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Sleeping in My T-Shirt

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Lena was liquid as she and Kara made their way back inside, feeling tousled and well taken care of as they re-entered the air conditioned house. Growing up as a lesbian, at least for Lena, post-sex feelings ranged from secret giddy elation to fear of being found out or shame based on others’ perceptions. Of course adulthood, maturity, and comfort brought about a greater sense of confidence, but a lack of healthy and meaningful relationships made the overwhelming comfort and calmness that she felt after sex with Kara starkly contrast anything she’d felt before they met. It was an all-encompassing feeling of safety, of being with the right person at the right time in the right way, and nothing was more exciting to her than that.

“You know what I’ve been thinking about?” Lena asked, grinning as Kara pulled her onto her lap on the couch. 

“Hm?”

“Getting on my knees for you.”

Kara hummed, sliding her hands up Lena’s thighs underneath her robe. “Because of what I said before we drove home?” she asked, one hand drifting to squeeze her ass as her face bloomed with color. 

“Maybe… I know you were joking but I also know I wouldn’t mind it.” Lena could tell that Kara didn’t hate the idea either, the way she was grabbing at her and holding her close giving away her eagerness for Lena’s touch. 

“What do you see yourself doing on your knees, then?” Kara asked, leaning back on the couch and lowering her other hand to Lena’s ass. She held her firmly, squeezing and caressing at a deliberate pace and clearly enjoying the way Lena squirmed in her still-sensitive state. 

“Whatever you want,” Lena answered readily, pushing Kara’s robe off of her shoulders before bending to kiss along her collarbone. “I want to make you feel good, however I can.”

“So sweet,” Kara said, drawing her hand back to smack Lena’s ass just hard enough to make her grind into her in response. “I think I’d like it if you used your mouth for me, how’s that sound?” 

“Perfect,” Lena said, kissing her collarbone once more before moving from her lap to kneel in front of the couch. 

“Robe,” Kara said, gentle and firm at once. 

Lena was always quick to comply, removing the garment and shivering as cold air met her damp skin. The way Kara oscillated between playful and dominant, coddling and powerful, made Lena’s heart pound. She sat back on her heels as Kara parted her legs, still lounging back and regarding Lena with what could best be described as hungry arousal. It felt like being wanted by someone otherworldly when Kara looked at her like that, when she reached to beckon her forward and placed a hand at the back of her head. Knowing that Kara wasn’t always one for being touched, as Lena had gleaned the last time they were together, made it feel like a privilege to please her like this again. She would never question why she preferred her mouth to her hands, or why she opened herself up to her easily that night at her place but didn’t ask for it the next time, she just wanted to be whatever she needed to feel good.

“Go slow,” Kara whispered, her jaw tense with anticipation before Lena’s mouth met her center.

Lena kissed her tenderly, satisfaction already settling throughout her as Kara let out an impatient growl.  She licked her deliberately as Kara’s fingers gripped at her hair, parting her lips carefully with her tongue and savoring the taste of her arousal. She ate her graciously, indulging in the way Kara started to move her hips eagerly against her mouth. She could feel tension in Kara’s thighs when she placed her hands there, maintaining a slow pace until a breathy ‘ faster ’ left Kara’s lips. It was hard to remember to pause for air with her face buried in Kara, who grew more desperate by the moment, groaning when Lena nipped at her or sucked more roughly on her clit. 

“Jesus, Lena,” Kara whined, rolling her hips as Lena dipped her tongue into her, pushing and curling until the grip on her hair was almost painful. 

Lena brought one hand away from Kara’s thigh to rest on her stomach while she fucked her with her tongue, grinning into her wetness as she felt her trembling. Kara was chewing her bottom lip, muffling her sounds as she grew closer to her release, but each hum and whimper registered with Lena regardless. 

“Don’t stop doing that,” Kara managed through her moans, her breathing ragged and one of her knees bouncing quickly. “Touch me.”

Lena obeyed easily, her eyes closed as she slid her hand down to rub Kara’s clit in tight, steady circles. She kept up the pace with her tongue, whining against her as Kara repositioned her hand with her palm on the side of Lena’s neck and her fingers twisting in her hair. She coaxed Kara to the edge with her fingers and her mouth, still drawing her tongue in and out as she twitched with release against her lips. Kara was quiet as she came, holding Lena against her as she shuddered through her climax and releasing her hold on her hair once she was ready to come down. Lena looked up at her, slick down to her neck and pleased to see Kara so satisfied.

“You… mm,” Kara said, laughing quietly as she gathered herself and stretched her arms before folding them behind her head again. “You are so good with your mouth, I thought I knew how good you were already but you just… wow.”

Lena grinned, resting her cheek on Kara’s thigh. “I don’t think you know how much potential I have, Kara,” she said, scrunching her nose as Kara nudged against her hip with her foot. 

“What’s that supposed to mean? You holding out on me?” 

Lena shook her head with a coy bite to her lip, enjoying the curiosity on Kara’s face.

“Hmm, so you’re just being shy?”

“Something like that.”

“Come here,” Kara laughed, shaking her head and patting the space next to her on the couch. 

Lena got up to sit next to her happily, pulling a throw blanket from the back of the couch to lay across both of them. It was hard to feel anxious or insecure as Kara adjusted the blanket to cover more of Lena than herself despite it being large enough for the two of them, wrapping her up and draping a protective arm around her shoulders. 

“Is it ok if I stay here tonight?” Kara asked, mindlessly untangling bits of Lena’s damp hair that hung near her face. “Also, can I keep this robe?” she added, tying her own shut again and rubbing her hands over the material. “It feels like the ones you get to use at a fancy hotel and then they charge you like $100 to keep it.”

Lena laughed before she could answer, undoubtedly amused. “You’re going to hate me,” she said, playing with the navy-piped collar of the robe. “I hate me for it too, actually, but I definitely have a stash of about twenty-five robes-”

“Fucking… twenty-five robes? Why?” Kara asked, somewhere between impressed and distraught.

“You didn’t let me finish,” Lena continued, “which only makes it worse. They’re all from Luthor hotels and resorts, which is problematic, but I feel that at the very least I’m entitled to the merchandise. I wouldn’t wear anything with Luthor branding in public, so I hoard the robes because I can just use them here and nobody has to be confronted with the shame of it all.”

“I don’t know why I didn’t think of you owning hotel robes if you like… basically own hotels,” Kara said, looking down at the robe with more scrutiny. “It just has your initials on it so I thought you just-  well I don’t know what rich people do for robes, I  thought you got it online from wherever sorority girls get their book bags and whatever. Monogram websites.”

“I don’t own the hotels,” Lena clarified, rolling her eyes playfully. “But yes, they are customized, which I never ask for but they do it every time I go stay at one of the properties.”

“Huh,” Kara said, nodding. “Perks, I guess.”

“They do it for anyone they think is famous or important,” Lena said, shrugging. “Or who they’re obliged to treat well despite her being the alleged stain on the family name. I bet they even gave Clark one, before the whole banning him from all of the Luthor properties thing happened.”

“So… I can keep it is what you’re saying, right?”

“Are you just using me for my expensive robes, Kara?”

“Absolutely.”

They stayed on the couch for another hour, cuddling and watching some episode of a cooking competition show that Lena was trying to explain between sips of the nightcap she’d poured herself. Kara had declined her own glass at first when she saw the bottle Lena had pulled out, claiming that anything with wax on the seal was too fancy for her, but Lena promised it was a reasonable price (to her, at least). Kara ended up dozing off on the couch and Lena didn’t have the heart to wake her, so she put their glasses in the sink quietly and checked her phone for the first time since they got back from bowling.

A few social media notifications popped up, like Alex adding her on Facebook and a tag in Sam’s Instagram story of a mildly unflattering bowling moment, but what stopped her scrolling was a text from her mother from a few hours ago.

Lena - I know our last interaction was not particularly cordial and I apologize for that. I would like to request your attendance at brunch tomorrow morning at Orchid. We have a rooftop table, 11:30 a.m. 

Lena scrunched her nose with a frown; it was almost less scary when her mother was outwardly rude and uninterested. 

Will it just be you and I?

What’s the occasion?

Lillian responded quickly, to Lena’s alarm considering it was quite late at this point, and Lena could feel her stomach sink with dread at whatever this important brunch could be about.

I have invited Lex as well. 

Is family time not enough reason for you, daughter of mine?

Anything weird and I’m leaving

I have better things to do than participate in your games

Call your own car. See you at 11:30.

Lena groaned, setting her phone down and rubbing a hand over her face.

“Mmh? What’s up?” Kara asked sleepily, shifting on the couch.

“I didn’t mean to wake you, sorry,” Lena said, “I have to go to brunch with my mother tomorrow.”

“You can’t say you have plans?” 

“I mean, I could, but then she’ll say that I always mention how she doesn’t actually care about me and then twist it around to make it seem like it’s my fault that we aren’t close because I won’t go to the damn brunch,” Lena said, her tone clipped. “Sorry, I just… I know it’ll be better if I go.”

“It can’t be too bad, right?” Kara asked, sitting upright with a furrowed brow.

“She said she invited Lex as well, and I just… have a fishy feeling about it. We haven’t all been in the same room in a while, probably since all of the controversy with Clark funnily enough. Even then, we were meeting to talk about how to cut me out of the company without me making a huge fuss.”

“Maybe they just want to bitch at you about me or something,” Kara suggested, chewing her lip. “I’m sorry if that’s it, I really don’t want to cause a problem-”

“I don’t know what they want, but whatever it is it’s not your fault. I promise.”

Kara nodded, watching Lena for a moment before standing up. “Thinking about it won’t help, if you’re going to go then you’re going to go,” she said quietly. “Let’s go to bed, hm?”

Lena thought better of arguing, grabbing her phone to set an alarm just in case and following Kara to her room. 

“It’s going to be okay, Lena,” Kara said quietly once they were in bed, holding an arm out so that Lena could tuck into her side. “Whatever it is, it’ll be okay.”

“I hope so,” Lena whispered, nodding against her chest. “Thanks for being here.”

“I won’t go anywhere unless you tell me to.”

 

 

Lena woke up from an unfortunately familiar stress dream, her heart pounding  upon realizing the presence of somebody beside her in the usually spacious landscape of her sheets. She felt too warm but unable to move, like doing so would shatter the sliver of peace seeping through the blinds with the sun. Her phone sat on its dock on her bedside table, a dismal number of notifications on its screen as she checked the time. 

Do not forget about brunch this morning

Church appropriate pastels are preferred - your usual alternation of funeral and streetwalker will not be appreciated

Remember, call a car. Do not drive yourself, your habits in mind.

11:30. I’ll try to remember to leave my flask behind 

but I’m already blacked out so who knows.

It was still early in the morning, affording Lena plenty of time to cry silently in the shower following a rather long face mask and a mug of Irish coffee. She felt better upon emerging, spending a potentially alarming amount of time applying lotion and doing her makeup before taking to her closet in order to synthesize a non-offensive yet aggravating brunch outfit. She resisted the urge to go full I-hate-Catholic-school smoky eye, her favorite look for family events as a teenager, but still stuck with a signature dark lip. It had already been a couple of hours and Kara was still dead asleep, so she didn’t feel bad about taking forever getting ready, but it really put into perspective how much attention she put into calculating her appearance when seeing her mother. 

In searching for churchy brunch clothes, Lena always struggled. She unfortunately had quite the array of pastels, however they erred on the side of Herve Leger bandage dress rather than Sunday best (which might be pushing it). Still, she wanted to wear something that would piss off her mother while forcing her to explain exactly why, barring cheap accusations of promiscuity. She was focused as she zeroed in on the jumpsuit-pantsuit region of her closet, hair dripping into a wet patch on the back of her robe as she didn’t want to wake Kara with her blow dryer. She picked up a powder blue three-piece number and moved in front of her mirror, pursing her lips as she held it up. She didn’t particularly hate the concept and figured she could wear some exciting heels and a showy thumb ring just to avoid becoming bored herself. Going to Tiffany for gaudy lesbian flagging jewelry was an indulgence she coveted and her mother happened to loathe, which if anything inspired her accessory choices. 

“Morning, sweet girl.”

Lena smiled as Kara appeared in the closet doorway, already relieved to see her despite her anxieties regarding brunch. It helped that her bedhead made it impossible not to grin, falling messily over one shoulder with a hair tie dangling off the end of an unraveled bun. Her bare chest wasn’t unpleasant either, but her mind quickly shut down the idea of trying to sneak anything sexy in before leaving to meet her family.

“Morning, you,” Lena said, hanging up her chosen outfit again so she could drop her robe. “Want to help me get dressed?”

Kara didn’t hide the way her eyes roamed as Lena stood still, eyeing her coyly and lifting a brow. 

“You don’t need help,” Kara said, grabbing the hanger anyway. “You’re just happy to see me.”

“So what if I am?” Lena asked, pulling open her lingerie chest to quickly select a matching nude set. “You’re happy to see me, too, aren’t you?”

Kara laughed, handing each piece of Lena’s outfit to her as needed. 

“I just think you’re cute, that’s all.”

Lena huffed as she looked at herself in the mirror, running a hand back through her still-damp hair to keep it off of the front of her blazer. She didn’t prepare for getting dressed before doing her hair, but she was so eager to ask for Kara’s help she didn’t even think about it. It was interesting, at the very least, to be thrown off her usual routines.

“Do you want uh… coffee, or toast or something? While you finish getting ready?”

Kara was smiling at Lena in the mirror, moving behind her to wrap her arms around her waist and kiss the top of her head. 

"No, just you here with me," Lena said, unable to stop herself from leaning into Kara for a moment. "But you may get bored by the time I'm finished with my hair."

"I don't think I can get bored when I'm looking at you, babydoll." 

Lena laughed and rolled her eyes, mostly to hide the fact that even with a joking delivery Kara made her blush, then took her hand to lead her into the master bathroom. Kara suddenly halted and looked down at the floor, her brows raising for a moment in surprise before she squinted suspiciously at Lena.

"Heated tile."

"I'm...sorry?" Lena apologized, moving to turn off the heat. Kara reached out and grabbed her wrist to stop her, earning a surprised glance of her own. "What is it?"

"Sorry!"

"What?"

Kara dropped her wrist and ran a hand back through her hair, finally sending her loosened hair tie flying onto the floor somewhere. Lena stared at her, genuinely confused and mildly concerned by this whole display.

"I wasn't like... upset by the heated tile I just haven't been in a place that has it in a while and I don't think it was on the last time I was in here or I didn't notice it or something but I was just surprised and had a bunch of crazy memory visions like That's So Raven or...Jimmy Neutron having a brain blast. And Stuff."

"Oh," Lena said, sighing and nibbling at the corner of her lip. “An ex, or…?”

“No, ah, just lots of traveling in the past, with the team, and...well, yeah, also women,” Kara explained. “Reminds me of being a bit of a douche, honestly.”

“I still can’t imagine you truly being a douche, Kara,” Lena said, shaking her head as Kara finally let go of her wrist. It was so difficult to try and comfort her about the past she mostly knew about secondhand, and even though Kara joked here and there she knew that the whole fuckboy history was not as black and white as it sounded. 

“Well, either way, I promise I don’t hate heated floors. They’re nice and I feel like someone told me they’re like...really good for the environment. Or something.”

Lena smiled, nodding. “I mean, how could I have a Tesla and not follow through on efficient heating, you know?”

 

♡ 

 

Lena bounced her knee mildly aggressively on the way to brunch, having left a sweetly beaming Kara in her driveway after finishing out their morning on a nice note. It was nearly impossible to convince Kara she didn’t need a ride to brunch, but they did already have plans to go for brunch on their own to make up for the circumstance. Lena was already looking forward to the next time she would get to see her handsome...girlfriend? Person-she-dates? It seemed to be moving quickly and slowly at the same time, but she did like the idea of something serious and labeled. 

“Miss Luthor, should I expect to wait for you or would you prefer to call?”

Lena looked around as they approached the hotel housing the restaurant, already spotting an annoyingly familiar figure about half a block from where her driver was pulling over. 

“Definitely don’t wait, I’m actually begging you to do anything else,” Lena said, slipping her usual tip to the driver as he came around to let her out of the car. 

“Good luck, say hi to your mother for me,” he said, lips twinging into a smile. This wasn’t the first family affair he had dropped Lena off at. He was usually pretty stoic and bland, but something about picking up a crying woman from family occasions semi-regularly may have made him soft. 

“Oh, fuck off,” Lena said with a laugh, pointing a very deliberate middle finger into the air for a strangely long amount of time before sliding on her sunglasses and clicking her heels towards the hotel entrance. She took the elevator up to the restaurant, keeping her head down until the hostess greeted her. 

“They’re on the patio, Miss Luthor.”

“Of course they are. Is it just the two of them?”

The hostess looked surprised, then nodded.

No lawyers. That’s a relief.

Lena took a breath and tucked her sunglasses in her bad, setting her face to one of cool disinterest before making her way to the rooftop patio. 

“There’s my wonderful daughter, punctual as always,” Lillian greeted faux-cheerfully, standing to offer a gratuitous air kiss to her daughter.

“Your little paparazzi friends are looking particularly conspicuous today, mother. What’s the occasion?” Lena asked, sliding into a chair across from her brother. “Hi, you.”

“Lena, don’t be difficult,” Lillian hissed. “I had no idea they were here.”

Lex just glanced between them, lifting his chin in acknowledgment of Lena’s greeting.

“Bullshit, they were stalking my Lincoln from the moment we got to the light. Do you really think JustJared Jr. is still interested in me after all these years?”

Lillian sighed, taking a long moment to sip from her mimosa. “You know, Lena, maybe if you would see how this all can help you, you wouldn’t feel the need to act like such a brat.”

“There is a grown man in a bush underneath us, desperately trying to zoom in and capture a nice family photo that isn’t a shot of my cleavage or Lex looking completely vacant in the head. I can’t take you seriously,” Lena said with a shrug, flipping another middle finger in the vague direction of the street below before flipping the brunch cocktail menu open.

“Well, you should start. Regardless of what you say, you are at Lex’s first official campaign brunch,” Lillian announced, clapping her hands together with a terse smile in Lena’s direction.

Lena looked at Lex, brows furrowed and motioning at the air. “You’re fucking joking, right?”

“Language, daughter of mine,” Lillian tutted.

“Sorry- Jesus Christ, you have got to be joking.”

“Lena, I don’t know why you think I would invite you to this nice brunch as some sort of joke,” Lillian said in a perfectly measured tone, shaking her head as if truly offended. 

Lena turned away from her, catching the attention of who she assumed to be their waiter. “Hi, may I please have an Irish coffee with just...a little Jameson sidecar? Thanks so much,” she said kindly, turning to Lillian again. “You’re really trying to set me up as vouching for this ‘campaign’? Via paparazzi photos? I flipped that first guy off,  by the way.”

“I also brought documents."

Lena scoffed as her mother produced a substantial folder of presumably malicious documents. "I'm not looking over legal documentation without my lawyer present."

"Do you know how rude it is to not even bother hearing us out?" Lillian asked, gesturing towards Lex who sat engrossed in his phone. 

"Do you know how rude it is to try and serve your daughter papers at breakfast ?" Lena snapped, hardly glancing at the stack of literature Lillian nudged towards her. "Anyway, I don't even know what this whole thing is about. Someone is at least going to have to pitch it to me."

Lillian appeared surprised, nodding before peering expectantly at Lex.

"I'm running for governor of California," he said, grinning and setting his phone down. He took a pause to sit back in his chair, staring Lena down. "And I am glad to have your endorsement, especially considering how ridiculous it would look for you to be having a relationship with the- with the-"

"Cousin of your arch nemesis?" Lena offered, twirling the end of her ponytail around her finger. "Spit it out already, you really expect to go and public speak like this?"

"To think I spent a penny on schooling for somebody so impolite," Lillian muttered.

"Mother, she's right. I should be more on top of things…"

"This is pathetic." Lillian took a deep breath after speaking through gritted teeth, replacing her fake smile despite the slight falter. "Lex, for a radical conservative you lack basic leadership skills and confidence. Lena...it is impossible to grapple with the fact that you are a liberal, a homosexual, and a hussy."

Lena poked out her bottom lip in consideration for a second, ultimately nodding with a smirk in agreement.

"I am going to step away for a moment, don't order food without me...though I wouldn't be surprised, what with both of you being so ungrateful."

"You're really going to let all of those totally random papz see you smoke?" Lena asked, unable to hide a laugh as her mother stomped away. "Lex, is she being serious?"

"Yes, Lena, and so am I," Lex said, sighing. "Well, she did call the photographers, clearly, but everything else is true."

"What's the paperwork about?" It was enough already to unpack the fact that her brother was running as a conservative republican candidate in a gubernatorial election; litigation was not something she wanted to immediately have to deal with. 

"Lena, I really think it's best if you just listen to her, alright? I really want this, and she wants it for me, and...this campaign is going to help our family. Our reputations," Lex explained. "I mean, come on. You genuinely think it's a good long term plan for you to get with someone who's already washed up in her twenties? You'd at least be able to find a woman with more potential and better social standing running in my circles."

"Ah, yes, the incredible republican gay community I am so dying to get to know," Lena said, grateful as the waiter approached with her drink. She accepted it and took an immediate sip, not minding the burn of the hot coffee as it eased down her throat.

"You know what I'm saying, sis. She was a pro, she was literally on the women's national team, she was a popular player while she was at UCNC and she fucked up so bad that she lays low and coaches kids' soccer. She gave up," Lex said, sipping at his own beverage. "I know you're one to settle, but really? What does she have to offer?"

Lena clenched her jaw, a million possible responses scrolling through her mind. "You don't know the first thing about her." 

"I can tell from your reaction that I know a lot more than you."

Lena glared at her brother, wishing she could do something to break through the shell of bigotry, greed, and negativity he had built around himself since their childhood. He used to be her best friend, her defense against their mother, and someone that she could come to about girlfriends much less 'competent' than Kara. Speaking to him now was like speaking to somebody she didn't know, and someone who she definitely didn't like. To show up expecting to be berated by her mother with her mislead brother as a witness only to be blasted from all sides was always a nightmare; being in denial about her brother's dedication to politics only soured the already bitter realization of her position. She was the dependent daughter and childish sister, clinging to a closeness she could never have and a teenage defiance that only made her feel more and more out of control.

"Anyway, the documents are essentially blackmail. She grabbed everything she could about you that would make you look bad or hypocritical, and she also plans on using pictures from today to sell a story...or buy one, whichever," Lex continued after a dry silence, staring off past Lena's shoulder. "She's not going to stop until you do."

"Thank you for sharing that with me, Alexander," Lena said curtly, topping off her coffee with a bit of whiskey before taking another long sip. "Is there a hit out on me as well, or can I safely allow my driver to retrieve me, sweet brother?"

"If she kills you, she can't torture you anymore. That's no fun."

Lena nodded vaguely, pulling her phone from her bag as she desperately attempted to ignore Lex's words. 

i know you might be busy but i just wanted to let you know this brunch is somehow so much worse than i imagined

im not trying to be dramatic and complain i just might need you later

to talk

or whatever

i just wish i could have stayed in bed with you instead

It wasn't like this was the first embarrassing and upsetting meal she'd ever had with her family, but Lena felt particularly hurt by her brother's jabs. She knew he had an issue with Clark, but there was no reason for him to be so aggressive about Kara...was there? He of all people should know that if she were to start a relationship for money she would at least find someone with similar views, so the implication that associating with him would benefit her romantically was confusing at best. Despite believing that Kara wouldn't have a reason to keep something terrible from her at this point, Lex's smug attitude and amused smirk made her uneasy. Maybe Lena had over-interpreted how much she really knew about Kara, or maybe this was part of an even bigger plan to embarrass her. Wouldn't Kara have a motive to mess with her if she thought she was still on decent terms with Lex?

oh baby im sorry

are you gonna stay?

i can come get you

seriously 

Lena stared at the screen, suddenly feeling like she might cry. Being around her family truly made her feel  insane, and even in this short time she started questioning her relationship with someone who obviously cared about her. She took a breath and traded her phone for her drink, taking a few long sips before responding.

my driver will get me its ok

im just overwhelmed i think

and theyre getting in my head. 

so i just miss you

because i dont feel confused with you

She decided to ignore the hesitation she felt before sending the last message, opting to place her phone in her handbag and open the brunch menu instead.

"Oh, you're actually going to get some food with your liquor?" Lillian asked, sliding back into her seat with a smile in Lena's direction. 

"Yes, mother, I'm aware of what 'brunch' means. Though, it would be nice to speed these things up and just meet at a bar sometime, I'll admit." 

Lex half-laughed, then sighed and crossed his hands behind his head. "You two are always a hoot, but I do want to talk about my plans, if that's alright."

"Oh, thank God, get going," Lillian said, motioning expectantly.

"Well, I'm essentially going for a new take on Reagan's financial system," Lex started.

"Like trickle down economics?" Lena asked, pouring the double shot of whiskey accompanying her already spiked coffee into the mug. "What a great and fresh idea, Alexander. What else have you got? Abortion ban?"

"Well, ye-"

"Actually, I think it is for the best that she just look at the documents at home-"

"Mother, could you please shut up? I'm trying to be supportive of my incredible, inspiring brother."

Lillian groaned through clenched teeth, drumming her fingertips on the table. 

"So yes, obviously I'm running on a platform that honors the Bible. Considering we are Catholic , which you seem to forget. It's okay, though, because mom already said we can all go to church and take some photos to make you look part-way decent."

"Jesus would think you suck," Lena said, shrugging with a roll of her eyes. "You literally help make people homeless. Like, directly."

Lex took a breath, shaking his head. "You'll understand it more if you just stop being such a...freak about everything. You'd think as an adult you'd outgrow your little rebel phase."

"It's not super difficult to understand that your platform is based on greed, and misinterpreting religion, and being an absolute tool. You're also bald and your head sweats when you're having practically any emotion, so you'll look like a fool at public events. Sort of like you already do, but worse, because you'll be genuinely asking people to vote for you in an election taking place in real life."

"You're acting like you know how politics work, Lena, which is a mistake especially considering you have a liberal arts degree that you barely finished due to your arguably greedy choices," Lillian said calmly. "I think it would be best if we just enjoy our meal and chat about other things than this valuable pursuit. The documents cover many topics, so we can follow up later on."

"Can you stop saying 'the documents'? They are taking up a huge amount of space on this otherwise lovely table, it's hard to stop thinking about them." 

"Let's talk about Lena's girlfriend," Lex said as Lena scowled and went back to looking at the menu. 

"I really do admire your commitment to this stunt, Lena. It's so embarrassing, even for you," Lillian said, laughing and sipping from her glass. "It would be a shame if you were being serious, but I honestly don't know where your self respect lies these days."

"She played sports, now she doesn't play sports and just coaches sports, I don't get how it's a huge deal," Lena muttered.

Lillian and Lex both broke out into laughter, surely dramatizing a bit for the cameras in addition to worsening Lena's discomfort. 

"Listen, I never thought Leelee was great at acting, but this is some good stuff."

"Don't call me that, idiot," Lena said, kicking Lex under the table with the point of her heel. "I will fuck you up."

"You sound ridiculous making threats like that," Lex said, laughing again. "Man, this is kind of fun. We should all get together more."

"What's he on?" Lena asked Lillian, raising an eyebrow. "Seems like something's not clicking upstairs." It was a little bit weird; they usually ganged up on her, but she could usually make Lex miserable in return. They were best friends for a long time, it wasn't like she was blind to his sensitivities. 

"He just appreciates his family," Lillian said, shrugging and turning with a smile as the waiter approached to take their orders. 

Lena tuned both of them out as she ate her eggs florentine, sipping her second drink and pretending to look at Instagram while her mind wandered .

"Hellooo, Lena," Lillian called.

Lena looked up from her plate, tilting her head.

"We were just reminiscing about our last family trip to the ranch, do you remember that?"

"That isn't funny to bring up," Lena said, shaking her head as her whole body seemed to become hot. "You can talk about my relationship, but we aren't talking about that. You agreed."

"Oh, don't be such a baby. I was only feeling nostalgic. Something about a responsibility to our family falling on you… I guess I miss all of us being close enough to be able to trust you like that, to protect our reputation," Lillian said in a pleading, pathetic tone. "Just think about it."

Lena didn't say anything, pushing her plate away and pulling out her phone again. Kara had texted in response to her last messages just to say she was glad that Lena didn't feel confused with her, but the fact that she didn't say anything else seemed odd. Usually she was quick to offer a phone call or at least some more comforting texts, but she supposed she'd been pretty vague about what was going on.

im about to leave. i need to change clothes and just

not think

She sent her message and then texted her driver as well, waiting for him to say he was pulling up before announcing her exit. She was deciding between walking out of the hotel's entrance drinking from the flask in her purse (which she did actually bring,  specifically for a situation like this) and stumbling around to make for some interesting and unusable photo or just flipping off all the photographers again. Either would be fun.

"This has been an absolute pleasure. Mother, thank you so much for arranging this lovely, personal family meal. Lex, I am immensely proud of your intellectual and political achievements. You are both just such a treat, but I have to go."

She didn't wait to hear their goodbyes, shoving the folder of papers into her purse and beelining back into the restaurant's main dining room. She felt her phone vibrate in her purse, quickly checking to see if Kara had replied.

so glad ur leaving

thru the front??

Lena read the second message several times in the elevator down to the lobby, wondering if it was some kind of joke she was missing. 

...yeah? 

good girl

She felt her heart pound for some reason, less due to excitement at the praise (which she still noticed) and more due to what it seemed Kara might be implying. Surely enough, when she reached the lobby she saw Kara's truck pulled up to the curb. Better than that, the scant group of photographers huddled conspicuously by the passenger's side door. Suddenly she remembered something her mother had said: ' if I so much as glimpse you in the general vicinity of Clark Kent in some tabloid picture we’re going to have problems'. Maybe it would apply to Kara, too.  

get out of the car & get the door for me

aren't you a gentleman??

Lena smiled with relief as she put her phone away this time, foregoing her sunglasses as she stepped outside. If her mother wanted some pictures, she could have them. Kara was standing at the passenger's door with a bizarre look on her face that broke into a smile when she saw Lena's, possibly catching on but also likely just to be glad to see Lena looking happy.  

"Oh, darling, I'm so happy to see you. Your sweatpants look… delicious!" Lena said enthusiastically, walking briskly towards Kara. 

"Uh… hi, honey! How was your brunch?" Kara replied, playing along with Lena's exaggerated acting.

"Kiss me," Lena mouthed when she was close enough for Kara to understand, gasping in earnest as Kara reached out to grab her waist and dip her slightly. 

"Like, how much?" Kara whispered quickly.

"A lot."

Kara obliged happily, pressing her mouth to Lena's as her free hand moved to cup her cheek. Lena parted her lips quickly, wrapping her arms around Kara's neck. It was hard to remember she was actually trying to performatively kiss for once when Kara was smiling into her mouth and sliding her tongue firmly against the inside on her cheek. She definitely couldn't forget the situation, though, when she heard one of the photographers speak.

"Is that actually Kara Danvers?"

She pulled back from the kiss while trying not to seem thrown off by the comment, Kara opening the door for her and helping her into the truck. She got in quickly herself, watching as Lena let out a surprised laugh.

"I didn't realize those guys would know you, sorry!"

"Oh, it's cool," Kara said, shrugging as she pulled away from the hotel. "I was just a little surprised, hasn't uh… happened in a minute. What was up with them, anyway?"

Lena sighed. "My mom likes to taunt and use and threaten me, so she's saying she's going to have those photographers shop around some pics from our brunch to stupid tabloids that nobody reads. I made my entrance and exit pictures pretty unappealing for her to want anyone to see, so at least I don't have to worry too much about her little blackmail scheme. I didn't look like I was having fun in any of the other ones while we were eating..." She paused because it seemed like Kara was half-listening, nodding along while her left knee bounced.

"That's… huh." Kara looked stressed, that was the only way to describe it. "Why would the pictures of brunch be so bad? I mean, they are your family, everyone gets forced to see theirs sometimes," Kara said, sounding strange. "People get that."

"It's honestly not something I want to worry much about, I'm just hoping I don't see my name anywhere tomorrow next to my brother's and the word 'mayor'."

"Oh," Kara said, nodding. "Gotcha. Politics. Well, I'm glad I could come get you, I'll take you wherever you want to go. We don't have to talk about anything you don't want to, okay?" 

"Can we go to your house?" Lena asked, not wanting to try and untangle Lex's insinuations and the photographers' recognition of Kara. "I want to just...be distracted. I don't want her to have the satisfaction of ruining my whole day."

Kara smiled like nothing odd had happened, dropping a hand to pat Lena's knee. "I can definitely distract you, baby. All day, all night, whatever you need."

Lena allowed herself to relax with an exhale and a nod, reaching into her purse. She pulled out her flask, unscrewed the cap, took a long pull and then put it away.

"Sorry, I was gonna save it until we got to yours but I figured it's more sad to drink from a flask at someone's house," Lena explained, laughing as Kara shrugged. "Like, I should probably at least use a glass or cup of some sort, wouldn't you think?"

"Your logic is silly sometimes, do you know that?"

"Me? I'm the most logical person on the planet. I've never been silly before in my life."

"Whatever, silly girl."

Kara turned on the radio after that, singing along and tapping her fingertips on Lena's knee every so often. It was surprisingly easy to let go of her worries when she was being romantically serenaded with some boy band song about being insecure.