When Kara first gets the assignment, she’s ecstatic.
She gets to go to a bunch of care homes! And interview old couples! And get paid to listen to painfully adorable retellings of their love stories!
She’s well aware that it’s little more than a puff piece, assigned to her by Andrea to get Kara off her back more than anything else, but she can’t find it in herself to feel anything but giddy excitement at the prospect, because if there’s one thing Kara Danvers loves, it’s love.
By the time she gets back to her office, she’s already halfway through composing a text to Lena about it, paired with several exclamation marks and enough emojis that she can already see Lena rolling her eyes at.
That’s wonderful, darling, comes Lena’s reply not ten minutes later. Very you. I can’t wait to read.
That in itself is enough to have Kara grinning away at her phone like an idiot, but when Lena chimes in again only a moment later with Are you free for lunch today? You can tell me all about it then , she can hardly contain her squeal at the prospect of seeing her best friend.
Yes, if there’s one thing Kara Danvers loves, it’s love, and if there’s one person that perfectly embodies what that is to her, it’s most definitely Lena Luthor.
The first couple she meets, Henry and Joan, are, simply put, adorable. There’s no other word for it.
When she first arrives - a few minutes late, the result of a frustrating encounter with her slowly-dying Keurig that set her routine back a good ten minutes - they’re already waiting for her, huddled around a cute little round table by the window, bickering quietly amongst themselves.
Kara can’t hear what they’re arguing about, but when the worker who had directed her to their table waves them off with an overly-fond eyeroll and a teasing warning to be nice, you two, she already knows she’s in for a treat.
“I’m so sorry I’m late,” she says as soon as she sits down, but Joan just waves a noncommittal hand in the air and gives her an easy smile.
“Don’t worry about it, dear - just gave me time to get this one in order.” She inclines her head in Henry’s direction, prompting Henry to grunt and direct an exasperated little eye roll towards her, and the familiarity of the whole scene - the playful teasing, the overwhelmingly comforting energy they both exude - both fills Kara with warmth and, inexplicably, reminds her of something - some one? - she can’t quite place.
Joan quickly dives into their story, and Kara’s delighted to find out that she was right to have a good feeling about them - their story is just as cute as they are, starting with a meet-cute Kara swears may as well be ripped straight from a Nicholas Sparks book, and it becomes clearer and clearer with every passing minute that they’re still just as in love now as they were all those years ago.
It’s obvious that Joan is the more outgoing of the two, taking the reins almost instantly and telling Kara the majority of the story herself, pausing only every once in a while when Henry cuts in with a comment of his own or, more often than not, a grumbled objection at something he insists she’s telling wrong. Henry himself holds an adorably grumpy quality, quiet and stoic where his wife is excitable and chatty, but affection radiates off of him in almost overpowering waves as he listens to her talk animatedly.
After a few moments of carefully observing him, it finally hits her, and she has to sink her front teeth into her lower lip to stop a squeal from coming out at her realisation when it does.
Henry, he… he kind of reminds her of Lena.
Putting up an air of seriousness and don’t-fuck-with-me energy, but in reality just being a big, dumb softie.
Exactly like Lena.
And then she’s thinking about Lena, and like, she tries not to let it show on her face, because Joan’s just gotten to a bit of the story where their dog died in a really quite tragic rowboating accident, and she knows she should be controlling her expression, but she just can’t help it, not when she’s all of a sudden hit with the memory of the way Lena looked at the end of game night on Saturday, all sleepy-soft and adorable, drowning in one of Kara’s hoodies and wiping at her eyes with sweater paws as she tried (and failed) to stifle a yawn.
She’d ended up staying at Kara’s, too exhausted to put up much of a fight after her initial attempts were thwarted by her inability to keep her eyes from fluttering shut every five seconds, and they’d both crashed out in Kara’s bed only moments after waving Alex and Kelly goodbye. She’d woken up in the morning to Lena cuddled into her, nose buried in Kara’s neck and arms and legs draped across her waist like a cute, clingy little koala, and there had been nothing else to do but sigh happily and let herself drift back off, burying herself further into Lena’s warmth.
Joan doesn’t seem to notice Kara’s poorly timed burst of happiness, or if she does, she thankfully doesn’t mention it, and soon Kara manages to wrangle her face into a hopefully appropriate look of pity.
“So when did you know?” Kara asks after a while, at some point after Joan’s semi-graphic description of the dog’s grisly rescue mission but before the birth of their first grandchild.
Joan arches a curious brow, but her smile is still warm, reminding Kara of the smell of Eliza’s homemade cookies coming out the oven, or maybe of Lena curled up under a blanket on movie night, sipping at a mug of hot cocoa, eyes lighting up in childlike excitement as she takes in the week’s Disney movie of choice.
“Know what, dear?”
Kara’s cheeks pinken, although she can’t be sure why. “That you were, y’know… it, for each other.”
Joan’s smile only widens. “Oh, well that’s easy.”
She launches into a story about some event they’d attended, back when they were just first dating, some party thrown by one of the women’s groups at their college - mind-numbingly boring, she says, and we all knew it, though I suppose none of us girls really wanted to admit that . She tells her all about how the other girls’ boyfriends had all refused to attend, all using pathetic excuses to explain their absence, and how she’d expected Henry to do just the same when she asked him, to come up with some reason he couldn’t possibly be free that day.
Kara can’t contain her grin when Joan confirms that, instead of turning her away like all the other men did to their girlfriends, he’d accepted her invitation without a second thought.
“Of course, he grumbled about how boring it was the whole night, but the fact that he was willing to put himself through that just to spend time with me…” Her voice trails off wistfully, and she sends a loving smile Henry’s way. He huffs a little, like having it confirmed to Kara that he’s secretly a big romantic at heart is some sort of massive inconvenience, but even he can’t stop himself from returning the look.
“That is so… You guys are so…”
Kara doesn’t really know how to finish what she’s trying to say, frankly a little overwhelmed at how comfortable this whole situation feels, at how warm and fuzzy it makes her feel inside to get to sit on the sidelines and observe their relationship, even if it’s just an hour out of a whole, full lifetime.
Joan seems to understand what she’s getting at, though, and she reaches across the table and squeezes Kara’s hand comfortingly.
“And he always made it fun, too,” she continues. “Whenever we went to events like that, we used to play these games. Oh, they were just silly little things, you know, but… we always had fun together.”
“Games like what?”
Joan thinks for a moment, and then laughs quietly to herself. “Looking back, it was maybe a little childish… We’d try and see who could get away with speaking to the fewest people, or we’d both try and see how many times we could say a certain word in a conversation before someone caught on. When we got older, and the events got nicer, we’d try and see who could steal the most canapes from the waiters, or glasses of champagne.”
The mental image of Henry - quiet, stoic Henry - sneaking around trying to steal canapes at fancy parties is enough to make Kara burst into a fit of giggles, and even the man himself seems to be fondly remembering his days of culinary espionage, if the pleased little smile on his face is enough to go off of.
“Oh, I’ll have to remember those,” she says when she’s calmed down a little, though her face-cracking smile still remains. “My best friend, Lena, she’s always having these big galas and fancy parties… I love her, but God, they can be dull. Your games might make schmoozing with her investors a little more bearable.”
Just then, her phone - currently resting on the table in front of them, recording the interview - lights up with a notification, buzzing a few times in quick succession.
“Oh gosh, sorry,” she says. “Do you mind if I…? It’s just, it could be work.”
Joan waves her off. “No, no, of course not. Go ahead.”
When Joan turns to Henry and starts up a quiet conversation, Kara picks up her phone, expecting to see maybe a barrage of texts from Nia, each one as hectic as the last, or maybe something from Alex, but is instead delighted to be met with a picture and several messages from Lena.
Lena <333 [09:56]
So I just searched my apartment high and low and couldn’t for the life of me find my red MIT hoodie…
Lena <333 [09:56]
You know, the one you’re always eyeing suspiciously.
Lena <333 [09:56]
You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?
And then. And then.
Lena <333 [09:57]
Drastic times, Danvers.
Followed by a photo of Lena, standing pouting at the mirror in her bedroom, looking just… just…
She’s wearing one of Kara’s sweaters - a different one from game night - and a pair of shorts that just brush mid-thigh. The sweater is ancient at this point, a relic from the days of the Midvale High track team, with sleeves that are just a little too short on Lena’s arms and a torso that bunches up a tad at her stomach; the shorts have little cats with sunglasses on, and Kara never bought her those, which means that Lena Luthor went out and bought herself a pair of pyjama shorts with sunglasses-toting kittens on them, which is nearly enough to make her combust on the spot.
Her hair is piled high on her head in a messy bun, and she’s wearing her glasses and a pair of blue fuzzy socks, and she just looks so soft and cute and cuddleable that Kara kind of just wants to fly across the city to Lena’s penthouse right now and hug her for maybe like, ten, fifteen minutes, at the very least.
She glances up at the couple sitting across from her and smiles to herself when she sees them still engaged in conversation, paying her no heed; quickly, she types out a reply, before saving the picture and, okay, maybe setting it as her home screen.
first of all, you’re the cutest person i’ve ever seen in my life and i LOVE !!!! the shorts
secondly, i have no idea what you’re talking about. i’m innocent until proven guilty, and baby, you’ll never catch me
and finally, no work? is the loss of your hoodie really tragic enough to warrant your first day off in 25 years?
Thankfully, she doesn’t have to wait long at all for Lena’s reply, and by the time it comes in, she still has just enough time to read it before she has to put her phone back down.
Lena <333 [09:59]
Working from home today - I thought Mr. Whiskers got into a bouquet of lilies and had to make an emergency vet trip. Turns out he’s just a dramatic asshole who likes to make mommy think he’s dying when he thinks he’s not getting enough attention.
Lena <333 [09:59]
And I’m not cute. >:(
ok i gotta go, kinda in the middle of an interview rn hehehe
but i love you and i love mr whiskers <333 even if he is as dramatic as his mom
She locks her phone and slides it back into her pocket before she can be further distracted by Lena’s reply, and sends a warm smile across the table. “Okay, I’m so sorry about that, hi!”
“You worry too much, dear, it’s quite alright,” Joan says, tutting quietly to herself. “Is everything okay, then? At work?”
Kara’s cheeks pinken. “Oh! It wasn’t work, actually, it was Lena.”
“Your best friend?”
“Yeah, that’s her!”
She knows it’s ridiculous, something only little kids should feel, really, but she still feels a little swell of excitement every time someone else acknowledges Lena’s place as her best friend - even if, like in this case, the only way they could have possibly known that is because Kara told them herself. It’s a little like pride, she thinks; Lena Luthor, one of the greatest minds like, ever, probably, is her best friend, and she knows for a fact the reverse is the same, because she’s asked before, and Lena had said of course you are like the idea of anything else was truly ludicrous.
“And is everything alright with her?”
And, look. Joan seems genuinely interested. She wouldn’t have asked if she weren’t! So if Kara spends the next five minutes talking a little excitedly about Lena, telling them all about Mr. Whiskers’ dramatic tendencies and showing them one or two - okay, five - photos of her, then sue her for indulging a sweet old lady.
And when Joan makes a weirdly vague comment about Kara thinking very highly of Lena, she doesn’t even think about it, because uh, duh. She’s Lena. Of course she thinks highly of her!
By the time Kara leaves an hour and a half later - interview well and truly abandoned in favour of Joan and Henry attempting to show her pictures of their great-grandkids, which devolved into a bickering match between the two of them over how to access their email, which further devolved into Kara teaching them how to use their iPad and then, finally, cooing over the pictures that started it all - she feels a little like she’s floating on air, happy enough after a morning spent doing nothing but basking in the presence of true love that she thinks she could burst.
The other two interviews go just as well, although Kara doesn’t quite click with either of the couples as well as she did with Joan and Henry. Nonetheless, she leaves both times with their numbers in her phone and a promise to come back with a copy of the article as soon as it’s published, and by the time she’s sitting down to actually write the article, she’s more excited to get to work than she has been in a while.
“I just can’t imagine it,” she says, shuffling a little in her position sprawled across Alex’s couch, head lolling against one armrest and legs unceremoniously draped across the other.
“Imagine what?” comes Alex’s disembodied voice from the bedroom.
“I don’t know, being with one person for that long.”
Alex snorts. “Oh yeah, ‘cause you’re such a player.”
Kara throws her pillow at just the right time for it to smack Alex in the face on her way out of the bedroom, eliciting an indignant shriek from her. “Shut up,” Kara says. “You know what I mean.”
“I mean, I guess, but I kinda figured this was the kind of stuff you dreamed about.”
Kara frowns. “Not really. I don’t know, when I think about the future I don’t really see me married or with kids or anything.”
“Well, what do you see?”
Kara doesn’t even need a second to think about her answer. “I just see me and Lena hanging out.”
Alex’s eyebrows shoot up high enough they disappear into her hairline. “Seriously?”
“When you think about the future, you just see Lena?”
“Yes? What’s wrong with that?”
Alex looks flabbergasted. “I- nothing’s wrong with it, I just…”
“You just what?”
Alex takes a deep breath in. “Kara, do you like, hear yourself when you speak sometimes?”
Kara’s brow furrows. “What does that mean?”
“It means that when most people imagine their future, they don’t see themselves with their best friend.”
Kara’s frown only deepens. She doesn’t really understand what Alex is getting at - why wouldn’t she think of Lena when she pictures her future? She’s her favourite person like, ever, obviously she’s going to be there.
And besides, she’s like, ninety percent sure that she’s Alex’s best friend, and obviously she factors into her hypothetical future, so it feels a little hypocritical of her to be calling Kara out for this.
“Well, I don’t know why they wouldn’t. I mean, it’s Lena. Obviously I want her in my future.”
Alex looks a little exasperated, like she can’t quite understand how Kara isn’t grasping her point, but once again, that feels a little hypocritical, because Kara feels the exact same way.
“Look, it’s not that you shouldn’t want her in your future, or even see her there. Hell, I see Lena in my future - I see all of our friends there! It’s just that…”
“That when I, like, actually imagine my future, y’know, actually sit down and picture it, I think about…”
Alex flushes an alarmingly deep red, to the point that Kara starts to genuinely worry about her for a second, but eventually she manages to stammer out, “Y’know. Kelly. And- and I know, I know that you aren’t like, dating anyone, so it’s bound to be different for you, but. When you think about the future, is it you and all of our friends, or just you and Lena?”
She thinks about it then, really tries to imagine it, and…
It’s just Lena.
Her and Lena going for lunch. Her and Lena getting their hair done. Her and Lena watching movies, curled together under one blanket.
It’s not that their friends aren’t in the picture too, but it’s more that they’re just… lingering on the sidelines. Her and Lena are the main event. Lena is the main event.
For the first time in a long, long time, Kara feels a little speechless. “... Oh.”
And then it feels like she’s seeing things - the past five years, really - with a brand new set of eyes for the first time. Like she just blinked the sleep out of her eyes after a really long nap, and now she can see clearly all of the objects and people that were just vague, bleary shapes only seconds before.
She thinks about what Joan said, about how she knew she loved Henry the minute she realised he’d sit through any boring event just to spend time with her. Thinks of the countless galas she’s spent by the food table, waiting for a chance to speak to Lena for even five minutes; of the journalism conference Lena attended last September just because they hadn’t managed to spend more than a couple hours with each other all month and she’d missed Kara too much to go another day spending time without her.
She thinks about all the nights she’s spent lying awake, worrying and fretting and just thinking about Lena, unable to fall asleep for all of the thoughts swirling around in her head. She thinks about the real, visceral reaction she’d had when Lena had started dating James, the one she’d easily waved off as panic at the thought of missing her best friend; thinks about the way Lena had never truly been comfortable around Mon-El, the tightness of her smile every time she’d been around him and the way she always seemed to have a reason to flee every time they were all together.
She thinks about how heartbroken she’d been when Lena had stopped talking to her, how heartbroken Lena had been when she’d realised Kara had been lying to her. How it had felt like someone was squeezing at her heart with their bare hands every time Lena had brushed her off, or said something horrible, and how Lena’s heart had beat away traitorously inside her chest like it was trying to jump out of her skin every time Kara was near her.
How their reconciliation had been the first time she felt like she could breathe properly in months, like she was coming home, all because she had Lena again.
And just. Oh.
The realisation plagues her for days afterwards. They’re both so busy that they hardly have time to even text, never mind see each other, but by the time that their weekly - and non-negotiable, no matter what’s going on - lunch date rolls around on Thursday afternoon, Kara’s brimming with both excitement and the burning need to talk about this with Lena.
Because like. Upon reflection, she’s like, ninety five percent sure she’s stupidly, ridiculously in love with Lena.
And she’s even more sure that, if she is, then Lena feels the same.
Because how couldn’t she? How could this thing - this wonderful, beautiful, all-consuming, overwhelming thing - between them, just be in Kara’s head? How could she be the only one to feel it?
She knows Lena, knows her better than she knows herself, probably, inside and out, up and down, in every way conceivably possible, and there’s just -
There’s not a seed of doubt in her mind, not even for a second, that Lena feels this too. But knowing Lena - sweet, lovely, but so unbelievably insecure - Kara just knows she’d never be the one to say anything about it.
Which leaves it to Kara to bring it up.
And the thing is, Lena… Lena’s kind of like a little baby deer at times: jumpy, hyper-aware and terrified of her surroundings, and so, so easily spooked. And Kara’s not dumb, she knows that she’s not exactly the most graceful of people - on the scale of gazelle to bull in a china shop, she’s definitely more of the latter - but she doesn’t want this to be just another item in the list of things she’s sprung on Lena too quickly, like the first time she invited her to game night or when she casually handed Lena the spare key to her apartment and she’d spent the rest of the night looking like she’d just suffered a spontaneous stroke.
No, Kara wants to do this right.
(She ignores the little voice in her head that reminds her of the one time she’d waited too long to talk to Lena about something, because seriously? Not helping).
And so she lets Lena spend the first fifteen minutes of their lunch chattering away a mile a minute about her latest breakthrough in the development of her current project, only a little distracted by the way her accent finds itself slipping the more excited she gets, and the cute little mole on her neck that grabs her attention every time Lena’s throat bobs, and suddenly looks about a million times more kissable than she remembers from the last time she saw her.
She manages to keep her cool as Lena redirects the conversation to her and starts cooing over her stories about all the people she’d interviewed for her story; she pats herself on her back for the restraint at her non-reaction to the frankly aggressively adorable attempt at a grumpy face Lena makes when she tells her about her resemblance to Henry; she even makes a mental note to brag about the strength of her resolve to Alex when she pointedly does not melt into a pile of goo in her chair when Lena reaches over the table and squeezes at her hand for what feels like no real reason at all.
It feels a little ridiculous that her ultimate undoing is something as simple as Lena reaching over and swiping the tomato from Kara’s burger without even thinking about it, just because she knows it’s the one thing she can’t stomach with it and had apparently noticed that they’d forgotten to leave it out even though Kara herself hadn’t, but she just can’t keep it in anymore.
“Lena, are we…” She leans across the table and drops her voice to a somewhat conspiratorial whisper. “Are we in love?”
Lena chokes so hard on her salad that, for a moment, Kara genuinely worries she may have to get up and start performing CPR. “What?”
It takes another few moments of Lena sputtering into her napkin and attempting to regain her composure before Kara feels like she’s probably alright to speak again. “Sorry, sorry, I shouldn’t have sprung it on you like that, you’re just so…” Lena’s eyes are a little wild, enough to indicate to Kara that it probably isn’t wise to finish that sentence with any of the affectionate endings she has in mind, lest she actually flee the restaurant like she looks like she wants to.
When it doesn’t look like Lena is going to say anything in reply, apparently shocked into silence, Kara continues. “It’s just. It’s just, I was talking to Alex, about- about love, and the future and stuff, and she pointed out that maybe there are some things about our relationship that are like… not normal, for best friends?”
Lena looks so panicked that Kara starts to feel it too, nerves sinking into her skin like a sympathetic reaction she couldn’t turn off if she tried. She just wants to reach across the table and pull Lena into her arms, press her face into her hair and smooth out that worried little line between her brows, but Lena looks like she’s liable to burst into tears at any moment, so she puts every ounce of energy into holding herself back.
And the thing is, Lena is, as previously mentioned, a very insecure person. It had taken Kara approximately two minutes to see through her false bravado that first time they’d met - to note the shakiness of her hands while she poured her water, the way her heart thudded hard enough to sound painful against her chest as she spoke about Lex. Resistance, she’d been expecting. Disbelief, you betcha. A little bit of denial? Of course!
But what she didn’t expect, didn’t even once entertain the idea of, was for Lena to start…
“I’m so, so sorry, Kara, I didn’t- I never thought that you’d- God. I was so stupid, so so stupid, of course you’d figure it out. God, Sam said I was too obvious, and I never listened, but I should have. ” The words come spilling out of her mouth at a frantic pace, like she just can’t stop herself, like she thinks Kara’s going to stop her any minute now and tell her to leave.
Which like. What?
“I am so, so sorry if I made you uncomfortable, and- and I completely understand if you need space, or time, or if- if you don’t want us to be friends at all anymore.” Her voice cracks at the end, and all of a sudden Kara can’t focus on anything but the fact that she’s shaking, looking smaller and more fragile than Kara’s seen her in months.
“Lena,” she tries, but she’s quickly cut off.
“No, Kara, I- I know you’re probably too nice to say it, but I know how weird this must be for you, and God, I should just go and give you space before I can-”
“Yeah, yeah, okay, that’s it, I should go, I’m gonna go, and you can call me when - or if! - you’re comfortable, or if you never are that’s- that’s okay, too, and-”
When she shuffles her chair back and makes to stand, already reaching around for her coat, Kara finally shoots into action and does what she’s been itching to for several long moments, reaching across the table and taking a gentle hold on Lena’s forearm.
“Lena. You’re not listening to me.” Lena freezes, eyes glued to where their skin touches like she can’t quite believe Kara’s still willing to be within ten feet of her. “I didn’t… I didn’t ask if you were in love with me. I asked you, are we in love?”
The implications of her words seem to finally catch up to Lena, because her face rearranges itself into the cutest look of shock that Kara thinks she’s ever seen, jaw dropping forward and mouth forming a perfect little ‘o’, and she whispers a tiny, “Oh,” that would probably be missed by anyone not in possession of superhearing.
She drops back down into her seat then, far daintier than should be possible considering it seems to be less of a conscious decision and more of a shock response, eyes still stuck on Kara’s fingers wrapped around her slender wrist.
Emboldened by her reaction, Kara gives her a warm smile, and adjusts her grip to start rubbing soothing little circles on the back of her wrist with her thumb. “Because I know that I love you. Far more than should probably be humanly possible, actually, although I guess that doesn’t really apply to me.”
She can feel as well as hear Lena’s thundering heartbeat in her pulse, and Kara has to wonder why she doesn’t do this - hold Lena like this, that is - more often, because there’s something to be said about the connection that comes with being able to count every little thud of someone’s heartbeat and knowing it’s all for you. It makes her want to take Lena’s hand and press it to her chest, ask can you feel this? do you know this is for you, too?
“And, I think if your reaction just now is anything to go off, you feel the same.” Lena looks up then, tearing her gaze away from their hands so slowly it’s almost torturous, eventually meeting Kara’s eyes in the middle and still looking like she’s so fucking scared at what she might find. “Am I right?”
“I…” Her voice is quiet, so so quiet, but Kara doesn’t want to push, or rush her. It doesn’t matter how long it takes Lena to find the words, because Kara knows that she will, and, well. She’s pretty sure they’ve got all the time in the world.
Lena shakes her head almost imperceptibly, eyes flickering across Kara’s face like she’s searching for any sign of a lie, like she can’t believe this is anything more than a cruel joke designed solely with the purpose of gutting her, and they’ve managed to hit it on the head.
“But you… I… really?”
She can’t help but laugh, even though there’s really nothing funny at all about the way that she doesn’t know if Lena will ever be able to grasp just how much she truly means what she’s saying. She just looks so cute, all pink cheeks and glassy, tear-filled eyes, like a little kid whose Christmases have all come at once, and Kara’s the main present.
“Really really,” she teases, can’t help herself, before adopting the most serious tone she can while being looked at by Lena Luthor like she’s the only person in the room. Which, when she thinks about it, is kind of how she normally looks at her anyway, although this time it’s maybe just a little more intense. “I am so, ridiculously in love with you, Lena. Like, it’s kinda pathetic. And I just wish I’d realised sooner so that I could have told you this a long time ago. I’m sorry you had to wait for me to catch up.”
Lena blinks once, twice, three times. As if she’s just coming back to herself, she sits up a little straighter in her chair, and says, “Oh, no, that’s… that’s quite alright, darling.”
And she’s just. God.
She’s just perfect in every possible way, apparently. Not that Kara didn’t already figure that one out a long time ago.
Kara rises out of her chair slowly, stalking gently towards Lena’s side of the table, still just a tiny bit scared of spooking her, even if she does seem to be much more settled now than she was a few minutes ago.
“I’m gonna kiss you now, okay?” All Lena can do is nod mutely, wide eyes staring unblinking up at her. “Just letting you know.”
And it’s really not a perfect kiss at all - Lena’s still sat down in her chair while Kara kind of towers over her, so the angle’s a little awkward, and Lena’s still a little too shellshocked to really give it her all, but then she’s wrapping her arms around Kara’s neck and standing up, pressing herself closer as Kara pulls her in with a steadying hand on her back, but Jesus, if it doesn’t top just about every other moment in her life leading up to this one.
Kara pulls away far before she’d really like to, all too aware of the fact that they’re very much still stood in the middle of the restaurant and letting it go on any longer would probably constitute a floor show, and Lena just melts, smooshing her face into Kara’s neck and pulling her closer so they’re pressed flush together in a hug that Kara thinks could probably warm even someone as cold as Max Lord, or God, even Edge’s heart.
Not that she’ll ever be letting either of them within twenty feet of Lena again, of course, but. Theoretically.
She can feel Lena’s grin against her neck, wide and unrestrained now that she has a place to hide it, and really, she can’t help but tighten her grip around her, because she’s holding literally her whole world in her arms right now, and they love each other, and isn’t this the kind of thing that people write books and songs and movies about? Isn’t this happiness the kind of high people spend their lives chasing?
“I love you too, by the way,” Lena says into her neck, punctuating it with a kiss, and like, she knows, but damn if it isn’t nice to hear it.
Later, when they’re both naked and exhausted, curled together in the warmth of Kara’s bed, she can’t help but pinch at Lena’s side, gentle enough not to hurt but still enough to elicit a yelp and a hey!
“I can’t believe you knew you loved me this whole time and didn’t say anything,” she murmurs into Lena’s hair. “Think about how much time we missed doing this.”
Lena snorts. Kara knows it’s not possible to actually hear an eye roll, but she’s pretty sure she’s just discovered another hidden superpower of hers. “I’m sorry, darling, I was a little preoccupied with convincing myself that you would never feel the same to consider your libido. I’ll do better next time.”
“Hmph. You better.” She just manages to dodge the elbow Lena jabs at her ribs. “Can’t believe how little faith you had in me.”
“More like in myself. I mean, I wouldn’t go near me with a ten foot pole, can’t imagine what you see in me.”
Lena’s voice is getting sleepier, and Kara knows she doesn’t mean anything by it, knows it’s just an off-handed comment that she likely won’t even remember making by the time she wakes up, but she thinks that’s maybe what makes it so heartbreaking - the fact that to Lena, her status as unloveable is just something that is, something unarguable.
“Okay, first of all,” she says, trapping Lena’s jaw between two fingers and her thumb and turning her head to face her. “Nobody speaks about my girl like that, not even you, okay? You’re gonna have to get used to that.” She leans in a little, close enough that their breaths mingle, and rests her forehead against Lena’s. “And you’re also gonna have to get used to the fact that I adore pretty much everything about you, and nothing you could say is ever gonna scare me off.”
Lena’s quiet for a long moment. Eventually, she shifts her head up a little, and looks into Kara’s eyes with enough intensity to make her wonder if Lena’s trying to look right into her soul, or maybe just read her mind. But all she does is let her mouth curl up into the sweetest little smile and say, “Your girl, huh?” before leaning in for a kiss.
“Uh huh,” Kara says against her mouth. “My girl.”
And, yup. If there’s one thing Kara Danvers loves, it’s love, and she thinks that if she gets only one wish in life, it’s that nobody will ever understand that as deeply as Lena Luthor.