Lena Luthor didn’t exactly intend to piss her roommate off so much.
They were just so different. Well, Lena assumed so. She didn’t actually see the blonde girl that she was living with very frequently at all, definitely not enough to know anything significant about her. This was perhaps to do with Lena’s own strategic routine, but the brunette was sure that her roommate had to be avoiding her too.
Lena had managed to convince herself of their differences based solely off the way they had decided to decorate their sides of the room.
Lena’s décor was minimalistic, to say the least. Her bedding was grey, with a couple of expensive feeling comforters folded neatly at the end. She had some of her engineering textbooks piled on one end of her desk, while her shelves were filled up with the rest of them.
A small-scale statue of The Atomium, acquired on a trip to Brussels with her father and brother, was carefully placed alongside a photo frame displaying a picture of Lena and her brother in front of said statue, and a silver lamp. There was a poster from a science conference tacked onto the notice board, a postcard from her brother, and a couple of sticky notes dotted across the desk. They were the only personal touches that Lena had been bothered to add to her room, sue her, she didn’t care much for objects and photographs.
The other side of the room however, was plastered with pictures.
There must have been at least a hundred, stuck firmly up on the wall above the other girl’s bed. Lena had once guiltily spent half an hour peering at them when she was alone in the room, leaping back over onto her bed whenever she heard footsteps outside the door.
On the notice board there were train tickets, tickets from events and concerts, posters and flyers from various sporting events held by the college. From this, Lena had been able to work out that her roommate was from Midvale and was a part of the university soccer team. She definitely had a sister, a mum and dad, a large group of friends.
She enjoyed fairy lights, several different sets were draped over her desk and bed, and decorative cushions and blankets. The blonde even had a stuffed elephant perched unashamedly on top of her pillows.
So, yes. Lena had decided very early on that she and her roommate couldn’t be more different. It hadn’t helped when they had had their first awkward interaction. The blonde had asked Lena to go to the activities fair with her, Lena said no and made up an excuse about having to go and see her tutor. The blonde had nodded understandingly, smiled and left on her own. Lena quickly moved over to the window to watch her out, feelingly slightly guilty. The girl walked towards a group of people, three boys and four girls, who cheered as she approached. Lena ducked back down into the room, her cheeks burning red, realising that the girl already had her own group of friends, and must have asked Lena to go along with them out of pity. Since then, Lena had avoided interacting with the girl at all, plugging her headphones in when the blonde was in the room, and spending as much time in the library as she could bear before heading back to the room when her roommate was already sleeping.
They had been living together for almost two weeks when Lena began to notice the annoyance flickering around the blonde’s features.
The first instance was when Lena returned to the room one night at 2am. She had genuinely lost track of time, tinkering away at a small project in the engineering building until the janitor had had enough and gently ushered her out. She unlocked and pushed open the door and was met with her roommate sat up in bed, an irked expression spread across her delicate features.
“I’m sick of you coming back so late every night and waking me up, you’re messing with my sleep pattern.” Said the blonde, bluntly.
“I’m sorry, tonight I just lost track of time, I-” Lena replied, faltering on her words as the other girl’s expression darkened.
“How can you lose track of time every night? Why don’t you just stay over at your boyfriend’s when you’re done instead of coming back here in the middle of the night every night?” The girl snapped back, promptly reaching out and flicking off her lamp, rolling over in bed.
Lena didn’t respond, her brain moving sluggishly in trying to understand the words the blonde had just angrily thrown at her. Boyfriend?
She shook her head, blinking, and quickly and quietly got ready for bed, waiting until she was tucked underneath her own covers and she heard breathing even out across the room before whispering a hesitant “I’m sorry” into the darkness.
It was odd, Lena thought, that whenever she saw her roommate across campus, surrounded by the large group of friends that seemed to accompany her wherever she went, the girl was always laughing, bright eyed with a beaming smile. Lena had found the corners of her own mouth pulling up in response to the girl’s infectious happiness. Lena found it odd that the blonde never looked anywhere near that happy when she was walking on her own back towards their building, or when she was sat in their dorm room, and Lena regretfully began to believe that it perhaps had something to do with her own attitude towards the blonde.
The next time she encountered the other girl was somewhat worse in Lena’s eyes.
The brunette was headed back to the dorm room hurriedly after being talked into getting coffee with some of the other girls on her course, but had made her excuses shortly after ordering, getting her coffee to go. She clutched the latte in one of her hands, a folder and textbook in her other. If she’s honest, she wasn’t really looking where she was going at all, desperate to get back into the confines of her own space and work on her assignments, and that’s probably why she collided firmly with a warm body. The impact knocked Lena to the ground, her coffee going everywhere, and her papers strewn across the floor.
“Oh my- I am so so sorry!” Lena heard, as her hands reached out for the papers. She looked up, her mouth dropping open slightly in shock.
“Oh, it’s you.” Lena said in response, blinking owlishly at her blonde roommate, who was stood above her.
“Yeah, I’m really sorry, I mustn’t have been looking where I was going at all!” She said, sheepishly and reached out her hand to Lena, who took it after a moment’s hesitation and used it to pull herself up.
Lena brushed her hands across her jeans, avoiding meeting the blonde’s eyes.
“It’s fine, no harm done.” She said, finally managing to vocalise, bending down to pick up her textbook from where it lay at the other girl’s feet.
The blonde shifted on her feet in front of Lena, “Look, why don’t you let me buy you another coffee.”
Lena looked down at her hands again. Maybe this would be a way for her to learn more about the blonde, and at least a chance to properly apologise to her about keeping her awake. She quickly resolved that she’d say yes, opening her mouth to respond before she heard a shout from behind her of “Kara, will you hurry up?”
Lena’s head whipped round, her face flushing red as she realised that her roommate’s large group of friends had been watching the whole interaction.
The blonde ignored them, saying slightly more forcefully this time, “Well, how about that coffee?”
Lena was aware that she was a painful colour of red, she tugged anxiously on her sleeve. “Y- err, no- well, I have to get back to the dorm really, have an essay to write.” She stumbled over her words, thinking briefly about how much her mother would laugh if she could see Lena right now.
The annoyed expression returned to the other girl’s face, her eyes rolling slightly. “Right well, I’m going to go then, see you back at the dorm.” She walked away from Lena over to her friends, who began muttering amongst themselves as she got closer.
Lena turned away and carried on quickly in the direction she’d been going before her interruption, almost running in her haste to get back to her room. She was unable to stop her mind replaying the same word, Kara.
She hadn’t known the blonde’s name, she’d managed to misplace the document that was meant to have told her and had never gotten around to asking.
Kara she thought, completely suited the pretty blonde.
Later, Lena was curled up under layers of comforter, the lights in the room dimmed to a comfortable warm hue. She was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on her laptop, a box of tissues tucked next to her and a cup of coffee warming her hands.
The blonde hadn’t yet returned, Lena looked at the clock, it was almost midnight, and she was usually back in the dorm by now. She supposed that Kara was out with her friends. Maybe Lena had insulted her so much that she was staying away and wouldn’t come back at all. She could have gone straight to the housing services office and begged for an emergency room change and would be coming back tomorrow to collect her things-
Lena’s internal ramblings were interrupted by the sound of a key turning in the lock.
Her roommate burst into the room, slamming the door behind her. Lena jumped, coffee spilling over the edges of her mug and onto her pyjama top. Covered in coffee twice in a day, she thought mildly.
She pushed the laptop to one side, swinging her legs over the side of the bed before noticing the expression on the blonde’s face.
Her eyes were red, the evidence of tears clear in the black lines running down her cheeks. Kara was in the process of tugging her sweatshirt over her head, but froze, meeting Lena’s gaze.
Without a word, she turned away and continued changing into her pyjamas. Lena quickly moved over to her own wardrobe and pulled out a faded t-shirt. She clutched it to her chest as she stripped off her wet t-shirt, watching Kara get into bed out of the corner of her eye.
“Sorry about earlier. I suppose my friends spooked you a bit.” The blonde stated, her voice displaying no evidence of any upset. She was wiping the mascara off with a makeup wipe as Lena made her way back around into her bed, getting rid of all traces of the emotion evident when she had first come into the room.
She got comfortable under the covers again before answering, “It’s really okay.”
“Do you want to go out tomorrow morning, without them, and I’ll get you that coffee?” Kara said hopefully, a slight smile pulling up on her cheeks.
“Oh- sorry, I can’t. I’ve actually got plans with some people in my class.” Lena replied regretfully. She wasn’t lying, she really did have plans to go shopping with Veronica and Jack. She’d been acquainted with both of them before coming to college, as they were both the children of people her mother and father were in business with. She didn’t exactly enjoy their company, but she knew her mother would approve of it.
Besides, she thought, Kara was probably asking her out of pity anyway.
“Right, never mind.” The blonde said, that same look of annoyance flitting over her features. She flicked off the light, before rolling over in bed to face the wall.
Lena thought she felt a slight twinge of guilt in her stomach but pushed it down and rushed to blame indigestion. It wasn’t like Kara actually wanted to spend any time with her any way, why would she. The blonde had a seemingly entertaining, large group of friendsand Lena was sure that she’d seen the girl she assumed to be Kara’s sister, from the pictures on her wall, around campus. No, it had to be out of pity.
The brunette flicked off her own light.
It hadn’t been Lena’s decision to go to the party.
Shopping with Veronica and Jack had been enough for her. Veronica, with her expensive looking platinum blonde hair, and even more expensive looking outfit, had dragged Lena from shop to shop, with Jack following diligently and carrying the growing bundle of bags.
Lena ended up, after much protest on her own part, and much convincing from the shop attendants and her two friends, with a new red dress, low cut and almost scandalously short.
Veronica had then insisted that they go out tonight, to a house party hosted by one of her friends. Lena hadn’t agreed.
“Don’t be so boring Lee, you haven’t been out once since we got here. What’s happened to you, have you forgotten how to have fun?” Jack stated teasingly.
Lena narrowed her eyes, rising to the taunt, “Fine. Why not.”
The hot leather of the couch pressed into her thighs. The air was smoky, and Lena’s eyes were watering slightly, she vaguely wondered whether it was making her mascara run but had decided she didn’t care either way. She clutched at a drink, something clear and sharp tasting that had been thrust into her hands as soon as she walked through the door.
She’d lost both Veronica and Jack after the first hour, and had resigned to sitting down, slowly sipping her drink. The music was loud, with heavy bass that felt like it was rocking her skull. The fabric of her dress stuck to her uncomfortably
She felt the couch dip next to her. Turning her head quickly she felt her vision blur.
“Fuck,” she muttered, finally looking straight at Veronica who was sat slightly too close to her on the big sofa.
The blonde was leant over her own lap, a credit card in her hand. Lena blinked slowly as she watched the other girl empty the contents of a small baggie onto the table in front of them.
“What are you doing?” Lena asked, furrowing her eyebrows. She began to feel the hot tendrils of panic wrapping around her throat.
“What does it look like?” Veronica replied, rhetorically. She had finished fashioning four lines of white powder on the table, and placed her credit card back into her pocket, pulling out a note instead.
She rolled it up tightly and held it out to Lena.
Lena looked back at the girl, beginning to notice the small group of people that had formed around them.
“Go on Lee, don’t be boring!” Came a shout, Lena vaguely recognised Jack’s voice as she looked at the note, and back at the lines on the table.
Veronica quirked an eyebrow. To Lena, it felt like a challenge. Her mind flicked to Kara for a second, that same annoyed expression that seemed to always be present when Lena was around.
Her palms felt sweaty, she brushed them on her dress before reaching out and taking the tightly rolled note.