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it's like i've found the north lights

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Kara met her on a Wednesday. 

She'd already sent in the draft for the article Snapper assigned to her that week, and she was just waiting for him to send it back to her with all of her words marked with the red of everything she'd done wrong. 

Instead of eating her way through the vending machine again, she'd donned her suit and went out on patrol. 

After she’d returned a lost cat and helped an old woman carry her groceries inside, Kara had almost called it a night when she heard the tell-tale sound of brakes screeching and a woman screaming. She was there in a few seconds, and landed in front of a small child crouched in the road just as a large van was careening in his direction. Kara planted her hands in the hood and the back half of it lifted a few feet off of the ground as she stopped its momentum. She scowled through the hood at the disoriented man whose eyes went wide at the sight of her. She saw him scramble for the door with eyes darting around as if looking for an escape, so she sped over to his door and kicked it in so that it was jammed shut.

“Stay there.” Kara pointed at him through the window. She spun around and ran over to the kid, who was being cradled by his mom. “Is he okay?” 

The woman looked up at her with her eyes streaming with tears. “Yeah, he’s okay.” She pressed a kiss to his head. The little boy was looking around wide-eyed as if he wasn’t sure what had happened. “I told you not to run into the road, Teddy.” The woman chastised, her voice thick. 

Kara put a light hand on the boy’s back and grabbed his attention. “Your Mom is right, Teddy. The road is full of adults who might not be looking for someone your size to come walking onto the street. Make sure you stick with your Mom, okay?” 

Teddy nodded, his expression turning from shocked to slightly awestruck. “ Supergirl . You saved me.” 

“It’s what I do.” She smiled at him and took a step back. “Were you two headed home?” She noticed police officers pulling up and starting to attend to the man stuck in the van. “I think the police might want a word with you.” 

The woman looked up and Kara noticed that they were right below the Children’s Hospital. 

“We were actually going in for an appointment.” She looked at her watch a little desperately. “Which we are now definitely late for.” She looked like she was about to experience a breakdown. 

Kara held up her hands. “Let me see what I can do, okay?” 

The woman nodded at her and Kara sped off to talk to the police. 

Later, after the woman had spoken briefly with the officers while Kara had distracted Teddy by putting him on her shoulders and jumping a few stories high, they all walked up to the hospital together. Teddy had stars in his eyes as Supergirl herself walked him to his doctor’s appointment, and Kara just couldn’t bring it in herself to leave.

 

---

 

Dr. Lena Kieran was not expecting to walk into the exam room and see Supergirl making funny faces at a laughing little boy, but on the back end of a 14 hour shift, she barely broke her stride. 

“Hello there.” She gave the little boy her full attention and tried to avoid staring at the alien in her exam room. “I'm Doctor Lena. Are you Theodore?”

He had curled up slightly in fear, but after a glance up at Supergirl he straightened his shoulders and looked up at her, his dark eyes wide but determined. He nodded and she had to overcome the urge to smile at his adorableness. “Teddy.”

“Alright, Teddy.” Lena set the clipboard in her hands down on a table next to the bed and sent a quick reassuring smile at the worried mom sitting next to him. “I’m just going to do a few tests, okay?” 

Teddy had bad lungs. He’d been referred to her care and put on the list for a lung transplant. Lena was hopeful that he’d make it until he made it to the top, and his odds were good. He could still breathe without assistance as long as he avoided any strenuous activity. 

“Everything looks great, Teddy.” Lena said, sitting down on a rolling stool nearby. “I’m going to send you home with some equipment that I want you to start using. You’ll have this mask that you need to put on every evening to recharge your lungs and give them a rest.” Lena finally glanced over at Supergirl. The other woman was staring at her as she talked to Teddy. Lena’s breath caught slightly as they locked gazes, Supergirl’s bright blue eyes stopping her in her tracks. Lena blinked and looked back at Teddy. “Kind of like how Supergirl has to recharge with the sun. Right?” She looked over and raised an eyebrow at her. 

Supergirl brightened. “Exactly! Sometimes I even have to sit under these weird bright lamps to recharge after a really tough fight.” 

Lena nodded. “You’ll need to do this every night so that you wake up feeling strong.” 

Teddy looked over at Supergirl and smiled, nodding excitedly at the prospect of being like the superhero in any way. Lena turned to his mom and nodded at her appreciative look. 

“I’ll send in Nurse Aubrey to show you out and get you set up with the equipment.” Lena stood up and smiled at Teddy. “And I’ll see you in a month for another check up.” She winked at him and turned to leave. 

She heard murmuring behind her before she heard someone follow her out into the hall. She turned around.

“Supergirl.” Lena looked at her curiously. 

Supergirl was beaming at her. Lena found herself a little dazzled by the bright smile and blue eyes. “Hi!” She glanced around at the various nurses who had stopped and stared in the hallway. “Um, I just wanted to say hi.” Supergirl finished, squishing her nose and rubbing the back of her neck surprisingly awkwardly. 

Lena tilted her head. “Well, hello Supergirl.” 

Supergirl laughed and looked around, fidgeting as if she wasn’t a superpowered being. Lena found herself completely endeared. 

Lena started walking down the hall to her office and Supergirl followed. With a glance around, Lena could see the various kids in the rooms craning their necks as they tried to get a glimpse of Supergirl from their beds. 

"Would it be alright if I talked to them?" Supergirl asked, earnest and hesitant, looking to Lena for permission as if she actually needed it. 

Lena raised an eyebrow and cast another look around at her little patients. "I think they would be very disappointed if you didn't, Supergirl."

The grin she got made her look away, well aware of the red tint to her cheeks. She watched as Supergirl walked into the closest room with a bright greeting. Lena found herself watching Supergirl interact with the little girl for a few moments before she shook her head and walked the rest of the way to her office. 

 

“Pediatric Trauma Surgeon.” 

Lena glanced up from her computer and blinked as Supergirl walked into her office after pausing at the plaque on her door. “Supergirl.” 

“Hi.” The caped hero smiled bashfully at her.

Lena rubbed her eyes and debated the probability that this was all an elaborate dream and she had actually fallen asleep at her desk. 

“That sounds impressive.” Supergirl motioned to the door. 

She waved a hand. “I’m not the one in the room who could lift the building we’re standing in.” 

“That’s not impressive, though.” Supergirl said. “I didn’t have to work for it. I’m just - strong.” She shrugged. 

“Super strong.” Lena almost cringed. What was going on?

Supergirl was blushing? Lena didn’t know that she did that. She stood up and grabbed her bag, deciding that she needed to get some rest before she made a bigger fool of herself in front of National City’s hero. 

“It was nice meeting you, Supergirl.” Lena pulled on her coat. “But I’ve been in this building entirely too long and I need to be getting home.” 

“Oh, of course!” Supergirl stepped over towards the door before she paused. 

Couldibringyoudinnersometime ?” Supergirl spun on her heel and was looking at her oh-so-hopefully. 

Lena’s blinked a few times as her brain processed the words. “Bring me dinner?” 

“Yeah.” Supergirl breathed out, nodding. “It doesn’t have to mean anything! I just think that you’re probably the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen and you’re obviously super smart too and you look super tired but you were still so good with Teddy and I just want to do something nice for you and maybe learn more about you at the same time -.”

Lena held up a hand to stop her rambling. Supergirl’s mouth shut immediately and she stood there, hands fidgeting and eyes wide. 

“Okay.” Lena eventually said, internally wondering if she had lost her mind. “We can have dinner. Sure.”

Supergirl’s expression morphed into pure joy. “Great! Can I bring some by tomorrow? Would you rather we eat here or maybe somewhere else - roofs are always good options but it is pretty cold right now -.” 

“Why don’t you come by my apartment tomorrow around six.” Lena interrupted her again, even if the stream of unfiltered thoughts was adorable. 

Supergirl’s eyes widened. “Okay.” 

Lena rattled off her address and Supergirl sent her a winning smile. “I’ll be there.” 

“Alright.” Lena laughed a little, still half-believing that she was dreaming. 

Supergirl ran into the doorframe as she walked out while waving back at her. Lena had half-way convinced herself it had all been an elaborate exhaustion fueled hallucination by the time she was home. 

 

---

 

Kara was a nervous wreck thinking about Lena. 

She couldn’t concentrate at work. She was hopeless at the DEO, so much so that Alex shoved her out onto the balcony and told her to go before her pacing drove her insane. 

Kara could barely sleep, thinking about what food she should bring, how pretty Lena’s eyes were, if she should wear her suit, what Lean would like without scrubs on -. 

That train of thought drove her straight into a metaphorical cliff. 

She took to flying circles around the earth to try and get rid of her nervous energy. By the time six o’clock came around, she was more excited than nervous, practically vibrating from it, and landing on Lena’s balcony with a bag of the best chinese food in National City. 

Kara couldn’t really explain what had come over her the previous day. She didn’t usually ask people on dates - was it a date? - while she was Supergirl. It actually sounded like a terrible idea. She debated canceling on Lena just so that she could try again as Kara Danvers, but the thought barely crossed her mind before she shook it off. She couldn’t stand her up. What kind of a person would she be if she disappointed someone who helped children for a living and was so pretty that it made Kara dizzy?

The door was open, as if Lena had expected her to come in this way. Kara glanced into the apartment briefly, not wanting to intrude before she was welcome. It was on the smaller side, but very nice. Kara was sure that Lena’s surgeon status could afford her something much bigger, and she pushed that thought into the back of her mind in a box titled ‘Lena’ that she would think about more at a later time. 

Kara knocked lightly on the glass door. “Lena?’ 

Lena appeared from a doorway on the left, holding a bottle of wine and two glasses. She smiled when she saw Kara and moved to join her. 

She was out of her scrubs, dressed in comfortable jeans and a sweater with her hair in a messy bun. Glasses were perched on her nose and Kara was sure she’d never seen anything so adorable in her life. 

“Hi.” Kara breathed. 

“Hey.” Lena smiled up at her and bit her lip. She gestured to the blanket that was laid out on the balcony floor. “It’s not too cold out, so I thought we could eat out here. If that’s okay?” 

“Sure!” Kara sat down and put the bags down beside her. Lena curled her legs underneath her as she sat down and started opening the bottle of wine. “I brought chinese food.” 

“I can see that.” Lena had a faint blush on her cheeks. “Do you like wine? I have water or beer if you’d prefer something else.” 

“Wine is good.” Kara smiled. 

“Does it affect you?” Lena asked as Kara started pulling out the boxes of food. “Human alcohol?” 

“Nope.” Kara said. “But I don’t really like the feeling of being drunk anyway. There are some alien liqueurs that you can get at certain bars around town and I’ve had some a few times.” She held out a box of fried rice and smiled as Lena took it and started eating with a pair of chopsticks. “But I just felt so out of control. I pulled off the door to my sister’s car.” 

Lena laughed. “Oh no.” 

Kara made a mental note that she was going to do whatever she could to hear that sound again. “Not my best moment.” 

“So,” Lena said after she’d taken a sip of wine. “I had pretty much convinced myself that yesterday was a dream until all of the nurses were hounding me for the gossip about why Supergirl was in my office for so long.” 

Kara paused with a potsticker halfway to her mouth and smiled sheepishly. “Sorry about that. I just…” She cringed inwardly as she let slip out, “I just really wanted to talk to you. You were so nice and wonderful talking to Teddy and I wasn’t lying when I said that you’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen and I’m pretty horrible at talking to pretty women and I usually just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, so thankfully it was only a dinner invitation this time -.” 

Lena put a hand on her arm, her fingers lightly trailing along the fibers of the suit. “It wasn’t unwelcome.” She was blushing slightly as she snatched her hand back. “It’s just not everyday that a super powered alien asks to bring you Chinese food after work.” 

“Sorry.” Kara said again, stuffing her face with another potsticker. She swallowed it whole. “I guess it’s easier to do this,” She motioned between them with a chopstick, “When I’m not in the suit.” 

Lena hummed and let her eyes trail over her as she reached over and plucked one of the potstickers out of Kara’s container. “I don’t know. I kind of like the view.” She winked and Kara felt like she was going to combust.

 

---

 

“Hey, hero.” Lena bit her lip as Kara looked over expectantly. “I have surgeries and consults nearly every hour of every day this week, but maybe in a few days… we could do this again?” 

Supergirl smiled slowly. “I’d love that.” 

“Great.” Lena nodded and tugged the sleeves of her sweater over her hands. “And, um,” She swallowed and looked out at the city lights below. “I know that you said that this didn’t have to mean anything, but I wouldn't mind if it did.” She looked over at Supergirl. “Mean something, that is.” 

“I’d like that too.” Supergril said quietly, looking down at her hands with a bashful smile. 

“Maybe next time you can ditch the suit.” Lena said, turning the conversation in a lighter direction. 

When her cheeks brightened even more, Lena hurried to say, “In favor of other clothing, of course. Regular clothing. That’s what I meant.” 

“I think I can manage that.” Supergirl looked up and Lena found herself caught again. “Thanks for tonight, Lena.” 

“Of course.” She breathed out, daring to reach over and squeeze her knee briefly. “Will Wednesday work?” 

“Any day would work.” 

“Alright, hero.” Lena rolled her eyes and started gathering the trash. “You already got a second date, there’s no need to overdo the flattery.” She walked inside and threw their trash away before she walked back out onto the balcony. 

“Could I - I mean - would it be weird if I hugged you?”

Lena opened her mouth but shut it after she didn’t know what she would say. She settled on a nod and a step forward, falling into Supergirl’s embrace with a soft sight escaping her mouth. 

Afterwards, Lena watched her fly off from the balcony. She shivered in the cool night air, hugged her arms to her chest, and debated if she had truly lost her mind. Nothing ever ended well when a Luthor and a Super were in the same room, much less sharing romantic meals under starlight. 

She tilted her face up to the sky and sighed. But she wasn’t a Luthor anymore, was she? Lena liked to think she wasn’t. She liked to think she’d burned the name off of her very skin, leaving her open and vulnerable but free of it’s dark legacy.

 

---

 

Kara quickly decided that she couldn’t wait a week to see Lena again. 

She’d decided it the next morning, when she was literally floating around her apartment thinking about her date with the other woman. The thought of waiting six days to see her again was as unacceptable as her favorite Chinese restaurant running out of potstickers. 

The next morning she arrived at Catco just in time for Snapper to throw her corrected draft in her face. She caught it with a smile and turned on her heel, shoving it in her bag and jogging right back out of the building. He would expect her to work on her corrections for that day, and she knew that he wouldn’t care if he saw her in her office or not, as long as the second draft arrived on his desk by the end of the day. 

Kara stopped by her favorite coffee shop and debated what kind of coffee she thought Lena would like as she waited in line. In all of the television shows she’d watched doctor’s drink boring strong stuff like black coffee. Lena worked with kids though! Kara finally decided on something safe, a plain latte, and got a delicious sugary concoction for herself. 

She spun into her suit in an alleyway nearby before shooting off towards the Children’s Hospital. 

Kara waved and grinned at everyone as she breezed through the front doors and walked towards the elevator. The woman at the front desk, Nancy, dropped the phone that was held against her ear as she stared at her in shock.

“Good morning!” Kara chirped, balancing both cups in one hand as she sped over to catch the phone with her other. “There you go.” She put the phone back in her hand and waved as she walked away. 

“Supergirl?” A girl in a wheelchair was in the elevator that Kara hopped into. 

“Hey there!” Kara held out a hand and shook the girl’s hand. She couldn’t have been older than thirteen. “I like your stickers.” The wheelchair was covered in them, everything from unicorns to pokemon characters. 

“What are you doing here?” The girl was wide eyed, the two adults behind her had the same starry eyed look. 

“Just visiting a friend.” Kara bounced on her toes and tried not to fidget too much. But she was nervous, and when she was nervous, Kara Danvers peaked through the cracks of her superhero routine. 

“Wow.” 

The doors beeped and Kara waved back at the girl as she walked onto Lena’s floor. She breezed past the nurses who all stopped to stare. Kara peeked into Lena’s office and frowned when she saw it was empty. 

The nurse who had spoken to Teddy and his mother was walking past, pretending not to stare, and Kara took a step in her direction. 

“It’s Aubrey, right?” She asked with a nervous smile. 

The brown haired woman looked up from her clipboard curiously. She eyed the superhero up and down. “How can I help you, Supergirl?’ 

“Is Lena in today? Dr. Kieran, I mean.” 

Aubrey’s eyebrows raised and her lip jumped up slightly. “She’s in surgery right now.” She checked her watch. “But she should be wrapping up soon.” 

“Oh, cool.” Kara nodded and bit her lip. “Would it be alright if I talked to some of the kids while I waited? I don’t really know the protocol on visitors…” 

“I think that would be okay.” Aubrey nodded. “Just try not to wake up the ones that are sleeping. We have some real troopers in here that need all the rest they can get.” 

“Of course!” Kara nodded. She looked down at the coffees in her hands and quickly sped into Lena’s office to set them down on her desk before zooming back out. Aubrey blinked at her as her hair blew back slightly. “Thanks!” Kara grinned at her before moving to the closest room that held a little boy named Lucas. 

“... and then I flew all the way over to Italy - do you know where that is? - just to get some of the pasta they were talking about because I love pasta. How could I not try what was supposed to be the best in the world?” 

Shelby, a ten year old who was fighting a rare blood disease, giggled at Kara’s theatrics. 

Kara’s head cocked slightly as she heard a familiar voice coming down the hall. 

“I’m sorry, what?” Lena’s voice was getting closer. “ Who is here to see me?” 

“It looks like Dr. Lena is back!” Kara jumped up and held out her hand for a high five. “It was great talking to you, Shelby. I’ll definitely come talk to you again next time I’m here, okay?” 

Kara walked out of the room and looked in Lena’s direction, grinning at the look of pure surprise on her face. She walked over quickly and stopped just shy of her. 

“Good morning.” Kara said. 

Lena blinked. “Good morning, Supergirl.” She shook her head and laughed before walking into her office. “To what do I owe the pleasure?” 

Kara walked over to the cups of coffee and took the lids off of both of them. She shot them briefly with her heat vision before putting the lids back on and handing one to Lena. “I brought coffee.” Kara fidgeted with her own cup nervously as Lena took the coffee. “I wasn’t sure what you’d like, so I just got a latte. I can’t drink coffee without like a billion cups of sugar in it, but I figured you seem much cooler than me and you might even be one of those people who drinks black coffee.” 

“A latte is fine.” Lena took a sip and sat down behind her desk. “It’s perfect, even. Thank you.” 

Kara had to keep herself from doing a fist bump in the air. “Great!” She took a sip of her own and hummed at the taste. “I don’t know how you would drink it like that, though.” She sat down in one of the chairs opposite her desk. 

“Not without a billion sugars?” Lena said, her eyebrow twitching up as she teased her. 

Kara felt herself blush. “I’m nervous, okay? Don’t make fun of me.” 

“I wouldn’t dare.” Lena said, smiling down at the drink. She bit her lip before looking back up at her and Kara felt like her heart was going to beat right out of her chest. 

The next day she brought breakfast. 

She stopped to talk to some of the nurses she’d seen the day before as she walked down the wing. Aubrey introduced her to Leyanne and Ivy, who were friends with Jackson and his brother Nathan who worked as a tech. 

“Dr. Kieran is in a consultation right now.” Leyanne said, eying the bag of food in Supergirl’s hands. “But she should wrap up in a minute.” Leyanne had the kind of warm southern accent that had always enamored Kara since she’d landed on earth. 

“Is she ever not busy?” Kara asked. 

“She’s here more than any of us.” Ivy said as she tapped away on her computer. “More than she has to be, that’s for sure.” 

“She forgets to eat all the time.” Aubrey said, wiggling her eyebrows. “So, if you ever feel like bringing her food again…” 

“I should do that.” Kara nodded. “I will do that. Thanks.” She smiled brightly at her.

Aubrey and Leyanne shared a look before they went off to see their patients. Kara set the bag of food down on Ivy’s desk and walked into her patient’s room, smiling at little Kian who had tubes sticking out of way too many places and was so skinny she felt like he would break from just a whisper of her touch. 

Lena was done in less than thirty minutes and Kara sweeped into her room with the bag of food, the knowledge that Snapper was going to yell at her for being late doing nothing to put down the giant smile on her face at Lena’s surprised and poorly hidden delight. 

Lena is dangerously easy to talk to. As they get more comfortable around each other, Kara finds the nerves easing up slightly, enough that she rambles about things she enjoys instead of embarrassing thoughts running through her head. Like how Lena is just so pretty , and her eyes are the brightest green that reminds her of a lake her parents used to take her to on Krypton, and Kara could sit and listen to the way she laughs for hours and hours.

There’s a Supergirl emergency early the next morning, and then Snapper hands her two interviews back to back in the afternoon, so the most Kara manages is a sandwich from Noonan’s and a hastily scribbled note that reads: 

I guess you’re not the only one with a busy schedule! 

On Wednesday, Kara was being so obvious that one of her friends was bound to say something. 

“You doing alright, Kara?” Nia asked as they walked across the bullpen. 

“I’m doing great!” Kara quipped. She shuffled the folders in her arms again and bounced on her toes as they stopped at Nia’s desk. She eyed the clock on the wall and sighed in disappointment that it hadn’t moved farther than one notch since the last time she’d looked. 

“You seem a little distracted.” Nia said, eyeing her critically. 

“Who, me? Distracted? Pshh.” Kara waved her off. “I’m perfectly focused.” 

“Right.” Nia drawled out. “Any big plans tonight?” 

“Big plans? Nope. Not at all.” Kara shook her head. 

They stared at each other for a few seconds, before Kara broke it to glance up at the clock again. She looked back at Nia, who was looking at her unimpressed. 

“Okay, I have a date!” Kara dropped the files on Nia’s desk and sat down in a nearby chair. 

Nia grinned. “A date? With who?” 

“You don’t know her.” Kara stared up at the ceiling with a pout. “She’s amazing. I met her at a Children’s Hospital and, gosh Nia, she’s so pretty . I feel bad that I just stare and stare sometimes but I can’t help it.” Kara groaned and threw her arm over her eyes. “And I have to wait a whole six hours before I can see her again.” 

“Wow.” Nia said with a laugh. “You’ve got it bad, dude.” 

“I know.” Kara sighed wistfully up at the ceiling. She glanced at the clock again. Six hours.

 

--

 

Lena had just thrown on some clothes after her shower when she heard the faint tapping on her glass door. 

“Come in!” She called out from her room. She heard the door open as she walked out into the hallway towards the living room. 

It was still surreal to see Supergirl standing in her home, the primary colors of her suit standing out against the neutral colors of her apartment. She smiled brightly as soon as Lena rounded the corner and sped over to give her a hug. 

Lena stiffened for a moment in surprise before she relaxed and laughed softly as she returned the hug. “Hey, hero.” 

“Hi.” Supergirl took a sheepish step back. “Sorry, I should have asked.” 

“It’s alright.” Lena said softly. She smiled up at her. “You don’t have to.” 

Supergirl was looking at her as if she’d just given her the keys to a Tesla or the sun itself. 

“Do you want something a little more comfortable to wear?” Lena glanced down at her suit. “Not that I don’t mind the view…” 

“Oh!” She looked down at herself. “Sure.” 

Lena motioned her to follow as she walked back into her room. She found some sweats that she thought might fit her and handed them over. “Here. I’ll be in the kitchen.” 

Seeing Supergirl in her apartment was one thing, seeing Supergirl in an old MIT sweatshirt and a pair of joggers was something else entirely. She looked softer out of her suit with her blonde hair pulled up in a bun. She looked like someone Lena could pass on the street. 

“I think I get it now.” Lena said as she handed her a glass of wine. 

“Get what?” Supergirl asked as she sat at her kitchen counter. 

“How you exist outside of the uniform.” Lena said. “How you can have a normal life when you’re not saving little boys or wooing doctors with coffee and food.” 

“Only one doctor.” Supergirl corrects.

“Must be a special someone.” Lena says. 

“I think so.” She said sincerely. 

Lena found herself breathless at the look in her eyes and turned to check on the food. “I hope you like pasta. After seeing the ungodly amount of potstickers you can fit in your stomach I made enough for twenty.” 

“Sounds perfect.” 

Lena couldn’t seem to stop blushing, and if Supergirl’s grin was anything to go by, she’d definitely noticed. 

Later, they curled up on Lena’s couch with more glasses of wine. "Oh come on, Supergirl." Lena said playfully. "You can't tell me that your first introduction to American television wasn't I Love Lucy . I've never met anyone else under the age of 90 who says "golly" unironically."

Supergirl laughed and leaned back against the arm of the couch. She bit her lip and looked thoughtful. "You don't have to call me that, you know"

Lena raised an eyebrow. "As opposed to…?"

The superhero scooted forward and held out her hand as she scrunched up her nose. "I've been pretty rude, haven't I? It's nice to meet you, Dr. Kieran. I'm Kara Zor-el."

Lena let out a disbelieving breath before reaching out to clasp her hand. "Hi Kara." She smiled. 

Kara smiled back, her grin even bigger than before. 

"That's your Kryptonian name, isn't it?"

She nodded. "I go by a different one here on earth."

"Three identities?" She asked. "That's a lot for a girl to keep track of. I'm glad we're starting off with two."

Kara sent her a soft look. 

"We'll work up to three." Lena winked. The implication of more nights in her apartment, sharing food over glasses of wine went unsaid. Lena could tell that Kara - Kara - understood what she was saying by the happy and soft smile on her face. 

 

---

 

The next time Kara comes by, she bounces in through the open balcony door with three bags of food, a backpack, and a bright grin. 

“I brought my own clothes this time!” She said as she put down the five bags of take out she’d been carrying. 

Lena had just got off of a sixteen hour shift and felt herself relax even more as the superhero walked in. She waved a hand towards her bathroom with one hand. “Feel free to change in there, darling.” 

Kara sped by and then was back in just a few seconds in some comfortable clothes. She stopped right in front of Lena and held out a hand, tugging her up and towards the kitchen table. Lena groaned slightly as she let herself be pulled up and felt absolutely no shame as she leaned most of her weight on her. 

Kara chuckled softly as she helped her into a chair and then sat down across from her. “Busy day at work?” 

Long day.” Lena said. “Thank you.” She said as Kara handed her a takeout container with her favorite salad inside. “It wasn’t bad, it just felt like it would never end.” 

“I know what you mean.” Kara said, looking slightly miffed. “Well, obviously not exactly in the way you mean, but my boss has been driving me insane.”

“Oh?” Lena raised an eyebrow. “There’s someone out there who can drive Supergirl crazy?” 

“More than one person.” Kara said with a laugh. “But no, he’s not driving Supergirl crazy. He’s driving Kara crazy.” She sighed and stuffed her mouth with noodles. “He’s just so rude!” 

“What do you do?” Lena asked unthinkingly. She paused with a forkful of kale halfway to her mouth as her mind caught up with her mouth. “Wait, you don’t have to answer that. Sorry.” She shook her head at herself. 

“No, it’s…” Kara looked semi-dejected as she trailed off. “I probably shouldn’t say -.”

Lena waved her hand. “We’ll get there eventually, Kara. Don’t worry about it. I know that this situation is a little… unique.” She tried to smile reassuringly at the increasingly looking distressed alien in front of her. 

“But I want you to know me, Lena.” Kara said, so sincerely. 

Lena reached over and squeezed her hand. “Like I said, we’ll work on it. Super secret identities are important, I know.” 

Kara chewed on her lip for a moment. “Are you sure?”

Lena nodded. “Positive.” She looked down at her salad and tried not to think about the way she was starting to feel like a huge hypocrite when it came to Kara and her secrets. Lena had no right to Kara’s when she herself was being anything but open with her own. 

“Can I ask you a question, though?” Lena asked.

“Of course.” 

Lena searches her face. “Do you use an image inducer while you’re Supergirl? Or when you’re posing as a human?” 

Kara looked confused. “What?” 

“I mean, changing the clothes is good, sure.” Lena put her chin on her hand and pursed her lips as she looked her over. The old hoodie and jeans were a good cover, but nothing could hide those perfect blonde curls and that handsome face. “But it would be a little risky to keep it at that, wouldn’t it? 

Kara tilted her head. “Umm…” She stuffed her mouth full of food again.

Lena raised an eyebrow. “You don’t have to show me. I’m just curious.”

Kara frowned and leaned forward as she swallowed. “You think that I’m hiding what I really look like from you?” 

Lean thought it was curious that Kara immediately shot straight to the idea that the whole crux of the issue would be that Kara was hiding something from her , instead of protecting her civilian identity from the larger public. 

“Well, aren’t you?” 

Kara looked down at her herself. “This is all your gonna get, I’m afraid.” She smiled crookedly up at her and scrunched up her nose. “Is that disappointing?” 

“Kara.” Lena sighed out, before reaching out and brushing the back of her hand against her jaw. “You’ve never come close to disappointing.”

Kara blushed to the tips of her ears and Lena smiled into her glass of wine. 

“So, what do you use?” Lena asked. “A wig? Terrible makeup? Are you an actual clown when you’re not wearing that suit?” Lena brightened and held up a finger. “Oh! You use a pair of glasses?” She laughed at the thought.

Kara puffed out her cheeks and held up her hands. “Pff. No, what? Ha! My disguise is good! No one’s ever - what?” 

“Kara.” Lena gave her a look. “Why does it feel like you’ve had to say this before.” 

“My disguise is amazing!” Kara said as she stood up and walked into the kitchen. She put their empty containers in the trash and then leaned down to grab a tub of ice cream out of the freezer. She grabbed a large spoon and put a huge bite in her mouth, staring at Lena indignantly. “It works perfectly!”

 

--

 

“What are you smiling about?” Alex asked. 

Kara glanced up, closing her phone and hurriedly stuffing it under her thigh. “Oh, nothing! Nothing.” She shook her head. “Ha! Just… Nia sending me a meme.”

“Okay.” Alex gave her a look. She grabbed another slice of pizza from the box on Kara’s coffee table and grabbed the remote with her other hand. “What are we thinking for tonight? And no,” She looked over pointedly. “We aren’t watching Gilmore Girls or Finding Nemo.” 

Kara grinned. “Finding Dory, then.” 

Alex groaned. “No Disney!” 

“It’s my turn to pick!” Kara snatched the remote out of Alex’s hand. “And I always pick Disney.” 

Alex grumbled into her pizza but settled back into the couch as the movie started. 

Kara’s phone buzzed again from under her leg and she glanced at Alex before trying to sneakily pull it out. 

I think I’m going to turn in early. I feel like I haven’t seen my bed in days. Lunch tomorrow?

Kara smiled down at her phone as she typed out a reply, but yelped as her phone was torn from her grasp. 

Alex caught a glimpse of the thread of messages before Kara had snatched it back. Her eyebrows went up as she looked over at Kara. “Who is that?” 

“Privacy, Alex!” Kara exclaimed. She looked down and made sure that her message had been sent. 

“Was that a heart emoji I saw?” She laughed. “Wow, Kara’s talking to a boy .” Alex teased. “I can’t remember the last time I saw you blushing over someone.” 

“I’m not talking to a boy.” Kara said indignantly. She frowned over at her sister. “Isn’t that really heteronormative for a lesbian to assume?”

Alex snorted. “Okay. Sorry. Who is this person ?” 

Kara shrugged and looked at the television instead of her sister’s face. “My new friend.” Usually, she told Alex everything. It felt weird to keep something to herself for once, but that’s exactly what Kara wanted to do. She just wanted Lena to herself for a little while longer. It’s not like she was lying anyway. They hadn’t even kissed! They were friends. Friends who ate dinner together and texted all of the time and maybe flirted with constantly… 

Not to mention that Lena was a friend that she only knew as Supergirl.

Alex sighed and scooted over. Kara scowled over at her before eventually relaxing as Alex threw an arm over her shoulder and pulled her closer. “You know you can tell me anything, alright? I promise not to go all ‘big sister’ on your new friend.” She paused. “At least not yet.”

Kara shook her head and leaned her head more into Alex’s shoulder. “It’s nothing, Alex. She’s just my friend.” 

Alex hummed and they went back to watching the movie. 

 

--

 

Kara flew into Lena’s apartment with lunch in her arms. She opened the unlocked balcony door and put the food in the kitchen, listening for where Lena was. She paused slightly as she heard a faint rustle and slow breathing coming from her bedroom. Kara checked the clock and shook her head as she put the food in the oven to help keep it warm. Lena deserved to sleep in on her day off. 

Kara felt a little weird about being in Lena’s apartment when she was sleeping. She stood with her hands on her hips in the living room for a few minutes, biting her lip and debating on what to do. Her eyes tracked around the apartment. It was always fairly clean, but there were a few things left out, obviously just thrown on the counter or the couch as Lena walked in from the hospital. She debated for a moment on whether it would be a step too far to help tidy the place up, but Kara always leaned towards making the most generous and kind choice when faced with a decision, and Lena deserved to wake up to a clean apartment. 

She changed into a pair of jeans and a comfortable long sleeved shirt before she started cleaning. It could have been done in under a minute with superspeed, but she took her time. She carefully folded up Lena’s white coat and set it aside, unsure where she liked to keep them. She scrubbed the few dishes in the skin and hummed lightly to herself as she worked, the soft and steady breathing from the other room serving as calming background music in the silence. 

As she stuffed her suit into the bag she’d brought and set it against the wall by the balcony, she paused as she caught sight of the spare pair of glasses she kept in the inner pocket. 

It was still strange to think about, knowing Lena as Supergirl, and now Kara Zor-El, but not Kara Danvers. 

Kara Danvers was the one with relationships, was the one who went on dates and made friends and had to hide her secret superhero identity. 

Supergirl wasn’t supposed to do that. She existed as a mask, a way for Kara to use her powers for good and keep up her regular, human life. There had been a lot of moments where Kara had regretted how she’d gone about knowing Lena. It was too late now, she couldn’t very well introduce herself as Kara Danvers and expect her not to recognize her as Supergirl, but Kara didn't like hiding so much of her life. 

She could’t talk about things Kara Danvers would say to a girlfriend - or, whatever they were. There were no stories with the name Alex running through them or stories about surviving as Cat Grant’s assistant for so many years. 

But Kara felt so much like herself around Lena. She wasn’t just Supergirl, the powerful alien who spent her time righting wrongs and defending the weak. She wasn’t just Kara Danvers either, the meek looking human who had to blend in with the crowd. 

With Lena, she was Kara Zor-el first and foremost. She was still hiding a large part of her life - for now, Kara hoped that she’d find out how to tell Lena soon - but most of the time, their interactions never felt anything but genuine. Kara felt… happy, carefree, alive. Lena made her feel so normal.

“What are you doing?” 

Kara spun around and smiled at a sleep tussled Lena, hair messed and eyes having trouble staying open as she walked forward. 

“I thought I should let you sleep, so I was just putting some stuff away.” Kara shrugged. “Sorry if I shouldn’t have, I just didn’t want to leave and then you wake up and it seem like I skipped our lunch date, but I also thought you should sleep as much as you can because I know how hard you work and how little you sleep most of the time and -.” 

Lena had finally reached her and cut her off but leaning up on her tiptoes to press a kiss to her cheek. Kara stared, wide-eyed, as Lena leaned back just slightly and smiled fondly at her. One of her hands was on her other cheek and Kara felt the warmth of it seeping into her. “Thank you.” Her voice was low and gravelly with sleep. 

Kara wrapped an arm around her waist just to keep her close. She never wanted to step away. “It was nothing.” She said once she’d found her voice. 

Lena hummed and played with the collar of her shirt with the hand that wasn’t on her face. “What did you bring for lunch?” She asked, tilting her head up. 

Kara felt gravity shift. She wasn’t tethered to earth anymore, it was pulling her towards one person now, not the ground under her feet. “Um,” She frowned slightly as she tried to remember. Was one of Lena’s eyes always a slightly brighter green than the other one? “It’s in the kitchen.” She settled on, her mind unwilling to stray too far away from what was right in front of her. 

Lena’s lip quirked up and her hand slid back behind Kara’s neck. “You look a little distracted, hero.” She said lowly. “Something on your mind?” 

“Yeah.” Kara breathed out, her eyes on Lena’s lips. “Sorry, I just -.” 

Lena pulled her forward but stopped a hair's breadth away, her breath tickling Kara’s lips. “Stop apologising.” She whispered. 

“Sorry.” Kara said. “I just really want to kiss you right now and I can’t think about anything else.” 

Lena was so close that Kara could practically feel her smile. “I don’t know what you’re waiting for, Supergirl.”

Kara leaned forward and kissed her, breathing in Lena’s soft gasp and bringing up her hand to cup her face, the other tightening around her waist. 

Later, after they had regretfully separated after both of their stomachs started growling, Kara stared at Lena over her bowl of chicken. 

“What?” Lena raised an eyebrow. She’d put her messy hair up in a bun and had put on her glasses again, claiming that her eyes were dried out from having contacts in for too long. This was Kara’s favorite version of Lena, she’d decided. Soft and comfortable and happy. 

“I have a sister.” Kara found herself saying. “Her name’s Alex.” 

Lena paused and glanced up at her. “I think you’ve mentioned that you tore off her car door while drunk one time.”

Kara laughed. “Yeah, she wasn’t happy about that.” She looked down at her food as she gathered her thoughts. Was she really ready to tell Lena everything?

Looking up at her, Kara didn’t know. All she knew was that she wanted to know her, and be known in return. 

“I came to earth when I was thirteen.” Kara started. “And we didn’t get along at all .” 

Kara talked for a long time. She didn’t mention Catco or even her last name, but as she watched Lena stare at her with something like wonder, she couldn’t regret anything she was saying.

 

--

 

“And the dog was so cute!” Kara’s eyes widened. “It basically jumped right into my arms! And I was flying!” She took out her phone. “Look, baby. Isn’t it the fluffiest dog you’ve ever seen?”

Lena tilted her head, an idea crossing her mind. It would make sense. “Zookeeper.” 

Kara blinked, looking lost for a moment before it clicked. She laughed loudly and shook her head. “No. That’s a good guess, though!” She leaned over and pressed a quick kiss to her cheek. “I love the zoo.”

It was kind of a game they’d taken to playing. She could tell that it bothered Kara that she wasn’t being entirely open. Lena could see it in the crinkle that always formed, in the sad look in her eye after she cut herself off before saying something too obvious. 

So until the day came when they could move past all of the secrets, Lena was going to keep guessing what Kara spent most of her time doing when she wasn’t saving the city or lounging around Lena’s apartment. It gave the situation a lighter edge, allowing them to laugh about Kara’s secret job instead of both of them mulling over the parts of themselves still kept hidden.

Kara’s eyes started to widen as Lena recovered from the shock to the system that was Kara’s lips on her skin. 

“If you say no to my next question,” Kara said, suddenly looking serious, “then we are dropping everything we’re doing right now.” 

Lena pouted. “I just opened this bottle.” 

“Have you ever been to the zoo?” 

Lena pursed her lips. “I helped fund the newest penguin exhibit.” 

Kara squealed. “Lena! We have to go! Now.” She stood up and hauled Lena up with her.

“Kara.” Lena said. “Do I need to remind you that you are not dressed as human Kara? At least, I hope you’re not.” She raised an eyebrow at her jeans and t-shirt. “If you are, darling, we really need to talk about your perception of human kind’s intelligence -.” 

“No, no, no.” Kara waved her off and disappeared in a flash. Lena’s sigh had barely left her lips before Kara was back in front of her again, Lena’s only baseball hat - an old maroon one with MIT stitched onto the front - and a pair of sunglasses. She held out her arms. “See? I’m in disguise!” 

Lena rubbed her forehead. “The zoo? That’s where we’re going to go on our first date outside my apartment?” 

Kara’s hands fell slightly, along with her expression behind the sunglasses. “Oh, well, we can go somewhere else -.” 

Lena leaned forward and kissed her. She leaned back with her hands tracing lightly along the edges of her jaw. “Take me to the zoo, Kara.” She rolled her eyes as Kara grinned and wrapped her up in her arms to spin her around. “I can’t believe this is what you’ve turned me into. I am not someone who goes to the zoo.” 

“But you’re dating someone who is.” Kara said brightly, as if her words didn’t knock the breath out of Lena’s lungs. 

“Does it count if we haven’t been on that date yet?” Lena asked, her voice slightly breathless, her heart in her throat. 

Kara reached up and took off the sunglasses and put them on top of her head, over the hat. “I don’t want to date anyone else.” She looked terribly sincere as she reached out and grabbed Lena’s hands. “I know this is weird and hard - you don’t even know the name that’s on my drivers license - but you’re all I want.” Kara took a shaky breath. “Wow, that was a lot for a first date, huh?” 

“It hasn’t even started yet.” Lena scrunched up her nose slightly and tried not to give in to the annoying urge to start crying. “But just so you know, I don’t want anyone else either.” She reached up and traced her fingertips up her neck, over her jaw, along her cheeks. She shook her head in wonder. “How could I want anyone else, Kara?” 

Kara surged forward and kissed her. Her hands grabbed at her waist, slid under her shirt to her back, and were hot, hot, hot against her skin. Lena felt consumed, wild, and warm . She’d never felt so warm. 

They pulled back and leaned their foreheads against each other. Lena couldn’t help her smile as she reached up and put Kara’s sunglasses back into place. “Let’s go see some penguins, hero.” 

Kara whooped and picked her up in a bridal carry to the door.

 

--

 

It wasn’t often that Kara got into a fight that she wasn’t sure she could win. Kara realized that she was in one the second before a large scaly alien spun around and wacked her hard with its tail, causing her to fly hundreds of feet through the air and create a giant hole in the middle of the street. 

As black started creeping along the edges of her vision, Kara tried to stand up as the alien came closer again. 

“Hey, Alex?” She said into her coms device. “I might need some back up over here.” 

 

Kara woke up under sunlamps. 

She blinked her eyes open in confusion before memories of the attack started coming back. 

“Hey, you’re awake.” Alex was there, standing over her with obvious relief. She grabbed her hand and squeezed it. “Didn’t know how long you would be out.” 

Kara rubbed her other hand against her forehead. “Yeah, what -.” She paused. “How long has it been?” Kara asked, horror creeping into her expression. No, it couldn’t have been that long -.

“Three days.” Alex sighed. 

“Three days.” Kara repeated. “Three days?”

“Yeah, Kara.” Alex rubbed a hand over her tired eyes. “We didn’t know -.” 

Kara surged up out of the bed but saw stars for a few moments. Alex steadied her by the arm. “Get back in bed, Kara.” She pushed her, and Kara felt herself move backwards before she caught herself and spun out of Alex’s grip. 

“No, I’m fine.” Kara shook her head. “I just got a little dizzy.” She patted the pockets of her DEO sweats and looked around. “Where’s my phone?”

“It broke in the fight. Kara, you need at least another few hours under the sun lamps -.” 

“I need to go.” Kara moved to the doorway, frustratingly at human speed, before Alex caught her arm. 

“Kara!” 

“I have to go!” Kara spun around to look at her sister, eyes wide and wild. “I’ve been gone for three days, Alex!” 

Alex frowned at her. “Kara -.” 

Kara used the small amount of strength she’d regained to pull out of Alex’s grip and sprint down the hallway, ignoring the calls behind her as she ran out of the building. 

Kara hailed a cab and got into the first one she saw. Her leg bounced incessantly as the car stopped and started over and over again, moving with traffic. If she could fly she would have already been there, Lena would already know she was alright.

Kara jumped out of the cab as soon as it stopped and she’d given him enough money to cover the fair. She sprinted up into the apartment building and ran up the stairs, unwilling to stand still and wait anymore in an elevator.

She made it to Lena’s door, slightly out of breath, and knocked frantically as she tried to catch it. 

“Lena, I’m  -.” Kara said as soon as she opened the door. She barely got a glance at a tired looking Lena, dark circles under eyes that widened as she caught sight of her, before her ams were full and her words were cut off as Lena pulled her into a searing kiss.

“I’m so sorry.” Kara gulped down breaths. “That’s what I was trying to say. I’m so sorry.” 

“Don’t say anything.” Lena whispered. “If you don’t kiss me every time you walk in the door from now on I will be furious with you.” 

“Okay.” Kara nodded and kissed her again. “I just woke up. I’m sorry, baby. I’m sorry.” 

“It’s okay.” Lena breathed out, pressing their foreheads together. “You’re okay.” 

Kara walked her backwards into the apartment and shut the door with her foot. She felt herself get dizzy again and instead of falling over on top of her, she leaned back and slid down the door, gathering Lena in her arms and pulling her onto her lap as she sat on the floor. 

 

--

 

Alex had been looking at her strangely. Ever since the three day coma, and Kara’s subsequent near-breakdown in front of her, she’d observed Kara closely whenever they were in the same room.

Kara knew that she was onto her, so she’d just taken to casually walking to the other side of the room when Lena texted her and ignoring all of the pointed looks she’d been getting. 

“Alright, everyone.” J’onn had gathered them in a briefing room. “We have some new information about Lex Luthor.” 

Kara straightened and crossed her arms. They had gotten some intel that Lex might have been planning something from prison, but they didn’t have anything concrete yet. 

“Brainy has dug up some interesting information about his younger sister.” J’onn continued, glancing at Brainy. 

“Sister?” Kara asked. “I didn’t know he had one.” 

“Most people don’t.” J’onn said. “She has basically disappeared. There hasn’t been a word from her or about her since she was sixteen.”

“How is that possible?” Alex asked. “Wouldn’t she have been involved with his trial?” 

J’onn nodded. “We think we’ve figured it out. Brainy, if you will?” 

Briany nodded and pulled up a photograph on the screen. Kara felt all of the air get sucked out of her lungs. 

Because it was a picture of Lena. She was younger - it looked like it could have been ten years before - but it was unmistakable. 

“Lena Luthor.” J’onn said. “This is the last picture we have of her at the Luthor’s annual benefit gala. After this, she disappears from school, health, and financial records.” He motioned to Brainy, who pulled up a file. “But at the same time Lena Luthor drops out of MIT, Lena Kieran moves to Sweden to attend medical school.” 

“I cross-referenced adults with similar names who appeared just as Lena Luthor disappeared, because the most likely scenario involves her changing her name. Out of the hundreds I found, Lena Kieran is the one that makes the most sense.” He tapped the screen and a newer picture popped up, one that was obviously taken as part of Lena’s badge at work. “The resemblance is unmistakable.” 

“So, what does this mean for us?” Nia asked. 

“Lena Luthor is back in National City.” J’onn said. “She moved here three years ago and has been practicing at the Children’s Hospital ever since.” 

“And you think she’s involved with Lex.” Alex said. 

“Really?” Nia asked. “She’s a kid’s doctor. Doesn’t really scream ‘villain’.” 

“It is a very good disguise if she is in fact working with her brother.” 

Kara found herself zoning out as the others talked around her. She stared at the picture of Lena in front of her for a few moments before she moves to the door. 

“Kara?” J’onn asked. 

“I forgot I have to do something for Snapper before this evening.” She said, not turning around. “I’ll be back later.” 

 

Kara flew in through the balcony. She took a second to take in Lena, sitting at the island in the kitchen with a cup of tea and a book in front of her. Lena turned as the wind blew with her arrival and smiled gently at her. 

“Hey.” She spun around in the stool as Kara walked up to her. 

Kara didn’t say anything, just leaned forward to press a kiss to her forehead. She leaned back and studied Lena for a moment, comparing her to the picture they’d shown at the DEO. 

“I was just at the DEO.” Kara finally said, as Lena’s eyes started to get concerned as she stared up at her. “There has been some chatter about Lex Luthor, that he’s planning some sort of attack from prison.” Kara looked back and forth between Lena’s eyes, which were rapidly growing in horror. “I was surprised to see your picture come up, under a different name.” 

Lena swallowed hard and leaned back against the counter behind her. She opened her mouth but nothing came out at first. “Kara, I’m -.” She shut her eyes and pressed her hands into them. 

“Lena.” Kara said. “Talk to me.” 

“I didn’t think this would last.” Lena said, looking up, her eyes wide and wild. “I honestly thought that I was dreaming the first time I met you and then you were so sweet and I thought that it would just be a temporary thing - I mean, Supergirl dating? You’re not supposed to do that! But then we kept doing it and I liked you so much and I knew that if I told you what my last name used to be that you’d run in the opposite direction and I’m sorry.” Lena took a deep breath and held it for a moment, before she blew it out. “I’m sorry, Kara.” She looked so heartbroken, as if she was sure Kara was about to turn and walk out of the door. 

“Why isn’t it your name anymore?” Kara asked instead. 

Lena frowned and rubbed her eyes as she leaned back against the counter more fully. “I was adopted, you know? Kieran was actually my biological mother’s last name. I didn’t join the Luthors until I was four.” She stared down at the tile floor. “I was a pretty smart kid and Lionel took to me right away. He was fairly awful in most areas of life, but he was always sweet to me.” Lena paused and swallowed. “Lex didn’t like that.” 

Kara had to clench her fists to keep her from reaching out. She waited and let Lena speak.

“Madness is a gradual thing for some.” Lena went on. “It hit Lex fairly young, when he was around fourteen. He started hurting the animals sometimes. He said he liked to hear them scream. And when he got tired of them, well…” She laughed bitterly. “What’s more appealing than hurting your annoying little half-sibling who can beat you at chess?” 

“Lena.” Kara breathed out, her blood thrumming hot beneath her skin. The thought of him was making her blood boil. 

“He hurt Lillian too.” Lena went on, her eyes blank, stuck in the past. “She coddled him so much and then when he turned on her… I think she finally started to see him for what he was.” She blinked and shook her head slightly, as if banishing something out of her head. “When it was clear that he was getting worse, Lillian helped me get out. I dropped out of MIT and flew across the world to attend medical school in Europe. I never went back to Metropolis. I only moved back here after he’d been put in prison.” 

Kara let the insistent tugging inside of her lead her forward and pulled Lena into her arms. Lena buried her face in her neck. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.” She whispered. “I know I should have.”

“It doesn’t matter.” Kara tightened her arms as hard as she dared. 

Lena laughed. “Of course it does. I don’t delude myself into thinking he doesn’t know where I am, Kara. It’s only a matter of time before he sends someone after me.” 

Kara felt herself growl slightly. “Let him try.” She closed her eyes as she felt them heat up at the edges before she heat visioned Lena’s counter in two. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you.” 

“We shouldn't be doing this.” Lena said into her chest. “Luthors and Supers don’t mix.” 

“Good thing you’re not a Luthor anymore.” Kara said, pressing her lips into her hair. 

Lena leaned back and Kara brushed the tears off of her face with gentle fingertips. She leaned down and kissed her, salty tears tingling on her tongue as their lips met. Kara pulled back just slightly. “I won’t let anything happen to you.” She whispered again. “Lena, I can’t.” She hoped she understood what she was trying to say. She couldn’t let anything happen to her. She wouldn’t be able to take it. 

Lena leaned her head against her chest again and reached around to hold her tightly around the waist, her hands clenching the cape at her back. Kara pulled her tightly against her and promised herself silently, over and over again, that she was going to protect her. She had to. 

 

--

 

Lena rubbed her bleary eyes as she pushed her door open, throwing down her bag unceremoniously on the floor just inside where she kicked off her shoes. She stumbled her way into the living room, ignoring the delicious smell coming from the boxes of food on the coffee table in favor of dropping straight into the lap of her favorite alien. 

“Hi there.” Kara laughed into her head as she wrapped her arms around Lena. She rubbed her hands up and down her back soothingly and pressed a kiss to her head. “Long shift?” 

“The longest.” Lena groaned into her neck, rubbing her face against Kara’s nice smelling skin. 

“I’m sorry.” Lena felt a kiss against her head. “I brought dinner.” 

Lena grumbled and nestled deeper. 

“But we can cuddle first.” Kara said in a serious voice. “Cuddles are much more important than sustenance.” 

Lena half heartedly swatted at her. Kara hummed into the side of her head and Lena felt herself slowly relax, the stress of her horrible day bleeding off of her the more she was surrounded by the woman she loved. 

“Thanks.” Lena sighed and leaned back, resting her forearms against Kara’s shoulders. “I had a rough day.” 

Kara tilted her face up and Lena leaned down to give her a kiss. “I’m not complaining.” Kara said, leaning back against the couch, her hands splayed against Lena’s hips. “I’m more than willing to be your cuddle buddy on bad days. Or good days. Any day, really.” She smiled brightly up at her and Lena just shook her head. She pressed a kiss to Kara’s forehead before spinning around and reaching for some food. 

 

---

 

Lena was having a good day. 

It was one of those rare weekends where she had more than two days off in a row and could catch up on sleep after three fifteen hour shifts in a row. 

Kara herself was busy - doing something that Lena hadn’t even bothered asking about. Whenever she did, Kara would stumble through a half-assed explanation and end in apology after apology that she couldn’t exactly tell Lena everything that was happening at the DEO or Alex would kill her. 

Lena understood. For the most part. It’s not like she wasn’t curious, she definitely wanted to take advantage of her direct resource into the dangers that seemed to continuously plague National City, but she didn’t want to pry and make Kara uncomfortable. Lena was happy with whatever parts of Kara she received, because what she usually gave made Lena absolutely breathless. 

Regardless, Kara was on some secret mission and Lena was free, and since she couldn’t reasonably think of an excuse to go into the hospital, she headed to a part of the city that housed a place she had taken to visiting semi-regularly since she’d arrived in National CIty. 

The alien clinic between 5th and Eisenhower had seen better days. The paint was chipped, the insulation poor, and the air conditioning unit was so loud it sounded like a car was constantly revving its engine just past the front desk. Lena knew that a new building was in the works - she was basically single handedly funding it herself - but in the meantime, they were stuck in the little shit hole they had started seeing alien patients in (illegally) years ago. 

Now that it was legal, the waiting room was always full. Lena walked in on that Sunday and waved at a few she recognized as she made her way to the back offices, exchanging polite smiles with a few nurses she passed. 

“Dr. Luthor.” The man looked up with a smile as she knocked on his door. 

“Dr. Amos.” She inclined her head and moved a couple of feet inside to shake his hand. She sat the briefcase in her hand on his desk. 

He was dark skinned; his only indication that he wasn’t human were his long oval pupils and the dense fur covering his arms.

“You brought them early!” He exclaimed, the vowels elongating in his accent. 

“I had the time.” She shrugged. “I actually have some more today. Care for a helping hand?” 

“You are always welcome here.” He stood up and patted a hand on the briefcase as he walked past it. “I cannot thank you enough. It has been nearly impossible for us to get the appropriate approvals for lab work for our patients receiving radiation. You are a blessing to us all.” 

She waved him off as she followed him down the hall. “It’s no trouble.” 

He flipped through a clipboard he had grabbed before leaving the office and exclaimed. “I thought she was coming today!” He winked at her and motioned to the door ahead of them on the right. “Little Ayla is here today. Would you like to do her check up?” 

Lena smiled at the thought of the little alien girl who had been her very first patient she had seen in the clinic two years ago. “You don’t even have to ask. Is everything all right?” 

He nodded. “A mild fever and a few other symptoms, but the Landovian version of the human flu has been going around the community. It is probably that.” 

Lena grabbed the clipboard from him and opened the door, smiling as she caught sight of the green skinned girl who brightened when she saw Lena. 

“Hello there.” Lena said gently, walking in and sitting on the rolling stool. “Remember me?” 

“Dr. Lena!” She said with a bright grin that showed two gaps in her front teeth. 

Lena shared a smile with the older woman who was seated beside Ayla, but before she could begin her examination or say another word, her world exploded in heat. 

One moment, Lena was looking at the face of a bright little girl and the next she wasn’t looking at anything. 

They told her later that the explosion came from the lobby. No one in that room survived from the proximity to it, but it was a big enough bomb to take out the whole building. Anti-alien sentiments hadn’t ended with the alien amnesty act, had actually been stirring up more and more since, and National City had gotten complacent. A group of individuals - people who would be called nothing but domestic terrorists in the weeks to come - planned to attack at National City’s alien’s weakest point. A clinic well known for seeing children and people too poor to pay their water bill, much less a doctor’s visit. 

Lena wouldn’t remember much of the explosion itself. There was pain, certainly. The explosion was deafening in the literal sense, and her world turned as silent as it was grey with the ash of the building and the people in it. 

Her ears were ringing and there was ash everywhere - in her mouth, her nose, her eyes. She tried to rub them, but only one of her hands came free. Lena looked down and regretted it instantly. 

The pain had not been localized when she was too disoriented to notice the large slabs of stone over her shoulder, her legs, her chest. She could move one arm and used it to wipe at her face. Gritting her teeth, she looked around and coughed out the ash in her lungs. It was dark, she could tell that she was under rubble, and she could hear absolutely nothing. She tried to snap beside her ear and decided that it was a side effect of the bomb. Her hearing would come back, hopefully. 

Lena tried to move but collapsed heaving breaths soon after. Her arm was stuck completely. It was buried under the stone and felt like a bundle of hot nerves that she knew would slowly die the longer they lived without blood circulation. The stones across her torso were just heavy enough to restrict her breathing to be annoying, but not debilitating. One foot was in the same boat as her hand, and the other had a sharp pain running through her upper thigh down past her knee. She was lucky she hadn’t been crushed to death. 

So moving was out of the question. 

Ayla. She looked around and tried to catch a glimpse of the little girl or her mother, but she couldn't see anything but ash. With a pained groan, she let her head fall back against the rough stone. 

Lena closed her eyes and tried to calm the panic in her throat. National City was no stranger to danger. Supergirl was always there to save the day. 

Kara , Lena thought with a whisper she couldn't’ hear. But Kara had been busy. Was she even on Earth? 

National City had survived before Kara. Even if Supergirl wasn’t around to throw around the stones, someone else would come to move them.

But as Lena blinked away tears in the darkness and felt the tendrils of unconsciousness coming to take her - oh, she probably shouldn’t do that, she definitely had a concussion - she only hoped to see one face when she opened her eyes again. 

 

---



Kara walked through the interdimensional portal and into chaos. 

She had been on Earth-1 helping Barry take care of some extraterrestrial problem that he’d called her in for her expertise, and she’d gotten caught up afterwards having lunch with him and Iris, catching up outside of the usual near death experiences that brought them together. 

But as Kara waved her goodbyes to her friends and walked into a DEO she had expected to be quiet on a Sunday afternoon, she reminded herself to never ask the universe for a normal day ever again. Because this was the exact opposite of what she’d wanted her weekend to look like. 

“Do we know who was behind it?” Kara asked after Alex had gotten her up to speed. 

“Not right now.” Alex shook her head. “It was a suicide bombing. We’re hoping there will be some evidence at the site.” 

“I’ve gotta go.” Kara frowned at the video feed above them. “I’m gonna go help them clear it out.” She uncrossed her arms and started backing towards the balcony. 

“Go, Supergirl.” J’onn nodded at her. “We’ll be right behind you.” His eyes were somber and dark.

Kara flew over to the bomb site and hovered in the air for a moment as she took it in. 

The building was overturned, brick and wood blown apart and ash covering everything on the block. The building next door to the clinic had gotten hit with the blast as well, large chunks of each missing from the sides of them. 

Kara landed in front of the building and walked up to a firefighter nearby. “What can I do?” 

He nodded at her with a grim look. “We’re just looking for survivors, Supergirl.” 

She took a deep breath and looked at the wreckage. She nodded at him and joined the others walking through the mess and started helping them move the large slabs of stone to see if anyone was trapped underneath. The look on everyone’s face was grim. They’d found two people so far, but they had been in the exam room at the very back of the building, and they were both hurt badly. 

Kara was flying a few large slabs out of the bomb site when she saw it. 

She dropped the slabs and flew over to the black Range Rover. She didn’t have to use her x-ray vision to know that there was a half-eaten snickers bar in the passenger side door that Kara had stuffed there for later or that there was an extra white coat and stethoscope thrown carelessly in the back seat. This was Lena’s car. 

Kara looked around the street. This wasn’t an area Lena visited frequently. She pulled her phone out of her boot and hit her number quickly. 

Kara frowned as it went straight to voicemail. She looked back at the clinic and felt panic rise up in her chest. There was no way… 

She quickly flew over to the wreckage and tried to tune out the firefighters, the police, the news vans pulling up. She focused on hearing the one heartbeat that she never had any trouble picking out of a crowd. 

There . Lena was right in front of her. 

Kara panicked. She sped over to the middle of the rubble and picked up half of a wall, throwing it aside and away from the heartbeat that was beating too slow. She scanned the area with her x-ray vision and swore when she saw her, laying underneath layers of debris, completely still. 

“No, no, no, no.” Kara dug through the rubble, throwing large chunks aside without care. In seconds, she was moving the last piece that kept Lena hidden from view and shoved it aside, hearing the faint crack of it breaking with the force in the back of her mind. 

“Lena.” She knelt down beside her face and held it in her hands. “It’s alright, I’ve got you.” Kara scanned her for injuries before brushing her hair out of her face. “I’ve got you.” She choked out. 

Kara hurried to move the other slabs covering her, before she delicately cradled her in her arms and jumped out of the hole she had created in her search. She flew over to one of the ambulances and the medics immediately swarmed around her as she touched down and placed Lena on an empty stretcher. 

She was covered in ash and debris, with blood mixed in on various parts of her. Kara walked with them as they pushed the stretcher towards the ambulance, like a tether had bound her to her broken and bleeding heart, spread out on a stretcher and cut open. 

“Supergirl!” 

Alex was there with a hand on her shoulder. Kara looked at her helplessly and watched Alex’s face scrunch in confusion

“Alex.” Kara’s broken whisper made her sister’s eyes snap to hers. 

“What is it?” Alex put her hands on Kara’s shoulders and shook her slightly. “Kara, come on. Don’t freak out on me.” 

Alex .” Kara shook her head. 

“No, Supergirl.” Alex’s voice turned stern, more agent than sister. “There might be more survivors. They won’t find them without you. Shake it off.” 

Kara blew out a frustrated breath and watched the doors to the ambulance close. She watched them drive away, sirens blazing, and listened as that faint heartbeat got farther and farther from her. She felt like her heart was being ripped out of her chest. 

She turned to the building with a clenched jaw and flew forward, tuning out everything but her search for more heartbeats under the stone. 

 

They found two more survivors, a woman and a young girl who were both carted off to the hospital as soon as Kara had pulled them out. She stayed long enough to be sure that there weren’t any more before she left the wreckage and flew over to the hospital, her ears catching a familiar heartbeat. She followed it as she walked into the ER. 

“Supergirl.” The woman at the desk looked up at her in surprise. She was a fairly frequent visitor in the ER, carrying people inside who needed immediate medical attention, but she’d never come into this entrance of the hospital without someone bleeding in her arms. “What can I do for you” 

“I know that Dr. Lena Kieran arrived around an hour ago with significant injuries.” Kara said. “She’s my - she’s my friend and I want to make sure she’s okay.” Girlfriend wouldn’t be appropriate here. Lena was Supergirl’s girlfriend only in the safety of her home, where no one could overhear that very useful piece of information and sell it to people who wanted to cut Supergirl down at her core. 

The woman typed at her computer for a moment before she looked up again. She looked like she was debating with herself. “Information like this is typically reserved for family…” 

“Please.” Kara leaned forward and pleaded with her. “I just need to know if she’s okay.” 

The woman pursed her lips before sighing. “She’s up in the ICU, but it looks like she’s in surgery right now. You can go up to the waiting room until she’s done if you’d like.” 

“Thank you.” Kara felt a little relief as she heard that she was okay. She felt a buzzing in her boot and growled slightly as she turned towards the elevators and pulled out her phone. 

“Alex, I can’t talk right now.” She said, ignoring the stares she was getting as she got into the semi-full elevator. “I’ll call you later.”

“Are you alright?” Alex asked, ignoring what she said. “You looked really shaken up earlier. I just wanted to check in.” 

Kara rubbed her forehead with her free hand. “No - I don’t know.” She sighed. “I’ll just… I’ll call you later.” 

She hung up as the elevator dinged and opened on the right floor. She brushed past the other people and walked quickly to the waiting room, where she tried hard not to create a groove in the floor as she paced back and forth. 

 

---

 

Lena woke up. 

She blinked at the fluorescent lighting above her and looked down. 

Kara’s head was on her stomach and she was staring at her with the most heartbroken expression on her face. Lena frowned and reached forward, to comfort, to help, to do something , and she barely flinched at the ache in her arm as she began to card her fingers through her hair. “What’s wrong?” Even her voice was rough. 

Kara scrunched her face slightly, as if in pain, and then turned to press her face into the sheet over her stomach. She pressed gently into her before she turned her head to look at her again. “You’re asking me what’s wrong?” 

Lena nodded. “You look like you just saw a puppy die.” 

“Lena.” Kara said, laughing brokenly. “You’re in the hospital. You almost died.” 

She swallowed and let that sentence hang in the air for a moment. 

“What were you doing there?” Kara asked, still looking entirely too miserable. 

“I volunteer at that clinic sometimes.” Lena closed her eyes as the ache in her head started to pound a little harder. “They always need the help. I hadn’t been in a few weeks, though. I felt bad, so I brought back some lab work that we do for them.” 

“I didn’t know that.” Kara said softly.

Lena opened her eyes to look down at her again. “You know that I think all people deserve affordable healthcare. I can’t just look after my alien and ignore all the rest.” 

Kara closed her eyes and reached for the hand still on her head, pulling it around and pressing a kiss to the back of her hand, her palm, the inside of her wrist. 

The door to her room opened and a nurse walked in. She looked young and tired enough for it to be the end of her shift. Her demeanor shifted as she took in the fully caped superhero draped over the bed.

“Oh!” She said, freezing at the door. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to -.” 

Lena held up a hand and waved her over. “It’s alright.” She winced at the movement. 

A buzzing sound came from Kara’s direction and she closed her eyes again, pressed her face into Lena’s stomach again, and let out a big sigh. She sat up after a moment and leaned forward, one hand gently touching the back of her head as she pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I need to go.” She didn’t move too far away, and Lena could feel the ghost of her breath as Kara stared at her as if she was going away for years, instead of what would probably be a few  hours.

Lena looked up and smiled. “It’s alright, darling.” She whispered, low enough for only Kara to hear. 

“I’ll be back.” Kara promised, looking at her once more before turning and walking out, nodding at the nurse as she passed by. 

“Wow.” The nurse broke the silence. “That must be… wow.” 

Lena laughed even though it was painful. “Yeah.” She leaned back into the pillows and tried to relax. “It really is.” 

 

--

 

They let Lena go home a few days later with strict instructions for her recovery. She was out of work for at least a few weeks and had physical therapy lined up for her shoulder and foot. Lena was glad to be out of the hospital, more than tired of all of the nurses asking sly questions about her most frequent visitor.

She’d tried to tell her that it was less than conspicuous for Supergirl to spend her time in her room, even if it was at night when less people were going to see her, but Kara wasn’t having it. She wouldn’t have left if she didn’t have a job that pulled her away during the day and superhero duties that kept her away most evenings. 

Kara pulled up in her Range Rover the day Lena discharged after she had begrudgingly agreed to let her drive it. 

“Do you even have your license?” Lena asked as Kara swatted her hands away and buckled the seatbelt for her. Kara was in the disguise they’d taken to using when they went out - sunglasses and a baseball hat - and hadn’t stopped fussing over absolutely everything. 

“Yes.” Kara said indignantly. She pressed a kiss to her forehead before closing the door for her and walking over to the driver’s side. Kara hopped in and smiled over. “But I’ve never driven anything this nice.” 

“Kara.” Lena groaned. “Be careful.”

She just laughed as she pulled out of the parking lot, reaching over to squeeze her thigh with one hand. “Super-reflexes, remember? You couldn’t be in better hands.” 

Lena closed her eyes and leaned her head against the seat. 

“Are you okay?” Kara asked softly. 

“I’m fine.” Lena waved her hand. “Just focus on the road, darling.” 

And she was fine, mostly. A few aches here and there and a temporary inability to move her arm above her head was nothing compared to what happened to others in the attack. She was so relieved to hear that Ayla and her mother had survived, but knew that they were the only ones. Lena was lucky to be alive. 

She didn’t feel very lucky a few days later, after Kara had changed her pillows again for more comfortable ones she’d found god-knows-where and had asked her for the sixteenth time if she needed anything.

“Kara, you are driving me crazy.” Lena said, trying to keep her voice calm. “Your manic energy is spreading into me like osmosis.” 

“Humans are just so fragile.” Kara said frustratingly. “I feel like if I look away from you, something will happen! You’ll break an ankle or one of your organs will fail or you’ll fall into glass or the roof will collapse on you!” 

“Kara.” Lena had to let out a small laugh. “Please try to be rational.” 

Kara sat down next to her on the couch and pressed her face into Lena’s good shoulder. “It’s so hard with you.” She whined.

Lena sighed and ran her hand through her hair. “Why don’t you go check in with the DEO? Maybe there’s some criminal activity happening and you can get out some of this energy.” 

At Kara’s horrified look, Lena looked at her sternly. “Kara. I’m not going to fall apart in your absence. I survived twenty six years before I met you, and I will survive an hour as you go help people who need you.” 

“That’s not fair.” Kara pouted. “You can’t play the ‘helping people’ card.”

Lena kissed the pout and smiled fondly at her. “You’re ridiculous. Go away before I stop liking you so much.” 

Kara sighed and dropped her head. She got up and sped into her suit before coming to a stop in front of her. “Call me if you need anything. I’ll be listening.” 

“Don’t be a creep.” Lena raised her eyebrow. “No listening.” 

Kara looked up at the ceiling and sighed. She walked forward and pressed a kiss to the top of her head before speeding off. 

Lena sighed and leaned her head back into the cushions. 

The newfound quiet was broken by her phone ringing and Lena flinched at the sound. 

She picked it up and paused at the name on the screen. 

“Hello?” She asked as she answered. 

“Lena Luthor.” Cat Grant said from the other end of the call. “Do you want to tell me why I saw your name on one of my reporter’s desks the other day?” 

“Cat.” Lena said, laughing slightly. “It’s so nice to hear from you again as well.” 

Cat sighed dramatically. “Do we really have time for pleasantries? I was under the impression that you were still trying to keep off the radar?” 

“I definitely am.” 

“Then would you care to explain?” 

“It’s not really my fault that the clinic I was visiting got attacked while I was there, is it?” Lena asked, before pausing. “Well, I guess it could be if my brother was behind it.”

“I’ll make you disappear.” Cat said. “Again.”

“I don’t know what I’d do without you, Cat.” Lena sighed. “It is good to hear from you, you know.”

Cat hummed. “Yes and thanks to me you won’t be declared the next home-grown-hero for National City. It’s a shame, honestly. With a history and a face like yours you could be as famous as our Supergirl.”

Lena laughed. “No, thank you. I think she’s probably more than enough for Catco to deal with. I wouldn't want to steal the spotlight.”

“I had no idea you were in National City.” Cat said, with enough sharpness in her voice for Lena to know that she was displeased about that. “Don’t be a stranger, Lena.” 

She hung up and Lena was left staring at her phone in amusement. 

 

--

 

Kara was over at Alex’s apartment for sister night and felt like she was going to accidentally set off her heat vision with her nervous energy. Lena had finally been allowed to go back to work after the physical therapy had gotten her almost back to perfect shape and had been there all day. Kara was going to go by her apartment later that night when she got off, but had decided that it was finally time. 

They’d been dating for months and Kara was sure she was in love. She wanted to share everything with Lena - her family, her name, the rest of her life - and the very first thing she had to do was tell her sister. 

She felt bad about how long it had taken her to clue Alex in on what was going on. She knew Alex was already feeling hurt about it - it wasn’t a secret that Kara had been spending time with someone, had been dating someone, that she hadn’t introduced Alex to. Kara would be hurt if Alex had ever done something similar, so she understood. But she was dreading it all the same. 

Telling Alex that Kara Danvers was dating someone was one thing, she’d done it plenty of times to be semi-comfortable having that conversation. But telling her that she’d started dating the sister of Lex Luthor as Supergirl? 

Kara knew it wasn’t going to go well. 

“Something on your mind?” 

Kara looked up at Alex with wide eyes. “Oh, um, yeah.” She nodded and stood up, walking towards where Alex was setting pizza on the counter and fidgeting with her hands. “Yeah, I actually wanted to tell you something.” 

Alex scrutinized her. “Okay, so spill. What is it?” 

“I’m, um,” Kara swallowed. “You know I’ve been dating someone, right?” 

Alex raised her eyebrows and leaned back against the counter. She crossed her arms. “Well, no I didn’t know that since you haven’t told me.” She nodded her head. “I know you have a new ‘friend’ that makes you blush and giggle like you’re a teenager, so yeah, I’ve guessed that something like that has been going on.” 

“Okay.” Kara nodded. “Yep. I am.” 

“Kara.” Alex uncrossed her arms and walked over to her. She hugged her tightly before pushing her away and swatting her shoulder. “I’m happy for you. You don’t have to be afraid to tell me these things. You know that, right?” She looked so concerned, as if she’d done something wrong. Kara felt awful. “So, where is this mystery person? Why haven’t you brought them around to meet the gang?”

“Well, the thing is…” Kara laughed awkwardly. “She doesn’t really know about… me.” She finished lamely. “Me, as in Kara Danvers, me.” 

Alex stared at her. “What?” 

“I met her as Supergirl.” Kara said quickly. “And I really just couldn’t help myself - I asked her dinner when I was still in the suit. But you know how I get around pretty people, Alex! And gosh I’ve never met anyone so beautiful, really. So it just came out, and then we started seeing each other, and so I’ve been dating her as Supergirl.” Kara bit her lip. 

Alex slowly sat down in a chair. “You’ve been dating her as Supergirl.” She repeated. 

Kara nodded. “Yes.” 

Alex put her face in her hands and groaned. 

Kara decided that she was going to leave out Lena’s identity for another time.

 

--

 

Lena had never set foot into Catco, but had always admired how successful Cat Grant had become in the years she’d known her. 

Lena had been introduced to Cat when she was thirteen, back when she was still stuck in the Luthor home and had to attend parties and galas she had no interest in. Cat had scented her out like a bloodhound, probably looking for an inside scoop on the infamous family, but had quickly understood that Lena was nothing more than a scared girl stuck in an awful situation. After whispered conversations with Lillian, Cat had taken to bringing Lena on various trips she’d take, around the country and beyond, and had let her babysit Carter more than a few times. 

Cat became a friend as Lena got older, and she became an invaluable person to have in her corner when she decided to disappear. 

“Lena.” Cat looked up as her secretary let Lena in the glass door to her office. She took off her glasses and Lena could tell that she was fighting a smile in front of her employee. “Thank you, Eliza.” She waved her hand without looking at the girl.

“Did she say her name was Alyssa?” Lena raised an eyebrow and took a seat across from the desk. 

Cat shrugged and finally let her lips quirk up slightly. “I had started to think that I’d never have to black out the name ‘Lena Kieran’ from publication anymore.” She said. “I can’t say that I’m too sad it came up again if it managed to get you out of that hospital and up here to visit me.” 

“I missed you too.” Lena said. “Things look like they’re going well.” She waved a hand around the office. 

“You know as well as I do that women have to work three times as hard as a man to make something of themselves in this world.” Cat said airily. 

“And you work ten times as hard to beat them at their own game.” Lena said. “I remember.”

Cat’s eyes caught something behind her shoulder and she narrowed her eyes. 

“Kiera!” Cat called out at someone behind Lena. “Come.” 

Lena turned her head slightly as she heard the person quickly walk inside and stop beside her. 

It was… Kara. It was Kara

Kara, but… different. Kara with glasses, for starters. Lena immediately wanted to bark out a laugh that she’d been right when joking about her disguise. She also had her hair half-up in an updo that Lena had no idea she was capable of doing. She looked - sharp, a little dashing, in oxfords, chinos, and a button up with the sleeves folded up her arms.

Lena finally looked back up from her clothes to her face. She met Kara’s gaze, eyes wide in shock, and gave a small smile. Well, wasn’t this a nice surprise. 

“Kara.” Lena said warmly. 

“Lena.” Kara gasped out, her mouth stuttering as she stared at her. “Hi.” 

“You two know each other?” Cat asked, dubiously. 

Lena glanced at Cat before looking back up at Kara. She debated for a moment, before diving in. “Darling, aren’t you forgetting something?” She raised an expectant eyebrow. 

Kara blinked and then jumped slightly. “Oh! Yeah.” She walked quickly forward and leaned down to press a kiss to her cheek. She leaned back slightly, her eyes wide but becoming happier and brighter by the second, and smiled shyly. “Sorry. I almost forgot.”

Lena winked at her before leaning back and breaking the small intimate bubble they had formed. She looked over at Cat, who had leaned back in her chair and was looking at them astonishingly. 

“Kara’s my girlfriend.” Lena said to her. 

Cat raised her brow, before looking curiously up at Kara, who was now blushing profusely. “How interesting.”

Lena reached out and smoothed down a wrinkle at the front of Kara’s shirt. “Why don’t I stick around for lunch?” She asked as she looked up at her. 

Kara grinned at her and nodded. She opened her mouth before her eyes cut over to Cat’s and she paused. She swallowed and asked, “What did you need me for, Miss Grant?” 

Cat was still looking at Kara as if she was decoding some intricate puzzle. “It’s not important.” She shooed at them both with her hand. “Go. Both of you.” She pointed at Lena as she stood up. “I’ll keep you updated if I find anything else.” 

Lena nodded gratefully at her before she turned and followed Kara out of the door. She spun around as soon as they had cleared the office and had stopped by a desk. Kara just stared for a few moments. “Hi.” She said weakly.

“Aren’t I the one supposed to be in distress?” Lena asked. “I am just now meeting the vital and mysterious second half of my girlfriend’s crazy life, previously unbeknownst to me.” 

Kara suddenly surged forward and hugged her. She could feel the slight tension in her shoulders as her hands wound round Kara’s neck. Her hands tightened on the back of her shirt. 

“I’m so glad you know.” Kara whispered into the side of her head. “Rao, I’m so glad you know.” 

Lena buried her head in her neck and laughed slightly. “God, what are the odds?” She leaned back and shook her head. “In a city this big?” 

“I know, I… Wait, how do you know Cat Grant?” Kara asked. 

Lena looked around at the crowded room and then ran her hands up Kara’s arm. “Why don’t you take me somewhere for lunch and I’ll tell you all about it.” 

Kara walked her over to Noonan’s, a cafe down the street. Lena couldn’t help but keep glancing over at her as they walked, they’re hands intertwined between them as if they were just two regular people. 

It seemed ridiculous to someone who knew that just behind a pair of glasses and a button up was Supergirl, but Lena couldn’t deny that it seemed to be… working. No one gave Kara a second glance. 

“Oh,” Kara turned to her as they were in line. Lena tipped her head back to look at her. She looked so different in glasses. “Um, I guess I should have introduced myself on the way, but,” She grinned down at her. “Hi. I’m Kara Danvers.” 

Lena grinned. “Hi Kara Danvers.” She leaned forward and whispered. “There you are. I’m three for three now. Does that mean I get a prize?” 

Kara’s eyes twinkled. “We’ll see.” 

They sat down and couldn’t stop grinning at each other. 

“So,” Lena said after she’d taken a bit of her sandwich. “You’re a reporter?” She shook her head. “I would never have guessed that.” 

Kara shrugged. “I like it. I was Cat’s assistant for years and she basically told me that I could have whatever job at Catco that I wanted when she promoted me.” 

“You survived years as Cat’s assistant?” Lena asked, impressed. “I’ve seen girls last just hours.” 

“Yeah, can we circle back to that?” Kara laughed. “How do you know my boss?” 

Lena explained how she’d met Cat when she was younger and how instrumental she’d been when Lena had run away. 

“She made sure that the name Lena Luthor or Lena Kieran never saw the light of day in any publication.” Lena said. “I’m still not entirely sure how she managed it, but it was a lifesaver. Everyone forgot that the Luthors even had a daughter because suddenly they just - didn’t.” 

“Wow.” Kara shook her head. “You know, I’ve learned a lot of things about Cat over the years, but the one things I’ve noticed over and over again is that she’s a big sweetheart when it comes to people she loves.” Kara gave her a soft smile. “I’m glad you’re one of those people.” 

Lena blushed and looked away. They talked a little more, Kara sharing more and more of her day to day life, before Kara threw away their trash and then grabbed Lena’s hand on the way out. 

“So, I have an idea.” Kara said. 

Lena glanced over and she was looking down, blushing and fidgeting with her glasses. It was so cute. “Yes, darling?” Lena wrapped her free hand around Kara’s bicep. 

“Do you want to come by my apartment?” Kara asked, glancing over. 

Lena felt a wonderful warmth flow through her as Kara looked down at her with so much hope and excitement, as if she’d love nothing more than to show her every part of herself that Lena didn’t know. Every corner that had been shadowed in darkness. 

“Yes.” Lena finally choked out, squeezing her arm and smiling brightly at her. “Of course I would.”

 

--

 

Kara woke up to loud knocking at her door. She turned over and glanced at Lena, who just groaned softly and moved her face against the pillow. Kara stumbled out of bed and threw on a pair of shorts and a sweatshirt before she walked to the door and frowned, seeing Alex and Kelly standing beyond it. 

“Hello?” Kara asked as she opened the door, rubbing her eyes. 

Alex pushed through with a large box and Kelly followed, shooting Kara a smile as she put the tray of coffees in her hand on the island counter. 

“Hey, I just wanted to check and see how you were this morning. I know that fight was hard on you.” Alex gave her a disapproving look. “You should have spent the night under the sun lamps.” 

Kara rubbed her eyes and leaned against her island. “I’m fine.” She said. “Really. I’ll spend a couple of hours sunbathing this morning and I’ll be good as new.” She was still a little sore from dealing with the large alien the night before. She winced slightly as she stretched her arms above her head.

Alex harrumphed. She opened her mouth before something caught her attention behind Kara. 

Kara turned her head and saw Alex was eyeing Lena’s purse that was sitting on the island. Alex’s eyes flickered back to the heels by the door and Lena’s jacket on the hook. “Is she here?” She started walking towards the curtain that shielded her bedroom from view. “She is, isn’t she?” Alex looked at her furiously. “You told her?”

Kara sped in front of her and put her hands on her arms. “Nope.” She started pushing her towards the door. “Nope, nope, nope.” 

“Kara.” Alex tries to push her off. “Come on! You told her your identity? We have to meet her now. You can’t keep us from her forever!” 

“Do you really want to meet my girlfriend while she doesn’t have any clothes on?” Kara asked, wide eyed and looking for any way to get Alex out of there as fast as possible. 

Alex covered her eyes as if she was the one with x-ray vision and could see through the curtain. “Oh, god, Kara! Why would you say something like that?” 

“Goodbye, Alex. Thanks for the breakfast.” Kara opened the front door and pushed her through, smiling apologetically over at Kelly as she followed Alex’s grumpy form. “Sorry, Kelly.” 

Kelly waved her off and grabbed Alex by the arm. “No problem. We’ll leave you two be.” She winked before she pulled Alex off down the hall. 

Kara locked the door and watched Alex walk out of the building through the walls before she walked back to her room. She stopped as she caught sight of Lena, sheets pooled around her waist, so much smooth, pale skin on display. Kara walked over and crawled over her before laying down on top of her, pressing a kiss between her shoulder blades. She felt the vibrations of Lena chuckling softly and pressed another kiss to one shoulder, then to the other. 

“Who was that?” This was Kara’s favorite voice, low and gravelly with sleep. 

“Alex.” Kara pressed her face into her back and took a deep breath. “I kicked her out.” She rolled over to lay beside her and grinned at Lena’s messed up hair and half-open eyes. “Good morning.” She said softly. 

Lena’s expression smoothed over as she pushed her hair back and sat up slightly. “Good morning.” She smiled sweetly and leaned over to press a kiss to her lips. Kara chased after her as she pulled away and she laughed into her lips. 

 

--

 

“Have there been any leads on the attack?” Kelly asked as Alex came back with a tray of drinks. They were all sitting at the alien bar on Friday night. 

“No work talk.” Kara complained as she grabbed the beer Alex had gotten for her. 

Alex swatted at her. “My girlfriend can say anything she wants.” 

“We found some promising leads on a certain anti-alien forum.” Brainy said. “Most of the people involved seemed to not care much about their internet security. I was able to hack them in under ten seconds.”

“Speaking of the attack,” Nia said. “I saw something weird at Catco the other day.” 

They all looked at her expectantly and she chewed her lip for a moment before leaning forward and lowering her voice. “It could be nothing, but… I saw the name Lena Kieran in one of the drafts for the issue covering the attack.” She looked around at them. “And weren’t we all talking about how that’s the name that the Luthor daughter goes by now?”

Kara choked on the beer she’d been nursing. Kelly patted her on the back as she coughed, but everyone else seemed too concerned with what Nia said to pay attention to her sudden attack. 

Alex’s eyes widened and she leaned forward. “What? But nothing has come up on our scans.” She shot a look at Brainy. “Right?” 

“Lena Kieran’s name has not appeared in any publication or internet forum, ever.” Brainy said. “My scans are correct.” 

“Yeah, that’s the thing.” Nia said. “It just… disappeared. I saw it on Johnson’s desk - in the article he’d written up on the attack - and it talked all about a Dr. Kieran who was there as a volunteer and who barely survived the attack. But none of it was published. It’s like she was never there.” 

“What was that reporter’s name?” Alex asked, already bringing out her phone. 

“Guys,” Kara said loudly. “Why are you so focused on her? Nia said that she was there as a volunteer , right? Do you really think that she spent time helping aliens in her spare time just to help plant a bomb in that same clinic, while she was there ? She got hurt!” Kara took a deep breath. “It doesn’t make any sense, right?” She looked around pleadingly. 

“You think Lena Luthor is out there helping aliens in her free time?” Alex asked with a disbelieving laugh. “It has to be connected.” 

Kara bit her tongue and stared down at the table. Her leg started bouncing frantically.

“So, what was his name?” Alex looked back at Nia. 

“I could hack into his Catco account and find that draft.” Brainy said, joining in. “Catco’s servers are not very secure.” 

Kelly was eyeing Kara. She turned back to the others. “Maybe we should consider that she was simply there to help.”

“No way.” Alex shook her head. “She’s a Luthor, Kelly. It’s got to be -.” 

Kara's grip on her bottle tightened just a little too much. Alex stopped talking with her mouth still wide open as Kara’s beer exploded all over the table. 

Kara grit her teeth and felt her cheeks burn slightly as everyone stared at her. She looked up at her sister and decided that she just couldn’t do it anymore. 

“Lena isn’t like her family.” Kara said lowly. “She isn’t like the family that she barely escaped from. A family that she still has to defend herself against.” She stood up and brushed the glass off of her hand. “And I don’t like it when you speak about her like that.” She locked gazes with Alex before she turned to walk towards the bar, smiling apologetically at M'gann as she took a rag from her. 

They were murmuring when she walked back, but Kara didn’t look up at them as she cleaned off the spilled beer and swept the glass off into her palm. She walked off to throw the pieces in the trash before going back and sitting down. 

“Kara,” Kelly was the one who spoke up. “Could you explain to us why you feel so strongly about this?” 

Kara pursed her lips. “I’ve met Lena.” She took a deep breath and let it out through her nose before she looked up to face her friends. “I know her.” 

“You know Lena Luthor.” Alex repeated. 

“Yep.” Kara nodded. “I actually know her really well.” She shrugged. 

“And you didn’t think this was something we should know about?” Alex asked. 

“Alex, I think we should all take a breath before we -.” Kelly was cut off. 

“No!” Kara said. “I didn’t have to tell you about it, Alex. Because this is my life, my secret, and I get to decide who to share it with!” 

“I’m sorry, what?” Alex looked taken aback. “Who said anything about sharing secrets?” 

“You know that I started dating her as Supergirl.” Kara said. “And you know that I told her about Kara Danvers too.” 

Silence. Alex looked like she was going to have a stroke. 

Kara stood up. “Lena isn’t like her family.” She said. “You’re just going to have to trust me about this.” With that, she turned and walked out of the bar. 

Alex caught up to her outside. 

“Kara!” 

Kara groaned softly and kept walking. 

Alex caught up and grabbed her arm. “Kara, come on.” She spun her around. “What the hell?” 

“I knew you were going to react this way.” Kara waved her hand out towards her. “Why would I tell you when I know you’re just going to yell at me for it?” 

“You’re dating Lena Luthor?”

Kara turned around and walked towards her street, rubbing her forehead. 

“How long have you even known her, Kara?” Alex asked as she followed. “You don’t know if this is some ploy to get close to you. How could you? You’ve known her for - what? - months! Clark knew Lex for years before he turned on him.”

Kara could hear Alex’s breathing heavily. They were hard, uneven breaths, because Alex was, above all else, worried about her safety. Kara had always had trouble begin angry at Alex for caring about her. But this was Lena. 

“Clark wasn’t the first person that Lex Luthor ever hurt.” Kara said as she faced away from her sister, hands on her hips. “That kind of cruelty is learned. And Lex learned it in that big house where a girl ,” Kara spun around to face her sister, “who would grow into the woman I love, lived.” She clenched her jaw. “I’m not going to spell it out for you, Alex. Lena is the kindest, most generous, and wonderful person I’ve ever met and none of it is due to the family she was handed to. It’s all her.” 

Alex deflated. “Kara -.” 

Kara held up a hand. “Don’t.” She crossed her arms in front of her. “I can’t make you like her or even try to, I know.” Kara stared hard at her sister. “But I’m not moving on this.” 

Kara turned to go before she turned around as she neared the street. 

“Alex.” Kara called out. Alex looked up from where she seemed rooted to the ground. “You’re going to stay away from her if you can’t keep all of these conspiracy theories to yourself. You won’t bring her into this. I won’t let you.” 

Alex just stared at her before Kara turned and took off into the night.

 

--

 

“What do you think about Paris?” Kara asked as soon as she flew in through Lena’s balcony.

Lena jumped from where she had been sitting on the couch. She was still in her scrubs and had obviously just gotten home. “Kara?” She asked. “Paris? What do you mean?” 

Kara walked over and pressed a kiss to the top of her head before she went straight for the ice cream. “What if we just got away for a night. Or even just an evening. Have you ever been?” 

“To Paris?” Lena clarified. “Um, once, yeah. During my undergrad.” She looked slightly concerned as Kara tugged a second tub free from the freezer and carried both of them to the couch. “Can I ask why?” 

Kara shrugged. “I hear their croissants are good.” She scooped out a huge spoonful and stuck it in her mouth.

“No,” Lena shook her head. “I mean why do you have the sudden urge to get away and does it have anything to do with you eating through all of my emergency ice cream?” 

Kara looked down at the tubs. “I’ll get you some more.” 

“No, darling.” Lena scooted over so that they were pressed closer together and took the ice cream to set aside. She grabbed Kara’s hand with one of hers and reached around with the other to comb through slightly tangled curls. “What’s wrong?” 

Kara pulled her lips into her mouth and shook her head, looking down as if that would hide the gathering tears in her eyes. 

“Oh, love.” Lena pulled Kara towards her and pressed her forehead against her temple. “It’s alright.” She kissed the side of her head before pulling it down to her chest. Kara curled into her as her shoulders started shaking. 

“I told Alex.” Kara finally whispered, later, after Lena had coaxed her into a shower with her and they were wrapped up in bed, warm and safe and together. “It was everything I expected it to be.” 

Lena’s green eyes were two beacons in the dark bedroom. “I’m sorry.” 

“It’s not your fault.” Kara said immediately. “And, I don’t know…” She pulled Lena in closer and tucked her head under her chin. “Alex is just worried about me. She’s always worried about me.” She chewed on her lip. “Maybe if I just give her some time.” 

Lena brushed her lips underneath her jaw and Kara held her a little tighter. 

 

--

 

“You know I hate flying, right?” 

Lena was speaking into the skin of Kara’s neck, unwilling to open her eyes or even turn her face in the direction of the earth, hundreds of feet below her.

“You know that I would never let you fall, right?” Kara parroted back at her.

Lena just groaned into her neck as Kara laughed. “We’re almost there.” She said, a smile on her voice. 

Kara had been feeling pretty down since the blow up with Alex, Lena could tell. She knew that things hadn’t been completely patched up between them, but Kara had hesitantly asked if Lena would be willing to meet her sister and some friends that weekend, so Lena took that as a sign that things were looking up. 

After she’d agreed - of course she wanted to meet the people who knew and loved Kara - she’d been unceremoniously picked up and carried out of her apartment, to some location Kara was determined to bring her to. 

“We’re here.” 

Lena hesitantly opened her eyes and moved her head. She blinked a few times to get used to the darkness and opened them more fully as she realized that Kara was now standing on solid ground, looking down at her fondly. 

Lena tapped her arm and Kara set her down but grabbed her hand, pulling her closer to what Lena could now see was the edge of a cliff. 

National City was laid out for them to see. The city sprawled out for miles and miles, its twinkling lights lighting up the ground and making it slightly harder to see the stars in the night sky above them.

“I used to come here in college.” Kara said, tugging Lena down to sit between her legs near the edge. Lena leaned back into Kara and refused to look down in favor of looking out at the city or glancing back at the woman behind her. 

“I won’t let you fall.” Kara said softly, noticing her discomfort. 

“I know.” Lena sighed and tugged both of Kara’s arms around her waist. She held onto them tightly and leaned back to kiss under her jaw. “Why this place?” 

Kara shrugged and let her eyes move out towards the city again. “I used to sneak out to fly sometimes. Not often - back then I was scared to use any of my powers - but when it would get too loud and I needed to get away. There’s not many places in the city that you can escape to if you’re looking to get away from the noise.” 

Lenna hummed. “I’m sure living in a dorm wasn’t that easy for you.” 

Kara huffed. “Definitely not. So, I’d come up here and just sit. I’d look up at the stars at night, compare them to the ones from home.” Kara looked up. 

Lena slid her hand down Kara’s arm and tangled their fingers together. Kara looked down and smiled at her. “If I could take you there, I would.” Kara eventually said. “I want to show you all of the places that made me who I am.” 

Lena reached up and touched her cheek. “You carry them with you. You don’t have to take me anywhere.” She turned slightly so that she could press her palm into her chest, right above her heart. “Everything I need to know is right here.” 

“I love you.” Kara breathed out, staring at Lena as if she hung the stars that shone above them.

Lena laughed softly, feeling light and warm and free . She shook her head. There weren’t any words for this. “If me letting you carry me thousands of feet in the air wasn’t clear enough for you, darling.” She leaned up and kissed her. “I love you too.”