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From Dusk till Dawn

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“I think the overarching opinion on us moving in together was that I would pick up your good habits; not that you’d learn my bad ones.”

“I like to defy expectations.” Kara smiles, though, at the snarky tone, and lets the smile become a grin when she feels the warmth of Lena’s body come to a stop behind the chair she’s sitting in. “And I’m almost done; I promise.”

“That’s what you said an hour ago.” There are hands settling on her shoulders; lightly at first, and then a fraction heavier when Lena leans on her to better see the laptop screen. “In fact, I think what you said was that you’d be ‘passed out beneath the covers when you get out of the shower, Lee, honest’.”

“Mm, I think you’re right.” Kara eyes a particularly stubborn sentence for a second or two, and then backspaces it out of existence. “Annoying, isn’t it?” The low, playfully offended sound makes her chuckle, and she presses back into her seat – closer – when she feels the slow brush of mostly-bare arms against her shoulders as she’s drawn into a loose, front-to-back embrace. “Remember that next time I have to physically drag you away from a new set of schematics at pitch-black o’clock.”

“Hm.” Lena’s cheek is soft when it slides against hers, and her skin carries the faint, pleasantly spicy scent of her moisturizer. “You misspelled ‘paraphernalia’.”

Slowly, Kara turns her head and - once they’re nose to nose - raises both eyebrows. “Weren’t you on your way to bed?”

That earns her a smirk, and a wink. “Just waiting on you, darling.”

--•♥•--

A Kryptonian constitution means that as a rule, Kara doesn’t need near as much sleep as a human. She still can sleep – and often ends up doing more of it than she plans to – but it isn’t strictly necessary for her.

That’s fine, though. All it really means is that she gets to spend the latest parts of her evenings like this; tucked safely into the center of the bed with Lena curled into her arms and the nighttime breeze stirring the air.

Lena tends to go from wide awake to sound asleep in a minute or less once they’ve said goodnight – Kara has a half-formed theory that she actively trained herself to do that just because it’s more efficient – and while Kara can pull the same stunt if she’s exhausted enough, she doesn’t mind being the only one awake for an hour or so as long as she gets to spend it like this.

It’s peaceful; to feel Lena’s softness and warmth, the gentle rhythm of her breathing and to hear the slow, steady beat of her heart over the low sounds of National City at night. It almost feels like meditating, the way her focus narrows and her body relaxes, and it rarely takes more than fifteen minutes before she swears she can feel the individual whorls on the pads of Lena’s fingers even through the worn-soft material of her own t-shirt.

Tonight, the moonlight isn’t a constant; all thanks to the gray clouds rolling by overhead and the occasional patter of rain. The window is still open by a bare inch as a mutual concession; from Lena to how Kara prefers to have as few barriers as possible between the city and her hearing, and from Kara to how Lena sometimes feels that she runs a little too hot for the human body to comfortably handle.

So it makes her smile all the wider when the clouds part enough to allow for a single sliver of silver light; one that stretches across the bed, catches the soft hairs on Lena’s cheek until they sparkle, and emphasizes the gentle shadows where her body curves and dips.

Kara brushes the backs of careful fingers along Lena’s jaw, and watches her until she can’t keep her eyes open any longer.

--•♥•--

Creating a red sun lamp had actually been a fairly straightforward task. What really ended up posing a fascinating challenge to Lena’s often restless mind had been to design and build something that would have a similar, painlessly dampening effect on Kara’s powers in the dark, without the windows covered, and without lighting up the room.

Kara control is hair-fine, delicately tuned and painstakingly self-taught. But it slips a lot more easily when she’s caught in a nightmare.

Those are rare – thankfully, since they always have Kara in tears which does god-awful things to Lena’s insides – but all the same, she has learned to recognize them even subconsciously.

That’s what wakes her now, in fact. Kara’s hold on her twitches differently, and that’s all it takes for something in Lena’s lower brain to perk up like a curious meerkat, kick off a collection of synapses and hormones, and haul her from REM sleep to wakefullness inside of five seconds.

“Hey.” Her voice is sleep-rough and soft – Kara can’t actually understand or even hear her right now but the sound still seems to help – and Lena catches the long fingers; eases the iron grip they have on her shirt until she can lift herself onto one elbow and slip her fingers into the golden hair. “It’s okay, Kara. It’s alright.”

She slips into Kryptonian, then; murmuring quietly against Kara’s forehead while she strokes her back. She isn’t fluent – not yet – but this language works better than any other at calming the hot, stuttering breathing; at making the hold around her waist loosen until it’s no longer tight enough to almost bruise, and at stopping those tiny, heartbreaking noises that keep slipping free from Kara’s throat.

Kara has never woken from her nightmares in the past, and this time is no different. Instead, she just slowly relaxes as Lena eases her back from wherever her mind went; settling deeper into the mattress and the covers with her hands slipping under fabric and onto the skin of Lena’s back in a touch that’s gentle, unconscious and much more familiar than the trembling death grip from before.

She even presses a kiss to the base of Lena’s throat once she’s tugged her close enough, and Lena closes her eyes, cards her fingers through that soft hair, and tries not to think about whether or not she would change Krypton’s fate if she could.

--•♥•--

Another thing that will pull Lena from even the deepest sleep is the low drone of her phone vibrating against the nightstand. Kara doesn’t hear that either; not actively, at least, though there always is a faint twitch to her arm or her face that means she’s heard the sound, identified it, and then discarded it as something she doesn’t need to worry about.

All in less time than it takes for Lena to blink the sleep from her eyes. She does that now, first, and then carefully lifts the arm curled around her; slipping free with a smile for the irritated little grunt it earns her, and tucking her pillow against Kara’s front instead.

“Yes?” Logically, she knows that she could wake Kara by doing nothing more than hitting her laptop’s power button even if she did so on the other side of the city, but she still slips out of the bedroom and gently closes the door behind her before answering the phone. “I see. Let me sign in, and I’ll call you back.”

She tries to stay as quiet as possible; keeps her voice low and the clatter of her keystrokes soft as she works, and uses a wireless headset instead of simply putting her phone on speaker like she used to. And she knows it’s a fruitless exercise – that Kara will notice her absence no matter how many pillows she gives her to hold, and that she does far better with interrupted sleep than Lena ever has – but she at least makes the attempt.

Kara is curled up in the well-stuffed armchair behind her by the time she finishes, anyway; sleepy, but awake, bundled warmly in Lena’s favorite blanket, and with her head resting in one hand as she watches her with a quiet, little smile.

“I’m going to find a way to not wake you up at some point,” Lena tells her wryly as she removes her earbuds, but smiles at the low laugh all the same.

“Not gonna happen,” is Kara’s cheerful reply, and while she doesn’t rise from the chair, she does adjust her position in it; opening her arms and the blanket both, and only closing them again once Lena is tucked securely into her lap. “But I appreciate the effort.”

“Mm.” Lena nuzzles into the crook of her shoulder with a yawn. “What time is it?”

“Just after four.” The answer is murmured softly right by her ear, and it really isn’t fair how Kara’s hands have learned every spot to stroke, massage and caress in order to turn her into a boneless pile of mush. “In the morning, I mean. Not the afternoon.”

Slowly, Lena cracks one eye open to examine the darkness beyond the windows, and then rolls that eye around until she can meet the very blue ones already looking at her.

“Not a word,” Kara grumbles, and sticks her tongue out when Lena can’t quite hold back a chuckle.

“Wouldn’t dream of it, Supergirl.”

--•♥•--

Kara tends to sleep pretty deeply for someone who can hear a milk carton being opened from five blocks away. She has learned over the course of her time on earth to  subconsciously sort through the mass of auditory input that bombards her at all hours of the day, and when she’s asleep, there’s only a small selection of sounds that will actually pull her free of it.

Her alarm, for some darn reason, isn’t always one of them, but the sirens of emergency vehicles, select voices (Lena, Alex, Eliza) and explosions have her awake in a fraction of a second, and the same goes for the near-inaudible buzz of her DEO phone. Even if it’s from two rooms away because both Lena and her fell asleep in the armchair.

Oops.

Lena is still curled up in her lap, so she only needs to use a bare minimum of motion in order to cradle her before standing. Getting through the doorway takes a little maneuvering – the apartment is too new for her to accidentally take out a chunk of wall and she is not waking Lena up by bumping her into something – but she manages, and takes care to settle Lena gently into the bed before grabbing the buzzing phone and zipping out of the room.

Super-human hearing or not, though, Lena wakes when she comes back; twisting onto her side and tucking one arm under her head while Kara speeds into her super suit.

“Be careful, ‘kay?” she murmurs; curling her other arm around Kara’s pillow and blinking sluggishly. “Wake me when you get back or call me when you get to work—”

“—whichever it is. I know.” She smiles, though; leaning over the bed and pressing a kiss to Lena’s cheek. “I will.”

And she does, though it happens so much sooner than anticipated that it hardly counts as waking her in the first place.

“Wh—Kara?” Lena stirs immediately when she slips back inside; squinting at the alarm, and then turning her head to blink at her. “That wasn’t even ten minutes. What—”

Kara isn’t ashamed to admit that she’s outright pouting when she kicks off her boots and – carefully – lets herself fall face-first onto the bed; cape and all. “Remind me to talk to Alex about rotation schedules during common vacation periods,” she mutters into the pillow, and then turns her head towards Lena. “Especially about training for them.”

For a full two seconds, Lena frowns at her in sleepy confusion. Then, however, her expression clears, and in spite of the darkness, Kara can easily see the faint tug in her cheek that means she’s holding back a smile. “Newbie on duty?”

She doesn’t even try to hold back the groan. “A fender-bender, Lena. He called in Supergirl at not even five in the morning over a fender-bender. That’s not even something that should involve the DEO!”

Lena, bless her, clearly tries. But she still starts laughing.

--•♥•--

Early mornings are anything but out of norm for Lena; interrupted sleep or not. And since those mornings have only grown earlier since she started sharing her life full-time with a solar-powered alien, she is anything but surprised to blink her eyes open mere minutes after sunrise, and almost a full half hour before her alarm is supposed to go off.

Lena is not a morning person and never has been. But there’s the scent of fresh coffee creeping in from beyond the barely-open bedroom door because Kara very much is a morning person - at least as long as the sun is out – and that’s enough to draw her out of bed and into the kitchen.

“Hey, gorgeous!” Kara turns her head the second she rounds the corner; bright-eyed and bushytailed, fully dressed and busily flapjacking. “You’re up early.”

“Oh, don’t remind me,” Lena groans; squinting against the all-too-bright sunlight as she half-staggers across the floor; wrapping her arms around Kara’s waist when she reaches her and resolutely pressing her face into the space between her shoulders. “Y’know I usually hate cheerful people at this hour?”

The torso she’s holding on to moves with a soft laugh. “Well, yeah; you tell me that every morning,” Kara notes easily; catching one of Lena’s hands in her own and bringing it to her lips. “But I seem to be the exception to a lot of your rules.”

“Mmhm.” There’s no reason to argue with a simple truth, so she just sighs against Kara’s spine and gives her a squeeze. “Lucky me.”

That earns her a chuckle, and then Kara is disengaging just enough to turn around in her arms and press something smooth, ceramic, and noticeably warm into her hand.

Coffee. The grateful whimper would be embarrassing if she was standing in front of anyone other than Kara. “You’re a goddess, and I love you desperately.”

Kara waits for her to pull her nose back out of the mug, and slides a plate of freshly cut fruits over with a fond little shake of her head. “I still haven’t figured out if you’re talking to me or to the coffee when you say that.”

Lena laughs, but also pulls her in for a kiss. Just so there aren’t any doubts.