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resistance of fear

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Before meeting Kara Danvers, Lena Luthor didn’t know that it was possible for your face to ache from laughing. It left an uncomfortable twinge in her cheek as the laughter falling gently from her lips settled itself in the content air that surrounded them both. Kara, of course, was still beaming as she crammed her final dumpling into her mouth. They were, yet again, sat together on Kara’s couch as they shared their dinner alongside witty remarks about their day. The day which, of course, they had also spent together. They were together so often now that it was hard to find stories the other had not heard, but the conversation between them somehow never stopped. Lena was exceptionally thankful this was the case. She swore that if a long enough silence ever fell between them, words of an irretrievable nature would tumble from Lena like a bubbling stream, drowning their perfect friendship in confessions heavier than she thought they could handle.

Every look they shared sent her heart sputtering, and it often thudded to her feet when she remembered that there was every possibility that Kara could hear it. The sound was louder than any words she had ever been able to muster with regards to her feelings.

“Tell me about the night you became Supergirl.” Lena breathed, her head resting on her hand that was propped up against the back of the couch. Her legs were tucked up, matching Kara’s, and their knees were gently resting against one another. In Lena’s other hand was a glass of red wine that she was supporting with her thigh. It was a suggestion for conversation that had never been raised before. The frustration that Kara had in not being able to pass the Courage Totem had caused Lena’s mind to wander through thoughts of intrigue, and although Kara might not have wanted to talk in depth about the challenges she was currently undertaking, Lena knew better than anyone when something was playing on the woman's mind.

Kara’s bright smile melted into something much softer. “Ah, you don’t wanna hear about that…” she teased, scrunching her nose slightly as she wiped her hands against her jeans. She shifted slightly in her seat and Lena scorned herself for being glad that Kara kept the tender contact between them.

“Oh, but I do. We don’t have to talk about the Totem, I’m just curious as to what the catalyst was for you becoming a hero. You said your sister was in a plane crash?” Lena knew all too well that if Kara didn’t want to answer then she was under no obligation. Their relationship fostered honesty but also respect for one another's boundaries. It was a dynamic long struggled for but now it seemed perfectly balanced through their care for one another.

Kara sighed and let her right arm hang limply over the back of the couch. She nodded and her eyes found her lap awkwardly. “Yeah. It could have been pretty awful, but luckily I was on the worst date in the world and we live in an age where even swanky and pretentious bars have large TVs on them dedicated to the news.”

Lena chuckled as Kara tried to tell the tale as playfully as possible. Humour as a defence mechanism was something she had been scolded for in therapy but it did explain Lena’s quick wit and absolutely outstanding one liners, if she did say so herself. Kara was also an exceptionally funny storyteller, which is why Lena offered her a gentle smile as a reaction. Though as Kara continued, a look of puzzlement and mild amusement took over Lena’s sharp features.

“I just looked up and- and I saw this breaking news. It was Alex’s plane headed on a downward path at what felt like the fastest speed I'd ever seen so I just- I did what I had to do, I shot out of there… I didn't even really think about it, I just...” The sentence fizzled away but Lena’s gaze had changed slightly. Her face seemed still and Kara scrunched her brow at the reaction.

“I mean, you know this story has a happy ending right? I’m sure you’ve seen Alex enough times to know she’s safe and sound…” Kara teased though Lena’s face didn’t crack. A pause settled between them as Lena pulled her drink to her lips slowly. She took a sip and finally allowed some kind of reaction to form. It was a small laugh, followed by a swift shake of the head.

“I think I remember the incident you’re referring to… I’m just- it’s funny. I was at a bar when I saw the news too. Was the crash because of engine failure?”

Kara looked puzzled but added a nod, an amused smile now gracing her lips. “Yeah, Alex's plane was headed for Geneva but there was an issue with the engine and it lost altitude. What bar were you at? You didn’t live in National City then, right? This was like a year before we met.”

“No, actually, I didn’t live here but I was on a visit. I came to check out the area away from Jack because I felt a rumble in Luthor Corp and figured that coming to take a look around would probably be a good idea. The news hit and I panicked because it was the one time I had decided to fly on a public plane…” Lena drawled as she took another drink from her glass. “Couldn’t tell you what the bar was called though.”

“Me either.” Kara said with a sad sigh. “I mean, it wouldn’t have been the same place. This is a big city full of faux fancy bars with out of place TV screens.” She teased, but her eyes remained fixed on Lena.

“I don’t believe in coincidences.” Lena stated with certainty, draining her glass and placing it gently on the table in front of them both. The warmth from the alcohol spread across her chest, and she felt flushed. “Saying that though, I do believe that you and I have been through enough with one another for something like this to occur. You and I are… well, I feel like we just make sense together. We balance out. Maybe the universe was trying to nudge us there a bit faster.” Lena said, her face straight now as she stared back at the blonde woman who seemed to hang on each word. “Or… maybe it’s just a big city and I am being ridiculous.” she finished with a low laugh, a sweet smirk easing across her lips.

“What if you were there?” Kara stated, words landing heavier this time as her brain rattled.

“Well, I suppose that would be rather amusing.” Lena said, squeezing Kara’s knee and beginning to stand with the intention of refilling her glass once again. But Kara grabbed her hand. Lena froze, slumping back down slightly.

“Hey?” She said with a small laugh that stopped the moment she truly looked at Kara. “What is it? Why would it matter?”

“What if you’re right? What if- if you were there and we were supposed to meet that night?” Kara urged, still holding onto Lena with an intensity that Lena couldn’t quite yet match. But then it clicked. Her eyes locked hard onto Kara and within an instant, their expressions matched.

“You really think that I had something to do with this Totem?” Lena’s tone was plain but her mind was muddled with a million thoughts all at once. “Kara, I am not anywhere near important enough to have had an impact on you that early. There would have been nothing courageous for you to do that involved me.”

Kara wanted to argue but couldn’t quite find the right words. “You're important to me.” She said defensively but Lena cocked an eyebrow.

"Well you know that I appreciate that but I'm still not sure-" but Kara wasn't listening, she was far too busy fumbling to get her phone out of her pocket whilst still keeping a grip on Lena's hand. Lena's face grew warm and she began to worry that perhaps her complexion would soon match the tone of her rouge lipstick. Kara was scrolling through the calendar in her phone desperately but her grip was growing tighter. Lena gulped.

"Darling, I would like to have a hand left, if that's okay?" Kara's eyes widened as she dropped her grip. Lena flexed it a few times, waiting for the colour to return slightly before delicately placing it in her lap. 

"Shoot, I'm sorry. I just- I think maybe... This just feels too good to be true, I have to know." Usually, the apologies would be pouring from Kara but her focus was on the device in her hand.

"Kara, it's okay. We don't need to know. The Totem is with us now." Lena soothed, moving closer and trying to still her shaking hands as she placed one lightly on Kara's shoulders. The woman looked visibly distressed.

"No, it is important. I made a mistake a while ago trying to change the past and I wanted to rectify it and this could have been how. Maybe it wasn't about telling you I was Supergirl earlier, it was about meeting you earlier."

"Alright, you've lost me. What mistake?" Kara's gaze shot up and her face seemed to pale. Lena's face grew hard with concern. "Is there something you're keeping from me?" Her chest felt restricted and her throat felt like it would close up, but she did everything she could to push the feeling aside. If Kara was keeping something from her then it would have been for her safety, she knew that now, but it didn't make things any easier. After a third large glass of wine, it wasn't exactly easy to control her immediate reaction. 

"I- uh, it's complicated..." Kara started, eyes drifting away from her phone but not staying locked on Lena's. She almost looked embarrassed.

"More complicated than you being an alien and me being a witch?" Lena's tone had a bite but she tried to offer some kind of a smile. "Kara, you can tell me anything. Please don't tell me you're keeping something from me."

"It's not like that.. I just..." Kara huffed, put her phone down and took a moment to choose her next words carefully. "Mxyzptlk paid me a visit. Before this year- he, uh. Rao..."

Lena could not avert her gaze, and couldn't help her amusement. Kara was embarrassed. So, Lena let herself be brave. She shifted her hand onto Kara's knee and smiled. Kara looked down at the contact and pulled in a breath to steady herself.

"He offered me the chance to go back in time and I realised that I could change the moment that I chose to tell you that I was Supergirl. Well, I mean, that wasn't exactly what he offered me but that's what I wanted to do. You were just so upset with me and so angry, and I needed that pain to go away. I saw the hurt it was causing you too and apparently I thought that justified going back and trying to fix it." Kara rattled off, her gaze dancing around the room before finally landing on Lena who's reactions had stilled. Her face read blankly as Kara continued. "I am so sorry, Lena. I just was- it was stupid to keep this from you but I felt like it didn't matter. You didn't need to know, and I didn't change anything. It was stupid of me to even think about changing our history together."

Lena wanted to be angry. Kara had recently claimed that changing the history of the planet was way beyond what she was willing to do and yet here she was, trying to go back on her own personal timeline to do exactly that. Changing their past together could have changed everything. The complications alone were enough to make her head spin, but it wasn't anger that filled her. It was a depth of sadness as she watched Kara spiral. 

"He showed me all of these different versions of me telling you and they were just awful. Some of them had their highlights, sure, but it didn't matter what I did, I couldn't- There was never a happy ending. People got hurt- I got killed, I saw..." She stopped and suddenly, the harsh reality of the situation that she had not been properly able to handle at the time hit her chest. The weight of Lena sagging into her as she faded away from her world.

"Rao, I held you- You got shot and I held you as you..." Tears pooled now and Lena tightened her jaw as she pulled herself closer to Kara. The arm that had been propping her up was now sliding behind Kara to bring her in for a warm embrace.

"You're okay. You're safe, we are safe..." Lena soothed, holding Kara's head to her chest as she quietly sobbed. Kara let her eyes close.

"I saw everyone I love get hurt. It was awful and it just - whatever I did, it made things worse. Even when you hated me, you risked your life to save me."

"Yeah, well..." Lena reasoned, unable to control herself as her hand slowly stroked the blonde hair that was spilled across her. "I still cared about you, remember. That's why it hurt. But, everything is okay now. We are okay and we are going to find a way for these imps to stop hurting you. As nice as Mxy is, I feel like that showing you all of those hypotheticals wasn't his best idea. He's a lot of fun but he has all the subtly of a brick going through glass..."

Kara giggled slightly and Lena literally felt her heart skip a fucking beat. The blonde shifted closer to her chest and hummed quietly.

"Your heart sounds about ready to escape, you know..." Kara commented as she sniffled slightly, absently trailing her fingers up Lena's arm. The sleeves of her dark turtleneck were rolled up to her elbows and Kara stopped where the bundled fabric ended, before dragging her nails lightly back down the skin. Lena's heart continued to speak for itself. There was one thing that Lena couldn't ignore, though. 

"Out of all of the things that happened in your life... it was our fight that you wanted to prevent." It should have been phrased as a question, but questions are pointless when you know the answer. Kara simply nodded against the woman that held her so tenderly.

"You could have picked anything. Any moment to rectify?" Lena clarified, doing everything she could to keep her voice strong as she continued.

"Yeah, I suppose I could have. I just thought I could find a way for you not to hate me anymore."

"Why didn't you try to save Mon-El? You could have fixed it so that he could come back?"

Kara's motions stilled as she took a moment. Her brow crinkled and a wave of guilt seemed to flow over her. "I didn't even think about that..."

What struck Lena was the way Kara looked. She didn't look sad. She looked somewhat ashamed. The fact that she hadn't even taken a moment to consider bringing back the man she supposedly loved hit her hard and Lena needed to ease that ache. 

"Kara, may I ask you something?" Lena tried, but her voice croaked slightly, giving in to the rush of emotions that were threatening her composure. She felt Kara nod against her chest and Lena pulled a deep breath. She opened her mouth a few times, but the words fumbled away. Everything between them always seemed so heavy. Their relationship held a weight that between them that they often struggled to hold. Saying something that would put their world out of kilter was never an option. Kara would have to lead the charge on that, if it were ever to happen. It was a gap that couldn't be closed by Lena. Not now. She had lost too much and even being a day or two away from the woman caused her chest to ache now. She knew that their current closeness couldn't last forever, but she was determined to grip onto it for as long as possible. 

It didn't stop her from wondering if Kara had also lost too much to risk it. Over the past few weeks, Lena had watched as Alex and Kelly had bought Esme into their family. Esme was, without a doubt, going to be the most loved child on Earth. Lena refused to allow the idea of her being spoiled because no one can be spoiled by love. 

So instead, they settled for a quiet intimacy. Pot stickers and laughter would always be enough for Lena. It had to be. In this moment, however, a wave of courage manifested itself in Lena.

"Are you happy when I hold you like this?" She asked quietly. A tear slid poetically down Kara's warm cheek, and Lena wiped it away gently. Kara closed her eyes and nodded once more. Lena placed a soft kiss against the top of Kara's head, the smell of her coconut shampoo washing over her.

"Yes." Kara said, quietly, giving Lena a tender squeeze. 

"Then it doesn't matter when we could have met. We would not be they way we are with one another if it weren't for the challenges and heartbreaks we have put one another through." Lena's words were soft and careful. The sound of the city outside them a subtle soundtrack to the affection that Lena was willingly offering.

"You are the only person on this planet who makes me feel this kind of happy." Kara said quietly. Her body felt relaxed against Lena, their bodies tangled innocently. 

"Well, I should hope so. Besides, I highly doubt anyone else would ever be able to feed you this well."

"Mmm, I suppose not." Kara sighed, knowing that Lena's bank account was certainly not the thing that drew her to the woman, but it was easier than facing the love that anchored them to one another. She slowly raised herself from the hug and Lena smiled softly, letting her limbs loosen. She slid backward and let her default position of her hand propping up her head, elbow digging lightly into the back of Kara's couch.

"You make me feel happy too, Kara." She soothed. "But..." Lena punctuated, biting her lip tightly before continuing. "You also make me feel courageous. Forget the tasks the Totem set, no one makes me feel stronger or more well rounded. You have saved so many people but nothing amounts to the affection you feed into this otherwise miserable world. Call me cheesy, but I don't think there's anything more courageous than a woman smiling through her own suffering to ease the pain of others."

Kara's smile was soft and genuinely. "Thank you." She mouthed, sound not quite managing to support her.

"Of course. Top up?" Lena offered, pulling herself up and feeling the alcohol in her legs as she grabbed her own glass, before picking up Kara's too. 

"Yes, please."

"You got it."

As Lena walked slowly over to the kitchen island, Kara fished her phone back out of the couch to hammer out a quick text to Alex.

 


 

"You must be joking." Alex sighed, running a hand through her short hair and shooting an exasperated gaze over to her girlfriend. "I swear, she is useless."

Her irritancy faded as she looked over to see Kelly helping Esme with her colouring in. There was something so gentle about the scene in front of her. Alex needed to stay late to finish up with some paper work and Kelly suggested bringing Esme in to get her used to being in The Tower. 

"Let me guess. Mrs and Mrs Luthor-Danvers?"

"I wish you wouldn't call them that."

"Oh, but it's funny." Kelly teased, with a lazy wink to punctuate her point.

Nia breezed through the double doors and wiggled her eyebrows, bobbling them up over her mask slightly. "What's funny?"

"Mrs. and Mrs." Kelly teased as Alex sighed, spinning in her chair to face the computer and start hammering away at her keyboard.

"Oh yes... What's wrong now? You know, I walked downstairs the other day and they were eating together. I felt like I was co- uh..." She shot a look down to Esme, who had now picked her head up. Nia cleared her throat and smiled. "Walked in on something and blocked them in some way... Hey there Esme, how are you doing?"

"Hello Dreamer." Esme giggled. She was getting used to calling people by their names based on what they were wearing, but she also found great joy in it.

"I am well, thank you. How are you today?" Esme asked gently, standing up to go and give Nia a hug. Esme was still finding her feet with everyone, but for some reason, had found a wonderful connection with Nia.

Nia was thankful to be able to share her powers with Esme. It was wonderful to not feel so alone, and Esme loved playing in dreams. They were a wonderful pair. Kelly and Alex shared a look of adoration as their daughter gave Nia a squeeze before plonking back down in her small chair. 

Nia beamed. "I like your colouring in, Esme. It's beautiful."

"So what's wrong then?" Kelly said, standing up and walking over to Alex to give her shoulders a small squeeze, resting her head on top of Alex's. 

"Kara wants to see some security footage from the bar where she saw my plane crash." Alex laughed and shook her head. "She thinks Lena was there that night."

"No way! Wasn't that, like, five years ago?" Nia asked with an amused laugh, sitting down next to Esme and grabbing a crayon and a blank colouring sheet. "Mind if I join you?" She asked quietly, to Esme who nodded enthusiastically. 

"Yes! It was!" Alex said, pulling up the records and fishing through them. She was scrolling aggressively and Kelly couldn't help but laugh. 

"And why does she need to see it?"

"Well, apparently, she thinks Lena being there might have something to do with the Courage Totem, but I think she's just making excuses. I don't see why that means I have to get involved."

"You don't have to, you're choosing to." Nia chimed. 

"Yeah Mom." Esme chimed cheekily, not daring to look up through her smirk. The whole room fell silent. Alex spun in her chair and Kelly watched her girlfriend process. 

That was the first time Esme had called Alex anything but her name. The tears immediately came and Alex smiled brightly as they fell, turning towards the monitor and blinking desperately.

Kelly broke the silence with a laugh. "Watch the cheek, you." She teased, tossing a wink to Esme who just giggled and continued to colour. Nia beamed. 

"So uh..." Alex said, voice slightly watery as she wiped at her eyes quickly and pulled up the footage for everyone to see. "I guess that answers that." 

The screen showed a birds-eye view of the bar, and there, clear as day, stood Kara Danvers. She was staring into the corner of the room like the rest of the bar. Nia stood up slowly to join Alex and Kelly as they scanned the image.

"It would be a lot easier if Lena was wearing a red and white striped top... I'm great at finding Waldo. Where's The Billionaire doesn't quite have the same ring to it." Nia said quietly, concentrating on scanning the image. 

"Are there any other points of view? Maybe one from the bar?" Kelly asked. Alex looked down at her keyboard, pressed a few buttons and hit her enter key with an unnecessary amount of flair. 

The silence was ridiculous as they all stared at the footage. Sure enough, there stood Kara Danvers in the middle of a bar. Directly behind her, a woman with dark hair and striking features placed her drink down on the table and stood up to take a closer look at the screen.

"There's no way..." Alex drawled, zooming in desperately. Kelly smiled and Nia just shook her head. 

"Destiny works in funny ways, Alex." Kelly soothed, wrapping her arms over the chair and around her girlfriend. She planted a hard kiss on the top of her head and smiled. 

"Pft, destiny." Alex scoffed, lifting her phone and taking a quick snap before hitting 'send' to Kara. "You don't actually think they're going to get together, do you?"

"Yes." Esme chimed up. The women all spun around and looked at the little girl. "They like each other, I can tell."

"Can't argue with that." Alex shrugged, looking over at her daughter with pride. Her heart swelled at the sight and Alex couldn't deny that it had been nice to see Kara looking so happy. It was nice to see Lena happy, too. She just couldn't help but feel overprotective of Kara. 

"Can we all get something for dinner together?" Esme asked quietly, looking over at Kelly. "With Dreamer too?" 

"Of course, sweetheart. Come on." She held her hand out and Esme jumped up, running to grab it. 

Alex tapped away at a few buttons, before looking down at her phone. The temptation to message Lena burned her but she decided against it. It wasn't her place. Her place right was with her girlfriend, their daughter and one of her best friends. She looked up at the screen once more to see Kara darting away from the scene. The whole room was still focused on the television. Lena, however, watched the blonde leave. Alex rolled her eyes, shook her head and sighed with a small laugh, before tapping out a quick message to her sister. 

The sound of quick footsteps crossing the floor to her filled Alex's heart with joy as she looked up to see Esme staring up to her.

"Mom, are you coming?" She asked shyly, rubbing her eyes slightly and smiling.

"Yes, Esme. Mommy's coming now. The question is, what are we going to eat?" She asked quietly, scooping up her daughter and resting her on her hip. She held her tightly and looked up at Kelly and Nia. Alex wondered when she got so lucky.

 


 

When Kara's phone buzzed on the table, the women cast a lazy glance over to it. They were now snuggled up with one another watching a crappy rom-com that they were both talking over, a fluffy blanket cast over them both. Kara leaned over and picked it up, biting her lip.

"Kara..." Lena warned, raising an eyebrow as the blonde opened up the image on her phone. She turned her phone to landscape and zoomed in. "What did you-."

A quiet lull fell over them both as they drank in the image together. Lena smiled softly, and Kara looked up from her phone to lock eyes on the woman at her side.

They said nothing.

There was no need. 

The fuzzy image sent by Alex of the two of them standing mere metres away from another was strange. These versions of themselves had no connection. No history, no tension, no stories to laugh at on Kara's couch. Yet there they were, sharing a life changing moment together. 

Lena bit her lip, sighing into a smile. Kara's eyes dipped down as she readjusted her glasses. It was a view Lena was used to. Any time Kara felt flattered or even just the slightest bit shy, her head would dip and she would fix her glasses. The most powerful being on the planet was stunted with a shyness so pure that it caused Lena's heart to ache. It was a beautiful sight. Lena just hoped that they would spend the rest of their lives sharing life changing moments together. Kara looked up and pulled a funny face, the situation baffling her slightly but bringing her joy nonetheless. 

There was a new silence between them now. Lena drank it in. Her gaze fell momentarily down to Kara's soft lips, but she didn't let herself linger. Moving back up to see Kara looking at her brimming with affection. There were words on the tips of both of their tongues but Lena had been fighting off those words for so long that even the wine didn't loosen her lips. She thought back to getting drunk and spilling confessions on Kara following the incidents of the children's hospital. She swore following that incident that her words should be kept to themselves. 

"Lena, do you think that one day you and I will..." Kara started, but her sentence fell flat. It tumbled away from her, skittering into nothing as Lena kept her gaze tender. Wine was humming through her system and her eyes found a soft focus on a blonde at a loss for words but brimming with feelings. Kara's words bought Lena out of her slight daze and she knew was not the time for such a serious discussion. 

"Maybe." Lena said quickly, not quite ready to listen to the way the words may have continued. "But until then... would you like to finish the movie?"

"Only if you make popcorn."

"You drive a hard bargain, Miss Danvers." Lena groaned as she pulled herself up and walked over to the kitchen. 

Kara's phone buzzed again. She raised it up to view and smiled at the message.

ALEX: It doesn't matter when you met her, just be glad you did.

Being glad that she had met Lena Luthor was the understatement of the year and as Kara watched a slightly drunk Lena wobble around her kitchen, she decided that it was the understatement of the century. 

ALEX: BTW, Superfam are going to get dessert tonight. Wanna come?

Kara looked up. Lena was poking her tongue out whilst concentrating on trying to reach the top shelf where the popcorn was stored. 

KARA: Maybe next time, kinda got something sweet going on here :P