"Okay, so what's got you so stressed?"
Kara paces the floor of Kelly's office and doesn't answer for several beats.
Kelly doesn't push, she's cool like that, and it's part of the reason why Kara couldn't go to Alex about this. Her sister is patient, especially with her and when it's important—and this is important—but she feels like she’s been talking too much about Lena around Alex lately because their conversations regarding Lena have ended more and more in Alex letting out a long-suffering sigh and telling her to just confess already.
She knows that. She knows. And she wants to and she will, but it has to be perfect.
"It's gotta be perfect, y'see," she says. "'Cause Lena's perfect and she deserves everything. And I’m totally not saying that I, myself, by myself, can provide her with absolutely everything, but I want to try. Which makes all the difference, I think.”
Kelly nods in understanding. This isn’t a therapy session, this is just one panicking woman in love with a woman talking to another much calmer woman in love with a woman.
"Right," Kelly says. "Well. You're aware that Lena isn't perfect, right?"
Kara snaps her head up to look at Kelly, brow furrowing and denial already on the tip of her tongue, but Kelly pins her with a flat stare.
"Kara," she says, "nobody is perfect. We're all— well, hm. I was gonna say we're all only human, but…"
Kara snorts and gestures for her to keep going, continuing to pace.
"Look, I'm just trying to say that it's not healthy to put Lena on a pedestal and insist that she's perfect, no matter how much you love her. Accept that she's a flawed human being who also makes mistakes, and realize that being flawed is part of what makes her so wonderful.
"Love her for how she really is. Not for the version you're making up, not the version that is perfect. I think if you realize that she’s only going around doing the best she can—much like yourself—you won't be so nervous about telling her how you feel."
Kara nods pensively to herself when Kelly finishes, pulling to a stop.
"You're right," she says. "You're right, of course." She shoves her hands into her back pockets and chews at her lip. "I just. Like her so much."
Kelly smiles. "Well then, tell her that whenever you're ready and I think you'll have nothing to worry about."
Kara feels a giddy excitement spark to life in her chest. "You think?"
"I think," Kelly says, eyes twinkling. "So go get your girl."
Lena fits. There's no other way to put it. Lena fits.
And it's not quite like Lena's the missing piece to Kara's puzzle because it's ludicrous to compare Lena to a mere piece. If anything, Lena is a whole new puzzle whose pieces perfectly interlock with the edges of Kara's, stitching together piece by piece until there's no space between them, until what they are together is something elevated, something incredible and wonderful and new.
So Lena fits. Into Kara's friend group, into all of her fondest memories, into her life.
In her arms.
Which is where she is right now, a month after Kara's talk with Kelly. She's burrowed as close as can be, a heartbeat away from pulling free and taking Kara's heartbeat along with her. But then a heartbeat stretches into three and becomes indulgence, borne of the comfort of a night of wine and games with loved ones who've already gone home for the night, leaving just the two of them. It's indulgence, holding each other like this, for so long, before the inevitable chill of separation.
But Lena fits fits fits so fucking perfectly that Kara aches with it, craves for it. She indulges and Lena indulges and it's more right than anything else Kara knows.
So when Lena finally takes a deep, bracing breath—the one she always takes before she lets go, as if needing to physically prepare herself for it—Kara doesn't loosen her own hold and squeezes her gently instead, nosing towards her ear to murmur, "Do you have to go?"
And Lena simply sags into her with a relieved sigh, squeezing back.
"I don't," she whispers.
It's been happening more and more often.
Not Lena hanging back while everyone else slowly files out for the night, but Kara asking, Kara offering Lena an excuse to stay.
"You want a hot cocoa? I got a new box of instant, 's'nothing special, but I like it," she says.
Lena pulls away just enough to meet her eyes, nose scrunching cutely as she grins like Kara's said the best thing she's ever heard. She looks extra cute under the twinkling LED lights strewn all around Kara's apartment, but all the twinkling light Kara needs is dancing in Lena's eyes.
"I'd love some," Lena says, then goes right back to burying her face in Kara's neck.
Kara reaches into the top cupboard for a packet of hot cocoa mix and pours it into Lena's mug. She tosses the empty packet into the trash, then pauses as she considers something.
She turns around and loses her train of thought when she spots Lena leaning casually against the kitchen counter. She fits there. Kara could get used to Lena existing in the kitchen with her, looking so, so soft and like she just belongs.
"You…?" Lena prompts, pretty lips quirking up as she tucks her hands into her sleeves and crosses her arms. It is a little cold in here… maybe she should turn the thermostat up?
"Ah," Kara says, recovering enough to make a noise, at least. "Um. I usually drink it with hot water but if you want I can heat up some milk to make it richer?"
Lena brushes her hair behind her ear and shakes her head. "No need, I'll have it the way you have it, please," she says, smiling that devastatingly pretty smile she has, the one that makes her dimples flash.
Kara has to take a moment just to slow-blink at her, feeling more than a little dazed, heart slamming extra hard in her chest like it's trying to drag Kara forward until it can beat against Lena's, where it belongs.
Everything feels slow and gooey and warm, like the hot chocolate will be if she doesn't hurry up and focus.
She turns her attention back to the hot chocolate, filling the teapot with water from the Brita and setting it to boil. She'd just use tap water for herself, but this cocoa is for Lena so she deserves the best.
"It's yummy but I can always add some seasonal spices too, if you want a more wintery cocoa?" Kara says, glancing over her shoulder. "Cinnamon, nutmeg?"
"Mm…" Lena bites her lip in thought, then lets it slip out from under her teeth. "Maybe next time. Wanna see what the original tastes like."
Kara nods, captivated by how pretty her lips are. "Okiedokie."
Lena's still got her arms crossed and her hands tucked up into the sleeves of her oversized sweater, and the water's going to be a while, so.
"Come here," Kara murmurs, swallowing back a wave of nervousness and trying to project confidence as she leans on the counter by the stove and opens up her arms. "You look cold."
Lena stares at her open arms, eyes widening once she realizes what Kara is offering.
It's one thing to hug and let it linger for far longer than is really considered simply friendly. It's another entirely to wrap your best friend up in your arms while you wait for some water to boil.
Lena, surprisingly, takes it all in stride and coolly steps closer until she's walking right into her arms. They come together like rain drops reunited on a windowpane and the contented sigh Lena lets out sounds like the one she makes when she takes her heels off after a long day.
Kara noses at her temple, enjoying the smell of her shampoo.
“Hi,” she whispers.
“Hi,” Lena whispers back, squeezing her around the waist. “You’re warm.”
“Yeah, I’m like your own little personal space heater,” Kara says.
Lena laughs, warm breath puffing against Kara’s collarbone, and goosebumps rise along her arms.
“Sure are, in more ways than one.”
It takes Kara a moment, but when she gets it, she jostles them both with her laugh. It feels so wonderful to be able to joke about this with Lena; it’s all she’s ever wanted.
"Do you think I'd be this warm if I were human?" she muses out loud.
Lena shakes her head where it's tucked by Kara's neck. The tip of her nose is cold.
"I don't know," she says. "But I like you the way you are now."
Kara tries not to outwardly react to that, but her heart rate speeds up and she feels herself puffing up proudly. Lena likes her.
"I guess I like me the way I am now too," she quietly admits, "'cause now me is hugging you."
Lena presses her cold nose to Kara's neck, and Kara can feel her next words painted against her skin with every brush of Lena's soft lips. "Lucky me for getting to hug you right back."
And just. Rao. Every part of Kara thinks they should stay like this forever. Every part of her wants time to stop so she can live in this moment, be this moment.
For a while, it feels like time actually listens as Kara gently rocks their hug side to side and breathes her in. But eventually the teapot starts whistling and she reluctantly releases Lena to finish making her cocoa, pouring boiling water into Lena's mug and stirring the mixture with a spoon.
It's only when she's finished mixing that she realizes she's made a mistake.
"Oh no," she says, freezing in place mid-stir, hand hovering over the mug. "Oh no."
"What? What is it?" Lena asks, placing a concerned hand on her arm.
"You can't drink this, Lena," Kara says, embarrassed and trying to decide between tossing it back herself so Lena doesn't have to drink it, or dumping it right down the drain and starting over. "I messed up."
"...How did you mess up instant cocoa?"
"Um…" Kara peers down at the contents of the mug, then over at Lena. "Well."
"Your mug is bigger than mine. Like twice as big—"
"It so is not twice as big, oh my god—"
"—so I filled it up with too much water for the amount of cocoa mix there actually was."
Lena removes her hand from Kara's arm and blinks at her. "You added too much water," she says flatly. "That's why I can't drink it."
"Yes! Exactly!" Kara moves to pour it down the drain. "I'm so sorry, I—"
Lena reaches out and stops Kara before she spills a single drop.
"I'll drink it," she says, prying it gently but insistently out of Kara's hand. "I still want it. I'm sure it's fine."
"But it's gonna be so watery!" Kara protests, practically a whine. "It's gonna be cocoa-flavored water! Let me make you another one, a better one. A much better one. You shouldn't drink chocolate water!"
Lena looks her right in the eyes and takes a deliberate sip.
"Nooo!" Kara cries, horrified. "Why'd you do that!?"
"It tastes fine, Kara. I don't mind that it's a little watery," Lena says. "It would've been such a waste to pour this down the drain."
"I've failed you…" Kara whispers, gazing forlornly at the mug. "I was supposed to show you how good this cocoa is but I messed it up. Was gonna add some whipped cream and like, cinnamon on top and everything."
Lena reaches out to lightly grip the hem of Kara's henley. "Hey," she says, tugging at the fabric and taking a small step closer. She ducks her head to catch Kara's eyes. "You haven't failed at anything, you're wonderful and this cocoa is wonderful and I love y—"
She clears her throat.
"Really?" Kara asks, reaching out to cover Lena's hand with her own, a smile coaxing the corners of her lips up. "You really like it?"
A pretty pink flush blooms across Lena's cheeks and she bites her lip, flipping her hand so she's properly holding Kara's, tangling their fingers together.
"I really like it." And then as if to prove it, she lifts her mug and takes another sip.
Kara doesn't bring up the fact that Lena keeps holding her hand.
They end up back on the couch under a warm, Sherpa blanket with a Youtube video of jazzy, coffee shop Christmas songs quietly playing in the background.
The current song is "Blue Christmas" but Kara feels anything but blue. She can't possibly be blue with Lena next to her, hands resting close enough on top of the blanket that their pinkies are practically touching.
Kara shifts her hand over the slightest bit so their fingers do touch and Lena doesn't pull away.
"So next time it won't be so watery, I promise. And I can add cinnamon and nutmeg, and whipped cream, and marshmallows, and Bailey's."
Lena grimaces, cheek squishing cutely against the back of the couch. "Maybe not all at the same time."
Kara gasps in faux affront, then sticks her lower lip out in a pout. "Oh right, I forgot you don't like sugar and spice and everything nice."
Lena laughs even though it’s not really that funny, and Kara tries not to stare too much—tries not to melt too much—even though she’s already helpless, already the meltiest and gooiest for everything Lena does.
“But I’m drinking hot cocoa,” Lena says, eyes soft, voice softer. “And I like you, don’t I?”
She casually links their pinkies together, and Kara almost jumps before she manages to turn the energy into a slight upward twitch of her leg instead. She giggles a sharp, hysterical giggle and reaches up to adjust glasses she isn’t wearing. She pokes herself in the temple and covers her mistake by dropping her head back against the couch and clearing her throat.
Lena smirks. “As spicy as an alien passing for a white girl can be, I guess.”
Kara snorts and squeezes at her pinky, feeling giddy and warm.
"Hey… I'm really glad you're here," she says quietly, lolling her head over to look at Lena.
"I'm really glad I'm here too," Lena says.
And there's nothing different or new about the moment, nothing different or new about the sweetness of the interaction, but it hits Kara then, like the sun is rising inside of her, warming her up just from looking at the way Lena's sitting on the couch with her knees tucked up under the blanket they're sharing, nursing the instant hot chocolate Kara somehow butchered by adding too much water, skin glowing under the string lights: There never would have been a perfect time, but there also could never have been a more perfect time.
So, like another puzzle piece she hadn't realized had been waiting to be placed between them, Kara looks at Lena and simply blurts, "You know I love you, right?"
Lena only smiles and lifts her mug of watery cocoa to her lips.
"I know," she says, looking at Kara over the rim of her mug, eyes glittering.
Kara nods, then shakes her head, catching Lena's eyes again.
"I mean it. Like, really mean it. I love you," she says, because Lena needs to know. Lena has to know what she's saying here.
"I know," Lena repeats, uncurling to put her mug on a coaster on the coffee table before turning to bridge the gap between them so smoothly and lithely Kara barely has time to blink or understand what's happening.
"I know," Lena whispers for the third time. Then she places her palm against Kara's chest, which means she can probably feel how hard Kara’s heart thumps when she continues closing the distance and presses their lips together, soft and silky.
Kara melts into the kiss immediately, wrapping an arm around Lena’s waist to keep her close, twisting her other hand into her hair. Lena's lips taste like hot cocoa, and then like something even sweeter, in a way that has Kara craving more. She’s sweet like cold water on a hot day. She’s sweet like ice cream on the couch under the covers. She's sweet like forever is knocking on the door with cookies.
And Kara is going to answer the damn door.
I love you, she thinks as she licks out at Lena's lips. I love you I love you I love you.
"I love you too," Lena mumbles against Kara's mouth, fingers bunching up the fabric of her shirt, right before Kara hungrily slips her tongue into her mouth.
Lena makes a rough noise, then, and suddenly she's in Kara's lap, warm and twisted up in blankets and letting out the prettiest whimpers as Kara tastes her. She rolls her hips forward into Kara's abs, gasping against her mouth, and Kara muffles the groan that stirs in the back of her throat.
She wants— She wants to be closer. She wants to make Lena gasp into her mouth some more, wants to rock their bodies together, wants to hear all the noises that Lena can make for her.
"Can I— Can I touch you?" she stutters out, dropping the hand around her waist to grip at her hip.
"Yesplease," Lena says, half-muffled by the way she presses their lips together again before she's even part of the way through saying it. "Please, yes, please."
And although the sound and feel of Lena asking so sweetly for more makes Kara feel like she's going to shatter, and although it's obvious they're both eager for more, they keep kissing. They just keep tasting each other, breathing hard, lips dragging, tongues slipping together. It's messy and wet and imperfectly perfect.
Eventually, whines start catching in the back of Lena's throat and Kara bucks up into her with a grunt, filled to the brim with an urgent need to touch her more.
"Anything," Lena rushes. "Anything you want. Please. Just—"
"Here on the couch?" Kara asks, rubbing her thumb against Lena's hipbone.
Lena nods shakily and grinds down, burying her face into Kara's neck with a desperate moan.
"Want you to do whatever you want to me," she says, voicing dropping to a whisper. "I've wanted this—wanted you—for so long."
"Oh Rao," Kara groans, and in a fluid, powerful movement, she urges Lena to wrap her legs around her and flips them, lowering Lena to the couch cushions and following her down.
Lena is soft and wanting and eager under her, and Kara quickly learns just how sweetly she keens when she's close to coming.
"K- Kara, please," she gasps, blunt nails digging into Kara's naked back, their clothes discarded and haphazardly tossed upon every nearby surface.
Kara indulgently licks up the side of Lena's neck and pumps her fingers again, thumb rubbing at Lena's hard little clit. She's so hot and so wet around her fingers, her moans breathy and needy.
Kara feels feverish from it all.
"What do you need?" Kara asks, voice scratchy. "How do I make you come for me?"
Lena whimpers, pulsing around her.
"Just— Just don't stop. Please," she pleads. "You feel so good."
Kara doesn't stop; she'd die if she stopped now. She slowly pulls her fingers out and fills Lena up again, steadily, carefully, thoroughly, curling her fingers up into the softness that has Lena writhing and arching into her palm.
"Kara—" she whimpers, face flushed, brows furrowed, body bending up—as if magnetized—to meet Kara's touch.
"I've got you," Kara rumbles, nuzzling kisses up her jawline to catch a soft, peach-fuzzy earlobe between her teeth. "I'm right here, baby."
Lena stiffens with a soft sound, clutching at Kara's back as she comes. She clenches in little stutters, tighter and tighter until Kara can't move her fingers in and out any longer, so she leaves them in, letting Lena's hitching cries wash over her, rubbing hard, fast circles over her clit until Lena spasms and squeezes at her arm with a watery gasp.
"Wai— I— Hold on," she says.
Kara stops immediately, popping her head up to catch her eye.
"Sorry, too much? Did I hurt you?"
Lena giggles breathily, sliding her hand up to grip the baby hairs at the back of her neck.
"No," she says, smiling the scrunchy-nosed, dimpled smile Kara loves so much. She urges Kara down for a kiss. "No, you're perfect."
Kara smiles, making the kiss toothy and imperfect. "Just doing my best," she murmurs.
"Mm… Well keep doing what you're doing, please," Lena says, brushing her nose against Kara's cheek.
Warmth swells in Kara's chest, quickly followed by another rush of… something else. Something tight and hot stirring in her belly. An ache to get deeper, to fill Lena further.
"Oh?" she asks, voice dropping low. She feels intensely gratified when Lena stills, except for a quick clench around the fingers Kara still has nestled deep inside her.
"Can you go again?" Kara asks, rolling her hips down to meet Lena's, contact hindered by the arm Kara still has sandwiched between them.
Lena pinkens, shyly chewing at her lip before nodding.
"Want you again," she admits quietly, skimming the fingers of her free hand against Kara's collarbone.
"I want you too," Kara says, hips jerking down again of their own accord. "Want more."
Lena studies her for a moment, wetting her lips as Kara continues to rock against her.
"More," she echoes. "Would you… would you want to use a toy?"
The movement of Kara's hips slow and then stop as soon as the words sink in.
"Want you deeper," Lena whispers, lips shiny and soft and kissable. "I want you to fuck me with a strap-on."
Kara makes a sound halfway between a groan and a wheeze.
Like a switch flipping in Kara's brain, hearing Lena say please so softly, so sweetly, while laying naked underneath her makes some deep, primal part of her respond. But…
"I don't have—" she starts.
Kara makes a noise in the back of her throat, thinking about Lena using a dildo. On herself. With someone else.
As if reading the turn her mind has taken, Lena clears her throat lightly. "I haven't used it," she says. "With anyone else."
And that's enough.
"Where?" Kara growls, carefully pulling her fingers out and wiping them on the shirt she's tossed on the ground.
"Bottom drawer. There's lube next to it too," she says, leaning up to kiss the corner of her mouth. "You know the code to the balcony lock. Hurry."
Kara needs no further instruction, dressing in a flurry and returning in mere seconds to settle back between Lena's legs, naked once more except for the harness snug across her hips and thighs, strap-on standing proud. She pops the lid of the lube to squirt a dollop into her palm.
Lena props herself up on her forearms to watch as Kara wraps her hand around the dildo and spreads the lube with a couple twisting pumps of her fist.
"Ready?" Kara asks, eyes darting towards the way Lena's spreading her legs and wiggling her hips.
"So fucking ready."
Kara shuffles forward and presses down with her fingers until the tip of the dildo nudges right up between Lena's thighs, answering Lena's slight gasp with one of her own when the motion puts pressure against her clit.
Her fingers slip against the slick silicone and the strap-on bobs up to drag against Lena's clit, causing her breath to hitch.
"Sorry," Kara says. "It's, ah, slippery."
"Here, let me," Lena says, reaching between them to guide the dildo back down.
"Don't mention it. Now please fuck me."
Kara pushes in.
The sound Lena makes as Kara sinks inch after inch of hard silicone into her is one she doesn't think she'll ever forget. It's breathy and stuttering and delighted. Kara has no choice but to follow the sound of it, leaning forward and lowering herself until they're laying breast to hip and she can feel Lena panting against her lips.
"Fffuck," Lena whispers, wrapping her arms around Kara's waist.
Kara can only hum in agreement, overwhelmed by the way the base of the dildo is pressing into her and eager to fuck more of those sweet, breathy sounds out of Lena.
"I'm going to move now," she says, taking in Lena's glassy-eyed stare, the pink of her cheeks, the part of her lips.
"Yes, yes, yes," she chants. "Fuck me, Kara, please."
Kara jerks her hips forward with a quiet whine, then starts slowly pumping in and out.
She'd enjoyed having her fingers inside Lena, feeling every twitch and pulse, but fucking her with the strap-on is something else entirely. Something wonderful.
She can feel the connection between them like this, knowing that every thrust and every stroke stimulating her own clit is reaching so deep inside Lena, is pulling out the wispy little whimpers from her pretty mouth.
She wants it to last just as much as she wants it to be over so that Lena will come for her again.
"You like that?" Kara asks after a particularly loud moan.
"God, Kara. Yes, fuck— I'm so full—"
Kara pushes forward into a slow, deep thrust and Lena chokes off into startled silence.
Kara grins and follows the deep stroke with a number of quick, shallow strokes, angling her hips to drive the strap-on up.
Lena whines, lifting her hips to cross her ankles at the small of Kara's back, opening herself up even more.
"I love it. It's all so good, please—"
"Okay," Kara says, dipping to kiss her softly.
She starts fucking Lena in earnest after that, alternating between the slow, deep strokes and the quick, shallow ones, listening to the way her little gasps turn into the sweetest whines the better she feels, the closer she gets to coming.
Through it all, the base of the dildo nudges against Kara's hard, aching clit, working in tandem with each sound that comes out of Lena's mouth to tug Kara closer to the edge of bliss.
"You sound so pretty, Lena," Kara mumbles, thrusting deep, dropping her head by her ear. "So pretty and good for me."
Lena whimpers, voice pitching just a bit higher each time Kara bottoms out.
"Always thought your voice was so nice to listen to, but now I know what your moans sound like, what you sound like when you come, and I just—"
Lena whimpers again, right before Kara feels her teeth sink into her shoulder. She hisses lightly in shock, but keeps going, continuing to slowly piston her hips.
"And I just know I'll never be able to get the sound of you moaning for me out of my head. Won't be able to hear anything else."
Lena lets out a guttural noise from around the meat of Kara's shoulder, nails and teeth digging into her skin.
Kara hums. "But I think you should come for me again anyways and let me hear how pretty you sound, so I don't forget."
Lena arches underneath her, pressing their breasts together as she squirms. She whines something that sounds like it could be Kara's name, and Kara doubles down. She fucks Lena as deep as she can go, clenching her abs to power every thrust until, with a muffled cry, Lena clenches tightly around the dildo and comes again, hard.
Kara grunts and bucks into the silicone base, chasing the pressure against her own clit, listening to the sound of Lena's shuddering gasps until she finally comes too, the litany of her pleased noises sending her hurtling over the edge.
By the time she stops shaking, Lena is peppering her shoulder with the gentlest of apologetic kisses and running her fingers up and down her sides and back.
"Hi there," Kara mumbles, lifting her head to look down at her.
"Oh, hi," Lena returns, voice tiny and adorable.
So tiny and adorable. Kara can feel her heart squeezing with affection.
"I love you," she says, which isn't nearly enough to encompass all of the things she's feeling right now, but will have to suffice.
"I love you too," Lena says, pressing a lingering kiss to her cheek. "Thank you for telling me. Honestly the best Christmas present ever."
"…Yes? Oh, you're—"
Lena turns her head to hide her face ineffectively in Kara's bicep. "Oh god, sorry. I didn't forget, I just—"
Kara chuckles and kisses her temple. "I'm kidding. I knew it was Christmas, Lena. It's literally impossible not to know."
Lena looks up at her again and Kara smiles.
"Merry Christmas," she says. "Promise this was totally not just a Christmas thing, though."
"Okay," Lena whispers. "Thank you."
"Thank me? For what?"
"For loving someone like me," Lena says, hugging her around the waist.
Kara shakes her head. "Someone like you? You're one of a kind, Lena. The only one for me." She drops her forehead to Lena's, squeezing her eyes closed, feeling Lena's heart beating steady and strong against her own. "You're all I've ever wanted."
Lena's arms tighten around her.
"Stop, you're gonna make me soft," she whines.
Kara laughs and nudges their noses together. "Can't let the press find out that Lena Luthor is actually a huge softie."
Lena gasps loudly and Kara stifles another laugh.
"This better have been off the record!" Lena warns, furrowing her brows. Her mouth twitches with the effort of not cracking. "I can't have you sullying the Luthor name."
Kara reaches down to capture one of Lena's hands, bringing it up to her lips to kiss her knuckles.
"Of course, it'll be our little secret," she says. "'Cause only I get to see you this soft."
Lena nods, eyes widening as she follows the way Kara keeps her lips close to her hand to continue brushing them against her knuckles.
"Only you," she echoes.
"Only I get to feel how soft you are," Kara says, punctuating her words with a slight pump of her hips.
Lena's breath hitches deliciously and she nods mutely, eyes going hazy.
"And only I get to make love to you," she says, heart full to bursting, all her pieces fitting into place, interlocked with Lena's.
She rocks her hips and lets the sound of Lena's quiet whimpers guide her the rest of the way.