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did you mean it (when you said i was pretty)

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Lena can barely keep the goofy grin off her face. 

“It is absolutely disgusting how much you're glowing right now. Lena, please, control yourself. You are in public.”

She breaks into a laugh at the reprimanding tone. Jess takes the chair opposite her, looking pristine as ever, despite having what had to have been a really late night. Especially considering how much later they're meeting than they previously planned. Not that she minded having the extra time with Kara, of course. 

Sam should be coming along soon as she texted to say that she was just dropping Ruby off to hang out with both Kara and Alex for the afternoon. Lena had been told by a very excited Kara as they were showering together earlier. that she and Alex are taking Ruby to the Natural History Museum. She’s a little sad that she can’t join them for their outing as it has been quite awhile since the last time she spent time with Ruby or went to the museum herself. Next time, she makes a mental note.

“You look like you had your own brand of fun last night,” she points out with a smug grin. 

“We had a blast,” Sam announces, answering for Jess as she walks in their private dining room to take the seat between her and Jess. Tugging her sunglasses down her nose, she gives Lena a filthy, conspiratorial smirk. “And from the dopey-ass look on your face, so did you apparently.”

Her eyebrow arches at the expectant looks on both her friends’ faces. “So what if I did?”

Sam lets out a laugh. “I’m so proud.”

“Fuck off,” she laughs in return, pushing the menu towards Jess’ outstretched hand. “Tell me about your night, both of you. Anybody I need to threaten? Any potential scandal I need to worry about?” she asks, pointedly staring at her best friend who shoots her an offended look. 

“Why are you looking at me? You should be looking over at this wildcat. She was the one having an orgy.”

She arches an eyebrow at Jess who only rolls her eyes before shooting Sam a bemused glare. “I’d hardly call two people an ‘orgy’.”

Lena chuckles, shaking her head at their antics. “What about you then, trouble?” she asks, directing her attention back to Sam.

“Well, I didn't have an orgy—”

“It was not an orgy!” Jess protests. 

“—but I had fun.”

Lena nods, pleased to know that her friends both had a good time.

“And what about you? Any interesting developments between all those orgasms that you can tell us about?” Sam asks with a teasing grin. 

She takes a sip of her water and shakes her head. “If you mean whether I’ve talked to Kara about the current state of my feelings, the answer would be no. It didn't…” she pauses, thinking back to the light and peaceful morning she had with Kara and how she didn't want to break it, how she wanted just a little more time before things irreversibly changes between them. She shakes her head. “It didn't feel like the time.”

Sam shrugs, placing her hand on Lena’s shoulder to give it a gentle squeeze. “You’ll be ready when you're ready,” she murmurs, offering Lena an understanding smile to which she returns with one of gratitude. She knows that she can always count on Sam to know what she was thinking and when she looks to Jess, she finds her nodding so firmly in support and agreement that her heart flutters in affection for them both. 

There have been times when she would see the way that Kara and Alex are together, the strength of their bond, how fiercely they love each other and how she has always felt so envious of that. Lex had loved her just as fiercely as she had loved him, and their bond had been so strong. Or so she thought. She probably will never really understand how her relationship with her brother has bent and twisted to become what it is now but she had resigned herself to the idea that what Kara and Alex have, might not be something she’ll ever have, that being part of a loving family was never going to be something she’ll ever know. 

While she knows that Alex does see her as like a little sister too, sees her as family, Alex is always going to be Kara’s family first. But as the years have passed, Lena has come to accept that that’s okay. She has Sam, and she has Jess. Before Kara ever came along, they were there for her every step of the way after everything that happened with Lex, and if anything were to irreparably happen between her and Kara, she is more than sure that she’d still have them then too. 

She’s startled out of her thoughts when Sam claps her hands. “Speaking of ready. I'm ready to eat . I’m fucking starving,” she announces so dramatically that Lena chuckles as she dutifully presses the call button to alert the server to their room.

They go through the routine of spending the next few minutes deciding on what to get for themselves and also to share but ultimately deciding to order what they usually have when they’re in this restaurant. Once their server has gone to make their sizable orders, Jess pipes up. “Okay, so I have a question about you and Kara.”

She looks up from her phone, having gotten a text from Alex who had sent an adorable video of Kara and Ruby walking excitedly around the museum. She’s definitely going to get more videos like this for the next hour or so and she can't wait to see them. She tilts her head as she meets Jess’ gaze, curious about what she wants to ask. 

"Are you sure this isn't just about the sex that you've been having? Great sex from the way you've been acting… well, everywhere but—are you sure this isn't just some kind of transference type thing?”

Lena takes her time to answer, wanting to give Jess’ question the gravity it deserves because It is clearly out of the desire for certainty rather than to be dismissive of Lena’s feelings. She taps thoughtfully on the screen of her phone. "The sex is great, mind-bendingly great,” she smirks briefly before shaking her head, “but no, it's not a transference thing."

“So what is it then?” Jess asks her. “I know you don’t really owe either of us an answer but I feel it's my duty as the sensible one in this group—”

“Hey, I’m plenty sensible,” Sam interrupts in protest, though Jess ignores her and goes on as if uninterrupted.

“—to help you be sure that you're a hundred percent sure about this, you know what I mean?”

“I’m a mother of a thirteen year-old. I’m the most sensible person in this freakin’ room,” Sam continues to mutter to herself that Lena can't help but snicker at the affronted display.

Jess hasn't known Lena for as long as Sam has and the only serious relationship she has seen Lena be in was the one with James since they weren’t as close back when she was with Jack. Lena whole-heartedly treasures the time that she shared with Jimmy and she wouldn't trade her time with him for anything. He was what she needed then and she was what he needed too. It was something they both agreed early on as truth and grew to love each other dearly. 

Trying to compare any relationship to another would be an unfair thing to do as none are really the same as the other but Lena still understands the reason behind Jess’ questioning. She understands that Jess never saw what it was like when Lena and Jack were together, how it is the closest thing that Lena can try to explain to how it is with Kara now. 

So Lena takes a deep breath, tapping her fingers on the table as she thinks of how to respond. She lets out a heavy breath. “It feels a little selfish sometimes.”

A surprised look crosses Jess’ face at her answer, followed by one of confusion. “What do you mean?”

She brushes her fingers through her hair, having kept it down after her shower to let it dry on its own. “I was so happy, being Kara’s best friend. I am happy because... that part of our relationship is so good. It's so good but sometimes it feels like it's… even better now? We’re much better friends now and I think,” Lena chuckles softly, meeting Jess’ patiently curious gaze across the table as she shakes her head in disbelief, “I think it’s actually because of this, because of what we've been doing these past few months.”

“Because you know even more about each other than you did before?”

Lena nods, humming quietly. “There is a well-built trust and… a freedom to explore and indulge in the fact that there is this other part to our relationship now, another part that allows me this chance to learn how to love her in new and different ways, for her to learn how to love me in new and different ways.” She pauses to take a sip of her water. “And I guess, it feels selfish to want that so much, to want to keep learning her and for her to learn me.” 

It seems so impossible to think that there's still so much left to know about Kara, that there are parts of her that Lena has yet to learn. But every day that Lena learns something new, she is immeasurably thrilled by it. 

Jess doesn't reply right away and neither does Sam but Lena takes no offense to it. She knows it's a lot to digest, and she’s had many weeks to really think about it. Her phone buzzes with another message from Alex. 

The heavy, pensive silence that follows is interrupted when their food arrives. 

---

“Are you sure you got enough souvenirs?”

“I don’t know. I kinda think I should’ve gotten another—” Kara pauses unloading all her purchased items from her souvenir bags when the teasing tone in Alex’s voice finally registers and she turns, shooting a mild glare at her sister before resuming her task. “Shut up.” 

“Seriously,” Alex insists, making a pointed sweeping gesture of her arm over Kara’s many bags of souvenirs. “I feel like you practically bought out the whole shop. Where are you even going to put all this stuff anyway?” she asks as she launches herself to lay on the couch. “Oh god, my back, my feet,” she groans, pushing her boots off, “I’m never getting up ever again.”

Kara rolls her eyes at her sister’s dramatics, chuckling when she sees the way that Alex is sprawled over her couch. It’s a miracle that the loud thumps of Alex’s shoes didn't wake up Ruby who had gone to Kara’s bedroom to take a nap before dinner. “Hey, we didn’t do that much walking. And not all of them are for me. A couple of them are for Lena.”

“Tell that to my aching feet,” Alex shoots back. Kara then watches her sister reaching over to pull out a gray t-shirt from the bag that’s closest to her, a wry smile stretching at her lips as she holds it up. “Well, nothing says romance more than a t-shirt that says, ‘I think you are ptero-bly rawrsome’.” she snorts after reading the caption out loud. Alex shakes her head, tossing the shirt over to Kara. “Lena's going to hate that so much.”

“Oh, I know. I can't wait to see her face when she sees it,” she laughs, the sound resembling quite the evil cackle. She can already imagine the frustrated glare on Lena's face when she sees the t-shirt. It's going to be priceless. She folds and places the t-shirt on the coffee table, wanting to give it a wash before she gifts it to Lena. “Also, you’re just old,” she adds, laughing when it earns her a pillow right to the face followed by a heated glare. “Hey, did you tell Lena about the New Year’s party at your place?”

Alex nods, grabbing the TV remote. “Last night. She said she’ll be there,” she mutters, distracted as she clicks through to see what’s available for them both to watch. She looks over to catch Kara’s gaze. “Why?”

She shrugs, crawling over to sit back against the couch. She can put away the rest of the stuff she bought later anyway. “You should probably remind her in a couple of days ‘cause you know that she’s not gonna remember.” 

Alex makes a distracted sound of agreement.  As much of a steel trap Lena’s memory can be, it's a source of fascination and amusement to their group of friends, just how she can forget certain things. Her sister passes the remote to her, letting her take over the responsibility of what to watch. She hums contentedly when Alex starts to gently brush her fingers through her hair. 

A comfortable silence settles over them as Kara clicks on a movie that she knows they both already love. She’s thinking about what dinner to order for the three of them, starting to feel the faint rumbles of hunger in her belly when Alex breaks the quiet between them. 

“So, did she like the rose then?”

It takes Kara a second to figure out what Alex is asking her, who she’s talking about but then she nods, an elated smile stretching her lips. She thinks about the expression on Lena’s face while she took in the red petals of the rose, the mesmerizing way they reflected in her pale green eyes, her careful and delicate touch. Her heart flutters madly at the memory of it. 

“Yeah, she really did,” she softly murmurs, leaning her head back to catch the smile on Alex’s face. Kara’s face warms at the sight of her sister’s affectionate stare, her chest clenching tightly in the face of Alex's happiness for her own. It never ceases to amaze her, the boundless capacity of love that Alex seems to have for her. 

“Do you think she knows what you were trying to say with it?”

She can’t help but snort, giving her sister an incredulous look. “It’s Lena.”

“Okay yeah, point taken,” Alex laughs, tugging playfully at Kara's hair. “Last night went well?”

She quirks an eyebrow at the implication of her sister’s question, surprised that Alex even asked it. Kara doubts, of course, that Alex is asking about those particular details. As open as they are with each other and as open as Alex has been about all that's been going on between her and Lena, her sister has consistently and very adamantly insisted that she doesn't need to know the more explicit details of their sex life.

And that is completely fine with Kara. Though she has gotten more comfortable sharing that aspect of her relationship with Lena, and Alex has gotten as comfortable listening to her, it's still weird to think that she’s having this sort of conversation with her sister. The look on her sister’s face tells her that she absolutely knows what Kara is thinking. “Hey, I’m just saying. I was coming back to bring her drink but then I saw that you came and heading right for her so I turned right around and went back to the bar.”

Kara laughs, now recalling having seen Alex doing exactly that when she was making her way to Lena. “Yeah, it went… really, really well,” she sighs, laying her head back to rest it on Alex’s thigh. Kara thinks of the night before, from the first second she and Lena saw each other up to when they arrived at Lena’s penthouse, so lost and tangled in each other until they eventually went to sleep in Lena’s bed. She thinks of the quiet moment they spent in the kitchen, the impromptu dance and the sharing of food between them. She thinks of this morning, of everything that was said between them. “ And y’know, it's not just about the sex. I feel like, these feelings,” she presses a hand to her chest, feeling the hard and steady beats of her heart against her palm, “they make everything with Lena… seem like more than just that, y’know? Like all my senses are even more amplified.”

It's a thoughtful silence that follows as Alex processes her words while her fingers continue to brush through the strands of Kara’s hair. 

“Is that scary?” Alex finally asks, softly, carefully as if she isn't sure how she's supposed to react to Kara’s revelation. 

---

She laughs lightly before she nods. 

“It is. It terrifies me a hell of a lot.” She gives Jess what she hopes is a brave smile. “But after all this time, I’ve also come to realize that I'd rather live my life knowing what it's like to love Kara in all the ways that I possibly can than never know it at all.”

Jess vehemently shakes her head, her eyes wide in awe. “God, I really can't imagine. I think I’d be too scared to even think of risking it and possibly lose somebody who already means so much to me.” 

“I understand,” she agrees, a striking pain in her chest at the very thought of losing Kara completely. And it's not like she can say that the possibility isn't there. The possibility is always there. She can't predict what the future might bring for the both of them. “Maybe it's naive to even think that we could be friends if this doesn't work out. It might even be awkward and painful for a time but—” she pauses to take in a deep steadying breath, “I have to believe that in the end of it all, I’d still want that. That I’d still want to have Kara in my life. I really believe that I'd still… be lightyears happier having her around, in whatever capacity that she chooses. Nothing else feels truer than that.” 

“Wow,” Jess breathes out, the look of awe on her face quickly replaced by one of concern. “You okay? You look like you're about to throw up.” 

She huffs out a trembling breath, having felt a little light-headed after what she just said. She grabs her glass of water and takes a long sip of it. Lena doesn't know how to explain just how much lighter and relieved she feels having shared all of that with Sam and Jess, doesn't realize just how much of this she’s been carrying inside of her. She wonders how she will feel when she finally shares all of this with Kara. 

She nods slowly. “That was just a lot more than I expected to say,” she confesses as a smile slowly pulls at her lips. “But, it also felt really good.”

She turns to Sam when she feels her gently nudging her shoulder. There’s that same proud and tender smile on her face that she wore the last time they had this talk before the gala. “I know I’ve said this to you before, but I really do love this for you.”

Jess nods in agreement, her own smile as equally proud and tender. “I am too. It still sounds terrifying as all fuck to hell but this is also the happiest I’ve ever seen you, and that's all I could ever want for you.”

Lena quickly reaches out to the both of them, grateful when they reach back out to her and she takes hold of their hands in a tight grasp. 

---

Kara lets out a heavy, shaky breath.

“You know I’ve had loads of crushes and I’ve liked a lot of people but it’s never gotten this far before. It's never been with somebody who’s so… who’s so much in my life. How do I know that this isn't because she’s my best friend and I’m just confusing things? How do I tell the difference?”

There are times when she’s hanging out with Lena and Kara forgets that she can kiss her, forgets that she knows exactly what Lena looks like when she’s naked, forgets what Lena sounds like when Kara's moving her fingers inside her. Times when Kara thinks she can go an entire day being with Lena, hanging out, talking to her and nothing else, and she'd still be so incredibly happy because… it’s Lena

But they’re always these fast and fleeting moments when she forgets all of this until something reminds her or she reminds herself in the way that her skin itches to be close against Lena’s skin, how her fingers shake to trace the now so-achingly familiar topography of Lena’s body. 

“Oh, I’m very much not the right person to ask that question,” Alex chuckles self-deprecatingly. “With my track record, maybe I shouldn’t be offering any kind of romantic advice.”

Kara frowns, reaching back to grab Alex’s hand to give it a gentle squeeze. “Hey, you and Parker breaking up wasn't your fault.” 

A part of Kara hadn’t been surprised when Alex told her the news about her and Parker. It wasn't even that Alex was crying over the phone or anything like that but Kara could still hear the sadness in her sister's voice despite her trying to be brave and claim that she was totally fine. Kara  had been expecting the break-up after the last few times that she saw them together though she had also hoped to be mistaken. 

She knows that they both did the best they could to move forward from whatever it was that stumbled them both but it didn't seem to be enough to keep them together and it made Kara sad to see her sister so miserable. And on the handful of occasions she bumped into them, Kara could tell too that Parker wasn't faring any better and she sincerely hopes that Parker has somebody who’s there for them just as she is trying to be for Alex. 

Their outing today with Ruby seemed to really make Alex happy though which was something Kara hoped would happen, and it was part of the reason why she suggested the three of them spend time together in the first place. The other reason was of course, dinosaurs. 

“No, I know.” Alex returns her reassuring squeeze with one of her own. “And who knows. Maybe next time, I’ll just follow your lead and fall for my best friend,” she lightly teases. 

It’s probably the first time that her feelings have been put so simply and out loud that her heart flutters in reaction to it, the joy that seems almost overwhelming that she can't help but laugh and revel in it. It's raw and addictive and Kara hopes that she’ll never ever get used to that. 

“I mean, I do highly recommend it,” she murmurs cheekily, smiling when it makes Alex chuckle in return.

---

“So what's the next step? Not that there's any pressure to already have one but, do you know?”

Lena pauses mid-chew of her food, so caught up in enjoying her lunch that she’s almost startled by Sam’s question. It’s not unexpected, given the conversation that they’ve been having. Over the course of their meal, Lena has shared with them parts of her time with Kara since they left the gala last night, about the flowers that Kara gave her and the significance of the rose. She still leaves out the more explicit sexual details, of course, much to Sam’s very loud disappointment. 

So it’s perfectly reasonable to want to know what’s going to happen next, or what Lena wants to happen next. She resumes to slowly chew, ruminating over her answer before finally swallowing. “I guess, all that’s left to do now,” she pauses to set her knife and fork down on the plate, “is to maybe go on a date?”

Warmth floods her cheeks. It’s not even that she’s never asked somebody out before but it’s never been somebody who already means so much to her, somebody she knows so well. It has her a little off-kilter, has her feeling like there’s never been anybody else that came before and she supposes that in a way, it’s true. There's never been anybody like Kara before. 

“A romantic date,” Jess interjects, laying her napkin over her now empty plate. “You guys go on a lot of dates as it is and you both might know what you mean by this one but still, there can't be any question about what it is.”

Lena nods in agreement, laughing slightly at Jess’ firm insistence. “Right. You’re right.”

“Yeah, if you can hold yourself back long enough from diving face-first between her legs.”

She snorts, narrowing her eyes into a glare as she shoves Sam to push her off her seat. “Rude,” she mutters, slightly mortified by the fiery blush that’s heating up her face. It certainly doesn't help that the very mention of it takes Lena back to last night when she was in that exact position. 

“I’m just saying,” Sam laughs, unremorseful as she rights herself back into her chair. 

Her stomach flutters nervously. Even though she is certain that this is where she and Kara are headed, where they both want to be headed, she can’t help but still feel a little trepidation towards it. No step that they’ve taken together has been a small step, and this feels like the biggest step yet. Though she supposes that’s how every step will feel no matter where they are in this. 

She sighs. 

---

“What’s up, crinkle-face?”

Kara breathes out another sigh, heavier this time. She shrugs. “I’m trying not to rush myself into thinking so far ahead about what could happen between me and Lena but—”

“It's hard not to,” Alex astutely finishes for her. She scrapes her fingernails over Kara’s scalp. It's a gentle and reassuring touch that Kara greedily melts into for the comfort it offers. “You can still talk about it, Kara. That's what big sisters are for, y’know. We don't have to figure everything out now. Sometimes it helps to just say things out loud.” 

She sighs again, nodding her head. “I know. You're right.” Kara rubs her hand over her face. “I guess I’m worried? And scared; that this might not work out.” She sits up abruptly and turns herself around to face her sister. “What if it doesn't work out? What’s going to happen to us?”

Alex sits up herself and pats the empty space next to her on the couch. “Come up here,” she tells Kara who immediately does so, resting her head on Alex’s shoulder. She curls further into her sister when Alex lays an arm over her shoulders, keeping her close. Kara breathes in Alex’s comforting scent, lets it calm her down.  “Do you think that you wouldn't be friends anymore?” Alex quietly asks, getting right to the heart of Kara’s fear.

Kara chews on her bottom lip. “I know I'd want to still be. I’ll always want to be friends with Lena because… she’s the best. But— would Lena want that too?”

“Well, what does your gut tell you?”

She shrugs noncommittally. “She would, but that doesn't mean anything. What if that is just my hope talking?”

“And this isn't your fear talking right now?” Alex quickly counters back.

“Alex—”

“No Kara, look.” Alex gently nudges her off her shoulder, making it a point to have them facing each other on the couch which Kara knows is Alex's way of letting her see the truth in her eyes, to make sure that Kara is listening to every word that she's saying. “You trusted your instincts when you first met Lena. Even though we were all extremely wary about her and distrustful of her; even though we told you constantly to be careful around her, your instincts still told you that you could trust her, almost right from the beginning.” She takes Kara’s hands into hers, giving them a tight squeeze, the tightest that she possibly can and Kara can just about feel them too. “So trust your instincts now.” 

“But what if—” she starts to say but Alex interrupts her. 

If it doesn’t work out between you guys, which I doubt, but if it doesn’t, I genuinely believe you'll still find your way back to each other.” She gives Kara a small reassuring smile, releasing one hand to cup Kara’s cheek. “If there's anything I’ve learned from seeing you both these past few months, years even, is that you're meant to be in each other's lives, Kara, in whatever way you decide to be.” Alex’s brown eyes suddenly turn a little glassy, her voice thickened. “I know this is scary and honestly, I'm so fucking scared for you too. It's a really big change.”

Kara nods, swallowing down the lump in her throat. It doesn't take much to understand how helpless Alex must feel. Her dearest big sister, always wanting to protect her from anything that could hurt her. Even herself. “So, so big,” she whispers. 

Alex exhales a tremulous sigh, smiling shakily at her. She lowers her hand back down to grasp Kara’s once again, giving it another squeeze. “I’ve seen you through so many adventures in these last few years, Kara. Coming out as Supergirl, becoming the hero that you were always meant to be, diving into your career as a journalist.” Kara’s chest tightens at the pride that shines so brightly in her sister’s eyes. “I've seen you through all of that, going in with your eyes wide open and so full of hope and determination, and I see you thrive every single time. And now, I’m seeing you through one of the biggest adventures that your heart will ever take you. There is no doubt in my mind that you will do this just as beautifully as you have done everything else.”

Kara throws her arms around her sister, pulling her into a fierce hug. There will never be a time when she isn't overwhelmingly grateful to have Alex in her life, that fate has brought them together. 

“I’m going to mess up,” she finally speaks up, her words muffled by Alex’s shoulder but she can hear the way that it cracks.

Alex withdraws from the hug, nodding, a tender smile on her face as she pushes Kara's hair back and tucks it behind her ear. “And Lena will too, and that's okay. I’m here, for both of you.” She pulls Kara in so that they return to their previous position, sitting next to each other with Kara's head resting back on Alex's shoulder and Alex’s fingers brushing soothingly through her hair. “Whatever happens, I’m always here.” 

She rubs her cheek on Alex’s shoulder. “You're the best sister in the world, you know that, right?”

Alex chuckles, so warm and affectionate that Kara basks in it. 

“Yeah, I kinda freakin’ rock.” 

---

Lena huffs out a breath of relief when her phone starts to buzz beside her, a smile appearing when she sees Kara's name on the caller ID.

“Good morning, Kara,” she sighs, not even bothering to hide the tension in her voice. 

“Good morning, Lena. Sounds like the day's treating you well,” Kara lightly teases.

She chuckles, her eyes following the lazy twirl of the fountain pen between her ink-stained fingers. There had been a minor stumbling incident while refilling her fountain pen earlier this morning, the first of many annoying things that made up her morning. 

“Better now that I’m hearing your voice though,” she softly replies. “What’s up?” she asks, pulling open a drawer to grab the small bottle of hand sanitizer to clean her hands. 

There’s no other sound coming from Kara’s end except for the rhythmic tapping of a keyboard. Kara must be in her own office, wanting to work with less noise around her. “I know you've got a work lunch with Sam and Jess but do you wanna have a dinner date tomorrow? Franklin was telling me earlier about this Malaysian place he went to last night so now I’ve got a terrible craving for nasi lemak.” 

Lena winces guiltily. “Oh darling, I’m so sorry. I have another work dinner thing that I absolutely cannot miss.”

Kara lets out a disappointed sigh. “That's okay. Some other time then. I guess I can just get it delivered instead and I guess I can actually get this article done much sooner than planned.”

She gasps into the phone, scandalized. Lena presses her hand to her chest. “Kara Danvers, were you planning to… use me to procrastinate?”

“Yes—” Kara shamelessly admits before whining, “but Lena, words are really hard and no offense, English is just really so stupid.”

The laugh that bursts out of her is loud and strips away any remaining tension left in her body. She can easily imagine the cute pout on Kara’s lips as she said that. Lena sighs and rests back against her chair. If Jess or Sam were to walk in right now, they'd probably see the dopiest, most adoring grin on her face. She quickly glances over to make sure that her door is locked. 

“You’re ridiculous but I do concur that English is stupid so no offense taken,” she agrees. 

Kara chuckles. “Who're you having dinner with anyway? Anybody I might know that you can tell me about?” 

“Possibly? Pretty big name in tech,” she answers distractedly as she places the bottle of hand sanitizer back in the drawer before pushing it shut. “I’m meeting with Andrea Rojas.”

“Mmm, Rojas, Rojas… Obsidian Tech, right?” Kara asks inquisitively, though Lena isn't much surprised by her best friend’s apt knowledge. The company and its CEO—who so happens to be an old friend from school—have been making quite the splash in the news these past few months. “That is one hot date.”

Despite herself, Lena blushes at the implication of Kara’s words. “Oh no, no, it’s not like that. We’re just old friends.”

“Oh, you two actually know each other?”

“We went to boarding school together,” she discloses quietly. Memories of the years she spent with Andrea by her side, rushes through the bank of her mind. Reminiscing and getting caught up in the past has been the biggest contributing factor to her distraction today. 

It’s been many years since she and Andrea have seen each other; the last of which had been a fracturing moment in their friendship when she realized that Andrea had kept something really important from her. Lena had seen that as a betrayal and they hadn't been the same since. But so much has changed since those days and Lena wonders if tomorrow can spark a new beginning for their friendship. 

She returns her attention to the thoughtful humming Kara is making over the phone. “Is this the same school with Veronica Sinclair? Because I've got to say, you really don't have the best track record with people you knew from school.” 

“You think you're so funny,” she deadpans though she smiles despite herself when she hears Kara laughing. She waits until Kara is finally done, shaking her head at how long it takes. What a dork. “And no, Andrea’s not like that.”

“Sounds like there's a history there.” 

“You can say that,” Lena slowly replies, biting down on her bottom lip. Kara sounds naturally curious which isn't at all unusual. There haven't been many people who have shown interest in sincerely wanting to know Lena, just to know her and not to use her. But even from the first time they met when Kara came to interview her, she had always been able to get Lena to share more of herself than she had ever done with anyone at first meeting. It's why she’s not surprised by the inexplicable need to explain herself. “But… that's all there is between us. History. I really want to partner with her—with Obsidian Tech—on this one project, and nothing else.” She lets out a discreet breath, pinching her thigh to stop herself from rambling even further. “Kara?” she murmurs, realizing that her best friend hasn't said a word just yet. 

“Oh! Yeah, that’s—that sounds cool?” Kara utters. She sounds slightly befuddled and Lena doesn't blame her. Both she and Kara know that she isn't prone to rambling or stumbling over her words so Kara is more than likely wondering why she is at all, why Lena seems nervous. 

It’s been a couple of days since they last saw each other and Lena has been busy post-gala, not to mention this new possible venture for the new year. Her relationship with Andrea, while it was very much platonic, it was also the first incredibly intimate relationship Lena ever had with anybody outside of her family. Maybe it was because they were younger then and everything they felt and experienced seemed bigger, world-ending. 

But even still, she doesn't want to give Kara the wrong impression about Andrea, about what Andrea means to her. 

Lena sighs, shaking her head. “Sorry. I’m being… weird.” She takes in a deep breath and slowly lets it out. “Andrea and I didn't end on the best of terms the last time we saw each other, so I’m not too sure what to think or how to feel about meeting with her after all this time.”

“Do you think she’ll say no to you guys working together?”

She shrugs, chewing on her bottom lip. “It's a possibility.” 

“I’m sure that you'll get the project, Lena,” Kara murmurs, her confidence in Lena's abilities sturdy as it has always been. “And if Andrea was really your best friend and you guys haven't seen each other in so long, then I can bet that she misses you very much.”

Lena swallows thickly at Kara's reassuring words, at how certain she is of her. “Oh really? You think she missed me?” she asks, an attempt at being cool and breezy. She’s not doing the best job of it. 

Kara chuckles. “Heck yeah. It’s only been a few days but I miss you.”

“I miss you ,” she sighs, realizing in this heart-striking moment exactly how much she really misses Kara. So much so that she contemplates asking Kara to fly over for a few minutes. “And I am sorry that we won't be able to have dinner,” she murmurs wistfully. “I would much rather see you than work. The rest of my weekend doesn't look so good either.”

“That’s okay,” Kara gently reassures her. “I know your work is important, and I’m going to see you Monday anyway, right?”

She frowns. “Monday?”

“The New Year's Eve party at Alex’s place?”

Suddenly she’s remembering Alex telling her about the party and inviting her to it while they were dancing at the Christmas gala. 

“Fuck, it's New Year’s already?” she asks, glancing over at the calendar on her desk that she rarely uses, as evident by the fact that the February tab of the calendar is staring back at her. Jess keeps giving these calendars to her at the beginning of every year, even though Lena also keeps telling her every single time that she’ll just end up using the one on her phone anyway, which she does , when it alerts her to notifications that Patrick had already set for her. 

Still, she quickly flips through the tabs until she finally gets to December. 

Kara lets out a knowing laugh, as if she isn’t at all surprised that Lena forgot. “Yes ma'am.” 

“The days since the gala really got away from me.” She scratches lightly at her forehead before going to type it into her calendar. She’s sure that Sam will remind her on the day itself but still, it never hurts to be doubly prepared. “Yes, you will definitely see me on Monday, I promise.” 

“You can invite Andrea to the party—if you want her there, and also if she wants to, of course.”

She grins affectionately at the impromptu invite. Only Kara would extend an invite to a perfect stranger simply because of who she is to Lena. “Oh, I’m sure that she’ll already have plans.”

“Just in case, if she's anything like you and forgot what Monday is,” Kara cheekily replies. 

“Hah, still trying to be funny,” she deadpans, rolling her eyes at her dork of a best friend. “But okay, I’ll ask her anyway. Do you need me to bring anything?”

“Just you is more than enough,” Kara answers, so softly that Lena is sure, she can hear the pounding beat of Lena’s heart. 

---

Kara lets out a deep breath of relief when she finally finds a place to sit.

It’s less that she’s sitting down and more where she’s sitting and that happens to be in the corner of Alex’s living room where it’s significantly less crowded. Less than an hour into the New Year’s Eve party, Alex pretty much abandoned her to hosting and entertaining their guests on her own. Kara is just thankful that their combined friend group is small enough that most people know each other and that there wouldn't be any awkward moments. But still, she’s been desperately needing a little time to herself for a little while. 

She’s brushing her fingers through her hair when an unopened bottle of beer appears in front of her face. Her eyes trail up the hand lightly gripping the bottle’s neck to the slender arm it’s connected to and right up to the crooked and slightly tipsy smile plastered on Sam’s flushed face. 

“You look like you need a drink, sunshine.”

With a tired, grateful smile, Kara plucks the bottle from her hand and swiftly flicks the bottle cap off with her thumb. “Sammy, you are my hero.” 

She takes a long swig of the refreshingly ice-cold drink before looking back around the room, chewing on her bottom lip. She hopes that everybody is enjoying themselves. A quiet sigh shudders itself out of her when she feels Sam’s fingers gently drag up the back of her neck, weaving through her hair. When she looks up to meet her friend's gaze, it's kind and reassuring. “Babe, relax. Everybody’s having a good time.”

Kara smiles but still, she can't help but ask. “Ruby too?” 

Sam nods, snorting. “She gets to stay up to midnight and has two buddies her age hanging out with her. She’s having a blast. Me? I’m trying not to fall asleep where I stand .”

“It’s ‘cause you're old,” she teases. 

“Oh, look, I found a seat.” Sam plops herself right in Kara’s lap making Kara squeak in surprise. “Thanks, Kara.” 

She glares mildly at Sam’s cheeky grin as she drapes her arm over Kara’s shoulder, going back to playing with the strands of Kara’s hair. “You could have just asked?”

“But the look on your face made it so much more fun.” 

She laughs, shaking her head as she gets more comfortable, pulling Sam in a little closer who responds to the move by curling into her. Kara used to worry that Sam, with her long arms and long legs, would be uncomfortable like this and yet somehow Sam is always able to make herself pliable enough that she fits easily. 

“Thanks for letting me leech off your heat.” 

Kara snorts, giving her a crooked smile. “Is it leeching if I'm letting you?”

Sam shrugs. “I guess.” She rests her head on Kara’s shoulder, humming quietly. “Kinda making me feel a little sleepy now though.”

“I can always carry you to the spare room,” she gently offers. 

“Mmm, tempting, but it's okay. There’s just another hour or so before midnight. I can make it.”

Kara nods, shifting to get even more comfortable. An easy silence falls between them as they watch the merriment around them. She watches in amusement as Nia dances around a very stiff Brainy though the minuscule smile on his face tells her just how much he likes seeing Nia so joyful  like this. It warms her to watch how their relationship has been growing recently. Kara wonders what Alex is going to think tomorrow morning about all the glitter that’s on the floor. 

There’s a small crowd of DEO and CatCo employees around the coffee table playing what looks to be an intense game of Uno. This is actually the first year she and Alex decided to host a New Year’s party for both of Kara’s jobs when usually it’d be one of the other. It is partly why she’s been a little anxious about everybody enjoying themselves and getting along. 

She shivers slightly when Sam’s nose tickles her neck. Kara can tell that her friend is much more tired than she claimed but she doesn’t say a word about it, knowing that Sam would only protest and stubbornly push herself to stay up longer than she should. So she gently rubs Sam’s back instead, soothing. “We should hang out more next year, Sammy,” she softly murmurs. 

Sam hums quietly in agreement. “We are due for some one on one time, huh?”

Long overdue,” she pouts, making Sam chuckle against her. 

“Wanna grab dinner sometime this week then? We can try out that place that just opened up near my place.” 

“Ooh, that Jamaican restaurant?” she asks, her mouth already watering at the mere suggestion. “And then maybe get some gelato after that?”

“In this weather?” Sam pulls back a little to give her a skeptical look before good-naturedly rolling her eyes when Kara only shrugs at her. “Fine, you can get gelato, I’ll get some hot chocolate.” She pulls her phone from out of her back pocket, tapping on her calendar app. “Ooh, how exciting. My schedule’s actually pretty light, thank god. How’s Friday?” At Kara's nod of approval, Sam starts typing onto her phone. “And we’re set.”

“Thank you, Sammy.” 

“Hey, I've missed you too.” Sam’s smile turns teasing after tucking her phone back into her pocket. “My office is on the same floor as Lena’s, y’know.”

She gives her a sheepish smile, feeling her cheeks getting warm. “I know.” 

Sam chuckles, shrugging her shoulders. “It's okay, I get it. You both are going through something right now.” She gives Kara a sweet smile. “I’m not going anywhere.”

Kara doesn't reply, merely tucks her face into Sam’s neck, breathing her in as she tightens her arms around her, overwhelmingly grateful to have Sam’s comforting presence in her life. She does feel a little guilty for having neglected Sam, even if she is being very understanding about it. Kara makes a promise to herself that she is going to try better. “Love you, Sammy,” she sighs. 

“I love you too, sunshine,” Sam murmurs quietly. 

“What about you though? Nobody catching your eye lately?” she asks. It’s been awhile since she’s heard anything new about Sam’s dating life. 

Sam scrunches her nose. “Eh, I’ve had a couple of dates here and there but they’ve all just been for fun, you know? But I’m not in a rush. I spent literally all of Ruby’s childhood and preteen years devoted to nobody but Mr Hitachi because I was too exhausted to get on top of an actual person. I’ve got a few more years left in my prime to have some fun.”

Kara scoffs, rearing back to meet Sam’s gaze with a serious look on her face. “Samantha, you are never going to be out of your prime. You’re kind, gorgeous and super dreamy.” She thinks better of mentioning that she actually used to have a tiny-teeny crush on Sam when they first met. And who can blame her? Sam had walked in– no, swaggered in Lena’s office with more confidence than Kara had ever seen in a person, other than Miss Grant, and as is evident from her previous crushes, it seemed pretty inevitable that a crush on Sam was going to happen which it very much did. And Kara just knows that Sam would tease the hell out of her if she ever found out about this.

“Awww, look at you trying to make me feel better. You’re such a good friend.” Sam points a finger at her face. “But don’t kiss me though. Lena might get jealous.”

Kara huffs out a chuckle, trying her best to not blush at the thought of kissing Sam. “Lena wouldn't get jealous.” 

Sam lets out a snort. “And I’m just sitting here ‘cause you're a good place to sit.”

She frowns in confusion. “But she’s not even here yet,” Kara points out, and she should know since Lena’s heartbeat is still much too far away for her liking. 

“So I get to be comfortable and warm for a little while longer. I don't see the problem.”

She rolls her eyes, shaking her head as she laughs at Sam’s mirthful grin. Thinking about Lena now, Kara can’t help but wonder how her lunch went with Andrea Rojas. Though she and Lena have called and texted since her failed attempt at asking Lena out for a date, there was no mention about how the lunch actually went. 

Yes, her original intent on asking Lena out for dinner was for a date of the romantic variety but clearly, the universe was telling her it wasn’t the right time just yet. She still plans on doing it. She’s just not so sure when. 

And she is still incredibly curious about who Andrea is, or was, to Lena. It was easy to tell from Lena’s voice how much Andrea had meant to her. And it’s not that she spent the last two days researching everything she could about Andrea or anything. Kara just wanted to make sure that Andrea wasn’t coming back into Lena’s life for the wrong reasons. Andrea is just lucky that Kara didn’t ask Winn to do a complete background check on her. 

But maybe Sam knows something that she doesn’t. 

“So… has Lena told you about her dinner on Saturday?”

“With Andrea Rojas?” Sam asks, continuing when Kara nods, “She told me today she secured the project so you know how she gets after news like that; just dove right into the work.”

She nods in acknowledgement. Lena does indeed get like that. “Do you know Andrea personally?”

Sam shakes her head. “Only from what little Lena told me and Jess when we had our meeting today; that they went to school together, they were the best of friends but then they had some kind of a falling out. She didn't elaborate beyond that.”

“Yeah, that was pretty much what she told me too,” she sighs. When she doesn’t hear a reply, Kara glances up and notices a weird smile on Sam’s face that she can't help but feel like she has missed something. “What?” 

Sam shakes her head, a gentle smile on her face now. “Nothing,” she replies as she leans into placatingly press her lips to Kara’s temple. 

“Nothing at all,” she adds quietly. 

---

Alex is the first familiar face she sees after entering the apartment and getting through the throng of people along the way. 

Not that she doesn’t recognize anybody but they're nobody she knows particularly well enough to stop and say hello. Kara had warned her beforehand that more people had been invited than there normally were and so Lena was thankfully prepared for it. 

“Hey Lena, better late than never.”

She starts unbuttoning her coat, blowing out a tired breath. “I’m so sorry. I wanted to get a head start with our Australian investors and I completely lost track of time.” 

Lena had been so excited when Andrea came back to her and told her that the project was given the green light by the board at Obsidian Tech. Not to mention that she spent nearly the entire day, from the afternoon onwards, speaking with a few of her people from LCorp branches across the globe to talk over their end-of-year reports. 

Alex waves off her apology. “It’s okay. We all know how you can get but it's good that you're finally here with us.”

“I also brought this for you.” She holds up a bottle to Alex with a flourish. 

Alex’s brown eyes brighten. “Nice.” She takes the bottle, holding it up to look at the label. “I know I say this about nearly every bottle you've brought me but this one looks crazy old.” She unscrews the cap, taking a whiff of the amber liquid. “And smells like liquid fire ,” she coughs before wiping the tears in her eyes. She screws the cap back onto the bottle, before turning around to store the bottle away in one of the top kitchen cabinets, out of reach from all the party-goers. “I’m not even going to ask how much it cost you.”

“Well, I’m happy to tell you, it cost me absolutely nothing. It’s one of the gifts that an investor sent me before the gala. But I’m sure it's obnoxiously expensive,” she dryly utters. 

Alex grabs a bottle of beer and holds it out for Lena. “Come over Wednesday night then?”

“Already planned on it,” she replies with a laugh, gratefully grabbing the bottle as she gestures in the general direction of the small crowd sitting around the coffee table. “How’s the party going so far?” she asks before taking a sip, watching Alex shrug in reply.

“Nothing’s broken but the night is still young.” 

She gives Alex a funny look. “It’s already 11.30. The night isn't that young.” 

“What are you, the time police?”

Lena snorts, shaking her head. She thinks about asking where Kara is but makes a cursory glance around the room first and easily finds her. Her eyes narrow slightly at seeing Sam sitting in Kara’s lap and the position in which she's draped herself over Kara. 

Not that Kara looks in any way uncomfortable, having Sam nestling herself into her like that. In fact, they both look very comfortable and entirely engrossed in whatever conversation it is that they're currently having. And that is… fine. It's nothing new. She has seen them cuddling like this many times before. But she can admit to herself that she desperately wants to be the one sitting in Kara’s lap. 

She pointedly turns her attention back to Alex. “So, any New Year’s resolution for you?”

“I got nothing.” Alex shrugs, blowing out a heavy breath.  “Maybe no dwelling on the fact that I’m once again, single on New Year’s?” she jokingly suggests, raising her bottle to a fake cheer. 

“How are you holding up?” she asks, frowning in sympathy at the sad look that passes Alex's face. 

“I’ll survive,” Alex chuckles half-heartedly, shrugging a little to herself. 

And Lena has no doubt that Alex will indeed survive, that she’ll get through this hurt and that she will eventually meet somebody new. She places a hand on Alex’s shoulder and gives it a gentle squeeze. They share a smile and stand quietly by themselves as they slowly drink their beers. 

Alex clears her throat. “What about you? Any… super life changes you’re thinking about making in the new year?” 

She had been halfway in raising her bottle to take another sip but then Lena pauses. Her eyebrow arches at the terribly-veiled question as Alex completely avoids her gaze. “You’re about as subtle as your sister,” she replies, taking that quick sip and chuckling when Alex lets out a sharp gasp as she turns back to her. 

“I take offense to that.” 

She snorts. “Am I wrong?” 

“No, but I can still take offense to it.” Alex pouts with the kind of petulance that almost rivals Kara's which is really quite the feat. 

It won't do any harm to share with Alex, where she is on the whole… feelings-about-Kara front. There's no way that Kara hasn't shared with her sister, all that's been going on with them recently either, so it's very likely that Alex will have some insight. It’s not like she wants to know exactly what Kara said though she is, as always, very curious. And even though she is certain about where they’re headed together, it won't hurt to have a little more assurance. 

When she looks to where she saw Sam and Kara, she notices that it's Sam sitting sprawled in the chair by herself this time. And as if Sam can feel her stare, she looks up and their eyes meet. She watches as Sam gives her a knowing smile and tilts her head towards the balcony, seemingly to answer Lena's silent question. She moves her gaze accordingly and sees Kara leaning over the railing, watching over the city. She feels the itch in her feet to move closer, to go where Kara is. 

There’s a relaxed slump to Kara’s shoulder, telling Lena that Kara is people-watching for fun and not to keep guard over them though she probably still is, in her own way. Kara turns slightly and Lena can see her profile, swooning at the defined jaw that she can see from where she stands. 

Lena sets her bottle on the counter, clearing her throat in, funnily enough, much the same way that Alex did. “I have been—thinking about making super life changes in the new year.”

She doesn't expect Alex to turn so abruptly that it has her stumbling back a little bit. “Whoa wait, I was just kidding. Are you for real?” Alex’s eyes are wide and excited in a way that Lena doesn't usually see outside of the lab when she’s showing Alex her latest creations. 

She can't help but feel a little thrown off by it. “Is that crazy?”

Noticing her uncertainty, Alex reels back, shaking her head. “No. No, I think it’s great.” At Lena's slightly skeptical look, Alex laughs. “No, honestly. I’ve been thinking about it lately, about you and Kara, and how it just feels like something that's always meant to happen.”

“You mean us—” Lena starts to make a crude gesture when Alex hastily slaps her hands down.

“No! I mean, yes! But no, I meant— I meant, that you guys have always just… fit, y’know? Even if you're just…”

“Fucking,” she offers ever-so-helpfully, getting her equilibrium back as a gleeful smile grows on her face at the tortured expression on Alex’s face. 

“God, I fucking hate you,” Alex growls. “She is my baby sister. You know that I fully support yours and her choices but please spare me the visuals.”

She raises her hands in concession. “Fine, fine. So you were saying?”

“Right. You two make so much sense as friends but now I think that… maybe it doesn't matter what your relationship is. Friends, girlfriends.” Alex shrugs. Lena watches her brown eyes look over, seeming to zero in right on Kara. Alex softens immediately at seeing her sister before bringing her gaze back to Lena, still with the same softness that she had for Kara. 

“No matter what, you’re always just going to be Kara and Lena.” 

--- 

“Hey Kara.”

She glances over to the side, taking her attention away from the group of people drunkenly ambling down the sidewalk. “Ellie, hey!” She gestures for Ellie to join her at the railing. Kara looks inside and nods happily when she sees Ellie had brought her family with her. “I’m so glad you guys made it to the party.”

It’s a rarity to see Ellie outside of the DEO as she has admitted a few times before that she is very much a homebody. So having her and partners over is quite a treat for Kara.

“Thanks for inviting us.” Ellie playfully nudges her shoulder as she mimics Kara’s previous position, overlooking the goings on down the sidewalk. “So what’s the hostess doing outside when the party’s happening inside? It's almost midnight, y’know.”

Kara chuckles. “Just needed a little breather.”

Ellie nods in understanding before a playful smile grows on her face. “Miss Luthor is here.” 

“I know.” She ducks her head at the teasing in Ellie’s voice. Lena's heartbeat has been a constant since she could hear it drawing closer and closer from LCorp. It’s a wonder how she hasn't gone to be by Lena’s side just yet. But Kara also wanted to give Lena some time to hang out with everybody else since she’s very much hoping that they'll be ending the night together. Suddenly she hears shouts of people saying to get ready for fireworks. “You should go back inside and find your New Year’s kisses.”

Ellie grimaces slightly before giving Kara an unsure smile. “We uh— not everybody knows about my family situation,” she pauses at Kara’s questioning frown and shrugs as she continues to explain. “Not many people at work actually know about us.”

Suddenly it hits Kara, understanding all at oncr. “Oh! Ellie, I’m so sorry. I didn’t—” she stops when Ellie places a hand on Kara's arm, shaking her head.

“There’s nothing to be sorry about,” she quietly murmurs. “It's not our first time and it definitely won't be the last.” A wry grin pulls at her lips.  “And anyway, we wanted to come.”

“Then I’m double— triple-y — glad that you guys came.” She grins, pleased when Ellie laughs at her playful word choice. Kara understands more than anything the choice to keep hidden the parts that are precious to a person, the desire to protect it from harm and judgement. She gives Ellie an assuring stare. “But hey, if you guys get into any kind of trouble—”

“Supergirl will come to our rescue, I know,” Ellie continues with practiced, knowing ease, giving Kara an appreciative grin. “Thanks, Kara.”

“Always.” Kara nods firmly. 

“Hello there,” a voice cuts in, interrupting their moment. But a welcome interruption. 

“Lena! You remember Ellie, right?”

Her best friend's face is a pretty flush of pink that Kara assumes is from the glass of wine that she’s holding in her hand. She’s a sight for sore eyes and Kara’s heart flutters at seeing Lena’s charmingly crooked grin. She smiles gratefully when Ellie takes a slight step back to make space for Lena to stand between them, closer to her. Kara ducks her head to hide her blushing when Lena kisses her cheek in greeting before turning her attention back to Ellie who’s wearing an incredibly smug smile on her face. 

“Of course. It’s good to see you again, Agent Darcy.”

Ellie nods. “Miss Luthor.” She meets Kara’s gaze with a knowing smirk. “I’ll leave you both to it. Happy New Year, you two.” 

She holds out her arms and Kara’s eyes widen. While Kara never, ever minds being the one to ask for a hug most of the time, it also means that Ellie actually offering one is an incredibly rare occasion. So Kara doesn't take the opportunity for granted, quickly swooping in to wrap her arms around her friend. Tighter than normal in the way that Ellie prefers. “Happy New Year, Ellie,” she whispers. 

She and Lena then both watch as Ellie rejoins the party, going in search of her family before they turn back to each other, sharing a smile. Alone at last. 

“Hi again,” Kara murmurs teasingly as they move back to stand against the railing. “Have you been looking for me?”

Lena nods, leaning in to bump their shoulders together. “Missed you,” she murmurs, shivering as she rests her head on Kara's shoulder. She curls in a little closer when Kara wraps her arm around her shoulders, humming in approval.

She gently kisses Lena’s temple. “I missed you too,” she whispers in return, rubbing Lena’s arm to help generate a little more heat. “Andrea couldn't make it?” she asks, having noticed earlier when Lena came in alone. 

Lena shakes her head. “She had plans, like I figured she would.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Why?” Lena asks, chuckling. “My New Year’s Eve is ending the way that I hoped it would.”

“Oh yeah?”

Lena hums quietly, nuzzling her cheek on Kara’s shoulder. “I wouldn't trade this for anything and there's nowhere else that I’d rather be than here,” she whispers. “No one else I’d rather—”

The sky lights up with exploding fireworks, startling them both that Lena jumps but Kara catches her easily, firmly gripping Lena’s waist to keep her steady. They stand face to face with Lena’s hands on her shoulders and Kara can see the fireworks in Lena's pale green eyes, drawing her closer until she presses her forehead to Lena’s. 

“Happy New Year, Lena,” she whispers softly. 

 “Happy New Year, Kara,” she feels Lena sigh against her and her heart twists painfully as she watches Lena’s eyes flutter close. “Kiss me.” 

She leans in and presses Lena’s lips with her own, soft and chaste. Lena’s hands are cupping her jaw now, Lena's thumbs brushing over her cheeks as she slowly deepens the kiss. There's a hum that climbs the back of her throat at the way Lena’s tongue sweeps teasingly over her own. Her own hands track up Lena’s back, pulling her even closer. 

Lena’s breath comes out heavy and shaky when they pull back. “Think Alex and Sam will notice if we leave?” she asks, a hungry intent burning in her darkening eyes. 

It takes a hot second for Kara to get the fuzziness out enough for her to even think of a reply. “Um, the party's probably gonna die down now that the ball has dropped. Where— where do you want to go?” she asks, swallowing thickly when Lena starts to play tantalizingly with the hairs at the back of her neck. 

Lena sighs quietly, her eyes quickly flicking down to Kara’s lips before returning to meet her eyes. “We can go back to my place? Maybe pick up some burgers on the way because I’m kind of starving and if you're still feeling particularly hungry, we can grab some potstickers too.”

“Let’s go.”

---

Kara is playing with her food.

It's not something she sees a lot but Lena knows that it generally means just how much must be going on in her best friend's head, distracting her to the point of willfully ignoring her food. Not that there is much left of it really. There are only two potstickers left and Kara has one in her hand, fidgeting with it until she finally brings it up to her mouth to eat it.

They've been sitting on her living room floor, changed into more casual wear and eating their food in companionable silence. With her penthouse being so high, she doesn't get to hear the sounds of the city as clearly as she would when she's staying over at Kara's. She does miss that sometimes, being able to easily hear a bustling city outside the window of her Metropolis home. As much of a thriving city that National City is, it still runs at a much more sedate pace than her former metropolitan home. National City does have its perks though. Her eyes roam over Kara's profile, sighing to herself at the sharpness of Kara’s jawline, the elegance of her neck. 

A truly breathtaking perk. 

The thought crosses her mind that perhaps this is the right time to say something, to approach the idea of maybe going out on a date. A romantic date, she reminds herself. After their phone call the other day, Lena had belatedly wondered if that was what Kara was trying to do too when she asked Lena to go out for dinner. But Lena can't help but notice now the far-away look that’s been in Kara's eyes since they sat down to eat. 

“What's on your mind?” she asks quietly once she sees that Kara has stopped chewing, far too curious to keep quiet about it for much longer. 

“Just—,” Kara starts, stops, then shakes her head as she gives Lena a heartening smile. “I’m just thinking. It’s not important.”

”I have no doubt that whatever is giving you that little crinkle right there is very important,” she teases as she reaches over to smooth her thumb over the aforementioned crinkle. She lets her thumb continue on to stroke over Kara’s eyebrow, watching as Kara’s eyes flutter, sighing and relaxing under her light touch. “What’s up, love?”

Kara's face turns hesitant, the crease between her eyebrows returning and deeper than before. She’s struggling with whatever’s running through her mind and Lena can't help but take pity. She gently cups Kara’s jaw, reassuring with an equally gentle smile. “Hey, it’s alright, darling. We don't have to talk about it right now if you don't have the words for it yet.” 

She takes a deep breath, nodding as she gives Lena a small, grateful smile. “Thank you, Lena.”

“Of course,” she murmurs reassuringly, pulling her hand back. “Kara?” she calls out. She swallows thickly when Kara hums in response. “I—,”she pauses, stumbling on trying to find her words to actually ask Kara out and… absolutely chickening out. “I really want that last potsticker.”

Blue eyes zero in on the remaining piece of fried dumpling in front of her before they’re narrowing back at her with a playful glare. “Oh no, you don't. We both know what happened the last time you took the last potsticker.”

She gasps, positively outraged at Kara’s reframing of that particular event that it distracts her from stumble. “Too— you gave it to me!”

Kara waves a dismissive hand. “Revisionist history.”

Her mouth drops open, an offended squawking sound coming from the back of her throat at the casual dismissal. She glares heatedly at Kara. “Oh, I’ll give you revisionist history—”

Before she can continue, Kara holds up her hands in surrender. “Okay, okay. How about we go halfsies?”

She glances at the hastily sliced potsticker between Kara’s fingers before shooting a dirty look up at her best friend. “That looks more like a quarter than a half.”

Kara gives her a wide-eyed, innocent look. “Your human math escapes me.” She playfully waves the potsticker that is most definitely not half of what it used to be while wearing a most definitely irritating smirk on her face. A smirk that Lena wants very much to wipe off and she knows exactly how to do it. Kara continues to hold up the pitiful portion of the potsticker, taunting and completely oblivious to Lena’s devious musings. “Gonna eat it or no? Because I will gladly—” 

Without a warning, Lena quickly pushes forward, leaning over to take the potsticker between her teeth. She makes sure then to wrap her mouth around Kara’s fingers, leisurely flicking her tongue along the length of them before she pulls back, a humming moan at the back of her throat as she chews on the quarter piece of her share. A smirk is on her face now at the blush that spreads fiercely across Kara's cheeks, smug at the heavy breath that Kara lets out. “Oh, you—you play so very dirty.”

Kara’s blue eyes are as dark and boundless as the night that blankets the sky outside her penthouse apartment. Lena finds herself being pulled even closer to it as she whispers her reply. “I’m a Luthor, darling. You should expect nothing less.” 

Then Kara is kissing her, kissing her firm breathless, kissing her unyielding body-melting, kissing her deep heart-twisting. With Kara's hands on her waist, climbing up her back, Lena finds herself being gently pulled into Kara until she finds the full weight of her body laying on top of Kara’s. A shudder runs down through her at the firm, solid way her body presses into Kara's, the way they fit together as her own hands move to the thick of Kara's blonde hair, feeling the silky strands weave and tangle between her fingers. Lena’s heart flutters and twists at the delicate sigh of Kara's moan into the space of her mouth. 

As their bodies continue to rock languidly against each other in the middle of her living room floor, Lena’s mouth moves hot and needy over Kara’s. It won't be much longer now until they find themselves naked and making a mess all over her carpeted floor. 

But Lena thinks about how little she cares about that in the grand scheme of having Kara like this, so close and so warm and so open to her. Despite the fact that her bedroom is a few paces away from where they are, Lena thinks about how much she doesn't want to stop kissing Kara like this. With the way that Kara is clutching onto her, the way she husks out Lena’s name, she knows that Kara feels the same way too. 

And as Lena moans at the trailing whisper of Kara's fingers moving under her shirt, she thinks too, soon. Soon. 

Soon. 

---

Lena’s staring at her. 

They're still laying on the floor of Lena’s living room, a very naked Lena half-draped over her with nothing covering them except for her shirt blanketing Lena’s butt. And staring at her. Lena is staring at her. Kara's eyes are closed but she can still feel the heat of Lena’s gaze on the side of her face. 

“You okay?” she murmurs in a quiet whisper. 

She knows that Lena is still curious about what had been on her mind since they came to the penthouse but Kara has always found it hard to articulate the complicated jumble of feelings into simple words. But she supposes that it is something that has a lot to do with the New Year, how just like when her birthday comes around, Kara’s mood turns reflective. 

It's strange to think about how this time last year, she was in Lena’s penthouse too but it definitely wasn't like this. Lena's still her best friend but she’s also something more now too. Not in the sense that it's better because really, if she has to pick one or the other, she’d always choose to be Lena’s friend over anything else. 

So maybe it's not that this is better but simply that Lena is… more. 

The New Year is said to bring a tide of change. But Kara has never been particularly good with that, though she does try because change can be good, change can mean better things. She never thought she’d survive working in CatCo without Miss Grant but she did and going by Miss Grant’s own words, Kara has been flourishing. She also never thought she'd be able to stay alive without having Alex by her side on the field despite the fact that that had been a change she strongly encouraged. 

And now her relationship with Lena has changed and continues to do so, and despite how incredibly terrified she is, it’s a change that she keeps wanting. 

She hears Lena humming in reply, feeling her curl in a little closer until Lena’s nose is nuzzling into her neck. Kara lets out a heavy breath when Lena’s sigh sweeps across her skin, her breast brushing against her arm, a flare of desire in the pit of her stomach. “I’m definitely very okay,” Lena replies, the contentment so clear in her voice. “And I know we should go to bed but I really like being here.”

National City isn't as lively as it was a couple of hours ago but Kara can still hear the remaining partygoers continue to enjoy themselves. She’s not surprised. The noise won't die down for a little bit just yet but she doesn't mind so much. All she needs is to simply focus on the strong and steady beat of Lena’s heart. 

Kara turns her head to press her lips to Lena’s forehead. “Me too,” she whispers. “Five more minutes?”

She feels Lena pulling back, feels those green eyes on her again. But Kara keeps her own eyes closed. She imagines how Lena must be looking at her, in only the way that Lena has always looked at her. Kara still doesn't know how to explain what it makes her feel, and a part of her hopes that she never will. Some mysteries should never be solved. 

Kara slowly opens her eyes then, her breath catching when she meets Lena’s gaze for barely a second and she is already moving her hand to weave her fingers in Lena’s dark hair just as Lena’s mouth is upon hers. She rolls slightly to press herself solid against Lena, unable to resist the tactile sensation of their combined warmth as Lena hooks her leg around her. 

There’s a feeling in the pit of her stomach that swoops at the languid, reverent manner that Lena kisses her, how she chases after Kara’s mouth as if she can’t seem to stop herself, as if she can't get enough. The sound of her pleased moan that moves through Kara has her feeling like she’s weightless. Like there’s nothing in the world that she can’t do.

Her heart is pounding fierce in her chest when Lena slows their kiss to a stop, pulls back just far enough to whisper a raspy, “okay,” before coming back to make Kara fly once more. 

---

Slowly and eventually, they make their way to her bedroom, kissing and laughing along the way as they carry their clothes with them. 

The mood remains as lazy between them as it had been in the living room. They fall and sink to the mattress with her on top of Kara and between her legs. Kara is warm and wet, her strong arms and legs wrapping around her as Lena idly rocks into her, kissing her like she has no other purpose in life than to have Kara like this. 

She grips Kara’s hair between her fingers with a firmness that makes Kara’s hips buckle and Lena can’t help but smirk at the reaction. She loses the smirk quickly though, her breath shuddering at realizing the streak of slick heat that Kara leaves on her belly. 

It's amazing how much she can still want to touch and taste Kara, how quickly that desire comes back to her. She doesn't know if that will ever change but she hopes with everything that she has that it never will. There is something just so unspeakably holy in the way that Kara whispers her name against her lips, pleading and wanting. 

Lena moves then, languidly tracking her mouth along Kara’s jaw, down her neck, her chest. Her tongue flicks lazily against hard pink nipples as Kara arches into her greedy mouth. She spends a glorious amount of time there until she notices how much harder Kara bucks against her, searching for more friction. 

Her mouth descends further, chuckling when Kara’s belly tenses, tickled by the nibbling that she does. She licks at Kara’s hipbones as she takes in the heady scent of Kara’s musk, her mouth watering in anticipation of having the taste of Kara coating her tongue. Her green eyes look up to find Kara already staring back down at her, her teeth chewing down hard on her bottom lip. 

She realizes too that somewhere along the way, Kara had turned on the red sun lamps. 

---

There's something about seeing the red sun lamps in Lena’s eyes. 

It’s not the first time that Kara sees it but even now, she doesn't know how to explain it, how it makes her feel to see it. To see a reflection of home in Lena’s green eyes, how it seems like an amalgamation of two different homes coming together and they're both looking right back at her. 

“I want to see you,” she manages to croak out. There's an intense heat spreading across her cheeks, still so unused to speaking so boldly on her desires but her need outweighs her shyness, her fear. If Lena is surprised by it, she doesn't let it show and Kara appreciates that more than anything. “I want you to keep your eyes on me.”

Lena answers her by hooking her arms around Kara's hips, her eyes staring back into Kara’s as her tongue tentatively licks up between her wet folds. Kara's own eyes flutter but she keeps them adamantly open, hooded as she breathes out a whimper, nodding for Lena to keep going. 

She can barely speak but there are still words spilling out of her. She doesn't even know if Lena can hear her, how Kara mutters about how good it feels, how she doesn't want Lena to ever stop. She goes almost dizzy when Lena’s tongue flicks against her clit, and Kara feels the hot blush across her cheeks, hearing just how wet she is right now. 

When she rocks her hips in quiet pleading, moaning in relief when Lena seems to instinctively know to give her what she’s asking to have, Lena’s tongue finally inside her. It makes it harder to not close her eyes but just as much as she wants to see Lena, she wants Lena to see her too, wants her to see what it does to Kara to have Lena fucking her like this. 

Lena’s dark eyes are green and red and home as her tongue curls in the heat of Kara’s pussy and she knows by the way her walls are pulsing around it that she’s right on the edge of orgasm. Her fingers tightly grip the sheets, needing the anchor as she fucks herself onto Lena’s tongue. 

She watches Lena take her hand away, watches that very hand disappear between them. When Lena’s eyes flutter, when she groans in delight against Kara’s pussy, that's when Kara knows just where that hand had gone. It drives her crazy, her head spinning as she nods, muttering “yes” over and over, thinking about the way Lena is fucking herself as she’s fucking her too. 

Her heart clenches painfully in her chest when Lena’s other hand moves to her belly, her palm splayed out over Kara’s stomach in an almost possessive gesture. She puts her own hand on top of Lena’s hand, feeling then as Lena's fingers slide in between hers. 

And this seems to be the final thing on top of everything else with her eyes indelibly locked onto Lena’s, that Kara needs to finally find her release. 

---

She’s resting her head on Kara’s belly, catching her breath as Kara’s fingers brush through her hair. 

Her entire body is still buzzing with a mix of  adrenaline and satisfaction. She’s still replaying the look on Kara’s face when she told her what she wanted and she just knows that she will definitely be revisiting that as much as possible in the future. 

Her fingers are tracing shapes around the freckles that litter Kara’s stomach. Most are barely noticeable to the naked eye but Lena has by now, clocked in many hours spent mapping every inch of Kara's skin and there is not an inch of her that Lena doesn't know intimately well. And there is a particular freckle on Kara's stomach that is quite prominent and that Lena finds herself endlessly fixated by it. 

Kara’s belly clenches at the touch of her fingertip. “What are you doing?” she asks, the laughter in her voice. 

She looks up, meets Kara’s blue eyes. “Did you know you have a mole right here?” she points to the little freckle right in the middle of Kara’s unfairly toned stomach.

Her observation earns her a bemused smile. “I was born with it.” 

Lena shrugs. “I like it.” 

There’s a pause before Kara softly asks her, almost shyly, “What else do you like?” 

Her green eyes sweep back up to meet Kara’s and that's when Lena knows. 

This is it. 

She crawls up over the length of Kara’s body. “I like—this other mole,” she points to the low side of Kara’s neck where it almost meets her collarbone, She lightly strokes her thumb over the dark spot. “Right here.”

Kara swallows thickly, nodding slightly. “What else?”

Her thumb starts to move upwards, some scant inches where another mole resides. She listens to the way that Kara breathes out a deep sigh, smiling to herself at how Kara tilts her head to show off more of her delectable neck. Lena just barely resists putting her mouth to that delicate expanse of skin. Her touch is stroking along Kara’s jaw now before moving onto slowly brushing it over Kara’s bottom lip. 

She looks up to meet Kara's darkening blue eyes, leaning up to kiss her, weaving her fingers slowly through thick, blonde hair. Lena kisses her soft and slow, breathtaking and unyielding. How funny it is that her heart has been racing despite her dilatory actions. When she pulls back from the kiss, Kara’s cheeks are flushed and god, she’s so fucking pretty with the pink spreading high across her cheeks. Her eyes are very much staring down Lena’s own mouth, as if she's thinking about kissing her again and Lena’s heart thuds painfully at seeing it. 

“I really like that ,” she mutters, shaky and affected.

“Me too,” Kara hums quietly, still distracted as her eyes are still stuck on Lena's lips. 

“You want to know what else I like?” she asks, waiting until Kara finally shakes herself out of it and meets her stare. 

“What?”

Lena takes a deep breath, feeling nervous all of a sudden. But there's no going back from this. She’s in it now. 

“I like you.” 

Kara grins immediately. “I like you too.”

She chuckles, shaking her head because she knows exactly what Kara assumed from that and Kara is just too cutely oblivious for words. “No, Kara. I mean, I like you,” she slowly repeats herself. “As in, I really fucking like you.” 

She’s staring at Kara and Kara is staring back at her for too long a moment before finally— finally —realization dawns on Kara’s face. 

“Oh.”

She laughs lightly again at Kara’s dumbstruck expression. God, her best friend is such a fucking adorable dummy.

“Yeah. Oh.”

---

Embarrassed, Kara covers her face with her hands and she laughs a little to herself too. 

She’s such a goddamn dork. 

Kara can feel Lena staring at her and she just knows— knows — that there’s going to be that smile on her face that says how absolutely endeared she is by her. She breathes out a heavy sigh when she pulls her hands away. Yep, there’s that smile on Lena’s face. She rubs her cheeks. 

“I was going to ask you out on a date,” she murmurs with a sheepish smile. 

“You were?” Lena asks, seemingly surprised by the confession, her smile softening at the edges. 

“I mean, that was what I was actually trying to do the other day,” she shyly admits.

“I was wondering about that,” Lena replies, biting down on her bottom lip as if to keep her smile from spreading too wide. 

Kara nods, thinking back on the plan she came up with earlier in the night. “So I figured that when we go out for our traditional New Year’s brunch later, I’d try again.” She chuckles, waving her hand in the air. “It was going to be a whole thing.”

Lena pushes herself up on her hands to look down at her. “You can still make it a whole thing,” she tells her.

She feels a shy smile pulling at her lips. “Yeah?”

Her best friend nods, an equally bashful smile on her face. “But spoiler alert, I am going to say ‘yes’.”

Kara laughs, reaching up to cup Lena’s face in her hands. She tugs her down so that their lips meet for a brief kiss. “I really… fucking like you too,” she whispers. 

She swears that Lena’s eyes start to shine when a cheeky smile replaces the dreamy grin instead. “Considering that you're going to ask me out, I should hope so.”

Rolling her eyes, she gently pushes Lena’s face away from her when Lena starts to laugh, clearly amused by her brilliant wit. “Kind of reconsidering it now,” she grumbles, playfully glaring at Lena as she lays beside her.  

Lena hums as she shifts to get comfortable, resting her head on her pillow. “You’ve spoken it out to the universe, can't take it back now.” 

She rolls to her side, nuzzling her nose against Lena’s. “I guess it's a good thing that I don't want to then.” 

Kara watches as Lena covers her mouth while letting out an adorable yawn. Her eyes suddenly look much sleepier than she was a second ago. “Is it okay if I sleep? I kind of feel like passing out a little bit now,” she mumbles.

She nods in response, reaching over to brush her fingers through Lena's dark hair, watching as her eyes flutter to a close. Her heart squeezes at the peaceful look that takes over Lena’s face. She leans over to kiss her cheek. 

“Sweet dreams, Lena,” she whispers, “I’ll be here when you wake up.”

---

Embarrassed, Kara covers her face with her hands and she laughs a little to herself too. 

The skies are dark when Lena wakes up in the morning, explained away by the gentle pitter-patter of rain on her bedroom window.

Her eyes are slow to blink open and when they finally do, it somehow doesn't surprise her to find that Kara’s already awake. Her blue eyes are the rising sun instead and Lena’s heart skips a beat at the shy smile that grows on Kara’s face when she sees that Lena is awake. Who needs the sun when she has Kara right beside her? Lena lightly sweeps her tongue over her dry lips, letting out a deep, sleepy sigh. 

“Hi,” she whispers in a husky breath. 

“Hi,” Kara replies in a whisper too as she scoots closer to press her forehead together with Lena’s, brushing her nose over Lena’s cheekbone while her hand lands on the base of Lena’s spine. 

Her eyes close at the contact, warm and tender against her, Kara’s scent surrounding her. Lena feels the mad fluttering in her chest as she gently nudges her nose along Kara’s. The desire for more sleep is still very much present. She pulls back, staring into Kara’s boundless blue eyes. Lena raises a hand to cup her best friend’s face, brushing her thumb smooth along Kara’s jaw. 

“Last night—that happened, right?” she asks carefully and almost unsure. “I didn't imagine that, did I?”

Kara reaches up to brush Lena’s hair back, tucking it behind her ear before returning her hand to where it was on her back. She watches as Kara’s eyes roam over her face until finally, she’s shaking her head. “No, you didn't imagine it,” Kara softly tells her.

She stares at Kara for a long moment, her green eyes tracing every inch of Kara’s face. This is her best friend, somebody she has loved for so long. When they first started having sex all those months ago, Lena never would have expected that this is where they'd be and yet, as she lays here with Kara’s warmth all around her, Lena thinks that maybe this has been inevitable right from the start.

That she and Kara—have always been inevitable. 

They were always meant to meet; their lives intertwining in any universe and perhaps even every lifetime. Whether they became the best of friends, or the star-crossed of lovers. They were always meant to meet. It just so happens that in this universe, they get to be both. 

She feels Kara’s fingers gently raking up her back before she leans in to kiss her and Lena’s eyes close, eager to accept the delicate touch. As Kara’s mouth starts to move over hers with a firm and languid grace, Lena remembers wondering what it is like for Kara to kiss somebody she's in love with and she realizes with a startling, heart-stopping jolt that Kara has always kissed her like this. Exactly like this. From their very first kiss that fateful night to this beautiful morning, Kara kisses her with that same mind-dizzying passion that Lena can't seem to get enough of tasting. 

When their kiss comes to a natural end, she looks at Kara with such wonder and her brain is still so fuzzy that she doesn't register it when she blurts out, “go on a date with me.” 

It's only at Kara’s look of surprise that Lena does catch it and she quickly thinks at first about retracting her words, about saying that no, she can wait for Kara to ask like she had wanted to do. But the more Lena thinks about it, the more she realizes what it is she really wants.

“Lena, what—”

“I know,” she murmurs apologetically, reaching up to bury her fingers in Kara’s hair, her thumbs brushing along Kara’s jaw. The touch grounds her and it seems to do the same for Kara who stops and waits for Lena to explain. “I know I said that you could ask me later and that you could make it a whole thing but Kara, I can’t wait—I don’t want to wait, not for another second longer when this is exactly where we should start this. Right here .”

She looks at Kara, into those eyes of infinite blue in the nervous hope that she understands exactly what Lena means, what Lena herself had realized, that there is no better place for them to take this next step together than where it all began in the first place. 

In her bed, after a kiss that changes it all. 

Her breath hitches when Kara presses her forehead to Lena’s, her heart pounding madly as Kara, with the most tender of smiles, whispers her answer. 

“Yes.”

the end