It seems to Kara that Lena’s love language is gift giving. If the flowers in her office were a sign, if her birthday presents for the last few years pointed to anything, if all the food Lena bought her was evident of something, it was obvious. Lena showed her love with extravagant gifts, things she knew the people in her life would love, that would make it so very clear that she loved them. It worked obviously, Kara had never once doubted that Lena cared about her. The problem was, Lena’s birthday was coming up, and Kara had no idea what to get her.
She wanted it to be perfect, because Lena was one of the most important people in her life, and it was clear that gift giving was very important to her. But Lena was filthy rich. She had millions of dollars, and could buy whatever she wanted. And she usually did. So Kara was just a bit stumped. What do you get for the girl who had everything?
Kara had considered filling her office with flowers, but she didn’t want to copy Lena, and as it turns out, flowers were wildly expensive. Lena really went all out.
She had considered clothes and a thousand tubes of Lena’s favourite lipstick, but that didn’t seem personal, it was materialistic, and not something from the heart.
Finally she considered jewelry, but again, it was expensive, and part of Kara was terrified of making a gesture that could come off as blatantly romantic.
Of course her feelings were romantic, but she wasn’t sure she was ready to tell Lena that, so jewelry was struck off the list.
Which left Kara with absolutely nothing. And Kara prided herself on being a good gift giver, so she absolutely had to figure this out.
The very issue plagued Kara for weeks, maybe even months before the day was to come.
One night, three weeks before Lena’s birthday, she and Lena are curled up on the couch together, watching a movie, when it crosses her mind. She’s almost panicky, it feels so close now, and she still has nothing, but she forces herself to ignore the growing fear, and watch the movie with her best friend. They’re watching some romcom, one Kara has definitely seen before, which is good, because she rarely pays attention to anything other than her own thoughts and Lena when she’s here.
On the screen, the man just declared his love for the main character, through a dramatic, well-rehearsed, romantic, tear-jerker of a speech. Lena lets out a little gasp, and Kara can’t help but immediately turn her eyes to her. There’s tears glistening in Lena’s eyes, and she’s completely enraptured on the screen. It has to be the most adorable thing Kara’s ever seen. She knew Lena had a secret guilty pleasure for these movies, but she loves actually seeing her get lost in them. It makes her so happy, she knows Lena doesn’t get like this with anyone else, and she feels so special.
Her fear over Lena’s birthday gift disappears, because nothing is more important than this moment.
Two weeks before Lena’s birthday, at game night, Kara realizes she still hasn’t come up with an idea for her gift. Once again, she starts freaking out, but she and Lena are in the middle of absolutely dominating their friends at Monopoly, so she can’t let her fear get the best of her. Not now, not when it can throw off her game.
Lena and Kara have decimated the group, knocking out their friends until their only opponents left were Nia and Brainy. That team tended to be their hardest competition, Brainy was a twelfth level intellect after all, but Kara had faith in herself and Lena. Lena had all the business skills in the world, and together, their charisma was unmatched. They had beat Brainy and Nia countless times, and Kara knew today would be no exception.
Sure enough, Brainy and Nia find themselves on Boardwalk, unfortunately owned by Lena and Kara, with a hotel to boot, and it sends them spiraling into bankruptcy. “I know that’s right!” Kara says, as Brainy counts out all of their money, still failing to pay the exceedingly high rent.
“God I’m glad that’s over with,” Alex sighs, “why do we even play that game? Lena always wins.”
Kara huffs. “You’re just jealous you don’t have Lena on your team.”
“Obviously,” Alex says, “no one other than you two have been able to win Monopoly in like five years, so yeah maybe I would like to get a taste of the winning team.”
“Too bad,” Kara says, wrapping an arm around Lena’s shoulders, “she’s mine.”
“We know,” Alex says, rolling their eyes, but it doesn’t matter to Kara.
She turns her eyes to Lena, and the smile on her face is all worth it. Lena’s blushing a little bit, clearly touched by the conversation, by everyone wanting her around, and it makes Kara’s heart soar. There’s nothing she wants more than for Lena to feel comfortable, happy, safe and wanted.
Lena deserves love, after everything she’d been through.
One week before Lena’s birthday, Kara figures it out. They’re at the alien bar, and Lena’s late for drinks, and it’s making Kara nervous. She doesn’t like when Lena doesn’t show up, she’s a punctual person, and lateness could mean something terrible has happened. Kara knows she shouldn’t jump to that conclusion, especially because if she focuses carefully enough, she can pick out Lena’s heartbeat throughout the noise of National City, and it's calm, moving at its regular rate.
That helps Kara stay rational, but she’s still getting antsy. Alex was playing pool with Kelly, Nia, Brainy and J’onn sat beside her discussing something that Kara hadn’t paid attention to in god knows how long, and she just wants to see Lena. She just wants to see Lena’s pretty smile, she just wants to see those gorgeous eyes, she wants to hear Lena tell her about her day, no matter how little Kara would understand about the business her best friend runs.
It doesn’t take long, before she knows it, Lena emerges through the doors, rushing quickly to their usual table. As soon as she looks up, meeting Kara’s eyes, a wide smile crosses her face. “Hi, I’m so sorry, I got held up in a meeting and then the traffic was awful,” Lena says, as she hangs up her coat and slides in beside Kara.
“It’s totally okay, I’m just so glad you’re here,” Kara says, her eyes never leaving her best friend, “I missed you.”
Somehow Lena’s face lights up even more, and that’s when it hits Kara. Despite the way Lena shows love, the way she prefers to receive love is different. She loves to give gifts, she loves to show her affection through grandiose presents, but clearly, she cherished something else way more. Words.
Kara runs through every time she’s ever used affectionate language towards Lena, and suddenly it all makes sense. Even Lena’s reaction to romantic speeches in movies clicks with absolute certainty. Lena needed words of affirmation.
And it made sense, given her childhood, Kara doubted Lillian took time out of her day to praise Lena, to shower her with love through her words. Lena probably craves these soft words, and Kara was more than happy to give them.
With that in mind, Kara’s idea for Lena’s birthday is suddenly obvious.
Lena wakes slow on her birthday, rolling over, expecting to meet Kara’s eyes, but is disappointed with nothing but still slightly warm sheets and… the crunch of paper.
Kara had spent the night after they’d had a movie night, and the idea of seeing her first thing on her birthday had made Lena so happy, but alas it seems she won’t get her wish. She does seem to have some sort of note though, if the paper is anything to go on. Lena rolls back over, grabbing the paper and unravelling it. She’s met with Kara’s handwriting, and a letter dedicated to her.
I’m sorry to leave you on the morning of your birthday, but I have something planned, so I had to go. I hope you don’t mind. If everything goes well, I’ll see you very soon :)
The little smiley face makes Lena smile wide, distracting her from her disappointment over Kara not being here.
I spent so long trying to figure out what to get you for your birthday. You’re so good at giving gifts, I had no idea how to top it. I thought your love language was gift giving, and I really wanted to make sure I knocked it out of the park.
But the more I thought, the more I realized I don’t think your love language is gift giving. I think when you give love, that’s the easiest way for you to do it, but I think when you receive love, there’s another way you’d like to receive it. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I think to you, love is words.
I paid attention to you, the last few weeks, I mean, I always do, but as I tried to figure out what you’d want, I paid extra careful attention. I saw the way you lit up during movies with romantic speeches, I saw the way you smiled when Alex wanted you on your team. I saw the utter joy in your face when I told you I missed you and I was glad you made it to the bar the other night.
And after all that, I thought back, I remembered the way you’d reacted to my articles, the way you’d smile after a simple thanks. It became really obvious quite quickly, you just like to hear that we love you. That we appreciate you. That we want you around. And so that’s what this is.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tell you all this, I really wasn’t going to. But knowing that it's probably something you’d like to hear, I decided to tell you.
I love you.
I know what you’re thinking. Obviously Kara, we’ve been best friends for the better part of a decade, I hope you love me, but it's more than that. I’m fully, totally, completely, honestly in love with you. Like in the romantic sense, if you didn’t get that.
I’ve felt this way for a long time, and I’ve been too terrified to tell you, but I thought this would be a good gift. If it’s not, I’m sorry, I hope I haven’t ruined your birthday.
But if it is a good gift, I’d love to kiss you. God, even just writing that is giving me butterflies. I’m at my apartment, the rest of your birthday is prepared here, the door’s unlocked.
I love you. I hope that’s okay.
Lena doesn’t hesitate. She doesn’t even change her clothes. She just grabs her keys and dashes out of her apartment.
Ever since Kara left the note, she’s been shaking. She hasn’t been able to get a hold of herself. She’s been attempting to make french toast for the last hour, and well, she’s not a great chef normally. But she’s been half successful, with two slices of toast on the plate, and a carton of cut strawberries. It was a good thing she was invincible though, because she definitely would’ve sliced her finger off in the process.
She’s attempting to shake icing sugar onto their breakfast without it coating her kitchen when she hears it.
Lena’s heartbeat, just outside the door, absolutely racing.
Everything Kara’s been preparing for the last week is about to come to fruition. Lena is mere steps away, and she knows Kara loves her. It had the potential to change everything, both negatively or positively, Kara isn’t sure.
Then, the door creaks open, and Lena walks in, a sense of purpose in her strut. It reminds Kara of her business walk, but the smile on her face betrays her. “Hi,” Kara says, and it’s all she can come up with. Her mind won’t let her form anymore words.
But lucky for her, she doesn’t need to say anything at all. Lena crosses the room, and plants her lips on Kara’s. For a moment, Kara doesn’t respond, just because she’s so shocked this is even happening, but it doesn’t take long. She does have super speed after all. Lena’s hands pull Kara’s ponytail free, and Kara’s hands tighten around Lena's waist. It’s perfect.
Lena’s lips are soft, softer than Kara ever could’ve imagined. Her hands threading through Kara’s hair with just a slight tug makes her feel almost insane. It’s all the passion, the utter certainty. Kara’s never had a first kiss like this, and she knows she’ll never have one ever again. This was it.
Eventually, Lena pulls away, they both need air, they need oxygen, even though Kara thinks Lena’s lips might just be keeping her alive at this point. “Kara...I,” Lena says, attempting to catch her breath, “your letter. Wow.”
“Did you like it?” Kara asks, not realizing how stupid that question sounds, she’s just too fucking starstruck.
“Kara, god, I
it, it was the greatest thing I’ve ever read,” Lena says, cupping Kara’s cheeks in her hands, “I love
, thank you.”
Kara just blushes, and Lena leans in to kiss her again.
The rest of the day was perfect, spent with their best friends, and all their favourite foods, and Kara had even gotten Lena flowers.
Later, when they’re laying in bed, wrapped up in each other, the only words Lena can find are, “this was the best birthday I’ve ever had.”