It was a dreary, chilly morning when Lena was awoken by the scent of pancakes and bacon frying. Lena cracked open one eye, inhaling deeply. Everything was slightly blurry and out of focus since Lena’s glasses were still on the bedside table. The blankets were warm and Lena didn’t want to get up. But when she opened her eyes, she saw Fish sitting at the side of the bed, tail wagging when he realized she was up.
“G’morning,” she groaned softly, stretching and sitting up. When she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, she pet his head. It had been three days with Fish now and she was starting to get used to him being around (though she still maintained that Fish was a ridiculous name for a dog). Kara and Lydia did most of the work with him; Lydia was responsible for feeding him (one scoop at mealtimes, and she had a special alarm that rang when it was time to feed him). Kara took him for his morning walk before anyone else was up and then took him out again in the afternoon and evening with Lydia tagging along. While they were at work, a pet-sitter came in to check on him, take him out for a walk and play with him. Lena signed him up for obedience classes, though Kara insisted he was already well trained, but they didn’t start for another two weeks.
“No, no, no, you were meant to stay in bed!” Kara whined, rushing across the living room in sock-clad feet to try and usher Lena back into their room. The boxes stacked up were getting to a ridiculous height and Lena couldn’t wait to start moving things in and get their life back to normal. Luckily, they were due to close on the house later this afternoon.
“I can’t come out and enjoy this lovely breakfast with my girlfriend?” Lena asked, brow raised. Fish trotted into the living room to grab one of his toys, wrestling with it in the other room.
“No! It was supposed to be breakfast in bed because it’s a special day!” Kara insisted, still trying to steer Lena back to their bedroom.
“Yeah, Mommy!” Lydia piped up, running in from the kitchen with what looked like batter in her hair and flour on her pajamas.
“Oh, and what special day would that be? It’s not my birthday… It’s not Christmas or Valentine’s Day…” Lena playfully tapped her chin as if thinking about it.
“Mama said it was double special day!” Lydia said helpfully.
“Hmmm… I don’t know. Maybe you should tell me.” Lena smirked at Kara as if challenging her to rise to the bait.
“We get a house today!” Lydia squealed.
“Oh, thank you, Lyd,” Lena cooed, bending down to tickle her daughter’s chin.
“Lyd, go into the living room with Fish, you’re ruining the surprise,” Kara whispered, nodding her head to the side. Lydia’s mouth dropped open comically and she nodded in understanding before running into the living room. Now that she was out of the room, Kara just scooped Lena up with one hand. “Now, let’s get you back to bed.”
“Kara, don’t you usually wait until Lydia is asleep before taking me to bed?” Lena whispered seductively, laughing when Kara turns bright red and comes to a halt in the doorway.
“Get your mind out of the gutter, Luthor. I am trying to give you breakfast in bed on our anniversary,” Kara hissed, continuing into the room and dropping Lena on the bed quickly, making her girlfriend squeak in surprise. The completely ungraceful sound coming from the usually put-together woman made Kara crack, smiling and pausing a moment to lean over the bed and kiss her good morning.
“Ohh, that’s what we’re celebrating?” Lena teased when she pulled away, smiling sweetly.
“Jerk,” Kara murmured, rolling her eyes. She moved as if to stand up but Lena yanked her back down by the collar of her t-shirt. (She knew Kara could have stood had she wanted and that Lena’s tugs on her collar were like a gnat trying to bite a mammoth, but Kara let Lena pull her back down and Lena loved her for indulging in this little game.) She kissed her longer and slower this time and when she pulled back, Kara stayed and pressed her forehead to Lena’s.
“Happy anniversary, love,” Lena whispered softly, eyes still closed. Kara exhaled softly before pulling away and standing up.
“You have awful morning breath,” she smiled cheerfully. “Now, stay in this bed until I bring you breakfast. If you don’t stay willingly, I’ll tie you down.” She turned and walked away before Lena could do much more than blink.
“Kinky,” Lena murmured softly. She could tell by the dull thud in the kitchen that Kara had heard and likely dropped something or hit her head. Lena just chuckled and sat back in the bed, making herself comfortable while she waited for her breakfast.
“So, Mama let me stir in the chocolate chips! And I got to put the fruit in the oatmeal!” Lydia said proudly, bouncing on her toes. She had followed Kara into the bedroom, Fish trailing after her with a toy in his mouth. Kara had the breakfast on a tray and put it in front of Lena in bed with a flourish. Before either of her moms could say anything, Lydia had jumped into a detailed description of what was made and how they made it. Lena just smiled and nodded along as her little girl rambled.
“Well, it looks wonderful, sweetie. I can’t wait to eat it. Now, you should probably go wash the batter off of your face and hair if you want to make it to school on time. Mama can help you.”
“Yes, I can. Come on, sweetie. We got a little sidetracked with breakfast so we’ve gotta hurry,” Kara hummed in agreement, ushering Lydia out and into the bathroom. Fish sat on the floor next to the bed, leaning as close to Lena as he possibly could.
“Are you keeping me company?” Lena asked, raising an eyebrow. Fish turned to look at her, one ear perked and the other flopping down slightly. His mouth was stretched around the rope toy in his mouth and his eyes were big, wide, and sincere. Lena didn’t bother waiting for a response. “I suppose that’s nice of you. But you’re not getting any of my food, just so you know.” Fish just turned so that his chin was resting on the bed and he just watched her. “That won’t work. I have a toddler and a girlfriend with killer puppy-dog eyes. You’ve met your match.” With that, Lena popped a spoonful of oatmeal and blueberries into her mouth. After a moment, she reached over to scratch his head, rolling her eyes slightly. She ate her entire breakfast with one hand while scratching behind Fish’s ears, mentally going over her schedule for the day.
After dropping Kara and Lydia off at school later that morning, Lena went into a morning full of meetings with potential investors and answering dozens of emails. By the time lunch rolled around, she was more than ready for a break. Packing up her laptop, a stack of papers she needed to sign, and a file folder full of new inventions currently being developed in the lab downstairs, Lena left the office.
“I’ll be back in a few hours, Jess. Feel free to take a nice, long lunch today,” Lena called over her shoulder as she got into the elevator. Of course she had offered Jess a better job anywhere she wanted in the business- a reward for her loyalty and her hard work. But Jess had only asked that her title to change from “assistant” to “operational director”. It was a generous pay increase and required a change in her responsibility, making her responsible for the operations of the day to day runnings of this particular L-Corp office. Despite Lena having acquired a new secretary (two, actually), Jess still kept track of her schedule and acted like her assistant most of the time. Lena really did hope Jess would take the longer lunch break.
“Enjoy your anniversary. And congrats on the house!” Jess called back. Lena just waved as the elevator closed.
The restaurant they went to was small, but the reviews for it were great. Kara and Lena had both agreed to take a few hours off so they could have a nice lunch together for their anniversary before going to the meeting to sign the papers and officially close on the house. Maggie had agreed to pick Lydia up and watch her until Kara could go home and Lena would return to work for a few more hours before they planned to have a nice dinner together while Lydia stayed over Alex and Maggie’s house. Lydia was excited for the sleepover and a chance to play with Gertrude while Kara and Lena were just excited for some extended alone time without the threat of their child walking in. Though Lydia had had overnight babysitters before, this was the first time she would be sleeping somewhere other than home and also the first time it had happened since the shooting and both of her mothers were nervous about how she’d react.
“The first time we went out, you took me for ice cream,” Kara said, pulling Lena out of her reverie. “And now, a year later, and all you give me is a quinoa kale salad and kombucha.”
“We can go somewhere else,” Lena offered immediately. She’d noticed the way Kara had wrinkled her nose while looking over the menu, but since she hadn’t said anything, Lena had bitten her tongue.
“No, I know it must have been hard to get these reservations. Plus, you love this rabbit food,” Kara teased.
“Not all of us are blessed with an otherworldly metabolism,” Lena hummed noncommittally. “But what’s the point in an anniversary celebration if you aren’t happy with the way we celebrate?” Kara hesitated a moment. Lena decided to try and sweeten the deal- literally. “If we go to Chili’s, I promise we can get two cookie skillets, not just one.” Immediately, Kara brightened.
“And can I get an appetizer, too?” Lena just chuckled. Kara had the pallet of a teenager.
“Of course, love. I’ll go settle up for the drinks, you go get the car.” Kara took the keys and kissed Lena thankfully before hurrying out of the restaurant. Sighing and shaking her head with a smile, Lena just waved over the waiter with her credit card already in her hand.
“Did I ever tell you that you’re the best girlfriend in the whole universe? You’re like… the best girlfriend to ever… girlfriend,” Kara gushed with a mouthful of warm chocolate chip cookie and melting vanilla ice cream. Lena just smiled. Even after an appetizer, her entire entree, half of Lena’s meal, and an entire cookie skillet, Kara was still trying to eat some of Lena’s. Of course, Lena was letting her. She only wanted a few bites of it anyway.
“The best girlfriend to ever girlfriend?” Lena repeated. Kara nodded decisively, leaning over to plant a kiss on Lena’s lips. While Lena was distracted, Kara tried to steal another spoonful of her dessert. Lena pulled away, smiling, eyes still closed. “If you were still hungry, all you had to do was ask,” she whispered.
“It just tastes so good!” Kara whined, pulling away. Lena rolled her eyes playfully but pushed the dessert over to Kara’s side of the table. Kara giggled sweetly, leaning over to table to kiss Lena’s cheek gratefully.
“I love you,” she smiled.
“Love you, too,” Lena hummed in response, content to watch Kara finish her dessert. When she kissed Kara on their way to the meeting with the realtor, she still tasted like vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookies.
“Exciting stuff,” Emily grinned as she brought out the copies of their paperwork. They were standing in the kitchen of their new home for this meeting and both women were struggling to contain their grins. “Closing on your first house together on your first anniversary? What a big day for you guys. Any special plans?”
“Lydia’s going over my sister’s house for the night and we have reservations at this quaint little place,” Kara beamed, squeezing Lena’s hand. Lena just smiled at her happily.
“That’s nice,” Emily sighed, humming for a moment before shaking herself slightly. “Anyway, the paperwork. Let me just go over it all with you. Of course, your lawyers have already given it an extensive reading, but I’m obligated to explain it all to you, too.” Lena and Kara nodded, listening intently as Emily explained all the details of their paperwork like the terms of the agreement and the housing insurance they should get. After signing and initialing in all of the appropriate places, Emily clapped and cheered.
“Congratulations! You two are now officially the owners of 34 Hanover Court. Here are the keys! Do you guys want a picture outside or something?” Emily offered. Lena and Kara looked at each other, both shrugging.
“Sure. I kind of wish Lydia was here for the first picture, though,” Lena said, the last part mostly for Kara.
“We can take a better family picture later today. With Lydia and Fish!” Kara said brightly.
“You don’t have to,” Emily offered. “I just like to offer.” Lena bit her lip, feeling guilty.
“I think we’re going to wait until Lydia gets here,” Kara decided, looking at Lena’s conflicted expression.
“That’s perfectly fine! I’m going to head out now, then. Enjoy your new house! Feel free to send me some pictures once you settle in, I always like to see the results.” Emily shook their hands once more and waved as she left, hitching her purse over her shoulder as she left. Lena and Kara just looked at each other before Kara broke out into giggles, dancing in place. As always, Kara’s laughter coaxed a smile out of Lena and made her chuckle.
“We bought a house!” Kara whispered excitedly. “That’s such a grown-up thing to do! We both live here, and it’s our house together as a family! Isn’t that great?” Lena couldn’t help but be swept up by Kara’s excitement.
“It feels kind of like we’re just kids playing house,” Lena admitted, looking around. The kitchen was big and had a large window over the sink that looked out on their backyard- because Emily had pulled off a miracle and found a neighborhood of townhouses uptown that catered to the rich or famous residents of National City with families. The neighborhood was all set around a small, green park in the middle. All of the houses faced the small park; it was mostly a playground with a fence around it and some gardens, walking paths, benches and picnic tables. It was no Central Park, but it was a good spot especially now that they had Fish to think of.
The kitchen had light wood cabinets and dark marble countertops. The stove, microwave and fridge were all new, stainless steel appliances. Lena and Kara decided that the kitchen island in the middle of the room would be where they ate breakfast together in the mornings; though the chairs were higher than those in the dining room, they had arm rests and could be tucked in so they weren’t as worried about Lydia falling out one sleepy morning. The backsplash on the walls was a pattern of light blue, white and yellow floral tiles and the remaining walls were a light cream color. It needed to be furnished with their appliances, and Lena envisioned putting Lydia’s artwork all over the fridge, but it was definitely somewhere they could see themselves eating as a family and making family meals.
“Maybe some day we’ll feel like grown-ups,” Kara laughed. Sighing happily, she came to stand behind Lena, wrapping her arms around her waist and resting her chin on Lena’s shoulder. “This place is ours . Isn’t that amazing to say?” Lena hummed in agreement.
“Maybe… we can go paint shopping later today? Lydia needs to pick out the color for her room and I want to get some chalkboard paint for her playroom. And maybe a chalkboard for in here? So we can keep a schedule. And we need the paint for our bedroom, and for the movie room,” Lena mused, more thinking aloud than talking to Kara.
“You’re rambling,” Kara hummed amusedly.
“I know, I just… now that it’s ours, I want to make it feel like home. And we have to paint soon since they’re coming in to replace the floors soon. I’m just excited,” Lena said, only a little defensive.
“I know, but Maggie’s picking Lydia up today and you know Lydia would want to come with us,” Kara pointed out.
“We could… take off the rest of the afternoon and go to the paint store with her,” Lena said hesitantly.
“Is your workload too heavy for that?”
“No, I brought some stuff home that I can work on and if I really need to, I have assistants who can send me other things if there’s an emergency.” Kara spun Lena around gently, smiling and kissing her cheek.
“If you’re sure, I can text Maggie and we can go get Lydia right now. I’m sure she’d love it. She’s been looking forward to the paint store for days, little weirdo.”
“She takes after you,” Lena teased, already putting their copy of the paperwork into her briefcase, grabbing the keys to their new house.
“I disagree,” Kara said, pouting theatrically. As they walked out the door, Kara was careful to set their security alarm while Lena locked the door. Kara wrapped one arm around Lena’s waist as they walked to the car, bouncing lightly in their own excitement.
“Mommy, Mama? I thought Tia was gonna get me,” Lydia said, wrinkling her nose and puckering her brow in confusion.
“Baby crinkle,” Kara giggled, swooping down to pick up Lydia and hug her.
“Nice to see you too, Lyd,” Lena smiled, rolling her eyes slightly.
“Hi, Mommy. Hi, Mama. Why didn’t Tia come get me?” Lydia tried again, squirming to be put down, holding out her hands to both Kara and Lena, walking in between them happily, humming and swinging her arms as she walked between them.
“Because Mama and I were so excited that we got the keys to our new house today that we wanted to come get you a little early so we could go to the paint store as a surprise. How does that sound? That sound good to you?” Lena lifted Lydia into her booster seat, leaning over to buckle her in while Kara started the car. Lydia began to kick happily.
“Paint store! And we get the paint colors for the whole entire house?” Once the buckles were done, Lena booped Lydia’s nose.
“Only the rooms we’re painting.” Lydia paused thoughtfully while Lena got in the passenger seat and Kara started to drive. While Lena put the paint store address in her phone’s map systems, Lydia spoke.
“What rooms are we painting?”
“Your bedroom, our bedroom, the movie room, and the play room,” Lena rattled off, looking at the notes on her phone where they had saved some ideas for colors and shades.
“And I pick for my room?”
“Any color you want,” Kara replied.
“Can I pick for the play room, too?” Lydia’s voice rose in excitement, kicking her feet excitedly.
“Um, we can talk about what color you want. But Mommy and I already had some ideas for it, so we’ll decide about it together once we get there,” Kara said, glancing at Lena quickly.
“What ideas?” Lena shifted, turning around in her seat to face Lydia fully.
“Well, we thought maybe it could be a nice light blue color, and then there’s this special paint that turns a wall into a chalkboard. We can get you some colorful chalk and then you can draw on the walls without getting in trouble. Doesn’t that sound cool?” Lydia nodded.
“And I can draw pictures of houses and cats and rainbows and you and Mama and Tia and Aunty and Jamie and Fish and Gerty! And I can have tea parties and build a super cool race track and my dolls will have a nice bedroom and a train set to play with and books to read and everything!” Lena smiled and turned back around in her seat, nodding and humming in agreement as Lydia rambled about everything she would get to do in the new house.
“What about yellow? You like yellow!” Kara said encouragingly. They’ve selected a deep blue for their bedroom, a soft bluish gray for Lydia’s play room, and a cool green for the movie room. But Lydia had been procrastinating on her decision for the past twenty minutes, running around pulling out different color swatches.
“I like yellow!” Lydia confirmed. She went towards the section with all of the different shades of yellow but paused in front of the reds. “But I like red, too. And pink. And all the colors! How do I pick?” Lena pinched her nose.
“Could we just do, like, stripes? Like rainbow stripes?” Lena muttered to Kara, leaning on the cart filled with their paintbrushes, paint rollers and other supplies.
“I mean, we could. But couldn’t that be overstimulating?” Kara said softly.
“Well, maybe… But I also… think she would like it. And she should feel comfortable in her room and if she likes all of the colors, couldn’t we give her all of the colors?” Lena didn’t want to rush Lydia or make the decision for her but she also knew her daughter would likely take another hour to make a decision if she didn’t get some help.
“What if we did a blue room and we can paint a rainbow or get a decal or something?”
“I like that.” She turned to where Lydia was now perusing the pinks. “Lyd, babe?”
“Yeah, Mommy?” she came skipping back over and Lena scooped her up, positioning her so that she was balancing on Lena’s stomach, facing her fully with her arms resting on Lena’s shoulders and her legs around her waist. Lena held her under her bottom and on her back.
“What if we gave you a room with all the colors so you don’t have to pick your favorite? We can paint the room blue like the sky and then we can paint a rainbow design on it, hmmm?” Lena suggested.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah! I like rainbows! Can I help paint the rainbow?” While Lydia kicked her feet happily and Lena bounced her, Kara went to pick up the color swatches for the sky blue and all the colors of the rainbow. Lena knew that Kara had a keen artistic eye and would likely enjoy the project, though it would be nothing like the landscapes she so loved. While Kara got the paint cans mixed, Lena paid for everything.
“And now, off to Alex and Maggie’s we go!” Kara declared once they were all buckled up in the car and ready to go. Lydia just smiled, flipping through her picture book as they drove.
“Do you have your clothes for tomorrow? And your stuffie?” Lena called, putting in her earrings as she walked into Lydia’s room. She had insisted on packing her own overnight bag for her first sleepover and Maggie and Alex’s while her moms got dressed. Lena wore a tight red dress that went down just above her knee with a scoop neck and cap sleeves. She carried a black blazer for while they were outside to fight off the cool September chill. It was just tight enough and low enough around her chest to make Kara clear her throat, cheeks flaming. Kara meanwhile, chose a teal blue dress. The neck was high and she wore a black belt around her waist, cinching it in nicely paired with a darker sweater.
“I got it! And my blankie, too. Which pair of jammies should I bring?” Lydia asked, still in her outfit from school. She was packing her things in a small duffel bag Lena had given her and swinging her legs while sitting on the bed. She had laid out four different pairs and Lena just chuckled, shaking her head.
“Baby, you’re not packing pajamas, you’re putting them on before we leave. It doesn’t matter which ones you wear,” she explained.
“But I haven’t had a bath yet! I need a bath before I have jammies,” Lydia exclaimed, eyes wide.
“Mama was supposed to give you a bath after dinner while I was taking a shower,” she muttered. Sighing, she said, “well, then pack a pair of pajamas and I can ask if Maggie and Alex can give you a quick bath. Or you could just skip a bath tonight, that works too. You can take one in the morning, maybe.”
“But you always say we should be nice and clean before we go to bed so that we have good dreams. I don’t wanna have bad dreams!”
“I promise, I will talk to Aunty and Tia. Now, let’s pack your Supergirl jammies, hmm? And can I just check to make sure you’ve got everything you need for tomorrow?” Lydia nodded, falling back on her bed to play with some of her stuffed animals still on her bed. Lena smirked, seeing Lydia had picked out some red leggings and a gray shirt with space on it. She had also packed her pink and orange sneakers, but no socks or underwear. Lena grabbed some out of her drawers, leaving Lydia’s pink baby blanket, her stuffed bear and her new stuffed dog with a Supergirl uniform on (Kara had suggested she name him Krypto and Lydia had happily accepted the name). Once she was all packed, Lena kissed the top of Lydia’s head and brought the duffel bag and Lydia’s pillow and blanket out to the living room.
“How much longer?” Kara asked, looking in the mirror as she pinned up her freshly curled hair in an intricate manner, half up and braided and the other half cascading down her back.
“We should leave within the half hour if we want to make our reservation for dinner. I should only need twenty minutes though, I’m just putting my hair in a bun, I think.”
“I could help,” Kara offered, pushing the last pin into her hair. Her makeup was already finished making her look like a goddess. Lena smiled softly at her, feeling like the luckiest woman alive because how could this beautiful, perfect goddess love her ?
“Yeah?” Kara nodded, standing up and letting Lena sit on the chair in front of the mirror. Kara gently began to pull the comb through her hair until it was tangle-free and lying flat. Kara lovingly ran her finger’s through Lena’s hair, bending down to kiss her hairline behind her ear.
“Just a normal bun like you do for work or can I do something a little different?” she whispered, resting her chin on Lena’s shoulder for a moment, making eye contact in the mirror.
“Whatever you want,” Lena said happily, sighing a little bit. It always relaxed her when Kara played with her hair, so she was content for now. Kara hummed in acknowledgment and kissed Lena’s cheek again before starting to pull her hair into a high ponytail like Lena sometimes does for work. Lena let her eyes close, relaxing as Kara smoothed out the bumps. She could feel Kara pulling strands out of the ponytail before tugging on them gently as if she were braiding her hair. Lena kept her eyes closed, wanting to wait until Kara was done before opening them to see the full effect. When she felt Kara pinning the hair into place, she opened her eyes.
“Mommy, you look like a princess!” Lydia gasped from the doorway. Lena just smiled, tilting her head every which way so that she could see the ballerina bun. It sat high on the back of her head, a perfectly round bun with a braid that started at her left temple, wrapping around and incorporating the hair from the bun.
“I think your Mommy looks more like a queen,” Kara commented, smiling at her in the mirror still. Lydia ran over and jumped into Kara’s arms, giggling and joining the women smiling back at her in the mirror.
“Thank you, dear, it looks lovely,” Lena said genuinely. Turning around, she held her arms out to Lydia who happily crawled onto her Mommy’s lap. “And thank you , my sweet little girl. But if Mommy is a queen, then that makes you the princess, right?”
“A smart, strong, sweet, amazing princess,” Kara added. Lena nodded seriously. Lydia blushed and giggled happily. “Why don’t we make sure we have everything you and Fish will need tonight, hmm? Mommy still needs to finish getting ready.” Kara ushered Lydia out into the living room. They had debated on leaving Fish at home or boarding him, but in the end Maggie and Alex made the decision for them. They insisted on taking Fish for the night so that Kara and Lena could truly enjoy their privacy and so Lydia would have her buddy. The day before Gertrude and Alex had joined Kara, Lydia and Fish on their afternoon walk and they’d discovered the two dogs got along quite well. Lena was glad because she wasn’t sure if she would truly be able to enjoy herself tonight knowing their dog was in the next room with those big, innocent eyes.
Lena finished applying her makeup and pulled on her shoes, her blazer and transferred everything she’d need for the night into her clutch. When she went out into the living room, she found Fish rolled over, Lydia scratching at his belly to make his back leg kick, Kara laughing and taking a video on her phone. Lydia’s duffle, blanket and pillow were stacked on the couch and a small backpack was sitting next to them; Lena figured it had to have some food for Fish and one of his chew toys, or maybe some more of Lydia’s toys that she wanted to bring. Lena decided to just let her bring the bag if it helped her tonight.
“Alright ladies and Fish, we need to get going,” Lena said, announcing her presence. Fish immediately rolled over and stood, trotting over to stand at her side. Lena just rolled her eyes good-naturedly, going to get the leash from its hook in the kitchen and clipping it to his leash. She handed the leash to Kara and grabbed Lydia’s things, helping the girl put on her coat, shoes and backpack before they were on their way out.
“Ohhh, big hug, baby,” Lena said softly, squeezing Lydia tighter. When she realized that she wouldn’t see her moms until the next morning, her eyes had filled with tears and her lip wobbled. Lena immediately pulled her into a hug, swaying slightly to try and soothe her.
“Don’t go, Mommy,” she whimpered. “Miss you,” she added, sniffling.
“I know you do, baby girl. I’ll miss you, too! But you will have lots of fun with Alex and Maggie. And I bet Jamie will help you feel better and you can snuggle with Gerty or Fish. You’ll have fun, I promise. You could read books or watch movies, color pictures and play games. Big hugs, baby. Here, you give Mama another hug and then I’ll go talk to Maggie and Alex, okay? Here, here’s Mama,” Lena continued in a soft, soothing tone. Kara pulled Lydia into her arms and the girl clung to her, whining louder now. She heard Kara singing softly to her as she went into the kitchen to find Alex and Maggie standing, wringing their hands nervously.
“She’s gonna be okay. She’s a strong kid and once we start having fun, she’ll forget to be sad,” Maggie assured her. Lena nodded, biting her cheek and trying not to cry. She took a few deep breaths before she felt like she could open her mouth and not cry. She cleared her throat.
“She hasn’t taken a bath yet, and that helps her relax. Um… She ate dinner already. Her nightmares have been a lot better since she started seeing her therapist, and she hasn’t woken up in the middle of the night in at least a month. I did bring a pull-up, though, just in case… It’s in the side pocket of the duffle. Um… she has… has her Supergirl footie pajamas because she says they make her feel safe and… Are you sure she’ll be okay?” Lena asked, wiping away the one tear that slipped out. She should be used to this, she should be able to leave her daughter for the night without turning into a blubbering mess. But Lena could still hear her daughter whimpering and crying in the next room and it was difficult to try and focus on anything but that.
“She will,” Alex said firmly. Lena nodded, closing her eyes and breathing deeply. “Jamie is putting on her pajamas but I know she’s excited about a sleepover with her little cousin. She loves Lydia, and I’m sure she’ll help take care of her. We all will.” Lydia’s whines seemed to stop.
“Does it get easier?”
“Not really,” Maggie shrugged honestly. “I left for a conference two years ago and Jamie bawled . I was sitting in the airport bathroom sobbing for an hour before I could calm down. I almost missed my flight. I don’t think it ever gets easier to leave them, especially when they don’t want you to go either.” Lena nodded, carefully wiping her tears without ruining her makeup, though she was sure she’d have to touch it up in the car. Before walking into the living room, she plastered a big smile on her face.
Jamie was in the living room now with wet hair, a hairbrush and blue dinosaur pajamas. She was standing next to Kara who was still rocking back and forth and singing to a sleepy, red-eyed Lydia. The little girl had her thumb in her mouth and clung to Kara’s dress with her other hand, blinking slowly, but her tears had finally stopped. Lena wondered if maybe she had just cried herself out.
“Auntie Lena, is it okay if Lydia and I have ice cream? I told her that when I sleep over friends’ houses, we have ice cream and stuff,” Jamie asked quietly. Lena smiled softly.
“Of course, sweetie, thank you for asking me. As long as you girls promise not to stay up too late tonight.” She winked at Jamie who giggled.
“Lydia, want me to read to you? I have to do my reading for tonight but it helps me to do it out loud sometimes. I could read you some stories!” she continued. Lydia sat up a little bit, looking to Jamie and nodding.
“Sounds like you’ve got a fun night planned, little bug. So how about you give me one more kiss and then you go do something fun with your aunties and your cousin?” Lena suggested. Kara continued her song, humming and nodding enthusiastically.
“Love you,” Lydia lisped behind her thumb, pulling it out to give Kara a sloppy kiss on the cheek, hugging her tightly. She reached for Lena, hugging her and kissing her, too before repeating the sentiment.
“Okay, sweet girl, come here. Oh, I know, it’s tough. So tough, I know, but we’re gonna have fun, aren’t we? We are, I promise. Wave bye-bye to Mommy and Mama,” Maggie cooed softly, taking Lydia. Immediately the little girl began to whimper, thumb going back in her mouth as she whined and rested her head on Maggie’s shoulder. Fish danced around Maggie’s feet, whining and sniffing at Lydia’s feet.
“Bye-bye, I love you, bye,” Lena and Kara called, waving as they made their way out of the home, shutting the door tight behind her. They made their way to the car quickly, holding each other’s hands.
“She’ll be okay,” Lena said softly. She wasn’t sure whether she was telling herself that or Kara. Kara nodded either way.
“If you want, I can keep my super-hearing out for her,” Kara offered. “We can stay down the block for a few minutes.” Lena took a few deep breaths, centering herself before putting the keys in the ignition and starting the car.
“No, no, we can go. I trust Maggie and Alex. They’ll be fine. She will calm down and we will go have a nice dinner and enjoy a night to ourselves because I love you and I love that we have been together for a year and I am so… so happy,” Lena said firmly, slowly beginning to drive away.
“I love you, too,” Kara said, reaching over to grab Lena’s hand over the console. She held it the entire way over to the restaurant. Halfway there Kara began to sing the same soft song she had sung to Lydia, a Kryptonian lullaby Kara remembered from home.
Meanwhile, Maggie had gotten Lydia into a warm bubble bath, humming softly while she washed Lydia’s hair and let the girl play with the bubbles. They didn’t really have any bath toys left from when Jamie was little and Lydia hadn’t brought anything, but the girl was happy enough just splashing around. Lydia still sniffled and her eyes were red, but the tears had stopped after Jamie promised to show Lydia some fun things they got to do at sleepovers. In the living room, Alex and Jamie were getting one such activity ready.
“Mom, can we use the back of the couch, too?” Jamie asked after dragging in the last dining room chair. Alex had gone through their linen closet and brought out all of their extra sheets and blankets and was trying to find the biggest for the roof.
“This fort is going to end up taking over the whole apartment,” Alex laughed, rolling her eyes and sighing good-naturedly. “But, I suppose we can use the back of the couch. But how are you guys going to watch movies if you’re not facing the TV?”
“We can watch on my tablet?” Jamie scrunched up her nose; she hadn’t thought of that.
“How about this: we use the front of the couch instead so that you guys can still see the TV screen. If you don’t like the fort, we can rebuild it so you can use the back of the couch and I’ll let you watch on my tablet since the screen is bigger,” Alex compromised. Jamie nodded eagerly, quickly lining up the six chairs with their backs facing each other on either end of the couch. Taking the cushions off the couch, she propped them up next to the arms of the couch to keep the ceiling high enough. Alex, meanwhile, had found an old fitted sheet from her California king bed and was checking to see if it would stretch over the whole structure. It was big enough, but they put books on top of the chairs to keep the fitted sheet from pulling and knocking them over. While they artfully draped the rest of the blankets and put some inside the fort with pillows, Maggie was rinsing Lydia off and getting her out of the bath.
“Mommy or Mama always read me a story before bedtime,” Lydia remarked sadly, resting her head on Maggie’s shoulder as she carried Lydia into Jamie’s bedroom where they’d set up the spare trundle bed for her.
“I know it’s not the same, but Alex or I can read you a story. Or Jamie would read to you, I bet,” Maggie tells her. She laid out the girl’s pajamas and underwear before stepping back and making herself busy with setting out Lydia’s blanket and pillow on the trundle bed to give her some semblance of privacy to dress herself.
“Tia, could I say goodnight to Mama and Mommy before I fall asleep?” she asked softly. Maggie turned, finding the girl half in and half out of her footed pajamas. As Maggie went to help her untangle the remaining limbs of the outfit, she smiled.
“I’ll text them but I’m sure it’ll be fine. Now, these are some nice jammies. Jamie has some Supergirl pajamas too, you know? And so does Alex,” Maggie said, zipping her into the outfit. She grabs a comb from Lydia’s backpack and sits her down on the bed in front of her, gently untangling her wet hair.
“Why not you?” she asked, and Maggie could tell from the slight lisp that the girl was probably sucking on her thumb again.
“I have a Supergirl t-shirt, but I like to wear it out sometimes, not just for pajamas. And I have Supergirl socks and Alex has more than one pair of Supergirl pants or shorts so I borrow hers a lot,” Maggie explained, now braiding her hair. Once she had tied the braid off, she stood, holding out a hand to Lydia. “Now, why don’t we go see what Alex and Jamie are doing.” Lydia nodded, holding Maggie’s hand and bringing Chewy with her, crooked under her other elbow with her thumb in her mouth still.
“Whoa!” Lydia shouted upon entering the living room, giggling and letting her thumb drop. She picked Chewy up from where he fell before running over to inspect the fort. Even Maggie had to admit, it was an impressive set-up. The lights in the living room had been dimmed and the Netflix selection screen was up on the TV. Jamie and Alex came crawling out of the fort, beaming proudly. Gerty and Fish were circling the outside of the fort, sniffing it suspiciously.
“Isn’t it cool? Mom helped me make it! And you and me are gonna watch movies in it until bed time!”
“Yeah! Can me and Chewy come in?”
“Yeah, totally! And then we can have ice cream, right Mama? Lena said it was okay! And then we can make popcorn for the movie.”
“Ah-ah-ah, Jamie, hold up. We can’t have both this late at night. It’s already 7:30, sweetie. You can have one: ice cream sundaes or popcorn,” Maggie said decisively. Alex nodded firmly when Jamie looked pleadingly at her.
“Fine, even though it’s not that late,” Jamie grumbled unhappily, crossing her arms over her chest.
“Keep that up and you won’t get either missy,” Alex said warningly. Lydia just poked her head out from where she had crawled into the fort.
“Can I have ice cream?” she asked sweetly. Jamie huffed, uncrossing her arms.
“Me too?” she added.
“Sure. You girls decide on a movie to watch and I’ll go set up the ice cream sundaes,” Maggie offered. Gertrude had finished sniffing the fort and was now settling on the floor between the kitchen and living room where she could see both. But Fish had decided he didn’t like the fort and stood there, barking at it as Jamie climbed inside.
“Fish, stooop,” Lydia whined from inside. The young dog tried to bite and pull at one of the blankets, causing both girls to yell. Alex came running in from the kitchen.
“Looks like it’s time for a walk,” she said softly, tugging gently on his collar until he released the blanket. Alex straightened up the fort and bid a quick farewell to the girls before digging into the bag to find Fish’s harness and leash. As soon as Gerty noticed this, she too started dancing around Alex’s feet wanting to go for a walk. Once she had her shoes on, Alex put on her hands-free running leash and clipped it to Gerty, carrying Fish’s leash, too.
“I’m taking both of them for a walk. I’ll be back soon, I have my phone,” Alex said to Maggie, kissing her goodbye.
“Love you, bye,” Maggie replied. She set out the two types of ice cream, bowls, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and some of her emergency M&M’s (a small treat since Lydia was here) before calling the girls in. Maggie scooped each girl their desired ice cream before setting them loose on the toppings (though she intervened to make sure Lydia didn’t put in more chocolate syrup than ice cream) She rolled their sleeves and tucked cloth napkin bibs into both of their shirts, despite their protests. Maggie scooped herself a small bowl of her vegan ice cream before following the girls and crawling into the fort.
“So, what movie are we watching?” Maggie asked, raising one eyebrow. She reached over and wiped a glob of ice cream off of Lydia’s forearm before it could drip onto her pajamas. Maggie wondered if maybe she should have waited until after the ice cream to give her a bath but it was too late now.
“ Harry Potter!” Jamie yelled at the same time Lydia yelled, “ Moana!” Maggie just waited a moment for them to sort it out themselves.
“No, Lyd, I wanted to do Harry Potter first, remember? Moana is second,” Jamie whispered. Lydia swallowed her ice cream before pouting.
“But I don’t wanna to watch that first, it’s scary.”
“Girls, we have to compromise or else I’m going to pick a movie,” Maggie warned them. She hoped that Jamie would concede and let Lydia pick since she was a guest and was young enough that she likely wouldn’t last all the way through two movies. She watched as the girls had a whispered argument before Jamie set her mouth and looked to Maggie.
“Ma, what show would you pick?” she sighed. Maggie shook her head, smiling affectionately.
“My favorite: Lilo and Stitch .”
“That! I wanna watch that!” Lydia giggled, squirming excitedly in her seat. Maggie smiled and shook her head, sensing the beginning of a sugar rush.
“Jamie?” Maggie asked, turning to her daughter and raising an eyebrow.
“That’s fine,” she said with a shrug, settling against a pillow so she was sitting more comfortably as she scraped her spoon against the bowl, trying to get the last bits of ice cream. Lydia, meanwhile, skipped the spoon altogether and was licking the bowl. Maggie set the move to play before taking away the dishes and putting them all in the kitchen. When she came back to clean Lydia’s face, she found the girl giggling under a pile of blankets and pillows. Maggie just smiled again, wiping her face and hands clean before heading out into the kitchen to do work.
“I love you,” Lena whispered, pulling Kara’s hand to her mouth to kiss her knuckles. They had finished dinner and were walking through the park, taking the long way to get to their car and enjoying the cool autumn night. Kara gave her a soft smile, pulling Lena closer and wrapping her arm around Lena’s shoulder, pulling her close enough to kiss her temple.
“I love you, moon of my life,” Kara whispered into her hair. Lena laughed loudly, disrupting the peaceful scene.
“Are you quoting Game of Thrones to try and seduce me?” she asked incredulously. As they passed under a streetlamp, Lena noticed Kara’s cheeks turning a light pink.
“Maybe. Is it working?” Lena smirked slyly at her fidgeting girlfriend. She paused, taking Kara’s hands and placing them on her waist. Lena then rests her arms on Kara’s shoulders and leans in. Kara tightens her grip on Lena’s waist, one hand going to rest on the small of her back, pulling their bodies flush together.
“I think it is, my sun and stars,” Lena whispered before leaning in to capture Kara’s lips with hers. They stood there for a minute under the light of the streetlamp, not caring who saw, as they held each other and kissed. When they pulled away, breathless and panting with ruddy cheeks and desire in their eyes, they both broke into grins. “Take me home, Kara.” Lena’s voice had dropped and octave and they picked up their pace as they cut through the grass to get to their car quicker, giggling as they tripped over each other, refusing to let each other go.
“Wanna watch another movie,” Lydia whined. But she was falling asleep as she spoke, having long crashed from the ice cream. “Not tired,” she lied as she stifled a yawn.
“I think you are, kiddo. Come on, the faster you go to sleep, the faster you get to see your Mama and Mommy,” Alex persuaded, scooping up the girl even as she squirmed. Immediately Fish got up and stretched, crawling out of the blanket fort where he had been sleeping since returning from his walk; apparently, his desire to be near Lydia and protect her outweighed his fear of the fort.
“You too, nena ,” Maggie said softly, holding out one hand to help Jamie up.
“Mama,” Jamie whined. “I’m not a little kid, I don’t need to go to bed.”
“If you want to go to your friend’s house tomorrow you do,” Jamie grumbled a little bit but accepted her Mama’s hand and held it the entire way to the bedroom. After she and Lydia both brushed her teeth, she crawled into bed but Lydia started to cry and held onto Alex tight.
“Want Mommy,” she whimpered sadly. “And Mama,” she added, sniffling. She was too tired for full-on sobs but distraught enough that tears were quickly slipping down her cheeks. Maggie quickly dialed Kara’s phone, knowing the couple was likely on their way home from the restaurant currently.
“Hello?” Lena answered, voice deeper than usual. Maggie chuckled lightly, shaking her head.
“Hey, Lena, I thought I called Kara?”
“She’s driving. Is something wrong?” Lena asked, growing nervous.
“Nothing’s wrong,” Maggie said quickly, assuring her. “Lydia just wanted to call and say goodnight. She misses you.”
“I’m gonna put her on speakerphone, put her on.” Maggie handed the phone to the little girl who had perked up as soon as she realized who Maggie was on the phone with. She sniffled a little as she cradled the phone to her face.
“Hi Mommy,” she said in a soft, shaky voice.
“Hi, baby girl. Mama’s here too. You’re up late!”
“Watched a movie. And had ice cream,” Lydia said sleepily, giving a great big yawn.
“Sounds like you’ve had a fun night! We want to hear all about it when we pick you up tomorrow morning, okay?” Lena said.
“You sound sleepy, sweetheart,” Kara added.
“No,” Lydia denied.
“Really? So if we asked Tia, she wouldn’t say you’re yawning and rubbing your eyes?” Lena teased. Lydia whined a little bit, kicking her feet.
“Shhh, baby, Mommy’s just teasing. But I think you’re very sleepy, even if you don’t want to go to bed. So why don’t you tell us why you don’t want to go to sleep yet. Are you scared?”
“A little,” Lydia admitted. “But Fishy is with me to ‘tect me. And Jamie and Gerty, too. But it’s dark and you’re not here.” She looked around nervously, worried Jamie or Maggie or Alex would be mad at her.
“Oh, Lydia, I bet if you ask, Maggie and Alex will check everywhere for monsters. And maybe they can put on a night light for you. And remember, if you wake up and you’re scared or you’ve had bad dreams, you go right to Alex or Maggie and wake them up. They won’t be mad, they just want to take care of you and help you feel better,” Lena assured her.
“Okay,” Lydia sighed, tugging the blanket and wrapping it in her fist.
“I think you should try and go to sleep now, honey? Can you do that?” Lena asked.
“Maggie and Alex will give you tight hugs for us, and Fish will give you big kisses, right?” Kara added. Lydia giggled then, already feeling Fish’s tongue licking at her blanket. “Good girl. Mama loves you.”
“Love you, Mama.”
“I love you, Lydia.”
“Love you, too, Mommy.”
“Have good dreams, sweetie. Goodnight, see you in the morning.”
“See you tomorrow, babe, love you. Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.”
“Night Mommy, Night Mama, love you. Bye,” Lydia said with a yawn. She stood up to give the phone back to Maggie, hugging her tightly around her legs. Maggie quickly knelt down to give the little girl a proper hug, knowing how tough it must be for the little girl. When Alex came in a moment later with a glass of water for Jamie and a sippy cup of water for Lydia (to prevent spills in the middle of the night), Lydia moved to hug her, too.
“Tia, Auntie, could you check the closet for monsters?” she asked quietly, burying her face in Alex’s neck.
“Of course we will. We can check under the beds, too, if you want?” Maggie offered. “I think we have some monster spray, too, to keep them away.” Jamie rolled her eyes a little, long since learning that Mama’s “monster spray” was really just a lavender scented mist to help her feel sleepy when she was a kid. But of course, she would never say that, especially to Lydia. Maggie held Lydia on her lap while Alex went around the room, making a big show of checking all possible hiding spots for monsters and generously spraying the room until everything smelled like lavenders and even Jamie was starting to get a little sleepy.
“Do you need us to leave the door cracked a little? Gertrude usually noses it open anyway when she wants to come check on Jamie at night. But we can make sure to leave the hall light on so it isn’t so dark in here,” Maggie said, rocking Lydia slightly. Lydia nodded sleepily. Maggie gave her one more hug before placing her back on the bed and tucking the blankets around her. Lydia curled into a ball, hugging Chewy tight.
“Ma, can I keep my reading light on for a little bit? I’m at a good part in the book,” Jamie asked, picking up the worn copy of the fourth Harry Potter book from her bedside table.
“As long as you don’t keep Lydia from falling asleep. Remember, she’s littler than you and needs to go to bed,” Maggie said softly, leaning over to kiss her daughter goodnight. Jamie nodded, leaning forward to kiss Alex goodnight.
“Goodnight girls, sweet dreams. We’ll see you in the morning,” Alex said.
“Good Night,” the girls called. When they left, Alex left the door cracked open and Jamie quickly turned on the lamp next to her bed, bathing the room in a soft light. Lydia shut her eyes tight and whimpered slightly, the bed feeling all wrong and not comfy like hers at home. Even when Fish curled up at her feet just like at home, she didn’t feel comfy enough.
“Hey, Lydia, do you want me to read out loud?” Jamie offered. “This isn’t a scary part of the book and I know stories used to help me fall asleep.” Lydia hesitated, biting her lip. Because Jamie was nice to her and Jamie was her cousin kind of and Jamie was her friend, too, kind of, but Jamie was also much bigger than Lydia. She was almost a grown-up and Lydia didn’t want to seem like a baby in front of her.
“Could- could I come up on your bed? Mama and Mommy always let me snuggle before bed,” she asked in a small voice, clutching Chewy to her chest, blanket in her fist. “I’ll leave as soon as you’re done! Promise!” she added nervously.
“Sure, come on up.” Jamie punctuated the statement by scooting over and holding up her comforter, waiting for Lydia to quickly hop up and wiggle into place, careful not to touch Jamie at all, holding Chewy under her chin, rubbing her eyes sleepily. “You can snuggle up. Get comfy, I won’t mind,” Jamie said honestly. She waited, book open and propped up slightly on her pillows but still comfortable enough that she was basically lying down. After a moment’s hesitation, Lydia scooted over until she was touching Jamie, squirming around until she made herself comfortable, her head resting just under Jamie’s armpit.
“How can you read this book? It’s got no pictures!” she exclaimed, looking at the book.
“You make the pictures in your head. You imagine ‘em. Now, shhh. Close your eyes so you can imagine it better,” Jamie said firmly, waiting until the younger girl’s eyes had closed before beginning to read. “ Chapter six: the Portkey.”
“What’s a portkey?” Lydia mumbled, giggling when Fish came over and licked her hand, settling so that he was sitting next to the bed right next to Lydia’s hand so that she could pet him from the bed.
“You’re gonna find out! Let me read,” Jamie admonished. She cleared her throat and began again. “Chapter six: the Portkey. Harry felt as though he had barely laid down to sleep in Ron’s room when he was being shaken awake by Mrs. Weasley.”
Lydia was asleep before she found out what a Portkey was. Jamie just let her sleep in bed with her, not wanting to wake her up. The next morning when Maggie went to wake them up for breakfast, Lydia and Jamie were curled up together, Fish was on the bed by their feet and Gertrude was sleeping on the floor next to them.