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Collected In These Boxes (Still Lonely With the Souvenirs)

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He realized, hours later, that he hadn’t thanked her for helping him.

He’d implied it, when speaking to her- telling her that her method of dealing with his emotions had made him feel better, when they had previously overwhelmed him. But he hadn’t said those specific words, and after she had left the DEO, he knew he had to make it up to her.

Actions, as he had heard before but never understood until that moment, would indeed speak louder than his words in this case.

But he still wanted to use them anyway.

After congratulating Alex, and greeting the newly-arrived Colonel Haley and- of course- Kara, Querl excused himself, and went downstairs, already envisioning his plan, and creating simulations on what would happen when she received it from him.

He had to. He had a lot of work to do.


When he finished, he didn’t know what time it was.

Or even what day- he had long since lost track of time, working on what he was planning to give Lena. It was only fortunate that the DEO had a lot of material to work with, and that Alex, with no information on what he was going to do with it, approved his use of a certain amount of it.

(he had realized, again too late, that Winn had likely used said material, in constructing his own inventions to assist the DEO, to save Supergirl, and as he’d seen, to protect Alex. He imagined him there, in his place-

Winn would not cry over Kara, would not imagine a world without Kara Danvers, or a world without Supergirl, countless times until it almost became real.

Winn would have already known how to deal with his emotions, and would not have to be advised by Lena to shove them into boxes and hide them from the world.

Winn would not have been able to speak directly to the nanites, but he would still be able to control them enough to compensate for that- and they would not be nervous, communicating with him.

Winn would know instantly where Fiona was being kept, without having to search.

Winn would have gotten along better with Lena, and their interactions would be more casual than only work-based, as his own and Lena’s had been.

Winn would have had an easier job gathering the DEO agents in a singular cause of applauding Alex once she returned following the fight at the National City fairgrounds.

And Winn would go to talk to Lena directly instead of waiting, and making a gift for her.)

He didn’t know if he was doing something wrong, in this- if he should stop, right then, and go to tell her that he was grateful to her, more grateful than he could properly communicate.

But that would not mean much without something that, again, showed her what he was saying was true.

So he’d resumed his work, continuing- as he was still accepting- to set himself apart from Winn.

Which was still challenging. But…

He believed it would be worth the effort.

Especially if she was still willing to work alongside him after seeing him so distracted, fallen prey to such strong emotions.

He’d hoped so, and he wanted her to be.

But he wouldn’t know unless he talked to her again, and he would not talk to her again until he had this finished.

And when he did, he held it up, looking at it while it started to spin, the light catching on it while he did so.

He smiled, seeing the finished product, and got a small container to put it in, as he delivered it.

(He was grateful that, whatever time it really was now, he knew he’d have someone who could get him to Lena, or could deliver it for him if he didn’t get up the courage to do so.)

(Although, at that point, worry started to creep into his mind- did Director Danvers miss him? What if he was needed, and he’d let her down? Or what if Kara had needed him?)

If she or Kara had needed me, they would have told me, he thought, and with that, shoved that box of worry away as he started to head upstairs.


Kara had laughed a little bit, when he came back to the main room of the DEO in his best clothes and holding a small jewelry box, asking to be taken to Catco, as he had something to give to Lena.

“Uh, Brainy?” she asked. “You know Lena’s dating someone, right?”

“…Oh! Right, yes.” He said. “You did mention that. Well. This is not intended to “steal her” from someone else, or to make them jealous. It is merely a gift for a friend. You understand that, do you not?”

Kara smiled, remembering the flowers filling her sight as she walked into her office that one February morning last year.

“Yeah. Yeah.” She said. “Let’s go, I’m supposed to be early.”

Brainy nodded, as he followed her, and the jewelry box soon filled his pocket, with him keeping one hand on it. Just in case.


(He would only admit it to Kara later, but he hadn’t yet connected that the place Nia had mentioned, at which she worked, was also Kara’s place of employment- and the shame of that late realization filled his mind, as he walked by, behind Kara, to get to Lena, and he and Nia stared at one another while he passed her)

(What he didn’t know was that she’d known he was coming, and had indeed seen herself stopping him on his way out and saying hello to him, congratulating him on finally finding her)

When he got to Lena, Querl was also ashamed to admit that he had no words at all.

So he only held the box out to her, and Lena took it, with those perfect hands of hers, while Querl noticed every other part of her- dress, especially- in an effort not to look at her face.

She opened it, lifting his finished product in the same way he had, and looked at him, showing him a smile.

“You made me a necklace… with a pendant that looks like a box.”

Querl nodded.

“A pendant that is a box. As it only seemed appropriate.” He answered. “As a reminder, of what you taught me, and what seems to be so important to you.”

“Right.” She agreed. “I…while growing up, it was all I could do, and by now, it’s just become second nature.”

“Well, in any case, it proved to be successful for that situation.” Querl said. “So… I will now only say… thank you, Lena Luthor.”

“You’re welcome.” Lena answered. “And, thank you-“

“Querl Dox.”

“Querl.” She repeated.

He liked how it sounded, in her voice.

He only hoped she’d say it again.

And, if his instincts were correct, given this interaction, she would.