Lena had always had excellent observational skills; prided herself on it, even.
As a child, during summers at the Luthor country home, she noticed the change in the air, the smell, hours before the rain showers rolled in before anyone even noted the dark clouds forming overhead. She picked up on Lex’s tells as they played chess, the way he would hide his smirk behind his fist before he tried to trap her only to be astonished at her evasive maneuvers that led to his eventual defeat. She knew Lionel’s mood and the kind of night it would be in Luthor Manor based on the alcohol he would pull from the bar cart in his office.
As an adult, she was able to sort and see through the minutiae and balance the books of LCorp after Lex’s arrest (in the pre-crisis timeline, and God, she missed it, sometimes.) She could pore over contracts and find the potentially problematic clauses and save herself millions. She finds the issues in the procedures of her experiments and corrects after one or two tries.
She had her blind spots, of course (we all do.) Lex was the first example of that.
She knew he had his hang-ups and his obsessions, but she never thought he would go as far as to turning the sun red and damning the Earth just to take out Superman. Nor did she think he would go so far as to try and mind control half of Earth’s population via her stolen Non Nocere project and Andrea’s Obsidian Platinum lenses.
And then there was Kara. Kara and her secret identity as Supergirl…
When Lena thought back on it, she realized just how deeply in denial she was. All the times Kara slipped up—“I flew here…on a bus”—and how she tried so desperately to be exactly what Lena needed, in either persona, because she cared that much and that deeply. She believed in Lena, in her innate goodness, so much that she went to the literal ends of the Earth to protect and/or save her, time and again. And Lena reciprocated, every time, no matter the state of their relationship.
What Lena noticed the most, though—and what really embarrassed her in terms of her level of denial—were the different shades of blue of Kara’s eyes could be, depending on the situation.
When Supergirl saved her from the plane that Morgan Edge hijacked in order to poison the water, when she screamed for Lena to climb and to trust her to catch her; her eyes were dark, determined, practically glowed like the North Star and Lena had no choice but to reach it.
When Kara came to see her after Jack’s death, she was unwaveringly kind and patient. Her eyes, while sad, were not full of pity like others had been. They were a delicate blue, like the sky on a perfect day, and reflected her steadfast belief that Lena (in Lena) would come out of her grief without becoming like Lillian, and with Kara’s friendship and protection, always.
When Supergirl dashed in to stop Mercy from killing Lena, insisted that the Luthor name didn’t deserve her, Kara’s eyes were a strong, dark blue; resolute, unbending, possibly deadly should Mercy try to say otherwise.
When Kara finally revealed she was Supergirl—momentarily crushing both their hearts and nearly obliterating their friendship—her eyes were distraught but still bright, as though she still had some sliver of hope that Lena would immediately understand her reasoning and forgive her.
All of the different ways that Kara had said “I love you” (without actually saying it) and they all had their own way that they affected Kryptonian irises.
Lena had to admit, though, many of her favorites came later…
A few months into their relationship, Kara and Lena, along with Alex and Kelly, attended the Midvale Harvest Festival.
Kara had mentioned the event multiple times over the course of their friendship and how she’d loved going with Alex, Eliza, and Jeremiah growing up that Lena couldn’t help but oblige her request to go when Kara brought it up one day at lunch.
Lena was actually excited to go, having never really been allowed to attend such “frivolous” events—Lillian’s word, not Lena’s—as a child. Kara was actually appalled to hear this; had nearly choked on the potsticker she’d just put in her mouth at the moment.
“Lena, I am so sorry you were deprived of so much growing up.” Kara had said to her, earnestly, while she placed a gentle hand on top of Lena’s free one. “I won’t let this atrocity stand any longer.”
Lena snorted lightly into her wine glass as she took a sip. “I don’t think it’s quite as dire as you’re making it out to be. But thank you, darling.”
So, hand in hand, they looked up at the haybale archway with smiles firmly planted on their faces.
“Alex, take our picture? We have to commemorate Lena’s first Harvest Fest!” Kara nudged her sister while she held out her phone.
Alex took it and rolled her eyes good-naturedly as Kara tugged Lena under the arch and wrapped her arms around Lena’s waist from behind, resting her chin on Lena’s shoulder. “A please wouldn’t kill you, you know…” she smirked.
“Pleaaaaaase,” Kara grinned saccharinely as Lena reached back to smack her butt in admonishment.
“Lena, not in front of Alex,” Kara stage whispered, throwing a glance to her sister. “You know how she is about PDA.”
“I hate you!” Alex joked in return, a wide smile on her face.
Kelly leaned up and pressed a kiss to Alex’s cheek then sent a good-natured finger point in Kara’s direction.
“You two better behave or you can wait in the car and Lena and I will enjoy the festival by ourselves!”
“You wouldn’t,” Kara gasped, her hold tightening on Lena.
“You heard the woman,” Lena agreed with Kelly, trying not to let her laughter break through.
“Betrayed! Betrayal!” Kara yelled, pointing an accusatory finger between them before she turned to Alex. “Alex, do you believe this?!”
After promising they would be good, Alex quickly snapped a few pictures (both portrait and landscape, because she’s a good person) then handed Kara’s phone back, her arm returning to its home securely around Kelly’s shoulders.
“I can’t believe you’ve never been to a carnival, Lena,” Kelly commented as they entered.
The frown appeared instantly on Kara’s face.
“Lillian wasn’t big on fun for the sake of fun,” Lena shrugged. “Unless an event would benefit the Luthor name somehow, we rarely attended. And I didn’t have many friends growing up that felt comfortable enough to even extend an invite to birthday parties or anything.”
As they walked through the festival, Lena took note of all the sights, sounds and smells the event had to offer. From the buzzing and clanging of the games, to the creaks and groans and flashing lights of the rides, to the scent of turkey legs, stale beer and various fried foods wafting through the air; it would be understandably overwhelming for sensitive people—sensory overload. Having Kara’s arm firmly around her waist, though, Lena felt delightfully grounded.
They played a few of the games—Kara refused to let anyone play the basketball one, insisting that the hoops were totally rigged (“I’m telling you guys, they’re oval shaped!”) and she would fly up and take photographic evidence, if necessary—and Alex won Kelly a small plushy toy at one of the shooting games. Kara slammed a mallet on a small launch and landed a rubber frog on a lily pad, then presented Lena with her own plushy toy. That earned her a kiss on the cheek…and a playful shove in the face when she stuck her tongue out towards Alex as if to say, “You’re not the only one who can win their girlfriend stuff!”
Meanwhile, Lena tried her first deep fried Oreo.
At her guttural, “Oh, my God…” Kara’s smile nearly split her face.
As the late afternoon turned into night, it seemed as though their time at the festival was nearing its end. Until…
“Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please!” a festival official yelled into a bullhorn. “The pie eating contest will commence in five minutes! Only a few spots remain, so if you want to participate, you’d better hurry on over!”
Kara’s eyes widened comically, as did Alex’s.
“Kara, no,” Alex said as she whipped her head around.
“Kara, YES!” she cried out in reply, before checking with Lena. “Can I, babe? Please?”
Lena quirked an eyebrow, wondering just how fair it would actually be for Kara to enter an eating competition, and also why Alex was so against the whole thing. She was shaking her head so vigorously, and her face was so serious it bordered on angry, that Lena was concerned she was going to pull a muscle.
Still, one look at Kara’s big puppy dog like eyes and Lena couldn’t help herself.
“Go ahead, but please remember to chew before you swallow,” she acquiesced with a quick kiss and an encouraging tap on the butt. Alex followed it up with a barely audible groan.
Kara’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree—brilliantly luminescent, giddy, the color of Elsa’s dress in Frozen after she creates her ice castle—as she squealed with glee, nearly taking out a couple of small children as she ran for the sign-up table.
“Why do you enable this behavior?” Alex asked a short while later, as they watched Kara inhale her apple pie before any of the other contestants could make it a quarter of the way through their own.
Lena smiled softly, fondly as Kara beamed happily with goop all over her face, waving at them and proudly showing off her empty pie plate.
Lena looked back to Alex and Kelly, “Have you seen the way her eyes light up when you do?”
Kelly smiled knowingly and leaned further into her girlfriend as Alex just scoffed and shook her head.
“You’re such a sap, Luthor,” Alex murmured and pulled Lena into a side-hug.
“What can I say? Your sister has melted my cold, black heart,” Lena joked, giving Alex a squeeze back.
Six years later…
When they decide to get married—and it really was a matter of when, not if in both their minds—they chose to have two ceremonies. The first was a simple appointment at the National City courthouse, with Nia as their witness. Very spur of the moment, entirely unplanned.
They were out for lunch on a summer afternoon, Lena regaled Nia with the latest happenings at the Lena Luthor Foundation—her philanthropic endeavor that took a couple of years to get off the ground after she completely disentangled herself from LuthorCorp—and Kara sat and listened, completely amazed despite knowing all the details already. She still couldn’t believe that even with all the money in the world, all the skills and knowledge, all Lena wanted to do was help everyone else. She exceeded even Kara’s estimation of her, which was saying a lot because Kara had just about put her on a pedestal and encased her in marble and gold.
So, in the midst of Lena’s story about the next iteration Clean Water for All initiative her team was working on, Kara found herself reaching out and taking Lena’s hand.
“Let’s get married,” she’d said, completely casual.
Nia’s hand went to her chest as she inhaled sharply.
To Lena’s credit, she remained stoic. They had had so many conversations about “when we’re married” and the like through the years, that she was more than used to it. Nothing ever really came from it, other than the reassurance that they were both in it for the long haul. Lena didn’t need a piece of paper to confirm it and, it seemed, neither did Kara.
Lena did have an engagement ring stored at their apartment that she knew she’d pull out when the moment hit, though.
“Ok,” she replied, breezily, an eyebrow raised.
“Today?” Kara smiled and squeezed her hand. “Right now?”
Nia squeaked and her hand shot straight to her mouth as she tried to not ruin the moment.
Oh. She’s serious this time.
Lena weighed her options. On the one hand, she was usually all about planning things out, having some rough idea of a schedule. On the other, marrying Kara was an inevitability at that point. So…
“The courthouse is only ten minutes away,” Lena replied, gathering her bag and her coat.
They hailed a cab, Kara practically floated up the steps of the courthouse while Nia freaked out about whether to call the gang down—they decided no, because there would be another, proper ceremony for everyone; this was just a formality—and Lena… Well, Lena just regretted not carrying that engagement ring around with her at all times.
They waited in a short line for the marriage certificate—normally there was a 72 hour wait, but Lena was able to slide the clerk a $100 bill and, like magic, they were able to get everything done in minutes—and then headed up two floors to the courtrooms.
The judge did the usual ceremonial spiel, kisses were exchanged, Ts were crossed, fees were paid… And that was it. It was one of the best afternoons of Lena’s life.
As they exited the building, they paused at the top of the steps.
“Thank you for letting me be part of your special day, guys,” Nia said as she squeezed them in a group hug.
“Thank you for going along it! I know you’re in the middle of a big story at work,” Kara replied, her hand on Nia’s shoulder.
“Are you kidding?!” she exclaimed. “That story’s been giving me migraines, so this was the best possible break from it. God, I just love you guys.” Nia’s eyes welled with tears.
Lena reached for Nia’s hand. “We love you just as much.” She felt her own eyes fill but was unable to blink them away before the tears dropped. “You’ve been such a wonderful and supportive friend through the years, Nia. We’re so lucky to have you in our lives.”
“Well, if you guys are gonna cry, then I’m gonna cry,” Kara sniffled.
Nia waved her off, dabbing her eyes with her sweater sleeve. “Ok, ok. Enough of that. Picture time!”
They took several shots; some serious, some lovey dovey, one extra goofy where Kara and Lena held their copy of the marriage certificate between them while they pointed and smiled widely, their mouths open.
Of course, that was the one Nia sent out to the group chat (cackling madly as she hit the send button) with the caption SuperCorp Endgame.
Within seconds, Kara’s phone rang; it was Alex.
“I…don’t wanna answer this,” Kara stared warily at her phone, imagining the volume at which Alex would yell for not being included.
Lena raised an eyebrow at her wife. Wow…wife. Kara is my wife, she thought to herself and smiled briefly.
“You know you’re just making it worse the longer you put it off.”
“Will you talk to her?” Kara looked at her pleadingly and held out her phone.
“Oh, no!” Lena objected, already seeing the pout about to form on Kara’s lips. She put on her best boardroom stance, one hand on her hip and the other with a finger pointed at Kara. “You pick that lip right back up. You are a grown woman, Kara Danvers. And no wife of mine is going to chicken out of talking to her own sister!”
“Fine,” Kara huffed and walked off to the side, mumbling as she went. “What’s the point of marrying a Luthor if she won’t scare the crap out of her in-laws?”
“I heard that!” Lena called out, stifling her laughter.
Kara’s head whipped around, shock painted on her face before she quickly changed it to a sweet smile and blew several kisses in Lena’s direction. The sun glinted off her eyes, made them shine like blue topaz stones.
Lena shook her head and rolled her eyes, her attention back on Nia as Kara tried to explain the situation to Alex.
She took out her phone and typed out a message and showed Nia. They exchanged conspiratorial smirks.
So, how do you feel about a trip to Argo City in the spring?
It took quite a bit of subterfuge and misdirection—not to mention an abundance of help from Alura and Zor-El—but Lena was able to plan a proper ceremony with as many Kryptonian customs as possible.
Meanwhile, she also planned an Earth-based ceremony with Kara.
Lena claimed to have reserved the National City Science Museum, so they could get married in the space wing. She made a big show of calls to Noonan’s and a few of their other favorite places for the reception food—that Lena had to have rerouted to the Tower’s address when she had a spare moment at work. They designed beautiful invitations—that Lena went back and changed the date and location after Kara got called away for an emergency, and sent it to only a select few names.
She pretended to go dress shopping with Kelly and Nia, while Alex took Kara to both dress and suit shops. Kara ended up with a dapper navy suit with a crisp white shirt and a pair of dark heels and Lena spent the afternoon in her lab designing bracelets of Nth metal and black titanium.
Nia and Alex went “shopping” for bridesmaid’s ensembles—really, they met up with Kelly and Brainy and saw a movie. Brainy created a fake website for the RSVPs from their fake guestlist. Kelly “made calls” to florists and party rental companies.
On the day of what was allegedly their joint bachelorette party, Sam few into town—sans Ruby, who couldn’t get away from college—and arrived at Kara and Lena’s shared penthouse, elated by their union and ready to catch up with the rest of the gang.
Everyone agreed to meet at the Tower, which Kara found slightly odd, but she shook it off; of all the strange things that had happened in their lives, meeting at the Tower was possibly the lowest on the list.
It’s not until they’d taken off and were hurtling through space that Kara realized something was amiss.
“Um, guys…” Kara looked around at the group, curiously. No one seemed to want to make eye contact. “I thought we were going to Al’s?”
Lena glided over to her and wrapped an arm around Kara’s waist, resting the other lightly on her chest as she leaned up and ghosted her lips over Kara’s.
“There’s been a slight change of plans, darling,” she whispered and then pressed a proper kiss to pillowy lips.
Kara’s brow furrowed as her arms encircled her wife. “What are you up to, Lena Luthor?”
“You’ll see,” was the only reply she received, along with a tap to the tip of her nose.
And see, she did…
They arrived to Argo City ten minutes later, greeted by her parents (including Eliza), some of their family friends, as well as Lois and Clark.
Kara and Lena were instantly whisked away to their dressing rooms; Alex, Lois, and Alura helped Kara get ready and Nia, Sam, and Kelly helped Lena.
Brainy, J’onn, M’gann, Zor-El, and Clark set about the last-minute setup, including gathering all of the food Lena had delivered to the tower just prior to departing.
The ceremony was held in Argo City’s finest garden—a plush white carpet lined the center aisle with chairs for guests on either side.
Zor-El stood on a platform, centered behind the altar, ready to act as the officiant.
Kara, dressed in scarlet red robes with the House of El emblem embroidered on the chest, her hair down and loosely curled halfway down, stood under an altar which was adorned with three types of flowers: bunches of lavender, to symbolize devotion; purple irises, to symbolize hope; gardenias, to symbolize love. Alex and Alura stood next to her, in robes a shade darker, steadfast and radiating nothing but love, pride, and support.
As the music began and Nia and Sam made their way down the aisle, outfitted in Carolina blue dresses, Kara took a deep breath and closed her eyes.
“Kara, what are you-” Alex whispered harshly before Kara cut her off.
“Preparing myself for possibly the most beautiful sight I will ever see,” she replied, letting out a deep exhale.
When she heard the guests stand from their chairs, she knew that was her cue to open her eyes and to see her future. The sight did not disappoint.
There, on J’onn’s arm, was Lena in a sapphire blue dress, a smaller version of the family crest adorned on the chest, with a cape flowing behind her—hair straight and parted on the right, with a braid of medium width on both sides—and a shy smile.
“Rao,” she breathed out quietly.
The closer Lena got, the harder it was for Kara to see her—her eyes were filled with tears. Her heart slammed in her chest.
If this is how I die, so be it.
When J’onn kissed Lena’s cheek, and then Kara’s, and placed Lena’s hand in hers, the tears finally fell.
Lena took in every detail of Kara’s eyes. The way they crinkled with her smile as Lena wiped away an errant tear; the color, so bold and gorgeous and strong, reflecting the love in her heart…steel blue.
Always living up to her nickname, Lena laughed to herself.
Zor-El signaled for the guests to be seated and then began the ceremony.
“Family, friends, honored guests; welcome to the celebration of true love and commitment. Marriage is not a bond Kryptonians enter into lightly; it is for life. No matter the struggle or the hardship, the elation or the good fortune, you are in it together.” He looked at them, stern but encouraging. “Do you both understand this?”
They nodded and quietly replied in agreeance.
“Very well, then. In the name of truth and honor, I declare the marriage vows binding upon you! From this day forward, throughout all time and space, even unto eternity, two souls become one. Do we have the tokens?”
Kara’s eyes widened to a hilarious size as her mouth dropped in horrified realization.
“We don’t have-” she started, but Alex tapped her shoulder with a black box.
Kara took it with shaking hands and looked at Alex in disbelief.
“Your wife’s been planning this for weeks; you think she wouldn’t have every detail covered?” Alex winked.
Kara’s attention whipped back to Lena, who was handed a matching box by Sam, and looked at Kara with an innocent smile.
They opened their boxes and Kara lightly gasped at the sight of Lena’s creation—two bands of dark metal, bent and curved created the cuff, and in the middle, two loops of what appeared to be gold—Kara shortly after found out it was titanium and Nth metal—joined together; an unbreakable bond.
“Lena,” Kara started, but had to swallow some emotion; lest she be a sobbing, unintelligible mess throughout her vows. “From the moment we met, I knew you were going to do great things. I saw your heart, I saw the good that radiated from your entire being, and I just knew I needed to be a part of your life in any way possible. It took quite a while for my mind to catch up to my heart, but once I realized how inextricably our lives and fates had become, and just how deeply I loved you, there was no turning back.” She paused again, sniffling a little.
“I once told you that you would never lose me, that I would always be here and that I would always protect you. I must add to that, even though it goes without saying, that I will always love you, honor you, and support you. That is what I swear to you today and every day, for the rest of our lives. khap vrreiahv.”
Lena wiped away a few tears of her own, smiling at the memories Kara’s words had stirred and hearing her speak her native language.
“Kara, you have been the greatest gift I’ve ever been lucky enough to receive. I don’t know what I did to deserve someone like you, but if I ever find out, I will do it a million more times to insure you’re always around. From the second you stepped foot into my office that first time, you were adamant; confident; positive. Despite my best efforts and repeated declinations, you continued to pursue a true and genuine friendship with me. You are the literal personification of, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”” Lena paused at the chuckles that rippled through the crowd and felt her heart warm at the sight of Kara’s blush.
“And, darling, I am so glad for that. I was too stubborn to get out of my own way, at first. If you hadn’t pushed me, we wouldn’t be here today. We have had our share of struggles, of distrust…but we’ve overcome it all. As you’ve said countless times, El mayarah; stronger together. I feel like I have loved you forever; that in any and every lifetime, we will always find one another. We are fate and destiny. I will love you until my dying breath, and into the great beyond. Kahp zhao rrip.”
The way Kara’s eyes darkened to the point where Lena couldn’t tell where the iris ended and the pupil began after she said “I love you” in Kryptonese almost made her knees buckle. Kara looked ready to devour her right then and there.
Instead, they exchanged bracelets and Zor-El went on to finish the ceremony.
“Inah,” he said, looking at Kara and then shifted his gaze to Lena. “Inahmin. You have both made me so proud today.” He gave them both a warm smile before addressing everyone. “Made wives this day, and for all days hence, may the countenance of Rao ever shine on you.”
The guests erupted into applause as they shared an appropriately long (but passionate) kiss.
As they walked hand in hand down the aisle, Kara leaned over to Lena’s ear and whispered, “Thank you for the best day and surprise of my life.”
Lena brought their joined hands to her lips and lightly kissed the back of Kara’s hand before she coyly replied, “Just wait ‘til I get out of this dress.”
Kara nearly fell flat on her face at the same time a strangled yelp tried to escape her throat.
Two years after the wedding…
When the topic of starting a family inevitably came up, they agreed to start slow—they went to the rescue and adopted a dog; a medium sized mixed breed with patches of brown and black on mostly white fur who instantly took a liking to Kara and was…indifferent, at best, towards Lena.
“He hates me,” Lena pouted on their way to the pet store to buy supplies.
“Patrick does not hate you,” Kara said from the backseat where she scratched lightly at the dog’s head. “Do you boy? No, you don’t. You love both your mommies! Yes, you do! Yes, you do!”
Kara’s voice had taken on a rough edge and a goofy tone that made Lena both laugh and roll her eyes.
She met Kara’s eyes in the rearview mirror briefly. “Can I ask why you wanted to name him Patrick so badly?”
“Because of Emily Blunt,” Kara replied, easily.
Lena was quiet for a moment, racked her brain to figure out what Kara meant, but came up short.
Kara lifted the pooch up and applied a terrible British accent. “I have Patrick!”
Somewhere, in the deep recesses of Lena’s brain, something clicked.
“Devil Wears Prada. Got it…”
Kara leaned forward, Patrick still in her arms, and softly kissed Lena’s cheek. Patrick whimpered and licked the spot Kara had just pecked.
“Aww, see, babe? He totally loves you!”
Lena groaned and grabbed for a napkin to wipe the dog slobber off. But honestly? She was endeared.
A few months into being a family of three, Kara had noticed a dramatic shift—while Patrick was always happy to see her when she got home and enjoyed their play time, he definitely favored Lena.
“He totally likes you better, now,” Kara huffed and sat down at the kitchen island.
Lena, who was preparing Patrick’s dinner (aka opening a bag of The Farmer’s Dog), looked back at Kara with a raised eyebrow and a wry smile.
“Patrick Jacob loves us equally,” she rebutted, setting the bowl down and patting the dog’s side a few times. “He just gets sad when you have to take off at all hours without him.” Lena rounded the island and wrapped her arms around Kara’s shoulders, pressing her forehead to Kara’s temple and closing her eyes. “We have that in common…” she quietly trailed off.
Kara’s eyes drifted shut at the low tone of Lena’s voice as her arms went around her wife’s waist and she rubbed the small of Lena’s back.
“You know I always miss you guys when I’m out there. I’m always thinking of you…”
“We know,” Lena answered. She let a moment of silence pass between them before… “You know, he always passes out after dinner. We have time to- Oof! Kara!” Lena shrieked as Kara lifted her up and threw her over her shoulder and took off to their bedroom.
She didn’t need to be told twice.
Eventually, they decided they wanted to expand their family again. Lena’s foundation was practically running itself and Kara’s job at CatCo was more than secure with her multiple Pulitzers. It felt like the right time. They were ready.
They made an appointment with Kelly, who by that point was the lead case manager in her department.
“So, you think you’re ready for a non-fur child?” Kelly teased as they entered her office and sat down.
“We’d like to think so, yes,” Lena smiled, pulling out a legal pad and a pen, just in case she needed to take notes. “Our work lives have calmed down enough that we feel we finally have the proper time and energy to devote to giving a child a loving home.”
“You know you don’t have to be so perfect, right?” Kara said softly, gently patting Lena’s knee. “It’s Kelly. She knows us. The interview is a formality.”
Lena felt her cheeks flush. “I know. Force of habit, I guess. Years in boardrooms, and all that.”
“It’s completely ok, Lena,” Kelly responded, trying to ease the obvious nervousness. “Kara’s right, this part is just a formality. I know you guys will make amazing parents. And, if it makes you feel any better, you’ll be filling out a bunch of paperwork for most of this meeting, anyway.”
“Oh, good!” Lena felt the tension melt from her shoulders, a big smile graced her lips. “Something I definitely can handle.”
They talked for a while more and described their own histories with adoption as Kelly took notes for their official file. The conversation was like any other they had in more casual settings; Lena could easily see why Kelly was practically running her department. She just had a knack for making people feel at ease, like they could share their deepest secrets and no confidence would be broken.
As Kara and Lena filled out the basic background information packet, Kelly had a few more questions for them.
“Ok, so do you guys have a preference for gender?”
“No,” the couple replied in unison, not even looking up from their paperwork.
They really didn’t care, so long as the match was right.
“And what about age?”
“As long as they’re potty trained,” Lena deadpanned.
“Babe,” Kara snorted, lightly slapping Lena’s arm.
“I’m serious! You know I’m serious,” Lena yelped, looking between Kelly and Kara. “That was part of the reason why we didn’t do IVF. Babies are a lot of work! And with your…other job, it would be me doing all of the late-night care.”
Kara hummed and Kelly nodded, Lena had some points.
“How about no one younger than four?” Kelly supplied.
“Yeah, that sounds good,” Kara nodded.
As they finished their paperwork, Kelly gathered all their materials and placed them into an official case folder.
“Now, we’ll schedule a preliminary home visit, to make sure your place is suitable for a young child. We’ll also need a copy of your most recent tax return, copies of your birth certificates and marriage certificate. And a few letters of recommendation attesting to your capacity to adopt. In the meantime, I’ll start looking through our cases to see if we can find a good match!”
“Thank you for your time, Kelly. We really appreciate it,” Lena said, shaking Kelly’s hand.
Kara chuckled and pulled Kelly into a hug, “Thanks, Kelly. Are we still on for dinner Friday? I promise, Lena won’t be so formal then.”
Lena swatted at Kara’s arm and shook her head when Kara feigned being hurt.
Months went by with no luck. Kelly kept trying to reassure them that the process took time and that it would happen eventually; to not lose hope.
Lena rubbed Kara’s back soothingly one particularly emotional day.
“If nothing else, we’ll get another dog.”
“You promise?” Kara sniffled, looking at her wife through watery eyes.
Lena crossed her heart, “I promise.”
Kara nodded and loudly blew her nose.
They were out walking Patrick on a rainy Sunday afternoon in October when they finally got the call.
“Hey, Kelly. What’s going on?” Kara said, fumbling with her phone to put it on speaker, as well as the leash and the umbrella handle.
Lena grabbed the leash without breaking stride and accepted the gentle kiss Kara pressed to her cheek in thanks.
Kelly’s cheery voice danced out of the phone. “Hey, Kara! Is Lena there with you?”
“Good morning, Kelly,” Lena chimed.
“I’ve got some really exciting news for you guys. We may have a match for you—a little girl; four years old. We just received her case. Can you guys meet me at the group home on Baker tomorrow, mid-morning?”
“Yes!” they yelled together, trying not to trip as they stopped abruptly at Kelly’s words.
Patrick certainly didn’t appreciate having his leash tugged back, but he seemed to get over it quickly enough when Kara leaned down and scratched his head.
Lena cleared her throat, “Sorry, Kelly. Yes, we’ll be there.”
“Great, I’ll text you guys the details. This is really exciting! See you tomorrow.”
As Kara pocketed her phone, she let out a heavy breath.
“I don’t want to get my hopes up, but…”
Lena ran her free hand up and down Kara’s arm, “I know, darling. If it’s meant to be, it’ll work out.”
She leaned in and gave her wife a warm kiss, gently cupping her cheek and running her thumb over Kara’s cheekbone.
When Kara pulled back, she leaned her forehead against Lena’s, their eyes closed. Just trying to stay positive and calm.
Kelly was outside on the porch when they arrived, a warm smile on her face and a file in her hands. She gave them each a quick hug.
“Thank you for coming. I know it was slightly short notice, but as soon as I saw her file, I thought you guys might be the perfect fit for each other.”
“It was really no trouble, Kelly. We appreciate all the hard work you’ve done in this search,” Lena said.
“It’s my pleasure, really. I love helping these kids and if I can also help out family, then it’s an even better bonus!”
Kara looked at the front door nervously.
“So, she’s in there, huh?”
“Yep, she sure is. Her name is Lori. Are you guys ready?” she asked, a hand on each of their shoulders.
“As ready as we’ll ever be,” Kara answered, her voice shaking a little.
Kelly nodded and led them inside. They were greeted by several children of varying ages chasing one another through the living room and foyer and up the stairs. At Kara’s questioning look, Kelly shook her head and motioned for them to follow.
They entered what looked to be the formal living room and found only two children in there, at a chess board. A boy with reddish-brown hair, a striped t-shirt, and a pensive look plastered on his face as he contemplated his move that looked about ten years old by Kara’s estimation, faced them. The other, a little girl, had long and wavy jet-black hair and sat patiently.
The boy finally made his move but not even five seconds later, the girl made hers and called out, “Checkmate!”
“Dang it!” the boy sighed. “Let’s play again. I’m gonna beat you one of these times!”
“Maybe later, Theo. Miss Olsen is here,” the little girl said, not even turning around.
Kelly waved as Theo realized they had visitors. “Oh, sorry, Miss Olsen!”
“That’s quite alright, Theo. Do you mind if we have some time with Lori?”
“Nah, that’s ok. I think I need a snack break anyway,” he smiled and headed to the kitchen.
Kelly walked over to the table as Lori quietly reset the pieces, Kara and Lena stayed back.
“Hi, sweetie. There are some people I’d like you to meet, if that’s ok?”
“Yes, that would be ok. But I do want to join Theo for a snack. Winning always makes me hungry.”
Lori hopped off the chair and finally faced the rest of her visitors.
The double inhale coupled by Lena clutching her nonexistent pearls while Kara seized her other hand was just the priceless reaction Kelly had anticipated.
Standing there was the perfect blend of each of them—Lori’s blue eyes rivaled Kara’s in expressiveness; her hair and pallor were comparable to Lena’s; she was obviously gifted, given her chess acumen; and don’t even get Kara started on the “Winning makes me hungry” comment…
They were taken immediately. Lori was polite, well spoken, and whip-smart. Precocious, one might say.
“How do you feel about dogs, Lori?” Kara asked.
Lori pondered a moment, her small finger tapping at her closed lips.
“Well, I’ve never had one personally, but I think I’d enjoy it. They’re good for hugging, soft and cuddly. As long as it wasn’t really big. Have to be able to lift it off me in case I need to use the bathroom,” she grinned.
They spent a little while longer together before it was time to go.
As they said goodbye, Lori crooked her finger several times, indicating that she wanted Kara and Lena to lean closer.
“I just want you guys to know, you’re the nicest people who’ve come to meet me. Thank you,” she told them quietly. “Oh, and I’m kind of a telepath/psychic, so I already know how this ends,” she winked and skipped off to find her snack.
Kara was flabbergasted while Lena let out a deep belly laugh.
“Oh, this is going to be fun,” she said, her hand pressed against her forehead.
They filled out the application and put in a call to the top adoption attorney in the city that afternoon.
Even with Kelly’s forethought and help to get documentation and home studies done ahead of time, it still took another four months for Kara and Lena to be granted adoption for Lori.
During that time, they visited her several times a week and really got to know her. They started off easy; asked about her likes and dislikes, her favorite things. Lori shared that her father had been teaching her chess, and since she’d been in the group home, she’d taken to learning more about it online. That bit of information then led to the reveal that her parents—both only children—had tragically passed in a car accident earlier in the year, and she had no living grandparents to take her in. It seemed that by chance (or, perhaps, fate), her case made its way to Kelly’s desk.
They had her pick out the color of her room—a sensible blueish green from Sherwin-Williams called “Eventide.” They let her pick what kind of bedroom set she wanted—she chose a platform bed with a flat headboard in a very light (nearly white) wood tone from “grown up” Pottery Barn. No PB Kids or Teen for her, thank you very much.
With Kelly, they took her to the park where they met up with Brainy and Nia.
When Lena mentioned how smart Lori was, and how she was very good at chess, Brainy felt the need to see for himself. So, they sat down at an empty board.
“Based on age and life experience, I calculate a 98% chance of victory for myself.”
“Brainy, are you sure about this?” Lena questioned, hiding the smile that tried to spread on her face.
“I’m a 12th level intellect, Lena. I think I’ll be fine,” he scoffed with a shake of his head.
“If you say so…” she trailed off in warning and sent Lori a discreet thumbs up.
The game was over within ten minutes.
“Sprock!” Brainy cried out in frustration and disbelief.
“Thank you for the match, Brainy,” Lori said kindly as she held out her little hand and waited.
He regarded her for a moment before nodding and shaking her hand.
“A good match, indeed, Lori. I shall look forward to many more in the future.” He stood from the table and looked to Lena and Kara, placing a hand on their shoulders. “She’ll be a wonderful addition to the team. Congratulations to you all,” he smiled and then whispered to Nia, “Can we please go get donuts to soothe my bruised ego?”
Nia whispered an “of course” back and patted his chest.
She knelt down next to Lori and rested a hand lightly on the girl’s knee. “Well, little miss, it was wonderful to meet you, finally! I’m excited to hang out with you more often.”
“Me too, Nia. Maybe you can show me some of your dream energy powers, sometime!”
Nia’s eyes widened and her mouth dropped open. She looked around the entire group. “How did she-”
“Oh, did we forget to mention Lori is a telepath?” Kara laughed and scratched the back of her neck, a guilty look on her face.
“I’ve been had!” Brainy cried out again, an accusatory finger going in Lena’s direction. “This was a setup!”
She held up her hands and took a small step back. “I can assure you, Brainy. Lori would never use her powers in chess.” Lena glanced over to Lori. “Isn’t that right, sweetheart?”
“A thousand percent right,” she responded, crossing her arms and nodding resolutely.
The first night Lori’s finally in the apartment, Kara gets called away on Supergirl business.
“I’m so sorry, sweetie,” Kara said kneeling in front of her (now, officially) daughter. “I’ll be home as soon as I can, I promise!”
She stood and cupped Lena’s cheek. “I promise,” she repeated, softer, before she leaned in for a kiss.
Below them, Lori made mocking kissing noises. They pulled back and looked down, smiles playing on previously occupied lips.
“Oh, is that how it’s going to be?” Kara questions, her eyes lighting up like an electrical storm, reaching out for Lori. She picked her up with ease and cradled her gently before attacking her with kisses to the face. Lori screeched and squealed with delight and Patrick barked and jumped with excitement below them.
Lena felt warmth bloom in her chest at the sight as laughter bubbled out of her.
Kara nearly forgot about the emergency call until Alex piped up in her earpiece again.
“Ok, L.L. Cool Bean,” Kara used the new nickname she was trying out as she set Lori back down. “You ready to see something cool?”
“Yes, please!” Lori clapped eagerly.
Kara pulled off her glasses and her suit began to appear.
“Woooow.” Lori was amazed. She carefully came over and poked at the suit, ran her fingers over the fibers. “You really are her!”
“I am!” Kara beamed. “I have to go now, before your Aunt Alex has a cow-”
“I heard that, Kara,” Alex responded over comms.
“Oops…” Kara winked at Lori. “Be back soon.”
Lena and Lori watched as Kara took off from the balcony.
“What do you say we get you ready for bed and we read for a little while?” Lena suggested. “Maybe some Peter Pan?”
“Sounds good to me!”
Lori bounded down the hallway to the bathroom to brush her teeth and Lena followed after her, sporting a toothy smile.
When Kara finally arrived home hours later, she reeked of acrid smoke. The original call had been for a warehouse fire, but the flames had quickly jumped to several other buildings that had various chemicals stored inside and containing it without a massive explosion had been a massive effort. By the time it was out, it was nearly 2 a.m.
She slipped into the penthouse as quietly as she could, locked the sliding door, and headed straight for the guest bathroom for a quick, but necessary shower. She would have used the en suite, but she didn’t want to risk waking Lena.
She headed to their bedroom to change into some pjs and was surprised to find the room empty, the bed untouched.
Kara’s brow furrowed and she listened carefully for a moment.
Two heartbeats, normal rhythms.
She let out a breath and fished out her pajamas from the dresser. Once fully clothed, she headed for Lori’s room and noticed that there was still a light on.
The sight that welcomed Kara made her chest tighten in the best possible way.
Lena and Lori, over and under the covers respectively, fast asleep with Lena’s copy of Peter Pan next to them. Lori was curled into Lena’s side and Lena had her arms wrapped around Lori’s tiny shoulders. Patrick was splayed out at the bottom edge of the bed.
Kara didn’t even realize she had started crying until she felt one of her tears hit her bare foot. She quickly wiped at her cheeks and eyes and took a steadying breath.
“Hey, you,” she heard Lena whisper.
She looked back at the bed and saw Lena’s sleepy smile and barely cracked eyes; that was her cue to come closer.
“Hey,” Kara returned faintly and pressed a kiss to Lena’s forehead.
“Everything ok?” Lena inquired, her hand finding Kara’s instantly.
“Yeah… Just a long night.” She looked at Lori’s sleeping face—her mouth slightly open, her eyebrows knitted in what seemed to be concentration—then back to her wife. “Glad to be home,” she sighed.
“Momma, Patrick and I are trying to sleep,” Lori tiredly grumbled out, her eyes still closed. “Please either join Mom and us and also go to sleep, or…” she trailed off, slurring the rest of her thoughts as dreamland called her back.
What she didn’t see (but Lena did, because their eyes shot right to each other’s) was how Kara’s eyes rapidly refilled with tears. Lena reached out, her thumb wiping away stray drops as they fell.
“She called us mom!” Kara’s voice wavered through the feelings.
She was over the moon. The blue that normally had a grey tinge to it had shifted to a vivid cerulean; her eyes practically glowed with love and elation.
Lena couldn’t believe this was how her life had turned out. Four-year-old her would never have believed it. Hell, Twenty-Five-year-old her probably wouldn’t have believed it either.
They fell asleep as a family of four; Kara and Lena bookending their daughter, and their faithful pooch, still dead to the world at the end of the bed.