“Yes, Ms. Luthor?”
Squinting behind her glasses, the CEO peered at her schedule on her computer screen and furrowed as she read, but failed to comprehend the words under the seven o’clock time slot that seemed to take up majority of her evening. There should have been nothing there. She carefully kept track of every second, trusted her secretary to do the same, and suddenly, she had to be somewhere on a night when she could have been home.
Leaning back in her chair, Lena Luthor scrolled and clicked on the offending task highlighted in a deep forest green. National City FC.
National City Fire Council?
National City Financial Committee?
National City Freedom Conference?
“What the hell is National City FC, and why is it taking up 3 hours of my evening?”
“The team you had us buy a few months ago. It’s their home opener.” the secretary explained, filing a few things in the drawer in the closet in Lena’s office.
She didn’t bat an eye at such questions. It was her job to know those things, to take care of things, like when her boss came in with a circled article from her ride into the office, and told Jess to fix it. This somehow included a struggling council measure to bring another sports team to the city and help the underfunded women’s program develop.
There were no follow up questions to how it got done, as Lena was immediately onto the next thing, but for Jess, there were hours spent meeting with officials and the in-house entertainment division to see how accumulating a women’s soccer team would diversify their holdings. This meant weeks pouring over spreadsheets and crunching numbers until the small team that was created for just this singular task, that again, came from a circled three inches of newspaper print, developed a plan to make it a success.
“What did I do?” Lena asked, looking up from her computer as her assistant continued her work of pulling and rearranging to prepare for end of month reports.
“You gave me an article about how the city wanted a team but couldn’t drum up the money to commit, and they were going to lose the bid for an expansion team.”
“That sounds somewhat familiar.”
“You said that expansion and bringing professionals into the city was how we continued to grow.”
“I’m sure I did.”
Quickly, Lena googled the team and found a few headlines praising the companies initiative to help grown equality within the sport, to bring jobs and joy to the community, to expand programs for children and sports, to bring a championship to the city. It was all news to her but still made her smile.
“I put together a team who did everything from polling to scouting locations to permits and projections,” Jess explained as Lena scrolled. “You helped pick out the colors and design the logo.”
“No,” she chuckled. “I did all of that. It’s been my pet project. I played in college, you know.”
The webpage was green, deep and royal. A white logo with the crest of the city and an outline of a roaring bear over it sat in the corner. The banner had the team picture with rows of tough and smiling girls looking back. A schedule followed and links to tickets. It was an actual thing.
“You did all of this?”
“I delegated,” Jess explained, handing over a folder. “Take a look at this so you have your talking points.”
“This got past the board?”
“A bit of community outreach, your name on the field, the logo on the jerseys, community services, tax breaks, and city-wide gratitude. It went a long way, and was a sound investment, set to see returns as early as six years.”
“Are you sure you don’t want that promotion?”
“I’ll just take another raise,” the secretary smiled as her boss looked over the papers in the folder.
“This still doesn’t explain why it’s on my schedule though,” Lena decided, closing it and laying it back on her desk.
“It’s the inaugural game. You have to go show your support.”
“I don’t like sports,” she reminded her. “That’s why I created an entire division of this company to manage such things.”
“You wanted more photo ops, and I’m creating that moment for you.”
Jess was right, which was something Lena still wasn’t particularly fond of admitting. Ever since her brother’s implosion and her ascendence to help the company two years ago, it felt as if her full-time job wasn’t being a CEO but rather a figure head looking to make people believe that she was just as strong, just as capable, just as, if not moreso, credible as the leader of a multi-billion dollar organization.
Lena looked back at the file on her desk and sighed, invariably giving in.
“Fine, but I’m not going to wear a jer–”
Smiling, Jess held up her personal jersey with DANVERS printed in big white letters over the number eleven. She wiggled her eyebrows and tried to hide her amusement.
“It’s to support the team.”
“That’s not even my name.”
“You don’t play for them, just own the team. You don’t get your own name on it.”
“I couldn’t get a custom one? I don’t even know who that is.”
“This is your star player, Kara Danvers. Got her in the expansion draft. She’s amazing. Led the league in scoring the past three years, only been in it for four.”
“This is soccer, right?”
With a heavy sigh, Jess tossed the jersey across the desk.
“Keep reading. I’ll have the car here at six.”
Lena smiled to herself as she held up the jersey, happy to have her name on it anyway with the logo of the rebranded L Corp. She never got used to seeing that, her accomplishments come to fruition. Somehow she accidentally bought a sports team, and though she wasn’t thrilled about having to spend her evening not at home on the couch, she was excited to see what her assistant created, excited to have done something for the city she grew to call home.
Not the biggest sports fan on the planet, Lena looked back at the screen with the team on it and found number eleven and gulped slightly, deciding that sports couldn’t be that bad.
The music blasted in the headphones, so loudly that nothing else could be heard, not even a thundering heartbeat or heavy breathing. The world and its honks and horns and yelling and voices and city chatter completely disappeared to nothing outside of the stadium, outside of the pitch of fresh grass.
Before the first fan would be welcomed, before they thrust open the grates on the concession stands, before the lights were tested and left on, a single player began her routine, sitting in the stands alone and taking in the world around her, as soon it would be chaos– screaming people on the sidelines, lines calling changes and plays in the heat of the moment, chirping from those coming to disrupt her home. The soccer player’s head nodded to the beat of the song as she prepared, washing the rest of it away and focusing, centering herself.
The stadium was beginning to breathe again, with works appearing, setting up for the sell-out crowd. By the time the first few teammates began to filter out to warm up, Kara was warming up, making her way from side to side with a light jog, stretching muscles and coming back from her solitary centering.
“Are you getting nervous yet?” Nia asked as she sat on the ground, working hamstrings into something more tenable.
“I’m getting excited,” Kara corrected.
She was a leader on the team, and she took the responsibility very seriously. That included measuring her responses for the younger teammates, making sure that she was always on. It also meant that she played her heart out and left every ounce of energy on the field. She was going to lead the league again. She was going to keep her national team spot. She was going to accomplish great things, just as her parents always told her.
“I’m getting nervous,” her teammate confessed. “Sarah Lance is a terrifying defender. And Foster is a sniper.”
“But you’re Nia Nal,” Kara smiled, helping to pull her goaltender up. She didn’t let her escape though. She held her shoulders in her hands and gave her an intense look. “You are a brick wall. You are unstoppable. You are a fortress. That’s your goal, and no one is going to score today.”
“I don’t think you do,” the captain disagreed, grinning a little wider now. “Hey, Allen, tell Nal what she is.”
From over her shoulder another teammate immediately chimed in.
“Nia Nal is a force to be reckoned with! She’s not allowing one point this entire year.”
“See that?” Kara grinned, turning back to her goalie. “Everyone already knows it.”
“I know,” Nia nodded, a little less worried and a little more serious.
“Good. Let’s run some drills. I’m no Foster, but I’ll try to make it hard for you.”
Leadership was a role Kara felt both thrust upon her and eager taken up, as if it were second nature. She didn’t think about it, not directly, but often her time was spent planning her moves within the team to make them successful. It showed on the field.
On the pitch though, Kara was completely untouchable. She was focused on her goals and she was ready for anything. She was the captain, the heart, the everything for her team, and she gave her all because for so long it was all she had.
“Danvers, lets go,” the coach’s voice called as the player finished getting ready, completing the final tasks of her routine. “I need you for some press stuff.”
“I thought that was after,” Kara furrowed as she trotted over to Cat Grant as the rest of the team finished up in the locker room.
“Opening day means a lot of parading around,” she explained as they walked through the corridor. “You know this team is precarious at best. We have to do everything we can to appease the money bags.”
“I was going to do some appeasing on the scoreboard. Try to put on a show.”
“If you could do both, I’d appreciate it.”
“You know I can.”
With a comparable grin, Cat nodded and tugged open a door that led to a lobby area, where post game interviews would be held, where the team would meet before the huddle, only this time it was nearly empty save for two women.
“Ms. Luthor,” Cat held out her hand as she approached the striking woman that Kara was stuck staring at. “It’s an honor to have you out here to see our first game.”
“I’ve heard you’ve done amazing things. I’m excited to watch,” she smiled back, clasping Grant’s hand with both of hers.
Dimples were there, right on her cheeks. There was also red lipstick. Cherry red and full on the lips. And her eyes. The green of the jersey was absolutely perfect for making her eyes seem like never-ending forests. Kara cleared her throat when she remembered to swallow and looked away from her face quickly, afraid of gawking too long, though her own cheeks grew a bit warm with the observations. The problem was that looking anywhere else was just as bad. Skin-tight black jeans betrayed hips, and the jersey was enough to not hide her chest, and Kara wanted to pluck out her own eyeballs.
While she introduced her assistant, Kara looked helplessly at the door and shifted on her feet, hoping to avoid the weird feeling in her chest and head.
“This is one of our stars, Kara Danvers. She’ll be doing some press with you after the game, so I thought it’d be better to look as if you’ve met before.”
“Good thinking,” Lena smiled and held out her hand. “It’s a pleasure.”
“It’s very nice to meet you,” Kara nodded, curt and polite enough, the handshake not lasting very long.
“I will confess I don’t know much about soccer, but I’ve done my research on you,” the money explained. “Jess was telling me how brilliant you are, and I’m excited for you to share your talent with the city.”
“Me? Yes, um. I am as well. Excited. I love this city. My second home it is.”
With a funny look on her face, Lena just nodded and turned back to the coach, her glance following a beat later as Kara looked away, her cheeks full firetrucks.
“I wont interrupt anymore of your prep time,” Lena explained. “Thank you Cat.”
“Enjoy the view from the owner’s box.”
“I get one of those?” Lena asked, her voice going a little low as she asked her assistant.
Kara lingered for a moment as her coach made her way back toward the lock eroom to prepare. She met Lena’s lok and offered another shy smile before hurring to turn around.
“See you later,” she offered and cringed as she turned around.
The entire walk back to the locker room, Kara hung her head, oddly confused about the very short but very weird meeting. She didn’t know what to do or what she had done, just that she had a game to win and now knew that Lena Luthor existed.
“Good evening National City!” the CEO cheered from the edge of the pitch, a giant television of herself played just behind her for everyone to see in the sold out crowd.
The sun was beginning to set behind the city, the stadium sitting on the edge of the water with a view of the skyline and the lake behind it. It was all so new and clean and nice, that Lena took a little bit of pride in the fact hat she had some hand to play in it all even if she wan’t acutely aware of it.
“I am so happy to introduce you to your National City FC!”
The crowd roared again as she smiled into the microphone and surveyed the edge of the field with the waiting players and their tiny equivalents.
“It has been an honor to be part of bringing the next great franchise to our wonderful city, and I know these women are going to make you all so proud!”
The cheering was awfully addicting, and Lena was going to try to figure out how to get twenty thousand people to follow her around and agree with everything she said.
“What do you say we get this inaugural season underway?”
Lena smiled and waved, handing over the microphone to the emcee. The deep voice began to introduce the team as the owner walked off of the field toward her assistant who smiled, much too knowledgeable about the fact that her boss was actually having fun despite her inability to admit it.
“You looked good out there,” Jess nodded as Lena stood beside her, shielding her eyes from the squint of the sun as she looked at her team.
“Sports aren’t that bad,” Lena shrugged.
Despite herself, the CEO found Kara Danvers in the lineup, a little girl standing before her as they did the anthem and introductions. Even though everyone was quiet and preparing for the game, the little girl was antsy. Kara held her hands and lifted her up slightly, swinging her a bit, her shoulders and biceps straining. Lena swallowed as she watched Kara giggle with the little girl, and wondered how someone could exist that was insanely hot and also a big old goober. It didn’t seem fair.
“Let’s get to the box,” Jess offered, interrupting the absolute dehydration Lena was experiencing and hoping to hide. “We can go over some of the basics and I can finish explaining the strategy.”
“I trust your judgement, but I should learn a few things for press. This is going to take a lot more of my face than previous expected, I guess?”
“I was hoping a few showings of your face, and if we win, we’ll solidify the team. National City is lacking a prestigious championship caliber team.”
On the field, Kara hopped slightly before stretching out her legs and getting out the jitters. Hair pulled back tightly, her armband meant she was the captain, and she commanded her team with precision.
“Is this our first championship team?”
“I think so.”
“This is a much more enjoyable investment than all those property deals and some of those research labs I have to hear about.”
“Says the engineer?”
“It pains me to admit it.”
The whistle blew and Kara sprinted out, capturing the ball and immediately making her way toward the other goal. Lena’s heart jumped into her throat at the sheer force and speed of it all before she allowed Jess to tug her back to her box.
“How much do you know about Kara Danvers?” Lena asked, hoping it as subtle enough to be taken as small talk.
“It’s all in the folders.”
The CEO nodded as the elevator ascended, and she didn’t dare to chance a look at her secretary.
No matter how many times she played, the adrenaline from a game was still mildly addicting. No matter how many goals she scored, the elation of scoring another was a fix that Kara Danvers chased perpetually. Nothing compared to it.
After the final whistle blew though, after the game ended and there was nothing left to give, she found herself full of these things, and no matter how tired her muscles and body became, the high was slow to come down from. It did make everything happen quicker though, and somehow, not long after winning, and a hat trick under her belt, Kara found herself seated in the media room with the team logo behind her and her new owner beside her.
“You must be fairly happy with the game tonight,” one reporter began, “any worries about the team as a whole that you will be working on this week at practice?”
“We’re always looking to be better, and I can’t say we were flawless, but I’m so excited for where we’re at as a team, that I’m just going to bask for the evening before we get back to work in the morning.”
The group chuckled slightly as the PR director called on the next hand.
“Ms. Luthor, how important was it for this team to get a win tonight? Was it validation for your involvement? Vindication maybe for all the naysayers who were against the expansion?”
“I can honestly say I haven’t paid any attention to anyone who was against this project,” Lena smiled as she earned a laugh from the audience. “It’s important to win as many games as possible for any team, let alone this team. We have a lot to prove as the new kids on the block, but I think Ms. Danvers is right, and we should celebrate and come back ready to continue in the morning.”
For the life of her, Kara wasn’t sure why the mention of her name or the corresponding look from Lena made the tips of her ears burn, but she smiled awkwardly and tried to ignore it.
“Ms. Luthor, what made you invest in this team and this opportunity?”
“The excitement in my advisor’s face when she talked about the team,” the CEO explained, nodding to the woman Kara didn’t remember officially meeting. “I can’t take credit for doing much more except being completely taken with Kara.”
The player snapped to look at the CEO for the pause that seemed to last much too long.
“Wait,” Lena shook her head and laughed. “Kara and her team. The sport really. The little girls that come out with the team. My advisor was one of those little girls, and she is now one of the most admirable and driven people I have ever met. If a team like this can give her joy and hope, imagine what it can do for all of the other little girls.”
“How does it feel to have the most powerful woman in the world behind you, Kara?”
“I’m quite taken by it,” she offered humbly with a smile, earning a laugh from the group and Lena in particular. “To be honest though, it is a truly empowering fact. To have someone with such kindness and tenacity as an example, it’s amazing.”
The pair shared a smile, and Kara looked back at the crowd, preparing for the next question.
Attention wasn’t something Kara Danvers was new to receiving. She was an all-star in college, and she was a breakout star in the league, and that came with a certain level of media notice. And when she was dedicated to be the new star for the next city on the expansion, she felt the weight of an entire franchise on her shoulders.
The press conference after the game was an audition, and Kara knew it. She was auditioning for the role of idol, of star, of hero, and she needed the city to be on her side as much as she needed the owner to like her. Except she didn’t need the owner to like her as much as she hoped. That was somehow a different goal than the reporters.
When she moved to National City again after leaving it for her first starting position in the league, she wasn’t sure she’d ever be back. It was a good home to her though for her four years of college, providing a safe distance from her adopted family, and enough familiarity to feel like it was her own. Though it wasn’t where she was born, Kara felt a certain ownership of the place, compelled like she never felt before, to win.
Waiting in the hallway to the private exit, Kara kicked at the ground slightly, unsure of why she was lingering after her duties were done for the night. She certainly hadn’t expected to meet Lena Luthor. She certainly hadn’t expected her to be so… so… just wow. In the dim light of the tunnel, Kara wondered when the last time she had a crush was and if she was having one currently.
She dated a little here and there, but her schedule dictated a kind of freedom that wasn’t particularly conducive to a partner. She’d made a few moves with a few other girls in the league, here an there, but nothing especially permanent, or even in the realm of serious.
And she certainly wasn’t thinking about any of that with Lena Luthor. The illusive billionaire was rich enough to buy a team and not know she did. Kara knew the story of the Luthors, of their immense fortune, of their terrible troubles, of the youngest who had to step in and save the day, but she’d never seen Lena Luthor, and now that she had… well now that she had, she wasn’t sure what came next in her life.
But it certainly wasn’t anything relating to a crush. She simply would not admit that she could form such a thing except that she was and she didn’t know what to do with it.
“We can clear it for next game, can’t we? And I’d like to revisit the conversation we had with the mayor about after school program funding. Could we– Kara?”
“Hi, Ms. Luthor,” Kara waved, hating herself as she met Lena’s eye and let her hand drop.
The CEO stared at the soccer player and slowed up her determined strides, her advisor following beside.
“Lena is fine, please.”
“Lena,” Kara nodded, tasting it for the first time aloud.
“Thank you for an amazing game. It was my first ever.”
“I’m glad it could be something you are proud of building.”
“I don’t know how much I had to do with it,” she shook her head and looked down as she shifted slightly. “But you’ve made a fan for life. I’m glad Jess made me wear your jersey. It was a good choice.”
“Maybe you were my lucky charm.”
For too long they grinned and stared at each other. It was long enough that the secretary decided she couldn’t partake another second of it and offered to get the car pulled up so they could leave.
Alone suddenly, the two looked at each other and nervously shifted. Lena crossed her arms over her chest, covering the logo and name, while Kara tucked her hands into the back pocket of her jeans and reeled on her heels slightly.
“I was hoping I’d run into you,” Kara began. “I wanted to know if you’d like to get a drink sometime? If that’s not inappropriate or anything. I… you’re like six bosses removed from me, and if it goes badly you can trade me.”
“I don’t think I can.”
“Oh, right yeah, of course. I was– yeah definitely. That was too far. I’m sor–”
“I meant trade you,” Lena explained quickly with a small laugh that Kara enjoyed too much despite the whirling of the blood in her ears. “You’re my favorite player. I’d be dumb to trade you.”
At the far end of the tunnel, Lena and Kara watched the sleek black car appear, ready to whisk her away to some luxurious loft somewhere. Kara didn’t want to move.
“I’m trying to think of a reason it should be inappropriate, but I can’t come up with anything.”
Kara smiled victoriously at the notion, giving Lena a mildly hopeful glance. Confidence, she tried to remind herself. That was what her sister told her to have. As much as Alex coached her on the field, her words of wisdom to find a life rang true and loud in the back of Kara’s head as she watched Lena Luthor mull.
“Can I get a yes before you think too hard?”
“I haven’t been asked out in a while, but that is what you’re doing, right?”
“You haven’t?” she balked at the news, confused at the notion of it.
“I am,” Kara decided quickly. “If you’re wondering. Yes. I’m asking you out.”
“Three goals and a date,” Lena decided as she pulled something out of her pocket. “That’s a very successful evening, Ms. Danvers.”
In the dim light of the tunnel, Kara squinted at the business card she was handed, the same logo on her jersey on the corner of it.
“I’ll have my people call your people?” the soccer player joked.
“Or you could call that number. It’s my direct line.”
“I should head out,” the CEO decided. “I hope to hear from you, Kara.”
“Th-thanks. Yes, Yeah. Definitely.”
“See you around.”
“You will,” Kara promised with a smile, holding the business card tightly in her hand.
With another small smile, Lena made her way down the tunnel, not turning around until she made it to the car and slid into the back seat. Unmoving, Kara remained watching it all happen, slightly flabbergasted that she successfully did all of that in under three minutes. It seemed like an out-of-body experience.
But somehow, she asked out Lena Luthor.
“Yes!” Kara cheered, jumping up and dancing in the empty tunnel. “Yes, oh my gosh, yes. I can’t believe it.”
To anyone who would have walked by, they wouldn’t have understood how it happened, but they would have understood the joy.
“Any messages, Jess?”
Super casual, super normal, Lena paused at her secretary’s desk and pretended to look at the notes from the meeting she just left. Unfortunately, the faux casual way she asked was overshadowed by the fact that it was the fifth time the CEO had asked if there were any messages, which Jess couldn’t remember her doing even once before in her time on the desk.
“None of importance.”
“Hm,” Lena nodded, slightly defected. “What else do we have today?”
Jess quickly followed her boss into her office, grabbing her tablet to take notes and begin the scheduling balance that came with all new ideas.
“You have a meeting with investors and another one with the board for the quarter,” Jess explained as she scrolled through the agenda on the screen. “And maybe return a call I got from Kara Danvers.”
“She called about an hour ago, but wouldn’t tell me–”
“Why didn’t you start with that?” Lena asked quickly.
Her advisor couldn’t particularly say she didn’t mention it because it was much more fun to witness that freak out in person. But Jess wanted to be sure about what her boss was hoping to get from the star athlete. She wanted to be sure Lena had a crush, and the proof was all over her boss’ face as she anxiously waited for the message.
“Would you like me to get her back on the line?”
“Yes, of course,” Lena nodded as she thought, but paused. “Wait. No. Just give me her number. I’ll call her myself.”
“I can use a telephone.”
“You can, but you never call anyone.”
“I can handle a single phone call with Kara Danvers.”
“Can you though?”
Pointedly, the CEO looked at her assistant before the number was jotted down and passed over to her. She watched Lena look it over, as if she could tell if it was real or not despite it being a pile of random digits.
“That’ll be all for now, Jess,” Lena smiled quickly. “Grab me before the meeting.”
“Of course, Ms. Luthor.”
The bar was nearly empty, but it was nice enough, a real hidden gem that hadn’t been discovered as such just yet. It might have been that they just opened, and two in the afternoon wasn’t prime time for it to be busy, or it might have been that she really was ahead of the curve or behind it. But Kara sat in the booth with the high backs and surveyed the other secluded tables that remained empty. Despite the early afternoon hour, she ordered a beer and tried to look casual as she anxiously waited.
There were a bit of nerves to somehow waiting for one of the most powerful women in the entire world for an afternoon beer. There was also a bit of confusion as to how it all worked and how a soccer player for a new franchise somehow managed to get a multiple-doctorate-holding science prodigy turned billion dollar business mogol, to agree to drinks.
But Kara had been taken with Lena’s smile. It blew her away when she saw it. Then her eyes. She had beautiful eyes. And worse yet, she was passionate and witty, and all of that together was enough to somehow give Kara exactly five seconds of confidence to ask to get to know Lena better.
She still didn’t believe it.
Outside, it wasn’t raining anymore, the downpour slowing to a drizzle, slowing to a mist, if that, but the clouds were still suffocating the sun and the city, covering the day in that grey kind of listlessness that clung to peoples boots. The dreariness allowed the thoughts of doubt to creep in easier, that she doubted if Lena would show at all. Why would she? Surely there were more pressing matters.
With a bit of anger at the thought Kara ordered a beer and took a solid sip before playing with it on the table.
Somewhere lost in her thought about potentially being stood up by her boss’, boss’, boss and owner, the footballer failed to realize said CEO walked in the door and shook off some of the leftover rain as she approached the table.
“You look very deep in thought,” Lena offered as she took her seat, amused at a very embarrassed Kara.
“I am very capable of deep thought even though I kick a ball around for a living,” she offered, smiling into her beer to hide her blush.
“Thank goodness. I was afraid you were just a pretty face.”
“I was also voted Best Ass in the league in a very unofficial fan poll.”
“The whole package, huh?” Lena grinned at the description. Kara relaxed with it because somehow talking to Lena was just easy. It was so natural it was off putting for a beat.
“I try to be well-rounded. Can I get you a drink?”
“Please. Whatever your having.”
Kara nodded and flagged the waitress for another before turning back to the woman across from her. Slightly frizzy from the rain, Lena Luthor was composed above all else still. She had pink cheeks and lips with that lipstick that played through Kara’s mind for the past week.
“So you asked me out, right? That’s what this is?”
“I did. Somehow I managed it,” Kara chuckled.
“Am I unapproachable? Do I give off that vibe?” she worried, thanking the waitress for her pint. “I wasn’t sure it was a date because it was a two in the afternoon and I haven’t been asked out in…. Well since I was in college I think.”
“I think you’re Lena Luthor,” the footballer explained, earning a smile as the CEO sipped her beer. “I think that is terrifying. But my Dad used to tell me to do something that scared me every day.”
“And I’m what you plan on doing today?”
Kara coughed and choked on her drink as she furiously blushed. She met Lena’s eyes and was awarded with a melodious laugh, head tilted back and eyes squinted shut.
“I mean,” the superstar shrugged. “Kind of.”
“I don’t have sex on the first date,” Lena warned.
“I can work with that.”
Kara smiled as she finished her beer and ordered another, the confidence warming in her bones. Anyone who could make someone like Lena Luthor laugh like that had to have something going for them.
“So you brought an entire expansion team to the city by one offhanded statement?”
“Yes,” Lena nodded as she juggled her hot dog as they made their way down the street in the quickly dwindling evening light.
“You changed my entire life after reading an article?”
“Mostly Jess did. I had very little to do with anything.”
“Do you supervise your employees at all?”
“Sometimes. But I like to let them explore their passions. Jess was passionate about having a professional team. It’s worked out well enough for me.”
“It just seems so… so… cavalier, to change the history of an entire city.”
The pair paused on the street corner, the nose of the slurring of tires and windshield wipers added a tempo to the rainy day beneath the usual noises of the city. The CEO refused to look at the soccer player because Kara was standing close to her, and she had her coat buttoned up to her ears, and she was tall and beautiful and charming and polite and smart and funny. If Lena looked, she’d probably never stop, and she couldn’t let herself do that.
Three beers and a few hours of talking at a bar and Lena was certain she’d never met anyone like the soccer player.
“You are very important,” Lena murmured as the red and told them not to walk. “The team and the city, it’s very important, but do you want to know what distracted me so much?”
“Please tell, Ms. Luthor.”
“I have a small team currently working on cell regeneration. It’s going to sound a little gross, but we’re working on something that I think will be useful in fighting diseases, but more importantly, we can bioengineer new organs.”
Lena had to look around, afraid she’d lost Kara somewhere, but instead found her just standing there, furrowed and mouth agape as she processed the information.
“You’re growing hearts and you agreed to go out with me?”
“I haven’t seen the real world in months, so it seemed like a good idea.”
“I just… I can’t believe it.”
“That’s why I let Jess do other things. She’s the one running the show while I get to do my research sometimes.”
“Keep up, Danvers.”
“I don’t know if I can,” she muttered, taking a few long strides to reach Lena as she kept them walking down the sidewalk. “Tell me more about the cells?”
The city was tired, and by the time the rain fully committed, they’d made it deeper into the long, near-empty blocks of downtown. But Lena found herself telling Kara all about her research, about taking over the company, about the expectations of it. And she hung on every word Kara explained about playing and travelling and how happy she was to be back in the city.
By the time the thunder boomed and the sky finally opened up, both realized that neither had an umbrella, and Lena let Kara tug her hand as they jogged down the block attempting to avoid the flood.
Smiling from ear to ear and completely out of breath, the warmth and dryness of the lobby where Kara pulled them into was welcomed. Hair a mess, dimples deep on her cheek, and eyes absolutely shining, she beamed beneath the sopping mess of the night outside.
“I didn’t do it on purpose, but this is my building,” Kara explained, pushing aside her hair that stuck to her forehead. “And I do have dry clothes upstairs.”
“For you, yes. I have comfy and dry things and nothing but good intentions.”
Lena laughed and shook her head.
“Since we’re here.”
The apartment was nice. Sparse, but very nice. A few boxes were still stacked in certain corners, while a few pieces of workout equipment took up a big chunk of space. The wall had a few portraits of friends and family, as well as a jersey spread out and displaying the last name.
Lena didn’t see many of the finer points of Kara’s place in the night. She couldn’t with how quickly she kissed Kara as soon as the door closed. She couldn’t because the light was never turned on, but rather that sticky, wet clothes were tugged and yanked and stretched.
All semblance of her own personal rules went out the window quite quickly after Kara’s lips found her own, and Lena didn’t stop it, even when she was asked if she was sure. She answered by biting a jaw and then neck and humming agreement.
But when morning came, Lena found herself distracted and looking around the bedroom after she woke to an empty bed. Somewhere in the hall, her pants and her phone were scattered, and she wasn’t sure where they were, what time it was, or where she currently was in the city at all.
Quietly, Lena sat up in the bed and clutched the sheet to her chest as she looked on the floor for a shirt or a bra, slowly replaying part of the night to try to locate it. Instead she pushed her hair out of her face and stood, tugging the sheet with her.
The bedroom was warm and cozy, the big bed had many pillows and a fluffy flower-covered duvet. There were picture frames and a few vases of flowers on shelves. Lena pulled open the curtain and looked out onto the city and the rainy morning that snuck back in the night. She strained her ears and tried to find some noise but was met with quiet. Through pure necessity only, Lena slid into the closet and surveyed the neat rows of clothes. She dug through a few drawers and grabbed some old shirt and shorts that looked like ancient training gear, which made Lena smile because there were boxes and bags of untouched gear from sponsors.
A closet could not have looked more opposite of her own, Lena thought, as she slowly made her way back to the bedroom. Kara had a large amount of comfortable looking clothes, and shoes that did not have heels that hurt, which was slightly annoying.
In the hall, Lena found her underwear. A few feet past it, she found a shirt. But slowly, she made her way, still listening for another sound of life and surveying the pictures on the wall, awards and such, but mostly parts of Kara’s life on display for all to see. Friends and family prevailed, while a few pieces of maps from national parks and pictures of the soccer player on top of mountains dotted it.
“Of course she does,” Lena sighed as she paused at a picture of Kara in some village playing soccer with tiny children. The name of an orphanage was written below it.
It was like a museum to someone who couldn’t possibly exist. How in the world could a volunteering, trail-hiking, board game-playing, movie nerd ask out Lena Luthor? And how in the world could Lena Luthor have sex with someone who had sex like someone who only lived to have sex with someone like Lena Luthor?
It was too much to sift through before coffee, and trudging along, Lena made her way into the living room to find Kara hunched over her computer, headphones on as she watched footage of what looked like a game, though Lena didn’t know which.
Hair up in a messy bun and falling out at the ends, all Kara had on was a sports bra and shorts. Her broad shoulders slouched and poured over the footage, only pausing to jot a note down in a notebook. She ran her foot along the back of her calf and rolled her shoulder against soreness, grabbing a bite of toast and sip of orange juice before pressing play again.
She could make a run for it. Lena could have snuck out the door possibly. But Kara was just sitting there, and the night before she literally benched Lena onto her face, like the absolute filthiest deadlift of all time. None of it made sense.
But nothing made less sense than the fact that Lena Luthor, self-proclaimed nun and independent woman who did not have sex on the first date, took a few steps forward and sat down in the chair next to the soccer player’s. And even worse, she took a bite of her toast and unplugged the headphones as Kara smiled at her.
“What are you working on?”
“Play analysis for the team meeting tomorrow.”
Lena handed over the toast and held her chin in her hand as Kara nodded slowly and blushed deep in her neck.
“Yes, Ms. Luthor?”
At her desk, the CEO continued to look at her schedule, peering at it behind her glasses as she cocked her head and looked at the other window she had open. Outside, the summer was just beginning to turn, the heat radiating off of the buildings and shimmering in the city, hiding it behind a glaze. June was coming and it was going to be a brutal beginning to the season.
“There’s no way this can be right. I am not going to France for over a week.”
“Yes you are,” Jess nodded. “It says so on your schedule.”
“Why would I go to France?”
She tried to play it as cool as possible, but her assistant looked at her with completely understanding, and Lena knew she didn’t stand a chance. Maybe to the rest of the world, she was just doing her duty as owner to go to every game, but to the person that perhaps knew her best in the world, Lena was an open book and her assistant.
It’d been a few dates. A few amazing dates. And lots of phone calls when they travelled. And lots of dinners that were business related, surely. It’d been a few nights spent in each other’s beds. It’d been… it’d been… in truth, it’d been absolutely wonderful, and Lena loved dating Kara Danvers.
The captain of the team was a dream. She was funny and kind and interesting, and for some reason, despite being the sun, she liked being around, and that was huge to Lena. Kara was a morning person, she ate junk food, non stop, even though her trainers tried to keep her on the straight and narrow. She loved doing things. She made Lena experience the city in a completely different way, and her view of the world was almost contagious.
But Lena couldn’t go to France. They kept to themselves and no one knew, and that was something she also kind of enjoyed– that Kara was her’s and her’s alone. She didn’t have to share her, at least in some way.
“Three players from your team are playing in the World Cup,” Jess explained. “It will look very good for the entire sport if you are there.”
“I have a lot of work to do.”
“You always have work to do, but that doesn’t have to stop you.”
“That’s a long time.”
“I’ll go with you.”
“Ah, so that’s it?” Lena grinned and sat back in her chair as her assistant shrugged. “It’s just not a good time to take a week off.”
“Think about it.”
Before Lena could argue, her assistant placed a small box on her desk and urged her to open it. At first Lena wasn’t sure what it was, but then she saw the crest of the nation on the corner, and she turned it around to see Kara’s name and number, and she smiled to herself.
“Mmm, you smell so good,” Lena moaned as she inhaled the smell of Kara’s neck deeply, her arms wrapping tighter around the soccer player in them.
“I missed you,” Kara confessed, squeezing the CEO back, tight as she could against herself. “Is that weird to say? It was a week.”
“A really long week.”
Stuck in the embrace, neither moved to really pull away, but rather enjoyed the closeness, enjoyed the anchoring of each other and the quiet that finally came since the last time they were together.
“Do you want to tell me about it?” Kara asked as she pulled away only to be answered with a long kiss and sigh. “Or not?”
“There are much more intriguing things we can do,” Lena decided.
“There is a game on right now–”
Before she could finish, Lena interrupted Kara’s suggestion, rooting her hand in her shirt and in the hair at the base of her neck. Helplessly she tugged and told Kara her plan without ever saying a word. In just a few seconds, she was lifted, her legs wrapping naturally around hips. Hands held her ass and her skirt slid higher on her waist as legs spread.
“You are so beautiful,” Kara hummed as they landed on the bed. She pushed aside the mess of black hair that swept into Lena’s face.
“You’re a sweet talker, Danvers.”
Kara trailed her fingertip along the bridge of Lena’s eyebrows, along her cheek, the bridge of her nose, along her lips and jaw and chin. She took her time, eyes following the motion of her fingertips. Lena melted against it, sank into the bed as Kara laid atop her, a comfortable weight that held her to the ground.
“You are nice to come home to.”
“You’re not so bad yourself.”
Lena earned a smile, one of the soft ones that tugged Kara’s lips just enough, a true contentment. She shifted her hips and rubbed against her girlfriend’s thigh.
“Is this what you missed most?” Kara asked, a small growl to her voice as she shifted her thigh, pressing it harder, earning a muffled moan and a bit lip. “Not my pleasant conversational skills?”
“Kara,” she whined. A Luthor never whined, but Lena wasn’t entirely sure she was a Luthor that often anyway.
“I missed this too,” the soccer player promised. “I missed the way you are very needy and very un-put together. You’re always so composed, but not when I have you like this.”
Kara was a talker. She was deceptively confident when it came to sex, like she knew how good she was, and like she knew exactly when Lena needed. It was insanely frustrating and insanely hot. Th same girl who nervously fiddled with her beer, who nervously asked for a date, she was gone, and the same kind of focus that was seen on the field constantly, the same focus and skill, that was applied to the task at hand and that task was absolutely ruining Lena Luthor.
“You turn me into a teenager.”
Somehow the clothes disappeared. Lena hadn’t meant that to happen when she invited Kara over for dinner. But they both were home from their respective trips, and she’d toyed with the idea for the entire day before giving into wanting to see the soccer player. She hadn’t counted on Kara being just as eager to see her. Why would she ever think that?
“Is it weird to admit how much I’ve thought about you naked while I was away?” Kara murmured, her nose nudging Lena’s thigh before she hooked them over her shoulder.
There wasn’t time for an answer. Lena couldn’t form one as a tongue lapped her up in long, flat strokes, narrowly and deftly missing where she wanted it most. Instead, her hands went to Kara’s hair and tugged at it.
By the time they both tapped out, there weren’t any places open to order from. Lena chuckled to herself as er hand splayed over Kara’s stomach as it rumbled.
“Worked up an appetite?”
“I haven’t had a workout like that since camp.”
“I better feed you. How’s pizza?’
With a kiss on Kara’s neck, Lena pushed herself out of bed and grabbed her phone to order. Kara watched it all and flopped back into the giant, sex-shredded bed as a beautiful, lace-clad hips swung out of the room.
“I am going to open a bottle of wine,” Lena called from down the hall.
The tired of traveling home and the rather lengthy sex hung in her muscles, but Kara got up anyway with the promise of wine, pizza, and Lena Luthor’s legs. The past few months had been perfect, and Kara found herself enjoying all of those things exponentially more and more. So much so, that she very much wanted to ask Lena what it meant for them, to have the talk about relationships, to ask the questions, to see if they were going to be something more.
With a decided tug of a shirt over her head, Kara nodded and pulled up her hair, prepared for battle and to find her answer.
“I got everything but olives,” Lena informed Kara from her position at the counter.
Legs on display she dragged one against her calf with an itch absently as she poured the other glass and handed it over. Just ten minutes ago, Kara’s tongue had been inside her and that was enough to make her mouth water.
“You smell like sex,” Lena shook her head as Kara stood close, looking over her shoulder at the tablet she had on the counter. “You should shower.”
“We should shower.”
“Then we won’t get clean.”
“You weren’t complaining when I came by after practice that one time.”
“Well that was… that was something else entirely,” she waved her hand absently, swatting away the memory.
When Kara first debating dating Lena Luthor, she just knew her as a CEO, a powerful billionaire with a troubled family background. But she wasn’t just that. She wasn’t that entirely. She was a big nerd. She was smart, wickedly smart almost. Too witty for her own damn good. She had a sharp edge to her tongue if she was displeased, and she was short on faux compliments. But she was warm when she was comfortable. She was wry. She was bold. She was brave. She was an expensive glass of red, meant to be savored and meant to be appreciated for all her layers.
“How was your trip?”
“Long and arduous,” Lena sighed, turning off her tablet and turning in Kara’s arms. Pinned between strong hips and the counger, she didn’t really want to go anywhere else.
“Very. I am the proud new owner of a large tech firm.”
“Wow,” Kara whistled. “That sure beats my trip.”
“I don’t know. Two goals aren’t so bad.”
“You followed the game?”
Kara beamed and Lena shrugged, rolling her eyes at how happy it made the soccer player. She didn’t mean to admit it, but it just came out because she told Kara the truth, even without meaning to do it.
“What did you think?”
“I think I shouldn’t let you eat pizza,” she joked, pinching Kara’s side. “You looked slow out there.”
“Oh, did I?”
“You did. I expected a very big win. And 2-1 is not as impressive.”
“I’m sorry to disappoint, boss.”
“I just want to make sure we’re at the top of the table heading into the World Cup where we might drop a few games.”
Despite herself, Kara smiled as she took a sip of her wine and Lena freed herself, moving around the kitchen. She cleared her throat and tried to make the rising pink in her neck disappear.
“Speaking of the World Cup–” Kara began, steeling herself with another sip. “I’ll be leaving for a while.”
“I imagine the commute to France would be rough.”
“Have you… um… are you… would you be going?”
The buzzer rang before Lena could pay much attention to Kara’s words, and the soccer player sighed and shook her head before finishing her glass of wine as her– her– as Lena went to get the food.
“Dinner is served,” Lena smiled as she set the giant box on the counter. “If it’s after midnight is it breakfast? Either way.”
“It’s dinner until after four in the morning.”
“I can agree to that.”
Lena’s penthouse was large, with giant windows and the breathtaking views, with the new everything and pristine surfaces. A box of pizza seemed alarmingly out of place in the modern kitchen, but it was the most important part as they pair opened and began to eat without even grabbing plates.
“You’re going to miss this, in France,” the CEO teased, grinning as she took another bite. “The food there is amazing, but shitty, greasy pizza isn’t a specialty.”
“I won’t be eating anything fun,” Kara shook her head and nearly moaned as she covered her mouth and savored. “The diet and training gets kicked up in the next week, and then when I’m there, I’m on a very strict schedule.”
“Haven’t you already been on a strict and rather rough training schedule?”
“It can and will get worse.”
“Dating me probably hasn’t helped.”
“I’ve had my best season so far. I chalk it up to all the cardio you have me doing.”
“Yes, and lifting,” Kara blushed and took another piece.
“It feels so far away, but it’s coming up so soon.”
Lena moved only to refill their glasses of wine, carefully taking a bite of pizza crust as she topped them off.
“I think you’re just more aware of it than most because you have to listen to me complain about training for it,” Kara decided. “Something about dating a soccer player must get a little tedious.”
“Sometimes,” Lena grinned. “But when it does I just look at your abs.”
“Do you think all of those fancy genius scientists you hang out with know that you are just a superficial perv?” she asked, pointing her crust at the horny CEO.
“Just because I can appreciate the absolute wonderful wrapping on the gift that is you,” she explained, making her way around the counter, slipping into the lap of her favorite player. “Doesn’t mean I’m superficial. I quite like your mind,” she kissed Kara’s temple. “And your heart.”
“All that stuff?”
“All of it.”
“Not the muscles?”
“Just a perk.”
“Not the goals?”
“Something I’ll brag about one day.”
“One day?” Kara quirked an eyebrow.
“You know. Whenever we are… you know. More official.”
“Are you just going to repeat everything I say?”
“I just need a little clarification,” Kara furrowed, her hand landing on Lena’s hip to hold her there. “About more official.”
“Do we have to have this conversation at three in the morning over not half decent pizza?” Lena yawned.
“Well, no, but I mean… I don’t know what–”
“I just meant that when we’re… you know… not quiet… about–” Lena yawned again as she grew more uncomfortable. Slightly agitated she stood up and took a few steps. “When we’re not a secret.”
It took a few seconds for the word to register its true meaning to Kara, but when she did, she looked up and cocked her head, slightly confused by it all and how she went from asking if her girlfriend was going to support her at the biggest event of her life to realizing that perhaps she didn’t have a girlfriend to begin with.
“We’re a secret?”
“How many people have you told?”
“Well– I– Not because I didn’t– I wasn’t sure what we were doing– and I wanted– you’re kind of my boss–”
“It’s complicated, and I know you get it.”
“It’s new and I was waiting for you,” Kara explained.
“Can’t it just be easy? Can’t we just keep… I don’t know,” Lena shrugged. “Can’t we keep getting to know each other before it gets harder?”
“It can be easy.”
“Can we talk about it more in the morning?”
“Will you let me take you to bed now, and not have my wicked way but rather tuck you in and give you the best damn night’s sleep you’ve ever had?”
Kara smiled despite herself because for some reason, Lena Luthor had that effect on her and it was absolutely infuriating, but disarming, at the same time. And a hand was held out, waiting for her to take it, and that hand was attached to a beautiful girl with messy hair and wine-red lips who, although it was exceedingly risky, was worth the gamble every time.
Because of the delay, Lena grew nervous as Kara debated before the small, hint of a smile tugged on her lips and she took the offered hand. It left her with a bit of hope that Kara would stay, even though Lena had no idea how she was going to have a personal life.
They didn’t have the talk the following morning. They didn’t even have it the next time they got together for dinner. Kara didn’t know if she wanted to have it after she really thought about Lena’s honest words. It didn’t make sense for her not to be a secret. Lena was the leader of the largest company in the nation, and she had enough press, let alone that involving a girlfriend who happened to be the star of one of her most recent investments.
And all of that made Kara wonder how long she would allow herself to be a secret. In between training and the travelling and preparing for the World Cup, she allowed herself to think of things and allowed them to make sense. Her relationship was the best she’d ever had, and maybe it wasn’t worth ruining by thinking about it too much.
But things were normal with them. They had dinners and watched movies, and Kara would look up at the box to see the owner at home games. Lena gave naked massages to Kara after tough training sessions. Those were always lovely. And Kara showed up at L Corp a few times with snacks to make her girlfriend take a break. They were rarely seen in public together, but the spent as much time as possible near each other, even if that consisted of Kara watching plays while Lena draped her legs over her lap and read through notes on the couch.
They were honest and stable and healthy and Kara wasn’t sure why she still felt something lacking in the most fulfilling relationship ever. It didn’t make sense, and the more she tried to make herself satisfied, the more she dug into the psyche of realizing she was a secret.
“You’re packing very light,” Lena observed as she lounged on Kara’s mattress.
“I can buy anything I forget,” the soccer player muttered as she folded and stacked another shirt in her bag.
“Still, don’t you like your own stuff? I crave home when I’m away.”
“I’m fairly low maintenance. And I’ve heard that the Cup is going to breeze by so quickly that I won’t need much.”
“It won’t be a breeze for me.”
“You don’t have to play.”
“I have to watch and miss you,” she sighed. “While you are very focused on the games, I’ll be hearing about how wonderful you are.”
“You could come with me to France,” Kara offered, nonchalant and words out of her mouth before she could think of them. “I have enough room in my suitcase.”
“I tried to get my schedule changed, so I could come, but I just… I couldn’t.”
“You… you tried?”
“To see my girlfriend play and potentially win on the world stage?” Lena balked at the suggestion. “Of course I did. Jess actually tried last month. Moved my trip around to the West Coast, but then different things came up.”
“Of course, Kara.”
Something warmed deep in her heart. She paused her folding as Lena continued to answer emails on her laptop.
“I can’t believe you tried.”
“Why? Because I don’t want to be public yet?”
“I wasn’t sure where we were, and what we were doing when Jess brought it up. But I figured no matter what… I could at least be there. It’s important. You’re important.”
Kara tossed the shirt into her bag and watched as the CEO adjusted her glasses and ran a foot along her bare calf. Clad in an old university shirt and Kara’s old shorts, she was comfortable at the football players place, sticking around even during a tedious task to just be around.
There was more to pack and more to say, but Kara didn’t want to do either. Instead, she tossed her bag onto the floor with a large smack and slid into her bed, resting her head on her girlfriend’s thigh.
Jet lag and time zones made the bed feel like heaven. Body still on the west coast and brain doing its best to keep up with the new place and practice and preparation, the sheets and the pillows were a godsend. Kara laid, face first in the large bed in her hotel room, with only the light still on in the bathroom as the only light in the room. She didn’t care about it at all for the moment though. Her body was still coming down from the workout and then the recovery, pushing herself harder than ever to be better and faster and stronger than ever before thought imaginable. The sun wasn’t close to ready to set, still early in the summer evening, but the curtains were drawn tight and tried to hide the welcoming glow of a beautiful city at the golden hour.
She should take a shower and eat something, but the bed was so comfortable and her body was so tired. Only when she ran out of air did Kara turn her head to the side and push hair out of her face. It took her a few minutes to push herself up and resign herself to exist.
Kara didn’t look at her phone because on it was a picture of her and Lena from some Sunday morning of sleeping in and waking up with messy hair. If she looked at it again with a longing glance, she’d have to admit that she was missing her, and that was a dangerous thing.
She settled into the same routine she’d had for the past week since arriving: shower after moping, order food, and settle in to watch game footage. Kara was preparing, and she had the first game in just eighteen hours.
And though she tried to sleep and prepare, despite being exhausted, sleep evaded her until she was tossing and turning and attempting to find some kind of relief. But it only came in one way.
“Darling, it’s two in the morning.”
Kara smiled sleepily into her pillow as she was greeted with Lena’s lovely, quiet voice from thousands of miles away. She pressed the phone between her head and the pillow.
“I’m very bad at jet lag.”
“It’s been over a week. You should be adjusted.”
“I just miss you I guess.”
“Don’t try to be cute to avoid me scolding you. You need your rest. I expect a hat trick tomorrow.”
Kara smiled in the dark and pulled the covers up higher around her shoulders before stretching her legs and sighing at the comfort. Relatively new to the sport, Lena was studious when it came to learning, and through that, somehow developed into Kara’s number one fan. It was mostly because of the orgasms. But also because she loved watching the joy on the player’s face when she was in the thick of it– a smile when she got downed, a grin when she battled for the ball, a smirk when she made her move, and the humble joy that came when she scored.
“How was your day?” she tried.
“Long, and still going. I have dinner with the group that came in from Metropolis. They were here all day and I had to entertain them.”
“I doubt you did stand up for a dance for them. You’ve been preparing for this for a month.”
“It’s just so annoying,” Lena began off on a rant.
Kara loved listening to Lena talk. She loved the inflection of her vowels and the way her voice sounded when she was happy or mad or sad or anything. She had a certain way of getting lost with the words, telling a story and remembering something else, always on a tangent. There wasn’t anything else Kara could think of better.
“Just give me access to your stuff and you can have access to mine, but let’s solve this problem, you know?”
“If anyone can solve some of the issues of the climate crisis, it’s you.”
“Well, I’m certainly trying.”
Back home, back in her office, Kara was certain Lena was leaning back in her chair at her desk, twisting a pen around her fingers as she stared absently at the window. She was predictable despite the fact that she woul argue she was an enigma.
“Are you nervous about tomorrow?” Lena asked in the quiet that settled there. “Because you shouldn’t be nervous. You are going to do amazing.”
“Just regular nerves. I’ll recover.”
“Anything I can help with?”
“Are you propositioning me?”
“Yeah, you’re fine,” Lena chuckled to herself as Kara smiled and yawned. “I’m glad I got to talk to you. I was afraid it was too late.”
“I figured you missed me.”
It made Kara blush, to be wanted by someone like Lena was an accomplishment and it felt like something that would sustain her. It added a certain level of weight to her as a person– that the CEO of a powerful company wanted her around.
“I should let you sleep,” the CEO remembered. “You’re representing the entire country tomorrow.”
“I nearly forgot.”
“I’ll be watching.”
“And wearing my jersey?”
“Of course. And not much else if that helps motivate you.”
Kara let out a loud groan at the image now seared into her mind. Winning and scoring goals on the biggest stage in the world would only slightly beat out the idea of Lena in her jersey and nothing else. And sometimes, Kara wasn’t certain it did.
“I guess the viewing party you’re hosting for investors will get quite a show them. Those guys from Metropolis will definitely want to work with you.”
“You’re right. I’ll wear clothes and save the other stuff for you.”
“Good,” Kara grinned and yawned again.
“You need to sleep,” Lena reminded her. “And I am going to be late for dinner.”
“Could you give me one of your pep talks before the game?”
“It’s not a pep talk. It’s just facts.”
“List some facts for me then.”
The line was quiet for a moment and Kara closed her eyes to imagine the woman on the other end, leaning back in her chair at her desk as she thought. Kara could see the smile on her face that softened to a thoughtful furrow. She watched her fingers play with the edge of the desk as she stared somewhere in the office but didn’t see anything.
“You are my favorite player. You are so determined and focused, and your team respects you and idolizes you. The entire city here is behind you. There are signs all over the place wishing you luck. Kara, you love this sport, and you are going to have so much fun tomorrow, and you’ll leave it all on the field and win or lose, I know you’ll still be loved and idolized and adored for your heart and kindness and body.”
Kara smiled and felt her cheeks burn slightly.
“Those are not fact, but I’ll allow it.”
“Get some sleep, tiger,” Lena murmured with her smile.
It was a long twenty-four hours, but Lena was wide awake anyway.
Before she even hung up the phone with her girlfriend, she planned her trip. While they chatted, while she heard the sleepy voice who refused to sleep on the other end of the line, she chatted her assistant and figured out how quickly she could be gone. It took a lot of weaving and working around, but it was important, and Lena couldn’t believe she was dumb enough to think that she wasn’t going to go.
But she had her dinner and she let Jess make the arrangements, receiving a long list of meetings and things to accomplish while she was in Europe. She packed a bag and decided to be more like Kara, ready to buy what she needed if she truly missed it. And Lena let her driver take her to the airport where she boarded her private jet, the stewardesses and pilots smiling politely.
It would be an easy trip, she promised them. None of them wanted to take her up on the offer, but quickly after take off, Lena settled into the small bedroom in the back of the plane, preparing and attempting to sleep.
When she landed, it was a mad rush to make it to the stadium with less than two hours before kick off. Traffic didn’t want to cooperate, but by kickoff time, she was entering the stadium through the back security gate, the president of the federation and a few others inviting her to their box.
All of it happened before she even stepped foot into her loft.
Somewhere between her dinner meetings with a research group on another continent and the game, Lena traversed an entire ocean just to see Kara play in person. And though she felt slightly tired, she smiled and cheered for her hero.
Even though it seemed impossible, Lena wondered if Kara would find her in the sold-out crowd. Deep down she knew that the soccer star wouldn’t think to look, but also that Kara was inherently focused on the pitch and only the pitch when it was game time.
It was a beautiful game that Lena spent with other owners and fancy fans in a box. She made her small talk and she networked on accident. She didn’t want to, it was just natural, and as much as she wanted to be, she wasn’t just a girlfriend watching and supporting the girl she had a crush on but rather a business woman. She held her breath though, when Kara got a free kick which led to the first goal. The exuberance on her face was so contagious Lena found herself cheering. And toward the end of the game when Kara scored again despite being blocked a few other times, Lena cheered louder than anyone else in the box.
By the time it was all over, Kara did a victory lap with her team and Lena realized she’d been holding her breath for a large portion of the afternoon and the difference in time zones was going to catch up with her. But she made her way back to her condo and sent Jess to leave a note for her girlfriend at her hotel.
Even as she stood at the door in the ritzy building in the nice end of the city where the oldest money lived and loved, Kara couldn’t believe that Lena was here. It seemed almost like it would turn out to be a cruel joke because surely it was impossible for Lena to travel across the glove just to watch her play, especially with how busy she was. There was no way it was possible.
But the night felt impossible. Kara scored two goals and an assist, and that seemed super unlikely. She did it in front of millions and for entire country, and that seemed downright impossible. That was the theme of the night.
“You’re here?” Kara breathed as Lena opened the door.
“I am quite a fan of the sport. Seemed like the place to–”
It didn’t matter the reason or the super witty thing Kara wa sure Lena was going to say. None of it really did. Instead, she hugged her tightly and smiled into her neck as she earned a giggle at the move.
“I’m so happy you’re here,” she whispered, rocking slightly as she kept hugging.
“I’m sorry it took me a little longer to realize that I should have been here all long. Work be damned.”
Lena adjusted her chin and clutched at the soccer player’s shoulders, inhaling the fresh, shower-clean smell that lingered on her skin.
“Did you make it in time to watch?”
“I was in the owners box the entire time. Some of them didn’t even watch, but I couldn’t look awa–”
Again, it didn’t matter. Kara knew enough to kiss Lena mid-sentence. With the kiss, Lena forgot her words as well. It certainly didn’t matter, just like the rest of it. She was there, and Kara was there, and it was enough.
“Are you going to invite me in?” Kara asked when she came up for air,chests heaving with the exertion.
With a nod, she felt her arms tugged and the door clicked shut behind her.
“I have to get back for bed check.”
“Do you really?” Lena purre, stretching languidly in the bed. She kissed a black and blue mark on Kara’s thigh and pressed her cheek there, looking up at the naked body in her bed.
“I think an international scandal about a missing soccer player during the World Cup might be something everyone wants to avoid.”
“That’s very true.”
“I didn’t know you had a place in the city.”
Lena shrugged slightly and smiled as she closed her eyes. Kara’ scratched her scalp softly and swore she earned a purr.
“I went to boarding school here. This was the first place I lived on my own when I graduated.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“I bought this place myself with my own money,” Lena sighed, adjusting her legs as she smiled at the thought. “I love feeling like I have a home I can run away to.”
“Good thing the Cup was in Paris.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t come earlier.”
“I didn’t expect you at all.”
“But you should have,” Lena shook her head and furrowed, sitting up slightly. “I want to be someone that you expect.”
“You are forever unexpected,” Kara smiled.
“You’re a secret, but I do like you a lot.”
“Would you have played harder if you’d known I was there?”
“Oh man, I would have scored a lot more goals,” Kara grinned as Lena moved up her body.
“I knew it.”
“Will you at least get to do some work while you’re here?”
“Of course,” Lena nodded, settling between Kara’s legs as she kissed her. “But I came to watch you play.”
“I can’t believe you’re here.”
“I can’t believe you’re going to leave me all alone in my beautiful loft to go to a lonely hotel room.”
“What are you doing tomorrow?”
“Press stuff and you.”
“Amazing To-Do List.”
“I can do dinner.”
“And after?” Lena wondered, hovering close to Kara’s lips.
“Show me your favorite city.”
Lena grinned and slid her leg so she was straddling her girlfriend. There wasn’t much else she really needed. Perhaps it was the time zones and the tiredness that came. Perhaps it was a naked soccer superstar beneath her. Perhaps it was being in her old loft in her favorite city. Perhaps it was watchign Kara play. Perhaps it wa just suddenly realizing she was happy, but Lena pressed her palm against Kara’s chest and felt her heartbeat and sighed.