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i'll be your light, your match, your burning sun

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Sam actually convinces her it's a good idea.

Which isn't that surprising, really. Especially considering Sam insisted they go to the uni bar on a Sunday night instead of their usual Saturday, and she's been paying for and shoving hard liquor inside Lena with the express purpose of getting her to—

"Join the fucking frisbee team?" Lena snorts, beer dangerously close to tipping over with how precariously she's gripping it. "Serious?"

"No, really," Sam yells, competing with Elle King on the jukebox-radio thingy, cheeks pink and happy and just as drunk as Lena is, probably. "We could really use the extra players, since Kara's pretty serious about the championship this year."

She pauses for a second, brown eyes flickering over Lena's face, and Lena feels the overwhelming need to smile, feels a fond tickle of warmth in her belly just looking at her best friend.

"But that doesn't matter, doesn't matter," Sam continues, grin stretching across her face. "What matters is it's gonna be fun, Lena," she finishes, shaking Lena's shoulders and ruffling her hair afterwards. "I promise. Just come to practice tomorrow."

"Yeah, Sam. You're always fun," Lena slurs, leaning over and pressing her face into Sam's shoulder. "Frisbee, okay. I'll do it."

 

Which was probably a shit decision, considering the first practice is literally six hours later.

"You'll do fine," Sam says, carefully smoothing out Lena's fringe to help her tuck her hair in a bun. "Practices are pretty chill, no one's gonna give you shit. Honest."

"Yeah just hoping to fly under the radar, maybe pout at you later until I convince you I should quit," Lena says, looping her hair up and securing it with the tie on her wrist.

Sam laughs, nudging Lena's shoulder playfully and doing that weird thing she does with her eyes whenever she appreciates something Lena's doing. It's cute and annoying and makes Lena actually want to put effort in today.

"Just give it a try, yeah?" she asks, looking somewhere off over Lena's shoulder and smiling fondly. "Anywho, Kara's headed our way. Just introduce yourself, and try to be friendly. Please?"

"Yeah, of course," Lena says, nibbling her lip afterwards, trying her best not to give Sam shit for being so into this frisbee thing. 

Sam rolls her eyes like she can see right through her, smiling hard enough to bunch her cheeks. "I have to get changed, dork," she says, grabbing her bag and slinging it over her shoulder, already moving away from Lena. "But you're gonna love it, promise. Just have fun, ask questions, enjoy yourself. Please."

"Yeah, thanks, mom," Lena says, and Sam laughs over her shoulder as she heads towards the restrooms. 

Lena watches her jog off for a second, then she switches to tracking the other girls play frisbee, watching how easy they make it look, thinking about how shit she's probably going to be, thinking about what she might eat after this. Mostly that last one. And then she feels a firm hand on her shoulder and nearly jumps out of her skin.

"Um," somebody clears their throat behind her, soft and pleasant like they're trying not to startle her again. "Hey."

Lena turns around, and—

She's pretty sure the entire field falls out from underneath her.

Right. Kara. The captain. Lena has to introduce herself.

Except that's a little hard since she's sort of having trouble breathing right now.

Kara is - well, she's almost too overwhelming to process all at once. She has curly blonde hair that falls over her shoulders and biceps that stretch out her jersey sleeves. And she has the bluest eyes Lena's ever seen that sparkle in the sunlight, and cherry-red lips and immaculate golden skin, and.

Shit.

Lena's definitely ogling and Kara's close enough to notice it.

"Hi, I'm Kara Danvers," Kara introduces herself, eyes glimmering as she outstretches a large, large hand. "You're with Sam, right? Didn't get your name."

Lena has to blink a few times and shake out her head just to focus on the question. She's usually a lot sharper than this, but she's pretty sure her brain just short circuited and she's pretty sure her hangover from last night's drinking just caught up with her full force.

At least that's the excuse she's going with for being an absolute potato right now.

"Yeah, yep. I'm Lena. Um. Luthor," she fumbles out after a long second, taking Kara's hand finally and trying not to focus on how warm and soft it is.

"Alright, Lena Um Luthor," Kara winks as she shakes her hand firmly, a sweet smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. Lena tries to swallow, but her throat's gone bone dry. "Today's practice is just drills and then a scrimmage at the end. Sam said you're new to this, so pick up what you can from watching, and feel free to ask me anything when you're really lost. Seriously, don't hesitate to speak up. I'm great with taking questions, and I promise I don't bite. At least not non-consensually, that—"

"Christ, Kara," a dark-haired woman laughs, slapping playfully into Kara's shoulder and effectively cutting her off.

Shit, it's like she appeared out of fuck-all nowhere, or maybe Lena's brain is just hyper-focused on the beautiful forest faerie standing right in front of her. She should probably get it together.

"Please don't take that as sexual harassment," the dark-haired woman continues. "She hasn't stopped making dumb sex jokes since high school, because that's when her brain stopped developing. I'm Alex Danvers, and if you have any questions you can ask me. I'm way more sane."

"And less fun," Kara points out, pinching her plump lip between two long fingers. "But back up a little, let's give Lena some breathing room, wouldn't want to scare her away." 

Alex rolls her eyes, but she gives in anyway. "Fine, fine you're right." And then she adds, "Have fun out there, Lena," as she trots away.

"Anyway. It's an easy game to learn, but a tough one to master," Kara says, pulling Lena's attention back to her as she claps Lena's shoulder like they're old pals. Lena has to strain everything inside her to not lean into the warmth. "But, don't worry, bro. You'll do just fine. We've all had our very first practice."

"Yeah, of course," Lena says dumbly. "Thanks."

Kara just stares at her for a second after that, drops her hand from Lena's shoulder and folds her arms, then asks, "How physically fit are you?"

Which makes Lena's own mind jump to a god-awful innuendo, and she has to actively make herself focus on the question in a professional manner. She doesn't feel very physically fit right now, like her still-drunk brain is currently banging around her head like an iPhone alarm at 6am on a Saturday.

So she doesn't want to get Kara's hopes up, already feels like she's not ready and they haven't even started yet. "Yeah, I had the uni gym pass for all-access to the Rec classes, did at least one cycling class a week last semester."

"Great, awesome," Kara says, clapping her hands together loudly, which seems dangerous, since they're probably large enough to start a tornado if they gust enough wind. "We start every practice with a three mile run, then we do stretches and then we do some plyometrics. We get into the good stuff after that, gets us used to playing the game while we're worn out. If it feels like you can't keep up, no shame in the side line. But give it your all, yeah?"

Lena feels like she's at the fucking Olympics. "Yeah, of course. Wouldn't have signed up if I didn't want to give it my all."

"Nice," Kara nods, thumping her hand against her chest afterwards and adding, "This is my livelihood, what I live for. And if we don't crap up this year, we have a real shot at the National Championship." She takes a huge step backwards after she says it, long legs gliding across the grass, and then she shines a big smile with her white, white teeth in Lena's direction, before she points at her and yells, "And you're gonna be our sleeper, Lena Um Luthor, I can just feel it. The other teams won't see you coming."

And then she winks—like that's just a casual thing, like Lena's heart isn't racing, like she isn't the most attractive woman in existence—and Lena watches dumbstruck as she jogs away.

Holy shit, this is going to be a long summer.

 

"She's hotter than the sun and she called me bro," Lena explains, frowning against the straw of her Jamba Juice smoothie and trying to pretend her everything doesn't hurt after just day one. "Do I look like a bro?"

Sam snorts. "No, you're hot too, don't worry. Kara's just a dork and she takes frisbee very seriously."

"So that means she's off-limits?" Lena asks, quirking a brow, but then she catches herself. "I mean, you said this was our summer of fun, and Kara seems pretty fun."

She's also cute and talented and sort of endearing, and it's only been a day and Lena wants to get to know her more. But it feels a bit soon to break out the fact that she's totally obsessed after one three hour practice. Even though, well, she is.

"No one's off-limits during the summer of fun," Sam says, sloshing her smoothie around with her straw.

Which is exactly what Lena was hoping for.

Sam's probably the smartest person she knows, besides herself, but it's sort of like Sam is two very, very different people. Like, when the schooling stops and the summer starts, she transitions from hardcore nerd to outright hooligan, and in this instance it's actually working out for Lena.

"If you wanna smash-bang Kara Danvers, then I'm one-hundred percent in your corner."

This time Lena snorts, and nearly spurts her smoothie out her nose in the process. "No one said anything about sex, I just. I'm not sure what it is, but I like her. Unless that's too weird. I'm new here, don't want to make the team dynamics fucked or anything."

Sam shrugs. "It's not like people haven't hooked up before, there're no rules against it." And then she smiles wide, and looks at Lena with the most annoying glint in her eyes. "My girl's finally gonna have her sexploration summer."

"Holy shit," Lena whisper-shouts. "Just broadcast my sexual experience to the world, why don't you. We are on campus."

"It's the middle of the summer, no one's here and no one gives a crap," Sam assures her. "And Kara's a top-notch choice. I could talk to Alex about—"

"No, no, please don't," Lena jumps in. "I'm still feeling out the situation. Right now she's just hot, and super charming, and I thought about munching on her skin six different times during practice, please save me."

"I've never seen you like someone so fast. Or anyone at all, really."

"I don't know, she's like—magnetic. I didn't even care about frisbee until she did that cool thing where she tossed it across the field from over her head."

"I know right," Sam says, eyes widening as she tilts her head. "She does perfect hammer throws every freaking time, and she's so glowy. That's how she swindled me onto the team at the RSO fair last year. She was all bright smiles and yay frisbees. And I was like hell yeah, sign me up."

"Hey, you can't—"

"Don't even say it, Lena—" Sam yelps, knocking against Lena's feet under the table. "Besides, she has a sister that's way hotter than she is and actually in my year, so I'll leave you two babies to it."

"Oh my god," Lena gasps. "That's the only reason you're not giving me shit about liking Kara. It's 'cause you're into her sister."

"No," Sam squeaks, in her highest voice. "I don't like Alex. I mean, she's just. She's hotter than Kara, is what I'm saying. But like, we're friends and that's just it. That's how it is."

"Yeah, sure. What happened to our honesty contract? We can tell each other anything, right?" Lena narrows her eyes in as serious a way as she knows how. "Those were your words, remember?"

"Fine, she's hot, and I'm into her," Sam huffs. "And I'm pretty sure she's not into me, so drop it."

"Fine," Lena huffs back, and then they drop the whole conversation.

But Lena doesn't exactly drop the thought of Kara, getting to know her, wanting to be friends. She can't get her out of her mind, can't stop thinking about her lips and her smile and her everything else, really. Which is probably why she ends up Googling her later that night and landing on her Twitter, or rather, her adorable Twitter Bio:

Writer (not journalist—not yet—because I take that term seriously) | Professional troublemaker | Extrovert | YouTuber | Clumsy (and not in a cute way ;p).

Shit, Lena's thoroughly charmed in less than 160 characters, like Kara's an enigma wrapped in a conundrum wrapped in some other mysterious and alluring shit that Lena wants to figure out.

So she spends an inordinate amount of time eating baked cheesy chips and scrolling through Kara's tweets, laughing at the funny stuff, and clicking all her links for recommended articles to read. By the time she finally heads over to Kara's YouTube, it's 4am and there's no way she'll get enough sleep for the 8am practice. So she thinks fuck it and clicks on Kara's How To Throw a Hammer for Beginners video.

As soon as she clicks the link, Kara pops up on her screen with her frisbee shorts on and a loose jersey and a bandana wrapped around her glorious blonde curls as she says:

"Welcome back my fellow frisbee lovers. By now you've probably watched some of my more basic tutorials like the backhand and the flick, and now you're interested in my fav throw of all—the hammer. So when do we use it? The hammer throw is the most useful when you've got a couple of defenders between you and your target and you need to get it over their heads. Or even when you're nearing the end of the stall count and need to get it around someone that's marking you pretty hard. It's a great throw, really, and useful and fun you're absolutely going to love it. So let's get into the tutorial, shall we?"

"Fuck," Lena mumbles to herself, scraping the cheese dust from the bottom of the chip bag and licking her fingers.

Kara's witty and sharp and charming, and Lena's pretty sure her face is sitting somewhere between rosy and incredibly fond while she watches the videos, seeing Kara talk about the sport or demonstrating things or her other videos where she just goofs off or shows highlights from games, and jesus fuck, this is more than Lena bargained for.

She's definitely going to be up the rest of the night watching these.

 

"I feel like a zombie," Lena huffs, air coming in roughly through her burning lungs. "We run three miles every single practice? Every single one?"

"Yep," Sam says, obviously faring a thousand times better than Lena. "Used to run five, but Kara and Alex were the only ones not dying afterwards, so we cut it down."

Lena's pretty sure her heart explodes just thinking about five miles. "Are they even human?"

Sam snorts, slowing down her pace so it's easier for Lena to keep up. "Barely."

"Snap, snap ladies," Kara says, jogging past them backwards. "Have a whole practice ahead of us, can't spend forty minutes on the warm-up run. Let's get it down to twenty-three."

"That's like, a cross-country level time," Sam shouts back to her.

And then Kara just chuckles, throwing her head back like this is absolutely nothing. "My cross-country time was 15:23, Sam. You're gonna have to do better."

"Fuck," Lena gasps, low enough that only Sam hears it. "I failed out of cross-country tryouts and did robotics as an extra-curricular instead. Where's that leave me?"

Sam snorts and nearly trips over her cleats. "I guess on the uni frisbee team during a hot as shit summer."

"Barely," Lena says back, then tries to conserve the rest of her energy for the last lap.

By the time they're finished up with the warm-up run, Lena's skin is already slick enough with sweat that it's dripping, but Kara doesn't waste time moving them on, doesn't let them rest any. She rounds the team up after a quick thirty second water break, and gets them in lines so they can do their stretches.

Thankfully it's a team thing and Lena doesn't have to figure out how to do it on her own. Kara stands in front of the group to demonstrate each stretch and Lena just copies everything Kara does, stretches out her muscles and tries not to stare at Kara's toned thighs where her shorts are riding up a bit. They're absolutely gorgeous thighs, slight tan lines and smooth, perfect skin and, ugh.

Lena definitely wouldn't mind getting her mouth on them, but she's not some creep that stares at girls inappropriately, so she looks away and sighs heavily at Sam. "I'm gonna start the school year ready to audition for the Titan Games, if we keep this up."

"Hell yeah, you could invite me as your audience member, and everyone could try to guess if we're dating or just friends."

Lena snorts a laugh loud enough that Kara actually quirks an eyebrow in her direction. So she lowers her voice when she says, "We have to stop assuming every fit woman is gay. There has to be at least one straight one."

"Yeah it's probably Kara," Sam giggles, and then Lena swats at her before Kara has them switch into a butterfly position.

"So you want to get lunch after this?" Lena asks, once they're done with stretches and she's shaking out her limbs. "Big Belly Burger has a special today, don't want to miss out."

"I'm surprised you're not a thousand pounds with how much you eat there, but yes, of course. I'd never pass up Big Belly Burger."

"Alright, ladies, let's get into some drills," Kara says loud enough to grab everyone's attention. And then she makes eye-contact with Lena and heads over in her direction, hair blowing like the wind exists solely to make her look good. "Hey, you're with me today, newbie. I've decided to personally see to it that you reach your full potential."

Lena laughs, smile threatening to rip her face in half, and she can see Sam wiggling her eyebrows off to her side before she trots to find her own partner. Whatever, Kara's sort of intoxicating. "Yeah, is that so? Thought I could only use you when I got really lost. Not just whenever."

"Well it's your lucky day, then," Kara smiles, nibbling her lip afterwards. "But really, I want to get you caught up. We have a game in a week, and I'd love it if you could get some play time, get your feet wet to see how it really feels in competition."

"I don't mind just being the cheerleader," Lena says. "Don't want to ruin your chances at the championship, could wear a little skirt and everything."

Kara actually, like, coughs and Lena sucks her own lip into her mouth to hide how excited she is that maybe Kara's affected by what she says. "No, Ms. Luthor, those shorts are just fine. And I'd rather not waste your talent with yelling chants, when you could be getting us wins."

"Just Lena is fine, and I'll decide what I wear on game day, thank you."

"Alright, just Lena," Kara snorts and holds up her hands like it's a peace offering. "And okay, okay, no one's trying to tame you. Just saying, uh." She laughs to herself and rolls her eyes off in the distance. "Never mind, let's get to it, yeah?"

It's a simple drill, really. They're practicing forehand throws, so one person guards the backhand, one person tries to throw, and another person runs out for the catch. Lena, Kara and Alex, separate into their own three-person group, so Lena can keep throwing and not have to keep rotating roles.

And it goes pretty okay, goes great even, until ten minutes in when Lena's landed enough throws in Alex's hands that Kara decides she's okay enough with her forehand to deal with taking it up a notch.

"Alrighty, gonna put some pressure on now," Kara says. "So you can feel what it's like throwing against a real defense. Just get it around me and to Alex, like we've been doing. Think more strategically about your throws now, though."

Alex claps her hands, shuffling her feet off in the distance, and Lena takes a deep, deep breath before she adjusts her fingers on the disc. Then she snaps the frisbee like she's been doing before, but this time Kara slaps it out of the air with her long arms and big hands, and it goes absolutely nowhere. And it's jarring enough that Lena sort of takes the slap noise as a smack to her ego.

It's not intentionally, really, but her confidence is definitely lower as she sighs and grabs it off the ground. 

Kara doesn't really seem to notice, just instructs, "Have to swivel, pivot, stay on your toes, really try to get around me. You can't just stand there like a dead fish and expect to get off any passes. Especially not in this league, they'll be a lot tougher than I'm being."

Right, sure, that's maybe true—but Lena's not being a dead fish, she thinks, a little more frustrated than she wants to be right now. She's just doing the drill like Kara's taught her, and. Ugh, whatever. It's not like she's ever even played frisbee before, and—no—she's not going to let one comment deter her.

She's here and she's trying, and she promised Kara she'd give it her all, and she will will will. So she tucks the frisbee against herself to protect it, then pivots a bit to her left, and then quickly to her right. And when she thinks Kara's lagging behind her a bit, she tries to snap the frisbee again. But, fuck. Kara just smacks it down out of nowhere.

Lena full-on huffs, and this time Kara notices. "Hey, don't get upset, just get your head in it. Really focus on getting it past me. Pivot, quick bursts, footwork. If you have to take a backhand, if you have the opening, do it. Just get it to Alex."

"I'm trying," Lena says tightly, and she knows this is what games will be like, knows Kara's just trying to help—it just kind of sucks having her frisbee keep getting knocked away.

But things don't get any better from there.

Because that's what happens again and again and again and again and by the time Lena's gone ten minutes without making one throw, she's at her fucking limit. Kara just keeps smacking everything down and sighing and acting frustrated and getting more terse in what she says and treating Lena like she should be so much better than she is, when she shouldn't.

She's never even picked up a frisbee before, and Kara hasn't acknowledged that once this entire practice, which—fuck.

"You're just, bigger than me. I can't get it around you," Lena finally gives up. "I can't do it."

"Yes, you can," Kara frowns. "You're just not trying hard enough. I've been outplayed by plenty of smaller players, like it's never been an issue." Well, fuck you too, Lena thinks. She's trying as hard as she can, doing the best she can do, and she still looks and feels like a complete fucking idiot. Kara must catch on, because she follows it up with, "Sorry, I just meant. Um, just slow down, really think about what you're doing."

"I just can't do it," Lena says again, feeling something hot rise up inside of her, feeling all her motivation to try slipping away and being replaced with anger and frustration and, ugh. She just wants to give up. It's bad enough that she can't do it, but now she feels like shit because everyone else can, apparently. "I don't know, maybe this isn't the sport for me."

"Hey, whoa. You just have to—"

"I'm trying as hard as I can," Lena yells. Fuck, it was loud. Fuck, it was really loud—everyone else is stopping practice and looking at her. She can't do this, can't have people staring while she's—shit. "I'm just gonna head out," she says to Kara, low enough that hopefully the rest of the world watching stops listening in. Her breath keeps, keeps getting more labored, coming in ragged, intensifying with her emotions. And it feels like she's fuming, but she doesn't want to break down over not being able to throw a frisbee. Not with everyone watching. "I can't do this."

"You can do this," Kara says. "Just stop being so tense. You're overthinking it when all you need to do is feel what you're doing. It's instinctual, really. like--" Lena takes a step away, and Kara follows. "Okay, okay. Let's just go back to the drill where we practice the throw. You obviously weren't ready for this, and that's my bad."

"No, obviously, I'm not supposed to be here. So I'm going to go. Like I said. So just back off."

"Whoa, hey," Sam says, running over so she's by Lena's side. "What's going on over here? Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, we're fine," Kara says, eyes never leaving Lena's, like she's searching to figure out if Lena's okay. Like suddenly she actually gives a fuck. She may be cute and tall and talented and irresistible, but she's a real fucking shit if you ask Lena. "We'll be fine, just a little tension."

"No," Lena says, looking at Kara as sharp as possible, but decidedly keeping her voice calm. "I'm leaving, like I said. And Kara needs to accept that."

"Hey, it's just a game," Sam says. "We're all friends here, let's just cool off."

"Why don't you tell her that?" Lena asks. "Pretty sure she's the only one here that doesn't realize it's just a game. It's your livelihood, that's what you said isn't it? That's what gives you the right to treat me like shit?"

"I'm treating you the same as any other player," Kara says, deep crinkle settling on her forehead. "No one else has ever reacted this way."

Lena can't really argue with that, and feels too self-conscious with everyone's eyes on her to keep this going. Plus she feels more and more like shit the longer she thinks about it, since she's cooling off from her initial anger and realizing maybe she's overreacted.

So she takes a couple steps backwards, and when no one follows she finally turns away, grabs her bag and says, "Good luck with the championship," and then heads off the field with her head tucked low enough to hopefully be invisible.

 

Lena hides away in her favorite bookshop afterwards, far off in a corner with her head tucked in the Iliad and her heart in her stomach.

She stays like that a few hours, because she knows Sam will eventually find her and tell her it's okay, and that today was just dumb and they can get milkshakes and burgers and be happy again. So when Lena looks up and doesn't see Sam, but sees the puppy dog eyes attached to the tall, curly blonde hovering in the distance—she's actually a little disappointed.

Well, that is, for a mere two seconds she's disappointed, before her heart's fluttering for Kara all over again. Because apparently her face can still do that to Lena even though they're having their first tiff.

"Can I sit?" Kara asks, once she finally stops staring and actually walks over.

Lena shrugs and keeps her eyes on the page, giving up on actually reading anything, but keeping her heart distracted. "It's a free country, isn't it?"

"I came to apologize, if that means anything," Kara says slowly, sitting on the edge of the table in front of Lena's reading couch. "I realized how much—I realized I was shitty today, and I wish I'd seen it sooner."

There's a long, long pause between them, with Lena trying to keep her stony look and Kara twisting her hands together in anticipation. And then it's actually Lena that breaks first. "Well, keep going, then. You were almost on the right track."

"Right, okay," Kara says, puffing out a small laugh. "You know how like, when something becomes second nature to you, and you try to teach someone and they're not getting it? I guess I just lost sight of what it's like to be new and I was a real knob to you today. I've, um - I've been a little stressed lately, is the thing, but that shouldn't have come through against you, and I know that. So, I'm really, super sorry about the whole thing. I should have been a better captain, and I feel like I failed you."

Lena hates that it's a good apology, so she tries to distract from it. "Did you just say knob?"

"Yeah," Kara huffs, voice getting brighter by the second. "It's like British for the D-word, and I don't like saying, um, that."

"Dick?"

"Yes, that word."

Fuck, Lena can't help her smile, and she can't help looking up, which is just in time to see Kara's beautiful eyes sparkling.

Ugh, she should probably apologize too. It's only fair. "Sorry for getting so mad out there. I'm not usually - I think I just got overwhelmed."

"No, I get it. I'd feel like that too if I was just learning and someone was being shitty. It's okay."

"Thanks, um. I'm glad you apologized, if that's fine to say. I feel a lot better, so. Thanks for coming," Lena says. "Did Sam tell you where I was?"

"Yep," Kara nods. "Does this mean you'll come back to practice? I promise I'll be better."

Lena thinks about it, but she sort of feels too embarrassed after today to go back. And she really hates doing things she sucks at, however much Kara makes it feel worth it. "I don't think so," she shrugs. "I don't think it's for me. But I really can come to cheer you girls on."

"Hey, okay, just hear me out," Kara says, climbing off the table and squishing onto the couch with Lena, knocking shoulders with her. "I was thinking that, if you're interested of course, I can do some private practices with you. We can get you up to speed so you feel more comfortable before going back into the actual practices. I was, uh, watching you, and it seems like you really got upset when everyone, um. Looked at you. I just want you back, and I want you to be comfy."

Kara stares down at her hands after she says all that, and if her breathing is any indication, then her heart is probably beating fast. "I'm not sure," Lena says. "I don't want you to waste your time with me, and I know you're practicing with the team everyday too. And you probably have other—"

"This feels important to me," Kara cuts in, looking up into Lena's eyes. "Not to be weird, but I hate to ruin something I genuinely love for someone else because I was a—well, a dick. So, two weeks. Give me two weeks to train you, and if you still feel it's not for you, I'll back off. Really. I just wanna show you how fun it is, that's all."

Ugh, she's so fucking cute, Lena's heart is melting. "Fine, fine, stop with the eyes."

"What eyes?" Kara asks, genuinely.

This time it's Lena that coughs. "Nothing, I just. Just a joke."

 

Lena still has to run the three laps, unfortunately, even when it's just them. But, thankfully, Kara doesn't run circles around her since they're alone.

She doesn't even point out how hard Lena's panting once they're only half-way in. "So, there are really only three types of throws you need to master," she says, jogging casually, not even sweating yet. "Backhand, flick, and hammer. And you've got a solid forehand, by the way, sorry for being a butt again. So, we'll practice the first two some more before the hammer." 

Lena actually knows a lot of this, awkwardly, from watching Kara's YouTube tutorials. Not that she was watching any of the videos to actually learn, but she did soak in some information.

"So um," Lena says, and then nearly gives up on asking a question since her breath is so husky. But Kara turns and arches a brow, so she forges on. "So are there things I can do to learn how to pivot better?"

"Yeah, of course," Kara chirps. "We're definitely gonna get to that. But I thought today we'd go over the specifics of the game, background information, and then we'd do like an hour of throw and catch?"

"Sounds good," Lena says. "Simple enough."

After they run and stretch, Kara sits her down and tells her about scoring, and movement with the frisbee, and the stall count. And then she goes over all sorts of other stuff, and Lena's mostly able to focus on her words, mostly able to keep her eyes away from Kara's pretty, pretty lips, but it's hard. Especially considering she's sort of at a point where she feels like she's more at this practice for Kara than she is for frisbee, but she won't be completely rude and not learn anything at all.

Still, she has other interests. So after a short quiz on the info she just learned (which she passes), she asks, "So do you spend all your time throwing frisbees or do you actually have hobbies?"

Kara rolls her lip between her thumb and forefinger and says, slow and amused, "Oh, so I haven't told you about my extensive succulent collection, yet?"

"Fascinating. Bit of a green thumb, yeah?"

"Green thumb as in I only collect plants you'd have be a complete imbecile to kill? Then, yes. The greenest."

Lena laughs at that. "Good to know you're not an imbecile, I guess."

"Oh, I've killed a few in my day," Kara giggles. "Don't ever overestimate me. You wanna see pictures?"

"You just keep them in your phone?"

"God, no," Kara gasps, like that's absolutely offensive. Then she reaches behind them and grabs her backpack, fishes out her wallet. "Gotta keep the polaroids of my babies in the wallet, you know, like a proper parent."

"I swear," Lena giggles. "If you pull plant pictures out of your wallet, I'll never forgive you."

"Well you better be prepared to hold that lifelong grudge," Kara deadpans, and then she pulls at least five tiny polaroids of actual succulents out of her actual wallet. "Can tell you the names, too."

Lena just keeps laughing, stuck somewhere between disbelief and charmed. "If they're not written on the back with the date, then you're failing them."

"Oh do you think I'm an amateur?" Kara asks, flipping one of the polaroids over and showing Lena the writing. "These are my girls, okay? They deserve nothing less than the best."

"Is this real?" Lena asks. "Are we being serious? I don't know what to think."

Kara gives Lena a long, serious look, and then she throws her head back and laughs uproariously. "No, no not at all," she says, barely able to contain her massive, heart-stopping grin. "It started as a dare—Alex told me I had to pull pictures of my plant babies out of my wallet whenever I tried to pick up a girl. And it was so successful, that I just kept doing it. I don't actually own succulents, though. These belong to a friend."

Lena hums in consideration, then says, "So's that what you're doing here? Trying to pick up a girl?"

Kara flushes a lovely shade of red and absolutely deflects— "Well, I'm trying to teach one how to play frisbee, and she keeps distracting me."

Which doesn't answer Lena's question at all. Non-committal, she can work with that. "Fine, then," she says, standing from the grass and grabbing the frisbee. "Let's play catch. And you don't get to learn anything about me."

She takes it that Kara's frown means things are going well.

 

"I thought of a new training thing," Kara says a couple practices later. 

Lena unties her sweat-damp bandana and then flips it to retie around her forehead. "Okay, whatcha got?"

"I was just thinking of different strategies," Kara starts. "Since captains have to be innovative and whatnot. And I wanted to figure out a good motivator for you to get your throws down. So, I thought, since we like talking and I like training, that we could combine the two and have a really fun practice."

"Doesn't sound fun at all," Lena says, pulling her ankle and sighing at the nice stretch on her quad. "I never mix business with pleasure for a reason."

"Yeah, but hear me out." Kara picks up the frisbee from the ground and twirls it in her hands. "So, what if, for each pass you get by me, you get to ask me absolutely any question and I have to answer it."

"Let me guess. If you block it, you get to ask me?"

"That's only fair, right?"

"Make it every three blocks, and you got yourself a deal."

Which is a little unfair, Lena realizes, since she's a lot better since the last time they played. It's like the drills they've been going over are really sinking in and she realizes Kara isn't as formidable as she thought she was.

She's tall and she has long arms, so she has a wide range of coverage for blocking shots. But she's also just as clumsy as her Twitter Bio says she is, so Lena has no trouble at all tripping her up after the first couple tries. Which means, so far, she's had to tell Kara her middle name, but Kara's told her that: 

She prefers dogs over cats, she loves anything fried and anything sugary and has the absolute worst diet in history (a declaration made by Lena, not Kara), she can sing (unfortunately for Lena's heart), and she's adopted (something she offered up without Lena asking).

And since Lena just got another throw past her, and they feel acquainted enough, she goes for a big one— "What's been stressing you out lately? You mentioned it when you came to apologize."

"Oh, nothing," Kara waves it off, which is an obvious lie. Lena's prepared to let it go since it seems to make her uncomfortable, but Kara quickly backtracks and says, "Wait, crap. Can't break my own rules, can I? I guess, um, I've been having some trouble with school."

Lena twists the frisbee in her hands and looks her over for a moment, consideringly. "You wanna talk about it? We're sorta on a roll with our friendship?"

"Kinda," Kara says, slumping her broad shoulders like she's much smaller than she actually is. "But, I haven't said anything to anyone about it, and I don't want you to think I'm like, not smart. I don't want anyone to think that."

"I'd never think that," Lena assures her, stepping forward but keeping the frisbee in her hands. She needs something to help fight her urge to touch Kara right now. She just looks like she needs a hug, and Lena isn't sure if it's okay to give her one. "Promise I won't judge you if you tell me about it. We all go through crap sometimes."

"Sure, yeah, um. Wanna sit in the shade?" she points over her shoulder. "It's sort of a lot."

Even though they sit down with the express purpose of talking about it, it still takes Kara a few minutes to get going. So Lena just enjoys her company, notes how Kara still smells nice even after they've been practicing over an hour in the summer heat. She notes how the sun reflects off Kara's blue eyes, how it makes the white speckles in them light up like she has galaxies trapped in her irises. 

Mostly, though, Lena notes how hard Kara's breathing, how she's twisting her hands together and pursing her lips like she can't find the right words, how she looks tiny and scared and afraid, and how she's obviously carrying a secret too big for her to hold. And it breaks Lena's heart.

"I failed chemistry," Kara finally starts, and Lena sits up straight, takes in a long breath, because that's more serious than she expected. "Which isn't terrible in itself, it happens. The problem is I'm on scholarship and my GPA was hovering around the requirement, so I seriously couldn't afford the fail. But I talked to the school and stuff, and they're letting me retake it this summer to get a new grade, keep my scholarship and whatnot. It's just - I've already failed the first midterm and first few labs for summer chem, and, um. It's not looking great for me."

There's loads of things Lena wants to say, small comforts or whatever, but she mostly just wants to know if there's a chance Kara dropping out might not have to be reality. "Is it too late to pull your summer grade up?" she asks, and fuck it. Kara looks sad, sad so she reaches over and rests a hand on her knee. "Is there still a chance you could pull it off? Because like, there's options."

"Yeah, but just barely. Like, I calculated everything and I would need a B or higher on all upcoming tests and labs to get the grade I need. And I have a lab tomorrow I'm not prepared for, never mind the fact I've never gotten a B on anything in chemistry." Kara sighs, soft like dropping out has already resonated with her, like she's already accepted it. "Guess I've just been waiting until after tomorrow, when it's official, to tell Alex. Since I can't afford to stay here if my scholarship leaves, will have to go back home."

Kara shrugs defeatedly, and Lena just... she doesn't find that acceptable. And not simply because she likes Kara, but because this uni's shit excuse of a gen chem track shouldn't be the reason anyone fails out.

"Well, you're not going to fail, then," she decides, since she loves chemistry and likes Kara and she's a Luthor with access to numerous chemistry labs in this state alone. "We just have to practice your lab before you do it tomorrow, is all. And you have to let me help you study for the remaining tests."

"No, Lena, you don't have—I wasn't saying this to—"

"I want to help," Lena interrupts, clearing her throat. "In your words - this is important to me. And I'd hate to let this shit-taco of a school ruin something I love for you because they don't give enough fucks to actually hire decent professors to teach the general science classes. I'm not letting you fail. No - I'm refusing to, just like you refuse to let me quit the team."

She finishes with a smile, to let Kara know she cares and it's no big deal.

Kara smiles a bit too, then reaches forward and grabs Lena's hand like it's a reflex. "I don't think I said shit-taco when I made my speech."

"Would you rather I say knob-taco?"

"That's also not very appealing," Kara shakes her head. "And how are we supposed to practice the lab beforehand? I mean, I have the protocol but just reading through it doesn't help me. I'm more like, hands on. And we can't do that unless we break into the chem lab."

"I have that taken care of," Lena says. "Just go shower and get your chem stuff, and I'll pick you up from your apartment."

 

"This is seriously ridiculous," Kara says, pacing around the LuthorCorp lab with her goggles latched onto her forehead. She has her curls pinned back into a ponytail and she's wearing a tight button down and the most effortlessly dorky glasses Lena's ever seen, and it's a little hard to handle. "Are we really gonna do a basic chemistry experiment in like, a billion dollar lab."

"It's not a billion dollars," Lena says, watching Kara spin in circles. Like, yeah there's high end technology all around them and probably chemicals they technically need licenses to work with, but still. It's just a lab. And Kara needs to walk through tomorrow's protocol. "Get over here," Lena gestures. "You want to pass tomorrow or not?"

"Yeah, of course," Kara perks up, jogging in Lena's direction. "What's first captain?"

"You tell me, you're the one with the lab book."

"Um," Kara says, nibbling thoughtfully on her lip and thumbing through the pages of her manual. "Says here that the lab is titled Electrolytic Determination of Equivalent Mass, and I already don't know what that means."

"They're just gonna give you an unknown metal and you have to determine the equivalent mass using electrolysis."

Kara just sort of... gapes at her. "Yeah, just gotta do that. Crap it all, I'm just gonna fail."

Lena laughs. "Just put your goggles and gloves on, take out your notebook, and give me the protocol. We got this."

"There's also a pre-lab assignment worth twenty percent of the lab," Kara says, like she's in trouble. "Haven't done that either, if you want to help. But like, not that you have to, just—"

"Already said I would, alright? You don't have to be nervous about asking."

"I feel like I'm taking advantage of you," she comments as she hands her manual over. "Not that I'm even clever enough to do that, but like, since you're nice."

"Luthors aren't known for being nice," Lena says, in as dark of a tone as she knows how. "At least that's what my mom always tells me. So, never thought I'd say she was right, but you can believe that if it helps you process this."

Kara rolls her eyes. "Well maybe you're not a Luthor, then. Think the mean gene missed you."

Lena nearly comments on her own adoption and how she's just half Luthor, but instead she laughs. "I think I probably picked up enough Luthor genes to carry the name, but we're getting off track. Suit up, let's get down to business."

Kara salutes her suddenly, then sing-songs, "To defeat the Huns."

Holy shit, Lena cannot handle her. This is going to be the longest night of chemistry ever.

Five hours and two minor disasters later, Kara finally says, "Oh crap, I think I get it," and Lena nearly bangs her head against the lab counter in excitement. "The first time we learned about Faraday's Law, I was like oh no, but like. It actually makes sense now."

"Nice," Lena says, and tries not to sound as exhausted as she feels. Not that she hates spending time with Kara, but teaching her chemistry is next level wild. "And we're done with the pre-lab?"

"Yep, answered all the questions and you've checked my work."

"Awesome, know what that means?"

"More science?" Kara asks, innocently enough. And thank god, no not that.

"No, food," Lena groans. "I think I could eat a whole cow, if I was allowed. Big Belly Burger?"

"Oh, you never have to ask me about food, just tell me we're going."

Half an hour later, they're seated in a booth at Lena's favorite food place and Kara's walking back to the table with a tray of food piled high enough to feed maybe six.

"Food is here," she announces as she gets seated at the table, voice lovely and full of joy.

"Can you eat all that?" Lena laughs, quirking a brow at six burgers on the tray.

"Of course," Kara huffs, and proceeds to unwrap two burgers so she can stack them and eat them both at the same time. Lena just keeps giggling, can't look away, but not sure if she's entirely not disgusted by Kara hardcore inhaling food.

"You're like a dragon or something," she comments. "Like you have a vortex stomach, holy shit."

And then she peacefully eats her one burger as she watches in amazement. Kara does manage to eat it all (including the remainder of Lena's milkshake), finishing with a triumphant welp and licking her fingers clean. Lena calmly pulls hand sanitizer from her bag and glares at Kara until she offers her hands for a squirt.

"That was kind of impressive," Lena says, staring at the empty tray. "I don't know how you have abs."

"Well, I don't know," Kara says, playfully. "I think there's a certain little lady that requires me to practice six hours a day, since she's a bit high maintenance."

"Would you rather we stopped?" Kara doesn't say any words, but she does blush a little, bites her lip and smiles around it as she shakes her head. "As I recall, this was your idea. I just wanted to peacefully read the Iliad."

"Are you saying that book is more interesting than I am?"

"Are you seriously asking me to rank you against the Iliad?" Kara frowns a little, so Lena adds, "Because you'd win hands down, obviously. Especially if you promise to teach me how to hammer throw."

"Of course I will, it's my favorite throw," Kara beams. "But can you promise to come to the frisbee party tomorrow night? It's joint hosted by both the Men's and Women's teams and they're always a little wild and a lot of fun. And I'd really love it if, I just like hanging out with you, so. It'd be cool."

"I'll think about it," Lena says. "Actually think about it."

 

"It's important that I dress nice," Lena says, tossing another shirt on the floor. Sam just swings her legs against Lena's bed and nods like she gets it, but she doesn't. She's not trying to impress the world's most attractive, amazing, probably-can-pull-any-girl-at-a-party woman. "I just feel like tonight might be a good night."

"Yeah, of course," Sam says. "Like you're going for sexy, but not too uncomfortable. Since we still have to navigate basically a frat party but with slightly less people. Slightly."

Right, Lena's trying to make her big move in probably the shittiest setting. But her and Kara have been hanging out for a little bit now, and they've gotten into a good joking-maybe-flirting routine. And they even—sigh—well, Kara fist bumps her and still treats her pretty bro-like, but there'll be drinks tonight. And dancing. And they can get close and Kara can touch her with her massive, massive hands. And Lena's got the whole thing planned out. 

"So, a tight black dress, and—" shit, what sort of shoes should Lena wear for style and comfort? Boots probably. "Docs?"

"Yeah, sounds cute," Sam comments, hopping off Lena's bed and joining her by the closet. "Like sexy, but I'm ready to kick ass if I need to."

"Perfect, that's exactly what I'm going for."

"In case you meet a turdbag that likes to grope you? I'll wear boots too, so we can both kick him."

"Sounds good," Lena says. They should both be prepared to kick ass, that's a good plan. "And, um. Maybe I'm looking to, um—try to like, be intimate with Kara?"

"Oh," Sam says, a little shocked, but it doesn't seem like in a bad way. "Yeah, no. Totally. That's awesome. So you two are like, close?"

"I think so," Lena says. "We get along really well, and she's super easy to talk to. So, this is it, I think."

She looks over and Sam just has this weird glint in her eyes, and Lena nearly scoffs and makes a joke about it. But she realizes she's just being a bestfriend, and this is probably her supportive face. So Lena just leans against Sam until Sam hugs her instead and then they chat and eat pizza the rest of the night, and wait for the party to start.

It's dumb to be super early, so they walk over at 11:15, since it starts at 10:30. Lena awkwardly feels too young for the party, like she should be huddled in the corner with the obvious babies, since the crowd feels older than normal, but showing up with Sam Arias has its perks.

Their first stop is the bar, naturally, and Lena grabs and chugs a sugary mixed drink and then Sam makes her take two shots of Tequila (which she keeps saying she will never drink again, but she means it this time, ew) and then she spends a couple minutes looking around for Kara.

Once her buzz starts to kick in, she realizes she's wandered off and lost Sam and Kara's no where to be found. So she downs two final shots (never say never) before she braves her way into the dancing bodies.

The house is bigger than Lena thought it would be, and crowded and loud, strobe lights and deep bass fuzzying up Lena's already fuzzy mind. She feels sort of happy, blissful, like nothing could bother her, not even how hard she's sweating with her tight tight dress on.

It's her first frisbee party ever and it's a little better than frats and--god--she's fucking hazy and clumsy and having a good time. And dancing, slow-drunk and smooth, rocking her hips to the music and singing at the top of her lungs since she can barely hear her own voice.

It's sort of surreal, like she's not normally the partying type, but the energy in the house is nice and the music is good, and she doesn't even mind when she feels people touching her—like hands on her hips and her shoulders and people pressing against her as they grind through the crowd. She can tell she's maybe more drunk than she's ever been before, but she doesn't feel nervous or unsafe, or uneasy.

Which is a good thing, lets her relax fully, forget her usual anxieties, forget her usual inhibitions, forget why she even came here, so lost lost lost in the drinks and the atmosphere—

And then she's pretty sure she sees Kara in the garage-part of the party, dancing with another girl, and being tall and smiley and chatty and cute cute cute in her navy blue button down with white polkadots. Lena blinks ten times in case she's hallucinating, but no. Some girl's back is definitely pressed against Kara's front and that's not acceptable at all. She should be dancing with Lena, not her, is all Lena can think.

And then her fight or flight kicks in and she stumbles as far away from the garage as possibly, woozy and fumbly and upset.

There are so many things running through her mind along the way—fuck this dumb shit party—that everything feels even hazier than before, everyone feels like they're in the way now, everything is so hard to navigate, but she persists on anyway.

She ends up in the kitchen, on the opposite side of the house, which is nice since it's pretty much deserted and there's a lovely bottle of Scotch on the counter. She's just about to open it, when a large hand settles on top of hers, and a warm body presses up behind her.

"I haven't personally seen what you drank, but I can tell it's too much from the way you tackled everyone in the party to get here." And then Kara's poking her lovely face in front of Lena. "How about we stop here, and you come with me to dance some of this off?"

"Don't you have someone else to dance with?" Lena frowns, gripping Kara's hand around her waist anyway, though.

"I left her as soon as I saw you, didn't I?" Kara whispers into her ear.

And fuck, Lena leans back against Kara and lets her support her. "D'you invite me just to—"

"Stop stop stop stop," Kara jumps in, pulling Lena in tight and pressing her nose against her hair. "We both know why I invited you. Obviously because I want to record you drunk dancing and blackmail you with it. So c'mon."

Kara pulls her back to the people-part of the party, and then she sort of doesn't let Lena go for the rest of it, holds her tight and dances with her the rest of the night, even when she's chatting with others, even when Lena gets too dizzy and has to turn and press her face against Kara's chest, even holds her all the way home and up the stairs to her apartment.

And then Lena makes it three steps inside before she's hunching over and throwing up on the hardwood.

Vaguely, she registers Kara's concerned yelp and her feet scattering to get next to Lena, but all she can focus on is the tidal wave of nausea rolling through her stomach.

"Just breathe," Kara whispers, large hands stroking Lena's back, warm even through the material of her dress.

Lena actually throws up a second time, whimpering pathetically when she feels Kara pulling her hair back and braiding it loosely behind her back. She keeps running her fingers through it, gently sorting out the sweat-stiff tangles and taming the mess and it's the only thing Lena tries to focus on, the only thing that makes the nausea a little better and the pain a little less. She really, really tries to focus on that, and not the fact that she's about to throw up a third time.

All-in-all, it's a long ten minutes, but after the third time and a good enough lull, Lena's finally convinced nothing else is coming up. So she wipes away the tears that spilled onto her cheek and her puffy eyes and her mouth with the back of her hand. And everything about her feels disgusting and gross and she just wants to crawl in a hole and pretend she doesn't exist, because Kara saw the whole thing.

"Okay, okay, it's all over," Kara murmurs, wrapping an arm around Lena's waist and pulling her up gently. "Let's get you washed up and in bed. And I'll clean this up for you."

"I'm gross," Lena whispers.

And Kara curls around her quick, nuzzling her hair. "No, you're fine. You're just fine, okay? We're going up now, here we go."

She lifts Lena off the floor, and then she helps Lena brush her teeth, and awkwardly helps her change her clothes, and then she carefully dumps Lena into the bed so she can go clean the floor.

Lena's mostly asleep when she feels Kara climb in behind her, when she feels her curl around Lena's back and pull her in, feels her lift Lena's head so it's resting on Kara's bicep. So now Kara's nose is pressed into Lena's hair, and her strong arm is wrapped around Lena's waist, and they're breathing in sync, and Lena sort of feels like she got what she wanted after all.

 

Chapter Text

She's too warm when she wakes up. 

Way before she notices that she's nauseous as all hell, or that there's dried sweat all over her body. Way before she notices that she doesn't know how much she drank last night or how she got home or how she got in these clothes... Lena registers that she's fucking burning up.

And then she shifts a bit, hazy and disoriented and groggy in her sleep, and realizes, once she rubs against soft, soft skin, that the warmth is coming from the body cuddled up behind her.

Which is maybe a tad more disconcerting, because she doesn't know how that got there or what they did last night or who it is or, shit

Fuck, shit this isn't good. Lena starts to turn around slowly, hesitant like it'll be better if the reveal isn't swift.

But, before she even gets the chance to panic or ask who it is, the arm around her waist tightens and Sam's lovely voice wafts pleasantly against the back of her ear. "Rise and shine, Lee. You've been comatose for ages."

Lena relaxes instantly, breaths coming in shaky gulps, and now she registers all the other shit. "Shit, Sam. I think I'm dying."

She can feel Sam tensing behind her. "What is it? You nauseous? You have to throw up again?"

"Yeah, that. That," Lena emphasizes, squeezing her eyes shut and nodding, like it'll make the force on her chest disappear, like it'll make her mouth stop forcefully salivating.

Sam pulls her up and helps fumble her out of the bed, stumbles them to the bathroom, and Lena shuffles forward quickly, slamming her knees against the floor as she puts her head in the toilet. Sam crouches behind her instantly, touching her back and whispering things that Lena can't hear, at least not until she stops gagging and dry heaving long enough and focuses hard enough to catch the tail-end of Sam saying, "...all my fault. Shouldn't have let this happen."

Lena frowns and tries not to let her head droop so far that it's resting against the toilet seat. "Pretty sure I drank myself to death willingly," she mumbles, voice hoarse and gross. "No worries."

"No," Sam says, fingers curling gingerly in the fabric of Lena's loose t-shirt. "Someone put absinthe in the punch, and half the party was blackout by the end of it. Shit, it's usually strong as it is, shouldn't have let you drink it in the first place."

That explains why Lena's braincells feel like they're sloshing around in her head, but she's not cranky enough to make the astronomical leap of blaming Sam for it happening.

"Still not your fault," Lena says, trying her best to zone out since her head is pounding harder than a SWAT team against a drug house door. She mostly just feels like crying, but if she's throwing up now, there's no telling what last night was like when she was in the thick of it. And her memories aren't filtering back in like they usually do when she's hungover. "I feel so bad, like, I feel like I'll never feel good again."

"You threw up a ton last night," Sam says. "You're probably super dehydrated. We just need to get fluids in you and food and Advil and rest. You'll get through it, promise. And I'll stay here if you want, or I can—"

"No, please stay," Lena interrupts, not really caring if she sounds desperate. She's sick and achy and Sam's comforting her and massaging the knots out of her back, and it's the only thing making her feel less like she's going to die. "Sorry for whatever drunken shit I probably did or said last night. Thanks for getting me home."

"You didn't do anything wrong last night," Sam says, frown clear in her voice as she soothingly drags her knuckles along Lena's spine. "And Kara's the one that got you home, and made sure you were okay, and cuddled you while you cried in your sleep. I just came in after the hard part was over."

Lena finally gives up and just lets her face sink low enough that it's practically in the toilet. "So she's seen me at rockbottom, then? That's fantastic."

Instead of responding right away, Sam loops her arm around Lena's waist carefully, and then she pulls her back so she's resting comfortably in Sam's lap and can turn and press her forehead against her cheek.

The nausea subsides noticeably, and Lena wonders if it's because she has pressure against her forehead or if it's some weird soothing effect that Sam has.

"Did you not hear me when I said you drank literal death?" Sam asks, eventually, fiddling with the hem of Lena's shirt to pull it down over her shorts. "Because I'm pretty sure Kara cares more about you not dying of alcohol poisoning than she does about anything else that happened last night."

"Anything else?" Lena blurts, head rattling afterwords from speaking so loud. She squeezes her eyes shut, both to press the pain away, and because maybe if she tries hard enough to be invisible, then she'll actually disappear. "Please tell me it wasn't that bad, that I didn't talk about putting my mouth on her thighs something?"

"No, you weren't saying anything, Lena, don't you get it?" Sam slides her fingers up and tangles them in Lena's loose braid, pulling it apart gently. "Kara spent like twenty minutes carrying you around and freaking out because she thought you drank too much on accident or were drugged or some shit. Like she was trying to give you water and talking to everyone to figure out if they saw you drinking. And then other people started falling out and throwing up, and we realized it was everyone who was drinking the punch."

"So it wasn't just me, then?" Lena asks, leaning against Sam's fingers.

"Yeah, that's what I've been saying to you. Some idiot from the guys team bought it on the internet and thought it'd be hilarious if he dumped a whole thing in the cooler." Sam finally gets Lena's braid fully unknotted and then starts to pull out the remaining tangles. "Kara busted up her hand punching him once she figured it out. And she probably would have did some real damage if you didn't freak out every time she took her hands off you." 

"Oh," Lena says, since she doesn't really have a response for any of that. "Is she gonna be okay to play frisbee?"

"She's fine, mostly worried about you," Sam says. "Legit, you looked like you had no idea what was happening, had to stop her from taking you to the ER. And then she barely wanted to leave once I came to take over last night, but. I don't know, I just thought you wouldn't want her around while you felt gross in the morning."

"Yeah, thanks. I'm glad it's you that's here. But I'll call later, should probably thank—fuck," Lena groans.

And then she's scrambling off Sam's lap and shoving her face in the hole of the toilet again. Except this time her stomach keeps lurching and her throat keeps making an awful, ugly sound, but only tiny splatters of goop come out. 

Overall, it's a shit as fuck first few hours awake.

 

She finally gets the courage to call Kara at 9:30pm, after Sam's gone home and she feels a little more like herself.

"Oh, hey hi," Kara answers the phone with, huffing like she's out of breath. "In the middle of a run, so scusy if I'm breathless."

"How are you running on your off-day?" Lena asks, shoving her legs onto the couch and pulling her knees against her chest. "No, why're you running in the middle of the night?"

"Dunno, I always do," Kara says easily, slightly less breathy like maybe she stopped moving. "Think I just have a lot of energy and I need to do something with it. But, that's not important. How are you feeling? You okay? Sam was texting me updates, but they stopped a couple hours ago."

"I'm doing okay enough, considering. Heard you were my hero last night and you've got the bruises to prove it."

"No, that's not..." Lena can practically hear the blush in Kara's voice. "Well, not sure about hero, but someone needed to punch that guy out. And take care of you and whatnot. I was happy to do it, just glad everything is fine."

Lena pulls her ring off her thumb and twirls it against her mouth. "Yeah, was touch and go for a bit, but I'm officially on the mend. Sorry last night was sort of a bust. It seemed like you were interested in us maybe hanging out."

"Yeah, of course I am. And you looked really great last night and were an ace dancer, so. Um. I guess I'd love to get the chance to hang out again when some turd doesn't crap it up for us."

"Same. Actually, like, speaking of. So, um, you said don't ask you about food, just tell you," Lena starts, nibbling on her lip a bit afterwards, trying to get the courage to finish what she wants to say. "And I've been too nauseous to eat all day, but suddenly I'm starving, so. Um. If you wanted to get dinner with me, it'd—I'd like that. But if you're busy, then—"

"I know a good pizza place you'd love, can swing by and get you in an hour?" Kara interrupts, half saying, half asking.

"Yeah, pizza sounds amazing," Lena says, and takes several breaths to stay calm. "And I feel like I owe you for blacking out and ruining our first hangout time, so. I'll be on my extra best behavior."

"It's not your fault at all, but I'm glad I get to see you again this weekend," Kara gushes, obvious she's smiling. "So, okay, um. Yeah, I'll be there."

 

Lena's made a mistake. A fatal error.

She wanted to do something nice for Kara as a thanks for last night, so she spent most of the sixty minutes before Kara arrived baking her muffins. And now she has five minutes, according to Kara's text, to get ready, five, and that's barely even enough time to brush her teeth, let alone be presentable.

She throws on an oversized, color-blocked uni long-sleeve, black leggings with mesh stripes and her docs again. Then she wraps her hair in a haphazard bun, spoolies out her eyebrows, brushes her teeth, and lastly, she pauses to look at herself in the mirror. 

Her cheeks are hopelessly flushed since she'll be seeing Kara in mere minutes, and her lips are a little dry from being dehydrated most of the day, and she burned her fingers baking the muffins earlier, but she looks pretty okay, admittedly, especially considering she was half-alive when she first woke up this morning.

She still considers texting Sam a picture, just to get legitimate approval, but ultimately she decides against it. There's no time anyway. She grabs a Tupperware and throws the still cooling muffins inside, locks her apartment door, goes down the steps and strolls out of the building.

And then she sees Kara casually leaning against the door of her burnt orange jeep, and.

She freezes. 

And not in like a movie way, where time slows down and it's romantic and shit. Lena just stops moving altogether, because Kara's wearing nice, dark jeans and a fancy black button down with colorful flowers. And she has on an expensive looking watch, with her hair perfectly curly and down, and Lena looks like a whole entire goblin. Jesus fuck.

"Heey," she starts off with, back stiff as a board once her legs finally decide to walk over in front of Kara.

Kara just smiles big and pretty with her perfect teeth and says something inaccurate and dumb like, "You look really nice tonight," or something rather. Lena's not sure, too busy looking at the way Kara's lip is glistening and puffy like she's been nibbling it. She should really keep it out of her mouth so Lena can focus for once in her life.

"So, what's in the box?" Kara asks, eyes wide wide wide like a four-year-old in the sugary cereal aisle.

Lena holds it up coy-like, since she already knows how Kara is around food. "Nothing, just some muffins I baked."

"Oh," Kara says, like she's trying hard not to light up. "That's um, nice."

Fine, Lena won't toy with her, however tempting it is. "They're for you, since you took care of me. Fresh out the oven and whatnot."

Kara actually claps excitedly. Lena thinks that's what she likes the most about her—she looks etched from stone sometimes, with her perfect body and styled hair and great skin, but she's animated and funny and such a huge dork at all times. And Lena sort of adores her.

Which should maybe be something to consider, since it's just been a week, but right now Kara is saying, "I love baked goods, you're the best ever," and reaching out to grab the container from Lena.

At least Lena assumes Kara's reaching for the container, but instead she just fits her large palm against Lena's arm and wraps her hand around it delicately and. That's a little new. Lena presses into it, and Kara doesn't really let go or even acknowledge she's doing it. It's almost mindless, really, like Kara just wanted to touch Lena, like maybe.

No, ugh. Lena shakes out her head.

"Stay calm," she says, mostly to herself, and pulls the lid off the container. "Do you wanna try a sugar-crusted lemon raspberry one, or a Nutella banana oat one?"

Kara legitimately looks at her like this is the most important decision she's ever had to make in her life. "I didn't even know those were possible muffin flavors. What's the sweetest option?" she asks, and Lena's fully prepared to explain the intricacies of the flavors, when Kara adds, "Besides you, of course." 

And then she's mostly just trying not to die on the spot.

Like, blood rushes to her cheeks so fast that Lena's scared she might faint. And she knows knows knows Kara's just saying she's sweet since she baked for her and stuff, but the comment sends images of Kara's mouth on Lena's body straight to Lena's horny animal, lizard brain. 

However, instead of sputtering or doing something uncharacteristically dorky, she smiles and says, voice dropping a thousand octaves with nerves, "I'm really proud of the raspberry ones. If you wanna try that?"

"Of course, yes, feed me," Kara says, pulling her hand off Lena's arm so she can press both of hers together, and lick her pink lips.

Lena pulls out a raspberry one and waves it under Kara's nose, mostly to block her view of her mouth. It's half past ten and way too late for the thoughts she's getting. Kara takes a sniff and laughs, grabbing the muffin from Lena and cupping it. "If you're not careful, you'll hurt someone with those paws," Lena comments.

"They never met a frisbee they can't grab, though," Kara says, and then she doesn't bother taking a first bite, she just shoves the entire muffin into her mouth, and... She closes her eyes and throws her head back and breathes slow slow slow and deep, and then she makes a small delighted noise that goes straight to Lena's, um—

Lena clears her throat. "So, you like them?"

"Yeah, this is delicious holy crap," Kara says, talking with her mouth full and making adorable sparkly eyes. "All I had to do was punch a guy to get these?"

Lena preens. "Don't get ahead of yourself, Mayweather," she laughs, then she grabs Kara's hand to inspect the purpling across her knuckles. "And they're not for you hurting yourself. Sam told me about you getting me home last night. And cleaning up after me. And, yeah, that sort of deserves muffins."

"Didn't expect anything for it, was glad to help, really," Kara says, grabbing for another one, but Lena slaps her hand away and she pouts instead. "What? They're mine, you said."

"You'll spoil your dinner," Lena points out, seriously, and then she nudges Kara with her shoulder. "Let's go. You promised me pizza."

 

The pizza place is a little bit further away than Lena expected, located more downtown than it is on campus, but Lena's pretty cool about it.

The longer drive gives them a chance to chat about a lot of stuff, like frisbee and the party and the fact Kara cuddled her last night (which Kara actually apologizes profusely for, something about consent or whatnot that isn't relevant since she was being the least nefarious possible and Lena was ready to rip her clothes off for Kara even when she was sober, so). 

Lena focuses less on Kara's apology and more on unabashedly checking out Kara's hands and profile and eyelashes and thighs in those jeans, like it should be illegal the way they fit her like a tight hug. And it should be illegal how incomprehensibly cute Kara is with her dumb jokes and old sports stories, and yeah.

By the time they check the car into a parking garage, Lena's crush has solidified into genuine like like like and is on its way to love.

The pizza place itself is pretty nice, more grown up than what Lena's used to with being on campus most of the time. And it's not really just a pizza place, more of a place with pizza. There's also a grilled mac and cheese sandwich and a bar and a stage where some guy with the voice of an angel is absolutely doing the most justice possible to John Legend. "How'd you find this place?" Lena asks, charmed by the whole thing, right down to Kara casually grabbing her elbow and guiding them to a table to have a seat.

"Told you I sing, yeah? Come here regularly since it's a good crowd and the vibe feels more serious than Karaoke bars."

Oh. It suddenly dawns on Lena that Kara's an endless well of fascination and she has her all to herself for a whole night to asks as many questions as she wants. "So's this where you bring your—(Lena coughs instead of saying dates, and rather gracefully saves herself with)—friends, when you want to impress them?"

"No, never," Kara says quickly. "I've never brought anyone here, not even Alex. It's just something I do to blow off the stress of uni, and I dunno. It's something that feels like it's mine, so really picky about sharing it."

Lena's not sure what to ask next. Kara's stressors at uni? The fact she doesn't bring anyone here? The fact this is her space and she's currently letting Lena invade it with her dumb uni sweater and leggings on? Everyone here is dressed like a proper dapper hipster. Everyone! "We don't have to order drinks do we, to look cool?" Lena asks, glancing around at everyone's glasses. 

"If by drinks you mean milkshakes and root beers, then I'd say it's mandatory."

"As long as they're not spiked with deathly spirits, then I'm solid."

It was supposed to be a joke, but Lena doesn't miss Kara's frown. "Sorry about that, really. Should have just asked you out forreal in the first place, instead of inviting you to a crap party."

Lena knows Kara means she should have just asked to hang out, not out out, refuses to get ahead of herself with assuming this is headed anywhere. And besides, she'd rather focus on the fact that now both Sam and Kara have blamed themselves for her blacking out when she was the one that did the drinking. Lena's not used to the blame not being pointed in her direction right from the beginning. "You don't have to take that responsibility on your shoulders. I was happy to hang out at the party. And I had every intent of getting a bit drunk, anyway."

"There's a difference between a bit and..." Kara's frown deepens. "D'you know how scared I was? You were holding conversation for a little bit and then it was just nonsense. You didn't say anything coherent until after you vomitted up your entire life."

Yeah, vomitted up her entire life in front of Kara. Lena sinks a little, embarrassed. "Yeah, no biggie, happens. So do we go up to order, or do they come to us?"

"They come to us," Kara says, like she wants to stay on the old topic, but is willing to let it go. "Do you mind if I sing tonight?"

"Do I mind?" Lena asks, incredulous. Her panties are dropping just imagining it. "Course not, been thinking about how lovely your voice probably is ever since you mentioned it."

"Oh. Thanks," Kara says, quieter and redder than usual. "It's not half as lovely as yours is just speaking, but it's the best move I have in my book."

Which is a statement Lena can't rationalize as not flirty, but the waitress comes over and sort of halts that conversation, both of them blushing too hard to bother continuing it after the orders are in. And then they sit in a comfortable silence, listening to some girl singing an entire set of Hozier, until the food comes and Kara scoops up a slice instantly.

"So you'll be at the game this week, right?" Kara asks, finishing up her first slice of pizza while Lena's still sprinkling pepper flakes on hers.

Lena doesn't mind showing up to the game, or showing up anywhere that Kara will be, really. "Um, depends on why you want me there? Like, I'm fine cheering you on and supporting, but I'm not really sure about playing?"

"Just come and do what you feel," Kara shrugs. "You're on the roster, so you're eligible, but you don't have to get in if you're uncomfy. You're amazing, though," she adds. "Better than I was when I had the same experience as you. You'd do great in game, I'm sure."

Lena already knows she isn't going to win this argument, so she settles for trying to get something out of it. "Fine, if I play, can I pick which songs you sing?"

"Yeah, of course," Kara brights up, leaning in and brushing her fingers against the back of Lena's hand. "I have a guitarist and bassist I sing with, though, and sometimes a guy on piano. So it has to be from select artists they know."

Lena twists her hand so she can drag her thumb along Kara's palm. "So what do I have to choose from?"

"Mostly Adele, Sam Smith, Beyoncéum." Kara drums her fingers against her chin with the hand she's not touching Lena with. "I think they know some Ariana, too. Lady Gaga, of course."

"Do any other artists even exist?" Lena asks, overwhelmed with her choices, but ecstatic.

So they spend some time brainstorming, carefully crafting a list and picking through Apple Music since Kara's got a twenty-minute slot with lots and lots of options. And by the time her turn comes up, Lena's pretty satisfied with convincing her she should only sing sappy songs or ones where she has to make her voice deep or, truly, ones that are sure to make Lena's heart flutter.

Kara decides on opening with Pray by Sam. So she talks with her band guys for a second, then get's on stage, drags the stool to the edge, and sits on it with her knees parted around the microphone stand.

She gets a few cheers just from smiling at the audience, before she even starts talking. And once she opens her mouth to speak, it's like the entire room is transfixed.

"Heey, all. Little nervous tonight," she admits, putting on the sweetest smile possible. "This is gonna be a little different than my usual set, but I'm trying to impress this girl, and" She leans close to the mic and playfully whispers, "Maybe I took a glimpse at the most played artists in her phone last night and told her those were the only artists these guys can play." She gets a ton of giggles from the audience and a blush from Lena, and then adds more loudly, "And maybe I thought I'd have more time to practice them, but carpé diem, am I right? Give me loads of claps to make her think I'm okay."

There are a couple more cheers after that, loud ones especially when Kara winks at Lena, and then she cues the band to start playing and Lena's heart melts at her just humming the opening note.

As soon as she gets into the first verse, people start clapping and hooting, making Kara smile and drop her voice even lower as she sings, "But lately that shit ain't been getting me higher, I lift up my head and the world is on fire."

The instrumental is styled a bit differently, and Kara's voice is even lovelier than Sam Smith's, Lena thinks (not biased in the least bit). So by the time she gets through the second verse, her connection to the original song is a little flimsy, but it's somehow better.

Like. Fuck.

Lena keeps having to take in breaths in gulps because she can't handle it, because she's not recording this, because everything is perfect and she wants this version on her phone and Kara as her ring tone.

It gets particular hard to process when Kara squeezes her eyes shut and tilts her head back, belting out, "Won't you call me, can we have a one-on-one please? Let's talk about freedom. Everyone prays in the end."

And her perfect, perfect skin glows in the light and makes her eyes even sparklier once she opens them again, and she makes eye-contact with Lena like she's checking in. Like she's gauging whether or not she's doing okay from looking at Lena, when the whole, entire room has stopped doing anything that isn't listening to her.

Once it ends, there's so much applause that Kara has to actually quiet everyone down, and then she makes a quick joke about the audience taking up the time of her set, and signals the band to start playing again.

Half way into the second song, XO by Bey, Lena realizes just how terrible of an idea this was—every girl and guy in the place is absolutely making twinkly eyes at Kara on stage. But, somehow, miraculously, Kara's eyes are basically glued to Lena. And Lena can't breathe.

She hasn't been able to breathe since Kara said impress this girl, and this whole thing has gone from being happy about Kara singing, to Lena's brain fumbling over the fact that Kara actually seemed to be flirting with her earlier.

That Kara seems to be flirting with her now.

That, if this is a date, really, really a date, then it's reasonable she might get a kiss at the end.

Kara's lips might actually be on her lips, and she doesn't know which god she pleased to deserve this. She doesn't know how she was lucky enough to catch the eye of someone so... everything, really.

Kara actually preens once she's finished, cheeks flushing beautifully with the clapping after the second song. She takes her hand off the mic to roll up her sleeves as the band shifts gears, and then she asks the audience, "Can you help me out with this next one?" before she goes into Like I can by Sam.

And, basically, Lena spends the rest of the set melting out of her seat.

 

"Was a solid B+ performance," Kara says, sitting back in her seat across from Lena and immediately touching her hand again. She's pretty and glowing and sweat-slick from the stage lights and Lena feels more incoherent than maybe she was last night. "But, I gave it my all, hope you liked it."

"Yeah, I don't know how. I can't—I'm speechless?" Lena says, and can feel heat on her cheeks like it's a permanent part of her skin now.

 

By the time they're walking back to the car, Lena's at least a little better with the conversation. That is, until Kara lifts her hand casually and starts inspecting the ring on her thumb. "This is really nice," she comments, twisting Lena's dainty hands in her massive ones.

The ring is just a band, black, two braids intertwined with each other. It's Lena's favorite that she owns, by far, but it doesn't warrant Kara's full attention and her lip nibbling. "Looks super good on you."

"It's not that great," Lena blushes. "Just a simple ring."

"Just a simple ring?" Kara gasps, and then she twists it along Lena's thumb and pulls it off, slides it on her own middle finger without ever letting Lena's hand go. "I think she'll do better with me, since I'll appreciate her more."

"I wear it every day, have worn it, for years," Lena comments, but doesn't make a move to get it back because she's sort of smitten, and Kara's hands are soft and warm and Lena's ring looks good on her.

"I'll wear it everyday and appreciate it," Kara says, eyes lighting up playfully in the moonlight. And then she drops their hands down, but instead of letting Lena's go, she intertwines their fingers.

So this is actually happening. After several deep breaths and coping thoughts, Lena wills herself to squeeze her fingers tighter around Kara's hand, and finally, finally lets herself relax.

Kara only lets her hand go once they have to get in the car. But even still, it's only for the few seconds it takes them to get buckled, and then the few seconds she needs to use both hands to back out of the space. Then she grabs Lena's hand again and rests them both against Lena's thigh as she expertly navigates the car with just one hand.

"I'll probably end up going into journalism," Kara's saying once they're half way home and she's turning down a street that Lena knows takes them the long route. "But I definitely always have this little thought about rockstardom. Like, I could be the next Beyoncé, right? I got the chops."

"Definitely," Lena giggles, untangling their sweaty fingers and turning Kara's hand so it's gripping Lena's thigh and Lena can rest hers on top of it. She tries not to make an embarrassing noise when Kara grips tighter and runs her thumb along the section of the mesh it's pressed over. "But, you seem passionate about both, so it's wherever your heart takes you."

"Yeah, been figuring out to follow it more often, you know?" she says, and then quickly adds, unsmoothly, "Um, lab grades went up this morning, and I got a perfect score." She slows down at a yellow light she definitely could have made it through, and smiles over at Lena. "You've officially done the impossible and taught me science. Maybe I can become an engineer like you."

"We can start our own lab and solve the world's problems," Lena smiles back.

"Yeah, I'd provide the security and comedic relief, and you could do everything important. We'd make an awesome team."

Lena snorts, holding Kara's gaze until the light turns green and she has to look away, and then she actually considers that.

And they sort of do make a pretty okay team.

 

Lena doesn't actually get an end-of-date kiss, but Kara does walk her up to her apartment door, and hugs her for at least thirty seconds. It's still a good night, even if Lena does have to spend it in bed alone, fantasizing about Kara lips instead of reminiscing. 

 

"So was it a date?" Sam asks, lazily gripping the steering wheel with one hand on their way to the frisbee match.

"I don't know," Lena shrugs. "I thought maybe she'd kiss me, but she just walked me to my apartment door and we hugged. And we've had two solo practices since then, and she hasn't brought anything up. I mean she's super nice, but she's always super nice."

"So you held hands, and she sang you songs and made a joke about you tasting sweet, but you're not sure if it was a date? This is the most dumb lesbian thing I've heard in my life."

"If it were a date, she would have kissed me," Lena points out. "I mean my lips were a little dry, but they were definitely ready."

"I guess," Sam comments, tapping her fingers as she stops at the light. "But she could have been nervous. I mean, you guys were legitimately dancing at the party before you died."

"What do you mean?" Lena asks, snatching a granola from the glove compartment and peeling it open.

"Like, you were slow grinding against her, and then she proper flipped her shit when you started losing awareness. I swear literal steam came from her ears when she took that guy out. And you said it yourself, it felt like you two were close, flirty."

"So's she like, dating me and I don't realize it?" Lena asks, chomping her granola. It's honey oat chocolate chip and delicious. "Not that I would mind, but if we made it more official-like, then I could probably get kissed."

"Shit, Lena," Sam grumbles, and then pulls them into the parking lot and stops for a second on the side before choosing a spot. "To be blunt, you're sort of beautiful." Which, is just the sort of blunt Lena likes. "I mean, like, abnormally. You have cheeks sharp enough to slice steel in half, and these like, striking eyes that're sometimes green and sometimes blue. And your voice does that thing where it's deep and raspy. And, shit, for how much you say you get nervous all the time, it never, ever shows. You only ever look confident. So, I don't know. You're not a person that someone just kisses, because you make people nervous. You're so beautiful that it makes people nervous, and somehow you don't notice that."

"Oh," Lena mutters, swallowing thickly. "Do you think the ball's in my court for us kissing?"

"Yes, that's what I'm saying," Sam says, and then she finds them a spot. "Plus, Alex says she's been into you ever since she saw you at the first practice and she keeps going on about how you're 'a super cool girl, Alex, you'll love her' so, you know."

"And you're just now telling me this?" Lena gasps.

But Sam just smiles and rolls her eyes, and that pretty much settles that.

 

"Going good, ladies," Kara hollers, stomping dirt off her cleats on the sideline during half time. "Tighten up a bit, keep the focus, we'll be good. And remember we've got team dinner after this, so good things. Only good things."

There's a quick bit of cheering before Alex steps up, serious expression, and starts going over things she noticed in the first half. Then she points out some tactics they should use and what she thinks'll win them the game. And Lena follows the whole thing fascinated, sort of surprised at how serious everyone takes it. 

Even Sam, who's dripping sweat and gulping down water and playing like her life depends on it.

Kara touches Lena's shoulder after the team disperses to get a cool down for the remaining halftime minutes, and Lena distinctly notices it feels more intimate than a bro-clap. She's also still wearing Lena's ring, and has been these past few days of practice, and Lena's heart still flutters every time she notes it.

"Should get in this half," Kara says, glistening and pretty in the afternoon sunlight. "We're up a bit, so no pressure, and you're really very good, especially these past couple days."

Maybe Lena's been working overtime to impress Kara since their after-date hug, but she's not game ready. "I don't know, you all move really well together out there, and I don't wanna ruin the energy or momentum you've got going."

"Nonsense, you're not going to shrug me off with physics terms," Kara laughs. "Just get out there. I'll be with you. It'll be fine."

Ugh, the problem is that Lena would do absolutely anything Kara says if she asked nice enough or smiles exactly like she's smiling now. "Yeah, fine, but only if you promise to be nice if I fuck up."

"Hey, whoa," Kara says, serious all of a sudden. "Is that why you're nervous about playing? Since I was a jerk to you during your second practice? I promise that'd never happen again. Honest. And if it did, you can tell Alex to give me a proper beat down afterwards, because I'd deserve it."

Lena knows it's been over a week since then, and that Kara was having a shit time with her grades and scholarship eligibility, but it still did a little knock to her confidence and she can't seem to shake it. But, fuck it, she's not letting it hold her back. "It was a lot to handle is all, but you're right. We've been practicing solo for more than a week, and the next logical step is getting in a game. Otherwise, I'm wasting your time, right?"

"Never," Kara says, smiling again and backing away. "I'll tell Amy she's subbing out so you can start next half."

Lena has her nerves under control for the next five minutes, preps herself for getting in, and then she starts falling apart as soon as she's standing next to Kara on the field and waiting for the pull. She feels jittery suddenly, can't get control of her hands.

So she holds her breath for a moment, tries to focus on the cheers coming from the sidelines, and not the sick, tight feeling in her chest.

She hasn't felt this anxious much in her life, but when she has, she's noticed it's always good to acknowledge the fear: she has a couple seconds of silence with herself, catalogues all the ways she's preparing for the next moment: her chest is heaving, her mouth is watering like she might puke, she feels tingly, her muscles are heavy, there's adrenaline.

There's Kara catching the frisbee right next to her fucking head and waving for her to run. "Go, go," she smiles. "Get open, I'll try to get it to you."

So Lena does, she sprints, quick on her feet and energized, sort of thankful now for all the runs they do. And then she gets open a short distance away, just as Kara reaches the end of the stall count and flicks it in her direction.

Lena catches it easily, and doesn't really take note of the field. There's the defender in front of her, of course, counting off as Lena swivels around their hands. But Lena's mostly focused on Kara jumping over everyone to get open, Kara flicking smiles in her direction and encouraging thumbs up, Kara leaping eighty feet in the air when Lena passes a bit too high and still managing to catch the frisbee.

Which is all the confidence she needs to play full-stop for half of the second half, before she subs out.

And then she spends the rest of her time on the sidelines, watching Kara be brilliant, watching Kara sprint even though she's been in the whole game, trying to figure out how she's supposed to be the one to initiate a kiss with someone so perfect.

Chapter Text

"Hi," Kara chimes, carefully hugging Lena from behind, warm and solid and sweaty. So sweaty. Because she just played like an absolute beast for the last ten minutes of the game, scoring three times to reach the game total and even doing a front flip.

Sweaty enough that her arms are rubbing slick against Lena's skin, but Lena doesn't care at all.

"Hi," Lena parrots back, leaning against the hug before she even realizes the team is all around them and this is technically a public display of affection.

Not that it really matters, she's hardly afraid of liking Kara in public, but she didn't know that they were even being public. Kara's barely even shaken her hand since their after-date hug. So Lena's not sure what's going on here, if it's just Kara riding the after game high or if she's back to genuinely being flirty again like when they went out for pizza. 

"You're coming to the team dinner, of course, yes?" Kara asks, nudging the back of Lena's knee as if any skin-on-skin contact isn't enough to make her shiver. "It's a top notch bonding experience if I say so myself."

"Depends, what's on the menu?" Lena asks, pressing against Kara's cheek when she hooks her chin over Lena's shoulder. The only thing stopping her from grabbing Kara's hands is Sam glaring from off in the distance. 

"What's going on over there?" Sam yells in their direction. 

Lena can clearly make out the smile rippling through her face before it turns into a full-on grin as she trots their way, her duffle swinging dangerously close to tripping her. 

"Kara was just telling me about team dinner," Lena answers, once Sam's close enough that they don't have to shout.

"When Kara says team dinner, she means shit pizza and bowling," Sam explains, tossing her duffle over her back and throwing a sweet smile at Kara as she moves in even closer.

"No, actually I mostly mean laser tag," Kara retorts, letting go of Lena, but staying close enough to nudge shoulders with her.

Lena tries to pretend she's not hopelessly endeared by the thought of Kara jumping around a dark obstacle course with neon lights splayed over her body. It doesn't exactly work, she's already smiling hard enough that Sam's rolling her eyes playfully.

"You take that as serious as you do frisbee?" she asks, genuinely curious. "Because that's a sight to see if you do. Way more exciting than the shit pizza menu."

"Yah, sure do, everyone does. It's super competitive," Kara says, pulling at her lip with Lena's ring in plain sight. Sam shoots Lena a look, but she just shrugs it off nonchalantly. Maybe she never mentioned she gave up custody of one of her favorite possessions when she discussed the date-or-not situation. "It's one of our favorite team activities and pastimes. Destroying each other, that is."

Sam snorts a laugh and readjusts the strap of her duffle over her shoulder. "She's not kidding, it's a shit show of sprinting and barrel rolls and us nearly getting kicked out every time we go, but we love it. Should see us when we paintball, that's the real slaughterfest. Guessing you're catching a ride with Kara?" 

"Course she is," Kara says, dropping her hand and brushing her knuckles against Lena's fingers. "You can grab the girls I brought over? Should be enough room in your car."

Lena catches on that Kara wants to ride with just the two of them at the same time Sam does, and nearly shoves her away when she makes an obvious show of quirking her eyebrow. But it's sort of worth the awkwardness to see Kara's blush. "Yeah, I can get the other girls. It's no problem."

"Lovely, thanks," Kara smiles, and then the conversation sort of ends there.

Sam doesn't linger too much longer after that, parts and leaves them to go back to doing whatever they were doing before—flirting, maybe. "You ever played before?" Kara asks, still fiddling with Lena's fingers like she can't decide if she wants to hold her hand or just touch her. "Laser tag, I mean."

"Nope, don't think so," Lena says, and then just grabs Kara's hand herself. If the ball's in her court, she can dribble it.

Kara squeezes back instantly and runs her thumb over Lena's knuckles as her smile grows, wide and happy and pretty. "You'll love it. Adrenaline rush, it is."

"Alright, I trust you, Yoda," Lena says, tugging at Kara's hand so they can finally start walking.

Kara falls in sync with her easily, or well. She nearly trips trying to snag her bag from the ground, but she doesn't let go of Lena's hand and she keeps up as Lena practically drags her to the parking lot.

Lena's not particularly ecstatic about making it to the team dinner, mostly just wants to be alone and away from prying eyes and flirting with Kara again. And the only place she'll get that for the next few hours is Kara's car. 

She'll take what she can get.

"Think I was good today?" Lena asks, once she's buckled in and Kara's loading a playlist on her phone.

Lena notes, pleasantly, that the first song that starts playing is one from the set she had Kara sing a few days ago, and she's a thousand percent confident Kara's made a playlist of Lena's favorites. Specifically, probably, in preparation for having Lena in her car again.

So it was a date. It was probably a date. It was a date date date. Lena can't stop grinning.

"Yes, what. You kicked butt out there," Kara says, drumming her fingers against the wheel as she waits for a car to pass behind them. "I told you you're gonna win us the championship. And I'm not a liar, am I?"

"Not yet, at least," Lena laughs.

Kara scoffs and immediately reaches over to grab Lena's hand once she's pulled out of her spot. "I'd never lead you astray, trust."

Lena does trust Kara, is the thing. She's eighteen and going into her third year of uni, and doesn't have much life experience outside of getting a fake ID to follow Sam to bars, but she can sense Kara's not the type of girl to be a harsh life-lesson.

Still, she's not going to lay all of her cards on the table at once, no matter how beautiful Kara is. 

"You don't demand trust, Ms. Danvers. You have to earn that."

"Oh I fully intend to, Ms. Luthor," Kara says, glancing over and smiling, charming and dumb, once she's safely stopped at a stop sign. She clears her throat awkwardly when she looks back at the road, and Lena perks up because that's how Kara unceremoniously changes the subject. "Um, just wanna give you the heads up that Alex has been up to something secret and devious this past week, and she insisted like eight times on this team dinner. So, it'll probably be embarrassing for me."

Lena considers that. "What kind of embarrassing?"

"Moderate to severe."

That's the absolute best kind. "Don't worry, I'll film your reaction for my Snapchat story," Lena assures her, giving her hand a squeeze. "The world won't miss a thing."

"Always knew I could count on you," Kara laughs, and then she turns out of the parking lot.

 

"Okay, okay, shut up," Alex yells, clanging her spoon against the side of a plastic cup and grabbing everyone's attention.

They're in the bowling-shit pizza-laser tag place, and Alex conveniently rented them out one of the kid birthday rooms so they can all sit around a big table for... a speech? Lena's not quite sure, but there's a large TV on one of the walls and Alex has her laptop hooked up like she's going to do a presentation.

Once everyone quiets down, Alex shoots an angry glare in Kara's direction (which makes Kara giggle absolutely adorably), and then she proclaims, "As we all know, Kara's a terrible person who cheats on us during the school year with the... Rugby team."

She pauses after she says it, and everyone starts booing incessantly.

Kara blushes as she smiles and tries to shush them, keeping one hand firmly gripped around Lena's and waving the other through the air. "It's okay," she says, to more booing. "You're all so possessive, there's enough of me to share."

Alex just rolls her eyes in an impressive show of fake distaste and clears her throat loudly to silence the room again. "So I've called this meeting today," she continues, "Because we have new faces that don't know how treacherous Kara is just yet--I mean you, Lena Luthor--and I thought it'd be the perfect time to showcase my Kara-hashtag-Sucks montage."

Kara leans over, cheeks still a lovely shade of red, smile threatening to rip her face in half, and whispers, "She showed up to all my games last year and filmed them, probably just for this moment. In fact they all showed up to boo me and tell me how terrible I am, good friends that they are."

Lena's half laughing, half wondering what sort of video Alex would even make, when Alex presses play and the screen flashes to all the girls on the frisbee team at a rugby match holding various signs of Kara's Shit at Sports or whatnot. And then Headstrong by Trapt starts playing and there's a solid five minute montage of Kara being tackled.

Not even regular tackled, but like, girls slamming the shit out of her, like Kara being absolutely smashed into the ground.

Like there's one where she picks up the ball and starts moving, and then smacks into a shoulder that shoots her back at least three feet.

Two minutes into it, Lena has to look away from the sheer amount of times she keeps flinching seeing Kara get hurt. 

"It's okay," Kara says against Lena's ear, voice drowned out by everyone cheering uproariously. "She had to comb through a lot of footage to get enough for this video, should see my actual highlights. I get hit less often than it looks. Or, well, at least it's not always this hard."

"It looks pretty often and pretty hard to me," Lena says, inching closer to Kara.

Kara's straddling the bench they're on, instead of sitting properly like a normal person, so Lena mostly ends up smooshed against her chest. 

It's sort of perfect, though, because Kara's at a good angle to wrap an arm around her. "It's not so bad, only leave most games with new bruises and cuts. If you got the time, I can show you the roadmap of my battle scars."

That'd sound more sexy if Lena weren't currently watching Kara get absolutely demolished. She frowns. "I don't think this is a safe sport to play with that amount of contact and lack of padding."

Kara runs her thumb along Lena's side and laughs softly. "So are you gonna be this concerned when you come to my games? Because there's blood sometimes, just as a warning." 

"Who said I'd come to your games?" Lena deflects.

Kara hums something that's not quite a response, smiling big and pulling Lena even closer. And then she slides her hand a bit lower so it's slightly under the hem of Lena's shirt, resting warm against her skin.

They're close enough and touching enough that it feels like they're proper cuddling now, but there's a room full of people and they're not even acknowledging it's going on. Not even when Kara presses her mouth against Lena's ear and snuggles in her hair.

Not even when they sit like that for the remainder of the video, peaceful and happy and ignoring everyone's cheering.

Once it's over, Alex resumes her place at the front, smiling and smug and pleased as shit. "Obviously we all love and support you, Kara," she starts off with. Kara laughs against Lena's ear, nodding her head emphatically, and a couple girls shout out supportively. And then Alex adds, "But I want you to know that blue team is kicking your ass at laser tag today, and we're not holding back at paintball either."

Kara pulls her head back, eyes glittering even in the fluorescent lighting. "I wouldn't have it any other way," she says, still holding on to Lena. "But I'd watch out if I were you; I have Lena now, and we all know she's the secret weapon."

"Yeah, you can tell your girlfriend to watch out too," Alex snaps back. "She doesn't get any special considerations."

Lena feels like her heart stops, but Kara just stays calm and happy when she says, "She doesn't need them, she can take you out all by herself. And she's not my girlfriend yet, so stop embarrassing me, please."

"Please." Alex rolls her eyes, putting both hands on her hips. "You took her on a date and sang her songs."

Someone yells out hell yeah Danvers, and Kara stutters, "Yeah, but no, like--"

And then Sam interrupts, treacherously (the most treacherous of them all, treacherous treacherous snake that she is), and says, "But, in Kara's defense, Lena didn't even know it was a date. She even asked for my opinion this morning because she wasn't sure."

"What, really?" Kara asks Lena, smile getting even wider, eyes getting even brighter, Lena's heart getting even flutterier.

And then everyone gets silent silent, and suddenly they're all staring at Lena, which is just great, really. She's not sure if this is what it's like being on a sports team, since she's never been on one, or if she's encountered the most intense group of women on the planet.

Either way, she puts on a strong face, sits up straighter, furrows her eyebrows, and says as calmly as possible, "That was in confidence. How could you?"

And then, after a tiny pause of silence, Sam snorts out a loud, loud laugh. Which makes Lena snort out a laugh from the pure ridiculousness of this whole thing, which makes the entire group burst into laughter and Kara giggle warmly against her hair. And the whole thing sort of feels like an avoided crisis.

Thank god for hyperactivity and short attention spans.

 

"They have one of those VR rollercoaster thingies," Kara says, once Alex releases them from the kid-party room and they've eaten a sufficient amount of shitty pizza. Kara's still holding her hand, hasn't stopped holding her hand, refuses to let Lena go for more than a few seconds ever since they left the field. "We can go sit inside if you want? Laser tag has a group ahead of us."

Lena says, "Sure," and then they walk over to it.

It's a pod-shaped thing, so they actually have to climb inside, and they're sort of positioned tilted back a little with their shoulders touching, the sides high enough to give them a little privacy.

They get settled in pretty comfortably, and then when Kara tries to put the quarters in, they realize the machine is broken.

"Basketball, then?" Kara asks. "I once set the high score."

Seeing Kara doing anything athletic is always tempting, but Lena shakes her head and pulls their hands apart, turning more towards Kara and her perfect face. She does it both because it was getting a little sweaty and she needs to wipe her palm on her shorts, and because it's about time they had a serious talk.

She's excited by the ambiguity of this whole thing as much as the next person, but it's not going anywhere if neither of them are clear there's somewhere to go. "So it was definitely a date, then?" she asks, going for broke. "That was your intention?"

Kara smiles instantly. "Yep."

Good. That's good, Lena thinks. "And you like me, just checking?"

Kara nods. "Yep."

She's on a roll, might as well ask all the questions she's been wondering about, hasn't gotten a bad answer yet. "And you want to date me?"

"Yes," Kara says, laughing at this point. Which makes Lena feel fluttery and comforted at the same time, the lovely sound filling up the small space with warmth. "I want to. Very much so."

"So you want to be like, girlfriends? Eventually."

Kara's eyes are getting squinty from how hard she's smiling, but Lena needs to know. "Yes, more than anything."

Lena slaps Kara's arm instantly, as soon as she stops talking, both because she's tilting her head back now with how hard she's laughing, shit-eating smug expression plastered all over her face, and because, ugh. "Why didn't you just tell me? It's obvious I'm into you, isn't it? That's why you're laughing. You were messing with me."

"I did tell you," Kara says, pinching her lip and effectively distracting Lena from her fake rage. "I told you I've been into you since I first saw you. At the party. Right after you told me you can't stop thinking about my lips." She turns so she's on her shoulder and looking at Lena face-on, and suddenly she feels so close, so fucking close. "You know, you really do stare at them a lot, I've noticed ever since you said that." 

"Shut up," Lena blurts, willing herself to keep her eyes at eye level. Even though Kara's touching her lips and nibbling on her bottom one and being a shitter. This isn't fair, Lena doesn't even remember the party. Kara's been holding out on secret knowledge. "If you knew it was a date, and knew I liked your lips, then why didn't you just kiss me? Turd."

"Maybe I just wanted you to think about them a little more," Kara says slowly, laughing considerably less.

And it's probably the dumbest thing Lena's ever heard said out loud in her entire life. So she makes a big show of looking away from Kara's dumb face and rolling her eyes at the answer, which is why she doesn't see it coming.

Kara kisses her.

Kara kisses her, on the corner of her mouth, for just a brief second, and it's not even that big of a deal because it's not like a kiss kiss, just their mouths slightly touching, but Lena turns back to Kara and sees her smoky eyes and freezes.

And then Kara takes complete advantage of Lena's scrambling brain, when she starts saying unfair things like, "You're the prettiest, smartest girl in the entire uni, of course I've wanted to date you. I'd be dumb if I didn't."

"You're pretty dumb, anyway," Lena pouts, because she's somehow offended by how perfect Kara is.

Kara just smiles lazily and shrugs, eyes obviously dragging down to Lena's lips. Which isn't fair at all. It's only fair when Lena does it. "I know I am. But you like me, anyway. Which is the real miracle of this whole thing."

It's not, really, Lena thinks. Sure, she's attractive and she knows that. She doesn't have any self-esteem issues around that, but Kara's... Kara. She's easily out of Lena's league even on her worst day.

Still, she's smiling all smug-like, and Lena feels small, so she can afford being hard to get for another few seconds. "Maybe I'm realizing my worth, and I've decided to move on."

"That's a shame, then," Kara says, smile stretching across her face in the most attractive way possible.

Lena hates it, mostly because it makes her limbs feel jittery, but also because she's looking at Kara's lips again and she can't look away. "Why's it a shame?" she asks, mostly not paying attention, mostly just trying to keep the conversation going, mostly watching Kara pull her lip into her mouth again and drag it out slowly.

"Because I want to kiss you again," Kara says, like that's any more fair than her looking at Lena's lips. "I want to kiss you while you're not looking away."

"Oh," Lena says, which is a dumb response since it was an obvious answer.

Her heart feels like it's just vibrating at this point instead of beating, and she kind of wants to distract Kara from how flushed she feels, but before she can say anything else, something more snippy perhaps, Kara leans over.

She leans over and kisses Lena gently, so so soft, a little wet since she was just biting her lip, and it's fully on the mouth this time. Lena closes her eyes and presses into it, breathing out slow through her nose to make the moment last longer, and Kara lingers. Her lips are warm and perfect and smooth, like maybe she uses a lot of chapstick, and it's a lot lot lot, but she lingers until their lips are sticky together and Lena can feel the little stretch when they pull apart.

She's all a bit disoriented afterwards, distracted and dazed. So dazed that she nearly startles out of her seat when Alex slaps her hand against the pod and peeks her head in. "We're ready for laser tag," she smiles. "Lets go lovebirds."

 

Laser tag is absolutely nothing like Lena expected. She has some idea of what it's like, sure, seen it online and in shows and stuff before, but with the frisbee team it's next level.

From the moment their vests activate it's an all out sprinting, parkour death match, the referees barely able to keep up with how much illegal shit is going on. There are whistles and warnings left and right, but nobody is stopping. Nobody except Lena, of course, who hides in a corner once Kara jumps out of a makeshift window and sprints to climb a tower.

She's fully prepared to just give up and hide for the next half hour, when she realizes there's a tight space between one of the fake walls and real walls, a space that has a little gap for her to peek outside.

And if she wedges herself in there, she'd be practically invisible with a perfect shot at anyone sprinting up the main ramp.

So she does that for the next half-hour instead, and ends up being the highest scorer of any team.

"What the hell?" Alex exclaims, staring shocked at the scoreboard.

Kara claps Lena on the back like a proud dad, positively beaming. "What'd I tell you, proper weapon of mass destruction right here. She's tiny but deadly."

"Beginner's luck," Alex says, narrowing her eyes, and then she steps closer and asks, "Two out of three?"

And Kara shoves her shoulder playfully, shouting, "Heck yeah, you know it."

 

Two out of three turns into five out of seven, and by the time they head out everyone is tired and sleepy and barely getting through the exit door.

Lena's especially tuckered out herself, considering she's maybe half as athletic as the worst person on the team, but Kara holds them back by the door. She keeps talking to everyone and seeing them off, and making sure they get in cars and drive away safely.

So they stick around until the last of the team is gone, and then Kara finally pulls them to the car, Lena lulling behind because her everything is sore and her body feels heavy and she can't keep her eyes open.

Kara takes care of her though, walks her to the jeep carefully, and opens the door, even helps Lena climb the step inside, and then she... goes to put her seatbelt on?

"I can do that myself," Lena mumbles, sleepily. "I'm not completely useless."

"I know," Kara says, smile settling on her face as she buckles Lena in. And then, instead of moving, she just lets her hands rest on either side of Lena, leaning in so her face is close.

Lena smiles back, instinctually, heartbeat fluttering through her sleepy daze since Kara's unfairly staring at her lips again. "What are you up to?"

"Nothing," Kara says, so soft it sends shivers through Lena. Then she drags her eyes up to meet Lena's and they're doing that stupid smoky thing again. "Just wanted to get a chance to kiss you properly before the night is over."

Lena isn't even sure what that means, but she feels saliva slicking inside her mouth like a Pavlovian response. "Usually you do that at my door, right?"

"I plan on kissing you there, too," Kara says, casually, casual as anything even though she's talking about proper kissing. Whatever the fuck that means. Lena's practically drooling. "I don't do so well with delayed gratification. So."

"So," Lena echoes, dumbly, twisting her hands together, and then Kara leans in and kisses her again.

It starts off just like their one before, Kara pushing their lips together softly, Kara's lips being a little damp. But Lena's mouth is slightly open this time, and Kara runs her tongue across it, pressing inside a little, slow and sweet like she wants Lena to open wider. 

Lena feels a hot tug pulling at every inch of her body, like her every fiber wants Kara so much, so she spreads her lips just like Kara's asking, enough for Kara to lean in further and deepen the kiss, heavy and intoxicating and wet. She drops her hand to Lena's bare thigh as she licks inside her mouth, as she presses their tongues together, as she makes it messier and messier, sucking and nibbling on Lena's lip with her perfect teeth, pulling at Lena's lip and letting it pop back.

All the while, Lena keeps making embarrassing little noises against Kara's lips, into her mouth, into the air, dumb sounds rattling through the silence of the car.

She can't even stop them from escaping, completely involuntary, unintentional. It's just. Well. She hasn't kissed that many people, not really, so she doesn't have much to go on, but Kara kisses her in the exact way she's always imagined she wants to be kissed. It's like she's rough and gentle at the same time, like she's exploring Lena's mouth but also like she already knows it, like it's natural for her and she knows just how to give Lena what she wants.

She's just so sure and confident and good at kissing, and they go on for what seems like forever, until it's hot and stuffy between them.

Until Lena's breath keeps awkwardly stuttering because one of Kara's hands is gripping her thigh, cold metal of Lena's ring kissing her skin, and one of her hands is gripping just beneath Lena's shirt, blunt nails digging into Lena's side, and her mouth is so warm and so wet and so perfect, and now Kara's moaning into Lena's mouth too--

And, fuck, Lena's body snatches on the seatbelt when she tries to follow Kara, when Kara pulls away, when she tries to kiss her again even though Kara's shaking her head and licking her tongue across her lips deliciously. 

Shit, Lena's mind is absolutely spiraling.

"I should get you home," Kara says after a second, Lena still hazy and wide-eyed and breathing heavy. "Thanks for coming out tonight."

And then she shuts Lena's door, and gets in the other side and starts driving and holds Lena's hand and sings along to the music, as if she's completely unaffected.

As if absolutely nothing just happened.

 

It's a slow walk up the stairs to her apartment, Kara keeping her hand on the small of Lena's back and guiding her carefully. It's barely that intimate of a gesture, but heat sparks through Lena every time she thinks about the kiss. Every time she thinks about Kara's hands on her and Kara moaning into her mouth and sucking her lips, and.

Fuck, her mind is drifting away again and they've made it to her door.

"So," she says, awkwardly shifting her weight from one leg to the other and fiddling her hands together. "I guess this is goodnight?"

"Almost," Kara gestures, eyes intense on Lena. "I mean, we're at your door now, so. You know."

She fits her hand on Lena's hip, just holding it there for a second, and then she walks her back until she's pressed against the wall, and it's. Kara's not even a particularly sexy person most times, she's just young and cute and spritely, but when she's serious--when she's set on kissing Lena--she gets this look in her eyes and it's a lot to be hit with three times in one night.

"Unless you don't want to kiss again?" she checks in, already close enough that Lena can feel her breath through her words.

"Of course I do," Lena mumbles, and then Kara tangles her hand in Lena's hair, tilts her head back, and kisses her until her mouth feels numb and swollen, until she's radiating with how well-kissed she is.

Until she's absolute putty in Kara's arms and has to pretend sleepiness is the reason she asks Kara to carry her to her couch.

 

Kara's hair is still damp and just starting to curl a bit on the edges by the time she makes it to their solo practice the next day. She makes eye contact with Lena right away, and then walks straight up to Lena's back and rests her chin comfortably on her shoulder. 

"I had a nightmare last night about trains and cabbage," she says randomly, wrapping her arms around Lena's belly and pulling them flush together.

Lena had a dream about Kara's lips, so she doesn't really comment back. Instead she focuses on how much bigger Kara is than her, how her arms are secure around her, how her shoulders are broad and she's tall, and strong. So strong.

Like, it's not like Kara's twice her size or anything, but Lena can't help but think she could probably lift her like it was nothing, could probably do all sorts of things, inappropriate things, things she shouldn't be thinking about while Kara's still explaining how... the giant cabbage lord hijacked the train?

"But then I just ate him," she finishes with. "And I woke up."

"Seems like that was always the obvious solution," Lena says, wrapping her hands around Kara's.

"Yeah, but in dreams you're like, you can't think straight. Normally I'm not scared of a cabbage, but last night he was terrifying."

Kara's mouth is practically against Lena's ear. If Lena thought finally kissing her would do anything to keep her mind off of Kara's lips, she was wrong.

"I'm glad you figured it out," she says, unsure why they're even talking about this. Must be what relationships are like. "In my nightmares I mostly just die. Or watch people I love die."

"Aw, babe," Kara coos, which makes Lena's skin tingle. Babe. Babe. "That's terrifying and sad. Should call me if that happens, and I can bore you back to sleep with the details of a rugby match or something."

There's a weird squirming feeling in Lena's belly, like her body's just reacting to Kara's heat or something, maybe her voice, maybe the fact that she actually presses a kiss to Lena's ear.

"Don't mind me waking you from your sleep? Seems like you're a busy bee during the day."

"Not at all, please do," Kara says, slowly dragging her mouth from Lena's ear, down her jaw, towards the corner of her mouth. "You smell super nice, you know? I always like being next to you."

Before Lena can process that, her head's already turning and she's pressing her mouth against Kara's. And then Kara kisses her, quick and sweet, and pulls away afterwards like that's all she needed.

"Let's get the run in," she nods. "You're a professional now. We gotta have serious practices."

Serious practices, Lena finds out, means the intensity gets upped a bit, but they're just as goofy as they normally are, Kara's just as much of a dork as she normally is, and it just feels like they're them.

Well, as much of them as they can be when they can't keep their hands off each other.

Kara keeps, keeps kissing her, finding any excuse to--whenever they get too close, whenever she creates an opportunity for them to get too close, whenever she feels like it and whenever Lena lets her. So it's probably not surprising they end 'serious practice' a little early and opt to hangout under a large oak tree.

It's mostly Lena sitting on Kara's lap, Kara kissing her like she did in the car, like she did in the hallway when she walked Lena to her apartment door--deep and intense, tongue pretty much owning Lena's mouth, making Lena's skin tingle and her stomach fluttery.

They've only been doing it for a day, but kissing Kara is easily Lena's favorite thing to do. It's just, Kara doesn't do anything half-assed--not laser tag, not chemistry (when she's learning with Lena), not frisbee, not singing, not dating--and this is no different. When Kara's kissing Lena, she's intense and focused and caring and it's like, for the entirety of that time, Lena's the only thing that exists in the world. It's like Lena's lips are the only thing that matters, and Kara focuses every ounce of her energy on making them feel good.

And Lena can't help wondering what it'd be like if Kara was focusing her attention somewhere else, if Kara had her mouth between Lena's--no, inappropriate thought. "Hey," Lena says, breathless, pulling up from their kiss and smiling at Kara. "What happened to serious practices? You're being a bad influence."

Kara's pink lips are puffy and her eyes are glistening enough to be glassy, and Lena definitely needs to get off of her lap, because Kara's warm and amazing and soft, and Lena's a hot-blooded woman.

"Sorry, whenever my girlfriend looks at my lips I feel obligated to fulfill her wishes," Kara smiles. 

Lena snorts, wrapping her legs tighter around Kara's waist. She's positively charmed by every single breath she takes. "First off, I'm not even your girlfriend--"

"Excuse me?" Kara scoffs. "You weren't saying that seconds ago when you were kissing my face off."

"--and second, how are you such a smug little turd?"

"Should I not be?" Kara asks, eyes glinting like she's asking seriously. "I was pretty confident you were into me, but if there're reasons for me to have insecurities, please let me know."

Lena runs her hands up Kara's arms, slipping her fingers beneath her t-shirt sleeves. "You have to ask me, is all I'm saying."

"Okay, I'll put on a suit and buy a dozen roses, get down on one knee and everything. Make the day you're officially mine a real special occasion."

"I'm already yours, just like being asked," Lena says, because she is. Because she likes being honest with Kara. "You know, when I first woke up after the party I was mortified that maybe I'd said something embarrassing to you. And after last night I'm kind of scared I said other things you're not telling me."

Kara laughs and flicks the waistband of Lena's shorts. "Don't worry, you never need to be embarrassed about anything with me. You're mine and it's my job to make sure you're always comfy. When you're with me, at least."

Lena's heart is clenching. "Calm down, this could just be young love. Trial and error."

"I don't know," Kara shrugs. "Sometimes you get it right on your first try, and sometimes you never get it right at all. I feel like I owe it to all my partners to just try my best every time."

"That's oddly profound."

"Yeah, I read it on a popsicle stick." Kara's eyes glow up afterwards with her laughter and Lena doesn't know how she found someone so perfect.

"You're such a nerd," Lena says, slapping Kara's shoulder, and then just leaving her hand there and appreciating the fact she can touch her whenever she wants now, the fact she can actually fantasize about her thighs without feeling weird. "Do you want to go get food or something, I'm starving."

Kara presses up and kisses Lena quick on her mouth. "What'd I tell you about asking if I want food? I only ever have one opinion and it's yes."

 

It only takes a week for Lena to realize she's reaching the point on no return--the point where she's so entangled in being with Kara that the thought of losing her is terrifying. One week. It only takes one week.

It's her first real, actual relationship, and they're not even that far in, but she doesn't really believe in denying what her brain is trying to tell her - and her brain is trying to tell her that Kara just might be the sweetest, cutest, funniest, most endearing person in the world. That there's a reason Lena was enamored from the very first second, that there's a reason her heart leaps from her chest the moment Kara walks out of the doors from her Chemistry lecture.

She skips to Lena as soon as she spots her, curls bouncing and glasses staying perfectly on somehow. "Guess what?" she asks, wrapping her arms around Lena and lifting her effortlessly to spin her in a circle. 

Lena smiles, gripping her shoulders to steady herself. "What? D'you pass?"

"Yeah I think so," Kara nods, smile blossoming. "This was the first ever chem test where I recognized all the problems and knew the steps I needed to take. There was one that was a little hard, but maybe we can go over it later and you can teach me?"

She drops Lena down after she asks, and Lena tugs her necklace to pull her in for a kiss. "Yeah, of course. Chemistry is like my frisbee, I live and breathe it, always happy to teach you."

"Such a sweetheart," Kara says, completely genuine but a thousand percent on purpose. Ever since Lena said she liked being called babe, Kara's really piled it on with the petnames. And she's not even doing it to be a shitter, but doing it seriously, since she really wants to make Lena happy.

Which makes it a thousand times worse on Lena's heart.

"No, it's not a problem," Lena says, looping an arm around Kara's waist and pulling her in so they can walk together, side by side.

Kara wraps an arm around her shoulders and bumps her with her hip, slowly easing their way along the quad. "If you're free after the game tomorrow, I was thinking we could maybe go to the movies. There's this good RomCom out, and I think you'd like it."

Lena rolls her eyes, but squeezes Kara closer. "Could you please ask me on a date properly?"

"Right," Kara says, and then leans in to nuzzle Lena's hair before she says, "Should let me take you on a date, baby."

Baby. It's, undeniably, a thousand times worse than babe. But Lena can't even tell her to stop because she sort of actually, really likes it. It's dumb. She's dumb. "Yeah, would love that. Especially since I was oblivious during our last one."

"You weren't oblivious, you were cute," Kara corrects.

Which aren't mutually exclusive, but Lena doesn't say that, just nudges Kara's chin until Kara turns and kisses her again.

 

They end up browsing the mall as they wait for their movie time, both freshly showered and sore and tired from the game, their fingers laced together nicely, and Kara leading them along with her hand in front.

Somehow they end up in Lush sniffing bath bombs, and both being a little weird about smelling certain scents on each other.

"Have you tried these kinds?" Kara asks, lifting a black jelly bomb with circles on its surface. "It makes the water like, gooey. And it makes your skin soft, smells nice too."

Lena shakes her head. "No, don't think so. Never seen those ones before."

"You should smell it," Kara says, stepping closer, close enough that Lena can smell the orange and vanilla from her body wash even over all the other scents in the store.

"Yeah, alrighty," Lena says, and takes it from Kara for a sniff.

As soon as she's done, Kara leans in, nuzzling her nose against Lena's ear and mindlessly rubbing her lips wetly against her skin, before she asks, "How'd you like it?"

Lena shudders, gripping Kara's hand so tightly she's scared she'll bruise it. It's probably just her imagination, but she feels like everyone is watching her, like the whole store is suddenly silent.

Kara's been especially snuggly lately, like it's her nature to be touching Lena, so Lena's hearts been in her throat for a small eternity now. "Smells really nice," she says, ignoring the squirming she gets in her stomach whenever Kara gets--anywhere near her, really. "Should get a couple for ourselves."

"Or we could just get one and save some money," Kara suggests.

"True, yeah," Lena hums. "I hear a lot of people just cut them up and use them multiple times."

She becomes acutely aware a second later that that's not at all what Kara meant, when Kara mumbles on, "Yeah, imagine how nice it'd feel rubbing it into your skin. How you'd be so soft afterwards, how nice you'd smell. That'd be so good, right sweetheart?"

Oh. Lena swallows and tries not to think too hard about Kara rubbing anything into her skin, about taking a bath with Kara. She shakes her head a little and tries to shake the feeling in her chest off, tries to push it away.

But she can't--it seeps into her cheeks and her core, heat spreading in her belly and tugging low in her--

Um.

"Um," she coughs, and then she catches sight of how dark Kara's blue blue blue eyes are as she nibbles her lip, and it's even more intense than her smoky ones, so Lena... she decides to extract herself. "Sounds good to me," she says, untangling their hands and getting anywhere further than within two inches of Kara. "I'm gonna try some of the exfoliators in the sink, okay?"

Then she walks away and can feel Kara's stare burning into her back, so she picks up the pace. She's not running away, she'd never run away from Kara, but she needs to escape whatever feeling she's getting because it's not appropriate in public.

Kara's not appropriate in public, a surprising turn of events.

Lena exfoliates her hands until they're a little red, red like her face is when she looks into the mirror above the sink, like her cheeks are a perpetual blush when she's with Kara.

It's a little weird, but it's just - there are times when Kara's the goofiest person in the world, and then there are times when it's like... it's like she sees Lena like a bull sees red, like she tunnels on her uncontrollably, and Lena's never had anyone see her like that before.

Not that it's inherently bad, it's not bad at all. It's just a lot to handle, and sometimes Lena needs a surface to go to for air.

Kara must notice something is up, because she always notices, always sees everything when it comes to Lena.

"I'm sorry," she starts, walking over and standing next to Lena cautiously. "Sometimes I start talking and like, saying things that I'm thinking out loud and I don't realize I'm doing it. I didn't mean to make it weird, I'll be more cautious of it."

The problem wasn't that it was weird, but that it was too much. But Lena catalogues that Kara does that sometimes somewhere in her mind and decides on, "You didn't do anything wrong, just really wanted to make my hands soft for when you're holding them." She dries them on a paper towel and sticks them out in front of her for Kara to take. "See for yourself."

Kara does, running her thumbs over Lena's knuckles and checking her face closely. "Okay, just making sure. Wanna checkout?"

Lena nods, and then she kisses Kara right in the center of the store, deep and carnal, almost, and that seems to get them back to normal again.

 

"Are you serious?" Lena gasps, fiddling with Kara's fingers on the table and twirling her ring around Kara's middle finger.

They're in the food court after the movie and Kara's finally showing Lena videos of all her highlights from her rugby matches. Lena's currently watching her twirl around three defenders and then expertly dodge two more to score.

"This is actually ridiculous," Lena continues. "It's like you're not human."

"I told you I was pretty good," Kara says, flipping her hand to grab Lena's fingers. She's usually quite modest except when it comes to sports, then she's smug and a bit sexy (to be honest), Lena's quickly noticing. "You are gonna come to my games, right? I can dedicate all my tries to you."

"What's a try?"

"It's like a touchdown, but in rugby. Gonna make a sports lover out of you yet," Kara says, grabbing six fries to eat at once and clicking to a new video. 

Lena scoots in closer and rests her head on her shoulder as she watches the phone screen. "But why'd you have to pick a full-contact sport?" she asks, as Kara tries to scroll past her getting tackled without Lena seeing it. She's not quick enough. "Half the reason I'm into you is your pretty face."

Kara wiggles a little, happily. "Thought that'd be ninety percent, at least. Now I'm intrigued, what's the rest of it?"

"Um," Lena wonders out loud, sort of wanting to go for joking, but also sort of in a sappy mood. "I like that you're curious and honest and, uh. I like how my hand fits in yours. And I like your eyes--"

"That's on my face," Kara points out.

"Fine, then," Lena frowns. "Fuck your eyes. I guess I just like your ass."

Kara squeaks and snorts at the same time, in maybe the most adorable sound Lena's ever heard, laughing obnoxiously. "Always knew you were just after my goodies," she accuses loudly. "Downright charlatan."

"You're right," Lena fake confesses, tilting her head coyly. "It's why I was gonna suggest we find a dressing room to make out in, just want my hands on you."

"Wait, really?" Kara perks up, like she's zeroing in on Lena again.

So that's how they end up in the least crowded dressing room in Macy's, pretending to try on sports bras, but really getting more handsy than Lena expected initially. Especially when Kara lifts her against the wall so Lena's legs are wrapped around her waist, and Lena keeps accidentally knocking her head and making too much noise whenever Kara drops her mouth down to her neck.

But it's totally worth the scandalized look they get from the dressing room assistant on the way out.

Lena actually buys them the bras because she feels bad, though.

 

"We've been kissing nonstop for like two weeks," Lena says, stabbing her fork into a tomato in her salad.

"Oh yeah?" Sam smiles. "Can thank Alex and I for that. Giving you the nudge that you needed."

"Shut up," Lena laughs, tossing a spinach leaf. "But thank you, actually."

Sam doesn't even flinch, she just picks the leaf off her shirt and eats it. "I have good news myself, actually. Also Danvers related."

"No," Lena gasps, with her mouth still full. She's normally classier than this but right now she's got loads of ideas ruffling through her head, chief among them a double wedding with her best friend. "Thought she wasn't interested."

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves," Sam rolls her eyes. "But she did wipe mustard off my chin when we got burgers the other day. With her thumb. And she had these intense eyes."

"Oh my god, the eyes," Lena groans, dropping her head to the side.

"I know," Sam agrees, equally groany. "You were right, I'm convinced neither one of them is human at this point."

"They're so tall and attractive and athletic and funny. Who even does that?"

"Shut up," Sam giggles. "You're probably the most attractive person I know. Which is a million percent why Kara can't keep her hands off of you, by the way. I've seen you two at games and practices. X-rated, buddy."

"PG-13 at best," Lena scoffs.

"Speaking of x-rated," Sam says, unsubtly. 

Lena frowns. "We were not, actually, and we will remain not."

"So you haven't then?"

"I've known her for three weeks, these things take time."

"Do you not want to?" Sam asks, playing with her salad afterwards like these are innocent questions that Lena should trust her with. Like she won't just go back to the team and rat her out!

She answers honestly anyway, because Sam. "Of course I do, but it's. I'm sorta scared it'll be so good I'll spontaneously combust or something. It's a serious problem."

Sam laughs too loudly, drawing the attention of at least four tables. "What a shit problem to have, Lena. I'd never want your life." 

"Hey it's not all sunshine and daisies," Lena laughs, pushing a tomato aside and forking a chunk of feta. 

Sam sticks her fork over and takes the neglected tomato. "Yeah, sometimes there are roses."

"Whatever, Kara hasn't expressed any interest in having sex anyway," Lena says, and it's true, technically. Kara loves to touch her and kiss her and nap with her head in her lap, but she's never made any moves to touch Lena anywhere that'd indicate they were moving past kissing. "I mean, we touch a lot, but we haven't--she never takes it too far, and she seems good with that."

"Lena," Sam says, dropping her fork and putting on a serious expression. "She's a twenty-year-old athletic demigod with the metabolism of a hummingbird. You could text sex-question-mark to her right now, and I'm pretty sure she'd literal fly to this restaurant."

"Okay, but--"

"I'm not done," Sam holds up a hand. "Plus, you're like lesbian catnip, so. I'm more impressed that she's held it in this long, and even more impressed she's convinced you she's content with just kissing. She's not, trust me. I'd want to have sex with you if you weren't like my sister and I had you pressed against a wall in a dressing room." 

"Whatever," Lena says, and tries not to think about that for the rest of lunch.

 

But it's like a seed planted in her head that she can't stop fiddling with. She wants to have sex with Kara, of course she does, but she never thought about what Kara thinks--if she wants to go slow, if she's just really into kissing Lena, if she's ready now.

Sex suddenly feels like so much of a possibility that Lena spends the next week looking for signs it'll happen, spends it breathlessly anticipating sex every time they start touching too much or kissing.

And there's a lot of touching and a lot of kissing--heavy, heated, very explicit kissing--and holding hands and flirting in public and, ugh.

There's also ice cream dates and late night star gazing and them shitting around in the chem lab (and Kara lifting her onto the counter and kissing Lena while her big hands are holding Lena's thighs apart so she can stand between them), and Lena thinks maybe they're ready for the next step.

So the next time Kara's settled between her legs, kissing Lena in her bed, hot and heavy on top of her--

Lena thinks maybe this can be a little more than their typical make-out session.

It's a good day for them. Kara aced another lab, and they won another game earlier (games happening once a week now and they haven't lost yet), and they've both recently showered so they're soft and cozy and smell nice, and. Kara's wearing these worn-soft gray joggers that feel like a cloud against Lena's skin, and they're a little too tight, so they perfectly hug her ass, and she is not wearing any underwear, so.

Lena grabs Kara's ass.

While Kara's on top of Lena, busy focused on kissing her, Lena just reaches down and squeezes a gratuitous handful and then doesn't exactly pull her hand away. And for a second it's like Kara gets a bit frantic, presses deeper into the kiss, shifts her hips like she's humping Lena a little, starts making breathy little sounds, even more so than the ones she makes when they're just kissing and not sexually touching.

But it doesn't really go any further than that.

 

Or Lena at least thinks it doesn't. But it's kind of like her one ass grab sets an avalanche in motion.

It's two days later when she notices Things Have Changed.

Things start off innocently enough--they're at Target doing a snack pick-up for the team game night and sleepover, and Lena's too short to reach the Sweet and Fiery Gushers on the top shelf, so she needs Kara's help.

"Hey tall, blonde and gorgeous," she calls out, since Kara's in the aisle over picking out a cheese dip. "I need you to put your long arms and big hands to good use."

"My arms aren't that long," Kara yells back, frown clear in her voice. "You make it seem like I'm slenderman or something."

"No, you're slenderwoman," Lena snorts. "Get over here, I require your services."

"Fine," Kara huffs, and a few seconds later she's snuggling in behind Lena, arms looping around her belly and pulling her close. "What were you saying about my hands?"

"They're big," Lena deadpans.

Kara hums like there's actually something about that to consider, then says, "Nah, I think they're just the right size for my girlfriend," and then she slides her hand up and cups it against Lena's left boob, grabbing it firmly afterwards and dragging her thumb across her nipple. Which is something she never did before Lena's ass grab. They've done a bunch, but this is new territory. "What'd you need me to get?"

Lena swallows, her mouth's bone dry and her breath is in her throat, and she can't exactly remember what she wanted with Kara's thumb still stroking her nipple. With her nipple actually peeking out from beneath her sports bra, visible through her thin t-shirt.

"You're gonna get us kicked out," Lena finally says, once Kara starts trailing kisses from the juncture between her neck and collar bone all the way up to her jaw, to her ear--fuck.

"So you want me to stop?" Kara asks, and there's something about how she says it that gets to Lena, something about her tone. It's like it's not even a question at all, but a challenge.

Lena shakes her head. "No."

Kara pinches her nipple and rolls it between her thumb and forefinger, and then she sucks Lena's ear into her mouth, circling her tongue around it. Lena feels like she's getting hazy, more hazy than she's ever gotten from being touched by Kara before, so she grinds her ass back mindlessly, circles it against the fabric of Kara's sweats.

And then Kara makes a strained, very strained grunting sound and completely dislodges herself. 

She mumbles something Lena can't make out with her head spinning, then finally reaches for the gushers after a few seconds of shaking her head, flushed and tense and very clearly frustrated.

And ugh. Okay. Sam was right, of course she was. But now Lena can't stop thinking about Kara's mouth on her ear.

 

Lena's never been good at leaving well-enough alone, and she really, really likes the idea of Kara wanting her enough to grunt about it, so she stirs it up again on the phone that night.

Kara's going over the games the team plays on game night and who teams up normally and all of the strategies for winning, and Lena's not saying much because she generally just likes the sound of Kara's voice. But it's also because she's not exactly interested in talking about games, more interested in talking about what happened in Target.

"Why'd you pull off of me today?" she asks, when there's a long enough pause in the conversation.

She's fairly confident the same moment has been playing in Kara's head all of today as well, so she doesn't feel like she needs to elaborate. "You said yourself we'd get kicked out."

"Yeah, but what were you thinking about?" Lena presses, heart beating a little fast. "While you were touching me, I mean."

She can hear shuffling on the other end of the phone, and there's a long beat of silence. "I'm not sure what you mean," Kara finally says. "I guess I was thinking about you. I'm always thinking about you."

That's not what Lena's angling for. She'll have to be a little more forward. "I mean, you know. Sometimes when you're kissing me I think it feels really nice, and I think about how nice it'd feel if you kissed me other places."

Kara's breath is sharp and choppy on the other end. "Oh. Yeah, I think about that, as well?"

"Think about what, specifically?" Lena asks, pulling on her lip.

"Kissing you other places, like you said." She pauses for a second. "Other things, too."

This could go a number of different ways--Lena could just drop it or she could press it on, remembers how heated Kara got in Lush and sort of wants to make her talk that way on purpose. "What other things?"

"What are you getting at, sweetheart?" Kara asks, innocently.

"Just curious," Lena says, mirroring her innocence as best as she knows how.

Kara sighs, strained. "I guess, I--well, you're so pretty, you know? And I bet you'd be even prettier if like--" Kara cuts off and huffs out air real muffled like, like there's something in her mouth. Probably her knuckle. Kara's probably biting her knuckle to stop herself from saying something dirty, and Lena's getting a little wet thinking about it. 

There's so much anticipation in her belly for what Kara might say, that she eventually asks, "I'd be even prettier if what?"

"Well, you know," Kara begins, a little hesitant at first, but Lena can tell she starts to settle into it. "So your skin is a bit pale, naturally, and. I've noticed, when we're playing frisbee, practicing, you get flushed when you're worked up and out of breath. But not just in your cheeks; it's like you blush with your whole body, and it's just so. It's so pretty to me. And sometimes I think about, like if we were having sex--if you were completely naked, and I--I'd like to make you do that, I'd like to get you worked up, make your body blush just for me."

Fuck, Lena's biting her lip so hard it feels like she might break through the skin. "What would you do to get me like that?"

"Lena," Kara gushes. "Baby, what are you doing?"

"Please, I just wanna know," Lena says, squirming against her sheets.

"No, baby. I mean, what are you doing. Right now. Physically."

Oh. Lena's not doing anything. Like, she's breathing a little hard and biting her lip and pressing her knees together, shifting her hips a little, but she's not--that'd be too weird. "Nothing?"

"So you just want to hear me talk? But not to like, help you to--"

"Oh, no I--not, um," Lena flushes. "That's not, I wouldn't. That'd be weird, I'd--"

"It's okay, sweetheart," Kara says gently. Too gentle. "I told you that you never have to be embarrassed about anything with me. It's okay if you want to. I'd like to help out."

"No?" Lena says quickly, but way too unsure. "I mean, um. It's just--(ugh)--Sam asked if you were interested in sex with me, is all. And I should've just asked, but. That's what I was getting at, sorry. I should go to bed, anyway. It's past my bedtime."

There's a long, long pause on the other end, Lena mostly bracing herself for whatever embarrassing part of that Kara decides to address, but all Kara says is, "Alrighty, sweet dreams, then. Have errands to run with Alex tomo, but you'll be at the sleepover, yeah?"

"Of course, yeah, wouldn't miss it," Lena says, and then she hangs up the phone.

 

Team Game Night and Sleepover starts out pretty okay, pretty innocuous. They watch a Netflix RomCom and drink six dollar pink wine from a twisty cap bottle. Kara sits next to Lena the whole time, cuddling her and sneaking kisses and not bringing up the phone call from last night, thankfully.

And then as soon as the movie's over, Alex takes charge and separates them into pairs for Truth or Drink.

Of course she puts Kara and Lena together, and of course they have to go first.

"Want to take a shot before we start?" Kara asks, sitting across the table from Lena and looking considerably less tense. Lena's never played Truth or Drink, but from the cheering it garnered when Alex announced it, and the general personalities of the frisbee team, she can already tell it's going to be overwhelming.

"Yes, of course," Lena nods her head, laughing out her nerves. She's already a little tipsy from the wine, but she's with friends and no one's going to drug her this time. "Bad habit of drinking around you, need to shake it some time."

Kara snorts. "Actually, let's make it fun. We'll take three shots and then wait five minutes before we start? But we're never allowed to take the drink option."

Lena points at the bottle, tilting her head. "That's Cuervo, I hope you're aware."

"You chicken?" 

"Fuck you," Lena giggles, pouring herself a shot. "I'll take you up on that."

Five minutes later she feels like the world's slightly spinning, but she's looking in Kara's pretty eyes, and that's all that matters.

"Ready for your first question," Kara asks, like liquor doesn't affect her at all.

"Yep," Lena nods.

Luckily, her first question is an easy one. "Alright, so if someone offered you a million dollars to never talk to me again, would you take it?" Kara asks, her attention and everyone else's focused on Lena.

Lena doesn't even have to think before she answers (but she's sort of drunk drunk, so she probably should). "Mmm," she hums, happy and warm and--wow--Kara's so incredibly beautiful. "What's that line from that Jay-Z song?" she asks, and then because it seems appropriate, she raps, "What's a million dollars to a motherfucker like me? Can you please remind me."

"Holy crap, I'll take that as a no," Kara says, laughing so hard she's wheezing, laughing so hard she's red. "Can you even read a card for me? Are you capable?"

"Shut up," Lena slurs, missing the card with her hand on her first try, but getting it her second time. Thank you very much. "Okay, Kara. When's the last time you masturbated and what was it to?"

Kara somehow gets even more red, her giggling uncontrollable. "Last night," she admits. "And I um, had a very interesting phone call with someone, and couldn't stop thinking about them afterwards."

Vaguely, Lena's aware that at least three people snort behind her, but for some reason she's revelling in the laughter and attention. "Sounds like someone needed my help not the other way around," Lena points out.

And Kara legitimately coughs like she's out of breath. "Oh god, Lena. Shut up. Crap." She grabs a card quickly and pulls it up to her face. "Um, okay. Okay. This one's good. What's my greatest asset, physically?"

Lena actually has to think about that one, since Kara's every asset is great. Whatever, that's good enough. "I like all your assets," she says. "They're all great."

Kara's so soft looking when she smiles at that, so pretty. Very, very pretty. Lena wouldn't mind sitting on her lap. That feels like a good idea right now. 

Lena twists until she's on her hands and knees, and then she crawls over to Kara, Kara laughing the entire time. "Babe. Babe, what are you doing? Baby. You have to stay on your side of the--okay, fine. That's fine. You can sit on my lap."

Of course Lena can sit on her lap, she thinks, pressing her face against Kara's and getting comfortable. She is Kara's after all, she's her girl. 

From this side of the table, however, she can see the rest of the group, and there're definitely other people red from laughing, probably, and a couple people filming with their phones. Which is scandalous. Lena narrows her eyes at them, then remembers it's her turn to ask Kara a question.

She grabs a card. "What sounds do you make having sex, and can you make them?" 

Lena doesn't process the question until after she says it, and then she realizes it was probably a terrible idea to sit on Kara's lap. Terrible, horrible, bad idea. She's tries to escape, but Kara tightens her arms around her waist, pulling her closer and mashing her mouth against her ear. "No, no you're in the perfect spot for this," she says, and then she proceeds to moan.

Like, all out moan. Like, not playful joke moans, but real sex sounds, right against Lena's ear, noises that send heat rushing through Lena so fast she gets a head rush. Noises that have her so turned on it feels like her skin is tingling and numb, noises that makes her bite her lip too obviously because she can't help it.

And then Kara switches from moans to little breathy sounds and grunts, and then back to moans again. And fuck. Fuck fuck.

"Holy shit, Kara stop," Alex laughs, half an eternity later. Lena can see there're people still filming, can see almost everyone has their phones pointed in her general direction, can tell this is maybe the best and worst moment of her life even while she's drunk. "Look how red she is, she's gonna pass out. Kara, stoppp."

Kara does stop, finally, thankfully, gratefully.

She laughs against Lena's hair afterwards, then presses kisses all over her cheeks and her ear and face and then her lips. "Come on, our round's over," she whispers, once Lena's slumped in her lap and forgetting other people exist in the room. "Let's get some water in you. And food, lots of food."

"Lots of food," Lena repeats, going happily when Kara lifts her up.

 

They come back just in time to see Sam pick up a card and sheepishly say to Alex, "You have to either make out with me or take two shots to pass," and then watch as Alex leans across the table and pulls Sam into a long, deep completely uncalled for make-out sess.

Holy shit, is the only thing Lena can think.

And then Kara drags her away so they can make out themselves--with Lena sitting on the bathroom sink kicking her feet against the cabinet doors, and the alcohol finally hitting Kara enough that she's mostly just rubbing her lips against Lena's face and laughing against her mouth.

But it's an A+ attempt.

 

They end up cuddled on the floor in the living room at the end of the night, fortified in a mess of blankets and pillows with the rest of the team.

Lena's on the tail-end of her drunkenness by now, and definitely nowhere near blackout, so this time she gets to actually enjoy it when Kara wraps around her back, soft and warm and heavy.

"Have fun tonight, baby?" she whispers, sleepy against Lena's ear. Most of the other girls are either asleep or distracted by the movie playing, so Lena feels brave enough to turn around and cuddle with her face against Kara's chest, instead.

She wants to be surrounded by how good Kara smells the whole night, and she doesn't care how weird that is.

"Remind me to think of bribes to get everyone to delete their videos," she yawns, knocking legs with Kara until she's comfortable, and Kara's legs are accommodating around her.

Kara snakes one of her hands into Lena's hair and tangles her fingers in it, rubbing circles along her back with the other one and cocooning Lena like her broad shoulders and lovely arms were meant to do. "We do an end of season media presentation to commemorate the summer, and it'd take like a million dollars per player for those not to end up in it."

"Good thing my family's worth billions," Lena mumbles. "Worth it to not have to relive that."

"You mean you don't wanna see how pretty you looked while I was moaning against your ear?" Kara asks, dropping her hand from Lena's back to her waist, thumbing the elastic of Lena's sleeping pants.

Her voice still sounds sleepy, but it's definitely dropped lower in a way that makes Lena's belly twist in knots--even if she doesn't feel like she was pretty at all, more like mortified. Or, at least, she would have been if she were any less drunk.

"You saw and that's what matters," she decides on.

Kara shifts a little and makes a tiny, tiny miserable sound, clearing her throat afterwards like it wasn't supposed to come out. And then she just says, "Yep."

Nothing else, no baby, no more talking, no fiddling with Lena's pants. She's holding back and Lena doesn't want her to. Like, maybe she should since they're not alone and Kara gets her worked up pretty easily, but she's wrapped in her arms and she's never slept over before and it seems like they're both in the mood for something sexy. 

"Is that what you had in mind last night when you said you'd get me--"

"Not here, baby," Kara cuts her off, gripping her waist tighter and smashing her lips against Lena's forehead for a frantic kiss.

Lena wishes she could let it go, really wishes she could, but Kara's breathing is heavy and even just thinking about the sounds she was making earlier has heat spreading through Lena's belly, searing and intense.

She's about to say something else, but Kara tilts her head back and kisses her, kisses her long and sensual, and then tucks her head against her chest again once she's finished, and says, "We'll talk about it later, promise."

Chapter Text

+

"Mm, but why," Lena slurs, trying to shake the haze of sleep off. She takes a small step forward and wobbles a bit, then feels Kara's hand on her back to steady her. "Why're we up?"

"You're helping me out," Kara says warmly, rubbing her hands over Lena's shoulders like maybe she can massage her awake.

It doesn't make a real difference—however nice Kara's hands feel, Lena's still too disoriented to fully process what's going on. She blinks once more, stares at the groceries lined up on the kitchen counter, and decides sleep sounds a hundred times better than whatever this is.

"What's it you want me to do?" she asks, voice low and morning-raspy. 

"Muffins," Kara explains, settling her hand low on Lena's back. "Thought you could make them for the team."

"Mmm," Lena hums, taking stock of the ingredients, then she blinks heavily again and opts for turning and shoving her face against Kara's neck instead of thinking of a better response.

Kara's skin is a bit damp since she's fresh from the shower, and she smells strongly of shampoo and body wash and, well, Kara—warm and familiar and inviting and amazing. And she's even wearing a super soft flannel that's barely buttoned, so her bright red sports bra is showing.

But Lena's too tired and groggy to even appreciate it.

They went to bed at least later than three last night, she remembers, but by the time Kara shook Lena awake at the ass-crack of dawn 7:20am, she'd already went for a six mile run and showered and was beaming like she'd had a solid eight hours of rest. 

"Would do it myself, but think I'd burn the house down," Kara continues, looping her arms around Lena's waist and pulling her into a tight hug.

Lena yawns wide enough to stretch out her mouth painfully, and then ducks her head so her face is resting against Kara's shoulder. Maybe if she zones out enough, she can fall asleep just like this. 

"We could just order some instead," she tries.

"Yah, maybe, but. I eat baked goods for a living and I've never had any as good as yours," Kara says, and legitimately sounds like she's being genuine. "Don't you want to make them for the team, please? They'll love them."

"Not really," Lena grumbles, then pauses. "Maybe? Sure, yeah fine. I'll make them."

"Aw, hey," Kara says, squatting a bit and nudging Lena's head up so they're face-to-face. She waits a second for Lena to fully blink her eyes open, and then she starts pressing quick little kisses against her mouth and chin and nose and all over her face, gentle enough that they tickle.

So Lena ends up giggling breathlessly after a few seconds, with Kara smiling wide against her cheek.

"I'm sorry, baby. You don't have to," Kara assures her. "I just thought it'd be fun, but looks like my sweetheart went a little too hard last night."

"No, it's fine," Lena says, blinking a few times before officially declaring herself awake. And then she narrows her eyes and thumps Kara's chest, maybe purposely brushing against the exposed skin. "And I went an acceptable level of hard, you're just a freak of nature that survives on two-hours of sleep."

"Actually, I didn't sleep at all," Kara laughs, blush creeping up her cheeks. "Still running on steam from yesterday."

"What?" Lena frowns, actually perking up now, since last night was their first time spending the night together and Kara couldn't even get to sleep. Maybe Lena's uncomfortable to sleep with. Maybe she's--shit. "Was it me? I could—"

"No," Kara says quickly, serious crinkle peeking on her forehead. "It's nothing like that. I just, I had an armful of a pretty, warm girl and I didn't know what to do with myself, okay? So I went for a run. No biggie. We can nap later."

"You sure?" Lena asks, folding her arms and quirking an eyebrow. "Maybe I should leave you alone, since you can't handle me and all."

Kara loops an arm around her waist again, shaking her head. "No, no. Don't be dramatic," she smiles, then adds, "Seems like you're awake now, though. So are we making the muffins, or are we ordering?"

"Yeah, yeah," Lena says, resting her head against Kara's chest one last time. "Lets get to it."

 

After some consideration, she decides she'll make muffins and biscuits, good for a nice breakfast, and she has a pretty good recipe for a homemade jam--one that she can make using just the ingredients in Kara's kitchen.

So Lena gathers up the additional things she needs, chugs a cold water to shock her system awake, and then starts getting everything prepped.

First she takes out two muffin pans so she can make them in big batches, has Kara line them with the little cups so they're ready when she needs them, and gets some flat-sheets ready for the biscuits.

She's still a bit tired and her stomach is growling thinking about food, but she doesn't mind. It's like she's in the zone, in her calm place. She dices up a load of strawberries, slices another two for garnishes, zests an orange. Measures out her chocolate chips and flour, sugar, milk, canola oil, mixes and puts strawberries, sugar, and orange zest into a bowl to extract the juices, all while Kara mashes up fruit to go in the jam or rolls out dough for the biscuits.

They make a pretty good team, the two of them, working mostly in a comfortable silence.

So, by about 9:30 when the team is starting to stir themselves awake, they're mostly done with everything--just waiting for the last batch of biscuits from the oven and sneaking in loads of sugary-sweet kisses since they both couldn't help stealing fruit from the berry mix.

And they both can't seem to keep their hands off each other. Which is how Alex finds them--Lena pressed against the counter with Kara's hands on her waist, kissing and giggling, and - "Hey, Alex," Kara chirps, giving Lena's side a squeeze. "Everyone up?"

"They're getting there," Alex says, voice a little scratchy. "Guessing Lena's responsible for these lovely smells?" 

"Who else?" Kara giggles, stepping from in front of Lena so she can see Alex. "She made muffins and biscuits and jam. And there're eggs and bacon in the fridge if you wanna fry up some protein to go with it?"

"Sure thing," Alex nods, and then she nudges Lena's shoulder on her way to the fridge. "Thanks for cooking, smells delicious. It's like waking up on the weekends back home."

"I know, right?" Kara smiles. "Didn't realize how much I missed smelling fresh-baked things until now. So lucky to have you," she adds, looking at Lena. "Honestly."

"Yeah, luck really is the only thing to describe what's happening there," Alex smiles adorably, sleep fog still heavy on her face.

Lena tries her best not to sink in on herself with how flattered she feels--having Kara compliment her and smile at her is one thing, but having the full appreciative attention of two Danvers is a whole other level of overwhelming.

"Anyway, I'll get these fried up and ready," Alex continues, gesturing inside the fridge. "You two wanna rustle everyone up, so they're mostly awake by the time everything's done?"

 

Lena thought it was a lot having Kara and Alex compliment her, but ten minutes into the entire team gushing over how amazing she is, a weird squirmy feeling awakens inside her chest--something that she can't push down, something that feels like it glows out of her entire body.

Something that tickles her throat until she's smiling, wide and happy and unabashedly. 

"It wasn't a big deal. Really," Lena says, waving her hand through the air. "And it's mostly thanks to Kara. I'd still be asleep if it weren't for her."

"Stop being modest, you're amazing," Alex says, rivaling Kara in the sheer volume of everything she's eating.

"Yeah, it's true," Sam chimes in, the main person edging on everyone's compliments, the main person that needs to stop, because Lena's not used to this much attention. "Lee's super talented at everything and she's smart as shit." Then she perks up and nods her head delightedly. "You should tell them about your research. Do the thing where you talk about polyatomic anions. Come on. It's so good. Do it."

"I--" Lena laughs, shaking her head, but Sam just hits her with the sparkly, sparkly eyes, and. Fine.

She doesn't really have a thing where she talks about polyatomic anions--she just had a moment where she was trying to explain her research to Sam once, and all Sam said was that she's cute when she talks about it, but it's otherwise incomprehensible.

Anywho - "Well, it's really just polyatomic ions. Anion just means it has a negative charge, but there are also polyatomic cations. If--well, in simpler terms, if you think about monatomic ions--"

"Lena, please," Alex laughs. "I'm morally obligated to tell you these idiots barely know what their last names are, please don't waste your breath explaining this to them."

Then the girl next to Alex slaps Alex's thigh and scoffs, loud and dramatic. "I have no idea what a polya-whatnot is, but Lena saying that is the sexiest thing I've ever heard, and if you interrupt her again I'll be morally obligated to shank you."

Alex snorts, playfully elbowing her back. "Sam's whole point is that Lena's probably the most brilliant person any of us will ever meet in our lives, and she's just eighteen, so we should all be ashamed of our lack of accomplishments."

Lena drops her head to hide how her cheeks are gushing, but she hears someone gasp, "What? You're eighteen? Thought you were a third year."

"Yeah, she started uni at sixteen," Sam responds for her. Everyone is making everything such a big deal, when it's not. Lena absolutely cannot handle this. All she did was make muffins and start uni a little early. "She even had to like, petition to live in the dorms and shit."

"Unfortunately I got roomed with this nerd," Lena says, throwing a piece of biscuit in Sam's direction, hoping it'll signal her to. Calm. Down.

But, it doesn't, not at all. In fact, it backfires.

Sam retaliates by lunging to tickle her, fingers poking fiercely into Lena's sides, not relenting until Lena's laughing hard enough her stomach's starting to cramp. And then she just continues on bragging about Lena like a proud mom chatting with coworkers at the office.

"She technically has enough credits to graduate this December, but she has a grant," she says, like a research grant is some fabulous thing.

And then Kara only adds to blowing things out of proportion by echoing, "You have a grant?"

"Hell yeah, she does," Sam says. "Tell them, Lena."

"Sam, no one wants to hear about--" Lena blushes, but the team starts chanting tell us tell us tell us, and she caves. She sits up and re-gathers herself and tries to explain that, ugh. It's not that big of a deal, really, it's just - "I got this big--or, well--" Maybe she shouldn't say big. "I worked with this professor and was doing solo research, and. He helped me apply for this government grant for some quantum things I was working on and. I got it. And I'm sort of like, the youngest person to get a grant like that and for that amount of funding in my research area."

She says the last part a little softly, because. It's--okay, fine--maybe she sort of feels like it is a big deal, but it's maybe not actually that impressive, or--

"Holy crap, Lena," Kara says, eyes wide and bright and genuinely impressed. "I mean I knew you were out of my league, Alex keeps reminding me, but. Crap."

"Yeah, you're like Tom in Parks and Rec," Alex says, a mix of smiles and laughter. "She's so out of your league, you're not even playing the same sport. Lena's in the NBA and you work in the muffin shop next to the stadium."

"Holy shit," Sam snorts.

"Hey," Kara gasps, absolutely defenseless.

"Oh my god," Lena coughs, heat flashing through her cheeks.

She has half-a-mind to join in the uproarious laughter with the rest of the team. But she sees the flush creeping into Kara's cheeks and decides wrapping her arms around her shoulders and cuddling her is a better course of action.

"It's okay," she assures her, pressing a tiny kiss to her ear and shifting her way mostly into Kara's lap. "I'd eat at your muffin shop every day, even as an NBA star."

"I know, baby," Kara smiles, wrapping her arms around Lena's waist and nipping at her lip. "You're mine and I don't plan on flubbing this up no matter what Alex says."

"I know, I trust you," Lena says, because she does. Because now feels like as good a time as any to put her cards on the table.

 

Lena fully expects Kara to be knocked out by the time she gets out of the shower, which is why she takes an extra twenty minutes and exfoliates and uses an industrial amount of Kara's shampoo and face wash.

But when she walks from the bathroom, she just finds Kara awake in bed, listening to music on her phone and typing something on her laptop.

The moment she sees Lena, she sets the laptop aside and opens her arms like she wants Lena to climb in her lap.

So Lena does, and after few seconds of Kara sniffing her hair, Kara decides, "I really like it when you smell like me, should use my shower more often."

And then she turns them, presses Lena down on her back, and starts kissing her.

 

"I wanna eat you out," Kara announces. She's on top of Lena and they've been making out heavily for twenty minutes--so the statement should make sense--but Lena's brain still scrambles like it's the world's most unexpected non-sequitur.

"You wanna what?" she asks, ungracefully. "Huh?"

"I said we'll talk about it, remember? So we're talking about it," Kara clarifies, flicking Lena's bottom lip with her tongue. "Last night you asked what things I had in mind to get you flushed. I mostly want to go down on you, want to--why're you so red?"

"I'm not," Lena says quickly, a dumb defense because she can tell she is and Kara can see her. "It's nothing, really."

Truthfully, she's just, overwhelmed, mostly because - because no one's ever eaten her out before, no one's ever gone down on her. Not ever, hasn't ever come close, never had the chance, and now that Kara's actually said the words out loud, it's suddenly a real, honest possibility.

And it's not even like she's opposed or doesn't want it or anything like that. She just--

She started uni underage, is the thing, and until last October she hadn't even been eighteen yet, hadn't even drank or partied before. But, by the time she was old enough, it just felt weird to completely switch focuses from research to shenanigans and getting laid. So she buried herself in work and got satisfaction from those accomplishments instead.

Then this summer came around, and both Sam and her research mentor told her (read: mandated) she needed to take the time off and enjoy it.

So she did. And she is enjoying it, really; she drinks now, goes to parties, and she's even on a sports team. But this feels like a bigger step--one she wants to take definitely, but one that makes her nervous.

This whole, long thought process was basically to explain that she's never had anyone go down on her and she's nervous about it.

That's all; that's why she's blushing profusely and struggling to find the right words to say - because she doesn't know how to tell Kara all of that without feeling weird. And then Kara might not want to do it anymore, because people are iffy with first times, and.

Lena doesn't want to risk that.

So, she figures, there's really no harm in not bringing it up; it's not a big deal, anyway. "I mean I--I just really want you to do that, too. That's all."

"Glad to hear that, baby," Kara smiles, kissing her cheek. Then she adds, "So I've never been someones first time," and she's actually asking if she is, Lena knows because she's searching Lena's face like she does whenever she's trying to figure out how she really feels.

Lena sort of, exhales, relieved, feels infinitely more comfortable telling Kara this way, just has to nod a little. So she does, and Kara continues, "But I've been told I'm pretty good, never had a complaint before."

"Not even one?" Lena smiles, matching Kara's grin and feeling most of her nerves melt away. "Very impressive."

"Okay, maybe one," Kara says playfully, rolling her eyes off in the distance. "But nine out of ten dentist recommended is good enough for toothpaste, right? If you can trust Sensodyne to fight plaque, you can trust me mouth to get you off."

"Oh my god, that was so bad," Lena laughs, like really laughs, and Kara kisses right into it, pressing all her weight against Lena's side until Lena's giggles die off and she actually starts kissing back.

Lena lets out a small squeak when Kara nips at her lip, but she settles into making out again pretty quickly. Just relaxes and lets Kara take over, lets her work them up to where they were a few minutes ago.

She expects their kissing to be slow and deep, intoxicating, expects Kara's tongue to be all over her mouth, for it to be messy, for Kara to bite at her lips until they're tingly and swollen, because that's the only way Kara knows how to kiss her.

What Lena doesn't expect, however, is the way Kara stretches out against her like she's trying to nuzzle Lena with her entire body, the way Kara grips her fingers into her bare hip and presses her firmly into the bed, the way that Kara feels like she's all over Lena, like she's touching her everywhere at once. 

Kara's kissing her with an urgency Lena's never felt before, licking into her mouth slow and methodically, slipping a hand into her hair and tugging it rougher than usual, breathing probably as choppy as her heart's beating.

And Lena feels breathless, feels shaken, feels heated right down to her core, and good, so good.

"You're always so sweet for me," Kara says softly, breaking away so she can drop her mouth to Lena's neck, trailing a line of kisses underneath her jaw, lips wet against her skin. "I just wanna make you feel good, baby. It's all I want, I swear. Is this okay?"

"S'okay," Lena hums, eyes fluttering shut as she tilts her head back.

She's pretty thankful for the background noise of the AC at this point, for the lull of whatever song's playing on Kara's phone. She's happy she's got a little room, a little sound buffer, to accompany her moan when Kara sucks a deep, stingy bruise right over her pulse.

"You like that, sweetheart?" Kara asks afterwards, placing wet kisses over the bruise, trailing up to her jawline, tilting Lena's head back and kissing under her chin. "I've wanted to get my mouth on your skin ever since I first saw you. That's what I was gonna say yesterday night. You're so pretty, but you'd be even prettier covered in my marks. Just want to let the world know you're mine, if you let me."

Lena's hips press up like an involuntary response to Kara saying that. Somewhere along the line Kara went from adorable and giggly, to whatever this is--and Lena's absolutely responding to it. It feels like she's on fire, like electricity is pulsing non-stop through her body.

Kara just keeps on kissing her neck, dragging her tongue across it and biting on more bruises. Lena doesn't know how long Kara stays there, licking and kissing and sucking on her skin, but by the time she pulls up Lena's practically climbing her hips up Kara's thigh. Her back pulling off the bed searching for friction friction friction, anything she can find.

"You taste so good," Kara murmurs, hand trailing up Lena's shirt, slow and heavy and warm against Lena's skin. "But I bet you taste even better here." 

She keeps going higher with her hand, Lena's breath catching with each inch, skin heating up everywhere her fingertips touch.

But Kara stops before she gets there, rests her hand high on Lena's ribs, fingers grazing the underside of Lena's boob. It's like she just... pauses, Lena's shirt pooling around her wrist so the cool air's crashing against Lena's exposed belly, and it's so frustrating because Lena wants to be touched fucking yesterday.

Please, Lena thinks, pleasepleaseplease--

"Are you sure, baby?" Kara asks, scraping her teeth across one of the bruises on Lena's neck, and.

Lena hadn't even realized she said that out loud.

"Are you sure you want me to touch you?" Kara clarifies, stretching up to fit their mouths together again. She kisses Lena for a long minute, like she's hungry for her, desperate even, but she's still not moving her hand, not touching her, like she's just waiting. 

"Tell me I can touch you, sweetheart," she says, right into Lena's mouth, just as hungrily as her kiss felt. "Need you to say it."

"Touch me," Lena says, tangling her hands in Kara's shirt and twisting till her circulation's strained. "Touch me, touch me, touch me -"

She cuts off because the air gets knocked out of her the second Kara brushes a thumb across her nipple and rolls it between her fingers, the second she lifts her shirt until it's bunched beneath her arm pits and Lena's boobs are exposed.

But really, really the air gets Sock'em Bopper™ sucker-punched out of Lena the second Kara drops her head and mouths hot and wet at her nipple, when she sucks it into her mouth and rolls it with her tongue so fucking wet like she's whittling down a Jolly Rancher.

It's like - it's everything and then some, even better than Lena imagined. Kara's mouth feels amazing in general, but it's a whole other level when it's wrapped around Lena's nipple--teasing and hot and soft soft soft, in a way that Lena's never noticed before when they're just kissing.

She almost feels like it's too much to handle, like her head's spinning so much she's dizzy. Not to mention she's wet inside her shorts, against Kara's thigh, so wet she can feel it when she shifts her hips, so turned on she's panting just at the way her clit rubs against the material.

"Christ, you're just - you're everything, aren't you?" Kara mutters suddenly, in a tone that suggests it wasn't exactly meant for Lena to hear, lifting her head and pressing her face between Lena's boobs. And then she just... nuzzles? is the best way Lena can describe it, rubs her face all over Lena's skin like she's simply obsessed with how it feels. "You're so perfect, so pretty. Unbelievable. I just wanna."

She cuts off abruptly, leaving Lena's brain scrambling, trying to figure out the end of that sentence. But then she feels Kara's thumb slip into the waistband of her shorts and it feels like her heart smacks against her chest wall.

"You wanna what?" Lena questions, running her hands through Kara's hair, tugging a bit when it takes a while for a response.

"I wanna find out how you taste down here, too," Kara says, pulling Lena's shorts down an inch, breathing hard on top of her like she's getting off on this just as much as Lena is. "I want my head between Lena Luthor's legs."

Oh. That, that shouldn't be shocking, but. It still takes a second for Lena's heart to stop beating in her ears, and then her voice finally catches up with her and she manages to get out a solid, "Um."

Kara slips her thumb out of Lena's shorts as soon as she says it and puts it on the inside of her thigh instead, spreads her leg wide and kneads at the skin. "It's okay, baby. I can go when you're ready, no rush."

Fuck, shit. Now really isn't the time to mess it up, she actually wants this.

"No, I'm ready, I'm ready now," Lena rushes out, pushing her shorts down herself until they're resting just below her hips, squeezing her eyes tight and trying her best not to have a heart attack before she even gets to feel Kara's mouth between her legs.

"Okay, baby. Good, you're so good," Kara says, voice soft and pleasant and filling up Lena's head space. "Just tell me if you need me to stop, and I'll do it right away, no questions."

Lena hums instead of responding, but it seems to be good enough for Kara because she feels her lift up.

Then she feels her slide Lena's shorts completely off, feels her spread her legs. And then Lena can feel her shuffling backwards, feel her hair tickling the insides of her thighs, feel her kissing the skin there and sucking on a quick bruise.

"So this is the other place you thought about me kissing you?" Kara asks. And the warmth of her breath is close, so close that Lena shivers when it gusts against how wet she is. Her stomach muscles clench, hands digging into the blanket beneath them in anticipation.

Kara doesn't give her much of a chance to answer the question, though, because - because she's licking her, warm wet tongue circling over Lena's hole with absolutely no hesitation, slow and thorough and nice and fuck, now she's pressing it inside Lena.  

Lena sucks in a breath so sharp, it almost hurts her chest, head spinning so fiercely she barely knows where she is. There was a question, a question, she remembers there was a question but not sure what it was. Fuck, shit fuck.

“Gotta keep these open. Need some room down here,” Kara laughs, curling her hands around Lena's thighs to pull them apart.

“Sorry,” Lena breathes, already too distracted, hadn't even realized she'd snapped her legs shut.

"It's okay, you're perfect," Kara says, pressing a kiss to the inside of Lena's thigh, then she adds, "I got you, sweetheart. Promise. Just relax."

She lets her head drop back between Lena's legs with that, and--

The second time Kara licks her, it's just as slow, just as sure, but this time it's a lot firmer and this time it's over Lena's clit. And this time, Lena's thighs start shaking just from the contact like she's close already. Her hands fly into Karas hair, pulling and scratching at her scalp, hips circling to match Kara's pace, mind circling because fuck.

She was right, she was - Kara doesn't do anything half-assed and this feels so nice it's like - like it's breaking Lena.

She's biting her lip so hard it hurts, and her skin feels warm, very warm, so hot to the touchTingly like her whole body might go numb, and she's saying things out loud but can barely understand herself, because it's all just too much.

So when Kara sucks Lena's clit into her mouth, sloppy and wet and tugging, she, fuck.

All Lena can do is squeeze her eyes tighter, lift her hand to her mouth, bite down on her knuckle and come.

She comes just like that, intense and overwhelming and riding up against Kara's mouth with her hand gripping tight tight tight in Kara's hair.

Her head's spinning afterwards, cool air splashing against her body like it's waited this whole time to catch up with her, and she feels lost and disoriented like she can't come down from the high she felt.

But Kara's folding herself around her a second later, rubbing Lena's hair out of her eyes and massaging her damp skin. Kissing Lena's face and talking.

It takes a second for Lena to focus on what Kara's saying, but when she does, she's pretty sure she blushes harder than she's ever done before, because-- "Christ," Kara's breathing. "You're so pretty when you come, even prettier than I thought, prettier than I could've imagined. You're so perfect, I don't know how - don't know how I got so lucky."

It all feels so raw, so honest like before--maybe Lena isn't supposed to hear it, but she wants to, wants to hear everything Kara says.

"I just. You mind if I?" Kara pants against Lena's cheek, nudging her hand down in her own shorts, snug between her hips and Lena's thigh. "So close, just need. You're just so - crap, you're - I just -" she rambles on, breathing getting heavier by the second.

Lena wants to jump in, wants to say I could help, or something to the tune of that, but.

It's just - she can't.

She can't because of the way Kara's shifting her hips against her thigh, because of how hard she's breathing against Lena's cheek, how she's mumbling incoherently, because of how sexy it is. It's the sexiest thing Lena's ever been a part of, and she want's it to keep going.

Like she absolutely can't get over the fact that Kara's getting herself off while practically on top of her. The fact that Kara's talking about Lena the entire time she's touching herself.

The fact that--shit--that Kara's legs are snapping shut around Lena's thigh and she's pressing her damp forehead against Lena's face, and she's moaning. 

She's making sounds just like she did at the party last night, but these are even better, fuller, lovelier, so beautiful. Kara's so fucking beautiful, absolutely mesmerizing.

She comes shuddering, nearly twice as hard as Lena did from her own hand, sweaty and shaky and biting against Lena's cheek, and -

Jesus Christ, Lena could probably go again if her body didn't feel dead-tired. She's so into Kara, it's almost unfathomable.

"Sorry," Kara mumbles afterwards, pulling the covers over them, curling around Lena warm, heavy, snug, perfect. "Didn't mean to get so carried away, sorry if--"

"Stop," Lena says, gripping her fingers in her shirt and holding her close. Kara's so dumb. "You're so dumb, and perfect, and I'm obsessed with you, so don't apologize for not doing anything wrong. Dummy."

"Oh," Kara says, tension melting off of her as she sinks more into Lena. "Are you okay? How are you?"

"I'm fine," Lena says, sleepiness already invading her mental space. "I'm happy. I'm really happy. I really like you."

"Okay, okay," Kara laughs, swatting at her chest. "Maybe we should go to sleep before you confess something you don't mean."

"You afraid I'm gonna drop the L word?" Lena giggles.

Kara brushes a finger over her side like she has half a mind to tickle her, and Lena can hear her blush by the way her laugh gushes. "Afraid wouldn't be the right word," Kara says, "because that doesn't scare me."

Oh. Lena thinks about that, but decides maybe she shouldn't. So she lets them sit in silence a minute, scratching at Kara's skin, before she declares, "I'm gonna go to sleep now."

Kara shifts like she's going to say something else, so Lena scratches again, then closes her eyes and drifts off fast.

 

"So I had an idea," Kara says, smiling and intertwining their fingers as they walk through the park. "Something fun we could do today."

It's been two days since they had sex, wonderful sex. And Kara spent them mostly asleep since she crashed hard from her completely unsustainable lifestyle.

So now she's being super cuddly and apologetic and making it up to Lena with ice cream and park dates and loads of compliments, and whatever this is that she thinks will be fun.

"Mmkay, I'm always down for whatever," Lena says, then clarifies, "Within reason of course. What're you thinking?"

"Dunno if you know this, but I have this YouTube channel," Kara starts, flushed like there's something embarrassing about how charming she is on YouTube. "It has a pretty decent amount of followers, and I've mostly done frisbee videos, but. I was thinking--I've been watching these eating challenges, and I like to eat. And you like to eat. So maybe we can do a couples' one today."

"What do you mean?" Lena asks, suspiciously. She likes to eat, but not usually when challenge follows it.

Kara shrugs, nibbling over her smile like she knows she's suggesting something absurd. "We just, you know, together we eat 10k calories of donuts. It's not that hard, honest. Just like, six each."

Lena hums in consideration, but Kara looks cute and hopeful, so she knows she's already lost. "Fine, I guess I like donuts."

 

Within the next half-hour, they're on their way inside a donut shop, Kara camera recording the whole thing with her little hand-tripod-thingamabob.

"So I'm with my girlfriend, Lena, today--oh, say hi, Lena," Kara says, flipping the camera in her direction.

"Hi," Lena says as cheery as possible, and then Kara turns the camera back to herself.

"We're gonna do the 10k calorie donut challenge, but with both of our calories combined. And I just want to point out early, it'll probably be me eating everything and her appearing mildly disgusted the whole time, but--"

"Hey, no it's cute when you inhale food like a space-vacuum," Lena comments, leaning over the glass casing to check out the donut selection.

Kara smiles, just cute and alluring enough to be a perfect YouTube celebrity. "I don't know if that's a compliment, or sarcasm, but! Look at everything we got to choose from," she says, holding the camera away from them with her long arm so she can get Lena, her, and the donuts all in one shot. They probably look like proper weirdos, talking to a camera and posing weirdly with a donut case, but Kara seems comfortable, so Lena rolls with it. "Gonna let Lena pick everything out, so it's more likely she eats more."

Lena would comment on her being sweet for the camera, but she's always like this and it's terrible. "Blueberry cheesecake sounds good," she says, pointing at the case. "And that one cookie monster donut. And the cronut looks good."

She glances over for a second, and Kara's beaming at her like the dork she is. "It's like you were born to make decisions, so decisive." 

"I'm still getting used to everything you say being a compliment," she laughs.

"I think there's something to say about you if I only ever want to compliment my girlfriend."

Lena rolls her eyes, but she's smiling hard enough her cheeks are sore. "Yeah, yeah, we should put a compliment counter in the corner of the video to document how sappy you are."

"Good idea, sweetheart, should totally do that," Kara says, and then she flips the camera around to face her again, and says, "Thumbs up if I can get the compliment counter over fifty in less than thirty minutes."

Lena snorts. "Setting a high bar, I see."

"Well you're my perfect beautiful amazing lovely girlfriend, so of course. Sky's the limit."

"That counts as one," Lena points out. "No cheating the system."

Kara laughs loudly, probably too loud for the space they're in, but Lena's too charmed to feel self-conscious. "Alrighty," Kara says to the camera, "we're gonna wrap up here with the donuts, and be back when it's time to eat."

Then she turns the camera off and puts it away in her bag, snuggles up to Lena while they wait for the customers in front of them. "You're a natural at this," Lena says, reaching over to ruffle Kara's hair.

"Natural?" Kara asks, incredulous. "You should see yourself. You look so good on camera, baby. It's a wonder I don't eat you instead of the donuts."

"Honestly, truly," Lena says back.

Kara snorts, kissing Lena's ear only a smidge more surreptitiously than normal, considering they're in the middle of two dozen people. "Don't worry, will save room for a midnight snack."

Lena tucks her finger in Kara's collar and pulls her down to kiss her nose. "If you don't, I'll deliver you the divorce papers. Had to wait patiently through your two-year snooze."

"Don't worry, I'll definitely make it up," Kara smiles. "When it comes to that, it's just like food. You don't even have to ask, 'cause it's always a yes."

 

The next time Kara turns the camera on is fifteen minutes later.

They're in the jeep and Kara's explaining all the different donuts they picked out. "So this one's my personal fave, the chocolate long john filled with banana cream and with peanut butter mousse on top. Oh, and these little banana slices too."

Lena laughs just thinking about how massive that donut is, how it's actually a match for Kara's big hands, how for once something isn't dwarfed in her palms--and she sort of wants to see Kara eat it. "We should do that first, no way I'll touch it if it's last."

"But if you do it first, you're not going to eat anything else," Kara pouts, which is completely true, if Lena's being honest with herself.

So they go for the strawberry shortcake instead, Lena's personal favorite of the bunch.

She somehow manages to convince Kara she should take the first bite alone to tell her if it's good, but really Lena just wants an excuse to stare at Kara's pretty face. 

Really, she just wants to watch the way Kara closes her eyes and tilts her head back, the way her eyelashes flutter over her cheeks, the way she makes soft, soft pleased little noises. Noises Lena now knows are very similar to the sounds she makes when she's just about to--

Fuck. Lena licks her lips involuntarily.

"This is amazing," is Kara's verdict, talking with her mouth full and smiling through her chewing. She must mistakenly think Lena's thirst is aimed at the donut, since she smiles and offers it up to Lena's mouth. "Here baby, you can taste."

Lena cannot with the petnames right now. They keep making her glow and feel warm and appreciated and delicate in a weird way that she weirdly likes, and it's not fair. She'd do anything for Kara just because she calls her cutie and baby and pretty, and it's an outright crime.

"Yeah, sure," she says, smiling wide. She doesn't even give a shit about this donut, but she lets Kara feed her anyway. She takes a big bite, as big as she can, and - it sort of fucks her because a glob of the cream filling drips right down her lip onto her chin.

And then it fucks her even more, because Kara swipes the filling off her chin and sucks it off her finger in a way that splashes heat in Lena's belly, pretty lips glistening after she licks them clean.

"Gotta be careful with the filled ones because like..." Kara trails off, then cups her hand against her mouth and makes an exploding noise as she expands it, but Lena can swear Kara's eyes are staring right at her lips. She can't help but lick them again.

"It just explodes in your mouth," Kara finishes, turning her head away. "Alright, YouTube," she says, and holy shit, Lena forgot there was a camera. "The verdict on this one is a solid nine out ten. Let's try some others, shall we?"

She finishes up the rest of the strawberry shortcake and then sucks on her fingers, which, okay, Lena's remembering to breathe. Except she's not, and this is randomly the time her mind decides to notice how thick Kara's fingers are. 

"You gonna finish yours as well, or like. You wanna just share mine?" Kara asks, and Lena snaps her eyes to her... um, lap. "Pretty sure I could eat the lot of them if I put my mind to it, but wouldn't mind a little help. Watch my figure and all that."

"Course I'll help out," Lena says, and she fully plans on it. She needs this to be over as quick as possible.

 

"I feel like I have a food baby," Lena frowns, slipping her hand underneath her shirt and rubbing it over her belly for emphasis.

It's been hours since they actually did the challenge, but the swell of her stomach still hasn't gone down, feels likes she's proper bloated and definitely a couple pounds heavier, and she's never, ever eating five extra-large donuts again.

"Mmm, is that so?" Kara hums, nibbling her lip and ungluing herself from Lena's side. They've been cuddling for a while now, mostly in a food-coma-daze, so now Lena just feels neglected and cold with Kara no longer pressed to her.

That is, until Kara shuffles down her body, lifts her shirt over her sports bra, and presses a kiss right in the center of her belly.

"Didn't tell me we were expecting," she says casually, grinning wide enough that Lena's heart flutters. "What're we gonna name her, any ideas?"

"Her?" Lena quirks an eyebrow, trying to stay calm, trying--failing to stay calm. She still remembers the last time Kara was snuggled low between her legs, and that memory alone is enough to make her feel jittery.

"Yeah, of course. Could you imagine us with a boy?" Kara asks, smiling as she puts her mouth on Lena's belly again. Then she says, right against her skin, "What would we even do with him?"

Before Lena gets a chance to respond, Kara skims her lips across her belly, leaving the wettest little patch of skin. And then she does it again, trailing slow, wet kisses all along Lena's skin until Lena's lighting up bright red just from the heat curling inside her.

But that's nothing compared to the heat she feels when Kara closes her eyes, pretty lashes fanning over her cheeks, and just rubs her face against Lena's belly. Sighing every so often like she's getting worked up just doing that.

Which, honestly what?

"What are you doing down there?" Lena asks, nudging Kara's fringe off her forehead. Kara's gone a while without saying anything, and she's getting a little antsy about where this is going. "Just enjoying my fat?"

"Shh, baby, enjoying my snack," Kara murmurs, sinking her teeth in a little and licking out a broad, wet stripe against Lena's skin.

Lena moans, head tipping back, eyes fluttering shut. She can barely stay still while Kara licks her belly and bites at it, sucks bruises all over her skin--on her abdomen and hips and right underneath her bra-line.

She loses track of how long Kara's there, obsessed with marking her and kissing her and nuzzling her and tasting her, but she's definitely more than a little wet by the time Kara lifts her head and decides it's finally time to move on.

"Is it okay if I take off your shorts?" she asks, already pushing her fingers inside the waistband and teasing them down a bit.

Lena thinks about how thick Kara's fingers are again, how they're snugged inside her shorts, how Kara sucked them one-by-one in the car--and she can barely breathe as she says, "Yeah, course you can."

Kara drags her shorts down so slowly that her breathing is straggled, so shaky just from feeling Kara's eyes on her. She doesn't even need to see how Kara's looking at her for the heat to turn up in her belly, intense and insistent, so present it feels like she's pulsing.

"D'you see how pretty you are?" Kara asks, once she's got Lena's shorts down mid-thigh, exposing enough Lena's essentially naked from the belly down.

She takes a finger and presses it into the flushed skin of Lena's belly, and then she drags it down, leaving a white trail wherever her finger goes, where the blush parts for her. "Look so good for me already, and we haven't even started yet."

Lena would normally feel self-conscious like this, normally want to hide herself. But with Kara it's like she wants to be on display, wants to be pretty for her, knows Kara will appreciate it.

She likes it when Kara slides her shorts fully off and tosses them on the floor, she likes it when Kara spreads her legs and bites her lip as she looks at Lena.

She just - she feels pleasantly warm all over, good safe comfortable, soaking everything in like a flower soaks in sunlight, eager for care and attention and Kara's giving them to her.

Kara's kneading her fingers against Lena's thighs and staring at her like she's the greatest being to ever grace this planet. Kara's leaning down and kissing Lena's knee and then slowly trailing up until she's sucking a bruise right on the inside of Lena's upper thigh. 

It stings and it's lingering and it's definitely going to chafe against her shorts and pants for the next few days, but something about that excites her.

She can feel how wet she is now, can feel it against the air, can feel how slick she is when she rolls her hips slowly. So she arches her back a little, just enough to let Kara know, to make sure she knows she wants her, and it gets Kara to huff a laugh against her thigh.

"Don't worry, baby. I'm getting there," she says, still littering Lena's leg with little kisses and bites, but she does lift a hand and cups it against Lena, presses in until Lena's shuddering and grinding up against it.

"You think you'd want fingers today?" Kara asks, like she's read Lena's mind. Lena's breathing is already at the point where her voice would be nothing but husky if she speaks, so she nods her head instead, still rubbing herself against Kara's palm.

And then Kara says, "Always saying how big my hands are, so my fingers gonna fill you up, nice and thick, so good for my baby."

And Lena - it's like a thousand things happen at once: her heart flutters, and her knees tremble, and she's pretty sure she gets infinitely wetter because she's suddenly slicking messily against Kara's palm, and.

Most, most notably--her brain fucking stops.

It's like, all she can do is feel. All she can do is listen to Kara's voice and shift against her hand and wait for instructions or whatever Kara wants to do next. And she's vaguely aware that she's lifting her hips off the bed now, straining herself to get off, and vaguely aware that Kara's stopped doing anything else and she's just watching her, but it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because she feels so good.

"You wanna get yourself off, baby? You like doing that," Kara says, the last part not even a question, because it's like she just knows. "You wanna do it with my fingers inside you?"

Fuck, Lena nods her head, wants it so bad she'd beg for it--maybe she is begging for it, since there're words coming out of her mouth, but she can't actually tell what they are because Kara's slipping her middle finger inside of Lena.

Kara's slipping her finger in--so slow, so hot, so amazing--all the way up to Lena's ring, and Lena doesn't know exactly why that makes her heart clench, why she's so flushed thinking about Kara fucking her with her ring on, but it's happening.

It's happening and she can't breathe. Really can't breathe, can't catch a breath, especially when Kara flutters her finger inside of her right against her spot, and asks, "D'you want another?"

Lena already feels so full, feels like Kara's stretching her with just one, feels like her finger is just as thick as she thought it would be. But she still nods, still want's more, still wants to be stretched enough that she feels the strain of herself trying to adjust around Kara's fingers.

And Kara gives it to her. The second finger slides in easily, and Lena just feels so full, so filled up, so good that her mind starts to drift. But before it can get too far, Kara pushes her thighs wide enough to feel the stretch, pulls Lena's attention to her as she sits up next to Lena and presses a kiss to her knee.

"Gonna get yourself off now?" she asks, curling her fingers inside Lena at the perfect angle. "I'll keep them here, just have to move. Can you do that, baby?"

Lena doesn't even have to consider it, doesn't think about it, hips already shifting from the moment Kara asked her. She lifts up slowly at first, grinding down hard for the right amount of pressure, her hand holding Kara's wrist as she rides her fingers. And there's - there's something about this.

There's something about fucking herself on Kara's fingers while Kara just watches that, fuck--Lena grinds down again, swirling her hips this time, squeezing tight when Kara rewards her by fluttering inside her--there's something about this that gets Lena heated enough that she actually feels dizzy.

There's something about this that turns Lena on more than the feelings themselves; she can't quite describe what it is, but there's a hot hot hot weight sitting low in her belly that tugs every time she thinks about the sound of Kara's voice, thinks about the fact that Kara asked her to do this, and that--fuck, it's really probably honestly the fact that she's doing this just as much to please Kara as she's doing it for herself.

She knows how pretty Kara thinks she is, knows Kara likes watching, knows that, somehow, Kara gets off on this just as much as she does, and it just makes this whole thing better.

So when Lena grinds down again and flutters her eyes open, when she sees how flushed Kara's cheeks are, how glassy her eyes are, how the blue of her irises are nearly completely drowned in the black of her pupils, how she's nibbling her lip so hard it's transitioning from red to purple, how she has her free hand in her own shorts and she looks dazed as all hell--

Lena's legs start shaking, uncontrollable and jittery. When she watches Kara slip her lip from beneath her teeth and drop her head as she shifts against her own hand, she's reduced to squirming because her legs won't cooperate, heat rolling through her in waves so intense it almost feels like she's floating.

Then she feels Kara lift her thumb and start circling over Lena's clit as she squirms against it, and it's probably only twenty seconds before Lena comes.

God, she comes. She comes hard enough she loses her head for a moment, eyes squeezed so tight she's seeing stars, comes hard enough it feels like her chest keeps forcing out air so she can't breathe.

She keeps clenching hard around Kara's fingers inside of her, jerking away from her touching her clit because it's all so suddenly so fucking much, too much. It feels like if Kara keeps touching her, she'll keep going, and however good she feels, she doesn't know if she wants that.

She's just.

"It's okay, baby," Kara says, petting her thigh gently, kissing her knee, nuzzling against her sweaty skin. "Did so good. You're so pretty, you know? Prettiest girl in the whole universe. Do you know how lucky I am?"

Lena doesn't - she can't - there's just--there's so much going through her head right now, she can't focus. "Kara," she says, which mostly comes out as a whine as she mindlessly grips her hands in the sheets.

In one swift move, it feels like, Kara's instantly cuddled up next to her. Kissing her face and lips and neck and holding her close close close. "I'm here. It's okay. I'm right here."

"Babe, I need," Lena cuts off, shaking her head, finally starting to blink some of the haze away. After another minute she starts to feel a bit more like herself, and after another she feels like she can talk, but there's almost like, a bashful feeling curling in her belly.

Which is weird because she felt just fine getting herself off on Kara's fingers while she was doing it.

"That felt like," she starts. "I think like, it felt so good I feel shy now."

"Aw, baby," Kara laughs, pressing her forehead against Lena's and pulling the covers over them. "Well, actually like. Yeah, I get that. Don't think I've come that hard in like, ever maybe."

"You what?" Lena asks, confused and a little upset--not that like, Kara came, but that she did it on her own again and Lena wouldn't mind getting to touch her sometime. "You did?"

"Yeah, of course," Kara chirps, like she's happy and content and proud? "You're like - you're so good, so easy with you."

Lena didn't even do anything, but if Kara's happy, she's happy. "Perfect, then," she says, cuddling in closer. "You wanna sleep?"

Kara kisses her ear and sighs. "Already beating you to it."

 

The video ends up getting a lot of attention, like popular enough to have over 500k views after just three days of being posted--and it's legitimately Lena's worst nightmare.

Especially considering the entire comment section is about her, and the frisbee team is absolutely having a field day with it.

"No, no this is the best," Sam laughs, holding the phone close to her face as the team laughs along with her before she even says anything. Then she reads off a comment - "It says: Lena's face watching Kara lick cream off her fingers is my new sexuality, and then there's a tongue emoji and--"

"Give me that," Lena snatches her phone away and then glares at the team. "Savages, all of you," she says. "Bunch of fucking savages."

"No, no," Alex chimes in on the other side of the group, holding up her own phone. "The best one is this: After about five minutes, I wasn't sure anymore if I was watching an eating challenge or the intro to softcore lesbian porn. The sequel to Big Sausage Pizza = Big Creamy Donu--"

"Oh my god," Lena gasp-yelps, and Kara has to restrain her from murdering Alex, because Alex is normally the sensible one.

She's definitely going to have Kara put Nair in her shampoo at some point. 

"It's okay, sweetheart," Kara says, and then she glares at Alex, and Alex giggles then glares at the team, and everyone disperses to leave them alone. "None of the comments are bad, okay? I read through them all, everyone just thinks you're attractive. I swear."

Lena frowns, and. Okay, she knows that, somewhere deep down.

But, even though she knows the comments aren't really that bad and are actually pretty funny, she just - doesn't do well with so much attention. Which isn't really a real reason to lash out, especially not at her team.

Fine, she's calm now.

"But if there was a bad comment, you'd delete it, right?" she asks, resting her head against Kara's shoulder, relaxing a bit. "You'd delete it so I never have to see it?"

"Of course, baby," Kara says, massaging her fingers over her back. "Would never let you see that, don't deserve it anyway. You're perfect and anyone that says otherwise is just an asshole."

"Fine," Lena says, feeling a smile tugging on. Only Kara could say that sentence and sound like she believes it wholeheartedly. "I'll apologize to everyone for calling them savages."

Kara laughs, swaying them and slipping her leg between Lena's. "You don't have to. They know what they are, and they're proud of it. 'M pretty sure they took it as a compliment, to be honest. You wanna frisbee now?"

Lena nods her head. "Yeah, let's frisbee now."

 

"This is me last lab," Kara says, dangling her manual by the edge like it's contaminated. Lena approves. She hates it too, since it takes five precious hours out of their weeks when they could be cuddling or having sex or something. "Final's in a couple weeks, I say we burn it."

"Not letting you near fire," Lena says, patting Kara's chest. "Can't risk it with your track-record. We've had to impromptu use the fume hood way too many times for you to be trustworthy."

Kara frowns. "Just because I have an affinity for mixing chemicals I shouldn't, doesn't mean I can't work an open flame."

Lena considers that, then decides, "That's exactly what that means, actually." Then she taps the lab counter and slides her goggles over her eyes. "We gonna get started or no? Thought you wanted to catch that movie later."

"Yeah, of course," Kara says, but keeps her goggles firmly on her forehead. She's fiddling with her lab manual now, twirling it in her big hands. "So you know the frisbee team paintballing thing is coming up, right? It's like a whole day-trip and stuff."

"Yep," Lena nods. She knows it's coming up, but she's not particularly excited about it--barely trusted those hooligans with fakes lasers; paintballs actually hurt.

"I was thinking we could do our own thing, take our own day trip instead of joining the paintball one," Kara says, both eyebrows raised.

Lena lifts her goggles off her face, infinitely more interested. "Oh yeah? You have something planned, or?"

"Yeah, I have, like--I already have it figured out," Kara says happily, hands folding her lab manual pretty much in half. "But I want it to be a surprise, if that's okay?"

"Not gonna sneak me off and off me?" Lena asks, giggling. "I have a tendency to fight back."

Kara snorts, rolling her eyes. "I'm trying to be romantic, baby. No jokes about offing you, please."

Oh, serious date then. "Of course I'm fine with surprises," Lena says, stepping over and burying her face in Kara's chest until Kara hugs her. "And you're cute when you're romantic, so sorry for nearly ruining the mood, continue."

"You could never ruin the mood," Kara assures her, massaging her knuckles down the center of Lena's back. "And I'll get everything sorted out and pack what we need. You just have to wear something sorta nice, and enjoy yourself. Okay?"

Lena smiles. "Sounds good, I'm great at both of those things."

 

On the day of their surprise date, Kara comes over early in the morning. She's wearing slacks and a button down and a nice cardigan, and most importantly, she's carrying a Cinnabon bag.

"That's for me, yes?" Lena asks, already grabbing the bag from Kara's hands. She pulls a large cinnamon roll from it, licks around the edges for excess icing, and then takes a big bite. Kara just smiles at her, eyes glimmering.

"We actually have to hurry," she says after a second. "Don't mean to rush, but we're on a schedule and it's a long drive."

"Oh mmkay," Lena says, muffled. She hasn't even gotten dressed yet, since she still doesn't know what the surprise is, and wanted to get a feel for what Kara's wearing to know what sorta nice means. "I'll throw something on, and we're good?"

"Yep," Kara smiles. "All you need is yourself, I swear. You're gonna love this. I hope."

"I will," Lena promises, because she honestly doesn't need to know what it is to trust it's going to be amazing.

After all, it's Kara.

 

The drive is longer than Lena expected, 3.25 hours when Kara pulls it up on Waze, but they spend the first hour of it chatting happily, Kara fiddling with Lena's fingers and generally being cute.

And then, when they run out of things to talk about, they settle into a mostly comfortable silence.

That's when Kara decides to click through her playlist and start one up of a woman singing. Lena's never heard her before, but she's got quite a lovely voice, and--

"Wait, Kara. Is this you?"

"Yeah, I," Kara stutters, flushing and gripping Lena's hand tighter. "Should I turn it off? Sorry. It seemed like - you said you liked my singing at the, um. When we went on our first date. So I recorded some stuff, if that's okay?"

"No this is amazing," Lena says, turning and aiming her smile out the window, watching the fields drift by as Kara's voice fills the car.

Most of the songs on the playlists are covers, mostly stuff Lena listens to. There's all the songs Kara sang in her set that night, but even better here with professional mixing. Kara's obviously put a lot of energy into reworking them for her voice and range, had more time to perfect them than she did with one day's notice. Then there're songs Kara's into, and her voice really shines when she's singing something familiar, singing the songs she loves herself. Lena thinks she likes those even more, likes the covers of the songs she's never heard even over the one's of Sam Smith and Beyoncé.

And then there's a song that makes Kara really fidgety once it starts playing. Lena pretends she's sending an email, but quickly Googles the lyrics, and realizes it's probably because it's something Kara wrote herself.

"This one's really good," Lena comments, shoving her phone between her thighs. "My favorite one so far, who's it originally by?"

"Really?" Kara blushes, eyes hyper-focused on the road. "It's something that, something I wrote myself a while ago. I play piano, and sometimes I, you know. I've never actually like, let anyone listen to it."

Lena listens for another few seconds, nibbling her lip and soaking it in, then decides, "I love it, want it on my phone too."

"D'you think you'd listen to it often?" Kara asks. "Is it - do you just want it on your phone to be nice? It's okay if you don't like it, just. I just made this - this playlist was a dumb idea, wasn't it?"

She tries to move her hand away, like she wants to change it completely, but Lena just holds on, keeps it firmly in her lap and links their fingers together.

"I like it, pretty chill," she says. "Mellow. I'd probably listen while I was doing work, analyses and stuff. Or maybe while I'm baking, you know? It's nice to have on in the background, like good to listen to but not too overwhelming. Your voice is very lovely."

Kara actually lets her fingers relax, running her thumb over Lena's knuckles. "I'll put it on your phone later, then. Could give you the whole playlist if you want?"

"Of course," Lena smiles. "Probably won't listen to anything else the whole summer. Already the best date ever."

"Yeah, just wait until you see the surprise," Kara says.

As it turns out, it really is the best date ever. Kara parks them outside a research facility, a fancy glass building with lots of colors and structures inside, and Lena can't quite place why it looks so familiar, until they walk inside and see the posters for a talk happening in half-an-hour.

"David Vignali?" Lena asks, incredulous. "This is - we can't - I tried everything to get tickets to this talk," she says. "It's like, invite only, Kara. You know that, right? We can't just walk in here. He's announcing his new research, and - Kara, why're we still walking?"

Lena stops in the middle of the hallway, already making eye-contact with the guards outside the door to the auditorium. Once Kara realizes she's not walking anymore, she finally stops and turns around herself, walks back to Lena. "Why're we stopping?"

"Why aren't we stopping?" Lena asks. "We can't go in there, it's invite only. He's announcing something really big."

"I know," Kara says casually, nonchalant, like she's not trying to crash the talk of the greatest physicist of the modern world. "We have an invite."

Lena, she - what? "Care to explain?"

"Oh, yah. So, I was reading some of your research," Kara starts, "and I noticed you cited this guy a lot. So I Googled him and saw he was giving a talk. But it was only like, certain big name scientists and select reporters."

"Yes," Lena says, nodding slowly. "So how are we getting in?"

"I interned for Cat Grant for two years in high school for this program CatCo had," Kara explains, and then she actually pulls out two legitimate passes for the talk from her backpack. "She got us in as reporters, even got us an interview. Said if I write a crap article, I should lose her personal email, though."

Lena actually can't breathe right now. "We're interviewing David Vignali?"

"No," Kara smiles, "you are. I brought my camera, gonna pose as a photojournalist and just take loads of pics."

 

This has probably been one of the craziest days of Lena Luthor's life. As much as she psyched herself up during the talk, there was no conceivable way to prepare for how her interview with David went.

"He said he'd heard of my work," Lena says, for probably the thirty-seventh time, hands on her cheeks like she can't contain herself. "He said he thought it was good and that he'd be interested in a collaboration."

"Yeah, that's so crazy," Kara says, just as enthusiastic as she was the first time Lena said it to her. "I was like, shaking for you. Got so many good pictures, though, if you wanna change your pro-pic or something."

Lena takes in a deep, deep breath and drinks some of her milkshake. They stopped at Big Belly Burger before making the drive home, but wow. "I can't believe that just happened. And he's so innovative."

"Yeah, like--it took me a while to get his work, but once I did I thought it was fascinating," Kara nods. She shoves a handful of fries in her mouth before she adds, "I even wrote questions for you, by the way. In case you didn't know what to say. But you were awesome, way better than I would've been."

Kara's eyes crinkle at the corner, she's smiling so hard. She's so proud, and radiant and beautiful and Lena's. She gave up paintball, which she's probably a badass at, just to do this for Lena.

"You're amazing," Lena says. "This was amazing. This was better than anything I could have imagined. So you read my research?"

"I tried my best," Kara laughs, bashful like Lena's going to give her a pop quiz. "It seemed important to you, so was something I wanted to know about."

She says it so casually, like it's no big deal, like that's just something someone does, and it's not. It's something Kara does. She's so sweet and lovely. "I want to go home and cuddle you now," Lena decides. "We haven't touched enough today."

"Could always sit in my lap while I finish off this food," Kara says, waggling an eyebrow. "Never opposed to you being in my lap, sweetheart."

 

Lena doesn't end up sitting in her lap, but she does crawl to the other side of the booth and cuddles up next to Kara. And then they just sit in silence for a bit, Kara eating a burger and running her hand along Lena's stomach, Lena emailing her mentor about what happened today.

And it all just feels so natural, so easy for Lena.

She could probably get used to this, could definitely, definitely get used to this.

 

Kara curls up small against Lena's chest once they're snuggled in bed, which is usually her way of indicating she wants to be the little spoon. So Lena flips her over and presses herself against her back. Trails her hands along Kara's arms and her waist and her belly and, actually--  

This wouldn't be a terrible position for sex; she could touch Kara just like this, perfect access to everything. She could finally get her off instead of the other way around, maybe return the favor for once.

It's just that, it's been a few times now where Lena's watched Kara get herself off without helping, and she's honestly starting to feel a bit guilty about it.

And it's not that she doesn't want to help or anything like that. She always wants to return the favor when Kara makes her come, spread her out and finally get her hands on her, but Kara always beats her to it.

It doesn't seem like a big deal, an issue, things are going fine--Kara always seems to enjoy herself, never complains, always wants to do it again, but Lena's more than ready to jump in and get her hands wet. So to speak. And this seems like the perfect position to do it.

"Playoffs are starting soon," Kara's saying, yawning between words and snuggling closer to Lena. "I think we're in a really good position this year, and it's great that we have you. You've been playing amazing, honestly. Not just saying as your girlfriend."

Which is fine and validating and lovely, but Lena wants her hand in Kara's pants.

She doesn't exactly know how to ask, isn't as good as Kara with the talking thing, so she just wiggles her fingers beneath the waistband of Kara's shorts just as she's saying, "You could even be a starter, on track with some of our--oh hey, watcha doing there?"

"I want to touch you?" Lena says, not sure why that came out like a question. "I - you always do it yourself, never get the chance, so. You don't even have to move, could do it like this. And we can sleep."

Kara shifts likes she's going to turn around, but Lena holds her in place. Then Kara's just - she's quiet for a really long few seconds, before she says, "Don't have to, baby. You always make it so easy for me, don't need to--"

"I want to," Lena interrupts, before Kara sweet talks her into letting Kara eat her out instead or something. "I want to if you want me to."

She can already feel Kara's hips pressing back against her, slow and squirmy, different than how it felt when she was just snuggling in. "Course I want you to, I - you could - but you don't have to, honest."

Actions are probably louder than words with Kara and she's already said it's okay, so Lena pushes her hand all the way inside her shorts and just cups it against her.

Kara tenses immediately and pushes into Lena's hand, moaning like she can't help it.

"Just let me," Lena says, pressing a kiss to Kara's shoulder. "I really want to, I swear. I've wanted to for a while now."

Kara parts her legs a bit and Lena doesn't miss the opportunity to slip a finger between her folds, to feel how wet Kara already is. "'M sorry, baby," Kara mumbles. "Should have asked, wasn't thinking."

"I mean, I could've said," Lena says, pressing her finger in further, drifting until she finds Kara's hole and dips in a little. Kara actually gasps into the pillow. "Truth is, I kind of liked watching you. Watching you touch yourself. But that's not fair, I don't think."

When Kara doesn't respond after a few seconds, Lena figures it's time to pick things up. She pulls her finger out a bit, circling it in Kara's wetness, and then drags it up until she snags the bulge of her clit.

"Baby," Kara breathes, like it's an automatic reaction. "Wanted you so much, waited so long for this."

Which probably means Lena's on the right track, she thinks. So she starts rubbing circles over Kara's clit, soft at first, increasing the pressure until Kara's shifting with her fingers and breathing hard against the pillow.

She kind of gets it--gets what Kara likes about watching Lena. Because, right now, watching Kara blush, watching her pant wetly against the pillow with her mouth open, watching her biceps twitch as she squeezes the sheets, watching her little crinkle pop up when her legs start shaking--it's everything.

"S'close," Kara mumbles, shifting her hips a bit more erratically. Lena's sort of losing her rhythm, can't keep it even with Kara moving so much, but she figures at this point she just needs to be touching her.

At this point Kara just needs the contact because she's already shaking and tipping her head back.

So Lena keeps going, keeps going through Kara's orgasm, keeps going until Kara's gripping tight at her wrist and shoving her hand away like it's offensive.

"Sorry," Lena says right away, kissing the back of her ear. "Just wanted make sure you're done."

"I'm done," Kara confirms. "That was good, you're so good. I can - if you want, I can--"

"No," Lena says. "It's fine, always the morning. You did a lot of driving today, you deserve to get some sleep."

"Okay," Kara says, like she's already drifting off. "The morning, then."

"That's fine," Lena laughs, kissing her shoulder one last time. Then she snuggles in herself and drifts off.

  

Their first playoff game is a disaster right from the start. One of the starters hurts her ankle early on, and somehow it's decided that Lena's one of the next best players to go on the field.

Except she didn't actually expect to play, not at this level at least. Everything is more serious, everyone is better, and everything is tense. She's never let a game get to her, but each time she gets a catch blocked or can't get off a throw or can't get open, it builds up.

It builds up until it feels just like her second practice, where she felt defeated and small and incapable, and--it's honestly true, since she's obviously the shittiest player on the field at this point.

So there's this like, icky, feeling that starts low in her gut but creeps up higher in her chest every time Alex frowns or Kara rolls her eyes or someone else does something that looks mildly frustrated.

And it doesn't matter if they're not all directed at Lena, because she still feels she's the whole reason they're five points down well into the second quarter. It's just - she just keeps messing up in bad ways, and each time she does it gets harder to think straight.

It's not good when she forgets to start the stall count and the opposing team gets an extra few seconds to think and breathe and throw a scoring pass.

It gets bad when she doesn't hear Kara call out a catch and she accidentally hits her and makes her fumble it.

It gets even worse when so many of her throws get blocked that Alex tells her to just run through and don't pick up fumbles anymore.

But the worst, worst part happens when Lena fumbles an easy catch right inside the goal line, when Kara looks at her and actually looks disappointed for the first time in their relationship, and then the whole team exits the field with their heads down for the half-time break.

And Lena knows, she just knows, she's letting them down; she's letting everyone down.

She doesn't even bother to join the half-time huddle, just sits crosslegged on the ground with her face in her hands, wishes she could run away but knows she can't, knows the second she leaves that Kara will follow and the team needs Kara to win the game. So Lena just has to suck it up.

"Hey, come with me," she hears after a few minutes, and feels Kara's familiar hands on her sides, hoisting her up from the ground.

She lets Kara lead her towards the bathrooms without saying anything, lets her hold her hand and walk them slowly and nudge against her occasionally while they're on their way.

By the time Kara locks them in a bathroom stall and shoves Lena's back against the wall, Lena's blurry-eyed with teardrops clumped on her eyelashes threatening to spill down her cheek.

She's mostly prepared to have to defend herself and her shit playing and avoid making eye contact and cry cry cry.

She's not prepared for Kara to tangle her hand in her sweat-damp hair, tilt her head back against the cold plastic of the stall-wall, and kiss her.

It takes a bit for Lena to adjust; she spends a few seconds letting Kara press wet kisses against her mouth, letting her nip her lips a little.

But then she snaps into it when Kara slips a hand under her shirt and grips hot at her hip. Lena opens her mouth without even registering she's doing it. And Kara presses their faces together and sticks her tongue inside, softly brushing against Lena's own tongue and moving almost too gently for how hard she's breathing.

Lena still feels shitty, still feels overwhelmed, still can't stop her tears from actually rolling down her cheeks. But she presses in and kisses Kara hard, tangles her fingers in her jersey and tugs her so she's close. Holds her until it's too hot between them, until Kara breaks away from her mouth and kisses every tear drop on her face, until they're both a mix of sweat and tears and dirt and saliva and neither one of them can breathe.

When Kara finally manages to detangle herself and take a step back, her lips are bright red and she's flushed as all hell, but her eyes are concerned enough to make Lena feel like her knees might give out.

"It's okay," Kara starts, tucking her fingers in the waistband of Lena's shorts and sending tingles through her belly. "Everyone has a bad start or a bad game from time-to-time. Even me. So don't beat yourself up about it, alright?"

"Yeah, alright," Lena says, dropping her eyes from how expressive Kara's face is. 

But Kara presses in, nuzzles her nose against Lena's face until Lena lifts her head again for another kiss. It's soft and wet and makes heat curl low in Lena's gut since Kara's fingers are still in her shorts... and then she's right back to looking into Kara's eyes.

"I mean it, babe. You're doing fine, we still have plenty of time to bring this around. No worries."

"Yeah, you're right. I got this," she tries, hoping Kara will just kiss her again, and she can maybe dissociate from how shit she feels or something.

But she doesn't get a kiss this time, all she gets is the crinkle on Kara's forehead. "I'm being serious, okay? You're one of our best players, I swear. You had an off half, but that's said and done. Just play like I know you can."

"I just feel like I'm letting the whole team down and I'm letting you down," Lena says, more vulnerable than she wants to be, even though she was just crying, even though this is just a dumb sport and it doesn't mean anything. She shouldn't care this much.

"Babe, baby, I'm right here," Kara says, tugging the waistband of her shorts forward, so Lena falls into her. "I'm right in front of you and I'm telling you you're great. You're not letting anyone down, okay? I'm just saying I know you got this."

"Yeah, I'll be better," Lena says, tucking her head against Kara's chest.

"That's not what I'm asking. You're already great," Kara whispers, mouth pressed against her hair. "Just want you to remember that."

"Okay," Lena says. "Okay, I can do that."

 

Except Lena doesn't remember that, can't do that. Or maybe she isn't actually that great, because she fumbles another score pass and they end up taking their first time out six minutes into the third quarter, down by four at this point and struggling.

Alex talks strategy for a bit in the huddle, tries to reason around why things are going to shit.

But then Kara throws her head back like she's exasperated and yells out, "Crap, can we just catch the damn frisbee, it's not that freaking hard? We've fumbled so many points out there tonight because we're playing like complete trash." And Lena shrivels into herself, because she knows for a fact two missed points were her fumbling easy catches. "We're literally playing like we've never had a practice before, and I know we're a hell of a lot better than that. I'm not happy with the garbage I'm seeing out there, today. Are you happy with yourselves?"

There's a rumble of shuffling and head shaking, everyone staring down at their feet and Lena's heart sinking into the ground. But Kara only gets firmer.

"I've seen so much better from you. Did we come this far just to shit things up at the end of it? Are we really going to repeat last year? No. We're going to go out there and win this game, ladies. You have it in you," she claps, loud. "I've seen it in you, I know you got it. So stop messing around and get this done, because I know you can, alright? I believe in you, so start believing in yourselves. Now put your hands in, teamwork on three."

Lena shoves her hand in the center and feebly shouts teamwork, too ashamed to make herself noticeable. And just when she's about to jog back onto the field, without even looking at Lena, Kara points at Amy and says, "You sub in for Lena. Come on, let's go win this."

And then she jogs away.

 

The speech was mostly positive, Lena knows that. Kara wasn't singling her out, Lena knows that. Putting Amy in was probably the best choice, Lena knows that--especially considering they end up winning the game.

But Lena still feels like shit, still can't bring herself to look Kara in the eyes, still tries to walk home instead of getting in the jeep with Kara.

"Hey whoa, where you going?" Kara asks, running alongside her in the parking lot and grabbing her hand in a more caring way than Lena wants her to be right now.

"Just walking home," Lena mumbles, trying to hold it together. "Heard you girls saying you were going for ice cream, and I'm not really hungry."

"It's okay, I can drive you home," Kara says, ducking her head so her concerned face is in Lena's field of view. "I'd never make you walk home just to get ice cream, don't be ridiculous."

Lena's not being ridiculous, Kara's being ridiculous. And mean and demeaning and she's a liar because she convinced Lena she could do this, when she couldn't. So much for never leading her astray. "It's fine, I probably need the exercise, anyway."

"Lena, get in the car," Kara says, in her no-nonsense voice, in her captain voice, in her this is not an argument I'm entertaining voice.

So Lena gets in the car. She would've regretted walking half-way in, anyway.

Kara tries to hold her hand, once they're driving, but Lena just pulls hers away. So Kara taps her thigh a few times and then firmly attaches both her hands to the steering wheel.

"I'm so proud of you," she says, after another minute of awkward silence. "Most people let a bad half knock them down, but you got back out there and kept trying. That takes a lot. Very admirable."

Lena doesn't bother responding, there's nothing admirable about her.

After another minute, Kara tries again - "Wish you'd been playing these past couple years. You'd probably be top ranked in the country by now, with how far you've come in just one season."

Lena still doesn't say anything, and she figures Kara gives up because she's silent for the remainder of the ride.

When Lena gets out of the car to go into her apartment, she sort of prays that Kara doesn't follow her in, walk her up, take her to her door. But of course she does. And of course she blocks Lena from opening the door when she tries to go in without a goodbye.

"Don't you have to go get ice cream?" Lena asks, weakly.

Kara shakes her head slowly, concern etched so clearly on her face that Lena just refuses to look at her now. "No, the only thing I can think about is cuddling you until you feel better. You're more important to me than anything else, and I just want you to get back to being happy."

"I just need some space," Lena says softly. She wishes Kara would just back away.

But she doesn't. She never does, does she? She's so fucking persistent. "Lena, are we fighting? Did I mess up?"

"Can you just go," Lena pleads, finally looking up, voice cracking in the stupidest, dumbest, ugliest way possible that Kara absolutely notices because she notices everything with her dumb observant eyes and ears and ugh ugh ugh. "I just want. Some space. Please."

Fuck, she's being so shitty about this; Kara didn't even do anything wrong and that just makes her feel worse, but she really, really needs some space right now.

"Do you want to break up? Do you need that kind of space?"

"No," Lena says, like she's cracking. That's so dumb. No. "I just need a moment, because I'm feeling something stupid and I don't want to fuck this up, okay?"

"Okay," Kara says, rubbing her hands on her shorts like she's trying to stop them from shaking. "I can do that, but if this is something more than that, you should tell me."

"It's not. Really. It's not."

Lena blinks up at Kara's sad blue eyes mostly to convince her she's not trying to break things off, but she kind of gets stuck because--it's just.

Looking at Kara, when she looks at Kara it makes the terrible feeling she had in her chest back on the field dissipate a little, the feeling that followed her up these stairs and made her raise her voice at Kara, and she's vaguely aware that if she could just. Like. Ask for a hug, then it'd all be over and they wouldn't have to do this--

The space, and the fall out, and Lena messing this up. She could fix it now before she breaks it.

But for some reason her words won't come out to say anything useful. Ugh--no--that's a dumb thought, and counterproductive. And she's in control of her own actions, and she can say anything, and fuck fuck fuck.

"Kara--" she says, breath catching weirdly.

Kara finally steps away from the door, sucks in a long breath, and says, "I know, baby. I know."

And then suddenly she's hugging Lena, suddenly she's close and warm and familiar and she's got Lena wrapped in her arms and everything feels okay again, and Lena can breathe. She can breathe, she can--fuck. "I messed up, baby. I know," Kara mumbles against her ear. "But I'll make it better, promise. Gonna make it up to you."

 

Turns out make it up to you involves flowers, lots of roses and sex and Kara being snuggly. And it even involves Kara mapping out all the dark spots in their area, the spots with the least amount of city-light pollution, and them having picnics and watching the stars.

And it's probably, hands down, one of the best weeks of Lena's existence.

 

"So I have this rugby thing," Kara says, flicking the paper football through Lena's make-shift hand goal. They're in the library, taking a break from studying for Kara's chemistry final, and Kara's somehow being the cutest person ever and kicking Lena's ass at table-top sports.

"What sort of thing?" Lena asks, lining up the paper and flicking it. It smacks into Kara's fingers and she frowns. "Like a game?"

"Yeah," Kara says, lining her own shot up and seamlessly scoring another goal. "There's a woman -- she sponsors our team, and she's best friends with the sponsor of this other team, so every year they have us all attend this fancy dinner and do this big exhibition game. Was wondering if you'd be my date? And if you'd like, maybe wear my jersey to the game? While you cheer for me?"

Lena makes a considering noise as she lines the paper up and flicks it again, this time scoring herself. "Yeah, okay. If you pass your final, I'll even have sex with you wearing your jersey and nothing else."

Kara flashes a deep shade of red instantly, smiling wide and pretty, and then she quickly reopens her chemistry text instead of continuing their game.

"No time for messing around, then," she says, flicking to a random page and slipping her glasses back on. "Not when I've apparently got a very important test to pass."

 

When Kara said fancy dinner, she meant actually fancy, like she shows up in a suit instead of her dark jeans or slacks and Lena has to change out of her casual dress, for a black-lace one with see-through sleeves.

Once they make it there, Kara takes a minute to introduce Lena to everyone, getting stopped every time she tries to walk anywhere because people want to chat. But they get assigned a table about half-an-hour in, and everyone's seated so they can eat.

The actual dinner is a nice spinach and gruyere stuffed chicken breast with steamed asparagus and mashed sweet potatoes, by far one of the best things Lena's eaten since starting uni.

And, to top it off, they keep serving this fancy strawberry champagne and Lena keeps drinking glasses because it's as good as candy, and Kara keeps drinking glasses because - it's like she just doesn't let Lena do things alone, always alongside her.

She has one last glass with dessert--crème brûlée with raspberries--and is a bit past tipsy by the time she's done with her meal. 

Kara's infinitely less drunk than Lena is, somehow, since alcohol seems to affect her about as much as water does.

They chat a bit, just with the people at their table, but Lena zones out a few minutes into it, just watches Kara. She watches how her eyes sparkle, how easy she handles conversations, how she's sweet and modest yet commands so much attention, and Lena really, really likes her.

"We should dance," Lena says suddenly, finagling herself out of her chair. It takes a second for Kara to dismiss herself before she finally stands up, but that doesn't deter Lena--she just grabs Kara's hand and drags her off to the dance floor.

Once she finds them a nice spot with enough room around them, right in the center, she positions Kara's hands on her hips and throws her own arms around Kara's shoulders.

Kara slides her hands around her waist to rest on her back, pulling them close together as they sway peacefully to the music. 

"Me haces feliz. Eres la mujer de mis sueños," Kara says after a few minutes, hiding her face in Lena's hair. Maybe she actually is drunk.

Lena tightens her hands around Kara's shoulders. "Hi babe. Is there a reason we're speaking Spanish?" she asks, words lilting out of her because she can't stop smiling. "Did the champagne break you?"

"No," Kara laughs, tilting her head back, cheeks an adorable shade of pink. "My birth mom was from Spain, think English is technically not my first language."

"Oh," Lena says, and she doesn't know why, but it feels like her heart catches in her throat. "Never would have guessed it."

"Yeah, my mom had more of that brown hair, hazel eyes thing going for her," Kara explains, stretching her hands out over the small of Lena's back. "I'm sort of a genetic weirdo."

"No, you're perfect," Lena corrects her, because she is and it's very important she knows. "Wouldn't change a thing about you."

"Hey, you stop that." Kara's smile is so bright, Lena actually has to look away for a second. But Kara squeezes her waist tighter and lifts her off the floor, spinning them in a circle while exclaiming, "Cuidado mi amor, my heart can't handle when you're just as sappy as I am."

"Can't help it," Lena laughs, pressing a kiss to Kara's cheek. Kara very gracefully allows her feet to return to the floor. "The drinks are making it hard for me to play hard to get."

"Oh no, you're gonna slip up and make me think you're actually into me," Kara teases, kissing Lena again, like she can't keep away. "I meant that, by the way. You make me really happy, couldn't have found someone better."

Lena links her hands behind Kara's neck. "Yeah, same," she says, already feeling the heat on her face, and before she even knows what's happening they're kissing, hot and deep, Kara's tongue pressing into Lena's mouth in the middle of the dance floor.

 

"Shit," Lena exclaims, flinching as Kara gets hit again. They're barely half-way into the game, and she can already tell rugby is a shit, unsafe sport. She squeezes her nails into Sam's palm and leans her face against her shoulder. "How long does this go on for, it's like torture?"

"Hey, what are you talking about?" Sam says. "She's doing great out there, already scored three times."

"I guess," Lena frowns, peeking an eye open to check on the field, see if Kara's still moving. "But I'm pretty sure she got knocked into yesterday with that last hit. This game isn't safe and I hate it."

"Don't worry, Kara takes a hit like no one else," Sam assures her, which isn't very assuring at all. "She'll be fine."

"Fine," Lena grumbles, accepting that reluctantly. But as soon as she lifts her head she sees Kara collide faces with someone and walk away holding her lip, which. "Fuck, Sam. That's not okay. I need to go down there." 

"She's okay," Sam emphasizes, letting go of Lena's hand and wrapping an arm around her. "You need a distraction? You want me to talk? I can tell you about me and Alex."

"You and Alex?" Lena asks, attention already piqued. She reaches up to pinch her lip, purposely averting her eyes from the field. "You're a thing now?"

"Yep," Sam smiles. "I asked her out--"

"You?"

"Yes, me, okay? I had to take it into my own hands, since she was randomly more nervous than I was," Sam says, smile clear on her face and in her voice. "Anyway, we went to Topgolf, and shared a milkshake, and went to a park at midnight and made out on the roundabout." 

"I'm jealous," Lena says, slurred over her fingers. "Me and Kara need to step up our public indecency." 

"Don't worry, you're pretty indecent enough," Sam nods. "I mean, we all saw the YouTube video after all. If you two didn't sex after that, then my name isn't Samantha Arias."

"Shut up," Lena shoves her shoulder. "I'm still mad the whole world got to see our donut foreplay."

Sam snorts, chest shaking with laughter. "So we can laugh about it, now? Because I swear that was like the greatest entertainment release of the year. Who knew Lena Luthor had those sex eyes in her?"

"Stop, no," Lena groans. "You're banned again, no more talking about it."

 

Despite how terrible the sport is, Lena spends the rest of the game sort of acclimating to it, flinching less and less each time Kara gets hurt, and by the end she's even cheering Kara on, chanting, "Let's go, let's go, come on," as Kara weaves around defenders and scores again, winning the game.

"Holy shit," Sam says. "Holy shit, did you see that? That was so good."

But Lena can't be bothered to respond right now, because amidst all the chaos and cheering and being tackled by her teammates, Kara is undeniably smiling up at Lena and waving her onto the field. "Gotta go congratulate my girl," Lena says. "Go kiss Alex or something."

Sam laughs, shoving her shoulder as she skips off the bleachers, and then Kara snatches her into a sweaty, sweaty hug as soon as she enters the field, taking a long sip from her gatorade water bottle and nuzzling sweat against Lena's face afterwards.

"Impressed?" Kara asks, smiling in that smug way she does when she knows she's done something good--in sports, at least. "Saw you nearly biting your hand off up there."

"It was hard at first, but okay towards the end." She lifts her hand and inspects Kara's face, and there's just the one bruise on her lip. "Could have been worse, yeah?"

"Yeah, I've had much--nevermind," Kara laughs, then clears her throat awkwardly. "So um, someone, not naming names, got a 72 on her chemistry final. And that's an A after the curve, by the way. And someone else made a promise about a jersey."

Lena puts her hands around Kara's neck, giving her a quick kiss. "I suppose that's right. What do you wanna do?"

"I wanna see my name while I get you off," Kara says, casual as anything, eyes flickering in the sunlight.

Lena hums, content with that, but then - "Wait, your name's on the back of the jersey."

Kara's hand drifts from Lena's waist to hook in her belt loop, and then instead of saying anything she just kisses Lena--she kisses her long and deep and lingering right in the middle of everyone, and Lena's head is absolutely swirling. 

Right, so this is happening, Lena's getting turned on in the middle of an entire field of people.

When Kara finally pulls back, she still doesn't say anything--just smiles, because she knows, and then she throws her water bottle towards the bottle rack.

 

She throws Lena on her mattress an hour later (or, rather, gently sets her down), lips already reddened because she was in the bathroom kissing Lena pretty much the second she got out of the shower.

But now Lena's on the bed, wearing Kara's rugby shirt and nothing else, legs tangling in Kara's soft jersey sheets as Kara flips her on her belly and places a kiss on her neck.

"Should see yourself, baby," Kara says, tucking Lena's legs forward, so she's on her knees and elbows, back arched so her ass is slightly higher in the air. Again, she should feel self-conscious like this, but for some reason she just doesn't. "So perfect for me, just like this."

It's easy for her to slip into her usual haze, once Kara starts pressing kisses against her cheeks, sucking on bruises and grazing her blunt nails up Lena's thighs. It's just so easy for her to slip away with Kara, for her mind to turn off and her body to just feel.

So by the time she's rocking back on two of Kara's fingers, she's pretty convinced she's going to come just like that, even without having her clit touched, with Kara barely even crooking against her spot, just fucking into her.

She feels so turned on, so pretty, so on display for Kara, that it's like - it's weird but it feels like she could come just from that.

"Baby," Kara says, softly petting the bruises she left on her ass earlier, and it's a tone that Lena already knows is - she just knows Kara's going to say something vulnerable, the way she always gets when it seems she's too overwhelmed by Lena.

"You're so good for me," she whispers, like if she talks any louder her voice might break. "I feel like, like I could do this for the rest of my life and never get tired. Could spend my life making you feel nice, baby, and it'd never get old."

Fuck, that one actually makes Lena feel squirmy inside, makes her feel vulnerable and she's not even the one saying it. She presses back harder on Kara's fingers, lingering with them pressed all the way in, and circles her hips.

"You're just," Kara keeps going. "I always say you're pretty, I know. But you're so much more than that. You're smart and you're funny, and you look so intimidating but you're really the nicest--"

Fuck, Lena can't do this. "Kara," she breathes, in a way she knows will get her attention. "I need, I - I want your mouth, please? Please."

"Don't have to beg, baby," Kara says, giving her ass another pet. "Never have to, just ask. I'm here for you, to make you happy."

Jesus Christ, Lena's just wants Kara's mouth on her, so she'll stop, so Lena's heart can stop lumping in her throat, so she can feel like she can breathe again, so she can tell her eyes not to cry. She just feels too much right now, and she wants to feel a little less.

So she just takes it into her own hands, pulls off Kara fingers, and instead of asking Kara for her mouth again, she turns around and presses Kara onto her back and decides she'll go down on Kara herself.

She's never done it before, so it's immediately intimidating, but Kara looks so spaced already that Lena probably just has to breathe on her and she'll come.

Her legs flop open lazily, easy for Lena to slide between them, and then. There she is. Lena can see just how wet she is even before she reaches up and spreads Kara with her fingers, and that's really all the confidence she needs.

She leans in and uses the flat of her tongue to lick from Kara's opening, all the way to her clit. The taste is sort of different from what she thought, but it's not bad; she gets used to it quickly, keeps running her tongue over Kara's hole before she ventures to press it in.

As soon as she does, Kara's hips lift off the bed and her hands move to Lena's hair, squeezing way more gently than it seemed she originally intended to. "Baby," she whimpers, and Lena looks up just in time to see her head tilt back.

Then she reaches between her legs, while Lena's tongue is still inside her and starts rubbing her fingers over her clit, slow slow circles right in front of Lena's nose, and--it's not a bad idea, Lena thinks. She was already close herself, could probably get herself off too.

So she reaches between her own legs, fucking her tongue into Kara as she shifts against her hand, and it's an embarrassingly short time before they both come.

Kara's thighs wrap around Lena's head, both of them clenching up and breathing ragged--sweaty and dazed and (probably) too emotional, and tired. Lena didn't even do anything today, but she just feels. So tired.

She's pretty sure she falls asleep right against Kara's thigh.

 

Lena wakes up alone. She's confused for a few seconds, but then she hears rustling in the kitchen and relaxes. She gives it a few minutes before she officially declares herself up, and then she grabs her phone off the night stand to check her email.

She sort of regrets doing that the instant she sees Lillian Luthor's name, though.

She's gone the whole summer without hearing from her mother, so it's only fitting that she asks Lena to call her just when Lena was starting to think she couldn't possibly get any happier.

Still, her mother is her mother, so she dials her despite not wanting to.

"Hi, Lena," Lillian answers with, and then instead of waiting for a response, she just says, "I saw you have enough credits to graduate in December. Lex and I want you to help run the Research and Development sector of LuthorCorp out of Metropolis, starting in January. No use in prolonging university if you don't need it."

Which is a lot for Lena to process right this second, should've shaken her sleep off a little more before this conversation. She rubs her eyes a bit, lets the words sink in, and tries not to take too long and annoy her mother.

It doesn't really sound like a bad idea, Lena's always wanted to work at LuthorCorp, but Metropolis is literally on the other side of the country, and Lena likes being in uni right now.

She likes learning, likes the environment, likes having Sam around and even the frisbee team, and she definitely, definitely likes... ugh. 

No, she could never bring up Kara or any of that to her mother, so she goes with, "I just got the grant here, though. And I'm doing a lot of interesting research and still learning. I just thought - I thought maybe I could finish up my time here before--"

"You just figured you'd underachieve like you always do? Look, Lena, we're giving you the job at LuthorCorp because we care about family and want to provide you room to grow, but if you have better things to do, it won't be hard to find someone better." 

"I know, I just - I wasn't saying I have better things, but I just - I want--"

Honestly. She wants to tell her that she feels like she belongs here, that she's finding her stride, that she's becoming her own person, that there's so much beyond just the general classes that's helping her grow and learn.

But, if she's being honest, honest--she mostly wants to tell her mother that she met a girl. She met a girl.

A girl that makes her feel important, and makes her feel like - like it's okay to try. Even when she fails or she isn't good at something, and makes her feel like she's worth listening to and taking the time to understand, and she.

She'd never give up her dreams for someone, but finishing uni--graduating one of the top uni's in the world--in four years instead of two doesn't feel like ruining her life.

Especially when she's the youngest person publishing in her research area, and the youngest person to get this amount of grant funding for self-directed projects, and David Vignali has heard of her work, and it feels like her life is moving in the right direction even without LuthorCorp.

If she's doing all of this already, furthering her career at just eighteen, and graduating uni in a regular amount of time means she also gets to keep Kara and her friends, then she really doesn't understand why it's bad.

It just - it feels like she has a really valid argument for staying.

But she still feels like absolute, complete shit when her mother hangs up before she even gets the chance to respond.

 

She slinks into the kitchen ten minutes later and tries not to look as down as she feels. Which is surprisingly easy when Kara beams, then throws her arms around her and gives her a big kiss, rubbing her nose all over Lena's face ridiculously. "My baby's finally awake," she says, hugging her tight and pressing her nose into her hair.

Lena sinks into her completely and can't help her smile. "You could've stayed in bed with me, don't know why you're out here."

"I was gonna cook us something," Kara says against Lena's ear, like she's happy she had a good idea. "Figured you might be hungry when you woke up, know I am."

"Oh, I can help out, then. Now that I'm up."

Kara nuzzles her hair. "No it's fine, you can just relax. Not trying to commission you again right out of bed."

"Please, it's no big deal. Besides wouldn't want you to burn the house down." Lena leans back to give her a small smile. But she immediately backtracks when Kara frowns. "Sorry, sorry. You're perfectly capable of making dinner, and I'm perfectly capable of relaxing."

Kara sighs, dramatically, like it's some great weight off her chest. "Good, can finally treat you."

"You already do that in literally every other way," Lena says, kissing Kara's shoulder.

"Just want to take care of you in every way," Kara smiles, pulling off a bit. "Mind if we talk while I cook, really wanna get this going?"

"Yeah, of course," Lena says, and resists the urge to pull Kara back when she turns to start fiddling with the ingredients on the counter.

Which is particularly admirable for Lena, especially considering Kara's wearing an old, worn uni crewneck and her oldest soft soft softest pair of joggers. Also considering Lena just had a shit talk with her mom, which--

"So, um," she clears her throat. Kara lifts her head a bit to indicate she's listening, but otherwise preoccupied with the food. "My mother offered me this job at LuthorCorp."

"That's awesome," Kara says, and she's not even looking at Lena, but Lena can tell how truly proud she already is. Someone should probably bubblewrap Kara and preserve her innocence.

"Yeah it's my dream job, but it's in Metropolis and she wants me to start this December."

She can see Kara freeze, see her hand pause a bit before she grabs the box of macaroni, but all she says is, "That's awesome though, your dream job. And you'll have enough credits to graduate. So nothing holding you back."

Lena twists her fingers together, rolling them between each other. "Yeah, but I kind of wanted to finish out the rest of uni, you know? But when I said it, she pretty much said I was dumb for wanting that, and that a job wouldn't be waiting for me. I don't know, I feel like it's not what I want right now, but I don't want to upset her because I need her for my - my everything. My future, my research. I don't know."

Kara doesn't say anything for a second, like she's just considering that, or maybe she's just reading the macaroni box, but then she sighs a bit and says, "I don't know your mom, so not trying to sound like a knob. But when it comes to your capabilities and your brilliant mind and, hell, even the future of science, you don't need her, she needs you. And anyone who's ever spent more than five seconds with you knows that."

Oh.

Lena can feel her chest constricting like maybe her heart will stop just hearing that.

It's just, that - that feels like the most important thing anyone's ever said to Lena, something she's always wanted to hear, honestly, and Kara said it without even looking at her. Kara legitimately spoke those sentences while scrunching her face at the back of a macaroni box, as if basic pasta's a complete conundrum.

Like. Lena's having trouble breathing, and Kara's as calm as if she just stated a casual, every day fact. One that doesn't even warrant looking up from easy-mac. "You're just saying that because you're my girlfriend."

"What, no?" Kara lowers the macaroni box, finally looking at Lena, face more confused than even the pasta was making her. "Just think about it. You're doing things that no one your age has ever done before, things the government actually wants to fund, things that one guy wants to collab with you on. That's probably the reason she even called with the job, and most likely why she wants you to feel bad for not taking it right away. You have way more power than you think."

"No, I--"

"Baby." Fuck, Kara has her serious crinkle. Usually, when she has that, Lena would trust anything that comes out of her mouth, but. This. It feels like - shit, it feels like. It feels like it can't be true. She's smart, but she's not needed. She's as replaceable as Lilian said she is.

"I wouldn't build you up if I thought it was setting you up for failure," Kara continues. "Especially not in this area of your life. I just feel like you have way more leverage and power than you're affording yourself. I mean - crap, with your skillset, you're gonna get swooped up faster than hotcakes on the job market. Any legitimate business knows they don't threaten the next big thing, they woo them."

"So, what?" Lena asks, voice hovering somewhere between a challenge and a question. "Am I just supposed to call my mother and say you need me more than I need you. Do you really think that's something that would work? You don't know Lillian Luthor."

Kara shrugs. "Yeah, but I know you. Anyway, I'm not saying don't take the job, I'm just saying you can do it on your own terms."

She goes back to narrowing her eyes at the macaroni box after that, like that's that. Everything's said and done and, ugh.

Lena mulls over what she said for a moment, actually thinks it through. It feels entirely too good to be true, her having any power, but it feels like she doesn't have a lot to lose in testing that out. It's not like her mother and her have a relationship to ruin.

"Okay, yeah. You're probably right. I um, I need to use the bathroom," Lena decides. "You good to start without me?"

"Yeah, of course," Kara smiles. "And I already told you, you're not even helping. Go do something more important, make yourself scarce, I got this."

 

Lena sits on the closed toilet seat in the bathroom for approximately ten minutes with her face in her hands, trying to breathe properly, trying to get the dreadful, awful feeling out her chest that her mother put there, trying to wrap her mind around what Kara said, and.

Her mother doesn't bluff, she's never done that before. And she never loses, and Lena's learned to never go up against her.

But Kara's also never lead her astray.

So Lena goes for it, calls her mother back, and after a smug few seconds of her mother asking if she came to her senses, she lays it on her--

She talks about her accomplishments and the grant and everything great that she's been doing, and all the reasons she has to feel good about herself and not like shit, and everything she has to offer.

And then she finishes with, "So I think I'm doing pretty okay, myself, and I'd love to work for LuthorCorp in the future. But if you want to pull the opportunity from me for trying to learn and grow, then I could just take my research and become your competition instead."

A few seconds pass, followed by a soft huff, and then her mother says, "Fine, if you wish to waste your time staying in university, that's your prerogative." But there's a pause after she says it, a tentative one, more tentative than Lena's ever heard her mother sound before, and then, "The LuthorCorp job will still be there for you. But don't expect me to make a big deal out of your graduation when you're doing it a year and a half too late."

Then she hangs up.

Lena doesn't even know what to do with herself, like. She can't even believe that just happened. She can't even--fuck, is that - "Kara is that the smoke alarm?" she yells.

"Don't worry, babe. I'm handling it," Kara yells back.

Jesus Christ.

Lena jumps off the toilet and heads out of the room, immediately hit in the face by a wall of smoke. Before she even has time to process, Kara's shoving her shirt over her head and pulling her somewhere. "Opened the windows and turned off the stove," she says. "Gotta go, too much smoke."

"What?" Lena asks, face smashed against Kara's sweater, and then a few seconds later she hears a door shut behind them and Kara releases her. They're in the hallway outside her apartment door. "What's going on?"

"Funny story," Kara smiles, eyes pretty and shiny, watery, probably from the smoke. "So the macaroni like, it burned."

"How do you burn macaroni?" Lena huffs.

Kara shrugs her shoulders. "I don't know, it all happened so fast. The box didn't say anything about it expanding in the water. Like, one minute it was fine and then the next there was smoke coming off it and it was stuck to the pot." She shakes her head, laughing now, lovely and warm. "It freaking expanded, that's crazy right?"

I love you.

Shit.

Wait.

Lena's breath catches in her throat and her heart starts racing. She just nearly said that out loud, just nearly answered a dumb macaroni question with I love you. Why did her brain just say that? Blurted it out, easy as anything, like it's normal. Like she should feel that way. Ugh. "Everyone knows macaroni expands, how'd you miss that?"

Kara keeps giggling, but she's pinching her lip now so it's muffled and even cuter. "I guess, theoretically, it makes sense. But they don't put it on the box or anything, sort of misleading if you ask me. But we can go to the place I took you our first date, it's open 'till 4am."

Lena's still trying to catch her breath, and in love, apparently. "Yeah, sounds good, we'll need to grab clothes, though."

"Right," Kara says, pulling her shirt over her nose. "You stay here, I'm on it."

 

A few minutes later, they're loading into the car, Kara feeling it necessary, for some reason, to help Lena into her seat. 

She buckles her seatbelt for her and everything--slowly, like they have all the time in the world--and then she pulls that move where she drops her arms and lingers. Lena starts to giggle a bit, because it's just like Kara to make a big deal out of kissing her this far in.

But Kara doesn't kiss her this time.

Instead she sucks in a large breath and says, serious despite the smile in her eyes, "I just want you to know, even if you take the job in California this winter, that it isn't enough to get rid of me." She narrows her eyes and leans in, the tug on the corners of her mouth betraying how serious she's trying to be. "This isn't Sweet Home Alabama where you go off to get some fancy job and leave behind this small town girl."

Lena laughs, cheeks heating up faster than Kara's macaroni, both because Kara's grin is so wide and pretty, and because her heart is sputtering out beats a mile a minute. "I'll take that into consideration."

"I mean it," Kara says, finally breaking into laughter herself, eyes so sparkly they could rival the stars. "If I have to come to California to remind you of how cute I am, then I will. I'm stuck on you, Lena Luthor, and I can be very persistent when I want something." 

I love you I love you I love you I love you

It's drumming through Lena's head like a heartbeat at this point. And it's all she can do not to say it out loud. It's in her chest and her eyes and every breath she exhales, seeping through her so thoroughly she's scared Kara might read it on her skin. So she just doesn't talk for a few seconds, because she knows the first thing that'll come out is that. And she doesn't know if it's weird or too soon, or if it'll push Kara away, or--

Fuck it. "I love you," Lena says.

And Kara says, "I love you, too," so fast it's like it wasn't even a thought but a reflex.

There's a few seconds afterwards where they just blink at each other, dumb and in silence and in love, and then Kara kisses Lena. She kisses Lena in that way that only Kara knows how.

Then she takes her to get grilled mac and cheeses and sings her lovely songs.