Kara takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly as she stands outside Alex and Sam’s front door, Lena at her side.
“Are you sure about this?” Lena asks, looking calm and collected but Kara can hear her heart is beating faster than normal too. “You know we don’t have to do this, right?”
Kara shakes her head. “No, we’re going to. If I have to hear one more time about how ‘William is a great guy’ and how ‘I should just give him a chance,’ I’m going to lose it.”
“Okay then,” Lena smiles, making Kara’s heart beat for a different reason. “Let’s do this.”
Maybe if her friends paid a little more attention, they’d see that she is interested in someone else.
But that’s irrelevant right now, they only thing that’s relevant is convincing her friends that she already has a girlfriend in the hopes they might give her some breathing space for a little while.
“Let’s do this,” Kara nods. She reaches for Lena’s hand but ends up fumbling as Lena tries to wrap her hand around Kara’s while Kara tries to intertwine their fingers. “Sorry…ummm…,” Kara continues, completely pulling her hand away, cheeks red.
They’re not off to a good start, maybe they should just call it now, she’s seen the movies, pretending to date someone never ends well.
Lena huffs out a laugh, her own cheeks stained red too. “We’re best friends…this shouldn’t be that hard, right? Here.” Lena holds out her hand in invitation and Kara takes it, threading their fingers together.
It’s a little cliché, but Kara can’t help but think as their hands drop to sway between them, that it feels like Lena’s hand belongs in hers.
“Finally!” Alex calls, as soon as they enter the apartment.
They both freeze in the doorway.
How on Earth could Alex have figured it out so quickly? They may be holding hands but she thought she’d have to make out with Lena or something to convince her they were together and she’s not secretly in love with William like everyone seems to think.
“I’m starving, we can finally order dinner now that you two are here,” Alex says, Kara almost disappointed now that Alex didn’t figure it out on sight because that would’ve been a lot easier than her having to actually say the words herself.
“We were thinking Thai food,” Alex continues, as Kara and Lena properly enter the apartment.
“No, you were thinking Thai food,” Winn cuts in from across the room and suddenly everything feels normal again and Kara feels herself relaxing with the bickering that starts.
It feels just like any other game night, with the exception that Lena is still holding her hand and they have to tell their friends they’re dating. But they’ll just throw that into conversation and hopefully everyone will believe it’s real and move on and that’ll be the end to the interest everyone has taken in her dating life recently.
“Fine, we’ll get pizza and Thai food,” Alex relents, Kara tuning back into the conversation now that a decision has been made. “Is everyone okay with that?”
Kara nods in agreement with everyone else, for once not focused on food, which is honestly a first for her. But Lena’s hand is still warm in hers and she’s very much enjoying how their fingers are tangled together. Plus, they probably should’ve discussed how they were going to tell everyone about their new ‘relationship’ because now she’s not sure exactly how they should handle telling their friends.
The holding Lena’s hand part feels more important right now though.
“You okay?” Lena whispers quietly, and it’s only then that Kara realises she’s just been standing there, watching the group as they now argue over who is going to order dinner.
Kara turns, green eyes closer than she’s expecting. “I’m good,” Kara smiles, because even though there might be some surprise and confusion when the tell everyone they’re dating, Kara is still going to have a good evening because she gets to spend it with her friends, sister, and Lena.
Lena’s smiling too, the evening already surpassing ‘good’ and going straight to ‘great’ because any night where Lena smiles at her like that is a great night in her books.
“No fucking way!”
Kara startles, jumping back from Lena with the shout across the room. This time, it can’t just be about the food.
And it’s not, Kara immediately realises, because Alex’s eyes are now flickering between the two of them, down to their joined hands.
Kara is actually impressed if her sister has figured it out this quickly and on her own because the only thing they’re doing differently from any other time they spend together is the fact that they’re still holding hands.
“Are you guys serious?” Alex asks, eyes still darting between them.
“What?” Kara asks, just as Lena leans over and says, “darling, I think they know,” loud enough for everyone else to hear too.
“Are you two dating?” Alex asks, looking far more excited than Kara thought anyone would be by this news when Kara nods.
Kara had thought about how this moment would go when Lena had first suggested this little ruse. She’d thought about how she’d like to say the words, how she’d like to tell everyone they are dating. She’d thought about how everyone would be surprised, whether they found out through their own detective skills or Kara saying the words. She’d thought about how she might have to convince everyone it was real and a good idea to date her best friend.
What she doesn’t expect is for Alex to lean across the table to high five Nia.
“I told you it would work,” Nia grins.
“What?” Kara asks, as Sam gets a high five too.
What is going on? Kara’s clearly missed something. She glances at Lena. At least she looks just as confused.
“We were hoping you two would figure things out on your own,” Alex starts. “But since Lena outright refused to make a move.” Kara catches a look between Sam and Lena that she doesn’t quite understand but Lena’s heart rate has picked up speed again. “And, you, Kara, are entirely oblivious, we had no choice but to push you towards William.”
“Wait, I…you know I’m dating Lena, right? Not William?” Kara asks. This conversation is hardly making sense but, Rao, even just saying the words feels like so much, and only makes Kara want them to be real even more.
“Yes,” Nia laughs, picking up Alex’s conversation. It really seems like they were all in on it, though Kara’s not sure what they were all in on in the first place.
“I think our friends were trying to set us up together,” Lena says, this time a lot quieter, the words just meant for Kara. Kara glances to her side again and Lena no longer looks confused. She looks nervous, and maybe a little hopeful.
All Kara feels is confusion.
What does William have to do with anything and how does anyone even know she likes Lena, she definitely kept that close to her chest. She hasn’t even told Alex, even if the words had been on the tip of her tongue so many times. But saying the words makes it real, letting it out into the universe only reminds her that she could never be with Lena.
That’s not what her friends think though, if they’ve all been trying to set them up.
Alex seems to take pity on her, the confusion still on Kara’s face. The slow tone Alex adopts makes it sound like she’s trying to explain something to a child. “We all know you both have feelings for each other, so we tried to set you up with William to either make Lena jealous so she’d ask you out, or we were hoping to annoy you enough that you’d just ask Lena out instead.”
Well, maybe her feelings weren’t so secret after all.
But they all must be wrong about the other part, because there’s no way that Lena could like her too, right?
Because Lena, well, she’s Lena.
And she’s just Kara.
And there is not a reason that Kara can think of that Lena would like her too.
Kara’s hand suddenly feels extra warm in Lena’s. She knows Lena was the one to suggest they fake date but Kara’s suddenly conscious of making Lena uncomfortable. Lena wouldn’t have suggested this if she’d known about Kara’s feelings.
Before Kara can slip her hand from Lena’s and apologise, Lena’s speaking. But not to blow their cover like Kara’s expecting.
“That seems like an extremely roundabout way to try and get us together,” Lena says. She looks calm and collected but Kara can still hear how fast her heart is beating.
Kara envies her, how does she stay so composed like that?
Sam shrugs. “It worked, didn’t it?”
“It did.” Lena narrows her eyes at Sam. “But because you tried to deceive us, we’re getting Chinese food for dinner instead, with an extra large side of potstickers, as compensation for meddling in our relationship.”
“Shouldn’t we be getting a reward for getting you two idiots together?” Alex protests.
“You just called us idiots so no,” Lena says, Kara poking her tongue out at Alex as she pouts.
Kara isn’t entirely sure what’s happening now but Lena is acting unaffected by recent events, so Kara follows her lead, tugging Lena over to the couch using their still joined hands. They’re definitely going to need to talk about this later but for now, it seems like they’re going to continue with the current lie.
If the superfriends find out, Kara knows there’ll be teasing, so it’s better to keep it up until she can talk to Lena alone and hope their friendship hasn’t been ruined.
Alex reluctantly orders Chinese food for dinner, Kara taking some satisfaction in that at least. She’s not sure where this night sits on the ‘good’ to ‘great’ scale anymore. Potstickers are tipping it towards ‘great’ but her feelings for her best friend being revealed like this has the possibility to send it towards ‘disastrous’ instead.
“You okay?” Lena asks again when the attention is finally off them, Kara pressed close to Lena’s side on the couch, like any other normal game’s night.
“Yeah,” Kara lies. “Are you?”
“Yeah,” Lena smiles.
Right now, the night still sits at ‘great.’
Everything’s going well, it’s been a normal night since the rocky start. Lena won monopoly, Kara ate too many potstickers and Winn nearly cried when he lost Mario Kart.
Her favourite part, by far, is the fact that since they started playing charades, Lena’s hand has sat warm in hers, fingers tangled together as they watch Alex and Sam take their turn.
She really doesn’t want this night to end, because once it ends and they talk, they’re going to, best case, go back to being friends, which means no more holding Lena’s hand and worst case, Lena never wants to see her again.
She’s pretty sure she’s overthinking the worst case, because Lena is still here, but that’s a fear that’s sat in her chest since she realised she was in love with her best friend, and it’s a hard fear to shake because she doesn’t want to imagine her life without Lena in it.
Kara pushes down that fear because their relationship has survived so much, she knows it could survive this if Lena’s feelings are strictly platonic.
But then there’s the other thought that’s been on her mind all evening.
What if Lena’s feelings aren’t strictly platonic?
Lena leans over and whispers the answer to what Sam is currently trying to tell Alex through the waving of her hands, Lena’s breath warm as it ghosts over the side of her face.
Suddenly it’s too much, because all Kara has been able to think about all night is their friend’s words and what if they’re right? What if Lena does like her too? What if she could just turn her head right now and meet red lips and Lena would let her.
“I’m going to get some snacks,” Kara says, jumping up too quickly.
Alex waves her hands in her direction, tells her to be quiet because she still can’t guess what Sam is trying to mime, but Kara doesn’t care, she just wants some chocolate and a chance to breath some air that doesn’t smell like her best friend’s shampoo.
She should’ve known Lena would follow her.
“Are you okay?” Lena asks, green eyes filled with soft concern, hand hovering like she’s about to reach out but changes her mind as it falls back to her side instead.
“I just wanted some more food,” Kara lies, fingers reaching up to adjust her glasses. Lena’s eyes follow the movement and Kara knows she’s busted. Lena can always see through her lies.
Lena sighs. “This isn’t how I wanted you to find out I like you.”
Kara’s breath catches.
“I want you to know that when I suggested we pretend to be a couple, I had no ulterior motive, I just wanted to help you because you seemed so upset and annoyed by the whole William thing. I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable, that was never my intention.”
“You didn’t make me uncomfortable.” She made Kara feel a lot of things, but uncomfortable was never one of them.
Kara watches as her words make Lena visibly relax, her shoulders falling with relief.
It hits her all at once. Despite everyone’s meddling, Lena isn’t sure of Kara’s feelings for her in return.
“Do you want to know what I like?” Kara asks, reaching out to take Lena’s hand, threading their fingers together. There’s no point in denying it, everyone in the room knows how she feels about Lena, except apparently the woman herself.
“What?” Lena asks, and there’s that hope in her eyes again.
Rao, she’s beautiful.
“I like holding your hand,” Kara starts, squeezing their still joined hands. “I like when you laugh and your nose scrunches up. I like how you have the kindest and biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. I like that even though you have a pile of cookbooks in your apartment, you can’t cook to save yourself.” Now that Kara’s started, she doesn’t want to stop, especially with every passing sentence, Lena’s answering smile is growing softer. “I like how close you and my sister are. I like how one smile from you, makes everything ok. I like that you’re shorter than me, the perfect height to hug. I like how you pretend to like kale just because it’s good for you, even though I know you hate it as much as me.”
“That’s a lie,” Lena cuts in with a laugh, but Kara’s not done.
“I like that I can just be myself around you, that I don’t have to pretend to be dumb or weak and you don’t laugh when I don’t know something because I’m not from this planet. I like how you secretly love bad jokes just as much as I do. I like that you make me feel things I never thought I’d find with another person on Earth.”
There are tears in Lena’s eyes now, threatening to spill.
Lena bites her bottom lip, which is a little unfair because that’s exactly what Kara wants to do right now. “That’s a lot of things to like.”
“And that’s not even all of them,” Kara smiles. “But the important part is that I like you too.”
Lena tucks a strand of lose hair behind her ear. Kara’s jealous of that hand too. “This is not how I saw tonight going,” Lena admits.
“Fake dating never goes well in the movies, we should’ve known,” Kara says. Not that Kara’s complaining about the recent turn of events, especially not when she sees Lena’s eyes fall to her lips.
Fingers brush Kara’s jaw and her breath catches, stays stuck in her throat as soft skin trails across hers until Lena’s hand ends up settled on her jaw.
“Can we drop the ‘fake’ part of this then and can I take you out for dinner tomorrow night?” Lena asks, Kara can see the nerves in her smile, hear it in the anxious beat of her heart.
“Will you bring me flowers?”
Lena rolls her eyes. “Last time I filled your office with flowers, you didn’t realise I had feelings for you, so will you this time?”
Kara frowns. “Those were romantic flowers?”
“Darling, I didn’t think I was being subtle.”
Rao, she really has been blind. Maybe they did need their friends to push them into this if she’s missed Lena’s feelings for so long.
“I like it when you call me, ‘darling’,’” Kara says instead, because the past doesn’t matter, all that matters is where they are right now.
And where they are right now is Lena’s eyes darting down to her lips again.
Kara’s the one that actually leans forward first, but she gives Lena the chance to either close the rest of the gap or pull away.
Lena doesn’t pull away, she leans forward, the breath being stolen from Kara’s lungs as lips meet hers, warm and soft and perfect.
The kiss itself isn’t perfect, not at first, they stumble a moment before finding their rhythm, but then they do, Lena’s hand sliding into her hair and Kara dropping Lena’s other hand in favour of winding her hands around Lena’s waist, pulling her close. Kara feels like she’s about to float away with how happy she feels right now, and if she does, she wants to take Lena with her.
Kara had been right before, she’s had her fair share of kisses, some with people she’d thought she’d loved, but no one makes her feel anything close to how she feels right now.
No one has made her feel anything like Lena does.
“I like your lips,” Kara mumbles into Lena’s mouth, causing the other woman to laugh. Kara almost regrets her words that broke their kiss but when she opens her eyes and finds Lena mere inches from her face, green eyes wide and dark, lipstick smeared across Lena’s lips, she finds she doesn’t care as much.
“If you two love birds are done, can we continue with the game?” Sam calls, startling them both apart. Kara had genuinely forgotten they weren’t alone, and it seems like Lena had too, judging by the red that spreads across her cheeks and down her neck before she buries her face in Kara’s shoulder.
“You guys set us up so you only have yourselves to blame,” Kara shrugs, and she’s a little embarrassed herself at being caught, but Lena just kissed her, she is currently pressed against her and they have a date tomorrow so Kara finds she doesn’t really care.
“Hurry up,” Winn chimes in. He looks ecstatic, and also a little embarrassed, by the current situation. “Or we’ll skip your turn and you won’t get any points.”
“That’s not fair!” Kara calls, making no move to untangle herself from Lena because she’s quite comfortable, thank you very much.
Unfortunately, Lena does move, but Kara’s not going to complain because after she pulls away, she leans in for another quick kiss.
Kara is never going to get tired of that.
Or get tired of the smile Lena is currently giving her.
Even if said smile is still smudged.
If anyone asks, Kara is reaching out just because she wants to fix Lena’s lipstick, but really she’s just doing it because she wants to touch Lena’s lips again. She runs her thumb across Lena’s lips in an attempt to fix the mess she’s made, wiping the lipstick from her mouth.
She really likes that it’s her fault that Lena’s lipstick is ruined.
“Come on,” Lena says, slightly breathless, but still smiling as she takes Kara’s hand. It feels so natural already, like something they’ve always done, not something that’s just started tonight. “Let’s go kick some ass, we can’t let Alex and Sam win by default.”
“I would definitely prefer kissing you some more,” Kara admits. “But I also don’t want Alex and Sam to again win this week.”
This time, Lena presses a kiss to her cheek instead. “There’ll be plenty of time for kissing later.”
“Is that a promise?”
Lena laughs, her nose doing that scrunching thing that Kara loves so much as she leads them back across the room.
“That’s definitely a promise.”