The little shop had been fairly quiet that morning, save for Cat Grant barking orders and insults at varying employees and any brief chatter they dared have under Cat’s watchful eye. Though, that in particular was normal and surely everyone who had ever worked under Cat Grant would know that. Only two clients had come in so far, and so most of the work being done were work in progresses started the day before or so.
Kara was stitching the final seams on a pair of black dress pants as Cat Grant stormed to her office with some poor fellow. The boss’s office door shut with a thundering bang that shook the wooden tables scattered about the room, and Cat’s absence seemed to spark the mousy man beside her into quiet chatter.
“Poor man’s a goner,” Winn mused, voice just above a whisper, to Kara as he shook his head sadly. “Was that Mike she dragged in there? I can’t say I’m surprised, he’s been nothing but trouble since he started.” He gave a sad sigh to himself as he ran his hands down the front of the shirt he was making, and then he gave Kara a look as if he was waiting for her response.
Kara was never one to gossip, but her friend always managed to get it out of her, somehow. It didn’t help that the particular man in question left a bitter taste in her mouth. Her lip curled unintentionally and she said, “I’m sure he deserved it, if I’m being entirely honest.” Mike had the nerve to try and charm her, and then go right around and insult her own work directly in her face. It had taken all her self control not to throw the skirt in question directly at his smug smile.
Either way, the response drove a smile from Winn. “He must have deserved it,” He agreed and just as he was about to add more, Cat Grant’s office door opened again, so he clamped his mouth shut. The look of pure terror on his face nearly forced a laugh from Kara, but knowing Cat, she bit her tongue and held it in.
Mike stumbled ungracefully from Cat’s office, an offended look on his face. Kara couldn’t help but watch from the corner of her eye as he loudly grumbled to the women nearby about how awful Cat was and how she would regret not having him around. For Kara, however, there may have been a small sense of relief at the realization Cat had most definitely fired him.
The confirmation came several minutes later when Mike was still lurking around. Cat Grant emerged from her office again to promptly yell across the small room at him, “Did I stutter? I told you, you’re fired.” Her voice was in no manner quiet and everyone pretended that this exchange was not happening in a very full room. Mike was forced to gather his things and rush out, cursing under his breath, before Cat lost her patience.
Kara caught Winn’s eye, and he gave her a look that read quite clearly, uh oh. She smiled.
The door to the shop slammed open, then, and Kara thought for a moment that Mike must have returned to curse them all out some more. She was about ready to give in and turn around to watch the scene unfold, when what she heard was a female voice, rather than Mike’s. She stayed still, eyes focused on the pants as she finished, though her ears trained on the woman.
The woman’s voice was bitter, though loud and arrogant, and she asked quite loudly, “Are you the owner?” It was clear she was talking to Cat Grant, because Cat answered with as much ease as ever.
“Cat Grant,” She said in response and Kara could imagine the distasteful look on her face, “That’s James, he’ll help you.” The words I have better things to do were unsaid, though Kara thought they were just as clear. Cat Grant has a way of speaking that made it quite clear you were scum compared to her.
James spoke then, his voice holding much more kindness than Cat’s, “Can I help you, madame?” James was the friendlier version of Cat Grant. He was still very much their boss, though he was of course underneath Cat Grant, but he was thousands of times more fair. Kara liked him plenty.
The woman spoke again, just as unfriendly sounding as before, “Do you have the ability to make a new dress by tomorrow?” She huffed, the sound holding all of her annoyance bare for everybody to hear it, “We recently had an incident with our personal tailor, and we’ve been to five different ones today only to be turned away by each.”
“I take it the young lady is going to the ball?” James asked curiously, and Kara couldn’t help but feel curious herself. Young lady, he said. She hadn’t had the chance to peer at the woman who had come in, so she had thought she was alone. Her fingers twitched as she resisted the urge to look.
Appalled, the woman huffed again. “If I can help it. She absolutely ruined the gown I’d had waiting for her, last night. This young lady truly had the audacity to sneak out in the middle of the night into the woods to do God knows what—“
A different voice spoke this time, and Kara very nearly gave in to look, “Someone decided to ignore the many times I said I am not going to go, apparently I had to make it more clear.” She was certainly younger than the bitter woman, and her voice had the slightest hint of an accent that Kara couldn’t quite place the origin of. Her voice was, Kara couldn’t help but think, rather lovely.
The first woman snapped, much louder, “Lady Lena, if you so much as utter another word—“
“I’ll see what we can do,” James cut her off, saving this Lady Lena from what was bound to turn into a humiliating scene from the woman, “We’re all extremely busy, but my seamstresses are the best around, you’ll find. We’ll try to have something for you by tomorrow morning at the latest.”
There was a silence as James looked around the room, and Kara couldn’t help the bit of excitement she felt as he called, “Kara, you’re nearly done with Mr. Jones’ order, yes? Come measure the young lady.” At the very least, it gave her the opportunity to finally steal a glance at the scene.
Kara turned her head, finally, and when her eyes landed on the women by the entrance she accidentally pricked her finger with the needle in hand. “Ow,” She bit quietly under her breath as she dropped the needle onto the table and inspected her thumb. She gazed at the dot of blood on the tip before she shook her head to herself and stood. As she grabbed the tape measure from underneath the table, she wiped the pad of her thumb over her tongue to clean the small bit of blood.
When she turned back to the two women and James, her breath nearly caught in her throat. See, the bitter woman certainly looked just as cruel as she sounded, but she was hardly the star of the show, here. The young lady, who stood next to her, looked as if she had quite literally walked out of one of the paintings Kara loved. This Lady Lena was as pale as death and Kara thought momentarily that death had never seemed so beautiful. She had beautiful black hair pulled tightly into a impeccable bun atop her head, her cheekbones and jawline were ungodly sharp and Kara could have sworn she was carved from marble by the finest artists in the world. As if purely to make Kara’s condition worse, her lips were painted with a deep red that contrasted so wonderfully against her skin, and even with the frown she wore, it was a sight to behold.
Lady Lena looked so pained and yet so beautiful, Kara was in awe.
When James cleared his throat, Kara was snapped into reality. Her posture straightened comically and she waved her hand jerkily as she instructed, “Um, this way, madame.” She tried her best to ignore the way the older woman had all but shoved her daughter in Kara’s direction. With the girl following her, Kara lead her to one of the other rooms, one empty and with much more space to measure her properly.
The door thudded behind them and Kara fiddled with the tape measure as she regarded Lady Lena again. It felt near impossible, how beautiful this woman truly was. Kara felt like she didn’t deserve to even look her in the eye.
And, goodness, her eyes were as spectacular as the rest of her. They were so sharp, piercing, and Kara was sure they could peer into her very soul. The color was the most lovely green Kara had ever seen and she suddenly found herself very curious to know if an artist had ever tried to capture the pure beauty Lady Lena had. It felt a shame to ever let the world forget it—she had the type of beauty that needed to be forever captured in a painting, for people to behold centuries from now.
“I’ll only need a few minutes of your time, Lady Lena,” Kara assured her, forcing herself to be civil. Her job wasn’t to admire this woman, no matter how much she wished it was. Instead, Kara sunk down to her knees close to her, and straightened the tape measure in her grasp.
“Just Lena, please,” Lena said and, despite her surprise, Kara nodded. Lena’s voice held such an irritation to it that Kara couldn’t entirely place and yet still sounded so pleasant to listen to. “Your name was Kara, was it?”
“Yes,” Kara said with a nod.
Lena took this with a hum. “Well, Kara,” She drawled, and even without looked Kara couldn’t tell she was rolling those sharp eyes, “I can assure you I hate this as much as you do.”
Kara wasn’t so sure she very much hated Lena’s presence at the moment, so instead she simply asked, “Would the lady like her dress identical to the old one, or entirely new?”
“Whatever. Actually,” Lena’s irritated voice gained a hint of amusement, “Just make it as ghastly as possible. Make me look like the devil’s wench. I want my Mother to shudder at the sight.”
That time, Kara couldn’t help herself. She gawked up at Lena, and lost her professional tone for a moment, “What? Are you serious?” Her eyes immediately widened and she apologized, “I-I mean, yes, madame.” For whatever reason, Lena seemed entirely amused by the entire situation and a dry chuckle was drawn from those red lips.
“You needn’t be quite so careful with your words, Kara,” She said as she laughed, her head shaking. “I assure you I won’t go telling that Cat Grant that you insulted me in any manner. I may seem cruel but I’m sure I’m not so cruel.”
Kara tried to relax at that, and she offered a little smile to Lena as her heart thudded quickly. Her voice and that laugh were much too lovely for Kara to handle.
“Cat Grant. Is she really quite as awful as she seems?” Lena questioned as Kara held the tape measure down the length of her leg, “I’ve heard the occasional horror story of CatCo.” The words took Kara by surprise, solely because she wasn’t aware people of Lena’s stature had caught onto the nickname of Cat’s shop. Kara had thought only herself and the other employees called Cat’s Couture CatCo for short.
“She’s not so terrible,” Kara offered with a glance up to Lena’s face just in time to catch the way her perfect eyebrow quirked up. It was disbelief broadcast on Lena’s face and Kara immediately laughed, unable to help herself. “I assure you, she’s not, though you may hear the opposite from others. She’s not so bad to me, at least. I think she’s warming to me.”
Another thoughtful hum was drawn from Lena at that. A moment later, she mused, “I can see why you’d be able to melt the heart of even Cat Grant.” If Kara said her heartbeat didn’t spike at those words, she would be blatantly lying. “You have a very charming smile, were you aware?”
“I-I can’t say I was,” Kara stuttered in return as she stood to her feet. “Can you raise your arms, madame?”
Obediently, Lena raised her arms enough for Kara to wrap the tape measure around her waist. “It’s true,” She went on despite Kara’s interruption of her apparent topic of choice, “Your smile, it radiates...Warmth, I suppose. Does that make sense?”
As Kara drew back from Lena’s waist, she found it in herself to be witty. And so, with as much confidence as Lena seemed to have in her conversations, Kara retorted, “Of course it seems so. You saw Cat Grant only moments before me, and of course I seem drastically more kind after witnessing her, yes?”
It sparked another laugh from Lena and Kara couldn’t help but feel prideful that she caused this beautiful woman to laugh. “You do have a point, but are you so sure the charm isn’t some of your own?” Lena asked in return, just as simply.
“Hold your arms out?” Kara asked and after Lena did so, she shook her head, “I think I’m far from charming, but thank you for thinking so. It’s a big compliment, coming from a lady such as yourself.”
“A lady such as myself?” Lena questioned like she knew the answer very well and yet wanted to hear Kara’s words, for whatever reason.
“High class, I assume, and you’re strikingly beautiful,” Kara explained, her eyes glued to the tape measure. She attempted her very best to state the fact like it didn’t affect her at all, though it very clearly did. Lena’s beauty was unmatched.
”You think I’m so?” Lena questioned and Kara very nearly gaped at her in disbelief she would dare question it. Surely Lena had enough suitors chasing after her and enough mirrors in her home to know just how sensational she looked. Seeming to catch Kara’s disbelief, she hummed and said, “I suppose I am. But you’re much more so, I think.”
That did cause Kara to gape at her. Did Lena have poor eyesight?
“I’m quite serious!” Lena immediately chortled, and she shook her head. “Perhaps I am beautiful, but you’re more so. You haven’t got a trace of makeup and you’re wearing a shirt and slacks, and yet you’re absolutely stunning. I’ve got an ungodly amount of makeup and a damned corset to try and pretend I have some amount of beauty.”
Kara wished she was better at pretending she wasn’t so surprised by every word that came from Lena’s mouth. She also wished she was better at keeping her own mouth shut, because instinctively she was saying within a second, “Even without all that I think you’d still look heavenly. More so than now, even. I’m not sure you’re seeing quite how beautiful you are, madame.”
“What did I say? You’re charming.”
“I think I’m honest, that’s all,” Kara countered with a smile.
That sparked another one of those darling laughs from Lena. She shook her head as Kara stood straight and held the tape measure across her shoulders. “You’re not helping your argument that you’re not charming by proceeding to be charming,” She told Kara rather teasingy.
Kara couldn’t refrain from pausing in her work to look Lena in the eyes—She nearly startled herself in the process. She hadn’t quite realized just how close she was to Lena, and Lord, those eyes were even more magnificent close up where Kara could see each detail and each speck of differing colors in them. Kara was somewhat stunned, so much so that words failed her and she was frozen for a moment.
Lena did not appear to be much better off. Her eyes were locked onto Kara’s, both of them unmoving in utter silence, until Lena smiled. It sparked Kara back into motion and she cleared her throat loudly before she shuffled back a few steps and said, “I’m done. Thank you for your time, Lena.”
“I must say,” Lena drawled as Kara dared catch her eye again, “I’m almost thankful my Mother forced me here today. Though, don’t tell her I ever said such a thing.”
Kara sheepishly smiled as she gave a breathy laugh. She promised, “Our secret.”
Clearly, that was the correct response, for Lena’s smile only seemed to shine brighter and she agreed, “Our secret.”
The two found themselves looking at one another in silence, again, and Kara didn’t have the will to feel embarrassed by it. Lena was fascinating. Her eyes, the gentle lilt of her voice—It all seemed so much airier, cheerier, then when she had arrived with her Mother not so long ago.
It was almost hard to imagine the pained, irritated girl was the same one standing before her smiling with her eyes sparkling.
Just as Kara was about to open the door and lead Lena back out to her seemingly awful Mother, Lena stopped her with a hand on her bicep. Kara’s eyes looked first at her hand, and then at her questioningly, and Lena raised an eyebrow.
“I hope this isn’t the last we see each other,” Lena said and, somehow, Kara could detect the question in the words. The hope that Kara agreed, that Lena wasn’t the only one who found something intriguing between the two of them. It was the first time in that short period that Kara could see behind the confidence Lena radiated, and it only proved to add to her answer.
“I hope not either,” Kara agreed with a smile and, based on the breathy, short laugh Lena gave in response, it was the answer she was hoping so clearly for.
When the night came, all but Kara and Winn had cleared out of CatCo. Employees had been filtering out slowly for the last couple of hours and not ten minutes ago had the last of them, save for Winn and Kara, left as well.
Next to Kara, Winn yawned and stretched his arms high above his head. When his yawn came to an end, he looked at Kara and asked, “You ready to go?” It was a semi-nightly tradition for Kara and Winn to go out after work with Kara’s sister and a few of their friends.
And, as much as Kara loved being with all of them, she shook her head. “I’ve got to finish this,” Kara told Winn as he looked at her curiously and she waved down to the pretty fabric in front of her, “you go on without me. I’ll be here rather late.”
The look Winn had proved he was unsure of this. “Are you positive?” He asked warily as he stood up, “Last time you stayed so late you barely made it here in the morning.”
“I’m quite sure I’ll be okay,” Kara assured him as he gathered his belongings and got ready to leave. A grin appeared on her, then, as she joked, “Well, more okay than I’d be not finishing and risking the wrath of that terrible woman who came in with her daughter, earlier.” Kara would prefer to stay out of the way of Lena’s much less pleasant mother, that was true. That woman hardly seemed like someone who would be lovely to be around.
The joke made Winn laugh. “Okay, you’re right,” He agreed as he slung his bag over his shoulder, “I’ll see you tomorrow, then, Kara?” Kara gave a short nod to him and within a minute, the bell above the door was chiming along with his exit.
After that, the building was peacefully quiet. No gossiping Winn beside her, no obnoxious coworkers, no Cat Grant barking orders or yelling threats...The establishment was rather nice once everybody was gone. Kara thought she might prefer it to having everybody around.
Kara’s eyes landed on the partial dress that lay in front of her. It was lovely so far, the fabric was light and pretty and it was definitely proving to be one of Kara’s nicer creations. It was a stunning green that Kara could admit she chose to highlight Lena’s equally stunning eyes and, surely, even Lena’s Mother could find it beautiful on her daughter.
All in all, Lena would look beautiful, her Mother would certainly be happy, and Kara wouldn’t have to worry about facing her or Cat Grant’s wrath.
Yet Lena’s words rung in Kara’s ear and Kara found herself glancing around the room to make sure everyone truly had gone.
Once she had made herself certain she was alone for the night, Kara shoved the pretty dress aside and got to work on something very different.
“That girl better be worth a damn in her tailoring,” Lillian said unreasonably loudly as they walked out of the shop. The door slammed as a punctuation to the sentence Kara and the entire workforce of Cat’s Couture definitely heard and Lena cringed to herself.
“I’m sure she is,” Lena said despite herself, feeling a need to defend her. Perhaps there may have been too much spite in her tone, because Lillian said nothing but grabbed her forcefully by the wrist to make her walk faster. Lena didn’t say anything else on the way back to Luthor Manor, but neither did Lillian.
Even the next day, for whatever reason, that Kara Danvers was stuck on Lena’s mind. The maid, Jess, had even commented on how Lena seemed spacey, giddy—Lena was simply thinking about Kara and that charming smile. The smile, the glasses she nervously adjusted when Lena said something that managed to spark a nervous laugh from her. Her eagerness to respond to Lena’s teasing with teasing of her own and the genuine tone of her voice in each word she spoke.
Lena was stunned to the point she very nearly forgot all about the ball, the dress, and the fact that the dress was the reason she met that woman in the first place. It all entirely slipped her mind until Jess brought two garment bags to her bedroom and Lena saw Cat’s Couture written on the top of them in cursive. She thanked Jess and took the both of them, momentarily forgetting the intensity of her thoughts of Kara.
When Lena unzipped the first bag, the dress inside was a green one. It was pretty, truthfully—Gorgeous, actually. It was certainly one of the most lovely Lena had ever seen and in her life she had been around many dresses of all different kinds, made by the best designers in the world. Kara was talented in her work on top of every other great thing about her, apparently, and Lena’s brain added it to the list of thoughts already running through her mind on loop.
The second garment bag was a mystery to Lena—As far as she had been concerned, Lillian had only requested one, and Lena was positive the green one was beautiful enough to keep Lillian at bay. So, a second dress—Lena wasn’t quite sure what to think.
But, there was only one way to find out. So, Lena unzipped the second bag and her eyes were drawn first to a written note. Curiously, she took it out and squinted at the neat writing penned in ink.
Just in case you were being serious…
To Lena’s either confusion, satisfaction, or both, Lena had a feeling she knew exactly what Kara meant.
Without another moment of hesitation, Lena set the note down and unzipped the bag further and—Oh, Kara had definitely listened when Lena said to make it positively hideous. It was exactly that, with horribly clashing patterns and a style that was not at all particularly flattering either. It was bound to make Lillian lose her mind if she ever were to see it, Lena knew that much for certain.
Lena smirked to herself as she held the ugly dress.
The instant Kara walked into CatCo, she knew she was a goner.
When Kara woke up that morning, one of the first thoughts she had was Lena Luthor. That ball Lena’s Mother had been forcing her to had been the night before, Kara knew, and Kara couldn’t help but wonder how it all went. Kara assumed, of course, Lena had to have worn the green dress. There was no possible way she ever would have seriously worn the other one, but Kara did find herself wondering if Lena got a kick out of it. She wanted to know if Lena smiled or laughed in that teasing way when she saw Kara’s note and the hideous dress to match.
That high she had been feeling since meeting Lena faded when the first thing she saw upon entering CatCo was Cat’s fuming expression.
“My office, Kiera,” Cat said as Kara caught Winn’s eye across the room as he gave her a scared look, “now.”
Knowing better than to argue or speak at all, really, Kara scurried after Cat to her office. She shut the door behind her because, well, maybe that would muffle some of the yelling Cat would inevitably doing towards her. Being yelled at by Cat Grant was one thing, the entire shop hearing it happen was another thing entirely.
Cat Grant pinched the bridge of her nose as her eyes squeezed shut, like she was trying to control the anger she undoubtedly had, and she exhaled deeply. “Listen,” She said finally, her voice a scary steady tone that somehow was worse than yelling, “do you think your job is a joke? Do you enjoy making yourself and me look like a joke?”
Kara simply stood, not answering, because she knew it was rhetorical.
Sure enough, Cat went on without a pause to even receive an answer if Kara had one.
“You are talented, usually, so imagine my shock when I saw the absolute horror of a dress you made for that girl,” Cat bit, her voice finally rising from that terrifying calm, “What the hell was going through your mind, Kiera?!”
“The girl asked, and I simply gave her what she wanted—“
“That girl was not the customer,” Cat argued furiously, pointing a finger meaningfully, “her Mother was paying, she is who you listen to. Not the girl. The one paying.” Cat was fuming. Kara hadn’t seen her this mad since—Ever, actually. It was rather troubling, when Kara realized just how angry Cat truly was.
So, Kara decided to try an apology despite not being particularly apologetic for giving Lena what she wanted. “Miss Grant, I’m sorry—“
“Zip it,” Cat snapped and, before Kara could react, she said with finality, “you’re fired. Out, now.”
The words hit Kara like a brick and suddenly her mind was completely swarmed by her racing thoughts. “I—“ Kara stuttered because she was what? A breathy, humorless laugh spilled from her lips as she tried, “Miss Grant, please—“
“I don’t want to hear it,” She interrupted, her voice raising louder this time as she reiterated, “You. Are. Fired.”
The door to her office gently opened as she said it and Kara cringed at the knowledge the entire workplace likely heard Cat say the words. Cat froze in her yelling at Kara to glare up at James, who had the door held open despite knowing well that Cat Grant did not appreciate being interrupted in the middle of a chewing out. Cat’s expression very blankly said her patience was wearing thin.
James cleared his throat and said, “Miss Grant, there’s a...A woman is asking to see Kara.”
Cat Grant rolled her eyes and sighed in exasperation. But, either way, she waved at James to let the woman in. He in turn gave a nod to someone outside the office and stepped out as a woman Kara had never seen in her life walked in.
The office door shut behind this woman and she immediately looked at Kara. “You’re the one who made the dress for Lena Luthor?” She questioned, and Kara’s mouth hung open in a failed attempt at a reply because who the hell was she.
Cat answered for her, unsurprisingly. “Miss Danvers here did create that atrocity,” She informed the woman bitterly as she crossed her arms over her chest. She glared at Kara before looking back at the woman, “She’s been fired, so if you work for the Luthors, you don’t have to worry because I will be making sure her life is a living hell—“
“She’s been fired?” The woman asked in slight surprise before she added with the barest hint of amusement in her voice, “That makes this simpler, then.” With that, she turned to look back at Kara and she said, “I’m here to offer you a job.”
“What?” Kara said at the same time Cat said the same thing.
Kara ended up taking the woman, who introduced herself as Jess, up on the offer even as Cat tried to reverse the decision she made to fire Kara. Which is how she ended up leaving CatCo with Jess and found herself in a massive house not a half hour later. A house bigger than she had ever been in and certainly nicer.
Jess lead her up to a room and told her to wait in there.
When Kara eased the doors open slowly, she was met with the view of a huge bedroom. She shut the door behind her just as quietly, as if she was sneaking around, despite quite literally being invited here. As she glanced around the big room, Kara was immediately intrigued.
It was interesting. The room itself was fairly tidy and bare, just sleek shades of black and white with little personal items to show anyone even resided here. On the contrary, the left side of the room had a small desk. Atop the desk, papers were strewn about in a far less tidy way than the rest of the room was. Kara found herself drawn to that part of the room and she trailed over there, her shoes sounding too loud on the hard, white floor.
On closer inspection, Kara realized most of the papers were covered in numbers and equations, ink smudged in some spots. When Kara carefully moved some of the papers, she saw a couple battered science journals hidden under a thick diary. The next thing Kara saw was the note she had written and put in the garment bag for Lena, with a note right beside it for Kara.
Make yourself at home, please (but preferably stay in this room until I’m able to talk with you).
Kara, for whatever reason, found herself smiling softly at it. It was all so, so unbearably strange. Lena was an enigma to her and Kara was being flooded with endearment for her—Which was odd, but not entirely unwelcome, Kara decided.
Kara jumped as those big doors opened and she turned swiftly, a deer-caught-in-headlights look plastered on her face.
What she saw was a thousand times more endearing than the rest of it all. Lena Luthor stood, stopped in the doorway with her eyebrow raised at Kara’s obvious start, and she was wearing the dress Kara made for her. The green one, not the one made entirely to spite her Mother—and Kara had been right. Lena looked wonderful and for a moment Kara couldn’t believe that she herself made Lena something that looked so perfect.
“Jumpy, are you?” Lena asked, that teasing smile growing as she shut the door behind her and walked towards Kara.
“I—I mean, I can’t say that I was expecting any of this,” Kara retorted playfully, “So perhaps I should stop being so surprised by anything at this point.”
“Perhaps,” Lena agreed.
“Why did you—“
“I think I made it clear I’ve heard some stories about Cat Grant, yes?” Lena asked with a playful tilt of her head and Kara nodded. “I figured you might run into some trouble with her for the stunt you pulled. So, I sent Jess over with the intent of giving you some help if needed. Which, apparently, it was needed.”
“Okay,” Kara said sheepishly, “Thanks for the save, then. You should have seen the look on Cat’s face when I got to work...I’m sure she was ready to commit her first murder. And then the look on her face when Jess came—Oh, gosh.”
Lena’s eyes sparkled in humor at this. Then, with that undeniably flirty tone Kara knew she had to get used to, she said, “Admittedly, I’m glad Cat Grant was so furious. Sorry about your job, but I‘ve been hoping since I left that I’d get to see you again.” Kara sputtered for a moment, managing to say something similar, and Lena added, “If it makes you feel better, I’m sure I can pay better than whatever Cat Grant pays you...Not to mention you’ll be getting my company, if that helps any.”
“I—That definitely sounds difficult to pass up,” Kara said in turn, able to make her tone come close to that teasing tone of Lena Luthor’s, and it was clear by the smirk she had that she enjoyed the banter.
Three weeks later, Kara had gotten used to sneaking around the Luthor’s mansion in hopes Lillian Luthor wouldn’t see her and recognize her. She had gotten good at dodging room to room and turning on her heels when she saw Lillian down a hallway—Until a month in, when Lillian had seen her and didn’t recognize her at all.
So Kara stopped sneaking around by herself.
She and Lena, on the other hand, snuck off together nearly all the time to go to Lena’s room or one of the other million rooms in that damn house.
Kara backed Lena up against that cluttered desk in her bedroom after the two of them snuck away from some snobby gala her Mother was hosting. She kissed Lena with fervor, the knowledge that Lillian was likely furiously searching for her daughter at the gala somehow egging her on, as she struggled to tug at the zipper on Lena’s dress. Lena’s dress that she made.
In truth, Kara wasn’t entirely sure how it all started, this strange but not unwelcome thing between her and Lena—She wasn’t entirely sure who began it. Simply, Lena had a little too much wine and was teasing Kara as she worked on sewing, and the next thing Kara knew her work was abandoned and she had Lena’s dark lipstick smudged to no return. That time turned into many, which turned into Kara sleeping in Lena’s bed at night rather than in the room Lena had given her, and Kara honestly enjoyed every second of it.
Lena gave a throaty laugh as Kara kissed down her neck to her chest because maybe she had purposely made the neckline on that particular dress a little lower than the rest of Lena’s wardrobe. “I’m going to go out on a limb here, Kara,” She said teasingly, clutching Kara’s back, “Something tells me you find working here a thousand times more enjoyable than working at CatCo.”
“You have no idea,” Kara agreed with a breathy laugh of her own as Lena worked her hair loose from its bun, “Who knew getting fired would be the most brilliant thing to happen to me in a long while?” She trailed, kissing Lena’s collarbones as Lena made a hushed sound in agreement, and Kara made the mistake of looking up at her.
Lena was somehow more beautiful than the day her Mother dragged her into CatCo. Her dark hair loose rather than in that painfully tight bun, messy from Kara’s hands, her dark lipstick smudged and completely ruined—And she was smiling. Not even that excruciatingly attractive smirk she had when she teased Kara, but just a truly happy smile, and Kara felt a feeling so strong within her whenever she was able to cause it. When she was the direct cause of Lena’s happiness, when she got to cause Lena’s smile in comparison to the despaired look she had around her family, Kara felt prideful.
“I’ve always thought you were beautiful,” Kara admitted to her, then, her heart thudding quickly as that foreign emotion overcame her. Lena’s gaze met hers and, Kara noticed, that smile she had shone even brighter. Before Kara could possibly spill her heart out even more, Lena pulled her in for a kiss, one that was much more gentle than before. It was less desperate, less hungry, and Kara could feel Lena’s gratitude in it. She could feel everything Lena didn’t need to say.
Kara was positive that being fired was somehow the greatest thing that had ever happened to her.