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Kara had almost lost her.

 

Almost.

 

The devastation from Lex ripping the rug out from under her still stung even nearly three years later. He had taken that last protective barrier, strained to the last stitch and had torn it cruelly without regard. Kara still remembered the hollowness in Lena’s voice after she had trapped her within the Fortress of Solitude’s security system, feeling sick to the core as her ears still rang with her raised yell of Don’t you know what you’ve done ?




Don’t you know what you’ve done ?




She thought she had.

 

A rocky road doesn’t even begin to cover what happened in the following months. All Kara remembers is that she felt like she was swimming against a tsunami, reaching for her best friend just out of her reach. The gap between them became a chasm, growing wider each day until-

 

Lena…

 

Wait!








 

She was gone.

 

Wiped from existence in the blink of an eye.

 

Everyone had been, and Kara was alone. Again.

 

She wanted to lie down and never get up.

 

But there was a niggling voice in the back of her head that sounded like Alex. Like Kal.

 

Like Lena .

 

Get up . You aren’t finished yet .

 

It had hurt . And she was so tired. But they had won just barely and Kara was left to help pick up the pieces when she got them all back from the ether. She told them what had happened in a controlled empty voice and put herself to work, burying the hurt and the raw gaping wound in her chest until she was numb. It had been like losing Krypton all over again and Lena was refusing to talk to her still and Kara was just tired .

 

She lasted for barely two weeks.

 

It hadn’t been anything specific really, she had just been sitting on the end of the pier drying in the sun after tugging a freighter back into port and something in her chest just… crumbled. She didn’t remember much other than she couldn’t stop crying and a group of grizzled old fishermen and dock workers were creating a human shield around her, keeping her safe from prying eyes and cameras looking to make a buck. One man with deep mahogany skin, wrinkled and darkened from years in the sun had carefully draped his heavy oilskin coat around her shoulders to hide the red of her cape and hummed a tune as he sat close. When she had managed to breathe again, the panicked tightness in her chest having receded just enough, he asked her who they could call. There had only been one name that had come to the forefront of her mind before the numbness started to set in again.

 

Lena .”

 

It had led to a brief painful conversation of she hates me, she won’t answer if you call her , but somehow the man had taken the number to the direct line to Lena’s assistant from her phone and called whoever it was on his own. She couldn’t focus. Her vision was still blurry from tears and she could feel the sting of the salt whipping off the ocean and the sun warming the top of her head. She could hear the voices of the people around her, whispering worries and words of ptsd worse than my pa and he was in ‘nam and ain’t never seen a super break like that and poor girl what did they do to her . When one man did have the courage to ask what was wrong as her new temporary guardian spoke lowly on his phone, Kara could only shake her head.

 

“Everyone was gone again.”

 

“Gone?”

 

She had turned to look at the man and tried not to flinch when his expression morphed into horror at whatever he saw in her face. Or the lack of what he saw.

 

“You were gone.”

 

Her words were raw in her throat. The man swallowed nervously and he patted her gently on the shoulder, his face pallid at her words. He didn’t say anything else but settled on the other side of her, his salt stained boots blocky and massive next to the sleek red of her super suit. A silent offer of camaraderie. Kara appreciated the effort. The man who had first sat with her hung up his call and told her quietly that someone was on their way to get her. She nodded and hoarsely whispered a thank you . It was all she had the energy for and the men on either side of her started to talk in low comforting voices about the tides. Everything gradually went fuzzy around the edges, the sun glinting off the bay turned to oil spots and the voices of the men softened to the low humming buzz of fat bumble bees. The only thing that she knew was solid and true was the rough wood of the pier and the weight of the oilskin coat on her shoulders. It smelled like salt and fish.

 

There was a familiar click click click of high heels and Kara tried to rise up out of the fog that she had sunken into. There were two pairs of high heels. She could feel that she had straightened up some out of her deep hunch to listen. The men on either side of her paused in their conversation and watched her silently. Kara still couldn’t focus, but she knew whoever it was would find her. Supergirl was never hard to find. She slumped again as the fog settled over her and the men on either side of her started moving around.

 

Where is she?

 

There was a shuffle behind her and one pair of high heels came up next to her. The warm weight of a hand pressed into her shoulder.

 

“Kara?”

 

She knew who that was.

 

Kara blinked and straightened up a little more to crane her neck back. The petite frame of Jess bundled in a heavy wool coat was leaning over her. Her face was full of worry. Jess had always been kind to her, and Kara wondered when she had come back to National City.

 

“Hi Jess.”

 

Jess grimaced a smile and patted her on the shoulder.

 

“Come on. Let’s get you home.”

 

Kara nodded mutely and accepted the help to get back to her feet. She felt leaden. Tired. But she wiped her face with her hands, took a deep steadying breath, and returned the oilskin coat to the fisherman with a quiet joke of I kept it warm for you . The man had simply smiled kindly and told her to come back and sit with him any time she wanted. Jess rested her hand on her elbow and guided her away from the edge. The people who had gathered to hide her dispersed in a chaotic jumble of quiet well wishes. She could hear Jess speaking as she tried to blink herself back into focus but she was having more difficulty than she thought.

 

Thank you, gentlemen.

 

A gentle pressure on her arm guided her forward and Kara obeyed mechanically, listening to their footsteps on the weathered wood. It was then that Kara remembered she had heard two sets of heels and looked up, her curiosity getting the better of her.

 

Standing in the middle of the pier not twenty yards away was Lena.

 

She looked imperiously stoic in her high ponytail and full length black coat. Her hands were hidden in her deep pockets. But she didn’t look cruel. Lena remained curiously blank as she studied her for a long moment, and then turned on her heel and started striding back towards the sleek black town car parked at the end of the pier. Kara swallowed down the thick burn of tears and blindly let Jess lead her on, trying and failing to pull her shoulders back and out of their tired hunch. As Lena reached the town car a DEO transport truck pulled up just behind them. Alex jumped out with the motor still running and froze to take in the scene. Lena said something to her and her sister’s hand left the gun at her hip.

 

“Almost there, Kara.” 

 

Jess’s voice sounded like she was underwater. And maybe she was. Kara felt like she was drowning. Alex crossed the last few feet to them and quietly thanked Jess for her help. She said something to Kara, her deep brown eyes full of fear and worry, but Kara just shook her head.

 

“I need to stop. Someone might get hurt.”

 

Alex had just nodded. Kara looked back up once more to Lena, opening her mouth to say something. Anything . But nothing came out. Lena’s brow and shoulders slumped in disappointment. She gave her a polite nod and slid into the town car without another word. It felt like the jagged tear in her chest split a little more at the seams. Alex somehow ushered her into the vehicle after speaking with Jess for a quick moment, and time folded in on itself and she found herself changed into warm clothes and curled up in her bed with her sister.

 

Kara succumbed to the emptiness.

 


 

Everything was blurry for a little while.

 

She remembered Alex telling her she had somehow managed to get her a medical leave from CatCo and that J’onn was filling in for her as Supergirl. She knew Kelly was talking to her, trying to help her, bringing in doctors until she found one that didn’t make her want to blast a hole in the wall with her eyes. And Kara tried , but she was just so tired. She slept a lot. When she slept she didn’t dream of anything and her mind was quiet. When she slept she could escape the dull sickening ache in her chest and the dragging darkness in her mind. When she slept she didn’t think about how she had lost everything again. Or how Lena hated her.

 

After four weeks, Alex pulled Kara’s old paints out of their bin and told her to just try to do a little bit of something every day, just enough to get her out of bed for a couple minutes. Some days when she didn’t have to be at the DEO or came over for her new therapy sessions she’d stay and paint a little with her, always leaving with a kiss on the top of her head. Sometimes she would spend the night and the world wouldn’t seem so dark. Sometimes Kelly or Nia would stay with her too to give Alex a break, helping with dinner and making sure she had enough water and social interaction to keep her from falling too deeply into reclusiveness. It helped, and Kara slowly started clawing her way back into her body. Started roughly stitching up the tears with help to try to figure out how to keep herself put together. It was hard, but the longer she worked at it even through her bad days the better she felt, if even only a minuscule increment.

 

Three months passed and her medical leave from CatCo came to a close. She was still tired, still cold and empty feeling, but she went back to work. Snapper greeted her gruffly, took one look at her, and frowned.

 

“I don’t know what happened to you, ponytail, but do try to take care of yourself. We don’t have a lot of reporters here that can talk to people like you do.”

 

It was one of the nicest things he had ever said to her. Snapper had handed her an assignment without looking at her, already drawn back to whatever crisis was in his emails.

 

“Four hundred words by noon tomorrow.”

 

Kara answered with a subdued yes sir and got to work.

 

She had gradually eased herself back into what her life had been, gaining more energy by the day and stayed on top of her work at CatCo. J’onn had told her to focus on just herself for as long as she needed. He admitted that while pretending to be Supergirl was tiring, he did enjoy being able to openly help others. National City knew of the Martian, but trust came easier when he wore Kara’s illusion. Kara didn’t blame him and told him that she would be ready to come back soon. He had given her a hug and she tried not to cry.

 

“Don’t push too hard, Supergirl.”

 


 

Six months after the pier there was a knock on her door.

 

It was still somewhat early, just barely passed eight, but Kara was already ready to go to bed after a day of feeling like a wrung out sponge. She jammed her glassed onto her face and tugged a favored sweatshirt on to look a little more presentable, not having the energy to put a bra back on. She called a quiet be right there as the person knocked again and she pulled the door open with a stifled sigh. The person on the other side of the door took a short step back and Kara blinked when she realized who it was.

 

Lena.

 

Lena, who she had fought tooth and nail for. Lena, whom she loved more than anything.

 

Lena, who had refused to speak to her for six months.

 

“Lena.”

 

What do you want ?

 

Her friend flinched at her dull tone. “Kara.”

 

A heavy awkward silence grew between them and Kara could feel the sick achy burn well up in her chest. Lena, who hadn’t shown any interest in trying to even begin the possibility of healing, leaving Kara in the dark, was on her doorstep. Kara hadn’t had the time to prepare and felt like an exposed nerve as too many emotions came bubbling to the surface.

 

“You left me.”

 

The words spilled out of her before she could stop them, a cold stinging venom whispered into the pregnant silence. Lena’s expression fell in guilt and she bit back tears. She swallowed and checked the hall, unable to meet Kara’s heavy stare.

 

“May I come in?”

 

Kara wanted to close the door in her face, but she had missed her more. She stepped to the side without a word and Lena swept past her with a quiet thank you and a familiar perfume that made Kara want to cry.

 

They had talked.

 

Screamed, was a better word for it. Yelled their frustrations and pushed everything ugly out onto Kara’s living room floor. Every little festering infection was lanced and laid bare until their voices were hoarse and they had gone through half a box of tissues and Kara wondered why her neighbors hadn’t called the police yet. It wasn’t healthy, but it was better than Kara had been hoping for. Nothing was fixed, yet, but the road was revealed before them. When they were emotionally spent and sitting on her couch Kara got up and opened a bottle of wine for them, one of Lena’s reds that she had pushed to the back of her pantry. They didn’t say anything else that night as they drank it. Lena had cleaned their glasses, put her coat on, and left with a quiet see you later .

 

For the first time in nearly half a year, Kara put on her super suit and took to the skies over National City.

 


 

Progress was not linear.

 

Kara would have been foolish to think that it would have been smooth sailing, but she knew better now. It was another couple months of struggling to keep her head above the water, and she knew it would never really go away but Kara was determined to try to tread for as long as possible now that she and Lena were talking again. They backslid a bit further when she discovered that Lena had made a foolish deal with a fifth dimensional imp for a lengthened lifespan and a degree of invulnerability, pleading with her to reconsider, that she didn’t want what Kara had foisted upon her unwillingly. Her reasoning had been simple if upsetting. She could do much more good like she had planned, the right way, if she were around longer to help guide it-and it helped that she didn’t have to worry about her family. Kara hated her flippancy and told her so. Lena had bit back that Kara would just have to keep her company after everyone else had died.

 

It was an ugly thing to say and Kara didn’t speak to her for three weeks.

 

Lena had showed up at her door again looking haggard with an apology on her lips about how she had hurt her but still strongly bullheaded about the deal she had made. They had screamed some more at each other until Kara lost her fight and sat down on the floor in the middle of her living room and started to cry.

 

“You don’t want this. You don’t want the loneliness . It’s crushing, and suffocating, and it’s like you just can’t breathe .”

 

Lena didn’t comfort her, but she did sit on the blocky coffee table a few feet away from her as she cried in frustration. When Kara had caught her breath Lena went and found her stash of Aldebaran rum and poured her too much. Kara took the glass, noticing the tear tracks cutting down Lena’s cheeks with a sickening twist in her chest.

 

“Well. I can’t undo it now.” She murmured sadly, and went to go find a drink for herself.

 


 

That was the last big fight they had but it wasn’t the last argument.

 

Their conversations had less yelling and more questions over time, more calm periods where they allowed the other to speak, and gave more opportunity to try to heal. Lena still didn’t show up to game nights, not yet, but she did start having coffee breaks with Kara again. It was a note of normalcy that she had desperately missed and looked forward to each new short visit with a desperately greedy need.

 

One day Lena invited her to L-Corp as Supergirl and showed her all of the projects she had started before making her deal with the imp. They were incredibly sustainable, had schedules that would take years or even decades to implement, and had absolutely nothing to do with mind control. She had admitted through halting sentences that her attempt to eradicate pain and the ability to harm another person had been selfish and impossible at best. Taking a person’s autonomy, in a sense, was worse than killing them. And Lena knew she had been in the wrong when an encouraging coded message from Lillian showed up in her inbox. She had fired all lab personnel, completely scrapped and destroyed the work she had done with Myriad, and boxed the component back up.

 

I will not be another Luthor .” She sneered, holding the box containing Myriad out to Kara.

 

She had taken it with a quiet thank you , the warmth of an old familiar pride for her seeping into her chest.

 

Lena had flushed at Kara’s look and crossed her arms protectively over her chest.

 

“Don’t look at me like that.”

 

“Like what?”

 

“Like I’m good. I’m not. Not after what I did. Not after how I hurt you.”

 

Kara had sighed away a self deprecating quip and tucked the box under her arm. She leaned in and pressed a kiss to the side of her friend’s head, like she had used to before Lex unraveled the last thread.

 

“You are good.”

 


 

Before Kara knew it, another year had passed.

 

It was two years since she had lost everything a second time and progress was still a little slow on her end. She did have more good days than bad days. But she had more nightmares than she used to. Night terrors is what Lena called them, when Kara told her she had been frozen in bed with a pitch black vibrating form hovering just inches above her. Sometimes the form had faces she recognized. Sometimes they were inhuman, blacker than black, with long angular features and sunken sockets for eyes that she could never see but knew were there. Kara started sleeping less again because of them.

 

Thankfully, despite her see-sawing self progression, her friendship with Lena started to mend. It felt different. Not a bad different, but different none the less.

 

Sure, the previous years were still there, a strong skeleton that even though it may have been tarnished by Kara’s secret was still earnest and true. It was getting less painful to talk about what they had, to remember it. It was getting easier to start falling back into their routines and playful banter. Kara realized it was getting easier to love Lena again.

 

The scary part was that she had realized late one night, after the first game night Lena had attended in nearly two years, was that her love for her was morphing into something a lot more .

 

Something bigger . Deeper. Something she thought she had only caught a glimpse of with James and Mon-El.

 

And what made it even scarier, was that she could tell that Lena was discovering the same realization. She didn’t say it to Kara, but it was the way the warmth in her eyes had changed. It was in the way that she had started checking in on her during her quieter days. How she had seemingly formed a sixth sense about when Kara needed a pick-me-up. Kara had joked one day that Lena was empathetic.

 

Of course, that had led to a grimace and a chagrined, So do you remember that alien brain that was donated to L-Corp? There might have been a containment breach…

 

Kara didn’t get as mad that time, but she quickly talked herself down when she saw how scared Lena was and promised to try to help her. She didn’t know how she would, but she was going to try. Lena had proven her trustworthiness to Kara at an incredible consistency. It was more than fair that she did the same. So on top of returning full time to her Supergirl duties and CatoCo responsibilities, Kara found herself spending her non-existent free time in Lena’s personal lab exercising the Kryptonian Scientist in her that she had been forced to keep hidden for nearly two decades. The comforts of fiddling with components and theoretical brain wave equations brought back a competitiveness she had let herself forget about in an attempt to blend in on earth. She told Lena stories about the Science Guild, tried to describe what she could remember about the Academy that the scholars gathered in. She could still remember how vivid the sunsets were and hadn’t found a view on earth that was comparable.

 

Yet.

 

Kara blushed when Lena tentatively offered that maybe they could start looking for them.

 


 

There was a shift after that.

 

They finally let themselves fall fully back into their friendship, navigating around the old stinging hurt and beat it back the best they could. Kara let herself be as open as possible with her as she could manage. There were still some things that she wasn’t ready to talk about, but instead of not saying anything at all she just told Lena not yet . And Lena started opening back up to her too about the little things. It made Kara appreciate her comments all the more and be more mindful of how she really shared herself with her best friend.

 

But that something deeper that she had started feeling for Lena had grown.

 

Kara realized it was love.

 

Not the you’re-my-best-friend-and-I-love-you love. Well, she was still full of that kind of love.

 

This was a big scary love.

 

An all-consuming love.

 

A love that colored her behavior and forever changed how she looked at Lena.

 

Kara was in love with Lena.

 

It was the same feeling that she saw reflected in her best friend’s expression, her posture, her very attention to Kara.

 

They were in love with each other but there was still so much going on and they were still healing. It definitely wasn’t the right time to do anything about it. Kara wasn’t sure when the right time would be if at all , but she would find it if she could. She was still too busy trying to rebuild herself, rebuild her life, and the friendship she had nearly lost. Kara didn’t have much more to give for the time being. It was unspoken, but Lena was in the same boat.

 

Maybe one day they would talk about more than friendship.

 


 

Months crawled by and Kara continued to grow steadier back into her own skin. Back into who she used to be before the crisis with the anti-monitor.

 

Her bad days were much easier to manage now and her nightmares had waned. She still attended therapy and she still tried to give herself breaks when she was able. If she could consider spending time with Lena in her labs as a break, then she was getting plenty. Never mind the fact that it was becoming a bit of a selfish habit if only to be able to spend time with her.

 

They were still not talking about their slow-growing attraction, but it was there in the open when they were alone together, heady and full of light. It peeked through in hugs that lasted a little too long. In discreet touches where fingers lingered on bare skin and thumbs skimmed across knuckles. Touches that were hidden behind cushions or under the table at game nights when they always sat a little too close together. When Kara’s attraction started blending with the earnest love she harbored it bled into her actions with brushing soft kisses high on Lena’s cheekbone when she would go home for the evening. The first time she had kissed her, Lena’s face turned so red Kara blushed sympathetically.

 

“I-I’m sorry! I won’t do that again-uh-sorry.”

 

There was an awkward beat and Kara considered just hurling herself out of the window, but Lena reached out and pressed the pads of her fingers to the back of her hand.

 

“No, I liked it. Thank you.”

 

Kara had stammered something in response that had made Lena laugh so she decided she hadn’t fucked up too badly.

 

A strange dance started between them, the steps made up of polite lingering touches and gentle kisses of greeting and farewell. Kara didn’t confine her kisses to high on Lena’s cheek. She would kiss the top of Lena’s head when she was hunched over a stack of documents. Kisses along the hairline were for when she had a hard day. A brush of her lips to knuckles when she was distracted. To the center of her forehead when she was feeling particularly affectionate. Dangerously close to the corner of her mouth when she was holding herself back from the aching crave to kiss her properly.

 

Not yet .

 

Lena of course returned the kisses and Kara would never forget the thrill of warm lips pressing into her cheek fully. She formed a habit of bumping the edge of her chin into Kara’s shoulder in a form of pseudo-kiss when they were around others. When she has taken her makeup off for the day her lips replaced her chin. Kara particularly liked the kisses she would press into the back of her neck when she was sleepy.

 

Another new habit of phone calls late at night when neither one of them could sleep started after Lena survived yet another attempt on her life. They talked about everything and nothing, just to find comfort in the sound of each other’s voices. The later the calls were, the more wistful they became. The heavier they became with unspoken what ifs from what if we hadn’t learned to forgive each other to what if things in our lives slowed down and we could talk more . Intention was almost always present, but never spoken into the space between them, never really broaching the subject on how they were really feeling when things started straying into a more personal space. Conversations stepping just parallel to the words they wanted to say but could never really find the right timing for.

 

But she could imagine it all.

 

It was an exhausting dance and it was becoming harder to follow the steps and not crash into the other like ships in the night.

 

Kara was ready to collide with Lena.

 


 

Kara carefully loaded up her dishwasher, shuffling around the used dishes to fit as much as she could into the appliance. She had hosted a watch party for a local indie movie that Nia had been in since, according to Nia, she had the most comfortable seating out of everyone. Kara would have been happy to host regardless.

 

The movie itself wasn’t terrible. A queer vampire slasher film that surprised them with the story telling and delighted them with the characters. Nia blushed every time she showed up on screen and hid behind a pillow when the movie leaned a little racy in a few scenes. She had warned them, almost to a painfully hyper-vigilant degree that had Kara pulling her over to ask if she really wanted them to watch the movie. Nia had groaned and buried her face in her hands. She explained that she did , but it was different when it was her friends watching her, not some random people. Kara gave her a hug and told her that she could change her mind if she wanted, but Nia didn’t and they made it through the movie with more positive reactions than not.

 

What made the evening nearly unbearable for Kara, was that sitting closely next to Lena for nearly two hours with her brain racing had been incredibly distracting. They were still touching because Nia and Querl had crammed onto the denim blue couch with them, but it wasn’t quite the kind of touching that she wanted. At one point Lena had tucked her feet up under her and Kara tried not to squirm as her hip pressed into her. She was right there, and yet she felt like she was just out of her reach. Kara kept her hands politely in her lap, but all she wanted to do was touch Lena. Her breath had hitched quietly in her chest when fingers pressed into her thigh during a more intimate scene, warming her through her jeans. Kara had chanced a glance out of the corner of her eye and physically had to bite her own lip to keep from doing something stupid.

 

Lena was watching her with one of the hungriest expressions Kara had ever seen.

 

Her eyes were dark and Kara watched the muscles in her throat work as she swallowed, the sound of dramatic music and breathless moaning from the television leaving no room for Kara to guess what she was thinking about. What she was wanting from her. She untangled her fingers in her lap and tentatively slid her hand over to where the pads of Lena’s fingers were still pressing into the outside of her thigh. Without blinking, Lena wove their fingers together and hid their clasped hands between them. Kara felt like her heart was going to leap out of her chest. She could feel the heat of attraction blossoming between them, coiling around her ribs and threatening her self control. She wanted to kiss Lena. She wanted to do far more than just kiss Lena. Kara wanted to take her to bed and show her all of the different ways that she loved her. There was a deep pull in her belly and Kara couldn’t help but let her attention drop to Lena’s lips. She was a moment away from making some sort of excuse to kick everyone out of her apartment when-

 

The scene abruptly changed in the movie and someone jumped out of their seat as the movie startled them.

 

It shocked them out of their bubble and Kara felt her face heat and she looked away. She was about to pull her hand out of Lena’s, but her grip tightened and Kara didn’t have the heart to deny her. She didn’t want to deny her.

 

Kara happily held her hand through the rest of the movie.

 

As the credits began to roll and their friends started congratulating Nia on her performance, Lena gave her hand one last squeeze and let go. Kara selfishly missed her immediately, even though their hands had gotten a little sweaty. She discreetly wiped her palm on her pants and hopped off the couch, easily finding the excited energy to slip into enthusiastic support.

 

“You did a good job, Nia.” Lena had told her with a hug after Kara had wrapped Nia up in one of her own.

 

Their friends fell into a fun discussion about the film, peppering Nia with questions and enjoying the stories from the set. Throughout the rest of the evening Kara kept stealing glances at Lena, that tell tale coil in her belly growing stronger with each stolen look. Eventually after the end of the drinks and food were eaten and everyone was sleepy and content, Kara started making a show of checking the time. Normally she wouldn’t, but Lena had blatantly checked her out when she was coming back from the bathroom and Kara wanted to know where that would lead them. She was tired of holding herself up. She just wanted to let go and let Lena catch her. 

 

Nearly twenty minutes later after long drawn out good byes, Kara was finally alone with Lena.

 

It had been over three years since Lena had stayed over.

 

Kara wondered if she should ask, especially since she was lingering. She bought herself a little more time straightening up her living room as Lena watched her from her curled up seat on the couch. Her eyes were still impossibly dark and she wasn’t bothering to hide the blatant attraction on her face. It was heady and distracting and Kara couldn’t wait a moment longer. She needed to know what Lena felt like when she kissed her. What she tasted like. She needed to know what it was like to impress her love into her skin.

 

Kara tossed the last throw pillow onto a chair behind her and shuffled over to her best friend. Her more than best friend. A knowing smile curled the corners of Lena’s lips and she watched Kara as she knelt in front of her. She scooched as close as she could and took Lena’s hands in hers again, trying to focus on her eyes and not how soft her lips looked. She could feel the unspoken words of I love you sitting heavy in her chest, loud in her expression. Lena’s look softened and she leaned down to press her forehead into hers. Kara couldn’t look away. She felt like she was about to shake apart.

 

She tilted her face and pressed the softest kiss to Lena’s lips.

 

Lena easily kissed her back, her grip tightening on her hands as she poured her affection into the gentle pressure of a kiss. Kara was overwhelmed by her perfume and the peatiness of the scotch she had been carefully sipping and let her eyes slip shut. It felt like sunbursts were fizzling into existence inside of her chest. The kiss didn’t last longer than a moment, and it wasn’t nearly enough to ease the deep craving gnawing at Kara’s chest. It was just as monumental. Kara had to take a deep breath to steady herself and reel her heart back into her body. Lena smiled widely against her lips and soothed her knuckles with her thumbs. Something clicked into place and Kara tentatively kissed her again, her head looping up and into the clouds as Lena happily followed her with a sigh.

 

The mood bled from rose colored to something deeper. Something richer like chocolate and velvet and all of the heavy feelings for Lena that Kara had grown into. It encouraged her to be bold.

 

“Stay the night?”

 

Lena kissed her again, stealing the breath from her lungs and pouring heat into her veins. Kara couldn’t help but press closer, gasping out of reaction as Lena gently traced the seam of her lips with her tongue. She let herself get lost after finally finding what she had been yearning for. Let Lena kiss her senseless until she was laughing against her when she started to literally float up off of the floor. She looped her arms around Kara’s neck and let herself be pulled to her feet, still pressing smiling kisses into her lips. Each new kiss was a touch of sunlight. Kara stifled a shiver as Lena’s hands smoothed up the sides of her neck and cradled her jaw. A searing kiss robbed her of the strength in her knees and heat plunged low to swirl in her belly. Lena was beyond everyone and everything she had ever hoped and dreamed for. Every little feeling that Kara had bottled up for the past couple years was spilling free. The overwhelming joy made her want to cry.

 

“I never thought that it would be you.” Lena murmured into her lips between kisses.

 

Kara answered with a similar response but it got lost into the air between them. Lena pressed a few more quick kissed to her mouth and drug her hands down to lace her fingers with Kara’s where they were pressed into her waist.

 

“Can I really stay?”

 

Her eyes were wide and dark, filled with trust and promise but her voice was soft. Nervous as if Kara would take it back. Her heart lurched in her chest and Kara kissed her again with as much love as she could offer. Lena’s hold tightened on her fingers and she sank into her with a relieved sigh, all soft curves and warmth.

 

Please. Stay .”

 

Lena just nodded and pressed a kiss to her chin. Before Kara could kiss her again she was slipping past her and tugging her by her hands. The apprehension dissipated, only to be replaced with a crackling energy as she pulled them into Kara’s dim bedroom, stopping only to tug the heavy divider curtain closed. Kara only had eyes for Lena. She stepped into her space again and met her in another kiss as she struggled to physically keep her feet on the ground. It was the happiest that Kara had felt in a long time.

 

Kara let herself be guided down onto her back but held on to one of her hands, unwilling to break contact with Lena. She had spent enough of her life away from her. The urge to greedily make up lost time was heavy in her chest. As Lena reached towards the light to turn it off Kara stopped her with a touch to her waist.

 

“No.”

 

Lena paused as apprehension pulled at her shoulders again. Kara tugged gently on her hand.

 

“I want to see you. Please.”

 

The stiffness bled out of Lena’s frame and she climbed onto the bed without a moment’s hesitation. Her kisses were hot and heady and Kara couldn’t get enough of her. She gladly let her press her down into the mattress, slotting their legs comfortably together as they took the time to become acquainted in an entirely new manner. When Lena was smoothing her hand flat under her shirt, pinning her to the bed with her hips, Kara finally whispered the words she had been holding back.

 

I love you .”

 

Lena kissed her sweetly, easing up on her actions to take a moment to bask in the affection Kara was giving her freely.

 

I love you too, Kara Zor El .”

 

Kara’s world dwindled to Lena. Everything else fell away as the heat spiked and their touches became increasingly heavier. Pressure built and clothes rumpled as they tried to get closer and closer, hips moving against thighs with breathless gasps. Each new touch of Lena’s hands sent tingling sparks skittering across her skin. It was exactly what she needed. Lena was exactly what she needed. But Kara had already known that. Except this time she was truly sharing herself over to her without any secrets between them.

 

It was absolutely freeing .

 

It didn’t take long for them to be unsatisfied with half-coordinated hips and bordering-polite touches. Kara was clear headed and foggy in the same breath, gasping as Lena trailed her nails up her ribs. Stripping out of their shirts was a clumsy affair, made even more difficult by their unwillingness to separate for even a moment. The sensation of Lena’s bare skin against hers was unlike anything she had ever felt before. It was all a whirl of Lena’s lips against hers, feeling the stretch and pull of her breathing from where she was pressed into her stomach, and the heady heavy pulse between her legs.

 

Slender fingers slipped into the front of her waistband and toyed with the button fasten of her jeans. Kara’s heart leapt into her throat and reluctantly watched Lena prop herself up onto her elbow. The low golden light of her lamp warmed her features. She looked positively ravished. Her eyes were dark, lips kiss-swollen, hair wild, and the most attractive that Kara had ever seen her.

 

“Is this okay?” She whispered, her hand stilling, fingers scorching against her abdomen.

 

Kara nodded vigorously and murmured a yes, please into Lena’s lips as she leaned back down. There was a gentle tug and her waistband loosened. She barely made out a you can do mine and wormed her hands in between them. There was another awkward shuffle with a few laughs and Kara was kicking her pants off as Lena returned to pressing her down into her bed. Their touches blurred together and Kara let herself vocalize how much she liked the feeling of Lena’s thigh pressed firmly in between her legs. She was reaching, touching, trying to impress the feeling of every inch of Lena into her palms. Into the pads of her fingers. From her face, to her chest, her back to her rear and as far as she could reach, Kara touched her as if she were starving. 

 

Warm fingers slid under the waistband of her underwear and touched her in an intimately new place and Kara moaned breathlessly into Lena’s mouth. Deep coiling heat teased into existence by curious fingers wound her body tighter as her mind flew into an endless cycle of Lena Lena Lena Lena .

 

It was a lot and it was new and it felt like it was finally enough.

 

Through her daze she did her best to reciprocate, awkwardly slipping her hand down the front of Lena’s underwear as her pants rode low on her hips. She felt incredible . Unlike anything Kara had ever felt before and the sound she made when she touched her set her blood to sing in her veins. She tried to keep up but Lena knew what she wanted and Kara struggled to stay with her in the moment as long as possible. It felt too good and she made sure not to try to roll too harshly up into the hand that was drawing pleasure out of her like golden thread.

 

Something slipped and Kara let go, tumbling up into the stratosphere as Lena brought her to completion.

 

Her mind fell blank and all of her senses centered on Lena. 

 

How firm her hand was on her but how pliable she was pressed into her front. How she felt, hot and slick against her fingers as she ground down onto her and found her own release just a moment later with a quiet moan into Kara’s mouth. How her chest felt like it was full of summer and her head full of soft intense love that went beyond bone deep. How it was all so much and she was so happy that Kara couldn’t help but cling to her and cry when she remembered how to breathe. She had only been able to imagine what could be, and now it was real.

 

Lena kissed her tears away, laughing as Kara tried to wipe her own damp cheeks dry with one clumsy hand. It was the right act to break the heavy emotion and they curled into each other, finally feeling like they were exactly where they needed to be.

 


 

Kara discovered the following morning that she had been looking for the wrong thing with every sunset. It was the golden light of a sunrise warming Lena’s bare skin that reminded her of Krypton.

 

Of home.