well acquainted with villains (that live in my head)
I don’t trust nobody, and nobody trusts me (I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams)
i don’t like your little games,
don’t like your tilted stage,
the role you made me play, of the fool
no, I don’t like you
I don’t like your perfect crime,
How you laugh when you lie,
You said the gun was mine, isn’t cool
No, I don’t like you
But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time,
Honey, I rose up from the dead,
I do it all the time,
I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined
The remote feels cool in her hand and maybe it’s petty, maybe it’s a mistake, but it feels like control. It feels like control in a situation that seems to lack even a sliver of it and it’s nothing, just a tiny piece of plastic with buttons and wires and it’s nothing except it’s also a closing door. It’s just a remote and it’s just a goddamn fucking balcony and it’s just the best friend she’s ever had and it’s nothing and it’s everything and its kryptonite in her vault and its secrets, so many secrets-
what do I do what do I do what do I do what do I d-
“Yes?” Lena looks away from absolutely nothing, since she’s been staring into only empty space for what seems like hours. Her secretary stands in the doorway, expression carefully blank, though Lena doesn’t miss the brief glance given to the remote still held in her hand. She places it on her desk and tries to forget that it exists.
“Miss Danvers left you another message,” Jess says carefully, her eyes focused intently on her touch screen. Lena feels the bones in her hands creak as she white knuckles the edge of her desk. “Agent Alex Danvers of the FBI. She is requesting a meeting for an update on your current project?”
“A meeting won’t be necessary,” Lena says firmly, though she forces a smile when Jess gazes back at her with barely concealed curiosity mixed with something like worry. “Call Agent Danvers and let her know that I am still working on it and that I will let her director know the moment that I make any progress.”
“That will be all, Jess,” Lena says, leaning back in her seat and producing the warmest smile she can manage, considering the way her heart feels shrivelled and cold in her chest. “Go home and enjoy your weekend, would you? That’s an order by the way, not an offer, in case you were wondering.”
“Yes, Miss Luthor,” Jess replies with a smile of her own as she closes the door behind herself, though Lena won’t be surprised if her secretary is still sitting at her desk long after midnight. Loyal little thing that she is.
And they say loyalty is dead, Lena thinks, even as her eyes return to that tiny little remote, sitting in the centre of her desk. The remote that may as well be a ticking bomb, a bomb in the form of a big fuck you. Reaching into the top drawer of her desk, Lena pulls out a pair of plain black rimmed glasses, with one lens cracked. She ignores the way her fingers shake as she places them down beside the remote and fuck, they’re just a pair of glasses, they don’t even have a prescription and how in the hell was she so damn stupid-
“You don’t like secrets.”
“Nope, I don’t.”
“Good. What’s your real name?”
Kara, she thinks. Kara, Kara, Kara.
three days earlier
It’s strange, Lena will think later, how one small action, like going out for dinner with your best friend, can have such damning consequences.
It only takes one moment, one tiny pebble thrown into the previously calm lake that is your life to cause a ripple and what follows is a chain reaction of just utter shit. Like how getting the wrong coffee order can cause you to lose your temper in an important meeting or how failing to check your review mirror can result in a four-car pileup with multiple casualties. Or for instance, how getting mugged can lead you to discovering superhero identities which brings you to the inevitable outcome of contemplating the pros and cons of burning down the entire fucking world.
The last one might just be a Luthor thing, but Lena doesn’t really care about the slowly crumbling precipice between good and evil that she’s been standing on right now. Lena is nothing if not self-aware and she doesn’t believe in doing anything half assed, even world domination.
When you live in National City, you’re always at risk, especially with your last name being Luthor. There are aliens and secret corporations and Supers flying in and out of your life on a regular basis; it almost makes you forget that you still live in a country that lacks proper gun control. So, when Lena’s walking down the street, arm in arm with Kara Danvers, appreciating the way the city lights reflect off her best friend’s glasses, she is admittedly blindsided by the gun that is suddenly being pushed into her face.
“Give me your money,” the man snaps at them, face half hidden beneath the hood of his jacket. His hand holding the gun is quivering with nerves and well, that makes Lena nervous. It’s one thing to have a gun pointed at you, it’s another thing entirely to know the man holding it is not in complete control of his emotions. It’s also, bizarrely, something of a relief. She’s gone through so much recently that it’s almost nice to be just getting mugged, rather than some inane assassination attempt or the like. “Now, bitch.”
Lena moves as slowly as she can, trying to keep calm whilst holding eye contact with the man as his finger shakes dangerously on the trigger. She is overwhelmingly aware of Kara standing by her side, the blonde’s entire body tensed in what Lena can only assume is fear and Lena’s heart thumps rapidly in her chest in response to her best friend’s distress. Guilt hits her like a sharp right hook for pulling Kara into a situation like this, despite the fact that Lena could not have foreseen getting mugged of all things, but still. The thought hardens her somewhat and she pulls her purse off her shoulder and holds it out in front of her with fingers that don’t tremble even the slightest. “Here. Take it and go.”
In the distance, a police siren wails, and Lena watches as the man in front of her panics in response. The moment seems to last a lifetime, as Lena sees his dark eyes widen beneath his hood and his body go rigid with fear and shock. The siren appears to be going in the opposite direction but her would be mugger’s brain reacts on instinct and all Lena can do is close her eyes and think-
“Shit,” the man spits her exact thoughts, his finger trembling on the trigger more than ever and then he shoots her.
Or well, he would have shot her, right in the chest had Kara not stepped in front of her so quickly. It doesn’t even seem to be a conscious decision on Kara’s part, the easy way she slides in front of Lena as the gun goes off. The bang echoes in her ears and Lena drops her purse in pure reaction, unable to do anything but stare wide eyed over Kara’s shoulder as her would be killer disappears into the night.
(Lena can almost hear the splash as that tiny pebble hits the water’s surface.)
Time seems to stop then for Lena, the world put graciously on hold so that she can feel the intense anguish of every single second as her best friend turns around to face her. Kara’s blue eyes are wide behind her glasses, her jaw tight and Lena feels as if her heart literally stops beating when she looks down at the small hole in the centre of her best friend’s shirt. Beneath the fabric of Kara’s light blue button down, all Lena can see is red and that’s what sends her world kicking back into overdrive.
“Kara,” the name sounds as if it’s being ripped from her chest, all heart rendering agony. She surges forward on instinct to press her hand over the wound and Lena doesn’t even notice how her best friend’s body tenses as she fumbles in her pocket for her phone to call an ambulance because Kara just took a bullet for her. Kara Danvers, the best friend she’s ever had, just took a bullet for her like it was nothing and Lena has never felt fear like this before. Lena has experienced pain and she has experienced trauma, but nothing could have prepared her for how her heart is about to beat straight out of her chest at the thought of losing Kara.
Because there is no world in which Lena Luthor exists and Kara Danvers doesn’t. Lena doesn’t even want to think about it, can’t even begin to comprehend it, a world where sweet, kind Kara dies and Lena lives. Especially since the bullet was intended for her and oh god kara was going to die because of her, kara took a bullet for her and lena can’t live knowing that her best friend died because of-
“Lena.” Kara’s whisper of her name pulls Lena back to the moment, her voice shaky as her hand comes up to wrap around the one Lena has pressed against her chest. Lena looks up into the blonde’s eyes to find them wide and filled with what she can only assume is shock. She looks terrified and Lena is falling apart.
“You’re going to be fine,” Lena assures her, her voice firm despite the way her hand is shaking terribly as she attempts to unlock her phone. “Everything’s going to be okay, Kara, I promise.”
Lena dials 911 and glances down at where her hand is pressed against Kara’s chest and there’s a small part of her brain which is confused, because, where is all the blood? Lena has seen people get shot before, Lena has shot someone before, and there was always so much blood. Kara was shot in the chest from point blank range and honestly, she should probably be dead already but she’s still standing in front of her like she’s fine, like it was nothing, just like-
-A distant memory surfaces in her mind, of raining bullets and two aliens with bulletproof chests and her helicopter almost crashing and you’re going to be okay-
“Lena.” Kara whispers again, so quietly that Lena can barely hear her. “Lena, I- I’m okay.”
Lena almost wants to snap at her, you’re not okay, you were just shot, but she can’t say anything when Kara’s fingers are wrapped so tightly around her hand, pressing Lena’s palm against her chest where Lena can feel Kara’s heart pounding furiously. Kara’s words slowly begin to register in her brain and the feeling of her heart beat against Lena’s hand is both confusing and reassuring. Kara’s grip on her is so tight that is almost hurts and it only gets tighter when Lena slowly pulls her hand away to look at the hole in her shirt, phone forgotten in her other hand.
And no, Lena’s eyes aren’t playing tricks on her, it’s definitely red beneath where her hand had been pressed, but the colour isn’t spreading like it should be. Lena has a goddamn PhD and she knows her biology and there is an average of five litres of blood in a human body and Kara should have bled out by now but-
Kara isn’t bleeding. Kara was shot but she isn’t bleeding at all.
A bulletproof vest, Lena’s brain supplies suddenly with a shudder of overwhelming relief, or some other kind of material worn beneath her clothes at her overprotective sister’s insistence. It’s not so strange, considering her sister works for the DEO and Kara is friends with Supergirl. It makes sense that she would take precautions, considering they live in such a dangerous city and Kara’s job sometimes took her into hazardous situations.
Lena feels a relieved smile start to spread across her lips as the tension leaves her body, the fear melting away as she slumps forward to press her forehead against Kara’s sternum. She opens her eyes to look down at the hole in Kara’s shirt and her curiosity gets the best of her. She pulls back slightly, dimly aware of Kara’s stuttered intake of breath as Lena pops the top button of her shirt and in any other moment, Lena might feel awkward about this situation, but right now she feels almost giddy with relief. Smooth fabric brushes against her fingertips from underneath the opening of Kara’s shirt and Lena’s scientist brain comes alive at what kind of DEO certified material she’s about to see.
“Lena, I- I can explain,” Kara is still whispering, though her fingers have released Lena’s hand now, only to grip onto her wrist. Lena glances up at her friend with a confused smile as she pops the second button on her shirt, about to reassure Kara that she’s simply thankful her friend is okay, and of course, that’s when she sees it.
That damning hint of blue.
Lena’s brain promptly short circuits.
Later, Lena will remember each and every second of this moment with crystal clear precision. She will pull this moment apart in her head with cold rationality and she will go over it a hundred thousand times, look at it from a million different angles. She will catalogue every second of it in her brain, every emotion that she felt, the feeling Kara’s heart beating rapidly against her hand and the way the world seemed to fall out from under her feet.
But right now, all Lena can think is: No.
Not you. Not Kara.
Because there is no fucking way that Kara Danvers, her best friend, is Supergirl.
“This is a joke,” Lena’s mouth supplies flatly, without her permission, as she stares blankly at the blue and red uniform spread over Kara’s chest. Her heart is slamming against her ribcage and looking up at Kara’s face takes every ounce of control that Lena has left in her body and god, the way her friend’s face is crumbling before her is damning. Lena doesn’t know what she had been hoping for, a complete dismissal of the evidence in front of her or at least a reassuring smile that says yes, this is just a sick, cruel joke, but it’s not what she gets. Lena feels numb as her fingers fall away from Kara’s shirt, where the top of Supergirl’s crest is now just visible. She feels numb and she feels cold and no, this can’t be happening, there must be some other explanation- and fuck, she feels so fucking stupid, so stupid, as she looks up at Kara’s blue eyes that are filling with tears behind her glasses.
“Lena,” Kara manages to choke out, and god, she looks so wrecked as Lena lifts her hands up before her best friend’s face, because she just has to see, she has to make sure. “Lena, p-please. I wanted to tell you, I was going to tell you-”
With a gentleness Lena wasn’t sure she was capable of in this moment, she removes Kara’s glasses and oh. She’s been such a fool.
-she’s not aware of the way the right lens of Kara’s glasses crack beneath her thumb, she isn’t aware of anything except the way her heart is ripping itself to shreds in her chest-
And really, it shouldn’t be so surprising, but it is. Lena feels so blindsided to see Supergirl’s face in front of her where Kara Danvers was standing only seconds ago and really, that’s the worst part, the surprise. The realization that she didn’t know, couldn’t tell that her best friend and the Super she’d spent the last two years so entangled with were the same person.
Two separate people who had believed in her with such determination, that really should have been the first clue. It makes sense that they were one and the same, because, two people who were so good, believing in a Luthor. What were the odds?
Except, Supergirl had come to her senses, which meant that Kara had too.
(and later, when she’s thinking this through, that’s the part that hurts the most. Not the betrayal or the lies or her own stupidity. She can understand why Kara would keep this from her, at least in the beginning. Lena understands the need for secrets, she has secrets too. What hurts the most is that for a moment, the most important person in her life, the one person who has had her back and who Lena trusted with everything, doubted her and she didn’t even know it.)
(that’s not a great question for a Luthor to ask someone in my family)
Both Kara’s hands are wrapped around her wrists now, holding so tightly that Lena can feel her bones grinding together and she’s sure that it hurts, sure that there are synapses somewhere is her brain sparking and sending messages, but Lena doesn’t feel it. Lena doesn’t feel anything as she stares at Kara’s lips that are still moving, bare inches away from her face, but Lena can’t hear that either. All Lena can hear are all the lies Kara has ever told her and suddenly, Lena can understand why her brother went fucking insane.
-now you have someone who will stand up for you always I’ll always protect you I promise kara danvers believes in you that’s what friends are for-
-I thought I knew everything but you have secrets that changes things-
“-if you could please just come with me, to my apartment or wherever, I’ll explain everything, I promise. Lena, please, I,”
“I’m not going anywhere with you.” Lena snarls, finally wrenching her arms away from Kara’s grip and a very small part of Lena’s brain, that somehow still exists, is saying that Kara would never hurt her, not on purpose, but she knows there will be bruises on her wrists tomorrow from the blonde’s tight hold. She takes one last look at Kara’s eyes, bright and sad underneath the city lights, and manages to harden her resolve enough for her next words to leave her lips. “Stay away from me.”
Pressing her hand against her chest, as if it will stop all her insides from spilling out onto the sidewalk, Lena turns and walks away.
So lost in her thoughts, Lena is only barely conscious of the familiar sound of boots landing on her balcony. Her gaze is focused on the glasses sitting innocently in the middle of her desk, a reminder of every single moment of her complete and utter stupidity since setting foot in National City. She thinks of everything she has lost and everything she has done and how it all has somehow led her to this moment.
..loss does strange things to my family and I have lost a lot of people. I think when I feel things again i’m going to be very, very afraid of the person I might be..
When she finally looks up, she in unsurprised to see Supergirl standing on the other side of the glass, blue eyes intent on her face. Kara looks about as wrecked as Lena feels but Lena is careful to keep those emotions hidden inside as she holds the stare of the woman -alien- she once considered her best friend. She doesn’t break the stare as her hand reaches out to grasp the remote in the middle of her desk, fingertips brushing briefly against those fucking glasses.
-and it’s just a balcony and it’s just the best friend she’s ever had and its secrets, so many secrets and it’s her heart broken beyond repair because she loved her, she loves her, but love makes you do crazy things and it’s everything and it’s nothing and-
Lena presses the button on the remote and the reflector scatter field shimmers across her balcony, blocking Supergirl from view.
And maybe it’s a mistake, maybe it’s petty, but Lena hears Kara’s pained gasp from the opposite side of the forcefield and all she can think is I still have that kryptonite in my vault.
The world moves on
Another day, another drama, drama
But not for me, not for me
All I think about is karma,
And then the world moves on
But one thing’s for sure
Maybe I got mine,
But you’ll all get yours