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not like the other moms

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"Okay, so it's a hackathon."

Lena stopped dead, affronted, hand over her heart and face pulled into the most adorable frown Kara was having serious trouble not laughing at. "It is not," Lena countered, a pout to her voice. "A hackathon is an event with horrific hygienic practices and one that lets all the coders and such not bother to continue their progress apace afterwards. This is a launch event. My program coders are coming over to spend the first twenty-four hours of this project together and get an excellent beginning on this project together, which as you very well know is perhaps the single most important thing I have attempted thus far."

Kara bit her lip as she closed the fridge on their new batch of groceries, deciding which part of that schpeel to go after carefully. "Not a hackathon," she conceded, and Lena smiled approvingly. "But you are going to invite a half-dozen coders over here to hack out the beginning of your big sustainable energy project."

"Correct," Lena said. "Why am I hearing a but in your tone?"

"Why don't you have the engineers over too? They're half of it, right? You gotta build the thing and all that."

Lena's mouth twisted like she was nervous. "I was worried that'd be too many people for the space. It'd made twelve of my top brains at L-Corp coming into our home for twenty-four full hours at least, I didn't want anyone to burn a wire and make it smell like burning copper for the next week in here, especially with your supersenses and all that."

Kara smiled at her concern, feeling her heart melt into even more mush at this wonderful woman that was her wife. "Babe," she said, taking Lena's hand gently, "Not to poke at a sore point while you're being all sweet and all, but you have burnt so many wires in this massive loft already." Lena opened her mouth, affronted again, and Kara silenced her imminent protest with a kiss. "I love you," she said, pressing her forehead to Lena's. "Would it help to have them here too?"

Lena hesitated, then admitted a soft "Yeah."

"Then get them over here," Kara said. "If you want them. I understand you were looking out for me, and I love you so much and thank you for thinking of me always, you know it means the world to me. But this is the biggest thing, like, ever, and we've already talked about me staying at Alex and Maggie's for the night so if I need to run out for Supergirl emergencies I can. Lillian will be here intermittently and on call for any engineering-related emergencies and help me cook enough food for all of you for the first twenty-four hours, and, yes," she said, seeing Lena opening her mouth, "I am fully prepared for it to be a few more days, food and sleeping arrangements and all, if you guys get on a roll, which you most likely will--oh."

Lena's lips pressed firmly into her jaw, barely an inch from her ear, and Lena smiled into her skin. "Have I told you lately that you're absolutely perfect? And that I'm gonna make up to you tenfold for you being so unbelievably accommodating?"

Kara felt a shiver go down her spine as Lena's whispered words trickled into her ear. "Oh," she mumbled. "Okay." Excellent job, Zor-El. A full year and two months being married and she was still struck dumb and breathless anytime Lena felt like making her speechless. Which was, you know, every other day and twice a day on weekends.

Lena pulled back deliciously slowly and smiled Kara's favorite smile, that one that started out as a seductive smirk but got too big for her face as she couldn't hold in her happiness. The one that started out dirty and ended up innocent and pure because her life was just that happy and full. The one that made Kara know she was doing a good job making Lena happy.

 

Lena had her office (Kara graciously called it her home office, it was really her cluttered workshop and Kara wouldn't have it any other way, it added character to the house) all set up for the engineers. Kara had moved the kitchen table in there too, under Lena's direction, protecting it with the thick pad it came with and throwing a lab-safe fireproof tablecloth over it all. The dining room table was extended with the leaves it came with inserted into the middle (they loved that dining room table), and the coffee table's surface raised with a makeshift platform. Several extra rolling chairs were brought in from L-Corp and every even halfway-available electrical outlet was cleared for computer chargers and soldering irons. Lena had tidied her workshop and made sure they had buckets full of any of the hardware raw materials they might need, carried in by a Kara who rolled her eyes fondly at her wife's over-ecstatic gratefulness. (She did not roll her eyes at the way Lena thanked her for it later.) All three guest bedrooms were ready made with a few extra air mattresses brought in. The fridge was stuffed full.

Kara had a duffel already at Maggie and Alex's, who were semi-excited about the sleepover and more on board with the concept of helping facilitate the kick-start of sustainable energy that would be free for the entire world if Lena's team could get it right.

Lillian showed up the morning of the not-hackathon, her smile somewhere between as excited as Kara's and excited as Lena's (so a medium high level of excited). "I'm so excited for you, dear," she said, hugging Lena with one arm and reaching out for Kara with the other.

"Thanks," Lena said, beaming still too big for her face. "You're sure you're alright staying in a hotel?"

Lillian waved her off. "I can always have Supergirl fly me home if I don't like what the five-star hotel has to offer," she said, and Kara giggled as Lena rolled her eyes. "Now," she said, backing away and shrugging off her coat. She faced Kara with a serious expression. "Are we ready for this?"

Kara squared her shoulders. "Let's get cooking."

"Kara."

"She set me up perfectly!"

 

Kara and Lillian cooked for nearly two hours--a full gourmet lunch of protein and the best fruits and vegetables that Lena swore were good for the brain. For that reason she had also stocked the kitchen with a variety of nuts and dark chocolate and made sure they had more coffee than a local roastery.

The engineers and coders started arriving around noon, all of them wearing loose sweaters and jeans and carrying backpacks filled with computers and notes and sweatpants. Kara just hoped at least some of them had toothpaste or soap in there. Now she understood why Lena had also made sure they had extra soap in the guest bathrooms. She was pretty sure they were going to break a zoning law or something with all these people in here.

Whatever. Her wife was Lena Luthor. They'd be fine.

(Kara loved being a trophy wife, despite Lena's constant hatred of the term when applied to her. They'd had many mock-fights about it that ended in Kara's but I want to be your trophy wife! And Lena's exasperated eyerolls that made Kara completely lose it laughing.)

Kara and Lillian laid out the food on the dining room table and everyone sat down, half the engineers young kids barely out of college looking awed at the prospect of a home cooked meal. After profuse thanks to the chefs and some nervous glances at Lena, they all dug in, Kara and Lillian watching bemusedly from the kitchen, still cooking. Kara kept an ear tuned in to the conversation as the talk steered into the engineering. She wasn't sure if she'd expected a more formal lead in, but one of the older engineers, an Indian woman named Namrata whose citizenship naturalization ceremony Lena had proudly attended not six months ago, raised a toast to the Luthor-Danvers for allowing them in their home to "kick off the most wonderful project Lena's come up with yet. This is an auspicious start."

There was a cheer from the assorted engineers, all holding up their kale smoothies and orange juices (honestly, what the hell was Kara's life, she loved it) and then one of the younger guys, Julio something, leaned in. "I actually had an idea last night I wanted to throw out to you all before we begin--" and just like that, they were off. Three laptops opened immediately and the coders began to eat over them, Lena pulling out one of her large moving whiteboards and taking down some ideas they wanted to accomplish and how in between bites of her fish omelet (disgusting, Kara had said, and Lena had only laughed and said that while she agreed she had to kick-start her brain and this was the fastest way to do it).

And so it went. Kara and Lillian cleaned up and kept cooking, putting snacks and meals in the fridge and on the counter for the next few days, Kara only running out for a quick alien-related mugging that took half an hour, quirking a wink at Lena when she returned. Lena smiled, her shoulders half an inch more relaxed as she kept talking through an initial problem with one of the engineers sketching up schematics.

"You know," Lillian commented, pulling out the sixth tray of cookies in a half hour as Kara retied her apron after getting back, "I have to say this is not what I thought I'd be called in for when Lena married a--who she married."

Kara chuckled at her near slip. "Let's hope you don't ever have to be called in for that."

Lillian hummed. "I don’t just hope for her sake, you know," she said softly. "I love you, too, dear."

Kara paused in her haphazard pulling on of a cooking mitt, trying to keep appearances just in case a coder saw her reach into the oven with her bare hands, a lump in her throat all of the sudden. She looked up at Lillian, who was smiling warmly at her, cooking forgotten for the moment. "I know," she whispered, and smiled, watery but real. "Thank you. It means a lot, because I love you too."

Lillian's smile got bigger, and Kara couldn't help but chuckle at the resemblance to Lena's mannerisms. "I also have to say," Lillian continued, reaching for a spatula, "That I didn't expect this when Lena stepped up as CEO, either."

"Yeah," Kara said fondly. She pulled down her glasses for a moment to glance at Lena through the wall separating them. "She leads from up front, huh?" Lillian smiled. "It's quite admirable," Kara said matter-of-factly. "I'm constantly in awe of her."

"You and me both," Lillian said, handing her a cookie and holding up one herself for a cookie-cheers. "Though she does have an amazing support system helping her up in you." Kara blushed. "Here's to the amazing woman we love."

Kara tapped her cookie and cursed as the still-melty thing immediately broke in half, using a little bit of superspeed to catch the falling half. She shrugged at Lillian's laugh and shoved it in her mouth happily. Coders kept coding. Engineers kept engineering.

They set dinner out on the kitchen counter with a stack of plates next to it so people could serve themselves--that didn't exactly work. One engineer picked up the entire dish of mac and cheese without realizing it, still absorbed completely in some half-finished schematics, and the rest of them just shrugged and picked up forks and followed him back, one grabbing a dish of chicken and pouring some gravy haphazardly before chasing after them, all of them still talking about the design capabilities and what materials to use. Kara burst into giggles with Lillian as the coders took from the remaining dishes without being any the wiser.

Lena raised an eyebrow as she approached them in the kitchen last, ready to move from the engineers' question and into the coders'. Kara, completely overcome with the giggles, just waved her hand and shook her head in a not important gesture, but made a mental note to keep track of all the absentminded stuff the not-hackathoners did while they were here so she could tell Lena later. Lena shrugged and pressed a kiss to Kara's cheek, holding her steady with a hand cupping her other cheek.

"Thanks for dinner," she murmured. "And lunch. And the snacks."

"Anytime," Kara said, still grinning. "I have to admit that I've eaten a fair amount, though."

Lena smiled. "Of course you have. Don't worry about it. There's more than enough. You getting out of here soon?"

"Yeah," Kara said, entranced for a moment by the way the golden kitchen lights hit Lena's hair when her ponytail was a little messed up instead of the pristineness it was at lunch. "Sorry. Yeah, we're gonna clean up and then go in just a bit." Lena nodded. "Okay, so there's a whole ton of dishes in the fridge and the freezer that are pre-cooked, everything can be warmed up in the oven or the microwave, obviously eat whatever you want, takeout menus have been moved from the drawer under the sink to taped to the fridge, and everything snack-y is on the counters. Paper plates are on the counters, too, and just, like, don't let them touch the dishes, I'm worried one of them will get a good idea and just drop the plate. I'm happy to clean up anything but the broken dishes I will not be pleased about it, got it?"

Lena made a mock-salute, struggling to hold back a smile. "Yes, ma'am. I'd be offended as of an hour ago, but I saw a cookie literally fall out of one of the coder's mouths when he got an idea a little while back and you're totally right." She tilted her head. "I don't think he noticed it was sitting on his lap for another half an hour, actually."

Kara giggled again, eyes roving the space full of brilliant minds not focused on cleanliness, and Lillian rolled her eyes by the sink as she heard. "Seems about right." She eyed Lena. "You're okay if I leave?"

The plate Lena had been holding had mysteriously migrated to the kitchen counter and her hands latched on to Kara's hips, pressing her against the counter she was leaning on. "Of course I'll be okay," Lena said, her eyes just a little bit like a puppy's, "But I'll certainly miss you while you're gone."

Kara's smile softened around the edges, shifting from laughing to that sappy look she always got when Lena said something emotional, which was several times a day once they got married. "Not as much as I'll miss you," she murmured back, sensing at the corner of her eyes that Lillian had turned away to give them their privacy and to hide a smile. "Don't worry, babe. You won't even know I’m gone."

Lena bit her lip, one more anxiety to settle. "Text me when you go out and get back in?" Her fingers crept over the top of Kara's jeans, settled on the skin just under her shirt, warm presses smoothing out her nervous energy. "I know you'll be safe, but while I'm not seeing you--"

Kara leaned forward and kissed her, holding Lena steady with hands cupping her face intently, and felt Lena's entire body melt and relax. "Every time," Kara promised. "You want a one-sentence summary each time I get back?"

Lena made an uhhhh sound like Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. "Just in case someone picks up my phone and reads a just kicked alien ass and realizes who you are, better not. Though if you're up for the creative challenge…"

Lena's eyes glinted, and Kara straightened in the challenge, hands slipping down to Lena's waist. "Done. I am a journalist, you know."

Lena laughed, full-on, and Kara grinned. "Okay, I look forward to it," Lena said. "Stay safe, kick ass, I love you."

Kara kissed her once more. "Break barriers, solve problems, I love you too. And I'll be back to check on you in the morning."

"Can't wait for you to see what we've come up with," Lena said, smiling, and with a last kiss pressed to her temple, released Kara to scoop up her plate again and rejoin her team.

Kara turned to Lillian at a quiet scoff. "What?"

"You two act like you weren't married five years ago already."

"I didn't even know her five years ago!"

Lillian laughed softly. "Exactly. That's how disgustingly cute the two of you are."

 

It was Day Four of the not-hackathon, and Kara had just permanently opened all the windows in the loft, thanking the easy fall breeze for keeping her home from smelling that bad. Burning wires were not the worst of it. On Day Three Lena had instituted mandatory showers for those who hadn't taken them already (looking at you, young engineers, not the older ones), but despite the febreeze cans Lillian had emptied, there was something about how often the microwave was being used and the gallons of coffee consumed, there was a lingering aroma that Kara didn't particularly like.

Lena made a semi-disgusted face when Kara described it to her in one of her few lucid breaks. Her eyes were actually clear instead of swimming with equations as she made a new pot of coffee for everyone in the morning when Kara dropped by before work.

"You sure the windows will work?" she asked, poking at the coffeemaker. "Instead of just making everyone cold?"

"It's not that cold," Kara sniffed. "Besides, cold is good for your focus, right?"

"True," Lena mused. "Fresh air is too, and we have plenty of blankets. Good points." Kara bit back a smile at Lena agreeing to her bullshit point. It was probably actually true, and Kara had totally guessed. "Hey," Lena said, focusing on her again with startling clarity. "What day is it?"

"Tuesday?"

Lena nodded, glancing at the coffeemaker in the relative quiet of the morning. She glanced at the coders in the living room, four of them going strong as they simultaneously sipped coffee and typed, and the other two passed out on the couch, laptops on their chests as they snoozed. Kara glanced through the wall at the engineers, two of them working steadily and cursing as sparks flew, the other four passed out on various air mattresses.

"And I haven't seen you in how long?" Lena asked, and there was a sudden emphasis in her voice that Kara felt down her toes. Lena took another glance around then bit her lip decisively and reached towards Kara. She hooked her fingers in Kara's belt and tugged her around, towards the front door. "Come on," she muttered, and Kara followed all too willingly, gasping as Lena led them into the hall and abruptly pressed Kara against the wall, kissing her with no hello and no warning.

"I should host hackathons for you more often," Kara gasped when Lena finally leaned back. "If it gives you ideas like this." Lena mmed without much thought, leaning in again to press her lips against Kara's jawline, trailing down the side of her neck. Damp hair pressed against her chin. "Did you just shower?" Kara asked, thoroughly distracted, and Lena didn't respond. "No offense, but I didn't expect you to smell this good."

Lena chuckled into her collarbone, the vibration nearly ruining Kara, and more of her weight leaned into Kara. Kara circled her arms around Lena's back, pulling her closer to support her exhaustion as Lena's head came to drop heavily on her shoulder. Kara leaned in closer to drop a deliberate kiss to Lena's shoulder, pulling aside the neck of her shirt slowly. "Were you planning on taking me right here in the hallway?" Lena asked dryly, and Kara pulled back, raising an eyebrow.

"You started it. I thought you were going to ravish me. Don't blame me for going along with it."

"Yeah, going along with it--holy shit."

"What?" Kara asked, alarmed at the change in her tone.

Lena pulled back, hands tapping at Kara's biceps, eyes feverish once more with what Kara immediately recognized as a coding idea, and she groaned. Lena smiled. "Going along with it. You just gave me an idea." She darted forward and pressed one solid, fleeting kiss to the side of Kara's mouth, too distracted to do anything else. "Have a good day at work, love you!"

Kara thumped her head back against the wall. Lena had to be kidding.

Of course she wasn't.

 

Kara checked back in that evening and found their loft smelling marginally better, the cookies entirely gone, and all the coders shouting incomprehensible things (at their computers and not each other, she was halfway sure) in an upset tone around the dining room table.

"Hey," Kara said softly, pressing a kiss to Lena's temple, and Lena's hand drifted across the back of her neck at the action, distracted but appreciative. "Can I make you all anything?"

Lena focused on her for a nanosecond. "Do we have the stuff for more cookies? And something healthier, like salads?"

Kara stole a kiss, lightning quick, and was rewarded with Lena's faint-but-fond smile. "Coming right up. Salads first." She glanced at the table of coders, most of whom looked totally absorbed. "Hey, guys."

Two of them heard and waved at her distractedly, and Namrata, the older Indian woman, managed a smile. Kara chuckled and checked to make sure the engineers hadn't burnt anything else major before moving to the kitchen, keeping a curious ear on the conversation. They all seemed to be frustrated at some long sequence of code, which wasn't working for a reason unfathomable. Lena was rubbing at her temples as Kara threw the cookies in the oven and the salad assortment on the counter.

"Mandatory dinner break," Kara announced, breaking their focus. "Everyone go wash your faces, too, then come back to the code."

There was a general grumbling and a grateful look from Namrata as they stood, and Kara stepped behind Lena's chair to gently push her hands away from her head and rub her temples for her. Lena sighed gratefully and sank deeper into her chair. "You're heavensent, Mrs. Luthor-Danvers," Lena moaned.

"So I've been told," Kara shot back, and Lena smiled faintly. "What do you think this problem is?"

Lena groaned. "My best guess is missing semi-colons on the end of a few lines. If we can't figure it out in the next hour I'm considering sending them all home."

"Want me to take a look?"

Lena's eyes opened. "Can you code and I missed this?"

"I've picked up a few things from you over the years, you know," Kara said, and Lena made a go for it gesture. "Go get some food," Kara said, pulling Lena up from her chair and pushing her towards the kitchen. Lena acquiesced with minimal protest and Kara sat down in her vacant seat, pulling the laptop towards her. "Missing semicolon," Kara muttered to herself. "Let's do this." And with the assist of a little speed reading she had learned from Barry, Kara sped through the very-impressive thousands of lines of code, looking for irregularities. Within two minutes, she had found one missing little curlicue. "Hey Lena," Kara said, leaning back and pointing at the screen. "Would this help?"

Lena set her plate and fork down and rounded the counter to look at the line of code in question over Kara's shoulder, her jaw dropping in astonishment, and Kara bit back a giggle at the dumbstruck look on her face. "That fucker," Lena hissed, and punched the semicolon key with a vengeance. Lena struck another key as the other coders drifted over, and the program began to run. Or at least what Kara assumed was a preliminary version of what it was supposed to do. The assembled coders let out a ragged cheer, and Lena let out a relieved sigh for just a moment.

Then she turned to Kara, wonder and a fiercer kind of love than usual in her eyes. "You," she said with clear emphasis, "Kara Danvers, are my hero." Kara blushed, holding up her hands helplessly, and Lena shook her head, smiling at her wife. "Get over here," Lena murmured, and with a couple nearly-forceful fingers tilting Kara's chin upwards, Lena kissed her deeply, in front of all her coders and everyone. She smiled into Kara's cheek, still bending over to reach her, and laughed breathlessly. "I love you so much," Lena said. "Now pretty please get out of my chair so I can keep coding."

Kara laughed and got out of her chair. "Don't forget to eat, love," she said, but it was too late. Lena already was lost to the world of coding for another few hours at the least. Kara put the salad in the fridge.

 

Lillian laughed with Kara and Maggie and Alex over dinner at the missing semicolon story, volunteering to make the next grocery run tomorrow while Kara was at work. She also made them all laugh with the story of Lena having fallen asleep in the same armchair as Namrata, with Julio using her leg for a pillow without realizing it as he typed on relentlessly. They all went and saw a movie together that evening, Maggie and Alex crying with laughter at Lillian's disgusted glance thrown at the concessions stand.

 

Lena kicked out the coders and engineers at sunset on Day Six. "Go home to your families," she instructed them, holding open the door. "I don't want to see any of you in for work tomorrow. Take a long weekend, take a walk, get some real sleep, and we'll have a debrief on Monday morning before settling in to fine tune this mess we've created. We did some incredible work, everyone, I'm proud of us. Thank you all for your hard work and your time."

The engineers all high-fived and fist-bumped her on the way out, two of the younger ones stopping by the kitchen to hug Kara first and thank her for the food. The coders all had bloodshot eyes and a slightly dead look. Namrata gave them both hugs as she exited last, thanking them warmly for opening their home "to our little ragamuffin clan."

Kara laughed and Lena just about collapsed against the door as she shut it behind the last of them. Lena pointed a stern finger at Kara. "You do not clean any of this up," she said firmly, despite her obvious exhaustion.

"How much sleep did you get in the last week?" Kara asked critically.

"Remember the last time you asked me that?" Kara nodded. "I haven't slept since then."

"Lena! That was Tuesday!"

"I dozed for about fifteen minutes a few times," Lena amended, and Kara opened her mouth, horrified, but Lena held out her arms pathetically, and Kara shook her head and zoomed over to catch up her wife and pull her feet off the floor. Lena rolled her head into Kara's shoulder. "We got the basics done," she said, satisfied and smiling. "But I mean it," she mumbled into Kara's shirt. "Don't you dare clean. You cooked and cleaned all week, you aren't the maid."

"Superspeed," Kara sing-songed softly, floating them towards the bedroom to give Lena the smoothest ride possible. "I can finish in three minutes."

"Kara," Lena groaned, sounding genuinely upset. "You are not a hired maid or a housekeeper. You are my wife, and I intend to treat you as such. Would you please let me have the therapeutic satisfaction of cleaning up my own mess?"

Kara set Lena carefully down on their bed, pulling the sheets up to her chin gently. "I'll make you a deal," she whispered, smoothing back Lena's hair and pulling it from its messy bun. "If you stay home from work tomorrow and sleep in, I'll let you clean it all up."

Lena frowned sleepily, eyes already closed. "Deal," she grumbled.

"Good," Kara murmured, and bent to kiss her temple. "Now sleep, my genius, world-saving wife."

Lena nodded, and Kara turned off the lights, made to back away, but Lena's hand shot out, grabbing onto her wrist. "Stay with me," Lena whispered, words slurred with sleep. Kara climbed in the bed, slacks and all, and pulled her close. Lena was asleep before she had readjusted the covers over them both.

 

Lena woke alone.

There was a note on the bedside table, the way there always was when Kara was gone before she woke up. Morning, Brilliant. I didn't clean, as promised, but I did get rid of the stuff that wasn't salvageable in the fridge because the smell was getting to me. I recommend starting a load of laundry first :) Love you, SLEEP IN FOR FUCK'S SAKE, love you some more.

Lena laughed at her wife's more forceful side, glanced at the sunrise outside, figured she had slept for about thirteen hours, and fell back asleep for another four.

 

Kara: awake yet sleepyhead?

Lena: I did the math and I slept for seventeen hours

Kara: GOOD

Lena: Have I told you lately you're too good for me?

Kara: LIES

Lena: Stop yelling it's early

Kara: NO

Kara: Sorry. The all caps just sticks on the keyboard

Lena: Don’t you type for a living?

Kara: I'm a trophy wife for a living ;)

Lena: How dare you degrade yourself like that, I'M the trophy wife in this relationship

Kara: Now you're saying I'm not trophy-worthy?

Lena: Stop with your seductive mind games,

Lena: you're already in my bed for the rest of forever and you're not getting out of it, babe.

Kara: I don’t know what to say next but I'm smiling really hard at work right now and trying not to swoon.

Lena: Then I'd say we made a good choice when we got married.

Kara: damn straight.

Lena: Except that we're not straight.

Kara: listen I love you so much ok

Lena: <3 <3 <3

 

Lena chuckled at her phone, heart swelling predictably, its thump thump a little louder in her chest as she smiled at the screen. Making her wife swoon was something of a pastime she had now, and could you blame her? Some people did drugs. She did love. One was more cost-efficient.

Then she glanced at the mess that was the kitchen alone. Maybe she should have had Kara clean with superspeed. Then she shook her head. She valued her wife too much to take advantage of her powers like that, like she married her for convenience. She was going to put work into keeping their home a home. That wasn't a one-spouse delegation, especially when neither of them was a stay-at-home mom. That was on both of them, and Kara had done way more than her fair share in the past week. Lena would take on this task with gusto. She would conquer it with dignity. She would--

Really, really need her Taylor Swift playlist to make it through this. Plus a nap in the middle.

But six loads of laundry later the guest rooms and bathrooms were replenished with newly-fresh linens, cleaned up, the whole loft vacuumed or swept, and the kitchen sparkling once more. Lena groaned as she collapsed on the couch just as the front door opened, and she shot up into a sitting position to see Kara walk in.

"Hey stranger," Lena greeted, falling back down. "Get over here."

Kara giggled, toeing off shoes and shucking her jacket, dropping her purse on the newly-clean dining room table. "It smells great in here," Kara confided, approaching the couch. "What magic did you employ for that?"

"Trader Joe's lotion on my hands frequently as I cleaned," Lena let on. "And that multi-surface Windex." Kara giggled again, and Lena made a grabby hands motion at her. "Please get over here now," Lena said, and Kara's giggles only intensified as she picked her feet up off the floor and hovered over Lena until weight gently settled down on top of her, warm and reassuring and welcome. "Thank you," Lena sighed, wrapping her arms around Kara and breathing in her scent. "And welcome home."

"If only they knew the billionaire CEO spent the entire day cleaning," Kara mumbled through her giggles, and Lena rolled her eyes, jabbing Kara in the ribs. "Right, sorry, sorry, millionaire. Have I told you yet today I'm proud of you for giving enough away to lose your billionaire status? Because that should be something I tell you daily. Especially for the orphanage for aliens you funded. That's still my favorite."

"Thank you," Lena said, still warm at the knowledge of the safety she helped create. "Though feeding you is quite the financial endeavor, I think a few hundred million should keep that stomach of yours happy and full for the rest of our lives." Kara chuckled into her collarbone, long past being embarrassed about her appetite when it was Lena doing the teasing. "Lillian get back fine?" Lena confirmed.

Kara mhmed. "Her flight left Thursday morning and touched down in time for a late lunch. I think she texted you but figured you wouldn’t be looking at anything on your phone for a while."

"Yeah, sorry," Lena said.

"Hey," Kara said, raising herself up and propping her elbows on either side of Lena's head, ponytail hanging down to tickle the side of Lena's face, and Lena smiled with a roll of her eyes, "Do not apologize. This was the most incredible and fun start to a world-changing invention, and you all got the worst of it done in one week. That's amazing, and that's all thanks to you."

"Thanks," Lena said, smiling softly. "Though it wasn't all thanks to me. Large thanks goes to Lillian." She raised an eyebrow deliberately at Kara. "And to you. For opening your home. In fact, I believe I mentioned something about thanking you tenfold for this?"

A line of red was creeping up Kara's neck, and her breathing had shallowed noticeably, but then she narrowed her eyes and examined Lena's face. "You did," she agreed. "But you still look like you need another seventeen hours' sleep before you go about thanking me in any capacity."

Lena groaned. "You're going to deny us that pleasure?"

"For eighteen hours, yeah I am, while you're too exhausted to see straight. I can't believe you cleaned this all today, to be honest. You need a decent meal and another hot shower and a more than full nights' sleep and you can thank me all day tomorrow."

Lena pursed her lips. "Don't you think I'll sleep all the better with a clean conscience that I've at least made a down payment on my debt? So my wife knows I intend to pay her what was promised in full?"

Kara bit her own lip, swayed by her well-put argument as always. "Well, when you put it like that… I'm sure something can be arranged."

Lena grinned wolfishly, and it was Kara's turn to roll her eyes. "Oh!" Lena said, sitting up and pushing Kara up with her. "While you're here, can I get you to take the extra parts from the engineering out to the car?" Kara chuckled, settling beside her so they were side by side on the couch. "Yes. You take a nap."

Lena's eyes narrowed. "I will make dinner."

"You just cleaned all day, you're not making dinner, too."

"You cooked all week," Lena shot back. "We went over this, you're not the maid, you're my wife--"

"And you're mine," Kara retaliated, raising an eyebrow.

Lena sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. "If these are the only fights we have," she muttered wryly, "I think we're gonna be okay."

Kara smiled faintly, glancing around the room, destroyed and put back together by two people who were now rich enough to hire anyone to do it, but did it themselves every time, because process was important to them. "Yeah," she murmured, and slung an arm around Lena's shoulders, pulling her in closer, and Lena rested her head on Kara's shoulder. "I think we are." She paused. "We'll cook dinner together and I'll take the stuff out tomorrow morning."

Lena nodded into her shoulder. "You're my favorite."

"I would hope so. That was in your wedding vows." Lena's laughter erupted unexpectedly into Kara's shoulder, and Kara pulled her tighter.