Lena tossed her pen down on the desk in defeat, opting instead to bury her face in her hands as she let out a long, slow exhale. Her brain was pounding against the inside of her skull and she felt slightly nauseous after not having eaten since lunch almost twelve hours previously. She hadn’t moved from behind her desk since she had taken a quick bathroom break a few hours ago and she knew that she really ought to be heading home to her apartment soon, but she struggled to see the point. It wasn’t like she was sleeping anyway, or rather, she wasn’t sleeping very well. Her dreams were plagued with images of the last few weeks playing on repeat. She would wake up drenched in sweat, having to resist the urge to call and check on Sam in the middle of the night to make sure that she was actually alright and not laying dead in some other realm like her dreams had led her to believe. The only upside to the whole thing was that Lena didn’t have to see Supergirl anymore, she could return to her regular life with her regular friends and, assuming there were no more attempts on her life, she wouldn’t have to see the caped hero again any time soon.
Lena knew that the whole thing was beginning to have more of an effect on her than she wanted to acknowledge, while she had managed to work through the stress and frustration at the time, channeling everything into saving Sam and defeating Reign, she was beginning to feel it creep up on her now that everything was settling down and she had nothing to focus her energy on. The nightmares, paired with her almost constant exhaustion and her inability to keep down almost all of her meals, were really taking it’s toll on her. It felt as though the only thing keeping her going these days was Kara. Kara was the only constant in all of the chaos, it seemed as though she could almost read her mind and just know when Lena and Supergirl had had a particularly rough day at the lab. Kara would always show up at her apartment on those days with all of Lena’s favorite snacks and hold her while she vented and, not that she would admit it to anyone else ever, cried a little. If it was anyone else Lena would feel ridiculous about being seen crying over how much National City’s sweetheart had hurt her, but it was different with Kara. She never once felt judged, she felt safe and heard and valid and it warmed her soul in a way that no one else had ever been able to before.
The only time Lena ever really slept these days was when Kara spent the night with her, or when she spent the night with Kara. She was embarrassed at first, always falling asleep on Kara’s shoulder whenever they would watch a movie together, it wasn’t until Kara actually asked her if she was getting enough sleep that she admitted that she wasn’t. She told Kara about her nightmares and Kara promised that Lena could call her at any point throughout the night and she would be there for her, whether she wanted her to come over or just stay up on the phone talking all night. Of course, Lena never disturbed her, it wasn’t until she passed out on Kara’s couch during yet another movie night that she faintly registered being carried to bed and tucked in before Kara settled down beside her and pulled her closer to her chest. Lena fell asleep that night with Kara whispering soft reassurances to her as she gently stroked at her hair, it was the most peaceful sleep that she’d had for weeks.
Kara seemed to notice after that night that Lena only really slept when she stayed with her, and while Lena felt stupid for needing someone else to be with her so that she could sleep, Kara never actually seemed to mind. She was spending more and more nights wrapped up in Kara’s arms, and with each passing evening she could feel her love for the woman growing exponentially. It was in the quiet moments, just between the two of them, that Lena almost always had to fight off the overpowering impulse to press her lips to Kara’s own. It wasn’t that she didn’t think Kara felt the same way, but she knew there was something bothering her. She could see it in her eyes whenever they were close, Kara was fighting an internal battle and while Lena desperately wanted to help her carry the burden of whatever it was, she knew that if and when Kara felt ready, she would share whatever it was with her. For now, Lena was content with the few evenings a week that she would get to spend wrapped up with her very favorite person, unfortunately this evening was not one of them, which is why she was still at her office as it was approaching midnight.
Her head was still throbbing as she eventually gave up on the work that she was doing and decided that instead of disturbing her driver so late at night, she would just go lay down on the couch and see if she could close her eyes for an hour or two. There was really no point in going all the way home just to have another night filled with bad dreams and restless sleep, it made more sense just to stay here so that she could continue her work as soon as her brain felt less achy.
Lena wasn’t sure if she was imagining it most nights, if it was a combination of the lack of sleep and the stress, but she was positive that on the evenings that she would work late, she would spot the signature red and blue blur of Supergirl flying past the window more than once. She didn’t have too much time to think about it tonight though, a few moments after she thought that she saw her, her phone began to buzz and all thoughts of Supergirl were quickly forgotten when she saw Kara’s name and contact photo flash across the screen.
“Hey, what are you doing up so late?” Lena asked as she pressed the phone to her ear.
“Me? What are you doing up so late? I stopped by your apartment to surprise you and they told me that you still hadn’t been home yet so I waited for a little, but it’s almost midnight so I got worried and thought that I would call you, but I should’ve known you would be slaving away in your office.”
“I’m sorry.” Lena fidgeted a little with the hem of her skirt, feeling a little like a naughty child being caught out doing something that they shouldn’t be even if she knows Kara is only looking out for her health and well being. “I’ll call reception and tell them to let you up into my apartment and I’ll grab a cab home, I’ll see you soon.” Lena promised as she stood up from the couch and slid her feet back into her heels.
“Actually I uh.. I’m outside, I thought I would go for a walk and I noticed a few blocks back that the light in your office was on, so we can get one together if you like? Or I can go back to my apartment if you would rather that, it’s totally up to you, I probably should have asked first.”
“Kara it’s fine, really.” Lena assured her with a soft laugh. “I’ll be down in a few minutes, thanks for looking out for me, I’m not sure what I would do without you.”
“Probably overwork yourself into an early grave no doubt.” Kara teased, although Lena could hear the little hint of concern hidden in her voice too. “I’ll see you in a few minutes, bye.”
“See you soon, bye.” Lena hung up and put her phone back in her pocket as she clicked her way over to the other side of her office and grabbed her coat, giving it a quick once over to make sure that she wasn’t forgetting anything, before switching the light off and making her way down the hall towards to the elevator.
When it opened on the ground floor she spotted Kara standing outside almost immediately and found that the tension in her head seemed to ease a little as she swung the door open and Kara pulled her in for a hug. Lena sighed contently as she brought her arms up to wrap around Kara’s neck as she held onto her waist.
“Long day?” Kara breathed a laugh against her ear.
“You could say that.” Lena huffed as she pulled away and the two of them made their way over to the cab currently waiting for them. “I still have so much paperwork to get done for everything with Sam and Reign, and it just stresses me out because I start thinking about everything that could have gone wrong and all of the different outcomes, and then I think about Supergirl and that stresses me out even more and I start getting frustrated with her and ugh I just want to forget about the whole thing and move on with my life.. I’m sorry I made you wait for so long, if I had known you were at my place I would’ve come home a lot earlier.”
“Don’t worry, everything is going to work out, I promise. Things like this just need a little time, but you’ll start having less and less nightmares and once you’re sleeping regularly and actually taking care of yourself..” Kara paused to give Lena a playful, but equally stern look. “Everything else will fall into place, I promise it’s all going to be fine, and I’ll be right here with you until you’re strong enough to do it on your own.”
“I love you so much, I hope you know that.” Lena told Kara as she leaned into her in the back of the cab, resting a head on her shoulder as Kara took one of Lena’s hands in her own.
“I do, and I hope you know that I love you right back.”
When Lena went to sleep that night with Kara pressed up against her back, her breath ghosting along her neck with every exhale, she was inclined to believe that for the first time in a long time, maybe it would all be alright. She felt alright with Kara, and for now that was more than enough. She simply snuggled in a little deeper and allowed herself to succumb to sleep, knowing that when the nightmares came Kara would be right by her side. She wouldn’t be alone.
According to the alarm clock on her nightstand, Lena didn’t wake again until the early hours of the morning. Her mind was still fuzzy from sleep, but she knew that she hadn’t had a nightmare, that wasn’t what had woken her. Kara was still sleeping soundly beside her, she had shifted so that she was now facing the other way, but Lena knew from the soft snores emanating from her that she wasn’t awake. It wasn’t until her stomach roiled uncomfortably that she realized what was responsible, it had been happening occasionally and Lena was growing tired of it. She reluctantly slipped the covers off of her, tiptoeing out of the bedroom before picking up the pace as her stomach began to churn a little more insistently.
Opting not to turn on the light and irritate her tired eyes, Lena felt her way over to the toilet and dropped to her knees in front of it, scooping her hair back and waiting for the inevitable. She had already thrown up a handful of times in the past week or so, she had initially hoped that it was maybe just one of those twenty four hour bugs that were always going around, but it didn’t seem to go away the next day. Lena knew that her body was run down, she had hardly eaten at all today and there was barely anything to bring up, but her body was trying anyway. Kara was right, she really needed to be taking better care of herself, she couldn’t live like this. Constantly exhausted and throwing up every other day wasn’t a way to spend your life.
“Lena?” Kara’s voice, thick with sleep, drifted into the bathroom from down the hall, but Lena wasn’t exactly in a position to answer her right now as her body continuously attempted to expel what little she had eaten. “Lena? Is everything oka- Oh my god! What happened?!” Kara exclaimed as she reached the open door to the bathroom and spotted Lena on the floor. “Are you alright? Do you need me to get you anything? Can I rub your back or do you not like being touched? I know Alex hated people touching her when she was throwing up, but I always found that it helped a little whenever Eliza would do it for me.” she rushed out as her hands hovered awkwardly around Lena.
When Lena silently, or rather wordlessly, brushed her off, Kara headed into the kitchen to grab a glass of ice water for her and waited a few minutes before returning with it. Lena attempted to gather herself as she stood back up and flushed the toilet, she felt gross and groggy and really just wanted to go sleep for a month straight.
“I’m sorry about that, I guess I’m just a little run down.” she told Kara as she gratefully accepted the glass of cold water from her, rinsing her mouth out before quickly brushing her teeth.
“Oh gosh no don’t apologize, maybe you should take the day off tomorrow and let yourself rest.” Kara suggested as the two of them headed back through to Lena’s bedroom.
Normally she wouldn’t even let Kara finish that sentence before shooting down the idea of Lena taking any time whatsoever off from work, but the exhaustion pressing heavily against her eyelids actually made Lena consider the idea for once. She settled on a quick ‘maybe’ before tucking herself back into bed and curling up with Kara, quickly falling back asleep in the comfort of her arms.
* * *
Lena was back at work and still fighting off the exhaustion and sickness that seemed to follow her around like a dark cloud a few days later when a knock on the door startled her out of her work bubble and she called for whoever it was to come in.
“Alex, why are you here? Is everything alright?!” Lena promptly pushed her chair back and stood up from behind her desk immediately as the eldest Danvers sister stepped into her office dressed in her work clothes with an almost unreadable expression on her face. “Did something happen with Kara?”
“Don’t worry about her, she’s fine.” Alex assured Lena kindly, breaking her agent persona for a second so that Lena knew she was being sincere. “I’m sorry I know you’re probably really busy with everything but we need you to come into the DEO for a little bit, it shouldn’t take too long but I promised that you would be there within the hour if they let me come get you instead of sending one of the other stuck up asses.”
“Why do they need me? I haven’t done anything wrong, unless Supergirl has decided that I’m plotting against her or something, not like it would be the first time.” Lena muttered at the end, although judging by the way Alex winced ever so slightly the woman heard her anyway.
“It’s nothing like that it’s.. Honestly, I can’t tell you much right now, let me bring you to the DEO and I’ll explain everything there, I promise.” Alex almost begged. Lena had no clue what was going on, and she was a little hesitant to return to the DEO just in case she bumped into Supergirl, but Alex was asking her and she didn’t want to disappoint one of her friends.
“Okay, just give me a quick second to finish up this report and then I’ll come with you.” Lena relented as her fingers began rapidly flying over the keyboard, finishing up the last little section of the report that she had been working on before closing her laptop over and following Alex out of her office.
When they arrived at the DEO there was thankfully no Supergirl in sight and Lena felt herself relax a little, perhaps she wouldn’t have to deal with her at all today and the thought comforted her a little, although if the reason that she was currently here in the DEO didn’t have anything to do with Supergirl, then why on earth did they drag her out of her office in the middle of the afternoon and insist that she be brought it?
Her thoughts were cut off when they led her up into the med bay and she spotted a familiar head of blonde hair pacing in the corner.
“Kara?!” she exclaimed as her eyes fell on the reporter. “W- What are you doing here? You know about this place? They really just let you inside?”
“Oh.. I-.. Uh..” Kara began to stutter before she was cut off by Alex.
“We asked her to come in for you, what we’re about to tell you isn’t going to be easy and I figured having someone that you’re comfortable being around might help you deal with it all.” Alex told her softly.
Kara looked extremely distressed about something, she was worrying her bottom lip with her teeth and repeatedly fidgeting with her glasses as she paced around behind Lena. Although when Alex stopped talking she immediately made her way over and forced what Lena assumed was supposed to be her best attempt at a reassuring smile. Lena hadn’t really been worried until that moment, but seeing Kara so worked up and trying to hide it, it unsettled her.
“Can one of you please just tell me what’s going on? You’re starting to scare me a little.” she admitted as her eyes flicked back and forth between the two women currently standing in front of her.
“Before we do anything, I need to take some blood.” Alex told her as she pulled out a kit from one of the cabinets and gestured for Lena to sit down on one of the beds. “I know you want answers, and I promise you that we’ll give them to you, but for now I just really need you to trust me. Please." Lena was almost taken aback by the tone of her voice, she sounded desperate and it made the panicked feeling in her gut grow exponentially.
“I-.. Okay.” she hesitantly agreed, taking a seat down on one of the beds and holding an arm out for Alex.
Kara immediately took a seat next to her and Lena reached out for her hand, finding comfort in the small gesture as Alex poked and prodded at her arm with the needle. It barely took a few minutes and after the blood was taken Alex thanked Lena and promised to return soon with answers before making her way down the hall and turning out of sight.
“What the hell is going on? She’s really starting to freak me out.” Lena admitted to Kara as the two of them sat on the edge of the bed in the med bay. “Am I dying or something? Is that what she’s afraid to tell me? Did Reign somehow infect me with a weird alien virus.. Oh my god! She did, didn’t she!? That’s why I’ve been so sick and exhausted lately! Oh shit, am I going to be okay? How bad is it?”
”Lena.” Kara cut off her rambling with a gentle squeeze to her hand. “It’s not that, please let’s just wait until Alex comes back, alright?” Kara’s eyes desperately pleaded with her.
Lena was about to argue back, to demand that Kara tell her whatever it was that she knew, but thankfully Alex reappeared and Lena knew that she was about to get answers anyway. She could feel the panic bubbling up in her chest and a million different yet equally horrible thoughts were running through her mind as Alex and Kara made eye contact, she could sense the silent conversation that they was going on between the two of them, and from the way Kara desperately tried to keep her face resembling something calm as she blindly reached out for Lena’s hand, she knew that whatever she was about to hear was going to be bad.
“Okay, so..” Alex began as she walked over and stood in front of the two of them. “I didn’t want to say anything until we knew for sure, I didn’t want to worry you for no reason but do you remember when Edge poisoned you last month?” she asked as Lena nodded slowly in reply, trying to work out where the conversation was headed as Kara gently ran the pad of her thumb back and forth across the top of Lena’s hand. “Well, we were all in a complete panic trying to stabilize you and I think that at some point along the way you were injected with alien DNA that-.. Well it sort of-.. The thing is that-..”
“Spit it out, Alex.” Lena told her sternly, although her voice wavered a little.
“You’re pregnant.” Alex told her.
“Yeah, okay.” Lena huffed a laugh as she playfully rolled her eyes, feeling a little of the tension ebb away for a few moments before returning her gaze to Alex. “What’s actually wrong? Am I dying? Or turning into an alien? What’s going on?”
“No, Lena, I’m serious.” Alex insisted. “You’re pregnant.”
“I-.. No I’m not.” Lena brushed it off. “You’re lying, Kara tell me she’s lying? I’ve never had sex with a man, not even once in my entire life. You guys are just messing with me, aren’t you?”
“I wish we were.” Alex’s eyes pleaded with Lena, desperately trying to get her to believe what was happening. “You’ve been sick, and exhausted, and I guarantee that if you check your calendar your period will be late. I’m sorry Lena, I’m so sorry. It was just so crazy when they rushed you in here, and I have no idea which one of us did this to you but it could have been any of us which means there’s a chance it was me and I really just need you to know how extremely sorry I am.”
Kara remained silent through all of it, simply holding on to Lena’s hand and occasionally stroking her thumb back and forth across the top of it, providing an anchor for Lena to hold on to as she tried to process what was happening. It made no sense, surely this couldn’t be real. Lena prayed that any moment now the two of the would burst out laughing and she would be so relieved that she wouldn’t even be pissed off at them, but as the seconds ticked by she realized that it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t a joke, she was.. She was pregnant?
It didn’t sound right, it felt wrong and like it wasn’t actually happening to her. She felt as though someone else was telling her their story, or she was watching herself from the corner of the room. Her thoughts were buzzing around so quickly in her mind that it was bordering on painful, and it only worsened as she realized that it actually made sense. She had been nauseous and exhausted for the past week or so, not that pregnancy being the culprit had ever crossed her mind at any point at all, but it did make sense. Her period was late, but again she had just put it down to the stress of the last few months, never did she imagine it was being there was a tiny little human growing inside of her. Oh fuck, there was a tiny little human growing inside of her.
“I-.. I-.. I don’t know what to say.” she croaked, voice thick with emotion as she stared blankly at the wall. “Who.. I mean.. You said it was alien DNA? What does that mean? Is my kid like half fish or something? Which species was it?”
Lena felt as though the entire building had just crumpled down on top of her as she watched and listened to Alex’s next sentence as it left her mouth. Lena was rooted to the spot, unable to move or breathe or do absolutely anything other than allow the panic to overcome her pull her deep into the depths of despair as she attempted to process what she was hearing.
“It was Supergirl.”