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It’s not like Lena considers herself to be good neighbour material. She keeps to herself. She stays out of people’s business, stays in her line. She doesn’t go out her way to interact with the people living in the complex. She doesn’t participate in any apartment complex meetings or season outdoor activities and parties.

But she doesn't consider herself to be a particularly bad neighbour either. She’s polite and has manners—she’ll greet back when greeted, smile, and go along with small talk. She helps the eighty-six-old woman on the fourth floor with carrying her groceries up the stairs when the elevator is out of order.

She doesn't complain and yell out of her window into the streets about noisy kids when they get loud outside on a Saturday morning.

The thing is, Lena hates her next door neighbour. She’s never met them, but she knows, even with the lack of solid evidence. She knows, she just does, that they must be awful. There are clues, for starters. She keeps them stored, making mental notes. The list isn’t long, but it is certainly growing.

The first one is the lift issue. It’s happened many times already. She runs to catch up, calling for her neighbour to hold the entrance, only to have the doors close right in her face as she gets there. The asshole lets the doors close, and Lena knows it’s her neighbour. She knows.

Like clockwork, she’ll hear the sound of the lock clicking and door closing next door to her apartment when she’s inside her own. She’ll hear footsteps head towards the elevator as she comes out and locks her door. She’ll jog when she realizes that the elevator’s open, and then call for her neighbour.

The doors close on her every single time.

The second issue is the strange sounds. Sounds of doors slamming and the occasional weird thuds and knocks. It's just—weird. Then, there’s the music problem. Guilty pleasure, Top Pop Hits, with heavy NSYNC content, which blasts through the walls. For such a luxurious complex, the walls are pretty fucking thin. It’s a wonder that no one’s called out this asshole yet.

There are times when Lena has considered stepping into the hallway and talking to the asshole herself. She has a lot of pent up thoughts. She never does, though. Because she doesn’t have the time—she's a busy woman and her energy is best spent on work.

The elevator matter is annoying, but Lena can take it. It’s not a huge deal. The music is loud, but it’s tolerable, she supposes. She's dealt with worse things.

It’s okay, it's fine, until one night the Asshole Neighbour starts playing some music. Again. She can usually deal with that, really, but right now Lena’s feeling particularly off and snappy. It’s been a long day. Work sucked, and she spent most of her day looking at faces that looked down on her, talked behind her back.

Lena downs her last glass of scotch. It’s probably not ideal to be doing this right now—but enough is enough. What the fuck. She marches down the hallway, and bangs her knuckles on the door.

She knocks on the door, ready to give the asshole a piece of her mind. Has she mentioned that she’s kind of drunk?

The door opens, and oh.

Oh.

Bright blue eyes. Her eyes are big, oddly captivating. Her? Yeah. Yeah, a woman. Blonde. Certainly a woman. A woman who is wearing only a sports bra and grey cotton sweatpants. She stands in the doorway with her sweatpants hanging low and she’s sweating and her chest is heaving and abs flexing like she’s breathless and did Lena mention she is a woman and that her eyes are blue and she’s sweating and god, what the fuck, she wasn’t prepared for this—

“Um. Hi. Can I help you?”

“Beefy,” Lena blurts, not meaning to voice out her thoughts, because yeah, god—it turns out this woman has fucking abs and—

“Ah… What?”

For a long, painful moment they just stare at each other, and suddenly Lena isn’t entirely sure what to do or say. Most of her kind of just wants to run.

Lena forces her voice to work. She crosses her arms, and looks at the woman, hard.

“Your music's too loud,” Lena bites.

“Oh, no.” The woman blinks again, and her eyes are so pretty, Lena needs a break. She wants to look away, to look down to avoid them, but muscles—yeah, no, she's not going to look there again. “You can hear it? I’m so sorry, one moment.”

The blonde retreats back into her apartment for a moment, leaving Lena alone in the hallway for several terrifying seconds of silent panic. The oh, no, she’s pretty panic. Yeah. For a brief moment she thinks of walking back to her apartment. Before she can take action, the woman is already back.

It’s quiet now.

God, why is the blonde still slightly out of breath. Lena is desperate to keep her eyes up.

“I’m so sorry,” the woman says sincerely. Tilts her head slightly, and grins—shy and embarrassed and—not cute. She’s not. Lena clenches her jaw. “My music… All this time, you could hear it?”

The woman laughs, and it’s not the prettiest thing Lena’s ever heard in her life, it’s really not.

Lena frowns, almost scowling. Yes, all this fucking time. The woman only leans against her door frame and smiles Not Cutely.

“Next time I'll make sure I have my headphones in.”

And—Lena is really fighting to keep her gaze up. For once she starts to seriously consider moving out and getting her own private place.

“Great,” is all Lena says, and turns around, desperate to leave.

“Oh, wait,” the woman calls after her, “what’s your name?”

“Not offering it,” Lena replies, not looking back.

 


 

The loud music has stopped. So has the weird thudding noises. She doesn’t see her asshole neighbour again.

 


 

The rain is harsh by the time Lena gets home, and she is wet and cold everywhere. Soaked and dripping; her clothes sticky and heavy. It's terrible. The rain had come out of the blue, forcing Lena to run home. Her walk has been ruined. Her face and hands are numb and she's shaking as she fumbles with her keycard to get into her apartment. As soon as she steps inside, a sneezes comes out of her. Oh. It makes her pause instantly. Is she going to get sick? No. She can't get sick―there's too much for her to do at work right now. God, this better be nothing.

Lena exhales heavily, rubbing her hands together as she steps into the elevator. She can't wait to get a change of clothes. She went out a little underdressed for the weather and now she's paying for the price. It's not like she could have predicted the weather, though. The elevator dings open and Lena walks forward, eyes foggy and thoughts somewhere else.

And of course, it's this exact moment she accidentally collides into something or someone―solid and soft.

As Lena steadies herself, there’s already a hand helping her with her balance.

“Woah there, are you okay?” the voice asks and Lena pulls back, looking at who she bumped into. Fuck.

It's the Asshole Neighbour.

God. Lena just had to literally run right into her, yeah. She fails not to grimace at the sight.

“I'm fine,” Lena says quietly, shivers when the front entrance opens and someone walks in, bringing the cool air inside. Her neighbour holds a basket full of clean laundry, and oh. So her neighbour decided to choose violence again, and Lena's eyes are going to where it shouldn't. The woman's sweats hang low on her hips.

Lena closes her eyes as if pained, and rubs her forehead. Her neighbour simply can't look this good while she looks like a wet rat. Heat floods in Lena’s cheeks. She steps away from the woman, sighing. The elevator doors close behind them.

“You'll get wet. Don't stay too close to me.”

“It's fine,” the Asshole Neighbour says, and smiles, pretty eyes crinkling up behind her glasses. And there, Lena thinks: azure blue, clear spring day skies, crystal clear oceans, true blue. Lena's awestruck. For not the first time, she thinks about seriously moving out. “Are you feeling okay? I can see how bad the rain is.”

Lena tries and tries not to let out another sigh. It's not that she's rude or impatient. It’s just, engaging in small talk with her ridiculously attractive mortal enemy? She’s just looking out for herself.

“Went out for a walk,” Lena explains curtly, and hits the button on the elevator. When she looks down, she notices the giant fuzzy slippers. Kirby slippers, to be more specific. Giant fuzzy Kirby slippers, something Lena has never really seen on a fully grown woman with rippling muscles and washboard abs (which she refuses to perceive). She didn’t even know those came in adult sizes. Hm. It’s kind of cute, is what it is. It’s really, really—

“Cold? You’re shivering,” her neighbour observes. When Lena opens her mouth to shrug it off, the woman's already handing Lena her clean folded hoodie. It's casual, the way she extends it to her, and Lena just stares. “Take this, it's warm.”

“What?” Lena opens and closes her mouth. “You don’t have to―I mean, I’m almost― ”

“It’s okay. It really is okay.” The woman grins, and what the fuck she’s alarmingly so nice. “Besides, you're my neighbour, you’re just next door. Return it to me when you can.”

This woman is really making it difficult for Lena to keep her reasonable dislike towards her, it's really unfair. Call her dramatic and petty, but she hasn’t forgotten about the last few months.

Running a hand through her hair, a cut-throat no thanks is ready on the tip of her tongue. But then she catches sight of those soft, pretty eyes, and:

“Okay,” she ends up saying, betrayed by her own mouth and is instantly mortified. She takes the sweater with a stiff smile. Oh. It’s still warm from the dryer and smells fruity and nice. It kind of makes Lena want to squish her face against it.

The elevator opens to the gym floor.

“I’ll leave you to it then.” Her mortal enemy shrugs, tucking her hands in her pockets and heading out. “That’s my fave hoodie, so you better return them.”

“Of course I will, Kirby Slippers.” Lena sighs, arches her brow at the blonde. The woman frowns, blinks, and places a hand on the elevator entrance, keeping it open a little longer. “Be honest, do I look like a hoodie thief?”

Laughter comes so quick and so loud it startles both of them. The woman’s nose scrunches up and her teeth show. Her head is reeling back, a full blown cackle, and Lena kind of just stares.

“Hmm, I don’t know. Anyway, I’m just trying to make it up to you.”

Lena pauses, arches an eyebrow. “You can make it up to me by showing yourself around me less. I like that time better.”

“Hey! This is only our second meeting, come on.” Kirby Slippers grins, then, and there’s a slightly mischievous edge to it. Lena frowns. “You’re cute—like a cat cute. Aw. Hiss.”

And that does it for Lena. What the fuck.

Yeah, Lena decides that she does not like her at all. She scowls and jabs at the up elevator button to close the doors—why hasn’t it closed yet?

“See you around,” the ridiculously attractive asshole says softly, finally taking her hand back. She salutes with two fingers, a light smirk on her lips. Lena impatiently presses the close button repeatedly, her face aflame, and she wishes the doors would close faster. “And it’s Kara, by the way. Kara Danvers.”

Finally, the doors close. Lena takes a deep breath, clutching the warm hoodie tighter. She returns to her apartment, and gets absolutely no work done for the rest of the damn day.

 


 

Life works in a funny way, Lena thinks. It’s amazing how a series of circumstances can take you to a place or situation that you didn’t see yourself in at all. For example, twenty-four-year-old Lena never thought that one year later her brother committing a serious crime and going to prison for it would ruin all the dreams she had at the moment. Now she runs a Fortune 500 company. On a lighter note, but similarly, present Lena never thought she would end up sitting on her bed at eight PM, reading a novel with a snack in hand. No paperwork under her nose for a single day and trying not to reach out to her tablet to find some work to do.

Yet, there she is.

Thanks to Jess, being the no-bullshit, just-looking-out-for-my-boss assistant.

It’s such an insignificant, mundane thing, Lena knows. But this is rare for her—to have time for herself. So caught up in work, reviewing reports and emails, running boardroom meetings that suck her energy dry that she's barely slept and ate for the past two weeks.

Here she is.

And then there’s Kirby Slippers. Her mortal-enemy shaped has begun stopping by her apartment, and at this point Lena is convinced she exists to suck peace out of her life.

“Hi, so you never returned my hoodie and I’ve come to accuse you of theft,” Kara says by way of greeting. “I’d like my favourite hoodie back, please. You are actually indeed, in fact, a hoodie thief, sorry to break it to you.”

Lena cringes. “Sorry. Work has been keeping me busy—I completely forgot to give it back.”

“It’s okay.” Kara’s voice is soft, her eyes curious. Her cheeks are pink. A drop of sweat travels down the side of her face, pony-tail slightly messy, making loose hair stick to her skin. As if she just got back from a run or exercise. Okay, Lena thinks, and then actively doesn’t think anymore.

She excuses herself for a minute, then comes back. “Here it is—I had it cleaned. I’m going back to bed, Kirby Slippers.”

“It’s Kara,” Kara whines.

The second time her mortal enemy comes knocking again after two days she has a tiny kitty in her arms.

“What.”

“Meet Baby. This fur baby belongs to a tenant on this floor and she needs me to look after her for two days. Baby is small and cute and isn’t aware that she has triangle ears. We just wanna say hi and make sure that my favourite neighbour is doing okay.”

Favourite neighbour. Lena’s eye almost twitches.

The cat meows quietly, squishing her head against Kara’s neck. Lena frowns.

“Why wouldn’t I be doing okay?”

Kara only shrugs. She’s looking at Lena in this quiet, impossible to read sort of way. Lena’s starting to truly think that these random visits are done purely to annoy her.

“Well, as you can see. I’m okay. I’ll be more than okay once you leave.” Lena rubs her forehead tiredly, and looks at the kitty. Cute little one. She decides to indulge her enemy. “Hi, Baby.”

Kara’s face lights up and it startles Lena a little. “Baby, meet Baby,” Kara says, gesturing towards Lena. “I still don’t know her name, so she is Baby for now. She tried getting away before, stealing my hoodie. But it’s okay, I forgive her.”

Lena bristles. “First of all, that was a mistake, and second of all, it’s Lena.”

A smile pulls at Kara’s mouth, lips pressed together like she’s holding back. “Lena,” she tests, and repeats it, softer this time. “Lena. That’s a pretty name.” Her voice is quiet and smooth, and it’s doing something to Lena.

Lena’s hand twitches. “Right, so. Call me by my name.” And because Lena is hopeless and kind of likes the sound of Kara’s laugh, a beat later she adds, “Or I’ll hiss.”

That makes Kara laugh harder. Her laughter is soft. “Okay. As long as you don’t call me Kirby Slippers anymore.”

“Kara,” Lena says, and Kara breaks into a grin, wide and open.

Kara.

It’s a nice name. Lena still thinks Kirby Slippers suits her better, but oh well.

“I have to get back to work.” Lena clears her throat. “Now shoo, please, before I call the security.”

“Security,” Kara sputters lightly. “Wow, that’s a little dramatic. Okay, bye, Lena,” she says, and. Lena closes the door with a sigh.

By the end of the week, of course the universe is out to get her again. Poorly dividing up her time between work and self-care together finally catches up to her.

A head-splitting headache pulses at her temples.

Opening her eyes, the light feels like an ice pick being slammed into her brain. Pulled back into consciousness, the world doesn’t make a whole lot of sense: her body is more stiff than it should be after a night’s rest. Her stomach feels like she’s one step away from puking. Sitting up, immediately everything around her starts to spin and she can’t do anything else but let herself sink back onto the covers, trying to get her heart rate to slow down and for everything to stop moving. Her headache won’t stop pounding and she’s too weak to get out of bed to make herself some food. Her medicine cabinet is empty—of course it’s empty.

She doesn’t have much choice. She could call Sam or Jack for help. Guess she’ll just die, then.

Lena loses track of time for a bit, trying and failing to sleep and occasionally dragging herself to go to the kitchen to drink water, but somewhere in the middle of that awful cycle she can hear light thuds—the sound of knocking against her door.

She groans, making her way to her door. It better not be—

“Lena, hi,” Kara says, and way too casually walks inside Lena’s apartment when Lena makes the mistake of opening her door wider and leaning against her door frame and wait, this isn't an invitation to come in— “Work was killing me, so I’ve come to say hi, hope you don’t mind. I've been working nonstop since eight. I've gotten yelled at three times. People can be so rude.”

“Why don’t you quit?” Lena inquires offhandedly, even though she already knows the answer.

“You know how it is out there,” Kara says darkly, and Lena nods sagely. “Hey, why do you sound so weird?”

Oh, no. No. One day, Lena thinks she’s going to buy a post-it note and write a No Kara Danvers allowed and stick it on her apartment door. Well this is just embarrassing.

Kara looks at her properly this time. Studies her closely. Lena is wrapped in a blanket and she knows she has dark bags under her eyes and also she can’t stop the droop of shoulders. She pushes her palm against her forehead.

“Wow, um. You look terrible,” Kara says, and frowns.

“Hmm. Yeah, thanks.”

“Oh, no. Do you have anything for that?”

“No,” Lena murmurs.

“How about tea?” Kara disappears back into the kitchen only to pop her head back out moments later.

Lena’s too tired to comment on the way this woman wormed her way into her home. God. She shakes her head, sits on her couch. “Ran out yesterday.”

“How are you alive?” Kara purses her lips.

“You sound like a friend of mine.” Fussy. Sam. “Kara Danvers, you’re on thin ice.”

Kara laughs, gentle and kindly, and Lena tightens the blanket around her, feeling like she should be on the lookout. Well, she should be. Why is this woman here and what does she want.

“Go back to sleep, okay? I’m going to make you tea, then bring you some food and pain relievers. How does that sound?”

“Wait what, why would you—”

“—I’ll be back.”

“No, don’t come back—”

Lena doesn’t even get to finish her sentence, Kara’s already gone. Strange, what a strange woman. Exhaustion gnaws at her; she’s too drowsy to feel embarrassed. Too tired. She closes her eyes.

She isn’t sure how much time has passed, but—there is the sound of knocking again. Lena gets up groggily and opens the door. It takes a lot of effort. Kara walks straight in again, comfortable and relaxed, and places a hand on Lena’s back, leading her to the couch.

Lena feels hazy. When she sits, she sees a bottle of water and a cup of tea in front of her. She turns to look at Kara, who sits beside her.

“Come on. Swallow,” Kara says, and Lena’s too tired to think about anything else. This is it, this is how Lena’s going to die, she guesses. Letting this stranger do anything she wants. Caught in such a vulnerable moment. Yeah, she's going to die.

They barely know each other. Lena watches her clean her dishes quietly. The woman ignores Lena’s protests (“Stop. You don't have to do this.”) and brings her a glass of water when Lena has finished her cup of tea. She brings her cool wet washcloth, and places it on Lena’s lap.

What the hell is going on. This woman is so kind, and thoughtful, and sweet. It honestly wouldn’t surprise Lena if Kara's plotting an assassination attempt.

Placing their takeout on the coffee table, Kara makes herself comfortable and sits on the couch beside Lena. She gestures for Lena to take her portion as she starts devouring her box of potstickers.

Honestly, Lena doesn’t know what’s happening. Doesn’t know what to make any of this. She should be alarmed. She’s still alive. This woman probably has some hidden agenda. It wouldn’t be the first time someone’s made a move on her.

She opens her takeout box. It’s quiet as they eat. The vegetable broth is perfect and delicious, and Lena feels a little better.

Lena sighs.

“Thank you.”

Kara looks at her, eyes blinking. Her cheeks are round; just how many potstickers are in her mouth right now?

“Mm,” Kara hums, and when she has all the food down her throat, she adds, “you’re welcome. Good thing I visited, huh?”

“Visited,” Lena says. “More like barged in.”

She shoves the last potsticker into her mouth. “That’s not how I’d say it.”

“How would you say it?” There’s no bite in Lena’s tone. She arches her brow.

“That was an… enthusiastic friendly visit,” Kara settles, and Lena shakes her head in amusement.

Kara smiles. The way her lips purse and curl is pleasant, visually, aesthetically nice to look at, objectively; it’s difficult not to look. There’s the silver of her earrings, the blonde of her hair. Brushed to one side, allowing an easy display of her sharp jaw.

There is literally a handsome woman on her couch, who seems determined to be her friend. Lena looks away. The thing is, they don’t have to be friends. They don’t have to talk or see each other, but alas.

When will peace return in Lena’s life?

Kara’s phone lights up on the coffee table—probably from receiving a notification—and there Lena sees her Spotify bar open on the screen.

“NSYNC, huh,” she says, and really—she doesn’t mean to prolong whatever this is—a conversation? But it slips out of her. Kara’s easy to talk to, she finds. “Guilty pleasure, Top Pop Hits. Interesting music taste.”

Kara grabs her phone, wrinkles her nose. “I have great music taste,” she says, and crosses her legs on the couch. “Hey, why do you look like you disagree. What do you listen to?”

“I’m not judging, I think your music taste is fine. I don’t listen to music much.”

“What. You don’t listen—? Lena,” Kara whines, sits upright so fast and huffs. “What do you mean you don’t listen to music much. I have to fix this,” she says, suddenly determined.

“Kara, I really don’t care—” Lena begins, but Kara’s already typing on her phone and pulling her earphones out. She shoves one earphone in Lena’s direction like she’s going to fix it right then and there.

“There’s hope for you, you can still be saved. We’re digging into my personalized playlist.”

Lena begins to protest again, but Kara just opens up the notes app on her phone and starts a new document with the title SAVE LENA LUTHOR 2K21 before starting the actual list of things that Kara apparently needs to teach Lena to help her see the light.

“You’re going to listen to my favourites and you’re going to love them.”

 


 

They abandon the earphones after a while. While music plays in the background, they talk about this and that, everything and nothing, and Lena thinks she hasn’t had a long conversation about nothing and everything in so long. It startles her.

She focuses on Kara, tries not to think about it much.

Kara’s about to play another song when her phone alarm goes off.

“Time to go?” Lena says, not realizing she’s smiling until Kara smiles back at her. She’s feeling much better now—the headache gone. Feels like a human again.

“Yeah, I should go finish writing my article,” Kara says. She begins putting away the rest of the takeout. “I’m a journalist from CatCo.”

“What?” Lena stiffens sharply. She didn’t know that. “You’re a journalist,” she says slowly, and Kara seems to notice the quick mood change, blinking in confusion.

“Yes?”

“You’re a journalist. You’ve been coming here awfully a lot lately.” A pause. “Do you… do you know who I am?” She's not being snobby. She’s just—genuinely curious. And honestly fucking alarmed. She’s had her fair share of deceitful people, trying to get close to her with malicious intentions. God, she should’ve known—

“About that,” Kara says slowly. “I didn’t actually know who you were, until two days ago. You told me your first name a week ago. It was only two days ago when I made the connection that you’re that Lena Luthor. People gossip in this building.” Lena watches Kara closely. Kara nears the kitchen and chucks the empty takeouts into the bin. Tilts her head at Lena, and says, “Your name gets mentioned around here all the time. You’re a hot item, you know.”

Lena looks down at her lap, thinking. So Kara didn’t know her. How could she trust Kara?

“That doesn’t sound good, considering I have a megalomaniac brother who is currently behind bars, serving twenty one life sentences,” Lena murmurs, unable to hide the bitterness in her tone. “I know there’s a lot of talk behind my back here.”

“Hm. Sure, your brother’s name also gets thrown around here, too. But give yourself some credit, Lena.” Kara walks towards her, and leans on the couch armchair. Her face softens. “It’s not all bad talk.”

Lena holds her blanket tighter. Kara tilts her head a little, looks confused, maybe, and looks at Lena closely.

“This might be hard to believe, but there are people here that genuinely like you, for what you’ve done. And have been doing. You’re amazing.” Lena kind of just stares at her. Kara breaks into a soft chuckle, touches her glasses. “I think you’re amazing. Lena Luthor, the billionaire, businesswoman, scientist, and philanthropist. Really thinking about it, I feel silly. You watched me inhale a box of potstickers and listened to music with me for a whole hour.”

Lena blinks, her heart hammering. She’s kind of taken aback. Overwhelmed, sort of.

“I’m a big fan—I’ve read your papers.” Kara’s eyes are big and wide. Sincere. “That one you did on nano tech—”

“Stop,” Lena blurts out, cheeks pinking, and that does it. Kara quiets. “You don’t—my brother is Lex Luthor. Aren’t you scared of me? Most people wouldn’t touch a Luthor with a 10 foot pole, and yet here you are.”

It’s quiet for a few seconds, with Kara frowning. There’s a crinkle between her eyebrows.

“Then I guess I’m not most people.” Lena stares at her, and Kara stares back. A small quizzical smile forms on Kara’s lips. “Why do we keep talking about your brother? I kind of only want to talk about you.”

Lena clutches her mug and hides her face behind it, biting her bottom lip. God—this woman is strange, and once again Lena is begging for a semblance of peace back in her life.

There’s a soft chuckle. “Shy?”

“No,” Lena says, her face a darker shade of red now, and—well. At least Kara seems to be genuine. Seems, being the keyword. She’s just Kara, Kirby Slippers, annoyingly handsome neighbour slash mortal enemy, bulging biceps and washboard abs Kara. Doesn’t mean Lena will let her guard down, though.

Kara closes some distance and bobs down until she’s at eye-level with Lena. She tucks a strand of loose hair behind Lena’s ear. Lena’s heart goes all messy beats.

“You get flustered so easily. You’re cute.”

Lena doesn’t. She really doesn’t. God, she can make grown men cry with just a glare and a sentence, can make someone feel intimidated or scared without saying a single word.

She’s just not used to… such compliments handed to her freely, so easily. And for some reason, Kara just has that effect on her.

“No, I’m just sick,” she tries. “You’re ridiculous.”

“You’re ridiculous,” Kara says back. Lena sighs and rubs her eyes tiredly, an excuse so to not see Kara’s disturbingly pretty face. Shuffling is heard, then, and when Lena opens her eyes, a phone is being handed to her.

Lena looks up at Kara, questioning. Wondering, when the other shoe will drop. This woman is so sweet, and she wants to be Lena’s friend, and this is too good to be true.

“Add your number to my phone. So this,” Kara gestures at the mess of used tea mugs and painkillers on the couch, “doesn’t happen again.”

“Stop trying to make it up to me, it’s fine now.”

“Stop being incapable of self-care or asking for help.”

“It was just a headache.” Lena frowns. “I can take care of myself.”

Kara arches an eyebrow, and gently takes Lena’s now-empty mug from her hands to put on the coffee table. “Right, today sure was a great display of that.”

Thin ice, Kara Danvers.” Kara laughs. Lena strokes her sleeve, thinking. Quietly, she says, “You’ve done so much for me already. I’m serious, Kara. You don’t have to do anything more.”

“That’s true,” Kara says. “But. Since you seem to really like my songs, I like you. I’ll discover new songs that I like and you’ll listen to them, that’s how it works now, sorry to tell you. So please take good care of yourself.”

“Enough,” Lena mutters, lips pursed, trying and failing not to smile. Her limbs still feel sore and her hair is a mess. She feels like crap and really needs to shower, and the more she looks at Kara the more she feels like a wet ragged cloth.

Kara’s still waiting for Lena to take her phone. Lena hesitates, sighs. They start exchanging phone numbers.

There’s something about Kara that... disarms Lena. It’s kind of terrifying and scary and Lena knows she should stay away from something that screams trouble.

“Okay, now that that’s done. I’ll go, text me at some point so I know you’re still alive, Lena Luthor,” Kara says with a soft grin, “wine connoisseur.”

“I guess I have no choice. Bye, Kara Danvers,” Lena says, rolling her eyes lightly, “music connoisseur.”

(Lena opens her tablet and starts searching for the songs she heard from Kara’s phone to download, long after Kara has gone to her own apartment.)

 


 

Lena [8:23am]

Good news, Kirby Slippers. I didn’t die.

That was an overkill, but I appreciate it.

This is Lena, by the way. Your next door neighbour. The one you like to annoy.

Kara [8:25am]

lena! i thought we agreed to call each other by our names :(

but hey you’re most welcome!! are you feeling better?

Lena [8:25am]

Much better. I slept for about seven hours after you left.

This is a milestone for me.

Kara [8:25am]

amazing, this is a groundbreaking development. i’m in awe

make sure to keep drinking fluids though

(gentle reminder)

Lena [8:27am]

Kara, I can take care of myself.

Kara [8:27am]

lol okay

Lena [8:27am]

Hiss. Bye.

Kara [8:28am]

cute :)

Lena almost drops the phone on her face.

 


 

Three days later, there’s a situation.

“Kara. Kara—it moved!”

“Oh yes, hello good morning to you, how am I you ask? Yeah, I’m doing great, so kind and lovely of you to wonder, Lena,” Kara huffs, greeting her.

It isn't the time for jokes right now. “Kara, the timing is crucial here—”

“Lena, please stop screaming.”

“I’m not—it's moving again, Kara! Something has to be done! Quickly!”

“If you quit panicking, it would really help me catch it faster,” Kara says from the left side of Lena’s bedroom, as Lena just watches her.

Lena's standing outside of the room, carefully sticking her head inside to see how Kara's going. She itches to get back inside, but there's—

“But Kara—”

“Shh.” Kara steps forward carefully and slowly, a plastic cup in her right hand. She has her stance, ready to make her swift move. She’s in deep concentration, looking close to sweating as she focuses on the right timing.

The spider makes the tiniest of movements, and then begins moving around. That's when the blonde steps forward with haste, the sound of the bowl slamming the wall resonating around the room. It’s gone now, out of sight. The spider is contained between the wall and the bowl. Kara grins in triumph.

It's quiet. “Kara?” Lena calls out to her.

“It's all good! You can come in, now.”

“Oh, did you get it then? Is it gone now? Kara, is it gone?” Lena comes back slowly inside, hiding behind Kara's back. This is serious business.

“Yes, Lena, I got the spider. No, it's not completely gone yet.” Kara lets out a laugh, which makes Lena laugh, too. Gone is the crawler. She's embarrassed, but she's happy the spider's gone now. When Kara asks her to find a piece of cardboard so she could take the spider outside, Lena is quick to nod and run off to find her one.

 


 

“Lena Luthor, billionaire genius. I never expected you to be afraid of spiders,” Kara mentions offhandedly after coming back inside, the arachnid now roaming free somewhere in the street below. “You interrupted my article because of a little spider.”

There’s amusement written on Kara’s face. It makes Lena flush. She goes to busy herself by going into the kitchen and preparing coffee for the both of them.

“It wasn’t a little spider, Kara.” Lena corrects, adding sugar to Kara’s cup of coffee. She bites her lip. “It was gigantic, actually. You know, if I hadn't asked you to come over? It probably would have eaten my face.”

Kara laughs, her eyes crinkling. Lena has to look away, because how can someone look so attractive laughing like that. How. How. It's illegal.

“You’re actually quite dramatic.”

“Hey.” Lena huffs. “You said you’d keep working on making things up to me, stop laughing. I’m a Luthor, I intend to make the most out of your service.”

“Right, okay. What great timing it was, huh?” Kara says. “Good thing I was home. I'm your hero for the day, then.”

Lena thinks, considers. “No,” she says, making Kara startle as she makes her way over to the kitchen counter to join Kara. “Every day you'll be my hero, so if there's ever another creepy crawler trying to attack me, I can call you.”

Kara scrunches her nose.

“Hey don't look at me like that. You signed up for this, there’s no escape now. Sorry to tell you.”

Kara laughs disbelievingly as she sits at one of the tall stools and accepts the offered mug from Lena.

“Well, being your hero.” Kara tilts her head a little and she takes a sip of her coffee. “That's quite the duty, Lena.”

Lena nods her head sagely.

Kara smiles. “I think I can handle it.”

 


 

Bit by bit, Lena comes to realize that Kara is genuine. She’s nice, and cute, and has a great sense of humour. She has a good heart and gets excited talking about movies and games she loves, happy to share them with Lena.

And Lena finds herself—endeared. She wouldn’t mind getting to spend some time with her, it’s just that. She still has doubts. Sometimes she’s convinced that Kara is out to destroy her. Kara keeps wearing sleeveless shirts, the first time making Lena choke on the wine she was drinking. She’s ridiculously toned, abs on display in the sunlight, and she just cocks her head at Lena and asks if she’s all right as Lena hacks up a fucking lung and tries to recover.

Lena, honest to god, just wants to live her life in peace. But Kara starts coming over.

It’s embarrassing, how Lena is incapable of saying no, or even ignoring Kara. Whenever Kara knocks at her door, Lena just sighs like it’s inevitable; like clockwork—allowing Kara in, always.

She is predisposed to be annoyed because she feels like Kara had been purposely causing problems her for almost four months, but the more they chat the more she understands that Kara is kind-hearted and means well. Logically, Lena knows she was only annoyed at her because of the lack of awareness and bad timing.

So she does her best to let it go and move on.

Of course, it’s pretty easy to stop being angry when said neighbour has a pretty smile that makes her eyes sparkle and a sense of humour that sends Lena into bright laughter that make her lose her balance, catching for breath.

One day, Lena gets home from work, and something changes. Kara knocks on her door, dark and late at night.

“Hi, um.” There’s a light blush on Kara’s cheeks. “My coffee machine broke. I need coffee so badly, and I’m desperate to hand in my work before the deadline. Can I use yours?”

“Mm,” Lena hums, and opens her door wider so Kara can come in.

Kara makes a pause towards Lena’s apartment. “Did you just get back from work? It’s late, Lena,” she says, and Lena only mumbles sleepily. What comes after is a pair of strong arms wrapping around her and—and—oh. Oh my god. Arms locked firmly around Lena’s shoulders, fingers drifting along her back, holding her close.

Kara Danvers gives great hugs. Lena melts.

 


 

There’s a shift between them.

Soon enough Lena comes to learn about Kara’s entire job, the colleagues she likes and dislikes. Lena finds out that she has a second job and teaches self-defence class on Saturdays. She knows about Kara’s gym buddies (Lucy and Imra. Lena remembers almost choking on air and having a coughing fit for a solid minute when Kara showed pictures of her gym selfies—she still has not recovered from that), and Kara’s family (she has an older sister and is adopted, just like Lena, and the soft spot in Lena’s heart, mortal-enemy shaped, is growing at an alarming rate).

It’s okay. It’s all good. It’s fine, until one day Kara comes over to take a shower, starts discarding her shirt off outside the bathroom and Lena receives a full view of back muscles and skin.

Lena panics, looks away. She wants to look—her curiosity and attraction getting the best of her—but Lena turns her back to face the sink instead.

“Kara,” Lena says, raising her voice and trying to keep it even, “I’m. I’m going to go out for a bit to buy some tea. I’ll be back.” It’s kind of fucking terrifying, how much she already trusts Kara alone in her home. Her home.

Maybe she’s just that desperate to get away from her.

So that’s how Lena finds herself in the grocery store in the tea aisle, walking back and forth, phone in hand, wondering if she should call for backup. Sam would just grill her. Jack would laugh and laugh. Andrea would just tell her to get back inside. Yeah, she should not be here at all; she has plenty of tea in her cupboard.

Lena closes her eyes, breathes unevenly.

This is her life now.

 


 

Lena is going through her packages in the lobby quietly undisturbed and very much unbothered until Jack makes a loud pained noise next to her.

“Jack—what are you two doing?” Lena exasperates, looking tiredly at her friends. Jack groans as Sam just shrugs.

“I didn’t do anything,” Sam says, batting her eyelashes and Lena doesn't believe it for a second.

“Sam...”

“I know I lost, but that flick on the forehead was too hard!” Jack hisses, poking Sam on the shoulder. “My head's not made of steel, you know.”

Lena watches them go at each other for a few more times, why are they like this. She really misses Andrea.

“A text or call first would've been nice. As always, I find myself ambushed by you two,” Lena says, walking out of the lobby. “Why are you guys here again?”

“Uh, because Jack and I invited ourselves over for dinner. We’re here to make sure you hit your social interaction quota. It’s all about balance, Lena,” Sam says.

Lena makes a noncommittal noise, and it's at this moment that she walks into someone.

“Really, again? Walking into someone—is this how you greet people, Lena,” Kara says, laughing softly.

Lena's heart drops. The way Jack and Sam go immediately quiet makes her feel nervous. Her life is over.

“Kara. Hi,” she says quietly, stepping back for space. “I didn’t see you there. Sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Kara grins, her smile pretty. Lena stares, tries not to stare.

“You go ahead and do what you need to do,” Lena murmurs, shooting her friends a quick don't look. Sam and Jack send her sweet smiles, but Lena knows better. They nod at Kara as they move quietly out of the room. “These two are my friends,” Lena tells Kara. “This is Sam and Jack.”

“Oh. Hi, Sam and Jack. I’m Kara, Lena’s neighbour!”

Lena takes a deep breath. Her friends are acting reasonably, thankfully, and smiles at Kara when Kara smiles at them.

“I should get going—I’m kind of running late.” She's not running late at all. Lena just can't have her friends and Kara be in the same room—it's giving her friends too much power over her.

Kara smiles, and her eyes go to Sam and Jack. She does a little hand wave at them again, and her smile widens. Lena assumes it’s because Sam and Jack are smiling and waving back. She hears Sam murmuring a quiet how cute behind her.

Lena clears her throat lightly. “All right. I’ll see you around?”

“Of course, Lena.”

They stare at each other. There’s always a sort of tension that sizzles softly whenever Kara is in the same room as Lena. This is only added to the ever growing list of reasons why Lena feels that it is necessary to avoid her so fervently.

They stare at each other a little more, both of them not moving. Lena doesn’t even realize it. And, when she’s about to say something, Jack obnoxiously coughs loudly from behind her. Right, she needs to make her escape.

“Right, we should go. Bye, Kara.”

“Bye! Oh—wait, Lena?” Kara’s grinning softly. “Take care of yourself.”

Lena blinks. Nods.

She steps into the elevator, and she sees that her friends are ready to rip her apart.

“Don't even think about it, you two.” She puts a finger up, effectively shutting both their mouths. “Not one word.”

Sam and Jack both shrug and, for now, Lena's safe. She knows it's not going to be long until they start asking questions. The elevator dings, and they're on Lena's floor. Lena can hear all the quiet laughing and whispering behind her.

She pinches the bridge of her nose, already tired and ready for whatever it is her friends have in store for her.

“So, Lena,” Sam starts, linking her arm with Lena's, and it makes Lena groan.

“Yeah, Lena,” Jack echoes, also linking arms with Lena. Yeah, she can't escape now, she's going to suffer for a bit. It won't last long, she just has to suffer for a bit.

“You're keeping secrets lately? Who was that?” Sam asks innocently, but Lena knows far far better.

“No one important, Sam,” Lena says dismissively, because oh my god, of course her friends would blow this over the top.

“Really, Lena?” Jack snickers, clearly enjoying Lena's displeasure.

“All right. I’ll see you around?” Sam imitates, her impression of Lena overly exaggerated. Sam places a hand on her cheek, batting her eyelashes, and Lena doesn't recall doing any of that.

“Of course, Lena!” Jack replies, pretending to be Kara. Lena closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. She removes Sam's arm to look for her keycard in her bag.

“Right, w-we should go. B-Bye, Kara―” Sam says breathlessly and squeaky and that's not how it happened at all.

“Kids, both of you,” Lena snaps, sending them both an unimpressed glare. She opens the door to her apartment, not at all bothering to wait for them to get inside.

 


 

This was always going to happen. She should have expected the inevitable. It was unrealistic to hope they’d let it go so easily.

Lena stares blankly at her phone screen.

Andrea [9:03 PM]

Lena, is there a reason why I haven’t met your new girl yet?

No matter. You’re going to bring your girl to this weekend’s dinner. At our place.

Sam and I WILL see you there.

Sam [9:05 PM]

Lena, look, you’ve got to bring that sweet blonde puppy with you or Andrea’s gonna kill me.

Please, she wants to meet her. My life depends on you.

But seriously. Come. Ruby misses you.

Jack [9:10 PM]

Friends night! How very exciting, we don’t have enough of those.

Lena. I will be expecting you and your cute beefcake friend to show up and, yes, this is non-negotiable.

And when Lena checks the group chat, it’s even worse. The first message she sees is: It’s all right, guys! All this time, she has just been hanging out with a hot dreamboat. How scandalous! It’s FALSE ALARM and reading further, the chat is flooded with gifs and... dozens of ridiculous jokes, including but not limited to puns, strapping, bottom memes, and—fuck, oh my god.

They're relentless. Ridiculous.

So she makes a decision. It’s probably a bad decision to go ahead with this. Lena makes those from time to time. This particular decision is exceptionally bad, even for her, and she is acutely aware of this the entire time she’s carrying through with it.

Here she is, in Sam and Andrea’s house, glass of wine in hand, phone in the other, as she paces in the kitchen.

“For the last time, Andrea. Kara and I are not sleeping together. We’re not dating, we’re not together, and there’s nothing going on. Absolutely nothing. What gave you that idea in the first place?”

Lena shoots Andrea an unimpressed look. It’s the nth time Andrea has asked about them. She had to get here, much earlier than the meeting time. There was no choice, she had to gather them all up in one room, firmly state the fact that Kara is just a friend. That’s all. Of course, her friends don’t believe her. Especially Sam and Jack.

The thing is, Lena knows that once they see Kara, including Andrea with them this time—once they see them both standing next to each other, it’s all over.

They’re insufferable. Demons. They’re not going to let Lena live in peace.

“Okay, fine” Andrea says slowly. “Then tell me about your friend… when did you two meet, and how?”

Lena sighs. She hears chattering and movement across the house. She knows that Sam and Jack are close to the entrance, watching the outside like a hawk. She needs more wine for this.

“Not that long ago. I showed up to her door because her music was too loud. Then we started talking. That’s all.”

“That’s all?” Andrea frowns. “So you guys aren’t fucking.”

“If they’re not fucking, they will be sooner or later!” Sam yells, and Lena peeks her head into the living room to glare at her.

“Why do you live for my humiliation?” she asks simply. Sam grins. “Stop. You guys know that—”

Lena is interrupted by two loud firm knocks on the door. She sets down her glass and runs for the door, but her friends are already there.

“Oh. Hello, love,” Jack bellows, his movements exaggerating and voice overdone. “You must be Kara Danvers. Oh, of course I know—we’ve met before. I could never forget a face like yours.”

Lena suddenly wishes she had more to drink.

“Hi, Jack,” comes a familiar voice. Lena can’t see, but she hears the warm, lovely sound. Kara’s voice—she seems happy, excited to be here. Shy, too. It’s kind of endearing. “You’re Sam. And you must be Eve, Lena has told me about you. Sam, thank you so much for inviting me. You have a lovely home.”

“Aww,” Eve says, a hand to her chest like she’s overcome with emotions, and looks at Jack and Sam. “She’s so cute.”

Jack sighs. “Kara, I have just one question for you. Who is the dreamboat in this house right now and why is it you?”

“All right, you two. That’s enough,” Andrea calls over Lena’s shoulder. “Let her breathe. I’m Andrea. Please make yourself at home, any friend of Lena is my friend.”

Lena’s heart starts beating wildly fast.

“Kara Danvers. Huh. I know it's a stretch, but I have to ask. Are you by any chance related to Alex Danvers?” Andrea asks, looks at her.

“Wait.” Sam gasps, blinking fast. “No way. Kara, are you?”

“Oh, um. Yes, she’s my sister… do you guys know her?”

“Hell yeah!” Sam answers, and Lena watches quietly. “Andrea’s best buds with her girlfriend, Kelly. Andrea and I meet up with Kelly and Alex for drinks and catch ups.”

“Wow,” Kara says, a little awestruck. Her face brightens. “Oh, wow. That’s really cool. Small world, huh.”

“Hey, didn’t Alex mention that her sister is a journalist and a model.” Sam whistles, tilting her head and crossing her arms. “Well, consider me not surprised. Look at you.”

The tips of Kara’s ears go pink. She gives a stiff laugh. “It’s not like that, I’m not a model,” she hurries to explain, “my friend kind of got a good shot of me at the gym. We were taking pictures, and she posted it online. I don’t know how, but the post went viral. Since then, my sister won’t let me live.”

“Wow,” Jack says, eyebrows raised high up his forehead. His gaze lingers on her biceps. He looks thoroughly impressed. “That's incredible, actually.”

“Yeah, wow,” Sam repeats, nodding with a grin. “All right, next time, let’s all hang out together, yeah? Since you’re here, Lena has to join us now. We can finally put a stop to her I’m not gonna third-wheel your double date excuses.”

Lena rolls her eyes, and Kara laughs as her eyes wander, searching—

Andrea nods approvingly, Jack comes over to shake hands and then starts jokingly wincing while Kara grins, Sam laughs and ruffles Kara’s hair as if she and Kara are old friends. Eve makes herself known again, undoubtedly enthusiastic.

Lena quietly watches, trying desperately to regain her bearings. But when her friends quiet down and move back, giving Lena a full and proper view of Kara, Lena kind of just stops breathing.

Kara’s clad in a simple white shirt and grey sweatpants. She has a black baseball cap and there’s a dark blue flannel tied around her hips, and she’s, well. Built might be the word Lena’s looking for. Maybe fit. But her shoulders are broad, her hips narrow, the movements of her muscles visible through the white shirt. Clavicles peek out of her neckline. And that’s definitely an inappropriate thing to be fixating on, but what else is Lena supposed to do when it’s there in front of her.

“Kara. Hi.” Everyone’s eyes are on her. Lena can feel her cheeks heating.

Kara smiles, so, so gorgeous and—fuck.

“Hi, Lena. So you do have a life outside work.”

“Holy shit,” Jack and Sam sputter, exchanging shocked faces with everyone. Behind them, Ruby gasps a loud Aunt Lena, ouch that’s gotta hurt, Andrea cackles, and Eve almost falls down, laughing.

“Lovely, she’s lovely. I like her already,” Andrea says quietly, grinning.

Lena takes a shaky breath, vaguely aware her heart is doing something weird, but refuses to acknowledge it any further. It takes all of her to keep her mouth shut, a me too heavy on her tongue.

 


 

Lena’s been through worse.

This is fine. This is okay.

She knew that her friends were going to act like this the moment they saw them breathing in the same space, so nothing came as a surprise to her. It doesn’t stop her from feeling embarrassed, though, and Lena continues to feel like she’s being backed into a corner as Kara remains existing loudly in her life, spreading warmth everywhere and looking just. Criminally good.

Who allowed her?

She’s slightly tipsy from all the wine she drank. People start catching their ride home, and one by one, they say their goodbyes before walking out of the house. Lena downs her last wine glass for the night, and declares that she’s leaving now, too.

“I’ll come with you,” Kara says with a smile. Lena only sighs. Blushes.

She thinks she wants to walk for a bit. It’s a ten minute walk back to the apartment. It’s not too bad.

The city is much quieter now, with less activity. The night is dark and cold but the car's lights driving by are bright and colorful, making a whole show whenever Lena narrows her eyes at them. They both haven’t said much to each other. And as the minutes go by, Lena begins to wonder if Kara is perhaps waiting for her to talk.

They’re nearing a park now, it’s almost twelve and there aren’t many people around. The trees are leafless but beautiful, the grass wet with dew drops. There’s a quiet feeling to Autumn that brings peace to Lena’s eyes. They walk along the path that cuts right through the middle of the park, its red bricks like a living, bleeding vein.

Lena finally gives in, and steals a glance at Kara.

Kara Danvers, in the blush of the midnight, is even more beautiful than Lena remembers. Ethereal but solid. Unreachable but just a few inches away. Perfect, but realistic.

“Stare some more, I don’t mind.” Kara notices her, and then ducks her face. She touches her glasses. The tips of her ears are red. “Making me feel like I’m something nice to look at, huh?”

Lena swallows, and looks away. She didn’t mean to stare. “You are,” she says quietly. “Really.”

Lena wants to kiss her. Really badly. Huh. Where did that come from. She sighs and runs a hasty hand through her hair. It's the alcohol talking. Her face is numb.

“I’m glad you think so.”

In the distance, there’s someone walking towards them with a leashed puppy. Kara visibly beams at them.

“About before... sorry about my friends,” Lena murmurs.

“I like them,” Kara says, waving her off. “Thank you for letting me come.”

“They really wanted to meet you. They can get a bit...” Lena shakes her head. “You won't have to see them again.”

Kara hums. “Oh, well. I don't know about that, Lena. They all exchanged phone numbers with me. I have follow requests on twitter, and I've been invited to a couple of events on Facebook. Looks like I’ll be booked and busy for quite some time.”

“Oh my god.”

Kara laughs softly, head thrown back with it, and her hand reaches out towards the nearing lamp. She glows under the streetlight and moonlight. Her hand gripped loose around the lamp post, she spins.

Lena’s no photographer by any means—her camera roll is mostly laboratory work experiments and the sky in shades of blue and pink, the occasional blurry photo of one of her friends. But if she had her camera on hand, she thinks she’d set aside aesthetics just to capture the way Kara’s nose crinkles as she laughs, the way her whole face scrunches up.

Lena suddenly wishes she’d called for her driver instead of deciding to walk home.

“So, about your friends...”

How Lena met her friends comes up in the conversation, and Lena tells Kara about the time she kept getting kicked out of her own dorm room in college, because Andrea (her roommate) kept having Sam over. She tells Kara about how Jack was her number one rival in all her classes, and how they constantly had friendly (that’s putting it nicely) competitions. Tells her about Eve having a crush on her brother and quickly backtracking the moment Lex started showing red flags.

Kara nods and listens. She laughs and asks questions, like she’s genuinely interested; absorbed.

It’s quiet for a moment. “Hey, what does your free time look like?” Lena genuinely wants to know. She has been wondering.

Kara looks at Lena for a beat too long before she says, “I like watching shows. Entertainment. And um, working out—it’s like meditation for me.” A crinkle forms between her eyebrows. She’s thinking hard. “I also like eating.”

Lena laughs softly. “Of course you do.”

“Of course I do.”

“And you also like listening to music,” Lena says. “Loudly, sometimes.”

“Lena,“ Kara whines. “I’m still so sorry about all the noisy nights I gave you. I wasn’t aware that the walls were that thin.”

“You’re aware now, it's okay.” Lena waves her off. “Honestly, I thought you were just being an asshole that didn’t care. I’ve changed my views about you. Congrats on the upgrade.”

“Oh. May I hear the before and after upgrade of my title?”

“Asshole neighbour,” Lena goes for it, and Kara gasps, laughing. Lena’s kind of alarmed; she’s liking the sound of Kara’s laugh way more than she should. “Now, you’re just... hmm. Eh.”

Eh? That’s all?” Kara laughs even harder, and bumps Lena on the shoulder with hers. “Aw, come on. It’s okay to say that I’m your best and coolest neighbour.”

“Hold on, that’s a huge jump. Kara Danvers,” Lena says, “self-proclaimed Lena’s best and coolest neighbour.”

“Until you hand me a much cooler title, that’s what I’m calling myself, Lena Luthor,” Kara says, “terrible title giver.”

That makes Lena grin. Looking around their surroundings, she realizes that they’re almost home. Already.

“Anyway, it’s great that we’ve cleared the air. I’m nice.” A beat later, Kara shrugs her shoulders and stuffs her hands in her pocket. “A nice beefcake.”

Lena’s face twists into a pained expression. Kara breathes a laugh, rubs the back of her neck. Lena looks away, and watches four people, maybe college students, walk on the other side of the street.

“I can’t believe I called you beefy as soon as after meeting you for exactly twenty seconds.”

“In your defence, you said you were kind of drunk,” Kara says, like that’ll make Lena feel any better. That did not make Lena feel any better. “You’re too nice. I’m… I guess I have muscles, sure, but they’re not that great.”

“I don’t know,” Lena hums. “None of my other friends have guns like this, otherwise I’d be asking to go over to their houses all the time.” She doesn’t mean to voice her voice deeper towards the end, rasping a little hoarsely.

Kara flushes, bows her head.

She’s biting back a smile, trying to hide it, and Lena’s heart is beating so fucking fast. They’ve only known each other for a month, and. And. Yeah, Lena can admit that Kara is very pretty and her hands are nice and she’s fun to talk to.

“Lena,” Kara whines, the tip of her ears red. She crosses her arms, and turns around to face Lena. She’s walking backwards. “You’re teasing me.”

Teasing isn’t the right word for it. Lena’s aware she’s blatantly flirting, and she can’t help but keep opening her silly mouth. “Well, those are dangerous goods, Kara. Do you have a warrant for those guns?”

“Oh, my god,” Kara says, laughing, now.

“You talk as if you’ve never seen yourself.” Lena shoves one hand into her coat pocket. She uses her other hand to poke at Kara’s bicep. “Have you seen yourself at all?”

Kara’s feet stop moving, a sudden halt. Lena runs into her, literally runs into her.

Oof.” Lena’s nose bumps into Kara’s chin. “Why’d you suddenly stop walking—”

“Oh! Sorry, sorry.”

Warm hands steady Lena. Lena groans, and her forehead connects with Kara’s shoulder. She’s cold and tired. Kara literally radiates warmth.

“Ouch. I hope you only do this with me,” Kara jokes. “I think I’d get jealous otherwise.”

“You literally stopped on purpose, but okay. Only you,” Lena assures, cheeks turning pink as she realizes what she just said. She keeps her forehead against Kara’s shoulder to avoid that ridiculously pretty smile she’s sure that’s on Kara’s face right now.

It’s unfair. Lena’s kind of drunk, and Kara smells really nice, and she’s devastatingly warm, and comfortable. She isn’t sure what to do with her hands, so she just plays with the hem of Kara’s jacket, tugging lightly.

“I really didn’t. You just caught me off-guard, is all.”

Lena doesn’t say anything, just keeps lightly tugging at Kara’s jacket, thinking, melting.

“Uh, Lena. What’s wrong? I touch you and you go pliant,” Kara says, amusement laced in her voice. When Lena still doesn’t answer, Kara wraps her arms around Lena’s shoulder. The unexpected contact has Lena’s heart hammering a messy beat. “Okay. Hugs for the drunk.”

Lena groans weakly. Yeah, she might’ve drank way too much; the full effects of the alcohol really hitting her. She swears she knows how to hold her drink. Today was just. Really something.

“Not drunk,” Lena says. “I wanna go home.”

“You can, if you lift your head up and start walking.”

“If I lift my head up, then I won’t be warm anymore.” She frowns against something bony. Then, she hears a soft chuckle.

“Lena, your nose. It’s cold...” And that’s when Lena realizes that she has been rubbing her nose against Kara’s collarbone. Goddamn.

She's cold and her face is numb, and Kara is ridiculously warm. Lena can’t already stop thinking about how pretty Kara is and how nice she is and how much she wants to lick her neck, and what the fuck, that’s not what she thought earlier.

Lena pulls her face back.

“All right. Let’s keep moving, Lena Luthor,” Kara says softly, quietly, “the touchy drunk.”

“Tipsy, you mean. Not drunk, Kara Danvers,” Lena firmly states, “who has really nice biceps.”

Despite what Kara said, neither make the effort to separate from each other. Okay. So Lena has to make the first move, then. She will.

She moves, and doesn’t register reaching out. Not until her fingertips brush against Kara’s clothed bicep. Kara is standing still, only quietly studying Lena as she breathes.

“See, touchy drunk,” Kara murmurs.

Okay. Fuck. Wrong movement, abort. Lena flushes, quickly taking her hand back.

“Sorry.” Her voice is deep, a little scratchy. A soft don’t be comes out of Kara’s mouth. Lena clears her throat. So what if she’s a touchy drunk.

Finally, she extracts herself away from Kara. It’s cold again.

“Let’s go for real, now.”

There’s a light flush on Kara’s face. Kara licks her lips, adjusts her glasses.

“Yeah, sure,” Kara says quietly.

Lena tries to breathe, evading her gaze.

 


 

Lena, for her whole life, has been very aware of the importance of fashion and form. When she was younger, she always saw Lionel and Lillian leaving the house looking spotless. Lex, too, of course. And not only that—every time someone important came over, all of them dressed up too, as well as making sure their kids looked just as impeccable.

She got older and discovered the reasons behind appearances and how it affects the way people look at someone. Lillian would always remind her, tell her about it. We're Luthors, Lena. We can’t ever be caught looking anything less than perfect.

Everything from the material, to the colour, to the pieces—it all adds up, and even a detail that might seem insignificant can completely affect a first impression.

Lena understands the importance of fashion. And she knows how to dress herself.

She needs people to take her seriously. The disrespect she faces every day from men who genuinely believe that she is unfit to run this company is something she is always going to have to deal with. Her company. The one that she's spent rebuilding for the last three years because of Lex.

There’s nothing particularly outstanding about her current attire—she has on a white shirt and black blazer, fitting her perfectly. Walking towards her desk in a tight pencil skirt and high heels that clip against the floor with every step, she lets out a tired sigh when she sits back on her office chair. Runs her fingers down the ruffling of her shirt and checks the time. It’s 1:45 pm, now. Her last meeting lasted longer than it should have. Tired. Too much time was wasted, the investor doubting her competence. There’s nothing new here. She knows how to deal.

She’s about to call Jess and ask if there’s any more scheduled meetings for the day until her door bursts open, and—

“Yo,” Sam says casually, entering her office. Behind her is a blonde woman who very much looks like Kara, and—what the fuck? Kara’s here. What is she doing here?

Lena blinks.

“Hi, Lena,” Kara says, beaming.

“Uh. Hi,” Lena says intelligently, while there are a million questions flashing in her head right now.

Sam gives her a little wave. “Kara and I were having coffee earlier. Thought we’d drop by at your office, so, hi, hello, we’re here. Yo, what’s up.” When Lena opens her mouth, Sam checks her watch, and suddenly, huffs exaggeratingly. “Oh, nevermind. Would you look at that, I have to go now. Lena, I am passing Kara off to you.”

“Wait, what?” Kara says, and Sam’s already making her swift exit. “Already? But Sam, we just got here!”

“Bye! Behave and be nice, my favourite gays.” She leaves, but not without sending Lena a subtle shit-eating grin.

Silence settles into the office.

“Gays? With a plural?” Kara says, looking at Lena.

Lena opens and closes her mouth. Oh. “With a plural,” she says, nodding slowly.

“Hm. Interesting.”

“Interesting indeed,” Lena agrees, flushing, because that means—

There’s a silence. Kara clears her throat.

“So, um. Let me try texting Sam, because that was really weird.”

Lena sighs. The little shit. She stands from her desk, pinching the bridge of her nose. It’s clear what Sam was up to. Fucking Sam. She’s going to have words with her later.

It’s not at all surprising to Lena that Kara is all buddy-buddy with her friends now.

She presses a button on her desk. “Jess? Will you make a note downstairs that Kara Danvers is to be shown in right away, whenever possible? Thank you.”

“Wait, what,” she hears Kara say. “Oh! Is that the person who stopped us downstairs on our way here? When she saw Sam’s face she let us in.”

“Yes.”

“Hold on a moment.” Realization lights Kara’s features. “Was I led here? Was this planned? Sam, she—”

“Yes,” Lena says, palming her forehead. “Kara, soon you’re going to learn how insufferable my friends can be.”

“Wow.” Kara laughs as she steps closer towards Lena, and Lena feels lighter, warmer.

She laughs too, mostly out of disbelief because she can’t quite believe Kara is actually here. She’s so used to seeing her at their building, their space now that the two times they met elsewhere have practically been removed from her memory. Admittedly, Lena has subconsciously split her life into two realities. One where she’s Lena Luthor, CEO of L-Corp. And then another one where nothing in her life exists but Kara. It’s strange how that has come about but Lena thinks it must be her way of coping with the fact that if she mixes them together, it will be even harder to return to her previous life that Kara is not a part of.

So, to see these two realities mix together is baffling as much as it is exciting because truthfully, Lena has kind of wanted Kara to be a part of this reality too.

A real friend.

And now that Lena’s calmed down from her shock, she takes the time to really look at Kara. That’s when she makes her first mistake.

Kara Danvers should not have the ability to make a pair of slacks, white button up and navy blue suspenders as attractive as she does, much less when she has the sleeves of said shirt rucked to her elbows. Not to mention that her biceps are straining against her shirt and is threatening Lena’s entire existence right now. It makes Lena want to reach out and squeeze them. Her tie matches the colour of those straps and she’s got a hand stuffed in her pocket. Soft golden locks fall gently around her shoulders.

Sinful. Kara looks sinful, like the culmination of every forbidden fantasy Lena has desperately kept herself from entertaining, like a punch to the solar plexus, rendering gravity obsolete.

“Lena, you’re staring. Is it too weird that I’m here?” The tips of Kara’s ears go red.

Lena’s mouth goes dry. She blinks, quietly mortified.

“Sorry.” She quickly averts her gaze, focusing on the big paper bag Kara’s carrying over her chest. The way she holds it is so cute. What the fuck. “Just surprised to see you here, is all. You’re fine—it’s not weird at all.”

“Oh, um. Okay.” Kara touches her glass. “Well, when Sam suggested visiting you, I thought it’d be a good idea to bring some food along. So here it is, I bought you some food.”

“You got me food?”

Kara nods, stepping closer until she’s in front of Lena. “That’s right. Knowing your habit of forgetting to eat and hydrate, I just had to. Honestly, it’s amazing you’re still functioning.”

“I’m under attack, in my own office?” Lena frowns and wrings her hands together. There’s a warm flush on the edges of Kara’s face, spreading down her neck, under the rumpled shirt collar. Lena looks away. She looks away, making an effort not to let her eyes rake appraisingly over Kara’s build, those muscles and suspenders doing one too many favours for her. “You say such things so bluntly.”

“With affection,” Kara adds, a hand slipping down from Lena’s arm to wrap around her wrist loosely. It slips further down to her hand and Lena stiffens.

It’s casual, the way Kara takes hold of her hand. No one’s ever been like this with her—all casual and gentle touches. She lets it all happen, unable to turn down this… soft intimacy, that Kara gives so freely. When Kara tugs, guiding Lena to the couch to sit with her, Lena is quick to turn pliant. Obedient and following, her cheeks turning pink.

No matter what Kara does, there’s this kind, warm energy to her every word, look, touch. She is so full of feelings, no matter which kind, they just seem to spill by themselves; they fill up their apartments, all the space between them and some parts of Lena, too.

They both sit on the couch, shoulders against each other because Kara has no concept of space sometimes. Kara gives Lena the smallest, softest smile, before dropping her gaze like she’s shy; she tilts her head, and Lena’s heart hurts.

“Big Belly Burgers.” Kara places Lena’s takeout right in front of her. “I hope you like?”

Lena eyes the bag in front of her. She bites her lip. “Well, I haven’t actually tried…” Kara’s loud gasp startles her. “What?”

“Of course, I’ve seen what’s inside your refrigerator. I shouldn’t be surprised at all, but here I am.” Kara sighs. “Don’t worry. Lena, I’m here to show you the light on another subject. The good food and stuff.”

“The good food and stuff.” Lena says skeptically, frowns. “What’s wrong with the food in my kitchen?”

“Everything. Too much greens, not enough meat,” Kara says, and nudges for Lena to eat. Lena opens her wrapper, looking at the burger. Greasy. It smells good, she supposes. “Everything, Lena. It’s blasphemy.”

“Calm down, I thought I was the dramatic one,” Lena says, chuckling. She looks up at Kara for a moment. It’s quiet. Then, she says, “Thank you for bringing me food. You didn’t have to, but you did. You’re sweet.”

“Wow.” Kara flushes, grins. “Gay.”

“What? Saying nice things about you is gay? Is kindness gay, Kara?” Lena says, chuckling softly.

Kara hums, pretending to think. “Having any emotion is gay, I think.”

“That’s true, straight people don’t have feelings.”

That one makes Kara laugh, head thrown back, body vibrating. Lena looks and looks, smiling.

“So. Would you want to tell me about your day?” Kara’s asking it in that Kara-ish way she has, where she makes Lena want to tell her every feeling she’s ever had.

“You want to hear about my day?”

“Of course. Only if you want to tell me, though.”

Lena licks her lips. “Only if you tell me yours, first.”

Kara laughs, and so she does. Lena listens closely, a warmth making a home in her chest.

 


 

There’s a fine line between having a neighbour who’s just that—a neighbour—and having a neighbour you actually think could be your friend.

So they’re really friends, Lena thinks to herself one night as she’s sat from across Kara, the woman having brought with her a box of thai noodles and snacks that she thought she would share with Lena, because that’s what good neighbours are for.

Scratch that—that’s what friends do.

She’s on Kara’s couch, dressed down (sweater, jeans, hair down), eyes trained on the TV. It’s late, there’s an empty wine bottle on the coffee table and they’re watching a movie together in Kara’s living room. It’s been a week since Kara visited her in her office.

It’s weird; what happened was a blur. One moment Kara was asking her if she’d like to come over for dinner, then the next she found herself on the couch next to Kara.

We’re having movie night, Kara said to her after dinner, and then that was that.

So this is how Lena’s night is currently going.

They’re watching a ghibli film Kara picked, and Lena watches with (surprising) interest. She shifts a little on the couch, feeling Kara’s warmth next to her. Kara’s snuggled into her side, and Lena has the casual thought that it isn’t awkward at all. They’ve only known each other for two months now, only two, but their energy is nearly magnetic. A pull in Lena’s chest that she can’t decipher, doesn’t have a name for yet, but can’t ignore no matter how hard she tries.

It’s like Kara’s body heat is slowly melting her insecurities, the dim candle light burning her worries away until suddenly Lena isn’t particularly worried about which Lena she is, just that she’s here with a very sweet woman, who is willing to be this close to her.

It’s—a lot. She can’t help but wait for the other shoe to drop.

“Huh. Do you think pigeons can tell they're hated?” Kara says suddenly, when a pigeon appears on the screen.

"Do I—what?"

“Lena,” Kara huffs, frowning. “According to Alex, everyone hates pigeons because they're mean and attack people. But do you think they're like that because everyone hates them?”

Lena blinks. “I can’t say. I don’t think about the pigeons.”

“Oh, no.” Kara gasps. “Then you're part of the problem.”

Lena rolls her eyes. It’s dark and late when the credits start rolling in. That’s when she realizes that it’s been a long time since she watched a movie. From beginning to end. It’s an insignificant realization, but it shocks and surprises her. It’s a bit embarrassing, too.

Lena stands up, and does a stretch. Outside, through the window, she can see how dark it is now. She’s overstayed her welcome.

“I should get going, it’s getting late,” she says.

“Or you could stay. You can stay over, if you want,” Kara suggests casually, getting up and bringing her mug to the sink.

“Oh.” Lena blinks. “I’m—”

“Oh, it’ll be like a sleepover. You can borrow my clothes, you don’t need to walk all the way back to your apartment,” Kara carries on, all fired up.

Lena’s bewildered. “I don't know, I mean. Is there even room?” She pauses long enough to think to herself, who even does this, my bed is not far away, before mumbling, “Kara, I live right next door to you. You don’t have to—“

“Nonsense,” Kara says happily, turning around in the kitchen to face her. “Yes, of course there’s room. You can sleep in my room.”

Lena blinks. “With you?”

“Yeah, with me,” Kara says, and then pauses. Her eyes widen, and she hurries to add, “I mean. I can take the couch. You can take the bed.”

“What? Kara, no, I’m not kicking you out of your own bed.”

“Okay,” Kara says simply. Her cheeks go pink; it doesn’t seem like she has thought all this through. Cute. She licks her lips. “Okay, then. We’re sleeping together.”

“Yeah,” Lena finds herself saying, barely thinking, and Kara pumps her fist in victory. She goes to bring some clothes for Lena. Lena stares after her, kind of dazed, like she’s not sure what just happened.

It’s deadly silent in the apartment as she finishes up in the bathroom. Outside Kara’s door, she knocks, tentatively. She can only hear her own heartbeat.

“It’s open.”

Lena turns the knob, and then she’s standing in the doorway. She’s never been in Kara’s room, she realizes. Her eyes flick over the space, from the bed to the keyboard.

“It’s okay if you’ve changed your mind.”

Lena meets Kara’s gaze. She blinks, bites down on her lower lip.

“No, it’s... I haven’t.”

Lena fiddles with her hands, her heart racing embarrassingly fast. Quietly, she steps into the room and closes the door behind her. The bed tips under her weight, and she settles on it, pulling the blanket over herself. “Is this okay?”

“Yeah, it’s okay.” Kara grins, and just like that, Lena feels lighter.

The feeling of another body warm in bed next to her does maybe more than it should. And maybe, Lena thinks, the thing she’s feeling is loneliness.

“Goodnight,” Kara says quietly.

“Goodnight,” Lena murmurs back. She breathes slowly.

Kara looks so soft with her sleepy eyes and small, lazy smile. Lena thinks, quietly to herself, about thoughts of fitting herself in someone’s life. She looks down at the blanket. It’s a dangerous thought. It could grow, could take root if she’s not careful.

 


 

“—And that’s what happens when you mess with Andrea, poor guy. Anyway, one more thing. Ruby’s coming to visit you later,” Sam says on the phone. Lena’s on her second mug of coffee in Kara’s kitchen, her back facing Kara’s room.

“Yeah, okay,” Lena murmurs, staring at the little plant on the counter. She’s been on the phone with Sam for the past five minutes. She has barely processed anything Sam’s said.

Sam huffs, and Lena hears the sound of the refrigerator door closing. “Hey, have you been listening to a word I’ve been saying? You seem out of it.”

“Mhm,” Lena says distractedly. “Ruby’s coming to visit. That’s what you said.”

There’s a sigh. “So how’s Kara been?”

“What?” The name catches Lena’s attention. Her voice is an octave higher than her normal speaking voice. “What about Kara?”

“Woah. So that’s how to earn your undivided attention.”

Lena glances in Kara’s direction. She breathes in through her nose.

“I slept in her room, Sam. I’m in her kitchen right now,” she mumbles into the coffee.

“You stayed overnight? Slept in her bed, with her in it?”

“Yes?” she says quietly. “We just shared a bed. That’s all.”

That’s all. Except it’s not. She’s kind of horrified, actually.

She has never felt this well rested. That’s rare. When she woke up the first time, Kara’s arm was around her waist, front pressed against her back, nose touching the back of her neck. Lena just… let herself be cuddled like that. Because it felt nice. And warm. Amidst the pounding heart. It was like that for a good five minutes, before she started freaking out then gently removed herself, creating distance.

And then she fell back to sleep.

The second time she woke up, Kara was still asleep. This time, she woke up to her head tucked in the crook between Kara’s neck and shoulder. Kara’s arm thrown around her middle, holding her close. Jesus christ. How that happened, she doesn’t know. Kara’s like a magnet.

Embarrassed, she took off before Kara could wake, and before leaving her room, she managed to snag a piece of clothing out of Kara’s closet along the way, couldn’t help it.

(Yes, Lena committed a crime, and no, she has no plans on giving the stolen item back. For now.)

“Wow, Lena,” Sam whistles, “soon, you’re going to be moving in with her, like a U-Haul—”

“Sam, relax, oh my god,” Lena sputters a little. “It was just a sleepover. She’s just a friend.”

Sam snickers. It’s quiet for a bit.

“You know,” Sam starts, and then Lena hears movement against the floor. Light footsteps, coming towards her. Lena turns to the sound. Kara’s rubbing her eyes; she’s in the kitchen entrance in her thin sweater and messy hair. There’s a light pink on her cheeks. “—Hello? Did you hear what I just said?” Sam says to her on the phone.

“Oh, hey. Good morning,” Kara says. They both hold each other’s gazes, something strange hanging between them. And then Kara blinks, smiling. “Lena Luthor, cuddle demon.”

Lena flushes hard. Betrayed by her own limbs, yeah she knows. Kara looks at her. Right, they have a tradition.

“Kara Danvers,” Lena sighs, “who has a very comfortable shoulder. Hey. I think you cuddled me first...”

Sam snorts.

“Well, I would love to stick around but I’m not about to listen to you two flirt,” Sam says, voice flat, “gotta go. Tell Kara I said I love her and hi.”

“Bye, Sam,” Lena says, putting her phone down and then turns to face Kara fully. She watches Kara take out a carton of apple juice, then looks away. “Sam said she loves you. Also, hi.”

Kara laughs quietly. “How did you sleep?”

Lena takes a seat on the table, both hands cupping her mug. She bites the inside of her cheek. She thinks about Kara’s arm around her. Kara pressed up against her. Well.

“Good,” she murmurs, “your bed is comfy. What about you?”

“Great,” Kara says. “My bed is comfy.”

And that’s all they say about Lena sleeping in her bed. Lena’s not going to act awkward because why would she. If she does, Kara might be too sleepy to notice. Lena cooks them eggs, and they talk about how they like their eggs in the morning.

They both like it scrambled or poached.

 


 

Kara [8:38pm]

come out

Lena [8:40pm]

I'm lesbian

Kara [8:41pm]

yes i know, and that’s a win for the wlw community

come out of your apartment lena

Lena [8:43pm]

It's already late, why? What's happening?

Kara, if you accidentally caused a fire again...

Kara [8:44pm]

hey! that was one time

one time

um, i want to go out for a walk, get some fresh air. buy some snacks too, cause i ran out. come join me if you want, let's go out and buy snacks!! i know you’re lacking heavily in the snacks department

Lena [8:45pm]

Obviously. That’s because you take and eat mine all the time.

Kara [8:45pm]

:)

please? i want to see you. i know that all you’ve been doing is work. sam tells me things

At first Lena’s a little hesitant. It doesn’t sound much fun, just walking around and looking at her surroundings.

But she knows that at this point, any time spent with Kara is a good time spent. Lena thinks maybe Kara is trying to be nice to her, that maybe she thinks Lena’s lonely. Lena can’t really admit she’s lonely, but—well, she is a little lonely, so she doesn’t see any reason to turn Kara away.

Things are different now. Lena can’t describe in what way, exactly, much less why, but the changes are there.

They’ve started making time for each other in the littlest of ways, but Lena’s favourite are the cheeky texts sent between work emails sent and meetings. Kara’s smart and sweet and almost always trying to make Lena laugh. She likes this, likes having fun with someone for the sake of having fun. Being with Kara is like a breath of fresh air and Lena finds that she likes… nothing being serious. She’s enjoying herself, despite everything, despite the ache that you feel when your life changes so entirely.

Lena reads the message again. i want to see you.

So then that’s that. Lena sighs and buries her face in her pillow.

They meet up in the building’s parking lot, near Lena’s car, and:

“Hello, Lena Luthor, provider of my snacks.”

“Kara Danvers, terrifying human who knows how to lure me out.”

Kara laughs, a beautiful thing that spreads warmth all the way down to Lena’s toes. Kara’s dressed in a fit white shirt, black jeans with a belt, and sneakers. She adjusts her glasses, then her black baseball cap.

She’s breathtaking, Lena thinks not for the first time. Swallows drily; feels absolutely ruined. She lets a breath fall past her lips, steps back, feels a bit unsteady on her feet.

It doesn’t help that Kara’s kind of just staring at her.

“What?”

Kara blinks, chuckles quietly. “I like your glasses.”

Lena hums. She adjusts the huge black-framed glasses hanging on her nose. This is the first time Kara has seen her with glasses on. “I’m blind as a bat. People don’t really recognize me in these.”

“Hmm.” Kara looks at her, considers. “Really? That works?”

Lena smirks lightly. “It does.”

Kara hums, thinking, looking at her closely.

“I can’t stay out for too long,” Lena murmurs, moving on. “We can use my car to get your snacks. Then we can walk around for a bit, before we leave.”

“Yes! Let’s go,” Kara says, bouncing on her feet. She’s pretty much vibrating. When Lena goes to move towards her car, she hears a gasp next to her. “Hold on a moment.” Kara blinks and blinks incredulously, her eyes scanning Lena.

“What.”

“Lena. How. How,” Kara huffs, “did you manage to successfully sneak that out of my room? Without me knowing at all? That’s mine.”

Lena glances down at herself. She’s wearing a dark green turtleneck under her burgundy coat. Oh. Oh. Yeah, so what if she stole it, took it with her exactly three days ago when she stayed over, while Kara was asleep.

“I’ll give it back later, I promise.” Lena grins, soft.

“Next time I’m going to put a warning sign in my closet. No Lena Luthors allowed.”

“Sure you will,” Lena says.

“Just… wow.” Kara pouts, a light pink flush high on her cheeks.

After they make their trip to the convenience store, they grab coffee and start walking around. Kara’s carrying the “goods” as she likes to call it, arm holding one bag over her chest and a cup of coffee in her other hand.

The walk is dark and crisp and sparklingly cold. The clouds are glowing with the reflection of the city lights, pressing that glow back down onto the sidewalks.

It’s relaxing. Calming. Lena’s never really appreciated how truly beautiful and lovely the city is, until now. The air is nice, not too cold to walk in, so she enjoys the scenery as she walks. Her heart feels a lot lighter, the tension in her shoulders starting to seep away.

They enter the park with Kara’s insistence to enjoy the night sky and watch dogs play and run around the park. They find a spot in the oval and Kara sets her bag down. Pulls Lena down to sit down with her, patting on the grass right next to her.

Hesitantly, Lena does.

In front of them, a middle-aged man is attempting to play fetch with his golden retriever. Lena miscalculates and sits a little bit too close; their thighs brush, and Lena tries to play it cool, busying herself with her coffee. She hears Kara chuckle softly as the dog sits on the grass, refusing to move.

Kara waves at the golden retriever, and the dog’s ears perk up, tail wagging excitedly. Suddenly so full of energy, the dog starts running, propelling itself to Kara.

The man winces, calls the dog away, and Kara, on the ground, laughs breathlessly. There’s grass in her hair. Lena has never seen anything more beautiful, and she wishes she could push the thought away, but it’s impossible when Kara’s right there, right in front of her.

“Dogs really love you,” Lena comments. Kara looks up at her, a pretty red on her cheeks, and bites at her lips through a sheepish smile.

It’s close to ten now, National City shining around them. Lena looks up at the dark sky. You can’t see the stars from here. She looks and looks, staring at its vastness, feeling very small suddenly. Until Kara bumps her shoulder with hers, and says, “Hey, let’s take a picture together.”

“Picture?” Lena asks, and Kara’s already pulling her phone out.

“Smile!”

Lena barely has the time to look at the camera. Kara is pressing on the button, and she hears the click of the phone.

“Do a face,” Kara says, doing a face at the camera. Lena laughs, and she hears another click. “Perfect. There’s a bounty on your head right now, apparently. I’m gonna send this to the group chat.”

Lena squints at her. “Say what, now?”

“Sam tells me you guys have this sort of thing where sometimes you go radio silent and everyone starts to wonder if you’re still alive and kicking.” Kara’s typing on her phone. “Lena Luthor. Confirmed alive and kicking,” Two beats later, she adds, “With Kara Danvers.”

“Oh.”

It’s sweet and lovely that her friends care about her well-being, to miss her when she goes quiet, but god, they could be so dramatic sometimes. If something were to happen to her, it would be all over the news.

Kara’s glasses are slightly askew as she looks at Lena, and Lena’s hand twitches to do something about it. She looks away.

“Send them to me later?” Lena murmurs, watching one particularly tall tower in the distance. Its lights blink in and out against the dusty blue sky.

“Of course.”

It’s quiet for a single, long moment. They’re sitting side by side, pressed thigh to thigh even though they don’t have to. Lena is astounded by it all—how vast the night sky is, how beautiful the city is.

“I feel small, just sitting here,” she says.

“I know what you mean. But somehow looking up at the greatness of it, it grounds me,” Kara murmurs.

Lena looks at the city lights, twinkling pretty in the dark. She looks at Kara, face illuminated by the little light that comes from the lamp posts around them, eyes trained on the sky. She looks lovely, a slight smile tugging at her lips.

Lena takes an uneven breath. Kara looks like everything Lena doesn’t dare admit she yearns for, and Kara only looks at her, rose-tinted cheeks and sunlight smile and—she has always been weak against the sun.

These thoughts are alarming, troubling. She decides to do less thinking and more talking. So she starts telling Kara about the projects she’s working on, then her business trip to Japan last week and the dogs she saw there which gets them sidetracked for a minute because Kara demands to see pictures, and. Well. How could she refuse?

“You know, you look really happy when you talk about your projects.” Kara grins, her eyes soft. “Lena, your smile—”

“My smile is what,” Lena says so quietly when Kara doesn’t finish her sentence.

“Lena,” Kara whines, looking away, looking down; she’s bashful, she’s trying to hide herself. But Lena can see her smile. “You know.”

“I don't read minds, darling.” The pet name slips out of Lena’s mouth so easily. Rolling out so fondly—she doesn't even realize what she said until Kara looks up at her. She’s smiling softly, biting at her lip lightly.

“Terrible,” Kara whispers. The tips of her ears are red. The whole sight kind of makes Lena’s heart melt—Kara looks so cute, her slightly red ears poking out of her black baseball cap. “Just terrible, your smile.”

“Is it, now,” Lena says, her heart pounding against her rib cage.

“Yes,” Kara says, playfully this time, and she touches her glasses. She looks away, licks her lips, then meets Lena's eyes. She looks like she wants to say something. Then she stands up so fast it almost startles Lena. “Um, my cup’s empty,” she murmurs, and touches her glasses again. “Gonna put it in the bin. Just a second.”

Lena releases the breath she didn’t realize she was holding.

She stands up, too, following Kara and placing her own cup into the bin.

“Do you want to head back home now?” Kara asks, turning around to face Lena.

“Yes.”

Kara opens her mouth. Closes it, and just smiles shyly. Lena’s heart is jackhammering in her chest, dangerous and alarming. Almost unkind and mocking, saying: did you honestly think you were ever over this?

 


 

The days of the week seem to melt into one another, and soon Lena loses track of time.

It has been... rough, to say the least.

All of Lena's time is spent at L-Corp—be it at her office, or at her private laboratory, when Jess tells her she has time for herself before meeting up with clients.

Her feet hurt from standing up too much, headaches won't leave her alone, and her limbs ache from being pushed too far, every day. Lena needs perfection. She needs her projects to be spotless, brilliant. She needs to know that she did her absolute best, and didn’t waste the perfect opportunity.

For that reason, during those days she doesn’t talk much to… anyone, really. She knows that her friends worry, and she knows that Kara especially misses her. She can tell, even if Kara tries her best to not tell her, as she doesn’t want to make her feel bad for focusing on work. It hurts for Lena too, but by the time she gets home she doesn’t have the time to think about anything—she falls asleep the moment her head hits the pillow.

As for the rest of the day, she manages to take her mind off it by working. Again. Some days are harder than others, and today is proving to be especially difficult. Lena knows she can do better than this, but for some reason, there is always something off with her calculations in the laboratory today. She’s out of touch, forgetful, and gets surprised when Jess tells her she needs to come back to her office for meetings and presentations, she lags behind… Always something wrong. Never perfect. Never good enough.

And Lena can’t have that.

It’s 8 pm, and she’s sick of fucking up. Coming back from her personal lab, she sits down in her office, ready to work here instead. She isn’t sure how much time has passed. When she hears a low, almost timid knock to the door, she freezes.

Tensing up and not even bothering to look in the direction of the door. She just says, “Come in.”

Lena isn’t quite sure of what she was expecting. Most likely, one of her trusted assistants from the lower floors telling her it's late, they're leaving to go home now and joke that she should, too. It happens.

What she wasn’t expecting at all, though, was to see Kara. Kara, wearing a brown coat and green sweater and looking the most worried Kara has ever seen her.

“Hey, Lena,” she says, scratching her eyebrow. She looks hesitant, lingering under the frame of the door. “Can I—can I come in?”

“Yeah, of course,” Lena tells her then, running one hand through her hair. “What are you doing here?”

“I just thought I’d come see you,” Kara replies. “I thought you’d be here, even if it’s late.”

Kara walks towards her, getting close.

“Yeah, I was planning to stay here for a little while. I need to get through this pile of work,” Lena says.

Kara nods then, sharply.

“You look really tired.”

“I’m just fine,” she says, but Kara doesn’t look too convinced. “Nothing I can’t handle. I just need to push myself these days. There’s time to rest after this.”

“But within limits, Lena,” Kara says. Lena frowns. “I just—don’t you think you’re pushing yourself too hard? It’s not healthy. You need to rest, too.”

Lena's expression hardens then, as she clenches her jaw.

“What I really need is to get everything right and get my life together,” she flips out, then. She pauses sharply, realizing how harsh her tone came out. It came out way harsher than she intended.

Kara doesn’t react for a few seconds, looking at her. She’s inscrutable. It makes Lena want to wince and apologize, both at the same time, but she doesn’t do either. Mostly because of the shock when Kara, out of the blue, just surges forward and pulls her into a hug.

“I know how important this is to you,” Kara says. “I understand that, but I’m just... looking out for you and trying to make sure you’re safe. Sam's been worried, too. You can’t snap at me like that, Lena. I just want you to be okay.”

Lena immediately regrets her words. She’s aware that what Kara is saying is true. She knows that she shouldn’t snap at anyone, but especially not at Kara out of all people.

“I’m sorry,” Lena says. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.”

“I know. I know, baby,” Kara tells her, and Lena thinks the pet name catches her a bit off-guard. Her brain restarts slowly, overwhelmed from trying to process everything that has happened in the past few minutes. “Just… listen to me, Lena. I know this is so, so important to you. But if you don’t take care of yourself, if you don’t catch enough rest and continue to push yourself beyond your limits, you’re gonna get hurt. You’re hurting yourself. You need to be good to yourself, too.”

Lena swallows. She remembers the first time Kara barged in her home and helped her out, when she was overworking herself. Lena has seen people fall through the cracks because of this. Trying too hard, caring too little for themselves, and the consequences that ensue. It’s easy to get caught up like this, when there is a goal you need to achieve and all of your efforts seem almost empty and never, ever enough.

What Lena also realizes is, as she looks at Kara’s face, eyes soft and gentle, that the last few weeks have been a cruel reminder of what life was like before they met.

Just work and home, work and home without anything to really look forward to throughout the week. It's like clockwork, as universal as the turning of the seasons, as inevitable as silver-winged clouds after torrential rain: Kara, coaxing Lena out of her frenzy with soft, deliberate brushes of skin-against-skin, with soft words.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Lena says. Kara is right, she knows. She needs to rest. She pulls back a little, so she can look at Kara, flushing a bit, and murmurs, “You’re right. I’ll… I’ll go home.”

“You can come to mine if you want,” Kara suggests then, quietly. Nervously. As if she’s afraid that’s too much. Too much, right now. “Of course, you don’t have to. Only if you want to.”

“I want to,” Lena says. Kara looks so surprised it kind of aches. “Yeah, that sounds good. I want to go to yours.”

“I’ll make you some tea when we’re there, then,” Kara says, now offering a smile. Lena can’t help but smile in return.

"You're so good to me,” she murmurs, burying her face against Kara's neck as she slips her arms around Kara. Kara smells nice, always does. She smells like comfort, and Lena feels like she could fall asleep right here and now if she wanted to. “Don't know what I'd do without you.”

It’s strange, this warm, comforting feeling. Lena can never get used to feeling this, in Kara’s arms.

“Well, you’ve gotten through twenty eight years without me,” Kara jokes lightly. “Also... you mentioned before that I'm your hero. I intend to keep the job. Here I am.” Kara’s hand moves from Lena's back to her neck, scratching lightly there. Lena sighs, soft, melting against Kara's body. “Come on. Get your stuff and let’s go.”

 


 

As soon as Lena steps inside Kara’s apartment, Kara starts preparing her a hot bath. And when that’s all done, Lena steps out of the bathroom—feeling fresh and lighter and better, her heart brimming with appreciation—Kara hands her her cup of tea. The way Kara sets it on the table for Lena is just—so fucking gentle.

Her friend is so—sweet, and thoughtful, Lena could cry.

Much later, she hovers by the bedroom door and sees that Kara’s already settled in bed, reading a book. She makes her way towards Kara, shy and a little hesitant. When Kara registers her presence and smiles soft at her, Lena flushes and feels lighter.

Better.

Lena crawls onto the bed with Kara, and something wild possesses her, that has her tugging Kara down into a lying position so she can lay half on top of her, wrapping her arms around Kara’s middle and pressing her forehead against Kara’s neck. Kara goes pliant, allows Lena to turn tiny tiny tiny so she can be cuddled, huffing out a laugh as Lena rearranges them the way she wants, nuzzling into Kara’s neck when she’s finished so Kara knows she can touch.

And Kara does; she runs a hand up Lena’s spine and neck, petting her hair a few times before it settles on the back of Lena’s neck, holding onto her as both support and grounding. For the first time all night, Lena can finally relax.

“Doing okay?” Kara asks quietly.

And Lena doesn't know how to explain it—doesn't have the words for what she's feeling or the escape Kara is for her without even knowing. Pulls her face back a little to look at Kara, and murmurs, “Yes.”

For a time, they just stare at each other.

There’s something about Kara's aura that Lena is drawn to. The truth is, Kara is the brightest light she's ever seen. The world is cruel and dark and cold. Kara is the opposite of that. Every day is an echo, and maybe the world stays on fire, but Kara reminds Lena that there's shelter to be found.

And it's right here, in Kara’s arms.

It’s so hard to think—almost too easy to let go and let Lena’s mind become peacefully blank. Kara makes her feel safe in a way she didn’t even know another person could make her feel. And then she’s counting all the other ways she’s lucky to have Kara.

Kara realizes it before Lena does. Her eyebrows crinkle a little. Wipes her thumb just under Lena’s eyes and asks gently, “Why are you crying?”

“I just—” Lena tries, and fails to get her thoughts in order. Swallows, shakes her head, and tries again. Says, “I just… appreciate you.”

Lena thinks she hears Kara coo. Nudges their noses together and says, “I appreciate you, too.”

Lena’s heart thumps wildly against her chest. Takes a shaky breath; she can’t believe the words that are about to come out of her mouth.

“Can we do this more often?” she asks quietly.

“What?”

Her cheeks are warm from the embarrassment of it. She tugs on Kara’s shirt. “Cuddle.”

“Sure,” Kara breathes, and places a light kiss against Lena’s forehead. “Whatever you want, baby.”

And Lena—blinks. Oh.

Suddenly, in her vulnerable state, it’s all she can focus on—baby, baby, baby. She closes her eyes. Feels warm all over, and not from the tea anymore, not from anything but the thought of being Kara’s baby, and she’s here, she’s taking care of Lena.

She didn’t really have the chance to process how she feels about the term of endearment when Kara called her that before—but now she does. It’s… well, Lena has no words. It makes her feel soft, makes her flush, makes her heart swell.

She goes to press her face against Kara’s neck and hide there.

“You’re cute,” Kara says.

“Kara,” Lena mumbles, hugging Kara tighter. “Stop.”

“It’s true, though. You’re the cutest person I’ve ever met.” Kara keeps stroking Lena’s hair, and doesn’t say anything further when Lena remains quiet.

Kara’s broad and solid and soft. It’s the first thing Lena had noticed about the blonde when they met for the first time. Her shoulders are strong and muscular. Lena had immediately pictured them crowding over her from above, warm and encompassing. It lives up to her imagination, and she arches up into Kara's chest with a yawn, feeling small and little and safe.

Lena likes to compare Kara to warmth, in varying degrees, for various reasons, because of how her smile makes Lena feel, or her giggle, or the ghost of her touch on Lena’s skin—and sometimes, Kara’s eyes are so intense, fiery, that Lena’s left gasping, aching, in more ways than she dares to think about.

“So, you wanna be the little spoon?”

Lena bites the inside of her cheek. “Yeah.”

“‘Kay.” Kara hums softly. “Fitting, since you’re so little.”

“What? I’m not that little,” protests Lena, nudging Kara’s shin under the covers, and Kara can’t help laughing, nudging her back.

“Yes you are.”

“That’s an exaggeration.”

“You’re little,” Kara says, “and according to my calculations, you’re baby.”

Lena bites her neck, and Kara shrieks, rolling to get away from her, and Lena follows, and they get into a strange wrestling match that ends only when Kara has flopped on top of Lena, and they laugh and Kara rolls onto her back, hugs Lena, and squeezes her tight, and.

And, yeah.

Kara pulls back and beams at her, and if Lena were being poetic and as smitten as she is, she’d even say it was a little like looking at the sun. She wonders what on earth this woman has done to make her feel this way.

Lena beams back, her chest so full of fond things it aches. It’s terrible.

It’s beginning to border unbearable.

 


 

Lena can deal with crushes. She’s comfortable with them. She knows how to deal with them.

She knows about the inevitable hurt that will come when she thinks about the person and the impossible scenarios she'll fantasize about where everything goes perfectly and they are happily together. She understands the infatuation, the captivation that fades away over time when she begins to realize the person she imagines falling in love with is not actually the person before her.

She knows they’re just someone her brain creates to be enamoured with without any actual deeper knowledge of them.

Lena knows about crushes. They pass. They pass quickly.

How Lena feels about Kara is no crush.

She had hoped it was. She had hoped so, so much that it was just another fixation formed by the loneliness plaguing her heart, an attachment borne of boredom and isolation. But it didn’t fade, not at all. Time continued to pass. Instead it grew stronger, like a weed finding its way in the small cracks of the wall she had protecting her heart.

Lena wishes she could pinpoint what makes Kara so wonderful, but it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Kara is sweet and funny and absolutely brilliant, even though she tries to hide it. She is thoughtful, like all the times she's brought Lena some lunch and coffee to show gratitude for allowing her to hang out for a few hours.

Kara loves her job and is really damn good at it. She enjoys teaching self-defence class on weekends, and is loved by her students. She does volunteering work sometimes.

But maybe none of that even matters. Maybe it's just that Lena’s chest feels so warm when she sees her, and that she actually, genuinely enjoys spending time with Lena. She laughs at her jokes, real laughter, no irony or sarcasm in sight.

It's just...nice. It feels like, for whatever reason, Kara sees and understands her, and it's been so long since Lena felt like that with someone.

The point is, Kara’s wonderful.

That’s that.

And—Lena’s going to stop thinking about this now.

 


 

“Is Kara your favourite now?” Sam demands.

Lena groans, back pressed up against a rack of clothing in her closet where Sam has her cornered.

Sam jabs her ridiculously long finger into Lena’s chest. “You have to tell me, Lena. Tell the truth right now.”

“I don't have favourites,” Lena snaps, poking her back. “Sam, I have work to do.”

“Lies,” Sam accuses, watching Lena closely. She lunges forward to get Lena into a headlock. “Say I'm your favourite!”

“But—Sam, get off!” Lena exasperates, trying to get away. “I don't have favourites!”

“What you're saying is that I'm on the same level as Jack,” Sam concludes, disgusted. Her hair is slightly messy and she’s frowning. Dramatically.

“What's wrong with Jack?” Lena laughs.

“You're a cold woman, Lena,” Sam says.

Lena is still sort of laughing, and she knows Sam is mostly joking, but—”Is this your super weird way of asking me if there’s anything going on between me and Kara? Really, again?”

Sam straightens up quick, eyeing Lena shrewdly. “More like why you haven't already brought it up. Come on, you’re literally always with her now.”

That is the better question.

“Always with her? You exaggerate, you know.” Lena shakes her head. “It’s…there’s nothing,” she says slowly, and Sam gives her a pointed look. “There’s really nothing going on, Sam. There’s nothing to talk about.”

They don’t talk about it.

It’s true, there’s not much to talk about. Obviously, something’s changed—she’s grown closer with Kara. Lena doesn’t know how to explain their closeness, so she doesn’t. No one knows anyway, the way Lena fits perfectly in the crook of Kara’s arm, the way she’s sleeping better these days. The way someone else’s apartment has become like something, like another place where she can rest.

Later when she gets home from work, Lena finds herself in Kara’s apartment. It’s where she goes now, when it’s time to go home. It’s where her feet lead her to. She went from sometimes to frequently, now.

She tries not to think too much about it.

The sun has nearly set when Kara’s alarm goes off. Lena frowns and pulls her closer. Wednesday, Kara has to attend some early meeting. Or is it interview day? Her groggy brain can’t remember. She groans when Kara pushes off of her with a whispered sorry and a groan of her own.

The sounds of Kara washing her face and rummaging through the closet lull her into a slow waking. She rolls stomach down into the warmth Kara left behind and listens. A few more clinks in the refrigerator, the scrape of keys off the counter and the front door of the apartment clicks shut.

Lena sighs and opens her eyes. A peek at her phone tells her her alarm is set to go off in thirteen minutes, and she sighs again. Might as well get up, the bed is too cold now anyway.

 


 

Lena Luthor considers herself an expert at noticing changes in a particular environment. After all, ever since Kara Danvers stumbled into her apartment, change is all she’s known. Changes in routine, changes in paradigms, changes in the way her heart responds to a certain crinkly-eyed, soft grin, fast, coordinated footsteps vibrating against hardwood floors, to coming home to the smell of fresh potstickers on kitchen countertops.

But after that night when Kara visited her in her office and coaxed her to take a rest, something changed in a way she no longer knows how to comprehend.

In all essence, Kara is still Kara, still clumsy and soft-spoken, kind and infinitely caring—still listening and sharing songs in all her unbridled glee, still exclaiming at every puppy that crosses the street and bringing home a box of doughnuts cradled in her arms. But there is also something else, something more meaningful, something that is continuously simmering in the liminal spaces between them—cautious, yet staggeringly intimate.

Something shifts, and it comes in the form of long glances, of touches that come too often to be normal yet are somehow not enough for them.

Tonight, Lena’s making beef and vegetable stew as Kara bustles, about to wash up and settle more comfortably in her apartment. She just got home from work, a tired but gentle look adorning her face.

Lena’s here, once again, because she simply likes existing in Kara’s space. Making dinner and having it with her, talking about each other's day and laughing at anything remotely funny. Her visits have become frequent. The first time Kara asked her to come over and have dinner with her one time, she said yes, and now Lena isn’t able to count how many times she’s been here. She doesn’t even wait to be asked; she’ll either send Kara a text that she’ll be coming over, or knock on her door, standing outside with her heart thumping fast.

Lena can’t say no to Kara. She can’t stay away from her either.

She cooks the beef, cuts the vegetables, cooks the stew that will feed them both. And there’s—Kara, hanging around a bit, existing just at Lena’s right side as she waits for direction on how to help. Lena tasks her with getting different vegetables, disposing of the trash, fetching some groceries from Lena’s apartment.

Lena’s heart aches just a little, she can’t help it. The fond grins she sends Kara every time Kara finishes the task Lena has given her only to stay at her side, wanting to help more. She gives Lena quiet praises when Lena does her own work, and it's kind of silly, but it makes Lena feel happy. So happy that she wants to reach out and touch Kara and run her hand through her hair. But she's reminded, of course, about not letting herself get ahead too much.

At some point Kara’s just standing in the kitchen and watching Lena cook quietly. Lena brushes past her, a little closer than she needs to be, can’t help it, a little indulgent in her part, and—

Lena catches Kara’s eyes, sees the way her lips curve up into a small smile, as if she knows.

Lena looks away, flushes. She's familiar with the overwhelming feeling to be close to Kara. It's unavoidable—this feeling.

Lena wants to kiss her. She has never wanted to kiss someone so badly. She wants. Shutting her eyes, she inhales a long, staggering breath, wishing the earth would split into two and swallow her whole, once and for all. At least then she wouldn’t have to submit herself to this terrifying ordeal of wanting, of wanting far too much than she has ever been allowed.

Kara’s her person, and—this thing she has with Kara—it’s the gentle domesticity of a life Lena hasn’t allowed herself to want but has found in someone she can’t keep. It’s—a lot. And it’s cruel.

“Kara?”

She gives in just a little, silly and incredibly indulgent in her part, when they’re both standing around the stew and waiting for it to cook. She reaches to tug at the hem of Kara’s shirt, wanting something, Kara’s attention maybe, or just to be soaked in her warmth.

Lena’s shy about her feelings for Kara most of the time, holding back when she wants to reach out because she’s not sure Kara feels the same. But today—she’s brave. Today, she looks up at Kara and asks for more.

And Kara—Kara gives it to her. Kara looks at her, smiles pretty pretty pretty, and touches her hand. They’re both leaning against the counter.

“Lena Luthor,” Kara huffs, realisation coming to her face, “stealer of my green flannel. Again, how and why? Lena.”

“Hello to you, too, Kara Danvers,” Lena says, grinning, “the person who will absolutely allow me to keep wearing this. I like it. It’s comfy and soft.”

Kara’s cheeks darken. She adjusts her glasses, grumbles. “That’s not a proper reason to steal that, but. Um—you look good. Yeah, really good. Okay fine, you can keep wearing it.”

Easy.

Lena sinks her teeth into her bottom lip, and looks at her hand. Kara’s playing with it, her thumb brushing against her knuckles. It's unbearably domestic. Lena has always been against such life, and now that she's had a taste of it, she's now realizing that she could grow to like it, desire it. That it's because it's the person who she has it with that matters.

“Lena?” says Kara, letting go of Lena’s hand. “I’m gonna go put some music on.”

Lena nods, grins. Kara puts on some love song that Lena is vaguely familiar with, but it’s not the song that she’s paying attention to—it’s Kara humming and singing along as she works, as they work side by side.

It’s Kara sneaking a quick bite of food into her mouth and returning to Lena’s side almost immediately, sticking herself to Lena’s back and beginning to sway them back and forth in time with the music. 

It’s Kara distracting Lena from her task, taking Lena’s hand away from the pan lid and pulling her with her, away from the burning pot, chuckling as she twirls Lena under her arm as she sings to Lena some lyrics about life, want, and love.

Lena urges Kara to get back on track, because their food is going to burn if they don't. But Kara only laughs and sings and spins her, and she tries to lift Lena up in the middle of the kitchen only for Lena to shriek and flail, landing right into Kara’s arms and locked in there.

It’s unfair.

“Gonna make kale smoothie after this. I can make you one too, if you want?” Lena mutters, and ducks her face into the side of Kara’s neck. She would never say it out loud. But she likes being hugged by people bigger than her. Likes the way it encompasses her.

“Uh,” Kara says, voice strained. “No. Thank you.”

“Cute.” Lena sighs. Her nose touches Kara’s collarbone. She wonders if Kara would complain if she rubbed her nose against her skin. Kara smells really nice, always does. She kind of really wants to. “Saying the word kale earns such a strong reaction from you, huh?”

“Lena,” Kara breathes, half a whine. Lena pulls back a bit, looks up at Kara. “No, I'm not cute.”

“You are cute.”

“Oh. Are you some sort of professional in the cute department now?”

“That's right. Studied for it, I have my PhD in cute and all,” Lena says seriously, and that earns her a pretty laugh from Kara. Lena grins. “So, about my offer to make you a kale smoothie…”

“Don’t start. And no, I’m not going to try it again even if you ask nicely. No matter what you say, it’s a hard no. The last time I drank kale for you I almost puked on my laptop.”

“How about a sip then?” Lena negotiates patiently, smiling at her. “It’s not much. Just a little sip.”

Kara’s eyebrows crinkles.

“Just a little sip?” Kara repeats slowly. Lena watches her face, amused, and. Because Lena has trouble keeping her hands to herself—she’s not even drunk, god—she curls her fingers in Kara’s shirt hem, fiddling with the fabric.

“Just a little sip,” Lena confirms.

There’s a silence. “Okay, fine. That’s not much. Just a little,” Kara gives in, grumbling.

Hook, line, and sinker.

“Great! I’m holding you to that, darling.” Lena’s heart thuds with such intense fondness, her chest filled to the brim.

In a burst of courage, from who knows where, and who knows why she needs it, she grins and pats Kara’s cheek. She pats once, twice, then pinches lightly; it's irrationally intimate, and playful; Lena feels like she's forgotten something important here.

The sound of Kara giggling is unreasonably cute, but then she laughs—it bursts out of her, unrestrained, captivating, joyful. Her eyes are scrunched shut, mouth open, all teeth and mirth and she whines, laughing, “Lena—”

Lena's useless heart stumbles, rolls, struggles to get up again.

Kara composes herself; her shoulders still shake a little, but she's only grinning now, happy and so pretty. Lena's hand is still on Kara’s cheek, but she can't remove it. Doesn't want to. Kara tilts her head a little, watches Lena, questioning, but then—then they stare at each other, because Lena is weak, and an idiot, and still has her hand on the side of Kara’s face.

There’s a song still playing in the background. Lena can barely hear it; her heart’s hammering in her ears. She gets brave again and lowers her hand. Her fingers don’t get any farther than Kara’s strong jaw and soft cheeks and the outline of her bottom lip.

Kara’s lips part, a breath falls from them. There’s a look, one that drives Lena crazy. Lena blinks at her hand in betrayal, her thumb gently stroking Kara's chin. She drags her fingers down the line of Kara’s jaw.

And Kara—

Kara’s so, so beautiful. Her profile bathed in the soft lighting, she looks at Lena, just looking, not rejecting her, not moving—big, wide eyes searching Lena's, sparkling, alive, reflections like stars in them. It's the silliest thought. There are stars in them.

There's—an urge, a vague one, somewhere in Lena's stomach, or chest, it's too high up. She drops her gaze to Kara's lips. They're parted, pretty. Kara wets them, and Lena's eyes snap back up. Kara's eyes are kind of dark, it raises the hairs on Lena's nape.

Blue eyes track over Lena’s face, her lips, and Lena wants to kiss her so fucking badly, she lets herself think about it, lets herself feel the full force of wanting to—emotionally and physically—

Her heart is about to punch out of her ribcage. Kara gives Lena this look; Lena’s seen it before, and can never tell what it means—

Lena remembers suddenly: that she’s going too far. She’s wanting far too much than she has ever been allowed to. She can’t.

She drops her hand. Licks her lips, scrambles to say something, anything—and says, kind of lamely, “Your cheeks are soft to touch.” Her voice rings somewhat unnatural in her ears.

“Oh, I—My cheeks? Yeah…” Kara bites at her lip, cheeks flushing. Oh my god. “Um. I should—I’m gonna go change the song playing right now. It’s.” She licks her lips, and god—Lena needs to stop looking at them. “Hanson is playing. We do not play Hanson in my humble abode.”

Then she walks away in quick strides.

Lena takes a deep breath, releases it through her mouth slowly. Her heart is still beating fast.

That was... she doesn’t know what the fuck that was. She just knows she was about to forget herself, and Kara looked like she was, well... Lena doesn’t know.

She can feel the outline of Kara’s lips on her thumb, like burn marks. Hastily bringing a bottle of wine out, she starts pouring some in a wine glass. She could use some right now.

Later, they eat dinner together in silence. It’s not uncomfortable. They aren’t talking. Kara’s happily humming to the current song playing while she eats.

When they both finish and start cleaning up their messes, Lena volunteers to do the dishes. There’s a tap on her shoulder when she rolls up her sleeves to begin cleaning. She looks to her right.

“Stay over?” Kara asks quietly, unnecessarily. It is unnecessary at this point.

Lena always finds herself coming over, after work days, busy days, any day. Always finds herself saying yes to staying, and being in Kara’s arms.

Like clockwork, Lena says, “Sure.”

Kara’s smile is soft. Like sunlight on snow, Lena feels a warmth.

She really, really wants to kiss her.

She doesn’t.

 


 

Three weeks later, Lena sits in her seat, nervous.

Trust Sam to find a way for everyone to meet up and get together.

“So, you must be Lena Luthor. My sister’s next door neighbour. Friend. The woman my sister won’t stop talking about—”

“Alex,” Kara groans weakly, staring at her sister, hard. Pink dusts on her cheeks, and it makes Kara look the opposite of threatening.

“What? I’m not doing anything wrong.”

Lena, situated right across from them, blushes.

It’s a Saturday night and everyone’s all gathered up at the table. They’re in a pub with low lighting; it’s busy today, being the weekend and all, and there are people and tourists around them, spending their night in the pub as well.

“Hi, Alex,” Lena greets. By the time she got here, a little late from work, everyone was already at the table, settled in and comfortable. Right now she feels uncomfortable—feels like she’s being scrutinized, Alex’s gaze heavy and sizing. Lena clears her throat and looks at Kara. Kara only shrugs, and smiles small; shy. Looks at Alex again, and thinks: why does it feel like she needs to impress Kara’s sister?

Sam grins and bumps her shoulder, and then goes back to taking sips of her cocktail as she whispers something to Andrea, clearly not empathetic enough about any of this to come to her rescue. They’d demanded it in the first place—Sam and Andrea, getting everyone together for once. The problem is Lena knows that Sam, Andrea, and Alex get along. She has heard a lot about Alex from her friends.

They get along too well, and they’re going to embarrass Kara and Lena while they’re at it.

Her eyes darts to Kara. Kara’s eyes are on her hair, lingers there, and then meets Lena’s eyes.

Lena clears her throat. “So. Drinks—everything’s on me tonight.”

Jack almost snaps his neck to look at Lena and he bellows, Sam snorts, Andrea quietly sips her cocktail, and Kelly looks surprised, but smiles warm.

“Okay, I’ve decided that I like you,” Alex says, nodding with approval, and Lena blinks. Feels, strangely, that she’s done something right. There’s a playful glint in Alex’s eyes.

“Wait, Lena. Really?” Kara asks, and Lena nods. She pushes her plate of chips in Kara’s way, gesturing for her to eat.

“Yeah, of course. Drink and eat all you want. I’m rich.”

“That’s so hot,” Sam says, sighing dreamily.

“Look at her, already impressing the sister,” Andrea remarks. Lena sees Kara blink confusedly, before looking away and shoving Lena’s chips in her mouth. “Alex already likes her.”

“We love to see it,” Sam adds, helpfully.

Great. Here they go.

“You guys are ridiculous,” Lena says flatly.

“Of course. Lena’s lovable,” Kara murmurs, not quite catching the way everyone is joking around, almost too quiet for Lena to catch. The others don’t seem to have taken notice of what she said, because it’s only Lena that’s looking at her right now. It’s a problem, lately. Lena notices everything about Kara, and is always hyper aware of her.

She notices—because Lena always notices—and reaches for her glass, just to have something to do. Kara’s gaze stays on the table, as if that’s the most interesting thing in the room right now. Maybe that’s for the best because Lena feels her face heating, because what the fuck. That’s such a sweet thing to say.

Lena tips her head down to drag a hand through her hair and to hide how red she undoubtedly is. Waits, quietly, for the beating of her heart to calm down.

Lovable. She’s never been described as such. She doesn’t think she is, but if Kara says she is, well.

“I’m gonna go order more food and drinks, since our friend here has offered to pay for everything,” Jack says.

“Really, Jack?” Kara frowns. “You can pay for your own, easily. That watch you’re wearing right now probably costs at least ten months of my rent.”

“Kara, sweetheart, I’m not immune to the ‘alcohol tastes better when it’s free’ shtick.” He stands up and sends a smooth grin in Kara and Lena’s way. “Gotta go. Commit crimes, be gay, drink vodka, my friends.”

Lena rolls her eyes lightly.

“Oh,” Alex says, and turns to Kelly. “That’s a meme, right?”

Sam laughs. “Alex, you know your memes?”

“Hey, don’t underestimate me.” Alex sends a little look in Lena’s way, before making weird glances with Sam and Andrea. “So, let’s talk about what my sister’s best friend has been up to,” she says, “how’s it going, Lena?”

“It’s great,” Lena says, arching a perfect brow. “Why are you guys suddenly so invested in my life?”

“What do you mean? We just care about you.” Andrea’s smiling. There’s mischief in her eyes.

“Wow. I'm touched,” Lena says soullessly.

Jack comes back with a grin on his face. “All right guys, it’s time for a toast! May we be who our dogs think we are.”

“You don’t even have a dog,” Sam points out.

Jack ignores her, and raises his glass. “Toast!”

Half an hour later, somewhere along the way, Lena comes to realize that Kara and Sam have permanently switched seats. It’s only when, mid-way through a conversation with Kara about kale, that Lena takes notice of Sam, all seated and comfortable in her position, as if she doesn’t plan on returning.

Kelly’s laughing about something Sam said, and Alex is nodding along with a smile on her face.

How and when they switched, Lena doesn’t know. All she knows is that one moment, Sam went to the bathroom and the next, Kara is seated next to her, taking her food and keeps looking at her hair.

“What is it?” Lena finally asks.

Kara looks caught, her eyes slightly widening. Her cheeks colour a bit. “Your hair—um. It looks nice.” Kara fakes a cough, and it makes Lena smile. Endearing. Blue eyes linger at her hair again. “Looks so soft. Wavy. Can I touch it?”

“My hair?” Lena asks. “‘Course.”

“The lack of respect for our salads!” calls someone from next to them; Lena turns her head enough to see Sam, waving an arm at them. “Unbelievable, stop being gay!”

“Jack said we should be gay,” Kara says immediately, and Lena lets out a laugh; doesn’t really mean to, but it spills out of her anyway. Kara’s smile develops into a smaller, lopsided one, but it’s still there.

Their friends still haven’t gotten tired of the teasing, although Lena has tried to be less embarrassed about it considering they have to tease about everything: Kara and Lena holding hands, Kara and Lena spending time alone together, Kara and Lena walking beside each other. Just breathing.

Every time they so much as look at each other, someone is wolf-whistling in the background. The only thing to do is ignore them, because Lena knows it’s not going to stop. And the truth is that she’s learning not to care—because Kara doesn’t care so much (just gets a little red and cute), and even teases Lena along with the others.

“Jack said he’s going to eat this plate of potstickers you ordered,” Jack says behind them, carrying the plate as he approaches.

Kara gasps. “Jack, no!” she cries out before leaving Lena and darting towards Jack’s way, determined to protect her potstickers.

Lena chuckles, is about to say something when she hears Sam curse under her breath.

“Shit, fuck,” Sam says, and nudges her shoulder with Andrea’s.

Everyone is quick to notice the silence. They all turn to follow Sam’s gaze. Behind Jack, Lena sees a face. A face she has not seen in three years.

Veronica is all high bridges, looking impeccable as always.

“Why is she here? Is she back to National City, or what,” Sam grumbles darkly.

Andrea doesn’t say anything. She only keeps looking at the woman flirting with the bartender, her eyes intense and dark. Alex and Kelly seem to know what’s happening, while Kara comes back to her spot. She blinks and blinks, waiting for an explanation.

Lena only sighs tiredly and looks at her own drink.

“The hell is she doing here?” Andrea finally says, just as dark.

“Fucking Veronica,” Jack seethes. “Didn’t she leave to go be a snake somewhere else, or something.”

“I don’t know,” Lena mumbles.

“Lena?” Kara says quietly, right next to her. Lena’s heart aches a little. “Who’s Veronica?”

“That woman—she used to date Lena,” Sam supplies, “for three years, they were together. One day, she suddenly announced that she’ll be moving out to go forward with her career, or whatever it was she said. She didn’t say much, didn’t really care to explain, and just left.”

“She left Lena like the past three years didn’t mean anything. God, she still makes me seethe. Sam, Andrea, what do you guys say? You guys up for little chat with her?” Jack is ready to stand up.

Andrea stands up. “I do have a lot to say to that woman—”

“No, stop,” Lena says, and sighs. She’s tired. “It’s… fine. It’s our night. Just ignore her, don’t look at her.”

Jack crosses his arms over his chest, frowning hard. He looks like he wants to protest. Sam and Andrea exchange looks, and feel the same. Lena appreciates them. It makes her heart swell that her friends would go through such lengths for her. But she feels way too tired for this, and to be honest, she’d rather just forget she saw Veronica at all. The break up was bad, but she’s over it; she has been for a long time.

It doesn’t matter anymore.

“All right—fine,” Andrea says, jaws clenching. “But if she comes near us, notices us, I’ll make my move.”

Sam and Jack nod in agreement.

It doesn’t escape Lena that Kara has turned quiet. She’s been quiet, for a long time. Lena makes glances; Kara’s just looking at her drink and playing with her paper straw. Lena wonders what she’s thinking.

Time to go home eventually comes for all of them. Veronica didn’t stick around for too long, much to Lena’s relief.

None of them brought their cars, the premise of a night of drinks ahead of them keeping them from doing so. Kara and Lena are still clinging to each other, and it’s then, as they walk out, that Kara moves to Lena's ear and whispers,

“Do you want to sleep at mine tonight? We can watch something together if you’re up for it.”

She’s cute. Lena smiles. “Sure, Kara.”

They walk with everyone for a while. Soon, Jack’s driver arrives and Jack wishes everyone a goodnight before leaving.

“It was nice to finally meet you, Lena,” Alex says, after waving goodbye to Sam and Andrea.

Lena raises her eyebrows. “Finally?”

“Yeah,” Kelly says, smiling warmly, “Alex and I have heard a lot of things.”

“Kara and Sam talk about you quite a lot.” There’s a light smirk on Alex’s face. She shares a weird look with Kara. “I feel like I know more about you than my own sister and friends—”

“Okay. We have to go,” Kara says suddenly, and her hand snakes around on Lena’s neck. “Places to be. Bye, Alex and Kelly.”

Lena gives them both a small goodbye wave as she’s being dragged away. Alex is watching them with a lopsided smile on her lips. Kara’s walking fast, keeping Lena snug against her side. Lena steers her eyes forward again, and she bites the inside of her cheek.

They come to a stop under a lamp post, next to a closed cafe.

It’s already late, the sky dark but the streets lit up with National City’s nightlife as they walk through these unfamiliar streets.

Kara finally lets go of Lena and pulls her phone out to catch an Uber.

“Putting all four of them together,” Lena murmurs, as she watches Kara tap on her phone, “is giving them too much power. This is why I was hesitant before.”

“Yeah, I agree.” Kara’s eyes meet hers. “But Lena, you get to see me,” she says, and turns around to face her. They’re standing so close to each other—the tips of their shoes almost touching.

Lena stares, and then realizes she hasn’t responded. She clears her throat, eyes dropping down and hand reaching out to play with the lapel of Kara’s coat, trying to think of what to say.

It doesn’t help, because three people walk past them, one muttering audibly, “Hey look, aren’t they a cute couple?” and Lena glances over to see the people looking at her.

At Kara. At the two of them—

She feels her face burn; she knows Kara heard it, too. Lena takes her hand back and looks away, looks around, anywhere, that isn’t Kara’s face.

“I guess you make it worth it,” she says quietly. “But only a little bit.”

“Only a little bit? Lena,” Kara says, laughs. “I know you like spending time with me.”

“It’s the price I have to pay for receiving free cuddles and warmth from you.” Lena sighs. “You’re actually the bane of my existence.”

Kara gasps, although she’s laughing when she bumps her shoulder with Lena’s. Lena softens. She’s smiling so wide her cheeks kind of hurt. Her heart feels full.

It always feels like that, with Kara.

It quickly turns quiet, a silence settling between them as they wait for their ride home.

Kara keeps sneaking glances at her, everytime she thinks Lena isn’t looking. She knows Kara wants to ask. Kara wants to ask, is itching to, but Lena knows she’s not going to.

So she just tells her. “I was studying business and science with Veronica. We were together for three years,” Lena says. Kara slowly blinks at her, stops moving.

“It’s okay, Lena,” Kara says, “you don’t have to tell me.”

Lena looks down at the ground. She shakes her head.

“I know you want to know. And it’s okay. I want to, it’s fine.” Kara leans her back against the lamp post, hands inside her pockets. She watches Lena closely. Lena carries on. “So we dated. We’d just gotten an apartment together, and then she announced that she’ll be leaving to work on her career, and she was gone. And that was that.”

Lena breathes slowly. She shrugs.

“A part of me knew that it was bound to happen. Breaking up with her, I mean. We weren’t going anywhere and it wasn’t a healthy relationship. I was too busy trying to fix my family’s mess, trying to... do good. She always complained and looked down on me because of that. She didn’t think I could do it. Not to mention being associated with a Luthor was…” Lena shakes her head, shrugs helplessly. “I just didn’t think too much about it and overlooked her actions.”

Kara’s voice is soft when she speaks. “Because you were in love?”

Lena stills sharply, looks at Kara. Her lips part. She exhales softly. Kara is looking at her.

“I,” she says, licking her lips. “I don’t know. I don’t think so—I just put up with it.”

Kara doesn’t say anything. Her face is inscrutable and Lena wishes she knew what she’s thinking about. She wonders if… Kara's been in love. Lena takes an uneven breath and shoves her hands to the big pockets of her coat.

“Seeing her today, I was just… surprised. It’s been so long. She never bothered to talk or reach out to any of us.” Lena hesitates. “She… yes, broke my heart. I was all sorts of a mess, but I had L-Corp and my friends. Work kept me…. busy.” She shakes her head. “It doesn’t matter anymore. I’m over it.”

And it’s true, she truly is over it. She hopes she got her point across. Kara just looks at her, the corners of her lips dipping low.

“She’s that terrible, huh... I’m really glad you had Sam, Andrea, and Jack.”

“They all saw what a mess I was.” Lena takes a deep breath. “They were all there.”

Thinking about it pulls a soft smile out of Lena. She remembers it all clearly. The times she cried on Andrea’s shoulder, the moments when Sam gave her intense pep talks that were semi silly to pull laughs out of her, and the many nights of Jack inviting her out so she wouldn’t stay holed up in her home. It’s kind of embarrassing, thinking about it now. How she had been fucked up by someone who barely cared about her, or saw her.

It’s embarrassing, but Lena thinks it’s better they turned out this way. She wonders, for a moment, where she’d be right now, if Veronica hadn’t split up with her. Would she still be with the woman who’d barely cared for her? Would she be with someone else, or somewhere else. Would she have met Kara?

“I knew she valued reputation and status, to a large degree. Dating her was not one of my best decisions.” Lena knows she’s being self-deprecating. She doesn’t mean to, can’t help it. “Reputation and work comes first. Always. Being a Luthor, I’d know a thing or two about that.”

“You’re not like her,” Kara says. They hold each other's gaze. “And you’re not like your family.” She takes a deep, steadying breath. Her eyes are big and sincere. “Lena, you think you’re like them… cold, mean, and heartless. You’re not. You’re… thoughtful and honest and soft. I think… you’re genuinely the loveliest person I’ve ever met.”

Lena softens. There’s a weighted silence.

“Thank you,” Lena says quietly. Her heart is trying to beat right out of her ribcage. She feels like she might cry. “I know I’ve said this before, but I just… want to say it again. I appreciate you.”

Kara opens her mouth, as if to say something. Nothing comes out. Then, she smiles at Lena, soft and small. Shy and happy. She touches her glasses, looks down, back up.

“I appreciate you, too,” Kara says. Her voice comes out barely above a whisper. There’s a strange tension between them; it's palpable, it’s a little dizzying, it makes Lena feel nervous.

Lena clears her throat, a tangle of nerves. “How long until our driver arrives?” she asks, and there’s a tremble in her voice. “Tea sounds so nice right now. Want me to make you some when we get back at yours?”

“They’ll be here any moment now,” Kara replies, easily going along with Lena’s change of topic. Lena’s grateful. “And, tea? How could I refuse that.”

 


 

They end up not watching anything.

Kara’s blanket feels amazing to touch, it’s fluffy and soft and big. And Lena’s right under it, fiddling with the material as she watches Kara’s sleeping form.

Lena is not going to say it feels weird to sleep without Kara’s body heat around her—but she’s not going to say it doesn’t.

After they had tea, by the time Lena finished brushing her teeth and washing her face, Kara was already fast asleep in bed.

So here Lena is, absolutely not psyching herself up to come closer to Kara. The thing is—it’s ridiculous. Because it’s usually Kara who initiates these things. It’s usually Kara who smiles at her and whispers goodnight, before pulling Lena’s body against her.

It’s a thing that they do, damnit.

The thing about Lena wanting to be closer to Kara is that—she’s shy about it. She’s shy, and often scared, and worried. It’s embarrassing.

Lena swallows, licks her lips. “Kara,” she tests, to see if she’s really asleep. Then, a little louder— “Kara.” Kara still doesn’t wake or move, seemingly comfortable in her position.

In a moment of weakness, Lena raises her hand up, stops it in mid-air. She thinks of indulgent things, of allowing herself just one—thing—

Lena reaches. She reaches out, reaches up, and her fingers tremble, breath held tightly in her chest when her fingers brush against Kara’s hair.

She touches Kara’s hair, just gently, just bravely, careful careful. She tucks it behind Kara’s ear, thumb gently tracing the shell of her ear, unable to help herself. Her heart is a drum, explosive. She wants—more, god, Lena wants more.

When her gaze drops down and returns to Kara’s face, she realizes that Kara is awake. She’s watching Lena, eyes heavy with sleep but alert nonetheless.

Lena stills sharply, fingers still in Kara’s hair.

In a moment of panic, her mind races with options: she could keep going, could run her fingers through Kara’s hair, could touch her softly and with want and need.

She ends up snatching her hand back as though burned with fire. Kara tilts her head into Lena’s touch, asking for more.

“Sorry, I was—” Lena breathes, licks her lips, and Kara’s eyes widen, slowly realizing what is happening. “Your hair was in your face, and—” I wanted to bring you closer to me.

Lena closes her mouth, feels her entire face burn. It's pining quietly and then getting caught giving into that pining that alarms her. The cool air of the night does nothing to cool her overheated skin.

“‘S okay. That felt nice,” Kara murmurs sleepily. “Didn’t have to stop.”

Kara looks at her with parted lips and unfocused eyes.

“Sorry for waking you up,” Lena says again, unnecessarily.

“Mm. It’s ‘kay,” Kara mumbles, sighs softly. She drapes an arm over Lena’s waist like it’s the most natural thing in the world. “Cuddle. Have to sleep now, Lena. Goodnight.”

And—Lena flushes. She goes right for it, fitting herself in Kara’s arms. She snuggles as closely as possible, their bodies connected every inch of the way, and presses her face against Kara’s neck.

“Goodnight,” she whispers, closing her eyes.

Fuck. What a mess she’s in.

 


 

Grocery shopping is a thing Lena does now, apparently.

She’s with Kara. They’re doing groceries together. Given Lena’s status and wealth, she is far from the type to do grocery shopping herself. People do that for her. She gets everything delivered to her home. But ever since Kara entered her life, it’s a thing she does now, she supposes. And it’s a thing she… enjoys, surprisingly.

Must be because of the company. She’s not going to think too much about it.

Ten minutes in, and their shopping cart is already loaded. Loaded, with a huge emphasis on snacks. Lena doesn’t know how Kara does it, how Kara is so awfully skilled at convincing Lena that they need more snacks. After they finish checking out their items and loading it into Lena’s car, Kara suggests buying ice cream and waffles. Of course, Lena can’t refuse her.

They drive around in the area for a bit. Eventually, they find a little ice cream shop selling gelato and coffee. They pull into the area’s parking lot and enter inside the shop.

“Hi! I’ll have the triple chocolate waffle, please! With, um—strawberry, and caramel ice cream, please. And whipped cream, if possible. Oh! And extra chocolate?” Kara tells the server with a smile.

“And for you?” asks the server, looking at Lena.

“The choc mint, please,” Lena says, and she’s already fishing for her card in her purse (Kara will protest because she always does, and say that she should pay for them at least once, and Lena will insist, because she always does, saying that she’s literally a billionaire, and that she shouldn’t worry. But Kara protests anyway.)

Informing Kara that she’ll be back in a minute, Lena comes outside of the store to make sure that Kara has indeed locked the doors of her car.

“Lena? Is that you?”

Lena stiffens. That voice. She takes a deep breath and straightens her back. Turns around to face her.

“Veronica,” Lena says. She clenches her jaw.

Veronica looks no different. No younger, no older. Her eyes are on Lena, and her gaze drops. She lingers on her body.

“Lena. It’s been such a long time.” There’s a scorching comment heavy on Lena’s tongue. She keeps her mouth closed. “You look well. You look good.”

Wow. Lena looks at her darkly. She’s no longer angry, she’s past that, but she still feels incredibly bothered because Veronica believes she can just walk in here, nonchalantly tell her she looks good after leaving her in their shared apartment like Lena had only been someone to use and discard.

That’s fucked up.

“So you’re back in National City,” she says, not even bothering to hide the ice in her voice and choosing not to acknowledge the previous comment at all.

“Yeah, I’m back.” There’s a look of hesitance in Veronica’s face. Lena wonders if she can even feel regret or guilt. “I recently got a place nearby. You’re still running L-Corp?”

“Yes,” Lena says, toneless. It’s weird. What’s Veronica doing at a place like this? Lena looks up. There are huge buildings behind her. Corporate.

“Of course you are. I can see that you’re doing well, and so is the company… looks like it’s in good hands.”

“What do you want, Veronica?”

There’s something heavy in the air. It’s getting intense.

“Lena, look. What happened three years ago?” Veronica says, and Lena wants to laugh at the audacity. “The way I left...”

“Save your apology, I don’t need it,” Lena says, looking at her dead in the eye. “I moved on from it a long time ago. Why now? Why would it matter? It was three years ago, Veronica.” She breathes slowly. “You left me without a care in the world. You wanted to focus on your thing. None of it matters anymore, I don’t need anything from you.”

That’s when the door opens behind her, bells ringing. Kara steps into her side. Lena turns to look at her. Kara studies Veronica carefully, like she’s weighing the situation, wondering if she should involve herself.

The tension in Lena’s shoulders eases. Kara’s presence always calms her.

“Did you get—?” Lena asks.

“Yeah, it’s all in here.” Kara lifts the small plastic bag in her hand, shakes it a little. Then she looks at Veronica. Lena’s never seen Kara look at someone so darkly.

“Oh, hi. This is...?” Veronica says, looking at Kara curiously. Carefully and slowly.

Suddenly, a wave of irritation washes over Lena. She opens her mouth—

“I’m Kara. Lena’s girlfriend. I’d say nice to meet you but let’s be honest, it definitely isn’t.”

Lena’s head snaps to Kara, eyes wide. Jesus fuck, how is Kara reading everything so well? And also, ouch, that must have stung. Lena tries to regain her composure, realizing that she’ll give them both away if she doesn’t get it together.

“Oh.” Veronica blinks. She looks kind of taken aback. Good. “So, you’ve heard of me.”

“We have our stuff. Baby, let’s go?” Kara’s hand touches her waist. She leans into Lena’s side, lets Veronica hear and see it all. God, Kara’s a natural at this. She’s barely acknowledging Veronica. Lena doesn’t even bother to hide the blush of her face and the smile that tugs at the corner of her mouth. Baby. Baby.

She unconsciously leans back into Kara. She doesn’t even have to try.

“Sure, let’s go.” Lena looks at the other woman once more, says, “We have to go. Goodbye, Veronica.”

Veronica clears her throat. “It really is good to see you doing well. Goodbye.”

Kara keeps her arm around her waist as they walk into the parking lot, her touch light and gentle on Lena. Lena’s heart won’t stop beating wildly against her chest. She gets inside the passenger and thinks, oh, fuck. Fuck. Kara places the bag between them and settles behind the wheel.

“That must have really stung. That was amazing,” Lena murmurs, and when she looks to the side of the car she sees that Veronica is still there. “You’re amazing.”

“She’s still looking at us, isn’t she,” Kara whispers, and Lena grins. “Let’s sell it, Lena. Rub it in. Kiss me.”

That’s when Lena stops breathing. Her heart thuds. She licks her lips. She opens her mouth, ready to say, no, it’s fine, she doesn’t matter—

“You can, if you want,” Kara murmurs, so dangerously low it’s doing something to Lena. “Make a point, I mean. I... can’t stop thinking about what she did to you. What you’ve told me about her makes my blood boil. Lena, I... want her to see that you’re cared for. That you have someone worth your tears, worth your laughter, worth your heart. That… you have someone who loves you, as much as you feel towards them.”

“Kara,” Lena whispers, a vaguely desperate sound, and she wants to say more, but Kara’s hand cups her face. Lena’s hand drops to Kara’s thigh. Kara waits and waits, and Lena... nods. She lets herself be gently pulled.

Their lips brush together, careful, tentative. Getting used to the feel of it, and—oh. Lena closes her eyes. It doesn’t fully seem real, that it’s Kara’s with her lips pressed to Lena’s. But it sinks in a little more with every slight increase in pressure. With the way Lena parts them, ever so slightly, letting Kara take her lower lip between her own. With the almost inaudible sigh that leaves Lena when Kara’s tongue darts out. Teasing. Testing.

Kara cradles her jaw a little more firmly. Tilts her head just enough so that their lips slot together more easily. Pressing together again, and again, until Lena parts them wider. A silent invitation to deepen to the kiss. Kara takes it.

It’s only for a few seconds, and then Kara draws back like she’s afraid she went too far; but Lena follows after her easily, tilting her face upwards, and god—fuck. Kara’s breath is hot against her lips for that short moment where they both hover as if waiting for something. Then Kara eliminates the last of the distance between them, and they are kissing.

It’s unlike anything. Kara’s lips are soft and pliant. Her hands are on Lena’s neck, their touch hot, and then in her hair as her tongue swipes along Lena’s bottom lip. Lena makes a soft sound, can’t help it, and she’s sinking and sinking, letting Kara do whatever she wants, letting her set the pace; with her hands and the heat of her mouth, soft, heavenly.

Kara sighs into the kiss and Lena didn’t realize she could feel so overwhelmed from so little.

Lena has kissed people before. She has slept with people before. But none of it felt like this. It's like everything before this was dull, lackluster, and so, so irrelevant.

Kara kisses like—like she means it, gentle and thorough, her hand cupping Lena’s jaw, the other one gentle but firm against her neck. She drags the pad of her thumb slowly across her skin.

Lena shivers, hope she isn’t obvious.

Her hand slips; her fingers curl over the collar of Kara’s shirt. She tugs a little, opens her mouth more, and there’s the briefest touch of tongue again. Kara sighs, starts rubbing Lena’s back. She licks inside Lena’s mouth, and pushes in, her tongue rolling against Lena’s. Lena can’t help the little breathy noise she makes against her mouth.

They get lost in kissing each other for several minutes, Lena thinks, and isn’t sure how long. Her hand moves up to caress Kara’s cheek with her thumb, and she honestly doesn’t even realize what she’s doing until she hears Kara sighing softly—bordering a moan, and Lena can't even begin to describe what that little sound does to her.

It's been minutes, and Lena knows she's utterly ruined for kisses from any other person for the rest of her life.

When Kara pulls away, who-knows-how-many minutes later, Lena is left breathing unevenly. She finds it difficult to form her thoughts. Her face is flushed, lips red and swollen, and she can’t think of anything but Kara’s mouth.

Her mind is hazy, kind of far gone, and before she knows it her face is in the nook of Kara’s neck. Her fingers curled loosely in Kara’s jacket.

“Lena?” Kara says breathlessly. She sounds sort of strained.

“I’m okay. Darling—let’s just… stay like this for a while,” Lena murmurs, and she can feel her entire face burning. “She might still be there.”

Veronica has probably left, long gone. Most likely. Lena is sure they’ve just made out for longer than three minutes. She can’t bring herself to raise her face. She is sure it’s red, and she thinks if she looks at Kara in the eye or her mouth again, right now, she’ll want to lean back in.

If Kara suspects anything, knows anything, then she doesn’t let her in on it.

“Yeah, okay,” Kara says quietly, delayed. She doesn’t ask about anything else.

 


 

“Hey, Lena, have you been listening to a word I’ve said?”

“What?” Lena’s pulled back into the world and she blinks. She looks at Sam, who’s on the couch, across the room, giving her a weird look. “Yeah, of course. Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Are you… I don’t know, aware that you’ve just been sitting there, on the kitchen stool, tablet in front of you with your finger hovering above the screen. For minutes,” Sam says. “You’re kind of creeping me out.”

“Ah.” Lena turns and looks down at her tablet. Right. She was about to send an email.

“Geez, it’s early in the morning and you’re already working,” Sam says, and sips her coffee. Three beats later, she adds, “Were you lost in your thoughts?”

“Yeah. A bit,” Lena says. She can’t see the face Sam makes, her back facing her.

“Lena.” Sam sounds worried, now. “Really, are you okay? You seem out of it.”

“I’m fine.” Lena sighs and turns to face Sam. “I stayed up working last night. Just a bit tired.”

Sam studies her closely. “How’s Kara?”

Lena stiffens.

“What?” she asks, blinking fast. “Why are you asking me?”

That’s when Kara decides to walk into the living room that moment, looking clean and freshly showered, and—oh, god, what the fuck.

Her white collared shirt fits tight against her biceps, the first two buttons undone accentuating her neck and collarbone, black suspenders clinging down the front of her body to well-tailored pants. Sleeves rolled up to her elbows, a grey blazer slung over her shoulder.

Kara looks like she stepped out of a movie, frankly. What the fuck.

“Hey, morning guys. It’s so nice of you to visit, Sam,” Kara greets softly.

Sam grins.

Kara’s eye catches Lena’s. Lena looks away, turns around to face the kitchen in her seat and buries her face into her hands.

“Woah. Are you okay, Lena?” Kara asks.

“I’m fine. Just a little headache,” she mumbles, squeezing her eyes shut. She can feel Sam burning holes into her back.

“Hey, Kara, would it be cool to bring Ruby in next time?” Sam says. “We usually hang at Lena’s place, but since Lena seems to be using your bed more than she uses her own these days, we figured it’d be cool to visit you instead. You know, have us all together in one place.”

“Yeah, of course! Ruby’s such a sweet kid, you guys can come visit anytime you want. Just make sure to text me first,” Kara says. Lena hears Kara walking towards the kitchen. There’s the sound of the fridge opening.

Sam hums. “Sweet. Hey, you’re looking snazzy today.”

Kara softly laughs. “I have some celebration party to attend later with my colleagues. Free food and drinks, who am I to turn that down.”

The sound of keys drop on the floor in front of Lena, behind the counter. Lena makes the mistake lifting her face. She can’t make sense of anything lately, can’t ignore the way her attention gravitates towards Kara in everything they do.

Kara picks it up, then sees that Lena’s eyes are on her. She blinks at her, a piece of bread hanging out of her mouth. Then she takes it out, chuckles quietly, cheeks dusted faint pink.

“Sorry, clumsy.”

“No, it’s okay. You’re fine.” Lena feels her ears burning. She turns back to her tablet, looks behind her and catches Sam with a shit-eating smirk directed at her.

Lena considers. There’s an oreo box on the counter, within reaching distance. Thinks, for a moment, if she could get away with quietly throwing it at Sam’s face.

“Anyway, yeah. Alex is coming with me later,” Kara continues. “Since she’s also friends with my friends.”

“Ooh, tell her she still owes me drinks! She hates when I remind her how...” Sam says, and Lena sips her tea, loses focus. She tunes out of the conversation.

It’s been three days since they kissed. They kissed—yeah, they fucking kissed. Fully made out, god. Kara hasn’t talked about it, so Lena’s not going to talk about it either.

Surprisingly, things have been… normal. Lena’s been on a roll, actually. Kara’s still here, they kissed, yes—and she’s not pushing Kara away, despite her feelings.

It’s all good. Except the kiss was kind of a big deal for her. It didn’t mean anything to Kara and—it was just to rub it in Veronica’s face. They’re just friends and Kara was just helping her out, because of course she would, being the lovely and kind and sweet person she is, and—

“Bye, Kara!” Sam says, and Lena snaps out of her thoughts. She looks up. Sees that Kara is looking at her oddly.

“Have fun with the party later,” Lena says. Kara blinks at her slowly. “If you need someone to pick you up, you know you can call me.”

Kara smiles. It’s small.

“Thank you,” Kara says. She clears her throat, and finally looks away from Lena. “I’ll be going, then. Bye, guys. I trust you in my apartment Sam, you can leave whenever you want.”

Kara leaves then.

“Lena,” Sam says slowly, and walks into the kitchen, crossing her arms over her chest.

“What,” Lena murmurs.

“What do you mean, what,” Sam says. “What the hell was that, just now?”

Lena blinks. “I don’t understand.”

“Unbelievable, Lena,” Sam groans, “you guys… you just… Kara, she… is this real? You guys are ridiculous.”

“You’re ridiculous,” Lena shoots back. Sam gives her a long look.

“Wow, that’s an incredible retort,” she says drily. “You know, Lena, I know how you look like when you like someone. We’ve known each other for how long? Don’t pretend.”

Lena stills sharply. She’s surprised. It shouldn’t surprise her that Sam can read her that well, but it still does.

There’s no use denying it. She doesn’t say anything. She just frowns.

“Come on. Are you just going to keep your feelings in a box forever, pine after her and pretend everything’s okay? Lena.”

“Yes,” Lena says. “I can do that, and I will.”

Sam looks thoroughly unimpressed. Lena checks the time.

“I should go get ready for work now,” she says. She really does need to.

 


 

It’s eight pm when she gets back from work, and eleven when she gets a text from Kara asking Lena if she’ll be staying over at hers. Lena says yes, because they’re still okay, obviously, nothing’s changed; everything’s fine.

It’s twelve am when she falls asleep in Kara’s bed, one am when she wakes up to the sound of the floor creaking.

“Sorry,” Kara says quietly, wincing, “I didn’t mean to wake you up.”

Lena shakes her head. “It's okay,” she whispers, clears her throat. Her voice is sleep heavy.

“I’ll be more quiet. You can go back to sleep.”

“It’s okay, Kara.” Lena yawns, and runs a hand through her hair. She turns her head to look at Kara. Kara sits down on the side where she normally sleeps—on the left—and stays there. Just there, on the edge, back facing Lena. “How was the party?”

“It was nice.” Kara starts unbuttoning her shirt. “I had a good time. Can’t say the same for Alex, though, she drank more than she could handle. Was quite the sight.”

When Kara tugs her shirt off, Lena catches sight of her defined muscles. She looks away.

“Hmm, I bet. I’m glad you had a great time,” Lena says, fiddling with the blanket.

Kara gets up, then, walking towards the closet. Lena hears the sound of a belt unbuckling. She swallows. Kara changing right in front of her—it’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last. Not if she keeps finding herself in Kara’s room, in Kara’s arms.

Lena stretches, then rubs her face with her hand. Weight shifts on the bed. When Lena opens her eyes, she sees Kara’s face above her.

“Are you feeling better now?” Kara asks, lips parted. Her exhales are soft. Lena watches the moonlight dance on her face, taking a long moment to reply. “How’s your headache?”

“Oh. It’s gone,” she says, heart pounding, aching, “wasn’t a big one.”

“Okay, I’m glad.” Kara smiles, soft and tender. Lena is having a hard time connecting her brain to her mouth.

Kara has this look on her face, like she wants to say something, has been meaning to say it. She opens her mouth again, closes it. She moves, and she’s back to sitting on the edge of the bed. She’s facing Lena, this time.

Lena can’t tell what she’s thinking about.

“Lena,” Kara starts, and touches her glasses. Her brow crinkles just a little. She strokes her shirt, fiddling with the fabric. “Are we okay?”

Oh. So Lena was wrong. Things have been… weird.

Slowly, Lena sits up.

“Kara,” she says, tilts her head in an attempt to find Kara’s eyes. Their gazes meet. “Yeah. We’re okay.” She thinks her next words carefully. “I’ve had things on my mind. I’m sorry if I’ve been...” she pauses. Acting out of it? Removed?

Lena catches her bottom lip between her teeth.

She is aware of how unclear that sounds, and grimaces to herself. Because how does Lena tell her she’s been busy falling for her. How does she.

“Is it because I kissed you?” Lena stills sharply. She opens her mouth, closes it. Kara looks at her, studying her. Her fingers curl around the blanket. “I... don’t want to lose this. Lena, you’re my best friend. You mean a lot to me... I didn’t mean to make things weird and awkward.”

Lena is at loss; stunned. It’s this, Kara has been worrying about. All this time, Lena realizes. Guilt settles deep into her bones. She's made things weird between them, has put a little too much distance between them throughout the day in an attempt to clear her head. Not that it has worked anyway.

Her heart sinks.

“Kara… darling, no. You didn’t do anything wrong. You’re okay, we’re okay,” Lena states firmly, and touches Kara’s hand. “I’m here and you’re not going to lose me. You couldn’t, if you tried. Okay?”

It’s quiet. “Okay.” Kara licks her lips.

“Okay.” Lena nods. “Good.”

She squeezes Kara’s hand, and then moves her hand up Kara’s arm until her fingers curl around her shoulder. There’s too much distance between them; the position is off and weird, and Kara just blinks at her, unmoving, as if she doesn’t understand what Lena’s trying to do here.

“Can’t reach.” Lena feels heat flush through her entire body. “Come closer, I want to hug you.”

Kara laughs. Her entire body shakes with it, and she shuffles closer to Lena, pulls Lena in her arms, and holds her just there. Easy, warm, and comfortable. Lena rests her chin on top of Kara’s shoulder and breathes in.

“Like one kiss could ruin anything. We’re okay,” she murmurs. She needs her to know this. Kara drops her head into Lena’s shoulder, nuzzles her. Lena’s heart starts pounding. How her heart reacts to Kara is nothing new. “And... it was good that you did it. By the way.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

There’s a soft grin on Kara’s lips when they separate. They stare at each other for who knows how long.

Kara blinks. “Hey. Is that my shirt.”

Lena looks down. And back up, she grins.

“Again? Lena,” Kara whines, and suddenly, Lena feels light again, the heavy feeling in her chest dissipating.

 


 

Lena starts sleeping in Kara's bed with no explanation.

She comes home one night from work and refuses to go to her own apartment. Kara makes no comment about it. So Lena won’t say anything. This is how it is now.

Today, there’s no telling what woke Lena. Suddenly it’s 3:08 am and her eyes are wide open, blinking the blur away. The room is silent save the gentle rustling of fabric.

She turns just in time to see Kara, damp haired and a bit pink around the edges, unbuckling her belt and reaching for her white sleep shirt from the heap of clothes on her chair. Muscles, a full view of back muscles, striped golden from the dim lights.

Lust twinges and swells from Lena’s thighs and settles behind her ears, heart thudding loud. She knows the shape of that body so well, every little curve and angle that fits against her in sleep.

Kara slips out of her shoes, pretty curve of her spine as she bends. Trying so hard to be quiet for Lena’s sake, Kara tiptoes around the bed and Lena shuts her eyes, curling her fingers around the blanket as she tries to calm down her heart beat.

The mattress dips. Lena hears the click of Kara’s phone when she turns the volume off, the slide of glasses against the nightstand, the gulp of water in her throat and slow exhale.

There’s a twisting knot of arousal in the pit of Lena’s stomach, and it twists even more when Kara fits herself against her, rests a hand on her ribs and leans against her back, settling comfortably and content. Twists and twists; every warm exhale fluttering on the nape of Lena’s neck makes her heart hammer a bit faster in her chest, blood singing in her ears as it rushes around in her veins and arteries.

“Hey,” Lena whispers.

“Hey... did I wake you up? My bad.”

“It’s fine, you know I’m a light sleeper.” Kara nuzzles her face against the back of Lena’s neck. Lena swallows. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m just… really tired.” Kara sighs. “Like that you’re here. Sleep better holding someone.”

Lena isn’t sure what to say to that, so she keeps quiet. She gets to come here whenever she wants now. Kara gave Lena her extra key card a week ago offhandedly, one early morning, you might as well take this. I trust you, feel free to come over whenever you want, and yes, Lena’s not going to think too much about the gesture.

Little boxes. She’s good at that.

Kara’s breathing evens out. She’s fast asleep.

Lena has work in four hours. She desperately needs to sleep. But instead, thinks about the woman snug against her. All that gorgeous bare skin, the sounds she makes when kissed, what touch it would take to have her falling apart.

She just can’t keep pretending that it isn’t there. Can’t pretend it doesn’t matter. The attraction. It matters. Wrapped up in the warmth, the softness of her, the gentle sound of her breathing, the scent of her, the private smiles. Texts that start off with ‘this reminded me of you’ and the music she’d share with her. The broad curve of her shoulders beneath white shirts.

Lena breathes slowly, a hot and unsettling mix of arousal and gratitude surging through her.

It matters, it matters.

She lets herself admit it.

 


 

By the time Lena knows it, it’s Valentine's Day today.

Today Lena spends this day with Kara. Because they’re both single as fuck, they’d both decided to stay inside Kara’s apartment all cozied up together and warm because the outside weather isn't ideal, and so is the temperature. The wind outside is harsh and it's raining heavily.

Right now they’re watching some rom-com movie Kara picked, with Pringles and chocolate on their snack table.

Kara walks back to her room carrying a honey biscuit box and more Pringles.

“Okay, wow. I'm gone for ten minutes and you’ve already replaced me with a pillow?” Her jaw drops at the sight, feigning hurt. “Lena...”

“Oh.” Lena drops the pillow and springs up, faking surprise. She swallows. “Kara. It's not what it looks like,” she says, voice wavering, and she doesn’t move, just stills in her spot.

“I’m shocked and hurt. How could you?”

“I can explain. I was just so lonely and it was there and—I was weak. I’m sorry. I have no excuse,” Lena says, wets her lips. She carefully stands up and steps towards Kara.

“Caught right in the act!” Kara whispers, and there’s emotion in her voice. She puts a hand on her chest. “Look. I don't know if I’ll ever be able to trust you again.”

“Darling, please. Let’s talk.”

“No—I can’t take this. It’s too much, actually. Get out of my sight, Lena. I can't even look at you right now!” Kara’s careful not to drop her snacks when she turns her head away to look at the wall.

There’s a silence. Finally, Kara peeks over her shoulder. As soon as their eyes meet, Kara beams at her.

So fucking cute.

“You’re such a dork,” Lena drawls fondly, lightly rolling her eyes. Kara laughs, bright and lovely, and jumps back on the bed. She taps on her empty right side, waiting for Lena to fill up the space.

As Lena chooses the next movie, Kara places her snacks just next to them, and takes the huge blanket, wrapping it around her shoulders. She sits behind Lena, makes Lena nuzzle her back against Kara’s front. Her knees dangle under Lena’s thighs and she wraps the smaller woman with the blanket, causing the blanket to engulf them both.

Satisfied with their positions, Kara rests her elbows on Lena’s thighs. She wraps her arms around Lena's waist loosely.

Lena relaxes and melts.

Something funny rolls on the screen and Lena laughs. Kara laughs louder and squeezes Lena tight, buries her face against the nape of Lena’s neck and laughs more there. She even drops a kiss—a fucking, honest to god kiss—on her neck.

Lena can’t help but blush. Kara’s just—so warm, and happy, and relaxed, and cuddly—Lena struggles to get her thoughts in order. When Kara rests her chin on Lena’s shoulder, Lena takes a glance, and finds that Kara is a pretty shade of red. Kara grins at her, soft and warm.

It’s contagious. Lena smiles back, shy but happy. She has to look away fast, though.

Kara's gaze is always a little intense, at least to Lena. Not in a bad way, in many good ways, it’s just always kind of—a lot to take. The sharpness in those eyes, the observing and understanding and piercing right through Lena, like her soul is crystalline and Kara can always see the way her heart trips and beats faster under her gaze, how all her insides twist with such selfish want—and still there is such warmth and gentleness in them, too, in Kara's eyes; like she adores Lena despite all the ugliness she sees, and that is—a lot to take.

Lena doesn’t know when casually kissing like that became the norm for their relationship. It feels like they’re slowly slipping into something deeper and deeper every time they see each other, not just friends anymore but something in between, something in the grey area that Lena is too scared to ask about.

She’s afraid of scaring Kara off if she addresses it, if she asks why Kara wants to hold her hand and kiss her forehead and call her baby all of the time.

Lena likes it too much, is the thing—she likes the attention that Kara gives her.

She thinks about it for a moment, when she feels and hears Kara laugh again—she likes Kara so much. And Kara likes her, or—maybe does. In all honesty, Lena doesn’t like thinking about it. It terrifies her.

Kara gets her out of her room, makes her laugh, makes her feel like she belongs, like she’s finally found something good. Even if the feeling in her chest feels unbearable at times, there’s nothing more than she could ask for, not in this serendipitous, happenstance thing she’s found.

She can feel the sheer warmth and happiness from Kara, can feel Kara’s lips grinning so wide against her skin. Kara presses herself against Lena, sinks further into the bed. It's okay. Lena likes that.

She can only hold on for her dear life.

Later, Kara goes to the kitchen and brings back a bowl of cereal. She sits down next to Lena, nuzzling into her side.

“Kara. What are you doing,” Lena whispers, a devastation happening in her chest as she watches Kara eat her cereal with a fork. You think you know someone and then you see them do something, like eat cereal with a fork and you realize you have no idea who any of these people are.

 


 

“So, guys. Guess who I saw at the gala today,” Jack says in Kara’s kitchen, barely containing himself.

“What? What happened?” Sam’s interested. She pours herself a glass of wine, then pours one for Andrea.

“I was talking to one of my business partners, right.” Sam hums at that, and Jack continues on. “And then Veronica pops out of nowhere, mingling with a crowd. Hmm. Who invited her?”

Lena freezes in her seat. She blinks at Jack.

“Oh yeah, that happened. Once she saw me, she approached me, and my god. My friends, you wouldn’t believe the gall she had, smiling, and asking me how I’ve been. It’s been a long time, Jack,” Jack mimics, rolling his eyes. “I’m actually impressed with myself. Seriously. I held back from giving her a piece of my mind, you guys have no idea how close I was to starting something.” He looks proud. Lena’s proud of him. “So, as I was saying... the moment she started apologizing, I stopped her short. Because her apology means nothing to me, and she was like, oh well, I tried. She didn't even try. Here comes the interesting part…”

Sam waves her hand, doubly invested. “We’re listening.”

“She was like, I saw Lena and her girlfriend the other week. Boom,” Jack gestures in the air wildly. Sam’s jaw hangs open. Andrea arches an eyebrow. “Then she startled saying things like, she’s genuinely glad Lena’s doing fine. She has regrets, blah blah and that she won’t bother any of us anymore. I could only stand and stare and process.”

There’s a long pause in the room.

“Lena and her girlfriend.” Jack dramatically slams the table. Softly. “Hello, what was that about? Honestly I was stunned, but I went along anyway and agreed. I told her how happy Lena is now. She’s in a fulfilling relationship with her new girlfriend, she’s glowing, she’s disgustingly in love.”

Silence.

Lena is desperately trying to drink her wine in peace.

“So, Lena. Girlfriend. What was that about?”

“Wow. Wow, okay,” Sam says, standing up, tilting her head. “Why would Veronica think you have a girlfriend? Who were you with?”

Lena blinks. Everyone turns to look at Kara. Kara freezes, eyes blinking fast.

“What—you guys.” Kara sputters. “It could have been anyone—how did you guys know it was me, she saw?” she asks quietly, and starts shoving potstickers in her mouth too fast.

“Hmm, interesting,” Sam says with an annoying smirk. “You and Lena, standing together. Have you seen you two. You two can easily be mistaken for a couple. No doubt about it.”

“Agreed,” Jack hums.

“You guys are teasing,” Kara murmurs, rubbing the back of her neck using her hand.

“She’s really not, she’s saying the truth,” Andrea comments. She shares a look with Sam with a smile. “I seriously thought you and Lena were sleeping together when I first saw you.”

Lena blushes, hard. She sets down her glass carefully.

Kara makes a pained sound. Lena finally looks at her. She sees the tips of Kara’s ears turning red, and so are her cheeks, and now Lena feels her entire face burn. She looks away quickly, lifts her tablet up and buries herself.

“Um. I have to ask,” Kara says. “Not that I don’t want you guys here, but why are you guys here again?”

“We invited ourselves over for dinner because you love us.” Sam pauses. “It's friends night.”

An hour later, Lena is still working and fiddling with her tablet. Sam joins her in the living room and sits down next to her. Andrea’s in the kitchen taking a phone call, Jack has left the apartment and Kara’s in her room.

“Hey,” Sam greets.

“Sam,” Lena greets back. She lowers her tablet, picks up her coffee mug from the table.

“You were quiet tonight. When you were with Kara… what happened when you guys saw Veronica?” Sam’s curious.

Lena strokes the handle of her mug. “We talked a little bit. It got intense, pretty fast. She’s still the same person she was three years ago…”

Sam nods.

“I see,” she says. Two beats.

Lena catches her bottom lip between her teeth. “Kara came in just in time, and Veronica backed off. Pretty sure I would have bitten her head off if she hadn’t.”

Sam laughs quietly. “Of course.”

“We didn’t stick around that long. We left her.” Lena hesitates, draws breath. “Kara kissed me in the car.”

“Are you serious?” Sam’s face drops. “You’re telling me now…”

“It didn’t mean anything, it was an act,” Lena explains quickly, flushing, “Sam, Veronica was watching. Kara kissed me to make a point.”

Lena, really. An act?” Sam squints at her. “She absofuckinglutely did not need to kiss you. Lena, like I said earlier? Ask anyone to look at you guys standing together, and they’ll think you two are girlfriends.”

Lena groans weakly. She sets down her mug and buries her face in her hands.

“I… don’t know what to do. I'm deep in, Sam. Sam.”

“Lena…”

“It was the best kiss I’ve ever had. It’s ridiculous… Kara didn’t even use that much tongue. It was just her touch, her lips, and her hands. Sam, her hands—“

“Honey, that’s more information than I needed, but okay,” Sam says. Lena snaps her head to look at Sam, frowning. “You have it that bad, huh.”

“That bad?” Lena questions, frowns. “You’re not even surprised?”

Sam arches an eyebrow at her. “Lena, you may not realize it but you orbit around Kara. She’s a bright part of your world.”

Lena drops her face into her hands, pinches at the bridge of her nose. “I’ve been… trying to control them. It’s so hard. I don’t know what to do with myself.”

“What are you trying to control,” Sam asks, tilting her head.

“My feelings for her,” Lena says bitterly, frowning. She listens for the sound of anything approaching. “It’s—too much.”

She's been carrying this secret with her for far too long, and it was getting too heavy for her own hands to hold.

Sam takes her hand. “Oh, Lena...”

Sam, I sleep in her bed everyday. She keeps me close,” Lena says, voice strained. “It’s hard to stay away from her. I’m weak. She walks around in her apartment wearing clothes that expose a lot of skin. She gets undressed in our room—I mean her room—while I’m there. I have to pretend that I’m not attracted to her in the slightest. I am attracted. Last time I accidentally touched her bicep when she was fresh out of the shower, half-naked. I panicked and left her apartment. Made up an excuse—don’t ask about it. God, Sam. Have you seen her biceps? And her thighs, her abs—”

“I'm not saying this is too much information, but that's exactly what I'm saying,” Sam says, but Lena has more to say.

“It’s not just physical attraction. This extends well beyond physical attraction. Kara is… genuine and warm and kind. Her entire body vibrates when she’s happy. She makes my heart feel full. She makes me feel like I’m full of love. When she talks about things that make her happy or excited, when she smiles or laughs, when she sings—I think about kissing her right then and there. I like wearing her clothes because her scent comforts me, calms me. No matter how hard I try, she’s always the one in my mind, and I want to know everything about her.”

Lena stops talking, breathes heavily. Wrings her hands and looks down at her lap.

Sam stares at her in awe. Her jaw is slightly hanging open.

Lena feels the stinging in her eyes. Feels silly about it. She’s not going to cry.

“Oh, wow,” Sam whispers.

Lena makes a pained sound. “It’s a huge mess, I know. God. I feel messy.”

“You feel messy,” Sam says, giving her a long look. “Lena, you sound like you’ve never liked someone. Like you’re figuring out the human emotion that is called love.”

Lena frowns. “Where’s Andrea or Jack?” She rubs her forehead. “You’re being mean to me.”

“You know I’m not. I'm calling you out on your bullshit. Talk to her, Lena. Why are you looking the other way? Why don’t you take it to the next step?”

“That is under the assumption that Kara wants me the way I want her. I’m her best friend. Does she even find me attractive? How do I know she likes me in that way. Sam.”

Sam has a strange look on her face, like she’s doing her best to stay... patient.

“Maybe I just need to get laid.” Lena rubs at her temples. “Sleep with someone who isn’t her. Get it out of my system.”

“Yeah sure, because that’ll solve all your problems. You just said you’re deep in.”

Lena frowns. “Sam.”

“Lena. You’re literally a genius, but you’re awfully oblivious to Kara.” Sam crosses her arms over her chest. “It genuinely hurts to see. Are you okay?”

“What do you mean,” Lena says.

“Listen to me…” Sam takes a deep breath. “Kara kissed you.”

“Yes, because we wanted to make a point with Veronica. It was fake.”

“Kara. Kissed. You.”

Lena frowns. “Yes, why do you keep bringing that up? I thought we’ve established that already.”

In walks Andrea from the kitchen.

“Oh, hey guys,” Andrea says. She looks at Sam, who has a cushion in her hand with Lena’s name on it. Sam sees Andrea, and sets the cushion back down carefully and slowly. Like she just got caught attempting murder and she’s trying to backtrack. “Okay. Interesting. I’m sensing a very hostile environment here.”

Lena whines, drops her face into her hands again.

“I desperately need a drink,” Sam says, rubbing her face.

 


 

Lena’s obvious move is to Not Do Anything about her feelings.

Even when Sam and Andrea sent five hundred exasperated looks in her way. Even when, the next morning, Jack marched into her office, had a cup of coffee with her, and did the same.

Even when, right now, in her office as she holds her phone to her ear, listening to Sam rattling about work, and Ruby, and—

“So, let’s get back to Kara,” Sam starts. Lena blinks, and drops her pen.

“Sam, what. Not back to Kara. We were never on Kara—”

“But you wish you were,” Sam says. Lena sighs. “So, have you changed your mind yet? Considered it might be good for you and Kara to properly talk? Something good might come out of it.”

Something good. The only thing Lena sees coming out of it is a broken heart and scotch.

“Hmm, weird. You’re breaking up,” she informs suddenly.

“Uh.” A long pause. “No, I’m not? The connection is perfect.”

“What’s going on. I can’t hear you at all,” Lena says robotically, “I'm sorry, Sam. Bye.”

“What? Hold on, wait—wow, at least bother to pretend that you’re breaking up, you useless lesbia—”

Lena hangs up and tucks her phone away.

Nothing's changed with Kara. Something Lena has noticed that has been happening recently though, is how Kara looks at her. She catches Kara looking at her strangely. Unreadable looks that make Lena’s skin tingle with vague nervousness and something else.

Lena tries not to look into it too much. She wants them to be okay, and Kara has told her that they’re okay.

So they’re okay.

 


 

It’s a quiet, sunny Sunday when Lena runs into Alex in Kara's apartment, both of them looking a little startled to see the other. Alex is standing in the kitchen, wearing a pair of joggers, shirt, and a leather jacket. She’s filling her glass with water. She doesn’t expect Lena, exposed in only one of Kara's sweaters, baggy on her, and a pair of shorts, to sleepily pad out, and they both jump when they see each other.

“Oh,” Lena mutters, voice low from sleep, “hey.”

“Well, if it isn't my sister’s best friend,” Alex says. “Don’t mind me, I forgot my wallet on her table yesterday. I’ll be leaving soon.”

They’ve met a few times now, thanks to Sam always making plans with the group. But they don’t run into each other a lot—and they’re both usually here for different things.

Sister’s best friend rings in her head. Lena's lips curl into a small smile. “Why do you always say it like that?”

“Say it in what way?” Alex is grinning softly, and Lena rolls her eyes, smiling.

“Alex.”

“How many nights do you even sleep in your own apartment?”

“Plenty,” Lena mutters defensively. She tries to remember the last time she slept in her own bed, and oh. She can’t remember. Fuck.

Alex nods, looking disbelieving. She has a point, but Lena isn’t about to realize her mistake out loud.

“Sorry, no offense or anything. I just kind of forgot you lived somewhere else,” Alex says with a shrug. She brushes her hair off her face and fills her glass of water again.

Lena, admittedly, gets that a lot. There's a running joke that she’s basically living in Kara's apartment at this point. Whatever. Lena shrugs, giving Alex a grin, and Alex grins back before walking back off towards Kara's bedroom.

“Kara, I got my stuff,” she hears Alex say in the hallway.

Lena leans against the counter, staring absently at Kara’s kettle.

They’re quiet, nestled together neatly in a way that’s become second nature over the past ten months, and Lena considers the domesticity of it all. She doesn’t really know what it means that all their stuff gets mixed together, that Lena finds herself with things in Kara’s dresser drawers and that her L-Corp folders always gets spread out between her own room and Lena’s living room, but she doesn’t mind it. It’s kind of nice the way they can share clothes; she continues to borrow (steal) Kara’s clothes, and Kara has started borrowing (stealing) back.

 


 

It’s 10 pm and an unreasonably cold Monday when Lena stands in front of an open cabinet in Kara’s kitchen. She calls over her shoulder, “Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?”

“Hot chocolate, please,” Kara says.

They’re catching up a little, sharing funny anecdotes that have happened to both of them through the week, be it at work or with friends. Kara tries to keep her laughter down when Lena tells her a funny story, but fails miserably and snorts, almost falling off from the couch.

Lena smiles at the sight.

There’s snacks everywhere in Kara’s apartment. There’s some in front of Kara right now, on the coffee table. There’s Goldfish, Cheez-It, Cheetos, Pringles, and a few more.

Kara always has food with her.

Lena thinks she’s really endearing.

As Lena waits for the kettle to boil, she watches Kara silently. Kara stands to stretch, her sweatpants hanging even lower on her hips, highlighting her adonis belt, and god—what the fuck, talk about terrible timing. Lena catches full sight of it and suddenly feels severely off-balance, her thoughts scattered. Windswept.

Kara meets Lena’s eyes.

Lena looks away quickly, busies herself. There's a warmth to her cheeks that she wants to remain unseen if possible, please and thank you.

Once she has finished pouring her tea, she takes the two mugs with her and puts it onto the table, and makes herself comfortable on the couch. She opens her tablet, and yes she’s still working on erasing Kara’s fucking v-line image in her head—

“What’s hot and grey?”

Lena startles a little. “What?” She looks up. Kara’s reading something on her phone.

“Oh, I didn’t mean to read out loud,” Kara says, and… is she blushing?

“What is it?” Now Lena’s curious. She arches an eyebrow. “What are you reading?”

“Some, um. Some joke my friend Nia sent me…”

“So, what’s hot and grey?”

Kara looks at her lap, fiddling with her sweatpants, then licks her lips. “A woman with grey sweatpants, apparently.”

Lena smirks into her tea. “Oh, well. I agree with Nia.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah.” Lena laughs, and takes another sip. “I hate when you pretend you don’t know you’re pretty.”

“Who, me?” Kara asks with a teasing smile.

It’s flirting without much heat behind it, the kind of thing they’ve found themselves since they first met. Lena takes it with a grain of salt usually, and even more so right now, with the way Kara keeps looking at her like she’s trying to figure something out.

“Kara Danvers,” Lena says, and leans her back on the couch armchair, “who looks devastating when she wears grey sweatpants. Are you open to sharing your snacks?”

The tips of Kara’s ears go pink. “Lena Luthor,” she says, “who buys most of my snacks, of course you’re welcome to take some.”

Lena randomly picks one up from the coffee table. “I’ve never tried this one. Pocky?”

“Oh, yum. I like Pocky.” There’s a fond look on Kara’s face. She taps on Lena’s toes, using her toe. “Reminds me of highschool. I used to play that popular stick game a lot back then.” An almost mischievous smile appears on her face. “You're looking at an undefeated champ, here.”

“Really.” Lena’s tone is slightly dubious, and she's very actively ignoring the implications of Kara’s claim. She doesn't want to consider the amount of people she's kissed to earn that title.

“You don’t believe me?” Kara says, a slow soft smirk spreading on her face. She runs a hand through her hair. “I may not look like it, but I’m good at winning.”

Lena rolls her eyes, shaking her head in amusement. “No, no, I believe you. It’s just. I never really saw the appeal in the game.”

“Are you telling me that you've never played?” Kara sits up properly, blinking.

“Is it that big of a deal?”

Kara puts her phone down and takes the box from Lena’s hand. She opens it carefully, then pulls a stick out.

“We’re not really doing anything, let’s play. Play with me,” she says softly, casually. The Pocky stick hangs on her mouth and—Kara’s patiently looking at her, waiting, and she’s actually being serious about this. It’s raining outside her apartment, loud, the water striking against the windows repeatedly.

Lena looks at Kara blankly. Inside she's screaming. This isn't happening to her. Her eyes drop down to Kara’s lips, then back up.

Lena’s mouth goes dry.

“Why?” It’s... juvenile.

“Why not?” Kara asks, and then eats the whole stick before shrugging out of her black hoodie, revealing a sleeveless shirt and fucking biceps. Is this how Lena’s going to go. Oh well, she can confidently say she’s lived a decent life. Kind of. “Scared of losing?”

It’s a bait, and Lena knows it. Kara looks at her with such an intensity that Lena is sure she’s trying to see if Lena will back down on this silly challenge. Lena entertains the thought. It’s reckless, she’s reckless for entertaining it.

They’ve kissed before. They’re still okay. Lena still hasn’t recovered, though. She probably never will.

“Fine,” Lena blurts. She kind of wants so bad, so fucking bad to wipe that attractive smirk off Kara’s face.

“C’mere,” Kara says, a new stick hanging on her mouth and Lena scoots closer to her on the couch. Her hands grip her thighs to stop the shaking. Jesus—she’s really doing this—fuck. “We’ve kissed before, so this is nothing. Whoever has the last piece of the stick wins.”

Lena feels her entire face burn. She didn’t expect Kara to bring that up, to be straightforward about it.

When she forces her voice to work, it comes out breathless. “What happens if I win?”

Kara shrugs her shoulders. “Nothing.” A beat later. “Bragging rights?”

“That’s all?”

“That’s all. Unless you want to bring something to the table.”

Lena seriously thinks about it.

“Come on, stop stalling. You can take the first bite,” Kara says, crossing her legs on the couch. Lena flushes, because fuck.

Kara’s taking this game very seriously. It’s purely the look she gives Lena—the unholy, provocative smirk—that makes Lena decide to play. Because at the root of things, Kara is asking for a challenge. And Lena doesn’t know how not to give her things.

Lena swallows.

She leans forward, parts her lips and finally accepts the opposite end of the stick into her mouth. She’s never played this game. Her heart beats wildly in her chest. Kara’s eyes are on her, dark and intense, and Lena has to force herself to look down at the stick so she doesn’t unintentionally pull away or break the stick accidentally.

Lena can win this. She’s determined she can end Kara’s winning streak.

She takes bites; the stick getting shorter with each little nibble. It gets short enough that Lena has to lean forward, planting her hands on Kara’s thighs, squeezing it unintentionally because—god, Kara’s face is getting close and Lena’s pulse is roaring in her ears.

With her hands on Kara’s thighs, she’s positioned a little higher than Kara, gaining the upper ground.

The moment she takes her fourth nibble, that’s when she realizes she’s done for. It becomes impossible to angle her face away from Kara and ignore her gaze. And—of course Kara’s smirking. Half-lidded dark eyes watch her and Kara’s actually honest to god smirking. What the fuck.

Lena can feel her face reddening—hard. For usually a fast game they’re inching incredibly slowly, as if in a trance.

She hardly even notices the taste of the treat as she runs through possible strategies to win in her head. She doesn’t notice the way one of her hands is now placed on Kara’s shoulder, crumpling Kara’s shirt. It’s not like one could have a strategy for the pocky game, but Lena has to focus on something or else she doesn't trust herself not to pull away. Her heart is threatening to fall out of its chest, with how hard it’s pounding against her ribs.

She takes another bite, her eyes flicking downwards for a couple seconds as she chews. Kara’s eyes follow hers, and she finds that the next bite will be the one that brings their lips together. There’s no use of stalling, really, because someone has to go for it to catch the last piece.

It’s kind of overwhelming. When Lena looks back up, Kara’s eyes are dark and so… warm. It’s disarming. Her face is so close, and so are her lips, and there’s just one more bite left before—

Lena falters right then and there, and before she thinks about pulling back, Kara’s hand cups the back of Lena’s head and she leans right in. Kara licks into Lena’s mouth, taking the last bit of the stick. Lena lets out a shaky breath, her hand squeezing Kara’s right shoulder and the other, Kara’s thigh.

Her mind blanks. By the time she returns to her senses, Kara has already pulled back, grinning softly as she licks her lips clean casually, as if she didn’t put her tongue inside Lena’s mouth just two seconds ago.

“Hey, I won. Bragging rights.”

Lena doesn’t move; she’s barely breathing. She croaks out, “That’s… you just… you...”

She hears the breathless laugh that sends a dangerous shiver down her spine. Kara’s looking way too calm for Lena’s liking, but there’s a pink flush that spreads over her cheeks. Ears, too. It’s hardly enough to be considered a kiss, yet the entire room seems to spin and reorient, centered around the place where Kara’s lips touched hers.

“That last second. Lena, were you thinking of pulling back—?” Kara asks with a smile, eyes studying Lena closely, and god—Lena’s still trying to recover and catch her bearings. She just blinks at Kara, feels her face heat even further. “Um. Did I break you? Wow, I didn’t think you were capable of being rendered speechless until now.”

There’s a growing amusing smile on Kara’s face and—Lena looks down at her lap. Then looks back up, and blurts—

“Again.”

“What?” Kara laughs, and shakes her head. When Lena doesn’t back down, keeps looking at her, hard, she quiets down and raises her brows. “Oh. You’re being serious.”

It’s ridiculous. Now she wants to win this stupid game. She wants the last piece. She’s a Luthor—losing isn’t her thing, damnit.

“Okay,” Kara says quietly, and takes a new stick into her mouth. “C’mere. This time, maybe at least be prepared to lose again.”

Fucking hell. Her confidence and light teasing—it’s really doing something to Lena.

Wordlessly, Lena takes the opposite end of the stick again. What she doesn’t expect is for Kara to take large strides in her bites this time, and firmly presses their lips together. Lena is caught off guard again and freezes in her spot, barely breathing. By the time she reels herself back in, Kara’s already taken the remaining tiny piece off her mouth, pulling back to swallow her bites of Pocky.

“I won again,” Kara says, breathlessly, and looks away. She runs her hand along her hair.

Fucking, Kara, unfair

“Hold on a moment.” Lena’s sure that there’s a furious red blush dusting her cheeks now, her ears and even neck. Mortified, she blurts out, “You just. That’s against the rules.” It’s not. “Kara, you can’t just—” Kara lets out a chuckle at that, and Lena shakes her head. “Again.”

“Seriously? Lena.”

Kara.”

They watch each other silently, Lena stubborn and absolutely hating this game.

“Careful, now.” Kara grins slow like a storm brewing. She looks at Lena in the eye, and gives that godforsaken smile. Lena feels like it’s a disarming tactic in its own right. Quietly, Kara says, “Lena, I’m starting to think that you just like to kiss me—”

Lena lets out a tiny, frustrated sigh, and brings a hand up to Kara’s jaw. Sharp and attractive and just right in her hold. Whatever Kara was going to say next is gone and her pleased little smile, slightly smug and overly infuriating is wiped off her face.

“You…” Lena whispers, and her hand falters slightly because she doesn’t know what the fuck she’s doing. Her throat feels dry, drier than it's ever felt, and she swallows to try and feel like she isn't in a sweltering desert.

Kara’s gaze is heavy lidded, but intense. She looks out of breath, though she’s barely even moved. There’s a challenge in that look, a stubbornness that says: do something. Kiss me or don’t. Stay or go. Adapt or perish, come on.

It’s too much and Lena’s not strong enough. It’s unfair.

Lately there’s been this tension, a pressure in Lena’s chest, like electricity just beneath her skin and in the air between them, and it’s not just Lena; it’s in the way Kara looks at her like she’s trying to tell her something without actually saying anything.

Lena’s hand slips low, just a little on Kara’s cheek, touches her fingertips to Kara’s jaw so, so softly; she dips down, and a tiny, involuntary sound falls out of Kara’s throat—but Lena stops, hovers with their noses brushing and hers, breath warm on Kara’s lips, as if to make sure Kara’s okay with it.

Kara doesn’t move. What is Lena supposed to think.

Her gaze drops from Kara’s eyes to her lips, her thumb now swiping over the plump flesh of her bottom lip, pressing down gently at the middle. Kara’s lips part and Lena is mesmerized.

She lifts her eyes to meet Kara again, to check for a reaction but all she finds is vehemence. Dark eyes looking borderline feral, threatening to swallow her whole and Lena can hear the blood rushing through her veins, can feel the fast pumping of her heart.

God, what is Lena supposed to think.

“Forget that silly game, I can’t believe you got me to play that. What happens if I kiss you,” Lena says quietly.

“Then I’ll kiss you back,” Kara says, just as quietly. Voice barely above a whisper, she adds, “As much as you want.”

Lena struggles to think. She struggles to think. She’s weak. Kara makes not kissing her hard, every single day.

She takes in a shaky breath and suddenly she’s closing in the distance left between them and she’s pressing gently against Kara’s lips where her thumb has been mere seconds ago.

Lena tilts her head and kisses Kara. She holds Kara’s face as she kisses her, and it’s just as soft as the first time, second time, and Lena wants more, wants all of it. She can taste the lingering sweetness of strawberry on Kara’s lips. For a while, that’s all it is; feather-light touches as they tentatively feel each other, figure out how to touch in this way, again—each time, their lips barely catch on each other, but it’s so much, it’s lightning down Lena’s veins, it’s her heart barely staying in her chest.

“Lena,” Kara makes a sound somewhere between a sigh and a moan against Lena’s mouth, and Lena melts at the sound.

Kara pries her lips apart with her own, licks into her mouth, and Lena makes a shaky soft sound, finds herself shuffling closer and closer, until they’re chest to chest, until she can wrap her arms around Kara’s neck and kiss her harder, deeper. Kara groans into her mouth, spurring her onwards as her fingers curl into Lena’s hair. When Lena tilts her head, she can feel more than hear the sound Kara makes, a vibration against her lips, and it makes Lena feel light-headed because—Kara likes it.

Lena is sort of vaguely aware she might be fucked.

They separate only to meet again, and it’s another dizzying kiss. Lena whimpers, her breath coming out disjointedly. Their kisses grow slow and heady. Lena’s a little delirious over the steady drag of Kara’s lips against her, and when Kara brings a palm up to guide her jaw, she lets herself melt into Kara’s lap. Thinks, dangerously, how comfortable this feels—right here in Kara’s lap, like she belongs there.

“God, Kara,” Lena manages to get out, voice sounding all breathy and rough, and she tentatively brings a hand up into the space between their bodies, touches her fingertips to Kara’s chest, feels it faintly resonate with the powerful thuds of her heart, thinks, this is real—Kara hums softly, and Lena feathers her hands up to Kara’s neck, where they make a home in the hollow space above her clavicles, fingers curling gently around her neck.

Kara’s soft and solid against her, and she feels so, so good. Pressing herself against Kara, Lena makes another muffled noise against Kara’s mouth.

Arousal burns low in her gut. Almost of their own volition, her hips roll into Kara’s. Lena takes an uneven breath and pulls back.

“Lena...” Kara says quietly, and when Lena thinks she’s about to say more, like finish the rest of her sentence, Kara just closes her mouth. She looks so good, all pink cheeked, half-lidded, lips already swollen and spit-slicked, so fucking pretty. Lena feels Kara’s hand on her cheek, just holding, touch tender. Maybe something should be said. Maybe now is a good time to admit that somehow, this has turned into something more, but Kara’s lips are too tempting, too enticing.

Lena swallows. She’s got it bad. Really, really bad, and her hands are traitorous things that have wanted too much and for too long. They wander, skimming up and over the swell of Kara’s shoulders to cradle her face. To thumb at the fine angle of her jawline, the sharpness there. When hands aren’t enough, Lena ducks down to press her mouth there, too.

Oh,” a soft drawn out sound, Lena feels the syllable vibrate against her lips as Kara’s head tips back, exposing her neck. It makes Lena pulse pulse pulse down low in her belly, that sound, so she does it again, trails kisses with a hint of tongue wherever she sees fit, threading her fingers in Kara’s hair, scratching lightly at her scalp. Delighting in the full body shudder it elicits from Kara, all pleased and shivery, bordering on a laugh.

It’s a revelation—the way Kara reacts to the slightest touch, the way she lets Lena touch her. Lena might be afraid, but there’s only so much she can resist, and somehow she finds that Kara’s touch, her grip—she makes her feel more anchored, more secure.

They’re both tired and slow, so it stays easy. Lena splays her palm against Kara’s abdomen, lets it rest there gently. Feels Kara’s muscles shift, and has no thoughts, absolutely none at all as she brings her other hand to Kara’s neck, rests it on the juncture of her neck and shoulder.

Perhaps Lena’s been deprived of this for too long; soft little intimate touches, physical caresses; perhaps she hasn’t met many people who are this soft and gentle. Maybe it’s simply because it’s Kara. Nevertheless, this feels too soft, too tender, intimate—Lena feels it.

Feels it like a physical weight, something both familiar and foreign and kind of terrifying—

She hears Kara’s shaky breath, and then she realizes—fuck, she didn’t even ask, just went ahead and started touching her, maybe Kara’s uncomfortable, now.

Lena pulls her hands away so quickly, eyes scanning Kara’s face.

“Kara, is this—”

“It’s okay,” Kara breathes, wets her lips. She squeezes Lena’s thigh. “You can touch me like that.”

Oh, my god.

“You can—if you want to,” Kara whispers. “Put your hands on me, I mean.”

There's some kind of hunger in Kara’s stare, her eyes dark and slightly gazed, pupils swallowing up the blue of her irises. It makes Lena squirm against Kara’s lap, makes her feel wanted and desirable and—desperate.

Lena has no shame. It’s kind of embarrassing. It bothers her how distracting Kara Danvers can be at times, and how she more often than not, finds herself practically drooling over Kara’s physique. It’s a work of art if she’s ever seen one. Those morning runs and late night workouts in the gym and who knows what else what. Broad shoulders and chest, strong back muscles and biceps, thick thighs. Compared to Lena’s soft tummy and fleshy thighs, Kara really is a brick wall. Well—soft and solid she is; her heart and cheeks softer. And Lena? Lena’s always had a severe weakness for solid women with soft hearts.

“Unbelievable,” Lena mutters softly, sinking teeth into her bottom lip, and she keeps her hand under Kara’s shirt. Feels the lean muscles shift under her palms, hand dipping in the ridges of Kara’s abdomen, nails scraping gently over Kara’s skin. She always knew Kara was ripped, had seen her walking around with a sleeveless shirt or a sports bra. It’s one thing to see it, but it’s a whole other thing to actually feel it underneath her palms.

Fuck.

For a moment it’s quiet as they just feel each other up, because that’s what best friends do. That's what best friends do. Lena refuses to look back up, desperately trying to regain some brain function back, while Kara’s hands are on her thighs, squeezing and unsqueezing.

And—yeah, her hands on Kara’s abs, sides, backside—this is working, this is helping. It’s fucking not.

“Unbelievable,” Lena murmurs—repeats herself. Her lips already feel sore from biting and kissing, and her voice sounds like it’s been through a wreckage when she says, “You kiss so well, Kara. What the hell.” Lena flushes hard, and presses her face into Kara’s neck. “And now—muscles? You’re killing me.”

Kara laughs softly. “Lena…”

“Not funny,” Lena says, and noses at Kara’s jaw. She nips at the skin, lets herself have an indulgent lick. Can’t help it, because Kara’s open and inviting, and smells really, really nice. When Kara lets out a little shaky sigh, Lena pulls back to look at her in the eye. “Do you let any girl climb into your lap and touch you like this?”

“Do you climb into any girl’s lap and touch her like this?”

Lena bites her bottom lip. “Touche.”

“But to answer your question? Only you,” Kara assures, and Lena pauses, her heart inexplicably clenching. She doesn’t know what she means by that, and honestly she’s too afraid to ask. There’s a daze look of wonder on Kara’s face, something tender in her expression.

Lena swallows.

It’s kind of distracting, the way Kara’s hand is touching her thigh. Fingers curling, pressing into her skin. Lena has trouble thinking. Kara has that effect on her. Kara is looking at her like she looked at Lena in the car. Like Lena is the only thing she sees.

Lena has to force her jaw to work. Her words come out as a whisper when she speaks. “What is it?”

Kara blinks, licks her lips, her cheeks a rosy pink. She is a dangerous combination of sexy and adorable. There was no way Lena ever stood a chance.

“I just… you look so beautiful right now. Always. I always thought that.”

“Oh.” Lena exhales slowly.

They stare at each other for a moment. Kara is biting on her bottom lip, fidgeting a bit, colour blossoming on her cheeks, a bit and a bit more, a hint of rose gold on her skin. She's so endearing, and so fascinating, and so incredibly attractive to Lena.

Kara leans forward, presses a slow, languid kiss to Lena’s mouth. Lena’s eyes close. She thinks she could kiss Kara every second of every day for the rest of her life and she wouldn’t have a thing to complain about. There’s just something about the way she feels against her that has her feel so wholly content.

What are they doing.

Lena pulls back a little, pressing kisses to the corner of Kara's mouth and tugging a little on her hair, and Kara makes all of these little noises, huffs, hums, groans; all so pretty, heavenly, intoxicating. She likes it—likes the sounds that Kara makes as she kisses them out of Kara's mouth, makes them her own. Kara's hands press a little harder into her skin.

What the fuck are they doing.

“You’re a really good kisser, you know,” Lena breathes.

She brings her fingers to Kara’s cheek and presses her palm to her jaw, tilting her head to get an angle to deepen the kiss, tentatively sliding her tongue over the seam of Kara’s mouth. It’s slow, lazy, languid; they kiss like they have nowhere to be, nothing to do except get lost in each other. Lena skirts her fingers down Kara’s cheeks to her neck, running her knuckles over the sharp cut of her jawline before dragging her nails towards her collarbone, resting a hand on her chest.

“You’re in my lap and you can’t seem to stop kissing me,” Kara tells her quietly. “So I think I do know, yes.”

“Kara,” Lena sighs. “Kara.”

“What is it?” breathes Kara against her mouth.

And that’s—that’s the fucking question, isn’t it? Lena’s head feels hazy, can’t think properly anymore. They’re just kissing, but it always feels like more with Kara, because it’s Kara and Kara always makes her feel more.

She whines into Kara’s mouth, in lieu of having the words, in lieu of knowing—because Lena doesn’t know what she’s allowed to want. Kara just kisses her, slower and softer this time, big hands wandering everywhere.

Lena thinks, vaguely, that she should ask what Kara wants, but she can’t articulate it, not when Kara is kissing her like that, hands sliding down over Lena’s hip and the curve of her ass—and squeezes. It makes Lena squeal in surprise.

“Oh, my god,” she says right against Kara’s lips, followed by breathy laughter. “I wasn’t expecting that.”

“I’m sorry, I should have asked before doing that. I didn’t—”

“I like it,” Lena interrupts. Kara stares for a moment, lips still open mid-sentence and hands still on Lena’s ass. In almost a whisper, Lena adds, “It’s okay.”

She watches the way Kara’s throat moves when she swallows.

God, what are they doing. Heat coils in Lena’s belly as Kara just sighs a little, rests her forehead Lena’s chest. Kara’s palm rounds to grip at Lena, kneading Lena’s ass, keeps squeezing. Kara pulls their bodies flush together.

“Lena,” Kara says, low and quiet, and it sends a shiver down Lena’s spine. Lena tucks her face into the side of Kara’s neck, makes a low noise into her skin, becoming increasingly aware of how very turned on she is. Arousal burns low in her gut, too much adrenaline and emotion in her veins from earlier, too weak against all of Kara.

They should—they should stop, Lena should stop, but Kara smells so good, her skin feels so soft and nice against Lena’s lips, Kara’s body against hers, the sound of Kara’s quickened breath too tempting.

She’ll never know what Kara was going to say next because at that moment someone’s phone vibrates loudly, and starts ringing. Lena startles a little and Kara’s head whips to the sound; it’s Kara’s phone, on the coffee table, and Lena lets out a shaky breath.

“Sorry—”

“No, no, it’s okay—you should get that—”

“It’s probably not that important—”

“Kara,” Lena interrupts gently. It’s a way out and Lena’s all too ready to take it, the weight of her actions settling in. She’s horny, right now, but she's not a horny idiot. Or is she. She squeezes Kara’s bicep, and pulls back, her cheeks not losing its colour at all. “Go ahead.”

“Yeah.” Kara nods jerkily, the tiniest bit. There's something wrong in the crease between her eyebrows, the tension in her jaw. She licks her lips. “Yeah, okay.” She sounds just as wreck as Lena is, her voice at a much lower octave than normal. It’s a rumbling purr more than anything.

Kara’s flushed, and her pretty red, spit-slick lips are so enticing. Lena really wants to kiss her again, wants to sink her teeth into the plump flesh of Kara’s lips.

She doesn’t.

She gets off her gently, legs feeling weak. As Kara takes the phone call, Lena grabs the two mugs on the table and goes to the sink to busy herself with shaky hands. She fills herself a glass of cool water as she listens to Kara talk on the phone.

Her breath stutters to a halt for a second. What happened almost feels like a fever dream, but seeing the evidence behind her, when she sneaks a glance over her shoulder grounds it all very firmly in reality.

Kara is sitting on the armchair of the couch, neck twisted as she looks at the time on the wall.

“Oh! I’ll come pick it up tomorrow afternoon. Yeah. Are we still down for a sisters movie night? Cool, I’ll bring a box of doughnut,” Kara murmurs, nodding to no one in particular.

Lena can see that there’s a small red mark above Kara’s collarbone where her teeth grazed skin. Jesus, fuck. Lena looks away, heart hammering against her chest.

She gave her that. She can barely process her thoughts right now.

“Yes, yes. Okay, bye!”

A silence settles into the living room.

“That was my sister. I left my laptop at her place.”

Lena nods, not looking at her. She stays facing the sink as she drinks her water. Now’s the time to leave. Should she leave?

As she thinks on it, Kara steps into the kitchen.

“Hey, it’s… really late. That was intense, and uh.” Kara breaks into a chuckle, and there’s a little nervousness to it. She scratches her eyebrow. She’s being nervous and awkward. Lena doesn’t want her to be nervous and awkward. Never, around her.

“Yeah.”

“Are you, um...” Kara trails off, questioning. The look Kara gives her is curious, pleading, sincere.

Lena takes a deep breath. She licks her lips, and says, “Yeah. It’s late, I’m… I’m gonna go shower, then head to bed. I’ll join you later?”

It’s really hard. It’s taking her all, not to run away. Or lean back in.

Kara’s face lights up. “Oh! You’re staying. Yeah, okay,” and then she’s grinning, and, god, fuck.

Lena understands. Kara sleeps better with Lena. Lena sleeps better with Kara, too.

 


 

It shouldn’t feel like such a big deal when Lena steps into the room and closes the door behind her. She pauses for just a moment. Draws in a slow, steadying breath. She walks towards the bed, tucks her tablet away, and settles on the bed without looking at Kara. Lena has slept in this room with Kara, too many nights to count now.

Kara is her best friend. This is fine. She tells herself not to be nervous. She’s still her; Kara’s still Kara. This is fine.

Except it’s not. The mattress dips under Kara’s weight when she settles with her. Lena draws a breath, telling herself to calm down. She’s not a teenager with a crush. It’s just, there is a very lovely person that she more-than-likes in this bed, a person she basically... got too handsy with, thirty minutes ago.

God.

“You okay?” Kara asks, not louder than a whisper, and Lena turns her head to look at her, which is a mistake. Kara is looking back at her, and their faces are suddenly close. Please give me a break, Lena begs no one in particular.

“Yes. Why do you ask?”

“Just checking. I don’t want to—” Kara starts, then stops, looking a little frustrated. “I don’t know.”

“Don’t want to… what?”

Kara wets her lips, shrugs a little. “Do things that make you feel uncomfortable? Wow, this feels familiar.”

“Uncomfortable?” Lena frowns. It’s quiet. She shifts carefully, tugs at Kara’s shirt. “Kara… do you honestly think I’d still be here if you made me feel uncomfortable? I’m always comfortable around you.”

What’s Kara talking about. Lena was the one who made the move to kiss her. Climb into her lap. Did more than kiss and settle herself there, god she was so shameless.

“Okay,” Kara says simply, and Lena cringes internally; the implication of it all.

The eye contact makes her stomach drop. Kara’s eyes move to her lips, then back up. Kara’s mouth hangs open just slightly, tongue pushing at the back of her teeth. Lena watches the movement, paralyzed with the compulsion—like want to lean forward and kiss her again.

They’re close. They’re alone in this room. Kara is warm and funny and kind and one of Lena’s favourite people in the entire world. She’s thinking about Kara’s mouth. It has never left her mind. Kara’s lips are soft and always taste vaguely of strawberry chapstick.

She doesn’t want to read into it, but—Kara reaches out; soft fingers carding through Lena’s hair gently. Lena struggles, somewhat, to keep her breathing even, deep, like she’s calm, collected, and not with her heart pounding too hard, too hard.

It’s not a problem. It’s not.

“I’m good at kissing, huh?” Kara says, teasing, and Lena cannot actually catch a break in her life.

“It had to be said,” Lena murmurs.

She looks back at Kara. Kara is so beautiful in the moonlight, so kind and lovely, and Lena wants. Kara won’t stop playing with her hair. It feels nice. She’s unreal, Lena swears. Blue eyes are on her lips again, and it’s like Kara’s working up the nerve to do something, and all Lena can think is do it, do it, do it, do it.

Thinks Kara has to—has to be the one that does it. Because Lena knows the flood that will inevitably follow will be unrelenting and all-consuming. Wants to drown in Kara so bad her heart is beating so fucking fast, so she has to be sure Kara does it first, that she wants this, too, and maybe more.

But then it’s like something snaps, and that look from Kara’s face is gone. Kara takes her hand back, looks away. She pulls the blanket higher, up to Lena’s shoulder.

“We should… we should sleep,” Kara says quietly.

Lena looks away, too. Feels like she can breathe again. It’s for the better. If one slightly more intense kiss from Kara can get her so worked up, there is no way she stands a chance if she lets things go even a little bit further.

She’s never felt this devastated and this hopeful all at once; there's a flare of hope that bursts in her chest and spreads in her entire body, skin almost tingling with it, but she's quick to kill it. It's like this with Kara, it's rays of hope just before a cloud decides to stop right in front of them.

WIth Kara, her chest feels like it’s endlessly rebuilding and reinventing itself to make room for more flowers. More, more. No one’s ever made her toes curl from just a kiss. There’s a whole list of things Kara does to her no one’s ever done.

Lena closes her eyes, whispers, “Goodnight,” before snuggling into Kara, hiding her face in the crook of her neck. What a mess.

They’re not going to talk about what happened earlier. That’s fine. That’s okay. Great.

Lena’s heartbeat is embarrassingly fast.

 


 

Like clockwork, Lena’s kind of losing her mind. This is the second time they’ve fucking kissed. This time, they absolutely made out and Lena was absolutely in Kara’s lap, and they were… handsy.

Everything about Kara Danvers is touchable, kissable, loveable, and it takes all of her, every ounce of power in the atoms made up of stardust that make up Lena’s entire being, for Lena to think of other things.

Jesus christ.

She knows that she should talk to Kara, they—need to. If not about her feelings, because that’s horrifying, then at least Kara's feelings—about something. About them. They need to talk about them, because it’s clear that they are moving towards a direction at a very fast gaining speed. Lena can’t put a finger to it, can’t exactly figure out when it happened, but she knows it has.

But she isn’t so good at talking about feelings. Her feelings. Every time she imagines confessing to Kara that she wants more, she gets caught up in a tangle of nerves, becomes too frightened, nervous to do anything about it.

The thought of confessing makes her heart beat fast and dries out her throat. Kara visits her at work and Lena lets her hold her hand, lets her hug, lets her kiss Lena's forehead or cheek.

Lena allows it all to happen, because she’s afraid that if she brings it up, Kara will stop. Whatever Kara wants to give her? That’s what Lena wants. Lena doesn’t mind being unsure and confused, not when that’s the price she has to pay to be this close to Kara.

The next weekend, Sam texts the group chat, inviting everyone over the following Saturday.

As someone who has two jobs, Kara is not one to usually take Saturdays off. They’re without a doubt the best day for her to work, so upon realizing that Sam's birthday and the celebratory drinks that come with it fall on a Saturday, Lena tells Kara she can try to move the small get together they’ll be having to another day that week.

Kara, however, refuses.

“Her birthday is on Saturday,” she insists, crossing her arms over her chest and looking at Lena. They’re both just as stubborn as each other, but Kara is disarming and cute and is terrifyingly good at making Lena give in. “I can take the day off.”

“Are you sure?” Lena asks, still feeling doubtful. “Seriously, darling. It can easily be rearranged if it doesn’t work well for you.”

“But it does,” Kara says, almost protesting. “I got this, don’t worry.”

And that’s how they found themselves together in a fancy restaurant on Saturday. Everyone’s here. It’s not an extravagant birthday party. It’s not Sam's style. She had asked both Jack and Lena out on the weekend of her birthday, offering to buy them drinks, and also asked Lena to ask Kara for her.

Lena isn’t sure what to feel about that. Her friends have started to think about them as a unit. She won’t admit it out loud, but she kind of wants to be KaraAndLena instead of just Kara and Lena.

The night goes well, Lena would say. They are squished into a booth that’s too small for them, Kara fitting into a corner beside Lena. Kara holds her hand under the table and Lena gets a front row seat to all of her friends together, talking, smiling.

They order too much food and then Sam teases Kara, “You sure you can eat all that?”

Kara quips back, “You’ve known me for how long now, Sam? I’m offended.”

Lena laughs. Sam and Kelly somehow end up in a drinking contest, and Alex, Eve, and Kara end up in some debate about chocolate mint.

Lena smiles, watches, and listens. Kara, Alex, and Kelly fit in with the group as though they’ve been there from the beginning. Belonging, as if the other four of them were just waiting for them to arrive. Lena allows herself for a moment to think about how everything has turned out perfectly. She’s surrounded by good people, and has a best friend that she likes very, very much. There are much worse places she could be.

As usual, she finds her eyes wandering to Kara. She’s stopped trying to deny that it will happen, has stopped trying to pretend that it’s something it’s not; she just always wants to be with Kara.

“So, guys. Wanna see the picture that made Kara go viral on Twitter? I know you guys have been dying to see it,” Alex says, scrolling on her phone.

“Hello, yes,” Sam says, and Jack grins.

“Alex, no—”

“Wait, I wanna see, too!” Eve leans forward, almost choking on her drink.

Kara touches her glasses, visibly flushes in her seat. Lena smiles at her, feels unbearably fond.

The night goes on.

At some point, Lena doesn’t even notice she’s crossed all the distance between herself and Kara until Kara places her hand right on her thigh. It’s not unpleasant—Lena tangles her own legs in a way that won’t allow Kara to pull back, and gets even closer so Kara can slide her arm over Lena's shoulders. The proximity allows for them to squeeze each other’s fingers as they talk, or for Kara to use her hand to play with hers absentmindedly. Had it been anyone else playing with her hand, Lena would probably be rather annoyed. But as always, when it’s Kara that it comes from, she feels herself literally melt.

Lena listens to her friends telling little stories as they eat, absently adding another piece of steak to Kara's plate when she notices, out of the corner of her eye, that Kara has finished hers.

“I'm back,” Jack says, settling onto his seat after making a trip to the restroom, “what are we on about today, friends?”

“Hey, Jack,” Sam says and offers him a glass. She’s looking at the drink she ordered oddly. “Taste this.”

Jack frowns at the murky brown concoction. “I need a good drink, not poison.”

Kara’s also eyeing at the glass, wincing. “You might kill him,” she says, taking her first swig from her drink. “I like Jack, please don’t kill him.”

“Oh.” Jack gasps, obviously touched, hand on his chest. He’s dramatic and silly, and it makes Lena smile.

Sam laughs and rolls her eyes. “Fine. Lena, you drink it.”

“Oh, my god.” Kara laughs, and squeezes Lena’s shoulder. “No, not Lena!”

The placement of their table makes Lena feel some sort of intimacy, even if they’re not hidden from anyone. Surely, Kara must feel the same, if the way she every so often leans into Lena when she laughs is anything to go by.

Lena likes it. It’s alarming and terrifying, but she likes it.

They’re a little bit all over each other, but everyone’s kind enough not to mention anything about it and let them be instead.

Lena feels pleasantly buzzed from the alcohol. She can’t quite look Kara in the eye, preferring to keep her gaze down somewhere around Kara’s chin or neck if they have to look at each other. But that’s a sure-fire way to get caught staring, because. Because she’d be looking at Kara’s lips and neck, and Kara’s lips and neck are. Nice. Very nice, actually—especially when she talks, especially when she twists her neck a little, especially when she wets her lips, especially when she smiles, and.

Yeah.

—She’s enjoying herself, is so comfortable and relaxed, actually, that she kind of starts panicking a little and has to excuse herself to the bathroom. She finds herself dragging Alex with her, and. Alex, can I speak to you privately?

“Uh. What did you want to talk about?” Alex asks with blank confusion on her face. She looks at the door behind Lena's back, frowns. “Lena, my pork chops—”

“We have a situation,” Lena blurts out. “Tell me something unattractive about her.”

Alex blinks at her. “Unattractive… what?”

“You know. Something that makes Kara less attractive,” Lena says intensely. “I need to know. Maybe there are some really awful things I don’t know about her. Tell me she’s secretly mean to waiters or, or—animals. Anything.”

Sure, Lena has accepted her feelings, but maybe. Just maybe—

Alex just fucking laughs at her face. Lena clenches her jaw and stares at her.

“I fucking knew it,” Alex says. Lena waits, and Alex rolls her eyes. “All this time, huh. You know everything about Kara at this point, don’t be ridiculous. I can’t believe you pulled me out for this.

“Alex, I’ve seen her eat cereals using a fork. You think you know someone...” Lena mutters, pinching the bridge of her nose. “Now, come on. Please. Tell me something.”

“Lena. Lena, you've known Kara for eleven months now.” Lena only keeps looking at her. Pursing her lips, Alex sighs. “God, you're hopeless. Okay. Kara makes little murmuring noises when she's concentrating. She's not aware that she does.”

“No—that’s cute, Alex.” Lena twists her face like she’s in physical pain. “Yeah, she does that. Really cute.”

Alex nods. “Yeah, right? She’s very cute.”

“Please. You know that’s not what I asked, I need to hear something that makes Kara less attractive,” Lena stresses, pacing in the room.

“Do you see yourself right now? Wow, you are incredible,” Alex comments, smirking, obviously enjoying the way Lena’s suffering, “you adore my sister. You really want to date her, huh.” That makes Lena pause sharply. Alex hurries to explain, “Why are you acting like this? You’re acting as if having feelings for her is the most terrible thing in the world. Go ask her out, what are you doing. She's my sister and I like you, she obviously likes you too but in a different way and—”

“You don’t know that.” Lena sighs. Tangles her fingers. “We’ve kissed before, you know? Twice. And just because she kissed me back doesn’t mean she wants to date me. It doesn’t even mean she likes me in that way—it doesn’t mean she’s attracted to me. So I need to know if there are things I don’t know about her so I can put an end to this feeling.”

“You make that sound so simple.” Alex snorts, thinks Lena is joking. But Lena isn’t. She’s desperate. Sue her. “Look, I don’t think that’s how feelings work, but okay.”

Alex purses her lips, considering. Looks at Lena as if she’s a lost cause. Like the way Sam looks at Lena when she talks about Kara. Fuck.

“Kara will sometimes look like she’s deep in thought and almost sad. She’s always thinking about food. So when I see her do that, I just ask, “what’re ya thinking about? Doughnuts?” and she gets pouty because I can read her mind.”

“Please stop telling me cute shit,” Lena groans weakly. “I do that, too.”

“She pronounces wolf as woof and it’s so cute. One time she was like, yeah, I heard there were some woofs around...”

“Alex,” Lena snaps, and Alex is wheezing at this point, looking at Lena fond fond fond. “You’re unbelievable.”

“And you’re a useless lesbian.”

Lena stills. Frowns, hard. Well, she tried.

 


 

Time to go home eventually comes for all of them. As they walk out, Kara leans into Lena, asks, “Do you want to stay the night at mine tonight? I bought a new blanket. It’s big and warm and awesome.”

Lena doesn’t say I’d go anywhere with you. But she thinks it.

“Big and warm and awesome? Yeah, I’m sold. Sleeping in your bed—it’s all about the blanket for me,” Lena says, and Kara laughs, her shoulders shaking.

Lena studies her. Takes an uneven breath.

Kara asking—it comes easy and warm, and something about it makes Lena's heart feel really... happy. She doesn’t even have to ask anymore at this point.

“Good. I like spending time with you,” Kara says, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. In a way, it is—she’s made it clear how much she enjoys Lena's company.

They walk with everyone for a while, but eventually the time to part ways comes. Alex sends Lena a smirk and she pretends she doesn't see it. Alex and Kelly are the first to leave. Eve says her goodbyes, Jack follows after. Lena gives Sam a hug and Sam whispers in her ear goodnight, you incredibly useless lesbian. Everyone’s out for her neck today. This is fine. Lena sends her a look, and doesn’t say anything else. Kara wishes Sam a happy birthday one last time, even if it’s already past midnight and therefore not her birthday anymore. They say their goodbyes to Andrea and, after that, start walking to their place.

Kara's place.

She starts walking with Kara silently. Shivers from the cold night air, looks down at Kara’s hand. Their hands brush and bump as they walk, the streets dark and dotted with other people. Lena’s hand automatically moves before she even gets to have a say in it.

She tugs on Kara’s pinkie finger.

Tugs once, then twice. Kara’s head snaps to look at Lena, then down at her hand.

Lena flushes. She isn’t sure how she looks right now, how she’s looking at Kara. Kara only tilts her head. Realization lights her features, and then she smiles in that endearing way, soft and small, her eyes crinkling.

She covers her palm with Lena’s. Lena averts her eyes to the ground, cheeks pinking. Thankfully, Kara doesn’t say anything. Even after everything, she still finds it hard to ask...

“Did you see how wide the manager’s eyes went when he saw you?” Kara says, swinging their hands between them. “That wow, is that Lena Luthor moment? Absolutely priceless.”

“I guess…”

“That place is going to blow up because Lena Luthor ate there. Along with Andrea Rojas and Jack Spheer. People will go, Lena Luthor could’ve stood right there! Touched that wall. Ate at this table.” Kara gasps. “Oh, she could’ve licked that table!”

“Hmm, Kara. Be honest, do you think I lick tables?” Lena asks, the laugh she’s holding back causing her pain.

“I can’t believe I’m with Lena Luthor, holding hands with her right now. Incredible.”

“Are you done?”

“Sorry, didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. It’s just.” Kara’s smiling, tilting her head a little. “I just really like it when you smile like that… it makes me happy.”

She’s never said it quite like that before. She looks embarrassed by what she just said, quickly looking away and touching her glasses and changing the subject to food. Her words make Lena blush, molten and burning throughout her body.

They walk back slow, fingers entwined. Soft wind blows past them. It's ethereal, Lena thinks—the unexpected motion, Kara’s hair gently ruffled by air, by nothing, invisible fingers that could be Lena’s, sometimes are Lena’s, face serene in the breeze.

There is something incredibly intimate about walking hand in hand with Kara in the middle of the night. Their area is not as busy as one would expect from the city, and especially now at night, no one is in sight.

Lena steals a look at Kara, her smiling face bathed by the yellowish look of a streetlight, and hears her heart scream at her to kiss her. It’s only gotten worse. Ever since having a taste of her—Lena can’t stop thinking about wanting to kiss her again.

Right now, she doesn’t know if she’s going to stay with Kara forever. Hell, she doesn’t even know if they’re ever going to get out of this limbo they are in right now, take a step further and put a name to what they are. But what she knows for sure is that there is a connection. She looks at Kara and realizes she has never felt so delightfully linked to someone before.

Lena looks down at their joint hands. Kara glances at her, and squeezes her hand.

“You okay?” Kara asks.

Lena lets out a quiet, shaky breath. “I’m fine,” she replies. “I’m perfect.”

When they pause their walk for a bit to watch and appreciate the view of the river, Lena pulls Kara into a hug because she can. And it’s cold. Kara never asks her why the sudden action, why Lena will sometimes just fit herself against Kara. There’s no reason—there doesn’t have to be a reason.

It’s not a long walk they have left, but it definitely takes them more than it usually would because of how affectionate a buzzed up Lena gets. She’s riding a pleasant alcohol buzz; her limbs go loose and she hugs, and clings to Kara continuously, making her laugh.

It’s just like that night when Kara visited Andrea’s house the first time.

“I can’t walk like this, Lena,” Kara says, but she does nothing to pull Lena away or to move herself. Her grip around Lena's arms loosens slightly as she pulls back a little. “Should I let go?”

“No,” Lena quickly replies, pressing herself against Kara again. Kara can’t help but laugh as she tumbles back a little. “You’re warm. Keep me warm.”

“Unbelievable,” Kara murmurs. “Hold on—is that my blue sweater you’re wearing under your coat?

“And what of it.” Lena merely shrugs. She touches Kara’s collar, twisting it. “Kara, at some point you’re going to have to accept that this is just a thing that happens. You get surprised every single time. You’re cute.”

“Lena.” Kara huffs, incredulous. “No, I really need to know. How are you so good at you committing clothing theft in my room and getting away with it? How come I never see you?”

“Three days ago. The owner was too busy in the kitchen singing to NSYNC while making pancakes.” Lena grins. “I was in your bed, just looking at it. It was in my line of sight and I was weak. Kara, you don’t understand. It was calling for me.”

“It was absolutely not,” Kara whines. “Lena, that’s my favourite sweater, you know that.”

Lena laughs, quiet and private. It's not that she likes being a brat, not only that, it's that Kara’s shirts look good, on Kara most of all, and her scent clings to them, mostly comforting, a bit electrifying.

“Remember how you asked me, one time, if you looked like someone who took people’s hoodies? Look at you now,” Kara says quietly, and squeezes Lena. “You take more than hoodies.”

“Hmm.” Lena does a light shrug. “Character development. People change. People are unpredictable.”

“You’re remorseless.” Kara’s forehead crinkles and she’s pouting a little and—she’s so fucking cute.

Lena smiles.

“Kara?” she opens her mouth, because her chest feels so warm, and full right now. Sighing softly, Lena just feels. Fond. Lena is so, so fond of this woman, ridiculously fond. Kara Danvers makes her feel like she’s made of love, makes her feel like she can do anything.

“Yes?”

“You know… you’re my favourite, darling,” she says quietly. She pulls back a little but stays in Kara’s arms, and smooths out Kara’s collar from where she’d twisted it out of shape and dances her fingers up the side of Kara’s neck.

Kara swallows, and Lena follows the bob of her throat with her thumb. Lena wonders. She wonders, thinks maybe Kara feels nervous, too, if it’s just her not wanting to mess this up, if she’s the only one who feels so deeply and wants so badly that it terrifies her.

There's something in the air, a feeling of excitement buzzing like electricity. It's almost tangible but just a little bit out of reach.

“What a coincidence. You’re my favourite, too.”

They stand there under the lamp light, painted bright yellow, dancing over them. Kara looks right back at her, lips slightly parted. Kara drops her eyes for a moment, then meets Lena’s again. Lena’s heart thuds heavily. She licks her lips.

Kara’s neck—her skin is scorching hot underneath Lena’s fingertips. Just touching Kara like this, feeling the firmness of her muscles, it makes Lena’s breath hitch in her throat.

There's tension crackling in the air, and it's rising with every single touch of skin. Her hand moves up, fingers softly brushing at the backs of Kara’s ear and the bone of her jaw, shy and tender and intimate. She can’t help it.

Kara looks so pretty underneath this light; golden, spinning webs of shadows on the curvatures of her face. She blinks then, a lovely red blooming across her cheeks and Lena gets lost in studying her profile. It’s easy, so easy to get lost, to be entirely captivated by the warm blush glowing on her skin, the clear blue eyes framed by thick lashes, the sharp curve of her jaw, the tendons on her neck.

Lena’s mouth goes dry. Her other hand fiddles with Kara’s shirt—thumb flicking in and out of Kara’s tucked shirt.

“Hi?” Kara says quietly, looking amused, and she’s smiling that tiny, soft soft soft smile. “You look like you’re thinking very hard.”

She’s unreal, Lena thinks again. Thinks, I like you so much. She wants to say it. She opens her mouth.

“Handsome,” she ends up saying. Lena lets her hand slip lower, curling around the back of Kara’s neck. There’s something in Kara’s expression, the gleam of blue eyes in low light. It makes Lena flush. Bites her bottom lip, and says, “I am thinking. I just... I think you’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen.”

Inside and out, Lena wants to add, but doesn't in the end.

“Oh… thank you.”

Her breath comes out shakily and disjointedly. They should separate now. Fuck, Lena thinks weakly, fuck. Lena can’t seem to move away.

“I think this is what Sam meant when she said that we act and look girlfriendly,” Kara says. “How interesting is that.”

“Yeah, very interesting,” Lena murmurs.

“But we’re just being us.”

“We’re just being us,” Lena agrees, her heart thudding wildly in her chest.

“That’s right, that’s right,” Kara says, a playful tint in her eyes. “We’re… us. Being Kara and Lena, in an undeniable gay way.”

“Is that so.” Kara nods, and Lena smiles, then smiles wider—a breathy laugh escaping her throat.

Kara reaches over, her fingers touching Lena’s face so gently, and she, god, she brushes the hair out of Lena’s eyes and tucks the lock of stray hair behind Lena’s ear like she’s the most precious fragile thing she’s ever touched, and, and—Lena is a tangle of nerves, there's a sheer amount of something she feels brimming in her chest, heavy words lodged in her throat.

They’re standing close enough that she can feel Kara’s breath ghosting over her lips, and she can taste the sweetness of earnest anticipation in the air. Kara is looking at her, the one she always does: like Lena holds all of the stars in her eyes and then some.

She holds her gaze, looks at Lena like she’s something to love, leans in, so, slowly, cups Lena’s face, whispers:

“Kiss you? Can I kiss you?”

“Yes,” Lena says, barely audible, but Kara hears, anyway, and leans in, pressing her lips to Lena’s. Kara sighs and cradles her head gently as she pries Lena’s lips apart with her tongue. Lena’s eyes close. Kara kisses her slow and languid, and there's a rising intensity behind it. Lena wraps her arms around Kara’s neck, tiptoes slightly to get an angle, to deepen the kiss, and—

She makes a soft sound against Kara’s mouth and pushes against Kara harder, opens her mouth wider. Kara tastes like something sweet—like citrusy sweetness, the champagne she was drinking earlier, Lena thinks hazily.

Her mind is still kind of reeling, still trying to catch up to the fact that this is Kara, still with her eyes closed and nose brushing over hers. Lips so soft in the touches and Lena feels her whole body responding to the contact. Electricity running fast under her skin, heart speeding inside her chest and she feels like she can barely breathe, feels like she might be drowning, maybe she is, can’t really tell.

Something about this seems oddly familiar. As if they'd been here before, maybe in a different life.

It's a lovely thought.

Lena threads her fingers in Kara’s hair as she licks hot into her mouth, and she keeps making small soft noises without meaning to; this makes Kara kiss her harder, more urgent, as she holds Lena’s face, thumbs tracing her cheekbones, murmuring, Lena, Lena. You’re so pretty.

Kissing Kara is different from anyone else Lena has ever kissed; it feels heady, threatening to be addictive, and Lena is always, always drunk with the feeling. It rings in her ears, the soft sound, the noise, her erratic heartbeat, blood rushing, rushing, urgent, and she hopes, hopes she can keep this. It’s maddening, being this close and yet not at all to what she truly wants. Having Kara all around her but, somehow, still wanting her closer.

“Mm,” Kara hums when she presses her mouth hot against Lena’s neck, kissing the underside of Lena’s jaw. “Lena, what are you thinking about? Someone else?”

“You,” Lena corrects, and her voice is uneven, coming out as a whisper.

“Oh. Thinking about me while I’m already right in front of you?” Kara asks, teasing, pulling back. “Is something not enough for you?”

Lena toys with Kara’s collar. Her cheeks go pink. “Kara.”

Kara studies Lena quietly. Her gaze darkens, and Lena feels warm all over her body when Kara leans close again, trailing her nose over the curve of Lena’s neck, her cheek, up to her ear. Lena waits, doesn’t know what she’s waiting for, anticipation burning hotly through her veins. Kara withdraws a little, just looks at Lena.

“Kara,” Lena says again, closes her mouth. She really wants to say something, but isn’t sure what to say. Can’t settle on the what, because there are too many questions in her head right now.

“You get cold really easily…” Kara just touches her ear, plays with her hair, runs her fingers through her soft waves. “I think I’m going to give you a three-star review on warmth.”

They both chuckle softly at the absurdity of the moment, but there is something comforting about the way they can still joke around even during important moments like this.

“Are you saying you want to share me?”

Kara hums, pretending to think about it for a second.

Hey.” Lena flushes.

“No.” Kara hesitates. “I'm going to keep you all to myself.”

It’s quiet. Her heart is loud in the silence. Lena breathes slowly. She walked right into that one. Kara keeps playing with her hair, stroking and petting it.

“Is this okay?” Kara says into the silence.

Lena doesn’t realize that she’s just been staring until Kara touches her face, thumb caressing her cheek. Lena shivers a little.

Then, slowly, with her lips slightly parted, she nods her head.

Lena tries to think of it not as drowning but as sinking on purpose. Her heart is greedy, and she trusts her greedy heart in Kara’s gentle palm.

Kara smiles. “Well, it’s getting late. We should get going,” she says. “We’re only about two minutes away from our apartment?” Our apartment. Lena exhales slowly. “And we’re like, maybe one minute away from violating a few laws.”

“One minute away from violating a few laws. Are we, now?” Lena says, arching an eyebrow. It’s—ridiculous. God. Kara’s so cute, and flirty, and Lena’s a little too breathless, all from some kissing—but it’s kissing Kara, who makes her heart whole, who leaves her always wanting more. It’s strange, she thinks; she’s twenty-eight years old, has been in relationships before, has had flings and hook-ups, has liked people so much it aches.

But it has never felt like this.

“I don’t know if you know how hard it is to not kiss you and keep my hands off of you,” Kara says very quietly.

It’s like a punch in the gut, in a good way, somehow. Lena’s stomach twists. Her hand fists in the lapels of Kara’s coat, desperate because her knees go weak and oh, what if she falls?

That’s ridiculous. She’s been falling for months.

“So don’t.”

“There are laws here on this land, Lena. Let’s go home.” Kara is laughing again, eyes pressed into sparkling crescent moons. Her hand reaches up to tuck a stray of lock hair behind Lena’s ear gently.

Home. Home.

“Come on, let’s go.”

 


 

It takes longer than it should, but they do get to Kara’s apartment eventually. Eventually, because the lingering gazes and wandering hands have not stopped.

The elevator ride up seems to take years. It’s palpable—the tension—and trapped in this cubicle it has nowhere to go. They’re facing each other, on opposite sides of the elevator, leaning back against the railings. It’s taking a lot of self-control to stay in her position, to stay here and not reach out for Kara’s touch. It’s electrifying. Every time she meets Kara’s gaze, she sees something intense there.

She wants. It makes Lena shiver a little; Kara looks as if she could swallow Lena whole right then and there. Kara is restless, can’t seem to stay still; her fingers tapping against the railings, her feet tapping the floor.

This anticipation in the air—makes the edges of Lena’s vision slightly fuzzy and distorted. The knot in her throat is a balloon, inflating until she can’t breathe. She’s trying to think of something else, anything, but her mind keeps going back to Kara. It’s all consuming—the idea of Kara, and Kara kissing her more, breathing her in, touching her.

They walk out of the elevator. Into the halls, Lena takes the lead. With an unsteady hand, Lena pulls Kara’s key card out of her bag and places it against the door. She receives an error, the position of the card off. Her hand trembles when Kara presses against her back, breathing on her neck, lips so close.

“Fuck me,” Lena murmurs, lets out a little frustrated noise when the tiny red light flashes, indicating it wasn’t scanned properly again.

“I will if you open the door,” Kara whispers quietly, and then—there’s a hand on Lena’s waist, squeezes once, twice, lips soft on the nape of her neck.

Lena’s breath hitches, and her hand shakes. Kara chuckles softly, as if she’s amused by the way Lena’s literally melting. This time she gets it right and the lock makes a tiny sound.

It’s dark in Kara's apartment, but maybe she just has her eyes closed. What happens is a blur, and she wishes her mind would slow down, but it’s desperately trying to catch up to her hands which are all over Kara by now. She finds herself pressed up against the wall within seconds, Kara looking at her with parted lips and unfocused eyes.

Lena can feel her cheeks flame up, the heat of it settling in, bone deep. She doesn’t move. Kara reaches out to cup the side of Lena's face.

“Hi,” Kara starts quietly, smiling soft and small, eyes with a dangerous glint, “can I kiss you again?”

The answer is a shaky, restless heartbeat and then Lena reaches up to hold Kara’s face. She leans up and kisses her.

It’s delicate; it’s Lena figuring out how to show that she means it. Because she means it. She means it, wants Kara to feel that she means it when she slips one of her hands to the back of Kara’s head, other hand cradling the side of Kara’s face.

Every kiss—she means it all.

She gives her mouth to Kara, and she murmurs, softly, “Like you. Like you so much.”

“Gay.” Kara smiles and licks hotly into Lena’s mouth.

“Yeah,” Lena breathes. “It is.”

“You... stare at my lips a lot,” Kara murmurs, and Lena’s face is positively warm now.

She can’t deny that. At any given moment in time, some part of Lena’s brain is thinking about being pressed against a wall and kissing Kara. Lena can’t help but feel nervous tonight—Kara wants to kiss her and, in all honesty, Lena wants to be kissed. Until both their lips bruise.

Kara wraps an arm around Lena’s waist, and she’s sort of trying to get Lena out of her coat while simultaneously pinning her to the wall. Lena hums low into her mouth, shrugging off her burgundy coat successfully. She messily places it on the coat hanger without looking.

It feels so good, the way Kara is pinning Lena against the wall with her body weight, kissing her hotly and wetly and eagerly. It’s shocking, almost, to feel it—to feel Kara press herself against Lena’s body.

Lena has thought about this countless times. Has imagined it again and again, trying to decide what Kara’s body would feel like against Lena’s, what it feels like to have all her attention.

The real thing is better than anything she could have imagined, though.

“You’re really, very pretty.” Kara drags her lips along Lena’s jaw, down the column of her neck, teeth scraping against sensitive skin.

Lena sucks in a breath, involuntarily. “So are you.”

“I notice it. The—the way you look at me, I mean… it’s been going on for the last couple of months,” Kara whispers. “No, not just a couple… longer than that.”

“Really?” Lena asks, a nervous lilt to her voice, knowing she’s reverting to humour because she’s nervous. "Didn't think you’d noticed. Certainly didn’t do anything about it.”

“You didn’t do anything about it either.” Kara pulls back just a little.

“Maybe I was waiting for you to.”

It’s quiet for a couple of seconds. Kara’s eyes widen just a bit.

“Oh…”

Lena swallows. Breathes slowly. Kara ducks down again, kisses the underside of her jaw.

“Can I tell you something, then?” Kara says quietly, and the vibrations against her neck sends shivers down her spine. Lena makes a strangled noise, somewhere between a hum and a groan. She feels her legs growing weaker.

“What is it?” Lena’s voice is thick, sounding loud and out of place in the quiet tension of the apartment.

She bites her lip, moves her hand, a slow lingering slide, around Kara’s body until it arrives where her shirt opens at the front, pausing to pop the button so she can get underneath. The shirt parts under her prying fingers, and her hand comes to rest on Kara’s belt buckle, thumb caressing the fabric of her dress shirt right where it’s tucked into her pants.

Kara grips at Lena’s waist harder and—oh, Lena thinks, and her fingers on Kara’s belt pauses; Kara’s hands fit around her waist perfectly—and Lena makes a sound, a shaky breath.

“I think you’re pretty. You’re—pretty,” Kara says, low and quiet. She pulls her face back and touches Lena’s face. Cradles it, her thumb brushing Lena’s cheekbone gently, soft soft soft. “And, Lena, I don't mean pretty like I want to just look at you, I mean pretty like I want to pin you against the bed and have my way with you.”

Lena makes a helpless noise from the back of her throat. She flushes, hard.

“I—want that,” Lena admits.

“Yeah? Are—are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure. Let me make myself clear,” Lena says, looking at Kara in the eye. She squeezes her bicep. “I have feelings for you. You're my best friend first, but I don't want you to be just that. I want you. For so, so long, Kara—”

“You have me,” Kara breathes, levelling Lena with a heady stare. “I’m yours. I have feelings for you, too.”

Lena inhales sharply, mind going a little haywire from Kara’s admittance. I’m yours. I’m yours. I have feelings for you, too. A part of Lena’s mind seems to shut down completely. She swallows, can’t help but stiffen slightly.

“You... really feel the same way. Why me?”

“I… don’t know.” Kara smiles. “All I know is this overwhelming urge to be near you. With you.” The honesty in her eyes is kind of blinding.

And Lena’s mind is reeling now.

“Kara,” she says quietly, searching Kara’s eyes.

Honestly, she never meant to be noticed. She never meant to be acknowledged. Because she never expected Kara to reciprocate any of it. Not the attention. Not the emotions.

It’s reciprocated. Her mind is reeling, and, and

“I wasn’t sure if you felt the same. Now I do,” Kara says, smiling a little. Shy. God.

Lena curls her fingers in Kara’s collar tighter, she licks her lips, she’s trembling a little, and, and—

Kara leans in, presses a kiss on the corner of her mouth, then Kara noses down her neck, nibbling on her skin—

“Lena, Lena,” Kara murmurs, and Lena whimpers, hands sliding on Kara’s shoulders, sliding down her arms, feeling the curves of her biceps—wanting more, wanting Kara, to feel her everywhere, and god, she wants that, wants to be wanted, to be touched—

Kara lifts her face and kisses her, hot and wet, scoops Lena right up by the back of her thighs. Lena lets out a yelp, legs curling around Kara’s hips to keep her upright. It’s—hot, the way Kara does it so effortlessly, so gracefully, so gently—

She blindly guides them into her room, mouth on Lena’s again. A breathy laugh spills from Lena’s lips as the backs of Kara’s legs hit the bed and they fall on it ungracefully in a tangle of limbs, Kara on her back and Lena on top of her. They both manage to take their shoes off as Kara squirms, tries to push further up the bed. Somehow they succeed, with Lena never letting go of Kara, with their mouths never leaving each other for longer than a second.

“Lena,” Kara sighs, shaky, and she tilts her head to allow Lena a better angle, to bite and suck at her neck.

Lena gets her hands under Kara’s sheer shirt, and jesus, she feels so nice, hard muscles under her palms, soft skin. She drags her nails across Kara’s abdomen, nips and licks wetly down her neck, and Kara makes a noise that goes straight down her lower belly.

Kara is art in the most complex form. On any normal day, she’s all soft features, puppy eyes and handsome smiles, cute gestures and pink cheeks. Right now, however, she’s nothing but hooded eyes. She’s radiating so much warmth, and Lena can’t help but pull her closer. She’s a moth drawn to a flame, a cat drawn to the sunlight, she can’t get enough of being close to Kara.

“Wait, Lena.” Kara’s voice shakes. “Do you want to—um are you sure? We can—we can do whatever. I don’t mind.”

This again. Kara is considerate, thoughtful about every possible decision, and that's part of why Lena likes her so much.

“Yes, I want it,” Lena answers with barely a second to consider. She lets her fingers stay under Kara’s shirt to brush against hot skin. “I want to see you.” She pulls her face back and touches Kara’s face with her other hand. “I like you. I want you so much, all the time. It makes it almost impossible to think about anything else.”

Kara only stares at her, her face flushed, lips swollen and spit-slicked. The way she’s looking at Lena right now, oh god. It makes Lena feel warm all over, makes her shiver.

Without a warning Kara flips them around, leaving Lena lying on her back on the bed as she looks up at Kara with surprised eyes. Kara is now kneeling over her, and she positions herself so her legs are to each side of Lena’s body.

Kara's face is illuminated by the pale light that’s coming through the window. She’s so beautiful. That’s all Lena can think of at that very moment.

The dim glow in the room is making Kara's hooded eyes seem even darker, her blown out pupils burning with intensity. The shadows on her face all make her look borderline ravenous. Or perhaps it’s the reflection of the all-consuming want that’s most likely swallowing up Lena's own irises too, that she sees in Kara's.

Lena swallows. Then Kara's expression softens a touch. Lena’s hands drag Kara’s shirt up, tugs and helps Kara strip it off. Without thinking about it much—or rather, thinking that she wants to see, to really look at her, so badly.

“Hey,” Kara whispers, barely audible, and licks her lips, her eyes slightly glazed. Lena lets her hand slide down Kara’s chest, her abdomen, tracing the lines of her muscles, admiring the way Kara feels under her fingers and the pretty flush everywhere on her skin, transfixed with the way she shudders, responds to her touch.

Lena lifts her arms then, allowing Kara to lift the piece of clothing and remove it before she throws it to the floor, her bra soon following after it. Cold air meets Lena’s skin. Kara skims her fingers over Lena’s collarbones and upper arms, making Lena shiver.

“Pretty,” Kara’s whispering, “you’re so pretty—”

Lena flushes even more just from that. If she said she doesn’t blush at the way in which Kara’s eyes roam down her body then, checking her out, she would be lying. Kara’s gaze is on her, drifting down over her torso and Kara’s hands following soon after, roaming over the curves of her breasts.

It makes her feel hot.

“Lena,” Kara says. She slides her hand down Lena’s chest—tantalizingly slowly, slow enough to make Lena want to squirm—and her hand comes to a stop. She strokes Lena’s belly for a bit. They both sigh, shudder at the touch, Lena’s skin burning warm and so incredibly soft against Kara’s hand. “Like your tummy. It’s so soft,” Kara whispers into the skin.

It feels nice—really nice, but it’s not quite where Lena wants Kara’s hands to be. Then, Kara runs her hands up Lena’s chest, gives her a firm squeeze.

Lena sighs shakily, arches up a little.

She closes her eyes, keeps them closed. She’s afraid that if she opens them, she’ll find this has all been a dream and Kara isn’t here at all and she doesn’t—want Lena. But then she feels Kara press her lips to the corner of her mouth, and then to her cupid’s bow, and her jaw. Hears Kara’s rumble of her name, sounding half-wrecked and entirely as desperate as Lena feels.

This has been a long time coming. Lena does not want to stop here.

“Lena,” Kara breathes again, kissing her cheek, her nose. “Lena. Baby.”

Lena does a full body shiver, tipping her head back as Kara’s mouth moves steadily south, pressing open-mouthed kisses into her throat. She can’t help the way her body tenses at it. Skin on skin, chest to chest, that first brush of their bare breasts, hard nipples skimming, lifts goosebumps all across Lena’s skin.

“Like when you call me that,” she whispers.

“Baby,” Kara murmurs, and presses Lena a little harder against the mattress, kisses her. The feeling of Kara’s naked chest against her own sets off hundreds of sparks running all over her skin.

Lena thinks—she should say something, should do something more, but she can’t stop kissing Kara, can’t bear to tear her lips away after she’s waited so long for it. For her.

“Gonna make you feel good,” Kara says quietly. “I want you to feel good—because of me.”

“Kara,” Lena says shakily, arousal so tightly-wound in her belly she thinks she might burst, and Kara chuckles, taking the opportunity to kiss the underside of Lena’s jaw.

“Haven’t even done anything yet,” says Kara, although she sounds as breathless as Lena feels. She palms at Lena’s breast, grasping around that generous handful, rolling the hardened nipple. Palming around the plump swells, Kara gives it another firm squeeze. “God, Lena. You’re so…”

Lena stutters out a breath when Kara’s mouth closes around one stiff peak, while her fingers pinch and pluck at the other. Lena closes her eyes and loses herself in the sensation of Kara’s tongue and lips against her skin, the soft licks and bites across her chest, the undersides of her breasts.

Every pull of Kara’s lips, every suck and lick and soft little bite makes Lena’s chest heave, and she writhes under Kara.

Time escapes her and she isn’t sure how long this goes on for. She’s only aware of the slickness between her inner thighs and tension coiling tight at the base of her spine. Lena lifts her hips, trying to find some friction to relieve the ache, and she has to tamp down on a whine when Kara pulls away.

“Kara,” Lena says, voice thick. “I need—please,” she whispers, “please—”

“You’re cute when you’re overwhelmed.” Kara’s eyes are glassy. Slowly, she pins one of Lena’s wrists over her head, the other hand rubbing her belly. She kisses the side of Lena’s mouth, her cupid’s bow, under her eye.

“You’ve been handsy all night...”

Kara hums.

“Kara, Kara,” she says quietly, and gets a more insistent scrape in response, fluttering under her ribs, tickling enough to make her squirm. Her skin is on fire, feeling like she’ll explode if she doesn’t get Kara’s hands on her soon, where it matters. “Kara.”

“Yes? Use your words.”

Lena inhales unsteadily.

“Touch me. Please?” She licks her lips, cheeks flushed. “I don’t want to be patient anymore. Fuck me.”

Kara groans, a muffled, strangled thing. “Anything you want.” She kisses a trail down to Lena’s navel, and then her hand touches the button of Lena’s jeans. “Can I?” She checks, barely dipping a fingertip under the elastic waistband, and when Lena rattles off a litany of yes yes yes, Kara undoes the button and Lena lifts her hips. Kara tugs off hers too, and all clothes are now on the floor.

Lena shivers when Kara’s mouth are back on her neck. Shudders inside and out, and then she lets out a long, low moan when Kara’s fingers find her clit; two fingers lightly dragging through Lena’s slick heat up to rub at her hardened nub.

“Fuck,” Lena breathes, and lets pleasure overtake her, slick fingers reducing her to incoherency already, circling, pressing, and rubbing. “Fingers—want your fingers.” Kara obliges and one finger slides in easily, slipper and sleek, deep, and the moment she curls it, a guttural moan leaves Lena’s mouth with her hips jerking violently.

“Lena,” Kara mumbles against her lips, then noses along her jawline. “You’re so wet. You’re dripping, baby.”

A low whine escapes Lena’s lips, unable to stop it. It feels too good, and Kara’s mouth, her fingers—it feels so good, she wants more—needs more. She can’t process other information very well. She can’t even process how embarrassing it is to say, “—More, please. Don’t stop.”

“Okay,” Kara is whispering into her ear now, “You’ll tell me if it hurts?”

Lena nods, impatient, and squeezes Kara’s bicep.

“Uh-huh. Lena, use your words for me.”

“Okay,” Lena chokes out as Kara bites down on her earlobe. She’s hot all over.

“Good girl.” Kara breathes, sounding ragged, and Lena lets out a shaky whimper. She melts; the praise has her cheeks colouring. Then lips find Lena’s, heavy tongue licking into her mouth, hot and heady. Lena’s head spins. Then nothing again.

Until Kara rubs the pad of her thumb against her clit, circling; slowly, firmly, insistently. She adds another finger—two fingers going knuckle deep and Lena’s body arches.

Lena takes her eagerly, greedily, lifting her hips up. She can’t help the little whine that escapes from her lips at the stretch. She’s getting stretched with that nice, deep kind of burn.

Breathing shakily, she closes her eyes shut, wanting more and everything at once. Feels dizzy, but Kara always grounds her; Kara turns her head to press a kiss to Lena’s cheek but doesn’t stop her fingers from sliding in and out of Lena, so, so slowly.

“You’re so warm,” Kara whispers, eyes searching for Lena’s. “Look at me,” she says, the lilt to her voice so commanding and soft at the same time. Lena lifts her hooded gaze and her lips parted in shock, heart hammering against her ribcage.

Dazedly, looks at Kara. Kara’s eyes are a lovely shade of blue.

“Look at my eyes and relax,” Kara murmurs and Lena finds herself immediately doing so.

Muscles falling loose, legs opening as her arms flops to the side all the while she can’t tear her eyes away from Kara. Eyes locked together in a pool of blue while Lena feels the stretch, gets used to the stretch, until short pants and moans break in her throat, craving more of Kara’s touch.

“F-fuck,” Lena stutters.

“Baby. So pretty when you’re desperate for me,” Kara sighs.

“Kara,” Lena whines, because of the teasing—because it feels too good as Kara’s fingers fuck into her, slow and deep and delicious. She focuses on the tightness of Kara around her, and how Kara kisses her, kisses her lips, her nose, even when Lena isn’t paying attention. Holds her close, encourages her, because she knows Lena needs it. Because she always knows what Lena needs.

“You sound so pretty,” Kara mumbles. “You’re doing so good.”

Lena whimpers—fuck, fuck. “Kara,” she says, surprised at how breathy her voice is, how hard it is to think and say much of anything at all, everything on her mind the way Kara is touching her, touching her lips against her neck and collarbone. There’s fire wherever Kara touches, and she’s melting inside every time Kara slides back into her. “Like being good for you...”

Muscles clamp around Kara’s thrusting fingers, everything tight and hot and wet, and that’s when Lena starts to tremble. Kara keeps a controlled pace, on every pump allowing the flat of her palm rubbing tight little circles against Lena’s clit—Lena’s shaking; she whines out a syllable that’s half nonsense and half the first syllable of Kara’s name

Kara’s voice is raspy and ruined when her lips touch Lena’s ear. “Close, baby?”

Lena nods. “Please—feels so good—”

“That’s it,” Kara whispers, nosing along her jawline. Lena clings to her, nails scraping against Kara’s back, arousal coiling tightly in the pit of her stomach. “Are you gonna come for me?”

Lena whimpers out a shaky yeah as Kara’s fingers thrusts deeper and faster and harder into her, palm rubbing her clit. Her entire body shakes as she comes; muscles tightening, lungs constricting, brain restarting. It’s with a low, drawn out moan, eyes closing and brows furrowing as it courses through her white and hot.

Feels like she comes for ages. Kara runs gentle fingers down her neck and shoulders. Lena waits for her breath to calm, and Kara holds her jaw in her fingertips, kisses her softly on the mouth.

They nudge into a languid kiss. It deepens slowly. Minutes pass, and then Lena has her bearings back. The mattress moves, the weight shifting on the bed. Lena straddles Kara, runs her hands along Kara’s abdomen, stroking her abdomen while Kara shivers under her touch.

“I like you,” Lena whispers. She drags her open mouth over the curve of Kara’s jaw, licking a wet stripe down her throat. Nuzzles into Kara’s neck, before sinking her teeth into Kara’s skin. “Have I said that before? I like you so much.”

“Oh, really.” Kara breathes. She’s smiling that soft and shy way. “Show me?”

Lena’s lips pull into a smirk and she rests a hand on Kara’s chest. Feels the rapid thump of Kara’s heart beneath her fingertips. She plants a kiss to Kara’s shoulder, holds her, rubs her hand from her chest, down to her abdomen and back up again. Lena feels breathless, at the sight of Kara. Her lips part.

Kara curls into herself a little, licks her lips, cheeks heating. Shy under Lena’s unwavering stare.

“Lena,” she says, part joking, part genuinely bashful. Her hips wriggle a little, and Lena knows she needs release soon.

It’s so very Kara to be like this, and it hits Lena again, deeply right then just what is happening. This isn’t just two strangers getting each other off. This is them, her and Kara. She smiles.

“Cute,” she says.

Holding Kara by the waist, thumbs pressing into her adonis belt, she goes down and runs her mouth over Kara’s abdomen. She bites and sucks at the soft skin, leaving behind as many marks as Kara would allow.

Kara lets out an unsteady breath when Lena works her way down until she reaches her hips.

Lena sighs. Kara’s so wet. She would love to take her time touching Kara, wants to tease so badly, but they’ve waited too long. So just she strokes Kara’s thigh, licks and bites at her skin, getting closer to where Kara wants her to be, slowly, and then wraps her lips around Kara’s clit.

“Lena,” Kara moans, a broken sound, shaky, and her head falls back against the pillow.

Lena grasps the backs of Kara’s thigh, pulls her close, and licks and sucks and tongues her until Kara’s panting and arching. The way Kara feels under her touch, each crevice of her body, and how it feels to have Kara breathing like this, responding to each of her movements; the way Kara tastes, the way her body arches into Lena’s touch.

“Just—yes—like that, baby,” Kara coaches a bit breathlessly, like she’s high off Lena. Her fingers tangle in Lena’s hair, pulling not-so-gently every now and then. “Just like that. Good girl.”

Lena moans, her heart thumping in her chest, her brain foggy in the best way. The guttural noise Kara makes, the praise, the way her hips push forward, fills Lena with pride.

Kara’s eyes are fixed on her and that makes Lena hum low and deep in the back of her throat. Dark pupils eat up the thin ring of blue, and Lena keeps licking and kissing and sucking until Kara’s arousal runs down her chin, and her ears overflow with her whimpers and moans of pleasure.

It’s messy, and hot, and Lena loves every bit of this. Kara shudders, jerks, and grinds her hips frantically into Lena’s face until she comes with a strangled gasp.

Through it all Lena doesn’t take her tongue off Kara’s clit. She keeps running lazy circles around it, receding from the too-sensitive tip, until even that becomes too much and Kara grabs her chin, and plunges her tongue into Lena’s mouth.

She moans just a little bit down Lena’s throat, and Lena melts.

When they separate, once she gets a good look at Kara—hair in absolute disarray, eyes glassy, parted lips shiny with saliva and her own come—Lena almost stops breathing.

“I—need a minute,” Kara says, squeezing her eyes shut briefly, trying to catch her breath. She’s like a boneless heap. “Um. Wow. That was really…” Lena grins and nuzzles into her side, fitting against Kara perfectly. Kara combs her fingers through Lena’s hair. “Great sounds silly, for how great that was.”

“Yeah.”

They stay like that for a long time. Kara’s arms tight around her. Lena’s face tucked into her neck. Their breathing gradually slows, both of them calming from the intensity of moments ago.

A little later, Kara’s fingers brush her hair, placing a loose strand behind her ear.

“Your hair is so soft,” Kara says, her fingers tangling in Lena’s hair and pulling gently. Lena groans lightly, unable to keep the smile off her face. She presses her mouth on Lena’s jaw, her chin, her lips. “Feels so nice to touch. I like playing with it.”

“I like you playing with it. You know, I once dyed my hair blonde when I was younger to piss off my mother,” Lena says, surging forward for another kiss. Kara laughs a little, surprise evident, muffled by Lena’s lips. “Don’t believe me? Why does everyone find that hard to believe? Sam, Jack, Andrea, and now you.”

“No, no, it’s just… I think it’s because it’s difficult to picture it. But I have no doubt you rock blonde well,” Kara says. Her fingers massage Lena’s scalp again, making Lena close her eyes as she softens on top of Kara. “Hmm, so Sam, Jack, and Andrea—they weren’t there to see it? This was in highschool, then?

“Yeah, way before I met them. Enough talking about our friends.” Lena laughs again. “Pay attention to me.”

Her words earn her a playful slap on her naked ass, Kara quietly chuckling as she spanks her. “All of my attention is on you,” she says. “Always.”

“Always on me?” Lena asks, her fingers tracing random patterns on Kara’s shoulder.

“Always,” Kara confirms, followed by a deep sigh. Kara keeps kissing at the skin on Lena’s neck, sucking on it and occasionally nibbling. It makes Lena squirm, arousal burning low in her belly. “Do you want another round, huh?”

Lena flushes. Her hand slides on Kara’s shoulder, down her arm. She squeezes Kara’s bicep. “You’re… you, Kara. I’m always some percent turned on around you.”

“Oh.” Kara blinks, her cheeks visibly pinking. She licks her lips. “Okay. I see. Cool, cool.” Lena arches her eyebrow at her, laughs. “Okay, so if that’s the case. I’ve been thinking… Lena, how do you feel about toys? Because I...” she points at her bedside table.

“Toys,” Lena says. She blinks. She has never opened those drawers. “Yeah—that’s. Can I see?”

“Hold on. Are you allergic to silicone?”

“No.”

Lena watches Kara get up, and runs a hand through her messy hair. Hears the slide of the drawer opening. She shivers a little, closing her eyes and anticipating Kara’s touch. Feels the bed dip as Kara climbs onto it, and hears the lube bottle opening, the distinct click of the cap, and her body goes tense all over again—want overtaking her.

She opens her eyes. Kara is in front of her, and she stares at the pale blue toy. The base of the strap-on fits onto the harness perfectly and Kara has it put together already, ready for use within seconds.

It’s—thick, smooth, slightly arched, and oh. Oh. Kara kneels between Lena’s legs, the harness snug across her hips and thick thighs and, if it isn’t the single hottest thing Lena’s ever seen in her life.

“It’s new. Hasn’t been used, by the way,” Kara says, clearing her throat. Lena looks up. “With anyone.”

“Oh.” She swallows. Good. Great. Fantastic.

“So, do you want to—”

“Yes,” Lena says, and Kara shuts her mouth. “Come here.”

Kara does. Lena finds herself moving against the mattress, body moving on its own, her fingers curling in the sheets, and, and—

Kara kind of just starts staring at her.

“What?” Lena says quietly.

“Oh, it’s just. You look so good like this, spread out for me,” Kara murmurs. She watches Lena, as if to admire the view, Lena laid out before her, ready for her.

“Spread out for you,” Lena repeats in a low husky voice, tilting her head a little. She smiles lazy, which turns into a smirk when she sees Kara’s cheeks darken. “Well... I am very fuckable, darling.”

Kara draws a shaky breath.

She watches Kara smear lube on her strap-on, rubbing them to warm, pumping her hand a couple of times. She stares, transfixed, and she sort of wants to tell Kara to just thrust in. She doesn’t, instead tries to relax around her, fingers curling in the sheets.

“Take good care of me,” Lena whispers.

“You know I always do. I’ll take the best care of you,” Kara says. Lena shivers.

Kara hovers over her now, kneels between Lena’s spread legs. Here they are—Kara rubbing the head of the dildo over Lena’s entrance, making her groan at the feeling. And here they are—Kara finally lining up properly and then leaning over to watch Lena, making sure she’s comfortable and okay.

She’s being so gentle.

“What are you thinking about?” Kara asks, the corner of her mouth slowly curving up. She leans forward, hand planted beside Lena’s head for balance. The head pushes heavily against Lena, circling against her entrance.

It’s slippery, slicked with lube. Not going in yet. But just there. For a moment, Lena feels her eyes roll back.

Kara pushes in just as Lena opens her mouth to answer, and god, fuck—fuck, Lena swears it’s intentional. It’s messy—her words come out all unfinished and muddled.

“I’m—ah, god. Thinking about—oh...”

Lena loses her voice, it comes out shaky and uneven, and her brain turns to mush. It’s big—stretching her almost beyond what she thought she could handle. She breathes slowly, her fingernails dragging along Kara’s back.

Kara’s gentle. She goes slow, so slowly, until she’s all the way in. Her eyes are on Lena’s face, blue eyes roaming attentively. Lena can barely think, everything is intense—the feeling of fullness overwhelming her, the sudden rush of heat through her body. It’s bordering on too much and not enough at the same time.

“Okay?” Kara asks, finger on her cheek, touch tender, and she presses open-mouthed kisses on her neck. She nips and licks on Lena’s skin, forming marks of a different kind of blooming above the roses. Kara doesn’t move; she remains inside Lena as she waits, letting Lena get used to the feeling.

It's wet and hot, and so, so tight that it makes her toes curl, her chest heaving with her attempt to savor this, to take it slow.

When she has gone quiet for too long, lost in thought or sensation, she isn’t sure, Kara pulls back. Her eyes are soft, cheeks attractively flushed, lips parted. Fucking beautiful, Lena thinks hazily, and then whimpers when she wriggles her hips a little, feels the stretch, feels the fullness.

Soft lips find her eyebrows, her cheek, then her jaw.

“Baby?” Kara calls gently, voice half-wrecked as she leans back, clearly trying to talk, and Lena loses her breath—

“Yeah, I’m—” she says, delayed, words broken and breathy, “—Yes... give me a second.”

Kara lets her settle, and her mouth comes back to Lena’s neck, mouthing down, hot and wet and dirty, unhurried and slowly. Lena groans quietly; melts.

“You can move now,” she whispers, touching Kara’s biceps and squeezing Kara's waist with her thighs. Kara hums quietly, and meets her gaze. Looking at Lena’s face intently, and starts rolling her hips slowly.

Kara stays deep within Lena, her pace unhurried and slow. Lena trembles a little, stares at the way Kara’s eyelashes fan out over her perfect cheekbones when her eyes flutter shut. Drinks in the soft moans that drip from her lips when Kara pushes into her deeper. Holds Kara’s face in her hands, pets over her soft skin, and studies her.

Kara focuses on drawing the sensations out of Lena bit by bit, building her up more and more. She keeps her movements languid but deliberate, fucking Lena with a slow, delicious rhythm.

Coaxing Lena to relax, to sink into the feeling completely and just be taken care of.

The sensitivity of having already come makes Lena feel everything tenfold. Thinks, her eyes are rolling back each time the head of Kara’s strap-on brushes against that perfect spot inside of her. And she feels like another orgasm is building. Her whole body feels on fire.

“Yeah,” she breathes, “like that. I’m so full. Kara—”

Kara hums, takes this in positively; she bites at Lena’s lip, then licks hot inside her mouth. As Kara rocks her hips harder, the kiss turns sloppier, and wetter, and dirtier and—Lena moans, breathy and broken when Kara lifts up her hip just a little.

“God, Lena, you’re—” Kara says, sighing, and she’s got a hand around Lena’s neck, not squeezing, but Lena feels lightheaded. Wants Kara to destroy her in every way possible. “—So good.”

“Harder,” Lena murmurs against Kara’s lips, and Kara moans, thrusts her hips forward in a way that makes Lena’s breath catch in her throat. It’s a different feeling altogether.

She rocks her hips to meet Kara halfway, and Kara grabs Lena’s hands, pins both of them above her head.

“Okay?” Kara asks, and Lena nods desperate, says yes yes, she wants Kara to fuck her into the mattress. Kara thrusts in deep and hard, and Lena lets her head loll on the pillow below her. Eyes half-open and a bit glazed, jaw slack, permanent knitting of her eyebrows.

On a particularly hard thrust, Lena keens, her body melting.

“You’re gorgeous. Taking me so well,” Kara tells her, breath hot against her face. Lena’s breathing stutters. Kara finds her mouth and lightly bites at it, says, “So beautiful.”

“Kara,” she’s murmuring for no reason, feeling hot all over. “Kara, Kara—”

Kara unpins her hands, says, “Lena, can you sit up?”

Lena can barely think, can’t really process what Kara’s saying, but Kara has her, she’s got her; the dildo stays buried inside her as Kara bows on the bed, panting, pulling Lena up with her. Lena sinks down on her strap-on, and—

She whimpers; a shaky and filthy moan is ripped out from her throat, and her head rolls on Kara’s shoulders because of the new angle. It’s deep and—delicious from this angle; Lena feels too tight, too warm, too wet and she’s trembling a little; she wraps her arms around Kara’s shoulders and groans weakly.

“Okay?” Kara asks, and palms her chest, squeezes.

“I’m—” Lena breathes, and presses her face against Kara’s shoulders, going dizzy. “Yes. Better than okay, fuck me—”

Electricity runs through Lena's ribs with every thrust; it's addictive, the slick friction drag, the way the strap-on is swallowed tight, how their bodies fit—

Kara fucks her hard and fast, determined to take every inch of her, and she holds her by the waist, licks over her collarbone. Lena’s fingers dig into Kara’s shoulders.

“Don’t stop—” she breathes, “f-fuck.”

Kara fucks her hard, all the way in, and then nearly all the way out. Lena lifts her hips to sink back, meeting Kara in the middle. Lena feels every inch of Kara inside of her, mouth hanging open in bliss. It’s good. It’s all so, so good. Lena’s thighs are shaking, her body is, she’s shaking all over, and—

“You’re close, right? Gonna come for me? Go on, baby. Let me feel it.”

The words are so enticing, Lena’s eyes fall shut without her even realizing it. She clings harder to Kara and fucks herself into her with more determination.

“K-Kara,” she chokes, and Kara moans into her neck, holds her close and tight and rocks up into her, hard and fast and deep, god, fuck, her insides feel like they’ve turned to liquid. Molten and hot, settling deep in her lower belly; this feels so fucking good—

“’M so close,” Kara manages, “Lena, touch yourself, please—”

Lena whimpers, wraps an arm around Kara’s neck to keep herself upright, and reaches for her clit. She presses and rubs herself and then she's stiffening—shuddering, clamping around Kara as she gives herself over.

Lena doesn’t recognize the sound she makes when she comes. A cry of pleasure mixed with an almost instantaneous whimper. The sensation of over-stimulation hits like a train only seconds after because Kara feels too good.

She doesn’t register her back hitting the mattress until Kara tucks her face into the crook of her neck, moaning against her collarbone. Kara keeps fucking into her, and all she knows is Kara’s heavy, musky scent in her nose with the distinct smell of sweat-slick bodies moving together.

She cups Kara’s face, fingers tangle in her hair, and drags her into a messy kiss, and murmurs, “Yes, yes, darling, I got you, wanna see you come—”

“Lena, Lena,” Kara whimpers, and comes.

Kara’s hips thrusts forward jerkily a few more times as she rides out her orgasm. Lena places soft kisses on the side of her face, holds her close, runs her fingers up and down her back, whispers, I got you, again.

Kara trembles, and then she collapses on top of Lena, catching breath back against her neck.

They both stay in place for a while, unmoving. Lena’s trying to collect her senses and remember how to move her limbs.

It takes a moment, but soon Kara’s murmuring in Lena’s ear, “Gonna pull out now,” and slowly separates them. Lena draws in a sharp breath as Kara pulls out, because she’s—sensitive. Kara presses soft kisses under her jaw.

Lena feels sort of a little gone. She blinks, and thinks maybe Kara lays beside her for a moment, head on her shoulder. But she feels floaty and sleepy, so she’s not too sure. Her brain lets the world back in piece by piece, one detail at a time.

Eventually, she hears Kara say something about them being sticky and filthy. Lena chuckles weakly, only imagining how gross they must look. Come and sweat over their bodies, their hair a mess, bruises forming from bite marks and fingers.

Maybe it’s the heat and the proximity of Kara, maybe it’s the post-orgasm—but Lena still can’t quite think straight, she turns her head, watches Kara, and just stares at her with hazy eyes. Kara’s against her side; her arms move, leaden and heavy, to wrap around Lena. Keeping her close.

“Wow,” Kara whispers. Laughs slightly to herself. Lena grins too, moving her head to bury her nose and lips into the messy strands of Kara’s hair.

“Yeah,” Lena agrees, feels fucked out and blissed out.

Neither says anything for a long time, but it’s easy, and comfortable. Their breathing gradually slows, becoming smooth and steady once more. Lena wonders if Kara can hear how fast she makes her heartbeat. That giddiness doesn’t seem to fade, her stomach swooping wildly every time that Kara presses in closer.

Lena tries to curl into Kara a little more. As much as Kara seems to hate to, she gently pushes Lena away.

Lena whines.

“Let me put this away. We can’t fall asleep like this,” Kara tells her.

Lena makes a small noise, closes her eyes; stretches big and long, then curls tiny tiny, and squishes her face against Kara’s pillow.

A minute later, she hears a light chuckle.

“Like a cat,” Kara mutters, and when she settles onto the bed, Lena is quick to pull her against her, burying her face in the crook of Kara’s neck. “Lena,” Kara says, softly laughing. “How are you feeling?”

“Like my best friend told me she felt the same way, and then fucked me into another dimension.”

“Well.” Kara strokes her back, then cups her ass. She chuckles lightly. “I did do that. I’d do it again, too.”

It’s quiet for a long, single moment. As Lena recovers, her mind is starting to pick up. She can’t help but replay what just happened, over and over. Can’t get rid of the image of Kara, breathless and happy and just—there, with Lena. She wonders where things will go from here. She feels a little like she’s forgotten just how big this is; how much this changes. It’s all felt so natural, incredibly right, that it’s hard to remember.

“Stop thinking too hard,” Kara whispers, a smile evident in her voice.

Lena grunts softly, whispers against Kara’s neck. “‘M not thinking that hard.”

“Yes you are, I can tell.” It’s quiet. Kara wraps her arms around Lena, squeezes her. “We could have done this much, much earlier, huh?”

“Yeah,” Lena whispers.

“We’re here now, that’s what matters,” Kara tells her. “But like. Aha, wow. Took us that long, huh?”

“That long.” Lena laughs quietly, weakly, fingers gently playing with the soft strands of hair at Kara’s nape. She moves away a little, looking up at Kara, eyes sparkling and a smile curving her lips.

“Lena, I don’t mean to be controversial, but I think we’re both actually idiots,” Kara says. “All this time? I really am shocked.”

“Now who’s the one doing the hard thinking?” Lena mumbles, and presses her face against Kara’s neck. Nibbles her skin. “All this time. That’s really embarrassing.” She tries not to think about the earful she’ll one hundred percent receive from Sam, when Sam finds out.

Lena sighs. Ridiculous. Wanting to stop thinking about it, she lifts her face, presses her mouth against Kara’s.

“Sleep here tonight?” Kara breathes against Lena’s lips.

“Kara... I have been sleeping in your bed, every day, for the past month. It’s cute that you always ask.” Saying this fact out loud makes the situation even more ridiculous. Lena grimaces, a little.

“It never hurts to ask.” Kara pulls her face back. She bites her lip, smiles shy. Pretty. “Lena Luthor. On purpose, I am going to care about you,” she declares.

Lena softly chuckles. She plays along. “It's rotten work, darling.”

“Not to me. Not if it's you.” Kara grins. Her hair is still slightly tousled, purples and blues against her smooth skin. Her eyes are soft, her kiss-bitten mouth. This is what happy looks like, thinks Lena as she looks at Kara.

Lena cups Kara’s face. She wonders if this connection will fade away or grow stronger.

She has never been much of an optimist; being realistic is far more her thing. But somehow, Lena feels like what’s grown between her and Kara, what is still growing, developing with every moment—

What it is, is profound and genuine in a way she’s never truly found with anyone before. What they have, what is growing between them, is something unique and special.

They lie like that, voices soft and teasing, and Lena lets Kara lay on her chest, even though they’re gross, sticky, even though they should probably clean up. They just lie there, and Kara’s smiling softly, and Lena’s smiling back, her heart full, beating a rhythm that sounds a lot like Kara’s name, again and again, and—it’s.

It doesn’t feel terrifying or heavy.

It’s—lovely.