Like all terrible yet equally amazing things in Lena’s life, it starts as an accident.
An accident, like the time her and Andrea walked into a gay club. It opened doors and boxes inside her mind and heart to make her know herself better and terribly enough, it cost her three weeks of grounding.
An accident, like when she bumped into Jack for the first time, sending all his books and the cup of coffee on top of it flying to the floor. His smiles and his charm were as amazing as their research together and terribly enough, it cost her her friend years later.
An accident, like her helicopter being shot down from the sky, the fear and dread filling every inch of her body, terrible things, planes, she always knew that, but that time, it gave her a guardian angel with golden locks wrapped around in red and blue.
An accident, like getting drunk with Nia and Kelly on Wednesday night two weeks ago. The sense of happiness, trust and love in her heart, along with the screen of honesty granted by veins overflowing of Dom Pérignon had made her, after a lot of prodding and begging from the women, admit she is in love with someone.
Lena hadn’t said who , although she’s sure her friends are smart enough to know she was obviously talking about Kara- and if she wasn’t sure about it before, she definitely knows now, as Nia looks at her with a devilish smile and drunken mirth swirling in her eyes after Lena chooses truth during game night.
“Wednesday night at my loft, you said you’re in love with someone. Who’s the lucky one?” Nia shoots quickly, as if the question was already in the tip of her tongue before Lena even chose truth - and, knowing her, it was.
Lena scoffs, rolls her eyes and pointedly ignores Kara’s gaze poised on her, begging her erratic heart to be anything but hopeful at the sharp inhale the blonde takes following Nia’s inquisitive bomb.
Her limbs are loose enough, her brain a glass past woozy to allow a witty answer to uncurl from her tongue, unable to think of anything coherent. Yet, underneath the fuzziness, she’s aware that if she dares to look back at Kara, the love in her own eyes might give her away, or worse, she’d actually start waxing about the years-long feelings she’s been harbouring for her best friend.
All of a sudden, the grip of truth is a tad too much and Lena glances down to find the tip of a boot touching the side of her white sneakers, the sole point of contact between her and Kara that the blonde has fought to maintain through the night, despite the shifting and rustling of the hours passing. “Dare,” she chokes out instead. Because.
Nia’s smirk grows, “You sure? You can’t change it back.”
There’s the subtlest hint of a groan playing from Alex’s lips after she mutters something about
not changing it in the first place
before her wife’s heel collides against her shin, effectively shutting her up as a flush flickers from her neck up to her ears.
Lena nods, brazen and stupidly trusting. But what could be worse than having to admit she’s in love with her best friend in front of said best friend and her family?
She knows Nia, knows her friend wouldn’t have her do something that could jeopardise what’s little left of her dignity. This is their sanctuary, after all; the one place missing secret identities. Where capes are traded for knitted blankets and the most dangerous hazard in the room is one of them accidentally swallowing the rebel button eye on Esme’s plushie, the same one Kara found under the sofa a few hours ago.
“I dare you to kiss Kara.”
That is worse. That’s much, much worse.
There’s a heavy silence in the room before Alex bursts out laughing, no longer subdued by Kelly, who’s also sporting an amused grin on her face, the traitor.
Alex’s choked noises are cue for Kara to, at last, do something other than giggle quiet gusts of wind whose tide ends up crashing up against Lena’s nape, a wake of goosebumps drifting with it.
Straightening so fast she pushes the couch a few inches back, Kara whips her neck around to watch Nia, nostrils flaring and seeking answers.
“Wh- what? Why me?” she asks, embarrassingly high. The light bulb atop her head still rendering.
There goes her dignity. What an ally she was.
Lena is sure Kara hasn’t even noticed the twigs of willow she was fiddling with are now torn to shreds in her lap.
What a shame. They looked beautiful in the vase.
“Keep it low, Chatty McVolume,” Alex whisper-shouts, hurling a cushion that lands square in Kara’s astounded face. “You’re gonna wake my kid up. And she might be cute, but she’s a little demon when her dreams get cut short.”
Lena is mesmerised with the rosy shade that dusts Kara’s cheeks, making her come across as more kissable than she is… well, every single tick of the clock hanging on her wall.
“Sorry, bud.” The blonde lowers her head towards her room, but her guilt is swiftly pushed aside when the predicament that brought her there rushes back to her mind. “Why me?” she pushes, making a fist around the fabric of the furniture.
“Kara, your sister and Kelly are matching wedding bands. Brainy here risked the space-time continuum to stay with me,” Nia coos, patting her boyfriend’s cheeks before watching them both with an accusatory frown. “And Papa Bear is less than one light year away cooking up little Martian babies with M’gann, or at least trying to.”
It doesn’t take much longer than a beat for three collective complains to ricochet across the walls, being matched with another two as realisation seems to dawn upon Brainy’s and Kara’s faces, a shudder coursing through them with their innocence being washed away by some ill-adjusted euphemisms.
“Unless you want me to go find a stranger for Lena to kiss? With a face like that I doubt it’d be hard…”
“No!” Kara shouts again. Shackled down by the grimace in her face, she shrinks into the cushions, peers over her shoulder and sighs at what Lena assumes is Esme still sleeping sound. “I mean– if that makes you feel more comfortable… or not. I just want you to be comfortable, Lena, if kissing me doesn’t make you comfortable then we can find any other way to help you be–”
“–if the word comfortable leaves your mouth one more time I’m stabbing myself with Kelly’s flute,” Alex interjects, the sane mediator.
And Lena… she doesn’t want to laugh, doesn’t want to make Kara feel embarrassed. But she’s royally enamoured by the way Kara is fighting this war for her, wearing Lena’s comfort as a badge of honour as she takes the brunt force of this ridiculous dare. As if it was Nia the perpetrator of the world’s greatest offence instead of a rather childish game, and they couldn’t call it quits at the first sign of displeasure.
In addition to that, her interest has been... deliciously piqued.
Lena’s first reaction to the request was a panicky, conditioned response—back in the early game, cramped muscles and clammy hands meant she was due to some dehumanisation at the hands of her family’s lexicon. She reacted out of fear of being rejected by the woman she believes is safe to call the love of her life, but despite the frantic why’s and the dumbfounded cliffs of electric blue, Kara hasn’t outright refused to it. If anything, her eyes dare lower Lena’s eyes, higher than the risqué cleavage she has caught Kara stuck in a couple of times since she stepped in Kara’s doorway with a bottle of Macallan and a fierce desire to finally beat her best friend at Scrabble.
But that’s just who Kara is.
Overly affectionate and tactile and an harmless ogler. Overly oblivious, unaware of Lena’s faithful affections and self-imposed dry spell. She’s held her hostage of her love for years without even realising it, a drunken game night won’t be the anomaly that alters the course of nature.
Until, that is, the distance between them reduces to atoms as Kara shifts closer, and the focal point that used to be their feet touching becomes a glaring beacon, a streak that ignites a fire inside Lena’s raised walls when the blonde makes sure there isn’t an iota of space keeping them apart. Not a single particle that could halt whatever this is from playing out.
And, god, Lena is dying to see how it plays out.
“Are you sure you want to?” Kara asks in hushed tones, turning her face so none of their friends have a direct line of vision. A hint of a frown blemishes her face, and the sudden urge to kiss it better grows tenfold each passing second.
The desire to straddle Kara and latch onto the blush bow of her lips has never stirred this bad.
She is beyond sure.
Back at boarding school, this was the most common of dares amongst the sapphic renegades blanketing under the disguise of sorority in one of the toughest educating regimes she knew. Then again, Lena wasn’t willing to sacrifice herself and the world for any of the Mount Helena alumni.
With Kara? There are at least three pivotal moments in time that come to the top of her tongue when she thinks about going ballistic at the thought of her best friend becoming a target for danger.
Lena has willingly let dreams of their first kiss leave imprints on all inches of her, crawling beneath the facade of infatuation to touch deep in her soul, right where her devotion for Kara laid its foundation years ago. A million variants of this moment queued up in her mind, barely being the ones cooked up in the last months of helping Kara in an intimate quest of self-realisation.
“Darling, I’m okay with whatever you–”
Focus should be spotlighted with flashes of her best friend whimpering, the first to crack and yank her in from the collar of her sweater, and yet… of all the terrible yet equally amazing things in Lena’s life, this might take the cake.
This being Kara, and her lips, and of course, the way they seem to fit perfectly against hers. Because it is amazing, the way Kara’s hand is resting on her hip, the way her hands are free to cup Kara’s jaw as her face screws up in a desperate frown and Lena kisses her with all the might her yearning heart can pull off.
And it’s terrible, because while all she can see and touch and feel is Kara, all she can think about is that this will be the only time it’ll ever happen, the one time she’ll be able to kiss Kara Zor-El and mean it from the bottom of her heart—and she’s kinda drunk, and it happened because of a dare .
However, Lena doesn’t spare a second thought to her sorrow. She makes do with whatever crumbs her maker decides she’s worthy of.
Pressing down on the patch of hip her sweater revealed after hiking up with the pad of her thumb, Kara starts to chart the snow-white dips of her torso, and what started as an innocent dare soars to a passionate exchange that has Alex clearing her throat and Brainy scuffing his Converse on the floor, probably attempting to dig a wormhole of Einstein-Rosen proportions that could take him anywhere but there, witnessing Lena and Kara practically devour each other.
As best friends. As world-saving partners. As two drunk girls who love each other too much to be able to talk about it.
And, below the fiery wetness of a tongue seeking to entangle with hers, and the unexpected-yet-appropriate softness to Kara’s body, there is an underlying disturbance close to drawing a fissure on her synapses.
It’s almost aggravating, how colossal a kiss can become that the pace of it makes Lena believe she’ll be blown to another dimension.
She’s in love with the better half of this situation, that she can’t deny, but the way her flesh is being squeezed dry from the insides right until she’s nothing more than cosmic dust seeping between Kara’s own skin? It’s too much for how a first kiss is supposed to go. And yet, going down memory lane, first times with Kara have been anything but mundane from the very get go.
It’s like wasting your life away searching for an epic, soul-changing epiphany and realising it was tied to the one person who stood next to you in the entire journey.
So, she doesn’t make a fuss. Takes the melodrama out of the spectacle and embraces how her atomic structure rearranges every inch of her body to begin chanting Kara’s name, as if it was this woman forged from steel and kindness the one comprising Lena’s essence until it implodes, and KaraKara Kara becomes the running sequence of her DNA; the looped double helix set Lena on the loose to be who she’s meant to be.
It’s almost a reciprocated merging. An unexplainable, dual metamorphosis that has no other rationale beyond the excitement of kissing your soulmate for the first time.
And were Lena more acquainted with her magic heritage, she would blame the feeling of her axis experiencing a fundamental shift in their relationship as Kara breaks away with ragged breaths on it. Figuring out it’s nothing she hasn’t lived before, not this enhanced. Never this life-changing.
When they pull away Lena’s breathless, her chest going up and down rapidly and her heart pumping uncontrollably. Kara’s eyes are a shade she has never seen, darker than ever, still focused on Lena’s kiss-swollen lips and it takes everything in her not to lean in again and kiss Kara. The dare is done. She doesn’t have another excuse.
“Okay then!” Nia screams, half laughter, half tension in her words, trying to break the tension in the room with each clap of her hands. “You uh- you clearly passed the dare. Your turn.”
It takes everything in Lena to look away from Kara, those deep ocean eyes and messy golden locks by her own creation. It takes everything in her not to shiver when Kara’s hand leaves from under her sweater and her fingers trails behind, as if Lena’s skin is the last source of warmth she’ll ever have.
And yet, she looks away, no matter how much she doesn’t want to, because they’re only friends, friends only, and friends don’t gaze lovingly at their friends after a kiss. A kiss that was a dare, a kiss that meant nothing to Kara- even if it meant everything to Lena. She looks away, even if she feels Kara’s careful gaze on her.
“Kelly,” she says, clearing her throat when her voice sounds small and breathless, “Truth or dare?”
The rest of the night passes slowly, painfully slowly. The feeling of Kara’s thigh, strong and firm muscles softly pressing against hers, is both a life line and a curse- it’s a reminder of what just happened and yet, it calms the fire in her heart that screams for more and more and more of Kara on her.
The kiss replays in her mind over and over like an annoying tv commercial and by the third time someone has to snap her back to reality after she zones out, they take the hint that the night should end.
Nia and Brainy leave hand in hand, the woman sending her an extremely obvious wink her way that has both Lena and Kara blushing as the coluan awkwardly waves at them. She thinks Nia’s antics are better though, when Alex returns with a sleepy Esme on her arms and Kara leaves a really soft and tender kiss on the little girl’s head, and Lena feels a pang of something - yearning, longing, want - inside her heart.
She presses a kiss of her own to her Goddaughter’s cheek, pulls away a strand of hair from her restful face, before she bids Kelly and Alex goodbye. She tries not to think of anything, as she catches Kara’s eyes watching her closely after it.
Kara’s eyes drop to her lips.
She looks away, grabs her leather jacket—that smells suspiciously like willow—hanging from the rack, the one that was supposed to be staying there until the next morning and hastily throws it on. “I- I should go,” she bites her bottom lip, “Have an early morning and all.
She doesn’t think she can do it, she’s not strong enough for it. She can’t stand there and listen to Kara awkwardly try to not be awkward as she tells her their kiss meant nothing, that it was just a dare and it won’t happen again.
Kara nods, her shoulders hunching. She smiles, shily, “I’ll see you tomorrow? Lunch?”
Lena smiles back, grabs the doorknob and pries the door open, not looking away from Kara. “Sure. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She rushes out of the apartment, out of the building. Puts as much distance between herself and Kara’s lips.
She does not see Kara the next day.
She doesn’t see Kara until a week later, in a rushed meeting with touches of tension that send her mind spiralling. And then, naturally, Kara shoots her with a text revealing that she has to travel East to help friends out.
Then Lena lies, little white ones. Meetings with sponsors for her foundation. Some executors chasing her with her deceased family’s will locked away in their suitcases. Then this opportunistic cold, and she doesn’t want to risk getting Esme and everyone else sick by going to the tower. It’s blasphemy, obviously- although the tiredness and sleepiness that doesn’t seem to go away are real. She blames it on the nights she has spent staring up to the ceiling, thinking about Kara’s lips against her and her hands over her skin. The little puffs of air that left Kara’s lips every time she adjusted her face and the way she smiled against her when Lena let out a small whimper.
But she shouldn’t think about it. She needs to stop thinking about it. She cannot keep replaying it in her mind over and over like some sort of masochist idiot. She needs to forget it, both for her and Kara’s sake. Mostly for her best friend’s sake.
A morning three weeks after she last saw Kara and a bit more than a month since their kiss, knocks on her front door echo through her house just like the raindrops in her window. She pulls the comforter tighter around her, hoping whoever is outside leaves. She sighs in relief when it does stop- but it’s short lived when, a minute later, it starts again, closer this time, louder.
She looks up to the window and her gaze finds the blue eyed idiot who’s invaded her mind, clothes and hair slightly wet from the rain, smiling encouragingly at her as she continues knocking. Lena feels her airways clog and the pounding headache come back.
Please let me in? Kara’s lips move around the window pane, blowing so it fogs and she can doodle a stick person with a sad smile, the weather it’s giving negative tonight.
Then Kara—love of her life, beatific Kara—has the nerve to pout. That plump, pouty curve that Lena can’t stop obsessing about kissing once more.
And, in the spirit of giving her dignity a break, she reminds herself that she’s a literal witch who saved the world from doom on multiple occasions. She brings up the belt of PhD’s she has collected and that Engineering Doctorate she overworked her ass off to get to her inner fight. Remembers how she turned the company of evil into a force to do good, picks up anything at hand from her arsenal and waits bent in the trenches but…
If Kara Zor-El shows up at her door in a cotton t-shirt that reads BEST AUNTIE IN THE GALAXY and socks under her Birkenstock? For god’s sake, Lena and her dignity did not stand much of a chance to come out victorious.
Because Kara is too precious, and she loves her more than it’s possible for a human to love. And she also wishes for the blonde to run to her, to pin her down to the mattress and kiss her senseless until she’s acquainted with all the corners of her body that are Kara’s, hers only. To call it a dare as lines blurry and Lena comes apart in mighty hands and finally, finally becomes intertwined with Kara in a way she yearns for.
But they’re friends, so she rolls her eyes and unlocks the balcony door with the remote, whistling when breeze sneaks into the warmth compacted in the penthouse. By reflex, she pats the empty side of her bed, sighing when Kara sinks into it with such grace that it looks like she’s been doing so for years.
(Lately, the thought of Kara coming home to her is more tempting than ever.)
“Feeling better yet?” the blonde asks in lieu of greeting, army crawling to lie by her side. Without warning, much to Lena’s relief and despair, Kara leans in and nuzzles her cheek with the tip of her cold nose, sending jolts of electricity up and down her spine. “Long time, no see. Sorry I couldn’t come visit sooner, Gotham is knees deep in super powered hooligans and bat crap this time of the year. You know how it is.”
Having a sense of modesty, she’s aware that she looks like crap herself. Barely functioning and huddled beneath the covers of her bed. She feels the puffiness of her face, believes the dark rings splashing some colour to her eyes grew noticeable. But the faux cold she claimed to be a victim of came back in full vengeance gear, making her limbs turn steel and chain her to the confines of her bed.
Still, Kara glances up from where her chin is hooked to the top of her hands, flat on the mattress, and the magnetic blue of her eyes shimmer as they roam Lena’s appearance, making her the recipient of their attention. Almost as if she was seeing Lena for the time—as if the times she’s watched her anger, her happiness and her rawest bursts of despair don’t even make a dent after witnessing the vulnerability of her shivering, sweaty frame.
There’s no better moral remedy than having the girl she loves stare at her with such acute tenderness.
“Actually,” she starts, “I don’t know how it is. You don’t talk much about your friends there.”
Kara purses her lips. And. “Well, I– I… vigilante duties are way more violent there. But Ryan and Sophie have it under control, I think they’re dating or something. There’s a certain–” pale eyebrows shuffle vertically–“vibe to them. Mary did a wonderful job at patching me up, Luke got a super sick new suit and Alice… she’s something– her flirting is still as gory as you expect a reformed assassin’s to be.”
“Still? Is that a common occurrence?” Lena asks, fully awake when she was dozing off to Kara’s soft voice mere seconds before.
Don’t blame her if she’s alerted to the fact that some foreigner is flirting with her girl.
“Just once or twice? Alice is…”
Then, the prettiest of blushes dusts the blonde’s cheek, spreading down to her neck and warming up her face enough that she cowers and hides behind her hands. “Gorgeous, a lot. But she scares me, a lot. I’m more of a bouquet person, not knife-to-the-throat kinda thing.”
The words, spirituality speaking, sew a manic grin onto her face. If only because she remembers the two, three or billion times she’s seen the elation in Kara’s demeanour whenever Lena presents her with flowers fresh from the street vendor down Cordova’s park.
She must be doing something right.
Slowly, her hand darts across her bed, finds an unruly honey lock and curls it around her finger, before humming and locking her eyes onto Kara’s.
“You know, experimenting with ways of lethal courting could be… intriguing.” Lena cocks an eyebrow, rejoicing in the blonde’s resulting flush and exaggerated laugh.
Whoever said obsession is not love has never lived the euphoria of watching a lover’s joy.
Lena could be damned, could watch Doomsday happen in front of her eyes and call it a field day. Nothing could ever go wrong with Kara by her side. Except, perhaps, for the stuff she brings onto herself—like the elephant glaring from a corner of the room that she needs to stop ignoring lest it stomps on her tongue and stuffs her throat with it.
“I’m sorry I’ve been avoiding you,” Kara blurts out. And, apparently, her penchant for reading Lena like a riddle has also become telepathic.
Shaking her head, she blows out a ragged laugh. “Darling, no. This whole sickness ordeal is probably karma for lying. I should be the one apologising for hiding away.”
“We’re a little dumb, aren’t we?”
“Sorry about that. I just didn’t want to make things weird, but they did anyway.”
“Lena,” Kara says, pushing on her forearms to sit cross legged. “We’re best friends, and also adults. We can get through to anything. One kiss won’t change that.”
Myth says that, if you pay enough attention, you can hear the echo of the heart of the last Luthor standing breaking under a Super’s thumb reverberating in the city’s skyline. “It won’t?”
Kara shakes her head. None the wiser of the mental meltdown she just sparked. “No, of course not,” she mumbles, sticking her little finger out for Lena to lock with hers. “Pinky swear. It’s always me and you together against the world, right?”
As long as she has Kara—whichever format it might be—nothing could ever go wrong.
“Always,” Lena smiles, and for a moment she forgets what she was even so worried about when Kara smiles back. That is, until Kara’s eyes lower for a second before she seems to gather herself up and shoot back to green eyes. Lena clears her throat. Avoidance, after all, is still her second best friend, “I think today it’s us against the rain, what do you say we order in?”
Kara’s eyes glow with love for the food and she turns around to pick up her phone from the nightstand, using a combination that looks an awful lot like Lena’s birthdate to unlock it. “What do you feel like?”
“I want burgers,” she answers, suddenly hungry at the thought of it, and then her eyes light up. “Oh my god, do you know what we should do? Add pineapple to it!"
Kara’s finger stops above the call button, she looks up surprised at Lena, “To the burger… But- But you… hate pineapple on food,” she ends, unsure.
It’s true. It’s very very true. Lena loves pineapple as long as it stays in a healthy environment, like fruit salads. Kara and Lena have gone through rough patches, if betraying each other counts as rough patches and not the break of the friendship that it was, but pineapple on pizza has been the one thing they had not been able to resolve.
And now Lena wants pineapple on… a burger?
“I just feel like it,” Lena says as if it’s nothing at all and Kara isn’t utterly confused, slowly getting up from the bed and walking towards the bathroom, stars and planets purple blanket wrapped around her body.
Kara, confused face and all, still calls to order the burgers- spends an endless ten minutes convincing the guy on the phone that they do, in fact, want pineapple on them too. She laughs quietly at the situation, throws herself more comfortably in the bed and chuckles towards the ceiling once she hangs up because normally any weird changes on their food would be her doing, not Lena’s.
“Lena?” she calls out, suddenly realizing the long absence of the woman, “You okay?”
She forces her own superhearing to not focus itself on Lena and waits for an answer. Nothing comes. Maybe Lena didn’t hear her, it’s okay.
“Lena?” she tries again, slowly walking to the bathroom and knocking on its door, “Lena? Is everything okay?”
“Yeah!” a rushed out and breathless answer comes through the door, “I’ll be out in a second.”
And by now Kara doesn’t need to see Lena’s face or hear her heartbeat to know she’s lying. It’s almost an unconscious thing, like how she knows the leftovers need to be heated up for three more minutes without trying it first. Or how she knows when Alex is drunk without seeing her or smelling her first.
But she knows whatever Lena is suddenly hiding can’t be that important. They share the big secrets now, but it doesn't mean little ones don’t exist. She’s told Alex this whenever the woman inquires about her relationship status with Lena. It always ends in her sister telling her that being in love with someone isn’t a “little secret” but what does Alex know, right?
The food arrives before Lena does. And she tries not to worry too much, even if she can hear the shower running as a lazy excuse for Lena not to come out because the water sounds empty- the drops of water crash against the floor tiles instead of creating the sound when they hit against a body.
But she lets Lena be. Lena will tell her what’s wrong when she’s ready. So, she easily ignores Lena’s obviously dry hair when she gets to the kitchen. Ignores how she didn’t change out of her pijamas either. And forces her own body to stay still and ignore the slight redness around the corner of Lena’s eyes.
She smiles widely at her friend when she sits on the stool next to her. A smile that goes unnoticed by the woman, her eyes transfixed in the screen of her phone and whatever is in it.
“What’s up?” Kara bumps her shoulder against Lena’s, trying to take her mind off of whatever is obviously bothering her.
Lena doesn’t jump, per se, but her eyes widen for a second when they land on Kara, almost as if she’d forgotten she was there. There’s a small pang of worry on Kara’s heart but she lets it go when Lena smiles.
“Nothing much,” she answers, the lie isn’t clear in her voice but the fast dump dump dump of her heart is, “just texting Brainy.”
Kara bites her bottom lip awkwardly when silence falls over the room again. “Well, I’m glad nothing is going on, especially after what happened the other night,” she tries to joke, lighten the mood.
Although it seems to fall into a terrible moment to say it because just as quick as Lena puts her burger closer to her mouth, she’s quickly pushing it away- almost throwing it into her plate without a care as she runs to the bathroom.
And this time Kara follows, of course she follows. She can ignore her friend acting a little off and a little quiet and a little weird. But she cannot ignore it when she hears the awful sound of Lena throwing up whatever was in her stomach right into the toilet.
As Kara’s fingers grab the end of her hair, holds them into a fake ponytail with one hand and rubs softly and comfortingly on her back, Lena is so thankful she didn’t run into her bedroom’s bathroom- not that she’d have been able to get there without throwing up on the floor- because, if Kara had followed her there she’d have seen, clear as day, the positive pregnancy test sitting there.
And as she coughs away the last of her vomit, all she thinks is well, fuck .
“You can’t tell anyone,” Lena repeats for the millionth time, “not even Nia. Or Alex. Or Kelly. Or J’onn. Or Kara, especially not Kara.”
“I am aware what the meaning of anyone is,” Brainy says, his initial curiosity giving way to worry as Lena keeps reiterating her words.
Brainy cautiously brings an arm from behind his back, dark eyes scanning Lena as if to find any motive to believe she’s gone off the deep end. “This isn’t very… you.”
“Kara taught me– I’m panicking, please indulge me.”
They’re alone in the tower. Both because it’s a Saturday night and the clock struck 3am fourteen minutes ago—Lena had scared J’onn away with a long babbling about a new science experiment she wanted to try with Brainy.
But the determination leaves her body, her hands start to sweat into each other and not even Brainy’s patient face while he sits down on a chair by Lena’s instruction, is enough to calm her down. She wonders if it’s too late to change her mind, to make up an excuse and tell Brainy this was nothing, just a joke- but Brainy knows she’s not much of a jokester unless she’s three drinks in. And he’s good enough at reading her to know she’d be lying.
Yet, above all that, she’s sure she doesn’t want to do this alone. She’d have done so years ago, she’d have hidden in the darkness of her own apartment and figured it out between sleepless nights and self-done experiments. But not now. Now, there’s a voice inside her head that sounds a lot like Kara’s that’s telling her to not do this on her own, that she has a family to lend her a hand.
Sure, she could tell Kara about it. Get her help. But Brainy is the safer choice, the no man’s land. Brainy will ask less questions about the subjectivity of this predicament and more about the objectivity. Brainy will be calm and logical and a shoulder to lean on if the positive pregnancy test was the first sign of a disease and not a baby.
“I’m-” she stops. Does she really have to say it? She needs to, she has to. She fills her lungs with air, willing herself to say, “I’m pregnant.”
Brainy’s eyes go wide and it’d have been extremely funny, because she’d never seen him do that before, if her hands weren’t still shaking and her teeth were too busy creating a scar into her lips to create a smile.
“No,” she exclaims instantly as his unsure kudos leave his mouth, “don’t congratulate me. I shouldn’t even be pregnant.”
“More like it.”
He touches a finger under his nose, a hand cupping his hip. “Are you, uh... certain?”
“I haven’t had sex in years, I’m fucking positive.” Brainy makes an odd face at her words. Okay. No crass talk with him, got it. She backtracks. “Sorry– just. I’m scared it's a tumor or something. That can happen, right? Hormones or something that gives a positive pregnancy test.”
“We can– we will check.”
He walks closer to her as he talks. Brainy puts his hand on her shoulder and squeezes, and it’s not until her body is softly colliding against his that she realizes the squeeze was more of a pull and she’s wrapped in an awkward embrace. It’s obvious for both of them that she needed this more than she thought, because there’s a burning tension in her eyes only ever created by tears when he whispers it’ll all be okay.
It takes running five new tests, all different brands and the most efficient ones they could find. All positive. Somewhere in the less shaken corners of her mind she registers blood being drawn. Positive.
They discard Lena having had an abortion not long ago and any of her medications causing this outcome as a side effect. They rule out urinary tract infection, kidney diseases, ovarian cysts, pituitary problems and even cancer.
Everything is fine. Nothing is wrong with her body. Lena is in perfect health. She is, simply, pregnant.
Her head drops to her hands, legs dangling stiffly off the medbay bed. “How… ugh. This doesn’t make any sense. I truly haven’t been with anyone in ages.”
“Well, White Martians used fire to reproduce asexually,” Brainy explains, leaning against a lab table. He’s most likely trying to appease her, but. It’s nowhere near working. “Coluans are nano-based synthetic beings, Kryptonians are born via genetic material transferred to the Genesis Chamber. Sexual intercourse isn’t the only method to reach pregnancy. You should know that.”
Her left hemisphere gets a bit wounded at that.
“Lena, with the recent discoveries of your heritage… have you considered that, by being a witch, you might’ve… wished for it?”
“No. No. That’s–” she breathes out a bitter laugh, surges like grit up her throat–“I'll play nice and bring this new development into all aspects of my life, no matter my notorious objections. Magic can be everywhere, but not this. A whole tiny human? That’s not how you make a baby, Brainy.”
But she’s growing a life inside her without recalling any memories—yet many qualms—about it, anyways.
She’s never felt less hers.
Panic doesn’t get a chance to crawl higher than her socked-feet. Lena staggers up and lets determination guide her to where she left her mother’s spell book cracked open in the meeting table last night, letting the ink from her latest entries dry.
Her lab partner is unspeakably, politely quiet. Making breathless noises every now and then to let her know he’s drinking in the rhythmic word-chains written down in the pages. None of them say anything when they come across foreign names and cryptic allegories. Both are well aware that they’re capable of comprehending without aid.
Dance the wild dance, thrill to the music of the pipes. Ivy, attachments, fidelity, eternal friendship. Sacred to Palu, as well as Maires and Attis.
That doesn’t give them anything to work with.
I die where I cling. Ivy leaves are the poet’s crown and Baccus’ weath. They grow in a winding spiral.
Lena is about to burst into tears. She’s a pregnant witch, not a poetry freak obsessed with Dickinson’s literary devices and Roman mythology.
Green and brown eyes fly over page after page, fingers scramble to match the pace of her uneasiness. But neither Lena nor Brainy have reached something useful. There are rhymes, a few short tales and names she doesn’t recognise. There are chants, the spells she used already and… drawings of plants she’s dissected in the name of witchcraft.
“Here,” Brainy chimes in between ridges of her inner turmoil, “Russian birch twigs make the spray of babies breath. Are you familiar with this one?”
“Yes. It’s not exactly about magic babies, just encouragement for new beginnings,” she lets him know, purposefully skimming past the one legend including safeguards against drowning in rural Sweden.
Fertility and moon magic. Bettrane or MayDay. For maidens who’ve come of age. The Flemish ties three knots in white. Thy rightful love will blossom under the gleam of a half moon. Eternal bond.
A nagging behind the back of her head flickers to life, raises the hairs on her nape as cold sweat sneaks under the fabric of her shirt. She lets it fade, dumps the spell onto the pile of discarded enchantments.
To keep rummaging through the botanical spectrum of magic sounds like wasting time. Lena hasn’t manipulated any type of plants in months, long before the final showdown with her brother… long before her adoptive mother passed away in her arms. Yet, they have been at it for almost an hour, and nothing seems to be of help. Not even a molehill to make a mountain out of it.
“We could always request Alex’s assistance on this,” Brainy speaks after some time, “her medical acuity might come in handy.”
Ashen faced, she cracks her neck to the side, surprised it doesn’t snap. “No,” she swallows down the knot she tastes in the back of her mouth. “If we involve Alex, she won’t be able to not tell Kara. Her sister is her Achilles heel.”
“Why are you so adamant on not clueing Kara in? I believe that’s what platonic bonds are for,” he says, none the wiser. “Wait, is this about your romantic inclinations towards her?” Or ever the know-it-all.
“I– I don’t know.”
Of course it is.
How’s she supposed to look Kara in the eye and tell her she’ll be a mother? The mother of a kid whose arrival she has biblical-induced reluctance about.
She doesn’t have any doubt that her best friend will be there in the trenches for her every step of the way, but it doesn’t mean it’s less frightening. It’s a new life for her to raise, to love and shape into a good person inseminated without her consent. Just magic fucking up her already fucked up view of the born, grow, reproduce and die doctrine—finding another vial to ruin the sense of tranquility she worked so hard for. To ruin the list of near–future permanent-goals she longed to fulfil.
Most of them involving Kara and a few couple hundred of dates.
Then a house.
Rings, and two dogs.
Right before planning for kids.
Something is humming inside her, and she doesn’t know anymore if it’s her own heart or her baby’s. Her body feels tight, too stretched and invaded to be comfortable.
The brightness of the tablet Brainy sets on her hands to stop the anxious fidgeting is set high, burning her retinas. But, as punishment for a sin—bear with her, she’s trying to find a better description—she didn’t commit, she doesn’t lower it up.
“I was going to say that with Alex here, we could do a procedure to extract the unborn child’s DNA and retrieve exact data. Rule out any possible alien anomalies, some races are able to impregnate people by touch.”
The thought makes her knees jerk, her stomach revolts.
“I might throw up again if that ends up being true. I can’t believe this is the price to pay for a heritage I discovered two decades too late.” Lena sighs, rubbing circles on her temples. “Okay, let’s do it,” she says, ready to face the music, but halts.
Brainy’s lids are drooping, and the sun that dipped low behind buildings when he attended Lena’s call has begun to rise with another day, climbing up till its knuckles are rapping on the doors of eden. A pang of guilt spikes through her, knowing that unlike her, he does have a lover to get home to.
“But maybe let’s try later? I’m exhausted,” she suggests, even if the rapid pitter-patter of her heart and the growing void in her stomach won’t let her sleep a wink. “This whole baby talk is making everything ache.”
“Lena? Is this– being alone is something that you need right now?”
Her heart squeezes. “It is. I need some time to think about this whole ordeal. But thank you, for being here and for… I couldn’t have done this with you.”
“It’s an honour to unpack boxes with you.”
As expected, Lena spends the early morning counting sheeps. Not able to catch a dose of sleep in between the pace of her jumbled thoughts and the knowledge that, without biological explanation, she would be mothering an entire being in the following months.
No experience, no mental or physical prep, just a sum of shadowy fears in the shape of her childhood’s tormentors to get her through.
At exactly 10:23am, she gives up on tossing and turning and bounds to the kitchen in search of a saving grace. If sleep wasn’t it, then at least some coffee could inject energy into her veins, propel her out of her stupor to begin the day with a quasi-grin. But as she stops next to the fridge and the curl of her lips swells into a full-blown smile when she catches sight of the post-it obnoxiously glued on its steel with always start your day with a cup of positivitea scribbled in Kara’s loopy calligraphy, she realises her roommate wouldn’t appreciate the caffeine intake.
“Okay, little invasor. If I’m sacrificing coffee for you, then please have the decency to tell me how you got here,” Lena threatens, running a hand up and down her still flat stomach.
She ends up golfing down half a watermelon sprinkled with salt.
Due… reasons, she doesn’t leave her apartment until late at night. Telling the team she has family business to attend to that will take most part of the day. She even has the strength to—although with a heavy heart and a sense of guilt eating away at her—rain check on lunch with Kara, and Lena gets such a docile and understanding answer from her that she’s surprised she doesn’t start crying at how Kara manages to be the easiest constant in her life.
It’s a bit past 9pm that she finally makes it to the tower, and she’s fretting over her text chain with Brainy. Asking if the coast is clear and she won’t crash against unexpected, blue-eyed sailors who look at her with a question on the tip of their tongue but are too polite to let it out.
As per her request, he is the first individual she sees when the elevator's door ding open, a suspicious Alex standing next to Brainy with a glare pointed to the green hand fastened around her shoulder to stop her from storming out.
“Luthor, have any idea why I am being held hostage? I have to go tuck my baby in,” Alex informs them, the line of her shoulders losing a little stiffness. She’s caught the distress bruising under Lena’s eyes. “You good? You look like shit.”
“–Lena is pregnant,” Brainy blurts out, slapping a hand to his mouth.
Without the weight of a limb to nail her to the ground, Alex visibly falters and stumbles back, glancing with parted lips around her stomach before letting out a shaky breath.
A groan bubbles up Lena’s throat. “So much for subtlety, Querl.”
“Is that true?” The taller woman asks, decompressing her spine to stand even taller. Instead of wonder like Lena had expected, a cloud chalked with danger and defensiveness hovers in her face.
Pinching the bridge of her nose, she tries to dwindle the guilt simmering within her. This is not her fault and, despite the foundations, it isn’t her child’s fault either. Besides, there’s no shame in pregnancy and there’s no other reason for Alex to be summoned in the tower other than lending them a hand to figure out how it happened in the first place.
Smoothly unfurling her fist, she nods. “Alex, I need your help.”
“Holy shit,” she curses and drags a hand across the creases of her forehead, like she’s syphoned Lena’s despair just by being told the news. The guilt is quickly receding to bring annoyance. “Guess Esme is old enough to tuck herself in.”
After that, Lena loses a little bit more blood in the name of science. She lets Brainy and Alex do the hard work, too nauseated and dizzy to watch whatever the hCG levels of her body can tell them about the origins of this. But, even three brilliant minds and six hands on deck come short sometimes.
There’s no explanation, at least not one they can find in each of their fields of expertise. Alex says there’s no way for her human anatomy to have overlooked all steps of conception and start developing a miraculous embryo without the union of the… mhmm– the sperm and– and the egg .
It’s abundantly clear Alex has reservations about the lack of sex in the equation.
Brainy, well, his intervention was crystal clear already. His mind was open for any course the pregnancy might’ve taken, seemingly advocating for the magic theory.
And Lena… fuuuck.
There’s a tiny chance she’s holding onto that magic theory for dear life. But she won’t say it out loud anytime soon, not as long there’s the small silver lining of science backing her up in this.
The silence is ear-splitting as they wait for results, the anxious tap-dance of Alex’s knuckles against the desk the only sound in the lab.
Her mind is too blurry, trampled on and squashed under this predicament’s thumb. She doesn’t even know what she’s expecting. She already knows she is expecting. But Brainy and her hadn’t gone past confirmation, hadn’t delved deeper into the blood work to gather more intel about the sweet pea—the tracking app said that was the accurate size for a six-week-old fetus—currently turning her world upside down.
If the silence was ear-splitting, then the low noise of the machine spitting out the results is earth-shattering.
The three of them rush to their feet, Lena getting a case of lightness in the head. She doesn’t charge for the table as the other two, stays rooted to her feet behind them and does her earnest to decipher what it is they’re hushing in decibels that aren’t just high enough.
When the results are sent to the flat screen and she reads them, she freezes altogether and reels back into a shocked gasp. Understands the purpose of the whispers.
Alex starts, “Is that…”
Lena has saved her best friend’s ass too many times to not be acquainted with the sequence, slightly different from the human strings she was used to studying before Kara landed in her life.
“DNA. Is the– my baby is Kryptonian,” she croaks, voice breaking.
The screen is suddenly too bright, too harsh against her heightened senses and she needs to break her gaze from the study of the Kryptonian life developing in her stomach if she wants to stop feeling faint. But Lena can’t, for all the things she’s learnt to ignore and move on from for the sake of her sanity, she can’t get past this.
Because the implications…
Mercifully, Alex occupies her peripheral vision and she truly favours the lifeline in the shape of an interruption but, in a beat, it morphs into the same grave, gritty expression from early and she swallows both the fear and the tears welled up in her eyes to pair her goddaughter’s mother with a glare as acute as hers.
“Did you fuck Clark?” Alex has the nerve to ask, a fire licking behind her eyes as she works the muscles of her jaw.
If it wasn’t because morning sickness has claimed rights to her daily nausea quota, Lena for sure would be retching right now.
“No! What the– how could you ever think that? He’s… c’mon, Alex, I know you know implying that is baseless and fucking stupid. Clark would never– you know.”
“Then how exactly do you explain this?” Her voice is tight, barely concealing the tremble of her jaw. There’s the anger that surfaces when she’s defending the honour of a certain angel-faced Kryptonian.
Brainy, who had been watching the showdown with wide eyes right before chiming in, barrels to their side to wave a white flag in the trenches. “We are aware the genesis of this impregnation isn’t related to human-bound ways. And how many other Kryptonians do you know about? That is a close liaison of Lena’s, of course.”
The wrath subsides, flickers down to an ice cold type of burn. And it immediately clicks for Lena, that Alex wasn’t accusing her of an offence but rather hurting for the foreseeable pain Kara would be in whenever she found out. Her heart aches at that thought.
“My... little... sis– did you and Kara have sex?” Then there’s a myriad of emotions—mostly confusion, worry and something akin to tenderness—spamming across her face, and she’s too preoccupied with her own downfall to worry about her baby’s rightful aunt losing it, too.
“No,” she mumbles, licking her chapped lips. “Alex, I swear I have no idea how this happened and–”
Fertility and moon magic. Thy rightful love will blossom under the gleam of a half moon. Eternal bond.
It dawns on her with nuclear force.
She remembers the drawing of an Osíer willow in her mother’s spell book, remembers its resemblance with the twigs Kara was ripping apart when Nia dared Lena to entwine with the person she loved the most in the traceable universe. And after a quick check in with Brainy, he confirms that the lunar calendar casted a half moon in the night they kissed for the first time.
It was her own doing. It was their own doing.
Kissing her rightful love had blossomed a new beginning for them, a path that now involved Kara and a future she always dreamed of but thought would be getting in different circumstances.
Magic was right.
Fuck. Big time.
This life growing inside Lena is both hers and Kara’s, and right now it is taking up too much space in her body. It’s cutting off her breath, and her vision gets dark and the world spins off its axis to permanently fuck her up.
They can get through this, right? It’s Kara and Lena against the world.
“Hey, hey,” she hears Alex call, then she finds herself sitting on one of the rolling chairs while holding onto the armrests with a white-knuckle grip. “It’s okay. We can do an ultrasound to check on them and–”
“I want to do this with her,” she says, after filling Alex in on the study of the spell and how it led to this very moment. Lena is pregnant with Kara’s firstborn.
They sit in front of her. Brainy is quiet, as if taken aback with the updates of their project. And Alex is looking at her as if she was seeing her for the first time in years, as if now they were joined by more than their mutual love and unyielding protection of Kara.
“You know, if you were to... if you aren’t ready for this development or something… Kara would understand. It would be a difficult journey for both of you but…”
“No. I want to keep this baby, that’s probably the only thing I’m sure of right now. I just have to tell Kara first.”
It’s a little hard on her, at first.
She had thought after coming back from Gotham, that whatever awkwardness had come from that kiss - that heart shattering, incredible, world stopping, one in a lifetime kiss - would have already dissipated between her and Lena.
And there’s a blooming, blowing hope inside her heart when Lena tangles her pinky on hers but then she’s running to the bathroom, throwing up all she hasn’t eaten yet at the slick mention of the kiss and Kara knows nothing has dissipated- except, maybe, her plans to finally confess her own feelings.
So, she waits. She always waits for Lena. Knows part of her will always do so.
But waiting is hard when Lena seems consumed by whatever project she and Brainy have, one that adds in Alex not long after. She waits for the update on it, Lena excitedly telling her about the science, the three of them organizing a meeting to tell everyone else whatever new invention they’d come up with.
The moment doesn’t come a day after Lena pushed her out of her apartment, telling her she needs to get to Catco and she’ll go to the doctor by herself. Nor two days after. Nor a week.
She tries to think nothing of it, when she keeps hearing her own name echoed in the tower during hushed conversations between Lena and Alex and Lena and Brainy. They’ve said no more secrets, Lena agreed to that. What could she possibly not tell her? What could be so horrible she wouldn’t want to?
She’ll always wait for Lena, She’s just not sure how patient she is.
Not when - totally by accident, totally by her own curiosity, probably - she hears Alex whisper to Lena “You need to tell Kara,” right before she walks out of the door, a sleeping child hanging from her shoulder and leaving the mess of a game night behind her.
And Lena’s watching her, hands clasped in front of her, not reaching out to her coat and letting her heartbeat run wild. But there’s that noise. That small little, so subtle noise she’s been hearing for weeks now.
She’s not sure how to describe it yet, even all words in this human language fail her. It’s fast. Repetitive. Constant once it's around. She thought it was a hummingbird the first time she heard it, a small little friend coming to visit them at the tower, slapping away its wings to keep afloat.
But a quick search of the tower let her know there was no bird around. As there isn’t one in her apartment now. There’s only Lena and her. Kara and Lena. And the noise. Constant. Constant. Constant. From the moment everyone walked in, slowly eating away at Kara’s mind.
She had tried to find it, reaching her neck out to observe the contents in her friends’ bags, pressing tighter than she should have into Esme’s pushie to see if it had something inside of it, questioning J’onn about his new watch and the mechanics of it. But nothing seemed to be the source of it. It just tick, tick, tick ticked inside of Kara’s ear.
“Is it okay if I stay?” Lena says, as if Kara would ever say no. “I’ve got some news.”
Kara pats the side of the couch she still hasn’t got up from and Lena melts into her as if she was made to do so, part of Kara wishfully wants to think she was. Maybe it’s just pure self indulgence after having to read one too many princesses and true love and soulmates bedtime stories to Esme, but hey, they don’t hurt anyone except her own heart and dreams so, who could oppose?
The sofa creaks when Lena sits up straighter. She puts distance between them both and looks down at Kara, who’s still lazily thrown on the couch, one arm extended over the back and the other one patting away in her own abdomen. Kara keeps her eyes closed, lets herself enjoy the moment of calmness, if only for a little longer.
But Lena’s heartbeat gives away her nervousness, her anxiousness, and what could Lena possibly have to tell her that arranges such an answer from her physiology? It’s just her. It’s just Kara.
“You know, I’ve never had a family this big,” Lena says. “It was just the four of us with the Luthors and now it’s gonna be eleven of us already.”
“Eleven of us?” she slowly counts in her mind. Eliza. Alex, Kelly, Esme. Brainy and Nia. J’onn and M’gann. Lena. Herself. “You mean, ten of us?”
“Oh, Rao.” Then it clicks. Of course. It double clicks in her mind. How could she not see it? Lena, Alex and Brainy working on something. J’onn’s absence for a while. Of course they’d get Lena to tell her too, she’s so good at telling Kara stuff and helping her work through them. “M'gann is pregnant?” She exclaims, excited, taking Lena’s hands into her, even though the woman’s eyes go big at Kara’s words.
“What- Kara- No-”
“That’s so amazing! Oh, Rao, we’re gonna have a baby around. That’s gonna be so cute. Can you imagine the tiny fingers and the chubby cheeks? And the smell, Lena, the smell.” She’s almost vibrant out of her physical form.
Lena shakes her head, “Kara, no. I mean, yes.” She breathes in and out, “We are going to have a baby around but it won’t be M’gann’s.
Lena’s pregnant ?
It’s almost as if she watches every dream, expectation and fantasy she wanted to have with Lena break into a million pieces and fly away, gone with the wind. Lena’s a witch, alright. She’d certainly, although maybe unknowingly, broken a heart with two well placed words.
But how? When? Why? She’s not sure she wants any of the answers. Definitely not the how. She can guess that one. Maybe her more pressing question should be who . She thinks back to James’ charming smile back at the wedding, his affirmation that he knew what he wanted in life, while Kara had been so lost, just before Lena called out for them.
Maybe they’ve found their way back to each other, they’ve found a middle ground in which both of them want the happy household and the happy kids that run around with an equally happy dog, maybe they thought they could give each other that - even if it’s all Kara ever wanted. All that she thought she wanted with James, so long ago. All that she knows she wants with Lena, now.
Or perhaps it’s worse. Maybe Lena has been dating someone for a while now. Someone kind and amazing and strong and charming and caring and all the things Lena deserves. Someone Kara hadn’t been introduced to. Or been told about. It could have happened, that between the Phantom Zone, returning to fight back new and old enemies, lick her own old and new scars and find herself in a good place again, she might have been too careless to have met Lena’s person.
But if she hasn’t had time then neither has Lena, they’ve been together most of the time. When Lena isn’t away for witchy business. So someone she already knows seems more likely. Someone Lena already knows is kind and good and has had a connection with before. James it is. She’s going to be the aunt of another Olsen child, it appears.
She doesn’t want her heart to be filled with jealousy and pain in a moment like this and yet, it is.
She should say something, she knows. She should hug her friend and congratulate her. But her words are held back by her own thoughts. What can she say?
I’m so happy for you, kids are wonderful. I already love this baby because they’re half you and you’re the one I love the most. You’ll be an amazing mother, I know so. I wanted to be the one to live all of this with you and not some other guy that doesn’t deserve you. Even if I don’t deserve you either.
“Congratulations,” she gives the simplest thing she can when Lena’s face goes from anxious to extremely worried. She goes for the most logical option, her eyes setting on a dark spot on Lena’s sweater, probably caused by wine weeks ago but that still hasn’t come out fully. “You and James are going to be wonderful parents.”
“What-” Lena shakes her head, expression somewhere between shock, surprise and amusement. “James is not the father.”
The part of her brain that always reminds her to be nice and kind pings when air leaves her lung in a long relieved exhale. So, James isn’t the father. “Then, who-”
“I didn’t fuck Clark!” Lena blurts out, suddenly and quickly, at the same time Kara realizes that who the father is is not her business and stops herself. But Lena’s outburst leaves her confused, crinkle forming between her eyebrows. Lena sighs at it.
Her shaky hands reach out to Kara’s, urging her to look into green eyes. Kara says nothing. Lena says nothing in return. They sit in silence and then. And then Kara finally realizes. The little sound. The constant rapid sound she kept hearing. It was always Lena’s baby’s heartbeat. The heartbeat of life that’s growing slowly inside of Lena. Kara wants to cry.
“I can hear them,” she whispers.
Lena’s hands stop their soft rub of Kara’s hands, surprised. “You can?”
Kara nods, “Little one’s gonna have one hell of a heart.”
The woman chuckles at that, eyes watering at the words. She slowly untangles their hands and squeezes her fingers over her knees. “I- I can explain. Just… be a little patient. I haven’t practised this one much.”
Slender fingers move around the air, words that Kara doesn’t recognize reach her ears. She tries to figure out what they mean, maybe to be able to check them out later, but all thoughts are forgotten when sparkles of color leave the tip of Lena’s fingers like fireworks.
The colors hover above them like a waterfall of butterflies that collide against each other. Just like every other tree, it grows from its roots. Goes up and up from the Ls poised against each other until reaching the sun and flowers bloom out of every corner.
She recognizes the logo of Lena’s foundation instantly and Kara is about to ask if they’re plumeria leaves, a detail she’s never really gotten around to know, when sharp lines intertwine with the tree. She doesn’t know what they are, just two lines, one on each side, going from the lowest leaf to the middle of the roots.
And one new line in the middle of it all turns and twists and bends forming a logo Kara knows so well, the emblem she carries in her chest every day. Perfectly intertwined with Lena’s.
It’s fantastic. Astonishing. Like watching a fireworks espectacle and not being able to look away. Lena’s magic knows no limits, she always knew this. But she doesn’t understand what she’s supposed to understand with this.
“That’s- That’s nice? Do you want to start a new Supergirl-Luthor team up brand or something?”
Lena chuckles, although it feels void by the way she’s anxiously biting her bottom lip.”No. I- Brainy told me that Kryptonian houses would mix up their emblems when they were expecting a child."
“Ah. Well…” Why would Lena be telling her this? Why would Brainy be sharing that? “I– I’m sorry but I still don’t get it.”
Lena sighs, her hands coming to play with her hair, a nervous tick Kara knows well and that it makes the drawing in front of them disappear into thin air.
"The kid is… yours, Kara,” Lena says. “Turns out magic is… really hard to control. Like, really hard."
Well, fudge nuggets.
She wasn’t expecting that. She doesn’t think anyone would be expecting that.
“But– We haven’t... We didn’t... Y’know...” she turns hydrant-red at the idea. It’s not like she has never entertained the thought, not when Lena looks sinful in some dresses and adorably squishy in sweaters and her ass is terrific in jeans and her legs look incredible when she’s wearing shorts and her boo-
Okay. She might be getting side tracked. But. Her point, her mental point, still stands. There’s no chance she could have gotten Lena pregnant, considering they’ve never been together nor can she make that happen. Lena understands her right away.
“I would remember if we had had sex, believe me,” she says, a timid chuckle leaving her lips.
"Yeah me too,” Kara agrees, “I mean- you're you and you're- yeah, I'd remember-” her hands circle around the woman’s cleavage in the air- “those."
Her cheeks feel like chili peppers and she can see the fire of it reflecting on Lena’s cheeks too at her words. But the woman has always had more restrictions and calmness inside of herself than Kara. She decides to not say anything, she just looks at Kara, curious eyes, and waits for her to say something else.
And it’s when all having-sex-with-Lena thoughts leave her brain that she finally lets the words sink in and realize what Lena told her. The baby is hers. Hers and Lena. She’s gonna have a kid with Lena.
Maybe it’s happening five years too soon and after jumping ten steps on her mental agenda to have a family with Lena. And maybe, probably, most likely or else it wouldn’t have happened, it was an accident. But it’s happening and the little sound that’s been driving her insane for days is actually her child’s heartbeat.
She smiles at Lena, barely sees the woman’s relieved smile of her own behind the water in her eyes. She sends out a small thank you to the sky, to Rao, for giving her a little something. Finally sending something good her way.
She lets the hows and whys and whens for tomorrow, she knows Lena already got the answers ready for her. All she can do is wrap her arms around Lena and kiss her forehead.
And she makes a promise, right there and then, to do everything in her power to protect the two lives in her arms and to love them forever. And if loving Lena forever means raising a child together in an overly platonic way then, she can live with that too.
The news Lena gave her lift up her spirit more than anything had ever done. She walks into Catco with a smile on her face and leaves with a bigger one, knowing it’s finally time she can go to her or Lena’s apartment and she can unashamedly listen to the little heartbeat inside of her.
She does every Supergirl duty with a smile on her face, no matter how many useless bullets are thrown at her or how many punches, that actually hurt, she receives, because Lena makes sure to check on every single one while she does an adorably funny voice and tells the baby, their baby, how Kara needs to take care of herself.
Her friends laugh at her, sometimes. Most of the time. Alex and Nia, always. But it doesn’t really bother her. Not when they laugh at things Kara is extremely happy doing.
It’s at her own volition that she flies to France for a croissant and to Spain for a tortilla and to Argentina for an empanada and Colombia for a sack of coffee beans she can’t even grind and drink for at least a few more months. Lena’s cravings had always been weird and she’s lucky that she’s got a superhero, faster than any food delivery company, at her disposal at any moment of any day.
Her brain has been overtaken by happiness and the baby and happiness caused by the baby. So now her nights are filled with documentaries about baby food and articles about cruelty-free diapers and books on how to be a good parent, either without Lena or with Lena on the nights they spend together. Only usually changed up by sister nights when Alex forces her to not watch a documentary- except Kara chooses a movie about a pregnancy, not knowing it was about a failed one, and she ends up shakingly spooning Lena to sleep, hands protectively over her belly.
The idea of loss - not that it’s really an idea in her mind, she knows it well enough, has known it all her life - is too much. Too much this time. It creates a new fire inside of herself, one that is only put down when her eyes fall on Lena, belly just barely noticeable three months in, and hears both heartbeats.
She understands now, when she’d heard an amnesiatic Alex said her heart was just out there, walking around and with no way to protect it- an analogy she’d also used five or six drinks into sister night when talking about Esme.
The fire leads her to fly past Lena every night, once Catco had finally closed its doors and crime was having dinner, sometimes to check on them. Sometimes to land on the balcony with arms wide open to embrace her family, only to be stopped by a teasing Lena, softly pushing her away and hiding her body from Kara until she has a shower.
(“The baby can’t even smell yet!”
“You don’t know that.”
“Yes, I do! I looked it up and asked Brainy.”
“Well, I can smell you and it’s not very pleasant. What did you even fight this time? A sewer rat?”)
Yes, her protectiveness can be a little much but Lena seems to be fine with it. If anything, Lena is the only one who can understand how scared Kara is of losing this baby. They know way too much of loss to be comforted by reassurances and statistics.
Not even a call to Lois and Clark, after many long and uncomfortable explanations on how and what and why, confirming them that the pregnancy will be nothing short of human, if only with some really strong kicks in the last trimester, had fully calmed them down.
The stress and exasperation of having to explain it all to a suspicious and short of temper cousin still sitting on Kara’s clenched hands and the soreness of Lena’s neck. She’d vowed, if only mentally, that Lena should be as comfortable and happy as possible at all times so her hands work in autopilot as water pours and bubbles appear as she calls the woman down the hall.
But the sweet essence of lavender oils , rosemary, lemon balm, and ginger root relaxes her more than it does Lena and she finds herself in a buzzed cloud, legs stretched carelessly on the floor tiles as her body and head use the edge of the bathtub as a cushion- she doesn’t even blush or recoil at the thought that Lena is mere centimetres away, naked, under the water.
“Will you tell them about it?” Lena wonders, eyes poised on Kara as she, eyes closed, small smile on her face, hums in question, “About Krypton. Will you tell them?”
“Our baby? Yeah, of course.” The words leave almost instantly and yet, they make her pause. Will she? Will she suddenly get over that heavy breath that sets on her troath when she tries to talk about it? Will she tell them the good, sugarcoating everything? The bad, creating that feeling of almost-hate, almost-resentment that’s in her heart in them too?
She sighs. Dealing with generational trauma is tough .
“Will you… tell… me?”
It’s the first time Lena’s outright asked about Krypton. Lena knows about Krypton, they all do. They all know about its destruction, about Kara and Kal escaping, about Argo surviving. But none of them know of Krypton. Its long streets that went up and down and twisted at every second, the squares that each held the statue of a scientist, the celebrations and the songs.
“We were loud, you know,” she says, eyes still closed, she doesn’t think she can have this conversation on the light. “Most people think Kryptonians were cold and aloof, and sometimes we were, but not always. My mother and aunt were
loud when Astra came from a journey, catching up took them hours and everyone in the house would hear it.”
She tries not to let the memories of what happened after to taint this. To ruin what little she’s sharing with Lena. But her voice fills with dread at the mention of her mother and her voice cracks when she says her aunt’s name. She lets it go, though. As she always does.
“That’s how I found Kal was conceived in the, uh– old fashioned way,” Kara confesses with a grimace, one eye shut at the memory.
Suds of soapy water leak inside her shirt, and she arches back to let Lena trace her earlobe. Whether it is the lukewarm temperature or slender fingers scratching along her neck, she can’t pinpoint, but she shivers anyway and reaches out to interlock their hands, dropping a kiss to Lena’s inner wrist.
“The older girls in the hallways of the education building would put Mackenzie to shame and the Dragons’ Stadium would roar with people every month. And on Nova Cycle… We would- eh… We would celebrate the rebirth of Rao and the society. As people gave their offerings, they’d be so much.. noise and bangs from instruments and people’s singing. Sometimes, when my hearing gets too overloaded, I don’t fully hate it, because it reminds me of those days.”
She hates that she doesn’t know how to say the name of her school, only the lousy translation of it, a mere shadow of what it actually was. She hates that she’s almost forgetting her traditions, her words halting and her tongue twisting on itself trying to find the information. But she hasn’t talked about it since… ever. She doesn’t hate the lightness she feels now.
“Thank you for telling me,” Lena says, letting silence fall over the room again. And then. A whisper, “I hope the baby is loud, like they were.”
She has half the mind to whisper me, too before Morpheus takes her.
On the name of sisterhood and needing to learn how to take care of a fully functional dependent little being, Kelly and Alex drop off Esme at her place for a weekend of aunties time .
She walks into Kara’s apartment with a smile on her face, unicorn backpack strapped to her back and a lion wrapped around her arms. He’s got an orange mane and fair light brown hair on his body and white on his paws and belly, the one covered by a little green and blue flannel. All set and finished with the little dark blue bow tie around his neck.
“Where’s Lovey?” Kara asks. If there’s a duo stronger than her and Alex, it’s Esme and her little zebra companion.
“He’s in my backpack,” she says, unbothered. She raises the lion in her arms, “I brought this one for the baby.”
Esme nods. “So they feel welcomed.”
The water in her eyes is definitely because of the sudden current of air that takes her by surprise. Definitely.
“I’m sure they’ll love it,” she manages to crock out. “Why the lion though?”
“The button up reminded me of you,” she explains, “and auntie Lena said her favorite color was blue.”
“So this is the reason you asked me that,” Lena’s drowsy voice interrupts. She’s still half asleep, messy hair and Kara’s wrinkled pyjamas reaching the floor and going past her wrists. The baby, now the size of a pear, seems to be stealing most of Lena’s energy, which makes Kara find her, more often than not, sleeping somewhere in her apartment. Still, she walks over to her goddaughter to give her a kiss, “I love it darling.”
A day in the park, two lunches big enough for two starving aliens and a disney movie later finds them lying under the roof made up of Kara’s fries-themes sheet, Esme sound asleep between them in the comfort of the fort.
“You seemed to have fun on the seesaw today,” Lena whispers, hand absently playing with the ends of Esme’s hair, who’s decided her aunt’s chest makes for a comfy pillow.
“I was so scared I was going to break it, though. Steel ain’t as solid nowadays.”
She watches enraptured as Lena leans forwards, gulping the sigh locked in the back of her mouth after she glides a smooth palm along the expanse of her bicep, squeezing twice for good measure. “I beg to differ, darling.”
Spluttering speechless, Kara groans and ducks, concealing the flush painting her cheeks. “Stop it.”
“Why? It’s not a lie.”
Under the scrutiny of an arched eyebrow, taking a hold of herself is harder than usual. But Kara recovers rather quickly and props up on a bent elbow to look at Lena, to breathe in her goddess-like features framed by the ghostly shadows the moon casts and creeps past the windows of her loft.
She’s glowing. In her eyes, Lena has never stopped shining, yet now she is a brighter light than ever before. Of course, her skin is pasty and there are bags under her eyes, but there is a certain glint to the emerald shades as Kara stares into them that trails an urgency to dive deep and never leave the warmth it radiates.
Lena’s eye colour brings back a vision of Dandahu Ocean and it drills indentations in the back of her mind, prompting Kara to clutch her fist around the fabric of her sweatpants and munch hard on the side of her cheek to deter herself from blurting out a midnight confession that would upset the subdued limbo of their relationship.
Linking Lena to home isn’t rare. The event happens more often than not, her neurons firing up in the background to always keep her in Kara’s mind. But now it interrupts her day to day, as it tiptoes up on her and wraps around her bones like barbed wire to pierce and remind her that this is the closest she’s ever been to building a home for herself, and yet she’s still far away from fully seizing it.
It’s like those times Alex would dangle a box of donuts in front of her to force to finish her abs routine. Annoying and unbearably frustrating.
Between her absentmindedness and the inner soliloquy, her staring it’s gotten long enough to become creepy, and yet she doesn’t have it in her to break the spell, not when Lena holds the eye contact with a crowning fierceness and a grin that stretches her face muscles in such delight that Kara’s chest tightens, pressing down on the box that holds her heart to slow it down.
“I hope our baby gets blue eyes like yours,” Lena whispers, and it’s all it takes for Kara to gravitate towards her and lock their lips together in a frantic kiss.
The electric jolt that bolts down her spine drives her back, and a second after she realises what she’s done, Kara pales and the blood-pumping, muscular organ that was oppressed a mere sentence ago fights back to find space for itself, going berserk as it bridges with Lena’s pulse where she brushes her thumb across Kara’s cheek. “It’s okay, don’t panic. You look like you just saw a ghost.”
Idiot. Idiot. Idiot.
“I’m so sorry,” she apologises, regret clear in her tone.
“Don’t be. It’s late and it’s been a long day and… would you mind helping me out of this fort? As much as I’d love to stay with you guys, I don’t think my back can handle it.” It’s an out, Kara knows, and she loves Lena all the better for granting her space to reassemble her thoughts without pressing for answers.
“Yup, of course.”
Kara has been tasked before with the most unfathomable of missions, but carrying a four-month-pregnant Lena Luthor out of a sheet fort without disturbing her niece or annihilating said fort steadfastly climbs up the list to make it to the highest level of difficulty.
However, her feline skills jump out, and Lena nuzzles her neck with the tip of her nose as she melts into the nest of Kara’s arms, clutching the lion plushie Esme gifted them earlier for their child.
“Kara…” Lena mumbles, a whisper-like sound that tugs at her heartstrings.
“Your mom called last night.”
She feels eyes poised on her, sluggishly tracing her steps as Lena waits for her reaction. But she already knew. After all, Kara was the one who asked Eliza to check up on her.
“Uh? What did she say?”
“Something among the lines of a little hoodlum bugging her to call me. Happen to know anything about this?” Lena nudges her with her toe, laughs after Kara pairs her with thinned lips.
“I didn’t mean to intrude or anything. I know you’re committed to the pregnancy and have read massive tons of baby stuff, but Eliza is a mother and I thought that–”
“–after what happened with my mother I could use a maternal figure for advice?”
“I guess? Maybe not advice. Well, that too. But like… support? Everything went down so fast and sometimes I fear you didn’t even get a chance to grieve before this was dumped on you. You and Lillian loved each other, and I know we both know what it is like to lose a mother… but I’ve no idea what are the grounds for losing a second one and then becoming pregnant. I just wanted you to know that Eliza is your family and– of course she doesn’t want to replace anyone! But I… maybe… if you need to talk to someone about things you don’t feel comfortable discussing with me… she’s there for you. They all are, that’s kind of what family does, I think.”
“Eliza does give great advice on projectile vomiting,” Lena admits. Kara can’t steer the disgust away from her expression fast enough, and she glances at the protruding belly with fear tattooed all over her face. “I’m sorry to pop your bubble darling, but babies are kind of disgusting.”
“It’s okay, you’re my little disgusting baby, aren’t you?” She talks in low notes against the pyjama-clad skin of Lena’s stomach, giggling as she finds the melody of her child’s heartbeat underneath the nightlife ruckus. “Khap ukiem rraop.”
The mattress shifts after Lena jerks away with a groan, flattening a palm under her back. “What did you tell them?”
“Uh, just that I love them. Sorry, I didn’t mean to–”
Lena laughs, grabs her hand and presses it to the side of her belly. An overjoyed sigh takes over the worry, and a wet chuckle passes through her clenched jaw as she feels their baby making trouble inside their mother’s body. “You don’t need to apologise. It’s… they have a strong reaction to hearing your voice.”
Kara smiles, unable to keep in the whistles of happiness that sneak past her lips. “Yeah?”
“I figured it out a week ago when you barged into the penthouse complaining about dinner and they almost kicked a leg out of me in retaliation. I think it was commiseration to your distress.”
She pretends to zip her mouth shut, locks it and launches the metaphorical key behind her back.
A crazed beam breaches in and she’s so happy and at a peace that she doesn’t have the strength to try and tame it. Placing a last kiss on top of Lena’s belly, she jumps to her feet and stands next to the bed table, watching her with curious eyes.
“Goodnight.” Kara nods, loyal to her vow of silence. But a surprised whimper breaks out as Lena clutches the collar of her shirt and hauls her in, pressing a sloppy kiss dangerously close to the corner of her mouth.”Thank you for asking Eliza to call me and… for everything else.” Her breath is minty against Kara’s lips, and she has to pinch herself to avoid another impulsive peck.
She taps her back twice, the silent way to say always in a language that’s uniquely theirs, and drops a kiss to her forehead before making it back to the fort where a snoring Esme waits for her.
Day two of babysitting duties is, at best, amicable. She wakes up both her niece and her… Lena with an assortment of fruits fresh from the farmer’s market, and then Esme and her are stretching mats out in her living room as her flat screen plays yoga for kids.
When they get to the Downward Dog pose and Esme starts complaining about the sting of her hamstrings eight seconds in, Kara turns her head to the side to catch Lena sitting on the sofa munching on ice, amused eyes fixed on her butt. Her backside is not even on Lena’s periphery, she is unashamedly bending on a weird angle to get a view, and the efforts done in the name of ogling boost her ego.
Sadly, Esme’s attention strays away from the yoga instructor on screen, but Kara doesn’t think twice about changing their routine when she asks to watch an hour-long YouTube compilation of Supergirl’s best saves, the one Lena calls a thirst trap when they’re alone, and thoroughly has the best time of her life as she lifts her niece up in the air and blows at her hair for VFX purposes.
She only staggers for a flash when Lena points her phone at them and mumbles if I wasn’t pregnant with her kid before, I sure am now for, Kara assumes is Kelly on FaceTime, to hear. It’s not her fault she’s in eavesdropping's vicinity, she’s attuned to Lena’s senses because it is her duty to protect both her baby and her baby’s mother. Nonetheless, Lena’s words are like a bucket of ice water spilled down her back, and her grip on Esme slightly wavers when she catches Kelly’s laugh and a choked sound that’s unmistakably her sister.
Between Lena’s rollercoaster of lust and doing her earnest to tire Esme out and asking to shower before her mothers pick her up, the day flies by in a daze, and she’s towelling her own hair dry right as Esme crashes against her legs, shoving a sheet of paper into her hands before she runs to hug Lena and dashes to the doorway next. All before the first knock on the door.
Kara needs to tell her to stop mimicking her powers without asking first.
But today’s not the day. Because she’s staring at the drawing in her hands, and Lena’s nudging her to hug Esme goodbye and her sister mocks her in that way she does when she wants to imply Kara is whipped for Lena: pointing at the pregnant woman who’s now tugging her back inside and making kissing sounds behind her wife’s back.
“Grow up,” she calls out to Alex, watching her disappear behind the lift’s door.
“Who needs growing up?” Lena asks when they’re back on Kara’s loft, interlacing their fingers and drawing her near to the couch.
“Alexandra. Ageing is making her even more annoying,” she says with a forlorn pout, slumping down to Lena’s lap, shuffling to find space next to her baby.
“Glad to know your quarrel is still going steady.”
“Meh, I’m kinda stuck with her for life.” Her eyes flutter close, lulled by a barely-there tickle product of Lena running her thumbpad along the slope of her nose. “Esme made us a drawing.”
Lena gives her a questioning look, then practically melts when she grabs the discarded sheet from the coffee table and shows it to her. There’s no doubt it’s them, a blonde mop of head that’s unequivocally Kara and a shorter pregnant woman holding a swaddled kid.
She doesn’t question the fact Lena has a baby both on her belly and in her arms at first, but then she thinks about Esme’s penchant for mimicking her family’s powers and her mind spirals to Nia’s ability to see the future through dreams.
Kara blanches for a second, then makes a note to herself to hang the drawing in her fridge as a stimulus to work hard to make the dream come true. All in the name of friendship, of course, she wouldn’t want Nia to feel bad if one of her visions were to fail.
“I’m not that short, am I?”
“Not when you’re in your heels, no.” Swallowing a laugh, she hisses when Lena flicks her ear. “You’re just two inches shorter than me, but Esme is still learning size perception. Give her time.”
“She has two weeks before I return the playground set I got for her birthday.”
“Nowhere near as impressive as the glow in the dark dinosaurs I got her.” Kara huffs. “But you know you wouldn’t, you spoil her rotten. Esme could draw you the size of a caterpillar and you’d still get her a palace in Austria for her sweet sixteens.”
“What can I say? Between Luthor Corp shares and being the only beneficiary to Lillian’s will, I became even more filthy rich this past year. I have more money than I know what to do with.”
“I knew I got you pregnant for a reason,” she slurs, squeezing her eyes closed afterwards. Rao, someone needs to shut her up.
“Mother pegged you for a gold digger since day one, maybe she was right.”
When Lena is once again huddled in Kara’s arms as she carries her the ten steps between her couch and the bed, she notices her face is pinched in discomfort. And as Lena sprawls against the headboard she purrs pained, short of breath sounds that have Kara immediately flickering on the dotting co-parent role.
“Are you okay? Can I get you anything?”
“Backache is being a little imp tonight,” she says.
“I’ve been told I make an excellent masseuse.” Kara wiggles her eyebrows, waits for the red or green light.
She positions herself behind Lena to bracket her lithe frame with her legs, gathers the bottle of frankincense Lena stored weeks ago in her night table and warms the oil in her palms before she realises her mistake. Her shirt is still on, and besides the smarting of the fabric against her skin if Kara went for it, she knows Lena wouldn’t appreciate it if she ruined one of her designer maternity blouses.
She might’ve made that mistake twice, but three times? That’s imploring to be beheaded.
There’s a lot of grumbling and moaning in protest as the garment is removed, and Kara is about to ask once more if everything is okay when Lena lets her know with a particularly colourful choice of foul words and, “my boobs are killing me, everything aches and I’m just a third into second trimester.”
Kara nods in sympathy, figures Lena can’t see her. “I’m sor–”
“–don’t. Can you…?”
“Oh, yeah, of course. Let me know if it’s too much.”
After arranging a tower of pillows so Lena is leaning some degrees forward, she smooths her palm on her neck and slides a nerve stroke all the way down to the sacrum, repeating more times at an easy pace to get her relaxed. She pays attention to her cramped muscles, avoids pressure points and kneads gently with her thumbs, making sure she’s covering all the rings of her spine.
When she reaches the lower back, she forms fists with her hands and asks Lena to breathe as they were taught, carefully measuring her strength as she presses inward while Lena exhales. Kara finds different spots all over her back, rubbing and working gradually back to her neck.
And okay… maybe she’s doing something right because Lena is whining and letting out moans that border on obscene. And yes, Kara is aware those noises come from a place of relief, and she is glad she’s the one providing it for her best friend. Of course she is! But
some sounds are too relieved and…
Well, it’s clearly affecting her.
As she fastens her hands to quasi-relaxed shoulders and digs her thumbs on her blades, Lena starts slumping backwards and Kara puffs a cold breath onto the reddening skin.
She’s foolish enough to lean forward, she’s stupid enough to brand her lips on the axis of her spinal-chord, the one that portrays such a beautiful ridge in the middle of the pale canvas that Kara doesn’t dare to break away, and instead dares closer. Encouraged by Lena, she kisses a path from the junction of her shoulder and neck up to a spot below her ear. She comes down to worship the sharp angle of her jaw softened by the pregnancy, finally stopping on the side of her neck to scrape her teeth against the skin.
Hands reach back to grab Kara’s, and she’s frowning right until the moment she finds Lena is guiding her to her chest.
“Are– are you sure?” Her jaw is trembling with desire, so it’s only logical that her voice comes out sounding as affected.
Come tomorrow morning, if you ask her how it happened, she won’t have a solid idea of how she got there. But as of now, blazing with so much love and pent-up yearning for the woman she’s in love with and is building a home with her, Kara makes the most of it and cradles the mellow weight of Lena’s boobs in her hands, adding pressure with her fingers so Lena knows she won’t let go if she removes her own hands.
Launching an arm back, Lena pushes Kara by the back of her head so she keeps working her dexterous lips on her neck, and the sound that reverberates on the open concept loft is so sinful that she twitches forward, in search of friction.
“Have I ever told you you are a godsend?” Lena whines.
She nods her head in the positive. Flattening her tongue to lick a strip on her neck before blowing frozen cold on it, smirking against her as Lena shudders. She’s about to say anything to alleviate the sting of the bite when something wet lands on her cheek, and she dislodges from the elegant column to find tears tracking down Lena’s face.
“Wait, are you crying?” Kara musters the softest tone she can, rolls her fingers around the sensitive skin of her nipples and kisses her temple. Her heart shrinks a size before it grows three more, watching an adoring smile blossoming in Lena’s lips.
“Shut up and keep working your magic.”
“I kissed Lena,” she blurts out, red boots colliding against the floor and wind disorganizing all the papers on Alex’s coffee table.
“We know,” she pays no attention as she kneels, head under the table as she picks the page that had been adventurous enough to fly under it, “that’s how you knocked her up.”
“No. I kissed her again.”
Occipital smashes against wood and Alex’s exclamation of surprise is drowned by her own curses and swearing. She crawls from under the table, hand still nursing her head, papers long forgotten. “What do you mean you kissed her again?”
“I just– she looked so pretty and comfortable and I might have a debilitating baby fever that was amplified thanks to your adorable daughter–”
“–she is quite adorable, true.”
“–and Lena started babbling about baby blue El eyes and I had to kiss her, it was dumb not to. Rao, Alex, it was horrible.”
She blindly walks through the apartment, snatching the bags of chips from the table almost instantly. Stress eating is a thing, sue her.
“Hey! Those are mine– wait, horrible?”
Making sure to float before the land, she plops down on the couch, Alex’s chips already halfway through being devoured. Kara pouts, “Yeah.”
“Is she a bad kisser or something?” Her sister smirks, as if finding any flaw about Lena Luthor compares to finding a needle in a haystack. As if she could greatly benefit from that piece of intel.
“What? No!” overprotectiveness over the woman is almost second nature to her by now, a fire the simplest of flames can ignite. “She’s an excellent one! Her lips are so soft, never dry or chipped and her tongue–”
“–okay, that’s enough!” Alex says tightly, covering her ears, “Too much information.
Well, she asked .
Replacing the bag of chips with a pillow, she presses her face against it. She wishes she could scream without making Alex’s building tumble down.
“Why was it horrible, then?”
The couch bulges under more weight. Her sister shakes her pillow, getting her to move her face out of the turquoise case and look at her.
“I kissed her and she just– she just acted like it was nothing, Alex!” she exclaims, “It wasn’t nothing. I kissed her and– and it meant nothing to her, like the first one.”
She doesn’t want her kisses to mean nothing. She wants to kiss Lena because it’s late and it’s been a long day. She wants to wrap her in her arms and kiss her in the mornings, during lunch and as she reads a book, when they’re cleaning up dinner and as they’re midway through a board game. She doesn’t want those things to be an excuse to ignore the kisses, but an excuse to make them happen.
“How do you know it meant nothing to her?”
“She said so. It’s late and it’s been a long day. I’m such an idiot.” She groans.
“So, you kissed her. No one gasped. What did you do after?”
She grimaces. “I might have… freaked out.”
“Kara!” A pillow finds her face but her expression stops Alex’s attack.
“I know! I know! It’s just–”
“You’re scared?” she asks, knowingly.
“I’m terrified. I cannot lose this. Not this.”
She’s lost too many things for such a short life and losing what’s close to her biggest dream might be too much to bear. A Phantom Zone on Earth. Watching her worst nightmare, Lena walking away with her child after a futile confession of feelings, and leaving her all alone.
“You won’t.” Alex reassures her but the feeling does not reach her heart or mind. She sighs, “Okay, let's figure this out, baby steps for you. So, you kissed her, freaked out, what did you do after?”
“Well, I apologised and we went to sleep. But the following night she asked me to take her to bed and then…” She flushes, licking her lips to savour the lingering taste of Lena’s skin, curling her fingers to remind herself of her weight.
“Well. She’s super stressed, y’know? With having to grow a whole person inside of her and all that. So I might’ve… offered a massage.”
Alex rolls her eyes. “Okay, that’s actually nice of you. I thought it was gonna be worse–”
“–on her boobs. And maybe it escalated a tiny bit?”
A sigh. A pause. Another sigh. Alex’s fingers press on each side of her nose and Kara’s superhearing catches the mumble of a God, give me strength .
“Nevermind, I can’t stand you. I didn’t raise you to be this airheaded.”
“Alex. What do I do?”
“Look. I can’t tell you that.” She says, but half her nature is helping Kara and the other half is being bossy, so she gives an opinion on the matter anyway. “You and Lena need to talk it out, have an honest conversation about… everything, not those silly things where you avoid anything related to feelings. Kara, you’ve been in love with Lena for I don’t know how long now. You need to tell her.”
She shakes her head. That’s crazy. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.
“Nuh-uh. Lena doesn’t feel that way about me. I don’t want to make her uncomfortable.”
“See? That’s the thing about you! You’re willing to sacrifice your own comfort for her. Kara, she’s your kid’s mother.”
“But she’s not my anything.” Love of her life, maybe. Could be platonic, though. That’s a thing, right?
Alex and Kelly were platonic once, so were Brainy and Nia and… oh.
“Then you’ll never tell her?” Alex asks, already expecting the silence as an answer. “So, you’ll be okay when, not if but when, Lena starts dating again. She meets someone nice, introduces them to your kid and now it’s three parents instead of two. You’ll be fine and dandy with that?”
She doesn’t think she'd be fine with that. But does she get a say on that? Lena is gorgeous, kind, smart, funny. Anyone would love to date her, child and co-parent in the mix too. Could she do it? Watch Lena fall in love with someone else as she pines after her for the rest of the long years she has ahead?
“Look, Kara. That advice about loving something and setting it free? Is bullshit. If you love her, tell her, put a ring on it. It worked for me and Kelly.”
“But you’re in love with each other,” she tries to defuse again, weakly.
“So are you and Lena,” Alex says, rolling her eyes and pushing Kara out of her couch, “You’re just two stupid geniuses who can’t put two and two together”
Could Alex be right? She wants her to be right. And yet, fear cripples her tongue. And the adrenaline in her blood at the mere idea wants to make her run away, not fight face in.
Monsters and villains are easier. So much easier. If she fails against them? Well, she’s good as dead. But if she fails with Lena? She’d be living dead.
“By the way,” she hears once she jumps out of the balcony, “next time you eat my chips, I’m kicking you to the Phantom Zone myself.”
She’s got the perfect opportunity to confess more than once.
When they were having breakfast together in Lena's apartment, the light filtered through black hair perfectly, making Kara’s fingers twitch with the need to paint.
When they were walking around the park, a brand new activity Lena had picked up so her legs would not swell up on the last trimester, and they were laughing together.
When they were watching a documentary together about a baby’s early stages and the way they learned from everything around them. Kara had prepared herself, she was practising her speech in her mind when Lena’s head fell against her shoulder, sound asleep.
When they were cleaning up after a night of jenga and monopoly on Kara’s apartment.
When they were having lunch at Noona’s.
When Lena took her away from Catco, her belly catching the eye’s of curious reporters, and her eyes looked extremely hopeful that Kara almost blurts it out right there and then.
She could say it now. Lena’s shoulder against her own as they lay on Kara’s bed, the woman’s lower back pain the cause of it all.
She could say it now. The woman’s heartbeat is even and strong, not asleep yet but on the way to it. She’s not even looking at her. Her eyes firmly set on the roof as she counts sheep to try and fall asleep too.
But her mind is full of wasted opportunities and Alex’s advice and she has to tell her. Tell Lena she loves her. Before a handsome thief shows up and sweeps her off her feet. While she has a chance.
“Can you tell me anything about it?” Lena says first, eyes still close as she moves carefully on the bed, her cheek finding Kara’s shoulder now.
About Krypton hangs in the air but Kara understands it all the same. She doesn’t know what reckoned Lena’s sudden curiosity but she’s not one to complain- not when talking is easier when she’s asked and harder when she has to open up on her own.
“Couples wouldn’t tell anyone the name of their child until The Naming ceremony, it was considered bad luck,” she says. “They’d announce it as water was pouring down the baby’s forehead, illuminated by the sunrise rays.”
She remembers, walking into the religious guild with her parents, all dressed in their best robes. The lights coming from every direction, passing through colored crystals and into thirteen year old Kara’s eyes. It’s funny to think that, if she hadn’t gone to Kal-El’s ceremony, she wouldn’t remember the tradition at all.
“I told Clark about it,” a confession, “to see if he’d do it with his sons. He only scoffed, said we weren’t on Krypton anymore.” But there’s no point to dwell on his cousin now, not when he hasn’t been helpful at all, just suspicious and cautious over the pregnancy at his best. “Not that it matters to him. He doesn’t even go by his name.”
“But they will,” Lena says, fingers playing with the end of Kara’s golden locks, “our child will. We should do it.”
She turns, facing Lena as much as she can without disrupting the comfortable bubble the woman is in. She catches sight of a handful of messy black hair, the corner of her mouth and one green bright eye staring back at her.
“Of course,” she whispers, drowsy voice. “All of our friends would know it’s a kryptonian tradition and if someone happens to pass by and see, they’d think it was a catholic baptism.”
Kara has to blink away the tears at the thought. Her child in a proper naming ceremony, their little faces covered in water and sunlight. She and Lena keeping the name a secret until that day, bearing the many complaints from Alex and Nia and curious questions from J’onn, Kelly and Brainy.
She could not be happier about it.
The lines blurry after the unprompted and delightful and tedious and nerve wrecking, and incredible massage.
Hugs become even longer than before and, no matter how much teasing they’re subjected by their friends to, there’s something about wrapping their arms around each other while their kid is between them. Hand holding and Lena’s arm around Kara’s, common occurrences after the baby starts to weigh too much- Kara’s a gentlewoman, after all. Who is she to deny her friend of a safe body to lean on?
She helps Lena to bed every night. She doesn’t have to, Lena repeats, over and over and over, although never refusing her and always smiling. And she knows, Kara knows she doesn’t have to. But she likes it. Loves it.
One night, her fugitive hands reach the end of Lena’s t-shirt, pulling it up and up until her belly is on sight- little kicks moving the skin. Then she leans down, lets her lips touch the softness of Lena’s skin, whispers kryptonian words into it before pulling away. Lena’s eyes glimmer with something when Kara looks up. It’s enough to make her want to confess and run away at the same time.
She does nothing instead. She looks back into green eyes until Lena’s hands are pulling her up, whispering “stay” before drifting to sleep.
And stay becomes a recurrence. Kara kisses her belly and Lena lets out a low and sleepy mumble that Kara understands. Kara kisses her belly and Lena pulls the end of her shirt until she’s laying in bed, too. Kara kisses her belly and Lena patters the empty side of the bed. Kara kisses her belly and Lena falls asleep but Kara climbs into bed with her anyway.
It becomes a thing .
It’s such a fascinating affair that it butts into a recurring joke–one that levels the bowstring-taut tension slithering underneath, with the joy coursing through them as choked laughs hack out from Lena’s compressed lungs some mornings she weakly pushes Kara away as if she were an offender when she ambles in, sleepy and bright-eyed, to brand kisses on her belly with lips that glitter below a veneer of winter’s frost.
First, she complains in a way Kara is conscious can’t be fended off. Second, the devil creeps up her shoulder and slaps a wicked smile on Lena’s face seconds prior saying Kara’s lips are too cold, and suggesting they should be getting kissed. Too.
Fingertips are searing on the headboard, and the wood creaks at the boldness.
But coming in and out of the house becomes more of a thing. So much that pijamas end up hidden by the pillow adjacent to Lena’s. And her clothes find a way into the obnoxiously ample closet. Her phone charger lays on the right bedside table, and her computer bag becomes part of the landscape of the living room, as well as her most comfortable blanket and fluffiest pillows. And her really big mug, the one big enough to make tea for two, is now on Lena’s cabinet instead of hers.
“Just move in,” Lena petitions out of nowhere, when Kara is chipping the modern (boring) painting in the bedroom for a colourful and lively one of a field of tulips. “I wouldn’t want you burning fuel making it all the way here every morning. You basically live here, let’s just make it official. That would be good.”
Kara’s arms circle Lena’s waist, an action that had become harder and harder as the little one grew, “Good for the baby?”
Lena hums, “And me, too. It’d be good for all of us.”
“Who am I to deny my baby’s wishes?” She smiles, and the question of who the pet name is directed at lingers in the air.
The doubt is so thick that it still permeates the area of the room designated for the nursery as Kara walks out and leaves Lena rocking in the chair with a languid, fond lull of her head. It vacuums the breathing air, thinning it into a straight line that folds back into itself when the blonde waltzes in with a tool belt lazily fastened to her waist and a sleeveless tank top so fitted to her abdomen that Lena does a double take to determine where the fabric ends and tanned skid begins.
Which isn’t the sanest of ideas in her books, if she puts her less libido-driven brain cells to it. Because ever since that number Kara performed on her all those months ago, the knobs of her humility have been knocked down, and she strides through rows of drawn out, cold showers with a chin raised-high that buckles whenever Kara’s in her orbit, even if she’s hardly close.
“Handy Manny has nothing on you,” Lena says.
Pale eyebrows shoot upwards, and soon enough Kara hovers above her, holding out a bottle of water for her hands to take. “That has to be the coolest thing you’ve ever said to me. Your Tin Man impersonation? Pales in comparison.”
“Hey!” She smacks Kara’s shoulder, glaring at her. “We swore we would never mention that.”
“What if I don’t want to?” Separated by a hair’s breadth, the blonde pants hard against her mouth with a smirk that drips with satisfaction. Striations of her arm muscles rippling below the sun-kissed surface, Kara uses the leverage of the rocking chair to drift Lena forward and bump her forehead to hers.
There’s also that. That, meaning her affinity isn’t entirely unilateral, but rather bifurcates and rounds up to bump into reciprocation right in the middle. If Lena has dared to be more handsy than featherlight touches to a forearm, or the reckless drag of her palms from a suit-clad chest past sculpted abdominals and down to above her navel, then Kara has thrown all modesty to the wind.
She is more receptive to Lena’s advances, has a sensual quip of her own from whatever weapon Lena triggers from her arsenal—she had seen the black ring consuming Kara’s eyes the day Lena angrily told off one of their Childbirth classmates because she was laughing at how hard Kara was gripping the baby.
Yet, none of them is brave enough to dip their toes in lava currents, even if the proverbial band aid is trailing down a path that isn’t rocky enough to bother scar issue, but stirs at a pace that warns it won’t stay forever. And that’s half the problem.
The other half of the problem is that, regardless of this weird, innocuous banter they indulge from now and then, no actual relief is granted.
Starting the third semester of the pregnancy also means learning to live with the throb of haywire hormones that prickle at her skin, her biological needs crawling to their knees to be seen and heard. But there isn’t much she can do, and there’s only so much self-help she can provide before the process becomes tedious and anticlimactic and nothing nowhere near what she truly longs for.
And what she truly longs for is currently crouching down, surrounded by sheets of papers, awash in a frown that has Lena’s heart weeping from love-withdrawal.
Kara insisted on assembling the tufted crib on her own, and Lena gave up the halfhearted efforts to have a team do it the second the thought of the blonde handling tools left and right invaded her mind. Now, as she watches Kara carry the footboard and headboard—as if it didn’t require at least two people to do so—to attach them by the stretcher bars, and hyper-focuses on the gentle strain of hands as they pick up an Allen key to screw the nuts in place, well… Kara is driving her nuts.
Ugh. Lena hates that social constructs don’t allow to ask her best friend to fondle her breasts more than once because then it’s inappropriate?
After all, Kara did what she did for a reason. Because that’s what she stands for. Hope, help and… horniness, was it?
Don’t get her wrong, she’s dying to soar past seasons and get to the exact day she gets to call Kara her wife and the mother of many more children to come, if she’s lucky. But, as of right now, her brain is foggy with lustful intentions, and the process doesn’t seem as important as getting to enjoy the results does.
“Enjoying yourself?” Kara asks smugly, done with the assembly and fishing for the mattress to fit in between the safety rails, watching it slide down with a self-congratulating grin.
Wriggling her toes, she tries to beckon Kara in to have her warmth in her hands. However, desire can’t run that high when it’s being countered by one Kara Zor-El. Lena is unfazed and yet feels like she’s being waterboarded in a glacier when the mother of her baby girl climbs up into the crib, twisting in various shapes to accommodate her freakishly long limbs in the reduced space.
“Do I even want to know what the hell you’re doing?”
The deer in the headlights expression in her face lets Lena know that Kara hadn’t thought it twice. But she gets a shrug as a peace offer, and a shy grin that has her forgiving Kara even for sins she hasn’t committed yet.
“Uh. I wanted to check if I could fit in here, y’know. In case she wakes up at night and it’s my turn putting her to sleep.”
Lena lets out a breath. “Honey, that’s literally why we purchased this disgustingly expensive rocking chair.”
“Yeah, but where’s the magic in that?” Kara wonders aloud, bones bent in an angle that can’t be comfortable even for her Kryptonian genetics. “I’m sorry your little human physiology can’t handle it, but bonding happens this way,” she says.
Her superiority complex is overstacked, and Lena waddles up to the crib with all the intention to smack her for being so… gorgeous, and so little hers.
“Wanna get in? Sorry, but there’s space only for one more, it’s either you or my little girl.”
One of the benefits of being biologically connected to Kara’s offspring is that, while the baby drains her for nutrients, she’s absorbing traits that shape Kara into who she is. And Lena weaponises Kara’s trademark pout against her, obsessed with how quick the blonde pulverises under its effect.
She catches her wrist when Lena threatens to step away, draws her in so they’re face to face from where she’s still kneeling in the godforsaken crib.
“Weren’t you saying there wasn’t enough space for us?”
“I would shovel with my hands to the center of the Earth so you two have a place to be in.”
“Charmer,” Lena says, crimson covering her cheeks.
“I mean it,” she says it surely, not a hint of doubt in her voice.
“I know you do.”
And Lena truly does. She knows that whatever silent vow she and Kara had to protect each other has now been extended to their little girl. And she knows, both of them children of loss and disaster, that they’d do everything in their power for the three of them to be together for as long as possible.
Kara climbs out of the crib, hovering into the air and legs moving around until she’s depositing herself on the floor, back against her brand new creation. Lena follows, slower, letting Kara’s strong arms guide her until they’re side by side, surrounded by the room they’ll tuck their daughter in soon enough.
The soft orange of the walls, thanks to Esme’s enthusiastic and non-changeable suggestion, made Lena feel like they were still in Kara’s apartment, homey energy and good vibes all around. The green martian J’onn had painted on the wall and Kara’s hand-curated Kryptonian sky on the ceiling brought tears to her eyes when she saw it- she blamed it on hormones. She knew it was because her room had never been so nice, and if it ever was, before the Luthors, she doesn’t remember.
Kara had understood her, too. Only giving her a side hug and a kiss on her forehead when she saw the pools forming in her eyes.
She finds blue eyes looking at her more often than not. She poises her green ones on Kara more often than not. Staring contests have melted into their everyday routines. Just finding each other from the other side of the room and having a moment to themselves before they’re interrupted by a clueless niece talking to them or Alex’s teasing.
Side by side, backs against the crib, is the longest they’ve been looking into each other’s eyes. No people around. No alarms pulling Supergirl away. No company emergency calling for Lena. Nothing.
It’s just them and silence. Just Kara and Lena and Lena and Kara and the space between them.
Kara cradles her jaw between her hands, a plead in her eyes to be loved in a way Lena would never deny her—has been doing for years, she smiles and nods, growing closer to the blonde and spilling her heart out in relief after Kara finally touches her lips to hers, essentially making Lena feel like she’s being reborn.
When they pull away and Kara pierces through the quiet with a broken, hopeful laugh against her collarbone, Lena understands what it means for them.
And if silence means embracing their love? Lena has already learnt to live with the gaping void of reading each other between lines.
It’s the giggles that wake her up.
The lungful and uncontrollable laughs of her six months old daughter. Lena smiles at the sound, both because she’s happy and laughing means no crying- she’s in desperate need of no crying lately, even though she knows there’s plenty more to come.
She finds tepid sheets in the place where her girlfriend should be when she turns around, and understands why the laughs are coming from the other room. The sun is still not fully up, just a glimmer of it coming from the windows, enough to let Lena see but not enough to consider it the start of the day- but the loud giggling lets her know it has started, the little girl still not sleeping through the night and deciding to wake them up in the crack of dawn just to always fall asleep around lunch. They’re both terribly jealous of it.
She stands up, starry blanket around her shoulders to shield her from the lack of her personal Kryptonian heater, and rests her body against the frame of the door.
The bedroom’s blinds are closed but the room is not dark at all. In the middle of the chaos of toys and teddy bears and unused diapers and dirty clothes, lies Lena’s proudest and latest invention.
The projector was supposed to be for Kara, at first. She’d done it as a new-parent gift for the blonde, a thank you for all she’s done for her. It had taken her months of planning, a lot of help from Brainy and one extremely awkward trip to the fortress with Clark to get it done. But it was all worth it when Kara turned it on and was captivated by the sights of what used to be Kryton.
The blonde had cried and smiled and kissed her all at the same time and then she’d said she loved it, because she could now show their daughter what it all looked like, instead of just telling her.
And their daughter loves it. She doesn’t understand it yet, doesn’t get why sometimes Kara would get really quiet and her eyes would get lost in one of the landscapes, but she looks up with bright, curious blue eyes pointed at her momma, tugs at her hair or makes grabby hands for Kara’s cheeks until the blonde glances down at her and then she’s smiling again.
She loves it. Loves the tall buildings and the shiny stars and wild animals. She’s always leaning forward, trying to escape her mothers’ embrace to catch a flying cab, pouting and looking confused when they just move past her hands. Their daughter doesn’t really grasp that she’s playing with a graveyard, the last images of a dead planet.
But she listens carefully when Kara speaks in low voices to her face, almost as if she understands what she is being told, knows it's of the utmost importance.
What used to be Krypton’s animal sanctuary is being projected on the wall, Kara slowly whispering the legend of Nightwing to the baby, trying to get her back to sleep, all to no avail.
It’s going to be a long day.
The baby tries to grab the bird, puts her hands around it and makes use of her newfound grabbing skills, but there’s not much tangible evidence of her momma’s birthplace, and she finds air and land crashing against each other. A small whimper leaves her lips, the complaint that means future weeping.
“I know baby,” Kara whispers, quickly cooing away the cries and rocking her back to neutrality. “I wish we could be there too, but mommy made this special for us and it’ll have to do. Mommy’s very smart like that.”
Kara’s coy smile tells her that she knows Lena is there, watching them. She’s probably been aware since the moment Lena woke up and yet she let her have her moment, let her have a memory of just watching her two favourite people be around each other and silently bond around memories.
She walks to them, perches down half in Kara’s lap and half in the couch and kisses her baby on the top of her head, letting the mix of baby perfume, shampoo and something essentially her daughter surround her. Small hands point in her direction almost instantly, a small body throwing itself at her like a projectile of adorableness.
“How are my two girls doing?” She asks, leaning forward to let her lips find Kara’s, the smile not dwindling.
“She’s been trying to take hold of the Nightwing but keeps failing, is actually cute.”
“Like mother, like daughter,” she counteracts circling an arm around Kara’s shoulder, and drifts closer to get a better view of their daughter, who forgot all about Krypton to focus solely on her mothers, her gummy smile firm in place.
“Kinda cute, uh? Easy to get obsessed with her when she’s a carbon copy of you,” Kara acknowledges, inching forward in a silent request for Lena to kiss her cheek.
“She did get your eyes, though.”
“And I couldn’t be happier about that,” she smiles. She had won this time, genetic lottery on her side, even though Kara had adorably pouted that she wanted her to have green eyes like Lena- pout washed away into a smile at Lena’s joke about how the second one might get them.
“And I couldn’t be happier here,” Kara says, “with you.”
“Khap zhao ripp,” Lena shoots back, being washed away with the peacefulness of having the two loves of her life close. “And I love you too, little nugget.”
“Khap ukiem rraop, little nugget. And I love you too, Lena. Thanks for giving me the greatest treasure I could ever have.”