Lillian Luthor was right.
Lena had found out that Kara was Supergirl – that her best friend in her whole life was lying the whole time they knew each other – and she hated her. Hated Kara. Not so much for being who she was, but for hiding it from her and using her position as Supergirl to go behind her back. That was what stung the most.
Or at least that’s what Lena had said to Kara three weeks ago, the last time she had willingly spoken to her.
Kara wished she could punch Lillian, just once, for all those dirty looks she had ever thrown Kara’s way, and the worse once she had directed at her own daughter. Just for being right. But she had no idea where Lillian was, and frankly it wasn’t worth it.
Tonight was a special night, though. Lena was hosting a charity gala for National City’s first official alien refugee center. It wasn’t the first one the city had ever had, of course, but the first to be recognized and allowed by the government. L Corp was only 70% responsible for that, and 80% for its funding. Kara and Lena had been planning it for months, back when they were still on speaking terms.
Needless to say, Kara was no longer on the guest list.
She was still going, of course. As an alien refugee herself, this event meant everything to her. And maybe she didn’t have a ton of money (especially with her recent salary cut courtesy of one Lena Luthor) but that wasn’t going to stop her from donating what she did have. Lena couldn’t stop her from helping.
(Lena couldn’t stop her from missing her best friend almost as much as she missed Krypton. Though, now that part of Krypton was in reach, that wasn’t such a fair comparison anymore.)
Kara was stopped at the gate by security.
The man’s eyes widened for an instant before he gave Kara his most intimidating look. “I’m surprised you showed up. Miss Luthor personally told all of security not to let you in, under any circumstances.”
“I’m – I’m not here for Lena,” Kara lied unconvincingly.
The security guard’s glare somehow deepened at that. “You’re not? You are the woman who, quote unquote, ‘was the first person to offer friendship after Lex’s trials, only to be using Miss Luthor for everything she had the entire time,’ aren’t you? And yet, you aren’t here for her?”
Kara almost started crying. Okay, a few tears did fall down her face. Was that really all Lena thought of her? “No, sir, I’m only here to donate some money.”
“Leave it in the donation box,” he said, gesturing to a large locked box to his left, “and go.”
So, Kara put $50 in the box and left. This was going to be harder than she expected, although she really should have seen this coming. Well, when life gives you lemons, fly into your estranged best friend’s charity gala through the roof. Lena should’ve seen this coming.
Kara landed right behind the stage, ten feet away from a drunk couple aggressively making out and fifteen feet from a secretary named Jess. Luckily, Jess wasn’t facing her direction. Kara just needed to walk out to the main event before she was caught.
Fuck. Jess sounded angry.
Kara turned around to face Jess and plastered a bright grin onto her face. “Hey, Jess, fancy meeting you here!”
“That’s Miss Huang to you. And Miss Luthor doesn’t want you here, so I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
Back to formalities? Ouch. “Je– Miss Huang, please just let me talk to her for two minutes. I miss her.”
Jess’s face softened, but only just. “Listen, Miss Danvers, I don’t know what happened between the two of you, but I know that Lena told me not to let you into her office (read: her life) ever again.”
Before Kara could argue back, the woman of the hour showed up.
And Rao, was she gorgeous. It was no secret that Lena Luthor was stunningly beautiful, but honestly, this was something else. She was wearing a bright emerald dress that shone just enough to bring out her eyes, but not enough to distract from any serious tone she might need to convey. Kara had never seen her in a dress that color before, but she was glad she got the chance before she might be kicked out of her life forever.
It was then that Kara realized that Lena had said something, and was now waiting, angrily, for an answer from Kara.
It was also then that Kara realized that she might be a teensy bit in love with Lena.
“Lena, I’m, uh,”
“I see eloquence only comes to you when you’re lying, Miss Danvers,” Lena said coolly.
The formalities hurt more coming from Lena. Jess checked her tablet, then walked off to handle something that may or may not have been real.
“Lena, please, just let me apologize. I miss you.”
Kara heard Lena’s heartbeat pick up, but she didn’t show it on the outside. “I don’t believe you. And even if I did, I have nothing more to hear from you.”
“Lena, please,” Kara begged.
Turning dismissively, Lena said, “I’d advise you leave before I call security on you, Kara.”
More tears swelled in Kara’s eyes, but she didn’t let them fall.
“Please, just, turn around. Hear me out.”
And turn around Lena did. “Hear you out? Kara, I’ve heard you out for the past two years, but you’ve done nothing but lie to me, use me for information, treat my friendship like a means to an end the entire time! You’re just like everyone else who’s ever tried to get close to me, full of ulterior motives.”
“I know, I know. Just, give me two minutes to say what I came here to say, and I promise that if you never want to see me again after this, I’ll leave you alone,” Kara said, meaning every word. She had never broken a promise to Lena before, not on her own terms, and she wasn’t about to start.
“Fine. You have two minutes.” Lena uncrossed her arms and pulled out the clock app on her phone.
“Seriously?” Kara asked.
Lena responded with a glare.
“Okay. Yes, Lena, I lied to you about being Supergirl, and I went behind your back to find out if you had kryptonite. But it was never because I didn’t trust you.”
Lena looked bored.
“I trust you more than other people say is advisable, if I’m being honest. Which I am! I just, well, I couldn’t tell you my identity when we first met. Not because you’re a Luthor, but because it’s a secret for a reason, and I didn’t know you back then. And by the time I knew you well enough, it was at the point where bringing it up would only bring up these questions of trust.”
Unconvinced, Lena said, “Go on.”
Kara took a breath and kept talking. “I didn’t tell you because the people who know get hurt. Alex almost died once because she knew who I was. She drowned in a tank all alone because someone figured it out and he used it against Alex to get to me.” Kara was actually crying now, remembering how it had felt to almost lose Alex. “I couldn’t let that happen to you.”
Lena’s walls, the ones Kara had spent months tearing down only to have then thrown back up right in her face, slowly began to crack.
“And, to be honest, I was a little selfish. Almost everyone else in my life knows my identity,” there went all of Kara’s progress, “so I never get to be just Kara, no heroic expectations on top of it. Being with you, it was refreshing. Comforting, even.”
Kara took a step closer to Lena, and when Lena didn’t move, she took another step.
“And what about the kryptonite? If you trusted me, why did you betray me?” Lena’s voice was sorrowful, yet there was a challenge in it. And something else that Kara couldn’t quite place.
“I… reacted,” Kara said, but she was cut off from by Lena’s alarm indicating that her two minutes were up.
Lena calmly turned the alarm off, then returned to her intense eye contact with Kara. Now, it was Lena’s turn to walk forward two cautious steps.
“Yeah, I mean, being around kryptonite is like every single cell in my body is dying a million hot, sharp deaths, all at once, but it never ends. It’s too painful for words. And when I found out you were making it? Lena, I was terrified.”
“Because I’m a Luthor? Because you thought I was going to use it to kill you?”
“No, because the last time someone made synthetic kryptonite, I had to rescue you from an explosion. And the time before that, the formula was wrong, and it brought out the worst in me. I hurt everyone I cared about, terrorized the whole city. It was the worst experience of my life since I’ve been on Earth,”
Something about Lena’s face said she was finally understanding the magnitude of Kara’s hatred and fear of kryptonite. It brought Kara some satisfaction, though she wasn’t proud of it.
“I messed up. Big time. But I want to make up for it. I want to work through this with you,” Kara finished.
“Why is it so important to you that we’re friends?” Lena echoed a sentiment she had directed previously towards Supergirl. This time, though, there was no hostility.
“Because I care about you. I know you might not even like me anymore, but I really do think of you as my best friend. I love you, and I miss you.”
Lena was silent for a long time after that. Kara worried she had messed up, crossed some line she didn’t know was there. After some deep contemplation, Lena looked up, her expression full of understanding. “I miss you too.”
Kara opened her arms wide for a hug, and Lena leaned in, wrapping her own arms around Kara. Oh, how Kara had missed this. And wow, they were both crying now. Absolute messes.
Lena broke their hug but kept her hands loosely on Kara’s elbows.
“Things aren’t going to be how they were before,” said Lena, “but I think that’s okay. You’ve done a lot of things you can’t undo, but then again, so have I.”
“Me, too. I’d still like to be friends, if that’s okay?” Lena said. She was more nervous than Kara had ever seen her before.
Kara had never been happier. “I’d like nothing more.”
Lena pulled Kara closer, then kissed her on the cheek. Even with Lena right next to her ear, Kara wouldn’t have heard what she said next without superhearing.
“Are you sure about that?”