The first time she wanders into the hospital, Lena happens to be working in the ER that day. Lena had just finished examining a woman with severe abdominal pain. After prodding around and coming to the conclusion that the pain was coming from an inflamed appendix, Lena paged general, then went to the nurses' station to scope out any other cases she could snatch.
That’s when Lena sees her. Tall, honey blonde hair in loose waves cascading over her shoulders, thin, black frames on the bridge of her nose. With a baby blue button up tucked into the waistband of a pair of slacks, the woman clutches her right hand in toward her stomach. Her face consumed with pain.
“Hi, ma’am. I’m Dr. Luthor,” Lena greets warmly. “Is something wrong with your hand?”
The woman winces, “Kara.”
“Kara. Call me Kara, please,” the woman—Kara—clarifies. “Ma’am makes me feel old.”
Lena lets out an airy chuckle. “I feel the same. So, Kara, what seems to be the problem with your hand?”
Kara grunts when she jostles her hand. With her uninjured hand, she pulls it away from her body so Lena can get a better look. “My finger. I think it’s broken.”
All it takes is a quick once over for Lena to agree with her. The tip of her ring finger is covered in angry shades of purple and red hues and swollen significantly more than the rest.
“Oof, yeah, that looks like it hurts.”
Kara snorts her agreement.
“Okay, well, I still want to take a quick x-ray to make sure it’s actually broken and not just a really bad sprain,” Lena explains. When Kara nods along, Lena continues, “Let’s get you to an exam room.”
Lena leads her to an empty examination room and gently helps Kara to sit down on the bed.
“I’m going to go get the portable x-ray machine. It’ll only take a few minutes. A nurse may bring in some forms for you to sign while I’m gone.”
Kara nods again, and Lena notices that she’s biting down on her bottom lip.
“I’ll also make sure the nurse gets an IV line started so we can get you some meds in for the pain.”
Kara finally looks up to meet her gaze. Lena can see the relief spread through her face and azure eyes. Kara manages a small smile. “Thank you, Dr. Luthor.”
“Your eyes,” Kara comments as Lena steadies her hand on the x-ray detector.
“What about my eyes?”
Lena glances up and is instantly met with Kara staring intently at her. “You’re high off pain meds.”
“While that may be true, I’m pretty sure I would still find your eyes beautiful if I wasn’t.”
Lena can feel the blood rushing to her face at Kara’s lack of a filter. “Flatterer.”
Kara smiles a dopey smile, “It’s not flattery. It’s the truth. You’re stunning.”
In order to try and prevent her pale complexion from matching the shade of a tomato, Lena stands up from the stool she was sitting on.
“So, how did you manage to bang up your finger this badly?” Lena asks, changing the subject. She positions the x-ray machine above Kara’s hand and backs away. “Be sure to stay still.”
“My friend… well, my coworker… but we’re friends as well. She’s new. I’m sort of supposed to be her mentor. She studied under my mentor, and now she’s studying under me. It’s like a full circle type thing.”
A red blush covers Kara cheeks. “Right, sorry,” she smiles sheepishly.
Lena can’t tell if Kara’s rambling was because of the morphine or because she was just a natural rambler. She finds it endearing either way.
“Anyway, my friend and I were working. Looking for sources led us to a bank. We were walking out when I realized I left my notepad inside. You know how banks have those heavy glass doors? Well, I turned and went to stop the door with my hand, and-”
“You got your finger smashed in the door, ” Lena finishes for her, an amused grin on her face. She presses the button on the side of the x-ray to snap a picture of Kara’s hand.
“Yes,” Kara admits, ducking her head. “I am a total klutz. My sister is going to tease me so much.”
Lena’s laugh dies in her throat when Kara’s scan pops up on the monitor screen. Sure enough, there’s a fracture at the tip of her finger. Small, but there.
“There’s your fracture,” Lena announces. She blows the image up so Kara can get a better look.
“Geesh, that door must be really strong to break my finger like that,” Kara muses.
Lena smiles as she removes her latex gloves. She tosses them in the disposal bucket and makes her way to the door. “I’m gonna go find Stone Cold for a consult. She’s a bit of a hard ass, but one of our best ortho attendings. Just don’t mention the nickname. She doesn’t know we call her that.”
Kara doesn’t even try to stifle her laugh. “She knows.”
Cocking an eyebrow, Lena crosses her arms incredulously. “And how would you know that?”
Kara mimics her raised eyebrow. There’s a sly grin on her face and it makes Lena falter in her confident stance. “Did you ever ask me my last name? Or look at the paperwork I filled out?”
Lena swallows hard and picks up Kara’s chart from where it’s resting on the side counter. She skims over the sheet until her eyes land on what Kara was hinting at.
Name: Kara Danvers
Sex: Male | Female | Non-binary and/or genderfluid | Prefer not to say
Address: 1022 Hope St, Apt 4A, National City, CA, 90012
Lena clicks her tongue. “So you’re the famous wife that Dr. Danvers won’t stop talking about?”
“What? No! Gross!” Kara exclaims, gagging. “No, no, no. I’m Alex’s sister.”
“Now I feel dumb.”
Kara chuckles and gives her a shrug. “It’s all good.”
Lena spends far too long looking at Kara’s enchanting smile than appropriate. It takes over her entire face, reaching all the way up to her sparkly, blue eyes. There’s a light dusting of freckles that cover Kara’s cheeks, and a small scar next to her left eyebrow. Lena’s heart flutters because… Wow, Kara is the most beautiful woman Lena’s ever seen.
Her pager beeps, effectively breaking her out of her trance.
“Crap, I have to go,” Lena says, almost apologetically. “I’ll make sure to get Dr. Danvers to come down here. You just stay put.”
“And you stay gold, Ponyboy.”
Lena rolls her eyes.
Kara tilts her head, mouth wide in mock—or what Lena assumes is mock—offense. “Don’t tell me you don’t like The Outsiders.”
Lena shakes her head as she pulls the door handle down. “You’re insufferable, Kara Danvers.”
“And you’re stunning.”
When Lena makes her way back around to Kara’s exam room, she can hear Kara and Dr. Danvers in an apparent screaming match from the other side of the door.
“Kara, you have got to stop following this case. It’s dangerous.”
“I can’t just stop searching for the truth because things start looking dicey, Alex. These people deserve justice.”
“That’s the thing! It hasn’t just become dangerous. It’s always been dangerous, from the beginning. I’m not denying that the victims deserve justice, because they do, but it doesn’t have to be you giving it to them, Kara. You don’t have to put your life on the line for them.”
Before Kara can start up again, Lena knocks lightly on the door, then pushes it open. Kara is sitting on the edge of the bed. Her hand is resting on a small table. Dr. Danvers sits on the stool Lena previously occupied, hunched over the table. From the looks of it, she’s splinting Kara’s finger.
Both Danvers sisters swing their heads around to look at Lena. Kara gives her a smile, while Dr. Danvers’ face is tight and somewhat annoyed.
“Sorry to interrupt. I wanted to check back in with Kar—Miss Danvers,” Lena corrects herself. It’s proper bedside manner to refer to the patient by mister this, miss that. Even though Kara told her to call her by her first name, Dr. Danvers didn’t know that, and Lena cannot afford to slip up in front of her attending.
“It’s a non-displaced distal tuft fracture,” Dr. Danvers tells her with an exasperated tone. She stands up from the stool and shucks off her gloves. “I’ve already got her in a splint. She doesn’t need surgery, just someone to knock some sense into her.”
“Alex,” Kara irritatedly huffs.
Dr. Danvers looks at her sister like she’s about to punch her in the face. She starts to say something, then instead sighs and turns to face Lena.
“Dr. Luthor, can you please tell Miss Danvers that she’s being ridiculously reckless and that she should leave the crime-solving to actual police officers?”
Lena’s mouth opens, but Kara cuts in before she can say anything.
“No, Dr. Luthor, can you please tell Dr. Danvers that I’m doing my job and she needs to back off,” she emphasizes the final to words by raising her voice, glaring daggers at her sister.
Lena looks between the two of them, unsure on what to do. On one hand, Kara is her patient. As her doctor, it’s her job to do everything in her power to make her feel comfortable and respected. On the other hand, Dr. Danvers is her attending, therefore her boss, and could prevent her from further progressing as a surgeon.
She is conflicted, so she takes the easy way out.
“I’m afraid I don’t understand what’s happening here.”
“I’m a reporter,” Kara begins, “This woman came to me and told me she thinks her son got caught up in some sort of drug trafficking ring. She asked me to help get him out. In order to do that, I have to get all the details. Look for viable sources, get in contact with the higher-ups, find the ring leader.”
“Which is all very dangerous and shady, considering this guy has a higher body count than fucking Al Capone.”
“You can’t possibly know that, Alex.”
“And neither can you!” Alex shouts, startling both Kara and Lena from the volume of her voice. Realizing how loud she was, she takes a moment to collect herself.
“Look, I’m sorry. I worry about you, okay? This is serious shit, Kara. This isn’t just going out on the street, taking a poll of who likes chocolate ice cream over vanilla. People disappear looking into stuff like this. Kara, I can’t-”
Her next breath is a shuddering inhale and Lena’s chest constricts at the amount of vulnerability someone they’ve nicknamed Stone Cold is openly showing.
“The thought that you could become one of those people is overwhelming. I can’t stand it. I don’t know what I would do without you, Kara. I can’t lose you.”
Kara’s eyes are glossy with unshed tears by the end of Alex’s spiel, and when she blinks, they rush over the edge. It makes Lena’s heart ache.
“I’m sorry. I’ve never really looked at this from your perspective,” Kara says solemnly. “I promise I’ll be careful and I’ll be responsible, but I can’t stop working on this case.”
“—And you have to understand that- Wait, what?” Kara looks at Alex with a confused expression.
Alex gives her a weak smile. “I know you can’t, because you wouldn’t be you if you didn’t. You wouldn’t be my brave little sister, who wears her heart on her sleeve, diving head-first into danger just to help someone else.”
Alex turns to Lena again. It’s the first time either of them have acknowledged her presence in more than a couple of minutes.
“She’s always been this way. So reckless, so stupid,” Alex lists as if Kara isn’t right next to her. “Anyway, Dr. Luthor, can you make sure Kara gets properly admitted and into an actual room. She needs to finish the rest of her IV and she won’t be able to leave for a few hours because of the morphine.”
Lena’s already nodding her head when Kara pipes up.
“What? No. I need to get back to work. I have articles I need to finish before my deadline,” Kara whines. Lena can’t seem to suppress the smile that spreads across her face.
“You better get voice dictation because you’re not going to be able to type with that broken finger any time soon,” Lena tells her, half joking, half serious.
Kara scoffs, but finds herself in some sort of staring contest with Lena again. She isn’t sure of Kara’s reasoning for the stare down, but Lena finds herself unable to look away. She hates the way her heart races in her chest, and the butterflies that begin to stir.
But what Lena hates the most is the stupidly charming grin on Kara Danvers’ face.