Authors Note from Saya4haji:
I have the great pleasure of introducing this new story. It has been a privilege to work with the esteemed rhino whose work I highly recommend. Rhino, Your imagination, attention to detail, patience and ability to edit and make sense of my rambling has made this an absolute joy to write. I thank you and I look forward to working with you more in the future.
Now dear readers, please enjoy our story!
Supergirl paced across Lena’s office, agitation radiating from her. At any other time Lena would have loved having the gorgeous caped crusader alone and getting to bask in her presence.
But not today.
Right now, Supergirl was raking over Lena’s right to hold private property, and the dangers of Kryptonite.
Quite frankly, Lena’s temper was wearing thin. There were only so many times that Lena could defend her actions before her temper and Luthor cool mask will crack.
“...I understand that you had no choice in making the Kryptonite to help with the Reign situation. But that is over now. You need to hand it over to the DEO, or even to me if you’re not comfortable with giving it to the DEO. You don’t understand how dangerous it is…” Supergirl continued on in a familiar ramble.
Lena breathed deeply and tried again, cutting Supergirl off mid flow as she sipped her whiskey and glided behind her intimidatingly large desk: keeping it between her and the overly confident alien nuisance.
“It is my private property Supergirl. I made the Kryptonite and so it is proprietary of L-Corp and our material. Unless the constitution of this country has drastically changed in the last 24 hours, then property rights are still sacred in America and there is no law against making artificial kryptonite. Natural kryptonite is a regulated and controlled substance but not my artificial kind. I know because I checked the laws, as did my small army of very expensive lawyers.”
Supergirl’s jaw tensed as she clenched her teeth. “That’s a technicality Lena and besides the point. Kryptonite is dangerous…”
Lena cuts in again, her eyebrow cocking and her eyes narrowing in challenge, “Dangerous yes, but it is sealed in a vault that you only know about because you came crashing in here, and then had Guardian leverage his personal relationship against me to spy in the most private areas of my building. Clearly you don’t trust me and think of me I just another Luthor, too dangerous to have Kryptonite. But that is not your right to dictate at me!”
Supergirl’s pacing froze and her cerulean blue eyes softened for a moment before she seemed to drag her resolve back to herself and straightens into her trademark pose with hands on hips. Her tone became tired as she continued. “Trust Lena? I have trusted you when no one else would. When everyone, James included thought the worst of you. When Edge poisoned those kids, when your mother framed you and broke out of prison. Rhao, even when you had your finger on the trigger of a weapon that could have wiped out all alien life in the city. I stood back and trusted you. This isn’t about trust! Why can’t you see that I’m trying protect us both with this?”
Lena leaned back in her truly ridiculous chair, inch by inch with each accusation and reminder of Supergirl’s trust. Lena winced, glad for the desk that separated them and the whiskey that burned her throat while quieting the nagging voice in her mind that urged her to capitulate. Lena knew that she was being unfair to the hero. But Supergirl was being unreasonable and she would be damned if she rolled over like a dog begging for acceptance and affection.
Lena opened her mouth to argue back but Supergirl continued, blind to Lena’s growing emotional turmoil. A lethal mix of guilt, anger, resentment and hurt.
“I have trusted you so much Miss Luthor,” Lena twitches at the switch to the formal title and the distance it denotes in their relationship. Her resolve harding as Supergirl adds blow after blow to Lena’s patience and understanding, “when the DEO heard about the vault in L-corp they wanted to send an official team. I didn’t want there to be that kind of record or public doubt of you. I trusted you, I told them it was unnecessary! I had Guardian check because I know you. And I know you’re curiosity ignores consequences sometimes. With Reign on the loose we needed to know and I trusted James wouldn’t hurt you or use it against you if he found it.”
Neither woman would be sure what drove Lena’s explosive reaction and ultimately Lena’s control and temper snapped. Questioning her trustworthiness or her intelligence, but the outcome was inevitable.
The glass of whiskey that had been Lena’s comfort was swiped off the desk in a single move as she shot to her feet, knocking back her chair.
Lena’s breaths were coming heavily into the room as silence reigned and Supergirl’s innocent blue eyes blew wide in shock at the Luthor’s loss of control.
Lena’s eyes turned poisonous as she stared down Supergirl who moved to fidget before freezing and holding her chin high in righteous indignation.
“You dare to speak to me about trust!” Lena bit out between clenched teeth, accompanied by a cruel laugh.
Lena stalked out from behind her desk. Her face now a cold smile and her steps predatory as she closed the distance between them. Supergirl felt a ripple of unease before quelling the absurdity of feeling threatened by a human, by Lena.
“How dare you question my ability to protect and work with dangerous substances! How dare you question my character. I thought you knew me better than that. You speak about trust and condescend to me from your ivory tower Supergirl! As though you are some paragon of virtue, as though your judgement and actions are beyond reproach. Alas, I suppose the hypocrisy of Super’s is genetic Kara .” Lena hissed.
Kara sucked in a shocked breath at Lena’s use of her secret identity and the hissed accusation it was used to propound. Kara staggered back a step as though struck, the shock unbalancing her. She looked as if she’d been struck.
Lena couldn’t help the smug smile that graced her ruby red lips, basking in the power of her revelation. As a Luthor she was always good at using secrets and information as barbs for best effect and there was always a satisfaction in the pay off of good timing.
Supergirl seemed to be curling in on herself in hurt but Kara started to recover with a steadying breath. Her posture straightened once more and resolve settled on her face like a steel mask.
“When? When would you have me tell you Lena? “ Kara asks in a desperate and pleading whisper, her hands thrown high as though asking for strength from her alien god Rao.
The flood gates opened and Kara let out all of her pent up concerns and worries.
“The second time I met you, you showed me a Rao be damned alien detection device and tried to force me to prove I was ‘human.’ You were so blinded by your great technical breakthrough and your own limited applications of it for medicine that you couldn’t see how it would be abused by people without your morals. You were blind to how you would destroy my life and endanger my family with your xenophobic little toy!”
Lena sucks in a harsh breath at the criticism, “I am not responsible for how people misuse my technology. Technology is neutral.”
Kara laughs bitterly, “The same excuses Lena. Just like your brother.”
It is Lena this time who reals back as though struck, tears springing to her eyes. Kara hesitates for a moment at the sight but her anger is too strong and the repressed emotions come spilling forth with poisonous venom.
“‘ Technology is neutral ,’ - It’s declarations like that which made me withhold my identity from you Lena and which makes me question you having Kryptonite! It’s naive to create something so dangerous like the detection device and hand it to zealots and not expect bloodshed, expect that just because you won’t misuse it, others won’t either. Technology is neutral, Ha! Technology is never neutral! With all your exalted intellect that line is beneath you, a cop out worthy of the slimiest politician and I had hoped better of you Lena.”
Lena hisses in reply, “There’s that hypocrisy again, Ka-ra . Medusa? Myriad? The bizarro clone of yourself? If you can’t keep safe your own DNA, can’t keep the last of your own people’s, your own families technologies safe with your advanced technology, Kryptonian intelligence and the DEO run by your sister then you shouldn’t throw stones while you are living in a glass house.”
Kara goes red in either embarrassment or anger. “That technology was my families and my peoples, my dead peoples. I didn’t even know it existed until it was too late. And people using my very physical existence against me isn’t something I can completely guard for while alive. You, you though...you created the damn tech knowing full well the dangers and damage it could do. You even had Lex as a full blown case study example of how badly it could go wrong and how your technology could be used to cause harm, but you still persisted because Luthor's know best. You fall back on your Luthor upbringing and that terrifies me. When you’re like that you don’t think of the consequences of your actions.”
Lena tried to rally herself. “You have no right, you lied to me about your identity…”
Kara cut across Lena. “ Of course I lied Lena. When should I have told you that your best friend was Supergirl hmm? After I found out you created mind control nanobots and thought hackable nanobots just needed a patch? That kind of bad judgement after the alien detection device showed me that your mistakes weren’t one offs but dangerous patterns!”
Kara’s arms gesture sharply and she raced on before Lena could interrupt. “Or maybe after the third time you had a security breach at L-corp which I had to protect you from? But by then it had been too long hadn’t it? There was no way you’d have accepted it then. Maybe I should have told you when you went drunk with a gun to murder Morgan Edge for framing you Lena? I couldn’t tell you and then ultimately I was right wasn’t I? I couldn’t trust you! You created Kryptonite and stored it at L-corp...the one place in National City that has been broken into more times and with more ease than a child’s cheap money box. You may as well have stored it in a cardboard box for all the good your vaunted Luthor security does!”
“So we’re bringing up all of our dirty laundry then?” Lena snarled quietly. She would not have Kara turning this on her. Using their private friendship against her and blaming her for the actions of criminals.
“No.” Kara shook her head. “I’m saying you’re reckless, you don’t think through the consequences of your actions. Do you have any idea how terrifying that is for someone like me? You made Kryptonite and if it is used to hurt me, it's not just me who suffers but all the people I am meant to protect. It’s not just me at risk if my identity gets out. The lives of everyone I love would be leverage within minutes! What if you wrote something down? Or made something to make my life easier? Anything that could give away my identity and you can’t keep it safe? How many security leaks have you had in just this last year? If kidnapping the CEO is so easy your servers certainly aren’t safe. My lack of trust isn’t personal Lena, if it had just been me at risk I would have risked it and told you my identity but it’s not. I lost a family and a world once, I won’t risk it all again.”
Lena sneered, “How you would be hurt....What you would risk...you, perfect little alien you! That’s what it comes down to Kara, your own selfishness. You play this altruistic hero card but at its core it is a lie! You are only concerned about Kryptonite because it might hurt you . Selfish to a fault! You ignore how it helped Reign, saved lives and may hold the key to so many cures for humans! You talk about keeping your identity secret for your friends and family’s protection but that’s just a convenient excuse. I say you like having two identities, you like making fools of us little people. All that matters is that you are happy Kara, that is all you care about, that you get to play God, that you can be the idolised hero and that you can then hide behind the Kara Danvers mask when things get hard. You can run to Alex, you can fiddle with your glasses and play the mouse instead of standing up for yourself. All the while ignoring the hurt and pain your lies, your decit, your machiavellian scheming causes as you pretend to be two people and spy on those of us who are dumb enough to trust you.” Lena laughed with wet cruelty and Kara flinched at how much it sounded like Lex, like Lord.
“You betrayed me Kara! You lied to me! How can I trust you when I know you used your identities to play me, acting as friend and then adversary within the space of hours. What was it hmm? You thought it would be funny to get one over on the Luthor? Thought you needed to keep your enemy close, fool me into friendship just to spy on me!? You know what Kara, you would make the perfect Luthor. Your ability to lie, to rationalise your cruelty, to wear your hypocrisy and condescension as an impenetrable armour are things my mother would love. You have taken it to an art form.”
Kara weathered the storm, taking hit after hit but her eyes welled up before she finally twisted on her heal with a snap of her cape. She stiffly marched to the balcony. “I can’t talk to you if you’re going to be purposefully cruel like this Lena. I understand you are hurt and feel betrayed. I’m so sorry that I caused this, that I hurt you. But you’re not trying to understand. We should cool off before we ruin our friendship.”
Lena laughed, no cackled, maniacally. “Oh typical” She gasped between hysteric crows of laughter as she makes her way to her whisky bottle to pour another drink. God she needed it.
“The going gets tough and Kara rushes off. What, no excuse of an emergency? Just going to cut and run? You seem very good at that. Winn shows an interest in you and you blank him until it goes away. You fall out with Lucy and you run away. You argue with Maggie and you run away. James shows an interest in you so you run away. Cat Grant raises her voice and you scurry off to do her bidding. The DEO asks you to make hard decision and you run off. Hell, maybe getting off your planet before it burned was just the start of a lifelong habit. Things get hard and Kara Danvers runs off!” Lena gasped for breath at the end of her tirade. Silence stole across the room like the shadow of a something hungry and dark.
Kara’s form had gone rigid. She was frozen in place at the threshold of the balcony.
Lena sucked in a breath, her own words repeating over in her head. The silence echoed about them, as she realized exactly what she’d said, the lines she’d just crossed. Her shaking hands lowered her whisky back to her desk as she watched Kara worriedly.
Kara turned slowly. Lena expected rage, burning red eyes or tears. What faced her was worse. Kara’s face was devoid of emotion. Cast in the shadow of the doorway, her face was cast in greys and her eyes seem to shine with a dull light. Kara’s face looked almost carved from stone, not a line or emotion slipping through.
Lena’s tried to hide a shudder as she tried to fathom what had changed; what emotion Kara was feeling that was making Lena feel...uneasy. For the first time Lena saw the alien that Kara was. It wasn’t the superpowers, the threat of an army contained in that singular body but the unnatural stillness which had overtaken Kara.
Was she even breathing Lena wondered. Does Kara need to breathe? The unnatural stillness was so at odds with Kara’s usual fidgety persona that it unsettled Lena further. She’d finally gotten what she wanted, she’d broken through the masks and lies and now she regretted it bitterly. This...this wasn’t what she’d wanted.
“Do you feel better now?” Kara whispered softly, her voice devoid of warmth. There was a tension, an unconscious threat to her very being.
“Kara, I didn’t mean-” Lena began haltingly but was cut off before she could apologize or even articulate to herself what exactly she’d done. Had she really let herself be so blinded she had...well.
“Do you feel better now that you have hurt me? Does it make you feel strong, powerful?” Kara whispered, that same hardness covering even her eyes. No spark of humanity or affection shining through.
“No, no I-” Lena tried to explain as she stumbled forward, her hands blindly reaching out to cross the gaping maw of vastness that seems to have sprung up between her and Kara.
Kara cut her off again, “I had thought better of you Lena, I had thought with the cruely you had experienced you would know better. Would feel compassion. I thought you would understand that line.”
Lena stalled in her movements towards Kara. She was stranded adrift half way across her office floor and so far from Kara both emotionally and physically. This was...she’d taken her hurt and shattered something precious.
“I lied to you Lena and now you have attacked me, used my pain against me. Does that make our slights equal? I lied to you Lena about my identity. I admit that and I am more sorry than you will ever know. Sorry I hurt you, sorry I damaged a friendship I cherish. But, I never once purposefully used anything you told me about your childhood, your fears and sorrows against you.” Kara harshly accuses.
Lena opens her mouth to rebuke Kara, her mind racing to find a counter argument, a defence. Supergirl had rebuked her for her actions and then Kara had acted as her confidant, had listened to her rants against Supergirl and tried to defend Supergirl but never it seems used the secrets Lena has told her against her. Not as Supergirl, not as Kara. Not for an article or for personal gain. She’d known that, the why not? Why for every betrayal had that singular betrayal never happened? It had stuck in the back of her throat, twisting inside of her for weeks.
Before Lena could think of what to say Kara took a small step back into her office. With deliberate slowness, as if knowing that in this moment her strength was near to bursting from her tightly controlled grasp, Kara closed the balcony doors. The almost silent click of the lock louder than the cocking of a gun in the silent room and even more ominous. The sound profound and final.
Kara stared deeply into Lena’s eyes, the atmosphere growing thick. “Everyday I want to run Lena but I don’t. I was a scared child on a strange new world but I stayed and endured. I learned a new language and a new culture. I was bullied and called a freak in school but I stood my ground. I have faced intolerance and stood my ground. I have faced down alien and human monsters the likes of which you can barely understand. I have stood my ground even in the face of certain death, powerless and alone. I have accepted my death and still stood my ground. You have watched me be beaten into a coma that nearly killed me. And still you clearly know nothing of the things I have faced, so don’t you dare question my strength, my courage. I wanted to leave to give us both some time, so that neither of us would say something possibly unforgivable.”
Lena swallows dryly at the word unforgivable . The sick fear solidified into the realisation that perhaps she had finally said and done something that Kara wouldn’t forgive her for. Maybe this is the moment that Kara finally sees the worthless Luthor she is, filled with darkness and dangerousness.
Lena can’t help an involuntary step forward, her mind and body refusing to accept that she may lose Kara. Because she hurt and everything was wrong but she couldn’t lose Kara.
Kara sucked in a breath, her posture softening just ever so slightly. “I have never run from you before Lena and since you are so keen for this discussion, let’s just finish this. I lied to you about my identity. I dd it consciously and unconsciously for a number of reasons. I wanted to protect my family because the more a secret is shared then inevitably the more likely it is to be revealed. I wanted to protect you because anyone who knows is a target. I was also selfish because I liked having one person who cared more about Kara than Supergirl. One friend who saw the ordinary and thought it was enough. You were my taste of normality and I cherished it. I recognise that was selfish. I recognised it in fact a long time ago but by then it was too late, the secret was kept and I feared this very reaction. I feared you’re suspicion that I lied because to you because you are a Luthor: the ruination of our friendship. Lillian said you would never forgive me when you discovered the truth and I couldn’t bear that thought.-”
“My mother knows!” Lena almost screeched, dashing forward as though to somehow protect Kara.
Kara’s stiff posture relaxes a little more at the obvious shock and protective reaction of her friend. She nodded fractionally and slowly sat down.
Lena hesitantly moved to sit on the far end of the couch from her. The space between her and Kara feeling like an insurmountable valley. Her posture remains stiff and rigid.
Kara took a slow breath and her eyes become calculating in a way that makes Lena uneasy. Kara slid across the couch and brushed Lena’s hair away from her tear stained cheeks. When had she started to cry?
“I know why I kept my identity from you Lena and now you do too, but I still don’t understand when you found out or why you kept it from me that you knew?”
Lena pulled at the hem of her pencil skirt nervously. Ducking her head to escape the cerulean blue of Kara’s penetrative gaze. Lena tried to clear her throat and order her thoughts. Lena offers a shrug trying to play down the momentous nature of her decision, how she has been so emotionally compromised by Kara that she had set aside her thirst for knowledge, her hurt and betrayal; all to maintain the illusion of friendship. All to keep Kara, to keep the status quo. It was pathetic, Lillian would sneer at the thought of allowing lo- friendship to compromise her and ignore such a breach of trust.
“I was being patient. I was hoping that you would tell me eventually. After each crisis when I showed I wasn’t like my family I thought that would be the moment you would tell me the truth. Then, then I suppose I understood. I am a Luthor afterall.”
“It was never that!” Kara interrupted.
Lena’s lips twitched in an imitation of a smile, waving her hand to swipe away Kara’s reassurances. Kara may truly believe what she said but deep down Lena knew that there must be some part of Kara that hesitated because of her name.
“Anyway, I did ruminate on why you would have befriended me for a while. Was it to watch the potentially crazy Luthor? To get one over on me?” Lena frowned at Kara as she went to interrupt again which quickly silenced her friend. “Then after a while I saw in your actions that you were really trying to be my friend, at least until recently with the kryptonite. So I just let it slide. I went against my nature. I wanted your friendship. I wanted our lunches and your unwavering support. A kind ear in a city that has so often sought to destroy me. You are literally my only friend Kara so I let it slide because I had to. I was desperate and pathetic.”
Lena’s voice is cruel and mocking.
“Oh Lena,” Kara whispered, all the love and sympathy she can manage in her voice. “You never see yourself very clearly. It’s not pathetic to want friendship, to lie to yourself to keep it. I did the same thing to keep you. I lied to myself and to you that I could keep the secret, that I was doing it for selfless reasons and not just my need for your friendship. For my need to not risk...us.”
Lena blinked momentarily, caught off guard by the dissonance of Kara’s tone and words. For a moment Lena thinks she heard the tone of love in the word “us” that Lena had dreamed of. Not just friendship but something more.
Lena shook herself and shrugged lightly, trying to shake off the errant thought, “Well, fear makes people do silly things. It’s why us Luthors usually refuse to feel it,” Lena sarcastically retorts.
Kara smiled lightly but fidgeted before looking at Lena beneath hesitantly lowered lashes. “So um, h-how? How did you figure out…” Kara stutters as she waved at herself in self explanation.
Lena smiled crookedly. Her red lips twisting almost painfully as she glances at the primary coloured monstrosity of the supersuit.
“Yes, I suppose you would want to know how I figured out your identity. Need to cut off any security risks I suppose.” Lena dryly responded with disdain.
Before Kara can interrupt to reassure Lena she rushed on.
“It wasn’t anything momentous or really any one thing that led to my revelation about your identity. I was ruminating on my friendship with you, with Kara Danvers you I mean. I was thinking about how lucky I was to have a friend and then, well I sort of indulged in a thought experiment which was the proverbial rabbit hole that finally let me see the truth.” Lena gesticulates with her hands in a subconscious move to distract Kara from the vagueness of her answer.
Kara’s eyes scrunch as she tries to make sense of Lena’s explanation. The crinkle between her eyes appears and Lena can’t help but think how obvious a tell it is between Kara and her Super alter ego. Could Kryptonians get fillers? Or maybe botox? That damn crinkle was distracting and an obvious security risk. Lena will have to speak with Alex and her shadowy government agency about it in the future.
And isn’t that just the rub Lena thinks. Even angry and betrayed she is already calculating future means of protecting Kara.
Kara’s eyes flicker back and forth across Lena as though her X-ray vision may give some insight into Lena’s motivations for not revealing she had uncovered Kara’s secret.
Hesitantly Kara reaches out to Lena, her hand falling short of grasping Lena’s as it rests beside her pencil skirt but their pinkies touch in a gentle brush of contact and Kara focuses on it for a moment before redirecting her attention back to Lena.
“A thought experiment? What kind of thought experiment lead you to my secret identity?” Kara asks curiously.
Lena attempts to clear her throat, loath to reveal yet another symptom of her loveless childhood and her worthless Luthor character but she refuses to lie to lie to Kara here and now, it feels sacrilegious now that so much truth, painful and harsh as it is, flows between them.
Lena shrugs again and stares over Kara’s right shoulder, steadfastly avoiding any eye contact in this confession.
“When I was young Lex taught me that if things are scary or if they appear too good to be true then you should imagine every possible worst case scenario. Sink into them. Live them. Make them as real, painful and vivid as you can and then you can plan for them or at the very least the mundane reality will be far less painful than the worst case scenario the Luthor intelligence can dream up. It’s a coping mechanism: live the worst in your head and the real world can never touch you. I had been thinking on how lucky I was to have your friendship and then that lead to thoughts of how it could end up hurting me...really it only took a few hundred permutations of the future for me to run into absurdity of you being Supergirl, and then my subconscious started to put things together.”
Lena’s words are dull, self effacing.
Kara however was horrified. Lena was one of the most intelligent people she knows. Her attention to detail, imagination and raw genius are characteristics which Kara as always admired but suddenly the thought of them makes her feel ill. What sorts of futures could Lena be imagining on a day and daily basis, in exacting and horrifying detail. To live everyday in hundreds of worst case scenarios before you ever actually begin it sounds like hell...it suddenly dawns on Kara why Lena has never been phased by her near death experiences. She has lived far worse in her mind on a day and daily basis.
“You imagine the worst case scenario and live it in your head...on purpose?” Kara asked part horrified and part morbidly curious. It is the exact opposite of how Kara lives. Kara always tries to look for the opportunity, the decision which will grant the most optimistic outcome. For Lena to do the opposite, it broke Kara’s heart. How can someone so loving, gentle and brilliant live in a world where they foresee only the bad?
Lena refused to meet Kara’s eyes, she shrugged lazily with one shoulder. “It serves me well in business.”
Kara sat in shock before the ramifications really hit her. “So, one of your worst case scenarios was that Supergirl and Kara Danvers were one in the same?” Kara asked, the words seeming to catch in her throat. Kara drew back into herself, her arms wrapping around herself as though she could hold herself and all of her pain within.
Lena’s gaze snapped to Kara and she almost flinched at the look of devastation.
She rushed to reassure Kara, reaching forward to grip her hand between her own, “It was nothing so specific. I began by imagining worst case scenarios where by Kara Danvers would be persuaded by others that I was unworthy of the friendship that I had come to cherish. Those scenarios morphed to include Supergirl warning Kara off the dangerous Luthor. I was open to the idea that Supergirl might do something like that, afterall I had lost her as a friend and I began wondering...what else could take my last friend from me. The idea of you and Supergirl got a little mixed up in my head and imagining the conversation you two would be having inevitably lead me to seeing the similarities in your voices, facial expressions, body language..hell Kara your disguise is a hunch, pastel colours, and some glasses! All it took was me really ‘seeing’ you both side by side in conversation in my head and I couldn’t not see the truth!”
Kara untensed but blushed at Lena’s reprimand. She sat quietly for a moment, her eyes fastened to Lena’s hands where they seem to have subconsciously begun rubbing reassuring patterns across Kara’s skin.
Kara dragged her eyes away from the mesmerising sight of her hand being massaged by Lena’s ivory fingers, worried that Lena may notice her distraction, realise what she was doing and stop.
Kara gazed into Lena’s sincere eyes, awed once again at their swirling depths which reminded her so vividly of the malachite pools of Komar on Krypton. She shrugged self consciously in her supersuit and couldn’t help the faint blush that paints her cheeks.
“Most people shy away from seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Its basic psychology, the human mind doesn’t want to acknowledge that the being who can lift an oil tanker one handed is also the nerdy hunched girl with glasses and who really likes soft materials and soft pastel colours. It worked for Cl-”
Kara cut herself off before she utters her cousins name but Lena just raises her infamous eyebrow and drily reprimands her, “Clark. The glasses and hunch work for Clark...as Superman.”
Kara fidgets with Lena’s fingers to cope with the reality that all her secrets are out there, even Clark’s. Kara groaned internally, how is she going to tell Clark that Lena Luthor knows his secret identity? He was always so unreasonable about anything to do with the Luthors, even when Kara was singing Lena’s praises, he was cautioning restraint.
“Yes. Clark, or rather Kal-El as I call him,” Kara said smiling hesitantly at Lena and offering the name almost as an apology.
It seemed to be a mistake though as Lena pulled back, a frown coming to her face and her hands defensively resting in her lap. Kara felt bereft at the loss of contact.
“Kal-El.” Lena tries, the words tumbling from her mouth before she slumped almost defeated. “I don’t even know your real name then do I? Some best friend?” Lena snorts derisively but the wet sound at the end reveals the true depth of her hurt. Because Kara had hurt her.
Kara slipped from the sofa and knelt before Lena. Because no matter her intentions she had betrayed Lena, she’d failed as a friend, a person, and as herself. Lena’s hurt was more than justified. Kara had been so blinded by duty and her own wants that she had allowed herself to be cruel.
Lena had turned her face away from her to hide her watering eyes but whipped back when she felt Kara prising her hands open and gripping them warmly. She could feel herself getting lost in Kara’s eyes, again damn it.
Kara breathed deeply and the solemnity of the moment descended, the world fading away except for the two of them there, wounds torn open bleeding for all that they could not be seen. And then Kara spoke. “On Krypton, at my home as child,” Kara’s voice cracked and Lena grips her hands tighter in reassurance, “I was known as Kara Zor-El, The youngest daughter of the Ancient and Noble House of El.”
Kara’s accent added a lilting pause between the syllables of her first name that Lena has never heard before. Her voice was filled with restrained pride, as though saying her name was profound. Her pride in her identity and her House so at odds with everything Lena had ever felt as a Luthor.
Lena wanted to try and repeat Kara’s name in that same lilting accent but before she could Kara was uncurling Lena’s hand and pressing it against Kara’s chest just above her super-crest.
“But here, on earth, I don’t think of myself like that anymore. In my head I am a child of both Krypton and Earth, in my head and my heart I am both Kara Danvers and Supergirl. I am Kara Linda Lee Danvers Zor-El. That is my true name. That is the name I choose.”
Lena’s lungs felt tight as she tried to breathe through her emotions and the weight of honesty between them. In finally having Kara truly be honest with her after all this time.
“I-It’s nice to meet you Kara,” Lena said, trying her best to put that same lilting pause in Kara’s name. She must have done a halfway decent job because Kara smiled at her.”
For the first time this evening both women shared a unifying thought, “Maybe we will be ok .”