door. She shot Kara a look of irritation – Kara understood that it was irritation at her mother, not at her – and shut the door as soon as Lillian walked inside. Sighing, Kara shut her own door, taking the time to shower, just so that Lena could have a few minutes alone to argue with her mom without Kara eavesdropping. Even the pounding water wasn’t enough to block out their shouting though, and their raised voices burrowed into Kara’s ears – no matter how hard she tried to block it out.

 

            “What were you thinking? You let a prisoner go! You went against protocol and broke at least a dozen rules, and for what, hm? A girl who isn’t even human? Really, Lena, I could overlook Jack because it wasn’t his fault he was turned, but purposely chasing after a vampire? Where did I go wrong? Why are you doing this? Is this some petty revenge to get back at me, because if it is, it’s immature and in poor taste.”

 

            “Revenge? Oh please, get over yourself. I don’t care about what you think of me – I came to terms with the fact that you’ll never love me a long time ago – and I won’t deny myself what I want purely to satisfy you.”

 

            “So you care about her?”

 

            Lena was silent for a moment. “Obviously.”

 

            “More than your job? Because she better be worth it – you’re suspended. No lab, no research, not even a single step inside headquarters until I say otherwise.”

 

            “You can’t do that,” Lena argued, her anger flaring up.

 

            “Oh I think you’ll find that I can – isn’t that what you told Hunter Danvers?” Lillian coolly replied, sounding smug. “Or have you forgotten that I own the company? If you have a problem with it then you can bring it up with me – it was something along those lines, correct? But considering the fact that I just made my decision, I’m sure it won’t make much of a difference.”

 

            “What do you want from me?”

 

            “I want your loyalty.”

 

            “I am loyal – to the cause,” Lena insisted. “You groomed me to work at the company since I was a teenager – I’ve been nothing but loyal to the cause.”

 

            “Yet here you are, pining after someone who isn’t even alive, wearing her clothes and sleeping in her bed. Have you forgotten yourself?”

 

            Lena let out a laugh of disbelief. “Her sister is your deputy director of operations. Has she been suspended for their relationship? No, I didn’t think so. What, is it because I’m your daughter? Because the only time that seems relevant is when you need a child to shunt all the blame onto.”

 

            “Hunter Danvers isn’t suspended because she hasn’t broken any laws. You, on the other hand, disobeyed direct orders from her and took a prisoner out of an interrogation room, using my name to do it.”

 

            “She didn’t do anything wrong, mom,” Lena muttered.

 

            “That wasn’t up to you to decide,” Lillian snapped. “You stuck your nose in where it didn’t belong and interfered in a case. That can’t happen again. Consider this your first warning – there won’t be another.”

 

            “And how many warnings did you give Lex?”

 

            The sound of the stinging slap shocked Kara, and in an instant she had the water shut off and was out of her apartment, bursting into Lena’s apartment in a fury. Lena looked at her with surprise – whether because of the fact that she was soaking wet and wearing nothing but a towel, or the fact that she’d almost taken the door off its hinges in her anger - and Lillian glared at her. Kara’s fangs weren’t exactly menacing, being slightly more than extra pointy canines, but as her face contorted into a snarl, the sharp teeth suddenly revealed the danger that hid behind her oblivious and slightly naïve personality.

 

            After a moment of frozen shock by all parties present, Kara took a step towards Lillian, whose hand was inching towards her bag where Kara was betting hid more than a few weapons. She was stopped in her tracks by a rough hand clamping down on her shoulder, and she looked at Lena, whose jaw was stubbornly set. “Don’t.”

 

            “But-“

 

            “Don’t.”

 

            Kara was seething with rage, but the tight grip on her shoulder and the firmly spoken words were enough to keep her from attacking Lillian, who was looking almost triumphant at having exposed the side of Kara that could’ve torn her throat out in a second, even though her rapid heartbeat betrayed her fear beneath the calm exterior she was presenting.

 

            “Get out,” Kara spat at Lillian, who silently obeyed, not even sparing her daughter a glance as she brushed past and out of the apartment. The silence that followed her departure was deafening, and Kara stood still, tense with anger as she looked at the top of Lena’s head. She wouldn’t look up at Kara, and her dark hair hid her face from view as she stood with her hand pressed against Kara’s cool skin. As slow as possible, Kara reached up to tenderly cup Lena’s chin, tilting her head up. “Let me see,” Kara mumbled, brushing her hair out of her face.

 

            To her surprise, Lena didn’t even look upset – there were no tears in her eyes, just anger – and she looked slightly embarrassed as she took in the worried and pitying look that Kara gave her. Her cheek was pink from the slap, and Kara gently caressed her face, her cold fingers barely grazing the skin.

 

            “Are you okay?” Kara asked, her voice shaking as she spoke.

 

            “I’m fine,” Lena quietly replied, lifting her chin up. She was a proud person, and even this wasn’t enough to diminish her pride – if anything she looked even more defiant than before.

 

            “I- has- i-is this the-“

 

            “Once before,” Lena flatly interrupted. “When my brother was arrested. Do you want to get dressed?”

 

            Kara looked down, realising that she was slowly creating a puddle on Lena’s floor, with nothing but a towel on, and she quickly turned into a stuttering mess, dropping the conversation for a moment, which was clearly Lena’s intention. “I- uh, just, um, I- wha-, can, um.”

 

            “Kara,” Lena said, taking her face in her hands and giving her a faint smile. “Go and get dressed.” If she could blush, her face would be flaming red, but Kara just darted out of the room and back across to her own apartment, quickly slipping on some jeans and a sweater. In the time it took for her to get dressed, Lena had shut her door and walked back over to Kara’s apartment and made herself at home on the bed. Giving her a sad smile, Kara set about making some coffee for them, and settled down next to Lena on the bed. They were shoulder to shoulder, and Lena drummed her fingers on her cup as they sat there in silence. “So, I guess I’m not working tonight now,” Lena said with bitter amusement.

 

            “Lena,” Kara started, sighing slightly.

 

            “It’s fine,” Lena assured her, giving her a grim smile. “This isn’t the first time she’s suspended me – I’m not one for following orders. She won’t let me make another mistake when it comes to you though. The company has a reputation to maintain, and I've already tarnished it once because of my vampire ex - I guess she feels threatened by you.”

 

            “I’m sorry.”

 

            “Don’t apologise. I wasn’t going to let them hold you there when you didn’t even do anything wrong.”

 

            Kara frowned slightly. “You could’ve though. It was Alex – she wouldn’t have hurt me. She’s my sister, Lena.”

 

            “I know, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have locked you up for a few days while they tried to find out if anyone had seen you, or if you actually had been the cause of the trouble. Your sister can't save you from everything.”

 

            “She-“ Kara cut off at the sound of her phone ringing, and she sighed as she reached for it. It was Alex.

 

            “Can I just ask why you were just out in your hallway in a towel?”

 

            “Not now, Alex,” Kara growled into the phone, hanging up in annoyance.

 

            “Kara, I really don’t want to talk about my mother right now,” Lena murmured, frowning slightly. “Please.” The phone rang again, and Kara let out an impatient sigh, letting Lena pluck the phone out of her hands and answer it for her. It made no difference to Kara – she could hear every word either way.

 

            “Is everything okay?”

 

            “Yes, everything’s fine,” Lena curtly replied. “Just a slight altercation with the director.”

 

            “Oh! Luthor. Well, can you tell my sister that I’m going to need her to organise a meet up with this takeaway guy so we can catch him.”

 

            Lena raised her eyebrows at Kara, who shrugged in compliance. “I guess I can order some food?”

 

            “He’ll know you’re not a human anymore though, why would you be ordering food?” Lena pointed out, and Kara frowned slightly.

 

            “I mean, I guess he might think it’s for appearances sake – even you know the guy because he was here that often. You could get breakfast,” Kara suggested, reaching out to give Lena’s knee a quick squeeze.

 

            “We’ll order takeout,” Lena relayed to Alex, who agreed on the plan, and set about creating a plan with Lena to catch Mike. Kara listened with interest, keeping quiet while she let the professionals do their job, and once plans were finalised, she called up The Jade Dragon and placed an order for her usual choices.

 

            Now all they had to do was wait.

Chapter Text

            Three sets of footsteps made their way down the hallway, and Kara was already opening the door before Alex could even knock. She ushered her inside, along with Lucy and James, and Lena climbed off the bed and wandered over to listen to the plan that the hunters had concocted.

 

            “Okay, so I’ll be in here with you,” Alex told Kara, all business as she dumped a bag on the table and started pulling out a range of weapons. “I imagine you’ll be staying here too, Luthor.”

 

            Alex looked at Lena with slightly raised eyebrows, taking in her sister’s pyjamas and he gaze flitted to the bed for a second, before returning to Lena’s face to take in the stiff nod. “Okay. Stake or gun? Or crossbow?” Alex asked, lining the weapons up on the table.

 

            Lena reached for the gun with a snort of laughter. “Yeah, somehow I don’t think wood is going to affect a human. And what kind of idiot picks a crossbow when they take fucking ages to reload?”

 

            “This kind of idiot,” James piped up, flashing Lena a smile as he hefted his own crossbow and Lena rolled her eyes.

 

            “A pointed piece of wood can be very affective if you’re determined,” Alex muttered defensively, picking up the metal plated piece of wood. Kara’s eyes widened with worry as she took in the sight of everyone arming themselves.

 

            “Jesus Christ! We’re not trying to kill him, Alex!” Kara exclaimed, reaching out to grab the stake and letting out a yelp of pain and dropping it as the silver burnt her hand. “Shit!”

 

            “Fuck! No! Do not touch any of this shit, Kara. It’s all plated in silver,” Alex said, quickly reaching out to make sure that Kara’s hand was okay. “And I know we’re not going to kill him – but he doesn’t know that. He probably knows he’s working for a vampire, so we’ll just scare him a little. Maybe a few threats.”

 

            Kara frowned but didn’t argue, and Alex looked at Lena expectantly. “Right, um, so I was thinking that Lucy and James could wait in your apartment. Cover him from two angles, if that’s okay with you.”

 

            Lena frowned slightly – she didn’t like people invading her personal space. She didn’t trust that Lucy or James wouldn’t rifle through her things and report back to her mom – the paranoid part of her even considered the idea that her mom had put them up to it – but she quickly agreed. Anything to help Kara.

 

            Five minutes later, Kara nervously found herself sat around her table with Lena and Alex, and as the three of them sat there in silence, she felt the tension build. Kara hadn’t exactly openly admitted to Alex that she was dating Lena, even though she hadn’t denied it when Alex had questioned her, and she knew that things were about to get awkward very fast.

 

            Almost as if she could read her mind, Alex fixed her gaze on Kara and raised her eyebrows as she leant back in her chair. “So … you two are …”

 

            Lena stiffened in her seat, so tense that she looked like she was about to make a run for it. Nervously going to fix her non-existent glasses, Kara cleared her throat and dropped her hands into her lap, fidgeting with her fingers as she tried to come up with an explanation. “Well we- uh, we are … friends?”

 

            Alex snorted, rolling her eyes. “Right. Friends. Lucy and I are friends too.”

 

            “I knew it!” Kara triumphantly exclaimed, and Alex and Lena gave her an exasperated look.

 

            “Kara, the entire fucking company knows your sister has a thing with Lane,” Lena snorted. “There was that whole thing with HR.”

 

            “The thing with HR?” Kara said, raising her eyebrows at Alex, who shrugged slightly.

 

            “Comments were made, and then I made some comments back,” Alex explained, clearing her throat as she shifted in her seat.

 

            “I think they’re called threats,” Lena snorted, and Alex shot her an unimpressed look.

 

            “Yes, thank you for that,” Alex murmured. “Anyway, back to you.”

 

            There was a knock on the door, and Lena gave Alex a tight smile. “Looks like we’ll have to continue this later.”

 

            The three of them were out of their seats in a second, and Alex waved for them to be quiet as she padded over to the door with her stake out. Kara rolled her eyes and darted ahead of Alex, making it to the door before her. “Kara, what are you doing? Get away from the door,” Alex hissed.

 

            “I’m supposed to be picking up my usual order. It’s going to be a bit weird if I don’t answer the door,” Kara hissed back, and Alex grumbled something under her breath but let Kara reach for the handle. The sound of a gun being cocked reached Kara’s ears as Lena took a defensive position behind Alex with a determined look on her face.

 

            Looking to Alex for a nod of confirmation, Kara opened the door, plastering a fake smile on her face. “Hi! Oh-“

 

            It wasn’t Mike.

 

            “That was one Singapore beef noodles, a serve of spring rolls and sweet and sour pork,” the delivery girl droned as she held out the bag to Kara. The door across the hall opened and Lucy and James both appeared in the doorway with their weapons raised. Behind Kara, Alex was giving them both a wide-eyed look of panic, shaking her head slightly to call off the plan.

 

            Kara turned her attention back to the delivery girl, and quickly dug through her pockets for some cash as she watched Lucy and James hurriedly shut the door to Lena’s apartment before the girl turned around and saw a gun and a crossbow pointed at her.

 

            “Keep the change,” Kara told her, taking the bag with thanks and shutting her front door. Turning around she gave Alex and Lena a grim smile.

 

            “So bad news – it wasn’t Mike,” Kara told them.

 

            “No shit,” Alex said, rolling her eyes and running a hand through her hair. They hadn’t thought this part through.

 

            “The good news is I have noodles and pork for you.”

 

            “It’s ten o’clock in the morning, Kara,” Lena told her, but she accepted the little white box that she was handed anyway. With a sigh, Lena sat down at the table and begin picking at the noodles while Kara flashed around the kitchen. There was a knock on the door a moment later, and Alex let Lucy and James inside, launching into a conversation about what to do next. Kara appeared at Lena’s side, brushing her hair out of her face to get a better look at her.

 

            “Tea?”

 

            “Yes please,” Lena smiled up at her. “There’s milk in my apartment if you need some. I know you keep forgetting.” Kara laughed, taking the key and flitting across the hall to steal some milk out of Lena’s fridge.

 

            “So what now?” Kara asked as she set a cup of tea down in front of everyone and took a seat at the table.

 

            “We’ll find him,” Alex told her, leaving no room for doubt. It was almost like she was trying to convince herself. “Um, I might set up a watch here so that if he comes back with another gift someone will be able t catch him before he leaves. We can’t keep ordering takeaway on the off chance the right delivery person shows up.”

 

            “I’ll take the first watch,” James volunteered, and Alex gave him a small nod.

 

            “You’d better get back to work,” Kara told Alex, and her sister frowned.

 

            “Kara, I-“

 

            Giving her an encouraging smile, Kara reached out and gave her hand a squeeze. “I’ll be fine, Alex. Go. Nothing bad will happen to me with James and Lena watching me. Besides, they’d be hard pressed to kill me anyway, considering the fact that I’ll just heal anyway.”

 

            “I won’t let her out of my sight,” Lena promised, and Alex hesitated before giving her a grateful nod. Bending down to kiss her sister on the top of her head, Alex gave her a stern look.

 

            “Be careful. Call me if you need anything. Anything at all. I mean it, Kara. I’ll keep an eye on the cameras we set up, but if I miss something, you call, okay?”

 

            “I promise,” Kara murmured, and she gave her a reassuring smile and walked the three hunters over to the door.

 

            “I’ll be back when my shift ends,” Alex told her, looking past Kara and meeting Lena’s gaze. “I have a talk to finish.” Kara let out a small groan and Lena scoffed as she drained the rest of her tea. With a small wave, Kara watched Alex and Lucy disappear down the stairs, leaving her face to face with James.

 

            “So, I’ll take up a position downstairs in my van. I can watch the entrance for anyone coming or going. I’ll also have access to the cameras outside your door, so I’ll be able to find out if he’s getting in some other way,” James informed her, and with Kara’s agreement, he gave her a quick smile and disappeared downstairs.

 

            With an exasperated sigh, Kara stepped back inside her apartment and shut her door, before rounding on Lena, who stood up and started taking all the empty cups off the table and dumping them in the kitchen sink. “I know what we’re going to do today,” Lena told her, pulling the chairs out and putting them in the kitchen too. “Can you help me with this table?”

 

            Kara didn’t question her, she just flashed to Lena’s side and picked the table up with ease, moving it as far off to the side as possible so that there was a small open space in the middle of the apartment. They stood face to face, a few feet separating them as Kara looked at Lena expectantly. Moving with a quickness that Kara wasn’t expecting, Lena had Kara backed up against the front door with Alex’s borrowed gun digging into her chest.

 

            “Dead.”

 

            “You want me to fight you?” Kara asked with confusion.

 

            “I want you to learn to defend yourself,” Lena told her, brushing a stray lock of Kara's hair away with gentle fingers. “Your sister will be better at it of course, but we may as well get started on the basics.”

 

            Kara stole the gun off Lena in a flash, and dangled it in front of her with a lopsided smile on her face. Lena rolled her eyes and made a grab for the gun, which Kara held up out of her reach. “Very funny,” Lena sighed, rolling her eyes. Too busy enjoying herself, Kara didn’t realise that Lena had hooked a foot behind Kara’s leg until she found herself on her ass, looking up at a smug Lena.

 

            “Don’t get too cocky,” Lena warned her.

 

            “Right,” Kara muttered, climbing to her feet in one fluid motion. She was on guard now, so she saw Lena punch coming and managed to dodge before she could land it, but she didn’t see the butter knife that Lena had slipped out of the kitchen drawer earlier on until it was pressed against her stomach. “Damn.”

 

            “They’ll try and kill you, Kara. They won’t play fair, and neither should you. That’s what my mom told me anyway,” Lena said with a grimace. “You should always have a backup plan, and a backup weapon.”

 

            “Just out of curiosity, how many weapons do you usually walk around with?”

 

            Lena gave her a crooked smile. “At least three.”

 

            “Hm. Well I’d better not piss you off – ever,” Kara mused, knocking the knife aside and darting behind Lena to loosely wind an arm around her neck. She tilted her head to the side and planted a quick kiss on Lena’s cheek.

 

            “I would never intentionally hurt you, but that would be wise to remember anyway,” Lena laughed, jerking Kara’s feet out from under her again so that the two of them collapsed to the floor in a pile. Muttering a curse, Kara disentangled herself from Lena, who took the opportunity to dive back on top of her and pin her down by her wrists.

 

            “Okay, so you’re a lot better at this than I am,” Kara admitted, and Lena smiled.

 

            “Well that’s what eighteen years of self defence gets you,” Lena shrugged. “I’m not a specialist like your sister, but I’m more than a match for anyone.”

 

            Sitting up, Kara dropped her hands into her lap, revelling in the warmth of Lena’s hands as they formed manacles around her wrists. “Don’t I know it.”

 

            “Fight smart, Kara,” Lena murmured, releasing her wrists and sliding her hands into Kara’s. She raised them and pressed a kiss to the back of Kara’s hand. “And fight dirty. And if you can – try not to fight at all.”

 

            “I’ll try my hardest,” Kara told her with a small smile. She leant in and gave her a soft kiss, their noses gently bumping as Kara tried to bring herself down a few inches to Lena’s height. “Now, what else do I need to learn? Are you going to teach me how to judo throw someone?”

 

            Lena laughed, climbing to her feet and pulling Kara with her. “A judo throw? I think that’s a bit out of your league right now.” Kara pouted, a little frown line forming between her eyebrows as she looked at Lena, who raised an eyebrow. Kara kept giving her the unimpressed, pouting look, until Lena sighed and bit back a smile. “Okay, fine. But I’m not letting you judo throw me. You’ll probably yank my arm out of my socket.”

 

            “Great! You can do it on me!” Kara beamed at her. With a quick explanation, Lena demonstrated on Kara a few times, who laughed every time she was gently body slammed to the ground. After a few more tries, Kara grabbed one of her chairs and copied Lena as close as she could, accidentally overestimating her strength and smashing the chair on the floor.

 

            “Shit,” Kara cursed, holding onto two splintered chair legs as she looked at the broken pieces littering the floor with wide eyes. A burst of laughter from Lena broke Kara out of her shock, and her eyes flashed up to meet Lena’s and she sheepishly bit her lip.

 

            “I think that’s enough of that for today,” Lena told her, her eyes sparkling with amusement. “Um, I don’t think my toolbox can fix this one for you.”

 

            “I won’t be hosting many dinner parties here now anyway,” Kara laughed, quickly grabbing a trash bag and shoving all the pieces inside. “So what’s next for the rest of the day?”

 

            Lena collapsed onto Kara’s bed and let out a heavy sigh. “Game plan?”

 

            “For the stalker?” Kara asked, and Lena nodded. “So, what’re we going to do? Alex and your mom will kill us both if we do it ourselves.”

 

            “I know,” Lena said, pushing herself up onto her elbows and meeting Kara’s eyes. “So we can’t get caught.”

 

            Kara nodded, walking over to the bed and sitting down next to her. “So how do we do it?”

 

            “There’s somewhere I think we should go to first. It’ll take a few days to organise.”

 

            “Alright then.”

 

---

 

            The sun was just starting to set when Alex showed up after work, as promised. Opening the door, Kara waved her inside, and glanced around outside to make sure no one else was out there. She didn’t trust her senses – not when she wouldn’t be able to hear a heartbeat or footsteps if it was a vampire trying not to be heard.

 

            “So, everything was all clear today,” Alex said, collapsing down into one of the chairs that had been moved back to the middle of the room. “Um, there’s a chair missing.”

 

            Kara’s eyes flickered over to the trash bag placed next to the door. “Yeah, I, uh, might’ve broken it by judo throwing it to the floor.”

 

            “Right, I’m just … not going to ask any questions about that,” Alex said, arching an eyebrow slightly. “Anyway, so James has gone for the day. I’ve got another agent to come and keep watch for the night, so you’ll be safe.”

 

            “Okay,” Kara nodded. “Thanks.”

 

            “I got you some more blood too,” Alex told her, pulling out a couple of blood bags and placing them on the table. Kara thanked her again and put them in the fridge.

 

            Over on the bed Lena cleared her throat. “So, about that talk.”

 

            “Yes,” Alex said, looking at Lena with surprise.

 

            “I’ve already had one argument about your sister with my mom today, so if you’d just spit out whatever you have to say then that would be great.”

 

            “Should I- yeah, I, uh, I’m going to go and take the chair down to the dumpster,” Kara stammered, “I’ll, um, be walking human speed, so it’s probably going to take me like five minutes.” She shot Alex a warning look before picking up the trash bag and slipping out of her apartment.

 

            They waited a few minutes, both staring at the door while they waited for Kara to be out of earshot. After enough time had passed, Alex turned her attention to Lena and raised her chin as she hesitated slightly. “Right. Well, simply put – I don’t trust your mom. I get that I work for her company too, but I can assure you my motives are completely different, and I’m not entirely sure what your motives are. So if you’re in on whatever plan she has, then I’d like you to leave Kara out of it before things escalate. I’ll risk a lot, but I won’t risk my sister.”

 

            “Noted,” Lena coolly replied, looking almost amused. “And just so you know – don’t ever compare me to my mother.”

 

            Sitting in uncomfortable silence, they both stared each other down for a few minutes. Clearing her throat slightly, Alex shifted in her seat. “Can I just ask you something?” At Lena’s nod she continued. “Why her?”

 

            “I think you know why.”

 

            “Well, yeah, I know she has every good quality you could imagine – and some bad ones – and I can see why, but why? She’s literally the opposite of what you stand for.”

 

            “What my mother stands for,” Lena sharply corrected her. “I have never once agreed with her. I’m only here for the science so that I can help people – humans and vampires.”

 

            “Right,” Alex slowly said. “So you like her.”

 

            Lena softly cleared her throat as she jutted her chin forward. “Yes.”

 

            “Hm. Well okay then.”

 

            “Okay then,” Lena echoed, her eyebrows shooting up. “What, that’s it?”

 

            “Listen, Luthor, I can’t say I know you. You’re my boss’ daughter and it’s hard for me to not judge you on that, but I’ll try for my sister’s sake. I’m not going to threaten you or intimidate you – you know what I can do – I’m just going to ask you to make sure that you’re okay with this. Kara’s a warm and loving person. She loves with all her heart, and if you can’t give her that in return then just be a decent person and stop it before she gets too attached. We work with vampires, and I know that we’re not supposed to get close to them, but she’s my sister and I love her more than anyone in the world. So please, if her being a vampire is going to be a problem, then leave her alone.”

 

            “I don’t get attached easily,” Lena quietly admitted. “I know myself well and I know what I can handle. So if it was too much for me – too messy – I wouldn’t drag her into it. So, yeah … I care about her.”

 

            “Good,” Alex said, and then the front door opened and Kara slipped back in, five minutes to the second, and Lena shot her an accusatory look.

 

            “Enjoy eavesdropping?”

 

            “I tried my best not to, but yeah,” Kara sheepishly admitted.

 

            “Well it’s nothing to worry about, right Luthor?” Alex said, giving Lena a smile.

 

            “Nothing to worry about, Danvers,” Lena agreed.

 

            Kara snorted, rolling her eyes as she sat down in the third chair. “You could at least call each other by your first names.”

 

            “Bad habit,” Alex shrugged. “We only use surnames at headquarters.

 

            “Hm, interesting. So you call Lucy ‘Lane’ then?” Kara asked, her eyebrows raised in question.

 

            Alex rolled her eyes. “Well no, that’s different.”

 

            “How about you invite her over tonight,” Kara suggested, lighting up with excitement. “I haven’t really had the chance to talk to her. She was too busy staking me or handcuffing me to chat.”

 

            Alex winced slightly. “Well I, uh, she’s probably at home by now.”

 

            “Come on, Alex,” Kara complained. “It’s not fair for you to interrogate my … Lena, and then not introduce Lucy to me as your … girlfriend?”

 

            “Fine,” Alex sighed. “I’m ordering pizza. Lena, do you- do you like pizza?”

 

            “Yeah,” Lena agreed.

 

            “Excellent!” Kara exclaimed.

 

---

 

            Half an hour later, Lucy was knocking on the door with a stack of pizzas, and she gave Kara a friendly smile as she beat Alex to opening the door. “Kara, hi.”

 

            “Hi Lucy! You’re not going to stake me are you?” Kara laughed at the wide eyed look Lucy was giving her, and stood aside. “I’m just messing with you. Come on in.”

 

            Alex gave Kara a pointed look and came over to claim the pizzas, and Lena watched with amusement. “Lane.”

 

            “Luthor,” Lucy said with a smile.

 

            “Who wants a drink?” Kara asked, looking at the three girls in turn. It was an odd sort of gathering, with all four of them having some sort of history, and Kara figured that a drink might help diffuse the awkwardness of the conversation.

 

            Lucy held up a bottle of wine that Kara hadn’t noticed by her side. “Already got us covered.”

 

            Fetching wine glasses for them all, they sat down to eat their pizza – the three girls sat around the table and Kara perched on the edge of the kitchen counter for lack of a chair. She listened with interest as the three of them talked about work, trying to figure out how much of the operations division overlapped with Lena’s work in the science division. Kara watched them eat with a slight frown on her face, and Lena raised her eyebrows in a silent question when she caught the look.

 

            “I used to love pizza,” Kara admitted, and Lena’s gaze softened.

 

            “Are you hungry?” Alex asked. “You can eat in front of us. Lucy doesn’t mind, do you Luce?”

 

            Lucy gave her a reassuring smile. “I mean, it is dinner time.”

 

            Slipping off the counter, Kara fetched a blood bag and emptied some of it into her glass of red wine, the two differing shades of red mixing into one. It was more inconspicuous if she just acted like she was drinking wine instead of blood – even though everyone knew.

 

            “So what’d you get up to today?” Alex asked, glancing at Kara.

 

            Kara smiled around the rim of her wine glass. “I told you earlier that I was doing judo throws. Lena was teaching me some self defence, and in conclusion – I’m terrible.”

 

            “I thought that perhaps you could give her some professional training,” Lena said to Alex, who looked pleased with the idea.

 

            “Mm, it might give me some peace of mind if you can defend yourself,” Alex agreed, a thoughtful look on her face as she took a bite out of her slice of pizza. She gave Kara a mischievous smile. “I guess it’ll be good practice for us both. I rarely get to practice against a vampire.”

 

            Rolling her eyes, Kara happily smiled at the thought of getting some training. It would help her when she finally found her stalker – not that she was going to tell Alex about her plan to do it alone. She wouldn’t tell Lena either, not when it came down to actually finding the person responsible. Kara would let her help though - would welcome it even - while they planned how to do it, but she wouldn’t let Lena get caught in the middle. Lena might’ve been able to defend herself, and Kara couldn’t, but if she got hurt that would be it – at least Kara could heal afterwards.

 

            “We’ll start on Monday,” Alex decided, and Kara perked up slightly. It would give her something else to do besides work and spend time with Lena – not that Kara minded either of those things at all.

 

            “Amazing!”

Chapter Text

            A week passed before Lena declared that they were ready to go ahead with their plan to catch Mike. During that time, Kara expected Alex to have already picked him up off the streets – but it was almost like he’d vanished. There had been no more gifts, or interactions, and Alex suspected that they hadn’t been careful enough and Mike or the mystery vampire had returned to Kara’s apartment, only to find it being watched. It looked like they weren’t the only ones being careful. Instead of worrying about it though, Kara reminded Alex of their plans to teach her self defence, and so Kara spent a few hours each night learning a few moves from Alex. She wasn’t an expert, but she knew enough to keep herself out of trouble if things went south with her plans with Lena, which was reassuring. Now all she had to do was wait for Lena to give her the okay to carry out their plan.

 

           To Kara’s confusion, she heard Lena stirring just before dawn, and not long afterwards, her feet led her to Kara’s door. She was pulling the door open before Lena even had a chance to knock, a questioning look on her face as she took in the coat and scarf and the lingering look of tiredness on Lena’s face.

 

            “Good morning,” Kara smiled, before she frowned slightly. “I think. It’s still dark outside.”

 

            “Mm, I know,” Lena groaned. “I should be in bed.”

 

            “May I ask why you’re not? And where you’re off to at this time of the early morning?”

 

            “We’re off to find your stalker,” Lena said, leaning in to quickly kiss Kara.

 

            Her eyebrows shot up at Lena’s words, and she stepped aside to let Lena in. “Now? The sun will be up soon.”

 

            “I know, which is why we have to leave now,” Lena told her, crossing over to Kara’s drawers and pulling out some clothes. She shoved them into Kara’s hands and shooed her towards the bathroom, and Kara listened as Lena made herself a cup of coffee while she waited.

 

            A few minutes later, they were heading downstairs, and they didn’t even make it to the ground floor before Kara’s phone was vibrating in her pocket. She fished it out and glanced at Alex’s name on the screen.

 

            “Where do you think you’re going when the sun is about to rise?”

 

            “Just going for a quick walk before I have to stay cooped up inside all day,” Kara told her, and Alex made a sound of disapproval. Lena squeezed her eyes shut and sighed, before she looked at Kara and made a motion for her to cut off the plan. “But maybe it’s not such a good idea to risk it?”

 

            “Mm, that sounds like a better idea,” Alex agreed. “I’ll see you later.”

 

            “Okay!” Kara quickly said, trying to get rid of her as quickly as possible. “Love you, bye.” She hung up as soon as Alex replied in similar, and Lena quickly grabbed Kara’s hand and dragged them back upstairs.

 

            “My apartment or yours? Wait, I think they’re watching outside your window too. Mine it is then,” Lena said, conjuring her key and all but shoving Kara into her apartment and locking the door behind her. “Right, out the window.”

 

            Kara quickly checked that Lena’s door was locked at least six times, while Lena patiently waited, before she obeyed and climbed out onto the fire escape. Lena followed her through the window and they both stood in the dark, Lena squinting while Kara smiled slightly, her vision as clear as daylight. “Up or down?”

 

            “Up first, and then down,” Lena murmured, and after gaining her permission, Kara swept her into her arms and leapt up onto the rooftop, and then to the next building over. They didn’t want whichever hunter was on duty to catch them skulking around the alleyway outside their own building, so as a precaution they hopped a few more buildings before finally making their way down to the ground.

 

            Trying to remain inconspicuous, they walked through the dark city hand in hand, keeping up a brisk pace so that they made it to wherever Lena was guiding them before the sun rose. Kara’s skin was already itching with the thought of the burns and blisters that she’d get if she was caught outside. They were quiet as they walked, and the only sound, except for the low mumbling of the city, was the sound of Lena’s teeth chattering and Kara desperately wished that she could warm her up.

 

---

 

            The sky was lightening on the horizon when Lena briskly walked down an alley, hurrying so that they would be inside before the sun broke over the skyline and bathed Kara in its light. Kara leant down and pulled up the manhole that Lena paused in front of, and a second later she vanished down into the dark tunnel below.

 

            “Ready?” Lena’s voice floated down to her, and Kara gave her the go ahead, catching her as she fell down the hole. They’d been to a few of these places by now, and each time that Kara caught Lena in her arms there was that second’s hesitation where they were both pressed up against each other, their faces so close to one another’s, and Kara would smile as Lena blindly felt out for her face and gently stroked her cheek. Just for a few seconds, Kara would hold her close and they would both remember the night that they’d first gone to that club, when Kara had held her close then too. The night they’d first kissed.

 

            Setting her safely down on the floor, Kara brushed Lena’s hair out of her face and gave her a smile, even though Lena could barely see it in the darkness of the tunnel – there wasn’t enough light streaming in through the hole above them to provide enough light for her human eyes. Winding their fingers together, Lena set off down the tunnel, and Kara kept up, listening to the distant murmur of unintelligible conversations. The buzz of people talking grew louder as they neared the place that Lena was taking her to, and Kara realised that there were no heartbeats this time. Usually all the underground clubs and bars were accompanied by a select few humans who were close to a vampire and allowed the courtesy of coming along for the party, but not here.

 

            Pushing open a heavy metal door, Kara walked inside. It was a sparsely decorated room, with a few tables and chairs and a counter along the far end, and Kara blinked in surprise. It was a café. There were only two other vampires in the place – the ones who had been talking – and they were silent as they looked at Lena. They didn’t care about Kara – she was a vampire – but this was clearly a place less frequented by humans than the clubs.

 

            “We’re here to see Roulette,” Lena coolly told them, and Kara was surprised by how calm she was. She wasn’t just faking it; her heartbeat was as steady as her piercing gaze. The vampire behind the counter – the barista, Kara realised with amusement – nodded and disappeared through a door to the right. He returned a moment later and beckoned them to follow him, and Kara kept a tight grip on Lena’s hand as they disappeared down another hallway. They finally came to another door, and the man left them to make their own way inside, and after a quick glance at Lena, Kara shrugged and pushed it open.

 

            A woman was lounging behind a desk, her feet crossed at the ankles on top of the desk as she sipped from a teacup. A smirk graced her face as Kara and Lena walked in, and she removed her feet and straightened up in her seat, setting the cup down in front of her. “Well well. Lena,” she said, leaning forward with interest. “I was surprised to hear from you.”

 

            Kara shot her a questioning look. This was Lena’s plan.

 

            “The last time I saw you was in Metropolis. If I remember correctly, you were with, ah, Jack was it?

 

            “Veronica,” Lena nodded. “Always a pleasure. And yes, but that was a while ago. Things are different now.”

 

            “And may I ask who this is? Another vampire? Your mother must be so proud.”

 

            Lena silently ignored the jibe as Kara extended a hand and took a step towards the desk. “Kara.”

 

            Roulette eyed her hand with some amusement, and after a long pause, reached out and shook it. Lena moved to stand beside Kara, her position almost defensive and her shoulders tense. Kara wasn’t sure if Lena trusted this woman or not.

 

            “I need your help,” Lena said, cutting to the chase.

 

            “And why should I give it to you?” Roulette asked, taking a sip of her drink as she raised an eyebrow at Lena. “What can you offer me?”

 

            “Name your price,” Lena said, jutting her chin forward. She was a businesswoman, even if she spent more time behind a microscope than running the company with her mom, but it was evident that she knew what game they were playing, and she knew exactly who she was playing it with.

 

            “Hm, well, this is going to be interesting isn’t it?” Roulette said with amusement. “I’ll get back to you on the payment. Now, how about you tell me what it is I can do for you.”

 

            “I need you to capture a human for me,” Lena told her.

 

            Roulette let out a loud laugh, and Kara looked at her with slightly widened eyes, which darted to Lena. She had no idea what was going on, and she was starting to think that Lena had made a mistake by bringing them here. This woman seemed too unpredictable – too wild. “A human?” She asked with amusement. “That’s the help you need? What, is your mother’s company incapable of catching one for you? They do such a good job capturing my kind.”

 

            “This is … an outside job,” Lena said, her eyes flashing to Kara’s for a second.

 

            “Hm, now this is interesting. I’ll help you,” Roulette said, leaning back in her chair and steepling her hands as she looked at the two girls in front of her. “What’s this human’s name?”

 

            “Mike Matthews,” Kara told her.

 

            Roulette nodded, and she turned to Lena with a dangerous smile on her face. “Are you sure you’re willing to pay the price?” Lena nodded once, her jaw clenching as she stared down the woman across from her.

 

            Clapping her hands together, Roulette smiled widely. “Excellent! When I hand him over to you, you’ll both have a drink with me and tell me why.”

 

            “Th-that’s the price?” Kara asked, her expression torn between surprise and confusion.

 

            “I thrive off information, Kara,” Roulette said, a playful smile on her face. “Besides, I’m interested to hear why a human means so much to Miss Luthor. She’s never been one to ask a favour, and seeing as you’re involved, I’m guessing it’s about you, and I’m interested to know why. Do you agree to the terms?”

 

            “Yes,” Lena nodded.

 

            “Good!” Roulette nodded to them. “Please, stay for a drink at the café before you leave. There’s fresh blood, and we serve normal coffee too.”

 

            Lena nodded and turned around at the dismissal, taking Kara by the hand as they made their way over to the door. Kara opened it and waited for Lena to walk through, but she hesitated slightly, glancing back over her shoulder. “Thank you, Ronnie.’

 

            Hurrying back down the hallway, they came back into the café and as Kara made for the door, Lena yanked her over to one of the tables. “We don’t want to be impolite to our generous host,” Lena tensely said, taking a seat in the corner.

 

            Kara frowned slightly, sitting down opposite her. She could feel the baristas eyes on her and she ignored them as she stared at Lena’s face. “Why did-“ A silent sharp look off Lena cut her off, and Kara quickly changed her question. “Why did we have to wait until dawn?”

 

            “It’s the only time Roulette will meet with other vampires. Self preservation. If she likes you then you can stay and enjoy a coffee before you leave,” Lena explained.

 

            “And if she doesn’t?”

 

            Lena hesitated for a moment. “Then you’re forced to stay and fight or brave the sun to escape.”

 

            “Oh,” Kara muttered. “So we were lucky then.”

 

            “Yes,” Lena murmured, and Kara reached out to touch her hand. Standing up, Lena walked over to the counter and ordered them both coffee, a shot of blood for Kara’s and a shot of hazelnut syrup for Lena’s.

 

            They drank their coffee quickly and with a nod to the barista, Lena tightly gripped Kara’s hand and they walked back out into the tunnel. Neither of them spoke as they walked in the dark, and it wasn’t until they walked past the manhole they’d come down through that Kara disturbed the silence. “Where are we going?”

 

            She clearly couldn’t go back outside right now – the sun had only just fully risen – and Lena had made no mention of what they were going to do next. “The tunnels connecting the sewers and maintenance tunnels run beneath the entire city. Some parts lead so safe houses where you can go to if you get caught out in the sun.”

 

            “Oh. I had no idea,” Kara murmured. “I guess Cadmus doesn’t know abut them?”

 

            Lena hesitated for a moment. “No, they don’t.”

 

            “And they don’t know about Roulette?”

 

            “They know about her. I guess you could say she’s like the Godfather of the vampire world. She just has an arrangement with my mom – it’s a bit fragile, but it benefits them both. She, uh, owns all the major vampire hangouts in this city, and a few others.”

 

            “I thought you said your ex was the one who- oh! She’s your ex? Why didn’t you tell me?”

 

            “I thought it was a bit soon for you to be crossing paths with one of my exes,” Lena said with a grimace. “I didn’t want to keep you in the dark with the plan, but I was hoping you wouldn’t make the connection.”

 

            “It’s fine,” Kara assured her, giving Lena’s hand a quick squeeze. “She seems intense.”

 

            “She always was,” Lena grumbled. “I haven’t seen her since the last time I went to one of her bars back home. Ronnie and I – it was never serious. We were only sixteen, and it wasn’t love, just a first crush kind of thing. I mean, we were both the stuck up rich assholes at school, so we kind of gravitated towards each other. It lasted a few months – if that.”

 

            “You trust her though?”

 

            “I trust that she’ll keep her promise, as long as she can’t get anything out of it. Which is why I didn’t ask her to just outright find our rogue stalker. To start with, it’d raise too many questions, but I also don’t want anyone outside of Cadmus to know we’re looking for them. I can guarantee you that Roulette knows something – I’m not sure what, but something – and if she knows that the information is valuable to us, she’s not going to hand over one of your kind to help a human. So we need that delivery boy.”

 

            Kara grimaced. They had so much riding on the guy who used to deliver her noodles, and she was sure they’d catch him at some point, but she was also worried that he would be completely useless. This was their one lead, and if he didn’t actually know anything, then they’d have nothing to go on. The rogue vampire was careful, and the chances of them slipping up were slim – especially if it was an old vampire. They could’ve been centuries old for all Kara knew. They could’ve played this game a dozen times over – turning and playing with their victims, and Kara didn’t want to know what happened to them afterwards.

 

            “Okay, we need to go left at the end of this tunnel,” Lena muttered. “Can you see?”

 

            “Yeah, just a little bit further,” Kara said, and Lena squeezed her hand.

 

---

 

            They spent almost an hour wandering through the various tunnels and walkways as Lena directed Kara – sometimes relying on her to make sure that she didn’t walk into any walls. Eventually they made their way upstairs, coming out in the basement of a building. Curious as to where they were, Kara walked through the sub-levels of the building with curiosity. It was all tunnels with generators and machines and rooms full cleaning equipment, until they made their way to the ground level. They came out into a mall.

 

            Kara blinked in surprise. She hadn’t been to the mall in months, and it was slightly alarming to be somewhere so normal in the daytime. The fluorescent lights illuminated the interior of the building, and aside from the automatic doors at the entrance, there was no way for the sunlight to come in. Laughing, Kara looked around in delight, and as she met Lena’s eyes, she smiled widely.

 

            “Did you plan this?”

 

            “Of course I did,” Lena told her. “I know you hate being cooped up inside all day.”

 

            “This was really thoughtful. Thank you,” Kara said, leaning down to press a kiss to Lena’s cheek.

 

            “Now, where would you like to go first?” Lena asked, raising her eyebrows in question.

Chapter Text

            They stayed at the mall until the sun started setting, and Lena was happy to let Kara drag her in and out of as many stores as she liked. Once she’d had her fill of shopping, they wandered through the city, hand in hand, stopping off to buy dinner for Lena before heading back to their building. Forgetting themselves, they walked in through the front door, and the sound of a door slamming and footsteps running towards them caught Kara’s attention.

 

            “Hey!” Alex shouted, and Kara groaned as her and Lena turned to face her, quickly letting go of each other’s hands. “Mind telling me where you’ve been all day? And how you got out?

 

            Kara gave her a sheepish smile. “Lena’s window. We went to the mall.”

 

            “The mall? Kara, you’ve got someone stalking you and you thought going to the mall would be a good idea?Alex incredulously asked, walking towards the two of them. She fell into step beside Kara, and the three of them made their way inside, out of the cold.

 

            “It was broad daylight, Alex,” Kara said. “Besides, I’m getting better at defending myself now.” In a heartbeat, Alex had a stake at Kara’s throat, the silver tip just a hairbreadth away from her skin. Kara froze, her throat bobbing as she swallowed, and Alex let out snort of laughter.

 

            “Yeah, so much better.” The stake disappeared back in her coat, and Alex sighed as she led the way upstairs, shooting Lena a slight grimace which had Kara wondering if it was because Alex disapproved of Lena helping her go out during the day or a knowing look about how stubborn Kara was, shared between the two of them. The thought of how she would react if she found out they were taking things into their own hands when it came to Mike flickered across Kara’s mind, and a feeling of guilt welled up inside her. She should tell Alex, but she wouldn’t agree with the deal they’d made. Kara suspected that she would agree with the fact that they’d gone to a vampire mob boss to do it either.

 

            “Busy day?” Kara asked Alex, following her and Lena up the stairwell.

 

            “Not too bad,” Alex replied, her eyes flitting to Lena. “Your mom’s still pissed at you. I mean, I think it’s because of you, but at any rate, she’s been very … demanding.”

 

            Lena scoffed, her eyebrows knitting together in a frown. “That’s a polite way to say she’s a vindictive bitch who's got it out for you for letting me use my privilege to walk all over you.” Alex let out a quick laugh, stomping up the last few steps and walking towards Kara’s apartment. Fishing her key out of her pocket, Kara had the door open, ushering her sister inside and depositing all of her shopping bags on the table. Lena hesitated outside, clutching the bag holding her dinner to her chest.

 

            “Um, I’ll leave you to it then. See you in the morning?” Lena said.

 

            Alex flicked on a lamp and crashed on Kara’s bed as she let out a snort of laughter. “Don’t let me stop whatever date night you had planned. By all means, come on it.”

 

            Kara arched an eyebrow at Lena, a small smile lifting the corners of her mouth as she gestured for Lena to come in. Smiling, Lena crossed the threshold and set her food down on the table, before shrugging off her coat and going to fetch a fork.

 

            “Are you hungry, Alex? Your sister made me order enough for three people.”

 

            “Sure,” Alex said, struggling upright and coming over to the table. Lena handed her a fork, and the three of them sat down around the table. “So, your delivery boy.”

 

            “Mhm.”

 

            “We’ve been staking out the restaurant for the past week, but there’s been no sign of him. He’s either holed up in his apartment, or the rogue one is using a different delivery person every time and killing them afterwards. I’ve been thinking about just going into the restaurant and pretending to be an FBI agent to get them to hand over his address,” Alex explained with a grimace.

 

            “That’s illegal, Alex,” Kara protested. “Why can’t you just get a warrant from Cadmus? You said it’s part of the government’s secret operations.”

 

            “It’s more like the government hire us out,” Lena supplied. “My mother owns it as a biological research company. The government pays us for the use of the operations division, so technically we have no authority to hand out warrants.”

 

            Alex nodded in agreement, grimacing as she unwrapped one of the burritos. “Besides, that would tip off headquarters that we’re doing an off-book operation. The only people I trust with this are Lucy, James and the other hunter that was here this morning, Vasquez.”

 

            “Right,” Kara muttered. Her eyes darted to Lena as she contemplated telling Alex what they were up to, but she decided against it – for the time being at least. They’d wait and see what Roulette turned up with first.

 

---

 

            It was early hours in the morning when Lena’s phone started ringing across the hall. Kara counted four rings before Lena’s sleepy voice answered it. A moment later there was a buzzing sound as a text message came through, and then the muffled sound of clothes being pulled on and hurried footsteps across the hallway. Kara was opening the door as Lena ran a hand through her wild hair.

 

            “Roulette has him.”

 

            She was dressed within seconds, listening as Lena read the text message aloud. “She said he’s waiting for us at a warehouse. She messaged me the address – it’s down near the docks.”

 

            “Okay. You should stay here, in case it’s a trap,” Kara told her, slipping on her shoes and then reaching out to cradle Lena’s face in her hands. “Plus you need your sleep.”

 

            Lena removed one of the hands from her cheek and kissed Kara’s palm. “I’m coming with you. I know Roulette.”

 

            Hesitating for a second, Kara decided that it was Lena’s decision to make – she wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her anyway. “Okay. Do you want to borrow a coat? You’ll freeze.”

 

            Lena helped herself to Kara’s dwindling collection of coats on the coatrack – half of them were in her place from other times she’d borrowed them and forgotten to return them, because it wasn’t like Kara needed them not anyway. Slipping the coat on, she quickly zipped it up, and then they were walking out of the apartment and making their way downstairs.

 

            It was cold outside, and Lena looped her arm through Kara’s and pressed herself as close as possible – not that it made much difference with how cold Kara was. She hadn’t bothered putting a coat on herself, and she was regretting it now, because she could’ve taken it off and given it to Lena to keep her warm. Instead, she made them stop off at a twenty-four-hour diner and quickly bought Lena a hot chocolate, smiling as Lena reached up to give her a grateful kiss as she clutched the warm drink in her hands.

 

            Without further incidence, they made it down to the docks, and Kara warily eyed the nearby running water, not wanting to get close to it. Luckily for her, the warehouse was set back from the water, but the constant ebbing and flowing sound of the gentle waves set her on edge as they slipped through the chain link fence. It was completely dark – not a single light in sight – and Lena blindly stumbled along as she held on tightly to Kara, who used her enhanced sense to warily scan the compound as they crossed the exposed parking lot. She could only hear one heartbeat – rapid, but steady – but that didn’t mean anything, because there could’ve been a dozen vampires in there for all she knew.

 

            As they approached the huge doors, one slid open, and a vampire gestured for them to come inside. Kara went first, keeping Lena behind her as she looked around the vacant warehouse. Empty except for the chair in the middle of the room, where a familiar delivery boy sat gagged and bound to a chair.

 

            “A light for our human guest,” a familiar female voice echoed around the room. Roulette appeared in the doorway of an adjacent room on what looked to be the second floor of the warehouse. Fluorescent lights flickered on as the order was immediately obeyed, illuminating the inside as Lena winced slightly at the sudden brightness, and Roulette darted down the stairs to stop in front of her guests.

 

            “As promised – Mike Matthews,” she proclaimed, a devilish smile on her face as she flashed to his side and stroked a hand across his cheek as he looked at her with wide, terrified eyes. “All yours.”

 

            “Thank you,” Lena said, her shoulders tense as her eyes darted to the two other vampires lurking in the corners – bodyguards, by the looks of things.

 

            “He’s yours to take wherever you wish, and to do whatever you wish,” Roulette casually gestured to Mike, and Kara’s heart went out to him as his frightened eyes latched onto her, a pleading look on his face. “I’ll be in touch for payment.”

 

            Lena nodded, sparing her a quick glance before she started towards Mike. “Of course. As promised.” A sharp smile off Roulette was all they received in reply before she vanished out of the warehouse, leaving Kara and Lena alone with Mike.

 

            Kara quickly darted over to Mike and pulled the gag out of his mouth, and Lena quickly stopped her before she could untie him too. He was their only lead, and they couldn’t risk him escaping – not that he had much chance with Kara’s reflexes, but it was best not to risk it. “Mike.”

 

            “Kara,” he hoarsely replied, no less terrified than before.

 

            “You’ve been spying on me.”

 

            A guilty look crossed his face, and he didn’t try and deny it. “I was more of a messenger than a spy.”

 

            “Who sent you?” Lena sharply asked him, her face cold as she glared down at him. He hesitated for a second and she pulled a switchblade out of her boot, flipping the knife out and holding it up against his neck. “Tell me.”

 

            “Lena, come on,” Kara murmured. “There’s no need to threaten him – he’s our … prisoner.”

 

            “I don’t know who it was,” Mike blurted out in a panic. “I-I never saw a face, o-or a person, I want just sent a parcel with instructions to pass i-it on.”

 

            Lena pulled the knife back, stuffing it into her boot and crossing her arms over her chest. “And you didn’t think to question it?”

 

            “No! I-I was offered money. Enough to pay off my college loans,” Mike explained. “Who wouldn’t just drop off a parcel for that kind of money?”

 

            Kara and Lena exchanged a look, and Kara grimaced slightly, because either Mike was a very good liar, or he was telling the truth, because his heartbeat hadn’t faltered even once. Based on the look of panic that hadn’t left his face since they’d shown up, Kara was inclined to believe it was the latter. Moving slowly, Kara started untying his hands.

 

            “We’re going to let you go, on one condition,” she told him, and he shook as the rope came free and he climbed to his feet. “You’re going to pretend like this never happened, and you’re going to let us bug your apartment so that the next time a parcel comes, we can find out who delivered it. Got it?”

 

            “Y-yeah,” he stammered.

 

            “Your phone,” Kara ordered, holding out a waiting hand. It was quickly placed in her hand, and she sent herself a text so that she would have his number, and deleting the message straight away so that he didn’t have hers – she didn’t want it falling into the wrong hands. “When I call you, you’re going to give me your address.”

 

            Lena glared at him, pursing her lips slightly before she spoke. “If you don’t, then we’ll track you down – she knows what your heartbeat sounds like now. And she can smell you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because we’re letting you go, that I’m not capable of doing things the hard way to get what I want. This is your first and last chance, or you’ll find yourself tied up in a room barely bigger than you are. Understood?”

 

            At his nod, Lena stood aside and jerked her head in the direction of the door. As quick as he could, Mike ran for the door, disappearing into the night, and Lena let out a long, shaky breath. Turning to face Kara, she gave her a grim smile. “So that was a waste of time.”

 

            “Not quite.”

 

            “We got nothing, Kara,” Lena complained, running a hand through her hair.

 

            Kara smiled at her, taking a step closer. “Well I got some new information out of it; you’re … hot when you’re protective. A little bit scary, but mostly hot.”

 

            Blushing slightly, Lena stubbornly raised her chin. “I don’t like people threatening the people I care about.”

 

            “And just how many people have you threatened to protect the people you care about?” Kara laughed, pulling Lena close by the front of her coat.

 

            Shrugging, Lena looked down at the floor, the toeing the ground with her boot. “Just the one.”

 

            Kara’s gaze softened, and she gently reached out to tilt Lena’s head up. Placing a soft kiss on her lips, she knotted her hands in Lena’s hair and let the kiss become rougher as Lena pushed back against her lips, trying to deepen it. Pulling back, Kara let out a quiet laugh, and Lena's lips trailed after hers, aching to reclaim them in another kiss. "As much as I'd love to continue this, I'd prefer to do it in the safety of our apartment's, and not at the creepy warehouse of the vampire version of the Godfather," Kara whispered, and Lena laughed, stepping back and brushing Kara's hair out of her face with gentle fingers.

 

            Pressing a kiss to the tips of Lena's fingers, Kara smiled at her. "Let's go home."

Chapter Text

            The two of them spent the next few days planning on how they were going to find out who was giving Mike instructions. In the end they decided that the best way to watch his apartment would be to get some of the equipment Alex had taken from Cadmus, which meant that Lena would have to steal it from headquarters without anyone noticing. Lena swallowed her pride and called Lillian to ask for her to end her suspension, receiving a firm no in return, which left them at a dead end for a few days, until Lillian phoned and authorised Lena’s return to work, with a stern warning. Kara felt guilty about using Lena and her access to Cadmus to spy on Mike when she was already on thin ice with her mom; if they got caught, or if anyone found out they’d borrowed the equipment, then it was highly likely that Lena wouldn’t have a job anymore, but Kara’s argument fell on deaf ears, and Lena came home from her first shift back with a briefcase full of spyware.

 

            Kara smiled as she heard the approaching sound of Lena’s weary footsteps and her steady heartbeat, and was already opening the door as Lena gravitated towards hers, rather than her own. “Hi, how was work?” Kara asked, leaning down to kiss Lena as she walked inside.

 

            Setting the briefcase down on the table, Lena sighed and shrugged her coat off. “Long. My mom’s still pissed, so she made it a living hell. I’ve been assigned desk duty as punishment, which means that I just spent ten hours manually copying down all of our digital paperwork and results on actual paper and filing them away so we have a backup if the servers go down. Fun.”

 

            “Ouch. Sounds like someone’s still a little angry about us,” Kara winced, and Lena’s lips twitched in an almost smile. “I’m sorry.”

 

            “You know it’s not your fault. If I didn’t want this then I wouldn’t be here,” Lena told her, reaching out to pull Kara closer. “I also brought home a gift for you.” Reaching past Kara, Lena popped the clasps on the briefcase, revealing all of the cameras and microphones neatly packed inside.

 

            Kara closed her eyes and groaned. “I told you not to steal it! It’s your first day back from suspension, Lena, your mom will literally murder us both if she finds out we have this.”

 

            “I didn’t steal it, I borrowed it,” Lena corrected her, with a smirk. “And technically it’s mine because my family owns the company, so there’s that. Anyway, it would make no difference if I stole it today or next month; my mom’s going to be pissed either way, so we may as well not waste any time.”

 

            “You,” Kara emphasised, reaching up to cup Lena’s face in her hands, “are the most stubborn person I have ever met.”

 

            Lena gave her a wry smile, shrugging casually. “It’s one of my many qualities.”

 

            “That and your cheekbones,” Kara laughed, pressing a quick kiss to Lena’s cheek. “I made dinner for you – or I tried to anyway. I can always order pizza if it’s as awful as I suspect.”

 

            “I’m sure it’s divine, and you’re my favourite,” Lena said, before giving her a wary look. “What is it though?”

 

            “Mac and cheese,” Kara said, wrinkling her nose as she shrugged helplessly. “Nothing fancy. Sorry! There was a bit of a disaster while I was making it though; I accidentally spilt the pasta and spent fifteen minutes counting them all. But I got there in the end!” Lena laughed, shaking her head as she lovingly watched Kara dash to the kitchen and start warming up Lena’s food for her.

 

            Reaching into her bag, Lena pulled out a plastic bag containing a few blood bags and walked over to the fridge to put them away for Kara. “I also brought you more blood – I figured that Alex was keeping you in stock while I was at work, but I didn’t want to risk you running out.”

 

            “You’re the best!” Kara said, flashing her a bright smile. “I could kiss you.”

 

            “You could,” Lena agreed, raising her eyebrows slightly, and Kara smiled as she stirred the mac and cheese, watching Lena saunter over to her and give her an expectant look. Leaning over, Kara gave her a chaste kiss, and as she drew back, Lena pressed forward, capturing her lips in another quick kiss. “You can touch me you know,” Lena told her, frowning slightly as Kara turned back towards the food, trying to make sure she didn’t burn it for once. “I’m not a porcelain doll.”

 

            “You look like one,” Kara said, reaching out to quickly brush her fingertips along Lena’s cheekbone.

 

            Lena sighed, reaching out to clasp Kara’s cold fingers in her own as she tried to pull them back. “But I’m not,” Lena insisted. “I know you’re scared that you’ll hurt me, but I know that you won’t. If I so much as winced, you’d be across the room in a heartbeat. Why can’t we at least try?”

 

            Silently stirring the pasta, Kara hesitated, and Lena reached out to gently touch her on the arm. “Hey, it’s okay,” Lena softly murmured. “I’m don’t want to push you, and you can take as long as you need. I just want to know if there’s something I’m doing that’s holding you back.”

 

            Sighing, Kara switched off the stove and turned to face Lena. “No, if anything you make it harder to stop myself. I just- I don’t want you to think that I- well, that I care more about sex than your safety.”

 

            Biting back a smile, Lena reached up to brush Kara’s hair out of her face. “Considering the fact that you’re too afraid to even kiss me back half of the time, there’s no chance that I would ever think that,” Lena said, “but I appreciate your concern.”

 

            “I wouldn’t want to accidentally break your pretty face,” Kara said, self-consciously laughed as she shrugged slightly as she opened a cupboard and pulled out a bowl.

 

            “You could always just break the bed instead,” Lena suggested, and Kara choked out a sound of surprise, dropping the bowl at Lena’s words and being too stunned to catch it before it hit the floor. It smashed on the floor and Kara quickly dropped to her knees, scrambling for the shards of china as she opened and closed her mouth in shock.

 

            “Well, I-I, uh, you-, w-we, um,” Kara stammered. She’d been reduced to a nervous, stuttering mess, and if she could blush, her face would be bright red.

 

            Gentle hands tilted her chin up, and she looked up at Lena, the shards of the bowl slipping out of her hands and crashing back to the floor as Lena stood in front of her, impossibly close. Too afraid to move, Kara stayed on her knees, and Lena gave her a small smirk as cupped Kara’s jaw, tilting it up even more, and pressed a teasing kiss to her lips. In a flash, Kara stood and picked Lena up, who wrapped her legs around Kara’s waist, before darting over to the bed, climbing on it and pushing Lena up against the wall. Eyes widening slightly, Lena adjusted to the shock of moving across the room in half a second, and let out a breathless laugh, winding her fingers in Kara’s hair and waiting. She waited for Kara to make the first move. With excruciating slowness, Kara pressed a feather light kiss to Lena’s lips, barely grazing them, before she started to leave a trail down her jaw and neck. Lena let out a shaky breath, tilting her head to the side to give Kara better access as she kissed her way down to the collar of Lena’s shirt. Her skin prickled with goosebumps beneath Kara’s lips, and she smiled against Lena’s skin, and as gently as possible, bit her in the hollow between her neck and collarbone – not hard enough to pierce the skin with her fangs, but enough to leave a mark. When she couldn’t go any lower, she made her way back up and recaptured Lena’s lips with her own in a gentle kiss. It wasn’t enough for either of them, and Kara’s gentleness soon gave way to a rougher kiss as Lena crushed her lips against Kara’s and ran her tongue along her bottom lip.

 

            Kara pressed herself up against Lena, keeping her pinned against the wall, and she placed one hand beside Lena’s head as she kept herself balanced. Pulling away from the kiss, Lena brushed the hair back from Kara’s neck and started trailing her own kisses down Kara’s neck, jumping slightly at the crunching sound as Kara accidentally clawed a hole in the wall. They both froze immediately, and Kara tried to draw back, shaking plaster off her hand as she let go of Lena, who stubbornly kept her legs wound around Kara’s waist.

 

            “Lena,” Kara hoarsely whispered, barely even daring to breathe.

 

            “Sh, it’s okay,” Lena murmured, quickly kissing her in reassurance. “I’m okay – it’s just a wall.”

 

            Slowly, Kara eased back into the kiss, extremely conscious of her hands as she lightly held Lena by her waist. As the kiss became rougher, Kara had to fight the urge to lose control as the feel of Lena pressed up against her drove her mad. She couldn’t take it any longer, and her fingers found the buttons on Lena’s shirt, tearing it open to save herself the time of undoing them one by one. Laughing, Lena unwound her legs and the two of them stood on the bed, Lena shrugging out of her ruined shirt, and Kara as still as a statue. Slowly, Lena kissed Kara, and they both sank down onto the mattress, and Lena straddled Kara, pinning her hands down beside her head.

 

            “Don’t move,” Lena whispered in her ear, sending a ripple of goosebumps across Kara’s skin as she silently obeyed. And then Lena was unbuttoning her shirt and kissing her neck, and Kara didn’t even dare to breathe as she revelled in the feeling of hot kisses trailing down her neck. She jumped slightly at the feeling of Lena biting and sucking a spot on her neck, and a moment late, Lena drew back with a frown on her face. “Unfair,” Lena murmured, pouting slightly. “I can’t give you a hickey.”

 

            All of the worry and tension drained out of Kara, and she burst into laughter, pushing herself up onto her elbows and reaching up to brush Lena’s hair out of her face. “Well I guess you’ll have to find some other way to leave a mark.”

 

            “Mm, I do rather like the look of my lipstick smudged all over you neck,” Lena mused, reaching out to delicately trace the red stains left behind from her lipstick. Pushing Kara back down against the pillows, Lena’s lips found their way back to her neck as her hands circled her wrists again and kept her in place. Slowly, Lena’s lips made it past Kara’s collarbones, continuing their trail down her chest and all the way down to the waistband of Kara’s jeans.

 

            Kara nervously cleared her throat, worried about what would happen if Lena didn’t stop soon. “Your mac and cheese.”

 

            Sitting upright, Lena clapped a hand to her mouth as she laughed, her eyebrows shooting up in surprise. “You’re seriously thinking about my mac and cheese right now?” she asked incredulously, and Kara gave her a sheepish smile.

 

            “No, but if I keep thinking what I’m thinking, we’re going to have a problem,” Kara breathlessly told her, her eyes darting down to Lena’s hand which were dangerously toying with the button on her jeans.

 

            “Hm, do tell,” Lena whispered, a smirk playing on her lips. In a blur of movement, Kara had their positions reversed, and she was slipping off her shirt as Lena stared up at her with wide eyes. Leaning down, Kara kissed Lena’s throat, right where she could feel her pulse, before her lips moved upwards to graze her earlobe, sending a shiver through Lena’s body.

 

            “Or I could show you,” Kara murmured against her skin, and Lena’s breathing hitched as Kara’s hands started exploring her body. Everything was fine until Kara’s hands trailed up Lena’s skirt and she felt the stake strapped to her thigh; more specifically, touched the silver plated part of the stake, and let out a loud curse as it burnt her hand.

 

            “Shit!” Kara yelped, snatching her hand backwards and bolting upright.

 

            “Oh fuck!” Lena swore, scrambling into a sitting position and reaching out for Kara. “Are you okay? I’m so sorry, I completely forgot about it! I took my cross necklace off but I didn’t think we’d, well, be in this position. Fuck, I’m so sorry, Kara. Let me see.”

 

            Surprisingly, Kara burst into laughter, burying her face in her good hand as she delicately placed the other in Lena’s. “Oh god, this is a disaster.”

 

            Lena glanced down at the small burn, which was already beginning to heal, and let out a sigh of relief. Pressing a kiss to Kara’s hand, she let out a shaky laugh. “Fucking hell, I think the universe is conspiring against us.”

 

            Kara quietly scoffed. “The universe doesn’t stand a chance.” And then she had Lena pinned beneath her again and they were both laughing as Kara clumsily kissed her neck and Lena unstrapped the stake, before Kara could burn herself again.

 

---

 

            Lena had her head on Kara’s chest, her eyes closed as she marvelled at the delicate touch of Kara’s fingers absentmindedly swirling patterns across her skin. Smiling to herself, Kara stared down at Lena’s face, taking in the faint shadows beneath her eyes – it was late, and she’d been working all day. “Do you want to go to sleep?” Kara whispered.

 

            “Mm, I don’t want to move though,” Lena murmured, pressing a kiss to Kara’s chest.

 

            Kara quietly laughed, running a hand through Lena’s hair. “Go to sleep, Lena.”

 

            They were silent for a few minutes, and Kara remained still except for her fingers which continued to gently trace patterns across her pale skin. And then Lena’s stomach rumbled, and Kara started to shake with laughter, and Lena lifted her head to give her an embarrassed smile. “So … about that mac and cheese,” Kara said, and Lena laughed, rolling off her chest and laying down beside her.

 

            “You and your bloody mac and cheese,” Lena sighed, leaning up to give Kara a tender kiss. “I would love some.”

 

            Five minutes later, Lena was tucked up beside Kara, the blankets drawn up to her chest as she devoured the bowl of pasta that Kara brought over to her. Kara sat cross-legged beside her, watching her eat as she marvelled at Lena’s beauty. Lena’s eyebrows shot up in a silent question as she chewed her mouthful and quickly swallowed. “You’re staring.”

 

            Ducking her head and fiddling with her hands, Kara let out a nervous laugh. “I know. I was just thinking.”

 

            “About what?” Lena asked, brushing Kara’s hair out of her face and leaning over to press a kiss on her bare shoulder.

 

            “You.”

 

            “Hm, now I’m worried,” Lena said, giving her an amused smile as she scooped up another forkful.

 

            Kara shook her head as she smiled down at her lap, one hand keeping the blanket drawn up to her chest. “You have nothing to be worried about. My thoughts about you … they’re never bad. I-I couldn’t say a bad word about you. You- uh, well, I just- I was thinking about how beautiful you are.”

 

            Lena gave her a soft smile, putting the bowl down on the nightstand and reaching up to cup Kara’s face, giving her a loving kiss. “If you didn’t have perfect vision, I’d question your eyesight,” Lena teased her, and Kara ducked her head in embarrassment. Gently, Lena tilted her head back up. “I’m just teasing you, Kara. I- well, I’ve never- this is different for me.”

 

            “It’s different for me too,” Kara mumbled, taking Lena’s hand in her own and pressing a kiss to the back of it. “Now, I think it’s time for you to go to sleep. You look exhausted.”

 

            “That’s partially your fault,” Lena reminded her with a smirk, and Kara gave her a shy smile.

 

            “I take full responsibility,” Kara laughed. “Do you want some pyjamas, or your clothes?”

 

            Lena wriggled down the bed, getting comfortable, and gave Kara a smile. “I’m fine.”

 

            Kara disguised her surprise as a cough and quickly mumbled something about turning the lights off. She darted out of bed, slipping on her underwear, before switching the lights off and sitting down at the end of the bed. “Goodnight,” she loudly whispered, and the shifting sound of blankets reached her ears as Lena sat upright and blindly looked in her general direction.

 

            “What are you doing?”

 

            “I don’t think an ice cold vampire in bed with you is going to make for a comfortable night’s sleep if you’re naked,” Kara explained with amusement. She saw Lena blindly searching for her in the dark, and shifted closer, reaching out to grasp her hand in her own, and pressed a cold kiss to her hand again.

 

            “Come to bed,” Lena murmured, and Kara quietly sighed. She gently tore her hand out of Lena’s and reached for the blanket at the end of the bed, before pulling the covers back and quickly wrapping Lena up in a blanket. Laying down next to her, Kara pulled the covers over them both and wrapped her arms around Lena, cradling her against her chest.

 

            “I feel like a burrito,” Lena whispered after a moment, and they both started laughing as Lena struggled to free her arms, throwing one across Kara’s chest as she rested her head in the crook between Kara’s neck and shoulder.

 

            Brushing the hair out of Lena’s face, Kara pressed a lingering kiss on her forehead. “Goodnight, my little burrito.”

 

            Lena snorted. “Goodnight.”

 

---

 

            Kara looked down as Lena stirred against her chest, her breathing speeding up and her eyelids fluttering open as she woke up. She frowned as she looked around, almost looking confused until her eyes landed on Kara and her face lit up. "Good morning."

 

            "Good morning," Kara murmured, reaching out to brush Lena's messy bed hair out of her face. "How did you sleep?"

 

            "Wonderfully," Lena said, pushing herself up so that she could kiss Kara good morning. Sitting upright, the blankets pooled around her waist as she stretched, and Kara smiled, pressing a kiss to Lena's shoulder. "What time is it?"

 

            "Just after eight," Kara told her, slipping out from under the covers and fetching Lena's shirt for her. Gratefully accepting it, Lena shrugged it on and went to do the buttons up, before letting out a laugh as her fingers uselessly fell away from the torn shirt. All the buttons had been ripped off in Kara's impatience last night. "Oh! Sorry," Kara said, giving her a sheepish look. "Here, you can have mine."

 

            Kara handed her the other shirt and gave her a quick kiss. Lena smiled, slipping the shirt on doing up one of the buttons. "I might shower quickly."

 

            "I'll get breakfast started for you," Kara said. "How do pancakes sound?"

 

            "Perfect," Lena murmured, giving Kara another kiss before she wandered off towards the bathroom. At the sound of the water turning on, Kara darted to the kitchen and pulled out various ingredients and pans as she set about making pancakes for Lena.

 

            Everything was going fine as she sang along to the radio while she cooked - she hadn't burnt the pancakes yet - until the familiar heartbeat of Alex reached Kara's ears. If it wasn't for the running water in the shower, or the radio, or the fact that she'd been too busy thinking about last night, Kara would've heard Alex approaching long before she did, but she was already walking down the hallway. Kara froze for a moment, muttering a string of curses as she looked down at herself, wearing only her underwear, dimly aware of the shower shutting off. Darting over to the coatrack, Kara quickly shoved her arms through the sleeves of the first coat her hands fell on, which happens to be Lena's too short coat, and Kara bit back another curse as she buttoned it up, having no time to change again.

 

            Alex knocked on the door three times, and Kara froze, torn between opening the door and just pretending that she wasn't home - even though the sun was up, so the chances that she was was extremely high. Sighing, she opened the door and Alex walked inside. "Hi, I've just had the longest shift of my life. I think your girlfriend's mom is still holding a grudge that you're my sister," Alex grumbled. She looked at Kara, dressed in the too small coat and frowned. "What the hell are you wearing? Is something burning?" Muttering a curse, Kara dashed over to the stove and groaned as she flipped the burnt pancake. "Why are you making pancakes?" Alex asked, and then her eyes latched onto the hole in the wall above Kara's bed. "Is that a hole in your wall? What the hell have you been do- oh! Oh!"

 

            Alex's eyes landed on the clothes strewn all over the floor next to the bed at the exact same time that Lena burst out of the bathroom, wearing nothing but Kara's shirt. Her eyes widened as she took in the sight of Alex, her mouth opening and closing before she stepped back into the bathroom and shut the door.

 

            "I think I'm going to go," Alex muttered, avoiding Kara's apologetic look that was being thrown her way.

 

            "Sorry!" Kara squeaked, clapping a hand over her mouth as she watched Alex rush to the door and let herself out without another word. The frying pan hissed slightly as she pancake carried on burning, and the radio continued to spit out the pop song that was playing, and Kara winced as she listened to Alex's hurried retreating footsteps, and the sound of her talking on the floor.

 

            "Luce! I need a drink. Yeah, I know it's only eight o'clock, babe, but I just walked right into the middle of something I didn't want to know about. Yeah, Kara and Luthor. No! We're not talking about what they were doing before I got there! Okay, see you soon. Bye."

 

            Groaning, Kara buried her face in her hands, and the quiet sound of the bathroom door opening again reached her ears. She looked up, meeting Lena's alarmed face, and the two of them burst into laughter. "Well, that was a great start to the day," Lena said, crossing the room to give Kara a kiss.

 

            Kara winced slightly in embarrassment. "That went as well as I could've hoped."

 

            "Thank god she didn't come over last night," Lena laughed, and Kara buried her head in Lena's shoulder and wrapped her arms around her.

 

            "Can you imagine? I'd never be able to look at her again," Kara laughed, the sound muffled by Lena's shoulder.

 

            Kissing her on the side of her head, Lena gave her a quick squeeze. "I, for one, enjoyed myself," she murmured, and Kara lifted her head and gave her a lingering kiss.

 

            "Me too," she agreed, her eyes crinkling at the corners as she smiled. "I don't think my wall did though."

Chapter Text

            “Hey nerd.”

 

            “What’s up bloodsucker?”

 

            “I told you to stop calling me that,” Kara complained, listening to him laugh.

 

            Lena looked up from the laptop she was typing away on at her desk. “Is that Winn? Tell him I’ll kick his ass in player versus player again if he doesn’t stop.” Kara relayed the message and laughed at Winn’s grumbling at the other end of the phone.

 

            “I need a hand with something,” Kara said after a few more minutes of teasing and bickering. “Can you meet me at my place?”

 

            “Sure. Need me to bring anything in particular? A jar of garlic maybe?”

 

            Kara snorted, rolling her eyes. “Just yourself, please. We have everything we’re going to need here.”

 

            “Okay, see you soon!”

 

            While they waited for Winn to show up, they got everything ready for their plan. Lena got out the briefcase full of the spyware and pulled a gun out from the underside of her dining table, shrugging slightly when Kara raised her eyebrows. Fishing her phone out of her pocket, Kara scrolled down to Mike’s number, and making sure her own number was on private, she dialled. He picked up on the third ring, and she could imagine him debating whether or not to answer it as fear set in.

 

            “H-hi.”

 

            “What’s your address?” Kara asked, cutting straight to the chase.

 

            “Fifty-second and Park, apartment two C,” Mike said after a moment’s hesitation.

 

            “We’ll be there soon. If you’re not home, we’ll break in.” Kara hung up without another word and Lena let out a surprised laugh of delight. Walking over to Kara, she grabbed her by the front of her cardigan and pulled her close.

 

            “I like it when you’re in charge,” Lena said, and Kara shyly ducked her head down as she laughed self-consciously. Pressing a kiss to her cheek, Lena laughed again, before going to fetch her shoes from the bedroom.

 

            It was almost half an hour later that Winn showed up, and Kara was already yanking open the door as he neared the top of the stairs. At a slower human pace, Lena grabbed her coat and picked up the briefcase, locking the door behind her as she walked out into the hallway.

 

            “Hey Lena,” Winn said, giving her a warm smile.

 

            “Hey,” Lena replied, and Kara flitted over to take the briefcase off her, and Lena shot her a grateful smile. “So, have you been brought up to speed?”

 

            “Mhm. I’m surprised you need my help though; aren’t you good with computers too?”

 

            Lena smiled smugly. “Yes, but there’s a second part to the plan that I need to be in charge of while you set everything up outside the apartment.”

 

            “Wait, what?” Kara asked, frowning in confusion. “You didn’t tell me about this part. I just thought you needed Winn as a second set of hands.”

 

            “I, um, stole a van from work, so-“

 

            “You stole a van from work!?” Kara yelled, and Lena rolled her eyes, looping an arm through Kara’s and dragging them down the stairs.

 

            “Relax, Kara, I dismantled the tracker in it – no one will know I have it. Besides, it’ll be easier to connect the cameras and mics if we use the van as a permanent running base of operations. It’ll have a stronger connection than if I was to use my laptop – I can still check it from my laptop though.”

 

            Kara made a sound of disapproval but didn’t argue, and Lena smiled, squeezing her arm. “It’s fine. My mom will never find out.”

 

            The slightly raised eyebrows said everything that she was thinking, but she didn’t say anything as they walked out into the night. Kara waved at the van parked across from her apartment, knowing that tonight Vasquez was on guard, and she felt slightly guilty for going behind Alex’s back after all the effort they were putting in to catch the rogue. Leading the three of them over to the unmarked black van parked around the corner, Lena hopped into the driver’s seat, and Kara slid in beside her, leaving Winn to help himself into the back of the van.

 

            “Sweet setup!” he exclaimed, and Lena laughed.

 

            “Make yourself at home,” she told him, and Kara watched in the rear view mirror as Winn started switching on computer’s, making excited exclamations at the high tech equipment.

 

            Starting the van, Lena pulled out into traffic and they quickly made their way to the address that Mike had given them. Parking across the street, Lena turned the van off and climbed through to the back, sitting down in front of the screens and monitors and typing away at a keyboard. Kara watched with interest, having no clue what she was doing, and a few moments later, Lena gave her a reassuring smile. “All good to go. I’ll just come upstairs and make sure there’s no one waiting.”

 

            “Lena, we’ll be fine,” Kara assured her. “I might not be able to take you or Alex down yet, but my self defence is getting pretty good – plus my reflexes. Plus, if Mike pulls anything, he knows that he’d be a dead man.”

 

            Pressing her lips together in a hard line, Lena frowned, but then she sighed and nodded. “Okay. You’re right, just … stay safe, for me.”

 

            “Of course,” Kara promised, giving her a smile before leaning down to give her a quick kiss. Cold metal touched her hand, and Kara pulled back, looking down at the small gun that Lena was pressing into her palm.

 

            “If there is someone there, don’t try and be a hero. I know it’s not you, but just shoot them and leave,” Lena murmured, and Kara ran a thumb over her cheekbone, staring into Lena’s eyes as she made an unspoken promise.

 

            “I’ll hear you if you need to tell me something,” Kara told her, and Lena nodded. “Stay safe for me too.”

 

            Without another word, Kara picked up the briefcase and hopped out of the van, followed closely by Winn. Quickly crossing the road, they pressed the buzzer for Mike’s apartment and waited a few moments until the door unlocked and they were let inside the building. Kara was relieved that she wouldn’t have to break into his apartment, and she felt slightly guilty at the threat, but she needed to find out who her stalker was – for hers and everyone else’s benefit.

 

            Taking the stairs up to Mike’s level, they found his door and knocked. His heartbeat went into a flurry at Kara’s four knocks and she pitied him for a moment, silently praying that he wouldn’t try and do something stupid that would get him killed. She heard him fumble with the chain before unlocking the door and pulling it open.

 

            “Evening,” Kara cheerfully greeted him, trying to diffuse the tension of the moment. He looked almost green out of fear, and a slight sheen of sweat covered his forehead as he stared at her with wide eyes. “Um, you’ll have to invite me in.”

 

            “Oh, y-yeah, right,” Mike stammered, opening the door wider and letting Winn slip past. “Um, come in.”

 

            “Thank you,” Kara said, giving him a tight smile as she stepped over the threshold and set the briefcase down on his small table. Unlocking the briefcase, she waved Winn over. “Take it away.”

 

            “Okay,” Winn said, clapping his hands together as he looked down at the contents of it with excitement. “Okay, so we have three cameras, two microphones and a thermal sensor. Where do you want them?”

 

            Kara paused for a moment, considering the question. “Um, one camera facing the door, one on the fire escape outside the window and one facing the stairs?”

 

            “That’ll work,” Winn agreed. “I think the thermal sensor would give us a better scope if we put that in the back corner in the hall. That way it’ll show the door and the stairs – I think the window will be less important, because it might be a human.”

 

            “Yeah, right. And the mics?” Kara asked.

 

            “One inside the apartment and one above the door?”

 

            Kara shrugged indifferently. “Sure.”

 

            “I’ll get to it then.”

 

            Mike stood in the corner of his kitchen, watching Winn work with wide eyes and answering the few questions Kara had for him. Soon enough, Winn had finished setting everything up, and Kara watched as he switched it all on and tested it. He stood outside the front door, waving at the camera as he spoke. “Is it on? Hey, wait a second, guys I got a code name for us; Rogue One. Get it?”

 

            Kara heard Lena’s distant voice as she groaned, and let out a laugh. “We’re not in fucking Star Wars.”

 

            “Lena says she loves it,” Kara told Winn with a wide grin.

 

            “I mean, as far as code names go, it’s a pretty fitting one,” Lena said after a pause. “But are we really going to compare ourselves to the greatest heroes in the galaxy? And does that mean our rogue vampire is Darth Vader or the Death Star?”

 

            “Never mind, I regret taking part in this,” Kara said, shaking her head in amusement. “Are you nerds all set up?” Winn laughed and agreed that everything was done for his part, and Lena’s confirmation came a few seconds later as she double checked the thermal sensor and the camera on the fire escape. Turning to Mike, Kara gave him a small smile. “Thanks, Mike. We’ll be watching – and if you try and turn anything off, well, we’ll know.”

 

            Without another word, she picked up the briefcase and walked out into the hallway, listening as Mike rushed to his front door and put the chain back into place and locked it. Walking downstairs, Kara and Winn rushed over to the van, climbing inside.

 

            “All done,” Kara smiled at Lena, buckling her seatbelt as Lena climbed back into the front.

 

            “So I set up an alert so our phone’s will get a text whenever the thermal sensor is triggered. It could be anyone who lives on that floor, but mics are too sensitive and we would’ve been getting alerts every five seconds,” Lena explained as the van roared to life.

 

            They were mostly silent as they drove back through the city, dropping Winn off along the way, before they returned to their apartment. Kara waved at the van again as her and Lena walked back inside the building, hurrying upstairs so that Lena could get inside and warm up. They neared the top of the stairs, and Kara stopped in her tracks at the brown paper parcel outside her door.

 

            “How,” she exclaimed, dashing over to it and picking up as Lena ran over to her. With trembling fingers, Kara tore open the paper and opened the box, taking in the Cadmus badge nestled amongst dozens of rose petals. Picking up the note, she read over the words and felt fear settle in.

 

 

            My fair Kara, I’ve always liked a challenge, and I’d hate for the fun to be over so soon. I’ve taken care of the matter so that our game can continue. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.

 

 

            For a second, Kara thought that it was Alex’s badge, but then she looked up at all of the places they’d cameras and sensors, realising that they’d all been smashed and ripped down.

 

            “Vasquez,” Kara whispered, and Lena looked at her in shock. Kara didn’t wait for Lena, despite her shouts, and she was downstairs in flash, pushing open the door and racing across the road – not even pausing to listen for cars. Ripping the door open, the smell of blood filled her nose and Kara gagged as she took in the sight of Vasquez with her throat torn out. The worst part was that Kara’s hunger flared up, and she could almost taste the blood as the scent coated her tongue and burnt her throat. She stopped breathing, stumbling back from the van and the nightmare inside.

 

            A minute later, Lena’s frantic footsteps hit the sidewalk as she crossed the road, breathing hard. Her breathing hitched as she took in the sight of Kara crouched down, leaning against the brick wall of the building, a hand tightly clapped over her nose and mouth. Panicking, Lena ran over to her and dropped to her knees, reaching out to grab her face in her hands. “Kara! Are you okay? Are you hurt?”

 

            Numbly shaking her head, Kara gazed past Lena, focusing on the van behind her before she shut her eyes, and Lena whirled around. She rushed over to it, taking in the scene inside, and letting out a startled shout. Dry heaving, Lena stumbled backwards, managing to close the van door and hide the smell and sight from view, before she vomited on the sidewalk. “Fuck. Oh fuck. Shit. Fuck, fuck, fuck! Kara! Kara it’s okay. It’s okay – you can breathe. The door’s shut, you can open your eyes now.”

 

            At Lena’s gentle coaxing, Kara pulled her hands away from her mouth and climbed to her feet. Her throat bobbed, and if she could cry, she would be, but instead she just looked at Lena's deathly pale, terrified face as she shook. “Call Alex.”

Chapter Text

           Cadmus hunters showed up soon afterwards, with Alex the first to arrive with Lucy in tow. She had immediately gone to Kara, checking to make sure she was okay before she opened the van. A flicker of anger and pain crossed her face as she took in the dead body of her co-worker, and Kara realised that she was probably one of Alex’s closest friends too, and a feeling of guilt welled up inside her. If it wasn’t for her, none of them would be in this situation; if it wasn’t for her they would all be safe. Kara’s eyes darted over to Alex and Lena, who were deep in conversation about the stolen and broken equipment in the van. If anything, the attack reinforced Kara’s idea to find her stalker by herself – she couldn’t risk something happening to either of them. She would risk a lot, but she wouldn’t risk them. They would be angry of her, she was sure about that, but they would be safe and that was all that mattered. Now she just had to find a way to keep Alex in the dark about her and Lena’s plans, and then keep Lena in the dark about her own plans.

 

           “Kara.” She turned at the sound of her voice, blinking in surprise as she looked at Lucy. “Alex wants me to take you upstairs.”

 

           She could’ve argued – insisted on staying here until they took the body and van away, and she was sure that Lena was safely in either one of their apartment’s – but she just nodded and numbly stumbled across the road as Lucy followed after her. She slowly trudged upstairs, too tired to even use her speed. The worst part was that she couldn’t sleep; there would be no relief from her weariness. The two of them silently reached Kara and Lena’s floor, and made their way down the hallway. As Kara unlocked her door, Lucy bent down and picked up the parcel that Kara had dropped in her hurry to get to the van. Inside, Kara glanced down at Lucy’s hands, taking in the sight of the box, and feeling sick to her stomach. Walking over to the bin, Lucy threw it in the trash and took a seat at the table.

 

           Kara was silent for a moment, and then she ran a hand through her hair and let out a shaky breath. “I thought it was Alex’s.”

 

           Lucy’s attention snapped to Kara, and she pressed her lips together in a grim line. “I wouldn’t le-“

 

           “You wouldn’t be able to stop it,” Kara snapped, and Lucy’s words died on the tip of her tongue. Squeezing her eyes shut and taking a deep breath, Kara opened them again and gave Lucy an apologetic look. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to snap.”

 

           “It’s okay, it’s been a long night,” Lucy soothingly said.

 

           Kara nodded, a lump forming in her throat as Vasquez’s dead body flickered across her mind. “Um, coffee? I even have milk now.”

 

           “Please,” Lucy nodded, and Kara quickly set about making some to take her mind off things. “You should feed too. After smelling- well, you know.” Kara nodded, pulling milk and one of Lena’s concoctions of blood out of the fridge. Placing a cup on the table for Lucy, she sat down opposite her and unscrewed the cap of her own bottle, taking a sip.

 

           They were silent for a moment, and Kara took the chance to study her sister’s girlfriend. Since Kara had been turned, she’d spent more time with Lucy, and found that she liked her even. At any rate, she could see why Alex liked her, and she was grateful that her sister had found someone so well suited for her. Taking another sip, Kara cleared her throat. “So, what happens now?”

 

           “I’m sorry, Kara, I can’t tell you,” Lucy apologetically told her. “We’re already going to be in trouble for an unauthorised operation, I can’t risk sharing classified information.”

 

           Nodding, Kara fell silent as she carried on drinking her blood. They made small talk for another five minutes before Kara heard Alex and Lena approaching her door, and she pulled it open before they could knock. Alex took a seat at the table, and her eyes found the canvas painting that had been purchased to cover the hole in the wall, and she snorted with laughter. Pouring them both some coffee, Kara hopped up onto the kitchen counter and let Lena take her seat. Concerned glances were thrown her way by Lena and Alex, but Kara ignored them as she finished her drink.

 

           “Well, I guess we’re in deep shit now,” Alex sighed, running a hand over her weary face. Her eyes were red and she looked exhausted from a late night of work, yet she hadn’t given herself the chance to break down, not while she still had work to do tonight.

 

           “Don’t worry, I’ll take the blame,” Lena said. “My mom is a bitch, but I’m still her daughter. She’ll threaten me again, and tell me it’s my last chance again – maybe suspend me – but she’ll be more lenient. Maybe. Or perhaps not; who the fuck knows with her.”

 

           “I’m not going to let you take the blame for my plan,” Alex stubbornly argued, and Kara guiltily locked eyes with Lena. She could see the silent question in her eyes, and Kara shook her head. Now would be the worst possible timing to tell Alex that they’d come up with their own plan, and Kara didn’t want an argument. Not that Alex could say anything against it, because like she’d said, she’d already come up with this plan. She didn’t need to know – from now on, Kara would do it by herself.

 

           She listened to the three of them bickering about who was going to take the blame for the plan, and sighed as she tried to come up with a way to keep Lena out of it. The only way to throw her off her trail would be to carry out her plans while Lena was at work, or to feed her false information off Mike, but feeding her lies didn’t sit well with Kara, so she decided the former would have to do.

 

           Jumping down off the counter, she threw her bottle in the trash and walked over to her dresser, pulling out some pyjamas and slipping into the bathroom. A shower and pyjamas would do nothing for her in terms of comfort and relaxation, but she needed to do something to give herself the illusion of it. Taking her time, she scrubbed herself clean with her lavender scented shower gel, before getting out and quickly drying off and changing.

 

           Emerging from the bathroom, all eyes turned to her, and Alex quickly got up from the table. “Lucy and I are going to head off now. W-we’ll have to check in at headquarters; I’ll call you and let you know …”

 

           “Right,” Kara mumbled. She walked over to Alex and wrapped her in a tight hug, closing her eyes as she listened to her steady heartbeat. It was comforting just to know that for now her sister was safe, and Kara felt guilty for the wave of relief that swept through her, because for a single moment she had thought that the badge had been Alex’s. She was conflicted over her feelings about the night, and she wished more than anything that she could escape into sleep for just a few hours.

 

           “Stay inside tonight, please,” Alex begged her, and Kara gave her a tight squeeze before pulling back.

 

           “I love you,” Kara said, kissing her sister on the cheek, and Alex echoed the sentiment before nodding at Lena and walking over to the door. Lucy stood up and wished them both a good night, and Kara stopped her by a firm hand on her arm before she could slip out after Alex. “Don’t leave her alone tonight – please.”

 

           Lucy nodded, giving her a small smile of reassurance before walking out and shutting the door behind her. Letting out a shaky breath, Kara rounded on Lena and held her arms open. Lena quickly crossed the gap between them and held Kara close, closing her eyes as she relaxed into the comfort of her cold arms. “Let’s go to bed,” Kara murmured, and Lena silently agreed. Borrowing some pyjamas off Kara, she quickly stripped off her clothes and changed before slipping under the covers.

 

           Kara cradled her close while she slept, watching her sleep as she felt Lena’s chest rise and fall beneath her touch. She could feel the tension bleed out of her as she lay next to Lena, listening to the quiet sounds of the city in the early hours after midnight, and imagining that it was just a normal night. For Lena’s sake she hoped they would catch the rogue so that they could have a normal night, without the imminent feeling of dread that hung over Kara’s head day after day.

 

           A loud buzzing sound jolted Kara out of her thoughts, and she quickly reached for Lena’s phone on the nightstand, glancing down at the name on the screen to see if it was worth waking her up for. Veronica Sinclair. Roulette.

 

           With a sigh, Kara gently shook Lena awake. “Lena. Hey, sorry sweetie but it’s Roulette,” Kara whispered as Lena roused herself from sleep. “I think you might want to answer it.”

 

           Groaning, Lena blinked up at Kara as she took the phone off her, frowning down at the screen. “Ronnie? What can I do for you?”

 

           “It’s time for you to hold up your end of the bargain.”

 

           Lena sat upright, and Kara felt a flicker of fear inside her. She didn’t trust Roulette, and she didn’t want to do this tonight – not after the night they’d had. Still, Kara knew that they had to, because she didn’t trust Roulette. It wasn’t up for negotiation, and they would have to do it unless they wanted their night to end up even worse than it already was.

 

           “Where?”

 

           “You know the alley behind Club Red? There’s a drain at the end of it. Follow the tunnel south.”

 

           The line went dead and Lena ran a hand through her tangled hair, muttering a curse beneath her breath. “She couldn’t have better timing,” she bitterly murmured, and Kara reached out to tenderly stroke her cheek.

 

           “I’ll go.”

 

           “We’ll both go. I don’t think it was up for discussion. I made the deal, now I’ll pay the price. I won’t try and stop you from coming though,” Lena said with a smile, reaching up to give Kara a kiss. “I know better than that.”

 

           They quickly got dressed, and within minutes they were both on the sidewalk, making their way across the street to get into Lena’s car. They normally would have walked to give Kara the chance to enjoy the fresh air – as well as to avoid the traffic that was still jammed at the centre of the city even at two in the morning – but neither of them could be bothered wandering around the city. The car purred to life and Lena headed towards the city centre – towards one of Roulette’s high-end clubs.

 

---

 

           Within the hour they were parking in the closest space they could find, and Kara tightly held onto Lena’s hand as she scanned the street for anyone paying them any attention. Her senses were in overdrive as she tried not to subconsciously block out the overwhelming sounds of the city – she didn’t want to be caught off guard tonight.

 

           Quickly, they made their way to Club Red, walking straight past the long line snaking down the sidewalk, and down the alley that brought them to a dead end behind the club. Crouching down, Kara pulled at the bars of the drain and yanked it free, giving them a hold big enough to climb through. Jumping down into the dark tunnel, Kara waited for Lena to fall down, carefully catching her and setting her down on her feet.

 

           “Which way is south?” Kara asked, looking up and down the tunnel. She could navigate by the stars, but she didn’t have a good view of them through the small hole.

 

           “This way,” Lena murmured, taking hold of Kara’s arm and leading her in the right direction. Above them, the loud pumping sound of club music could be heard through the ground, and as they travelled further and further down the tunnel, even Kara couldn’t hear it after a while.

 

           Eventually they stumbled upon a heavy metal door, and two vampires stood outside, guarding it. They were the same two as last time, and they opened the door for the two girls as they recognised them, waving them through. Another few minutes of walking brought them to another door, and after hesitating for a second, Kara heard Roulette’s voice permitting them to enter. Protectively walking in first, Kara scanned the room finding it empty except for Roulette.

 

           They were in a large private lounge room, clearly built for the intention of hosting and entertaining people. Two large sofas faced each other, and Roulette lounged on one of them, a glass of wine in hand as she surveyed her guests. Beyond the sofas was a large pool table, and behind it, a large bar that ran along the length of the wall. It was decorated lavishly, displaying the obvious wealth that Roulette had, but that did nothing to ease Kara’s doubts. With money came power.

 

           “Veronica,” Lena tensely greeted her. “Couldn’t pick a better time?”

 

           Smirking, Roulette waved her wine glass around aimlessly. “Well what’s the point in day drinking when the night has so much potential? Please, make yourselves comfortable.”

 

           Lena sat down opposite Roulette, matching her careless pose and haughty demeanour as she coolly stared at her. Kara sat down next to Lena, as close as she could without being too overprotective, but her hands formed fists by her side as she hunched her shoulders at the building tension.

 

           “A drink perhaps?” Roulette asked, and Lena inclined her head. They watched as Roulette climbed to her feet, draining her wine glass before making her way over to the bar. It was silent, except for the soft music playing from the speakers, and they anxiously waited as Roulette mixed them all martini’s and carried them over. Murmuring her thanks, Kara took the offered glass and politely took a sip, fighting back the urge to spit it back into her glass as it burnt her mouth. “So, I think a considerable amount of time has passed for that weak human to have been as useful as he could be. Now, it’s time for you to uphold your end of the bargain.”

 

           “Of course,” Lena agreed, raising her glass slightly and nodding at Roulette before she took a sip. “Drinks and an explanation was it?”

 

           “Mhm, the latter can wait though,” Roulette said, giving them a sharp smile. “I so rarely get to catch up with old … friends.”

 

           Lena clenched her jaw slightly. “Well, I wouldn’t want to deprive you of the chance now, would I?”

 

           Kara silently sat there, listening to the two of them talk, hinting and making innuendos about things that Kara didn’t know about. She was almost sure that they were both being stubbornly competitive, trying to get the upper hand on each other with sly digs and jibes at their shared past. Almost as if she just remembered that Kara existed, Roulette’s gaze slid to her, and her smile widened.

 

           “Well now, I know I was human when we dated in high school, Lena, but please indulge me; do you have a thing for vampires?”

 

           Lena stiffened slightly, her eyes darting to Kara out of the corner of her eyes. “No.”

 

           “Hm. It just seems like there’s a pattern,” Roulette noted. “Or perhaps the pattern is that anyone you get … close to, turns into a vampire. Not you though. Strange.”

 

           “Your guess is as good as mine,” Lena carelessly shrugged, fishing the olive out of her glass. “My mother would be all too eager to plunge a stake into my heart if I was turned though, so I, for one, am glad.”

 

           “Tell me, Kara, how long have you been a vampire?” Roulette asked with interest.

 

           Shifting in her seat, Kara cleared her throat slightly. “A few months now.”

 

           “And you’re adjusting well?”

 

           “Very well,” Lena quickly agreed, a protective hand reaching out to grasp Kara’s knee, giving it a reassuring squeeze.

 

           “And does your mother know of your relationship?” Roulette asked, arching an eyebrow slightly.

 

           Lena gave her a wry smile, draining her glass and setting down on the coffee table between them. “You seem awfully concerned about me and my girlfriend, Ronnie.”

 

           Kara choked on her sip of her drink, and forced herself to swallow as Lena quickly shot her a look. Lena had never called her her girlfriend before, and while Kara knew they were obviously dating, she hadn’t pushed Lena to define how serious their relationship was. Downing her drink, Kara placed her glass on the table and tried to relax back onto the sofa.

 

           Roulette’s smile grew even wider, but it did nothing to settle Kara’s nerves. She didn’t trust this woman one bit, and she wanted to leave – now. “Well, I’ve always had a soft spot for you,” Roulette said. “But anyway, to business.”

 

           “Of course.”

 

           “So, tell me; why was the human so important?”

 

           Lena gestured carelessly. “He was there the night Kara was changed – she’d like to find her sire. It is so … rare for vampires to turn humans without a reason. We thought that Mr Matthews would give us a lead so we could find out why.”

 

           Roulette was silent for a moment, swirling her drink around in her glass as she smiled, more to herself than to the two girls across from her. After a moment she barked a laugh, setting the glass down on the table and looking up at the two girls. Her eyes seemed to flash with anger as she steepled her fingers and looked at them, her face a mask. Narrowing her eyes slightly, she sat back in her seat, crossing her legs as a triumphant grin graced her face. “See, you’ve always been a good liar, Lena. Even now, your heartbeat is steady, and even your eyes don’t betray you. And you, Kara, well, you don’t have a heartbeat, but you, oh, well you give yourself away without saying a single word. I’m not here to play games. We made a deal – either you honour it, or you’ll regret the day you made it. So I’ll give you one more chance to tell me the truth.”

 

           Lena stiffly nodded, raising her chin slightly. “I told you the truth; we’re looking for Kara’s sire.”

 

           “The whole truth, Lena,” Roulette impatiently commanded.

 

           “I’ve been getting parcels dropped off outside my door. The prints on it matched the rogue vampire that Cadmus is hunting, and we set up cameras which caught the human delivering it. We needed him so that we could find out who it was that’s stalking me. Cadmus hasn’t been able to find them, so we’re going to do it instead,” Kara blurted out, not caring if she’d just ruined all of their plans. Her main priority was getting them both out of there alive – especially Lena – and being honest was the only thing that would stop Roulette from tearing out their throats, Kara was sure of it.

 

           Kara thought she saw anger simmering in Roulette’s eyes, but a moment later it was gone as she blinked in surprise as Kara’s honesty. “You’re hunting the rogue one? You’ll not catch him unless he wishes to be found. You should give up now.”

 

           “Then you know who it is?” Lena asked. “It’s a he?”

 

           “I know him. He will rip this city apart if he wishes to. I wouldn’t go sticking your nose in where it doesn’t belong, unless you’d prefer your head off your shoulders. I’m surprised at you though, Kara – you would work with the enemy to find the ancient one?”

 

           “They’re not my enemy,” Kara countered.

 

           Roulette let out a cold laugh, smirking as she looked at Kara. “So naïve. Cadmus is the enemy to all of our kind; you would be a fool to forget that. You should forget about Cadmus, and wait for the ancient one to find you. If he wants you, he’ll come for you, and he always gets what he wants.”

 

           “Well he can’t have her,” Lena snapped, her patience wearing thin.

 

           Eyebrows shooting up in surprise at Lena’s defensiveness, Roulette straightened up in her seat, giving Lena mocking look. “You were never this defensive over someone before. Is it love, Miss Luthor?”

 

           Lena’s face flushed red with embarrassment and anger. “That’s none of your concern,” she hissed, climbing to her feet. “Consider our end of the bargain fulfilled – you got your information. We’re leaving now.”

 

           “By all means. I’ve got what I need,” Roulette shrugged, waving a careless hand towards the door.

 

           Kara was on her feet in a heartbeat, grabbing onto Lena’s arm and dragging her towards the door. They had to leave right now, because the tension in the room was only building, along with Lena’s anger. “I swear to god, Ronnie, if you come after us with what we’ve told you, I will bring my entire fucking company down on you and I’ll fucking kill you myself,” Lena snarled.

 

           Looking amused, Roulette got to her feet and darted over to the bar, pouring herself some whisky. “Is that a threat, little Lena? If it is, I’d rethink it if I were you. We wouldn’t want something to happen because someone didn’t know when to hold their tongue now, would we? I’d back off now if I were you.”

 

           “It’s a promise – and you know I always keep my promises,” Lena said, her eyes burning with anger as she glared at Roulette. Before she could say another word, Kara grabbed her by the waist and hauled her outside, darting down the hallway and through the other door, making sure they were clear of the guards before she set Lena back down.

 

           “What the hell was that?” Kara hissed as they neared the drain they’d come in through.

 

           “She’s a backstabbing bitch and I wouldn’t trust her as far as I can throw her. She’s pissed – from the second you said that we were after the rogue vampire – and we played right into her hands. Do you really think she’d okay with the fact that you’re working with Cadmus against your own kind?”

 

           “Well … no, but I had to tell her,” Kara said, giving Lena a pained look as she gathered her in her arms and launched them back up through the hole.

 

           “I know you did,” Lena grimaced. “She wouldn’t let us out of there alive if she didn’t think we were being completely honest. And now she has the information she needs to bargain with the rogue vampire. She’ll use it to save her own skin or for leverage against me.”

 

           Kara frantically paced back and forth, a pale blur of movement that made Lena’s eyes hurt as she tried to focus on her. “I don’t like this,” Kara grimly muttered. “I don’t like this one bit. We’re calling this off – we’re stopping this right now.”

 

           “Kara-“

 

           “No, Lena! I won’t put you at risk. We’re in too deep, and someone I care about it going to get hurt. So this ends now – or I’ll call Alex myself and I’ll tell her what we’ve done, and she can shut us down herself,” Kara told her, running her fingers through her hair.

 

           “Fine,” Lena nodded. “Cadmus are still looking anyway. From now on we’ll leave it to them.”

 

           “Do you promise?” Kara asked, and Lena nodded and assured her that she promised, and Kara let out a sigh of relief. She had no intention of stopping her hunt, but now she had Lena’s promise that she would stay out of it, and Lena had said so herself only a few minutes ago that she always kept her promises.

Chapter Text

            Lena drove them home quickly, seething with anger as she sped through the city. She came to a grinding halt outside their building, letting the engine idle as she waited for Kara to get out of the car. “I need to go to headquarters,” Lena said by way of explanation when she made no move to get out of the car.

 

            Kara sighed, one leg out of the door as she stared at Lena. “It’s three o’clock in the morning, Lena. Can’t it wait until later?”

 

            “If I don’t go in, your sister is going to get herself fired, and how is that going to help us find your stalker if we don’t have someone working the case for us?” Lena said, and Kara was silent for a moment before nodding.

 

            “Okay. Come straight home though, okay? I have an … uneasy feeling,” Kara murmured, and Lena nodded, leaning over to kiss Kara. Lingering for a second longer, Kara pushed back against Lena’s lips before getting out of the car and hesitating slightly. “I- stay safe.”

 

            Kara slammed the door shut and stood on the sidewalk as she watched Lena speed off. As the car turned left at the end of the road, Kara closed her eyes and stood on the dark street, listening to Lena’s heartbeat as it slowly moved further and further away. She didn’t move until she couldn’t hear it anymore.

 

---

 

            Dawn was still a few hours away, and Kara didn’t want to waste any time on her hunt, so instead of going inside, she started making her way through the city on foot. She estimated she’d half at least an hour before Lena made it back to their apartment, but she had speed on her side, and she was little more than a white blur streaking through the city as she darted down alleyways and jumped from rooftop to rooftop.

 

            It didn’t take long for her to track down a vampire. This one was a woman about the same age as Kara, stalking another woman down the street with a look of hunger on her pale face. It was the absence of a heartbeat that had notified Kara, and as she perched on the edge of the rooftop, she watched the woman follow her prey.

 

            They came closer, and as the human woman passed her, Kara dropped down from the roof, landing in front of the vampire and dragging her into the dark alley. She snarled at Kara, tearing herself out of her grip, and Kara pursued her, firmly grasping her by her shoulder. She turned and swiped at Kara, throwing her off her feet and into a brick wall. It cracked beneath Kara’s body, and a shower of cement and brick rained down around her as she fell to the floor. Gritting her teeth, Kara flew at her, landing a punch on her stomach and kicking her feet out from under her. They fought for a few minutes, drawing bruises and breaking bones that healed instantly, before Kara managed to get the woman in a headlock. Her training with Alex was paying off.

 

            “What’s you name?” Kara asked, as the woman struggled in her grip.

 

            “Siobhan.”

 

            “How old are you?”

 

            “Twenty-eight,” the vampire choked out, scrambling at Kara’s hand as she choked off her air supply.

 

            “Not your age when you were turned, your vampire age.”

 

            “Ninety-five.”

 

            Old enough to know about the rogue one, but perhaps too old to have been turned by him. “There’s an ancient one in the city. Do you know of him?” Siobhan stiffly nodded her head. “What can you tell me about him?”

 

            “He’s strong, and powerful. If he wants you dead then you’re dead – if he wants you to be a part of his coven, then you accept. No one can stand against him.”

 

            “Do you know where I can find him?” Kara asked, and the woman fell silent. Giving her a rough shake, Kara tightened her arm around the woman’s neck. “Tell me!”

 

            “Find Lyra.”

 

            Lyra. The name sounded old – a promising start. Kara hesitated, her arm still wound around the vampire’s neck. On the one hand, if she let her go she was clearly going to go and hunt, but on the other, Kara couldn’t just kill her. It was bad enough having to fight – even though she was saving unsuspecting human lives because of it – and she didn’t think she had it in her to kill. Making up her mind, Kara quickly jerked the woman’s head to the side, snapping her neck. It would heal, and she’d wake up a few hours later none the wiser of what had happened.

 

            Hauling the limp body over her shoulder, Kara used enough force to jump onto the roof and set off through the city with the unconscious vampire. She was a few blocks away from the Cadmus headquarters before she came to a stop. They would have this entire section of the city watched – she could be sure of that – and she didn’t want to be caught on any cameras that would lead to her having to explain to Alex and Lena why she was traipsing around the city at three o’clock in the morning with an unconscious vampire in tow.

 

            Figuring out how to set off an alarm without getting herself caught in the process, Kara dropped down into an alley and lay the body on the ground. She made sure that she was behind the dumpster and trash bags so that an unsuspecting human didn’t stumble past and find themselves being snacked on by a hungry and pissed off vampire. Pausing for a moment, Kara decided that her best bet would be to pretend that she was being attacked. Taking a deep breath, she let out a piercing scream, before launching herself up onto the nearest rooftop.

 

            Closing her eyes, she tuned in to the sounds of the city, letting the loudness overwhelm her senses as she tried to pick up on anything relating to Cadmus. It wasn’t too long before she picked up a familiar voice speaking into a radio – it was James.

 

            “This is Hunter Olsen. High frequency mics just picked up a scream. There’s a possible vampire attack underway, Lane and I are en-route to the source of the sound. Stay tuned for backup deployment if we need it.”

 

            Lucy. Kara quickly scrambled backwards away from the edge of the roof and took off in a flash. She’d already been staked by Lucy twice before, and she wasn’t about to stick around and find herself with another hole in her stomach because she’d been too invested in making sure that a vampire was found. They’d find her anyway, and Kara already had what she’d been looking for.

 

---

 

            Kara was making her way upstairs when she heard Lena’s car pull up outside the building. In a flash, Kara let herself into her apartment and quickly threw on the pyjamas she’d been wearing before they’d gone out to meet Roulette. By the time Lena wearily dragged her feet towards Kara’s door and let herself in, Kara was lounging on the bed, trying to read one of her astronomy books as if she hadn’t moved for the past hour.

 

            She finished counting the amount of letters in the word she was reading before setting it down and looking over at Lena. “Hey, are you okay?”

 

            “Your idiot sister already confessed to everything before I got there,” Lena snorted. “My mom was in the process of getting paperwork drawn up to fire her when I saw her and gave her my version of what happened. So she’s only been suspended for a week.”

 

            “Well that’s good,” Kara sighed in relief. “What about you?”

 

            Lena gave her a lopsided smile as she stripped off her clothes and slipped back into the pyjamas she’d been wearing. Walking over to the bed, she collapsed onto it next to Kara, wriggling under the blankets and burying her face in Kara’s shoulder. “The only way to make my mom think it was my fault was to throw myself under the bus for our plans too, so I’ve been suspended for a month and assigned to death duty when I go back. Also I’m sorry but Alex is going to be really pissed at you in the morning, because she kind of got a brief description off my mom and put two and two together, so she knows that you were obviously involved.”

 

            “Shit,” Kara muttered. “I’m sorry.”

 

            “It’s fine,” Lena sighed, closing her eyes and letting herself relax in Kara’s arms.

 

            Kara absentmindedly ran her fingers through Lena’s hair as they lay there in silence for a moment. “Um, what’s death duty?”

 

            “Vampires that are killed are … autopsied. We harvest the parts for our research, and well, it’s not fun.”

 

            “Oh god, I’ve really messed things up for you,” Kara groaned, running a hand over her face and pinching the bridge of her nose.

 

            Lena pushed herself up onto her elbow, reaching up to cup Kara’s cheek before placing a kiss on her lips. “Hey, don’t blame yourself. You would’ve had to lock me up to keep me from doing this with you.”

 

            “Right,” Kara murmured, feeling slightly guilty; Lena had risked so much to help her. At the same time though, it reinforced her actions earlier on. If she was going to be tracking down vampires in search of the rogue, she didn’t want Lena involved in it – not anymore. “So I guess we’re going to have to take down all the equipment at Mike’s?”

 

            “Yeah,” Lena sighed. “You wanted to take it down anyway though, right? After … earlier.”

 

            “Yeah. Yeah, I did,” Kara murmured, pressing a kiss to Lena’s forehead. “I’ll take Winn tomorrow to take it all down. Now, go to sleep. You must be exhausted.”

 

            Lena made a sound in agreement, sounding tired. “Goodnight.”

 

            “Sweet dreams.”

 

---

 

            Alex showed up early the next morning, banging on Kara’s door before she managed to extract herself from Lena’s embrace and open it. “Morning,” Kara whispered as she let her sister inside.

 

            “Why are you whispering? Oh,” Alex said, spotting the dark hair splayed across the pillow on Kara’s bed and stopping in her tracks. “Should I come back later?”

 

            “That depends on how much you’re going to yell at me,” Kara said, giving her sister a sheepish look. Rolling her eyes, Alex grabbed Kara by the arm and dragged her out into the hallway, crossing her arms over her chest.

 

            “You could’ve just told me, you know,” she started, sounding hurt as a wounded expression crossed her face. “I thought we were working on this together.”

 

            “I know, but I knew you wouldn’t like it if you knew I was going out when I could get hurt,” Kara explained.

 

            Alex grimaced, a small crease forming between her eyebrows as she frowned. “Well of course I wouldn’t like it, but I’ve been teaching you self defence so I wont have to worry about things like that. I trust you not to go looking for a fight on purpose, and I’ve been helping prepare you for one just in case. I risked my job for this, Kara. After all the shit you gave me for lying to you – and don’t try and act like you’re not still a little bit pissed off about it – I thought you would’ve at least been honest with me.”

 

            Giving her an apologetic look, Kara reached out to grab her sister’s hand, giving it a quick squeeze. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you, but I just want you to be safe; especially after last night.”

 

            “Oh no, don’t pull that shit with me,” Alex said, her frown deepening. “It’s my job, Kara. I know what I’m doing – better than you do. If I can’t defend myself then I wouldn’t be let out into the field. So don’t try and use that excuse. You didn’t want me involved because you were scared that I would get mad at you for running around like fucking Nancy Drew and putting yourself in danger, knowing that there’s a whole secret organisation running the exact same operation that you could be compromising by interfering. Not to mention the fact that I was already breaking the law by interfering myself.”

 

            “You’re right,” Kara said, pressing her lips together in a grim line. “And I’m sorry. I knew you wouldn’t approve, and I don’t want to sit on my ass while I let others do this for me. I can help you. I’m a vampire – I have enhanced senses and speed and strength. You should be letting me use them to help track down vampires, not shutting me out.”

 

            “I can’t just let you run around the city like a vigilante, Kara,” Alex exclaimed, helplessly throwing her hands up. “Please, just tell me if you need help. I won’t get mad – I’m not mom – I just want to have your back. I always want to have your back.”

 

            “Okay,” Kara agreed, knowing that she was going to have to break that promise almost immediately. Just so long as she kept Lena out of it too, there would be no way for it to get back to Cadmus. She’d just have to be careful. Alex sighed, pulling Kara into a hug and squeezing her tightly. Behind them, the door opened and Lena rubbed at her tired eyes as she frowned at the brightness of the hallway.

 

            “Oh, I didn’t know where you were,” she mumbled, stifling a yawn as she took in the sight of the two sister’s hugging. “Morning Alex.”

 

            “Morning. Thanks for getting me unfired,” she replied, giving Lena a small smile.

 

            “Yeah, well, don’t mention it,” Lena said, shrugging slightly as she stepped back inside the apartment and went to make some coffee.

 

            Following her inside, Alex sat down at the table and Kara made her way into the kitchen to cook breakfast for the two girls. “Sure, and I won’t mention the stolen equipment and the van hidden around the corner,” Alex said, and Lena knocked over a mug as she started at the words. “Yeah, you should be grateful that you’re a genius with a microscope because you’d make a shit spy.”

 

            “Well you didn’t catch us,” Lena pointed out, righting the mug and pouring the three of them some coffee. She paused at the fridge and added a dash of blood to one of the cups for Kara, before juggling the three of them as she carried them over to the table. Setting them down, she slid a cup over to Alex and then picked up one for herself, taking a sip just as Kara’s eyes widened.

 

            “No! That’s mine!” Kara yelped, and Lena gagged, spitting coffee everywhere as she coughed.

 

            “Fuck! That tastes awful,” Lena choked out in between coughs. Kara switched their mugs, forcing the normal coffee into Lena’s hands before she darted to the kitchen to get a cloth and wipe down the table.

 

            “No shit, Luthor, you’re not supposed to drink blood,” Alex said, biting back a smile as she took a sip of her own coffee. “Mine’s delicious though, thanks.” Lena narrowed her eyes and flipped her off as she took another sip of coffee, rinsing her mouth out of the metallic aftertaste of the blood.

 

            Dabbing at the spilt coffee, Kara pressed her lips together as she tried not to smile. She actually liked that her sister and girlfriend were teasing each other – they clearly respected one another, but she was glad to see that they were becoming more comfortable around each other, and with the fact that both of them were big parts of Kara’s life. She was hoping to organise a game night soon with Winn and Lucy, and possibly even James, so that they could all unwind and have fun together. After the stress of last night, they desperately needed it.

 

            “So, when are you planning on returning the stolen equipment?” Alex asked, raising her eyebrows at the two of them.

 

            Lena carelessly shrugged. “We’ll probably go and take it down from Mike’s apartment today. Would you mind getting Lane take it back in for me though? I’m suspended for a month, and I doubt my mom would be too pleased about me keeping it for that long.”

 

            “No problem. I’ll drive her here tonight and she can take the van in too.”

 

            Kara frowned slightly. “How come Lucy didn’t get suspended?”

 

            “Because I was a good girlfriend and took all the blame,” Alex said with an almost proud smile. “Well, until your girlfriend came in and took all the blame.”

 

            “What kind of girlfriend would I be if I was a coward and let my girlfriend’s sister take the blame for me?” Lena smirked. “My mom’s too scared about our reputation to actually fire me. I know how to push her buttons and pull through unscathed. I can’t say the same for everyone else at Cadmus though.”

 

            Alex snorted, her eyebrows rising slightly. “No shit. If anyone else pulled half of the shit that you do, they’d be fired if they were lucky.

 

            “Perks,” Lena shrugged, and Kara smiled as she listened to Alex mumble about privileged trust fund kids under her breath. “So, what’s the plan now?”

 

            “We leave it alone now,” Kara firmly said, and both of them looked at her in surprise, but they didn’t argue.

Chapter Text

            Two months passed without incidence. Lena’s suspension ended and she went back to work, Alex only ran sanctioned missions that were assigned to her, and Kara spent every moment she wasn’t with either of them scouring the city for Lyra. So far, neither of them were any the wiser, and Kara was careful to keep it that way. While they had taken down the surveillance equipment watching Mike’s apartment, Kara still enlisted his help with her hunt, because he knew more than he was letting on and she needed all the help she could get – as long as it didn’t come from anyone she cared about.

 

            And so in the early hours on Wednesday morning, Kara found herself in the alley behind an internet café open twenty-four hours, pacing back and forth as she waited for Mike to return. The past two months of searching had led them to this café, to this alleyway as Kara waited for Mike to lure Lyra out here. Across the city, they’d chased rumour and information from one end to the other, hearing different things about where they could find her, and tonight they’d finally found her. The weather had started to warm, which meant that Kara had less hours of darkness to conduct her search, yet each night that Lena was at work, she found herself hunting down vampires, questioning them and then dropping them off for Cadmus hunters to find. Alex had said that she couldn’t let Kara run around like a vigilante while she tried to help Cadmus, so she decided she’d run around by herself and kill two birds with one stone. Each time she left an unconscious vampire for Cadmus to find, she grew one step closer to finding out where Lyra, and even the rogue one, was, and tonight she’d be even closer. Mike had tried to worm his way out of baiting her outside, but Kara hadn’t let him get out of it that easily, and she’d promised him that if he helped her tonight, she would leave him alone.

 

            “Yeah, they’re just- just around the corner. They were passed out on the ground,” Mike’s voice floated towards Kara, and she smiled slightly as he slurred his words and heard him stagger as if he was drunk. “I would’ve phoned an ambulance myself, but my phone’s dead.”

 

            As soon as he rounded the corner with the vampire in tow, Kara flew at her and pinned her against the wall of the alley. “Don’t move,” she commanded, and the blonde when still beneath Kara’s touch.

 

            “What do you want?” she hissed at Kara, her eyes darting around as she looked for an exit.

 

            “Answers,” Kara told her. “I’m looking for an ancient one. I’m told you know where I can find him.”

 

            The woman choked out a laugh. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You must-”

 

            Kara pressed her forearm against Lyra’s throat, cutting her off her lies mid-sentence. “I think you do. Now, I know some people who hunt your kind. Our kind. They’d be interested in taking you in and … having a chat. I suggest that you tell me what you know now, and we can skip all the unpleasantness.”

 

            “I don’t know where he is,” she choked out again. “You don’t find him he finds you.”

 

            “And how do I let him know I want to be found?”

 

            “If you’ve found me, he already knows you’re looking,” Lyra murmured, and Kara stumbled back slightly, a feeling of uneasiness overcoming her. She cast a look around, and listened to the sounds of the city, waiting for a moment before she let out a shaky breath. Her eyes locked onto Lyra’s again, and she pressed her back against the wall again, the bricks cracking beneath the force.

 

            The screeching wheels of a van reached her ears moments later, and Lyra gave her a cold smile. “Do you hear that? They’re coming for you. You shouldn’t have asked so many questions.”

 

            Within moments, the end of the alley was blocked off by four people stalking towards them. Kara blinked in surprise as she listened to the four steady heartbeats – they were human. Cadmus - or so she thought. It wasn’t until they got a little closer that Kara realised that they weren’t wearing the standard Cadmus uniform, or carrying the standard weapons. They look like a ragged band of thieves, out looking for victims to mug and rob – except for the sawed off shotguns and battered crossbows levelled at Kara’s chest.

 

            Her eyes widened in panic, and she stared as a small canister rolled down the alley towards her. She unfroze as it reached her feet, and she turned, scrambling at the bricks as she tried to haul herself up onto the roof. Too slow, the canister burst open, showering the three of them in a silver dust. Instantly, Kara’s skin felt like it was on fire as the dust burnt her face and arms, and found its way beneath her t-shirt. Screaming she clutched at her eyes, which she’d had enough sense to close as the bomb exploded, and curled her body inwards as she tried to nurse her wounds. The twang of a crossbow string reached her ears the moment before a bolt buried itself in Kara’s shoulder, quickly followed by another in her stomach.

 

            “No, no, please. Please don’t kill me,” Mike begged, his voice hysterical as he collapsed to the floor beside Kara. “I’m human! Please, I’m human!” He stopped begging a moment later, when a knife slit his throat and was replaced by the gurgling sound of him dying. Behind her, Kara listened to the sound of Lyra screaming in pain as her own skin burnt from the silver dust and the silver-tipped bolts.

 

            “Sawyer, what about this one?” a man’s voice asked.

 

            “We were hired to kill anyone present – that means her too,” a woman replied, and Kara blindly looked in the direction of her, listening as those footsteps approached. She was hauled to her feet, and a voice came from lower down as the short woman spoke up to Kara, sounding sincere. “I’m sorry, it’s nothing personal, but I have a job to do.”

 

            Kara bit her tongue to stop herself from screaming in pain as a stake was plunged into her chest, just shy of piercing her heart, and only due to the fact that her ribcage was protecting her. Collapsing to her knees, Kara coughed up blood all over herself, staining her white t-shirt red – the stake must have pierced a lung. She waited, breathing raggedly, for the woman to cut out her heart or cut her head off.

 

            And she waited.

 

            And then she heard a bloodcurdling scream, followed by the tearing sound of flesh being ripped apart and then silence. It was repeated again and again, until only the woman was left alive, standing defiantly in front of Kara, her heartbeat fluttering with fear, even if she wouldn’t show it. Kara struggled to her feet, fumbling for the woman’s shoulder, and ignoring her flinch at the touch, before she stood in front of her.

 

            “Oh, my sweet Kara,” a man sighed, and Kara a feeling of terror washed over Kara at the sound of the voice. She’d heard it before. In the back of her mind she dimly recognised that voice. He was here. “Always so quick to play the hero. So loving. I can’t wait to have you for myself, but that’ll have to wait a bit longer I’m afraid. I didn’t want us to have to meet like this, of course, but I couldn’t let them take you away from me now, could I?”

 

            Kara was silent, her eyes still squeezed tightly shut so that she could keep the silver dust from burning her eyes. The man sighed, taking a small step forward. “Not to worry though, I’ll make quick work of this one.”

 

            “Don’t touch her, you piece of shit,” Kara hissed. She wasn’t sure why she was protecting this woman – perhaps it was just out of instinct. Kara didn’t fancy herself a hero, but she couldn’t help but protect people in danger, or more particularly, in danger from vampires.

 

            The man quietly laughed. “Very well, I’ll spare her. A gift for you, my love.”

 

            “I’m not your love,” Kara choked out. “I don’t want your love. I want you to leave me alone. And leave the people I love alone too.”

 

            “Is it love already?” he crooned, sounding amused more than offended. “Yes, I know all about Miss Luthor. Not to worry, she’ll be out of the picture soon enough.”

 

            Kara stiffened at the threat; fear and anger spreading throughout her as her face contorted into a snarl. “If you touch her, I will kill you myself.”

 

            A sigh punctured the quiet night, and the sound of a gun skittering along the ground reached Kara’s ears as the vampire kicked it in exasperation. “Well whether or not I do is entirely up to you. Now, we should be getting you home so that you can patch yourself up. And you – child – run along back to whoever hired you, and tell them not to interfere in my business again. And do make sure you tell them that if they do, they’ll find themselves lacking a head.”

 

            The woman stood slightly behind Kara, not moving as Kara still stood protectively in front of her. He was still blocking the way out.

 

            “Do you need help getting home, my love?”

 

            “Get away from me!” Kara hissed, earning an exasperated sigh in return.

 

            “Very well then. If you change your mind, I’ll be listening for you.”

 

            She heard the departing sound of quick footsteps, and the gentle stirring of the wind as he dashed away, leaving her and the woman alone. The sound of the woman vomiting everywhere filled Kara’s senses, and she wrinkled her nose at the smell, wincing with pain as the silver powder shifted. “Fuck. Oh god, shit, fuck,” the woman cursed, her voice shaking and her heart running wild. “Thank you, for saving me.”

 

            “Get away from me,” Kara snarled, skittering backwards as the woman took a step towards her.

 

            “I’m sorry. Let me help you.”

 

            “Help?”!” Kara exclaimed, bitterly laughing as she spat out a mouthful of silver mixed with blood. “I think you’ve done enough helping for tonight. Leave, before I knock you out and drag you to Cadmus.”

 

            The woman hesitated for a second, almost as if she was going to risk the repercussions of her actions and try and make them right by helping Kara, but a moment later she was gone. Kara listened to her feet pound down the alleyway and an engine start a few moments later, wheels screeching as she accelerated too quickly.

 

            Gritting her teeth, Kara blindly felt along the wall before launching herself up onto the roof. She couldn’t walk the streets looking like a corpse come back to life – she’d have to risk jumping from roof to roof and pray that she didn’t fall due to her temporary blindness.

 

---

 

            She found her way back to her apartment without further incidence, and every part of her felt like it was on fire as she jumped down onto the fire escape outside Lena’s window, causing a cascade of silver dust caught in her hair to rain down down on her face and neck. Biting back a curse, Kara listened to the sound of Lena’s heartbeat luring her towards the window, and gently knocked on the window.

 

            “I wondered where you’d been,” Lena said with amusement as her footsteps drew closed to the window, followed by the sound of curtains being drawn open. It was too dark for her to the state that Kara was in as she stood in the shadows of the building, but it was clear that she was hurt as she clumsily climbed through the window and collapsed to the floor of Lena’s apartment.

 

            “Kara!” Lena exclaimed, her voice full of panic as she fell to her knees beside her, her hands nervously fluttering around the stake and crossbow bolts. “Kara, can you hear me? It’s okay baby, stay with me. I’ll sort you right out, okay? I promise.” Kara whimpered softly at Lena’s worried babbling, taking comfort in the sound of her voice as gentle fingers frantically brushed as much silver dust off her face as possible. Fetching a towel, Lena soaked it in water and gently rubbed the silver dust away from Kara’s eyes, and then her nose and mouth.

 

            “Fuck,” Lena softly sobbed. “Hold on, okay? You’re not healing. Oh fuck, shit, fuck. I’ll get you some blood.” Her warm touch left, and Kara lay helplessly on the floor while she listened to Lena fetch Kara’s spare key and let herself into the apartment, muttering curses as she raided the fridge. She was back a moment later, propping Kara up in her arms. “You don’t have any blood left,” Lena said, all trace of tears gone as she gently cradled Kara.

 

            “Call Alex,” Kara murmured, her eyelids fluttering open slightly, taking in the blurry shape of Lena’s pale face hovering above her.

 

            “There’s no time for that,” Lena firmly said. “You’ll have to drink my blood.”

 

            “No,” Kara protested, her tone leaving no room for argument.

 

            Lena made a sound of irritation at the back of her throat. “Just fucking do it, Kara, or I’ll do it for you myself.”

 

            “I won’t be able to stop,” Kara murmured, and with a frustrated sigh, Lena pulled her switchblade out of her pocket and sliced open her arm. The smell of blood instantly filled Kara’s senses, and her throat burnt with hunger, as well as from the silver. As Lena guided her arm to Kara’s mouth, Kara turned her head to the side, stubbornly refusing, and Lena let out a stream of curses as she pushed her arm in Kara’s face. A drop slid off the side of Lena’s arm, landing on Kara’s lip, and that was all it took for Kara’s stubborn resolve to vanish. She tightly gripped Lena’s arm and plunged her fangs into the cut, pausing slightly at the quiet hiss of pain that escaped Lena.

 

            “Keep going,” Lena hoarsely encouraged her, keeping her propped up. Kara listened to her, and she felt some strength flow back into her as the new blood started healing her wounds around the stake and crossbow bolts - there would be no chance for her skin until the silver had been removed. Lost in the moment, Kara completely forgot that Lena was anaemic, that was until she removed her mouth from Lena’s wrist and Lena passed out right beside her.

 

            “Lena!” Kara frantically called, shaking her slightly as she listened to her sluggish heartbeat. “Oh god. No, no, no. Lena. Shh, you’re okay. Come on, I’ve got you.” Scooping her up in her arms, Kara bit back a scream of pain as Lena’s body pushed the stake and bolts further into her chest. Pushing her concerns for her own wellbeing aside, Kara darted to the window, and with her limited eyesight, darted through the city as fast as she could.

Chapter Text

            As the sun was starting to lighten, she found herself back in the alleyway that led to the door she’d come out of the last time she was at Cadmus. There would’ve been all sorts of cameras and sensors all along the alleyway, and the streets leading to it, but no one stopped her. Kara was a blur as she carried Lena down it, fumbling with the silver plated door burning her hand as she all but ripped it out of its frame. But then she was inside, seeking relief from the sun. Her eyes adjusted quickly to the dark, and she didn’t pause as she bolted towards the elevators, which opened before her, revealing a swarm of hunters with guns and crossbows levelled at her as they surrounded her. Lillian walked out of the elevator, her face white with shock as she took in the sight of Lena in Kara’s arms and rushed towards her. She reached out to touch her, but pulled her hand back, almost as if she had been stung, instead turning to glare up at Kara with pure hatred in her eyes.

 

            “What did you do?” she snarled, and Kara flinched at the harsh tone.

 

            “Help her, please,” Kara begged, her voice breaking as she stared down at Lena’s deathly pale face, her normally warm skin cold beneath Kara’s touch. With a snap of Lillian’s fingers, a hunter stepped forward and gently took Lena out of Kara’s arms, and Kara looked away from her face just long enough to realise that it was James. He gave her a look of concern, and she swallowed the lump in her throat, giving him a small nod.

 

            “Take her,” Lillian said, her hand waving towards Kara as she turned her back on her and got into the elevator with James and her daughter. Her eyes were still burning with anger as the doors slid shut, giving Kara her last view of Lena.

 

            Rough hands, yanked her arms behind her back, cuffing her with silver which made Kara bite back a scream as her already burnt skin was rubbed raw by the handcuffs. A quick jerk of her head snapped her neck and with that, Kara was unconscious.

 

---

 

            It took longer than usual for her to rouse herself to consciousness, as her healing was slow to fix her broken neck. When she came to, she found herself strapped to a chair like she had been the first time she’d been brought into Cadmus, and she was in extreme pain. No one had bothered to wipe the silver dust away that Lena hadn’t been able to clean off her, no one had bothered to pull out the stake that was still piercing one of her lungs, or the crossbow bolt in her shoulder that was a little too close to her heart for comfort. Instead, they’d bound her with more silver left her to wallow in pain and misery as it bit into her raw skin with every tiny movement.

 

            As she sat there, panic started to set in; not for herself, but for Lena. She didn’t know if she was okay, she didn’t even know if she was conscious yet, or how much blood Kara had taken from her. Sat in the dark, Kara found herself breathing faster and faster as she panicked, and then she was overcome by breathless sobs as her head span with the events of the night. It was all her fault. If she’d just left it alone like she promised, Lena would be okay. Kara wouldn’t have had to feed off her. If anything happened to Lena, should would never be able to forgive herself.

 

            They must have been watching her on the cameras, because the door opened a few minutes later. Kara recognised the heartbeat – Lucy – and let out a sigh of relief. “Lucy.”

 

            “What the hell, Kara.”

 

            “Is she okay?”

 

            Lucy let out a hysterical laugh, rubbing her tired eyes as she shut the door behind her, plunging them both back into darkness. “Do you have any idea how much trouble you’re in? Alex is going to kill you when she finds out.”

 

            “She doesn’t know?”

 

            “No. I thought it’d be best to wait until you could explain yourself before calling her. Otherwise I'd had to watch her rush here to pace about and snap at people. She’s probably the least of your concerns right now though; Lillian will be out for blood. One command and she’ll have your heart out of your chest, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was the one to do it herself. Her daughter, Kara, why did you have to pick her daughter?” Lucy softly sighed.

 

            “Is she okay? Please, just tell me. I-I didn’t mean to – there was no blood and sh-she cut her wrist and told me to,” Kara stammered, choking on her words.

 

            Lucy grimaced slightly. “She’s fine; she’s just lost a lot of blood. They gave her a transfusion and she’s still out cold. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but she’s anaemic.”

 

            “I know,” Kara sobbed with relief, closing her eyes as she let out a shaky breath. She was okay. “I need to see her.”

 

            “Kara, they’re not going to let you out,” Lucy gently told her. “They won’t even let me take you to medical to get you patched up. What the hell happened to you?”

 

            “I-I was following a lead.”

 

            “A lead? Shit, Alex is literally going to kill you,” Lucy muttered. “I’ll call her now, and I’ll try and sneak you some blood.”

 

            “Thank you Lucy,” Kara whispered, and the small girl gave her a sad smile as she opened the door and slipped out into the light.

 

---

 

            With nothing better to do, Kara counted the seconds that passed by in between worrying about Lena. It was hours before the sound of half a dozen footsteps rushing down the hallway reached her ears, and the door opened, sending a shaft of light across Kara’s bloody and burnt face.

 

            It was Lena, looking paler than usual – as pale as Kara even – with eyes red from crying. A cry escaped Kara’s lips as she took in the sight of her, and she strained against the silver metal cuffs as she tried to free herself so she could rush to Lena’s side. A quiet hoarse shout fell past Lena’s lips as she rushed over to Kara, reaching out to cup her bloody face between shaking hands and roughly kissing her, heedless of the dried blood caking Kara’s mouth and chin.

 

            “I’m sorry,” Kara sobbed, “I’m so so sorry, Lena.”

 

            “Sh, you’re okay. I’m okay. We’re going to get you patched up now,” Lena softly told her, her voice shaking as she brushed Kara’s hair out of her face. “Unlock her, now.”

 

            “Alex is already doing it,” Lucy replied from the doorway. A second later, the metal cuffs loosened, and Kara was on her feet in a second, wrapping Lena in a gentle hug as she buried her face in her neck, breathing in the unfamiliar smell of her blood from the transfusion. She didn’t smell like Kara’s Lena, but she was okay. Her heart was pounding steadily and she was warm beneath Kara’s touch, and Kara’s shoulders with shaking with silent sobs as she held Lena close.

 

            A moment later footsteps neared the door, and then rushed forwards. Lena pulled back from the hug and let Alex see her sister. Eyes wide, Alex stared at Kara, taking in the blood and silver, and the tiny slithers of wood that hadn’t yet been pushed into Kara’s chest. Letting out a startled sound of surprise, Alex launched herself at Kara, pulling her into a rough hug. “Never scare me like that again,” she whispered, her voice shaking slightly, and Kara squeezed her tight.

 

            “I’m sorry.”

 

            “We’ll talk later,” Alex murmured, and she didn’t sound mad, she just sounded tired and relieved. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”

 

            Reaching out for Lena’s hand, Kara twined their fingers together, finding comfort and reassurance in the contact as they made their way out of the cell. Kara stopped in her tracks at the sight of Lillian flanked by two other hunters, and Kara realised that they had been the other footsteps that she’d heard. Not sparing her mother a glance, Lena tugged on Kara’s arm, trying to lead her towards the exit of the cells, but Kara just stared at Lillian.

 

            “I’m sorry.”

 

            Kara saw the slap coming, but she didn’t move, letting the blow fall across her cheek. Lillian almost looked surprised at Kara’s willingness to take it, but she just drew herself up to her full height, raising her chin as she tried to look as intimidating as possible, which wasn’t hard with the hunters on either side. “If you ever hurt my daughter again, I will kill you myself.”

 

            Lena snorted, shooting Lillian a mocking smile. “I didn’t realise you cared about me so much. I’m touched.”

 

            The muscles in Lillian’s jaw worked as she clenched her teeth, giving the hunters a dismissive wave as she saw that Lena was about to be her usual stubborn self; she wouldn’t risk them seeing her being tested by her own daughter. “You should be thanking me.”

 

            “Thanking you?” Lena laughed incredulously. “For what exactly? Chaining up my girlfriend?”

 

            “Saving your life after she attacked you.”

 

            Lena laughed again, shaking her head as she smiled slightly. “You really think I couldn’t have gone to any hospital in this city and had them pump me full of blood? And she didn’t attack me, I forced her to feed off me.”

 

            Lillian blanched at the words, a look of disgust crossing her face. “You would let her drink from you?”

 

            “To heal her? Yes, I would,” Lena said, stubbornly raising her chin. “We’re done here. Let’s get you to medical.”

 

            “You’ll not heal her here,” Lillian said as Lea turned away from her and started dragging Kara off down the hall, Alex and Lucy in tow.

 

            Lena paused, looking back over her shoulder. “I’d like to see you stop me.”

 

---

 

            It took hours for Lena and Alex to clean out Kara’s wounds. Before they started, Alex asked for Kara’s permission to snap her neck again so that she wouldn’t have to deal with any pain during the process, and she’d wearily agreed, already tired and aching from the burns. They irrigated her skin as they gently removed every single particle of silver dust, watching as the skin slowly healed over, looking brand new. Then came the wood made of rowan, which they were concerned about splintering inside Kara and damaging her further. In the end, Lena had to prop Kara up while Alex pushed the crossbow bolts out through her back, and they both winced, grateful that Kara was dead at the moment. Next came the stake, which had to be pulled out the front, and they struggled to keep the wound open to check for splinters once the stake had been pulled out. They did it though, and Alex stood back and watched as Lena gently bathed Kara’s skin, washing away the blood that caked her hands, face and chest.

 

            By the time Kara woke back up, she was clean and the pain was just a dim memory as she sat there gratefully drinking the blood bag that Lucy had stopped by to give her, as promised. The sun was almost setting by then, and as Kara sat next to Lena on the metal worktop sipping away at her blood while she kept one hand on Lena’s thigh, she looked to Alex. “Can we talk now?”

 

            “Yes,” Alex sighed. “Um, just a second though. Do you want coffee?” She directed the question at Lena, who nodded gratefully, looking like she would pass out from tiredness if she didn’t get caffeine inside her soon. Alex murmured that she’d be back soon and then slipped from the room.

 

            Turning her head slightly, Kara pressed a kiss to the top of Lena’s head. “I’m sorry.”

 

            “You don’t have to keep apologising, Kara,” Lena murmured. “I told you to do it – I forced you.”

 

            “I could’ve killed you, Lena. If I’d kept going-” Kara argued, a flicker of fear rising inside her at the thought.

 

            Lena sighed, tilting her head so that she could look up at Kara. “But you didn’t.”

 

            Kara made a sound of disapproval at the back of her throat, clenching her teeth as she looked across the room. “That’s not enough reassurance. Next time, please don’t try to save me.”

 

            Snorting, Lena rolled her eyes. “I’ll do what I damn well please.”

 

            “Lena,“ Kara sighed. “I thought I’d killed you. That was a thousand times worse than some superficial burns that would heal as soon as I washed some dust away. I can be fixed – you can’t.”

 

            “Not everything can be fixed, Kara,” Lena tensely reminded her, and Kara swallowed the lump in her throat, already dreading the argument that she knew was coming. It would have to wait until they got home though, because Alex was back with three cups of coffee and two sandwiches. They both murmured their thanks as Alex handed them their drinks, and Kara drank some before adding the rest of her blood in her own cup while Lena opened her sandwich and took a bite. Sitting down on the small wheeled stool, Alex took a bite out of her own sandwich and raised her eyebrows expectantly.

 

            “So, um, Mike is dead,” Kara said, her voice shaking slightly. “And another vampire – Lyra.”

 

            “I know. We found the bodies earlier on, which is why I wasn’t here when they brought you in,” Alex told her in a clipped tone. “Would you mind telling me why you were there?”

 

            “Mike and I … we’ve been tracking down vampires. Looking for leads. The latest one was Lyra,” Kara mumbled, looking down at her hands because she was too ashamed to met her sister’s gaze.

 

            Alex made a disgruntled sound. “And let me guess; those unconscious vampires popping up on the edge of our radar – they were off you?”

 

            Kara shrugged slightly. “Two birds one stone.”

 

            “Kara! You said we were putting this to rest,” Alex snapped. “Why didn’t you tell me? I wouldn’t have been mad – I could’ve helped you. I wanted to keep looking but you were the one who insisted on letting Cadmus take care of it.”

 

            “I didn’t want you getting hurt!” Kara defensively argued. “Just like you didn’t want me getting hurt.”

 

            “And would you look at that, you’re the one who got hurt,” Alex said, frowning with disapproval before letting out a sigh of defeat. “I’m not mad at you for what you’ve done, I’m just upset because you didn’t trust either of us with the truth. We have an entire company at our disposal and you didn’t even ask for help.” She sounded hurt and Kara winced slightly because she hated it when she hurt Alex, even if she didn’t mean to.

 

            They were all silent for a moment – Lena having not said a word the entire time. Alex cleared her throat slightly. “So what happened?”

 

            “W-we found Lyra – Mike was the bait – and I cornered her in the alley. Four people showed up, I thought they were Cadmus at first - I was ready to knock Lucy out myself if she staked me again – but they weren’t. They were hunters though, and they took out Mike and Lyra because they had been hired to take out anyone with me. There was a woman, a man called her Sawyer, and she staked me, but then … he showed up. He said he’d been watching me. I didn’t see – I-I had my eyes closed because of the silver dust – but I heard. He tore them all to pieces, except the woman because he wanted her to send a message back to whoever hired her. He said it wouldn’t be much longer before we could be together, and he knows about me and Lena. He made … threats. He offered to bring me home, but well, I wasn’t exactly nice, so he left and then th-the woman tried to help but I sent her on her way too. Then I went home.”

 

            “Fucking hell, Kara,” Alex groaned, running a hand over her weary face. “It was him, you’re sure?”

 

            Kara nodded, swallowing the lump in her throat. “I remembered that voice, it was the same from the night I was turned.”

 

            “Shit,” Alex sighed. “If I’d been there I could’ve-“

 

            “You would be dead,” Kara sharply told her. “He killed them all without hesitation – before they could even blink.”

 

            No one spoke as Alex and Lena took in Kara’s words, their coffee growing cold as they all stared at the floor in silence. They didn’t move until the door slid open and Lucy poked her head in, a wary look on her face as if she expected screaming and shouting as opposed to the quiet calm of the room as they got lost in their own thoughts. Three pairs of eyes glanced at her and she gave them a hesitant smile. “Sun’s down. You can leave whenever you’re ready.”

 

            Kara murmured her thanks and Alex climbed to her feet and strode towards her sister, pulling her into a hug. Wrapping her arms around her sister, Kara closed her eyes, listening to the steady beat of her heart. “Don’t be an idiot,” Alex whispered in her ear, and Kara smiled slightly. “I trust you to do what you have to do, but please let me do it with you. We’re sisters – we’re a team – and you know I’ll always help you, so please let me help.”

 

            “Okay,” Kara agreed, feeling guilty at keeping her extra curricular activities a secret from Alex. Her reasons had been right, but she knew she’d been wrong to do it. It was hers and Lena’s decision to make and from now on she would let them make it.

 

            With a sigh, Alex pulled back, giving Kara a small smile. Her eyes slid to Lena’s and she gave her a quick nod. “Thank you for what you did,” Alex said, and Lena arched an eyebrow at her, causing Alex to roll her eyes. “And I’m glad you’re okay.”

 

            Lena nodded, her lips twitching at the corners as if she was about to smile. Without another word, Alex left to get back to work, spiriting Lucy away with her, leaving Kara alone with Lena. She didn’t know what to say, but she knew that Lena wasn’t too happy with her. Jumping down off the worktop, Lena stumbled slightly and Kara reached out to steady her, flinching when Lena pulled her arm out of her grip. She was definitely pissed. Any relief she’d has at Kara being alive had been replaced with irritation, anger and tiredness after a sleepless night, blood loss and hours of cleaning out Kara’s wounds. Silently, Lena stalked out of the room, leaving Kara rushing after her.

 

            They made their way through Cadmus, ignoring the looks they were given, and came out into the early night, the air still warm as the last remnants of the sun disappeared. The tension between the two of them was palpable as they walked home in silence, and Kara’s eyes kept darting to Lena, whose green eyes blazed with anger as she stared right ahead. She wouldn’t look at Kara.

 

            By the time they reached their apartment, Kara was itching to say something because the silence was making her uncomfortable. Still, she just stood there quietly as she followed Lena upstairs, watching as Lena walked over to her own apartment and opened the door. Kara was unsure whether the invitation was extended to her too, so she hovered in the hallway, waiting for Lena’s permission to entre. A few minutes later, Lena walked back out with her first aid kit and walked over to Kara’s door, silently waiting for Kara to unlock the door. She quickly raided Kara’s drawers, pulling out pyjamas for them both, and then switched the bathroom lights on and turned on the shower.

 

            Kara stood in the doorway of her bathroom, watching as Lena tore the bandage and the gauze pads off her wrist and then stripped off all her clothes. She made to close the door, giving her some privacy when Lena spoke for the first time since they’d left Cadmus. “There’s still some silver in your hair. I’ll wash it out for you.”

 

            Shoulders sagging in relief, Kara walked into the bathroom and shut the door behind her. Her clothes hit the tiled floor a moment later and then she stepped under the hot water, grateful for the warmth that seemed to leach all of the tension out of her. She looked at Lena, whose eyes were roaming Kara’s body as if she was making sure that she’d healed properly, and Kara gently reached out to pick up her hand, looking at the stitches holding the cut together. Lena snatched her hand back, a small crease forming between her eyebrows as her eyes flickered up to Kara’s sad gaze. “I’m sorry.”

 

            “Here. You’re still covered in blood,” Lena murmured, soaping up a cloth and gently scrubbing at Kara’s shoulder, right where the crossbow bolt had been.

 

            They were silent for the rest of the shower, except for Lena’s quiet commands for Kara to turn around so she could wash her back, or to lower her head so that Lena could wash her hair for her, rinsing the last of the silver down the drain. Drying and dressing in clean pyjamas, the two of them walked back out into the apartment and Kara paused slightly. “I’ll make you something to eat.”

 

            “I’m not hungry,” Lena murmured.

 

            “You haven’t eaten a proper meal all day,” Kara argued. “At least let me order you something if you don’t feel like my cooking.” Lena’s eyes met hers at the weak attempt at a joke, and a flash of anger crossed her face.

 

            She angrily strode towards Kara, before coming to a sudden stop a foot away from her as her face crumpled into a look of hurt and betrayal. “You almost died, Kara,” Lena said, her voice cracking as she spoke. “You could’ve died and I wouldn’t have even known that you were dead because I didn’t know where you were or what you were doing. I-I wouldn’t have known-“

 

            “I’m sorry,” Kara whispered.

 

            Lena took a step backwards, the hurt replaced with anger again. “Stop saying you’re sorry! Just tell me why you didn’t tell me. I get why you didn’t tell Alex, but we were in this together. We went behind your sister’s back together. How long have you even been doing this alone?”

 

            Kara looked down, scuffing the floor with her bare foot. “A couple of months, and I know that we went behind Alex’s back, but then Vasquez was killed and I-“

 

            “Oh god, are you really going to use a dead woman as an excuse to not let me help you?” Lena coldly laughed.

 

            “No! Well … yes, but-, I mean, I didn’t want the same thing to happen to you. He knows about you, Lena. He threatened you tonight. Do you think I could live with myself if something happened to you because of me? It’s bad enough that I bit you and you could’ve died because you’re anaemic. But he … he would do it intentionally. He would rip you apart in a second, and I wouldn’t be able to stop him. So I’m sorry, I really am, but I don’t regret what I did, and I’d do it again in a second, because Mike is dead, and if that had been you with me, or Alex, then you’d be dead,” Kara rambled, trying to explain herself and justify her actions.

 

            Lena’s frown deepened and she crossed her arms over her chest, wincing slightly as the wound on her wrist pulled at the stitches that she had re-hidden beneath bandages after their shower. “You think that I could live with myself if something happened to you and I wasn’t there to help?”

 

            “It’s different for me, Lena!” Kara argued.

 

            “How? How is it any different?”

 

            “Because I love you!” Kara exclaimed, and Lena stumbled backwards in shock, surprise crossing her face as she looked at Kara. “And you don’t love me – not yet – and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care about me, but I just- I can’t risk you. Every time you go outside the door during the day, I don’t know if that’s the last time I’m going to see you again, and it kills me that I can’t go outside with you. I don’t know if he’s going to be waiting to snatch you when you’re leaving work at night, or if he’ll get someone to do it for him during the day, and that terrifies me. And I’m sick of not telling you that I love you when you leave, because I might never have the chance to say it again. And I hate that I’ve put you in danger because I couldn’t stop myself from loving you, and I’m sorry for that. But it’s different for me. It is.”

 

            Lena was silent for a moment, her mouth opening and closing as she tried to think of something to say. Her voice cracked as she spoke, and her eyes shone with tears – from anger or hurt, Kara wasn’t sure. “You think that because I haven’t said some silly, childish words that it means that it would hurt you more to lose me than if it was reversed? You think that I’m not just as invested in this as you are? I have more to lose than you do; I have risked everything for you, and I would do it again and again for you. I don't say it to make you feel guilty; I say it because it's true. I knew it from the moment we met; I knew that I would be breaking all of my rules to see you. So don’t tell me that it’s different for you because of that, when I would rather die beside you than stay at home wondering why you never came home. It’s not different, okay? It’s not.”

 

            “I didn’t mea-“

 

            “It’s fine,” Lena hoarsely whispered, her voice thick with emotion. “I just- I do care about you, Kara. More than you think. I’m just … not good at this.”

 

            Kara took a small, measured step towards her, still leaving plenty of space between them as she gave Lena a pained look. “Lena.”

 

            At the soft sound of her name, Lena threw herself at Kara, burying her face into her neck and letting out a shaky breath as Kara wrapped her arms around her. They stood in the middle of the dark apartment for a few minutes as Kara held Lena tightly, gently stroking her hair and murmuring reassurances into her hair in between kisses. It was a few more minutes before Lena spoke again. “Pizza. I want pizza.”

Chapter Text

           The sky was already past midday when Kara was frying bacon on the stove, the fat quietly spitting as she turned the strips of meat, as she cast a quick glance over to her bed where Lena lay with her hair splayed out around her head, the dark locks the only part of her that was visible. Kara smiled to herself at the sight, turning her attention back to the breakfast. She heard the quiet rustling of sheets and the gentle tip-toeing sneaking up on her, and a moment later, Lena’s warm hands were snaking up Kara’s shirt.

 

           “You’re in a good mood this morning,” Kara murmured in surprise, not turning around as she moved the bacon around the pan.

 

           “Shouldn’t I be?” Lena asked, pressing a kiss to Kara’s shoulder blade.

 

           Kara let out a gentle laugh, thinking about their argument last night, which had passed quickly, but it had still bothered her. “Of course you should be. I always want you to be happy – you know that – but last night … you were unhappy, because of me.”

 

           “Kara,” Lena sighed. “I wasn’t unhappy. I was mad – definitely pissed off – but only because you frightened me to death, falling through my window soaked in your own blood. I’m surprised I didn’t have a heart attack. You do make me happy though – happier than I’ve ever been.”

 

           “Would I make you happier if I weren’t a vampire?” Kara asked in a small voice, turning the stove off and moving the bacon onto a plate of toast before dumping the frying pan in the sink.

 

           Lena unwrapped her arms from Kara’s waist, pulling back slightly. “What’s gotten into you today? You’re awfully broody.” When Kara didn’t reply, Lena sighed and tugged on her shirt, spinning her around so that they were face to face. With a smile, Lena reached up to cup Kara’s face in her hands, gently running her thumbs over her cheekbones. “You couldn’t make me any happier no matter what you did. The first time I saw you I knew I’d be finding ways to see you again, and yes, you were human, but I knew you were a vampire before I kissed you in the club. It made no difference to me then, and it makes no difference to me now. You’re still my Kara; you’ll always be my Kara.”

 

           Kara smiled slightly, covering Lena’s hand with her own. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to doubt you … I just-“

 

           “I know,” Lena quickly reassured her. “It’s okay. I-I know last night I didn’t … but I do.” And then she leant in and kissed Kara, softly at first, and then rougher, as her hands pulled Kara’s shirt higher. Kissing Kara’s neck, Lena’s lips travelled lower and she sank to her knees before Kara, who leant backwards … right onto the hot stove.

 

           “Fuck!” Kara roared in pain as her hand pressed down on the burner she’d just been using. Lena quickly straightened up, wincing as she grabbed Kara’s hand and looked down at the burn.

 

           “Fuck. Okay, um, shit. Water,” Lena panicked, dragging Kara over to the sink and running cold water over it as they watched the burn slowly heal. As the skin turned back to its usual unblemished ivory, they both let out a sigh of relief, and Lena pressed a gentle kiss to the palm. “What am I going to do with you?”

 

           “I believe you were about to show me,” Kara said, giving Lena a wide grin. They both laughed as Kara scooped Lena up in her arms and darted towards the bed, laying her down. “Wait! Your bacon!”

 

           Lena let out a groan, which turned into laughter as she watched Kara dart back to the kitchen and back in a flash, holding the breakfast she had prepared. Picking up a piece of toast, she held it out and Lena leant forward to take a quick bite, smiling as she took the plate out of Kara’s hands and set it down on the end table. “Now, where were we?”

 

---

 

           They lounged around Kara’s apartment for the rest of the day, watching Star Wars while Lena read aloud to Kara so that she could avoid counting the letters of the words. Neither of them talked about what they were going to do about the rogue vampire, and they were happy to pretend like everything was fine for the time being, but as the sun started to sink below the horizon, the sound of unfamiliar footsteps reached Kara’s ears, followed by a knock on the door a few minutes later.

 

           She opened the door and was met by the sight of a bouquet of red roses, obscuring the florist that was delivering them. “Hi, these are for Miss Danvers.”

 

           Kara blanched at the sight, knowing who they were off, and quickly took the bouquet and thanked the woman, before slamming the door shut. Lena was at her side a moment later, watching as Kara plucked the card from in between the flowers and read it out loud.

 

 

           My deepest apologies for last night. I hope that you can forgive me, and know that I never meant to harm you. It will not be much longer now, my sweet one.

 

 

           “Fucker,” Lena cursed, grabbing the flowers and dumping them straight in the trash. She turned to face Kara, a look of anger crossing her face, which softened at the look of worry in Kara’s eyes. “Should we call your sister?”

 

           “No,” Kara said with a weary sigh.

 

           “Then what should we do?”

 

           Kara smiled, suddenly holding a thick coat that she’d plucked off the coatrack too fast for Lena to see. “Watch the stars.”

 

           They were quickly up on the roof, and Kara had lain a blanket out for them to lay on, and another to keep Lena warm. She didn’t bring her telescope with her, instead they lay on their backs, staring upwards as Kara murmured the names of constellations as she pointed the stars out to Lena. Neither of them moved until Lena fell asleep, her breathing slowing as she lay on Kara’s chest, and careful not to disturb her, Kara slowly lifted her and carried her back inside her apartment and tucked her in bed.

 

---

 

           Alex stopped by the next day, checking in on her sister after letting her rest for a day. She was glad to see that she was perfectly healed, with no lingering marks of her wounds, and after she had double-checked that everything was okay between them, she had gotten straight to business.

 

           “We’re going to keep looking.”

 

           “Keep looking?” Kara echoed in disbelief.

 

           “We can’t just sit around and do nothing – you were right,” Alex said with a grimace.

 

           Kara mimicked her grimace, a faint crease forming between her eyebrows. “If we keep looking, one of us will get hurt.”

 

           “No doubt,” Lena mused, ignoring the dark look Kara shot her. “But it has to end somehow.”

 

           “We’ll keep doing what you were doing,” Alex agreed. “We’ll all go – Lucy and James too – there’s safety in numbers. We’ll keep hunting down vampires until we find a new lead.”

 

           “No,” Lena muttered. “I know just which lead we’re going to follow.”

 

           They waited until nightfall before meeting Lucy and James outside Club Red. It was the same club that sat above the drain leading to Roulette’s private game room where they’d shared drinks with her, and Lena knew that it was a place she frequented, being a club for humans and vampires. Their plan was to find Roulette.

 

           All of them were armed to the teeth, with weapons that could be hid underneath dresses, skirts, and up shirtsleeves, and they all allowed themselves to be stamped before entering the club. At first the thumping music and red lights were disorienting, but as their eyes adjusted they split up, with Lucy and James heading off together, leaving the other three girls together.

 

           Making their way through the crowd, their eyes darted side to side, taking in the faces of the people grinding on the dancefloor or standing close as they shouted over the music. Kara stopped in her tracks as she took in the face of a familiar woman, and her eyebrows knitted together in a frown. “It’s her.”

 

           Alex didn’t need to ask who she was talking about, because her eyes quickly fell on the woman and she ground her teeth together as her eyes blazed with fury. “Fucking bounty hunters.”

 

           Storming towards her, Alex grabbed her by the front of her leather jacket, slamming her into the first wall she could find. Kara bit back a groan, taking Lena by the hand as they pushed their way through the crowd, trying to stop Alex before she managed to get into a fistfight with the woman who had staked Kara only a day before.

 

           “If you touch my sister again, I will kill you myself,” Alex threatened, and the woman had the common sense to nod, her eyes darting to Kara who approached.

 

           “Alex, leave her be,” Kara sighed. “I take it that she was hired by Roulette. You were, right? Why else would you be here?”

 

           “Yes, I was,” the woman nodded. “I came to pass on the message.”

 

           “She’s here then?”

 

           “Yes. I’ll take you to her.”

 

           Alex hesitated, before scowling as she nodded. “What’s your name?”

 

           “Maggie Sawyer.”

 

           Without another word, she turned and led them through the packed club, and Alex was right on her heels as she suspiciously watched Maggie, almost as if she thought she would run off if they let her out of their sight. She didn’t though, and, as promised, she led them straight to Roulette, who was lounging on a sofa in the VIP area of her club, a few humans sat next to her, looking a little peaky. She arched an eyebrow as she took in the familiar sight of Kara and Lena, and set her glass down on the table before shooing the humans away.

 

           “I’ll admit, last time we parted I thought it would be the last time,” Roulette said, having the decency to own up to the fact that she’d tried to have Kara killed, and Lena too if she’d been there.

 

           “You fucking piece of shit,” Lena hissed, taking a step forward and stopping short as Kara put a firm hand on her shoulder, holding her back.

 

           Roulette sighed, rolling her eyes as she looked at them. “Come now, Lena, you know what business is like. Self-preservation comes first – even if things have to get messy. I couldn’t have you and your girlfriend running around trying to kill my own kind now, could I? Not when it would affect my business. I did underestimate just how much the ancient one cared for you though, little girl.”

 

           Lena didn’t say anything, she just looked at her in disgust. Alex took a step forward, shifting Roulette’s focus to her. “We’re not here to argue. I have a message for you to pass on; tell him to name a time and place and we’ll be there.”

 

           Drumming her fingers on the arm of the sofa, Roulette pursed her lips as she weighed Alex’s words. “And if I don’t pass on this message?”

 

           “Then you’ll find yourself missing your head,” Alex coldly told her, and everyone knew it wasn’t an empty threat. Without another word, they all turned and left, snaking back through the crowd and looking around for Lucy and James. They spotted them forcing their way through the crowd towards them, and by the looks of things, they’d been watching the exchange go down, keeping an eye out for any vampires in the vicinity that might try and sneak up on them.

 

           They all made their way out into the cool night air, taking deep breaths after the stifling feeling inside the club. Maggie stood nearby, looking as if she wanted to bolt, but unsure whether she should stay and give a helping hand. Glancing around at each other, they were all silent, waiting for someone to say something. There seemed to be a lot of tension, and there was a feeling of finality in the air as if the end was near.

 

           “Now what?” James asked after a few minutes.

 

           “Now, we wait,” Alex said.

Chapter Text

           They waited and waited.

 

           Over a month passed, and Kara tried her best to remain cheerfully optimistic about the silence, if only to make everyone else worry less. If anything, it only made Alex and Lena worry more, because they knew just how cold and cunning an ancient vampire could be, especially if they were going rogue, and they felt like they were waiting for the other shoe to drop. The suspense was almost killing them. It wasn’t until another month passed by that they got a reply.

 

           Rolling over and groaning, Lena reached for her phone.

 

           “Good morning!” Kara sang from the kitchen, and Lena gave her a loving smile.

 

           “Good morning, sunshine,” Lena laughed. “You’re in a good mood this morning.”

 

           “Sunshine? Ouch, are you mocking me?” Kara laughed, darting to Lena’s side with a cup of coffee. She leant down kissed her, and Lena smiled as she pushed against Kara’s cold lips. Taking a sip of coffee, she looked around for her clothes, and her shirt hit her in the face as Kara flicked it towards her with a laugh. Giving her an exasperated look, Lena set her coffee down and shrugged the shirt on, before glancing down at her phone screen.

 

           “Hey are you okay? Your heart just skipped a beat,” Kara said from the kitchen, leaning away from the stove so that she could glance at Lena.

 

           Smiling, Lena drained her coffee and stood up. “Yeah, it’s just, uh, my mom wants to have a talk.”

 

           “Sounds serious,” Kara said, her forehead furrowing in concern. Lena let out a quiet laugh, walking to the kitchen and smoothing away the wrinkles.

 

           “I have to go now, I’m sorry. I can’t stay for breakfast,” Lena murmured, giving Kara a sad smile.

 

           Kara glanced down at the eggs she was already scrambling in the pan, and grimaced as she turned the gas off. “No problem. Make sure you eat something though, okay? For me.”

 

           Lena swallowed thickly, looking down at her hands as she fiddled with her fingers. “I promise.” Plastering a bright smile on her face, she looked up at Kara, and gave her a quick kiss. “I’m just going to get changed quickly.”

 

           She didn’t bother showering, she just grabbed all of her clothes, slipping them on and putting on her shoes. A few minutes later she was ready to go, running a hand through her tangled hair. Casting another look at Kara, Lena slowly walked over to her, smiling softly at her as she cradled her face in her hands.

 

           Hesitating slightly, Lena stared into her eyes, and reached up to quickly kiss her. “Y-you know I love you, right?” Lena murmured.

 

           Kara laughed, covering Lena’s hand with her own. “Well you’ve never said it in so many words, but I know.”

 

           “Good. I-I know I’m not … good at this, and I should’ve told you sooner, but I do love you. I feel stupid for not telling you all those times I could’ve. I’ll do better next time.”

 

           “There’s a thousand ways to say it, Lena,” Kara softly told her. “You don’t have to do anything better. I love you just the way you are. You said I’ll always be your Kara, well you’ll always be my Lena.”

 

           Lena let out a quiet laugh, pressing a rough, hungry kiss to Kara’s lips. She didn’t want to let go, but she did, gently stroking Kara’s cheekbone. “My Kara.”

 

           Pulling her hands back, Lena stepped backwards, a faint smile on her lips. She turned around without another word, and walked across the hall to her apartment, rummaging around in her drawer for a moment while Kara listened across the hall. Then her footsteps made their way down the hallway, pausing at the top of the stairs for a moment.

 

           “I love you.”

 

---

 

           She had gone to bed late last night, and had awoken late, so as she climbed into her car, the sun was already high overhead. Good. There would be no chance of Kara coming after her, coming to stop her. She turned the key in the ignition and the engine purred to life, and Lena sped off down the road, quickly making her way through the city. She found herself parked down by the docks, staring out at the warehouses that were glinting in the sunlight. Pulling her phone out, Lena dialled Alex’s number, listening to it ringing as her heart pounded in her chest.

 

           “Danvers.”

 

           “Alex,” Lena said, her voice even as she spoke.

 

           “Lena. Is everything okay? Is Kara okay? Has he gotten in touch?”

 

           “Yes.”

 

           “Yes? To which question? I swear to god, if she’s about to go after him without me, I’m going to kill her.”

 

           “To all of them. Sh-she’s at home. She doesn’t know. The message wasn’t sent to her.”

 

           There was a pause before Alex spoke again. “Lena, where are you?”

 

           “I’m okay,” Lena quickly assured her.

 

           “Lena, where the fuck are you?”

 

           She sighed, the breath coming out slightly shaky. “You once asked me to keep Kara out of all of this. I promised that I would, so I am.”

 

           “That’s not what I said! I told you to stop it before she got too attached, if you were going to hurt her. You didn’t, so whatever it is you’re about to do to save her, you better stop now.”

 

           “I can’t do that, Alex,” Lena said. “You asked me if I cared about her, and I do. I-I love her. You can understand that, right?”

 

           “Yes I fucking understand that, which is why I’m asking you not to do whatever stupid fucking thing you’re about to do. I love my sister and she loves you, what do you think it’ll do to her if something happens to you?”

 

           “The same thing it would do to me if I let her go to meet him.”

 

           “Lena-“

 

           “Sorry, Alex, I have to go now. It’s almost twelve, I promised I’d be there then. When it’s done, he’ll leave her alone. Tell her … tell her that I’m sorry, and that I love her – she already knows, but tell her anyway. And tell her I wish we had more time. Look after her for me, please.”

 

           “Lena! Don’t-“

 

           She hung up before Alex could finish her sentence, and leaving her phone in the car, she climbed out. The sun was hot overhead as she walked across the gravel courtyard outside the designated warehouse, hauling open the heavy door once she reached it. It took her eyes a few minutes to adjust to the darkness, and then Lena cast her eyes around the interior. It was completely empty, all the windows boarded over, and no one around that she could see.

 

           “Well, well, Miss Luthor.”

 

           Lena turned her gaze upwards, taking in the shadowy figure on the walkway. She didn’t balk at the sound of his voice, she just arranged her features in a blank mask and raised her chin defiantly.

 

           “I can see why my beloved chose you. You really are beautiful. It really is too bad that things had to end this way.”

 

           “Too bad,” Lena echoed, a wry smile twisting her lips.

 

           “Oh and you put on such a brave face,” the man sighed, almost as if he pitied her. “I’ll soon rid you of that.”

 

           “Is a quick death not enough?” Lena snapped.

 

           Jumping over the railing of the walkway, he landed in front of her in a crouch, smoothly straightening up and stalking towards her slowly, like a cat playing with its prey. “Oh no, I’m not going to kill you straight away. Far from it. I think it’s time we give my dearest a quick call, don’t you?”

 

           “Don’t you fucking dare,” Lena hissed, taking a step towards him. He was behind her in a flash, crooning softly in her ear.

 

           “Oh little Lena, you’re not in a position to make threats now, are you?” he mocked her, and then he bit her on the neck, and she bit back a whimper of pain as he drained her. His mouth was gone a few minutes later, leaving her weak as she sank to the floor, but still alive. He wanted her conscious for what came next. Bending down, he pat down her pockets, sighing when he didn’t find her phone. “Her number, if you please.”

 

           “Fuck you,” Lena spat at him, her hand clamped over the gaping bite wound in her neck, staining her hand red with her blood. He sighed, dragging her upright by the front of her shirt, and tilted her head up by yanking her hair down. She spat in his face, her eyes flashing with anger as she bared her teeth. “I’m not telling you shit.”

 

           “A pity, but not to worry, I’ll make do with Roulette.” He let go of Lena, letting her collapse back to the ground as he pulled his phone out of his pocket and hesitated slightly. “Although, I should warn you, I’ll not be in a good temper for having to wait longer. I’ll have to take it out on someone else too – perhaps the sister. Alex, isn’t it? I’m sure Kara will thank you for causing the loss of the two people she loves most in the world. You should feel proud.”

 

           “No!” Lena shouted, scrambling towards him on the floor. “No. I’ll tell you. Don’t hurt her sister, please. I’ll give you her number.”

 

           His lip curled up in a smile that even Lena could make out in the dark. “That’s more like it.” She quickly rattled off a list of numbers, and a moment later he was pressing the phone to Lena’s ear.

 

           “Hello?”

 

           Lena almost let out a sob at the sound of Kara’s voice, mildly confused about who was phoning. The rogue one nudge Lena’s leg. “Speak.”

 

           She shook her head. She wouldn’t cause them both more pain, and he couldn’t force her to speak. And then Kara was talking again. “Hello?”

 

           With a snarl of anger, her tore the phone away from Lena’s ear and pressed it against his own. Lena could only hear one end of the conversation and she prayed that Kara wouldn’t listen to his words. “Hello sweet one,” he softly greeted her. “Oh no, I wouldn’t be too quick to hang up just yet, my dear. I’m here with the one who holds your heart. Yes, I speak the truth. Here, speak to her yourself.”

 

           He pressed the phone back against Lena’s ear. “Lena?” She didn’t reply, she just pressed her lips together, ignoring the prickling feeling in her eyes. Kara’s voice was hesitant, but panicked, fearing that she would hear Lena’s voice. “Lena, please, if he has you … tell me it’s not you. Please.”

 

           “Go on, tell her,” the vampire urged, sounding gleeful. When Lena defiantly shook her head, he grabbed her arm and savagely twisted it, and Lena let out a scream of pain that she couldn’t hold back.

 

           “Lena! Oh god, Lena! Tell me where you are, please.” Kara was breathlessly sobbing, because she knew that the scream was Lena’s.

 

           Swallowing the lump in her throat, Lena bit back a sob. “I love you, Kara. I’m sorry.”

 

           The phone was pulled away before she could hear Kara’s reply, and then he was talking to her again. “We’re down at the docks. By all means, come and find us. Bring your sister too, if you think it will make a difference. I’ll not harm her until you get here.”

 

           “Kara, don’t fucking listen to him!” Lena shouted. “Don’t you dare come! For me, please don’t come.”

 

---

 

           Alex had been at Cadmus when Lena’s phone call had reached her, and she’d quickly alerted all the hunters, before running off in search of Lillian.

 

           “Director!” Alex shouted as soon as she spotted Lillian’s white lab coat in the sea of black uniforms. Lillian had turned around, arching an eyebrow at her at Alex’s tone.

 

           “Hunter Danvers, I’m in the middle of something,” she’d snapped, before turning back to Henshaw, who was frowning at Alex over Lillian’s shoulder.

 

           “Director!” Alex barked, and Lillian blinked in surprise as Alex stormed over to her and yanked her around to face her. “He has Lena. He has your daughter.”

 

           “Wha- I-I don’t- what are you talking about?” Lillian stammered, all of the blood draining from her face as she understood Alex’s words. “No. No, he can’t. I won’t allow him.”

 

           “I’ve already ordered the hunters to prepare themselves,” Alex said, and Lillian nodded.

 

           She snapped her fingers, and the rest of the hunters rushed around, preparing themselves for a fight. “Where is she?”

 

           “I-I don’t know. She called but she wouldn’t say where,” Alex said, and Lillian nodded.

 

           “I have a tracker in her car – after all her late night activities I didn’t trust her,” Lillian murmured, rushing over to a computer and dragging up a map of the city, dotted with red circles that marked where each van was, including one for Lena’s car.

 

           Alex’s phone started ringing at the same time, and she quickly answered after seeing Kara’s name on the screen. She couldn’t tell her. She wouldn’t worry her sister until she had to. “Hey you,” Alex said, keeping her voice steady.

 

           “Alex! He has her! She’s at the docks, in a warehouse. I-I have to go and get her.”

 

           Biting back a curse at the fact that Kara already knew, Alex quickly reassured her. “We’ve got a tracker on her car, we know where she is and I’m readying the hunters as we speak. We’ll get her back, Kara. I promise.”

 

           “I’m coming with you.”

 

           She knew that it would be hopeless to try and stop her, so Alex quickly agreed, promising to stop off at Kara’s apartment and pick her up, even though Kara tried to argue and meet them there. Alex was too smart for that though, knowing that Kara wouldn’t wait to rush into the warehouse, and she made Kara promise that she’d wait at her apartment until Alex got there. Hanging up, Alex strapped a dozen weapons to herself, and then she’d marched out of the building with Lucy and James close behind, and the rest of the hunters rushing to their own vans.

 

           Swinging by Kara’s apartment, she was waiting in the shadows outside the building, bundled up in a coat with the hood drawn up so that she could avoid direct sunlight as much as possible. She was in the back of the van before it had even come to a full stop, urging James to step on it.

 

           “Here, put this on,” Alex ordered her, handing her a bulletproof vest; she would take no chances with Kara being staked through the heart, even if the vest would provide little protection against vampire strength if they were determined.

 

           “He was- she was screaming, Alex,” Kara choked out as she shoved her arms through the holes of the vest, letting Alex tighten the straps for her. She was passed a couple of silver tipped stakes, and was careful to keep the points away from her bare skin.

 

           “Shh, she’ll be okay,” Alex assured her, but Kara could see the tension in her shoulders, and it did little to comfort her.

 

           They were soon pulling up outside the warehouse, where a dozen other vans were stood empty, with all of the hunters having swarmed the building already.

 

---

 

           Kara darted inside, ahead of Alex and everyone else, her eyes adjusting to the dark in a second. Her eyes quickly fell on Lena, who was sat on the walkway above them, her eyes wide with fright as she watched hunters fighting vampires that were little more than a blur as they moved around the room. Kara snarled at the sigh of blood covering Lena’s neck, and at the dazed look in her eyes – she looked like she was about to pass out. Beside her was the ancient one, and Kara froze at the sight of him.

 

           He had dark waving, hair and eyes that were almost black, and his skin was ashen and bloodless like the rest of their kind. He smiled widely as he saw Kara frozen in the middle of the chaos.

 

           “There she is! My dearest one!” he exclaimed as Kara glared up at him. “Come! I have waited far too long for this. Thirteen years to be exact.”

 

           There was a nagging feeling at the back of her mind as she stared at this man, as he casually vaulted over the railing and landed on the floor before her. He was still smiling as he sauntered closer, one hand in his pocket in a guise of casualness. She’d seen him before; she was sure of it.

 

           “Ah, I see you remember me. I’m thrilled,” he crowed spreading his hands widely. “Yes, I was there that night, little Kara Zorel. Your parents, they were quick to die - I didn’t even pause between draining them both – but you … so young, so scared as you watched from the top of the stairs. Those beautiful eyes are still as naïve as they were then. I couldn’t kill you, you see. You were so innocent, so I let you live, and I vowed to myself that I would find you again. I waited until you were of age, of course, and it took me years to scour every city for you. It was luck, really, that I was outside dear Roulette’s bar that night, but oh what a lovely surprise it was to see you, just as radiant as you had been that night.”

 

           Kara thought she was going to be sick. He had killed her parents. He was the man that she’d almost thought she’d made up that night, the one she’d watched from the shadows of the top stairs, the memories she’d thought she’d forgotten. She hadn’t been randomly chosen at all, he’d been watching her since she was a child. The thought twisted her stomach and fuelled her anger even more.

 

           “You look displeased, my darling,” he crooned, giving her a charming smile. “I’ll change your mind yet. Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Mxyzptlk. A mouthful, I know, but you may call me Mxy.”

 

           “Hey you stupid fuck, stay away from my sister,” Alex shouted, running in through the open door. She levelled her gun at him and shot off three rounds without hesitation, and Mzyxptlk caught them all with a laugh.

 

           Tutting, he looked at Alex with amusement. “I admire your courage. I’m glad little Lena changed her mind, I would’ve hated to hurt family.”

 

           “We are not family,” Alex spat at him, moving closer. Her eyes burned with rage and she quickly took out two vampires that strayed too close for comfort. “Leave my fucking sister alone. Let Lena go, and maybe we’ll let you walk out of here alive.”

 

           He sighed dramatically, before giving Kara a courteous bow. “I hate to do this, my love, but I can’t let anyone get in the way of our love.” He darted away in a second, and Kara’s eyes trailed him, watching as he grabbed the nearest hunter and snapped their neck.

 

           Their only option was to fight.

 

           Kara snarled, pulling out one of the stakes and making a leap upwards for Lena. A vampire grabbed her ankle and dragged her back to the ground, and in a flash, Kara had the stake in his chest, buried in his heart as he went still beneath the ash wood and silver. Over and over again she fought to find her way to Lena, trying to jump up onto the walkway or making a dash for the stairs, and each time she was cut off by another vampire, which she would grapple with for a few minutes before she, or another hunter, managed to stab them in the heart.

 

           “Stop!”

 

           Mxyzptlk’s voice rang out loud and clear over the din of the fighting, and Kara’s gaze quickly flashed to his, and then to Lena, who he held tightly in his grip. Her eyes widened in horror at the slumped figure he choked in his hand. He'd distracted them with the fighting, and now he had Kara exactly where he wanted her.

 

           “No! No, no, no. Please!” Kara screamed, darting forwards. She was dragged backwards by her hair, and she fought against the tight grip, finding herself staring up at Roulette, who was smiling wickedly. Shifting her gaze back up to Lena, she begged some more. “Please. I’ll go with you. I’ll do anything you want, just please, let her go.”

 

           “Let her go?” Mxyzptlk echoed, his lips curling in a smile. “As you wish.”

 

           With a quick jerk, he snapped Lena’s neck before she could move, and with the flick of his wrist, threw her over the railing. Everything seemed to slow down as Kara watched Lena’s limp body fall towards the ground, and she let out a gut-wrenching scream at the sickening thud as she landed heavily on the concrete, bones cracking on impact.

 

           Lena didn't move.

Chapter Text

           The silence that followed was deafening.

 

           And then Kara was screaming.

 

           She struggled against Roulette’s grip, sobbing uncontrollably, and a small gasp behind her gave her the chance to pull herself free as Alex shot Roulette in the back, the silver bullet finding its mark in her heart. Darting to Lena’s side, Kara fell to her knees, gathering her up in her arms, and brushing the dark hair out of her pale face. Her green eyes were staring blankly upwards, and Kara let out a wordless cry, burying her head in the crook between Lena’s neck and shoulder, where she should’ve been able to feel her pulse.

 

           Instead there was silence. No heartbeat, no warmth. Nothing.

 

           The fight raged on around her, but Kara was numb to it. Her only focus was on Lena, and she cradled her close to her chest as she sobbed, the sounds broken and disjointed. She couldn’t even bring herself to speak, she couldn’t say a word, she just sobbed as her heart broke in two. Rocking Lena in her arms, Kara gently stroked her hair while her shoulders shook with her sobs.

 

           “A pity to waste such a beautiful face,” a voice sighed, and Kara went still. “You did this to her, you know. If only you’d stayed away.”

 

           Gently laying Lena down on the floor, as if she was a fragile doll that would break and not a corpse, Kara brushed the hair out of her face and closed her eyes with shaky fingers. Then she brushed her hair out of her face and fixed the ruffled collar – she knew that Lena hated to look untidy. Pressing a gentle, cold kiss to her forehead, Kara took a deep breath and slowly climbed to her feet. She turned with deadly silence, taking in the sight of Mxyzptlk standing there looking almost bored, and then his face split into a smile and something cracked inside Kara

 

           With an inaudible roar of heartbreak and fury, Kara threw herself at him, catching him around the waist as they flew backwards, landing on the concrete floor with a resounding crack. She’d lost both of her stakes in the fighting, so she used her hands. She punched him – in the face, in the ribs, in the stomach – taking grim satisfaction out of the feeling and sound of his bones snapping beneath her touch. And then he was out from under her in a flash, pinning her arms to her side while he whispered in her ear from behind.

 

           “Oh, Kara, I’m not going to fight you, sweet one.”

 

           Jumping upwards, she used the force of him dragging her back down to body slam him to the ground with enough force to crack the ground as well as his head, and for a moment she was out of his grip. Flying at him again, she smashed him into one of the beams holding up the roof, the metal bending beneath the strength of her throw, and then he was laughing at her.

 

           “Did a human really mean that much to you?”

 

           With another scream of uncontrollable rage, Kara slammed into him and didn’t stop until they burst through the walls of the warehouse and out into the streaming sunlight. Their skin began to burn instantly, but she was already sobbing and yelling as she punched him in the face, again and again as her hands blistered.

 

           “You fuck- I-I’ll kill you- she- fuck you,” Kara cried as she punctuated each word with a punch that packed enough force to cave in the bones of his face. And then she punched him in the sternum, cracking his breastbone again and again, before she smashed her hand into his chest. She tore straight through his skin, and his blood seeped over her hands as she scrabbled for his heart. She would rip it out of his chest before he could blink.

 

           “Kara! Kara, stop. This isn’t you,” Alex’s gentle voice called from behind her.

 

           Letting out a heartbroken sob filled with pain and anguish, Kara froze, her hand still buried in his chest. She turned to look at Alex, who was covered in blood but looked unharmed, which meant it wasn’t hers, and she stared back at Kara with a guilty look of concern covering barely concealed anger. “I-I have to Alex,” Kara said, her voice breaking as she spoke.

 

           “No, you don’t. Let me help you,” Alex soothingly said, taking a step forward. “She wouldn’t want you to become someone you’re not.”

 

           At the mention of Lena, Kara’s hand reflexively tightened around the heart she held in her hand, and Mxyzptlk winced slightly from beneath her. True to his word, he hadn’t fought back at all, and he didn’t know, even when she held his heart in her hand. In some twisted way, he really did think that he loved her, and that made Kara feel even more sick.

 

           As Alex came up to Kara’s side, she crouched down, laying a hand on Kara’s shaking shoulders. With her other hand, she reached out and slowly started to pull Kara’s hand out of his chest, while Kara sat there crying and choking on sobs. “Let me help you. I’ll do this, so you don’t have to,” Alex murmured to her sister.

 

           Kara silently nodded, burying her face in Alex’s shoulder so she didn’t have to look. She didn’t hear him die – he was already undead anyway – but a few moments later, Alex was gently lifting her to her feet and guiding her in out of the sunlight. Kara almost sighed with relief as darkness swept over her, and her blistered and burnt skin slowly started knitting itself back together. Her eyes fell on Lillian. She was knelt on the cold floor, cradling Lena’s lifeless body in her arms while she buried her face in her chest. Kara could see that her shoulders were shaking, and hear the quiet sobs that were too low for human’s ears. Swallowing a sob, she raced over to Lena’s side, and Lillian looked up in shock as Kara gently dragged her out of her arms and into her own.

 

           “Shh, you’re okay,” she murmured, stroking her hair back. “You’re going to be just fine. Alex! Alex, I-I need you to h-help me. How do I do it? How do I make her like me?”

 

           Alex ran over and crouched down next to Kara, laying a hand on her shoulder as she looked her in the eye with a pained look on her face. “Kara, you can’t.”

 

           “I-I can. I’m a vampire – I’ll change her. He already bit her.”

 

           “I told you once, you have to drink vampire blood. Then be bitten, and then drained of all your blood,” Alex calmly told her.

 

           Kara tore at the skin on her wrist, but Alex’s hand stopped her before she could lower it to Lena’s lips. “No, Kara. It has to be in that order, or it won’t work. Sh-she was bitten, and maybe drained enough, but he wouldn’t have given her his blood. You can’t-“

 

           “No, no, no,” Kara sobbed, her hands fluttering around Lena’s broken body. “I have to fix this. I have to save her! Tell me, Alex! Tell me how to do it!”

 

           “You can’t, sweetie,” Alex said. “W-we need to take her now.”

 

           “No!” Kara’s shout was hoarse, and full of fear as she clutched Lena tightly to her chest.

 

           Alex gently pried her sister’s fingers of the dead body, apologising over and over again while she took Lena from her arms one last time, and let the Cadmus hunters take her away. Lillian had sat there numbly the entire time, and as Alex dragged Kara to her feet, she rose, and was slamming Kara into the nearest pillar of steel, digging a silver stake into her chest.

 

           “You did this,” Lillian roared in her face, her tears falling faster now. “You took her from me! My baby girl!”

 

           “Yes,” Kara whispered, her voice dead and lifeless, and her body sagging with weariness. She was tired. Tired of everything, and she wouldn’t fight back against Lillian. “I’m sorry.”

 

           “I’ll make you pay for this,” Lillian hissed, and Kara was dimly aware of Alex slowly approaching with her gun drawn, hanging casually at her side but ready to take out anyone who tried to hurt her sister.

 

           Kara nodded in agreement of Lillian’s words, her voice shaking as she spoke. “Good. I-I did love her.”

 

           Lillian drew the stake back, brushing away her tears with the back of her hand. “I know you did, which is why I’m not going to kill you. I want you to spend forever living with the guilt of what you did. I want you to think about her every day, and miss her, and wish for her to come back, knowing that if it wasn’t for you, she would still be alive. I want you to live with yourself for eternity – alone and in pain.”

 

           The point of the stake was gone, and Lillian turned her back on Kara, leaving her slumped against the pillar, shaking and empty. It was the worst form of punishment that Kara could wish for – to live with the guilt and knowledge that she’d loved Lena so much that she’d been killed. It sickened her to even think about it now, and Kara clutched at her still heart, almost as if she was trying to claw out the source of her pain.

 

           Gentle hands guided her to the van, and Kara was unaware of her surroundings as the city blurred past them, and she didn’t realise where they were until Alex was opening her apartment door for her and guiding her into the dark. For the first time since Kara had been changed, her apartment felt cold and unwelcoming, not a safe place from the sun where she would spend hours upon hours with Lena. The air rushed out of Kara’s lungs at the sight of the place; Lena was everywhere. Her laptop was on the table from where she’d been playing World of Warcraft last night; her scarf still hung on the coatrack; the coffee mug from earlier on that morning was exactly where she’d left it.

 

           “Here, let’s get you cleaned up,” Alex murmured, stumbling through the dark towards the bathroom. She left Kara alone standing under the hot water, and Kara could barely muster the energy to wash the blood off herself. Eventually, Alex had to come and shut the water off for her, because she was just stood there like a statue, with no intention of moving for the rest of eternity.

 

           Dressed in clean pyjamas that smelt like Lena, after countless nights spent sleeping at Kara’s apartment, Kara let Alex tuck her into bed, before she lay down next to her, cradling her close. Closing her eyes, Kara let out a shaky breath, listening to the wrong heartbeat beneath her chest. She loved her sister more than anything, but her presence was a reminder of the heartbeat she would ever hear again and of the warmth she would never feel again.

 

---

 

           The sun was just starting to set, and Kara listened to Alex’s slow breathing beside her as she slept. She must have been exhausted from all the fighting, because she’d fallen asleep not long after she’d gotten into bed with the intention of making sure that Kara wasn’t left alone. Laying next to her, Kara listened to the sounds around her, and there was a huge noticeable gap across the hallway where there should’ve been the sound of a steady heartbeat, pacing footsteps and muttered cursing.

 

           Climbing out of bed, Kara flashed to her door and slipped out into the hallway. She had to see for herself, she had to see Lena’s empty apartment and know that she wasn’t coming back, that she was the reason Lena was never coming back. She didn’t have the key, so she just snapped the door handle off, tossing it to the floor before she slowly pushed open the door.

 

           Standing in the doorway, Kara raised a hand to cover her mouth as a sob threatened to escape. It looked like it always did – the same almost clinical tidiness, the same perfectly arranged pillows on the sofa, and the neatly lined up coats on the rack. Kara pulled one of the coats off – Lena’s favourite one that she wore more than any other – and she pressed it to her face, breathing in the familiar smell of her perfume and laundry detergent. With a broken sob, Kara collapsed to her knees, clutching the coat tight to her chest while she cried and cried and cried. She didn’t think she would ever stop.

 

           “I’m forever going to be stuck fixing doors with you aren’t I?” an exasperated voice said, followed by a sigh.

 

           Kara was on her feet in a second, whirling around to face her. She didn’t even manage to get a word out, just a sob of surprise, as she hurled herself into Lena’s arms. All of the grief and pain seemed to fade away as the familiar arms circled her waist, and Kara buried her face into Lena’s shoulder while she cried. Quietly, Lena spoke soothing words into Kara’s ear while she stroked her hair, holding her tightly while she shook with sobs.

 

           Eventually Kara pulled back, cupping Lena’s face as if to make sure she was real. “You’re cold.”

 

           Lena smirked at her, reaching out to kiss Kara on the tip of her nose. “Cold hands, warm heart. Remember?”

 

           Kara let out an almost hysterical laugh, and quickly pressed her lips against Lena’s. It almost didn’t seem real; she was alive. Well, she wasn’t alive, she was undead, but she wasn’t dead, which was all that mattered. Still, Kara was confused and the line between her eyebrows deepened with her confusion. “How?”

 

           Smiling, Lena lifted Kara’s hands, pressing a kiss to the back of them both before giving them a tight squeeze, almost as if reassuring herself that she was here and real. “That’s the big question now, isn’t it? Well you see, after Mr. Mxyzptlk delivered his message and before I made my heroic sacrifice, I came into my apartment and drank one of the vials of your blood that I’d stolen from work for testing. I figured that he would most likely kill me, and the chances of him draining me were slim, but it seemed like a good precaution, so I drank it. Turns out he did drain me, and then killed me, and your blood was already in my system so it ticked all of the boxes for being turned. I almost gave my mother a heart attack when I bolted upright on that table – I’m not sure if she cried more about me being dead or undead, although she did seem a bit happy so I think I might be growing on her.”

 

           Opening and closing her mouth a few times, Kara just stared at Lena with wide eyes. “Why?”

 

           “Why? Because if there was anything in my life that I would regret, it would be not having enough time with you. If there was even the slightest chance I could, then I was going to take it, even if I ended up … this,” Lena said, glancing down at her ivory skin with a bewildered look on her face. “It’s so strange. I can see ... everything, and hear everything and even touching you is just so … different.”

 

           “I know,” Kara smiled at her, reaching out to stroke Lena’s cheekbone. She frowned slightly, a look of pain crossing her face. “Please never do that to me ever again.”

 

           Lena gave her a small smile. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to put you through that. I know you probably blamed yourself, but it was my fault. And I’m sorry that I broke my promise to stay out of it, and for not telling you, and for-“

 

           “Okay so there’s a lot of things I think we both need to apologise for, but right now I just really have to say I love you,” Kara blurted out, and Lena let out a loud laugh.

 

           “I love you too,” she murmured, leaning in to kiss Kara. She jumped back as the door across the hallway was yanked open, and a startled looking Alex looked from Kara to Lena.

 

           Her lips curled up into a small smile. “We’re never going to fucking get rid of you, are we?”

 

           Lena laughed, flashing her a bright smile. “It’s lovely to see you too, Alex.”

 

           She rolled her eyes, and walked over to Lena, pulling her into a quick hug that neither of them were prepared for. “If you ever put my sister through something like that again, I have a silver bullet with your name on.”

 

           “Alex!” Kara exclaimed, giving her an exasperated look. Her sister laughed, wrapping her into a hug and kissing her on the cheek.

 

           “I’m going back to bed,” Alex yawned, pulling back and walking back into Kara’s apartment. “Don’t almost die while I’m unconscious.”

 

           “No promises,” Lena said, shrugging as she smirked at Alex, who flipped her off before slamming the door shut. She turned to face Kara, and resumed where they’d left off before the interruption, placing a soft kiss to her lips before pulling back. “Now what?”

 

---

 

           They were sat on the edge of the rooftop, their legs swinging over the side of the building as they looked up at the stars. Kara had one arm wrapped around Lena’s waist, almost as if to make sure she was there, and Lena had her head on Kara’s shoulder. The silence between them was odd – no heartbeats, no need to breathe if they didn’t want to – and they were both as cold as each other, but it was perfect.

 

           “So, is this what an eternity of darkness is like?” Lena murmured, disturbing the silence, and Kara let out a quiet laugh.

 

           “It’s never been dark to me,” she replied, pressing a kiss to Lena’s forehead. “Do you remember that night when we watched the stars and you asked me why I liked you? I said it was because I’d only ever been able to find peace in stargazing, until I met you, and that I felt like I had all the time in the world when I was with you. So if an eternity of darkness is finding peace under the stars with you, I don’t think I could ever need anything else.”

 

           Lena smiled, looking up at the blanket of stars spread out above them, before turning her gaze towards the skyline of the city. The sky was starting to lighten, and the darkness above gave way to the first signs of orange, signalling the arrival of the sun. They would have to go inside soon, but for now they were happy to sit on the edge of the building and let the wind ruffle their hair as they sat wrapped up in each other. Eternity and the sun could wait.