“Um, excuse me Miss Danvers!” Kara turned around, surprised by the assistant’s sudden urgency, “I’m sorry, but Miss Luthor isn’t in at the moment.”
“Is Lena in the lab?” Kara countered. Jess shook her head, once again apologising for the inconvenience. Listening to the Jess’ heart beat out of rhythm, a sign of dishonesty, Kara recognised that wasn’t the only heart beating rapidly. The other rhythm was more concerning than the sense of lying and it was coming from inside Lena’s office.
“Do you mind if I check her office? I could’ve sworn she told me to she was in all day.” Kara lied as she marched towards the door, ignoring the disapproval she was receiving.
“Miss Luthor really isn’t--” Kara swung the door open to an empty office, closing it gently behind herself as to dismiss Lena’s assistant. She felt awful for doing so knowing exactly how it feels when your boss is demanding privacy and clients will have none of it. Only one person slipped through Kara and Cat made sure it never happened again otherwise Kara would be unemployed and blacklisted.
She paused soon after closing the door and heard laboured breathing. Lena’s heart rate was erratic. Kara could have sworn Lena was having a cardiac episode. She removed her glasses and used her x-ray vision to see Lena sitting behind her desk. She had entered the room so quietly she was sure Lena had no idea she was even in there.
“Lena,” she called out gently as she rounded the desk. Obviously humiliated, Lena turned herself away. Her eyes were burning red from tears, her pale complexity was covered in a light sweat and she was gasping for air, hyperventilating. Kara dropped her stuff and knelt down beside Lena.
“Lena, are you okay?” Kara asked worriedly. Lena shook her head, still refusing to look at her.
“I think you’re having a panic attack,” she continued. Kara shifted to sit across from Lena and put her hands-on Lena’s knees that were almost buried into her chest.
“Look at me Lena.” The Luthor did as she was told and Kara smiled softly, “Tell me 5 things you can see.”
Lena looked around hastily, “desk,” she huffed, “chair… W-window… City… And, you.”
“That’s great, Lena. Now touch 4 things and tell me what they are.” Lena removed her arms that were tightly bound around her torso, as if they were the only thing holding her together in that moment.
“Clothing, skin,” she placed her hands on the ground, “rug… And metal.”
“3 things you can hear.”
“My heart, air-conditioning… and my voice.” Kara smiled at Lena’s progress. The scientist finally seemed to have begun to calm down.
“2 things you can smell.”
“My perfume and yours.” Lena let out a heavy exhale, feeling as if she could inhale a lungful of air for the first time.
“And 1 thing you can taste.”
“You’re safe,” Kara promised, “how do you feel now?”
“Better,” she sighed, “thank you.”
Kara adjusted herself to sit against the desk beside Lena. She put an arm around her best friends’ shoulders.
“Where did you learn that?” Lena snickered nervously, clearly embarrassed about the whole situation.
“Alex gave me a few pointers. Not even aliens are immune to the ‘ol anxiety.”
“Of course,” Lena smiled. They sat in silence for a little while longer before Kara spoke.
“How long have you been having panic attacks?”
Lena cleared her throat and attempted to turn away, “not long.”
“Something like that…” Lena trailed thinking about Hope taking form in Eve’s body.
“Lena… I think you should talk to someone,” Kara insisted lightly. Lena looked at her instantly, a stern look on her face.
“I’m talking to you.”
Kara sighed and removed her arm from around Lena’s shoulders, taking her hand securely, “This is larger than just me; you understand that, right?”
Lena scoffed and took her hand from Kara’s grasp, “right. So, you think I’m mental.”
The accusation startled Kara, “no, no! Of course not. I-I’ve just been where you are before.”
“And did you seek "help"?”
Lena sneered sourly.
“What you’re going through right now is incomparable to my situation, Lena. What you’ve been through is unparalleled just itself-”
“No, you just literally have the weight of the world on your shoulders.”
Kara sighed at the similarity. She knew Lena was going for the elephant in the room. “Lena. I’m on your team.”
“Always.” Lena mocked, “Supergirl wasn’t always on my team. In fact, I recall Supergirl using my friends against me and scheming behind my back…”
Kara stood up and drew some distance between the them. She adjusted her glasses and stared at the ground in defeat.
“Why are you doing this?”
Lena pulled herself up with the help of her desk and challenged Kara’s gaze. She was trying to intimidate Kara, trying to prove a point. She’s in control now.
“You let me stand there and expel about how torn up Eve’s betrayal made me feel, all the while I’m complimenting your loyalty and integrity… And you just stood there. You made a fool of me.”
“I wanted to say something that night, Lena. I truly did. But I couldn’t find the courage to tell you,” Kara tried to compromise.
“No, because you’re a coward, Kara.”
Kara felt the metaphorical blade pierce her heart. This is exactly what she was worried about. The possibility that Lena couldn’t forgive her for keeping her alter-ego a hidden identity. “Please, don’t fight me.”
“I won’t. Because I’m done.” Lena turned away from Kara and pressed a button on her desk.
“You don’t mean that,” it came out barely as a whisper in attempt to veil the sadness swelling in her throat. She just needs time. Kara picked up her bag as Jess walked into the office.
“Jess, will you please show Miss Danvers out?” Lena’s voice was cold and callous, “also, would you mind removing her privileges at L-Corp.”
Jess awkwardly began to approach Kara, but the hero wasn’t going to give up her dignity that easily. She strode around the assistant and left Lena’s office. Tears and anger were burning her eyes as she tried to fish her phone out of her handbag. She dialled Alex’s number and pushed through to the stairwell, jumping over the rail and straight to the ground floor. Alex picked up on the third ring.
“We need to talk.”