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In Your Arms

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There are many things they don’t talk about when Kara comes back from the Phantom Zone. 

It would feel ungrateful, almost, bringing up things like past lies and hurt and mistakes and betrayal in the face of a miracle. Because that’s what it feels like, right? Being back. Kara being back. A miracle.

So they don’t talk about it. They don’t discuss the changes in Lena’s life, her new status as a fully-fledged member of the superfriends (sans secret identity or silly costume, mind you, and she’d like for it to remain that way), or the complicated — and a bit uncertain — state of their friendship before and after Kara’s banishment.

And they don’t talk about the fact that Lena hasn’t slept in her own bed in weeks.

It started innocently enough. A game night lasting longer than it should have, friends leaving two by two, and Lena awkwardly mumbling something about late night walks and the night air being invigorating and good for your skin.

“I could fly you home.”

“No, no, don’t be silly, I’ll just—“

“You could stay.”

They didn’t talk about the silent please at the end of Kara’s offer, or the way Lena closed her eyes and breathed in the scent of Kara’s clothes when Kara told her to just grab something to sleep in from her dresser. When Lena walked out of the bathroom dressed only in an old Midvale High Athletics t-shirt, Kara was already in bed and the covers on the other side of the bed had been pulled back. 

They didn’t discuss that, either.

And now, five weeks later and on Lena’s thirty-sixth night in Kara’s bed, it would be weird to bring it up. So they just don’t.

Kara flies into the living room a bit after two in the morning and glances at her (their?) bed just to make sure Lena is where she’s supposed to be. Safe and sound on her (her) side of the bed. Kara doesn’t need superhearing to know Lena is not quite as asleep as she looks. Her eyes are closed but Kara knows if she listened — and she does, because the sound comforts and soothes her like nothing else can — she’d hear Lena’s heartbeat and the rhythm of her breaths that say she’s very much awake.

Kara doesn’t mention that. She doesn’t think she’d be able to fall asleep alone either, so she figures there’s no point in bringing it up. She just makes quick work of changing into her pajamas, leaves her glasses on her bedside table, and climbs under the covers Lena has pulled back for her.

Just like every other night.

It’s been twenty-two days since they last pretended their touches were accidental — that they were asleep when they ended up in each other’s arms. Now Kara simply finds her place against Lena’s back, one arm draped over Lena’s waist, and waits for Lena to turn around and wrap herself tightly around Kara, face immediately finding the crook of Kara’s neck.

They don’t talk, but Kara swears their feelings are so loud they may as well be screaming at the top of their lungs. Lena’s lips press against her neck, the hollow of her throat, the spot right behind her ear, and all Kara can hear is how glad Lena is to have her back. Lena’s fingers fist — one around soft strands of blond hair, the other around the well-worn fabric at the back of Kara’s top — and Kara feels a heady mixture of forgiveness and remorse washing over her. 

One of Lena’s legs slides between Kara’s, all soft warm skin and gentle pressure, and Kara nearly whispers she loves her, too. 

And Kara hopes Lena hears her, too. She hopes Lena hears the promise in Kara’s arms when they wrap tightly — protectively — around her, and the silent confessions in the way her skin warms under Lena’s touch. She hopes Lena struggles to keep herself from saying things out loud, too. She hopes Lena feels just how paper-thin the wall separating them from something else entirely — something far beyond friends sharing a bed — looks like when they’re in each other’s arms.

***

The sun has been out for nearly an hour and they’re both awake, but they’re not going to acknowledge that out loud. Lena’s breath comes in warm puffs against Kara’s neck and Kara’s fingertips trace lazy patterns up and down Lena’s spine, skin to skin under the fabric of that Midvale High t-shirt that’s been Lena’s for weeks. It’s not daytime until they get up and talk, they’ve wordlessly decided somewhere in the last thirty-seven days. They can make the night stretch just a little bit longer if they stay like this.

Kara is so focused on the way Lena’s breath catches in her throat when Kara’s hand goes just a little lower than the small of her back that she doesn’t sense Alex’s presence until her key is unlocking the door. She feels Lena tense in her arms, but neither of them moves. 

“Hey, I brought donuts!” Alex’s voice hits the bubble around the (their) bed but somehow doesn’t shatter it. “Figured we could have breakf—“

Lena’s face is still tucked against Kara’s neck when Alex’s wide eyes meet Kara’s. There’s a moment of surprise — not quite shock, just surprise — and then understanding as Alex nods, just once, and walks away.

Kara sighs first, as soon as the door closes behind Alex, and she immediately feels Lena relax in her arms. She knows Alex will want to talk about this — she’ll want to talk about it at length — but when she feels Lena’s lips pressing against her neck once again, Kara knows  there’s no reason to worry about it just yet.