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Dare I Say It?

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i.

It all starts at a game night. 

It’s a girls’ event at Alex and Kelly’s place, with Lucy, Nia, and Kara all in attendance. Everyone is happy, carefree. They are also all a little drunk. 

This, for once, happily includes Kara. Alex had managed to procure her some Qarian wine, and Kara had been thrilled. It’s the good kind of drunk— the kind that makes her feel warm, that makes her love her friends, that makes her think everything is funny. 

But she is, unfortunately, somewhat of a lightweight. 

“Kara! Oh for the love of… Kara! What are you doing up there?”

Kara, for some reason, is floating on her back somewhere near the ceiling. She blinks, surprised to find herself up there, and puts her hands out to push herself away from it, falling straight to the floor. 

She collapses into a ball of laughter. 

The others don’t seem to mind. They’re laughing too, all of them pleasantly buzzed. 

“You…” Lucy is laughing so hard she can barely get the words out. “I think you were asleep up there!”

Kara stops laughing and sits up. “I was not!” she proclaims indignantly. 

“You were!” Nia points a teasing finger at her. “You were snoring!”

For a full minute, there is total hilarity. No one can speak. Lucy is lying on her back now, her laughter silent, and they all hear Alex snort.

“Oh, man,” Kelly wipes her streaming eyes. “We need to get Kara drunk more often.”

“I am not drunk,” Kara argues. “I’ve only had…” She squints across the room at the nearly empty bottle. “Oh.”

“Sure,” Nia agrees. “You’re so sober you floated up to the ceiling? What were you doing up there then?”

Kara pauses. “Checking for rot.”

There’s another beat of silence, and then they all burst back into laughter, Kara included.  

“Dude, you’d better—” Alex hiccoughs, gasping for breath— “you’d better not have left handprints on my ceiling.”

This sets them all off again, and for another minute there is no more conversation. Lucy is holding her sides and Nia has collapsed to the floor. Alex and Kelly are holding onto one another for support. 

“Okay, okay.” Lucy sits up, wincing a little. “Now that Kara’s awake again, can we finish our game?”

Nia whines plaintively. “Do we have to?”

They’re in the late stages of a game of Monopoly. It’s far from anyone’s favourite game, but they had already played Cards Against Humanity and Farkle, and then someone— possibly Alex— had suggested Monopoly with the idea that each time they landed on each other’s properties, they had to take a shot. 

Which probably explains why all of them are completely hammered. 

“I agree,” Kelly says. “Let’s play something else.”

“But…” Alex looks disappointed. “I was about to win.”

“Alex wins,” says Lucy dryly. “Now let’s play something else.”

“Oh!” Nia suddenly perks up. “I know! Let’s play Truth or Dare!”

“Truth or Dare?” says Kelly incredulously over the laughter this produces. “What are we, Nal— thirteen?”

“You scared, Olsen?” Nia grins. 

“Me?” Kelly bristles. “You must be joking.”

“Fine, then. Guess you’re going first!”

Kelly claps a hand against her chest. “Bring it on.”

Of course, Kelly chooses dare. The others debate what she should do for a minute, and then dare her to sing the entirety of Despacito. Kelly— after a brief pause to look up the lyrics— does so with flourish, going so far as to climb into Alex’s lap for a loose, drunken serenade. 

Then Alex is dared to let the group look through her phone for a full minute. She winks at Kelly before handing it over. “Don’t look at the pictures,” she warns them with a grin. “Unless you want to see some tasty pictures of Kelly and me in the bedroom.”

“Gross!” Kara propels herself backwards as if she’s on fire. She wraps a blanket over her head. “Nobody wants to see that!”

Lucy and Nia seem to have no such qualms. Kara tries hard not to hear their comments as they scroll through Alex’s stuff.  

“Do you seriously have a subscription to ‘Martha Stewart Living?’” says Lucy with stifled laughter. 

Alex immediately gets defensive. “It’s for Kelly! She likes the recipes!”

“Hey, don’t blame your MILFy thirst for Martha Stewart on me,” says Kelly. 

Nia picks truth and is asked who she thinks the cutest person in the room is. She blushes and stammers for a while before finally naming Lucy. Lucy looks startled, but more than a little smug. 

Then, it’s Kara's turn. 

“Truth or Dare, you dork?” Alex grins. 

Kara pauses a second. “Dare.”

Nia sits bolt upright. “I know!” she almost squeals, and the others fall back into laughter at her excitement. She ignores them. “Kara, you have to like an old instagram picture from an ex!”

“What!?”  

Everyone laughs even harder. 

“Oh, that’s awesome,” Lucy says.

Nia beams, wiggling her eyebrows. 

Kara is totally up for the dare. “I’m on it,” she grins as she pulls out her phone. 

“But like…” Nia clarifies, “it has to be an old picture that they posted years ago. So that they know you’ve been stalking them.”

More giggling follows. Kara shrugs cockily. Tipsily. “Fine with me.”

She pauses for just a minute, wondering who to choose. She is not short on choice for exes. Should she pick the girl she’d abruptly broken up with several years ago when she’d shown no interest in watching the 1990s remake of The Parent Trap with Kara, calling it a ‘dumb kid’s movie?’ Or what about the Daxamite she had dated years later who kissed like a washing machine on its highest setting? 

Her news feed refreshes itself, and Kara suddenly stares. 

At the top is a picture of Lena Luthor. 

She smirks wickedly. 

She knows exactly what to do.

“Hold up,” Lucy says suddenly as Kara clicks on Lena’s profile. “Lena Luthor? You dated Lena Luthor?”

“I sure did,” says Kara smugly. She pulls up all the pictures of Lena, searching for the one she’s looked at more times than she cares to admit: Lena at a gala in a tight black dress that dips low, her hair up and looking stunning. 

“When was this?” Lucy demands. “How? What happened?”

Kara ignores her questions. She realizes, somewhere behind her drunkenness, that there might be more to her motivation behind this than a simple dare. But it just seems so funny. 

She finds the picture she’s looking for and grins. Rao, but Lena looks good. Without hesitation she clicks on the Like button. 

Nia and Lucy are in hysterics. 

Kelly is laughing too, a hand on Kara’s shoulder. Alex is silent, but Kara looks up to see a knowing grin on her face as she fondly shakes her head. 

Kara beams as she empties what’s left of her Qarian wine. “Alright, ladies. Who’s next?”

***

She wakes the next morning with a pounding headache. 

Kara groans heavily into her mattress. It’s so unusual for her to feel anything but superpowered, and for a few minutes all she can do is lie stiffly under the covers, feeling absolutely pathetic. 

Finally, she forces herself upright and out of bed. Her vision swims, her stomach protests, and she stumbles as fast as she can to the living room where, thankfully, the sun is streaming in through the windows. 

Kara collapses onto the floor in a patch of sunlight. Her head immediately feels a little better. 

Her phone rings, and Kara slowly brings it up to see who’s calling. It’s Alex. She answers the call without enthusiasm. 

“Hey,” she groans in a semi-raspy voice. Her mouth feels like a raccoon crawled inside of it and died. 

“Hey!” Alex sounds no worse for wear, which is unfair. She had been just as drunk as Kara the night before. “How are you feeling?”

Kara doesn’t even bother to respond with words. She lets out a little whine. Alex chuckles. 

“Are you in the sun?” she asks. “That should help.”

“Yeah.” Kara feels even more pathetic. “I mean, I’m on the floor in front of the windows.”

“Good.” Her sister sounds obnoxiously cheerful. “Remember anything from last night?”

Kara squints, forcing her hazy memory to give her some information. “Yes,” she says triumphantly. “I fell asleep on your ceiling.”

Alex snorts with laughter. “That you did. Remember anything else?”

“Um…” Kara struggles to piece together some of the images in her head. “We played games. We…” She breaks off to laugh. “We had to teach Nia what a ‘fleshlight’ was in Cards Against Humanity.” 

“Ugh, don’t remind me.” Alex's voice is muffled as if she’s covering her face. “I feel like we’re taking away that girl’s innocence one game night at a time.”

Kara chuckles ruefully. “Mine too. I never knew you and Kelly took pictures in the bedroom.”

“Oh? So you remember playing Truth or Dare?”

“Yeah, we…” 

Kara trails off. 

The memory of her own dare suddenly returns, and she sits bolt upright. 

She had liked an instagram picture of Lena. 

A picture from four years ago

“Oh. My. Gosh.”

She can hear Alex cackling over the phone. “Something wrong?” she asks sweetly, clearly knowing the reason for Kara’s present tidal wave of mortification. 

“I didn’t.”

“You did.”

“It was… that photo, wasn’t it? The one of her in the dress?”

“The boob one. Yep.”

“Oh no.

Kara slumps back against the couch. Lena’s photo. What on earth was she thinking? Kara’s willing to bet she’s already seen the notification, even if it’s hidden within several hundred other likes Lena probably gets on a daily basis. 

Had she been amused? Insulted? Or had she thought anything at all?

Kara covers her face with her hands and lets out an audible whine. How could she have done something so inexplicably stupid? She’d been asked to like a picture of an ex. Not specifically Lena. Just any ex.

And she had still chosen Lena. 

“Why did you let me do it?” she whines at Alex. “You could have stopped me! You should have!”

“Yeah… I could have. But it was way too funny.” Alex pauses, and then adds cheekily, “You think she’s already seen it?”

Kara groans, squeezing her eyes shut and trying not to think of how Lena would have reacted to seeing Kara’s name in her notifications. 

It’s been— what— six years? Seven?— since the two of them last talked, longer still since they’ve seen each other. They’d been so young when they’d dated— just kids really, although they’d thought themselves so grown up at the time. They’d met the first day of college at National City University, Kara brimming with excitement and Lena young and serious and determined to prove herself. 

Kara had fallen for her almost immediately. 

They’d been dating within days.

It had been a whirlwind relationship, one that they’d both poured themselves into with passion and the naivety of youth. They were each other’s first loves. She’d opened up to Lena about everything. About being an alien. About Krypton. About her fears and frustrations living on Earth. 

So when Lena had decided she wanted to transfer to MIT when Kara’s studies were leading her to a CatCo internship, it wasn’t an easy thing for either of them to accept. There were long nights filled with tears, cookie-dough ice cream, and a lot of desperate, angsty sex. Eventually, since neither of them had the stomach to break things off, they decided they were willing to try a long-distance relationship. After all, they were both in love, and they each felt that their love would make them invincible.

Unfortunately it had been more difficult than either of them had expected. Their schedules just never seemed to align, and the harder they tried to make it work, the more their lives seemed to be pulling them apart. After a stressful five month period, they finally agreed to take a break with the unspoken understanding that this just wasn’t the right time. Perhaps after college, they would try again. Perhaps it would be easier next time.

But then Lena had been offered a fantastic job in Metropolis and Kara had debuted as Supergirl in National City.

So it just hadn’t worked out. And Kara had gotten over it.

Really.

She had.

No regrets. 

Sure, she still looks at Lena’s social media posts, sure, her mouth goes dry when she catches sight of Lena on a magazine cover, or giving a press conference. But what of it? All it means is that Lena is still easily the most amazingly attractive person Kara has ever dated.

And if sometimes she watches a TED talk she doesn’t entirely understand for the sole reason being that it’s Lena giving the lecture, then…

Then all it means is that Kara’s been single too long. 

So what if listening to Lena’s gorgeous, silken voice makes her heart beat faster? So what if it gives her a strange, longing feeling in her stomach?

She doesn’t miss Lena, not after all these years. 

Of course she doesn’t. 

Lena, though, might be getting quite the opposite idea now that Kara has proved herself to be stalking her old photos. Kara’s stomach twists nervously. 

What will Lena be thinking?

“Okay, I’ve got to go... throw up now,” Kara says. “Bring me lunch later?”

She hangs up to the sound of Alex’s laughter. 

***

In the end, she puts the incident resolutely out of her mind. She had embarrassed herself– so what? It certainly wasn’t the first time. And besides– she knows Lena. Lena probably saw the notification, allowed herself a millisecond of smug surprise, and moved on. 

She resolves never to think about it again. 

Her resolution lasts for a full week. Then one evening, when she’s just arrived at Alex and Kelly’s for movie night, her phone lights up with a facebook alert: Lena Luthor liked a photo of you.

Kara nearly chokes on a piece of the popcorn she had snagged from a bowl on her way in. She grabs her phone with such force she almost breaks it. 

“Whoa,” Kelly says, frowning. “What’s wrong?”

Kara tries to force herself to breathe evenly. She hastily shuts off the screen and leans back in her chair, trying to look casual. “What? Wrong? Nothing’s wrong! Why would something be…” She swallows hard, sneaking another look at her phone. She tries to arrange her face into a neutral expression. “Everything’s fine!”

“Uh huh.” Alex snatches the phone out of her hand. She presses the home button and narrows her eyes, clearly trying to remember Kara’s passcode. 

“Alex Danvers!” Kara is on her feet without knowing how she got there. “You give that back right now!”

Alex only looks up at her as if she has no idea what Kara means. “Why?” she asks, tone more innocent than Kara has ever heard it. 

“Come on, I’m serious!” 

“My goodness,” Alex smirks. “There is something really good on this phone.” Her eyes widen suddenly. “Is someone sending you nudes?”

What? ” Kara feels her cheeks flush violently. “No! Of course not! I would never ask someone to… Alex!

Alex chuckles. “Calm down, dude.” She holds out the phone. “Here. I won’t look at your super secret sexts.”

Kara all but snatches the phone back from her. She cradles it, breathing heavily, trying to force herself to be calm. 

Suddenly aware that both Alex and Kelly are watching her, she drops back into her chair. “So…” she says, aiming for casual. “What movie are we watching tonight?”

***

She waits an hour– a full, agonizing hour before she judges it safe to tell them she’s going home. 

“So early?” Kelly is surprised. “We’ve still got half the movie left!”

“Yeah, well,” Kara laughs nervously. “You know how it is.”

They stare at her. She realizes suddenly that that statement normally contains a second half. 

“With… Superhero duties!” she blurts out. “Because you never know with the aliens and… Danger… You never know when you’ll be needed. So I need to be ready. Guess I’d better get some rest!”

Alex and Kelly share a glance. 

“Are you okay?” Alex asks, frowning. 

“Of course!” she babbles. “I’m totally fine! Just…” She yawns as convincingly as she can. “Just tired.”

“Right.” Alex is clearly unconvinced but she doesn’t press the issue. She just pauses the movie and stands up to walk Kara to the door. “You know, you can just talk to us,” she says more seriously. “You can tell us about whatever it is that’s gotten you so jumpy.”

Kara laughs airily. “I’m not jumpy,” she denies, itching to check her phone. “I’m totally fine. Have a good night, you guys!” 

She steps out into the hallway. She’s already pulling her phone out of her pocket. 

She doesn’t even bother to leave once Alex closes the door behind her, just leans up against the wall. She opens up facebook immediately and clicks on the notification. Her heart is pounding rapidly. 

Which picture is it? What if it was a mistake? What if it’s a picture of someone else that Kara had just happened to be in the background of? What if…

The picture loads, and Kara loses her breath temporarily. 

It’s not a picture of Kara in the background of someone else’s photo. It’s a picture of only Kara, smiling happily into the camera. It had been a work event. She was wearing her red sweater, the one Lena had always liked on her– the one Lena had always liked to get off her. 

And right away, she knows. 

This isn’t a mistake. Lena has done this deliberately. She’s challenging Kara, engaging her in a game of sexy tag. 

Kara can’t help grinning a little. 

The game is on. 

And Kara is going to win. 

ii.

Kara has never been a particularly competitive person by nature. 

It’s not that she doesn’t like games, because she does. It’s just that her enjoyment of them is generally more about spending time with the people she loves and less about whether or not she wins. 

So the spark she feels– the determination to win whatever game this is that Lena has started between them– surprises her. 

She doesn’t want to think too deeply about why she feels this way.

Nevertheless, she takes some time to prepare before making a move. She begins with research– because Kara is a reporter after all, and she knows that the key to winning this game is information. She has to acknowledge that while she’s superficially kept up with Lena in the years since they broke up, she doesn’t know Lena as intimately as she might need to. 

She spends a Saturday at home on the couch scouring Lena’s social media. Her instagram and twitter yield nothing helpful– they are mainly full of sterile, professional posts about L-Corp. Her facebook is slightly more illuminating, containing more personal posts. Kara spends hours scrolling through it, wincing as she hurries past photos of girlfriends Lena has had during the last several years. 

She’s relieved to see that it doesn’t look like she’s dating anyone at the moment. 

She goes to Youtube and searches Lena’s name. There are a few marketing videos about L-Corp first, but underneath those is a video of an international science convention hosted by L-Corp where Lena had been one of the panelists. Kara clicks on the link and settles back against the couch to watch it.

She’s fairly sure that they’re speaking Croatian but she’s not focusing on the words. She just watches Lena, watches her body language, her gestures, listens to the excitement in her voice.  

Lena is older now, more grown up and self assured than when she and Kara had been together back at NCU, but she is still achingly familiar. Kara recognizes the way she holds herself, notes the nervous fidgeting of her fingers that would only be obvious to someone who knew her tells.  

Kara swallows down the feeling that tries to make itself known in her chest. 

She does not miss Lena. 

She scrolls down to look at the comments. There are only a couple– clearly this hasn’t gone viral. 

Kara bites her lip.

She clicks into the box to leave a comment, and then sits, thinking for a minute. A smile spreads over her face. 

I’m not a scientist but Lena Luthor is hotter than a bunsen burner, she types quickly. 

Before she can think better of it, she hits enter. The comment appears at the top of the list. 

Kara feels her smile growing as she looks at it. She hopes Lena will see it. She knows Lena will see past her super sneaky pseudonym of Supergirl Kara. 

Kara leans back in her chair. She knows she’s smirking.

“Your move, Luthor.”

***

Interestingly, she doesn’t have to wait long at all for Lena to make a move of her own. 

Kara’s at the office two days later, nibbling on a chocolate chip muffin and sipping cocoa as she catches up on her emails. Her phone lights up with a notification from facebook, and she sees it’s only telling her that it’s some coworker’s birthday. She opens up the app anyway. 

She casts a cautious glance towards Snapper’s office to make sure he’s not watching her before looking back down at her phone. It opens up to her facebook news feed.

And there at the top is a picture that Lena has just posted. It’s a picture of a restaurant– a small, cute French restaurant in downtown National City. 

Kara nearly chokes on her muffin. Eyes watering, she stares at the picture. 

This is the restaurant Lena took her to on their first date. It is captioned Missing the view and the chocolate croissants at one of my favourite spots in National City. 

A slow grin slides over Kara’s face even as her heartbeat picks up. 

Well played, Lena.

***

Kara decides not to respond immediately. She tells herself that she’s taking her time, trying to decide on the appropriate action. 

Deep down, she knows it’s because she wants to make Lena sweat. 

She’s at lunch with James a few days later, only half listening as he tells a long story about some drug bust he’d broken up earlier in the week when she gets the idea. 

“Dude, are you even listening?” James asks, breaking off in the middle of his story. “Why do you keep checking your phone every two seconds?”

“What?” Kara blushes. She knows it’s not Lena’s turn, and yet she can’t help making sure that there’s no new communication from her. She puts a hand over her phone defensively in case James is about to snatch it. “No, I don’t.”

“Uh, yeah, you do,” he says, looking at her suspiciously. He frowns. “Are you seeing someone new?”

Kara snorts. “No.” It’s not a lie. Lena is not new, and Kara is not seeing her. “Don’t you think I would have told you if I was?”

James hums, and Kara knows that he doesn’t think any such thing. “So what’s so interesting on your phone?”

She shrugs with a cheeky grin. “Nothing. Maybe you’re just boring.”

This manages to get a laugh out of him. “Yeah, I love having lunch with you too, Kara.”

She chuckles. “Remember that time when we went to get lunch at that new Indian place and you ordered the chicken the spiciest they could get it?”

He winces. 

“And you insisted on eating it even though your entire face was on fire,” she continues, unable to stop herself from laughing. “And then you puked all over the table?”

He closes his eyes. “It hurt worse coming up than it did going down,” he says mournfully. 

Kara laughs even harder. “Did you know I got a picture of it?”

His eyes pop open. “You didn’t.”

Kara smirks wickedly. She opens her phone, using a little superspeed to evade James’ grab for it. He gives up quickly, groaning as she swipes through the pictures on her camera roll to find the one of James sagging in his chair, his face flushed and eyes streaming in pain. 

Thankfully, it doesn’t show the table covered in puke. 

“Here, it’s…” Kara’s about to show off the photo proudly when suddenly, she stops. 

Just above the picture of James, there’s an old picture of Kara from college.

She’s dressed in one of Lena’s shirts. 

A brilliant idea springs to mind. 

“Kara? Earth to Kara?”

James is waving his hand in front of her face. “Dude, what is with you today?”

“Huh?” Kara shakes herself. “Oh. Nothing. Here.” She holds up the phone with the photo of James. “I’m going to print this,” she teases. “I’m going to frame it and put it on my wall. I’m going to put it in your office so all your employees can see it.”

“If you do…” James doesn’t finish his threat. They both know there’s nothing he could ever do to her. 

She smiles brilliantly at him, energized by the idea that had come to her. “Yeah, yeah,” she says. “Wanna split another order of garlic bread?”

***

She can hardly wait to get home that night. As soon as she does, she wastes no time in going straight to her closet and pulling out a bunch of clothes that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Among them is a leather jacket... 

A jacket that used to belong to Lena. 

It’s a cute, Celine brown leather jacket that was probably obscenely expensive. Kara had loved wearing it, had enjoyed the feel of the smooth leather and the smell of Lena’s perfume on it, and eventually Lena had told her to just keep it. 

She hadn’t taken it back in the break up.

Kara hasn’t worn the jacket in several years. At first, the reminder of Lena, the smell of her still on the jacket had been painful, and so she’d stowed it away where she wouldn’t have to see it. Then, she had simply forgotten about it. 

The jacket is still smooth and cool to the touch. Kara slips it on almost reverently. It still fits perfectly. She checks herself out in the mirror and can’t help grinning. Hot damn, this looks good.

She grabs her phone and spends several minutes trying to take the perfect selfie. 

When she’s satisfied, she puts the photo on instagram.

Found this sexy gem in my closet, she writes. I love jacket weather in National City. 

She can’t wait for Lena’s reaction. 

***

It comes several days later in the form of a photo of Lena in a neckline that absolutely gets Kara’s attention. 

Lena is clearly at some fancy event. Her dress is dark green and exposes both shoulders. It dips low. 

There are other people in the photo, but Kara doesn't even notice them for quite a long time.

Almost going unnoticed is a slim silver bracelet on Lena's wrist– a stark contrast to the expensive necklace around her throat. The bracelet is only distinguishable by a charm in the shape of a small emerald clover– something that Kara had lamely picked out for her early in their relationship to remind Lena of her Irish heritage. 

It was a dumb gift. Lena could have afforded to buy the entire selection at Tiffany’s if she’d felt so inclined. And yet, here she is, wearing an $60 bracelet Kara had nervously given her for their six month anniversary. 

Kara stares at the picture for several days before she can even think about making her next move. 

***

Obviously, Kara needs to get bolder. After a while, she posts a picture from their college days with Kara smiling into the camera and Lena herself in the background reading a book. She captions it with a #TBT.

A few days later, Lena goes one step further and posts a picture of the two of them kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Anyone else rather be in Paris right now? she captions it. 

There are hundreds of comments on the picture, mainly from Lena’s thirsty online fans offering to be her travel companion. 

Kara, when she sees it, is caught somewhere between stunned and amused. 

It’s clear Lena really wants to win this game. 

It’s a struggle to come up with something to top that. Kara spends days agonizing over it. Finally, she posts a picture of herself in her nicest, most expensive three-piece suit. She knows Lena has always appreciated the sight of Kara in a suit. 

All dressed up and nowhere to go 😗, she captions it. 

She waits eagerly for Lena’s next move. 

She wonders how far Lena is willing to take this.

***

She’s at the office one afternoon, working slowly on an article about a newly opened restaurant nearby, and working harder on polishing off her second chocolate croissant of the day, when she gets a text from Nia. It contains a link, and then several question marks. 

Curious, Kara clicks on the link and is redirected to a facebook news article. It is detailing a heroic rescue from the night before– a rescue in which Supergirl had snatched a child from a burning building seconds before its collapse. 

Kara scans through the article, confused. 

What? she texts back. I know this. I was there.

In response, Nia sends a screenshot. At the top is the article and underneath are the comments. 

And there is it. Lena’s name and profile picture, and a comment that reads Supergirl is hotter than any fire .  

Kara’s heartbeat picks up speed. 

Oh, she texts back carelessly. Is that all?

She can’t help laughing to herself as she sees Nia begin to type a response, delete it, and then type again. She knows Nia too well, and as the ellipses disappear a second time, she waits expectantly. 

As she had guessed, her phone starts to ring. 

“Yes?” Kara teases as she answers. Thankfully, Snapper is not in his office to yell at her about taking personal calls at work. “What is it?”

“Kara!” Nia sounds excited. “What’s going on?”

Kara leans back in her chair. “What do you mean?” she asks innocently. She fights not to smirk. 

“You know what I mean,” Nia says, and Kara can hear her rolling her eyes. “Are you and Lena back in contact?”

Kara angles herself away from a curious-looking coworker. “Not really,” she shrugs, keeping her voice careless. 

“But…” Kara can practically hear the cogs turning in Nia’s head. “Oh. Oh. This has to do with my dare!”

Kara bites her lip a little. “Maybe.”

“Did she call you? Was I instrumental in getting you two back together?!”

“What– no! We’re not back together. It was just… She liked a photo of me shortly after I liked the one of her. And then we both posted a few pictures that were meaningful to each other and then I guess today she commented on that article about me.” She glances up and sees her co-worker still listening in. “I mean, that article about Supergirl,” she corrects herself quickly. “That’s all.”

“Oh my gosh.” Nia’s excitement is almost piercing. “She is totally flirting with you!”

Kara’s mouth goes dry. “Nia. Come on. We’re not flirting. We’re just… it’s a game, that’s all.”

“Oh sure.” Nia doesn’t sound convinced. “A game? So what’s the objective? You both get so nostalgically horny for each other that one of you ends up posting your wedding announcement?”

Kara scoffs nervously. “Oh please. Now you’re just being ridiculous.”

“No I’m not! Like, have you actually thought this through? Every game has to have a winner, Kara. What’s the outcome here? What are you expecting to come of this?” 

Kara opens her mouth. “I…”

“Actually let me ask you this,” Nia interrupts. “What do you want to come of this?”

Kara grips her phone a little tighter. “Nothing,” she says, and she’s not smiling anymore. “I don’t want anything to come of this.”

There’s a silence. 

“It’s just… It’s just fun,” Kara adds. 

“Okay.” Nia doesn’t push anymore. “Hey,” she says, and now she sounds a little awkward. “I’d better get back to work. See you later?”

“Yeah,” Kara says slowly. “Sure.”

She puts her phone down on her desk. She looks back at her computer screen, but she doesn’t really see it. Her croissant sits abandoned by her mouse. 

Kara breathes out slowly. Nia has brought up questions that so far she has avoided thinking about. She doesn’t want to examine her motives in participating in whatever this is. 

She doesn’t know what she’ll discover.

She picks up her phone, and then immediately drops it back down onto the desk again. Her appetite for this game she’s playing with Lena has abruptly disappeared. 

***

A week passes, and then another. Kara doesn’t make any attempt to contact Lena. In fact, every time she thinks about it, her stomach clenches with nerves. 

She wishes she’d never liked that picture of Lena in the first place.

Her mood plummets. She throws herself into her work, ignores texts from her friends. She skips game night. 

She tries hard not to think about Lena, but she can’t help it. Nia’s words have brought up all the questions Kara hasn’t wanted to think about. 

What does she want from all of this? Simple recognition from Lena? Friendship?

Or more?

She goes over it in her head again and again. She can’t pretend that there hasn’t been a certain spring in her step these last few weeks or that the prospect of being back in contact with Lena hasn’t made her feel a multitude of feelings, not the least of which has been excitement. 

Does she secretly, deep down, want Lena back?

Alex appears at her door one night, armed with takeout. She holds it up like a peace offering when Kara doesn’t move to let her in.

“It’s your favourite,” she says. 

Kara sighs. She pulls the door open wider. 

“So.” Alex grabs two forks from the kitchen and then sits down on the couch, pulling the cartons of food out of the plastic bag and opening them up. “Are you going to tell me what’s going on?”

Kara, with some reluctance, accepts a fork from Alex. She looks at the food: fried rice and potstickers. Her stomach rumbles. 

“It’s nothing,” she deflects, sitting down on the couch next to Alex. She takes a bite of the fried rice. It’s delicious

“Come on, Kara. It’s clearly not nothing. I’ve never known you to miss a game night before unless your Supergirl duties pulled you away, and even then there was that time you turned up to Lucy’s place fully covered in alien blood just so you could play Scattergories. So spill.” 

There’s a beat of silence. Kara forks more food into her mouth and doesn’t look at Alex. 

“Is this about the picture Lena posted on facebook?” Alex asks abruptly. “The one of you two making out in France?”

Kara freezes with her mouth full of rice. “You saw that?”

“Of course I saw it. I’m facebook friends with both of you, you idiot.”

“Crap.” Kara sets her fork down, no longer hungry. She can feel herself blushing. 

Alex sighs. “Kara…” she pauses, clearly evaluating her words. “I know you never really... got over Lena. You’ve missed her ever since you broke up all those years ago. It’s only natural that seeing a picture like that would be difficult for you.”

Kara stares. “What? I totally got over her. It’s been seven years.”

“Right. It’s been seven years and you’re still in love with her. That’s why ever since Lena, you’ve never dated anyone longer than a couple of months at a time.”

Excuse me?” Kara looks outraged. “What about Andrea? I dated her for, like, a year!”

“Oh, please. She was practically the knockoff Lena Luthor.” Alex ticks it off on her fingers. “Wealthy heiress. Dark hair. Big boobs. The kind of attitude you seem to find attractive.”

“Well…” Kara tries to think of a rebuttal, and comes up with nothing. She flounders. “What about Eve?”

“Eve?” Alex laughs. “You only dated her to get Mon-El off your case. And then you ended up dating the Daxamite loser anyway because you’re dumb. Face it. There’s a reason why you picked Lena for the dare.” She leans forward, searching Kara’s eyes with her own. “You’re still in love with her.”

Kara sputters for a moment. Her cheeks feel like they might actually catch fire. 

“I am… I am not still in love with Lena Luthor,” she says with breathless outrage. 

Alex holds Kara’s gaze. “Are you sure?”

Kara swallows hard. “Yes,” she whispers. 

There’s a silence. 

“And even… even if I was,” says Kara unsteadily, “It wouldn’t mean anything. She lives in Metropolis. I need to be here in National City. I have... obligations! Superhero duties!” She hesitates, then goes on, unable to stop herself. “Besides, it’s been seven years. She’s probably moved on. She probably doesn’t even care about me anymore.”

Alex still hasn’t said anything. Kara looks down at her hands. “It’s just…” She fights against the tears that are inexplicably threatening. “It’s not that simple.”

Alex gives her a small smile. “It never is,” she says softly. 

They pause. 

“So,” Kara says on a long, slow breath out. “What do you think I should do?”

***

Alex ends up staying most of the evening, and they talk late into the night. Kara tells her about the game of photo tag she’s been playing with Lena. To Kara’s slight indignation, Alex doesn’t seem surprised. 

They discuss possible scenarios, what might happen if Kara does or does not make a real move. They talk about ways Kara might go about doing that. 

It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time. 

By the time Alex leaves, Kara has admitted to herself, finally, that she wants Lena back.

Now, she just has to come up with a way of getting her. 

The game is back on.

iii.

Kara is generally a pretty confident person. 

She is friendly, outgoing. She knows what to say in almost any situation. She can make friends with anyone, she can usually charm even the toughest of bosses. 

But she cannot, absolutely cannot come up with a way to win Lena back. 

She thinks out and immediately discards several plans over the next few days. Calling Lena up and talking to her is far too confronting. Flying to Metropolis to find her seems sort of like stalking. Digital communication doesn’t seem like enough. 

And so it is, when she goes with Alex to get lunch at Noonan’s a few days later, she still has done nothing about reconnecting with Lena. 

“Are you serious?” Alex asks as they stand in line at the counter, waiting to order. “If you don’t hurry up, she’ll be dating someone else and you’ll have lost any chance you ever had.”

“I know,” Kara says, exasperated. “I just don’t know what to do!”

They step up to the counter, conversation pausing. Alex orders first, and then stands back a little, waiting for Kara. 

Kara has been so caught up in thoughts of Lena, she hasn’t even decided what she wants. The teenager taking orders waits, eyebrows raised. 

“Oh!” Kara scans the board quickly. “Turkey and avocado, please.” She drops a tip in the jar to apologize for taking so long. 

“Come on,” she says, turning to Alex. “I think there’s a table over–”

She breaks off abruptly as she spins, and crashes into the person behind her. 

“Oh– excuse me!” she says, horrified. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see…”

She freezes.

The woman stares back at her. 

Alex gives a little cough. “Hello, Lena,” she says politely. 

For a second, Kara thinks she must be hallucinating. Is it possible that her thoughts, so consumed with Lena, could have mystically summoned the divine manifestation of Lena Luthor to be standing right here in front of her?

But no– Lena is here. Lena is here at Noonan’s in National City. Kara has just literally bumped into her. Her mouth immediately goes dry. 

Lena is smiling. She looks at ease, but there’s a slight flush to her cheeks. “Hello, Alex,” she says calmly. “Hello, Kara.”

Kara forces her mouth to work. “Lena. Hi,” she squeaks. She knows her face is bright red. 

“Alex! Kara!” The woman next to Lena steps forward, smiling widely, and Kara instantly recognizes Sam, Lena’s best friend since childhood. Kara had been quite friendly with her back when she had been dating Lena. Sam envelops both her and Alex in a hug. “What a surprise!”

“Excuse me,” the teenager behind the counter interrupts. “Are you going to order?”

“Oh– yes, of course,” Lena says. She finally takes her gaze off of Kara. “We’ll have two chicken club wraps,” she says to the worker. 

“To stay or to go?” he asks, sounding bored. 

Lena glances at Kara. “To stay.”

Kara swallows hard. Her heart is pounding. 

Alex puts a steadying hand on her arm. 

“It’s so good to see you!” Sam says enthusiastically. “Are you two meeting anyone for lunch? Can you sit with us?”

Kara lets out a croak. 

“We’d love to sit with you,” Alex rushes to cover Kara’s inability to form words. She glances around. “I think I see a free table.”

She leads the way, Kara following mutely behind. She can feel Lena’s eyes on her. 

They settle at a table near the back of the shop. Lena sits opposite Kara. Her expression is calm. 

“So, um, what are you both doing here?” Kara asks, trying to sound casual and failing miserably. She stutters over her words and blushes more, quickly trying again. “I– I didn’t even know the two of you were in National City.”

Lena favours her with a smile. It makes Kara feel slightly dizzy.  

“We’re here for a work conference. We’ll be in town until the end of this week. There are some… loose ends to tie up here.”

Her gaze lingers on Kara. 

Kara wet her lips nervously. 

A server appears with their sandwiches. Kara picks hers up eagerly, almost hiding behind it. She feels like she’s back in college, awkward and bumbling and drawing attention to herself in all the wrong ways. 

Lena, by contrast, is as calm as if this were a business lunch. 

“So… wow, how long has it been since you and Lena last talked?” Sam asks Kara around her mouthful of sandwich. “Seven years?”

“Oh, I don’t think it’s been that long,” Alex puts in. 

Kara neatly chokes on her sandwich. She shoves her foot against Alex’s under the table. 

Lena is still smiling. Her expression is serene, but Kara suddenly notices that the fingers of her right hand are knotted together. It’s an old tell, one that Kara had been quite familiar with back when they’d been together. 

Her spirits lift suddenly. Lena isn’t calm and confident at all. She’s just as nervous as Kara is. 

She tunes in to Lena’s heartbeat to make sure, and almost smiles. 

It’s beating fast. 

Like… really fast. 

She leans back a little and puts her sandwich down. Her confidence is returning with a vengeance. 

“I suppose it has been a while since Lena and I last talked.” She looks right at Lena. “Are you busy tonight? Maybe we could get dinner together. Catch up. As long as Sam doesn’t mind me snatching you away for an evening, of course.”

She shoots a smile at Sam, who returns it with a mischievous twinkle in her eye. “Not at all, Danvers. I’ve got a seven o’clock meeting tonight with some friends from the city. You’d be doing me a favour.”

Kara looks at Lena. “How about it, then? Meet me at Cafe Bastille at seven? I know you were waxing nostalgic about their food pretty recently.”

Lena swallows. Kara watches the bob of her throat as she does so. 

“That sounds lovely,” Lena says. Her expression is mild, perfect for politely accepting an invitation to catch up from an old friend. 

But her heartbeat is going crazy. 

It’s already driving Kara wild.

Kara smiles. She thanks her lucky stars for superpowers. Lena is obviously expert at keeping her emotions hidden, but her heartbeat certainly can’t lie. 

Sam exchanges a look with Alex that suggests she knows exactly where this is going. 

“So.” Kara picks up her sandwich again, suddenly feeling ravenous. She leans back against her chair and smiles. “Tell me all about your conference.”

***

By the time lunch is finished, Kara has secured not only an agreement from Lena to meet for dinner, but also her current number. 

“In case I have trouble finding you,” Kara says, despite the fact that all four of them at the table know that she could easily find Lena even if she was blindfolded in a blizzard. 

Lena doesn’t call her out on it, though, just catches her lower lip in her teeth for a second before giving Kara her number. Then she asks for Kara’s in return. “In case I need to get in touch. With you.”

Kara makes a quick decision. Lena’s phone is right there on the table. Kara could easily call it. She could even reach over and pick it up to add in her own number. 

She does neither of those things. 

Instead, she smiles, pulling a pen out of her coat pocket. Then she reaches for Lena’s hand. 

Lena doesn’t protest as Kara takes her hand, turning it over and gently opening her fingers. In fact, Kara hears her swallow hard as she writes her number into Lena’s palm. 

“Now you can’t lose it,” Kara says. She looks up to meet Lena’s eyes and finds them darkened. 

Her own heartbeat picks up. 

“What,” Alex demands as soon as they leave, “the actual hell was going on in there? One minute you’re blushing and stammering and the next you’re flirting with her like a panther stalking its prey! What happened?”

Kara grins. They fall into step, walking back towards the DEO. “Superpowers.” 

Alex rolls her eyes. “Of course,” she says. “Behold Kara Danvers: a Kryptonian superhero with powers that could help save the world and what does she use them for? Finding the most effective way into a woman’s pants.”

“Hey?!” Kara sticks her tongue out at Alex. “I do use my superpowers to save the world. Didn’t I stop that explosion from blowing up the subway just last week?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Alex grumbles. She bumps her shoulder into Kara’s as they walk and Kara bumps her back, gently enough that Alex barely even stumbles. 

They’re both smiling. 

“So, what’s the plan? Are you going to seduce her tonight or will you wait until the third date like a lady?”

Kara falters, falling out of step. 

“Oh, man,” Alex says, stopping and turning back to her. “You haven’t even thought about it, have you?”

“I have,” Kara defends herself quickly. Her cheeks are pink again. “I just… didn’t want to assume anything. Lena might not even… She might not be interested in that.”

“Kara.” Alex looks exasperated. “Did you not see the way she was looking at you when you wrote your number on her skin? All hungry and sexy like you were the main course on the menu? Trust me. She’s interested.”

Kara bites her lip nervously. “There’s a lot to talk about before we get to…” She blushes further. “Seduction.

“Yeah, well,” Alex snorts. She starts walking again. “Just don’t take too long about it. Remember she’s only here for a couple of days.”

iv.

Kara spends the afternoon at the office doing absolutely no work whatsoever.

Instead, she formulates a plan. 

She figures it out in detail– the perfect flow of the evening that will make Lena fall head over heels for her. Again. 

She comes up with five distinct steps: 1. Start off by complimenting Lena’s outfit (while wearing something stunning of her own, of course), then, 2. Make interesting small talk until the food arrives and they can occupy themselves with other things. 3. Is to engage Lena in conversation about her work, her hobbies, her friends and her family. Then, after Kara has taken care of the cheque, she will 4. Invite Lena for a walk at Hastings Park, ending up at Kara’s apartment for a very innocent night cap. Then maybe… maybe… if the evening’s gone well enough, it will be time for step 5. Seduction. 

She’s a little nervous about step five. After all, it has been seven years. Maybe Lena’s changed. Maybe she likes different things now. Maybe…

Maybe now she’s a top?

She has to stop herself before this line of thinking gets away from her. 

She runs through it all again in her mind as she enters the restaurant precisely at seven o’clock. She’s done her part of the first step: she’s dressed to impress in a lacy, royal blue dress that shows off both her cleavage and her shoulders. She hopes Lena will like it.

She checks in with the host, and glances around the foyer, searching for Lena. Then, she loses her breath. 

Lena is coming towards her. She is wearing a striped three-piece suit of dark blue, with matching heels. The suit is perfectly tailored, hugging her in all the right places, accentuating her most important assets. 

Kara’s mouth falls open. 

“Hello, Kara,” Lena says. She leans in to kiss Kara’s cheek. “You look lovely.”

There’s just a touch of colour to Lena’s cheeks. Otherwise she is as calm as ever. 

Kara swallows. She reminds herself of the steps. “Thank you,” she says, slightly unsteadily. “You look…” she pauses, running her gaze over Lena’s outfit. “Stunning.”

Lena smiles. “I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes a girl in a suit.”

Kara can already feel herself blushing.

The host appears to escort them to their table. Kara shakes off her nerves, and offers Lena her arm.

She’d almost blown step one. 

“Ready for some overly-priced, very exquisite French food?” Kara asks as they follow the host through the dining area.

Lena laughs. “That’s my favourite kind of French food. But you knew that already.” She pauses. “When was the last time we were here together?”

“You know, I can’t remember. But I did see that you posted a picture of this place a few weeks ago.” She glances at Lena. “You got me craving chocolate croissants.”

Lena smirks. “I don’t seem to remember that being very difficult.”

The host stops at a table by the window and the conversation pauses as they seat themselves. He hands them each a menu, wishes them a good evening, and then politely retreats. 

Okay. Step two. Kara opens her mouth to begin her interesting small talk, but Lena beats her to it. 

“So,” she says, a small smile on her lips. “Supergirl, huh?”

Kara blushes and laughs a little. “Yeah,” she says, shrugging modestly. “I guess it was kind of inevitable. You know how much I always hated hiding my powers.”

“Mmm,” Lena agrees. “But then I always thought you’d find a way to use them. Help save the world and all of that.” Her eyes twinkle a little as she says this, like it’s something she’s sincerely believed right from the start.

Kara already wants to kiss her. Wants to tell her that saving the world from certain danger doesn’t get her heart pumping quite the same way that Lena does. Just being on the receiving end of that beautiful, pointed stare has her wondering what in the heck she’s been doing the last seven years without Lena Luthor in her life. 

What she settles on is saying, “What about you? I’ve seen some of your research on marine pollution management. When it comes to saving the world, you just might have me beat.” She pauses. “But I always knew you were destined for greatness, Lena Luthor.”

Lena’s cheeks flush just a little darker. She toys with her bracelet. “It really is lovely to see you again, Kara. I had… hoped I might run into you while I was in town.”

Kara suddenly finds her well planned out topics of conversation to flee her mind. “It’s lovely to see you too,” she says honestly. “I wasn’t sure if I ever would get the chance to see you again.”

“Never?” There’s a question in Lena’s eyes as she regards her. 

Kara hesitates. It occurs to her suddenly that she had never responded to Lena’s last move on social media. 

Perhaps Lena thinks Kara had gotten bored with their game. Perhaps she thinks Kara isn’t interested in anything beyond a dinner to catch up.  

She takes a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. Even if Lena does think that, Kara has all night to prove otherwise. She’s planned this all out. By the end of night, Lena will have no doubt as to Kara’s true feelings. She only needs to follow her carefully planned steps. 

She runs through them again in her mind. She’s on step two: small talk. She opens her mouth to ask Lena about Metropolis. 

“I think I want to get back together with you,” is what comes out of her mouth.

There’s a silence. 

Lena blinks at her. 

Kara stares dumbly back, horrified with herself. 

Where had that come from?

“I’m… I’m sorry,” she says, mentally berating herself. What must Lena be thinking? “I didn’t even mean to say that.” She tries to laugh. “I meant to ask about what Metropolis is like. Tell me about the city! Do you like it? Are there a lot of fun things to do there?”

But Lena is staring at her in silence, and Kara cuts herself off. 

There’s a heavy feeling in her chest that says the evening is ruined. 

“Did you mean that?” Lena asks quietly. 

Kara opens her mouth, hoping to pretend she doesn’t know what Lena is talking about. Then she closes it again. “Yes.”

She nods slowly. “I see.” For a second, Lena’s expression doesn’t give anything away. 

Kara tunes into her heartbeat and hears it pounding. 

She bites her lip anxiously. Is Lena happy or horrified by Kara’s clumsy admission?

Then Lena breaks into a tiny smile. “I was hoping you might say that.”

The heaviness in Kara’s chest lightens almost imperceptibly. “You were?”

“How are we tonight, ladies?” A waiter is standing at their table, beaming at the two of them, completely oblivious to the moment he’s interrupted. “Have you had a chance to look over the menu?”

Kara looks at him blankly, then turns back to Lena. 

Lena looks back at her. She arches a perfect eyebrow.

“You know,” says Lena smoothly to the waiter. “I’m terribly sorry, but my friend here is feeling unwell. I think we’ll have to leave.”

“We will?” Kara asks. Then she shakes her head. “Oh! Right. That’s right. I was just telling you about my… stomach ache.”

The waiter looks concerned. “I’m so sorry to hear that. Can I call you a cab?”  

“No, thank you,” Lena gives him a smile, standing up. She extends a hand towards Kara. “Come on. Let’s get you home.”

Kara’s eyes linger on Lena’s hand for just a moment. She smiles, then takes it in her own. 

***

She doesn’t let go all the way through the restaurant, or once they get out into the chilly evening air. 

“I’m sorry,” Lena apologizes. “I hope you’re weren’t set on eating there. I suppose I should have asked first. I just felt like more of a… private catch up.”

Kara let out a surprised chuckle. “Not at all. Privacy sounds wonderful.” She grins at Lena. 

Lena smiles back. “How would you like to come back to my hotel room? We could grab something to eat on the way.”

Kara’s heart speeds up a little. 

Privacy.

A hotel room.

Are they already skipping to step five?

She squeezes her hand. “I’d love to.”

***

Lena’s hotel, as it turns out, is fairly close to the restaurant, so they just decide to walk. Kara still hasn’t let go of Lena’s hand and she swings it slightly as they go. 

“...So Cat just gave you free reign to choose whatever you wanted to do for the company?” Lena asks. They’re in the middle of talking about Kara’s work at Catco– specifically how she ended up as a reporter.

Kara shrugs modestly. “I guess she saw something in me. Or maybe she thought it’d be the best way to piss off Snapper.” 

Lena chuckles a little. “You always did have a way with people. They either loved you or they wanted to strangle you.”

“Well, that certainly explains how I got you to go out with me.”

“And what’s that supposed to imply?” Lena teases.

“Just that you may have wanted to strangle me on more than one occasion.”

Lena smirks. “Yes, but only when you asked me nicely.” 

It’s the first time they’ve explicitly mentioned their previous relationship. It fills the space between them and they fall silent for a moment. Kara holds Lena’s hand a little tighter. Lena squeezes back. 

Kara suggests a slight detour to Big Belly Burger to pick up dinner. “What?” she asks, when her suggestion makes Lena laugh. “I’m hungry and that place has the best fries!”

“I remember that,” Lena says, smiling up at her. “I used to take you out to all the nicest restaurants and you still preferred fast food.”

Kara laughs as she steers them into the restaurant and up to the counter. They get three Animal Burger meals for Kara and a salad for Lena.

“You know that salad has just as many calories as one of my burgers, right?” Kara teases her, holding the bag in her free hand as they walk to the hotel. She grabs Lena’s hand again with her other. 

“Yes,” Lena says in a put upon voice. “But it also has more nutritional value and some of us don’t have supermetabolisms to keep us fit without even trying.”

“Oh whatever.” Kara shakes the bag of food down to her wrist, freeing her hand to poke Lena in the stomach. “You’re just as fit as you ever were.”

Lena squeaks a little, leaning away from Kara’s finger. She blushes just a tiny bit. 

They enter the hotel and ride the elevator up to the highest floor. Kara stares at their reflection in the mirror of the elevator as they go, subtly checking Lena out again. 

Hot damn, but that suit makes her look like a snack

She meets Lena’s eyes in the mirror and instantly blushes, knowing she’s been caught.

Lena smirks.

Lena lets them into her room with a little keycard, and Kara immediately lights up upon seeing it. 

“Now this is what I’m talking about!” she says, taking in the enormous space. “When you said ‘hotel room’, I didn’t realize you meant a suite!”

She eyes the king bed with nervous excitement. 

Lena waves a hand. “The company is paying for it,” she says nonchalantly. “But I have to admit, it is rather nice.”

Kara wiggles her eyebrows. “Maybe not as nice as that hotel room we got in Paris.”

Lema smirks. “Paris, huh? I see somebody’s been stalking my instagram.”

Kara blushes as she puts down the food, searching for something to say to change the subject. Finding nothing, she bounds over to the window instead to take in the view. It’s dark outside, but the window looks over the city, brightly lit up. “It’s so pretty,” she sighs. She drops into a chair placed conveniently next to the window and loses herself in the sparkling lights. 

“I would have thought you’d be used to that view,” Lena teases. She sits in the chair opposite. “I imagine you see it all the time when you’re flying.”

“Well, yeah,” Kara admits. “But it’s not quite the same when I’m in the middle of a rescue mission. I usually never get time to just stop and enjoy the sight.” She pauses, blushing a little. “Or to enjoy it with a pretty girl.”

Lena ducks her head. “Really?” she whispers, and her voice is not as steady as it had been a minute earlier. 

Kara waits for her to look up again, then locks gazes with her. “Really.”

They stare at one another for a long moment. Lena licks her lips, taking a breath, and shifts infinitesimally closer. 

Kara’s stomach growls. 

There’s a beat of silence, and then they both break into laughter. 

“Sorry,” Kara says. Inwardly, she curses her appetite. She’s fairly sure Lena had been thinking about kissing her. 

Lena shakes her head and fetches their bag of food, reaching in and taking out the salad with its accompanying plastic fork. She hands the rest of the bag to Kara. “It’s fine,” she teases. “I know better than to get between you and your food. What was it you said when we bought that entire cart of churros at the State Fair? That your hobbies included, and I quote, ‘eating, and thinking about the next time I get to be eating’?” 

Kara laughs a little, scooping fries out of the bag. “I can’t believe you remember that,” she says. She opens one of the boxes and picks up a burger, taking a huge bite. “How embarrassing.”

“Actually, I thought it was charming,” Lena smiles, opening her salad and beginning to take a few bites. “I was so used to going out with girls my mother had picked out for me– girls ‘with potential’ who lived on diet pills and refused to eat bread.”

Kara snorts around her mouthful of burger. “Are you saying I wasn’t one of those girls ‘with potential’?”

“Oh, darling,” Lena grins. “You had plenty of potential.”

Something in Kara lights up in reaction to the endearment. She coughs a little, and takes another bite to try and hide it. 

They eat for a few minutes in silence. Lena is watching her, her expression unreadable.

Kara finishes her burger and reaches for another. She looks at Lena almost shyly. “I’ve missed you,” she says softly. 

Lena pauses. “I’ve missed you too.” She holds Kara’s gaze. 

Kara hesitates a second, then makes a decision. She puts the burger down.

She’s not hungry for food anymore. 

Lena closes her salad container. She places it on the floor, then moves forward in her chair towards Kara. Visibly swallowing, she reaches out and wipes some ketchup from Kara’s chin. She leaves her hand there, thumb lightly caressing Kara’s cheek. 

Kara takes a deep breath. She meets Lena’s gaze, a silent question passing between them. 

Lena’s eyes are dark. Slowly, almost reverently, she removes Kara’s glasses, setting them down on the table beside them.

They stare at each other for a long moment, almost like they’re seeing each other for the first time again.

“Lena,” Kara murmurs, leaning towards her without conscious thought. 

Lena gives a tiny, almost imperceptible smile. 

Then she kisses her. 

Kara forgets to breathe. 

How on earth could she have forgotten this? She has kissed Lena a million times before, and yet it still surprises her just how soft her lips are, how good she makes Kara feel. 

Warmth spreads through her like honey. 

Pulling back for just a second, she stands and moves forward, sitting down again on the arm of Lena’s chair. Lena’s face is tilted up towards her. Kara licks her lips before leaning down and pressing them slowly against Lena’s once again. 

Lena kisses back without hesitation. She presses herself upwards, kissing Kara more eagerly. 

Kara’s hands rise without conscious intent, one hand cupping Lena’s face, the other tangling itself in long, dark hair. Lena hums in appreciation.

The kiss turns hungrier. Kara is embarrassed to hear the noise that comes out of her own throat, but it’s quickly forgotten in the warmth of Lena’s tongue against her own. Her hands move downwards, landing on Lena’s shoulders and then sliding down her sides and over her stomach. 

“Hang on,” Lena breathes against her mouth. 

Kara pulls back instantly, worried that Lena has changed her mind. But Lena smiles at her and then slides out of the chair to cross the room. 

She turns off the light switch. 

Kara’s breath catches. 

Lena’s meaning is clear. 

Taking a deep breath, Kara stands up. The only light in the room is coming from the windows and underneath the door, but it is low, leaving them mainly in shadow. Slowly, Kara crosses the floor until she is standing tall in front of Lena. 

In the half light, she sees a spark in Lena’s eyes and a soft smile on her lips. She can hear the blood pulsing in Lena’s veins, can almost taste the heat of her body. She reaches out a hand, cupping Lena’s cheek. She runs her thumb over Lena’s lips, feeling the smile against her skin. Then she takes away her thumb, replacing it with her mouth once more. 

Lena’s tongue is hot against hers. Her hands land on Kara’s back, pulling her closer in. Kara moans, her own hands coming to rest on Lena’s hips and for a few moments they just stand there, entwined, savouring the kiss without reaching for more. 

Then Kara raises her hands to Lena’s sides, pushing her gently backwards. Lena acquiesces, stumbling back until she hits the wall. Kara presses her into it with her body, kissing her more fiercely, and Lena responds in kind, pulling Kara even closer.

Kara can feel Lena’s heartbeat pounding loudly. She’s sure hers must be running just as fast.  

She runs her hands up Lena’s body, threading them through her hair again for a second before sliding back down. She wants to touch every inch of Lena, and she can’t keep her hands in one spot for more than a second. Lena’s breathing gets louder, heavier, even as her hands start to wander in response.

Heat is beginning to pool in Kara’s lower belly. She slides her hands up Lena’s stomach and up to her shoulders, finding the lapels of her jacket. She pulls, feeling the jacket begin to slide off Lena’s shoulders like the slick, expensive material it is. For a second Kara is distracted, wondering if she should stop to hang it up. 

Lena takes the matter out of her hands, leaning forward just a little to shrug the jacket fully off. She throws it carelessly towards the chair by the window, where it hits awkwardly and slides to the group in a heap. Lena doesn’t seem to care. 

Kara pulls her back in, kissing her again. It’s more passionate now, heavy with intent from both of them. Without pulling away from her lips, Kara’s hands go to Lena’s waistcoat and she finds the buttons, hastily beginning to undo them one by one. 

Lena’s hands are on Kara’s bare shoulders. Kara feels them as though they’re on fire. She pulls the waistcoat off of Lena, tossing it towards the already discarded jacket. It leaves Lena in a dark shirt, tucked smoothly into her matching pants. 

Kara pauses for just a second, her hands already poised to start unbuttoning Lena’s shirt. This will leave Lena in nothing but a bra. Soft... Exposed... 

And utterly hers again. 

She meets Lena’s gaze, questioning with her eyes. 

In response, Lena takes Kara’s hands. She guides them to the top button of her shirt.   

Kara’s takes an unsteady breath. The heat is spreading deep in her belly. 

Slowly, deliberately, she undoes the top button, then the next. She meets Lena’s eyes briefly, and then she lowers her head and kisses the newly exposed skin at the top of her chest. 

She hears Lena’s breath catch. 

Quickly, she looks up, making sure that Lena is still okay with this. Lena’s eyes are even darker. Her bottom lip is caught between her teeth. Her hair is mussed. 

Kara lets out a mewl before she can stop herself. She returns to opening the buttons of Lena’s shirt with newfound desperation. 

She bends lower still, undoing more buttons, and presses kisses to the skin of Lena’s stomach that is slowly being revealed. Lena’s hands tangle in Kara’s hair. She pulls Kara’s head even closer.

As she opens the shirt, Kara straightens up again. She tugs the material out of Lena’s pants, and Lena steps forward a little, pulling the shirt entirely off. She stands in front of Kara in nothing but her slacks and a lacy, black bra that strains to cover her breasts. 

Kara licks her lips. Back in college, before Lena had left for MIT, she’d seen Lena naked almost every day. It had never failed to bring her mind to a screeching halt– all that creamy skin, the hint of muscle underneath a tight stomach, the generous chest. 

Seven years on, she looks even better. 

Kara lets out a low growl. She presses herself back into Lena, hands sliding up and down her torso, feeling the warm skin under her fingers. Lena’s breathing is heavy. Kara can feel her body trembling beneath her touch.

Kara’s hands go to the catch of Lena’s pants and she undoes it without stopping to think. Lena doesn’t hesitate, just steps out of the pants, kicking them away across the floor. 

Underneath, she’s wearing matching black underwear that leaves little to the imagination. Her legs are long, longer than Kara had remembered. 

Kara has to stop for a second just to take her all in. 

Lena gives her a grin that’s almost feral. Then she steps into Kara’s space. Her arms slide around Kara, and her hands find the zipper at the back of her dress. 

Kara holds herself still, letting her unzip it. Lena’s hands come back to her shoulders and she pushes down the straps of the dress slowly, her fingers carefully mapping each new inch of skin. As her dress slips down, Kara steps out of it almost nervously. She’s glad she’d picked out her nicest set of underwear for the occasion. 

Lena’s fingers trace down the slope of Kara’s stomach. She looks her over with that hungry expression that makes Kara feel like she’s on fire.

“I knew there was a reason I missed you,” Lena murmurs. She takes Kara’s hand. 

Kara lets out a surprised laugh. She rakes her eyes over Lena’s form mischievously. “I never forgot the reason I missed you.

Lena smirks at her. Then she tugs on Kara’s hand, pulling her close again. Their lips meet, even hungrier this time, ready. 

Kara’s hands go back to Lena’s hips and she steers her gently towards the bed. Lena lets her lead without protest, her own hands roaming Kara’s skin as they stumble together. She hits the bed with the back of her knees and sits, then Kara pushes at her shoulders. In response, Lena brings her legs up onto the bed, slinking backwards until she’s in the middle of it. 

Kara follows, hovering over Lena, who’s lying draped across the covers now. Kara runs her hands up the soft curve of Lena’s stomach and then pauses, toying with the bottom of her bra. 

“Can I take this off?”

Lena nods eagerly, lips quirking up into a pleased smile. She raises herself up on her elbows so that Kara can reach behind her for the clasp. 

Kara takes a breath and finds the catch of Lena’s bra with her fingers. She unhooks it slowly, locking eyes with Lena for final permission, and then slips the material off of her. 

She almost faints then and there. 

She’s remembered, of course, how magnificent Lena’s breasts are. 

Her memories don’t do them justice. 

Kara can’t help reaching out to touch them. Lena breathes a little louder as Kara’s hands envelop her. She arches almost imperceptibly into the touch. 

Lena reaches for Kara’s bra as well. She undoes it quickly, pulling it off of her, and then her hands are reacquainting themselves with Kara’s breasts, just like Kara is doing with hers. 

“Oh gosh, I missed this,” Lena almost moans. Kara feels the impact of those words with the tightening in the pit of her stomach. 

She doesn’t wait any longer. She pushes Lena down until she is flat on the bed, and then sits astride her. She leans in, kissing her heatedly, hands roaming the full expanse of her chest and abdomen as she does so. Lena’s breathing is erratic, her hips tilting up into Kara, and it makes Kara even more desperate.

She bites Lena’s lip as she runs her hand further and further down her body. Lena lets out a little sound as Kara’s fingers brush against her underwear, and Kara feels it again, deep in her stomach. 

She reminds herself to be gentle. 

She leans down again, trailing kisses down Lena’s stomach, shifting back as she does so to settle on Lena’s thighs. She reaches down past soft underwear, finding wet heat, and Lena’s breathing speeds up. 

It’s been a long time since Kara has done this– with anyone at all– but longer still since she’s done this with Lena. Regardless, it doesn’t take long for her to remember how to touch Lena, how to make her beg. How to make her sing.

Kara finds her rhythm without any difficulty, as if Lena were an instrument she had mastered through long study. It takes only moments until Lena is arching against her, breath coming loud and ragged, before she collapses, panting, spent. 

She blinks slowly up at Kara. 

“I hope you haven’t been practicing that too often with anyone else,” she says, still breathing hard. 

Kara grins. “Only with half of National City,” she teases. 

“Very funny,” Lena says drily. She half sits up, pushing at Kara’s shoulder. “Lie down.”

“Oh?” Kara grins. “Gonna make me?”

They both know it’s impossible, but Lena pushes at her anyway, and Kara plays along, letting Lena guide her down onto her back to climb on top of her. 

Kara gazes up at her, about to make a joke, but Lena is looking at her with a kind of hunger, like a predator studying its prey. Lena’s eyes are darker than ever. Kara suddenly forgets how to form words. 

Then Lena is leaning down, pressing their bodies together. Her mouth is on Kara’s again, and Kara responds eagerly. Her hands come to rest on Lena’s back. 

It feels incredible. Better than anything Kara has experienced since the last moment Lena had touched her, all those years ago. 

Lena shifts slightly, pressing kisses to Kara’s jaw, and then her lips travel slowly down her neck. Kara closes her eyes, feeling the tension in her stomach building even further. She tilts her head to give Lena better access to her throat, and Lena takes full advantage, tasting and sucking at the sensitive skin there. 

Kara lets out a needy little noise. 

She’d almost forgotten how good it felt to be kissed there.

Obviously, Lena hadn’t forgotten anything. 

It makes Kara even more desperate for her. 

Lena gives a chuckle, low and satisfied. Her hands slide down to squeeze Kara’s breasts again before continuing further. Kara swallows hard. She feels like she’s already on the edge and Lena hasn’t even touched her yet. 

Lena’s hands map the contours of Kara’s stomach, dipping lower for just a teasing second, and then shying away again. Kara feels like she’s going insane. She can’t help writhing, pushing her hips up from the bed. 

Lena chuckles again, and then, granting mercy, slides her hand down to where she knows Kara wants it. Kara gasps out loud at the touch, eyes closing, fingers twisting into the soft sheets of the bed. 

She’d really forgotten how good Lena is at this.

She hopes they don’t break the bed. She’s pretty sure she’ll already have to replace the ripped sheets. She hopes Lena won’t mind. 

It’s both overwhelming and over too soon. Kara is almost embarrassed at how readily her body surrenders to Lena’s touch, as if it, too, has been missing her keenly for seven long years. Whatever the reason, she’s gasping out a cry within several exhilarating moments, and Lena surges up, pressing her mouth to Kara’s as Kara attempts to come back down. 

She sits up again, smirking down at Kara, her hair wild and lips swollen red. 

They pause for a minute. 

“I think,” Kara says, looking up at Lena, “That it must have been you practicing with half of National City.” She puffs out air, blowing away a piece of hair stuck to her face. “You were…”

“Yes,” Lena agrees. “I was.”

She looks inordinately pleased with herself.

Kara narrows her eyes.

She grabs Lena around the hips, using her super speed and strength to flip her decisively onto her back. She grins down at Lena’s startled expression. 

“Ready for round two?”

v.

Kara half wakes early the next morning, the sky still grey with the promise of sunrise. She is buried under the blankets, possibly wearing Lena’s underwear. Lena is sprawled out next to her, snuffling in her sleep. 

Kara’s not sure whose (if any) underwear Lena is currently wearing. 

She reaches for her phone and sends a groggy text to Snapper, telling him she’s sick and won’t be coming into the office. 

She casts a glance at Lena who is still fast asleep, then snuggles back into the blankets with a smug smile. 

She’s asleep again within seconds. 

***

When she wakes again, she can tell immediately by the light that it must be mid-morning. She squeezes her eyes shut against the sunlight falling over her face. 

“Good morning.”

Her eyes open immediately. It takes her a second to realize where she is, and then she abruptly rises from under the covers. 

Lena is sitting next to her on the bed. She has obviously already showered and taken the time to reapply her makeup. She’s wearing a soft grey sweater and jeans. Her hair is pulled into a loose bun. 

She looks adorable.

Lena holds out a cup of coffee and a doughnut. “I thought you might be hungry,” she says.

Kara accepts the coffee and the doughnut with a slight chuckle as Lena looks away politely. Kara had almost forgotten she was still undressed. Trust Lena to be modest when she’s seen Kara naked more than she’s ever seen her clothed. 

Still, Kara has the decency to attempt to cover herself up with the partially torn bed sheets. “Have you ever known me not to be hungry?”

“Once, I think. When we left that all-you-can-eat seafood bar in Portland.”

Kara laughs as she takes an eager bite of her doughnut. She can’t stop herself from groaning in delight. “Jelly,” she says, and grins at Lena. “You remembered.”

Lena looks pleased. “Of course I did. It was always your favourite.”

Kara feels a warmth in her chest. 

“So,” Lena says, taking a breath. “Are you going to work today?”

Kara hastily swallows her bite of doughnut. “No,” she replies a little shyly. “I…I actually called in sick.” 

Lena bites her lip. “Good. That’s… good.” She pauses. “I was thinking, then, maybe when you’re ready, we could go out? I think I’d rather like to go walking by the river with you. You know, check out that old trail we used to like. Maybe... talk.”

She looks nervous. Kara wonders if she expects the night before to have been a one time deal. Is Lena already regretting it? Or does she think that Kara will want to leave immediately, never to see her again? 

She takes another mouthful of doughnut. “I’d love to,” she says honestly. 

Lena breaks into a relieved smile. 

It gives Kara hope.

***

Kara, of course, hadn’t brought extra clothes with her and is less than thrilled at the idea of wearing her fancy dress to the river, so Lena lends her a pair of sweats and a shirt. They don’t fit perfectly, of course– the shirt especially is obviously made for someone more generously endowed than Kara– but they’ll do. 

Kara pulls them on almost reverently. They smell like Lena.

The warm feeling grows.

She’s still kind of a mess, regardless. Kara checks herself out in the mirror of the bathroom and winces. She hasn’t bothered to shower, and she’s looking less than ideal. She puts her hair in a ponytail and grabs her glasses off the table. She’s not wearing any makeup.

It’ll have to do. 

Lena calls a car to take them to the river. Kara sits beside her in the back with her knee pressed against Lena’s. She’s fidgeting nervously, her fingers twisted together. There is a lot to talk about, and she doesn’t know where the conversation will lead them.

Lena notices Kara’s fidgeting. Then she gently pries Kara’s fingers apart and takes her hand, holding it tight. 

Kara breathes in deeply. She wonders if Lena’s feeling just as unsure as she is. 

The car drops them off by the start of their favourite walking track by the riverbank. It’s a place they had frequented back in college as they had both enjoyed strolling by the water on peaceful weekends. Kara leads Lena down to the trail, suddenly overwhelmed with how familiar it seems. 

They walk along for a few moments in silence. The sun is out. It’s peaceful. 

They’re still holding hands. 

Eventually they come to a small wooden landing that juts out over the water. Kara steers them onto it and they lean against the fence, looking out over the water. 

The silence stretches on. 

“So,” Kara starts nervously. “You said you wanted to talk.”

Lena takes a minute to respond. She’s still staring past the horizon. “Yes.” 

She’s taking her time, obviously choosing her words carefully. “You said,” Lena begins, still without looking at Kara. “That you wanted to get back together. Did you truly mean that, or was it just what you thought I wanted to hear?”

Kara turns to her. “Of course I meant it.” She’s suddenly filled with horror. “Didn’t you?”

Lena grips the railing. “I did,” she replies, and Kara’s body almost goes slack with relief. “And do you…” Lena pauses. “Do you still feel that way? Even after…?”

She doesn’t finish the thought, but Kara gets the message anyway. “You think now that we’ve had a night of mindblowing sex, I would have suddenly lost interest?” she asks incredulously. “Lena Luthor, you really think I’m shallow, don’t you?”

She’s hoping to make Lena laugh, and thankfully she succeeds. Lena’s expression relaxes a little bit. 

“I’m sorry,” she says sincerely. “I guess I just want to make sure we’re on the same page.”

“Alright then.” Kara takes a deep breath. “Let me be perfectly clear. I’d like to start dating you again, Lena. I want us to have another chance at this.” She’s watching Lena with an anxious look and is relieved to see Lena smile. “I mean,” she hurries on, “I know it might be difficult what with us having separate lives in different cities and everything. But I’d like to try. Really try this time.” 

Lena’s smile grows. “I’d like that too.”

Happiness sweeps through Kara like the sun. She takes Lena’s hand in hers. 

“I’m really glad I bumped into you yesterday. And that you were in National City at all.” She pauses, and then gives Lena a startled look. “Wait– weren’t you meant to be at a conference today?”

“Oh, that?” Lena laughs. “The conference is rubbish. I only accepted the invitation because I was…” She blushes just a tiny bit. “Because I was hoping to run into you.”

Kara’s breath catches. “Are you being serious?”

Lena shrugs. “You never responded to me online. I wasn’t sure if you were just done with me or… Anyway. I was hoping to find out.”

It’s the first time they’ve directly acknowledged their online flirting. Kara bites her lip. “I’m… sorry about that. I guess I kind of… I kind of freaked out about what was going on. I was trying to convince myself that I wasn’t interested in you anymore but it was sort of hard with everything we were doing.”

Lena leaves a little silence. Then she says, eyes on the water, “From that first time you liked the picture of me, I knew I wanted you back.”

Kara’s mouth opens in shock. “You did?”

Lena shrugs again. She looks self-conscious. “I wasn’t fooling myself that it would actually happen. Still, it was fun. I liked imagining my posts getting you all riled up.”

“‘Riled up’ is putting it mildly. But I think I also prefer you getting me all riled up in person.” She grins cheekily. 

Lena chuckles. “Me too.” She pauses, eying Kara hesitantly. “Was it a mistake?” she asks softly. “When you first liked that picture? Did you hit it by accident?”

Kara scratches the back of her neck. “Not... exactly.” She’s hoping Lena won’t be angry. “It was a dare.”

Lena blinks. “A dare?”

“Yeah.” Kara bites her lip and hurries on. “It was game night and my friend Nia dared me to like an old picture of an ex. I… I saw your picture and… Well I couldn’t help myself. I had to pick you.”

Lena absorbs the news in silence. 

“If it helps,” Kara adds quickly, “I picked that particular picture of you because…” She closes her eyes, embarrassed. “Because I’ve stared at it so many times before. You… You look so beautiful in it.”

Still, Lena says nothing. 

“And,” Kara goes on. “I think… I didn’t want to admit this to myself but I think even then, when I picked you… I think I was always hoping that it would come to this. You and me, together again.” She waits anxiously for Lena to say something. 

Eventually, Lena gives a tiny smile. “Well,” she says, “I suppose one day I’ll have to thank Nia, then, whoever she is.” Her smile grows as she looks at Kara. 

They turn and start walking down the path again.

“You know, you really did give me a heart attack when I saw that notification,” Lena quietly admits.

Kara chuckles, relieved that Lena doesn’t seem upset. “Is that so? Well, you should have seen me when I got your notification back. I practically died on the spot! I don’t think I started breathing again for at least forty-five minutes!”

Lena is laughing. Kara beams. 

“Seriously!” she goes on, hoping to entertain Lena still further. “I’ve never been more flustered in my life! If I had less control of my powers I would have burst right through Alex’s ceiling!”

“Stop!” Lena says, laughing harder. 

“Alex thought someone was sending me nudes!”

What?” Lena is wiping tears from her eyes now, laughing so hard she can barely breathe. 

“I know!” Kara says indignantly. “As if I’m the kind of girl that would ask someone for nudes.”

Lena calms down just enough to wink at her. “What a pity. I’d send you nudes if you asked.” 

“Lena!” Kara feels herself blushing bright red, but they’re both laughing too hard to be serious. 

“How do you think Alex will take the news, by the bye?” Lena asks, still slightly breathless from laughter.

“Are you kidding me? She’s going to be thrilled. She was the one who made me realize I was still head over heels for you. She basically threw me at you and told me to me to man up and ask you out.”

Lena digests this. “Can I admit something?” She gazes at Kara with something like nervousness, but her eyes are still crinkled in amusement. “I’ve wanted you back ever since we broke up.”

Kara suddenly stops walking, tugging Lena back with her. “Seriously? Why didn’t you ever say anything?”

Lena bites her lip. “I saw your debut on the news. Supergirl. Finally using those powers you always struggled so hard to contain. I was so happy for you.” She makes a vague, shrugging movement. “I also wasn’t sure how to compete with that. It seemed like everything was going so well for you. I thought it was better for you that I didn’t come back and... complicate everything.”

Kara absorbs this with a slight frown. Lena continues in a lighter tone, smiling crookedly. “Besides. I thought you probably wouldn’t be interested anymore. I mean, Supergirl! I’m sure you had your pick of anyone in National City. Why would you still want me?”

Kara stares at her with an incredulous expression. “But… But I wanted you back ever since we broke up!”

Lena doesn’t seem sure she believes her. “You did?”

“Of course I did!” Kara exclaims. “Did you not realize how devastated I was when we broke things off all those years ago? Lena, you were everything to me. And you’re kind of a tough act to follow.”

Lena shakes her head, looking genuinely confused. “Then why didn’t you ever reach out to me?”

“Because! You’re Lena! You were going to change the world and how could I tie you down to National City just because I was in love with you? I saw you– getting hired at an amazing job right out of college– and then rising up through the company so quickly. You became the youngest ever CEO of L-Corp! You were getting recognition, being invited to give TED talks! I thought…” She swallows. “I thought that I had nothing left to offer you at all.”

Lena is silent for a moment, watching Kara with a look as if she is the only thing in the universe she really cares about. Then she laughs, shaking her head ruefully. “We’re both idiots.”

Kara nods in agreement. “Complete idiots.”

Lena hesitates a second, and then wraps her arms around Kara in a soft, warm hug. Kara melts into her as if Lena were the sun, filling Kara up with light, strength and purpose.

“There’s something else,” Lena says quietly. “There’s another reason I’m here in National City.”

Kara pulls back a little so that she can see Lena’s face. She’s suddenly nervous. “Yes?”

“When I said yesterday that there were loose ends to tie up here, I meant it.” Lena twists her hand into the fabric of her sweater. “There’s an opportunity for me to open a new branch of L-Corp here.”

Kara’s heartbeat speeds up. “There is?”

“Until yesterday I wasn’t planning on taking it. But now I’m reconsidering.” She pauses. “Do you think I should take it?”

Kara doesn’t hesitate. “Hell yes!” she exclaims. “Lena, this isn’t even a question. Of course I want you to take it!”

“I mean,” Lena goes on, warning her now. “It will take time. I won’t be able to move here immediately. But I think within the next few months I would be here on a more permanent basis.”

Kara shrugs her shoulders, smiling. “That’s okay. You’re worth the wait.” 

Her words make Lena blush, and she shakes her head softly.  “There’s that charming girl I fell for.”

Kara beams. “Does that mean you’re going to do it? Make the move? Allow me to charm the pants off you for as long as you’ll have me?”

Lena laughs, wrapping her arms around Kara’s stomach. “Yes. I will. Especially if you make good on your promise to charm my pants off on a regular basis.”

They pull back to meet each other’s eyes. They’re both ridiculously giddy.

“It’ll be hard being away from you in the meantime,” Lena sighs. “I don’t know how long the transition will take.”

Kara raises an eyebrow. “Lena. Do you realize how quickly I can fly to Metropolis?”

Lena hums. “Good point. You’ve come a long way from the girl I used to know. The girl who struggled so hard against herself to keep her powers hidden.”

Kara stands up straighter, looking proud. “I’m a Superhero now.”

“Yes, I’ve noticed,” Lena says drily. “You have no idea how it felt, you know. Seeing you on the news being heroic. Good gosh, I wanted to call you so badly.” She leers at Kara. “Do you even realize how freaking hot you look in that outfit?”

“Oh?” Kara grins, even as she feels herself blushing. “So you like the suit, huh?”

“Yeah,” Lena breathes. “I really like the suit.”

“Well then,” Kara smirks, “perhaps you’d like me to fly us home, and then you can get acquainted with the suit yourself?”

Lena swallows hard. Her eyes darken. “I think I’d like that very much.”

Kara takes a quick glance around. Thankfully, no one is nearby. She pulls Lena closer, then picks her up bridal style, holding her easily against her chest.

Lena squeaks in surprise, holding Kara tightly as they rise a few feet into the air. 

“Oh wow,” she breathes. “I could get used to this.”

Kara grins. “I sure hope you do.”

vi.

Winn!” Lucy protests a few weeks later during a particularly competitive game of Aggravation. “Don’t you dare!” 

“I have no choice!” Winn protests. “It’s the only marble I can move!” His tone is injured, but he grins anyway, knocking Lucy’s marble out of the way with relish and taking her spot. Lucy glares as she moves it back to base. 

Kara is laughing, along with most of the others. She’s sitting at the coffee table, participating in the game, but her mind is on the woman sitting beside her, warm and beautiful and laughing as Nia takes her turn and immediately, with a wink at Lucy, kills Winn’s marble. 

It’s the first time Kara has brought Lena along to an event with all of her friends. 

(It had also been the night Kara had picked to tell the others about her rekindled relationship with Lena. 

Nia had been ecstatic.)

Lena takes her turn, moving her green marble along the board. She hands the die to Kara, their hands touching as she does it, and Kara can’t help smiling at her. 

“Hurry up, Lovebirds,” Alex reprimands them both. “We haven’t got all night to sit here watching you make moony eyes at each other.”

Kara glares. Lena is chuckling, looking partly embarrassed but mainly amused. She has been getting on well with Kara’s friends, and Kara couldn’t be happier.

She is secretly worried Winn might be developing a crush on Lena, and she’s positive that Lucy already has. Brainy might be more competition on tee science end of things as he and Lena have been chatting for much of the night about a new A.I prototype Lena has been developing with her research team. 

Alex and Kelly just look pleased to see Kara so disgustingly happy. She supposes it’s been a long time coming.

But Lena had definitely been worth the wait.

“Yeah, whatever,” Kara says, rolling the die and moving her marble into the centre ring. “As if we don’t have to watch you being just as moony and disgusting with Kelly all the time.”

“Hey!” Kelly protests as Alex sputters in indignation. “We are not moony!

“Nah,” James sniggers, every bit the big brother. “Just horny.” 

Kelly smacks him. 

Lucy ends up winning the game, and then someone suggests a round of Telestrations. Kara bows out, and instead, takes Lena out onto the balcony. They close the door behind them and lean up against the railing, looking out over the neighbourhood. 

Lena shivers a little and Kara steps closer, putting her arms around her to warm her up. Lena leans back against her with a contented sigh as Kara rests her chin on Lena’s shoulder.

“Are you having fun?” Kara asks softly, her breath warm against Lena’s ear. “I know my friends can be… a little much sometimes.”

Lena turns her head to smile at her. “I like them,” she says. “I hope they like me.”

“They do. They wouldn’t have killed you quite so often if they didn’t.”

Lena chuckles. “I guess that makes sense.”

There’s a short silence.

“I wish you didn’t have to leave again tomorrow,” Kara whispers. 

“I know.” Lena lifts her head. “But the site I visited this week seems like it might be the perfect fit for the head office. We’re already negotiating prices with the realtors, and if the contract goes through, it won’t be long until we’re set up here.” She catches Kara’s gaze, and her eyes are sparkling. “Besides, given how often you visit me in Metropolis, it’s like there’s no distance at all.”

Kara nods, looking down at her feet. “It still makes me sad when you have to leave.”

“Well.” Lena lifts Kara’s chin with her finger. “I’m not leaving until tomorrow, you know. We’ve still got all night.” She bites her lip in a teasing grin, her expression turning somewhat mischievous. 

A similar look crosses over Kara’s features. “Oh? And just what do you think we should do with those precious hours?”

“Oh, I don’t know.” Lena shrugs airily. “We could go back inside and join in playing Telestrations.”

“Hmmm. I guess we could.” She pulls Lena closer against her. “Do you have any other suggestions?”

“Maybe,” Lena smirks.

“Care to tell me what they might be?”

Lena licks her lips. “I was thinking,” she murmurs, tilting her face up to Kara’s so that her lips are just below Kara’s chin, “maybe we could say goodnight to the others and go back to your place.”

“Oh?” Kara’s voice is not quite steady. She chases Lena’s lips, sighing in frustration when Lena pulls them away. “And what do you propose we do when we get there?”

Lena runs her gaze over Kara’s body and grins. “Well,” she says softly, then leans in again, whispering in Kara’s ear. “I may not be a superhero but I bet I can make you see stars.”

Kara stares at her for just a second. Then she spins, opens the door to the balcony and strides into the room, making a beeline to James’ front door and holding fast to Lena’s hand all the way. 

“We’re going home,” she calls to the others without even looking at them. 

“You sure, Kara?” Alex chirps up. “We were thinking about starting a game of Truth or Dare.”

There’s laughter behind them, and someone catcalls. 

Kara doesn’t even pause. 

Lena is chuckling again, low in her throat. 

When they finally make it out of James’ apartment, Kara flies them home in a matter of minutes. She closes the door behind them and wastes no time in pushing Lena up against the wall. 

“Now, Ms Luthor,” she says. “About those stars…”