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Whose Baby is That?

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“Shhhh, it’s okay baby. Please! This is fun right?” Kara tries to quiet the screaming child. She flies in lackadaisical looping circles around the room of an abandoned building she had crashed into last month during a Supergirl escapade. The renovations were finally about to start as the funding had been completely sourced by an anonymous donor (Lena) after the city had run out of Supergirl related restoration money. But until next week it was an empty building with a giant hole in the 42nd floor. Which Kara is currently occupying, the fresh air helping to calm her racing thoughts as she tries to figure out what to do next. After she gets the child to stop crying.

She knows it might not be sanctioned by whichever agency gets put in charge of the random infant for her to be hovering with the little girl (she had to check during diaper emergency number one) on her chest and propelling them both in lazy circles but it’s the only thing she has found so far that has any affect on quieting her cries. She doesn’t know her name but she does know the lung capacity of this tiny human and it surprises Kara enough to check subtly for markings or anything else giving away that this child was not of Earth. Maybe a Brekkorian who spent most of their lives underwater after reaching the age of maturity and therefore were born with double sets of lungs that filtered air quicker and allowed for the reserves to be held onto. But no, all she found was soft pink skin with the distinctly baby smell returning after the unfortunate diaper had been removed.

How she came to be in possession of such child is baffling to her. Her mind playing over the events of the last hour as she listens to the wailing start to teeter off and finally, with one last giant gulp of air, desist as the little girl falls asleep on her chest.

Kara had been doing a routine patrol that morning. Nothing coming through the comms alerting her to potential alien nor human activity. Not even a robbery in progress or an old lady needing help with groceries. She would have taken any cat out of a tree, maybe even a snake. Though the thought of that happening again gave her the heebie jeebies and she kind of hoped that didn’t come up really.

She’s not used to slow though. She has two speeds: faster than a speeding bullet (literally) or “Kara Danvers-Luthor, if you don’t sit still right now I am going to turn on the red sun lamp” that usually was proceeded by her lovely wife’s multiple reminders that J’onn was in fact on duty tonight and she didn’t need to be all but twitching to jump out the window. Lena.

And just like that her entire body stops with the jittery energy coiled in her muscles and waiting for release. Lena. Her wife, Lena. Kara pictures the green of her eyes as they blink open in the mornings, sleep blurred, before quickly closing again, always accompanied by the scrunching of her nose and grabby hands towards Kara, her personal space heater that she tended to take very literally. And while Kara can’t ever feel how cold the feet on her back are it’s still a surprise when they sneak up on her like that.

“Darling, what’s the point of being married to a superhero if I can’t be guaranteed appendage warming always?” Lena likes to tease her. The “bonuses of being married to a superhero” a running joke calling back to Kara’s disastrous attempt at proposing. Not completely disastrous mind you considering she got Lena to agree but it was not her most smooth moment. By far.

But Lena did agree and a year later they were married. They had been together for close to a decade now, Lena beginning to show the lines and signs of an aging human on this planet, Kara still stuck physically at the perpetual age of her mid twenties. Something that they both worried about on occasion but agreed they had decades before it would become an actual issue. Lena, genius that she was, could head it off for centuries if she wanted but Kara could never see that happening. Too close to past examples of Luthor rhetoric pulsing with unnatural desire to take over the world, to corner the market, to put their name on one more thing. Immortality would be seen as an extension, a continuation of the legacy Lena had turned away from and Kara knows her wife well enough to realize it wouldn't happen. So Lena ages, the white hairs sexily weaving their way through the dark. Kara celebrates the changes to her wife’s body, not lying in the slightest when she tells her she loves her more each day than she thought possible the day before.

Lena, who right now would be sitting in her home office, having actually taken the day off work in an effort to help teach the new training CEO of L-Corp to handle things on her own in the event of Lena ever stepping down. Something that no one knew was going to happen sooner than later. Kara and Lena had talked about it lately, wanting to explore this and other worlds together while they were still young enough to appreciate the shenanigans that were likely to follow them far way from national city.

“Kara, it’s just not possible,” had turned to “maybe a short trip, a month or two at most,” had turned to “well I guess if I can find someone competent I can take a few years off,” until finally, “this might actually happen.” They had yet to break out the maps, both international and celestial but it seemed that time was right around the corner. Until today. Until the baby.

Kara is pulled back to the present by the cooing noise the little girl makes as she snuggles into her neck. Kara automatically adjusting to hold her close to her body, a spike of very human fear the baby will roll off shooting through her even as her rationality knows there’s no way she wouldn’t catch her the millisecond that started to happen. She is still flying in loops around the office, watching the same track of ceiling as she tries to figure out what to do next. How she had gone from bored out of her mind to “please take this baby.”

Thinking about Lena has calmed her but she still has to find something to distract her before calling it a day and heading back home. She focuses in on the sounds coming from their home in the part of town Lena affectionately calls “suburbs” but Kara refers to as the property. It’s true, they do have neighbors but they also own the 16 acres of land their house sits on and the property next to it. Though considering how isolated Luthor manor was Kara concedes that this is closer to the Viegos on the right of them, a lovely family who run a ranch and frequently bring over hot meals for the two to welcome them to the “neighborhood.”

She hears Lena typing on her computer, breath and heart rate relatively normal which tells Kara she is having a decently productive day and not just sitting in front of the monitor watching the events of L-Corp on the not so secret cameras she had installed in the CEO office. Something Lena had originally purchased as a present for the times Kara stopped by needing to release extra energy or celebrate a particularly impressive fight but soon turned into a means for the slightly obsessive woman to spy on her successor when she was forced by herself or her wife to take a break. Kara had threatened many times since then to go to the office and take the cameras away.

But it sounds like she’s actually behaving for once and Kara starts wondering how she is going to break the news to her. It’s too early for her to show up back at home unless there is an honest to Rao emergency and she isn’t ready to give up on the day quite yet. She thought she could still be able to salvage a little.

Earlier she had continued to circle the city, employing her x-ray vision alternatively on office buildings and cafes, fire stations and hospitals. But nothing. Continually nothing. She was about to call it quits and go bug Alex into getting a sandwich with her, flying in general burns so many calories even if she’s not really doing anything, when she heard a shout from the street below her.

“Supergirl! Help!”

She shot down and landed in a crouch right before the young man cradling something to his chest. She squinted, had expected to see a bomb or weapon of some kind strapped to him but instead was met with the small child wrapped in a pink blanket and sleeping peacefully though the boy was all but jittering with nervous energy.

“What’s going on?” She started, moving toward him slowly and ready to swoop in if he let go of the child. Not that she expected it but normally people didn’t shout her name so desperately if something wasn’t very wrong.

“She… she is going to wake up soon… and I don't know what to do. I thought I could do this… but I can't…” his voice shook, his body along with it. The movement had her taking a step closer to him until she was right in front of the boy, arms already coming from her sides but stopping just before touching him, and the baby.

“It’s okay. You don’t have to do anything, why don’t you hand me your daughter?” She tried for her most soothing voice, the one that had been used to calm people in the midst of crisis before. Ringing through with the authority of a superhero, steel beneath soft.

“My daughter?” He looked away from the small bundle, his jacket falling open so Kara got the first glance of the child without any layers of clothing between the two of them. Her face impossibly small, and soft. Her little mouth falling open as she breathed the deep serenity of sleep. A sleep Kara prayed would last just a little bit longer until she had this situation under control. “She’s not… I’m not… here!”

He pushed the baby away from his body, toward Kara’s waiting hands and the moment she was removed from the warmth of where he was holding her to his body she opened her eyes, brow furrowing, before an all mighty cry erupted from her previously slack mouth.

Kara tried to comfort the little girl, bouncing her up and down a little, patting her back and pulling her close to her own chest but she wouldn’t be quieted. She finally wrapped her cape around them both in an effort to silence the greater world surrounding them. The moment it closed the baby blinked up at her, eyes wet and filled with tears and lower lip wobbling precariously.

“Hello little one,” she crooned, the words of her aunt being formed without conscious thought. She felt a stab of pain rip through her and cringed as she heard them leave her mouth but quickly shielded it as dark chocolate eyes continued to take in her face. “There now, no need for all that fuss is there?”

She reached her hand toward the baby’s face, gently tracing the too small to be real features. Her little eyebrows, barely come in and softer than anything she had ever felt before. The bulb of her cheeks, bright red with exertion still from her screaming just moments before. She bopped her nose and the little girl giggled. Suddenly there was nothing else except this tiny human infant she needed to help, who was still smiling at her. The baby made an uncoordinated grab for her finger and she allowed it to be dragged into the wet crevice that is the little girl’s mouth and gummed. When she finally opened the cape she was unsurprised to find that the young man had left. She had heard him errantly running when she was distracted by trying to calm the baby but didn’t think anything of it. She would get to it. After she figured out what to do with the baby.

She tucked her closer to her chest and wrapped her cape around the two of them, making flying something she needed to concentrate on a little more than normally, but she would prefer that than the little girl getting cold and gently set off into the air. Her first thought was to call Alex, she could click onto the comms and have the whole thing sorted in a matter of hours. But she didn’t. She didn’t call anyone at the DEO or the NCPD or CPS. She didn’t take the child to the hospital or the fire station. She flew to the abandoned building she had crashed into last week and circled until the child fell asleep on her chest.
_______________________

“Where did you go??” Alex shouts at her when she finally clicks back on. Kara has changed from her super suit into civilian clothes so she can go into the corner store and try to find some kind of formula to feed the baby without causing a commotion. The fact that there had been dozens of varieties spanning an entire wall of shelving was confusing enough to make her call her sister for help.

“Alex. Meet me at 7th and Washington, leave your gun,” is all she says before turning them back off. There will be hell to pay when her sister gets here but she really just isn’t ready to turn the baby over yet. She knows she has to but for right now she can’t. Also ignoring the nagging feeling that once she slows down long enough the things she is trying to run from will come at her full force. But for now she needs to pick out formula. And bottles. And more diapers.

“Which one do you think we should get? Hmmm? Do they all taste the same to you? Or are these ones really better and worth the price hike?” She asks the baby, who holds her eye contact whenever she glances down at her for more than a moment. She has such intelligent eyes. Kara having to remind herself that though she is putting if off it’s only a matter of time.

They aren’t ready for kids. It’s something they have both talked about and are in somewhat agreement over but always seemed to be a topic shoved aside for the future. Someday being the general tone whenever it did come up, usually after they had spent time with Alex’s son for an evening. The little tyke finally being at the age where he can play real games instead of the object permanence practice he favored during infancy.

Jeremiah was a spitfire and so much like Alex at that age that Eliza reveled in the many late night phone calls from the new moms. She was the best grandmother, attentive to the point of spoiling, patient and wise when it came to Alex and Maggie as they would be frantic about something that fell into the “new mom” syndrome of panic. She was a live in nanny for the first year of his life and even now that she had moved back to the coast she found many a reason to come down to National City.

But nothing compared to Alex as a mom. She had flourished. Happy in a way that Kara never anticipated. She knew her sister had wanted kids but watching her just stare at her son after he had been born, that protective bond written in the air between the two of them, it was more than words could justly express. Alex was softer around him, the edges that hadn’t quite been worn down by Maggie instantly sanded by their son. That’s not to say she wasn’t still a badass, because she was. But she didn’t have the chaotic energy and almost recklessness that occupied her when the DEO had been her life. She was more, stronger, softer, complete.

Kara and Lena fawned over the little man. Lena having to be persuaded often that the new moms didn’t actually have room for the entire baby warehouse quantity of gifts she was always adding to her online cart. That special ordering the softest material for baby blankets and clothing while paying attention to health hazards and potential allergens didn’t actually mean she had to go to Wales to meet the sheep herself. Or send the shepherds a new computer with FaceTime capabilities. Or fly the sheep to her. Kara loves her wife. She loves her ability to be extra and dramatic. She loves that every time Lena does go off the deep end in terms of gift giving and love languages she is aware of these gestures being such and starts preparing her arguments simultaneously as she is doing them so that when Kara does confront her she is ready with all the reasons it is vital to do these things and the absolute detriment of not.

Now that he had reached the age where he was a little less dependent on his moms being there every moment Kara and Lena had started taking him some nights so Alex and Maggie could go on dates, or sleep. Kara is almost positive the first few times their nephew had a sleepover with his aunts all Maggie and Alex did was pass out on the couch before they could even think of going out. It had gotten a little better, them learning how to balance motherhood and still be themselves. Though they still had the tendency to check in far too often. Kara could just imagine how bad it would have been had she not been an actual living, breathing superhero.

The last time they had dropped him back at his house Kara had watched the way Lena held him a few seconds extra before passing the sleep heavy toddler back to Alex. The way she pet the downy softness of the place his neck met the base of his skull. The way she had buried her nose in the crown of his head and taken a deep breath, inhaling the patent smell of innocence. The way she jiggled his little foot and smiled until the dimple popped out when Alex had taken his hand and made him wave goodbye to them.

“Maybe someday,” she had said when Kara asked about it on the way home.

Showing up at their house this day, with a living breathing child instead of the tentative idea of one in the vague future seemed like a terrible idea. An awful idea. An idea that would send her wife straight back to the office, if she was lucky. But the more she thought about it the more Kara couldn’t imagine just dropping the baby off and forgetting about her. She just… she needed a little more time.

“What the hell is going on, Kara?” Alex asks as she bursts down the aisle, pulling Kara from the giant question mark of a scenario she can’t begin to imagine when she thinks of bringing the little girl home. “Is that a baby? Where did you get a baby?”

“Her dad handed her to me. And then ran away and I don’t know what to do with her because if I give her to CPS they will put her into foster care and he didn’t seem like a bad guy, he was just confused and I think he got overwhelmed and just needed a break and he was so young, Alex. Like so young. He couldn’t have been much older than 18 and I know he shouldn’t have run off but she’s not neglected and she’s not hurt and I just didn’t want to take away their future if he came back and…”

“Kara, take a breath. What boy?” Alex asks, already moving to wrap Kara in a hug, taking into account the small bundle held to her body as she leaves space and doesn't pull her quite as close as she normally would. The little girl, apparently tired of being ignored lets out an indignant squawk that Alex automatically coos at.

“Kara, you can’t just keep a baby…”

“I’m not going to keep her, Alex. I just need to hold onto her for a little bit…”

“How long is a little bit?”

“Until I can find her dad and talk to him.”

“That’s not a plan, Kar. That’s. That’s a pipe dream. That’s why they have places like CPS, for situations like this where they are trying to locate the parents and can’t.”

“I can’t just leave him, Alex!” Kara yells, the bottle she is holding in her hand groaning and warping as she squeezes too tight in a moment of frustration. They both look at it, pausing as Alex carefully opens her fingers and pulls the crumpled plastic indented with Kara’s fingerprints from her and slides it into her purse.

Her. Kara, you can’t leave her.”

Kara looks down at the baby. The dark eyes watching her, pout evident on her little face, and sees the dark hair of her cousin flash before her eyes before she blinks and once again the baby is wrapped in a pink blanket. Safe on Earth, the fiery explosion of a dead planet not creating fireworks above her head. She’s not Kal-el. And Kara isn’t a child anymore.

“I can’t leave her,” she says, emphasis on the last word as she turns toward her sister. Alex is staring at her. Her body a statue of potential energy caught in between one transition and the next. Her brows furrowed and pulled together in a way Kara hasn’t seen for many years. It’s her scolding face. Her “break the news easy” face. Kara knew it a lot when she first landed on Earth but didn’t expect to ever see it again until she saw it directed at her nephew. “Please, just give me a couple of days. Just a couple days. And if I can't find him I’ll take her to the authorities. I promise.”

“Two days, Kar. That’s it,” Alex concedes and turns toward the shelving to help her start to grab things that the little girl will need over the next 48 hours.

Alex ends up driving her home because she can’t fly with both the baby and the many bags of supplies they picked out. Probably going overboard but Kara’s never been good at monitoring her impulse shopping and, to be fair, babies need a lot of stuff. They pull up the Danvers-Luthor winding driveway and come to a stop, the little girl asleep in the carrying car seat they had to go to a different store to find after Kara obsessively checked reference sites to compare brands and safety recalls.

“What are you going to say to Lena?” Alex asks, both of them watching the breathing that ruffles the bright green, soft blanket they put over her to keep her warm. It has little planets and star designs on it and Alex had to remind Kara that she didn’t need more than a couple as she was only keeping the baby for two days.

“I don’t know. I… I don’t know,” Kara had been thinking of it the whole drive home but hadn’t found any way to present the child to her wife in a way that wouldn’t have her freaking out. Not that she thought Lena would actually freak out but bringing home a baby is a little different than any of the other random items Kara usually adds to their shopping list when she’s in charge, one of the many reasons Lena tends to do the grocery runs.

She turns to Alex but before she can even muscle the pout into place her sister is reaching across her and opening the door.

“Don’t even try. Save that for your wife,” she says, pushing on Kara’s shoulder to get her out of the car.

“Fine!” Kara mock shouts in a huff as she tries to collect the many bags and the infant seat.

Alex starts to roll up the windows but pauses as Kara calls her name.

“Alex!”

“Yeah?”

“Thank you. For today. And just everything,” she fumbles, trying to encompass everything she’s feeling into so few words.

“I love you, Kar. Now go talk to Lena,” her sister says before driving off.

“Alright you little monster, you ready for this?” She asks the still sleeping baby, getting nothing but a puff of breath in return.

Kara walks up their front steps and contorts herself enough to open the doorknob with her elbow, dropping most of the bags just inside the doorway and listening for Lena’s heartbeat. She’s unsurprised to find her wife still in her study but is pleased to hear the click clacking of the keyboard and know she’s not just watching the monitors. Again.

“Lena, I’m home,” she calls just loud enough for her to be able to hear her across the house.

She listens as Lena gets up and moves toward her, adjusting the baby carrier and waiting for her wife to turn the corner and meet her in the entryway.

“Darling, I didn’t think I’d see you so soon. I know it was a light day but I figured you would meet up with Alex and maybe do lunch or something and…” the moment her stare lands on the carrier she stops talking. Eyes widening as she takes in the small bundle asleep still. “Kara… whose baby is that?” She asks, not moving any closer but body leaning forward as if to investigate.

“I’m not sure exactly…”

“Why are you holding a baby that you’re not sure of who it belongs to?” She doesn’t sound mad, Kara listens for a change in her tone or heartbeat to tell her what Lena’s feeling. She’s eyeing the little girl with interest and confusion waiting for Kara to explain.

“Can we go to the living room, this one probably wouldn’t mind getting out of the car seat,” Kara starts as she moves toward her wife, meeting her for a quick kiss they always share when one of them arrives home. Lena kisses her. Just a meeting of lips before taking the carrier from her arms and turning to go to the living room.

Kara follows her and watches as Lena takes the baby out and holds her tight to her chest, the little girl stirring briefly before sinking into the warmth that is her wife and Kara is hit with so many emotions. Lena coos a little to the baby, reaching up to touch the top of her head before sitting down and getting comfortable. She pats the cushion next to her and Kara lightly flops down, turning toward Lena and the little girl.

“Explain,” Lena says and Kara starts in. She tells Lena about the boy in the alley and the little girl crying. About him running away and her not being able to follow. About calling Alex and freaking out. She gets to the point where she accidentally calls her “him” and gets choked up, emotion filling her throat as Lena places a comforting hand on her cheek and turns her back toward them.

“Oh Kara, I understand. But we can’t just keep her like this. She has a family somewhere.” Her hand holds Kara’s face and Kara leans into the touch, the warmth, the comfort that is her Lena offering not judgement but quiet patience as she collects herself. She turns her head to kiss Lena’s palm and then leans fully into her side, arm wrapping around the baby and her wife to hold them both close.

“I know. I just couldn’t take her somewhere and leave her while I look for her family. I just couldn’t, Lena.”

“Shhh, I know. I wouldn’t want you to just leave her either,” Lenas says, stroking Kara’s hair with the hand that isn’t intertwined with her fingers holding the little girl in place.

“You’re not upset?” Kara asks, waiting still for the reaction she had anxiously prepared herself for.

“No darling, I’m not upset. You have such a big heart Kara. It’s one of the things I love most about you.”

Kara picks her head up from Lena’s shoulder and waits for her to turn toward her. She holds Lena’s face in her hand and brings it closer to hers until their lips meet. The softness of her wife’s lips is something she will never get used to even after thousands of days spent kissing them. They comfort each other in this moment, sharing the intimacy that doesn’t need to be communicated in any other way then them slowly moving their lips over each other’s.

The sharp cry of a waking infant breaks them apart, Kara stealing one last kiss before getting up to go try to figure out how to make formula for the gurgles she can hear coming from the baby's stomach as Lena blinks out of her daze and turns her attention to the little girl.

“Well hello there, what a pretty little girl you are,” she coos as the baby starts to focus on her face and the softness of her words. She doesn’t start actually crying but makes little noises of discontent as Lena hoists her up to get a good look at her.

“She’s so tiny. I don’t remember Jeremiah being this tiny.”

“He wasn’t. He came out with a personality and heft that demanded attention,” Kara calls from the kitchen as she sets all the bags down and starts unloading the supplies. Alex advised her on what was the best formula they had found for Jeremiah when she stopped breastfeeding and Kara starts a saucepan to warm it up. Heat vision would be so much faster but she’s not sure she can blast a bottle without it exploding. Or melting. Maybe if she practices.

“Kara Danver-Luthor, you better not be thinking about heating that with any kind of powers!” Lena calls from the couch.

“I wouldn’t do that!” Kara grumbles, pouting into the slow heating water and giving up the idea before she can even begin.

“Tell that to my coffee pot, darling.”

“I was in a hurry, Lena!”

She hears her wife laugh and the baby shouting happily in response. A smile tugs on her face as she pours in the powder and uses just a hint of super speed to blend it in before moving it to one of the bottles they bought earlier. There. Didn’t wreck it this time!

“Can you grab me my laptop on your way back?” Lena calls. Kara can hear her talking to the baby, her voice just a little higher than normal and the little girl responding with small happy noises.

She plops down on the couch and exchanges the baby for Lena’s laptop, laying her into the crook of her arm and watching her latch onto the nipple of the bottle and start sucking with intention. Kara moves her finger to the little girl’s hand and she grabs onto it tight as she continues to have her dinner.

Kara can feel her heart responding to the little fingers wrapped around her own, the baby already working her way in from the moment she saw her in the alley.

“We need to call her something,” she says, not looking away from the tiny face concentrating hard on the bottle.

“She doesn’t have a name?”

“She might, but we don’t know it. Unless you wanna keep calling her little girl?”

“Hmmm what about Ella?”

Kara pulls them bottle away and watches the little girl’s mouth try to chase it and start to wobble until Kara puts her knuckle in her mouth and feels the sharp pull of her sucking on that instead. She brings her up to eye level right in front of her face.

“Are you an Ella? Is that what we should call you?”

The baby doesn’t respond but to give in to the dropping eyes and start to go slack in her hands, the weight of sleep pulling her down as she settles into another nap.

“She doesn’t seem too impressed,” Kara says, turning them both to Lena who is watching with a smile on her face.

“She’s an infant, Kara. She doesn’t know one way or the other,” Lena tells her. But Kara thinks she’s wrong. Ella knows, she’s smart like that.

“I like it. About as close as you could get to an L name without actually starting with one,” she laughs a little as her wife flushes and turns back to her screen.

“I did think it was a nice work around yes.”

Kara tucks the baby back into her arm and moves closer to Lena on the couch. She wraps her arm around Lena’s back and leans over enough to check what she’s scrolling through. Baby websites, to the utter lack of surprise of Kara.

“You haven’t even seen what Alex and I got her!” She fake criticizes, rubbing deeply at Lena’s shoulder where her neck meets and hearing the sigh Lena releases once Kara finds the spot that always bothers her at the end of a day in front of the computer.

“Babies need lots of things, Kara. You can’t have possibly gotten all of it already.”

She opens her mouth to argue but decides against it. If Lena wants to overnight order a whole catalogue of baby supplies who is she to deny her this? They can give all of it to the parents when Kara finds them.

“Kara, are you okay? You just got really tense,” Lena asks, looking away from the specialty mobile she is designing that has little animated illustrations of elements on the periodic table.

“Who could just leave her, Lena?”

“Oh darling,” Lena says softly. She puts the laptop to the side and curls into Kara’s side. “You said he looked very young. He might have just been overwhelmed and not sure what to do.”

“I know but she’s just a baby, Lena. She can’t protect herself. She shouldn’t have just been handed off like she doesn’t matter.” Kara knows it’s about more than just this baby. That Lena understands she is talking about her and Kal and even Lena herself. She knows that it’s the words unsaid, the ones she can’t bring herself to say out loud, that are hurting her.

“He did what he thought was best, giving her to you to protect. But we don’t know what happened and won’t until you find him again.”

“I know. I just… I want to find him. I need to find him.”

“And you will, tomorrow you can start looking and I’ll stay home with her.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course. She’s an angel. We’ll be fine,” Lena says into her shoulder where she has cuddled in and holds herself close to Kara and the baby.

“Okay,” Kara says, settling into the warmth of her wife as they both look down into the sleeping face of Ella.
______________________

Lena wakes up in the middle of the night and feels for Kara beside her. She meets the empty sheet, the cold of it telling her that Kara hasn’t been in bed for a little while. She gets up and is unsurprised to find Kara in the doorway of the room they set the crib up in, just watching the baby sleep.

“Couldn’t sleep?” She asks, her voice rough with the lateness of the night as she clears her throat and accepts Kara’s arm around her, cuddling into the space heater her wife always is.

“I just wanted to check on her,” Kara says, placing a kiss on Lena’s forehead that has her lazily smiling at the affection.

“You should rest, you’ve got a busy day tomorrow.”

“You’re right, just five more minutes.”

Five turns into ten as they watch Ella until Lena has to drag her stubborn Kryptonian to bed and tucks herself around her.

“What if I can’t find them?”

“You will,” she says, surety in her voice. She can already feel sleep pulling her back under, the last thing she hears is Kara’s quiet voice singing her back into her dreams.
___________________

“Are you sure you’ll be alright?” Kara asks for the 11th time as she whizzes around the house getting ready and coming back to Lena in the living room where she and the baby are sitting in the newly delivered rocking chair finishing up their respective breakfasts. There had been a mountain of packages on their doorstep this morning, the bonuses Lena promised companies for quick delivery enough incentive to have most of what she ordered there and ready for them upon waking. Kara had brought it all in with minimal grumbling that was assuaged by kisses as she set up the rocker and stowed everything else in the kitchen and baby’s room, assembling the changing table and shelving Lena had ordered to keep everything on quickly in between making them all breakfast and getting ready herself. Sometimes her powers really were a blessing though Lena likes to remind her to slow down on many occasions.

“Yes Kara, we will be as fine as we were the last time you asked,” Lena teases in between bites of her yogurt and muesli.

“If you need anything just holler, I’ll be listening in and can be back in a flash.”

“Didn’t Barry beat you the last time you raced, darling?” Lena asks and is rewarded by Kara skidding to a halt and aiming a pout in her direction. She smiles as Kara starts taking apart all the ways the young hero of Earth-1 cheated and how it invalidated the results. Her chest puffing up with indignation that Lena dare question how fast she is. She smiles and whispers to the baby how some people are just silly. The little girl gurgling around the almost finished bottle and Kara not able to hold her glare as her lips pull into a grin at the sight of them.

“Okay, I’m going to go. I’ll be back for lunch so let me know if you need anything,” she says, leaning in to kiss Lena goodbye and place one on Ella’s head before zooming off and out the front door.

“Well it’s just me and you now, little miss,” Lena says, setting down the bottle and her empty container to put Ella on her shoulder and burp her. She’s glad for the absorbent blanket she ordered when the little girl gurgles and drools before releasing an impressive sounding burp and settles her head on Lena’s shoulder.

“Let’s see, what should we do first? Would you like to learn about the project we will be debuting next month hmm?” She takes the lack of response as aquiesk and moves them to her office. Kara had set up a playpen for Ella in there as well as one in the living room. Lena puts the little girl inside with some stuffed animals and drool proof books that were probably a little premature but it’s never too early to foster a love of reading, or perhaps of gnawing that the baby seems to enjoy as she lays on her stomach and pulls one toward her. They aren’t sure how old Ella is but she shares her wife’s bias of the little girl being smart for her age and has to force herself to pull her gaze away and focus on the spreadsheets in front of her. The blueprints for the device that will be marketed toward the general public in an aid for a new distribution system for those suffering from diabetes that is less invasive and more cost affordable laying around her on the desk and tacked up on the walls as she looks over them before sending them to research to start testing.

She learns very quickly, with the crying call mere minutes later, that while Ella looks like an angel babies are very needy. She abandons her work and goes to stand over the playpen, Ella having pushed herself onto her back and little arms flailing around as her volume escalates.

“There now, no need for that,” she says gently as she picks Ella up and brings her to her chest to hold. The moment she is in Lena’s arms again she quiets down and seems happy enough to grab her finger to hold.

Ella rests against her, Lena breathing in the intoxicating baby scent that seems to come from the top most point of her head inexplicably. She sits in her chair and turns on the projection keyboard so she can type one handed in the air as she holds the little girl who is fighting sleep but soon succumbs to it. She could put her down but the soft, slightly damp weight of Ella on her chest is not a feeling she wants to lose right now, even if it makes work harder.

She’s able to get a fair amount done before the baby wakes up and her sharp cries demand both food and attention. Lena quickly dismisses the call she is on, telling her CEO in training to handle it and hanging up as voices start to question what that noise is.

“You are going to be a very badly kept secret if you don’t stop that shouting, Ella,” she chastises jokingly making her way to the kitchen to heat a bottle.

She sways back and forth as they both wait, talking to Ella who is not letting up with her cries this time.

“Alexa, turn on dance music softly,” Lena calls to their automated home system and immediately hears Kara’s playlist fill the room. They have speakers placed all over the house as Kara’s penchant for dance parties is one she grew to love, though would not be admitting to her wife anytime soon. The catchy pop songs have never been her cup of tea but she is loath to realize how difficult it was to not dance to them with her very enthusiastic dork of a wife.

Now she is thankful for the speakers as the music seems to take Ella by surprise and Lena starts twirling in slow circles and moving them up and down. Ella’s face is caught between the battle to continue crying or smile gummily at the bouncing and weaving Lena is now attempting. She ends up giggling, a sound that brings Lena up short as it reaches right into her heart and squeezes it sharply. She starts again as the little crinkle appears between the babies eyes at the pause, kissing it away the same way she does when Kara’s appears.

The timer for the bottle goes off and Lena takes them both to the rocker to sit, only slightly winded from her antics.

“Now wasn’t that more fun than crying?” She asks while glancing at her watch to see how long Kara can be. Almost as if she summoned her, Kara comes through the front door, the smells of many bags of take out mixing together and making Lena’s own stomach rumble.

“You didn’t message me so I just got some of your favorites and I’ll finish whatever you don’t want,” Kara whisper calls as she comes in the living room. “How has your morning gone? Any upsets?”

“This one was not pleased at the idea of being set down but we adjusted. She slept most of the time and woke up just when my meeting was getting insufferable, the little smarty pants,” Lena tells her while Kara starts pulling out the spread of food. She motions for the eggplant Parmesan and they share a meal together before she asks about how Kara’s search has gone.

“It’s not going too well yet but hopefully someone will get back to me. I stopped at all the shelters to see if anyone recognized the drawing I did of him or knew of a family with a baby but no one did. I’m going to try to hit the colleges next and after that maybe stop by the DEO to try to see if we can get a hit on facial recognition from the cameras in the alley. Alex said they are wicked busy right now, but J’onn is covering for me so I’m waiting for it to calm down a little.”

Lena can see how disappointed Kara is at not having better news and silently hands the baby over to her so she can finish her own meal. As soon as Ella is in Kara’s hands Lena watches her face transform, soften and brighten at the little girl who is smiling happily back. Kara bounces her a little, raising her up in her arms and then bringing her back down with swooshing noises until Ella giggles again and Kara starts laughing. Lena just watches, Kara has always been so good with kids but there’s something different about Ella. For both of them. A connection she is worried at how quickly it sprung up for her and watching Kara with the baby she knows her wife feels the same.

“I’m sure you’ll find them, darling. You’re the best investigator I know,” she says, placing the empty box on the table.

“She’s such a smooth talker this one,” Kara murmurs to the baby, “you better watch out or she’ll have you wrapped around her finger without you even knowing.”

Lena blushes at Kara’s praise. Still so affected all these years later by her wife’s words and the tone she uses just for her.

Kara leaves soon after, fueled and determined, telling Lena she will call her if she’s going to be out late.

“Good luck,” Lena says, waving Ella’s little hand that is clasped around her fingers again and watching Kara melt at the gesture.

They have a quiet afternoon, Lena realizing that setting Ella down is not a reality that will be realized anytime soon so they watch tv and nap. It’s the least productive Lena has been in a long time and she finds that she can appreciate it more than she thought she would.

They have a minor incident when Ella needs to be changed, Lena cursing the diaper’s complexity and reminding the baby who is looking at her with concern that she holds multiple advanced degrees and can with surety put on a diaper. She almost calls Alex just to apologize for teasing her for having this exact complaint but decides it wouldn’t be worth the “I told you so” look she would receive the next time she was face to face with her sister-in-law.

Kara comes home, shoulders drooping, and hugs Lena for a long time, the baby resting between them and seemingly okay with the protective cave of bodies they have made around her. She rocks her little head back and forth, leaning on both of them until Kara pulls back and shakes her head, letting Lena know she hasn’t found the parents yet.

Lena hands her Ella and pushes herself up on tippy toes to kiss Kara’s forehead, something that Kara has to bend down a little to allow and does so willingly. She holds Kara’s face in her palm for a moment before telling her she is going to go shower and then make them dinner, for Kara to relax and spend some time with the baby. Kara thanks her, not said out loud but instead the way she rubs her cheek back and forth in Lena’s hand. The way she kisses her palm and then Lena. The way her eyes hold her for one extra moment before they break away to give attention to Ella who starts grumbling and reaching for Kara’s face.

Lena leaves them, Kara blowing raspberries into the baby’s stomach and the giggles Ella makes following her upstairs. For a day of doing almost nothing she is surprisingly exhausted, the warmth of the water falling on her body soothing but also lulling her into such a relaxed state she is considering making a pot of coffee to go with dinner. Until she walks down the stairs and sees Kara zooming around in midair slowly on her back, baby sitting on her chest shouting with glee and patting Kara with her tiny pudgy hands.

“Kara Danvers-Luthor what do you think you’re doing?!?” Lena shouts, Kara slowly turning her head toward her and biting her lip looking ten shades of guilty at being caught.

“Lena, she likes it, I swear! And it’s totally safe! I fly you all the time!”

“I am a fully grown adult who can hold onto you at all times when you fly me! Don’t you dare pout at me! Put your feet on the ground right this second!”

Kara rights herself and floats down, Ella looking decidedly unhappy at the change of events and scrunching her face to begin crying until Kara holds her out from her body and mock flies her around a little.

“She was totally safe, Lena. I promise,” Kara tries, her tone apologetic and full of remorse.

“I know you can keep her safe. But please, no more flying.”

“Okay,” Kara whines, joking but also Lena suspects a little bummed.

“Any special requests for dinner?” Lena asks, stroking the baby’s head and pulling a face at Ella that has her and Kara giggling.

“I’m thinking tacos, and Ella would like your finest bottle, cost is not a problem,” Kara says, wiggling her eyebrows until Lena is fighting against the smile she feels pulling her lips.

“How did I manage to marry such an utter goober? Hmm Ella? How did this happen?”

“My super powers extend beyond speed and flight, babe,” Kara says, bold as you please.

Lena bursts out laughing, shaking her head back and forth and kissing the top of Ella’s head before moving to the kitchen to start getting everything ready.

After dinner they give Ella a bath, something they discover she absolutely loves. Sitting in the small seat with the water in the tub coming up to her round tummy and so many bubbles they come inches off the top of the water. Between the happy splashing baby and the far too indulgent alien, Lena is thoroughly soaked by the end of it and they all smell strongly of strawberries from the shampoo they bought Ella, though her fine little hairs are too sparse to really need any. She loves the massaging motion Lena uses to coat her head, leaning into it so reminiscent of Kara when she gets head rubs that it steals Lenas breath a little.

They get her to sleep without too much fuss. One more bottle and the milk drunk little girl drifts off pretty quickly. Kara takes a quick shower as Lena looks over the figures for the meeting she will be missing tomorrow and sends some quick messages to Jess, no longer her secretary but her CFO as of almost 6 years ago, before setting aside her laptop and opening her arms to Kara. Lena snuggles into her wife’s warmth and trades lazy kisses before they both nod off.
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The next day is much of the same, Lena getting into somewhat of a routine with feedings and changes, finally mastering the dreaded flaps of the diaper and snapping back the dinosaur printed onesie she has dressed Ella in today. Complete with little clawed feet that are so small she can’t believe them to be possible.

Kara calls her around 2, talking so fast Lena has to remind her that she can’t understand the words when they are coming at light speed.

“I found them, Lena. He wasn’t the dad! He was a friend who they gave the baby to. They are so young though, Lena. But they are good people, just so overwhelmed. I asked them to come over so we could talk and we will be there in half an hour, okay?”

“That’s fine, Kara. We will be here.”

The exchange I love yous before hanging up and Lena looks down to the little girl in her arms, making a grab for the necklace Lena always wears. A gift from Kara on their first anniversary engraved with the beginnings of a Kryptonian love poem on the small rose gold interlocking hearts.

“I guess it’s almost time, baby girl. Your parents are on their way and then you’ll go with them,” her voice wobbles and she has to clench her eyes shut at the emotion that threatens to leak out of them. Ella starts to whine, feeling the tension in her body and Lena pulls her close, rocking gently and making soft noises to soothe the baby and herself.

The moment she sets Ella down on the bed, surrounded by walls of pillows to keep her safe so she can change, the little girl starts wailing.

“Shhhh Ella lamb, it’s okay. You’re okay baby girl, I’m right here. Just a few more seconds,” Lena tries, rushing through getting dressed and putting on bare minimum makeup. She resists the urge to pull her hair into the tight bun that used to be her go to work style, reminding herself that she’s not going into battle, and leaves it down in natural waves. Ella’s crying continues to pick up until she’s gasping giant breaths of air and Lena abandons her search for eye liner and picks the baby back up. She rocks her but the little girl is fighting. Arms flailing with hands grabbing onto nothing. Lena hoists her up and goes back downstairs to make a bottle, murmuring comfortingly to try to quiet her.

She barely hears the door open and takes one last deep breath before turning, sobbing baby in one arm and a half filled bottle in the other hand to meet her wife and guests.

“I’m so sorry, I put her down for a second and she won’t stop crying,” she apologizes as they come around the corner.

Kara is behind the couple, so young they can’t possibly be the parents, but she trusts her wife and tries to smile though she can tell it’s forced. Barely moving her lips and not reaching her eyes at all. Kara meets her eye and takes a deep breath, Lena shadowing it and handing off the bottle to her as she moves toward the kids. They are kids, can’t be older than 18 themselves and Lena is terrified.

“I’m Lena, and I think this little one belongs to you?”

They don’t say anything, the boy shuffling in place and looking at the baby. The girl’s hand twitches like she wants to reach forward but she stops. She moves closer to her boyfriend (?) and he flinches a little at the contact.

“This is Amanda and Andrew,” Kara says, handing the bottle back to Lena so she can feed Ella. Not Ella. She has a real name Lena realizes and feels the wash of crippling pain erupt over her. She’s not Ella.

As the baby starts eating the silence is heavy, awkwardness palpable as no one speaks and tries not to meet each other’s eyes.

“Let’s go in the living room,” Kara suggests, motioning toward the doorway and they watch the couple shuffle off to sit on the couch.

“They are so young,” Lena whispers, grateful to sink into the arms of her wife that wrap around her and the baby and hold them close. She feels Kara’s nod on the top of her head. They stay like that for a moment before turning and following the others to the living room.

Lena sits in the rocker, watching as the two kids take in their home, the massive bookshelves and toys strewn all over. She didn’t have time to clean up and the embarrassment climbs up her throat until it sits red on her face.

“We… we didn’t want to give her away,” Amanda says, words forced out and broken. She sounds exhausted, dark circles under her eyes telling as she folds in on herself, eyes on the baby and Lena.

“Their parents kicked them out,” Kara tells Lena. Lena tries to mask her shock, and not reflexively pull the baby closer.

“And we can’t miss anymore school if we want to graduate,” Amanda says. She’s pleading, the way she is looking at Lena, begging her to understand. Lena can see how much she loves her daughter, the feelings plain as day on her face when Ella finishes her bottle and starts making little noises while Lena shifts her to burp her.

“Do you want to… do you want to take her?” Lena asks, everything in her body telling her to pull Ella closer and run upstairs with her. Hide her, keep her here, but she can’t.

Amanda stands and comes over to them, she stops and waits, arms reaching out to the baby and Lena hands her over. The moment she is in her mom’s arms Lena can’t deny it any longer. Amanda holds her as if she is a precious gift, cradling the baby to her chest and burying her face in the top of the little girl’s head. She’s crying, Lena realizes, as Andrew steps up behind them arms coming around Amanda’s back and head tilted down to look at his daughter. Lena can see the baby in their faces. The set of Andrew’s lips. The softness of Amanda’s hair, the same color as the whispers that dot the top of the little girl’s head. She has Amanda’s eyebrows. And Andrew’s nose. She is there’s.

Lena excuses herself, unable to stop the moisture in her eyes from pooling over and rushes to the kitchen. The little family reunited and not watching her leave. Kara follows her though. Kara who is all but vibrating with the emotions and energy she is suppressing herself. She pulls Lena into her arms and they cry, they lean on each other, and they don’t say anything. The words unspeakable as they prepare to say goodbye to this little girl who has worked her way into their hearts.

“I don’t want her to go,” Lena finally says, head in the crook of Kara’s neck and feeling the wet spot on her suit where the tears fell. She feels Kara’s breaths, the little hiccup as she tries to pull herself together.

“What if she doesn’t have to?”

“Kara, we can’t take her away from them. They… they love her.” Lena's voice breaks on the word that she can’t deny. Watching them together she can’t pretend like they don’t love their daughter. They may be but two kids themselves but age doesn’t factor in where feelings are concerned.

“What if they all stay here? We have the room, and they have nowhere to go. We could help them, she could stay here and be safe.”

Lena pulls back enough to look into her wife’s eyes. The blues stormy and filled with tears still, the face she sees first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Her center, her safe place. Contorted with so much pain, so much emotion, her heart clenches. She loves Kara more than anything else in this world. Her heart so big and willing to help. Maybe… could they?

“Are you sure?”

“I don’t want her to go either,” Kara says, standing tall. The paragon of hope personified.

“Let’s go ask.”

Lena kisses her, pouring her emotions into Kara in desperation at the idea, the chance, the hope and Kara meets her just as fierce. They find solace in this moment where they both might lose something they didn’t know they needed. She takes Kara’s hand and leads her back into the living room. Three faces meet them, waiting for what they are about to say next.
______________

Epilogue

5 years later

“Jeremiah Sawyer, if you don’t share that game thing with your little sister I’m taking it away!” Alex calls to her son as he races past the kitchen, stealing a cherry tomato and skidding to a stop at his mom’s yelling.

“But she just gave it back to me! I still have 11 minutes!” He whines. He’s getting so big already, inheriting Alex’s awkward lanky limbs that he has yet to grow into. Soon he will be taller than Maggie, something the woman is in full denial about but takes in stride when they tease her about it.

“Everyone is about to get here anyways, so why don’t you stop ruining your appetite and go corral the little ones,” Alex tells him with the no nonsense tone she hasn’t used much after taking a step back from the DEO. She’s the assistant director, sharing the title with Agent Vasquez. After Josie had been born she decided to commit more time to her family, still a working mom, but with enough leeway that she allows her to be able to take the kids to school in the morning and be home for dinner at night.

J’onn was a contractor with them, willing to help in emergencies but splitting his time mainly between running his detective agency and heading the National City Alien Sanctuary, a non-profit that helps aliens acclimate after coming to earth. Lena and Kara had been the largest financial backers of the organization since he brought up the idea at one of their much less frequent game nights and were avid volunteers when their schedules allowed.

Maggie was still working with the NCPD. Though with her about to deliver their third child she was currently being forced into desk duty and fiery about the limitation.

Lena had officially stepped down from CEO at L-Corp, working in research and development instead. She was finally able to focus on the inventions that had been swimming around in her head for years now and their successes were on the front pages of all national and international newspapers across the world. Including CatCo, where Kara was now the head of the journalism department. Snapper had decided to leave three years prior, handing the mantle to her with a stiff hug and the demand not to be called when she bumbled things. He still came around for holidays if he was in the country but was enjoying his new career as a food blogger, Kara his biggest fan and known to fly to whatever country he happened to find particular delicacies in for lunch.

The front door opens and the noise level climbs exponentially as a screaming little girl hurls herself into Lena’s legs, Kara trailing behind her smiling and shaking her head at the antics.

“Aunty Lena! Aunty Alex! Aunt Kara let me get a whole sundae all to myself and told me not to tell you but it was so good and we should take Jasmine and Tanner there tomorrow!” The tiny blonde kindergartener tells them all, speaking only as fast as a hopped up on sugar child can.

“A whole sundae hmmm?” Amanda asks, opening her arms for her daughter to barrel into as she comes into the kitchen.

“Mommy!!!” She launches herself at Amanda, almost knocking her back as Amanda barely manages to right herself and pick the little girl up.

Kara kisses Lena’s cheek and sneaks her own tomato, Lena swatting her hand aside and elbowing her gently in the stomach.

“You’re as bad as the children, darling,” she teases.

“Speaking of, where have they gotten to?” Kara asks, wrapping an arm around her wife as they watch Amanda listen intently to her daughter babble about school and what her and Kara did after she picked her up. Kara squeezes Lena a little as they stand in their kitchen, Alex rolling her eyes at their easy affection after all the years of pining and drama leading them to exactly this moment.

“Jeremiah is rounding the troops up, I’m sure they will be here in a second,” Lena tells her, running her hand up Kara’s side and feeling the softness of the one of many sweaters she never stopped wearing. Even now ironically as a head journalist. Not that she’s complaining, her wife and all her Kryptonian DNA look especially good in the blue one she is currently donning that matches her eyes exactly. And if Lena had to send the color sample to the company so they could be sure of this that’s neither here nor there.

“And then we went to the park and Aunt Kara said she would toss me in the lake if I told about the ice cream and she chased me but she didn’t really push me in the lake because it’s cold and I’m not an alien like she is!”

“Little lamb, you are a terrible secret keeper,” Kara says, jostling the little girl’s hair as she looks up, fake innocence painted all over her face.

“Aunty Lena says you're the worst at keeping secrets and that’s why we can never tell you about surprise parties!” Ella returns, spinning in circles as everyone laughs at the now blushing Kara.

Amanda and Andrew had named their daughter Daisy, but not having picked a middle name yet they chose Ella in honor of Lena and Kara. By the time Ella was old enough to recognize her name it had stuck, now her original first name only coming out when she showed a particular act of deviousness that left them all trying to hide their laughter.

“She’s got you there, Kar,” Alex says, pulling out the first of the enchilada platters from the oven and setting it on the counter.

Before they can keep ribbing her, the rest of the brood comes down from upstairs, Tanner leading the pack and sprinting towards his moms to be swooped up by Kara. He giggles as she plants kisses all over his face.

“Hi baby! Did you have a good day with your cousins?” She asks, kissing the top of his head as he koala clings to her.

“Jeremiah tried to teach me how to fly!” He shouts, Alex’s son in question making his own appearance carrying the Danvers-Luthor’s youngest, Jasmine, in his arms, the toddler happily reaching for Lena who picks her up and snuggles her close.

“He did what??” Alex yells.

“Mom, it was on a game,” Josie tells her, coming to a stop in front of Amanda and Ella and waiting for her friend to notice her. Alex and Maggies’ daughter was wise beyond her years and tends to take the mom role when they all get together, four years old going on 18 Maggie always says.

“Oh, okay. That’s fine then,” Alex concedes, hugging her son who allows it for a moment before he starts playing with Jasmine’s toes to make her laugh and squirm around in Lena’s arms.

“Alright, all humans 10 and younger go wash your hands and sit at the table while we bring everything out!” Kara calls, setting their son down and watching him race off with everyone else to the kid’s bathroom under the stairs. Decorated like the Slytherin caves after Tanner fell in love with the scene in the movie and declared himself one to the utter delight of his very Slytherin mother. Kara was hoping Jasmine would be a Hufflepuff but Lena was convinced she was destined to be in Gryffindor. Their fearless and brave toddler who liked to climb out of her crib on stormy nights and cuddle her big brother when he was scared.

The four women watch their kids run away.

“Maggie going to make it?” Lena asks.

“Yeah, she’s just finishing a report and picking up dessert on the way,” Alex tells them, eyeing Kara pointedly and motioning to the salad they assembled. Always the big sister and officially immune to the pout Kara tries. Kara’s own kids are far better at it then her at this point and Alex can only give in so many times at family gatherings. Or so she claims.

“And Andrew? Is he still in class?”

“He’s actually just checking in at the apartment, making sure they’ve got it all sorted for us to move into after the holidays.”

Lena and Kara watch as Amanda straightens her spine and stands tall. There is the inevitable tinge of sadness at the thought of the family moving out of the estate, but it’s overshadowed by the pride they feel for the couple. They had pulled their lives together, both graduating high school on time after moving in with Kara and Lena and heading to the local college. Amanda had graduated last summer with a degree in accounting, and Andrew was continuing on to get his masters in literature. His stories always the hit at bedtimes for all the little ones. The rich worlds he weaves from thin air capturing their attention for hours on end. The two had finally saved up enough money to move into a two bedroom apartment close to both the college and Amanda’s new job and had told Kara and Lena one tearful night that they were ready.

Ella had grown into a beautiful and smart little girl, compassionate and always willing to help as their family continued to grow. She was flourishing in kindergarten with Jasmine, the two of them having become best friends born just months apart.

With Kara’s much more flexible schedule now, their house tended to be where everyone ended up after school and they knew that Ella would still be around but also appreciated the huge step forward the couple were taking.

The kids start calling from the dining room, dramatics of not being able to last another second without food making all their moms roll their eyes.

“Better go feed the gremlins,” Lena says, hugging their youngest tight and making her way into the dining room as the rest follow bringing food. She sits down and watches everyone start tucking into dinner, the chatter overwhelming as so many conversations happen at once that she’s amazed anyone can understand each other. Kara catches her eye across the table, holding Tanner’s sleeve out of the way as he almost sets it in sour cream.

“I love you,” Kara mouths, sending a kissy face at her that has Lena laughing even as she says it back, just loud enough for Kara to hear and kissing their daughter on the head while feeding her a piece of cucumber. Her family, almost all together, surrounding her with love and chaos. She smiles and reaches for her own plate.