“If that’s what you think love is, I’m not sure if I want any part in that.”
Lena’s world crumbled around her. She stood outside Kara’s apartment, her eyes glassy at the words James had just said to her. She watched him walk around the corner and didn’t move. She was planted to the ground. She couldn’t think. Her mind clouded. Kara wasn’t home, she had just left with Alex so she had no one. She stumbled backwards unable to comprehend what had just happened. Had James really just said that to her?
As Lena stood out the front of the desolate apartment, her eyes stung more than they ever had before. She couldn’t bring herself to go back to her own apartment. She needed to be with the only person left who would be there for her. And she would wait as long as she needed to see her.
The sight Kara saw before her was not at all what she was expecting when she returned. Tear stains ran down Lena’s face. Lena hadn’t even realised Kara’s presence until Kara knelt down in front of her broken friend. Her eyes slowly shifted over Lena’s face until she stood again and lifted Lena into a standing position.
The CEO was broken, in a way Kara had never seen before.
Yes, Kara had seen Lena after Jack, and after problems with her mother, but she had never seen Lena this broken, and she could only wonder why.
“Talk to me Lena. I’m here. I’m listening.”
All that followed was a small whimper. Kara led Lena to her room, sat her on the bed before proceeding to gather up more comfortable clothes for the woman to change into. Her blouse did not look comfortable at all.
Kara turned to face her best friend. Was this because of this James? Is he the reason the CEO was broken? Kara silently cursed herself for pushing them together. She thought that maybe if Lena was with someone, she would get over her own crush on the woman. But all she’d done was broken her. And she blamed herself.
“I’m so sorry Lena.”
She walked back over and knelt before her, handing her the light grey sweats and old pale blue Midvale High jumper.
“Go get changed and I’ll meet you on the couch.”
Lena simply nodded before heading to the bathroom, leaving Kara to move to the kitchen to make hot cocoa. She poured it into two mugs and headed to the couch, turning the tv on for background noise.
She was concerned for her friend and had no idea how to comfort her. She knew Lena liked James, but she didn’t know how deep it ran. They never exchanged the glances that she’d seen Alex give Maggie when they were together. The looks were never sincere. They looked broken and disconnected.
Kara regretted pushing her friend into this. It was her fault Lena was broken.
The shuffling of feet caught Kara’s attention away from the tv. She gave a soft smile to Lena who was playing with the cuffs of the oversized jumper. Kara thought she looked adorable, but she also knew she had no right to think that. Lena was her best friend. She had to respect that and push her feelings down.
Lena sat by Kara’s side, her legs folded underneath her.
“I tried Kara. I really did. I don’t think I’m built for this. I don’t deserve someone to love. I don’t deserve to be loved.”
“Lena that not tr-.”
“Please, let me finish.”
Kara closed her mouth and let her eyes wander the face of the aching woman who sat beside her. Tears were sliding steadily down Lena’s face; her lips were trembling and her eyes were bloodshot. Perfect makeup was smudged, as though Lena had tried to collect herself before coming to sit next to Kara. And then she continued.
“I grew up in a house where love wasn’t given. I lost my mother when I was four. I was adopted into the house of toxic emotions. Expectations that were never achievable. I strived to be better than Lex, or at least not seen as a failure in Lillian’s eyes. I guess I must have forgotten to look for the things most children got. I never understood a mother’s love. I guess I still don’t.”
She paused to sniff. Kara placed a loose arm around Lena’s shoulders and the woman thankfully leaned into it, placing her own head on Kara’s shoulder. Lena took a depth breath before continuing.
“I loved leaving home for college. I was able to escape the life Lillian had created for me. But I still strived to be the best I could. Lex drifted from me. The one person who I thought I could trust. He went insane, and he tried to kill me. I felt even more lost than I thought I could. I felt worse than I ever had.
I needed someone Kara. And I thought James could be that someone. After Jack, I thought I was lost. You came into my life and gave me hope. I thought I could also have something with James. I guess I was wrong. I don’t understand how to love someone. I don’t understand what love is. And maybe I never will.”
Lena stopped talking. Kara waited a few seconds, seeing if she was going to keep going. When she didn’t she took this chance to speak her mind.
“Lena. Hey, look at me.”
Kara took Lena’s chin in her fingers and guided her to face her.
“You are not unlovable. You want to know how I know? Because I love you. You have given me hope too. Even if you don’t realise it. I’m going to show you something, and I don’t know how you are going to react. But I need you to know because you mean the world to me Lena. You always have and you always will. No matter what happens between us. I will always love you.”
Kara stood leaving Lena on the couch by herself. Kara was nervous to say the least. Her hands trembled as she placed her fingers around her glasses. She removed them from her face, avoiding making eye contact with the woman she loved on the couch.
She started to unbutton her shirt, the fabric of her suit feeling suffocating around her. She hadn’t noticed Lena stand until soft hands stopped her. Lena moved Kara’s hands from her shirt.
“I need to see it for myself.”
Kara only nodded at Lena’s statement before watching her best friend unbutton her shirt. Lena stepped back when she was finished. Her face was unreadable. Kara couldn’t tell what emotions she was feeling. Conflict quickly flashed across Lena’s face before an influx of emotions hit the both of them.
They both spoke at the same time. Lena closed her mouth, motioning for Kara to continue. She knew she had to hear Kara out. No matter how hurt she was feeling right now. She was too emotionally drained to say anything if she was being honest with herself. And she couldn’t lose anyone else tonight. Certainly not the woman she loved.
“I wanted to tell you the second I met you. I care so much for you Lena. But everyone who knows, their lives are in danger every day,” the blonde choked on her tears, knowing she had no right to let them fall. “I didn’t want to put that on your shoulders. But seeing you in this much pain. I feel as though you more than anyone deserve to know. You have every right to hate me. You have every right to never talk to me again, to slap me, to cut me out of your life. I lied to you for years. I didn’t want to, but I was never brave enough to let you know.
I can promise you right now that it isn’t because I don’t trust you. I trust you with my life, I was just afraid to lose you so I thought protecting you was safer. But I have just become one of the people in your life keeping secrets. And I’m sorry Lena, I really am. I want you to know all of me. My real name is Kara Zor-el, I am the last daughter of Krypton and I am Supergirl. I really am so, so sorry.”
Lena stood there, staring at her best friend whom refused to let the tears fall from her deep blue eyes. The woman she had loved since the day she had walked into her office as a shy, timid reporter who stumbled over her words. She realised in this moment that she had known all along who Kara was, but she had denied herself to believe it. She had shut the thought out, not wanted to believe her best friend and the love of her life would lie to her. She thought it was because she was a Luthor.
It was because she loved her, and she cared for her. Kara went to speak again but Lena stopped her by throwing herself into Kara’s arms. She let the tears fall as she wrapped her arms around the now shaking Kryptonian.
“No matter how mad I want to be Kara, I could never hate you. You are the most important person in my life and I love you too. Now and always, no matter what.”
Kara’s body shook as she cried into the hair of the Luthor. She had expected Lena to get up and leave. Not to say she loved her back. She wrapped one arm around Lena’s waist and the other rested on the back of her head, slowly running through the dark brown locks.
Both women were so caught in the moment that they both failed to hear the door open and see Alex walk through.
They both jumped when they heard a cough come from the doorway. Lena sprung from Kara’s arms while Kara turned and stood defensively in front of the CEO. Both women relaxed upon seeing a very awkward looking Alex staring at them in confusion.
“Am I interrupting something ladies?”
Kara hastily wiped the tears off her checks as Lena did the same behind her.
Alex’s expression softened as she saw the state of both women. She saw the tears down both faces, the smudged makeup. However, she only just noticed Kara’s unbuttoned shirt, the House of El symbol very prominent on her sister’s chest.
Her tone was strained, almost as a warning.
“I did what I did. I love her and she deserved to know. More than most people do.”
Alex’s eyes shifted from Kara to Lena and back again. The look of Lena’s face as Kara said she loved her made Alex instantly realised why her sister did it. She understood.
“Okay. But now there’s a pile of paper work that needs to be done, and neither of you seem to be in the mood and I certainly am not.”
For the first time since Kara had found Lena at her front door when she got back, both women shared a small smile and a quick and quiet laugh.
“I better get going then. I’ll leave you two alone. It seems like you have a lot to talk about.”
Alex gave an understanding smile to both her sister and the CEO before turning on her heels and walking out of the apartment, shutting the door behind her.
Kara turned back to Lena who gave her a small smile. Neither knew what to do.
“Go get changed. Then come back so we can watch a movie. I can’t be alone tonight, I need you, if you’ll allow me to stay.” Kara looked at the women before her, noticing a slight barrier begin to build itself up. Before she allowed to continue on its ascent, she gave the raven-haired beauty a small smile.
“Of course you can stay Lena, I don’t want you to be alone either way.”
Kara turned away before looking over her shoulder.
“I’ll never leave you Lee, I hope you know that.”
Kara left the room to change. She shed herself of the clothes and supersuit, putting on dark grey sweats and her National University sweater, navy in colour, contrasting the light grey sweats and pale blue jumper Lena wore in the other room.
Walking out into the living room again, Kara saw Lena curled up on the couch, knees tucked up under her chin, laying on her side. Kara put a small smile on her face and wandered over to sit by her best friend. As she sat down Lena moved her head to rest on Kara’s lap, allowing the blonde to lean back into the couch. Lena let her legs stretch out to hang over the edge and her arms to wrap around herself. Kara found her hand stroking Lena’s hair, keeping it out of her face.
“What do you want to watch?” Kara whispered to the woman on her lap. Lena turned to look up at Kara, causing the blonde’s heart to flutter. Lena smiled at her best friend.
“Anything, I really don’t care, as long as I’m here with you.”
Kara knew those words were platonic, she had to think those words were platonic. Both women went quiet, just smiling at each other. Kara was the first to look away, a dark blush creeping up the back of her neck. She could only hope that Lena hadn’t noticed.
However, Lena was praying Kara didn’t notice the blush crawling up the back of her own neck.
Kara reached over Lena to grab the TV remote, turning on Netflix, clicking a random Friends episode and leaning back into the couch.
They were about 10 minutes into their fourth episode when Kara felt Lena roll over, her face now towards Kara. A simple “thank you” fell from Lena’s lips before Kara noticed her breathing evening out and her heart slowing to a steady beat, indicating she was asleep. Kara smiled down at her, letting a whispered “I love you” fall from her lips. What she didn’t see was the small smile appear on Lena’s face at the words.
Kara went to shift, only to have Lena wrap her arms around her waist, keeping her in place. She didn’t know what to do. She came to the decision to pick Lena up off the couch, her head resting in Kara’s shoulder and her arms found their way around her neck. She shifted in her sleep-like state, clearly woken slightly by the movement.
Kara walked to her room, placing Lena under the covers before turning to walk away and sleep on the couch. What stopped her though was the hand around her wrist. She turned back to see Lena, her eyes still closed, holding her back.
“I love you too you know.”
Kara turned to fully face Lena now, her mouth slightly agape. “Stay, please,” was all Lena said after that.
Kara slid under the covers, resting next to Lena. She felt Lena scoot closer and wrap her arms around her waist, her head coming to once again rest on Kara’s shoulder. Kara gave in and turned to face the brunette. She wrapped her own arms around Lena’s waist and leant into her.
That’s how they fell asleep that night.