They had won the final battle. The Anti-Monitor was no more. Against all odds, Oliver was alive, Barry wasn't missing, and even her cousin's counterpart from Earth-96 was back. And the cruel being behind all of their misery was gone. Dead.
Still, the sweet caress of victory brought Kara no joy. Her mother, her friends, her family... All of the people she held dear, had been resumed to cosmic dust.
She felt sick, and filled with a pain so deep, she didn't even know what held her together anymore. Still, for some strange reason, she hadn't lost all hope. Not yet.
Even when everything and everyone she'd ever loved had been stripped away from her, she couldn't dare to accept it was permanent. This wasn't how their story was supposed to end, and she still could save them, she knew it. Thankfully, the Monitor seemed to agree. There still was a chance.
After Lex was killed, and the Book of Destiny was rewritten by the hands of each paragon, not only had they been able to end the war, she was now able to bring her world back to existence too.
But of course, she knew, certain sacrifices had to be made. The laws of the multiverse were still intact, after all. Energy must have equilibrium. Consequences demand actions. A life must end for another to survive.
So yes, the Book would bring her Earth back. But she would have to die, so other humans could live.
Quite frankly, it was a sacrifice she was always fully willing to make. In her heart, she knew there was a reason why Rao had sent her away from his warmth, to let her thrive under a yellow sun. Why she had flown into the sky to stop her sister's plane from falling down. Why she had put on that suit and cape every morning for the past three years. Why destiny had named her Supergirl.
She was a hero; she was born to sacrifice everything in the name of others.
In her youth, the blonde struggled to understand why she always seemed to lose what she held dearest. And she really couldn't get why, against all logic, she managed to overcome her pain in better ways than most people could.
Now as she looked back, she was able to perceive those small losses only as a preparation for what was to come. She was able to see that her hopeful and strong personality wasn't only a nice trait about herself, but an armour that Rao had built within her soul , so she could face her future with her head high.
And truly, before the storm struck, she was calm. She was resigned, and had accepted her fate. She knew, for the first time in her entire existence, what her true purpose in life was.
She had been one of the few survivors of Krypton's destruction. The one soul that lived, while millions died. But today, she was certain that the story would change.
She would perish, so billions of innocents could be resurrected in her place. She would bring justice, love, and hope back to Earth. She would do what she never managed to do for Krypton. Save her planet.
"All of us have a part to play." She had heard the monitor say earlier.
He was right. She did had a part to play. She was the final piece of the puzzle.
Even with Kate screaming at her from afar, telling her to drop the book and leave, even with Clark threatening to punch her down if she didn't, damn, even with Sara giving her murderous glances along with the other superheroes, she smiled, and didn't back down.
She had understood the meaning of her life.
And she was content with it in the end.
When Lena opened her eyes, she was surprised to see that apparently, she still could.
Then, she realized she wasn't engulfed in flames, surrounded by horned demons and villainous looking creatures. She couldn't see no holy angels playing harps anywhere either. Only a mass of equally astounded people, covered in bloody wounds and dirty clothes.
Quickly, she checked her pulse. Feeling the frantic beating of her heart, she confirmed her theory. They weren't dead. Even if she knew for sure she had died.
She saw the red wave of anti-matter wipe the spaceship clean, she heard the terrified screams of civilians around her as she disappeared into oblivion.
So, having that fact clear in head, and understanding it completely... How was she back? How was everyone else back?
As she pondered the How's and Why's of her survival, the crowd cheered and cried in relief. They were fine. They had been granted another chance.
Still, the Luthor couldn't join them in their celebration. Her brain still was foggy, and reality too farfetched to be true.
"LENA!" Alex appeared beside her, and throwing caution to the wind, squished her in a bone-crushing hug, Kelly following her shortly after.
The CEO barely responded to the gesture, her thoughts were still too complicated for her to properly handle the situation. She had seen the Director vanish. She had seen her die. What the everlasting hell was she doing there then?
"Where are we?" She finally asked, brows furrowed.
"What do we mean, where are we? We are at the legion's ship, remember? You helped us evacuate the city?" The red head pulled back, teary eyed.
"Yes, but... We aren't dead? So... Where are we?"
Before the older Danvers could answer, they felt the ship tremble. Some people fell down, others screamed in terror, begging that disastrous day to be over already.
Then, the lights went off, and panic settled in. For a while, all Lena could feel was Alex's strong grip in her arm, and the tension on the air around her.
What no one anticipated, however, were for the doors to open and for the light to shine in, revealing the beautiful, impeccable landscape of National City.
They hadn't noticed before, but the tremble was actually the ship landing. On the ground. On their city. On the universe they never thought they would see again.
The planet wasn't gone. The earth wasn't gone. Their home was still theirs.
At this, even the CEO couldn't help but cry.
"They did it." Kelly whispered, voice wavering. "Kara and the others... They saved Earth."
Kara. Amidst all this chaos, the businesswoman hadn't stopped to think about how to treat the Superhero after the battle was over. Would she still cling to what was left of her pride, or would she be willing to forgive her sins, to move forward with their friendship, as the reporter desperately desired?
"I'm looking for Alex Danvers!" a familiar voice caught her attention, rising through the crowd - that still in a shocked state, refused to leave the ship.
"Superman?" The Director quickly replied, moving fast through the mass of bodies, trying to reach the tired looking Kryptonian as soon as possible.
"Thank God you survived!" He said, wrapping her in a impromptu hug.
In another time, the woman would have pushed him off, and warned him to stay away in an annoyed tone. In another time, she struggled to believe that the alien himself would even dare to lay a finger on her, either out of fear or awkwardness. But having just returned from death itself, both weren't in the mood to deny anyone anything. So if they needed a hug, screw it, they deserved it.
"What the hell happened Clark?" She whispered, patting his back softly.
The man only then pulled away, ocean blue eyes shining with sorrow.
"You need to come with me now. You, Kelly, your friends... Everyone." He looked at Lena, and without a single trace of rejection or despise in sight, continued. "You too."
"And why exactly would I do that?" The Luthor replied, crossing her arms in a cold, menacing stance.
"Supergirl asked for you."
"Let me rephrase that, why should I care about a selfish liar that only brought me pain and betrayal?"
He blinked, but didn't even flinch at the anger in her words.
Next thing she knew, her arms were down, her chest was aching, and her breathing suddenly had stopped.
"WHAT?" Alex screamed in her place, wide eyes searching for a proper answer.
"All of you died when the anti-matter wave hit. And shortly after that, all Earths were gone. Kar-... Supergirl used the Book of Destiny to bring you back -to bring us, back to existence. But in return, the book demanded a life to be traded. And she willingly gave away hers."
So, that was the explanation the Luthor had been looking for since she regained her consciousness.
No. It couldn't be.
Kara couldn't be dying.
She couldn't have done something so stupid.
"Take me to my sister! Take me to my sister NOW!" Alex demanded, no longer able of keeping her emotions in check.
"Of course. All of you, follow me." He said, giving Lena a deep, hauting look, before quickly turning away.
Ignoring her urge to break down in front of the curious crowd, the CEO decided to hide behind his shadow, with a vacant stare and trembling hands.
Kara couldn't be dying.
She just couldn't.
Once they arrived at the Waverider, the group were met by an unimaginable amount of grief. The presence of loss poisoned the air around them and made it hard to breathe, to think, to do anything that wasn't sulk in the depths of misery.
Despite their bright coloured clothes and downright bizarre equipment, the faces of the Superheroes present on the ship were dim, darkened, completely devoid of any excitement or happiness. They had seen too much, felt too much, to even register what was going on in the present.
Lena was shocked, as she noticed how battered and bruised they were, both emotionally and physically. She never had expected to see such a frightful scenary as this in her life.
Scattered around a bed, engulfed by the light of two enormous sunlamps, she managed to catch a glimpse of more familiar figures. Kate Kane, Sara Lance, Barry Allen... And the man that was supposed to be dead, Oliver Queen.
Alex rushed to his side in a hurry, hugging him before taking a look at her sister. The CEO watched from a distance how the director sobbed, grabbing a pale, bloodied hand in between hers, and kissing the palm softly.
Kara must have said something to them about her, because next thing Lena knew, the heroes were moving out of her way, creating a tunnel around her so she could walk straight to the blonde.
As they moved, she finally was able to properly analyze her face. And God, it was even more awful than she had expected.
It was like a freight train had ran over her body. Twenty times. Whilst burning up in flames.
Still, beneath all the dust, and red, and dirt, there was hope. And love. Her eyes held so much love.
"I'm sorry." She smiled, blood dripping out of the corner of her mouth.
Lena ran to her side, but still didn't know what to say or do. Alex was crying, Kelly was beside her trying to comfort her, the rest of the team was barely keeping it together, and honestly, so was she.
"How could you do this?" She spat out instead, tears slipping out of her eyes. "How dare you belittle your life so much? How dare you chose to die, after everything?!"
"I did it... So you could live." The Kryptonian smiled wider.
Her eyes fought to stay open, her voice wavered and her strength started to vanish. That was particularly worrying to everyone.
"I'm sorry... I wish... I should have told you the truth... But I was afraid... Of losing you... I'm sorry."
Her other hand, not caught in Alex's deathly grip, rose from the bed. Before the Kryptonian could register, it was already captured by the softest of fingers.
"I... I forgive you."
"You don't have to s-say it... If you can't do it yet."
"But I do." The billionaire reassured, in tears. "And just so we're clear, I don't hate you either. I tried, god, how much I tried!" She confessed, and felt a light squeeze of reassurance from below. "I tried to be vile, malicious, to despise you, just like Lex did with Superman!... But I couldn't. I still can't. I couldn't turn my sadness into anger. Not with you... Not with anyone..."
"And I'm proud of you for that. I really, really am... I just wish... I had more time..." Kara whispered, closing her eyes once again.
"Hey, stay with us. Please stay with us." Alex caressed her cheek, making the hero regain some of her consciousness.
"I feel like I'm... Drifting."
"Kara... Don't say that. Please."
"It's okay..." She looked back at her sister, still smiling. "I'm just... Glad you're here... I'm glad... I'm not alone."
"I love you, Alex. You were the best sister... I could ever wish for." Her voice dropped in volume, as her energy quicky faded. "Kelly, please... Take care of her."
"I will, Kara. I promise I will." The woman squeezed the shoulders of her girlfriend tighter, whom she knew, was about to fully break down at any given minute.
"And Lee..." The blonde spun her head to face her, eyes barely open. "I want you to know... I... I..."
"Kara? Kara, what's wrong? Please, look at me."
Following her orders, those icy blue orbs gazed at her one last time.
"Khap zhao rrip" she mumbled, before her hands unclenched Lena's fingers, and her soul got lost into nothingness.
Exhaling her last breath, the girl of steel was no more.
"KARA! NO! YOU CAN'T LEAVE US! YOU CAN'T LEAVE ME! FIGHT BACK! GODDAMN! FIGHT BACK!" Alex exploded, slamming her fists in the bed, as Kelly struggled to keep her in her hold.
"I'm sorry baby... I'm so sorry." She whispered as the woman sobbed uncontrollably, dropping down to hug her sister's body, head bending forward to rest over the hero's chest.
Lena stood still, as tears fell freely down her face. She couldn't believe the scene right in front of her. Kara was dead. Supergirl was gome. Her best friend... The woman she loved... Would never speak, laugh, or look at her again.
"What did she say?" Lena asked softly, voice breaking apart in her trembling lips. "What did she say to me?"
Alex looked up, desolated.
"She... She t-told you she loved you."