Actions

Work Header

you are my tomorrow

Work Text:

Lena’s funeral is on a Monday.

 

Kara doesn’t go.

 


 

She sits in her room for a long time that day. She doesn’t get out of bed. Alex tries to encourage her out. “It’s what Lena would’ve wanted,” Alex insists, but Kara knows better.

 

Lena would’ve wanted to be alive. She wanted Kara to save her, but she didn’t, she wasn’t able to and now—now Lena is dead.

 

“Why won’t you come?” Alex asks softly, sitting down on the bed next to her. Kara closes her eyes.

 

It’s because Lena’s last words won’t stop echoing in her ears.

 

“Don’t cry, Kara,” Lena had said, her hand reaching up to brush away her tears. “We’ll see each other again. I know it.”

 

And then she died in Kara’s arms while Kara begged her not to go, begged her to stay because Lena I love you I love you I love you.

 

Kara doesn’t answer Alex. She just looks away.

 

Alex leaves her alone. Kara doesn’t even notice she’s left until the bed’s gone cold.

 


 

The next day Kara forces herself out of bed. Winn had called her early in the morning to tell her that he had some things of Lena’s at the DEO lab that he wanted Kara to look through.

 

Kara almost said no, but she couldn’t resist seeing some parts of Lena again. It would be almost all Kara had left of her.

 

When she gets there, it’s just a box labeled “unfinished.” Winn is looking at the box eagerly, but tries to school his expression once Kara walks in.

 

“It’s some stuff she never finished working on,” Winn tells her, as if she can’t deduce that from the large label on it. “Thought you might know what some of it does.”

 

Kara doesn’t. Lena was never open about things she was working on, always dead set on surprising Kara with it once it was done. It almost feels like cheating to be looking at them now.

 

“No, um, I probably don’t,” Kara says, forcing a cheap smile at Winn, but still tugging the box towards her. She pulls out a watch.

 

Winn leans over her, looking at it curiously.

 

“Try putting it on,” he suggests, so Kara does. Nothing happens. “Try pushing the button on the side.”

 

Kara has a bad feeling about it, but she pushes the button anyway.

 

Nothing happens. She looks up at Winn.

 

“Maybe she never—” Winn starts before he begins to disappear right in front of Kara. Or, she’s the one disappearing. Kara sees him begin to say her name before she’s gone, standing in the middle of the street somewhere.

 

She turns around just as a car hits her.

 

“Oh, my God!” the person getting out of the car exclaims, kneeling over her.

 

Kara isn’t hurt, and she’s sure the car is more dented than she is, but she was still taken by enough surprise to get thrown to the floor.

 

Kara rolls over and she.

 

Sees Lena.

 

“Lena?” Kara rasps at the same time Lena gasps, “Kara?”

 

Kara sits up so suddenly that Lena almost falls over in an attempt to stop Kara from banging into her.

 

“This can’t be real,” Kara spits, trying to get up.

 

Lena’s hand darts out to clutch Kara’s arm. Kara looks at her and notices tears welling up in her eyes.

 

“Lena?” Kara asks because Rao, she can’t help it. “What’s wrong?”

 

“I never thought I’d see you again,” Lena says, and she tries to blink back the tears, but they begin to drip down her face.

 

Before Kara even knows it, she’s being pulled into a tight hug. Lena tucks her face into Kara’s neck and Kara automatically loops her arms around her, holding her tight.

 

After a moment, Kara pulls away.

 

“Lena, I’m not...” she trails off, unsure what to say. “I don’t think I’m from here. Where I’m from you...you...” She swallows thickly. “You died a week ago.”

 

Lena looks at her for a long moment.

 

“You died here a year ago,” Lena says quietly.

 

Kara looks at her in surprise.

 

“You died,” Lena repeats and Kara can see the tears welling up in her eyes again. “You fought Reign and she—she killed you, Kara. But you took her down with you and I—” Lena stops and looks away.

 

“You probably want to get back,” Lena says, still looking away. “I can help.”

 

Kara pauses for a second, then carefully pulls off the watch that took her here and stuffs it in her pocket. If this is the only way she’s going to be able to see Lena, she’s going to take it.

 

“No,” Kara says. “There’s nothing there for me.”

 

Lena smiles, and it’s the best thing Kara’s seen in a week.

 


 

They manage to get Lena’s car working, and Lena takes Kara back to a small cottage seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

 

“National City is only twenty minutes away,” Lena tells her as she unlocks the door. “I didn’t want to be too far, but I couldn’t bare living there it... brought up too many memories.”

 

Kara can understand that. The thought of walking past the L-Corp building had made her so nauseous a few days ago that she’d called in sick to work. It hadn’t been a big surprise. Kara hadn’t gone to work since Lena—

 

Lena opens up the door, and her cottage is much bigger than it looks on the outside. All of the furniture is up to Lena’s fancy standards, aside from a slightly ratty blanket on the couch that Kara instantly recognizes from her apartment.

 

Lena sees her looking at it and explains, “You—well, my Kara and I used to cuddle under that when we had movie nights. I couldn’t let it go.”

 

Kara feels slightly choked up. It seems that this Kara and Lena’s relationship had gone a step further than her and Lena’s ever got to be.

 

“That’s really sweet,” Kara rasps. “I didn’t, um—I couldn’t take any of Lena’s stuff. I couldn’t go back to her place.”

 

Lena nods, and she looks like she understands more than she could ever say.

 

“When Kara died I couldn’t go to her place either. Alex, she called and asked if I wanted it, along with a few other things. She was a lot stronger than I ever could’ve been.” Lena looks down.

 

“No, Lena!” Kara says immediately. “Losing someone you love is so hard. I’ve barely been able to move the last week since I lost y—Lena. I’ve been doing the same thing you did.”

 

Lena nods, then sits down on the couch, almost sagging into it.

 

“I feel like part of me is missing,” Lena murmurs. “And when I saw you in the street, when I realized who you were, it felt like I was whole again.” She looks up at Kara. “Is that wrong?”

 

Kara sits down next to her and places a hand on top of Lena’s. She feels the same way. Like a part of her that was missing for the past week is back again, except—

 

“No, it’s not wrong,” Kara says, squeezing Lena’s hand. “I feel it, too.”

 

Lena looks at Kara and smiles, and Kara feels herself smile back in a way that actually reaches her eyes.

 


 

Lena shows Kara around the cottage, from the kitchen (which Kara loved the second she saw real bacon stocked in the fridge. Perhaps this Lena didn’t mostly eat vegan food?) to the den, to the bedrooms upstairs, and to the master bath, which she only showed Kara because of the jacuzzi tub she had in there that Kara insisted on seeing.

 

“I’m so jealous,” Kara tells her the second she sees it. “It’s like having a hot tub for a bathtub. My bathtub was barely big enough to fit me in it.”

 

Lena laughs at that, and it practically sends chills down Kara’s spine. She loved to hear it. She loves Lena, so much.

 

“Do you want to go in?” Lena asks, and it almost sounds suggestive.

 

“Uh,” is all Kara manages, unsure how exactly Lena meant that.

 

Lena smiles, but her lips are pressed together. She looks pained.

 

“Maybe another time. How about I get you set up in the guest room?” Lena suggests, and she’s out the door before Kara can answer.

 

Kara has a feeling that Lena forgot which Kara she was talking to, and she doesn’t blame her. Every time she looks at Lena, there’s a split second where she forgets it’s not her Lena, where she believes that she isn’t dead.

 

Remembering is like losing Lena all over again.

 

She follows Lena out of the bathroom to a bedroom practically the size of her apartment. The decor is beautiful, all a soothing pale blue and white, including the huge bed in the center.

 

“Make yourself at home,” Lena says, offering another tight smile before leaving.

 

Kara misses her Lena so much it leaves an ache in her chest worse than exposure to kryptonite.

 

She wanders around the room, looking through all of the drawers, at all the little figurines littered around. She even stops to admire each of the paintings. She’s trying to avoid her thoughts.

 

She doesn’t want to think about where she is or who she’s with.

 

She doesn’t want to think about how much it hurts to be with a Lena that isn’t hers.

 

Lena never comes back. Kara climbs into the bed and goes to sleep.

 

She spends the whole night awake, thinking about Lena just a few doors away from her.

 


 

Kara wakes up to the smell of bacon wafting up the stairs, under the closed door, and into her room. She’s out of the bed and down the stairs like a shot until she’s leaning over Lena’s shoulder to look at the bacon.

 

“Bacon!” Kara says gleefully, and Lena gives her a funny look.

 

“You want some?” Lena asks, and her voice sounds a little strained.

 

“Uh, duh!” Kara says, giving Lena an incredulous look. “Bacon is one of the five ways to my heart.”

 

Lena lets out a disbelieving laugh and shovels the bacon onto a tray.

 

It hits Kara then that this Lena can cook, and Kara’s can cook just about as well as she can. She takes a deep breath and forces her smile back on.

 

When Kara looks up, Lena is already eating a piece, her eyes closed in pleasure. Kara feels something bubble in her stomach and she ignores it, grabbing a piece of bacon.

 

“You know,” Kara says, chewing thoughtfully. “My Lena never would’ve eaten bacon.”

 

“Seriously?” Lena snorts. “Was she a vegetarian?”

 

Kara laughs, shaking her head.

 

“Worse. She’s totally into vegan food,” Kara laughs. “She makes me eat it. It’s disgusting, but...” Kara shrugs. She’s do anything for Lena, is what it is.

 

That’s when Kara remembers that her Lena is dead. Her shoulders drop.

 

“I mean... she was,” Kara mumbles. She’s not hungry anymore, but she still picks up another piece of bacon.

 

“Vegan food is disgusting,” Lena agrees, attempting to brighten the mood. “I couldn’t even be a vegetarian, I can’t go without bacon.”

 

Kara laughs, just because it’s hilarious to be hearing Lena say that. It’s like the exact opposite of everything she’s ever heard her say about bacon.

 

They talk more while Lena makes eggs about everything and nothing at once. It’s so easy for Kara to talk to Lena. She falls back into the rhythm of it like she never stopped, like this isn’t a completely different Lena.

 

“And then James came over and flirted with me,” Lena says, already giggling, slightly tipsy from the orange juice mimosa she made her and Kara to have with breakfast. “And I had to turn him down lightly.”

 

“What were your exact words?” Kara asks suspiciously, and she’s not drunk, but she feels drunk off of Lena’s giddiness.

 

“I said, “Sorry, James, you’re a great guy, but I’m a lesbian and in love with your best friend,”” Lena tells her before bursting into a fit of giggles, Kara can’t help laughing along.

 

“You didn’t!” Kara says once she catches her breath enough to speak.

 

“I did!” Lena insists. “I was admittedly quite drunk at the time. You had just told me how much you valued me as a friend, but I was very convinced you were straight. I think I downed an entire bottle of champagne on my own before James came over.”

 

“Well, definitely not straight,” Kara says with a smile. “And that’s a lot different from what happened with me.”

 

Lena lifts a curious eyebrow.

 

“My Lena dated James. For a while, too,” Kara says and sighs. Maybe her Lena had been straight.

 

Lena waves her hand, and Kara realizes that she must have said the last part out loud.

 

“There’s no way,” Lena states. “She was probably just trying to push away her feelings for you. Trust me, Lena Luthor and lesbian are practically synonymous with each other.”

 

Kara nods, she believes Lena, but aches at the knowledge that she’ll never be able to do anything about it.

 

Maybe she can. This isn’t her Lena but—she could be.

 

“I think...” Kara pauses, licks her lips. “I think I would like to try out that tub.”

 

Lena smiles bright like the sun and it makes Kara’s heart beat faster. She loves the feeling; it makes her feel alive.

 

“Of course,” Lena says. “I can get it set up for you it—”

 

“I was thinking...” Kara begins, trying to will herself to be bold. “Maybe we could use it together.”

 

Lena’s eyes widen fractionally. She clears her throat.

 

“Yeah! Sure! Of course!” Lena is obviously trying to sound nonchalant, but her voice is a slightly higher pitch. “I’ll get us some bathing suits.”

 

Kara laughs. Lena is apparently just as oblivious no matter the universe.

 

She loves it. She loves her.

 


 

The second Lena leaves, Kara feels a certain emptiness swirling inside her. It’s the same feeling she had just after she had stumbled out of her pod on Earth when she realized that Krypton was gone forever.

 

She gets up and hurries upstairs to find Lena.

 

She’s in her room, looking through a drawer and biting her lip. She looks deep in thought, and Kara clears her throat.

 

“Oh, Kara,” Lena says, looking up at her. She holds out a bathing suit in front of her. It’s blue and red. “That should probably fit. Go put it on.”

 

Kara takes the bathing suit and heads into the bathroom where the tub is filling up. She really can’t believe how huge it is; it’s probably big enough to fit at least five people inside of it comfortably. It’s exactly the type of thing that Lena would buy, and it feels like her heart is constricting.

 

The bathing suit fits her perfectly, and Kara has the sneaking suspicion that it was hers. She decides that she’s better off not asking Lena, and instead calls out to her that she’s finished changing.

 

Lena walks in, and she looks gorgeous in the red bikini she’s wearing. Kara’s never seen Lena wearing so little clothing, and the makes something stir deep in her belly.

 

“Let’s get in,” Lena says with a smile, getting into the tub. Kara gets in more carefully, worried she’s going to slip.

 

Kara sits on the opposite side from Lena, afraid to sit too close to her.

 

They sit in silence for a long while, both not sure exactly what to say.

 

“Lena,” Kara says after a while. “How did you survive?”

 

Lena looks up at her, eyebrows furrowed.

 

“Survive what?” Lena asks.

 

“Losing me—your Kara. How did you keep going?”

 

Lena looks down. Her shoulders hunch in on herself.

 

“I don’t know,” Lena answers, her voice soft. “When she died...I didn’t think I could. Every day was harder than the one before. There were so many times where I’d forget that she was gone and when I remembered...it was like losing her all over again. Sometimes, I’d wake up in the middle of the night and it would still feel like she was holding me, and I’d roll over her and find the bed empty and I’d just cry for hours. I think I did it last week.” She shakes her head. “I’m surviving, but I don’t know if I’m living.”

 

Before Kara even knows what she’s doing, she’s moved across the tub to sit next to Lena.

 

“When Lena died,” Kara says, and she feels her voice becoming choked already. “I didn’t know how I was going to make it through each day without her. And nobody understood. Alex would try to get me out of bed every day and she would give me all these reasons why I should. But none of those things mattered to me anymore. Not if I didn’t get to see my Lena after it all.”

 

Lena laughs, but it sounds teary—more like a cry.

 

“We’re just a couple of messes, aren’t we?” she says, and it comes out a lot more bitter than Kara thought it would.

 

“Yeah,” Kara says, voice quiet. “Maybe two messes can make one nonmess?”

 

Lena laughs again, but this time it almost sounds genuine.

 

“You’re about as slick as I remembered you being,” Lena snorts, but she smiles so wide her lips must hurt.

 

“Wasn’t trying to be slick,” Kara mumbles, and Lena giggles.

 

Kara looks down, but Lena catches her chin with her pointer finger, tilting her face towards her.

 

“You’re right,” Lena tells her. “Two halves make a whole, don’t they?”

 

Kara smiles, and she knows it’s a sad one, even if she doesn’t intend it to be.

 

“They do,” Kara says anyway, and her eyes flicker down to Lena’s painted red lips as she drags her tongue across them. She wears a slightly darker lipstick than her Lena did, but the contrast is jarring enough that Kara has to resist jerking away from her.

 

Lena carefully moves her hand to thread into the hair at the base of Kara’s neck and slowly pulls Kara towards her, giving her time to pull away. Their lips meet, and it’s soft and sweet and tentative. It’s everything that Kara had ever hoped her first kiss with Lena would be. It still feels slightly off.

 

Their lips fit together like two puzzle pieces that almost just fit perfectly, but don’t. Kara still brings her hand up to cup Lena’s face, kisses her back harder, runs her tongue along Lena’s bottom lip until her mouth parts. They kiss until they’re out of breath, until they’re both convinced that they’ve learned how to feel again.

 

Lena breaks away, but still crawls into Kara’s lap, straddling her hips.

 

“Kara,” she breathes into her ear, and Kara’s hands wrap around her waist, dipping low enough that they’re just above her ass. “Kara.”

 

“Yeah?” Kara murmurs in her neck, tugging Lena just slightly closer.

 

Lena doesn’t respond, and tilts Kara’s head up and dips down to kiss her again, this time less sweet. Kara parts her lips so Lena can lick her way inside and Kara feels that same feels stir up in her gut. Lena’s hips gyrate almost imperceptibly against Kara’s thigh.

 

Lena pulls away abruptly, dropping her forehead onto Kara’s shoulder, breathing heavily. Kara moves one of her hands up and down Lena’s back while she catches her breath, but doesn’t say anything.

 

After a moment, Lena climbs off of her lap and out of the tub without saying a word. She grabs a towel, then pauses at the door.

 

“Feel free to stay in as long as you want,” Lena says quietly. She closes the door behind her.

 

Kara can hear Lena crying softly just a moment after the door closes, still paralyzed from the shock of what happened and Lena leaving so suddenly. She feels tears running down her own face before she even realizes that she’s crying.

 

She sits in the tub until Lena’s cries quiet and stop.

 


 

Kara doesn’t see Lena again until the next day. They had both locked themselves up in their rooms for the rest of the day, too afraid to face each other again.

 

Kara learns more about the universe she’s in, and things aren’t that different from her own. There’re small, but almost barely noticeable differences: blond hair is more common than brown, the Eiffel Tower is in Nice, gay marriage was legalized in the US in 2013, the Marvel movies flopped.

 

Lex Luthor never went to prison.

 

The thought intrigues Kara. She knew Lena was different, almost a bit lighter. She didn’t seem to have a weight pressing down on her shoulder.

 

She heads down to the kitchen, and Lena is quickly making pancakes at the stove. Her shoulders are hunched just slightly.

 

Kara knows it isn’t the right time to ask, but, “Lena, where’s your brother?”

 

Lena jerks around and looks at Kara, her eyebrows raised.

 

“Metropolis, probably?” Lena says slowly. “Why do you ask?”

 

“No reason,” Kara says causally, sitting down at the table. “Um, does he still run Luthor Corp?”

 

Lena’s eyebrows furrow, and she looks at Kara intently.

 

“Lex never ran Luthor Corp,” Lena tells her. “Our father gave it to me when he stepped down and I renamed it L-Corp. Lex is my lawyer, sure, but he has his own separate law firm.”

 

Kara looks at her, expression blank. This universe was a lot more different than she thought it was.

 

This Lena is a lot more different from hers than she thought she was.

 

She can’t even imagine Lena without the influence of her brother being evil. She can’t imagine a Lena who doesn’t have the weight of everyone’s expectations for her to do something wrong on her shoulders. A Lena who doesn’t shoot back half a bottle of whiskey at midnight when her mother calls her from prison. A Lena who doesn’t look to Kara to defend her from everyone’s perceptions of her, who doesn’t believe that Kara could never truly love her because she’s a Luthor.

 

The thought of it makes her heart swell. But it makes her want to hold her own Lena even more.

 

“Why?” Lena asks again, this time cautious. “Is it different in your universe?”

 

Kara pauses. She could easily deny it and let this Lena never have to know what hers has gone through.

 

“Yeah, um,” Kara begins, but stops. “Does your brother know Clark Kent?”

 

Lena laughs, and it makes Kara uncomfortable for some reason.

 

“Of course he knows Clark,” Lena says, like it’s obvious. “They’re best friends. Practically married to each other.” Lena snorts, shaking her head. “Clark used to come to all of our family dinners when I was a kid. That’s how you and me first met—he brought you along one year. I think I was fourteen at the time and you were a few years older. I was so enamored by you, and I don’t think I ever stopped.” Lena ducks her head, her smile almost dopey.

 

Kara can picture it in her head—her and Lena meeting when they were younger. Lena would’ve been adorable. She would’ve given Kara a shy smile and Kara would’ve rolled her eyes because Lena was just her cousin’s best friend’s little sister, but she still would’ve humored Lena and listened to her talk about her science. And Kara would’ve been interested, so interested because Lena was the first person to truly get science like she did on Krypton, and before Kara would know it she’d be a little enamored by Lena, too.

 

Kara’s chest aches like she’s been stabbed.

 

“Yeah, um, I didn’t meet my Lena until a few years ago,” Kara says, and she knows her voice sounds a little choked. “And um, Lex and Clark aren’t exactly so close in my universe either.”

 

Lena tilts her head just slightly to the side. Kara can tell that Lena wants her to elaborate, but Kara doesn’t want that. She doesn’t want this Lena to know what hers has been through. It would feel like... tainting her.

 

She wants this Lena to look back on her childhood fondly. She doesn’t want her to ever think about how terrible things could’ve been.

 

She just wants her to be happy.

 

“It’s nothing really,” Kara insists.

 

Before anything else can be said, smoke erupts from the stove as the pancake burns. The smoke alarm goes off and Lena jumps up from her seat, rushing to save the burning pancake.

 

By the time the smoke is cleared, Kara is gone.

 


 

Kara knows she can’t avoid talking to Lena for another day. After the incident at breakfast the day before, Kara had retreated back to her room to think for a long while

 

As much as this Lena looked like hers, they weren’t the same person. They weren’t even nearly the same person. It was like talking to someone else who looked exactly like Lena, like a clone or a doppelgänger or something.

 

But Kara still felt that pull in her chest. The one that said that this was Lena, this was her Lena, and Kara loved her more than anything, would do anything for her.

 

So that afternoon, she finally forces herself out of the bathroom and downstairs to find Lena.

 

Lena’s sitting on the couch, curled up by the arm like she always is, watching some TV show that Kara doesn’t recognize about what looks like a women’s prison. Lena doesn’t even look up when Kara enters, too engrossed by her show.

 

Kara tentatively sits down next to her, her thigh just barely touching Lena’s knees. Lena looks at her, surprised.

 

“Kara,” she says, lifting the remote and pausing her show. “I didn’t see you there.”

 

Before Kara can even think, she’s lurching forward and kissing Lena. The kiss is so chaste that it can barely be called more than a press of lips. When Kara pulls back, Lena’s eyes are still closed.

 

“I know this sounds crazy,” Kara says, biting back any doubts she had before. “But ever since my Lena died, I’ve felt empty and broken and you—you make me feel whole again. Like I said in the hot tub. Or when we first met.”

 

Lena’s eyes still haven’t opened. “You do the same for me.”

 

Kara reaches up to cup Lena’s face in her hand, holding her like she’s something delicate, precious. And to Kara, she is. Lena leans into the touch.

 

“I love you,” Kara says, and it’s like a weight lifting from her chest to be saying this to Lena. “I know it sounds crazy, but—”

 

“No,” Lena breaks in, eyes finally opening. “It doesn’t. At all. God, Kara, I feel the same way.”

 

“Yeah?” Kara whispers, her thumb brushing along Lena’s cheek.

 

“Yeah,” Lena breathes back, and they kiss again, this one just as soft as the one before.

 

Kara ignores the slightly off feeling she gets in her chest as if it isn’t there.

 

Lena pulls away abruptly again, and Kara feels her heart sink all the way into her stomach. Lena must notice this because she shakes her head.

 

“I’m not going anywhere,” Lena says pulling Kara in closer. “I just have to get back to my show.”

 

Kara curls her arm around Lena, and Lena tucks herself up against her, leaning her head against Kara’s chest. Kara pulls the ratty old blanket around the both of them, and Lena closes her eyes.

 

Kara knows that Lena’s pretending she’s with someone else right now. Kara is, too.

 

An hour later, the show has made them both dissolve into tears, but it’s the happiest Kara has felt since she lost Lena.

 


 

Nothing else happens that day. They stay in and spend most of the day watching the show, both of them completely engrossed in the plot. They talk during the commercials, they learn more about each other.

 

They kiss more, but they don’t do more than that. The kisses are all soft, almost chaste. They’re both too afraid to go any further.

 

It’s an unspoken agreement that they both go to their own rooms that night, but Kara finds herself unable to sleep. She can’t stop thinking about the way Lena’s lips feel against hers, the way her skin feels under her touch.

 

She can’t stop thinking of how her Lena would’ve felt when she kissed her.

 

She pushes the thought away. Her Lena is dead — she’s never coming back. There’s no point in mourning that loss when she does have Lena. Maybe she’s different, but at her core she’s still the Lena that Kara loves. And that should be enough.

 

Somewhere deep down, Kara knows that it isn’t, and she hates herself for it.

 

The next day, Lena kisses Kara good morning and Kara let’s all the thoughts from the previous nights fall away. Here with Lena, none of that matters.

 

“I was thinking...” Lena begins cautiously, and Kara looks up from her omelette. “Did you want to go into the city today?”

 

Kara pauses. She knows that Lena is asking if she wants to see Alex and the rest of her friends, and she gets it. Lena probably feels like she’s keeping Kara away from the other people who love her.

 

But Kara doesn’t want to go. She doesn’t want to be letting down everyone if she can’t stay here. Hurting Lena is bad enough, but making her friends—her family lose her twice, too...it just doesn’t feel right.

 

“Sure,” Kara agrees, her voice only barely conveying her reluctance.

 

Lena smiles, but it doesn’t meet her eyes. Kara worries that she’s thinking the same thing Kara is.

 

An hour later they’re ready to go, and Lena gets behind the wheel of her car, a bright blue Prius.

 

Kara doesn’t know what to be most shocked about: the fact that Lena can drive or the fact that she’s driving a Prius instead of some luxury model car.

 

“Well, come on,” Lena calls, motioning towards the passengers side with a confused look.

 

Kara gets in, and once she sits down Lena leans over to kiss her on the cheek. She taps the steering wheel a few times before turning on the car.

 

“A Prius, Lena?” Kara laughs. “Seriously?”

 

Lena scoffs as she begins to drive away.

 

“They’re good for the environment,” Lena says, and the way that her eyes squint while she very obviously focuses hard on the road makes Kara smile.

 

“Soon enough you will be vegan,” Kara giggles, which causes Lena to take her hand off of the perfect two position to give Kara a light shove.

 

When they get on the highway, Lena’s fingers tap against the wheel again, and Kara decides that it must be a nervous habit. Her right hand seems to clench and unclench against the wheel. She finally lets go of it and puts her hand in the seat between them, an invitation.

 

Kara takes it. She interlocks their fingers, and rubs her thumb along the back of Lena’s hand. The tension seems to drain out of her, and for a split second she looks away from the road to give Kara a wide smile.

 

The city doesn’t look much different from the way Kara remembers it, and it still feels like home. Kara isn’t sure if it’s just because Lena is sitting next to her and holding her hand. Without Lena, her National City hadn’t felt like home anymore.

 

Lena points out a few places, and Kara laughs when she sees the kombucha place where it always has been.

 

“What’s so funny?” Lena asks, giving her an odd smile.

 

“Lena always wanted to take me there,” Kara explains, and her eyes are bright. “I’d always make excuses to go somewhere else because kombucha is gross. I think she knew that, but she humored me anyway. One time I told her the place had a fire, she definitely knew I was lying then, but she didn’t complain.” Kara ducks her head, still smiling.

 

When she looks back up, Lena is giving her an odd look. She almost looks upset, but Kara doesn’t know why.

 

“You really loved her,” Lena says, and she sounds awed and sad at the same time.

 

“I love you,” Kara asserts, lifting up their intertwined fingers to give a light kiss to the back of Lena’s hand.

 

Lena smiles and nods, but the smile doesn’t meet her eyes.

 

“Kombucha is disgusting,” Lena says, breaking the tension. “I can’t believe I would ever want to drink it.” She scrunches her nose, and it’s adorable.

 

Kara leans forward to kiss Lena on the nose, and Lena bats her away, mumbling about keeping her eyes on the road, but this time her smile is genuine.

 

“Just have to stop in at work really quick,” Lena says, kissing Kara on the cheek before getting out. Kara gets the hint that she isn’t supposed to come in with her, and Kara understands that there might be a small freak out of Lena’s employees suddenly saw Lena’s dead girlfriend walking around.

 

Kara leans back against the seat and watches Lena walk away. Lena even dresses differently. She’s wearing skinny jeans and a magenta blouse. It’s something that Lena only would’ve worn on the weekends if they were staying in at Kara’s and she was tired.

 

The car is suddenly too suffocating for her, and Kara can’t stop herself from jumping out of the car and power walking down the street. She can feel her heart racing. Everything looks the same and different at the same time. The people look similar, but different. The store fronts have the same names, but they don’t look like she remembers. She feels trapped, like a weight is pressed on her chest.

 

She’s looking at a McDonald’s with bright red “golden” arches when she bangs into someone hard enough that they fall to the ground.

 

“Oh, God!” Kara yelps. “I’m so sorry!”

 

She looks down, and the person on the ground stares up at her like they’re in a dream and she’s Jesus or something.

 

“Kara?” Winn asks, getting back up to his face. “How is this possible?”

 

Kara just looks at him, unsure what to say.

 

“Are you real?” Winn asks, leaning close. “Or is this like in Buffy? Christ, did Lena make a Buffy Bot? Or...a Kara Bot? That’s so fucking cool! But also, kind of horrible.” He pokes Kara on the cheek, and winces when she knocks his hand away. “Okay, not a robot.”

 

“It’s me, Winn,” Kara says, and bites her lip when Winn’s eyes widen. “Actually, not really. I’m from another universe.”

 

“From another universe?” Winn says slowly before breaking out into a huge grin. “What kind of universe?”

 

“Oh, you know, kind of just like this one,” Kara says, fumbling with the hem of her shirt. “Marvel movies were better there, though.”

 

Winn scrunches his nose in distaste. He’s clearly not a Marvel fan.

 

“How did you get here?” Winn asks, looking around as if there’s going to be a portal across the street. “Was it some kind of interdimensional portal? Who made it? Did I make it? Please tell me I made it.” Winn is practically bouncing at this point, and some of the people around them—mostly blonds, Kara might add—give him funny looks.

 

“No, it was just a watch. And Lena made it,” Kara says, and Winn’s face falls just slightly. “I don’t know why, she um. She died.”

 

Before Winn can respond, a hand grabs Kara’s arm and she’s spun around.

 

“Kara! God, I was so worried!” Lena says, and she looks frantic. Her eyes move over Kara’s shoulder where Winn is standing.

 

“You knew?” Winn asks, and Kara can’t tell if he’s curious or annoyed.

 

“Only for a few days,” Lena says, and from the slight tension in her shoulders, Lena obviously interpreted it as the latter.

 

“We have to tell Alex!” Winn exclaims, tugging on Kara’s arm to pull her with him.

 

“I don’t know,” Lena says reluctantly, her grip on Kara’s arm stopping Winn from pulling her.

 

“Lena, it’s her sister, she’d want to know,” Winn insists, and from the way Lena’s biting her lip tells Kara that Lena isn’t so sure of that.

 

“I should see Alex,” Kara says to Lena quietly, and Lena relents, but she doesn’t look too happy about it.

 

Ten minutes later, they’re all standing outside the door to Alex’s apartment. For some reason, Lena still seems tense, like she doesn’t want to see Alex.

 

When Alex opens the door, Kara almost has to stop herself from falling over in shock. She doesn’t look good—she looks completely drunk and her longer hair is unkept and unwashed. Her eyes look a little bloodshot.

 

She looks like she’s about to snap something at Lena before her eyes fall on Kara standing next to her.

 

“What’s this?” Alex snaps, and her speech is definitely slurred.

 

“Uh, hi,” Kara mumbles, giving a small wave, but her head is screaming this is not my sister, this is not my sister.

 

“This is Kara from another universe,” Winn explains, bouncing slightly like an excited puppy.

 

Alex gives Lena a reproachful look.

 

“Did you do this?” she asks, and she sounds almost angry.

 

Kara can feel Lena tense up even more, clearly ready to defend herself.

 

“No, um, I did,” Kara cuts in, not wanting to see her two favorite people fight even if they are just shadows of the people she knows. “It was an accident.”

 

Alex lets them in and goes to her kitchen to grab a glass of water. She downs the whole cup in one sip and grabs another. She runs her hand through her hair repeatedly,
—it’s a nervous habit that Kara’s never seen Alex do.

 

“Do you need help getting back?” Alex asks as Kara surveys her apartment. It’s an absolute mess. If her Alex saw this, she’d have a stroke.

 

“No,” Kara says immediately, and Lena relaxes just slightly next to her.

 

“If you have a way back why are you here?” Alex spits, and Kara notices that Alex won’t look at her. Ever since she first saw her, her eyes have been fixating on a place just beyond her shoulder.

 

“I don’t want to go back,” Kara says, and Alex finally looks at her again, eyes wide.

 

“Why not?” Alex asks, curiosity covering her features, and it’s a look so familiar that it almost startled Kara.

 

“It’s just not great there,” Kara mumbles, not really wanting to give the answer. Lena’s hand squeezes hers.

 

Alex seems to notice the motion, and her eyes flicker between the two of them, a deep frown forming on her face.

 

“Lena, can I talk to you?” Alex grits out, jerking her head towards the kitchen.

 

Lena’s lips press into a thin line, but she gets up. Winn begins speaking to Kara, but Kara focuses her hearing towards the other room, zoning him out.

 

“Lena, you need to stop,” Alex says immediately, and Kara can hear the fabric of Lena’s blouse rustling as Lena crosses her arms.

 

“I don’t know what you mean,” Lena says tersely.

 

“You know exactly what I mean.” Alex sighs. “I know you want Kara to come back, but she’s never going to, okay?” Lena starts to say something, but Alex continues, “Kara’s dead, Lena! She died! That Kara isn’t her! You need to get a fucking grip because this is just going to mess you up again.”

 

“Like you’re one to talk,” Lena spits. “When’s the last day you were sober, Alex? At least I learned how to cope without being drunk off my ass every day!”

 

“Try coping when this Kara leaves you!” Alex slams her hand down on something, the table probably. “Because it’s going to happen. You know how Kara is! She’s loyal to a fault, and her loyalty lies with her own universe, not you. She’s going to leave and it’s going to break your heart all over again! How are you going to live through that?” Lena is silent. “You’re not! And this time I’m not going to save you when you try to fucking kill yourself!”

 

Lena is immediately pushing through the door to the kitchen, into the living room, and out of Alex’s apartment. Kara jumps up from the couch, says, “Um, bye!” behind her, and rushes out after her.

 

“Lena!” Kara calls, easily catching up to her. “Are you okay?”

 

“I’m fine,” Lena says, but her voice is choked, clearly holding back tears.

 

“I’m not going to leave you,” Kara promises. “I mean it, Lena. I won’t.”

 

Lena turns to look at her, her eyes wide and sad and full of hope.

 

“You won’t?” Lena asks.

 

“No, I promise.” Kara pulls her in for a hug. “I’ll stay with you for as long as you want me.”

 

“Forever,” Lena mumbles into Kara’s shirt. “I want you forever.”

 

“Forever it is, then,” Kara says, running her hand along Lena’s hair and kissing the top of her head.

 

The entire way back Kara doesn’t mention Lena’s apparent suicide attempt, and Lena seems grateful.

 

They part at Lena’s bedroom door with a slightly forced kiss after Lena insists that she’s too tired to eat and needs to go to sleep.

 

Kara goes back to her own room, standing in the center of it. She walks over to the dresser, where a white ceramic clock stands proudly. It ticks three times before she grabs it and throws it at the wall. It creates a perfect clock shaped hole in the wall, and lands in a field about a mile away, scaring a poor mouse to death.

 

Kara doesn’t feel any better.

 


 

Lena is distant the next day, which is fine for Kara because she isn’t really up to pretending today either.

 

But she’s worried about Lena. She didn’t cook anything for breakfast. She didn’t laugh when Kara burned the eggs she tried to make. She didn’t even look down at the bowl of cereal Kara reluctantly put down in front of her.

 

All she did was mumble a soft good morning when Kara walked in and flinch away just slightly when Kara kissed the top of her head.

 

“Hey,” Kara says after a long silence where Lena pushed her cereal around the bowl and stared at the wall. “Do you want to watch TV or something?”

 

“Hm?” Lena mumbles, looking up at Kara. Her gaze is somewhere else.

 

Kara knows that look all too well. It’s one Lena would give her after every assassination attempt, every contact with her mother, every time she saw the Luthor in herself.

 

“Hey,” Kara says again, softer this time. She gets in the chair next to Lena and scooches in close, putting her arm around Lena’s shoulder. This time she doesn’t flinch away, she leans into Kara’s arm. “You okay?”

 

“Yeah...” Lena says, but she doesn’t sound convincing. “I think I just need some time alone today.”

 

She gives Kara a tight smile and gets up before Kara can say anything else.

 

Kara frowns, but she doesn’t feel upset or annoyed. She gets it. She knows that this whole situation must be just as hard on Lena as it is on her. She knows that sometimes she’s going to need some time to, so she isn’t even reluctant to give Lena her needed space.

 

She wanders into the living room and to the fireplace. She doesn’t know how she didn’t see it before, but there’s pictures lined up along the mantle.

 

The first one is a picture of Lena and Lex as kids. They’re in a playground, and Lex is gripping a pole next to him and smiling at the camera. Lena, a baby, maybe two at the most, is gripping the pole between both of her tiny hands and is looking up at it, like she’s trying to figure out where it starts from. It’s adorable, and Kara can’t help but smile widely.

 

The next picture is from when they’re older, and after a second, Kara recognizes Clark and Lois in the background dancing, and realizes that it must be from their wedding. Lex is clearly the best man and has his arm around Lena’s shoulders. She’s laughing hard at something, and from the grin on Lex’s face it’s something he just said.

 

It makes Kara ache. She wishes that her Lena could’ve had this type of relationship with her brother. Even after what he did, she clearly still loves—loved him.

 

The next one is a picture of her and Lena, and Kara almost startles looking at it. It’s the winter time and they’re both bundled up completely. It looks like they’re at the National City ice rink, somewhere her and her Lena had never gotten to go together. Lena has a wide smile on her face as she looks at the camera, but Kara is just looking at Lena, and the love in her eyes hits Kara like a ton of bricks.

 

Kara resists the urge to push down the picture so she never has to look at it again.

 

The next one is worse. It’s her and Lena again, but this time they’re in Paris — or Nice, Kara supposes — in front of the Eiffel Tower because of course they are. They’re kissing in this one, but it’s barely a kiss because they’re both smiling too widely.

 

Kara zeroes in on Lena’s hand, and she feels a jolt run through her. There’s a diamond ring sitting proudly on Lena’s left ring finger.

 

She and Lena had been engaged.

 

Kara can’t remember how to breathe. She backs away from the mantle and tries to forget how happy her and Lena looked in those pictures, how her and Lena had been in love with each other and so much so that Kara had asked Lena to marry her and Lena had said yes. It’s something that she’ll never get to have with her Lena, and the thought hurts worse than anything else ever has.

 

She goes back up to her room and stares at the clock shaped hole in the wall for a long second before sticking her fist through the space next to it. She takes a deep breath.

 

She flies outside and topples over a tree a little ways away. She cuts exactly the amount of wood she needs and cuts the rest into perfect firewood for Lena’s fireplace. She brings the pieces for the wall back up to her room and fits them in place. She shakes her head. She needs something.

 

She flies to the nearest hardware store, startling the only worker there when she rushes in. She grabs plaster and a sanding tool and is out the door with a rushed “thanks!” immediately once she’s been rung up.

 

She puts plaster in each of the holes and carefully fits the wood into place. She sands them down so they fit in with the rest of the wood and don’t have any sharp point sticking out that might hurt Lena.

 

She dusts her hands off and takes a step back, admiring her work. It looks like there had never been a hole in the first place.

 

And, finally, Kara starts to cry.

 


 

About two hours later, there’s a tentative knock on Kara’s door. Kara tries to hold back her tears into quiet sniffles. She’s cried more in the past two hours than she ever has in her life; she feels like a dam broke inside her and she couldn’t hold it in anymore. She doesn’t want Lena to see her like this.

 

“Kara?” Lena asks, knocking again. “You in there?”

 

Kara clears her throat.

 

“Um, yeah. Just catching up on stuff here,” Kara calls. Her voice sounds scratchy, and it’s all too obvious that she had been crying.

 

“Can I come in?” Lena asks, and Kara can’t tell her no, she just can’t.

 

“Sure,” Kara answers, wiping viciously at her face to get rid of any trace of tears.

 

Lena slowly opens the door, but stops abruptly once she sees Kara. Kara knows that Lena can tell that she’s been crying, but Lena doesn’t step past the threshold.

 

“You okay?” Lena asks, curling and uncurling his fingers from around the knob.

 

“I guess,” Kara says, but her voice sounds too choked for it to be the truth.

 

Lena hesitates for a second before stepping into the room and making her way over to Kara. She sits next to her on the bed.

 

“What is it?” she asks. She pulls a tissue out of the box on Kara’s side table and dabs it along Kara’s face.

 

“You didn’t tell me that you and me were engaged here,” Kara says, and she feels more tears drip down her face.

 

“I didn’t think it was important,” Lena admits, her eyes dropping. Kara sniffs.

 

“I just...” Kara pauses and takes a deep breath. “I’ll never get to have that with my Lena. We never even—we never even kissed.”

 

Lena purses her lips and looks down.

 

“I’m sorry,” Lena says softly. “I’m sorry you’ll never get to have that with your Lena.” She takes a long breath. “But if it’s what you want...” She places her hand on Kara’s thigh. “...you can have that with me.”

 

Kara takes a deep breath to steady herself. It is what she wants. It is.

 

“That is what I want,” Kara tells her, smiling, though it doesn’t reach her eyes.

 

Lena kisses her on the forehead, and Kara closes her eyes.

 

It’s never going to be enough, she knows. But it has to be.

 


 

They do go downstairs and watch TV, and it’s a nice distraction from Kara’s racing thoughts.

 

With Lena cuddled up to her side, Kara can’t imagine anything else she’d want more. It doesn’t matter if this isn’t her Lena, Kara would love any Lena.

 

Somewhere around midnight, Lena tilts Kara’s face towards her, gives her a lingering kiss on the lips, says goodnight, and heads up to her room.

 

Kara robotically turns off the TV, her eyes drifting back up to the picture of her and Lena on the mantle.

 

They look so happy. She’s never seen herself like that, and she knows she’s never felt like that with any man she’d ever been with, and that she never could. How could Kara fall in love with any man when she could be with a woman? With Lena?

 

The thought freezes her in place. She’d never really considered it before, the ambivalence she felt when kissing or touching men. She felt more when Lena kissed her goodnight than she ever did with any of them.

 

She can’t imagine how it would’ve felt to be with her Lena. To kiss her, to touch her. She wants to believe that it would’ve felt that same as with this Lena, but it wouldn’t have. It would’ve been more, it would’ve been life changing, she thinks.

 

She looks away from the fireplace and starts upstairs, pausing in front of Lena’s room. The door is open a crack still, and Kara can’t stop herself from peering inside. The room is dark, aside from a small lamp on Lena’s bedside table, and Lena is sitting cross legged on the bed, looking down at something, a picture.

 

Before Kara can stop herself, she’s pushing inside, and Lena jerks her head up, the picture falling from her hand and onto the floor.

 

Kara bends down and picks it up, Lena’s eyed following her the whole way. It’s a picture of Kara, the other Kara. She’s standing on a balcony, somewhere Kara assumes would have a great view, maybe from their trip to France. She’s looking down at something, her face almost dreamy with awe. It’s a great picture of her. She looks at Lena.

 

Lena’s looking at her hands, almost guiltily. She probably feels like she’s cheating.

 

“I wish...” Kara says, and her voice breaks. “I wish I had a picture of my Lena.”

 

Lena looks back up at her, her eyes teary.

 

“I’m sorry,” she whispers, and she shakes her head. “It’s silly to look at that when you’re here.”

 

“No, it’s not,” Kara tells her, sitting down next to her on the bed. “I’ll never be that Kara. And you’ll never be that Lena.”

 

Lena lets out a bitter laugh at that, and it’s so similar to what her Lena used to do, that Kara has to resist cringing.

 

“What’s the point then?” Lena snaps, and it hurts Kara like a bullet.

 

“We don’t have a choice,” Kara answers, and her voice sounds teary, even to herself. “They’re gone now and all we have left of them is each other. We just have to learn how to love like that again.”

 

Lena closes her eyes and tears fall. Kara’s heart breaks, and she pulls Lena into a hug, a hand running along her back. She feels a tear fall down her own cheek before she steels herself.

 

“Can you stay?” Lena practically begs into Kara’s shirt. “Please?”

 

Kara nods before saying, “Yeah, sure.”

 

She lets go of Lena so she can crawl into the bed next to her and lie down. Lena immediately curls up into her side, and Kara pulls her into her arms again.

 

“I love you,” Lena murmurs into Kara’s shoulder. “I really do.”

 

“I know,” Kara responds, leaning down to kiss Lena on the forehead. “I do, too.”

 

They both close their eyes. They’re both lying.

 


 

They stay in bed late enough that Lena insists they go out for brunch.

 

They go to a small diner in walking distance from Lena’s cabin. Lena seems to know everyone there, the woman at the counter greets her, as does their waitress, who blushes when Lena tells her that she looks lovely.

 

After the waitress leaves with their drink order, Kara gives Lena a faux worried look.

 

“Do I have competition?” Kara asks, and Lena scoffs, and rolls her eyes, making Kara giggle.

 

“She’s barely even twenty, Kara,” Lena tells her with a stern look.

 

“You’re not even twenty-five, Lena,” Kara laughs, and laughs even harder at Lena’s annoyed look. “Don’t pretend that you aren’t also a baby.”

 

“Shut up,” Lena mutters, giving Kara a playful kick under the table.

 

Their drinks come and they place their orders, the waitress focuses all of her attention on Lena, and blushes again when Lena thanks her as she gives her her menu.

 

Kara gives Lena a knowing smirk. Lena just rolls her eyes again, but there’s a slight smile playing on her lips.

 

Their food comes, and they eat in relative silence, both trying not to think of what happened last night. Any attempt at conversation quickly fizzles out, both of their words from last night weighing too heavily on both of their chests.

 

Lena pays the check—Kara can’t complain because she only has about five dollars on her—and leaves a generous tip before they get up to leave.

 

They step outside, and the cold hits Kara like a brick wall. She hadn’t even noticed how cold it was out. She supposes that she had been too numb to notice the weather.

 

Even though they’re quiet, Lena still intertwines their fingers and grips Kara’s hand tight the entire walk back.

 

They’re just walking up the steps to the cabin when Lena slips on an ice patch on one of the steps. Kara immediately moved to grab her, Lena falling almost gracefully right into her arms. Lena blinks up at Kara before breaking out into a grin.

 

“Kara Danvers,” Lena practically drawls as she rights herself. “My hero.”

 

Kara sucks in a sharp breath, eyes wide. Lena’s expression almost mirrors her own—she must have said the same thing to her Kara. Their eyes lock.

 

And then they’re kissing. Lena’s arms curl tightly around Kara’s neck and Kara’s arms wrap around Lena’s waist, pulling her in close. It’s the roughest kiss they’ve shared— their teeth almost knock together three times and Kara’s glasses are practically knocked off her face.

 

Lena pulls away just long enough to mumble, “Inside.” before threading her fingers through Kara’s hair and pulling her in for another kiss, just as rough as the last one. Kara hums against her lips and backs them towards the door, praying that they don’t slip on that ice patch.

 

Lena breaks away, grabbing her key and unlocking the door. She shoves Kara inside, locks the door, throws the key off to the side and launches herself back at Kara, tugging her jacket off as they kiss and Kara rugs back at hers.

 

Lena pushes Kara towards the couch and down onto it, climbing on top of her. Kara can hear the clanking of Lena’s shoes hitting the ground as she does.

 

Lena straddles Kara’s lap and looks down at the button down Lena had given her to wear that morning. She reaches down and rips it open, the buttons flying everywhere as she mutters, “Hated that shirt anyway.”

 

Kara sits up, one arm encircling Lena’s waist again, the other cupping her face, tilting it down do that Kara can kiss her again. Lena immediately licks at the seam of her lips and Kara parts her lips to allow her inside.

 

This Lena kisses differently than Kara ever pictured Lena would. She kisses rough, passionately, nothing like the calculating way Kara would’ve expected. She’s a lot more dominant than Kara thought she’d be and something about it rubs Kara the wrong way, like it isn’t right. Kara pushes that away and just kisses Lena harder.

 

Lena reaches up to push Kara’s shirt off of her shoulders, and brushes her thumb against one of Kara’s nipples through her bra. Pleasure sparks through Kara, and she almost yelps against Lena’s lips.

 

Lena giggles and undoes Kara’s bra, shoving it down so it’s around Kara’s elbows. She shoves Kara back down onto the couch and flattens her tongue over one of Kara’s nipples before closing her lips around it and giving a light suck. Kara can hear herself practically panting, and her hands immediately thread themselves into Lena’s hair, keeping her in place.

 

Lena just grazes her nipple with her teeth, and Kara does yelp at that. Lena sits back up, and gives Kara a smirk that makes Kara feel herself getting wetter. Lena looks so fucking good, her hair is wild, her shirt is lopsided, and her brow is arched in that way that drives Kara nuts. It makes Kara want to shove Lena down and eat her out for hours while Lena writhes beneath her looking like that.

 

Without thinking, Kara grabs Lena around the waist and flips them around so Lena in on her back, looking up at her, eyes wide and pupils blown.

 

Kara kisses Lena, tugging on her bottom lip roughly and running her hands along Lena’s sides, rucking up her sweater as she does. Lena pulls away to pull her shirt off before tugging Kara back in.

 

Lena’s hand brushes down Kara’s stomach, stopping at the waist of Kara’s pants as Kara kisses and bites along her neck. Kara can feel herself practically dripping and can’t stop the whimper that escapes her lips.

 

Lena dips her hand beneath her waistband and into her panties, brushing the pads of her finger along Kara’s clit.

 

“Fuck,” Kara breaths into Lena’s neck, and Lena begins rubbing light circles into her clit, making her squirm.

 

Kara can’t stop herself from doing the same to Lena, reaching in between them and shoving the sides of Lena’s pencil skirt enough that she can shove aside Lena’s panties enough to reach her clit.

 

Lena moans in Kara’s ear, and it’s her new favorite sound ever. Kara slips her finger further along Lena’s cunt and pressed at her hole and Lena moans again. The sound makes Kara buck her hips against Lena’s fingers, which are still teasing lightly at her clit.

 

Lena’s absolutely dripping wet, and Kara slowly pushes a finger inside her. Lena pushes her hips forward to take it in quicker, and her head falls back as she mutters, “Fuck, Kara.” Her ginger falters against Kara clit.

 

Kara stops once her finger is in all the way to her knuckle. She reaches her thumb up to brush at Lena’s clit, lighter than Lena is at her own.

 

“God, just fuck me, Kara,” Lena pants, trying to push against Kara’s fingers.

 

“I’ll fuck you when you fuck me,” Kara says, and Lena immediately presses her fingers against her clit harder than just a light tease, stroking hard, already knowing exactly the way Kara likes it. Kara doesn’t want to think of why.

 

She gets a good rhythm of fucking Lena with first her one finger, then another while still rubbing light circles on her clit. Lena is a mess beneath her, and she’s barely able to concentrate on rubbing Kara off with her own hand, her ministrations constantly faltering right when she lets out another moan or an, “Oh, fuck, Kara.” Kara smirks each time and kisses her, and even Lena’s kisses are distracted.

 

It doesn’t take long for Lena to come, and Kara savors the feeling of Lena gushing around her fingers and moaning under her. Her hair is a mess and her eyes are wide and out of focus. It’s one of the best things Kara’s ever seen.

 

It takes a minute after Kara’s pulled out for Lena to rasp, “Come here.”

 

She tugs Kara’s hips forward and shoves down her pants so that Kara’s pussy can settle right over her face.

 

Lena licks a stripe up the length of her cunt before sucking her clit into her mouth. Kara can’t stop herself from grinding herself down into Lena’s chin, and she can just imagine how wet Lena’s chin must be from her. The thought makes her even wetter and she groans, reaching forward to grip the arm of the couch to keep herself steady.

 

Lena’s tongue swirls around her clip before moving downward to her hole, lapping there for a second before dipping inside. She tugs Kara’s hips down again, fucking Kara down just slightly on her tongue. Her clit bumps into Lena’s nose. Kara comes right on the spot.

 

Kara climbs off of Lena a second later and practically collapses down next to her. That was the best orgasm she’d ever had and it made her bones feel like jell-o.

 

Lena wipes her mouth with the back of her hand and grins when she sees Kara’s eyes following the motion.

 

“That wasn’t so bad for your first time with a woman,” Lena says, smirking.

 

Kara rolls her eyes and lightly smacks her on the shoulder.

 

“I’ll show you how good I am,” Kara mumbles, kissing Lena on the neck.

 

Lena giggles, and is off the couch in an instant, stepping out of her own pants and unclasping her bra.

 

“I’m holding you to that,” Lena warns. “See you upstairs!”

 

And then she’s off, apparently forgetting that Kara has super speed because she seems surprised when a second later, Kara is curling her arms around her waist and tugging her back against her.

 

Lena turns to look at her, and Kara ducks her head down to kiss her soundly.

 

“Race you,” Kara says against her lips with a smile. In the next second, she’s already in the bedroom and lying on the bed.

 

“Cheater!” Lena yells from downstairs, and Kara can hear her running up the steps.

 

She smiles so wide that her face hurts. And for some reason, her chest aches, too.

 


 

They spend the next two days doing almost nothing besides lying in bed, having sex, and eating whatever Lena has in the kitchen. The eating actual food part mostly comes at the insistence of Kara’s stomach, which starts growling every time she’s gone too long without eating.

 

Kara’s just come down from an amazing orgasm when Lena gets an emergency call from work.

 

“Sorry, Kara,” Lena says, pulling on her clothes hastily. “I’ll be back in just a few hours.” She kisses Kara on the forehead and is out the door immediately after.

 

Kara stares at the doorway where Lena just was and now that Lena’s left, feels a heavy weight settle on her chest. Guilt.

 

She feels like she just cheated on her girlfriend. Like she did something so utterly wrong that she deserves to die for it. That she just betrayed the person she loves the most.

 

She flops down onto the bed and stares at the white ceiling. She closes her eyes, and instantly sees the look Lena gave her when Kara told her she was Supergirl flash before her eyes. The anger, the betrayal, the hopelessness.

 

Kara breathes in sharply and sits back up. She jumps out of the bed and rubs her hand over her face almost violently.

 

She’s done nothing wrong—Lena is dead and they were never even together. In fact, when Lena died, she had hated Kara. God, she fucking hated her and Kara let her die.

 

Kara feels her knees giving out and she sinks to the ground, curling in on herself. Lena would’ve never wanted to be with her, not in her universe. When Kara had told her she was Supergirl, Lena said she never wanted to see her again, not for anything, not ever. And the day she died, Kara had shown up anyway. She knew Lena wouldn’t have wanted her help, but she couldn’t let Lena die, couldn’t let her get hurt.

 

Kara had landed in the crowd of people that Lena had been shot at from. Lena was being ushered away by one of her bodyguards when she spotted Kara in the crowd.

 

“Ka—Supergirl?” Lena had said, her eyes wide. She stopped in place for just a minute to look at her. But a minute was just enough.

 

Kara had heard the gunshot go off at the same time Lena did. Kara felt more panic well up in her than she ever had in her life—not since Alex’s plane was crashing.

 

And before she could move, someone had grabbed her by her hair and pulled her backwards. It took a quick second to knock the guy away—he was an alien, but not nearly as strong as her. But by the time Kara had turned around, Lena was clutching her stomach and her face was twisted into a grimace. She had fallen forward, but this time Kara caught her.

 

“Lena, oh my god,” Kara had gasped, trying to hold her up, but Lena’s legs were completely giving out underneath her.

 

Tears were running down her face by the time she was kneeling on the ground, pulling Lena with her so she was curled up in her lap.

 

“I can get you somewhere,” Kara had promised, tears running freely down her face. “I won’t let you die, Lena. I won’t.”

 

But Lena had shook her head, her own eyes just barely teary, a small smile gracing her lips.

 

“No,” Lena had insisted, her voice raspy and almost distant. “There’s nothing anyone could do. I’d rather be with you.”

 

“I thought you hated me,” Kara had practically cried, and Lena just smiled just a little wider and brushed Kara’s hair out of her face.

 

“Kara, I could never hate you,” Lena had told her. “You were the only person who never saw me as just a Luthor, how could I? I know I was angry about—“ Lena winced in pain and coughed. “—about you being Supergirl, but I get it, I do. You were trying to protect me, and that just makes me love you even more.”

 

“Don’t,” Kara had said, shaking her head. “Don’t say that.”

 

“I do,” Lena had insisted, her voice as forceful as it could be while she was—god—dying. “Kara, I love you. I feel like I’ve loved you my whole life.”

 

Kara was crying openly now, her tears dripping down onto Lena’s chest, but Lena didn’t seem to care.

 

“I love you,” Kara had cried, tugging Lena in closer, but still careful not to jostle her. “I love you I love you I love you please don’t go please Lena don’t die I can’t do this without you I love you so fucking much.”

 

Lena had laughed, then winced in pain and coughed again. Blood dribbled from her lips, and Kara could barely breathe from the fear that oh god she was about to lose Lena forever.

 

“Don’t cry, Kara,” Lena had comforted, cupping Kara’s face in her hand. “We’ll see each other again. I know it. I don’t know when, but we will.”

 

And then Lena had died in her arms, while Kara told her she loved her over and over and Kara wanted to die with her. She felt dead, staring down at the love of her life lifeless.

 

She had burnt the man who killed her to a crisp right after.

 

But Kara knew it was all her fault. She had been the one who stopped Lena from getting away. Lena had stopped when she saw her. Maybe Kara hadn’t shot the gun, but she’s the one who put Lena in front of the bullet.

 

And she hated herself for it.

 

And she hated herself even more for what she’s done. Finding another Lena like hers was in any way replaceable. Like Kara shouldn’t have gone the rest of her fucking life wondering what it would’ve been like to kiss Lena, to love her, if she hadn’t fucked it all up. If she had just told Lena she was Supergirl, if she hadn’t gotten her killed.

 

How could she be happy with another Lena when hers was dead?

 

How could she ever pretend that this Lena could compare with hers? That she could ever even begin to love her the same way?

 

Kara stands robotically, grabbing some clothes from the drawer Lena had filled for her. She pulls on her clothes almost in a trace. She feels disgusting.

 

Lena comes home an hour later, and stops abruptly when she sees Kara sitting blankly on the couch, staring at the picture of Kara and Lena in front of the Eiffel Tower on the mantle.

 

“Kara?” she asks hesitantly, sitting down next to her.

 

Kara doesn’t respond, and Lena furrows her brows. She gives Kara a chaste kiss. It feels wrong. Her lips taste like poison.

 

“I’ll get dinner ready, okay?” Lena says, patting Kara on the thigh. Kara absentmindedly nods.

 

They eat dinner in silence. They watch TV in silence. They get ready for bed in silence.

 

They lie in bed in the same disturbing silence for ten long minutes.

 

“I love you,” Kara finally says. She pulls Lena in close, kisses her.

 

It feels like a goodbye.

 

“I love you, too,” Lena says, and Kara can hear the slightest note of panic in her voice. “I do.”

 

“I know,” Kara responds, but she sounds distant. “I know.”

 


 

Somewhere around three in the morning, Kara crawls out of the bed as best she can without waking Lena.

 

She heads back to her own room, opening the door as slow as she can before stepping inside.

 

She opens the top drawer. Under the clothes that she came in is the watch. She holds it in her hand for a long while, just looking at it.

 

She can’t be here anymore. As much as she wants Lena back, she can never have her Lena back. And it isn’t fair to this one to string her along like she could ever get over her own Lena.

 

And she has a duty to her universe, to her National City. She can’t abandon the people there just because someone she loved died. She’s stronger than that. She has to be.

 

And she can’t abandon her friends. She can’t abandon Alex. Just the thought of Alex in this universe makes Kara’s heart hurt. Alex needs her, maybe just as much as the entire city does, and Kara has to be there for her.

 

Kara and Lena...they both want the other to be someone they aren’t. They don’t need each other, they need someone who looks just like them. Someone who’s a completely different person.

 

The door opening startles Kara. She had been so deep in her thoughts that she hadn’t heard the approaching footsteps.

 

“You’re leaving,” Lena says, stepping into the room. It’s not a question.

 

Kara looks down. She feels like her heart is breaking all over again.

 

“I was going to tell you.” Kara isn’t sure if she’s lying or not.

 

“You said you wouldn’t leave me,” Lena says, and it’s not a guilt trip, just fact. Kara still feels guilt weigh her shoulders down.

 

“I can’t do this,” Kara says, her voice choked. “I can’t keep pretending like I can.”

 

“You can’t keep pretending that I’m your Lena,” Lena finishes, and she sounds so sad. “I know.”

 

“It’s not the same,” Kara mumbles, and tears fall down her face. “When I kiss you, when I touch you—you’re Lena, but you aren’t mine. You’re someone else and it feels wrong.”

 

“I know,” Lena repeats. “You don’t feel like my Kara either.”

 

“Then you have to understand,” Kara says, finally turning around. It sounds like she’s begging. “You have to understand why I can’t stay. All this does—it just hurts me. All this time I’m with you, I want you to be someone else. Someone exactly like you, but completely different at the same time.”

 

“My Kara hates bacon,” Lena blurts, seemingly out of nowhere. “She doesn’t like all of the grease. Makes her feel sick.”

 

Kara looks at her, and she almost feels stunned.

 

“When you got excited about the bacon, I didn’t—I was so confused because that wasn’t right. And I knew you were different and I thought I could love you anyway because you’re still Kara. And I do love you, Kara. I love you so much it hurts. But you aren’t my Kara. And as much as I love you, I could never love you as much as I love her.” Lena wipes at her eyes. “You’re right.”

 

“Lena, I love you,” Kara says, reaching out to pull Lena into a hug. “There’s no version of you I wouldn’t love. There isn’t a single me in existence that doesn’t love every version of you. I don’t care who you are, what you are, evil or not, vegan or not, I’ll always love you.”

 

Lena huffs a laugh into Kara’s throat and shakes her head.

 

“I think it’s just one of those laws of the universe,” Kara muses. “Kara Zor-el is in love with Lena Luthor. That’s just the way it is.”

 

“I feel the same way,” Lena mumbles, and Kara feels her lips moving against her neck. “I can’t imagine somewhere where I wasn’t in love with you. But for every Kara there’s a Lena and for every Lena there’s a Kara, and you’re not mine and I’m not yours.”

 

“I wish you were,” Kara tells her, rubbing her hand along Lena’s back. “Rao, I wish you were.”

 

“I know, I know,” Lena says, and a tear drips falls onto Kara’s neck and drips down her throat. “I wish it, too. We’re just going to have to learn to live without each other.”

 

Kara shakes her head and pulls away enough that she can see Lena’s face. She cups her face in her hand.

 

“If there’s one thing that I know, it’s that I’d never leave you, Lena.” Kara swallows. “You’ll see me again. I promise.”

 

She hears Lena’s words from when she died echo in her ears, and she knows that Lena will be back, that her and Kara will be together once again.

 

After all, Kara Danvers would never give up on Lena Luthor.

 

Lena rocks onto her tip toes and kisses Kara. The kiss is sweet and sad, but underneath it all there’s a slowly growing sense of hope. Kara grips Lena a little tighter.

 

“And even if we don’t see each other again,” Lena finishes breathlessly, “We’ll always be together. I’ll take my Kara with me wherever I go. And you’ll take your Lena with you. They live on in us.”

 

Kara nods and wills herself to step away from Lena. She knows that this might be the last time she ever sees any Lena, and the knowledge makes her feel sick, but if there’s any chance that she could ever see her Lena again, she’s going to take it.

 

“Don’t say goodbye,” Kara says abruptly. “This isn’t a goodbye.”

 

Lena gives her a watery smile and nods. She brushes a hand along Kara’s arm.

 

“I love you,” she says, and it means more to Kara than a goodbye ever could. “And if I were dead and there was any chance in the universe that I could come back to my Kara, I would. And I’m sure your Lena is the same.”

 

“And you know I’d do anything for you, Lena,” Kara says, and she doesn’t know how she can even speak anymore, her throat is so thick. “I love you so much.”

 

They don’t say anything else. Kara takes the watch and puts it on around her wrist.

 

Their eyes meet and they both smile, filled with tentative hope that they will each see their loves again. Kara clicks the button and as she fades away, she sees Lena’s eyes close. She looks devastated.

 

Kara knows that despite any hope Kara has given her, Lena really believes that this will be the last time she ever sees her.

 

It won’t be.

 


 

Kara arrives back in her universe right where she left it, in the DEO lab.

 

The box of Lena’s unfinished works is gone. All of Lena’s stuff is. Kara tries not to let it hurt.

 

She walks through the halls, wondering how long she’s been gone for. She was with the other Lena for about two weeks, but time could move differently in each universe.

 

Nothing looks too different. There’s no one in the hall, which she finds strange, but she hears voices coming from somewhere. She recognizes one of them to be J’onn and feels herself relax a little.

 

She follows the voices until she reaches the main room. J’onn is speaking with Alex and Vasquez, the first of whom whips around the second Kara enters the room and gapes.

 

“Kara!” Alex exclaims, immediately running up to pull her into a hug.

 

“Hey,” Kara says, pulling back. “How long was I gone?”

 

“Just a few days,” J’onn answers from next to her. He pulls her into a hug. “Welcome back.”

 

“We were worried! I thought you were never coming back!” Alex says, giving Kara a light slap on her bicep. She sounds near tears, and Kara feels horrible for making her so upset, but it was what she had needed to do. “What happened?”

 

Kara launches into her story of how she seemed to be in a parallel universe where she was dead and met Lena who was still alive. She tells them everything, save for the parts about the kissing and the sex.

 

“Sounds like you were on another Earth, like the one with Barry Allen, we all actually existed there. Maybe some sort of parallel universe?” J’onn muses and Kara nods. That was exactly what she thought.

 

“Are you okay?” Alex asks tentatively.

 

Kara knows exactly what she’s talking about—seeing Lena right after she died.

 

Kara smiles, and it doesn’t even feel faked.

 

“I think I’m going to be,” Kara says.

 

And she will.

 


 

One year later, Lena comes back on a Tuesday.

 

It’s the best day of Kara’s life.