When Lena drifts into wakefulness in stages, her first conscious feeling is one of contentment. She might be alone in bed, but Kara’s side is still warm, the sheets a soft mess, and she stretches out and rolls over, burying her face in the scent on Kara’s pillow. She can hear muffled singing and the muted clink of dishes in the kitchen—six days of the week she’s the one up first, but on Sundays they have a routine: in exchange for Lena’s promise to sleep past eight a.m. (or at least to try), Kara gets up and brings her coffee in bed at eight-thirty.
They’ve been dating for a little more than six months, and every day is better than the last. Which isn’t to say it’s been without hiccups—Lena’s gotten scared and Kara’s gotten worried—but at the end of each day, their relationship is built on a foundation as unshakeable as any Lena has ever known.
And if there’s anyone that Lena has ever wanted to work towards in her life, it’s Kara.
She slides her arms underneath Kara’s pillow and burrows deeper. There’s nothing even particularly special about this morning, Jack is in town and in a couple of hours, he and Sam and Alex will descend on her apartment for brunch.
Well, not just her apartment, not for a while now.
Kara has had a key to Lena’s place for more than a year, but by the end of February it became apparent that Kara hadn’t been back to her own studio for anything beyond a change of clothing. So Lena had asked if she’d wanted to move in.
Kara cleaned out her apartment the next weekend.
At some point they’ll pick a place that suits the two of them (truth be told, Lena’s never felt like her penthouse fits her, it’s too much like her office), but for now, with Kara’s favorite paintings hung in the living room and the mismatch of furniture and books and blankets, it feels like nothing but home.
The singing moves from muffled to something more intelligible as Kara makes her way down the hall, bumping the door open with her hip. She’s carrying a tray, glancing down at it as she steps into the room and Lena takes advantage of the moment to admire the way Kara smiles to herself before she looks up, humming softly now like she’s trying not to wake Lena.
She can see the exact moment Kara realizes she’s already awake; smile growing, crinkling the corners of her eyes.
“I was hoping you’d still be asleep,” Kara teases, bringing the tray over and sitting down on the side of the bed while Lena shifts to make room.
“I can pretend if you want?” Lena says, but she’s already moving to sit up, running her hand through her hair and reaching for a cup.
“No, no,” Kara hands her the mug. “It’s probably better that you’re awake for this.”
Lena takes a sip. “Awake for what?”
But Kara has already placed the tray beside her and is moving off the bed. For a moment, Lena thinks she must have dropped something, because Kara is kneeling on one knee on the floor. It’s when she glances at the tray and sees a small bouquet of red tulips, and then back at Kara’s hands to see a small, rectangular box that she realizes what’s happening.
“Yes,” she blurts out, nearly spilling her coffee.
Kara starts laughing. “You have to let me get this out before you’re allowed to say yes.”
Lena’s smiling too big to even try looking contrite, but she claps a hand over her mouth and reaches to set her mug down on the tray. She might care a little more about shouting out her answer to an as of yet unasked question, but Kara’s still laughing and her cheeks are bunched up in the way they get when she’s so happy she feels like she could fly.
That Kara is asking Lena to marry her isn’t that much of a surprise, if she’s honest—perhaps the timing is, but they’ve already talked about getting married and in a serious this is what I want out of my life, is this what you want out of yours kind of way too. That first week in January had been full of big talks, about feelings and wants and wishes and all of the things that they’d each left unsaid for two years and Lena hadn’t wanted to keep the size of her emotions to herself. So she hadn’t.
Initially they’d left it at that—that each of them could see being with the other forever—but they’ve spent the intervening months filling in details about family and goals and dreams, and lately Lena can see the future in front of them, so close that it might as well already be happening. Kara had gotten tipsy a few months earlier at Alex’s birthday and pulled Lena close toward the end of the night, confessing that she knew they would get married and the only emotion Lena had felt at the prospect was unmitigated joy.
Maybe it’s crazy; they’ve been dating six months, they’ve only lived together for four, but they’ve known each other for years. Lena’s never been more sure of anything in her life.
Kara still deserves to get out whatever sappy speech she’s prepared though, so Lena mimes zipping her lips shut and tries to control the urge to pull the woman in front of her up onto the bed so she can convey exactly how she feels about the prospect of spending the rest of their lives together.
“Do you know what today is?” Kara asks, and Lena cocks her head, because it’s June, nearly a week after Memorial Day and nowhere close to either of their birthdays or any other day with particular meaning that she can think of.
She shakes her head.
Kara takes a deep breath. “Ten years ago today, I pulled up to a sidewalk in Boston and saw a girl so pretty I tried to get out of the car without taking off my seat belt. I spent the next three days trying to figure out why I just couldn’t leave her alone and telling myself that she was absolutely not my type at all, and then I spent the next four years wondering if we’d run into each other again.”
Lena doesn’t have to pretend to be quiet anymore, she’s suddenly speechless.
“The next time I saw her, she was just as gorgeous as she’d been the first time, but I guess the timing wasn’t right because I only got to say hello.”
Lena remembers Kara coming up to her in Star City, the same and yet different, and she wishes for a moment that she’d asked Kara to coffee right then. But that’s with the benefit of everything that’s happened now. She wouldn’t have been ready for this then, she wonders if Kara would have been either. And maybe that’s what Kara’s thinking too, because she continues, “Sometimes, though life has a way of working out, and it took another four years, but I got a third chance with her and this time she let me in.”
It’s with some surprise that Lena realizes she might be about to cry. Ten years to get to this moment—ten years and so many false starts—and the idea that there’s any world in which she and Kara don’t end up together is too difficult to imagine.
“Lena Luthor, I’m in love with you, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been falling in love with you in one way or another since we met, and, if it’s okay with you, I’d like to continue to fall in love with you every day for the rest of our lives.” Kara opens the box to reveal a white gold band studded with diamonds. “Will you marry me?”
Lena does manage to say “Yes” again, but then not a whole lot gets said after that.
Two hours later, they finally make it out of the bedroom. Kara starts laying out brunch while Lena finishes showering. She leaves her hair to air dry in favor of heading to the kitchen to help and while Kara slices fruit, Lena places a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket on the granite countertop to open when everyone arrives. As she scoops ice out of the freezer and packs it around the bottle, light catches on her engagement ring and she stops to run her fingers over it.
She’s going to marry Kara. She wants to shout it from the rooftops.
Kara catches her staring at her hand and sets the knife down, smiling ear to ear and nodding at the ring. “Do you think they’ll be surprised?”
“No one was when you moved in,” Lena says laughing and shutting the freezer. “Did you tell Alex you were going to do this today? Does Sam know?”
“Alex knows I was planning on it soon,” Kara picks up the knife again and moves to finish the cantaloupe she’d started, “but I asked her to keep it a secret.”
Lena hums, admiring the ring again and then walking over to stand next to Kara. “I can’t wait to see what Jack has to say, he and Sam are going to be insufferable about this.”
“They can be as insufferable as they want,” Kara says, grinning at her and reaching across the counter for the platter. “They’ve kind of earned it.”
“Are you insinuating something about how long it took us to get together?” Lena starts picking up the melon and fanning it out on the porcelain, cheese and prosciutto on one side, apples and strawberries on the other.
“I would never.” Kara steals a grape from the middle of the plate, leaning in to kiss Lena before she can protest.
Her lips are soft, a hint of sweetness from the fruit, and as she pulls Lena close, Lena considers texting Sam that the group will need to find brunch somewhere else since she and Kara are otherwise occupied, but that thought is quickly derailed by a series of loud knocks at the front door. She can hear Jack yelling something in the hallway.
Kara steps back, still smiling. “I’ll go let them in, would you grab the glasses? I forgot to get them down.”
Lena can hear them as they spill into the foyer and she places five flutes on the counter with a soft clink. Alex and Jack are agreeing on something about parents, while assuring Sam she’s not that kind of mother. With a jolt, Lena realizes that she’ll need to text her own mother about her engagement…but that can wait until the people in the next room know. Not all family is blood, after all.
“I come bearing pastries,” Jack announces, holding a box aloft as he crosses the threshold into the kitchen. “Do you want these here or—” He cuts himself off with a squeal. “Champers! Oh I do love coming here.”
He kisses Lena on the cheek as he walks around the island and through the open space to leave the baked goods on the table Kara has set before turning around and grabbing the bottle from the ice bucket.
“Sammy,” Jack calls, “Lena’s made the rash decision to ply us with Egly-Ouriet.”
Sam rounds the corner holding a container of orange juice and a large bouquet of flowers. “Well if we’re drinking that, we won’t need this," she says, lifting the o.j. up. "Lena, I’m just going to put it in the fridge.”
“Jack, would you mind popping the cork?” Lena asks. She can hear Alex and Kara making their way down the hall. “Glasses are over here. Sam, there’s a vase for the flowers on top of the fridge.”
When Alex and Kara walk in, Alex’s eyes shoot down to Lena’s left hand, but she’s holding it just behind her back. “Champagne, hmmm.” Alex hums as Jack hands her a glass, clearly trying to fight back a grin. “Are we celebrating anything special?”
“Actually,” Kara starts, taking two glasses from him and stepping over to Lena, holding one out for her. Lena smiles softly back and nods slightly, holding eye contact with Kara and reaching for the flute. Kara doesn’t look away from Lena, just mirrors her smile as she continues speaking. “I asked Lena to marry me.”
“And I said yes,” Lena finishes, but it’s practically drowned out by the reactions from the trio across from them. Sam and Jack yell “Oh my god!” at the same time and it’s hard to tell who’s voice is higher pitched, and Alex steps forward to wrap Lena in a hug, abandoning her glass on the counter.
“Welcome to the family,” Alex whispers in her ear, while Jack practically tackles Kara. “I’m so glad you both got your heads out of your asses.” Lena laughs as they all trade places, Alex moving to hug Kara, and Sam and Jack throwing their arms around her.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Jack says when they’re done toasting and have moved to the table to eat, “because I am over the moon about this and I mean I know u-hauling is a stereotype but really, do you both have to be such overachievers about it?” He makes grabby hands at the fruit plate until Sam hands it over.
Kara glances at Lena, a private smile on her face. “Well, maybe it’s like this: when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start right now, you know?” She squeezes Lena’s knee underneath the table.
Alex breaks the moment by throwing a piece of croissant at her. “Then why did you sit on the ring for like, six months?”
“What?” Sam practically chokes, wiping at her mouth. “You knew about this for six months and you didn’t tell me?”
“Sorry babe,” Alex shrugs. “I was sworn to secrecy. Kara dragged me ring shopping like five days after they got together. I’m actually impressed she held out asking for this long.”
Lena narrows her eyes at Kara. “You realize this makes your prediction cheating?”
“What prediction?” Alex frowns.
“Um,” Kara is as red as a fire engine, “I might have gotten a bit tipsy at your birthday dinner and told Lena we were going to get married.”
“My birthday is in March!”
“Wait a second.” Jack squints at Kara for a long moment, and then his gaze darts to Lena. “Is today what I think it is?”
Alex whips her head to her sister. “What’s he talking about?” But Lena is already nodding at Jack.
Before Kara can respond, Jack laughs. “Kara Danvers, you sentimental bastard!” He turns to Alex. “Unless I’m very much mistaken, ten years ago today your sister picked this one up for their cross-country drive.”
“It seemed poetic,” Kara defends.
“Well thank you for finally putting all of us out of our misery,” Sam raises her glass in a toast. “And, to the earlier point, it’s not really all that quick if we start the clock when Kara originally asked Lena out.”
“Oh my god, I’d forgotten that.” Alex groans. “To think any of this could have been avoided if the two of you weren’t so freaking dumb.”
“Wait.” Jack frowns. “When was that?”
“At their first interview, like two years ago,” Alex answers for her, looking at Lena. “When you sent all those flowers two weeks later after the article, I thought you’d said yes.”
“Those were thank you flowers!” Lena can’t help herself.
“Keep telling yourself that, love.” Jack reaches over to pat Lena on the shoulder. “That’s in the top seven gayest things you’ve ever done.” He pauses. “Come to think of it, all of them have to do with Kara.”
“Aww, babe that’s embarrassing,” Kara leans in to kiss Lena on the cheek.
“Like you can talk,” Alex says quickly. “You actually used the word ‘platonic’ to describe your desire to kiss her at New Years a year and a half ago.”
Kara rolls her eyes at her sister. “Whatever, I got there eventually.”
“I’ll admit that platonic kissing is bad,” Jack agrees, “but I’m not sure that touches the time Lena said Kara’s name when she was sleeping with Veronica and then tried to claim she didn’t understand how or why it had happened.”
“Jack! I told you that in confidence!”
“Oh my god,” Alex almost snorts the sip she’s just taken. “That’s almost as bad as when Kara decided to confess her love for Lena and seriously tried to claim it was a joke.”
“Hey! At that point I wasn’t exactly super in touch with my feelings.” Kara’s abandoned her own glass at this point, has scooted her chair close enough to Lena that she can throw her arm around Lena’s shoulders.
“Kara,” Alex says in the driest tone imaginable, “you were so out of touch with your feelings they might as well have been in another galaxy.”
“Well, I, for one,” Sam puts up a hand, “am terribly grateful for that because didn’t her panic to explain how not into Lena she was end up with her trying to set up you two?” She points to Lena and Alex.
Kara still looks absolutely betrayed by her sister. “Well if you knew I was full of crap why’d you say yes?”
“I was hoping you’d realize you were full of it!”
“Thank god Lena didn’t want to go and dragged me,” Sam adds.
Kara harrumphs. “Whatever, you both owe me for that.”
Jack shakes his head. “I don’t think you get to take credit for that since you weren’t trying to set them up at all.”
“Although we needed each other to survive that summer,” Sam leans over to kiss her own girlfriend on the cheek. “Watching Lena absolutely contort herself trying to avoid meeting William was just sad.”
“Don’t think I escaped all the agony by being across the pond.” Jack adopts a falsetto that Lena supposes is meant to be a caricature of her. “‘Oh Jack, Kara is so great and she’s so gorgeous and so nice and I feel incredible when I’m with her, I’m so glad she and I are friends.’ I swear to god Lena.”
Lena can feel herself blush because she knows he’s right. She knows they’re all right. And, judging from the soft smile Kara’s giving her, it was the same for her.
“I told you they’d be insufferable,” Lena whispers, kissing Kara on the cheek.
“I’m glad we can all laugh about this now,” Sam says, standing up and grabbing the empty bottle, “because when you idiots slept together and then panic called me and Alex at the ass crack of dawn, we debated murdering both of you.”
The rest of the meal passes in much the same fashion—Sam and Alex and Jack reliving their favorite parts (and not so favorite parts) of the last two years, and Lena and Kara letting them because sometimes being loved means being roasted alive over brunch. “It’s best to let them get this out now,” Lena hums under her breath to Kara as Alex is going on about Kara’s refusal to wear blue on any date after Lena had told her she looked good in it, “maybe we won’t have to hear about it during toasts at the wedding.”
“Fair point.” Kara smiles at her. “It’s all worth it in the end right?”
And Lena nods, because it is.
“We really should do family therapy more often,” Jack says, finally turning back to Kara and Lena as the laughter dies down. “But enough reminiscing about the past.” He claps his hands together. “I want to hear about the future.”