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Lena decides to drive herself, giving Martin the night off - it’s Christmas Eve, after all. The snowstorm isn’t forecasted to be too bad, but most people are staying home, so when the car breaks down and there’s no one nearby to flag, she reaches for her cell phone. Before she can call Kara and explain she’s going to be late, the driver door is wrenched open and she realizes the engine trouble was not an accident as hands reach for her.

*****

Kara paces, concerned when Lena is now twenty minutes late and isn’t answering her texts or calls. The brightly wrapped package is on the counter and she’s been anxious about it for weeks, unable to wait to give it to Lena. The invitation to exchange gifts had an admittedly romantic feel to it and the way Kara had nervously stumbled through it certainly hadn’t helped things, so when Lena still smiled and agreed, Kara felt a measure of hope. Maybe she could get her feelings out and maybe, just maybe, Lena would feel the same.

But first she had to be there… and even if she’d suddenly decided she didn’t want to hear whatever Kara was planning to say, it wasn’t like her to just ignore her messages. She’d let her down gently, Kara was certain.

When her phone rings, it’s an unknown number.

Her stomach drops.

“Hello?”

“Is this Kara Danvers?”

Kara holds onto the countertop for stability. She doesn’t recognize the man’s voice at all. “Yes. Who’s this?”

“You know, you’re the person she calls the most.”

“Who are you?”

“Text messages are off the charts. There’s no contest between you and second place, do you know that? She has a folder of pictures of you in her phone. Do you realize how important you are to her?”

She takes a shaky breath. “Where is Lena?”

“I never thought she’d actually be the type to go all gooey, honestly. It’s surprising.”

“Where. Is. She.”

“Oh, listen to that growl,” the man laughs. “Someone’s protective.”

“If you’ve done anything to Lena, so help me, I will -“

“Now we’re on to threats, are we? This is all just moving so fast. How’s this?” His voice shifts from teasing to a cold sneer. “I know you know Supergirl. Tell her to get to the docks. Ten minutes. If she’s here in eleven, it’ll be too late.”

“Tell me who you are.”

“You haven’t figured it out by now? I thought you were a reporter.” He laughs again, but it’s cruel. “My sister always had terrible taste in friends.”

Kara’s eyes slide closed. “Lex,” she breathes, but a dial tone is the only response.

She’s in the sky a second later, cape snapping against the biting wind. She engages her communications and calls both Alex and Winn.

“Hey, what’s up?” Winn asks.

“Kara, what -“

“Lex took Lena,” she interrupts, beginning to head toward the waterfront. “He wants me to meet him at the docks. I don’t know what he’s up to exactly. I need you to -“

“Go,” Winn says, and she can hear him typing, “we’ve got this.”

“We’ll get backup ready,” Alex agrees. “Be careful.”

“Yeah.” She ends the transmission. Caution is the last thing on her mind as she approaches the National City docks.

She only picks up two heartbeats in the vicinity - Lena’s she knows, so the other must be Lex’s. Lena’s is fast but steady and Kara hopes she’s only scared. Lex’s heart rate is … excited.

She clenches her fists and flies closer. They’re in a metal storage container, she realizes, lined with lead. She has no way to know what’s going on inside. She listens for any other sounds from within but nothing stands out.

Her ten minutes are almost up.

There are no windows to go through so she just chooses one end of the container and comes in from the roof.

She takes everything in quickly. Lena is seated on a chair in the center of the room, hands bound behind her back, ankles tied, and she’s been stripped of her winter clothes. She’s in slacks and a three-quarter sleeve shirt and she’s shivering as the wind follows Kara’s arrival.

Lex is only a few feet away, comfortable in a heavy jacket and jeans, thick woolen cap covering what she knows from photos is a very bald head, solid leather boots on his feet, gun in his hand. The barrel is two inches from Lena’s temple.

Lena’s eyes meet hers and Kara grinds her teeth.

“You made it!” Lex cries. “Just in time.”

“I’m here,” Kara confirms, “you can let her go now.”

“Oh it’s easy, but it isn’t that easy.”

“What do you want?”

He points to the tripod set up to her left. A smartphone is attached to the top, one Kara recognizes as Lena’s, positioned to capture the bound woman in the center of the frame.

“Press record on that.”

Kara does as he asks, swallowing when she sees it’s a live broadcast. People begin to log on to the feed immediately.

“National City,” he crows, “I am certain you know the woman here before me. She is, after all, a hero to you all. But we have another hero in our midst!” He motions Kara to come closer. When she hesitates, he scowls.

“Another hero in our midst!” he repeats forcefully, jabbing the muzzle of the gun against Lena’s temple, and Kara steps into view of the camera.

“Yes, it’s Supergirl!” He waves his finger at her. “Turn around, face the people. Give us a wave.”

She does as he asks.

“You are Superman’s cousin.”

“Yes.”

“You came from Krypton.”

“Yes.”

“You can’t be killed.”

“I’m not immortal,” she says.

He fires the weapon and she doesn’t react when the bullet flattens against her shoulder. “You’re bulletproof.” The barrel touches Lena’s skin again.

“Yes.”

“You have super strength.”

“Yes. I have all the same powers as my cousin.”

Lex flaps his hand. “I’m trying to be dramatic here,” he sighs. “It’s better for the audience.”

Kara pivots to face him. “I don’t know what you want,” she reminds the man. “If you tell me, I’ll try not to interrupt your theatrics.”

“We’ll get there.” His free hand drops against Lena’s shoulder and she barely manages to control a shudder. “You know my sister.”

“Yes.”

“Friends?”

Kara swallows. She isn’t sure what answer Lex wants.

“Yes,” Lena says.

He squeezes her shoulder. “I want to hear it from her,” he growls.

“Yes, we’re friends,” Kara confirms quickly.

“Isn’t that nice?” One long finger trails down Lena’s cheek. Kara’s lip curls in a snarl and she hates that his hands are on her. “A Luthor and a Super.”

She’d liked that phrase the first time Lena had said it. It sounded hopeful, like a plan for the future. Now it makes her skin crawl.

“Does she know your alter-ego?”

Kara inhales sharply.

“Yes.” It comes out as a whisper and she has to repeat herself when Lex cocks an impatient eyebrow. “Yes, we know each other.”

It takes all of three seconds for Kara to read the emotions behind Lena’s eyes as she realizes what the words mean, as she puts the pieces together. Her eyes drop and Kara lifts her chin, knowing she can’t show Lex any weakness.

“Did she know that?”

“No.”

A grin splits his face and he ducks his head for a moment to look his little sister in the eyes. He reads true surprise there. “Ah, there it is. That disillusionment. That moment when you know.” He strokes the back of her head. “I tried to warn you, remember? And then mother tried to warn you. You can’t be their friends, Lena.”

Kara clenches her fists again. “You’re wrong.”

Lex shakes his head. “I thought Superman and I were friends once. Now look at us. He put me in jail, I escaped, and now I’m holding my sister at gunpoint because of him. And you.”

He grabs the back of Lena’s neck and she lets out a startled gasp. Kara takes a half-step forward and he pins her with a glare. “I want your name.”

“My name is Kara Zor-El.”

“Your human name,” he corrects.

“No,” Lena protests, “you can’t.”

Lex levels his gaze at the camera. “They only hide because we let them,” he explains earnestly. “Take away their facade, let us see all their failings, and we can take away some of their power. If not their abilities, at least they won’t be able to live brazenly as one of us.”

“Don’t,” urgently this time, “Supergirl, don’t.”

The gun presses against her temple firmly and her nostrils flare but Lena never looks away from blue eyes. Don’t, she tries to communicate with her gaze. Kara, don’t do this.

“It’s okay,” she says. “My name is Kara Danvers.”

Lex actually looks a little stunned. His triumphant smile falters and the gun shifts lower. “You… you love her?” he asks his sister. This isn’t part of his script, this isn’t something he planned, and the disbelief is clear on his face. “Your phone, you… that’s her?”

Lena cuts him a sharp look. “Yes.”

Kara is beginning to think this is one of the weirdest dreams she’s ever had. A mixture of a nightmare but then Lena saying she loved her… dreams make no sense.

He shakes his head slowly. “I wish you wouldn’t have said that.” His fingers card through the dark tresses and he grabs a handful, holding her head in place as he rests the barrel of the gun against her skin once more. “I vowed to kill everything and everyone they love.”

There’s no space for Kara to catch the bullet.

She might be able to knock the gun away as he fires but that still means a bullet going through the air near Lena. She’s not okay with that.

So she rushes for the weapon and wraps her hand around it, jamming her thumb in the trigger well, giving Lex no room to pull back and trip the mechanisms.

He blinks once, surprised, and Kara rips the gun from his grasp, breaking his finger.

He cradles his right hand in his left. He glares at Kara but she’s put herself between the man and his sister, and now she advances on him.

“You’re going back to prison,” she says.

Lex moves back slowly, trying to keep his distance. There’s fear in his eyes and Kara imagines that’s probably due to the heat she can feel building behind her own, but he’s still wearing a manic smile.

“It doesn’t matter. I’ve made the most of my time out of my cell - you’re unfortunately still alive, but you’ll never be able to walk down the street again. Within the next five minutes, I bet your home will suffer its first act of vandalism. Your human family, the people that shielded you for so long, they’re vulnerable now, and it won’t take long.”

He comes to a stop when his back hits the metal wall. “I haven’t been able to actually kill everything and everyone you love, but now that your identity is exposed, they’re as good as dead anyway.”

One of the doors to the container is pried open and black-clad agents pour through.

Alex is at the lead and she heads directly for her sister. She grabs Lex by the shoulder and spins him around, shoving his face against the cold wall as she slips flexi-cuffs around his wrists.

“His finger is -” Kara begins to explain.

“I see that,” Alex says, ratcheting the cuffs a notch tighter. “I’ll splint it when we get him out of here.” She jerks her chin to the woman in the chair. “I told them to let you handle her, unless she was injured.”

“Thanks. Alex, listen, we need to start the safehouse -”

Alex interrupts her again. “Go check on Lena.”

Kara frowns. But, she trusts her sister, so she lets her deal with Lex and approaches the other Luthor in the room.

“Hey.” She kneels to break the ropes binding Lena to the chair. She shifts so she’s in front of the woman and reaches for her hands. “Let me see,” she says gently, but Lena pulls her hands back.

“I’m fine,” Lena insists, though the raw marks on her skin say otherwise.

Lena shivers, the open door creating a draft that pulls the snow into the container, but Kara guesses it could also be from shock. “You’re freezing.” She reaches up and unclasps her cape, draping it around the woman’s shoulders, letting the ends cover her legs. “Better?”

The weight helps, keeping the wind at bay, but it’s also warm from Kara’s body heat and Lena clutches it. “Yes, thank you. Kara, your family…”

Kara is on her knees again, crouching down so Lena doesn’t have to crane her neck upwards while they speak. “The DEO has a contingency plan, should my identity be leaked,” she explains. “It’s a lot of moving parts but it’ll be okay. My friends and family that are at risk will be protected and moved somewhere safe.” She hopes the yurt will be considered safe enough for Cat Grant to remain there; otherwise, she expects a phone call in about two minutes.

“I’m sorry.”

“None of this is your fault, Lena.”

Still?” Lex shouts, as the agents shove him along. He’s glaring at Lena, hating the image of that cape surrounding her, of the hero at her side. “You know! She’s lied to you and you know the truth and still you love her?!”

Kara stands and returns his glare, but whatever retort she might have thought of dies at the back of her throat when she feels Lena take her hand.

“Yes.” She says the word forcefully, more than enough to carry throughout the metal box, firm and without hesitation, and Kara blinks at her. More quietly, intended only for the woman beside her, Lena adds, “Always.”

Alex puts a gentle hand against the cape-covered shoulder. “You okay?” she asks. “Do you need medical attention?”

Lena shakes her head. “Just a little rope burn, nothing serious.” She gives Alex the same regretful look, understanding that the reveal of Supergirl’s identity would have a direct and lasting impact on her and her mother. “I’m sorry.”

The redhead shrugs. “Not your fault. Besides, no harm done, really.”

“... what?”

“The full broadcast never went out, beyond the first three seconds. Winn cut the feed. No one ever saw you step onto the screen.”

Kara rubs a hand across her face, relief making her knees weak. “Seriously?”

“I swear. I’d be in Midvale right now if that wasn’t the case.” She turns to Lena. “And, ah, J’onn is going to take care of Lex. He’ll believe that he outed your identity, though he won’t be able to recall the name. We figured that was better, to let him think he’d revealed you but when nothing changes, it means no one cared, rather than wipe the entire incident from his mind.”

Lena looks between the Danvers sisters, stunned. “That’s… how is that possible?”

“Um.” Kara gnaws on her bottom lip. “I’ll let J’onn tell you that. But it’ll be okay. I promise.”

Another familiar form enters the trailer and Alex beckons her over. “Are you okay with giving Maggie your statement for NCPD? Then we can let you go home.”

Maggie takes notes efficiently, asks the necessary questions, and gets permission to copy the video from Lena’s phone which, while recorded, was never broadcast to anyone besides the resident tech genius of the DEO. She sends two officers to secure the area where Lena’s car was left and checks again if Lena wants medical attention.

“No, thank you. I’d just like to go home now.”

“Of course. One of my officers can take you home, or maybe Alex’s agents -”

“I can give you a lift,” Kara offers quietly.

“Or that.” Maggie shrugs. “I suppose that’s the quickest option.”

“If you want.” Kara holds up the jacket, scarf, and mittens she’d recovered from the stolen car Lex had used to transport Lena to the docks. “Let’s bundle you up though, whichever you choose.”

Lena stands and exchanges the heavy red Kryptonian fabric for her winter clothes. Kara fastens the cape with the ease of almost two years of practice. Lena shivers for a few moments until she’s wrapped her scarf around her neck and shoving her gloved hands into the pockets of her jacket.

“Are you… do you mind if… if it’s not an inconvenience?”

Kara smiles gently. “Not at all. Come on, we can step outside for just a second, you don’t need to go out the same way I came in.” Alex waves her on, nodding that she’ll keep both women apprised of Lex’s status. Kara lets Lena lead the way as they exit the container and then moves to an area away from the ring of activity, from the swarm of agents and police officers, giving her a moment to breathe, to settle.

“We don’t have to do this,” she says, because it’s been a full minute and Lena hasn’t moved, standing with her arms wrapped around herself, “I know Alex would be fine with driving you. It’s okay if you changed your mind.”

The woman takes a deep breath and drops her shoulders. “I don’t like flying.” She knows that, for god’s sake.

“I know,” Kara soothes, “I understand. I promise I’ll keep you safe. If you get scared, you can just tell me - tap me if you don’t want to speak, okay? I’ll do whatever I can to make this trip as comfortable for you as possible.”

Lena nods. “Let’s do it.”

Kara steps closer and, moving slowly, wraps an arm around Lena’s shoulders. “I’m going to pick you up now,” she warns, and then places an arm behind her knees and lifts the woman easily. “Put your arms around me, however you’d like.”

Lena shifts a little in the hold and clasps her hands together around Kara’s neck, then hesitates, moves her hands to the strong shoulder, then back again.

Kara chuckles. “Around my neck is fine. You can’t hurt me, okay?”

A slow exhale and Lena repositions her hands at the juncture of Kara’s shoulder and her neck, feeling the corded tendons in both.

“I’m going to lift us up just a little, see how you feel.”

Lena doesn’t even feel her push off the ground, suddenly they’re just floating and her eye level has changed to about three feet higher.

“Okay?”

“Yes.” She’s whispering and she doesn’t really want to be, she wants to project strength and confidence but she knows soon she’ll be overlooking the entire city from hundreds of feet and that’s terrifying.

“Close your eyes.” Lena blinks at her and Kara smiles, maybe with a light blush but Lena can’t be certain. “Or, um, sure, watch me. Just don’t look down if you aren’t comfortable. Ready?”

Not trusting herself to speak, Lena closes her eyes and nods.

She feels the wind and snow increase in ferocity as they climb higher. The cold stings her face and she considers adjusting her scarf but that would mean letting go of Kara and that’s not happening, so she clenches her eyes shut tighter and breathes through her nose.

“Hey,” Kara murmurs, “you okay? Oh, shoot, you’re cold. Yeah, the wind is worse up here. I’m sorry. We’ve still got about two minutes, I don’t want to go too quickly. Here, you can, kind of, tuck your head under -” Lena moves before Kara finishes her offer, curling into the warmth and pressing her face against Kara’s neck. There’s a strangled little clearing of her throat and then Kara says, “Yeah, that’s good. Better?”

Lena nods against her. There’s a desperation to the way she clings to the hero and she’s sure Kara chalks it up to her fear of flying, which is fine, really. Best that she not have to explain the dread in the pit of her stomach, the certainty that this will be the first and last time she finds herself this close to the Girl of Steel, to her best friend, to the woman she’d just admitted her feelings for in the middle of a hostage situation.

In which she was the hostage.

By her own brother, who was attempting to destroy Kara’s freedom and her family’s safety.

There’s almost no future where Lena sees Kara in her life beyond the next ten minutes.

And the one faint, glimmering chance where Kara remains her friend has absolutely no romantic undertones.

So Lena’s going to take this single opportunity and snuggle a little closer.

Kara squeezes her gently, assuring her she’s safe. She wishes Lena were more comfortable on the journey but, right this moment, she’s glad the woman has her eyes closed so she can’t see the flush Kara can feel rising to the tips of her ears.

She finds the balcony in what might be the gentlest landing she’s ever done, slowly floating down until her feet touch.

Lena doesn’t move and Kara is loathe to disturb her, but she isn’t sure Lena realizes there’s no more reason to be scared.

“You’re home.”

The top of her head brushes Kara’s chin as she looks up, taking in her surroundings. She unwinds her arms from behind Kara’s neck and reacquaints herself with the ground when Kara sets her down.

Kara gives her a few seconds, hands resting against her hips, making sure she’s steady, before she takes a half-step back. “Um, so -”

“I need to change, can you… would you like to come in?”

“Okay.”

Lena opens the balcony door and Kara follows her inside the apartment. She’s been here before, though admittedly only as Kara Danvers, and she feels uncertain if Supergirl has the same permissions to wander around, and she stands quietly in the living room, strictly not listening to Lena disrobe in the bedroom.

She concentrates on the sounds in the complex. It’s late, almost ten now, and she hears parents trying to convince a stubborn five-year-old that Santa won’t come if he doesn’t go to sleep, and a man promising his girlfriend that Christmas morning will be the best, and she can hear him rustle a ring box in his pocket, as nerves get the best of him and he pushes the proposal to dawn, and then there’s the elderly couple three floors down, watching the news and discussing their grandchildren’s planned arrival the following day.

“Are you okay?”

Kara jolts at the question, snapping her attention back to Lena. “Yeah, yes, I’m fine.” She takes in Lena’s clothes, warm sweatpants and a long-sleeved cotton shirt, hair loose around her shoulders, and thinks, Beautiful. “How are you feeling?”

“Glad to be home.” She runs one hand through her hair for a moment. “I don’t mean to keep you, I’m sure you have…”

“I’m here,” Kara insists. “It’s okay.”

“I wanted… I should apologize.”

“Why?”

Lena sighs. “That… That isn’t how I wanted you to find out.”

Kara nods. “That isn’t how I wanted to tell you about me, either.”

“I understand if you want to just, just forget about what was said.” It takes all she has left to call up that cool exterior and neutral expression, to not give in to her racing heart. She owes Kara the chance to make her own decision. She knows that.

But it doesn’t make the risk any easier.

Kara freezes, deflates slightly. “Oh. I thought, maybe… okay.”

“What?” She presses her palms together firmly, refusing to hope.

“What you said, I thought you meant it,” she clarifies quietly. Without glasses or the hem of her shirt to fidget with, she settles for picking at the strip of fabric looped over her thumb, rolling it between her fingers.

“I did. I meant every word, Kara, but I… you’ve never…” Lena shrugs, hands a little restless, “I don’t want you to feel like you have to accept much less return it.”

“But I do,” she says immediately. When Lena opens her mouth to protest, Kara shakes her head. “No, not like I have to, but I do feel the same. I… I’ve loved you for a long time.” She rocks back on her heels, gripping the edges of her cape tightly. “I mean, I kind of wanted to tell you tonight, anyway. Not, you know, boom, straight to love, because I thought maybe, too fast, you know? But I was going to, um, ask you out?”

Lena is watching her carefully. “You were?”

“That was my plan for the gift exchange.” She frowns suddenly. “Aww, your gift is still at my apartment. I’m sorry.” She turns, determined to make it better. “I can go get it and be back in like a minute!”

“Wait.” Lena moves forward to grab her arm before she can dart away. “You… aren’t upset?”

She purses her lips, trying to sort out what she’d have to be upset about. “Um. No?”

“My brother,” there’s a tremble in her voice but she carries on, “used me to lure you into a trap where he could expose your identity and put your friends and family in danger.”

“Okay, you’re right, that part sucks. But he didn’t get away with it.” Kara relaxes her posture and decides she isn’t making a quick trip to her apartment just now. “He’s going back to jail and my identity is still a secret. And,” she cups Lena’s cheek, her hand warm against the chilled skin, “you’re safe.”

“Kara. We’re not even… we’re just friends and my family is using me against you. If we were more…”

“Can we be more?”

Lena shakes her head in disbelief and Kara’s hand settles to the space between them, gently circling her wrist. “You want that? Even after everything?”

“Do you?” Kara whispers. “Now that you know? I’m not just Kara Danvers, I’ve...” She swallows, afraid saying the words out loud will give them too much power. “Lena, I’ve been lying to you for so long, I know you must hate me and -“

A finger over her lips shushes her.

“It was a surprise,” Lena allows, “and, of course, now I can’t understand how I didn’t see it before. But I don’t hate you, Kara. I could never.”

Kara swallows.

“I meant every word. I love you.”

Under her finger, she feels a wobbly half-smile form.

“Would it be alright if I kissed you now?”

Kara nods immediately.

Lena traces her fingers across Kara’s jaw to the back of her neck, pausing there, before leaning forward to close the remaining distance between them and pressing her lips to Kara’s, with every intention of being brief.

Then Kara returns the gentle pressure and she feels the sparks, the tingling sensation race underneath her skin, the tight coil in her belly, and she tugs the hero closer.

Kara stands firm, not moving an inch, and Lena breaks the kiss, pulling away. “Was that… not okay?” she asks quietly, meeting wide blue eyes.

“No, Rao, Lena, not that. I just…” Kara moves closer to the balcony, giving herself room to pace, and Lena is given a strong reminder of Kara Danvers and asks herself again how she could have missed the signs. “I’m Supergirl. I’m, I’m not human. I’m from Krypton. You said you loved me, I know, but I’m sure you meant that for Kara Danvers, not Kara Zor-El. I don’t want to, to pressure you, maybe you need time, you know.”

“Kara.”

The cape swishes one last time as she stands still. She stares at Lena, hands flexing open and closed, worrying her bottom lip.

“Supergirl is a part of you, just like Kara Danvers is a part of you. I love you. Okay?”

Kara nods slowly, beginning to believe.

“Can we try that kiss again?”

A smile finally breaks and Kara approaches once more, wrapping her arms around Lena with confidence. “Yes, please.”

Their second kiss is slow and gentle, a leisurely exploration.

Their third kiss is still gentle but more sure, hands straying to hair, to hips.

Their fourth kiss is interrupted.

Kara startles when Alex’s voice sounds in her ear. “J’onn says the mind wipe was successful.”

Lena blinks slowly, a little unsteady, and Kara intertwines their fingers.

She raises her free hand to her ear and turns her head slightly to address her sister. “Okay, thanks.”

“You know Lena has some paperwork to fill out.”

“Alex… later.”

There’s a pause. “If I checked your location right now, I wouldn’t by chance find you at Lena’s apartment, would I?”

“... maybe.”

“Did I interrupt something?”

Yes.

Alex laughs. “Does this mean Maggie and I shouldn’t expect you to come over tonight?”

“I don’t… I don’t know.”

“Okay, well… I’ll let you go. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” she teases, and ends the call.

Kara looks back to Lena. “Sorry about that. I have… it’s a comms device. Alex was just letting me know that J’onn was able to alter Lex’s memory of the night. He won’t remember my name.”

The statement brings about a noticeable change, as Lena’s posture relaxes and the tension leaves her shoulders, the concern in her eyes clearing. “I still don’t understand how that’s possible, but I’m just glad your identity is safe.”

“I should get your gift,” Kara says, but when Lena sweeps her hair to one side, it takes every ounce of strength to keep from stepping forward and kissing the elegant neck. “Um.” She tries again. “I’ll be right back.”

Lena releases her hand, letting her dash out of the living room and off the balcony. She’s not sure how long it will take for Kara to make it to her apartment and back but figures she has enough time to fix herself a drink, at least.

She digs the scotch from the back of the cupboard, deciding she’s fresh out of the vintage that would be appropriate for when your brother tries to kill you on a holiday and the night calls for something a little stronger than her standard quarterly assassination attempt wine.

She’s seated on the couch, pulling up a generic Christmas movie playing on a local channel, when she hears a knock.

“Hi.” Kara smiles shyly when she opens the front door, as though she’s worried Lena might have changed her mind on the whole thing in the fifteen minutes she’s been gone. She’s wearing a deep forest green sweater and jeans though Lena understands now that the puffy jacket folded over her arm is more to avoid questions than to actually keep her warm.

Kara hands her an envelope and, though she also has a wrapped gift in her arms, she keeps hold of that one.

“Come in,” Lena says, accepting the envelope and padding back into the living room, settling on the sofa and encouraging Kara to sit beside her. It’s obvious the blonde is nervous and Lena hopes it isn’t because she’s decided moving beyond friendship is no longer what she wants. “Can I get you something to drink?” she asks, but Kara shakes her head, biting her lip as Lena withdraws two printed tickets.

National City Technology Expo
January 19-21st, 2018

“Oh, Kara, this… I’m a speaker at this expo,” she says softly.

“The afternoon of the twenty-first, I checked with Jess.” Kara adjusts her glasses, blinking. “But these aren’t tickets for the presenters, these are regular admittance. I thought, maybe it would be nice to just go and enjoy the exhibit until you have to speak, no rubbing elbows with the executives… unless you want to, of course!” She licks her lips. “I know it’s probably a good opportunity for L-Corp to network, I’m sorry, I just -”

Lena takes her hand, squeezing once. “You’re right, I so rarely get to actually attend an event as a member of the public, this will be nice. Thank you.”

Kara exhales heavily. “Okay, great, I’m glad, is it… maybe, it’s a date?”

She still wants this. Lena smiles, dimples flashing. “I’d like that very much.”

It takes a moment for her answer to sink in and then Kara grins. “Okay! Yeah, that’s, I’d like that, too. I mean, of course I would.” She brings up the remaining gift and encourages Lena to open it.

Lena taps her fingers against the paper for a moment. “I’m afraid my gift for you is currently part of a crime scene.”

Kara waves her hand. “Maggie will get it back to you soon. Um, so, I was sort of saving this one,” she admits, “in case you said… in case tonight went the way I hoped it would.”

Lena raises an eyebrow. Why, Kara Danvers, is this a romantic gift? she wants to tease, but words fail her completely when she gets a look at the gift beneath the sparkly paper.

In her hands is a framed copy of the cover of Catco magazine, the one which featured Kara’s first article, though the coverlines had been altered and the photo exchanged for one of Lena herself. Lena recognizes it as the single pose she’d admitted to Kara that she actually liked.

Interview with Lena Luthor was still there, but the subtitle about the device L-Corp developed had been changed to, the woman changing, improving, and saving the world.

Others now read: When The Reward is Worth the Risk, taking the first steps in a new relationship, and How to Show You Care, large amounts of flowers recommended, and Could This Be the Start of Something More?

Kara’s biting her lip enough to taste blood, if she were human.

“Is it… it’s cheesy, right?” she groans, when Lena is examining the cover for the third time. “I know I’ve told you before, you encouraged me to give reporting a try, even if you didn’t know it at the time, and you were my first interview, and -”

Lena pulls her close, smiling into the kiss. “It’s perfect. A little cheesy,” and Kara laughs against her lips, “but still perfect. And also, yes.”

“Yes?” Kara pulls back slightly, just enough for Lena to place the frame on the coffee table.

“Yes,” Lena says again, removing Kara’s glasses, folding them carefully and setting them next to the framed cover, “I believe this is definitely the start of something more.”