The news plays the footage of Supergirl crumpled onto the pavement on a loop. Each station guessing at who could be the men and women dressed in black hauling her away. Lena knew who the one was. Agent Alex Danvers, practically in tears as she began to administer CPR to the unresponsive Super. Lena remembered the fear that coursed through her as James held her back. She remembered watching the woman who defeated Supergirl fly away into the night. James had stayed with Lena until her driver arrived to take her home. Then early the next morning she decided to go to L-Corp to check on Sam. That's where she was now, watching the looping news feed in her office, in Sam’s office. Neither of them could believe something like this could happen. Lena had met Supergirl, she was sunny and kind, but with a ferocity and power that poured out of her, that made you feel safe.
Lena checked her phone again. She was supposed to meet Kara for lunch at CatCo but she never responded. Normally on these days Lena woke up to texts filled with emoticons that Lena had to decipher. Worry nagged at the back of Lena’s mind as she finished signing the papers that Sam needed her to. Lena checked her phone again.
“Is something wrong Lena?” Sam asks.
“I don’t know. Kara never responded to my text, in fact, she hasn’t texted me since yesterday.” Worry creases Sam’s brow.
“That is odd. Kara usually responds immediately to me.” Sam says.
“You and Kara text?” Lena had no idea they were so close.
“Not often. Mostly when she wants us both to hang out with her. I swear, I would never do anything fun without Kara’s persistent texting to make plans.” Lena laughs.
“Oh you and me both. Well, I am supposed to meet her for Lunch at CatCo. She is probably just caught up in some story she is writing or something.”
“Could be. I’ll talk to you later?” Sam asks.
“Of course.” Lena gives the tall women a quick hug before leaving, Kara’s hugging was starting effect Lena’s other relationships too.
“Jimmy? Where is Kara?” Lena asks as she distractedly reads from her tablet while walking into his office.
“Oh… ahhh… Kara called in sick. Something about the flu, I think.” his voice sounds weird, thick almost, so Lena looks up.
“Is everything alright Jimmy?” Lena asks. His eyes look slightly watery and bags are under his eyes. He clears his throat before responding.
“Yes, just… allergies I think. I took some medication but I don’t think it’s working yet.”
“If you say so,” Lena says skeptically.
“Will you have next month’s cover sent to me? I have some ideas but I want to see the layout first.” Lena decides to move past this awkward interaction.
“Of course, Ms. Luthor.” Jimmy says.
“Jimmy, we’ve been over this. It's Lena.” He gives her a sad smile.
“Of course, Lena.”
Lena leaves to start walking around the floor, disappointed by Kara being sick. It made sense then why she might not be texting her, but still something nagged at the back of her mind. Something that said there was more to this. Lena tried to shake the odd feeling and focus on her work. Learning the ends and outs of CatCo was frustrating and thrilling, like trying to solve a new problem. Lena lost herself in her work and lost track of time.
Suddenly her stomach growled and she looked up. The floor was empty, the sun was long ago set and stars had taken its place. Lena looked at the clock and saw it was almost eight. She checked her phone again. Still nothing. Over twenty-four hours since Kara had last texted her. Now she knew something was wrong.
First Lena called her driver to pick her up. Then she called Noonan’s to have a bowl of chicken noodle soup and a caesar salad ready to go. When she had picked up her food, she told the driver to take her to Kara’s apartment. The drive was long as the soup heated her lap, scenarios of why Kara would not text her kept playing themselves out in Lena’s mind.
The ride up in the elevator was almost torture. Lena hesitated outside Kara’s door. If Kara was really sick she may not want to see anyone, or she may be asleep. Then she heard someone moving around inside. Lena raised her hand and knocked three quick and sure raps against the door. There was a pause in the movements happening inside, then loud footsteps coming closer. Lena was sure that they were much too heavy to be Kara. The door is opened slowly, and there stands Agent Danvers.
Her eyes were bloodshot, she still wore her black uniform, but it was wrinkled and looked like it was stained darker in some places. Agent Danvers’ cheeks looked hollow and dark shadows had formed under her eyes.
“Ms. Luthor,” she said with a voice that tried to be surprised but was almost too tired to be.
“Agent Danvers. I...I brought Kara some soup. Jimmy said she was sick. I thought it might help.” Lena held the Noonan’s bag up in front of her as proof. Dread seemed to cross the Agent's face at the mention of her sister’s name.
“She didn’t tell you.” the Agent says softly.
“Tell me what? Is something wrong? Kara won’t answer her phone.”
“I’m sorry, she told me she was going to tell you and then everything happened and, oh Kara wanted to be the one to tell you.” Panic was rising in Lena’s chest at whatever the elder Danvers was trying to avoid saying.
“Agent Danvers. Tell me what is wrong with Kara.” Lena says sternly, pulling out her boardroom voice.
Alex seems to unconsciously look both ways in the hall, then she grabs Lena’s free hand and pulls her into Kara’s apartment. She drops Lena’s hand to shut the door and moves toward the couch where a small overnight bag rests. She begins gathering things, a book, some pictures, a blanket, all things you would take to a hospital for someone. Fear grips Lena’s heart tighter.
“Lena, there is no good way to tell you this. I am exhausted emotionally and physically. Please try not to overreact. Kara was going to tell you. She wanted to tell you. I know you two are close but she just got clearance to tell you...”
“Agent, you are rambling.” Lena interrupts, trying to get her to get to the point. Agent Danvers zips the bag closed and slings it over her shoulder. She moves to stand in front of Lena again. Looking directly into her eyes.
“Lena, Kara is Supergirl.”
Silence fills the room after that heavy sentence. Lena’s mind struggles to make sense of the words. She begins to replay every moment from the most recent to the first moment she met Kara. Supergirl rescuing her from the plane. Kara promising to always to protect her. Supergirl saying Kara believed in her. Kara bringing her doughnuts. Supergirl having coffee with Kara before saving Lena from falling to her death. The Agent was saying something but Lena couldn’t hear it. There was a tugging at her hand again. Kara missing Supergirl at the Gala by mere seconds. Countless lunch dates and after work drinks, The lunch sitting on CatCo’s terrace when Lena realized she was in love with her best friend and she would tell her anything just to see that smile. Text message after text message, every single one as sunny as the last. Until finally, the day Kara Danvers and Clark Kent walked into her office after the Venture explosion.
“Clark Kent is Superman.” is all Lena hears herself say before snapping back to the present. She is in the passenger seat of a car. A black standard government SUV of some kind.
“And there she is. Putting that IQ to good use I see.” Comes a sarcastic reply from beside her in the driver's seat.
“I asked you not to freak out. I mean you got scarily quite so not the freak out I thought but now we are almost there.” Agent Danvers says.
“Almost where?” Lena asks, trying to pinpoint where they are from the buildings around them, she thinks not too far from L-Corp.
“The Department of Extranormal Operations. I don’t want to be away from my sister and I couldn’t just leave you. Besides, you have clearance now.” The agent's voice sounds like she is trying to joke, but it is too hollow for that.
“The Depar…” Lena’s brain was still trying to play catch up.
“The DEO for short. Dealing with all things Alien.”
“Not FBI?” Lena points to the Agent.
“Not FBI.” She confirms.
Suddenly the images from the news begin to flash before Lena’s eyes. Also what she saw of the fight herself from behind Jimmy’s protective arm. Jimmy, he was crying this morning. Lena Brings a hand up to her mouth as she fights her own urge to cry. Of course he knew who Kara was, he was one of her best friends. Kara. She tries to compare Kara’s sunny laugh to the blackened and bleeding face she had seen on the pavement.
“Oh God. Kara.” tears start to fall silently.
“I know.” comes the soft voice next to her.
Agent Danvers pulls into a underground parking of some sorts and is waved through by a man in a booth who has a large rifle slung over his shoulder. Along the tunnel are even more armed men. While she drives slowly, Agent Danvers pulls down her visor and grabs an id badge of some kind and hands it to Lena. she takes it and looks down, Its says visitor with a symbol she had never seen before but was definitely one of a government sector.
“Put that on. I’ll have Winn make you your own before you leave.” The agent parks among rows of identical vehicles and gets out, Lena numbly follows her lead as tears silently streak her face.
As the pair walk towards an elevator, Lena wipes away the tears that have tracked down her face and wills herself to stop crying. She puts a blank expression on her face, trying to shut down the overwhelming emotions. Once inside the elevator, Lena finally finds her voice again.
“She really wanted to tell me?” Lena asks softly.
“Ever since your mother took you. She has begged me a J’onn to let her almost every day. Eventually, she told us it was her secret to tell and that we couldn’t stop her. That’s when J’onn handed her the NDA’s to have you sign. That was… three days ago?” The elevator was moving rapidly upwards. Lena studied the buttons and was surprised at how many floors there were, they were headed to one of the highest floors.
“John?” Is all Lena can ask why she processes that.
“You are going to have a lot of questions that I do not have the energy for.” Agent Danvers closes her eyes and puts her hand to her forehead.
“Right, sorry.” Silence falls in the elevator and makes the air feel heavy,
“Kara is not good. She… just be prepared.” Lena intakes a sharp breath and nods, not trusting her voice again.
When the doors open again, all heads turn to them. Men and women, dressed in black, stop what they are doing and stare at the CEO and Agent exiting the elevator. One man stands with his arms crossed and glares at the pair as they exit the elevator.
“Agent Danvers. What do you think you are doing?”
“Not now J’onn. She is Kara’s friend. You promised her clearance. She is here. Give her clearance.” Alex brushes past the man, clearly not ready to deal with whatever lecture he planned. The man studies Lena heavily before speaking.
“Ms. Luthor. Follow Alex. Stay in the room until you have filled out the proper paperwork.”
Lena was not prepared for this tonight. Her head hurt from all the new information that was too much and too little at the same time. She followed behind the much taller Danvers who strode quickly through the bustling room. Lena thought she caught sight of Winn behind a computer, frantically typing away at a keyboard. Alex stood, holding a door open as she waited for Lena. Lena entered a room that looked like a high tech med bay.
Lena gasps. In the center of the room is a tall tank. Floating in the tank is Supergirl. Kara. Wounds still pepper her black and blue body. She seems to be suspended in a liquid that is definitely not water. Electrodes and wires cover her extremities and head. Faces turn towards Lena at the sound. Lena starts to take in the other faces in the room. Jimmy stands, half turned towards the window he was just looking out, A dark-haired woman stands next to… Mon-El. Lena is confused about seeing the man who Kara was dating and then basically banished, with his arm around someone else. Someone sits cross-legged in front of the tank, they did not turn when she came in. Lena swears the skin she can see is blue.
“Lena,” Jimmy says, shocked.
Lena ignores him and walks toward the tank. Even like this, Kara looks pained.
“Alex, what were you thinking?” Lena hears Jimmy exclaim behind her.
“Kara was going to tell her. She deserves to know, Lena is Kara’s friend too.”
Lena’s eyes don’t leave Kara’s face as she tunes out the rest of their argument. Everything was making sense now. I flew here… on a bus.
“Why is she in there?” Lena asks quietly.
“Kara is… well… she's trapped in her own mind. Her body is trying to heal but to do that she had to retreat into herself. Brainiac here is trying to reach her. But she’s fighting him.” Agent Danvers says behind her.
Lena turns to look at the man. She manages to hide her shock at the blue skin and bleach blond hair. Most concerning were the three glowing dots on his forehead. He was definitely an alien. His eyes were closed like he was in a trance, he seemed to be mumbling under his breath.
“Trapped. In her own mind. Oh, Kara…” Lena’s hand trembles as she reaches out to touch the cold glass.
Suddenly she isn’t in the medical room anymore. She’s in Kara’s apartment. The man who was on the floor is now standing in the center of the kitchen talking to Kara who looks frantic, terrified.
“No, I don’t know who you are!” Kara cries out.
“Supergirl, please! We need you to come with me. This isn’t real!” Lena could almost hear the desperation in the man’s voice but it stayed fairly level, almost automated.
Kara’s eyes dart around the room, looking for a way out. Then she seems to finally see Lena. Panic mixes with joy and something else Lena cannot quite register.
“Lena! How did you get here? I can explain.”
Oh, god. She thinks this is real . Lena realizes. She also realizes that somehow she is inside Kara’s head with this man that Kara has no idea who he is. Lena walks towards the frightened hero. How could she not have seen that her best friend was National City’s hero? All it was was a pair of glasses and a cardigan.
“Kara.” Lena reaches out and takes the blonde’s hands.
“Kara listen to me. This is not real.” A confused look crosses her face.
“Your sister told me. I know. I know you are Supergirl.” At that Kara jerks her hands back.
“You aren't Lena! Alex wouldn't do that to me!” Kara yells as she backs away.
“No, you aren’t Lena.” Kara tries the front door handle behind her but it doesn't budge. She tries again with the same result. Suddenly she punches it, Lena practically feels the vibrations that shake the room, but nothing moves.
“Supergirl. Let me show you the way out.” Brainiac offers her his hand again.
Kara ignores it and speeds to the balcony doors, trying again. She tries every possible exit, even disappearing into her room before reappearing in front of them.
“Kara, please. Clam down. Brainiac is only trying to help.” Lena tries.
“Brainiac Five.” He corrects.
“Pardon?” Lena asks.
“Brainiac was my great-great-grandfather. One of Superman’s worst foes. Do not call me by his name.”
“I am sorry. I am a bit overwhelmed with new information at the moment. I don’t even know how I got here.” Lena tries for a half-hearted laugh.
Kara is looking between the two of them.
“How do you do that? You sound just like her.” Kara asks.
“Because I am Lena. Kara, darling, please trust me. Your sister told me because you won’t wake up. She even said you would be mad because you didn’t get to. But I was freaking out, you haven't responded to my texts you missed our lunch, and you disappeared.”
Kara hesitates before stepping forward again and taking Lena’s hands.
“I want to believe you. You smell like Lena. Your heartbeat… you sound like Lena.
“My heartbeat?” Kara laughs.
“Yeah, I can hear it.”
“You listen to my heartbeat?” Lena swallows hard.
“All the time. It calms me down sometimes when I get mad at work, or need to sleep.”
“Kara, it is me. Trust me.”
“Why should I? You just appeared in my apartment.” Kara practically snaps. The next words are out of Lena’s mouth before she can even think about stopping them.
“Because I love you!” She practically yells.
“I love you too,” Kara says almost too softly for Lena to hear.
“No Kara, I am in love with you.”
Kara’s jaw works to form words that don’t come out.
“I need you to wake up! I can’t lose my best friend. Just take his hand. Please.” Lena can hear the desperation seeping into her voice.
Kara hesitates but then grabs Brainiac Five’s outstretched hand and then he grabs Lena’s.
Suddenly she is standing in front of the tank again, her eyes open just in time to meet Kara’s through the glass. Lena can hear Jimmy and Alex arguing behind her, even Mon-El has joined. But none of that matters. The liquid seems to drain out of the tank. The noise bringing the angry voices to a stop.
“Kara!” Alex cries out, rushing to open the odd contraption.
Brainiac Five stands behind Lena now and rests a hand on her shoulder.
“Thank you. I couldn’t get through to her. Her mind has been in a near constant state of panic. But seeing you, it calmed her down.” Lena feels herself nod.
Alex finally gets the glass to slide away and Kara falls into the Agent’s arms. Jimmy is not far behind her to help fist the girl of steel onto the hospital bed in the room.Kara is soaked from whatever liquid she was in, A back corner of Lena’s mind trying to figure out what it actually was.
“We need clean clothes and sun lamps. Have them set up a bed for her under them.” Alex directs towards Mon-El.
“Not now. Go.” Alex puts every once of authority she has left in her voice.
Kara’s eyes are fluttering closed as she fights to remain conscious.
“Alex… Lena…” she tries to say.
“We are both here. You need sun and sleep. We will be here when you wake up.” Agent Danvers tries to reassure her sister. That seems to nullify the superhero because she lets her eyelids droop closed and her head settles onto the pillow.
Alex releases the locks on the bed's wheels and motions to Lena to help her guide the bed out the door. They go to another room that is more like a hospital room but with bright lights hanging above the bed.
“Help me change her clothes, when she's asleep she really does feel like the girl of steel.” Alex nods to the sweats and t-shirt both emblazoned with the DEO logo. Lena feels her cheeks heat with a blush.
They both move to quickly remove the super suit, Lena mostly standing behind to help keep Kara propped up. Lena averts her eyes from the sickly dark splotches that seem to cover most of Kara’s skin.
“What did you do? I mean you just touched the glass and then suddenly Kara was awake.”
“I… I don’t know. It seemed longer than that. I was… I think I was in her head with that Brainiac guy. She kept saying I wasn’t the real Lena, that You wouldn’t tell me her secret and that I must be lying. She was panicking I think. I had to convince her it was me so she would let Brainiac Five help her.” Alex motions for Lena to help her move kara to the new bed under the lamps. Its almost motherly how Agent Danvers tucks Kara under the sheets and lays her head on the pillow.
“How did you convince her?”
Lena doesn't respond. She moves to sit on the small, uncomfortable, couch next to the bed. The vinyl is cracked and for some reason it almost makes Lena laugh. A secret government agency couldn’t even spring for more comfortable places to sit. Or at least new ones apparently. Lena rests her head in her hands and takes a deep breath.
“I...I told her…”
“Its okay, you don’t have to tell me.” Alex sits down next to Lena, almost moving to take her hand but thinking better of it.
“I told her that I loved her.”
“Well, Kara loves you too. I am sure you know that.” Lena laughs.
“You two really are sisters. No, I told her that I am in love with her. I have been, for a long time.” Agent Danvers falls silent. This time she does reach out and put a hand on Lena’s back.
“I know how hard that leap is. Trust me. I can’t tell you what Kara feels. She did just lose Mon-El and then he shows back up, through a very complicated time travel thing, and is married. She is hurting so much right now, emotionally and physically. I know Kara though, even if she doesn't feel the same, you will never lose her friendship. You are stuck with her, for life.”
“Thank you, Agent…”
“Alex. Just Call me Alex.”
“Alex then. Thank you. Now, what is this about time travel?” Alex laughs at Lena’s question.
“So you find out the identities of both Supers and that there is a non-existent Government Agency located in National City, and your first question is about your best friend’s, and someone you have romantic feelings for, ex-boyfriend?”
“My question is about time travel. I may be a CEO but science is my passion.”
“Well, we don’t know too much about that. But how about, now that my sister looks like she is going to live, I answer what I can for you.”
They talk for a long time. Lena sees the sunrise through the windows and every once and awhile a doctor comes in to check on Kara. Lena’s eyelids start to get heavy and she sees Alex sinking lower and lower into the suddenly comfortable couch. Somewhere in the middle of a sentence that neither of them can recall, they both fall asleep.
Lena wakes to the brightness of Late afternoon, only made brighter by the lamps above her head. She is disoriented for a moment while she takes in her strange surroundings. Then she remembers everything and looks to the sleeping blonde in the bed in front of her to make sure everything is still okay. Mon-El is standing at the foot of Kara’s bed watching her. He turns to Lena when he hears her stir.
“Mon-El?” she asks, still a little confused.
“I was hoping you would wake up soon. I wanted to thank you.”
“Thank me?” she asks, trying to rub the sleep from her eyes. Mon-El takes a step closer and has a very serious expression.
“I don’t know how much you know, but when I left here I was sent to the future.”
“The wormhole.” Lena nods, remembering what Alex had told her.
“Right. Your company, L-Corp. Saved my life. The people there found a serum for me against the lead poisoning in Earth’s atmosphere. You saved my life, with your legacy. So thank you.”
Lena was a bit taken aback. She hadn’t known Mon-El very long. In fact, most the time she had just known him as Mike. But the man standing in front of her was nothing like the man she had been kidnapped with.
“You are welcome.” With a nod, the man leaves. Lena sees his wife standing outside the door waiting for him. She couldn’t imagine how that must have felt for Kara. She knew it hurt her when she saw Kara with Mike, but they were in love just a few short months ago, now he was married to someone else.
“Lena?” comes a quiet voice from the bed. Lena jumps to her feet and rushes to Kara’s head.
“I’m here darling.” A small smile plays at the corner of Kara’s mouth. Kara’s blue eyes piece into hers focused solely on Lena.
“So Alex really did tell you.”
“Yes. I went to your apartment when you wouldn’t answer your phone. She was there and didn’t want to leave me worrying about my best friend.” Lena grabs Kara’s hand as she sees it searching for hers.
“I wanted to tell you. I wanted…”
“Shhh, it's okay. Alex told me you did.”
“I just… You were the only person that Kara had for herself. That didn’t expect Kara to be perfect, to be super. I didn’t want to ruin that.”
“Never. You could never. I just hope that I didn’t ruin it.” Lena says softly. Kara reaches up to rest her free hand on Lena’s cheek.
“Never, Lena. I… Lately, I have been feeling like there is something more here. I was just so wrapped up in my own drama that I was trying to not let myself feel.”
“Kara you don’t have to say anything to make me feel better. I love our friendship. And I am okay with that.”
“I’m not Lena. It’s like, Rao, how do I put this? It's like Alex is my yellow sun. Giving me power and strength. Mon-El, he was my kryptonite. Dangerous but appealing. He weakened me and I let him because I thought he was all I could have. But Lena, You are like the red sun of Krypton. You make me feel normal, you make me feel at home. You are someone that I think I can fall in love with, just give me time to heal.”
Lena tries to swallow past the lump in her throat and blink away the tears blurring her vision. Kara wanted to try. She wanted to see a future with Lena. That is more than Lena had ever hoped for.
“As much time as you need.”