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Semi-Charmed Kinda Life

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Happiness is a funny thing. It’s different for everyone. It can mean a lot of different things. Some people find happiness in the smallest things; others find them only in the biggest. Some people, if they’re lucky, feel it for a good amount of their lives; others rarely feel it at all.

Kara considers herself one of the lucky people. She’s felt happy a good chunk of her life.

She felt it on Krypton, with her parents under Rao’s light. She felt it in the hours she spent studying the various sciences and maths. She felt it on the special trips to the Fire Falls and Jewel Mountain and every passing glimpse of Rainbow Canyon.

She’s felt it on Earth so many times she’s lost count. Whether it was finally reuniting with [a very grown up] Kal or the sense of unconditional love from the Danvers’. The first time that she flew wasn’t half bad, either.

And none of that even includes the first time she had potstickers. Oh, man…

Happiness is in the winning of a Pulitzer, but also in karaoke nights at Al’s. It’s in sister nights with Alex (and, eventually, Kelly) and in game nights with her friends. It’s in Eliza’s chocolate pecan pie, but also in seeing each person she’s come to know, care for, and love grow into exactly who they were meant to be; in celebrating both their successes and their failures, because that’s where you learn the most.

Kara lets out a quiet exhale, her hands tucked behind her head as she relaxes deeper into the mattress. Her bare chest peeks out from the sheet and quilt that cover it as moonlight streams in through the window.

The sound of a low, sleep riddled grumble coming from her right causes a large smile to slowly spread across her face while she turns to look at its source.

She shifts softly to turn onto her side, trailing her fingertip lightly over a crinkled forehead, soothing the deep crease between perfectly manicured eyebrows, down the slope of a nose she’s affectionately kissed so many times, across cheeks and a jawline so firm it rivals her own…only to ghost over lips she’s worshiped, both privately and in public, for what seems like forever.

It’s here, in the quiet of the late hours, that Kara is truly happiest. Peacefully in bed with Lena, allowing her wife’s heartbeat to lull her back to sleep.

---

Happiness is a funny thing. It’s different for everyone. It can mean a lot of different things. Some people find happiness in the smallest things; others find them only in the biggest. Some people, if they’re lucky, feel it for a good amount of their lives; others rarely feel it at all.

Lena’s never considered herself lucky. She’s only felt truly happy maybe a handful or so times in her life.

She felt it with her mother, Elizabeth, but it was fleeting. Death tends to be a bit of a downer, even for a four-year-old.

She felt it with Lex…until she realized just how self-serving and transactional his “love” for her was; and how truly twisted his endgame. Again, fleeting.

She felt it when she finally had the opportunity to right the ship at LCorp; make the Luthor name into something that stood for good, rather than evil and corruption. Of course, Lex had to go and take that from her, too, with his literal rewriting of history. The bastard.

The times happiness lasts include her graduations for her doctorate degrees, having Sam and Ruby permanently back in her life, and feeling like a genuine part of the Superfriends.

Her biggest source of lasting happiness, though, is Kara. It started off small, with her showing up to Lena’s first press conference; caring enough, even then, to give Lena a chance (and warn her what a big risk she was taking.) She followed with her kind article in CatCo Magazine.

Lena hadn’t come to National City looking to make friends, but damn…she lucked out with Kara. And again, Lena has never considered herself lucky. Just in this instance.

Sure, they had ups and downs with secrets and lies—what friendship doesn’t have its tumultuous times? But they never, not once, stopped caring for each other. Deep down, even at their maddest, most frustrated, most hurt they knew they would come back together.

Lena never guessed (never dared to dream) that would mean together together. When Kara finally returned from the Phantom Zone, she finally came to the realization that her feelings for Lena were more than platonic. Their first kiss came out of nowhere, in Lena’s opinion.

They were out on a mission, searching for Nyxly and leads on a totem in the park with William in tow—he was working on one of his CatCo assignments in his special series where he embedded himself with the Superfriends—when Kara stopped suddenly and dragged her into a crop of trees and bushes.

Lena gave her a questioning look, but Kara merely smiled and tucked a piece of hair that had come loose from her one of her braids behind her ear, then let her hand linger on Lena’s cheek.

“Kara, what are you-” Lena tried to ask, but she was cut off suddenly by Kara’s lips on her own. Her heart nearly exploded—it was something she’d known she wanted for years, but had no idea just how wonderful it would be to experience. The surprised (but happy) noise that contact ripped from her throat must have tipped William off that they were no longer following him because the next thing Lena knew, he was calling out for them, Kara had stepped away and tugged her back onto the sidewalk.

“Sorry, William. Lena tripped and her book went flying. We were just trying to find it!”

Lena felt the blush that was rushing up to her cheeks so she looked down, one hand in her back pocket and the other’s thumb running slowly over lips that still tingled as a smirk formed.

Since then, Lena has more happy days than bad ones.

Happiness is dinners and brunches with Kelly and Alex. It’s game nights with the entire team. It’s weekend trips with Kara to see Sam and Ruby in Metropolis. Happiness is starting the Lena Luthor Foundation to finally do all the good she set out to do. It’s long hours of research and tech development with Brainy. It’s training with Nia. It’s long, introspective talks with J’onn. It’s listening to M’gann’s stories of Martian revolution and restorative peace.

Happiness is finally marrying Kara.

She’s happiest, though, in the quiet hours of the night. Whether they’re on the couch together—Kara’s head in Lena’s lap as Lena mindlessly plays with Kara’s hair as she reads or Lena’s legs across Kara’s lap as Kara rubs her feet and legs free of the tension that years of wearing high heels has wrought—or in bed, just before they fall asleep, with Lena’s head on her wife’s chest; the sound of Kara’s steady heartbeat and deep, even breaths acting as her personal lullaby.

This is when Lena is happiest. This is when Lena feels peace.

Chapter Text

“Alex, you have to tell me.”

“No, Kara, I don’t.”

Alex walked away for what felt like the hundredth time that afternoon, trying to find any path of escape. Unfortunately, Kara had superspeed. Damn, Kryptonians…

“Alex, what is the point of having an unbreakable sisterly bond if you don’t tell me important information?!”

Alex raised an eyebrow at the tone of petulance in Kara’s voice. Her sister had never once, in all the years they’d been together, thrown anything close to a temper tantrum. But maybe age 34 would be her first…

“Sorry,” Kara breathed out and flopped down on Alex and Kelly’s couch. “It’s just…” she paused, her face contorting in obvious anguish before looking to her sister with sad, scared eyes. “Lena’s been acting so strangely lately. What if- What if she’s cheating on me?” Kara was borderline near tears. “Oh, Rao. What if she’s going to break up with me?”

Alex rubbed at her forehead and sat down next to Kara.

“Hey, come on, Lena would be crazy to break up with you,” she said, rubbing a supportive hand up and down Kara’s back while Kara leaned forward, pensive.

“But how do you know, Alex?”

Alex moved to wrap her sister in a gentle hug. “Because I know you and after all these years, I’d like to think I know her. You guys danced around each other and your feelings for so long that when you finally did get together, the rest of us could all finally breathe.”

Kara snorted derisively and lightly elbowed Alex’s side. “Shut up, we weren’t that bad…”

“Says you…” Alex mocked under her breath, knowing full well Kara would hear her.

She shot up off the couch to avoid another elbow.

“Look, all I’m saying is give her the benefit of the doubt, ok? You guys have been together for nearly three years, now.”

“Yeah, maybe you’re right…” Kara trailed off, still looking pained. She stood from the couch and grabbed her coat, heading for the door. “It just feels like she’s keeping some huge secret from me and I hate it. If there’s a problem, I want to help her solve it, you know?”

“I know, kiddo,” Alex replied as she wrapped Kara in one last hug. “Just give her a little time, she’ll come to you when she’s ready.”

Kara nodded and headed out the door.

---

The next two weeks weren’t great for Kara. Every time she tried to get Lena to talk to her, to open up, Lena shut her down or blew her off.

“Everything’s fine, just administrative issues at the foundation.”

“Kara, please. I’ve had a long day fighting with the board about project funding, I really don’t want to talk about it.”

“I’m sorry, darling, but I can’t talk right now. It’s a bad time and I’m being called away.”

If Lena was texting on her phone and Kara came up behind her, she would lock it and set it screen side down. If she was on a call and she saw Kara approaching, she’d hang up. Kara would never listen in on phone calls and she would never read texts, but she would be lying if she said the thought didn’t cross her mind more than once.

She tried to allow Alex’s words to calm her worried mind. Lena had more than earned Kara’s patience and trust, and she also knew how much work and massive emotional burdens Lena would often take on alone, to the detriment of her own wellbeing.

Some days, though, it was harder than others. So, it was made into Alex’s problem.

---

It was late and Lena was still out in the kitchen working on a proposal. Kara had tried to coax her to bed, but she shook off the advances. Discouraged and a little hurt, Kara headed down the hall and to the bedroom.

She took a long shower, hoping that by the time she finished her moisturizing and brushing and flossing that Lena would at least be in the closet pulling out pajamas, but she was nowhere in sight. Kara peeked out in the hall and saw the living room and kitchen lights were still on; it would be a while, it seemed.

Unable to stand it any longer, the anxiety gnawing at her stomach, Kara took to her phone.

Alex, you there?

Yeah, what’s up?

You tell me

Tell you what?

Tell me what’s up

Kara, YOU texted ME

Alex, stop being obtuse! You know what I mean!!!

Smh, seriously? You’re still on this?

YES! Tell me you wouldn’t be acting the same way if Kelly was acting weird…

Well, Kelly and I are grown ups who have adult conversations together. So, no. I wouldn’t.

You’re the worst sister ever. I can’t believe you won’t tell me what’s going on.

Omg I’m sorry I didn’t mean that. You’re not the worst sister, you’re the best sister. I love you so, so much. I’msorryi’msorryi’msorry I will buy you coffee tomorrow.

Kara, I promise. Whatever is going on, it will be ok. I gave Lena a fanTASTIC shovel talk, remember? Now try to get some sleep. I love you, too.

Also, I want a muffin with my coffee. Blueberry. G’night!

Kara let out a tiny laugh and flipped her phone over and turned out the lamp on her nightstand.

If Lena wasn’t going to get much sleep, at least Kara could attempt to.

---

When they finally did get a chance for some quality one-on-one time, Lena suggested they go to dinner; Domenico’s, their favorite Italian place.

Throughout the meal, Kara felt like she was on a roller coaster. One minute Lena was looking at her adoringly, the next she was darting her eyes around the restaurant. Lena would reach out for Kara’s hand, running her thumb slowly across Kara’s knuckles, and then she would retract and rub her palms along her pants. Kara could hear how rapidly Lena’s heart was beating, and how often she tried to slow it with deep breaths.

Several times Kara did her own scan of the restaurant, trying to ascertain what was putting Lena so on edge, but couldn’t figure it out.

The conversation never lulled or was stilted. In fact, it was one of the best they’d ever had. Lena caught her up on all the happenings at the foundation and she eagerly asked Kara about the stories she was covering, pestering her for a preview. Still, it seemed as though her attention was split.

By the time their desserts arrived—tiramisu and cannoli—Kara’s stomach was so fraught with nerves, she wasn’t sure if she could actually eat any more. (Truly an alarming development.) Her mind was so preoccupied, she was ready to go home and have a moment of quiet. And, of course, the violinist decided to pick that moment to play closer to their table.

So, when Lena took a deep breath and slid out of her chair and onto one knee, looking up at Kara with bright eyes, Kara followed.

“Haha, what are we doing? Did you drop your fork?” Kara joked awkwardly and lifted the tablecloth.

“Oh, my god, Kara…” Lena’s hand flew up to her face and dragged down. She looked back into Kara’s eyes and laughed softly as tears sprung from her own. “Darling, please get back in your chair so I can propose.”

Kara’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. “Pro- Propose?!”

“Propose,” she replied, pulling a ring box from her jacket pocket.

Kara inhaled deeply and slapped (lightly, naturally) Lena’s arm as she laughed, also crying. “I thought you were going to break up with me or something!” she said, reseating herself properly.

“Kara,” Lena gasped. “After everything we’ve been through? I’d be stupid to ever let you go!”

“That’s what I told her,” came Alex’s voice from behind Kara.

Kara whipped her head around to see her sister and their friends all spread out around the restaurant, their phones out and capturing the moment from various angles.

“Oh, Rao…” she groaned and covered her face which she assumed was redder than the marinara sauce. She’d never live this down.

“So, darling. What do you say?” Lena inquired, tugging at one of her wrists.

“I should say temporarily say no for what you put me through the past couple of weeks,” Kara started, a smirk forming on her lips. “But I guess I’ll say yes, even though I’m still mad.”

The smile on Lena’s face was so large and luminescent Kara would swear she felt her powers increase tenfold.

“You’re going to marry me just to spite me, huh?” Lena laughed.

“Yes,” Kara agreed, pulling Lena’s face closer to hers. “Exactly,” she whispered and pressed her lips to her fiancée’s.

The applause erupted around them as Lena slid the beautiful, but understated ring onto Kara’s finger.

“This will definitely be a story for the grandkids, one day,” Lena whispered with a kiss to Kara’s cheek.

Kara nodded, already gleefully picturing it.

Chapter Text

Lena has been to more therapists in her life than she can count. Growing up in the Luthor household essentially demanded it, if only for the sake of her own sanity.

Some were helpful, others were not. For Lena, access to quality mental health professionals was never in question thanks to the family’s immense wealth, but finding ones that were compatible was the struggle. Sometimes what felt like a good match at the beginning ended up being completely wrong. It was a lot like dating, in Lena’s opinion.

“That is not what I meant, sweetheart,” Lillian responds with a scoff.

Lena looks across the room at the woman in the armchair who has been frantically taking notes since they sat down. Lena’s counted at least eight page flips. “See, doctor? This is what I’m talking about!” She throws an accusatory hand up in Lillian’s direction.

Why Lena had thought Family Therapy would ever be beneficial, she had no idea.

Kara’s hopeless optimism seeping in, again, her brain shot back.

Ok, maybe she did have an idea.

Lena’s main therapist, Dr. Monroe, had given her the names of a few specialists and Kelly had been kind enough to recommend several more. Dr. Weissman happened to be the only one on both lists, so Lena scheduled an appointment.

The harried look on her face as she looks up from her notes suggested to Lena that she was probably regretting taking the appointment.

Lena made a mental note: I’ll make a point to send her some sort of thank you gift.

Dr. Weissman looks like she was about to interject when Lillian speaks again.

“Lena, you know I love you.”

Lena’s gaze returns to Lillian’s. “You love me, sure,” she starts. “But the problem is, you love Lex more.”

Lillian leans back against the couch, seemingly relaxing now that she’s got Lena’s full attention again.

“I have a soft spot for the underdog,” she replies, lifting a blasé upturned hand.

“Underdog?” Lena snorts in disbelief. Lillian gives her an unimpressed lift of her eyebrow at the unbecoming noise. “He’s a cisgendered, heterosexual white male who was born into immense privilege and wealth. He’s quite literally the opposite of an underdog.”

“I meant in comparison to you, dear,” Lillian rolls her eyes. “By now we all know that you are the superior Luthor offspring.” Lena’s retort dies in her throat at the compliment. “He’s always struggled with that and, as a mother, I try my best to be supportive of him and his dreams. You know male egos; more fragile than a porcelain doll.”

Lena feels her blood pressure rise at her comments, but maintains her composure. “His ‘dreams’ include genocide, brainwashing, and enslavement; I think those are lines that are more than ok not to cross when it comes to motherly support,” she shoots back. “I’d wager my trust fund that June Cleaver wouldn’t support Wally or the Beaver in those cases.”

Lena sees a small smirk tug at Lillian’s lips before it disappears and it feels like a tiny victory.

“I never claimed to be the perfect mother, Lena,” she responds more quietly than Lena expects. “Lord knows I didn’t do right by you, growing up. But I continue to try to do my best.”

“And that’s all we can really ask for right now, isn’t Lena?” Dr. Weissman nods encouragingly.

Lena begrudgingly nods in agreement.

“I think that’s a good stopping point, for now,” the doctor says and shakes out her writing hand. “Excellent work today!”

They set another appointment for the same time the following week.

Tentatively, Lena thinks.

---

When she gets home half an hour later, Lena sighs wearily against the door. She’s so tired mentally she swears she feels it in her bones.

“Hey you,” Kara says softly next to her.

Lena’s heart warms instantly. She hadn’t even felt a breeze from Kara’s superspeed. She cracks open an eye as a languid smile spreads along her face.

“Hello, darling.”

Lena practically throws herself into Kara’s strong and waiting arms and presses slow, gentle kisses across her face.

“How did it go?” Kara asks, slowly running her hands up and down Lena’s back.

“Mmm,” Lena hums out. “Don’t wanna talk about it right now.” She places a decisive kiss to Kara’s lips, her tongue immediately seeking entrance. (She grants it with a pleased hum of her own.)

After a few delicious minutes, Lena moves her lips down to Kara’s neck. She places long, warm kisses up and down each side.

“A-are you sure?” Kara’s voice is deeper, thicker than normal. Her grip gets tighter on Lena’s shirt.

“Mmmhmm,” Lena hums again against Kara’s pulse point. “Positive,” she whispers before she nips at her girlfriend’s neck before soothing the nonexistent mark with her tongue.

That’s all it takes for Kara to hook an arm around Lena’s shoulders and under her legs, cradling her like she’s a bride (like she’s done so many times in the air as Supergirl), and they’re off to the bedroom.

Lena definitely feels the superspeed breeze this time. Among many other sensations.

She’s not sure if the whole Family Therapy thing will work out, but if this is how she benefits afterwards? Well, she might stick it out for a few more sessions…

Chapter Text

Kara had sat on many couches in her life. Some have been in different cities or states or countries, and some have been on different planets, in different galaxies. Some have been old or lumpy; some have been brand new and luxurious. Others have been ripped, while others still have had awkward plastic covering over the top to keep the fabric pristine. Some, like the one in Lena’s LCorp office, have sentimental attachments for Kara.

She’d sat on therapist’s couches. She sat on couches next to complete strangers at parties. She was privileged enough to sit on couches across from dignitaries and Presidents and CEOs, grilling them for interviews. She’s had countless heart to hearts on couches with Alex, quite a lot with Lena, and even a few with Cat Grant.

She’d also done some…not so PG rated things on couches. (Those were stories for another, perhaps drunken, time.)

She’d had the futon she got in college, a hand-me-down from Alex when she moved into her apartment, and the one she bought (with a little monetary help from Eliza) after her first year at CatCo.

When she and Lena moved in together into an apartment that was a compromise (as Lena called it; Kara thought otherwise, but she loved it so much she definitely didn’t fight it) of their previous places—a three-bedroom (so Lena could have a home office and, as Lena said, “So Eliza has a place to stay when she comes into the city”), four-bathroom apartment near the top of a high-rise, close to midtown, so they’d be close to CatCo and Lena’s new office space—they decided to go furniture shopping for the bigger pieces, to make sure they were creating their home.

They’d sold most of their stuff as a way to consolidate, but both had kept a few pieces—a dresser or armoire, end tables, Kara’s coffee table, both their mattresses (they could put the spare in the guest bedroom), various décor pieces, etc.

They made their way hand in hand down the blocks of National City’s shopping district, glancing through the windows of various stores and discuss what they like and dislike.

Lena was pretty laid back and unpretentious, for the most part. Her face when Kara joked about picking up the sofa they saw on a curb with a free sign on it the only sign of “uptight.” Based on the furnishings in her old apartment, she tended to lean towards modernity; clean lines, solid colors—usually white or grey with small pops of color here and there—and lots of glass. Kara’s style leaned towards the eclectic and gently loved or refurbished; a mishmash of materials, lots of color and patterns, varying styles.

“We probably should have talked about this before we left, but what’s our budget for the couch?” Kara asked, mindlessly running her thumb over the back of Lena’s hand.

“Whatever you’re comfortable with, is fine with me.”

Kara’s face curled in confusion. That wasn’t an answer. She appreciated the sentiment, but Kara also liked to have specific figures to work with, so she could avoid things she knew she had absolutely no chance of buying.

“Ok. Let’s do this: we’ll take the average of how much you spent on your last one and how much I spent on my last one. So, how much was your last couch?”

There. A very sensible, responsible adult plan; Alex and Eliza would be so proud.

Lena glanced into another window and took a sip from the coffee cup in her non-held hand. “I don’t know, exactly. I hired an interior designer.”

After all the years they’d known each other, Kara could tell Lena was being elusive. So, she stopped and tugged Lena back to her.

“Lena,” Kara admonished in her best attempt at a stern voice. “How much?”

Lena sighed and rolled her eyes. “I don’t know. Something like…twentyfivethousand?” she mumbled quickly as she looked down.

Kara’s eyes bugged out of her head. “Did you say 25,000?”

Lena continued to avoid looking at her girlfriend and bit her lip. “I may have.”

“As in dollars?”

“Yes.”

“United State Dollars?”

“Yes, Kara.”

“Golly,” Kara breathed out and leaned against the clothing store she’d stopped them at.

“Darling,” Lena finally looked at Kara. She cupped both of Kara’s cheeks to get her to focus. “It’s really not that big of a deal. I sold it, remember?”

Kara shook her head. Logically, she knew that Lena’s furnishings were pricy. She knew that Lena (and the Luthor family) had more money than she would ever need; it’s why she gave so much away to charities and would stop by shelters and food banks regularly to write them checks. But just hearing someone she knew could spend that much on a couch? It was a little jarring.

“I know,” she replied with a reassuring smile and held Lena’s hands in hers. “I know. I’m fine, I promise. Just a ‘whoa’ moment, is all. But maybe let’s keep it lower than that, this time?”

Lena returned the smile and leaned up to give her a kiss. “It’s a deal.”

---

They went in and out of high-end and low-end and medium-priced stores. At one point, Kara [jokingly] suggested they just order from Ikea.

Lena gave a deadpanned reply of, “As much as I enjoy the sight of you in a tank top and shorts and the thought of you building furniture, I have to insist on minimal construction.”

That earned her a kiss on the cheek and a throatily whispered, “Noted.” Which, in turn, earned Kara the deep blush on Lena’s neck and cheeks she loved to cause in public.

Eventually, they wound up buying a modular set with dark grey covers—Kara insisted, because she couldn’t live with the constant anxiety over possibly staining a white or light grey sofa.

“It’s just too great a responsibility, Lena. We’d be spending all our money on trying to get it cleaned all the time.”

Lena couldn’t help the cackle that escaped her throat. To hear Kara Danvers, Supergirl, say that trying to keep a white sofa clean was too great of a responsibility…

“God, I love you,” she murmured against Kara’s lips.

“I love you, too,” Kara returned tenderly and nuzzled into Lena’s neck.

---

When the boxes arrived for their couch, Lena felt her anxiety level skyrocket and her hand flew to her forehead. For some reason, she hadn’t thought that modular furniture would mean that many pieces.

She let out a slow, stressed breath. “Maybe we should have just gotten Ikea furniture…”

Kara approached her from behind and slid her arms around Lena’s midsection, enjoying the feeling of Lena immediately relax into her.

“Don’t worry, babe. We can handle this. And if not…”

Lena had already started to roll her eyes, knowing exactly what was coming as soon as Kara trailed off, when Kara spun her around.

“Then it’s a job for Supergirl!”

Kara stood with her chest puffed out, her hands fisted up and perched on her hips, looking proud as ever…in her navy tank top and black running shorts.

“You’re absolutely corny, darling,” Lena smirked and playfully pushed a finger into Kara’s forehead. As she turned around to start unpacking the boxes, Kara latched onto her wrist and spun her back.

The surprised “Ooh!” shot out of Lena’s mouth before she could stop herself.

She wound up pressed against Kara’s front, her hands landing on Kara’s abdomen. They pushed delicately into strong muscle and she nearly felt her knees give out.

“Guess you’re into corny, then,” Kara replied in a low voice, dancing her fingers up Lena’s arms and playfully ghosting her lips around Lena’s before capturing them hungrily.

Kara ended up pulling back first and Lena was left dazed.

“I guess I am…” she shook her head to clear the fog that had settled in.

Kara bounced back over to one of the boxes, whipping out a box cutter and waggling her eyebrows.

“Race you?”

Lena scoffed, “That’s hardly fair. You have superspeed and are bulletproof. One slip of the blade on my hand and I’m forever maimed!”

The color drained from Kara’s face at the thought and she hurried back to Lena’s side, grabbing for her hands. She placed gentle kisses on each finger and then the palms, looking Lena directly in the eye as she did.

“These are priceless instruments. Honestly, they should be insured. Call Taylor Swift’s people and find out how she got her legs insured. Your fingers and hands are worth at least triple her legs and I will attest to that in court.”

“Not only are you corny, you’re incorrigible.” Lena laughed out as she pushed at Kara’s chest, knowing it was a pointless action. She started to walk to the kitchen to get some water, suddenly parched. “I swear, with the amount of inuendo that you use, you’d think we didn’t have a healthy sex life or that you were somehow left unsatisfied. And if your screams are anything to go by…”

“Oh, it’s not that I’m unsatisfied,” Kara countered, catching up to Lena with little effort and wrapping her arms around her girlfriend’s waist. She pressed a kiss to the underside of her jaw, nipping at the bone before she finished her thought. “It’s that I’m insatiable.”

She felt Lena shiver and turn slightly, her eyes had darkened considerably. A mischievous grin played on her lips.

“Then I guess you’d better get to work on that couch so we can test it out…”

If there had been a stopwatch going, Kara’s positive she broke the record for fastest assembly and cleanup ever.

The testing out portion, though, they made sure to take their time. Nice and slow, as Usher suggested.

Now, baby, tell me what you wanna do…

Chapter Text

“Attention shoppers: National City Mall’s North Pole Experience opens in 10 minutes. If you want your picture with Santa, don’t delay!”

Kara glared at the speaker in the employee locker room as she struggled to get her high-tops off.

“I told you to stop double knotting,” Nia laughed as she watched Kara hop around and almost tumble over the bench.

“But if I don’t…urgh-” Kara grunted as she gave a final tug to the Converse. “Got it! Anyway, if I don’t then they come untied. I swear, the laces are cursed or something.”

She gave a small frown to her favorite shoes before she placed them in her locker. She turned and looked at the padded body suit that was splayed on the floor and then back at Nia, who was already dressed in her elf costume.

“You’re gonna help me with this, right?”

Nia gave her a big grin, “Of course, Santa!”

She and Nia had known each other since they were kids. Nia’s family had moved to Midvale shortly after Kara had been adopted by the Danvers family and they were instantly drawn to one another. They’d been thick as thieves ever since. Now, they were attending National City University—Kara was a journalism major, in her third year, and Nia was a sophomore; her major still undecided.

Kara lifted half the body suit and raised an eyebrow, “Is this my stomach or my butt?”

Nia rolled her eyes and grabbed it out of her hands. She signaled for Kara to lean forward with her arms out, like she was flying, then shoved the padding over her arms and shoulders, and jogged around to Kara’s back to help her tug it the rest of the way down her torso, her elf shoes jingling all the way.

“Danvers, Nal; hurry it up. We’ve got a long line of parents and kids already!”

Their eyes met each other in surprise and then flew back to the clock—they had five minutes to get out to their post or Ms. Haley—the Colonel, as the employees called her due to her militant style running of the mall—would have their heads.

Nia knelt down and held out the bottom half of the body suit as Kara used her shoulder to balance as she stepped in. They made quick work of the red velvet Santa suit (belt, gloves, boots, and all) and pulled on the wig and beard as they hustled out of the locker room, onto the back of the waiting golf cart. Nia helped tuck the stray blonde strands that poked out from the wig, then positioned the hat perfectly.

Kara had originally applied to be Mrs. Claus, but when the original Santa ended up being arrested two days before, the mall had no choice but to ask Kara to step in since she’d been through all the necessary training. She was happy to do it, of course, because who didn’t like to spread Christmas cheer? And the additional $5 an hour she’d get for playing the big man didn’t hurt anything, either. After all, she’d only taken that job for the employee discount so she could finally get decent gifts for the family.

---

As they rode through the mall, waving at the patrons and laughing all the way (ha ha ha), Kara couldn’t help but be swept up by the wonder of the season.

She’d always loved Christmas. It was her favorite time of year; the most wonderful time of the year, you could say. She loved the lights, the decorations, the feel of a cozy sweater, the smell of a fresh cut pine tree throughout the house. She loved having marathons of her most favorite Christmas movies with her friends—her TV was almost always on Freeform during the 25 Days of Christmas, otherwise.

She loved waking up on Christmas morning as a kid and running downstairs with Alex to see what they had been lucky enough to receive under the tree. She loved Eliza’s special French Toast for Christmas brunch. She loved getting together with Eliza and Alex to do their annual baking—sugar cookies, cornflake wreathes, pecan fingers, fudge—and then gorging herself on all the goodies.

And don’t even get her started on Christmas music. It may have been just after Thanksgiving, but Kara had had her Christmas playlist going since November 1st.

If there was one thing she couldn’t wait for, it was to be able to bring someone home so they could share in all the traditions she held so close to her heart.

“Oh, hey. You should practice your Santa voice,” Nia quickly reminded her with the North Pole Experience coming into view.

“Good call,” Kara agreed. She cleared her throat and tried a hearty, “Ho Ho Ho!”

Nia shook her head, “No, you’re still a little too high and too fast.”

Kara tried again.

“The speed was right, but the voice is still off.”

Kara nodded and tried to adjust her posture as a means to help. She took a deep breath as they rounded the corner and drove past the gift-wrapping booth.

“Ho Ho Ho-ly shi-ich-ich ack-ack,” Kara choked and coughed on her attempt as something (someone) caught her eye.

Nia gently tapped on her back and rubbed, “Whoa there, you ok? Don’t you go dyin’ on me!”

“Danvers!” Ms. Haley harshly whispered as they came to a stop. She turned in her seat to look Kara in the eye. “Don’t even think of using that language around the kids. You’re Santa, now! Santa doesn’t swear. This is a G-Rated job. Understand?”

Kara nodded in the affirmative, still trying to get her breathing back under control. She and Nia stepped off the cart and ducked into the back door of “Santa’s Workshop.”

“Seriously, though. Are you ok?” Nia asked one last time before they had to go out and face the public.

“Yeah. I’m ok.”

Kara was definitely not ok. Or maybe she was more than ok… She couldn’t tell, yet. She’d just seen the most beautiful woman in her life. Dark hair in soft waves, a dark red blouse; perfect smile, pale skin, red lips…a whole candy cane in human form and Kara’s mouth was watering.

---

Three hours into their shift and things had been going well. Only one kid had cried of fear, anyway. Most of them were just excited to see Santa that they couldn’t actually remember their Christmas wishes. And, much to Kara’s relief, none of the kids had wet on her lap. Ms. Haley had given her the heads up that it was a distinct possibility, and that there was a backup suit for her to use in case of emergency.

After every kid hopped down, Kara glanced toward the gift-wrapping booth; she was still there. Still making Kara’s heart skip a beat.

“Ok, kids. Time for Santa to take a break. We’ll be back in 20 minutes!” Nia announced and put up the striped rope blocking off Santa’s throne while Kara waved and jiggled her padded stomach.

They headed through the door of “Santa’s Workshop,” which was really just a private booth where they could rest and sneak out the back for their break.

“So,” Nia started, cracking open her water. “You gonna tell me what it is you’ve been staring at after every kid hops down?”

Kara should have figured that Nia caught on; they’d known each other too long and too well for her not to. She sighed and took off the wig, beard, and gloves, running her own bottle of water over her forehead.

“Just my future wife,” she shrugged and opened a small bag of potato chips.

Nia choked on her water, “What?!”

“I’m kidding,” Kara snorted and popped a chip in her mouth. “Maybe. Who knows? But, seriously. She is the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen,” she added, talking around the food.

Nia narrowed her eyes and flipped Kara off, then stole a chip for herself. She thought about their ride over from the locker room, how Kara had randomly started coughing when they drove by the-

“Oh, Kara. The girl in the gift-wrapping booth?”

“You saw her! I was powerless!”

“She looked a little high maintenance,” Nia retorted, wanting to gauge exactly how deep Kara’s crush had already gone. If she defended her before having an actual conversation with the woman, Nia would have to play wingwoman. If Kara gave even a little consideration to Nia’s point, it wasn’t serious.

“She did not!” Kara squeaked. “She looked perfectly pleasant. You can’t be high maintenance and voluntarily seek out employment in the wrapping booth. That’s one of the most high-traffic, high-stress jobs this time of year.”

Wingwoman it is. But I can have a little fun, first… Nia thought.

“How do you know she did it voluntarily? Maybe the Colonel just put her there.” She hid her smile behind another sip from her water.

“Nia, come on. With that face? She could work anywhere,” Kara retorted with a shake of her head.

“Fine, fine. You know I’m just giving you crap, anyway. So, how do you want to play it?”

Kara hummed and leaned back, deep in thought.

Nia knew Kara had a plan as soon as she stopped rubbing her chin and snapped her fingers.

---

Lena sighed inwardly and checked her watch for what must have been the fiftieth time that shift. It wasn’t that she hated her job, or that she thought she was too good to be working there, quite the opposite. This wasn’t her first go around during the holiday season as a mall employee. When she lived in Metropolis, she had worked in that mall for a couple of years in high school…until Lillian found out and promptly dragged her out of there and had tracked her phone to make sure she never went back.

“Luthors don’t work amongst the public, Lena. We work above them.”

Now that she lived in National City for her Master’s program, though, Lena could work in a McDonald’s if she wanted and Lillian couldn’t stop her. Not that she paid Lena much attention those days. Ever since she went off to college, and some of Lena’s trust fund and kicked in, Lillian probably felt the little remaining control she had slip away.

So, yes. It wasn’t that Lena was a snob. She just had a headache from the recycled air and all the bad perfumes and colognes she’d been forced to inhale. She was definitely going to have to step outside during her break.

The one good thing about National City Mall was that center court, where the North Pole Experience had been set up, had glass panels in the ceiling instead of normal drywall, so she was able to see the sun most of the time.

It was almost time for her break, which she was grateful for—her feet were killing her. She’d gone with heels and was regretting it. She thought, maybe, there would be a stool for her to sit on in the wrapping booth, but she’d been mistaken.

Sneakers tomorrow, definitely, she thought to herself.

“Hi!” a young woman dressed as an elf greeted her, a wide smile on her face.

“Hello,” Lena smiled back. “How can I help you?”

“Actually,” the elf grinned wider. “I have something for you.”

Lena quirked an eyebrow, a little wary. She sent a look over to Sam, her friend and roommate of the past few years, who just gave her a sly thumbs up.

When she looked back to the elf girl, she was holding out a candy cane. Lena examined it carefully before taking it.

“Um, thank you?"

“Oh, no.” The visitor shook her head. “It’s from Santa.” She signaled with a thumb over her shoulder to the person waving in a Santa suit across the way.

“I see…” Lena smirked a little. “Well, uh- sorry, what was your name?”

“Nia, pleasure to meet you,” she held out her hand and Lena shook it, giving her name in return; years of training kicking in before she realized it.

“Well, Nia. Please tell St. Nick thank you,” Lena quickly glanced back at the person in the suit as he went up and started to high five the kids in line. “And that he really shouldn’t have.”

“I could do that,” Nia glanced down briefly at the nametag on Lena’s blouse and then back up. “Lena. But then Santa might put me on the naughty list.” Nia leaned forward and whispered, “Plus, Santa isn’t all he seems to be.”

When she leaned back, Lena heard a distinct jingling sound. She leaned forward and noticed Nia’s (much more comfortable looking) footwear. She chuckled lightly.

“Hey, nice shoes!”

Nia smiled again and wiggled one of her feet to jingle the bell some more. “Thanks! So, you like working here?”

Lena shrugged nonchalantly. “I’ve had worse jobs, I guess. At least this one I’m good at.”

Looking at the large reels of wrapping paper, Nia shuddered. “I don’t think I could handle it. I use way too much paper and tape when I try to wrap gifts at home. Total mess. But it’s fun to watch people try to figure out where to start, I guess.”

That got a laugh from Lena and Sam.

“It’s all about the angles, honestly.” Lena responded.

She grabbed a small, rectangular box and ripped off a slightly larger, square piece of paper from one of the reels. She made sure Nia was watching and then turned the box so only two corners touched the sides of the paper, near one of the corners. Then, without warning, her hands worked the paper and the box with speed and ease; folds being made precisely and without a second thought—the end result was flawless and only required one piece of tape, total.

Nia’s eyes bugged out; she was astonished.

“How on Earth did you do that so fast?”

“It’s my superpower, I guess,” Lena shrugged again.

“She also watched that one Japanese speed wrapping video on YouTube like a billion times,” Sam piped in, grinning as Lena scoffed and threw a bow at her face.

“Oh, my god. My friend Kara is obsessed with those kinds of videos.”

Lena looked back to Nia and smiled—apparently Nia’s cheerfulness was infectious and a cure-all, since her headache had dissipated somewhat. “Sounds like your friend Kara has excellent taste in entertainment then.”

Nia seemed to get a glint in her eye before she checked her watch—she had maybe 30 seconds to get back to the North Pole Experience before the Colonel stopped by to check on them. She started to back away and waved to Sam and Lena. “I gotta get back. See you around.”

Lena shook her head at the slightly strange (but not entirely unwelcome) interaction and then looked at the candy cane as her watch beeped, indicating it was finally their break time.

She and Sam put up the closed signs on their stations and headed to the food court as Lena split the candy cane in half, offering one part to Sam.

“Nice!” she celebrated and unwrapped a bit to put in her mouth. “So, Santa’s hitting on you via his elf, huh? Bold move.”

“Apparently so,” Lena replied, sucking on the broken end of her piece. “I wonder what she meant by ‘he isn’t all he seems?’”

“No clue. Last I heard the original guy they hired was arrested or something. Who knows who the Colonel got to replace him?”

Lena merely hummed in acknowledgement as they headed outside, enjoying the fresh air and soaking up the little bit of sunshine they could.

In reality, Sam knew full well who the Colonel had picked to play Santa. She’d been in the locker room putting her purse away when she heard Nia and Kara getting ready—the jingling of Nia’s shoes tipped her off. She had peeked around the row of lockers that separated them and caught just enough of a glimpse of Kara to know that she needed to get Lena to meet her. Goofy blonde with a bangin’ bod? Yeah, she was right up Lena’s alley.

It would be Sam’s gift to her friend.

---

Over the next couple of weeks, Lena found herself receiving a candy cane every shift from the mysterious Santa via a delivery from Nia. Every time, Santa would wave happily and give her a jolly ‘Ho Ho Ho.’ And every time Sam would wiggle her eyebrows up and down.

“Stop,” Lena lightly admonished with a laugh.

“C’mon, why not just go talk to Santa? Sit on his lap and tell him what you want for Christmas,” Sam returned, pulling out a length of ribbon for the gift she was working on.

“Because, I’ve no interest in older men. Especially ones who could be my grandfather.”

“Ha!” Sam crowed loudly. “How do you know Santa is older, or even elderly? You’ve only seen him from like, 50 feet away. Your eyesight isn’t that good.”

Sam had a point. Lena couldn’t rightfully discern Santa’s age. Hell, she couldn’t even tell his eye color from her vantage point. But still, didn’t malls always hire older guys to play Santa? That’d always been the impression Lena got.

Plus, she had no interest in…well, if she was honest, men in general. The last guy she had dated was Jack during her undergrad years at MIT, and even that hadn’t felt quite right. He always seemed more like a brother and/or best friend. She’d had dates here and there with a couple of women in her classes, too, but nothing ever panned out. Recently, even less so; advanced degrees and part time jobs left little time for dating.

Just as she was about to reply, they were swarmed with shoppers needing gifts wrapped.

If Lena happened to glance over to Santa and had a small smile creep onto her face when she saw him hug a child tightly or make them giggle in delight, she would brush it off as an involuntary muscle spasm.

---

Lena and Sam headed into the locker room after their shift. Unfortunately for Lena, her timing had been awful. She opened the door and collided roughly with another woman.

“Oh, golly! I’m so sorry! Are you alright?” the woman asked, concern laced in her tone as she held on to Lena’s arms so Lena didn’t topple over.

Did she say golly?

“Yes I’m-” Lena started to answer but was stopped when she looked up into a pair of the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. “Uh, er, yes. Alright. I’m alright.”

She could see Sam out of the corner of her eye trying her best to hide her giggling.

“Good,” the woman replied. “I’d hate to have injured you so close to Christmas. I might end up with a lump of coal from Santa!” she chuckled and winked.

Lena just smiled and nodded, completely dumbstruck. Whoever this woman was, she was drop dead gorgeous. Her blonde hair was brushed out in loose waves and her face, though a little flushed, was as bright as her eyes. God, those eyes… And that body. She had to be an athlete of some sort, based on the muscle tone Lena could see on her arms. Her mouth and throat were suddenly dry and she wished she’d saved some of that candy cane from earlier.

Realizing Lena hadn’t picked up the anvil sized hint she had just dropped, Kara stepped to the side and headed out.

“Have a good night, Lena,” she called out over her shoulder.

Lena cleared her head with a shake, wondering what had just happened.

“Who was that?” she inquired, opening the door again. They walked to their lockers and opened them. “How does she know my name?”

“You mean aside from the nametag on your chest?” Lena glanced down only to remember she’d removed her tag prior to leaving their booth. So, she pinched Sam in the side. “Ow, fine. Sheesh, take a joke… That was Kara. She’s friends with Nia, the elf,” Sam answered knowingly.

“Is she new? I haven’t seen her around…”

Sam glanced over at her friend and then hid behind her locker door for a second. Lena was about as subtle as a heart attack.

“Uh, nope. Not new. She’s been here the whole time.” It was all Sam could do to not burst into laughter.

“Weird how we hadn’t met before,” Lena replied, oblivious.

They shut their lockers and headed home for the night. Sam would get Lena over to Santa, one way or another.

---

The next day, Lena had received both a candy cane and a hot chocolate.

“This is becoming too much, don’t you think?” she asked Sam.

Sam nodded, grateful that she’d slipped into Kara’s locker had been received and utilized. “You should really go say something. Maybe Santa’s one of those people who needs direct conflict.”

“You might be right…” Lena agreed, glancing over to Santa’s line. There weren’t too many people in it at the moment. She could slip out easily and be back in no time. “C’mon, Sam. I might need you for backup. Or a witness.”

She set down her ribbon curling scissors and put her closed sign up, then headed over. Sam was behind her, trying not to pump her fists in a celebratory fashion.

We’re not over the finish line yet, Arias.

They waited patiently as the line moved relatively fast. Sam fussed over Lena’s hair a little to kill some time (and to help her out some more)—couldn’t be meeting the possible new girlfriend looking unkempt, and all.

When Nia glanced over and saw them in line, she had to stop herself from squealing.

“Next!” she said, the picture of cool and calm.

She watched Kara look over and do a double take. She stood from the oversized chair and then sat back down, completely unsure of how to handle the situation. She looked to Nia for help.

Nia had her hands up and mouthed “calm down” and “stay seated,” so that’s what she did.

“Ho Ho Ho!” Kara put on her best Santa voice to date. “I see we have a couple of young at hearts, today! Santa appreciates believers of all ages.”

Nia facepalmed at the awkward attempt. Kara could be such a mess, sometimes.

Lena approached with her arms crossed and a serious look on her face. She stopped next to Kara’s side.

“Santa, we need to talk.”

“Well, of course we do, young lady! Why don’t you take a seat here and tell Santa what you’d like for Christmas?” Kara continued in her Santa voice as she tapped her knee and leg.

“I don’t think I will, as that would be highly inappropriate considering I’ve come to ask you to stop flirting with me via Nia. I’m not interested and you’re putting Nia, here, in an awful situation.”

Santa’s eyes went wide and…wow. They were really, really blue.

“Lena, I-” Nia tried to interrupt, but Lena seemed to be on a roll.

“No, it’s ok Nia. This wasn’t your fault. He’s in a higher position than you; marginally, but the corporate hierarchy is still clear. It’s borderline sexual harassment, you know?”

It was at that moment that Santa stood from his chair and pulled Lena to the side.

“Lena, it’s me. it’s Kara!”

This time, it was Lena’s turn for her eyes to go wide.

“K-Kara?!”

If it was at all possible, Lena went even more pale. She glanced over to see Sam nearly doubled over with poorly contained laughter; Nia wasn’t far behind.

She returned her eyes to Kara, whose eyes were crinkled with laughter (at least she had the decency to keep hers under control) and gleamed with happiness.

“Can we pretend I didn’t just accuse you of sexual harassment? Please?”

“To make your Christmas wish official, you have to sit on Santa’s lap,” Kara responded and led Lena back over to the chair.

Kara sat first and allowed Lena to make her choice. In the end, she sat down. (Of course, she did.)

“Just so you know, I hate you all!” she told them, smiling widely.

As Nia got ready to take the photo, Lena pulled down Kara’s beard and kissed her on the cheek. The look of elated surprise forever captured in the photo was the best gift Kara got that year.

--

Several years, a few degrees, many dates, and a couple of jobs and apartments later, she still has the photo framed and carefully wrapped in bubble paper. She takes it out every year as she decorates for Christmas. Lena places it on their mantle as Kara holds her from behind, her chin resting on Lena’s shoulder.

“Merry Christmas, Santa.” Lena says quietly, running her hands along Kara’s arms.

“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Claus,” Kara whispers back, pressing a gentle kiss to her wife’s cheek.

Chapter Text

“Babe, are you ready?” Kara called out from the living room, giving Patrick a good scratch behind his ears. “Our flight leaves in a couple of hours.”

Lena rolled her eyes genially and popped her head out of their bedroom doorway as she put in one of her earrings. “Our flight leaves whenever we are ready to leave, darling. That’s one of the perks of having a private plane.”

She winked and ducked back into the bedroom to finish getting ready.

“Do you see what I’ve had to deal with for the last decade plus, Patrick?” Kara looked back to the pooch resting his head on her knee. “Mommy has no respect for me!”

Patrick just huffed and nosed at Kara’s hand, looking for more scratches.

“I heard that,” Lena sing-songed from the bedroom.

“That was Patrick, babe. He’s in a mood, I guess.” Off the look Patrick gave her, Kara whispered down to him, “I’m sorry, buddy. You know you’re the best boy. Yes you are.” She took his face in her hands and rubbed his cheeks in circles and placed a sweet kiss on the top of his head. He gave her cheek a good lick in return. “Aww, thank you!”

She heard Lena’s bag rolling down the hall and stood up, heading to the kitchen to wash the dog slobber off her face.

“He’s going to develop a complex if you keep blaming him for things he didn’t do, you know,” Lena quipped, opening the fridge to grab the pouches of Patrick’s food they would need for their trip.

As Kara dried her cheek, she tossed the towel onto the counter and wrapped her arms around Lena. “I already apologized. We’re all good.”

“Hmm,” Lena hummed, narrowing her eyes at her wife. She heard the click-click on the tile indicating that Patrick had joined them. Looking down, she addressed him directly. “Patrick Jacob, is that true? Did your mother apologize?”

Patrick wagged his tail excitedly and barked happily, his butt wiggling.

“Alright, then.” Lena nodded and turned back to Kara, pressing a tender kiss to her waiting lips. “I want my family happy and healthy.”

Kara smiled dreamily and nuzzled into Lena’s cheek. “Yes, ma’am. Understood.”

They stood like that for another few seconds before Patrick’s follow up bark reminded them they had places to go.

“Ok, ok! We hear you,” Lena laughs. “Have we got everything?” she asks, placing the food pouches into a monogrammed cooler bag with Patrick’s initials.

“I have Patrick!” Kara said, using her terrible posh British accent as she clipped the leash onto their dog’s harness.

“You’re never going to stop doing that, are you?”

Kara stood with a proud smile plastered on her face. “Nope!” The P sound popping as she said it.

---

After a long flight from California to Hartford, Connecticut, they were glad to have a driver to the Luthor country home which was a little over an hour away, on the outskirts of Litchfield.

It was dark out by the time they rolled up the long driveway, the dark brick home’s lights warmly illuminating the interior. Kara was surprised by its small size; comparatively speaking, this looked like a shoebox versus the Luthor mansion outside Metropolis.

Lena headed toward the front door with Patrick, but stopped when she realized Kara wasn’t following. She turned and saw Kara staring quizzically at the house.

“What? What’s wrong? Do you hear something, someone inside?”

At Lena’s alarmed tone, Kara sped (normal human speed, since the driver was waiting to make sure they got inside alright) over to her side.

“No, no. I’m fine; everything’s fine.” She reassured her wife. “I guess I was just expecting it to be…bigger? With a driveway like that, it was all pomp and no circumstance.”

The melodious laugh that bubbled out from Lena was one of Kara’s favorite sounds and it never failed to make her laugh right along.

“Yes, I suppose this is one of the Luthor family homes that is on the smaller side. We didn’t use this one much, sadly. Lionel never really enjoyed the country—too much quiet, he’d say—and Lillian couldn’t stand “small town” living, even though we would only stay for long weekends, or a week, at the most.” Lena let out a heavy sigh. “I think I was the only one in the family who enjoyed coming here. Maybe that’s why Lionel never sold it… His small form of appeasement.”

She looked at Kara with a sad smile and shrugged, which made Kara drop everything and wrap her in a tight hug. Lena had no choice but to sink into it, reveling in the steady heartbeat that sounded beneath Kara’s coat.

It was then a cool breeze blew through the property, reminding them they had bags and a dog to get inside, and a cozy bed to slip into. They waved goodbye to their driver and Lena unlocked the door, Patrick running inside like he knew the place by heart already.

---

The next morning, welcomed by the sun streaming in through the windows and across the old wood floors, Kara stretched her body like a cat before she rolled over to cuddle with her wife. The only problem was, her wife was nowhere to be found.

She propped herself up on an elbow and looked around the room through a half-opened eye; no dog either…

She focused her hearing and the distinct sounds of bacon frying and eggs being cracked were caught just under Lena’s heartbeat. At the reassurance, Kara flopped back down to the mattress, face first, inhaling the lingering scent of Lena’s shampoo and body wash.

“Kara, breakfast!”

A bright smile spread across her lips at how Lena just knew she was awake and tuned in to the happenings in the house, based on the volume at which she called—her regular speaking tone.

Pushing herself up, she slipped out of bed and stretched fully once more and stepped over to the windows that overlooked the backyard. She hadn’t been able to appreciate the sight due to the late hour of their arrival the night before. The property was expansive, maybe a good acre (or more) on each side—not a neighbor within throwing distance—and had red oak and sugar maple trees scattered across the yard. Their leaves were already changing to striking oranges and reds. There were a good amount covering the grass already, too.

Her stomach growled angrily, suddenly. So, she headed downstairs; the delicious smell of pancakes and bacon and eggs seducing her.

The sight of her wife—dressed way down for Lena’s standards in some jeans, dark socks, and one of Kara’s oversized flannels, her hair in a messy bun with a bandana knotted in front, and the barest amount of makeup (no lipstick, a smidge of eyeliner and concealer)—made her drool more than the food stacked on the island in front of her.

“Rao…” she whispered in sweet reverence.

Lena must have heard her, if the small uptick of her mouth and eyebrow meant anything.

“Good morning, darling. See anything you like?” she said lightly, not looking up as she continued to scramble and season the eggs.

Kara supersped over and lifted Lena in her arms, spinning them around a couple of times. Her wife’s noisy laughter danced in her ears as she slowly lowered her back to the floor until they were nose to nose.

“You know I do,” Kara replied in a low voice. Her eyes were hungry, and not just for the breakfast Lena was cooking.

“Later,” Lena promised. “We have some things to do, today.” She stepped back over to the stovetop and turned off the burner, moving the eggs from the pan to their plates.

“Fine…” Kara grumbled. She knew Lena would follow through; she always did. Didn’t make having to wait any less sucky, though.

She quickly perked up, though, as Lena set down her plate of eggs at the kitchen table, followed quickly by the plates of pancakes and bacon. She dug in happily and, if a couple small bits of bacon fell on the floor for Patrick, it was a total accident.

---

After breakfast, Lena drove them into town. They found a spot on a side street near one end of the main street and decided to walk around. They checked out the small shops and enjoyed the ambiance; fall on the east coast could not be beat, in Lena’s opinion. Kara ducked in to a coffee shop and got them hot apple ciders to enjoy, as well as a cup of whipped cream as a special treat for Patrick.

He seemed to be enjoying himself, too; garnering attention from the locals, young and old, and looking handsome in his blue and charcoal plaid jacket.

From one end of the downtown of Litchfield to the other, there was plenty of small-town charm to behold.

Lena was pleased to find the used and rare bookstore was still open, so she ducked inside for a good half an hour while Kara sat on a bench outside with Patrick, basking in the fall sunshine. Every now and then, Lena would pop her head out excitedly and show Kara another great find. Each time, Kara would give her a thumbs up or a cheer, or a joking reminder that the plane had a weight limit and they only had so much shelf space at home. Lena stuck her tongue out after those comments, which Kara returned with a blown kiss.

When Lena finally finished in the bookstore, Kara gallantly grabbed the bag of purchases from her hand, hooking the canvas bag onto her shoulder and tossing her arm around Lena’s shoulders with Patrick’s leash in her other hand. When Lena wrapped an arm around her waist and leaned her head on Kara’s shoulder, Kara had no choice but to press a kiss to the crown of her head. Happy to do this exact thing for the rest of their lives…hopefully with at least one child in tow, one day.

A smile tugged at her lips at the image in her mind.

It’ll happen. It has to, she thought to herself; a content sigh escaped her chest.

---

They returned to the house a couple of hours later; the afternoon sun creeping lower in the sky.

“Kara, I’m going to be outside raking, ok? I’d love a cup of tea for when I’ve finished. I’m going to read a little bit on the deck before I lose the light completely.” Lena called up the stairs to her, where she was changing.

They’d stopped for lunch at a small bistro and Kara ended up spilling carrot and leek soup on her shirt. In her defense, Lena had looked at her in a certain way and ran a foot up her leg. So, obviously, it was Lena’s fault. Not Kara’s. Not at all. What person, human or otherwise, could have Lena Luthor do that and not react?

Exactly.

She finished fastening the last of the buttons on her flannel and glanced out the window. Lena was hard at work, raking the fallen leaves into a massive pile. She’d mentioned having a caretaker who would do it, but that she always enjoyed the process. It was like a type of meditation for her, so she said.

A smirk made its way onto her lips as a devious thought crossed her mind. She placed a beanie on her head and made her way downstairs and into the kitchen, taking note of the box of tea waiting on the counter. She filled the kettle and set it on the stove. Before she turned the burner on, though, she glanced out the window over the sink to check on Lena’s progress. She looked nearly done; she had one massive pile in the middle-ish area of the backyard, with just a couple of smaller piles to move.

The devil on Kara’s shoulder was hard at work again as she weighed her options… It was fun revenge for the soup incident or it was being the good, dutiful wife she always was. It took her all of 30 seconds to decide: fun revenge.

Gotta keep the marriage spicy, right?

She headed out the front door as a means of surprise and hit the superspeed as soon as her foot hit the grass. Rounding the eastern side of the house, Lena’s back was to her. It was going to be perfect; she’d literally never see it coming.

Kara was just about to grab her wife by the waist and tackle her into the giant pile of leaves when Lena sidestepped her at the last moment. In what felt like slow motion, Kara saw Lena shaking her head with her signature raised eyebrow and her own devious smirk.

“Not today, sweetheart,” she mouthed and Kara hit the leaf pile with a whoosh sending the foliage into the air. As they fell gently down to the ground, the leaves looked as though it was showering red and yellow and orange confetti all around them; Lena’s hard work down the drain in an instant.

When Kara sat up, leaves sticking to her grey beanie, she merely looked at her wife with that same innocent, proud grin. At Lena’s silence, Kara shrugged and grasped for any excuse.

“I, uh- I was chasing Patrick?” she tried.

“Try again,” Lena said, pointing toward a completely relaxed Patrick on the deck, watching them happily.

They’d trained him too well, it seemed…

Kara stood up from the pile, trying to wipe as many leaves off her sweatshirt and jeans as possible. She took the proffered rake from Lena and kissed her cheek.

“Here, honey. Let me finish raking for you. The kettle is on the stove, ready to go for your tea.”

“Yeah, that sounds better,” Lena snickered. “Would you like some tea?”

Kara nodded, “With lemon and honey, please!”

Lena grasped her chin lightly and pulled her in for a warm kiss. “You got it.” She tapped Kara’s nose twice before heading inside.

Kara made quick work of the leaves, only using a smidge of superspeed, and then moved to the deck. She rested the rake against the railing and walked up the few steps onto the deck, bending down to pet Patrick before she settled onto the charcoal-colored cushions of the outdoor couch.

Shortly after, Lena emerged with two steaming mugs in her hands and a folded blanket draped over her shoulder. Kara made a move to get up and help her, but Lena shook her head, so Kara just accepted her mug and the blanket. Lena set her own mug down on the coffee table before she dashed back inside to grab Patrick’s water bowl.

“There,” she said as she set it down next to the couch. “Now we all have drinks.”

Kara’s heart warmed at that. Lena was always making sure everyone (even their dog) was included.

She’s going to make the best mom…

Patrick looked back at them and trotted over, taking a long drink before he settled down in one of the chairs across from the couch.

Kara lifted the blanket and invited Lena to sit next to her. Instead, Lena curled into her lap, draping an arm around her shoulders. Kara smiled, adjusting the blanket around them and then slid her chilled hands underneath, around Lena’s waist.

The sun quickly dipped lower and lower, taking the temperature with it, but they didn’t notice. They were too wrapped up in each other, and the perfect fall day they’d had.

Yeah, Kara could definitely do this forever.

Later, after they’d finally come inside and had dinner and settled into bed, Lena fulfilled her promise to Kara.

Chapter Text

“So,” Alex, dressed as Lara Croft, approached without preamble; a poorly disguised smirk on her face. “How did all…this…happen?”

It was a Saturday night in late October and the whole gang had gathered at Nia’s apartment for her Halloween party. The whole Superfriends team was there, as was Nia’s roommate Yvette and several of their mutual friends. Unfortunately for Lena, costumes were not optional.

She sighed and looked down at her donut costume; the polyester had started to make her uncomfortably warm, even though she’d put on a breathable cotton shirt, underneath. It was just a cheap Target costume, with an image of a Simpsons-esque pink frosted donut with sprinkles on both sides.

“You know damn well how it happened,” Lena replied with a bit of edge, swiping a cup off the counter and pouring a generous amount of scotch before grumbling, “Your sister is a menace.”

Alex couldn’t help herself and cackled loudly enough for Kara to look over to them curiously, but she was assuaged when Lena waved her off.

“Aww, come on.” Alex threw an arm around her shoulders and pulled her into a side hug, taking a sip of her newly acquired beer. “She’s like a puppy. You can’t be mad at a puppy!”

It was Lena’s turn to smirk as she turned her eyes back to Kara, biting her lip. She did look adorable in her basketball uniform, her arms and legs on full display. Her summer tan was somehow still holding on. “I suppose you’re right.”

Adorable and delicious. She kept that to herself, though. Alex would appreciate it.

After a couple of seconds of silence, she continued. “I still can’t believe she got me to wear this.”

Alex snorted into her beer. “You ran a multinational corporation. Surely, you could have negotiated a compromise?”

Lena turned to face her friend with wide eyes. “This was the compromise.” She flourished a hand up and down her body. The pink of the donut’s icing was starting to hurt her eyes.

At that moment, Nia and Brainy chose to come over.

“Hey, guys! Having fun?” Nia asked brightly, wearing a Princess Peach costume, while Brainy was dressed as Mario.

“Well, I am,” Alex answered, so pleased with herself. “Can’t say the same for Lena, though.” She poked Lena in the side with one of her fake knives.

“Ow,” Lena winced, looking down and rubbing the spot. She flashed back for a moment to when she, Kara, and Alex had gone looking for Sam in the Dark Valley; it drew out a small smile—she could laugh about it now, since…y’know, everyone was fine.

Concerned, Nia put a hand on Lena’s arm. “What’s wrong, Lena?”

“Oh, it’s nothing.” Lena shook her head. It wasn’t a big deal and she didn’t want to ruin Nia’s party. She knew she was being a bit of a spoilsport. “I’m just not thrilled with the costume choice.”

Nia looked her over and then glanced at Kara; back and forth, several times. “Are you…” She tilted her head, the red wig going slightly askew. Suddenly, her eyes brightened and she started laughing. “Dunkin’ Donuts, right?” Off Lena’s affirmative nod, she turned and shouted for Kara, who was across the room with Kelly, J’onn, M’gann and a few others. “Kara! Dunkin’ Donuts! Nice!”

Kara smiled radiantly and gave her a thumbs up before returning to her conversation.

“I would have thought you were dressed as a donut because you are, as Kara describes, ‘a snack.’ Though I’m not entirely sure what that means,” Brainy offered.

The blush that appeared on Lena’s face was immediate and deep. She took another large drink of scotch and refilled her cup. She looked over to Alex who looked both amused and uncomfortable; uncomfortably amused. An especially interesting combination on Alex Danvers.

“I sense that I’ve made Alex uncomfortable, so I will grab my drink and go. Hopefully I won’t step on another banana peel as I do.” He tipped his hat and walked away.

Nia swooned at Brainy’s apt Mario Kart wordplay. She shook her head and got back to the conversation at hand.

“Wait, so what’s wrong with the costume?”

“Nothing, really… I’m sorry, I’m just being a pain. Halloween was never my thing, growing up.”

Alex tried to lighten the mood a little. “Ok, so if this was the compromise, what were the other options?”

Lena thought back to earlier in the week when Kara had gone through a plethora of options with her.

“Well, it started on Monday…”

---

“Babe, how about this?” Kara got off the couch and ran to Lena, who was in the kitchen preparing dinner.  

Lena stirred the pasta sauce as she shook in some more spices, then took the spoon and held it out for Kara.  

“Try this, first.”  

Kara blew gently before she inserted the spoon into her mouth. Her eyes dropped closed and a moan ripped through her body.  

“Kara. Jesus!” Lena loudly laughed.  

“No, Jesus has nothing to do with this.” Kara shook her head. “How are you so good at everything?”  

“Says the Girl of Steel?” Lena retorted with a quirk of her brow. She took the spoon back and rinsed it off.  

Kara pulled her back by the hips, then spun her so they were pressed together, face to face.  

“Hey,” Kara whispered and kissed her nose. “I was lucky, or unlucky—I guess it depends on the week, huh?—to have been born with these abilities. And sometimes they don’t even work! But you, my remarkable girlfriend, have learned and honed all your skills. I’d say that puts you above me.”  

As Kara trailed her fingertips lightly down the side of Lena’s face and across her lips, Lena’s eyes fluttered shut. She released a tiny gasp and shivered at the feeling.  

Lena sometimes still had to pinch herself to believe that she finally got what she wanted the most—an actual family, in the form of friends. And, by extension of that, she found true love in Kara. For so long she believed that she didn’t deserve those things, that she was cursed and would never get real happiness.  

Slowly, she opened her eyes and cupped Kara’s cheek; she tenderly dragged her thumb over the pinkening skin. “I’d say we’re equals.”  

“Deal,” Kara beamed and kissed her soundly.  

Lena pulled back a little and held out her hand. “Ok, what did you want to show me?”  

“Oh, yeah!” Kara retrieved her phone out of her pocket. “I was thinking this for us for Nia’s party.”  

Lena inspected the screen and saw two people posing—one in a chicken suit, the other covered in…magnets? She looked back up to Kara, perplexed.  

“It’s a pun—Chick Magnet! Get it? It’s even funnier because you like science and girls!”  

Lena pursed her lips for a moment before she leaned in and gave Kara a peck. “No, darling.” She returned her attention to the sauce.  

Kara, undeterred, bounced back to the living room. “You’re right. There’s got to be something better.”

---

The next day, Kara texted Lena while she was working on a grant proposal to start her new foundation.  

When Lena opened the link, she was greeted with a photo of a couple dressed in pink, with pig noses, draped in blankets. She sent back three question marks in reply and Kara called her back with her answer within seconds.  

“Pigs in a blanket! Who doesn’t love little hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls, Lena?”  

“Not everyone has your intestinal fortitude, my love. Try again.”

---

That night, she showed up to Kara’s apartment with pizza, potstickers, and a nice bottle of red wine. Plus, as a special treat for Kara, French Silk Pie with Oreo crust.  

They’d made it through dinner and a few episodes of Buffy—Kara’s idea, to get Lena into the spirit of Halloween; and who was she to argue with watching a twenty-something Sarah Michelle Gellar kick some undead ass while delivering fun banter?—when Kara went into her room and came back with her hands behind her back.  

Lena, who had been mid-sip, inched her eyebrow up as Kara gave her that ever-innocent grin.  

“Yes?” she inquired, setting her glass down, just to be safe. With Kara, you never knew what the spilling potential was.  

Not even a second later, Lena had a black witch’s hat perched snugly on her head.  

“And then I’m going to be dressed as some kind of beer brand—Witch’s Brew!”  

Kara’s smile was so wide and proud Lena almost hated to say anything. But...  

“Kara, this,” she motioned to the hat, “is offensive to my lineage.”  

Kara’s face dropped so dramatically you’d have thought Lena had said she’d kicked a puppy.  

“Oh, Rao. I’m so sorry, Lena,” she said remorsefully and threw her arms around her girlfriend. “I didn’t even think! That was so insensitive. I’ll return the hat in the morning.”

---

“I felt so bad that she felt so bad that, when she came to me with this monstrosity, I said yes,” Lena sighed heavily.

Alex and Nia’s laughter was so boisterous they drew a side-eye from everyone in the room.

“Oh, Lena. You didn’t!” Nia teasingly chided.

“Honestly, Luthor?” Alex started, holding out her beer bottle for a cheers. “I’m shocked you lasted as long as you did. Kara’s got that way of looking at you that just makes you want to tell her yes to everything. You’re looking at the sister who got suckered into many a punny costume with her.”

As Lena clinked her glass to Alex’s bottle, a voice came from behind them.

“What’s so funny, guys?” Kara walked up at that point and slid her arm around Lena, pulling her close and pressing a kiss to her cheek. Lena turned and pressed another directly to Kara’s lips.

“What was that for?” Kara smiled, a little confused but definitely not complaining.

“Just for being you.” Lena answered sincerely.

She’d gone into the evening with a bit of a bad attitude. But recalling the days prior reminded her just how lucky she was to have someone—to have Kara—care enough and be proud enough to want to dress in dorky costumes together, so people knew they were each other’s.

“Hmm. I’ll take it!” Kara responded, pulling Lena in for a hug.

“Gross,” Alex breathed out with a smile and headed off to Kelly, in desperate need for some PDA of her own.

Kara stuck her tongue out toward Alex then looked back to Nia.

“Great party, Nia!”

“Yes,” Lena echoed, settling a hand on Kara’s chest; she reveled in its steady rhythm. “Thank you for inviting us.”

“Thanks, guys,” Nia laughed lightly. “You guys gonna do apple bob in a little bit?”

Kara looked to Lena and Lena looked to Kara; they smiled warmly at each other before replying in unison. “Wouldn’t miss it!”

Lena made a silent promise to herself (and to Kara) to be more mindful and open to enjoying the little, silly things. Sometimes she allowed herself to be too in her head, focused on tasks that needed to be done now, that she missed the small, special moments that would become cherished memories later on.

Chapter Text

It was a sweltering day on the Jersey Shore. The Danvers family had made the trek for their annual August vacation, this time choosing the Wildwoods area, and it was their last day. After a couple of hours of family time on the beach, Alex and Kara had begged for a little time on their own; their parents relented, but just barely. Jeremiah had made 12-year-old Alex promise never to take her eye off 10-year-old Kara.

Their parents had given them each twenty dollars for food, games, and rides on the boardwalk; an absolute fortune, especially when they combined their riches.

Alex and Kara spent hours riding the roller coasters and Ferris wheel and the Wave Swinger. That was Kara’s favorite, because she felt like she could fly when she was on it. She held her arms out straight out in front of her and loved the wind in her hair.

They made their way down the midway, picking and choosing just the right games to match their [limited] skills. Alex loved the shooting games, especially the ones where players had to aim water guns at a target. She ended up winning twice and picked a telescoping light-up sword and got a stuffed bulldog for Kara.

Kara preferred the sports games like knocking down bottles with a softball or throwing a football into preset targets. Alex always told her the basketball games were scams and rigged so people couldn’t win them, but Kara wasn’t so sure. She’d seen a couple of people win. She’d decided to try them when she got older, though.

They decided to try their hands at the ring toss. Kara took one side and Alex took another.

As Kara received her rings and lined up a shot, another ring flying out caught her eye. It landed perfectly on a painted coke bottle. Kara lined up her shot again, but it bounced off the top of a bottle and slid between two others. A second later, another perfectly landed shot clanged out. Kara sighed and shook her head, trying (and missing) again. A third perfectly landed shot passed before her eyes. Kara threw her last ring and landed it on an unpainted bottle.

She huffed in frustration, having at least some self-control and refrained from stomping her foot. She looked over at the girl who seemed to be an expert at the game. Kara was surprised to see she was younger (and shorter) than she was, dressed in black Bermuda shorts and navy striped button-down shirt with a tie front on the bottom. Her dark hair was straightened, like Kara’s, but pulled up in a high ponytail and a pair of aviator sunglasses were perched on top of her head.

She glanced over at Kara as she received her prize—a plush Scooby Doo—and smiled; Kara couldn’t help return it. She turned to leave, but paused when she saw Kara purchase another set of rings.

Kara had just lined up her shot when a hand pressed down on her arm.

“You’re overthinking it,” the girl said.

Kara looked at her in confusion. “What do you mean? It’s ring toss.”

The girl smiled again. “You’re trying to line up your shot, right?”

Kara nodded.

“You’re overthinking it. It’s simple physics, really. See,” the girl slid the ring from Kara’s fingers and turned it over and rotated it. She explained that the weight and density of the rings as compared to the soda bottles ensured that they would almost certainly bounce off every time.

Kara raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Now who’s overthinking it?” she sassed.

The girl lightly laughed, “Fair. But who also won a prize on her first try?”

“Well, you got me there!” Kara chuckled in return.

“Lena, come on. Mother is looking for you,” a gangly boy with well-groomed dark hair, maybe a little older than Alex, called for her tutor.

“Coming, Lex…” she said through an unhappy sigh. She handed Kara back her ring and gave her one last smile. “Well, good luck.”

As Lena walked towards her brother, Kara looked at the ring, then back to the swishing ponytail.

“Lena, wait!” Kara called out. Lena stopped immediately and turned, an inquiring smirk on her face.

“Yes?”

Kara smiled at her, winningly. “So, what’s the actual secret to this game?”

“It’s all in the wrist,” Lena winked, then placed her sunglasses on her face and clutched her Scooby close as she exited the booth.

Kara waved goodbye, then turned her attention back to the game. She cleared her mind and tossed the ring like it was a frisbee. She held her breath as she watched it sail through the air and bounce around the lip of a painted bottle before it settled into place.

The happy cry in celebration Kara let out caught Alex’s attention and she came over to high five her little sister.

In between rides and games, the girls stuffed themselves on pizza and fries and pretzels and funnel cakes. (Alex got sick after the pretzels, so it was just Kara with the funnel cakes.)

“I don’t know how you eat all the crap you do,” Alex lamented, taking a small sip of the ginger ale she’d gotten to settle her stomach. “You’ve got a stomach of steel or something.”

Kara merely shrugged and grinned, whipped cream and chocolate smeared around her mouth.

Alex shook her head and rolled her eyes. She grabbed a napkin with one hand and held Kara’s chin with the other, methodically wiped her sister’s face clean.

“You’re a toddler in a pre-teen body, I swear.”

The comment made Kara laugh so hard she dropped the rest of her funnel cake, her face slumped instantly. She leaned over to try to save it, but Alex pulled her back just as quickly.

“Kara, no. The five second rule is not actually a thing, especially for wet foods like whipped cream.”

Kara huffed for the second time that day and then pouted, crossing her arms.

Alex checked her watch. “C’mon. It’s almost five. We gotta meet mom and dad.” She held her hand out for Kara, wiggling her fingers in front of her face. Kara cracked a smile within seconds and grabbed her sister’s hand, allowing herself to be pulled off the bench (and out of her hissy fit.)

As they made their way back toward the boardwalk’s entrance, Kara spotted one last gastronomic endeavor.

“Alex, can we get ice cream? Please?” Kara stretched out the ‘ease’ as she said it, hitting Alex with her puppy dog face.

Alex fished out the last of their money—just enough for one cone—and handed it to her.

“I’ll wait out here, ok?”

Kara nodded and headed into the ice cream shop. The line was a little long, which was fine, because she had a big decision to make. She’d just had chocolate syrup on her ill-fated funnel cake, but she’d also had strawberry lemonade with her fries. She wasn’t in the mood for cookie dough, and mint chocolate chip was just…ew. Even Kara had to draw a line somewhere.

Ultimately, she decided on a double scoop of classic vanilla in a cake cone. She paid the cashier and gave her a genial “thanks!” as she walked out. She licked her lips in anticipation, her eyes fully on the heaping scoop, when disaster struck. Kara tripped and stumbled over a wonky plank on the boardwalk and her cone flew through the air. She could only watch in horror as it tumbled in slow motion to the ground and landed with a loud splat.

Her palm promptly flew to her forehead; she couldn’t believe she’d let that happen. Two desserts in one day? She ought to be arrested for such heinous crimes against sweets. She was ready to cry.

Alex’s arms were around her in no time. She’d seen her sister about to trip but was too late to call out to her. She wished she had saved a little of their money so she could go get her a replacement cone.

“Excuse me?” a little voice came from behind them.

Alex turned first, wary of the sudden interruption, but calmed down when she saw the girl was so small.

Small, yet somewhat intimidating…

Kara turned, eyes threatening to release the floodgates, when she realized it was the girl from the ring toss game—Lena.

“I saw you had an accident with your cone. I got you another. Vanilla in a cake cone, right?” she asked, even though she already knew the answer.

“Yeah, yes!” Kara replied happily, the sadness magically gone, already eyeing the cone. “You really didn’t have to-”

“I know. But you looked so sad and something tells me the world is better when you’re not sad,” Lena countered nonchalantly.

Kara felt a swell of warmth in her chest. This girl was about the nicest she’d ever met in her life.

“Well, thank you very much, Lena. You’re a very nice person.” She took the proffered cone and gave it a quick lick. “Mmmm,” she hummed in delight.

“Ok, well, enjoy the ice cream. I have to be going. It was nice meeting you…” Lena trailed off and seemed to consider something. “I just realized, you never told me your name?”

“Oh! I’m Kara, Kara Danvers. And this is my sister, Alex.” Kara stuck out her hand and Lena shook it instantly.

“Lena Luthor,” she said, sliding her sunglasses back into place. “Hope to see you again sometime.”

Her ponytail swished easily behind her as she spun around and met back up with the gangly boy from earlier.

Little did either Kara or Lena know that their fates were forever entangled; no matter in what universe they resided.

Chapter Text

It was a typical Tuesday night in National City. Kara and Lena were at Kara’s apartment, about to sit down for an evening of pasta and binge watching—they were currently working their way through Grey’s Anatomy, but it was taking an extra-long time because Lena couldn’t help pointing out the scientific and medical inaccuracies—when Kara suddenly paused the episode, holding a finger to her ear.

Lena heard the crackle and murmur over comms and sighed inwardly, knowing their night in was about to end before it had even begun.

“Got it. Be there soon,” Kara said and then looked over at Lena, apologetic. “I’m sorry, Lena…”

Lena shook her head and waved her off, standing up to wrap Kara’s plate so she could rewarm it later.

“Don’t worry about it. I knew what I was signing up for when we started this…” Her face was turned away from Kara; she grimaced before she grasped and squeezed the edge of the counter in frustration for a moment before she turned back around, a placid smile in its place. “Go on, Supergirl! Duty calls.” She waved in the general direction of the window.

Kara worried her lip between her teeth as she assessed Lena’s slight but noticeable change in demeanor. She knew Lena was understanding of the situation, but she couldn’t imagine her not being at least someone annoyed by the constant interruptions to their time together. Kara almost wished it was some supernatural or meta-human criminal so that Lena could come along and help. Sadly, it was just another warehouse fire with the potential of exploding.

Not that that’s some small, every day emergency... Kara thought.

She zoomed into her room and changed into her supersuit before returning to the kitchen and cupped Lena’s cheeks, brushing them lightly with her thumbs. Lena’s eyes fluttered closed and she lifted a hand to hold one of Kara’s for a brief time, knowing she needed to get going. Sighing, she turned her head and kissed Kara’s palm before Kara leaned in and kissed her soundly on the lips.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can, ok? Don’t go home. I want to wake up with you tomorrow,” she whispered, and then she was gone.

Lena shivered, both at the loss of contact and the breeze Kara’s superspeed had generated.

Hating the silence Kara’s exit had generated, Lena switched on the local news to keep tabs on the situation. Maybe she could be of some help, if the situation turned dire enough.

Not that I’m hoping for that, of course.

She washed up the dishes as the news anchor talked on and on about potential causes of the fire without having any actual information. As she dried the last pot and put it away in the cupboard, she glanced around the apartment.

It wasn’t the first time she’d been there alone, but this time felt…different. She couldn’t put her finger on why, though. Maybe because they were officially dating, then, when the times prior they were still just friends?

She walked toward the easel with Kara’s latest painting on it—the canvas was covered with blues and greens and greys; not dissimilar to Rothko, but far more pleasing to the eye (in Lena’s very biased opinion). She’d never actually seen Kara paint, but every now and then a new, fresh canvas would appear and some amount of time would go by and there would be new work applied to it. Lena had no idea when she even had time to do it, between CatCo and being Supergirl, she really had little downtime.

Maybe she does it when she can’t sleep, she thought. It was entirely possible that was the case. Lena found Kara’s bed so comfortable that once she was out, it would take a literal earthquake to wake her up. So, Kara could easily slip out of bed and paint by moonlight.

She smiled at the thought: Kara, wrapped in nothing but a sheet, or having thrown on an oversized t-shirt, padding her way out and squeezing some paint onto her palette and just…creating.

Lena glanced around the apartment again, realizing none of Kara’s pieces hung on her walls or were propped against them. She’d certainly never received one as a gift (she would have to talk to Kara about that), and couldn’t remember ever seeing them at anyone else’s apartment either.

Pursing her lips, she headed into Kara’s bedroom.

Maybe she’s got a little gallery under her bed.

Lena knelt down next to the bed and lifted the blankets, but found nothing but a few pairs of shoes and a couple of clear, under-the-bed storage totes. She blew out a breath and checked the bathroom closet.

Realistically, she knew they couldn’t be in there, but she thought she’d check anyway. As expected, nothing.

Walking back into Kara’s room, she considered the large armoire. She tilted her head, running some numbers, before deciding to look. She carefully opened the doors, the hinges creaking slightly—Note to self: get some WD-40 for Kara—and gave the furniture a onceover. There were no canvases, new or used, just clothes and a couple of medium sized white boxes. They reminded her of bakery boxes for cakes and for a moment she considered…

“No, not even Kara would keep whole cakes in her wardrobe,” she said as she shook her head. It was an absurd thought.

Inquisitive, though, Lena sat down and lifted one of the boxes; it was a little on the heavier side. She shook it from side to side; just a light swish type sound emitted, so it was definitely clothing. She pulled open the top and was greeted by sheets of pristine white tissue paper that looked they hadn’t been disturbed since they were originally placed inside.

Carefully, ever so carefully, she lifted the sheets by the corners, delicately folding them over the edges of the box. At the first glimpse of cobalt blue and red, she felt her heart skip a beat.

Kara’s old suits…

Lena had assumed they would have been kept at the DEO or the Tower, just in case she needed an emergency backup or a sample to refer back to for a new design. She ran her hand lightly over the crest. She’d touched this suit many times, mostly while in Kara’s arms, but again…this felt different. She tucked her fingers under the neckline and pulled it out. She held it in the air, appraising its craftsmanship. Winn really had done an impressive job with the limited resources he’d had at the time.

She pulled the skirt out and gently set the garments on the bed before she stood up from the floor. For some reason, she felt compelled to stand in front of the mirror with them, but holding them up certainly wouldn’t do them justice. So, she stripped down to just her bra and panties. Kara wouldn’t be back for a while, yet, anyway.

She slipped the skirt on and settled it a little lower than normal on her hips before she put the top on. Lena was surprised to find the material was as stretchy as it was, but thankful nonetheless, considering her chest was slightly bigger than Kara’s. The elasticity allowed her to feel comfortable instead of claustrophobic. She tugged the material down as low as she could, then readjusted the skirt to cover the hemline. Finally, she placed the gold-colored belt around her midsection and then walked to the mirror, across the room from the doorway.

Lena gasped at the sight. She looked…powerful. Strong. Dare she say…sexy.

The suit accentuated her curves in all the right ways and even made her look like she had some muscle tone on her arms.

She ran her hands down the sleeves and over her stomach and down the skirt, mesmerized at the different tactile sensations. She was so distracted she didn’t hear Kara land back in the dining room. Nor did she hear the footsteps that came closer to the bedroom.

It wasn’t until Kara’s whispered, “Rao…” that Lena was pulled back into reality. She didn’t jump at Kara’s sudden reappearance. Instead, she slowly raised her eyes in the mirror and gave her girlfriend an alluring leer. Lena simply watched as Kara practically floated over to her.

When she was close behind, Lena turned and Kara’s legs seemed to give out. She fell to her knees; the real sight even more astounding than the reflection in the mirror. Kara reached out and pulled Lena to her, hugging her at the waist and resting her head on Lena’s abdomen.

The confidence Lena had felt just prior seemed to disappear. She was worried about Kara’s behavior.

She ran her hand through Kara’s hair, trying to coax her to look up.

“Darling, is everything alright?”

Kara’s eyes shone brightly as she nodded. “It’s just-” she paused to clear her throat. “You’re literally perfection. It was already hard to look at you and not want to pass out or die at how beautiful you are. But to see you like this? In my family’s colors and crest?” Kara’s hand went to her chest as she took a few breaths. “I have never been more in love.”

It was Lena’s turn to have breathing issues. That was the first time Kara had said she was in love. They’d admitted to liking each other (like they were in middle school), to having romantic feelings for one another, but neither had said they were in love.

She swallowed thickly as she lifted Kara to her feet. “So,” she started. “You love me?” Lena trailed the back of her fingers down the side of Kara’s face.

“I love you,” Kara replied definitively; her eyes never left Lena’s.

Lena pushed herself forward and captured Kara’s lips in a searing kiss. Kara’s hands slid across Lena’s hips and squeezed a little.

“I love you, too,” she replied, just as sure as Kara.

The rest of the night was spent as they’d originally planned; pasta and binge watching, followed by Kara’s request of a sleepover.

The old suit was placed carefully back in its box and tucked back into Kara’s armoire, while Lena was tucked into Kara’s arms, sleeping soundly.

Everything was in its rightful place.

Chapter Text

It was a Monday.

Kara was running late to work because of a Supergirl emergency. Usually, one of the best perks of being a journalist was you usually didn’t have a set time to be into work. But she had Andrea Rojas as her boss, which meant staff meetings every Monday for progress reports on articles and the handing out of new assignments, promptly at 9:30a.m.

She was in line at Noonan’s and checked her phone—it was 9:18, she had several texts from Nia asking where she was and telling her that she would be cutting it close, and there were two people in front of her, yet. The first one had been “ordering” for at least five minutes… Kara tapped her foot impatiently. Even with her superspeed, she’d be cutting it close, but she needed this coffee.

The guy in front of her sighed heavily and checked his watch and grumbled out a, “damn it” and stepped out of line and took off running.

Too relatable, man.

Kara stepped forward and politely interrupted the conversation.

“Hi, I couldn’t help noticing that you’re having a little trouble ordering this morning,” she smiled. The young woman looked ready to throw a fit for being interrupted, but then she did a double take when she saw Kara’s face; incredibly pleased. “Might I recommend the mocha latte? Either hot or iced, they’re both delicious. They use this amazing Belgian chocolate; so yummy.”

Kara licked her lips for emphasis and the woman was transfixed watching her tongue make the rounds.

“Yeah,” she nodded blithely then turned back to the barista—Kara’s favorite, Bobby. “Yeah, I’ll have that, with 1%. Iced.” She handed her card to the guy behind the counter then waved her thanks to Kara as she walked down to the pick-up station.

Bobby mouthed a silent “thank you” and rolled his eyes. “The usual this morning, Kara?”

“Yes, please, Bobby. Can you put two bags in Lena’s tea, with an extra squeeze of lemon?”

“No problem. I’ll put a rush on it, you’re cuttin’ it real close this morning.”

Kara sighed and checked her phone again; 9:22a.m. “Tell me about it,” she groused, but slipped a couple of dollars in the tip jar.

True to his word, Bobby whipped out her Vanilla Caramel Latte and Lena’s Earl Grey in record time. She thanked him profusely and took off out the door, not giving the indecisive woman from earlier another look when she asked Kara for her number.

As soon as she rounded the corner into the alley, she shot up into the air and in the direction of the Tower.

When she landed, Lena was just exiting the elevator with Alex. She had a puzzled but pleased look on her face as she checked her watch.

“Kara, it’s 9:25. Andrea’s going to have a fit if you’re late!”

“Yeah, Kara.” Alex added, an amused smirk on her face. “What are you doing here?”

Alex knew exactly why Kara was risking a week of crappy assignments from Andrea. She’d spent over an hour on the phone with her the night prior listening to Kara lament about how pretty Lena was and how she obviously didn’t see Kara in any other way but as friends. Kelly had gotten a pretty big laugh out of that when Alex recapped it for her.

Everyone could see how into each other Lena and Kara were. The only ones who couldn’t were…well, Lena and Kara.

So, Alex did the sisterly thing and told her to suck it up and just ask Lena out. The worst thing she could say was no. And if she did, then Kara could move on cleanly; no wondering “what if?” or any of that.

Kara had scoffed at first, but the more the shot of reality and bluntness marinated, the more she realized that her sister was right.

Thus, the tea. Thus, the potential for a terrible beat that week.

She hurried down the stairs and offered Lena the cup, and adjusted her glasses before she took a deep breath.

“Oh, you’re a godsend. I made tea at home, but I left it on the counter on my way out!” Lena took a long sip and hummed in approval. “Extra lemon?” she asked with a smile.

“Just how you like it,” Kara smiled back. She shot a look to Alex that screamed “I love you, but please get lost.” Thankfully, her sister took pity on her and made herself scarce. “So, I wanted to-”

PING. PING. PING.PING.PING.

Kara’s phone blew up with texts. She let out a frustrated breath and looked at the screen—9:28a.m. and five texts from Nia that Andrea was in a mood. She really had to go.

“I’m sorry, apparently Andrea’s in one of her moods today. I’d better go,” Kara said sadly. Lena’s face fell a little, but she recovered quickly.

“Thank you for the tea, darling. Fly safe,” Lena replied, tipping her cup towards Kara. Kara returned the gesture and took off up the stairs.

She made it to CatCo with about fifteen seconds to spare, pretty sure she’d broken the sound barrier and positive her latte was cold. Not even Noonan’s cups could withstand the cooling effect of how fast she’d flown.

---

It was Tuesday.

Everyone had gathered at Kara’s for Game Night. Somehow, they’d been manipulated (by Kara) into playing Monopoly despite the prior six-month moratorium still being in effect from the last time they’d played. Alex had bankrupted Kara two turns prior, then Brainy had landed on her hotel laden St. James Place.

He’d just had to shell out money on his previous turn for her four-house St. Charles Place. He got so frustrated that he flipped the board, apologized profusely, then put himself in a timeout.

Alex’s innocent looking smile was betrayed by her arrogant, “Maybe next time you guys will believe me about being able to win with the ‘sucky’ properties.”

So, there they were, drawn once more into their worst, most debased instincts because of capitalism.

Alex was sullen next to Kelly, because everyone was blocking her from accumulating three of any color—she was lucky to have even amassed two of the yellows.

“Guys, this game will literally never end if no one is allowed to hold a monopoly on any color block,” she griped.

The group exchanged looks across the board, the majority coming to the same conclusion. A flurry of trade activity commenced, everyone excluding Alex; even Kelly.

“Et tu, Brute?” Alex exclaimed, faking betrayed quite well.

“Sorry, babe. It’s someone else’s turn to win, tonight,” Kelly replied with a long, loud kiss to Alex’s cheek.

Alex, in turn, took a swig of beer.

Kara decided to take the opportunity to stretch her legs and get another water (and maybe a couple of the brownies Lena had brought); Lena had caught her eye and Kara lifted her empty glass and signaled toward the kitchen. Lena nodded and got up to join.

As Kara set her glass down on the island and opened the fridge, Lena rested against the other side of the island.

“You really wanted to tempt fate tonight, huh?” she asked with a throaty chuckle.

Kara crushed the handle of the water gallon (silently grateful it wasn’t the pitcher kind, knowing the cracking of the hard plastic would have been obvious), and released an awkward chuckle, keeping her head in the fridge a little longer than necessary. “W-what do you mean?”

“Wanting to play Monopoly.” Lena supplied easily.

Kara let out a short breath, shaking her head. Duh, Kara…

She finally pulled the water out and set it on the counter, turning back to get the ice from the freezer. She offered some to Lena first, before placing a few cubes into her own. She refilled Lena’s water glass before her own and put the gallon back into the fridge.

“Just wanted to spice things up, I guess,” Kara simpered, wiggling her eyebrows as she turned back to Lena, looking far more confident than she felt.

Lena’s melodious laughter tickled Kara’s ears in a way she’d never tire of. It warmed every inch of her heart and settled her mind in a way other things or methods hadn’t and couldn’t. Just the simple knowledge that Lena was finally, genuinely happy and had a healthy support system around her, and that Kara was a big part of that… It meant everything.

“So, what are you-”

“Hey, Kara?”

Kara was interrupted by Nia and she had to resist the urge to flip the Monopoly board. She offered an apologetic smile to Lena before they returned to the group.

“Yeah, Nia?”

“Kara, I’ll trade you Pennsylvania Ave, Mediterranean, and…” she took a moment to count out her money. “$200, for Illinois.”

Kara glanced down at her properties and money, noticing she had Baltic and Pacific. Then took a look at Nia’s properties; she only needed Illinois to make a monopoly on the reds and had quite the stack of cash in her corner.

Still, Kara was about to take the deal when Lena piped up.

“Ah, ah, ah. Sidebar, please, Kara.”

Kara leaned over and Lena met her halfway, cupping a hand in front of Kara’s ear and whispering. After she’d finished, Kara looked at her, somewhat shocked…but also intrigued. She looked back to the board and the state of the game and considered, then back to Lena who sat back with a smirk and a quirked eyebrow.

Kara looked back to Nia and shrugged, “Per the advice of my trusted associate and well-known business mogul, scientist and doctor, I have to say: make it $600 and you have a deal.”

Nia gasped and looked between the two of them. “That’s extortion,” she retorted, utterly appalled; her mouth agape and an accusatory finger extended.

“That’s business, love.” Lena supplied coolly.

In the end, it ended up being Alex who flipped the board, annoyed by the fact that no one would trade with her and she was well on her way to bankruptcy.

Another six-month embargo was placed on Monopoly.

---

It was Wednesday.

Kara and Lena were in the park, enjoying a lunchtime walk in the sunshine. Lena was filling Kara in on her dream of starting up her own charitable foundation; finally breaking away from her family and doing the good she’d moved to National City to do, for real and independently. She had quite a bit in her trust fund and savings—thanking her past self that she’d planned well and way ahead of a potential split from LuthorCorp—but she would still need some type of grant from the government or donations from investors.

“Ideally it would be a grant, though. I don’t want to be beholden to people who only donate thinking they’ll get favors or something out of me in the future.”

Kara looked at her, amazed. After everything, Lena still just wanted very simple and realistic things.

“That sounds amazing, Lena,” Kara’s voice was soft, but sincere. “You’re remarkable.”

At the compliment, Lena ducked her head for a moment, then looked straight ahead, a small smile on her lips.

“You’re very sweet, Kara. Thank you.”

“I would love to do a piece on you and the foundation for CatCo, if you’ll let me? Well, and if Andrea oks it. I don’t see why she wouldn’t, though.” Kara was so close to rambling, but she caught herself.

They found an empty bench and took a seat to people watch.

There were friends enjoying a picnic in the grass. There were people walking their dogs, and some even walking their cats—still a big source of enjoyment for Kara. There were bikers and joggers and full out runners. There were singles and there were couples; all seemingly happy that day.

Wanting to cash in on her good mood, Kara attempted yet again to ask Lena out.

“Lena, would you-”

“Supergirl, we’ve got a robbery at National City Bank; alien weaponry and suspects. All hands on deck.”

Once again, Kara could only release a frustrated growl from the back of her throat. She stood and held a hand out to Lena.

“Duty calls, Miss Luthor. We’ve got an all hands call to deal with.” She helped Lena up from the bench with ease, but didn’t let go once she had it. “You want to go to the scene or work from the Tower?”

Lena threw a quick glance down to their joined hands, but made no move or effort to disentangle them.

“The Tower, please. I’m still trying to learn the ropes with my magic. I don’t want to be a liability to the team.”

Kara nodded and led them to a more secluded area where she could lift off without drawing attention.

When she set Lena down at the Tower, she offered one last thought before heading to the scene.

“You could never be a liability to the team, Lena.” She smiled shyly. “You’re the oil that keeps us running and working together.”

She missed Lena’s small exhale and the way her hand flew to her chest to make sure that, yes, her heart was still beating.

---

It was Thursday.

The whole team had just returned from a call, utterly exhausted and starving.

“Pizza?” Nia offered.

Yes,” Kara pleaded. Nothing replenished her like pizza, so she claimed. She was already on her phone putting in the order for ten pizzas when Lena cleared her throat.

“Excuse me,” she said, walking to the center of the room. “I have something important to discuss.”

Everyone went quiet and Kara glanced up quickly to let her know that she had Kara’s attention (always) even though Kara was still tapping away with practiced dexterity.

“Kara?” Lena specifically called her out. Apparently it was really important.

“Huh, yeah?” she answered, sliding her phone back into her boot having just sent in the order. She couldn’t wait to get her mouth around a slice with extra cheese and pepperoni. “What’s up?”

Lena waved her over. Kara obliged immediately, surprised when Lena took both of her hands into her own; Lena’s shook a little. They locked eyes as Lena asked, “Kara Danvers, would you do me the honor of having dinner with me tomorrow night?”

Kara was taken aback. She didn’t get why Lena was being so formal about asking her to hang out, like they’d never done it before.

“Uh, sure, weirdo,” Kara chuckled. “Why the formality?”

She heard Alex groan under her breath and whisper, “Jesus Christ…” to Kelly. Kelly responded by simply rubbing Alex’s arm in comfort.

“Kara, I’m asking you on a date,” Lena responded, her tone tinged with charmed amusement.

“You- What?!” Kara did a double take. “But I was-”

“I know,” Lena smiled and cupped one of Kara’s cheeks. “But you were taking forever and I got impatient.”

Kara blushed a bright red. Technically it wasn’t her fault she kept getting interrupted…

No, but it was your fault you chickened out, her brain traitorously supplied.

“So, it’s a date, then?” Lena checked, again.

Kara looked around the room at their friends, their family. Everyone had smiles and Brainy even offered her an enthusiastic thumbs up.

She turned her full attention back to Lena and grinned widely. “Absolutely.”

“Nia, you owe me fifty bucks,” Alex called across the room.

“I’ll Venmo you tomorrow, when my paycheck is in my account,” Nia grumbled. “Man, Kara. Why couldn’t you have followed through?”

Kara scoffed, “You’re betting on my love life, now? That’s real mature, guys.”

“I think we’re all just happy you guys can stop dancing around the obvious attraction, finally,” Kelly said with a squeeze to each of their arms and a sweet smile.

“You guys suck,” Kara pouted and wondered to herself when she’d be able to soothe her wounds with pizza.

Ultimately, the teasing subsided. Kara and Lena were finally making a go of it and the rest of the group didn’t have to pretend like they weren’t constantly flirting with each other or giving each other very non-platonic looks.

Chapter Text

“You didn’t have to come along, you know?” The amusement in Lena’s voice was palpable. She glanced over her shoulder at Kara, who carried the majority of the gear, while Lena had a reasonably sized pack on her shoulders. “Brainy offered his assistance.”

They’d driven out and into the mountains for some fresh herbs and plants Lena needed for her spells. Kara had insisted on going, even though Brainy had spoken up first about accompanying Lena, and Alex’s roar of laughter should have been a tip off to Lena for what to expect.

“I know,” Kara gruffed as her foot caught in another rut on the inclined trail. “I don’t get why you wouldn’t let me just fly us up to the campsite, or at least run.”

Lena’s laugh carried with a slight echo in the open forest. “Because this is all part of the experience! Being one with nature and enjoying the peacefulness away from the city.” She paused and allowed Kara to catch up. When Kara was in front of her, Lena grabbed her chin and placed a firm kiss to Kara’s lips. “Your efforts are noticed and very, very appreciated.”

“Well,” Kara cleared her throat and a blush creeped up her neck. “As long as… Ok, then. Yeah.” She readjusted the small cooler in her hands and tried to assess just how much further they had to go. “Not to be that person, but… Are we there yet?”

Lena smiled and turned on her heel, continuing to lead the way. “Almost, darling. I promise.”

After another ten minutes, they finally crested the hill and came upon a clearing, about the length of a football field. The pine trees created a sort of crescent shaped barricade, blocking out the rest of the world, and before them was a field with patches of wildflowers scattered around the area and a small pond off to the right that was surrounded by bunches of greenery.

Kara allowed Lena to pick out the spot for their tent before she happily set the cooler down and unbuckled her large hiking pack from around her waist. She stretched her arms and back out, thoroughly enjoying the pops her joints gave. It wasn’t that her muscles or limbs were tired, she had superstrength, but after carrying the gear in the same position for an hour, they may have…stiffened up a little. Plus, it was an overcast day, so she hadn’t had the constant source of yellow sun that would have helped.

They unpacked the tent and laid out all the pieces, but Kara couldn’t find the instructions on how to assemble it. She frantically dug through the tent’s bag and then through her own, but it was nowhere to be found. She stood, one hand on her hip and the other on her forehead, completely overwhelmed. She heard a giggle come from Lena and when she lifted her eyes to her girlfriend, Lena was trying (and failing) to stifle it behind her hand and a cough.

“It’s not funny!” Kara whined. “You know I’ve never camped before, Lena. This isn’t my forte.”

Lena strode over and wrapped her in a hug. “I know, Kara. You’re doing your best.” She pulled back and tugged Kara to the pile of poles. “C’mon, we’ll do this together.”

Lena’s hands worked nimbly attaching one pole to another and threading them through the guides on the outside of the tent. When it came time to drive the stakes into the ground, Kara sped off to the woods and found a hand-sized rock, then sped back, careful not to cause a draft that would send the tent flying. She gave it to Lena to use as a hammer while Kara held the stake.

“How’d you get so good at this?” Kara asked as they rose to their feet, dusting off their hands.

“Andrea and I were quite outdoorsy back in boarding school and college,” she replied casually. Off Kara’s perturbed look, Lena continued. “It started out as a way to impress boys for her, and she dragged me along as a way to not be the ‘worst at camping.’ We ended up loving it,” she shrugged. “It was a nice mental break from studying and the pressure.”

Kara nodded in understanding, “That makes sense. Your big brain needed a big rest,” she gently kissed the side of Lena’s head, lingering a moment to breathe her in. Lena already had picked up the scent of pine from their hike, mixed with a little sweat. It was different, but alluring. “So what’s next, female Bear Grylls?”

“Megan Hine.”

“What?”

“Who.”

“Huh?”

“You said ‘female Bear Grylls.’ Her name is Megan Hine. She consults for him and he once said she was stronger than 99% of the men he knew.”

Kara crinkled her eyes and tapped Lena’s forehead. “Big brain needs a big rest.”

Lena laughed emphatically and playfully attempted to push Kara away.

“We’ll need firewood—bigger logs and smaller sticks—and large stones for a fire pit.”

Kara glanced around the area and then at her watch, noting that they only had a few hours of sunlight left. “Why don’t you start to look around for the plants you’ll need and I’ll get the firepit handled?”

“Are you sure?” Lena didn’t want Kara to feel as though she was doing all the heavy lifting—even though she technically was.

“Absolutely!” Kara smiled. “It’s about that time, anyway.”

Lena’s eyebrows drew together in confusion. “Time for what?”

Kara stripped off her t-shirt to reveal the tank top she’d worn underneath. She tossed it toward the opening of the tent and then flexed her arms exaggeratedly. “Time for the gun show.”

“Oh, my God,” Lena murmured and hid her face in her hands. “You’re so corny!”

“You love it,” Kara responded, pulling down Lena’s hands and placing a kiss to her nose.

“I do,” she happily sighed.

As Kara sped off to the woods, Lena headed towards the pond.

Every now and then she heard the rumble of Kara dropping rocks and logs and sticks; once she heard the sound of a tree falling followed by several successive cracks. She saw Kara carrying in long sections of lumber and paused her gathering to just sit back and enjoy the show. Kara’s strong arms snapped the long pieces in half, then in half again, and she neatly piled them near the circle of stones she’d created for the firepit.

Lena dabbed lightly at the sweat that had formed at her hairline and when Kara looked over, waved, and yelled out, “Enjoying the show?” she knew she’d been caught.

“Immensely,” she said at a normal volume, knowing full well Kara could hear it.

When Kara finished her task, she took off for another trip to look for smaller branches.

---

Lena had been in the midst of plucking some lavender and dandelion when she heard Kara’s voice approaching fast.

“Get up, get up, get up,” Kara yelled out, then sped over and picked her up and tossed her over her shoulder then sped to the tent, zippering the door as quickly as she could.

“Kara, what even?”

“Sorry, I just-” she looked down, seemingly embarrassed. “I might have disturbed a hornet’s nest and I didn’t want a recreation of that scene in My Girl.”

Lena pursed her lips. “Am I to assume that I would be Thomas J. in that scenario?”

Kara looked at her incredulously. “Um, yes?”

Lena nodded slowly, then bit her lip. Eventually, the laughter bubbled out.

“What is so funny?”

Lena shook her head, a placating hand raised in front of her as the other covered her mouth. “I’m sorry, darling. I just- Where did you get the idea I was allergic to bee stings?”

“From you,” Kara pointed. “We were playing that awful ‘Would You Rather’ game and you said you’d rather die from a fall off a cliff than from bee stings.”

“But I never said I was allergic,” Lena clarified.

“But- You- Ugh, thank Rao Alex isn’t here. She’d never let me hear the end of it.” Kara’s head dropped into her hands. She felt Lena rub her back comfortingly. “You cannot say a word about this to her, Lena, please.”

“I won’t,” she answered quickly.

Kara lifted her head, a sad look and her lip jutted out. “You promise?” she questioned in a small voice.

“I promise,” Lena swore, sticking out a pinky. Kara snagged it with her own and then snagged Lena’s lips for a warm, long kiss.

When they finally separated, Kara rested her forehead on Lena’s.

“I love you,” she spoke quietly. “But I still hate camping.”

Chapter Text

“Kara…” Lena’s breath shuddered from emotional turmoil and adrenaline; her face was paler than usual. Her heart raced. Sure, she’d had many near-death encounters in the time she’d lived in National City, but this one… Kara was by her side instantly, holding her by the waist; Lena looked like she could pass out at any moment. They looked each other in the eyes as thunder cracked overhead and small drops of rain started to fall. “Take me home?”

Kara had never heard Lena’s voice so timid, so small. She looked around at all the property damage, the cars that were still aflame, then back over to Alex and the rest of the team.

“We got this,” Alex nodded. “You guys be safe.”

Both women smiled at the elder Danvers sister before turning towards Lena’s penthouse. Kara looked to Lena once more before she asked, “You ready?”

At Lena’s nod, Kara gently lifted and cradled her, Lena tucked her hand under the cape and around strong shoulders, ensuring a solid grip as Kara took off. The wind and rain were so harsh on her face, Lena had to duck her head into the crook of Kara’s neck; it felt safe and warm.

---

By the time they arrived to Lena’s balcony, the storm was in full effect. Lightning flashed above them, followed closely by a loud, long roll of thunder; rain poured around them.

Kara’s feet touched down first, with a small splash from the water that had yet to run off to the drain, then Lena’s.

“Thank you, Kara…” she said so softly that only someone with Kryptonian hearing could hear it over the thunder claps.

Lena started towards the sliding door, but stopped when she sensed Kara was about to leave. She turned slightly, tossing a look over her shoulder.

“You’re always going to be there to save me, aren’t you?” she asked, still unbelieving even after all these years.

Kara’s brow crinkled in confusion. “Lena, of course.”

It was in that moment that Lena finally decided to take the leap she’d contemplated so many times in their friendship. She turned fully, straightened her back and shoulders, then walked with authority to Kara. She hurriedly slipped her hand around the back of Kara’s neck, lifted on her tip toes, and pulled Kara into a long-awaited kiss.

It took Kara a minute to fully process what had happened, but when she did, it was as though her body went on autopilot; her brain short circuiting. Her eyes closed and her hands slid around Lena’s rain-soaked back and she lifted her, just slightly, so Lena could stand on her feet. Their lips moved in tandem, the rain acting like a lubricant, allowing them to slip and slide together enjoyably. Lena’s tongue pressed lightly, begging for entrance that Kara happily allowed.

It was then that Kara’s brain kicked back in. Reality slapped her hard.

Pulling back the tiniest bit, her eyes still shut, she shook her head and asked, “Lena, what are we doing?”

When she opened her eyes, Lena’s were dark as the night. Her pupils were blown so wide, just the faintest hint of green could be seen. Her chest heaved rapidly; lungs searched for oxygen.

“What we’ve both thought of doing for years, but were always too scared to,” she replied easily; like it was an undeniable matter of fact.

Because it is.

That seemed to be good enough for Kara’s brain because her body was back on autopilot. She dipped her head down to recapture Lena’s lips with her own. It was possibly (definitely) the best kiss of her life. The taste of Lena mixed with the rain…it was intoxicating.

When Lena stepped back, Kara’s head followed for a second. She opened her eyes again and saw Lena saunter backward to the door, her hips swaying hypnotically.

“Come inside?”

What would have been an innocent, innocuous question any other day, had very real undertones in that moment. Lena’s voice was deeper, thicker than usual. Kara felt a pull low in her gut.

“Supergirl, did you arrive safely with the package?” Alex’s voice crackled over comms.

Her mind went blank. She was torn. She knew there was still work to be done back at the scene—there was always still work to be done—and then she had Lena. Rain-soaked, been in love with her for years, heart aching, beautiful Lena, standing in front of her with her eyebrow arched and smirking in the way she does when she knows she’s about to get her way…

Kara lifted her hand to her ear. “Lena’s really shaken up. I’m going to stay with her for a while.”

“Copy that.”

Lena slid the door open and hopped inside, curling her finger as she beckoned Kara to follow.

It took her two, maybe three steps before she was inside and closing the door behind her. She reached in her ear and ripped out the earpiece, tossing it on the coffee table. The clang it made echoing loudly in her mind. It reminded her to memorize every detail of what was about to happen.

They stood and looked at one another, their breaths heavy. Neither moved, as if the change of venue hit an unpleasant pause button and neither knew how to press start again.

When another crash of lightning struck, seemingly where they’d just vacated, they looked out to the briefly illuminated balcony, then back to each other.

Green light, a voice in Kara’s head sounded.

That was all she needed before she was in front of Lena, lowering herself somewhat and lifting her up by her legs. Lena took the hint and wrapped them around Kara’s waist before she dove back in to waiting lips. Kara secured one arm around Lena’s back and walked towards Lena’s bedroom. She vaguely registered the sound of Lena’s shoes dropping to the floor as she kicked them off.

She blindly pushed the doors open with her free hand while Lena moved her dripping wet hair to the side so she had access to Kara’s neck, placing hot, open-mouthed kisses along its length and then trailing her tongue along it; drinking in the rain. Lena ripped off the fasteners for the cape; the red material dropped to the floor, immediately forgotten.

The pull in Kara’s gut was stronger, then. Her heart raced the closer she got to Lena’s bed. She felt Lena tug at the back of her suit, trying to rip it open and off. She seized the opportunity and slid her hand the length of Lena’s upper leg to her ass, squeezing before she gently spanked it.

Lena jerked forward at the sensation, the whimper she let out letting Kara know she’d enjoyed it.

Lena tugged again at the back of her suit but still couldn’t get it.

“Off,” she grumbled, utterly frustrated in several ways.

It was Kara’s turn to smirk. She slowly loosened Lena’s legs and lowered her to the floor before she turned around and lifted her hair.

“It’s a clasp and a zipper…” was all Kara offered.

Lena’s cool fingers trailed gently down the nape of her neck and delicately undid the clasp. They moved lower to the zipper pull and paused a moment; as if Lena was debating with herself. Just as Kara was about to check on her, her hands began to unzip at a purposefully painfully slow pace.

“Lena…” Kara husked.

She heard the quiet chuckle that left Lena’s throat before she felt her step closer and slide both of her hands inside the opening in the back; her fingers splayed along her shoulder blades. She pushed and slid the material over strong shoulders and down Kara’s arms.

Kara shivered once, then again when Lena’s breath hit her bared back. She pressed a small kiss to Kara’s spine. Kara inhaled then turned around, covering her breasts, the supersuit hanging off of her hips.

Lena gasped at the sight. Kara, hair wet and pulled over her shoulder on one side, her arms covering bare breasts Lena had only dared imagined in the privacy of that very room, during the late hours of the night. One arm was horizontally placed along her chest, hooked behind her ribcage, while the other went diagonally upward, her hand just at her shoulder. She looked every bit as gorgeous as she always did, with just a touch of insecurity, seemingly due to their unequal levels of undress.

So, Lena remedied the situation. She unbuttoned her jeans, the wet denim clinging uncomfortably to her legs, before she untucked her oxford shirt. She took her time with the buttons, glancing up a couple times and seeing Kara’s fingers twitch. It caused a rush of warmth to flow to Lena’s groin.

She removed the shirt off her shoulders and tossed it in the general direction of her bathroom, never taking her eyes off Kara’s. Her hands went to the zipper on her jeans and she slid it down, her hands returning to the waistband before stopping again. She looked down then back up to mesmerized blue eyes.

“Could you help me with these?” she whispered and bit her lip.

Kara blinked once, twice…then shook her head. Her arms dropped swiftly as she fell to her knees in front of Lena. Lena only got a quick glimpse of Kara, but it was enough to cause her breath to hitch. Kara leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss to Lena’s stomach, just below her belly button, before she hooked her fingers inside the jeans.

In one swift tug, the wet denim was pooled around Lena’s ankles and she stepped out with one leg, then kicked them to the side with the other. She took in the sight before her: Kara, topless, bare chested and knelt before her, hands loosely clasped in her lap, looking at Lena like she was a dream. Lena’s hand drifted out and dragged through Kara’s hair, along her scalp. Kara’s eyes drifted shut and her head lolled into Lena’s palm until she felt Lena tug her up.

Her eyes snapped open at the feeling, and she shot up, stripping the rest of her supersuit on the way.

Lena’s eyes went wide at Kara’s speed, her hand falling from damp tendrils and resting on a chilled cheek. She trailed a hungry gaze down Kara’s nearly nude body; the only vestige of clothing was a pair of cotton boyshorts. She slowly dragged her eyes back up to Kara’s, whose usually crystal-clear blue was being obscured by enlarged pupils.

“So beautiful,” Lena murmured reverently, her thumb idly dragging across a perfect cheekbone.

Kara surged forward, taking Lena’s lips as her own once more. Their heads tilted and adjusted, perfectly in sync. Teeth nipped at lips, drawing aroused hisses from the other, which only encouraged repeating the action.

When Lena’s hands moved down Kara’s body and settled on her breasts, kneading them in a slow rhythm with her thumbs flicking and teasing nipples until they peaked, Kara couldn’t help but let out a slow breath, her head falling backwards. Lena took the opportunity to ravish her neck, again; her mouth hot and wet against the skin. She sucked and bit and licked at the rapid pulse she felt, before she followed the path her hands had previously blazed.

She peppered Kara’s chest with kisses and then lowered her head. Her tongue slipped out, flicked at the hardened bead she’d created with her thumb. She felt one of Kara’s hands slip into her hair, holding her head in place and the other dragged dull nails across and down her back. Lena’s tongue swirled and flicked at the nipple before she took it into her mouth, her teeth dragging softly over it.

A throaty moan ripped out of Kara, spurring Lena on. She switched to the other side, not wanting to miss a chance to taste literally every bit of Kara that she could. She lavished attention to it for a short while when her hands started to explore lower. Her fingertips dragged down deliciously toned abs and it drew a small mewl from the other woman. Lower still, her fingers drifted, until they found themselves on the outside of Kara’s underwear, between her legs. It was soaked. At the first stroke, Kara gasped and pulled back slightly.

Her eyes were black and for just a moment Lena was worried she’d gone too far, until Kara lifted her and laid her tenderly on the bed. She made quick work of both Lena’s bra and panties, and her own boyshorts. Lena’s left leg wrapped around the back of Kara’s thighs before she paused once more.

Another bolt of lightning struck outside, illuminating their bodies temporarily, and Kara’s mouth dropped open.

“:dhiviao,” tumbled from her lips. And truly, in Kara’s eyes, Lena was magnificence personified. Lena felt a flood of wetness hearing Kara speak her native language. She noticed Kara’s brow furrow as she took in Lena’s perfect body.

“Kara? Darling?” she quietly questioned.

Kara looked away and clenched her jaw. Lena hand guided her eyes back and Kara leaned into it before turning her wrist so she could kiss Lena’s palm.

“I don’t want to hurt you… I don’t want to lose control and-” her voice cracked pitifully.

Lena smiled fondly and leaned up to press her lips to Kara’s then slowly lowered herself back to the mattress.

“I trust you, Kara. Please,” she begged. “I need you.” She rocked her hips into Kara’s thigh, the wetness at her center making its presence known.

Kara took a deep, steadying breath and kissed Lena soundly. Her hands found purchase on the soft, warm flesh of Lena’s breasts and she began caressing and massaging them. She paid each nipple special attention, as Lena had done for her. Kara moved her mouth lower, to the pale neck she’d dreamed of marking as her own. She licked and sucked and kissed, until she found her spot, and bit down just hard enough to elicit a pleased hiss and then a low chuckle from Lena.

“That’s going to leave a mark. I can’t wait to see it,” Lena growled and pulled Kara closer. Her hips started to cant upwards, seeking any sort of friction.

Kara smiled into the spot and soothed it with her tongue, then moved lower. She took one of Lena’s breasts and sucked part of it into her mouth, her tongue sliding over and around the nipple before she popped it out again. She dragged her teeth and tongue across the stiff peak before she switched sides, her hand immediately taking the place of her mouth.

After a short while, she kissed her way into the valley of Lena’s breasts, then over her ribs, and down her stomach. She could smell Lena’s arousal and it made her mouth water. Lena looked at her through lidded eyes and nodded.

That was all Kara needed as she dragged her nose across the top of Lena’s mound and kissed the inside of her thigh, and then the other. Lena’s hips rocked upward again, but Kara settled them with a strong hand resting on her stomach. She licked her lips and then dipped her tongue between warm, wet folds. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head at the feeling.

Their combined moans filled the room. Kara stuck her tongue in again and again, switching between dragging it up and swirling it around Lena’s clit and fully licking into Lena’s core. She tasted even better than she smelled.

One of Kara’s hands drifted back up to Lena’s breasts and began to play with them again, rolling and plucking at the nipples.

She moved her mouth back up to the sensitive bundle of nerves and slowly, ever so slowly, sucked it into her mouth.

“Kara,” Lena said breathily as she writhed in pleasure. Her hips rolled into Kara’s face and mouth, trying to find more contact with Kara’s tongue as her hands joined Kara’s on her breasts, needing more attention there to match what was happening further down her body.

“Mmm,” Kara hummed around the nub. Lena’s hips jumped at that.

Kara swiftly moved her way back up to Lena’s mouth. She kissed her hotly, allowing the other woman to taste herself on Kara’s tongue. Lena moaned again, long and loud.

Kara’s hand teased its way down the length of Lena’s torso, just shy of where she knew Lena wanted her most. She leaned down and nibbled lightly on Lena’s ear before she whispered into it.

“You’ll tell me if it’s too much?”

Lena met her eyes (only just) and nodded.

So, she danced her fingers across soft folds. She slipped them through, gliding around Lena’s clit, only barely brushing the side of it. They dipped down, to a hot opening, and they pressed flatly against it. Lena tried to grind down, but Kara didn’t allow it.

She leaned down and kissed Lena’s lips softly and she guided her thumb up to her clit, swiping once, twice, three times. Lena bit down roughly on Kara’s lip and whimpered before Kara’s tongue was back inside her mouth.

Blindly, too consumed with Lena’s mouth at the moment, Kara repositioned her hips behind her wrist and forearm. She dipped one finger into Lena’s entrance without warning, then pulled it out and dipped in two. Lena’s moan into Kara’s mouth reverberated throughout Kara’s body and spurred her on. She rocked her hips into her wrist, giving her leverage to get deeper into Lena.

Lena’s head whipped to the side, as she struggled for air.

“Kara, oh godKara!” Lena whined.

Kara returned her mouth to Lena’s neck as her hips and hand continued to press into molten sex; her thumb playing Lena’s clit like a joystick.

As Kara drove Lena nearer to the edge, she felt Lena’s hands cling to her lower back. They were pushing in time with Kara’s thrusts. She wanted more and Kara happily obliged. Without missing a beat, Kara pushed three fingers into Lena, relishing in the sound of Lena’s wetness.

With a few more thrusts and well-timed swipes along her clit, Lena finally tumbled over the edge with a loud cry of Kara’s name. Kara’s hips relented, but her wrist continued to thrust in and out, slower and slower, bringing Lena down gently; tenderly kissing her lips. She removed her fingers and sucked one clean as she looked Lena in the eye. She pressed the other two into Lena’s waiting mouth, Kara’s eyes closing at the feeling of Lena’s tongue licking them clean.

When Lena finished, Kara wiped them on the sheet and then drew her thumb down the side of Lena’s face and across her sharp jawline.

“See?” Lena said as she smiled dazedly up at her. “Nothing to worry about anymore, right?”

Kara tapped her nose twice and replied with a quiet “right.”

A short time later, after Lena had regained her composure, she guided Kara’s back to the mattress and returned the favor.

All the while, the Saturday night storm continued to rage outside.

---

The next morning, Kara released a sleepy sigh as her hand dragged up her bare stomach and raindrops pattered loudly against the windows.

Wait. Bare stomach?

Her eyes flew open and she looked down; her naked body greeted her, only her lower half was covered by the sheet. She looked to her right and saw Lena, lying on her stomach and her back uncovered.

So last night really happened…

It’s not that Kara was upset; quite the opposite. She was elated. She was also just worried at how Lena might react. After all, her emotions were running high and adrenaline was pumping…

Kara tried to relax and took a deep breath. They would talk about it when Lena woke up. There was no use throwing herself into a panic attack.

She turned onto her right side and scooted a little closer to Lena. Before she knew it, her left hand had reached out and began to draw mindless patterns onto Lena’s back, acting as a canvas for invisible art.

It seemed the light touch was enough to rouse Lena, much to Kara’s chagrin. Kara tried to discreetly pull the sheet up enough so that her chest would be covered before Lena opened her eyes. Thankfully, it worked.

Lena blinked, smiled at Kara, then closed her eyes again, only to have them fly wide open after she registered not just Kara’s level of nudity, but her own. She flipped over onto her back and sat up, clutching the sheet to her chest. She looked around the room, taking note of the clothes strewn about in various piles. She fell back to the pillows with a small plop and covered her face.

She turned her head and peeked at Kara with one eye, through her fingers.

“So…” eloquence had left the building, apparently.

Kara looked at her for a moment, trying to discern her mood. Ultimately, she decided to just be honest. She couldn’t, in good conscience, experience what they had last night and then lie the next morning. Something had shifted irrevocably with them; there was no going back.

“I don’t regret it. At all,” Kara started. “And I really hope you don’t either.”

Lena let out a small breath of relief and smiled brightly. Her hand dropped away from her face and cupped Kara’s cheek. She trailed her thumb over Kara’s bottom lip.

“I don’t. I could never.”

They spent the next few hours learning and enjoying one another. And finally building on a foundation of total trust and honesty; optimistic about their futures—both together, and as individuals.

Chapter Text

Kara flies through her window, upset and overwhelmed and ready to spend another night tossing and turning in her bed. The Nyxly situation was eating away at her psyche in multiple ways, with their emotional connection. Nyxly was mercurial, her emotions on a hair-trigger, changing from angry to elated to frustrated to everything in between. Everything except calm. Calm doesn’t seem to be in her vocabulary.

She sees Lena first and for a moment, her world quiets. Her heart swells, the chill of the flight instantly disappearing. For a moment, she feels…happy. Pure, unadulterated, contentment of coming home and seeing and being greeted by Lena. If she had the time to consider it, she might realize that it’s something she wants to keep happening.

But she doesn’t have the time and she’s shoved right back into reality seeing Alex and Kelly and Nia and J’onn on her couch. And now she’s confused.

“What are you guys doing here?”

She doesn’t mean to sound rude, she doesn’t, and thankfully no one takes it that way. It was just unexpected.

“It’s game night!” Alex tries, her voice sounding a little too happy, but seeing the look on Kara’s face her voice takes on an uneasy edge. “Remember?” At Kara’s continued silence and distracted demeanor, she tries once more. “We thought that it would…cheer you up.”

Kara loves that Alex tries; never gives up on her, that she so easily picks up the beacon of hope mantle Kara usually owns, especially in these times. But she’s just. So. Tired.

“Oh, that’s…” she sighs and scratches her head, unsure of how to (or whether to even) politely ask them to leave. “Guys, that’s really sweet. I-I just figured with Nyxly still out there we would cancel our plans.” She looks around the room, uncertain as the stutter in her voice makes her sound. She’s usually so much better at handling things, stress, but the fallout from the Phantom Zone is being compounded exponentially and this time it…it might just be too much.

“We all need to relax and decompress,” Kelly; sweet, amazing, rational Kelly offers. “You, most of all, Kara.”

She really does see and know everything, doesn’t she? Kara thinks. Definition of the mom friend.

“Yeah, but there’s still no sign of Nyxly and she already has one totem.” Kara knows she’s talking fast, she knows. But her anxiety is so high, she can’t help it. She wishes she could rewind and just live in that moment of happiness from when she flew in for a while…maybe a week. Is that asking too much?

“Brainy is on the Legion ship and he’s scanning for Nyxly’s ship. So, if she or Mitch pop up anywhere, we’ll know.” Alex tries to calm her.

“Besides,” J’onn jumps in, “the mental tether you share with Nyxly could be a benefit to us.”

She feels a tension headache coming on, or maybe it’s Nyxly coming through; it’s hard to tell these days.

“Yeah, but I… I can’t read her mind. I- I- I can only sense her extreme emotions. And it’s not like a light switch I can just turn on and off. I feel like I’m constantly just waiting for it to happen; I can’t think of anything else. We have to find her.” Her heart is racing and her palms are starting to sweat. There’s some kind of anxiety or panic attack brewing, she just knows it. She’s starting to have fuzziness around the edges of her vision.

“Well, I might have something that could help.”

Lena.

She waits for Kara to focus on her before she continues. “My mother’s book of spells?”

“Have you found anything useful?” J’onn asks.

“Not yet. I’m trying to figure out the underlying scientific logic, but I’m beginning to think magic is mainly just…instinct and intuition.”

Lena’s humorless chuckle is still like music to Kara’s ears. It gives her a little something to hold onto; to strive for—Lena’s real laugh.

“Honestly, that sounds a lot like dream interpretation,” Nia chimes in. “Maybe I could help you sort some of it out?”

“I’d really like that,” Lena’s smile is warm, genuine. It makes Kara’s heart slow down just a little. “Maybe we could…start tomorrow?”

“Yeah!”

“Lena,” Kara’s voice is, at best, alarmed. “There’s something we need to tell you. Um… William Dey is going to be embedded at the Tower covering all of us for CatCo…” She swallows thickly, her throat having gone completely dry suddenly. She already can tell how Lena’s going to react to this; braces herself for anger, frustration.

“A reporter…at the Tower? Are you sure that’s such a good idea?”

But there’s not anger or frustration in her tone. Just confusion, disbelief.

Alex mercifully takes over. “We think it would be good for the mission. We need the public’s support, especially if things continue to spiral with Nyxly.”

“But still, he’ll have to work within our parameters.” J’onn ardently adds. “Which means keeping your identity, and your connection to us, off the record.”

Lena takes this information in, tries to fully process what that means. She looks instantly to Kara, and even though it’s a split-second look, Kara knows her first thought is: Whatever it takes to protect Kara.

It’s in these quiet moments between them that Kara realizes just how much they’ve both grown, more specifically how much Lena has grown in the years they’ve known each other. How she doesn’t immediately question everyone’s intentions. How she trusts in others. How she trusts herself; her own voice.

It takes her back to Sam’s house, a few years prior. To Lena: red wine drunk, heavily-lidded eyes that held more than just the guilt and self-doubt she espoused (if the coquettish smiles said anything); ready to push, shove, kick Kara out of her life.

“I know you believe that...everything is good and kind, and that-” she pauses and inhales sharply, “that is one of the things I love about you.” Kara’s heart breaks at how small her voice is, how it breaks, and how her eyes are just so sad. “But that’s not the real world. In the real world, my last name’s Bin Laden and everything I do hurts people. Hey, you know, it’s in my D.N.A. ok? So please,” her self-deprecating veneer slips away and shatters (along with what little bits remain of Kara’s heart) as the tears threaten to spill from her eyes. “Just- Just stop. Stop believing in me, ok? I am…not worth it.”

Kara thinks about that moment a lot. How all she wanted to do was wrap Lena up in a tight hug, repeat to her any and all affirmations that came to mind, until she had a modicum of belief in herself. Or until she sobered up. Whichever came first.

Lena’s lost faith in everything at that moment was fundamental for Kara. She never thought she would see Lena just…quit. She’d told her as much, too. And yet, Lena insisted there was nothing to fight for because everyone else’s thoughts and opinions of her had finally been proven correct. She’d finally completed the prophecy, so why fight against it?

So, Kara did what she always did; worked to prove Lena’s innocence, her inherent good. And when Lena still wouldn’t listen to reason, she brought Supergirl into it; the ultimate symbol of hope. She’s still glad that Lena finally found her fight, because National City and the world would be so much less without her.

---

Later, after they avoid another major crisis and actually take possession of the totem, Kara thinks she might be able to get an hour of sleep.

Before that, though, she picks up Chinese takeout and heads back to the Tower. She and Lena share another meal alone—a common occurrence these days, and Kara isn’t complaining—and decompress. It’s all very…domestic. Intimate, even. Kara likes it. She likes it a lot. But she’s still got too much on her mind and too many crises to try and stop (or avoid entirely) to think about what their relationship is becoming (or whether it’s always been like this, and she’s only just noticing).

So, instead, she asks Lena for a potsticker. She uses her hands and makes a big show of shoving half of it in her mouth.

“Oh, that’s classy,” Lena teases.

“Mmhmm, you know me!” Kara says around the dumpling.

Lena’s laugh, the genuine belly laugh she thought about earlier, is all she hears as the rest of the world quiets around her again.

For the moment, they’re safe. For the moment, they’re happy.

Chapter Text

Lena hates flying. That’s not new information. Like, at all. She’s had some pretty shitty experiences when it comes to flying. Never mind basic things like rude or obnoxious passengers, turbulence, or airsickness. Never mind acts of God or nature, like weather delays or birds getting sucked into the engines—please don’t make her revisit that horrific moment. And never even mind mechanical delays. Lena Luthor has had multiple assassination attempts involving flying. That fucks with a person on a deep, psychological level.

She’d been in National City all of a handful of days and there’d been two attempts on her life via aircraft in as many days. If she hadn’t taken that meeting for the planning of the LCorp launch event, she’d have been on the Venture flight and very dead.

Then there’s the fact that, every now and then, she still wakes up in a cold sweat having relived the helicopter attack. The feeling of the pilot’s warm blood splattering on her after he’d been shot. The sheer panic she’d felt as the craft had been sent into tailspin. And, as an especially sick joke, her subconscious doesn’t allow her the feeling of relief when Super- when Kara saved her. Instead, she’s forced to live the “what if?” of feeling the chopper crashing and being engulfed in flames. Oh, and the knowledge that both were at the behest of her brother? Just the cherry on top.

Morgan Edge’s attempt on her life had at least been far more creative than Lex’s; that was the only thing she’d give that cretin credit for. His at least had layers, a plot; setting her up for a poisoning plot for the kids of National City and putting her into a position where Super- where Kara had to [potentially] choose between saving her or the chemicals. That takes an extra effort.

Then there was that time she’d engineered a self-piloting feature in the LCorp jet for her recon mission to Kaznia with Kara and ended up having to fly the damn plane herself because of purple lightning. She’d been scared to death, but the thought of Kara dying in a fiery plane explosion? That was worse. So, she’d sucked it up. She knows now, though, that Kara had helped her out a smidge of disaster avoidance. But Lena takes the majority of the credit. (Kara insists to this day it’s the least she can do for not having the courage to follow through and come clean to Lena when she’d had the perfect opportunity.)

And don’t even get her started on all the times she’d been tossed (or tossed herself) off balconies (or cliffs) only to have Super- Kara catch her. She’s not entirely sure what’s worse for her—the dying in an aircraft or dying in freefall. They’re both awful, to be sure. If you die in an aircraft, there’s the added sense of claustrophobia, because you’re [likely] strapped in to your seat and have nowhere to run to; you’re just stuck there, left to think about your impending death. Worse yet, you have a chance of surviving, and God knows what kind of quality of life you’d have afterward. At least with a freefall, your chances of survival are negligible; if you’re lucky, you’re able to have a nice view of the sky, assuming you can find it within yourself to turn or flip your body around. You’re not strapped to a seat, so you can let your mind wander to happier things.

What? She’s had ample opportunity to consider these things. Don’t judge.

So, yeah. She has a lot of experience with almost dying in midair. That’s why when she finds a levitation spell in her mother’s book, she immediately turns the page; tries to forget she ever saw it.

Except, a few days later she can’t help herself.

Curiosity killed the cat, but I actually seem to have nine lives…

She studies the spell, deconstructs and regards it from every angle. She considers the necessary physics. She wonders if she’d fly like Kara—what her speed capabilities might be—or if would be more of a simple floating of the ground type thing. She researches the Latin of the words, carefully picking apart the linguistics and finding any sort of wonky transliteration that could affect the outcome, should she ever attempt it. She memorizes, orates, and transcribes the ingredients list multiple times. Then, ultimately, she’s left with a decision: whether or not to try it.

Kara’s terrible Yoda impression starts playing, in HD sound, through her mind: Do or do not. There is no try.

She laughs to herself and shuts the book with a light shake of her head. She decides to sleep on it.

Or she tries. She’s wide awake at midnight—of course midnight, she rolls her eyes at the cliché of it all—and flipping back to the page for the spell. She gathers the herbs and the liquids and creates a small test batch. It ends up being gaseous in form, and Lena’s thankful because it smells horrid and if she had to drink it, she’d likely vomit.

She shoves the coffee table to the wall and pushes the couches back a few inches. Then, she gathers all the couch cushions, pillows, and blankets she can quickly get her hands on and piles them in the living room. She’s not sure how long the vapors she inhaled will stay with her, so she wants to get as many attempts in as she can.

She sits in the middle of her plush landing pad, assuming a lotus position, takes a deep breath, and clears her mind before visualizing herself midair, unassisted by aircraft, Lexosuit, or Kryptonian. The feeling of weightlessness takes over and it’s so startling that, when she opens her eyes, she loses concentration and falls to the floor.

“Well, the pillows were definitely a good idea,” she says to no one.

She tries again, the weightless feeling not as scary, and she manages a whole thirty seconds in the air before she lowers herself slowly.

A few tries later, each time venturing higher in the air, the efficacy of the vapors wears off and she’s left to document her findings. Her mind immediately creates several hypotheses she wants to test—is it possible to substitute any of the herbs or liquids to create a more potent version? Does she have to be seated or can she try the spell whilst standing? Is it possible to create an injectable liquid or misting version and what are the possible efficacy differences between those and the gaseous version? Etc.—and she writes them down in hurried scrawl.

She has a lot of work to do.

---

It takes a few months and many, many late nights. She even has to cancel dates with Kara—promises of a wonderful surprise and compensatory potsitckers assuage hurt feelings—but Lena finally does it.

The injectable liquid proves too dangerous a prospect, so Lena scraps that idea before she even attempts it; not even wanting to tempt the fates with the possible long term health risks. The spray version while technically effective, doesn’t last as long as the gaseous version, nor is it as powerful in terms of lift off—she manages to get about a foot off the floor, but that’s it. So, she focuses on the original version.

A swap of a couple of herbs and a couple of the ‘essence ofs’ and Lena’s able to last hours in the air. She’s nowhere near as fast as Kara, but she could give a flock of geese flying south for the winter a run for their money.

She asks Kara to meet her at the Tower at midnight—of course midnight; she’s fully embracing the cliché of it all, these days—and waits patiently. She makes sure the room is ready before she shuts the lights of the entire floor off, then sends a text asking Kara not to use her x-ray vision, no matter what happens. Kara’s reply of three question marks, an ‘Ok?’ and a set of confused emojis makes Lena smile.

When the elevator door opens, Kara steps out hesitantly.

“Lena?” she calls out.

Lena closes her eyes and whispers, “Ignis.” The room is illuminated by a hundred candles and Lena’s standing in the middle, a shy smile on her face and her hands clasped loosely in front of her.

Kara’s surprised inhale, both at the suddenness of the candles being lit and by how Lena looks—soft, innocent, inviting—standing in the middle of them all makes Lena’s heart flutter.

“What’s going on?” Kara says, her own smile already sliding into place. She glances around the room and jokes, “Isn’t this a fire hazard?”

Lena laughs under her breath and holds out her hand wordlessly for Kara. Kara gets the idea and makes her way over, taking one and then both of Lena’s hands in hers.

“It’s ok, I know someone who can handle it. She’s full of hot and cold air,” Lena quips with a smirk and a wink.

“Hey!” The look of dismay that crosses Kara’s face is too good and Lena hopes the Tower’s security cameras were able to capture it properly in the low light. “I came out to have a good time and I’m honestly feeling so attacked right now.”

“Merely a joke, darling.” Lena semi-apologizes and gives Kara a kiss on the cheek as added salve. “So, remember that surprise I promised you?”

“Yes, vaguely. I mean, it was so long ago. I was beginning to think you forgot.”

“I’m sorry about that, but it took some time to really get it down,” Lena replies, pulling what looks like a stink bomb out of an otherwise inconspicuous cuff. Kara gives her a skeptical look, but trusts wherever Lena is taking her. “Don’t move, ok?”

Kara nods and Lena tosses the tiny glass vial in the air, then whispers, “Deflammo.”

The candles extinguish instantly, their light replaced by a faint green shimmer in front of her. Then, the Towers lights return, and the sight before Kara is magnificent. There, bobbing up and down in a slow rhythm, about six feet in the air is Lena. The green shimmer looks like it’s supporting her, but…she’s flying.

Lena,” Kara breathes out, a hand to her chest.

“Do you like it?”

Kara jumps into the air, hovering herself, and floats over to her. She runs her fingertips down the side of Lena’s face before she leans in, her breath ghosting over Lena’s lips and quietly affirms.

“I love it.”

The kiss Kara gives her is slow and steady; earnest, but gentle. And they stay that way until it’s Lena who guides them back to the floor.

So, maybe Lena’s slowly getting over her fear of flying. It’s not so scary now that she can control it.

Chapter Text

In Kara’s lifetime, she’d wager she’s been in at least 100 different coffee shops or cafés. Dating back to when Alex took her on her first Starbucks run back in middle school, across her college travels throughout Europe, and on the beat for CatCo; it’s at least three digits.

She’ll always have a soft spot for Noonan’s, though. It’s her home base. It centers her mind. It offers her respite when she needs to get out of her apartment or the office. She’s been told several times by the elderly couple who own the place that she’s their best customer.

She loves to people watch; take up a two-seater near a window or in one of the corners and just make up stories about the patrons who come and go.

So, color her shocked when she gets back into town from covering a story on American companies’ unfair labor practices in Bangladesh (read: sweatshops) only to find a sign on Noonan’s door that the elderly couple has retired to Boca and the place has been purchased by some mystery owner.

She asks Bobby, the barista, what the lowdown is. He’s got nothing for her but a Vanilla Caramel Latte and a sticky bun, because he allegedly hasn’t actually met the new boss. He’s only received an email saying things are going to remain essentially the same—menu/recipes, schedules, staff—for the interim. The new owner wants to get a feel for the normal flow of business before making any tweaks. It eases Kara’s mind a little bit.

At least the latte and pastries aren’t going anywhere, she thinks with a happy sigh as she takes a big sip of her coffee.

She waves goodbye to her coffee people and heads off to work to finish polishing her story before submitting it to Andrea.

---

A week after she’s back, something strange starts happening. Every morning, she goes into Noonan’s and gets her usual order. That’s not the strange thing. It’s that she’s told someone’s already paid for her order.

When she asks Bobby who’s done it, he refuses to say. Claims he doesn’t know that, either. She gives him her best approximation of a glare, squinted eyes and downturned mouth and all, and bless his heart, he stifles his laughter.

Kara Danvers is a lot of things, but intimidating is not one of them.

Maybe you should try getting into a fist fight with someone. That would show ‘em! the unhelpful voice in her head supplies.

So, every day she’s informed that her order has been paid for and every day she goes to the end of the coffee bar to wait for her order and surreptitiously scan the place for suspects. The problem is, no one really sticks out. No one sneaks glances her way. No one “accidentally” bumps into her as a means to strike up conversation. So, every day she’s resigned to trying again tomorrow as she picks up her sticky bun and coffee and heading out the door, only giving a passing glance to a woman with dark hair and piercing green eyes, skin that has the faintest tinge of sun kissed, who has claimed one of Kara’s favorite people watching tables in the front corner by the window, flooding the table with a laptop, spiral notebook and a stack of thick textbooks.

Ok, maybe it was more than a passing glance…

---

After a month, Kara still hasn’t figured it out. It’s bothering her more than it should. She should just accept the act of kindness and move on with her life. But…something is telling her that she needs to find out who it is.

That’s how she ends up with her hands fisted in Bobby’s apron one day, attempting to pull him over the counter, demanding information like she’s a cop in some terrible ‘70s movie.

“Dude, Kara, I don’t know anything! If I did, I would tell you!” Bobby squeals while he struggles to keep his balance on the other side of counter. His coworkers, Amanda and Vince, look on cautiously; unsure as to whether Kara actually poses any sort of threat or if she’s harmless. They lean towards harmless, though. They’ve known Kara for as long as Bobby has.

Kara sighs and lets his apron go, smoothing it out some before he leans all the way back.

“I’m sorry, Bobby. I don’t know what’s gotten into me…” she offers him a sincere look of remorse and he laughs it off.

“We’re good, Kara. No worries! The usual?”

She nods and drops a $10 tip in the jar for the trouble (and the embarrassment.)

When she reaches the end of the coffee bar, she leans against it and removes her glasses; pinches the bridge of her nose to try and focus on something else for a second. She holds up the glasses to the light to see if they need a cleaning when a voice interrupts her.

“That seemed a little excessive. Maybe you should have gone with decaf today.”

When her glasses are back in place, she glances to her right; it came from the woman who’s commandeered her table and has yet to give it up. She’s got the table loaded up with her laptop, spiral notebooks and textbooks, but today Kara notices a tea resting on the window ledge to the woman’s right.

The woman is smirking, her eyebrow quirked, but her attention seems to fully be on her laptop; typing with purpose.

Kara takes the opportunity to slide into the seat across from her. She glances at the messy cursive scrawl in the notebook, then passes her eyes over the stack of textbooks.

“Maybe so,” she says noncommittally. “It’s a little weird that you’re in a coffee shop and yet you choose to drink tea. Seems like you’re halfheartedly giving your brain and body the necessary caffeine fix for all your work.” She motions towards the stack of books.

The woman purses her lips for a moment before she answers, “I love the smell of coffee; that’s why I sit here for hours. I’ve convinced myself that I get a sort of osmosis high from the aroma, and then I stick to tea for drinking. But, if I’ve got an exam on the horizon, I hit the hard stuff.”

Kara nods, it makes sense. She reaches out and turns the textbook on the top of the pile so she can see its subject. “Whoa, Quantum Mechanics…” her eyebrows raise and her eyes go wide in surprise. “Yikes.”

The woman across from her glances up then over to the book, “Oh, yeah…” she realigns the stack then flits her eyes back up to Kara’s. “Are you intimidated?”

Kara feels her face flush at the sudden scrutiny. “Y-yeah. A little.”

“Really?” the woman questions, skeptical.

“No,” Kara shakes her head. “Not really.” She beams and it earns her a breathy giggle.

The woman across from her closes her laptop and leans back, crossing her arms and appraising Kara for a moment.

“So, what was that little scene about?” She nods her head in the general direction of the cash register. “Surely Bobby couldn’t have done anything to deserve being roughed up so early in the morning.”

Kara tries not to be distracted by the way the woman’s arms are pushing up her cleavage even higher on her chest; acting like a shelf. She averts her eyes quickly, to fidget with her glasses, and looks over to Bobby.

“Someone has been buying my morning order every day for over a month and I think he knows who’s doing it, but he’s refusing to tell me. He insists he doesn’t, but as an investigative journalist, I get these gut feelings. I guess I just got a bit frustrated, is all.”

She gets an amused stare in return. “Sorry, I didn’t get your name.”

“Oh, gosh,” Kara realizes she sat down without introducing herself. “How rude of me! My name is Kara; Kara Danvers.” She holds her hand out for a shake and is so happy when the woman immediately clasps their hands together.

“Lena.”

“Kara, your order’s up!”

Kara glances over to the coffee bar to see Amanda sliding her drink and pastry over; the moment over. She slides her hand out of Lena’s and stands up.

“It was nice meeting you, Lena. I’ll see you around!”

As she’s walking to pick up her order, she hears Lena’s light voice say, “I hope so.”

Kara has a really good day after that.

---

Two months, three months, four months go by and she’s still no closer to figuring out who is paying for her morning orders.

What she does find out is more information about Lena.

Lena’s attending National City University, working on her second (!!) PhD. She got her first from MIT, where she’d also done her undergrad and master’s programs. Her best friend Sam is relocating to National City soon for work, and Lena’s very excited for that; is missing her friend quite a bit since she started her program in National City. Lena’s very into healthy eating and is amusedly horrified at hearing Kara’s main food staples—encourages her to try incorporating one fruit and vegetable a day, but Kara makes no promises.

They share a lot in common, too, as it turns out. They were both adopted at young ages. They both have one sibling. They’re both open to the idea of kids, at the moment, but it’s not a deal breaker if they never have them or their partner doesn’t want them.

That’s a totally normal conversation to have with a new friend, shut up.

During the course of those four months, they see each other outside of Noonan’s, too. Lena invites her to spin classes, Kara tries to help her study, they get lunches and dinners together.

By the time month five rolls around, Lena finally comes clean.

They’re sitting at their usual table—front corner, by the window—when Lena’s jotting down more notes in her spiral notebook in her messy cursive.

“So, did you ever figure out who’s been buying your coffee all these months? You kind of stopped talking about it.”

She offers the question so casually that Kara thinks nothing of it.

“Ugh, no,” Kara sighs and takes a big bite of her sticky bun. “To be honest,” she pauses to take a sip of her coffee. “I’ve pretty much given up on finding out that information. If the person wanted me to know, they would have spoken to me by now.”

“You’re right,” Lena agrees easily. “She would have.”

Kara misses it at first, merely nodding without processing Lena’s sentence. Then it hits her.

“Wait, what?” she coughs and sputters, a piece of the sticky bun getting caught in her throat. “What makes you think it’s a-”

Lena’s eyebrow quirks and cuts off Kara’s train of thought.

“Honestly, darling. I don’t know how you haven’t caught on by now…”

Kara looks between Lena, the latte, the sticky bun and back for several rotations, the order always changing.

“Bu- But how? You’re a college student?”

“I am,” Lena nods. “But I also purchased this establishment several months ago.”

“Golly,” Kara breathes out. She sits there, pondering this new development. “But how?”

Lena sighs, knowing she’d have to divulge this bit of information at some point. “My family is…well off.”

Kara’s look is skeptical at best hearing her choice of wording.

“Ok, we’ve got more money than we’ll ever need in three lifetimes,” she rolls her eyes.

Kara stifles a laugh and leans back a little in her chair. “Lena, what’s your last name?”

Lena’s eyes dart around the store, look everywhere except her friend (her crush) before they land on her tea. She grabs it like a lifeline, bringing it close to her lips, and mumbles her reply into the cup’s lip.

“Sorry, I didn’t catch that,” Kara says, exaggeratedly leaning forward and cupping her ear.

“Luthor. I said my last name is Luthor.”

The way Lena’s face sinks at her admission is kind of heartbreaking. Did she think Kara would…hate her? Shun her? Why? Just because LuthorCorp has made some really terrible choices in the past. Obviously Lena has nothing to do with that, being she’s in school and not in the boardroom. Kara’s heart tugs, wanting to make her feel better. She decides that she needs to do something.

She looks back up to Lena—her blue eyes laced with sincerity and warmth—and asks, “Can I take you out to dinner?”

Lena squints in consideration. “Are you asking me on a date?”

“Yup. Are you intimidated?” Kara asks, attempting to lighten the mood.

“A little."

Kara smiles, “Really?”

“No. Not really,” Lena replies, her tongue peeking out a little as she makes a face at Kara.

She gets a balled-up napkin to the face for that.

“I would love to go to dinner with you, Kara.” Lena responds, entirely sincere.

“Good!” Kara replies, excited. She stands up and puts her coat on. “I’ll pick you up at 7:30?”

---

It ends up being the most fun either has had on a date in long time, and soon enough, Kara’s being introduced to Sam and Ruby, and Lena’s being introduced to Alex.

Yeah, Kara’s been to quite a few coffee shops in her life. But Noonan’s? Noonan’s will always be her favorite.

Chapter Text

“You’ve been out here for over a month! Making fire should be in your DNA at this point!” Jeff Probst’s voice yelled out from the TV.

It was Wednesday night and the gang was at Kara’s for TV night. For the last couple of months, they’d been going through every season of Survivor. Originally, there’d been some hesitation from several members of the group, but the further they got into the seasons, the more everyone had gotten into it—including discussing their own strategies were they to ever participate in the show.

“I just don’t get how you go on this show and don’t at least practice making fire beforehand…” Alex lamented, not for the first time.

“Or even while you’re on the island!” Nia added.

This was a big point of conversation for them. They’d had this exact conversation several times, with different people expressing the thoughts. It happened more when the contestants who were being voted off were forced to make fire because of tied votes and then it took close to or over an hour for them to even get a baby flame going.

“It’s rather embarrassing for these alleged…superfans,” Brainy absolutely hated the term. He felt it was a misnomer since none of them had any sort of powers.

Kara sat down next to Lena with a freshly popped bowl of popcorn.

“I don’t get what’s so hard about this? Build a nest of coconut husk, scrape the magnesium into a pile, strike the flint close to the pile, give a light blow to give the spark some oxygen, then use the kindling sticks and then bigger sticks. Boom, done,” she said confidently as she tossed a few kernels into her mouth.

Lena looked over to her, amused, and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “Sure, it’s easy to say when you’re not in the moment; under intense pressure.”

Kara’s appalled inhale of breath drew everyone’s attention. “Lena, are you suggesting that I, Supergirl, could not handle the intense pressure of Survivor.” She looked at her girlfriend (half-jokingly) with distrust.

“Oh, here we go…” Alex murmured under her breath and leaned into Kelly.

Lena pulled back and bit back a smile; she knew exactly what Kara was trying to do.

“Not at all, darling.” Kara’s self-satisfied smile slid into place. “All I’m saying is, and you know this better than anyone, the pressure of a situation—particularly one as important to these participants as winning a million dollars—can affect performance.” Lena leaned forward and took a sip of her wine before she set her glass down again. “You know; hands shake, minds go blank, breathing gets erratic…” she quirked an eyebrow and slid down Kara’s arm.

Kara shivered a little and cleared her throat while her ears started to turn red.

“Right, well. Ok.” She took a sip of her water. “Still, I think I’d be awesome at it. Boston Rob level awesome.”

“Sure, sweetie,” Kelly said and raised her glass in Kara’s direction.

Kara scoffed. “Does everyone doubt my ability?” She glanced around the room and no one wanted to meet her eyes. “That’s it. You’ve all made this incredibly personal.”

Before anyone knew what was happening, Kara took off out the window.

“I smell a competition brewing,” J’onn chuckled into his beer.

---

J’onn was right. Kara had flown out and collected coconut husk, kindling sticks and larger sticks, plus several flints and large knives.

The group exchanged looks, having a silent conversation about who was going to ask the question that was on all their minds.

“Um, Kara?” Alex was the logical choice. At Kara’s hum of acknowledgement, she continued. “Did you, like…break into the CBS production lot and, uh…’borrow’ this stuff?”

“Alex, that would be ridiculous!” Kara laughed lightly. “I went to Fiji and Hawaii for the husk. I stopped by the sporting goods store before they closed for the flints and the knives. And then I popped over to the lumber yard for some bigger sticks and then park for the kindling sticks.”

She shook her head at Alex as if she were the one being absurd.

“Right,” Alex replied, drawing out the ‘I’ and rolled her eyes. “Ridiculous…”

Kara started to set up fire making stations and everyone shot worried glances.

“Kara, might I suggest we take this competition to the Tower? That way we have proper fire mitigation supplies and won’t draw attention from neighbors.” Brainy offered quickly. He didn’t need his superior statistical skills to figure out that attempting this in Kara’s apartment would absolutely end in disaster.

Kara looked at him for a moment then down to the supplies. “You’re right, Brainy. Besides, it would be home field advantage to do it here. The Tower is neutral ground.”

---

After a quick trip thanks to one of Lena’s portals, the stations were quickly assembled as closely to Survivor specs as they could manage. Brainy had scoured the internet and used some impressive calculations based on body sizes of contestants from seasons past and camera positioning.

“Ok, who wants to go against me?” Kara asked while she eagerly rubbed her hands together.

After a moment of silence and no volunteers, Lena sighed and stepped behind the other station.

“This can’t be good for the relationship, but here we go,” she joked. She looked over to Kara and inquired, “Are you going to be ok when you lose, darling?”

Kara’s eyes widened. “Oh-ho-ho-ho,” she laughed. She loved when Lena’s competitive side showed itself. “You’re so going down, babe. Alex, you’re Probst. Let’s do this.”

Alex stepped forward and put on her best serious face and stepped between their stations. “Alright; Lena, Kara. Before you, you both have flint, a knife, and the same amount of fire making supplies. The rules are really simple: you have to build a fire with a flame high enough to burn through the twine and raise the flag. Make sense?” She checked with both women and at their nods, she stepped back. “Ok. Non-Survivors ready? Go!”

Kara was first to her coconut husk and put it in a small pile, then grabbed for her flint and knife. She started grinding the blade in short strokes on the magnesium side in an attempt to get enough shavings off to catch a spark.

Lena took a more methodical approach. She also grabbed for the coconut husk first, but she made a small bowl of it, then grabbed her flint and knife and slowly dragged it down the magnesium side. Her pile of shavings built up quickly and then she placed the flint and knife down and grabbed some of the smaller sticks and started to build a small tent.

Kara glanced over, hands still working quickly, and bit her lip. She felt like she was falling behind, so she turned the flint over and started striking the metal with short bursts close to her pile. She got it to spark, but it didn’t catch. She tried again; more short strikes, more sparks flew, but no flame.

Lena, satisfied with her work, picked up her flint and knife again and took the knife to the metal with a medium drag. A large spark hit her magnesium pile and ignited.

“And Lena’s got a flame! But, can she keep it alive long enough to start building a structure?” Alex provided the necessary Probst-esque commentary. “Kara’s still struggling to even get a spark to catch. She might need some more magnesium scrapings. Or maybe to just calm down a little.”

Kara looked up at her sister with a withering stare. “That’s so helpful, Alex.”

“Hey,” she retorted with her hands raised. “You wanted Probst; I’m giving you Probst.”

Kara grumbled in the back of her throat and got back to her task; her eyebrows knitted in frustrated concentration.

Lena continued to add small amounts of coconut husk and small sticks, feeding the flame, and then followed it up with a structure of bigger sticks. A flash of something illuminated her face and when she glanced over, she saw the blue light quickly fade from Kara’s eyes.

“Oh,” she said unbothered and continued to build her structure. “If I had known we could use our powers in this challenge, I wouldn’t have bothered with the flint at all.” She smirked over to her girlfriend, who had a blush climbing up her neck.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Lena.” She shot a look back. “I think you need to worry about your own fire, there.”

Alex looked between the two and then back to the others. “Did you guys see Kara use her powers at all?”

“No,” Nia shrugged. “But I was also really invested in Lena’s side of things. Seeing Kara struggle like that was just too pitiful.”

“Hey!” Kara shouted, indignant.

“Same here. Sorry, Kara,” Kelly offered sincerely.

“You’re all the worst,” she growled and continued to try to build the flame. Unfortunately, her flame was dying quickly; the coconut husk burned hot and fast. She wasn’t able to get enough small sticks on the pile.

Meanwhile, Alex continued to take her commentating duties seriously. “And Lena’s flame has hit the twine. Can Kara catch up in time?”

Kara huffed and took the remainder of her coconut husk and a bunch of small sticks and put them in a messy pile. She grabbed her flint and knife and took Lena’s lead, doing slow and deliberate strokes on the magnesium; the shavings quickly piling up. She grabbed a good amount of large sticks and did a quick flash of her heat vision. The flame caught immediately. She quickly assembled the tent of around her flame, then grabbed some more small sticks to continue to feed the fire.

Unfortunately for her, Lena’s flag raised, negating her last-ditch efforts.

“And Lena wins! Kara, I’m sorry. The tribe has spoken.” Alex smirked and gave her sister’s shoulder a comforting squeeze.

She glanced sadly at Lena’s station, the fire she’d built slowly dwindling. “How are you so good at this?”

Lena stood and walked over to her girlfriend and kissed her forehead.

“Just dumb luck, I guess. And paying close attention to the episodes.” Kara nodded, that made sense. Lena grabbed the small fire extinguisher from the lab and put out what remained of both fires. “Oh, and it probably helped that when Andrea and I were in the jungle, I learned from our guides.”

Kara’s swift inhale was followed by the clattering of her chair tipping over as she stood. Her arm outstretched with an accusatory finger extended in Lena’s direction, “Ringer! This was a setup! She’s a ringer!”

Kara’s eyes dragged along the guilty faces of the rest of the group, even J’onn avoided meeting her gaze.

Lena stepped in front of their friends, crossed her arms and settled her weight to one side.

“Consider it a teaching moment in hubris, Kara. It’s always good to keep learning, right? It’s how we grow as people.”

Kara narrowed her eyes but ultimately relented. As usual, Lena was right. She’d gotten overconfident and then let the pressure get to her. It was kind of embarrassing, actually. But it wasn’t that serious. If she was going to lose, at least it was to Lena.

She walked over and extended her hand to her girlfriend.

“Congratulations, babe. You are the ultimate fire maker,” Kara offered her a sweet smile.

Lena eyed her hand warily, but took it. “Thank you, darling. It was a fun match!”

Kara tugged her closer and kissed her soundly on the lips. She kissed her way over to Lena’s ear and whispered. “I’m getting you back for this at some point, Miss Luthor.”

Lena laughed deeply but breathily and responded, “I look forward to it, Miss Danvers.” She pressed a kiss to Kara’s cheek and brushed her thumb along Kara’s bottom lip.

Chapter Text

Thursday night meant movie night and Lena had brought over Chinese takeout for dinner. Kara was touched when she’d pulled out several orders of potstickers, slipping in casually that she’d remembered Kara saying they were her favorite.

It was still early in their burgeoning friendship—one that Lena had been so hesitant to begin in the first place—that to have Lena purposefully go out of her way to get extra of Kara’s favorite of anything was heartwarming. When Kara pulled out a bottle of Lena’s preferred (affordable in Kara’s budget) red wine to reciprocate, the smile she was gifted would have made even an expensive bottle worth the money.

It was Lena’s turn to choose the film, and when she pulled out E.T. Kara felt her chest tighten.

Has she figured it out? Is this her way of telling me she’s ok with it?

“You’ve probably seen it, but I just love it. I didn’t watch too many movies growing up, but something about this one… It’s always stuck with me,” Lena relayed wistfully.

“It’s a classic,” Kara smiled, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. “The score is gorgeous, too.”

Lena’s eyes lit up, “Yes! John Williams is masterful. One of the greatest in his field.”

While Kara dished out the food, Lena took the lead on wine pours, giving each glass a generous amount, and brought both glasses to the living room.

“Should I bring the bottle, too, or should I just leave it here?”

Kara glanced over to the glasses and her eyes bugged out seeing the amount. “With that heavy of a pour, I might be passed out before the movie’s over!” she joked.

“Oh, come on; I’ve seen you drink before. You could put an Irishman under the table.” Lena shot back with a wink, ultimately leaving the bottle on the island.

Kara chuckled awkwardly and carried their plates to the sofa. Lena had no idea how true that statement was.

---

They sat on the couch, their dinner plates long forgotten, with their legs stretched out onto the coffee table and a large blanket draped over them. Partway through the movie—and halfway through her glass of wine—Lena’s head had drifted to Kara’s shoulder.

It was nice, Kara had thought. Nice to have a friend who expected nothing from her other than just this; genuine human connection. A shoulder to lean on. No great expectations to save the world on a daily basis. Just…normal. But golly did she wish she could tell Lena her secret. If only because then there wouldn’t be the burden of possibly betrayed feelings and the unbearable sadness over the end of-

Lena shifted again; brought her legs and feet up onto the couch and curled them to her side, moved closer to Kara, even though it seemed like it wasn’t possible.

The end of this, Kara thought to herself. She leaned her head on Lena’s and smiled when she heard the contented sigh come from her friend.

As the movie continued, Kara felt herself get sadder and sadder. She’d always related to E.T.’s plight—stranded on a planet that wasn’t home; unsure of what would happen from one minute to the next; the constant struggle to try to fit in to what your new family expected…

She hadn’t even realized she’d started crying until Lena paused the movie and lifted her head to look, her face concerned.

“Kara? Are you alright?”

Kara brought a hand to her face, wiping at one of the tear tracks; she looked at it as if it were some strange, unknown substance.

“I- I didn’t-” she shook her head, trying to come up with a logical sentence. “I hadn’t even realized I was crying.” She released a heavy sigh and threw her head back to rest on the top of the couch for a moment.

“What’s going on?” Lena asked, twisting her body so she fully faced her friend.

Kara rolled her head to the left and looked into Lena’s kind eyes.

This is it. I could tell her everything right now. I wouldn’t have to worry anymore. She could know and whatever the fallout is…we can deal with it.

She took a deep breath and rolled the words around her mind for a bit. When she felt ready, she turned her body to face Lena fully, and rested her elbow on the top of the couch and leaned her head in her hand. “I guess I just really relate to the movie. I get what E.T. was dealing with—feeling lost, alone, confused but determined; searching for connection, help in a strange world.”

The air felt heavy in Kara’s opinion; thick with confessions and implications.

Lena mirrored Kara’s position. “I get it,” she said and reached for Kara’s hand that picked mindlessly at some invisible thread.

Kara’s eyebrows drew together. “You do?”

“Of course, darling.” She squeezed Kara’s hand and her thumb swept along the back. “I was adopted, too, remember?”

“Oh, I-” Kara started, but Lena interrupted her.

“Granted, I can guarantee entering the Luthor house was a much different experience than joining the Danvers family. But losing one’s parents at such a young age would be a jarring experience for anyone. Look how good you turned out, though. You’re an incredibly kind, loving, welcoming person.”

Kara felt her cheeks blush at the compliments. That hadn’t been her intended meaning at all, but Lena wasn’t wrong.

“You’re the perfect example of Nurture versus Nature—you thrived, you continue to thrive because of how both sets of parents raised you.”

“Well, Miss Luthor,” Kara said, turning the tables and taking Lena’s hand into her own and squeezing. “You are the perfect example yourself; despite being raised by the Luthors, and having Lex for a brother, you never allowed them to distort your goodness. You’re going to change the world for the better, and I cannot wait to be there when you do.”

It was Lena’s turn to cry, then. Errant tears ran down pink tinged cheeks and she looked away, a little embarrassed. She withdrew her hand from Kara’s and wiped them away.

“Sorry,” she quietly laughed and returned her eyes to Kara’s.

Kara merely smiled at her; softly, kindly, lovingly.

“You’re my best friend,” she admitted quietly.

Lena’s shy smile tugged at her lips. “You’re my best friend, too.”

Eventually, they get back to the movie. Lena curled into Kara’s side with her head on Kara’s shoulder; Kara’s head on Lena’s. At some point, their pinkies intertwine under the blanket and neither says a word about it.

So, maybe Kara didn’t tell her that night, like she could have. She’ll do it one day, soon. The opportunity will present itself. Hopefully.

Chapter Text

Well, she had done it again. She had gone and overused her heat vision and ended up blowing out her powers.

And of course, it was on the eve of an extended solar eclipse. And of course, the sun lamps or even Lena’s sun bomb were enough to restore her powers before the cold had set in.

So, there she was; passed out on her and Lena’s couch, her mouth wide open and drool pooling out onto her pillow and curled up under the coziest red quilt they had with Lena’s hand idly dragging through her hair while she read over a project proposal for her foundation.

Kara hadn’t started out on the couch. In fact, she’d been quite content in their bed earlier. Lena had brought her some hot tea with honey and lemon and another bottle of water and then piled the pillows around her, just to make sure she was totally comfortable. When she’d fallen back asleep, Lena quietly closed the door and went to the kitchen to get some work done.

Unfortunately for her, she’d never witnessed Kara when she was sick before. She didn’t know that Kara’s body literally didn’t know how to handle it so she turned into the biggest baby. She was too hot one minute, freezing cold the next. She’d strip down, then layer on as many clothes as she could fit on her body.

When her phone rang not even fifteen minutes after having left, she rolled her eyes and headed back to the room. When she pushed the door open Kara gave her the most pathetic look… Well, as pathetic as one could look surrounded by mounds of pillows.

“Where did you go?” Kara whined through her congestion.

Lena hitched an eyebrow and leaned against the door frame. “I went to get some work done, darling.”

“Bud I’m sick!” Kara whined again and slammed her hands on the pillows.

Lena curled her lips into her mouth to keep from laughing. As petulant as Kara was being, it was endearing as hell. Her usually nearly-invincible girlfriend was reduced to the emotional equivalent of a first grader by a cold.

“Yes, Kara, I know. I wanted to give you some peace and quiet so you could get some rest.”

Kara’s illness addled mind considered that for a minute, then she could only offer a quiet, “Oh…”

Lena walked over to her and sat on the edge of the bed, lifting her hand up and feeling Kara’s forehead and cheeks.

“Oh, Kara, you’re burning up!” She rose from the bed and headed into the bathroom, turning on the shower. After a moment, she returned and helped Kara out of the fortress of pillows and led her to the steam.

She knelt down on the floor and carefully peeled Kara out of her sweat-soaked clothes, tossing them into the hamper along the wall. When she lifted herself back up, she looked Kara in her heavy-lidded eyes.

“Will you be alright in there by yourself or do you want me to stay in here with you?”

She got her answer when Kara started to stumble backwards. Luckily, Lena had grasped her wrist quickly enough that she didn’t get too far. So, Lena stripped down, as well and tied her hair into a high, messy bun. Kara managed to wiggle her eyebrows, but when she tried to make a comment, a coughing fit took hold and ruined whatever mood she’d been trying to set.

“Even if you had been able to get your thought out, there wouldn’t have been anything sexy happening in this shower, Miss Danvers,” Lena spoke softly and guided Kara under one of the showerheads. “You can barely stand on your own at this point and your runny nose doesn’t exactly turn me on.”

“Aww, babe. C’mon. Maybe id would make me feel bedder!” Kara wheezed out.

“The fact that your congestion is so bad that it’s making your Ts sound like Ds tells me everything I need to know,” she replied and placed a kiss to Kara’s shoulder.

She turned Kara around to face her and tilted her head back, then grabbed for the shampoo. She poured some into her hand and rubbed some onto the other before she turned Kara again and massaged it into her hair; the lather sudsing quickly.

Kara moaned at the feeling of Lena’s fingers working their way over her scalp and through her hair. It was one of her favorite feelings ever, having Lena play with her hair and scratch her scalp. She couldn’t help lean back a little and pucker her lips, hoping Lena would oblige her a small kiss. (She did.)

“I love you; you know?” she asked with her eyes closed.

Lena smiled softly. “I know,” she replied.

---

After the shower, Lena sat a towel-clad Kara on the toilet seat cover, wrapped herself in a robe and trotted off to get Kara a change of clothes.

She returned quickly with a basic white cotton t-shirt and some grey sweatpants, along with underwear and socks. She managed to get Kara redressed with little trouble; her girlfriend seemed very relaxed again, enjoying the ability to breathe through her nose a little bit better for the moment.

Lena grabbed the towel Kara had been wrapped in from the counter and gently worked it over Kara’s hair, drying as much of it as she could. Then she grabbed Kara’s wide-toothed comb from the drawer and ran it through carefully, trying to not let it snag on tangles. When she finished, she fluffed it out lightly and then rested her hands on strong shoulders; Kara was quick to move her hands to Lena’s. They stayed there for a while, just enjoying the quiet together. She pressed a loving kiss to the crown of Kara’s head.

When they headed back to the bedroom, Kara made her way back over to the bed and sat on the edge while Lena changed into a tank top, layering Kara’s National City University sweatshirt over it and then slipped on a pair of silk navy sleep shorts.

“Do you want to get back into bed, love?”

Kara regarded her for a moment then asked, “What are you going to do?”

“I’ll probably go back out to the kitchen to work some more.”

Another moment of contemplation passed. “Can we go on the couch? You can work and I can just lay by you?”

Lena’s heart nearly burst at how innocently, considerately Kara had asked.

She had no choice but to acquiesce. “Of course, darling.”

---

While Lena made lunch, Kara sat on the couch, the cozy red quilt wrapped around her like Linus in his blanket in A Charlie Brown Christmas; tipping forward or backward or to the side intermittently as her eyes drifted closed.

Lena sat down next to her, two bowls of chicken noodle soup in her hands and a sleeve of crackers under her arm. She passed a bowl over to Kara who took it gratefully, greedily huffing the steam and aroma into her mouth. Her nose had started to clog back up, so she wanted to enjoy the moment as best she could.

Kara’s delighted hum after her first spoonful of soup pulled at Lena’s heart. Even after all those years, she couldn’t get over the fact that even the smallest things made Kara so happy and content. It’d been one of her most favorite things about her; Kara’s “it’s the little things” approach to life. It reminded Lena to reevaluate her priorities and to be more mindful of not being so focused on the wrong things; to follow Kara’s lead and appreciate the quiet moments or the small successes (or failures) on the road to the bigger goal.

When they finished the soup, Lena took the bowls to rinse and placed them in the dishwasher. She grabbed a couple of waters from the fridge and her tablet off the island and returned to her place next to Kara on the couch. The other woman was ready to pass out, by the looks of it.

She set Kara’s water on the coffee table and her own on the end table to her left. She adjusted the pillow so it rested half on her lap and coaxed Kara to lay down, which she did hastily. She waited until Kara, who spent a few minutes flopping around, finally settled down in a position she deemed comfortable enough before she started to lightly rub her girlfriend’s back over the quilt.

Soon enough, Kara’s breathing evened out and Lena’s hand drifted to Kara’s head to play with golden curls. She managed to make it through one whole project proposal before she drifted off, as well. Contentment and peace tugged her off to the land of nod.

Chapter Text

Ever since Kara’s been back from the Phantom Zone, Lena’s been acting…different.

“The sky is just gorgeous today, have you been out to see it? It reminds me of that sweater Kara has.”

Well, maybe different isn’t the right word. Maybe the right word is overt.

“Nia, your suit is the most wonderful shade of blue. It really complements your hair and skin tone, just like Kara’s suit complements hers.”

Everyone’s been noticing, except Kara.

“Alex, where did you get your Sentinel eyeshadow? I want to get some and have Kara try it on. I think it would really make her eyes pop.”

Because Lena doesn’t do that around Kara. (Mainly because she’s too busy making heart eyes and confessing her love without actually confessing her love.)

“Brainy, what shade of blue are the lights on the Legion ship? I’d like to get some for my room, to help me relax.”

“But Lena, it’s been proven that blue light before bed hinders proper sleep.”

“Fine, don’t tell me. I’ll have Kara help me figure it out. It’s pretty close to her eye color, anyway…”

She does it even with the most mundane of things: paint colors for Esme’s room, blue moon ice cream, a bicycle, shoes, a blanket, jeans… Quite literally anything.

Brainy, Kelly, and Alex have all discussed it with Nia. Someone’s gotta talk to Lena, and they’ve voted her because she and Lena have been getting super close lately. Nia had argued that they were all close with Lena, in their own ways, but they all declined.

“But you guys are the lesbians!” she appeals to Kelly and Alex. “And Kara is your sister. This is far more your jurisdiction than it is mine.”

“Be that as it may, we’re older than you. Listen to your elders,” Alex replies, then grabs Kelly’s hand and walks out. Kelly just shrugs her half-sincere apology and Brainy avoids her eyes and mutters something about being needed back upstairs.

Chickens. Traitors. Why am I friends with and/or dating them?

So, Nia decides to commit. And she tries; really, she does. But she doesn’t know exactly how to broach it. It’s not like she can just come out (no pun intended) and say “Hey, so we’ve all noticed you’re pretty gay for Kara. How’s that going?”

Or can I…? she thinks to herself.

“No, no. That wouldn’t be right…”

“What wouldn’t be right?” Lena’s voice suddenly appears behind her.

“Lena!” Nia shouts and jumps, her hand flying to her chest. “You scared the crap out of me.”

“Sorry,” she laughs and looks as genuinely amused as the sound of her laugh. “I thought you heard me get off the elevator.”

Nia waves her off and tries to calm her heart down. Lena flits around the room, gathering her bag and her mother’s grimoire and some notes about the totems and possible charms she can use on them.

Nia contemplates her approach; it’s now or never.

“So…” she starts. “How ya doin’?”

Lena glances at her like she’s growing another head.

“I’m fine, thank you.” She closes the grimoire and places it in her satchel. “How are you?”

“Oh, I’m great. Just great,” Nia replies. It’s awkward, she knows it. Lena’s looking at her with even more scrutiny and suspicion.

She places her hands on her hips—consciously or unconsciously mirroring Kara’s usual stance to a T—and asks, “Nia, is there something going on? You’re acting strange.”

Only that you’re apparently a big lez for Kara and no one wants to talk about it.

“Um, no. Nothing’s going on,” Nia shakes her head vehemently. It just makes Lena quirk her eyebrow and stare at Nia harder, so Nia tries to turn it around on her. “Is something going on with you?”

To her credit, Lena doesn’t falter. She’s stoic, composed.

“In what capacity?” She deflects and answers questions with questions.

“Oh, I don’t know. Have you been seeing anyone recently? Anyone special and new in your life?”

Lena purses her lips slightly, evaluates the question and any possible hidden or underlying meanings. “No, no one new.”

Huh.

“Oh… Because with the way you’ve been acting lately, it just seemed like-”

It was at that moment that Kara flies in and lands on the balcony. Nia and Lena both look to her, but in entirely different ways. Nia smiles in a purely platonic, “that’s my friend and mentor and she’s the coolest” way. Lena smiles like she’s completely in love, has been for decades, and is ready to propose at the drop of a hat.

Nia’s jaw drops when Kara, unhesitatingly, comes over and greets Lena with a kiss, right on the lips. Nia just about collapses when Lena not only accepts it, but brings one hand to wrap around the side of Kara’s neck, her thumb grazing over Kara’s jawline slowly, while the other slides under Kara’s cape at her waist and pulls her close, drawing a small moan from the Girl of Steel.

I shouldn’t be here. I should not be watching this. This is a private moment. Oh god. Oh god, oh god.

Just as she’s about to make a break for either the elevator or the dream realm, Kara hums happily and pulls back, seemingly realizing Nia has been there the whole time.

“Oh, hey, Nia!” she greets brightly.

“Hey?” Nia replies softly first, then proceeds to get louder. “Hey?! You walk in here and just start making out and all you have to say is ‘hey’ like it’s a totally normal thing?”

Kara’s eyes widen in shock, not used to hearing Nia raise her voice. Lena, meanwhile, is trying her best not to burst out laughing. Nia’s not quite sure what’s so damn funny when she’s clearly upset!

“What wasn’t normal about that?” Kara asks sincerely. “Lena’s my girlfriend. I greeted her with a kiss. I’m not seeing the issue?”

Nia’s stunned into a stuttering mess. “I- She- But you-” She takes a second to recalibrate with this brand new information. “You guys are dating? For real, for real? Since when?!”

Kara and Lena glance at each other, a silent conversation happens between them.

“Since a day or two after her welcome home party,” Lena supplies.

“That was two months ago!” Nia shrieks again.

“Yup,” Kara responds, the P sound popping.

“Why didn’t you guys say something?”

“Because it’s not anyone else’s business?” Lena supplies again. And she’s right; Nia knows it. “We just wanted to enjoy it for ourselves a little while. Kara went through a lot when she was away. We didn’t want any more pressure on her for something we could actually control.”

Nia nods in full understanding. “I’m sorry for screaming. It was just…kind of a surprise, is all. But don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy for you!” She pauses for a beat as more thoughts flow through her mind. “Oh, my God. You did lean in after your guys’ hug!” She smacked Kara’s arm and Kara’s cheeks flushed a bright pink. “Everyone thought I was making it up!”

“She just couldn’t resist these lips any longer,” Lena boasts and grabs for Kara’s hand. She points to herself and looks at Nia, “Simply irresistible.”

“I believe it,” Nia nods again. “Oh, oh! We can totally double date now! Brainy will be so excited! Oh, or triples with Alex and Kelly!”

Kara and Lena glance at one another again, exchanging small smiles.

“So it will be just like every other day that we’re all together?” Kara says sarcastically.

“Yeah,” Nia answers. “Except now you guys will be making out with your mouths and not just eye humping each other.”

Kara’s eyes widen again, but this time Lena can’t hold back her laughter. It’s as bright and boisterous and clear as a rooster’s crow in the morning.

“So, like, are you guys gonna tell everyone or do you want me to?”

“Maybe we’ll start making out in front of everyone just to compare and contrast to yours,” Lena smirks.

Nia heads to the elevator and hits the button.

“Just as long as you give me a heads up for when you’re going to do it; I want to be there to see Alex’s reaction.” She steps into the car, then turns back to her friends. “It’s gonna be priceless.” She cackles with her head thrown back as the doors close.

---

They wait a whole week. Everyone’s gathered in the Tower’s lounge area, getting ready for lunch, when Kara grabs Lena by the wrist and dramatically pulls her into an embrace, then kisses her with passion.

Kelly sees them first, letting out a quiet “Oh.” Brainy follows it up with a deadpan “Well.” And Alex? Well, Alex takes a more…dramatic approach.

“My eyes! My eyes!” she shouts as her hands fly to her face. “Babe, call the eye doctor.”

Kelly just elbows her in the side and chides her to be nice and supportive of her sister and her new happiness.

“Gross,” Alex grumbles and places a soft kiss on Kelly’s cheek. “Hey, Luthor?” When Lena pulls back from Kara’s lips and gives Alex her attention, she’s hit with “Just remember: you hurt her, we know how to get rid of bodies around here.”

When Kara laughs, Alex shoots back at her with a “Hey, sis. The same goes for you, too. Lena’s family now.”

She smirks, satisfied, at the surprised and faintly offended looks she’s given by the couple.

“So rude,” Kara mutters, then trudges off and drags Lena with her. She stops, though, realizing that their lunch is still waiting to be eaten. She can storm off later, if she still feels like it.

(She doesn’t.)

Chapter Text

Kara had always loved the drive from National City to Midvale. The slow, methodical transition from urban to rural; city to coastal country. Sometimes she pictured what it would look like on the east coast; during the fall, the leaves in the trees turning from green to yellow to orange to red… It would be exquisite. But the drive as it was sufficed just fine; warmed her heart just the same.

She reached over the center console and turned Lena’s hand over, entwining their fingers. Her girlfriend turned her head from where she took in the scenery on a drive she was quickly becoming more and more familiar with and smiled fondly. She lifted their hands and kissed the back of Kara’s before she turned her sight back out the window.

They’d been together for about eight months. She smiled to herself remembering it.

---

Kara had gone missing after Kelly and Alex’s wedding, so Lena went to look for her. After exhausting the limited rooms at the venue, she ventured outside to the garden and found Kara staring longingly at the sky in quiet contemplation. She stood in front of the moon, its glow creating a luminous, heavenly halo.

Lena cleared her throat softly, an attempt to not startle her until she remembered Kara had superhearing. “Kara?”

She saw the Kryptonian’s shoulders rise with a long intake of breath before she turned around with a soft, somewhat shy smile gracing her delicate features. Lena couldn’t help but return it.

“Are you ok, darling?” Lena asked, her eyebrows knit in concern. “You disappeared.”

“Yeah, I’m alright,” Kara reassured. “I just needed a little time to think about something.”

“Anything I can help with?”

“Actually,” Kara started, taking a step toward the shorter woman. “You can.”

Lena felt her heart begin to race the closer Kara got. She was sure it was about to burst from her chest when Kara’s hands came to rest on her face, thumbs slowly dragging along her cheekbones.

“Lena,” she breathed out in that way that makes Lena’s insides melt; in that way that only Kara Zor-El Danvers can. “I’ve been thinking, for quite a while, now—being stuck in the Phantom Zone gives a girl a lot of time to think, and hope, and dwell, and regret, and think and hope some more—that you are the only person who’s truly made me feel like I can be human; like I can be just Kara, and it would be enough.” Tears formed in both their eyes. Lena wanted to reply, but didn’t want to interrupt Kara if she wasn’t done. “Lena, I think I-”

She lied. She had no choice but to interrupt Kara and her pretty, pretty words. Maybe it was the moonlight, or the garden, or the fact that they were at her sister’s wedding and love was in the air, but something (the invisible string that’d tied them together all those years ago in her LCorp office) propelled her to Kara’s lips until they were sliding together; two puzzle pieces clicking into place. She felt like she was floating.

“I love you, too,” Lena whispered as she pulled back, her eyes closed and resting her forehead on Kara’s.

They stayed like that for a while longer, just enjoying the quiet and the feeling of one another so close. The freedom of the knowledge that they could do this or anything else, for that matter, whenever and wherever they wanted, finally.

A moment that had been years in the making finally came to pass. It was more than worth the wait.

---

They were on their way to Eliza’s for a Sunday barbecue. Alex, Kelly, and Esme were in the lead car, Kara and Lena were in the second, and J’onn, M’gann, Nia, and Brainy were bringing up the rear in J’onn’s convertible. It was the perfect California fall day: sunny, temperatures in the low 70s, only a slight breeze and nary a cloud in the sky.

It was Kara’s favorite kind of Midvale day.

Ten minutes later, they were twisting around the winding road, along the hedge lined street and up the paver stone driveway. Eliza waved to them from the open blue door, the bay greeting them from the other side.

Eliza’s house was full of wonderful smells from the ribs and homemade barbecue sauce she’d been working on all morning, as well as her famous potato salad and corn bread. More glorious scents joined them as J’onn fired up the grill and the burgers and steaks and skewers went on.

Kara tried to sneak a piece of the chocolate pecan pie, but had been caught red handed by Alex and Lena who’d come into the kitchen to refill their drinks; the former even jokingly tattled on her to their mother.

“I swear, you two always seem to regress back to childhood when you’re here,” Eliza laughed jovially and squeezed their shoulders. “But Kara? I swear, if you touch that pie before dessert, you’re grounded.” She kissed the side of Kara’s head and headed back out to the deck.

Kara’s mouth dropped and her eyes widened. She may have been a grown adult and the most powerful being in the universe, but disobeying Eliza Danvers? That was scarier than kryptonite. She returned the glass dome to cover to the pie and wrapped her arm around Lena’s waist, leading them back outside.

---

For fun and games, Nia and Brainy had set up the ladder golf set while Alex and Kelly had brought the custom Sentinel/Guardian cornhole set Kara had gifted them for their wedding.

They had a doubles tournament for cornhole, which Alex and Kelly had won handily. J’onn and M’gann came close to beating them, but J’onn missed his last toss while Kelly sank hers with ease.

Brainy was the ladder golf champion, showing a particular gift with his throws; he didn’t miss once. Kara and Lena tied for last—they spent more time trying to distract the other than actually trying to make good throws.

At one point, Nia and Alex had dug out the old water guns and started an unfair water war—Alex, Nia, Kelly, and Brainy were armed, the others were not. It ended up being a mistake, as Kara used her superspeed to grab them, giving one to Lena and two to J’onn and M’gann; phasing, flight, and magical barriers were the biggest advantages and the other group’s downfall. Even with the Legion ring and Nia’s dream powers at their disposal, they were slaughtered and sopping. Eliza and Esme spent the whole fight safely on the balcony, laughing and cheering them on. They even filled up cups and dumped water down every now and then, to get in on the fun.

After that excitement, and after everyone who’d participated had changed into dry clothes while the wet stuff went onto the clothesline or into the dryer, the group sat down and enjoyed the feast. They laughed, reminisced, and caught Eliza up on Esme’s schooling, Lena’s foundation, and Kelly’s work with social services. Eliza regaled them with the happenings at the college and all the interesting projects she’d been involved in.

Everyone was able to enjoy a slice of the pie Eliza had saved from Kara earlier, the appearance of which was applauded. Lena even shared hers with Kara, not able to stand the pout her girlfriend sported.

“You’re a sucker, Lena,” Alex announced, watching her sister be fed a bite from Lena’s plate. “That pout is a ploy and you fell for it.”

“Is that true?” Lena asked, whipping her head around and raising a questioning eyebrow. The blush that rose to Kara’s cheeks and her avoidance of eye contact answered in the affirmative. She grabbed Kara’s chin with her thumb and forefinger and pulled her in for a kiss, enjoying the sweet taste left over from the pie. “You’ll be punished for that later, darling,” she whispered at a volume only Kara could hear. The shiver the warning sent down Kara’s back satisfied her immensely.

---

As the sun began to set over the bay and things were packed into the trunks of the convoy, Kara asked for a Danvers family and an extended family photo on the deck.

They took the extended family photo first, with Esme standing proudly at the center—her fists balled on her hips and elbows spread wide—in her best Supergirl pose. They did a few poses and arrangements of people and a silly faced one (per Esme’s request).

When the group split off for the Danvers family photo, Kara stood on her mother’s right, Alex to Eliza’s left and Kelly next to her, with Esme in front of them. Eliza looked around and her face creased. She lifted her hand off Kara’s shoulder and when her eyes landed on Lena, who’d ducked back into the house for a quick refill of water, she called and waved her over.

“Lena, you get in here too, sweetie.”

“Oh, Eliza, I couldn’t,” Lena replied with a shake of her head, her hands up. “You should be with your girls.”

“Nonsense, get over here next to Kara right this minute.”

“You’d better listen to her, babe. What Eliza says, goes,” Kara winked at her adoptive mother and then looked at Alex for further confirmation.

“She’s right, Luthor. When mom wants something, she gets it. She’ll make us stand out here all night.”

At that, Lena took her place next to Kara, and noticed that Esme had given her a big smile and thumbs up. She returned the gesture with a toothy smile and slid an arm behind Kara’s back and rested her other hand on Kara’s stomach.

After the photos had been taken, the Danvers-Olsen contingent headed into the house with the others, while Kara, Lena, and Eliza remained on the deck. Eliza stepped in front of them and looked right at Lena.

“Lena, I feel like I owe you an explanation,” Eliza started. “I wanted you in the family photo because you’ve kept my girls safe so often, and saved this one,” she pointed to Kara, “so many times over the years—in more ways than one, I’m told—that you are part of this family.” She lifted her hands and placed them on Lena’s cheeks, giving her a smile only a doting mother could give their child. “I’m proud to say that I have four daughters, now.”

Lena felt the tears well in her own eyes at the sentiment. She covered one of Eliza’s hands with her own and squeezed.

“Thank you for that, Eliza,” she replied, voice wavering and a few tears spilling over. “You have no idea how much that means to me.”

“Ah, ah. It’s mom,” Eliza shot back with a warning finger pointed in her direction.

Lena’s laugh was quiet but melodious.

“Ok…mom.”

“That’s my girl!” Eliza said, wrapping her in a big hug. After a minute, she pulled back and looked at Kara and added, “My girls!” while pulling Kara into the hug.

When they separated and headed back in, Eliza looked over her shoulder and whispered, “By the way, honey. There’s a whole pie waiting for you in your car. I snuck it in there while you guys were having the water fight.”

Kara’s eyes widened in joy as she cried out, “Best. Mom. Ever!”

---

On the drive home, with nothing but quiet roads and headlights to keep them company, Kara held Lena’s hand and slowly ran her thumb across the back; a small, relaxed smile on her lips as plans for a proposal and many more family functions ran through her mind.

Chapter Text

Kara Danvers was 26 years old when her life changed. Of course, in the moment she hadn’t realized it was happening. But later, when she looks back or is asked, that Oscar night, and a chance meeting is the one she points to, without fail.

She had been in Los Angeles since she graduated high school, moving from Midvale to get acquainted with the city and start film school. For as long as she could remember, she’d wanted to work in the movie industry. She loved everything about them—the cinematography, the writing, the scores, the acting; it was all magic, in her mind. She never longed to be on the screen, though. No, her passions rested behind the lens. She wanted to be a director. She double-majored in screenwriting and filmmaking to give herself the best chance at success.

The sad reality of Hollywood, however, was a cruel slap in the face. Even with internships up the wazoo, trying to break in to the industry as a writer/director was nearly impossible unless you had famous parents or some other relative who was well connected in the business. Or you were willing to sleep your way to the top, which Kara definitely was not.

She’d been forced to bartend (among other odd jobs) as a way to pay the bills while she worked on her various screenplays. She was thankful to have her sister, Alex, as her collaborative partner. They’d been doing skits and “movies” together since they were young. Their parents had gifted Kara with a camera and Alex with a laptop for Christmas one year, and it was game over. Most other interests flew out the window.

Alex’s “grown up job” as a physical therapist—she’d met Kelly on the elevator up to their respective floors, since they worked at the same medical center—gave her enough freedom to work on scripts and ideas with Kara as well as bring home a decent enough paycheck that she wasn’t left digging through the sofa cushions for loose change every month.

So, there she stood, behind a small corner bar on the patio outside the Chateau Marmont’s restaurant. Her hair was up in a ponytail, waves pouring out the back, and she wore a burgundy vest with a black bowtie and a crisp white shirt, the sleeves rolled halfway up her arms.

She took a deep breath as she heard the steady stream of celebrities and their entourages entered hotel and spilled out onto the patio. This is it, no turning back. Another Oscar night in the trenches, she thought to herself, in her best Kevin McCallister voice.

---

It was like any other Hollywood afterparty. Celebrities were drunk and debauched. They aired their dirty laundry, knowing full well there was always someone else who’d done (or was currently doing) worse.

Kara was almost thankful for her semi-secluded spot. It gave her the opportunity to just soak everything and everyone in. The hotel’s management had hired her to work events before and had been so pleased by her performance, she was a regular call. They even offered a decent enough base rate that, even if tips weren’t great one night, it was still worth her time to be there.

She’d served maybe a handful of drinks so far and had been there a few hours. She checked her watch: it was nearing 1 a.m.; she’d be off shift at 2. Just as she dropped her arm back to her side, the most stunning vision stepped out onto the patio. It was Lena Luthor.

Lena had grown up in the industry. Her father, Lionel, had been a studio head for many years and was a major producer near the end of his life. Her brother, Lex, took over after that. Her mother, Lillian, was a talent manager—most notably, Lena’s. With a pedigree like that, it was no surprise that Lena wound up on screen by age five.

She’d started out as the sidekick character in movies for kids and had appeared on multiple Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows in special guest roles. But by the time she’d hit the tween and teen scene, she was being offered leading roles, the success of which only continued into adulthood. Now, she was 23 and an Oscar nominated actress. It really stunned Kara that, given the alleged curse that hit most child actors, Lena had seemed to avoid those pitfalls.

She was outfitted in a knee-length emerald green cocktail dress that hugged her body in all the right ways. It sat just off her shoulders, showed off just enough cleavage to leave a person wanting more, and made her legs look longer than they were. The Louboutin fuck me heels didn’t hurt, either. She had her hair down in loose curls that were draped over one shoulder. Her dark red lipstick was complemented by the smokey eye look she’d paired with it.

Kara’s mouth felt like she’d just swallowed a shovel of sand, so she poured herself an ice water and chugged half of it down.

A light clearing of the throat called her attention back to her job, and as she set her glass off to the side, she was met with destiny. She just didn’t know it yet.

Kara cleared her own throat before she smiled and said, “What can I get for you?”

“An Uber out of here would be spectacular,” Lena smirked, giving her a once over.

“I can’t help with that, unfortunately. But,” Kara reached down for the most expensive aged scotch she had to work with. “I’ve heard this can work wonders.”

Lena’s eyebrow quirked with interest. “A woman after my own heart,” she replied. “Make it a double.”

Kara poured the drink and slid the glass over, watching carefully as Lena took a long sip. She couldn’t take her eyes off the harsh, strong bone of Lena’s jaw, the long expanse of her neck (or the freckle that lay in the center of it.)

“Mmm,” Lena hummed deeply, happily. She leaned against the bar and faced the other partygoers and sighed. “I’m so sick of these things. It’s the same assholes, doing the same, self-congratulatory bullshit.” She turned back and leaned towards Kara and looked her over again before taking another long sip.

Kara gave her a compassionate smile, “I take it you didn’t win tonight?”

Lena scoffed and rolled her eyes. “No, thank god. That movie was total garbage. I only did it as a favor to my brother. And don’t even get me started on my costar…” She finished her drink and set her glass down.

“Another?” Kara asked.

“Please,” Lena smiled. “And an ice water chaser.”

“You got it,” Kara winked and poured. If she noticed Lena bite her lip (she did), she didn’t let on.

“How’s your night going? Uh…sorry, I didn’t catch your name?” Lena inquired, toying with the water glass.

“I’m Kara; Kara Danvers,” she supplied with a bright grin, then shrugged. “I can’t complain, I guess. Not very busy in this corner, which makes for lousy tips, but it gives me a chance to brainstorm new ideas.”

Lena picked up the water glass and drank, her eyes never leaving Kara’s. She finished with a refreshed “ahh” and placed the glass back on the bar.

“What kind of ideas?”

“Story ideas,” Kara easily answered.

Lena’s eyes narrowed and her eyebrows drew close together. “Are you a writer?”

“Aspiring, I suppose. My real goal is to direct, though.”

“Interesting,” Lena trailed off; her finger traced the lip of the scotch glass before she picked it up. “With a face and body like that, you could definitely be in front of the camera, if you wanted.” She’d said it so nonchalantly, Kara thought she was joking. The look in Lena’s eye told her differently.

The blush crept up Kara’s neck, she could feel the heat on her ears, so she picked up her own water glass and took another drink. Honestly, she was just surprised Lena had stayed around as long as she had. She’d expected her to get a drink and walk off, like all the others. Not that Kara would complain. Not at all.

“Have you had any success with your scripts?” Lena seemed genuinely interested in her query.

“None,” Kara shrugged again. “I get decent feedback from old mentors from my internship days, but it seems like all studios and production companies want to make these days are remakes, remakes of remakes, or superhero movies. There’s a serious drought of originality in Hollywood and I want to change that.”

Lena was enamored. She looked at Kara in wide-eyed wonder. She’d heard that sort of talk before, but with Kara? She believed it. She dug through her clutch and found a business card, offering it to Kara.

“Send me some of your work, sometime. I’d love to take a look and help anyway I can,” she smiled. She pulled out a crisp hundred and dropped it into Kara’s tip jar.

Kara was blown away. She looked from the card and back to Lena several times before she found her voice. “Thank you so much, Miss Luthor! This means so much to me, you don’t even know. But I wouldn’t want to take time away from your busy schedule?”

Kara’s earnestness and kindness were a refreshing change for Lena. She couldn’t help herself, she needed to help this woman however she could.

“It’s not a bother, really. I’m starting my own production company soon and I’ll need projects to produce. If I like your work, I’d be able to say I discovered you and knew you when.”

Kara glanced down at the card again, still unable to believe it was real.

“Well… If you’re sure…”

“I am,” Lena firmly replied. “I look forward to hearing from you, Kara.”

Kara tucked the card carefully into her wallet, then checked her watch: 1:30 a.m.

Only half an hour to go…

---

Kara burst through her apartment door to find Nia, Alex, and Kelly still awake. There were several beer bottles scattered around and empty bowls of chips and various dips.

“Whoa there, buddy,” Nia said, steadying herself and her drink after nearly colliding with Kara.

“Sorry, Nia,” she apologized. “I thought you guys would’ve been asleep by now.”

The women had been sharing an apartment for a little over a year, now, as a way to try and save money while living in such an expensive city. They’d been lucky enough to find a three-bedroom place in North Hollywood, just near the edge of Burbank, that was over 1,000 square feet and under $3,000 a month and wasn’t a total shithole. Sure, the landlord as a jerk, but they could deal with that.

“Are you kidding? It’s Oscar night!” Alex toasted loudly.

“It’s also almost 3 a.m.” Kara chided her sister. “Don’t you guys have work tomorrow?”

“Nope,” Alex replied, popping the P as she finished off her beer and leaned further into her girlfriend.

“We all took tomorrow—or, well, I guess technically today—off. And we stayed up to hear about your night,” Kelly smiled brightly.

Kara smiled back, shutting the door and sliding the deadbolt into place. God, she loved Kelly. She was warm, kind, and gave the best advice. Unlike Alex’s previous relationship. The cop had been harsh and rigid and, though their relationship had started off ok, ultimately Maggie proved to be way too selfish for it to work out.

Maggie, ugh. Kara thought derisively.

“Well, isn’t that sweet?”

Kara slipped off her shoes and hung up her coat on the hook, then got to work cleaning up the bowls. She wouldn’t be able to relax until some of the mess was cleared from the coffee table, even if that just meant stacking the bowls in the sink to deal with later.

“You know us!” Nia chirped, plopping down in the recliner. “Kara, come sit! Regale us with your many tales of the rich and famous!” she said in dramatic, unintelligible accent and a flourish of her hand.

“Let me change out of this uniform and then I will.”

---

Fifteen minutes, a quick rinse in the shower, and some cozy pajamas later, Kara’s returned to the living room. She’s already told the story of a certain B-Lister having been absolutely trashed when he arrived to the Marmont and how he’d wandered off and fell right into the pool. And the story about the married A-Lister who was flaunting his affair all over the party. It’s the story about Lena Luthor, though, that had her so excited that her body felt like it was humming. She’d told them how Lena was kind, and funny, and sweet, and maybe even had hit on her a little bit.

“No way, she’s totally straight,” Alex scoffed. “My gaydar is always right and I’ve never gotten vibes from her.”

“You’ve also never actually been around her,” Nia retorted.

“Thank you, Nia,” Kara extended her hand for a fist bump.

“Whatever,” Alex rolled her eyes.

As Kara continued to recount the encounter, she slid in the fact that Lena offered to read her scripts casually. Again, she was met with doubt.

“Guys, I swear. She’s totally normal and, like, really chill!” Kara exclaimed.

“There’s no way,” Alex said popping open a beer and taking a sip. “The girl is way too famous to be ‘normal,’ let alone chill. She was a child star, for god’s sake.”

“Honestly, Kara,” Nia jumped in. “You’ve been here long enough to know that those child actors rarely make it out unscathed. They’re all messed up in their own way; this industry is fucked. Kelly, you know! You’ve treated how many of these people?”

Kelly shook her head, “You know I can’t talk about that, Nia.” She looked over to Kara with a sympathetic gaze. “But, they’re not exactly wrong, sweetie.”

Kara was upset. They hadn’t even met Lena, yet here they were passing judgement? She knew that they were right that child stars tended to wind up on bad paths the majority of the time. She’d served many of them at numerous afterparties over the years and had seen the amount of drugs and alcohol that were passed around. But, still. She just knew Lena was different. She felt it in her bones.

Lena’s eyes had been clear, if just a little tired. She hadn’t been caked in makeup to cover up dark circles or other incriminating marks, and she didn’t reek of alcohol or other intoxicants.

“You’ll all see,” Kara said resolutely. “She’s going to come through and prove you all wrong. And when she does, I’m gonna do my ‘told ya so’ dance!”

“I hope you’re right, sis,” Alex sighed out. “But if you’re not, we’ll all be here for you.”

---

Two years later…

“Kara, Kara over here! Kara!”

“Kara, on your left! Kara!”

“Give us some attitude, Kara!”

“A smile down here, Kara! On your right!”

The flashes went off in rapid succession in front of Kara’s eyes. She stood on the red carpet of her first Oscar ceremony, nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director. Lena had followed through on her promise; she’d read a few of Kara’s scripts, immediately falling in love with the work.

Not even a full day after opening her production office, she’d called Kara with an offer to option one of the projects. After careful negotiations—Kara got Lena to agree to star in the film, Lena got Kara to agree to have a background role, and Alex boarded as a writer—they signed the paperwork.

There were a few bumps in the road—a typical encounter in Hollywood for smaller films, according to Lena—but after delays and rewrites and finally getting the crew hired, they were able to work around Lena’s busy schedule and filmed it as an indie project in a month and a half. It made the rounds at festivals, and was the belle of the ball at TIFF and Sundance. Universal bought the distribution rights and from there it was a whirlwind.

Kara couldn’t believe it. That type of thing just didn’t happen to unknowns. But apparently with Lena Luthor by your side, anything was possible. (She definitely did the ‘I told ya so’ dance to her roommates, as promised.)

She was dressed in a navy Thom Browne suit—the top button of her shirt undone and the tie loose around her neck—with her hair precisely mussed and just a touch of black eyeliner and a dark matte lip. Her perfectly polished black dress shoes reflected the flashes back to the photographers on the line.

Lena had given her some pointers about how to handle the press line over the course of award season, for which she was eternally grateful.

She had her hands in her pockets, exuding confidence, her jaw tight and her eyes smoldering. She made small turns to accommodate each photographer and then moved further down the line.

“Kara, can we get one of you with Lena?”

Kara glanced ahead in Lena’s direction, silently asking permission. At Lena’s imperceptible nod, Kara stepped next to her, her left arm sliding behind Lena’s back and resting on her hip. After a few shots had been taken, they adjusted slightly, with Lena gliding a hand up Kara’s stomach and latching onto one of her lapels. She leaned her head into the crook of Kara’s neck and gave a sultry look to the cameras, her lips doing a tiny pout. It drew a small smirk onto Kara’s lips.

“I guess everyone’s going to know about us, now,” Kara whispered as she angled her head down slightly. Her right hand carefully slithering down Lena’s forearm and lightly grasping it.

“Good,” Lena whispered back. “I want to show you off. I’m ready for the world to know I’m with the most brilliant director in town.”

Lena pulled back slightly and pressed her lips to Kara’s. The camera shutters clicked as loudly as summer cicadas around them.

When they broke apart, breathless, Kara leaned her forehead to Lena’s and chuckled.

“Your mother’s going to kill me.”

“She’ll have to go through me, first,” Lena steadfastly replied.

They finished their red carpet duties, fielding minimal questions before they headed into the Dolby Theatre.

---

When Lena and Kara fell into bed later that night, enjoying both each other and their shared successes; Kara’s Best Director statuette rests safely on Lena’s couch, where she dropped it in favor of stripping off her girlfriend’s dress on their way to the bedroom.

Chapter Text

“I didn’t have time to read this week,” Jillian sighed, holding her glass up for a refill. “Tim was out of town and I was stuck with the kids all by myself.”

“Oh, sweetie, not again!” Paige lamented. Jillian’s husband Tim was always traveling for work, leaving her to deal with three kids under 12. “You’ve got to get some help! What does Tim expect from you?”

“You should just divorce him, at this point,” Alice said, slightly slurring her words.

“You always say that, Allie,” Susan retorted, pouring more wine for Jillian.

“Well, she should! That man is ridiculous,” she said as she waved her hand through the air.

It was Wednesday, which meant it was Book Club night. Which really meant it was Wine Night where they made the smallest attempt to and then pretended to discuss whatever book it was they were meant to have read. Jillian, Paige, Alice, and Susan all had children in the same grade as Lori Luthor-Danvers. They were just waiting for Lena and Kara to show up.

“He’s just…really busy at work,” Jillian defended. Tim was a good man, a good provider. He was trying to make VP of Sales, so he had to work this much. She took a long drink. “I love him,” she said pitifully.

“Of course, you do, Jill,” Susan hugged her friend.

“Bleh. Whatever,” Alice rolled her eyes and took a long drink of her own. “Do what you want.” She reached forward and poured herself another glass.

“Not everyone can have a husband who works from home, Alice.”

“I know that, Paige. But I just think Jillian deserves better, that’s all.”

Paige and Alice glared at each other. Their sore feelings dated back to the beginning of the year bake sale when Alice spread the rumor that Paige’s cookies and cupcakes were store bought rather than homemade. It was a cardinal sin in the PTA and for womankind.

They’d allegedly buried the hatchet, but obviously there was still some lingering bad blood.

Susan glanced at her watch; it was twenty after seven. “Why don’t we just start? It seems like the Danvers-Luthor women are running late. We can just catch them up when they show up.”

When the women took their seats and pulled out their books, Susan started the discussion.

“So, A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell. For those of us who read it, what did we think? Paige?”

Paige took a sip of her wine and flipped through a few of the pages. “It was a fun read, in my opinion. I never knew what was coming next!”

“There were some interesting twists, for sure,” Alice added. “But, God, all the characters were so annoying.”

“Agreed,” Susan chirped. “Between the unreliable narrator in Stephanie and Emily’s obvious Narcissistic Personality Disorder, plus Sean being the absolute worst-”

“Like Tim,” Alice snorted and took another gulp of her wine.

Susan shot her a look, but continued. “They all deserved to have child protective services called on them.”

“Do Emily and Stephanie end up having an affair together?” Jillian piped in out of nowhere.

“Um, what?”

The women gave her a side eye, waiting for an explanation.

“Well, I looked up the movie trailer online and it showed Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick making out. So, I was just curious,” Jillian expounded.

Alice swirled the wine in her glass for a few seconds and replied, “There’s not an explicit relationship in the book, but I got the feeling that there were feelings—at least on Stephanie’s part.”

Paige and Susan nodded.

“That’s a good point, Allie,” Susan pointed to her friend. “I mean, you don’t kill a person and dump the body for a friend. I don’t care how close you are. That’s lover behavior.”

The others voiced their agreement. Jillian looked at her phone and then thought for a moment.

“Blake Lively is really gorgeous,” she said absentmindedly. “I’d make out with her, even if I wasn’t upset.”

“I’d make out with Anna Kendrick,” Paige offered, setting her book on the coffee table and refilling her glass. “John and I have a deal. She’s my lesbian hall pass.”

“I’d make out with both of them, at the same time,” Alice flippantly remarked, turning in the armchair and throwing her legs over one of the arms. At everyone else’s silence, she looked around. “What? YOLO, right? I’ve earned a bit of guilt free fun. We all have,” she shrugged.

Everyone’s eyes turned to Susan, who’d been exceptionally quiet.

“Suz,” Alice sat up, dragging out the U sound. “Who would you make out with?”

Susan coughed and took a big swig of her wine. She’d had two names come to mind and neither of them were Anna Kendrick or Blake Lively.

“Let’s get back to the book,” she avoided and set her glass down, flipping to a random page.

“C’mon, Sue,” Jillian nudged Susan’s shoulder on her way to the snack bowls that rested on the kitchen island. “We all said ours. It’s only fair.”

Susan felt her cheeks flush to the point where she couldn’t blame it on the wine.

“Oh, my GOD,” Paige cried out. “Look at her blush. We totally know the person!”

Alice squealed at the thought. This was too good. She tossed her copy of the book onto the coffee table to join Paige’s. “Suz, now you have to tell us!”

Susan sighed heavily and closed her book again. She lifted the glass to her lips and mumbled the names into it, then chugged the remainder of her drink.

“What was that?” Paige leaned forward. “Did anyone hear her?”

“She said Kara and Lena!” Alice screeched and cackled delightedly, kicking her legs into the air, only narrowly missing Jillian’s bowl of Chex Mix as she passed by.

“Mmm, yeah. I would definitely go there, too,” Jillian replied around a mouthful of pretzel pieces.

“Same, honestly,” Paige concurred. “They’re unreasonably hot on their own, but together?”

“It’s really not fair,” Alice whined and pouted, ditching her glass and grabbing the wine bottle instead. “And they actually seem to, like, really love each other. It’s disgusting.” She took a big drink.

“Have you seen Kara’s arms?” Susan interjected. “All tanned and toned…”

“Mmm, and those thighs in those pants she wears?” Jillian drooled. “God, imagine her lifting you up and gr-”

“You wanna talk about thighs?” Alice threw out, borderline angrily. “Lena has thighs. And those calves from all those years wearing heels? Whew!” The woman fanned herself for a minute and then added, “And that ass!”

“Who has the better jawline?” Paige polled. “It’s a tossup, for me. Some days I think Kara, other days it’s Lena.”

“It depends on what you’re in the mood for,” Susan answered. “Kara’s is more strong and solid. Lena’s is sharp, potentially deadly. Like it could slit your throat. Or your tongue if you dragged it along at the right angle.”

“Damn, Suz,” Alice commented. “You haven’t given that much thought have you…”

---

Meanwhile, out in the car, down the block…

Lena moaned and ground her hips down onto Kara’s thigh as Kara trailed her lips up her wife’s neck.

“Susan really has a thing for your jawline,” Kara husked, bringing her mouth to the aforementioned body part, nipping at it, and then running her tongue along it. “I’m inclined to agree with her fascination.”

Lena shuddered at the feeling and shoved Kara back into her seat, attacking her mouth voraciously and growling on her way in. She grabbed Kara’s hands, which were gripping her ass tightly and brought them around to her front, thrusting them into her unbuttoned shirt and up to her breasts.

It was Kara’s turn to moan; loving the feeling of Lena taking control. She squeezed and massaged the soft flesh, still encased in the satin bra. She pulled back slightly so she could bite Lena’s bottom lip and tug, diving back into the hungry kiss.

They were both starting to wonder whether attending book club was even necessary at that point. They’d already missed most of it and the other women were clearly inebriated and very uninterested in discussing the book. Kara and Lena could easily make the excuse that Kara had a deadline or that Lena’s foundation was in the midst of launching a major initiative, leaving the other to have to have to go home and take care of Patrick. Or that Lori had gotten sick…but that was a risky maneuver if one of the moms mentioned it to their kid and then their kid asked Lori.

Through her lusty haze, Kara managed to find some words. “What time is it?”

Lena groaned, “Don’t care.” She kissed Kara again deeply, then pulled back. “Just fine here.” And dove back in again.

“But someone,” Kara tried, moaning gutturally as Lena ground down again, unbuckling Kara’s belt. “Someone might see us,” she finished breathily as Lena’s hand brushed her stomach as she unbuttoned her pants.

Lena moved her head down to Kara’s neck and sucked at her pulse point. “Tinted windows, darling.”

That was enough for Kara. She hummed deep in the back of her throat and gripped Lena’s hips tightly. “Fold down the backseat. Now.” She demanded, her eyes ablaze with passion. “We’re going to need the space.”

Lena bit her lip and grinned wickedly as she removed her shirt and set it on the driver’s seat, then crawled over the center console to do as Kara asked. This was a much more enjoyable way to spend a Wednesday.

Chapter Text

“I shouldn’t be doing this,” Lena says as she paces the room, smoothing the nonexistent wrinkles of her dress shirt.

“Lena,” Kara sighs from the armchair.

“I should not be doing this,” she says again, her hands shooting up in warning as the pacing continues.

Kara’s “Hey,” falls on seemingly deaf ears.

She gets up and stands in her girlfriend’s path. As soon as Lena makes her return lap, she runs right into Kara’s waiting arms, melting as soon as she feels Kara envelop her in a tight hug.

“You should definitely be doing this,” Kara whispers to her. “This is a good thing that you should most definitely be doing.”

“How do you know?” Lena whispers back, miserably. The self-doubt is eating away at her insides at breakneck speed.

“Because I know you and your heart and your unwavering commitment to doing the right thing and making positive changes in the world.” Kara gives her a soft kiss to the forehead.

Lena pulls back and out of Kara’s arms, going to the desk and shuffling the papers that rest on top.

“But mayor?” The way she says it makes it sound like she’s considering going to clown college. “Am I really mayor material?” She turns around to face Kara again, who’s crossing her arms and giving her a look that screams “seriously?”

“Why are you looking at me like that? Kara, I’m serious!” Lena questions, near petulance and stomping her foot.

“Babe,” she walks over and runs her hands down Lena’s arms. “In my opinion, you’re presidential material.”

“Stop,” Lena half-heartedly objects. Really, she loves it; loves Kara’s unending confidence in her abilities.

“I have to go change into something more…super,” Kara says carefully, never sure whether someone might be listening or just outside the door. “But you can do this. You’ve commanded boardrooms, science conventions,” she leans forward and husks, “bedrooms…” She thoroughly enjoys the way Lena’s face flushes. She leans back again and finishes her thought. “Not to mention, the elements of Earth with these magical hands. You can do this. I’ll see you in a little bit, ok?”

At Lena’s nod she gives her girlfriend a soft kiss on the lips and exits.

In the silence that remains, the self-doubt creeps back in. Lena tries to shake it off, but it’s difficult. This is her first legitimately solo endeavor outside of the confines of the business side of the Luthor name.

Ever since Lex’s exile and her mother’s arrest on conspiracy charges, Lena has been wanting to do something big. Philanthropy has always been her number one passion, so starting the Lena Luthor Foundation is a no brainer. But on a local level she wants to make a difference, too. She’s been so inspired by Kelly’s work at social services and as Guardian and she’s seen so much disparity not just between the economic classes of humans, but of every citizen of National City, as well as the corruption of various members of the city council and law enforcement. Someone’s got to make a change.

“Lena, you ready?” Sam pops her head in the room and smiles.

When Lena had decided to really make the run, Kara and Alex suggested having Sam relocate back to National City to resume running LCorp—Lena’s first order of business after reassuming control was to change the name again—and to be her campaign manager.

Sam was hesitant at first, memories of her first time living in National City and her time as Reign causing some anxiety. Lena understood and never once pressured her. Ultimately, Sam (and Ruby) made the choice. Ruby complained about missing her aunts, and wanting to meet her newest Aunt Kelly and her new cousin Esme, and if Sam was being honest, she’d missed having her friends nearby, too. There really was nothing like having the Superfriends as your support system.

“No,” Lena says, “but let’s do it anyway.”

She grabs her blazer and her speech off the desk and heads out the door.

---

J’onn and Kelly are waiting for her in the lobby, each offering words and hugs of support. She sees the crowd waiting outside, reporters and citizens alike. She feels the anxiety creep in and rolls her neck and shakes out her arms a little, ensuring the blood is still flowing.

J’onn places his hands on her shoulders and gives her a fatherly smile. “In all the time I’ve known you, I have never been prouder. I believe in you, Lena. You’ll make a wonderful mayor.”

She gives him a soft “thank you” and quickly dabs the tears from her eyes before they have the chance to escape and cause her makeup to run. He nods and heads out into the crowd to act as secondary security.

Kelly and Sam flank her sides and guide her through the curtain set up on the other set of doors that leads up to the stage. She pauses at the steps, waiting for Kelly to introduce her.

“Welcome, everyone, welcome! And now, a very important announcement from Lena Luthor!”

There’s some applause from the crowd and Lena has to take a steadying breath. She grasps the handrail and glances over to Sam, whose hand is at her lower back acting like a tether; keeping her from floating (or running) away.

“You’ve got this, Lena,” she says decisively.

With that last bit of encouragement, she smooths her skirt and climbs the steps, heading to the podium. She wishes Kara was up there with her, but knows that none of the Superfriends can appear to be endorsing a candidate, as they’ll have to work with whomever wins—biases create distrust which potentially breeds discontent. Still, she knows Kara’s somewhere nearby; scanning the crowd and the surrounding buildings from the air, making sure Lena (and everyone else) is safe.

“Friends, family, neighbors... Citizens of National City, I thank you for taking the time to come here today. I thank you for giving me the chance to earn your trust after all the negativity and chaos and damage my family, most especially my brother, has brought on and to this city over the past nearly half a decade.

When I first moved here, I told everyone that I wanted to change the history of my family’s name; that I wanted to be the Luthor to do actual good in and for this world. That goal hasn’t ever changed. I also said that I wasn’t here to make friends, that I didn’t need friends. But after only a short time in this wonderful city, I met some of the most incredible people who became my closest friends. They’ve taught me that no one needs to go it alone; that no one should go it alone. That we are all stronger together.

That is why, as of today, I’m officially announcing my candidacy for mayor of National City.”

She’s interrupted by a roar of applause and cheers from the crowd and she smiles a little. When it quiets a little, she continues.

“I promise that I will fight for every citizen of our city—whether you’re human, alien, meta-human, or anyone in between. We are a society made of many backgrounds, each as important and deserving of representation as the next. This city’s priorities have long been out of whack—focusing more on the needs of one group rather than the collective good of the entire population.

The top initiatives of my administration will focus on fighting poverty and ensuring rent stabilization, as well as creating more low-income housing. We’ll also work to end the school-to-prison pipeline and offer more mental health resources by hiring and training social workers and psychologists to handle the non-violent emergencies of the city. We’ll look into opening more community centers citywide, to offer programs before and after school so kids have a safe place to go and participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, get help with homework, or just hang out with friends.

I want and dream for National City to be a beacon of hope and aspiration for the rest of the country and I believe in our citizens to make that dream a reality!

Thank you, everyone for your time. I hope I can prove to you that I’m worthy of your support and your vote in this election!”

The crowd cheers as the screen behind Lena illuminates with her campaign poster. She smiles and waves as Sam escorts her back inside to have a smaller gathering with members of the press.

Kara intercepts her first, though—back in her civilian attire—offering her a congratulatory kiss.

“I’m so proud of you, Lena,” she says, her eyes aglow with admiration. “I can’t wait to be the first lady of National City.” She swoons a little into Lena’s arms.

Lena smirks at the theatrics, Kara’s humor helping her feel more and more at ease with the idea of possibly winning the seat. “Thank you, darling, for your unwavering and borderline shameless support. You have no idea how much it means.”

“Kara? I need to borrow Lena for, like, twenty minutes for the presser and then she’s yours for the rest of the day,” Sam calls over to them, but knows enough to keep her distance as to avoid overhearing things she ought not to hear.

Kara nods and waves her acknowledgement, then turns back to her girlfriend. She smirks herself and leans in to kiss Lena’s cheek.

“You can show me later how much it means,” she murmurs into Lena’s ear before she nips at the lobe, pulling back with a luminously innocent smile.

“Sounds like a plan,” Lena replies with a straight face. As she walks away, she gives Kara’s ass a pinch, eliciting a surprised yelp.

Lena continues to walk, giving Sam a smile and getting a few notes of preparation on the way to the press room.

Kara watches, rubbing her butt with a dopey smile and pinking cheeks—on her face and in her pants.

Chapter Text

It’s been six months since Lena last saw Kara. Really saw her; talked to her.

Three months ago, she stopped talking to Alex and Kelly and Nia and Brainy and J’onn… She’s cut herself off from everyone except Sam and Andrea, basically. And all the nameless people she meets out at the various establishments she frequents between National City and Metropolis.

She flies back and forth, several times a week, just to escape. Once one city starts to feel like it’s closing in, she flies to the other. Wash, rinse, repeat.

She stays in the Presidential Suite at the National City Four Seasons—hasn’t been able to go to her apartment since the Kara incident; too many memories. She hasn’t been up to looking for a different place but also hasn’t taken the time to hire movers to get her shit out, either. So instead, she buys new clothes and has the hotel clean them. She gets all her meals out. She’s reliving her days as a business traveler. It’s fine; comfortable. It’s a routine she understands.

She crashes in Sam’s guest room when she’s on the East coast, careful not to wake Ruby when she comes back in the early morning hours; sometimes drunk, sometimes not.

But no matter what city she’s in, she comes back to her room or bed shaken; always, always shaken.

---

On a Tuesday night in National City, she goes to a place called Paradigm. The drinks are overpriced, the concept is pretentious, and the music has way too much bass behind it, but it’s dark and crowded and that’s what Lena’s looking for.

She’s on the dance floor, sandwiched between a man and a woman and uncaring of any personal details about them. The music is loud and fast and the alcohol is flowing so freely you’d think it was an open bar at a wedding reception. (Really, it’s just Lena’s Black AMEX doing the heavy lifting.) She doesn’t give a damn. Her eyes are closed and nothing matters.

When the DJ switches it up and slows it down, her eyes open. And that’s when she sees her. Her stupid gorgeous face. That stupid, perfect blonde hair. The beautiful blue eyes that make her knees week. Just there. Smiling at Lena. Like nothing happened. Like there hasn’t been a chasm ripped between them.

Lena clenches her jaw and swallows down the stomach acid fighting its way up her throat. She pushes her way out of the crowd, going to the bar to close out her tab and leaves. She bursts through the alley door, only briefly enjoying the cool night air, before she proceeds to vomit up her $18 vodka cranberry and promptly rolls her eyes.

God, Luthor. Are you in college? Vodka fucking cranberry?

She wipes her mouth and heads off to meet her driver who’s waiting at the end of the alley.

When she enters her hotel room ten minutes later, she goes to the bathroom and cries on the shower floor under the hot water. Her mascara leaves dark tracks down her cheeks as if she’s Lauren Conrad and has just been in yet another argument with Audrina in an episode of The Hills.

---

It’s Friday in Metropolis and she heads to a place called Illusion.

She invites Sam, insists she comes along, even. But Sam politely declines, saying it’s been a long week and she wants to spend some one-on-one time with Ruby. Lena nods, understandingly, and takes off.

The club has much better control of the bass, thankfully. Lena wasn’t sure her head could take another pounding. The interior, though, leaves a lot to be desired. It’s all black walls and floors, and leather furnishings; the only light comes from purple blacklights. It’s so painfully cheesy that she feels like she’s not dressed properly, what with no shoulder pads or big hair held up by ten cans of Rave or Aqua Net hairspray. But she deals with it, not feeling like looking for another place tonight.

She sticks with scotch to drink. She’s looking to get blackout drunk and knows scotch will be her best resource.

She tosses back one double then asks the waitress to leave the bottle at her booth, for later, tipping her $100. After that, she’s out on the floor pressing herself against two brunette women with dark eyes. Enjoys the relative anonymity the barely lit place gives her.

She dances with them until she’s slick with sweat. When one of the women licks her neck, she freezes and pushes her off; that was not part of the arrangement. She stomps back to her booth where the bottle of scotch waits.

A little while later, Lena’s booth is littered with empty glasses even though she’s the only one sitting there. At least, that’s what it looks like with her double or triple vision. She’s laying on her side, taking slow, deliberate swigs from the nearly empty bottle. The waitress has long since stopped coming by to offer her water or anything else after Lena had angrily yelled that she was fine; just wanted the bottle she had and to leave her alone. She only came back to return Lena’s card and then skittered away into the throngs of people.

Lena sighs and closes her eyes when the room starts to spin, even while she’s laying down. Her stomach starts to roll wildly, so she blindly reaches for her phone, texting her driver to come pick her up.

She slowly sits up and leans against the booth’s backrest for a second, allows her head to reacclimate to the full upright and locked position. When she opens her eyes, the room still spins a little. But it’s the woman in front of her, staring at her from the edge of the crowd and below the VIP area railing with her sad, judgmental eyes that throws her completely off-kilter. She feels the tears well in her eyes—it’s too soon for that—so she grabs her clutch, barely making sure she’s got her phone, and runs as best she can; away from the horrid ambiance and far away from the frown and disappointment that mar her favorite angelic features.

When she gets outside, she’s able to refrain from vomiting, but just barely. She stumbles her way to the waiting black town car and slides down in the backseat, taking deep breaths to try to calm down.

After a silent twenty-minute ride back to Sam’s, she trips her way through the lobby to the high rise’s elevator and is pleased to see Sam’s left out a bottle of water and some crackers for Lena.

Such a good friend… I don’t deserve her, she thinks to herself sadly.

---

Wash, rinse, repeat. She bounces from city to city, club to club, drink to drink. Each time, same result; Kara always shows up. Lena never has the nerve to speak to her and Kara seems perfectly fine to just stare at her, smiling. Or judge her, disappointment and mockery radiating off of her.

Until one night. One night, in National City. It’s been nine months since Lena last saw Kara. Really saw her; talked to her.

She’s at a club called Culmination. It’s nondescript, average. Everything is middle of the road: the lighting is dark, but not too dark; the drinks are reasonably priced for the amount of alcohol in the mixed drinks; the music is the perfect volume; it’s not overcrowded.

She’s in the middle of sipping her glass of red wine, half listening to the woman in front of her, when she sees the flash of blonde over the woman’s shoulder before Kara is fully in view. She feels her jaw tense and excuses herself from the conversation and heads to the bathroom.

She pushes the bathroom door open hard enough that it slams into the wall with a loud clatter, but she doesn’t care. Instead, she stomps over to the sink and fills her hands with cold water, splashes her face and then leans over the porcelain heavily.

“You need to stop,” Lena says harshly, gripping the sink with both hands.

She’s thankful the bathroom was empty before she came in because this conversation would be absurd if there were someone in the stall to overhear. She glances up and looks at Kara in the mirror—her eyes are just as blue and lively as the last time she really saw her…

“You can’t blame me for being curious, Lena,” Kara shrugs playfully, stalking her from behind. “I can’t help wondering who you think is going to take my place.” She’s fully behind Lena now; she can almost feel Kara’s breath on her cheek, her hands gripping her hips. “I feel like I should at least get a say, since I had you first.”

“But you don’t get a say, Kara!” Lena lashes back, stepping away from the sink; away from Kara’s form. She stands by the wall. “You don’t get a say because you’re-”

“I’m what, Lena?” Kara challenges. “Can you even say it? Has it been long enough, yet?”

Kara’s voice is so cold and cruel, so unlike the woman Lena used to know.

“Because you’re dead,” she whispers pitifully. Tears well in her eyes for what feels like the millionth time as she sinks against the wall and slides to the floor. Her hands fly to her face as she sobs uncontrollably, remembering that day nine months ago.

Lex had left one final “gift” for Lena and her friends—a pack of Kryptonite wrapped in an unstable, lead-lined bomb buried in the basement of one of Lena’s children’s hospitals.

The sensors had picked up a nuclear leak coming from the basement and Kara insisted she be the one to take it out and up to the sun to destroy it. She asked everyone else to oversee the evacuation of the hospital.

“Kara, no. Let me go with you,” Lena had pressed. She was worried… It was never that simple with Lex. There was always some kind of twist involved. But the scans hadn’t picked up anything out of the ordinary.

“Lena, it’ll be fine. I promise,” Kara smiled. “I’ll be back before you even know I’m gone.” She kissed her softly on the lips and when they pulled back, Kara’s eyes practically glowed with happiness.

Before Lena could stop her, Kara had sped off and the next thing Lena saw was Kara shoot up into the air, heading for the atmosphere…until the explosion. The bright green light that emitted from the bomb made her collapse to her knees and scream until her throat was raw. She saw the silhouette of Kara’s body fall from the sky and crash to the ground.

By the time they got to her, she was gone. Her body still; eyes were half-lidded, there was blood running out of her nose, ears, and mouth and the Kryptonite’s sickly green poison leached out of her skin before it faded. She hadn’t even had time to deploy her Kryptonite suit.

Lena passed out and didn’t wake up in the Tower’s med bay until three days later; Alex had sedated her in hopes she would wake up rested and not on the verge of a psychotic break. She got neither of those wishes.

She sat silently at the funeral, just staring at the closed casket. The large photo of Kara’s smiling face on an easel mocking her. Lena knew what she really looked like inside that box. Her body bloated beyond recognition, bones shattered to oblivion, no smile on her once warm, pink lips.

Lena went through the motions for three months. Continued to show up at the Tower. Continued to try to help the team. Until she just couldn’t anymore. She couldn’t be around the constant reminders of what, of who she’d lost. Of who they’d all lost.

So, she walked out and never looked back. She had her driver take her to the Four Seasons and checked herself in under an alias and locked herself away, wanting to wallow in misery, alone.

Lena,” she hears in that breathy way that only Kara could manage. It pulls her out of the memory. “Baby, look at me, please.”

Her hands fall, body reacting instantly to Kara’s appeal like it had so many times before. She lifts her gaze to the form knelt before her and feels fresh tears trickle down her face.

“I’m sorry,” Kara whispers. “I didn’t want to go, you know that. I didn’t want to leave you.” She reaches out, as if she could actually touch Lena and it would be felt.

“I miss you so much,” Lena quietly replies, desperate to reach back but knowing it would be useless.

“You need to talk to someone. Call Sam or Andrea or Alex; anyone. There’s something wrong and you need to talk to someone who can actually help.” Her counsel is sage, if a little unnerving. She stands and looks toward the door. “I have to go, now…” She looks back to Lena, sadness once again painting what once were delicate, perpetually happy features. “Promise me you’ll call-”

“I promise,” Lena interrupts; her tone firm.

Kara nods and walks to the door. She pauses a moment and whispers, “I miss you, too…” and then, she’s gone.

Lena takes a minute to gather herself before she stands on wobbly legs. She splashes some more cold water on her face before she exits the bathroom and then the club.

She has her driver take her back to the hotel—she’s still not ready to face her apartment, may never be.

She slides under the covers and then grabs her phone. She scrolls through her contacts list and feels her heart clench a moment seeing Kara’s name. She bites her tongue and scrolls further.

The line rings and rings and rings… She’s about to hang up when the line finally connects, and a distressed voice comes through.

“Lena?”

She closes her eyes and feels a tear slide down her cheek. “Hey, Alex…”

Chapter Text

Before the reality of the situation set in, Lena came up with literally every possible solution she could to get Kara back from the Phantom Zone in those first 12 hours. Honestly? She was ready to traverse the whole of the barren wasteland herself if it meant having Kara back safely and in a reasonable amount of time. But, of course, it could never be that easy.

So instead, she took Myriad and wiped Lex and Lillian’s minds of Kara’s identity. She did it for Alex, for Eliza, for Kelly… Mostly, though, she did it for Kara. (And a little bit for herself.)

She had Brainy return the device back to the Fortress—she couldn’t go back there so soon; it was still too fresh, her guilt started to settle into her bones.

The first night, she stayed at her apartment but didn’t sleep. She just stared at the ceiling, replayed every last detail of the last conversation she’d had with Kara; every last prompt she’d put into the Fortress’s computer, wondering if there was some other defense she could’ve implemented.

The first day, she stayed home. She locked herself away to try and come up with more possible solutions to the problem. Ultimately, she wound up drinking the day away.

The second night—around midnight, after she’d sobered up—she snuck over to Kara’s. She used the key Kara had made for her after they reconciled; the biggest olive branch aside from letting Lena keep her signal watch. She shivered as she crossed the threshold and noticed that Kara had left one of the windows slightly ajar, as if she’d be back and flying through it soon.

God, how Lena wished that was true.

She crossed the floor and latched it tightly. She didn’t notice the tear that fell down her cheek afterwards. Instead, she stood there for a while, staring blankly out onto Kara’s quiet street and then up into the starry midnight sky, trying to discern the approximate location of the Phantom Zone. She doesn’t know if she was even remotely close, but she pretended anyway.

She moved around the space; running her hands over the blankets draped over the back of the couch and along Kara’s easel, along the spines of Kara’s books. Soon enough, she found herself in the bedroom doorway. She was still; too scared at first to disturb the sanctuary.

Lena took in the bed, still perfectly made. She noticed Kara’s shoes, lined up underneath the bed. Then, on the chair in the corner, her eyes skimmed over the National City University sweatshirt. Of all of Kara’s shirts, that one had always been her favorite. She’d allowed Lena to wear it the first time Lena spent the night and it was perfectly worn, soft in all the right places, cozy; it felt like home. (Kara felt like home.)

She’d worn it during what she thought was her lowest point, when she was unsure of whether she’d poisoned the school children of National City. (Kara was there for that, too, trying her hardest to make Lena realize that she wasn’t the monster she was making herself out to be. She’d saved her, literally and figuratively.)

Her legs moved before her brain even registered the action. The next thing she knew, she was gripping the sweatshirt like a lifeline, bringing it to her nose and inhaling the faintest scent of Kara that lingered from the last time she had slept in it.

She grabbed Kara’s bottle of perfume before she left, then headed for the door; locking it behind her as she walked out.

When she got home, she slipped off her own shirt and slipped the pilfered item over her frame, as she had numerous times before. It still felt the same: like home.

She was able to sleep that night, and every other night that she wore it—not that there were many nights of rest while Kara was still missing. Her mind worked overtime on whatever piece of tech she could possibly build to help aid in Kara’s return, which meant her restless body was in the lab constantly. But on the nights she literally couldn’t do it anymore, the shirt was her very own security blanket.

Inevitably she had to wash it, lest it become filthy and smell. She used the same brand of detergent and fabric softener that Kara had at her apartment, then she’d lightly mist it with Kara’s perfume as a way to mimic Kara’s scent. It wasn’t the greatest success of her life, but it had to do until she had the real Kara back.

It got to the point where she had sprayed the perfume so much that every time she entered her apartment she thought she would see Kara waiting for her. It was an unintentional and cruel joke she’d played on herself. She had to hide it away in her closet because the constant disappointment in the realization just hurt too much.

---

Weeks passed, then months. Lena was despondent; had been ready to say “Fuck humanity, all I need is Kara.” Brainy was using food as a coping mechanism. Even Alex seemed like she was giving up hope.

But then…they’d finally done it. They’d found her location; they’d battled phantom menaces; they’d built literal sun bombs. And finally, they’d brought her home.

After she flew to the ship and sped to Alex, Kara’s energy she’d gained from the sun bomb had been depleted. She’d fainted like a Pokémon and earned four long days under the sun lamps for the trouble.

It was ok, though, because it allowed Lena the ability to rest peacefully again. Granted, she never left the Tower. She’d just had new clothes brought to her and used the shower facilities on another floor. She wanted to be there when Kara woke up. She had to be. So, she was.

When Kara hugged her so tightly that she momentarily worried that her ribs were going to crack, Lena would have happily accepted it as penance for not doing more to avoid this situation in the first place. When they pulled back and Kara looked ready to kiss her, even going so far as to lean in, well…

A week after her dad headed home to reunite with his wife, Kara showed up at Lena’s door.

“Hey,” Kara said meekly. A very different and not at all Kara-like tone.

“Hey,” Lena replied and ushered her in.

They stood in the walkway between the kitchen and the living room; Kara’s eyes took in every bit of information they could—cataloged any and all changes that’d occurred in her absence. (Very few.)

“Have you seen-” Kara started to speak, but cut herself off and inhaled deeply. Her eyebrows creased in recognition. “Is that-” She breathed in again then looked in Lena’s eyes. “My perfume?”

Lena could only nod. Kara took the two steps that separated them and framed Lena’s face with her soft, chilled hands. Her thumbs dragged across Lena’s flushed cheeks while their eyes dashed between the other’s lips then back to the eyes.

“I missed you so, so much,” Lena whispered wretchedly, her eyes downcast to the floor.

The sound Kara drew from the back of her throat when she pressed their lips together didn’t have a proper name; it was a spur of the moment mix of surprise, longing, and happiness.

“I dreamed of you constantly; you were my safest space,” Kara whispered reverently as her eyes pierced Lena’s. The stare was so intense, Lena felt the shiver run down her spine and then right back up.

They stayed like that a short while; reveled in the closeness, until Lena lightly grasped Kara’s hands and pulled them off her face. She pressed a light kiss to each knuckle before entwining their fingers and leading Kara to the bedroom.

Kara spotted the nearly empty perfume bottle on Lena’s dresser. She picked it up gently, but set it back down almost immediately, watching Lena move to the closet. The breathy laugh she let out when she saw her sweatshirt clutched in Lena’s hands was Lena’s new favorite song.

“Did you steal anything else from my apartment while I was away?” Kara asked, her eyes dancing with humor.

“Just this and the perfume,” Lena answered. “You know it’s my favorite. I just…” She trailed off, the emotion trying to choke her by lodging itself in her throat. “I needed some way to feel close to you. Sense memory is a powerful thing,” she shrugged.

Kara smiled softly, fondly. She carefully removed the shirt from Lena’s hands and stared at it for a moment.

“You keep it,” she declared. “I’ll wear it for a few hours to give it good amount of my obviously enrapturing scent and then it’s all yours.”

“Darling, no,” Lena shook her head. “That’s your shirt. You should keep it.”

Kara grasped Lena’s chin gently and brought their lips together again. When she pulled back, she affectionately tapped Lena’s nose twice and said, “This shirt, along with my heart, belongs to you. They have for a while; it just took me a while to catch up.”

Tears fell from Lena’s eyes at the admission; she felt her heart swell and caressed the sturdy line of Kara’s jaw.

“I’ll protect them both with my life,” she replied, unwavering.

Chapter Text

Kara Danvers strolled casually down 6th Avenue, waving to neighbors and friends as she passed by. She was on her way home from her job as the personal assistant of Cat Grant, the first woman Editor-in-Chief at the National City Register. In 1958, that was a pretty big deal. Kara hoped that by the late 60s or early 70s, she’d be able to ascend to such a high position.

She’d gotten out early that day, as Ms. Grant had an appointment and would be out the rest of the afternoon and Kara hoped she would be able to catch Lena at home.

It was a hot summer day in National City and Kara’s pedal pushers were clinging to her legs uncomfortably. She stopped into the corner store for a soda to cool herself down.

“Hi, Mr. Jones,” she greeted kindly. John had been a staple in the neighborhood for years and had been very helpful in her move to the city several years ago. Her sister Alex had told her that, if she needed anything—help, information, or just a warm meal—John Jones was the man to see.

“Afternoon, Kara! How are things in the news business? Break any big stories, yet?” His deep voice carried easily in the small store and the chuckle he let out at the end echoed.

She grabbed an orange soda from the refrigerator and went to the counter to pay.

“John, you know I’m just an assistant,” she laughed and slid him a quarter.

“You’re never going to be a reporter if you don’t write some pieces, Kara,” he looked at her sternly; always the father figure. “You’ve been an assistant to Ms. Grant for nearly three years, now. It’s time to put yourself out there on the writing front!”

She knew he was right; he was always right. He had the old, wise man thing going on.

“I know, I know,” Kara sighed, twisting open her bottle and taking a big gulp. “Ms. Grant has asked me to write a couple of test pieces so she can evaluate them…”

“Well, there you go!” he bellowed excitedly, his hands raising above his head.

They chatted a little while longer, he updated her on his wife Megan’s work at the youth center a few blocks over and she updated him on Alex’s work at the local clinic, as well as Lena’s continued struggles at trying to keep the board in line.

“Sounds like very stressful work for Lena,” he replied. “Good thing she has such a good friend like you to listen and help,” he smiled and winked knowingly.

Kara blushed. She knew John would never say anything about the real extent of her relationship with Lena—for an older man, he was very openminded and progressive. That was part of the reason she adored him so much. She also suspected that was a big reason Alex had specifically directed her to him when she moved from Midvale to start college.

She’d met Lena at National City University, where she was finishing up her PhD in Chemistry—the fact that she was two years younger than Kara and was already finishing an advanced degree was very impressive (and attractive) in Kara’s opinion—and Kara was finishing her journalism undergrad coursework. They became fast friends, getting together several times a week to study in the library or to catch a movie. Soon, library study sessions and movies turned into lunches, dinners, and sleepovers. Which, of course, turned into kissing and then dating.

It’d taken Kara a little while to be ok with herself. If she was honest, she’d never thought about dating another girl before meeting Lena. She’d always assumed and expected that, at some point, some charming man would come and sweep her off her feet. Well, she’d been right about being swept off her feet, only it was a charming woman who’d done the sweeping.

“Yeah, well, she’d do the same for me. That’s what best friends are for, right?” she shrugged and then checked her watch. “Alright, I’d better be going. See you soon, John!”

“Enjoy the rest of your day, Kara. Say hi to your sister and Lena for me!”

She waved and headed out the door, back into the awful heat. Her soda bottle had already started to warm. She took another big gulp and tossed the bottle into a garbage can.

Kara turned the corner to River Street and headed into her apartment building. It was stifling in the stairwell and she had 8 flights to climb. She was glad to be in as good of shape as she was, but she still wound up sweaty and very uncomfortable.

“Definitely need a shower,” she muttered to herself as she slid the key in the deadbolt.

She opened the door to the apartment she shared with Lena and looked around. Their cat, Streaky—a male tuxedo they’d found by the garbage cans as a stray shortly after they moved in—pranced up to her as she shut the door behind her.

“Hello, sweet prince,” she greeted as he meowed. She scratched the top of his head and asked, “Is momma home?”

He looked at her for a moment and then trotted off, back to his favorite window and unsure why his humans felt the need to ask him things they knew good and well he couldn’t answer.

Kara smiled and shook her head and headed to the kitchen.

“Lena?” she called out, setting her keys into the bowl on the entry way table. “You home?”

Silence.

“Hmph…” Kara grumbled to herself. And washed off her hands at the kitchen sink. When she turned around, she noticed a note on the table.

In Lena’s perfect script was written:

Darling –
Had to run to a luncheon, but I’ll be back around 3. Fingers crossed that the food is good—God knows the company won’t be.
- Lena

Kara laughed to herself. Lena must have been called to another meeting with the board for LCorp. She knew her girlfriend could handle those stuffy suits, but she still wanted to do something nice for her to come home to.

She moved around the apartment, opening windows and turning on fans in an effort to cool the place off. Then, she hopped in the shower to get the sweat off.

By the time she finished and was just pulling the t-shirt onto her body, she heard the front door open.

“Kara? Are you home already?” Lena called out, the door closing behind her.

“Hey, you,” Kara replied while she leaned against their bedroom doorframe, her arms crossed and an amused smile playing on her lips.

Lena’s smile when she saw her was nothing short of thousand-watt. She strode over, her high heels clacking on the hardwood of their apartment, and threw her arms around Kara’s shoulders. She tucked her head under Kara’s chin and listened to the steady heartbeat.

“I missed you, darling. I’m so tired of having to coddle the egos of impotent men when I’m trying to run my family’s company and finally steer it into the success I know it can be.”

Kara ran her hands up and down Lena’s back in a soothing fashion, reveling in the closeness.

“Want me to knock some heads?” Kara pulled back slightly and glanced down. “Bust some kneecaps? Break some knuckles?”

Lena cackled, always enjoying Kara’s protective side, even if she was joking.

“Nothing quite that dire,” she replied and placed a sound kiss to Kara’s lips. “But the offer is noted and very appreciated.”

Kara smiled broadly. “It’s always on the table, sweetheart.”

Lena stepped out of their embrace and noticed Kara’s damp hair and pouted. “Oh, what a shame that you’ve showered already.” She walked past her girlfriend and set her purse in their room and kicked off her heels. She leaned close to Kara’s ear and whispered huskily, “We could have conserved some water if we’d taken one together…”

Kara’s eyes slid shut and she shivered; the visual that came to her mind was delectable.

“I’ll uh-” she cleared her throat. “I’ll make it up to you tonight.”

“You’d better,” Lena winked and headed to the bathroom.

Kara headed to the kitchen and began to prepare Lena’s favorite pasta dish for dinner. She would happily give her girlfriend everything she wanted that night and for the rest of their lives.

Chapter Text

“Thanks so much for doing this, Lena,” Kara says from the passenger seat, her knee bouncing up and down rapidly. She hates the dentist as it is, but having oral surgery? The worst.

Lena gives her a look that’s as strange on her face as Kara is acting. “Kara, don’t be ridiculous,” she replies, returning her eyes to the road. “You’re having your wisdom teeth out, someone had to drive you.”

“I know,” Kara says in a small voice. “I could have asked Alex or Kelly, though.”

“Your sister’s got back-to-back surgeries today and Kelly’s got home visits for three of her kids,” Lena shoots back. Before Kara can try and say anything else, Lena continues, “And before you even say J’onn or Nia or Brainy, their schedules are also all full. I’m more than happy to drive and take care of you, weirdo.”

Kara’s heavy sigh next to her draws Lena’s eyes back over. Kara’s lower lip is getting gnawed on like a dog goes to work on a fresh bone. She pulls into the medical office’s parking lot and shuts off the car. She turns in her seat and grabs Kara’s hand with both of hers.

“You’re really nervous, huh?”

Kara finally looks her in the eye and nods, embarrassed.

“You know I don’t like the dentist. Why are impacted wisdom teeth even a thing?” Kara’s voice is rising and Lena knows what rant is coming next, so she bites back her burgeoning smile and laughter. “Like, why is the human body such a garbage pile? How are humans even considered the top of the food chain? Guns; those are the only reason. Otherwise, we would be the weakest. Our bodies are literally the worst. Headaches? Period cramps? Muscle aches and cramps? Twisted ankles?! Stomach problems?!”

Kara could and would list literally every fail point of the human body if Lena let her. But they both know the appointment is in 15 minutes, so Lena coaxes her out of the car. They meet at the trunk and Kara looks at the tall building worriedly.

“Hey,” Lena says, reaching for Kara’s hand as she starts to walk. Kara stops immediately and turns back. “Everything is going to be fine, ok?” Lena pulls her into a warm, tight hug, which Kara accepts happily; her breath hitching slightly on the inhale. She allows Lena’s hands, which are running up and down her back slowly, to slow her heartrate down. “They’re professionals. They know what they’re doing.”

“Professional what?” Kara grumbles and pulls back, shoving her hands into her pockets as she glares at the building.

“Come on, Cameron,” Lena chuckles. Kara always pulls out a Ferris Bueller quote when she’s nervous. “The sooner you go in, the sooner it’s over with.”

Kara allows herself to be guided to the building, Lena’s steady arm around her.

---

The wait in the office is short; Lena helps her fill out the paperwork because Kara’s nerves are once again flaring—her eyes dart around the small waiting area, her fingers drum on the arms of the chair, and both her knees are in on the bouncing—and returns it to the receptionist.

Thankfully, they’re the only patient and plus-one; the first appointment of the day. When the nurse comes out to get them, Lena offers her hand to Kara to hold all the way back. Lena’s thumb brushes along the back of it in a calming manner and Kara tries to focus on that over the smells that are making her nauseous.

The nurse seats Kara in the dental chair and allows Lena to sit on the rolling stool while she explains the procedure—pointing out each of Kara’s impacted teeth and showing the IV that will be placed in Kara’s arm to put her under. Lena asks the approximate length of the procedure—45 minutes to an hour, typically—and how long she’s able to stay in the room—she’ll have to go to the waiting area after the IV is placed.

The surgeon comes in next, offering his hellos while rubbing his hands together in an attempt to warm them before he shakes both of theirs.

“How are we doing this morning?” he asks, jovial.

“We’re doing ok, doctor,” Lena replies. “Kara’s a bit nervous, though.”

“That’s completely normal, Kara. But we’ve been doing this long enough, now; you’re in safe hands.”

Kara smiles weakly as Dr. McCoy offers a sympathetic squeeze of her shoulder as her rounds the chair to wash his hands. The nurse returns with her mask and gloves on, ready to place Kara’s IV.

“Ok, Kara,” the nurse starts and comes around to her left side. She rips open an antiseptic wipe and waits for Kara to extend her arm. Kara takes a deep breath, turns her head to the right, and opens her right hand for Lena to take—she does instantly—then extends her left. The nurse’s eyes crinkle with the smile brought to her face by Kara and Lena keeping their eyes locked as she ties a band around Kara’s arm. “You’re going to feel a little cold swipe from the antiseptic and then a little pinch from the needle. Ready?”

It goes quickly, thankfully. The nurse doesn’t dawdle and she gets the stick on the first try.

“We’re gonna start pumping the drugs now, ok? So, Lena’s got to go,” Dr. McCoy says kindly.

Lena stands, not letting go of Kara’s hand and leans down to look Kara in the eyes. She smiles softly and whispers, “I’ll see you in a little while, yeah? Love you.” She places a lingering kiss on Kara’s forehead and to her hand and walks out.

She barely hears Kara’s “Love you too” as the door shuts behind her.

---

It’s the longest and shortest 55 minutes of Lena’s life. She answers work emails, fields check-in calls from Alex, Kelly, Nia, Sam, and Andrea. She paces in the waiting room, then goes outside for some fresh air. She twists the ring on her left hand more times than she’ll ever admit.

Eventually, though, the nurse comes out to get her and walks her to the recovery room, explaining to Lena that Kara is loopy from the drugs and will be for a few hours, probably. She also explains the aftercare Kara will need—ice packs for twenty-minute intervals for the rest of the day, soft foods like soup or pasta, absolutely no straws, and a checkup in a week to see how her mouth is healing, unless she develops dry socket; then she’ll need to come in sooner for special packing.

“Kara, there’s someone here to see you!” the nurse says as they enter the room.

“Hmm? Who’s there?” Kara mumbles groggily, her head lolling slowly from left to right, eyes still closed and an ice pack pressed to each side of her face held up by Kara’s hands.

Lena smiles and walks to her side, running her hand gently through Kara’s hair.

“Hey, you,” she says as Kara’s eyes finally open.

“Hey,” Kara replies, dragging out the ‘y’ and tries to give Lena her best attempt at…sultry? Really, Kara just looks like she’s had one too many at happy hour, but Lena is nice and doesn’t laugh. “Did the doctor send you? You are eye candy.”

“Well, thank you, darling. That’s very kind!”

Kara’s eyes drift shut again, the ice packs slipping down with her hands, and the nurse coaxes her to try and stay awake. When blue eyes reemerge, they widen when they land on Lena.

“Whoa,” is all that comes from Kara’s mouth; like she’s stunned. “You are the prettiest woman I have ever seen.”

Lena can’t help the chuckle that comes from her after that particular comment—it’s a common sentiment Kara expresses when she’s drunk.

“Are you a model?” Kara asks, genuinely.

“Nope, not a model. I run a tech company,” Lena answers.

“Wow,” Kara says, dragging out the ‘o’ this time. “Hot and smart.” She’s quiet for a little bit, looks like she’s contemplating something really important, before she talks again. “Who are you? What’s your name?”

Lena bites back another laugh, smiling sweetly, instead. “My name is Lena. I’m your wife.”

Kara’s eyes widen again as she gasps. She points to Lena, “You’re my wife?!” At Lena’s nod, Kara glances away in disbelief then back to shining green eyes. “Holy shit,” she breathes out. “How long?”

Lena laughs heartily and answers, “Five years, my love.”

“Oh man,” Kara sighs. Something important seems to occur to her, so she asks, “Do we have kids?”

“No,” Lena blushes. “Not yet.”

Kara nods solemnly. “Have we kissed yet?”

It’s Lena’s turn to nod as she holds Kara’s hand. “Yes, we have. A few times, actually.”

“Really?!” Kara replies excitedly. “Nice. I hit the jackpot.”

“Ok, Kara. Let’s get you home and into bed.” Lena encourages Kara to sit up slowly and swing her legs over the side of the chair.

“Baby, I think that could be considered taking advantage of an incapacitated woman.” Kara leans into her heavily as Lena hooks Kara’s arm around her shoulders and they walk out. “Do we call each other baby?” she questions, worried.

“You tend to use the term more than me,” Lena laughs, then whispers in Kara’s ear, “But I let it out in the bedroom.”

“Oh, my God,” Kara groans happily, as if she’s just eaten a potsticker. They exit the building and Lena opens the passenger door, helping Kara into the seat and taking special care that she doesn’t hit her head. While Lena buckles her in, Kara just watches with rapt attention.

Lena hurries around to the driver’s side, getting in and buckling her own seatbelt. Kara’s head lolls to the left and she smiles. Her cheeks are already swelling back up.

“I really did hit the jackpot. Thanks for marrying me,” she says with the most sincerity Lena’s ever heard (outside of their wedding day.)

“Thanks for proposing,” Lena responds, and puts the car into gear.

Kara’s eyes slip closed as they drive, but Lena manages to catch one last thought that slides out of her mouth.

“I’m gonna get you pregnant when we get home.”

She wishes she’d been recording this whole interaction, because Kara will surely never buy it—Alex definitely will, though—but she definitely can’t wait for Kara to try to knock her up.

Chapter Text

“Kara, are you ready to go?” Lena calls out from the bedroom, fastening her watch and checking her reflection in the full-length mirror. “We’re meant to be at your sister’s in half an hour.”

Kara strolls into the bedroom and pauses when she sees Lena, looking absolutely scrumptious in dark jeans and a maroon long sleeved tee. Casual Lena was quickly becoming her favorite look of all. She presses her front to Lena’s back, wrapping her arms around Lena’s waist and rests her chin on her shoulder.

“We can be a little late, can’t we?” Kara presses soft kisses to the underside of Lena’s jaw, enjoying the sharp inhale her girlfriend takes and the way her hands come to rest on Kara’s arms. Kara lightly nips at the tender skin in the crook of Lena’s neck.

Suddenly, she feels Lena’s grip on her arms tighten and her hands are no longer resting on her girlfriend’s stomach. They’re not touching her body at all, actually; sadly.

She pouts as Lena turns on her heel and raises both her no nonsense eyebrow and a finger.

“Kara Danvers, I know what you’re doing,” she starts, trying to assert her boardroom voice; she’s betrayed by the shudder that happens when Kara’s hands and lips are on her like that. She clears her throat and tries again. “Alex will quite literally murder us if we’re late. This is Esme’s favorite holiday; it’s important.”

Kara sighs, knowing Lena’s right. She loves her niece and her sister and Kelly and would never, ever want to let them down. But, come on… When you have a girlfriend who looks like Lena Luthor—or is Lena Luthor—you can’t be blamed for wanting to spend as much…alone time with her as possible.

Considering how long it had taken the both of them to get their crap together enough to even realize their feelings for one another, let alone admit it and actually go on a date… They have a lot of time to make up.

Still, a few hours at Alex and Kelly’s wouldn’t kill her. So, she superspeeds into the closet and changes in a few seconds, coming out with her hair halfway up in her signature ponytail. She kisses Lena’s cheek on her way to the dresser for some socks, which Lena happily accepts.

Then, they’re off.

---

Alex and Kelly have everything set up for pumpkin carving by the time they get there—with five minutes to spare, thank you very much.

Lena’s helping Kelly get the snacks out while Alex and Kara and Esme decide which pumpkin they want to attack first.

“I think we should do the smallest one first,” Esme offers after serious consideration. “That way, if we don’t like it, it won’t feel like a waste.” She turns to look at the sisters with one hand still resting on her chin, tapping lightly. “What do you think, Auntie Kara?”

Kara nods, a serious look on her face. “I think you’re right, Esme. That’s a good plan!” She holds her hand up for a high five, which her niece giddily jumps for.

Alex picks up the Sharpie and uncaps it. “What kind of face do you want to carve out, sweetie?”

Esme signals for Alex to come over to the dining table to sit down. When she does, Esme climbs right into her lap and grabs Alex’s hand to guide the marker on the pumpkin.

“If we do the eyes like…this,” she says, her little tongue poking out of the side of her mouth as she concentrates on moving Alex’s hand just so. “And the mouth…like this…”

Kara feels her heart swell. Every time she sees these moments, of Alex finally getting her dream of being a mother, of having her perfect partner right with her… She can’t help but want to cry from happiness. If anyone deserves it, it’s her sister. And honestly? It makes Kara start to think about her own future; hers and Lena’s, together.

She glances into the kitchen, seeing Lena and Kelly laughing at something on Kelly’s phone, and catches herself twisting at an invisible ring on her left hand.

Soon, she thinks. After the new year, but before Valentine’s. She’s already got the ring purchased and hidden at the Tower. She didn’t want to risk Lena finding it when they were moving Kara’s stuff into the penthouse.

Lena must feel her staring, because her eyes drift up to Kara’s without a word. She winks, smiling broadly, then returns to whatever it is Kelly’s showing her.

Kara steps over to the table and picks up the carving knife, carefully removing it from its sheath.

“Are we ready to gut this sucker?” she asks fiendishly. It elicits a lively giggle from Esme, who loves when Kara talks like that—it’s so unlike her, Esme finds the transition hilarious. Alex, on the other hand, narrows her eyes and purses her lips.

“Do it, Auntie Kara!” Esme cries out with a double thumbs up.

Kara returns the gesture then grasps the pumpkin’s stem, steadying the small gourd before plunging the knife into the top and sawing in a circle until she’s able to pop the top off.

“Babe?” Kara calls out to Lena, placing the top on the newspaper. “Did you want the seeds to bake?”

Lena makes her way over with a platter of veggies and dip and sets it down.

“Oh, yes! I love pumpkin seeds.”

Kara nods and takes the spoon to scrape out the innards, dropping them with a loud plop on the thick pile of newspapers.

“Esme, will you help Auntie Lena separate the seeds from the rest of the guts?” Kara asks nicely.

Esme nods excitedly, rubbing her little hands together. Lena laughs at the sight and rolls her sleeves up to join her.

“Kelly, do we have a bowl for the pumpkin seeds?” Alex asks as she heads into the kitchen to join her wife.

Kelly grabs one from the cupboard and hands it to Alex, along with a peck on the lips. “Want some wine?”

“Would love some,” Alex smiles, picking up the garbage can as well, and returning to the table.

Kara’s just finishing scraping the pumpkin out when she returns.

“Nice work, sis,” she nudges Kara with her elbow and she beams at the praise. Alex snorts at a memory that pops up in her mind while Kara starts to carve out the face Esme drew. “Remember your first Halloween with us?”

Kara’s eyes shoot up to her sister’s face, her face already reddening. Lena’s interest seems to be piqued as she glances between the sisters.

“Alex, I swear…” is all Kara says in warning.

“Well now you have to tell us, Alex,” Lena expresses with a smirk. She always enjoys hearing stories from Kara’s early years with the Danvers.

“Why do you hate me?” Kara asks her girlfriend, feigning hurt. The story wasn’t really a big deal or even that embarrassing.

“I don’t, darling. I love you,” Lena replies, blowing Kara a kiss.

“Get a room,” Esme jokes, as if she knows the meaning of the phrase, giggling as she squishes the pumpkin guts between her fingers.

The adults bite back laughs and Alex grabs the Sharpie to draw on the next biggest pumpkin.

“Well, mom and dad took us to the pumpkin patch in Midvale, right? We did the whole tractor ride out to the field, spent a good 20 minutes picking just the right pumpkins, and then when we got home and dad cut into the top and started gutting it, Kara went all Linus Van Pelt and cried because she didn’t know we were going to ‘kill’ it,” Alex chuckled softly. It was one of her favorite memories from Kara’s first year. As annoyed as she was from time to time, having to take on all the extra responsibility of keeping Kara safe and in check, it was moments of pure innocence like that that made it easier.

“Aww, really?” Lena coos, sending heart eyes in Kara’s direction.

“In my defense,” Kara says without looking away from her carving, “We didn’t have pumpkins on Krypton. Or Halloween. How was I supposed to know?”

“What’s going on in here?” Kelly inquires, setting down four glasses of wine and a cup of sparkling grape juice for Esme.

“Oh, nothing,” Kara sighs. “Just your wife making me relive childhood memories that are fond for her and embarrassing for me.”

“Oh, Alex,” she admonishes. “Not the Great Pumpkin comparison again.”

“I can’t help it!” Alex shrugs. “I had never seen anyone cry over a pumpkin, before!”

“I hate you,” Kara grumbles and starts to carve out the jack-o-lantern’s mouth.

“Well, Kara,” Kelly starts and picks up her wine glass. “If it makes you feel any better, Alex cries over silly things, too.”

“Babe…” Alex warns. She stops drawing and points the Sharpie in Kelly’s direction causing Kelly to smirk into her sip.

Kara pops the mouth out of the small pumpkin and tosses the rind into the garbage, then looks between the women, curiosity stirred.

“What? What happened?”

“Oh, nothing,” Kelly singsongs. “Just that I came home the other day to Alex and Esme crying because they couldn’t solve some math homework.”

Kara’s cackle is boisterous and long. She nearly starts hyperventilating.

“Alex,” Lena snickers. “You’re a scientist and a doctor!”

Alex, red-faced and chafed, lightly slaps the table in indignation. “Have you seen the way they’re forcing kids to do math these days? That Common Core thing is bullsh-” She’s stopped by Kelly’s hand covering her mouth and the stern look she’s given. “-crap. It makes no sense!” She’s on a roll, now. Everyone knows better than to stop her during a rant.

“In my day, there was one way to do basic math; the right way. I won’t have my child using a dumb, unhelpful, overly complicated way of figuring out a basic math problem. If or when we need help with advanced math, then Lena can step in,” she points to the woman sitting next to Esme, whose hands are nimbly working seeds from pumpkin guts; she nods with a happy smile. “But until then? No. The education system in this country is fu-” She stops again at the look Kelly shoots her. “Uh, messy enough as it is. There was no reason to make it worse.”

“You tell ‘em, sweetie,” Kelly says as Alex sighs and kisses the top of her head.

Meanwhile, Kara is sitting across from Alex, eyes shining in delight and chin resting on her hands. Alex shifts her eyes over to her sister and glares.

“Don’t you even start.”

Kara’s hands fly up and she leans back, a sly smile playing on her lips. “I said nothing!”

“It’s ok, mom,” Esme soothes. “Math is hard, but we can figure it out!

“That’s the spirit, Es!” Kara encourages as she jabs the carving knife into the top of the pumpkin Alex has been working on.

“I’m happy to help with whatever level of math you’re working on,” Lena says sincerely. “And you’re absolutely right about Common Core, Alex. It’s absurd and a slap in the face to educators and parents everywhere.”

“Thank you, Lena. You can stay,” Alex replies. “Kara, you can go.” She sticks her tongue out at her sister, which Kara readily returns.

They spend the rest of the afternoon snacking and laughing and carving. Esme discusses all the costume ideas she has, unable to settle on one just yet, and invites Kara and Lena to join them when they go trick or treating on Halloween weekend; obviously, they accept immediately.

When they’re back home later that evening, Lena’s relaxing on the couch between Kara’s legs—her back to Kara’s front, head resting on Kara’s chest and her fingers dancing lightly up and down her girlfriend’s shins and knees—while Kara massages her temples. She sighs quietly, contently; ready to fall asleep.

“I can’t wait until we have kids,” she says softly, out of nowhere. Kara maintains her cool, never stops moving her hands. “It’ll be nice to see Esme playing with cousins and to have all the family moments that Kelly and Alex get to experience.”

“Yeah,” Kara says quietly. She slides her hands down slowly over strong shoulders, glides them over Lena’s breasts—reveling in the surprised hitch and shuddering exhale of Lena’s breath at the feeling—and they settle on the softness of Lena’s stomach. Her thumb drags mindlessly back and forth over the top of Lena’s shirt; she smiles imagining her with a small baby bump. “That sounds great.”

Chapter Text

Kara sits, her back straight and tense in the metal chair and face stoic as she takes in the woman across from her. The dark blue scrub top contrasting with the grey long sleeved shirt underneath it, but complemented by the silver cuffs around her wrists. Her hair, though allegedly untouched professionally in a year, was still flawlessly kept—her natural brown back after the brief stint as a bleached blonde. Even in prison, it seemed, Lillian Luthor was a stunning (and intimidating) woman.

Neither speaks; Kara knows what she wants (needs) to say, but doesn’t want to be the first to break and Lillian seems to be sizing her up (as she always does.)

After the final showdown with Lex, Nyxly, and the assorted bag of tricks—including Lillian’s own involvement and attempted murder of several of the Superfriends—Lex and Nyxly were banished back to the Phantom Zone, while Lillian was indicted and remanded into custody on multiple charges. The whole thing had been an awful ordeal for Lena. She was once again forced to grieve two brothers—one that only existed in her memories and the one that she had, at one point, murdered who’d been brought back to life only to continue to make her life (and the lives of her true family, as she referred to them) a living hell—and see the only mother she had left be led off in handcuffs, again.

The only difference this time was Lena refused to go visit her in prison. She testified at Lillian’s trial, sparing only fleeting glances in her direction and then marched out of the courtroom. She didn’t even return for the verdict. As soon as she could, she dissolved The Luthor Foundation and rebuilt it into the Lena Luthor Foundation; replicating her efforts from the pre-crisis timeline at LCorp, only from a purely philanthropic point of view.

She and Kara, after all they’d been through—the secrets, the lies, the betrayals, the apologies, the reconciliations, the unintentional distance, the reunions, the magic, the battles for totems and, ultimately, humanity—had finally been forced to face their own personal issues; their deep-seated, slow burning feelings for one another. Their first kiss had been frantic, erratic, and sloppy; fueled by adrenaline and done right in front of the group at their celebratory dinner after Lex and Nyxly were sent off Earth, permanently. The second, which happened right after, was better both visually and physically; slow, steady, tender.

Alex’s barely whispered “Finally” didn’t even phase them. That was a year ago. They’ve been together ever since, not wanting to miss another moment together. Their relationship has progressed rapidly; they moved in together after three months, into a new condo that was a good combination of and compromise for both of them, and at six months Kara was already considering proposing—Alex told her to wait, to not be those people, even though she fully understood the urge.

So, that brings her here, at the one-year mark; leaves Kara with a decision.

“So, are you going to tell me why you’re here,” Lillian asks, sitting back in her chair and narrowing her eyes with a small smirk playing on her lips, “or are we going to continue sitting here in this marvelously awkward silence?”

“Would you like some tea?” Kara asks, motioning towards the steaming pot she had brought in with her, along with all the requisite accoutrements.

Lillian nods and Kara pours two cups.

“Milk, sugar, honey, lemon?”

“Milk, two sugars.”

Kara drops two cubes into Lillian’s cup and pours a little milk in after, sliding the cup to the other woman and hands her a spoon. She squeezes a lemon wedge into her own and drops in a spoonful of honey. She stirs her cup for a moment then taps the side, setting the spoon down on the napkin. She considers taking a sip, but she’s procrastinated long enough.

She takes a steadying breath and wipes her hands on her pants, then brings her eyes to Lillian’s; they’re piercing, but curious.

“I’ve come here to ask you something,” she starts, swallowing the lump that’s forming in her throat. “I want to marry your daughter.”

The only reaction she gets is a quirked eyebrow as Lillian takes a long, slow sip of her tea. Kara feels her jaw tense in the silence.

“Oh, you’re serious,” Lillian says when Kara doesn’t continue.

“As a heart attack.”

“For a Pulitzer Prize winner, I would have expected a more original simile.”

“Well, you throw me off,” Kara admits.

Lillian gives her a somewhat impressed look. She hadn’t expected such blatant honesty, especially for something that could be considered a weakness. She leans forward again, resting her forearms on the table and clasps her hands together, taking the conversation more seriously.

“Given our history, surely you can’t have expected much to come from this.”

Kara leans forward as well. “Maybe not, but on Krypton we had customs and traditions that I deeply respect. Of those, there are a few that overlap with Earth traditions, including the asking of the parents for their blessing. So, this is me asking.”

Lillian appraises her for a while; rolls her thoughts and strategies around in her mind.

“What do you have to offer my daughter? After all, she’s a woman of means and you can’t possibly support her or provide her the lifestyle she’s accustomed to on a reporter’s salary.”

Kara understands her game immediately.

“Lena may come from money, but it is of little importance to her, as you’re well aware,” Kara starts, trying to be sure to hit every important point. “She’s already given away much of her inheritance and put nearly the rest of it into rebuilding her foundation. She also has no interest in being a kept woman, being fiercely independent and more than capable of taking care of herself, both financially and emotionally. Either way, though, she and I live well within our means.”

“And what about grandchildren?”

“Lillian, please,” Kara chuckles. “You’re not naïve enough to believe that two women are unable to have children together, whether that be from adoption or other means.”

“Fair enough,” Lillian grants.

“But, we are considering children, yes. Probably adoption, given our histories, but if we’re able to find a way to conceive in a way that allows both of our genetic products to be included, we may do that as well. But that’s too clinical of a way to think or talk about it, in my opinion.”

Lillian appears to bite back a smile and Kara chalks it up as a win. The elder woman leans as far forward as she can, then, lowering her voice.

“Are you willing to make certain…sacrifices for my daughter?” Lillian’s emphasis on the word sacrifices can only mean one thing.

“I would give my life for hers, without a second thought,” Kara answers without pause. She wonders, fleetingly, if Lillian knows about the time she readily offered her life to Reign to save Lena.

“Very well,” she replies, pursing her lips. Kara can tell that, if she could, she’d be leaning fully back in her chair and crossing her arms.

She feels compelled to add something, something very important.

“I want you to know,” Kara swallows again. “I love Lena. I love her with everything that I am. We are equals, in every sense of the word. We balance each other in a way I didn’t think was possible. She is everything I have ever and could ever want in a partner. She is everything I never realized I needed. When we finally admitted what we’d been blind to all those years, when we finally committed to one another, my world finally felt right; my heart was finally at rest.” She takes a breath and notices Lillian is attentive and maybe even receptive. “Whether or not you give us your blessing, I am going to propose. Rao willing, she says yes.”

After a moment, Lillian asks, “Are you finished?”

“Yes,” Kara replies definitively.

She nods and takes another sip of her tea. Ultimately, she taps the side of her cup and sets it down, leveling Kara with her most serious and deadly stare.

“If you do anything to hurt her, I will have you maimed, tortured, and killed,” Lillian smirks, begrudging respect lighting her eyes. “Just because I’m in prison, doesn’t mean I can’t find a way.”

“I expect nothing less,” Kara smirks back. “But you don’t have to worry. I’d sooner impale myself on shards of kryptonite than hurt her.”

Lillian shrugs, “Just so we’re on the same page, Ms. Danvers.”

“On this, Mrs. Luthor, we are.”

They sit back in their chairs and finish their tea in a companionable silence.

Chapter Text

Lena loves her friends. Really, truly, she does.

She loves how patient they are, how understanding they’ve been in the past, and how they continually try to reassure her (especially in those moments of deep, painful, somewhat embarrassing self-doubt) that she does belong there, working side by side with them.

She loves how her bond with Nia, though initiated over tragedy, has grown so strong that they act as each other’s sounding boards over even the most minute things (but most especially over the significant things, involving their partners.) They discuss gift ideas, date ideas, potential surprises; they also discuss the hard stuff—feelings of inadequacy, fears of rejection, etc.

When Lena tells Nia about what she discovered about her mother’s past, and how she’s inherited her magical gifts, Nia’s squeal practically deafens her left ear. Nia suggests they train together so they can learn to harness their powers and offer feedback to one another; an additional set of eyes and brains to go along with Kara and Brainy’s help. Lena tells her she’ll consider it.

She loves how J’onn and M’gann immediately offer any and all knowledge they have about every magic-adjacent being they’ve encountered over the years. Their near encyclopedic knowledge (along with J’onn and Brainy’s download of the old D.E.O. database) is helpful, if not overwhelming at first. But Lena takes notes, categorizes them by certain abilities, and offers her polite and genuine thanks.

She also loves how J’onn seems to know how lost and confounded the whole situation has made her—an entirely new experience for Lena. She’d never met a challenge she couldn’t face, and yet, learning and trying to accept that her mother was…and that she too is… Her empirically driven brain has difficulty processing it. So, when J’onn places a warm hand on her shoulder and gives her that wise, all-knowing, soft smile and tells her that he believes in her, that he knows she can do it, but not to rush or force anything, to not be discouraged if it takes more than a couple of tries…she can’t help but tear up and throw herself into his strong, comforting arms. The paternal connection she’s longed for—even before Lionel passed—is finally hers, no strings attached.

Alex and Kelly offer differing approaches, but full acceptance and support nonetheless. Kelly acts as her unofficial therapist—and Lena reciprocates—allowing Lena to vent her frustrations and perceived shortcomings in her spellcasting attempts or how she’s still having trouble making the connection in her mind that magic and science can (and must) coexist in her world, while Kelly lays out her frustrations at the never-ending double standards in bureaucracy as they take turns hitting the heavy bag. Alex makes sure they’re both taping their hands and wrists properly after hearing from Kara just how hard they’re actually punching the bag.

Then, after the physical therapy session, Alex takes Lena out for quiet drinks; sometimes it’s scotch, sometimes it’s wine, but most times it’s water or tea. Whatever they need to soothe the sting of the day’s mental strife. It’s in the privacy of the quiet, with Lena’s weary head leaning on Alex’s shoulder, that she whispers how in Newfoundland, when Florence told her to speak into existence what she really wanted…her mind went immediately to Kara. Alex only sighs and wraps a comforting arm around her shoulders, unable to tell Lena what Kara should have told her—what they should have told each other—years ago.

Alex also gets her some pillar candles. Because “that’s a thing witches use, right?”

Brainy takes an entirely different tack. She arrives at the Tower and is steered away from the lab and, instead, is brought to a large monitor where a stack of DVDs and a separate list awaits.

“I took the liberty of doing an extensive search of the internet and have compiled what I perceive to be the best resources of helping someone who is new to the magic world,” he proclaims proudly.

Lena glances at the DVDs, then picks up the sheet of paper next to them, her eyebrow slowly raising higher and higher the further she goes. Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Kiki’s Delivery Service. Hocus Pocus. Halloweentown. Twitches. The Harry Potter series. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble. Matilda. The Craft. Charmed. Bewitched. Sabrina, the Teenage Witch—both the movie and the television show. Practical Magic. The Wizard of Oz. Select episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. etc.

“Brainy,” she pauses a moment, trying to find a way to have the least amount of skepticism that will escape her mouth. She knows he means well. “How exactly are these meant to…help?”

“You see and learn from their mistakes, of course,” he says as if the answer is obvious. “I realize that in a few of these titles the magically inclined are actually the antagonists, but they offer important lessons, too.”

Lena takes a moment, looks between the desk and Brainy—sees his tiny, proud smile and his perfect posture—and nods approvingly.

“These will be very helpful, Brainy. Thank you,” she says and stands, wrapping him in a tight hug. He hesitates just a second before returning it.

“Of course, Lena,” he replies and clears his throat. “I’ve also compiled a database of Wicca history and resources, as well as various books and tomes on the subject and history of the various subsections of witchcraft throughout the world, ready for you to peruse whenever.”

He could have led with that, but she keeps that thought to herself.

It’s Kara, though (of course it is) that provides her what she needs (has needed) the most.

Lena’s at the Tower alone, trying her best to comprehend and accept and…try, while the rest of the team is out searching for Nyxly and the totems and also keeping National City safe. When her latest attempt at manifestation fails (in smoky fashion), she shouts in frustration and slams her hands on the metal table, cursing under her breath as she walks out into center of the room.

“Hey,” Kara greets her quietly, shyly.

Lena is so in her own head that she hadn’t noticed her—truly a first, if she’s being honest, because she always notices Kara (or Supergirl) in every room—and she jumps a little, her hand resting on her chest as she regains her breath and calms her heart down.

“Sorry,” Kara says, moving towards her quickly, her cape wafting delicately in her trail. “I thought you would have heard me land.”

Lena waves the apology off, but lets Kara take her hand guide her to sit on the steps, enjoying the warmth it brings not only to her chilled fingers, but her soul. It’s gone too soon as Kara releases.

“I wasn’t expecting anyone back so soon,” Lena replies, casting a curious glance to the woman next to her. Her left thumb begins to rub at the palm of her right hand—the telltale nervous tic peeking through Lena’s normally measured facade.

A light pink tinge spreads across Kara’s cheeks as she begins to play with and tug at her own fingers.

“Uh, y-yeah,” Kara stutters uncharacteristically. “I, uh, I got the feeling you needed me.”

Lena lets out a rough, clipped laugh. “I don’t know what I need,” she huffs out with a shake of her head. “Do you ever just get…tired? Do you ever feel like no matter what you do, it won’t ever be enough and all your effort was for nothing?”

When she glances over she’s surprised by what she sees: Kara, usually so bright and happy and radiating positivity, looking far away and despondent.

“I felt like that just about every day I was stuck in the Phantom Zone,” Kara sighs out, finally meeting Lena’s eyes. “It wasn’t until I saw that yellow sun bomb that I had and felt a little bit of hope again. Then I got a little more when I saw you all, was able to wrap you in my arms for real…” Kara clears her throat, rolls out her shoulders and looks away. “And then Nyxly showed up and showed me I’m not really as invincible as everyone, including myself, likes to think.”

Kara’s quiet for a minute, pulls at her fingers a couple more times and bites her lip before she looks back to Lena. “I’m scared this time Lena.” Her voice is barely above a whisper. “More scared than I ever have been; even when I faced Reign… I always had hope, you know? I felt like there was actually something I could do, but this time?” She rubs at her forehead and grimaces. “I hate feeling useless.”

Kara’s voice breaks and a few angry tears fall from her eyes. Lena’s hand instantly, instinctually goes to wipe them away.

“You’re not useless, Kara,” she states earnestly. “You could never be useless. Just because you can’t use your Kryptonian gifts to solve this crisis, doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways for you to help.”

Under the hand that has yet to leave Kara’s cheek, she feels Kara’s jaw clench.

“Look at me,” Lena entreats. As Kara slowly turns to her, Lena feels something grow in her chest. As she looks into eyes so beautifully familiar, she finds the words spilling out before she can think to stop them.

“I love you. I have loved you for years, through the lies and the miscommunications and the distance.” Kara’s eyes go wide, encouraging Lena to continue. “I was so scared to tell you, scared I would lose the little bit of you that I knew I had; scared to ruin…” Lena shakes her head, not wanting to dwell on the negative. “But after losing you to the Phantom Zone, I knew that I needed to tell you… Even if that meant losing even the hope of possibility.”

Kara is silent, unmoving. It feels like an eternity between Lena’s last word and Kara’s next, but it’s worth the wait as she says with utter conviction, “You haven’t lost anything.”

And then Kara surges forward. Their lips meet in a fast, hard press before they adjust and slide together, completely in sync. Kara’s hands slide across Lena’s hips and suddenly she feels weightless, only to realize Kara’s lifted her from the step they’re perched on and settles Lena on her lap; the small gap between their bodies apparently far too great a distance.

They spend a fair amount of time there, learning each other’s lips and mouth and face… Eventually, they pull back, resting their foreheads together trying to catch their breath in the peaceful quiet.

It’s Kara who speaks first.

“Whatever you need from me, it’s yours. Whether that be time, patience, love, support, a flame-resistant test subject…anything.” She runs a hand down Lena’s arm and twines their fingers, bringing their entangled hands to her mouth. “I’m here,” she whispers, gently kissing each of Lena’s fingers and then the back of her hand. “Always.”

It takes Lena a bit more time to fully accept magic as part of her new reality, but she knows that with Kara (and the rest of her friends) by her side, she can do anything.

Chapter Text

Alex and Kara Danvers had just moved to the suburbs just outside of National City from Midvale so their mom could go back to school. They hadn’t made many friends yet—it’s hard being the new kids in town; you’ll do almost anything to try and fit in.

Alex, 13, bent down and filled her water gun with the hose, looking around to be sure Kara, 11, wasn’t about to sneak up on her. She shut the spigot off, twisted the water tank back into place, and took off around the side of the house, being sure to stick close to the building.

She crept around the back of the house, her back nearly scraping the brick with each step. As she turned the corner and peeked through the fence to the front, Kara blasted her in the face. Alex was soaked.

“You’re dead!” she yelled as Kara took off through the gate and into the front yard.

As she shot at the back of Kara’s head and down her back, Kara started to run in circles. When she stopped suddenly, Alex pounced on the opportunity and squirted her in the face.

“Alex!” Kara said, holding a hand up to her face to block the water.

Alex ignored her and continued to shoot. “Say uncle!”

“Alex!” Kara tried again.

“Say it!”

“Alex! Look!”

That was enough to make Alex stop and look at where her sister pointed. There, at the edge of the driveway, was a group of kids all around their age sitting on their bikes.

“What’s up?” asked a boy about Alex’s age.

“What do you want?” Alex replied suspiciously.

“Alex,” Kara quietly chided. Her sister could be so rude sometimes.

“I wanted to say hello.”

Kara smiled, maybe they could finally make some new friends. “I’m Kara and this is my sister Alex.”

“I saw you moving in last week, where are you from?” the boy inquired.

“Midvale,” Alex responded bluntly.

“Midvale?” the boy snickered. “Nice town, if you like cows.”

“Well, not everyone can be born in the city,” Alex retorted; she had loved Midvale. It was a nice place to grow up.

“I guess that’s true… So, are you liking it here?”

“It’s ok,” Kara chimed in. “Hard to leave our friends back home, though.”

“Funny you should say that. My group and I,” he pointed to the others, “have a running game of hide and seek. We’re playing tonight if you want to come?”

It was a tempting offer, to be sure. A chance to hang out with a whole group of kids? It sounded like a dream. But, hide and seek? Kara glanced over to the rest of the group, taking special notice of a girl that looked to be around her age. She had dark wavy hair and green eyes. Even in the summer sun, she didn’t have the faintest sign of a tan or even sunburn. But still…hide and seek?

“I don’t think so,” Alex said.

Kara did a doubletake. She’d expected Alex to waver a little, but not outright say no.

“Why not?” she pestered.

Alex shot a pointed look to her sister. “Because, it’s just a stupid kid’s game.”

Kara sent one right back. “Uh, yeah. And we’re kids.”

“That’s ok,” the nameless boy interrupted. “You’d probably be too scared to play where we do, anyway.”

That was bait. Even an 11-year-old Kara could see that.

“Where do you play?”

But apparently Alex was in the mood for fishing.

“End of Anchor Street, behind the big gates.”

Kara’s eyebrows knit together. “Why do you say we’d be too afraid to play there?

The boy chuckled lightly. “Let’s just say…it gets pretty dark in there at night.”

Alex’s back straightened up and her chest puffed out. “Yeah, well, we’re not chicken. are we, Kara?”

Yes. In fact, Kara was absolutely chicken. She hated the dark. She couldn’t tell that to this boy and his friends, though.

“No, not at all.” There. That would convince them.

The boy smirked, likely seeing right through it. “Meet us there at sunset. Unless you’re afraid.” He turned and pedaled off, signaling for the rest of the group to follow.

“What does he mean, ‘unless you’re afraid?’” Kara asked Alex.

Alex chewed the inside of her cheek, pondering. “I don’t know. It’s a kid’s game, right? What’s so scary about hide and seek?”

They headed inside for dinner and to try to mentally prepare for what was to come.

---

When they arrived at the big gates at the end of Anchor Street, Alex and Kara realized what the boy had meant. Beyond the wrought iron fence was a decrepit, old graveyard. The grass was overgrown around many of the headstones. There were no streetlights in the area; only the moonlight. There was a ghoulish fog that rolled through the area, making it just a little more difficult to see.

Kara swallowed thickly at the sight. She looked at her sister in disbelief. “You’re kidding, right?”

“C’mon, let’s go,” Alex directed, trying to sound more confident than she felt.

“We’re going in there?” Kara glanced through the gates again, her stomach turning and rolling at the thought.

Alex gave her a withering stare. “You’re the one who wanted to make friends, remember? Let’s. Go.”

Kara sighed, resigned to her fate. She’d done it to herself, like Alex had pointed out. They walked to the gates, Alex shoving her sneakered foot onto a horizontal pole, then another and another, until she’d boosted herself over and onto the ground. Kara followed her lead, only with her shorter legs, she had a bit of trouble over the speared top of the gate.

“I’ve never been more thankful to be a girl,” she whispered to herself as she maneuvered over the spike, careful not to catch her jeans on it.

When she hit the ground, Alex was nowhere to be seen.

“Alex?” she called out, on edge.

She looked around and couldn’t find her, she walked further into the graveyard.

“Alex?!” she started to panic.

“Hey!” Alex jumped her from behind, grabbing her shoulders and giving her a small jolt. “This way,” she pointed, totally uncaring that she’d given her sister a premature heart attack.

They walked further into the graveyard, passing by numerous tombstones from various decades. The other kids didn’t seem to be around.

Maybe this was just a prank. They’re probably not even here, Kara thought sadly.

They continued to walk through the deserted place, the fog seemingly their only company, and looked around with no luck. When they reached a clearing with a large tree, they stopped.

“Where are they?” Alex asked, annoyed.

Kara shrugged and squinted out into the distance. Stupid creepy fog, she thought.

“Boo!” the boy from earlier shrieked from behind and grabbed their shoulders.

Kara and Alex jumped, but thankfully didn’t scream.

“Oh, man!” he laughed delightedly. “You should have seen your faces!”

Kara placed a hand to her chest, to make sure her heart was still actually beating. She didn’t know if she could take this kind of thing.

“You’re a comic genius,” Alex barked out. “Where is everybody?”

“Out in the graveyard. We didn’t think you were going to show. Now we’ll have to start over,” he said condescendingly. He stepped forward, cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled out, “Olly, Olly oxen free! Olly, Olly oxen free!”

Suddenly, heads and bodies popped out from behind tombstones and started to walk towards them. Each of them touched the large tree in the middle of the clearing before turning around to face Kara and Alex.

Kara being Kara, decided to greet each one of them. The only one who acknowledged her was the girl with the green eyes, who smiled sweetly before she threw a glare to the unnamed boy.

“That’s James Olsen, Winn Schott, Sam Arias, Lena Walsh,” he said as he stepped in front of the others and spun on his heel. “And I’m Lex Luthor.”

“What are they doing here?” James demanded. He was the tallest of the bunch.

I invited them,” Lex explained.

“We’ve got enough people in the group,” Winn chimed in. “We don’t need any more.”

“Sure, we do,” Lex placated.

“The more the better,” Lena added.

“Exactly!” Lex was pleased as punch by Lena siding with him. (It didn’t happen often.) He turned his sights back to Alex and Kara. “Now, I hope you two don’t scare easily.”

“What’s there to be scared of?” Alex looked around. “It’s just a graveyard; everyone’s dead here.”

“Well, kind of…” Lex trailed off with a smirk.

“What are you talking about?” Kara asked pointedly. If she needed to make a break for it, she wanted to know right then.

“You didn’t tell them the legend of Old Man Jones?” Sam asked.

“No, Samantha,” Lex sighed and rolled his eyes. “I was just about to.”

“The legend of who?”

Kara felt her stomach flip again. She really wanted to go home.

“Old Man Jones,” Lex started, walking around them slowly, methodically. “He was the groundskeeper here; used to dig the graves by hand, no machinery. He thought he owned the place, so he’d walk around late at night, all by himself just to make sure no one was trespassing.” He slowed down a little more as he neared one of the tombstones. “If he wasn’t here, he’d be out in the woods by his cabin.” Lex lifted his arm in the alleged general direction of the cabin. “Just playing his harmonica…”

“That’s not much of a legend,” Alex scoffed.

Lex spun back around to face them and snorted, “It gets better. They say he was…crazy. They say he caught this kid stealing something from his shack, so he took an axe and cut his hand off… WHACK!” Lex mimicked the motion and Kara jumped and hid behind Alex. He stalked towards the girls as he continued, forcing his body between them as he moved towards the rest of the group. “One day, he was digging a grave when all of a sudden, the sides caved in on him; he was buried alive.”

“Gross,” Kara whispered.

“Some say he still walks the graveyard at night, looking for…trespassers,” he said dramatically and whipped his head around to make sure they saw it. “And if it’s really quiet, you might even hear him playing his harmonica, off…in the distance.”

“You call that scary?” Alex challenged. “Our grandma is scarier than that.”

“Yeah, you should try going in Midvale’s Haunted Corn Maze,” Kara supplied “Now that’s scary.”

“Yeah, I’d like to see how long you’d last in there, Loser,” Alex bookended.

“It’s Luthor,” Lex corrected angrily.

Kara noticed Lena snicker into her hand, her green eyes lighting up when she caught Kara staring.

“Whatever,” Alex rolled her eyes.

“Old Man Jones is out there,” Lex pointed off into the distance.

“I’ll believe that when I see it.”

“Are we gonna play or stand around talking?” Winn snapped; his arms crossed.

“We’re going to play,” Lena said as she stepped forward. “All of us,” she finished with a pointed look in James’ direction. At his glance to the ground, she continued. “The tree is home base; hide anywhere you want. Anything outside of the fence, however, is out of bounds. Last one in is it.” She made sure the Danvers sisters understood the rules and then gave Lex the go ahead.

He turned halfway and sneered, “Winslow, you’re up.”

Winn headed to the tree and placed a hand on it. Turning back partly towards the group he called out, “Ready? Go!” then proceeded to count to 10.

The kids took off in different directions, but Kara stuck close to Alex, at least for their first game. She needed to get accustomed to their new surroundings before she felt brave enough to venture off on her own.

They walked further and further through the graveyard, through thickets of trees and bushes, it seemed to go on forever. The fog never seemed to let up, either. They looked around, trying to find a good spot, but every headstone seemed to be too short or too thin.

“This is lame,” Alex lamented. “We should just go home…”

“No!” Kara whispered harshly. “If we leave now then we’ll never make any friends.”

Sure, she’d wanted to go home just a few minutes ago, but now she felt like she had to prove herself.

She walked up to a tombstone, the inscription catching her eye. She knelt down and read it aloud, “Remember friends, as you pass by: as you are now, so once was I. Remember, in life, that you must die.” She shook her head, “Yuck.”

“Oh, man! Kara, come here!” Alex called out for her sister. Kara ran over and skidded to a halt just in time. Alex stood at the edge of an open grave. “They must be burying somebody soon!”

Kara peered down into the black hole, a sense of foreboding welling up in her. Alex pretended to push her in, but never let go. Still, Kara flailed and smacked her sister.

“Alex, stop it.”

“Don’t be such a baby,” she chortled. “It’d be a great hiding place.”

“’til it caved in,” Kara retorted.

Suddenly, Alex’s brow furrowed. She stood still and listened for a moment before she shushed and signaled for Kara to listen, too.

“What is that?” Kara asked, barely audible.

Alex signaled again for Kara to follow her. They jogged further into the graveyard, past another crop of trees. The fog seemed to get thicker around them.

“Hey,” Kara paused. “It’s coming from in there.” She pointed out where the sound seemed to be coming from. “You think it’s Old Man Jones?” Kara felt a lump form in her throat as she said it.

“Nah,” Alex shook her head vehemently. “It’s probably one of them trying to scare us. Let’s go find ‘em!” She took off in the direction of the sound at a decent pace, Kara right on her heels.

They passed through a thicker set of trees and the sound became clearer; it was a harmonica.

The lump in Kara’s throat seemed to grow and she had a hard time trying to swallow.

From the tree line, the spotted a rundown looking cabin. There were no lights on anywhere. They crept closer, minding the underbrush as to not making a ruckus as they approached. The whiny creek of an old screen door cried out then slammed shut.

“Get down!” Alex whispered harshly as she grabbed her sister by the arm and dragged her behind the tall woodpile. The harmonica’s music died out shortly after.

“When they get close, we’ll jump out and scare them,” Alex instructed.

Kara giggled quietly and rubbed her hands together. She loved a good plan.

At the sound of an axe chopping, her face fell. So did Alex’s.

“You think they brought an axe all the way out here just to play a joke on us?” Kara wondered aloud.

Alex glanced around and shrugged, “That’s what I would do?”

She started to rise when Kara grabbed her hand and pulled her back down.

“What if it’s really Old Man Jones?!”

Alex rolled her eyes and shook her head. “You’ve seen too many movies.”

Alex slowly stood again and peeked over the woodpile. There was no one around and the sound of the door slamming again brought her eyes back to the tree stump in the middle of the yard.

“No one’s there…”

Kara popped up to see for herself; she only just cleared the top of the pile. Her eyes passed over the tree stump when she saw something glint in the moonlight.

“Look! What’s that?”

Alex’s eyes went excitedly wide. “It’s a harmonica.”

“Let’s get out of here,” Kara urged. She’d had enough for one night.

“Yeah,” Alex agreed. And they took off back through the trees.

What they didn’t see behind them, was a hand reach down and swipe the harmonica off the stump.

---

Kara and Alex slowed down to catch their breaths near a wide and dark tombstone; the fog had finally cleared a little.

“Olly, Olly oxen free!” Sam jumped out and yelled before she took off towards the home base tree.

Alex and Kara hadn’t been ready for it, so they jumped and held each other, then ran off after her. Only when they turned to run, they were met with a tall, dark figure in overalls and holding an axe. He looked at them curiously, even as they screamed in his face and started running for the gates. He smirked as he watched them run.

Kara and Alex sprinted for the gates, screaming as they went. Not once did they stop to catch their breath or to try and find the others. All they wanted to do was get out and go home. Alex leapt over headstones while Kara dodged them great agility.

Alex got to the gate first, quickly scaling it and swinging her legs over one at a time. Kara followed suit, but she misjudged her placement and the crotch of her jeans were caught on one of the spikes. She struggled, looking down at her pants and back out into the graveyard, positive Old Man Jones was hot on their trail.

“Alex, my jeans!”

Alex rolled her eyes and went back to help her sister. As soon as Kara was free, Alex tugged her leg and Kara toppled into her waiting arms. They glanced through the gate and thought they saw a figure approaching. They screamed once again, jumping to their feet and ran all the way home.

---

The next morning, Kara and Alex were relegated to cleaning the garage.

Alex picked up the axe that had been moved and glared from it to her sister as she placed it back in its spot on the peg board.

“What?” Kara asked innocently, the broom in her hands sweeping idly.

“This is all your fault,” Alex grumbled and grabbed her broom. “If you hadn’t ripped your stupid pants, mom wouldn’t have made us clean the garage.”

“Oh yeah?” Kara shot back and got in her sister’s face. “Well, you’re the one who wanted to go there in the first place!”

So what if she’d conveniently left out the fact that she’d wanted to go at first, too?

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah!”

It was a very mature disagreement.

“I wish mom never went back to school,” Kara sighed. “Then we never would’ve had to leave Midvale or our friends.”

Alex got very close to Kara’s face and warned her, “Don’t ever let mom hear you say that. She wanted to do more with her life, especially after dad died. We need to be supportive, Kara.”

Kara knew she was being selfish—of course she was happy that their mom was finally finishing her degree. But she was 11 and she missed her old friends.

“Hey, you guys are pretty good,” a voice called out from behind Alex. “Why don’t you come do my room next?”

When they looked, they saw James, Winn, Lex, Lena, and Sam standing behind them; their bikes on the ground or between their legs, as if they were ready to flee at any moment.

The rest of the group chuckled at James’ mocking and then Lex stepped forward.

“Hey, so are you going to play tonight?” he asked as if nothing strange had happened the night prior.

Alex and Kara exchanged wary looks.

“Tonight? Again?” Kara responded, the nervous edge in her voice making itself very known.

“Well, since you two ran off before the game was over last night…” Lex trailed off; he raised an implicating eyebrow.

“Uh, I don’t think we’re up to it,” Kara said honestly. She really didn’t want to clean the garage again if she snagged her pants, nor did she enjoy the thought of the potential for a heart attack because she was so scared to see Old Man Jones again.

“Why not?”

“We just aren’t,” Alex snapped. She wasn’t a fan of being questioned.

“Told you they were chicken,” James said arrogantly as he leaned against the garage door’s frame.

“We are not,” Alex roared, glaring at the tall boy who merely chuckled in response.

Lena stepped forward to try and dissipate the hostility.

“Lex just told you that story to scare you,” she said earnestly. “There’s no such thing as Old Man Jones.”

If Kara hadn’t seen the man up close and in person, she really would have believed Lena. Those green, green eyes were just so…honest and good.

“I thought you said you weren’t afraid of ghosts,” Lex poked at the obviously sore spot.

Alex glared at him hard. “I said I’ll believe it when I see and I saw it.”

“You didn’t see anything,” Lena tried to assuage again. “My brother told you a story and your mind filled in the rest.”

Brother? Well, that was a new bit of information for Kara. By the daggers being thrown in Lena’s direction by Lex, that wasn’t meant to be public knowledge. She’d have to ask her about that later…

“No,” Kara pushed back gently. “We saw Old Man Jones.”

“Sure, you did,” James cackled from his spot against the frame, then pushed off so he could make clucking noises and flap his arms as though they were wings.

That’s bait, Kara thought to herself.

She heard Alex growl from deep in her throat and took hold of her wrist to try and keep her in place. She knew her sister wasn’t afraid to start throwing punches, even if the boy was way taller.

“Screw it. We’ll be there.”

Kara sighed inwardly; Alex was apparently still in the mood for fishing.

“Excellent!” Lex said, almost gleefully. “See you there!”

The group turned and headed off on their bikes, leaving Kara and Alex to contemplate what Alex had just agreed to.

“Alex…” Kara looked at her sister, worried. “I don’t want to make friends that bad.”

Alex’s face morphed into something resembling righteous determination. (Or as close as a 13-year-old can get.)

“This isn’t about making friends anymore, Kara. We have to prove we can handle it here.” She stepped forward and looked at the retreating backs of the group and gripped the broom in her hands even tighter. “We’re going to play their game.”

---

Alex and Kara scaled the gate easily and their feet hit the ground with a muffled thud. Kara took a deep breath and looked around cagily. It seemed like it was darker and foggier than the night before.

“Alex, are you sure about this?” she whispered.

“No,” Alex replied with a sigh, then straightened her shoulders. “But I also don’t want to deal with the endless torment once school starts. You know they’ll spread it around and then where will we be friends wise?”

Kara looked off into the distance and steeled herself. Alex was right; they had to do it.

“Ok, but we even so much as see a pair of overalls, and we’re outta here.”

Alex nodded. “Agreed.”

They headed off to the clearing and the home base tree, their footsteps barely making a sound on the soft grass.

As the approached, they heard a heated conversation.

“Aw, man! Let’s play already!” Winn whined.

“Yeah, they’re not coming.” James said cockily.

“They’ll be here,” came Lex’s assured reply.

“What’s the big deal about letting them in the group anyway?” James countered.

“He’s tired of the same people,” Lena shot out. “You know how fickle Lex is.”

“Oh, sis,” Lex snidely retorted. “I believe you’re confusing me with our philanderer of a father!”

“Like father like son, then,” she snapped back; even for a 10-year-old, she could hold her own.

“Whatever,” he grumbled and then steered the conversation back to James. “We haven’t had any new players since-”

“Since I joined?” James supplied. He pushed Lex’s shoulder and continued, “And you said after me there wouldn’t be anyone new.”

“Guess he was wrong,” Alex interrupted.

She and Kara walked up to the group; glares met glares and James’ annoyance made itself known.

“You’ve got more guts than I thought,” Lex said, seemingly impressed.

“Aren’t you afraid Old Man Jones is gonna get you?” Sam teased from the side.

“Shut up about that stupid story!” Lena howled. “There’s no such thing as Old Man Jones. Now let’s play.”

“You’re both it,” James waved a displeased hand in their direction as the rest of the group walked off.

“How do you figure that?” Alex scoffed.

“You left the game early last night,” Lex started, not even bothering to turn around. “And since you wimps are so scared, you can be it together.” A condescending laugh left his mouth.

“Yeah, why don’t you babies hold hands?” Winn said with a parting shot.

The girls watched as the others took off, then turned to each other with a nod. They walked to the home base tree and began to count.

“Do you think it’s going to be like this all the time?” Kara wondered as they got to 4. Alex merely shrugged in reply and continued to count.

“I just want to make some friends,” she said, mostly to herself.

They finished counting and headed out into the graveyard. The fog rolled in the further they went, along with a bone-chilling breeze.

Their steps were soft but deliberate. They were determined to catch at least one of the other kids, just to prove a point and put an end to the teasing. Unfortunately, the fog and the darkness made it difficult.

Alex’s head was on a constant swivel as she led the way. Meanwhile, Kara’s was fully forward. She didn’t want to chance losing track of Alex.

As the passed tombstone after tombstone, they made concerted efforts to look behind each one. The others were nowhere to be found. It was like they’d simply vanished into thin air. Still, the sisters continued to search; deeper and deeper into the graveyard, through thickets and trees.

They paused a moment and spun around, trying to regain their sense of direction and the general area of where they were. Suddenly, the grass fluttered behind them. When they spun to see, Sam had darted past them and then ducked down behind a wide headstone. She looked over it, in the opposite direction. Kara and Alex ducked down behind their own stone, and plotted the sneak attack.

“You go that way,” Alex quietly pointed, “and I’ll get her from the other side.”

Kara nodded and they bumped fists. They peeked out from their hiding spot and just as they were about to run, the fog rolled in again, concealing her body. When the breeze blew through, Sam had vanished.

“Dang it,” Alex huffed disappointedly. “This is going to be harder than we thought.”

Just then, a noise came from the distance.

“Listen,” Kara whispered, but Alex had already picked up on it, too.

“It’s a harmonica…” Alex said, her eyes widening and glinting with…happiness? “It’s Old Man Jones! Come on!”

She took off running in the direction of the old cabin and Kara just looked at her sister’s quickly retreating form. She huffed and ran after her. As if, she was going to be left all alone out there.

As they neared the tree line by the cabin, Kara grabbed Alex’s arm to stop her.

“Why don’t we get the others and then we can all go there together?”

“No,” Alex replied. “By the time we do that, he’ll be gone. Old Man Jones is out there and we’re going to prove it once and for all.”

“How?”

“By stealing his harmonica.”

Alex continued walking and Kara stood in shocked stillness.

“My sister has absolutely lost her mind,” she said to herself before following.

The sound of an axe chopping wood echoed through the open air. WHACK… CRACK… WHACK… CRACK… Kara’s stomach flipped with every hit. Her mind kept telling her to turn back; to go home and never hang out with those kids again.

They crept out from the tree line and ducked behind the tall wood pile. From their hiding spot, they could see Old Man Jones and his axe by the tree stump. He set the axe down as he gathered the freshly chopped lumber into his arms; the moon cast a ghoulish glow on his face and the light fog made it all the creepier.

They watched as he headed off to the other side of the cabin, completely out of view. The glint of the harmonica caught their eye. He’d left it on the tree stump again.

The girls snuck out from their hiding spot, silently making their way to their coveted prize. Their eyes never left the chrome-plated instrument, but the sudden sound of a branch snapping nearby startled them to the ground. They crouched and huddled together on the opposite side of the stump and hoped to God they wouldn’t be seen.

Slow, dragging steps sounded close by as Old Man Jones shuffled through the overgrown grass.

Kara opened her mouth to say something, but Alex covered it just in time. The THWACK of the axe being driven into the top of the trunk made them flinch. They closed their eyes, held their breath, and waited to be called out, possibly murdered.

Instead, all they heard were the waning footsteps and the tinny sound of the old harmonica. As soon as the old door creaked and slammed, the girls were finally brave enough to move. They carefully peeked to make sure the coast was clear before they stood up fully.

“That was close,” Alex breathed a sigh of relief.

“Yeah, he almost saw us!” Kara said, her heart still racing in her chest.

“No,” Alex shook her head. “I mean we were so close to getting the harmonica! Now we’re going to have to go get it.”

Kara stared at her sister in disbelief. What’d happened to their agreement about booking it home at the first sign of overalls? Where was the loyalty?

“We don’t need the harmonica!” Kara tried to reason. “Let’s just get the others out here to see him!” She started to head back for the tree line when Alex spun her back.

“Where are you going?”

“To get the others,” Kara pointed and started to walk again.

Alex sighed out and shook her head. She grabbed the flashlight she’d brought along from the back of her pants and had to smack it a couple of times in her hand to get it to turn on.

“If I die, it’s her fault,” she grumbled, then headed towards the cabin.

She made sure to keep the light off the windows, as to not alert its occupant to her presence. She’d seen enough movies to know how to be stealth.

Alex glanced around, her head back on its swivel routine. She slowly approached the cabin from its side and noticed the building was totally dark inside.

So weird, she thought to herself.

When she saw the door, she walked to it quietly and tested whether it was locked; it wasn’t. She slinked up the rickety stairs, careful not to put too much weight on them so they wouldn’t creak or moan, then slid inside.

The moonlight poured in through the windows on one side of the cabin, casting devious shadows on the other half. She moved her flashlight slowly over the darkest parts, unveiling old plates with rotted food, dusty piles of books, and old kerosene lanterns. Her light flashed over black and white framed photographs on a table, and an old shaving bowl and pitcher. Then, as she turned around the room some more, and aimed her light higher, she jumped as her light hit an eyeball. It turned out to be a mounted moose head on the wall.

“Get it together, Danvers,” she whispered angrily to herself. That’s when her flashlight decided to die. She smacked it into her hand a few times, like she had outside, but it didn’t work. Behind her, the door swung closed, seemingly of its own accord. The noise startled her so badly that she ran over to it and proceeded to wrench at the handle loudly; all intentions of stealth gone from her mind.

The door refused to budge; it was locked. Or stuck. Either way, Alex started to panic. She walked backwards, glaring at the stupid thing, when she smacked into the old phonograph. The warped, torturous sounds of banjo music blared from the machine and it felt like the room had begun to spin. She looked around, horrified, but unable to move. The music sped up and the room spun faster. She felt like she was going to throw up. Her breaths grew faster and closer together and she felt the sweat begin to bead on the back of her neck. The music was high pitched and wailing in her ears. The room spun and spun. She closed her eyes to try to make the nausea go away.

When she opened her eyes, she noticed her flashlight had finally come back on and she lifted it, only to illuminate a face.

“Ahh!” they both screamed.

It was Kara.

“What are you doing here?” Alex questioned, breathless.

“I got scared!” Kara admitted. “But look what I found!”

Alex handed off the flashlight and inspected the item. It was the harmonica!

“Now we’ve got proof! They have to believe us!” Kara crowed.

Alex nodded and held out her hand, “Yeah, give me the flashlight.”

Kara’s brow furrowed. “I’m not holding the flashlight.”

Alex turned to face her sister, the earlier nausea quickly returning along with a quiver in her voice. “Well, I’m not holding the flashlight…”

They glanced over to where the light seemingly floated on its own in the dark.

“Alex?” Kara whimpered.

“Give me my harmonica,” a gruff voice demanded as a figure stepped forward and tilted the light upwards, illuminating a face.

Old Man Jones’ scowl registered in the sister’s eyes as they screamed and took off out the door.

Once again, they screamed all the way through the graveyard. Not once did they pause to catch a breath. Kara tripped over a fallen branch and Alex turned back to help her up before they started to sprint again.

The fog rolled over the ground and lingered in the air.

Suddenly the ground gave way as they fell into a deep hole.

“You ok?” Alex checked on her sister as she brushed the dirt off her shirt.

“Yeah,” Kara panted.

“Get out of here; I was here first!” Lex demanded.

“Luthor, shut up and listen. We saw Old Man Jones again; he’s up there and he’s after us,” Alex detailed. “I stole his harmonica.”

As Alex showed off her prize, Lex rolled his eyes and became more agitated. “I don’t want you here!”

“Did you hear what I just said?” Alex said angrily.

“Get out of here!” he whined.

“Make me!”

Instead of a verbal reply, Lex just shook his head and stepped back, casting his eyes downward.

“Let’s just get out of here, Alex. I don’t like being in here anyway.”

“Hurry up!” Lex commanded.

Kara boosted her sister up first and then Alex reached back to help her.

“We’re leaving,” Alex shot back.

“Go find your own grave,” he snottily replied.

“Sorry. We didn’t see your name on it,” Kara retorted.

“Look a little closer next time,” Lex snarled quietly, then ducked back into the hole.

The girls ambled towards the gate, all thoughts of being chased by Old Man Jones gone from their heads.

The fog grew thicker and it became harder to see. So, when Lena popped out of her own hole in the ground, they were forced to jump back.

“Hey, you two!”

Kara smiled. Finally, a friendly face. Lena’s eyes seemed to glow in the moonlight.

“Hi Lena,” Kara said happily. Then she remembered the situation, her eyes widened accordingly. “You’ve got to get out of here. Alex stole Old Man Jones’ harmonica and he’s after us!”

Lena rolled her eyes even as Alex waved the instrument and then shoved it into her shirt pocket.

“Kara, please,” she sighed. “The Old Man Jones stories are getting old. We’re playing a game here!” She looked between the sisters and motioned with her head behind her. “Come on, get in; it’s a great hiding place!”

“Lena, will you forget about the stupid game?” Kara was really worried now. Why did these kids have no sense of the danger that surrounded them?

“Don’t you want to play?” Lena inquired, somewhat sadly. “They can never find you in here. Come on!”

Green eyes and dark hair disappeared into the deep hole. Kara and Alex leaned forward to see where she’d gone, unaware that they were being approached from behind.

The sight of a hand reaching over Alex’s shoulder and into the pocket to retrieve the harmonica startled them so badly, they gasped and spun around.

He was there. It was really him. Old Man Jones and his axe.

He looked at them solemnly and calmly asked Alex in his deep voice, “What are you doing here?”

“W-we w-were playing hide and seek,” Alex stuttered out.

He looked around for a second, his eyes sweeping the expanse, then turned his sights back on the sisters. “In a graveyard? Just the two of you?”

“No,” Kara squeaked out. “With our friends.” She and Alex stepped back slowly as Old Man Jones stalked closer to them, his axe glinting menacingly in the moonlight. They edged closer to the hole Lena had ducked into. “Lex Luthor, James Olsen, Winn Schott, Samantha Arias, and Lena Walsh.”

They girls fell over and hit the hard ground, suddenly aware of a headstone behind them.

“That’s not very funny,” Old Man Jones replied. “All those kids are dead and buried. I dug the graves myself,” he nodded.

Kara and Alex exchanged frightened looks and turned around to see Lena’s photo emblazoned on the headstone.

In Loving Memory of
Lena Walsh Luthor
Beloved Daughter of Elizabeth Walsh and Lionel Luthor
1980-1990

“What’s wrong with you two?” Old Man Jones asked, noticing the looks on their faces. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

The girls peeked over Lena’s headstone and saw that four others had suddenly appeared behind it.

They took off running for home, never looking behind them.

For the rest of their time in the suburbs of National City, Kara and Alex stayed away from the old cemetery behind the gates at the end of Anchor Street.

They never saw any of the kids again, but Kara always wondered what had happened to the girl with the haunting green eyes.