“Lena! Lena, look at this!”
Lena Luthor’s brow furrowed as she concentrated on the soldering iron in her hand, doing her very best to ignore her lab assistant’s presence as he crowded around her, thrusting a tablet under her nose.
“Jeremy,” she seethed, a warning.
“I know, I know, I’m sorry, you just—you’ve got to see this.”
Lena sighed exasperatedly and flicked the tool off, fixing her interruptor with a steely glare before she took the tablet from his hands. It was all she could do to stop herself from dropping it as soon as she saw the news article.
Because there was her alien best friend Kara Danvers, standing on the wing of a plane, dripping wet, a navy blue sweater clinging to her frame as she stared dazedly up into a spotlight.
“They say she caught the plane on her back. Isn’t that incredible?” Jeremy breathed, completely awestruck.
“Yeah…” Lena hummed, schooling her expression into neutrality as her eyes remained transfixed on Kara’s image. She glanced back up at Jeremy, pressing the tablet back into his hands. “That’s enough for tonight, Jeremy. It’s late, we’ll pick up from here tomorrow.”
As soon as Jeremy left, Lena rummaged around in her bag to retrieve her phone, and sure enough she had about twenty texts from Kara, all in capital letters.
DID YOU SEE THE NEWS?
(a long string of plane emojis followed)
I SAVED A PLANE.
I SAVED A FREAKING PLANE.
ON MY BACK
WITH MY ARMS
IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING AND COOLEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE I HAVE NEVER FELT SO ALIVE.
WHERE ARE YOU
CAN YOU STOP BEING A NERD FOR LIKE ONE SECOND PLEASE?
ACTUAL LIFE CHANGING SITUATION HAPPENING RIGHT NOW
THEYRE CALLING ME A HUMAN WRECKING BALL??
FIRST OF ALL: NOT HUMAN
SECOND OF ALL: YOU TRY SAVING A PLANE FOR THE FIRST TIME—IT’S NOT AS EASY AS I MADE IT LOOK, I TELL YOU WHAT.
Uh oh, I gotta go, Alex is here.
She is not happy.
Lena’s eyes bulged as she read over Kara’s frantic string of messages, and as she was reading a little bubble popped up and her phone buzzed persistently.
Don’t make me fly over there Lena Luthor.
Lena sighed with a slight smile and quickly sent a response to tell her she was on her way.
When Lena knocked on Kara’s door, she was bracing herself for one of Kara’s bone-crushing hugs and a flurry of excited babbling. But when these things never came, Lena knew something was wrong. Kara stood in the doorway, hair still wet from a shower, pulling her green cardigan around her. She looked so small.
“Hey,” Kara said, giving a wan smile that came nowhere close to reaching her eyes.
“Is that all National City’s newest hero has to say?” Lena asked as she stepped inside. “What’s wrong?”
Kara sighed, and Lena followed her over to the couch, where Kara hugged a cushion to her chest. She stared at the TV screen, which mutely played news footage of reporters speculating on the identity of the mysterious woman on the wing, her eyes shimmering as her cheeks turned pink in blotchy patches.
“What is it, Kara?” Lena pressed gently, tilting her head to the side. “I thought you’d be more excited—you certainly seemed excited, earlier.” She paused, thinking a moment. “Is it Alex?”
Kara nodded slowly, trapping a quivering lip between her teeth.
“She…” she exhaled jaggedly. “She’s so mad. I’m so mad. What was I supposed to do? Just let the plane go down and not do anything? There’s no way I was going to let that happen.” Kara shook her head vigorously, fists balling up the sleeves of her cardigan. “Alex was on the plane—I couldn’t…” Kara let her sentence hang and shivered.
“Kara…” Lena shifted closer, tucking her legs underneath her on the couch, and placed a hand on Kara’s shoulder. “You would have saved that plane whether Alex had been on board or not. You’re a hero; that’s what heroes do.”
Kara finally looked up at Lena, head tilted to the side, and when she smiled, it finally warmed her eyes.
“You think so?”
“I know so.”
“It felt…so good, Lena.” Kara whispered her confession, eyes drifting shut as her lips curved upwards. “Flying again—I haven’t flown properly like that in so long. I almost forgot how to! But once I was up there, it was just—it was indescribable.” She slid her gaze over to Lena, sapphire blues shining in the orange glow of the lamplight. “It was so scary, but like, good scary—like that moment right before you kiss someone for the first time.”
Lena drew in a shaky breath as Kara gazed skywards with complete wonder. It was easy to forget her best friend could do all these incredible things. No one would ever expect that the sweet, bright, cardigan-wearing Kara Danvers could lift cars over her own head, or fly across the country in only minutes, or speak dozens of languages, most of which weren’t even from this planet.
Even Lena herself hadn’t believed it when Kara confessed her secret one night, at least not until she had huffed exasperatedly, scooped Lena up over her shoulder and taken off into the night. Lena would never forget the way the campus disappeared behind them, growing smaller and smaller as they ascended into the heavens.
And now here she was, talking about flying with constellations spinning in her eyes, and all Lena could think was that there was no way this woman wasn’t from somewhere beyond the stars.
Kara’s expression slipped back into a sad frown, and she picked at a loose thread of her pillow.
“Alex isn’t happy I exposed myself. She says it’s too dangerous, but I don’t want to hide anymore, Lena. I want—I want to help people. It’s why I’m here, I think. I didn’t travel 2000 light years just to fetch lattes and lettuce wraps.” Kara’s frown was deep, and she was unwittingly pulling the cushion apart at the seams, and Lena carefully eased it from her grip and placed on the floor.
“Alex is just worried about you,” Lena said gently. “I mean, she’s right to be, I’m worried about you too. I’m excited, of course, but I can’t help but worry. This…this changes everything,” Lena murmured.
“I know. I want things to change. I can make this world a better place, and that’s what I want to do.”
Kara took on an air of resolute determination as she spoke, chest swelling with confidence and an assuredness Lena had only caught glimpses of before. And she was filled with the sense that Kara was changing, that she was evolving into something—or someone—beyond Kara Danvers.
“You will. I know you will,” Lena said. She took Kara’s hand in her own and gave it a squeeze. Her eyes drifted over Kara’s shoulder to the image of Kara standing on the wing on the TV screen behind her. “You know, if you’re going to be a superhero, you’re going to need to wear something a little more dramatic than jeans and a sweater from GAP.”
Kara laughed a little, crinkling her nose up. “It’ll need to be sturdier too, my sweater is completely ruined from the soot and fire and all that,” she said casually, and Lena tried not to wince at the thought of Kara on fire.
“I do have experience in textile engineering. Remember my project in our final year?”
Kara groaned, dropping her head back. “How could I forget? You barely left the lab for, like, a month. The one time I dragged you outside you acted like Dracula facing the sun.”
“I did get an A though,” Lena smirked self-righteously. “Well alright, Kara, you’ve twisted my arm. I’ll design your suit.”
Kara blinked back at Lena in surprise. “Really?”
“Really,” Lena grinned. She bit at the pad of her thumb as a dozen ideas and factors to consider entered her mind all at once. “It’ll have to be as bulletproof as you are, and fireproof, and aerodynamic for flying, and to allow you to move freely. In terms of its aesthetic properties, it should inspire people, and be a symbol for good, maybe we could stick to the blue and red theme—Kara!” Lena gasped and laughed as Kara launched herself at her, wrapping her arms tightly around her neck.
“You’re the best, Lena,” Kara mumbled into the skin of her neck, and Lena melted just a little as she slipped an arm around Kara’s back.
“I am not coming out like this.”
Lena barely looked up from her sketchbook when her best friend’s voice floated out from the tiny bathroom of the apartment. She sat with her knees tucked up to her chest on a chair by Kara’s kitchen table, completely surrounded by strips of fabric, sewing gear, and stacks of paper all depicting variations on the theme of a blue and red skin-tight outfit.
Lena Luthor wearing sweatpants and a hoodie with her hair piled up on her head in a haphazard bun, wearing her dark-framed glasses instead of contact lenses, with a pen in one hand and a coffee in the other wasn’t an unusual sight back when she and Kara Danvers were in college. It was, however, the first time she’d sported this particular look since they’d graduated and moved to National City; Kara, to become Cat Grant’s assistant, and Lena to be a part of Luthor Corp’s R&D department.
“Kara,” Lena whined and tapped her pencil against the pad in impatience. “Come on, what’s the problem? Is it the wrong shade of blue or something? Hurry up, let me see.”
“No way, Lena,” Kara protested, and Lena could clearly imagine the stubborn frown she must have been wearing. Lip jutting out, crinkle in place right between her brows. There was a pause, followed by Kara’s timid sounding voice. “You’ll…you’ll laugh at me.”
Lena sighed, set her sketchbook down and directed her eyes to the bathroom door, reaching for her chopsticks and carton of chow mein as she rocked back in her chair, toes curling around the edge of the seat.
“Kara, please. I promise I won’t laugh. Will you just come out already? I want to see how it all…fits.”
The clump of noodles caught in Lena’s chopsticks never made it to her mouth. Instead, they hovered in mid-air while Lena did a winning impression of a goldfish as her best friend shuffled out of the bathroom in a crop top and hot pants combination that left very little to the imagination.
And sure, Lena knew that beneath her bulky sweaters and boxy cardigans Kara hid an impressive physique, thanks in no small part to her Kryptonian physiology. But still, no amount of knowing could have adequately prepared her for the living, breathing statue sculpted by the gods which stood before her now, all shifting feet and fidgeting fingers, a faint red flush in her cheeks.
Lena suddenly felt incredibly thirsty.
“I am not flying around saving people in this thing,” Kara huffed, chin dropping to her chest as she covered her bare stomach with her arms. “I have bathing suits that cover me better.”
Lena buried her increasingly heated blush in a deep sip from her coffee mug (grimacing internally as the taste of Chinese and coffee mixed unpleasantly in her mouth).
“Gosh, Kara I—I didn’t even realise,” Lena coughed, choking only slightly on her coffee. She adjusted her glasses and suddenly became intensely preoccupied with scribbling at nothing in her sketchbook. “I based the design solely on aerodynamic principles—what would reduce your wind resistance and would give you the most freedom of movement—I mean, theoretically speaking it’s perfect, but I suppose the execution turned out a little, uh…” Lena trailed off, her tongue absently wetting her lips as her eyes wandered a stubborn path up Kara’s toned legs, tight abdomen, sculpted shoulders. “distracting.”
Kara’s eyebrow sprang upwards, curious. “Distracting?”
“Uh, yes,” Lena cleared her throat, pushing her glasses up her nose. She gestured vaguely over Kara’s person with her pencil. “You’re very, ah…never mind,” Lena mumbled, shaking her head dismissively as she decided that any way she could have ended that sentence was sure to land her in dangerous territory.
Kara’s face slowly split into a toothy grin and she trotted over to the table. “What’s the matter, Lena? Want me to change?” Kara’s eyes lit up when she spotted the pile of potstickers in the middle of the table, and she proceeded to shove two into her mouth as she wiggled her eyebrows up and down at Lena.
Lena clicked her tongue against her teeth and rolled her eyes as the image of Kara cramming way too much food into her gaping maw shattered whatever goddess-like quality she may have possessed mere moments before.
“No, Kara. That won't be necessary,” she said flatly and thumbed idly through her sketchbook, through page after page of designs and ideas. “Back to the drawing board, I suppose,” she murmured, biting lightly at her pencil.
Kara chuckled and pulled a sweatshirt over her head anyway. She flopped down into the chair next to Lena, grabbed at Lena’s container of food and unabashedly took a generous bite.
“You know you don’t have to help me, right?” she said between mouthfuls.
Lena shot a frown Kara’s way. “Don’t be ridiculous, Kara. I want to. Do you…do you not want my help?” she asked, unable to keep a trace of hurt from edging into her voice.
“Of course I do,” Kara answered quickly, shooting bolt upright in her chair. “I just—I know you have a lot on your plate with work and all that. I’m just saying I would understand if you didn’t have time.”
Lena’s lips tugged upwards into a small smile as she watched Kara fiddle with the drawstrings on her hoodie.
“I’ll always have time for you, Kara,” she said softly. “Besides,” she added, snatching her food back, “This is important. We can’t have you flying all over National City saving people in your college sweatshirt,” she teased, tugging lightly at the plush blue material. “It’d be a crime against fashion. Cat Grant would tear you to shreds, Supergirl,” she said with a smirk, and poked at the soft spot just below Kara’s ribs.
Kara yelped and squirmed away from Lena’s prodding fingers, batting them away with a frown.
“I can’t believe she branded me as Supergirl. Superman doesn’t get called Superboy,” she muttered bitterly. “I mean, isn’t that, like, anti feminist or something? I’m not a girl, I’m a woman. A strong, independent, super woman,” she pouted stubbornly, and Lena had to school the grin that threatened to take over her entire face into a gentle smile at Kara’s adorable scowl.
“What’s so wrong with being a girl? I’m a girl,” Lena shrugged. “Cat Grant is a marketing genius and a feminist icon. She knows what she’s talking about; you should trust her judgement.”
Kara fixed her with a look for a moment before she huffed a sigh, resigned. “All right, Lena. If you say so.”
“I do say so.”
Kara gripped onto the seat of her chair and scooted it over right up next to Lena, peering at her sketchbook over her shoulder.
“So, if the rhythmic gymnast competitor’s outfit is out, what other ideas do you have for me? Ooh, can I have a cape?” she asked excitedly, bouncing a little in her seat.
Lena’s breath caught in her throat and she had to remind herself to breathe when Kara’s face appeared so close to her cheek, so close her skin prickled static with the almost-but-not-quite-contact.
“I will consider your desire for a cape,” she said, managing to keep her tone professional. “But…what do you think of a skirt?”
Kara tipped her head thoughtfully. “A skirt? I could do a skirt. I wonder what the breeze would feel like,” she mused, and Lena let out a long-suffering groan, covering her face with her hand.
“Oh my god, Kara,” she moaned, and Kara cackled as she popped another potsticker into her mouth.
“What? I want to know!”
Lena rolled her eyes. “Well, I’ll make sure to factor ‘breeze enjoyment’ into my designs,” she drawled with a wry shake of her head. “All right, then. Up you get. I need to take more measurements.”
Lena followed Kara to the centre of her tiny living room, measurement tape and notepad in hand, pencil tucked behind her ear. “Lose the sweatshirt,” she said, and Kara obediently shrugged herself out of it, tossing it onto the couch.
Now Lena was standing right in front of her, and she had to exert extra effort into not completely losing it over the sheer lack of clothes Kara was wearing. She silently hoped Kara’s hearing wasn’t tuned in on her heartbeat, because surely she would worry that she was having some sort of arrhythmia.
Lena took a steeling breath and focused on the task at hand, telling Kara to spin around so she could measure across her shoulders. She then measured the distance from her shoulders to the backs of her knees, then to the floor, scribbling the numbers down in her book.
Kara glanced over her shoulder with an impish grin. “Ooh are those measurements for my cape?” she asked giddily.
“I told you, I haven’t decided on a cape yet. Turn around,” she said firmly, and Kara shuffled around to face her again.
Lena dropped down to her knees slipped the measuring tape behind Kara’s waist, steadying the slight tremor in her hands as she pulled the tape to a snug fit. Her fingertips grazed the soft skin of Kara’s abdomen, and Lena marvelled at the way the muscles quivered beneath her touch, goosebumps erupting across her skin as a squeaking giggle bubbled past Kara’s lips.
“That tickles, Lena,” Kara whispered.
“Hold still,” Lena murmured, focusing all her attention on reading the numbers and noting them down. She loosened the tape and Kara released a breath she must have been holding.
Lena next shuffled around on her knees to Kara’s side, holding one end of the tape to the top of her hip, while her other hand pulled the tape to about halfway down her thigh.
The muscle in Kara’s thigh twitched as Lena’s fingers pressed into warm flesh, and it sent a spike of heat rushing through Lena’s entire being. The fact that Kara drew in a sharp, hissing breath certainly didn’t help, and Lena glanced up at her with her eyebrows arched.
“You okay?” she asked.
“Mhmm,” Kara hummed shortly, nodding her head vigorously. Her eyes were intensely focused somewhere above her own head.
“Nearly done,” Lena said softly. She bit her lip hard, forcing herself to push past the pooling warmth that had unfurled itself low in her belly as she took down the final measurement.
Finally, Lena stood back up, slowly rolling the measuring tape around her fingers. Kara exhaled and turned to her with a small smile.
“Get what you needed?” she asked.
Lena nodded, a small smile flitting across her lips. “I think so.”
“Great. Can we do something else now? We haven’t just hung out in so long.”
Lena hesitated, because she did actually have work to do, but she was powerless against the way Kara stuck out her bottom lip and rocked back and forth on her bare heels.
“Fine,” she resigned with a slight smile. “But I get to pick the movie.”
Kara gave a celebratory cheer and vaulted over the back of the couch, plonking down into the cushions where she jammed her hoodie back over her head and tucked her knees up into the fabric, effectively becoming a plush blue ball with a blonde head popping out.
“Grab some snacks! From my secret snack stash,” she demanded over her shoulder with a mischievous grin.
Lena chuckled as she reached up into the cupboard above the sink where packets of every salty and sweet treat imaginable was crammed into every available inch of space. Kara had always insisted she didn’t have a favourite snack (“how can I choose? It’s like choosing between your kids!”), but Lena noticed that Kara’s smile was widest and brightest when she crunched happily on Peanut M&Ms, delighting in the snap, crack and pop of the candy-nut combination.
So she managed to extricate the bright yellow packet from Kara’s snack stash and tossed it onto Kara’s knees as she plopped down on the couch next to her. Kara, however, had now sucked her arms into the confines of her hoodie, and the empty sleeves flopped uselessly by her sides.
“Lena…” she whined, pouting at the M&Ms right in front of her face, then over at Lena before she waggled her eyebrows insistently.
Lena rolled her eyes and opened the packet for her. “You are ridiculous, Kara Danvers,” she muttered, shaking her head as she rolled a couple of M&Ms into Kara’s awaiting wide-open mouth.
And when Kara fell asleep thirty minutes into the movie with her head lolled onto Lena’s shoulder, Lena didn't dare move a muscle, lest she wake the sleeping alien. Not even when she drooled a little.
Late at night in her office, Lena furrowed her brow over the sketch before her, particularly at the skirt that, at present, sat just above the knee. She chewed on her pencil a moment, then erased the skirt and redrew it. The revised product was much shorter, grazing just higher than fingertips.
Much better for executing high kicks and aerial movements, Lena thought to herself as she shaded the new skirt in a bright royal red.
Yes, high kicks. Nothing to do with how much of Kara’s eye-catching legs would be on show. Absolutely nothing at all.
“This feels much better,” Kara declared happily as she emerged from the bathroom, striding into the living room with a bounce in her step as she modelled the latest iteration of her super suit. It now covered her stomach, with long sleeves that hooked over her thumbs and a short skirt that flapped joyfully as she walked.
Lena glanced up from her laptop and pushed a lungful of air past her lips as Kara did a little twirl in the middle of the room. She allowed herself to indulge in tracing her eyes up Kara’s long legs, for a moment imagining what it would be like to wake up tangled up in them on a Sunday morning, before quickly looking away, mentally chastising herself because that wasn’t how she was supposed to be thinking about her best friend, was it?
The revised skirt was definitely a good choice. Or a terrible one, considering the way it made Lena’s mouth go drier than the Sahara.
“So, where’s my cape?” Kara asked, bringing Lena back into the room.
“Capes are a bad idea,” Lena responded, eyes back on her laptop. “It could get snagged on things, or caught in a wind turbine, and your enemies could easily grab onto it in a fight. Trust me, it’s not worth the style points,” Lena insisted knowingly.
Kara pouted, but quickly distracted herself with her own reflection in the mirror. She struck a pose or two that made Lena chuckle as she got up and turned her towards her, giving her an appraising look up and down.
“It fits well. I’ve got mad sewing skills,” she hummed, checking the snug fit of the material encasing Kara’s body. Her eyes flicked up to Kara’s face, where she noticed her glasses remained perched on her nose. “You’re still wearing your…” Without thinking much, she reached up and slipped Kara’s glasses off of her face.
“Oh,” Kara gasped, a blush dusting her cheeks prettily when Lena hooked her glasses onto the neckline of her suit.
When Lena looked back up to Kara’s face, it was like she was faced with a completely new person. And not just because she wasn’t wearing her glasses. There was something undeniably different about the Kara standing in front of her—about Supergirl. It was an aura, a purpose, something in her posture that changed her into an idea that extended beyond her person. A hero.
“You look so…” A hundred different words circled through Lena’s mind: incredible, beautiful, inspiring, humbling, I would follow you anywhere Kara Zor-El. Eventually she settled on a mumbled “awesome.”
Her mouth twitched slightly as the word did little to accurately reflect the rhythm of her heartbeat drumming persistently against her ribcage, the excited fluttering in her stomach, the swell of pride rising in her chest, ballooned by the belief that Kara was going to do absolutely incredible things.
But Kara beamed anyway, her eyes twinkling brightly. “You think so? Thank you. I feel pretty awesome.” She grinned. “You know what would be even more awesome?”
“Don’t say a ca—”
Lena rolled her eyes with affection and stepped back, putting a little distance between them and folding her arms across her middle.
Kara grinned back at her for a moment, before her head tilted to the side curiously. “I hear sirens—sounds like a car chase!” Her eyes lit up and she bounced a bit on her toes.
“Sounds like a job for Supergirl,” Lena said, flashing a grin.
Kara chuckled, puffing her chest out as her hands settled naturally on her hips. “I think ‘Supergirl’ is growing on me.”
Kara faltered for a moment as she made for the window before she turned back and fixed Lena with a curious look. She bit on the inside of her mouth for a moment before she ducked down and pressed a quick kiss to Lena’s cheek, grinning broadly as she straightened back up. “Up, up, and away!”
The curtains fluttered with the breeze of Kara’s exit, and Lena held a hand dumbly up to the burning patch of skin.
Up, up and away indeed.
Kara crashed headfirst into a tree.
A metaphorical storm cloud hung above her head as she sat cross-legged on the floor while a highly amused Lena sat on the couch and picked sticks and leaves from her hair.
“I told you I needed a cape,” Kara grumbled, wincing as Lena extricated a particularly knobbly twig from her blonde tresses.
“I suppose you have a point,” Lena admitted. “A cape would help with aerodynamics. We see examples in nature all the time. Birds and flying squirrels use their tails as rudders in the air; a cape should have the same effect,” Lena hummed thoughtfully.
“You did not just compare me to a flying squirrel.”
“Maybe I did. You’ve sure got the cheeks for it,” Lena grinned, reaching down to pinch at one of Kara’s cheeks, causing her to squirm and twist away.
“Come on, Lena, I’m trying to be a serious superhero here,” she whined in protest.
“All right, all right, I’m sorry,” Lena laughed placatingly.
She harvested what appeared to be the final leaf from Kara’s hair and set about combing her fingers through to ensure she hadn’t missed any hidden greenery. Kara sighed and let her head drop against Lena’s knee, humming contentedly as Lena’s hands worked slowly, fingernails scratching lightly at her scalp before pulling gently through her satin locks.
“What if I'm not cut out for this? What if I’m never as good as him?” Kara murmured after a little while, voice barely above a whisper as her eyes drifted shut. Kara frowned a little when Lena stilled her hand briefly to think for a moment, yet eased when her stroking resumed.
“You shouldn’t compare yourself to him, Kara,” Lena said.
Kara scoffed a bit. “That’s rich, coming from Lena ‘I’ll never be as smart as the golden boy’ Luthor.”
“Do as I say, not as I do,” Lena tutted sagely, patting the top of Kara’s head. “Kara, I’ve never known you to be someone who doubts yourself. You’re smart, you’re resourceful, and you’re so strong—and I don’t mean just physically. You can do all these amazing things, but being a hero isn’t just what you can do—it’s who you are. Sure, you might make some mistakes at the start, it would be naive to think you won’t, but I know you’re going to change the world. And I…I’ll be here to pick you up and dust you off, if and when you need it.”
Kara slowly opened her eyes and tipped her head back so she was looking at Lena upside down.
“You have no idea how happy I am to have you, Lena.”
Lena smiled and swallowed at the warm swell in her chest, happy and half scared to death because, oh boy, did Kara have her.
Lena was in her office when the newscast of Supergirl stopping an armed robbery broke on the TV screen next to her desk.
She instantly sat forwards in her seat, breath caught in her throat, as she watched Kara stride headfirst into open gunfire, and the stream of bullets just bounced off of her. Naturally, there had never been the opportunity to test the presumption that, like Kal, she was bulletproof, so it was a relief to see that the hypothesis was correct. Still, Lena didn’t think she would ever get used to seeing Kara taking fire like that, no matter how indestructible she was.
She concentrated, instead, on Kara’s outfit.
Something had to be done about those boots. Where Kara had managed to find fire-engine red combat boots, Lena would never know, and while they were indisputably adorable, they didn’t exactly scream ‘take me seriously, I’m here to save you’.
Later that night, when Kara dropped off her bullet-hole ridden cape with an apology and a sheepish grin, it was clear that there was definitely more work to be done.
“Ow! Son of a…” Lena cursed at the stinging prick of pain and sucked at the pad of her thumb, tasting blood.
The new-and-improved cape hung up on the rack behind her, shiny and red and indestructible. The knee-high boots sat beneath, sturdy and solid and ready for any potential ass-kicking.
There was just one thing left. And Lena had to get it right.
Lena stuck a bandaid onto her thumb (getting blood on the House of El’s crest was definitely the last thing she wanted), and picked up the needle and thread once again.
“The new cape is a structured polymer composite, which means it should be just about as indestructible as you are. Fire, bullets, debris, and other projectiles will just bounce right off, thanks to the alternating layers of the composite materials, but it’s still light enough to be aerodynamic…” Lena trailed off when she noticed Kara wasn’t listening, like, at all.
Instead, Kara was standing in front of the mirror, completely transfixed by her own image. And Lena couldn’t blame her.
In a word, she was otherworldly. From her ruby red boots with a slight heel, to the skirt with the golden band, to the navy blue top that clung to her sculpted torso and arms, to the ’S’ symbol displayed proudly across her chest, to the royal red cape that flowed down from her broad shoulders, Kara was something more, something to behold and to witness in complete and utter awe.
Lena quietly approached, her head emerging from over her shoulder in the reflection of the mirror.
“So?” She asked, a little hesitant. “What do you think?”
Kara took a few more moments to just look at herself, and when she turned around to face Lena, it was with tears welling in her eyes and a bittersweet smile on her lips.
“It’s…Lena, it’s perfect,” Kara whispered. “My family’s coat of arms, I…I don’t know what to say. I never thought I’d wear it again. You don’t know what this means to me.”
Lena smiled wetly, heart swelling at the sight of Kara so happy.
“I know how important it is to you, Kara,” she said, voice soft. She reached up a hand to trace the S-shaped symbol on her chest that so many incorrectly assumed stood for ‘Super’.
But it was so much more than that. It was Kara’s family, her history, her legacy. It was her loss, her grief, her pain. It was her purpose, her hope, her strength. It was El mayarah: stronger together.
“I wanted to get the crest right,” Lena murmured, fingers running over the stitches of the crest she had sewn on herself, and it was a humbling experience. Her heart was beating fast, much too fast, and her words came out in a hurried mess to match.
“Luckily I found all these reference photos of the design in Lex’s creepy Superman stalker files—I mean, not luckily, not really, because Lex totally has a serious problem when it comes to your cousin, but I mean, those circumstances aside, it was pretty—” Lena’s voice faltered when Kara’s hand came up to palm the side of her neck, thumb pressing light against her lips. “Lucky,” she finished in a mumble around the pad of Kara’s thumb.
Kara’s eyes were searching as her thumb brushed back and forth over Lena’s lips, then down her chin and across her cheek as she shifted her hand back to nestle her fingers in the hair at the base of Lena’s neck.
“You know, Lena. I think I must be the lucky one, to have you here by my side,” Kara said softly, her eyes never leaving Lena’s.
And before she could even think to stop herself, Lena surged forwards to crush the space between them, hands reaching up to either side of Kara’s face, and she pressed an eager kiss to Kara’s lips, one which Kara drew from her easily, arms finding their way around her waist. Lena let herself sink into the feeling, the feeling of Kara’s lips on hers, sweet and soft and warm, the feeling of Kara’s arms around her, drawing her impossibly close.
That is, until her brain caught up with her and her eyes flew open and she pulled back sharply, but was still kept in close quarters by Kara’s arms.
“I—I’m sorry,” she stammered, “I don’t know where that came from, I mean, I do know, it came from my feelings for you but I didn’t mean to spring it on you like that you’re just—”
And this time, it was Kara who brought them back together, and Lena could feel the smile that curved her lips as she kissed her again.
“I’m not sorry,” Kara said when they parted.
“Oh…oh Rao,” Lena whimpered, and Kara barked a warm laugh at the expression Lena had no doubt picked up from her.
Kara’s cheeks had flushed red, and she bit her lip as she glanced over at the mirror, where a young Luthor and a fledgeling Super gazed back, completely wrapped up in one another.
“It’s the suit, isn’t it?” Kara asked, a playful smirk dancing upon her lips.
Lena sighed a laugh and shook her head lightly, toying at the neckline of Kara’s suit with slightly shaky hands.
“You’ve always been my hero, Kara,” she said, smiling a little. “Even before Supergirl, even before I knew what you were. And you always will be.” She looked up to see Kara looking back at her, her smile warm and adoring and grateful.
“You’re my hero too, Lena,” she said and dropped her forehead down against Lena’s. “Not all heroes wear capes. I wear a cape though. Capes are awesome.”
Lena was halfway through rolling her eyes affectionately and giving Kara a playful swat when the police scanner she’d set up crackled in, reporting a fire downtown.
“I suppose that’s my cue,” Kara said, a little excited and a little nervous.
“Up, up and away?” Lena asked, tilting her head to the side.
“Up, up and away,” was Kara’s response, accompanied by a jittering breath and a bright smile.
Before Kara could turn away, Lena caught hold of the lapels of Kara’s cape and pulled her back towards her, meeting Kara’s lips in a grinning kiss.
“I’m starting to really like the cape,” she murmured, hovering close to Kara’s lips as Kara laughed breathily. She unfurled her fingers from the fabric of Kara’s cape and nudged her gently towards the window. “Go on, Supergirl. Go save the day.”
Kara flashed her one last smile before she turned on her heel and shot out into the bright light of day. Lena hopped over to the window, leaning out to watch the streak of blue and red rocket across the sky with a wide smile across her face.
That suit really was a perfect fit.