The first year, they’re just friends and only just close enough that Kara extends an invitation to the annual pumpkin carving contest.
Lena takes a little convincing but eventually agrees and joins the group at the pumpkin patch dressed in a casual pair of pants and a warm oversized sweater.
They pick out pumpkins and buy apple cider and Kara takes the time to explain strategy and gives her a laundry list of first timer tips as she refers to it. It’s a tad overwhelming at first, but Lena handles it as best she can, smiling and nodding at Kara as they walk through the lines of pumpkins.
“You guys take this pretty seriously,” Lena observes after Kara tells her about an ongoing friend-circle debate on the virtue of using stencils.
Kara’s face affects an expression that clearly conveys duh before she says, “Totally seriously.”
It takes a bit of effort to swallow the laugh that wants to come out so she just hides her smile behind her cup of cider and is grateful when Winn interrupts them with, “Kara, can you help me carry this to the cart?”
Lena sticks with a traditional design of a jack o’lantern. It’s the first time in her life she’s ever carved a pumpkin for Halloween and it’s the easiest design she can think to do.
Kara’s comment is a friendly, “Classic is always a good route to go.” But Lena catches sight of the intricate tree like drawing Kara’s working on for her own pumpkin and sighs.
Winn ends up winning the competition that year with his Jack Skellington design and he has to hold the pumpkin above his head when Alex threatens to smash it in indignation.
His eyes go wide like the threat is something real and Lena wants to laugh when Alex instructs her sister to, “Hold him down.”
The second year is the year Lena finds out Kara Danvers and Supergirl are the same person.
It’s a shock, but as Lena thinks over it, it really shouldn’t have been. Their friendship hits a bit of a pothole, but they recover.
Kara is persistent in her apologies and Lena can’t fathom losing her friendship. They work through it and Lena tries to swallow the heavy pill that is her closest friend having lied to her for the past year.
The annual pumpkin carving contest is the first social activity they do together that doesn’t involve tears or arguing or profuse apology.
“You’re still my friend and you’ll always be invited,” Kara says as a way of pleading with her to come. “I know things have been weird between us, but I want you to come. If you want to.”
Lena lets the tension sag out of her shoulders and decides to stop fighting that urge deep inside her to just forgive Kara and move on.
“I want to,” she says and the smile that spreads over Kara’s features blooms warmth over Lena’s chest.
The night goes the same as the previous year and Lena takes comfort in the routine of it. They head out to the pumpkin patch, buy a round of hot apple ciders and stroll through the rows deciding on which pumpkin to pick out.
Lucy comes over to their cart holding a massive pumpkin and four smaller ones balanced on top of it and at Lena’s wide-eyed questioning look she just mutters, “Don’t worry about it.”
It makes Kara laugh before she pulls Lena down the rows with a casual easy touch Lena didn’t think they’d ever get back to.
“Any idea what you’re going to carve this year?” Kara asks absently as she inspects a pumpkin half covered in warts.
“You’ll just have to wait and see,” is all Lena answers mostly because she hasn’t thought of it at all.
“Mysterious,” Kara teases with a wiggle of her eyebrows that makes Lena smile.
In the end, she carves the Supergirl crest into her pumpkin and when she reveals it to Kara her friend’s eyes go a little round in surprise.
“You did a good job,” Kara says quietly as her eyes roam the pumpkin.
Lena locks eyes with her. “It’s my best friend’s family crest,” she says and before she can say more Kara surges forward and locks her in a strong hug.
“I love you,” Kara murmurs into Lena’s shoulder and they’ve said it before, casually and seriously and every which way, but it’s significant then. It feels like resolution they couldn’t find before.
“I love you too,” Lena replies and she wraps her arms over Kara’s shoulders.
Lucy wins that year after somehow constructing a monster like creation out of multiple pumpkins attached to each other. Just like every year, Alex vehemently disagrees with the result and accuses everyone of cheating somehow like she wasn’t the person who took and tallied the votes.
“Let’s take it to the public,” Maggie suggests with a shrug and both Alex and Lucy seem to agree.
They take both pumpkins out to the doorstep of Alex’s building and set them there. James brings out a thermos of spiked apple cider and they pass it around. Alex and Lucy spend their time badgering anyone who walks down the sidewalk to take a vote on which pumpkin is better and Lena just presses in close to the warmth of Kara’s body against the fall chill air and smiles.
The third year Kara kisses Lena.
That’s the one thing she’ll remember with clarity about that year.
It’s midway down the fourth row of pumpkins, somewhere near the big round haystack with a painted black cat and right after Lena laughed at some dumb joke Kara was making.
Kara’s lips taste like the apple cider they’d just finished and her cheeks are chill from the air and when she presses forward, Lena’s back hits the haystack behind her.
It feels like a long time coming if Lena’s honest and so she doesn’t hesitate in kissing Kara back.
It isn’t until Winn interrupts them with a loud exclaimed, “Whoa!” that they break apart and even then they stay hovered in each other’s airspace for long moments.
“I’ll see you guys at the car,” is all Winn adds before leaving them alone.
Lena pushes forward and kisses Kara again.
It takes considerably longer for Lena to decide what to carve that year and she blames that entirely on the way Kara keeps smiling shyly at her whenever their hands brush reaching for a tool.
The result is that she just copies Kara. They both end up with a variation on the classic jack o’lantern look, but with more expression and detail.
Much to Kara’s sputtering incredulity.
“But we have the exact same pumpkin!”
“It’s not exactly the same,” Alex points out and she gestures to the mouth - Kara’s having one tooth and Lena’s having many. There’s a bemused teasing smile on Alex’s face that she can’t quite read, but clearly the elder Danvers sister is enjoying the moment immensely.
Lena tunes the argument out, doesn’t even care that much that she won. All she can think to care about is the way Kara’s cheeks look all flushed with indignation. It still feels like she can taste their kiss from earlier on her lips and she’s desperate to get Kara alone and talk about what it all means.
By the fourth year they’ve been officially together for ten months and they arrive to the pumpkin patch thirty minutes late but together and with apology pumpkin spice lattes for everyone.
“Don’t think this delicious drink will distract me from your lateness,” Alex says to them with narrowed suspicious eyes and Lena laughs.
Kara shrugs and wraps an arm around Lena’s waist.
They decide to do a pumpkin together which Alex absolutely balks at though Lena thinks that has more to do with Maggie’s noticeable absence than anything else.
Alex is about halfway through the boozy punch that Lucy brought and she’s taken to just stabbing her pumpkin with a knife over and over again. Kara scoots their pumpkin down the counter away from Alex with a wary expression.
“Jeez, Alex, don’t take it out on the pumpkin,” Winn jokes, but the sound cuts off into a cough when Alex throws a glare his way, knife raised in her hand.
He backs away slowly while James laughs.
Winn makes a robot pumpkin.
The minute Kara notices that he’s added robotic parts to his pumpkin she turns accusatory eyes towards Lena. “You helped him,” she says suspiciously and Lena just puts her hands up in a defensive gesture though she thinks the smile she’s unable to stop gives her away.
“No way, that’s cheating,” Lucy complains from her perch on one of the kitchen bar stools. Her legs are crossed at the ankle and propped up on James’s pumpkin where it sits on the counter.
“It’s not cheating just because you guys didn’t think of it,” Winn argues with a grumble.
Kara reaches out curiously to tug on one of the robot arms and it snaps immediately in her grip, all the metallic pieces crashing into the pumpkin and destroying half of it. When she looks back up it’s with a chagrined look on her face and an oops on her lips.
They call the contest a draw when Winn retaliates by pushing Kara and Lena’s pumpkin onto the ground.
The fifth year they’re fighting.
Lena doesn’t attend the annual pumpkin carving party and she finds she misses it desperately.
Alex spends the night texting her pictures from it - mostly of Kara’s grumpy face throughout the evening and then a particularly hilarious one of her throwing a handful of pumpkin guts at James.
It pangs at her heart enough that she calls Kara later than night.
“I hate fighting,” Kara says and Lena sighs. They’re not even fighting over something consequential. It was just a series of little squabbles coupled with busy work schedules and not enough free time and it all came to a head.
“I don’t enjoy it either,” Lena admits.
“Can I come over?” Kara asks quietly and Lena laughs.
“That depends. Did you win the contest?”
Kara makes an affronted sound and Lena can imagine that little disgruntled crinkle she always gets between her brows. “Lucy won and she will not shut up about it.”
“Sounds like her,” Lena says and her chest feels a little tight just imagining the familiar scene of all their friends arguing over who deserves to win. “I missed you guys.”
“We missed you too,” Kara replies and warm silence stretches over the phone for a bit. “I’m sorry.”
Lena takes a deep breath. “Me too.”
Kara comes over with her carved pumpkin as well as an uncarved one that she hands to Lena with a bright smile. “I still got you a pumpkin. Didn’t feel right not doing it.”
Lena takes it from her hands with a laugh and trades her for a quick kiss. “Help me carve it?”
The sixth year, Lena plans her pumpkin eight months in advance and enlists some help from their friends.
It takes her extra long to pick out the perfect pumpkin and Kara looks at her with a curious expression. “Taking it extra serious this year?” She asks, her fingers tangling with Lena’s as they stroll through the rolls.
Lena scoffs. “I always take it seriously,” she says before taking a warm sip of her cider.
Kara laughs, but gets distracted by a particularly warped pumpkin to their right and disentangles from Lena to inspect it.
Alex comes up next to her while Kara’s occupied and leans in close, hand around Lena’s shoulder. “Just pick one. It’s not going to matter.”
A faint blush starts to creep up Lena’s cheeks, but she clears her throat and straightens. “I know what I’m doing,” she tells Alex though she’s slightly grateful for the strong hold Alex has on her shoulders. It’s settling some of the nerves she can feel building in her stomach.
“I’m sure you do,” Alex replies with a little smirk as she pulls away and walks towards her sister.
The hard part is carving the pumpkin in a way that Kara can’t see it before it’s finished.
James helps a bit by standing to Lena’s right in between the couple and Lucy does her part in talking to Kara as a diversion tactic.
Lena feels like her hands are shaking and this might not be the best time to handle sharp knives, but Alex pins her with a look that practically orders get a hold of yourself.
It’s a quick carving job after that, just a sequence of letters.
By the time she’s done it’s just a matter of showing Kara. The small black box in the pocket of cardigan starts to feel extra heavy as she realizes the next step.
Everyone else is in on it and they don’t make her feel any less nervous with the way they’re eying her with excitement. Winn in particular looks like he’s going to spoil the surprise at any moment so Lena knows she doesn’t have much time.
Kara’s still busy carving what looks like a witch silhouette into her pumpkin and Lena makes a small sound to get her attention just as James moves away with feigned intent to grab another beer.
Turning with a questioning smile, Kara looks over at her. “Hey, you finished already?”
Her fingers play with the box in her pocket. “Yeah, you want to see it?”
Kara’s brows pull down slightly, but her smile doesn’t fade. “Sure, definitely.”
Her throat feels thick and her hand unsteady and it’s all ridiculous because she knows Kara loves her, knows she’s going to say yes and she’s faced so many more nerve wracking situations than this. With a final deep breath she turns the pumpkin so Kara can see it and waits for the realization to spread on her girlfriend’s face.
It takes a second, but suddenly Kara’s eyes go comically wide and she takes in a sharp breath as her gaze scans over the simple carving MARRY ME
Knowing that’s probably her cue, Lena pulls the box out of her pocket and opens it in Kara’s line of sight.
Kara’s eyes dart between the ring and the pumpkin, back and forth, back and forth. “What’s happening right now?”
She hears Alex laugh from somewhere else in the kitchen and wonders why she thought this would be a good idea to do in front of people, but soldiers on with a quirk of her lips. “I think we should get married.”
Lena nods. “Yeah. Thoughts?”
A second more of just blank, confused staring, before a wide unstoppable smile spreads over Kara’s lips and Lena feels her own face mirroring the expression.
“Yes,” Kara says definitively, dropping the utensils in her hand and striding forward to scoop Lena up into a tight hug. The embrace lifts her up off the ground and she nearly drops the ring in her hand, but she laughs as Kara starts to press kisses to her face.
“Yes?” Lena asks just to be sure though judging from the infectious way Kara is smiling the answer is fairly obvious.
“Yes,” Kara repeats before pushing their lips together for long enough that Lucy has to throw the top of a pumpkin at Kara’s head just to get them to stop.
When Alex wins the contest that year instead of Lena, Kara takes personal exception to it and throws her sister’s pumpkin out the window.