Kara stood in front of the flower stand like she had for the past half-hour: hand on chin, weight shifting from foot to foot, grumbling and muttering as she came up with, analyzed, and crossed-out possibilities.
She wanted to give Lena flowers. They were so much like her: smelled good, were beautiful and there was something unique to them that meant any other gift just didn’t compare, just like there may be many Luthors but none compare to her.
Kara reconsidered the options for the nth time, wondering once again if she was being too picky. She had to get this right; Lena deserved nothing less. But what is perfect for a woman who is as flawless as she, someone whose weaknesses make her even more beautiful and perfect to the point you wonder if the term truly applies.
Roses had been considered and rejected. There was something overtly romantic about them, and despite Kara's desire to move their relationship from friendship to something more intimate, she had never gotten a straight answer from Lena about her sexuality. Though Kara knew there were girls in Lena’s life - during those days away at boarding school - Kara also knew how common it was for women to e xperiment while away from home for the first time, so that really did not mean much. Not enough to risk the possibility of damaging the relationship they'd had for years, or at least making it awkward.
The lack of certainty was enough to move roses to the reject pile.
Lilies were definitely right out of the running. She’d definitely go for those if Lena had given her a clue of whether or not she stood a chance of getting a yes to asking her out. Ever since Sappho had written poetry in which they featured, they’d become an obvious hint for being gay that Kara felt might be off the mark. She wasn’t coming out to Lena, she was asking her out, after all.
‘ Daisies, maybe? ’ That idea was dismissed as quickly as it came. ' Yeah, no. I don't want her to think I’m courting her with another girl's name. '
Carnations made Kara think of high school secret admirers. The pink ones that mean “I will never forget you” could do the trick… maybe. They had a lovely two-toned selection, but the last thing Kara wanted to say was "I cannot be with you," so she moved on.
Dahlias weren’t what they used to be since that gruesome murder spree so many years ago, but they were a lovely bud. They represented elegance, inner strength, and creativity, ll of which suited Lena. However they were also the flowers of dignity and pomp which was more suited to a college graduation than to… whatever it was Kara was trying to say.
Kara had always loved sunflowers. They were bright, had a cheery air about them, and like Kara, they always faced the sun. The trivia fact that fields of them looked to Spanish explorers like actual gold crossed her mind in a bout of non-linear thought that ended up reminding Kara that, unfortunately, that made them the symbol of false riches, something Kara is sure Lena could take that as an insult (and rightfully so).
‘Tulips… two lips… Lena’s two lips… my lips and Lena’s’— Kara shook her head, trying to dismiss the mental image and failing horribly ‘Yeah, I'm not going to be able to get that out of my head.’
Salvia, at last something Kara could work with. Blue salvia meant ‘thinking of you” but… these weren’t blue. They only had the red salvia, and those meant “forever mine”. Was the universe trying to tell Kara something? Or was it just another option to be discarded out of the obvious flaw that possessiveness was?
There was the amaryllis with its bright red and white bloom. It was a showy flower, so it was unsurprising that it was the symbol for pride. Lena certainly had plenty of reasons to be proud of all of her accomplishments, and Kara wanted to make sure Lena knew Kara was proud of her too; but pride, being the opposite of shame, was also symbolic of the LGBT community, so she decided to scratch another flower off the list.
Deflated, she sighed and said out loud in frustration “Man, being gay is hard.”
“Definitely,” A voice answered. Kara jumped where she stood, and it was then Kara realized she said that out loud. “Wouldn’t change it for the world, though.”
Kara made a quick assessment of her: About her height, black and with the coolest cornrow braids she’d ever seen; a nose ring on her right side, she wore an apron with the name of the shop over her casual clothes: Jane’s Terrarium .
“Hi-uh,” Kara waved from afar awkwardly, as she tried to find words that would justify her presence here. “I’m Kara.”
“Hello, Kara.” The woman returned the gesture more confidently, a kind but tight smile on her lips. “I’m Jane. How can I help you this lovely day?”
“I’m flower shopping, shopping for flowers—” Kara mumbled, unable to determine if what was coming out of her mouth was making any sense. She sighed and settled on a simple explanation. “I’d like to buy some flowers, but like, the right flowers to send a message.”
“What would the message be?” the woman asked, tilting her head to the side slightly, the gesture greatly accentuated by the braids dangling behind her head.
The fact that Kara was hyperfixating on this sort of detail told Kara much of her nervousness, and before she went down a slippery slope of unending babbling she blurted out, “I am still kind of determining that.”
“Who is the lucky person?” A light shone in the woman’s eyes, like she held the answer and it was just a matter of time before Kara learned it too. This was quite reassuring if Kara was honest with herself.
“She’s-uh,” the Kryptonian let out an energetic exclamation of ‘Ha’ that was half laughter, half giddiness at the thought of Lena.
“That bad, huh?” The woman smiled amused but not at Kara, rather at how lovesick the blonde looked at the mere thought of her person. “I’m the same with my wife, don't worry about gushing.”
“Oh, I could do that for days and nights, but you have a shop to keep and I’ve got to make a choice some time this century,” Kara joked, eliciting laughter from both of them. “She’s, uh, heck, where to start?”
“Let’s start with the basics.” Jane put her hands inside her apron, making her look friendlier so easily. “What’s she like? Can you describe her personality in single words?”
“Brilliant,” Kara started her arm-long list of qualities she associates with Lena “Kind… Definitely Goddess-like.”
“Are you sure you’re not describing my wife?” Jane’s pearly teeth shone in the afternoon light as she smiled at the joke; a joke Kara didn’t hear, too enraptured in her mind’s eye vision of Lena.
“She’s suffered a lot, and that’s made her stronger, but she can’t see that sometimes which breaks my heart,” Kara admitted, a certain light in her eyes that Jane recognized as that feeling of ‘ I wish I could’ve been there for her then. ’
“That is, unfortunately, something I know all too well.” Jane patted Kara’s back lightly, feeling a strong kinship with the blonde over this. “The thing is, or so I tell myself under orders from my therapist, to be there for them from now on.”
“She’s also super nice, and like—” Kara cheered up all of the sudden. “Kapow when you meet her.”
“Kapow, huh?” Jane nodded, as she fought back a laugh that could be interpreted as cruel given how loud it threatened to be.
“Yeah, I know it’s—” Kara gesticulated randomly and awkwardly; hoping her meaning of ‘ Random thing to say ’ was, somehow, carried across.
“No, it’s okay. I get you.” Jane spoke with great determination, furthering her statement by raising a finger in a clear indication of having an idea. “I think I have something for her. What do you want to say to her exactly?”
“I respect you,” Kara started to say, doubtful and then rushed the last part of her meaning in pure shyness, “I’ll be here for you if you say no, but please-date-me.”
“She better say yes,” Jane said as she went to the door of her store “Few people put so much thought into buying flowers which makes you special and her even more so.”
“Really?” Kara asked, as she followed the shop owner. “You’d think people would like to, you know, make the right impression when they give flowers to someone.”
“Yeah, but you’d also think they’d actually think before doing stuff, yet five minutes in Google, and you’ll know a lot about all the reckless things people do everyday.” Jane shook her head, walking ahead of Kara fast and going straight for a bouquet of purple flowers.
“These are irises,” Jane explained, as Kara eyed the bouquet with the curiosity of someone who had never seen flowers of this kind before. “They’re the flowers of royalty. They represent wisdom and respect.”
“Wisdom and respect,” Kara repeated, entranced by the meaning revealed to her. It made sense, and she felt at ease. She saw wisdom in Lena all the time, and she did respect her. “Anything to go along with these that could say ‘I like you, like like you like you?’”
“Yourself,” Jane pointed, out amused. “The flowers can only do so much, and if I know anything about lesbianism -which I do-” Jane raised her hand and showed Kara her wedding ring, doing the hand motion popularized by Beyonce’s Single Ladies . “If you don’t outright say it, it’ll go over her head.”
Kara pouted. She knew she could be thickheaded sometimes, especially when it came to humans and their customs, which still confused her, and she found herself learning the caveats of even to this day, so many years since her arrival, but she felt deep inside her that Jane was right. Which meant Kara would have to actually talk to Lena about her feelings which was never nice. Especially because her feelings for Lena left any word in any language in the dust so unique the Kryptonian felt they were.
“I don’t think she’d miss it.” Kara held Lena in the highest of regards (naturally), and the businesswoman might not know the meaning of flowers outright, but the reporter knew Lena was a curious woman and trusted Google would deliver her meaning if Lena’s attention was roused-which she knew it would be given the fact Kara had never given her would-be girlfriend flowers.
‘ Would-be girlfriend, ’ Kara thought to herself ‘ It has a ring to it. ’
Thoughts of rings and weddings flooded Kara’s mind suddenly, and she had to quite literally shake those out of her head. She was jumping too far ahead of herself, and she found it a bit worrisome to do that when she didn't even know if Lena liked women.
“Oh, trust me, she’d miss it by a mile.” Jane nodded, smiling amused at a private joke she knew of. “You wouldn’t believe the things I know. Not to name names, but I know this girl who has a lot of money. She likes this other girl, and the other day, she filled her office with flowers, and all she got was a friendly ‘I can’t believe you did that.’”
“What?!” Kara exclaimed, surprised at the obliviousness described. “An office full of flowers and not even a ‘Hey, wanna go out?’. That woman with the money? She deserves someone smarter.”
“Definitely.” Jane furthered her agreement with a wave of her hand “But homegirl says that her boo missed the meaning because she’s from Europe or something.”
“Nobody misses an office full of flowers,” Kara spoke around her mouth sputtering in disbelief, “unless someone just died or any other major event that would get you flowers sent in massively.”
“Told her that but—” Jane stopped mid-sentence. Behind Kara, the door opened and before she could turn around to see who it was, the voice of Lena Luthor filled Kara with both dread and ease in quite the mix of emotions.
“Oh, hi, Lena!” Kara tried to greet her love interest eagerly but in a cool fashion, sounding in the end a bit panicked -which meant Kara was doing a mighty fine job of holding her inner panic at the fact that Lena had, of all places in National City, walked in here.
“Hello, Kara.” Lena gave the blonde a quick once over and noticed the flowers the reporter was holding. With a hint of smile that definitely wasn’t friendly, the billionaire asked “Who’s the lucky guy?”
“Girl,” Jane corrected. “Kara here wants to ask a girl out, but she wants the flowers to do it for her. I’m telling her, like I told you, that she needs to tell her, or else she’ll just pass it off as friendship.”
“Oh, well,” Lena said, a bit amused for some reason, “one can only try, right? I wanted to check in on my order.”
“You could’ve called or had Jess call me,” Jane retorted, a smile on her face that told Kara the shop owner had just learned something neither of them could tell.
“Yes, well, you know me. I prefer a personal approach to things when it comes to details,” Lena said, not moving her eyes from Kara’s figure.
“Another office full of flowers,” Jane quasi-chanted in a gentle manner, “lilies this time.”
Kara’s mouth fell open and the bouquet whined lamely as she crushed the stems with her super strength.
Many years later, a laughing Jane would recount this tale at their wedding, and nobody believed her, thinking there was no way those two were that stupid.