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Q.E.D.

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The inside of a lab was always somewhere where she could focus on a problem. The genius was in her element here. Analyze, dissect, and maul over one problem after another. Alone in her lab.

But she has always been alone hasn’t she? That was her true nature wasn’t it? Who she was born to be- alone with no one. She was so desperately trying to fight against it. Just when she felt that she was breaking free of her curse the illusion shattered. It was the last straw she could bear and now something inside her was broken.

Now she was in her lab trying to find a solution her current problem.

Synthesis of a new batch of Kryptonite would finish soon and then she would fashion it to suit her needs. The thing about being a genius was that she could still make more of the substance without the formula being turned over to the DEO and could supercharge it even more than when she initially made it for stopping Reign. It was sure to bring Supergirl to her knees in an instant of exposure.

Lena wondered if the pain Kara would feel would feel from it would be sufficiently comparable to what she was feeling now. What hurt worse- betrayal or the sensation of nails running through ones blood? She’d be ready to run that experiment soon.

At that thought Lena took the last drink from the bottle of scotch- pouring into a glass seemed pointless when she was finishing them by the bottle now. She threw the empty bottle with the rest of empty ones then cracked open the new one. Thus far the burn of scotch had done little to ease her ache and there simply was no box in her mind could that could contain it. The more she tried to stuff her feelings into those tiny boxes the more uncontainable they felt.

The same thoughts ruminated in her mind since she killed Lex, his mocking replaying over and over.

“The joke’s on you.” “Your friends have been lying to you from the start." “Kara danvers is Supergirl!” “You’re left with no one and nothing!”

Lena took another drink of scotch as the green from the newly synthesized Kryptonite glowed.

Maybe being a Luthor was her true nature.

Her phone that was put on silent so she would not be disturbed lit up, but Kara’s call went unnoticed and unanswered for a 5th time.

Chapter Text

Kara hung up, visibly disappointed that she was again unable to reach Lena.

Sometimes Kara wondered just where Lena got the time to do anything else between running L-Corp, CatCo and probably coming up with at least 3 new inventions.

Kara figured Lena might even be busier between Lillian being out of prison and Lex missing. With no body recovered, Kara knew that Lex was still out there. That meant that she needed to remain vigilant for both their sakes.

The nagging anxiety remained with her since their game night at J’onn’s place. It was never easy telling someone her secret, being an alien and having to lie about who she was, was second nature. But now Kara knew this wasn’t something that she wanted to keep from Lena anymore and the sooner she told her the truth the better.

Kara looked around her CatCo office. James had taken the rest of day off to spend the day with Kelly who was extending her stay in National City and they were exploring her options in terms of accommodations. 

Kara decided to phone Alex.

“Hey Kara”

“Alex- have you heard from Lena?”

“Lena? No why?”

“I’ve been trying to call her and haven’t been getting through.”

“Still planning on telling her your secret?”

“I have to Alex.”

“I know you want to but…”

“But what?”

“You were the one who said how upset she was with Eve- I’m just worried,” Alex stated cautiously.

Kara sighed deeply. “She'll probably hate me- but I have to tell her the truth. She deserves to know.”

“You need some backup on the reveal?”

“No, I have to do this on my own.”

“Let me know how it goes alright.”

“Yeah- if I can get a hold of her.”

Chapter Text

It was night.

Lena was still in her lab having completed her fabrication, now stared at her phone.

13 missed calls. From Kara.

She put the phone the phone to ear as it rung, her face void of emotions.

“Lena?!”

Lena was full of her own deceit and she spoke as though nothing had changed, “Hey Kara! Sorry I missed your calls, I was busy working on something in the lab.”

“No its fine- I came over and they said you were busy. I needed to talk to you.”

“Actually there is something important I wanted to talk to you about too Kara, can you meet me in my office?”

“Uh, right now?"

"I'm sorry, you're right its late. Maybe tomorrow."

"No its fine- I’m on my way.”

“Thanks Kara.”

***

Supergirl hung up the phone and lifted off the roof into the air, hovering over National City in the night’s sky, far enough that she wouldn’t be visible to the naked eye; she surveyed Lena’s empty office. She waited there until she saw Lena come into her office carrying a bottle of scotch in one hand and a box in the other. She was relieved to see that Lena was fine, despite the alcohol indulgence.

Supergirl watched as Lena settled in her chair waiting for her.

Supergirl steeled herself. Flying off, she put Kara Danvers on and walked with determination into L-Corp.

Chapter Text

Lena sat in her chair and took a swing of her drink, staring out at National City.

Kara’s head popped into the room from the door, “Lena?”

Lena turned her chair as Kara entered, “Kara- took your time to get here.”

Kara fidgeted nervously, stumbling to find an excuse, “Yea my Uber driver took a wrong turn.” She gave one her apologetic smiles, her eyes squinting as they always do.

Lena popped her brow up at the excuse and averted her eyes, every conversation they had may have very well been wrapped in lies. Kara was a façade. Lena’s rage seethed within her but she wrestled for control and held onto it as best as she could- there was a plan in motion here. She had to have absolute certainty that her anger wasn’t misplaced. She needed to hold the dam of emotions back just a fraction longer. She looked back at Kara who was taking a seat across from her desk.

“So- What did you want to talk about?"

" Isn't there something you wanted to tell me?"

"Yeah but maybe you should you go first- what I have so say is a bit on the heavy side. You seem pretty stressed out. Does it have anything to do with Lex?”

Lena raised her brow again, “And Lex is light conversation?”

Lena’s rage surged again, her thoughts swirling. This whole ruse was all because of him! Because she was a Luthor! She closed her eyes and breathed deeply.

Her state did not go unnoticed by Kara who was getting more nervous by the second. Something was clearly troubling Lena, she prayed to Rao it wasn’t Lex or Lillian.

“Lena what is it then? You know you can tell me anything.”

Lena’s cold calculating green eyes shoot open and stared straight into Kara’s soft slightly anxious gaze. The Luthor genes asserted themselves as her expression fell into her emotionless mask- she deserved answers.

She set aside her drink on the table and her experiment began.

“I’m on the brink of a major discovery Kara,” Lena rose from her seat, moved around her desk and finally resting herself on its edge right in front of Kara.

“That’s great!” Kara said excitedly.

“I’m not so sure Kara. I think it has the potential to be catastrophic, like all other things I seem to conjure I suppose.”

Kara grew grave for a split second but tried her best to make light of the news, “Once it isn’t another invasion it will be fine. Or then again we’ve handled so much of them- Daxamites, world killers, Kaznians- what’s one more?” laughing nervously.

“I guess we have, haven’t we."

"We sure have," Kara smiled.

"Do you trust me Kara?”

“Of course I do Lena! After all we’ve been through this year- I trust you with my life!”

Lena hesitated for a moment. She was a scientist- she had to be sure. With that she picked up the small lead box that was on the office desk.

 “I made this for you Kara Danvers.”

“For- for me? What is it?” Kara raised her brows in surprised curiosity and leaned forward so she might see the contents better upon its reveal.

Lena stared at Kara. Sure she has Kara’s full attention; Lena reached for the box’s lid.

Kara’s sharp gasp was immediate as excruciating pain griped her as soon as the lid cracked open, eyes shut tightly- not that she needed to see what is there. She pressed back into the chair, every inch of her body tensed and her flesh burned. She could hardly breathe.

As Lena expected, the green radiated and illuminated across Kara’s skin.

“Lena -“

“Or should I say- Supergirl?”

 Kara’s eyes flew open only out of sheer panic.

The vision of Lena, holding open a box containing a revolver and 6 Kryptonite bullets, dissipated quickly along with any further comprehension of the situation into blessed unconsciousness from the intense agony of the Kryptonite poison.

Lena watched as Kara’s limp form fell off the chair and onto the floor, the sickening green tendrils of Kryptonite ablaze on her skin.  

And so Lena’s experiment yielded a positive test result.

Chapter Text

Kara began her ascent back into consciousness after what she could have only described as- pain of death. While now it was significantly less in intensity, glass shards still felt like they were coursing through her veins. Kryptonite was still near.

As Kara came more and more into awareness of her body, she groaned painfully. Cracking open her eyes slowly, the realization of her circumstances flooded in quickly. Her hands were bound behind the back of Lena’s chair and gagged with duct tape of all things. Kara fumed and jerked as she tried to pull her arms free, her now mere human strength in her muscles straining against the simple yet effective restraints. Alas, the efficiency of the kryptonite was without question.

Despite this humanization and the pain that filled her body, she continued the futile struggle to break free.

The girl of steel- undone by Lena Luthor, with the help of her glow rocks, duct tape and the alcoholic relaxation of darker inhibitions.

Kara’s thrashing ceased immediately and she whipped her head toward the voice that began speaking.

“Sorry about that Kara, in my rage I- overestimated and seemed to have made this highly pure form of Kryptonite,” holding up one of the kryptonite bullets between her fingers for illustration. She sat on the sofa while Kara was positioned in the middle of the office.

“Just one seems to be enough to keep you in check and we’ll put it in here-”

Lena loaded the lone kryptonite bullet in the cylinder of the revolver, gave it a spin and snapped it into place, with Lena’s nonchalance the most unnerving thing to Kara.

Lena rose from the sofa and approached her captive, gun in hand.

Kara inhaled deeply and leaned back into the chair. The closer proximity to the kryptonite amplified the agony within and her restrained body writhed in response. Her breathing increased as her tolerance tried to compensate for the distress.

Lena stood before Kara now; with Kara now displaying her best pleading puppy eyes she could in attempt to get through to her friend. But her tactic only made Lena furrow her brow in cool anger.

“No- I’ve had enough of your lies- Kara.

Lena’s free hand extended toward her, tearing away Kara’s glasses, discarding it on the floor.

Kara sat frozen.

There was nothing she could do to stop it. Unmasked by Lena. Her deceit uncovered. Her eyes never once left Lena’s scrutiny.

Supergirl gradually emerged. Lena was surprised at how such a small thing made such a difference. Kara’s very demeanor changed. Despite the tension and unease that remained, the awkward and somewhat anxious Kara melted away and the self assured, vigilance of Supergirl took its place.

Lena stared hatefully at Supergirl. She roughly grabbed either sides the placket of Supergirl’s shirt with both hands and ripped it open. Though being certain of what she would see, she still gasped at the sight of Supergirl’s kryptonian family crest on her uniform.

Kara closed her eyes and her body tensed at being now utterly exposed by Lena. She didn’t want it to be like this.

A deep shame gripped her so much that she stopped trying to escape - she deserved all this now. She opened her eyes to see Lena staring back at her.

“Quod Erat Demonstrandum, Supergirl.”

Chapter Text

The tape that gagged Supergirl was unceremoniously ripped away. The girl of steel didn’t flinch, just flexed her jaw at the extra sudden discomfort.

They stared at each other in silence, both coming to terms with this revelation.

Kara grimaced and realized she wanted to move this along, so broke the silence.

“Lena. I’m so sorry.”

The anger gave way to incredulous humor and Lena laughed loudly, as if it was all a big joke. Kara was even more unsettled at this reaction.

Without warning the butt of the gun connected with Kara’s face, whipping her head to the side as Lena’s blow hit her forcefully in the jaw.

“And what are you sorry for exactly Supergirl? That you lied to me or that I found out?” Lena spat full of rage.

Kara had never seen Lena like this before. Lena always tried to hold a tight grip on her emotions despite everything going on. Kara realized that all the bottled emotions Lena had where erupting from their confinement now.

“I swear was going to tell you. I even tried to tell you on the trip back from Kaznia!”

Kara’s head snapped sideways again at her confession, the gun hitting her in the temple, opening a cut at the edge of her eyebrow. She felt the always alien sensation of the ooze of blood now trickling down the side of her face. She clenched her fists that were secured behind her as her respiration increased again.

Lena turned away and furrowed her brow trying to recall the moment.

Realization dawned on her, “That explosion could have killed you.”

“It wouldn’t have.” Kara replayed through her distress.

Lena turned around to face Kara.

“I don’t let my guard down ever and I did….with you.”

Lena pointed her gun at Supergirl who sat up alarmed.

 “And you betrayed me.”

Click.

Kara’s eyes widened.

“I let you in and you…lied to me.

Lena drew closer aiming at Supergirl’s chest.

Click.

“Every day. To my face.”

“Lena please-"

Click.

“About who you were.”

Click.

“For years.”

"Lena..."

Click

Kara flinched this time and exhaled sharply.

“Lena please just let me explain.”

Chapter Text

Lena’s face contorted.

The butt of the gun connected with Supergirl’s mouth and blood spouted from her now split lip.

Before Supergirl could recover from the blow Lena jammed the barrel of her gun under Supergirl’s chin and forced it upward, the back of her head pressed into the back of the chair.

Kara groaned again- more lines of the kryptonite poison asserting itself within the alien. Her mind rebelled against its forced consciousness and continued pain endurace; and so all of Kara’s efforts were directed into remaining alert despite the sear in her flesh.

“No. Let me explain. I had to find out that my best friend betrayed me from Lex! ‘Kara Danvers is Supergirl’ was one of the last things he said to me before I killed him. I knew he would just come after the people I cared about and I killed him so that he couldn’t. I murdered my brother to protect you. To protect Kara Danvers! And you- she isn’t even real!”

Lena fumed, the veins in her forehead popping up.

Kara’s eyes grew wide at the sudden confession. “No…no you didn’t kill him- you- you wouldn’t have,” stuttering through her clenched jaw.

“I shot him twice and watched him die.”

“No- you wouldn’t”

Lena pressed the gun harder under Supergirl’s chin.

“I’m a Luthor- Supergirl- you never seem to remember that,” Lena seethed. Her finger on the trigger exerted a fraction more pressure- itching to squeeze the lone bullet out.

Summoning every ounce of anything she had in her, Kara pushed her head down against the weapon.

“No! You don’t remember! You are more than a name!” Kara countered defiantly through gritted teeth.

Supergirl’s righteous stare bore into Lena and she found she had to pull away from the intensity.

Somewhere Kara thought she saw a shift in Lena’s eyes- like she was getting through Lena’s pain. Even now Kara still believed in Lena.

But somehow it made Lena even angrier. Kara didn’t get to do that anymore- to comfort her, to make her feel better, she was a liar, a traitor. Kara was Supergirl.

Lena snarled and with all the force an adult human female could summon, wound her arm backward then shot it out straight into the kryptonian’s solar plexus.

Kara groaned agonizingly as her body lurched forward. She couldn’t breathe.

Chapter Text

The seconds passed with the muscles in Supergirl’s body spasming as she tried to suck in air as best as she could.

Lena needed a drink. She casually set her revolver down and retrieved her bottle of scotch while Supergirl tried desperately to regain composure.

“Tell me Supergirl, which is worse- the kryptonite or the nails in your blood stabbing you in the heart?”

Lena was smug and was about to take a swing of her scotch when she was stopped by the traitor’s answer.

Kara looked into her eyes once more, still unable to breathe easily, “The kryptonite hur- hurts more. I deserve everything else.”

Time seemed to freeze between them.

Lena had wanted to humiliate Supergirl the same way Lex humiliated her. But it wasn’t satisfying as she expected it would be. Supergirl’s very nobility thwarted the whole thing. Supergirl knew that Lena had a right to be upset and let her be- like it was totally normal to torture your best friend who lied to you about something. Like it was normal for a Luthor to get mad at a Kryptonian who didn’t inform them of their identity. 

Lena broke the stare and sauntered to her desk.

Kara tried to see what Lena was doing. The rest of the kryptonite was probably there, Kara gritted her teeth, bracing for more pain.

“Lena- I’m so-.”

This time Kara was cut off by Lena’s hand over her mouth pulling her head back against the chair. With Kara’s slender neck taut and exposed Lena brought forth the edge of an Irish scian to her throat.

Kara gasped, trying to remain as still as possible.

“Not another word.”

Lena exerted pressure and the blade bit into Kara’s neck drawing a thin line of blood.

Kara felt her blood trickle down her throat and settle on the top of her suit. Her body twitched, wanting desperately to get away. There was no way she could get out of this. Her breathing was now fast, short and sharp through her nose. Panic set in, in a very real way.

She closed her eyes. The only thought running through her mind, ‘I’m sorry Lena.’

The knife moved.

In one smooth motion, it sliced downward through the duct tape that bound Kara. And Lena let go of Kara completely.  

A surprised Kara brought her hands around, immediately rubbing feeling back into sore wrists and wiped some of blood away from her neck. She stood up slowly, her body still reeling under the effects of the kryptonite.

“Lena-“

But Lena pointed her retrieved revolver squarely back at Supergirl’s chest.

“I said not another word.”

Kara clamped her mouth shut and swallowed nervously.

“I’m going to keep this on me Supergirl. And if I ever see you again- this bullet will go inside you. Now go and don’t ever come back.”

Lena lowered her gun.

Deep sorrow overcame Kara. This was the end and it was her fault. She buttoned her shirt and quietly retrieved her belongings and lastly fixed her glasses on her battered and blooded face.

Kara looked at Lena one last time. Lena’s eyebrow raised and the finger on the trigger tensed. Kara’s lips quivered, wanting to say more, but instead gave Lena a sad smile, nodded and left.

Lena sank to seat below her. She felt out of breath, tears falling from her eyes, sobbing uncontrollably.

Chapter Text

Director Danvers only just got into work that morning when she received an urgent call from Colonel Haley. L-Corp had immediately terminated its partnership with the DEO and the collection of all L-Corp materials and assets from the DEO was going to begin today. Director Danvers was to oversee that any products created by L-Corp for the DEO thus far was to remain in DEO hands. Col. Haley wasn’t too happy about not having a 100 % finished product but was confident that she could get it there with the newly acquired resources at her disposal given her new position. On the other hand Alex wasn’t too happy that the government was holding on to Lena’s formula. Not that she was happy that it even existed.

An hour later, Alex got a call from James of all people. He couldn’t get a hold of Lena and was wondering if she was at the DEO.

Lena was selling CatCo.

If alarm bells weren’t ringing off before in Alex’s mind they sure were now.

Now both Lena and Kara weren’t answering their phones. Something was wrong and Alex could guess what it might be.

***

Alex knocked on the door of Kara’s apartment with earnest.

“Kara!”

With her spare key she entered. Scanning the room she spotted the head of her sister, who was sitting on the floor in front of her sofa.

“Kara, I tried calling you why didn’t you pick up?” Alex asked moving toward the unmoving figure.

Upon facing Kara, Alex recoiled in momentary horror at her sister’s face and clothing that were both caked with dried blood.

“Oh my God- Kara are you alright? What happened? Why didn’t you call me?”

Kara was frozen and her eyes vacant, hugging her knees that were drawn up as close to her chest as possible. She didn’t move as Alex examined her apparent wounds on her face and neck.

Alex was at least relieved that currently Kara was physically unhurt, with whatever the cause of all this blood having healed- thank goodness for superpowers. But her pupils were dilated and she appeared to be in shock.

“Kara talk to me!”

Alex grabbed a towel from the kitchen, ran some water on it and used it to wipe away the dried crusted blood. It was a half measure but Alex couldn’t stand the sight of blood on Kara. Only the toughest fights for Supergirl’s very life resulted in these kinds of bloody injuries. Alex shuddered as she recalled the last with Red Daughter that caused Kara to flat line.

Alex didn’t have the whole picture here yet and so began probing for more information. She gently touched Kara’s face.

“Kara- Kara look at me.”

Kara did not comply if she heard.

“Kara please- what happened? Who did this?”

Alex lowered her voice to a menacing whisper, “Did Lena do this?”

With Kara’s sharp inhale at the name drop Alex got her answer.

Snapping sharply back into the present Kara’s body tensed, eyes swimming from side to side.

There was a look of terror on her face that Alex had seen when Kara was attacked by Psi. When Kara finally saw Alex her face contorted, tears shed from Kara’s eyes and her body quivered.

Alex was quick to wrap her arms around her sister in a tight embrace.

“Hey its okay. You’re okay. I’m here now.”

Kara sobbed into Alex’s shoulder.

“Tell me what happened Kara. What did Lena do when you told her?”

“I didn’t. She found out.”

Alex let go of Kara and looked at her for confirmation.

“What? How?”

“Lex- Lex told her about me.”

Alex swallowed nervously, Lena must have been furious. Even so, that doesn’t justify what she did here, it doesn't justify torture. Alex’s own anger flared within as she imagined the ways the Luthor might have hurt Kara.

“What did she do?”

“It doesn’t matter, it's my fault, I should have told her sooner. She hates me- she doesn't want to ever see me again.”

Alex’s mind rocked with a suppressed fury. She’d address that soon, for now she needed to take care of Kara.  

Chapter Text

The elevator doors swung open and the lone occupant exited.

Lena’s sleek white aesthetic was present with her wherever she was- be it her lab, office or penthouse apartment. While one would expect that a person would be dressed to match the look, Lena was currently in a heap sitting on the floor in oversized sweats, scotch within arm’s reach.

Alex took a glass off the counter and sat on the floor with the CEO.

A couple hours of Kara not telling Alex any details of her encounter with Lena, Alex thought she’d try to be as rational as possible. Get some more facts and figure out if this was all just a big misunderstanding instead of going in guns blazing. They were all friends. They’d been through some shit together. They could talk it out.

If Lena hadn’t before, after her time at the DEO working with Director Danvers, she developed a stronger respect for Alex. Alex was as formidable a woman as Supergirl in her own right, being not only a brilliant scientist but a competent leader as well.

“Won’t mind if I join you?”

“Oh no, please- I consider myself a professional snake handler now.”

Alex let the jab slide and didn’t respond as she poured herself a drink.

Lena eyeballed Alex intensely and rose a questioning but unsurprised brow, “Did you come here to arrest me- Director Danvers?”

Alex turned to her in surprise. “Arrest you? For torture? You know I have to admit Lena, of all the things I thought of doing after seeing the state Kara was in- arresting you hadn’t even crossed my mind.”

 Alex took a first sip of scotch.

Lena tensed.

“I get that you’re upset Lena-”

“Upset? Why would I be upset that all my so called friends have been lying to me for years?”

“Right- cuz we know everything about you don’t we Lena?”

Lena looked at Alex from under her lowered brow, her green eyes angry and venomous. Another person might have broke eye contact from the intensity of the gaze, but after the months of not being there for her little sister, Alex was intent on making up for time having her memory wiped.

“Is it so hard for you all to admit that you don’t trust a Luthor?”

“After the number you did last night maybe we shouldn’t have- just another Luthor trying to kill a Super.” Alex retorted and emptied her scotch in one go.

Lena paled but her anger did not dissipate.

Alex continued her onslaught, “And as I recall, you were the one who said she was on board with keeping secrets.” 

“You made a fool out of me!” Lena spat.

“So- it’s about pride then? Lex knew something that you didn’t?”

“You all humiliated me!” Lena rose to her feet. Due to recent events she considered Alex to be quite the rational individual and subconsciously kept her outburst contained.

Alex too rose to sit on the sofa. “Don’t you see Lena? Lex is manipulating you. You’re playing right into his hand!”

“Like if Supergirl wasn’t manipulating me the moment she first walked into my office? She certainly kept her enemy close didn’t she? And everyone kept on going perfectly with the charade.”

Alex let Lena vent.

“How could you all bear my trust knowing that it was all a lie? Kara Danvers isn’t even real.”

Seeing her opening now, Alex sneered and got to her feet. “Kara Danvers is the only reason that we all trust you! Every single incident when someone points the finger at you- Kara has always been the first to defend you despite all the evidence to the fact. She has pretty much believed in you from the first time she walked into your office.”

Lena wanted to respond but something prevented the words from coming out. All her lips could do was shudder wordlessly as Alex battered her further.  

“And when she couldn’t be there for you as Kara she was as Supergirl. Even when she had worry about being defeated by technology you’ve made- she still has the guts and the generosity to be there for you.”

Lena sneered. Alex’s words were chipping away at her anger and Lena would not be robbed of the rage she was entitled to.

“Good afternoon Director Danvers, I think you’re finished here.”

Alex nodded and strode sadly back toward the elevator. But she stopped short, “Kara has always protected you Lena. So you remember that while you try to destroy your friendship. Good afternoon- Ms Luthor.”

Alex Danvers left.

Lena just wanted to be away from here. Away from all these people that made her weak. She needed to learn how to be alone again.

Chapter Text

Alex entered Kara’s apartment with 5 pizzas in hand.

J’onn was leaning pensively against the kitchen counter, no longer lost in thought with Alex’s arrival.

“How’s our girl?” Alex inquired softly as she rested down the pizzas.

J’onn smiled wryly, “Not great. She even turned down potstickers.”

Alex frowned, Kara never pass up food.

Kara was curled up in a ball on her bed. At least she wasn’t covered in blood anymore. But she lay unmoving, her eyes despondent. She didn’t know how to fix this or even if she could.

Alex straightened, “If pot stickers don’t work- we can always try pizza, then pie if we have to.”

“How did it go with Lena?” J’onn continued.

Alex could only sigh, not knowing what she could do.

A part of her understood. Lena was a loner who had opened up to them and got hurt. Now her vulnerability turned to the only thing that could take back some of that power- rage. Rage at Kara, and she knew exactly what would hurt the girl of steel the most. And Kara being Kara always carried all the burdens of responsibility on her shoulders.

Alex wished she could talk to Kelly about this- she was so insightful about Haley.

J’onn put a supportive hand on Alex’s shoulder.

While he didn’t know the outcome of this all, he was proud of the way Alex handled the situation, choosing not to escalate the violence that had already been done. He enjoyed watching her grow in capability over the years. She wasn’t just a hot head agent but tempered and calculating. He always knew he made the right choice to appoint her as Director of the DEO.

Though it was a futile gesture when your sister has super hearing and was probably listening in on the conversation, Alex lowered her voice, “Do you think Lena will just hold a grudge against Kara? Against all of us? She would be a dangerous enemy to have J’onn.”

J’onn didn’t ponder long before answering, “The Luthor family isn’t known to be the forgiving type, but I know that we are in this family. So really depends on who Lena wants to be.”

Indeed Kara was listening in. Her eyes shifted as she considered it.

Who Lena wants to be? No. It’s about who Lena is. She isn’t a Luthor- not like Lex or Lillian. Sure Lena was hurt and furious at her -she had every right to be. But Lena was a good person.

No- Lena IS a good person.

A flash of hope entered Kara and it lifted her wearily from her position.

Alex and J’onn both straightened as the saw Kara emerge from around the corner of her bedroom.

“She’s not a Luthor.” Kara said in soft determination. Her certainty of the fact was shaken but not gone.

Alex looked at her sympathetically, typical Kara.

J’onn marveled at Kara for a moment. She always believed in the best of people. It was a rare trait. Simultaneously, however, such blind faith could be devastating if misplaced. He wanted to believe in Manchester Black and that was the catalyst for him to turn away from peace.

“Kara, are you being honest with yourself here? What I saw was certainly the handiwork of a Luthor.” Alex questioned with a slight annoyance, she still didn’t really know what happened between them since neither of them elaborated. How ironic that now they keep secrets between them.

“I don’t blame her for being angry. I was the last person she thought would lie to her, to betray her.” The guilt of that still burnt Kara like kryptonite.

J’onn interjected, “It’s not just about her getting angry Kara, it’s about what she did in her anger. She could have easily killed you.”

“But she didn’t. She’s not a killer.”

But as Kara spoke the words she flinched, her belief wavering. She hadn’t told them about Lena’s admission of killing Lex.

“What does that mean?” Alex inquired as she sensed something wrong.

“It means, Lena isn’t an enemy,” Kara reassured them but mostly herself.

Kara took a seat at her kitchen table. “Now, what’s this I hear about pie?” deflecting as she opened one of the boxes of pizza.

Chapter Text

Plus side of being a Luthor? Real estate- everywhere, for every purpose.

So when Lena wanted to be a recluse at the time there was an appropriate gothic mansion for that purpose with the added bonus of there being a fully functional lab for scientific purposes.

In the middle of polishing off the latest bottle of wine, somewhere in the pain and fog of all her thoughts, Lena realized she was going to have a crippling hangover. And so she put her brilliant mind to work on developing a proper hangover cure for herself.

As the formula combined Lena leaned back and indulged once more in her drink.

She was exhausted. Burning bridges was energy consuming. Lena didn’t think she had ever truly been so emotionally drained in her life. The only thing fueling her now was alcohol and science. And with her over indulgence on the former, her awareness decreased so much so that she didn’t even hear someone slowly approach her from behind.

“Lena! This is all certainly…unexpected.”

Lena lazily swiveled her chair around to turn to the voice.

“What do you want mother?”

“To find out what’s wrong of course,” replied the Luthor matriarch in her most sincere tone.

“What makes you think anything’s wrong?” Lena took another sip, she didn’t need Lillian of all people here with her. She didn’t need anyone.

“I’m your mother- I always know when something is wrong dear. I hear that you are selling CatCo...?”

Lena rolled her eyes and poured another drink in her now empty wine glass.

Lillian drawled on, “I know I was confused when you first bought that vanity project but now, after you exposed Lex, CatoCo shares skyrocketed overnight and I even hear your reporter friend Kara Danvers might be considered for a Pulitzer. And you put the company up for sale. Now why is that?”

Lena stared at her mother angrily from a lowered brow. She thought she was emptied of all emotion but hearing Kara’s name reignited the fury.

“Do you think I’m a fool mother?”

Lillian raised her eyebrow and tilted her head questioningly but didn’t answer.

“Tell me mother, all this time you knew Kara Danvers was Supergirl and you never said anything, was it so you could come at this precise moment to have a good laugh at your fool of a daughter?”

“So you finally found out.”

Lena rose to her feet, kicking back her chair, squaring up to Lillian, “Lex told me before I killed him.”

Lillian almost didn’t believe Lena was telling the truth but saw in her stricken eyes that she was. Lena had never killed anyone before; she just wasn’t the same cold blooded Luthor as the rest of them. Between that and revelation that her best friend was not only lying to her but was the girl of steel- Lena was forlorn. Lena might have killed Lex but he evidently ensured their mutual destruction. Lillian suddenly lost both her children.

An unfamiliar sympathy crossed Lillian’s face and she raised her hand, gently placing it on Lena’s cheek.

Lena wrenched herself away. “I am surrounded by Vipers! Betrayal at every side!”

Lillian frowned but if this is how Lena wanted to play it she could oblige. If she played her cards correctly maybe she could set Lena back on her feet. Lillian had to be tactful.

“Honestly Lena you can’t actually compare Supergirl with us Luthors- it’s insulting,” Lillian stated incredulously.

“No- not even belonging to the worst family in existence could prepare me for that kind of treachery,” Lena turned away from Lillian, her eyes glistening with tears, “she was my friend.”

“Well traditionally, that is how betrayal works- between friends.”

Lena’s head sunk as her tears fell.

“Regardless Lena, selling CatCo is a terrible idea now that you know her secret. You need to consolidate your power not weaken it. With Lex gone and a Kryptonian guard dog in hand, there won’t be anyone to stand between you and your rightful place in the world.”

Lena glowered at Lillian, “I thought you hated aliens, hated her.”

“While I still do Lena, I can’t logically disregard the advantages of having the girl of steel as a pet. I’ve been trying to keep you safe from aliens for years and I realized she will protect you far better than I could.”

“I don’t need anyone, not her and certainly not you.” Lena righted her chair and slumped back on it, “You can go back to whatever dark hole you crawled out from Mother.”

Lillian never thought she would see the day when Lena would accept defeat by the hands of her brother of all people.

They stared at each other for a moment.

“Well then- congratulations and welcome to the family Lena,” Lillian returned to her usual coldness and left.

Lena watched Lillian leave, her eyes wide and full of consternation.

Chapter Text

Kara was slouched miserably on her sofa with a box of pizza resting on her stomach as she continued to gorge on food in an effort to eat through her sorrow instead of it swallowing her.

Alex was still there, clearing the kitchen of all the empty food containers. She remained after J’onn left and was intent on spending the night with Kara.

“You don’t have to do that,” Kara insisted.

“But I want to.”

“You don’t have to stay either, I’m sure Kelly would love if someone showed her more of National City.”

Alex stopped her cleaning and took her spot next to Kara on the sofa.

“But I want to be here for you now.”

“Alex-”

“No Kara, please. It’s the least I can do.”

“Alex I’ll be fine.”

Alex sighed, “You know- when I agreed for J’onn to wipe my memory I thought- it wasn’t like I was going away, I’d still be around, be there for you when you needed me.”

The Danvers sisters looked at each other, as the elder continued, “But I wasn’t. In a way I realize, I took away your home. I left you all alone Kara. And I’m so sorry and I promise not to do ever again.”

Kara dumped the pizza off her and wrapped her arms around Alex, resting her head on her sister’s shoulder. A relieved sense of familiar comfort washed over her and Kara allowed herself a small smile. Alex put a protective arm around Kara and held her.

After what had felt like forever, Alex was back. The Danvers sisters were back. All uncertain futures could cross them, but this would never falter.

Alex grabbed the TV remote, “So I was thinking we watch – The Wizard of Oz.”

Kara smile grew, “My favorite.”

***

The figure moved with purpose through the house, knowing where Lena would be.

Brilliance never rested. She would be in the lab.

However not in this sorry state.

Lena was slumped over a table passed out from her over indulgence.

Pathetic.

There was a note next to a syringe. Hangover cure.

“Lena- genius is wasted on you.”

Lex pocketed her hangover remedy for later then gripped Lena’s arm and dragged her limp form into the foyer.

On the way the revolver Lena had tucked in her clothes fell away. Noticing the crude item, Lex retrieved it.

He generated a transmatter portal and took his sister through with him.

Chapter Text

It was just around midnight now and the movie the blanketed Danvers sisters were watching was coming to an end when Alex’s phone rang.

“Brainy?”

“Director Danvers I hope I’m not disturbing you.”

Alex sat up knowing instinctively that a call this late might most likely be business. Kara remained supine on the couch.

“No what’s up?”

“Well after you informed me about what transpired between Lena and Supergirl I thought it prudent to keep tabs on her. So I hacked the security feed in the Luthor mansion she went to earlier.”

Kara swallowed nervously as she listened in on the phone conversation.

“You what? Brainy!”

“As it so happened, she finally passed out after drinking her 4th bottle of wine.”

Alex furrowed her brow wondering how this was important but knew Brainy would get to the point eventually.

“Then she was kidnapped by Lex Luthor.”

“Lex!” Kara jumped off the couch her eyes searching for comprehension.

“How?” Alex inquired.

“He seemed to have generated a transmatter portal and dragged her away.”

“Do you have any ideas on how to track where they might have gone?”

Alex was on her feet.

“I’m working on that as we speak. There is a 73% chance that I will be able to give you an exact location after completing a scan for the energy signature that I am sure would be detectable by satellite.”

In a blur, Kara suited up, “Let me know when you have the location.”

“Kara wait! This could be a trap.”

“It probably is, but Lena’s in trouble.”

Alex sighed as Supergirl flew out of her apartment.

“Brainy have a strike team ready to go by the time I get to the DEO. And Brainy make sure you don’t give Kara that location before you tell me.”

“Understood Director.”

After all that transpired over the last year and finding out Lex was behind it all, Alex knew that this wouldn’t be a simple rescue mission. Luthors were never simple. She’d need some more backup.

Alex exited Kara’s apartment, phone in hand making another call.

Chapter Text

Lena’s head pounded.

She was awake but she didn’t want to be and so left her eyes closed. She could feel the pull of gravity on her brain as her head lolled over the back of the chair, the strain on her neck becoming more and more apparent the more aware she became. Her attempt to bring her hand up to rub her achy head was futile as the limb refused to obey.

She sighed in frustration.

How long was she like this?

Lena cracked open her eyes. Where was she?

Lex’s face appeared before her eyes. “Hello Lena.”

Before Lena could react, Lex jabbed a needle of the hangover cure in her neck and squeezed its contents into her.

Instantaneously, her back arched in the confines of the chair, her brain fog cleared and adrenaline coursed through her. 

It worked, but Lex would have been more impressed if she developed this in when she was a teenager.

Lena tried to catch her breath as she pulled at the handcuffs restraining her to the arms of the blood stained chair, staring at him as if he were a ghost.

“How?”

Lex smirked, “You really thought you could kill me Lena?”

“I really had too much to drink this time- this can’t be real.” Lena looked around in horror. Lex died on this same chair. In this room. She struggled against the restraints again. She stared in disbelief at Lex who in turn wasn’t paying her much attention, “I killed you. I watched you die!”

“I have to say Lena I truly admire the elegance of your simple and flawlessly executed plan. Find me, depower me then kill me. I honestly never had a plan that was so…undemanding.”

He moved to the entrance of the room and continued affixing small circular devices on the inner wall around the frame.

“For a whole year I pretended to still be incarcerated while I manipulated a spliced kryptonian into working for me, gave myself cancer so I could get hold of the Harun-El you developed, duped a foreign, hostile nation into attacking America, incited major anti alien sentiment in the country so I could incarcerate aliens on a massive scale to harness their powers in order to power a weapon strong enough to destroy a city floating in space just so I could kill Superman." He dramatically inhaled before continuing, "It’s even a mouthful to say.”

Lex finished work at the door and returned to his computers.

“With that plan failing and your plan succeeding, I thought I’d try things your way for a change. Maybe there is brilliance to your simplicity. We’ll find out soon enough when we put it to the test wont we?”

Chapter Text

“So you brought me here to kill me?”

As he finished his last key stroke with a flourish, unnoticed to Lena the attached devices he placed lit up, he strolled before her with a smile on his face. He was enjoying her fear.

“I just might Lena. Despite being truly impressed by your ruthlessness, there really ought to some consequence for killing me- I haven’t yet decided on what it should be.”

Lena swallowed nervously.

“But first I’m going to kill that other insufferable Kryptonian. Honestly I expected that you’d have done it yourself by now. I know how much you hate being manipulated, I thought her treachery would have given you the push you needed.”

Lena paled. Lex pulled produced her revolver, removed the lone kryptonite bullet and examined it.

Lena’s eyes widened in realization, “You wanted me to kill her. You told me her secret knowing I would be furious. A last ditch effort to get back at her for ruining your plans.”

“You seem to have come close. Tell me did alcohol get in the way of your greatness?”

He reloaded the gun and tucked it away.

Lena’s face became distorted in fury, pulling at her wrists and growled when she could not break free.

Lex was right, she hated being manipulated- being a pawn.

Alex was right too, this was all part of his twisted game, and she played right into it.  

“You’re sick.”

“And you’re a murderer.” Lex leaned into Lena’s space and she recoiled, “Though I thought fratricide was just the beginning and frankly Lena, I’m disappointed at your progress thus far.”

An alarm chirped from computer. They both turned to the monitor that displayed the security feed from outside. It showed Supergirl hovering outside next to their childhood tree house, obviously here to rescue Lena.

“Disappointed; but certainly glad that I get the opportunity to do this myself.”

***

“Alex, I see them. They’re in an underground lab- western part of the building.” Supergirl said over her coms.

Alex was in the air with her strike team. “Supergirl we are 30 minutes from your location. Hold your position till we get there. Do not engage till we get there. I repeat, do not engage alone.”

“I can’t. They’re waiting for me.”

“Supergirl, please.”

“I’m sorry- I’m going in.”

Director Danvers sighed. Even with the head start Alex gave herself, Supergirl still got on scene first. Her sister can be so stubborn sometimes.

Supergirl did not come totally unprepared. She brought her hand up to her chest and touched the crest on her suit. Her protective anti- kryptonite suit sprang forth and encapsulated her.

“Nice work on the suit sis,” Lex complimented as they watched on the monitor.

The nightmare unfolded slowly for Lena in a crushing helplessness. Even after everything she did, Supergirl came for her. She shouldn’t have. Despite obviously knowing this was a trap, Lena knew Supergirl wouldn’t leave.

Lex grabbed the chair and positioned it so that Lena would be the first things Supergirl saw through the doorway. She was the bait after all.

Chapter Text

Supergirl stopped dead in her tracks 5 meters away from the door as she saw Lena who was handcuffed to a bloody chair. She thankfully didn’t see any visible injuries and hoped that that was the case.

Lena glared at Supergirl, trying with great effort to send her away with her will.

Supergirl understood the secret communication and knew what Lena was trying to say- fly as far away as possible.

But she couldn’t do that. She wouldn’t leave Lena with this maniac.

She clenched her fists. She had one long shot –fly in and out with Lena as fast as she could before Lex had a chance to try and stop her.

Lena grew angrier. Supergirl’s nobility was so aggravating and foolhardy.

Meanwhile Lex was growing bored, “Stop wasting time and come on in Supergirl. Come and experience the wrath of Luthors.”

And so she did.

***

Her super speed came to an abrupt halt the moment she passed the threshold as she slammed into a disruption field.

Her suit spontaneously began retracting back into its housing. Within an instant of exposure out of the protective suit, Supergirl fell to her knees in agony. The tendrils of kryptonite slithered across her skin.

The burning was like back in Lena’s office.

The solid blast doors slid closed behind her sealing them in.

Lex made his way toward the fallen superhero, making sure Lena’s view was not obscured.

“Supergirl, I knew you’d come. Can’t resist being the hero can you? Even to someone who hates you.”

“I came here for a friend.”

With her muscles tensed and flesh on fire, Supergirl ascended slowly to her feet so she could meet him face to face. The closer he came the more intense the scalding became.

“Lex - don’t,” was Lena’s plea as she struggled against her restraints, watching the continuation of the nightmare.

Through gritted teeth Supergirl launched a punch toward Lex’s face the moment he came within reach.

Despite her mighty effort he caught it effortlessly in his hand. Grasping her wrist he twisted outward, to the painful point where an ounce more of pressure could result in breakage.

Kara groaned and swung her other hand toward Lex, which he deflected effortlessly.

Smirking at her powerlessness her punched her forcefully in the gut and then squarely in the face.

Kara saw stars as her eyes swirled and her knees began to buckle. She was only kept on her feet by Lex, who allowed her chin to rest on his shoulder in order to keep her upright. Her cape rolled over her arms and draped the space between them, while Lex rolled his eyes in disappointment.

“Lex –”

Lex spoke in Supergirl’s ear.

“Lena made this for you.”

*BANG*

Chapter Text

Lena flinched in horror, her mouth agape and shuddering.

She saw Supergirl’s body jerk. Double the amount of green streaks was now aggressively drawn on her face. Supergirl’s eyes fluttered and her body went limp.

Lex stepped back and let Supergirl crumple face down to the floor, her cape covering her body. He savored the moment- relishing the sight of the fallen Kryptonian, Lena’s revolver in hand and for a moment he imagined it was Superman.

He turned to Lena smugly. “I have to admit, these simple plans are indeed proven to yield incredibly successful results. But honestly it really isn’t as satisfying as a long meticulously crafted idea falling into place.”

He discarded the crude weapon at her feet.

“You bastard,” Lena snarled through gritted teeth.

“Come now Lena, we both know you’re the bastard.”

He smirked.

“It was nice catching up sis, hope we do it again before my next resurrection.”

From his watch, he generated a portal casually teleported away.

The moment the portal dissipated, a discreet five minute countdown began on the computer.

Chapter Text

No.

Lena’s mind seemed stuck on the word.

The last time she saw something like this happen to Supergirl was after her first encounter with Reign. After being brutalized by the world killer she was taken away by the Alex and DEO and hadn’t been seen for days after.

But there was no Alex here now.

Lena didn’t even know the extent of Supergirl’s current injuries. The only thing that indicated she was still even alive was the involuntary twitch her otherwise unmoving body made ever so often.

Kryptonite exposure will killer her.

Kill Kara.

No.

No. She didn't want her to die.

***

Lena wasn’t a doctor but knew enough. Removing a bullet could do more harm than good. But in this case Supergirl would die from kryptonite poison if the bullet stayed in. It had to be removed and hopefully she’d have enough energy left to heal.

First thing first. Lena needed to get out of the chair. She looked around the office briefly and saw nothing that could help her escape.

However, there were perks to being a woman. She leaned forward, her fingers under her cleavage, forcing out one of the under wires from bra. Her thick sweater made retrieving it a little difficult but not impossible.

Within a couple minute she was free of her restraints and rushed to the fallen hero’s side.

“Supergirl!”

Lena gently flipped the solid mass onto her back. She blanched and wrestled the sudden nausea she was experiencing.

Blood was everywhere. It pooled on the floor beneath Supergirl. It settled upon her uniform. It stained the ends of her hair.

A hole in the middle of her abdomen allowed a slow steady ooze of blood out of where it actually belonged. Lines of kryptonite covered over fifty percent of her skin. She wasn’t unconscious but wasn’t conscious either, as eyes where rolled back in her head as her eyelids fluttered, trapped in her prison of pain. Her body continued with its intermittent spasm.

Lena could only see slithers of Supergirl’s eyes, but both irises were tainted a luminous green due to the kryptonite exposure.

“Supergirl, just hold on.”

Chapter Text

What may have been a futile move; Lena took Supergirl’s limp hand and placed it over her wound in effort to stem the blood flow.

The blood coated her hands now too. She felt sick. But there was no time for that- she made a bee line to where she knew Lex would keep some basic medical supplies- she’d been in enough of his labs to know his set up.

Kneeling next to Supergirl again, Lena fished through the kit as fast as she could and grabbed the forceps. She could only hope that the bullet didn’t ricochet within Supergirl’s body.

“I have to get the kryptonite out.” 

Lena put her hand on Supergirl taut stomach then slowly guided the forceps into Supergirl’s wound.

Supergirl’s groan tore from her clenched jaw and her head pressed further into floor.

Lena exerted downward in order to achieve some level of stillness from her writhing patient as she pushed the instrument further in. Blood dribbled out of Supergirl in deadly earnest.

Lena hardly felt she knew what she was doing, only trying her best not to gag.

After about two inches deep in Supergirl’s flesh she felt the smallest touch of resistance on the instrument.

The bullet.

As she slowly tried to get a grip on the vile object, Supergirl’s body jerked. Lena’s hand immediately went to Supergirl’s hip and forced her still, the low amount of effort that she needed to do so surprising her. The girl of steel was so weak- the internal exposure to the kryptonite was devastating her system.

Being unable to thrash her body, Supergirl’s head whipped sideways, the muscles in her neck straining to the maximum.

Lena swallowed nervously, she had to work quickly.

Refocusing her efforts, Lena’s forceps grabbed the bullet and she slowly drew the toxic object out.

“I’ve got it.”

As the bloody bullet was exhumed from Supergirl’s body, it brought with it an alarming surge of blood along with it. At the respite, Supergirl finally succumbed to unconsciousness. The lines of poison receded considerably, but she wouldn’t heal with the kryptonite still near.

Lena hurried away from Supergirl, bullet in hand, making her way directly to a safe in the wall. Lead lined like most of them. Lex was consistently paranoid. She threw the bullet in and shut the door.

Finally able to let out a sigh of relief as she saw the lines of kryptonite quickly fading off Supergirl’s skin and the tension of her body relaxing.

Looking down, Lena lost herself at the sight of blood that now stained her hands and her clothes.

The five minute countdown on the computer ended, initiating a simple and controlled but devastating sequence.

The lights dipped for a fraction of a second before turning back on, but plunging the duo in red. Then an electrical surge overloaded the computers.

Chapter Text

“No!” was the cry she heard that startled her back to consciousness.

Supergirl flung open her eyes but shut them immediately after doing so, as her vision was tainted with red.

Taking a mental inventory of her current state, she noted with relief that the sear of her flesh was gone meaning she didn’t have kryptonite to deal with anymore. All she had to deal with was a now relatively tolerable burning sensation in her belly. That and dry mouth. Why was her uniform wet?

“Damn you Lex!” Lena raged.

She had to get to Lena, “Don’t hurt her!”

Despite her red vision not clearing Supergirl rolled to her side and climbed to her feet. She griped her stomach and growled in pain, her body protesting the movement. She clearly got up too fast, as before she could even stand up straight, she was overwhelmed with dizziness. She shut her eyes and knew she was about to fall.

Some superhero she was – she couldn’t even protect her best friend.

Gravity bid her return to the floor.

***

Lena was trying furiously to get the computers back on when she heard the defiant voice of Supergirl. She watched as the girl of steel somehow made it onto her feet while torrents of fresh blood trickled out of her wound. Lena was momentarily frozen at the sight of the hemorrhaging hero. When Supergirl started to sway, she rushed toward her.

“Supergirl!”

Thankfully able to halt her descent and ease her gently back down.

“Just stay down,” Lena urged.

Lena was beginning to think she may exacerbated the problem by removing the bullet. However the real problem now was the red sun light that flooded the room that would prevent Supergirl from healing at all. And with the computers fried there was no way to turn them off.

She retrieved all the gauze pads from the medical kit, pressed them against Supergirl’s wound and taped them there as securely as she could. Then she exerted pressure on the wound to help stop the blood loss.

But within seconds the pads where already soaked through. Lena pressed even harder.

Supergirl winced, her brow wrinkled with discomfort, she licked her dry lips. Eventually she was able to open her eyes again but was agitated that her vision hadn’t cleared. She looked up to a panicked Lena who thankfully seemed unhurt.

“Lena- are you alright?”

“Am I alright? You’ve been shot!”

“Occupational hazard. We need to get out of here.”

“We’re locked in. Lex overloaded the computer – these lights are emitting red sun light- I can’t- I can’t turn off them off, I can’t release the lockdown. We’re trapped.”

Supergirl groaned at the news, “No hidden quick release?”

Lena scoffed, “No not this time.”

“Alex- Alex is on her way. We just have to sit tight.”

Chapter Text

A sheen of sweat began to form on Kara’s skin. Her breathing was rapid and shallow.

She stared up at Lena. Her eyes were glistening and the green of her eyes were like less angry kryptonite. Kara could tell Lena was far away inside her mind.

“Hey, we’ll be alright.”

Lena snapped her furious eyes onto hers now.

“You knew this was a trap.”

“What?”

“Why did you even come?”

“You were in trouble,” Kara swallowed her voice hoarse with dryness.

“You’re a fool.”

“Maybe, but I’m al- always going to be there for you.”

“Well you shouldn’t be! Not after all I’ve done. Done to you. You need to stay away from me if you value your life.”

“No.”

“I’m poison!”

Kara’s hand crawled up and rested on top Lena’s hands that were on her abdomen then squeezed gently on Lena’s hand.

“You’re not like him Lena.”

Lena face crumpled.

“I thought I could stop him from hurting you.”

“Told you- wouldn’t have killed him.”

“Believe me it isn’t from lack of trying.”

“You’re not a killer.”

Why did she still believe in me? I don’t deserve it. Not now.

Lena stared at Kara bleeding before her and broke, “Kara you are going to die because of me.”

“We’ll be alright. Trust me.”

Lena folded forward, resting her head on Kara’s hand and cried as she never did before in her life.

This was the punishment Lex dealt onto her. To thoroughly experience the failure to protect the one person she had come to care about the most in her life.

With blood on her hands, Lena would have to watch Kara die.

Chapter Text

Kara tried blinking the confusion away as best as she could. She was so thirsty.

“Lena?”

The weight lifted from her abdomen as the form sat up straight.

“Lena, how did we get here?”

Lena huffed.

“You didn’t trust me enough to tell me your secret- to tell me you’re Supergirl. For the first time since we met you made me feel like I was really a Luthor. Nothing hurt like that.”

“I didn’t mean to. I saw you- who you- wanted to be. You wanted to do good. You were just- Lena,” Kara affirmed between her quick breaths, licking her lips before continuing, “And you saw me - who I could be. Didn’t have to be- Super. Just Kara and Lena.”

Kara shut her eyes and shivered, sweat sliding off her brow.

Comprehension of what Kara was trying to say hit Lena like a train and crushed her bruised ego like a black hole.

Kara never regarded Lena with the cynicism other people did because of her name. The way Lena regarded herself because she was a Luthor. Lena could ignore who both she and everyone else thought she was around Kara and be who she wanted to be.

Since she learned the truth, it never occurred to Lena that she did the same for Kara.

Everyone who knew her secret could only identify her as the girl of steel. She had no one with who she could put Supergirl aside and be Kara Danvers, be ‘normal’ - except with Lena. It was something that could have only been facilitated with the lie.

Kara had the ability to look past the name Luthor. However, Lena knew in herself, if she knew the truth she would never be able to see past her kryptonian crest. Even knowing the truth now, she would never totally see Kara the same way ever again.

While it was Kara doing most of the work; between them existed a shared freedom from their burden of being who they are that emerged only from the disavowal of major parts of who they both were.

Lena’s rage was utterly defeated and regret now filled the places it held.

Kara was barely able to open confused eyes, “But how did we get - on Krypton?”

Lena gaped at her in alarm.

“I don’t remember it - being so cold.”

Only now paying attention, she noticed how cold Kara’s hand was in contrast to her warm blood.

“There is so- much I want- want to show you.”

Kara had lost too much blood.

“Kara just hold on- Alex is on her way,” Lena pleaded with hollowness, not believing her own urging.

Lena swapped one of her blood soaked hand over Kara’s and desperately held onto it. Maybe she could hold onto Kara a little while longer.

“Please stay with me Kara.”

Hope wasn’t her strong suit.

In fact, hope was dying in her hands.  

Chapter Text

DEO agents flooded the compound with intent, clearing room after room.

Director Danvers led a team to the west of the compound, coming across the sealed blast door which didn’t appear to have a way of opening from the outside.

“Find a way to get this open.”

Agents searched for alternatives they may have missed and others heading back to the transport to get cutting equipment.

Alex stood in front of the door. Kara hopefully was still in there.

“Lex Luthor! You are surrounded! Open this door and surrender!”

“Alex!” was the call from Lena.

“Lena!?”

“Alex! Supergirl’s hurt! We’re locked in red sun light! You have to hurry!”

Cutting through the door wouldn’t be quick enough.

But she had a contingency. And grenades.

“Hold on!”

Alex switched frequency on her coms, “I need you in here now! West side.”

***

“Kara? You hear that? It's Alex!”

She squeezed her hero’s hand tighter. Then gently shook her body.

But Kara wasn’t there anymore.

“Kara? Kara please…” she whimpered.

But there was no more response from the pale, still form.

Lena trembled as she rocked back and forth.

“Kara- I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you.”

Her own words stabbed at her heart and all she could do was weep and damn herself for the part she played.

Chapter Text

Alex phased into the room with J’onn.

Her breath snagged on the immediate sight of Lena, her tears freely cascading down her emotionless face, kneeling next to a bloody immobile Kara.

J’onn’s jaw dropped.

“Kara.” Alex ran to her sister’s side and knelt in her blood.

“What happened!” she barked at Lena.

Despite the fact that Lena appeared to be dissociating from the situation, she answered, “She said you’d come. Lex shot her. With a Kryptonite bullet I made. I took it out, maybe I shouldn’t have. I did something wrong. The bleeding didn’t stop. She couldn’t heal in the red sun light. I couldn’t save her.”

“Kara! Kara look at me!”

But there was no response. Her lips were blue, skin cold. Her pulse was weak. By the amount of blood outside of her, she was in the later stages of shock.

Panic set in, “No, no, no Kara! You can’t die on me again!”

“Alex- grenades!” J’onn urged.

Lena snapped out of her derealisation. Again? When did she die before? Grenades? Why would we need that now?

“Get her back.”

J’onn grabbed Lena’s arm, pulling her to her feet and away from Kara.

“No - what are you doing?” Lena resisted.

“Yellow sun grenade,” J’onn replied.

A determined Alex produced a metallic cylinder and placed it in Supergirl’s hand. Pressed the detonator then quickly joined Lena and J’onn away as the grenade lit up.

A burst of yellow engulfed the room. The trio recoiled at the intensity.

Alex expected Kara to be off the ground ready to bust out of here with the power boost. But as the light from the grenade dissipated she remained unmoved on the ground.

“Kara!”

Alex and J’onn ran to her side again.

“Come on Kara!” J’onn bellowed.

Lena exhaled sharply as she stared at them. She knew inside it was too late.

Alex ripped the blood soaked gauze that was taped onto Kara’s wound. With an unusual slowness, she observed the apparent gunshot wound begin to close. She gave a short sigh of relief.

It wasn’t over yet.

The internal damage might have been extensive for the wound to take this long to heal. That coupled with the amount of blood loss…

“You need to fly her to the DEO now. Get her under the lamps and get an IV going. She’s lost too much blood.”

J’onn gently scooped Kara into his arms and headed for the door.

“Let’s go,” Alex instructed as she walked pass Lena.

“Go- save her. Leave me here,” Lena managed with a shaky voice.

Both Alex and J’onn turned back to her.

“Kara didn’t come all this was to leave you behind Lena.” Alex grabbed her arm non to gently, “So you are coming with us and you can wallow in your self-pity on our way back to the DEO.”

Not waiting for a response, Alex dragged Lena along with her as she grasped onto J’onn’s arm and they phased out of the horror scene of Lex Luthor’s lab.

Chapter Text

After several hours under DEO sunlamps and a steady replenishment of fluid, Kara was condition was critical but stable.

The truth was she had lost so much blood if she were human she would have already been dead. With her still unconscious it was within the realm of possibility that she could have serious brain damage. They would only really know when she woke up. If she woke up.

Alex needed a minute and found herself fuming and pacing in the DEO’s empty conference room.

She couldn’t do this again. Not so soon. Her heart felt like it would explode.

She stopped and gripped onto the back of a chair trying to wrestle her own emotions.

The process was interrupted by a gentle touch on the shoulder.

“Alex – ”

Alex’s nerves shook with blinding rage.

Before she even had another thought, Alex gripped Lena by the throat and slammed her back onto the wall. Alex exerted pressure on her neck while she pulled out her sidearm, sticking the barrel of her pistol in the exact spot her sister was shot.

The guards that had followed Lena made like smoke and disappeared.

She squeezed harder at Lena’s throat, “If I had dragged you to the DEO Desert Facility when I came to your apartment like I wanted to- Kara probably wouldn’t be knocking on death’s door right now.”

Lena could barely breathe but didn’t flinch, she didn’t even fight back. If Alex killed her it would absolutely be justice in Lena’s mind. Part of her wanted Alex to do it.  

Alex tilted to ensure her gun was at the right position, but looking down was a mistake. Lena was still in the clothes she came in with, still covered in Kara’s blood.

She released Lena and backed away in revulsion. Tears brimmed in her eyes. She was more breathless than Lena. Alex sat at the head of the table and tried to catch her breath, her head buried in her hand.

Lena didn’t know what exactly she came here to say, as she rubbed her throat and sucked in air. She had seen the director and found suddenly that she had spent enough time lying in the med bay staring blankly ahead.

Alex started laughing.

“You know I wiped my memory recently so I wouldn’t remember Kara was Supergirl. It only came back to me as I was watching Red Daughter beat my little sister to death. Literally. She flat lined in front of me. And now, I have one more near death experience to remember.”

Lena could only swallow nervously.

“If she were human we’d be able to give her a blood transfusion. No kryptonian blood in the bank unfortunately. It never occurs to anyone that Supergirl would ever need blood cuz she’s not supposed to bleed out!”

Alex fumed as she wiped away the tears that threatened to fall.

“Let me tell you Lena, it was a whole lot easier not knowing who Supergirl is, because it is absolutely crippling knowing that there is nothing you can do to protect Kara when she puts herself on the line. A lot of times for people who just want to hurt her.”

Alex bore into Lena’s eyes. It wasn’t a threat. But Lena felt threatened.

“Was there something you wanted- Ms Luthor?” Alex’s finger tapped her side arm that she hadn’t holstered.

Lena hesitated, “Can I see her?”

“No.”

Lena swallowed again and her lips quivered, “Is there anything I can do?”

Alex rose to her feet menacingly, “You can leave- the building not the city. Or I’ll make fugitives of all you Luthors. I just- don’t want to shoot in the face you before I get the chance to question you.”

Alex hurried out of the room before she could act on the urge to discharge her weapon.

Chapter Text

Lena headed back to her lab at L-Corp. Security there was dismayed by her state but Lena didn’t care. She needed a drink.

Alex’s fear and anger further fueled Lena’s self-deprecation. The Danvers sisters were so enviously close. So apparent it now was why Alex was always so worried about Supergirl’s safety. Every time Supergirl was critically wounded Alex would have to wonder if the sacrifice her sister made would be her last.

This time, Lena knew it was a sacrifice that simply was not worth making.

Lena was trapped once more in the swirl of her thoughts. And of everything she could think of, Lex still haunted her mind the most.

”You’re a murderer.” “Lena made this for you.” “You’re left with no one and nothing.”

*BANG*

It replayed over and over.

Lena fumbled with the bottle as she poured the scotch out into a glass.

She gasped as her eye caught the blood stains on her clothes. Kara’s blood. She backed away as if she was trying to get away from it but it clung to her.

Frantically she began chugging right from the bottle itself.

The toll of all that had happened was finally catching up to Lena.

She abruptly stopped her indulgence and let the bottle crash to the floor. Then ran to the nearest receptacle in her lab and threw up violently. 

When she finished her expulsion of bile, she stumbled backward on her feet and fell flat on her back.

With blood and vomit staining her clothes, tears streamed down her face.

Science seemed to abandon her. No solution on how to fix this problem was forthcoming.

She curled up in a ball and cried.

Behind her back, her computer monitor flickered to life. The display began delivering Supergirl’s vital signs one at a time.

Chapter Text

2:23pm.

“Nia it is time we left.” Brainy rose to his feet and headed for the door of Kara’s apartment.

“What? So soon?”

“Yes the changing of the guard is upon us.”

“Nooo! I don’t need a baby sitter! I can take care of myself!” Kara exclaimed from her prone position on her sofa as she messaged her headache with her fingers.

“I thought J’onn was getting here at 4?” Nia asked with confusion but rose to her feet in compliance.

Brainy collected their jackets and waited for Nia at the door.

“Have you ever the story of Pandora’s box?”

“You mean- the box Pandora opened and released all the evil in the world?”

“Yes that’s the one."

Brainy handed Nia her jacket and opened the door.

Nia inhaled sharply and grew defensive, posturing for a fight. Brainy however maintained his calm demeanor.

"In this instance, the important part of the story is that what remained in Pandora’s box- was hope.”

Brainy gave a small smile and a nod of his head before he took Nia’s hand and guided her out of Kara’s apartment.

***

Having been here so many times before did not seem to alleviate the strangeness of entering now.

It was Kara’s apartment but at the same time it was Supergirl’s.

Who would expect Supergirl to have such a charming little apartment? Standing at the entrance, she appreciated the simple efficiency that existed. The apartment allowed sun light to flood its entirety and the superhero that now lay on the sofa could soak it all in from anywhere.

She took slow careful steps in, almost afraid to enter the sanctuary.

“J’onn- tell Alex I’m fine! I just have a headache. Nothing I need a bedside nurse for.” she complained.

“I’m sure she just wants to make sure you are alright.”

A startled Kara bolted onto her feet at the sound of the voice.

“Lena.”

Chapter Text

Lena felt the height difference between them. Kara Danvers' usual unimposing disposition made her seem smaller somehow. The awkwardness about her remained and nostalgically reminded her of the first time they met.

The CEO was sharply dressed complete with her usual emotional mask, as if nothing had happened over the last 24 hours, in direct contrast to Kara who appeared exhausted and paler that usual.

Kara, without her glasses, stared at her with unfocused eyes, “Alex can be a bit over protective.”

Lena raised her eyebrow. No one would have ever really thought Supergirl needed protecting either.

“That’s an understatement, but I understand her concern.”

“Concern? She sends people to guard me even after putting me on house arrest!”

Kara’s minimal exertion took its toll now and she swayed with dizziness, reaching for the sofa to steady herself but Lena was their first, dropping the brown bag she brought with her on the coffee table.

“Are you alright?” Lena helped her back down.

“I’m fine.”

Kara closed her eyes while she breathed deeply and kept holding onto Lena’s arm, feeling as though she needed something stable to grasp onto.

“You don’t seem fine. How did Alex even let you out of the DEO?” Lena said taking a seat next to her.

Kara smirked, “She said if I could make it to the door I could leave. It only took me 5 tries.”

Kara regained her focus and opened her eyes to a slightly horrified, slightly angry Lena.

“Supergirl or not, she should have kept you confined until you were better.”

Kara noted with displeasure who she was being addressed as and let go of Lena’s arm, “Hmmm, so what brings you here?”

The shift in tone did not go unnoticed by Lena. That was Supergirl’s question.

“I made you something.”

Kara tensed slightly as Lena fished in pocket of her jacket for something. The only thing preventing her from flying out of her own apartment was the fact that she still trusted Lena, despite Lena herself considering Kara a fool for doing so.

“I analyzed your blood. Your DNA is quite complex.”

“Lena. Before you say anything else, can you please, please promise me that you won’t do any sort of experiments or try to make improvements to humanity using my blood?”  

Lena swallowed, she deserved that.

“I promise,” she answered sincerely.

Lena produced a vial from her pocket.

“With the amount of blood you lost you should be dead. You are obviously now experiencing the human equivalent of anemia. It took some time, and some help from Brainy, but I think I managed to create a serum that should help stimulate the production of blood cells- to get your blood volume back up.”

Kara relaxed and took it with a small smile.

“Thank you.”

“Just, don’t tell Alex- I think Brainy went rogue when he gave me your medical report.”

Kara snickered, “Once you don’t tell her he abandoned his post and let you in here.”

Lena’s heart sunk. Kara was just trying to make light of things.  

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that Lena.”

“The faster you are back on your feet the better. And I had an idea on how to improve your anti- kryptonite suit so it doesn’t fail the way it did.”

“You don’t have to do that. You don’t owe me anything.”

“I beg to differ. After everything I’ve done...”

“Lena-”

“I think I owe you more than I can make up for,” tears of regret pooled in her eyes.

Before another word could be said, Kara leaned in and wrapped her arms around Lena, resting her forehead gently against Lena’s.

Enveloped in the familiar warmth, Lena felt like something heavy she was holding on to had dissolved as the tension drained from her heart. Her emotional mask fell away and her body shook with sobs. She held onto Kara’s arm tightly like if she were escaping Morgan Edge’s plane- appreciating fully just how strongly Kara had always been holding onto her.

“I’m so sorry Kara.”  

“Lena, I feel the same way. I lied to you for years and feel horrible for hurting you. But the way I see it- we can keep apologizing for mistakes we both made for the rest of our lives and not feel like it will ever be enough. Or - we can decide to move forward. Stronger. Together.”

“I don’t think I deserve that Kara.”

“It isn't about what you deserve, its about what you believe. I believe in you. And I will always be here for you, even if I have to remind you a hundred more times.”

Lena held on even tighter.

***

They remained that way until Lena regained enough composure to speak.

“If the serum I made doesn’t work, I also brought you kale.”

Kara immediately released Lena and groaned in disappointment, “Noooo! You could have at least brought me burgers!”