Something in her is shaking. Burning. Clawing at the inside of her ribs like a fury-crazed beast at the bars of a cage. She needs to sit so she does; all but falling into the chair across from her brother’s corpse while the gun drops from her nerveless fingers and hits the floor with a clatter she doesn’t even hear.
And the video files just… keep playing.
Your friends have been lying to you from the start.
Kara using freeze breath. Kara using heat vision. Alex, J’onn, Nia, James, Brainy… one, more or all of them right there beside her with not a trace of surprise on either of their faces.
They’ve mocked you. Humiliated you. Betrayed you.
She can’t breathe for how her chest is aching. The videos become a wash of blurry color beyond her tears while the walls close in, and she clenches her hands around the chair’s armrests and digs her fingers in until there’s splinters under her nails that don’t hurt anywhere near enough to even register.
Lena bites the inside of her lip until the taste of blood fills her mouth. She breathes, God damn it; forces her lungs to expand and contract slowly even if her head is buzzing like a hive of angry hornets and her stomach feels like it’s caving in on itself.
Because why? Why? Has she not done everything she could do; given everything she could give? Did she not admit to weakness, apologize for mistakes and missteps, and offer her trust, her affection and her assistance whenever possible?
Especially to Kara. Kara, who she knew was keeping something from her, only Lena thought it was maybe— that it could—
Denial is a very powerful thing, isn’t it?
Lena bends down, reclaims the gun, stands back up, and empties the remaining chambers right into the screens mounted on the wall.
She isn’t stupid. She knows full well that Lex always has—always had his own agenda. Like any abuser, he gives—gave his own version of the truth and spun it to suit his purposes, no matter if those purposes were to entice loyalty or punish disobedience.
Without a doubt, that was exactly what he did this time, too. But a cruel truth is – at least in this case – still a truth, and those Lena trusted without reservation still chose to repay that trust with deceit.
It’s been standing right in front of you all this time.
And it has, she admits. It really has. She can’t even count the amount of times she brushed something off as a coincidence in timing or a small quirk of her best friend’s personality, but in hindsight, it is so fucking obvious that just thinking about it makes the pounding behind her eyes multiply by ten.
And you chose not to see it.
Lena bites the same spot on her lip as earlier – the one that’s still cut and raw and now bleeding again – because that’s a truth too, and she will not cry in the middle of an airport VIP lounge.
She decided – repeatedly – to ignore the obvious in all those moments. She elected to think they were something else or to disregard them entirely; blindly and idiotically believing that her faith was well-placed, and that the trust that had been so easy and so hard for her to give had been not only reciprocated, but cherished.
Kara Danvers is Supergirl.
Lena pushes herself to a stand, calmly makes her way into the lounge bathroom, checks that she’s alone, and then enters a stall and vomits into the toilet.
Even with everything she knows now, she doesn’t believe that the deceit was ill-intentioned. She can’t believe that, because if it was, then she’s frankly too damn blind to have any business even walking down the street without a dozen guides.
So while saying that it ‘hurts’ is the understatement of a lifetime, Lena is willing to watch and wait; to gather her own information and form her own opinions, rather than rely on the single version of the truth thrown in her face by a man who was seeking to emotionally cripple her.
(He might just have succeeded, but she isn’t going to think about that yet.)
The migraine eases with more over-the-counter stuff than is probably wise, and the flight back to National City gives her time to regain some measure of control over her whirling mind. Time to think, too; to examine and reevaluate and compartmentalize until she feels like it will at least take a few more pokes before she starts coming apart at the seams again.
She even goes to Game Night with all of them. Manages – somehow – to shove all the uncertainty and humiliation down so far that she can act in accordance with their expectations; far enough that she can smile and joke and laugh, and pretend that she isn’t questioning everything she’s taken as gospel for years.
“You’re with me, right?” Kara asks.
“Always,” is her response before she can think about it, and Lena doesn’t know how to feel about the fact that even now, that remains a truth.
You’re left with no one. And nothing.
Something in her is shaking.