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You Deserve It All

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Much to her frustration, life continues even when there are no answers. 

What little information they have is so inconclusive its insulting - bodies were found, they may be linked to Lex, they may not be. They may be linked to Lena, the whispers around them say again and again despite the clear lack of any conclusive evidence. The investigators are tight-lipped and suspicious, asking more questions than they answer.

It’s infuriating. It’s terrifying. Kara is afraid, especially because she can see how afraid Lena is. She can hear it in the way she talks, feel it in the way she shakes in her arms every night. Lena is in actual danger right now, and there’s nothing Kara can do to save her.

She hasn’t felt this powerless since her parents died.

So she makes up in whatever ways she can. The house is always filled with sweet smelling desserts. Every chance she has she’s hugging Lena, holding her tight like she’s seconds away from crumbling in her arms. Any spare moment they have together is spent with Kara putting on a one-woman comedy show, desperate to earn a laugh or even just a smile. She even gets Eve involved in her antics, making the poor woman help her do a dramatic reenactment of Bee Movie despite none of them having ever seen it.

Sometimes Lena is generous and fakes a smile or throws them a pity laugh. Most of the time she just watches them with unseeing eyes - it’s like she can’t even process what’s happening in front of her when so many other atrocities fill her mind.

Eve has basically moved in at this point.

It’s an incredibly uncertain middle ground for them, because Eve and Lena are basically dating but they’re not ‘sharing the bed’ level of dating yet, and when Kara suggested maybe she move back to the guest room Lena makes the strangest noise and grabs for her hand like she’s scared she’ll fly away. Eve just looks at that with a perplexing sort of look and says it’s totally fine, she’s fine with sleeping in the guest room. She’s really a saint about it. It only makes Kara feel guiltier. 

Kara finds her in the kitchen afterwards and apologizes profusely for how weird their whole situation is, how she’s sort of become a safety blanket for Lena and that that’s why she’s so intent on keeping them close. Somehow, for the first time in this entire ordeal, Kara thinks about how their kisses might actually be kind of… wrong. It’s like it never occurred to her- kissing Lena is like breathing at this point. It’s natural, it’s thoughtless. It’s necessary. And it’s maybe a line being crossed, now that Lena and Eve are further along in their… whatever it is. Relationship, maybe. Her cheeks burn at the thought.

So she talks and talks and talks, her heart hammering away so hard she’d bet Eve can hear it. That one look at Kara shows her all her lies.

“I know,” Eve says, cutting her off and smiling in a way that doesn’t hold as much warmth as her smiles usually have. “I know how important you are to Lena, and right now what matters most is her. We gotta take care of her, both of us. We’re her team, right?”

“Right,” Kara practically gushes, grabbing ahold of Eve’s hand. It feels a lot like forgiveness. “Absolutely.”

Eve squeezes her back and smiles. Seconds later, the front door bangs open with a dramatic call of “honeys, I’m home!” Eve rolls her eyes and says,

“Speaking of her team… hello, Jack.”

He drops the boxes he’s holding and drapes his long arms around them both, pulling them tight against him with a sigh. Kara lets him, though she still feels that edge of discomfort around him after everything. 

“Just another day of fighting for our girl,” he sighs out with a genuine sadness in his voice. It tugs at Kara’s heart, seeing all these people so emphatically supportive of Lena. It’s so nice.

“Alright, ladies,” Jack says, voice grave, “I would love to get down to business saving Lena but if I don’t eat something in the next ten minutes I very well may be the next dead body found on Luthor property.” 

Eve laughs and slaps him on the shoulder, says a shocked Jack! under her breath, and they both giggle in a tension-relieving way. Kara’s too distracted by the boxes to really engage, and she’s quick to move them to the table. Jack had spent hours gathering every picture, every document, every trace of an interaction he could find related to Lex or Lena or any of the Luthors, and he brought them all here for them to go through. It’s not very hard-hitting, but it’s the first thing Kara’s had to go on and she’s damn near salivating at the prospect.

Her studying is cut short, however, when she feels eyes on her and turns to find Hector hovering just outside of the door. He’s almost entirely covered by the door frame, just a single angry eye peeking out from behind it. Hidden like he’s scared any visible part of him might be at risk. Kara realizes if they want to have a meal today it might be wise to vacate the premises. Thankfully Eve recognizes what’s happening, having witnessed at least one of Kara’s attacks on Hector, and suggests that Kara take a break to help her move some boxes into the guest room. It’s painful, tearing herself away from Jack’s files, but if she wants everyone to be fully focused on their mission then she has to make sure there’s food. Kara can sacrifice a few minutes of researching for that. She can hear mumbled cursing behind her as they go.

Kara had assumed it was just a ruse to get her out of the kitchen, but Eve did in fact have a lot of stuff to move.

“Wow,” Kara says dumbly, gazing at the computers and big technical-looking machines Eve is setting up. “You look like you’re about to hack a mainframe.” Eve laughs.

“I wish. My job is mostly just looking at numbers and angry emails all day, but I still need all this to do it.”

A sentimental pain hits her in the chest then at seeing all of Eve’s things. Her staying here - her taking care of Lena in so many ways - is an incredibly generous act. Eve is a good person, and Kara is overcome with how thankful she is that they have her.

“Thank you again for being here. I can’t even tell you how much it means to Lena and me,” and then something painful and twisty in her gut compels her to add, “and if you and Lena ever want to change up sleeping arrangements I completely understand.”

Eve shakes her head, her smile soft and knowing.

“I know that what Lena needs right now is to be close with you. You’re her best friend,” the words make Kara feel warm and fuzzy only to be followed by ones that make her heart drop. “Besides, I know I can trust you with her.”

Her throat feels thick all at once, full like she’s got something diseased building inside of her that demands to be coughed up, and it’s probably just her imagination, but the way Eve says that feels pointed. If she didn’t know better, she’d swear Eve was giving her a knowing look.

“Of course,” she says, and her voice cracks.

They dive into their research after that, aided by a wonderful meal prepared by Hector (who vanished the moment Kara returned). It’s a lot of reading through texts and instagram comments and facebook updates and ultimately finding nothing. Kara feels a bit like she’s playing a twisted game of Where’s Waldo, searching everything she can for just a glimpse of something useful. They spend hours like that, the three of them, searching long into the evening until Lena finally takes a break from her war room office and comes to join them for dinner. 

It’s a nice reprieve for the four of them to just sit and eat and talk about something that isn’t horrible. During a particularly rousing story about a party bus Jack once accidentally stole (“Borrowed! I was only borrowing it!”)  Kara’s phone buzzes and then buzzes again, and she looks down to see two new texts from DANGER- DO NOT ANSWER. 

She locks her phone, annoyed, and tries to focus on Jack’s big gestures as he describes being chased by angry party-goers only for her phone to vibrate with a phone call. Finally she reaches her breaking point and excuses herself to the restroom. 

The texts are all about Lena, of course. They always are, it’s like it’s Mike’s favorite topic. Perhaps he knows it’s the only subject she’d willingly talk about.

Her phone starts to ring again with another call and this time she answers.

“How many ways do I have to say leave me alone for you to understand?” she says, and he laughs in that pretentious way of his.

“You know I love a challenge,” he says like he thinks he’s cute and not at all disgusting to her. Just the sound of his voice makes her skin crawl. “And I need to talk to you. This is so important, Kara. Please.”

“There is nothing you could tell me that would make it worth talking to you.”

“It’s about Lena Luthor. And Lex Luthor.”

She wants to hang up. She wants to hang up so badly she gets angry tears in the corners of her eyes but she doesn’t, because once again, here is Mike having some level of power over her. She loves Lena more than she hates Mike and that keeps her talking to him.

“Fine! Fine, you have my attention, asshole. What is it?”

There’s silence for a moment, and Kara wonders if he’s been bluffing this whole time and never actually expected her to call him out on it. The thought infuriates her.

“I can’t say it over the phone, it might not be safe. We should meet.” 

“I’d rather die than be in the same room as you again.”

“If you keep hanging out with Lena Luthor you may get that wish.”

“Is that a threat?”

He sighs at her like she’s some petulant teenager that he’s teaching a hard lesson.

“No, Kara. I just know things and I want to tell them to you. Can we just meet, please? I only need five minutes.”

Every part of her is screaming no no no NO but there is a chance, however slim, that Mike might actually know something, and if what he knows is even a little bit useful in helping Lena then it might, unfortunately, be worth it.

“Tomorrow,” she says, her chest tight, “2 pm at Newnan’s on third. This is your one chance.”

“Thank you, Kara,” he says in a rush. Like he’s genuinely thankful and relieved. Like he’s actually worried for her.

She hangs up on him and rubs at her chest. It aches, and the aching gets worse every day.

Kara stays up long after Jack leaves and everyone else goes to bed. She sits at the dinner table poring over every page searching desperately for something, anything that might help Lena. She stares and studies until her eyes go out of focus and her back stiffens and aches.

It’s nearly two in the morning when Eve comes to the kitchen, yawning into her hand.

“You’re still up?” she says, voice heavy with sleep. “Go to bed.”

“Can’t. Gotta find it.” She doesn’t have the energy to say more, to even expand on what it is. She's so tired.

Eve putters around the kitchen, grabbing a glass and filling it with water from the sink. She stands and sips it, watching Kara for long moments. Kara flips to a new page and wipes at her eyes. 

After a moment, Eve sits beside her with a sigh.

“Find anything good yet?” she asks, smiling like she’s throwing Kara a bone. Kara perks up immediately.

“Yes! Well, maybe. Kind of, I think.”

“Excellent, love the confidence.”

“No, it’s just-” Kara sighs, frustrated, and then pulls out the sheet she’d found. It’s a print out of Jack’s text messages with Lex, one page of dozens, and she offers it to Eve. The other woman studies it for a long moment, brow furrowed in concentration or perhaps confusion.

“What am I looking at?”

Kara points at the text message from Lex that just says Can’t drop by. Spending the weekend in Lakeview for work. Eve just raises her eyebrows questioningly.

“Lakeview. That’s the neighborhood the warehouse is in,” the one with the bodies, she thinks, a small shudder running through her. “And see the date there? January 17th. That’s a day before Lena allegedly signed off on the barrels.”

Eve sits back and lets out a quiet huh. Kara nearly gushes in her excitement.

“It’s not a sure thing, obviously, but it’s the first tangible proof I’ve found that Lex could have been there instead of Lena. He was at least in town then and probably in the vicinity of the warehouse when the order would have been signed. It’s absolutely something.”

Eve had been studying her quietly this whole time, but the second she stops talking she grabs her hand, her smile wide and thrilled.

“Kara, this is amazing! This is a game changer!” she says, squeezing her hand tight. “What happens now?”

“I guess we tell Lena,” Kara starts, and Eve nods.

“Yes, absolutely. She’ll be thrilled. But not until the morning, I don’t think- she only just fell asleep, and we know how little she’s been sleeping. Let’s wait till then.”

A perfectly reasonable suggestion, and based on how big she yawns two seconds later it’s exactly what Kara needs right now.

“Definitely. I’m ready to call it a night.” 

She starts to get up, but is held back by the tight grip Eve still has on her hand. She’s watching her with curious, unreadable eyes.

“Hey, this might be a weird question… but do you remember the other night at that party?” Eve asks suddenly, casual in a way that feels forced. “I was just thinking about how we got to meet Imra’s new husband, I think his name was Matt?”

All of the joy at her discovery rushes out of her in an instant. Her throat is tight again, so tight it’s nearly painful to speak. The table becomes the most interesting thing Kara’s ever seen in her life.

“Mike,” she corrects with a crack. Eve hums in a peculiar way, like Kara’s failing a test somehow, and Kara can feel her eyes on her even without looking.

“Right, Mike. She said you guys went to college together. What was that like?”

Another test.

“I mean, I didn’t know him then. Or now,” she says, and it sounds like the boldfaced lie it is. It’s so clear she’s lying, and she can tell Eve is seeing through it. Her heart races and she sags back into her chair. She’s so tired and so confused - why is Eve even asking her this? Why?

“Oh I gotcha. I guess I misheard,” Eve says in a chipper voice, smiling at Kara with a too-wide smile. “It’s really late, Kara. You should go to sleep.”

Kara nods, hums in agreement, and sits unmoving until she hears Eve’s bedroom door close behind her.

What the hell was that?

She sits for a long while more, her mind and heart racing. Eventually, almost without her consent, her body moves to Lena’s room, climbs into bed beside her. She can’t even focus on a single thought, too many possibility keep flashing in her mind until she’s panicking, her breathing labored and hands shaking, because Eve wouldn’t ask those questions if she didn’t know something, there’s no way she would ever know unless someone told her, unless somehow Mike had-

“Kara?” Lena’s voice is so soft, yet it cuts through the chaos inside of her in an instant. All at once the thoughts just poof into dust in her mind like a Buffy vampire being staked through the heart. “Are you okay?”

She lets out a laugh that shakes with nerves and unshed tears and absolutely confirms to Lena that she is not, in fact, okay. The thoughts are blessedly quiet but the feeling is very much still in her body. It doesn’t even feel worth it to pretend.

“I’m just-” there isn’t a word to encapsulate what she is in this moment, “scared. I’m so scared.”

Lena pulls her tight against her and nods.

“Me too.”

They’re quiet like that for a long while and Kara tries to focus on the soft rise and fall of every breath Lena takes. After many long moments, Lena whispers,

“I don’t know what I’d do without you,” then rushes out, “All of you. You and Eve and Jack. Jess. I almost can’t believe I have so many people who-” she doesn’t finish the sentence, but Kara’s brain can fill it in easily: believe in me, support me, love me.

She holds her even tighter, presses a kiss to her temple with a shaky sigh.

“You will never have to do this alone again. I promise. I will always be on your side.”

When she sleeps, she dreams of being trapped in an hour glass quick-filling with sand, her hands scrabbling desperately at the unyielding glass, slipping and falling again and again while her open mouth fills too quickly for her to scream, but someone does - someone is screaming, crying just out of view, and the moment she realizes it’s Lena the glass tomb encasing her shatters, raining glass and sand down on her like glitter.

She wakes up sobbing.

The first thing Kara does when she wakes is grab the stack from the night before and shove the page gleefully in Lena’s face.

“What am I looking at?”

“Proof! Maybe, that Lex was in Metropolis when the bodies were put there. It’s not everything but it’s a start!”

Lena examines it carefully, her face going from hopeful to grim and appeasing. 

“Kara,” she says like an apology, shaking her head. Kara snatches it from her immediately and studies it, eyes tracing over this same page she’d found last night. Everything is the same, every part of it. She doesn’t know why Lena is-

and then she sees it.

March 17th, it says next to the text from Lex.

“This isn’t right,” Kara says, and Lena grabs her arm with a tight grip of affection. Eve looks at her with concern, looks over her shoulder at the page.

“Oh wow, Kara. I thought it was January, too. We really were exhausted last night, huh?”

Kara’s ears are ringing. This isn’t right.

“I appreciate you so much, Kara. It means so much to me how hard you’ve been working on this,” Lena is saying, but her words float over her without settling, because this cannot be right. Kara knows what she saw, she knows it said January the night before, not March. Everything about it looks exactly the same, is the exact same, but the date is different.

Kara feels like she’s losing her mind.

They all sit down together to eat. Kara is silent, too distracted by the date mishap to engage. She can feel Eve and Lena’s concerned eyes on her. She pushes the food around her plate sadly. She’s not hungry now.

“So Kara,” Eve says, voice gentle and curious. “How’s your art coming along?” Her face and voice are both kind, like she’s giving her a lifeline to pull her back into reality rather than continue floating aimlessly in her sorrow. Eve is always so kind when she talks to Kara, except for when she’s not. 

“My art?” 

“Yeah, for Veronica’s art show. That’s coming up soon, right?” 

It hits like a brick to the face.

“Oh shit. Ohhh no, oh no. I haven’t done anything! With everything going on I- I’ve been so distracted.”

Lena makes a small noise at that, and Kara can see instantly that she’s crushed.

“You haven’t worked on it because of me,” Lena sounds so small as she talks. Kara’s chest aches.

“No! It’s not your fault, I’ve just been really focused on trying to find a clue and it’s just slipped my mind.”

“A clue to help me. Your big important art show is taking a back seat to my family crisis.”

“It’s not like that Lena,” her voice feels desperate, and she grabs hold of Lena’s hand.

“It kind of feels like it is. I’m so sorry for all the trouble I bring.”

They both seem near tears, clutching at each other, and Eve is the one to salvage the moment.

“I think we’ve all been under way too much pressure lately, I think we could all use a break, yeah? Maybe we can go see a movie or just hang out all day or something.”

“I have somewhere I need to be this afternoon, but after that I’m free,” Kara says, words heavy and painful at the prospect of who it is she’s going to see.

Eve smiles at her sweetly.

“That’s okay. Lena and I can get some quality alone time, huh?” she’s teasing, nudging Lena playfully. Kara’s face burns at the sight of the slow-creeping blush on Lena’s face.

“There’s so much work left to be done,” Lena says, face now so red it has Eve giggling. “I don’t think-”

“You deserve a break, Lena,” Kara finds herself saying. The idea of Eve and Lena alone for hours feels a bit like torture, but it’s worth it if it can relieve some of the terrible weight Lena feels pressing down on her at all times. “Maybe we can all watch something fun when I get back tonight.”

Lena’s watching her with a question in her eyes Kara doesn’t know how to answer before finally, slowly, nodding.

“Okay,” she whispers, eyes studying Kara’s. Eve claps and cheers happily, breaking whatever spell held them together.

“I think the investigation can wait a day or two,” Eve says with that kind smile of hers, but for some reason in this moment it feels anything but kind. 

It’s painful when she leaves, especially when she sees Eve and Lena sitting so close on the couch talking about a particular rich girl event they both attended when they were younger without realizing, how they were so close to knowing each other but just slipped right by. It hurts. She leaves anyway. 

Kara arrives at the coffee shop at exactly two. She’s honestly amazed she showed up at all.

Mike is sitting there alone, and he perks up so much the second he sees her walk in. He’s got two coffees on the table, one presumably for her. She ignores it and ignores the happy little face he’s making. She feels dirty just being there.

He smiles at her in a way she once found charming and it pisses her off. He just sits there and watches her like they’ve got all the time in the world.

“What?” she bites out, jaw clenched. He gestures at the coffee cups.

“It makes me think of the day we met,” he says as explanation. “Remember? We spent so many hours drying out all your notes.” The look she gives him must be intense because he’s quick to course correct, “sorry, I don’t mean to - it’s just a nice memory is all. One of my favorites, of us.”

Every part of her wants to run, or flip a table, or take this still steaming coffee he bought her and toss it right in his smug little face. Instead she just laughs a laugh that’s dry and empty.

“That’s funny. My favorite memory is when you gave me enough drugs to kill a horse and then left me alone to die.”

He swallows audibly at that, looking properly chastised. 

“There aren’t enough words for me to explain how sorry I am, Kara. For everything. Please, you gotta believe me, I would never-”

“Why are we here, Mike?” she cuts off. She feels greasy just talking to him.

He’s studying her so intensely like he wants to keep talking about this but knows he only gets so much of her time before she bolts.

“You have to cut ties with Lena Luthor.”

She laughs. He presses on,

“She’s bad people.”

“You’re the only bad person here.”

“Listen to me- everything with her is so much more complicated than you know. She’s dangerous, and every second you’re with her puts you in danger.”

“Lena is innocent,” she says with certainty, and knows it like she knows the sun is yellow and that Lena’s eyes are green, “and I would never abandon her.”

“God, Kara. You’re still so fucking naive.” Much of the smarmy charm fades in that moment, like she knew it would. He can only keep it up for so long. “You don’t know her. You think she doesn’t have secrets from you? She’s a Luthor, all she has are secrets. And it’s not like you aren’t keeping things from her. You’re a liar, too, you know.”

The exhaustion must be why her thoughts immediately jump to the pain she feels in her stomach when Eve and Lena touch, the way she stares too long at Lena’s lips when she talks. The way they kiss in the dark like it doesn’t mean everything. It’s blinding, the fear. How could he know?

“She had no idea who I was,” he continues, surprising her from her panicked spiral. “Looks like you didn’t tell her all about your torrid past, huh?”

It’s a relief and a burden all at once.

“Don’t ever talk to me again,” Kara says, getting up. 

Mike reaches out like he might touch her. She yanks her arm away before he even has the chance, and he holds his hands up defensively.

“Kara, just- be careful with her, okay? Please. She’s not safe.”

She leaves before he can say anymore.

She comes home to Eve and Lena giggling on the couch still, Lena’s legs draped comfortably across Eve’s lap. Her stomach burns at the sight.

“Kara!” Lena shouts in excitement, and she can see the way they both light up at the sight of her. They’re both happy she’s here. It still burns.

They watch movies until they fall asleep.

Kara falls head first into art after that. Any moment not spent working or with Lena is spent painting in one of Lena’s unused rooms. Veronica had messaged her asking for a progress report for the art show and she had to pretend like she hadn’t fully forgotten about in the chaos. So now, all her bottled up anxiety is being utilized and sharpened, set free on the canvas. She paints, and paints, and paints, until she’s so lightheaded from the fumes that Lena forces her to stop, airing out the windows and taking them to the roof.

It’s the first conversation they’ve had that didn’t center on Lex in days.

Lena looks so worried.

“Something’s happening,” Lena says almost like a question. “What’s wrong?”

“Wha- nothing! I’m fine! What’s wrong with you?”

“Many things. Kara,” she says, and just the tone she uses and the tilt of her head have Kara crumbling.

She thinks about Mike and her heart, about Eve and Lena, about Lucy and Alex. Every errant feeling she’s experienced comes washing over her in waves.

“I’m just so worried all of the time that I’m gonna lose you,” she finally says, sagging forward. The mere act of saying it out loud knocks the wind out of her.

“Hey, hey, that’s not gonna happen.” Lena pulls her into a hug. Kara clings to her tightly. “We’re going to solve this. He’s not going to win, okay? You’re never gonna lose me.”

She thinks of Mike’s smirk as he said you’re a liar too, you know. Thinks of the anger and hatred she sees Lena endure every day. Thinks of the way Eve looks at her, like she’s falling in love.

“You don’t know that. You can’t know that.”

“I know that when it comes down to it, you and I can get through anything. Together. We’re a team.”

Kara nods, pressing into her. She thinks of Eve’s confident reassurance the other day of I know I can trust you with her.

Guilt sits heavy in her.

Eventually her avoidance tactics run out and she is forced to go see her sister. 

Alex, for her part, is a fucking wreck. 

The apartment is messy in a way that suggests someone went on a rampage at some point. There’s junk scattered everywhere, papers strewn across the floor, a broken lamp hanging over the edge of a table. Kara silently takes note of just how many empty liquor bottles litter the room. It’s been over a week now since Alex told her that Lucy had moved out to cool off after their big fight. By the looks of it, Alex has only heated up since.

Alex lets out her third furious shout of the evening and slams a cabinet door.

“I swear to god there’s some food in this damn house,” she says, and Kara sighs.

“I’m really good, Alex. You don’t have to feed me. It’s okay.”

“I just know she moved it,” Alex continues, uninterested in Kara’s refusals. “She comes here and she moves all my shit around, changes everything like it’s nothing, and then leaves.”

Kara’s pretty sure they’re not just talking about where Alex’s Easy Mac ended up.

Alex slams the cabinet shut again one more time before sighing, loud and sad.

“What am I supposed to do without her?” Alex asks, voice so small she almost misses it.

“I’m really sorry,” Kara says. She doesn’t know what else to say. Alex laughs in a huff and sits down beside her, rubbing her face again and again. Maybe if she scrubs hard enough she’ll wake up and realize this is all a dream.

“Never fall in love,” she says, voice muffled by her hand. “It really fucking sucks.”

Kara smiles at her dimly. Too late, she thinks, and then says,

“What can I do to help?” Kara feels so limited in so many ways, but being able to do something - give something, fix something, be something - that makes her feel useful. Makes her feel like she’s not just taking up someone else’s space.

“I’m fine. I don't need anything,” Alex says, like it’s not the most blatant lie she’s ever told. “Although it would be kind of nice to have you here again for a while.” Her voice is sad and quiet. She seems so lonely.

Kara’s heart aches for her, but there is no world where she would abandon Lena at a time like this. It’s a jarring realization, and yet also not - she would choose Lena over Alex, if she had to. She would choose Lena over anyone.

“How about you come stay with us?” she offers instead. “There are so many bedrooms in Lena’s condo. Plus she has a private chef who is, you know, basically my best friend, so he will totally hook you up with the best food.”

Alex scoffs, laughing.

“Hard pass, thanks though.”

She doesn’t show it, but deep deep down in her darkest feelings, Kara’s relieved.

Her feelings keep her up late into the night.

It roils deep within her, this attraction. It’d been there for so long without her even knowing, and now that she knows it's like it's gone into overdrive. She’s so attracted to Lena it’s almost painful.

She doesn’t mean to watch her sleep, but she can’t help it. There’s something so soft about Lena when she’s asleep; all the hard-edges of worry that shape her every expression fade, leaving her with a tender openness Kara so rarely gets to see. She wants to memorize every part of it.

She’s studying Lena’s mouth for a particularly long moment when it twitches, just barely, into a small smirk. Lena’s eyes are open when she glances back to them, and Kara feels like maybe she should feel embarrassed for having been caught, but really all she feels is happy. Happy to be there, happy to have Lena beside her.

She smiles, and Lena smiles back. 

And then Lena leans in like she might kiss her, and all at once Kara hears Eve’s voice in her head - trust trust trust trust - and without even thinking she turns to press a kiss to Lena’s cheek instead. They both freeze for a moment, and then Kara kisses her cheek again, longer. She kisses her temple, her forehead, the bridge of her nose. She kisses each of her eyelids, now fluttering closed. She presses one final kiss, long and lingering, at the corner of Lena’s mouth. 

Lena sighs against her, lulled back to sleep by her gentle onslaught. 

Kara watches her for some time and thinks about Eve, and Mike, and Lena.

She doesn’t sleep.