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is it gravity (or are we fallin' in love?)

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Kara refuses to be held fully accountable for this. In her defense, it’s not her fault that Lena Luthor is the way she is. Lena Luthor, who on a regular basis bring old, balding overconfident men down to tears and fruitful apologies. Lena Luthor, who cries when watching old Disney and Pixar films while eating Ben & Jerry’s. Lena Luthor, who has a personal wicked rampant agenda, attempting to lure Kara into kale whenever possible.

And with Lena being Lena, Kara can’t purely be faulted for finding her best friend just down-right attractive. She simply appreciates beauty and genuine human (or alien-to-human in her case) connection when she sees it. And it’s not such a bad thing to find your best friend attractive so much that you want to kiss her. If it goes against the Rules & Guidelines on HowToBestFriends101, then she must’ve missed it in the book.

Correction: she chooses to disregard the book. Screw the non-existent book.

(But really, she just tries not to think about it.

Too much.)

 

It starts like this:

Kara orders a venti-sized iced caramel frappe in Starbucks on a Friday late afternoon. Behind her, she can feel Alex just eye-rolling by the queue line, judging her and burning two holes in her back. So what if she’s a basic Starbucks chick. She just happens to love the good ol’ caramel frappe the most in the menu (“You just lack taste, Alex.”).

Kara won’t hide it. She loves this drink, would drink it everyday if she could. But unfortunately it’s a $5 drink and she falls poor victim to the addicting clutches of sugary overpriced coffee. So she pretty much considers it a luxury drink. So, when it’s a good day, naturally, she has to treat herself. Though she spends way too much money enough on food already, she takes self-care very seriously.

And Kara decides it’s a good day (or has been so far) because she had woken up in the morning feeling refreshed and well-rested despite the exhausting Supergirl duties she had yesterday and finishing up all her deadlines just in time right after that.

It’s a good day because before she had headed out for work, she'd been stopped by her favourite friendly old neighbour who gave her two boxes full of Krispy Kreme doughnuts (“This is for looking after my cat while I was away, Kara.”) and of course Kara took it, accepting her gratitude because who is she to refuse food and genuine appreciation?

It’s a good day because she’d been attacked by two (2) overexcited leashed corgis in the elevator whilst the owner blushed and apologized profusely. But Kara had only grinned, snapped pictures on her phone of the two corgis splooting on the floor, had snapped like how James took his camera shots— all professional and serious (“Snapping pictures is serious business, Kara, pictures deliver messages and feelings. It’s Art.”). The photos get sent to Lena and Kara got a: Cute, cute. Then: Dork.

And lastly, it’s a good day because Snapper didn’t shout at her at all. Today he tolerated her and low-key praised her last-minute miracle articles and that’s a big win from Kara’s book.

And this all leads to Kara treating herself to overpriced coffee.

But of course, nothing can escape from the grasp of Murphy’s Law. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. But hey, Kara tries. Always.

So just before game slash movie night happens, Kara gets held up by three drunk rogue aliens, causing ruckus at a bar, rumbling about “world domination” (with air quotes), and Kara stops them before it really escalates, placing all three of them in the govt. watch-list. Then a bush-fire occurs far out in a rural area and Kara flies there, successfully getting in control of the situation. When she gets back to National City and lands on her local alley, she switches back to her civilian clothes, looking all normal except the bits of ash sticking to her skin and hair. Before she even gets to think about buying new stocks of Ben& Jerry’s tubs, it starts to rain.

Like, really, really, rain.

Kara wants to bang her head on this street light but decides not to. She really wants to. But she’d rather not deal with the implication of all the passerbies witnessing a random woman knocking down a huge, long street light with her mere forehead.

By the time she gets to the entrance of her apartment door, she’s drenched, soaking wet from head to toe with her glasses all fogged up and wet.

Alex answers the door and Kara is immediately greeted with a snort and an amused grin from her sister.

“Looking good, kiddo,” Alex remarks and opens the door wider, gesturing for her to get in.

Kara only grumbles, pouting. “I got held up, sorry I’m late.”

Everyone is already here and the smell of quality food (potstickers, pizzas, doughnuts, and overall meat) fills her nose. So maybe her mood improves by 40%.

(Who is she kidding. 90% more like.

She’s shallow like that when it comes to food.)

“Kara!” comes the familiar, soft voice, and Kara can’t help the huge crooked smile that breaks out in her face. And within seconds, Lena is already standing in front of her with furrowed brows, looking a touch concerned. “Wow, aren’t you wet. I’d hug you, but,” she gestures to Kara, smirking.

“Then hug the wet,” Kara cheekily grins before attack-hugging Lena (a half-hug only though, so Lena doesn’t kill her) and Lena immediately jerks away, hands coming up to her defenses. “Be the wet!”

“God, Kara, no,” Lena chuckles, grimacing, and she steps away with her hands crossed and with a flirtatious smirk. “There are plenty of ways to get me wet. But not like this.”

A collection of groaning is heard from the background and Kara just grins. “Maybe later.”

“Disgusting, just get a room already,” Winn fake-pukes, shuffling a deck of cards. The others chime in in agreement and Kara doesn’t miss the small it’s too early for this from Nia.

“Again, maybe later," Kara shrugs, and this earns her a lovely laugh from Lena. “I’m off to shower and change, guys. So, slow down on the food munching, Grandmaster Food Demolisher finally on board!”

 

It's interesting, really. She had never meant for this thing with Lena to grow this big, but it just started happening more and more recently. The playful bantering, flirting, suggestive innuendos— surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) it all comes easy between them. But it wasn’t like this before, no. The main reason this new thing developed between them were due to their nosy friends. At first, it started with innocent questions and observations (“Lena asked you to accompany her to the gala?”), (“You hang with the Luthor often, Kara.”), (“Did Lena Luthor just sleep in your couch?) and then to the nosy questions (“Are you sure you guys aren’t girlfriends?”), (“Are you girlfriends yet?”) (“No? Then the universe must really do a great job maintaining balance and order— you two together are the epitome of a power couple.”).

Truth be told, she was extremely bothered by it at first. Denied such claims vehemently. Lena Luthor is her best friend, for Rao’s sake. The thought of her dating Lena sends her in a spiral of fluttering mess and she is in no way worthy of her. Too good for the world, Kara thinks, and she hates that not many see Lena for who and how she really is, with or without the CEO mask.

Why not just go with the flow and love the ride, Brainy had told her one day when he found her sulking at the DEO training rooms after Alex gave her an intense ten minute interrogation about Lena on how she spotted Kara sharing her food with Lena the other day (“You were sharing your food with her, Kara, this is serious business.”).

Why not just go with the flow and love the ride. So Kara did. And before she knew it, she started going along with it. This whole thing never seemed to bother Lena that much and quite frankly, Kara wished she could be a little like Lena and not care so much about the swimming opinions about her. Then as time went on, to counter her friends’ teasing, she’d just learned to go along with it and went full-force. Lena had been quick to go along with it the first time. And the second time. And the third. Then suddenly it just kept happening, but it’s mostly only when they’re provoked. Watching their friends’ faces fall, groaning in disgust as they flirted shamelessly and hung out together (much more than they should) pleasures Kara immensely. Because honestly, it’s funny and she loves a good laugh (especially when it makes Lena laugh, too.). She can’t always be the butt of the joke.

So they continue and do what they do best:

Being Kara and Lena, and being Kara and Lena when together.

 

When Kara steps into the living room, all clean and fresh, her eyes zero in on the food. She digs in ruthlessly and by the time she’s close to being satisfied with enough fill in her stomach, she’s interrupted.

“Kara, will you hurry up and join us already, please,” Alex grumbles, and she’s sat on the sofa next to Kelly with a huge bowl of popcorn by her lap. Kara blinks. She wants in on that bowl. “Your girlfriend’s been all pouty and lonely. Seriously, look at her. It’s gross.”

Kara ignores the girlfriend remark. She looks at Lena, who holds a glass of wine and sat in a lazy-cozy way on the couch with her legs tucked in, wearing the simplest sweater and baggy pants. Somehow despite such a normal and comfortable appearance, she still ends up looking expensive. Her face is half-hidden behind the rim of her wine glass as she takes a sip. Kara can see the hues of red on the tip of her ears. And then Kara’s gaze falls to the popcorn bowl. Easily persuaded by the two options, she comes.

(Yeah, she’s shallow like that.)

After arguing and debating what movie to watch for a full five minutes, they finally reach a verdict. Logging into Alex’s netflix account and choosing account: Parasite Number 2, she clicks on Bird box.

If anyone says anything when Kara slots herself besides Lena, all easy and familiar and perfect, Kara ignores it.

If anyone notices anything when she feels Lena’s hand on her thigh during most of the movie, Kara doesn’t say anything.

And if anyone makes a remark about Kara keeping Lena close almost to the point of invading her personal space, it’s easily lost because Kara is just simply a cuddly person in nature.

“Okay, that movie was sick,” Nia whistles, and Kelly clucks her tongue in agreement.

“Agreed, the ending was so cool! But like… I still can’t get over the children’s names. Boy? And Girl? Seriously?” Winn huffs, shakes his head, “who even names their children that.”

“They did get a proper name in the end, though,” Kelly says. “Was getting worried they’d be called Boy and Girl for the rest of their lives.”

Kara feels and hears the low throaty chuckle beside her, and she gulps.

“Getting blindfolded, though? I can’t imagine walking around blindfolded outside,” Alex utters, wrapping an arm around Kelly’s shoulder, face featuring a scowl. Then her face twists into a grimace when she looks at Kara. “Although if miss clumsy were to be blindfolded, she’d go around knocking and tearing up all the hard things in the city combined.”

Kara pouts. “Hey, I’m not that clumsy!”

“You are actually quite the clumsy person, Kara, no matter how much you like to deny it,” Lena tells her, giving her a slight jab in the abdomen. Alex sticks her tongue out at Kara from the support. “But at least you're clumsy-cute,” Lena winks. Then Alex's jaw drops, narrows her eyes in betrayal.

“Still clumsy nevertheless.” Kara bites the insides of her cheeks. 

When everyone starts cleaning up all the rubbish and empty alcohol bottles in the living room, Kara goes to the kitchen to place the dirty bowls on the sink. Moments later, Winn comes up beside her, gives her a slight nudge on the shoulder.

“So when are you two finally going to get it together,” Winn eyes at her as he helps her with the dishes. “Like, together together.

“Winn,” she sighs. “Buddy. My buddy. No,” she flatly says.

He shoots her an incredulous look.

“Come on, Kara. No matter how much you two dance around each other just to annoy us, I have eyes. I mean, anyone with eyes can see it. God, you really don’t see it?” he huffs, unimpressed when Kara shoots him a blank look. “How you guys look like from another’s perspective. How she looks at you. Seriously, you two should just date already.”

Winn,” she stresses, and tries not to look the slightest affected from his words. “For the nth time, we aren’t like that. Also, I have eyes too and I see things just perfect.”

“I disagree. I mean, you have x-ray vision too, but it’s not like your x-ray vision can see truth, or whatever,” Winn shrugs.

“I don’t know why you’re so convinced that there’s something between me and Lena other than a normal basic friendship.”

Winn groans. Like he's in actual pain. And then a moment later he gasps loudly, eyes wide. “Oh, man! You’re like that woman who recently got diagnosed for not being able to hear voices from men! Except you’re the eye version and you can’t see truth.”

Kara should be used to this. The constant pushes and reminders. Still, no matter how tired the topic is, she still flushes at it. Lena Luthor. Her best friend. Dating her. Kara starts to worry for Winn; he's never been this delusional.

“Stop teasing her, Winn.” Lena slips into the kitchen with two dirty plates. Kara keeps her eyes trained to the sink. “Or else we’ll start making out right in front of you. And maybe finally get you to puke for real.”

Kara almost breaks a plate. Tries her very best not to go beet-red. Sure, they let out suggestive comments here and there every now and then. But Kara isn’t always prepared and will always feel affected because it’s Lena. When Kara looks at her left, she sees Lena already looking at her, expression playful yet unreadable. But there’s a slight tug at the corner of her lips.

“Yeah, Winn,” she clears her throat, and finishes washing the last plate. Winn’s eyes bulges and he looks like he’s about to blanch at the thought. “Are you thinking about it, Winn?” Seeing the poor look in his face right now gives Kara a chance to turn things around. “Maybe we should make out, Lena,” she says simply, shrugging. Lena smiles slyly, takes steps closer to Kara and shoots Winn a strong threatening don’t-test-us look.

Oh, the power of the arch of her eyebrow.

“Okay, okay!” he steps back in haste, almost tripping, and shakes his head like he’s having none of this right now, “Jesus, fuck, nope. Not thinking it. Definitely not here to see it. God, I can't — I'm going. I’m going to have nightmares.” He stomps cutely out of the kitchen like a child who doesn’t want his veggies, a little red on the face, huffing.

Kara grins at Lena. Lena grins back, and soon they break into laughter and manage the best high-five they’ve ever had.

 

Everyone’s left her apartment except Lena after half an hour. At this point she’s not surprised anymore, and doesn’t stop for a moment to think about the why’s. Sometimes Lena stays in a little longer. Sometimes in for the night. This is just one of those nights. And they’d just watch another movie together, play a game, or talk and just talk.

“I’m sorry if I was a little too much,” Lena says, joining her by the couch after bidding Alex and Kelly goodnight by the door, “— before, I mean.”

Kara blinks.

“You weren't,” she assures, picking up a bottle from the table. She reads the label of the bottle. “Not at all. You know you’re real smooth, you know? You keep me on my toes. And you know how to shut people up. His face was so priceless, Rao I wish I'd snapped a picture of it.” Kara can’t help but break into a chuckle recalling his face.

Lena just looks at her and Kara sees the tipsy haze behind her eyes with her cheeks and ears tinting red and pink. Kara pushes a thought away. Puts it in an itty box.

“I know things have been a little different recently between us,” Lena says a moment later, and she, too, picks up one of the remaining filled glasses on the table. “But we've never talked about it, you know? I just want you to tell me if it ever gets too much. Or if I should stop. I would never want to do anything that would make you feel uncomfortable.”

Lena’s biting her lip, looking so sincere when she says it. Kara tilts her head to the side. It kind of confuses Kara, but she just shrugs.

“It’s the same for me too. Vice-versa, Lena,” she reassures, grinning. They remain sitting on the couch in silence for a minute until Lena breaks it.

“What bottle is that?” she scoots closer to Kara, trying to read the writing on the bottle.

“It’s new,” Kara tells her, and easily flicks the lid off with her thumb. “Humans can take this too, but not too much though. It’s really, really strong.”

“Interesting.” Lena stares at the bottle in thought. “Well then. You up for a little more drinking? I’m already a bit tipsy, but we can finish the remaining few bottles here. If you want.”

“Sure,” Kara shrugs. “You’re staying in for the night, then?”

“If that’s okay.”

“Of course it is,” Kara grins. “Now, are you up for a little alcohol tasting? I promise this one’s safe, you just have to be careful of your consumption or you’ll easily black-out drunk.” She looks up in thought for a moment. A wasted drunk Lena. She’s never seen that. The woman holds her alcohol far too well.

Kara takes a good swig from the bottle straight and then gestures for Lena to try and taste. The raven-haired woman looks skeptical for a moment before giving in. She brings it to her mouth and chugs once. Lena almost gags, almost coughs.

She took it like a champ. Kara’s impressed.

“God, that is strong,” Lena winces, and quickly she takes a full swig of her own bottle, drinks like it’s a chaser. Kara just laughs at her fondly.

By the time they’ve finished the remains, Kara’s pretty tipsy. Not drunk, but tipsy. And Lena looks like she’s fairing no better. For the past hour, all they’ve been doing is talking about the nothings and everythings. It’s pretty normal in Kara’s Kara and Lena drunk talks book.

“That’s disgusting, Lena,” Kara wrinkles her nose. She can’t feel her nose. “Kale flavoured soju? I’m truly appalled. I am,” she giggles, leaning herself to Lena’s side— shoulder, arm, and thigh touching. Lena feels so nice and smells so good. Again, Kara’s naturally a cuddly person. She can’t be blamed.

“It’s really not,” the younger woman retorts and she looks dead-set about this, “I would really try it. Honestly? It should be made a thing. Brought into existence.”

Lena looks so serious, like she’s about to really order it into existence knowing she’s a text or phone call away from her contacts. Kara knows Lena really could if she wanted. But instead of thinking about the Abomination Drink, she finds herself staring at Lena. Whose face might be a little too close to her own right now. Face etched with a lovely, dopey smile with her twinkling emerald-green eyes and cheeks flushed lightly.

Something about her right now in this moment makes Kara want to kiss her. Well maybe she has thoughts sometimes. It’s nothing new— Kara never usually allows herself to linger about it. Always forces it to the deepest part of her mind whenever it comes up.

Alex and the gang and especially Winn would probably tease her endlessly if they knew, but she’d never ever admit that out loud. Ever. She’d rather drink Lena’s Abomination Drink before that happens.

So what if Kara thinks about kissing her insanely hot best friend sometimes. Every now and then.

So what.

When Lena’s facial features soften, Kara blinks out from the haze. She doesn’t miss the way Lena drops her gaze to her lips for a split second before coming up to meet her in the eye.

So what, so what, Kara chants in her head.

Kara leans forward, just a bit, and hears how Lena’s breath hitches a little. Her body moves from its own accord before she's able to process and consider it. It's too late to back out now.

“Are you… going to kiss me?” Lena whispers, voice all so soft and gentle and the beating of her heart spikes up in Kara’s ears.

“Can I…?” Kara whispers back, inching closer and closer slowly, and gives Lena all the time to pull back or away from her. Kara wants to kiss her best friend. So what. Head swimming in thoughts, her mind goes overdrive, thinking about how soft Lena’s lips would be on hers, how she’d taste like, or how —

Kara’s not entirely too sure who closes the gap first, but she thinks it must be Lena because she’s all about consent. The way their mouths meet is a complete utter mess; they almost clash teeth because both can’t help but break into a drunken smile and a second later they chuckle at that, nose brushing together. But they quickly recover and get it together. Kara leans in and feels the full and plush lips against her own, and there’s a frantic hunger in the way their lips meet for the second time.

Soft, she confirms for herself.

And then the next thing Kara knows is the sudden weight on her lap, and arms snaking— wrapping around her neck. Holy shit. Lena Luthor, her best friend, is sat on her lap, straddling her and kissing her senseless.

Now, Kara’s pretty much a master of self-control. She has to be. She’s forced to be. Ever since she landed on Earth, she’d spent most of her time practicing and learning how to handle literally everything on Earth with care. From beach balls to Rubik's cubes, from knitting to handcrafts, drawing/painting to playing instruments. She’s so, so careful in her touches— in all forms of physical contact. So she’s not foreign to touching a human. And intimately at that.

Heart hammering her ears, Kara breathes Lena in. Lena always smells so fucking good, and Kara just wants to drink her all in. Her expensive perfume with a pang of alcohol, it floods her senses easily, making her feel a little dizzy and lightheaded. Running her hand along Lena’s waist, she takes a hand to Lena’s delicate back, presses her closer to her front.

Lena parts her lips, just enough for Kara to slip her tongue inside. Kara can’t help but smirk when she hears the soft noise Lena makes in the back of her throat— so she cranes her neck in a way to deepen the kiss, gaining better entrance to Lena’s mouth. The press of Lena’s body against her own deepens and Kara can feel just how much pressure her back is being pressed onto the couch. Rao does she find this extremely hot.

Kara almost whines when Lena pulls back, and for a moment only the sound of heavy breathing is heard in the room. Fluttering her eyes open, she sees Lena staring at her with half-lidded eyes.

“More?” Lena whispers, voice low and rasp. She licks her lips painstakingly slow, which now looks thoroughly kissed. Kara can’t help but take a moment to admire the view: Lena’s mussed hair and puffy lips, her eyes dark and glossy, her neckline askew, and the attractive flush from ear to throat and chest heaving. It kind of makes Kara a little nervous.

“More,” Kara breathes, and closes the distance. With Lena starting to get all touchy— her hand gliding from Kara’s collarbone, jawline to the back of her neck slow— Kara slips her hands down and cups Lena’s ass, gives it a tight squeeze. This elicits a guttural moan from Lena’s mouth. And right there and then, Kara just kind of fucking melts at the sound, as she sighs onto the kiss with the intimacy of Lena’s tongue running along hers. “You’re gorgeous. You’re so gorgeous, you know that?” she whispers against Lena’s soft lips, and feels nails scraping at her scalp, “hot, so beautiful, so stunning. Rao, Lena.”

Kara feels the twist of a smirk forming on Lena’s mouth. Honestly, she can't find it in her to care about her lack of eloquence right now. She’s having a full-blown make out session with her best friend. Can she be blamed?

“I do know that,” Lena says with a quiet shaky exhale and pulls her head back slightly for a pause. “I also know that I’m quite very huggable,” she leans in, murmuring against Kara’s cheek before she grabs the nape of Kara’s neck, connecting their mouths together once more, “kissable,” she continues on against her mouth, all slow and full of tongue and— Rao, Kara’s never been so filthily kissed like this in her life, “...and fuckable.”

And just like that, Kara’s gone and fucking writhers under Lena. Completely and utterly turned on, she grabs— tugs on Lena’s hair with just the right pressure and lowers her head, breaking off the kiss. By the hitch of Lena’s breath she can tell she’s been caught surprised, but Kara doesn’t focus too much on that and starts pressing hot open mouth kisses on Lena’s neck.

“Kara,” Lena whimpers softly and lets her head fall back, allowing Kara better access to her neck. Kara’s hands travel down to Lena’s thighs, fingers digging extremely carefully into fabric and skin as she trails more wet kisses on Lena’s neck, “Kara…”

“I want to mark up your pretty skin.” Kara gives a long, slow purposeful lick at alabaster skin, “Can’t stop thinking about it, kind of want to mark you up so bad—”

“Leave marks then,” Lena pants breathlessly, and Kara wonders briefly if they should slow down. Everything she is doing with Lena right now must go against the HowToBestFriends101 book but then again it’s not like it’s the most terrible thing to do in the world— kissing your willing and eager best friend silly that is.

So Kara does what she’s been allowed. She carefully sucks a hickey into the base of Lena’s throat, drinking in her pretty gasp. “Thought about this sometimes, you know,” she murmurs against hot flushed skin, and feels wandering hands slip under her shirt. “You under me, but this works too.”

“Is that why you get all flustered around me sometimes,” Lena teases, her hands gliding soft against Kara’s bare skin.

Kara flushes. Ignoring the comment, she travels back up swiftly to reclaim Lena’s mouth, her tongue slipping back in instantaneously. This evokes a low filthy moan out of Lena and the vulgar sound just makes Kara feel extremely weak.

She’s just about had enough and considers taking her shirt off until she registers a fumbling of keys in the hallway out her door. For a second she thinks of ignoring it until she realizes it’s coming from behind her door —

Alex.

Biting back a groan, she grimaces and pulls Lena back softly by her shoulders. The raven-haired woman looks at her in confusion, then face slowly twisting into concern. Kara’s quick to shake her head, whispers, “Alex is coming.”

Eyes widening, Lena jerks away— almost stumbles backwards but Kara catches her just fine and soon they’re both in a frantic mess to fix their breathing and disheveled hair and crumpled shirts. Kara hears the keys drop on the ground and a curse shortly after.

She fixes herself fast enough and before she stands up to get the door, she’s stopped by a hand cupping her cheek. For a second she thinks Lena might kiss her again and the thought kind of worries Kara—

“Sorry, there’s a little,” Lena utters, voice deep and husky, and starts stroking the corners of Kara’s mouth hastily though with rapt attention as if to remove a blemish, “— okay, good. Perfect.”

The door opens and for once their hands are kept to themselves.

“Hey!” Kara chirps in greeting, her voice a little high-pitched. She’s not sure if being interrupted was for the better before things started to really escalate, but right now she feels so uncomfortably turned on she has to will herself to relax. Alex looks at her before looking at Lena. Kara gets up from the couch and walks towards her sister, “Did you forget something, Alex?”

“Yeah…” Alex drawls before she shakes her head, letting herself inside. “I was knocking but you weren’t answering, figured you’d gotten to sleep or something.”

“Sorry, I was dozing off to sleep. The knocking didn’t really register in,” she half-lies. Then thinks about the Abomination Drink.

“You guys drank more?” Alex utters in disbelief, squinting at the table before she rolls her eyes. “Anyway, Kelly left something.” She paces around the living room and then to the kitchen.

“What did she leave?” Lena gets up to help and Kara follows her shortly after. She tries not think about where Lena was sitting just a few moments ago.

“Phone. Ah— found it.” Her sister grumbles a Kelly you clumsy under her breath and starts heading back to the door with Kara. Alex gives a last look back to the two. “Alright. Don't stay up too late. I’ll see you tomorrow, Kara.” She turns to look at Lena, shoots her an arched brow. “Luthor.”

“Goodnight to you too, Alex,” Lena says simply and smirks.

“Oh, say goodnight to Kelly for us, too!” Kara tells her sister.

Kara closes the door and a minute later, Alex’s footsteps are far away enough from her apartment floor.

She finally turns to face Lena.

“Well. That went smoothly,” the younger woman jokes.

Things don’t have to be awkward, in Kara’s honest opinion. Lena’s face is neutral, doesn’t look like she hated what just happened at all. And with the easy smile and shrug from Lena a second later, it’s clear she won’t make a big deal of it— not unless Kara does. So why should Kara?

Kara grins. She walks towards Lena, tucks the loose string of hair hanging in a wonky way behind Lena’s ear.

“Wanna head to bed and just cuddle? Not gonna lie, I kind of need a few more minutes to calm down first. That was… um, intense.”

Lena blinks before the corners of her lips tug upwards. “Trust me, I’m more affected than you are,” she mumbles lowly but audible, taking a hand up to rub a side of her face with a shaky breath. Her head drops and hangs on Kara’s shoulder. “Maybe I might even need a cold shower.”

“Lena,” Kara flushes.

The younger woman bursts into a warm chuckle before she looks up to Kara. “Back to being shy now, are we? Okay, I'm joking,” she says, then narrows her eyes, smirking slyly, “Or am I?”

Lena,” Kara stresses and Lena just laughs harder, tilting her head to a side, looking all extremely charming and entirely too smug. She half-considers continuing what just transpired between them moments ago just to make Lena shut up and wipe that grin off her face. Half-considers just cuddling and chilling instead. She decides to choose the latter. “Alright, so I got you a new toothbrush by the way. It’s in the bathroom.”

“New toothbrush,” Lena gasps dramatically. She stretches her arms and legs before heading towards the bathroom. “Kara, I will actually die a little inside if you got me another toothbrush with the Shrek design with his face on it.”

Kara doesn’t say anything and heads towards her bed to change. And then a moment later:

Kara!

 

So, yeah. Kara’s sure she can’t be held fully accountable for this. Shortly after, they both settle in her bed like it’s just another normal sleepover night. They don’t talk about what happened and it’s all comfortable silence there. Kara’s the big spoon to Lena’s little spoon and they slot together like perfect puzzle pieces.

And so no matter what anyone says, all things considered, they’re not dating. She’s her best friend. Even if they flirt shamelessly with each other. Even if they recently had a mind-blowing make out session.

They won’t date, Kara’s very sure.

They won’t.

Chapter Text

 

Kara does not wake up to the sound of her alarm. She wakes up to the smell of mocha and blueberry muffins, and feels the glow of sunshine ray peeking out from her curtains. She opens her eyes groggily, feels her arm searching for something soft and tangible in the sheets, but comes up empty. She’s about to drift into sleep before she processes the smell again.

Food. And work.

Her body springs up and immediately she grabs for her phone by the night stand. It’s 8:33am. Her eyes widen and she moves out of her bed in haste, legs getting tangled in the sheets. Biting Kryptonian curses under her breath, she uses super-speed to do her morning routine and change for work. When she gets back to the nightstand to demolish the muffin and mocha, flashes of events come back vividly in her head from last night.

She flushes hard.

Finally noticing the small sticky note next to the muffin, she brings it up to read.

Leaving early for an early work meeting. Hope you slept well. See you for lunch later? -L.

Kara blinks.

She grabs the muffin by the night stand and devours it whole, and then drains the lukewarm mocha down her throat. She opts to fly to catco, not feeling up to deal with a lecture about tardiness from her boss.

 

Kara(10:38am): hey you!

Lena(10:45am): Hey, me. Good morning to you too, Kara.

Kara(10:46am): oh good morning!! you know, if i had known you had an early meeting in the morning i wouldn’t have let you drink that much >:(

Lena(10:46am): It’s all well and fine, the meeting went well. I do have a little headache, though.

Kara(10:47am): gee i wonder why

Lena(10:49am): Not all of us have super powers that extend to repelling hangovers, darling.

Kara sends a plethora of pouting and tongue stuck out emojis.

Lena(10:54am): We’re still up for lunch, right? My treat, since you bought last time. Thrice if I must add.

Kara(10:54am): of course!! can’t have u passing out in work. I know you’d skip if it weren’t for lil ol’ adorkable me ;)) im irresistible

Lena(10:56am): Well, you got me. I can never pass the opportunity to have brunches with a pretty girl.

Kara(10:56am): gasp! so you’re saying all this time u only went on lunches with me bc im pretty. Well unfortunately for u, i also have wicked intentions but im not sharing them. keep the enemies close but keep the pretty girls closer u kno

Lena(10:58am): Sure, Kara. ;)

For a hot minute, Kara forgets the events from yesterday, getting lost in how their conversation sounds so normal—the usual. Then unable to help herself, her brain ventures into the certain images of frantic touching and heavy panting and messy hair and lipstick.

“Have they found them yet?” Nia comes up behind her, in a low, hushed tone, bouncing up and down on her feet.

Kara almost falls out of her swivel seat.

“Nia! Itching to spring into some action today?” Kara clears her throat, shaking the images off her head. She takes a look at the younger woman, sees the restlessness of Nia’s energy.

Nia’s fiddling with her hands and her eyes buzz, circling around the room.

“Well, I—I don’t know. Just feels like a slow day today. You know?” Nia avoids her gaze, lips pursed.

Kara narrows her eyes. Because Nia is still relatively new at the super hero thing, she has these regular bursts of energy, thrumming to go out there and engage in operations to do some good. But today the reason seems a little different.

“You look like you went and had a sugar-load, or something. What did you eat,” Kara gasps, her eyes already searching at Nia’s desk. “I want in on it.”

Nia doesn’t answer, simply shrugs. Kara arches an eyebrow.

“Brainy?”

Her friend’s face slips, and breaks into a pout. “Maybe.”

“Cute,” Kara clicks her tongue. “You guys are very cute.”

“He’s just being a little silly recently,” Nia mumbles, leaning a little on Kara’s desk. “But other than that, I do wanna go out and do something. It’s a really slow day today and the lack of productivity is doing my head in.”

Brainy’s acting weird? Kara makes a note to go visit him sometime soon. She’s not fully in on what’s been happening between Nia and Brainy, all she knows is that there’s something and that they’re insanely cute.

“No, they haven’t been found but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time until Alex finds them. Until then, ass-kicking is saved for a later,” she grins. They’ve been on the hunt for two rogue aliens since two days ago. Kara’s sure it won’t be long until they’re found and get notified to move out. “Wanna join me for lunch with Lena?”

 

They meet at their usual local coffee place. The coffee place, Kara likes to simply call it.

“I’m so sorry, I got held up in a meeting,” Lena heaves a sigh, and slides into the booth next to Nia. “Oh, hey, Nia.” The Irish woman’s eyebrows shoot up, smiling in surprise at the woman.

Of course, Kara thinks, biting her tongue. Having lunch with Lena means seeing Lena physically. Talking to her. Expectedly. And yet, now with the sight of the CEO right in front of her, she feels her neck heating a little.

“Nia’s been a little sulky today so she’s having lunch with us,” Kara explains, and easily earns a glare from Nia.

“Am not,” Nia insists. She shoots a polite smile at Lena. “H-Hi, Miss Luthor. Sorry to barge in your lunch with Kara.”

Lena rolls her eyes. “Please, none of that. It’s Lena. And no, don’t apologize at all. You’re always welcome to join.”

Nia clears her throat. Kara bites down a laugh; it’s only recently that Nia and Lena met, and often they’d meet through Kara or their mutual friends’ nights out. Outside of Catco and work, that is. Always surrounded by other people, it makes sense that they haven’t had any proper chat together, the awkward air evidently swirling between them. Nia’s still clearly intimidated by her best friend.

“Okay. Thanks, Lena.”

“So? What’s gotten you all sulky? Did Kara do something?” Lena grins, glancing at Kara before looking at Nia.

Kara huffs.

“It’s nothing much, really,” Nia grumbles, cheeks flushing lightly. “Hold on, I’m going to go order for us.” Kara hands her some cash until Lena waves her off, striking a threatening it’s my treat, remember brow up.

“So…” Kara hums, a grin stretching across her face. “Hi.”

“Hey back,” Lena arches an eyebrow. She sits back comfortable on the booth, setting her bag down properly onto the side. Kara kind of just stares for a few seconds; Lena looks stunning today, makeup on point and she’s wearing Kara’s favourite blue coat on her. It makes Kara want to reach out over the table and hug her.

“How’s the headache?”

“Hurts much less now. Must have something to do with the pretty girl sitting across me right now,” Lena shrugs, and places her elbows on the table. “Also said pretty girl mentioned something earlier about wicked intentions…?”

“That’s right,” Kara mirrors her, leaning in with elbows across the table, grinning. “But it can’t be shared. You don’t have the privilege for such highly classified information.”

“Not even with your best friend?”

“Not even with my best friend.”

“Shame.” Lena crosses her legs under the table, runs a hand through her hair with a ridiculous attractive smirk on her face. Kara keeps her eyes trained up. Tries not to look at her lips or see if there’s anything on her neck from yesterday’s. It’s a genuine struggle.

Perhaps she kind of really, really wants to kiss her again. The flirting isn’t helping. Not at all. Because she’s an idiot, and she’s an idiot that can’t help but be so into it.

And oh, Rao, betrayed by her own eyes, she accidentally slips up and gazes downwards, sees a slight blemish under the blue coat with her sharp, perfect eyes, under the white collar (Kara curses—the angles, darn the angles), and—

“It’s there,” Lena says, a teasing glint in her eyes.

“What?”

“The mark.”

“Oh, I—” Kara sputters, hands flat on the table.

A throaty chuckle erupts from Lena, looking too clearly amused at this.

“I have to admit, the marks are a little too higher up for my liking, but it’s fine,” the raven-haired woman hums, looking absurdly gorgeous. It’s not like Kara’s experiencing a breakdown right now, no. Having given your gorgeous best friend a hickey like it’s no biggie and normal. It’s all fine.

“Now Jess is on the man hunt to see who ravished her boss’ neck. Scandalous,” Lena quips, voice conspiratorially low and mischievous, winking.

Deep breaths.

(What deep breaths. She rarely lacks oxygen in her body.

But Kara is not, in fact, fine.)

“You find this amusing. You’re enjoying this.”

“Can you blame me?” Lena shrugs, and, yes, Kara blames her, blames her with all her might, and Kara might just call and ask her friendly old neighbour to support her on her blaming. “You’re easy to tease and too cute when you get all flustered.”

Kara bites the insides of her cheeks, flushing hard. Thankfully, Nia comes back with their orders before she loses more grace and her will to live.

“Salad for lunch... Are you a vegan, Lena?” Nia takes note of the plastic bowl in front of Lena, as she digs in her own lunch.

“No, not necessarily,” the CEO answers, forking up what Kara calls the Abomination Greens. “They’re my favourite. Also, it’s kind of impossible for me to go full vegan when Kara’s around.”

Nia snorts, and she glances up to Kara who’s consuming a mouthful of food a little too fast.

“I can’t imagine being a full vegan,” Nia says in thought. “I’ve tried countless of times, but I always end up succumbing to the meat and fish cravings in the end.”

“I could totally be vegan,” Kara swallows her food all down her throat, finally speaking. The power of food has given her some cover on her ground, feeling more functional as a normal alien of the society. “I’m vegan right now.”

“Kara, your plate is full of potstickers and sushi,” Lena points out, an amused smile playing in her lips. “With three pizza bread on the side.”

“So? I’m like, five seconds in right now on that vegan streak. Until I continue eating.” And then Kara continues to eat.

“Kara…” Nia rubs her face in disbelief.

“Dork,” Lena scoffs, mouth agape. “That’s not how it works, but okay.”

After a moment later, Kara manages to get Nia spilling more details about what’s been going on with her and Brainy. Of course she’s a little concerned, she’s her friend and mentor. Plus, she ships the hell out of the two. DreamerDox, she calls it (because she can be extra like that), has called for the rights and claims to the ship name ever since the two had some obvious thing going on together.

“He said things about keeping it ‘professional’,” Nia tells them with aired quotation marks, leaning back. “So I was like, sure, okay, wildcat.”

“Ah,” Lena nods. “But something tells me it won’t be long until he changes his mind, though?”

“You guys are the cutest couple I know and I agree with Lena,” Kara grins. She’s sure Nia and Brainy are inevitable. That’s just how they are. “Brainy will come around to it, I’m sure.”

Nia just shrugs. “Well, how about you guys? Kara, you haven’t dated anyone seriously in a while. And Lena, it’s been a long time since James. Honestly, you guys confuse the hell out of me, but I’m genuinely curious.”

When Lena doesn’t answer, Kara finds her mouth opening first.

“I don’t think I can do relationships right now,” Kara hums, scratching the back of her neck. It’s an honest answer, but she feels a little uneasy at the question. The longest relationship ship she’s been fully committed to is with potstickers. Seriously. She can never cheat on potstickers as her number one. Relationship goals, right? “Still, I mean. Or rather, I’m not looking for anything serious.”

“Oh. I see.”

When Kara turns to look at Lena across the table, she finds the young CEO’s gaze fixated on Nia with a neutral face.

“Same,” Lena finally answers, and turns to Kara with a shrug.

“Well—oh, James is calling me. I have to get back, guys.” Nia stands up, collecting her bag and rubbish. “This was a nice brunch, thank you for letting me barge in out of the blue, Lena. I’ll see you soon, Kara. Bye, Lena.”

Shortly afterwards, Kara is outside the store front with Lena by the sidewalks.

Kara wrinkles her nose and feels her specs slide down on the bridge of her nose. Lena smiles softly, brings a hand up to Kara’s face and slides Kara’s glasses back up. Kara goofily smiles, and she engulfs Lena in a firm, warm hug, eliciting a lovely chuckle from the Irish woman.

“See you sometime soon,” Lena sighs lightly, and kisses her on the cheek, a touch second longer than normal. And then Lena is gone.

That was way too close to her mouth. Kara gulps.

She turns back to Catco.

 

In Kara’s line of work, she’s learned early on to get comfortable or used to the sight and smell and the feel of spilled blood. Mostly other people’s blood unless Kryptonite is involved. With her heightened senses, the scent of spilled strong metallic iron still makes her feel a little queasy. No matter the quantity spilled. Usually she can control her sense of smell well, but the sight of it on Nia is making her feel jittery.

“You sure you’re good?” she asks for the nth time, one knee to the ground, and eyes scanning Nia’s body for more possible or hidden injuries.

“It’s okay, relax,” Nia says, almost incredulous. “Seriously, Kara. It’s just a tiny scratch. Wow, man.” The masked woman wraps an ugly yellow minion bandaid on her palm, treats the injury as if it were a paper-cut.

It’s true. It’s just a tiny scratch, its bleeding minuscule. So maybe Kara’s overreacting, but she can’t help it. She’s Nia’s mentor as well as a friend. She feels a special certain responsibility. Perhaps this is what Alex feels like all the time.

Alex and Brainy walk into the med-bay, and, in a flurry of movement, Brainy’s already all over around Nia’s space.

“You guys did well and caught the rogue aliens,” Alex comments, her mouth curling up in pleasure. “I thought Nia was spilling her guts out in the field, what with you spewing out these frantic concerns in the comms, but seriously? Kara.”

“Ugh, I know, I get it,” Kara grits her teeth, feeling the embarrassment settle in. She crosses her arms, shrugs helplessly. “But do you really think I compare to Brainy right now?”

Alex spares a glance at Brainy, sees him fumbling his sentences and hands twitching in the air in nervousness. Nia just shakes her head, pulls him in for a hug.

Go with the flow and love the ride, Kara thinks in her head. That was quite brave of Brainy to tell her that, seeing him contradict his very own advice right in front of her. She’s going to have a good talk with him later when she finds the chance.

“True,” Alex shrugs.

 

Kara is guided out of the room and an hour later she’s in Alex’s apartment, sat by the kitchen counter ravaging her sister’s snacks.

“Kara, I’m pretty sure I didn’t invite you so you could demolish my snack stash in one day.”

“It’s sister’s night,” Kara reasons, mouthful of Doritos and salsa.

“Correct, not eat-all-your-sister’s-snack-day,” Alex exasperates, throwing a stress ball at her. Of course, Kara catches it, and grins. “So… Luthor ended up sleeping at your apartment yesterday?”

Kara shakes a pringle tin, licking her lips before opening it. “Yeah. She stays over sometimes, remember?”

“I know,” Alex says with a slight frown. “Was just wondering about something. Hey, ease down on the pringles, those weren’t on sale.”

“You keep tabs on how many times she sleeps over now?” Kara snorts. “That’s nasty, Alex.”

Another stress ball comes flying towards her face, and Kara catches it way too easily.

“No, you goof,” Alex crinkles her nose. “Just concerned and—no, it’s not about her being a Luthor before you go bringing the torch and pitchforks on me. We’re well past that. Lena’s my friend, too. You know what—never mind, I’m just thinking way too much into this.”

Kara tilts her head curiously to a side, opens her mouth. Closes it when she finds she has nothing to say.

She throws the two stress balls back to Alex.

 

Kara can’t actually stop thinking about the kiss. She paces around her room, a little flustered and a little horny and—oh, Rao, she’s losing it a little. It must be the lack of food in her stomach and surrounding, or the pending two stale articles half-written in her laptop, or maybe it’s just because she hasn’t seen Lena for two entire weeks.

Now, get this:

Kara doesn’t think herself much of a horn dog.

Then get this:

Kara just wants to kiss Lena.

In all ways that’s neither friendly nor innocent.

Right, so maybe she’s a little hot and bothered for her best friend. Or maybe it’s just really because she’s bored and she wants to see Lena like how normal best friends see each other every now and then: go hang and eat, talk, and laugh together.

That must be it, she thinks, striking a fist in the air, clicking her tongue in realization. Finally some reason and ground in her head. When she’s about to text Lena and orchestrate for some best-friend night out, the buzzing of her phone beats her to it.

Lena(12:44am): So, I’ll finally be free, landing tomorrow in the afternoon. Kind of miss you. Dinner? My treat.

Really, none of them had expected the billionaire CEO to be pulled into some overseas board meeting. As a major shareholder of certain companies, of course she has to attend and oversee things for herself. Now matter how busy and how much plate Lena is holding, Kara will always be in awe to see how Lena always constantly make time for her. To see her. Kara being the sappy shit she is, just kind of melts at the fact.

Kara(12:44am): only kind of?? you wound me lena! i missed you tons :))

Lena(12:45am): Oh, I couldn’t have thought. What, with you sending me pictures of all the puppies you come across and the food you’re about to demolish every day.

Kara(12:45am): well someone has to un-mundane your mundane days

Kara(12:46am): is everything okay though? two weeks seems pretty much an overstay

Lena(12:47am): Yes, it’s just the board members being extra difficult and undecisive of things. Among other projects I had to foresee. The usual, but it’s all solved now. So, dinner with me tomorrow?

Kara(12:47am): yeah! ill see u tmr then ;)safe flights

 

Lena shows up to her doorstep, looking utterly pretty and a little tired, eyebags slightly evident under makeup. Kara beams, wraps her in an all-consuming hug.

“Hey!”

“Kara,” Lena greets, hugging just as warmly back, letting out a huge exhale. Then soon, Kara feels a cold nose sliding into the crook of her neck, nuzzling in deep. “Truly a sight for sore eyes.”

“That tired? You know, you could just go home and rest? I can cook you something for dinner.”

“Just a little jet-lagged, is all,” Lena steps back, shaking her head. “I got enough rest, actually. Let’s go? You look like a starved puppy.” She shakes her keys.

“Are you driving?” Kara grabs her brown coat at the rack beside her door.

“Yes.”

 

Lena takes her to a fancy steakhouse. Kara’s feet are bouncing up and down, fingers drumming excitedly on her thighs, huge smile etched on her face.

She’s been right all along. All those thoughts she had before—she was right; it was only because she hasn’t seen Lena for so long. She feels so much better, buzzing with energy having Lena near her and quality food coming up on their way. There is not a thought or two shoved deep in her mind. There isn’t. There isn’t.

“Careful there, firecracker,” the Irish woman grins across the table, chin on her palm. “You wouldn’t want to accidentally burn this place down.”

“Steak, Lena!” Kara beams. “You’re treating me to steak. They also have potstickers in the menu! How can I not contain my excitement? I haven’t had steak in a while.”

“Order how much ever you want.”

How much ever she wants? They’re at a steakhouse. A mere piece of steak is expensive as fuck. With how Lena looks at her across the table, a smile unrestrained and full of fondness, she can’t help but feel her slight discomfort diminish. If Kara didn’t know any better, she thinks at this point Lena has a legitimate thing with spoiling her best friend with food.

“Okay, no take backsies.”

“Never have I been so jealous of potstickers and steak.”

“I’m weak,” Kara shrugs. “They woo my heart like no other. No one can compete.”

Lena smirks, clicking her tongue. “Can’t blame a girl for trying.” She takes her coat off, hangs it on her chair. Under the controlled dim light of the restaurant, Lena emanates a certain glow, looking as elegant and polished with her low-cut dress showing off her pale neck and chest.

Kara does not have thoughts.

They settle into a comfortable silence as they wait for their order. Classic music plays lowly in the background, accompanied with the light chatter around them. As Kara studies their surroundings, she wonders if she left her stoves rightly turned off before heading out, or if she took the bins out for tonight.

The waitress shows up sometime later, laying their meals on the table with a barely controlled troubled expression. There’s probably enough food for four adults at least, but Kara can’t find it in her to pay mind when superior food is laid right in front of her waiting to be consumed and savoured. Kara and Lena both thank the waitress, and instantly they dig in.

“I’ve been thinking,” the younger woman hums after long while later. Kara looks up, sees Lena staring at the tablecloth with a contemplative smile. “Yes, that’s it. You are like a labrador retriever.”

“You’re comparing me to a dog right now?”

“Lab retrievers are remarkably kind, intelligent, playful dogs with the friendliest eyes,” Lena explains, and green finally meets blue. Wearing the softest of smiles, she tilts her head as she regards Kara across her.

Kara absently licks her lips, and her eyes drop down to Lena’s velvety lips. First mistake. She looks away quickly, takes a sip of water.

“So I’m very much lovable and quite irresistible,” she jokes. “What brought this on?”

“Someone kept bringing their dog to their office everyday,” Lena elaborates. “It was a golden lab. Almost everyday, I saw it in the same room with its tail wagging excitedly, looking extremely approachable by the door. Every time I saw the dog, I kept thinking of you.”

Kara bites the insides of her cheeks. “Well… did you get any chance to pet the good doggo?”

“No, I barely knew anyone there except the people I had to meet. I wanted to, though, but the owner was never quite there whenever I passed by.”

“That’s cute,” Kara says, soft sigh escaping her mouth. The image of Lena floundering and drowning in hesitance under her cut-cold CEO mask passing by the retriever plays in her head. It’s more than cute. It’s adorkable. Finishing the last bite of her steak, she plops a palm to her chin on the table. “Thought of me much, did you,” she teases.

“Yeah,” Lena lightly admits, lips parting slightly. A few beats of silence. Kara accidentally looks down. Again. And dies a little inside.

Clearing her throat, she takes another sip of water. She wishes she could throw herself to the nearest window right now.

They stay chatting a bit more until they decide they should go.

Lena pays and Kara manages to pay for the tip without Lena putting any fight (thankfully).

 

“Kara, it’s this way—my car’s parked that way, remember?” Lena taps Kara on the shoulder, and laughs when Kara clumsily turns around.

They walk together at a normal pace on the sidewalk in silence. Yeah, Kara’s a little on the edge. They turn to a block shortly after, and soon, she feels herself calming down.

Thump, thump.

When they’re about to round to another corner, she sees Lena abruptly stop, and—in rapid succession, a hand grabs at her arm and pulls her in into a narrow alley.

As she registers soft lips against hers, she feels hard, brick wall against her back and a familiar body against her own. Confusion heavily clouds her head, and Lena’s about to pull away until Kara forces herself to get it together, reciprocating the hunger in Lena’s mouth just as much.

Lena’s hands ball tightly on Kara’s collars before they slowly loosen completely, palm flattening against sturdy shoulders. Shortly, Kara relaxes into the kiss, sighing, and she brings herself to wrap an arm around Lena’s back, guiding her closer.

Crap, crap, crap, they’re really doing this again…

With Lena slanting onto Kara, tiptoeing in a way, Kara cranes her neck to a side, and feels Lena’s tongue hot and wet against hers, kissing her slow and unhurried and, fuck, it’s hot. They’re not drunk, they’re sober as hell and Kara feels everything. A soft whimper escapes out from Kara, and, too soon for Kara’s liking, Lena backs away, panting thickly.

Fluttering her eyes open, she finds herself speechless and just blinks lamely at Lena.

“Sorry, it’s just—you kept staring at my lips before and, and, I just—” The rare sight of Lena in a stammering mess causes Kara to stay still, deeply transfixed by the nervous younger woman, “it’s just, now I couldn’t stop thinking about it and—”

With a shaky breath, Kara shakes her head quickly, making Lena stop on her tracks. She licks her lips, looks left and right. They’re at dirty, dodgy-looking alley and Kara’s pretty sure they could get attacked here, or something, by wandering muggers. Or maybe not, perhaps the attackers would just stop, stare, and enjoy the show. Or something. They’re both attractive young women, so.

“Okay.”

“Okay…?” Lena drawls, clearly muddled, her mouth opening and closing. Kara isn’t sure what to say, she just wanted to stop Lena fumbling on her words, and. Yeah. Okay.

Lena’s gaze falls down to the concrete, her body still in close proximity to Kara’s. She bites her bottom lip hard. “Would you—do you want to maybe come with me to my penthouse? I really did missed you so much.” The raven-haired woman rests her head on Kara’s shoulder, her heart beat rapidly thumping in Kara’s ears. As Kara adjusts her askew glasses, she feels Lena’s fingers playing with the lapels of her coat.

“Sure,” she manages to croak out.

 

The ride to Lena’s penthouse is quiet. The elevator ride up to Lena’s penthouse is quiet. It’s probably best they calm down for the rest of the night and just watch a movie, or something. Maybe watch a few episodes of The Great British Bake Off, or maybe they could re-watch some old, sappy classic romance film like Pride & Prejudice.

Yeah, they could do that.

Or maybe not.

The second the elevator closes, she finds herself pushed up against the entrance door with Lena’s hands all over her and soft, impatient eager lips ravaging her own. Not a new situation at all, Kara sarcastically thinks. It’s like Lena’s been waiting for this, the moment for privacy and seclusion from prying eyes and away from unfamiliar environment.

Honestly, Kara finds it hot, digs it, that Lena is so into her like this.

“You okay?” Lena asks the question against Kara's mouth, her arms wrapping around Kara's neck, tiptoeing slightly.

“Yes,” she responds, feeling herself run hot and just plain bothered. “Are you?” She strokes a thumb on Lena’s jaw, kisses her deeper. Seconds pass, and then a minute. And another minute. Until Lena pulls back a bit, nose brushing with Kara’s.

“I’m so turned on I can’t even think straight.”

Kara feels her heart drop, and an enormous wave of arousal hits her.

She brings her hands up to grope Lena’s ass, supporting her weight with ease, and Lena mumbles something incoherent, a soft—my bed. She steers Lena to the bedroom, fumbling on the way from the distraction of teeth and tongue biting and licking into her earlobe. She sets the younger woman on the mattress softly and removes their shoes, as she shrugs off her coat in haste.

Her mouth quickly sets on Lena’s jaw, wet, exploring, and Lena’s skin is so soft she tastes like soap and salt.

“Need to get out of this dress,” the Irish woman croaks, her hands messily reaching for the zip. Kara feels her insides clench, her heart running wild.

Shit, they’re really doing this.

She easily helps Lena out, her swift and deft fingers shrugging and dropping Lena’s dress to the floor. Lena tugs her bra off shortly afterwards, and Kara gulps. She feels the air shift in their surroundings, as she hovers just above Lena, her hands on either side of Lena’s head. Blue meets green and for a moment there’s a stillness between them, accompanied by their breathing.

The intensity of Lena’s eyes makes Kara shudder. Powerful and enigmatic. It makes her feel like she’s the only girl in the world.

Rao.

Thump, thump, thump.

Wanting to relish in this moment for a little longer, she brings a hand up to Lena’s face, tucking a strand of loose hair behind her ears. She can easily see the dilation of Lena’s eyes with want.

Moving her fingers, Kara takes pride at the hitch of Lena’s breath, then at the shiver that goes through Lena when she drags the nails of her right hand from Lena’s cheek, down the side of her neck, over her collarbone and down.

Lena,” she whispers, eyes roaming over Lena’s tousled hair, swollen lips, and the curve of her breasts. “You’re gorgeous.”

Lena flushes a lovely red. She looks away, biting her bottom lip. Then, when they lock into a gaze once more, Kara feels a hand grab the nape of her neck, pulling her in for another heated kiss. Her buttons start getting undone on her shirt by Lena’s hands, and this—this is really, really turning Kara on way more than it should. Lena Luthor, her best friend unbuttoning her shirt with shaky hands and her tongue running along hers at the same time, all needy and desperate.

Finally out of her shirt, she can see just how much Lena is affected, but she herself is fairing no better. Still, she manages to control the pace, ignoring the scratching and nails digging into her back that’s conveying a clear just get on with it and need more.

Dipping her head low, she peppers kisses and licks as she goes lower, from Lena’s chin, to her neck, collarbone, then down until she captures a nipple in her mouth.

“Kara,” Lena rasps, sounding out of breath. Kara smirks at the sound, tugs at the nipple with her teeth as she plays with the other nipple with her fingers. She licks her slow and careful, but also messy and wet, and switches from time to time. As she comes back up, she trails a hand down further, starts massaging Lena’s hips lazily.

They are really fucking doing this. She’s in Lena’s bed, on top of her, and the smell of Lena instigates a dizzying burning hunger for her.

She takes Lena in by the mouth again, kissing her filthily slow, as she rubs a thumb at Lena’s hip and clasping her breast. She can feel the pressure of nails digging into skin on her back, feels the scraping in her scalp, and the softness that is Lena underneath her. She breaks off the kiss, moves onto Lena’s pulse-point, reveling in Lena’s soft sounds of breathing.

“Kara, I’m so wet,” Lena utters throatily, voice all husky and low right in Kara’s ears, grazing teeth over her earlobe. “I’m drenched.” A bite and a lick. A tug, and Kara’s ponytail comes loose. “Don’t you want to feel how wet I am?”

Fuck.

It’s honestly something Kara would think to never hear from Lena, to hear say it directly to her. Kara’s pretty sure she won’t last long herself.

“Kara,” Lena rasps out warningly, and Kara lets herself take a moment, watches the woman in front of her: Lena’s emerald-green eyes dark with barely repressed desire, jaw tight and firmly locked, chest heaving, emotion and storm twisting in her expression.

Lena Luthor is just absolutely breathtaking.

“What is it?” she asks innocently, nibbing on Lena’s ear. She can’t help herself. Her hand descends further, starts caressing Lena’s thigh. “Something you want?” Her words are breathed against flushed skin. A hard swallow from Lena. “All you have to do is ask,” she says.

Kara surprises herself. Never knew she could be such an infuriating tease.

A forefinger slides closer and closer to where Lena wants it to be, but halts.

“Fuck, Kara, Lena snaps, all breathily, “just fuck me up already. Need your fingers. Please.”

Satisfied at this, she slips a hand under Lena’s knickers, watching Lena’s face carefully. Then slips one finger in experimentally, and observes the swell of Lena’s chest. Then two, and Lena’s eyes widen before the she lets out a strangled, helpless whimper, her head throwing back, mouth open and back arching beautifully on the mattress. Rao, Lena’s so wet, friction barely exists in her clit. It’s driving Kara insane.

Pale neck so open and flushed, Kara sucks and nips at it, drinking in Lena’s soft, controlled whimpering.

“I like you like this,” she mutters hotly against skin, and feels Lena writher beneath her as she circles her fingers in a slow, languid manner, “so good, never knew I wanted you like this until now.” Then she moves her finger, slides one in inside easily, thumb circling her soaking clit.

“Kara, fuck,” Lena whimpers brokenly, “—harder, more. Please.”

And Kara listens. Of course she listens when Lena’s begging her like this. She slides one more finger in, curling, as her thumb increases pace, pressing harder. Lena’s eyes shuts tight, mouth hanging open, and hearing the ragged breathing and obscene wet sounds her slick fingers make in Lena is making her feel so pleasantly dizzy.

The younger woman is still holding back, the sound of her breathing hinting some restrain.

“Tell me how good it is,” Kara goads.

“So good,” Lena breathes, body shaking, “fuck, Kara. Feels so good.”

Goodness. More words Kara would never think to hear from Lena herself. She swallows hard.

“You sound so pretty, Lena,” Kara whispers, and Lena melts at the praise, her wrapped arm around Kara’s torso, holding her close. “Sound so good for me,” Kara mutters, stringing along more filth into Lena’s ear, letting the raven-haired woman cry out and ask for it faster and fucking her harder all she wants.

“Kara...” she moans, spine arching. “Kara...” and that’s how Kara wants her name spoken. Spilled from Lena’s gasping lips, accented by lust. “There—yes... M’close. Fuck, so close. Don't stop.”

Lena’s breathing gets faster and heavier and Kara keeps her relentless pace, watching Lena as she goes. And soon, Kara’s name tumbles out from Lena’s mouth, coming out as an uninhibited breathy whimper, her eyes squeezing shut and body quaking underneath Kara. Kara doesn’t stop, but she slows down, as she feels the younger woman’s body go weak, riding her orgasm all the way out, palming hot and swollen skin.

It’s not long until Lena grabs her hand, a gesture saying that she’s had enough, and wraps Kara in an embrace.

As soon as Kara feels herself relaxing on top of Lena, feels her own heartbeat calming down, she’s flipped around—positioned underneath Lena and head on the pillow.

Lena smirks down at her dangerously, and Kara feels herself melt into a puddle. If she hasn’t already, that is. Rao, she knows she’s dripping.

“You still have your pants on,” Lena clicks her tongue disapprovingly, and a finger hooks, tugs on Kara’s brown belt. “You’re going to be so easy.” Lena’s eyes flick up and down, and Kara shudders, already finds herself squirming on the mattress.

“I don’t doubt that.” Really. She doesn’t at all.

“While I’m thrilled to see what I can learn about you,” Lena says, undoing Kara’s belt and helping her pants out for her, “I’ll save that for next time. You’re already so close, aren’t you,” Lena murmurs against her neck, tongue running downwards as her hands tug Kara’s underwear away.

The promise of a next time. Rao. Kara is close to losing it. Almost comes right there. But no, she doesn’t, she doesn’t because she’s not a fucking nerd. Lena just needs to hurry up—

“Lena.”

Lips on her neck curve into a smirk. “My fingers or mouth? Tell me what you want.”

Kara gulps. Flushes. She can control herself. She’s good at control. She won’t hurt Lena.

“M-mouth,” she says. “Please,” she adds, “I need your mouth. On me.” For safety measures.

And Lena doesn’t disappoint— she delivers immediately, her tongue already flat against Kara’s deeply aroused nub.

“Shit—fuck, Lena,” Kara whimpers—she knows she’s going to get teased about the cursing, but right now she can’t find it in her to care about that. Right now her best fucking friend’s tongue, hot and slick and wet, is on her, doing wonders to her body. “Lena.

“Taste so good, Kara,” Lena murmurs, each lick long and purposeful and wet. “Look at me.”

And Kara does. Lena looks completely and thoroughly disheveled, and her eyes are as piercing as ever, as she’s settled between Kara’s legs. In Lena’s eyes, she must look like a disorganized mess right now, her arms and hands raised up above her head. She can’t hold, or pull at Lena’s hair. She bites her lip. Hard.

She's already so worked up, her head spinning pleasantly. She knows she won’t last long.

“So close,” Kara whispers brokenly, and continues to watch Lena tonguing her down, unable to break off eye-contact.

Rao.

And driven off the edge, she shuts her eyes hard, jaw clenched, and sees a white-hot flare in her mind. Heat and pleasure roll through her body, shatters her in all kinds of good ways. Slowly, Lena draws herself out.

“Come back up here,” she says, her breathing uneven. And Lena does, she comes hovering above Kara, looking completely mesmerizing. She always does. Even when she looks disheveled—quite especially when she’s disheveled. Kara cups at Lena’s face, kisses her hard, all sloppy and wet as she moans and tastes herself in Lena’s mouth.

When they separate, Lena plops her head on the pillow beside Kara. Her breathing is coming into a certain calmness. Kara turns to her side as she stares at Lena back. No words are exchanged and silence hangs between them until Lena twists into the softest and sleepiest of smiles. Suddenly feeling shy, Kara bashfully smiles back.

“Tired.” Lena yawns, and she looks over Kara at the nightstand, eyes squinting. “Wow. I must really be jet-lagged, it’s only 10:38pm.”

“Then let’s sleep,” Kara decides. “Wanna cuddle?” She has to ask. Shit, they’ve never cuddled bare skin-to-skin directly.

The young CEO nods sleepily, eyes already shutting close. She brings the blanket up, scoots in close, and nuzzles her nose deep into Kara’s neck with an arm snaking its way around Kara’s waist. Lena huffs out a pleasant sigh, clearly comfortable and about to fall asleep.

Kara holds her close, lets out a small, shaky breath. No need to think deep into this. What’s life without letting loose and living a little? Fucking your just-as-eager best friend in her home and bed, is that it? Lena’s already fast asleep, tucked in her arms.

Soon, Kara succumbs to sleep, too.

 

Chapter Text

 

Kara wakes up to the buzzing electrical sounds of her phone. As she comes to her senses, the first thing she feels is a certain weight that’s draping over almost half of her body. Gulping, she peeks an eye open, sees Lena Luthor naked, all soft and bare. On top of her. Sleeping comfortable and sound. On her bare fucking chest.

Right. That happened.

She looks up towards the ceiling, finding that she’s unable to process anything sound. She can feel every inch of her best friend’s naked body pressing onto hers. Oddly, she feels a little calm.

Keyword: a little. And maybe a little horny.

Rao. She needs to bleach her brain, what is wrong with her. Extremely careful of herself and of the sleeping woman, she successfully extracts herself away without waking Lena up. She reaches for her phone on the nightstand.

It’s 4:37am. A missed call and a text from Alex.

Alex(4:33am): Kara, are you awake? Something came up and we could really use your flight and super-speed. One of the newbies sent a package to the wrong country and we need that package preferably much before 11am.

Kara glances at the sleeping woman, taking in her profile. Lena's face glows and she takes note of the mole on her neck, prettily exposed under the moonlight. Lena shifts once, then twice around the mattress before half-hugging the pillow Kara had slept on.

She could stay here and sleep a little longer with Lena and wake up with her. Get a little more sleep with the comfy bed (person).

She texts Alex instead, tells her that she’s on her way before wearing her clothes back on, leaving a note by the nightstand, and draping the blanket comfortably above Lena’s shoulder.

 

Kara gets back to her apartment two hours later after dealing with the issue.

“Kara, hey sweetie,” Friendly Old Neighbour greets warmly, wrapping herself a cardigan too large for her small, frail body. Kara smiles at her; the old woman always looks so warm and inviting. Like one of those cool grandmas that feed and treat the youngsters well with food and shares many old stories and tales. “Did you just come back? Were you out all morning?”

Vivid images and senses flash in her head: the smell of a certain expensive perfume, clothes dropping down to the floor, body sweat, and heavy breathing.

“Something like that,” she mumbles, audible enough for the old woman whose hearing is likely on the decline. She musters up her best sweet smile before she searches for her keys in her bag.

“Oh? Did you go out for a run? But your clothes— that doesn’t look like you did, you’re on your work clothes.”

Right.

Suddenly it feels like she's laid trapped in front of an accusing police helicopter, its spotlights trained on her. Like a deer caught in headlights. Same clothes from last night and sneaking back into her apartment in the wee hours of the morning.

This isn’t the walk of shame, is it.

Oh, Rao.

Kara berates herself in her head quickly, clawing the realization out of her mind desperately. She tries not to freak out. It’s totally the walk of shame. She’s never done that ever in her life.

Keys found, she inserts it in her lock with shaky hands.

“I had a... sleepover.” She adjusts her glasses, and fixes her slightly crumpled collar.

“Oh, I used to do lots of that when I was younger.”

Maybe she should have just flown instead. But then she remembers she had closed her windows for the night. “Um, I should get ready and change for work and stuff. Catch you later? Thank you for those Krispy Kreme doughnuts again by the way. That was really sweet.”

“Okay, love,” the old woman laughs, waving her hands as if to shoo her away, “don’t let the old lady keep you here. You’re welcome. Now go ahead, sweetie.”

 

Kara’s just about finished interviewing one of L-corp’s leading scientists when she hears Jess’ voice floors away from where she currently is.

“Thank you for your time, as always, doctor,” she concludes brightly, shaking the scientist’s hand politely.

“It’s always a pleasure. L-corp is lucky to have a great reporter like you. I’ve never seen a reporter who knows their hard sciences as well as you do. You really know what to ask and how to report it.”

Kara grins, preening at the praise.

Heading towards the elevator, she double-checks that she has the goodies she’d bought just before getting here.

“Kara Danvers.” is what Kara hears the first thing when the elevator opens completely.

“Jess!” the reporter blinks, grinning lopsidedly as she steps inside the cubicle. “Good morning. The big boss is up and free right now, right?” she asks, knowing full well that Lena is, hearing the familiar heartbeat beating above tens of floors.

“At the moment, yes,” comes the dull Jess-esque answer. Kara expects nothing less, and beams at the secretary.

Over the years, no matter how much Jess gave off the don’t fuck with me, I’m all about work and my boss’ health vibe, she likes Jess. A lot. And deep down, through the years worth of bribery of surprising Jess with coffee or some sweets every time she had came to visit, she likes to think Jess has warmed up to her. Not like, ice to liquid kind of melt, but more like liquid to gas kind of thing. Not seen to the naked eye, but felt.

Upon reaching their floor, she walks out of the cubicle and notices Jess regarding her with a curious look.

“What is it?”

The look disappears when she opens her mouth. "You have exactly seventeen minutes with Miss Luthor before she has her next scheduled meeting. Sixteen now, actually.” Jess is already at her desk, tapping away insanely fast on her keyboard. Kara wonders if she could beat the secretary’s WPM without her super-speed. She herself is a reporter who writes articles daily.

“Yes ma'am, warning felt and acknowledged.”

 

Here it goes. Kara isn’t sure what she’s expecting if she’s being entirely honest with herself. Or if anything will happen out of the norm, really. But was it rude to leave just like that? Rao, it must've been. Throughout the morning, the moment she had walked out of Lena’s penthouse, she had forced and blocked a lot of thoughts. And now she’s thinking. Unable to stop the thinking. Right when she’s about to meet Lena—

She opens the door and spots Lena buried with paperwork and clipboards. Kara clears her throat when the young CEO doesn’t notice her entrance.

A dozen of thoughts swim in her head but strangely, it doesn’t feel chaotic. She doesn’t feel a sense of dread, either. But she holds her breath.

The moment they make eye-contact, Kara feels herself flush.

“Kara! Hey,” Lena gestures for her to come inside further, and Kara does. “Is that what I think it is?” she eyes at the paper bag Kara’s holding, a smile already lighting up in her features.

“Big-belly burgers,” she confirms, holding up and giving the bag a little shake. “I told you I’d bring you something as I’d be coming to visit for an interview with your employees. You saw my note, right?”

“Ah.” Lena grimaces, pulling in Kara for a quick hug before guiding her to the sofa. “I completely forgot all about it. I got a little lost with work,” she says, smiling sheepishly before she starts unwrapping the pack.

“Workaholic.” Kara rolls her eyes.

“Says the woman who left for work at, what? Four a.m?” Lena bumps Kara with her shoulder playfully, her lovely laugh filling Kara’s ears.

This exchange. It’s… it’s so normal.

Because we don’t have to make a big deal out of it, Kara remembers, thinks.

“Okay, true,” she grins. “Actually, I could have stayed a little longer. Sorry I had to leave early.”

“What are you apologizing for?” The raven-haired woman's pause of movement is sharp, and an eyebrow arches up in obvious dissent. “You weren't obligated to stay.”

That’s true. She’s not. But still, it feels… weird. Lena’s her best friend. Left with or without a note, it felt like it was a rude thing to do. Why does she even feel guilty about this? But when Lena regards her with a soft expression, her smile easy and lovely, she decides to shove the feeling away.

Kara shrugs. “Well… yes, but you did kind of look all sad and pathetic the moment I untangled myself from you.”

“What—” Lena’s mouth gape open, looking completely baffled and scandalized. Kara drinks the priceless sight and laughs heartily. “Unbelievable. At least I didn’t leave wearing the same clothes last night. Pretty scandalous if you ask me,” she quips, her eyes sparkling a wicked glint.

Her laughter comes into an abrupt halt. When Lena flashes her a dangerous knowing smirk, she feels her mouth run dry. Right now, she’s sat so close to Lena. She was closer to Lena last night.

No, no, she burns the incoming inappropriate thoughts in her head.

“Lena,” Kara whines, heat crawling up her neck. Friendly Old Neighbour comes to mind.

“You asked for it," the businesswoman chuckles. “You called me sad and pathetic. No one else would dare to say that to me, Lena Luthor, the genius CEO who runs a multi-billion dollar company among other things,” Lena drones dully with air quotation marks, probably quoting some newspaper headline.

“Fine. True, true.” Kara scrunches her nose, feels her glasses slide down slightly. “But you like my guts.”

Lena smiles. Adjusts Kara’s glasses back up using the tip of her forefinger. “That I do.”

Kara makes sure to leave exactly one minute before her sixteen minutes are up. She’s seen Jess’ wrath, has experienced it, does not want a repeat. By the time she steps out of the building, she realizes they didn't actually talk a lick about what happened last night. Only skirt around it and joked.

But honestly, do they need to? Absent were the feeling of discomfort and uneasiness in their interaction and conversation. It’s like how it’s always been.

Unrestrained and unforced.

And Kara wants to keep it that way. Because the last time she had kept something from Lena, their friendship had crumbled apart, almost in pieces that could never be put back together. All because of her secrecy being Supergirl. But they’re past that now. Thank Rao, way past. Kara’s not proud of that time, is not fond of recalling it.

Coming to think about it now, Lena’s the most cut-throat person she knows, actually rivalling head-to-head with Alex. Every time there’s an issue, or that if there’s something that is bothering Lena, Lena would have no hesitations in telling her. Lena always does. She’s never afraid to call out the slightest shady shit. That’s just how Lena Luthor is, and Kara really likes that about her.

And so far, Lena hasn’t said anything or voiced out any concerns.

There’s no need to complicate this, Kara decides. There's no need to, just like the first time they kissed.

Besides, it’s not like it’ll happen again.

 

Days pass by and Kara thinks about it sometimes. She and Lena meet a few more times, interaction and exchanges remaining as effortless and natural. Lena takes her to this new dessert restaurant and it ends with a long hug and a kiss to the cheek. Days later, Kara ropes her in for a snack run late at night at eleven pm, and by twelve am, they end up at a quiet beach, sat by the benches and feeling the cold, crisp air as they munch on snacks, enjoying each other’s company.

Kara still thinks about it. When she thinks about it, it isn’t in a way that’s all-consuming. It’s in a way that it just… sits there in her head. All plain and just there.

It's just a one-time thing that holds no meaning. That’s it.

 

“Winn tells me that you and Lena flirt often,” Brainy creeps up behind her, his tone almost bordering an accusation.

Kara grimaces. “Kind of?”

“Kind of?” Brainy echoes, looking genuinely confused. Okay. Wow. This is not the topic she can have with Brainy. It takes her some actual willpower to resist the urge to face-palm. “I did not know there were levels of flirting. Kind of. Hm.”

She shrugs nonchalantly, focusing on tinkering with the main control of the Fortress of Solitude, unable to find it in her to go further in this topic. It’s a minute later when Brainy reignites the conversation again.  

“Are you guys together?”

“What! No, Brainy!” Rao. Don’t bolt out. Don’t bolt out. “Besides, what was all that go with the flow, love the ride thing,” she retorts. “How are things going with you and Nia?”

“That looks like projection, Kara,” Brainy tells her easily. He pauses, before fiddling with his comms. “To be honest, I don’t know. I heard a millennial say it once, and thought it would be applicable to you.”

Kara rubs her temples tiredly.

“Hey guys, so the list of aliens here— Kara, why is your face all red?” Nia, with her full Dreamer suit walks in with an ipad.

“It’s nothing,” she runs her hand through her hair, shaking her head. “So, the list of those aliens. Let’s see that ipad. Or just transfer it here to the panel.”

“Kara kind of flirts with Lena, Nia,” Brainy states bluntly. “This concept confuses me. Kind of flirting. I didn’t know that was a thing. Did you know they kind of flirt very often? Why did I only notice this just now.”

Kara’s jaw slackens. Does Brainy want to be flinged into the sun?

“What?” Nia sputters, incredulous, and looks back and forth between Brainy and Kara. Kara just rubs her face before shooting Nia pleading looks to be led away from this travesty. Today is not her day. Today she just wants to do her job well and go home and eat the tacos she had bought on sale this morning.

“Okay…” Nia drawls before sighing, crossing her arms at Kara. “It’s not called ‘kind of’ flirting.”

“Then what is it called?” Brainy tilts his head curiously, his temples forming crinkles. Rao, he is so sincerely confused Kara wants to curl up and cry. He may be a twelfth level intellect but that doesn't mean he's an expert on social cues. Especially by human standards.

Nia takes a deep breath, as if she’s about to disclose some legendary ten-year-old unsolved mystery case. She throws Kara a mischievous grin before speaking up.

“Gay culture,” the masked-woman quips.

Kara swears-to-Rao almost chokes on her spit.

“What.” Brainy just blinks.

“Nia!” Kara admonishes, taken aback as she scoffs in disbelief at the younger woman.

“Gay culture,” Nia repeats herself, shrugging halfheartedly as if the answer was pretty obvious. “You see…” her eyes narrow coyly at Kara before rounding up to Brainy, snaking an arm around his shoulder, looking irritatingly conspiratorial. “It’s a culture thing where the helpless gays go around flirting with each o—”

“Okay,” Kara exhales loudly, clasping her hands together. She’s pretty sure that’s not it, but like. She won’t give into contributing to this further, like how she thinks Nia wants her to. Whatever. Right now they have work things to do. And her tacos await for her in her humble abode. “You can explain the rest to Brainy later, Nia. We have have a job to do.”

“Sure,” Nia easily says, smiling infuriatingly sweet— wait, when did the young one start to become so cheeky with her? “You guys may not be together, but you guys are totals flirt, man.”

“It’s total flirts now? I'm a twelfth level intellect, and I only just find out flirting has a spectrum?”

“No, Brainy, it's either a yes/no. Again, if the two gays are obviously not together yet flirt madly with one another, it’s just called ga—”

Kara sucks in a deep breath just for the sake of taking a deep breath. An expression of body language, and all.

“You two. The next one who talks anything about flirting and gay culture will buy dinner for the team later.”

And that does the trick. No one can afford Kara’s appetite for dinner.

 

Kara still thinks about it after a week passes. She thinks about it, not out to over-complicate it, but she thinks about it because she can and her mind won’t shut off because, well. It’s Lena and Lena’s her best friend who she just happen to also find insanely hot and attractive and—

Two days later, Kara starts working on trying not to think about it much.

 

Game night is cancelled this week due to the majority’s busy schedules. It’s seven pm when she finishes her last round of patrolling around the city. Kara’s bored and hangery (hungry and angry).

Her finger taps on a certain someone’s number before she really gives herself time to think about it.

“Lena. I’m free, you’re free, let’s do something.”

Kara, I’m working.

“It’s like, seven pm,” Kara whines. “I know the others are busy, but I also know you aren’t that busy busy where I can’t drag you out. Dinner and then Planet Earth season two at yours. Let’s go.”

There’s a few seconds of silence until Kara hears a defeated sigh on the phone. She smiles in triumph; persuasion went faster than she had expected.

Okay, give me at least thirty minutes to finish up.

She’s pretty sure Lena would have stayed in longer to work and work until the wee hours of the day. Kara is pushy and can be as stubborn as Lena, so sometimes (most of the time) she ends up being successful in dragging Lena away from her desk or laptop.

This is still a work-in-progress skill, one she hopes to further improve its success rate. It's interesting, really. Somewhere along the lines, she and Jess had built up this shared goal. This unspoken competition to destroy Lena's workaholic habits, formed early in their days by an exchange of subtle nods, eyes narrowing in disapproval, and an overworked Lena.

 

“You see this fantastically cooked meat dipped into good sauce,” Kara holds up a small piece with her chopsticks, licking her lips as she admires the quality and appearance. “Woah, its colour is like, sandy caramel horse.”

Eyebrows shoot up. “That’s not a real colour.”

They’re having hot pot at Kara’s one of many favourite Chinese restaurants in the city and with her persistence, she’d managed to lure Lena into trying hot pot for once when she found out that the Irish woman had yet to try it in her life. It’s a little sad, so of course Kara fixes this and here they are.

“It can be. Invention, and all.”

“Aren’t you creative and original,” Lena chuckles, and she nibbles on the meat, trying out many different sauces. “But in reality, colours don’t actually exist.”

Kara grins. “Yes, but it needs a good name. It’s how your human brain process electromagnetic radiation of particular wavelengths.”

“Good name?” Lena narrows her eyes at this, looking every bit of skeptical. Kara’s a little offended. “I think I’ll stick to calling it a caramel brown, darling.”

“You see the colour of this chair? Instead of purple, it can be called eggplant grape.”

Lena chortles in incredulity, shaking her head in a way that almost looks like she’s wondering why she puts up with Kara all the time. Kara just grins lopsidedly.

“Kara, you have a way of ruining colours for me. Your colour naming process terrifies me.”

“I’d like to ruin things for you, always. I am your caramel honey nightmare.”

“Aren’t you lovely, my charming caramel honey cumplum devil.”

“Thank you, my sweet sugar dear cumcake.”

Lena laughs openly, throwing her head back, eyes curling and crinkling up prettily. Kara loves her laugh, loud and unaltered, incredibly communicative as well.

“Dork.” She flashes Kara her signature gummy smile. It’s the kind of smile that Kara doesn’t often see Lena uncover with much people, the kind of smile where her front pearls show, dimple making an appearance, nose wrinkling, and eyes crinkling into a lovely crescent.

Kara likes to think that she’s a funny person overall; that that is why she’s able to make Lena smile and laugh like this, that she gets to see this genuine uninhibited side of Lena. Kara likes to think that she’s funny and that Lena finds her especially funny.

“Thank you for the food. Hot pot is quite the wonder and I don’t know why I hadn’t tried it. We should have it more.”

Kara grins, shoves her hands in her front pockets.

“More in the future. Let’s go.”

 

One foot in Lena’s elevator ride to the penthouse and suddenly she feels a little nervous.

Why is she nervous? It's just Lena and Lena does not make her nervous. Well, okay, she does, at times, but not in the kind of nervousness she's experiencing right now. Happy or turned on, yes, but never this kind of nervousness.

However, the feeling quickly dissipates when Lena throws her an easy smile as she links her arm together with Kara's.

 

“Is that Winn’s robot?”

A small mini robot stares right at her soul, standing on one of the drawers in Lena’s living room.

“It is. His gift for me last year for my birthday.”

Kara fiddles with the robot, making its robotic arms gesticulate around up in the air. It triggers some robotic speeches, random spacey sounds that aren’t really making any sense. “Great, Scott, I’ve created life itself,” she imitates an old man’s gruffy voice, stroking her chin dramatically.

“Orphan Black,” Lena smiles, a knowing look gracing her face.

“You’ve watched Orphan Black?!” Kara’s actually a little shocked. Who knew Lena could be capable of watching long series without being pushed into it (or without Kara introducing her to new series and her incessant persuasions to keep watching, because it gets better, keep watching, Lena.).

“Yeah.”

“Lena, I see you in a better light now.”

“I’m sorry I became more attractive having seen the entire series.”

Chuckling, she places her jacket on the couch. She catches Lena’s gaze.

“You know, you can borrow and wear my clothes,” Lena offers, scratching at the hems of her shirt as she studies Kara’s attire. “I do own comfy clothes. Not just by its appearance.”

“Oh…” Kara blinks. “That’d be nice.”

“Okay, be back in a bit. I need to get changed, too.”

Lena comes back shortly handing her some pants and an oversized navy hoodie— big enough even for Kara. Kara bites her tongue, resists the urge to make some snarky colour comment.

“Thank you,” she grins, grateful. Lena nods.

Kara’s got to give it to Lena. Her clothes do feel incredibly comfortable, its fabric all soft and cozy and homey. Her hands are almost hidden behind the cuffs, for its sleeves are a little longer. Easily catching whiffs of its scent, it smells just like Lena.

She’s never really worn Lena’s clothes. There’s a lot of other way around. It’s always the other way around.

When she comes out of the bathroom, she spots Lena on the couch already, snacks and episode one ready.

“You bought Mars Pods,” she gasps, clutching at her chest dramatically. Lena turns to the voice. “The good stuff. I can always trust you.”

“I’ve always got your back,” Lena hums, smirking. Then her face contorts into odd expression as she gives Kara a once-over. Maybe the hoodie’s a little too big for Kara. Kara tries not to fidget.

“Comfy?” Lena clears her throat. Kara nods. “Good. Now c’mere, let’s watch.”

It’s two episodes later when Kara finds her head resting on Lena’s lap and Lena playing with the locks of her hair. With Lena’s feet resting on the table and Kara drawing random lazy patterns on the fabrics of Lena’s pants, the placidness of this moment makes Kara think about how intimate this must look, and how it might look to the outsiders. This easy intimacy that they share is palpable; unshackled.

Kara is familiar with intimacy. But Kara’s not fond with the unanswered questions.

A gnawing thought plops itself in her head.

The credits scene roll and the woman above her lets out a soft sigh, pausing the show as she stretches her arms wide.

When Kara looks up, Lena looks down.

Kara waits for her to say something. When Lena doesn’t, Kara finds herself looking away, feeling a little shy all of the sudden.

There’s always something about the intensity of Lena’s gaze. She can never get quite used to it even after years of knowing the woman. Lena’s emerald-green eyes, piercing and entrancing in a way that could probably make anyone squirm within eye-contact close enough. Kara wonders if Lena knows that she has that kind of effect on people. Surely she must.

When she looks back up, she sees Lena still looking at her.

She laughs, tries not to hint any nervousness. “I know I’m handsome, but chill on the staring alright? It does wonders to my heart when a pretty girl stares at me.”

Lena sends Kara a poke on her cheek.

“Maybe I should keep my eyes on you more then,” Lena tilts her head, a salacious smirk lighting up in her features.

Kara feels heat rise to her cheeks. Lena can’t say that when her face is so close to hers. “Perhaps you should.”

Thankfully, Lena averts her gaze to her hand playing with Kara’s locks.

They still so blatantly flirt like this. And Kara being the big idiot she is, doesn’t know when to stop, or how to stop. So what if she's a big idiot who likes to flirt stupidly with Lena, like Nia says she is. It's fun. She can't help it. It wasn't always like this until recently. Has she always been a flirtatious person? No. She’s not even a great flirt. She’s not even the smoothest person. She's not great in anything that trudges in the romantic department. Her track record and history shows that well enough. 

A comfortable silence settles between them as Lena continues playing with her hair.

“Will you be heading home soon?”

“Want to kick me out, do you.”

“Do you want me to kick you out?” The hand pauses mid-stroke on her hair.

“I think I want to be kicked in.”

Lena laughs. “Just say you’d like to stay in like a normal person, Kara.”

“Okay, I’d like to stay in. If you don’t mind.”

“Of course I don’t mind,” Lena says. She smiles, continues to play with Kara’s hair, raking through blonde locks and scraping her fingernails at Kara’s scalp. Kara closes her eyes, sighing, enjoying the sensation.

The gnawing thought grows bigger and bigger in the back of her mind. She still thinks about it. Starts thinking about it right now.

“We’re okay, right?” Kara asks minutes later. They’re obviously not going to make a big deal of what happened before. But she can’t help but ask. She thinks they’re okay, but what about Lena? She needs to know it, needs it to be voiced out. Be finally be put to rest. This must be why she's been feeling a little out of sorts.

The clock hanging by the wall ticks in her eardrums.

“Yeah,” Lena says softly, and her thumb slides onto Kara’s cheek. Kara keeps her eyes closed, fiddles with her fingers as it rests above her abdomen. “You’re talking about…?”

Kara flushes. “You know, uh, a-about what happened before. What we did.

“Oh. When we had sex.”

Lena!” Kara covers her face with her hands, knowing the tip of her ears will redden.

“What?” Lena laughs, and Kara feels a thumb stroking her cheek fondly. “You can’t even say it. That’s— wow, Kara. Considering how your mouth runs wild when—”

No,” Kara grumbles, feels herself burning now, and Lena just laughs harder. She can’t find it in her to lift her hands away from her face, to look at Lena.

Eventually Lena’s laughter slowly dies down. A sigh. “Yes, we’re okay, Kara.” Her voice sounds so serious and sincere, but all the while pleasant.

“Cool, cool.”

Not that Kara was worried that much. Still, it’s nice to hear. Satisfied, she lets out a puff, drags her face down with her hands and settles it just above her abdomen once again. Finally opening her eyes, she sees Lena already looking down at her.

Kara lets out a shaky sigh. Swallows.

It’s ridiculous how much power a person’s gaze can hold.

Intense eyes boring straight into hers again, Kara feels something in the air change as she watches Lena's pupils dilate. Lena’s thumb makes the smallest of movement on her cheek, sending a subtle brush on her skin. Kara licks her lips without thinking, and she doesn’t know if she imagines Lena’s gaze flickering down to her mouth or not. She’s having a little trouble thinking clearly when Lena’s looking at her so close and all Kara is able to feel is the sensation of the thumb on her cheek and the smell of Lena, and Lena only.

“Then…” Kara starts, her word almost coming out as a whisper. Then her mind comes to a blank. Her mouth opens and closes when she can’t find the right next words to say.

“Then…?” Lena echoes, voice low and deep in a way that makes Kara’s heart beat faster.

When she bites her lip, this time she is definitely not imagining the way Lena flickers at her lips and how Lena’s heartbeat is thumping speeds faster than a normal human rate in her ears.

Squeezing her eyes shut, she produces a quivering sigh before she sits back up on the couch, away from Lena. She pushes away the other certain intrusive thoughts that keep crawling its way into her head.

“Kara?”

“Then that’s good. We’re good,” she finishes, turning around to face the raven-haired woman as she rubs the back of her neck.

Lena, unmoving and face composed, studies Kara curiously as her palm flats on the couch. When Lena surges forward in the slightest bit, Kara feels a stutter in her heart, and then a strong pounding in her ribs. Lena leans in closer, and closer again until her nose brushes Kara’s.

“Pull away,” she whispers, attention all too entirely focused on Kara’s lips now.

“Why?” Kara answers just as equally quiet, face inert and breathing softly. Anticipation rises in her chest, adrenaline coursing through her veins wildly.

“Not going to then, are you…” Lips almost ghosting over Kara’s, Lena tilts her head.

“No…” is all Kara says, and then: soft, plush lips cover hers followed by a hand coming to settle on her shoulder.

Fluttering her eyes close, she lets the hand on her shoulder push her down flat to the couch, lets Lena part her mouth with her tongue, lets Lena do whatever she wants to do with her. The woman above her dips down, and starts trailing kisses from her jawline to her neck, as Kara runs a palm on Lena’s hips, thumb rubbing slow circles on her skin. Kara lets out a sigh, more like a moan, as her other free hand crawl to the back of Lena's head, running her fingers through Lena’s hair, scraping lightly at her scalp.

Her head is spinning and she’s letting Lena do whatever she wants on top of her. All week, Kara was pretty convinced that they wouldn’t end up doing this again, and yet here it is, happening again and she can’t bring it in her to stop right now.

Why should she want to? They’re okay.

Lena kisses her neck lazily, dragging her lips down to her collarbones. Kara feels lips curve on her skin when she lets out an involuntary soft moan. When lips leave her neck, Kara opens her eyes. Lena hovers above her and there is a clear suggestive wicked play blaringly obvious behind those half-lidded eyes. A hand comes to caress her cheek, then to her bottom lip.

“Want to take this to somewhere else?” Kara blurts out, and she’s not sure if she wants to give herself a roundhouse kick for allowing this to progress, or to toss herself down from the highest mountain, or. Well. Probably both, she thinks.

And then: Kara isn’t entirely too sure which events go in order after Lena twists into a dangerous smirk before nodding. A hurricane of movement comes, then: lips not leaving each other’s, the stumbling of a drawer to her hip (which did not hurt, and, thankfully, did not break), the bumping into a wall, the loss of balance, the giggling and laughing, and then the knock to her calf muscle when she collides with the edge of Lena’s bed.

She falls onto the mattress as Lena topples over her body, both lightly chuckling and making sure they hadn’t hit each other too hard in the process. And in an instant, Lena is all over her again, frantic soft lips chasing skin and wandering hands feeling her up.

They stay making out heatedly for a minute like free young-spirited teenagers. And another minute. Until Lena breaks it off, pulling herself back and straddling Kara on the bed.

“We’re okay,” Kara repeats, a little out of breath, as she looks at Lena, and as she strokes patterns on Lena’s thighs. And then more words tumble out of her mouth before she can even think about it: “But what does this mean to you? When… when we kiss, when we do this,” she gestures in the air between them.

The younger woman blinks once, then twice. Eyebrows furrow and a thumb strokes at Kara’s collarbones.

Lena cranes her neck, opens her mouth. “To me, it’s as simple as wanting to. I just like the way you kiss me and you kiss me back. Does it have to mean anything more?” The words aren’t cut-sharp or cold. It’s a statement, blunt with authenticity. Like how Lena Luthor is overall, with or without her CEO mask.

That’s right.

“No, it doesn’t.” Something seeps into her bones. Relief.

They’re both okay with what happened, and what happened also means nothing. They’re just… best friends. It means nothing more. They’re just best friends who happen to make out and fuck each other senseless sometimes. There’s nothing too bizarre or unusual about this. Some people do these kind of stuff. Kara knows this game.

“I did kiss you first before at game night for the same reason. As simple as wanting to.”

As simple as wanting to.

“Mm.” Lena trails a forefinger at her shoulder, down to her arm, then to her hand. Though light and airy, Kara shudders at the touch. “Need any more clarifications, or…?” she utters huskily before taking Kara’s hand up to her chest, then next to her mouth. She starts planting feathery kisses on Kara’s hand, breathing into Kara’s palm, closing her eyes in the process. Kara voices out a negative, unable to say anything else, quickly getting too lost in by the gorgeous, smooth woman above her. “Good.”

Then, Lena opens her eyes, kisses Kara’s wrist before she gradually takes two fingers deep into her mouth hotly, staring Kara down intensely. And Kara stares back, feeling every bit of Lena’s wet tongue on her two fingers. Kara subconsciously swallows, and lets out a shaky exhale.

Fire builds and pool low inside her. Shit, she’s so turned on.

When Lena takes her fingers out, she breaks into a knowing sly smirk. She bends down, starts licking and nibbling on Kara’s earlobes.

Kara’s had enough.

Hand clasping at Lena’s back, she deftly switches their position around; Lena lets out a sharp intake of breath at the change, and Kara hovers over the Irish woman, grinning.

She pulls herself out of her hoodie and presses Lena against the mattress, running her hands up Lena’s sweater, the flushed skin underneath, as her mouth slides up against the woman’s jaw, sucking in pale skin to make a mark. A mark she knows Jess will definitely notice and be rendered speechless. Kara waits to be scolded. When nothing comes, when Lena only ends up whimpering into her touches, she makes one more on a different spot.

Kara,” finally comes the warning, and Kara can’t help but break into a chuckle. She keeps her lips on Lena’s neck, listens to every breathy sounds Lena makes, takes notes of every time her breathing catches or her pace falters.

“Wait— I need,” Lena rasps, tone demanding and needy, “— want to feel you more.” Hastily she discards her sweater and bra, and Kara helps her out of her shorts, as she extracts herself naked, too. Finally just bare skin on skin, Lena grabs Kara by the face and kisses her breathless.

Kara feels a shiver, like a cracked lightning course in her spine— it's hot, mesmerizing, seeing and feeling just how Lena’s into her.

Hands map every inch of alabaster skin and when both her hands reach onto Lena’s breasts, she stretches her hands for a lazy, but purposeful clasp, then fondles them languidly as Lena moans into her mouth.

They’re really doing this for the second time and Kara still can’t believe it. Maybe this will be a thing that they allow to happen only twice. Another one-time thing, but instead becomes a two-time thing. The second and last time. However she doesn't stay dwelling on these thoughts for too long; right now she can't find it in her to think about it, doesn’t really want to think about it now or anything else. Right now she wants to hear more of Lena, wants to test and rile her up, wants to see Lena unravel beneath her again.

Dropping her head down, she licks and nips her way below slowly, from Lena’s neck to her collarbone and until she seizes erect hard nipples on her tongue, in her mouth. A series of breathy helpless whimpering escapes from Lena’s mouth and Kara completely indulges at the sound, alternating between her nipples, licking her wet and messy.

Drawing a hand down to Lena’s hips, she circles her thumb at the skin for a moment, then drags her hand to Lena’s thighs. And when her hand goes deeper between the woman’s thighs, a hand twists roughly at Kara’s hair.

“Lena,” Kara chuckles deep and gravelly at the action. Lena responds by a squeeze on Kara’s shoulders and a cute, soft grumble that almost sounds like a moan.

“You’re doing this on purpose. Come on…”

“Come on what…?” Hand still stroking at Lena’s thighs, she comes back up to take a look at Lena. When her fingers glide slowly around Lena's entrance, Lena's jaw clenches tight, sharpening attractively like she's about to snap, and the heaving of her chest becomes more prominent. 

Kara likes the way Lena looks when she’s all worked up, flushed and sweaty and just about to break.

“Lena,” Kara whispers, and drags her lips down Lena’s chin, her jaw, and starts trailing hot open-mouthed kisses on her neck. “Just wanna make you feel good, Lena.”

Another strangled moan comes from the back of Lena’s throat and Kara shudders at the sound. She licks and mouths at Lena's throat, messy and hot, eliciting more lovely soft sounds from the raven-haired woman.

She shivers deeply, fully grasping the fact that she's the very cause of each and every noise Lena lets out. 

“So riled up, look so pretty when you’re like this for me.” Kara cups the nape of Lena’s neck, scratches at her skin briefly before she kisses the whimpering woman filthily, all hot and wet and sloppy with tongue. “Ask me, Lena,” she breathes into Lena’s mouth, and Lena twists divinely beneath her.

"Want you," Lena breathes, and tightens her hold on Kara. "Wet for you."

Fingernails dig so deep into her shoulder and back, Kara swears it could leave a permanent mark if she were a human. She wishes she could feel the pain. Feel the burn of each mark.

“Kara, just—” Lena pauses to control the shake of her voice, “come on. Fuck me. Fuck me, Kara—” she says with gritted teeth and voice so thick. “Please. Need to feel you.”

A surge of arousal pool heavily inside Kara and she clenches her jaw tight. She slips down, dragging both her hands to Lena’s thighs and settles herself between Lena’s legs. Chest heaving, Lena has her eyes closed shut.

“Watch me fuck you,” Kara urges and Lena flutters her eyes open, the strong bob of her throat easily noticed by Kara. Lena looks all kinds of scattered, glossy, her swollen lips parted and her chest rising and falling, a few strands of hair stuck on her cheek and glistening sweat on her flushed skin.

Laying her tongue flat on Lena’s soaking protruding clit, Lena hisses sharply at the contact, and the back of her head makes a thud noise to the headboard. Kara starts licking, tasting the woman and slipping two fingers in easily.

“Kara” Lena whimpers, head tilting back further, body arching, and it’s so quiet, it could’ve been a whisper, nothing more, but Kara hears it perfectly. Her own name falling off Lena’s lips sounding like that— it’s all kinds of wrongs, all kinds of wanton in a voice that’s so heavily familiar in every way, but it’s…

It’s fucking beautiful, that’s what it is.

The Irish woman opens her eyes again, gawking at Kara fucking her well, whimpering brokenly with each thrust of Kara’s fingers.

“Kara,” Lena croaks, and hands pulling at Kara’s hair grow tighter and tighter. “That's— yes. Feel so good. Kara.”

She pushes her fingers deeper, minding her strength with extreme caution and care, quickening her pace as Lena becomes a breathing mess in front of her. Then, instantly replacing her tongue with her thumb, she quickly licks at her own lips before she asks, “you can take another one, can you?” and she pauses for a second, the deep hoarseness of her voice surprising her a little, “I bet you can.”

Lena's eyes widen and she swallows, her throat showing a visible bob as she nods eagerly. “Please. Please, yes.”

Then Kara pulls her two fingers out first before she adds the third. Three fingers slide in, easily slippery and sleek, and the moment she curls them, a guttural moan leaves Lena's mouth with her hips jerking violently, and— well, fuck, Kara almost comes the sound— the sound so fucking hot and dirty in her ears, all coming from Lena.

“Taking it so well, aren’t you,” Kara groans, thumb rubbing in tight circles against the throbbing nub and fingers pumping in and out, feeling the stretch of Lena’s walls and tighten around her fingers. “That's good, so good for me, Lena.”

"Yeah, yes... K-Kara, feel you so much—" Lena moans, and Kara switches, her tongue back at Lena's clit, which is so soaked and swollen, slick and hot against her mouth. The raven-haired woman's hips rise as her fingers card through Kara's hair rougher and rougher by the second— a sign that Lena's so close. Kara's chin is dripping at this point and fuck, it's maddening, the way Lena writhes gorgeously for her, and Kara drinks in the sight fully, marveling at how she's about to make Lena come for the second time, and how she's never felt so worked up for anyone else in bed.

She keeps up the relentless rhythm, sucking and lapping at her clit, thrusting her fingers and curling them until a filthy wanton moan, in form of Kara's name, escapes from Lena’s mouth, clenching around her, as thighs shake on either side of her head.

Kara keeps her tongue moving against Lena’s clit until Lena pulls her head away with a groan. Licking her lips, she slips her fingers out of Lena and sucks them into her mouth, licking the taste of her off.

Lena lies still on the sheets, in a series of panting thickly with her head tossed back on the pillow, all fucked out and flushed, eyes pitch black and heavily lidded.

Kara feels herself tense at the sight, when it fully hits her that this was her doing. That she has this effect on Lena.

It's staggering.

She lays down next to Lena, watches the woman recollect herself. There’s a swell of feeling flowing deep in Kara, something akin to a boost to her ego, knowing that Lena Luthor, her best friend, could definitely have anyone she wanted with a few flirtatious comments and a smirk. That she’s Lena Luthor, who would also then turn into a whimpering mess for Kara, who asks to be touched desperately by her, who tightens around her fingers, who arches against her.

“Sorry, give me a minute. That— that was really good,” Lena murmurs throatily, her voice contemplative and raspy. “You’ve— ah, ruined me. I hope you know that.”

“What?” Kara chuckles. “Take your time.”

“It's— you just, you’ve set the bar up so high for sex— I'm just thinking I'll have to start getting used to disappointment for the rest of my life, Kara. Not that disappointment is a foreign concept to me.” The Irish woman groans, fully lamenting as she rubs her cheeks, then her whole face with both hands. Kara would find the sight endlessly cute if she weren’t busy thinking about how her best friend had just given her such a fucking high compliment, and how of all the other compliments there is in life, it'd be thisFrom her very own best friend. Her own heart thumps violently fast at the admission. 

She actually doesn’t know much about Lena’s sex life. Past lovers, sure, but not much on that other end. She tries not to think about it, tries not to imagine other people in bed with Lena when she’s so sensitive at the moment, on the verge of coming with the slightest contact of anything.

A bite on her bottom lip. “High praises from Lena Luthor.”

Lena's head turns from the pillow, faces Kara with an arched eyebrow and a flustered, almost shy smile playing at her lips.

“It's true.”

Kara doesn't know what to say to that.

After a minute passes, Lena shifts, positioning herself on top of Kara, wearing an intense, ravenous gaze. Kara feels a heady rush as a soft sigh escapes from her mouth because Lena has this look in her eyes like she wants to rip Kara apart and that’s kind of what Kara wants as well. 

“Do you think I can put my fingers in you?”

Oh, Rao.

“No.” Flabbergasted, she groans at the idea. Rao, she would like that so so much. “You— you’ll break your fingers.”

Kara is genuinely taken aback when Lena’s facial features twists into a pout— an actual pout, because, wow, that’s cute. It’s not every day one would see Lena Luthor pouting. It’s not every day one would see Lena Luthor pouting because she can’t place and thrust her fingers inside her best friend.

She rapidly shakes her head, willing her ridiculous thoughts to stop. “Need you, Lena. Please. I’m so worked up for you.”

Lena watches Kara's face for a moment, almost as if she's in a daze. “Okay,” she murmurs, and there’s a deep scratchiness to it. Fuck. And then her face twists back into what it was seconds ago, pre-pout. Fuck.

Swollen lips mush against hers which then travels down to her jaw and neck, all hot open-mouthed and Kara just kind of squirms underneath Lena because she doesn’t think she can handle anymore foreplay. Rao, she’d be so embarrassed if she came untouched with just Lena’s mouth on her neck. She’s pretty sure she’d never live that down from Lena.

Lena,” Kara moans hoarsely, tone definitely sounding like a pathetic whine, but she can’t bring herself to care, “need you now. So bad. Lena, please.”

“Need me so bad, do you,” Lena whispers as her nails scrape lightly over Kara’s skin with her other hand trailing up inside Kara’s thigh. When Kara is about to open her mouth to complain again, she ends up releasing an unfiltered moan when Lena’s fingers slide against her clit.

Her fists clench tight white above the sheets as her head tilts backwards against the pillow, eyes closing, already panting heavily at the touch. Lena’s fingers begin to move faster as her lips travel from Kara’s jaw to her ear, licking and nipping, whispering explicit comments about how wet and bothered Kara is.

Rao.

She sinks completely onto the mattress, thinking about how focused Lena is with her absolute full attention to Kara, just how fucking hot Lena sounds whispering her dirty and filthy things, and how her long, skilled fingers work Kara up so good.

Lena keeps her relentless pace, long hard and consistent in her soaking clit, as the obscene slick sounds and Kara’s breathing fill the room.

Kara's just so sensitive and so it doesn't take her long; soon her mouth goes taut, a breathy moan stuttering out, and Lena latches onto her mouth, licking into it as pleasure ripples through Kara, her body going completely static, eyes closing shut and knuckles white.

Time passes, maybe a few seconds, or a few minutes before Kara feels a thumb caressing her cheek. Her eyes flutter open, dewy and unfocused. Lena’s still above her, looking completely and utterly debauched wearing a smirk as she tucks in loose strands of hair behind Kara’s ears.

They’re quiet for a few more moments as Lena bends down, nosing along Kara's neck with her mouth lazily roaming at the flushed skin.

Kara ponders, a little curious as to what the appropriate thing is to say after having sex with your best friend for the second time. Is there some kind of protocol to this? But they've already gone through this before— there isn't anything else that needs to be said. It's just as simple as wanting to— a simple quick fuck for the both. Rao, that sounds awful in Kara's head considering it's Lena and Lena's her damn best friend. But she's not sure what else to think. So there's no need to think. Stifling a moan when Lena nips at a particular spot on her neck, ice-cream pops up in her head. Ice-cream sounds good right now. Before she thinks about suggesting it, her phone on the nightstand lights up with her ringtone.

It’s Winn calling.

The woman above Kara stays planted on her position. It’s clear Lena wants to stay on top of her for a little longer.

Letting out a shaky breath, still in the midst of recovering from her post-orgasm, she fishes for her phone with her hand as Lena hovers on top of her, trailing more kisses and bites on her neck.

“Hey! Winn,” Kara (does not) squeaks, when Lena makes a full lick at her neck. Why is Lena still on top of her? Not that Kara’s complaining, but.

Kara, Kara! Are you in your apartment? I’m so excited! I just finished perfecting it, about to head out to yours now, need to show you my latest upgraded— 

“I’m not in my apartment, Winn.”

There’s a few seconds of silence. “Oh… okay, where are you? You have to see it!

Kara bites the insides of her cheeks, tries not to squirm and freak out. “Um.” Lips curve on her neck and Kara feels another bite and lick. “At— I’m at Lena’s.”

Oh! Okay, I’ll go visit you guys then, that’s perfect! Oh she’s gonna be so jealous of my new tech— wait, you guys better not be naked,” he jokes, laughing, and Kara knows he’s really joking. “I’m about to head out.

The Irish woman who’s been silent, too busy ravaging Kara’s neck, lets out a throaty laugh.

Oh, Lena hey!” Winn chirps. “Wait, you guys aren’t seriously naked right now are you? Because that was a total joke—

Rao. Is Winn seriously coming over here?

“Schrodinger’s Cat,” Kara blurts out, and Lena laughs harder. Lena resumes trailing kisses to her collarbones and— Kara would really, really like for Lena to stop touching her because she’s starting to get all horny again. “Come here and open to find out.”

A long groan. “Okay, nice joke. You know what, this can wait for tomorrow. I just realized Lena’s penthouse is a little more further than yours and— it’s late. Oh, when did it get— it’s late!” More grumbling and something that sounds like metal drops over the other end. “Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow. Goodnight to you two!

“I’ll see you. Goodnight, Winn.”

Phone back at the stand, Kara lets out a sigh, closing her eyes as her arm covers her forehead. She doesn’t think she’d be able to get up if Winn came anyway, with Lena here acting like the most comfortable human blanket draped over her. Lena’s so soft, soft in all good ways and soft in all breakable ways.

“You're cute,” Lena chuckles above her.

Kara grumbles.

Opening her eyes once again, their gazes instantly lock. Lena’s wearing that piercing ravishing look again for her. Kara swallows hard.

“I’m not done with you yet,” Lena whispers lowly before she dips down, hand grabbing the nape of Kara’s neck and kissing her deeply.

Shuddering, Kara wonders if this is going to start to become a regular occurrence.

 

Chapter Text

 

It’s just past dawn, light blue light filtering through the curtains when Kara comes to a wake. Lena is knocked out light, exhausted after six? or seven rounds of orgasms, her head tucked under Kara’s chin and arms wrapped around and legs tangled with Kara’s.

Something triggers a flight response in Kara, feeling fluttery and airy as she thinks about how she had allowed this to happen— no, encouraged it once again. Briefly she thinks about making an escape, to sneak off before Lena wakes up. There’s no need to stay and she’s not obligated to stay. But honestly, she thinks it’d be a pretty shitty thing to do no matter what, because it’s Lena she’s talking about here. She berates herself for even thinking about it. Berates herself strongly for doing it the first time.

She just doesn’t want to make these kinds of situations make it seem like she only came here to spend some time with Lena and to go at it again only to leave abruptly in the morning after everything. Even if Lena had told her she has no obligations in staying, she still feels guilty.

What she and Lena have is better than that. Lena’s not just anyone, and certainly not the anyone who’s suddenly reduced to being a fuck buddy to Kara.

They’re more than that.

The softness and comfort the sleeping woman provides gushes in, seeping into her skin and bones, feeling every inch of Lena’s soft and snug bare body against hers.

Still, it’s not something she can get used to. It’s not everyday she wakes up naked with Lena Luthor, after fucking each other like total horn dogs to the point of exhaustion. Rao. She never knew Lena could be like this. Never knew she could be like this herself. She’s known the woman for years now. It kind of startles her, in a way, because for Rao’s sake— she’d never thought she’d develop some kind of physical intimacy with Lena in all kinds of total non-platonic ways.

Sure, she’d felt some kind of pull— an attraction towards Lena the first time they had met, with her accompanying Clarke for an interview with Lena (not counting the awful assassination attempt on Lena on the helicopter).

The physical attraction was something that always stuck. But what really, really hit Kara in her alien heart and swept her off in her feet was how she had found herself tuning in with Lena so easily. After their first few conversations, all laced in hesitance and politeness in different places at different times, about things that had nothing to do with work at all, the coincidental meetings and lunches, the genuine curiosity in each other’s lives. Eventually it piled and piled and it became something bigger— a smooth shift and transition, like how a pretty flower blooms in its gradual process. Soon they had conversations that felt fruitful and meaningful in a deep soul-to-soul connecting way, soon coincidental became non-coincidental meetings and lunches, and soon, Lena, in a silent and subtle way, had deeply ingrained herself in Kara’s life.

Often times, Kara wonders what tomorrow’s trouble will be, or what’s the next big bad thing she has to prevent from happening. Like a weightless leaf on a windy day; wherever the leaf drops is where she would land on. To the unknown and foreign ground. Before and after knowing her being Supergirl, Lena Luthor is simply, and wonderfully, a breath of fresh air in Kara Danver’s chaotic and tempestuous life.

Kara had never signed up for this, had never expected Lena Luthor in her life, but. She thanks Rao, the stars, the universe. She’s never had a friend like her before.

The overly-familiar rhythmic heart beats in her eardrums, and the sound of soft sleep-induced breathing lulls her back to sleep.

Maybe minutes pass, or an hour, and before she knows it, she stirs awake again.

This time she wakes to a hand trailing softly up and down her spine.

Is Lena awake?

Kara keeps her breathing even and posture all limb, pretending to sleep.

Lena is stroking her back, one thumb brushing back and forth across her spine, feather-light and soothing in a way Kara becomes hyper-aware of the gentle touch to her bare back. Letting herself enjoy the sensation for a little while more, she lets a minute pass.

Then she makes a quiet, sleepy, about-to-wake-up noise. Just to see what happens.

Lena’s hand goes still.

Lena is definitely awake and her face remains tucked under Kara’s chin, her hand frozen-still on Kara’s back. Kara keeps at her even breathing and stilling her body. And after a moment passes, the thumb starts moving again. A slight shift comes from the raven-haired woman, and Kara feels a nose bury at her collarbones as the body against her own presses closer.

She thinks Kara is asleep. She thinks Kara is asleep.

Now, Kara understands this: her best friend was never one to be touchy, was never one for cuddling and intimate physical gestures. Lena was never for a lot of things: hugs, cheek kisses, arms linking, touches to her shoulder and back. Physical intimacy. Emotional intimacy. Lena wasn’t a lot of these things until she’d met Kara and Kara herself knew that; she noticed everything and was and still is sensitive to anything that involves Lena.

Sometimes Kara still worries that she goes overboard with both kinds of intimacy, worries that she overwhelms Lena. But Lena always reciprocates back with captivating warmth and genuine appreciation, tries her best in her own ways to show that she doesn’t mind at all. When it comes to Kara, she thinks. It goes unsaid in every sentimental gesture. Kara isn’t blind.

And Kara understands this: this kind of gesture is incredibly, awfully, and overwhelmingly intimate even for Lena. (Lena had frozen the second Kara showed wakefulness. Surely that means something.)

She peeks an eye open, shifts her head to look at the woman. As if sensing her gaze, Lena’s head tilts backwards, and then emerald-green eyes look into her.

A string of strong heartbeat thumps, parading in her head for the first few seconds. Until it comes to a calm beating shortly after.

“Hi, hello.” Kara clears her throat when her voice comes out scratchy. Then smiles crookedly, trying not to wither into ashes, or something, because Lena looks absolutely gorgeous in the morning with her— Kara dares think it— lovely, messy sex hair and soft, sleepy gentle eyes looking up at her with lips curling up in a bashful way. Kara marvels at her beauty, long lashes and cute nose, pretty pink lips, close, so close to her.

It’s simply breathtaking.

“Good morning,” Lena utters softly, almost coming out as a whisper in a way. And her thumb, still on Kara’s back, makes a brush at the skin. And as if she hadn’t meant to make that slight movement, Kara feels Lena’s hand curl and ball. “You feel really nice and warm. You know that?”

“Run warm, yes, not so sure about nice.”

Lena makes a non-committal disapproval sound, tucking her head back under Kara’s chin and nose mashing against Kara’s neck. Rao, Kara just might melt right here and now; she tries not to let herself indulge too much on Lena’s uninhibited touchy-feely affections. Tries not to gulp.

But not for a moment later, Lena eventually moves away, legs over out of the bed and bare back facing Kara. The Irish woman half-turns her head to Kara, grinning in a way that pops out her dimples.

“It’s six am. I have things to prepare for early, so I’m going to start to get ready. You up for some breakfast?”

Nodding enthusiastically and choosing to slip in Lena’s over-sized navy hoodie, Kara follows Lena into the kitchen.

 

She’s never had breakfast in Lena’s penthouse. The odd realization kind of hits her hard and she chuckles to herself, finding it strange considering Lena’s had some in hers.

She may not visit Lena’s confines often, but she’s comfortable enough to walk around without feeling shy or uneasiness. She knows where the basic cutlery items are, the hidden expensive tea sets and cups in the cupboards, the containers and each and every utensils around the drawers. All the rooms and what Lena uses them for.

So imagine her surprise when she opens Lena’s refrigerator. She’s nowhere near prepared for the disappointment that slams her at the sight that is the current contents of Lena’s fridge.

The sad and lifeless sight is absolutely jaw-dropping, in Kara’s honest and raw opinion.

Dull. Did Lena’s fridge look like this frequently? The scarce of any vibrant, good decent food in her space. It’s rather worrying. It’s ultimately devastating and an injustice to the expensive, well-built refrigerator that probably costs Kara months and months worth of her salary.

Gasping out loud, mouth opening and eyes in complete disgust, she points to the fridge when Lena curiously turns to her.

Lena.”

She’s opened the fridge a few times in the past every time she’d come to visit before, where she’d sometimes come to grab snacks, or some liquor for Lena. It always looked decently stocked, for Lena’s standard, probably, but in Kara’s standards it was like a desert— only that the non-snack things were water, alcohol, and Lena’s GreenThings™.

So perhaps a forest, not a desert then.

(A lifeless forest, though.

If that even makes sense.)

“What?” Lena furrows her brows, confusion lighting up her features genuinely and Kara almost cries at the sight. Almost. Lena looks at her fridge and doesn’t get it. Tilts her head when Kara doesn’t answer, who’s still trying to process this monstrosity done to the fridge. When Lena prompts again, Kara points petulantly at the insides of the fridge, huffing like she’d been done so wrong in her life.

“Yes…? It’s a little empty right now?” Lena slides in a plate of fresh and newly-cooked pancakes to Kara over the kitchen counter. Goes back to cooking more for her casually, like nothing’s wrong. Like Kara’s fine, peachy, all good in the Kara-hood. “What’s wrong? Did you want to eat something else, I can—”

No,” Kara sputters, crossing her arms over her chest. “Lena. Your refrigerator. It’s, its state is just so sad and unfilled,” she exasperates, lamenting, heart aching at the sight of the spacey shelters and stands. She strokes gently at the handles of the expensive fridge.

“I just buy some food and snacks when I know you’re coming,” Lena shrugs nonchalantly, like this totally explains and justifies everything. “I don’t really eat much? You already know this.”

“Like owner like fridge.” Ignoring Lena’s unimpressed arch of an eyebrow, Kara heaves a sigh as she shoves the pancakes into her mouth, shooting glares at the fridge as if to will for some decent food stocking to appear in it. Then closes it. “I should’ve expected this.”

“I guess I’ll have to go grocery shopping tonight then?”

Hearing a soft sigh come from Lena, she turns to look at the woman properly, willing the refrigerator injustice out of her thoughts for a moment.

Lena has her hair tied up in a messy bun, huge framed glasses hanging on her nose, over-sized cotton sweater with sleeves rolled up and a spatula in hand.

This kind of attire isn’t new to Kara’s eyes. But in this moment, she looks so soft and lovely right now and they’re in Lena’s penthouse, and. Oh.

Well. Kara finds the sight absolutely endearing.

Biting the insides of her cheeks, she adjusts her glasses and blurts out, “Mind if I come along with you then? I’m free tonight and I need food too, so uh. I can tag along. Or something. Just. Just for groceries and. And for your sad fridge, that is.” She honestly doesn’t mean to flounder. It’s just asking to go shopping for grocery food. But going on an actual grocery shopping with Lena? That’s easy cake. Lemon cake. Or however the saying goes, Kara thinks to herself.

“Look at you getting all shy on me after you went down on me last night.” Lena’s lips twitch upwards and elbows Kara on the sides, chuckling as she flashes Kara a dangerous wink.

“Lena,” Kara groans, face flushing instantly. “Just, why. Why are you like this.”

The Irish woman bursts into a laugh, sound so soft and melodic with her eyes crinkling up and dimples appearing prettily. “You’re cute,” Lena tells her as if it were the answer and grins, fixing Kara's glasses back up her nose. “But, yes. Of course I don’t mind. You can tag along with me tonight.”

Given the green-light to tag along, Kara lights up immediately, earning a soft smile and a shake of head from Lena.

She starts mentally calculating the different kinds of food there is for Lena and how much can fit in each shelter.

She decides to make it a mission to make sure this fridge is filled and restocked more often. To give it the good life and justice it deserves. To make sure the owner appreciates it more and make sure the owner herself gets her variety of good food daily.

Kara whispers into the fridge, cooing: you need help, you’re going to be okay, you will be saved, wait for me, as Lena watches her, judging her over by the counter.

 


 

It’s still a little too early in the morning.

Kara flies back to her apartment when Lena prepares for some big meeting. Not wanting to disturb and bother her friend any further, here Kara is, early in front of the doorstep of her own confines’ door.

“Kara, love. Good morning.” Friendly Old Neighbour smiles sweetly, wrapping herself a cardigan that fits her frame this time. She stands outside her apartment door again, a cup of hot tea in hand and hearing aid in the other.

“Hi! Good morning,” Kara greets back, putting on the best dazzling smile she can muster. Fishing for her keys, on the other hand she steadily holds onto the bag that contains Lena’s hoodie. Yeah, she totally stole Lena's hoodie. Who's going to come get her? The hoodie police?

Kara tries not to fidget when she feels the old woman’s face swimming with curiosity and questions in the corner of her eyes.

This has got to stop happening. She makes a mental note to stop locking her windows for the night so she could just fly back in whenever.

“It’s seven twenty in the morning and you’re already dressed for work, love. Reporters don’t usually need to be up this early for work, do they?”

“No rest for the wicked?” she jokes, shrugging.

Friendly Old Neighbour takes a sip of her tea as she gives Kara a long once-over. When Kara notices a button on her shirt that’s supposed to be buttoned up, she curses under her breath in Kryptonian and fumbles, fixing it. 

“So you had another sleepover, love?” the woman chuckles loudly, and this time she winks teasingly and eyes thin knowingly in a way that Kara just starts to have an internal meltdown right here and now, because. Rao, this is definitely her second walk of shame and she’s very close to throwing herself to a volcano after being caught twice. Why did she decide to wear her yesterday’s work clothes getting back.

Friendly Old Neighbour knew the first time it happened. Kara grimaces, feeling a bucket of shame pour over her head.

Fuckity fu— Golly, she means in her head.

“Yes. Another sleepover,” she laughs nervously, and inserts her key in the lock. Kara feels herself melting on the floor by the second from the pair of watchful eyes trained on her. “Ha. Good stuff. So, gotta go,” she says weakly, shooting overly-enthusiastic finger guns, smiling crookedly.

Golly.

 


 

 

Through the glass walls of Cat Grant’s old office, Kara sees Nia and Lena chatting amicably, throwing each other nods and smiles and laughter like good friends. Nia makes a shrug, eliciting another chuckle from Lena who starts nodding like she’s extremely fascinated with whatever Nia is telling her.

As Kara holds a cup holder tray with two coffee cups on it, she studies the sight suspiciously and scratches her eyebrow. Did she miss something?

Since when did Lena come into a laughing basis with Nia? And since when did Nia and Lena become close? Not before just two or three weeks ago, they’d been all awkward with each other— all polite in a way that grossed Kara out, because, hey. She liked all her friends getting along without being too mindful of the other’s occupation and history.

Nia turns around, back view to Lena as she exits. And when she spots Kara by the entrance, she wiggles at Kara— legit actually fucking wiggles her eyebrows infuriatingly in a way like something spicy is about to happen.

Wow. Nia needs new hobbies.

Lately, whenever the opportunity rises and presents itself (whenever there is Lena ), the younger woman just heads straight in— relentless in her goal to make Kara’s life like living hell. And it feels like Kara lets herself fall too easy as a target because she dislikes how she just reacts strongly to it.

She smiles tightly and shoves a hand in her pocket, ignoring the strong insinuation of I’ll now leave you to your girlfriend looks from Nia and walks towards Lena who greets her pleasantly with a warm hug.

“Hi, boss.”

Lena pulls back and cringes. “Don’t call me that.”

Chuckling, she carefully hands Lena a cup of black coffee because she knows Lena’s going to need it for the day.

 


 

Kara lands at the DEO in her Supergirl attire, holding a paper bag full of contents as she walks in strides to meet up and have lunch with Alex and Winn. When she spots Colonel Haley in the distance, she makes for a sour face and sharply turns back. Holding her paper bag tighter in her arms, she decides to take another route around the halls.

It doesn’t take long for her to spot Alex and Winn at their usual place.

“I saw the designs and read the gadget’s capabilities, Winn,” Kara greets, smiling cheekily and nodding in approval as she sits next to Alex. “But I’d say you could do better with the shield.”

Her friend huffs, crossing his arms. “Alright, I know I have to work on the shield more, but the others? They’re very good, aren’t they? My babies.” He clicks his tongue, and fiddles on his iPad as he munches on a snack.

“You could work with Lena. Combine your brilliant minds, and all.”

Winn pouts. “I'm too competitive and so is she. Competitiveness allows and strives us to make the best new inventions and discoveries.”

“That's true, but so does working as a team,” Kara laughs.

“Maybe, maybe,” Winn groans. 

“Ask her and I'm sure you'll find yourself working on several different projects with her,” Kara says.

“I think I might just ask sometime. Do you think she'd work with me? She still kind of intimidates me!”

“Schott, everyone is intimidating to you,” Alex inputs, chugging on a bottle of water. Winn makes an offended sound and Kara just shakes her head, chuckling.

Alex eyes at the paper bag and Kara feels herself taking on a defensive stance. She wraps her arms around it firmer, ready to fend any incoming attacks.

“You flew all the way to France to buy quality croissants,” Alex remarks, not surprised the slightest bit as she studies the bag with an unreadable expression.

“Mm,” Kara takes one out of the bag, shoves a good portion into her mouth. “There’s this really nice family-owned bread store. The owner— this old sweet man,” another portion is shoved into her mouth, “—always gives me the fresh ones first. Can’t help but be a royal regular customer.”

“Hey, what did I say about eating with your mouth full.”

Kara shrugs, devouring more bread. “It’s so good, Alex,” she says, still with a mouthful.

Alex rolls her eyes.

“Hey, are you going back to CatCo after this?” Winn asks.

“Yeah, but I get off work early today. Just need to pass off some papers and emails and stuff.” Kara pauses. “Do you need my help with something?”

“No, no.” Winn waves his hand negatively, heaving a long sigh. “It’s just, man. Just thinking about the times when I used to work at CatCo. The good ol’ much more peaceful days,” he drawls nostalgically, chuckling.

“Craving to go back to your mundane life, Schott?” Alex snorts, and Kara doesn’t miss the way Alex’s eyes land on her paper bag for a split-second.

“No way! Just saying. The great paycheck is too good to pass off and the use of these,” he thumbs at his head, grinning, “guns? It would be a waste.”

Chuckling fondly at her friend, she agrees. “You remember Jordan? Short clean-cut hair and coffee-stained sleeves, the IT guy. He recently moved for a new job.”

“What? No way!” Hands flattening on the table, Winn gasps. “Oh man, I loved that guy. What’s he doing now?”

“Not sure, I only just found out about it.”

Having consumed two croissants, she reaches for the third.

“Aww.” Winn stares into space before he bursts into a giggle, looking at Alex and Kara. “Tragic. So he never confessed to you in the end.”

“Confessed what?” she halts her movements. Dread immediately creeps up into her stomach. She pinches the bridge of her nose, groaning painfully. “Don’t tell me. Was he the person who stole my oreo cookies that was clearly labelled, in capital letters KARA DANVERS in our staff fridge that two years ago in July the twenty fourth. Before the afternoon. Before I ate my orange jelly-cup.”

“I’m not even going to question how you remember that day so specifically.” Alex puffs, flicking at Kara’s forehead. Ouch?

Winn sends her the what the fuck look.

“No, what the heck? Kara, did you not know that he had a massive full-blown crush on you?”

At this, Kara accidentally bites her tongue hard. Had she been human, she’d definitely bleed a handful at the slip.

“Really?”

The two exchanges baffled glances, then stare at her intensely. Kara feels herself shrink at her seat.

“What?”

“Kara,” Alex slowly starts, palm rubbing her forehead. “Surely you know that there are at least seven people in CatCo who are currently crushing on you. Well, there could be more but I don’t really hang in the building that much. Also, in the DEO too— agents that I know who seem to have an intense admiration towards Supergirl.”

What,” Kara blinks rapidly, taken aback and almost drops her paper bag full of croissants to the ground. “Are… are you serious? Who? In CatCo, I mean. Is it people I know? Oh no, do I do that thing again— that thing you told me where, when I’m being too, too nice and people mistake it for flirting?” she twists into a grimace, suddenly flipping through all the times she interacted with her many colleagues in CatCo who she has on a friendly-basis. Which is almost the entirety of her floor and several other floors.

“Wait, are you counting me in? Because I’ll have you know I—”

Alex scoffs, ignoring Winn and looks at Kara unimpressed. “Do you seriously not see it? This is why I worry about you a lot.” Her sister pauses in thought for a moment while Kara’s distracted and busy going down a memory lance. Then Alex’s eyes drop dead to Kara’s croissants and attempts for a swift grab at a piece inside the bag.

But Kara yanks her paper bag away from the prying hands fast enough, narrowing her eyes dangerously and pouting at her sister.

“Hey! I asked if you wanted me to buy you some before but you said no. Twice. These goodies are specifically for me.”

“Well. Those croissants look fabulous,” Alex reasons, still looking at the paper bag. “And suddenly I’m hungry.”

Too bad. Kara sticks her tongue out.

Alex tsks, “Stingy. Fine, for every croissants you give me, I’ll tell you who I think that looks at you with total heart eyes.”

Kara considers it for a moment and almost. Almost gives in. Trading food away for information? This transaction is a total scam, she thinks. She can find out and figure who those people are on her own. Probably. Maybe. Anyway, food transactions are serious business, one she does not take lightly.

“I don’t accept.”

Alex sticks her tongue back, unsurprised at the negotiation end. Childish. Nice.

Winn groans, shaking his head. “I can’t believe you never knew, Kara. Though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.”

Kara just grumbles, leaning back on her seat.

 


 

 

Nia (2:33pm): bruh, where are you.

Kara (2:33pm): i’m… at my apartment? what’s up?

Nia (2:35pm): what why?

Kara (2:35pm): i finished early today

Nia (2:35pm): oh

Nia (2:35pm): i was scrambling around the floor looking for you

Kara (2:36pm): ?? did something happen

Nia (2:38pm): nothing crazy, it’s just i was given the go on an alien coverage interview i’ve been hounding for approval for days. it’s in an hour and a half!! i was wondering if you’d come do it with me? even though you’re finished for today, unless something popped up. partner requirement plus you’re my good buddy

Kara (2:38pm): NIA NAL!! oh wow that’s amazing!??

Kara (2:38pm): pff of course i’ll come :)) im free as a birb right now

 

Including the formalities and the small pleasantry chit-chats, the length of the interview takes up a whole hour.

It goes well and it ends up with Nia smiling widely, completely feeling affected and touched by her interviewee’s story and experience living in National City. Kara smiles at it, sharing the sentiment with her friend.

She’s interviewed many aliens like this before. Asks or gets asks to share their story. And the excitement to share it to the world, like being a voice, always sends her a floaty and warm sense of feeling. Like she’s doing good in the world. Which she is.

It’s the one of many things she can do as Kara Danvers expertly, and she takes in the importance of this other side of her life well.

Supergirl Kara Zor-El is everything to her. CatCo reporter slash journalist Kara Danvers is everything to her.

She’s not unfamiliar with existential crisis, given how she falls into it helplessly every once in a while. And that’s okay, Alex had told her before, every time she would forget who she is. Both sides are what makes you who you are, Lena had reminded her when she had felt inadequate and hopeless for herself. And she does her best to always remember this, especially in her darkest moments.

Kara buys a box of doughnuts for Nia afterwards, proud of her friend’s good work. She just can’t help but be such a sappy shit for Nia, who’s looking so genuinely happy at the experience she got to take.

After the interview, Nia hangs in Kara’s apartment, compiling information for her article there instead of CatCo.

“Okay,” the younger woman clicks her tongue, extremely focused and tapping away in her laptop on Kara’s dining table. “Almost done the first half.”

“Want some hot choco?” Kara offers.

“Sure, yes please. Thanks for coming with me again, by the way.”

“No problem. You did say I’m your good buddy, what was I supposed to do? Is the good buddy supposed to let you fend yourself to the sharks?”

Nia snorts, swatting her away. “It’s riveting, these kind of interviews. I just want to do more in the future.”

“And you will,” Kara grins, “just make sure to keep really, really fighting for it. Very necessary to be stubborn and persuasive if you want to keep at it in this profession.” She twists into a face when she thinks about Snapper Carr.

“Yeah, I’m really starting to learn that,” Nia agrees, sighing. “Really. Thanks.”

“Anything for my good bud.”

“Please. Don’t let it get to your head, I just needed someone there to be with me,” Nia rolls her eyes, radiating mirth.

“What, are you saying I was just an option? Replacement for Brainy!” Kara puffs dramatically, feigning hurt. Finished making the hot choco, she lays the hot mug and a cocoa powder on the table for Nia. “I can’t believe this betrayal.”

“You’re so funny, Kara,” Nia says blandly, closing her laptop with a smile. Lifting her hot choco mug up, she starts blowing on it to make it cooler.

Grinning, Kara clicks her fingers. “I am. I’m the funniest person you know in your life.”

“You keep saying that to yourself and maybe your dream of becoming the funniest person might come true.”

Kara huffs, indignant. “At least Lena validates me.”

“Right,” the younger woman snorts at that.

“What? She does! At least someone thinks I’m funny.”

“Okay, Kara. I don’t doubt it.”

“Alex doesn’t share the same thoughts, but I understand because she doesn’t have the range to fully appreciate my brilliant self,” Kara wipes a fake tear. “Oh, also I’m funnier than her by the way in case you didn’t know.”

“It’s not about knowing, it’s about feeling. But whatever you say, Kara.” Nia snorts, and takes a careful sip at her mug. Looks at the clock hanging by the wall. “Hey, wanna grab dinner out later?”

“Oh,” Kara scratches the back of her neck. “I’d love to, but I’m going out with Lena later.”

Nia pretends to blanch at that, and Kara sends a jab at Nia’s arm lightly, knowing exactly what her friend’s thinking.

“Just shopping for grocery. I’m severely lacking food right now. Unfortunately, she is, too.” Kara wonders if Nia would share her current predicament and thoughts on Lena’s devastating and mundane refrigerator.

“Grocery shopping? I haven’t even done that with Brainy.” Nia frowns, chin on palm on the table in thought.

Snorting, Kara leans into the kitchen counter casually, raising an eyebrow at Nia. “What’s that supposed to mean.”

“Nothing much,” Nia responds innocently, a smirk curling a corner of her mouth, eyebrow quirking up suggestively.

“It’s just grocery shopping.”

“It is,” Nia agrees, bringing the rim of her mug to her lips. She takes another sip, batting her eyelashes slowly at Kara teasingly.

“Shopping with friends aren’t that uncommon.”

“It’s not just any kind of shopping, Kara. It’s grocery shopping. That’s the big stuff, man. Big stuff.”

“My point still stands.” She pouts.

“It does,” Nia says, almost in a sing-song way. She doesn’t say anything else but the curl of her lips is enough to make Kara roll her eyes.

Okay. Nia seriously needs new hobbies. And she definitely needs better taste in hot chocos. The cocoa powder sprinkle is still right in front of her but she’s barely touched it. It’s mandatory stuff for hot chocos, damnit.

Frowning, Kara runs a hand through her hair almost in exasperation. “Is it that hard to believe that you can share this level of closeness with someone without it being romantic?” Opening a fresh bottle of water, she starts chugging the contents down.

“Nope,” Nia replies, popping the p. “Alright, fine. I guess— it’s not like you two have cracked and have gone around pressing your faces together, or something.”

At this, Kara inhales sharply, coughing when streaks of water goes down to the wrong pipe end. Nia watches her regain her composure, eyebrows raised and suddenly oh so suspicious. Well, shit.

Kara.”

Kara wants to steer this conversation away, to move onto a new topic but the firm stance and the steely pointed look Nia’s giving her right now tells her that the younger woman wouldn’t be swayed so easily. She can’t escape this now.

“Maybe,” she hems her throat, voice weak and tiny, “maybe we have.”

Nia openly gawks at her, mouth agape and eyes bulging. If this were any other situation, Kara would laugh at the priceless sight.

“Kissed. You guys have fucking kissed?” Nia drawls slowly, frozen dead in her chair. “What, what. Oh, man. What. But you just said—” she shakes her head, blinking, and Kara feels a non-existent headache creeping in her head, “did you profess your undying love or something!?” she starts to squeal, feet bouncing up and down rapidly and hands clapping excitedly. “Are you guys finally dating? The audacity to lie just now, Kara!”

“No, what? What do you mean by finally? How could you even think that— no, Nia,” Kara stammers, extremely baffled. “Stop that. No confessions happened. I… I— I don’t… like her like… like that! I can’t, that’s crazy, and—” Kara pauses for a bit when she sees Nia deflates, frowning, “I didn’t lie and we’re nothing like that. She’s just my best friend, Nia. But, uh. The, uh. W-we just,” Kara stutters wildly, finding it difficult to word her sentences properly, because just how does she explain what she has with Lena.

“Are you and Lena, like. Banging? Holy shit!” Nia loudly exclaims, and gasps like she can’t believe what she’s hearing right now. Gone were her excitement and what comes is heavy confusion flooding her face.

“Nia, please. It’s just hanging out. Hanging out a little, and. And. Hanging. Out.” Kara’s too nervous to talk about this. Paling, she regrets this. Damn throat pipe ends and damn Nia for being suspicious at everything.

“You guys hang out all the time,” Nia refutes smoothly, not having it. “You and Lena. Wow.”

Kara doesn’t admit to anything further and walks to the fridge, putting her bottle inside it.

“Since when? All irritatingly and insufferably, you guys eye-fuck all the time and just never seem to push for anything more. And I’ve only known you guys for almost a year now— so excuse me if I’m so caught in surprise by this.”

“Wait, what? Eye-what?! We do not. Nia!” Kara stresses, turning around as she feels her whole body being burned into an incinerator. They do not eye-fuck. What is wrong with Nia. Why does she keep saying all these things. She’s getting as delusional as Winn. Kara’s getting really, really worried.

Nia just stares at her, laughing strangely like she’s still processing this in her head. “Kara, what the fuck, man.”

Kara winces hard. “What? It’s not that... serious. It doesn’t have to be and it definitely doesn’t have to change things between us. You know we value our friendship the most. These kind of things aren’t a joke to me. So strangely, or not so strangely it was just. Easy to be with her as well as talk about it.”

That’s all she’ll admit to.

“I seriously don’t understand you two,” Nia shakes her head, groaning and staring at an uninteresting furniture. “I want to, but everytime I try it’s like a cluster mind-fuck and I love myself enough to not piece everything together in my head of the phenomenon of you two and understand the ticks.”

Kara just simply shrugs. And feels the tips of her ears reddening, thinking about Lena. Wondering if Lena hasn’t forgotten about picking her up later. Rao, she better not. She’ll fill that refrigerator up one way or another.

But honestly, Kara thinks Nia doesn’t have to understand it. Alex and Winn. Everyone.

What she and Lena have doesn’t need to be defined. Kara understands what Nia’s trying to get at, but it’s rather unsettling when she thinks of it as a whole. The obsession to have every single thing picked, labelled, and categorized on Earth. It’s not something Kara has been fond of ever since landing here when she was thirteen.

It doesn’t matter who defines and misinterprets their relationship. Whether it’s Alex who’s been her precious sister for more than half of her life going through all kinds of thick and thin with her, or some random stranger at a bar. Their reactions are always the same— they laugh, with Kara occasionally (always) fumbling and blushing— because Lena and her of all people?

Kara sighs.

At first Nia is quiet, but then she frowns. “But Kara, the whole point of the friends with benefits thing is that there’s supposed to be no strings attached. With Lena, there is… well. All strings attached. This is Lena we’re talking about. You and Lena.”

Kara can’t exactly deny Nia’s placed assumption on her and Lena. Those three words, it sounds so wrong, when she thinks about those three words next to Lena. Sat with her and Lena makes her uncomfortably so. So she doesn’t mention it at all. She knows Nia's just concerned for her friends.

“It’s fine, Nia,” Kara says firmly. “It’s not that serious. If anything, the slightest thing that goes wrong or one wants to stop, then obviously we stop. Communication is the key.”Is it not? she thinks, craning her neck.

“Well. If you say so.” Nia doesn’t push the subject any further, but Kara gets the feeling that the younger woman isn’t entirely convinced.

 


 

Kara has never been that spectacular at cooking but she does have staple dishes under her belt and therefore, finding the ingredients for Lena doesn’t take too long. She pushes the big cart, all kinds of food and ingredients compiling and creating a mini mountain already (Lena had insisted on getting the small basket, to which Kara shook her head vehemently, “No, Lena, think of your sad and pathetic kitchen and fridge. Plus, I’m here for my stuff, too.”).

Lena walks beside her, coat folded on her arm and strap bag hanging on her shoulder.

They receive stares, all kinds of gawking: in awe, curiosity, suspiciousness, wonder, fright, and all that. Hanging with Lena out in the public, Kara’s learned to get used to it over by the years, so it doesn’t really bother her.

Making it to the fresh meat and bread section, Kara points out different kinds of cuisine she’s tried as Lena listens, nodding and smiling with rapt attention.

“I’m pretty sure if you stuff too much food in my kitchen, half would rot by the time I finish a portion of it,” the raven-haired woman points out, eyeing at the shopping cart questioningly.

“Then I’ll eat the other half for you,” Kara inputs, like it’s a given already. Problem solved. Good thinking, Kara. Silly question, Lena. “You stuff all these kinds of fruits and vegetables in mine. It’s only right that I get to stuff my food in yours.”

“Right,” Lena resigns, sighing. Pale hands grab at the end of the cart handle, and Lena gestures for Kara to make space for her. Kara grins and steps sideways. Lena moves into her right. Arms and shoulders touch and press together as they push the cart.

Kara tries not to think too much about the conversation she had with Nia earlier.

These things she’s been doing more with Lena— breakfast, cooking together, wearing each other’s clothes and staying in— it all feels overly domestic. It doesn’t exactly bother Kara. In fact, she feels a giddiness to this— it’s exciting, it’s boring (in your typical mundane day-to-day life), it’s nice, it’s lovely.

In the corner of her eyes, Lena drops something into the cart.

“Bird food!” she accuses, pointing aggressively at the seeds.

Lena chuckles. “Edible seeds,” she corrects, dropping more onto the trolley. “They’re very healthy, you know.”

“Bird food,” Kara insists stubbornly, judging the packets laid on top of her Pringles can.

They walk from aisle to aisle, dropping more items alongway in their cart. Yoghurts and various fruits make it in, as well as many different flavoured Kombucha bottles. Kara picks up a variety of healthy snacks for Lena to keep her energy up, salad dressings to add to her Green Abominations, coffee beans, and packets of chamomile tea that Kara relies on to calm her down on those stressful days that she just has troubles falling asleep. It doesn’t actually really affect her body, but somehow it does the trick. Maybe it’s because of the knowledge of knowing its properties and her body tricking her with it. She doesn’t think too much about it, so she just appreciates the tea a lot.

Almost deciding that they have enough food in, she quickly guides the trolley and Lena to an area. She drops in quick breakfasts so that Lena doesn’t have to leave hungry for work when she wakes up late, or doze into hunger when she lacks the energy to make food for herself.

Lena arches an eyebrow up. “Why does it feel like I’m being babied. Like I can’t buy things for my own self.”

Smiling and linking her arms with Lena as they make their way to the check-out line, she half-shrugs at the woman.

“Oh, you’re a very capable woman, Lena. One of the most coolest and independent person I know. But unfortunately,” Kara sighs forlornly, “some people just fall victim to the Pitiful Humdrum Disease.”

“Pitiful Humdrum Disease. You just made that up.”

Ignoring Lena’s remark, she continues, lamenting, “Anyway— it’s when the rich, intelligent, and powerful CEOs fall blind to the good, healthy things for them in life. Getting good rest, food, more rest, and more food.”

“And you think you help spice up my life. Should I be offended at this?”

“I mean, don’t I?”

“Oh, but my life is spicy enough as it is. But spice wouldn’t be the word for you, darling.”

Kara frowns for a moment because she completely disagrees with that. Gaze dropping down to the coffee beans on the cart, an idea strikes up and she grins lopsidedly at Lena. “How about sugar then. Oh! Can I be the cream to your coffee!”

Lena cranes her neck to meet Kara in the eyes, lips curling in amusement. “You know I don’t quite enjoy sugar or cream added to my coffee.”

Shoulders deflating, Kara tries again. “Peanut butter to your jelly?”

“I’m not fond of jelly.”

“Cheese to your macaroni?”

“I like cheese a lot in pasta as much as the next person, but it doesn’t compete in the same heavy sense way with how I like you,” Lena teases with a stunning smirk, making Kara’s brain short-circuit for a moment. A wild blush spreads on Kara’s cheeks.

Clearing her throat, she stares straight ahead and adjusts her glasses.

“Then what’s a good contender? I’m running out of Earth idioms here,” she pouts, scratching at the handle of the cart lightly in deep thought for more.

“There’s none,” Lena tells her, and Kara feels the movement of a shrug against her arm. A few seconds pass until Lena hums. “Well, you can be the salad dressings to my kale.”

Ugh,” Kara whips her head to face Lena so fast and grimaces painfully, unsure of what to think of that. “Lena, please. I’m going to vomit for real here.”

Sulking at the thought of salad dressings, its smell and texture, Lena’s body shakes with a lovely laughter.

 

They first make a quick round trip to Kara’s apartment to drop in her load, which doesn’t take long thanks to her capacity to carry many heavy things at once, before heading to Lena’s penthouse.

The fridge now looks better with actual food in it. Kara feels her mind being put to ease. She’ll have to keep this up, she decides resolutely. For the health of her mind, Lena’s kitchen, and Lena herself.

“Are you happy now?” Lena approaches behind Kara, hand on her hip with a light smile.

“Yes. You should be, too, for yourself.”

“I am,” the Irish woman says, moving her hand and placing it on Kara’s back as she inspects the refrigerator. “Thanks for accompanying me. I don’t really do grocery shopping that much.”

“I knew that already.”

Kara places the last remaining packaged item on the shelf and twists her neck to look at Lena. Pulls her head backwards in the realization of her face being too close to the woman’s.

“You sure you don’t want me as the spice to your life?” The crinkle on her forehead must be popping out because Lena raises her other free hand, thumbing and flattening at the particular skin. “Spice sounds better. I like it.”

Fingers graze at Kara’s shoulder softly. Lena scoffs at her, grinning. “No, darling. Not the spice. You’re the salad dressings to my kale. Stick with the title,” she chuckles, planting a quick kiss to Kara’s cheek before backing away from her and disappearing off to a room.

Kara just grumbles and scratches at her neck, staring into space.

The thought of salad dressings gives her the real tingles.

 

Lena wears the National City University sweatshirt when she comes back to the living room.

She’s worn it before when Kara had given it to her to wear back then when she was staying over at Sam’s place during the awful lead poisoning incident with the children getting terribly sick. When Lena was at a low point, having to step down from L-Corp and CatCo because of the public outrage and Morgan Edge. Ugh.

Kara had completely forgotten about the sweatshirt and Lena still has it— kept it.

Many seconds pass. And Kara knows at this point she’s just blatantly staring at Lena.

“I totally forgot about that sweatshirt… you still have it.”

“Yeah.” Lena shrugs, a charming half-smile playing at her lips. There’s a book tucked in her arm and a wine glass in her hand as she makes her way towards the kitchen.

“Kept it from the poor and unsuspecting owner much?”

“The owner’s completely forgotten about it. For two years at that. I can’t be blamed.”

“Lena Sweatshirt Thief Kieran Luthor!” Kara gasps dramatically, hands clutching her chest in feign shock. She circles around the kitchen counter, watching Lena pour wine on her glass. She waves her hand off when Lena offers her some.

Lena flushes attractively and laughs warmly, rolling her eyes with a nonchalant shrug.

“Never took you for a sweatshirt thief, Lena,” Kara steps back, hand over her mouth. “Oh, what would everyone think. Philanthropist and young genius CEO Lena Luthor steals sweatshirt from the poor, unsuspecting, and helpless CatCo reporter Kara Danvers. That would make the headlines. Seriously.”

“Well, perhaps the poor, unsuspecting, and helpless CatCo reporter Kara Danvers will let me have this one,” Lena smirks, fingers delicately playing at the hems of her sweatshirt as she leans back onto the counter with her wine glass. “It’s particularly cold today. This sweatshirt actually warms me like no other sweatshirt. There’s something about its textures.”

Kara narrows her eyes. “If you’re going to keep my beloved sweatshirt, then I have the rights to steal back and claim your MIT hoodie.”

The Sweatshirt Thief bites her lip for a moment, contemplating in thought like she’s analyzing and considering the steal-to-steal exchange.

The audacity of this thief.

Starting to feel impatient, Kara lays her palm right in front of Lena, hell-bent on getting her hands on that hoodie as she shoots Lena a look. Lena huffs at the action, chuckling with her nose doing that cute scrunch.

“Kara Hoodie Thief Danvers,” the Irish woman draws in a sharp breath, hands to her chest and blinking slowly in mirth. Kara can’t help but crack into a smile at the sight. “You haven’t even given me back my hoodie from yesterday. I quite liked that specific hoodie.”

“The Hoodie Thief shows no remorse in stealing hoodies. Just like her counterpart Sweatshirt Thief. Who kept it for two years from its owner.”

“Who would’ve known. The Sweatshirt Thief and the Hoodie Thief stealing from each other.”

“C’mon, Lena.” Giggling, she shakes her head at the ridiculous phrase. “Gimme the hoodie I deserve. The Hoodie Thief demands it now.”

“Alright, not-so-sneaky-thief, go steal it. It’s in the nightstand, down in the second drawer, clean and folded.”

Kara breaks into a full, wide grin before she super-speeds for the drawer and coming back almost instantly, already wearing it.

Lena’s forefinger taps continuously on the counter as she gives Kara a once-over. Kara flexes, moving her arms in wide, circular motions. It’s not too small, but it’s not too big either. It just fits. With loose corners, it adds comfort and coziness. This earns positive points in Kara’s Quality Hoodie Standards Book.

“I got that sizes bigger than my normal when I bought it. How is it?”

Whistling, Kara brings a thumbs up. Satisfied, she smiles. “It fits just perfectly. It feels really nice, actually.”

“Good to hear. Wouldn’t want to disappoint the mighty Hoodie Thief.”

Laughing, Kara rolls her eyes. “Oh, right! I just tossed my jumper messily right onto your bed— wait, be right back.” And then she super-speeds out and back in, grinning goofily, waving her jumper in her hand.

“Dork.” Lena walks towards her. Sighing softly, she tiptoes up to meet Kara’s height. A gentle hand caresses the locks of Kara’s hair, fixing the messy strands that’s sticking out awkwardly from the super-speeding.

“Shortie,” Kara pokes her cheek.

“Dramatic.” Fingers make a quick jab at Kara’s abdomen. Kara pretends to be hurt by it, stumbling back dramatically grunting an oof. “You’re only a few inches taller than me when I’m not wearing my heels.”

“But you always have to tiptoe up whenever you do that or hug me and also,” Kara pauses, her grin faltering slightly. She gulps, bobbing her head down a little. “And… whenever you kiss me.”

Underneath the dim lights, Lena’s cheeks are rosy and her emerald-green eyes glitter prettily, light seeping in enough that shows the subtle heterochromia. Her hair's let down freely, showing its complete length and everything about Lena right now just looks so soft.

Lena looks away briefly, folding her arms over her chest.

“It’s only a slight tiptoe up. Again, dramatic.” The younger woman’s cheeks flex, faint in a way that shows that she’s biting her cheeks.

“Aww, are you getting sensitive about the height topic,” Kara coos.

“As long as you add the vital keyword: slight. Accurate wording and use of correct terminology is important, Kara.”

“I still think slight shouldn’t be used. You totally tiptoe up. Up up.”

Lena arches an eyebrow sharply.

“Actually, you know,” the raven-haired woman begins lowly, lips curling up in a way that kind of scares Kara, “we, as reputable and reliable scientists, should always record and report our experiments and data accurately. To discover and verify certain things, we implement and conduct experiments.”

“Yeah?” Kara’s heart starts thumping against her ribs.

“Aim: to determine if Lena Luthor tiptoes up up or tiptoes only slightly up to meet Kara Danvers,” Lena challenges her, intense eyes meeting hers. She takes an unnecessary small step forward. She’s already standing so close.

Kara totally set herself up for this one. She knows she’s reddening at this, but the fact that Lena’s cheeks are also flushed up— it washes her some relief in a sense.

“Gotta keep your strong reputation as a trusted scientist, right?” she finds herself nodding, licking her lips nervously and, Rao— when will she stop being such an encouraging flirtatious idiot around Lena? The answer is: never, maybe, or well, she’s not sure, but Rao help her.

Lena moves in a little closer again, andis Lena going to hug her or kiss her— Kara can’t actually tell, so a mix of anticipation and nervousness bubbles in her chest.

Lena breaks into a smirk and then both her hands land on Kara’s shoulders and tiptoes up, meeting Kara and placing a chaste kiss on her lips.

Correction: slightly tiptoes up.

It was too quick. So, Kara just finds herself blinking lamely at Lena. Lena’s head is pulled back, but her hands stay on Kara’s shoulders as her feet flat on the ground.

“I think you need to do it again. For additional data and accuracy of the experiment’s sake.” Kara actually wants to kick herself. Thrice. And then ask Nia to punch her. Twice.

“I think so too,” Lena mutters lowly before she comes up again. Slightly tiptoes up. And this time the kiss is anything but chaste, because Kara, like the hopeless idiot she is, decides to cup the back of Lena’s neck and leans in with a certain want for more.

Lena's lips are tender, warm, and smooth, as she mashes against Kara’s— all unhurried and slow. The taste of wine and chapstick makes it across and Kara just kind of melts on the spot as Lena's palm moves to cradle her jaw, delicate fingers splaying across her neck. Kara inhales sharply as her fingers tangle into silken curls, and, okay— they should stop now but neither of them aren’t making any effort to, so. Yeah.

Kara doesn’t realize they’re moving until Lena’s back hits the kitchen counter. When Kara lets out a soft noise, Lena pulls back, breaking the kiss and breathing softly at a respectable distance.

“Ah. Oops. That went too much.” Emerald-green eyes, cloudy and dazed, stares at Kara’s lips, as a thumb brushes at Kara’s cheeks.

“My bad.”

“No complaints. So, results and conclusion?”

“Okay,” Kara sighs dramatically, acquiescing. “Results, drawn in a table: slightly tiptoe up box, ticked. Conclusion: Upon bringing the two subjects together, Lena Luthor, when wearing no heels, only requires a slight tiptoe up to meet Kara Danvers eye-to-eye.”

“Much better.” Nodding in satisfaction, Lena grins and pats Kara on the cheeks, whispering a fond dork at her before breaking away, moving to the other side of the counter. “Hey, do you want some tea? You really filled up my cupboards with tea...”

“Oh, no thanks, not right now.”

Kara licks her lips, that still buzzes and tingles from Lena’s kiss.

“Seriously, Kara,” Lena half-turns to her, before pouring more wine in her glass. “You better help me finish all these food,” she gesticulates to the fridge and cupboards using her head.

Kara snorts, laughing, “I will! Don’t you even worry about it.” Her phone screen lights up from a notification and she winces when she sees the time.

Oh. It’s already late. She should get back soon.

“Heading home now?” Lena’s looking at her.

“Yeah, I should,” she nods, grabbing her glasses on and her phone. “I didn’t realise the time. It’s already late.”

“Okay. Want me to get Frank to drive you home?” Lena offers, holding her glass down.

Kara shakes her head. “Naw, that’s a waste of fuel.” All her items with her in-check, she nods to herself before gesturing towards the balcony door.

A step into the balcony, she turns around to meet Lena. Returning the warm smile that’s being directed at her, Kara wraps her arms around the raven-haired woman tight and snug. Lena slants into the embrace, nose pressing against Kara’s side jaw.

A kiss to Lena’s forehead, and Kara steps back, nodding.

“I’ll see you sometime soon?” Lena tilts her head to a side, leaning against the wall. Like she even has to ask.

“You will,” Kara grins.

Mid-way flight back to her own apartment, it's a little unnerving when Kara, for a split-second, thinks of going back and just sleeping over at Lena's. 

 

Chapter Text

 

Kara isn’t honestly entirely sure how she finds herself here exactly, standing in front of Lena’s closet. With a few sets of clothes neatly piled on top of her hands.

Her own sets of clothes, for comfy and casual wear, for work wear.

Keyword: her own sets of clothesIncluding some socks, bras, and knickers.

It’s not a whole lot of clothes, of course— just some few clothes because she’s not moving here. Obviously. Goodness. That'd be remarkably ridiculous. Terrifyingly ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. All the intensifier adverbs of the human language put altogether— ridiculous. She looks down at her clothes, trying not to slip and accidentally have her hearing go haywire from the inner turmoil that's building up inside her.

Rao.

Rao, Rao, Rao, she chants in her head stressfully, willing herself to find some clarity and guidance as she stares into the closet and drawers. And, oh, hey, it smells so nice around here, just so much like Lena— no, no, focus, Kara. Get with the program.

She scratches at her eyebrow and thinks back two days ago, frowning to herself.

 

“Since you’re here often, why not just bring some spare clean clothes from your apartment and leave some here?” Lena suggested, appearing nonchalant as she looked into her refrigerator and grabbed some drinks and sauces.

It was a peaceful, quiet evening. Kara had a spatula in her hand with a dash of smudged up chocolate on her cheek. She wore an apron that had already been dirtied by sprinkles of flour. Lena was in the same state. They were attempting to recreate some cuisine they both saw from The Great British Bake Off and so far it was going okay. Okay as in not terrible. Okay as in not bad. Mostly thanks to Lena and her ability to correctly follow the recipe, but Kara wasn't about to admit that just yet.

“My clothes? Are you saying that I should bring some and pack them into your closet and drawers?” Kara’s eyebrows shot up and she looked at Lena. 

“Yes, that’s exactly what I said?” Lena slowly nodded, then shook her head. “Semantics. So?”

Kara felt herself freeze at her spot.

“I mean, that’s if you want to,” Lena added when Kara wasn’t saying anything, who just simply stared at Lena with her eyebrows drawn together. “That was a silly suggestion, I’m sorry—”

“Lena,” Kara interrupted, her name coming out breathless. She shook her head, grinning at the woman, “No, no! I think that’s a great idea!”

“Really?”

“Yeah! I mean, it would definitely make my neighbour less judgy and suspicious of me every time I’d—” Kara paused sharply, and Lena arched an eyebrow. “No, no, it’s good. I’ll bring some. But are you sure it’s okay? Like, my clothes will probably be a bit too much and I know you like your space, and—”

“It’s fine, Kara,” Lena cut her off gently and grinned, waving her off warmly. And when Kara pushed her glasses up in nervousness out of habit, letting out a small oh, Lena chuckled at the sight. “I’m the one that suggested it. Don’t fret, you’re not invading my space at all.”

 

Right. So maybe that did indeed happen two days ago.

So maybe Kara does have the slightest bit of clue. Oh, who is she kidding. She knows every bit of sentences and action that lead her exactly to here, standing in front of Lena’s closet, with her own pile of clothes.

Lena had suggested, and Kara had merely agreed to the said suggestion.

It’s the actual act of doing it that flips something inside her, thoughts flaring and brewing in a way that confuses her. The act of standing in front of Lena’s wardrobe and drawers with the intent of placing her own clothes inside there.

Just store the clothes neatly inside and stop thinking about it too much. Don’t overthink it. It probably doesn’t mean that much to Lena, anyway. Why should it?

It’s just.

Placing some of her clothes in Lena’s space, since she comes to visit occasionally (frequently) and sleep in.

It’s just thinking smart and ahead, Kara rationalizes, as she ignores an imaginary Nia in her head, teasing and mocking her situation with her infuriating eyebrow waggling.

Just placing some of my clothes at a different place, she thinks, as imaginary Nia starts laughing at her and as she starts neatly hanging her clothes in Lena’s closet.

That’s it.

That’s all.

 


 

Kara balances a pen on her upper lip boredly, letting her thoughts lead and fall onto imaginary doughnuts, pizzas, then a plate full of potstickers. She’s just finished an assignment, email sent and waiting for changes and follow-ups for it.

A woman passes by her desk swiftly— Mackenzie, who holds stacks of papers in her hand with a phone held to her ear.

The plate full of potstickers vanish from her thoughts and suddenly she recalls the conversation she’d had with Winn and Alex earlier. Claiming that there were a bit of some office crushing around here and there. Perhaps they were lying, because Kara, for the life of her just can’t think of anyone that shoots ‘heart eyes’, as Alex calls it, at her.

She watches Mackenzie, her fellow reporter colleague, and cringes instantly— ugh, no way. Definitely nope, not her.

She hasn't forgotten the incident with Mackenzie and what she had done to Franklin— placing strips of wood into his coffee cup as a prank since it was a part of the Dryads’ diet. Mackenzie had apologized since then, people change, but Kara’s still a little suspicious of the woman.

Kara shakes her head, and the pen drops from her philtrum. Looks at Franklin, three desks away, who’s deep into his own work. Looks at Dave, whose desk is right next to him, and sees him already looking at her. Dave scrambles at his desk, suddenly typing on his keyboard and looking at his computer screen intensely.

An eyebrow cocks up.

“Hey,” Nia’s voice snaps her out of her train of thoughts.

Kara blinks. Nia stands right next to her desk and Kara swivels around her seat to meet the younger woman. “Oh, hi.”

Nia arches an eyebrow up. “What were you thinking?”

“Nothing.” Kara wrinkles her nose.

“Right.” The younger reporter leans onto Kara’s desk, biting into her muffing. “I don’t know how your girl does it,” she sighs, staring off into space. “How is she able to take care and manage all things at once?”

How Kara already knows who she’s talking about, she shoots Nia an unimpressed look.

“Lena’s not my girl,” Kara frowns, a small blush forming on her cheeks when she says it.

“Okay. Girlfriend.”

“Even more terribly wrong.” Kara pokes her pen at Nia's hip lightly. Who keeps teaching her to be so cheeky? “Delusional little munchkin.”

“Hey, ow!” Nia snorts, throwing her hands up. “Sorry, it’s just always so amusing to see you get flustered so easily by the mention of her.”

“Because you keep saying these kind of things.”

Nia just simply shrugs, then narrows her eyes, body subtly defensive in case Kara pokes at her again.

How the younger one is able to get under her skin this easily— Kara will never know. Nia can keep saying things. It doesn’t make Kara’s situation any less true.

“I still can’t believe she owns CatCo, though,” Nia says. “L-Corp, work in the DEO, and CatCo. Like, whoa. She’s so cool.”

Yeah. Lena’s a pretty damn amazing human. Kara knows that already.

“Nia,” Kara chuckles, leaning back onto her swivel seat, “did you come here to swoon over your boss?”

Nia blanches instantly. “Well if you say it like that, that just sounds so wrong. Just admiring the work Lena does, is all. Do you seriously think I haven’t read the articles you wrote based on the great stuff she’s been doing for the city and the world for the last couple of years?”

“Uh.” Kara’s jaw slackens, throat suddenly dry.

“Kara,” Nia laughs, giving Kara a nudge, “I’m a huge fan of your work, in case you haven’t forgotten about our first meeting.” She halts for a moment, cringing to herself, most likely recalling the event. Kara smiles, remembering how Nia had bought her coffee on the first day. “Of course I’ve read some of your written work about her.”

“Well,” Kara clears her throat. “I wrote only the truths about her.” The majority of the articles about Lena had been negative and assuming at the time. Kara knows her articles stood out, in a way.

“That’s what makes you so cool,” Nia gushes, a suffocating amount of adoration radiating from her, “and Lena. You guys are total bad asses.”

Kara feels heat blooming on her neck.

“You know, Winn used to work here,” she mentions, deciding to lead the topic away from anything that is Lena.

“Wait, really?”

“Yeah, he became my first friend here, too. When I first started working here.”

“Wow,” Nia drawls. “I didn’t know that. I thought he’d always been stationed at the DEO.”

“Yep,” Kara shrugs. Looking around her surroundings, she leans towards Nia, lowering her voice, “As you already know he just came back recently, from the the 31st century. Crazy jump. He does good work in the DEO.”

Nia hums, nodding. “All of you guys come from a really long way.”

“So, did you finish your article yet?” Kara asks.

“Oh, yeah. Up for publication.”

“Aww, Nia,” Kara grins, standing up to give the younger woman a good pat on the back. “Good job, kiddo,” she coos, nodding in content.

“Thank you.” The younger woman smiles, preening at the praise. “Hey, you wanna head out to dinner with Brainy and I tomorrow?”

“And be the third wheel to your not-quite-yet-a-couple?” Kara teases slyly, head bowing conspiratorially that earns a furious blush from Nia. Good. Take that. “Sure!”

“We haven't had a little team dinner in a while,” Nia rolls her eyes, biting a smile back. “I get to choose where we’ll eat this time.”

 


 

“Hello, hello, I come bearing gifts.” Kara walks in confident strides from L-Corp's balcony and rounds up in front of Lena’s desk.

“Kara,” Lena greets, a small smile forming across her lips. She shifts at her seat, closing her eyes for a moment and massaging at her temples.

“Headache?”

“Yes, just a little one.”

Kara frowns, tilts her head.

Lena is an odd human. Not so much as odd odd, but Kara has come to learn over the years, that the younger woman is more prone to headaches. Gets them more than your average fellow human. Alex gets headaches, but not more often than Lena. She wonders how often she'd get headaches if she were a human. She gets an uncomfortable throbbing in her head every now and then when she's exhausted or stressed— but it doesn't equate to the headaches she would get when she solar flares. 

She walks over to the water dispenser and grabs a cup for Lena, filling it all the way to the top. She places it onto her desk, “Here.”

“Oh, thanks.” Lena takes it gratefully.

Lena inspects the food in the bag laid on top of her desk. “If I haven’t stated it in the past already— you’re my favourite person.”

Kara bites down a grin, pretending to think as she strokes her chin. “You may have mentioned it a few times, but I only remember vaguely. Perhaps it’s important to keep saying it so I don’t forget.”

Lena rolls her eyes. “You have eidetic memory. But I'll make sure I will,” she says surely, and then flashes Kara her pretty smile and dimple. Kara feels herself blushing at the easy promise until Lena adds, “Kara Danvers: my favourite person, the salad dressings to my kale.”

Lena,” Kara groans in disgust, palming her eyes. “Way to ruin it.”

“Ruin what?” Lena laughs heartily, opening the bag. The businesswoman has her hair tied up tight in a bun, looking every bit of intimidating and powerful with her make-up sharp and on-point, black blazer and pencil skirt polished and dirtless.

But she looks notably tired. It makes Kara feel itchy. If it were any other person, Kara thinks they wouldn’t suspect the slight change in posture and the slight drooping of Lena’s features.

“Are you doing anything later?” Kara hesitates, feet subtly bouncing up and down the ground. Her hand rises up to fix her nonexistent glasses up her nose and almost ends up poking herself in the eye.

Lena looks up, regarding Kara with an amused smile over the bag. “Not that I know of.”

“Can I come over? I’m really, really craving for potstickers tonight.”

“Absolutely shocking,” Lena says drily, leaning back from her chair. “Yes, you can come over tonight.”

“Sweet! I’ll order us some later.”

“I think it’s best if we lay off cooking for a bit, by the way.”

Kara huffs. “Hey, we did so good last time. That dish came out pretty well.”

Lena raises an eyebrow, twirling her black pen around her fingers with precision and elegance. “Pretty well? It almost came out burnt, Kara.”

“But it didn’t,” Kara deflects. “Sure, we’re both terrible cooks,” she admits that, “but when we work together, terrible cook plus terrible cook, the negative gets cancelled out.”

It's just simple mathematics. 

(Kara knows this as untrue in this case.

She just takes solace in the fact that they're both awful at cooking.)

“That’s not really how that works, but okay,” Lena points out, shaking her head with a smile. She stands up from her desk and circles around it to meet Kara. “So, I’ll pick you up in CatCo later?”

Soft, slender fingers touch at Kara’s red cape, flattening and fixing the crumpled bits.

“Waste of fuel, Lena,” Kara pouts.

“I have things I need to pass off at the desk later, darling.”

“I can pass them off for you? No need to drive there, I’m heading back to CatCo after this.”

The Irish woman arches an eyebrow. “I haven’t finished these papers yet. And I have to pass them off myself.” She gives Kara a quick, warm hug, to which Kara is all too happy to return it before Lena returns to her desk.

“Oh, well. Okay, then.” Before Kara prepares to take off, she halts when Lena calls her name out.

“Oh, and Kara? I find your deep concern and strong awareness with energy consumption very hot,” Lena winks, smiling attractively with her legs crossed by her seat.

Kara almost walks straight into the balcony door.

 


 

Making out with Lena quickly becomes Kara’s favourite activities. They’re pulled at a private car lot— Lena’s, and Kara isn’t really sure how long they’ve been out here. One moment, they’d been talking about the 80's and 90's music, Lena mentioning Ani Difranco songs, and then the next moment, they're at the backseat of the car, Kara holding Lena close as Lena sits on top of her lap.

Lena feels so good, pressed against her body— all flushed and soft with her hand raking through blonde locks smoothly.

The sounds of hot breathing, sighing, heart thumping, and hands wandering on skin— it’s all Kara can hear right now between her and Lena, and she thinks she might slightly be getting too addicted to the sounds Lena makes for her.

Maybe she should make a Spotify playlist. A Spotify making out playlist. And at that, she can already practically hear Lena calling her a dork over this.

They’ve been at this for minutes, maybe five, or maybe ten, and Kara tugs Lena closer to her, runs her hand up and down Lena’s sides. Yeah, maybe she should make a Spotify playlist sometime.

A tongue slips into her mouth and then all her thoughts vanish instantly. Kara cranes her neck, tilting in a way for better access to Lena’s mouth, a soft moan escaping. She's taking Lena's tongue into her mouth, everything slick and wet and terribly, impossibly hot.

And then a soft, roaming hand slips underneath Kara’s shirt and scrapes at her flushed skin, laying itself on her abdomen. Kara grips an arm tighter around Lena’s back carefully, keeping Lena close against her body, while her other hand trails to Lena’s hip, then to her ass. She gives Lena a tight, firm round squeeze and Lena whimpers, actually whimpers into her mouth. Lena's other free hand— her fingertips dig deep into Kara's shoulder, and presses her body further closer to Kara's.

Of course Lena’s like this: she’s an exhilarating mix of sensuous and responsive, sweet and perceptive. Of course she is.

Kara ducks down, breaking the kiss and tugs at Lena’s hair lightly, exposing her slender pale neck. She starts pressing hot-open mouthed kisses in a line down Lena’s neck which elicits a soft moan, or more like a groan from Lena’s mouth, as Kara kisses like trailing breadcrumbs, something to say I was here. Then her mouth meets a freckle, and she can feel Lena’s pulse beneath the skin.

“Lena,” she whispers, sucking a hickey into the juncture of Lena’s neck and shoulder. She doesn’t mean to, or maybe she does, because Lena’s letting her. She stays there long enough to know that there will be a blemish forming on the way.

“Lena,” Kara says, surging upwards to kiss Lena’s chin, then nosing her temples.

“Yes?” Lena mumbles, then she draws downwards, mouth latching onto Kara’s jaw, then to her exposed neck. Kara throws her head back, eyes closing as she revels on how Lena kisses and licks and nips at her neck hotly, easily drawing all kinds of quivering, soft sounds out of her mouth.

“You feel so good,” she sighs, and soft, velvety lips drag down their way to her collarbones. Kara slides a hand down to the small of Lena's back, presses down and arches up. And then a moment later, Lena comes back up, and Kara kisses her intently, intensely, and wetly.

It’s deeply hot, it’s sensuous, but it’s also messy in a way with their cramped, limited space, and Kara knows they need to stop very soon—

The windows are all fogged up from all the heat they exude together from breathing, and. Kara is so turned on all over, literally turned on: all her nerve endings glowing and on fire, her skin hot and hypersensitive, heartbeat hammering in her ears, hips rolling involuntarily.

They kiss, and kiss, until Lena pulls back just a little bit. She's still so close that their lips brush when she speaks.

“Hey,” she whispers, and presses a kiss to Kara's mouth, to her cheek, to her jaw, “you okay?”

Kara nods a little. Lena leans back at a distance, her arms stay dangling around Kara’s neck loosely. Kara misses the body contact immediately and it takes all of her power not to sulk at that.

“We, we should get going.” Lena looks at her with her cheeks deeply flushed red and her lips evidently swollen and thoroughly kissed.

“I had never made out in a car before,” Kara blurts out, feeling the need to overshare. Smooth. “Also, yes, we should. Hungry. And very turned on. But hungry. Yeah.”

“Are we adding that to our list: Things Kara Danvers Has Done With Lena Luthor?” Lena’s lips twists into a small coy smile, her finger coming up to brush at Kara’s cheek, still looking every bit of dazed. For a second Kara thinks Lena’s going to close the gap again until Lena draws fully back away from her, fixing her creased collar.

“List? I didn’t know we have a list.”

“We do, now,” Lena decides, her fingers making brushes at Kara's neck as she adjusts the collar.

“Then,” Kara clears her throat, “you might want to get off me, before we add another something to that list right now.” Her eyes bore seriously into Lena's as she tries not to squirm because Lena's still on top of her, touching her all the while looking so gorgeous up close.

A beat passes. “Right,” Lena says, voice slightly hoarse. She licks her lips and her already-flushed up face tinge subtly more redder in Kara's eyes. “But what’s stopping us, though?” Her voice drops down low and deep, near Kara’s ears, causing her to shudder.

Kara lets out a pained groan, her head sinking onto Lena’s shoulder. “Hungry.”

Hunger and turned on do not mix well, Kara very importantly notes to herself.

Lena’s body shake and her melodic laugh fills Kara’s ears. “Ah, right. Okay, let’s get you fed.”

 


 

“When you said you’d order food, I didn’t think you’d order this much.” Lena looks up for a moment in thought. “I really should be used to this,” she mutters to herself, grumbling out a damn cute, pretty girls and their well-sculpted bodies and their bottomless pit stomachs.

Kara walks into the kitchen and places the bags filled with take-away food onto the countertop, minding each bag onto the surface carefully as to leave them in its perfect state as long as possible. She would literally cry if she’d find any of its food contents squished around and sauces dripping all over. It’s happened before one time when Alex was carrying their take-outs and laid it down onto the kitchen table without much thought. Kara had literally melted at the sight, devastated and vowed she’d never let Alex carry bags when it came to take-outs.

“Food is never this much when I’m around, Lena,” she refutes, dropping herself onto the stool.

“Hey, I’m going to go change for a bit,” Lena says, then pauses to turn to Kara. “You can go change too, if you want?”

Kara feels a swirl in her stomach, remembering that she'd stored some clothes in Lena's closet. “Actually, I have to go back to my apartment after this,” she says, deciding to focus on what's in front of her. “Alex is coming over later tonight.”

“Sure,” Lena shrugs before she disappears off into her room.

Minutes later, Lena comes back. At the sight, Kara instantly digs into her take-out box.

“If you keep inhaling those potstickers like that,” Lena slides onto the stool next to Kara, now looking every bit of comfortable, a loose white sweater draping her frame, “I’m actually worried you’re going to choke sooner or later.”

She ties her hair up in a messy bun and takes sips of Kara’s milkshake, eyeing at her own take-out box. Face nil of make-up, there's a thick-framed glasses Kara's never seen before perched on her nose.

“Can’t help it,” Kara says, not even taking the time to pause her chewing, “if I choke, then I choke.”

“Permission to kink shame.”

“Denied. Think of my potstickers.”

The raven-haired woman laughs, the kind of uninhibited, breathless giggles that warms Kara’s itty bitty heart.

Kara frowns. There's a line of whipped cream above Lena's upper lip and Kara wants to lick it off.

“How was work?”

Lena grimaces. Licks her upper lip with her tongue. “It’s a lot lately, but I’m managing.” She starts digging into her food, her shoulder and arm touching with Kara’s.

Kara stops chewing, giving Lena a quick side-glance. She doesn’t like that Lena’s always literally working, always continuously signing up for several projects at once. But that’s how Lena is: always on the go, using that brilliant mind of hers that never stops thinking, and finding ways to reach from a goal to another. Kara understands the overwhelming feeling of the need to feel productive and to feel like you’re doing something.

“Nia was fawning about you earlier. You inspire her greatly.”

“Nia?” Lena hums. “She’s quite the funny young one.”

Kara snorts, not fully agreeing on that. Not especially when the young one is starting to turn into a full-shed wolf under her wings. What would James think of her mentorship skills. What would Cat Grant.

She shakes her head quickly, and stops thinking. She might really choke.

Soon they finish their take-out and start cleaning up.

“Did you really pick those glasses out for yourself?” Kara shoots Lena a brief look before she opens a cupboard and takes a chamomile tea bag from its box. Gestures for Lena if she’d like some, and she nods.

The black thick-framed glasses are new. They sit perfectly on the bridge of Lena’s nose, glasses huge in a way that takes up a certain portion of her face. It makes her look younger, makes her look like your typical studious uni student.

“What? Yeah,” Lena says, tilting her head as she looks at herself from a reflection. Kara laughs. “Hey, don’t judge.”

“Hey, I like it,” Kara hums, studying Lena’s face as the woman turns the tap on. Kara turns the kettle on and places the tea bag on a cup before moving to take out the remaining rubbish on the countertop. “You just look so different with it. Good different, though— not that you've ever looked any bad different. If that even makes sense.”

“That’s kind of the point, while I do take comfortness into account,” Lena says. “We've taken so much walks together and no one's recognized me with it on yet.” Kara scrunches her nose, grins at her. “Is there something wrong with my glasses?”

“No, nothing at all. I like it,” Kara tells her again, and Lena turns to look at her from the sink. There's a mini plant pot near the sink and Kara wonders when did Lena bought that in. “It’s just, it’s different from your previous one.”

Lena arches an eyebrow. “I like to change it up every now and then. How different is it?”

Lena. You wore those lesbian librarian glasses. For two years.”

“Lesbian librarian glasses?” Lena bursts into an amused huff, her glasses sliding down slightly. Kara wants to reach out and push it back up. “What’s wrong with those glasses? I still have it, but the prescription is old.”

Kara throws her hands up. “Nothing. I liked those too on you.” She easily chucks the last rubbish remains into the bin without looking at the direction with ease. She pours the kettle onto the tea cup when it’s ready and lets the tea bag sit there.

Kara leans onto the countertop by her hip, watches Lena wash some utensils. There's a certain light and warmth inside her chest, swirling and gathering, melting in a way that feels like warm honey and liquid gold. She feels floaty in a pleasant sense. Relaxed, more-so. Her gaze falls back on to the tea cup and frowns, shakes the feeling away. Something lurches into her stomach and Kara ignores it. It's just something about the atmosphere; she tries not to let herself get too used to this. Being in Lena's space in her own home. She intrudes well enough already. “I’m surprised the press hasn’t gotten at least one photo of you wearing glasses all these years.”

“That’s because they’re a great disguise,” Lena says, looking past her shoulder and catches Kara's gaze. She closes the tap water and wipes her hand on a towel. “And no one suspects me walking out in the night wearing simple sweaters and glasses and fluffy socks with pug faces on them. No one's suspected you.”

“Wait, do you not like the socks?” Kara gasps, a little offended. “They're cute! I should buy you more.”

Lena chuckles, shakes her head with a light smile.

Kara glances at her wrist-watch, sees that Alex will be coming over soon. She wonders if her clothes are still really here. Blushes a little, when she starts thinking about it all over again. Rao.

“Lena, I should go now,” Kara says. “The tea should be ready for you in a couple of minutes.”

“Thanks. Let me follow you out.”

All her items with her in-check, Kara decides that she’ll take the normal route out of the penthouse, the elevator down. Because for the past few weeks, ever since she’d started visiting Lena’s penthouse, she’d accidentally made good friends with the people downstairs. She hadn’t meant to, really, but that’s her current situation. And she’s not about to raise suspiciousness around here.

By the door, Kara turns to face Lena and leans in for an embrace. As they break off, Lena squeezes Kara’s shoulder and slants to give her a quick kiss on the cheek, but Kara’s head makes a turn and Lena’s lips end up landing full on Kara’s mouth instead of her cheek.

Lena pulls back sharply. “Sorry.”

Kara stills, feet planted on the floor. A beat later, and she shakes hers her head in reassurance at the accidental touch.

“No, I’m sorry,” Kara chuckles stiltedly, scratching at her eyebrow. “I’m the one who moved.”

Lena nods, half-smiling softly. “I’ll see you sometime soon?”

“Yeah.”

 

Chapter Text

 

“So what you’re telling me is: you tried to bribe Colonel Haley with doughnuts because you’re currently on her bad side,” Kara echoes, sat on her kitchen stool in the early morning, sipping on her overly-sprinkled hot chocolate. “Wait, what did you do again?”

“Remember that operation I ran last week, where I pulled you in for help? You were clearly needed to ensure the best chances for catching that rogue alien. When she found out, she gave me a huge lecture about informing her next time, of each and every time I use your help,” Alex says, palming her forehead. “It’s been a week and work has been awful because she’s still acting like this.”

“We’ve been through so much, us three altogether and she’s still like this?” Kara winces.

“Yeah,” Alex shrugs.

“But, seriously? Doughnuts. Alex, that’s my thing. My bribe tactic.”

Her sister scoffs, taking a coffee packet out of Kara’s cupboards. “It is, and your tactic worked before. I wanted to see if she’d bite. Maybe I should’ve gotten her churros instead.” She stops herself, stilling before she looks at Kara in the realization.

Kara gasps, nodding. “Churros! You should have.”

“Damn, I should have,” Alex agrees grouchily.

This isn’t a new thing. Alex complaining about her boss—Colonel Haley—Kara expects it every now and then. She knows how Colonel Haley is—she’s worked under her before. Naturally, she understands Alex. Naturally, she’s prepared for it.

“Snacks and movie night later?” Sulk-and-mope night. The best remedy-bandaid to a wound filled with little (big) inconveniences.

Alex pauses. “Yes.”

“Yes! You’re buying the snacks.”

“Excuse me,” her sister snorts, and Kara quips a quick you’re excused back. Alex makes an offended sound at that before she goes to search for any snack stashes hiding in Kara’s kitchen. “Wait, is it my turn to buy or yours?”

“It’s yours, Alex.”

“Alright, fine,” Alex groans.

Alex tells her more things about what’s been happening lately— some rundowns of a few new difficult recruits Alex had started to train under her wing recently.

Sometimes Kara wonders if she should go back to working in the DEO (if she even has the choice to come back, that is) to help with the demanding operations and tasks. Kara does miss working with the agents there—the colleagues she’d worked with for years. And of course she helps—occasionally, that is, secretly and not-so-secretly because Alex knows how to fight and talk her way through with the chain of command when situations become dire and require Supergirl’s help. But it's not like Kara backs down when National City or the world needs her help. She can't be told of what she can and can't do. Kal, her cousin, he doesn't need to be with a government organization to be able to lend his powers for the good.

“So, I see you’ve been hanging out with Lena more often,” Alex comments a moment later, whipping out a mug and a spoon.

Kara wrinkles her nose. “Wow. Original, Alex, that’s a line I haven’t heard of yet,” she says drily.

Alex’s eyebrows shoot up. “Don’t go all sarcastic on me in the early morning. I’m still recovering from Colonel Haley’s talk,” she groans.

“Well, uh. Okay? Of course we hang out. Often or not, it’s whenever we can, I guess.” Kara takes another sip of her hot choco and wonders about what sparked this up.

“Uh huh,” Alex makes a non-committal sound as she rounds to the other side of the kitchen to empty the coffee bin.

“Is something supposed to happen? Or change?” Kara frowns, looking at her sister’s back. She wants to know. She actually really wants to know.

“Not really. It’s just something I noticed,” Alex says. “I was just wondering, since when did you do sleepovers?”

Kara whips her head to Alex so fast. “What?”

“Yeah?” Alex says slowly. “The sweet lady next door mentioned to me something about,” she looks up, quoting in the air, “your sister seems to be having lots of sleepover these days. What did she mean by that?”

Kara cringes, lets out a small gasp. What is this betrayal. Oh, the sweet playful chatty old woman.

“Sleepovers,” Kara echoes, not quite sure what to say. “Exactly what it is.”

“Since when do you do sleepovers,” Alex points out suspiciously. “And at Lena’s at that?”

“I guess I do now. Sometimes. Lena’s place is really nice.”

“Right,” Alex says, squints her eyes. “Just speaking my views here, but honestly, Kara? You guys are seriously the chummiest buddies I know. It’s unreal.”

“Not as much as Brainy and Nia, surely.”

Alex arches an eyebrow up sharply, obviously not agreeing to that. “They don’t come as close one bit, and you know that. Not yet, at least. And the only difference I see here with you and Lena and them, is that they’re actually together. 

Kara feels herself freeze. There it is. Frowning, she looks away and watches the morning light seep through her windows.

“Not really following, Alex.”

“I’m just thinking, just how are you guys not involv—”

Alex,” Kara cuts her off with an uncomfortable laugh. And when silence hangs between them, she lets out a small smile followed by a silly huff in case that came out too strong or serious. It’s not meant to. Kara’s just a little (a lot) tired of it. The topic is old. Stale. And still, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect or bother her every time it’s brought up.

She understands Alex. But still, this never sits right with her.

Alex sighs, sets her mug down. “It’s been quite a while since Mon-El,” she says softly.

This captures Kara’s attention. She breaks into a confused chuckle. “Yeah?”

Her sister shrugs, looks at her dead-straight in the eye. “I just think you need some spice in your life.”

“What?” Eyebrows furrowing, she feels even more confused, “are you worried about my lack of love life now?” She grips at her chair absentmindedly. Accidentally makes a tiny dent on the wooden surface.

Alex just shrugs again. Leans on the counter casually and sips on her mug. “Well, it just worries me that you seem to hold yourself back from things. You’ve only been looking at your duties and CatCo. Nothing else. Like you’re following some serious code, or something,” she says, scratching at her eyebrow.

“Alex, are you really encouraging me to get out there,” Kara chuckles, and though she feels a growing discomfort at the topic and Alex’s insinuations, it’s actually a little funny of her sister to tell her this. “Worried that I’m not living the best of my life?” she grins playfully.

“I mean, yeah. Ew. I really don’t want to think about you out there, but, yeah,” Alex laughs, causing Kara to giggle at the scrunch of her sister’s face. Alex’s face softens. “I just—worry. About you, you know.” Her sister’s mouth opens and closes, seeming like she’s considering her next words. “When something is happening. And even when something isn’t happening. I just worry about you.”

“I don’t like that I make you worry all the time.”

Alex snorts, shrugging. “It’s a big sister thing. Can’t help it.”

Standing up to her feet with her hands flat on the table, Kara rolls her eyes, grinning fondly at her sister. “You’re so mushy in this fine early morning,” she teases, wrapping her up in a bear hug. Alex, though with a sour look to her face, hugs her back and laughs.

Kara decides not to say anything further.

She isn’t exactly sure about what Alex thinks of her, or what goes through in her head. Maybe she does know, but she’s not sure she wants to delve into it. No, that’s not it. She does know. Alex’s insinuations, Kara knows there’s a link with Lena. She just doesn’t want to get into a conversation about it. It’s obvious, the remarks here and there.

She usually tells Alex things. Everything in her life. And though she and Lena have recently developed this thing between them, she knows she definitely can’t tell Alex about that. She doesn’t have to.

And one of the reason why she hasn’t told Alex is because she thinks—knows Alex wouldn’t understand. Other people twist things into something else entirely enough. Alex already assumes some things, and Kara can’t blame her.

Nia knows. Really, she hadn’t meant to tell Nia about it. And unlike Nia and Brainy, who are moving speeds into each other higher and faster than the planes flying in the sky, she and Lena are, well. Inert. They are inert, parked planes on the ground not going anywhere. Parked away from each other, even, but parallel to the other.

Stationary.

And this is just how it is. This is where they’ll stay at because it feels okay and comfortable and safe, keeping the complicated things in the distance and far away. They’re just best friends.

This is what Kara tells herself because it’s true and simple.

 


 

The coming week and a half is an intense blur of clouds and smoke and guns firing. Fast, flying rogue aliens darting in the skies and more rogue aliens after rogue aliens added with groups of humans with guns swarming into banks and museums.

There’s nothing unique about this in Kara’s life.

And with the help of Alex and Brainy (secretly, or not so secretly when Colonel Haley saw her hanging by the DEO main control rooms), the casualty of it all is minimal, of both injury and damage to the aliens and humans and properties.

Fending the attacks hadn’t been difficult or anything, but it had been an exhausting and grueling time, leaving both Kara and Nia barely enough time for themselves outside their other life. And so by the end of it, she and Nia are stuck catching up on work and last minute deadlines.

“This is how my life really is now, huh,” Nia utters, yawning, and takes a moment for herself as she sits back on her chair, rubbing her temples tiredly.

“Life of a superhero with a stressful and demanding job on the side that pays averagely? Yeah,” Kara laughs, patting the younger woman on the back. “You’re getting better at juggling both. Dreamer and Nia Nal.” Two separate identities. Nia has to make a living, too.

A sigh. “Yeah. I really like doing this. Especially with you by my side—I’d be a mess without you, Brainy, Alex, and J’onn. Seriously. And you’ve been doing this for so long.”

Kara looks at her, wonders if Nia would fall into a difficult self-reflection of her dual identity at some point. Kara knows a lot about that. She’s an expert at it, even, despite how self-deprecating that sounds. They are patterns of energy in constant motion. She’d make sure to keep Nia afloat if the younger woman would ever come around to it.

They’re currently in the CatCo building catching up on work and it’s already late—the whole floor is empty save for the two of them sat together behind Kara’s desk. The sounds of electronic devices buzz steadily around them as a few light panels flicker brokenly on the other side of the room.

By the hour, Kara’s desk is littered with empty coffee-stained cups. Nia’s downed three coffees already and Kara thinks she might need a fourth one soon. They’re that behind on work.

Kara pulls back away from her screen, stretching on her chair and letting out a small grumble.

“Rao, finally. I’m done. Nia?” she looks at the younger woman lazily, the side of her face hanging against the back of her chair. Relentlessly, the light panels continue to flutter brokenly, cracking on and off much louder in Kara’s ears than she would like. She’s going to make sure she'll have those panels fixed the next morning.

“Almost, I’m almost done.”

“Okay,” Kara yawns. That’s good. Then her stomach rumbles loudly. Very, very loudly echoing all round the office floor. That’s not good. “Ha.”

“Yes, I heard that. Ten more minutes and I’m done,” Nia promises, and her typing speeds up.

A minute passes and her stomach grumbles again. And again.

“Stop bothering me,” Nia scowls.

“Rude,” Kara says, sits on her chair properly and lays her head on her arms on the desk. “That’s my stomach. Leave my stomach alone.”

“Yes, yes,” Nia mumbles distractedly, eyes scrutinizing her laptop screen steadily. She squints and blinks as she goes over paragraphs after paragraphs. Kara just watches her boredly. “Kara, please. I know that if I look at you, I’ll give in because I know you definitely have that cute hungry puppy look right now.”

Kara cocks an eyebrow up, half face buried in her arms. “I’m just watching you work. Also, I do not exude cute hungry puppy looks.”

“You do, and I can see you in the corner of my eye.” Nia stops typing for a moment. Kara can see—feel the way Nia’s eyes shake trying not to look at her direction. She can’t help the curl of her lips. “You’re scary. You should know the power that you have.”

“Power?” Now Kara’s intrigued, feels her hunger slightly diminish.

Nia groans. “Please go bother Lena, or something.”

Lena.

At the sudden mention of the name, Kara doesn’t like how her ears instantly perk up.

And now, bored and hungry as she listens to Nia type and type—she thinks about Lena. She wonders what the CEO’s doing right now. If she’s been eating well or hydrating herself properly. They had texted a few times in the past days, mostly a few sentences here and there—nothing important or eventful.

Kara hasn’t seen her in a while. They had tried to make time to see each other in the passing days of last week, but they had all ended up unsuccessfully. Lena had to cancel on her yesterday. She’s a busy woman, too. It’s been two weeks, but Kara feels like it’s been ages since she’s seen her. Rao, that’s a little silly to think. But two weeks is a lot, in Kara’s fair standard and defense.

She hasn’t seen Lena since… since at her penthouse. When Lena had accidentally kissed her on the mouth.

Oh.

Right. Okay. That happened. Kara became so busy day after day after that, she didn’t really get to think of it much. Now she finds herself thinking about it now. Why is she even thinking about it now, it was just a minor thing. Intrusive images flood her head. She ruffles through her blonde locks, feels her cheeks reddening.

Why is she even getting flustered about that. Rao, they’ve done so much more than that. Much worse. And right now she feels her face flushing, remembering that small accidental kiss.

It’s ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous considering the insanely non-platonic things they’ve done. Kara shifts, buries her entire face on the surface of the desk like that’ll help prevent the thoughts and images, forehead pillowed by her arms.

“Ugh, man,” Nia makes a troubled sound, and Kara pipes her head up, a little startled. “Sorry, this piece is just giving me a headache. Or not really, just a little tired from the past weeks and the exhaustion is just really coming for me.”

Kara hums, looks at her laptop screen in concern. “Do you need help? I can help, you know.” She sits up straighter, drags her hands down her face and wills herself to stop all thoughts about Lena.

“Oh, no. It’s not a difficult piece. Like I said, I’m almost done,” Nia waves her off, smiling in appreciation. “This just isn’t exactly the type of topic I’d like to write about, but I have to keep going through it.” She bobs her head down below the desk, reaches for her laptop’s charger.

“What are you even writing about? Also hey, you never know. You could win a Pulitzer prize for whatever it is you’re writing about right now.”

“Kara,” Nia barks out a choked laugh in total disbelief, “I’m writing about the current hotspots of alien bars in National City.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“Think it’s hard-hitting enough?” Nia jokes, winking.

Kara sighs, chuckles. “I mean. Okay, no. But! I’d like to read on that, actually. Now that I think about it, I only know and go to one bar.”

“Oh, that bar where J’onn’s friend worked at?”

“That’s right,” she says. “Have you been there?”

Nia purses her lips together. “I haven’t, actually.”

“What? Really?” Nia nods. “Then I’ll take you there sometime. Call me bias, but I reckon it’s the best alien bar here in the city. Low-key, high-key best.” Kara halts, thinking to herself. “Ah. Right, it’s an underground bar which is why you probably haven’t heard of it.”

“Oh, it’s an underground bar? Yeah, I guess maybe that’s why. Also, That is extremely bias, Miss Pulitzer-award winner,” the younger woman rolls her eyes, chuckling.

“Nia,” Kara scoffs, slightly embarrassed.

“What? Hey, I heard about how you sat and wrote your award-winning article right at Lena’s desk all in one go. That was amazing. Brainy told me,” Nia tells her. Her gaze softens. “But I can imagine how emotionally draining writing that article was. That piece was amazing. Really.”

Kara isn’t exactly overly fond of the memory of writing the article. She, at the time, was too busy worrying whether or not people would read it. To relay the facts, have all the people around the world enlightened by what was truly happening at the time. It was a rough time. Was especially so, when it was an expose piece about your best friend’s psychopathic brother.

She rubs her eyes, nods, and smiles. “So, are you almost done yet?”

Nia gasps, “Right. I just need to—wait. Wait.” It takes her several minutes, until she strikes a fist in the air, shaking excitedly out of pure relief that it’s all over now. “All right. Now I am!” She turns to face Kara, grinning. “Done, done, donezo. I can’t believe it. We powered through and survived,” she says, and sinks in her chair, shoulders and body sagging down.

“We did,” Kara grins, and laughs at the sight of the younger woman. There are bags underneath Nia’s eyes and the exhaustion is evident in her features. Kara smiles fondly. “So, dinner? Very, very late dinner, but still dinner nonetheless. My treat.”

And with that, Nia’s body posture brims with life as her face lights up instantly.

“Don’t get super excited just yet, we have to find a restaurant that’s open around this time,” Kara chuckles.

“Oh, man. True,” Nia huffs, pouting. They start packing up.

 


 

More days pass by as a blur.

It’s late in the evening when Kara’s just finished helping Alex out on a task. She’s standing at the DEO main control room, eyes alert on the lookout for Colonel Haley in case she makes an appearance. Then she puts her phone away. She’s just finished exchanging texts with Lena. Another cancelled dinner. Lena’s had to cancel on several lunches and dinner with her these past two weeks, and they still haven’t seen each other since the penthouse. But on the cancellation note, Kara’s grateful because she doesn’t think she can keep her eyes open any more longer for later.

This is how your social life is, being a Luthor or a Super, she thinks.

Her eyes travel back up, searching behind the walls for the Director. Fortunately, she knows all about the blind spots in the DEO where the cameras won’t see her. She’s way too sleepy and sluggish to receive a lecture about not being allowed here from the vicious, strict woman. And the only reason why she’s still out here is to give Alex some moral support (and for the off-chance that she’ll be able to snag a few bites of the Churros).

“Kara. Kara, I’m going to do it. I’m really going to do it.”

Alex stands with a box of freshly bought churros. The fresh smell lingers around the room, and some passing DEO agents watch her sister curiously.

“It’s a little overdue, but good luck,” Kara laughs, hand on her hip. “If she ends up not wanting it, tell me. You have to tell me. Let’s eat it together.” Then when she looks around again, she finally spots a familiar face and figure behind a wall, clearly heading for this way. “Oh, Rao—Alex. She’s coming,” she scrambles around, ready to fly off, “okay, I’m going to leave. Seriously. Good luck.” She nods solemnly, and Alex just grimaces with her box of churros.

She takes flight before Colonel Haley walks into the room.

 


 

It’s not until three days later that she sees Lena. It’s been a little more than two weeks.

“That beanie looks nice on you.”

Kara sees Lena walk towards her on the footpath. She stands up by the bench, wide grin already forming across her lips at the familiar deep voice and at the sight of the woman.

“Why, thanks.”

Lena smiles, comes to a stop when she reaches Kara.

“Sorry I’m late. Got held up by a few things.”

“That’s okay.”

It’s late at night, the sky blanketed by large thick grey clouds with the crescent moon hidden behind. Kara looks up, blows a steamy fog into the air. The glow of the stars can’t be seen here from the city unless Kara concentrates for it. The light of the city bustles, brimming with brightness unapologetically up to the night sky. They’re walking at the sidewalks, passing by streets after streets, populated by people strolling around alongside restaurants and stands, running and busy.

“You know, Winn came to me the other day,” Lena says. “He proposed a few plans to me. Said he’d like to work with me—on some projects and tech ideas.”

“And what did you say?”

“I’ve seen him work at the DEO. His skill-sets, capabilities?” Lena says. “He has a penchant for invention. Sharp problem-solving skills, great critical thinking. I agreed, we could definitely work on some things together.”

“That’s nice. I actually recommended him to come to you,” Kara mentions.

“Oh?”

“Yeah. Although he did require a little pushing. Or lots,” she corrects herself, chuckling.

Lena smiles. “Well, he’s still quite…” she hums, turns her head and watches the passing cars on the road. “I can’t really pinpoint it. Nervous around me? Twitchy? Just clearly intimidated by me.”

“Well… You’re Lena Luthor. You can be quite intimidating, you know. You carry this…” Kara trails off, scrunching her face. She glances towards Lena, wonders just how much the Luthor is aware of how naturally she asserts confidence and charisma. “Palpable intense aura around you? Surely you’re aware of the effect you can have on people.”

“You’re never intimidated by me.” Lena looks at her.

“No,” she gives a wry chuckle. “But I do get nervous around you. Sometimes. But never in a bad way.”

“I make you nervous,” Lena says, sounding amused and it comes out as a half-question. In the distance, Kara sees an ice cream shop. She’s about to ask Lena if she wants ice cream. Decides against it a second later, when she remembers how cold the night is today.

“You do,” Kara nods. “At first, I often fumbled my words around you when we weren’t that close.” She licks her lips, fixes her glasses as she looks straight ahead.

“And now?”

Kara doesn’t really need to think about it. “And now, I still do that—only out of natural habit  though. Now, I just feel comfortable with you.” A beat later. “You make me feel comfortable.”

They round off to a new corner, a new street. It’s quieter here. Less people. Less restaurants. More trees. “You make me feel comfortable, too,” Lena says after a moment.

Kara adjusts the red beanie on her head and shoves her hands in the pockets of her jeans. It’s been a while since they had taken a simple walk at night together. It’s what they would often do—simple, short or long walks at night to unwind or just simply catch up and enjoy each other’s company.

As they walk, Kara gives Lena a side glance. Lena’s hair is loose and tousled, slightly tangled. Her long, raven black curls flow freely in the air as the breezy winds whisk pass them, looking pretty and elegant in the dark, cold night. Lena wears a black faded jeans and a simple dark red coat with layers underneath it, with her black rimmed glasses masking over her face. She doesn’t look like the guarded, sharp and calculating CEO Lena Luthor. Far from it. People wouldn’t recognize her in this attire unless they’d take a careful, purposeful look at her up close. But she looks just as much as Lena Luthor is to Kara.

When they pass by a lamp post, Kara spots a very familiar navy blue sweater hiding well underneath the coat. Kara cracks into a smile, tries not to stare at it too much. She thinks Lena looks really nice with it even though she laments on the fact that she misses wearing the comfy material.

Curling her hands into a ball in her pockets, Kara feels a gush of warmth and a pleasant twist in her stomach. Lena looks really, really nice. Because Lena looks great wearing sweaters. Yeah. Not because she’s wearing Kara’s sweater, or anything. No.

There’s a footbridge up ahead of the road. Kara leads Lena to the stairs and up to the bridge. They walk and walk, until Lena stops at the middle of the bridge and shifts herself leaning onto the railings, her arms resting on the steel bars. Kara follows after her.

“You know, there’s a new dessert shop that opened just recently in this area just down this road.” Lena stares at the road below them, watching cars, trucks, and motorcycles pass by under the bridge.

“Really? Then we should go there sometime,” Kara says, and places her arms on the railings. Their shoulders touch. Kara lets herself lean on Lena’s shoulder. “You’ve cancelled on two lunches with me in the past two weeks. Dinner, too.”

“Kara,” Lena chuckles, shakes her head. “To be fair, you've cancelled on me, too, on the other days.”

Kara smiles, sighs. “We’re very good at cancelling on each other.”

“Yes, but we’re also very good at making time for each other when we’re less busy. So, I’ll take you to the place sometime this week? Assuming you’re less busy now, that is.”

“I think so, for now.” A new dessert shop to try out and review. This is going to be good. “Assuming Lena Luthor herself is also less busy. Spare time for me, maam,” Kara grins, tips her head at Lena and raises two fingers up to her brow in salutation.

Lena rolls her eyes, giving her a fond shove. “I’ll take you there. Sometime this week,” she confirms, the corners of her mouth tugging upwards.

“Great. Then I can give Alex a full descriptive review of the food menu,” Kara nods to herself, grinning. Alex likes desserts, too. She could take her there, if the menu and servings turn out to be good enough. “And then she’ll also grumble about how I spend most of my free time with you and that I have no game with other people,” she snorts.

“What, do Alex and the others still tease you about your lack of love life?”

“Tease you being with me, moreof,” Kara says, clasping her hands together as she observes the busy road with Lena. “But things along that line, too. Nothing new. They can be so persistent. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong, like something’s supposed to change,” she elaborates further, shrugging.

In her peripheral, she sees the way Lena turns her head to her. She feels her gaze.

“You've mentioned this before. You can't do relationships—aren't really looking for one,” Lena pauses, expression thoughtful. “Are you content in being alone?”

A tiny water droplet drops in the middle of the road. “I don't want to be alone,” Kara says honestly, brows furrowing as it’s uttered out of her mouth. She looks up, briefly wondering if it's going to rain before she looks back down, squinting at the droplet. “I just want to be left alone.” It's not completely true. But it’s not a lie, either. That's just an answer she’s been able to settle with—can settle with. Satisfied with. She glances sideways to Lena.

The raven-haired woman hums softly, gaze dropping down to the bristling trees. “To be left alone by them or be overall left alone?”

Kara bites her bottom lip, hesitates. “Lena, isn't it crappy that I have to justify it? How everyone assumes that being with someone is—I don't know, the goal?” she says gently, pensively, scratching at the back of her ear. Is she coming out as defensive? She hopes not. She’s just speaking her mind.

Seconds tick by and then Lena nods with a gentle smile gracing across her lips. “You're right.”

Kara shuffles on her feet, adjusts her glasses. Jutts her tongue out to wet her lips. “And besides… I’ve never been able to make relationships work. I’m not good at them,” she says, letting out a quiet chuckle. She breathes in unsteadily. “I’ve broken noses in the past. Or more than just noses, actually.” That was the past. She’s better at handling things now. But she still says it, because she can never be too sure of when’s the next time she could break a bone accidentally. She hasn’t for a long time (not unintentionally). “I don’t know how to be a good date. You know how terrible I can be with… dates, picking my own clothes. Alex has—had to help me with those stuff.” She blushes, bobs down and buries her chin on her arms. Their elbows touch. Lena smiles at her, fond.

“I don’t know if I can feel something so intense for someone. I’ve never felt anything like that. Yet, maybe—I just don’t know if I can. In a romantic light.” She thinks about Mon-El. He probably was the closest to her feeling something akin to love. He was there, but even then Kara knew there weren’t any burning, vivacious feeling, or a semblance of something that feels all-consuming for him. “And I’m not available enough.” Kara thinks back to her previous, long ago dates. That’s a big problem, too. She thinks of James and Lucy. Alex and Kelly. Wonders again, if dating is in the cards for her in her life. She shuts down the thought quickly. No. There’s a reason why she hasn’t been able to make her relationships work in the past. It just might be a her thing. A Kara thing.

Kara turns her head, looking at Lena. Lena holds her gaze, studies her for a moment before Lena looks down at her own hands, settling her gaze over to the city road view. The city neon lights reflects on her face, revealing the outline of her sharp, chiselled profile. Her raven-black hair, neon lights of pink and blue and green hues blend in prettily at the fiber strands. Kara thinks she’s never seen anything prettier under the dark night sky.

“Availability,” Lena says, low and almost whispering, eyebrows furrowing as if in contemplation. “We have a lot in common.” She halts, seeming as if to consider something for a moment. “Except the whole breaking bones part, and dates.” Kara huffs out a laugh at that. Lena smiles, reaches out and gives Kara’s wrist a tender squeeze. “And if we were to talk about the breaking part… I don’t know how it was for you in the past. It must’ve been difficult. To be in constant fear of shattering everything that you touch. I can’t imagine it.” The Irish woman frowns, bites her lip. She looks at Kara. “But talking about the present? You’ve come a long way. I think I know and have had enough experiences with you to see that you’ve come far. You’ve gotten better at controlling yourself when it comes to physical contact.” Lena presses her arm against Kara's, head almost hanging on Kara's shoulder when she leans in close. “I know all about that.”

Taken aback, Kara’s mouth opens and closes. “I—” she says, so eloquent, and flushes red, tugging on the lapels of her jacket. Blinks once, twice, then scratches at her neck and lets out a breathy, sheepish chuckle. Lena watches her attentively, all soft and gentle and smiling. “Geez, Lena.”

“Flustered?” Lena says with a teasing lilt in her voice. She tilts her head to meet Kara’s front view (as Kara avoids eye-contact intentionally, all the while failing hard at that) and eventually Kara gives in, meeting her in the eyes. “You’re so cute.”

How Lena says these things to her so easily—Kara will never know. What would the people of National City think—no, the world, when they hear Lena Luthor calling someonecute in pure adoration.

“But on another note?” Lena says a little later, nudges her by the shoulder with a pointed, more serious look. “Kara. You’re so gentle. The most gentle person I know in fact. Sometimes I forget that you’re technically the strongest person in the world.”

Kara smiles bashfully, scratching her cheek. The tip of her ears are probably burning red by now.

“Also,” Lena hums, elbow on the rail, cheek cradled by her palm, “back to availability. I guess—we can wallow in being alone together. I can barely find the time for myself. You know that.” That’s true. They both live in different worlds—the normalcy that they see and have aren’t the same and can’t even be compared to the usual lives of other people.

But Kara wonders about Lena’s past relationships. She wonders if Lena… keeps it casual with other people. Or something. Grimacing to herself, Kara quickly burns the thought away in her head. Don’t think about that. That’s none of her business.

“I can’t see myself in a relationship, either,” Lena explains further. Kara looks at her, studies her. Lena’s face is unreadable, eyes absent. Distant. “I mean—the vulnerableness, trust, and intimacy... all that terrifies me. I think it always will.”

Kara nods absentmindedly, recalling the things Lena had gone through throughout her whole life, and throughout her time with Kara. She frowns, hand curling on the steel railings and feels her shoulders slightly tensing. Trust and vulnerableness. The huge number of people who have hurt and betrayed Lena in the past—Kara is one of them. Somewhere on the top of the list, even. In fact she might be the top number one—the one person who had hurt her the most.

“You're not terrified of me,” she says, a little weakly, a little like a question, and a little with confidence.

“No, I'm not.” Lena smiles, eyebrows furrowed, but smiles. Small, honest, and so, so sure.

Kara lets out a quiet, quivering exhale at that. Feels her heart warm and liquify as her shoulders loosen. The whole Supergirl and the piled up secrets thing she had kept from Lena—for years at that—it may be all history now, but it’ll always be one of Kara’s deepest regrets.

“So,” Lena says, voice a little higher than her usual octave, twisting into a grin as she playfully bumps Kara by the shoulder, snapping Kara out of her trance, “club member meetings every Saturday at night. Alex, Kelly, Brainy, and Nia are all uninvited—all unqualified for a card membership.”

“Club member meetings? Card membership?” Kara barks out a confused laugh.

“That’s right. We’re, ah. The pitiful loner duo,” Lena states, half-shrugs. “No one does and knows alone better than us, right?” the Irish woman jokes, the deprecation heavy yet light between them. “Go, us.”

A Super and a Luthor, Kara thinks to herself amusedly.

“Wow. This sounds so sad and pathetic.” She can’t help but break into a laugh. Lena laughs with her and leans on her shoulder, whispering a cheeky then we’ll be sad and pathetic together with an easy wink. The physical contact makes Kara feel very soft and nice. She angles herself to Lena, presses herself further into the touch. “Together then, huh.” Honestly, it sounds so ridiculous. But it also sounds viable, surprisingly. “Alone together. Just you and I.”

“Yeah.”

How contradicting does that sound.

Kara grins softly, looking down. She can get behind that idea. It’s comforting, in a way. Even if it’s a little sad and twisted.

Lena’s hand moves, settles itself over Kara’s knuckles by the railings. A thumb circles softly on Kara’s skin, and Kara lets her hand still, arms resting on the steel bars. It’s not long before she hears a shuddering draw of breath next to her.

Kara wonders how cold it’s starting to get. Lena takes her hand back.

They settle into a comfortable silence for the next few minutes, body leaning on each other as they watch the dark night sky and the busy city road view. At some point, Kara sees a change in the air, transitioning into something more cold and biting. She can’t exactly feel it per se, but she can see how it’s starting to affect Lena, who starts blowing copious amount of foggy air out from her mouth as she shivers and rubs her hands together.

Letting out a soft sigh, Kara takes off her red beanie and places it on Lena’s head. Lena blinks, lips slightly parting as she stays still and watches Kara adjust the wool beanie on her head snug and comfortable.

“You’re not stealing this beanie. In case you have some thoughts, by the way.”

Lena lets out a lovely chuckle, bright like the fireworks, eyes forming into full pretty crescents and dimples making appearance. “I had some thoughts,” she admits, eyebrow arched with a pretty smirk. Kara rolls her eyes, resisting the sudden urge to pinch the tip of the Luthor’s (most likely cold) ear.

With a final adjustment to the beanie on Lena’s head, she huffs out contently, gaze dropping down to Lena.

They’re close enough that the tips of their sneakers are touching.

Kara tucks in a strand of loose hair behind Lena’s ear, still not quite taking her hand away from Lena.

Emerald-green eyes gaze back at her intently, curiously, and fondly. Lena looks so pretty and soft and squishy. Just the kind of pretty in the sense that, in an alternate universe—whether she's walking down the street, or at a cafe, or at a hall—Kara thinks she’d probably stop and stare if she sees her.

She doesn’t quite realize she’s staring until Lena cranes her neck, arches an eyebrow and looks at her quizzically before breaking into a gorgeous smile. Kara smiles back subconsciously. Her hands fall back down to her sides. Shoves her hands back in her pockets.

There's this intimacy in their proximity, that even in the middle of the bridge as people pass them by the minute, this feels private. Special.

Like in moments like these, it’s only a Kara and Lena thing. A Lena and Kara thing.

Lena studies her closely, red rosy lips parting gently. A breeze whisks pass them, and her long, raven black hair flow into the air freely as few strands of hair fall near her eye view. There's a pause in which their surrounding area goes very still.

Something—an urge or desire, snakes its way, unsolicited in Kara’s brain.

Kara wants to reach out and cup Lena’s flushed cheeks and kiss her.

She wants to pull her in and kiss her and hold her close.

But they don’t do that. They don’t do that because that’s weird. Sure, they have sex and make-out, all purely to make each other feel good and for stress-relief.

But they don’t do that at all.

But maybe Kara could reach out and pull her in.

From the start, it did all stem from as simple as wanting to, after all.

But still. No. They’re not like that.

They do not randomly reach out to each other like that. Especially out in the open. That would be too intimate in its own right, and doing that would mean something. This kind of gesture, the intimacy behind it, would only blanket them both whole with unsurety and questions. It would also be an acknowledgement to something, as well as breaking a new boundary. Kara thinks they’ve had enough.

But she really wants to. She shakes her head. Blames it on the cold night (even if she knows full well that she can’t feel coldness the same way as humans do) and being caught up dazed in the moment of tranquil.

So she settles for turning herself back to the road view, bringing an arm around Lena’s shoulder and pulling her in close to her body instead, trying to give her some of her own heat as she rubs up and down on Lena’s arm. Lena leans into her touch, pressing herself onto Kara, head hanging on Kara’s shoulder.

It’s nice. Kara really, really likes how Lena is shorter than her. Perfect height.

They stay talking for at least another half an hour until Kara thinks they should head back. It’s getting too cold. Humans are very susceptible to catching a simple cold. She can’t have a sick Lena turn up after a few days. Sick Lena has no concept of appropriate working hours just as much as healthy Lena.

Kara walks her back to the penthouse. It’s not a long walk for them.

In front of the building, they come to a stop. Lena turns towards her, looking slightly hesitant.

“I know it’s already late, but—if you want, would you like to come up with me?” Lena says, looking up at her. There’s a hopeful glint to her eyes, extremely subtle in its course. Kara’s well-familiar enough with the Luthor woman to see it.

She considers it, touching the fabrics of the insides of her jean pockets.

“Sure. I’d like that.”

 


 

Kara takes her shoes and jacket off when she steps into the penthouse. She looks around as Lena tells her she’s going into her room to change, and instantly she spots a new mini potted plant by the kitchen counter. That’s cute. The box of chamomile tea is out in the open, too, and it’s clear it’s being consumed every now and then. That’s also nice. Very nice.

She sits by the kitchen stool, sees a coat she hasn’t seen before hanging on the couch across the spacious room.

A thought comes back to her.

See, her best friend is an incredibly attractive woman. Intelligent. Witty. Flirty. Flirty? Wait. Kara doesn’t think she’s ever seen Lena flirt with anyone in her years of knowing her. Well. It’s not like she sees every interactions Lena has with other people.

But she wonders yet again if Lena takes other people in when she’s feeling lonely. Now that she thinks about it, she hasn’t the slightest clue about that part of Lena’s life. She stays away from relationships, avoids them just as much as Kara does—that much Kara knows.

But what was that word she’d heard Nia say before? Laid. Get laid, that’s it.

She shakes her head quickly, forces the thoughts to stop. Berates herself. No. Don’t assume. That’s rude, and it’s really not her business.

It’s not until a moment later that she hears a small Kara? come from Lena’s bedroom. Kara walks towards the room, sees the door open already.

“Yeah?” She stands by the doorway.

“Come here with me for a bit?” Lena’s sat on her bed, her attire changed into shorts, but donning the same navy blue sweater. The Luthor pats on the mattress, gesturing for Kara to sit next to her. “I’d like to show you something.”

Curious, she nods and sits beside Lena.

There’s a slight hesitance in Lena’s movements when she takes out a rectangular device out of a box beside the nightstand. Kara tilts her head. Its quality and fancy appearance makes it looks like a high-tech quality tool. It looks expensive.

“Is that some sort of scanner?” Kara questions, eyebrow lifting at the object.

“Sort of, yes,” Lena says, turning to look at her. “It’s a new and updated biometric scanner. For my elevator security up to the penthouse. And balcony.”

Kara slowly nods, “Okay?” She’s not sure what Lena’s trying to get at, so she just looks back and forth between the Irish woman and the device.

“I was thinking,” Lena pauses, presses her lips in a thin line, eyebrows drawing in together. Kara thinks it’s been a while since she’s seen Lena uncertain of something, radiating timidness. “Your hand. On this scanner. Would you like to place your hand on it?” she says simply. Vaguely.

Oh.

Tens of thoughts run wildly in Kara’s head. There’s so many implications to this. She blinks, not sure what exactly to think. But it’s Lena, and she trusts Lena on everything. So she just blurts out: “Okay.”

“It’s not weird, is it.” There’s nervousness in her tone. Kara frowns. Lena shouldn’t be nervous and unsure around her. “I just. I don’t mind the idea of you coming here whenever you want to. You’ve been coming here often, so… it’s just a thought I have.”

“I can come here anytime I want?” It comes out as a sputter. Kara doesn’t mean to sputter.

“Well,” Lena wets her lips. “Or, you can just think of it as a place you can come over to when you’re having issues with your apartment.”

“Issues? Like that time when my neighbour caused a fire and everyone had to stay out for two days?”

“Yes.”

“Like when every time I lose my keys in the middle of a battle, I would often end up having to sleep at Alex’s for a bit and see my sister being grossly mushy with Kelly. But I could go to yours instead?”

“Yes.”

“Like—”

“Whether you’re having issues or not, Kara,” Lena clarifies, shaking her head with a light chuckle.

Kara grins. “Okay, I get it. But you sure? Any time I want?” Humming in faux skepticism, she’s unable to stop the next words that come out of her mouth, “What if I walk in on you getting it on with someone,” she half-jokes. “Wouldn't want to traumatize your best friend, do ya.”

Well. Kara wants to slap herself on the face. Does she actually want to know? She scratches at her lap. Probably not. Immediately, she wants to take it back.

Lena cocks an eyebrow up. She squints subtly in way as if Kara had just said something dumb. Kara doesn’t think it was dumb.

“I don’t know what goes in your head and I can’t tell if that was a joke,” Lena says drily, swatting Kara with an elbow. Her expression turns into something stern and solemn a second later. “No. You won’t be walking into anything like that.”

Oh. Well.

Okay. Kara just nods. And then Lena looks back at her device, trepidation in her posture once more. Right. She’s waiting for Kara’s decision.

“Sure, I think it’s neat,” Kara says softly, humming thoughtfully. “That way, I can come up whenever I want and ravage the kitchen unbeknownst to the owner,” she jokes (not really), and bumps the woman on her shoulder in an attempt to dissipate the nervous energy bubbling from her. Lena huffs out a chuckle at that, nods more confidently this time.

“That’s already a given.” Lena lifts the tool up for Kara, and Kara lays her whole hand onto the surface of the scanner. It takes a few seconds until it beeps in succession, confirming that it got what it wanted. Kara then flushes, scratches the back of her neck when she takes her hand back.

Don’t overthink it. Don’t overanalyze it. She is just being given the permission to enter Lena’s home anytime she’d like to.

That’s all.

She swallows hard. That doesn’t stop her from melting into a puddle of affection for Lena, though.

Lena trusts her enough to let her into her private confines. She’s that comfortable with her. Wow.

(Kara’s heart soars, swoops, and pirouettes in her chest, and she can’t help the burning feeling that creeps onto her cheeks and neck.)

Lena lets out a sigh, almost heavy in a way like she’s been holding her breath, and small okay okay’s coming out of her mouth like she’s saying it to herself.

Kara watches the Irish woman fiddle with the device before she puts it back into the box.

“You know, I met up with Alex and Nia the other day at my office. Which was an odd combo, considering how Nia seems to be with you or Brainy most of the time,” Lena mentions. “How’s Nia been? She looked like she was on the verge of falling asleep when they asked for some L-corp tech.”

“Suffering and adjusting,” Kara grins, taking her legs up and crossing them on the mattress as she recalls their rush to submit their articles before the deadline. The younger woman had heavy, drooping eye-bags for days, had complained about why Kara wasn’t getting any of them. The answer to that had been obvious, but that hadn’t stopped Nia from pouting and rubbing her face in exhaustion. Alex thought it was amusing. Brainy was freaking out. “I made her take two days off. Can’t have her falling asleep in CatCo much more than she already does, employees will notice and wonder about her.”

“She’s really lucky to have you mentoring her. A good kid she is.”

“Eh. She can be such a rascal sometimes.”

Lena laughs at that. “I believe that.”

And then silence falls between them, with Lena just looking at her. Kara notices she’s been doing that more lately. And as always, Kara feels her gut coil at the prolonged gaze, unsure of what the Luthor is thinking about.

She shivers at the eye contact and tries to make sense of the look Lena’s giving her.

Kara doesn’t get to ask what’s up before Lena shifts on the mattress, suddenly wrapping her arms around Kara, pulling her in for a hug. Kara finds herself reciprocating immediately, automatically, like it’s instinctive to wrap her arms around Lena.

“It’s a little ridiculous,” Lena says quietly, and her hold tightens around Kara’s back and neck. “It feels like I hadn’t seen you in a while.”

“It’s not ridiculous,” Kara thinks, voices out. She closes her eyes and breathes Lena in, feeling a certain lightheadedness gushing in her head. Kara thinks she could probably drown in Lena’s scent. How does Lena always smell so good? She cards her fingers through Lena's hair, and Lena makes a soft noise, snuggling further into Kara. “I think the same.”

And then Lena pulls back a little, her hands dropping down to Kara’s lap. Lips parting slightly, she regards Kara with another look again as her cheeks fill with pink hues. Kara doesn’t miss the way her pupils dilate in motion.

Kara could kiss her.

Kara could kiss her here and now where it won’t mean anything and won’t lead to anything that could spark a troubling question or thought.

Kara could kiss her.

So she does exactly that: she surges forward, slow in a way to allow Lena some time, and hears the hitch of Lena’s breath before their lips connect. Then she pulls back, angles her head for better contact when she leans back in.

Lena’s lips are so soft and plump, Kara sighs onto the kiss pleasantly. She feels like she’s kissed Lena so many times now. Definitely more than she expected. Yet it feels like the first time all over again.

There’s no such fervor in the kiss, nothing heated or frantic. Lips mash and mash together, unhurried and slow. Soon enough, Lena reaches up to cup Kara's jawline with her palm, uses the other hand to take hold on Kara's shoulder.

At some point, Kara’s glasses are removed and they move to the middle of the bed with Kara pushing Lena down by the shoulder gently, flat on her back.

If Kara's being entirely honest, she likes Lena's bed better than her own, and only a part of it has to do with the fact that Lena's bed is bigger and comfier and cozier, and mostly has to do with the fact that Lena is in Lena's bed. But she doesn't dwell on it much, though.

Kara goes down and presses a kiss to her jaw, starting a line down to her neck and then to the hollow of her throat.

“Kara,” Lena breathes, a hand pressing against the small of Kara’s back as she arches up against Kara.

“Yeah?” Kara mumbles.

“That feels nice,” Lena says, voice soft and quiet, and her hands slip into Kara’s hair, tugging her hair tie away, losing the ponytail. Kara responds by skimming her teeth lightly over Lena’s neck, and Lena gasps, tugging her closer. “You feel nice.”

“Good. I like making you feel nice,” she utters against her neck, which evokes a low groan from Lena, the vibration from her throat humming against Kara’s mouth.

Lena tips her head back, giving Kara more skin to taste. Kara presses her mouth onto her neck and starts licking and nipping at different areas, enjoying the quiet breathy sounds Lena makes. She slips a hand underneath Lena’s sweater, her hand wandering its way onto Lena’s breast. The nub, already hard when it makes contact with her thumb, she swipes at it with pressure, and palms Lena’s breast into a squeeze.

“Fuck,” Lena hisses softly, quietly, at the contact.

“That’s the idea,” Kara says, her voice teetering on the edge of hoarse.

Lena laughs, husky and breathless. “Is it?”

The noise of the city is muted outside, but the sound of Lena's breathing and her beating heart is deafening, filling the room like an endless echo.

Kara lifts her head up, takes a tentative look at Lena as she hovers above her. Lena looks quite disheveled already, hair mussed, pupils blown out, lips swollen. But she also looks so soft and delicate and pliant and just simply, easily breakable.

It draws a deep shuddering breath from Kara.

“Kara?”

She shakes her head. “Just thinking. About some things again. About what we were talking about earlier.”

“Which part?”

“How I always have to mind my strength. You’re… you’re so soft, Lena. And fragile. Human.” Kara looks down, licks her lips, as she traces her finger alongside Lena’s collarbone. “It’s just a little daunting sometimes—every time, I mean, when. When we…”

Lena, as ever the patient woman, waits for her to finish her sentence. But Kara can’t find a way to voice it out. She shrugs helplessly, eyes flicking away from the quiet, attentive woman below her.

Get physically intimate? Get lost and tangled up in each other?  

“Kara, actually…”

Soft hands reach up and cup onto her cheeks, turning her face which makes her look at Lena. And in an instant, she finds herself trapped under Lena’s intense yet reluctant gaze.

“I may have a red sun lamp installed here. In this room, the recessed lights. Inactive, of course, unless you’d like to try it out.”

“A red sun lamp?” Kara blinks, floundering a bit.

Lena nibbles on her bottom lip, slides her hands down Kara’s neck, thumb grazing her jaw. “I do notice and feel how much you hold back. I don’t like that for you. So I made some tweaks and created a lamp version just a few weeks ago.”

A little lost for words, she just looks at Lena.

“Ah.”

“Was that okay?” Lena says, with a crack to her voice. “Or... if you want, we could just forget about that and—”

“No,” Kara cuts her off, feels her hands curling inwards at the sheets on either side of Lena’s head. She sees the bob of Lena’s throat as she stares down at her. “Turn it on.”

And Lena obeys, her arm reaching to the bedside. Her hand lands on the wall just behind the nightstand.

The sound of a click pops in Kara’s eardrums, and immediately she feels a sharp shift of change in the air.

Closing her eyes, she inhales deeply. Exhales, feels, and feels, as the dim light around the room scatter and reflect. There’s a particular draining feeling in her gut as she feels how different—the intensity of how her blood gushes in her veins, like an adrenaline rush from an fierce fight, and feels the vibrant hum of how her heart pounds rapidly against her ribs. She’s still quite worked up from touching Lena just a moment ago. Her powers weakened and dampened, her sensitivity is altered and she feels more.

Adjusted by her surroundings, she opens her eyes and sees Lena flushed so prettily, and—Kara feels, feels how Lena radiates a pleasant warmth underneath her.

Taking a shuddering breath, she draws down, cupping Lena by the nape of her neck and kisses her. She kisses her deep and slow, pressing herself against Lena without worrying about pressing too hard—feeling everything, and marvels at how Lena breathes her in hotly in her mouth.

“Feeling okay?” Lena asks, breathily, when Kara moves to kiss her on the jaw, and just under her jaw.

“Yes. Very okay,” Kara murmurs, not even bothering to hide the shake in her voice. Lena should know the effect she has on her. “More than.”

How Lena thought to do this for her—it’s so thoughtful and sweet, and just so Lena to come up with solutions to problems. While Kara wants to take the time to fully appreciate that, she finds that she can’t—she’s too caught up and held by the thought of doing other things to the woman. So she focuses on the one thing in her head: to make Lena feel good.

Detaching herself from the Lena without warning, she hears a small whine underneath her as she takes her shirt and bra off. “Clothes,” she exhales, and they both help each other out of their clothes, occasionally fumbling and chuckling at their eagerness to lose their layers.

And finally both free of clothes, bare skin on skin, Lena throws her head back, biting her lip to muffle a cry when Kara’s mouth begins to map across her breasts, circling at the sensitive tips, smearing bliss into her skin.

Kara hears the hitch of Lena’s breath when her lips trap a hardened nub, her tongue swirling around, sucking intently. Lena arches on the sheets, breathing up to the ceiling with her head tossed back against the pillow.

It’s been a while since Kara has found herself like this with Lena: both naked and panting on Lena’s sheets. Kara casts her gaze to her front, marvelling at the sharp profile of Lena’s jaw and the elongation of her neck when Lena twists her neck, as Kara licks and sucks at her breasts.

Kara,” Lena says, and it's in the way her voice cracks on the utterance of Kara’s name, something that’s becoming needy and desperate, the craving for something more, that causes something in Kara to snap.

Then Kara surges upwards, takes hold of Lena’s wrists, pinning her arms on either side of her head with a firm, secure hold. Kara latches her mouth back against Lena's, and the kiss becomes heated quickly. It’s a mess of heavy, shortened breaths as she starts moving against Lena, as Lena just pants, moaning into her mouth.

It’s no different from how Lena would moan after stretching a particularly sore muscle, no different than how she moans biting into good food after a long day. But the connotation of it will always have Kara's head spinning. Lena moans into her mouth and she feels it inside of her. As if she’s swallowed it whole and her body presses for more, blood racing hot, breath coming fast.

It’s too much and not enough. Like she's burning up from the inside.

She grinds on Lena, slow and heavy, completely aware and extremely sensitive to the sensation of Lena’s plump breasts and hardened nipples against her own, rubbing at each other and it feels—it feels exhilarating and invigorating and just overall fucking divine. The friction between them becomes firmer, the slow grind and rock of her hips with Lena’s becoming more deliberate as seconds passes.

“Kara,” Lena says, and Kara feels more than hears Lena groan helplessly underneath her, etched with a note of warning in Lena’s voice.

“Yeah,” Kara breathes, a strong arousal aching steadily, building between her legs. “Okay—okay, yeah.”

Raoshe sounds just as breathless as Lena is.

“Gonna make you feel so good, Lena.”

Lena nods, a small whimper coming out of her mouth.

“Tell me, Lena,” Kara prompts, and places a hand behind Lena’s neck, pulling her in for another deep kiss. The kiss quickly turns into something filthily: a messy mash of lips and teeth and excess tongue, formless and lazy in their flow. This kiss feels far dirtier than she’s ever kissed Lena and a huge part of it comes from the heady rush she feels in her head, the uninhibited movements she can now freely make without worrying that she’ll break anything. “You okay?” she asks, exhaling roughly against Lena’s mouth, trailing a hand downwards to her chest, abdomen, then to her inner thighs slowly.

“Yeah,” Lena whispers hoarsely, her hips lifting up slightly. “Fuck—Kara.”

“Feels good?” Kara goads, taking her fingers to Lena’s outer folds languidly, strokes coming like feathery touches. She likes the way Lena gets impatient under her, loses her breath, clutches at her tighter.

“Kara—” Lena says, and the way her voice comes out so airy, out like the smallest and softest of gasps, Kara almost doesn’t hear it. They watch each other through heavy-lidded eyes when Kara runs two digits down Lena’s slit and then back up two times, and then she's rubbing tight, slow circles into Lena’s clit at such an antagonizing pace. “Yes,” Lena hisses sharply, eyes closing shut as her nails claw deeper into skin, earning Kara a welcoming burning sensation in her senses.

And, Rao, it blows Kara away—her mind reels and her stomach pools, feeling Lena’s slick heat on her fingers. Lena’s so wet and dripping, and it’s the noise of Kara’s fingers, the obscene and lewd sounds of the thick wet friction as they pace circularly, that reminds Kara that she is the cause of all this.

“Lena,” she whispers lowly, jaw tensing when she thinks she’s probably just as wet as Lena is. Or she doesn’t actually need to think about it, she can feel it between her own thighs. “Talk to me,” she presses, sounding more like a plea than a demand. She just wants to hear Lena’s voice, make sure that this is as good for her as it is for Kara. “Tell me how you feel. Wanna hear you.”

“S’good. Kara,” Lena sighs, her hand taking a fistful of blonde hair as she pulls Kara closer to her, nosing at her cheek and pressing open-mouthed kisses at her jawline and neck messily.

Kara continues to work Lena up, stroking at her clit faster, the lewd, wet noises filling up the room as Lena whimpers brokenly and breathing hotly against her neck.

“Kara,” Lena musters out, voice slipping higher with each swipe of Kara’s fingers. Her arms wrap around Kara’s torso, body trembling. “Feel how wet you make me?” And Kara sucks in a breath, nodding. “I’ve—been thinking about you back here on my bed, touching me like this.”

“Yeah? Is that why you asked me to come up with you?”

“No,” Lena laughs, breathless, and a shaky moan tumbles out of her mouth when Kara presses down, rubs with added pressure on her clit. Kara smirks at it, bends down to nip and lick at her neck. “No, and you know that. Just—” a breathy moan, “you work me up. So—s’good.”

“Yeah?” Kara trails down Lena’s neck, all wet and so full of tongue as she breathes her in. “You sound so beautiful, Lena.” A stream of ragged breaths punctures at Lena's throat, which grows louder when Kara's tongue swipes at her pulse point, sucking on the skin. “Missed you like this, too. Underneath me, breathing heavily like this for me.”

“Kara—fuck. I’m, I’m so close.”

“Okay,” Kara breathes, lifts her head up and gets caught, transfixed.

It’s all at once dizzying and disorientating and wonderful, her pulse increases and her mind hazes—she’s never felt so horny and aroused just by simply watching Lena get worked up and on the verge of coming undone. Lena in the throes of orgasm is just absolutely breathtaking: the curve of her back, the heave of her breasts, her head tipped back, illustrating the pretty slender line of her throat, and how her mouth hangs open, breath coming fast.

Then Lena lets out a low, guttural moan, which ends up being stifled in Kara’s mouth when Kara latches and licks into Lena’s mouth as she keeps the focused pace of her fingers before she gradually slows down.

Lena looks absolutely debauched, her chest heaves up and down laboriously as she catches up on her breath, arms thrown above her head and face flushed, looking completely blissed out, fucked out.

Arousal stirring strongly between her legs at the view, even Kara needs a few seconds to get herself together. Honestly, she could probably drift to sleep in minutes if she closed her eyes right now even with the aching heat between her legs. She just wanted to make Lena feel good. They both had long weeks of working themselves off. It’s not something she expected tonight, to be here lying on her bed but here she is.

She lays down next to the Irish woman, watching the rise and fall of Lena’s chest as the perspiration cools her skin. Sweat. Kara dislikes sweat, but she thinks this definitely calls for an exception, all dependent on the reason that makes her sweat.

And then as the minute mark passes, Kara closes her eyes. Then she feels the mattress move, weight shifting on the bed.

Lena hovers above her, eyes dark, a hot heavy stare. “Tell me what you need,” she says, whispers, voice deep and rasp by Kara’s ear, before she starts ravaging Kara’s throat, licking her all up and nipping at her flushed skin.

Kara shivers, tips her chin up, allowing Lena easier access. Rao, there’s always something about Lena’s voice after fucking her that sends Kara a jolt of shiver in her spine, always sends her teetering dangerously to the edge. And she is not going to come just like that (she tells herself this yet again) because she’s not a fucking nerd who comes undone from just a voice (no matter how much Kara thinks how hot and sexy Lena’s voice may be).

“Just, just. Want your tongue. Won’t be long.”

But Lena doesn’t move just yet; she stays up as her hand glides up to the side of Kara’s neck, cupping the hinge of Kara’s jaw, thumb firmly against the bone. It feels like Kara’s skin is being set ablaze from each swipe of Lena’s tongue and each hot, wet presses of Lena’s open mouth at different spots on Kara’s neck, and occasionally across her collarbone.

She slips a hand to the back of Lena’s head, tugging her closer, fingernails scraping against her scalp. Now, Kara isn't oblivious to the way Lena spends her sweet time on her neck. Often times, she'd catch Lena looking at her neck when they talk, often times she'd catch Lena nosing her neck when they go in for a hug. Often times, she's like this. Right now, nosing at her throat and breathing her in. When she thinks about it, it makes sense, and it only becomes more apparent each time they get lost in each other. Perhaps Lena is a neck person, who likes necks overall. Or maybe she just has a thing for Kara's neck. Kara's not sure.

Lena drags her open mouth over the curve of Kara's jaw, licks a wet stripe down her throat, and nuzzles at a spot before Kara feels teeth sinking into her skin.

"Lena," Kara says, a broken sigh easily escaping out of her mouth. And at this point, Lena is littering marks all over her neck, and now she's licking and nipping at her collarbone, and. Yeah, she might really have a thing for Kara's neck. Kara squirms.

And then Lena travels down painstakingly slow, tracing a line with her lips from Kara’s neck, collarbone, chest, and then to her thighs. She nips at her hip bone, causing Kara to clench her jaw as she lets out a breathy sigh.

“Lena,” she breathes out, sounding clipped and restrained. Then, there is absolutely nothing that prepares her for the next following second: she lets out a whimper, bucking into the hot wet slide of Lena’s tongue when it laces onto her clit with a stern pressure, slow with its swipes, hot and slick in its contact. Kara tips her head back, tugs at Lena’s locks as Lena licks into her, shallow at first and gradually deeper and faster as the roll of Kara’s hips become more frantic.

She is not going to last. Shit, she’s really not even going to last for a minute at least, she thinks.

“Rao,” she sighs, or more like moans, jaw tightening. It feels so good to not worry about breaking anything when she twists around on the mattress, her body quavering as she lets herself loose and feel. She doesn’t hold back on the canting of her hips, the tugging at the sheets and Lena’s hair—Rao, it just feels great.

As her mind skirts along the threshold of complete intoxication, she looks down, and, she isn’t prepared for the way the air in her lungs escape right out of her. The sight of Lena like this: lips rosy and wet, chin shiny, cheeks and ears coloured attractively, eyes dark and heavily lidded; it sends Kara barreling over the edge as she watches the woman between her thighs.

They lock into a gaze as Lena grips on her thighs, licking and swirling her tongue, drawing circles and sucking on her clit, all hot and heavy as short, sharp puffs come out of Kara’s mouth.

And then Kara’s mind goes into blank.

Her eyes slam tight, bright white dance behind her eyelids, body writhing and slanting as she chokes on a broken gasp under Lena’s name. She quivers, trembles, and seconds later weakly pushes Lena away. Lena coyly smirks up at her before she lowers her head and licks up the slick stickiness between Kara’s legs, causing Kara to groan, because. Rao, that’s fucking hot. Why does Lena have to be like this?

Unable to help herself, she reaches out to Lena, her hand grabbing the back of Lena’s head, and drags their mouth together for a deep, sloppy kiss. She exhales into Lena’s mouth as she tastes herself there, and brings her other hand up to Lena’s chin, using her whole thumb to wipe the wetness until they break apart, breathless.

Kara falls back onto the mattress and heaves a heavy sigh, still trying to recover.

Lena lays down next to her quietly, a wide space gap between them. Tens of seconds pass as the air starts to feel cool on Kara’s skin. Before Kara even has the time to think about it, she wraps an arm around Lena suddenly, takes her whole and holds her close. She’s a little too tired to think about if that was okay—and it probably wasn’t: it’s beyond physical affection, for Lena more than Kara. But as seconds tick by, the more Kara thinks it is okay because Lena doesn’t say anything. And if anything, Lena seems to encourage it when she tucks her head under Kara’s chin, body turning and arm wrapping around Kara’s waist.

They stay like this, holding each other in comfortable silence.

“I think I might’ve lost your hair tie,” Lena whispers.

Kara chuckles softly in response. She begins playing with her curly raven-black locks, stroking and caressing her hair softly.

Lena suddenly tilts her head so that it rests on Kara’s shoulder, presses her nose into the side of Kara’s neck. Nuzzles further onto Kara, as her fingers lightly graze Kara’s back in small patterns.

Kara feels herself stiffen for a hot second. But she recovers just as fast and relaxes into it shortly after.

They’ve done this before. Just a few times and counting. Don’t think too much about it.

It's just a little intoxicating, this level of comfort and affection. They hug and cuddle often, but Kara doesn't usually think much about it. She doesn’t usually think about it because when they hug, they aren’t usually naked and sweating after a good fuck. Rao. This is really becoming a frequent thing for them. She’s honestly not sure what to think of it. It would probably be unwise of her to let herself get used to this.

It’s incredibly intimate. Too tender. But Lena makes a soft, pleased sound—and quite frankly, for Kara, it does feel way too nice being tangled like this together. Lena makes another slight shift against her, nose (and lips?) on her neck, now seeming all comfortable and snug and content.

Kara thinks about parked, inert planes. Thinks about how stationery she and Lena are in their respective lanes. How safe it is to stay in their lanes, unmoving and still.

She decides to stop thinking, decides not to say anything about it.

“I'm gonna spend the night,” she says quietly, the words a mixture of confidence and question. She squeezes Lena a little as she speaks. Kara’s spent some nights here before. But it’s been a while.

“Okay,” Lena murmurs softly, turning off the lights and pulling the blankets up. She holds Kara, gets back into the same position, snuggling into her.

It feels good.

Kara relaxes into it.

 

Chapter Text

 

Kara wakes up, but doesn’t open her eyes.

The longer she lays there simply, the more consciousness comes to her.

When she makes a movement, face tipping upward, Lena makes a small, little sound above her that Kara’s brain takes a moment to fully register, to piece together. When it does, when it all clicks, Kara almost wants to be embarrassed that she’s rubbing her face into Lena’s neck, but she’s still too sleep heavy—caught between sleep and wakefulness. She thinks it’ll come to her later, that she’ll blush and maybe utter a small apology from being too touchy, but, for now—it just feels nice. 

Really nice.

And Lena hasn’t complained. 

(Lena never does.

Kara starts to wonder just how many times she can get away with Lena. Or how Lena deals with her, really.)

She presses her nose into Lena’s neck, and if her lips accidentally meet skin, too—well. That’s just perfectly an innocent, honest slip-up. Lena’s bed just smells really nice. Lena smells nice. She always does, and Kara’s always weak for it. So, naturally—Kara takes her in, head tilting that she’s now nuzzling into the base of Lena’s throat. 

If her mouth makes a slight brush against Lena’s neck again, that’s accidental, too. Accidental when it happens for the second time. And the third. By the fourth, Kara wonders if Lena will ever tell her to stop. 

Why does Lena let her get away with so much things?

She’s completely aware that she’s skirting dangerously over into non-platonic touches, but she can’t help herself. Lena feels so warm, so nice and soft, and incredibly cuddly. And she smells lovely. Has Kara mentioned that already?

The spiked heart rate and the little, quiet sighs that Kara hears—Lena is awake, she knows that for sure. For how long though, she doesn’t know.

“Kara,” Lena says quietly, soft and airy.

“Lena,” Kara says just as quietly, but doesn’t make the move to stop. She snuggles further into Lena.

“Kara,” Lena says her name again as if to start a protest. It easily falls short though, when the wrapped arm around Kara’s torso tightens, pulling Kara closer. It’s all the encouragement Kara needs. “You’re aware of what you’re doing, right?”

Kara mumbles something incoherent, her lips moving against skin as it slowly travels down the column of Lena’s neck to her collarbone. Her tongue makes swipes along the way. That’s accidental.

“Okay—” Lena breathes, voice tightly clipped and finally moves away, groaning as she faces up the ceiling. Kara watches from the side, sees only Lena’s side profile, cheeks red-rosy. “I have to get up early. And I'm incredibly horny. Kara.”

“Oh.” A beat of silence, and Kara considers it seriously. “...Well, I can do you quick—”

“Oh, god—Kara,” Lena stops her right there quick and a chuckle fills the air, the sound so husky it reverberates through Kara's chest. “Very tempting. But I really have to get up right now.”

Watching Lena silently, Kara thinks about how she’d be pretty flabbergasted if past-Kara heard her own words right now. Flabbergasted at present Kara’s situation. At the current sight of her best friend laying right next to her in bed, gaze intentionally averted to the ceiling while she’s naked and horny, face flushed because of Kara.

Even she surprises herself. Lena’s just so…

Kara grins. “Good morning.”

“Good morning,” Lena mutters audibly enough, turns her head to look at Kara. “You greet everyone like this in the morning?”

Does she? What a silly question to ask. Or, oh — it’s a joke. Yeah, must be a joke. Kara isn’t sleeping with anyone else. Doesn’t. So obviously, the answer is, 

“Just you.” 

It’s quiet. Did Kara say something wrong? She fiddles with the duvet.

“Right,” Lena says belatedly. She swings her legs over the edge of the bed, sits up. “I’m going to use the shower. There’s another shower room, but you already know that and where it’s located. Feel free to use it?”

“I will. Thanks.”

-

Truthfully, Kara hadn’t expected to wound up in Lena’s bed again the next morning after meeting up with her in the park yesterday. 

Really.

It seems Lena’s intent yesterday was to just give her the key to her penthouse. That’s all.

(Kara’s heart still swells at that - being put into the security system and being given the key. Lena trusts her so much.

Wow.)

She sighs softly, dries herself with the towel as she grabs the toothbrush she owns, that sits in Lena’s bathroom every day casually like it waits to be used again by her. Rao. When it’s put that way in Kara’s head, it sounds. 

Strange. But not in a bad way. 

Just… strange. Now that she thinks about it, there are quite a lot of items around here that she’s absentmindedly left, or have placed in the penthouse. Some of her clothes are placed in Lena’s drawers. She has her favourite mug here, and some hair ties, extra pair of glasses, perfumes, and other personal belongings… are here, too, situated somewhere.

That’s fine. It’s not uncommon to have your things in your friend’s home. She has Nia’s extra laptop charger somewhere in her apartment. Some of Winn’s video games and old cds. Stored liquor for Alex…

Well - it’s not the same, the number and items differ, but the point is, it’s. It’s —

It’s not uncommon, she drills in her head.

Sometimes Kara thinks she’s clouding Lena’s space too much. It’s a valid thing to think about - to consider, because everyone needs their own space, and to keep their structure and system into place.

Lena never asks her to leave, never kicks her out. It’s always Kara who ends up leaving on her own, tinged with the feeling like she’s invaded Lena and her space for too long. No, Lena isn’t like that—she likes skinship after sex, and enjoys the feeling of just lying and cuddling there together as much as Kara herself does. She never seems to mind Kara’s personal belongings being left here, either.

Kara shakes her head. What does she get from thinking about this?

When she finally takes a good look at herself in the mirror, that’s when it hits her. 

She watches in horror and tips her chin up, sees that her neck is literally littered with hickeys, and down her shoulders there are marks. There’s not just one, or two on her neck. It’s multiple—red and purple marks run down the column of her neck, and one on her collarbone. 

What the heck? Since when —

Oh. Oh, right. Last night. The windows have been closed all night, not allowing any sunlight to come in. She still has her powers, though.

She flushes hard.

Refreshed and fully dressed, she walks out to see Lena adjusting her collar next to the kitchen counter. On top of the table is her huge, expensive fancy watch set flat.

Lena gasps at the sight of her, and Kara can easily say that it’s the most fakest, over exaggerated gasp she’s heard in her life. 

“Kara Danvers has hickeys. How scandalous.”

“Lena.” Kara blushes, settles onto the stool. That’s it? That’s all Lena has to say after she shamelessly, and unabashedly ravaged her neck like how not-normal-best-friends-do last night?

“Wonder where you got them. Wow.”

Kara’s hand flies up to rub her neck while Lena stares at the marks—quiet and rueful, and something else Kara doesn’t know how to name.

“At a store. They were on sale.”

Lena blinks then, and a low chuckle erupts from her throat. Her eyes form into crescents, displaying full fondness before she turns away reaching for her hair tie.

“It’ll go away, right?” Kara frowns, but she’s aware it probably looks more like a pout.

It should go away. Go away as in go-away-before-she-gets-to-work. Go away as in minutes away outside Lena’s penthouse. Kara tries not to act like a floundering adolescent at this. She’s just never had to deal with being marked like this before. She’s not used to it. It’s different - it’s not like the marks and bruises she gets from fighting. She knows that everything fades in due time, her body is invincible. 

But just imagining Nia’s face, or Winn’s, the moment they see it—the smug, teasing grin that’ll be plastered etched in their faces. Kara would really rather not deal. 

Lena must take some pity on her, because after a moment, she says, “Kara, it’ll fade properly the minute you step out of this building.”

Proper sunlight exposure, and all. It’s already fading.

“And if it doesn’t?”

“Then it doesn’t, darling.” Lena’s lips curl into a casual smirk, and—wow, okay. Kara flushes and sways a little at her seat, completely taken off-guard by the endearment term and Lena’s pretty face for a moment, and. Well. It’s cool, Kara’s always mushy for Lena.

And when Lena just shrugs—so easily like it doesn’t concern her—Kara’s brought back to the main topic. Very important topic. Lena’s no longer paying attention to her, she’s tying her hair up into a ponytail, lost in her own world like she has no business with her one bit, and it makes Kara frown (pout) further.

Lena has all the business to do with it.

“Great,” Kara says drily, though she’s feeling incredibly flustered. She blinks away to focus on something else and helps herself to the plate of omelette Lena’s cooked. “Wonderful. Thank you for that.”

“You’re so cute.” 

Kara bites at the inside of her cheek. She watches Lena silently, sees her slipping her expensive, fancy watch on gracefully, hand up in the air. Her fingers never cease to mesmerize Kara—they’re so long and thin, and also so pretty.

Lena makes final adjustments to her collar before grabbing her blazer. It’s truly a sight, Kara thinks, to witness Lena Luthor just simply getting ready in the morning before getting back to running her multi-billion corporation and making all-around changes one at a time. 

Her best friend is pretty awesome.

Who looks really good, by the way. Really, really good—not that Lena doesn’t always—she always does, and Kara believes that it’s honestly unnecessarily to look like that all the time.

Lena looks sinfully gorgeous in her suit—navy blue and sleek, with cufflinks, a black dress shirt underneath, and hair tied into a perfect ponytail with no awkward strands sticking out, and. No tie over the shirt, at least, but the top two buttons of the shirt are suggestively undone. The whole look—is that even allowed? Kara’s really wondering, thinking. Is it? 

Damn, does her best friend look edible right now. 

High heels planted on the floor, Lena cocks her head to the side, and eyes at Kara.

“What?”

“What?” Kara says back.

“You’re staring.”

“Oh,” Kara utters lamely, but feels extremely proud when she doesn’t fumble around when she snaps out of her self-induced daze then. “Well,” she raises her hand, almost pokes her eye with her finger when she finds that there’s no glasses to fix over her nose—where are her glasses? 

“You left your glasses on the nightstand next to my bed.” Lena laughs, and there it is. The head tilt. It never fails.

It adds further heat into Kara’s cheeks, and she shyly chuckles, running a hand through her hair.

“Oh, right.” She settles her gaze back to Lena. It should be said. So, she says: “You’re pretty distracting. You look lovely.”

There is a pause, a pause during which Lena looks a little surprised at the sudden compliment.

Kara’s not lying, and she’s pretty sure Lena knows that.

“Thank you,” Lena says, a hand hiding away into a pocket. “You look just as lovely.” Kara lets out an undignified huff of laughter. It doesn’t really feel like it, and when Lena just smiles, Kara finds herself smiling back—just simply ridiculously endeared by the mere sight. “I have a meeting real soon, so I need to get going. Do you want to come with me? I can drop you off at CatCo.”

“No, it’s okay,” she shakes her head, gets on her feet and walks towards Lena, passing her the phone she left on the countertop. “I still have some time left before I need to head out. And I fly, Lena.”

“Ah, of course. Right,” Lena’s brow quirks up and she takes the phone from Kara’s hand. “My deepest apologies. You fly on a bus.” 

Kara’s about to open her mouth to sulk over the sarcastic comment until Lena’s eyes cast down to her neck again. 

She flushes, but pays no heed to it. She brings her arms around Lena, engulfing her in a hug.

“See you sometime soon. Hopefully not after two weeks this time.”

Lena hums, lets out a quiet sigh. She breaks away from Kara, sends her an easy smile. And Kara, unable to help herself, leans in and kisses Lena on the cheek.

At least, that’s the idea. Until she misses, because Lena makes a small movement as she’s pulling back, and Kara ends up kissing her right on the corner of her mouth.

“Gosh, I—sorry,” Kara stammers, pulling away quickly.

That’s the second time that’s happened. 

Rao. It’s a little absurd, honestly. Absolutely absurd. Kara still freaks out over these little things. She wants to make a joke - gotta be careful, what if this becomes a habit? - but quickly decides against it.

“It’s okay, don’t be. I’m the one who accidentally moved,” Lena says. A beat later, she tilts her head to the side, mouth slightly curling and expels a soft sigh. “This sounds familiar.”

Kara breathes out sheepishly. The red forming in Lena’s cheeks is enough to alleviate herself from the embarrassment, at least.

“Yeah. So, you should get going.” She laughs quietly, wets her lips. Takes a step back.

“Bye, Kara,” Lena nods, and a smile tugs the corners of her lips upwards. “Safe bus travels.”

 


 

It turns out that the marks did disappear few minutes outside. Not that Kara was that worried. 

No. Really.

So once the doors of the cubicle opens, she steps out and—in an instant, sees Nia waving at her from her desk, grinning widely - mood seeming pretty good in the early morning.

“Hey,” Kara greets, handing the younger woman an iced caffe mocha, which Nia accepts gratefully, thanking her with an appreciative smile. “You’re awfully in a good mood. Did something happen?”

“Naw,” Nia grins with a shake of her head, and takes sips of her venti-sized cup before plopping back onto her wheely chair. “Nothing in particular. Hey, this is really nice. I’m buying next time.”

“Right,” Kara drawls, eyebrows furrowing. When she sees that Nia is still smiling oddly, weirdly, and uncharacteristically for far too long at her computer screen, she nudges her by the shoulder. “Liar. Come on, tell me.”

“It’s really nothing big, Kara.”

“But it sounds like something?”

It’s not that Kara’s a nosy person. It’s just, the last time she saw Nia smiling like this was when Nia won a seven-day free pizza deal. Naturally, Kara’s curious. And nosy. Cool things like that need to be celebrated.

Nia spins her chair, faces Kara properly and shrugs with an unsure grin. “Okay, well. Come here, listen close.” And Kara does—although cautiously, and leans in when Nia looks around conspiratorially, as if what she’s about to say isn’t for anyone else to know.

Anticipation builds in Kara’s gut. So secretive, perhaps she won a one year token deal this time. Or did Nia snag some, one-in-a-lifetime, way too good sale on something?

“Brainy finally called our ‘outings’ a date. A date date. He gets it now.”

Kara gasps loudly. So, nothing to do with food. But wow.

What. A. Step. Forward!

Nia laughs, bright and wide, nodding her head with I know’s!

Kara grabs the nearest pen, and tips the end of the pen near below Nia’s chin as if it were a mic. “How do you feel, Nia Nal? Citizens of National City! Querl Dox and Nia Nal are both - emphasis on both - finally aware that they have, in fact, been dating for the past months! ”

“Stop it,” Nia says, but laughs harder when Kara keeps saying how do you feel? How do you feel! like one of those pesky, annoying reporters that shoves mics into people’s faces incessantly.

(Not like Kara and Nia. Kara and Nia are respectful, graceful reporters, of course.)

“You’re seriously one to talk,” Nia says, waving Kara off with her hand. Kara decides to gracefully ignore her comment, like the graceful and elegant reporter she is. “Also, not to sound like a creep, but you smell different—like… how do I say it?” She wrinkles her nose. “Something familiar and expensive.”

Kara opens her mouth, squints. Tilts her head, and registers the whiff of that shampoo she’d used this morning. “Oh. I was at Lena’s this morning.” 

“...And last night, I’m assuming.”

No point in hiding or dodging it. So Kara just shrugs with a shy smile.

The younger pretends to puke distastefully. 

Oh, mean. Kara rolls her eyes, flicks Nia on the forehead. Nia stumbles back with a hiss.

“No dirty thoughts.”

“What thoughts? I’m just imagining you and Lena brushing and braiding each others hair. Tiring experience, I’m sure it was, which was why you stayed in. How cute and wholesome.” Nia pauses. “Unless?” she snorts, batting her eyelashes infuriatingly slow that makes Kara’s skin crawl.

Kara flicks her on the forehead again.

“Ow—okay!” Nia huffs, rubbing on the two red spots forming on her forehead. “Geez. That wasn’t even dirty. Unless you guys are into some kinky shit I don’t know abou—woah, okay I’ll stop—step away from the forehead!”

Unimpressed, Kara leans back on the desk and shoves a hand in her pocket. How she raised a young wolf—Kara may never know.

“So,” Nia says conversationally, features creasing into a look. “How are you and Lena these days? Anything new?”

Kara scrunches her face, adjusts her glasses. “You sound like Alex… same old. Sometimes we see each other, sometimes we don’t.” 

A lull comes into the conversation. There’s a rueful look on Nia’s face—ongoing and there’s something deep and contemplative about it that Kara decides to bite in.

“What are you thinking about?” 

She grabs a blue highlighter from Nia’s pen stand, twirls it around her fingers as she watches the young woman take loud sips through her straw. Kara still has a few minutes before she needs to clock in and get back to her desk and actually start doing work.

“I don’t know—I just. You’re like, a hopeless romantic, Kara,” Nia explains, then pauses—brows furrowing as she seems to carefully consider her next words. “In the sense that you’re really soft towards romance, and romantic displays. You’re in love with love. And you like to spread it around.” Nia crosses her arms on her desk, nudges Kara on her side. “And with this thing you have with Lena, it just dawned on me that you’re kind of the type to fall easily, Kara.”

Wait. What?

Nia’s never seen her romantically involved with someone, or has seen her crushing on anyone. So how would Nia know that?

“Or at least—you seem to be,” Nia quickly adds.

But… a hopeless romantic. Her? Oddly enough, an uncomfortable feeling sinks into Kara’s chest, and thinking about it—Kara can’t really say it with her whole chest that she isn’t. Because she does think about those things. 

But not actively. 

“This again?” she says without malice, and sighs softly with a smile. “I can’t say I fully disagree on that.”

Nia smirks lightly, shrugs a shoulder. “I hear a but incoming.”

“But you’re speaking in a hypothetical manner. Like something will happen between Lena and I.”

“Well, yeah,” Nia says, easily admitting it. Her lips thin as she watches Kara closely. “But I seem to always be proven wrong whenever the thought rises up, because nothing ever seems to happen. And I finally realised why: because you never go for it. Neither does Lena.”

Kara grips on the edges of Nia’s desk.

Go for it.

She thinks back to what she and Lena talked about yesterday over by the bridge late at night. They’ve discussed this already. Lena understands Kara. Vice-versa. Why would they go for it? Lena doesn’t chase those ideals for herself—she isn’t looking for anything like that. Kara knows this well, gets it. They can’t and don’t, for lots of valid reasons. 

Nia doesn’t get it.

And it’s not that deep, Kara tells herself, when it comes to this thing she has with Lena. It doesn’t have to be. It’s not supposed to be. This isn’t a romance, comedic or otherwise. In the beginning, this all stemmed from just simply wanting to, because, well—what is so wrong with two horny women (both with stressful lives) hanging out together in such ways, who happens to find each other incredibly attractive, and who just happens to be best friends, too?

Kara feels herself flush deeply just thinking about it. 

It all boils down to this: they’re horny, and things just happen from time to time. Over and over and over again, and it never means anything. Which is how it’s supposed to be, and how Lena prefers it. Kara, too... 

It works well for the both of them. There’s no real real feelings here, despite how close they already are before all this.

But something else catches Kara’s attention.

“What you said about Lena… what were you implying?”

Nia simply shrugs. “What makes you think that just because you feel confident with yourself, that you’re sure you can keep up at this with no problem, that Lena would be the same on her end? We all know how you’re pretty much Lena’s softest spot.”

Kara sees the implication, loud and clear.

“That wouldn’t happen.”

She strongly believes this. Because she’s pretty sure that if Lena feels anything for her, she’d know or have known. She would know if Lena thought of her as more of a friend. She’s seen Lena with James. Sure, that’s her only basis for knowing, but it’s something, and she’d still be able to tell with or without one or a few.

Either way, she shakes her head, bites her bottom lip. “Or… or she’d tell me. We don’t keep anything from each other.” At least, not anymore, but Kara doesn’t mention that. 

“You really think so?” 

Nia’s being pretty persistent with this, and it makes Kara feel uneasy more than it should. Standing up straighter, she realises that she’s nursing a tension in her shoulders. Letting out a sigh, she untenses and pinches the bridge of her nose.

“Nia—” She stops herself short when her phone buzzes in her pocket. “Hold on. It’s Alex—might be work-related.”

Nia utters a sure with a slow nod before getting back to her computer.

Kara listens, and listens to Alex speaking over the phone. When the line ends, Nia looks up at her, wondering.

“Oh, I need to make a trip to the DEO after work for a case,” Kara tells her, slipping her phone back into her pocket. 

“They sure always need your help.”

“Yeah,” Kara scratches at her eyebrow, “can’t ignore it. Especially when they have to make the call and ask. Cases being so large, or difficult enough that they’d resort to seeking assistance from me. Plus, it’s Alex who always asks, so.”

“Oh, yeah,” Nia says. “I get it.”

“Yeah,” Kara sighs. Previous conversation (thankfully) interrupted and swept away, she puts the blue highlighter back in Nia’s pen stand. “Do you have something on after work? Alex did say that she could use some extra help from you, but it’s okay if you can’t come. I can handle it alone.”

“Oh, no,” Nia says, shakes her head and grins. “Sure, I’ll come with.”

 


 

The sun has long set and it’s already just past eight pm, the cityscape blazing bright neon lights onto the dark sky. The roads and traffic slowly clear away from rush hour.

She hovers over by the clouds, her red cape fluttering freely from the whirls of winds, and waits and waits for Alex’s voice.

“Alex?” Kara tests over the comms, not able to wait any longer. “You doing good there?” No reply. “Alex.”

Yes, hey, it’s Nia —” comes a breathy reply, and sounds of something grating on concrete ground, “sorry. Alex lost her comms. And I was just thinking of a new ending battle line. It’s important to end things with style—or a line, you know?” More shuffling is heard over the line.

“Nia,” Kara chuckles. She’s got to admit, Nia’s pretty creative and awesome with her battle lines. It reminds her of her early days, and she realises that she doesn’t think of it as much anymore. Now it’s making Kara, Supergirl, reevaluate her life choices.

Okay, so we’ve successfully captured the accomplice—how’s your end, the other one? 

Kara touches down quietly on the balcony of the DEO. “Already been handed over to the DEO. I was going to ask if you needed help, or picking up? Are you and Alex okay?”

Oh, yeah,” Nia says, “and no thanks to the fly-express. Also yeah, we’re good here—just dealing with the aftermath. Alex said great job and thanks for helping out. The newbie DEO agents have been a pain in her butt. We really, and I quote from Alex Danvers herself, ‘saved her ass’.

“Of course, it’s all fine,” Kara laughs. Walking towards the command centre, she already spots Winn in the corner, munching on some protein bar. “Want me to wait for you guys here?”

Nah, don’t wait out, you can go home. We’ve got everything else handled.

“Wow, look at you all commanding and more confident.”

Learned from the best.” 

She hears the grin in Nia’s voice. Kara smiles. “Okay. Good night, then. Tell Alex I said goodnight too, and I love her.”

Gotcha.

Footsteps draw near, and an arm wraps around Kara’s shoulder, with spots of coffee stains on its sleeve cuffs. 

“Well if it isn’t my best bud.”

“Winn,” she grins, wrapping an arm back and Winn fake-hurts, murmuring muscles, muscles! “Look at you working overtime.”

“Ugh, I know.” Winn heavily sighs, shaking his head and ruffles his hair messily. “And I don’t even get paid enough for this. Look at me! I’m a mess. Caffeine no longer does it for me. I should take a break from it, reset my caffeine tolerance and all.” 

Kara crosses her arms over her chest, squints at Winn. “Don’t think I don’t know about the gist of your payroll. Yes you do.”

Her friend jutts his bottom lip out. “Okay, yes I do. But still.” He breaks away from Kara and settles down on his chair with his weight, the drooping of his posture easily noticeable. “I could really use a breather and a drink, honestly. In fact I think we both could, us always constantly overworking and all. Dead social life.”

“Yeah?” Kara hums. It has been a while. “That sounds good, actually. Let’s do it. Sometime soon?”

“Yeah!” Winn clicks his fingers, and his smile widens, hand flailing in the air. “Get everyone, too. I miss everyone and Alex still owes me drinks!”

Laughing, Kara runs a hand through her hair. “Yeah, sure. You know, Nia’s been wanting to check out the alien dive bar since she hasn’t been. It’s a good time.”

“Great! I’ll text everyone. These past few months have been dull for me and boredom’s starting to strangle me whole.” Winn takes the last bite of his protein bar before looking at Kara. “How’s it been on your end?”

Lena comes to mind instantly. Kara welcomes it although she wouldn't admit it out loud. At least, not to Winn.

“Not as uneventful and dull as yours, that’s for sure.” 

“Sounds suspicious.”

Winn narrows his eyes then, suddenly watchful like an eager hound searching for food (information). Aw. It reminds her of a few reporters - her work colleagues in CatCo. Ravenous, ferocious. But Winn's a baby compared to them.

Kara chuckles, shakes her head. She turns to Winn’s computer screen, sees the time. It’s already late. 

“Goodnight, Winn.”

“Wait, what! There’s something you’re not telling me,” Winn huffs, standing abruptly with his palm up in the air. “We tell each other a lot of things! What is it? And why are you being evasive?”

“It’s late and I could use some sleep, Winn,” Kara says, starting to walk away. She raises two fingers up to her eyebrow in salutation, “Goodnight.”

She flies away before Winn starts to whine and gets the chance to unleash Puppy Sulk #3.

(Not that it would’ve worked if she’d stayed.)

 


 

There are many things that Kara could be doing right now: one, starting ahead on her current article research that’s due in a week, earning her a peace of mind. Two, coming over to Alex’s apartment to have dinner and do some catching up with her girlfriend, Kelly, and then watch them inevitably get all mushy and make-out in the kitchen while they think she’s not looking, and. Three, starting a new show, one Winn had recommended (“It’s a must-see, Kara, you don’t understand how good it is. It’s spacey and there’s a lot of hot people! Expecting you to have caught up to the latest by this weekend, I need someone to talk about it with!”)

Instead:

She’s currently munching on a granola bar in Lena’s kitchen on a Saturday afternoon, indulging herself in some buzzfeed quiz Nia just sent earlier. Lena walks into the living room then, looking cozy and fresh after a shower and changing out of her work clothes.

Wordlessly, her best friend strolls into the kitchen, opening the cupboard and grabbing herself a chamomile tea bag, sleeves rolled up. The kettle is turned on and Lena grabs a milk carton from the fridge.

Kara momentarily forgets to chew. 

Because, wowIt’s almost unfair how Lena looks right now—she’s wearing Kara’s dark green knitted sweater and it’s a few sizes larger than her frame, and her hair is down, slightly curly in its natural state, and.

“That picture of a cookie on your phone,” Lena says, running a hand through her hair as she leans over the kitchen counter, just right opposite of Kara. She looks so soft, and so pretty and huggable, that Kara has the sudden urge to reach up over the counter and pull her in. 

But Kara stays planted on her stool and doesn’t decide to reach over the countertop and hug her. Kara frowns. Lena tilts her head, a charming look of amusement playing in her face. 

It only makes Kara frown further.

“Do I want to know what you’re up to?” Lena says.

Well, there is indeed a picture of a cookie on her phone.

“What kind of cookie are you?” she says simply.

“Cookie—what?” Lena arches an eyebrow up. Kara grins. 

“It’s a buzzfeed quiz,” Kara explains, bringing her legs up and crossing it above the stool. She settles her elbows on the counter, faces Lena fully. “Nia sent it to me to take, and I got double chocolate cookie. I’m a double chocolate cookie, Lena. So cool.” Kara isn’t sure how these quizzes factor things in, and what this even means, but she asks anyway. “Do you think it’s accurate? That I’m a double chocolate cookie.”

Inching closer towards Kara, Lena’s mouth tilts into an unsure smile. “I can’t say. Those quizzes don’t make sense most of the time, darling.”

Kara bites her lip, flushes at the endearment term. She always does. Can’t help it. “You’ve taken some?”

Lena shrugs. 

“Wow. Billionaire genius scientist, businesswoman and philanthropist Lena Luthor takes online buzzfeed quizzes. Amazing. Groundbreaking news. The world is shaking.”

“Oh, stop with the titles.” Lena’s face twists into a grimace and separates from the counter, turning her back to Kara, fixing herself the tea that’s waiting for her. 

“That was me not being generous. I could add five more there.” Kara takes her phone back in her hand, fiddles with it.

Lena rolls her eyes at that. “Well, I’ve only taken just a few. I blame Nia and Winn for that.”

That’s unsurprising. It makes Kara smile, seeing how she isn’t the only one that gets targeted with these things by their friends. 

“They’re fun, though.”

“Time-consuming,” Lena quips, chucking the tea bag into the bin. She leans against the kitchen sink, hands on her mug (a $15 reindeer mug that Kara bought for her a month ago, and it’s heat-sensitive, and the nose goes red when it’s hot, and Lena laughed when she saw it, and then she bought a $1,800 gucci cardigan for Kara a week after, because here's a lovely (unnecessarily expensive) gift back—)

Anyway.

Time-consuming fun, at least,” Kara laughs, and watches Lena simply sipping her tea across the kitchen, taking in how domestic this looks. 

There’s nothing special going on here. They are just in their usual spots: Lena there and Kara here - and it feels - it feels nice.

There is nothing new, or unusual about it, but when Kara wraps her head around it, there’s been more of it. Much more, just her and Lena, being here and there - together. It’s not a shock, or some kind of revelation.

It’s just interesting.

But it’s odd. Somehow, it feels like there’s something different about it. She just can’t pinpoint what, exactly.

“Hey. A granola bar for your thoughts?” 

Kara’s snapped out of her daze, looks to her left. Lena’s made her way next to the stool beside her, with her mug in her hand. Her cheek is cradled by her palm, eyes watching Kara curiously.

“There isn't much,” Kara says honestly, turning to face Lena in her seat. The heat-sensitive mug - its nose is half-red, indicating that Lena’s already drank half of her tea. Kara smiles at it. “I like being here a lot. It’s just really nice.” 

“What’s nice? You eating all my granola bars and snapping and sending pictures of me to our friends, all captioned with ‘pretty sweater thief on the loose’?” Lena rolls her eyes, her knee bumping with Kara’s playfully. 

“Ha,” Kara grins, chuckles. She lets her knee press against Lena's. “You saw that?”

“Double chocolate cookie.” Lena scoffs lightly, a small smile hiding behind her mug when she lifts it over her lips. “You’re not that sneaky.”

-

It’s not until later, late at night when Lena asks Kara if she wants to stay. 

Lena always asks. As if she never expects Kara to stay, or want to be here any longer. It’s quite jarring to see every time. But naturally, obviously, Kara says, yeah, I’d like to stay.

Kara lays down on the mattress beside Lena quietly, feeling wide awake. 

She had ended up working on her article and made decent progress earlier, and then spent a hefty amount of time looking at sugar gliders. Online. She didn't know about their existence until Lena offhandedly mentioned about it while she worked, that her assistant Jess, had one.

Lena’s sitting upright on the bed, with her laptop in front, going through emails and more emails. She types and types, and from time to time, scrutinizes her screen closely - most likely proof-reading her sentences.

It’s late.

And Kara disapproves, but she stays in her spot with her arm wrapped around the pillow her head’s laying on. She watches absentmindedly, occasionally closing her eyes. Sometime soon enough Lena closes her laptop, turning to face Kara with a gap between them.

“Hi,” Kara says.

“Hi back,” Lena says, cocks an eyebrow. “Were you watching me the whole time? Creep.”

Kara wriggles closer towards Lena. “Not a creep. Just distracted.”

“Distracted? By what?”

Seconds continue to pass silently as Kara realizes she hasn’t answered. Even then, she just stays quiet.

Lena makes a slight shift closer to Kara, near enough to be close in proximity. “What, would you like a bedtime story?” 

There’s a teasing smirk playing on her lips, one that Kara wants to kiss away right then, and it makes Kara groan internally.

“No. I would like for you to sleep, though,” Kara says. “If I weren’t here, you’d still be on that laptop for another two hours. Probably.”

Lena closes her eyes for a moment before she moves a hand close to her chest, curling into herself a little. She’s cold, Kara figures. Even with the large duvet over them, Kara knows Lena’s feeling more cold than warm.

“Probably,” Lena echoes, looking at the empty little space between them. “You’re simultaneously a menace and a wonderful thing to my work productivity.”

She smiles at Kara, and it’s small but it’s so full of warmth - Kara has to grin and look away, face blushing a little. 

Rao - Kara wants to kiss her.

But she doesn’t. Instead, she just keeps her distance, playing with the material of the mattress idly. 

Nia’s words play through her head. It’s been days, since their conversation. It comes and goes - fleetingly, the thoughts every now and then. Like right now. She’s thinking about it, and wonders why it has stuck since. 

When Lena wrings her hands together with a slight shiver, Kara eventually gives in and closes the gap between them. Slowly, she wraps an arm around Lena, pulling the woman close against her body, and settles her chin just above Lena’s head. Immediately, Lena settles and melts into their new position all easily too well, as if they’ve done this a thousand times. 

Their legs tangle together and Kara slides her hand to the nape of Lena’s neck, then to the back of her head, lightly scratching at her scalp. She feels, more than hears the quiet sigh from Lena, the breath hitting her neck.

Lena. 

Lovely, kind, smart, beautiful Lena… Kara imagines it, for a moment, being with her. They have this sort of pull with each other - chemistry, that’s indisputable. Would they work out together? It’s… odd to be thinking about this - it's uncharted territory. They’ve talked about dating and relationships. They’ve expressed their thoughts and concerns, how they find it difficult to picture themselves in one. Fearing what comes along with a serious relationship, protecting themselves from all of its potential hurt. 

It just hasn’t crossed Kara’s mind - about actually being with Lena, despite everything. Oh, Rao - now she finds herself fantasizing it.

There’s a strange gnawing feeling in her gut, once Kara gets her head around it. She could see it. Being with Lena is easy. Comfortable. Natural. Like - like right now, almost like this —

No. She freezes the thought, stops herself right there.

But she could see it clearly. But neither of them are open to starting anything up. It’s just like what Nia said before. They never go for these things, don’t even make attempts at it. 

Though despite how much Lena’s expressed disinterest in being in a relationship, Kara can’t help but wonder if Lena has thought about it. Being with her. Would the thought of being with Kara raise discomfort and uneasiness in her? Or would she find that she wouldn’t mind - could see something nice in it. 

It’s a little dangerous, entertaining these notions. It doesn’t help the little tightening feeling in Kara’s chest when she thinks if Lena would find being with her as scary, or unpleasant, or too weird. 

She is just her best friend after all. And - and it’s. Yeah. It’s simple. Just that. Why would it be important to know?

So she quickly dismisses the idea as she knows Lena wouldn’t want her like that.

Not that Kara wants Lena like that either.

Obviously.

Kara breathes unsteadily.

When Lena shifts against her a bit, Kara is brought away from her thoughts.

“What are you thinking about?” Lena asks quietly, and Kara feels a cold nose burying itself in her neck. The red lamps are on, dimmed down and it leaves the room dark enough.

Kara wets her lips. “Um. The conversation we had a week ago. At the bridge.” And about what Nia mentioned earlier to her, but she doesn’t mention it.

There’s a silent pause in the air for a few seconds. 

“Yeah?” Lena says, prompts gently for further explanation.

“We’ve already gone through this, I know… but I’m just a little curious.” Their position is too comfortable to break out of, so Kara settles on playing with Lena’s hair, staring at an uninteresting object.

She’s dismissed the idea, but she really, really wants to ask if Lena has thought about her and Kara together. If she’d think they’d work out, or they’d be great together considering how they are with one another, or - or. 

She dismisses the idea again, burns it away.

An uncomfortable feeling lurches in her chest. She isn’t sure she wants to know, now. It disrupts her thought process - Lena’s still waiting for her so patiently, and expectantly, so she asks instead, or more like blurt out: 

“Do you still feel the same?”

It’s a ridiculous question, Kara knows. It hasn’t been longer than a week—of course Lena would feel the same - about not wanting anything serious, or anything beyond sex. She doesn’t want a relationship - she avoids them as much as Kara does. Matters like these don’t change easily.

“Yes,” Lena says slowly, confusion etched in her voice and, well. Understandable. Kara feels her face heat from the silly question. Seconds pass until Kara receives a little nudge. “Is that all? I sense that there’s a little more to it than that. What is it?” She speaks so softly, inquisitive, touched with concern and - Kara really regrets starting this up.

“Do you think it could change sometime... in the future?”

Stubbornly, Kara keeps herself steeled away from the main question she wants to actually ask. She can imagine Nia yelling at her, somewhere far away in her head. There’s nothing wrong with just wanting to know.

The air feels a little tense, but maybe that’s just Kara. Her main question threatens to spill from her mouth each passing second. Lena remains calm and cool against her, and it does nothing to ease her little inner turmoil.

Until Lena licks her neck.

Kara freezes. 

“Did—did you just lick me?” She makes an attempt to move away, to look at Lena in the eye, but Lena is insistent on keeping her face buried in the crook of Kara’s neck, her arm wrapped tightly around Kara’s torso.

“Kara,” Lena says, soft laughter bubbling in her throat and Kara’s - Kara’s so confused, “it’s just - you’re nursing these tensions in your muscles. Why? Relax.”

With that voiced out - Kara realizes that she is, and she loosens her shoulders, regaining composure.

“Oh.” Still. “I can’t believe you just licked me.”

“I like your neck,” Lena murmurs, her nose in the junction of Kara’s shoulder and neck, lips grazing the skin there. “You’re thinking a lot. Hard at it, you know. Isn’t that more of my thing?”

Finally Lena separates away from Kara and tilts her head up, now facing Kara. Their faces are so close. 

Kara flushes.

They’re not exactly at an equal eye-level, with Lena slightly lower. Kara stares into those pretty emerald-green eyes, sees her own reflection there.

“To answer your question—I don’t know. You know that I’m still uninterested, and that I stay away from all that.” They steadily hold each others gaze. “I do think about it sometimes, but it’s not a thought I enjoy entertaining - especially the aspects of being in a committed relationship.”

“I see.” Kara breathes slowly. 

Lena sighs softly. “You know me, how reluctant and repulsed I tend to get by… opening up. Letting people in, deep on an emotional level. New people or not.” She chuckles sardonically, lips pursing lightly in thought.

Lena keeps herself fiercely guarded always. Rightfully so. Kara can see how tired she looks, just by thinking about this. How many times has Lena opened up only to be betrayed, or hurt in the end? She just keeps herself protected.

Everyone has their places within Lena's heart. Carefully curated and selected. Kara feels honored to have this closeness with Lena, likes that Lena no longer holds back with her. Allows herself to be vulnerable. Open.

“But even then,” Lena continues, “I can’t say for sure with certainty that I won’t ever be involved with someone.” She pauses, smiles wryly. “Who knows with life, you know?” 

Her eyes stare deeply into Kara’s, and the unspoken I hadn’t anticipated you is clear from here.

So, what if it’s me? 

Kara keeps her mouth shut tightly, knows that she really needs to stop engaging with these thoughts. Why would that matter? Her or not—it’s the same. She’s not special, or different, when it comes to Lena and her thoughts on being with someone.

It’s just something Kara’s been curious about. Really.

(Kara tells herself this.

She’s just curious, is all.)

Kara hums, runs a hand up and down Lena’s sides. 

It’s quiet for awhile. 

The air in the penthouse is a little chilly, the product of lack of heating at the moment and winter haunting the city. It causes goosebumps to rise on Kara’s skin, but maybe that's just a reaction to being close with Lena. She can never be sure. Not with Lena.

She watches Lena silently, marveling at how pretty she looks up close and how peaceful and relaxed she is. The red lamps, dimmed, cast shadows on her face, softening all sharp edges.

When she meets Lena in the eye again, her heart stutters - Lena’s looking down at her lips. Until Lena looks back up, gaze flitting over Kara’s face before she raises her hand up to Kara’s jaw. 

“Kara,” Lena says, incredibly soft, and Kara leans closer, on an instinct. Lena’s long fingers trails along Kara’s jawline and she shifts - forehead finding Kara’s. She’s dangerously so close that their noses are almost touching.

“Hi,” Kara whispers, hand rubbing small, soothing circles on Lena’s side. “Do you want a bedtime story?”

“Hi,” Lena whispers back, eyes closing as her thumb makes a brush against Kara’s cheekbone. “And, no, I don’t.”

“Wanna look at pictures and videos of sugar gliders together?”

Lena chuckles, shakes her head. “No, maybe next time.”

“Oh. Sleepy now, are you?”

“No,” Lena says. They’re speaking so softly and quietly. Another small shift, and Lena speaks her words against Kara’s lips. “Kiss me. I want you to kiss me, but you’re being kind of dense about it.” She pulls back, putting just enough space to breathe.

Oh. Oh

Kara flushes.

Now, Kara considers herself... a brave person. She's not a coward, but when it comes to stuff like this... she's shy. Extremely so. Especially around people that she doesn't feel strictly platonic for. Namely: Lena.

She inches forward, eyes closing slowly, head tilting as her nose bumps against Lena’s when their lips meet softly. Seconds pass, and continue to pass. Lena follows her mouth when she pulls away, and Kara smiles a little, thumb pushing over Lena’s slack lips.

Lena’s eyes open slowly, as if suddenly her lashes weighs a ton, eyes dreamy when their gazes meet and Kara feels fuzzy. Her finger grazes behind Kara’s ear, and it feels so nice and good that Kara’s leaning in again before she knows it. She grasps for Lena’s chin and kisses her.

They both taste like Lena’s mint toothpaste. It’s soft, their lips molding together. Kara scratches Lena’s scalp through it, peppering soft kisses across her mouth. Kissing the corners of her mouth, her bottom lip, top lip, listening to the shaky breath Lena lets out with every one.

Little stories are exchanged - every now and then, quietly, about their days and what’s been happening around them.

It’s nice. The world around them fades to nothing.

Then there’s a pause. Another kiss. One becomes two. Two becomes three. Three becomes more. It’s innocent. No tongue, no teeth. Just the soft presses of their lips, tiny whispers of breath. 

Suddenly it’s so intimate, Kara wanting to say how happy Lena makes her, how she much she likes how receptive Lena is to her touch, but it’s like her words are stuck glued in her head, no way of coming out - throat dry. And innocent as these gestures are, it registers some bells in Kara’s head. 

It’s too soft, too tender, and deeply intimate in a way that’s completely void of that lust and desperation that is usually laced in their kisses. Instead it’s filled with affection and tenderness—there’s no end goal for it. It makes Kara’s heart beat faster. Kara may not be an expert in relationships, or dating, but with the way they’re holding each other right now—she thinks of the romantic movies she’s seen. She’s watched a lot. Too much for her own good.

Lena is kissing her back with just as much warmth and it’s the kind of kiss that leads to nowhere and everywhere at once.

They’ve never kissed like this before. Is this overstepping?

It feels like boundaries are continually tested from the start

Seeing who cracks first, going one step further each and every time. But what would classify as overstepping one? It feels like another moment of overstepping, but Kara’s always been someone who pushes boundaries.

Kara’s good at knowing when it’s okay to. Not always, sometimes she makes mistakes, but she knows when it’s okay to push with Lena.

One kiss melts into another, and another, until a minute later Kara pulls back—a little breathless. She isn’t sure what to think anymore—about this and them, and if she should even think about it at all.

No - it’s fine. 

When it gets confusing, she can always rope herself back into thinking it doesn’t mean anything.

This doesn’t mean anything—whatever they do never does.

(Even if it feels like it does, right now.)

It feels like they should talk. They need to talk about this. But Kara feels a lot, allows herself to be engulfed by it and encourages this. She knows she shouldn’t, but she can’t find it in her to break the moment. 

So she asks, whispers instead, “Are you okay?”

Kara strokes Lena’s hair, pushing the loose strands behind her ears. Her hair feels so soft and silky beneath Kara’s fingertips. Lena’s lips part, tongue flicking over her bottom lip before she nods her head. 

“Yes.”

Lena’s face has gotten noticeably rosy and there’s so much trust in her eyes, a tender edge that softens even more than Kara thought possible. It fills Kara’s heart staggeringly so, it could burst.

Unable to help herself, she leans forward again, mouths pressing and sliding against one another—lazy and languid—the best kind. Kara slips a hand underneath Lena’s shirt, her fingers trailing upward Lena’s back, mapping the soft of Lena’s skin. Lena’s hand inevitably tangle in Kara’s hair, angling her face for more.

This is nothing. This means nothing, but these innocent gestures, touches, and something about this moment—it’s too loving, and sweet, and nice - Kara thinks she’d like to drown in it forever. 

And the realization makes her feel dizzy, slight panic settling in her chest. Stop encouraging it. They should move away from it.

(Kara needs it to.)

It remains innocent until Kara nips at Lena’s bottom lip, and Lena sighs into her mouth—breathless and insatiable. Lena opens her mouth and lets Kara kiss her deeper, Kara’s tongue sliding into her mouth like it’s a familiar place. 

Lena lets out a stifled, breathy moan against her mouth when Kara shifts so that she’s above Lena, propped up on her elbows.

“Rao,” Kara says. Her lips shine, slick from kissing. They pause for a moment to catch their breath. 

Lena’s eyes are dark, pupils blown out. She watches Kara and there’s something else there that Kara can’t pinpoint. It’s gone before she has time to interpret it. 

“Hey,” Kara says, cupping Lena’s cheek, touch tender. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” Lena exhales a shaky breath. “I’m okay.”

Kara bites her lip, studies Lena close before nodding. She lowers herself, lazily mouths at Lena’s jaw and presses Lena against the mattress, feeling hardened nipples against her own. Lena’s breath hitches then, and an arm wraps around Kara’s torso, hand grabbing a fistful of her shirt.

“Fuck,” Lena breathes, and Kara’s tongue trails over her neck wetly, nipping and sucking and kissing skin. Lena tips her head up, exposing the full column of her neck and Kara mouths another kiss at the base of Lena’s throat.

It’s way, way too late to go back to the innocent touches and safe grounding. They can’t—not when Lena looks every bit of strung out as she sounds. Kara knows she’s all to blame, and a part of her felt that they needed to move away from thatIt was too much— it doesn’t mean anything, she chants in her head—and now that they've reached this, Kara’s all too eager to please Lena.

She always is.

“Lena,” Kara whispers, her lips tracing along Lena’s collarbone. “Wanna make you feel good,” she says. Her hand slips underneath Lena's sweater, fingers trailing upward on skin. “Can I make you feel good?”

“You don’t have to do much to make me feel good,” Lena informs quietly, a little weakly, and Kara feels her shiver against her. Kara's hand trails up and up underneath Lena's shirt until her hand palms one breast. She squeezes firmly once, and a soft moan leaves Lena's lips. She squeezes and releases again and again, liking how Lena fits perfectly into her hand. Then her thumb brushes, tugs at Lena's nipple, and Lena's eyes slam shut.

“I want to,” Kara says. She edges a thigh between Lena’s legs, and Lena gasps sharply when she gently pushes against there. The hand in Kara's shirt twists tighter and Lena raises her hips, wanting more. She wants more. Kara is always willing to give her more and more. She helps Lena out her shorts and knickers beneath the duvet, and bends down, peppering kisses just under Lena’s jaw.

“Kara,” Lena mutters, voice low and breathy and gorgeous, “I want…”

“What is it? Tell me what you want.” A hand circles around Lena’s thigh, and Kara waits patiently, wanting Lena to voice out what she wants.

“You—I need, I need you right now. Touch me, please.”

Lena’s soaking wet already, when Kara lightly drags two fingers through Lena’s slick heat up to rub at her clit. Kara starts working her up with deep, firm strokes, and Lena’s jaw clenches tight at it, small sighs escaping from her throat as she holds Kara close.

Kara likes the little noises Lena lets out, hushed and affected. She keeps it up, gradually speeding her pace as she kisses, licks at Lena’s neck, her collarbone—mindful of not leaving a lasting mark despite the overwhelming need to deep in herself. 

Rao, she wants to, so bad.

It’s not long before Lena’s hips are canting up into her, breathing coming up fast, face tightening. She’s so close.

Kara slows her fingers then, easing into strokes that are too light and not enough, which causes Lena to make a strangled sound below her.

“God—Kara,” Lena whines, her name coming out breathy and needy. “Why...

“Lena,” Kara murmurs, placing a kiss on the corner of Lena’s mouth. “Not yet, okay? Be patient with me. I’ve got you.” 

Lena nods her head wordlessly, remaining completely pliant and eager underneath Kara, her cheeks blazing and chest heaving. 

Kara swallows. Something in her just likes to see Lena desperate, teetering dangerously on the edges before being pushed over the edge. Sliding her fingers downwards, she strokes Lena’s entrance slowly, skating slick heat over it.

“You’re being,” Kara breathes, her lips just an inch away from Lena's own, “so good for me, Lena. Want my fingers?”

“Yes,” Lena chokes out. “Yes, yes, yes… want your fingers. Please.”

Her middle finger easily slips in. Kara swallows Lena’s muffled moan when she latches her mouth onto hers, and plunges a second finger seconds later, keeping her palm moving against Lena’s swollen clit. Lena’s warmth welcomes her eagerly, clutching down around her fingers as Kara curls them. She gives Lena a moment to get used to the sensation.

When Lena settles, Kara starts driving into Lena, pumping deeper and harder as Lena rolls her hips to meet her thrusts.

“You can take another finger, yeah,” Kara says against Lena’s mouth, and Lena nods twice fervently. She adds the third one slowly, and Lena gasps at the stretch. The hands that grasps at Kara’s back and shoulder become nails raking streaks of fire across her tightened muscles. 

Kara suppresses a groan at her own arousal building, watching Lena wither below her, the breathy, uninhibited sounds Lena’s making, the sensation of her inner walls tightening against Kara’s fingers - so hot and slick and tight.

“Good girl,” Kara murmurs, and she feels Lena soften against her at the gentle praise. The noise Lena makes at that has Kara feeling like she owns the goddamn world. “Always so good at taking it,” she whispers against her neck. “You’re beautiful.”

Lena cups her jaw then, and pulls her face up, wanting her mouth on Kara’s. Kara complies, and the kiss quickly turns hot and messy, open-mouthed - Lena’s breath coming fast against Kara’s lips and Kara swallows every exhale, every whimper, as her fingers thrusts deeper and faster and harder into Lena.

Their breath mixes as Kara whispers to her, “You're getting close, aren't you?”

Lena stammers out in a pleasure-soaked tone, “So close, yes―fuck, Kara. Please, please.”

Kara knows. She always knows. There's something distinct about the hitch in Lena’s breath, the pitch of her moan, the twist of her face, the bite of her bottom lip that tells to Kara clearly that Lena’s almost at her limit.

And Lena comes quietly, jaw slacking. 

Kara waits a minute for her to come down, before she gently, slowly disengages her fingers from Lena. She grins at Lena’s messy hair, her heavy-lidded eyes, blown pupils, her flushed, sweaty skin. Lena looks fucked out, gone.

She likes being able to have this effect on Lena way, way too much.

“Let me—”

“No,” Kara shakes her head, wipes her hand on the sheets before sliding next to Lena. “It’s okay. There’s no need, just go to sleep. Just wanted to do that for you.” 

Arousal circles through her system, but it’s fine. Kara could finish it herself, but she doesn’t honestly mind not doing anything about it. Pleasuring herself wasn't the intent. She just wanted to make Lena feel nice. Really. 

(Even if she panicked a little before.)

And Lena looks like she could fall asleep any minute, with how dazed she looks, slowly blinking at Kara. Her lips purse as if she’s thinking about disagreeing.

“Okay,” Lena acquiesces, brows furrowing. She wipes a sweat. “I owe you, then. I’ll get back to you next time.”

Trust Lena to make anything sound like a business transaction. Kara almost laughs. She nips at her lower lip.

“You owe me nothing.”

Lena shakes her head, tugs Kara by her shirt when Kara makes a movement in the bed. The tug is slow, and her fist stays drawn in the shirt, almost shy in a way, as if—as if she’s afraid Kara’s going to get up and leave.

(As if Lena prefers Kara to stay always, and that’s —

That’s impossible.)

Lena just wants to be held close. Lena’s soft and touchy like that with her. It draws a gentle chuckle out of Kara, lips curling into a small smile.

“Goodnight, Lena,” she whispers, placing a kiss on Lena’s forehead before she can even think to want to.

It’s no good, Kara thinks.

Lena murmurs a soft goodnight, Kara back against her neck, nuzzling closer. Minutes pass. It isn’t long before Lena drifts away, her breathing evening out—a sign that she’s fallen asleep.

Kara takes a quiet, shuddering breath. 

It’s no good.

Kara could get used to this, she figures. It isn’t the first time she’s thought about it. She’s thought about it a few times already. She feels like she could, so easily, willingly—if she’d allow it. It’s an alarming thought, one she knows she shouldn’t play with.

If Kara had more self-restraint, she reckons things would be different. 

But it’s Lena. It’s difficult not to be like this with her.

She thinks if she had this sort of thing with anyone else, she wouldn’t be doing half the things she’s doing with Lena with them. She thinks so. Knows so. Like staying the night and waking up with them, or placing a damn personal toothbrush in their bathroom. Or doing grocery shopping with them, buying too much damn chamomile tea boxes and matcha solely for their own benefit, or kissing them goodnight, tucked in her arms safely.

Either way, the reason still stands. 

It’s Lena.

There’s a sudden itch in her chest, however.

It scares Kara how easily she could get used to this, with Lena.

She can’t get used to this. 

She can’t get used to this, even if it feels like she can - even if she knows it would be easy to.

Kara bites at the inside of her cheek and inhales deeply.

 

Chapter Text

It feels like they’re dating.

Kara should—she should do something about that. 

Kara does not do something about it. In fact, by all accounts, she makes it worse.

Currently her arm is pressed against Lena's as she sips on some alcoholic beverage Winn bought for her. The whole group is gathered in the corner at a table, with Winn getting more drinks for everyone and Alex groaning about having to pay for everyone. Lena is beside her, leaning very much against her shoulder, the physical contact and her perfume making Kara feel a little lightheaded.

“It’s fine, Alex,” Lena says, dimples forming on her cheek. “It’s on me. I’ll pay for everyone.”

“Holy shit, Luthor,” Alex huffs, leaning back on her seat. A wide grin spreads across her face. “All right, you said it. No take-backs.”

“Yeah,” Lena shrugs. “Order whatever you like.”

Alex nods in approval, smirk widening and sends Kara a brief glance.

Kara rolls her eyes. This isn’t the first time Lena’s offered to pay for everything every time they’d go out for drinks and food. But she doesn’t say anything to stop it, because her best friend is a fucking billionaire. In the earlier days, though, Kara would always have something to say, with her cheeks burning and ranting on and on about Lena being used, and Lena paying things for her.

She feels a hand land on her thigh under the table, and a small and gentle squeeze follows after it. Lena’s. Kara continues to sip her drink, looking straight ahead.

“Hey, guys!” Winn comes back carrying drinks. “Brainy—chill on the drinks, bud. We still need to do our pool rounds!”

Nia laughs, huddles closer to Brainy and Brainy frowns, eyeing at his almost empty glass. Winn hands shot-filled glasses to everyone except Kara and Nia and Brainy, and gives them something else instead, something that's obviously not for human consumption.

“What is this?” Alex lifts her glass to identify the alcohol. “Oh, shit, Winn. Jaeger?”

“Nice. German’s finest,” Kelly approves with a smile. 

Winn grins. “Hell yeah. I also got us some Red Bull cans, if you guys wanted it along with the shots.”

Kara looks down at her own drink, sees a pretty blue liquid swirling ominously in her glass. Does she have complete and utter trust and faith in Winn getting her drinks? Rao, no. Will she drink anyway? Yes.

On the count of three they all take their shots, and empty glasses collectively slam down on the table. Kara’s eyes water as the alcohol burns down her gullet. The taste is so foul it makes her grimace and she looks at her empty glass with a sour face before snapping her head back up. Nia beats her to asking about the drink.

“Winn, what the hell,” Nia says, face twisting entirely as she’s just chugged down her chaser. Her cheeks faintly reddens. “What was in our drinks? What did you get us?”

Winn puts a finger up, face in thought. “I forgot the name. But it’s okay!” he says quickly. “M’gann’s friend served me and told me what would really fire up ya insides. I can get you guys more.”

“Wow,” Kara says. “Thank you for that, Winn. I’m not really looking to get that fired up tonight. I have work early tomorrow.” 

Winn pouts, shaking his head. “No fun. Well, I am, and besides. Free drinks!” He grins at Lena with a thumbs up, and Kara lets out a small sigh, shaking her head at her friend. Winn is a terrible drunk. The kind that underestimates their limit and ends up getting hammered too fast. He also sulks - a lot. She can already see it happening.

“You know, Winn,” Lena says, leaning forward a bit. “Don’t be obvious. There’s a guy that’s been eyeing at you for the past ten minutes, just right over that pool table over there, near the restroom.”

Winn being Winn, gasps and turns his head sharply to the direction of the pool tables. The guy by the table quickly looks away and places his pool stick in front of him as if to hide. Kara breaks into laughter and Lena winces with a smile.

“Wow, hopeless. So subtle,” Alex quips easily. “Seriously, Winn. How do you live like this?”

“Oh my god,” Winn says, eyes wide. “Was he checking me out? Guys. He’s, wow—he’s cute, do you think he’s going to make a move?”

“I don’t know, Winn. If he doesn't, will you?” Lena inputs, smirking before she makes a brief eye contact with Kara. Her hand hasn’t left Kara’s thigh. 

Kara takes another sip of her cocktail and thinks and thinks. Rao. It feels like they’re dating and she absolutely has no sense of self-preservation. It feels like they’re dating and she’s encouraging it all—the touching and little exchanges of private looks. It isn’t helping Kara that Lena doesn’t seem to mind—in fact she seems into it and she’s been so nonchalant about everything so far and it leaves Kara with many thoughts to herself.

Her mind wanders, indulging herself with the thoughts of the possibility of these little moments she shares with Lena meaning more than it should. It’s frightening, and ridiculous, and awfully dangerous, but Kara can’t help it.

Half an hour passes by and shortly after a while more, music is turned up in the room loudly, rousing people all-around. People whistle and toast to each other, faces lightening up and many get up to either dance or order more drinks.

Kara’s limbs feel loose and she grins easily at the banter being fired back and forth amongst her friends. She’s nowhere near tipsy at all, but she’s feeling that buzz in her system. Her mouth feels numb. Goodness, that one shot glass really did a number on her. 

Lena hasn’t left Kara’s side, and Rao help Kara. Kara keeps finding excuses to touch her—a hand at the small of Lena’s back each time she laughs, sides pressed against each other when she's quiet and listening to their friends banter. If their friends notice they don’t make a comment about it, although Kara catches Alex and Winn eyeing at each other with subtle, communicative looks before looking at them every now and then.

Music continues to resound throughout the room, the drunk weekend crowd dancing on the other side of the room making louder noises. Alex and Winn leave to set up their pool table, while Kelly excuses herself to the restroom. Soon it’s only Kara and Lena left alone together in their table, when Nia and Brainy leaves to set up another table.

Kara eyes at the dance floor, then the bar. She bumps her shoulder with Lena’s.

“Dance with me?” she sends Lena a charming smile, tilting her head a little for extra effect. This isn’t making things worse, Kara tells herself. This is dancing. It’s just dancing.

There are a number of empty glasses in front of Lena, but Lena still looks fine. Normal, sober. Kara can’t really tell for sure, though.

Lena watches her, lips thinning. Kara counts to four seconds.

“Okay.”

A grin lights up in Kara’s face and she takes Lena by the hand, guiding her towards the dance floor. They find a corner and Kara turns to face Lena, smiling. This isn’t making things worse. It’s not, and her heart flips at it anyway, as she pulls Lena with her through the mass of people.

The crowd around them is thick and dark, and Kara finds that she likes it like that. Lena still looks hesitant and her eyes doesn’t leave Kara's.

Kara smiles at her encouragingly and guides Lena’s arms, draping them around her shoulders. She places her palms on Lena’s hips, and when she flashes another grin at Lena, Lena smiles back. 

Lena could use more loosening up and fun. Kara’s very good at loosening up and fun.

“You know I’m terrible at this,” Lena comments, her lips intentionally brushing against Kara’s ear.

“No, you’re not,” Kara laughs, and eliminates the little space between them, bringing their bodies flush against each other. “Don’t even try. You just want an out because you’re afraid to dance in front of people.”

They easily find their own rhythm—a little slower than the beat of the music, already entranced in their bubble, undivided attention for the other.

“Dragged me all the way out here so you could touch me more, did you?” Lena’s mouth tilts into a smirk. “Or have me all to yourself privately.”

Kara swallows, wets her lips. The sound of a cue ball rolling down into a pocket sharply reaches her enhanced hearing and Nia shouts an oh yeah! I’m carrying this hopeless team. Kara shoots a glance at the pool table area, sees that their friends have already started without them.

“Maybe I did,” Kara says. This isn't making things worse, she reiterates in her head.

Kara Danvers. I like that you did,” Lena says, her mouth curling into a flirtatious smirk. Times like these, Kara wonders what’s going in Lena’s mind—when she’s being flirty, and genuine, and regarding Kara with that special kind of look no one else gets from Lena Luthor.

It’s no good. 

Kara doesn’t know how to act, what to do. The truth is, she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Lena ever since five nights ago. 

Lena closes her eyes, her face slightly tipping up towards the ceiling. Her neck glistens with sweat under the lights. Kara holds back the need to lean forward, tracing her nose over it, kissing it.

Lena is devastating. But Kara’s had five years to get used to Lena’s face, four months to feel familiar with her body. Sometimes Kara thinks she’s learned all there is to know about Lena, and then Lena does something or says something or maybe looks at Kara in a particular way and Kara’s left reeling all over again. 

It’s just Lena.

But there’s no “just” about Lena. 

She can study Lena all she wants, her body, learn every little scar and memorize the ways in which her muscles shift and flex beneath her skin, but there’s no way to do that with her heart.

Kara isn’t sure what the fuck she’s doing with Lena. She doesn't like thinking about it. Finds herself spiraling every time. The thing about them is that they’re an almost. Kara can feel it with painstaking clarity every time she looks at Lena. 

She takes a deep, shaky breath.

The dim lights surround them, and it’s darker in this corner that Kara feels daring.

Lena’s eyes are dark and heavy when she meets them once again. Kara’s hands start to wander, sliding over the crest of Lena’s ass. They’ve never danced like this before, edging into something dirty, sexy. Lena shifts her face into Kara’s neck and presses her hand to Kara’s spine. Kara nudges a thigh between Lena’s, and Lena’s breath hitches, hot against Kara’s cheek, before lips move onto her jaw, and down her neck.

“This is nice,” Kara says. It slips and she flushes, biting her tongue.

“Yeah?” Lena murmurs against Kara's neck, and her right hand slides around Kara's head and under her hair, tugging at the short hairs and wispy tendrils at the nape of Kara's neck. The smell of alcohol reaches Kara’s nose and she wonders what jaeger amongst other cocktail tastes like. “Nice, very nice, but I want more.”

Kara doesn’t know how to respond, which isn’t bad since Lena doesn’t want words. Not at this moment. Lena nips, and sucks at her pulse point and it sends Kara’s knees buckling slightly and Lena smirks into her skin. In response, Kara’s hands lowers down, grasping and pushes her thigh more firmly against Lena’s. Over the loud crowd, she hears the soft murmur of her name leaving Lena’s lips.

The dim lights dances on Lena’s features, softening her sharp edges. Her fingers are still in Kara’s hair. They're so close, their breaths mingling. The world around them goes out of focus for a fleeting moment and all that Kara sees are the sparks in Lena’s eyes. Their mouths hover close but not quite touching, as they grind against each other, song after song.

Lena’s hand slides up the side of Kara’s jaw, and Kara’s head is turning, and then their mouths are pressed together and Kara completely short circuits.

For a short, confused moment she thinks it's a mistake—a wonderful, great mistake—but Lena’s fingers press gently into the space beneath Kara’s ear and her lips are moving, and Kara can taste the jaeger because she opens her mouth and there it is, just one more overwhelming thing. 

There's a small, desperate sound and Kara thinks it was herself before she realizes it was Lena, small and desperate. The kiss is wet, desperate and hot, like Lena wants to devour her. Kara levels with her, licks the roof of Lena’s mouth and feels Lena melt against her body.

Kara knows they should stop, knows that the butterflies in the low of her belly aren’t innocent as their tongues roll over one another. She knows the groan in her chest won’t stay put for long if Lena keeps nibbling at her bottom lip and exhaling into her mouth.

She pulls away, takes a shaky breath and looks at Lena.

Lena’s lips are spit-slicked, kissed-red.

A desire to ruin her even more births itself inside Kara’s mind as her eyes flits over Lena's face. Rao. They could leave right now. They could leave right now if they both wanted to.

Lena watches her closely just as much and breaks into a soft, giggly chuckle that very much sounds like a tipsy-drunk kind of laugh.

“We could leave if you want,” Lena says, her voice dropped into a husky register, one that has a flush spreading to Kara’s cheeks and the tips of her ears. Lena distances herself a bit but she remains close as her fingers dance on the exposed skin of Kara’s neck.

It's a suggestion, a proposal. Lena stands in front of her, their entire group of friends hidden behind her back. Not that Kara cares about it right now. Her mind is full of different ideas that are all a variation of the same theme – Lena’s hands on her and no clothes separating them. She wants to feel Lena’s skin against her own, flush and hot. Have Lena all to her own.

“Do you want to?”

“Yes. But only if you want to, darling,” Lena replies. The nickname makes Kara’s head reel and her heart swells devastatingly, clenching and thudding as it does. Lena leans in a little, her fingers abandoning Kara’s neck to fit themselves between Kara’s hand, their palms sliding together.

“Oh, um,” she stumbles over her words, forgetting her thoughts. It's confusing, the blurred lines and deceiving thoughts and smiles and a million of what-ifs wrapped in something that could be beautiful if she lets it happen. 

Something hits her then, like a train, hard enough that she feels like her ribs are caving in from the force, heart crushed by the weight of it all. She’s not sure what sets it off – Lena’s fingers intertwining with hers, the knowledge that Lena only does this with her, or what – but it’s suddenly a lot to bear. 

Lena is waiting, and Kara doesn’t want to disappoint. Right now, Kara only knows that she wants, and wants anything that is with Lena right now.

They’ve stayed here long enough. It wouldn’t be rude to leave now.

Lena tilts her head, smirk turning into a soft smile when the silence from Kara has much prolonged. Kara squeezes her hand in reassurance, a silent answer to all of Lena’s questions.

“Okay,” she says.

They separate then, and Lena heads over to the bartender to pay for everything tonight.

Kara worms her way over to the pool tables and only sees Alex, Kelly, and Brainy. Brainy tells her that Nia and Winn are outside. When she tells Alex that she’ll be leaving early, she’s met with a pointed eyebrow look and a very smug smirk.

“Bye, sis.” Alex’s smug smirk widens.

Figures.

 

-

 

Kara finds Nia and Winn sitting on the grimy curb outside the bar. Nia’s rubbing soothing circles on Winn’s back as Winn has a hand in his hair, looking like he’s about to vomit. Kara chuckles at the sight.

“Where’s your other half?”

“With our friends.” Kara sits down on the curb next to Nia. Lena is still inside, paying for the tab and chatting with the rest of their friends.

“Hi,” Nia says, and winces when Winn groans, his face turned to the concrete. She looks at Kara. “You good? You’re not gonna puke too, are you?”

“No.”

“Great.”

“Damn, maybe I went too hard,” Winn says. He sighs and with heavy effort, turns to face Kara. He makes a small, considering noise. “You and Lena, huh?”

“Rao,” Kara sighs. “Who even knows.”

“Definitely everyone, after tonight.”

Kara rubs her neck gingerly. The street is dark and the sidewalk is tinted yellow from the streetlights, and the buildings around them are all closed for the night, except the ones lit up from inside by neon signs. Another club, a dive bar, a greasy-looking restaurant that must cater exclusively to the people who stagger out of clubs at one a.m., hungry and very drunk.

“So, are you and Lena actually—”

“No,” Kara quickly says. “We’re—we’re not anything. Really.” 

It’s not like she was trying to be subtle tonight, or was trying to hide whatever it is she has with Lena. Well—she was, a little bit back then when she wanted to avoid explaining things.

Now she finds that it doesn't really matter. 

They aren’t anything. That's one of the easiest way to put it, and what's there to hide?

She looks down at the ground, wringing her hands together tightly.

“Yikes, that’s weird,” Winn snorts, a heavy slur in his words. He receives a slap on the shoulder from Nia. “Ow, Nia! Oh shit—I can feel bile rising up again.”

“Quiet. Focus on yourself,” Nia rolls her eyes. She hands him a new bottle of water before turning back to Kara. “Are you going to leave soon?”

“Yeah, I was just wanting to say bye to you guys first. I’m leaving with Lena.”

“I figured.”

Kara shrugs. She looks at Winn. Winn’s palming his eyes, his hair looks like a mess and his sleeves looks... stained.

“It’s okay, we’ve all got him,” Nia says. “Alex and Kelly are gonna drive him home. I got Brainy.”

“Right, okay,” Kara says, scratches the side of her head. “Cute pool boy got to witness the puking, I’m guessing?”

Winn groans louder and Kara laughs.

“All right, I’m gonna go now.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Nia says. “Have fun banging Lena. Or, you know, the other way round.”

Oh how the little one runs her mouth. Before Kara thinks about letting out a retort, Lena appears behind her.

“Nia, Winn,” Lena greets, and her face contorts into a grimace at the sight. “Ah… is Winn okay? Alex and Kelly are playing their last rounds, they’re going to leave after that.”

“Managing,” Nia says. Winn doesn’t even look like he’s aware that Lena’s here—he still has his hands in his hair, uttering small noises as he rubs on his forehead. “Thanks for tonight, Lena.”

Kara gets on her feet and Lena walks closer, grinning at Nia with a nod to her head. “It was nice to see everyone in one place again.”

Nia nods, smiling warmly at them both. They bid each other good byes before Nia stands up with Winn, seeming as if they’re going to head back inside now.

A foggy puff of breath blows in the air beside Kara and she turns to see the source. She doesn’t realise she’s staring until Lena takes a step towards her, her hand reaching out for Kara’s.

They’re standing so close to each other that the tips of their shoes are almost touching. 

Lena breaks into a small smile, and just the simple action causes a pull at Kara’s heartstrings, her heart feeling full as it beats fast.

“Hey.”

Kara doesn’t say anything. Looks at Lena, eyes calm.

“You okay?” Lena asks, voice so soft and quiet and warm—in the way they speak to each other when it's just them, alone, together with no one else present.

“I’m—”

Kara doesn’t know what she wants to say.

“Yeah.” She tries, shakes her head as soon as it leaves her lips.

Not the right word. Lena’s lips part, her face softening and eyebrows furrowing. Before Lena can voice her concern, Kara presses closer and places a hand on Lena’s shoulder, her thumb brushing the side of Lena’s neck. She leans in, dragging Lena gently into an unhurried, slow kiss that leaves Lena swaying forward when they part a minute later.

“Oh, are we for real,” Nia sputters behind Kara with a hand on her forehead, and she’s at a considerable distance away from them. Winn whistles out loud beside Nia with a goofy face, bringing forth one loud clap.

Kara turns her head to see that their two friends are back.

“Wow, wow!” Winn giggles like a true drunk, eyes blinking wide and slow. “Seeing my two friends make out at a grimy curb—you two—I—did I accidentally jump into an alternate universe? That was hot. But get a room!” he shouts, snickering with his dreamy, unfocused look. “Oh, ouch my throat. Damn, I love the gays. Fuck yeah!”

Winn tips as he stands and Nia gets a hold of him quick enough. She groans, mumbles what’s taking Brainy so long under her breath.

“Rao,” Kara whispers and turns back to face Lena, her cheeks deeply blushing. Lena just simply laughs and takes Kara’s hand into her own.

“Mm, Winn’s right.” Lena quietly hums, watching Kara with a growing, sly smirk on her lips. She gives Kara’s hand a squeeze, while her other hand skims along Kara’s collar, her fingertips brushing over the exposed skin of Kara’s neck. “Yours or mine?”

“My apartment’s thirty minutes away. Yours is ten,” Kara says, squeezes Lena’s hand back. Though she didn't drink as much as the others, she is warm and buzzing from the alcohol, and the idea of flying right now doesn't sound nice. It's already late, but the night is not over and Kara wants to chase the rest of it away by breezing through the city, adrenaline high in her body. “I know you drank a considerable amount tonight. Think you’re sober enough to leg it?”

Lena grins.

 

-

 

They stumble through bustling streets and dark alleyways, not quite running, but being foolish nonetheless. Flickering lights on the street lights and pulsating neon lights from the city buildings follow them, as they carve a path outside in the late hours of the night. The city, traffic, and people who are nothing but familiar strangers carries them forward, through the maze of streets until they reach Lena’s block.

Lena pulls Kara back in her embrace, her eyes glistening with something. Her laugh is soft and bubbly, sending warmth in Kara’s body from her fingertips to the very core of her being and Kara wants to hear more of it, drink it up like it's the finest wine.

“We’re almost home,” Lena murmurs against Kara’s lips, the word home resonating in the space between them. The word home washes over Kara with a certain glow of giddiness and an ache in her chest, and she quickly forces it down as she reciprocates Lena’s touches.

Kara’s kisses are light, more teasing than heated, and she only intends for it to be that way until Lena’s mouth opens under her own, tongue gliding along Kara’s bottom lip before dipping inside. Soon she finds herself pushed back against a brick wall, at an alleyway, with Lena almost in her lap, her fingers winding in her hair.

“Lena,” Kara sighs into Lena’s mouth, wraps an arm around Lena’s back and pulls her closer, bodies flushed against each other. She likes the feel of Lena’s slender figure when she hugs her, her lovely soothing, smooth voice, her surprisingly sharp tongue. “Lena.”

She’s sweet, she’s poisonous, trying to kill Kara with each lick over the roof of her mouth. Lena smiles against her mouth and pulls her head back seconds later—only slightly that their faces are still close.

“This seems familiar,” Lena comments, her eyes focused heavily on Kara’s lips as her fingers trace along Kara’s jawline. They’re at an unknown dark and dirty alleyway once again—it’s familiar all right.

“Careful, I could really take you right here, right now if you keep at this,” Kara murmurs seriously. 

“Wow, blame a girl,” Lena says, her voice low and sweet. She leans in again, mouthing down Kara's neck hot and wetly, nipping on her skin. Kara moans and tilts her head to give Lena a better angle, shivering at the feeling of wet heat on her skin. “You’ve been handsy all night. You don’t mind our friends knowing?”

Knowing what? That they’re… fucking? They’re a something? There isn't much to say. Or anything worth knowing about.

Kara flushes and bites her bottom lip.

“Blame a girl,” Kara only says, because she isn’t sure what to say. When she looks down she wonders when the first two buttons of her shirt got undone. “You’re so pretty. I just like hugging you.”

Lena pauses, slightly tilts her head. “Those two seem like a separate matter, darling.” Her body vibrates with a chuckle, the sound easily filling Kara’s heart. “And I’m quite certain it wasn’t just hugging you did today.”

“I just think about you a lot,” Kara says, and a low moan escapes from her mouth when Lena sucks at her skin. “You’re always pretty distracting.”

Lena moves her head back and Kara sees a smirk on her face. “Think of me a lot, do you?”

Emerald-green eyes watch her closely and Kara wonders why there’s suddenly a lot of talking and less moving and touching.

“Sure.”

“Do you think of me when you do it, Kara?”

A beat of silence. “Lena.”

“No shame, I’m just curious,” Lena says. Despite the darkness surrounding them, Kara can see how focused Lena’s gaze is, her pupils blown wide, and how all that intensity is focused directly on Kara. It makes it kind of hard to concentrate—to do anything, really, except pull Lena closer again. 

Kara wets her lips with her tongue and tries to speak. “Sure. I—I do.”

“Mm,” Lena nods, her dimples popping out. “Are you really my friend if you haven’t masturbated to me,” she teases with a flirtatious, downright attractive grin that makes Kara blush furiously, her body shuddering with arousal at the huskiness of her voice. 

Rao, why is Lena like this? Kara expels a shaky breath as Lena simply smirks at her. This is her best friend, this is how she is, and when Kara has a buzzed up Lena in her arms, it’s twice worse. Is Kara supposed to survive this night? It’s not the most explicit thing Lena’s ever said to her but it still makes Kara’s ears burn. 

Fortunately, she’s learned that the most effective way of silencing Lena is to lean forward, kissing her breathless. So she does just that, kissing Lena deep and slow, tongue sliding against Lena’s hotly and languidly that has them both breathing thickly after a few heated minutes.

Then, Lena breaks easily from her grip and leads them down yet another alley, past walls decorated with graffiti, cats wandering about near the trash bins and locked doors. They pass through street after street, with light and darkness taking turns in washing over them as flickering neon lights cast upon their heads. Lena’s dark hair glows, like a false halo, and Kara can’t keep her eyes off the woman in front of her who looks ethereal even under the crappy lights.

They slip inside Lena’s building with their intertwined hands, and the lobby they stumble upon is devoid of activity. The elevator opens and Lena gestures for Kara’s hand to the biometric scanner to take them up to Lena’s floor. 

Hand placed onto the scanner, Lena takes her by surprise and hugs her from behind, arms coming to rest around her waist. She strokes at Kara’s hip with her fingertips, sneaking her way underneath Kara’s shirt to place her palm over Kara’s abdomen and feels her up. Kara’s breath hitches when Lena’s hand travels further up, causing her hand to twitch and almost pressing a random floor number.

Lena chuckles low in her throat, pressing a hot open-mouthed kiss to the side of Kara’s throat. Kara moans at it, feels Lena’s lips twisting into a knowing smirk.

“You’re not fair.” Her voice comes out thin, more a gasp than anything else. 

“All is fair in love and war,” Lena says.

Kara pauses. Feels her chest constrict at the phrase. She wants to comment on that—to note that what they share isn’t exactly love but an imitation of it. No, Lena loves her in every way that matters, but not—not in the way Kara imagines Lena could —

Instead, when the elevator door opens, she lifts Lena up and Lena instantly adapts, her legs wrapping around Kara’s waist. Out of the cubicle, Lena’s back hits against a wall and Kara takes her in roughly, dragging her lips, her tongue and teeth against pale, unblemished skin.

“Kara,” Lena’s moan comes out high-pitched and breathy, and she crumples against Kara, draping her arms over Kara’s shoulders, her hand fistful of blonde hair. Her eyes are squeezed shut, eyebrows drawn up and sweet cherry lips open in a pretty ‘o’. She’s the very image of sensuality, and Kara is hooked on it.

“You're so damn perfect,” Kara babbles before she can stop herself. “So perfect and good, Rao.”

“Kara...” The back of Lena's head makes a thud against the wall when Kara grinds against her hard, and a hot smirk plays on Lena's lips as she breathes audibly, face up. “Loosen up my buttons, babe.”

Her words have Kara's heart doing cartwheels inside her chest and Kara flushes deeply, ignores, ignores, ignores, the pet name. Her hand slides to the small of Lena's back, uses her other hand to unbutton Lena's shirt one by one as she tucks her face in Lena's neck, attaching her mouth on pale skin.

Coats are hastily removed and dropped to the floor as the room fills up with panting and moans.

What they share isn’t love, but an imitation of it. This plays in Kara’s head and she ignores, ignores, ignores as her heart beats fast, her thoughts scattered and her brain filled with Lena, Lena, Lena.

Effortlessly, she easily carries Lena all the way to the bed and settles her gently onto the mattress. Hovering above Lena with her knees pressed on the sheets, she grabs at the hem of her shirt and watches how Lena’s eyes darken further, and bites her bottom lip in anticipation at the exposure of skin and abs. Kara pulls off the clothing over her head, chucking it behind her.

She settles down over Lena’s body again and laves hot, wet kisses and bites along down the column of Lena’s neck.

“Fuck, Kara…” Lena utters so quietly, voice breathy and hot. She lets out a guttural, drawn-out moan as Kara sinks her teeth into the soft skin of Lena’s neck and presses Lena hard into the mat as she does.

Sliding her palm against Lena’s, she directs their hands just above Lena’s head and she comes back up, dragging her lips from Lena’s collarbone, up to her neck, jaw, and takes her mouth wetly. Her other hand slips under the hem of Lena’s shirt, sliding up Lena’s ribs to cover her breast, warm palm kneading, rolling the hardened nipple.

Kissing Lena always feels rushed and unrushed at the same time, but still rushed nonetheless—urgent like the world is crumbling under Kara’s feet. Here one moment, gone the next. It comes with a tinge of desperation and the possibility of it being the last time because they aren't in a relationship. 

She isn't Lena's, and Lena isn't hers. They aren’t exclusive to one another. 

No matter how much Lena is pliant under her hands, she's not the one Lena can call hers even though—even though Kara wants —

It’s not until later when Kara opens her eyes once again that she realizes. She realizes hazily that there are tears in her lashes, making things crystalline and blurry, but not overly. 

She blinks hard and pauses to look at Lena, moves her shaking hand from Lena’s shoulders to her jaw and thumbs on her cheekbones, holding her. 

The room is dark enough to keep Kara’s face obscured a little, the low beam of light shining over their heads from the red lamp.

“Kara?”

“Lena.”

The eye contact feels like a physical thing. Another connection between them, another place where their bodies are touching.

“Hey. Everything okay?” Lena asks softly, undoubtedly confused by the sudden halt in their activities.

Kara clenches her jaw, eyelids fluttering. She gazes into Lena’s face, eyes flicking across Lena’s flushed red cheeks and half-lidded eyes, her lips, soft and shiny. Kara’s own mouth feels swollen, her lips aching, and she wants —

Slowly, she slides her hand across Lena’s chest and it comes to a stop at a spot, palm flat against the skin there. Against her palm, Lena’s heart thumps and thumps, pace fast and steady.

Kara wants —

Rao, she wants —

“Mm,” Kara hums. She isn’t.

 


 

Kara wakes up in the early morning, too early. Tired in a soft, sleepy kind of way, like her bed is warm and there's no place she'd rather be. She opens her eyes, takes in the room. 

Not her room. 

The sun dips in through the window, unusually bright. She shuts her eyes tightly and buries her face into her pillow. Her pillow moves, shifts, laughs, and Kara remembers everything all at once.

Eyes closed, she feels Lena’s naked body shift against hers, cozy and comfortable, and forgets to breathe. Something heavy drops in Kara’s stomach. She lies still on the mattress, not trusting herself to think about it now and instead thinks about how nice it feels in her spot right now beside Lena. 

Kara likes that they wake up touching, likes the feel of Lena’s collarbones against her lips or her chest pressed against Lena’s back or Lena curled up next to her, a leg carelessly thrown across Kara’s thighs.

She likes the way Lena stretches under the blankets, gets real real big and spread hawk, yawns, then curls back into herself nearly instantly, gets tiny tiny tiny beside Kara, and holds Kara close to her.

She likes that Lena pulls on one of her shirts, or her oversized sweaters first thing every morning when she stands up, likes that Lena always takes Kara’s spare hair ties when she has dozens of her own, likes that Lena stumbles to the kitchen like she’s drunk, likes that Lena devours the little breakfast meals and tea boxes Kara buys for her, likes that Lena glares at the kettle like it shouldn’t take so long to boil for her tea.

Kara likes likes likes likes.

Lena smiles so sleepily it hurts hurts hurts. Emerald-green eyes look back at her, soft smile tugging at the corner of Lena’s lips. Kara wants to see those sleepy smiles every single morning, every single night, she wants to hold them in between her fingers and press her hands into her heart and always keep it there.

“Hi, Lena,” she whispers, pulling her head back away a little. Her voice sounds rough and croaky, sleep heavy and tired. “Good morning.”

“Morning,” Lena says, turns her head, cheek pressed into the pillow and closes her eyes. A small yawn escapes her mouth. Kara bites the inside of her cheek and she shifts in her spot. The blanket slips a little and exposes down Lena's neck and shoulder. Multiple hickeys and marks over pale skin.

“Sorry. Was I too rough last night?” She reaches to smooth Lena’s hair back from her forehead, lets her fingers tangle. Lena tilts into the touch and Kara feels like she tilts with her, leaning closer, on an instinct.

“No.” Lena straightens up, peeks an eye open, then another. She looks at Kara lazily and shakes her head, chuckling quietly.

Kara is almost embarrassed at the primal satisfaction she gets from Lena looking extremely content and comfortable—her long black curls messy, spread across her pillow, and she looks so soft and a little disheveled, at the same time she’s marked up with at least three visible hickeys down her neck and—yeah, it does something to Kara.

“No?”

“Not at all. I mean, yes, you were rough, but I liked it. Thanks.” 

Kara frowns. “Thanks?”

Lena nods with sleep fond eyes and presses her cheek into Kara’s palm, the soft smile that’s still gracing her mouth and—it’s all too much.

“For?” Kara starts, hesitantly before an unsure grin appears on her lips. “The best fuck of your life?” she says, and her heart races at it—chest tightening. 

She should get up. Get ready for work.

“Um, I’m gonna take a shower,” she says suddenly. Before Lena could open her mouth.

Lena’s mouth tilts into a small frown—a little confusion etched on her face, and nods. 

“Okay.”

 

 -

 

The shower is a welcome respite.

Kara’s grimy from the bar, and her stomach still feels sticky from the drinks, and as she washes herself off she imagines that she’s washing off their night, too. Lena isn’t allowed to linger. She wants to smell like lavender and that weird strawberry soap bar Nia bought one time instead of… desperation maybe, on her part.

Kara fucked up. Royally. 

She doesn’t regret any of this, anything with Lena—no, but now she has to face the consequences of her actions. See repercussions: suffering, misery, aching, some more suffering, and a thirst for one Lena Luthor that is now worse than ever.

Out of the shower, she dries herself with a towel and makes sure she’s finished all her routine before heading out.

She knows what’s happening. She acknowledges it. She just hasn’t given a voice to it.

Her inner turmoil is worse now. Perhaps she’s better at acting than she thinks she is because Lena doesn’t seem to notice. Lena grins softly across the kitchen counter at her as she fixes herself some coffee. That’s good. Kara doesn’t want to make Lena think she did anything wrong.

Here they are again at their familiar spots: Lena there and Kara here and it feels—it feels —

A lot. 

“Kara, darling, coffee?” Lena asks, reaching over the cupboard for another cup. Kara knows that Lena already knows the answer because she’s already preparing her a cup.

“Yes, please,” she says, holding an empty cereal box in her hand.

Kara thinks she should say something. She should say something, because she doesn’t keep anything from Lena. But telling her would instantly put a stop to all this, and Kara absolutely does not want that. She refuses to think about it, even.

The reason why they've been able to keep up at this for so long and make it work is because neither expect anything from each other, and they keep it simple. There are no expectations. Lena certainly didn't sign up for anything more than this, and Kara knows that well, they've had a number of discussions about this.

Kara knows that Lena doesn’t think and want her anything more than a best friend. She understands this. But sometimes—sometimes Kara thinks otherwise, because Lena can be incredibly confusing and ambiguous at times, and —

Shit, maybe Kara can’t handle it. Her thoughts race in her head and she's trying to keep up.

If she says nothing, nothing has to change. It’s good, it’s fine like this. If she says nothing, nothing has to change. But her heart is like a greedy, sadistic one. Rising and pushing Kara into Lena, to wanting and continuing even though she knows that this isn’t okay.

She’s got it bad. It’s a fact she’s always known, but the string that Kara’s heart has wrapped around Lena’s is growing thicker and coarser. Kara just wants to rip her heart out so she doesn’t have to sit and think too much about how it feels being with Lena so intimately.

Standing up, she takes the empty cereal box into the bin and lingers near the countertop, looking at Lena’s mini plant pot. Inside it is the familiar cactus. 

A smile tugs at the corners of her lips. Lena appears beside her then, places her cup of coffee in front of her and smiles.

Kara, having only an ounce of self-preservation left, smiles back and cups her cheek. Leans in and kisses her. Kissing her soft and sweet. Kissing her like it’s a lazy Saturday morning, like she has all the time in the world for Lena, has always had all the time in the world, always will.

This is exactly what she was afraid of. All of this — getting used to being with Lena in this way, liking each and every moment of it — an unhealthy, inappropriate amount.

She should say something. Instead, she finds herself parting Lena's lips and venturing forward from a simple kiss to a more indulgent kiss, their lips slotting together over and over, quiet noises and breaths against each other’s mouth.

She wants to talk to Lena. But she can’t, the words are stuck in her throat as Lena pulls away from her, nuzzles her nose into Kara’s cheek and traces over her collarbone affectionately, and, fuck. Friends with benefits don’t do this, do they? She's gone over this. Lena is simply just cuddly and affectionate with Kara, and she’s her best friend, and Kara probably just smells really nice right now that Lena finds herself doing this, and Lena does it because she simply can, and wants to, and the more Kara thinks about all this, the more she finds herself in a clusterfuck of questions and fuzzy lines.

Kara takes an unsteady breath.

Lena can be confusing sometimes, but Kara tries—emphasizes that part on blaming this on herself, on seeing the things she wants to see only.

“When do you leave?” Lena asks quietly in the small space between them, her gaze infinitely soft and warm. She looks like she wants to lean in again, as her thumb brushes against Kara’s neck soothingly.

“Oh, um,” Kara swallows, wets her lips. It’s moments like these that sends Kara reeling. Moments like these, she thinks that there might be something about Lena, something that Lena feels for her. Her cheeks redden as Lena watches her closely, and she has to force her eyes to divert away to look at the time. “In fifteen.”

Lena looks at her in a certain kind of way and it feeds Kara hope and possibilities. Which makes Kara want to say something all the more.

This is why Kara doesn’t like thinking about it, has kept herself from doing so. It stirs her up and sends her into a spiral of an all-consuming confusion. Talking is the option, to find answers—Kara just needs to start it. And all Kara really wants is to tell Lena that - that she wants more, and—

Kara stills at the thought, eyes at Lena’s smile as she quickly thinks of something to distract her mind and heart from communicating.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Lena asks. Her hand on the juncture of Kara's neck and shoulder falls to her side and she tilts her head, regarding Kara once again. There’s a lot of eye contact going on right now and Kara definitely isn’t prepared for this. Kara isn’t prepared for a lot of things. “You seem a little off there—well, since yesterday, actually. Silence hangs between them.

Kara holds Lena’s gaze for a second, but it’s not too long before she has to look away again. She starts to step away from the stool then, not knowing full-well where she’s going to go. All she knows is that Lena’s eyes on her are too much now. Eyes always with that intensity glow in them, Kara feels seen—like her thoughts are on full display.

She touches her glasses. Before she can move away, there are fingers gently circling her wrist. Lena doesn’t tug at her arm, but when she feels Lena touch on her skin, Kara stops in her tracks. She turns a little, looks at Lena.

“Yes?” she asks. It comes out croaky and a little bit more snappy than intended, but really—she’s just embarrassed. At how she’s managing herself right now.

Lena stands up then, her fingers still around Kara’s wrist. 

“Kara? You didn’t answer my question.” Maybe it’s just Kara’s imagination, but she feels like they tighten their hold a little now, at the same time their eyes meet. Kara swallows down.

“Oh! Um, I guess I’m feeling a little off—only just a little, though. Sorry.” She wets her lips, flushes.

“Why?” Lena inquires, face quizzical. It’s soft, in a way that doesn’t make Kara feel like she’s being invasive. “Do you want to talk about it?” She’s smiling encouragingly, and Kara does not want to talk about it.

At least, not now. Not yet. She knows she’ll have to, sometime, about the recent thoughts brewing in her head. It’s not recent. Lena’s eyes on her are just too much right now.

The room feels overwhelmingly quiet, only the sounds coming from the streets hundreds of metres below them being heard only by Kara.

She takes in a deep breath, a shaky one. Takes the cup of coffee into her other hand. “I’m fine, Lena. Last night was great and fun. I think the morning just has me feeling woozy.” 

It’s not a lie. Kara’s still thinking about that one long shot glass Winn got for her. She shivers, just thinking about its smell and taste, the way it felt like fire in her insides.

“Okay,” Lena nods slowly, and doesn’t push any further. She’s always mindful and careful, and Kara loves her for that. But the slight faltering in her expression before she takes a step back from Kara doesn’t go by unnoticed. “Kara.”

Kara winces internally, but she’s thankful for the space.

“Thanks for the coffee and the night,” Kara mumbles. “I appreciate you a lot.” She gives Lena a quick hug before heading out early.

 


 

Things changed after that, almost imperceptibly or maybe things had always been changing and Kara had been too caught up in whatever they had to notice it. It wasn't just about sex anymore. It wasn't just thinking about ‘wanting to’ and taking and pleasure; counting the hours until she could have Lena. 

It’s become about wanting more.

It stopped being about the loud moans and little gasps, it started to be about the soft, sleepy smiles, the wide amused laughs and the sated blinks and the soft, tender touches that feels like it means everything.

It’s not even a revelation, really. It’s not some stupid crush. She thinks about Lena all the time; she always wants to cuddle and sleep next to her, wake up to see her face every morning, misses her when she’s up soaring in the sky or stuck in her office typing her articles. More that Kara finally accepts something that has been dormant inside her—a seed, a bud—for years now. 

She is in love with her best friend. She’s stupidly, irrevocably in love with Lena Luthor. Just because it has finally, noticeably blossomed doesn’t mean it’s new.

Absolutely not.

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment where it all started. Trying to find the exact event that unchained everything that came after would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, attempting to find the first significant moment in a sea of significant moments. Being in love with Lena is so easy. Lena is easy to love, easy to be with. Maybe that is why it took this long for Kara to realize.

Kara is well aware of the fact that she is indeed an idiot. She knows this. She’s accepted this. Her friends know that she can be oblivious at times, can be extremely dense. It’s not an issue because she’s also very smart and perceptive. She’s great with forming strategic plans, knows her hard sciences (Krypton-based). She’s talented, receives respect and acknowledgement for her journalism.

She doesn’t know what the fuck she’s doing with Lena.

Or she does know. Just that, everything that she’s doing with Lena means absolutely nothing. 

It’s a lot and it hurts. The worst part is, Kara wants Lena again. Of course she does. Maybe she can indulge her misery kink and just be as they are, go with the flow.

 


 

“Hey, Kara—wake up,” Alex calls out to her, waving her hand right in front of her face. Kara snaps out of her self-induced daze then, taking in the pale skin of her sister’s wrist and sweat forming on her skin. “You okay there?”

“I’m good, yeah,” Kara replies, sitting up a little straighter. She tends to slouch when she zones out like this, her shoulders coming forward. “Sorry, I spaced out.”

“I can see that,” Alex says, a knowing smirk growing on her lips. Her sister shoots her a look as she wipes her forehead with a towel, breath heavy and body all sweaty. Kara blinks, realises that she'd lost complete track of the spar between Alex and Brainy, of all the blows exchanged. When she looks around, Brainy’s nowhere in sight anymore.

“Where’d Brainy go? I still have his legion ring,” Kara frowns, confused. The walls of the DEO training room is marked with lead, so it’s futile to look into them.

Truth be told, she zoned out the moment Alex and Brainy started sparring.

“Restroom break,” Alex says, before she consumes a portion of her water bottle. She sits next to Kara by the stairs with a pointed look, an eyebrow arched up. Kara remains indifferent, and Alex’s lips curl, teasing. “Thinking about her?”

Kara rolls her eyes. She knew it was coming sooner or later. “I’m kinda hungry. Watching you guys spar made me hungry.”

Alex scoffs, incredulous. “You were barely paying attention, Kara.” She folds her arms and settles them over her knees. A shit-eating grin forms on her face as she shakes her head. “I can’t believe it. I knew it. So, you and Lena, huh.”

“Don’t get excited.” Kara groans, rubbing her neck. “No, before you get further on your I-knew-it, or I-told-you-so’s, we’re not actually like that, Alex.”

A beat later, and Alex squints. “What? Are you serious?”

There’s not much to say.

“Alex, there’s nothing going on between us. It’s been like this.”

“Wait, are you saying you guys are like - like that?” Alex’s mouth opens, closes. “Holy shit. My sister and the Luthor—what. I never expected...” she hastily scoots closer towards Kara, and Kara just sits still, grimacing at her sister’s reaction. “You—you of all people! But why? How did it turn like that, how did it start? I need to know it all.”

“Well—”

“Wait!” Alex lifts a hand up in the air between them, waving it rapidly. She shakes her head, eyes squeezed shut. “Gross, no, never mind. I don’t actually want to know the details, but. What the hell, Kara? You—you two have been so sneaky. Hiding from my salad. I can’t believe it.”

“Yeah,” Kara shrugs, laughing weakly. “That’s the situation. It’s nothing worth noting about, really, so please don’t think too much about it.”

Her sister frowns then, and she looks like she’s about to go through the whole you’re not supposed to start the whole friends with benefits thing with your best friend speech like Nia did with Kara.

Yeah, Kara gets it, but she doesn’t regret it.

In moments like these, Kara thinks it’s safe to assume that she is a dumbass.

Thankfully, they’re interrupted by Brainy’s entrance before Alex could start her worried slash grilling talk.

“Alex,” Brainy says, voice almost sounding like a whine as he walks towards them. He’s moving his arm in a circular motion as if he’s all stiff and sore, with a hand on his shoulder. Tilting his head, he moves to rub on his neck. “I think you went too hard on me.”

“Seems so. You’re good, Brainy. You keep up with me.” Alex stands up then, snorts. She shoots Kara a pointed look, eyes narrowing with a tilt to her head before facing Brainy.

Their conversation is far from over, Kara can see that. She groans inwardly, knows that Alex will try to squeeze her dry, gathering all the details and information she can get. Again, there isn’t much to note about Lena and her. Kara’s already fucked up caught in her feelings—that enough has her feeling squeezed and miserable.

“For a human, you’re so strong. Much stronger than your average,” Brainy says, and utters a thanks when Alex hands him a water bottle.

“Yeah, Alex is really tough,” Kara says, standing up as well. She passes Brainy his ring, shooting him a smile. “I learned most of my close-combat techniques from her when I started being,” she shrugs, gesturing to herself, “Supergirl.”

“Oh, come on, stop complaining,” Alex chortles, bumping her shoulder with Brainy’s. “You already know how I fight, have seen me plenty of times considering how much we work together, and yet you act surprised and whine about it each time we spar.”

“I don’t whine.” Brainy frowns. “I’m just making comments about your level of skill. And how it leaves me feeling very sore each time I walk out of here.”

“With or without your legion ring, you’re still pretty badass,” Kara says, grinning in his direction. “I thought we’ve established this.”

“Why do you two keep assuming that I’m whining and—” Brainy pauses, crosses his arms. Alex laughs and reaches for her water bottle again, this time she downs the rest. “Never mind. Anyway, we have a new report—assignment.” He turns to face Kara. “We could really use your help on this one, Kara.”

“Oh.” Kara tilts her head, grins. “I’m always willing to lend a hand.”

 


 

Though their last conversation was left awkward and off, Kara continues to see Lena. Lena doesn't question, or bring up about that day, much to Kara's surprise. They meet and it’s normal between them. They talk about visiting a new cafe that opened up recently near L-Corp’s building and it’s normal. Lena visits and stays in her apartment until the next day and it’s normal. 

Kara doesn’t actually feel normal, not at all, but she tamps down her feelings and forces herself to act it, for the sake of their friendship and to keep going with whatever it is they are. She doesn’t want it to stop.

Some days she meets Lena more than once. Some days, Kara stays in. Some days, Lena stays in instead—one always at the other’s apartment.

Nothing has to change. 

It goes like that for another week. The following week after that, she doesn’t see Lena at all because she gets incredibly busy, simultaneously wrapped in writing and reporting, and rogue alien reports that has her soaring from country to country, investigating all malice intents.

It gets busy, and Kara slumps in her seat. She’s hungry and busy.

She glares at her article for a minute, pouting. Minimizes it, and sees an adorable sugar glider on her background screen. One of her coworkers saw this earlier the other day and she was judged for it. It was odd. Kara’s pretty sure she shouldn’t be judged for this—they’re cute. She pouts further.

Just as she’s about to continue working on her article, someone knocks on her apartment door.

The fresh smell of pasta hits her nose the moment she opens the door.

“Hey, sweetie,” Friendly Old Neighbour greets her pleasantly. She holds a large Tupperware.

“Oh. Hi!” Kara blinks in surprise, a grin breaking out in her face. She hasn’t seen the sweet, old woman in a while. 

“I made too much—this is for you.” 

Cheesy, cheesy pasta in the Tupperware. She takes it in her hand, smiling in appreciation.

“Thank you, this is really sweet of you. I was just working on my article, wondering what to eat for dinner!”

The old woman always brings her food randomly. She comes and goes, never lingering for too long in the doorstep. Kara’s learned to not question it anymore—she’s always so sweet to Kara. It makes Kara want to hug her all the time, but Kara’s pretty sure she’d break some bones there sometime if it were to become a habit.

“You’re welcome, love. My husband never eats enough, and I like to cook a lot.” Friendly Old Neighbour looks behind her, a suggestive smile spreading on her face. “Here and alone today?”

Kara smiles quizzically. “Yes?”

The old woman nods. “Oh, well I was going to suggest for you to share in case you bought that friend of yours there. I came to stop by a week ago but you weren’t here. Twice. I see that you come to your apartment less now.”

Oh, Rao. She’s talking about Lena. She doesn’t even know Lena—anything about her, but she’s smiling in a way that looks fond—for Kara.

Kara chuckles nervously. Assumptions.

“Sorry, I guess I was out,” she smiles and bows her head, apologetic. “I still live here, though.”

Friendly Old Neighbour nods again, grinning now. “Okay, well this old lady will stop bothering you now. Don’t let my cooking go to waste, sweetie.”

Kara huffs, smiles. “Never.”

 


 

It’s just past seven pm when Kara pauses at the sidewalk with two fresh cups of coffee in hand.

The street lamps light up the long avenues, spilling over boulevards and into alleyways as the night falls on the city. Roads branching like veins throughout the city are full of cars and buses, of humans and aliens returning home from work with their tie loose and the first few buttons of their dress shirt undone.

National City pulses with neon warning signs about speed restrictions and red tail lights of cars, mostly taxis, waiting at crossroads. 

The city moves and breathes.

Kara waits for the light to turn red before crossing the road with dozens of people. She steps foot into a huge park, touches her glasses.

Lena waves at her from the bench the moment she spots Kara walking up towards her on the footpath.

“Kara. Hey,” Lena greets, a lovely smile already gracing her face. It’s the best part of the day. Kara feels her heart simultaneously soar and constrict.

She smiles. “Hi,” she says back. Lena accepts the cup of coffee she bought for her just ten minutes ago, and starts sipping on her own cup.

They begin to walk on a pathway. Kara throws a side glance at Lena, blushes despite herself. There’s the familiar red beanie. How and when did Lena manage to steal her beanie - Kara isn't sure, but Lena's currently wearing it over her head. Looking cozy and snug, like she owns it. Lena’s also sporting specs over her nose, velvet trench coat over her frame and black jeans.

Kara looks away, eyes down to the ground. “That’s my beanie,” she lightly accuses.

“Mm. You left it in my room a month ago,” Lena says. “What was I to do? It was calling for me to put it over my head today.”

“Well, now that it’s right in front of me…” Kara chuckles lightly, nodding her head. She remembers it. “Shouldn’t you give it back to me? I’m very possessive over that beanie.”

They pass through dozens of food stalls and street performances. It’s getting late, but the city still brims with activity and music and laughter all around.

“It took you over a month and for it to show up right in front of you to realize that it's been gone, Kara. So, maybe,” Lena says. Kara sees her shrug in her periphery. “Finders keepers.”

Kara huffs. “Oh, wow. ‘See how it is.” She takes a sip of coffee, mouth twisting into a pout.

“I’ve grown extremely fond of it during its one month stay in my room,” Lena says with a half-smile. “If you really want it back, come take it from my head.”

Kara rolls her eyes, bumps Lena by the shoulder lightly. Despite her complaints and pouting, and the given permission to take back what’s hers, she does not take it back.

Lena laughs fondly at the obvious outcome, her double dimples popping out. She links her arm with Kara's and they continue to walk along the footpath as the night turns into something more colder and biting. Out of the park, the familiar footbridge lies ahead of them. They chuck their cups into the rubbish before heading up to the footbridge.

The soft wind blows past them and Kara lets her thoughts wander. She sneaks glances at Lena every now and then.

Kara is not falling in love per se, despite what the movies and books tell her, the jokes her friends make. She's in love with her best friend, she knows this, but she also knows that their relationship didn't really go according to any book. Neither did her feelings. She's already neck-deep in it, caught up completely in the radiance of how it feels to be in love with Lena.

Sometimes they're best friends, something else, something more. Sometimes they're this, sometimes that—always just them.

By all means, she’s not hesitant about how she feels for Lena. She knows how she feels, but admitting it out loud is something entirely different. She still feels a little ashamed about that time when she was at Lena's a few weeks ago, and she'd panicked back then, trying to solve everything at once when she'd just come to terms with what's been happening. Now she's had some time for herself, feels calmer and relaxed, but no better than before in terms of her conflicting thoughts about Lena, and what she wants.

They come to a stop at the middle of the bridge, turning towards a side. Kara grabs the railings with both of her hands and takes a deep, wobbly breath. Looks ahead of them, below them—the cars, taxis, motorcycles, trucks—passing under them.

Kara spots a woman waiting at the intersection, sipping on a straw, glass filled with some green, mushy liquid, and—

“Eugh,” she whispers, squinting down below.

Lena makes a movement next to her. “What?” she breathes out an amused chuckle, following Kara’s train of sight.

“That woman over there is drinking kale smoothie, I think,” Kara says, nose scrunching as she turns to look at Lena. “Lena, she’s your kin.”

Kara,” Lena rolls her eyes, shaking her head with a smile. “Why must you continue to judge us like this? They’re nothing but delicious and healthy. Pros only, no cons.”

“And I continue to respectfully disagree.” Kara ignores the arch of Lena’s eyebrow—dissent obvious with the comment. Her stomach lurches, trying to imagine the taste. “It’s… they’re so green, Lena. It’s just very ew.”

“And how would you know that? You’ve never tried it.”

“I don’t need to try it to know if it’s good or disgusting,” Kara says. “There's no need. I just know it, deep in my gut. Trust your gut instinct, and all.”

“Mm, and this is all coming from a girl who dips fries into milkshakes and ice creams,” Lena says, head tilting with a quizzical grin on her face. “You’re lucky you’re cute. It’s the reason why I’m still here with you, standing beside you.”

“Wow! It’s better than it sounds, you know. No taste at all, Lena.” Kara blinks rapidly, an incredulous scoff coming from her mouth. “You,” she says, leans over to Lena. Stabs her finger against Lena’s chest.

“Unfollowed,” a poke in the chest, “unfriended, and—” she watches Lena dead in the eye, and too soon for her liking she breaks—the corner of her mouth tugging upwards already. “Uneaten. Yeah, that’s right. I’ll never eat you out again, because you’re disgusting and ungrateful.”

They manage to look at each other for a few seconds until they both dissolve into laughs, Kara leaning over even more as Lena pushes her with her shoulder, mouth tilting into a pout.

“Uneaten? That’s harsh,” Lena says. She gazes into the road, the fluorescent blinks of the streetlights dripping down on her. Kara is fond of the streetlights. They make Lena shine, glowing and ethereal in the dark.

Lena seems to notice her staring then—always so perceptive, always so in tune with each other. They pause to watch each other, smiling for the simple pleasure of being alone in each other’s company.

Kara takes a step forward and slowly wraps her arms around Lena’s shoulders, engulfing her into a tight hug.

Lena is sticky sweet like tree sap, attracting people effortlessly. At events and parties, Kara’s gotten used to watching from the corner as Lena sweeps the room up with her presence, eyes and attention all on her.

But nobody gets to touch Lena like she does.

Kara cups Lena’s face, touch tender. She takes in that lovely shade of green, always so completely mesmerized by it. Lena's eyes are big, her hands are big, her heart is, too. Kara flits over Lena’s face and settles on her lips, pink and parted.

A month ago, in this same exact spot, Kara remembers hesitating. Now, things are different, Kara thinks. 

(Things are more blurry than ever.)

“Lena,” she says. “Can I kiss you?” 

There are no red cheeks, no anxious ball inside her chest as she asks this. She's become used to Lena always wanting the same as her, but she asks anyway, just to see something. There is always something about the way Lena looks at her, with her brilliant emerald-green eyes. Her eyes are always on Kara's, but in a way that makes Kara feel… wanted. Special. The way in which Lena looks at her gives Kara the certainty that she’s not going to be rejected, turned down.

Lena holds Kara's gaze as Kara's thumb brushes Lena's cheek once, twice. It takes seconds before Lena gives a small nod, her lips parting, and Kara leans in. Their mouths meet softly, with Kara tilting her head before she pulls back. Lena follows her mouth when she pulls away, and Kara flushes at it, her thumb stroking Lena’s soft, pink lips.

“That was too short,” Lena whispers, hands gripping Kara’s arms.

“Short is good,” Kara chuckles quietly, still holding Lena close. Her gaze falls down when Lena licks her lips, obviously wanting more. Lena always wants more. Kara’s always willing to give her more. So she does, and grasps Lena’s chin before pressing their lips together.

They’ve been alone on the bridge for a while now. No one’s passed them, not counting the busy road below them. A glorious minute passes, just holding Lena in her arms, kissing her breathless. Soon after a moment, they find themselves smiling then, and their teeth clack, noses bumping and they’re laughing again.

It's nearing nine pm—they’d both just consumed coffee, and though the coffee doesn’t affect Kara one bit, she feels so awake and bright as if she’s just watched fireworks lighting up into the sky for the first time. Lena’s so radiant, eyes all squished up and touchy and shoulders shaking and Kara feels so soft, so happy, so loved. 

Footsteps along with conversation and laughter nears them and Kara separates from Lena. She remains close, leaning on the railing with Lena.

“We should head back soon,” Kara says.

“We should,” Lena agrees. “Soon.”

The rush of Lena’s hair against the soft wind reminds Kara once again of all things attracted to Lena, how the air and light treats her kindly, brightens her up from within and casts pink on the highs of her cheeks. 

Her best friend readjusts the red beanie on her head, long fingers slipping underneath the wool material over her forehead and drifts away, gaze tugging from Kara’s indifferent face to the dark sky. Lena, in the light from a city and a moon, is a study in muscle and smooth skin and bone structure. With one drop of self preservation left and five gallons of helpless adoration, Kara finds herself falling for Lena—it’s surely surpassed the thousandth time, and she’s alarmed by how endless it feels.

It’s dizzying and it’s just another reminder of how deeply fucked she is.

Kara wants to hold her. To kiss her. She can—she just did. But she wants so much. She doesn't know how to do this, how to not lean forward and whisper I like you, I want to kiss you, can we be a real thing?

Their relationship is just this: a constant blur. Blurry ever since she kissed Lena that night, months ago. Blurry because both wanted to continue this. Blurry because none of it is set in stone or set borders for, and Kara doesn't want to be the first one to want more and ask. Lena is not interested in more, that much Kara knows, but again she is doubtful sometimes—the growing question in Kara’s head is insistent in being solved.

What if Lena actually feels the same way? The way Lena acts around her, the way she talks, the way she regards and touches Kara. Kara doesn’t want to assume, or be arrogant in her thoughts, but it’s suspicious.

Emotions guide decisions so intensely, swapping rationality for the quick trigger of a gun; Kara knows it all too well, how easy it can be to make mistakes in the dark of night, emotions welling so deeply in your throat that it feels like you’re choking.

“Lena?” she starts.

“Hm?”

Kara takes a deep breath. She doesn’t know what the fuck she’s doing with Lena, honestly. So she prods, hoping for something. 

“Um. I don’t know what we are, exactly.” She chuckles quietly, the sound coming off as stilted and uncertain. Even though she is nervous, she doesn’t mean to show it that easily. She bites her bottom lip, flushes.

Lena turns her head, eyes finding hers. “What do you mean?”

“I’m talking about us.” Kara touches her glasses, slips her hands inside her pockets. “Do you want to, um. Is there—” she pauses, rubs her hand on her face. Recollects herself. “I think I’m just feeling confused. Have been, actually. What are we?”

At first, Lena is quiet, but then she frowns.

“We’re friends,” Lena says, her answer sounding like a question and Kara understands; she sees how sudden and random it is to ask something like this. “You’re my best friend.”

“Yes, but I think,” Kara wets her lips, adjusts her glasses, “sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. Sometimes it feels like more, and. It might just be all in my head, but I feel like...” She shakily exhales, struggling to find the right word. “I don’t know—right now, we’re this, and it feels like this could lead to something—a change?”

Lena’s eyes widens for a second. “Change,” she echoes.

“Yeah, change,” Kara says. Her breathing is unsteady and she really hopes she isn’t showing herself too much. She wishes she could explain it in better detail, that she’s been seeing things differently in her head—that she’s a little hopeful, a little suspicious, but that would immediately raise red flags with Lena if things doesn't go the way she's hoping for. “One of us—I just. I think, what if…?” she trails off, gesturing in the air between them.

Lena doesn’t answer for a single, long moment. “I understand that what we’re doing—feelings happening here are a possibility,” she says slowly, voice quiet and steady in her approach. “And when feelings abound, it gets messy and awkward. You don’t have to worry about that with me, if that’s what you’ve been worrying about, Kara.” Lena watches her closely. “Awkward and messy. That’s what you mean, right?”

That’s not the answer Kara expects.

“You mean, you don’t—?”

“I don’t. What we have is just sex, Kara.”

“Just sex?” she asks. It’s all Kara’s capable of—repeating Lena’s words.

“Just sex,” Lena reiterates. “We’re not going to be together, Kara.”

Kara nods. She gets it. It’s not new… information.

“That’s what you meant, right?” Lena asks, voice softening. “You were afraid that this could lead to something more.”

It's not new information at all, but it still hits Kara really hard.

“I, ah…” Kara tries to keep her voice from wavering, trying her best to keep upright while her chest feels like it’s splitting open. She thinks she's probably not doing a great job at keeping a straight face right now, so she averts her gaze to someplace safer to gather herself. “Yeah… that’s it—that’s—yeah.”

Eyes downcast, she sees Lena’s knuckles turning white, losing color, thin skin stretching taut over sharp bones, fingers digging into cold metal. She’s facing Kara and has her side turned to the cityscape, to neon lights bleeding colours over the facades of rundown buildings.

Did Lena catch on something?

Kara feels like she’s choking on the atmosphere, the sight of Lena fearing something—on the possibility of Kara wanting more—that she has feelings for her. Is Lena afraid of that thought? It’s a lot, and the tension is suddenly thick it feels like a vice around Kara’s throat. 

It’s quiet, the silence heavy between them. “I think what we have is great,” Lena says quietly, sending Kara a small nod. “We don’t overwhelm each other. We don’t ask each other for anything more than we can give. Nothing needs to change. It’s simple—perfect.”

“Yeah,” Kara mumbles. Her words are failing her right now. It feels as if a truck, made and loaded with kryptonite has slammed into Kara’s body. The pain is stinging and sharp, straight in her chest. Lena continues to watch her closely, the pull of her emerald-green eyes intense and heavy.

“Yeah?”

Kara feels like she’s being questioned, tested — isn’t this supposed to be the other way around? Rao, is Lena really starting to figure her out? She needs to keep it together.

“Yeah,” she says, this time with resolute and a firm nod. Only because she wants this conversation to end now. 

But unfortunately Lena doesn’t feel it should end yet. The other woman’s features twist—impossibly inscrutable and cautious in a way, and that’s when Kara knows she’s hit Lena with something.

Her eyes bore into hers like she can see right through Kara and she’s afraid, terrified of what’s going through Kara’s head. The silence stretches on and Kara doesn’t like it—it makes her feel like her feelings are just out there on display, that she might be as transparent and vulnerable as she feels right now.

If Lena knows anything, if she notices any sort of hints in the way Kara acts or the things she says, she doesn’t show it. Instead, she just lifts her hand up, covering her front with her coat, when a gust of cold wind whisks past them.

Kara breathes unsteadily. She looks down on her feet, looking for a new distraction and desperately trying to think of a new topic.

“Kara,” Lena’s mouth opens and closes, hesitates. “It doesn’t feel like we’re on the same page. Does it get too much for you?” she asks then, and dread boils deeply in Kara’s gut. “Kara… we can stop—”

“No,” Kara roughly cuts her off, shaking her head rapidly. She does not want to stop, Rao no. “No, no. It’s all fine. It’s not too much, Lena.” At this, Lena simply looks at her, obviously waiting for her to elaborate, to disclose her side more, but Kara isn’t sure what to say.

“Kara? What’s going on in that head of yours,” Lena asks, voice low and gentle, but it does nothing to help ease Kara at all. Her face softens. “Talk to me?”

“There’s really not much to say,” Kara shrugs. “I was just feeling confused about where we stand—it’s simple, you explained it well.” She pauses, swallows the hard lump in her throat. “We’re just best friends, nothing more than that and we don’t—we don’t overwhelm each other. That’s good—it’s great. I’m sorry I was thinking of other things, kind of jumping to conclusions, too... and got a little confused for a bit. Nothing’s going to happen. Obviously.”

Lena’s eyebrows furrows. “There’s no need to apologize, it’s okay. Now that you mention it, we've discussed other topics and matters, but not this.” The lack of set borders, being off-limits. Lena lets out a quiet sigh, breath coming out foggy into the cold night air. Her hold on the railing loosens. “I understand why you got confused. Our relationship isn’t exactly your typical… one.” Fuck buddies. Oh, Kara knows how far off they are with that. “Kara, I never want you to feel confused about anything, or feel like there’s something you have to give.”

“I’m not confused anymore, Lena,” Kara nods. She returns Lena’s gaze until she can’t anymore, turns back to the road ahead of them. She takes a deep breath, then another one. “Thank you for clearing that up.”

“There are no expectations here,” Lena adds.

“No expectations,” she whispers. “Yeah.” That’s right. Jaw clenching, she keeps her mouth shut, afraid she’ll say something wrong, or ask something that’ll make things worse or more awkward than it already is. 

Lena breathes out a sigh, sounding like heavy relief—the tension from her shoulders visibly disappearing. It makes Kara feel worse. Fuck, she didn’t mean to make her feel uncomfortable. Kara wants to die. It’s overwhelming, everything. She feels the impending need to cry right now, but she doesn’t want to let herself do so, not in front of Lena. 

She’s embarrassed enough. What was she even hoping for?

It’s quiet for several minutes, their gazes turned back to the city view.

In Kara’s periphery, Lena makes a movement. She turns to see—Lena looks like she’s thinking about saying something before she reaches out to grab Kara’s hand gently.

Lena's looking at her again, that searching kind of look, and Kara wishes she knew what Lena was looking for.

“Kara, let's head back?” Lena says in a low voice, almost a whisper, and Kara feels it like a blow. Feels it too strongly for what it is, for what they’re supposed to be. Feels the stinging in her eyes and feels stupid about it.

“Yeah, okay,” she manages, trying to keep herself under wraps. Stupid. So stupid.

 

It’s quiet, the walk back to the penthouse. Not too awkward, but it’s not a companionable silence either. Thoughts run wild in Kara’s head—she’s too caught up in her head thinking and heavily berating herself that she doesn’t realise they’re already standing in front of Lena’s penthouse.

They face each other, one waiting for something to happen. Or maybe that’s just Kara. The silence drags.

Lena licks her lips, eyes flitting over Kara’s face. A nervous tic Kara knows too easily well. Why is she nervous now? Maybe Kara did show too much tonight.

“Do you want to come up?” Lena says. Kara’s mouth tilts into a slight frown. “I bought new tea—it’s a flavour we haven’t tried out yet,” Lena adds.

Shit. Fuck. She wants to say yes. She wants to say no.

When she opens her mouth to answer, she finds herself uttering, “Sorry, um. I think I’ll pass, I have articles that need to be written, waiting for me at my desk.” 

It’s true, she has work to do, and she needs to finish them. It’s not the full truth or reason, but it’s the truth nonetheless. A breathing space is needed right now, away from Lena for a little bit because Kara just feels so tired and everything right now feels like jagged hard angles. There’s nowhere soft to rest, no direction to lean that won't hurt, no space to let her ribcage expand when she tries to draw in a breath.

Lena’s boots make a quiet scuffle against the concrete. “That’s okay. Work is important.”

She watches Kara silently as Kara checks the time on her phone. Analyzing. Maybe she’s already figured Kara out. If so, Kara isn't sure there's anything left for Lena to figure out. Lena has never been the most open between them, but she's never hidden anything from Kara. Not even when she should have. There was a time when Lena didn't know Kara was Supergirl—secrets and disagreements were an ongoing thing between them. But through it all she never avoided Kara Danvers.

They're standing in place but Kara feels like she's tipping. Thankfully, Lena takes a step back and nods. Darkness surrounds them, one lamplight flickering brokenly near them. 

“Goodnight, Lena,” Kara says softly, hands stuffed inside her pockets. Her eyes burns, watering.

“Goodnight, Kara,” Lena replies quietly.

The reality of the situation is that they’re best friends, and nothing more. They aren’t going to get together. Lena doesn’t want change—she likes the way things are. She was clear, wasn’t she? She told Kara what she already knew. It was clear from the beginning.

Realistically, Kara knew about it. She knows she has no reason to feel disappointed or even disillusioned because Lena has always been honest and straight-forward with her.

But what her brain is able to reason and what her heart feels are very different things. She feels humiliated and embarrassed—embarrassed by the fact that somewhere in the back of her mind she still had hope—allowed herself to have it. Hope; the sneaking suspicion that Lena might actually feel the same way. 

Lena isn’t interested in her like that, not even a bit.

Things are clearer and she doesn’t have to wonder foolishly anymore. 

Kara understands this now.

 

Chapter Text

 

Heartbreak is not something that Kara ever thought much about. Kara doesn’t mean this in a way that might make it seem like she’s too good to get her heart broken. Her mind has just never wondered what the pain of a broken heart is like, because she’s never been in the position where she’s felt like there was a risk of it being broken.

Until now.

We’re not going to be together, Kara.

Kara had only been looking at things from her own perspective, mostly. She only saw and translated the parts she wanted to see. It was ridiculous, allowing herself to hope—ignoring what Lena has been telling her from the beginning.

She sees it now, that Lena doesn’t want her like she wants Lena, and she’s probably never going to want to.

Lena doesn’t want her now, and she’s never going to want her. It’s a hard pill to swallow, and Kara feels her chest shatter just at the mere thought of it, but it’s the absolute truth.

During the next few days, her conversation with Lena is all that Kara can think about. She replays it in her mind when she’s about to head out to work, echoes it again and again when she pulls the blanket up and closes her eyes. Her thoughts always wanders to it. We’re not going to be together, Kara, she had said.

It throws her in for a loop, throws her at the curve without warning, and she’s left scrambling to find her footing.

The thing is, Kara knows whatever she feels, Lena does too: the intensity and the lightness, the friendship and the overwhelming need to touch and to taste and to feel. Ultimately, though, Lena only sees her as a best friend.

Feelings can’t be forced.

So if that’s all Lena thinks they are, then that’s all they must be.

 


 

“Kara Danvers,” Alex calls, bumping Kara’s shoulder with a cup of fresh coffee in hand. She stands next to Kara, who is sat on her carpeted floor. “Why are you avoiding Lena?”

Kara looks up. From this angle, Alex looks intimidating—she always looks intimidating—her free hand on her hip as she gives Kara a curious look.

“Yeah, Kara,” Nia chimes in, looking up from her laptop. She crosses her legs on the couch, eyes at Alex and Kara who are just a small distance away. “Alex knows what’s up.”

“I’m not,” Kara answers. She plays with her phone on her lap, twirling it around. “How did you come to that conclusion?”

Really?” Alex scoffs, scooting over next to Nia on the couch. She wiggles her toes, pokes at Kara’s back until Kara groans, moving away on the floor. “Nia, tell her of the events that transpired today.”

“Kara made me go to L-Corp to hand in some CatCo paperwork stuff to Lena,” Nia starts, eyes squinting as she tilts her head. Huffing through her nose, she looks at Kara with a look. “You were supposed to do that, and let me tell you I had to wait and sit for a long time at the lobby while waiting for Jess to come back from her break to inform Lena that I needed to see her. Lena wasn’t answering her phone, so that wasn’t working out for me.”

“Oh...”

Nia shrugs. “Unlike you, not everyone has free access to Lena’s floor. Oh, and Alex was already there consulting with Lena about DEO-related work when I was allowed up. Then afterwards, Alex and I ended up going for a coffee break, chatting about the two dumbasses in our lives.”

Kara blinks. “Wait, excuse me? Dumb—dumbasses? Lena's not...”

Listen, Kara wholeheartedly agrees that she is indeed a dumbass, but Lena is certainly not one. Naturally, she takes offense in Lena’s stead.

“You’re excused,” Nia quips easily, and Kara frowns.

Alex rolls her eyes and carefully places her cup in front of her crossed legs. “You still haven’t told me what’s been going on with you and her.”

“That’s because there’s nothing much going on between us, Alex,” Kara says. “Like I said before.”

Kara sighs, swallows down. She hasn’t been talking to Lena as much, that’s true, but she wants to… put some distance between them. Kara had to turn Lena down when she asked about wanting to meet up for some lunch dates through text messages, and a couple of days later, turned down a late night walk—the weekend night walks they usually do once every week or two.

She’s aware that what she’s doing is a little childish, and that she really should give Lena some concrete explanations as to why she’s been… dodging a little. Instead she’s been telling Lena that she’s busy, catching up with work (which are not lies, workload has increased, she’s always on her feet or behind her desk, always with things to do).

Ever since a week ago by that bridge, Kara’s been trying to sort herself together. It’s not pure avoidance by any means. She sees Lena enough already, a few can’t do’s with Lena is fine and normal, and Lena understands this, knows this. They’re both busy women.

She just needs some time for herself, some time away to think, to let herself fall out of love with Lena. However, Kara knows that is impossible. If she has Lena beside her, as lovely and as wonderful as ever, Kara knows that won’t ever happen.

What she’s doing is pointless, she knows, but she doesn’t have an answer for anything. It's all she can do for now—licking her wounds after falling face-first to the ground, stricken merciless by the reality back in that bridge. Nursing her wounds from last week’s rejection: a little distancing.

Some time to get back up.

“I’m sorry, Nia,” Kara says, sincerely, eyeing at the steam from Alex’s mug before looking at Nia in the eye. “I wasn’t in the mood to go out, and I was too in the zone with the tasks I had at the time. You were free, but I owe you one.”

“Kara…” Nia has a contemplative frown on her face. “You guys are still like this? You and Lena aren’t dating—trying not to date,” she says. “It’s truly maddening to my eyes. Seriously, man, and I’ve only been with you guys for like a year or so.” She turns to look at Alex and snorts. “Imagine how tired Alex is.”

“What?”

“There’s something missing here that you’re still not telling me about, kiddo,” Alex clucks her tongue, stretches her leg shamelessly again to reach down to the floor, and jabs her toe into Kara’s abdomen.

“Alex—come on, ew,” Kara hisses, instantly moving away to sit on the other sofa this time, away from Alex’s reaching distance. She takes a deep breath—she can tell others, but absolutely not Lena. “Okay. I have feelings for Lena, and Lena, evidently, does not feel the same way for me.”

As she says this, it hits her then. She’s never said this out loud. The thought makes her feel queasy.

She’s not hesitant about her feelings. It’s just—a lot, to say it out loud.

“There we go!” Alex throws her hands in the air, exasperated. “Are we kidding! After years of tiptoeing around, one finally admits that she has feelings for the other.” She pauses sharply then, scrunches her face and regards Kara closely. “Wait, what do you mean Lena doesn’t feel the same way? You talked to her?”

“You talked to her? Yeah, how do you know?” Nia almost stumbles forward in her seat, looking at Kara with wide eyes. “So, talked talked?”

“Well,” Kara expels a heavy sigh. “You mentioned earlier, Nia, you said that I don’t go for it. Things. Relationships,” she half-shrugs, moistens her lips with her tongue as she draws over her lap with her finger idly.

“Yeah?” Nia presses on.

“For the first time, I tried going for it. And, well, I was instantly shut down before I could get my point across when I asked Lena if there’s any possibility of there being an 'us’ here. Me hinting towards wanting more, but more like asking if she sees anything between us, something possible. She froze at the idea and shut it down so fast as if she couldn’t take the idea at all… and all I could do was nod and agree as she explained how perfectly fine we are right now—with the state of our…” Kara's brows furrows as she searches for the right word. “I don’t know, relationship? Casual thing? Just, without any expectations from each other.”

The two women that sit across her are silent for a single, long moment.

Kara winces and scratches her eyebrow. Earth is different from Krypton. Here, she has spent all of her life listening to people talk about connections. It’s all over movies and books—how some people meet and, suddenly, they’re each other’s it. She watches Nia and Alex, thinks about their its. Kelly and Brainy.

She’s happy for them.

Alex’s mouth parts open as she takes this in, her eyes flitting over Kara’s face.

“That can’t be.”

“Oh, shit,” Nia utters under her breath, frowning as she crosses her arms. “Wow, I’m speechless. Lena? Seriously. She really doesn’t—?”

“No,” Kara confirms, gaze averted to the floor, away from their faces. She shrugs, waving her hand in the air to prevent the pitying looks. “It’s fine. It’s cool.”

“No, it’s not fine,” Alex says, leaning forward in her seat. “Kara, I really thought Lena had the hots for you, you know—for years. God, I swear—” she pauses, and takes a moment before shaking her head. A sigh. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Yeah, same,” Nia nods, running her hand through her hair. “I’m so confused.”

“I’m not anymore.” Kara looks up then, and fiddles with her jacket. “Lena isn't the problem. It’s okay, I’ll be fine. I can take no for an answer. She likes being just friends.”

“Okay… but all this doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, Kara,” Alex says, lips thinning, obviously displeased by this. She sends Kara a deep worried look, her eyes going impossibly wide. Kara looks away again—she hates worrying her people so much. Especially if it’s over stuff that she’s brought on herself.

“It’s okay,” she tries again.

Alex’s frown deepens. “How you look right now says otherwise.”

“And how do I look like?”

“Like a kicked puppy. I’m not kidding when I say this, but you are the epitome of a puppy—a Golden Retriever if you will, and when you get all sad and hurt? The kicked puppy look is devastating.”

“I know right,” Nia sighs, cringing.

Kara can’t help but crack a small smile at that, Lena once compared her to a Golden Retriever.

Alex quirks a brow up, unamused by the events.

“But Kara, what makes you think Lena wouldn't know by now about how you feel after asking such a thing. I don't know about you, but if I were in a friends and benefits relationship with someone and they asked me that, I'd be suspicious.” Nia asks. “We're talking Lena here... she's sharp, perceptive, etcetera.”

“I think about that too, really. But it doesn't seem like she really knows? Suspects, maybe. We would be having a different conversation right now if she did.”

“You’re hurting yourself and it’s not fair to Lena either,” Alex says. “So you're going to keep this up with Lena?”

Rubbing at her neck, Kara stares at her lap. It’s easier to play nonchalant like this, with less eye contact.

And about what Alex just said—that’s exactly the problem.

Lena is an upfront, incredibly careful person. She'd never want to hurt Kara in any way. The moment Lena knows, Kara knows that Lena will put a stop to and end their physical relationship immediately. Lena’s like that. Cut-throat and smart. She doesn't do messy. She doesn’t bury problems and lets it grow, fester. She puts a stop to it and fixes it, head on.

Kara doesn’t want to stop this with Lena—isn’t prepared to, either. Call her a little selfish, she just wants to at least have this if she can’t have Lena. She sighs again, running her hand through her hair. Her brain is raw from turning the same thoughts and problems over and over in it, and she’s tired.

Lena’s never going to give Kara her heart, Kara knows that.

“Yeah, I just… I don’t know. I don’t want to stop. Whatever Lena wants to give me? That’s what I want, I’ll take what I can get,” she replies.

 


 

It’s very late at night when Kara walks into the DEO main room.

Only a few agents are present, walking and murmuring about wanting their shifts to end already. Winn is seated behind his desk, his computer screen glowing brightly in front of him.

“Hi,” Kara says behind him, and he startles visibly, scrambling to minimize his game on his computer. “Very subtle, Winn.”

“Kara!” Winn sharply turns around and almost falls off his chair. “Why! You know I scare easily. Not cool, man.”

“Sorry,” Kara chuckles, grinning at her friend. “I just wanted to see your reaction.”

Winn groans, crossing his arms as he shrinks on his seat. His gaze tugs from Kara’s smiling face to the muted TV over by the wall. “Hey, great work on solving that months old case of that elusive crime group today.” He rubs his eyes, tilts his head. “Uh. Why are you here? Not that I don’t like seeing your face here, but yeah. You didn’t have to come back here after such a long day. Missed something?”

“Nope,” Kara says, leaning on his desk. “I just wanted to drop by before I finish for the day to say hi and make sure you weren’t falling asleep. Here you are, with that block game thingy.”

Winn narrows his eyes, pouts at the way Kara called his game.

Finish for the day. Well, you’ve been flying in and out of several countries, spent way too much time calming down and talking to these whiny, ignorant politicians, fighting groups of ill-causing aliens.” Winn rolls his eyes and yawns loudly, stretching his limbs. He squints at Kara. “It’s not just today, but you’ve been doing a lot of work for the past few weeks. How you’re able to do this side of work for years now while juggling CatCo work successfully—I’ll never understand, man.”

Kara hums, rubbing her tired, weary eyes. She eyes at the small mountain stack of snacks next to Winn’s keyboard. “I like being productive.”

“Ugh. All my friends have the most craziest working hours. I started working with Lena on some of her projects recently. You probably already know, but she’s been working on some huge stuff lately.” Winn pauses then, blinks at Kara with a curious look. “What?”

“What?” Kara says back.

A nasty smirk spreads across his face. “The way your ears perked up just now, and your face. Ooh, so suddenly alert.” He snorts and takes a sip of his coffee, his mouth curling behind the mug.

Kara rolls his eyes. She knows what Lena’s been up to, of course, because even if she hasn’t been seeing Lena as much lately in person, they message each other through texts and calls. “Anyways, Winn. The truth is,” she says, and yanks two chocolate bars from his mini mountain snack, “I only came to take some of these.”

“Oh, okay,” Winn huffs, feigning petulance, “so, you didn’t actually come to see me, my snacks are what attracted you to come here.” There’s a smile on his face as he fails at pretending to be sulky over stolen snacks.

Kara laughs and already starts walking away, two fingers up in salutation as she faces his direction.

“Good to see you, Winn. Have a goodnight.”

 


 

Kara doesn't mean to decline another lunch date with Lena. It happens accidentally, when her thumb accidentally touches the send button on her phone after contemplating whether to answer with a yes or no for the past half an hour. The message is sent, can't today, another time, Lena? and she shrinks in her seat.

That's the third time she's turned Lena down, and she's going to make sure that that will be the last. It's not okay to continue like this.

She almost startles in her seat when the phone in her hand buzzes.

“Alex,” Kara says, with her phone pressed to her cheek. She looks out to CatCo’s huge windows to see how bright the morning is today. “What’s up?”

“Kara, hey,” Alex says, sighing. “Look, I know we have sisters night planned later today but some things came up. Important tasks I need to tend to this evening…”

“Oh,” Kara blinks. “No, that’s okay, Alex. We can move it to another day.”

“Yeah, I’m sorry. I’ll compensate by buying twice the food. Also, you can pick the movie this time.”

Kara smiles, spinning her pen around her fingers. “Awesome. You can’t complain about what I pick, though.”

“Hey, I said you can pick but complaining is within my rights,” Alex retorts, snorting as she crunches on something over by the line.

It’s quiet for several seconds until Kara speaks. “So, I’ve been thinking.”

“Thanks for letting me know, I get worried when you don’t keep me updated,” Alex says, laughing at the way Kara sighs with a groan.

“Stop it. I’m being kind of serious,” Kara says.

“Okay. What have you been thinking about?”

“Things. Situations. I don’t know what to think,” she chuckles wryly, and stops spinning her pen. “It’s about Lena. Recently, sometimes I think I don’t know how to act around her anymore. I mean, not in that literal kind of sense, I'm just adjusting to how I feel now, as we have this... casual thing going on between us. Things just feels difficult when we're... we're like this and that... but ultimately we’re just best friends. She made sure we’re just friends, and that’s all we’re going to be. Best friends.”

“That’s because you want more, Kara.”

“I know that, but…”

The line is quiet until she hears Alex sigh.

“The way I see it, you guys have always been a little more than just best friends,” Alex says, after a moment. “But both of you refuse to acknowledge it, to define it, and just squish everything and stick to that simple, safe term. Honestly, I don’t understand how you two work, but I’m not blind.”

“I don’t know about that,” Kara sighs. “But the fact remains that the feelings here are one-sided.”

Alex sighs, too. They fall into silence.

Then, “Being more than just friends,” Kara echoes her sister’s words a moment later. “If that’s how you’ve been seeing it, then it’s been like that for a long time between us. But you know, I hadn’t understood that for a while—the whole ‘more than just friends’ phrase.” She takes a moment for herself, chuckles sardonically. “I’m platonically in love with like, everyone.”

The line is quiet for several seconds until Alex huffs. “Wow. Hearing that, suddenly it makes so much sense to me now, with how you’ve been seeing it.” Kara hears her sister sigh fondly and she imagines Alex shaking her head with a smile. “And it only took you what... only five years and copious amount of sex with your best friend to realize that you’re in love in love with Lena?”

Kara pouts. “Alex. When you say it like that it sounds utterly ridiculous.”

“That’s because it is,” Alex says. “It’s okay, though. You can be slow sometimes, but that’s fine, Kara.”

It’s absolutely not fine at all.

Even if she had realized it much earlier on, the outcome remains the same. Lena doesn’t want her like that, and she’s never going to want to.

“I like what we’re doing. I just don’t want my feelings to mess things up.”

When feelings abound, it gets messy and awkward, Lena had said to her.

“Doesn’t it… hurt too much? To know that she doesn’t want anything else?” Alex asks. Kara gulps.

“Of course it does. But there’s nothing that can change that—she doesn’t want anything else, and I need to accept that,” Kara replies, repeating the words she’s been telling herself for a week now, just this time out loud.

“Then… why keep this up? Why have sex?”

Kara can’t help but blush in her seat furiously, reminding herself that she’s discussing this with her sister—the nature of her relationship with Lena.

“Not having sex with her wouldn’t make it hurt any less, either,” Kara says. “Plus, at least… I can have her like this. It’s better than nothing. Like I said earlier, Alex? Whatever Lena wants to give me… I’ll be happy with it.”

Alex hums, understanding. Then she sighs. “I’m sorry, Kara. I don’t have the answers for you. I’ve been telling you to end it, but apparently you’re one of those useless, pining-after-her-best-friend gals, and I get exactly how it hits.”

“Wow?” Despite feeling down, it draws a quiet chuckle from Kara. “Attacked by my own family. Ouch.”

Alex sighs. “You know it’s just going to hurt even more like this.”

“I'll just see.”

Kara knows that Alex is right. Is she? Probably. But she’s too… stubborn, hung up on Lena. Can she be blamed? She gets to have Lena like this. She gets to kiss her, run her hands up and down her body, hold her close. Kara wants Lena, and like this, she has her. It's not easy to give her up, even if it's to protect her own heart. Kara scrubs a hand over her face, sighs deeply. When she catches the time on her phone, her eyes widen.

“Golly, it’s—Alex. I gotta go, I have a meeting soon.”

Alex chuckles. “Go, don’t let me hold you. Call me if you ever need to talk, yeah?”

“Of course. Thank you, Alex.”

 


 

Kara has always thought herself to be invincible even when it comes to overworking herself whilst having her powers intact. Because she's a Kryptonian, and Kryptonians are far from similar to humans when it comes to the feeling of tiredness and the need to catch up on sleep and rest.

Her body is perfectly fine and in good shape, if not feeling a little sore. But her mind, she is utterly exhausted from all the travelling and emergencies she’s been having to tend to lately these past weeks including her work at CatCo.

Past through the smoky air, cars honking and people noisily fluttering around the area, she runs a hand down her face and steadies herself on the steel railing. Alex and five DEO agents handcuffs three aliens—the three aliens that almost drained her powers during the battle just then. They are incredibly strong, Kara has noted, and she recognizes them from Fort Rozz’s archive of criminals—the strongest amongst the strongest.

But something’s wrong—one is missing in their quad group. Kara has been looking around for the alien since she successfully subdued these three, but there’s been no luck. The alien is faster than the three, smarter. He had escaped before she could catch him.

She breathes through her mouth shakily, looks down at her dirty hands gripping the rail, then looks back up to see Alex giving her a scrutinizing look. It’s only been a few hours since her sister called her this morning.

We’ve got this, go home and rest, Alex mouths to her with a sorry-smile over the sea of civilians, reporters, police.

Kara nods.

Home, Kara thinks, as she shoots up into the sky. That sounds so good right now. Sleeping for a long long time under a large, soft blanket. She can do that.

She lands with a heavy thud to the floor, shaky legs following after as she takes further steps inside. She has always thought herself—her body to be invincible even when she’s being overworked until moments like these, when all she can think about is laying down on something soft and warm. Sleeping for a long time, uninterrupted.

Energy drained as she staggers her way forward, she doesn’t bother to change herself and just flops down heavily onto the couch, closing her eyes.

Then the next thing she registers is a gentle hand on her face. Kara opens her eyes groggily, sees a familiar pair of brilliant green eyes.

Abruptly she sits up straight, fumbles around and sees that it’s already dark from the balcony windows.

This isn’t her apartment.

“I—I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to randomly crash on your couch,” Kara says, face and neck heating as she rubs on the back of her neck. She wipes her chin experimentally, hoping she didn’t drool in her sleep.

Lena is crouched down with one knee on the floor, and her hand lays itself on Kara’s thigh. Worry filters on her face as she wears a small, slightly amused smile on her lips.

“It’s okay. I don’t mind at all,” Lena says, voice quiet and soft, and shakes her head. “I just got back and saw you sleeping on the couch. I didn’t mean to wake you up.”

Kara bites the inside of her cheek, flushes. “It seems I fell asleep as soon as I sat down. Oh! I still have my suit on… I guess it’s been a bit of a long day for me.”

“I saw. The three Fort Rozz aliens? Indeed you did.” Lena watches her closely. “Everything okay now?”

Kara nods. She glances down at Lena’s body, sees that she’s in her work attire, and back up to see her eyes, looking tired but warm.

Then remembers that she came to the wrong apartment and her entrance was pretty out of nowhere and sudden for Lena.

“Uh, right. I, I should go—”

“Oh. N-No, wait,” Lena says quickly.

But Kara makes the movement to get up, and when she does so she sways. Lena’s quick to hold her shoulders, keeping her into place. “Just… stay for a bit. It’s okay to rest here, Kara.”

Lena’s eyes are fixed on hers, and Kara looks around, thinks of protesting. Lena sighs.

“Let’s just get you out of that suit and I’ll get you into something more comfortable. Does that sound okay?”

Kara knows it’s useless to turn Lena down, or to find a way to get out of this mess. She’s just embarrassed, really. She mistook her apartment with Lena’s and fell asleep on Lena’s couch with her smeared suit and dirty boots on.

Rao. Lena dislikes messy.

“Okay, then… um, I’ll clean your couch tomorrow.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Lena gets up, but not before she takes one last good look at Kara. It only takes Lena a short moment before she comes back with some clean clothes piled over her arms.

“I’m sorry to bother you,” Kara says, scrubs a hand down her face. “You just got back from work. And it’s late, and that means you took extra time to work, and—”

Lena arches an eyebrow up as she kneels in front of Kara once again, handing her her clothes. “You’re never a bother to me. What’s with all the apologizing, darling? We’re past that.”

Honestly, Kara isn’t sure. She shrugs, not knowing what to say. She didn't expect to be here in her penthouse, to see Lena right in front of her today.

A strange tension builds in the room.

There’s this odd, unusual air around them that Kara’s created ever since that night at the bridge. She knows it’s her doing, knows that Lena feels it too as she sees the hesitancy in Lena’s movements, the nervous ticks in her eyes.

Lena sees it for sure, because she just expels a soft sigh, shakes her head. Neither wants to bring up that slight shift between them.

“Let's just get you to my bed after you get yourself changed, okay? Or do you need help with changing,” Lena asks, a teasing lilt to her voice, lightening the mood.

Kara flushes.

“I’m not even injured, just sleepy-tired,” she murmurs before nodding at Lena, standing up with the clothes over her arms with a grateful, sheepish smile. “Um. I think I’m going to use your showers first.”

“Go ahead.”

 

-

 

Kara stares at the ceiling, her arms and legs spread wide, taking most of the space in Lena’s bed. Why didn’t she opt to leave after waking up? She doesn’t exactly need to stay here.

Lena’s too nice. Too kind, too caring, too lovely —

She takes a deep breath, shudders as she closes her eyes.

Lena walks in then, wearing a lightweight black robe. It’s wrapped around her body loosely enough that it shows a great deal of pale skin, especially in the front. Back turned towards Kara, she reaches for the drawer and places her contact lens case in.

“Scoot over,” Lena says, as she places a knee on the edge of the bed. Kara fights to keep her eyes up and rolls herself over, giving Lena her space.

“I napped for five hours. Slept, actually,” Kara says, sitting up with her legs crossed, facing Lena. “Your couch is amazing, I think. It’s been a while since I got decent sleep.”

“Yeah?” Lena chokes out a light laugh, the lovely sound wrapping tightly around Kara’s ribs, sending a slow tingle down Kara’s spine. Lena pushes her hair back, her black curls dangling over her shoulders as she settles herself beside Kara.

Lena has the best laugh around. Kara isn’t biased at all, she knows for a fact that no one has a better laugh than Lena. Whether it’s soft chuckles, or deep, huffed out laughs. Whether it’s loud and resounding, taking over her whole body, or silent and only present in her eyes.

It’s one of the reasons Kara fell in love with her.

Kara swallows. She looks away.

“Are you having troubles with sleep?”

“Not really, it’s just my work stuff has me too occupied lately and my bed dusting. And yeah, Lena. Cool couch, it’s crazy how it’s only just now that I realize its true greatness. I might steal it, so watch out.”

“Stealing high-end couches from suspecting CEO’s now, are we? Sure, Kara,” Lena says, and when Kara turns to look at her again, she’s graced with a smile. It’s the kind of smile that lights up whenever Kara says something weird or ridiculous, and it amuses Lena so, and then Lena goes around looking suspiciously endeared. “Though, I’m not sure what kind of headlines will pop up if anyone successfully snags a shot of Supergirl carrying a couch in the sky.”

“There won’t be any,” Kara laughs, scrunching her nose. “I’m fast and I can be super sneaky when I want to be.”

Lena rolls her eyes. Fond. It makes Kara want to lean forward and kiss Lena until her mouth falls off.

In another world, Kara reaches over and cradles Lena’s face, kisses her nose, her mouth, and whispers goodnight, I love you, but here she just smiles back, fingers drumming on her thighs as she sits still.

Lena’s still looking at her and Kara feels her head tilting, an inquiring smile forming across her lips.

“What?”

“Go to sleep?” Lena says, mirroring her quizzical smile. “Lie down and sleep, you need to rest more.”

“I just slept for five hours. I feel kinda wide awake right now,” Kara replies, leaning on the headboard as she recrosses her legs. “Maybe climb onto my lap and give me a goodnight kiss and I’ll feel sleepy again, or something.”

Internally, Kara chastises herself. But she can’t help but be like this with Lena. Not when Lena is the way she is, who is always easily amused by Kara, always easily endeared, and Kara loves it, lives for it. But now it always comes with an ache in her chest, because this time Kara knows her place. Knows that that’s just it going for her. Knows that it’s also okay to be in love with her best friend even though it hurts, and knows how to keep it okay between them.

Understands, she means. No, she’s still understanding this, learning to squish her feelings down down down into a little box with Lena especially when a physical relationship like this exists between them.

Lena’s heart is as unattainable as the stars in the sky, and her interest in Kara only goes so far—it’s defined and established. This is just it for her, plain and simple. Kara’s chest feels hollow, like her heart is being constantly ripped out and put back together.

“Kara…” Lena arches a brow up. “That’s not how it works.”

“Wanna feel me up? I’ll even let you feel me up,” Kara grins, and she knows how shameless she sounds right now. At this point, all she wants is to be close to Lena like this and be distracted from all stress. “I know how much you like touching my muscles.”

Lena laughs, pauses. “That is way beyond a goodnight’s kiss, darling.”

Kara flushes. Melts by the term of endearment. She wonders if she’ll ever go by without her heart swirling at it.

Slowly, Lena throws a leg over Kara’s thighs and settles herself on top of Kara’s lap. They face each other, faces close.

Kara reaches up, gently traces the lines and curves of Lena’s face: her cupid’s bow, her nose, her eyelids. She runs her thumb over Lena’s brows, imagines smoothing them out in her most frustrating moments. Imagines telling her not to worry, telling her that she’ll always pull through.

No, she doesn’t have to imagine these things.

What she does imagine is falling asleep here every night—not because they’ve fallen together in their usual casual way, but because Lena wants her here.

Lena would never want her here, not like that. But for a moment, Kara lets herself pretend. And she knows this hurts, to be fooling herself, but it’s the only way she can get this close.

Despite the dim light casting over the room, the red lamp over them, Kara sees it. Pretty heterochromatic eyes, green and blue, locked on hers.

Kara’s thumb moves, brushing from the slope of Lena’s cheek down to the corner of her mouth, then sliding to the center of her lips. She presses down on Lena’s bottom lip lightly, parting her lips.

It’s the only way she can get this close.

Slowly, Lena leans in, and pauses when their mouths are mere millimeters away, warm breath mingling in the tiny space between them. Lena’s right hand slides around Kara’s head and under her hair, collecting the soft and wispy tendrils at the base of her neck before pulling lightly.

Then Lena closes the distance.

They kiss for a long time, the way they do when they’re a little drunk and relaxed. When Kara separates, Lena chases her mouth, and Kara stifles a whimper at it, deciding to indulge Lena.

She feels incredibly lightheaded already by just the taste of Lena’s mouth. The lingering faint taste of lip gloss, minty toothpaste, and something unmistakably sweet that’s just Lena.

They kiss necks and ears and throats and fingers but always come back to mouths, touch underneath robe and shirt but don’t make any move to take anything off. Lena likes it so much. Kara likes that she does. Likes the feeling of their hips together, chest pressed against each other, arousal swirling, and that not even mattering.

Lena just wants her to keep kissing her.

So Kara keeps going. She rolls them over and kisses Lena into the mattress. She kisses Lena until her hands take over and rub down Lena's chest and abdomen, until her ears are filled with the sound of heavy breathing and the slick sounds of their mouths. She kisses Lena until she groans low and beautifully.

Kara gives attention to all the places that usually get Lena a little noisier, eventually her hand moves to slide over Lena’s breast, kneading, to really get the reaction she’s after. Then she comes back to Lena’s mouth, and she feels how tender her own lips are getting, but she kisses her anyway.

There’s no wandering tongues but wandering hands. With the tie of Lena’s robe loosened, Kara warms over Lena’s shoulders beneath her robe, and squeezes at her sides. Lena’s rubbing over her throat and down her chest.

And just as promised, she lets Lena feel her up—Lena’s hands slipping underneath her shirt, skimming over skin, dragging slowly along her biceps to her abs. Kara flexes, and a quiet fuck is murmured against her mouth.

Kara pulls back to catch her breath, her hand automatically reaching down to brush Lena’s few messy strands out of her eyes with one hand, and the other gently tracing her cheek.

Lena is so pretty, she feels like it’s something she realizes at least fifteen times a day. She thumbs over Lena’s jawline, presses in just the slightest bit before she leans down until her lips touch skin, only just briefly.

Lena looks at her with the most awestruck expression, and something about the way she’s smiling at Kara makes Kara’s heart thump wildly.

Really, it’s criminal for Lena to look at her like that. Because it makes her insides burn, and Kara wonders, briefly, how Lena would look like looking at someone who'd have her entire heart, her world.

“You’re so beautiful,” she whispers without thinking, and Lena’s breath hitches. She has said this before, often times already, but this time it feels a little different. It’s with the knowledge that she wants Lena, and for Lena to call her hers, and for some reason she feels a little frightened after saying it.

She’s worried that this will shift into another awkwardness, because that seems to be the trend lately, and that Lena will ask to stop this. Instead, Lena cups her cheeks and kisses her softly.

Seconds bleed into minutes before it starts to get heated and before Kara knows it, she feels her back hit against the mattress as Lena moves to straddle her thighs. Lena pushes Kara’s shirt up and licks and kisses her skin. It’s hot and wet and her mouth travels up slowly, to Kara’s throat, jaw, then to her mouth.

“Lena, too much clothes. Wanna feel you,” Kara murmurs against Lena’s lips, and Lena’s already helping her out of hers. Lena easily slips out of her garment after stripping Kara from her clothes, and once they’ve settled together, Lena stays hovering above Kara.

“So much for a goodnight's kiss, hmm?”

“You kept kissing me. Look how that turned out,” Kara says. Lena smiles, reaches down to tuck a stray lock of hair behind Kara's ear before letting her hand slip lower, curling around the back of Kara's neck. She leans down, presses a kiss to the corner of Kara's mouth, then drops another one on her jaw. “Still kissing me,” Kara points out, her thumb stroking the soft, tender spot on Lena's hip.

“Complaining?”

“No...” You can do anything you want to me. I love you. Kara bites her tongue. She pokes Lena's side, and Lena chuckles.

“Good.” Lena softly grasps Kara’s chin and she leans down, pressing her forehead against Kara’s. She kisses Kara once, twice. Then kisses her deeply, long and languid and breathless, and rears back. Beneath the veneer of lust there’s something vast and tender shining in Lena’s gaze, and it makes Kara feel kind of nervous then.

She doesn’t like it. It gives her mixed feelings, nothing that’s good for her.

It’s instances like this, when it’s just them and Lena’s looking at her—only her—that brings Kara back to square one. Eyes always with that intensity and warmth that could make anyone feel the most special person in the world within just a certain look. That’s the kind of natural effect Lena Luthor has on everyone, Kara included especially.

It’s a lot, and Kara’s had enough of wondering.

“Come here,” she whispers, reaches up and slides her hand around the back of Lena’s head and pulls Lena in, kissing her deeply and wetly.

Kara tilts her head at an angle and Lena’s tongue slips into her mouth, and the feeling of Lena’s breasts brushing against hers is exhilarating. Her hands move down to Lena’s hips, holding them—she likes feeling the skin there, extra soft and tender.

She lets out a low groan, or more like a moan when Lena’s mouth starts kissing her throat, nipping and lightly biting down the column of her neck, moving to lick along the ridges of her collarbones, as Lena’s hand slides up over her breast, thumbing her nipple with pressure.

Kara feels Lena’s lips curl into a smile when she sighs Lena’s name breathlessly, the pressure of Lena’s palm over her breast increasing, squeezing and releasing again and again.

She tries to get up but Lena’s other hand is on her shoulder, holding her down when she makes small attempts to flip their positions.

This is fine, Kara supposes. Fantastic, even. Hot, that Lena is insistent on her staying down and making her feel good. She wraps an arm around Lena’s back, turns her head to the side to give Lena more skin.

“Lena,” she says quietly, when Lena sucks on her racing pulse point. Her hand flies to the back of Lena’s head to keep her in place when her teeth scrapes across the sensitive skin. Kara closes her eyes and Lena travels further down, mouth leaving a hot trail of kisses down to her abdomen, making flame leap in her stomach.

Lena hums, squeezes and releases Kara's chest. “Mm?”

“Feels good,” Kara sighs, her head digging against her pillow. She barely holds in a whimper when Lena’s other hand brushes slightly at her center, before going back to her inner thigh. “Kind of need you to touch me now, though,” she says, biting her bottom lip as arousal stirs in her system.

Lena’s voice is low and gravelly when she says, “I will. Just be a little more patient for me, Kara.” That promise is punctuated by the sensation of Lena’s teeth capturing the skin of Kara’s thigh, and the predatory smirk directed in Kara’s direction elicits a soft, quiet whimper from her.

Kara always loves the way in which Lena says her name. It sounds far better than usual in Lena’s mouth, and her lips look almost hypnotic as they utter the two syllables. During sex, that perception of Kara’s is heightened. She would die just to listen to Lena pronounce her name like this. Rao, she really would give her anything.

Lena meets her gaze again as she slowly makes her way to where Kara really, really needs her. When Lena finally reaches her clit, a shaky moan escapes from Kara’s mouth and she squirms, hands fisting white sheets.

“Lena. Lena,” Kara whispers, and Lena starts teasing her entrance with her finger, while licking and sucking at her clit. Kara’s head digs further against the pillow, her back arching and a wordless noise of pleasure falls from her mouth.

“Kara. Don’t close your eyes. Look at me,” Lena says, and Kara does.

Kara swallows and makes a breathy sound, her hand finding Lena’s hair. She doesn’t think she’ll ever get enough of seeing Lena like this. Lena’s head between her legs, indulging and pleasuring her, eating her out so good. Lena’s moving her tongue, licking and sucking, and it feels so good and it’s all so much as her nerves light on fire and spark, bliss rippling through her —

It’s too much. All of it. The sights and sounds. The wet suction of Lena’s mouth. The heavy, steady gaze.

“Rao—Lena, baby,” Kara moans before she could stop herself. Green eyes are on hers, intense and so damn inviting. Lena’s eyes flutter, her other hand on Kara’s thigh tightening its grip, and something inside Kara makes her repeat it, her head dizzy with arousal. “Lena, baby, want your fingers inside me,” she murmurs, pleasure and need taking over her brain and thoughts.

And Lena doesn’t say anything. Instead she moans, so softly and low and it makes Kara have to hold back the urge to reach out and kiss her.

“You’d like that?” Lena asks then, blatant in her light teasing as two fingers make firmer strokes along her soaking entrance.

“Yeah—yeah, please. Yes,” Kara whimpers, and Lena uses this moment to slip her finger in. Her tongue glides against Kara’s clit and she sucks harder, as Kara bites her lower lip hard to keep herself from crying out. Another finger slips in, and Kara’s unable to hold back a shuddering moan this time.

Lena’s fingers feels so, so fucking good inside her but it’s not enough.

“Lena, I can—one more,” she breathes.

“Yeah?” Lena murmurs, voice low and breathless, her eyes steady on Kara’s as she works Kara up.

“Yeah, yeah, Lena,” she nods twice, sharply, “S’ good. So good, Lena, you’re doing so good.”

Lena moans against her clit at the praise, her dark eyes piercing into Kara’s. Kara knows how much Lena likes it when she tells her how well she’s doing, how amazing she's being, and Lena drinks it all up—the compliments and praises, easily melting at every word.

Lena obeys and pushes three fingers into Kara, and Kara exhales and swears breathlessly, the room quickly filling up with the obscene wet sounds of Lena’s fingers moving inside Kara and Kara’s breathing. She must be soaking wet because it slips in and out easily, and she doesn’t have time to marvel about how wet she is because Lena’s thrusts sends her into a frenzy, the thrusts going deeper and harder and faster as she curls them.

“Lena, fuck, Lena—holy shit,” she babbles, gasping raggedly, her back arching as a low, strangled noise rips its way out of her throat, “I’m already so close, baby, please, please—”

Each swipe of Lena’s tongue and each curl of her fingers sends sparks of white hot pleasure coursing through Kara, building Kara higher and higher until she can barely breathe. The feeling of Lena’s mouth working relentlessly between her legs has her thighs quivering and back arching up against the mattress, head pressing against the pillow as she moans out Lena’s name.

“God, Kara, you’re so wet and tight. That’s it, darling,” Lena murmurs thickly, urging Kara on, briefly replacing her mouth with her thumb. Kara’s heart stutters at the word and she swallows down, hand tightening in Lena’s hair. “Are you gonna come for me?”

All Kara can manage is a shaky “yeah” before she comes in Lena’s mouth. Her eyes slam shut and her body shakes, and an unrestrained guttural moan slips past her mouth as Lena rides her out of her orgasm. There is just something in the way Lena knows just how to handle Kara, how she’s always so in tune with her.

Lena plants small kisses on her skin as she comes back up, as Kara takes a moment to recollect herself.

“Wow. That was…”

Lena presses a kiss to the edge of her jawline. “That was…?” Lena repeats in an inquiring tone, a smug smirk playing on her lips. Her pupils are dilated, heavy lust evident on her face, but her gaze is warm, settling over Kara like a lovely blanket.

Kara flushes.

“Really good,” she finishes. “Really, really good.” She cups at Lena’s cheek, pulls her in for a small, heated kiss, tasting herself in Lena’s mouth. She feels some of her slick heat coating Lena's chin and she rubs her thumb over it, wiping as she presses deeper into the kiss. “You're amazing.”

Then, when she makes a movement to switch their positions, Lena stops her.

“It’s fine like this,” Lena says, and grabs her hand, playing with her fingers. “I want to come like this, with your hand—”

Oh. Yeah, okay,” Kara says, voice shaky and steadies herself. Lena scratches lightly behind Kara’s ear and bucks herself into Kara’s hand.

Some of Lena’s hair sticks to her forehead with sweat, and her eyes look glassy and blown. She looks fucked out already, and Kara is sure she does as well. This is what sex between them does to the two of them. Kara has never had it like this with anyone before, and she doubts she ever will.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck…” Lena noses at Kara’s jaw as she breathes, makes a choked sound, and moans in Kara’s ear. There is something incredibly hot about Lena cursing, Kara thinks. Like this, her voice is deeper and raspier than usual, probably because of the arousal.

Foreheads pressed together, they look at each other from beneath hooded lids. Lena grinds into the press of Kara's fingers, slow and deep, and Kara feels herself getting turned on again just by the sight and the way Lena prettily moans in her ear.

“Kara. Kara, Kara,” Lena chants her name, her chest heaving and low whimpers deviating into a long, low moan. She's making such a mess on Kara's hand. Slick heat spilling all over Kara's fingers, palm.

Their faces are so close, noses almost touching.

It can’t only be Kara that feels like this. It can’t only be Kara whose heart swells once Lena’s eyes flutter open and their gazes meet. Kara makes a soft, quiet sound as she coaxes Lena on, marveling at how Lena’s eyes glisten, how her hair is all messy and tousled and her lips swollen and red as she loses herself in Kara.

“That’s it,” Kara whispers, swallows down as she watches Lena, her hand moving from Lena’s back right to her chest, over her heart. “That’s it, Lena... good girl. I've got you.”

Fingers tangle in her hair and Lena leans down, placing her mouth on Kara’s as she moves against her. Lena breathes as she presses their foreheads together, their eyes half-open, fixed on each other, so intimately immersed that it makes Kara’s heart squeeze every few beats.

It’s intimate and Kara feels a lot.

“Kara,” Lena’s breath is coming out fast against Kara’s mouth and Kara swallows every exhale, every whimper. “Kara, I, ah—

“Yeah? Tell me,” Kara shivers, desperate to hear more. “Tell me, baby.”

“I’m, I’m going to—” The hands that are on Kara’s shoulders tighten its grip, nails spreading fire on skin. Then Lena’s body stiffens, shudders, and a low, soft moan stutters in her throat.

Lena slows down and comes to a stop.

She settles down on Kara with her weight, her whole body sweaty and hot, but Kara doesn’t mind. Lena stays boneless, sprawled on top of Kara for a few moments, catching her breath, before she nuzzles against Kara’s neck and presses a soft kiss over the array of bruises and bite marks Kara’s sure are decorating her skin.

“That was really, uh. Nice,” Kara whispers.

Lena hums, chest shaking as she chuckles softly.

The sex is great, because of course it’s great, because it’s always been great—they know how to take care of each other, and right now Kara tries to think with her hands because her mind is too focused on the way Lena looks up at her softly, gaze warm as she draws random patterns on Lena’s bare back. Air rushes from her lungs, because Lena is fucking beautiful in the afterglow. Kara has to bite her cheek to prevent something stupid slipping out.

And it’s all a little too much; Lena’s fingers clutched on her shoulder, Lena’s eyes half-closed but open enough to look at her, Lena whispering so softly, “Kara,” close to Kara’s skin—it’s all too much, and all Kara can do to cope is to keep going, make Lena feel good, to try to ignore the way none of this used to make her feel emotional like this.

Because she has to ignore it now, because it’s intimate and Kara feels intensely. It hurts. It hurts so much, and she’s trying to keep her emotions at bay.

The sex is good, and when it’s done, Kara lies there and thinks about wishing she wasn’t thinking. It’s quiet as she smooths a hand down Lena’s back. Emotions run rampage inside her; she kind of wants to cry, kind of wants to laugh, kind of wants to hide forever.

And she can’t help but think about what just happened.

She is so stupidly in love with Lena that she thinks her own feelings are starting to play tricks on her. Now, Kara has had a decent amount of fucking—before Lena, even though her relationships never quite lasted, but enough that she can call it decent. She has also done a decent amount of fucking with Lena.

But this feels different.

Kara pulls back her head a little, to get a better look at Lena. She watches Lena evening her breath out, watches the strong lines of her jaw and nose.

“Lena,” she says.

Lena responds by one hand moving to Kara’s mouth, one index placed against Kara’s lips. “Shush. Go to sleep now, Kara.”

Kara looks at Lena, then swallows her words down. Perhaps it’s best not to say anything.

Lena tucks her face into Kara’s neck once again, her hand laying rest over Kara’s chest. It’s too much, it’ll always be too much. It’s in the way in which Lena looked at her, or the way she called Kara darling, or the way Kara placed her hand on Lena’s chest while bringing her to orgasm. It’s in how Kara accidentally called her baby, and Lena liked it.

Kara doesn’t think she’s fucking. Kara feels like they just made love. But of course, for Lena, it could never be that.

 


 

The morning comes and Kara finds herself getting dressed as Lena sleeps soundly in her bed. Kara’s in the living room, grabbing her belongings as she gets ready for work.

Kara is terrible at this thing called distancing and boundaries, she’s realized. No, she has known, it’s just that she realizes how awfully skilled she is at establishing a non-existent safeguard against Lena. She scrambles around in the room as she thinks about Lena sleeping peacefully in her bed. How is she supposed to numb things down and have a little more time for herself when she finds that she keeps doing the complete opposite: digging deeper and coming back full force?

No, what she wants is to take and take, whatever Lena wants to give to her. It’s just the hurt that she’s learning to deal with, becoming familiar with, having to shove it down down down in her throat.

At the last placing of the button of her shirt, Lena appears then, wearing only a large white shirt, half unbuttoned. She runs her hand through her tousled bed hair, looking sleep heavy but awake nonetheless.

“‘Morning…” Lena yawns, heading to the fridge and fills herself a glass from the water dispenser. “You’re awake early.”

“Yeah, uh,” Kara clears her throat, lights up her phone screen. Of course, Kara wasn’t going to leave without a smile and saying goodbye, but she hadn’t expected Lena to get up early. “You’re awake early, too.”

Lena hums, moving around in the kitchen. “It was cold in the bed without you.”

“Couldn’t sleep without your personal radiator?” Kara says, chuckling wryly as her eyes stick to her phone screen, scrolling down and reading through her emails. She tries not to sound bitter. “Lena, you’re getting too used to me being here. You shouldn’t.”

For several beats, there's only silence.

“You’re right,” Lena says.

Kara stops swiping at her phone and turns to look at Lena. The corners of Lena's lips tilt up in a rueful little smile.

“As much as I enjoy the benefits of having a warm Kryptonian at my side in my bed, you don’t have to worry about me getting comfortable. But you know, you're always welcome here anytime you want. I enjoy your company.” Lena emphasizes her very point with a flirtatious wink, lips pulling into an attractive smirk before taking a sip of her water.

Kara’s heart clenches painfully, and she tries to keep herself upright. Of course. When they have sex, it's just sex, and it's fun and stress-relieving and the likes. She pushes her glasses up her nose shakily.

“That’s… good to hear. Yeah, it’d be awkward if either of us started to. Get comfortable, I mean.” Then she hesitates, and the words are out before she knows it. “But—could it actually be such a bad thing?”

Lena stares at her then—setting her glass down. Her lips part and her eyebrows furrow in confusion. Kara knows Lena’s staring because she's staring right back. She waits for a few seconds, but then it bleeds into more seconds.

Kara,” Lena murmurs lowly, heavy with implication. Her voice is laced with a tenderness that makes Kara’s heart squeeze impossibly tight. “That's. I don’t…” she trails off quietly, sleep-heavy eyes now replaced with something else as she watches Kara carefully.

Kara stills at it. She averts her gaze, mouth tasting bitter. She’s not going to cry.

“Sorry. Relax,” she says, voice breathy, her chuckle coming off stilted. “Small offhand comment, didn’t mean anything by it.” Kara didn’t mean to suggest it, really, and quite frankly she knows she’s treading on ice thinner than ever.

“Yeah?” Lena asks.

“Yeah,” Kara says, trying to sound impartial. Because she’s supposed to be. That’s their whole deal. It’s always just sex in the end. No matter how many times Lena has kissed her against the kitchen counter, sweet and without expectations, or Kara pleasuring her in other nights—their relationship hasn’t changed.

She just wants to be desensitized to this sinking feeling, desperately needing to be numbed down from it, because now Kara has to pretend that each time she wakes up beside Lena and has to leave, all the things they do doesn’t mean anything to her the way it doesn’t mean anything to Lena.

Lena doesn’t make a movement, her face stony, eyes blank. But Kara hears the rapid beating of Lena's heart and it doesn't take a genius to connect the dots. She made Lena feel uncomfortable yet again and placed them together at another standstill. Kara feels like a deer caught in headlights, but then again, that’s a feeling she’s becoming used to whenever she’s around Lena.

The strange tension in the air between them is back, stuffy and heavy. Lena isn’t saying nor showing much, and Kara isn’t accustomed to this, to this kind of quietness between them. She’s unsure of what to do.

Her own heart beats wildly in her chest and the energy in the silence is starting to feel suffocating.

She takes a deep breath—and exhales shakily.

“Kara?”

“I’m—I should get going.”

Kara stands up and shakily takes her wallet from the coffee table, making an abrupt exit, and the way Lena just lets her leave quietly without so much of a word or question… stings.

 


 

Two days pass, and Kara’s flooded with interviews and paperwork.

Alex had told her to stay away from her Supergirl duties, to take some time off a bit, so that’s what she’s been doing. Only because Alex badgered and trapped her inside her apartment yesterday, that Kara finally gave in. She found herself succumbing to her sister’s demands when Alex let out her Intimidating Sister Glare after she brought up Eliza's name. It also didn’t help that Alex was carrying a Chinese take-out box.

And so Kara’s promised to take a few days break. The DEO is still searching for the fourth Fort Rozz alien. Kara hopes they find him soon, or she’ll have to step back in, because she knows it won’t be long before he starts causing destruction in the city again.

But even without her cape on, her mind is constantly buzzing because of work and there’s always either a laptop or paperwork in front of her to fill with words. She doesn’t see how she looks like from Alex’s eyes, but she can guess.

Despite the welcome days off, her workload in CatCo doesn’t decrease at all. It’s a nice distraction, the workload Kara has been embracing, but it doesn’t soothe her often busy mind.

If Kara has to be honest, she feels relieved to see that there aren’t any messages on her inbox from Lena. She’s been expecting one or two, or maybe even a phone call. But there’s been none ever since she took off like that in the penthouse.

Perhaps what happened wasn't a big of a deal and Lena doesn’t care about it much. It was just a small awkward situation, something they both can forget and move on.

Yeah, that must be it. However, that thought doesn’t ease Kara’s mind.

It feels like the more time she spends with Lena, the more Lena comes to suspect the feelings she has for her. Kara has never really been great at hiding her feelings, she knows that. Her friends know that. Everyone around her knows that.

 


 

When you know something is going to happen, there's no point in being surprised by it once it does. Kara knew that it was coming.

It: blowing her powers from overuse and exhaustion.

The last Fort Rozz alien that she’s been looking for stands before her, spiteful and thirsty for revenge written all over his face as he stands over cracked concrete.

“Where did you take those three,” he seethes harshly through his teeth as he flexes his large, muscular arms and sticks out his chest as if to look all the more intimidating. “You and your mother, what is with you two and imprisoning us? We just want to be free!”

Kara glares at him, hard.

“Free and picking fights with anyone that so much as looks at you, and murdering them is not okay. It’s unacceptable on your planet and it sure is the same here,” she says, breathing heavily as she steadies herself against the wall. Kara knows that it’s useless to explain this, that the alien standing before her has no concept of fear and remorse. She’s read it in their files.

He shakes his head, face darkening.

“There are rules here on this planet,” Kara says.

He growls at this, animal-like, and lunges forward with his fist. Kara dodges easily, but he’s on her again—a hit to her torso this time, then a fist crunching into her face. Blood splatters on the concrete and her ears start to ring unpleasantly.

Kara hits the wall with a loud thud, pain shooting everywhere in her body as she collides into the hard surface. There’s blood in her mouth as she scrambles to get up using one, functioning arm. Her right arm was snapped broken when she came into the violent ambush, and it’s only now that she starts feeling the excruciating pain.

Salt, she tastes in her mouth.

She hears dozens of people scrambling for safety, screaming, and cars honking and tires marking on concrete, but they all come out distorted in her hearing. It feels like she’s underwater.

Kara steadily waits for a voice to come through in her earpiece.

It’s not by far the first time Kara’s broken her arm. She cradles it close to her chest, sharp pain flooding her senses by the second, and if she lets everything continue on like this she knows she’ll pass out soon.

Legs unsteady, they trade vicious blows. The Fort Rozz alien’s opening and closing his mouth, but Kara can’t make out his words. Her vision starts to fade in and out, and soon all background noises become fully distorted.

Another direct blow connects to her stomach, and her knees give in before she even realizes it.

She hears someone shout her name before she blacks out.

 


 

Kara wakes up and immediately regrets opening her eyes, shifting around in her spot when she comes to her senses.

She sucks in a sharp breath as pain flares everywhere in her body alongside an uncomfortable pressure on her arm. Under a sun lamp, she quickly diverts her eyes away to someplace less brighter. There’s a white cast and sling on her right arm, restricting arm movement.

Kara groans to herself, loud.

“Kara!” Alex enters the room just in time, eyes wide and already she’s at Kara’s side. “God, you were reckless out there—when I said steer clear of your Supergirl duties and rest, I meant give yourself a week’s break while at it! Not hunt that alien down and lose your powers. It hasn’t even been that long.”

Her sister hovers around her, re-doing her observations and checkups. Kara lets her as she pouts to the ceiling.

“It just happened… I ran into him on my way to Noonan’s to meet with Nia. He’s the one who hunt me down. Really. He knew who I was,” Kara sighs. “I was tracked by smell. Their kind, Alex, they have—”

“I know,” Alex mutters, eyebrows furrowing as she reaches down for Kara’s wrist, pressing down two fingers on her skin. “I’m sorry I didn’t get there in time, not so sorry about how much Brainy and I roughed him up after we found you. You did a great job at stalling.”

“I knew you guys would come soon. I was supposed to meet Nia—where is she now?”

“She’s the one who got to you first, actually. A minute earlier than we did. She’s back at CatCo, busy with her work.”

Alex watches her closely, frown on her face deepening. Rao, Kara can guess what’s running through Alex’s mind and she hates having to make her sister fill with worry every time she lands herself in the med bay room.

“I’m okay now, thanks to you guys,” she says, her voice hoarse and raspy. She clears her throat, looks down to her other arm where Alex has her wrist on hold with her fingers. A smile cracks open. “You know, I figured out why doctors and nurses do that. They don’t actually check for your pulse rate, they count for respirations.”

Alex’s blinks then, breaks into a disbelieving chuckle as she shakes her head. “Kara, geez. Way to lose my counting. I’m giving you something for the pain and nausea. You’re also running a low fever, and...” she babbles on, telling Kara what she can and can’t do, and the details about her arm.

“How bad is it?”

“Pretty bad, but it’ll heal. Thanks to the sun lamp the swelling went down pretty quick, so we were able to put a cast and sling on you.”

Her cast makes her arm itch terribly. Wincing, Kara asks, “Will I have to stay here longer under the lamps? Alex...”

“Regardless of that puppy look, luckily for you, no. It took us an hour to fix you up and you've been asleep under this lamp for almost two hours now. Yeah, you’re free to go home as long as you follow the Doc’s orders.” Alex chuckles fondly, nodding her head. She grabs the safety bed side rail, places them down now that Kara’s awake. Then for a moment, she looks at Kara. Her eyes flits over Kara’s face. “I’m sorry, I still have work to do around here so I called Lena up to have you a moment ago. To take you home, I mean, since—”

“Wait, you what?” Kara’s eyes widen as she jerks up straight, a whimper escaping from her lips. The sudden movement causes a jolt of pain in her sides, and her face twists into a wince.

That wasn’t necessary, why did Alex—? Panic fills Kara’s mind and the first thing that pops up in her head is their last interaction. Which wasn’t so great, it was awkward and horrible, and she’s pretty sure that the abrupt exit she took that morning left them both at an even more odd grounding. And that Kara might need to do some real explaining soon face to face —

“Kara, don’t suddenly move like that!” Alex pins her down, hands on her shoulders as she berates the Kryptonian. Kara stops moving, stares up at the ceiling as she worries her bottom lip between her teeth. “Yes, Lena is on her way. Jeez,” Alex says, huffing once Kara’s settled down. An impressed smirk forms on her lips. “You should’ve seen how it happened. That woman dropped absolutely everything she had going on for her the moment I said you got hurt and needed taking care of.”

Needed taking care of?” Kara sputters, eyes blinking fast. “Did you have to word it that way—I don’t even need to be taken care of!”

“I’ll never forget how fast she ended the call as soon as she agreed to come. I didn’t even get to voice my appreciation.” Alex rambles on with a wide grin, too lost in amusement as she stares into space, steadily ignoring Kara.

She checks her phone, dissolving into laughter and snorts. But it isn’t funny. Kara isn’t laughing.

Kara frowns, fiddling on the material of her blanket.

“What, are you mad? Why do you seem unhappy?” Alex notices then, and plants her hands on her hips. “I thought you’d be happy to have Lena coming to pick you up.”

“You could have asked Brainy, why Lena? Lena is a busy woman, Alex. My injuries aren’t even that bad...”

“Are you kidding, do you see yourself right now? And no, I have Brainy’s hands tied on cleaning up today’s mess.” Baffled, Alex squints at her, head tilting to the side. “What’s gotten you so tangled up? Sure, Lena is a busy woman like all of us, but now I’m getting the feeling that there's something more to that. Kara, it’s just Lena. It’s not like this is the first time that she’s coming for you.”

Kara closes her eyes for a brief moment and presses her lips together. “Um, things have been a bit weird between us. My fault, mostly,” she says, face twisting into a pained look. Alex waits for her to elaborate, but before she thinks of starting, her mouth shuts tight when she hears the sharp clicking of high-heels echoing in the empty hallway just outside her room.

“Oh. Your girl’s finally here.” Alex’s brows shoots up, and she directs a small helpless smile towards Kara.

Great. Fantastic. Kara absolutely did not want this.

Really, why did Alex choose Lena? She could have just called J’onn, or get Winn who’s most likely somewhere in this building to take her home. Not call a woman who has important, world-changing meetings every day, dealing with high profiles by the hour, dorking out in her lab whenever she has free time for herself.

Kara shrinks in her bed, raising her blanket up to her chin and hopes the ground swallows her whole.

Then the door slides open and Kara sees a pink-cheeked, slightly flustered-looking Lena Luthor. Her usual perfect ponytail is a little messy, some hairs sticking out, but she still looks the wonderful and breathtaking human that she is.

 

-

 

Lena moves into Kara’s space and reaches out to her seatbelt, clicking it into place. Still feeling drowsy and sluggish, Kara’s body lures her into sleep. It takes her a moment to realize what just happened, to register the clicking of the seatbelt. She rouses when Lena pulls back to her own seat, the ends of her hair brushing Kara’s knuckle as she does so.

They haven’t said anything much to each other, other than small utters of careful, is this okay, take your time, hold onto me, throughout their way to the carpark. Lena’s using her personal car, Kara has just noticed.

She sighs quietly; she’s fond of the air freshener in Lena’s car. The mixed smell of something soapy and citrus—the light quality to it that is just right, which is not too faint or strong that it doesn’t overwhelm the nose.

“We’re going to mine,” Lena says, eventually as she stops at the red light. She pauses, finger tapping on the wheel. “If that’s okay? Otherwise we’ll head to yours.”

Kara flushes, her hand fiddling on her seatbelt. “To yours,” she murmurs, looking out to the window.

Lena nods. “To mine it is, then.”

 


 

No matter how many times it has happened in the past, it always catches Kara off-guard—the way Lena treats her like a priority whenever a situation arises surrounding her.

Like, above all else, she’d just want to make sure Kara's okay and happy and comfortable. She is a priority. Kara shouldn’t be surprised, really, but she can’t help but always be taken back by this information, so she dodges around and quells her often quickly beating heart.

It’s a struggle, however.

“You know I’m okay, you really don’t have to take the rest of the day off. Alex was being dramatic. You should go back to L-Corp, I’ll just sleep all day.”

Lena has an arm around her waist and a hand on her shoulder as she steadies Kara to sit on the couch. She hasn’t left Kara’s side throughout their way here, and Kara has noticed the sneaking glances when Lena thinks that Kara isn’t looking.

Lena watches her closely, and Kara blushes under her gaze. Standing up, Lena disappears for a quick moment before she comes back and offers Kara a glass of water. Shyly, Kara takes the glass gratefully with a soft utter of thank you and avoids eye contact with Lena. Beside Kara is a blanket, which Lena grabs and drapes it over Kara's shoulders.

The strange tension in the air between them lingers and Kara hates it.

“Kara,” Lena says.

“Yes?”

“I—The way we left off earlier, did I say something that…” Lena shakes her head. “Did I upset you?” she asks, heading straight into it, completely ignoring what Kara said earlier. Despite coming off straightforward, her tone is soft and uncertain.

So she has been thinking about it.

“What? No,” Kara says too quickly, snapping her gaze back up and internally cringes by the way she blurts it out. She panics, heart racing because the last thing she wants is for Lena to think that something’s wrong, that she’s done something wrong. “It isn’t like that.”

Lena shakes her head, eyebrows furrowing in confusion. “Then why does it feel like—” Lena pauses then, looking as if she's carefully considering her next few words. She sighs. “It feels like things have been weird between us. It is. And when you left, that wasn't... very you.”

She looks genuinely worried and it makes Kara’s heart hurt, because it seems as if Lena’s been thinking that she did something wrong. She’s worried about their friendship but Kara doesn’t think there’s a single thing that could take her away from Lena’s side.

It’s why it’s okay to love Lena easily, because it means so much to her how much their friendship means to Lena.

“No. Rao, no. You didn’t do anything wrong, Lena. I promise.” Kara looks down at her hands, frantically thinking what to say. It’s all on her and her dumb feelings, and for the thousandth time Kara wishes she knew how to squish her feelings down.

Lena sighs.

There is a long beat of silence before Lena says, “I'm sorry, we don’t have to talk about this now. You’re unwell.”

They’re going to have to, eventually—soon. Lena isn’t the type to engage and entertain these strained notions, further allowing the blurring and cloud flooding in the air between them. Kara’s surprised it lasted this long.

Lena’s eyes drift down to Kara’s cast and sling. Her face softens. “Alex gave me your medications. I’ve cleared work from CatCo for you for a whole week, so don’t worry about work.”

Kara nods, touching her glasses using her better hand. “That’s… thank you,” she says sincerely, embarrassed but feeling extremely grateful as she looks at Lena. She had forgotten about CatCo. She was also supposed to meet with Nia in the morning, and she hasn’t even texted the younger woman to thank and give her an update. Rao, she feels so messy at this moment.

Past weeks of accidents and emergencies had her super-speeding and flying from country to country dealing with all kinds of suspicious and malicious activities. When she had time for herself, it was facing article deadlines after deadlines, and both roles simultaneously worked together, effectively draining her energy out.

She had overextended herself and today’s attack proved it when she blew out her powers to defend herself.

Kara looks down and sees Lena in her perfect down-to-business work attire, her black coat over her royal blue three piece suit, hugging her frame perfectly.

“The day’s just started. Again, Lena, you don’t need to stay. I’m not very good company right now… and I’ll probably just sleep through the day.”

Really, it’s true. Kara isn’t sure why Lena’s still here, now that she’s home and settled—not that she’s being ungrateful. At Lena’s home, she means. It’s just unnecessary. Completely unnecessary, and lots of precious time is being wasted every second that Lena is still here.

She knows what Lena’s been up to, knows that the woman has been busy working on heavy projects alongside several prototypes that involve a number of promising new tech, looking to set medical advances once approved and released into the public.

“I’m not looking for a good company,” Lena lightly admonishes, arches a dissenting brow up.

For some reason, something inside Kara flips. The words Lena said to her earlier, about her enjoying Kara's company in a different light flashes in her head.

Really?” Kara says, the word coming out dicey and sharper than she planned for.

Lena frowns, eyebrows furrowing—a mix of heavy surprise, confusion, and hurt etching across her features. Kara immediately wants to take it back.

“I’m so sorry. That came out of nowhere.” Kara pauses. Takes a shaky breath. Bitter and cranky aren't a good look on her. She runs a hand through her hair in frustration. “That was… very crappy of me. We’re more than that.”

She just wants to tell her that she’s fine, that Lena should leave her alone, but her eyes are burning and her nose is runny and her body aches and she’s tired and she knows full well that she doesn’t look fine.

Lena studies Kara closely. “We are,” she says quietly, and leans in closer. “It’s okay.” There is uncertainty to the quality of her movements, displayed in the way she wrings her hands over her knee. “I can see that you’ve been feeling stressed… take a moment for yourself, okay? It’s just you and me here.”

Kara nods with a small smile, bowing her head low in embarrassment.

“I know that Alex is the most important person in your life,” Lena says, voice low and soft, eyes seeking Kara's. She tucks Kara's hair behind her ear. “I just want you to know that... you’re the most important one, in mine. Of course I’m going to want to stay here until you feel much better.” She wets her lips, gaze searching Kara’s face. Her long fingers move to play at the fabric of her shirt, fidgety. “I was really worried about you. Still am. I just want you to give yourself a long moment to stay still and rest, Kara.”

Her words pull at Kara’s heartstrings, warmth blossoming in her veins, flushing her skin pink. The sight of a flustered Lena, eyebrows raised up in a way that softens her eyes and her lips parted gently. Kara folds her legs closer to herself and tries to swallow down the hummingbird rhythm in her chest.

“You complain about me overworking myself often, but look at you,” Lena murmurs, raking a hand through her hair as her lips thin, obviously displeased with what’s happened to Kara.

“Lena, I’m—I’m sorry, again, for what I implied earlier. That was really, really mean and awful… Yeah I think—things are just catching up to me,” Kara says, eyes closing and takes a deep breath. She feels her headache getting worse by the minute and brings a hand up, rubbing her forehead.

“It's okay,” Lena says, softly. “You're forgiven.”

“It’s. It's just everything these past weeks.”

Lena leans forward and slowly wraps Kara into a hug, her movements extremely careful around Kara’s injuries. Her hand rubs soothing circles on Kara’s back in the gentle, warm way she always does whenever she wraps her arms around Kara. Her thumb presses and strokes lines, making Kara feel lighter. Kara sighs and melts into it, tucking her face in Lena’s neck.

Then Lena lets out a shuddering sigh and her hold on Kara tightens. Lena must’ve been terrified, and Kara feels her chest squeeze. She makes a note to scold Alex later for delivering the phone call the way she did to Lena later.

“I’m okay, I’m here. I’m fine,” Kara whispers, letting Lena pull her closer to her even though it’s starting to get much.

“Sorry,” Lena says, pulling back. “Is there anything I can do? Anything?”

“It feels like I could sleep for the next 48 hours. You being here is enough… even though you don’t have to be.”

Lena shakes her head. “Always,” she says, unfaltering.

Kara flushes.

In truth, there’s really no place Kara would rather be right now. She just feels ashamed of her current weak state, icky over the past crappy weeks.

“You’re both my most important people—you and Alex,” she corrects after a moment, in a low voice. She sees the bob of Lena’s throat, and looks up to see those lovely heterochromatic eyes flickering over her face. “I’m glad Alex called you to pick up your ridiculous little alien.”

“Of course. What are friends for?” Lena says, just as quietly in the space between them. “You’re not ridiculous. A little reckless, but never ridiculous.”

Kara smiles wryly.

Friends. Lena, her friend who scoops her up, takes her into her home and showers her with an abundant amount of tender-loving care.

Lena is irresistible, impossible not to love.

To an outsider, Kara knows the implications that this has, sees how it looks. But to them it’s nothing bizarre and neither find it an unseemly act, because there is this gentle intimacy that exists between only them.

Things change, but no matter what's been happening between them, nothing has truly changed—they’re still Kara and Lena, Lena and Kara, and they'll always have this.

For a moment they hold each other’s gaze.

Kara relaxes and pulls up the blanket Lena wrapped around her shoulders earlier before, when she settled onto the couch. She is here in Lena’s penthouse and Lena is right in front of her. Home, Kara thinks.

The light shining through the balcony windows is so bright and radiant that Kara’s attention shifts to how the ray of light reflects on Lena’s face, how it dances lethargically around Lena like a thousand little stars. Lena, Kara thinks, looking like the center of Kara’s own little universe.

Sometimes, Kara really wants to tell Lena how sure she is that Lena is the best person in this world along with Alex. There’s no competition here. Kara wants Lena to know that she still can’t believe that Lena willingly spoils her with so much of her attention and affection, how Lena chose Kara to be able to touch her whenever she wants, that she’s the one to be able to make her tremble and gasp almost every week.

Still, even if she’s brave enough to say something, what could she say without her words sounding like warning signs and red flags at this point? She’s been fucking things up.

Lena, I think you’re so special?

I think no one really deserves you? Least of them myself?

Even though those questions swirl around Kara’s head frequently, she feels strangely content at this moment, so in undeniable love with this star cluster of a human that she feels as if she could suffocate on the flowers Lena makes bloom inside of her.

Loving Lena is easy, even when it’s hard.

Instead, she settles again on, “Thank you, Lena.” A small pause. “You’re so good to me,” she adds, lamely.

“You’re so good to me, too,” Lena replies, an eyebrow arching up, her eyes amused.

Kara blushes, fixes her glasses.

“So,” Lena says, standing up. She shrugs her coat and suit off, takes her phone out. “You must be starving. Eat something first before you sleep? I’ll get us some food—what do you want? Anything, I’ll get it for you.”

Kara purses her lips in thought. “Potstickers.”

“I should’ve known,” Lena says, sighing lightly. An undisguised soft fond smile curves Lena’s mouth, and after three beat of silence, she adds, “Do you need or want anything else before I make the call?”

Kara shifts in her seat, feels long wisps of blonde hair sticking to her neck. She’s feeling a little hot and sweaty. Looking at Lena shyly, she scratches at her neck using her free hand as her tongue darts to wet her lips, another request building as she thinks on it.

“Lena? Can you tie my hair up for me, please?”

Lena arches an eyebrow, head tilting a little. “Ponytail or a bun?”

Kara shrugs. “You decide.”

“A bun it is,” Lena nods, and Kara flushes further, stomach flipping when Lena’s smile softens in her direction.

Sliding behind Kara and the couch, Lena pulls a hair tie out of her wrist—one that looks suspiciously similar to Kara’s thin black ones—and spreads her warm hands over Kara’s shoulders.

“You’re always stealing my hair ties,” Kara accuses without bite, fingers twitching on her lap when Lena’s hand makes a brush against the nape of her neck.

“And you always let me,” Lena says, her hands rubbing Kara’s shoulders warmly before gathering her hair up into a bun. Kara keeps still as Lena murmurs things behind her, your hair always feels so soft and lovely, does that hurt, is this too tight.

There is something calming about listening to Lena’s voice. Unlike her physical appearance, Lena’s voice is just the same as always—deliciously deep and soothing.

This comfort, this warmth—that’s home, Kara thinks.

 

-

 

She’s alone in Lena’s bed when she starts crying.

Lena is currently working in the living room after having kept Kara company most of the day, helping her out whenever she needed help with anything, murmuring soft reassurances when she had trouble with things, and having normal conversations about everything and nothing in between.

Kara isn’t entirely sure of what sparked it, or why now of all times, but emotions and thoughts whirl inside her as she covers her eyes with her good arm.

In the silence, at first it’s only just a few tears that roll down her cheek. But then she thinks of Lena. The more she thinks about her situation with Lena, the more she makes herself hurt. The more she thinks about every single interaction she had with Lena, every single memory ever since they started doing… being this, and how they both hold such a contrasting significance for both of them.

To Kara, every moment is an assemblage of reasons to fall deeper in love. To Lena… their physical relationship—to Lena, it’s just something to do in between everything else, a bit of fun, something to bask in, to relieve stress from the weight of being Lena Luthor.

Through their friendship, Lena has always kept separated sex and friendship at full length as in the end it’s always just sex and it doesn’t matter much to her.

There were never really any boundaries between them—never anything set. That’s been the case here, because at the start both knew that they would never be anything more than what they already are—no strings attached in the sense of having no expectations of a relationship. It’s cemented; they’re... stationary parked planes not going anywhere.

Lena said they wouldn’t be together, but Kara was greedy still, and thought she could handle it.

It’s Kara’s own fault, and that’s what makes her hurt the most. Her lips tremble as her silent cries starts to turn into sobs, to the point where she feels like she can’t breathe.

After spending the day with Lena… it just makes her think things again.

It’s strange, how things find themselves in the night, how things fall apart in the dark. The room is illuminated only by the tiny lamp stuck to the left wall, which had been turned on by Lena before she left.

Kara thought it would hurt less to have Lena physically, even if Lena didn’t like her back. But what she feels right now is worse than she was anticipating. Kara is stupid, and naive, and too much of a dreamer for her own good. Nia had warned her about this.

And earlier, the way Lena thought she did something wrong to Kara, looking incredibly tensed and concerned, trepidation seeping from her face—it was devastating to see. Lena didn’t do anything wrong—never did anything wrong, because it’s always Kara’s feelings that keep interfering.

Lena might be okay with what they have, but Kara can’t actually handle it.

Everything is just pouring out; she understands that she got herself in this situation in the first place, and now all she can do is feel sorry for herself and her poor little broken heart. All she can do now is cry, cry, and cry.

Kara stays in her spot, stifling her movements and noises, squeezing her eyes shut as she desperately hopes that Lena wouldn’t come in anytime soon.

 

-

 

Later at night when they’re both on the balcony gazing into the city view and stars, Kara turns to face Lena.

She had fallen asleep after wiping all her tears and woken up fifteen minutes ago, feeling a little sleep heavy and in need of fresh air. Kara has Lena’s blanket wrapped around her body, guarding her from the chilly night.

Lena notices Kara staring at her, tilts her head to the side and watches her back. A talk is in order, but it can wait a little longer.

Kara hesitates. That’s the trend.

But then she finds her voice, and when the words come out it’s almost like a whisper. She can at least say this.

“I love you, Lena.”

A beat of silence later, and the corner of Lena’s mouth tilts up in a smile, her face lighting up.

It’s small, but it’s a look of pure adoration, warmth, and intimacy—and it’s terrifying because it’s things like this that makes Kara’s heart hurt so bad that she has to touch her chest to make sure it isn’t breaking open to release the pain building up inside of her. It rips her apart inside, floods her with more longing, makes her crave for someone so wonderful, so lovely—yet unattainable.

“I love you, too, Kara,” Lena replies.

Kara’s heart shatters and reassembles itself. For once, she needs to start protecting herself, she thinks.

Things change, but not this.

 

Chapter Text

 

The truth is, Kara doesn’t regret any of this with Lena.

She doesn’t regret a single moment of it. And she thinks that maybe it happened the way it had to happen, and she’s grateful for it. And the other truth is that Kara has changed. She has a better idea of what she wants now. 

She doesn’t want to have casual hook-ups with someone she doesn’t care about. She doesn’t want the person she’s with to want that either.

In the end they’re somehow still exactly where they started, except Kara is somewhere else now. She’s in two places at once. It’s as if they got on a plane and flew in a perfect circle, but when they got out Lena was on the ground and Kara was in the sky.

Unfortunately knowing all of this doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking. 

Kara doesn’t think she’s ready for it yet, to give Lena up, to go back to how it used to be. But she also doesn’t want to be fucking around with Lena anymore. Not forever anyway. She wants it to be more. It is more, for her. Maybe that’s not fair either, to keep that from Lena. Kara isn't sure if she's ready to give this up yet, and she’s too afraid to voice out her feelings because while it’s not rejection that she fears and worries about anymore, it’s that she doesn’t want to burden Lena with her feelings. Lena never signed up for that.

Things could change and Kara doesn’t want Lena to feel uncomfortable and feel sorry for her just because her feelings can’t be returned. But maybe Lena needs to know. At some point. But for now, what Kara wants is to figure out what she’s going to do next.

 


 

“I can’t believe you stayed there for three days, Kara. You know—with how many personal items you have over there and how often you frequent in her home and all, you might as well live there.” There’s some light crunching coming from the other line, and Kara guesses that Alex is snacking on some snack bar.

“I don’t live here...”

“Lena stayed with you, worked from her home for three days. You two might as well be married.”

“Alex,” Kara pinches her nose, sighs tiredly. “Please.”

The line is quiet for a few seconds. “Mh, sorry.” She can feel Alex wincing through her words. “Teasing went too far.”

“It’s okay,” Kara says, shakes her head even though she knows that Alex can’t see it. She exhales a shaky breath. “Alex, I’m going to do it.”

“Do what?”

“You’re right. About me keeping this up with Lena, I mean.” She looks out to the balcony windows, rubbing her neck. Settled on Lena’s couch, her laptop buzzes in front of her with electrical sounds. Her super-hearing is back. Her body feels lighter, better. Perfect. “I need to start protecting myself. It hurts too much.”

“Oh. That’s—really? Just a few days ago, I couldn’t even get you to budge one bit. Not to sound skeptical, but you seem highly incapable of letting Lena go, Kara.”

Kara frowns, wincing at Alex’s words. “Way to show support, Alex. That’s why I’m going to try and end this with Lena. There’s no going back after that. I’m just wondering how I’m going to go about this.”

Alex sighs. “Okay, I do have faith in you. Really. It’s about time because it hurts to see you hurt over and over again. Protect your little heart, Kara.” Her voice is quieter when she adds, “It’s for the best. But—why does this sound like a breakup?”

Kara opens her mouth. Closes it. Opens it again, and says: “It’s not a breakup.”

“It’s not,” Alex agrees slowly, “but it sounds like it.”

“Alex,” Kara says helplessly, and she flushes in her seat with a frown. It’s something so trivial yet it makes Kara feel uncomfortable.

“Sorry, sorry. I'm just really glad to hear that you’re putting an end to this—you’re doing this for you, and for her, too. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Since you two have started doing this. Things are bound to get awkward or weird the longer you continue this casual thing, especially considering that you two are best friends.” Kara knows that that’s true now, because of the way she has been acting these past weeks. She hears Alex shuffling around, doors closing on the other end. “I don’t think I can handle seeing you two being weird and off again—I’ve seen what it does to the both of you first-hand when she found out about you being Supergirl, and... I don’t know what I’d do if you guys go through something like that again.”

Kara takes a deep breath, shivering as she recalls those memories. She shakes her head.

“Me too,” she mumbles, rubbing her healed arm which has been cast-free for several hours now. 

It only took four days for her arm to completely heal and for her body to recover from a fever, thanks to her natural fast healing and the help of the upgraded sunbeds from the DEO. Today she’ll leave, but not without seeing Lena first.

(Kara knows just how unnecessary it was for her to stay here after the first day—Alex certainly made sure to voice that out when she first picked up the phone. She could have easily went back to her home and recovered there, but how could she have done that when Lena had been insistent, told her that it was okay for her to stay here instead as she recovered?

There were plates of potstickers involved, and one lovely, sweet, and kind Lena Luthor right next to her, a calming and gentle presence that warmed Kara’s entire being, smiling softly while she rubbed Kara’s back soothingly on the second day in the morning. 

How could have Kara refused? Lena treats her way too well.)

Kara shakes it off, clenches and unclenches her fist.

Her arm feels much better now. The tingly, numb sensations are gone.

 

-

 

It’s late when Lena gets back. Kara’s in the living room, her laptop and work emails long forgotten as she’s been making food for herself and tea for Lena.

“Thanks for taking care of me and letting me stay at your place. I really owe you one.”

“You don’t owe me anything.”

Kara frowns, turns around and watches Lena silently as Lena pulls her suit off, then her heels and hair tie.

Lena has been adamant about her point and Kara gets it, understands her, really. She just feels an overwhelming amount of appreciation and gratitude for Lena that she wants to do something.

“Okay.” Kara huffs, holding the boiling kettle in the air. “When we have our next dinner date together, it’s my treat then. I’ll even allow myself to be subjected to those… disgusting greens you always try to force on me.”

“Those greens have a name, Kara. And, really?” Lena pauses, her face brightening. A grin spreads across her face. “You can’t take back what you just said.”

Kara scrubs a hand down her face, looks away with a scowl. “I know. The things I do for you,” she mutters under her breath, and grabs a cup from the cupboard. Lena takes way too much joy and pleasure in the noise and faces Kara makes every time Kara allows those greens near her. Kara finds it weird, but she also finds it great, somehow, because it makes Lena laugh (much to her frustration). 

Lena snickers, steps into the kitchen and takes a sip of Kara’s glass of water. She checks her wristwatch. “I should get going now.”

“Huh? You just came back from work…”

“I have a call with foreign investors in five,” Lena says, eyeing at the green tea packet Kara’s holding. Little dimples litter her cheeks when she smiles. “It’s only for fifteen minutes. I do need that, so please keep making it.”

Lena leans in, fingers moving up to cradle Kara’s face, and for a moment Kara thinks she’s going to kiss her on the mouth—seeing how Lena carries herself towards Kara. Certain and easy, as if this gesture is natural to them. Kara thinks it’s instinctive for her, too, at this point and her chest constricts at the reminder.

Lena turns her head at the last split second, presses a gentle, chaste kiss against the corner of Kara’s mouth instead.

“I’ll be back,” Lena whispers with a small nod before walking away.

Kara gulps, breathing slowly.

 


 

Nothing that happens over the course of the next few days comes as a real surprise to Kara. It’s more like watching a slow motion train wreck. She can see what’s going to happen, but there’s nothing for her to do but just sit back and watch it unfold.

The problem is that she keeps hesitating each time she works up on acting on it.

The more she delays not telling Lena that it’s time they stop, the more her mind convinces her into thinking that maybe this is fine, that she can keep going and have Lena like this. But she’s already made up her mind and she can’t back off now, not especially after bravely telling Alex about breaking away from this. Not breaking up.

Today, she’s going to tell Lena. Today will be the day, and after this day they’ll spring back into being just normal best friends. Just best friends without the fucking and flirtatious gazes and comments.

Kara has always imagined Lena to be the one to end things between them.

(Kara thinks she would feel sick if Lena acted like it wasn’t a big deal.)

When Kara opens the door to Lena’s office in L-Corp, she’s greeted by two separate sets of laughter and smiles. Her stomach already flips at the sound and sight.

“Ah, sorry,” Kara stammers, hand instinctively reaching up to touch her glasses. She stands awkwardly just behind the door, unmoving and stiff. There’s a woman standing in front of Lena who she’s never seen before.

Tall, blonde, drop-dead gorgeous. She’s dressed in a classy black blazer with a violet coat folded over her arm, and she oozes confidence and power in an almost similar way Lena does. One glance, and Kara can tell that this woman is not one to be messed with.

She’s beautiful.

“Kara?” Lena tilts her head, surprise and confusion evident on her face, but there’s also a small smile on her lips. The blonde woman beside Lena raises her brows up, her sharp but pretty features fading from flirtatious into a look of amusement.

Oh. Clearly it’s the wrong time to come and visit.

“You’re in a meeting?” Kara winces, sending Lena a sorry-smile. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know. I’ll come back later?”

“This isn’t a meeting,” Lena shakes her head, waves for Kara to come in. Reluctantly, Kara does. “Let me introduce you to a friend—this is Olivia, an old friend back from boarding school. Olivia, this is Kara Danvers. One of the finest reporters from CatCo and my friend.”

Kara stands a respectful distance between the two, just enough. Awkwardly. Apparently Lena isn’t having none of that, so Lena pulls her closer to her, shoulders touching and a hand on her shoulder. The gesture and contact makes Kara soften up.

Kara isn’t sure if she should go for a handshake, so she just smiles. “Hi, Olivia.”

Olivia gives her a long, assessing look, piercing blue eyes on hers. Kara flushes, feels a little nervous suddenly under her gaze. Lighter blue eyes dart down to the hand Lena has on Kara’s shoulder and it lingers before travelling back up. Olivia smiles back at Kara, but it’s more of a smirk that flickers at the corner of her mouth.

Which is—pretty, Kara thinks. How is it that all of Lena’s old friends back from her boarding school are all somehow intimidating and pretty? 

“Kara Danvers,” she says with a drawl, and nods once, slow. She looks back to Lena for a moment, face inscrutable but eyes obviously curious, then back to Kara. Kara stands blinking, confused. Olivia breaks into an easy smile, and—wow, she has a dimple. “I see. I come back to town for a moment and the first thing I find out is that Lena has a girlfriend.” Her bracelets gangle when she crosses her arms lightly over her chest, and her eyes narrow at Lena, gaze playful. “Keep a girl updated, won’t ya.”

Kara flushes furiously and laughs nervously.

Is Olivia teasing or being serious? Kara can’t tell, but with the way Lena chuckles at that, shaking her head—Kara thinks the former. She can't really tell.

Olivia, please. Behave.” Lena takes her hand back from Kara’s shoulder and leans on her desk.

Olivia laughs, arching a sharp brow up. There’s a flirty grin, and: “Am I not?”

Kara looks back and forth between the two women as they both exchange weighted looks Kara can’t quite decipher. The more Kara stays here, the more she feels out of place. There's something roiling in her gut.

She presses her lips together in a thin line, working up the correction, the right word to say, and the willpower to say it. Kara could easily ignore it and have that false satisfaction of being called Lena's girlfriend—have Olivia think that Lena is off-limits, but she can't be like that. That's just plain weird, and Lena would not enjoy being misunderstood. She barely even knows who Olivia is to Lena.

“Best friend,” Kara finally pronounces, quiet, but certain. She fiddles with her brown belt.

Lena nods at that, smiles. Nothing more needs saying.

“Oh. Sorry for assuming,” Olivia shrugs, sends Kara a half-hearted apologetic look and wave. Kara takes a deep breath and just nods simply. Yeah, she dislikes this woman already, and no, she won’t elaborate on the whys.

The flirtatious smirk is back on Olivia’s face when she looks back to Lena. “Well, anyway, back to the topic. Since I’m only here for a few days, did you want to head to my place after work and dinner? Bring some of the old days back, Lena,” she bites her bottom lip, dazzling smile forming across her face. “Can’t be fun always being stuck here.”

Kara definitely did come at a bad time and she feels her insides crumbling like paper. Obviously Olivia came here to greet an old friend, to catch up with each other and do whatever they want in their spare time—things Kara has no business in. 

“Depends on what you mean by the old days.” Lena tilts her head slightly, the corner of her mouth tilting up as she regards Olivia. “It’s been a while, Olivia. I can do dinner only.” Lena casually folds her arms across her chest, leaning further on her desk. Comfortable and relaxed, easy.

“Aw,” Olivia feigns hurt, gasps. “Only dinner? Lena, you know me. I’m always a good time,” she says with a low, sultry voice, blatantly flirting with Lena this time as she steps closer towards her. 

“That, I know,” Lena agrees, a brow quirking up. There’s a smile playing at her lips and it’s coy and playful, and it makes Kara’s stomach twist. She’s never actually seen Lena flirt back with anyone until now. Really. Not even when she was with James, now that she thinks about it.

“So, what do you say?” Olivia’s lips pull into a wider smirk, eyes full of promises. 

Wow—it’s like she forgot that Kara’s even here. Lena looks the same, too, with the way she watches Olivia back closely. Absorbed—wrapped in. Lena looks like she’s entertaining the idea positively.

Kara wants to get out of here. She doesn’t need to be here as they have this conversation. Feeling terribly out of place and silly, she blurts out, “Um, I’m gonna go head to the restroom for a moment and maybe buy some food downstairs,” before Lena even gets the chance to reply to Olivia. 

Kara’s already by the door when Lena calls to her from behind, “Kara, wait. You’re coming back, right? You came to see me,” Lena says. “I can’t have you leaving empty-handed.”

“Oh, um,” Kara licks her lips, touches her belt. Lena’s looking at her expectantly, while Olivia watches them both silently, looking like she’d really like to get back to her conversation with Lena. “Sure... yeah.” 

Out in the hallway, she pushes the restroom door and walks in. There's something unfurling in Kara’s stomach, murky and dark enough to choke her. When she focuses on it, it’s only then that she realizes what it is. The dark, twisting feeling she’s been trying to keep down ever since seeing that ridiculously pretty, flirty grin on Olivia’s face for Lena. 

Silly, she chides herself. The bitter burns in her throat. The acid bubbling in her stomach.

She shakes her head at herself, fists clenching hard inside her pockets. Kara can’t be jealous—she doesn’t have the right.

There are just so many toxic connotations that come with jealousy, Kara believes, and she in no way wants to fall under that.

But here’s the thing. Here’s the infuriating, inescapable thing about this horrible thing she’s feeling. There’s no reasoning with this garden in her chest which only registers its source of light being (possibly) taken away. 

It’s just so terribly irrational. 

Lena doesn't belong to Kara and they’re not exclusive, and Lena’s free to do whatever she wants. Lena is free to see other people, flirt and sleep with. That’s true. 

It’s not something she should be feeling right now.

Lena isn’t hers. 

Lena isn’t hers.

Lena isn’t hers

Despite knowing that and after everything, she still feels incredibly jealous. She has no reason whatsoever to feel as down as she does right now, but that inexplicable feeling bubbles irrationally inside her. 

Kara’s not normally like this, and in all honesty she’s just a little frustrated with herself. But with how heavy her thoughts have been the last few days, she thinks that might be to blame.

She shrugs it off, tries to.

But then she remembers the reason why she came here in the first place—to have that talk with Lena and put a stop to whatever this thing is between them. 

Kara really does feel terribly ridiculous.

 

-

 

With the careful use of super-hearing and making sure that Olivia has left the building, Kara comes back to Lena’s office twenty minutes later. 

Lena’s alone behind her desk, typing away on her laptop.

“Lena?” Kara calls out hesitantly, quietly, not wanting to startle her. She opens the door slightly wider.

Lena’s head snaps up before a smile breaks out on her face. “I was wondering when you’d come back.” She stands as she closes her laptop, and tucks the device into her bag.

Approaching closer towards Lena, Kara lets out a quiet chuckle as she adjusts her glasses. “Here I am,” she says, wets her lips. Shoves her hands inside her pockets, suddenly feeling very self-conscious. “Are you finished for the day?”

“I am now.” Lena grabs her coat from her seat and steps in front of Kara, meeting her eyes. Her gaze is light and studying, and Kara tries not to wilt under her scrutiny. Several seconds pass until Lena’s mouth tilts into a small frown. “You seemed uncomfortable earlier. I’m sorry about my friend—you didn't have to leave. I know Olivia can get a little intense and ahead of herself.”

Kara shakes her head at that, blinks. “No, it was fine. I didn’t want to interrupt, it seemed like you two had a lot to catch up on.”

“Mh, not really, there wasn’t much to catch up on. She’s a friend, but we’re not... that close,” Lena carefully says, sounding slightly stifled in the way she utters that last part. Kara doesn’t want to assume, but she’s almost certain that that woman and Lena have some history together. If Lena doesn’t want to tell her about it, that’s okay. She doesn’t have to tell Kara everything. “She was just bored, wanted to see and pester me while passing by this building.”

“Other than Sam and Alex, another person like that exists?” Kara says with a frown. “One who has the ability to annoy and pester Lena Luthor without feeling intimidated and get away with it in one piece.”

“If you aren’t counting the men I deal with on a daily, sure,” Lena shrugs, and she leans towards Kara slightly with a small, cheeky smile on her lips. “But I mean, bold of you to assume that you’re not paired with them, Kara.”

Oh, ouch.

Kara gasps, a slow smile spreading across her face. “Wow, Lena. Take that back! I’ve never been called annoying until now. Well, I have, but I prefer the term lovable.”

Lena laughs loud, the melodic sound warming Kara’s entire being. It fills Kara, pushing away the ugly static inside of her. She feels still feels ridiculous about it, really, but she can’t focus on that. There are more important matters on hand.

“Take it back,” Kara repeats persistently with a soft scoff, her grin growing wider when Lena pretends to think about it.

“But why?”

“My life and reputation depends on it. I can’t be called that by Lena Luthor.”

Lena rolls her eyes big and exaggerating. “Okay,” she sighs. Her dimples poke into her cheeks when she smiles. “I take it back. You’re lovable and nowhere near annoying to me.”

“Good. It’s rare for people to take back their false facts to correct themselves. I see that you are one of those people. Admirable and respectable.” Kara nods approvingly, and Lena rolls her eyes again, this time with a disbelieving smile.

“So, what brought you here, Kara? Not that you ever need a reason to come here.”

“Oh! Right. Well, I was, uh.” Now Kara finds herself stuttering as she remembers the reason why she came here. “So, you’re here.”

“I’m here.” Lena nods slowly, amused. She smiles, and Kara’s brain kind of just. Blanks.

Kara blinks, trying desperately to sort her thoughts in order and remember the lines she’d been reciting in her head for days, but she finds that she’s still feeling overwhelmed from the earlier events and that she can’t stop the pounding in her chest as Lena watches her closely.

“Wanted to see you, and um.” She fixes her glasses, and Lena arches a brow up at her sudden nervousness. But Lena waits patiently for her, eyes soft and inviting, and. Kara not knowing how to act, she ends up blurting: “Want to grab dinner with me? Let me treat you now—this is for helping me and letting me stay at your place last week. Then we can head to yours afterwards, or mine if you want?”

Way to go and fuck up spectacularly.

But she backtracks immediately when she remembers that Olivia already made plans with Lena. “Wait, ah, that was silly to ask. You’re having dinner with your friend—Olivia, oh I completely forgot—”

“Kara,” Lena says, causing Kara to stop her frantic rambling. “I said no to her. She had motives behind that and I wasn’t interested in it, so I passed.” A sigh comes from Lena’s mouth before she crosses her arms. “That woman is the same woman I knew from boarding school. I think you’ve already figured out what kind of woman she is.”

Somehow hearing that makes Kara feel lighter. Tenfold lighter, and she tries not to look too happy about it.

(Kara’s not going to lie to herself, though. She has always been (extremely) curious, wondering about Lena’s old boarding school friends ever since meeting Veronica for the first time. Then it got worse after meeting Andrea, then it’s—)

She shakes her head, bites the inside of her cheek and touches her belt.

“So…” Kara clears her throat, hope dripping from her voice. And eyes. Probably from her entire being, because there’s a deep amusement to Lena’s face right now as she looks at Kara. “Does that mean you’ll have dinner with me?”

Lena guides her to start walking with her outside the office. 

“You’re treating me to dinner. How can I refuse?”

 

-

 

Kara swears she didn’t mean for this to happen. She really means to put an end to this. 

Honestly. 

Really.

(They were only meant to have dinner and a talk afterwards. Just dinner and a talk.

Kara fucked up again. Hugely.)

Maybe it’s because she’s weak, or maybe because she really wants it, it's probably both—either way Kara gives in too easily to Lena even though she still isn’t quite sure how she got herself here. Here, just outside her apartment by the entrance door where Lena’s tugging at her collar, pulling her down to get a better taste of her mouth as Kara fumbles for her keys.

Really, she feels like she should have put up some token resistance because it’s pitiful how well and truly wrapped around Lena’s finger she is. 

Lena’s not even aware of it one bit. 

Or is she.

This is the last time, Kara tells herself. She can have Lena again—she can quit this afterwards. Surely it wouldn’t be that bad—this is the last time, she promises to herself. It’s going to hurt, she knows, but this one last time just sounds so good to Kara right now and it's definitely not because of the way Lena has her arm hooked around her neck possessively, or how her tongue glides hotly against her own, no. 

A soft moan rips inside Lena’s throat and Kara sighs at the sound, missing it desperately. 

Rao, Lena drives her absolutely crazy. 

It’s dark outside and late and when Kara shuts the door, Lena’s already trying to take her clothes off. Kara mouths at Lena’s jaw, pressing her firmly against the wall, and Kara’s so close to Lena's throat that she can feel every moan and whimper and shaky breath. Moves to her ear, her throat, kissing her wet and messy, nipping at her skin.

Honestly, Kara isn’t sure who initiated this—one of them leaned in, and now she’s instantly back to square one.

Easily.

Just like that.

What would Alex think about this?

(Kara shuts down the thought instantly. She can’t think about her sister right now while Lena’s wandering hands touch her inappropriately.)

Kara thought she’d gathered enough resolve for this. Clearly, she’s proven herself wrong. But it doesn’t matter—right now it’s not something she can think about, because when she’s with Lena she can’t think of anything else other than Lena.

They shed clothes as they go, unable to keep their hands off each other. Lena’s skin is so soft and hot to touch but Kara is craving more of it, every brush of it against her own exciting her, making her more desperate. It doesn’t take long for them to reach Kara’s bed, and as soon as Lena's back hits the mattress, Lena fists one hand in the front of Kara’s shirt to pull her down and slot their mouths together once more.

Even after so many days of this constant back and forth in Kara’s head, the uncertain air that swirls around them that is still ever so present, it’s so easy to fit their bodies together; Kara’s hands rest on Lena’s hips, no groping or grinding, just the soft pressure of her hands on Lena’s skin where they slip underneath her shirt.

Her fingers trace the dips of taut muscle in Lena’s abdomen as if it was the first time she’d ever had her hands on her. Pushing further, Kara slides her hands around Lena’s back, hugging her to her chest while one of Lena’s hands teases at the hair on the back of her neck.

They stay like that for much longer than Kara would have anticipated, her lungs burning when she finally pulls away from Lena’s lips. Kara leans down to rest their foreheads together while they catch their breath, and Lena tilts her head up to fumble her nose against Kara’s, her eyes half lidded and a hazy smile tugging at the corners of her lips.

Kara merely observes Lena like that for a few moments before she utters one word out, her tone light, breathless.

“Lena.” 

There’s a stillness in the air that surrounds them and it’s in this moment that Kara’s face falters a little. She could stop this right now if she really, really tried. But the thought is quickly burned away when Lena reaches up to cup her cheeks, touch gentle, and murmurs a soft what is it? against her lips.

When Kara doesn’t answer right away, Lena turns her head a little, noses her cheek. Lena slides her hand to the back of Kara’s neck, her fingers curling there and rubbing, and Rao that feels—it feels really nice, and comforting, and soothing, and. Inevitably, Kara relaxes and lets out a pleasant sigh as Lena watches her with a light, warm gaze. 

Inevitably, Kara wants Lena again.

She shakes her head before Lena gets the chance to ask again.

As much as Kara tries, there is no resisting Lena.

Which is why she finds herself between Lena's spread legs, fitting easily there, her hand reaching in between their bodies to squeeze Lena's chest. Lena throws her head back against the pillow, a pleased sigh escaping from her lips. Kara litters soft kisses on Lena’s skin, working her way down from her neck past collarbones and ribs until she reaches Lena’s hips. Lena lets out a stuttered gasp when Kara licks and nips at her hip bone, and Kara doesn’t stop touching and kissing her. 

She keeps going, completely reducing Lena into a quivering entity of want.

Like this, it's easy to forget what and who they are.

Kara strokes her softly, so slowly, as if she’s not going anywhere. Her fingers work Lena up with firm, deep strokes, and Lena just keeps getting wetter and wetter, pressing into Kara for more friction. She makes little contented sighs and moans in the back of her throat, shoves her face into the space between Kara’s neck and shoulder. It’s endearing and hot all at once.

Kara spends the next hours with her, lips on lips, skin to skin. Somewhere along the low moans and ragged breathing, the desperate movements chasing release and round after round, she had stopped berating herself for giving in. Right now, she wants to savour this moment—all that matters is that she’s with Lena right now. 

Like this, she has her.

Lena makes a soft sound, no more, and leads Kara up, her arm sliding around her waist, pulling Kara until she’s pressed against Lena’s warm body. She’s half on top of Lena, sharing the same pillow. Kara easily gives into the position, the only sound in the room filling with dual heavy breathing. Lena softens after a while and Kara feels heavenly, nearly floating, the smell of sex and Lena’s scent invading all her senses.

Kara doesn't move, she doesn’t want to say anything, doesn’t want to wreck this perfect moment—the weird, floaty in-between, where she can let herself pretend that she and Lena are more than...whatever they are. That the burning imprints of the kisses Lena left against her skin mean something more than a temporary sex-fueled possessiveness.

She slips and closes her eyes and lets herself pretend they’re something more.

Minutes pass and Lena’s eyes are closed when she turns to face her, their noses almost touching.

Just as Kara’s about to drift off, she registers something brushing her nose, then her lips. She peeks one eye open when there’s another brush to her lips, and sees that Lena’s face has moved closer, her fingers running along her jawline. When Kara kisses her back once, Lena slips a finger beneath her chin, then cups it. They trade soft, lazy kisses and touches, and these simple actions make Kara’s heart swell, has her holding Lena closer.

These are slow kisses and they don’t say much other than they want to kiss but Kara wants to know what Lena’s thinking. Wants to feel it. Wants Lena to keep kissing her.

(Sometimes when they have moments like these, of just kissing and touching and no going further beyond that, Kara lets her hand settle on Lena’s chest just to hold her heart in her palm, to feel it thud as fast as her own. It’s reassuring to know that she is not the only one who gets worked up and excited and giddy like everything is still happening for the first time. To know Lena feels the same or at least similar things for Kara. Isn’t that lucky.)

They really shouldn’t be doing these kind of things, but they’ve already done it so much—the kissing after sex, kissing outside of sex, kissing overall. Kara almost wants to laugh at how easily everything fell together—how they fell together. It’s way too late to question this particular matter or go over the schematics.

Kara is dying inside. It sort of hurts, how Lena's being so soft and sweet and cuddly. It’s too easy to pretend when Lena is like this, too easy for Kara to imagine Lena is hers, that Lena loves her how she loves Lena, that she’d been waiting for her and missing her so much her entire body ached with it.

Lena shifts a little, and the illusion breaks into tiny, depressing little pieces.

She knows this won't last, knows that their time together is limited and unclear, so she holds Lena closer, slips a hand to the back of Lena’s head, kissing her silly before either of them gets the chance to say anything. Before she's gone, this is gone. 

It's funny how her mind keeps telling her this needs to stop before it's too late, but her body (and heart) tells her otherwise, missing Lena as soon as her arms aren’t around Lena anymore. 

Eventually Lena pulls back and reaches for the blanket, sliding it up and covering them both.

Kara takes a quiet, shaky breath, curls into Lena and places her head on Lena's chest. She really thought that last week would be the last with Lena before she blew out her powers. 

But here she is, naked under the covers with Lena again. 

And then the aftermath, she’s back to thinking. It’s hard to keep things straight in her head when the arousal is gone, so she tries to distract herself with other thoughts, not wanting to think how crappy and heavy she feels after another meaningless fuck. This doesn’t mean anything to Lena, and to Kara, she wants—needs it to mean... everything.

Kara feels so many things that she’s afraid that her chest might burst.

Rao—just how did she let herself give in so easily? How ridiculous is it, how easy Kara is.

Lena’s arms are wrapped around her firmly, one hand on her shoulder and the other her head, softly stroking her hair. Kara lets Lena play with her hair, doesn’t know not to, doesn’t want her to stop. Lena's fingers are careful and deliberate and it feels so nice. Kara’s never felt more comfortable and relaxed. She can’t move away. 

Isn’t that just a fantastic metaphor for how she can't seem to leave this?

But after a very long moment, she eventually gathers enough strength to force herself to move, extracting herself away from Lena.

Lena whines.

“Kara…”

“I’m—I’m just thirsty. Getting myself some water,” she says, voice hoarse. “Do you want some?”

Lena buries her face into Kara’s pillow, makes a muffled, negative sound. Kara reaches for the water bottle on the other side of the night stand. 

As she sips her water, her eyes dart over Lena. Hair mussed across the pillow, the side of her face hidden and squished against the cushion, smudged pink mouth. She looks like a mess, but Kara knows she herself looks just as much. Maybe worse, because she’s Lena’s mess. Or maybe not—disheveled and unraveled as she is, Lena looks her mess and Kara knows how to mess one Lena Luthor up.

Lena moves a little, curling on her mattress, looking extremely comfortable and cozy—settled. Like she’s going to stay the night.

Lena can stay. 

She’s always welcome to stay for however long she likes.

Looking away with a heavy heart, Kara places the cap back and sets the bottle down. She wonders if she can bring it up now, tell Lena that she thinks it’s time they stop this. What are the protocols to having friends with benefits thing with your best friend?

This has always been just a casual thing. 

Something they can choose to end whenever they want. 

Kara knows she can’t keep doing this thing with Lena for much longer. But she can’t see herself letting go, not when her whole being screams for her to be with Lena. Her head spins with this restlessness energy, mouth twitching as she decides if she should speak up about it now.

It’s only when Lena utters her name, so quietly that she snaps out of her thoughts. Realization hits her that she’d blanked out staring into space. Green eyes bore up on her, a heavy-lidded look that leaves Kara feeling a little lightheaded, stomach flipping.

Lena’s looking up at her, lips spreading into a soft grin—lazy and sated and beautiful, and it—it only makes Kara’s chest feel tight.

She swallows.

This was a bad idea, she knew it would be a bad idea to give in and now she feels very frightened and dizzy, stricken with the overwhelming urge to sneak out and hide away, far far away from Lena’s gaze until she feels like she can face her again without feeling like her heart is out there in the open with Lena’s name engraved on it.

“Come here,” Lena whispers low enough for it to feel like something that's meant for only her, and it shatters all of Kara’s current thoughts into pieces. “You're so impossibly far.”

Kara slides back into the bed quietly, unable to say no to Lena, doesn’t know how not to give her things. She shifts closer, her breath caught in her throat and her body vibrating with nerves. Lena tangles their legs together and shudders a little from Kara’s warm feet meeting her cold ones. 

“Better?” she asks, unsure of herself.

“Much,” Lena sighs contently, wrapping an arm around Kara’s waist. “Want you close all the time.” It's muffled, Lena’s mouth now hidden somewhere in her pillow again.

This isn’t the first time Kara’s seen Lena look visibly vulnerable and out of her depth. Obviously. Lena’s always too calm—too sure of everything going on around her. It’s intimate, being vulnerable. However, it goes both ways.

“Why?” Kara snuggles up to her, lips skimming over her shoulder. It’s another intimate thing. With Lena, it comes easy. She thinks her heart would swell for anyone she was with like that. It’s not as easy of a casual thing for her.

Lena sighs quietly. “Why not?”

“Close all the time,” Kara whispers, echoes. “Does that ‘all the time’ include me being naked in that part?” she half-jokes.

Lena looks up at her for a single, measured moment. “You’re my best friend,” she replies simply. 

Kara gets it. Really. 

But that didn’t answer her question. She frowns, chest tightening from the answer. If she knew that she was going to get poked by another you’re my best friend stick, she wouldn’t have asked. 

It always feels like a harsh blow to the gut.

With the need to move away from this, she asks, “Lena? About your friend, earlier...”

“Olivia? What about her?”

“Do you think she’ll be back?”

Lena shifts a little, easily going along with the change of topic. “Probably not. Olivia isn’t exactly the type of friend you can converse with normally... because one moment you’re chatting with her, laughing at her jokes, then the next you’re wondering why your taking your off clothes,” she says, scrunching her nose and the simple sight makes Kara smile. “She only comes to me when she wants or needs something.” 

“She mentioned that she’s staying in the city for a couple of days.”

Lena scoffs softly, shaking her head with a wry smile. “Right. Dark days are head for National City women. She flirts with anything that moves, including men.”

“Oh. Well if she were to come back and bother you…”

Lena shakes her head again. “Mm, no. Although it might not seem like it, she’s not the pushy kind.” 

“Is she always like that? Intense and... flirty?”

“Yes.” Lena pauses, tilts her head to look up at Kara. “Why do you keep asking about her?” Her gaze towards Kara is light and undecipherable, and her fingers move up to trace the underside of Kara’s jaw. “Kara, do you…?” she trails off, insinuation in her eyes clear.

“What? No,” Kara chokes out, scandalized. “Rao, no. I don’t like her. I mean—I barely know her. It’s just… I guess I’m a little curious about her? In all my years of knowing you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you, uh, respond to that stuff until today. Like, actually flirt with someone before other than…” me, Kara thinks, and bites her tongue long and hard enough to stop herself from saying it.

It’s quiet. After a long moment, Lena finally speaks. “Were you jealous?”

Kara feels her face burn. Lena has that look on her face again, that searching kind of look, her eyes longing for… something. Kara really wishes she knew what exactly.

“No,” she says, because she can’t be.

Lena hums low and deep in the back of her throat. Her hair tickles Kara’s shoulder when she shifts a little.

“Imagine how riled up you would get if you were jealous,” she murmurs, eyes latched onto the way her fingers move on Kara’s collarbone and only flickering back up to her face for a moment. “But in order to be jealous, you’d have to like me.”

She lets out a quiet chuckle and Kara follows suit, panicking. She knows her laugh sounds awkward because Lena looks at her again.

“Right,” Kara breathes, trying not to tense against Lena. Lena’s palm is hot on Kara’s chest, her fingertips tracing over the skin. It makes Kara breathe unevenly—the warm, gentle hand moving softly, lazily, just above her heart and—it feels like it could just tear Kara apart if she isn’t careful.

“But you don’t, do you, Kara?” Lena asks, quirking a brow up. Her voice isn’t deep with impartialness now, but seriousness.

Kara goes still, mouth hanging open. She knows—with the way she’s been acting these past few weeks, that Lena has kept her suspicions. Of course she has. Kara has done nothing but make things weird recently, and they still haven’t really talked yet. Kara keeps avoiding because she’s weak and she isn’t quite ready to let go of this yet, and she knows Lena hasn’t forgotten about it. Knows that Lena’s still waiting—she seems to want Kara to initiate it despite being called out on it before.

But why? It’s almost maddening to Kara to see how Lena is always endlessly patient with her, like she wants everything to go at Kara’s pace, just so Kara wouldn’t feel forced to do anything. It’s really unfair to Lena and it bothers Kara deeply because she’s starting to think that there are some things Lena isn’t telling her.

She releases a shaky breath, looks at Lena in the eye. “You’re my best friend, Lena. Of course I like you.”

Surprisingly, Lena frowns at this. It isn’t the reaction Kara is expecting and she isn’t sure what to make of it. Her hand slips down Kara’s neck and settles onto the juncture between her neck and shoulder. She doesn’t move her hand and Kara tenses, unable to sense where Lena’s thoughts are wandering.

“Mm,” Lena says, scratches lightly against her skin. “That’s good.”

Yeah, Kara agrees miserably to herself.

It’s been a long day, and Kara just finds herself staring up at the ceiling. It takes several minutes for Lena’s breathing to start evening out. Kara looks at Lena’s sleeping face; at her fluttering lashes and her flushed cheeks and the curve of her nose. She watches her soft, pink lips open slightly as her breathing gets deeper.

Kara is scared. She’s terrified actually. She’s even more terrified than when they first started. She doesn’t know how she’s going to give this up.

She has to—this was just a slip. It won’t happen again. It can’t happen again.




 

Kara would love to say that she’s brave enough to talk about it and call it off.

But, alas.

Which means they go half a week without talking about it, and then, slowly, the time trickles away like water between cupped hands, and then it’s too awkward to bring anything up, ever, so Kara resigns herself to eternal silence.

(Not really. She’s still trying.

She doesn’t think she can face Alex if she keeps failing.)

 


 

She should have known she wouldn’t be able to stay far from Lena for long and especially after Alex proving her point of Kara being ‘highly incapable of letting Lena go,’—Kara had wanted to try her hardest to disprove the misfortune. 

It’s quite incredible actually, how her resolve easily shakes and crumbles when it comes to Lena. Always, when it comes to Lena. 

Unsurprisingly and so easily, and Kara detests herself for even expecting it to.

It happens again, against her better judgement, and Kara’s left off wandering when she’s going to work enough courage to call this off. It happens when Kara makes a visit to Lena’s penthouse at night, landing softly on the balcony in her Supergirl outfit. After half an hour of just simply fooling around and chatting with her, Lena pulls her inside into the penthouse and easily enough Kara’s persuaded to stick around longer. It happens again when Lena visits her in her apartment this time, three days later, and, well. They make dinner together and when that’s done, Lena’s off catching up on her emails while Kara browses on her social media. Somehow, two hours later, Kara finds herself taking hold of Lena’s hand and leading her into her bed.

It’s slowly turning into a cycle that has Kara coming back constantly, like an addict trying to kick the habit only to fall for temptation over and over again. Back when they first started doing this, Kara genuinely thought she could stop any time she wanted. 

But now? 

The action of putting it in motion is harder than it sounds. She thought she could stop the next time after giving in the first time and having Lena once more.

To be quite honest, she doesn’t know how to explain it. Before she knew it, right after the first time of caving in she lost grasp of the situation just like that, the minimum control she always tried to hold tight onto gone from her hands like thin dust slipping through her fingers. 

Honestly, Lena should be glad Kara’s suffering from a temporary bout of insanity and actually considering all the ways she can distract Lena without having to distract her with the prospect of sex. It needs to stop, but Kara keeps failing miserably because every time Lena catches her being distracted and oddly quiet for a long time, Lena does something and her brain simply stops working.

Lena would take her by the hand sometimes, intertwining their fingers together. Or nudge her by the shoulder with a curious smile gracing her pretty face. 

Or push her down gently, straddling her on the couch. That—which is unfortunately very much the situation right now.

“What are you thinking about?“ Lena asks, her fingers tracing along Kara’s jawline, then down gently to her neck. She rubs her throat slowly, lazily. Her eyes are fixed on Kara’s lips, then moves up to hold her gaze. 

Steady and alluring and dark.

It makes Kara gulp.

Rao, she really detests how weak she is for this—she truly does. Lena is irresistible, and overwhelmingly charming, and mesmerizing, and intoxicating, and lovely, and—Kara really starts to wonder if she has a misery kink at this point because instead of trying to spark up the topic now, she finds herself blatantly staring at Lena's lips.

But Lena is also warm and comforting and every bit of what Kara not only wants but needs as well. This addiction takes hold of her completely, and it burns her.

When Kara fails to answer, Lena lightly sighs, threading gently her fingers through Kara’s hair. She’s wearing a dark green sweater and it hangs off her shoulder, showing more pale skin. The black strap of her bra is visible from this angle. Kara’s eyes stray to it for a second.

“We ran out of oranges,” Kara says, or more like blurt out. She turns her head a little, looks at the bowl on the stand and looks back to the woman who’s on top of her. Did they really run out?

Lena quirks a brow up, amused. “Did we? That’s too bad,” she says, her hand moving to Kara’s chin, her thumb and index finger cupping it.

Kara frowns, carefully lifts herself so she’s sitting up now, while her hands stay on Lena’s thighs. Lena, on her part, seems awfully content in her position. So Kara doesn’t make her move. Instead just frowns further, staring back at Lena closely.

“So, um. One of my work colleagues recently adopted a puppy,” Kara mentions, and she doesn’t know why, just that she thinks Lena ought to know just because. She thinks Lena should know all Kara and puppy-related interactions. She also thinks that if Lena doesn’t get off her lap anytime soon, Kara’s going to lose her mind.

Lena's hands wander down Kara's sides, her fingers slowly sliding up under Kara's shirt. Her palms glide over smooth, warm skin and hard muscles, and it's unhurried, purposeless, just to feel Kara, to hold her, and it's not going to go anywhere. Doesn't have to.

Touchy, Kara thinks. An amused smile plays at Lena’s lips and it grows, wild and amused like she can’t help it, like she’s happy, and she is all rosy and bright and lovely, and Kara thinks, it’s Lena.

It’s just Lena.

“What breed is it?” If Lena’s surprised by the sudden topic, she doesn’t show it. She crosses her arms lightly in the space between them, the easy smile still there. Their faces are so close, and it’s kind of a problem for Kara.

Kara lowers her gaze, really tries not to fiddle with anything. “A Golden Retriever,” she says, and she can’t help the growing smile on her face when she recalls the way it ran up to her in the morning the moment it came out of the elevator. Nia had gasped and stood up immediately from her seat, wondering when the hell did CatCo start to allow pets over. “Anyway, that pupper came in with a lot of different tricks up her sleeve. She’s so smart and knows how to do that cool finger gun move thingy. Lena. The finger gun trick, it’s really cool.”

“Pupper?” Lena asks, tilting her head. Her eyes are bright, amused. “And—what? The finger gun trick… you mean,” she raises a hand between them, her hand taking form of a finger gun. 

Lena directs the finger gun to her.

Kara draws a sharp breath, looking down to it, then to Lena. “You wouldn’t.”

Lena grins. “What’s the difference between you and that Golden Retriever? Or a pupper, as you like to call it.”

Kara flushes. It’s just a normal reaction that’s pulled out of Kara each time Lena fondly compares her to a puppy. She can’t help but just react to it. Helplessly. It’s weird, it’s crazily endearing, and most of all it’s wholesome and it makes Kara’s sappy heart pirouette. 

Lena holds her pose for a few more beats. Kara watches her throat bob as she swallows. Then directs the finger gun to her chest, position more firm this time. Blinks dozily, could be smiling, going by her eyes.

Pow.

Kara clutches a hand to her chest, deadpan, and falls backwards, her view panning over Lena and furniture and walls until it’s just the ceiling. Fingers uncurling on her chest, her other hand flopping down beside her head, closes her eyes and tries not to break into a smile.

She hears Lena softly gasp, feels her crawling closer until she’s hovering right above her, murmuring, I’m sorry I shot you, darling, I’m sorry, have an orange, there’s actually one piece left and pressing the last slice to Kara’s lips.

It’s hard not to break into laughter. Kara laughs and laughs, allows the slice to be taken into her mouth and chews, swallows it down. 

Lena smiles fondly, looking down at her, and Kara smiles back. Kara wants to tell Lena she loves her. She wants to say it so badly all of a sudden.

She doesn’t, though. She never does—not when they're like this, wrapped in each other closely, intimately.

“That was your treat,” Lena says, her hand fixing the crinkles of Kara’s shirt. “For learning the trick in one go. Good girl.”

“I—wow... you did not just say that? I’m, I...” Kara almost chokes when Lena only just grins. Her dimples flashes, and Kara suppresses the urge to bite Lena’s cheeks. “Lena.”

Lena only pats Kara on the head, runs her hand through blond locks as she coos insufferably, and all Kara can do is just look up at her. Realizes that she once again finds herself in this position, looking up at Lena.

“You really do not want to get off of me, do you?”

“Not without a kiss.”

Kara considers it, licks her bottom lip with a flick of her tongue. Fixes her glasses. “A kiss. Not plural. Just one.”

Lena slowly nods, her fingers moving up Kara’s cheek, touching her glasses. She maintains steady eye-contact with Kara even when she lifts the glasses off from Kara’s face to place them on the coffee table beside them.

“A kiss. Not plural. Just one,” Lena repeats easily, lips pulling into an easy smirk and Kara can’t move, enthralled by the drop of Lena’s voice and the way her fingertips move feather light against her skin.

The fingers at the nape of her neck press in a little and she squeezes Lena’s thighs, bracing herself for—well, Lena. But not this. Not Lena just staring at her, quiet and curious, wide eyes darting between her own. The moment grows, taut like a piece of elastic that’s going to crack and snap Kara in the face at any second.

In a heartbeat, Lena’s mouth is etched into Kara’s, the kiss nothing but a brush of their lips. But then Kara’s thoughts wander, this is the last one, and so does her hands, so she brings Lena back down and kisses her.

Kara pries her lips apart with her own, licks into her hot mouth, and the sheer noise Lena makes is enough to make heat coil in her belly. She kisses her and she knows it’s a little sloppy and messy, wet and open, their mouths slotting against each other. She kisses her until every last smear of her lipstick is gone, until her lips are plump and wet. 

Lena’s smiling, probably more of a sly smirk against her mouth, but Kara’s too distracted to be embarrassed. She knows it’s hungry, knows it’s a bit desperate, thinks maybe it comes off like she’s trying to tell Lena something, but Lena only tilts her chin up to meet her better. Her mouth soft and pliant, falling open over and over, letting Kara curl her tongue in.

Last times. That’s going to be her downfall, probably. Yet she settles for it again and lifts Lena up, easily carrying her all the way to her bed. Once more they fall together in their usual casual way.

“A kiss. Not Plural. Just one,” Lena teases and laughs, but it’s half breathless gasps. She pulls back to look Kara in the eye, and fuck, she looks beautiful, looks like a mess already, her pupils blown, her mouth swollen and red—an imprint of Kara’s chapstick probably somewhere on it.

“Changed my mind, I can do that,” Kara murmurs against Lena’s neck and breathes her in. She can, she will (she just did), and she’ll feel bad about it later feeling endlessly stupid for falling back into bed with Lena after promising herself so many times not to.

Sometimes Kara doesn't even remember how they fell into each other like this, how Kara came to get addicted to the crash of Lena’s body against hers, pushing and pulling until they edge each other right into orgasm. Kara can't even remember sex and this kind of intimacy feel so good with anyone else, anyone before Lena. Like Lena reached deep into her body, and nudged a little curve here or coaxed an edge to soften until she formed herself a space just for herself, Lena Luthor-sized, and now that she's trying to pull away, Kara feels that—no, she knows for certain that this space inside of her can't ever be filled when she pulls away.

Lena kisses Kara back and touches her until Kara forgets why she ever thought she could leave, pulls her back into her space so easily, as if she’s been waiting for Kara to get back to her senses and return to where she belongs. And then Kara finds herself there again, bared and helpless in front of Lena.

Kara wishes she knew how to quit this.




 

 

The next time Kara and Lena see each other is not because she texts her.

They’re fuck buddies but they’re also best friends with mutual close friends and it’s hard for them to stay away from each other.

Nia’s small party gathering is tonight, tonight being a Saturday night in her apartment. The music isn’t too loud, but it’s loud enough for Kara to feel the bass of music rattling against her skull. She’s sensitive to these things. Currently Nia’s on her phone near her mini speaker, shuffling through today’s top hits—most of it pop songs. Alex is in the kitchen to bring more food in and probably alcohol, too, and Kelly and Lena are sat across her in the living room.

“Fine, fine, you get to drink. I’ll be your ride home,” James grumbles, rolling his eyes good-naturedly at Winn. Winn laughs and strikes a fist in the air, bumping his shoulder with James’.

James has been gone, but he’s back. He’s back, but Kara knows it’s only for a couple of days.

She smiles at the sight. It’s been such a long while since she’s seen him.

“You’re really here. Can’t believe you’re here again, man,” Winn grins, giving him another shove. “How long has it been? You look the same!”

“Don’t be dramatic, of course I still look the same. And it’s just a little less than a year? Don’t get too comfy with me being here, I’m not staying here for long,” James says, shrugging with an easy smile on his face. “I can’t believe you dragged me into this last minute. I just got back and I haven’t unpacked my luggage yet!”

Winn rolls his eyes, sending him a dismissive wave. “Well, you’re not here for long, so I had to make you come.” He looks at Kelly with a grin. “Thanks to Kelly, my ambush was perfectly timed.”

“How’s the old hometown? You should tell us what you’ve been up to—a certain someone has been complaining about how you don’t reply to their messages,” Lena chimes in, raising a playful eyebrow directed in James’ direction. Winn sticks his bottom lip out, and James lets out a laugh at Lena’s input.

Kara smiles wider. Lena and James. What a mess they were in their post-break up, all their interactions awkward and stiff for several months. Though for a while now it’s been different, they’ve been different. 

It’s nice to see.

The night starts when Alex comes back and Winn squeals at the food, Kelly laughing and rolling her eyes at the box of beer Alex is holding, Brainy testing the taste of his drink, Lena sat across her, smiling at their friends, and Kara being hopeless, her full attention already caught by Lena’s smile and by how pretty she looks tonight. 

She’s wearing simple casual wear—Lena’s casual wears are Kara’s favourite. A thin dark purple sweater, black jeans and boots. Her long sleeves cover just half of her hands, her fingers just barely making out and Kara wonders just how is that even possible when Lena has large hands (probably the largest she’s seen of a woman’s) and somehow it’s so intensely endearing Kara can’t really comprehend it.

Regardless of how much she thought she was mentally prepared for this, she wasn’t. Not with Lena noticing her staring then, looking straight back, her smile widening, beaming with a small tilt to her head.

Kara flushes and smiles back.

Alex sits beside her and grins, easily opening her bottle with a clack. The conversation is flowing, everybody is laughing. Oh, how Kara loves her friends. Winn and James are passing around drinks and shots, and Kara’s already lost count of how many drinks Winn and Brainy have had. Brainy is always readily accepting everything he’s being given, his curiosity in these drinks and the need to prove that he can take it all winning over him. Kara can’t find it in her to save him. Not when each time after he takes a swig and lowers his glass, his face twists into the most priceless, sour-y face.

Nia’s endeared, too entertained by it. Alex and James are impressed. Kelly is not so amused.

“Lena,” Winn grins slyly, handing her some bright coloured shot. At it, Lena arches one brow pointedly. It’s the kind of eyebrow raise that has everyone feeling either intimidated or turned on by it, and for Kara it's easily both. Not that anyone would catch her admitting that out loud.

Winn grabs the Jenga out and places it on the table. Lena laughs, then smirks at the game, their eyes narrowing and challenging. These people are damn ruthless when it comes to competition.

Kara sighs with a smile. Why does Winn even bother? She gets up to go to the kitchen and grabs herself some fresh apple juice. When she turns away from the fridge, she almost collides into Alex.

“Alex!” Kara says, fumbling and almost bumps into the fridge when she steps back.

“Hey,” Alex snorts, eyeing at her curiously. “Are you really just going to drink apple juice all night?” She finds a small wet towel on the kitchen counter, picks it up and starts wiping at a spot on her jacket.

“I like apple juice.” Kara wrinkles her nose when she notices the stain and smell on Alex's jacket. “Did you spill something on your jacket?”

When Alex opens her mouth to reply, Winn’s voice thunders across the entire apartment, followed by a cheer of laughter. Alex and Kara raise their eyebrows, looking at each other before bursting into chuckles.

“Winn spilled something on you.”

“You really cannot trust him to hold his drink,” Alex sighs, grimacing at the wet spot. Her brows are furrowed and she looks at it in a way as if she stares hard enough it’ll help make the stain disappear. Alex leans onto the counter as she scrubs and scrubs, making occasional glances at their friends from across the room. “This is what I get for choosing to sit next to him.”

Kara snickers and joins Alex, standing beside her. She sips on her little juice box and looks ahead. Kelly and James are chatting in a corner, Nia’s trying to get Brainy to drink a particular sketchy drink with a sly look, Winn’s gesticulating wildly in the air with a dopey grin on his face, and Lena’s nodding slowly at him with narrowed eyes. As if she’s desperately trying to understand and keep up with Winn’s drunken rambling. 

Then Lena picks up her glass, and Kara watches the way Lena’s throat bobs when she swallows the liquid down while her eyes close for a split second to really feel the taste. Lena drinks and drinks, laughs and lets the music carry her through the night, allowing herself to relax further and let loose in the familiar environment. She drinks and lets herself loose because she knows that Kara will remain beside her, taking her home safely in the end. 

Kara always does.

Kara takes another sip, warmth swirling within her as she watches on. Alex gives her a gentle shove on the shoulder. 

“You’re staring.”

Lightly biting her straw, Kara blinks. “So?” she mumbles, quickly directing her gaze to her other friends. She’s not embarrassed at being caught, but she looks away from one particular person anyway.

“Goodness. So bad, Kara, you have it so bad,” Alex scoffs, setting her jacket down. It’s quiet for a single, measured moment as they watch their friends. 

Kara gets it. She’s easily, always reminded every time she so much as sees Lena and it’s a huge problem. One day of finally, completely grasping how she really feels for Lena, and suddenly Kara notices every little thing, every quirk of her lips, every raise of an eyebrow, every look, everything. She can’t help it.

And it drives her absolutely crazy.

“I’m glad you decided to end things with Lena. You did the right thing.”

Kara almost chokes on her drink. She turns her head sharply, eyes flitting over Alex’s face nervously as her mouth hangs open. She’s taken aback by the sudden subject that she can’t find it in her to whine about Alex’s choice of words—end things? Way to make it sound like a breakup. Again.

“Oh. I. I—about that…” she murmurs awkwardly, hand finding her belt.

Several painful seconds pass as Alex watches her with raised eyebrows, her face neutral.

Kara winces—it’s like watching a car crash in slow motion. Alex’s expression shifts, twisting into a face that makes Kara suddenly want to bury herself here and now, her face and neck reddening furiously.

Kara,” Alex sputters, eyes wide and blinking fast, and her hand flies flat onto the table. “You—you said!” she scoffs, with pure disbelief in her voice. “Don’t tell me… are you serious right now? You—you and Lena haven’t stopped—”

No, I haven’t, and please keep it down!” Kara nudges her sister, desperate to avoid creating attention here on this side of the room. She bites on her straw harder as she chuckles weakly at Alex. Alex just sends her an exasperated glare, impatiently waiting for an explanation. 

There goes proving Alex’s point of Kara being highly incapable of letting Lena go. Kara feels every part of her body heat up in a fierce blush and she tries not to wilt under the intense scrutiny.

“I just. I keep backing out...” she mumbles, running a hand down her hair as she averts her gaze away from Alex’s concerned face. “Every time I see Lena, I think to myself: this is it, I’m going to tell her that we shouldn’t do this anymore, but then… But then...” her mouth opens and closes several times, struggling to form her next words as her fingers twitch at her sides. Then words spill out of her mouth—way too fast, coming out like a blurt: “But Lena’s, she’s—she’s not easy to stay away from, she’s just there and she’s just so good at making me feel—”

Alex makes a pained, choked sound and quickly presses her palm against Kara’s mouth, effectively blocking Kara from spouting out the specific details that Alex would happily live the rest of her life not knowing, and. “God, don’t you finish that sentence! I—Kara, I never took you to be so… I don’t even know what to say. You have got to be kidding me.” Alex groans and palms at her forehead, looking absolutely exasperated. 

She almost looks hysterical. 

Kara cringes; she gets it, she really does. She’s just as frustrated with herself.

“What am I going to do with you? Kara, surely you’re not that weak. How hard can it be? All you need is a simple: oh hey, Lena. I think we should stop sleeping with each other. The fact that everything is meaningless to you and all is for fun is hurting me, and the way you don’t feel the same way as I do deeply eats me up inside.” 

Kara looks away uncomfortably. “You know I can’t say that.”

“Sure. But you can still say that you want to end it,” Alex sighs, with a hand on her hip. She looks at Kara worriedly. “It’s always been a casual thing, you don’t have to give your reasons. I seriously can’t believe this situation right now.” She pauses for a second, squints her eyes. “Well, actually I can. I get that it’s hard because it’s,” she air quotes, “Lena, but all it takes is that one sentence, Kara.”

But that’s easier said than done. Kara rubs her shoulders, biting her lip.

When she turns back to look at their friends, she finds green eyes already on her, watching her curiously. There’s a filled wine glass in Lena’s hand and a wooden Jenga block in the other. For a couple of seconds they hold each others gaze before Kara’s the first to look away, cheeks flushing. She touches her glasses, and exhales. 

“I promise I’ll get to it.”

“Seriously, what am I going to do with you?” Alex wraps an arm around her neck, her hand squeezing her shoulder. She clicks her tongue, sends her an encouraging smile. “I know you will.” 

Worry’s still etched into every detail of Alex’s expression, from the thin line of her mouth to the furrow of her brow. It’s a little difficult to look at Alex because Kara really does feel embarrassed, but she appreciates this greatly. Who knows what her sister thinks of her now—it’s so hard to explain why she keeps coming back to Lena even when it makes her feel heavy afterwards. But Kara isn't worried about being judged by her sister. She's just looking out for her. She always is.

It’s not long until Kelly waves at them, gesturing for two to come back and join them. Kara shakes her head when Alex nudges her by the shoulder to walk back with her.

“I’ll come join soon. You go ahead.”

Alex eyes at her for a moment. “Try not to keep looking like a sulking puppy in this corner,” she says, leaving her alone but not without a flashing a fond smile in her direction.

Is that what she’s been doing? Sulking? All she wanted was to drink some juice and tap out of conversations for a bit. Huffing, she grabs a fresh new juice box. James appears next to her as she grabs for one.

“It’s so nice to see everyone again.” James turns on the taps, washing his hands in the sink. “Why have you been hanging here and not with us? You know a certain CEO keeps looking at you. Her attention is so scattered in-between our conversations and games.”

“What? I... okay?” Kara stutters, immediately schooling her expression when she faces James. That’s... so random. Is he teasing her? Again, really—all she wanted was to sip some juice peacefully. James has been gone for quite a while, he doesn’t know what’s been happening between the two of them for the past several months. So she sends him an unsure smile. “Lena? I guess I should head back soon then.”

James hums nonchalantly, drying his hands. She watches him silently for a bit, finds herself thinking yet again how nice it is that he and Lena aren’t on bad terms anymore. Things are better now. After they’d broken up, for several months every time they were in the same room everyone could feel the discomfort radiating from them, from seeing each other because they didn’t know how to interact anymore. Eventually, it got better. To this day Kara still isn’t sure what happened, but one day they switched from awkward exes to good friends.

It’s not her business, but she’s been curious. She can’t be blamed for being curious about her friend’s thoughts after everything.

"Hey, James? Do you ever wonder why Lena hasn't dated anyone after you?" Kara blurts out, before she can even stop herself. She already knows Lena’s side—she’s been telling Kara her reasons for not dating. James doesn’t know about it, so she wonders if he ever thinks about his ex.

She doesn't see whatever expression James has on his face when James turns around when he grabs himself a wine glass. “Why would she even,” he says, voice suddenly solemn. “I was the best she ever had.”

Kara doesn't know what kind of face she's making, but James bursts out laughing, at that. He tilts his head and crosses his arms, looking far too amused for his own good. “Kara, I'm kidding! Why do you look so… so crushed?” he snorts, with an insufferable smile spreading across his face and that’s when Kara realizes that, yes, he’s been teasing. But his eyes holds a glint of something more than humor.

Rao. She came here to have a good time, not get attacked by the minute.

“I'm not.” Really, she's not. For good measure, she repeats it, louder this time. “I'm not.”

“Affected, then,” James says, rolling his eyes. “Whatever works for you.”

Kara groans, pokes a hole in her juice box with the straw. On his way back to the living room, he catches Kara across the counter. 

“You want my real thoughts? I know I’ve been gone, so I don’t know what’s been going on around here lately. But I’ve known you two for years. I don't think Lena needs to date someone to be happy,” James says, giving her a long, lingering once-over. “She already has you.”

 

-

 

Kara tries not to think about it, she really does.

Kara doesn’t think about it on her way to the living room, finally joining the rest as everyone laughs and bubbles with energy, sharing to each other ridiculous stories that happened recently to them, or when she sits beside Lena, sliding into Kelly’s spot when Kelly gets up to leave for the bathroom. She doesn’t think about it as she plays with her hands, clasping and unclasping between her knees and moments later with the constant fiddling, Lena makes a movement next to her, her body shifting closer to Kara that their shoulders are now touching. 

Every now and then Lena would look at her, at her collar or at her mouth, and Kara would catch her. Or Kara’s eyes would linger on Lena’s hands, and Lena would see that.

Kara doesn’t even think about it when she takes her jacket and coat from the coat rack and slips it on, easily registering Lena’s scent—her perfume on it. Kara tends to forget and leave things in Lena’s penthouse—she can tell that her coat had a long stay in Lena’s room.

But she does start to think about it a little when everyone is scattered in the apartment, loitering around, when Lena wordlessly takes her by the hand. Lena quietly guides her into an area where no one can see or hear them, somewhere in the back of the apartment and when they come into a stop, Kara searches Lena’s eyes, wondering and curious. 

Lena only squeezes her hand, then tips her chin up in a way that she knows drives everyone crazy, hooding her gaze. 

She tiptoes up a little and kisses Kara.

Admittedly, there’s something about sneaking around that’s very sexy to Kara. The feeling of doing something she knows she’s not supposed to, but not being able to fight the urge. Or, in their case, not caring enough to. Not that she and Lena aren’t supposed to be together—but it’s more of where they decide to be together.

Kara touches Lena’s face and slides a hand over her jaw and indulges her, pressing their mouths together. It’s warm and wet and sweet and hot and dirty and all the things Kara loves about kissing Lena at once. Lena tastes like alcohol, all soft curves and a warm, sweet mouth. 

She kisses Lena back like they have time.

Or like time is going to wait for them, and the world is going to stop until Lena’s been well-kissed.

Kisses her fuzzy and warm, with her little intervals, melted honey down her throat once more, her toes curling once more. Lena kisses her back, slow and wanting, her hands an enticing contrast against the tan of Kara’s neck, her hands like buckwheat: sugary white and pink knuckles.

Rao, Kara thinks, as she sighs at the feeling of Lena pressed close. Rao, golly, crap, Rao

Kara swallows thickly as Lena catches her breath when they separate for the third? fourth time.

She doesn’t wonder anymore about Lena, that’s true, but James’ words—no, assumption haunts her, dismantles her completely and has her edging into dangerous territory again. To that one place that makes you feel hopeful, that you have a chance with something.

Just… how could he say that.

She hadn’t expected him to say it the way he did. It’s an assumption at best, and Kara wishes she hadn’t asked.

Just what is Kara supposed to think and feel about that?

She tries to put a stop to these thoughts but now that it’s back again it’s making everything burst open inside her. It’s like a hole has been punctured in the little box where she’s kept her hopes with Lena down in the lowest and locked away for a long time, and now they’re spilling out slowly, the hole only getting a little bigger and a little bit further away from repair.

And the thing is, it’s hard not to hope. It feels nice to have hope. It’s just confusing. Because she used to think it was inconceivable that Lena would ever even find her sexually attractive, but that turned out to be wrong. It still blows her mind and feels like a dream, but at this point it’s pretty undeniable, even to Kara and her self-doubt, that Lena is into her physically. 

Even then, she knows how futile it is, she really does. After all, Lena has always been clear about her intentions when it comes to relationships. She likes people and she likes sex, but she’s flighty and restless, doesn’t want to be tied down or beholden to anyone.

Lena will never want her, like how Kara wants her. She’s never going to want to, and that’s just the way it is.

Which is why she needs to end this with Lena as soon as possible, because this is hurting her and it’s not fair to Lena.

When Lena tilts her head a little and wipes her thumb at the corner of Kara’s lips, Kara’s pulled out of her thoughts. She sees Lena then, sees Lena, and she blushes as she feels her heart picking up. 

Lena’s smiling at her, soft and gentle at the edges.

It’s 1 AM when everyone starts cleaning and packing up. Tidying up comes easy and quick because no one really made a huge mess, except for when Winn spilled drinks and dropped pasta on the carpeted floor. Nia wasn’t too pleased but thanks to her house-cleaning wisdom, no permanent stains were made tonight. Shortly enough after everything is back into place, everyone says their goodbyes. 

As Alex pulls Kara into a tight hug, whispering a get home safe, I love you in her ear, James sends her an odd look while he stands by the entrance door. Kara wants to pretends she doesn’t see it, but she can’t ignore him. She hasn’t said her goodbyes to him, so what she does is she sends him a small hand wave in the air, and smiles. James reciprocates it and turns around to grab his coat. He leaves then, but not before catching a quick hug and a smile from Lena and getting tackled by a drunk Winn.

Soon the others follow and go to their separate ways.

The night is a gentle silence, a velvet dark black when Kara and Lena step outside. The streetlights blink at them, taunting and blinding. And with each footstep, Kara finds that she’s a little restless. She can’t actually get James’ words out of her head.

She doesn't know if it's desperation or hope or anything anymore. She glances at Lena, who stands beside her, rubbing her wrist as she squints at the dark areas.

Neither really want to say goodbye yet and Kara isn’t quite sure if Lena wants her to take her home, or if she’ll just have her driver pick her up. She hasn’t touched her phone. Lena looks fine; sober. Pretty. Breathtaking. Kara hasn’t asked and perhaps that’s why they’ve been standing in the poorly-lit area outside of Nia’s apartment for the past ten minutes.

At some point Lena quietly sniffs, starts rubbing her hands together quickly as she subtly (or not so subtly) leans into Kara’s side. 

“That’s what you get for not bringing a jacket,” Kara says, smiling at the way Lena frowns. Lena retorts by bumping her shoulder, causing Kara to move and go along with the impact. In an instant Lena’s at her side again though, her regret apparent in the way she quickly steps into Kara’s space again the moment distance between them was made. 

“You saw how drunk Winn was. What you didn’t see was the drunken theft. He mistook my coat for his and left so fast with James,” Lena pinches the bridge of her nose, sighing softly. “Who does that?”

That only makes Kara laugh harder. Feeling sorry for her best friend, Kara hands her her coat.

“Thank you.”

Even with the coat on, Lena invades her side, still. Kara huffs a laugh, fondness swirling within her. “Times like these I feel like a living, walking heater.” 

Lena exhales in something like a laugh, quiet and soft, which makes Kara look at her again. Her sharp features are accentuated by the moonlight and the weak lighting coming from the porch. Her black hair falls in soft waves around her shoulders.

“You are. Haven’t we already established that?”

Kara frowns at that. “And you’re what, an ice block?”

“You could say that.”

“Wow. I have my own personal ice block that I can’t exactly get a feel without red lamps on,” Kara says, rolling her eyes lightly. “From now on, when people ask me ‘who’s that pretty woman over there?’ I will just say that that’s Lena Luthor, Kara Danvers’ Ice Block. That’s right, my ice block.”

Lena chokes out a chuckle, her head tilting a little. “Okay, now I don’t know how to feel about that.” She looks at Kara in the eye, crosses her arms lightly. There’s a glint in her eye that makes Kara flush. “Kara Danvers’ Ice Block. No matter how silly that sounds, aren’t I my own person?”

“Um.” Kara sputters, because yeah, Lena is totally her own person.

“Kidding,” Lena laughs, her double dimples appearing. Kara frowns, staring at it. “So, if that’s the case then if people ask me ‘who’s that pretty woman over there’, I’d say that’s Kara Danvers. Lena Luthor’s person.”

Kara raises her brows up. “Now that just sounds weird.”

“So does ice block,” Lena counters. “I can’t say you're an alien, can’t say you’re human either. So you’re my person.” She exhales quietly out of her mouth, and looks at Kara sort of devastatingly softly.

“Kara Danvers. Lena Luthor’s person,” Kara repeats with a slow nod. She scrunches her face, repeating it the second time. “You have a person, and that’s me.”

It sounds really ridiculous, but it makes her laugh. Blush, too, on the spot. Lena laughs with her and Kara feels light, high on endorphins, feels like she might float away like the way she does in her sleep (sometimes) if Lena doesn’t catch her. Loves the sound of Lena’s laugh, laughs, plural, that delighted chuckle that climbs up like an arpeggio and that loud, unrestrained cackle that makes her double dimples appear and she squeezes her eyes into crinkles with her head thrown back. 

Kara loves, she loves a lot, she’s filled with it, it’s bubbling out of her in every single direction all at once.

She loves Lena so fucking much.

When they recover, Lena simply smiles at her. She smiles, the brightest thing in this city.

Kara tugs at her collar and shoves her hands inside her pockets, directing her gaze somewhere far less brighter. They lapse into silence as they stare off into the distance.

“You’ve been quiet tonight,” Lena says lightly.

“Have I?”

Lena nods. “Quieter than your usual Kara Danvers party nights.”

“I don’t know. I guess I have been.” Kara shrugs, offers Lena a weak smile. Lena hums, considering her. Kara opens her mouth before Lena gets to utter a word out. “Did—did you want to walk around for a bit? Because it’s getting late…”

“It’s too dark in these streets. Let’s stay here for a little longer,” Lena shakes her head, and Kara shoots her a curious look. Lena has a heavy dislike for exercise, Kara knows easily too well, but she also knows that Lena enjoys a good walk. As long as comfortable footwear is involved that is. “It’s fine. This particular area is too dark—you don’t like dark places.”

“Oh.” Kara clears her throat, flushes a little. “Yeah, um. Okay.” 

She looks around, touches her glasses. Nia’s apartment is far away from the tall buildings and bustling streets, removed from the bright and flashy neon lights and noise.

Slowly, Lena’s hands reaches up to touch the lapels of Kara's jacket and her fingers run along the material, stroking it. There’s a pretty dusting of pink high on her cheeks and her pupils are blown wide. Eyes soft as she looks at her hands fiddling with the lapels, then Kara's eyes.

“Hi,” Kara says quietly, swallows. “What is it?”

“It’s actually getting colder,” Lena lightly groans. She buries her face in Kara’s neck, her nose rubbing on Kara’s exposed collarbone. “Miss my coat. But yours is good, too, much bigger than mine. You’re the best to warm myself with,” she murmurs with a grin and she has her face in Kara’s neck now, and wait, is Lena sniffing her right now?

Kara closes her eyes and takes a shuddering breath, because Rao help her. On instinct, she wraps her arms around Lena, one hand climbing into Lena’s hair, holding her head there, holding her, and the other rubbing her back.

“You know I can easily take you back home, just say the word…”

“Just a few more minutes.”

Kara bites the inside of her cheek, feeling her heart threatening to beat out of her chest. Is she supposed to survive this night? Genuine question.

“Genius billionaire CEO Lena Luthor lures her friend Kara Danvers into the dark, empty streets to cuddle her senseless,” she remarks, despite the growing heat in her cheeks. “How terrifying is that?”

Lena only makes a soft, breathy sound, sounding like a chuckle. Kara smiles to herself, holds Lena closer. Her hand moves slow and heavy across Lena’s back.

“Better?” Kara asks, and Lena melts into it further. Lena gives a little nod against her neck. The sound of something picking up speed reaches Kara's ears and it makes Kara pull away with a frown, just enough to look Lena in the eye. “Your heart’s beating fast. Are you okay?” She reaches up to tuck a lock of hair behind Lena’s ear before letting her hand slip lower, curling around the back of Lena’s neck. 

Lena nods and buries her face in Kara's neck again, murmurs a yeah, I’m fine. The two of them sway in the dim light of the street, surrounded by the soft, whistling wind. 

“Lena,” Kara tries again, but Lena won’t budge and her hold over Kara only tightens.

Lena is always pliant under her touch, but right now she’s too stubborn to let go of her. There’s a twisting, wringing feeling presenting itself in Kara's heart. Two impossibly strong hands twisting it like a wet rag in her chest. She closes her eyes and begins to pet through Lena's hair, but it’s mostly to calm herself.

Truthfully, she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about what James said to her earlier ever since stepping out of Nia’s apartment.

Finally, Lena moves back and her hand reaches up to stroke Kara’s cheek, touch gentle. Kara knows what to expect every time Lena looks at her like that. She can feel Lena’s breath unevening. The tender way Lena looks at her fills Kara up with sickening hope, something she’s been desperately trying to burn down each time it slips through the cracks. It hasn’t for a long time until this.

But Kara can't be confused, not after everything. Not after everything. Lena doesn't want her confused. It doesn’t feel like we’re on the same page. Does it get too much for you, Lena had said to her.  

Lena always wants them both on the same page. Right now they’re not, right now things have gotten weird lately because of Kara. Strained, in a way.

Kara can feel her heart threatening to beat out of her chest as Lena leans closer, moving her thumb to stroke her bottom lip softly. 

Lena is way too beautiful in the moonlight as well as the sunlight and during rain and thunderstorms. There’s nothing special about Kara that’s going to make Lena magically change her mind.

Lena looks like she’s about to lean in with the way her gaze drops down to her mouth. Her lips part gently when Kara’s gaze lowers. Lena’s other hand reaches up to cup Kara’s face, and slowly she starts to lean in. Kara finds herself leaning in, too, until she halts herself, Lena’s lips just mere milimetres away. 

In the matter of milliseconds, Kara is consumed by one single thought: No. She can’t do this. Not anymore.

She moves herself to the side a little, tips her forehead against Lena’s shoulder. Kara squeezes her eyes closed as hard as her heart squeezes in her chest. Takes a deep, shuddering breath and tries to gain some measure of control over the tumult of emotions swirling within her.

“Kara…?”

Kara rubs her eye behind her glasses tiredly, breathing slow as she rests her forehead on Lena’s shoulder.

She can’t keep doing this anymore—she’s pushed herself to the point of spilling over. It’s a vicious cycle of hurt and Kara has been too caught in soaking up whatever Lena can give to her—her affection and attention that she doesn’t realize how deep it’s travelled—the carving of a huge hole in her chest.

“Kara,” Lena says again, and this time worry is etched in her voice.

Kara shakes her head, lifts her head up to look at Lena in the eye. 

“I’m—I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore.” Not like this.

“Do what?” Lena asks, and her hand that rests on Kara’s shoulder moves, curls a little. “You mean—?”

“Yes,” Kara breathes, swallows thickly. “I… this is what I’ve been thinking about—have been wanting to talk about. It’s just, this thing between us—it’s been months.” Six months now, and of course Kara’s been counting but she doesn’t mention that. “This has always been just a casual thing, and for this to have spanned this long already… I think it’s time we stop.”

For a long moment, Lena’s silent. Kara can’t read Lena’s face, her thoughts or feelings. It’s hard to gauge Lena’s reaction when she doesn’t respond at first. But the silence only stretches and Kara realizes that she can't get anything out of Lena at all.

Kara hopes for something, if not protests then at least having to give an explanation, but instead she gets a short, “Okay.”

“Okay?”

“Okay,” Lena repeats. Softly. Simple and sure. “If that’s what you want, then we’ll stop.” She shrugs, her lips tilting up into a small smile.

Kara nods, bows her head down a little. She wants to say something back—anything, but nothing comes to mind so she keeps quiet and slides her hands into her pockets.

“You’ve been thinking about it,” Lena says, making Kara look back up to her. Steam rises from her breath as it meets the cooler air. Lena frowns, watching Kara closely. “And we kissed at Nia’s. I kissed you. And...”

Kara blinks, shakes her head. “And I liked it,” she assures with an emphasis, waving off whatever worry Lena has. “Just because I’ve been thinking about it doesn’t mean I didn’t want it or like it. I mean, you’re—you’re you, and who could resist a kiss from you?” she lightly teases, smiling at the way Lena flushes. “I’m just saying it’s better to stop now than to let this prolong any further.”

“Of course,” Lena agrees easily. Seconds pass and Kara only hears the wind lightly blowing, the leaves from the trees shaking. “You know, I’m surprised this lasted this long, however I don’t think it to be such a bad thing.”

Kara’s heart thuds like it’s about to plunge out of her chest into the soil and sink into the dirt. “Yeah,” she says, because that’s all she can think to say.

“It’s run its course—it was fun while it lasted.” Another nod, and there’s another smile. Small, easy, and... genuine. Lena’s hands fall to her sides.

Fun.

Lena’s views on what they have, no—what they had isn’t new knowledge but it still hits Kara, causes an icy pang of hurt in her chest. They both hold different views and Kara doesn’t know how to separate sex and friendship with Lena without feeling affected

To Lena it’s just sex, just fun. It doesn’t make any sense to Kara, how she can separate it like that, how she can be with Kara, how they are and feel nothing. But she also respects it. Because she loves Lena, and she doesn’t want Lena to change to make anyone else happy, even if that person is Kara. She wants Lena to be free to be who she is, no matter what anyone else thinks of her. 

“Yeah.” Kara breathes unevenly, nods. Her face must give her away because the tilt in Lena’s smile turns into a frown.

“But, Kara,” Lena says, searching her eyes. “You’d tell me if I... something wasn’t okay, or something was wrong. Right?”

Kara tenses. For a few seconds, she just stands there with her heartbeat loud in her ears, deconstructing the meaning of Lena’s words.

“Would you?” she answers, her words rolling out as a shaky whisper that’s tinged with a sharp edge of frustration. It’s not what she intended to say and the slip causes her to take a small step back and blink. Evidently, they’re both surprised. Kara can see the strong lines of Lena’s shoulders, rigid and firm, and hear the way her heart picks up speed.

She isn’t sure why she said it—or maybe she does, because with all that’s been happening lately, Kara feels like she isn’t actually that great at reading Lena at all. That there are things Lena isn’t telling her. 

Lena is quiet for a long moment, eyes going distant. “Tell me what’s wrong,” she says instead.

Lena choosing to dodge Kara’s question makes Kara feel even worse.

Kara takes a difficult breath, her heart threatening to fall at any moment. The concrete falls underneath them, and nothing moves. She looks down, unable to handle Lena's indifferent face.

“Nothing’s wrong,” Kara says, running a hand through her hair, just feeling—feeling incredibly resigned. She isn’t sure what to think anymore. Just that this needs to end. “I’m just concerned that it’s going to make things weird if we keep fooling around. And I don’t want that,” she says, trying to keep her voice measured as she looks at Lena. “You’re my best friend and that’s so much more important to me than these convenient hookups. But as you said, we had a fun time. You’re great, Lena—it’s been great. Nothing’s wrong. You treat me well, you always do.”

“All right,” Lena says, accepting Kara’s answer. “If you say so, that’s—that’s good to hear.” Her boots make a scuffle against the concrete and she sighs softly, looking into Kara’s eyes. Kara forces herself to stare back. “You didn’t have to explain yourself to me. But I agree with you—we don’t want to make things weird. Or weirder, because it has been a little weird.” Her tone is light, not accusatory.

Kara looks down to her feet. “That’s my fault. I’m sorry I’ve been making things weird between us.”

“Don’t be,” Lena says, her voice soft and warm, and shakes her head lightly. “It's okay—I’m glad you bought it up and told me. Remember what I said before, Kara? I don’t want us to hold any expectations with each other, and we always have to be on the same page.” For a while there is only silence as they look at one another. “Kara, this friendship...” Lena says quietly, her green eyes wide and a little fearful, flitting between Kara’s, “means everything to me.”

Kara nods. She knows, which is why she can’t ruin it.

Lena seems a little relieved now, the tension from her shoulders visibly disappearing. Her eyes are downcast for a moment before it’s back up. “You treat me well, too.”

Kara waits, in case Lena wants to say more. She's only met with silence. 

All things considered, Lena’s taking it pretty well. Kara isn’t sure what she was expecting, honestly—it’s not like they’re breaking up, although it feels that way to her. She didn’t think Lena would get upset or have a lot of questions, but she was just expecting—something. Anything, really, beyond the nodding and quick acceptance.

A small part of her, maybe, is still hoping Lena would fight her on it, challenge her on why she would want to end something that feels so natural, so right. But instead she just seems resigned, too, mostly. Like she had seen this coming. And of course she had, because it really had just been friends with benefits for her all along, and it doesn’t matter much to her that the benefits part has run its course. 

“Obviously we’re still friends—we’re more than this,” Kara tells her, forcing her voice to work. She tries to give Lena her best smile. “We’re friends, just without the casual sex between us or anything.”

It’s better this way. Lena is such a good friend to her, and Kara wants to be the same for Lena. She isn’t about to burden Lena over some one-sided feelings and add complication to their friendship. That would be the silliest thing to do. She’s not going to ruin their friendship just because she isn't loved like she wants to be.

Lena parts her lips, but it looks like her words are stuck in her mouth. She nods. “That goes without saying, Kara. Nothing’s changed between us,” she says, sighs lightly. “You’re always going to be my best friend.”

Kara studies Lena, trying to figure out anything. But there is nothing still. Lena’s eyes are on hers, and Kara sees nothing. She finds herself unable to read Lena and her feelings, and that… that overwhelms her. 

She lowers her gaze, trying to put herself in order. Even if Kara tries to hide it, the truth is that it hurts. Lena’s taking this just so well and it feels so unfair to her, because she feels the total opposite.

It’s not a big deal to Lena at all, none of it matters in the end. This is what Kara has been afraid to see. It hurts no less even if she already knew that this was coming—that this would be the outcome.

Lena has always reiterated about not having any expectations for the other but here Kara is, taking her expectations with her to the end.

She flushes in her spot, feeling incredibly silly about everything. Blinks, trying to chase away the stinging in her eyes and looks up to the dark sky. Her own fault, she knows. Her decision, she knows. Doesn’t make it any easier. And it does nothing to loosen the pressure that inhibits her chest. It only tightens. Her throat feels tight and she wants to cry. She can’t cry here. She can’t cry because of this in front of Lena.

Kara swallows thickly, licks her lips. Looks to her left and right—sees nothing but the empty streets and few blinking streetlights. She shifts her weight from one foot to the other, and looks at Lena.

Lena watches her, looking like she wants to take a step closer. She hesitates. “Are you okay?”

Kara nods, not trusting herself to speak.

A tiny smile tugs at Lena’s mouth, and she says: “So… hug?”

It’s Kara who leans forward first, before even nodding. It visibly catches Lena by surprise when Kara closes the space between them and pulls her closer, wrapping her arms around her. It’s better this way. Kara breathes Lena in, sighing at the feeling of Lena in her arms, and the warmth of their bodies pressed against each other. She knows it’s still going to hurt, of course. But at least, she will always have Lena by her side.

Kara needs her, and she knows that Lena needs her, too. She wouldn’t be who she is without Lena. 

Even if it’s just as friends, she’s okay with that. 

She has to be.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

6 months ago.

 

Game night was a foreign term familiar five years ago when Kara invited Lena to her apartment for game night for the first time and met her closest friends outside professional settings. Said Kara’s closest friends became her closest friends after the first three nights (oddly enough, while most of the games they play are extremely divisive it also makes for special bonds as Nia likes to call it).

And today is just another game night. Lena has lost count of how many times she’s turned up even though there are other things she could be doing, things such as writing her paper, working on projects, or reviewing reports and paperwork—basically just work. She’s boring and productive like that.

But Kara Danvers is her best friend, and because of that she has a social life.

(Who would’ve thought?)

By the time everyone has said their goodbyes and there’s only the two of them left in Kara’s apartment, Lena is pleasantly tipsy—buzzed enough to feel warm and soft and silly but not drunk enough to feel dizzy or sad. She allows herself to indulge in the comfort of Kara’s presence and home, lets herself stay in because Kara always lets her. Their friends don't question them about it, but what they do is throw sly comments here and there, being the insufferable little shits they are.

Of course, Lena is extremely aware of the teasing. Kara is easy to tease, easy to turn into a blushing mess, and it’s terribly cute—ridiculously endearing, and because of that Kara gets the short end of the stick. Lena's also aware of the way her name gets thrown around in these conversations. She hears them, and she doesn't pretend to be oblivious about it.

She understands the comments and teasing. Really. She flirts with Kara, that’s true—they always have ever since they first met. It comes easy to them and it never leads to anywhere. Kara’s like that—she likes it, goes along with it, enjoys the harmless stuff. There’s also some touching here and there that, if you want to see in a certain way, might seem flirtatious. Lena doesn’t want to blow her own horn, but she doesn’t want to be terribly oblivious about that, too. And the thing is, this has been happening more and more recently.

Ignoring all the complications of being overly flirty with someone you find extremely attractive and endearing, it all boils down to this: it’s light and fun. However, it doesn’t stop Lena from apologizing whenever she thinks things she might’ve gotten too far. Like just before, when Winn was badgering Kara in the kitchen and Lena heard her name. Lena had stepped in, and quipped, stop teasing her, Winn, or else we’ll start making out right in front of you and just like that, it shut Winn up real good.

“I’m sorry if I was a little too much,” Lena says, taking a slow stretch after parting with Alex and Kelly by the door. “Before, I mean.” Joining Kara on the couch, she watches her gather the leftover bottles on the coffee table.

“You weren't,” Kara says, picking up an unopened can. “Not at all. You know you’re real smooth, you know? You keep me on my toes. And you know how to shut people up. His face was so priceless—Rao I wish I’d snapped a picture of it.” 

Lena wrinkles her nose and feels the numbing of her face from the alcohol. There’s a blinding grin on Kara’s face as she laughs softly, her eyes shaping into lovely little crescents. Lena knows she’s staring longer than she should when Kara’s laugh dies down and those blue eyes stare at her right back. 

Kara’s smile softens. Lena looks away and eyes at the table in front of her.

“I know things have been a little different recently between us,” Lena says a moment later, and picks up a glass. “But we've never talked about it, you know? I just want you to tell me if it ever gets too much. Or if I should stop. I would never want to do anything that’d make you feel uncomfortable.”

Lena holds her gaze, expression schooling into something serious. She’s about to open her mouth and say more until Kara nods, flashing another grin.

“It’s the same for me too. Vice-versa, Lena.” 

At that, Lena accepts the answer with a bite on her lower lip. She leans back on the couch, finds herself pouring another glass of wine.

It’s just nice, it’s always nice—being like this alone with Kara. Nights with Kara are often quiet and beautifully gentle. Lena feels free, relaxed, and nice.

When Kara pours a mixed drink and nudges Lena by the shoulder to take it, she accepts it. She takes the shot easily enough, but as it burns down her throat she can’t help but wince a little—caught off-guard by how strong it is. Kara laughs at her, giggle more-like, the alcohol evidently getting to her.

Lena grins at the sight. 

Time passes. It passes, and by the time Lena realizes that she should call it a night, she finds herself pressed against Kara on the couch. Their thighs are touching, and so are their shoulders, and Kara’s leaning into her side as she grumbles about Lena’s threats of making kale-flavoured drinks.

She wants to call it a night, but finds that she can’t—the words get stuck in her throat when Kara starts looking at her in a way she’s never seen before. Kara’s cheeks are tinted red and her eyes are dark, and there’s a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. 

Lena might just be imagining it, but again she doesn’t want to be oblivious to these things. One moment they were talking about kale-flavoured drinks (or Abomination Drinks as Kara likes to call them), then the next Kara’s staring deeply into her eyes, looking contemplative.

Lena swallows. She is all too aware of the way Kara’s face tilts a little to get a better look of her, and how Kara’s face inches closer towards hers. Slowly enough, a small smile spreads across Lena’s lips, no thanks to the drinks as she feels kind of hysterical when she starts entertaining certain thoughts in her head. 

Doesn’t last long, though, because her heart picks up and her breathing slows, and for a split second her eyes are on Kara’s mouth before it’s back up. Lena doesn’t move from her spot.

She doesn’t actually think Kara will follow through until Kara leans forward a little, and then right there Lena stops breathing.

“Are you… going to kiss me?” Lena whispers, and swallows thickly. Her heart hammers loudly in her ears and she’s kind of just there. Frozen and barely breathing.

“Can I?” Kara’s voice is so soft, somehow soothing and bone chilling at the same time. She knows Kara is looking for her consent, having no doubt in her mind that if Lena said she didn’t want it, that she was uncomfortable, she would stop in an instant.

Kara—beautiful Kara, silly tipsy carefree Kara, Kara who has never shown or hinted that she wanted Lena in a certain way—is now looking at her in that way, and wants to kiss her.

It’s confusing. It’s overwhelming.

Lena is horribly aware of the fact that if she kisses Kara she will probably never want to kiss anyone else for the rest of her miserable life. 

If she kisses Kara, she will be ruined. If she kisses Kara—if she tips her chin up and lets Kara take her mouth, allows Kara to slide her tongue into her mouth and kiss her sweet and deep like she does everything, if Lena exhales into it and runs her fingers in Kara’s hair and lets herself be kissed and touched—it’s all over. That’s it, and Kara will know. There is just no way Kara could kiss her and not figure out her years worth of silence.

But Lena stays still because she’s too fucking transfixed and helpless, finds that she can’t move away, she doesn’t want to, doesn’t even want to think about moving away even though her mind screams at her to pull away. Admittedly, her thoughts are hazy and ephemeral; it's the effect of Kara’s proximity, the way Kara’s gaze tracks over her slowly and deliberately.

Just a small taste doesn’t sound so bad right now, and Lena is sort of vaguely aware she might be fucked.

She leans forward a little too enthusiastically, closing the gap and presses their mouths together. They’re both eager and really, really tipsy, so it turns messy as soon as it even starts. Having to separate, they both break into smiles and laughs, and Lena rests her forehead against Kara’s, taking a moment to get it together because—fuck.

Her heart won’t stop pounding so loud in her ears that she doesn’t know what to do with herself other than to wait for Kara, do anything Kara wants to do.

This time Kara leans in, cupping Lena’s face softly. Lena’s nerves sparkles and she feels her heart stutter. Swears that for a moment, she feels it stop.

Everything about this is kind of crazy, and exciting, and overwhelming, but mostly it’s frightening—she’s kissing Kara Danvers, holy shit—her best friend, and they’re wrapped in each other in a way Lena had never thought would happen ever.

Kara kisses her and kisses her, close and deep and heavy, and it’s—it’s absolutely baffling and difficult to process. They were just drinking and having light talks just a moment ago, and now they’re—doing whatever this is. 

There’s a hand running along Lena’s waist, big and somehow careful and firm, and when it squeezes her waist she breathes out a quiet fuck into Kara’s mouth. Kara’s other hand slides up to Lena’s back and presses Lena closer to her front.

Kara’s lips are soft, plush, every bit as perfect as they look, and Lena’s hand comes up to Kara’s shoulders, curling tightly in her shirt

“Kara,” she whimpers against Kara’s mouth, and it’s so low and quiet that she wonders if Kara heard her at all. 

But then Kara hums and she reaches up to run her hand over the slopes of Lena's shoulder, up her neck, her jaw, softly. She cups the side of Lena’s face, angles it to kiss her deep and wet, and someone makes a soft noise. It’s from Kara. 

And Lena is gone, just like that. 

She might be trembling. Or it might be Kara. Or both of them.

Kara tastes like alcohol and a little bit like citrus, and it fades into something indistinguishable that Lena realises must be her. And, god, it feels like the room is spinning, yanking the ground away from beneath her legs, and she can’t do anything but open up to Kara more.

Their bodies are closer than they've ever been and Lena wants to feel everything the moment has to offer. Lacking self-preservation, she climbs into Kara’s lap and wraps her arms around Kara’s neck, desperately wanting more. Kara noses Lena’s neck, lips slowly brushing from her chin to her collarbone, breathing her in. Lena shudders, her face heating as she bites her bottom lip.

She likes how Kara’s body feels against hers. Hard muscles under her palms. Likes it a little too much.

Lena pulls back, just a little, to catch her breath and her bearings. They should—they should talk about this, most definitely, and as she works up the courage to get to that, Kara’s hand slides down to her waist again, and rubs the exposed skin there. It silences Lena effectively, without the intention to do so. 

With her flushed cheeks, kissed-red lips and dark eyes, Kara’s looking at Lena, really looking at Lena. 

So when Lena opens her mouth, what comes next comes out wrong.

“More?” Lena whispers, and she inwardly curses, because what the fuck. She licks her lips, wanting to savor everything that is Kara, and Kara’s eyes quickly move down to it. 

Lena’s breath catches in her throat. It's...baffling. She's not used to Kara being like this—looking at her like this. And, oh god, when she shifts a little on Kara’s lap, she realizes just how wet she is.

“More,” Kara says breathlessly, and that cements it. 

Lena’s just—absolutely gone. 

 


 

They don’t make a big deal out of it, much to Lena’s extreme surprise (horror).

It’s her first thought when she wakes up.

They don’t make a big deal out of it and Lena is frozen in her spot as she processes this, dissecting every single moment that happened last night.

She stays stock-still, the sleep in her system rapidly vanishing. There’s a quiet snoring in her ear, and warm, strong arms wrapped around her body. One hand is cradling the back of Lena’s neck, the touch warm and relaxed. Lena doesn’t need to open her eyes to know that she’s on top of Kara—though she questions when and how the hell did she get on top of Kara. 

She has to take a deep breath; a deep, deep, deep breath to soften and relax because the sheer warmth and comfort she feels right now is almost too much. Too good. 

Cuddling with Kara isn’t anything new. Having a heated make out session and then cuddling, followed by sleeping right next to her is. Lena’s curled around Kara’s body like a cat, with her face buried in her best friend’s neck. 

Their bodies are lined up, chests together, hips together, and Lena can feel every soft curve and the muscles beneath tan skin. 

It’s endlessly warm. Kara feels nice, and soft, and cozy. Lena’s kind of appalled at herself. And horny. She swallows hard and squeezes her eyes shut, trying to calm down her nerves.

Thankfully she has just enough self-control (where was that yesterday?) to extract herself from the sleeping woman, and she’s able to slip away quietly without waking Kara up.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. 

Lena paces. She paces in Kara’s living room, flighty and jittery, firmly refusing to look in Kara’s direction. Last night was real and it—it wasn’t a dream. Fuck. 

She can’t believe the way she acted last night. How quick she was to pounce into her best friend’s lap, how onboard and eager she was when Kara said that she wanted more. She wanted Lena. It was only in that moment though, and obviously the alcohol and the light, easy mood was to blame. Jesus—yeah, that really happened.

Lena turns to the kitchen counter and pinches the bridge of her nose, sighing. 

If Alex hadn’t interrupted... she shivers and closes her eyes, gripping on the countertop tightly, wondering what would’ve happened if Alex never came back for Kelly’s phone. The thing is, despite how cluttered Lena’s thoughts are, the one thing she’s absolutely certain of is that right now she’s just horrified. Mostly, at herself

Lena breathes shakily and paces again.

Kara, last night, didn’t make a big deal out of it, and Lena was quick to follow on. It meant nothing to Kara. She was drunk and whimsical, completely caught up in the moment, and Lena just happened to be there with her, and was just as eager to do just about anything with her.

It meant nothing. Lena needs—she needs to stop overthinking this now. Yeah.

It was just a one time fun thing and there’s no need to bring it up again with Kara. 

Lena can get behind that.

(She’ll try.)

 


 

There’s a problem.

It’s been several hours since she left Kara’s apartment for an early meeting and she can’t actually stop thinking about Kara. There’s a heap pile of reports in front of her that she has to get through, but her brain is a traitorous thing.

Lena thinks she already thinks about her best friend enough everyday for the past years, but just as she expected, after allowing herself to give into Kara once, she’s been permanently ruined by her since then.

It still feels surreal, like something out of a fever dream. A part of Lena is ready to believe that it had never happened, that she and Kara hadn’t fallen into each other and kissed and kissed and kissed until they’d forgotten how to breathe. She doesn’t know anymore, if she’d really spent the better part of that night memorizing the dips and contours of Kara’s body and the taste of her lips.

But it had felt far too real, far too wonderful to be something Lena’s mind had conjured up on its own. She’d felt the sting of Kara’s teeth over her neck long after that night, had felt the ghost of Kara’s lips over her own, had melted from the comforting warmth of her body, the solidness of it underneath her thighs—

Letting out a frustrated sigh, she covers her face with her hands. 

Her day doesn’t get any better when Kara reminds her over a text that she’s going to see her for lunch. Lena isn’t sure if she’s quite ready to see her yet, and she wishes she were brave enough to just go up to Kara and straight up ask about last night. They should at least talk about it once, right?

She briefly wonders if the reason why they’re not discussing what’s happened between them is because Kara is scared, just as scared as Lena herself is, but she’s quick to discard that possibility. 

Kara isn’t scared, Lena thinks it’s… something else.

Having just escaped a meeting full of men who require more convincing when faced with a woman, a mild headache pulses at her temples. She's a little late when she sees Kara for lunch, and before she shows herself, she takes a deep breath. She'd be a nervous mess right now if she hadn't drank a bit of scotch earlier.

Nia is there with Kara at a table in the corner and as soon as Lena sits down, conversations start to flow easily between the three of them. There’s no mention about last night and her exchanges with Kara are eerily so...normal. 

And when Nia gets up to order food, leaving the two of them alone with each other, Lena is unable to stop her traitorous mouth when Kara asks about her headache.

“Hurts much less now. Must have something to do with the pretty girl sitting across me right now,” Lena says, easily resorting to flirting because jesus, is this the way to cope after what happened last night? “Also said pretty girl mentioned something earlier about wicked intentions…?”

“That’s right,” Kara says, with a grin. “But it can’t be shared. You don’t have the privilege for such highly classified information.”

“Not even with your best friend?”

“Not even with my best friend.”

“Shame.”

It’s a little later when Lena starts noticing something out of the ordinary across the table.

Kara licks her lips and adjusts her glasses, a nervous tic Lena is intimate with. Her friend seems contemplative, avoiding looking at a certain spot as she taps her fingers on the table, her eyes intently focused on Lena’s.

“It’s there,” Lena says, after she catches Kara making a swift glance at her neck.

“What?” Kara’s eyes widen and her hand quickly reaches up to touch her glasses again. Lena rolls her eyes. Despite herself, it’s easy to relax in the comfort of Kara’s presence even though she is exactly the reason why she's going through a crisis right now.

“The mark.”

Kara stammers and her cheeks pinks, “Oh, I—”

Lena weakly laughs and waves her off, keeping up the teasing streak. Kara makes it easy—she blushes even more and it’s just too tempting to stop. It’s easier to get by like this, when she has the upper ground.

“I have to admit, the marks are a little too high up for my liking, but it’s fine,” Lena says, crossing  her legs under the table. “Now Jess is on the man hunt to see who ravished her boss’ neck. Scandalous,” she quips, voice low and sends Kara a wink.

Kara’s mouth opens, closes. She bites back a smile, something shy about the way she looks at Lena through her lashes. No words come out of her mouth and her cheeks flush a bright shade of red as she squirms a little in her seat, aggressively rubbing the back of her neck.

Lena is incredibly endeared.

“You find this amusing,” Kara says. “You’re enjoying this.”

“Can you blame me?” Lena easily answers back, and tries not to think about how much she wants those toned arms hidden underneath that white button up shirt to be holding her again. “You’re easy to tease and too cute when you get all flustered.”

It’s going fantastic until Nia comes back and the conversation suddenly shifts into dating. Nia talks about Brainy being Brainy, and further rants on and on about how difficult it is to get through to him. 

Lena sits back and softens, until Nia drops the bomb.

“How about you guys? Kara, you haven’t dated anyone seriously in a while,” Nia mentions, and leans forward with her chin on her palm, elbow on the table. Casual. “And Lena, it’s been a long time since James. Honestly, you guys confuse the hell out of me, but I’m genuinely curious.”

Lena’s stunned into silence. She doesn’t realize she isn’t moving, isn’t breathing until Kara speaks first.

“I don’t think I can do relationships right now,” Kara says, and with that, Lena feels the way her heart wildly thud, thud, thuds against her chest. “Still, I mean. Or rather, I’m not looking for anything serious.”

“Oh. I see,” Nia hums and tilts her head, a slow understanding smile spreading across her lips. Her expression turns into something suggestive and playful, and Kara just shrugs at her, smiling lightly.

Not looking for anything serious. Not looking for anything serious?

This is the first time Lena's heard of this.

Taken back by Kara's response, it takes a second for Lena to reboot her brain, and she tries—truly tries to process this. As she does so, she realizes belatedly that she’s been looking at Nia the entire time. It’s her turn to answer. It's her turn to answer and she needs to say something—she sees Kara in her periphery looking at her.

“Same,” Lena croaks out, and turns to look back at Kara with a weak shrug.

And after that, she sort of tunes out of the conversation.

 


 

Lena’s restless.

She’s restless and right now it’s the first day of her business trip in Japan, and this means that fourteen days will pass without seeing Kara at all.

It’s nerve-wracking, the way things were left off but Lena’s thankful for the unexpected respite; it allows her some time to recover, to get back up so she can face Kara better the next time she sees her. Maybe then she could finally stop being an unpredictable, thirsty mess, flirting with her extremely attractive, stammering friend at every chance she gets.

It makes her feel like she has the upper hand (not really) in this confusing situation. Not only does this distract her from the uncontrollable fire spreading in her chest, it also makes it worse. Kara already encourages their flirting and banter—she’s into it. 

Kara keeps encouraging everything Lena has been terrified to start with her, and Lena’s not sure what to think of it. Or how to handle.

It’s safe to say that Lena’s kind of truly lost it.

It’s fantastic. It’s miserable. One taste of having Kara’s arms wrapped tightly around her body and those soft lips on hers and now she doesn’t know how to live life ignoring it’s a thing that really happened.

A day passes, and then two, and then three, and then Lena realizes that she can’t actually process all of this. Her restlessness is crushed by countless meetings and contract deals and speeches—she’s so busy she’s left feeling too tired by the time she has time for herself. Everyday.

But it’s fine, Lena desperately thinks, stop overthinking everything. It’s going to pass. 

It was just a one-time thing with Kara, and sooner or later it’ll be forgotten.

 


 

(It doesn’t become a one-time thing, Lena comes to realize soon.

It isn’t fair. Kara Danvers is fucking terrifying.)

It goes like this:

Lena is in her hotel room, freshly showered and well-dressed, waiting to be picked up. As she waits, text messages of I miss you’s and sweet let me see you tomorrow lena :)? floods her inbox and has her heart filled to the brim with warmth. So obviously when Lena lands back in National City, her next course of action is to take her best friend out to a fancy, expensive joint and treat her well.

Treat. Her. Well. That’s all. But of course, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly), they’re talking again, with absolutely no acknowledgement that they kissed. It’s baffling, really, but Lena goes along with it because she has no fucking clue how to go on about this—she’s still too afraid to ask.

It’s when their meals come, that Lena starts noticing some things, and they are: 1) there is heat in Kara’s cheeks, 2) Kara’s eyes keep straying, and 3) they keep landing on Lena’s neck, her hands, and mouth. Sweet Jesus.

Kara seems a little fidgety and shy, like she’s not trying to be blatant or rude with her glances—Lena thinks it’s adorable—her best friend’s just not very subtle. It’s almost not happening at all but there is also touching; the touches too specific to be an accident: Kara’s fingertips barely barely barely brushing her own.

It’s interesting and confusing and excruciating all at once, and it’s making Lena feel dizzy.

And of course, with absolute confusion and thirst clouding her head, Lena responds to this by kissing Kara after they leave the steakhouse.

Lena reaches for Kara’s arm and pulls her into an empty alleyway and kisses her. She pins Kara against the wall and tiptoes up a little, her shaky hands sliding up to take a firm grip on Kara’s collars.

And when Kara kisses back, Lena kind of almost breaks. 

She doesn’t know where to go from here. She doesn’t know what Kara really wants. But then Kara cups her face and Kara’s making these little soft sounds in the back of her throat, and it causes Lena to forget herself for a moment, makes her feel dizzy and weak, weak, weak. Has her feeling lightheaded, makes her knees shaky, makes her whimper against those soft lips.

They’re wrapped in each other again and they’re kissing and Lena can’t believe that this is happening once more even though she’s exactly the reason why. It’s deeply encouraging to Lena that Kara is extremely responsive, seeming like she wants this just as much as Lena does and, god, does it feel so good to be pressed against her solid presence once more. 

Kara’s lips are so soft and pillowy, even better than Lena remembers. Lena rubs at the nape of Kara’s neck and tilts her head, tongue hotly sliding against Kara’s.

A whimper escapes Kara’s throat. And, wow, her breathing sounds illegal, and now there’s a moan—

Lena takes a step back.

“Sorry, it’s just—you kept staring at my lips before and, and, I just—” Lena laughs, feeling hysterical, and licks her lips. Kara’s mouth is all pink and wet and Lena can’t stop staring at it. “It’s just, now I couldn’t stop thinking about it and—”

At that, Kara shakes her head quickly, looking just as stunned as Lena. It makes Lena stop her (rare) stammering.

“Okay.”

“Okay…?” Lena says, and what—that’s all Kara has to say? 

Kara nods. Her face is absolutely pink from blushing and there's a smoldering desire in her eyes. Lena breathes slowly, arousal stirring inside of her worse than before. She isn’t blind. There’s no mistaking it, and it turns her mind into a hazy mess.

Kara's eyes are dark and beautiful, and she seems entranced as her hand on Lena’s shoulder slowly move up to her neck. She cups Lena’s face, smiling shyly. Her cheeks darken and Lena’s knees almost give in at the touch and sight.

(Lena quickly files kissing Kara as okay and acceptable according to Kara in her memo.

And next to that, she adds a what the fuck? )

Irrational thoughts bubbles inside Lena, and the craving and the longing for the woman in front of her intensifies—because, fuck. How can she honestly step away from this, when Kara is looking at her like she only sees Lena. She’s never seen Kara want her like this, not until now—it’s different from that night when they were tipsy and just a little silly. It’s different—Kara is sober and thinking clearly, she’s shy but sure, and there’s a fire in her eyes.

Lena blinks, just now realizing how Kara seems incredibly affected by her. She takes a shaky breath and she can’t help but question this—

Why now—?

Here goes the next terrible choice Lena makes:

“Would you—do you want to maybe come with me to my penthouse? I really missed you so much.” Lena rests her head on Kara’s shoulder, covering her flushed red face. She waits nervously for an answer, heartbeat loud in her ears as her fingers reach up to play with the lapels of Kara’s coat.

Lena’s so fucking nervous she can’t properly breathe. She nuzzles her face into Kara’s shoulder as if it’ll help calm her nerves, but it feels like she’s just digging herself into a deeper hole that she can’t and won’t get out of because she can’t stay away from whatever this is.

“Sure,” she hears Kara say, and notes the quiver in her voice.

 


 

It gets worse.

It gets worse, and boundaries are continually tested and Lena allows it all to happen. Lets the walls shake and crumble, falling on top of her as the line softens and clouds—she can’t do anything but to keep allowing everything to happen helplessly. 

There hasn’t been a semblance of control in Lena ever since that one night and she has consistently proven herself to be downright weak and irrational when it comes to Kara, her mind and heart displaying a big red neon sign stop, stop, stop in capital letters for only her to see.

Feelings aside, Lena wants to touch and be touched, and Kara has shown herself to be willing, wanting Lena just as much. It’s a very dizzying fact to take in, and Lena still can't fathom it. Kara is very eager and open with her, while Lena is very weak and welcoming. But mostly, she's just terribly confused and horny.

Lena quietly leads Kara into the elevator, and inside she plants her feet to the floor, curling her toes so hard, trying her absolute best to stay still and not throw herself to her best friend right here and now.

They step out and the elevator door closes. She’s doing great until she’s not.

Kara smiles at her, and Lena simply throws herself at Kara again. 

And that’s how Lena finds herself in Kara’s arms again five minutes later, but this time they’re on her bed, and sweet jesus, fuck—Kara’s on top of her, looking devastatingly gorgeous, her pretty eyes fluttering softly. Flushed and dazed, a look that has fed many of Lena’s late-night fantasies.

Lena has trouble finding the voice of reason in her mind, the one that is telling her to stop, stop while you still can, stop before it’s too late—

“Like you like this,” Kara whispers against Lena’s neck as she circles her fingers slowly and firm over Lena’s sensitive skin. Lena whimpers; finds her body incredibly reactive to Kara’s praises.  “So good, never knew I wanted you like this until now.”

Lena swallows thickly and shivers beneath her—Kara’s voice is so low and rough; breathless. 

“Lena,” Kara quietly says, and her piercing blue eyes drift across Lena’s features, then downwards. “You’re gorgeous.”

And—what? Kara, one of the most beautiful people Lena has ever seen in real life thinks she’s gorgeous? It’s not like she hasn’t said it to Lena before—of course she has. It’s just, Lena is here, in front of Kara, she’s on full display: naked in the moonlight, legs spread wide for her, chest rising and falling with her panting breaths.

“So good,” someone says, breathless, “oh god, feels so good,” Lena hears herself saying, her voice so shaky and thick with heavy lust that she almost doesn’t recognize it’s herself at first. Blue eyes are on her and it’s—a lot, all of the sudden. Lena has to close her eyes for a moment, needing to hide away from Kara a little, because this is just—a lot. She feels so, so good but it’s—a lot. Intimate.

Exhaling shakily, she grips Kara’s shoulders. Kara kisses her, kisses her, messy and wet, and then she slows down, angles deeper and dirtier. Lena moans, hot and heavy into Kara’s mouth as three fingers sink and curl inside her fast and hard.

Head tipped back, she shudders, shivers, and her body goes limp. Kara’s name spills from her lips and it comes out unguardedly and soft and breathyit’s not the first time she’s gasped out her name like that, but she’s not about to let Kara know. 

Every nerve ending is set on fire when Kara dances her fingertips across Lena’s body. Lena feels heavily dazed, deep into her post-orgasm bliss.

It’s official, at this point. Kara Danvers has ruined her for sex with anyone else. 

It’s everything. It is, honestly, the best sex of her life. No orgasm other women have ever given her could compare to what Kara could do to her. Or maybe it’s just because it’s been a while since someone's touched her but god, is Kara… something else.

There's a heavenly grin playing at Kara's lips, and Lena is—she feels so fucked out beyond belief.

She brings Kara down and wraps her in an embrace as she recovers, trying to calm her pounding heart. Bare skin on skin, chest to chest, she knows Kara can feel it, not just hear it. Kara is patient with her, is just quiet with a soft, shy smile on her face as she waits for Lena to catch her breath. 

Her eyes, while hungry and heavy, are wide and dark like she can’t believe she just did that. Like she didn’t just kiss Lena senseless, three fingers deep and fuck her best friend.

Which is—understandable. Lena can’t quite believe it either. She's extremely aware of where this is leading to, of course she is. She’s sure Kara is, too, and Lena can’t find it in herself to stop it. It’s exciting. It’s undoubtedly terrifying. 

It’s really not what she wants at all.

It’s alarming to see Kara handling all of this so well, like she isn’t too bothered by the potential complications here. Lena thinks... she understands how Kara is able to be like this—it’s easy, being with Kara, and Lena figures—knows it’s the same for Kara, with her.

After everything they’ve been through these past years: the highs and the lows, the distancing and the harsh friendship break up, all the good and the bad—in the end they always came out in better shape. They come back to each other, closer and stronger together.

It’s just—better now, with Kara. Everything is, and every little thing about Kara is light, and soft, and gentle. It’s easy because there is a certain confidence here coming from Kara that tells Lena that they are able to do this because there’s no feelings here, it's not going to lead anywhere, it's just plain want and lust—

Kara trusts Lena and feels that comfortable with her to the point that she can feel comfortable about this, too. Like it’s okay and Kara knows that they can’t be ruined by this because of their closeness—their connection runs deep.

What’s there to be afraid of Lena?

Everything, Lena’s heart screams.

But... it makes sense.

(It’s simultaneously heartwarming and devastating.)

Lena can do this, if Kara wants this with her. It’s just going to be very hard.

 


 

Lena wakes up cold and naked under the covers, a small sound escaping her mouth as she blinks drowsily at the empty space beside her. It takes her a full minute to process why she’s naked—she doesn’t sleep naked in bed.

Realization hits her hard, and she grabs hold of her pillow tightly, letting out a groan. And, god, it—it smells like Kara already. Lena groans louder, body curling as she hugs herself because she’s so—she’ll admit to this—fucking stupid.

Everything she is doing with Kara is ridiculously backwards—not that she sees something good coming out of this. She really doesn’t, and this isn’t her cynicism talking. Having known Kara for five years, the blonde has not once expressed or shown interest in her. At least, not in the way she desperately wants. 

Lena squeezes her eyes shut and covers her face, breathing slowly as she recalls what happened last night. 

She really did that—yeah, she had sex with Kara Danvers. Lena had sex with her best friend, knuckle deep and incredible, her whole body shivering and liquid with pleasure, and they—made out. A lot. They made out, yeah, they sure did fucking do that. For an hour? An hour. They fell asleep, still kissing, wrapped up in each other’s arms.

Oh, god.

If there is one thing Lena has learned about Kara recently it’s that she’s… really great in bed. Fantastic, even. In fact, sex with Kara Danvers is mind-blowing, and her brain immediately conjures up the memory of Kara having her way with her last night.

Fuck. 

After one year of not knowing she was pining and almost four years of knowing Exactly How Much She Has Been pining, it’s just—she could’ve lived her whole life without getting physically intimate and having sex with Kara at all.

Lena’s kind of devastated. 

But also incredibly horny on this fine morning. She straightens up and bites her lip, running a shaky hand through her hair. Now’s the time to recover, not get horny again

This should’ve never happened in the first place—Lena has always been good at denying herself things, but she couldn’t help herself. She let herself have it once, and now she has to deal with the consequences.

Lena thinks she's a masochist. It's the easiest way to explain it. It’s the only explanation of why she had sex with her best friend, who she’s been in love with for four years. Who would’ve thought? Lena Luthor signing up for heartache willingly and eagerly, like a moth to a flame just to get closer to Kara. To get a taste of what it’s like… to be with Kara. How sad and pathetic is that?

A bitter chuckle escapes her mouth and she bites the inside of her cheek, hugging herself tighter. She wouldn’t hear the end of it from her mother and Lex, if they could see her right now.

Seeing the empty space beside her again, she frowns. Her phone vibrates before she gets the chance to overthink this.

Kara: hey! lena. sorry i had to leave early for work, i was called by alex for some emergency work stuff.

Kara: um. yeah. just letting you know! i don’t want you to think that i snuck off, or something. i didn’t want to wake you up (good morning, by the way!), you looked too peaceful and pretty with the little drool on your chin :)

There’s a heart emoji at the end of that last sentence. Lena rereads the sentence and squints at it.

She drools? Does she really—?

 


 

Lena thinks she might get the answer she’s been looking for, when Kara comes over one night, after being treated to dinner.

They’re both dressed down to comfortable, cozy wears—just old sweaters and hoodies and sweatpants, and they’re watching Planet Earth on Netflix. Lena has been hyperaware the entire time ever since the moment Kara stepped foot inside her penthouse, and right now Kara has her head on her lap on the couch, her index finger moving lazily on Lena’s thigh. 

Kara has been doing that for a while, just little strokes, while Lena has her fingers in blonde hair. It’s nothing sexual—it’s random, private, intimate, sweet, them.

Lena breathes slowly.

When Kara suddenly turns her head to look up at her, Lena looks down.

There’s a small smile on Kara’s face and uncertainty in her eyes. Lena blinks and stares at Kara back. And as if her gaze is too much for the blonde woman, Kara shifts, moves her head a little on Lena’s lap. There’s pink in her cheeks and it only makes Lena stare longer, fascinated and confused.

Lena hasn’t strayed and when Kara looks back to see that she’s still looking at her, she laughs. The sound comes off as strained.

“I know I’m handsome, but chill on the staring, all right? It does wonders to my heart when a pretty girl stares at me.”

Resorting to flirting when she gets nervous? That’s Lena’s thing. Lena frowns and arches a brow up. She pokes Kara on the cheek.

“Maybe I should keep my eyes on you more then,” Lena says, her other hand moving from Kara’s hair to touch the back of Kara’s ear.

Kara opens her mouth, closes. “Perhaps you should,” she whispers softly, and for a moment they just watch each other quietly. As much as Lena tries, she can’t read Kara at all when it gets like this between them. It’s something new and strange, but not uncomfortable in any way.

Finally, Lena looks away, feeling a little like she’s stared at the sun for too long. A full minute passes and Lena decides to speak up.

“Will you be heading home soon?”

Kara gasps. “Want to kick me out, do you?”

“Do you want me to kick you out?”

“I think I want to be kicked in.”

Lena chuckles lightly, shaking her head. “Just say you’d like to stay in like a normal person, Kara.”

“Okay, I’d like to stay in,” Kara says, biting her bottom lip. “If you don’t mind,” she adds two beats later.

“Of course I don’t mind.” Lena keeps at it, raking through blonde locks and massaging her fingers over Kara’s scalp. A soft smile spreads across Kara’s lips and a content sigh comes out of her mouth. God, Lena loves this woman so much. 

And then:

“Lena? We’re okay, right?” Kara’s tone is a little unsteady. She tugs at the collar of her shirt. Like she’s nervous. Like she’s sheepish.

“Yeah,” Lena says, distractedly, her thumb dragging towards Kara’s cheek. “You’re talking about…?”

“You know, uh, a-about what happened before. What we did.” There’s a visible tinge of pink stealing over Kara’s ears, like she’s more and more mortified with each sentence she utters. 

Kara’s face is all scrunched up and she looks concerned the way she does when she thinks Lena is spending too much time in her office or at her lab, or hasn’t been eating or sleeping enough.

“Oh.” Lena completely freezes. This is it—how kind of Kara to finally verbally acknowledge that they were very much naked and sweaty, and moaned each other's name in the dark that night. “When we had sex.”

“Lena!” Kara looks at her scandalized. She covers her face with her hands, squirming in her spot. When she makes eye-contact with Lena through the visible spaces between her fingers, she’s quick to squish her face against Lena’s thigh and hides there instead, as if it’ll make her feel better hidden like this.

This is the upper hand Lena needs and it makes her feel better, lighter, in control.

“What?” Lena huffs out a little laugh, and turns Kara’s face gently so she can place her thumb on her cheek, rubbing there. “You can’t even say it? That’s—wow, Kara. Considering how your mouth runs wild when—”

“No,” Kara cuts her off with an adorable groan and covers her eyes. Lena only laughs harder, because what? She lets out a shaky breath, focusing back to the topic.

“Yes, we’re okay, Kara,” she assures, squeezing Kara’s hand to make sure she understands that. She doesn’t want Kara to feel bad or uncomfortable. And Lena? Lena’s doing just fine with her four years of silence (ongoing). She’s doing fantastic. Just fucking great, because she's used to being like this—used to wanting Kara.

“Cool, cool.”

Kara’s eyes remains closed when Lena moves her hand to the side of Kara’s face. Lena can’t stop looking at Kara. She can’t stop reading into everything, actually—how can she not? Can’t stop thinking, can’t stop searching—but for what, exactly?

Is it hope? No, can’t be. It’s in Lena's nature to consider everything, and then dwell on the thought that will torture her most usually, but when she starts wandering into that kind of dangerous thought unintentionally, she burns it down instantly; no second thoughts. She just doesn’t want to do anything Kara doesn’t want to do. She wants to do anything Kara wants to do.

Kara opens her eyes, then, and Lena’s heart skips a beat when she meets those captivating blue eyes.

They watch each other—Lena doesn’t know how long, and she waits with bated breath, not knowing what to expect next, waiting for Kara to make the first move.

“Then…” Kara says quietly, and her mouth opens and closes several times. She licks her lips. 

“Then…?” Lena repeats, suddenly hot. Her breath shakes and her heart against her ribs is relentless.

Kara pulls her bottom lip between her teeth and moves away from Lena, sitting up on the couch.

“Kara?”

“—Then that’s good,” Kara says quickly, rubbing the back of her neck. “We’re good.”

Good.

Lena is silent as she looks at Kara, searching into her eyes for something, anything—but finds nothing notable there. It’s not easy, Lena thinks. She makes a movement and angles herself closer to Kara, and Kara stays, waiting. Kara’s eyes are beautiful and dark, and she’s looking at Lena with such readiness and anticipation, it kind of aches. 

Don’t, she thinks. And then: do. And then: why?

Lena moves closer and closer until their noses are touching. Kara remains still, her cheeks visibly darkening.

And waiting like this is something Lena has always done; from the moment they met to now; Lena waits.

“Pull away,” she whispers, her eyes on Kara’s lips now.

“Why?” Kara says, her voice so quiet and soft in Lena’s ears.

“Not going to then, are you?”

Kara’s exhales are soft against her lips. “No…”

Lena tilts her head and closes the gap between them. Kara is soft and malleable when Lena gently pushes her down on the couch, and she hums contently when Lena’s tongue pushes against hers. She opens her mouth to Lena’s in a drawn out sigh, oozing contentment. Pulling away from Kara’s soft, soft lips, Lena mouths down against her neck, inhaling deeply. Kara always smells so good. It’s no secret that Lena is sensitive to smells, as well as extremely picky, but the slightly milky scent of Kara’s skin is so addictive to her. She breathes out a sigh when she drags her nose down to the collar of Kara’s shirt, mouth dragging wet kisses on Kara’s skin lazily.

As she does this, Kara runs a palm on her hip, her thumb moving and pressing against Lena's skin, while her other hand slides around to the back of Lena’s hair, nails scratching at her scalp.

Things quickly get heated and time passes like a blur after Kara asks, “Want to take this to somewhere else?”

They reach Lena’s bed but not without uncoordinated movements, leading to bumping into a wall, knocking off a few things, laughing, and lots of touching.

Once Kara’s back hits the mattress, Lena is instantly on her, hands and lips on skin. 

“We’re okay,” Kara murmurs. She strokes Lena’s thighs as she looks at her, and Lena pulls away, listens. “But what does this mean to you? When… when we kiss, when we do this,” she gestures in the air between them.

Lena freezes momentarily. Her heart stutters in her chest, and she feels more than sees Kara’s brilliant blue eyes on hers, wondering, curious, serious.

Lena wants—she wants to be on the same wavelength as Kara. She can try. Kara wants her. It’s not in the way Lena wants her—she just—she wants Lena, and that’s it.

It aches.

Aches, in many different places that Lena spends most of her life trying to ignore. Places that clearly do not exist inside Kara. But still—Kara seems incredibly up for this—it’s clear in her eyes, her movements, her body. She’s probably never going to bring this up again if Lena isn’t on the same page as her, because why would she, if Lena says she doesn’t want it, that she’s uncomfortable, Kara would stop. 

And—well, at the end of the day Lena’s always had one hell of a self-destructive streak.

Lena strokes her thumb over Kara’s collarbone, breathing slowly. She is having a hard time figuring out a response that isn't when you kissed me and took me to bed, did that mean anything to you? and settles for, “To me, it’s as simple as wanting to. I just like the way you kiss me and you kiss me back. Does it have to mean anything more?”

And, oh god, she bites the inside of her cheek, internally cringing at her answer.

“No, it doesn’t.” Kara’s words come out like a whisper. There is relief on Kara’s face and Lena feels a pang in her chest. “I did kiss you first before at game night for the same reason. As simple as wanting to.”

It’s not surprising at all, what Kara says. Especially considering what she’d told Nia right in front of Lena earlier. About not being able to do relationships. About not wanting to get into anything serious. She’s uninterested. Has been, ever since Mon-El.

Lena doesn’t want to push on the why’s. At least, not right now. She just wonders if Kara’s stance will ever change. 

(Not that she thinks she has a chance. She really doesn’t.)

Kara is looking at her and Lena tries not to squirm under her gaze. Kara seems to be waiting, wondering what’s going to happen next but Lena—Lena wants to leave it to Kara to decide. Tries to leave it to Kara to decide. 

Wants to be what Kara wants.

Kara’s thoughts and wants are clear in the way she is looking at Lena, her mouth, and her neck, and her gaze is soft; shy. Crimson spreads on her cheeks.

Lena takes Kara’s hand up to her chest, before placing kisses on it. Kara waits, and Lena makes her decision.

 


 

Despite what one may think, Lena can do casual sex, and she did before Kara weaseled her way into Lena's life. But this—this is Kara Danvers she’s dealing with—her best friend.

And the problem is that Lena has been horrifically in love with her for the past four years. If she has to be specific about the exact day she found out, she wouldn’t be able to tell.

God knows how much Lena struggled when she met Kara Danvers for the first time. The woman was utterly charming, funny and dorky, clever, mesmerizing and beautiful, and had this uncanny ability to make Lena feel happy and safe whenever she noticed something was amiss. It really didn’t take long for Lena to stop resisting Kara, her invitations, her warmth and affection—despite telling the blonde that she didn’t go to National City to make friends.

And that's the thing. 

When Lena met Kara it felt very simple. It felt the way she guesses gravitational pull in orbit feels. It felt...

...natural.

If Lena could thank Kara a hundred, thousand, million times a day, she would. For laughing with her, for crying with her, for listening to all of her thoughts and concerns and fears, for being a part of some of her happiest moments—Lena wants to thank Kara for all of it, with every breath she takes, infinitely and with her entire being.

Kara is as beautiful on the outside to look at as she is on the inside, and Lena isn't sure if it's the surface of it all that attracts her more or if it's the emotional depth that draws her in—or maybe it’s simply the way Kara is, in every way, that has her gravitating closer and closer, like the earth’s tides as they rise and fall in an attempt to call out to the moon.

If Lena thought she wasn't used to the kind of attention Kara paid her before all this happened, then she sure is now.

She’s okay with it for the most part, just being in love with Kara, even though Kara isn’t in love with her. She still gets to have Kara in most of the ways that matter. They spend almost all of their free time together, which is actually way more time than Kara gives to anyone who isn’t Lena. 

The thing that’s confusing Lena the most is that she always sort of assumed Kara wouldn’t be interested in her sexually, even if Lena were somehow brave enough to make a move. It wouldn’t make any sense. Kara is beautiful and magnetic and charming and Lena’s pretty sure that Kara could have anyone she wanted, if she asked. 

Why would she want to hook up with her boring, workaholic best friend? 

So that’s why it’s so weird that she did. It’s baffling actually. If she’d wanted to fool around she could have asked anyone besides Lena. What Lena ends up settling on is that Kara was bored. And especially horny. And Lena thinks she gets it—Kara leads a stressful life: two full time jobs, constantly keeping up with what’s happening around the world, while doing everything she can to fix everyone’s problems. So, it’s nice to forget all of that little. Lose herself for a bit in someone’s touch.

Yeah, that has to be it.

Lena saunters into her kitchen and pours herself some scotch. She tosses back two mouthfuls and shudders. Refills her cup.

 


 

It's not that Lena really needs to sleep with Kara, she really doesn't (she does). It's just that it keeps happening all the damn time, now. 

And it’s not just the sleeping part, but grocery shopping has become a thing between them, their late night walks have increased, Kara’s visits have doubled—she comes over and stays for long periods of time before heading back to her own apartment. Sometimes, though, she spends the night.

The thing about Kara is that she makes everything so easy. The other thing about Kara is that she also softens Lena, makes her do ridiculous things like allow (encourage) Kara to take up space in her home and leave her personal belongings and clothes here and there if she wanted. And it's a huge thing for Lena because she isn't in the habit of sharing her space with anyone.

Hair tied up into a perfect high ponytail and fully dressed for work, she opens her drawer and pulls out her contact lens case.

“You’re running out of toothpaste,” Kara says, her voice muffled by something in her mouth. Her head pokes out of the bathroom and Lena blinks. Soap suds are caking around Kara’s collarbones and Lena pointedly does not. Look. Down.

(She looks down.)

“Oh,” Lena says. Eloquently.

“Yeah. You think you can go get some after work? If not, I can do it,” Kara suggests, voice garbled from the toothbrush in her mouth. Lena pauses sharply. This implies that Kara will be coming over again. When? After she finishes work? She’d do that for her? Why on earth—

“Okay… sure,” Lena says slowly, and she can feel herself slowly slipping towards hysterics, at this point. And she looks a little longer, at the way Kara looks so goofy and homey, with her toothbrush in her mouth and her hair messy and dark and wet, because she can’t help it. 

Lena struggles with it for a few more seconds, until her brain catches up with her pounding heart and she forces herself to snap out of it. 

“I mean, no? It’s fine, Kara. I can do that myself.”

Besides, why would Kara be up to do that?

Kara tilts her head and continues brushing her teeth, a spot of toothpaste stuck to the corner of her mouth that makes Lena’s fingers twitch at her side, if only because she wants to reach over and wipe it away with her thumb.

“You’re gonna forget, I know it,” Kara says, rolling her eyes goodnaturedly. “You forget to eat and don’t even buy proper food for yourself sometimes. You often end up ordering over the phone when you see there’s nothing in the kitchen.”

Lena frowns and crosses her arms, ready to argue with that, but Kara cuts her off with a shake of head.

“It's just good timing because Alex is giving me some folders later to pass off to you after work. Also, I need to buy a few things for myself, too, so the shopping trip is no big deal.” Kara pauses, before placing a hand on the door. She looks thoughtful. “Dinner later?”

This conversation is going too fast—Lena can’t really keep up. Surely, Kara realizes what this looks like—how they’ve been looking like lately? But the innocent smile on her face tells Lena otherwise, and Kara just keeps standing there, her head poking out of the bathroom, waiting patiently for an answer with her ridiculous soap suds, her face looking silly with that toothpaste on her skin.

Dinner. It means nothing to some people, this mundane question. But to Lena it means a great deal. Always.

To Lena from Kara especially.

Lena exhales shakily. That means she’ll have to leave her building in normal office hours, to be on time for that.

“Okay.”

 


 

“Would you like,” Alex says very seriously as she enters her office and Lena, for the nth time, wonders how she got past Jess, “to hear about the spider I found in one of your washrooms earlier?”

Lena looks up, squinting at the intruder.

“Alex,” she says, scrunching up her nose. “Why would I want to hear about that?”

“Don't know,” Alex says, shrugging her shoulder, and Lena rolls her eyes with a smile. She takes the seat in front of Lena's desk casually, stealing one pen from the container to play with it. “It’s cute.” 

Lena drops her own pen and leans back on her chair, noticing a piece of grass stuck on the zipper of Alex's leather jacket. There's also a smidge of dirt on her cheek as she twirls the pen, totally unaware of her slightly messy state. It makes Lena smile. Reminds her of Kara. Two years ago, whenever Alex barged into her office unannounced Lena would be on her feet, on high alert, incredibly annoyed by her presence. Her appearance was never a good sign for a Luthor. Now things have been different, and instead of accusations and pointed looks thrown at her it's now invitations and random… stories.

It’s Alex’s weird way of making small talk with her, she assumes.

“Would you kill a spider for me if I asked?” Lena asks nonchalantly, deciding to entertain the obviously bored woman as she reads over a lab report.

“If you were the one who asked,” Alex says with a huff, “then it’s on you. You’re the real murderer.”

Lena looks up and bristles. “But you’d be complicit. Contract assassins aren’t less guilty than their bosses, you know?”

Alex rasps out a laugh and shakes her head, seeming incredibly entertained. Lena arches her eyebrow and waits patiently for an answer—for the real reason why Alex came to bother her. She doesn't even have to guess anymore. 

“All right, work today was messy and icky, and I could use some small fun right now. All my other friends are too busy.” Alex pointedly ignores Lena's quiet you have other friends? and continues on, “My girlfriend is working and Kara is out investigating a case. You up for a round of pool and some drinks?”

Lena checks her watch and pretends to consider. 

“Oh, come on, Lena,” Alex sends her an offended look. “CEO work hours are over, you should've left this building two hours ago.”

“Fine.” Lena pauses. “We drink but there will be no discussions about my love life.” When Alex opens her mouth to protest, Lena cuts her off, “That’s tonight’s rule. Just like the rule of me not being allowed to bring up that time you were drunk and sang—”

“Wow. Okay. Okay,” Alex squeezes her eyes shut and pinches the bridge of her nose, her shoulders quivering. She looks like her soul has left this mortal coil. “I really hate that. Let’s not, we don’t talk about my dark past—sensitive topic.” 

“I thought so.”

Alex huffs. “You’re so stubborn. Your strong avoidance and refusal to admit that you like my sister only makes me more suspicious.”

Lena almost sputters, at that. She keeps a blank face on and starts packing, avoiding Alex’s gaze. 

“And you’re so curious. I genuinely don’t understand why you think there’s something going on between me and Kara.”

“Maybe there’s nothing going on, but I know a hardcore pining lesbian when I see one.”

It takes all of Lena’s control not to break into a face of sheer horror. Slowly and carefully, she takes her coat from her seat calmly before facing Alex with a sharp, pointed look.

“What?” Alex raises her eyebrows, and she has the audacity to look innocent. “Look, Lena, you’re probably the most intelligent human being on this planet. And you’re one of the most wonderful people I know, and you stay in your lane but sometimes you have all of one brancell to your name—”

“Are we going to go get drinks or not?”

“Right, right,” Alex softly scoffs, shoving her hands in her pockets. “You are awfully stubborn.”

 


 

Alex does not get it out of her that night. Lena gets something though, and it’s a picture of Alex with the most unflattering angle with her beer.

She sends it to Kelly on that same night, and then on the following day Alex sends her a text informing her that they are on a friendship hiatus for the next eighty six hours.

 


 

Hanging out at Lena's seems to become a bit of a habit for Kara, who finds herself there again next week as soon as they both have some free time. It’s the evening and they’re in Lena's kitchen, both sitting on a stool behind the kitchen counter and Lena can’t help but think Kara looks amazing even if she’s clearly dressing down. She just has on a white shirt, cotton grey sweatpants and rainbow ankle socks that expose a strip of soft skin at the end of her leg.

They’re just sitting there, side by side, and for a moment Lena has the urge to just reach out and touch—not in order to do anything else, just touching for the sake of touching. Maybe bump her shoulder against Kara's, maybe place her hand on her knee. She can do things like that—she knows she can without it coming off as weird. 

But in the end she holds herself back from doing so, only because she feels a little unsure of how to act these days with Kara.

“Muffin,” Kara says suddenly, and Lena hums in question as she works on her last email on her tablet. “I am eating all your muffins and you are doing nothing about it.”

Lena sighs and looks up, taking the moment to take in how filled her kitchen looks now. A basket full of fruits in front of her, different kinds of snacks and ingredients stored inside the cupboards. Little breakfast meals and vegetables, as well as eggs and yoghurts in the fridge. Frozen dinner meals there, too. Two boxes of a hundred tea packs. 

There’s also that mini cactus plant Kara bought on the whim because it’s cute and a great friend, it will give your place character, Lena.

“I still can’t believe you bought a fancy flower pot for that little cactus,” Kara says, and Lena looks at her and sees a blinding grin on her face. Lena finds herself smiling back before she can register it. “A corgi planter, huh? So cute.”

“I was feeling extra.”

“When are you not feeling extra?”

Lena huffs a breath of laughter and glues her eyes back to her screen, scanning for any mistakes in her email. 

“You invade my home on a regular basis now and eat all my food,” she comments. “Actually, most of the stock here comes from your groceries, so you’re under contract to help me get through all this. You couldn’t break it if you tried, sorry.”

“I’m not trying to and hey—you make it sound like eating is a chore.” Kara sighs. “Also, invade is a strong word. I simply approach and you open the doors willingly, for me to come in.”

Lena takes a sip of her tea, considering this. “Now, that sounds like I’m housing a cat.”

“I can’t be a cat,” Kara huffs. “Birds stay when I approach them. Did you know I’m now in cahoots with all the birds residing in the vicinity of your building?”

Lena pauses sharply, fingers stilling on her screen. “What,” she huffs a laugh, setting her device aside and reaches for her mug again. “I’ve never heard a real person say in cahoots before, Kara, what are you?”

“I know you think I'm cool,” Kara only says, and Lena laughs harder, her shoulders shaking.

When Lena finally turns her head to look at Kara, her face quickly pales at the sight. She opens her mouth, but no words come out. She feels like she’s witnessing an honest to god murder.

Kara looks back at her, blinking innocently. “What?”

“Darling, I know that you’re a sweet tooth, but this?” Lena asks uneasily, as she watches Kara pour not one, not two, but three heaping spoonfuls of sugar into her tea. There is cream in front of them and Lena fears the possibility of that being used next. “What did that tea ever do to you to deserve this?”

Kara shrugs and puts a fourth spoonful of sugar in. Lena holds back a gag. 

“Tea snob.”

Lena grimaces and scoots closer to Kara’s side, bumping her shoulder. “I’m really not. But I think I’d have fainted if that were a cup of coffee.”

“A tea and coffee snob!” Kara accuses, cocking her head with a lovely grin on her face. It widens when Lena rolls her eyes and nudges her again.

They’re sitting with their shoulders pressed against each other, so when Kara moves her hand a little, Lena feels the movement. They’re quiet for a moment, Kara gazing at Lena. She’s smiling, her cheeks dusted a lovely pink, and Lena feels like she’s swallowed the sun, warmth spreading out from her chest to her fingertips and toes.

Lena laughs quietly, smiling back at her because Kara is unbelievable and Lena is unbelievably in love with her.

“I still can’t believe you said in cahoots. That’s cute. I think you are cute.”

Lena,” Kara protests, averts her gaze and adjusts her glasses. “I’m not cute. Cool people say in cahoots, not cute.”

“But I said you are,” Lena retorts, smiling widely, fascinated with the way Kara avoids eye contact. She really likes that Kara isn't immune to her stares.

“If I’m cute, then what are you?” Kara replies then, and looks at her again. Nose scrunched up, she presses her shoulder against Lena’s, her cheeks visibly darkening.

Tilting her head to the side and with an eyebrow slightly raised, Lena says, “I don’t know, you tell me.”

“I think you’re cuter, then.”

Lena laughs again, then, showing all of her teeth, and this seems to make Kara smile—her eyes crinkling at the corners. 

“Trying to be smooth, Kara Danvers?”

“Yes? Why do you have that weird look on your face as if I can’t be?” Lena only shrugs at that, and Kara’s mouth falls open first; then a single disbelieving laugh punches out of her throat. Soon, though, it morphs into something slightly different, something that makes Lena close her mouth and swallow. 

Lena allows her gaze to trail down Kara’s neck and back up, her teeth unconsciously sinking into her bottom lip as she locks eyes with her. Kara’s eyes are magnetic and dark and her smile is almost a contradiction, closed-mouthed and pretty, and Lena tries to stay rooted in her seat.

“Anyway, back to the other topic. Since I’m under contract I have no choice but to keep visiting you then,” Kara says, her breath coming out shakily and a little disjointedly. God, Lena thinks weakly, fuck. Kara’s face is close, but Lena can’t seem to wrench herself away.

“Mn.” 

She doesn’t register reaching out. Not until her fingertips brush against Kara’s clothed bicep. Kara is still, only the almost imperceptible rise and fall under her fingertips as she breathes. 

Lena knows she should probably draw away; instead, her fingers trail up, up until her thumb brushes at Kara’s jaw, so lightly she’s barely touching. Kara’s lips part, a breath falls from them. There’s that look again, the one that’s been driving Lena crazy, and Kara—Kara’s not pulling away either. Lena’s heart is beating out of her chest, her breath shaking. Her fingers move up, ghosting against the side of Kara’s face.

See, this is the problem, Lena thinks, she is allowed to be like this with Kara because Kara likes it; she’s inviting, cuddly, affectionate, and Lena isn’t sure what to do with herself now that she knows she can do other things with Kara. This is the closest she can get to Kara and it aches.

Suddenly Kara leans in closer and Lena feels her hot breath, her lips close to her own. Lena’s breath hitches. She doesn’t move, and she waits for Kara to pull away shyly, but she doesn’t—she’s wrong because Kara’s hand comes up and it’s big and sure on her waist.

Lena isn’t breathing. Kara's face is so close, and she’s so strong, so lean and muscular, every inch of her tight and flexible and gorgeous. Her mouth is soft and endlessly distracting and right now, right now it’s barely three inches from Lena's.

“Hey,” Kara says, low and quiet, and it sends a shiver down Lena’s spine. Kara’s looking at her with an intensity in her eyes that makes Lena shiver. Lena cradles Kara’s face, holds her like she always did: like she’s something fragile, even though she always was anything but. 

Lena wants so much right now her chest feels too tight and there it is again—that devastating, all-consuming ache running through her veins like poison. She’s not brave enough to grasp onto Kara and hold her close—closer.

Fingers tangle in the hair at the nape of Kara's neck and Lena is probably thinking too loud right now, she knows, because Kara tilts her head and smiles at her amusedly. And with a squeeze of her waist, Kara leans forward. Her lips are soft against hers and Lena closes her eyes, kisses her back automatically. 

She’s pretty sure her other hand comes up to Kara’s chest—twisting at the fabric of her shirt. Mind swimming a little, Lena lets Kara pry her lips apart with her own, her tongue sliding across her bottom lip.

Kara’s other hand roams over her shoulder, digs into her skin in an attempt to get closer, and—fuck, fuck. Lena licks into Kara's hot mouth, and the sheer noise Kara makes is enough to make heat coil in her belly.

They kiss for what feels like minutes; Lena is not sure, and she reminds herself that time is merely a social construct, so. Half a minute, a minute, five minutes later Kara pulls away, and Lena is left to catch her breath. Her lips feel swollen, Kara is still thumbing over the skin below her ear. Her head feels heavy, and she lets it tip forwards until her forehead connects with Kara’s.

“That,” Kara breathes, “that was nice.”

And Lena struggles to form her own words, with Kara looking like that, her face flushed, lips swollen and spit-slicked, so fucking beautiful.

And then she goes. Like happiness. Like sadness. Both always returning but neither greater than its other half.

“Yeah,” Lena mumbles, licking her bottom lip as she tries to shove everything she’s feeling down into the deepest crevices of her mind, her heart. These emotions, overwhelming as they are, have begun to feel routine. Wake up, drown a little, go about your day. Fall asleep. Rinse, repeat.

Kara laughs, a small, shy sound, and pulls back to reach for her mug. They’re still so close to each other, sitting face to face.

“Can I spend the night here?” Kara quietly asks, looking away. Gently, she brings the rim of her mug over her lips. Her cheeks are flushed and her glasses have slid down the bridge of her nose, and it’s… an endearing sight.

“Of course,” Lena manages. How could she refuse? She’s incredibly weak for any request Kara puts forward.

When Lena raises her index finger to push Kara’s glasses back up a little, she’s rewarded with a beaming smile, bright and beautiful and so unabashedly Kara that Lena’s heart aches in her chest.

Lena really wants to kiss her again. She doesn’t. 

It’s—not what she wants, at all, or it is, but that’s not all, not nearly. It hurts, it starts from her chest below her ribs and spreads, like a—like a damn plant growing, like a prickly cactus, or stinging nettles.

There are some days that Lena thinks Kara must know. She’s never been one for subtleties, not really, at least when it comes to Kara. And though all her friends already know and have been voicing it out since always: you two share something special, you love her, don’t you—Lena has never admitted to it or denied it. 

She would always brush it off, or just roll her eyes. It’s safer, like that. Less attention on her.

Lena knows that once this ends, they will go back to normal, she will go back to loving Kara just the same—or maybe a little or much more in love than she was before. 

 


 

It’s a Friday late evening when Kara lands on Lena’s balcony—that’s not an entrance, Kara—and stalking into the kitchen, she immediately goes into rambling mode: 

“—We took in two aliens today and Alex bought me some muffins afterwards—and get this, Lena. When I took a bite, that was when I realized. They were—they were cinnamon raisin muffins, not chocolate?” Kara sputters, her hands moving in the air wildly. Pauses and turns around to look at Lena, her cape swaying as she does so. There’s a grave look on her face. “I’ve never felt so scammed in my life. Alex didn’t realize she bought the wrong one until we took that bite so we were both deceived by the looks.”

There’s a warmth about Kara, a wonderful genuineness. Inexplicably, overwhelmingly, Lena realises she’s so, so happy to see Kara again here in her home. She feels something light and lovely trickle through her body, through her blood. 

Lena lets out a breath of laughter, taking in the way Kara sits on the stool casually, in her Supergirl suit. 

“Wow. Do you—want some coffee? Tea? You look like you need something to warm you up.”

“Tea sounds nice.” Kara’s voice is lower, slower, tired.

Sometimes it feels as if Kara lived here too, with the way Lena plays host sometimes (often) and Kara readily accepts anything Lena offers. It’s sweet.

Lena reaches up to the cupboard to grab a mug—one that says pug life on it, with little pug drawings. She leans on the counter as she waits for the water to boil, watching Kara grab the peanut butter and sticking a spoon in it to get a lick.

“Good. You need to help me finish these,” Lena gestures to the tea bag boxes beside her, with a pointed brow arched up. “As you know, one box contains a hundred tea bags. Do you know how long that takes to finish?”

“No, but we can find out together.” Kara puts down her spoon and reaches for Lena’s mini cactus plant. She smiles at it. “Tea is good for you, Lena. The benefits—”

“I know,” Lena says, with a soft sigh. “You make it sound like my diet is unhealthy. As if I don’t already consume a plate full of kale everyday.”

Kara scrunches her nose up in distaste at the kale mention and leans away.

Lena laughs, turns around to turn off the kettle. She reaches for a tea bag and pours the boiling water into the mug.

“Kale is just not my cup of Thoni tea.”

Lena looks over her shoulder. “Thoni tea?”

“Yeah,” Kara shrugs, a tiny smile tugging at her mouth. “My father used to say it a lot.”

Done with the tea, she turns around to face Kara and leans on the counter, eyeing her curiously. Kara has told her about her parents, about Krypton, here and there. It’s rare for Kara to bring up her parents, but whenever Kara speaks on it, Lena soaks up all the information she can get. 

“What does Thoni tea taste like?”

“What does it taste like, what does it taste like...” she mumbles, her fingers tapping on the counter. And then her expression lights up as she tells Lena about it, and she’s so descriptive about the taste and smell that it’s making Lena smile widely.

Lena can’t help her fondness as she watches her best friend speak, and seeing herself over here and Kara there in her kitchen, looking so homey and comfortable as she talks and waves her hand in the air, love just floods out of Lena with each exhale.

Helpless and surrounded by that same sense of desperation, that familiar longing for something more, Lena falters. Feels, for a second, her heart ache.

Lena clutches at her mug a little tighter. The flutter in her heart is harsh.

With a grin, Kara gets up to help clean the dishes while Lena goes from cupboards to cupboards, picking up little snacks they can munch on later while watching some shows. If it all feels extremely domestic neither of them comment on it.

They spend the rest of the evening curled into each other, no care or want for anything else. It doesn’t take their stress away or ease the tiredness from their bones, but just being close like this does more for Lena than anything or anyone else could—she knows it does the same for Kara, too. When darkness has set into the sky and they’re laid out on Lena’s bed, watching a newly released true crime documentary. Lena rests her ear against Kara's chest and lets the rhythmic thud of Kara's heartbeat lull her into the most restful sleep she’s had all week.

 


 

Fact: Lena sleeps best in Kara's arms.

Also fact: this makes Kara...happy.

 


 

The sound of Kara's clanging pots in her kitchen wakes her up.

Lena wakes up a little disorientated, and feels her hand moving to the side, searching, only to discover the cold, empty space next to her. She looks around herself before finally coming to the realization that she's naked and her main source of warmth is gone.

And then the sound of a pot catches her attention again, coming from the kitchen.

“Golly,” she hears someone say, soon realizing it's Kara's deep, gravelly morning voice.

Lena sits up on the bed, reaching for her phone on the bedside table. It is two in the morning, an hour at which it doesn't make much sense for there to be noises coming from her kitchen. Or does it. Whatever it is, naturally she gets out of bed and slips on one of Kara's shirt and puts her underwear back on, looking for Kara.

As Lena suspected, she finds Kara in the kitchen. She didn't know what she was expecting, but what she finds... Well, it's Kara. Reality shakes whatever Lena's imagination can fathom by thousands, whenever it comes to Kara.

Kara is in a tank top, with some sweatpants on. Lena can see a pair of white earphones, go from Kara's phone, in the pocket of her sweatpants, to her ears. She is bouncing from one foot to the other, to the rhythm of some music that Lena can't hear. Lena rests by the wall and crosses her arms over her chest, a fond smile appearing on her face. In front of Kara, there's eggs, milk, and flour—

“Kara Danvers,” Lena calls. Kara turns around startled. “Might you be making pancakes at two in the morning?”

Kara gasps, her eyes widening dramatically, looking like a deer caught in the headlights. She pulls out her earphones, says, “Maybe.”

Lena looks at Kara's face, then down at the bowl that Kara is holding against her chest. It tugs at Lena's heartstrings, to see how comfortable Kara has made herself here in her home. Lena bites her lower lip.

Finds herself saying, “Can I join?”

“Really?” Kara’s eyes go wide, her mouth gaping as if she can’t believe what she’s hearing. Three beats later, a slow grin spreads across Kara's lips, making Lena's heart flutter. “Of course! Come here.”

(Both Lena and Kara have work early tomorrow, and it's likely they won't be getting much sleep now. Staying up is probably not the wise choice, Lena knows, but as silly as it is, it's not a bad one, and Lena doesn't regret it. How could she, when she gets to dance with Kara in her kitchen while making pancakes at two in the morning?)

 


 

“You've mentioned this before. You can't do relationships—aren't really looking for one. Are you content in being alone?”

“I’ve never been able to make relationships work. I’m not good at them.” A long pause. “I don’t know if I can feel something so intense for someone. I’ve never felt anything like that. Yet, maybe—I just don’t know if I can. In a romantic light.”

“I’m not available enough.”

It's been one week since that late night conversation with Kara at the bridge and Lenashe hasn't been able to stop thinking about it since. Kara’s stance on relationships hasn’t changed. She’s just downright disinterested—has too many other things to think and care about. 

It’s not like Lena was hoping for things to change.

Kara isn’t hers, and she never will be if Lena doesn’t say something, but confessing sounds like a sure-fire way to get her heart broken and have all of this to come to an end. Kara is so much more important than Lena ever intended for her to be, a constant that Lena isn’t ready to let go of—now, or ever, if she’s being completely honest with herself (which she rarely is.)

It’s just—she’s spent years pushing these emotions down, keeping them locked tight in a small, sacred box where no one would ever find them and now—now they’re rushing to the surface, unleashed and overflowing and utterly terrifying. Lena has never allowed herself to consider the possibility that Kara would feel the same. And she can’t—won’t.

Here is the thought that sinks into Lena's skin like dark ink and spreads through her veins, staining every inch of her, creates a monster of itself in her very core: everyone Lena has ever loved has left her.

Somehow, she is at once too much and not enough—overwhelming in every way and lacking in all—and no matter how deeply she’s fallen for someone, how readily she’s given herself away, the moment Lena lets herself believe that she might have a chance at something real with Kara, everything crumbles around her.

She refuses to let her helpless heart ruin things with someone who matters more to her than anyone else ever has.

Kara's love is boundless and unconditional, and Lena is selfish to want any more than she already has. The thought that one day Kara could leave too, because of Lena no less, is unbearable.

 


 

It’s late at night and Lena’s leaning against the wall, her eyelids heavy like they're made of lead. Conference calls with foreign investors in Kara’s living room and tedious hours of filing, as well as back and forth emails has Lena feeling entirely spent.

More often than not, Kara is at Lena’s and not the other way around, so every time Lena is at Kara’s she can’t help but always feel shy and a little nervous when it comes to spending the night here.

“Kara? Can...” She looks around Kara’s bedroom and spots a book beside Kara. Kara nods before Lena even finishes her sentence. 

Kara sits up, reaches both arms out and whispers, “Please.”

Lena offers a small smile and walks to the edge of the bed, falling carefully. Slowly, she crawls closer, straight into Kara’s waiting arms. Kara hugs her close the second she makes contact, pressing her cheek to Lena’s temple. Lena allows herself to melt into the embrace, feels Kara’s arm drape across her back.

'Home' is a word and it's a person and they say—Lena knows, knows better than anyone—that you shouldn't do these things: put your whole heart into someone else. But Kara is a thief. That can be the only explanation. Kara is a thief who Lena can't help herself around and it's terrifying and wonderful.

“Hi,” Lena whispers, feeling impossibly small. Kara pulls at her gently until Lena follows, lays down on top of Kara with her head pillowed against her shoulder.

Kara lets out a small sigh, and Lena peers up at her. She’s incredibly soft. Lena knows this: the touch of her skin and her hair, the considerate rhythm of her heart. Soft. But not weak. She’s not sure she’s ever met someone she thinks is as strong as Kara.

When she lays her hand down palm facing Kara’s abdomen, Kara wastes no time in covering it with her own—gentle gentle gentle—and when they interlace their fingers it’s as if they’ve always done so. It’s as if they don’t know how not to.

Lena curses herself for it immediately after, struggling to find a reason, an explanation, for the intimacy. For the way she’s like this, indirectly wanting Kara to stay close, not to move away. But where she thinks she might find judgement or apprehension is nothing but those faintly flushed cheeks, Kara smiling lightly.

Her chest is tight; heavy; sharp; alarmingly full.

She likes being held in Kara’s arms, likes her body against Kara’s and tucking her face into her neck.

It’s not the first time Lena has slept over, and Lena hopes it’s not the last, but Kara sometimes asks, and always makes sure that Lena feels comfortable with Kara in her bed. Lena doesn’t know how to say that having Kara with her makes the nights more bearable, brings comfort to her even on her hardest days, and that no matter where in the world Kara is, that’s where Lena will want to be.

It scares her to think of how easily Kara has fit herself into Lena’s life and her home, and made a place there like she’s always belonged. 

(It’s even scarier, how easily Lena finds places to fit herself into Kara’s.)

It’s just—difficult. This isn’t like her at all. It’s probably kind of fucked up that she’s in love with her best friend who she’s having casual sex with, and despite who she is as a person it all boils down to this: 

Lena has never been very logical when it comes to Kara.

She’s usually okay at keeping herself present, reminding herself that Kara isn’t hers no matter how much she wishes otherwise. After all, she has done well and kept to herself all these years, hasn’t she?

But lately—lately it’s been getting increasingly harder to keep her feelings in the dark. She genuinely thought that this would last one month tops, but it’s been several now. It’s like a little piece of her gets left behind every time Kara touches her—every smile, every brush of skin against skin tears viciously away at her heart, keeps her coming back again and again and again for even the slightest chance that Kara will stay.

 


 

Alex is two steps behind Lena, two steps lower on the stairs, when her hand catches on the back of Lena's coat. Lena takes one more step before she understands Alex has grabbed her on purpose, that she's stopping her progress towards the bar for a reason.

“Lena,” Alex says. “Are you dating?”

Now, that's a first. “I haven’t been on a date in forever, Alex. You know that.”

“No, I mean, are you and Kara dating now?”

Lena imagines saying it. We’re fucking. She pictures the surprise in Alex's big eyes. “We’re not dating. What made you think we were dating?”

Alex shrugs her shoulders, scratches her cheek. “I’ve noticed she's over there a lot—at your place, I mean. These days. Months. And also the going out thing.”

Lena looks vaguely forward, vaguely elsewhere, trying to think.

“She likes to come over,” Lena says quietly. “I know. Groundbreaking news.”

“Kara isn't that funny. You’re always laughing at things that aren’t funny.”

Lena furrows her brows, taking complete offense at that. “Kara's funny. Maybe you need to work on your sense of humor.”

“Holy fucking shit,” Alex sucks a breath in, and her chuckle is extremely self-satisfied. She shakes her head as if she can't believe what she's hearing, and the impish look on her face only serves to irritate Lena further. “I was joking but okay, that was very defensive of you.”

“Come on, let’s go. You should be nicer to the driver that drove you here.” Lena rolls her eyes and turns her heels, walking towards the dive bar. Kelly and Winn are already there, waiting for them, and Winn hasn't stopped texting her asking if they’re close yet.

“I forget how snappy you get whenever I allude to something. I just think it’s interesting how—”

Lena turns around so fast and arches a perfect brow, daring her to finish that sentence.

Alex raises her hands up, and Lena sees the corner of Alex’s mouth lifting in a smirk. She holds her gaze until she’s sure Alex won’t utter another word about that, and when Alex just breaks into a grin, she turns around and starts walking again.

“Lovely,” Alex quips behind her, “look at us. This is the lesbian camaraderie I have been craving for.”

 


 

Time passes. Because that’s what time does.

The night when their friends find out about them, after all the blatant flirting and touching at the dive bar, at first everyone is shocked. It’s private, but there isn’t any reason it has to be a secret. If that mattered to Kara, she would have said so.

And after the initial surprise, Lena comes to find out that nothing has really changed. Weeks go by and their friends stay minding their own business. They don’t ask about her and Kara, not really, but there’s been more harmless teasing here and there. That’s all.

Surprisingly and shockingly, Alex still meets up with her for drinks. She doesn’t inquire about it or stick her nose into the nature of their relationship, but Lena can tell that behind Alex’s silence, she’s heated and worried about all this. Of course she is. Lena’s still convinced that sometime sooner or later—she has a feeling Alex is going to pin her down with that distressingly disconcerting stare and keep Lena under her gaze until she gets a real answer out of her.

Lena gets it. Alex worries for both of them. Soon enough, everything will go back to normal and they'll still be the same Lena and Kara. Kara will be fine, Lena is the only one with the messy feelings here. She’s had this for four years—what’s new?

She just wonders when Kara will get bored and tired of this—her—and end it. She is absolutely sure of what's waiting for them—she just wonders when it'll happen. 

 


 

The door winces with a sound close to breaking, but it doesn't actually break and Lena doesn't bat an eyelash even though the noise is a clumsy, giant thing in the dead silence of her bedroom. A grunt is followed by a golly and springs to a body thudding to the floor, then some shuffling before a face presses down against Lena's shoulder. Kara's exhales are hot, soft.

Kara breathes against her and Lena leans back into her, lets Kara do what she won't let anyone else do: wrap her arms around Lena's middle, pull her until her back is flush against Kara's front and Lena sits between her splayed legs like there's nowhere else better in the world she could be; and really there isn't. Lena has been to enough places, has moved enough times, has had to uproot and transplant enough to be self-assured in that knowing. 

“Hi, I’ve come to raid your kitchen for snacks,” Kara kisses the corner of Lena's jaw.

Lena laughs softly and sets her book down. “Right,” she hums lowly and plays with Kara's hands—previously flat against Kara's stomach, now light trusts in Lena's own hands as she trails her fingertip along the lines in Kara's right palm, then the left, then back again. “Well, go on. Let a girl read her book in peace.”

Lena just knows that Kara is pouting when she says, “Can’t move away if you keep playing with my hands—oh, and now my arms. Feeling me up.”

The laugh Lena lets go could as easily be a stuttering sigh.

She lets go of her. “It’s almost midnight, Kara. So, not up to take a stroll in my kitchen?”

“I’m staying here. I changed my mind.”

“Want a little bedtime story, darling?” Lena teases, smiling at the way Kara pouts. “Or, you can go and say hi to our little spiky friend.”

“Later, maybe,” Kara shakes her head, and a little yawn escapes her mouth. “Just wanna be with you. I like just being here. Is that weird?”

“Oh,” Lena says faintly. “It’s... not weird.” She should say something back, tell Kara she likes just being with her here, too, tell her she’s her favourite person on the entire planet, the person who makes her feel the most safe, and happy and whole.

She doesn’t, though. Because she’s a coward. And she thinks if she says too much about how she feels, she’ll overwhelm Kara and make things weird.

Lena wrings her hands together and looks down, pressing her back into Kara’s front. Lena is stupid and weak but she’s not stupid and weak enough to think Kara means anything real. At least, not that way.

Exhaling a soft sigh, Lena carefully turns around to face Kara and says, “Okay. Do you want to lie down with me?”

Kara hums a low noise in her throat, sounding far away. Her eyes slip shut, and Lena takes the opportunity to just look at the most gorgeous person alive. Instinctively, she reaches out—maybe to run her fingers through Kara's hair, or brush at the softness of her cheek. Lena doesn't know, because she doesn't think, and when her brain finally catches up to her heart, she falters. Trying to remember how they used to act is so hard because they were always sort of like this. In some capacity. Always yearning, wanting, trying to balance the thin line between friendship and something more. 

Kara's eyes become soft crescents on her face, and she wordlessly moves forward to close the breath of space between them, tucking her head against Lena's neck, hair tickling Lena's skin. Instinctively, Lena's arms curl around her shoulders as Kara's curl around her waist, and she presses her cheek to Kara's temple and breathes in something sweet, something warm.

Slowly, she guides them both down and places Kara’s head on her pillow so that they’re both sharing the same cushion, before tugging the blanket up over her shoulder.

“Had a long day at work?” Lena whispers, running a hand up and down Kara’s arm.

“Yes,” Kara says, just as equally quiet, and bumps her forehead with Lena’s.

Lena is certainly used to being around Kara—brilliant, wonderful, beautiful Kara—but nothing will ever make it easy to get used to this. They play a dangerous game of cat and mouse, pushing and pulling in increments that lead them closer and closer to the edge of the metaphorical cliff where the balance of their friendship lies. 

What was once playful has now become a series of lingering, purposeful touches, of lengthy stares and the brush of their fingertips, and Lena can't help but wonder: what's changed about them?

More importantly—when did it all change?

When did Lena become so unafraid, so bold in leaning into her and pressing their bodies flush together? When did she become brave enough to pull her in closer, to bracket Kara's face between the heat of her palms? 

Kara’s eyes remains closed when her fingers stroke the nape of Lena’s neck. Lena resists the urge to shudder, wondering if Kara knows what she’s doing; if she’s doing it on purpose. Or if it’s just the years of their easy proximity damning Lena into an eternity of ambiguity.

The lack of permanence weighs heavy on Lena’s mind and it makes the time spent together quieter, more reflective.

“Alex bought me a box of doughnuts, so it wasn’t that bad.” Kara pauses, her hand on Lena’s neck stilling. “But I already ate it all, in case you were going to ask for some.”

Lena shakes her head, brushes her nose with Kara’s. “I wasn’t. With you in the picture, no doughnut is safe for that long.”

A soft scoff. Then, two beats of silence, and: “I’d share a doughnut with you.”

“That’s so sweet of you,” Lena says drily.

A soft, quiet laugh escapes Kara’s mouth and it fills Lena’s heart. Kara opens her eyes and her hands start to wonder, smoothing over Lena’s side. Then she lifts herself up and hovers above Lena, placing her hands flat on the mattress on either side of Lena’s head. 

Lena's breath hitches when Kara’s fingers trail beneath her chin. There’s an unfocused, glassy look in Kara’s eyes, flitting between Lena’s green and her lips. Gently, Kara tips her chin up and kisses her, slow and searching. She pries Lena’s lips apart with her own. Kisses her slowly and tenderly like this is the first time, which it both is and isn’t. Slow and careful as it is, it’s packed with so much tension, and Lena feels like she might burst into flames any second now.

Lena wonders if she’ll ever get used to this, to Kara wanting her. It still feels surreal for all these things she’s been imagining for so long to be happening in real life. It makes her head spin and her heart beat even faster and her skin feel like it’s hot and vibrating.

All the tentative kisses have turned into something closer to casual domesticity. Being with Kara like this feels like a constant Sisyphean exercise in masochism and restraint.

Lena tugs at Kara’s bottom lip with her teeth, drawing a soft whimper from her, and it pours down her throat like hot liquid, pools in the pit of her stomach. She takes her time, presses her mouth to Kara's, even though she’s out of breath and panting.

The problem is that Lena is too in love, too enamoured and immersed in Kara to care about something stupid like breathing. She wants to stay like this forever, connected everywhere, kissing and passing the same breath between each other’s mouths. Kara slides her hands up Lena's back and pushes her fingers into Lena's hair, pulls her mouth down softly.

They kiss slowly and lazily and it’s sticky between them and Lena thinks she should care about that, but she doesn’t. She cares about Kara, and Kara’s sweet mouth and Kara's solid body and Kara's fingertips pressing into her scalp.

She cares about showing Kara she loves her the only way she’s allowed to.

Kara's fingers slip to the back of Lena's neck and Lena shivers. She plants a few more closed-mouth kisses against Lena's lips, and lets their noses bump together. When Lena opens her eyes Kara is staring back at her.

Kara presses her teeth into her bottom lip. She blinks slowly, like she’s just taking Lena into focus.

“What is it?” Lena manages somewhat steadily, and cups the side of Kara’s face.

Kara’s skin is glowing under the lamp light, all soft and smooth and beautiful. Her lips are wet and shiny and her hair is tousled and she’s looking at Lena in that way she’s been doing lately. It’s sort of like she’s wondering something, but like she’s admiring, too. It’s a thought and also a question.

She’s breathtaking.

“Just thinking,” Kara whispers. Lena blinks and pauses. A whole slew of emotions run across Kara’s face in a matter of seconds, too quick to decipher. Melts into a smile—something beautiful, something sad, something that punches the breath right out of Lena’s lungs. 

Lena opens her mouth, and Kara quickly says, “It’s—the doughnuts. I can’t stop thinking about doughnuts now.” Her voice is shaky as she says it. “Just… a little hungry. Yeah, I could really go have a visit to your kitchen now, I—I haven’t had dinner, actually.”

Lena stares. She stares, until, inevitably, a disbelieving chuckle escapes her mouth.

“Kara...”

 


 

“Oh, it’s you.”

Lena’s just about to head into the elevator when a woman, who looks well in her 60s or 70s, calls out to her. She fondly looks at Lena with knowing eyes, as if she’s an old friend.

“Me?” Lena clears her throat lightly, and awkwardly looks around the hall. There is no one here but the two of them. 

The stranger nods. She stands in front of the door next to Kara’s, and there’s a soft and warm look on her face that makes Lena feel at ease.

“Hi,” Lena says politely, moving away from the elevator. A closer, proper look at the old woman, and Lena’s face lights up in recognition. The Friendly Old Neighbour, Kara loves to call her, smiles at Lena. Regardes her warmly, with a small hand wave in the air.

“You just left Kara’s apartment,” the stranger observes, eyeing Kara’s door and then back to Lena. “You’re that friend Kara always speaks so much about whenever we chat.” She tilts her head, appraising Lena with careful eyes.

Lena has only seen glimpses of the older woman in passing. It’s always the same place: outside Kara’s apartment door on the hallway. But sometimes she’s standing by the window with a cup of tea in hand, looking into the distance. Sometimes at her door, fiddling with her lock, looking ready to go out. Like right now.

“She talks about me?”

“Oh, yes,” the old woman beams, and Lena bows her head a little, a small smile spreading across her lips. “So much. When it’s not about food or work, it’s you.” The smile on her face sharpens, turning into a smirk. “I've seen your face in TV, books, magazines, and all... I hadn’t expected her girlfriend to be this pretty in person.”

“What…” Lena’s eyes widen immediately and she shakes her head quickly, at that. “No, it’s not like that, we’re not—we’re not together. We’re just friends. She doesn’t like me like that,” she says, and she wonders why she’s explaining herself. But then she remembers that Kara is fond of her neighbour, this one in particular—is the one who often knocks on Kara’s door to spoil her some home cooked meals and snacks. 

The woman with sweet smiles and two feisty cats. She’s someone important and not just any other person to Kara. 

“I just like to visit her.” Lena takes a deep breath and releases it slowly. “To have dinner and small things like that. Stay for a bit or sometimes stay the night when it gets too late, then leave in the morning. That’s all. Just simple friendly things.”

“Ha!” The older woman lets out a loud laugh, her eyes glistening with something. “Is that what the kids call it nowadays?”

Lena blinks, her cheeks deeply darkening at the remark.

“We’re just friends.”

“Is that so?”

Lena nods, starting to feel uncomfortable. She only came here to pick up the coat she'd accidentally left in Kara's apartment earlier.

“Wouldn’t you know if Kara’s been telling you about me?”

The older woman looks deep into thought. “Well...” she sighs, soft, before shrugging her shoulders. “That’s the thing. It’s the way she talked about you, had me fooled all this time, I guess.”

Lena isn’t sure what to say to that. But it isn’t news to her, that Kara waxes poetry whenever she talks about her. Or anyone, Lena stresses to herself, because Kara is someone who’s just naturally ferociously sweet and kind.

The silence stretches and it’s starting to get really awkward. 

“I, I should get going,” Lena fake-coughs, her voice cracking a little. 

“Of course! Don’t let me keep you here, dear,” the older woman gestures to the exit, laughing softly.

And with that, Lena smiles politely with a flushed face before heading into the elevator.

 


 

Sometimes, when Lena gets like this, when she has someone like this, she thinks about it. 

Not in an overwhelming way. Somewhere in the back of her mind, it floats. The first two people who did this. At the beginning—why the thought your mouth and mine, your body and mine, made all the sense in the world. If it felt like anything lighter than air, or the universe, like floating. 

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?” Lena asks. She feels like she herself could float but she is very much tethered to this bed, lying down on her back with Kara sitting on her lap, towering above her, the spread of her thighs thick and strong and almost criminal in midnight blue. 

Lena reaches out and slips her hand underneath Kara’s shirt, her palm sliding over muscles and towards Kara's chest. Kara shivers under her touch.

With a soft smile, Kara presses her knees into the mattress on either side of Lena’s waist, her hands into the soft of Lena’s belly. 

“Like you’re thinking about kissing me,” Kara replies, and it’s gentle—so gentle that Lena thinks her heart might break in two. “When you could just be kissing me.”

Heat fills Lena’s gut. At the reminder. It’s the weekend and Kara’s here again, cozy and comfy looking like she’s going to stay again. The weight of Kara, flushed pink and gorgeous, on top of her. Her hair is mussed and her grin is warm in the softly glowing lights. Mouth already kiss-swollen, gorgeous too, a smudged holy looking pink Lena wants on hers again and again. Lena lifts on her elbows to touch Kara’s waist, the firm curve of it, gives it her mouth. It makes her back ache, hurt. Kara presses closer, makes this sound that goes straight to Lena’s lower belly, her heart, this ache inside of her, and this kind of hurt, this is the kind Lena will eagerly take.

Kara withdraws herself, just a little, and her hand comes up to touch Lena's face, holds her fingertips to Lena’s mouth. Goes for a kiss. Lena covers her, gives her what she wants, sort of.

Takes what she herself wants.

Sort of.

Kara soothes over Lena’s neck with her thumb as their eyes lock together. They stare, quiet and pensive, at one another and Kara tilts her head at Lena with a private smile curling over her lips. Lena’s breathing comes to a stuttering halt, skin tingling.

Kara cups Lena’s cheek, her eyes raking over every feature on Lena’s face like she's trying to drink her in and memorize every curve and lash.

“Can I?” Kara’s fingertips brush up the hem of Lena’s shirt, and Lena nods shakily.

“Yes,” Lena whispers.

Kara leans down to kiss the underside of Lena’s jaw before gently tugging her shirt over her head, tossing it somewhere on the floor. When Lena straightens up, runs a hand over her hair, Kara is gaping at her like she hadn’t just been touching the same body she’s looking at.

Lena stares back, feels her entire body heat up. The way Kara looks at her is different, but the kind of different that Lena eats up. There's a pretty dusting of pink high on Kara's cheeks and her pupils are blown wide. Her gaze drifts down over Lena's torso and her hands follow soon after, roaming over the curves of Lena's breasts.

“Lena,” says Kara, in a tone that’s unlike anything Lena’s ever heard before. Like being out of breath at the highest point of the mountain, after the hike up the steep arduous trail, the air thin and stealing the oxygen from your lungs, but look at the whole world at your feet, look at that sunrise, look at the beautiful pink forming in the sky.

Only Kara’s not looking at the gentle pink unfurling over the world as the sun touches the edge of sky.

It's Lena she's looking at. Kara tucks a stray lock of hair behind Lena’s ear softly.

“What,” Lena says quietly, breathless. 

“You’re beautiful,” Kara says, and it doesn’t sound cliche coming from her, or like she has an ulterior motive. It just sounds like Kara, all that genuine warmth and sincerity, all those things that Lena loves—loves—about her being offered for Lena to snatch up and gobble down. She looks dumbstruck, reverent.

“Kara,” Lena mumbles weakly, feeling shaky in her chest.

“Sorry, I know I keep saying it, but I can’t help it,” Kara murmurs, and Lena can only feel herself flushing further.

She says, very quietly, “It's okay. I like it.”

The first touch of Kara's mouth is so gentle it’s barely there. She kisses Lena soft and careful, a little like she’s in disbelief. Lena whimpers, and then Kara shifts on top of her, angles her neck, and kisses Lena like she means it, slides one hand to the back of Lena's neck. When Kara pulls away, Lena immediately feels the loss of warmth. Piercing blue eyes trail over her face.

“Kiss me again.” Lena gasps. “Don’t stop yet." 

Kara leans forward and kisses the small scar near Lena’s eye, tilts Lena’s face and kisses her nose, kisses her cheek, the corner of her mouth, the curve of her jaw, the mark on her neck.

“Kara,” Lena says. It comes out shaky and breathy and rough. “Kara.”

“Okay,” Kara says, a small smile curving her mouth as she caresses Lena's wrists. It makes Lena’s head swim, and does nothing to reduce how fast her heart beats.

Lena releases a shaky exhale against Kara’s mouth, her hands flying to Kara’s shoulders. Kara presses their bodies so close Lena can barely breathe. Kara kisses her so soft and chaste that Lena lifts up from where she's at to try to get more, but Kara’s hand stills her, slides to her shoulder, presses her back against the mattress and pins her wrist over her head.

Kara runs her tongue along that lusciously full bottom lip and licks boldly into Lena's mouth. She fits their mouths together again and again and again. She kisses Lena purposefully, like she already knows what Lena will like, like she already knows how to make Lena tremble. She does, in a way, because Kara is Kara and she listens to Lena so well. Every little sound Lena makes when something feels good Kara hears and does it again. 

Lena feels like she’s drunk on Kara's taste, her senses numb to the point where Kara is the only thing she can perceive anymore. Her body is warm and pressed under Kara, anchoring her to reality. She places her free hand on Kara's hip, letting her fingers caress the strip of skin that appears after the sweater rides up.

Letting go of Lena's wrist, Kara cups the weight of Lena's breasts and swipes her thumbs over erect nipples. She palms Lena's breast, her palm fitting perfectly, squeezing and unsqueezing. Lena moans, licks into the hot space of Kara’s mouth, swiping her tongue along the roof.

The sound Kara makes in the back of her throat sends Lena’s head spinning and Lena—she can’t think anymore, can only feel.

She almost whines when Kara abandons her lips but then that mouth starts moving along her throat, nipping and lightly biting down the column of her neck, moving to lick along the ridges of her collarbones. 

“Fuck,” she sighs, tipping her head back, breathing slowly and unevenly as her hands clench in the sheets. A shaky moan escapes her lips when Kara bites down, sucking bruises into the sensitive parts of her throat and collarbones; her chest arches up towards Kara when her mouth closes over her nipple, Kara’s hot tongue flicking against it repeatedly. 

Lena can only close her eyes and moan at the sensation of that hot, wet mouth surrounding her.

“Kara, please,” Lena says shakily, pleading, and she wants—she needs Kara to move faster, to start touching her where she really wants to be touched, but Kara only hums in response, dragging it out as long as she can.

“You’re already so wet for me, I can smell you,” Kara murmurs, soft and low. “What if I just left you like this?” she drawls, and it’s a low tease calculated to leave Lena squirming.

Lena breathes shakily. “…You wouldn’t.”

“Wouldn’t I?”

“Kara...” Lena could nearly cry at this point, but Kara just laughs, says okay okay before leaning down to kiss her on the cheek. Lena has to bite her lip hard to subdue the whimper that threatens to come out when Kara circles her fingertips around her clit.

“Are you good?” Kara asks quietly, resting her forehead against Lena’s, checking in with her. She circles her fingers, presses, rubs, and it has Lena arching into the touch, her head tipping back, leaving her neck completely exposed. Kara mouths at her chin, her jaw, sucking kisses down the side of her throat as she works tight slow circles around Lena’s clit.

Lena’s voice comes out a little thick, a little raspy. “I don’t know, Kara, am I good?”

Not the same good, Lena knows. Kara smiles and helps Lena tug off her underwear. “I guess you must be.”

Kara slides a finger in and makes a slow, shallow thrust, just to see. Lena lets out a high, breathy noise, and Kara does it again. Lena feels the pressure growing, tightening, in the pit of her stomach, a surge of heat sweeping across her skin.

“Rao,” Kara breathes, quiet and reverent. She kisses clumsily at Lena’s jaw, scrapes teeth over the shell of her ear. “So tight—and wet.”

As nervous and cute as Kara can be, her eagerness and arousal can turn her into pure sin. It’s overwhelming at times for Lena and she’d never been with someone who makes her feel fucked out so easily and so quickly before.

Lena makes a sound that is probably a laugh, followed by a long groan, as Kara fucks into her for real, adding another finger. Kara curls two fingers inside her and draws a gratifying moan out of her. Heat coils tightly in Lena’s stomach, a fire that needs putting out, and she wants more but Kara seems to be set on taking her time with her, stretching her slowly and so good, and it leaves Lena panting and breathless. 

“Oh, god, Kara—” Lena shudders all over and moans brokenly when Kara presses three fingers into her, going knuckle deep, and using the pad of her thumb to rub circles around her clit. Every thrust of Kara's fingers rubs against that sweet spot on her front wall and the wet noises between them, the heavy scent of sex in the air and the single-minded intent on Kara's face is making Lena's head swim. Kara's stretching her with that nice, deep kind of burn.

“You’re doing so good,” Kara mumbles, her eyes getting even darker, if that’s possible.

Lena shivers, her nails raking down Kara’s backside under her shirt.

“Such a good girl,” Kara whispers in her ear, and then leans in again, dragging her tongue up the length of Lena's throat. “Taking my fingers so well.”

Lena swallows thickly. She can tell Kara means she is good. Not good at that, not good as opposed to bad, but. Good. She’s good. Lena whimpers; she feels hot all over and proud of herself and so turned on it almost hurts.

“Kara, Kara,” Lena says, voice gritty and raw, sounding absolutely wrecked to her own ears. She can’t hold on to any coherent thought beyond how wonderful it feels to have Kara moving inside her, hot and wet and perfect—it’s just so good, Lena feels full. Full with Kara’s lips on hers, fingers inside her, and Lena feels tears building; Kara always gives it to her so good. There are tears in her lashes, making everything a little blurry.

She blinks hard and looks up into Kara’s face, moves her shaking hands from Kara’s backside to her jaw. Lena thumbs on Kara’s cheekbones, holding her face. The heavy eye contact feels intimate; Kara’s blue eyes staring back at her, filled with wonder and lust, and they hold it for a couple of seconds until Kara suddenly breaks it to look at her neck.

“Kara, I’m gonna...” Lena breathes, as Kara thrusts into her, deep and fast and hard. Kara rolls the pad of her thumb over the sensitive bud slower, deliberate circles, over and over, and Lena's eyes slam shut, her body shivering. “Yes, yes, yes—” Her hand grips at the pillow under her head, back arching.

“Come for me,” Kara whispers. “Show me how good I make you feel.”

Lena's shaking body goes stiff for a moment, and she holds her breath. Then she breathes out a long, low moan and her body locks, spine arching, mouth open, and Kara doesn’t stop, even as Lena shakes and convulses around her.

She quivers, spilling all over Kara’s palm, and Kara coaxes her through it, mouthing soft kisses along the line of her collarbone. Slowly, Kara withdraws her fingers, and using her other hand she gently wipes away the tears on Lena’s cheeks.

“I’ve got you,” Kara says quietly against Lena’s neck, kisses the curve of a shoulder, nuzzles into that warm, sweat-damp space where it meets Lena’s throat. “You did amazing.”

Lena whimpers between heavy breaths. She feels wonderful. Wonderfully kissed, wonderfully touched, wonderfully fucked, wonderfully everything. They fall into silence, and the moans and low groans are replaced by heavy breathing.

“You’re still dressed,” Lena mumbles, looking down at her.

Kara laughs softly. “Doesn’t matter,” she says. “You already came.”

“You didn’t.”

“S’okay.” Kara nuzzles her face into Lena’s chest a bit more. “I did earlier, actually. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes, Lena. You don’t always have to get me off, too.”

Lena frowns, recalling the similar exchange they had weeks ago.

“I always want to, though,” she says. Scratches lightly at Kara’s nape.

Kara nods, her features softening.

Reality sinks back into Lena's bones with a heavy sort of weariness, weighed down with ache and longing. Senses less overwhelmed, thoughts something along the lines of coherent. It’s always weird, the aftermath, swimming in a confused blur. Experiencing such a devastating high only to be left almost hanging, and the worst part is she knows it’ll come back in a matter of minutes. Over and over again, a week-long cycle of both pure bliss and absolute torture.

They lay in silence a little longer and Kara’s hand lifts to sweep some hair off Lena’s temple. She’s so pliant and gentle, so soft and light that Lena’s heart twists inside her chest, her hand running up Kara’s side.

Kara angles her head up for another kiss which Lena immediately delivers, this one much softer than the last. Almost immediately, the kiss deepens into something slow, something warm and careful and sweet. Kara does this sometimes, forces them into a more deliberate pace, so different from the frenzied touching, the sharp thrusts, the sloppy kisses. It always leaves Lena feeling a little boneless, fuzzy around the edges. Worshipped and wanted in all of the best ways.

And then she pulls away.

“I want… I just like making you feel good,” Kara says after a while. “I like it when I do things to you and you like it. I mean it seems like you like it.” Her brow furrows and she’s blushing; two little patches of soft pink blooming against her cheeks.

“Oh,” Lena says faintly. “I like it,” she says firmly, belatedly. “Is that what turns you on? Turning other people on?”

Kara’s fingers stop moving in dark hair. She shifts a little, and those pretty eyes drift across Lena’s features. Lena flushes.

“Is that weird?” Kara says.

Lena laughs quietly, shakes her head.

“No, Kara, it’s not weird. It’s sweet. Not weird.”

It’s quiet again for a long while.

Her eyes are starting to drift closed when she hears a quiet, “Lena?” Intimacy colours Kara’s voice every time she says Lena’s name, like it’s a secret she’s keeping safe, a prayer and a confession wrapped into one.

It causes a dull ache between Lena’s ribs.

“Kara,” Lena echoes, and hopes intimacy colours her voice in the same way. “What is it?”

She wonders if it's her imagination that Kara seems uncertain, looking hesitant.

Lena’s reminded of Kara when a crowd presses too close in places she does not expect; she is reminded of Kara with her furrowed brows, trying to find the right words for her article; she is reminded of Kara staring into the sky the way other people stare deep into wishing wells and oh, oh, oh.

Oh.

As quick as it's there though, it's gone. Then Kara isn't hesitant, isn't frightened, isn't anything in particular. Lena decides she imagined it—a safer assumption than any other to her rapid beating heart.

A shake of head. “I—never mind, we should really sleep now.” And when Kara gathers the blanket, lifts it up above Lena’s shoulder gently, Lena is reminded that this won’t last. It won’t, even if she desperately wishes for it to.

She relaxes again, lets herself feel warm and safe and loved, even if it isn’t in the way she wishes. And she lets herself feel sad about that, too, because she doesn’t do that enough, keeps it bottled up inside all the time until it builds and builds and it aches in her chest and she can’t stand it anymore and it all comes spilling out, usually in the form of tears, very late at night when she’s alone in her bed and nobody can hear her.

 


 

Lena knows that what they have is just something temporary and false. But it still catches her off-guard one day.

“Lena, you’re getting too used to me being here. You shouldn’t.”

Kara’s in her living room, dressed for work, eyes glued on her phone as her thumb swipes at the screen. Her voice is soft and it comes off as a half joke half serious in Lena’s ears, and it makes Lena completely freeze in her spot.

She’d just woken up and sauntered her way towards the kitchen. Had sleepily greeted Kara and said it was cold in the bed without you way too casually.

“You’re right.” Lena forces her voice to work, after a long, measured moment. She straightens up. “As much as I enjoy the benefits of having a warm Kryptonian at my side in my bed, you don’t have to worry about me getting comfortable. But you know, you're always welcome here anytime you want. I enjoy your company.” She pulls a wink and a smirk, trying to gain semblance of control over herself before reaching for a glass of water.

“That’s… good to hear. Yeah, it’d be awkward if either of us started to. Get comfortable, I mean.” It’s quiet, again. Then: “But—could it actually be such a bad thing?”

A pause filters throughout the room, and Lena grows nervous.

They lock into a gaze and Lena sets her glass down. Did she—hear that right? Lena genuinely can’t tell if Kara’s joking, or not. She doesn’t know what to say and the silence stretches, the room tense and heavy all of the sudden.

That sounds like a suggestion, and they never talked about being or becoming anything else, even if their actions and flirting pointed towards something else. Lena's just—so confused and lost, and she starts to panic a little, not knowing what to think. She shuts down before the little bud of hope gets the chance to unfurl in her chest.

“Kara,” Lena says quietly, suggesting to Kara that she’s uncomfortable with this topic. “That’s. I don’t…”

At that, Kara looks stricken, off-kilter. But it doesn’t last long as it’s replaced with a look of something less stiff. A small, tight smile on her face. Kara looks away. She probably thinks that the way Lena is completely still is a good sign, but Lena can't tell Kara her throat is clogging up and locking in place, incoherent.

“Sorry. Relax,” Kara breathes, waving her off. “Small offhand comment, didn’t mean anything by it.” 

Lena doesn’t want to disappoint her but it feels like she did, just now. Why? She can’t think of anything, which only succeeds in making her feel ridiculous and out of sorts.

“Yeah?” she questions quietly.

“Yeah,” Kara says, voice even and eyes calm. Her expression is still pretty unreadable, but it’s different now, less blank. Her eyebrows are squished together and she’s peering at Lena’s face like she’s trying to figure something out.

Lena waits for Kara to say something, but her words never come.

“Kara?”

Kara shakes her head, scratches her eyebrow. “I’m—I should get going.”

And Lena just watches her leave quietly, wondering what just happened. The thought of Kara being upset by something she’s unintentionally done or not done sits uneasily in her gut.

 


 

Things that are precious to Lena: the song of Kara's laughter, the rare reality of her unburdened smile, the soft soft look every time she glances Lena's way and says her name. Kara's safety. Kara's tomorrow.

It’s been years and the intense desire to protect and love? Has not muted nor has it even gentled into something committed to a word like ‘platonic’.

That’s why, when one day Lena receives a call from Alex, telling her that Kara got injured in a fight and was roughed up enough that she needs someone to take care of her, Lena immediately tells Jess to cancel all meetings and appointments for the next three days.

And when she arrives in the DEO and into the medbay, she rushes to Kara’s side, not caring about how she looks in Alex's eyes.

 


 

“I—The way we left off earlier, did I say something that… Did I upset you?”

“What? No. It isn’t like that.”

“Then why does it feel like—”

“It feels like things have been weird between us. It is. And when you left, that wasn't... very you.”

“No. Rao, no. You didn’t do anything wrong, Lena. I promise.”

Lena likes Kara's voice, Kara's grin, Kara's way of taking care of her without making her feel helpless. Lena likes Kara's approval and her honesty, how when she holds her it's not a sealed space but a shelter—not a locked room but a window she can open or close as she pleases.

Lena dislikes herself. But she knows Kara dislikes herself too and maybe that's why she understands.

Lena learned in the early days of their friendship, that Kara is the type to suppress and bottle her feelings up for the sake of other people. Up to this day, this still holds true. Kara gives more than she takes, and she’s always there for everyone. Supportive and protective, the warmest, most gentle ray of sunshine. Lena loves that about her. But it's also one of her biggest flaws because Kara doesn't look out for herself and her own emotional needs. 

Kara seems open, always smiling, but in truth she's private.

She doesn't want people to feel bad as she has—she focuses so much on helping and supporting others that she hurts herself, and often doesn’t realize how it affects her.

Kara does so much, does it all with the patience of a saint, and Lena sometimes wonders if Kara knows what that means to everyone, to her. Even at Kara's angriest, at her most frustrated, she still puts everyone before herself, is still so painfully selfless that Lena sometimes feels the hollows of her own chest constricting with a dull, hollow sort of ache.

So that’s why it worries Lena when Kara has been a little closed-off lately. Lena knows Kara (at least, she likes to think so). Knows that Kara never wants to say the wrong thing. She doesn’t want other people to know she’s hurt or scared by something, because she thinks it’s inconveniencing them. 

Her pain is a quiet thing, shrouded in politeness and deferring to others.

So whatever has been going on with her—maybe it’s a small thing. But with Kara, the small things are big things. Just as they are with Lena.

“I love you,” Kara says, later that night when she joins Lena on the balcony, her frame covered with Lena's blanket. There’s a small grateful smile on her face and Lena knows Kara’s just being her sweet and appreciative self. This is for helping her today, when Alex couldn’t.

Lena swallows thickly, breathing slowly. She looks down and sees the white cast on Kara’s arm behind the blanket. Kara’s using her other hand to keep it wrapped around her shoulders. Solar flare from exertion. It’s the first time she’s seen Kara solar flare.

Lena softens her face.

Recently, things have been a little strained between them. Lena wishes it wasn't—she wishes she knew the reason why. She's afraid of the answer.

“I love you, too, Kara,” Lena replies quietly, meaning it in every possible way.

Taking a step forward, she helps Kara with securing the blanket over her body, her hands reaching up to Kara’s shoulder then to her chest. She frowns when she sees sweat beading on Kara’s skin, and taking a closer look at Kara, Lena notices that her eyes look a little red and puffy. It looks suspiciously close to the kind of red, puffy eyes you’d have after crying.

Lena frowns and touches Kara’s face. “How are you feeling? Did you just wake up?” She guides Kara’s chin up, carefully assessing her friend.

“Yes, I just woke up,” Kara says with a shrug of her shoulder, smiling weakly. “I’m okay. The sling—it’s just a little uncomfortable.” There’s a light flush on her face and she’s looking at Lena shyly, a little sadly. This only confuses Lena more, and she's unable to figure out Kara’s thoughts or mood. That’s been happening lately, and she worries.

“It’s too cold out here and you’re sick. You shouldn’t be here,” Lena lightly admonishes, already reaching for the handkerchief she always keeps with her at all times. There’s a soft curve of smile on Kara’s face as Lena wipes her face, gently swiping the cloth over her skin.

“You’re not going to let me out of your sight for the next few days, aren’t you?”

“Alex told me that she needs someone to take care of you,” Lena says, thumbing at her cheek, then cups it with her hand softly.

Kara’s cheeks darken. “Yes, but she meant only today because she couldn’t before.”

“Too bad,” Lena says lightly, tucking Kara’s hair behind her ear. “You’re here with me now and I’m up for the job.”

“Job...” Kara quietly laughs, the sound so soft and lovely in Lena’s ears. Closing her eyes, she hums quietly and leans into Lena’s touch. “Okay, I’ll stick around here for a few days. If...you really want to keep me here, you’ll buy me lots of comfort food and watch movies with me and not work during off CEO working hours.”

“Wow?”

“It comes in the job description, I don’t make the rules.” Kara purses her lips. “You’re hired.”

Lena can’t help but smile, despite her worries. 

She feels stupidly fond and in love all of a sudden, like she’s smitten with Kara all over again. It’s weird how much she likes this part, taking care of Kara, spoiling her, making sure she’s okay and comfy and warm.

“Let’s get you back inside. I’ll join you.”

 


 

Things build slow, fast fast fast—then slow. And maybe that's to be expected, given their years, given how there's a difference between touching for the public eye and threading fingers just for themselves. And it's not that Lena is subtle in how she loves Kara, so much as it is the subtleties of how she likes, loves, wants this person who is her dear friend to let her come even closer. 

Lena can't help the last one really—the unique and indelible shape of want. 

She can keep herself from saying certain things or even doing them, but the want—the longing—is an anchor she refuses to do without. 

And she's so busy not wanting to overwhelm Kara with her feelings, assuring her it won’t get messy and complicated with her, that they’ll never change, that it doesn’t dawn on Lena that they are changing. Have been—ever since from the start. 

She’s so busy thinking of Kara, it doesn't occur to her how much Kara might think of her.

 


 

Much before they fell into this situation, the curious thing about Lena and Kara might be this: they are already together.

 


 

“I’m—I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore.”

It’s around midnight and Lena’s feeling positively and lightly buzzed from all the alcohol she had at Nia’s. She and Kara have been standing outside Nia’s apartment in the dark street after game night with their friends, and it’s cold and quiet around them, and.

Lena's heart sinks with heavy dread, stilling her fingers on Kara’s shoulder.

“Do what? You mean—?”

“Yes,” Kara says, and Lena stiffens. “I… this is what I’ve been thinking about—have been wanting to talk about. It’s just, this thing between us—it’s been months. This has always been just a casual thing, and for this to have spanned this long already… I think it’s time we stop.”

And so Lena thinks this is it. This is the thing she’s been expecting. They've been together—not together—for months and now Kara is done with her.

“Okay,” she breathes, easily accepting this. She knew this was coming: it was just a matter of time.

Kara blinks, her eyes widening and her eyebrows scrunched as if she’s surprised by Lena’s answer. “Okay?”

“Okay,” Lena echoes. “If that’s what you want, then we’ll stop.” Kara has been thinking about this—have been wanting to bring this up. Why the delay? This makes Lena frown, worry bubbling inside her. “You’ve been thinking about it. And we kissed at Nia’s. I kissed you. And...”

Kara shakes her head. “And I liked it,” she waves her off with a small, soft smile. “Just because I’ve been thinking about it doesn’t mean I didn’t want it or like it. I mean, you’re—you’re you, and who could resist a kiss from you?” Lena looks away for a bit, flushing heavily, at that. “I’m just saying it’s better to stop now than to let this prolong any further.”

“Of course,” Lena says. The knot in her stomach painfully tightens. She doesn’t know what else to do other than to agree, and she wishes her heart would stop pounding so hard against her chest. It’s incredibly revealing, and to make up for the deafening sound, she says, “You know, I’m surprised this lasted this long, however I don’t think it to be such a bad thing.”

“Yeah,” Kara nods her head, almost reluctantly. Lena can’t read her, and it’s utterly terrifying because something feels wrong.

“It’s run its course—it was fun while it lasted.” Lena watches Kara carefully, taking back her hands from Kara’s shoulders. 

“Yeah,” Kara agrees quietly, her lips tilting into a frown. She looks down to the ground, seeming far off. 

Something is wrong, that much Lena can tell. Something is wrong, and she doesn’t know what it is and it feels like she’s letting Kara down again. She can’t help but think about it once more—did she do something wrong? Kara has been a little distant these past few weeks, acting off.

“But, Kara,” Lena says, trying to get Kara to look at her, and Kara does. “You’d tell me if I... something wasn’t okay, or something was wrong. Right?”

At that, Kara visibly stiffens.

“Would you?” Kara asks exasperatedly, her voice so soft and low, and she looks at Lena with pleading eyes. Two beats later, Kara’s eyes widens and she takes a small step back as if she didn’t mean to say that. 

What… is that supposed to mean?

Lena takes a deep breath and releases it slowly. “Tell me what’s wrong,” she says, as calmly as she can, trying not to allow desperation to bleed her voice. Her fingers are shaking at her sides and she’s scared that she’d fucked things up.

Maybe Lena's fucked it all up, made everything awkward between them. Maybe she should’ve held back her feelings better, kept them from reaching out and tangling all over Kara like weeds.

“Nothing’s wrong,” Kara reassures, and now she just looks… tired. Resigned, with her shoulders slumped. “I’m just concerned that it’s going to make things weird if we keep fooling around. And I don’t want that. You’re my best friend and that’s so much more important to me than these convenient hookups. But as you said, we had a fun time. You’re great, Lena—it’s been great,” she pauses, looking at Lena   Nothing’s wrong. You treat me well, you always do.”

Lena stays still for a while. Breathes. “All right,” she says softly, her fingers curling and uncurling on her thigh. “If you say so, that’s—that’s good to hear. You didn’t have to explain yourself to me. But I agree with you—we don’t want to make things weird. Or weirder, because it has been a little weird.”

“That’s my fault. I’m sorry I’ve been making things weird between us.”

“Don’t be,” Lena’s quick to say, shaking her head. God—she should’ve ended this sooner, she never wants Kara to feel uncomfortable around her. “It's okay—I’m glad you bought it up and told me. Remember what I said before, Kara? I don’t want us to hold any expectations with each other, and we always have to be on the same page.” Lena’s chest feels tight as she says this. She knows how much of a hypocrite and a coward she is. Breathing unevenly, she swallows thickly. “Kara, this friendship...” Lena says quietly, her eyes locked on wide blue ones, “means everything to me.”

Kara nods, her lips parting slightly. Then: there’s a small, affected smile on her face.

“You treat me well, too,” Lena adds softly.

“Obviously we’re still friends—we’re more than this,” Kara says, with a nod. “We’re friends, just without the casual sex between us or anything.”

Lena bites at her lip, wanting to take a step closer and reach out for Kara’s hand. But finds that she can’t—why is that? It shouldn’t feel like it’d be wrong to. It still feels like something is wrong. Or something's missing. 

She forces her voice to work. “That goes without saying, Kara. Nothing’s changed between us. You’re always going to be my best friend.”

Kara thinks things have gotten a little weird between them, and Lena feels like a huge fool because it’s probably her that’s been making things weird.

The worst part is that she doesn’t actually even know what it was that did it. Maybe it was something she said or did, weeks before this. Maybe it was because she was being too clingy with Kara. But that can’t be it—it was always Kara who initiated things and came to see her. Lena always welcomed her with open arms each time she returned. She was extremely careful not to come across as needy or anything close to that. She wonders if it was that she accidentally slipped, calling Kara darling during sex once, if her stupid mouth got her in trouble. Maybe it was when she teased Kara about Olivia and her being possibly jealous that made her feel uncomfortable. It was suggestive, in a way—Lena could see how it’d make her uncomfortable and think things.

She knows they should at least talk about it. But Kara isn’t bringing it up and Lena is paralyzed with fear. She knows she’s being a coward, but if Kara wants to leave it at that and just go back to being just best friends, then...

It was inevitable, wasn’t it? Just like her relationship with James—there was no mutual feelings, no spark. Not meant to be. As much as Lena tried to work it out with him two years ago after she was encouraged by her friends to see him—it just didn’t work out in the end. Simple as that.

 


 

Things are pretty weird for a bit, which Lena figures is to be expected.

But then the entire next week is the same thing. It’s impossible to explain it because Lena doesn’t even get it herself. It’s not like they aren’t talking—they aren’t talking much, but they’re talking. 

Kara isn’t being cold or anything. Probably from the outside everything looks completely normal. But Lena can feel it, the distance between them, the block. She’s been connected to Kara for five years, in some deep unexplainable way. It’s like a gravitational pull, like even though they’re two separate people some unseen part of them is shared. 

So when it isn’t there anymore Lena knows it immediately.

Everyone is busy doing their own thing, and so is Kara, so really there’s not that much time to be alone with her anyway. Lena has her own things to deal with—when she’s not stuck in her office, meeting with investors and reporters and the likes, she’s in her lab. She and Kara talk, and they laugh, but there’s only a bit depth to it. It feels like surface interactions that Lena would have with anyone else. 

It would be completely fine if it wasn’t Kara.

“Okay,” Kara says finally. “Thank you, Lena.” She flashes another grin and goes over the business card contact details Lena gave to her.

“Yeah, what you gave us will help us catch the guy we’ve been looking for.” Nia smiles gratefully at her, with a thumbs up. “So it’s a rich, snobby, narcissistic guy who thinks he can get away with anything? How shocking—your old boarding school buddies are hardcore.”

Lena rolls her eyes and wrings her hands on her lap, trying not to look at Kara too much. “He’s not my buddy.”

“Nia and I should get going now,” Kara says, a distracted smile playing on her lips. “Again, thank you.”

And then it just goes back to how it was again. They talk to each other in passing, when other people are around. Lena makes visits to the DEO sometimes, for work-related matters and she helps Brainy with cases and provides input and tech. They say things like “Do you know where I can find this agent?” or “Can you help me move this equipment?” Nothing more than that.

They’re never alone, though. And their interactions feel strange.

Maybe she’s truly fucked it all up. Maybe it was naive of her to think that they’d turn out fine after everything; go back to being the same Kara and Lena, before all this, before everything. Being wrapped up in each other for months was too much, and now it’s weird and Kara is done with her.

So while Lena can’t exactly forget about what’s going on, can’t completely ignore the depressing undercurrent of weirdness, at least she has less time to think about it. And mostly she’s tired enough to fall asleep at the end of the day, so she’s kind of grateful for that.

She’s more worried about after this, when everyone is less busy and has time for each other, about what will happen when there aren’t any distractions left. About how she’ll feel when there isn’t any other choice but to face it.

It feels like she’s running from something terrifying, and no matter how fast she goes it just keeps coming faster.

 


 

Winn has been awake for twenty-six hours, something he proudly informs Lena of as he unloads the dozen or so souvenirs he bought from his suitcase. Apparently he was with James for a couple of days and went to visit his hometown.

They’re all at Nia’s apartment again for a small gathering and Lena, despite being so busy with work, is able to be here because come, Lena, Nia had said to her, we haven’t seen everyone together in a while and I’m making advance plans with you because you have the most difficult schedule out of everyone

Alex, Kelly, and Nia are out in the yard doing who knows what, while Winn is wired on alcohol—Lena isn’t sure what he drank, but she guesses lots of caffeine were involved—talking a mile a minute and hugging her in between every other sentence, smacking kisses to her cheeks. He also does the same to Kara, who’d gotten up from the couch and has not looked at Lena since.

The part that’s really extra annoying about the whole thing is that Kara looks stupidly beautiful. And she demands admiration; in the blueish light filtering in through the windows, she looks exactly like something that belongs in the sky, something celestial people worship and make myths out of; beautiful, is what Lena’s getting at, so fucking beautiful.

Lena’s whole body aches with how much she loves Kara, how sad and scared and lonely she is.

She is aware, more or less, of Brainy hovering in the background. Brainy’s answering Winn’s rapid-fire questions and talking politely but it’s like Lena can’t help but notice every single movement Kara makes, the way their bodies orient around each other in the space of the room, like opposing atoms.

Kara is keeping her distance. Even as she pays rapt attention to Brainy and Winn’s talking, Lena is aware of that.

“All right!” Winn suddenly blurts. “I have to pee so bad, talk amongst yourselves, please excuse me—”

He makes a mad dash down the hall and slams the bathroom door.

“I'm going to go check on what the others are doing outside,” Brainy says, curiously looking in the window. “I'll be back, too.”

He walks out, and now it is utterly and horrifically silent.

What’s going on. This shouldn’t be awkward, she doesn’t know why Kara is looking like that. Like—

“I should go,” Kara says, without looking at Lena.

“I mean it’s—it’s pretty late and we both drank quite a bit. You can crash on the couch.” you can crash with me.

“It’s okay, Alex is my ride home. I was mostly just staying until Winn came back, so...” Kara makes this odd shrugging jerk of a nod and that stings, just a bit. “I’ll just let you guys get caught up. I don’t want to intrude.”

“You’re—you’re not,” says Lena, frowning. “Kara—”

“It’s fine, Lena, really.”

Lena doesn’t understand. She doesn’t know what went wrong, because it’s been almost two weeks since they had that talk and it feels like it’s only getting worse with Kara. She must have missed something, something is not right, and now Kara won’t look at her.

“Okay.” Lena says, and it’s wrong, it’s all wrong, Kara isn’t supposed to look so distraught, she’s not supposed to be leaving. Even if Winn is here, Kara doesn’t have to just go like that. “You don’t have to go though? Nia said she’s fine with anyone staying the night.”

“Uh,” Winn exits of the bathroom, “am I interrupting something?”

“I’m heading out,” says Kara, the same instant Lena says, “No, you’re fine.”

Lena looks over at Kara, but Kara’s already grabbing her coat from the couch, and heading for the back door to tell the others that she’s leaving. She bids Winn goodnight with a kind smile. It’s like she can’t leave fast enough.

“See you around?” Lena asks desperately.

Kara nods. “Of course. See you.”

They stare at each other, hesitancy filling Kara’s face as she nibbles at her bottom lip. Slowly, Kara walks towards her and closes the gap between them, pulling Lena into a hug. 

“I have things to do in the morning,” Kara whispers into Lena's ear and wraps her arms around her. She rubs her hands up and down Lena's shoulders and back a little and then pulls her close, covers as much of Lena as she can with her arms. Kara does this as if to assure Lena that nothing’s wrong, she’s okay and so are they, but it does nothing to ease Lena.

And then she moves away, closes the door so gently they barely hear the lock click.

“Okay,” says Winn, “not to call you a liar, I’ve had lots of drinks and cannot be held responsible, but I feel like I was definitely interrupting something.”

 

Chapter Text

 

It’s been two weeks since she ended things with Lena and it feels like she's going through a breakup, a fucking break up. And isn’t that hilarious, missing something that wasn’t ever there? 

Kara’s currently wrapped in a blanket, surrounded by spoons of melted ice cream, knees huddled to the chest, an old rerun playing in the background.

She thinks back to yesterday, when she saw Lena at Nia’s apartment. Lena looked good. She looked great, lovely, beautiful, and Kara? Kara was—she was a fucking horrible flighty mess. Kara wasn’t lying to Lena when she said that she had things to do in the morning—she had a paper due that was assigned to her the last minute the day before, had to fly to the other side of the world to settle certain alien matters, had to feed her neighbour’s two cats because the owner’s away for the whole week.

Still, Kara knows. She knows how she’s been looking lately, how out of sorts she has been acting, but—she sees it, and feels how different Lena has been acting, too. She isn’t the only one. 

The weeks that followed that night when she ended things with Lena were tense, filled to the brim with unspoken words and lingering feelings. 

They’re still friends, of course they are, but things have changed, shifted slightly around their axis and Kara doesn’t know how to fix them. It’s like they’d broken up even though there was nothing to break. After all, they weren't in a relationship. They’re just best friends, nothing less but a whole lot more.

Kara thought the whole point of her breaking it off was that she wanted to just be best friends again. But they don’t hang out as much anymore.

When they do hang out (or see each other accidentally), it’s always just grabbing coffee between work or spending time at a mutual friend's place. Five minute interactions, barely long enough to play catch-up, and still there are silences. Still there are long moments when a space that would usually be filled with words is conspicuously empty, and neither of them seem quite sure what to do about it.

She finds one of Lena’s sweatshirts stuffed between her bed and the wall. She can tell it belongs to Lena because it says MIT UNIVERSITY and also it smells like her. Kara buries it at the bottom of her dirty laundry pile and then takes it out and smells it and hates herself. Throws the shirt into the wash to get the smell out, because she feels like a total creep, and then she spends all afternoon missing that comforting scent and Lena’s soft, soft hair.

If Kara closes her eyes, she thinks that she can still smell her, and can still feel the coolness that seems to be ever-present underneath Lena's skin. She misses her even more on nights like these, when the rain beats against the glass and the only person left at home is Kara by herself. 

Here they are, tiptoeing around each other, and Kara keeps second guessing herself every time she sees Lena keeping to herself in public social events, or L-Corp, or even CatCo, when ordinarily she would have gone up to her and given her a hug, and if no one’s around them, sneak in a kiss and take her by the hand and guide her to someplace more private. 

‘Normal’ is Kara heading to Lena’s penthouse after work and seeing Lena arrive late, planting herself on the couch or kitchen, tablet in her hands, and Kara worming her way against Lena. ‘Normal’ is Lena dozing off to Kara humming under her breath and playing with the short strands of hair above Lena’s nape. ‘Normal’ is Kara coaxing Lena to bed, tucking her in with a blanket and even though the blanket is thick and perfect, easily retains heat, Lena’s greedy and cuddly, always wants more, always tangles their legs together for more warmth. ‘Normal’ is saying goodnight to Lena, verbal or not, and in her mouth, when she presses a sloppy kiss to Lena’s lips or cheek.

They'll probably never be able to go back, because they're too not-normal to remember what it's like, to be less than lovers and more like friends.

 


 

Despite Kara’s insistence that what happened between her and Lena was not a break up, Nia sends her a Spotify link to a personalized break up playlist, complete with a play by play explanation of every song choice. There’s Soulmate by Lizzo (to feel like a bad bitch), You Are In Love by Taylor swift (for when you need to wallow), Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae (for when you want something uplifting but also need a good cry.)

As much as Kara hates to admit it, it helps a little. Not so much the music, but the fact that Nia put so much thought into trying to make her feel better. It’s a nice reminder that this—this thing with Lena isn’t the end of the world, as much as it weighs her heart down like a sinking stone.

It’s way past midnight when Alex finds her sitting on the carpeted floor of her living room, pretending to read in the light of an old lamp and barely seeing anything other than diluted colours.

“Kara, hey,” she says, softly, as if anything louder would scare her sister. She’s not entirely wrong. “Working?”

Kara nods, not paying attention to the shuffle of folders and books as her sister puts them aside to sit next to her.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Kara bites the inside of her cheek, unable to resist against the comforting arm her sister slides around her shoulders to pull her into a half-hug. She closes her eyes, leaning into the touch.

“I stopped sleeping with Lena,” she blurts out, because she wants Alex to know that she finally did it and it’s been poisoning her from the inside. Alex lets out a soft hum, accepting, not pushing for more; but Kara keeps speaking nonetheless: “It had to end, at some point.”

“Figures. Everyone’s noticed the sudden change between you two. You did the right thing,” she says, pulling Kara closer when she nods. “It’ll be alright in the long term, won’t it?”

Kara leans her head on her sister’s shoulder, and all of a sudden she is thirteen again and can’t understand why everyone’s suddenly gone.

“I—I don’t know. It should be. I hope so.”

Alex doesn’t say anything else; but she stays, quiet and solid, grounding among the whirlwind of emotions threatening to take Kara’s sanity away, offering silent reassurance. Curling into Alex's side more, Kara sighs quietly. She's comforting and warm, and like this Kara doesn't feel so empty.

 


 

They don’t see each other for one whole week. And then another week, when Kara buries herself in work with another crisis happening in the city. 

This is uncharted territory for Kara. Weeks without speaking to Lena. No texts, no spontaneous lunch or dinner, no hangouts, no film marathons and yet, still the heartache remains. When things start to quiet down, though, she thinks of visiting Lena.

She still daydreams, still thinks about Lena’s hands and face and her mouth, and about holding her close, but now they’re tinged with an extra layer of sadness that she’d never bargained for.

The last time she visited Lena’s penthouse was… a while ago, sometime before she ended things with her. At this point she only feels like she’s torturing herself. She just misses Lena and doesn’t want to have to spend any more time away from her than she already has. 

So the urge and want to see Lena, of course, wins—the night time, gravity, or something alike seems to have guided her to Lena. She gravitates to her like something inevitable. Even when they’re fighting, even when they’re at indifferences. Kara will always find herself helpless to her best friend. 

Lena’s already on the balcony when Kara touches down quietly. There’s a cautious distance between the two of them, as Lena looks at Kara with surprise on her face.

It’s silent for a couple of seconds, quiet and uncomfortable for Kara. Embarrassingly, in the end, it’s Lena who takes the initiative, starting with a, “Hey…”

Lena’s hair is down and she's wearing sweatpants and a dark blue thin sweater. She has her black-rimmed glasses on, and she looks… she looks like she always does, Kara thinks at first. It takes her a few seconds to notice that there’s something else, a couple more to see what that something is.

It’s Lena, but she seems… duller. The mischievous sparkle in her eye is missing, so is the playful smile on her lips. It becomes apparent to Kara that she's not the only one who has been feeling dampened lately.

Kara frowns, a thin line appearing between her furrowed brows.

“Hi. Um. How... how have you been?” she asks, trying her absolute hardest to sound friendly and curious and not like a spurned idiot.

“I'm fine. Managing just fine.” Lena leans against the balcony fence with her hip, rubbing her hands together. Wind blows softly up here. Green eyes are on Kara and Kara itches for the right thing to say, the right thing to do, to make everything okay.

But she doesn’t know it. So she goes quiet, and looks out into the distance, and the two of them paint a wonderful picture of discomfort. There’s something poetic, Kara thinks, about how quickly something good can crumble. All it took was a month for them to go from smiling like they understood each other to this, quiet with a wall between them.

It’s hard for Kara to tell whether Lena is happy to see her or not, since Lena has a certain control over her emotions that Kara envies. 

“Sorry for randomly coming in the middle of the night. Um,” Kara licks her lips, scratches her eyebrow. “I should probably let you rest.”

“Kara,” Lena says quickly. “It’s fine, you don’t have to leave that quickly. You just came.” And at that, Kara freezes and turns back to face Lena.

Her face softens, as well as her shoulders, and her feet stay rooted on the ground. Kara swallows.

“Right. Of course.”

“Can I ask you something?” Lena asks, her voice uncharacteristically unsure.

“What is it?”

“Why have you been avoiding me?”

Kara flinches. “I—I haven’t.”

“Yes, you have.” Lena smiles a little. It’s sad, and guilt churns at the pit of Kara’s stomach. “Are… you mad at me?” Her voice sounds so impossibly small, so unsure and hesitant and Kara feels her heart drop several storeys below before it hits the ground. 

She tries to reel in her emotions before she answers in what she hopes is a steady voice, words barely just rising above the volume of a whisper. 

“I could never be mad at you, Lena.”

“Really?” Lena asks.

Kara blinks a few times, surprised. “Yes. Lena, what made you think…?” she trails off, heart twisting in her chest.

She notices how Lena clenches and unclenches her jaw, struggling to get out what she wants to say. Lena’s eyes nervously move down to her hands, then back again to Kara’s eyes, and Kara recognizes in them an urgency that she knows well. She feels like that sometimes, when she so desperately wants to not say anything.

“Lena?”

Lena shakes her head. “It’s just—if you wanted to stop sleeping with me, that’s okay. But why don’t you come by anymore? I know just fooling around wasn’t the main reason why you always came to see me, so I can’t help but think that… if you don’t do that anymore, then I can only assume that you don’t want to be with me anymore.”

Dread floods through Kara as she looks at Lena, at the way her eyebrows have furrowed. She looks—hurt, like she’s just coming to this realization. She thinks that Kara doesn’t care about her anymore, doesn’t want her anymore. But Kara doesn’t know how to tell the entire truth, that she does want to be with Lena, just not like that.

“Lena, no, that’s not—” Kara pauses, taking a shaky breath. “That’s not it. Rao, please don’t ever think that because that isn't it at all.” Running a hand through her hair with trembling fingers, she says, “It’s just…”

“Just what?” Lena whispers. Her eyes look pleading, and Kara’s chest aches. She’s hurting Lena. She’s hurting Lena, and that’s the last thing Kara wants.

“I needed some time,” she says, not so calmly

“Time,” Lena echoes very quietly, nodding slowly. “We’re still friends, right?”

There's hurt in Lena’s voice, which only makes Kara feel even more regretful. The rush of guilt runs over her, suddenly nauseous with it. It's difficult to look away from Lena, the soft vulnerability coating her face.

“I—of course! Lena, you’re my best friend. Nothing can change that.”

Silence.

“Big fear,” Lena murmurs, rubbing her wrist. “You don’t talk to me anymore. We get more and more distant until we aren’t us anymore.”

“We’re always going to be us, Lena,” Kara says, even though this is the very thought that stabs at her, if us is who they’ve been for all these months.

She doesn’t know how to explain it. How to tell Lena that she’d needed things to change, at least for a while, until it was a size she could carry.

Lena bows her head a little, sighs. “Do you miss me?”

Kara blinks a couple of times. They hold each other’s gaze for a few quiet seconds, in which Kara hears the heavy beat of Lena’s heart.

“I miss you,” she says. “Do you miss me?”

Lena nods, fast. “I’ve missed you a lot—I miss you a lot,” she admits, correcting herself. There's something about Lena’s eyes on Kara’s that makes Kara lower her gaze, her fidgeting fingers suddenly looking too interesting.

“I’m sorry,” Kara says again, after a moment and looks back up. “Lena, I didn’t mean to avoid you and make you think that I didn’t want to be with you anymore. You have to know that.”

Eyes softening, Lena nods and pushes her hair back. And that—that shouldn’t make Kara’s throat as dry as it does, but, well, it’s still Lena. She wants to reach out and pull Lena into a hug so badly. Flushes, feeling incredibly silly when she finds herself second-guessing again, so she touches her neck, her cheek out of frustration.

Through the balcony window, she eyes at Lena’s kitchen. A white tea cup and the familiar tiny potted plant on the kitchen counter. A bottle of scotch. They were kissing in that kitchen just a month ago, cuddling on that couch. It feels like something Kara made up in her own head.

Kara flushes when her gaze lands back on Lena—Lena who is watching her curiously, wordlessly.

“If you aren’t busy, may I come in? Tea sounds lovely right now, and I—I just. I’d love to catch up on what’s been happening with you.” Kara scratches her cheek and adds, “Want you to know what's been happening with me, too.”

Lena blinks up at her in surprise, her eyes widening for the briefest of seconds. Her eyes lose a bit of their sad hue, turning even more softer at the edges and Kara feels her heart bleed for all the ways Lena allows herself to be soft. She bleeds for all the ways Lena rarely allows herself to be.

“Well, you are still under contract to help me finish these tea boxes,” Lena jokes and Kara follows her into the penthouse, smiling at the way Lena tiredly rubs her eyes behind her glasses.

 


 

There's still some awkwardness there that they can't quite manage to get rid of, but it's not a bad kind of awkwardness. It's just new, Kara thinks, like they're trying to relearn each other's habits, their routines. Like they're trying to read each other a little better, with more pages added to their stories.

Kara doesn’t write in her journal every day, but she tries to keep track of little things. If she’s done all her daily routine, if she’s drinking enough water.

And it’s melodramatic and it’s silly, but it’s her journal, and she’s allowed to be melodramatic in it, so Kara has started a new count. She writes it down, one week, and then promptly slams her notebook closed out of sheer embarrassment.

The truth is, the week has been uneventful, all things considered. Kara’s decided to channel all her sad loser energy into writing, since usually sadness and rejection and feeling lovelorn were good for that kind of thing. She wasn’t totally off-base, she’d gotten a lot done at work, but it meant it was harder to pull herself away at the end of the night. 

It meant she kept staying at work later and later, because she didn’t really want to go home to her empty apartment.

She wants to say she's forgotten the way Lena feels underneath her hands, the way her lips taste, but it's only been a month and Kara has years of love branded into her heart and underneath her skin.

 


 

All things considered, Kara has been doing pretty well holding things in. Nia doesn’t even notice something’s wrong. Or, she only asks why Kara looks like she’s about to cry three times, and leaves it at that.

She does pretty well. Until she accidentally breaks a mug in J’onn’s office, and then almost rips the fridge handle apart when she holds it.

“Woah,” Nia says, watching Kara plop down on the sofa as she rubs her face in frustration. “Woah! Kara! It’s just a mug, and the handle—it’s all good.”

“It’s not that,” Kara mutters.

“I mean. I know it’s not that. You’ve looked like a kicked puppy for like, weeks now. Which is—understandable,” Nia says. “Wanna talk about it?”

Again, Kara shakes her head. She feels exhausted all of a sudden.

“Not much to say, really. Just stuck in the same crappy situation, and I keep making mistakes.”

“Unrequited love, huh.” At this, Kara turns her head to look at Nia so fast, her eyebrows furrowing. Nia shrugs and rubs Kara’s back.

Kara opens her mouth. Hesitant. “It sucks.”

Nia hums, her smile soft, turning into something sympathetic. “Did you like the playlist I sent you? It’s pretty bomb, even Alex gave me a thumbs up after she listened to it.”

“It’s good—yeah, it’s really good.” Kara breaks into a small smile. “It did help me. Quite very thoughtful and sweet of you. Thank you, Nia.”

Nia nods, and it’s quiet for a little bit. 

“So. You ever tried telling her about it?”

“It’s complicated.”

“Always is. How, though?”

“She doesn’t date, for starters—you know that. And then we’ve been… fooling around. Well we were anyway. Not anymore. You know that, too.” Kara feels so miserable.

“Mm, ouch.”

“I’ve been in love with her for so long. Years. It took me years to realize that,” Kara says. “And then things changed and I thought I could handle it. I thought it was better than nothing.”

“It never works that way,” Nia says.

“Yeah. I know that now.”

“The thing is, though… you haven’t actually tried.”

Kara turns to look at her. “What?”

“You haven’t told her how you feel. So you don’t actually know how she feels either. You just decided for her, Kara. You basically rejected yourself.”

Kara lifts a hand up to her face to adjust her glasses. Realizes it’s not there and awkwardly puts her hand back down. 

“You missed the part where she doesn’t date.”

“People say and think a lot of things,” Nia shrugs. “Doesn’t mean they’re true. Especially when it comes to feelings.”

“I guess so…” Kara says doubtfully. Nia doesn’t get it.

“So, it was all just friends with benefits in the end, right?”

Kara nods and bites her bottom lip. She’s never talked about this with Nia.

“And I’m assuming there was some sort of agreement? Just a casual thing, no expectations, no feelings involved.”

Kara nods again.

“Okay,” Nia says slowly, eyes squinting. “So if I were having this conversation with Lena—if I asked her what your deal was, she would say you only think of her as a friend? And she’d have no idea you’re actually head over heels for her?”

“Yeah. I guess so,” Kara says.

Nia nods with a smile. “Well there you go,” she says, like it’s simple. “You’re saying one thing to her face and feeling something completely different. People are silly like that. Feelings are scary as hell.”

“It’s not the same thing.” 

It isn’t. Is it? Kara remembers it all. It’s just sex. We’re not going to be together, Kara. Those are Lena’s words, and Kara repeats it in her head. Falters, when she thinks of what she sees in Lena’s eyes every time she looks at her, or how fast Lena’s heart beats when she smiles and touches her.

“Maybe not,” Nia replies, shrugging. “But how will you ever know if you’re too scared to take a chance?”

Kara stares at her. Nia might be right. It’s possible. Maybe it isn’t probable, but it’s possible. But the problem is that Nia doesn’t know what’s at stake if Kara takes the chance and she’s wrong.

“Maybe,” Kara says weakly. “Rao, I don’t know.”

Nia brings her arm around her shoulder, patting her hair, and Kara sighs at the sensation, thinks she’s so lucky to have a friend like Nia.

“I’m sorry I’ve been out of it lately.”

“Don’t say sorry to me, Kara. You did nothing wrong. So, she’s said she doesn't love you, right?”

Shaking her head, she lets out a shaky exhale. “Yeah, not—not in that way.”

Nia tilts her head, pulling a thoughtful face. She blanks out—long enough for Kara to raise her brows, watching her curiously.

“She never told you as much.”

“No, but—“

“Have you ever thought that she may be just as scared as you? Maybe you should just tell her.”

Kara breathes unevenly. “What if I'm wrong?”

“What if you're right?” Nia’s face softens.

 


 

Standing next to a traffic light, Kara glances at her phone.

It’s just past 11:40 pm. She wanders around the city; it’s slightly quieter now, but not by much. Some people have cleared out, but Kara knows there’s a lot of night left. And there will always be those end of the night stragglers, the ones who refuse to go home until the sun peeks out, or even some she’ll wake to find sprawled haphazardly wherever they passed out.

There’s a dull thud of bass vibrating through some buildings that Kara can hear with her super hearing. She can hear the din of slurred voices, the sound of glasses clinking, as she crosses the road.

The nights are the worst. Intrusive thoughts fill her head with no distraction to keep them at bay and Kara walks around aimlessly. The more she thinks about it, the more painful sense it makes.

She can’t sleep—couldn’t. She doesn’t even know if she’s trying, really, or if she’s just walking, wandering around stewing in her own heartbreak.

What Nia had said made sense. How can Kara be sure that Lena is being honest about her feelings when Kara isn’t being honest about hers? Lena is quiet when it comes to her feelings and affections, but in action she's blatant and intense.

Nia's points makes sense logically, anyway, if Kara ignore the details. And a month ago she probably would have agreed. But now it seems so unlikely that Lena’s feelings for Kara have changed that she doesn’t know what the point is in confessing. Hearing Lena’s rejection will just twist the knife in deeper. Why bother? 

Kara thinks maybe it’s better to just let the weird distance run its course. Her chest tightens at that idea. Ultimately she knows that Lena has to know. Kara has to be honest with her.

It hurts to keep it in, to pretend, and she hurts Lena unknowingly. Kara can’t keep pretending that Lena’s not the person she wants to share everything with, the person she wants to laugh with everyday, the person she wants to wake up to every morning, the person she's not utterly, irrevocably and completely in love with.

And even after all these months, hope flares, even under the painful thump of her chest.

With a shaky hand, Kara fishes for her phone out of her pocket and starts tapping on the screen.

Kara: hey, lena. are you still awake?

The reply comes after three minutes.

Lena: Hey. Yes, just working, tinkering with a few things. What’s up?

Kara: at this time?

Kara bites her lip, frowning.

Lena: :) I can't be stopped. What about you, what are you up to?

Kara: oh um

Kara: i know it’s really late, but… i was wondering if you'd be up for a walk with me? i’m sorry if this is so sudden, i know how you are when you get in the zone. was just thinking we haven’t had those in a while

Kara: and i want to see you

Kara: you can say no!!

Lena: Don’t be sorry. You’re right, we haven’t.

Kara: yeah…

Kara: so, um. is that a yes?

Lena: I could use a break. If you can give me 20 minutes, I can meet with you. At the usual spot?

Kara: yeah, of course. i’ll see you there!

 


 

National City at night bathes in copious amounts of neon. Billboards shine in bright pink and blue, shedding light on wet pavements. Midnight looms over Kara, breaking dreams and chasing sleep away. An additional layer of melancholy, of nostalgia. All in one. 

Delivery trucks roam the streets, passing from one lane to the other as their drivers gulp down energy drinks. Some bars are starting to close their doors as they escort drunk customers, and more will soon follow as today becomes tomorrow.

Kara doesn’t really have it planned out. That would make her even more nervous than she’s trying to be, and as it is, she keeps needing to remind herself that she’s a functional adult who can tell a woman she likes her.

She doesn’t really have it planned out, really, but tonight seems like it should be the night. She’s nervous. She’s fucking nervous, and it’s—horrible. Kara should not be allowed to be nervous over her feelings for a woman she’s slept with for six months.

Time passes quietly. 

Under a flickering lamp post in the park, when Kara stands up from the bench to stretch her legs, on her left she sees a dark figure approaching her. She squints a little and realizes that it’s Lena.

Lena comes with a too big scarf wrapped around her neck and a drinking cup in her hand. She bites her bottom lip; walks the stretch of pavement between them, something intense in the way she holds Kara’s gaze. Kara’s heart beats just a little excitable, skittish… happy. Lena looks good, that’s hardly news, but still, in a long burgundy coat and form-fitting blue jeans, slightly tousled hair, most likely from the walking, and eyes glinting in the shop window lights. She’s also wearing those black-rimmed glasses that make her look younger and far from Lena Luthor, the CEO’s usual sharp and intimidating appearance.

Her hair has that curly-wavy look, and Kara wants to touch it more than she’s ever wanted anything in her entire life. Lena looks so soft.

She stops when she’s directly in front of Kara, the tips of their shoes almost touching. The cup of hot chocolate in her hand steams in the cool winter air. They still haven’t said a word. Her eyes dart to Kara’s hair, linger there, wide and full of something like awe, maybe adoration, until they drop to meet Kara’s eyes. She licks her lips, gives Kara a little smile, the corners of her lips quirking up slightly. It’s not big or toothy, and it doesn’t make her eyes crinkle in the way Kara likes, but it’s… honest. It reaches her eyes.

At the sight, Kara’s heart glows and picks up. In her greasiest voice, with a big silly (nervous) smile, she asks, “Come here often?” and tilts her head. She’s so nervous, but Lena is Lena. 

Kara can do this.

“Hi,” Lena breathes, and it's soft and absolutely elated, and right there and then Kara’s shoulders threaten to crumple. “Only when a certain ace reporter asks for me.” 

Lena’s cheeks and nose are pink from the cold. She loosens the scarf around her neck a little. In her other hand is a small plastic bag.

“Took you long enough,” Kara jokes lightly.

“Well,” Lena says, with her lips curling into a pretty smile and she steps back, bending forward in an exaggerated bow, “my sincerest apologies for being three minutes late.”

Kara laughs quietly, feeling warm warm warm all over and she has the sudden urge to reach out and hug her best friend. The wall is still there, Kara can feel it, but it doesn’t feel as high and intimidating as it did before.

“How are you gonna make it up to me?”

“I humbly offer up this extra muffin to go and hot chocolate.” Lena tinkers with the small bag and brings out the goods. She holds the muffin and the cup of hot chocolate between them for Kara to take.

Kara smiles. She wants to say you didn’t have to get me these but goes for a thank you instead and takes them. Lena is always bringing food for Kara to snack on whenever they go for a walk together. 

It’s sweet.

Taking a bite of her muffin, she begins to carve a path and Lena follows her, walking side-by-side. She has missed this so much. It’s been a while and Kara’s missed this so much—their late night walks together. With no specific destination in mind, no rush to get to somewhere and no reason for them to be not together out here.

Shops are still opened but the number of customers is low. It's funny how things always go out of focus during the early morning hours when black clings to the edges of the horizon with sharp claws and the sun has yet to appear behind the silhouettes of the skyscrapers. The night buses come into sight, taking public transport users home. During these hours everything is filled with the sense of foreign nostalgia that metropolises bring along. The kind that is a silent reminder that no matter how vast the city is, how much it stretches in all directions, every person is still ultimately lonely even if they're never truly alone.

The night air hits Kara’s face; the sky is dark and muddy. People walk past them quietly, as no one really pays mind to the woman next to her. Too absorbed and lost in their own world, no sparing second glances or much thought. The way Lena walks and carries herself—it's different, her body language and posture making a huge difference in perception, reduced to something less eye-catching.

Kara steals a quick glance. The street lights are soft, but Lena’s features as she steps under milky lights are softer.

“Thanks for coming to see me,” Kara murmurs, touching her glasses, and Rao—she’s still so nervous she doesn’t know what to do with herself. 

There’s a group of people coming down the street towards them, loud, drunk students in costumes. Lena hums and bows her head down a little as they walk past those students. 

“There’s no way I’d turn down a walk with you. I’ve missed our walks—it’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

“Yeah, it has...”

“It’s a good thing you texted,” Lena says, and in Kara’s periphery she sees Lena looking at her. “I didn't realize the time until you messaged me. Been stuck inside most of the day, so this is nice. Fresh air and exercise.”

“Fresh air and exercise,” Kara echoes and frowns, not liking that Lena has been overworking herself again. “Glad I could be of service.”

And then it’s quiet. 

Kara’s almost finished with her muffin and her hot chocolate’s half-empty. When she takes another look at Lena, she sees hands buried in pockets and breaths making little clouds. And as if Lena noticed the staring, Lena turns her head and looks at Kara back. 

Feeling her face heat up, Kara quickly averts her gaze to the road on her right and bites into her muffin.

In the distance stray dogs are barking, fighting over left-overs they found in the trash. The last train has just left the station. Street lights flicker as if warning the lost souls roaming the streets of all dangers hidden in the dark corners of this city.

Kara chucks the empty cup and muffin wrapper into the bin and continues to walk forward with Lena, towards the familiar footbridge just up ahead. With her hands now empty, Kara doesn't know what to do except talk. 

They should talk. Talking is good. Talking helps people resolve their issues and comprehend their differences. Talking can end up in hugs if Kara plays her cards right.

On the bridge, they head towards their spot. Their spot. Lena’s the first to turn right and she leans on the bridge railing, looking down. Kara mirrors her, and they both observe the highway below them.

Cars, cabs, motorcycles, and delivery trucks past by and Kara doesn’t stay away from Lena, but she doesn’t come any closer either, and even though that stagnant feeling should be a relief after so many weeks of wondering and changing and drifting together and apart, it feels oddly like they're standing at the edge of a cliff and haven't decided which way to fall.

Tightening her grip on the railing, Kara lightly clears her throat. 

“Have you eaten? You’ve eaten, right?”

A soft scoff. “Of course. What do you take me for, Kara?” Lena rubs her hands together. Kara hopes she isn’t uncomfortably cold.

“Drinking enough fluids? Watered Ouchie?”

“Ouchie?” Lena squints at her. “Please don’t tell me that’s—”

“Yup. For far too long, your tiny baby cactus has been lacking a name. So after careful thought, I've decided that her name is Ouchie now.”

“That’s a terrible pun,” Lena lets out a breath of laughter and Kara’s heart soaks up the sound. “Ouchie can't hurt you, she has no effect on your skin. Do you know how many times I’ve gotten poked by her?”

“Aw, poor baby. Loving something can hurt,” Kara says, and Lena’s eyes soften as she smiles gently at her. At that, Kara reaches up to adjust her glasses. “So, the names. I think Cuddles as a name for a cactus is also pretty cute.”

Lena visibly shudders, wincing. “Cute and deadly.”

“I’d like to see you come up with something better.”

“How about Little Prick?”

“Oh, I see what you did there,” Kara bursts into laughter and Lena grins. “So… Little Prick is her name, and she provides a little Ouchie, as a treat.”

“Oh god. Why are you such a dork?” Lena’s dimples peek out when she smiles, her eyes fond as she shakes her head. “That works. And to answer all your questions earlier, I have eaten, been drinking enough water, and have watered Little Prick. Happy?”

“Good. Just making sure.” Kara watches a large delivery truck past by them. “You know how to take care of yourself but sometimes, you just… forget to.”

Lena goes quiet and Kara can see Lena rubbing her palms again out of the corner of her eye. Unable to help herself, Kara looks at her. Lena plays with the sleeves that come up to her fingertips.

“Is it too cold out here? I can quickly run to a store and buy you a hot drink. Some stores are still open around here.” 

“No, it’s okay,” Lena says, rubs her eye behind her glasses. “It's not that bad. Thanks for the offer.”

Kara nods, biting her lip.

Lena looks soft and tired and sad and still like the most beautiful thing Kara’s ever seen. It’s cheesy. It’s also the truth. Kara’s got herself in some deep shit, she knows.

With Lena’s elbows resting on the railing as she looks at the streets, her profile, Kara thinks, is that of a drawing. Maybe it's the deep cast of midnight and the moonlight-rain quality that the lights drape her in, but Lena looks unreal the way dreams do.

It makes her pale skin stand out, and she—she glows prettily, the planes of her face simultaneously sharp and soft. Like this, under the fluorescent street lights and silver moonlight, Lena’s lashes look longer and darker than ever, lips softer and pink-red.

Kara will never get tired of looking at Lena, of taking in her fill until her heart vibrates with the need to touch. How can she stand here with Lena and not be moved by her?

Without meaning to, she releases a sharp exhale and it causes Lena to look at her. Lena shifts her weight from one foot to the other, all careful and somewhat tense in her movements, and Kara’s not sure if it’s because Lena finds the silence uncomfortable, or if she’s nervous. Kara’s not entirely sure what Lena has to be nervous about, though. Kara keeps proving herself to be a fucking mess, not someone to be nervous around.

She breaks eye contact and wonders how many times Lena has caught her staring. She wishes that she could stop doing it but she probably won't until Lena points it out.

Ridiculous.

Kara looks up at the dark sky, tapping nervously against the steel surface of the fence with her fingers. Lena can’t be kept out for too long. Kara has been stalling, dragging out the inevitable as long as possible, because she’s scared.

She’s so scared, but she also has this feeling in her chest, this desperate feeling like she needs this to happen, like—like she just needs Lena to know her heart. After all, Lena is her person. Not someone to shy and hide away from.

Starting lightly, Kara asks, very quietly, “What are you thinking about?”

Lena doesn’t answer immediately. Her gaze drifts away, follows a couple of people on the street below them; they don’t speak any language Kara recognizes—it’s alien—but their excitement is tangible.

“Well...” Lena trails off, looking a little lost. “You.”

“Oh,” Kara says softly. Seconds pass, her thumb absently pulling at her belt. “Do… do you do that a lot?” Lena gives her an inquiring look, and Kara elaborates, “Thinking about me.”

Something picks up pace, and it’s one of Kara’s favourite sounds.

“I think about you all the time,” Lena admits. Quietly, privately.

“And what do you think about?” Kara feels her cheeks darken considerably. 

For an achingly long moment, Lena is quiet. She doesn’t look at Kara as she wrings her hands.

“You, just you.” Lena's hair is a slight mess, gentle wind ruffling her hair. Quietly, Lena adds, “It's always you.”

Kara releases the breath she was apparently holding. She’s not sure what Lena means by that, and she’s trying very hard not to get ahead of herself.

Her hand finds Lena’s in mid-air and their palms slide together, fingers interlacing. It catches them by surprise and it's a perfect match, the familiarity seeping into Kara’s skin. Kara looks down as Lena’s fingers hold her hand tight, skin against skin and warmth that spreads from the tips of their fingers to their heart.

“Lena?”

“Kara, I have feelings for you,” Lena whispers, and it sounds like she’s apologizing. “I more than like you. I’m sorry.” Now she’s actually apologizing and she bites her lip, her eyes fixated on Kara’s. “I—I don’t expect you to feel the same way. I just thought you should know. That there hasn’t been a second I haven’t wanted you.”

And just like that, the metaphorical floor drops out from beneath Kara. Lena lets go of Kara’s hand.

Wait. Wait a moment—

“You—” Kara swallows. “You want—”

“Want you,” Lena murmurs, “Want you entirely. Want to—go on dates with you, raise plants with you—”

“Lena,” Kara says, blinking hard, voice hoarse and disbelieving. Her head spins at this new, unexpected turn of events, thoughts going haywire in her brain. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I didn’t think you wanted me to,” Lena says. She jerks up, like she wants to reach out, but thinks better of it and folds her hands over her chest, tugging at a stray material on her scarf. It makes Kara frown. “I guess. I didn’t want to burden you with them. You said you wanted me, and didn’t want what we had to lead to anywhere.”

Silence stretches between them as Kara watches Lena breathe. Inhale, exhale, inhale. Steady and deep like Lena is bracing herself for the worst. 

Kara lets out a stuttering sigh and swallows down what tastes like acid.

“Is that what you thought?”

Under the slanting light, Lena’s face is stricken. “I mean I didn’t want to make something complicated when it didn’t need to be. That’s all.”

“Why didn’t it need to be complicated?” Kara asks very quietly.

Lena’s mouth opens but nothing comes out. She seems to be at a loss for words, shaking her head with her lips still parted.

Kara’s face softens. “Did you think I didn’t want you to like me? That all I ever wanted was… a casual hookup with you?”

“I—well, you never said,” Lena says, the curl of her mouth a frown, now.

She’s right, and Kara is being unfair. “No, but then you just—you just assumed.” Wincing at her own words, she adds, softer, “I did, too—we both assumed things… but why didn’t you say no before, Lena? Before we started sleeping with each other. Please, tell me the truth.”

Lena’s neck is stiff as she says, “I didn’t think I could get anything more, and I—I just wanted to be with you.” Immediately, she grimaces like she can’t stand the taste of her own words coming out of her own mouth.

Kara’s heart constricts. She doesn’t move. She doesn’t, can’t, make a sound.

There’s so much to process, a whole six months of moments to look at through a completely different lens. If Kara had been more aware, if she’d paid more attention to Lena instead of being so in her head… 

Despite what Nia had suggested earlier, it still comes as a shock to Kara. 

Distantly, she doesn’t think she should be surprised. Everything is making sense, now. She’s heard it all in Lena’s voice, hasn’t she? The heaviness of want, something tender all wrapped up in the care and attention she’s given Kara.

Lena is still looking at her attentively. Kara takes in a slow inhale, deep through her nostrils. 

“Lena,” she says softly, tiredly. Lena visibly tenses up—she looks so small and scared and sad, and Kara can’t hold it anymore and pulls Lena gently into her arms. Tucks Lena into her. Lena stiffens in surprise, before melting into the hug. “I think we both messed up.”

“Yeah, we did,” Lena whispers. Wrapping her arms around Kara’s middle, she presses her face into Kara’s neck. The action causes smudge against her lenses, but she doesn’t seem to care about that.

“Is… is that okay?” Kara asks shakily. She sniffles a little, her vision blurring at the edges as she pets Lena’s hair gingerly with trembling fingers. She’d missed Lena’s scent, her touch that makes her entire body tingle with warmth. “We haven't been okay for a while. I want us to be okay.”

“Me too,” Lena says. She pushes gently on Kara’s chest, and Kara loosens her grip enough for Lena to pull back and look at her. Finally, facing those dark eyes, letting the full force of Lena’s sincere gaze erode at all the layers of her. “I want us to be okay, too,” Lena says. “I want us to be more than okay.”

It’s quiet, for a moment, both not knowing what to say or do next. Kara’s still reeling from the confession, from finding that she’s not been the only one struggling like this, but—there’s some relief in it, too, in knowing the truth. 

“Kara,” Lena whispers, her eyes brimming with tears and her lower lip trembling. At the sight, Kara’s heart squeezes in her chest. Lena takes a deep breath as Kara lifts a hand up to wipe those tears away with her thumb. “Sometimes I just can’t convince myself that anyone would ever like me genuinely—it’s not about you or what you’re capable of. I just didn’t think that you’d ever be interested in me.”

Kara sucks in a breath, collecting her emotions.

All of it makes sense. The rational, logical part of her brain is nodding along, cataloging the words. All of it makes so much sense.

“I'm good at being alone. I’m most comfortable alone. But I find that I'm also most comfortable with you,” Lena shrugs helplessly and bites her bottom lip, looking every bit vulnerable. “Why do you think I’m always waiting for you to want me again?”

There’s a moment of silence and Kara can’t breathe.

“Lena, I—”

“I'm the one who fucked up," Lena shakes her head, continuing. “I haven’t been entirely honest with you. I’m so sorry. It caught me by surprise—that first time we kissed. I wasn’t thinking straight because I wanted you so much.”

“But I'm the one who suggested it in the first place and messed everything up,” Kara says to her, her lips and hands trembling. I don’t think I can do relationships right now. I’m not looking for anything serious. I just want to be left alone. —but she knows better now. She's figured it out. “It’s not just you. We agreed we both messed up, okay?”

“But, Kara,” Lena insists, separating herself from Kara. “The blame is on me, mostly. I never said anything and I went along with it, because I just wanted to be with you.” She frowns, guarding Kara with an almost penetrating gaze. “Kara, I didn't even think I could have whatever we had for so long, you don't understand. Every time you came over to mine, or you invited me over, I would think 'this is the last time, she'll want it to stop, this won't be good enough for her for long' but I wasn't good enough to break it off.”

“Lena…”

“I just thought that, if that’s all you wanted then I could be happy too,” Lena says, her voice wobbly. “Even while knowing that you'd never want me, look my way like that, I—”

“Lena,” Kara interrupts her. Lena quiets, watching her, waiting for every single precious word now—and Kara doesn't waste words. She needs to say them so bad, she doesn’t even care if they sound like a romance movie’s worst cliché. “I always want you. And I always will. I wanted it then, and I want it now. All I want is to be with you.”

She watches as Lena shudders, pupils dilating a little in the low lighting, and wishes that they weren't on this bridge, but rather in Lena’s room all over again, with no one around, just the two of them and the shrinking distance between their expectant lips.

“You were scared. I can understand—I’ve been scared, too,” Kara says, lips turning down into a frown. “And… about what I said a long time ago, Lena? I never said I don’t do relationships,” she says quietly. “I just said I wasn’t interested—stayed away from them. Wasn’t looking for anything serious, at the time.”

There’s a careful silence.

“And now?” Lena asks.

“I want more. I want you, I want everything with you,” Kara says bluntly. These words—honest ones, fearful ones, uncertain ones—Lena needs to hear it all. No more hiding. She looks down at their fingers. At some point they had become interlaced. “I’m not the best at interpreting my own feelings and I needed some help in that department, but in the end I came to a realization that I should have come to many years ago. It took me embarrassingly long to figure it out. You’re my favourite feeling, Lena.”

“Kara...” Lena’s voice is soft, low, intimate like a lover’s. There is a look of shell-shocked wonder on her face, her eyes big and round. Kara flushes, her thumb grazing across the skin of Lena’s hand. “I want that too,” Lena says, finally, her voice cracking. “I want you. I’m in love with you.”

And, Rao—Kara wishes there was a way for her to put down into words how she feels right at this moment. She feels as if there are fireworks exploding inside of her chest, her skin rising into goosebumps just thanks to those words. She’s dumbfounded, unable to process it or say anything in reply. Lena has just told her she’s in love with her. Lena has just told her she’s in love with her.

Lena loves her. That much?

“You’re in love with me?” she asks, aware that she’s very much acting like a loser. “You love me.”

“I’m in love with you,” Lena repeats quietly, trailing a finger down Kara’s jaw before she lightly pinches Kara’s chin and brushes her thumb against the corner of her mouth. Kara’s eyes are wide. Slowly, Lena’s other hand lets go of Kara’s and it comes up. She cups Kara’s face, rests her forehead against Kara’s.

Kara takes a shaky breath, her fingers curling on Lena’s waist. Lena’s eyes hold a world of tenderness, and her smile—her smile is shy and stunning. She leans in and kisses Kara on the cheek.

“I’ve been in love with you for the past four years. I don’t know how I thought I’d be able to handle sleeping with you, no strings attached. There have always been like thirty billion strings attached when it comes to you. I love you.” Lena kisses Kara on the mouth this time, just light kisses. Kisses it and kisses it, presses her mouth against it, so sweet and warm. “I love you, Kara. I can’t believe you didn’t know that.”

She says I love you the same way she says Kara’s name.

Kara’s heart twists at the confession. “Four years… that long?”

“That long,” Lena confirms, sighing as Kara’s hand cards through her hair, and snuggles in close when Kara wraps her arms around Lena carefully, holds her carefully. Lena melts into it and tucks her face back under Kara’s chin, nose at Kara’s collar. “But unlike you, I knew.”

“I’m sorry I made you wait so long,” Kara whispers, scalding tears rolling down her own cheeks, now.

Lena pulls her head back, enough to look at Kara. Heterochromatic eyes are on Kara and a thumb wipes away the tears rolling down her cheeks. Lena smiles, soft and sweet and Kara’s heart shakes in her chest.

“You should be,” Lena lightly jokes, and Kara kisses her on the forehead and then she kisses the tip of Lena’s nose too. She lets herself stroke the slope of Lena’s cheekbone, thumb eventually stroking over Lena’s pretty mouth.

“I’m in love with you, too.” Kara exhales shakily, her heart feeling like it's going to burst.

Lena beams, the lines by her eyes deepening. It’s dazzling, brilliant, like the moon coming out from behind the clouds. Kara’s heart gets stuck on it; on Lena’s soft glow and the warm look she directs Kara’s way.

“I’m terribly in love with you, and I feel things for you that I’ve never felt for anyone.” Lena laughs wetly, and brushes her mouth over Kara’s jaw. 

The words are like a release. An undoing.

It dawns on Kara then that this really is Lena, her Lena, telling her this. Telling her that she loves her in a way she’s never loved anyone else. Kara feels like the luckiest woman in the world, and she thinks she has every damn reason to. Because Lena isn’t perfect, just like no one is. But Lena is smart, Lena is creative, Lena is lovable and loving, and everything she does is frighteningly good and sincere. 

The flickering city lights are scintillating but Kara doesn’t spare a glance to them. The billions of stars in Lena’s eyes have never shone brighter, and the world has never felt such a right, perfect place as in this very moment. In this very moment Kara falls deeper than ever, and Lena is right there, falling together with her.

“I love you, darling,” Lena keeps saying to her, each time Kara pauses to take a breath. It’s like Lena can’t quite believe she can, like the words have been caught in her throat for the past four years they’ve been together, even longer than that. “I love you.” She digs her face in the crook of Kara’s neck and holds her a little tighter.

“So…” Kara starts, biting the inside of her cheek. “You got a girlfriend now, huh?” 

This makes Lena laugh prettily, revealing her sweetest dimples, eyes fluttering closed. Her eyes are back on Kara’s soon, though.

“Do I?”

Kara flushes. “You’re my girlfriend.”

“As long as you’re mine,” Lena nods, looking at Kara with honest eyes.

“I’m yours. You're mine,” Kara replies. She bites down on her lip, smiles. It widens—really wide. Wide enough that she’s sure all of her teeth are on display. 

They stare into each other’s eyes, Kara’s heart leaping in her chest at the happiness that she can feel radiating from Lena’s stare. She probably looks the same, so stupidly joyful. She sure does feel over the fucking moon, hearing that her feelings for Lena are reciprocated. Happy—Kara feels drunk on happiness, and the best part of it is that it doesn’t seem at all fleeting. 

How could she not realize how in love they both were?

It seems so annoyingly in her face right now. Everything has always been different between her and Lena, different from how things are between the rest of their friends. Every look, every touch, every night they’ve spent awake together… Kara always assumed it was just because Lena was her best friend, but now she can see there’s more. Much, much more.

She leans in to kiss Lena, and Lena makes a tiny noise into the kiss. Lena who loves her, Lena who is her girlfriend. It feels a bit like coming home, familiar and comforting. 

Kara’s hands find the curve of Lena’s hips, pressing back lightly. There is no urgency in the way their lips move against each other, nothing sexual in the way they press their bodies closer. Kara feels Lena smiling against her lips, I love you, darling, and their mouths fit together so gently Kara’s chest aches with how full it is. 

There is a hand on her cheek as they part for long enough to look at each other, eyes sparkling with unspoken fondness, a thumb gently caressing her cheekbone as they stare until Kara claims Lena’s lips again for soft, quick kisses. 

Kissing Lena the girlfriend is a thousand times better than kissing Lena the casual hook-up and best friend. It tastes sweet when Lena dips her tongue in Kara’s mouth like she’s there to stay, it feels secure when Lena’s soft hand fans out over her lower back to pull her closer like she never wants to let Kara go. The little whimpers that escape their lips sound sensuous like always but now they’re also grounding. This is real. This is theirs. Kara can’t get enough and neither can Lena.

There’s still people out, but they all pass in that indifferent way that all city people do, and Kara lets herself kiss her girlfriend in the middle of the bridge because she knows she can, pleased at how everyone passing around them will know. Lena threads her other hand into the strands of hair framing Kara’s face, cupping the edge of her jaw, and that one point of skin to skin contact, Lena’s fingers against her face, sends a shower of sparks skittering over her skin. Electric bright as the lights igniting around them.

They pull back eventually, Kara resting her forehead against Lena’s. Her lips still tingle from the kiss, and she can’t help but let out a quiet laugh.

“You know, when I really think about it, those six months we were together? How we were… we were kind of dating.” Kara reaches up to tuck a stray lock of hair behind Lena’s ear before her hand slips lower, curling around the back of Lena’s neck.

“In theory? No. In practice? Yes… we were kind of dating,” Lena agrees, her cheeks warmly flushed.

“Well then, on purpose this time, we're doing this.” Kara grins. Unnecessarily, she says, “You’re not dating anyone. I’m not dating anyone. Let’s date.”

 

Chapter Text

 

They carve a path on the bridge, past the stairwells, past the subway entrances, past the populated streets. Tall, thin apartment buildings with scattered lights run parallel to one another on either side of the sidewalk. Below the residences, small businesses with bright, welcoming signs in baby blues and fuchsias flash to attract customers. 

It’s captivating, National City’s nightlife.

Into the quieter areas, they stumble through dark streets and alleyways with gentle laughter bubbling inside their chests, being foolish and nonsensical as they look at one another. 

There is no one in sight, and for the time being, she and Lena are, effectively, alone.

There’s a breeze that prettily tousles Lena’s hair, black curls falling over black curls. When Lena slows down a little, with a grin on her face, Kara exhales softly and smiles as she stretches her arm towards Lena with her palm open. Lena doesn't hesitate as she tangles her fingers with Kara’s. 

The concrete and sidewalks glimmer like stars and reflect off passing cars. Small puddles dyed deep green, crisp yellow, and blood-red paint the street, changing with the stoplights. Kara captures these images in her mind, stores them somewhere for her to recall later. 

They come across through quieter neighbourhoods and alleyways, running and then not running—filling the air between them with more laughter and foolishness. Kara’s heart feels as light as a butterfly wing. She gives Lena’s hand a squeeze, leading her to somewhere, a place that is more private and familiar. Where there is no noise from the outside world and where they could be just them, just be

Making a detour and into another alleyway, it’s Lena who stops first, pulling Kara into a hug. Her back hits against the brick wall as she wraps her arms around Kara’s shoulders.

“So, maybe I should’ve said yes to you flying me back instead of running back,” Lena says, burying her face in Kara’s neck. 

She lets out a quiet laugh against Kara’s skin. With her hands on Kara’s back, slipping underneath Kara’s shirt, she seems to be taking as much warmth as she can, like a cat seeking the warmest spot, as she rubs her nose on Kara’s collarbone.

Kara finds it infinitely adorable. It’s cold—really cold outside, Kara understands.

“We’re almost home,” Kara whispers, and Lena pulls her face back to look at Kara.

There’s a silence. 

Lena’s eyes widen a bit, as if to take in what Kara just said, lips parting gently.

“This feels familiar,” Lena jokes, eyes going left and right. Her cheeks go pink a little.

Running past through streets and alleyways in the middle of the night, acting like silly, carefree teenagers. Kara smiles softly. Nods.

“You know that time when we were at the bar with our friends… and when we were running back to your penthouse,” Kara mumbles, and it comes out low and gentle. She draws a long, disjointed breath, before resting her forehead against Lena’s. “That was when I really realized it. What you do to me—just how much I adore you, and think about you. I just... I've always loved you, Lena.”

Fingers clutch the fabric of Kara’s coat tightly. The familiar sound of a heart beating fast reaches Kara’s ears, and it makes Kara smile.

Lena’s eyes bore right through her, not analysing or judging; they’re contradicting, both all-knowingly and all-questioning.

“Home,” Lena repeats, quietly.

“Yes. Um.” Kara licks her lips and adjusts her glasses. “Your place. We don’t have to do anything, it’s just, you know, we should probably talk some more? Also, I kind of wanna sleep with you. Not necessarily like that, just like, sleep-sleep—”

Her breath uneven as she rambles, a terribly embarrassing, shy smile on her face, and the whole thing is gradually falling apart at the seams—Lena laughs like a music box, like pins plucking gentle clear notes out of the prongs of a steel comb, like something you really would want to put in a box and wind up over and over again. 

“I understand, but personally I would like to have sex,” Lena says, causing Kara’s thought process to halt and forgetting words exist.

Kara flushes.

Lena,” she says, biting the inside of her cheek. 

Lena only grins. Still the same Lena—of course.

“You’re so cute.”

It’s Kara who leans in first, fingers along Lena’s jaw turning her face towards her, and closing the distance between them. Lena’s mouth opens for her, exchanging slick and soft kisses.

“Rao,” Kara whispers, pulling back slightly, and exhales against Lena’s lips as she rests their foreheads together, her breath condensing into tiny effervescent clouds in the night air. 

She keeps that distance, the stillness, trying to imprint in her mind exactly how she feels, exactly how it happened. And they stay like that, just breathing for a few moments, Lena’s hands now curled into Kara’s shirt, Kara’s hand coming up to stroke Lena’s hair.

“We should keep going, your building is just right over there,” Kara says. Gently, she thumbs at the pulse that beats against Lena’s neck. Lena leans into the touch like she's starved for it.

“Okay,” Lena whispers, looking up at Kara warmly. There’s a streetlight to Lena’s right that casts a yellow hue on her face. Pretty.

And when Kara lets herself stare at Lena a little more before they get back to moving, she starts to get a little breathless—watching Lena’s expression—and Kara feels her heart knocking against her ribs, knowing that Lena feels the same way about her.

 


 

this time, with feelings

 

It turns out that Lena really meant what she said.

It’s clear in the way that Lena’s fingers move over the door knob that there's a certain urgency to her right now. She flings the door open and walks inside, Kara following close behind. 

The room is mostly dark except for the soft glow of the lamp on the bedside table and the city lights outside the window.

They're no longer dancing around each other, not even close. Kara follows her pull as if one hypnotized, her throat working visibly as they finally lock gazes.

It’s almost like the breaking of a dam, need and want flooding through their veins with the force of rushing water. A month of avoidance feels like a year, and Kara can't stop thinking about how much she's missed this person. Her person. Lena.

Kara’s still kicking her shoes off rather clumsily when Lena’s mouth finds hers again, distracting Kara from her task. Lena’s mouth is so hot and wet under hers, and Kara can’t get enough of it. Of her. She wants all of Lena.

“God—I missed you so much,” Lena murmurs against Kara’s mouth.

Her hands hold Kara’s shoulders as Kara starts walking backward in the direction of Lena's bed. Kara's been here before, and she knows the way well. She lets herself be pushed, getting lost in the feeling of Lena’s mouth against hers and her touch on her body.

Even in haste, Kara and Lena know each other like the backs of their hands. Their mouths seem to know exactly where to press, where to kiss and to lick, hands mapping out familiar contours of each other’s bodies.

Kara's shaking a little, tiny shivers like she’s cold, but she’s not. Just so, so overwhelmed.

“You okay?” Lena asks, quietly, cupping Kara's face when she pulls back.

“Yes,” Kara breathes, and she means it, even if her hand trembles in Lena’s and her heart is pounding wildly in her chest. “Very okay. More than okay.”

It’s playful. Lena has that coy smile on her lips that makes Kara lose her mind. At this point she knows exactly how to press each and every one of Kara’s buttons, and she makes sure to do so. Neck kisses as she loosens her clothes, right before taking off her own shirt and bra, letting Kara stare at her for a couple of seconds before she starts kissing down her neck.

They’ve done this so often now that it comes easily, even under the dim lights.

“Your bed, now,” Kara mutters. “I want you,” she says, pushes a peck to Lena’s lips between words, “as close as possible. So sit on me, maybe.”

Now Lena laughs endearingly, dimples appearing in her cheeks and she looks so—happy that Kara’s heart just melts.

“How could I resist that,” Lena says, but then Kara is already sitting at the edge of the bed, pulling Lena in by the waist to stand between her knees.

Undressing Lena doesn’t hurt this time because this time it’s not just fucking. It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful this time. Kara presses soft kisses on Lena’s belly as she undoes Lena’s belt, and then her pants, and pulls her closer once they’re discarded to the floor, pulls her until she’s straddling Kara's lap. 

Lena’s hands find her shoulders again. Kara smiles small and warm and leans in, rubs her cheek against Lena’s, and cranes her neck up to kiss her brow bone. The crest of her cheek, the tip of her nose, the top of her cupid’s brow, her chin, the softness under it. Down her neck, to her collarbone, up to her ear, and over her cheek again. Her hand goes up and down Lena’s side, her soft skin.

She's afraid that the other would somehow disappear between her fingers because this all just feels like a wonderful dream, but the feeling of Lena on top of her plants Kara into reality. 

This is Kara's reality.

Lena’s thighs slide farther apart until she’s fully seated in Kara’s lap, solid and soft against her, Lena's arousal coating Kara's pants. Kara groans quietly, holding Lena closer, one hand on the small of her back, the other running over Lena’s thigh.

Then Kara drops her head down a little, means to kiss Lena's chest but just rubs her face into it, holds Lena there with her hands on her sides, breathes in and out and feels how Lena is breathing, too.

They fall into a silence—gentle gentle gentle as their hands trace over each other’s skin. Lena wraps her arms around Kara’s middle, palms travelling firm and slow across her ribs and the expanse of her back over her sweater, feeling how she fits into Kara’s arms, feeling how her lithe body responds to Kara’s touch.

Lena fits perfectly in her arms. Perfect.

Eventually, Lena breaks the silence, tugs lightly at her sweater, and says, “You too, Kara.”

Lena lifts her arms so Kara can pull her sweater up and off, and then Lena's hands are on her skin again, down her spine and up her sides and over her collarbone, everywhere. Lena kisses her and touches her and Kara falls back against the mattress.

Their eyes meet and hold when Lena pulls back. She bites her lower lip, her fingers tracing the lines of Kara’s abdomen.

“What?” Kara asks breathlessly when she doesn't continue, eyes darting to her lips, then back up to her eyes when she feels Lena looking intently at her. 

“I’m not—it’s just—this isn’t just sex for me.” A pause. “It's us. You know? It's different.” Lena hesitates, searching her gaze for something. “I'm just really in love with you.”

Kara’s chest fills with a tingling, pleasant warmth, her breath hitching as an unbridled smile blooms on her face. 

“Yeah, I know. Come back here,” she says softly, tugging Lena closer and presses their mouths together. “I missed you,” Kara breathes, words muffled against Lena’s soft mouth. “Rao, I missed you so much.”

Lena melts and whimpers softly into her mouth. Kara presses her teeth into Lena’s lower lip—she loves the way it feels, the low groan that rumbles in Lena’s chest when she does it. The quietest of sounds escapes Lena, and it only serves to make Kara want to hear more—to make her feel good and loved—show her just how much she’s always wanted her.

Kara sits up, picks Lena up, and gently tosses her higher on the bed.

“Kara!” 

Lena laughs with her eyes closed, barely making a sound, flushed cherry blossom pink, that big, bright smile, and Kara is grinning too as she comes up to lie along her side, hooking her right leg over Lena’s. And Kara’s just here, like, in love, she’s completely and utterly gone and it’s only been less than an hour since the bridge.

Lena comes up and kisses her deep, moves her hand from Kara’s side to rest low on her belly. She kisses Kara’s face, and her neck, and she runs her hand over Kara’s hip, urges her left leg open to trace lines up and down the inside of her thigh.

Once they’re settled, she lifts off Lena, blinks into the dark room and turns on the red lamp. Lena smiles up at her, smiles small and prettily and familiar, and Kara has no choice but to lean down to kiss that smile, and then the tip of the nose above it.

She leans down over Lena, touching Lena’s cheekbone, just with the pads of her fingers; soft, soft. “Lena,” she whispers reverently, and her breath ghosts over Lena’s mouth. “You’re so pretty. So beautiful and so good.”

Nuzzles at Lena’s cheek until Lena brings her mouth back to hers, kisses her, lets it get deeper and more open. Lena’s fingers dig into the flesh of Kara’s back, forcing their bodies harder against each other.

“Good hands,” Kara says. “Like your hands.” She licks into Lena’s mouth, and Lena moans. “Like your mouth. Like your—mm—like your lips.”

One hand drifts over Lena’s collarbone, down the slick slope of her chest, down down down until it reaches at her breast. Kara cups, kneads, drags over the tip of Lena’s nipple, and a soft noise catches in Lena’s throat.

“Kara,” Lena says, voice deep and shaky.

“Yeah, baby?” Kara asks absently, circling a finger around one of Lena’s nipples.

“That feels good,” Lena mumbles. “Don't stop.”

Kara glances up. Lena’s got her bottom lip caught between her teeth, eyes half-closed. Her throat bobs as she swallows.

Kara sighs. “Really missed touching you, Lena.”

Lena does a full body shiver, tipping her head back as Kara’s tongue trails over her skin, moving steadily south, nipping and lightly biting down the column of her neck. And when her mouth engulfs one breast, her gaze flicks up to meet Lena’s. Lena’s eyes are fixed on hers and that makes her hum low and deep in the back of her throat. Kara laps at the hardened tip of a nipple, runs her tongue in tight circles around the edge, never once breaking eye contact.

“Fuck, Kara,” Lena says, exhaling roughly, back bowing, as if she’s trying to stuff more of herself into Kara’s mouth. Kara lets the nipple go and turns her focus to the other breast, sucking at the stiff peak until it’s as red as its twin.

And when Lena’s legs tighten around Kara, her body writhing and squirming under her, Kara comes back up to kiss her, heated—slow and deep. 

The kiss slows, angles deeper and dirtier as Kara’s palms fit around Lena’s breasts. Lena moans, humid and heavy into her mouth when Kara thumbs over her nipples. It’s broken, shaky, and the sound makes heat coil in Kara’s belly.

“Kara, please, I—I need—”

“What do you want, Lena?” she asks, quiet and close.

“I want you to make me feel the way you always do,” Lena says. She touches Kara's neck, her cheek. “I want you to make me feel like I’m never going to think about anyone else other than you.”

That does it for Kara. The look in Lena’s eyes has so much weight to it.

“I want you to fuck me like you love me,” Lena says, cheeks flushing. “Fuck me until you’re all I can think about.”

Kara feels out of breath, heart leaping inside of her chest. “I do,” she says. “Rao, do I love you.” 

Kara is a giver, and she’s always liked to please.

“I’m going to use my mouth, okay? You’re so good. Want to take care of you.”

“Okay,” Lena whispers. Her lips are parted, gaze hungry and stuck on Kara’s mouth. Wild, blown pupils, eyes hazy, cheeks flushed, lips slick. She looks every bit as strung out as she sounds.

Kara begins to kiss her way down Lena’s body, pausing to nip at Lena’s lower belly, down down until—

“Spread your legs for me, Lena.”

Lena complies, planting her feet further apart. Her body shakes and she moans, tossing her head back from the slick contact of Kara’s tongue. Kara traces Lena’s folds, dips low to circle her opening, ploughs up through the wetness to swipe at the swell of Lena’s clit. When she licks into Lena, Lena whimpers and squeezes her eyes shut—and something in Kara rears up a little, no no, I don't like that, and she says—

“I want to see you. Eyes on me, baby,” Kara says, voice low and hoarse, holding, placing a soft kiss on Lena’s inner thigh. “Look at me. Tell me who you look like this for.”

It’s sappy—Kara knows, and maybe too sappy for Lena. But Kara wants to see her, look into her eyes, and fall in love a little more. Fall in love with Lena more, but also fall in love with them and who they are together more.

Lena doesn't react for a second. She's breathing hard, her chest flushed in the lamplight. Then she seems to realize Kara’s stopped working her up, and she squirms a little and blinks back to reality.

“You,” Lena says, voice shaky and husky, “you, it's for you, I'm all yours, this is just for you.”

“Tell me who you're wet for,” Kara goads, kissing up the inside of Lena’s thighs, sucking and nipping at the tender skin there.

“You, always you, it's always been you, Kara—please.” Lena’s fingers dig into the sheets, her eyes half-lidded but still on Kara’s face, meeting her eyes. “Nobody else, just you, Kara, please—”

Kara gives Lena another long, smooth lick—making her girlfriend moan brokenly, hips jutting forward into the drag of her tongue. Lena’s hands fly to Kara’s head, her fingers tightening in Kara’s hair. 

It has Kara smothering a smile.

“Yes, yes, Kara, more,” Lena chants.

Kara goes slow, licks up the length of Lena’s slit, the salty-sweet tang of Lena. Swirling around the swell of Lena’s clit, enjoying and loving the tremble of Lena’s body, the choked out, “Oh, god, fuck” as she explores, the way Lena deeply shudders and curses again when Kara pushes inside her.

Lena’s so wet, sopping really, and she soaks Kara’s face and chin with slick arousal. And, Rao, nothing could've prepared her for the reality of touching Lena like this again. Kara groans quietly at how good it feels. She fucks Lena with her mouth, thumb on her clit, as slick arousal runs down her chin, her ears overflowing with Lena’s whimpers and hisses of pleasure.

“Oh,” Lena breathes, and bucks and squirms, fingers twisting in Kara’s hair, “oh, god, Kara. Kara—”

Kara finds it difficult to breathe. It’s been so long since they’ve done this and Kara has every inch of Lena’s body memorized but somehow, it still feels new. 

It feels new even though it’s not, Lena’s skin feels softer underneath Kara’s fingertips. The way Lena’s breaths gradually become louder, the way Kara’s heard her moan and call her name so many times and yet she almost blacks out when she hears it again.

Kara presses Lena’s restless hips to the mattress, revelling in every shaky moan and curse of encouragement. She sinks her tongue deep into Lena. Curls, strokes against fluttering walls, dragging as much of Lena’s arousal into her mouth as she can.

And Rao, it’s so nice and satisfying to hear Lena get breathier and breathier, all because of her. Kara watches the expanse of Lena’s body, the twitch of abdominal muscles, flushed skin, the rapid rise and fall of her chest. Hands no longer in Kara’s hair—one arm flung above her head, a white-knuckle grip on the pillow. Her other hand clutches at her own breast, fingers circling one nipple languidly, and it makes Kara wish her mouth could be two places at once.

Lena keeps her eyes on her, too, dark lashes, heavy, so, so pretty.

Kara doesn’t stop; she keeps her pace even though her jaw’s aching, fucking into Lena until—until Lena shakes, thighs quivering on either side of Kara’s shoulders and comes with a strangled gasp—a sticky writhing mess pressed tight to Kara’s face, shuddering and stilling for a long moment.

Kara leaves her tongue, heavy and wet, on Lena’s clit until she comes down from it. Breathes out that little sigh of satisfaction. She leaves a soft kiss against the inside of Lena’s thigh before cleaning her face using the sheets. 

It’s quiet; gentle silence settling on them. Kara rests her chin and hands on Lena’s lower belly.

When Lena’s panting turns to soft exhales and her body completely softens—relaxes, Kara chooses that moment to come up to press a soft kiss on Lena’s neck and start stroking her clit again slowly, softly.

“Darling,” Lena says quietly, reaches out to trace Kara’s jaw with her fingertips. She slides her hand across Kara’s jaw and around her neck to pull her into a soft, searching kiss. 

Kara lets herself be kissed—her lips pried gently apart by Lena. Lena tastes herself in Kara’s mouth as Kara coaxes her into another orgasm.

“Want you to come for me again, baby,” Kara whispers, and tips their foreheads together. “You look so pretty when you come. Wanna keep making you feel good.”

“But I want to touch you, too,” Lena says, just as quiet. She licks her lips—she looks so much less composed now, and Kara feels a sudden rush of pride knowing it's all her doing.

“You can, if you stay good for me. Can you do that?”

Lena bites her bottom lip and nods, tugs Kara closer and buries her face in Kara’s neck. Two fingers swipes over Lena’s clit. Circling, pressing, rubbing, as Lena lets out soft moans and whimpers. Kara slides a finger in, and Lena trembles, wraps an arm around Kara’s shoulder. When Kara adds the second, Lena releases a ragged moan against her neck, nails trailing fire on Kara’s back.

“Now. It’s been a while, hasn’t it, Lena?” Kara murmurs, kissing from the centre of Lena’s forehead to her temple. Her hand nudges against Lena's bottom lip, coaxing Lena into opening her mouth. Lena's jaw goes slack, letting the side of Kara's hand slot between her teeth.

As her only warning, Kara tells her, “Bite.”

And Lena does, uncertain at first, but then with force and a string of moans to follow when Kara adds another finger and pushes into her. One firm thrust, all the way in, until she's knuckle deep and satisfied.

“Breathe. Eyes closed,” Kara coaches, as she pushes into her, slow and deep and hard. Lena’s teeth sink into her skin, leaving reddened indents. She can feel the vibration of Lena’s low-pitched moans in her knuckles and wrist. “Breathe. Don’t think, just breathe.” 

Lena is quick to adjust. She quiets herself around Kara’s hand, but the soft whimpers continue to spill from her lips. Her eyelashes, long and pretty, fan out over her high cheekbones. Her eyes squeeze shut whenever Kara pushes in, the wrinkles on her forehead begin to smooth out with each stroke into her, calming. 

“That’s it, baby,” Kara praises, tipping her head to mouth at Lena’s neck again. Finally, she removes her dampened hand from Lena’s mouth, and says, “You’re being so good, Lena. Stay good for me.” 

Within no time, Lena’s legs are shaking. “Kara,” Lena breathes. “Oh, god. Fuck—”

Just like she missed every aspect of her relationship with Lena while they were apart, Kara missed this. She missed the closeness she feels right then, the intimacy. She feels the tightness and warmth of Lena around her. She loves the feeling of Lena’s warm, sweaty skin against her own. She loves being in between her parted legs, inside of her.

Kara’s fingers thrust hard and fast and everywhere inside of Lena, filling her from every angle and beyond every capacity. Lena stretches and pulses and shudders, and she comes and Kara keeps going, shoving her into a deeper, wetter, third orgasm, with Lena clenching and shaking around her.

“Feel so full,” Lena whines, crying out as she curls her whole body up into Kara’s. “Feels so good, feels like… fuck, can you please go faster, I need—”

Kara’s always done everything Lena asked of her, and this time is no different. She increases the rhythm and force behind her thrusts, her fingers sinking into Lena with every stroke.

“You’re so beautiful, Lena,” Kara tells her softly, looking down at her, her voice hoarse. “So beautiful. So perfect.”

The tender words are at a sharp contrast to the fast and unapologetic way she’s fucking her, but it seems to be exactly what Lena wanted to hear.

“Kara,” Lena whimpers, her heels digging into the mattress so hard Kara can feel it dip a little. She sounds like she’s close to tears. “Kara, Kara, I—”

Her come is so warm and wet, dripping all over Kara’s fingers, and Kara can't even think; she just fucks Lena through her orgasm, muffling her moans, sinking her teeth into Kara’s shoulder. Kara doesn’t mind the pain—in fact she welcomes it. Lena is trembling, gasping, little oh-oh sounds, her entire body tense and then: languid, helpless, soft against Kara’s body.

“Remember to breathe, baby.”

Lena draws in a shaky breath.

“Now one more,” Kara coaxes, tucking messy stray locks of hair behind Lena’s ear and kisses her neck just behind her ear. “Mm, that’s a good girl,” she praises, and Lena groans quietly.

Lena’s face is beautiful and wrecked. Her eyes are deep pools of darkness and her cheeks are stained pink and every time Kara pushes back into her, her eyebrows squish together and her lips push into a pout and a muffled whimper escapes from the back of her throat.

“Kara, love. Please,” Lena says hoarsely. It’s like a plea, like she’s asking for help, like she’s making sure Kara is there, that she’s going to take care of her. 

“You’re okay,” she soothes, nudging her nose with Lena’s. She touches Lena’s face and offers another soft peck and Lena’s lips part, her tongue catching on Lena’s upper lip. “I got you. I'll take care of you always, sweetheart,” she promises.

Kara keeps moving her aching fingers, keeps moving her mouth over Lena’s neck. She tastes so good and Kara feels crazy, like she could never get enough of this, could never get enough of making Lena act this way, making Lena feel this way.

“You mean so much to me, I love you so much, baby—” Kara whispers against Lena’s mouth, and—fuck, fuck, her girlfriend moans so so sweetly that Kara just melts and falls in love a little more, almost comes from the sound—just how can someone sound so hot and cute at the same time? Rao.

“Yes,” Lena says. Her hand grips at the pillow under her head, back arching prettily. “Yes, yes, yes.”

It feels so good feeling Lena around her, feeling Lena’s lips against hers, but Kara is greedy and her heart is beating so fast, body aching for Lena despite Lena being right there. She keeps her fingers going until Lena comes again with a shaky, broken moan, hiding her face in Kara’s trembling shoulder. 

Lena stops Kara’s hand, too sensitive. 

Satisfied with her work, she brings her fingers to her lips to taste the come, warmth and salt and musk. 

“Darling,” Lena slurs, and Kara realizes that Lena is watching her; that Lena saw her lick the come off her fingers. “You're—unbelievable, oh my god.”

“Tastes like you,” Kara says, wiggling her eyebrows, and laughs when Lena smiles that flustered, shy kind of smile, and slaps weakly at her shoulder. 

Lena’s breath is all over the place. Kara grab hers wrist—her pulse is all over the place too.

She grins down at Lena’s messy hair, her heavy-lidded eyes, her flushed, sweaty skin, the trail of bruises and bite marks. Lena looks blissful and thoroughly fucked and beautiful. Kara made Lena look that way. A warm pang of something delicious spikes through her.

Lena covers her eyes with her arm, recovering.

Reaching the bedside drawer, Kara grabs a bottle of water and chugs down the content. Lena makes a quiet sound behind her. Then another one, which sounds like a sniff—

“Did you say somethi—” Kara stops and turns. “Lena. Oh, no, sweetheart—are you crying? Baby, are you okay?” She sets aside the bottle, cups Lena’s face.

Lena whimpers and leans into the hands smoothing her hair from her forehead. “I’m baby?”

“Oh, Rao.”

“Sorry. I’m—I’m a mess—I’m just a little…” Lena’s voice trembles when she speaks. She shakes her head, wipes under her eyes, and gives a small, watery laugh.

Kara’s heart lurches at the sight of the wet tracks on high cheekbones, the teardrops that cling to Lena’s dark lashes. She offers Lena a small smile.

“Made you cry,” Kara murmurs. She wipes the moisture from Lena’s cheeks, lets her thumb skate across Lena’s bottom lip. Rubs the side of Lena’s nose with the tip of her own, and then their eyes catch and hold. The sheen of tears makes the green and blue of Lena’s eyes all the more vibrant.

Lena looks at her for a long, weighted moment.

Her eyes widen then, just a little. “You still haven’t…” she trails off, and starts moving—

“Relax,” Kara says, and touches Lena’s shoulder, thumb lightly rubbing her neck, and keeps her there.

Lena looks completely spent and exhausted. Her eyelids are heavy and her hair is a disaster and she’s covered in sweat and saliva and come.

But she looks up at Kara and furrows her brow. “Wanted to touch you. You need to come,” she says, touching Kara’s hand on her shoulder.

She isn’t wrong. It actually really does hurt.

“I’ll do it,” Kara tells her. “Let me clean you up and tuck you in. I’ll take care of myself later.”

“But—”

“It’s okay. You can make it up to me next time.” She wipes Lena’s face, her neck, her shoulder—cleans her up, then Kara scoots closer until they’re sharing the same pillow. She buries her fingers in Lena’s dishevelled hair, gently kneading the back of her head. Just the way Lena likes.

Lena closes her eyes and lets out a soft sigh.

“You tired me out,” she says quietly, nose scrunching up.

Kara’s smile softens. She rakes her fingers through Lena’s hair, runs her foot back and forth between Lena’s ankles. Lena makes a pleased noise, and Kara sighs in relief. She knows Lena won’t be entirely coherent for a while.

“You’re so good to me,” Lena murmurs. She looks like she wants to say more, but seems too tired to do anything more.

“You’re so good to me, too,” Kara says back, quietly, and brings the blanket up to their shoulders. She cups Lena’s cheek, then tucks a loose strand of hair behind Lena’s ear.

A silence settles, stretching for what could be minutes, and Kara begins to wonder if Lena has fallen asleep.

Exhaling softly, Kara closes her eyes. Seconds pass, and then something soft touches her mouth. Lena mouths a silent “I love you” against her lips. Hears a slight hitch, the whispered, barely audible “Kara” before Lena shifts a little, snuggles into Kara.

It's the softest and sweetest kiss of the night. As quiet as the world and as gentle as the feelings coating Kara’s insides.

 


 

Kara wakes up slowly and is still in that half-asleep, half-awake state; that position that’s somehow in-between. She first remembers, like she always does, what happened before she passed out. She remembers skin on skin and her sore hand and Lena’s pleading. She remembers the satisfaction mixing with the pleasure and the heat and the love, deep inside her belly.

And maybe because she’s familiar with the feeling and her body and brain are on autopilot, that sense of loneliness and disappointment starts to register in her head, seeping in underneath the warm head rush. That's how it always goes. She remembers that it happened, and that it was incredible, but that she was alone afterwards, and she’s alone now, pretending that she isn't in love with her best friend.

But the thing is, she isn’t alone this time. Kara is not alone at all and she no longer has to hide her feelings. She didn’t fall asleep curled into herself on the bed, caught somewhere between joy and hurt. She fell asleep curled into Lena’s warm skin and soft hair and gentle breathing.

As she starts to remember, she still isn't awake, but when she shifts her body it feels real. Lena is solid and present as Kara leans into her, burying her nose into the space beneath the nape of Lena's neck. She breathes her in and sighs—it feels good and right, so Kara leans into it even more. She pulls Lena even closer, nuzzles into the back of her head, Lena’s back snug against her front. Kara’s hand is cupped around something soft and round and squishy, and when her fingers twitch, purely reflex, Lena makes a soft, quiet noise.

Lena’s breathing is slow but she’s not asleep. Kara knows, with careful intimacy, what Lena sounds like when she is asleep.

A warm hand worms its way up to the hand Kara forgot to remove from Lena’s breast, fingers entangling for a moment before she feels her turning around to face her.

Kara’s woken up with Lena so many times before, but this time feels different. Her heart feels so full. It’s not just because it’s been a long time, but because it feels like the very first time somehow.

“Good morning,” Lena says. Her voice is gravelly, smoky. Kara feels it vibrate through her.

Their eyes meet, lock in, and Lena blinks like she’s taking everything in. The early morning sunlight catches Lena’s hair, the glow of her skin, the soft curve of her smile. What happens then could be likened to stepping into a warm light, or the spring arriving, or whatever the general consensus of the most beautiful thing in the world is. It starts with her eyes, her heterochromatic eyes, the lovely green and blue, vast and soft and gorgeous, the smile which then reaches her mouth, grows there like a flower in fast-forward, lights up her whole face, her eyes literally, and Kara does mean literally, outshining all the stars in the universe.

Kara can only just stare, in awe, in love, think, wow, and name it the eighth wonder of the world in her head.

“Good morning,” Kara replies, entranced.

Lena rubs her eyes and stretches under the blanket big and wide, spread hawk, then goes tiny tiny tiny like a cat, curling into Kara. She falls into Kara’s chest, and Kara is quick to wrap her arms around her shoulders. She smells good. Like Lena. But also like Lena and Kara—them.

Lena makes a content sigh. Kara thinks that if Lena were a cat she’d be purring right now.

“I could get used to this,” Lena says.

It’s whispery and soft, her voice crackled with the last remnants of sleep. She says it right next to Kara’s ear and then places the softest little kiss behind it. Their hearts hammering against each other disjointedly, and Kara breathes unevenly; thinks how achingly intimate this is and feels like her heart could burst.

Lena raises her head, props herself up on her forearms; they look at each other, and the words are stuck in Kara’s mouth, underneath her tongue. Lena looks at her, and for a moment Kara feels like they share the same thought; feels like everything’s there on her face to be read like an open book, feels like she’s reading the same thing off Lena’s.

In the end, neither of them says it. Lena smiles, shy and sweet, then dips her head down, kisses Kara, tentative, slow, aching. Kara keeps her eyes half open.

Lena pulls back.

“Can I appreciate you now?” she asks.

“Um… yes?” Kara is still kind of half asleep and doesn’t know what Lena is talking about.

And then Lena grins, bright and wicked, and places a finger over her lips, indicating for Kara to be quiet, and she dives under the covers and puts her mouth on Kara’s neck, and then down down down—

Good morning indeed.

 

/

 

Unfortunately, Kara doesn’t get to shower and eat breakfast with Lena, because as soon as she opens the bathroom door she gets called for an emergency. 

It’s nothing big. Just a fire breaking out in the city, that takes Kara a little over twenty minutes to wipe out and make sure everyone in the area is safe. When she gets back, she sees Lena before Lena sees her, in the kitchen setting her cup of tea down.

Lena’s dressed in her customary wine red three piece suit, neat and sleek, and her hair is tied into a ponytail. She’s wearing black high heels, and Kara thinks, wow, they're ridiculously high. With each step she makes, it cracks against the floor like a whip.

Lena looks sharp and beautiful and like starlight, and Kara almost trips on air as she makes her way towards her.

“I want to hug you so bad, but I haven’t had a shower and I just spent twenty minutes putting out fire. I stink.” Kara scrunches her nose as she sits on the stool behind the counter.

Lena laughs and pushes the plate full of pancakes towards Kara. “This is something I’m going to have to get used to, hm? You having to run off at any given moment,” she says lightly with amusement in her eyes. As Lena checks the time on her watch, Kara takes a bite of her pancake. “Oh, no. I have to go. Early meeting.”

“Remember the times when we kept telling each other how we'd be too busy for relationships.” Kara's eyes soften as Lena walks towards her, moving effortlessly in her high heels. “That our lives are too abnormal for such things. But look at us.”

“That’s right.” Lena hums, head tilting a little. She pauses. “This isn’t anything new to us—we don’t have to get used to anything. We’ve always been like this… we always made things work.”

It’s true, and Kara really does feel embarrassed, cringing inwardly as she recalls everything she’s said to Lena in the past.

“All this time, we’ve been saying things when our actions have been completely opposite.” Kara chuckles and looks down at her lap, scratching her cheek. “It’s just, looking back—all the things I’ve said? Thinking about it makes me feel silly.”

“I’ve said things, too,” Lena whispers.

Kara looks up when Lena takes her hand into hers, thumb brushing her knuckle.

“I’ve said things, deflected and dodged questions,” Lena continues. “I was scared of saying too much, scared of ruining things and somehow being faced with rejection.”

Kara lets out a shaky breath. If one of them had taken the first step they could have avoided all the pain.

They’re not perfect. Kara is scared, too, and Lena is maybe too much of a martyr; she’ll put Kara's comfort and security before anything, even herself, and if Kara isn’t careful she’ll end up letting her. That nearly happened yesterday. That nearly took all this away.

Lena is it for her. She wants her forever. So starting today, she’s going to be brave.

“Unbelievable,” Kara says.

We are unbelievable,” Lena says, dimples peeking out around her grin. “I can’t believe we danced around each other for so long and neither of us said anything.”

Kara groans. “Fools,” she agrees.

That pulls a smirk out of Lena. It softens a touch when Kara flushes. “I’m honestly embarrassed, too, so I try not to think about it. In the end you got the girl, and that’s what’s important.”

“You got the girl, too,” Kara says. “You beat me to confessing first…”

Lena’s eyes are crescented and smile stretched and shaped in a way that doesn’t turn up like most smiles do. The smile turns into a gentle tug of her bottom lip, a shyness peeking through. There’s that softness in her eyes—a side of her few see. A side tucked away for more intimate moments like this.

It’s intimate by the way the atmosphere stills for them, the way Kara’s heart beats in her chest despite everything else around them slowing down.

She loves Lena. She’s known that for years.

She’s in love with Lena, too. She’s only known that for a few months.

Her heart beat and the back and forth of the gentle waves are the only constants and it’s the calmest she’s felt in months. 

Lena suddenly freezes and checks her time again. “I have to go now, darling.”

“Okay, go kick some butt. I’ll see you after work?” Kara smiles impossibly soft when she hears Lena’s heartbeat pick up its pace.

“After work,” Lena echoes softly. She nods. “Yeah.”

“Ah, wait.” 

Before Lena turns to leave, Kara reaches for Lena’s hand, stopping her best friend from leaving. Instead of going for a hug, she cups the side of Lena’s face and presses a soft kiss to Lena’s lips. Squeezes her shoulder, and then pulls back.

“Okay,” Kara murmurs. Her chest seems to dip in, all the air leaving her lungs, and the smile that blooms over her face is brilliant. “You can go now.”

Lena blinks slow, and then, very quietly chuckles—her smile turning quizzical as she looks at Kara’s face.

“Why do you look like that?”

“It’s just, remember all those times when we’d accidentally kiss each other on the mouth instead of our cheeks?” Kara can't stop smiling as thinks about it. “Wow, we’re actually unintentionally really funny.”

“I—Kara, please.” Lena’s cheeks turn pink, and Kara beams at it. “No more recalling embarrassing things.”

“No more accidental kisses. Only intentional girlfriend kisses,” Kara says, grinning lazily, and leans in again, giving one pink cheeked Luthor a final kiss before they part ways.

 


 

Kara Danvers isn’t nervous.

She had another amazing morning with Lena, making out in the bed, in the shower, in the kitchen, and then in the car. They also had a great time scrolling through silly posts and videos together and spamming the group chat consisting of Alex, Kelly, Nia, Brainy, and Winn. In Lena’s car, they jammed to N’Sync and Taylor Swift, and they held hands. They also sent a photo of them pulling happy and funny faces along with a caption that only said ‘hey, guess what’ to Alex, and before Alex could even reply, they immediately warned her to keep it hush hush with her life at least until tonight, otherwise they’d paint flowers on her treasured motorbike.

Alex, after a hurricane of text messages of what??, is this real life, you’re not joking right, oh my god, tells Kara and Lena she can definitely do that, but she can't guarantee it won't spill out of her mouth with Kelly.

There are already people inside Alex’s apartment—there is chatter, glasses clinking, and music playing in the background.

Good. That's—really good.

They’re about to find out, and Kara is pretty sure it’s going to be hilarious; she is also not nervous about this—

“Oh hey, Lena is here!” Kelly exclaims, excitedly waving her hand at someone behind Kara, and Kara’s heart does a weird pirouette. It pounds against her chest, probably beating twice the normal speed. Her cheeks heat up, and so do her ears, and she repeatedly tells herself it must be the wine.

Okay, so maybe she is a little nervous after all. Kara touches her glasses, shifts a little.

“Hey, guys,” Lena says once she’s in the room. Kara keeps a straight face, tries to seem nonchalant because that was their plan, but she can’t help but freeze in surprise when Lena’s hand lands on her forearm and squeezes it. Her hand travels up, and her thumb does a little fucking move, stroking Kara’s neck. “Sorry I’m a little late—I got stuck in traffic and I had to find parking around the other block. How are you, Kara?”

“Lena, hey,” Kara starts, smiling as she turns to face Lena. She brings her own hand over to the one Lena placed on her shoulder, squeezes it, and after that, Lena leans in to greet her with a kiss on the lips, just like they said they would do.

Kara means to keep it a short and sweet kiss, like a natural greeting between lovers, but then she gets a little too into it, and she cups Lena’s cheek with her other hand as she kisses her for a moment too long.

It's light and doesn’t go on long enough that it’s impolite, though. Lena rubs Kara's neck (which is turning a light shade of red), and she smiles at Kara as she pulls back.

The chatter has stopped, and so has the music playing in the background. The silence in the living room is deafening—Kara doesn’t even have to look around to know that everyone (except Alex and maybe Nia, too) has their jaw on the floor, eyes bulging.

“Sorry,” Kara apologizes with a shy smile, and Lena waves a hand dismissively at her as Kara scoots over to make room for her.

“It’s okay. Did you just get here?”

“Yeah! How was your day? Got to spend time in the lab?”

“Yes, but time went by too fast, so I found myself buried in meetings towards the end of the day. Made a lot of progress, too, with that prototype I was talking about earlier. How about you?” Lena asks her, and Kara can’t help but be impressed by her acting. She's a natural. The pretty dusting of pink high on her cheeks are the only giveaway.

“Aw, really? That's great! Ugh, my day was boring,” she says, looking at Lena as she takes her hand over her thigh. Kara knows that Lena always runs cold, and it’s a chilly evening, so she squeezes it, hoping the gesture will warm her up if only a little. No one's said a thing yet, and it’s just as funny as it is worrisome, but she goes on like no one's losing their minds. “I mean, it was kind of weird and super quiet today. At CatCo, you know it's always busy, but today was—“

“—wait a damn minute, hold up,” someone blurts, his voice loud and panicky through Kara’s lame small talk and Lena’s laughter. It’s Winn, who is sitting with Kelly and Alex on the other couch, just on their right side.

Kara looks at them and she can barely contain her smile and laughter. Brainy looks hilarious, frozen stiff with his eyes wider than they have ever been. Kelly is leaning forward on her seat, as if she can't believe what's happening right in front of her, and Winn only blinks and blinks, looking like he's still trying to process. Nia opens a packet of chips, and it makes a loud crackling noise. She makes an oh, shit, that came off too loud look.

“Am I going mad, or—or did you guys—did you kiss? You saw it?” Winn asks Alex, but then he turns to the others. “Guys, they kissed, right? On the lips? Tell me you saw it too—”

“No, no, I saw it too, Winn,” Brainy says, and he hasn't stopped looking at Kara and Lena, eyes moving back and forth rapidly.

“Okay, cool, cool, cool.” Winn nods his head, his brow furrowed, and Kara swears that she can see the gears in his brain turning. And then: “Wait. I mean—are you guys just back to sleeping with each other, or... you know, are you guys together together?”

Brainy squints at him, and then at Kara and Lena. “Together together?”

Kara grins excitedly.

“Oh? Wow, holy shit. I—Finally,” Winn says, recovering his speech with a grin. In fact, he looks borderline smug, like he got it all figured out in seconds. Nia goes ’oh snap’ next to him. “Like, let me just ignore the past four-ish years and talk about the past month. The breakup? Seeing you two being so awkward with each other, tiptoeing around, like. Those were dark times, I tell you. Dark times!”

Brainy looks like he’s thinking hard.

“What is it, Brainy? You've never noticed how Lena looks at Kara?” Alex says, wrinkling her nose. 

“No, I'm not that lost, Alex, but—what? How does Lena look at Kara?”

“Like she wants to, I don’t know. Eat her alive? And then cuddle her afterwards?” she shrugs. “They're kind of weird like that.”

Kara blinks fast, flushing. Lena's fast heartbeat reaches her ears.

“I have no idea what that even looks like,” Brainy says.

Kelly practically squeals. “We can finally go on double dates!”

“—hold up, hold up, you knew about this?” Winn turns to look at Alex, looking and sounding like he got betrayed in the worst possible way.

Alex just shrugs, twirling her beer in her hand.

“Why do you look so surprised? I’m her sister,” she says smugly. “And that's a big yes to the double dates, Kelly!”

“Don’t listen to her, we only told her a few hours ago,” Lena mentions, smirking.

“I always knew you had the hots for my sister, but geez.” Alex huffs loudly—it took you this long, Luthor, this fucking long—and throws a cushion at Lena. Lena catches it easily.

Kara snickers at that, not as embarrassed as she is amused by the chaos. Lena squeezes her arm and moves closer so she can lean her head on her shoulder, comfortably, like she belongs there.

“Alright, that's enough!” Nia clasps her hands together, a wicked grin on her face. “Now that everyone finally knows, it's time for all the losers to pay up. I want it all by cash, thank you.”

Winn literally screams, and it startles Brainy. “Don't tell me, are you talking about—? Holy crap, Nia. Come on, that bet is like, five years old?”

“Okay, and? This bet doesn’t have an expiry date,” Nia quips.

Alex has a grim look on her face and she looks down at her trembling hands, quietly cursing a fuck under her breath.

“A bet.” Kara balks. “Wait, you guys bet on our relationship? Nia!”

“Hey, I’m not the person who started it. Look at the miserable one over there with her hands in her hair, rethinking her life decisions.”

Kara yelps. “Alex started it?!”

“But seriously, Kara, Lena, I’m happy for you two.” Nia’s smile is warm and genuine, but there’s a glint in her eye. “It’s been a long time coming—and, hey, don’t look at me like that, Alex. You were the one who started it. You, Winn, and Sam are the OG members.”

Alex sighs. “I love you, Kara and Lena—I’m truly happy for you guys. We all are. But god,” she mutters, half-smiling, half-wincing. “I had forgotten about that bet. Fuuuck, I don't know what to do with myself.”

“Hold on a moment,” Brainy says, calmly standing up. “Nia, you probably saw this coming. This is cheating. You—you have the power of precognition.”

“No, I really didn’t see it coming,” Nia tells him with a grin. “I placed my bets way before I got to learn how to use my powers.”

Brainy bites his bottom lip, shooting Nia a skeptical look.

“Aw, lighten up. Just because you didn’t see this coming, considering you’re from the future.”

Winn wheezes at that, while Brainy just deflates with a cute frown on his face.

Nia smiles, pats him on the head. “Anyway, Winn and Sam guessed it’d take Kara and Lena less than two years,” she explains smoothly, earning a grumpy glare from Winn. “Alex, Brainy, and Kelly, three. I’m the only one who said four and over.” 

And with that, Nia hastily clicks her fingers at the groaning losers’ way, making sure they don’t forget to hand those bills later.

“Alex,” Kelly mutters, sighing. “Call Sam.”

“Fuck,” Alex says, and pulls her phone out of her pocket. “Sam, hey? Guess what...”

“Well, I want to die,” Lena says. 

“A betting pool,” Kara mumbles, disbelieving. She makes a quick, terrified eye contact with Lena, who looks like she wants to melt into the floor, then lets her head droop, shooting angry puppy eyes in the instigator’s (Alex) direction. “It’s... okay. This is fine. They would’ve found out... either way.”

“Oh my god,” Lena says, smushing her face into Kara’s shoulder. She starts laughing weakly, despite herself, and Kara joins in a moment later.

Maybe it was obvious—them ending up together.

Maybe it had always been obvious, but Kara had always been too comfortable with their friendship to see it. Rao.

It’s a little later when everything starts to quiet.

Right now, in the dim light of the TV, with everyone curled in the faded couches, are really some of the happiest times, Kara thinks. Alex, Kelly, and Winn are shoved together onto the couch, Winn’s arms clutched protectively over the popcorn that is ten light years away from Kara because as Winn puts it: “You guys are going to be gross anyways. We’re lonely so we’re keeping the popcorn.”

“Hey, I have a girlfriend.” Alex had huffed but that’s beside the point, making Kelly laugh.

On the other smaller couch, Nia snores softly, long fallen asleep after ten minutes of the movie, head lolling onto Brainy’s shoulder; while Brainy’s eyes are glued to the TV, making slight, excited jerks when something happens. Their legs are a tangle of limbs. You wouldn’t know where one started and which one ended.

Then there’s Kara and Lena. Lena’s not watching the movie, Kara can see her watching her out of the corner of her eyes. Eyes curved into slight crescents.

“Hey,” Kara says, chest warm, warm, warm.

“Hi,” Lena replies, voice gentle. She turns to grin at her, yawns a little, then leans in to tuck her face in Kara’s neck. Kara cups her cheek, strokes it.

“Stop being gross!” Winn says around a gigantic mouthful of popcorn.

Kara merely pokes her tongue at Winn before reaching down to tangle their fingers in a mess that was theirs.

“Sleepy?” Kara asks quietly.

“A little,” Lena says, just as quietly. “Just a little tired.”

Kara bites her bottom lip. “Lena Luthor,” she says, so softly, so carefully, almost choking on it. Clears her throat, then asks, “Do you think Winn is right?”

“About what?”

“That we’re disgusting?”

“Definitely.”

 

/

 

“Okay, you can let me out, guys. I promise I’m civil. The most peaceful person.”

“You tried to jump Nia just two minutes ago,” Kelly says, slipping the doorknob she removed from the inside of the bathroom door into her pocket. “Winn, I promise you this is for your safety.”

“Yeah, I know, Nia needs all the safety she can get,” Winn grumbles on the other side of the door. “I get it.”

“I meant your safety,” Kelly says. “Nia would kick your ass, let’s be honest here.”

“Kelly, I have gadgets, resilience, and sharp nails,” Winn huffs. Kara, standing next to Lena, makes a face.

“Winn.” Lena makes a pained sound. “You don't cut your nails?”

Winn groans, ignoring Lena. “I’d claw my way out of here if it wasn’t for Alex's painting on the door. I can’t ruin this pretty masterpiece. You should thank Alex for your life, Nia.”

Everyone turns to Nia, who’s sitting on the couch and eating popcorn, looking extremely cozy and completely unbothered.

“Thank you, Alex,” Nia says.

“No problem,” Alex says. She blinks, still trying to figure out what the fuck is happening.

Kelly sighs.

“Alright. Will you promise not to fight if I let you out?”

“Kelly, my fight is not with you,” Winn says solemnly.

“Try again,” Kelly says drily.

“Okay, fine,” Winn moans, “I won’t fight. Probably. Maybe.”

Brainy leans over to Nia, munching on popcorn. “Why is he being like this? All you did was win against him in pictionary.”

Nia smirks. “I maybe used my powers to win, too. If you saw how everything happened, well—his reaction is understandable. Plus, he had some Four Loko.”

Winn whines.

“Winn, look at the painting on the door, maybe it’ll calm you down,” Kara suggests.

“It’s the one with the huge thunder, that might not help,” Lena remarks, drumming her fingers against her hips. “Kara, Kelly, we locked him into the wrong bathroom.”

Eventually, Kelly lets Winn out of the bathroom and the latter spends a good portion of the evening glaring at Nia and muttering under his breath, even when they squeeze around the kitchen table to eat.

“You're such a baby,” Nia says drily, and before Winn opens his mouth, she says, “Let me apologize. I’ll buy you food for a week—anything you want off the Noonan’s menu.”

Winn glares at her for a couple of seconds, biting his bottom lip, thinking about it.

Alex just shakes her head and sighs, looping an arm around Kelly’s neck. 

“What the hell, guys. You’re all adults,” Alex says. “This is supposed to be a bonding activity.”

 


 

Generally, this is how one of Kara’s days goes: she drags herself up early enough to watch the sun touch the edge of sky, gentle pink unfurling over the world as she grumbles and bangs around and tries to wake all the way up; she breathes deep and meets Lena by the street side bus stop and they go for coffee (they take turns bringing each other muffins and sweets, sticky and crumbly and delicious); she goes to work, has a decent time, switches to her suit and goes patrolling; she crashes Lena’s office hours, makes her laugh and goads her into drinking water and eating some snacks; they walk under the evening sky together, too; later, at night, she confesses her secret shames, all the biting bits of her day that are hard to talk about anywhere other than under the covers; Lena does the same.

And so, as they say, it goes. All the touches turn into something closer to casual domesticity; eventually, Lena stops texting to ask if they’re going to meet up—they just do.

Being with Lena has always felt easy, has always been comfortable. With Lena, Kara isn't just a superpowered alien; she isn't a public figure or the upbeat, positive presence in every group of friends. She doesn't have to be brave or strong or funny or cautious. With Lena, Kara is simply herself; no airs and graces, no pretence. 

Being with Lena is late night conversations and belly-aching laughter. It's the steady, rapid beating of her pulse against her chest and fingertips as Lena and Kara lie down side by side and listen to music through a shared pair of earphones. It's binge-eating their favourite snacks and slacking off of work to giggle into each other's shoulders without any guilt or remorse. It's gentle breezes and silver-blue moonlight that paints their skins copper under the streetlights as they walk to the convenience store and back at two in the morning, talking about everything and nothing. 

Currently, Kara has her hands folded over her belly, the sweet aftertaste of uninhibited laughter still sitting on her tongue long after the two of them have gone quiet. Lena’s breathing is shallow and slow, a sure sign that she's drifting somewhere between the realms of sleep and wakefulness. 

They’re both sat on the carpeted floor, their backs leaning against the couch.

It's a calm moment, quiet contentment blanketing them warmly despite the December chill. 

Depending on the season and the hour of the night, the different phases of the moon tended to bathe them in different shades of orange and blue. Tonight, the moon is full, and the light that scatters over Lena’s pretty features is a greyish blue. 

Shifting a little, Kara turns to look down at Lena, a fond smile playing over her lips. She lets a few moments pass by in silence, gaze traveling down her girlfriend's features and over her closed eyes. Long, long lashes dust over the highs of Lena's cheekbones, and Kara's eyes follow them further down to her nose, and to the prominent cupid's bow of her lips; Kara's eyes trace over everything that makes Lena irresistible. 

“Lena,” she calls out softly, pulling Lena from her sleep induced haze. “Wake up, pretty.”

Immediately, Lena’s lips curve down into a pout, the bridge of her nose scrunching up a little. She whines softly and Kara chuckles, leaning in and pressing her mouth to the soft curve of Lena's cheek. 

“‘Time is it,” Lena asks, still not opening her eyes. Her hand finds Kara’s shoulder, finger stilling there, a small frown appearing on her face as she keeps her fingerpad pressed steadily against Kara’s skin. It's a constant, Kara thinks, a physical reminder that Lena is there with her; not that she needs one, but it's their thing.

They like to touch. And it's not anything sexual or possessive, not at all. But when they're together, they like to touch each other. Kara likes to have her hand on Lena’s thigh, Lena likes to run her fingertips over Kara’s forearm. Lena’s presence alone is enough to make Kara feel at ease, but her touch is a constant reminder that she's there, and that she's hers.

“Late. You can’t sleep on the floor. Even with me as your pillow, you’ll wake up with a sore back.”

Lena only makes a quiet noise, ‘m too sleepy and I’m comfortable like this, and just tucks her face into Kara’s neck.

“You always smell so good,” Lena murmurs helplessly, unmoving.

“Lena,” Kara tries again. She nuzzles her nose against Lena’s temple, pulls back, then tucks a loose strand of hair behind Lena’s ear. “Babe…”

Suddenly, Kara hears the sound of Lena’s heart picking up pace.

Lena shifts in Kara’s arms, looks up at Kara, a light red high on her cheeks. “Carry me to bed?” she whispers, and then Kara shakes her head with a fond smile before scooping Lena up.

 


 

The apartment building is quiet when Kara closes the door, locking it. With her personal laptop in hand, she starts walking towards the elevator.

“Kara! Sweetie, hey,” a deep, gentle voice calls out behind her. Kara turns around, and immediately, her face softens at the sight.

“Ah, if it isn’t my favourite neighbour,” Kara says, and the older woman chuckles, giving her a hand wave in the air. She carries a box of cat food over her chest and her keys are in the keyhole of the door, just hanging there. It looks like she just got back from grocery shopping.

“You’re about to leave? It’s been hard to catch you lately, Kara.” Friendly Old Neighbour tilts her head, eyeing her laptop. “I miss bothering you at your doorstep and shoving large portions of food into your hand.”

“Aw, golly.” Kara scratches her cheek, grins a little bit. “I miss your cooking.”

“Has work been okay? Have you been feeding yourself properly?” Her eyes are scrutinizing, and it kind of confuses Kara, as well as makes her nervous.

“Oh. Yes! Everything’s fine on my end.” Kara adjusts her glasses, smiles shy. “I’ve been staying mostly over at my best friend’s place. Doing my work stuff. Eating and sleeping there. Yeah.”

The older woman studies her for a long, single moment. Then smiles as if she’s about to tell a secret, narrows her eyes, and asks, “Are we still going to call her that?”

It’s quiet, and Kara’s eyes widen.

She breathes out a laugh, her free hand pawing the nape of her neck. “Okay, you got me. It's not like I was trying to keep it a secret. She—Lena, she’s… my girlfriend now.” Kara licks her lips. “My person. Yeah.”

The lady’s smile widens, delighted and bright, and nods as if she isn’t surprised at the turn of events at all.

“Well, this sucks. Pros: Kara has a girlfriend. Con: who’s going to be my guinea pig, eating and testing my cooking now?”

Kara gasps. “Hey,” she protests. “I’m still your girl for that.”

“Well,” the older woman says after a moment, regarding Kara warmly. She nods. “Congrats, Kara. I’m happy for you. I like that Luthor girl—she seems really sweet and lovely.”

Kara flushes. “She is. Sweet and lovely, I mean. Thank you.”

“Oh, and before you make your way to your girlfriend’s—I assume that’s where you’re headed to now—let me pack you up some food? I cooked earlier.” Her neighbour finally twists the key in her lock and opens the door. “Please tell me your girl likes pasta.”

Kara’s face instantly brightens at the thought of home-made pasta. She grins, nodding fast—Lena likes pasta, too. Who doesn’t like pasta?

 


 

The hallway is silent, dim light shining through from under the different door cracks of each room. Kara's footsteps are light against the floor, tapping gently as she makes her way to the door on the left, right down the hall. She hums as she makes her way towards the said room, excited to finally settle down in the comfort of love, after a long day.

It's not even her home—but. She prefers it anyway, this place is bigger, warmer, more comfortable. This place has the solace of familiarity, knowing she can rest her heart in the palms of someone who will always hold it ever so gently. This place has something—someone—that her own place doesn't have. Someone who has love to give, someone who has a warm heart. Someone to come home to, when everyone else has gone home.

In the private elevator, she places her palm on the biometric scanner. It recognizes her finger prints, lights green, indicating that she has access to the highest floor of the building. She steps out of the escalator once the door opens, arriving at her destination.

Making her way through another hallway, she opens the door and is greeted with Lena's back towards her, sitting on the sofa facing her monitors. Lena has her tablet on the coffee table, a book in her hand. Kara smiles, the sight of Lena just reading a book makes her heart warm. She's so focused on her book that she hasn't heard the door open—which means she doesn't know Kara's here.

“Lena,” she finally calls softly, careful not to startle her girlfriend.

Lena looks towards the door, face breaking into a soft smile as she spots Kara standing there. “Kara,” she answers.

“Hi,” Kara murmurs, walking to the couch. “You’re home early.” Early as in, not really early—Lena worked normal office hours. Early as in, she didn’t stay back today to work overtime like she usually does.

“Yeah,” Lena mumbles. “You said you were coming home right after work.” Home. Kara’s heart leaps in her chest.

Lena rubs her eyes behind her glasses, then takes her glasses off. Places the book gently onto the stand next to the sofa, and then turns to Kara opening her arms wide. Kara goes willingly, curling herself up next to Lena. When she's settled into a comfortable position, she slips her hand into Lena's. Stroking the back of Lena's hand, she massages it gently. She knows that Lena's hands often cramp up after clutching a book for too long, fingers frozen in one position.

“Here I am.” Kara hums. “Have you eaten?”

“No, not yet. Was waiting for you.”

“Oh.”

Lena interlaces their fingers. Kara squeezes it and brings their joined hands to her mouth, kissing the back of Lena’s. It’s easily one of Kara’s favourite things about this; just holding Lena’s hand. She doesn’t care how lame it might sound. She likes holding hands. Loves holding Lena’s.

When Lena looks up from their joined hands, Kara’s looking back at her, her smile impossibly soft, and Kara feels light-headed, wind-swept, kind of like she’s been falling for a long time, is still falling.

It’s quiet for a while, until Lena says, quietly, “Kara? I don’t want you to think you have to take care of me.”

“I don’t think that. I don’t think I could ever think that. You take such good care of you.”

“I want you to—take care of me. I do want that,” Lena says, sitting up a little straighter. “And I want to take care of you. But I don’t want you to think that I…need you. Is that…”

Kara holds their hands close against her chest. “Yeah. Yeah, okay.”

“That’s why I want to be with you. One of the reasons.” Lena smiles, small and gentle, all pink cheeked and pretty. “You take care of people, and you love with everything. And I like that. I’m just—I’m afraid to need that. Afraid of what I’d do to you by needing that.”

“I’m not afraid of what you’d do to me.” Kara lifts their hands, kisses Lena’s fingers. “I’m afraid of what I might do to you. But hey, maybe if we’re afraid, it means we’ll be careful, and there won’t be anything to be afraid of.”

Lena's eyes are bright with fond amusement. She bends her head forward, and Kara mirrors her, until their foreheads touch. “I really, really like you.”

Kara’s heart is so full she feels like she can barely carry the weight of it. 

She clears her throat. “So, um. I kind of have a bad track record of relationships. I don’t know how to be in one, and I’m not sure I know how to be a good girlfriend,” she says quietly, into the space between their lips. “I don’t know if I know how.”

Lena shakes her head and squeezes her hand. “Honestly, I just want what we already had. I want you to be you. You don’t have to be anything different, you don’t have to change anything about yourself, or anything about the way you act.”

Kara’s lips part slightly. She flushes.

“Just be you,” Lena says, almost pleads. “Be you, because…” Her heart is full, so full of affection that it has no choice but to spill over into her words. “Because I’m in love with you. I’m in love with you, exactly the way you are. You treat me well.” 

“That’s sweet,” Kara says with a smile. “You’re sweet. You treat me well, too. Things will be different now. In a good way, I think. But different. There’ll be times I don’t know what to do. I know you feel the same way as me when it comes to this stuff, but we can learn together.”

“Yeah.” Lena hums. Her eyes flick down, and back up. “I guess the difference will be—knowing? Not just feeling, but knowing. That we can count on each other, and we’re in this all the way.”

“You can lean on me.” She nudges Lena’s nose with her. “And I can lean on you.”

Lena presses her lips to Kara’s. “Yeah. And it’s okay if you don’t know.” She chuckles under her breath. “Just talk to me. We’ll figure things out together.”

“Yeah,” Kara breathes, and holds Lena even tighter. Lena doesn't move for a moment. Then she lets out a quiet, shaky breath and moves one hand to the small of Kara’s back, the other still in her hair. They are so tangled up in each other, Kara thinks, in so many ways. She closes her eyes and loses herself in the headiness of Lena right in front of her, Lena’s hair brushing her jaw, Lena breathing against her. There are no words for this, she thinks. No words for what they are to each other, no words for the way Lena’s body feels against her own. Best friends doesn't seem right, but neither does girlfriends or lovers.

My person, Kara thinks. My person who I love, endlessly, in every way.

“Lena?” she says very quietly.

“Yes?”

“Let’s keep going for a long time.”

Lena burrows even closer, pressing her face to Kara’s throat. “Yeah,” she says. “Yeah, okay.”

She tightens her arm around Kara, her other hand cupping Kara’s face as she leans in to give Kara her mouth. Everything is so soft and gentle and unhurried and it feels like one gigantic, fiercely powerful feeling, like Kara loves Lena in her bones and her muscles and her heart and her stomach. Their mouths press together over and over and over again as Kara takes the lead, kissing Lena until she’s dizzy and gasping for air. She brackets Lena between her arms, whispering a confession that goes heard beneath the TV’s noise.

Nipping at Lena’s bottom lip, Kara takes hold of it and sucks it in between her teeth, before she releases it with an appreciative hum. Lena tastes of home and of a future that Kara’s never wanted more badly in her life than she does at this moment.

She lets out a soft noise against Lena’s mouth.

It makes Lena smile, at the same time she holds the back of Kara’s head and pulls her down for another kiss. It ends up in Kara kissing Lena’s grin, but she likes it. It’s clumsy but sweet—just like they both are.

She traces her fingertips along the side of Lena’s face, down the bridge of her nose, and presses them to her lips. She lets her hand rest against Lena’s cheek and keeps it there.

Pulling back, her heart pounds in her throat, pulse roaring in her ears.

“So. I’ve been thinking… it’s just—you mentioned home, earlier.” Kara pauses to touch her glasses. She licks her lips. Takes a deep breath. “Um. Would you want to move in with me? Or I could move in with y—I should probably move in with you, would you want that? Or um. We could get a new place for the two of us I don’t know, what do you think—?” 

“Kara,” Lena says, and Kara quiets, flushing a little. Lena rubs her neck slowly, looking at her with a quiet reverence. “You really want to live with me?”

Kara sucks in a breath, gives her a tiny nod. “Yes.”

Lena smiles, the quirk of her lips unveiling dimples, so obscenely adorable. Kara wants to bite it.

“I’d love that. You, moving here, I mean. What’s the point of you keeping your apartment and the rent when you’re here most of the time anyway?” 

Lena looks around and sees Kara’s books in her bookshelf, the grocery she recently bought in the kitchen, Kara’s clothes inside the closet and drawers, Kara’s laptop and charger on the coffee table. More personal items in Lena's bed and bathrooms.

A tiny cactus plant sits on top of the kitchen counter. Little Prick. She smiles at it.

“So…” Kara drags the word out slowly, ears pinking. “That’s, um. That’s a yes, right?”

“Of course the answer is yes,” Lena says, sounding amused. “I want you here with me.”

Kara beams. “Okay, yeah. Just checking. Yeah, that’s cool.”

She feels Lena’s palm on her cheek; Lena is smiling, expression softening, and Kara feels two contradictory things: like she’s in love and like she’s still falling in love. She thinks that might be how she’ll always feel with Lena. Like she never quite hits the bottom.

Hands cup Kara's face, tilting her head back up to meet Lena's eyes. Kara sees a lovely shade of green and blue until her face gets pulled. She closes her eyes. They are so close, in each other’s body warmth, though Lena is always colder than Kara.

And maybe that’s the most beautiful thing about Lena, Kara realizes.

With her, she doesn’t have to choose a single moment. Lena will spread out across days and months and years—thousands and thousands of moments, and Kara gets to keep them all.

“I love you so much,” Lena mumbles against her lips, the words muffled.

Kara is happier than she’s ever been right now, but this isn’t their happy ending, and Kara knows that very well. Because this, right here in Lena’s living room, Lena in Kara’s navy blue sweater and cold toes pressed against Kara’s leg, is just a continuation of their story. A story that began when they locked eyes for the first time in Lena’s office, the morning sunny and bright and clear. A story where there were tears, a story where there was sex, a story where there were countless nights where Lena made Kara feel ridiculously in love. A story that Kara never thought would end up with her feelings being returned, being loved back, yet look at how things are now.

It’s not their happy ending—not yet. Brushing a hand softly against Lena's cheek, she kisses Lena again, and again, and again. No end in sight, just as Kara wants it. Always, every way, endlessly.

It’s not their happy ending—not even close. Kara knows there is a lot more to come: lots of laughing until their bellies hurt, lots of late night walks and pancakes at two in the morning and an endless amount of realizing how Lena is, undoubtedly, the love of her life.

Minutes or hours or maybe even decades later, Kara pulls back. Lena’s flushed a gorgeous red and she’s smiling, still, and she nuzzles gently against Kara’s cheek in a way that makes Kara completely weak at the knees. Kara inhales, exhales shakily. She reaches over to lace Lena's fingers with her own. They fit together in their own way, like they had from the very beginning.

“Lena? Before we make dinner, I just have one more important question.”

“What is it, darling?” Lena tucks a lock of blonde hair behind Kara’s ear.

“Can we adopt a puppy and a cat?”

Kara smiles as she asks this, soft and warm, and like a flower tilted beautifully towards the sun, Lena blooms.