Jess does not like her.
She hasn’t said or done anything to explicitly state this, but Kara’s met her fair share of people who can only just hide their loathing for her and she knows what that looks like. It looks like tight forced expressions, arms crossed defensively, side-eyed glares. It’s Jess standing barely a foot behind her the entire time Lena takes her on the apartment tour, like a predator waiting to pounce. Kara’s not really sure what her deal is, but Lena is practically shaking with excitement and Kara is no longer a few hours away from homelessness so there really isn’t much that can bring her down right now.
“And you’ll see here you actually have a second floor with enough space for another bedroom or maybe an office-” Lena trails off as her phone rings, and she frowns at the name it displays. “I have to take this. Jess, will you show her the rest?”
Jess smiles and nods, her smile tight and her eyes furious. They watch Lena walk out and Kara tries not to gulp when the other woman’s eyes turn sharply on her.
“So, Jess,” she starts, only for Jess to take a few quick steps into Kara’s space, backing her against the wall.
“Listen here, you little hussy,” Jess says in a threatening whisper, “I don’t know what your game is, but it’s not happening, got that? I don’t know what you did to make Lena think you’re some godsend, but I see right through you. I know your type, and I’ve gotten rid of girls just like you before and I will gladly do it again, do you understand?”
Kara gulps. She most certainly does not understand.
Before she can formulate a response though Jess is taking a large step back and Lena is huffing back up the stairs.
“Sorry about that. Jess! Did you show Kara everything?”
Jess stares Kara dead in the eyes.
“Yep. Told her everything she needs to know.”
Kara can practically feel herself being murdered and she makes a mental note not to be alone with Jess ever, ever again.
“So, when are you planning to move in? I can get you a moving service if you’d like,” Lena says. Kara just laughs a bit.
“Oh I don’t need a moving service, I’m just gonna make Alex help me bring stuff over in her car. Speaking of which,” she glances at her phone’s lock screen, “I need to get going. I’m gonna get Alex and then pick Lucy up at the airport. Wanna come?”
Lena looks genuinely shocked at the invitation but nods quickly, muttering ‘yes yep sure yes’ quietly under her breath. Jess clears her throat and says,
“Wait wait, so let me get this straight: you’re gonna get in the car with this woman you just met? This same woman you’re giving an apartment to?”
Lena laughs at Jess’s bewilderment, saying,
“Jess, please. It’s Kara.”
In that moment Kara truly feels like her life is flashing before her eyes. If this were a cartoon, Jess’s head would be swelling with fiery anger and steam would be trickling out of her ears. Time to go.
“Alright well let’s get going, nice to meet you Jess bye!” she grabs Lena’s hand and practically bolts. Surely the property manager can lock up behind them, right? Lena follows along humming to herself when Kara laces their fingers together.
“So is this your car?”
At least this time Lena tries to hide her discomfort, which Kara appreciates. In her defense though the mini van they’ve been driving since they were teenagers has certainly seen better days.
“Oh no, this is Alex’s. I don’t have a car.”
“Oh?” Lena’s tone is forced casualness, and a quick glance to the side shows her hunched a bit over her phone typing away.
“Lena,” Kara drawls, turning on to the highway, “do NOT buy me a car.”
Lena presses the phone against her chest to hide the screen, her face red.
“I- what? I’m not, don’t be ridiculous, Kara. Only a crazy person would do something like that.”
She types something else quickly and shoves her phone in her bag. Kara can’t help the tiny smile tugging at the corners of her lips. Her new friend Lena is absolutely bonkers, and honestly she’s kind of into it.
They drive in relative silence for most of the trip.
“The buildings here are so pretty,” Lena finally says, watching the skyline as they circle along on the defense highway.
And God, its been so long but she can’t stop the tidal wave of words that erupt from her explaining in detail the history of that building style, the inspiration she can clearly see in its structure and design. The words taste rusty in her mouth, like concepts from a dream she’d long woken up from. Lena just watches her with a wide-eyed sort of wonder.
“Wow,” she says, her voice high with appreciation, “you sure do know a lot about buildings.”
Kara laughs. They pull on to Alex’s block.
“I actually majored in that.” Seeing Lena’s confusion, she quickly adds, “Architectural engineering, with a physics minor.”
It feels weird to say after so long. Lena makes a small noise of approval, saying,
“That’s incredible. When did you graduate?”
She tightens her grip on the steering wheel, steeling herself. She tries for nonchalance.
“Oh, I didn’t.”
Thankfully before Lena can respond the back door flies open and Alex tumbles in.
“You’re late!” she says as greeting, and Kara’s gunning it before the door even fully closes.
“I know! I’m sorry! We lost track of time. Lena, this is Alex.” she gestures with a head tilt. Lena awkwardly sticks her hand back with a quiet ‘hello’.
Alex glances at her hand, smirks a bit, then shakes it.
“So you’re my sister’s mysterious new friend.”
Lena does her best impression of a fish while Kara glares at her sister in the rearview.
“Be nice, Alex. I’m giving you a ride to the airport, don’t harass Lena.”
Alex scoffs at that, “Yeah, in my car.”
“Would you rather drive yourself and not get to grope your girlfriend in the backseat?”
Now is Alex’s turn to be a fish.
“I - we aren’t going to grope each other, Kara! I am an adult. I can control myself.”
Kara doesn’t even dignify that with a response.
The airport is busy, so they drop Alex off and go in search of parking.
There’s only one lot at the airport and the flashing sign reads $10 PER HOUR. This is one of the things Kara hates most about this city; prices are outrageous for everything. She idles for a bit and just stares at the lot, thinking. Lena shifts beside her. Maybe they can just keep circling back on and off the highway until they come out? Though that may be a while. Maybe they can find a hidden place around the side to park? Hopefully no one will tow, Alex will murder her if she gets her car towed.
The car behind her honks long and hard.
“Kara,” Lena says in a low, imploring tone.
Lena gives her a look, and Kara concedes with, “Fine! But this is the last time you pay for something. This isn’t gonna become a thing, okay?”
Lena holds her hands up in surrender and smiles.
“Of course. It won’t be a thing.”
They catch up to Alex in the lobby. She’s pacing and muttering to herself about missed flights or sudden redeployments. Lucy’s plane is late it seems, and the help desk was decidedly unhelpful.
“She always gets like this when it comes to Lucy,” Kara whispers to Lena, who just nods thoughtfully. Alex tries to act unaffected most of the time, but there really is never a moment she isn’t worried about Lucy. Or Kara, for that matter. She’s always worried. Kara really needs to find her a therapist and some good weed, not necessarily in that order.`
“Incoming, Danvers!” a voice yells suddenly from behind, and they all turn to see a tiny woman decked in military camo sprinting towards them. Kara has only enough time to pull Lena out of the way before the small soldier leaps into Alex’s open arms, who just manages to stop them both from toppling over.
Immediately, they start making out.
“Uh, so Lena this,” she gestures towards the frothy display, “is Lucy Lane, my sister’s girlfriend.”
Lucy pulls away at that - her hat’s fallen off and her army jacket is already halfway open with Alex’s hand snaking inside - and shoots Lena the brightest smile. Alex seems undeterred and continues kissing at her neck, like they aren’t standing in the middle of this airport full of people. Kara feels like she’s in high school all over again.
“Nice to meet you!”
Lena just nods with a painfully locked in smile, clearly uncertain of how best to handle this situation. Lucy solves the mystery for her then by kicking her boots against Alex’s butt and loudly declaring, “Onward, steed! To the baggage claim!”
Alex grumbles a bit but carries her all the way, Lucy kissing at her face and neck the entire time while Lena and Kara trail behind.
“Are they always this…. affectionate?” Lena finally asks after Alex sets Lucy down on top of an unattended help desk only to try and climb on top of her. They’re shooed away moments later by an airport employee. Kara goes through all the stages of grief in five seconds before responding,
“They have always been a very expressive couple.”
It takes them nearly fifteen minutes to gather the luggage and herd the couple to the car. Every time Lena and Kara turn around Alex and Lucy are pressed up against some surface or other, but eventually they make it, and the two love birds collapse into the back seat like they're just happy to have a horizontal surface.
Alex’s van is a decade older than they are and its cassette playing radio only works some days. Today is apparently not one of those days. Kara tries for conversation instead, hoping to drown out the unpleasant sounds coming from the backseat.
“So can you see why I wanted to move out as soon as possible?” Kara asks. A foot kicks forward suddenly, almost hitting her head. Lena just gives her a wide-eyed smile.
“Definitely. You’re moving in tonight then?”
A chorus of moans echo from the back seat, and both Lena and Kara pretend not to notice the repeated jolts as the tumbling duo reacquaint themselves with each other.
“I mean I can’t sleep on the couch with this happening,” she gestures back to the groping mass, “but I don’t have a bed so I’ll probably be sleeping on the floor.”
Lena straightens with a start, shaking her head.
“No, don’t do that. It’s a nice apartment but the floors are way too hard and cold. I have a guest room in my place that you are more than welcome to use.”
“Wow, really? Is that- I hear zippers!” Kara cuts off suddenly, glaring over her shoulder, “I shouldn’t be hearing zippers, zip whatever that is right back up!”
She looks back at Lena who is now sporting an impressively dark blush.
“Are you sure that’s okay?” she finishes, turning her eyes back to the road.
“Of course. You’re my friend, Kara. I’m not gonna let you sleep on a floor.”
Kara smiles and glances at her, only now noticing Lena awkwardly holding her hand over her shoulder and yep; Lucy is holding Lena’s hand while kissing behind Alex’s ear.
“Lena, why are you holding her hand?”
Wide eyed and terrified, Lena just shrugs,
“I don’t know. She just grabbed it and I wanted to be polite.”
Before Kara can even consider replying the radio kicks into life, blasting some cheery summer pop song through the speakers. Alex squeals a bit and yells to turn it up, giggling the lyrics against Lucy’s lips. Lucy doesn’t know the words but she sings along anyway, off key and loud. Soon they’re all screaming an approximation of the lyrics, windows down and the city racing by.
Kara looks over to Lena then and sees her smiling, eyes closed, nodding along to the music. One hand still holds Lucy’s for god knows what reason, while her other rests on the open window, fingers dancing through the air. The sun is just beginning to set and the car is filled with its dying light - soft reds and pinks surround them. It is a perfect moment.
“Lucy! Get your hand out of Lena’s hair!”
“I’m making a new friend, Kara!”
Well, almost perfect.