She doesn’t pay attention to it at first.
Honestly, she has no reason to.
They have always been friends. Close friends.
They have always spent time together. Have always enjoyed each other’s company.
She had been the one to introduce them, even.
So, technically, there’s no reason why it should be weird. It’s not. It’s definitely not. Weird, that is.
It’s not weird because she doesn’t even notice at first. Her mind is too busy trying to find ways to mend her relationship with Lena. And, given, perhaps she should have paid more attention to the woman while she did that.
But her mind is too focused on the way Lena’s eyes don’t find hers as often and her messages take over ten minutes to be responded when Lena used to answer them in five, at the longest. She’s sad at how their hugs are no longer a casual occurrence and instead they happen once a week, at best- and how Kara tries to make them as long as possible before Lena pulls away.
And she’s absolutely too relieved by the fact that Lena’s still here , still talking to her, that they didn’t shatter their relationship to the point where they couldn’t work past it- to notice how much time Lena doesn’t spend with her. And, instead, spends it with Brainy.
She paid it no mind at first, obviously. Lena and Brainy had always had that connection between them that they shared with no one else.They had always been able to get into easy and calm conversations right away. They had always had an understanding of the fact they were smarter than everyone else around them. An agreement on the way they handled their feelings- a silent pact of going to each other when things got too much. They always had the sympathy for the other that one with an equally evil family could give.
Comradery, she thought.
Kara had been on the receiving end of more than once rant about their intellect. Lena gushing about Brainy’s intelligence and how she wished she could “steal him away from the DEO to help her at L-corp” . Brainy marvelling at Lena’s latest technological advance, followed by the casual comment about how she figured it out decades before humans should have achieved it.
She wonders, now, if that sense of wonder and amazement for the other had turned into romantic love, somehow.
It’s small things, really. She’s sure her thoughts are a casuallity of years living in a heteronormative world- she’s been pushed into more than one relationship for the simple fact of boy and girl always like and date each other.
So, she doesn’t think they’re dating when they show up to Noona’s together- they probably caught up with each other a few blocks away.
She doesn’t think they’re dating when Brainy pulls out Lena’s chair before she sits in it- he’s always been a gentleman.
She doesn’t think they’re dating when Lena is in the bathroom when the barista shows up to take their orders and Brainy orders for her before Kara has a chance to speak- everyone knows Lena likes black coffee with three spoons of sugar, after all.
She doesn’t think anything . Even if she sees Nia’s confused and curious look from across the table too.
They keep showing up together everywhere .
Lena walks into the tower, coffee take-out for everyone in her hands, and Brainy walks in behind her, a small bag of scones to share.
Kara is too distracted by the scones to care about how very likely it is that they went to the coffee shop together before meeting them all.
Eliza opens Kara’s apartment door to the two of them standing side by side with equally nervous smiles on their faces. Brainy hands her a bouquet of flowers “for her hospitality” just like last time and Lena hugs her hello.
She forgets they came in together because of that.
There’s a small moment of annoyance inside of her when Brainy takes the empty seat beside Lena and she ends up further away from the woman than usual. Nia and her end up side by side, and they share a look at Brainy’s very clear change in position away from Nia. They still get wrapped up in conversations with the geniuses, even from the other side of the table, so they both shrug it away.
Alex jokes about it once, how many times they end up walking in together to whatever place they’re meeting that time.
“It’s only logical,” Brainy answered, obvious to the slight teasing tone in Alex’s voice, “we were already together before coming here.”
The many really? , what? and surprised raising of eyebrows get interrupted when the tower’s alarm starts blaring.
Still, those are things friends do. They’re friendly things.
Kara thinks nothing of it.
The night is going well. Great, even. It’s the first game night with everyone after Lex and his tiresome and long defeat. And, after a year of being apart from Brainy and Lena, too.
Kara is already used to seeing them show up together for gathering to not care about it this time. They walk in a little nervous- everyone in the room extremely aware why they weren’t here for the last game night.
But no one says anything. They all know the fault doesn’t fall fully on Lena and Brainy, so they try to make them as comfortable as possible.
Alex only complains once about Briany counting cards when they play Uno and just rolls her eyes when Lena starts to talk about physics as they play jenga- when she’d normally tell her to knock it off.
Nia and Kelly keep winning smiles out of Lena by retelling the few funny anecdotes that she wasn’t here for- and, even though there’s a tint of sadness in her laugh, it doesn’t look like the memory hurts her and that’s enough.
Brainy and Lena came back and took their spots as if nothing had happened. The room looks entirely like it’d have looked like a year ago, before everything .
Kelly and Alex taking over the entire couch, even if they’re so wrapped up in each other that two more people would have fit on it. Brainy, sitting in the armchair- only now with the clear absence of Nia on its arm. Because Nia is on the floor, sitting beside Lena on the used-enough-to-be-comfortable cushions as they drink away most of the bottle of wine together. And Kara is happily watching it all from the other armchair- trying to ignore the little pang in her heart at the fact that Lena chose the cushion closest to Brainy’s chair and not hers.
Of course, that little pang is nothing compared to the feeling when Kelly suggests playing charades and they have to team.
It’s not the game that hurts, no. She loves charades.
It’s the fact that as soon as Kelly stops talking, Brainy lowers his head, directing his voice to the women sitting down on the floor.
“Shall we team up?” He says. But he’s not talking to Nia, who opens her mouth to answer but doesn’t get the chance to because she’s interrupted by Lena’s little and relieved sigh, followed by a quick yes .
There’s a moment of silence where everyone seems to catch up to the idea. Kelly raises her eyebrows. Alex’s drink stops midway to her mouth. Nia is frowning, looking confused between the two. And Kara knows she’s got her mouth open- because she was about to ask Lena the same question, and she’s just as confused and disappointed as Nia looks right now.
It’s not that far-fetched, really. Brainy and Lena had teamed up plenty of times. Once the once-in-a-while mandatory team rotations were brought up, they always liked to make their own little team. Team science , Lena had written on the board when they ended up together one time.
But, now? Out of nowhere? Unprompted?
It’s not how they do things at game night. It’s not how it usually works.
Kelly and Alex. Alex and Kelly.
Brainy and Nia. Nia and Brainy.
Kara and Lena. Lena and Kara.
It’s how it works. It’s how it goes.
It hurts a little bit (a lot. It hurts a lot.)
She doesn’t say anything, anyway. Kara lets out her most cheerful, and obviously forced, “okay great, let’s start” before opening the box and taking out the cards. Nia looks at her with a very clear dude, what the fuck in her eyes but Kara only shrugs her shoulders.
Brainy and Lena are nervous, that’s all. They probably don’t want to overstep. They’re probably still feeling guilty, even if Kara has told them plenty of time they have nothing to be guilty about.
The awkward tension in the room is broken when Alex seems to realize who is teaming up.
“Hey, no, hold on,” she starts, pointing her bottle of beer to Lena and Brainy, “the two know it alls can’t be together, they always win.”
“Already admitting defeat, Danvers?” Lena asks, raising an eyebrow as Brainy lets out a little chuckle.
“Oh, you’re on .”
The Charanvers , as they liked to call the hand made game of charades Kara and Alex had made one rainy afternoon, is just as dramatic as playing Monopoly- and just as intense since it doesn’t take long for everyone to start to get competitive. They separated the game into four five categories: science, sports, history, television and food. Whatever team wins more categories, wins the entire game.
Each category is made up of three rounds of one minute. Whatever team guesses more cards in those three minutes, wins the category. And whatever team wins more categories, wins the game.
They start with sports, simple enough. Everyone laughs as Alex pretends to be throwing a frisbee while Kelly keeps repeating “tennis”. Everyone laughs when Kara hovers above the ground and starts to swim around the apartment. Everyone laughs when Brainy takes Kara’s broom and uses his ring to levitate slowly- and Kara is very surprised when Lena figures out that it’s Quidditch right away.
Kara and Nia win sports. The women high five each other in celebration while Alex mopes that “chess isn’t a real sport, that’s why Kelly didn’t figure it out.”
Kelly and Alex win history, obviously. They had a clear advantage- because Alex had told Kara plenty of times that Kelly loved to watch documentaries, Alex had always been a bit of a history nerd, and both Kara’s and Brainy’s dislike and confusion for a lot of human history, it wasn’t surprising that they won.
Kara said that they’d all lose against her if it was about kryptonian history. Brainy reminded them that most of human history had been deleted and he hasn’t read everything yet. Nia jokes that Kara should teach them about it- but the warmth feeling of the action dissipates when she sees Lena, soft smile on her face, gently squeezing Brainy’s arm as she tells him she’ll lend him some of her books.
Lena and Briany win science, naturally. It takes Kara five cards of Lena jumping up and down, to the left or to the right, to realize that she’s pretending to be moving through a periodic table every time one of the cards is an element. But absolutely no one is surprised when Brainy seems to be reading Lena’s mind as soon as she picks up a card and moves her arms.
To Kara’s immense annoyment, Kelly and Alex win food. (“I was clearly talking about kale, I hate kale! That’s why I was doing a disgusted face!” “I didn’t know that you don’t like kale!”)
If Kelly and Alex win television, they win the game. If Nia and Kara win, they have to play one round of random things against the first ones.
It was, perhaps, because Alex and Kara were too busy arguing that their team was going to win, that they didn’t notice Brainy and Lena expertably guessing all of their cards right. So effortlessly, that Kara thinks Nia’s joking when the woman tells her it’s Brainy and Lena the ones who have to play the random round against Kelly and Alex.
Alex and Kelly win by two points- the last round more intense than a simple game of charades should be, but everyone ends the game with a smile on their faces, even if the two geniuses didn’t win.
“Since when did you too get so good and movies anyway?” Kelly asks, eating away the last few m&ms in the bowl.
“We’ve been doing movie marathons lately,” Lena says, distracted as she tries to steal some m&ms from Kelly and completely unaware of Nia’s pursed lips and Kara’s crinkle, “we watched back to the future last night.”
Brainy mentions they watched the first two Star Wars movies the week before, which quickly begins a conversation between everyone. Everyone except Nia and Kara.
Kara can’t know what’s going on inside of the younger woman’s mind, but by the not-concealed-enough sad expression on her face, Kara can guess. Because her mind is halfway between being angry and being sad, while all she thinks is how she’s been saving that one for later.
Kara ends the night with an uncomfortable feeling in the pitch of her stomach.
There was another assassination attempt on Lena.
It was unexpected and fast.
It’s not like the Luthor name was good. It’s not like people don’t hate Lena for the simple reason of her name- they always have, probably always will. So, naturally, when a man in the coffee shop started to loudy complain about her, the Luthors, Lex’s crimes, her mother’s crimes- Lena quietly thanked the barista and left the shop.
Screaming and complaining. It’s what most of them do. It’s what most of them dare to do.
But screaming and shouting was not enough for this man. No. Whatever was the reason behind his anger, it was enough to give him the grit to follow Lena for a couple of blocks and, unknowingly, walk into the alley beside the tower. So, when his fist collided against Lena’s back, sending the woman to the floor, and when his hands found Lena’s throat- squeezing and squeezing, tighter and tighter- Kara was able to hear the small plea that Lena let out.
She’s not even sure how, where and with how much force she punched the man. All she was focused on was getting him away from Lena. And making sure Lena was okay. That Lena was breathing. That Lena was not harmed.
When her eyes find the woman again, she finds her sitting on the floor, the beige dress pant suits Lena had chosen that day already ruined by dirt and a horrible memory. Lena is slowly rubbing her throat and when Kara’s hands delicately take Lena's away from it, she sees the red bruises already forming- she knows they’ll go from red to purple to yellow, and she can’t do anything to stop Lena from seeing it, and remembering, every day until it’s gone.
“It’s okay,” Kara whispers, her hands cupping Lena’s cheeks and her fingers softly wiping away the woman’s brand new tears, “you’re okay now. You’re safe.”
Alex and J’onn show up with a bang, opening the door in a hurry. It doesn’t take them long to put two and two together when they see the man lying unconscious on the floor and Lena breathing heavily. After J’onn’s we’ll take care of it and Alex’s take her inside , Kara helps Lena to her feet and half guides her, half carries her into the tower.
Lena is quiet. She’s extremely quiet as she sits down on the couch as Kara uses her superspeed to grab a glass of water from the kitchen.
She’s always quiet after an assassination attempt. But Kara has seen this before. She knows the signs to a panic attack, both out of her own experiences and having seen Lena in this situation before.
The way Lena’s breathing keeps becoming shorter and shorter, faster and faster. The way she moves her fingers, trying to make that tingling feeling on them disappear. The way her rapid heartbeat echoes on Kara’s ears like a drum. The way all of Lena’s muscles are tense, no matter how much Kara tries to soothe them into relaxation.
“Look at me,” she urges, her hand cupping Lena’s cheek again, directing green eyes to blue. “Try to match your breathing to mine, okay? You can do this.”
They’ve done this before. Lena can do it. She even nods, eyes filled with tears as she breathes in and out.
But when Lena’s breathing evens out enough for her to speak, Kara doesn’t get to be filled by the warmth of the woman’s thank you before a raspy and small “Is Brainy here?” leave her lips.
She doesn’t want to move. She won’t. Lena’s panic attack isn’t even over, yet. She’s not going to leave her alone just to go look for Brainy. Who knows where he is anyway.
“I’m here,” a voice rushes to them. Brainy.
Kara hasn’t even realized he was in the room. And she blames it on surprise that she almost falls to the floor when Brainy pushes on her arm and takes her place kneeling in front of Lena.
She can only watch as Lena’s hands find Brainy’s instantly. How he seems to know exactly how to calm her down, get her back down from the cloud of anxiety she’s in. She watches one of Brainy’s hands move up from Lena’s hands to her forearm, to her arm, to her shoulder, to finally rest on top of the woman’s heart.
She looks away.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Alex asks as soon as she sees her walk through the door, “Where’s Lena?”
“She’s fine. She’s with Brainy.”
She only catches a glimpse of Alex’s surprised look. She thinks she sees a little pity on it too- she doesn’t want to be pitied.
She flies away.
She convinces herself it’s all in her head.
(It has to be.)
It’s just too unlikely. They have always been friends. They are still friends.
Friends go to places together.
(She always walked Lena home when they were best friends. They showed up together to gatherings when they were best friends. They had lunch on their own when they were best friends.)
Friends team up with each other on game nights.
(Game nights that have slowly started to become dreadful for Kara because, even though they started to switch up the teams and her and Alex made a great one, Brainy and Lena kept winning or almost winning- and every time, she had to see Brainy giving Lena a side hug in celebration. The same side hug she used to do. The same side hug she wishes she could do again.)
Friends cry in each other’s arms and help the other through panic attacks.
(She’d done it with Lena when they were best friends. Alex had done it with her more times than she can count. Nia had calmed Kelly down from a panic attack once too if Kara remembers the story correctly. She’s sure Alex and Lena would help each other though one too.)
Friends cheer each other up.
(She has brought Lena donuts before so, when the woman brings Brainy some stress-eating-donuts because he’s worried about his own feelings again, it’s something completely platonic. Super platonic, even.)
Friends hug each other.
(Touch. Almost the number one rule in Kara’s relationships. Touch can be platonic. She hugs Nia and Kelly and Alex and J’onn and Brainy and her feelings remain totally platonic in all cases. So, Lena and Brainy hugging each other after he comes back from a fight in which he was hurt can be platonic too.)
It’s all friendly. Friends. Friends. Friends.
She blames it on earth and its ridiculous heteronormative ways and her new realized feelings. She wouldn’t have even batted an eye at all this if it wasn’t for the realization that she was in love with Lena. That she wanted to be the one to hold her hand and be her game night partner and hold her while she cries and kisses hello and goodbye.
She blames it on the fact that Briany and Nia decided to be super healthy in their relationship and take some time to figure themselves out before getting back together- although, she never says this. She can always see the shadow of regret on the woman’s eyes when she sees Lena and Brainy interact in a way that could, possibly, if you squint your eyes a bit, non platonic.
Kara knows they’re both thinking it. That both have the question on the tip of their tongue. But no one asks it so any conversations on are Lena and Brainy dating or not are happily ignored.
She doesn’t believe they’re a thing anyway so, she ignores it. She’s very good at ignoring things that create unwanted feelings inside her chest, she’s done it most of her life.
The first time it’s slightly mentioned though, is a Monday- the bruises on Lena’s neck are smaller, yellow in color, but not subtle enough to be fully covered by makeup, no matter how much Lena tries.
Lena had spent most of the week taking shelter in her apartment- the incident had shocked her more than she'd like to admit and even if she didn’t admit it, they all knew she wasn’t doing as good as she said. So, no one pushed her when Lena didn’t show up to the tower for a couple of days and everyone agreed when she suggested game night being at her place.
But Lena, resilient and stubborn Lena, would never let a man and some encounter with death scare her away. So, it’s not surprising when Kara hears the sound of Lena’s heels clicking against the floor. What is surprising, though, is Nia speaking before Kara or Lena get a chance to say hello.
“Why are you wearing that ?”
Kara frowns. Lena is wearing her usual clothes- black pants and a black shirt with red flowers that match the high heels on her feet, her blazer hangs from her arm and her makeup is as perfectly applied as ever.
There’s nothing weird about Lena’s outfit. It’s just… Lena.
Except that when Lena looks surprised at Nia before looking down at her hand, a small blush covering her cheeks, Kara sees what’s new in Lena.
In the index finger of her ring hand, proudly sits Brainy’s legion ring. The one he’s so overprotective about. The one he loves so much. The one he had lost and seemed to be walking around without a limb years ago. The one he had only ever given to Nia .
That awkward feeling in her stomach shows up again. She tries to put it away along with the loud thought of what if they’re dating from her mind.
“Oh,” Lena says, an almost embarrassed look on her face, “I- uh- I was scared to leave my apartment and Brainy gave it to me. Said it’d protect me or I could just fly away if something happened.”
Kara has to bite down the that’s what you have my watch for but Nia doesn’t bite anything down.
“Unbelievable,” she mutters under her breath, before rolling her eyes and walking past Lena. The woman watches confused as the elevator doors close.
“Is she okay?” she asks, stepping closer to Kara and giving her a shy smile.
“Yeah,” she lies, “Andrea’s just been driving her crazy.”
Lena hums, clearly taking the excuse because she’s heard it before. Andrea does drive them crazy from time to time but today wasn’t the case. She’s sure the reason Nia is suddenly moody has everything to do with the ring on Lena’s hand and the thoughts of what if what if what if running through her mind. The same that are running through Kara’s.
Kara shakes her head, she doesn’t want to get lost in her own thoughts again. Not when Lena is here and she could end up saying something she’ll regret later on. She focuses her eyes back on the screen that’s trying to trace the gang of traffickers they’ve been looking into.
A hand squeezes her arm, she almost, almost, finches at it. “Are you okay?” Lena asks beside her, “You’re quiet.”
“I’m fine,” she says, “just hungry. Do you want to get lunch?”
“With you?” Lena smiles and most of her bad thoughts are washed away, “Always.”
It was an unspoken rule. They wouldn’t talk about it. No matter how jealous and sad they both were. They don’t talk about it.
Not after game nights. Not after lunch. Not after leaving the tower.
They don’t talk about it.
They don’t talk about it until Nia comes running to her desk on a Monday morning just as Kara is opening her laptop.
“Please tell me you noticed it too?” the younger woman asks, not bothering with a greeting and sitting in the chair in front of Kara’s desk. Her eyes are worried and anxious and sad- Kara doesn’t know what to do with them.
“Noticed what?” She looks away from Nia, her eyes find the small frame on her desk- Kara with Alex and Lena wrapped around her. It was a great night.
“Brainy’s Xbox was at Lena’s last night,” she says, rushedly and if that means anything to Kara.
“ And? ” she throws her hands in the air, she leans forward, whispering her next words as if she says them too loudly something bad will happen, “They’re living together now.”
“What?” her voice is almost a shriek. That was not what she was expecting Nia to say. And by the look on the woman’s face, now filled with ink thanks to the crushed pen on Kara’s hand, she wasn’t expecting her reaction.
“Sorry,” she mumbles, awkwardly wipes her now blue hand with a tissue and holds one out to Nia. She clears her throat, begs her voice to sound more confident and strong than she feels at the moment, “Why do you think that? It’s just one Xbox, they probably hung out and used it.”
“And they couldn’t use it on Briany’s perfectly normal apartment?” Nia asks, eyes big, pleading Kara to get the situation, “I’ve seen that game’s set up, it took him days to organize it and he absolutely lets no one touch it.”
Kara’s expresion falters, the corners of her mouth go down from the forced smile she was keeping up, she looks down to her hands and clears her throat, “I’m sure there’s a reason."
“Like what ?”
“I don’t know!” her voice raises and it catches the attention of their coworkers, Kara blushes and whispers a small sorry their way. She turns to Nia again.
They aren’t living together. They aren’t. It just doesn’t make sense.
But the although and what if and maybe running through her mind are an unpleasant and uncomfortable feeling in her chest. Did she really lose Lena before she even got the chance to tell her how she really feels?
“They aren’t living together. I’ll prove it,” Kara says, picking up her phone and dialing Lena’s phone.
"What are you supposed to prove with a phone call?" Nia asks, rolling her eyes.
"I'll just ask without asking. What?" She says when Nia looks at her with an are-you-serious? look, "I'm naturally crafty at this."
She knows she is. She has no idea how to ask Lena "hey, are you living with someone right now? Someone who both happen to know? Someone named Brainy?" subtly.
But she doesn't have to ask anything. Because when she says an overly excited "Lena! Hi!" to the phone, it's not her best friend who answers.
"Kara, hello," Brainy's voice, raspy and deep- as if he's just waking up and he hasn't shaken the tiredness out of it- comes through the speaker. "Is everything okay? You do not usually call this early."
"I- uh- How- how do you know that?"
"You always call Lena to invite her to lunch around 10am. It's 8:12, rather early for you."
"Where- where is Lena?"
"She's showering at the moment. Do you want me to leave her a message?"
"Why are you in Lena's apartment this early?" Nia says before Kara can pick her jaw from the floor and find someting not-stupid to say.
But Brainy doesn’t answer, instead they hear a movement from the phone and then a voice scream “who is it?” in the background.
“It’s Nia and Kara,” he tells Lena.
Kara doesn’t want to think about Brainy enjoying the view of just-showered Lena, wrapped in one of her fluffy white towels as she walks into her expensive and spacious closet. She doesn’t want to think about it. But as she hears more movement from the phone, indicating Brainy is walking though the apartment, it’s very clear that he’s with Lena.
“Oh,” she hears the the tone of surprise on her voice, even if its far away, “ask them to lunch, perhaps?”
“They can hear you already,” he says, but there’s no tint of that matter-of-fact tone in his voice, nor the obviousness that comes with it, instead it sounds like he’s smiling- as if Nia and Kara are suddenly hearing an inside joke they know nothing about. It’s weird.
She was the one that had inside jokes with Lena. The one that made her chuckle and smile. She can imagine her, already dressed in some killer power suit, leaning into one of the wardrobes as she puts on her heels with one hand.
She knows how she feels about the fact that Brainy is seeing the same act she used to be the only one privy to. She’s jealous. She knows she is. And by the look of half anger, half annoyance on Nia’s eyes when brown ones meet blue, she knows the woman is probably imagining a similar scenario and is jealous too.
This was definitely how they expected the phone call to go.
“So? Nia? Kara? Lunch?” Lena’s questions after a long silence.
They maintain eye contact for another second before they both let out a very enthusiastic yes, sure.
She’s on her third bottle of alien rum when she looks around the apartment and realizes, without a doubt, that she’s bored .
Alex and Kelly have long since entered their little in-love-and-about-to-get-married bubble, cuddled up on the couch and not paying attention to anyone who isn’t the other. J’onn had left hours ago, saying he had an early morning the next day- Kara is pretty sure he just feels like he’s intruding in a girls night at the lack of Brainy.
Because Brainy didn’t come to game night. And neither did Lena.
Kara doesn’t want to think how it probably means they’re having their own night together. A date night. Maybe dinner and candlelight and late night walks in the park and kissing under a sunlamp and- okay, maybe she’s been watching too many romantic movies since she found out two of her best friends are dating each other and no, it has nothing to do with the amount of sadness and pinning in her heart at the fact she’s lost her chance with Lena. Nothing to do with it.
She doesn’t want to think about it. So instead she slowly drinks and lets her eyes wander from Kelly and Alex (before moving away when the will I ever have something like that? thoughts start to show up on her brain) to Nia, who keeps looking at her phone- the phone that still has a picture of her and Brainy on a date as background- as if no one else is in the room.
When all of their phones ring, the sound reserved specifically for “emergency, go to the tower immediately”, Kara has never been more thankful for a super emergency. And she hates that petty part of herself that laughs a little at the fact that Briany’s and Lena’s date got interrupted too.
It makes her stop too, makes her wonder if her dates with Lena would also be interrupted, if they’d had to pull away from each other to go save the world over and over- just like Alex and Kelly do so naturally now, because they both agree saving people is more important anyway. She has to shake her head, think past the little pang in her heart because she can’t wonder that. She’s not getting Lena. There won’t be a moment when their kisses get interrupted by a super emergency- maybe a game night, maybe a movie night, but never a date night.
But she’s thankful for the interruption of the most boring game night she has ever hosted regardless. That is, until she arrives at the tower and catches sight of Lena.
J’onn and Alex are discussing what’s going to be their approach when the elevator doors open, Lena stepping out of it, Brainy beside her. The woman is wearing a sinful red dress. The fabric clings to Lena’s curves and figure enough to make them stand out and look good but not enough it’d be considered too revealing or inappropriate. The dress ends on the floor but the two gashes on it give way to see the white skin of Lena’s legs and Kara has to stop all thoughts of what it’d feel like to run her hands through them.
Regardless, when the woman ends up in front of Kara, who can’t seem to look away, she ends up breathing out in amazement, “You look incredible.”
The red on Lena’s cheeks shows up instantly, she lets out that adorable little giggle Kara loves so much and she looks down, putting a wild stand of hair behind her ear. And Kara can’t look away. She wants to let her hand rest on Lena’s waist, let them move on their own and find the smooth skin on the back of the dress. But she doesn’t, either because she’s too entranced by Lena’s eyes or the back of her mind still has more self control than she thought. That is, until Brainy clears her throat beside them.
And Ah, shit, maybe I shouldn’t oggle my friend’s girlfriend so boldly in front of him running through her head is the one thing making her step back, the almost non existent space between her and Lena too obvious in her mind now.
She looks at Brainy’s obviously new and expensive black suit, his tie and handkerchief in the same shade as Lena’s dress. Kara blushes, “You- Wow, you look great too, Brainy. So handsome. Super, even.”
He tilts his head to the side a little, his lips moving up slightly, “Thank you,” he says.
“Where were you guys anyway?” Kara’s thankful when she hears Nia asks.
The woman is leaning against the table, she’s obviously trying to play it cool, she’s not even looking at them, she’s playing with dream energy blasts in her wrists, pretending to be adjusting them. She’s doing good, her nonchalant act is completely believable, and if Kara couldn’t hear the fast and loud drum of her angry heartbeat, she’d believe in it too.
Lena, obviously, cannot hear the livid heartbeat. “We were at a gala for the 50th anniversary of the National City observatory.”
“And since Lena is one of their contributors,” Brainy adds excitedly, “they let us go inside on our own! I was able to look at planet Dimidum before it turned light blue! By my calculations there shouldn’t even be life on it just yet.”
His excitement is almost palpable and Kara has to look away when Lena looks up to him with an adoring look, one Kara is sure he sees a lot and wishes it could be headed her way at least once. She sighs instead, turns around when Lena and Brainy gets lost in a scientific discussion she doesn’t have the urge to participate in.
And if later she punches the alien attacking the waterfront a little too strong, well then, she blames it on the white lie that he made fun of her hair.
She honestly doesn’t think about it for the whole day.
She doesn’t remember it during the ceremony. She doesn't remember it during the toasts. She doesn’t remember it until all the couples are joining Alex and Kelly on the dance floor. All the couple are slow dancing to the sound of the music and of course, right along with them, are Brainy and Lena.
He’s got his hands on her waist and Lena’s arms are wrapped around his shoulders, her hands lazily falling behind his back. From the table, Kara and Nia can see them as they talk and laugh quietly, slowly moving from side to side to the sound of the music.
“God,” Nia exclaims, snapping out of her moping, not before drinking the rest of her glass, “do you think we’ll have to see them get married in a couple of years?”
Kara freezes, it’s the first time she’s thought of it. But it would make sense, wouldn’t it? If they’re going as strong as they look. If they’re already living together, getting married would be the next logical step right?
She thinks of Lena in a beautiful white dress, a grown of flowers in her hair- one with small green leaves that would make her green eyes stand out. She thinks of the woman walking down the aisle, a smile on her face- would J’onn walk her down? Their relationship have definitely took a turn the last year, J’onn had taken an overprotective stand over the woman, very similar to the one he takes over Alex and Kara.
She thinks maybe Brainy would want a ceremony from his culture too. She’s not sure what coluan ceremonies and traditions look like but the thought only serves to make her think of Lena with a golden bracelet on her wrist. Lena, saying a prayer to Rao as she and Kara stand on top of the remains of the Jewel of Honor in Argo city.
But she’s not getting that. She sighs. “Maybe,” she finally answers Nia after what was probably a way too long pause.
“I’m gonna be so drunk that whole wedding,” Kara chuckles at Nia’s words.
“Rao, me too.”
They look at each other in silence for a second before bursting out laughing. It’s nice, Kara thinks, that although they both will probably have a terrible time pinning and yearning for two married people, at least they’ll be doing it together.
They calm down into chuckles when Lena and Brainy walk over to them. The man stops in front of Nia before putting out his hand, “Would you-” he clears his throat when his voice sounds too quiet, “Would you like to dance?”
Nia looks up confused to him, before her eyes move to Lena- trying to see if the woman is in any discomfort over Brainy’s action- but Lena isn’t even looking their way, she’s sitting down on the empty chair beside Kara’s. She sighs as she does, her hands instead going to her ankles- trying to rub the soreness of dancing for a while out of them.
“You okay?” she asks Lena, as she distractedly hears how Brainy leads Nia into the dance floor. But her eyes are focused on Lena. And how beautiful she looks. And how her makeup is the perfect balance between soft, making it look like she’s not wearing too much, and strong, resulting in her lips and eyes standing up just right.
Lena takes her eyes away from her feet and smiles up at her, “Yeah,” she sighs, tilting her head to the balcony, “Wanna go out to talk for a bit?”
Lena walks away from the table slowly, and so, Kara follows. Lena shivers as long as they step outside. Kara guesses it’s probably chilly, at best- but hours of dancing inside a room full of people tends to up a human’s temperature. And she knows most of them brought a jacket too, already used to the dance of leaving a wedding at the crack of dawn.
“Do you want me to go get your jacket?” She asks but Lena’s already shaking her head, leaning against the rail of the balcony.
When a soft “No, just come here, you’re always warm,” leaves her lips, Kara obliges and finds her arms wrapping around the woman before she can think too much into it. Lena rests her head against Kara’s chest, her arms coming to losely rest around Kara’s waist. The blonde lays her chin on top of Lena’s head and closes her eyes. She lets herself, just for a moment, believe she’s having Lena like this because she wants to be wrapped up in Kara and not because she’s cold.
Kara looks back to the dance floor only for her eyes to find Alex’s right away. The redhead and Kelly are looking their way, equally smug and teasing smirks on their faces. Kara rolls her eyes before she sticks out her tongue to them, a clear fuck off behind it. Kelly laughs before pulling Alex away, Kara faintly hears a come on, let them be , over the music.
“I hope it works out between them,” Lena says, suddenly. Kara looks down at her confused, finds her looking back to the dancefloor with soft eyes.
“Alex and Kelly?”
Lena snorts, “No, please, we all know those two are basically soulmates and nothing would break them up.”
“That’s true,” Kara laughs, her arms tightening around Lena, pulling her closer, “Who then?”
“Brainy and Nia.”
What? Why would Lena wish for things to work out between Nia and her boyfriend? Kara doesn’t say anything. She only looks confused between Lena and the dance floor, where Brainy seems to be saying something important to Nia- who’s looking at him with shiny eyes. She’s about to focus on their conversation when Lena pulls her attention again.
“He’s been working up the courage to ask her out again for months,” she says, a tint of laughter on behind her words, “I love him but if I have to hear any more of his poems about the shade of Nia’s eyes, I’m going to throw him off a balcony.”
“What?” is the only thing she’s able to say. What? What? What?! Is Brainy going to be with both Lena and Nia? Oh Rao , are the three of them gonna be in a trouple ?
“I mean, I wouldn’t actually throw him off a balcony,” Lena laughs and the vibrations echo into Kara’s chest, “You know that, dummy."
“No, I mean-” she grabs the sides of Lena’s arms, softly pulls her away from their embrace. Lena looks up to her confused, “What- Why would you be okay with your boyfriend dating someone else?”
“My...what?” Lena’s brows furrow even more, a crinkle forms between them and if Kara wasn’t internally freaking out right now, she’d think it was adorable.
Lena stays silent for a long moment. And Kara thinks, this is it, this is the moment where she tells me she’s in love with Nia too and I’ll have to see her be in love with two people, and none of them would be me . But Lena only burst out laughing.
Kara watches, frozen in time, as Lena’s back arches and she has to hold onto the railing of the balcony for support. It’s the longest she’s seen Lena laugh after their fight, after the stilled and awkward moments. And while it fills her heart, it’d fill it more if she wasn’t so utterly confused.
Lena calms down a little, but the laughter keeps coming out of her mouth as she rests her hands on top of Kara’s shoulders- prompting the blonde to look at her when she had looked away embarrassed.
“Kara, darling,” she says, her words breaking with laughter at the end. She breathes in, willing her body to control her chuckles, “I’m not dating Brainy.”
“You’re not?” her voice is hopeful, way more hopeful than it should be when one finds out her best friend isn’t actually happily in love.
“No,” she answers, giggles taking over her again, “why would you think that?”
Kara blushes at Lena’s exclaim, she says no as if Kara has told her the most ridiculous idea she has ever heard. “You- You always spent so much time together. And- and- he gave you his ring! I just thought…”
Lena raises an eyebrow, Kara can tell she’s trying to hold back her laughter by the way her lips tremble, “And how is all that more than friendship? Honestly, you spend a lot of time with gay people, I thought heteronormative thoughts were out of your brain by now.”
“Sorry,” Kara bites her bottom lip and looks away, her eyes finding a distant point in the skyline. “It’s just- you guys teamed up every game night and I thought…”
Lena’s heartbeat picks up slightly. Her slender hand comes to rest on top of Kara’s, the one holding onto the balcony strong enough to make her knuckles go white but not enough to break the marble under her fingertips.
“After everything…” Lena starts, before she breathes out and seems to change her mind, “I just- I didn’t know if you wanted to be with me, that’s all.”
“I would never not want to be with you,” Kara says, her blue eyes finding green ones, “ever.”
Silence falls over them as they look into each other’s eyes. It’s comfortable, much more comfortable than it had been in months. The moment holds until the laughter seems to overtake Lena again and she’s chuckling again, moving forward with her shakes and her forehead ends up resting on Kara’s collarbone.
“Oh, come on,” Kara pokes at the woman’s sides, which only makes her laugh more, “stop laughing at me."
“I can’t believe you actually thought I was dating Brainy."
“It made sense!” she exclaims, trying to get Lena to understand, “And Nia thought so, too!”
“How could Nia think so,” Lena says, her giggles dying down, “when he’s so clearly in love with her?”
“Sometimes people can’t tell when someone is in love with them,” Kara whispers, her eyes falling to Lena’s lips. You haven’t figured out how in love I am with you.
“Yeah,” Lena agrees just as softly and then adds, “It’s funny actually.”
“I am in love, just not with Brainy.”
Maybe it’s the way Lena’s lips keep moving from her eyes to her lips. Maybe it’s the way that when Kara leans in, Lena doesn’t pull away. Maybe it’s because of the way the moonlight keeps shining on Lena’s eyes and it makes Kara want to drown in them that asks, “Who are you in love with, then?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” she says, leaning forward too.
She stops just when the tip of her nose is touching Kara’s. Her breath hits the blonde’s lips and she can almost taste the strawberry drink Lena was drinking hours ago.
“I think I might have been a little slow on figuring it out,” Kara whispers, “but I did. I just need to know if you did, too.”
“It’s you, Kara,” she says, her hands coming to rest on the sides of her neck. “I’m in love with you. I’ve always been in love with you .”
She leans in again, this time connecting their lips for the first time. And as she kisses Lena, she begs she can say in one single kiss all the things she wants to say. I love you. I’m in love with you too. I’ve wanted to do this for months. I’ve wanted to do this since you wished me good luck and I didn’t know if I was ever going to see you again.
She doesn’t say it though. She focuses on the feeling on Lena’s body pressed against hers. Lena’s tongue inside her mouth. The softness of Lena’s hair as she tangles her hands in it. Lena’s hands on the side of her face. Lena. Lena. Lena.
They break apart, breathless and smiling, and Lena looks up to her again. The warmth going through her body at the softness in them is a feeling she hopes she can always remember. And when Lena’s little laugh starts to pick up again, she hopes she remembers the blush of embarrassment covering her cheeks too, because, not only will it make a great wedding story, it was the final step on them getting together.
“Stop laughing at me,” she whines, and she tries to sound strong and serious but she’s smiling too much, nothing could make her stop smiling right now. She rests her hands on Lena’s cheeks, softly pulls the woman into her again, “Stop laughing and kiss me again.”
Lena closes the distance between them.