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i wonder if you look both ways (when you cross my mind)

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The last time Kara sees Lena, her arms are full of Tupperware. The Tupperware is full of pizza, pizza Kara knows that she won’t eat but is taking out of—not politeness, exactly, but something. A gesture unique to Lena, both meaningful and inexplicable. She has so much pizza she’s juggling it in her arms.

 

Kara will run her mind over this moment for a long time after everything that happens. It’s textures, it’s mysteries, looking for that one inexplicable thing. Lena tilting her hand, dropping a hint of what was to come.

 

But, no. And wasn’t that just like Lena. Air tight and holding Tupperware, smiling and trying to fish her phone from her pocket. Bidding Kara a fond and maybe impersonal goodbye, considering how things had been going between them. But her car was there. Leonard didn’t want to be double parked for long. See you later, Kara.

 

When Kara turns on the TV the next morning, wrapped in a robe and eating her Frosted Flakes, to see Lena standing adjacent to Lillian, she wonders for a moment if that’s what Lena meant. See you later. Her phone is already lighting up with Alex’s face but she can’t rip her eyes from the screen.

 

Lena looks proud. She has on her best red lip (and Kara would know, she’s seen all of them) and a black cap sleeved dress. Her hair is pushed over one shoulder and the sweeping horizontal line of her is like a brick wall. Kara forgets to be mad, or scared, or concerned. The image takes her and squeezes.

 

She declines Alex’s third call and navigates to Lena’s name in her contacts list without taking her eyes from the television. She presses the screen so tight to the side of her face that she can feel her sweat condensing on it, all while Lillian speaks and Lena stands unblinking next to her. The call rings straight through to voicemail. She dials again.

 

The camera pans over to Lena when it’s her turn to speak. It’s strange, to Kara, to see her lovely mouth curve around the words if National City doesn’t bow to our demands, there will be chaos . The phone rings through to voicemail again. She calls Alex.

 

“—declining my calls?” Alex is already worked up when she picks up the phone on the first ring. Kara still hasn’t torn her eyes from the television or Lena’s face. She’s talking, but about what Kara can’t be certain.

 

“I was sleeping.”

 

“How fast can you be at the DEO?”

 

Kara glances down at her robe and fuzzy slippers. Her stomach makes itself known although, for the first time since she arrived on earth, she doesn’t really feel hungry. “Couple minutes.”

 

When she hangs up, she spares a minute to look at her calls list. The two that Lena missed are there, phone and arrow indicated that they had not been received. She takes a fortifying breath and begins to head to the DEO.

 

. . .

 

At the DEO the top brass are all crammed into what Kara had once lovingly dubbed The Situation Room, but in her head now has reverted back to just Conference Room A. There are stacks of files on every available surface, and out of the corner of her eye Kara catches a passport-sized photo of Lena paperclipped to the cover page of one. Are these all about her? Lena is 26 years old. It seems incongruous that she would have so many secretive words written about her life.  

 

Then again, Kara thinks about the diving pool that is Lena Luthor and self-edits. It seems strange that all of those secretive words would be housed in hanging folders from the Office Depot. She’s still looking at the photograph when Alex clears her throat, drawing her attention to the front of the room.

 

There’s a whiteboard divided into halves, on one side the words What We Know and on the other side, What We Don’t Know. The latter column is full of words with a lot of room, like what and why. The former is empty, save for the sentence Lena Luthor is working w/ CADMUS.

 

“What is all this?” Kara asks, not sitting down. Everybody else is--sitting down, that is, except for Alex who is standing in the front of the room. She gestures weakly to the files, and to the whiteboard. “We don’t know that she’s working with CADMUS.”

 

This is met with a thick silence. Even Alex looks surprised to hear it, her eyebrows raising up near her hairline. “Supergirl--”

 

“She could be in danger. Kidnapped. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.” Kara marches up to the front of the room, wriggling her body around men and women in fatigues and J’onn, sitting near the front. She takes the dry-erase marker from Alex’s hand and wipes the words from the board with her sleeve. Kara replicates them in the adjacent column, and follows them up with more.

 

Is Lena in danger?

 

The cap goes back onto the marker, which she hands back to Alex. The room is still pin-drop silent and behind her, the altered board shows no words in the column for what they know. Kara is hyper aware of her phone tucked into her boot, imagining the buzz of a call so intensely that she can almost trick herself into thinking she feels it.

 

“Okay, take me back to the beginning.” She says. “When did this all start?”

 

. . .

 

She stumbles out of the conference room at 4 AM. Nothing is finished, despite the fact that the crowd has been reduced to a few hardy stragglers. Even Alex had to retire to the barracks to grab two hours of shut eye--only two, she’d warned Kara. Then come in to wake me up. Kara glances at the clock on the wall displaying military time in blinking green letters, knowing that she’ll give Alex an extra thirty, and pulls her phone from her boot.

 

No missed calls. She glances around, noting that after all-day commotion the hallway has been sucked into a vacuum of total silence. A janitor wheels a cart by, whistling, and fades into the background. She dials Lena’s number.

 

It rings, and rings, and rings. It goes to voicemail. This is Lena Luthor. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Kara feels her eyes unexpectedly prick with tears.

 

“Hey, Lena. It’s…you know who it is.” Kara lets out a wet chuckle and presses the back of her hand to her forehead. “So I saw this thing on the news today--with you, and your evil mom, and uh, I was just wondering--well, you looked great, first of all--but I was just wondering, are you okay? I need to know that you’re okay.” Every word takes on a more hysterical edge, but Kara can’t stop herself. “You need to call me and tell me where you are. I’ll come get you, you know I’ll do any--”

 

“Supergirl?” The phone slips out of Kara’s hand and she juggles it for a moment before it goes clattering to the floor. Alex is shuffling around the corner with a styrofoam cup of coffee in her hand and bags heavy under her eyes. “I told you to wake me up at four.”

 

“I lost track of time.” Kara crouches to the phone and ends the voicemail. When she comes back up, Alex is looking at her with a mix of fondness and exasperation. “Sorry.”

 

“That’s okay.” Alex takes a drag from her coffee, wincing. “How are you holding up?”

 

“Fine.” She replies, stuffing her phone back into her boot. “A little tired.”

 

“Were you on the phone with Lena? Just now?”

 

Kara sucks on her teeth and doesn’t respond. It’s a rhetorical question, anyway. Alex just wants her to know that she knows and, judging by the soft look on her face, that she understands. “Just--if she ever answers, tell me, okay?”

 

Again, Kara can’t say anything either way. Promising Alex would be a lie. So she stands, continuing to not look her sister in the eye, until she moves past her and back into the conference room, touching Kara’s shoulder on the way.

 

. . .

 

The CCTV video of Lena poisoning National City’s water supply doesn’t have the same effect on Kara that it does on anybody else. After a week of terrible silence, sleepless nights, and getting weirdly into her break up playlist from high school, seeing even the fuzzy suggestion of Lena’s outline is kind of nice, actually. At least it doesn’t send Kara into the frenzy that it does everybody else at the DEO.

 

Although she never vocalizes this, Kara believes that things are going to be pretty much fine. Even if Lillian tells the DEO that they’re going to put cyanide in the water if they don’t deliver Kara into her clutches. Even if there’s video of Lena sneaking into and out of the water treatment facility. It’s not about her conviction that Lena really is or isn’t cavorting with CADMUS, which she hasn’t quite put her money on yet, but her conviction in Lena’s inherent goodness.

 

Kara believes with all her heart that Lena wouldn’t even swat a fly unless under extenuating circumstances. Days pass after the video is released and nobody gets sick, and then more days pass, and still nothing unusual. While Alex and J’onn and Winn pull their hair all but out of their scalps, Kara remains nonplussed, standing in the control room.

 

“Play me back that video again.” She says, leaning over Winn’s chair. He cocks his head back to look at her.

 

“Why?”

 

“I thought I saw something.”

 

He rewinds back to the beginning and hits play. There’s the outside of the water treatment plant and then Lena, but you can’t tell it’s her at first. She’s just a dark coat and shiny hair, and then she turns her face up to the camera and-- oh . It’s a testament to the aching stretch of separation that Kara sees the blur of her face for the 20th or 25th time and has to keep herself from making an embarrassing noise out loud. Lena tilts her head down and passes out of the frame.

 

“Kara?” Winn prompts, pausing the video. “What did you see?”

 

“Oh! Uh, nothing.” Kara shakes her head to clear the brain fog. “Just a fly.”

 

“What? I didn’t see a fly.”

 

. . .




Alex tells her that it was just a matter of time, as if the inevitability is supposed to comfort Kara. She doesn’t feel like it was all that inevitable, anyway. She’s still trying to pick up the fragments of the last few weeks and jam them together into something that makes sense: the movie night at Lena’s place, lunch together in the Catco office, a last phone call in which Lena had sounded sad but not in any way that Kara found to be extraordinary.

 

“Did she talk at all about her mother?”

 

“No.”

 

“Cadmus?”

“Alex.” Kara kicks the toe of a red boot against the table and rises from it’s edge. They’re in an interrogation room at the DEO, mostly for the peace and quiet of it. The sounds of high-drive commotion are still faintly heard outside the door. Kara crosses her arms. “Don’t you think if Lena had suddenly started talking about evil schemes and do-badding I would have, I don’t know, said something?”

 

“Kara,” Alex begins in her most measured, even voice. This is the voice that sounds like a cup of flour after you’ve just leveled it with a knife. This is the voice that Alex uses when people get answers on Jeopardy! wrong and when Kara is being obtuse of something obvious. “You read that letter same as I did. It’s a bomb threat. I would love to get to the bottom of this before anybody gets bombed.”

 

“Nobody is getting bombed.” Kara huffs. She’s still not completely certain that any of this is real, not some kind of elaborate practical joke Lena is playing. Now that she was invited to game night, she had exposed in herself a kind of competitive streak that Kara found irresistible. “Nobody is getting bombed.” She says again, under her breath and to herself. Alex rolls her eyes.

 

“We’ll see.”

 

. . .

 

The bomb ends up at the National City Natural History Museum. As if to mock Kara, there’s a huge L emblazoned on it, leaving nothing up to the imagination about who’s handiwork it is. Agonizingly, Kara is made to wait at the DEO while the team goes to defuse it. Alex gently reminds her that she is CADMUS’s target and God only knows what kind of Kryptonite is in there, or worse.

 

Kara still has that unflinching belief in Lena warming her heart, but that doesn’t stop her from pacing the floor in the control room until she leaves shoe prints in the steel. For once, the ebb and flow of the DEO on a weekday has slowed to a putter while everybody pauses to watch the 24 hour news station playing on the TV monitors. She can’t count how many times she’s said “That’s it, I’m going over there” only to be stopped by an intrepid young agent with a hand on her shoulder and a quiet reminder of the promise she’d made to her sister.

 

When the news anchor, herself sagged with relief, reports that the bomb has been defused, there’s a palpable slouch that radiates through the room. Almost without realizing it, Kara makes a decision. She holds it in her mind as she rushes to Alex, wrapping her in the tightest safe hug she can muster and checking her over for injuries. Alex bats at her hands but, Kara knows, secretly enjoys the attention.

 

“Lena went to MIT, right?” Alex asks later, when they’re sitting on Kara’s couch polishing off their third large pizza and watching re-runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has a beer in her hand that’s been warmed over but not consumed, which is odd, but a lot of things have been odd lately.

 

“Yeah?” Kara shrugs. “I think so. I’m pretty sure.” She’s actually completely certain, and has read with great interest several of the papers Lena assisted on while in graduate school.

 

“Huh.” It takes a few seconds before Kara realizes that Alex isn’t keen to say anything else. Her brows knit. She reaches over with a foot and nudges her sister’s thigh, giving her a so what? look. “It’s nothing.” Another nudge, a little harder this time. Alex rolls her eyes. “It was just, the bomb. There was something funny about it. I don’t know.”

 

“Funny?”

 

“There was a mistake. In the wiring. Funny that she went to MIT and made a mistake like that.”

 

Kara feels her heart yawn open. Alex is studying the label of her beer and not making eye contact with Kara, and Kara knows that Alex knows exactly what kind of conclusion she’s drawing in her head. There are too many plausible explanations for everything that’s happened. A small mistake in a wire, a slip up at the water treatment facility. But maybe--

 

“Wow, hysterical.” Kara deadpans. Alex scoffs and shoves her. They giggle and settle back into the couch. They have to have moments like this. Moments where the unknowable future, their almost certain conflict, isn’t real. Moments where Lena both exists and doesn’t exist, is there but isn’t there. Schrodinger's scientist, settled in the wings, waiting for her moment to step out of the dark.

 

. . .

 

Kara wakes up that night unable to move and unafraid. She’s had night terrors since her pod landed on earth, sometimes waking up with her arms and legs weighted to the mattress like lead. She does what Eliza taught her to do. Eyes closed, even breaths, become aware of your body by degrees. Fingers, toes, the top of your head. Gradually, the upper half of her body lightens, but as she sits up she realizes that beneath her waist is still leaden.

 

More realizations come rapid fire. Lena Luthor is standing at the foot of her bed in a black tracksuit, looking dumbstruck. Her blankets have pooled around her waist and, because Kara runs hot and sleeps naked in the summer, her breasts are exposed. There’s something green glowing in Lena’s hand.

 

“Lena--”

 

“Fuck.” Lena’s words are garbled. She looks at the device in her hand, then back at Kara’s exposed chest, then covers her eyes with her free palm. “You’re not supposed to be able to move.”

 

Kara takes stock and realizes how groggy she feels, like she’s just drank an entire bottle of Nyquil. She swims through the sensation to try and take stock of everything that’s happening. The room has blurred edges but Lena, dumbstruck in the green glow of her device is crystal clear. Her first instinct is to reach out to her.

 

“Don’t.” Lena says, strained. Kara realizes that she’s peeking through her fingers. “This device has Kryptonite. How are you moving?”

 

“I don’t know.” She responds. “I don’t feel good.” The words worm through Lena’s facade. Her hands clench on the device. Her shoulders tense. “Lena, I don’t feel good.”

 

“God. Fuck!” The green ball hits the floor with a thud and rolls toward the bedroom door. “Don’t.” She says again, when Kara jerks toward her. “I’m kidnapping you.”

 

“You’re what?” Kara blinks. “I’m naked.”

 

“So put clothes on!” With permission, Kara moves to get out of bed. The sheet makes the staticky noise of cotton on cotton and begins to fall away, exposing more of her stomach and waist. Lena’s eyes widen and she claps her hand back over them. “Stop.”

 

“Okay.” Thankful that the new distance of the device from her body has given her more clarity, Kara pauses. “Can you get me a shirt and some underwear?”

 

“Where are your sweat pants?”

 

“I left them in the basement.”

 

“Kara I told you—” Kara mentally completes the sentence in her head when Lena stutters over the last word. I told you to set a timer so you remember to get your things out of the dryer. Fond and familiar. Melancholy washes over her.

 

Lena wordlessly moves to the dresser next to Kara’s bed and opens the top left drawer, pulling out a T-shirt and tossing it in her direction. She carefully closes it and stands for a minute, hand up and fingers twitching. “It’s the one to the right.” Kara provides, popping her arms through the sleeves of the shirt. “On top.”

 

Lena picks the underwear without looking. The drawer rattles with the force of her pulling it open and the cloth hits Kara in the chest when she throws it in her direction. Still, she looks when Kara puts them on, lifting her butt to shimmy them over her thighs. Kara knows she sees the flash of her pubic hair when the blanket shifts down.

 

“Okay.” Lena says, voice hard. Her hands are shaking. “Get up.”

 

“Wait.” Kara wipes at her eyes with her right hand. “Can I have a glass of water?”

 

Lena’s mouth opens and closes without sound coming out. For a second, Kara thinks she might actually cut the shit and come for her. It wouldn’t be easy but it wouldn’t be hard, either, and she’s not sure how much of a fight she could put up.

 

But Lena turns on her heel and stomps out of the room. Her heavy footsteps stop in the kitchen where the cabinets clatter open, a glass clinks, the faucet turns on. She stomps back and thrusts the glass to Kara’s chest.

 

Kara takes a sip with two hands holding the glass to her mouth. She realizes halfway through that she’s actually thirsty—parched, even, and gulps down the rest of it. “Okay.” She says when she’s finished, wiping condensation from her mouth and setting the empty glass on the bedside table. “Let’s go.”

 

She’s well aware of how she looks when she stands from the bed. The shirt is tight and blush pink and does nothing to hold the bottom heavy weight of her chest, her legs are unshaved, curly blonde hairs poke out from her underwear and inner thighs. Lena looks at her with instantly recognizable hunger. Even in all the grey area of their friendship and the muted light of the room Kara sees it clear. Pupils blown, cheeks pink, lips wet.

 

“Okay.” Lena chokes out.

 

“Okay.” Kara takes one tentative step forward and Lena flees. Turns around and dashes from the bedroom so fast that her body is a blur and the front door is slammed shut before Kara can blink. She’s left standing there wondering if anything had really happened at all, if Lena was a figure of her imagination or something more.

 

. . . 

 

“Okay, got it.” Winn’s head pops up from behind the couch. “You can come back in now.”

 

“Thanks.” Kara cautiously re-enters the kitchen and watches as he picks up the lead-lined contamination box. Lena’s device is stored safely inside.

 

“You know, Alex is going to want to know where this came from.” He scuffs one shoe against the floor. “Not saying, but just saying.”

 

“I woke up feeling funny and it was there.” Kara crosses her arms. She’s switched into an overlarge grey hoodie and sweatpants and they swallow her into an almost amorphous blob. “So you can tell Alex that.”

 

“Okay.”

 

“Any word from Lena or CADMUS?”

 

Winn shrugs. He’s busy toggling with something on the box, seeming to have lost interest in the conversation. “Nothing yet, but this has their stink all over it.”

 

***

Kara has all of the news channels programmed on her remote now, so she can flip through them at will. Nothing on CNN. Nothing on ABC. Nothing on any of the local stations. Her last text from Alex is from last night, asking her if she wanted to come over for pizza.

 

Sometimes in the night she wakes up feeling the shape of Lena in her room. It doesn’t scare her. Kara wonders if it’s leftover from last week or if the radio silence is making her see things. She doesn’t want Lena to do bad, of course, but her follies had kept her passing again and again into Kara’s line of sight.

 

Kara wrestles that thought down. She doesn’t want Lena doing bad things, period. But the ugly wound in her heart, the unbearable way that she’ll sometimes be sitting at her desk at CatCo and remember something funny Lena’d said to her, before—she can’t consolidate it all, hard as she tries.

 

The next night, in the dark of her bedroom, Kara sees Lena’s face. Not in its usual nighttime form, but that hungry way she’d seen her before. There was such a nakedness to Lena after all the pretense had been stripped away and Kara can’t pretend not to feel how it tugs at her skin.

 

Her fingers slip into her underwear and she finds herself soaked wet. Behind the projector screen of her eyelids she sees Lena seeing her, sees her eyes lingering on her breasts. In that moment Kara had stolen her power and left her—

 

She cries when she comes, loud and throaty and in the way you can when you live by yourself.

 

 

“You look like crap.” Alex says when Kara stumbles into the DEO the next morning. She’s got a styrofoam cup of coffee in her hand and a wry look on her face. “Been sleeping okay?”

 

“Yeah, I guess.” Kara replies, and then, “Actually, not really.”

 

“Neighbors again?”

 

“Uh-huh.” Kara falls into a desk chair and spins it a couple times, trying to wake herself up. She rubs at her eyes.

 

“Maybe you should get a white noise machine.” Alex says, and furrows her brow when Kara laughs out loud.

 

. . .

 

Kara sees Lena’s name on on her phone at 2 AM the next morning and almost doesn’t pick it up. It feels like she’s getting a call from another timeline, that she might hit the green button on her phone and hear her friend’s voice asking if she’d left an earring there the previous night. It feels also patently absurd. After all this, the blurriness of her on video tape, the late night visitation, to get something as pedestrian as a phone call feels like a punchline to a bad joke.

 

She picks it up anyway.

 

There’s static at first, followed by a small miracle. “Kara?”

 

“Hi Lena.” Kara swears she can hear a hitch in the breath of the person on the other line. Outside her window traffic buzzes by, oblivious. “How are you?”

 

There’s a sharp laugh, and Kara laughs too, then another hitch, and Kara knows that Lena is trying not to cry. She fists a hand in her comforter so tightly that it tears and down feathers float out.

 

“Not so good.” A sniff, a sigh. Her voice is rug burn. More cars roll past, Kara wonders if Lena is in one of them. “I don’t know what I’m doing, Kara.”

 

“Come home.” Kara presses the phone into her mouth. She says it urgently, privately, and is suddenly afraid that she’ll hold it so tight that it will snap in two.

 

“Every time I try,” Lena continues. “I can’t do it right. I can’t make her happy and I can’t make you happy anymore, either.”

 

“Come home, come home--” The line goes dead as she’s saying it, and Kara continues to say it into the night, into her empty apartment, and into the ambient noise outside.

 

. . .

 

Lena comes back on a Thursday and without kryptonite. Kara’s first instinct, upon waking up and realizing who is sitting at the chair in the corner of her bedroom, is to launch her entire body forward and into Lena’s arms. Even her shadowy figure and obscured face are a drink of cool water.

 

She doesn’t. She doesn’t for a lot of reasons, even if in the moment they seem secondary. Instead, she says: “Are you here to kidnap me again?”

 

And Lena says: “No.”

 

And Kara rises from her bed, dressed this time, and crawls to the foot of it to get a look at her. This time she’s in more normal clothes, a blouse and jeans, and her hair is loose around her shoulders like it was during the press conference. “Can I hug you?” She asks. Lena’s face twists into a mask of confusion. “I’m sorry, I just—I’ve missed you so much. Why are you here?”

 

Lena’s mouth opens, closes. She moistens her lips and tries again. Nothing comes out.

 

“It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter.” Kara babbles. Deals with the devil certainly start as plainly as this. She only knows that she would give anything to feel the mattress give under Lena’s weight. Her whole life to see Lena come from behind the curtain again.

 

So when she does come to her, when the mattress does give in and when the ghost of her body passes against Kara’s, she almost thinks that she’s come out of the other end of a bargain. Lena moves forward and, as if being pulled by strings, Kara lifts her body up until she’s upright on her knees. Lena mirrors her.

 

Kara has never thought about kissing Lena before. The urge isn’t in her head now, but her body, a need like somebody testing her reflexes. What had she meant when she said come home? Maybe this. She takes Lena by her shoulders—her wonderful, solid shoulders—and pulls her forward. She has no time to be embarrassed by her own sudden desperation.

 

In a game of tug-of-war, Lena gives in, then resists at the last moment, pulling back when their foreheads touch. Kara releases and then Lena is grappling for her, all arms and hands, then making her body staid. They end twisted on their knees, foreheads touching, Kara’s hands tangled in Lena’s hair and Lena’s arm holding their lower bodies together.

 

Kara has never thought about kissing Lena before. Now she breathes it, wills it into existence, is surprised by her own hunger. She’d sworn that just having her back would be enough but still wants more. When Lena’s hand comes to rest on the back of her neck her body jerks yes!

 

She doesn’t realize that she must have said it out loud until the hand grips. And then it pulls. They kiss. Lena tastes—Kara can’t explain it. Like overripe fruit, warm, fermenting maybe. Like she hadn’t gotten a chance yet that night to brush her teeth. Like herself. Her own breath.

 

The hand at the back of her head remains solid and Lena opens her mouth, licking in. Kara registers that she, in this moment, will let Lena do whatever she wants to her. All of her is loose and pliant and as Lena guides her down to the mattress her legs fall open, her hips tick up just so—an invitation. Lena grunts and settles between them.

 

Their kissing has become so sloppy that there’s moisture around Kara’s mouth and their hips are moving in an urgent rhythm. Lena is on top, grinding down, using the arm that’s not propping her body to grab Kara’s hip and bring her center up.

 

Her sweat pants have become a nuisance. They only serve to mute the friction that Kara needs more of. When Lena starts tearing at them, aimlessly at first and then with intent, Kara can only prop her hips up and wait for the cotton to slide properly down her legs.

 

“You’re—“ Lena breaks the kiss once her hand finds the bare apex of Kara’s legs. Kara shudders, grips her harder. She registers that her sweatpants are hanging around one ankle, legs splayed wide open, Lena between them. She wonders if somewhere in National City Alex has just broken out into a cold sweat.

 

The warmth of Lena’s hand on her inner thigh reminds her of a hundred smaller things. Their hands brushing as they pass a cup between them, a palm on her shoulder when they move through a crowded room. Slender fingers on her knee during a scary movie. When the hand moves up toward her cunt she jerks, reaches down to grip Lena’s wrist.

 

Lena’s head snaps up, eyes wide. She tries to move her hand away but Kara holds it there, locked an inch away from her soaking heat.

 

“Do you love me?” In the dark, Lena’s face is amorphous. Kara can only hear her breathing pick up. “Tell me you love me. Tell me.” It comes out an urgent whisper. She’s never cared about this before, with boys or anyone, but now it’s a primal urge. She won’t go one step further until Lena says it, even as her hips jerk involuntarily looking for friction.

 

“Kara—“ Tired of one word answers, Kara takes Lena’s face by the chin and brings it down so close that they’re sharing breath. A sliver of light cuts across her and she sees the green of her eye and the gape of her mouth. If she hadn’t been sure before that Lena was good she would be sure now. “Kara.”

 

It’s impossible not to hold Lena’s face in the way she wants to. To feel all her lines, to grip her jaw would be to destroy her. Kara trembles with self restraint. “I love you. I’ve been waiting for so long. I know you do too.”

 

Lena is shaking now. Her hand flexes, open and closed. “I do, I love you.”

 

All at once Kara’s grip on Lena’s hand releases and Lena moves, dragging her fingers up through Kara’s wetness and pushing them inside. She gasps, reaches up with one hand to brace herself against the headboard. Lena’s hips move with her hand and tilt Kara’s upward, her fingers going deeper as Kara’s knees frame her waist.

 

It’s urgent. Jerky. Kara reaches down to rub her clit, her orgasm feeling both secondary and critical. She wants to come feeling Lena moving inside her.

 

“You feel so good.” Kara manages out, body arching upward. It seems to flip a switch in Lena, who begins moving at a more frantic pace, hips jumping, bed creaking.

 

When she comes, it’s with Lena’s name on her lips. Her body spasms under the comforting blanket of Lena’s form and she knows Lena feels it too, as if Kara’s orgasm were something that passed between both of them. They slump at the same time. The same sweat is slicked on their bodies.

 

Then Lena is trembling. Her mouth is opening wetly against Kara’s neck and shutting again. “She said you didn’t.” Kara’s arms fly around her and her legs, too. Her heart in her chest makes itself achingly known. “She said nobody did. I was so ashamed.”

 

Kara squeezes around her as much as she can, thoughts and words half-formed in her head.

. . .



“It’s not Gucci, but I suppose it’ll do.” Lena twists her ankle left, then right. The monitor on it beeps a steady red rhythm.

 

“Government funding.” Alex deadpans. “Take two steps forward.”

 

Kara watches as Lena’s white socked feet take two measured steps through the apartment doorway. The steady beeping becomes rapid fire and the device in Alex’s hand lights up, alarm blaring.

 

“There she blows.” Alex presses a few buttons and motions for Lena to move back into the apartment. The alarm silences. “That’s your radius. Anywhere in the apartment and two steps out of it.”

 

“I’m not sure why this is necessary—“

 

“It’s fine, Kara.” Lena places a gentle hand on her shoulder and she softens by a degree.

 

“I’m just saying, if the best lawyer in National City couldn’t get you a better plea deal—“

 

“There is no better plea deal.” Alex interjects, hands on hips, looking between the two of them. “This is a cakewalk compared to National City Correctional.”

 

“I’m too fussy for prison.” Lena agrees. “Anyway, darling, it’s an excuse to catch up on this year’s Oscar nominees. I heard Roma is a smash.”

 

Later, when they’re sitting on the couch watching Roma, Kara says it.

 

“You’re never going to feel like that again.” Her eyes are glued to the TV but she can feel Lena’s focus startle on to her. They’re not touching but she can feel her body jerk. “Ashamed or unloved. I’m with you forever.”

 

Across the gap, Lena’s hand reaches for Kara’s. Their fingers intertwine. They keep watching the movie.