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The Blind Side of Love

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“Waffles,” Maggie said, her voice mixing with the sound of silverware banging on plates and the muddled voices of conversation. “No, pancakes. Maybe waffles and pancakes. What are you getting?”

Kara had been staring at the plastic-covered menu for at least five minutes and the only thing she’d registered was the fact that her left hand was now sticky. She dropped the menu on the table. “Waffles,” she said, though she wasn’t hungry. She’d left her appetite at Diana’s party, somewhere between the balcony and the moments that followed.

“Then I’ll have pancakes,” Maggie said decisively, putting down the menu and picking up a glass of orange juice. She regarded Kara over the rim of the glass as she drank. When she was finished, she sat back. “So.”

Kara wasn’t sure why she’d called Maggie and asked her to breakfast, or why she’d given her strict instructions not to bring Alex. At the time, it had seemed like a good idea. But now she wasn’t sure she felt like talking. She wasn’t sure there was anything worth talking about. So she had a small, microscopic crush on a famous actress that was sort of a friend. So what?

“You know, your sister probably thinks I’m cheating on her at the moment,” Maggie said by way of a hint.

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry, just tell me what’s up. Did you even sleep last night?”

Kara bit her lip, her gaze on the table. “Not really.”

“Are you pregnant?”

Kara glanced up sharply at the suggestion. “No,” she said. “God, no.”

“In trouble with the law?”

“It’s nothing like that,” Kara said, sighing. “It’s just... have you ever had feelings for someone and been unable to explain why you had feelings for them?”

Maggie laughed. “Kara, feelings don’t come with a manual. They just come. And often they go. Is this about that Adam guy?”

“I wish.”

“A different guy?”

Kara shook her head.

“A... girl?”

Kara hesitated, but nodded. And then the waitress was at their side, asking for their order.

“Pancakes,” Maggie said automatically.

“Waffles,” Kara said, and watched as the waitress took the menus and walked away.

Maggie was silent for a few seconds. “Interesting.”

“Interesting,” Kara echoed, and reached for the cup of coffee she’d forgotten was there. “That’s all you have to say?”

“For the moment,” Maggie said. “Where are you on this matter? Are you at the ‘does this mean I’m gay stage?’ Or somewhere before or after that?”

Kara frowned at the question. “I hadn’t gotten there yet.”

“So, this is a brand new development.”

“It’s about twelve hours old.”

“Interesting.”

“Stop saying ‘interesting.’ You’re supposed to have all the answers.”

“Then ask me something.”

Kara sipped her coffee, trying to get her thoughts in order. Her mind was a mess. She needed sleep. “You should have all the questions, too.”

Maggie smiled gently. “Okay, here’s a question. Did you stay up all night because you’re having feelings for a girl? Or is it because you’re having feelings for this particular girl? Or is it because you’re having feelings for someone at all?”

“That’s three questions,” Kara said, in an effort to stall. But the answer was obvious. “It’s all of them. I haven’t felt this way in... God, I don’t even know how long. And liking a girl would be confusing enough, but why did it have to be this girl?” She met Maggie's gaze. “And before you ask, I’m not telling you who she is.”

“Well, that’s no fun.” She pouted then shrugged. “Is she straight?”

“Nope.”

“Taken?”

“Nope.”

“So she’s gay and single?”

“She likes someone else.” Kara sighed. “But it’s like you said, feelings come and go, no? I just wanted to talk about it with someone that wouldn’t make a big deal about it. Lucy and Alex... they’d blow it way out of proportion.”

“Well, I’m flattered I can be that person for you.”

Kara smiled, feeling moderately better. She finished her coffee just as the meal arrived, and they each took turns bathing their meals in syrup. “So, what’s new with you? How’s work?”

Maggie rolled her eyes. “Awful.”

“Alex said you worked for some guy on Wall Street?”

“I work as an asshole’s slave,” Maggie said, between bites. “When he cheats on his wife, my job is to run out and pick out some nice jewelry for her. When he cheats on his mistress, I go out and pick out a brand name purse. The man is a piece of work.”

“Wow,” Kara said. “I can’t believe women fall for a jerk like that.”

Maggie laughed. “He’s rich, he’s gorgeous, and he’s charming as hell. Who wouldn’t fall for that?”

Kara thought of Lena and felt herself blush. Is that what she was attracted to; the fact that Lena was rich and charming and gorgeous?

“Anyway, I’d love to change jobs, but the pay is nice, and the work is kind of fun. I mean, I do get to shop for stuff I’ll never afford in a million years. I just wish my boss wasn’t such a jerk, you know?” She shrugged. “But back to you for a sec, and then I promise I’ll shut up about it. Why do you think you have a feelings for this girl?”

The question caught her off-guard, the wording sounding strange to her ears. Feelings for a girl. Was she actually here, discussing these things with another person? Was she really admitting that she had feelings for Lena Luthor? She felt a wave of panic at the thought. She swallowed it down and took a deep breath. “I don’t even know if that’s what this is,” she said, her voice quiet. It felt strange to talk about Lena this way. As if it really mattered what she felt for the actress. As if Lena would even care. And still, she couldn’t help it. “I just... when she’s near me, I want to be closer to her, you know? Like the space between us is too much. I look at her and I wonder what it would be like to kiss her. And it freaks me out. I don’t go around having these kinds of thoughts about people. I don’t even know what it means.” She looked at Maggie. “What does it mean?”

“I can’t answer that for you,” Maggie said, her tone sympathetic. “But it sounds like the beginning of something.”

“Something?”

“Something you shouldn’t ignore.”

Kara shook her head and spread syrup across her plate with her fork. “This is stupid,” she said. “I’m sure it’ll pass.”

“Probably,” Maggie said, watching her.

“Haven’t you ever had a crush like that; something fleeting and inconsequential that you later looked back on and rolled your eyes at?”

“I’ve had many of those.”

Kara felt relieved. It was nothing; nothing but too many Disgruntled Inuits clouding her judgment. “I’ll just stay away from her until this passes.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why avoid her if it’s nothing?”

Kara sighed at the question as she searched for an answer. Because being around Lena was confusing; because she was terrified that these feelings wouldn’t go away otherwise.

“Can I give you some advice?” Maggie asked, when Kara didn’t answer.

“Please.”

“I find that the best way to get over someone is to spend as much time with them as possible.”

Kara frowned. “How does that help?”

“Simple. The more time you spend with someone, the more you learn about them, and the more reasons you find not to like them. If you cut off contact you just put them up on a pedestal and leave them there. It doesn’t help you at all.”

“Interesting theory,” Kara said, thinking it over. There were bound to be a million things she wouldn’t like about Lena Luthor. And spending more time with the actress wasn’t an unappealing idea. Of course, that assumed that Lena would even want to spend time with her in return. “Okay, but what if you spend time with someone and only find more reasons to like them?”

“Well,” Maggie said, sitting back. “Would that be so bad?”

“Well, it defeats the goal of trying to get over them.”

Maggie thought about that for a long moment, and then she shrugged. “Some people you’re just not meant to get over.”

***

Lena stood in her living room with a cup of coffee in her hand. She smiled as she sipped, surveying the world outside for a while; enjoying the view of the city from many stories above.

“...won’t go for that, Cynthia,” Sam was saying, annoyance evident in her tone. “Fine! Fine, okay. I’ll talk to her.”

Lena didn’t turn. She knew what was coming. The inevitable place she’d need to be. The inevitable appearance she’d have to make. The inevitable pictures she’d have to pose for.

“You should get curtains,” Sam said, suddenly. “It’s so fucking bright in here.”

Lena liked the brightness, especially on cloudless days like this. She loved the bars of light dancing across her floor. “So, what’s the verdict?”

“You need to be seen, Lena,” Sam said, as if it had been her idea and not someone else’s. “I hate saying this, but Cynthia’s right. It’s not good for you be hidden away for too long. She’s sending me some invitations for you to look over. You go, you make nice, you flirt with the stud of the week, you smile for the cameras, and home you go.”

“Okay,” Lena said, knowing there was no use in arguing. It was time to play nice with the New York paps. It was time to rejoin the public scene and ensure that the flame of fame never wavered.

“That’s it? No argument?”

Lena turned to face her new manager, who sat on the couch looking pained and irritated. “You look like crap.”

“I drank too much at that damn party,” Sam said, rubbing her temples.

Lena smiled sympathetically. “If it makes you feel better, you gave a great performance on stage.”

“God, don’t remind me.”

Lena tried not to laugh. She was counting on Diana to send her a copy of the video. It would make an excellent birthday present for Jack. “Go home, Sam. Get some sleep. You could’ve told me everything over the phone.”

“I know, I just wanted to make sure you were okay,” Sam said, sounding more like herself and less like the grump she’d been moments before. “I was pretty gone last night, but not gone enough that I didn’t see you talking to Kara.”

“Talking to her isn’t going to break me,” Lena said, taking a seat on the couch. “We’re friends. At least, I think of her as a friend. I don’t know what she thinks of me.” She shrugged and sipped her coffee, trying to seem unaffected by it all; trying to pretend that being on the balcony with Kara hadn’t been the highlight of her day, that she wasn’t depressed by the impossibility of it all. “I was supposed to have lunch with Diana today but she called earlier to cancel. She said something about drowning in red tape.”

“You don’t sound too disappointed.”

Relieved, more like, but she shrugged that off too. “We’ll reschedule. It’s not like we won’t be seeing entirely too much of each other starting Tuesday.”

Sam nodded and yawned.

“Go home,” Lena said again. “Really. I’m fine. Right now it’s you that doesn’t look it.”

“Looking and being are entirely different things,” Sam said, but started gathering her things. “By the way, I put a call out for a new assistant for you. I figured you’d want to replace me as soon as possible.”

“Thanks, Sam, but I’m not sure anyone in the world could replace you.”

Sam snorted as she stood. “You got that right.” She smiled. “I’ll call you later so we can discuss the many terrible parties Cynthia wants you to attend.”

“Can’t wait.” Lena was grateful for the silence that followed the closing of the door.

She sat on her couch and drank her coffee and tried unsuccessfully to think of something other than Kara. There were things she should be doing, things other than this unproductive business of yearning for the unattainable. But her mind kept going back to the night before.

Lena had felt something, standing on the balcony with Kara; something she couldn’t pinpoint no matter how often she ran the scene through her head. But something intangible and undecipherable had passed between them, she was certain of it. As certain as someone could be of something they couldn’t name.

Music interrupted her thinking and she turned briefly toward the kitchen counter, where she’d left her phone. The ringtone filled the silent air until Lena moved to answer. There was only one person with that ringtone. “Hello?”

“Hey!”

Lena smiled into the phone, setting the cup of coffee down on the counter and settling down on one of the stools. Through the line she could hear the unmistakable noise of traffic mixed in with what sounded very much like drums. “Where in the world are you?”

Kara let out a soft laugh which sounded even softer against the sounds in the background. “I’m in front of the Met.”

That didn’t explain the drums, but Lena decided to let that go. “You know, for someone who thinks the Upper East Side is thoroughly uncool, you sure spend a lot of time up here.”

“I never said it was uncool, I just said TriBeCa was cooler.”

“So what brings you up here, to my relatively inferior neighborhood?”

“I was hanging out with Maggie and she got called up to do a work errand so I tagged along. But we’ve since parted ways. What are you up to?”

Lena looked around the apartment, hoping it would reveal an answer that was less pathetic than ‘sitting on my couch, trying not to think of you.’ “Just enjoying my last day of freedom.”

“Cops finally found the dead bodies you left buried in L.A., huh?”

“It was bound to happen sooner or later,” Lena said, and smiled, all the while wondering why Kara had called.

“Hey, did you have lunch yet?”

Lena’s heart sped up at the question. Did Kara want to have lunch with her?

“I had coffee...”

“For lunch?”

“I woke up late,” Lena said, though it wasn’t much of an explanation. “Why do you ask?”

“Well, if you’re not busy, I thought you might like to try the best potstickers in the city? I was on my way to pick some up.”

Lena wasn’t certain she had understood Kara correctly. “You want to buy me lunch?”

“Well...yeah,” Kara said, sounding shy now, her voice nearly drowned out by a passing car. “I mean, unless you don’t want me to.”

Kara’s uncertainty made Lena’s heart ache; she couldn’t think of anything she’d rather do than have lunch with Kara. Of course, she couldn’t say that. Not in those words. “Hmm, the best potstickers in the city with the best artist in the city; sounds like a good deal.”

“Ooh, flattery,” Kara said, sounding more confident now. “Maybe I’ll throw in some chicken chow mein.”

Lena laughed, feeling both lightheaded and giddy at the thought that the girl she had feelings for was buying her lunch.

“So, be there in like... twenty minutes or so?”

“See you then.” Lena waited until Kara had hung up to do the same. She sat for a minute or two, staring nervously at her phone; half-expecting Kara to call back and say she’d changed her mind, or had dialed the wrong number originally and was terribly sorry for her mistake. But the phone remained silent, leading Lena to believe that everything was as it should be.

She glanced quickly at the time. Seventeen minutes left to shower and get ready, which left no time at all for sitting around feeling doubtful.

Lena showered quickly, lingering under the spray only long enough to convince herself that none of this meant anything; that Kara was just being friendly. And that was good enough, Lena thought, as she picked out something to wear from the plethora of options in her closet.

She opted for dark, boot cut jeans and a deep blue t-shirt that she’d often been complimented in. Not that it matters, she reminded herself, as she slipped into the clothes.

The knock came soon after, and Lena hesitated only briefly to regard her reflection. Her hair was still wet, but it would have to air dry. She often wished her mirror could talk just so it could tell her how she looked. Not that it matters, she repeated again, walking away from the mirror and her uncertain reflection to welcome Kara into her home.

Her heart sped up as she turned the knob, anticipating those few, awkward seconds that accompanied any initial greeting. She smiled as Kara came into view, unable to help the way her stomach fluttered at the sight of her.

“Hope you’re hungry,” Kara said as she walked in, the scent of food trailing in behind her. She glanced into the living room area and then back at Lena. “The couch arrived! It looks great.”

“Yeah, this girl I know helped me pick it out,” Lena teased, closing the door. “She’s a little weird, but I think she has good taste.”

Kara made a face that read something like, “Hey.”

Lena decided she liked that face. “You can hang your jacket on my brand new coat rack.” And she motioned to the object in question as if she were modeling a first place prize on a TV game show.

Kara handed over the bag of food and began unwinding her scarf. “Fancy,” she said. “Did it come with the couch?”

“Sam brought it over. I think she was tired of having to put her things in my room.” Lena watched with veiled interest as Kara removed the excess layers of clothing. She wondered if Kara knew how sexy she looked with her hair half-way up. She caught herself staring and dropped her gaze to the bag in her hands. “This smells good.”

Kara met the comment with a smile. “I hope you like it,” she said as she hung her jacket. “Next time I can treat you to the best pizza in the city.”

Next time. “Hmm, sounds good.” Lena headed toward the kitchen to set up their meal. “I was surprised by your call,” she said, before she could think better of it, “I would’ve figured you’d be out with Adam.”

“Oh,” Kara said, sounding surprised. “Well, he said he’d call. He hasn’t yet. But I hear that’s normal in the dating world.”

“I’m sure he’ll call,” Lena said, trying to sound supportive. She hated the thought of Kara with someone else, but hated the thought of someone hurting Kara even more.

Kara shrugged as she joined Lena in the unpacking of the food. “Oh, what happened with Diana? I forgot you might have plans with her today.”

“She had to work,” Lena said, aware that Kara was standing entirely too close. She hated that she enjoyed the closeness; it felt like a betrayal. She stepped away, moved toward the cupboard to grab a couple of glasses. “What would you like to drink?”

“Water is fine. Sorry about Diana.”

“Don’t be,” Lena said, filling the two glasses with water. “Starting this week we’ll practically be living together.” She looked over to see that Kara was looking at her strangely. “Something wrong?”

Kara shook her head, offering a quick smile. “No, nothing at all.” She walked around the counter to sit down. “Are you excited about the new film?”

Lena hesitated before answering. The truth was that she had mixed feelings about the movie. She loved the story, loved the idea of it, but playing a lesbian still terrified her. The thought of doing love scenes with both Diana and Lucy filled her with panic. “Umm,” she said, as she joined Kara. “I’m not sure how I feel about it exactly.”

Kara looked at her curiously, as if trying to guess what Lena meant by that. Then she looked away. “Dig in,” she said, sliding a pair of chopsticks toward Lena.

Lena accepted the offering with minimal complaint, recognizing at once that she was starving. She was aware that Kara was watching her as she took the first bite, and though she hadn’t given much thought to the claim that this was the best potstickers in New York, the burst of flavor in her mouth told her that Kara could very well be right. “This is delicious,” she admitted.

Kara looked satisfied with Lena’s assessment and turned to her own meal. “The noodles aren’t as good,” she said, sounding regretful.

Lena took her cue and tried one. “It’s not bad,” she argued with a laugh, “a little tasteless maybe.” Lena returned to her food. “Hmm, you know, this potstickers is really good, but I’m not sure it’s the best in the city anymore.”

Kara looked at her in surprise. “Oh?”

“Yeah, you still haven’t tried my recipe,” Lena said. “I mean, if you’re up for the challenge.”

“You think you can make a better potstickers than this?”

“Oh, I know I can.”

“Well, that I’d have to see,” Kara said. “Challenge accepted, though I reserve the right to be perfectly honest. I take my potstickers very seriously.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less.” Lena ran her weekly schedule through her mind. “How about next Saturday?”

“It’s a date.”

***

It’s a date. Now why had she said that? It wasn’t a date. Kara knew that. She didn’t even know if she wanted it to be a date, were a date even an option; which of course it wasn’t. She glanced briefly at Lena, aiming to say something else to dismiss the ‘date’ comment as a kind of joke, but her phone chose that moment to interrupt the suddenly silent air. “Sorry,” Kara said, digging into her pocket to retrieve the object. “It’s my parents.”

“No worries.”

“Hello?”

“Hi, sweetie. Come over, would you? You never call.” In the background of her mother’s voice, Kara could hear the overacted chatter of her mom’s favorite telenovela, which must’ve meant Jeremiah wasn’t home.

“I called on Friday. Clark said you were out.”

“Hey! he didn't say anything to me. I'm going to have a talk with him. Look, when are you going to come here? There's someone I want you to meet.”

If her mother wanted her to meet someone, it could only mean one thing: setup. “Who?” she asked, already guessing the answer. No doubt good-looking, no doubt male.

“A very decent boy, you'll see. The cousin of a friend who has just graduated from a university in Midvale and is coming here to New York to do his master's degree. He's very handsome, Kara.”

“Mom, please, I don’t want you setting me up. I’m already sort of seeing someone. I told you about him.”

“You’ve told me nothing,” her mother said, sounding annoyed now. “All I know is that he’s an artist like you. The two are going to die of hunger. Two artists together. Are you crazy, honey?”

“We’re not going to starve just because we’re both artists, please, mom. Don’t be ridiculous.”

“I only tell you because I love you.”

“I’m at a friend’s place; can we talk about this later?”

“What friend? That boyfriend?”

“Female friend.”

“Good. I have some chicken that I want you to come and take. You can make some soup for you and Lucy.”

Kara often wondered how her mother’s brain functioned. How had they gotten from a romantic setup attempt to food? “You know I don't like to cook,” she said. “Why don’t you offer them to Alex?” It was risky, Kara knew, bringing her step-sister up, but it felt important to keep mentioning her.

There was silence from her mother’s end of the line, and had it not been for the background noise Kara would’ve thought perhaps her mother had already hung up. But then she spoke, “Pick them up before Friday or they will go bad.” And the line went dead.

Kara sighed, momentarily forgetting that Lena was still sitting beside her, doing her best to look un-interested in the conversation. Kara had a feeling the actress had heard every word; Kara’s half anyway. “Sorry about that,” she said, and dropped the phone on the counter next to her now undoubtedly cold potstickers.

“Everything okay?”

“Yeah,” Kara said, and meant to change the subject, but Lena was looking at her with concern and before she could stop herself she was babbling. “It was just my mother trying to drive me insane like usual. One second she’s trying to set me up with some random boy I’ve never met, the next she’s telling me Adam’s not good enough for me because he’s an artist. At least she’s moved on from trying to get me back with Mike.” She shrugged, suddenly feeling like she’d said too much. “Is your mom like that?”

“My mom died when I was young,” Lena said, and Kara suddenly froze.

“God, I’m sorry,” Kara said, wishing she could go back and delete the question from the transcript of their conversation. She’d known about Lena’s mother, had read about it somewhere on the Internet, but it was hard to remember sometimes that the person she read about online was the same person sitting next to her.

“It was a long time ago,” Lena said as if to mean that it didn’t matter. But Kara could see a flash of something in Lena’s green eyes that made her think otherwise. “My step-mother drives me crazy, though, if that answers your question.”

It didn’t, not exactly. “Does she try to set you up with hot guys too?”

Lena looked genuinely amused by the question, as if the thought were ridiculous. “Guys, yes. We don’t get along. You know, we pretend, for my father’s sake, and for the sake of giving in to appearances. She’s big on appearances. She likes the idea of me, of me being famous and all of that, but she doesn’t like me. I’ll always be someone else’s daughter to her, a stain on her otherwise perfect marriage.”

Lena managed not to sound bitter, somehow, and Kara was surprised that the actress could speak so matter-of-factly about something that had to hurt her. “What about your father. Are you close with him?”

Lena looked thoughtful, as though the question had never occurred to her. “Not really,” she said finally. “I know he loves me, but we both know that I don’t fit in with his life; that I don’t want to fit in with it. He tried for many years to get us to be a family, but it never worked out.” She looked hesitant, as if she wanted to say more, but wasn’t sure she should. Then, “I was very close with my grandmother. But she passed away a few years ago.”

Kara could tell that this wasn’t a subject Lena talked about very often, and Kara wanted to hug her, or take her hand, or do something to show that she understood that the topic was painful. But she wasn’t brave enough for physical contact, no matter how badly she wanted to close the space between them. “You’d never mentioned her before,” she said, trying for something different than the usual ‘I’m sorry.’

“I know. I don’t really like to talk about it,” Lena said, her tone gentle, as if not wishing to offend.

“Because it hurts too much?” Kara knew she was pushing the subject, but she couldn’t keep the words from tumbling out of her mouth. Lena didn’t answer, so Kara added, “My father left when I was little. I don’t really like to talk about it either.”

Lena looked at her, a sad smile playing at the corner of her lips. She was silent for several seconds, until finally she said, “Do you want me to heat up your potstickers?”

The shift in conversation startled Kara briefly and she glanced at the food in question, having forgotten it was there. “Oh. No, it’s fine. I don’t mind it cold.”

“Are things any better between your family and your sister?”

This conversation was starting to feel like a rollercoaster. “No, it doesn’t look like it,” she said, the subject depressing as always. “I don’t think they’re ever going to get over it. It’s frustrating.” But it was more than that, Kara was starting to realize. She’d thought all along that her persistence in mentioning Alex was done out of love, out of a desire to see her family reunited. And while that was a big part of it, it wasn’t the whole truth. Buried deep beneath her selfless acts of goodwill was a deeper, more selfish reason: She was terrified that one day it would be her at the other end of her mother’s contempt.

“You okay? I’m sorry I brought that up. I didn’t mean to upset you.”

Kara forced a quick smile in Lena’s direction. “I’m fine,” she said. And she was. With any luck at all, her taste in women was limited to Hollywood actresses, which hopefully meant that she wouldn’t have to worry about these types of feelings bubbling up again. Now all she had to do was figure out a way to push her current feelings back to wherever they’d sprung from, and then she’d be perfect. Right. In any case, it was time to change the subject. “So, why aren’t you sure how you feel about the movie?” she asked, picking up her potstickers before it got any colder than it already was.

Lena tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear and stared pensively at the view from the windows. Kara watched her, quietly wondering how many other people harbored secret feelings for the actress. When Lena looked back at her, Kara looked away, pretending she’d been focused on eating. “I think I’m just nervous about being with Diana on screen, while...”

“Being with her off-screen?” Kara supplied, her stomach knotting at the thought.

Lena looked embarrassed, though she didn’t go as far as blushing. “Nothing’s happened,” she said.

“But it could.”

Lena nodded slowly, as if processing the idea of that. “Yeah, I guess it could. But, you know, I’m nervous about that, too.”

Lena’s openness surprised Kara. It was strange to see the actress looking so shy and uncertain. It made Kara want to... what? Kiss her? Hug her? She took a sip of water while thinking of something to say that wouldn’t give away how she felt about the situation. “She’s probably nervous, too.”

“Diana Prince?” Lena let out a soft laugh. “From what I gather, she’s had her share of women.”

“Yeah, but probably none as beautiful as you,” Kara said, and the words were out before she had a chance to stop them.

Lena looked at her suddenly, startled, and Kara could swear that the actress was blushing now.

Anxious to change the words lingering in the air between them, Kara said, “I mean, being that you were just named one of the world’s most beautiful people, it seems like a safe bet.” She smiled, hoping to look casual, though she felt nothing short of mortified by her inability to edit herself.

Lena seemed to recover from her surprise, and was smiling at Kara in a way that would’ve appeared flirtatious had Kara not known any better. “Were you stalking me again?”

“Lucy was, actually,” Kara said, grateful to have the spotlight off herself for a change. “She’s really excited.”

“I’m really happy she got the part,” Lena said, smiling still. “She’s really good.”

Kara detected something else hidden beneath the words, and she found herself wondering how Lena felt about her scenes with Lucy. “Is she your type?” she asked, because her mouth had lost all communication with her brain and was apparently flying solo.

“Is who my type?”

“Lucy.”

“As in... am I attracted to her?” Lena sounded both perplexed and amused.

The question had plagued Kara from the moment Lucy told her that they’d kissed. Kara hated the idea of Diana and Lena together, but even worse was the notion that Lena might be at all attracted to Lucy. Worse still was the knowledge that none of this should be bothering her in the first place. It was none of her business who Lena found attractive. “Sorry,” she said, feeling foolish. “I shouldn’t have asked that.”

“She is more of Jack’s type.”

It was Lena’s diplomatic way of saying that she wasn’t interested, and though she didn’t want to admit it, Kara was relieved. “You prefer blondes?” Kara teased.

“I don’t put much emphasis on hair color, honestly,” Lena said a moment later. “Why? Is there someone you want to try and set me up with?”

Yes, this hot blonde right here. If she weren’t so petrified of the idea, Kara quickly amended. “No, I just find it mystifying that you’ve never had a girlfriend. I thought maybe you just had a really specific type... like a bald, one-eyed hunchback... with a beard.”

“That does sound terribly sexy.”

Kara loved Lena’s smile. She was certain it was to blame for all of these feelings. No one with a pulse could resist a smile like that; she was sure of it. “I’ll be on the lookout, then.” She thought of Maggie's advice, how spending time with someone might lead to getting over them, but spending time with Lena just made things worse. “What are you doing tomorrow?”

“Interview and photo shoot in the morning, and I am pretty sure that I’ll have to be at some kind of party tomorrow night. Why?”

“Are you free for lunch?”

Lena shook her head regretfully. “I’d be free for dinner?”

Kara thought of the chicken her mother wanted her to pick up, which would undoubtedly come with an assortment of other food that Kara would be forced to prepare. “Have you ever made chicken soup before?”

“I haven’t, actually.”

“Would you be at all interested in helping me cook whatever random ingredients my mother forces upon me when I go visit her tomorrow? No pressure, if you don’t feel like it.”

“I thought you hated cooking?”

“Oh, I do. But you love it. So, I figure my hatred of it and your love of it would coalesce to create a balanced cooking experience.”

“And in an odd way that makes perfect sense. Count me in.”

Kara was shocked by her own audacity, but relieved that Lena had accepted her somewhat spontaneous offer. “So, say... around... six?”

Lena smiled again. “It’s a date.”