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blockbuster (it's the movie au ok)

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“One of the stars of the new film taking the world by storm, Kara Danvers!” Kara jogs out to excited applause and cheers, smiling with her whole body as she waves with both hands. Tonight she’s being interviewed by Jimmy Fallon, and while he technically has a whole show planned, everyone really only wants to know one thing.

Jimmy makes a valiant effort for her. They play a game, she demonstrates cup-stacking, the new game all the kids are playing that she played in high school. She tells a hilarious story about falling into a river off the bridge that staged a really emotional scene during the movie because Lena dared her to stand on the railing and she got a little cocky that has Jimmy and the crowd in stitches.

She explains the plot of the film, they show a clip. Everyone cheers. Jimmy wipes his eyes. “Wow, that is so amazing. You guys are just so… you’re so incredible together. Wow.” Kara chuckles a little indulgently, both at Jimmy’s words and the crowd’s responding whoops. Several people wolf whistle. “So, I’ve heard that you and Miss Luthor were friends before this all started?”

Kara smiles big, and there’s a whisper that goes around the crowd. “Yeah, it was so crazy that we got cast for it together, we were not expecting that at all. We both didn’t even know the other was auditioning for this until we came in for the chemistry read, which was hilarious. But we knew each other, we’ve been best friends for a while. My sister was dating the cop that happened to be the one with the orders to arrest Lena when that whole misunderstanding went down, you all know the one, yeah? If you don’t, it doesn’t matter, it was dumb corporate scandal with the agency Lena was represented by the time and of course Lena was totally innocent the whole time. But they both knew I was a big fan, and I maybe bullied my sister into getting her cop girlfriend–who’s now her cop wife–into pulling a few strings so I happened to be ‘in the area’ waiting to meet them ‘for lunch’–” Kara’s got her hands up in very obvious air quotes “–so that I was there when Lena got released. And then I totally, y’know, froze then rambled and was just like, all over her, like ‘oh my god, you’re Lena Luthor, I’m such a big fan,’ and I’m expecting her to be like, ‘who even is this,’ but she actually knew me! Which was insane, right, cause I’d only been in like a couple indie films at the time, and literally right there in this police station, she was like, ‘listen I’m starving but I hope we meet again?’ and I was just like, ‘Listen I know you’ve been totally innocent and this whole thing probably sucked, let me take you out to lunch, because you deserve it after the twenty-four hours you’ve just had,’ and we’ve been best friends ever since.”

“Best friends?” is all Jimmy Fallon seems to be able to inquire after that word-vomit of a best friends meeting story. Kara nods. Jimmy has a slightly dead-inside look, but shakes his head with a sort of laugh. “Well, the two of you have amazing chemistry on film.”

Kara smiles genuinely. “It’s all Lena. That woman could have chemistry with drywall, am I right?” she glances to the crowd and is not disappointed with the resulting cheer that affirms her statement. “She is just, like, Lena, and she goes all smoky-eyes and turns on the drive-you-crazy charm like flipping a switch or something, and my whole job this whole movie was to sit there and let myself be totally flustered and in love with Lena, which is like, the easiest thing ever. It was like playing myself in front of the cameras. It was so much fun.”

Jimmy stares. Kara continues to smile, oblivious. “Right, that’s gonna be giffed before tomorrow,” he mutters, then launches into the rest of the interview.

---

Across town on the same night, Lena walks out–well, more like struts–with a small smile on her lips growing as she waves to the crowd. She’s being interviewed by Stephen Colbert this evening, and the crowd is excited for her famed wit to match with his comedy. And, you know, to hear one or two other things.

Pleasantries are exchanged. They’re classy people. The PR person for this movie knew exactly what they were doing when they put Kara with Fallon and Lena with Colbert.

Lena and Stephen go on with their interview. Lena talks about her current endeavor, her charity project for STEM programs in schools in her hometown. They crack a few jokes about Lena and Stephen being nerds. It’s cute. Lena explains the plot and the clip they’re going to show. It’s a cute clip that definitely shows off the chemistry they have. Lena blushes a little bit and smiles lazily at the crowd when the clip finishes.

“You two are amazing, that film looks incredible,” Stephen tells her. “If I’ve heard correctly, you two were friends before you were cast?”

Lena smiles genuinely. “Yes, and neither of us knew the other was in casting for the movie until we went in for the chemistry read, it was all very secret, it was quite a surprise to see each other in there, it was very amusing. We’re not sure the casting directors knew we knew each other, but they figured it out pretty fast if they didn’t.”

“And working with your friend on a project like this, was it easier or harder?”

“Oh, much easier.” Lena answers without hesitation. “I mean, I’m sure there are some of my friends who it would be harder with, but everything’s easy with Kara.” Colbert glances to the camera like he’s in The Office, before shaking his head and looking back to Lena. “She’s so genuine, so easy to work with and be with, it was so amazing working with her, it was just so easy to play someone in love with all her charms. She’s always making me smile and laugh, and she’s just always put me at ease, ever since we first met.”

“And when did you first meet?”

“You remember that corporate scandal with my agency?” Stephen nods. “Well, I was one of the people arrested in that whole debacle, and I spent the night in holding and being interrogated on and off, and when I got out, who do I happen to run into but Kara Danvers, who at the time was the star of several indie films, the kind I love to watch at three in the morning and sob my heart out over. And so, standing in the middle of this police station after what was arguably the worst night of my life, this absolute angel from some of my all-time favorite stories just comes out of nowhere and just comes right up to me and is just so kind, and so wonderful, and offers to take me out to lunch, tells me how amazing I am, and just like that, I’m gone. We’ve been best friends ever since, but I never dreamed I’d get to work with her, let alone play opposite her in something like this, it was an absolute dream.”

“An absolute dream,” Colbert repeats lowly, and there’s a laugh that ripples through the crowd, which Lena ignores. “Best friends, huh?” Lena nods, and Colbert sighs a little bit and continues the interview.

---

Ellen insists they play Never Have I Ever with recent movie stars of the new groundbreaking film that’ll make you cry, Kara Danvers and Lena Luthor. Kara and Lena aren’t precisely aware of this happening until Ellen hands them paddles.

Kara does not have a slight panic attack when she realizes Ellen is gonna make her be honest. She does the slight panic laugh that makes Lena reach over to take her hand gently and squeeze once with a reassuring smile before they take the paddles. And with Ellen’s shit-eating grin, they begin.

“This is a very revealing game,” Ellen smiles. “Ok, ready? No? Great, let’s do this. Never have I ever… questioned my sexuality.” Three I Have paddles go in the air to general ooohs from the audience. Ellen looks delighted. Lena smirks and Kara blushes.

“Never have I ever… been attracted to a costar.” Kara and Lena both immediately start speaking over each other in a desperate sort of sense, and Ellen holds her hand up in a placating way. “Ok, ok, it’s like, we’ll say, Never have I ever seen someone I was going to work with, and said, wow they’re hot.” Three I have paddles somewhat reluctantly hit the air. Ellen smirks. “Who?”

“You didn’t say we had to answer follow up questions,” Kara shoots back. Lena laughs loudly.

“Ok, ok, Never have I ever… gotten to know someone I worked with and then felt romantic feelings for them.” Kara holds her paddle in her lap, biting her lip, as Lena rolls her eyes to the crowd and swings her paddle into an I have position, then rolls her head around to face Kara, who sighs deeply and holds up her paddle in an I have position. Ellen looks like Christmas has come early, but bites back a smile. “Who?” Ellen asks.

“No follow-up questions,” Kara repeats, and Lena laughs again.

“Alright,” Ellen acquiesces. “Alright, that’s true. Next question then… Never have I ever… hooked up with someone on the first date.” Lena holds up an I have. Kara turns scarlet as an I have paddle reluctantly peeks up. Lena and Ellen both howl with laughter, and Kara sighs and drops her head into her hands as Lena pushes at her shoulder, wheezing in laughter.

“Ok, ok, Never have I ever… snooped through my significant others phone without them knowing.”

Three I have never paddles go up. “That’s a distinctly heterosexual action,” Lena mutters, and Kara snorts with laughter. Ellen looks into the camera like she’s on the office before breaking and laughing with them, muttering a you’re so right.

“Never have I ever… faked an injury to get out of something.” Lena’s I have paddle shoots up fast. Kara frowns thoughtfully before putting up an I have never paddle.

“Oh come on,” Lena says. “Not even for someone’s birthday party?”

“No!” Kara insists. “I go to every party I’m invited to.” Lena raises an eyebrow. “Maybe sometimes I use the ‘previous engagement’ excuse. Sometimes I really do have previous engagements!”

“You’re too nice,” Lena says quietly, and Ellen stares at the camera again, deadpan, as Kara blushes.

“Never have I ever… gotten a tattoo I regret.” Ellen holds up the Never have I ever paddle, as does Kara. Lena looks slyly at the crowd before holding up the I have paddle.

“What?” Kara’s exclamation drowns our Ellen’s chuckle. Lena purses her lips for a second before shaking her head. “Come on!” Kara says. “I’ve seen all your tattoos, which one is it?”

The crowd is roaring, Ellen’s eyebrows are somewhere on the roof. Lena’s mouth is half open in that fake-affronted, don’t-make-me-do-this type way, but she can’t stop a smile as she turns her head slowly to face Kara. Kara looks at her with the same insistent puppy dog eyes. Lena rolls her eyes and motions Kara closer with one finger. Kara scoots over eagerly and Lena whispers in her ear. Kara’s eyes go wide and she grins and the crowd shrieks. Lena whispers something else and Kara nods.

“What’s the tattoo?” Ellen asks.

“No follow up questions,” Kara says, spreading her hands in an I-can’t-help-you-sorry gesture.

Ellen sighs. “Ok, you’re no fun. Last two. Never have I ever been in handcuffs.”

Kara’s face doesn’t go red, but her eyes go wide. Lena slides her paddle into an I have position with the smallest of smirks. Kara sighs deeply and slides her paddle into an I have position.

The crowd screams. “It’s not what you think!” Kara yells over the noise. Lena chuckles, clearly knowing the story. “It was like this campus peaceful walk thing, there was this total misunderstanding with the police, it was like twenty minutes in a holding cell before my sister had to pick me up and there were no charges or fines, it was like— yeah.”

“Ok,” Ellen says calmly. “If it helps you sleep at night.” Kara opens her mouth to protest but Lena claps her hand quickly over Kara’s mouth, shaking her head. Kara rolls her eyes and pulls Lena’s hand away. “Never have I ever…” Ellen waits for the crowd to giggle and get quiet. “Never have I ever had a romantic thought about the person sitting next to me.”

The crowd explodes as Kara and Lena both hold up an I Have paddle in a stunningly nonchalant manner.

Chapter Text

Lena had just had the shittiest twenty-four hours she could remember having, including the time she once agreed to stop eating and drinking for nineteen hours to give herself a “malnourished” look for a couple scenes in a role. Looking back, her agent helping talk her into it probably should have been a warning sign. Her agent being her brother probably should also have been a warning sign. But it was too late to blame herself now. Her family had always been controlling. She had just always counted herself lucky she wanted to do the same thing they wanted her to.

It had all come down around her ears when she was in Lex’s office discussing his latest ideas for her auditions. The police came in all of the sudden and before she quite knew what was happening, Lex was shouting and the pair of them were in handcuffs and being escorted into waiting police cars. Cameras were everywhere. Lena had heard some rumblings of corporate malpractice but had never dreamed they were true. She didn’t put much stock in company rumors. She spent at least six hours telling the police that while they interrogated her. Three of those hours were in handcuffs. Several more hours were spent in a holding cell before a bemused officer–the same one who had arrested her personally, Lena was pretty sure–opened the holding cell door.

“You’re free to go, Miss Luthor,” she said, eyes down on her keys as she fiddled with them in the door. She glanced up and caught Lena’s wrist gently as Lena made to leave. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but your brother is not free to go. You’re innocent, but he’s not.”

Lena just sighed. “I figured as much. Otherwise we’d be here together, right?”

The cop cocked her head to the side and smiled, dimples coming out on display. Brown eyes regarded her with unexpected warmth. “You’re a lot smarter than he makes you sound, you know?”

“You were the one interrogating him?”

“Well, yeah. I may have had orders to arrest you but I could tell right away who was innocent and who wasn’t in that room. I’m not gonna waste both of our time when you clearly don’t know a thing.” Lena considered her for a long moment thoughtfully, wondering how she could tell. The cop jerked her thumb over her shoulder. “Come on, I’ll walk you out.”

“Alex, seriously, how long does it take to unlock a single door?”

Alex glanced over at her pacing sister from above her Ammo Monthly magazine, boots propped on Maggie’s desk, unperturbed at Maggie’s long absence. “Do you think your chances of meeting her in a non-creepy way are going down with every passing second?” Kara huffed, and Alex rolled her eyes. “Chill, drama queen. I’m sure your idol will be just as stunned and overwhelmed no matter what minute Maggie brings her out. Try not to drool when you jump her.” Kara glared, and Alex pretended to shiver before turning back to her magazine. “Ooh, someone tell Mom the high school theater paid off. I can feel the chill from here.”

“Shut up,” Kara muttered, not even pausing in her pacing as she shoved at the back of Alex’s rolly-chair, but Alex tensed, gripping the heels of her boots on the table so she didn’t go anywhere. Kara sighed after a long moment, turning on her heel and propping herself against Maggie’s desk. “Good magazine?” she asked in an obvious attempt to distract herself. “I still don’t understand what that could possibly be about, you just put the bullets that fit into the right gun, right?”

Alex didn’t even look up. “I’m not going to dignify that with a response, considering you have a federal agent as a sister, one who is certified in over thirty types of firearms.” Kara rolled her eyes, looking more frustrated than bored, and Alex finally lifted her eyes. “Your anxiety is ruining my mood, Kara. They’ll be out in a minute. Chill.”

“Alex, I don’t understand how you’re not freaking out about this, Lena Luthor–” Kara dropped her voice to a near-reverential stage whisper to say her name “–is in the building and we might be about to meet her!”

Alex lifted an eyebrow. “She’s just a person, Kara. Same as you. I’m sure plenty of people feel the same way about you, actually. Weird, indie film theater nerds, but still. Probably. Hey Maggie.”

Kara whipped around comically fast as Alex said Maggie’s name. Maggie was, sure enough, approaching with one Lena Luthor in tow, Lena rubbing at her wrists and taking in her surroundings with a pensive look. Alex could practically feel her sister’s heartbeat escalate and her cheeks heat up. Alex snorted loudly, covering it as a cough, and Maggie ducked her head to hide a grin. She had promised Kara she’d get her within striking distance, and she was scoring big points for it.

Lena looked over as Alex stood loudly with a dramatic air. “Hey Mags,” Alex greeted loudly and totally casually, as was maybe-or-maybe-not rehearsed, Kara staring dry-mouthed and not-at-all obviously at Lena, slightly hidden from view by Alex. “We’re ready for lunch whenever you are.” She glanced at Lena in a ‘subtle and unplanned’ manner. “New, um, recruit?”

Kara shoved roughly at Alex’s hip, and Alex actually stumbled this time, frowning down at Kara’s surprisingly excessive use of force, but Kara only had eyes for Lena. “Oh my god,” she muttered, her first words since Lena had entered the room, and Lena looked at her for the first time. Kara’s face was starstruck, and Lena’s, to everyone’s shock, had morphed into a pleased and surprised recognition. “You’re Lena Luthor,” she said breathlessly, thankfully breaking into one of her megawatt smiles and pushing off the desk to venture a couple steps towards Lena, until they were maybe five feet apart (Alex released a breath as thankfully her sister was both not drooling and not accidentally assaulting her). “I am in love with like, literally everything you’ve done.”

Lena broke (only a little hesitantly) into a genuine smile. “What an honor,” she said, gesturing at Kara. “I could say the same for you, Kara Danvers. I’m pretty sure I’ve watched your last film sixteen times in the last two months.”

“Lena Luthor knows who I am,” Kara mumbled, jaw slack, and Alex coughed loudly and kicked the back of her sister’s knee. “Oh my god. Oh my god, that means so much coming from you. Oh my god. This is the best day of my life.”

Lena huffed out a quarter of a laugh and rubbed at her wrists again. “Well, as amazing as it was to meet you, I’m afraid I can’t really say the same.”

“Oh, oh, oh my god of course. This must have been so infuriating, I’m so sorry. Of course this is the worst, you’re like, totally innocent, duh, and you got dragged in here for god knows how long. Did they even feed you?”

Maggie’s indignant splutter of of course we did! is shushed by Kara’s impatient hand. “I could eat,” Lena admitted with a small smile. “First stop on the way out.”

Kara bit her lip for a moment. “There’s this, like, amazing place around the corner. Best burgers you’ve ever had in your life. I mean, you totally deserve it, after the night you’ve just had. I could, um, buy you one, if you wanted. Or like five. Or totally not, if you want to be alone or that’s creepy or not the time or whatever, it’s totally cool, I’m just thrilled to meet you and I’m sorry you’re having such a crappy day–” Kara cut herself off with a deep breath. “I mean, open offer. Whatever you want.”

“I’d actually love that,” Lena said quietly. “If I’m free to go, officer,” she added with a slight drawl, rolling her eyes towards Maggie. Kara immediately turned her eyes into lasers somehow, and if Maggie wasn’t already letting her go scot-free, she certainly was now.

“You’re good,” Maggie promised. “You have my card, I know where to find you if I have any questions.” She held her hands up in surrender. “Totally of a platonic and innocence-assured nature.” Kara smiled disarmingly, and Maggie glanced towards Alex, who was at a loss to explain when her sister’s acting chops (other than the puppy dog eyes) had suddenly started making an appearance in the everyday. She couldn’t believe Kara had just asked out her idol and her idol had not only known who she was and liked her in return but also said yes to a date after a night in prison.

“Oh my god.”

“Good, right?”

“I think I’m genuinely in love with this hamburger. And you, for showing me this place.”

Kara blushed deeply and took a huge bite of her jalapeno burger so she could pass it off as the spice. “Lena Luthor,” she mumbled after several moments, and through a mouthful of fries. Lena turned to face her, and Kara felt a rush of warmth reach down to her toes as she realized Lena trusted her already, not even bothering to swallow as she looked back at Kara intently. “I mean, as long as it’s okay with you, of course, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Lena swallowed and beamed. “Kara Danvers,” she said, and oh, Kara was in trouble with that drawl and smoky eye combo. “I mean it quite literally when I say it was worth going to prison to meet you and begin this friendship.”

Kara was pretty sure she was fucked right there. She smiled back at Lena, they both smiled at their burgers, thankfully unnoticed in the hidden corner at the bar, and pushed down all semblance of romantic feelings right there. She was grateful enough to be her friend. It was enough.

“Who’re you texting?”

“Lena,” Kara said absently, shooting off the fifth message in her rapid fire barrage and smiling when Lena’s replies started coming in nearly as fast. Kara chuckled as she read the messages. Lena was a lot funnier than most people gave her credit for, and Kara loved being the one Lena already seemed to turn to first, for everything. Her favorite texts so far from Lena had been at three in the morning and had been a very long rant thread about why the tomato debate was stupid.

“It’s been six hours and I haven’t heard about her,” Alex commented, sitting down on the couch with her, picking at a plate of reheated pizza. “How is the world’s most famous girlfriend?”

“Ha, ha,” Kara said, just as absently, focused on replying to Lena’s latest. “So funny.”

Alex frowned, poking at a slice of pepperoni. “No, I’m serious, how is she? I haven’t heard about your girlfriend in like a day or two, I wanna know. You know I think she’s cool, lunch with her was really nice last week.”

Kara slowly looked up, clicking her phone off with reluctance as her brain slowly took in Alex’s words. Processing. “Alex,” she said slowly. “The joke is old.”

Alex’s frown deepened. “What joke?” she asked, taking a bite.

“The me and Lena dating joke,” Kara explained.

“Kara,” Alex said just as slowly, putting her plate down and swallowing. She wiped her fingers on a napkin. “I’m not joking. I am genuinely under the impression that you and Lena have been dating since you asked her out in the police station.” Alex stared in horror as the blood drained from her sister’s face. “What?” she asked frantically. “What?”

“Alex, we’re not,” Kara said quietly, desperately. “We’re really not dating. Have I been acting like it?”

“You both have,” Alex said, bewildered. “Why didn’t you tell me you weren’t?”

“I thought I’d tell you if I was!” Kara all but wailed, and Alex bit her lip like she had to admit that line of reasoning did make more sense. “Alex, tell me seriously, have we been acting like a couple?”

“I mean, you never shut up about her, the pair of you are really tactile when you’re together, she always smiles at you in that way, you know, and you’re always texting. I’ve seen how fast she replies to you. You eat like five times a week with her and three days ago I caught you facetiming her as you both cried over Lilo and Stitch at eight pm.”

Kara dropped her head in her hands, groaning. “I’m never gonna be able to hide how into her I am if you thought we were a couple for the last two weeks. This is a disaster. Alex,” she said, looking at her sister desperately, “It was just a celebrity crush, you know? Then I met her, and Alex, she’s absolutely incredible. She’s funny in her interviews, She’s hilarious in real life. She’s clearly smart from what you see on tv. She’s wicked brilliant in reality. She’s one of the best people I’ve ever met and I’m head over heels for her. It’s been two weeks. And she’s an unstoppable flirt and she doesn’t even know it. I don’t even know if she’s into women!”

“Okay,” Alex said automatically, moving to hold her sister. “It’s gonna be okay, you’re gonna be okay.” Kara curled in to Alex and clutched at her sweater. “You’re gonna take some deep breaths. You’re gonna make it. I know it’s rough right now, but it’ll get better. Trust me. You still speak really well around her, which means it’s not at its worst yet.” Alex ignored Kara’s muffled trust you to make love sound like science and smoothed Kara’s hair. “You’re gonna reply to the texts I know she’s sent you. You’re gonna be grateful for her friendship, and you’re not gonna fight these feelings, you’re gonna lay them all out on me and Maggie if you want too and you’re gonna feel better. Okay?”

“Okay,” Kara mumbled. Her sister had never been wrong. This would work. At least for now. For a little while.

Chapter Text

“Mm, she’s so hot.”

“So true,” Kara agreed, stuffing her face with popcorn. Lena reached for another handful and Kara let her. “Super hot,” Kara muttered again absently, and Lena paused in her chewing.

“Kara,” Lena said slowly, and Kara turned her head towards Lena, eyes slower to follow as she eventually tore them off the screen. Lena looked into her eyes for a long moment, searching for what, she didn’t know. “You know I meant that in a gay way, right? Like, I am hella gay. Very lesbian.”

Kara swallowed and beamed that megawatt smile Lena was steadily becoming to used to after one month of friendship. “That is excellent news,” she said. “I’d hate to think I made another straight friend. I’m bi, by the way.”

Lena felt her lips tug upward, a brilliant smile drawn out of her as she beamed back at Kara. “Fantastic,” she said crisply. “I too would hate to think I made another straight friend.”

“You’re in luck,” Kara said, extracting an arm from the couch and slinging it around Lena. “Maggie and Alex are like, gonna get engaged any day. They’re super gay. Three out of three of your new friends are queer. You’re batting at a thousand right now.”

Lena laughed, feeling a little more of the weight of today’s trial watching come off her chest as Kara took her in. “Thank god,” she said, sighing dramatically in relief, and Kara laughed. “Drat,” she said sardonically. “At this rate I’ll need a token straight friend.”

Kara’s loud laugh rolled off the walls, completely interrupting Lena’s favorite scene, and Lena had never cared less.

---

 

Lena picked up the phone on the third ring. "Hey Kara," she said, sounding a little absent, her voice a little rough.

"Lena? Where are you?"

"The dunes," came the unapologetic reply.

"The dunes? Did I miss something?"

"What do you mean?"

"I thought we were having dinner?" Kara asked, totally bewildered by this point.

"Oh. We were. I'm so sorry Kara, I totally forgot." There was still something just wrong in Lena's voice.

"No, no, that's okay. Are you, um, doing alright?"

There was a long pause that Kara didn't dare interrupt. "Not really," Lena answered. "But it'll be fine. I'm sorry about dinner. I'll make it up to you."

"No, Lena, you don't have to--"

"I'll see you late--"

"Lena," Kara interrupted, closing her eyes, "Do you want to be alone right now?"

There was a shorter pause this time. "Not really," she answered again, quieter than the first time.

"I'll be there in fifteen minutes," Kara promised. "Unless you want someone else?" she asked, thinking about how it'd only been like two months of friendship.

"No, I want you," came the small reply, and Kara smiled.

"I'll see you soon." She hung up and drove like hell.

///

Lena was having a shitty day again. She had had a few already. The court procedures had already gone through. Lex was sentenced. Lena had testified, briefly, her testimony largely insignificant. She had stared at Lex with sad eyes the whole time while the truth that her brother had made some very poor decisions had sunk in over the course of the three-day trial. He had done some good in the end, though, rolling over on the higher-ups who had talked him into the fraud scheme so the court convicted them on everything. He was still going to jail. For three years, plus an eight million dollar fine.

Lena knew the term for what he got was a slap on the wrist. She had actually expected him to get less and was horrified at herself that she was pleased when he didn't. But Lex would never work in the industry again. He would probably never be allowed around more than a savings account again. She was glad. He'd always had a bit of a wild side, a penchant for bad decisions. She just had a really good way of pushing it all to the back of her mind.

She'd never have to again.

The sound of Kara's car arriving in the parking lot behind her startled her out of her self-pity for a moment before she slipped back into it. Kara would find her sooner rather than later. The sun had barely set, the sky still fading, and she was the only one here. She sat on the top of the sand dunes, barely fifty feet from the parking lot, still dressed in jeans and a nice sweater that didn't blend in with the sand. And she trusted Kara, even after a mere two months.

Kara slipped in behind her in less than a minute. She sat down wordlessly on the sand behind Lena, legs on either side of Lena, and Lena contemplated for a moment thoughtlessly before hooking an arm around each of Kara's knees and tugging her legs closer, so her warmth bled in. She closed her eyes. Kara. At least her best friend was here. At least she had this steady in her life. With whatever lawyers and cops and new agents trying to take her in were fluttering around her, at least Kara didn't want anything in return. Just her happiness, and her company.

"Thanks for coming," she murmured, and Kara scooted closer in reply.

"Do you want to talk about it?" came the gentle inquiry.

"Not really," Lena said, feeling her throat close up. "Maybe in a bit."

"Okay," Kara said softly, not sounding disappointed or anything of the sort.

Lena bit back a sob, the warmth of a person who didn't want anything from her unlocking something in her. The smallest kindness letting her know it was okay to cry. Lena hesitantly leaned back into Kara's chest, and Kara's arms wrapped just as hesitantly around her shoulders. Lena took one, two, three deep breaths, and forced herself to relax. Kara's hold relaxed too, and Lena focused on her deep breathing. In, out. In, out.

"I saw Lex in prison today." Kara's arms tightened in surprise for a moment. In, out.

"How'd it feel?"

In, out.

In, out.

In--

"I'm never going to see him again," Lena said, her breath caught. "They're transferring him to Florida or somewhere weird, his lawyers are working this deal, and after he gets out he's leaving the country. He wouldn't tell me where." In, out. In--

She was crying. She had released Kara's knees and turned around so she was sobbing unashamedly into Kara's shoulder, Kara's arms holding tight, her thumb rubbing a soothing, grounding motion across Lena's shoulder. The tears came all at once, staining Kara's shoulder, heartbroken and horrible, and she hadn't cried for more than five minutes per day since this whole ordeal had begun but now she sobbed for half an hour and couldn't stop herself.

Kara endured it all. Didn't say anything other than shh, it's okay, it's okay, or I got you, held Lena unfailingly, let them ease back gently into the sand so Lena wasn't so uncomfortable and clenched. Didn't ask questions or try to look at her. Just held her. For thirty minutes straight.

Lena finally cried herself out and laid there, wrapped up in Kara's warmth, fingertips trailing through the sand aimlessly, the motion holding most of her disjointed thought. A thought drifted across her mind that she should say something, but she didn't feel like it.

"You know you're like, the perfect height for extended hugs."

Lena felt her lips turn upwards, her fingers didn't stop moving in the sand. "Is that so?" she managed, her voice rough.

"Mm, yeah. Alex is like, my height, so it doesn't work, and Maggie is a little too short plus she won't allow it, but you, you're perfect."

"Am I perfect?"

If Kara heard the genuinely questioning note in her voice she ignored it. "You are, without a doubt, the most perfect person I have ever met, Lena Luthor. Inside and out." Kara kissed her hair gently, and added softly, "And it is a privilege to know you."

Lena took a deep breath in and released it, her head still pillowed on Kara's shoulder, staring out at the now-dark dunes, and let Kara's words wash over her. She still felt empty after crying so much, but she knew the words would mean something to her in a couple hours. "You're gonna make me cry again, Prince Charming," she said dryly.

"Wha--I'm not--I'm just stating the truth!" Kara spluttered, and Lena smiled as she felt Kara's abdomen tense and release under her as Kara reached for words.

"Sure you are," Lena said, summoning the energy to pick her head up and rest her chin on Kara's shoulder so she could look at her for the first time. Kara angled to her head to look back at her, and it should have been a horrible angle to look at someone, but for Kara, it wasn't. Her face was just illuminated in the moon's glow and her eyes were shining, ever so slightly. She smiled a small, gentle smile as she met Lena's eyes. "Hi," Lena whispered.

"Hi," Kara parroted, just as softly.

"Thanks for coming to get me."

"Anytime." Lena had the strangest feeling Kara actually meant that.

"And sorry for ruining the evening."

"Don't," Kara warned gently. "You didn't ruin it and you're allowed to feel things. Don't apologize for that."

"Well then, I'm sorry for crying all over your shirt."

Kara rolled her eyes, visible even in the moonlight. "I'll sell it online. Genuine tears of Lena Luthor. I'll make a fortune."

Lena smiled, too drained to laugh. "Mmkay." She dropped her head back down to press her forehead to the sand next to Kara's head. "I have a confession," she said, and waited for Kara's soft yeah? before saying, "I really want to get up and drive home, but I don't think I can stand."

"Oh no," Kara said abruptly. "You are not driving. I am driving you home, or to my place, or somewhere you can get a good night's rest. Okay?"

"But my car..."

"I'll jog out and get it tomorrow. You're not driving."

"Okay," Lena sighed, digging her forehead a little deeper into the sand and noting absently that she was still largely on top of Kara. "But I still have to get up somehow."

Kara chuckled. "Hang in there babe, I got you." Kara squirmed and wriggled out from under Lena with minimal displacement, pushing at Lena's shoulder and hip gently to roll her over. "Arms around my neck," Kara instructed, standing and bending back down, and Lena obeyed. Kara scooped her up effortlessly with one arm under her knees and the other under her back and carried her towards the parking lot.

"When did you get so strong?" Lena asked absently, noting dimly that Kara's stride was smooth even on the uneven sand.

Kara almost looked like she blushed under the streetlamps. "I, uh, helped the crew when it was smaller on some of the films I worked on. Kept it up. You know."
"Mmkay," Lena said, leaning her head onto Kara's shoulder and tucking just a little into her neck. Kara adjusted her hold slightly but didn't comment. Kara jimmied her key out of her back pocket without setting Lena down, opening her passenger door and setting Lena gently in the car, leaning the seat back so it was more comfortable, all without bothering to brush the sand off her. Kara got in the driver's seat and looked at Lena.

"Home?"

"I think so, yeah." Lena said, nodding slowly. "A hot shower. A long sleep."

Kara smiled. "Good."

Kara was a little too good for this earth, Lena thought dimly, her feelings all washed away. She held her hand the whole way home and smiled when Kara took a turn or two sloppily because of her handicap, Kara swearing under her breath and apologizing softly but making no move to take her hand away. Kara started humming under her breath after a few blocks, too, and her voice was angelic.

"You sing?" Lena asked her when Kara was pulling her to her feet outside Lena's apartment.

"Broadway's kind of the dream," Kara admitted, slipping under Lena's arm and walking them towards the stairs. "A stupid pipe dream, but a dream nonetheless."

"I think you'll make it," Lena told her, and Kara bit her lip to stop a smile, beautiful in the harsh glow of the stairwell. "You have a beautiful voice and you're incredibly talented and wonderful."

"You're gonna make me cry," Kara muttered.

Lena focused on the stairs until they reached her apartment, Kara's quick fingers slipping into Lena's front jeans pocket and pulling out the key, escorting her in. Lena smiled lazily as she watched Kara blush, thinking that her new best friend really was the best. "I'd hold you if you cried, you know," Lena said suddenly, almost surprising herself. She kicked off her shoes and clumsily slipped her jeans off while simultaneously yanking her sweater over her head. She felt half drunk as she stumbled towards her bedroom, Kara hovering a half-step behind her, eyes trained carefully on Lena's face and only her face.

"If you wanted me to," Lena added softly, sitting on her bed and reaching with a clumsy hand for Kara's face. Kara caught her hand and pressed it to her cheek, smiling in a way that let Lena know her message was received and appreciated. Good. It was very important that Kara know that.

"I would want you to," Kara promised. "I'll call you if I ever need to, okay?" Lena nodded and slipped into her sheets. Kara leaned down and pressed the gentlest of kisses to her forehead. "You call me if you need anything," Kara said, and Lena nodded, eyes already closed. She fell asleep before Kara reached the door.

///

Lena woke up to a glass of water by her bedside, and a note in Kara's handwriting, practically predicting and shooting down early her insecurities, held down by her car and apartment keys.

Still a privilege to know you.


Lena surprised Kara with a set of keys to her apartment the next week.

---

"Yeah, no, I totally understand, of course, congratulations to the girl who did get it, I'm sure it will be amazing. Thank you for the opportunity. Yeah. Thank you. Bye." Kara stopped pacing and hung up the phone, dropping onto Lena's couch and closing her eyes.

"Didn't get it?" Lena asked. Kara shook her head, a lump in her throat. "Their loss," Lena promised.

Kara shook her head again. "What if it isn't?" she asked helplessly. Lena frowned, and Kara opened her eyes, pulling her legs up under her and turning to face Lena. "That was the fourth one this week!" she said miserably. "I had a good run," she said slowly. "But I haven't gotten anything in, in months, and I'm getting so tired of this, this going in for auditions and getting my hopes up and working really hard and getting nothing. My old job called me in for the holiday season last week. I said yes because they needed the help and I like the place and the people, but now I think I might as well just stay, I know they want me back..." Kara trailed off, staring at a spot over Lena's shoulder, feeling more listless than upset now. At least she had a plan. A steady income. It wasn't great, but it was something.

"Kara," Lena said softly, leaning forward, careful not to touch her yet. Kara glanced over miserably. "Can I hold your hand?" Lena asked, holding out her own, like she knew Kara might burst into tears if touched right now.

Kara sniffed dramatically. "If you must." She placed her hand delicately in Lena's and Lena squeezed gratefully.

"Kara Danvers, you are one of the single most talented individuals I have ever met. Whatever buffoons are turning you away clearly either have their brains switched firmly in the off position, or something borderline divine is telling them to leave you open so something bigger can come your way."

Kara leaned forward slowly and dropped her forehead against Lena's knee. "You have to say that," she mumbled. "We just hit the four month best friend mark and you're a sucker for indie films with pretty girls."

Lena chuckled and slid her hand into Kara's hair, swirling her fingers around and smiling as Kara sagged further into her. "Correlation, not causation," she said sternly. "I never liked you because you're pretty. I like watching you because you're talented as hell and can make me cry at the drop of a hat."

Kara picked up her head, eyes morose. "Wanna bet?"

"Okay, get up. Right now. Just a little." Kara frowned but let Lena push at her until she was facing the same direction as Lena, still sitting on the couch, and Lena pulled Kara back against her chest abruptly. The top of her head landed just under Lena's chin, and Kara felt all the air come out of her in a whoosh. Lena pressed her hands against Kara's eyes. "What do you see?"

Kara pushed down the way every single one of her nerve endings was on fire because crush crush crush crush Lena Luthor is literally holding me in her arms crush crush crush crush and tried to answer. "Umm, nothing?"

Lena rocked her arms side to side, once, turning Kara's head in a no motion, and Kara heard the smile in her voice. "Wrong, try again."

"It's... dark?"

"Good." Kara felt an unreasonable amount of dopamine sweep through her brain at the praise. "So you only see darkness, right?"

"Yes?" Kara answered hesitantly, wondering where this was going. Lena was like, so soft and comfortable to lean against. Kara could literally feel Alex's eye roll to the moon at how much brainpower was shutting down due to this position.

"But what do you know is there?"

"Huh?"

Lena's voice was patient, and Kara forcibly shoved down her feelings to focus on her voice. "You only see darkness, right?" she waited for Kara's affirming mhm before continuing. "But you know there's more?"

"Yeah, but--oh."

"I see you've caught on," Lena said, the smile in her voice back. "Kara Danvers, all you may be able to see right now in your career is darkness. But you know there's a whole world of light, and there's something here that's right for you, just waiting. It doesn't matter if you can't see it. It's there. So you either feel around blindly or you--" Lena chuckled as Kara caught on and reached up to remove Lena's hands, "Yes. Remove the blinders."

"I don't know how to remove the blinders in real life," Kara confessed, and Lena propped her chin on Kara's shoulder.

"That's what feeling around blindly is for."

Kara sat there for a few moments, pondering that, infinitely more comforted than she was a minute ago. Lena was a really, really good friend. "Thank you," she murmured. "Seriously."

Lena turned her head and pressed a kiss to Kara's hair. "Lex used to do that for me," she said softly. "I know it seems dumb, especially now with everything he's done, but--"

"No," Kara said quickly, catching one of Lena's hand and trying to meet her eyes at the awkward angle and ignoring the she kissed me oh my god she kissed me for a second. "No, it isn't dumb. And just because he did something dumb doesn't mean he was evil in everything he did. This was something good, and I'm glad you shared it with me. It really helped."

"I'm glad," Lena said, lying back. She looped an arm around Kara's shoulders on the way down and tugged Kara down with her, reaching for her remote and hitting a button so music vibrated softly into the house. "Stay the night?" Lena asked casually.

"Okay," Kara breathed, and let herself feel everything she was feeling in the stillness.

 

---

They met for brunch, as was their thing that month.

“Our thing?” Lena asked, scrunching her nose.

“Yeah our thing. We’re best at having this time free with each other. Now. Shush,” Kara said, feeling around blindly for Lena’s face and clamping a hand over Lena’s mouth, only to retract it, yelping indignantly. “Lena!” She hissed, wiping her hand on her jeans. “We don’t lick people!”

Lena stuck her tongue out, and they both giggled, Kara against her will. “Now seriously, shut up, I am very excited about this place and I am trying to read the menu.”

Lena bumped their shoulders together. “Since you asked so nicely.”

Kara cast her eyes to the ceiling but purses her lips together and didn’t reply. She did push back gently against Lena, their shoulders pressing companionably.

They ordered and sat down at a table outside. “Any auditions?” Lena asked first thing.

Kara blew her straw wrapper at Lena, who caught it with what Kara called her robot murdering ninja skills. “Maybe,” Kara admitted, and Lena leaned forward, wiggling her eyebrows enticingly.

“Maybe?” Lena questioned, feeling around under the table with her foot to kick Kara’s shin without force. Kara grinned at the table. “Kara, you’re killing me.”

Kara shook her head, still smiling. “I have a good feeling but I’m not allowed to talk about it, okay?”

Lena’s eyes narrowed. Kara glanced up and quickly back down, biting her lip. “Any chance you could whisper about it?” Kara raised her eyes only to glare lazily, no heat behind it, and Lena grinned. “Or sign to me? I know you know ASL and I’m trying to learn.”

Kara snorted. “You know how to say four things and sign your name.”

Lena huffed. “Fine. Hmm...” she glanced around, and Kara fought her smile in vain. Lena trying to pry something out of her was probably one of her favorite pastimes. All of Lena’s attention, focused on her, her eyes delving into Kara’s soul in that drive-you-crazy way, going a little smoky, and Kara never had to worry if her love was showing in those moments. Lena was too busy trying to pull everything she could out of Kara, and Kara never felt more special.

Lena twisted her lips to the side and raised one eyebrow, tilting her head. Kara felt her stomach swoop, and let herself smile, no longer shying away from Lena’s inspection, enjoying the game. “Do you sing in it?” Kara shook her head. “Shame. Do you... act?” Kara raised an eyebrow, and Lena chuckled. “Had to check. Hmm... did you audition for the protagonist?”

“Lena. I’m not telling you anything. It’s not you, they warned me it was under lock and key.”

“At least tell me if it’s a romcom. Action? Fantasy or sci-fi? Indie? Queer?”

Kara determinedly kept her face even as Lena hit it on the nose with her last guess. “Not. Telling. You.”

Lena sighed. “Fine, you’re no fun.”

“What are you talking about?” Kara said indignantly. “I’m loads of fun! And now we get to talk about you! Come on, do you have any auditions?”

Lena bit her lip. “Maybe.”

“Oh ho ho ho ho,” Kara said delightedly. She sniffed the air dramatically. “Do you smell that? I smell the distinct aroma of hypocrisy in the air.”

Lena kicked at her knee, and Kara reflexively caught her foot before it connected, knowing it was coming. “Oh, shut it,” Lena said, waving a hand and wiggling her foot to make Kara let her go.

“No way,” Kara said, balling up a napkin and chucking it at Lena’s face. “You turn the interrogation on to me and you won’t tell me anything? Spill, Luthor.”

“It’s genuinely under lock and key,” Lena sighed. “I can’t tell you anything.”

Kara leaned back, grinning. “And you give me crap. You are something else, Lena Luthor.”

Lena just stuck out her tongue again.

---

A little while that Alex promised was not as long as she’d thought it’d be.

That was all Kara could think, nearly a year after Alex had said that, staring dreamily into the eyes of Lena, her love for Lena very much on display. Kara couldn’t remember the last time she felt this vulnerable. At least they were sitting in chairs. She wasn’t sure her knees could have stood for this surprisingly intimate moment without giving out.

Lena scooted her chair closer deliberately, slipping into Kara’s space with a skid and a soft sound of metal on carpet. “Hey,” she murmured, palm landing gently on Kara’s knee, fingers pressing lightly on to Kara’s thigh. “It’s just me. It’s just me and you and nothing has to be scary.” Lena’s eyes weren’t smoky right now, Kara’s brain thought fuzzily on some distant, unconnected plane. They were very clear. Very intent. Kara liked it.

Kara struggled to clear her throat a little bit. “I know,” she whispered. “I trust you. I always have.” Lena smiled the smallest of smiles, somehow still genuine and warm, and Kara relaxed fractionally. “I might,” Kara added, leaning back a little and casting around for the right word with more nonchalance than she would have believed possible of herself, “also possibly be just the slightest bit in love with you.”

Lena chuckled, leaning back as well, focusing for a moment on the positively heart-stopping motion her thumb was making against Kara’s thigh, “Just the slightest bit?” she asked, raising her eyebrows an infinitesimal amount, lower lip coming out in half a pout.

Kara took a deep breath and sighed out the exhale. “Maybe,” she said coyly, before dropping the act. “Maybe a slight bit more than a lot.”

Lena smiled that smile she always does when Kara says something especially stupid or especially smart, that smile she has before she laughs, but she reigned it in with that steel-fisted control over her face that Kara still admires, leveled her with a mock-thoughtful gaze with lips pursed and there’s that smoky eye. “Well, if you aren’t sure, there’s sort of a test for that–”

“Oh, shut up,” Kara breathed, and pulled Lena across the small distance towards her, all soft and intent and full of warmth all at once, and they were kissing. The gentle slant of Lena’s lips, softer than Kara ever would have believed, were taking over her world, and all at once she could feel Lena smiling against her mouth and it made Kara break out into a grin and press their foreheads together instead. Her hands were still wrapped up in Lena, one of Lena’s hands still holding her knee and the other cupping Kara’s cheek. Her thumb swiped across the skin at Kara’s jawline and then Lena leaned back, somehow managing to bite her lip and smile at the same time.

Kara couldn’t remember the last time she felt this full. She could hear the guitar solo from halfway through Coldplay’s Fix You in her head, kicking her existence up to a higher gear, as she beamed at Lena, who was grinning unrestrained at her now.

“Wow,” a different voice cut across Kara’s world spinning out of control crazy good, jarring her back down to earth. “Wow, you guys, wow, that was amazing. You were awesome.”

There were chimes of agreement, and Kara glanced with something near embarrassment at the six other people in the room. The casting director and director were smiling widely, the three writers looked near to clapping, and the producer sniffled suspiciously. She smiled hesitantly, and Lena squeezed at her knee once more before withdrawing her hand. The spot on Kara’s knee went cold.

“Seriously,” the director said, “I know we have another, what, six couples to test the chemistry on, but keep your schedules open, please. That was exactly what we wanted. That was perfection.” Lena smiled, and Kara shook her head in slight disbelief to clear it, attempting to pull her megawatt smile out of herself. It didn’t quite work, but she got close, she was pretty sure. “You two were incredible. You’ve never played love interests with each other before?”

Kara snorted and Lena chuckled and pushed at her shoulder gently. “We’ve been best friends for a while, but we’ve never had the chance to work together, though I know we’d both been looking forward to the chance if it came along.” Kara managed to nod sincerely, and glanced at Lena, who looked like she was barely stopping herself from rolling her eyes at Kara’s laughter. Kara couldn’t really help it though. Laughter had been her go-to defense mechanism whenever she felt herself falling too deep into Lena’s spell in the last year. It had probably made Lena think she was a lot funnier than she was, but that wasn’t too bad of a side effect.

The director narrowed her eyes at the pair of them. “Okay, cool. Well, like I said, please keep your schedules open. We’d love to work with you.”

A flurry of thank you’s later, and Kara found herself standing in the empty hall next to Lena, who swept her up into a bear hug immediately, a muffled and muted sort of aaaaaaaahhhhhhhmygod coming from Kara’s shoulder, where Lena’s face was buried. Kara melted in to the hug immediately, breathing deeply. She hadn’t expected the scene to affect her as much as it did. Lena pulled back, beaming at her, Kara smiling back automatically. “You were incredible,” Lena breathed. “Holy shit, Kara, I always knew you were freaking amazing, but like, acting with you?” She shook her head. “You are absolutely next level.”

Kara felt her cheeks flush and ducked her head down, very much aware that she was still absolutely in Lena’s space. “I’ve got nothing on you, Lena Luthor,” she mumbled, and heard Lena chuckle before she was thankfully wrapped back up in a hug.

“We’ve got that in the bag,” Lena whispered, pulling her out of the hallway, threading their arms together and guiding Kara out of the building. “I don’t normally say that, but, we totally do.” Kara mumbled an assent, still halfway stuck in her head. “Kara,” Lena said with some mirth, “You’re totally gonna have to deal with kissing me a million times a day for like four months. You poor thing.”

Kara shoved at Lena half-heartedly, and Lena laughed loudly as they spilled out on to the street. “We’ve been through this,” Kara said in a faux-stern tone. “You don’t talk about yourself like that.”

“Okay, okay,” Lena said, still laughing, holding up her hands in surrender until Kara rolled her eyes. “You get to kiss me all the time, and because of that, you’re the luckiest person in the world.”

“Damn straight,” Kara said loftily, taking Lena’s arm again, and Lena chuckled as they started down the street. Kara repressed a sigh. If only she knew.

Chapter Text

“Damn straight… Kara,” Lena said like five full minutes later. “We can’t be straight in this.” And she collapsed into giggles.

“Oh my god,” Kara said, staring at her best friend. “Did you get high for this?”

“Maybe I’m just high on you,” Lena said, winking.

“Oh my god, Kara repeated. “I am really not emotionally equipped to deal with this right now.”

Lena sobered after a few long moments. “Are you okay?” She asked sincerely. “I remember you telling me once love scenes are sometimes just as hard on you if they’re emotional.”

“They’re not hard on me,” Kara said, waving off Lena’s concern, even though Lena’s concern on her was exactly where she liked it. “Just tiring sometimes. Like, I dunno. My body thinks it’s gotta produce the crush stuff, you know.” Lena raised an eyebrow, clearly stopping herself from laughing, and Kara sighed. “The crush stuff. Heart pounding, butterflies in the stomach, Adrenalin, all the feelings you get when you’re falling in love. Really though, I’m totally fine. I just want, like, a burger and a nap.”

“Oh Kara,” Lena murmured, and Kara felt an oh no slipping down her spine as Lena slid a hand onto her stomach, pressing against the light sweater and the shirt to feel the definition beneath, the abs Lena constantly teased her about just because she could. “Are you telling me I gave you butterflies?”

“That’s it.” Kara declared, pulling Lena’s hand away, partly in joke and partly in genuine panic she was trying to hide. She turned the other way to walk away. “I’m not dealing with this. I’m going back to my place and you are not welcome to come—“

“No, no, Kara please wait, I’m sorry, I won’t tease you about your huge stage crush on me.” Kara glared, and Lena backed away and released Kara from where she had grabbed her arm with both hands in an attempt to stop her. Lena bit her lip before schooling her face into a more serious expression. “Seriously though,” she said softly, “I really admire how much of yourself you put into everything, and the fact that you’re exhausted just shows me how dedicated and incredible you are. As you may have noticed, I, by contrast, get giggly. Sometimes.”

Kara sighed deeply. How was she supposed to stay mad at that? Lena looked at her, eyes wide and pleading. Kara rolled her head around her neck. “Buy me a burger then,” she said with resignation. “But make fun of my character’s huge crush on your character one more time and I’m gone. And I will take your burger with me.”

“Done,” Lena said instantly, slipping against Kara’s side on the sidewalk like she had missed her already. “I will do everything within my power not to tease you about your character.” Lena smiled to herself, but Kara saw it and groaned. Lena had clearly already found a loophole. Kara was sure she could look forward to a lunch full of fluster-inducing teasing about her own personal habits instead.

---

Lena’s fingers traced softly, almost lazily across Kara’s face. Kara almost went to remove her glasses before remembering she was wearing contacts. Of course. She had been for months.

Kara closed her eyes a little firmly and let herself relax. Sink in. Her body lay across the couch, her head in Lena’s lap. Her hair spilled loose and free over Lena’s legs, Lena propped against the side of the couch parallel with Kara, fingers wandering gently.

A single finger drifted almost tantalizingly across Kara’s lips and she twitched and suppressed a smile. She could feel Lena smiling above her, and Lena flexed her toes, Kara smiling with her lips and eyes still pressed firmly shut as she felt the movement against her back. Lena’s other hand drifted to her hair, combing through the long strands, and Kara couldn’t quite suppress the schoolgirl dreamy sigh that came out of her. Lena flexed her toes again and Kara pushed down another smile, flexing her shoulder muscle so it dug into Lena’s leg in return.

Kara lay there for another few deeply satisfying and calming minutes, enjoying their silent game and communication, blissfully unaware of her surroundings.

“Ok, looks nice guys. We can cut. Beautifully done.”

Kara blinked a couple times. The director was barely three feet away in another chair. The camera had clearly just gotten out of her face. She yawned, wishing they had run that a few minutes longer so she could take a nap. Lena shoved at her shoulders gently, with just enough force behind it to let Kara know she needed to move. She sat up obligingly, smiling as Lena swung around to sit next to her and bumped their shoulders together.

“Enjoy the break?” Lena asked, and Kara went to roll her eyes. Lena scratched at her back before she had the chance and Kara felt her eyes roll back into her head of their own accord and Lena chuckled. “Rise and shine, sleeping beauty. It’s barely lunch.”

“But it is lunch,” Kara mumbled, still very much incapable of forming a coherent comeback while still sleepy and relaxed with Lena’s hand moving in slow patterns at her back.

“Mm.” Lena said. “Might as well call it breakfast, for you.”

“Shut up,” Kara yawned. “You’re just jealous I got to close my eyes for that.”

Lena shrugged. “I’ll get my chance tomorrow, I’m sure.” She winked, standing up. “Ready to tenderly cradle my sleeping body in your arms?”

Kara rolled her eyes, standing and extending a hand to pull Lena to her feet as well. “Only if you don’t phrase it like that again.”

Lena winked. “It’s part of the fun.”

“I’m sure.”

---

Whenever Kara was thinking of like, anything, she had to try really, really hard not to remember filming the bedroom scenes. There were a couple of them, but only two were like, a typical bedroom scene. And they haunted her at the most inopportune times. Which was to say, all the time.

A dark room and Lena had requested music be playing since they were going to montage it and they weren’t recordings sound anyway and Kara was insanely grateful. Staring at Lena with huge eyes the whole time. Flinging the sheets aside with a flourish so Lena laughed, pushing Lena down gently on the mattress and kissing her long and slow. Lena rolling them over and letting her hands wander as she kissed Kara’s jawline.

Kara tensed involuntarily as Lena’s hand slipped under her shirt, fingers spreading over her abdomen. She could feel Lena smile against her ear and oh, that combination was doing things to her. Lena whispering in her ear as Kara’s breathing picked up against her will a minute later, finally, a situation in which I am paid to be all over your abs. Kara laughed loudly at her unexpected comment, and though it wasn’t planned, the director liked it so much she made sure to get a matching shot of Lena laughing.

Lena nudging her when they were instructed to get a shot of Lena laughing, with an expectantly raised eyebrow, and Kara bit back a grin and moved to whisper in her ear, did you know the tomato debate is the dumbest thing on earth? Lena’s surprised laugh was entirely worth it, and Kara propped herself on her elbows over her, smiling dopily down at her best friend, who was completely unable to control her laughter for a long minute. Lena pulled Kara to her, winding her arms around Kara’s waist so tight that Kara was forced to let Lena take her weight, and Kara happily kissed her for the hundredth time that night—it wasn’t real, but Kara would take what she could get, no complaints.

Kara pushed down memories of Lena kissing her way down Kara’s body. Of doing the same to Lena, skin still so soft in her memory. Memories of Lena actually sucking a hickey or two into her hipbone and a very visible couple ones on her collarbone and Kara’s head thrown back helplessly against the pillows, back arched, Lena glancing up at her and smirking. Of Kara making sure a line of red down Lena’s neck was supremely visible in return, smirking right back when Lena attempted to level a glare, smiling when she heard their director, a good friend by now, chuckling over the music as she realized what Kara had very intentionally done in retaliation.

See? Not helpful memories. Nor where the memories that came every morning, of filming the morning after. The ones where Kara lazed in bed, face down and the sheet pooling around her waist, barely remembering to sleepily mumble her lines and being grateful they were something she’d realistically say.

Of Lena propped up on an elbow and lazily dragging a finger along Kara’s back in a way that turned her whole body into slow-flowing magma, occasionally dipping her head to look at Kara with an affectionate kind of smoky eye, hair askew and Lena pressed rather close. Lena pressing kisses to her shoulder and her hair. Kara reaching for Lena sleepily and contentedly, smiling dopily when Lena let her take her hand and kiss it.

Completely unhelpful to going through her everyday.

Kara glanced around her bed now. It was empty except for herself. She hadn’t slept with anyone in nearly two years. Alex had spent the night a few times, sure, and so had Lena, but she hadn’t been with anyone. She’d been on a couple dates, men and women, and no one had made her feel like she wanted to go home with them. To take them home. She tried, she did. But then she thought unbidden of Lena and something went a little sour.

Her dates were very understanding. She was Kara Danvers, after all. She was a busy woman. She also wasn’t above faking an emergency to get out of one that felt too heavy with expectation. She never regretted going on them, though. Not when Lena had blown up her phone with texts asking how it was going and making suggestive emojis and commentating what show she was watching.

Kara’s chest always felt warm at those. So she alternated ending her dates between telling Lena it went great but they weren’t a keeper while drowning her sorrows with Alex in a bar, or going over to Lena’s unannounced to fling herself dramatically on Lena’s couch and complain all about it. Lena always seemed pleased out of what she proportionally should be by those instances, but Kara figured it was because she herself was so amusing when she did went off on a date.

Kara shoved down another memory, this one of their characters’ dates. She pushed helplessly at the corners of it, but thoughts of Lena sliding her fingers in between her own with a sly sort of smugness wouldn’t go away. Thoughts of Lena stopping her because she had a (actually not planted, but they did keep it in the movie and everyone loved it) piece of grass in her hair.

“Make a wish,” Lena teased, holding it up, and Kara laughed.

“You don’t do that with grass, you do it with dandelions or something.”

Lena frowned in mock thought at the blade. “It could be part of a dandelion. Don’t throw away the chance.” She leveled her gaze at Kara, who sighed internally and twisted her lips to the side. “Just make the wish,” Lena said softly. “Make it a crazy one, in case it comes true. Close your eyes.”

Kara did as instructed almost reluctantly, but still unable to keep a small smile off her lips. Lena squeezed her hand, and Kara cast around for a wish. Let her love me, was all Kara could think. Oh, fuck it. She opened her eyes and blew. Lena released it to flutter away, and Kara blinked as she realized how close Lena had moved.

Lena smiled at her wordlessly, a hand already playing at the back of her neck, and Kara took the hint. She pulled at Lena’s waist until they were flush together and kissed Lena like she wanted to in real life without worrying about how she looked for the cameras, pulling back to see Lena playing at having trouble breathing and opening her eyes, her cheeks red. Kara smiled.

The director’s pleased voice took over the memory, and Kara let it go now that it had played out. She sighed and stared at the ceiling. Another day without Lena’s constant company and Lena blissfully unaware of how in love with her her best friend was. Just another day.

Chapter Text

Kara sneaks out after she and Lena have done a segment on Trevor Noah, devoid of blazer (because it’s cold and Lena got cold and didn’t have a jacket, okay), to join Trevor for when he films his between-the-scenes stuff. Anna Kendrick did it once. Kara’s a fan. Plus, she couldn’t resist.

Trevor leaned back in his chair and made a face. “I decided to take over,” Kara said, smiling. “They want me, right?” She winked at the crowd, who cheered loudly.

Trevor sighed. “Fine. But seriously, if you’re going to come out here like this and take it over I’m gonna throw you to the wolves. Pick a question from the audience.”

The first question was obvious. “Are you and Lena together?” Kara chuckled. “Pretty sure we answered this on the show, no, we’re not.”

The next question is “why not?”

“Uhh, she’s Lena friggin’ Luthor and this is like my first large film that’s not a small-budget indie production. And those are great! But she’s like, smoky-eye drive-you-crazy most-wicked-brilliant and stupid-funny good-heart and beautiful-soul woman you’ve ever met in your life; and I’m like, I exist.” There was a storm of protest from the crowd, and Kara laughed, holding up her hands. “Ok, ok, I know I do a little more than exist. But that doesn’t change the fact that that woman is way out of my league. Way. I’m lucky to be her friend and I ask for no more.”

Trevor Noah delivers an incredible rant on fandom obsessions with real life people on the next show.

It’s a week or two before Lena sees it. Kara has forgotten about it, honestly. But Lena shows up at her door with a surprisingly insistent knock. Kara opens it a little confused to see Lena on the other side, some sort of furious.

“You said you just exist??”

“For the love of god, Lena, it’s called being self-deprecating, it’s my thing in interviews, I don’t actually think that about myself. Promise. I’m the Don’t Stop Me Now to your Thunderclouds, alright? Different, not worse.”

Lena sighs, deflating and following Kara in uninvited. Kara quirks a smile but doesn’t mention it. “You know, it was easier to make sure you were good to yourself when I saw you fourteen hours a day.”

Kara snorted. “Same to you.”

“I miss it,” Lena admitted quietly.

“Me too,” Kara said, just as softly. She propped herself against the kitchen counter and crossed her arms. She took a deep breath and let it out. “The movie’s out. The press is all over it. It’s going fantastic. People are taking about a sequel but I haven’t heard anything, have you?” Lena shakes her head. “Everything’s going to change, isn’t it? We got the breakout roles. We’re going to be in other things. All we have to do is go for it.”

Lena moved next to her. “Yeah,” she whispered softly. “Things will change.”

Kara turned at her tone. “But we won’t,” she promised.

“We won’t,” Lena agreed.

---

Kara grumbled and pulled the blankets over her head as Lena threw open the curtains.

“Ohh no you don’t,” Lena said, dropping on the bed next to her and somehow managing to crawl under the covers. She poked at Kara’s arms until Kara groaned and glared at Lena. “Hi,” Lena said, smiling widely and looking far too awake. “I’d say I’m sorry to wake you, but you’ve been asleep for fourteen hours and your sister texted saying she was at work or she’d come check on you.”

“I’ll text Alex,” Kara mumbled. “Now leave me alone or at least be quiet.”

“Kara,” Lena said, with a little force behind it now. “I have not heard from you since you landed fifteen hours ago, and your audition ended like barely an hour before you got back on the plane. Will you please tell me how it went? Please?” Kara cracked one eye open to squint at Lena, who, as suspected, was making puppy dog eyes at her.

Kara sighed and pushed at the blankets until she was squinting in the morning sun, and shoved at her hair in the vain hope of making into something halfway presentable. She sat up and reached for her phone, grumbling the whole time. Lena sat up next to her, running fingers through Kara’s hair and pulling it into a messy bun with the rubberband Kara automatically held up off her wrist, squeezing Kara’s shoulder when Kara murmured a quiet “thanks.”

Kara texted Alex a calm down, I’m fine and put on her glasses, leaned back against the headboard, watching with amusement as Lena’s eyes tracked her relentlessly. “It went fine,” she said with a half smile and a shrug.

“Kara. More than three monosyllabic words, please.”

Kara raised an eyebrow, and Lena gestured impatiently. “Hmm. It went well.”

Lena huffed, and that was all the warning Kara got before Lena jumped her, fingers reaching dangerously. Kara yelped and squirmed as Lena tickled her. “Tell me what I want to know and I won’t make a joke about your abs for a week,” Lena said, pausing her assault.

“I still don’t understand what’s so funny about my abs,” Kara said petulantly, jerking her hips so Lena rolled off her.

“Because you eat like a starving five year old at a birthday party whose parents never let them have sugar,” Lena said, waving aside the information like it wasn’t important. “Now, are you gonna tell me about this audition or am I going to have to add torture to this interrogation?”

“Hey,” Kara warned. “My sister in law is a—“

“Cop, and your sister is a federal agent who could make me disappear, yes, I know. Kara.” Lena fixed her with a steel gaze, and Kara squirmed. “Talk to me.”

Kara twisted her lips to the side. Regarded Lena’s intent, patient stare. Kara pulled a pillow over her face and screamed into it. Lena waited still. Kara let the pillow drop and her lips quirk into a smile. “It went really freaking well. Like, I think it’s mine.”

Lena’s ear-splitting yell nearly shattered Kara’s eardrums and Kara flinched, curling into a defensive ball, but Lena was on top of her, filling her lap and flinging arms around Kara’s shoulders holding her tight and kissing her cheek soundly. “I’m so proud of you, I knew it, I knew it,” she yelled, oblivious to the way Kara’s body felt like it was on fire and combusting all at once. “Of course they let gonna pick you, you’re literally the only choice that’s acceptable.”

“Acceptable?”

“Beyond acceptable,” Lena smiled, planted a kiss to Kara’s temple. “Exceptional.” To Kara’s forehead. “Remarkable and one of a kind.”

Kara couldn’t quite take it. “Ok, ok, I get it. You’re suffocating me.” Lena slid off her lap obligingly, still smiling hugely at her.

Kara took a deep breath and pulled off her now-smudged glasses to clean them. Lena chuckled, and Kara glared at her slightly blurry form. “Kara…” Lena said slowly. Kara didn’t look up, focusing on cleaning her glasses. “Why didn’t you call me afterwards?”

Busted. Kara bit her lip. Put her glasses back on and risked a glance at Lena, who was looking vulnerable. Kara sighed. “Because if I get this role and I take it, I don’t know what happens.”

“What do you mean? You go film, you do a movie. That’s that.”

“Lena,” Kara said heavily. “I lied to you. There’s a reason the audition was in New York.”

Kara closed her eyes and waited for Lena’s gears to turn. It didn’t take long until she heard a soft intake of breath. “You didn’t audition for a movie,” Lena breathed. “You auditioned for a show. A Broadway show.” Kara nodded. “Kara!” Kara winced as Lena hit her on the shoulder none too gently. “You’ve wanted to do this for forever!” Kara smiled apologetically. “You didn’t have to hide this,” Lena said softly. “I’ll support you. I’m still your number one fan, wherever you’re making people fall in love with you.”

“I just don’t want things to change,” Kara whispered.

Lena laid a hand on her knee, gently. “Things will change, Kara. But we won’t. I’ll text you obsessively and I’ll come see you and cheer like mad, and you’ll FaceTime me all the time, and we’ll make it work. Okay?”

Kara took a deep breath in. Deep breath out. Reached for Lena’s hand and held on tight. “Okay."

---

right after Kara’s first Broadway run, before rehearsals for the second. she’s visiting National City and Lena is somewhere between very oblivious and about to realize something. Kara is suffering in clarity.

“I look ridiculous.”

Sitting with her knees curled up under her, leaning against Kara’s side, Lena snickered. “Maybe in one or two of them, it isn’t precisely your style, yeah.”

Kara glared. “The middle left one isn’t even from the photo shoot, I think it’s from the premiere of Sam’s last movie or something. The top left one looks like I rolled around in the remains of a dead unicorn cat before putting on some kind of tight jean skirt, which shouldn’t even exist. And the bottom right–” Kara closed her eyes with a forceful exhale. “Who wears socks like that with heels? Is that a thing? That’s so weird. It’s awful. I’m just staring out the window in my purple striped socks and heels. That were probably also made from the remains of the dead unicorn cat.”

Lena tried to smile sympathetically, but giggled again. “Yeah, but look at the one on the top right, right?” she tried, “That looks great. Super hot, actually. And the bottom left, you said you liked that. Just don’t look at the middle right one again, I know you hate that pho–”

“I look like I’m about to sneeze!” Kara whined, and Lena snorted with laughter. “Lena! This isn’t funny! I think I’m about to yawn and I’m trying to stretch it out! It’s horrible lighting, they made me look like vampire! And while we’re at it, is that black and white cheetah print on my sleeves? There have got to be photos of me out there that don’t make me look like a baby Victoria’s Secret model to show who’s taking Lucy Lane’s part for this run, and they choose these?”

“Babe,” Lena said consolingly, rubbing at Kara’s shoulder. “People know that’s not really how you dress. It’s obviously all for photo shoots that someone else dressed you for. You don’t just sit around staring into cameras or out windows in black and white, people know that. Come on, you wouldn’t put neon fingerless gloves with a suit…” Lena squinted at the computer screen, leaning closer on the couch, and chuckled again. Kara groaned and threw her head back against the cushions. “Sorry,” Lena said absently, one hand on Kara’s shoulder and the other zooming in. “I just can’t tell if it’s a suit jacket or a trench coat.”

“Shut up,” Kara moaned, snapping the laptop shut and putting it on the coffee table. “All your photo shoots are leather and soft sweaters and seductive stares. I apparently have this resting face of..” Kara screwed up her face in a poor imitation of herself. “I don’t know, a mildly constipated elf or something.

“No, it’s more like…” Lena tilted her head. “Like you know you don’t need to make eyes at the camera to make everyone want you,” Lena said, and smiled, pleased with the words she had found. Kara huffed, still irritated and also very much trying to ignore the fluttering in her stomach at Lena’s repeated compliments of her.

“You’re just saying that because I’m your publicity,” Kara groused, and Lena smiled toothily.

“Maybe,” she admitted. “Maybe I just think you’re hot. I and the rest of the internet, by the way.” Lena rocked forwards and kissed Kara’s forehead. “Grilled cheese for lunch?”

“Yes please,” Kara muttered, and fell back into the couch as Lena got up, still giggling. She’s going to be the death of me, Kara thought miserably, pulling a pillow over her face. It smelled like Lena. Great. Kara inhaled deeply from it before shoving it aside.

“You know,” Lena called from the kitchen, and Kara sat up, watching her. Lena paused to look at Kara, bread in one hand and cheese in the other, a devilish smile on her face. “If you want me to make sure that those pictures get buried, I totally could.” Kara frowned in confusion. “I have plenty of wonderful pictures of you in delightful outfits and poses that totally represent you accurately.” Kara’s eyes widened as she realized what Lena was talking about. “I could post a couple,” Lena suggested innocently, putting down the food and reaching for her phone. “Explain to the internet, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to circulate these instead–”

Kara leaped over the back of the couch and rocketed towards the kitchen, crashing into Lena bodily and grabbing for her phone, none too gently. Lena was laughing as Kara careened them to hit the far wall, Kara twisting and turning so she was the one that took the brunt of the impact and not Lena. Kara wheezed, and Lena turned instinctively, and Kara clapped a hand over Lena’s, landing a couple fingers on the phone. Kara tightened her hold and yanked, successfully capturing Lena’s phone and darting away, Lena laughing and making no move to give chase.

“We are most definitely not posting anything from the hickey collection,” Kara panted, sliding around the kitchen island and sitting down on a stool. “Or the Kara, 0, ice cream, 128 collection. Or the Kara sleeps and drools collection. Or Halloween of 2017. Or the dressing room from the first time you came to visit me in New York collection. Or the Kara has no time to clean her apartment collection. Or the time I let Ruby do my makeup and hair. Or any of the videos you have of me trying fancy food at banquets, especially not escargot. Are we clear?”

Lena raised an eyebrow. “Any other collections I’m forbidden to pull from?”

“Yeah,” Kara said, punching in Lena’s passcode and scrolling through the photos. “You’re not allowed to ask Alex for any photos. You’re not allowed to ask Maggie. You’re definitely not allowed to ask Sam and Ruby.”

“Why don’t you just pick one I can post to tell the world I’m proud of you?” Lena asked with a sigh, holding back a smile.

Kara twisted her lips to the side, thinking. She contemplated Lena, who planted her hands on the counter and leaned towards Kara across it. Lena stayed still under the inspection. Kara clicked her phone off and slid it towards Lena. “I think I can trust you to do that much,” she said. “But be warned–disappoint me and Instagram will be blessed with a swift and brutal retaliation in the form of the karaoke video.”

“You wouldn’t.”

Kara stood and leaned over the counter until she was nose to nose with Lena, feeling boldness creep over her at the fear in Lena’s eyes. “Try me,” she breathed.

---

“You know, I don’t think I realized I had all those excellent photos of you until you reminded me.” Kara determinedly made no reply, staring fixedly at the tv screen, where they were marathoning the fairy tale tv show Kara had guest starred for a season on (“Kara, I only ever saw the season you were in, so I don’t grasp why your character is important, just that she is… no, I need you here to explain these things to me. We’re watching it the two weeks you’re here, we’re bingeing all four and a half seasons, and that’s final, Prince Charming.”).

Lena scrolled further through her photos, chuckling. Kara twitched, wrapping Lena’s favorite blanket further around herself, very determinedly not noting the way Lena was amping up all of her reactions. Lena finally laughed out loud, and Kara huffed and paused the tv. “You’re the one who insisted we binge this,” she said, somewhat irritably. “And I’m finally in town and all you do is go through photos of me when the real thing is right in front of you?”

Lena smirked, deliberately clicking her phone off and tossing it to the chair across the room. Kara swallowed. “You’re right. I’m sorry. And what do you suggest I do with the real thing right in front of me?”

Kara held still under Lena’s observation, letting her thoughts simmer around for several long moments, ignoring Lena’s half-grin and the way it made her feel. “For starters,” Kara said, tilting her head and throwing the blanket off, “You don’t sit on the couch watching something you could just as well watch without me.” Kara leaped off the couch and reached down to haul Lena up with her. “Come on,” she said. “Put on your shoes. We’re going on an adventure.”

Kara swatted her hand away when Lena reached for her phone. “No,” she said firmly, pulling Lena by the wrists away from where her phone lay on the chair. “You have proved to me you don’t deserve a phone today.” Lena raised an eyebrow, and Kara amended, “You deserve a day without a phone.”

“What if I need it?”

“Anyone who would need to reach you today knows I’m here. They’ll call me if it’s an emergency. Let’s go, Robot Murderer.”

“That’s Madam Robot Murderer to you,” Lena shot back, reaching for her shoes anyway as Kara shoved her out the door, keys already in hand.

“Yes ma'am,” Kara snorted, biting her lip, and Lena felt a flip in her stomach for no reason. “Now I don’t want to hear a single complaint about my driving, are we clear? I know I haven’t been behind the wheel in a while in New York, but I drove around with Alex and she cleared me for open road driving, so you can shut it, Madam Robot Murderer.”

Lena swallowed down six different kinds of fear at the casual steel in Kara’s eyes. “Okay,” she muttered. “Say nice things at my funeral.” Kara shoved her across the parking garage.

Kara’s idea of an adventure, Lena soon learned, meant the amusement park half an hour away. Kara parked and pushed up her sunglasses, smiling happily at the screams coming from within. Lena pushed up her sunglasses too and swallowed. “No,” she said firmly. “Absolutely not."She glanced over to see Kara’s eyebrows raise in surprise before settling into a pout.

"Lena,” she said imploringly. “Come on. We’re already here and I’m never home anymore. I live in New York. I don’t have time to go to these things. I don’t even know where to find one. And now I’m here with my best friend–” she poked at Lena’s stomach with two fingers, and Lena batted her hands away absently, going back to staring dubiously out the window, “–who I have never been on a roller coaster with. Which is like, seriously, a missing hallmark in our best friendship.”

Lena looked back over, frowning. “There’s nothing in the best friend manual about roller coasters.”

“There absolutely is,” Kara shot back. “You just skipped ahead to the boring parts.” Lena snorted, and Kara looked pleased with herself. Kara ran a hand through her hair, disheveling it further, and Lena glanced morosely down at Kara’s ripped and faded overalls, rolled at the cuff, and paint-stained t shirt. It was really unfairly cute. Kara was unfairly cute. “Listen, Lena,” Kara said, taking one of Lena’s hands and clasping it in both of her own, leaning in and dropping back into the pleading puppy dog act, “I love you. So much. I know you love me. Can you please humor me for an afternoon and try this out? I’ll buy you whatever you want for dinner if you try one funnel cake and go on these rides with me. I promise I’ll hold your hand the whole time and win you a stuffed animal and you can call me Prince Charming and I won’t fight back when you make fun of my abs the rest of the visit. Pretty, pretty please with cherries on top?”

Lena felt her resolve crumble into dust somewhere around please humor me and sighed. “The fancy Indian place on Sixth for dinner,” she warned, and Kara beamed. She held up a warning finger. “I want the biggest stuffed animal in that whole park.” Kara’s smile was cranked up to megawatt as she wriggled in her seat. “And I will be making fun of your abs like there is no tomorrow, and I will be squeezing your hand until it’s purple, so you better plan ahead to switch sides.”

 

“Yes! Thank you thank you thank you–” Kara lurched over to take Lena’s face in her hands and plant a loud kiss to her cheek, grinning hugely before climbing out of the car with all the grace of a five year old. Lena paused for a moment before following her out of the car. What happened to my ability to say no?

It turned out she was really glad she didn’t say no. There were twelve rides Kara dragged her on, and Lena had to admit (to Kara’s ecstatic celebration) that she actually really enjoyed five of them. Three were so terrifying Kara was shaking her hand out by the end, and Lena was genuinely shocked she hadn’t peed her pants, and four were merely mildly scary and uncomfortable. Kara’s favorite had been the most horrific three, of course, her top choice being the gigantic swing that essentially turned them upside down ever so slowly, leaving her stomach on the ground, and had Lena forcing Kara to let them take a break.

(she was pretty sure the two girls next to them had recognized her, and her screaming was very undignified on that one.) The break saw Kara stopping just short of making a spreadsheet to find the biggest prize she could win in the park (“I promised the biggest, I meant it! I keep my promises!”) and stretching confidently before slamming a comically large hammer down to watch the slider race up to hit the bell in one try. (the game operator’s eyes went wide, and Kara smiled disarmingly. “Broadway muscles,” she revealed, winking, and Lena snorted. “Yeah, you wouldn’t believe what it takes to carry a show.” [Kara blushed scarlet])

Kara took great delight in handing Lena a teddy bear that Lena was pretty sure was her equal in mass before they went to head to head in a shooting competition, Kara sweeping the floor with a perfect score. “My sister is a federal agent certified in thirty-eight types of firearms,” she said, blowing imaginary heat off the toy pistol with a cocky grin. “If you think I don’t know my way around a shooting range, think again.” She winked, and the girl running the booth swooned a little.

Lena bit back a frown and picked up her giant teddy bear with a pointed glance at the gun booth girl. “Come on, Prince Charming,” she said. “I promised you I’d try funnel cakes, right?” And just like that, Kara was hers again.

Lena felt satisfaction and relief sweep through her. She ignored it. Kara was her best friend. No need for her bisexual disaster of a best friend to get caught up in flirting with someone Lena didn’t know while she was out with Lena, right? Not while Kara lived so far away.

The weird satisfaction and relief came back again at dinner, when the waiter clearly knew them both and was super polite about it until the end, when he smiled at Kara with something a little starstruck in his eyes. Kara gracefully agreed to a picture and an autograph, and let him chat her up for a minute or two, and Lena, swept with a nonsensical and absurd jealousy, coughed on her water, definitely not dramatizing it at all to make it look like she was choking. Kara turned immediately to her, and the waiter apologized quickly for taking her time, thanked her again, and made his exit gracefully.

Kara didn’t seem to notice, crouched in front of Lena, her eyes big and blue. “All good?” she asked softly, handing Lena a napkin. Lena nodded sheepishly, grateful to have Kara’s attention on her and only her once again. “Good,” Kara murmured, tucking a strand of Lena’s hair behind her ear. “Can’t have you dying on me after I dragged you on all those coasters.” She stood, dusting her hands on the knees of her overalls and damn if Lena’s best friend wasn’t stupid cute and horribly attractive. What was going on? Kara smiled at her. “Ready to go?"Lena nodded and took her hand, relief seeping in a the familiar lace of Kara’s fingers with hers.

The teddy bear spent the remainder of the nights that Kara was there in the living room. The minute Lena got back home after dropping Kara off at the airport with the promise to see her opening night of the new show in two months, the teddy bear moved to be her comfort object. Lena sighed at herself as she cuddled up with the bear on the couch. It wasn’t as good as Kara. But Kara had won it for her. It would have to do.

Meanwhile, she’d have to figure out when precisely she became such a jealous friend.

Chapter Text

It was two years later.

“I still don’t understand the tomato debate,” Lena was whining, and Kara chuckled into the phone pressed to her ear, dodging someone in a hurry and swinging her way through the crowded street market in the cold.

Kara held up two fingers with one hand and pulled some crumpled bills out of her pocket with the other, smiling as the vendor handed over some tomatoes. “Sorry babe,” she said lightly into the phone. “But for the hundredth time, I’m not going to ask the nice woman who sells me tomatoes.”

“You’re useless,” Lena grumbled, and Kara laughed. “Why do I keep you around?”

“Publicity,” Kara reminded her.

“Riiiight.” There was a pause. “You might need to remind me of your value soon. Go on a talk show and pretend to be in love with me or something. Talk me up.”

“You mean pretend to be what I already am?”

“Ha, ha,” Lena said dryly, and Kara forced herself to laugh again. Two years later and while it didn’t hurt her chest nearly as much with distance, joking about being in love with the best friend she was actually in love with didn’t lose its sting over time. “We both know if you’re in love with anyone right now it’s Winn.”

Kara laughed for real, dodging as a young boy shoved through the crowd. “Very true.” They both neglected to mention that Winn was about as gay as it gets, though Lena, having met him several times, knew this very well. Kara had met Winn on the cop show they had guest starred in together, the pair of them bonding over queerness and playing someone getting murdered. She was thrilled to learn he also sang, and was one of her best friends in New York, playing her best friend in her Broadway run that had lasted eighteen months. They were fairly inseparable these days. “Maybe I’ll drag him on a talk show to promote my new run. Pretend I’m in love with him.”

“Don’t play with the poor boy’s emotions like that, Danvers,” Lena sighed down the line. “It’s bad form. You’re supposed to be the moral one in this relationship.”

“Me? The moral one?”

“Well, which of us hasn’t been to prison?”

“Hey,” Kara said warningly. “That wasn’t–”

“My fault, I know, I know,” Lena recited. “Just pointing out the facts.” Kara sighed. “How are rehearsals?”

“Really good,” Kara said, beaming. “I love this show. I’m kind of bummed it’ll only be a three-month run til Lucy Lane gets back and takes her stage again, but I’m psyched.”

“Mmm,” Lena hummed, and Kara could hear papers rustling over the din on her end. “Just remember how amazing it is that they needed a star in a pinch and they wanted you, Kara Danvers. That’s no small thing.”

“Alright, alright, my ego is sufficiently fluffed,” Kara said, swinging around a couple haphazard tables and spilling out onto the crowded sidewalk. “Hey listen, I’m on the street, I’m gonna lose ya.”

“Mmkay,” Lena said, though there was a slightly sad note in her voice Kara couldn’t pin down. “Go charm everyone. Don’t forget to sleep and eat.”

“I would never,” Kara vowed. “It’s you I’m worried about.” She was rewarded with an indignant huff. “Hey, sixteen more days.” She could almost hear Lena smile. “I’ll see you opening night and I’ll call you soon. I love you.”

“I love you too, you charming dork,” Lena said, and Kara felt the familiar rush of warmth go through her at Lena’s words. The line went dead, and Kara sighed as she pocketed her phone and started towards her apartment. It felt a lot colder without Lena’s voice in her ear.

Cold is clean, Kara reminded herself for the millionth time. What was that dumb saying? Winter working makes summer bodies? She blushed as the memory of Lena’s smirk whenever she teased Kara about her abs came up unbidden. Different metaphor. She glanced at the snow drifting gently from the sky and smiled a small smile. Maybe the snow would wash her clean. Make her new. Make her without hurt. Everything was fresher and brand new in the spring. Maybe she would be too.

---

It was two weeks later.

Lena came flying headlong into her with none of the dignity the public associated with Lena Luthor the second Kara was free of the backstage press. Kara staggered back several steps under the onslaught, grateful her costume for this show gave her the full of motion needed to deal with an armful of high-velocity Lena Luthor.

There was a general laugh and cheer, and Kara pushed Lena’s hair out of her face enough to see several of her costars grinning at her and more than a few thumbs-up being pointed her way. Kara rolled her eyes and wheezed as Lena tightened her grip. “Have you been working out?” Kara gasped, setting Lena down.

“You were amazing oh my god,” Lena gushed, her hands sliding from Kara’s shoulders down her arms to squeeze at her hands. “I am so freaking proud of you and I am taking you out to dinner and feeding you the best meal of your life and telling you in explicit detail every single thing I loved about that, which will take, like, all night.”

Kara felt a nervous chuckle bubble up as something between dread and pleasure trickled down her spine at Lena’s words. She heard someone snort with laughter and glanced up to see Winn approaching, hands in pockets and an easy smile laced with something like sympathy on his face. Kara squeezed at Lena’s hands and released them, moving to hug Winn gratefully.

“You were incredible,” he told her sincerely. “You fill the role beautifully, seriously–”

“Dinner,” she hissed in his ear, leaning back so he could see the desperation in her eyes. She really felt like she was on the verge of a panic attack with Lena all over and complimenting her everything and all her feelings coming back like someone shattered the jar she’d been storing them carefully in. She clicked her teeth together twice in her and Winn’s secret-crush-emergency signal, and Winn nodded immediately as he released her and moved back.

“I came to take the superstar to dinner,” Winn announced loudly. “Same place as where we went for our first opening night, it’s tradition now, we have to.” Kara felt like a weight had lifted off her shoulders as Winn spoke, never more thankful than she had been for telling him everything and him vowing to help her. He had it just as bad with James, and she had pulled him out of several tight spots there. Winn was a total bro.

Lena slid a hand up Kara’s back to rest on her shoulder, and Kara felt her absolutely fried-by-the-show nerves twitch and stutter as her back arched unconsciously under Lena’s touch. Lena didn’t seem to notice. But perhaps she didn’t notice anymore at all, because Kara always did that when Lena did that, which was, well, often. “I was just going to steal her away, Schott,” Lena said with mock-irritation. “But let me pay and we’ll make it a group affair?”

Kara shot laser eyes at Winn and saw him forcibly bite his tongue on a threesome joke, which must have taken him great restraint. He glanced at Kara again, who nodded infinitesimally. “You don’t have to tell me you’re paying twice,” he said easily. “Good to see you, Lena,” he added genuinely, and Lena smiled and moved to hug him. “Get changed, superstar,” he said over Lena’s shoulder. “And call Alex. We’ll wait.”

“Thanks Winn,” Kara said gratefully, and slipped away, nearly sprinting for her changing room. “Alex,” she gasped into the phone, sliding on one of the missed calls from Alex. “Alex it’s too much.”

“Breathe,” Alex commanded into the phone. “First of all, congratulations on opening your second Broadway show, I’m so proud of you.” Kara breathed a smile down the line, her energy fizzing from panicked to pleased as her sister spoke. “Second, I’m sorry I couldn’t make it with this case but I cannot wait to come see you next week. Third, I am so proud of you. Fourth, I called Winn, is he there?”

“Yeah, he’s a brilliant rescue squad,” Kara said, yanking at her shoes, sighing as she sank into her chair. “You’re a genius, he’s coming to dinner with us. Thanks a million, Alex.”

“I know,” came the smug reply, and Kara chuckled. “Okay, here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna go out with Winn and Lena, you’re gonna get a little buzz because you freaking deserve it, you’re going to celebrate, and you’re not going to worry about it.”

“Alex,” Kara whimpered pitifully, checking to make sure her dressing room door was still firmly shut and sighing into the phone. “She’s like, all over me right now. I feel like I’m on fire, I don’t know what to do.”

Alex sighed down the line. Took a deep breath. “I still think you should consider that she returns your feelings Kara,” she said lowly, and Kara swallowed down something like a sob. “But if you’re really struggling right now, I want you to remember two things. One, she is your best friend and will forgive you anything and understands that you are very emotional and exhausted right now. And two, you are not obligated to do anything or go anywhere with anyone, and that does include her for dinner right now.”

Kara took a deep, calming breath. “Ok. Ok. I can do this. It was just a shock. That’s all. I hadn’t seen her yet since she landed.”

“Yeah,” Alex said soothingly. “Now tell me about your freaking Broadway show while you get changed, you nerd.” Kara smiled wide and began to regale her sister with the evening while she shuffled around her dressing room. Kara was still on the line with Alex when she came out in jeans and sneakers, a hoodie of Alex’s (she always wore Alex’s hoodies she’d stolen after a show, because if Alex couldn’t be there she would at least have something from her) slung over her arm as she smoothed out the wrinkles in her t shirt absently, still laughing with Maggie now too and Alex as she told them about the show and the way she had tripped over a chair leg in the second act.

“It was, like, bruises on the knees, I swear, you guys, I fell that hard. But I played it off as part of the character’s clutziness and just sort of sighed super dramatically at the crowd and they ate it up. I’ve barely checked my phone and I already feel like there’s either gonna be an article reviewing me and they’ll use only the fall to describe the ‘personality’ I brought to the show, or a text from the costume department yelling at me for ripping the knees. Or the director, telling me to fall again tomorrow night. Thank god it wasn’t during the song, I couldn’t have kept up a note or the tempo after that.” Maggie was wheezing with laughter. Kara, completely absorbed in the conversation and looking at her knees through her jeans to see if they had swollen at all, didn’t notice Lena watching her with a fond smile as she wandered back to her and Winn. “I’m serious, Maggie! It was so loud, I think everyone in the theater heard my knees hit the floor. I saw someone in the fourth row wince. It’s gonna look like that time you fell off the ladder at Christmas because Gertrude ran under it. Yeah, same bruise coloring or I’ll buy you dinner when you come out to see the show. Yes, a vegan dinner.” Kara rolled her eyes at Lena and Winn. “The best vegan dinner New York has to offer. Pinky promise, the choreographer raves about this place I’ll show you. I’ll send pics when they come in, I swear.” Kara snorted. “I do not have the inclination to photoshop my knees a different color, Sawyer. I’ll videochat you if you’re that worried about it, okay? Jeez, trust me a little.”

“She’s a big Broadway star now, Maggie!” Winn yelled into the phone, and Kara winced at the volume, laughing as she put it on speaker so they could all talk on the way out. Kara looked at Lena almost shyly as Winn and Maggie yelled at each other in a fond, sibling-bickering type way.

Lena smiled gently, her earlier fervor thankfully mostly drained away, and Kara sent a silent thank-you to Winn for what she was pretty sure was the effect of his she’s gonna be so fried, go gentle on her speech that he tended to give Lena after every show she attended. Kara slipped into Alex’s hoodie gratefully as Winn took her phone to more effectively yell at her sister about how amazing Kara was tonight, breathing deeply the faint scent of her sister from the hood. Lena took her arm gently, and Kara smiled, slipping her hands into the kangaroo pocket as she did, turning her head to really look at Lena’s green eyes for the first time in months, shining with pride and love.

Kara breathed a sigh of relief when the usual spike of fear and panic that wove bands around her chest didn’t appear, just warmth from Lena soaking into her side. Thanks for coming, she mouthed. Lena’s smile grew. “Anytime,” she murmured, her eyes flickering around Kara’s face as she pushed a strand of Kara’s messy hair behind her ear gently. “I’m really, really proud of you.”

Kara closed her eyes and let Winn lead them out the back of the building, prepping for what she was sure would be a few diehard fans waiting for autographs. She’d go to dinner with Lena and Winn. She’d get the tiniest bit drunk. They’d laugh. They’d have a good time. She and Lena would retreat back to her apartment and Kara would have a hot shower and go to bed. She frowned a bit internally as she wondered if Lena would sleep on the couch or at Kara’s side like last several times she was here, but let the worry fade away. Lena was in town for four days, and she had shows every day. Lena knew to be gentle. It would be fine.

Kara broke into a surprised laugh as Winn opened the door to a huge cheer from at least fifty fans waiting outside. Cameras flashed and Lena didn’t move to release Kara’s arm. In case that was any indication of how the night was going to go.

---

It was two days later.

So someone took a photo of Lena holding on to Kara’s arm on her opening night. They looked cozy. Lena had a way of pressing into Kara’s side that the cameras made look far more, um, intentional than it really was. Alex tended to grind her teeth together in a way that scared Lena whenever she saw them in a photo like that, and Lena wasn’t totally sure why.

But Kara didn’t know any of this yet. Kara was currently passed out peacefully, at least for a couple more hours. It was six am, the morning after Lena had cheered herself hoarse at Kara’s second show, and Lena had very strict instructions to not wake me up before nine am if you want to keep the current arrangement of that beautiful face. Kara shifted in bed, stretching briefly before dropping back into near-unconsciousness, not noticing the way Lena’s fingers stilled in her hair as Kara shifted. Lena sighed and clicked her phone off letting the photos fade to black, placing her phone face down on Kara’s cluttered night stand. Lena tentatively slid back down to lay beside Kara, resting her head on her hand, watching as Kara slept.

It felt a little creepy, sure. Just a bit. Lena was sure if Alex could see them now she’d have that unreadable expression, the one that always ended with a look to Maggie and a near-glare at Kara and a refusal to look at Lena for sixty seconds. Some days, Lena was pretty sure Alex knew more about her feelings than she did.

Which wouldn’t be hard. Lena knew nothing of her own feelings. She only knew that her chest had developed in the past couple months a bad habit of constricting when Kara flipped her hair to the side in that way she had or answered the door or the phone while laughing. That her face had an annoying propensity to blush when she caught a glimpse of Kara’s abs that she loved to tease. That she couldn’t stop herself from watching her best friend sleep right now and she didn’t know why, just knew that she had missed Kara so much in the past couple months, much more than she ever had before, and now that Kara was here, breathing easy beside her and golden hair a shining mess in the dawning sun underneath her, Lena felt dizzy with relief.

It wasn’t always like this. It truly wasn’t. When she first met Kara, her world was being rocked upside down. Kara became her rock without realizing what she signed up for. But Lena had definitely felt some romantic feelings in the middle of shooting the movie. She made no bones about that. Somewhere in between being in Kara’s space over half of every day and Kara kissing her for the first time (or was it that time they improvised the make a wish scene on the bridge and Kara kissed her more intently than she ever had? Lena had watched the clips. It didn’t look any different on the outside. But she remembered staying up all night that night, staring at the ceiling and wondering why that felt like the first honest kiss Kara had ever given her. Not the first kiss she had ever felt Kara respond to honestly. But the first time Kara had initiated one that was honest. Except for maybe the audition. All her kisses were genuine. But honest? She then lost herself down a hole of what the difference between genuine and honest were and why a kiss could be one and not the other especially when they were just acting in a damn movie.) Lena had fallen the slightest bit in love.

She couldn’t help it. Kara didn’t wear her glasses in the movie, and usually had her hair down. She looked like every woman’s dream, usually wearing blazers and well-tailored slacks and she was all long legs and beautiful skin and a heart-stopping easy smile. But then Lena turned on the charm when the cameras rolled, and Kara stuttered and blushed and Lena couldn’t believe she got through that shoot, she was so amazed at and charmed by her best friend’s acting she just wanted to stop and stare. But then the day would wrap, and she and Kara would retreat to their trailers, and they usually hung out most nights, Kara wearing old paint-stained jeans or sweats or one of Alex’s seemingly endless collection of hoodies, her hair all messy and her glasses crooked and her smile wasn’t heart-stopping, it was just easy and warm.

Lena put the crush down to proximity and let herself flirt a little more, get caught up in the rush and enjoy having a crush, which she so rarely did. Kara seemed to lean into it at the time, never not making Lena laugh and always pretty gung-ho to do whatever weird or intimate thing the director suggested fifteen times over so they could get the shot right. Lena and Kara kept count one day of how many times they kissed and lost count somewhere around fifty-six. It was a kiss-heavy day, admittedly. But still. You get caught up in that type of thing. Lena just thanked her lucky stars they had filmed the bedroom scenes early in the shoot, before she had gotten caught up in the feelings. She wasn’t sure if she could have gotten through that without some kind of superpower had she been in love with Kara when they filmed that. They finished shooting. Their relationship was still that of perfect best friends. They toned down the flirt, replacing it smoothly with their usual jokes and debates on weird subjects.

They amped up the flirt again on the promotional tour, kind of unconsciously. Lena didn’t really realize they did it, too exhausted to check the internet until after they were finished and the director nodded at them, pleased with the work they had done. And it simmered back down. And up. It came and it went. But something had changed the last time Kara had come home to visit National City in between her show ending and rehearsals starting for the show she had been signed for a three month run of. She had sold her apartment when she moved to New York for Broadway and so split her time in the city between Alex’s apartment and Lena’s.

She had spent the first night at Lena’s, the pair of them in pajamas and eating all of Kara’s favorite National City foods, giggling uncontrollably as they swapped stories of the past year and a half they’d forgotten to share. Lena had received very strict instructions then, too, do not wake me up before noon or you will regret it, Lena Luthor. I mean it. Lena held her hands up in surrender, laughing, promising, I won’t touch you, I swear, and had woken up somehow wrapped around Kara. Kara had cracked an eye open at Lena’s movement as she scooted away. Couldn’t keep your hands off me, huh? Kara had said, her voice low, her smile dangerous and lazy as Lena felt her words stick in her throat and her face flush. Kara didn’t see. Her eyes were already shut again. Her arm reached out, though, and flung around Lena’s waist effortlessly.

Lena had let herself fall back asleep, migrating closer to Kara and slipping back into the most peaceful rest she’d had in months. Something had twinged in her chest. It had only gotten worse in the three months they’d been apart since. Kara seemed easier on the phone, more easily trading Lena’s flirt and absently dropping affectionate nicknames, and Lena would usually lie on her bed with her eyes closed to picture Kara in the room when she would listen to Kara talk about her day in the evenings after a draining rehearsal, Kara’s excited chatter slowly dropping to a tired drawl before she asked about Lena’s day. Lena could only ever muster one good story before she told Kara to go to bed. They called at random times during the day, too, playing phone tag and trading rapid-fire texts.

Lena wasn’t positive how they reached this point, but now she was staring at her best friend and pondering the way she couldn’t stop herself from launching herself at Kara the other night, how Winn had quietly reminded her once Kara slipped away that Kara was probably frazzled beyond belief, how she had received several knowing looks from cast members that had introduced themselves. How she couldn’t take her eyes off Kara all night. How she towed a slightly buzzed Kara–Kara didn’t really do full-on drunk, especially not with a show the next day–up to her apartment and collapsed into bed with her, Kara lying there prone and smiling sleepily when Lena lay down next to her, reaching out to hold her hand before falling asleep.

Last night they had cooked dinner in Kara’s apartment after grocery shopping in the morning, and Lena had plans to make French toast this morning, Kara’s favorite. She had plans to spoil Kara silly, actually, and wondered why she felt the slightest flutter of anticipation at that. Winn had requested her to be gentle. This was gentle. She’d be gentle as hell. She’d even wait until Kara woke up. She glanced down and was mildly horrified to her hand had migrated to be holding Kara’s waist without her brain’s consent. Her forearm rested against Kara’s stomach, warmth seeping in. Lena moved to withdraw her arm, but Kara turned abruptly to her side and scooted closer to Lena. Lena wrapped an arm around her automatically, rolling onto her back so Kara could better rest her head on her shoulder. Kara smiled against her collarbone, and Lena looked up at the ceiling.

If Alex could see them now, Lena thought, she’d ask for advice. Because Lena didn’t know what was happening.

---

It was two hours later.

It was two hours later and Kara woke up, annoyed with herself both in that she woke up before nine am and that she was nearly all the way on top of Lena. She slipped her weight off Lena slowly, whispering shh and smoothing Lena’s hair back when Lena grumbled, smiling as Lena’s face smoothed back out and she slipped back into sleep.

Kara slipped on a sweatshirt as she slid out of bed quietly, padding into the kitchen to start breakfast, knowing perfectly well that Lena would be upset she cooked breakfast, but Kara didn’t care. Lena flew across the country to watch her sing. Kara could cook breakfast. Kara fired up the griddle and mixed the egg stuff–she was like twenty eight years old and she still didn’t know what the egg stuff for french toast was called– and sat down at her laptop to wait for the griddle to be hot enough to cook. She went through her emails slowly, smiling giddily at all the commendations, taking the time to reply to each of them. Kara frowned in confusion when she got to one from the director of their movie.

Hey Kara,
Congratulations on killing the role! I’m sure you’re having a ball up there. We’ve got tickets for next week and Ruby’s thrilled, we’re making a weekend of it. Can we take you out to lunch?
Actually, I have another question for you if Lena’s still on hand. I saw a picture of the two of you from opening night and am glad you’re still friendship. But your posture very much sparked some inspiration for a sequel. No obligations, and of course it’d be at least a year before we could move into any kind of production. But I know we all were excited about the possibility of a number two. I know we’re all busy, but call me? Same number. Can’t wait to see you!!
Samantha Arias
Grant Production Studio

---

It was two minutes later.

Two minutes later and Kara was cursing Lena’s innate ability to be an early riser, even though it was six in the morning her time. Two minutes later and Kara was still staring wordlessly at the small collection of sentences that were wrecking her early-morning calm that came from waking up next to Lena.

On one hand, Kara wouldn’t hesitate to drop–well, schedule ahead so she dropped politely–whatever she was doing to go film a sequel. On the other, she wasn’t this in love with Lena to this depth the last time they did this. You are a professional, Kara Danvers. You are a real, grown-ass adult who can handle a mild crush on her best friend.

Said best friend wandered over to her, a mild frown on her face as she took in the signs of cooking, wrapping her arms around Kara’s shoulders. “I see someone woke up early,” Lena said, as Kara absently hooked a hand on one of Lena’s arms.

“Must have been the rush of having another show tonight,” Kara brushed it off.

“Mm.” Lena sounded unconvinced, her fingers tapping against Kara’s shoulders lightly. “Going through your glowing reviews?”

“Something like that.” Kara bit the bullet and tilted her screen back so Lena could see, and Lena untangled herself from Kara, pushing at Kara’s shoulders with her hands gently. Kara pushed the laptop back and dropped her forehead to the table, ignoring Lena’s amused huff of air as Lena ran a hand across her back soothingly, fingers sliding up into Kara’s hair without thought. Kara resisted the urge to squirm until she was a puddle on the floor at Lena’s feet.

“Congratulations… Aww, that’s sweet–oh my god.” Kara nodded into the table as Lena’s hands left her in shock. Lena dropped into the chair next to Kara, who picked her head up and stared back at Lena’s shocked face. “Sequel?” Lena whispered.

“I know,” Kara said, just as quiet. Lena looked just as nauseous as Kara felt, and Kara cast around for an explanation. “It’s a lot of pressure… to top that. I’m still proud of what we made. I’m scared we’ll break it, we’ll do something wrong. That I’ll do something wrong.”

“You?” Lena looked like she was going to laugh. “You could never do anything wrong. You’re you.” Kara bit her lip, not seeing how Lena’s eyes tracked the motion. Kara knew Lena would get it if she said what was on her mind. Well, part of what was on her mind. That she was afraid of making waves like this. That she was afraid of becoming little girls’ everything. But Kara didn’t. Because that was only half the issue.

Kara took a deep breath and let it rush out of her. She closed her eyes. If she could do it last time, she could do it this time. It felt good doing it last time. It was some of the happiest times of her life, actually. Sam always seemed to know more than she was told. Sam would get her through the tough parts. And she did really, really want to do it. Her initial reaction had been one of overwhelming joy and excitement. The crush thing was stupid and personal. And she wouldn’t let it get in the way. “Lena,” she said lowly, and Lena looked up at her. “I really, really wanna do this again.”

Lena nodded slowly, thoughtfully. “I really do too.”

Kara smiled, and Lena smiled back. “Then I think we have a call to make.” Kara glanced at the clock. “Maybe once Sam wakes up in National City.”

Sequel, her heart sang, her worries washed away in French Toast and Lena’s laugh and her favorite playlist of All Out 2000′s Hits and trying to teach Lena to do the solo choreography in the big swing number in her show, something Lena was abominably terrible at. Sequel, sequel, sequel.

Chapter Text

Lena’s got a plan to figure this all out. It’s not like it’s the tomato debate. She’s got this.

Her plan was to call Alex. Alex was a married lesbian who knew her sister better than anyone in the universe. Alex was a federal agent who could read people and made no apologies for what she saw. Alex could tell her what was going on with her.

She chickens out of her plan.

Alex was scary, on top of all that. And Alex’s face always had that look when Lena did something, that, upon reflection, was perhaps not the most platonic of things to do. Like that time Lena let slip that she loved it when Kara relented and sang her Jason Mraz’s Lucky over the phone to her. Kara has a really nice voice, as literally everyone in the whole world knows! Though, upon some really sober later analysis, that song, while heterosexual, is not, um, platonic. Hm.

That doesn’t mean Lena doesn’t talk to anyone. Lena sees her therapist! And, by therapist, she means Sam. Well, Sam’s daughter. Who is ten. Well, she just had a birthday, so now she’s eleven. Sometimes Lena wonders if the college that gave her her degree feels the stupid things she thinks and retroactively regrets giving her the bachelor’s degree.

Ruby nods seriously, little feet swinging off the stool as she sips at her milkshake in Kara’s favorite diner. Her eyes are wide as she regards Lena unblinkingly. Sam is at a meeting and Lena volunteered to babysit when she got back into town because the usual sitter couldn’t make it. A genuine movie star was babysitting, and using the babysittee as a therapist. Lena feels her college have another moment of regret.

“I don’t know, Rubes, I just feel funny when I’m around her. You know?”

Wide brown eyes watched her, so like her mother’s and yet still so young. “You sound like Percy,” she said seriously.

“Percy?” Lena asked. “The green bitter train from Thomas?”

“Percy Jackson,” Ruby said, like that was supposed to be the most obvious thing in the world. “He’s like, super dumb sometimes but he’s super in love with Annabeth and doesn’t realize it for a long time.”

Lena bit at her straw, thinking. “Is this Percy in a movie?”

“Don’t watch the movie.” Ruby said seriously. “Mom almost cried when she watched it.” Lena frowned. Sam was not really a crier. “She called it the devil’s work. You gotta read the book.”

“I gotta read the book,” Lena repeated. “What book is it even called?”

“I’ll send you the link,” Ruby said, sounding like an exasperated teenager already. “Promise me you’ll read it, I can’t take this anymore.”

“I thought you liked it when I told you stuff?”

“This isn’t stuff.” Ruby retorts. “This is like hearing super bad fanfiction for a gender bent alternate universe lesbian Percy Jackson that a college student wrote at 4 am during finals week.”

Lena huffed. “Fine. Send me the link. I’ll have it read by the end of the week.” Ruby smiled a mischievous sort of a smile, and Lena sighed into her milkshake. She had a bad feeling about this.

---

Percy Jackson, as Lena soon learned, was hilarious. And awesome. And the kind of stuff Lena wanted to read all the time. It was a little young, but Lena devoured the whole original five-book series in under two weeks and Ruby sent her the links to the rest of Rick Riordan’s books with a “they’re not quite as good, but still good.”

Lena didn’t wholly agree with seeing herself as Percy, although she did cast Kara as Annabeth. Like, if Kara were ten or fifteen years younger, Lena would be fighting like a suburban mom at a bake sale to make sure Kara got the part if they ever redid the movie.

She watched the movie. The movie was a flaming pile of trash. She texted Kara about it no less than fifty-eight times when she watched it one night, receiving an amused call from Kara in response when her show finished. “You planning on being the next Sam to redo this movie or something?” Kara asked when Lena picked up. “I didn’t even get to read all of those texts, before you ask, but the last time you sent this many texts during a show you were out with Maggie and Alex and there was an armed robbery next door.”

“Sorry,” Lena said, eyes still glued to the screen in horror as the opening credits for the second one started. “But I’ve started the second already.”

“You what?” Kara asked incredulously. “Oh no. You just blew up my phone about the first, do not make me hear about the second.”

"It was so bad, though,“ Lena whined.

"I gathered,” Kara said, voice muffled. There was a rustle and a thump. “Sorry, changing.” Lena hit pause reluctantly on the movie and tried very hard to keep her thoughts on how much she hated this movie. “What exactly has you so up in arms about this? The short version?”

"They ruined a literary masterpiece. Think of Oz the Great and Powerful being given songs and put on Broadway to accompany Wicked.“

"Oh god,” Kara said in horror. “I get it now.” There was a couple loud thumps and the sound of Kara pulling her belt off. “What’d they do?”

“I think you’d do better to read the emails the author released a couple weeks ago. He sent them to the production team begging them not to ruin it and they still did. I’ve looked online a bit and basically there’s no one that doesn’t hate the movie.” Another thump and a rustling, the sound of clothes hangers being slid on a metal rack.

“Mm. And you’re watching it because?”

"I couldn’t help myself,“ Lena admitted. "Good show? You’re out late.”

“Yeah,” Kara said absently, sounding happy. “I had a meeting afterwards with a reviewer from some magazine, I forget what it was. Everyone else is already gone. Tripped again, but at least not as hard. The bruises have healed since the last time, too. I caught most of my weight on my hands. Didn’t rip the pants again.” Lena chuckled sympathetically. “But why are you suddenly into Percy Jackson? I know it’s a literary masterpiece, but you’ve never shown any interest in it the whole time I’ve known you?”

“Ruby recommended it,” Lena said, hearing Kara’s ahh in the background. “Wait, what do you mean you know it’s a literary masterpiece?”

“Yeah,” Kara said, voice muffled again. There was a thump that sounded suspicious and she cursed quietly. “Jesus fuck, ow, not again. They have got to get that thing out of here. I’m fine.”

“Kara, are you–”

“I’m fine, I’m fine. Yeah, the first book came out in, what, 2005? I read it, I think I was like a freshman in high school or something. I think I read the second one too, borrowed it from a friend maybe. They go to the ocean thing right?”

“The Sea of Monsters,” Lena corrected automatically.

Kara’s huff of laughter echoed down the line, plus an alarming series of clangs and thumps and a second Jesus fuck that had Lena leaping to stand before realizing painfully she couldn’t go to Kara. “Fuck, ow, fuck, shit, this is not my night,” Kara groaned. “By the way, you’re a huge fucking nerd and I love it.”

“Kara, sweetie,” Lena said cautiously down the line, heart hammering at the pain in Kara’s voice. “I don’t think I’ve heard you swear this much, like, ever. At least not since November of 2016.” Kara’s pained laugh made Lena relax infinitesimally. "What happened?“

"Clothing rack just fell apart,” Kara gasped. “Just as I hung up my jacket. Broke on top of my head.”

“Are you bleeding?” There was a suspiciously long pause. “I don’t think so.”

Lena sighed. “Would you please get someone to check that out before I fly out myself?”

“I don’t really want to move,” Kara admitted.

“Where are you?”

“Still the dressing room. Just sitting in my chair. Made it out from under the avalanche of clothes.”

“How did it even break on you?”

Kara heaved a breath. “We hit it last week right pretty good where the two parts go together. They’ve already ordered another, I just put the weight on the wrong place and it collapsed on me. My fault.”

“Stop,” Lena ordered. “How much pain are you in?”

“Maybe like a good six and a half,” Kara admitted. She groaned, and Lena winced. “Okay, wavering between six and eight. Don’t tell Alex.”

“I will absolutely tell Alex. But I’m calling Winn first.”

“No,” Kara said. “He has a show. He’s still filling in for that guy in Hamilton. Burr. Hamilton runs longer than most shows, he won’t be done for a while.”

“You guys have a doctor there, right?” Lena could feel irrational concern seeping in, worries of Kara passing out alone in a cold theater and them not finding her until morning. Breathe, Luthor.

“I’m sure we do,” Kara huffed. “Haven’t met one in recent memory, though. I don’t really do doctors.”

“I’m well aware,” Lena said. “Do you want me to make the calls? James? Hang on, isn’t Sam in town?”

“I’m actually reconsidering my stance on looping in Alex, believe it or not. It’s just a bruise, it’ll be fine in a minute.” There was a pause. “Yep, still not bleeding. It’s fine. I’m good.”

“Kara, I am calling someone for you.”

“Just wait five minutes,” Kara pleaded. “Two. And I swear if I don’t feel better you can send whoever you want after me and fly out here yourself, okay? Do you want to facetime me so you can see it’s not bleeding?”

“Fine.” Lena switched the call to the video, pulling up Kara’s face smiling blearily at her.

“Hi,” Kara said, looking a little loopy but not totally worse for wear. Lena rolled her eyes.

“Let me see.”

“Yes ma'am,” Kara muttered, tilting her head down and angling the phone so Lena could see. Kara parted her hair and angled her head at Lena’s direction. “Satisfied?”

“Not remotely. I’m still texting Winn. And Sam.”“Sam’s fine,” Kara said, leaning back. “I don’t trust Winn near my hair after the wig incident last year."Lena chuckled against her will, and Kara’s lips tugged upward.

"I’ll text Winn in the morning,” she said, and Kara nodded. “But I am texting Sam now.”

“She and Ruby have more important things to do,” Kara mumbled, but Lena shushed her. “How was your day?” Kara tried. “Or you could just rant about the stupid movie.”

“Sam’s on her way,” Lena said with no small amount of triumph, clicking back to see Kara give a sleepy thumbs-up. “Fifteen minutes out. Do you really want to hear more about the movie?"

Kara shrugged a shoulder. "It seems to make you happy to hate on it. Go for it."Kara’s eyes fluttered closed and Lena focused for an uncomfortable second on how much she wanted to be there for Kara, on how her chest constricted, on her blush as she realized Kara wanted to hear about what made her happy. She pushed it aside. "So they absolutely wrecked this literary masterpiece.

"Lena talked to Kara until Sam arrived, Sam, who blew inside with a mother’s authority, clucking her tongue disapprovingly and taking Kara’s head in her hands, Kara rolling her neck around obligingly at Sam’s gentle touch with her eyes still half shut, Ruby holding Kara’s phone so Lena could see, occasionally flipping the screen to stick her tongue out at Lena, who didn’t hesitate to stick out her tongue in return. Sam snapped her fingers in Ruby’s direction, who pulled off her backpack and gave it to her mother.

"I had us stop at a CVS,” Sam explained, cracking something. “Instant ice packs. Here.” She pressed it gently to Kara’s scalp, and Kara sighed in relief. “You didn’t quite break the skin, but you came close, superstar. Do you want me to sue?”

“Ha ha,” Kara said, leaning back and holding the ice pack to her head. “I told Lena, it was my fault. Don’t go after the production.”

“I’ll go after whoever I want to if my superstar being assaulted by shoddy equipment,” Sam retaliated, and Lena grinned. Kara glared lazily at the phone despite Lena’s silence, like she knew Lena was smiling. “Where are your other bruises?”

“Knees, shin,” Kara reeled off. “And it’s not like it was a harness or wires, it was something I hit that collapsed. It got in a lucky shot. I’m fine. Lena’s just being dramatic and I’m tired.”

“Mm.” Sam was unimpressed as she pulled out the other ice packs from Ruby’s backpack. “By the way, I have something for you a la Lena, so you might want to be a little more grateful for her.”

“I’m always grateful for her,” Kara mumbled, and Lena felt a double rush of warmth go through her at Kara’s warmth then at Kara’s face lighting up as Sam produced a pint of ice cream. “I take the dramatic part back, Lena, I love you so much forever and always and I will sing you whatever you want whenever you want. Your concern was completely warranted.”

“That’s more like it,” Ruby muttered, and Sam and Lena laughed. Kara kicked half-heartedly at Ruby’s knee, one hand still clamping the ice pack on her head as she slumped in her chair. Lena let herself relax as Ruby propped her on the counter of the vanity as Sam pulled out spoons and they settled in, ignoring the huge pile of clothes in the corner so they could all laugh and eat ice cream like they were still filming the movie. They’d discussed the sequel already. They were going to make it happen, slowly. After Kara finished the Broadway run in two more months did that musical adaptation film she signed on for and Lena finished the documentary she was narrating and did the sequel of the action film she had the small role in five years ago and now was a main character in. They had the next year and a half mapped out. They were gonna be okay. She let the warmth in her stomach settle in and relaxed as Kara stuck her tongue out at her. The future promised warm things.

Chapter Text

“Don’t think I don’t remember the hickey incident, you two,” Sam muttered, pointing two accusatory fingers at them from across the room, and Kara and Lena both blushed.

"I think going around with hickeys for over a week and everyone knowing exactly where they came from was enough punishment without bringing it up again, don’t you?“ Lena said lightly, and Kara nodded vigorously. "Shut up Kara,” Lena added, shoving at her shoulder. “The ones you left on me were way worse and you know it.”

Kara’s laughter burst out of her, and Lena and Sam both bit back smiles at her. “It’s not my fault, you started it,” Kara said, and Lena rolled her eyes. “You know who I grew up with, and you thought you could win any kind of fight with me? Besides, if you’d get out in the sun every once in a while maybe they wouldn’t be so obvious.”

“You’re talking about a hickey fight? You’re incorrigible.”

“Ooh, big word,” Kara teased, still giggling. “Did you learn that one from Percy Jackson?”

“Funny, I seem to recall you also stating it was a literary masterpiece, and, funnily enough, that was before you split your head open.”

Kara was still giggling, completely incapable of stopping it now. “I told you I was fine,” she gasped.

“Was this before or after you cussed out the world like it was the 2016 election all over again?” Kara was completely incapable of responding, bent over now, and Lena sighed dramatically as she let Kara slump into her. “This is a pathetic showing for someone who claims to win every fight.” Kara just kept wheezing and Lena adjusted her posture without real thought to let Kara lean into her more fully, wrapping an arm easily around Kara’s shoulders and pushing a stray strand of hair.

“Nice, guys, looks great,” came Sam’s voice from across the room. Kara giggled once more before managing to sober herself up and sit up straighter, determinedly not glancing at the cameras that surrounded them on the couch in case Sam did that thing again where she used footage from after she called cut. Lena shoved at her shoulder and Kara leaned back into the couch, pretending to be wounded, still chuckling.

“Actually yeah,” came Sam’s voice again. “Lena, go after her. You know.” Lena turned on her smoky-eye-drive-you-crazy charm all at once, the kind Kara still thought should be patented or trademarked or whatever it was, and leaned over Kara, suspending herself for a long moment with one hand planted on the side of the couch and the other by Kara’s shoulder. Kara felt her eyes flicker involuntarily down Lena’s body as she stretched her arms above her head deliberately, and Lena smiled that dangerous smile.

She moved towards Kara infuriatingly slowly, and Kara felt her smile slip away as Lena pressed against her, Kara’s hands moving to wrap Lena up, one arm around her waist and the other hooking around the back Lena’s neck gracelessly to drag her closer. Lena, for all her swagger, still kissed her gently as ever, their first kiss in something close to three and a half years delivering an electric shock through Kara’s system that made it feel like she was waking up. Kara gasped into the kiss, and Lena pulled away just a little, and Kara could feel her breaking character, she was going to ask Kara what was wrong because she cared more about Kara than about the take, but Kara didn’t want that. She chased Lena, moving up and kissing her again, relaxing as Lena leaned back into her without a question, her fingers steady in Kara’s hair, holding her gently.

"Nice, that was good.“ Sam’s voice cut across Kara’s bliss again. Kara reluctantly released Lena, still blinking dazedly as she unwound her arms and Lena pushed up off Kara slowly. "I really liked that. I want a few different angles, let’s take it again from where you shove Kara down, sound good?” Kara and Lena both voiced their assent and sat up. They filmed a few more takes. It got a little bit easier with each one. Just a little. Four more times of Lena hovering over Kara with that dangerous smile and Kara felt a buzz like alcohol seep into her brain by the time they were done, but she didn’t feel blinded by it. She felt loose. Powerful and energetic and coiled and ready to jump a fence and run a hundred yards. Ready to film a hundred more scenes where she could wrap Lena up and kiss her with abandon and chuckle off compliments on her acting.

“Excellent work,” Sam said, smiling at both of them, pleased. “You still got it. Excellent, really. I’m really pleased with what we have. Thanks for coming in for the screen test and being so flexible with no lines and stuff. I would have prepped you a little more but I trusted your natural chemistry, and I was right.”

Lena smiled, looking a little breathless, and Kara ran a hand through her hair, grinning widely at Sam, who seemed like she was onto her, but whatever. “No worries Sam. We’re thrilled to be working on this project again. I missed these characters.”

Sam appeared to bite back a comment, but just smiled. “Me too. Now go home, enjoy the weekend, we’ll call you in a couple days, yeah? Good seeing you two, and thanks again.” They were dismissed.

Kara smiled, just as pleased as Sam. She sprang off the couch and stretched her hands to the sky, grinning widely at Lena. Kara reached a hand towards Lena, who took it, still looking a little dazed, and pulled her up easily. “Burgers?” Kara said. “I kinda know a place."Lena turned her head and focused slowly on Kara.

"Did, um, did that feel a little different to you?"Kara was a little too blissed out at getting to make out with Lena like five times in a row to notice the waver in Lena’s tone.

"You mean the tongue you slipped me the last two times?” she teased. “To be honest, it did a little bit. Did you finally remove the spacer from your piercing?”

Lena hesitated, biting her lip, and Kara had a totally logical reason to follow the movement and think nothing of it, quirking an eyebrow patiently. "I might have,“ Lena said slowly, and Kara grinned.

"I knew it. You could put it back in if you wanted, don’t feel like you have to take it out for me. It wasn’t uncomfortable or awkward or anything.” Kara was stepping from side to side a little bit, dancing in place like she did when she had too much energy. “It switched things up, it was actually pretty fun.” Lena looked at her with something like concern, and Kara paused in her dance to meet Lena’s eyes before moving her shoulders around instead. “You don’t have to put it back in if you don’t want to,” Kara said easily. “Obviously. Totally your choice, of course."

Lena was still staring at Kara like she was crazy, but this wasn’t really new. Kara shrugged happily. "Bye, guys,” Kara said, waving to the small crew assembled, who all returned her goodbye. “Bye, Sam! Come on, Lena, food.” Lena let herself be tugged away.

Filming with Kara in the winter was the absolute worst, Lena decided. And by worst, she meant best and worst.

Filming with Kara in the winter meant Kara in absurdly elegant coats and things that Lena’s pretty sure were pulled from Sam’s personal wardrobe during the day. Kara a heart-stopping, head-turning kind of presence in the room that turned into a dancing lunatic every time the cameras were turned off. Sam had plenty of videos of Kara doing ridiculously dorky dance moves in expensive, boldly colored but very elegant clothing.

Filming with Kara in the winter meant Kara in the night scenes that were more casual, Kara in slouchy beanies and tight jeans and these boot/sneaker hybrids that were very gay and Lena want to throttle the costume department for putting a human through this. It meant the indoor scenes were Kara in all forms of lazy pajamas that she totally pulled off, and Sam knew exactly what she was doing when she gave the direction for Kara’s outfits. There was always some kind of soft on one half and skin showing on the other combo that Kara seemed to not only feel comfortable in but she looked absurdly good in, always showing off a long line of muscle on her arms or legs that made Lena want to go back to the outdoor scenes. (Lena had to admit though, one time she thought of filming with Kara in summer and immediately decided to be grateful for winter instead) At least, though, her character was expected to drool over Kara’s.

Kara’s character, who had a magnetic sort of presence that tended to melt to mush when Lena’s character approached. Lena never got tired of watching Kara’s eyes go from flinty steel to stupidly soft when she turned to see her in the middle of a take, a soft smile gracing her lips as she held an arm out automatically and Lena slid into her side gently.

Kara, in short, was not only looking better than she ever had at just past thirty years old, but had the professionalism of Sam and the energy and bounce of Ruby. Kara was the fucking dream. Lena had never felt more like she was stumbling over her feet in her whole life.

On the bright side, Kara was on top of her game, and when Kara was on top of her game, she tended to haul everyone else upwards with her. Kara pulled Lena’s performances up from rock bottom into something passable. Watching the scenes later helped Lena realize her lovesick look was obvious, yes, but it played well on screen.

Lena stopped worrying so much and let herself fall into Kara’s contagious vibe after a couple stressful weeks of filming. Kara only got happier when Lena joined her in her stupid dances in between takes.

So Lena dropped her guard, let herself fall into character, let Kara take her hand and swing her around whenever she wanted, still looking stupidly classy despite her dopey smile. Lena fell headlong into Kara and resolved to enjoy it while she could. She’d deal with it sooner or later. For now, she flirted as obviously as she felt like and let Kara’s loud laugh wash over her in response, soaked up as much time with Kara as she possibly could, and let Kara talk her into anything and everything and kissed her on screen with abandon.

---

 

"Mmmm. You were right."

 

Kara looked up, grinning. "Yeah?"

 

"Yeah," Lena said, slowly looking up to face her from the couch across Kara's trailer. "This script is so perfect for me." Kara could practically feel her chest expand. Lena's phone dinged, and she checked it. Lena chuckled at it, and looked back up at Kara. "Ruby just sent me this meme, have you seen the one where--mm, hey."

 

Kara was already up and moving, hastening to get over to Lena to look at the phone screen herself. In another, more oblivious life, she could see herself wondering what it was about Lena that constantly pushed her to be closer, closer, closer, but she knew. She was more than happy to just exist in Lena's space--it was like her favorite roommate from college, Lucy, where they had spent hours on their separate beds, ten feet away, trading dumb comments and stories in between complaining about classes and stretches of perfectly comfortable silence. Filming their first movie, building off a strong friendship, she and Lena were like that now.

 

Except, Kara thought distantly, as she snuggled under Lena's expectant and fondly exasperated arm, slipping up next to Lena to look at the phone screen, she never felt the need to be this close to Lucy. Not like this. Being ten feet away from Lena felt like there was a cord around her heart, like one of those dumb extendable doggy leashes. She was clearly with Lena, but it wasn't close enough. It just reminded her there was a tether, a line she couldn’t cross, only being Lena's friend. Being next to Lena, Lena's fingers tapping automatically against her shoulder, Lena's laugh loud in her ear, there wasn't a leash. It was a string, wrapped tight around her pinky finger, like a promise.

 

Alex was worried by the time she came to visit halfway through the five month film schedule. She drove up north the four hours to their film location to surprise Kara for a weekend visit and walked in on them filming the last scene of the day in a spacious lobby filled with smartly-dressed extras, and suspicious activity was abound.

Kara was holding one of Lena’s hands, legs at shoulder’s width as she demonstrated. “See, I move my left arm, then my right, like I’m only moving one part at a time, and when the movement reaches you through our hands–you move.” Kara moved as she spoke, and Lena moved obligingly as the motion reached her hand, a little more clumsily than the Broadway star, which was definitely forgivable. What was not forgivable was the easy way she adjusted her grip on Kara’s hands, the easy smile on her face as she laughed and looked back at Kara for confirmation.

Something had changed in the way she looked at Kara. Alex couldn’t describe it. Not with words. But she was a federal agent and a successfully married lesbian besides, and her wife was a cop. Her little sister was a bi disaster who everyone fell in love with and she was well-practiced in protecting. Alex watched silently as they tried the move again, Lena moving with more fluidity this time, Kara’s movement still more graceful despite her elegant coat that was a little on the bulky side around her shoulders when she lifted her arms.

Sam stepped up beside her. “It’s been like this for a while,” Sam said quietly.

Alex sighed heavily. “I figured.”

“It hasn’t been too painful, actually,” Sam said, sounding surprised at her own words. “The screen test, like, wow. I could see Kara floating off to cloud nine at finally getting to kiss Lena again, but Lena looked like her world had tipped over. Kara was too blissed out to notice.”

“Please maybe don’t ever use that word to describe my sister ever again, thanks,” Alex said, wincing, and Sam chuckled.

“It was like, the exact opposite after their first chemistry audition. Kara looked like she’d never eat again, Lena was bouncing off the walls. Except then, Lena was obviously totally unaware and stoked on a good audition. Kara obviously knew and that was the first time they had kissed. Now Lena’s caught up and it’s like they’re both very aware they’re in love but thinks the other is just psyched to be back on the movie and will never love them back like that.” Sam paused. “It’s kind of painful for me and everyone that’s not them, actually. They seem to be doing fine with it.”

Together, Alex and Sam looked over at Lena and Kara, who were practicing the dance move again and both struggling to hold in giggles at the same time, neither doing a very good job. “Are you going to say something?” Sam asked. “Interfere with your sister’s love life?”

“I’m a federal agent. I’m a big proponent of interfering."

Sam laughed. "It’s good to have you around, Alex.” Alex smiled reluctantly, and they hugged before Sam slipped away to call out the final couple takes’ instructions.

Alex watched from behind the cameras as her sister slipped into character, smiling despite her irritation. Watching how far Kara had come was still something that made her proud after all these years. Kara had an irritated and sharp conversation with a man with a little too much gel in his hair, her eyes cold and a little dangerous. Kara ended the conversation and turned to see Lena entering with her usual graceful and slightly disaffected air. Kara’s irritation drained away at the sight of her, tension bleeding away and a smile rising on her face as Lena moved towards her. Lena pressed into her side gently and kissed her cheek, taking her arm and leading her away as they had another, much calmer conversation. Sam had them run it twice more before she was satisfied.

“Nice work, everyone. Let’s break. We’ll see you all Monday.” There was a general murmuring as everyone began to break, and Sam added into her small megaphone, (looking entirely too pleased she got to use a megaphone) “Hey, uh, superstar, you have a delivery.”

Kara frowned at Sam in confusion, trotting over obediently anyway, and Alex noted wryly the way she let go of Lena in stages, letting their arms slip out of their linked position but holding her hand, then letting that go but her fingers still drifting towards where Lena trailed behind her. Kara was halfway there when she caught sight of Alex and shrieked in delight the same way she had since she was seventeen years old and Alex had surprised her by driving all night in the middle of the semester to see Kara’s performance in the high school theater program. Kara rocketed towards Alex, thankfully dodging all the expensive equipment and throwing herself into her sister’s arms. Alex staggered back as she caught Kara, grinning like mad despite her exhaustion and irritation. Kara pulled back just enough to beam at Alex. “You didn’t tell me you were coming up!”

“That’s why it’s called a surprise,” Alex told her, and Kara rolled her whole head along with her eyes.

“Whatever, nerd,” she said. “Thanks for coming.”

“Anytime,” Alex said, squeezing tighter. “I love you, kiddo.”

Kara released her, still smiling that megawatt smile. “I love you too.” Kara turned like she knew the exact moment Lena would approach, turning that same megawatt smile on Lena, whose own smile widened in response.

“Hey Alex,” Lena said, smiling a little shyly.

Interesting. “Hey Lena,” Alex said, pulling her into a hug. Over Lena’s shoulder, Kara beamed.

Oh, they were going to have a talk.

Chapter Text

Kara stomped into the apartment.

Lena looked up as Kara toed off her boots and shucked her coat with little of her usual grace. Kara shoved the coat unceremoniously onto the hook by the door and stomped into the bedroom, already shedding her jacket and unzipping her pants.

“Should I ask?” Lena asked cautiously. Kara’s head popped out of the bedroom, where an alarming series of noises had been coming from, to raise a single eyebrow at Lena. “That’s a no, I take it,” Lena muttered, looking back at her email.

There was a muffled thump and an exhausted sigh from the bedroom, and Kara re-emerged, looking marginally less angry while wearing sweats and a t shirt and throwing her hair into a messy bun. Kara sprawled onto the length of the couch and Lena slowly stood up to move towards her. “Can I join you?” She asked.

Kara picked the upper half of her body up just enough for Lena to sit, and Kara laid back down, her head and shoulders in Lena’s lap, eyes closed. She put her face in her hands and took a couple deep breaths. “They’re just so awful sometimes,” she said into her hands, her voice sounding broken.

Lena felt her heart break in sympathy. “Oh honey,” she murmured, automatically moving to smooth Kara’s hair and hold her hand.

Kara gripped her hand tightly and used the other to cover her eyes like she didn’t want to see the world. Took a couple calming breaths. “I really don’t want to talk about it, it was just a long day.” Kara let her hand drop and looked with big blue eyes pitifully up at Lena. “Distract me?”

“Well, if you’re sure…” Kara nodded. Lena adopted a look of total nonchalance and promptly launched an all out tickle attack. Kara yelped and curled in on herself, Lena wheezing as more of Kara’s weight crushed onto her, but not stopping. Kara rolled off the couch to avoid her, laughing, landing on the floor in a crouch and springing up and away.

She pointed a shaky finger at Lena. “Rude.”

Lena chuckled innocently. “You said you were sure.”

Kara looked like she was at a loss for a good comeback, so she simply hauled Lena to her feet, curling both hands over Lena’s in what was clearly a strategic move to ensure her safety. “Hey,” she murmured, smiling. “Thanks.”

“Anytime,” Lena said softly, reaching to tuck Kara’s hair behind her ear. Kara smiled just a little wider and used her free hand to wrap around Lena’s waist and tug her closer. Lena’s hand landed on Kara’s shoulder and just like that, they were kissing.

Lena let herself get lost in it, in the way Kara cupped her face in both hands like she was so, so precious. Like she didn’t have anywhere else she’d rather be. She let herself enjoy the feel of Kara pressed up in a decidedly non-platonic way against her. And when Kara broke the kiss to bend down and pick Lena up from the legs, it was easy. Automatic. Lena jumped with her, wrapping her legs around Kara’s waist and her arms around Kara’s shoulders and smiling when Kara kissed her again, Kara’s hands sliding on the back of her thighs.

Kara slowly stepped them towards the bedroom, chuckling into Lena when Lena released her lips to move towards her jaw instead. Several more slow and careful steps and Lena felt herself being lowered gently, and the bed beneath her back. She didn’t release Kara in the slightest, and Kara seemed to understand she wasn’t getting released anytime soon. Kara didn’t seem to mind. Just lowered herself over Lena and kissed her deeply. Lena let herself get completely lost in it, let her hands wander and enjoyed feeling Kara arch and twitch under her touch.

“Just a second longer…. good. Cut.”

Kara propped herself on her elbows as Lena reluctantly unwound her legs from Kara’s waist. Kara knocked her forehead gently to Lena’s collarbone, smiled at Lena, and scooted back and stood, reaching out a hand automatically to pull Lena up. Lena stood on slightly unsteady legs.

Sam was watching the screen across the room intently, nodding. “Good. Really good. I want a couple different angles, but I like the continuous shooting here, it seems to really help you two out in keeping you grounded. Let’s take it from the top, we’ll probably go a few times more. Sorry Kara, you got the short straw today, go ahead and change back.”

Kara chuckled good-naturedly and started moving towards the closet. Lena watched her in a detached sort of way before remembering she was going to change and that really wasn’t something Lena was supposed to be watching. Lena tore her eyes away as a hair and makeup person started moving around her to touch her up. Lena was ready much faster than Kara without a wardrobe change, and sat down at her fake computer.

Just another day of her best friend not knowing she was completely in love with her. Just another day.

Alex had only been able to stomach the first half of the first take of the scene where Kara came home. She’d watch the movie when it came out. And she’d make Kara tell her when to cover her eyes. Or Sam. Kara had kind of fallen down on the job last time. She had sat next to Kara at the premiere and Kara had clapped a hand hastily over Alex’s eyes when the bed scene started with a Sorry! Lena hadn’t been able to stop laughing for the entire two-minute-and-forty-five-second scene while Kara’s hand stayed firmly planted over Alex’s unresisting eyes.

(Someone in the press had gotten that picture. Sam still had it on her fridge, of Alex sitting there eating popcorn with her little sister’s hand clamped over the upper half of her face, Kara’s face bright red and sheepish in the glow of the screen, Lena laughing harder than Alex had ever seen—well, heard—her laugh. They were all dressed to the nines, which only made it funnier. The photo had gone a little bit viral, and Alex would have worried about people’s reactions, except everyone was way more obsessed with Kara and Lena’s relationship status.)

She didn’t need to watch her little sister take someone to bed. Just thinking about it made her want to go find a toilet and empty her guts then drink bleach.

But she had seen enough, between the way Lena looked at her before the take even started and the way Kara was constantly humming even before starting a scene where she was supposedly starting angry.

Alex wasn’t going to be here for this. No. Instead, she followed a hunch she had. Following her gut, Alex asked Sam if she needed someone to pick Ruby up from school, and Sam gratefully let the staff member she had assigned to bring Ruby over off the hook.

Alex smiled as Ruby crashed into her excitedly out of the school. They went to get ice cream and Alex launched her interrogation.

“Here’s the thing. I need your intel, detective. I know you know something about Lena, about her relationship with Kara.”

Ruby sagged into the seat dramatically. “Finally! Someone who will do what’s necessary! Thank god you’re here. I’ll tell you everything you want to know.” Alex smiled. Ruby paused. “Wait, how’d you know Lena came to me?”

“I’m a federal agent who’s married to a detective. I know things. …Also, Kara made a Percy Jackson reference a couple months ago. I put it together.”

Ruby nodded. “They’re dumber than Percy.”

Alex, who was unwilling to admit she and Maggie had been reading the books aloud most nights as a way to unwind before bed and had both recently lost it at the line “Lamborghini for the Lord”, shrugged. “I’ll take your word for it, I haven’t read them.”

“You definitely gotta.” Ruby said immediately, and Alex bit back a grin, but Ruby waved that aside. “But later. What do you need to know about Lena?”

“Tell me everything,” Alex instructed, and Ruby smiled her mother’s mischievous smile.

Chapter Text

Lena’s finger slid in slow circles around Kara’s back, and Kara squirmed under the attention, doing nothing to move away. Lena smiled.

“Who knew you were so ticklish?” She teased.

“You did,” Kara muttered. “You take great delight in it, actually.”

“Mm,” Lena was unconvinced. “I’m not sure I understand what you’re implying about me.”

Kara huffed, burying her face in the pillows for a moment as Lena smirked. “Incorrigible,” she muttered, voice muffled. Kara’s back arched without her intending to as Lena ran a fingertip delicately up her spine, Kara twitching and squirming as though electricity was shooting through her even though they were fully clothed.

“And yet,” Lena intoned softly, pausing for moment to lay her head down next to Kara’s, “you still love me.”

Kara considered debating it for a moment before sighing. She smiled and closed her eyes, smile widening when Lena kissed her nose. “I do.” Kara rolled to her side, capturing Lena’s hand in her own and bringing it to her lips. “And it didn’t take me forever to figure it out, either.”

Lena rolled her eyes but let Kara keep her hand. “Yes yes, you were in love with me first, we’ve established this. But I, in comparison, didn’t wait as long to do something. Had we left it to you we might have waited another ten years.”

Kara’s indignant splutter was cut off by Lena pressing solidly into her with a smile.

“Cut.” Lena rolled back slowly, sitting up to see Alex watching with another one of those unreadable expressions, Sam nodding next to her. “Nice. Good final take. Let’s get the next flashback scene set up.”

Kara sat up at her side, running a hand through disheveled hair absently. Lena felt her stomach let loose a couple butterflies and looked away. She slid off the bed and adjusted her clothes—jeans and t shirts for both of them today—and began to move towards costuming for her next wardrobe. She paused as she started walking. She glanced at Kara, who had produced her phone from god knows where and was texting someone, smiling slightly as she sat in bed looking adorably rumpled.

Might as well ask, Lena thought. Her heart hammered.

“Walk with me, Danvers,” Lena instructed as she moved towards costuming. Lena led the way. “As is probably horribly obvious, I have found myself, um, ridiculously in love with one Kara Danvers.”

Lena turned as they reached the hallway before her destination. Alex had a satisfied smirk. “I know.”

“I can’t take it anymore. I have to, I don’t know, I have to at least know if I need to back off or it’s too obvious or if she knows or—“

“Lena,” Alex said firmly, cutting Lena off and taking her by the shoulders. “Lena, Lena, breathe.” Lena took a deep breath and Alex nodded. “You most definitely do not need to back off.”

“What?”

Alex tapped her foot. “Pretty sure I’m breaking some sort of older sister code here. Oh well. I had a plan, but this is better. Right. Lena. She’s way ahead of you.” Lena’s breathing was shallow. She could feel her heart speeding up, could feel the ghost of Kara’s skin under her lips, the warmth of Kara pressed up against her, the softness of her t shirt under Lena’s fingertips. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t in sight. Kara filled her senses.

“What are you talking about?”

Alex made an impatient noise. “She’s been in love with you, since, like, the day you got arrested. Before then. There has never been a moment that Kara didn’t know of your existence that she wasn’t hopelessly in love with you.”

Lena could feel her fingertips going numb. “No,” she breathed. “No, that’s not possible.”

“Use your brain, Luthor,” Alex urged, surprisingly gently. “You’re smart. Think back. We know Kara’s a good actor, but she can’t say no to you. She can’t get mad at you. She hasn’t even been able to pretend she’s into someone since you two met. She’s always calling you. She can act like she isn’t in love with you, but have you ever heard her deny it? She can’t bear to lie and say she isn’t. She can’t stop herself from being all over you. She hyperventilates every time you’re all over her. Your chemistry isn’t faked. Sam knows it, we all do. There’s a reason you were cast and it’s not because you can act, it’s because you can’t act around each other.”

Lena was pretty sure stomachs weren’t supposed to feel like this. Her head was buzzing. “How did I not… how was I…”

She looked at Alex helplessly, who looked at her with genuine sympathy. “You had a lot going on for a while. It’s entirely understandable.”

Lena nodded numbly. Something was sweating, she wasn’t sure what. “Alex,” she mumbled. “Alex, I. I never asked Lex about this stuff because I never had to. I always knew what to do.” Lena took a deep, shuddering breath. Steeled herself and looked up at Alex, who was looking down at her the way she always looked at Kara, and Lena held on to that. “Alex, what do I do?”

Alex tilted her head, smiled a genuine smile at Lena. Alex’s eyes sparkled in that Danvers way. “Go get her.”

Kara was dancing.

Dancing around the room like a huge dork, and Lena recognized her swing solo from her last year’s Broadway show’s big dance number. Lena was too nervous to smile, but Kara did it for her when she spotted Lena.

“He got it!” Kara shouted, beaming and skipping over to Lena, nearly crashing against Lena and wrapping her arms around her, picking Lena up and spinning her around, setting her down too quickly for Lena to hug back. “Winn got the part—the lead!—in the new musical. Him and James! They’re gonna be playing love interests! It’s like the male version of us, on Broadway! This is so awesome!!”

Kara went back to dancing.

Lena had never wanted her to dance less. “Kara,” she tried. Kara didn’t seem to hear her, humming loudly a riff off the music she had helped Winn rehearse. “Kara,” Lena said again, and Kara looked up, limbs still out of control, beaming at Lena.

“We’ll have to go see him, of course. It’ll be a few months, I was thinking of taking a long weekend at the end of filming, maybe making it a full week, do you wanna come? We could make it a getaway.”

Lena closed her eyes. Her throat was closing up. She wasn’t going to be able to do this. Alex’s face popped up in her memory, and Lena opened her eyes. “Kara Danvers!” Lena shouted, and Kara straightened, looking something close to stricken. In all their years of friendship, Lena had yelled at her plenty of times, but never in genuine anger.

Lena took a breath. Softer, this time. “Kara.” Kara frowned at her tone, and Lena took her hand. Kara gave it easily, heedless of the smattering of crew still moving around the set. Lena found she didn’t care either.

“What’s up?” Kara asked softly, slipping her phone into her pocket.

“Kara,” Lena breathed, Kara tilted her head, blue eyes big and open, looking more beautiful in messy hair and a t shirt than anyone had any right to, and Lena could feel her heart pounding. It had to be worth it. To not feel this. “I know I said we wouldn’t change,” Lena breathed. “But I’m gonna trust your sister and everyone else and I’m gonna change us.”

Kara frowned in confusion, mouth opening to ask what she was talking about, and Lena was kissing her.

Lena didn’t remember moving. Didn’t remember getting to her. Just one second they were a foot and a half apart, and the next, she was kissing Kara, and that was the important part. Kara stood frozen under her, and Lena pulled back.

Kara held a hand up, eyes shut. “I am going to ask a question,” she said slowly and with great precision, eyes still closed. “Was that you kissing me or was that your character practicing to kiss mine?”

Lena backed away, fingers untangling with Kara’s, dread racing up her spine as Kara let her go. “It was me to you,” she whispered, holding back a million expletives.

Kara opened her eyes, slowly. Lena stayed where she was, watching with held breath, everything in her body afraid. Kara’s eyes met hers, and Lena didn’t dare move.

Kara smiled.

Kara’s megawatt smile broke out all at once and Lena felt her terror slowly draining away, slipping out her feet. Kara beamed at her, smiling with her whole body, and Lena felt her lips tug upward tentatively in reply. She wanted to ask if it was okay, wanted to ask what to do, but she didn’t have to.

Kara swept across the distance separating them in an instant, gathering up Lena in her arms, Lena’s folded arms pressed between their chests, Kara still beaming and Lena still a little scared. Well, she was scared until Kara kissed her.

It felt like the kiss on the bridge. The make a wish scene. Lena’d been kissing Kara all morning, all month, but it hadn’t felt like this. Like Kara was giving all of herself. Some part of herself Lena had been rarely allowed to hold before, that Kara had been holding captive carefully just in case this moment came around. Like Kara was pulling out her own heart to hand to Lena, so Lena could wear Kara’s heart on her sleeve. Like she had had it ready for a very long time and gave it freely.

Kara pulled back gently, and Lena struggled to catch her breath. There was a slight roaring in her ears, and her only thought was oh. That’s what it’s supposed to feel like. She was still wrapped up in Kara, the pair of them breathing heavily, smiling at each other like they were in high school.

Someone wolf-whistled. Kara turned, loosening her hold on Lena marginally to see Alex grinning. Kara blushed a little but beamed at her older sister. Lena turned as, over their shoulder, someone began to clap.

Kara released Lena, hand reaching for hers, to see Sam standing there, and then the whole crew started to applaud, cheering loudly. Kara chuckled as her whole face turned scarlet while everyone cheered, and Lena felt the last of her fear drain away.

The future promised a little more than warm things now.

///

(“What do you mean I MISSED IT?” Ruby thundered, bursting into Kara’s trailer that night barely five minutes after filming had wrapped. Kara swore and jumped back in surprise, though they weren’t even doing anything, Ruby had followed them back. “You’re in a room full of cameras and you don’t think to film this iconic moment? I hear about every little thing for months and you can’t do me the courtesy of even texting me while I’m in school when it happens? I’m suing all of you. Every last one. Especially you, Lena,” she glared, pointing an accusing finger. “You owe me therapy now.”

Lena laughed. “I’m sorry. Truly. I’ll get you whatever you want to make up for it.”

“I wouldn’t make that promise,” Kara warned, slipping an arm around Lena’s shoulders, but she was grinning.

Lena turned to smirk at her. “What? You don’t think I can take it?”

“I have every faith in you,” Kara said diplomatically. “It’s just that also I trust her to make you regret promising that.”

Ruby nodded. “I’m angry at you too, Miss Danvers, but you speak the truth. My lawyers will be speaking to you. Miss Luthor, come with me.”

Kara spluttered out a laugh and tightened her hold on Lena’s shoulders. “She’s not going anywhere!”

Ruby raised an eyebrow in a perfect imitation of her mother. “I’ll bring her back in one piece. This will go much easier for you if you cooperate, Miss Danvers.”

“Fine,” Kara muttered sullenly, and Lena chuckled and kissed her quickly. “Come back soon,” Kara added, still petulant.

“Sure thing, babe,” Lena promised. Ruby scoffed.

Ruby turned to Lena once they left Kara’s trailer. “You’re getting me a milkshake. And you’re telling me everything.”)

Chapter Text

“Alex.” Kara stared in horror, trying to navigate through her slightly-drunker-than-she-likes-to-get-normally buzz. “You did not bet on my love life.”

“Of course I didn’t, Kara.” Alex waved her off with a beer bottle in hand, her other arm slung around Maggie’s shoulders. She paused thoughtfully and took a sip. “But I can and did bet on Lena’s.”

“Alex!”

Kara’s eyes were narrowed into laser beams, but half-drunk, they lost much of their effectiveness. With Alex mostly drunk, they didn’t affect her at all. Lena slipped a hand to Kara’s stomach placatingly. “What was the bet, then?” she asked, sounding more interested than insulted.

Alex tilted her head towards Maggie, squinting in an effort to remember. “I had you on four years, which is Lesbian Standard Time. But you took five. No one won, if it makes you feel better. Winn had you guys on a full decade or until Kara’s fourth Broadway run–” Kara scoffed indignantly, and Alex kept speaking over her “–James had you at two years, so he clocked out early. Maggie had you on three years–”

“–I still hold that getting arrested gives you two years leeway!” Maggie cut in loudly. “Listen, getting your search history checked does something to you!”

“You checked my search history?”

Maggie frowned. “Did you not know we did that?”

“No.”

Maggie’s frown deepened slightly. “Oh. We do that.”

“So Maggie’s bet was also off. Hmm, Cat Grant told Sam she didn’t care, but also, she bet sometime in the second movie. So,” Alex frowned thoughtfully, ignoring Kara’s jaw hitting the ground, tapping at her bottle with a finger. “I guess someone did win.”

“Hang on.” Kara picked her jaw off the floor and coughed a few times. “Cat Grant, head of the studio Cat Grant, millionaire genius of storytelling who built this empire and greenlighted the first major lesbian film Cat Grant, bet on our love life?”

“Well,” Alex said, tilting her beer bottle again in that nonchalant way that had Kara wanting to slap it out of her sister’s hand, “She technically bet on Lena’s.”

“How did Cat Grant even know about this?” Lena asked, looking rather unperturbed for someone whose love life was had a pool on it.

“I think it came up in a meeting with Sam,” Alex said, looking unconcerned. “Sam didn’t bet on when you’d get together, by the way, but she did say she was sure you’d be engaged before the third film premiered.”

“Ignoring part of that, we don’t even have a third film in the works,” Kara protested.

Maggie elbowed Alex. “Right,” Alex said. “Hypothetically.”

“Alex,” Lena said slowly, inching towards her. “What do you know?”

Alex looked supremely unconcerned. “Nothing.”

“Oh my god. We’re getting a third film.” Kara turned in a daze to Lena, whose features had slipped into something between a lazy ecstasy and bliss.

“Told ya you couldn’t do anything wrong,” Lena said, letting Kara wrap her up and lift her off her feet.

“Oh please,” Kara mumbled into her shoulder, putting her down but not letting go, rocking back and forth gently. “It was all you.”

“I mean really,” Maggie muttered. “They’ve been like this for years, I don’t see what’s changed.”

Alex briefly considered elbowing her wife before reconsidering. “You’re absolutely right. Maybe we should give the winnings to James.”

“There was money on this??”

---

Kara and Lena sat down to incredible applause, sitting close together on Ellen’s couch. The crowd slowly quieted down as they waved then watched Ellen.

Ellen let the silence stretch. A giggle rustled through the crowd as Kara fidgeted. Lena looked supremely relaxed. For someone who did Broadway, Kara was always a little more nervous with someone staring at her. Lena, on the other hand, seemed to do better with a crowd. Ellen kept watching them, totally content to sit there in silence.

Kara wiped at her forehead, which wasn’t sweating–yet. Ellen smiled, and Kara broke. “Fine! Fine! Yes! Let’s talk about it! We’re dating! Finally! You were totally right!”

The crowd burst into a collective scream, and Lena smiled. Kara sagged back into the couch as Ellen howled with laughter. It took a long minute for the crowd to quiet down, Lena leaning over to whisper something in Kara’s ear that made her nod and sit up.

“Let me get this straight,” Ellen finally wheezed, and the crowd quieted.

“We’re not,” Kara confirmed, and the crowd screamed again. Kara chuckled at her own joke, and Lena closed her eyes in something like an exasperated laugh.

“Very mature, thank you for confirming,” Ellen said, and Kara grinned wickedly, back on her game. “But I was going to ask, last time you both were here, we played a little game called Never Have I Ever, do you remember that?” She smiled at Kara’s mutter of vividly and pressed on. “So I just have one question for you both, since the pair of you seem to believe you just got together halfway through filming your sequel, congratulations by the way, I saw an early screening and it was wonderful, but what, you’ve only been together for…”

“Six months this week,” Lena supplied, and the crowd cheered. She smiled lazily at them, and Kara grinned.

“Cool. And you were best friends for like five years?” Lena nodded again. “Mhm.” Ellen was skeptical. “So my question is, and please say if you have or your have never, Never Have I Ever Lied To Ellen.”

Kara burst into laughter and Lena chuckled. “I have not!” Kara declared. “I was in love with her the whole time, she just didn’t know it.” Ellen raised an eyebrow as the crowd went awwww. Kara waved a hand. “Listen, it was the non-denial denial.”

“The non-denial denial,” Ellen repeated, and Kara bounced on the edge of the couch.

“Totally, works like a charm. Like, if you ever have a crush that you want to remain a secret, and they’re sort of onto you, what you do is, you lean into it. You be obvious. It works doubly well if they ask you. Don’t deny it. They’ll be like, ‘hey, um, do you uh, maybe like me a little bit?’ and they’ll be all sorta nervous cause they don’t wanna be wrong and embarrass both of you, right? And they key is to like, you can either laugh or be totally serious, and act like the question does not affect you at all, but not like you’re insulted by it. Like, don’t let it take you by surprise. Don’t do the nervous laugh. That’ll give you away. But like, stare deeply into their eyes and say, yes, but then smile, it’ll throw them off. Here, I’ll show you, hang on.” Kara motioned to Ellen to lean closer. Ellen looked deeply skeptical but did. Kara leaned in. “Ask me if I’m in love with you.”

Lena bit back a snicker as she watched the interaction. “Okay,” Ellen said, looking vaguely uncomfortable but not enough to not do it. “Are you in love with me?”

Kara let a half-sincere, half-seductive look take over her features, looking nothing like bisexual disaster Kara Danvers and everything like her character in her lesbian blockbuster. “Ellen DeGeneres,” she said sincerely, reaching for Ellen’s hand, which Ellen let her take reluctantly, looking slightly alarmed. “I am deeply in love with you.” Kara waited a beat, then quirked an eyebrow and let an easy smile creep in, leaning back and releasing Ellen’s hand. Kara smirked at the cheering, laughing crowd. Ellen leaned back, looking mildly concerned and shaken.

"How long have you been working on that?“ Ellen asked clinically.

"What?” Kara asked incredulously. “It’s the classic non-denial denial! It clearly works, Lena had no idea I was into her the whole time! And see with this, you don’t have to lie. But like, Lena, here ask me if I’m into you.”

Lena’s eyes closed for a brief moment like she couldn’t believe they were doing this. She opened her eyes to face Kara, and Kara’s eyes went a little wide as Lena flipped the switch on her smoky-eye drive-you-crazy charm that Kara had expounded upon at great length. “Kara,” she drawled out, reaching for Kara’s hand and sliding her fingers to lace with Kara’s. “Is there maybe a chance, darling, that you’re the slightest bit attracted to me?”

Kara tilted her head back a bit, the slightest of recoils, and shook it, an unconvincing what-are-you-crazy expression on her face. “Me? Into you? No way.” Lena laughed and released her, and Kara chuckled as well. “See!” she said, turning to Ellen, whose face now mirrored the ones you’d most likely see on the Office. “You can’t deny nearly as well as you can just undermine your own confirmation.”

“Youth,” Ellen muttered, and Lena laughed loudly. Ellen turned to her. “What’s your excuse, then, for saying you had romantic feelings for Kara and then not doing anything for years?”

“I thought it was a proximity crush,” Lena said, holding up her hands. “You know, spend sixteen hours a day in someone’s space and you’ll probably develop a crush on them. It’s totally a thing. Besides, it was like, our whole joke that we were hopelessly in love with each other.”

Ellen rubbed at the bridge of her nose. “Okay,” she said. “Okay. Keep telling yourselves that.”

“Hey I will say,” Kara cut in, and Ellen looked at her with a bone-deep tiredness. “I actually think it’s a good thing we waited so long. Best friendships are really easy to maintain long-distance. Relationships, especially new ones, are not.”

“That’s true,” Lena said. “Besides, I was genuinely oblivious to my feelings for a long time. Kara’s the one who suffered in clarity.”

"And now?“ Ellen asked. "Kara, you have a new Broadway show, and Lena, you have quite the lineup, you’re starring in the new fantasy trilogy just announced.”

“I’ve had to start working out for it too,” Lena muttered. “And working out sucks.”

Kara grinned. "We’re not concerned,“ she told Ellen. "Lena’s movies are filming only about forty five minutes from New York City for most of it, so we’re moving there for the next few years at least. We’ll get to be together a decent amount of the time. And, uh, we do have something to look forward to.”

Ellen tilted her head in what was clearly a go on gesture. Lena smiled. “We felt you deserved to have it announced on your show, since you suffered through having us both here last time. The studio just signed us for a third movie. Our characters will be coming back again four years from now.”

Lena’s final words were drowned as everyone in the studio screamed at once, and Kara flinched, smiling into Lena’s shoulder. Lena and Ellen scrunched their face at the noise, but everyone was smiling. “I did deserve that,” Ellen muttered. “We’re not gonna be able to hear even if I announce a commercial break at this point. That’s it. I’m making you two play the Newlywed Game. Someone get me my phone, I need my wife here so we can kick their asses.”

Kara smiled lazily as Lena put a plate of French Toast in front of her and kissed the side of head. “Eat up, superstar,” Lena said, sitting down next to her, and Kara rolled her head over to glare sleepily and ineffectively at her.

Lena smiled, and Kara rolled her eyes. “Remind me when your night shoots start again,” Kara mumbled, reaching for the syrup. “We were almost on the same schedule there. I don’t like these you-up-to-leave at 5 mornings. It’s like taking two long naps instead of getting a good night’s sleep.”

“I could always not wake you up,” Lena offered. “Leave you leftovers in the fridge if I make breakfast.”

“I didn’t say that was the solution,” Kara said hastily, and Lena smirked.

“I know,” Lena said, a little more gently. “Not much longer though. We have more afternoon-oriented stuff starting in a week, I’ll be able to leave at a civil hour. It’s just gonna be a rough 'nother week or two.”

Kara smiled at her, lips pushing up but not reaching her eyes. “What time do you get back tonight?”

“Maybe eight,” Lena said. “I can make the second act, want me to go?”

“Nah,” Kara said, waving her fork. “Same show as last night.”“I’m not going for the show,” Lena said amused. “I’m going for you, dork.”

“Nerd,” Kara shot back, but she smiled for real. “But don’t go, you’ll be exhausted. If you want to make dinner or pick something up I’ll come straight home and we can eat together. I’ll make breakfast tomorrow.”

“Deal. Now.” Lena glanced at her watch, pushed up from the table. “I have to run. That questionable merchant isn’t going to interrogate himself.” Kara laughed and tilted her head back expectantly, and Lena smiled and pressed a kiss to forehead, then her nose. Kara caught at her wrist, shook her head, and Lena pressed a sideways kiss to Kara’s mouth, and Kara smiled, eyes closed.

“I love you, Robot Murderer.”

“Hey. It’s Morally-Redeemable-Demon-Witch now.”

Kara laughed, loud in the early morning. “Mmkay. I love you anyway.”

“What, Robot Murderer is suddenly preferable to Demon Witch?”

“My lips are sealed,” Kara said, turning back to her breakfast.

“Wanna bet?” Lena said slyly, and Kara choked on her French Toast. “I love you too, Prince Charming!” she called as she walked out the door, ignoring Kara’s for the last time, I am not playing Prince Charming!

Kara chuckled despite herself, reaching for her phone to text Lena. You’re really picking the Prince Charming hill to die on again? Didn’t go so well for you last time. Lena’s reply came in in seconds. I wasn’t a demon witch last time. Kara was grinning dopily and moving to reply when Winn started calling. Kara frowned but picked up. “Winn?”

“Kara,” he said down the line, desperation in his tone, “I’m sorry, I know you don’t get much time with Lena right now, but can we talk later?”

“Winn, what’s wrong?”

“Kara, I’m in love with him. It’s so bad. How did you ever get through this? I kiss him six different times every night.”

“You’re coming over for lunch once I get the second half of my sleep,” Kara told him. “And you’re gonna tell me all about it, and you’re not gonna fight it, you’re just gonna let it all out and you’re gonna feel better and you’re gonna get through this. Okay?”

Down the line, Winn sighed. “Okay."

Chapter Text

Filming with a freshly engaged Kara and Lena was both a dream and a nightmare, Sam reflected. Their chemistry on screen had only grown with the years, going from something big and raw and nervous and real to something easy and safe and true and wonderful. It was exactly what Sam wanted to show on screen with a relationship, especially between two women. It went even better since Lena and Kara were so clearly stupidly in love and on the same exact page. It was a nightmare because they were stupidly in love.

Sam had been dumb enough to film the bedroom scenes in the middle of the schedule. There had been another hickey fight, which the makeup department thought was amusing until they realized they had to cover said hickeys every morning. Kara had most definitely started it this time. Kara still maintained it was Lena’s fault, since Lena started it the last time. (That was partially true. Lena had started it in revenge for the first time, though Lena had started it the first time too. Sam was still torn between grateful and annoyed she had them film those scenes towards the end of the movie last time, so they were together in real life when they did it. She had specifically planned it so hopefully they’d get their shit together and she wouldn’t have to suffer through them playing that one out as “best friends”. She was right, but then had to deal with them as a couple. It was a marginal win.)

The hickey fight was, while amusing to most of the crew, almost entirely irritating to Sam, though she was sure she’d laugh about it eventually. Like when she used it as blackmail. She did have plenty of pictures of both of them covered in hickeys in bizarre locations. “I’m honestly stunned the two of you manage to contain the hickey fight to the filming of those scenes,” Sam muttered at them at the end of one. Kara, already a little red, blushed scarlet, and Sam held up a hand. “I don’t want to know.”

Filming with them was also a nightmare because of how many of Sam’s crew were hopeless shippers that couldn’t stop sighing dreamily whenever they did something especially cute. And a fifteen-year-old Ruby that only wanted to spend her time with Lena and Kara, who were mostly only too happy to take her in.

But all in all, the dream side won out. Sam rarely had to track them down separately anymore. They both had their own trailers, but Sam was pretty sure that Ruby had taken over Lena’s and turned it into a video game hideout, and Lena had yet to be seen inside of it. They were both always in only the highest of spirits, and did that annoying thing where they dragged everyone else up to cloud nine with them. Mostly though, Sam was just pleased she didn’t have to watch them dance around each other anymore. That shit had been painful.

Maybe also because Kara and Lena had already asked her to officiate the wedding.

“Lena,” Kara whined. “We. Are. Going. To. Be. Late.”

“And whose fault is that?” Lena called, and Kara sighed.

“Sam’s, I’m gonna say,” Kara yelled back. “She put filming that final sex scene on the second to last day. She knew we’d have another hickey fight.”

“And yet,” Lena reminded her, appearing from the bathroom and tilting her head back for inspection. Kara nodded; nothing was visible. “You were the one who put them in such an obvious spot.” Kara tugged at her collar wordlessly, baring her collarbone, which was much more colorful than usual. Lena shrugged, unrepentant. “Maybe I did it because I knew Sam wanted you in suits until the movie came out for promotional reasons.”

“Uh huh,” Kara said, accepting Lena’s chaste kiss on her cheek. “Or maybe you are the one that wanted me in suits.”

“So what if I do?” Lena asked nonchalantly, reaching for her purse and heading for the door. “It’s good press, that’s all I have to say about–oh!”

Kara had picked her up from behind and spun her around. “If you do, I might have to have a word with your inner demon-witch,” Kara said, releasing her and failing to contain a smile. “Because she’s not quite so inner every once in a while.”

“Oh, please,” Lena huffed, “I’ve been like this the entire time you’ve known me and you love it.”

Kara tilted her head, considering. She twisted her lips to the side, and Lena raised an eyebrow. “You’re right,” Kara decided. “Now come on, Miss Morally-Redeemable-Demon-Witch, we’ve got tickets to the gayest show on Broadway’s final run with its original stars and we really cannot be late, Winn and James will kill us.”

“Alright, alright,” Lena said, pushing at Kara’s stomach to get her to move out the door. “After you, Prince Charming.”

“Don’t start,” Kara warned, trying for stern but unable to stop the smile from pushing up at her lips. “Actually, why did you even start that?”

Lena shrugged. “I think it’s very fitting. You’re very dashing, you always charm everyone, you’re like this paragon of goodness. You rescued me from my horrible family.”

Kara wrapped an arm around Lena’s shoulders and kissed the side of her head gently. “I know we’ve talked about this a million times before,” she said in Lena’s ear as they stepped onto the sidewalk, “But I never rescued you. I’m thrilled to be awarded the honor of being there for you, but you rescued yourself all on your own.”

Lena took a deep breath in and out. “I know.” She was silent for a moment, squeezing at Kara’s hand. She smirked. “Maybe it’s just because of your abs then.”

“For the love of–”

“Come on, Kara, we can’t be late. I know you’ve seen the show fifteen times already but it’s still their last run.” Lena tilted her head thoughtfully, smiling widely. “And Winn and James’ two-year anniversary.”

“Soon-to-be-married superstars are taking a break to go rebuild a barn?” Alex stared at them. “Lena, unless you’ve got something up your sleeve, this is a very poor plan. Kara knows nothing about building. She might look it, but she is not the handy type of gay. She can build a set, but structural supports? That thing will crush you in your sleep and I am not ever going to be in the mood to drive an hour upstate to come dig the pair of you out of the rubble.”

Lena snorted and Kara protested, Maggie snickering in the background. “Relax, Alex, we’re just redecorating. We already paid someone to do it. We’re just helping with the design. It’s where we’re going to have the wedding, you know we’ve already set the date. Plus, you’re all welcome to come visit.”

"Just not right away,“ Kara muttered. "We’ve barely finished with the press tour and haven’t been alone together for more than a minute since New York.”
Lena slid her fingers into Kara’s, whose frown eased out slowly.

Maggie raised a glass. “Cheers to your lesbian hideaway, then. May we borrow it when you aren’t aware for forevermore.”

Lena woke up to the sound of Kara cursing fluently and the smoke alarm.

“Fuck ow shit damn fuck, the fuck is wrong with this thing? Shut up, you’re a fucking mechanical piece of engineering, so stop beeping at the smell of my burned flesh it is seven thirty in the morning, for the love of god and sweet shit, there isn’t even any smoke, thank you, that’s right, shut the fuck up you motherfucking little–oh. Hey Lena.”

Lena felt her eyebrow rise as she moved into the kitchen, wrapping her robe a little more firmly around herself. They were still working on central heating solutions. “Having fun with the kitchen?”

Kara smiled sheepishly, her face at total odds with the stream of venom coming out of her moments ago, especially with two of her fingers stuck in her mouth in a fashion that could only be described as adorable. She removed them to show Lena a mild burn across the backs of them, and Lena clicked her tongue in disapproval, moving the freezer to pull out the frozen peas. “Thanks,” Kara murmured, hissing as Lena pressed them against the burn.

“Morning, darling,” Lena said mildly, and Kara looked up from her burned hand shyly.

“I was going to make you breakfast,” she said. “I had not, um, something went wrong.”

Lena glanced over to where Kara had at least successfully turned all the heat off the range. “Has it been a while since you cooked this?”

“New recipe,” Kara admitted guiltily. “I wanted to try that thing on Giada last night.”

Lena’s stomach chose that moment to grumble, and Kara quirked an eyebrow. “Shut up,” Lena muttered automatically, and Kara grinned. “Darling, that’s very sweet of you, but I thought we established after the knife-in-your-finger-instead-of-the-corn and blood-in-the-cornbread incident that you wouldn’t try any new recipes without going over them with me first so we could plan it out?”

Kara pouted, and Lena sighed. “But Giada went over it,” she whined at her peas, still firmly facing the floor.

“You have different strengths than Giada, superstar.” Lena ducked to kiss Kara, who accepted it with her lower lip stuck out just the slightest, and Lena smiled into her. “Sit down and walk me through it.” The smoke alarm went off again, and Lena sighed. “Over cereal,” she added firmly, and ignored Kara’s dramatic sigh. “I have plans for you that involve you being whole, and I am not about reschedule because you were feeling chivalrous, Prince Charming.”

Kara smiled, slow and easy, and Lena felt the familiar warmth creep into her chest. “Yes, ma'am, Miss Robot Murderer.”

“That really was your favorite role of mine, wasn’t it?” Lena mused, pulling cereal out of the cabinet. “And we hadn’t even met yet.”

Kara blushed and looked back at her peas. “No comment.”

Lena narrowed her eyes. “Oh, there will be a comment,” she vowed, and watched with satisfaction the red creep up Kara’s neck.

Chapter Text

“Say what now?”

“It’s Jurassic World but with robots! Of course it was your best role! It had the best writing, it had the best CGI and scenery, it let us see every side of you!”

Lena paused the tv, looking stunned and suspicious she had gotten away with just asking Kara nonchalantly why the robot murderer was her favorite role while they watched Sam’s latest movie they hadn’t seen since the premiere. “And precisely which side were you interested in?”

Kara groaned, flopping her hands dramatically back against the couch cushions. “Focus, Lena. We not only got to see you bonding with and fixing little baby robots that were like your little minions who were in love with you, you were the smartest person in the whole movie by light-years. There was no dumb romantic subplot, you were the lead in what might be considered typically a male role, and you kicked ass. You were the Chris Pratt of Jurassic World, except you also had the best parts of that woman who lost her nephews, and her nephews. You didn’t need anyone. I mean, technically,” Kara adjusted her glasses thoughtfully, and Lena bit her tongue forcefully to stop herself from laughing. “You did let your robot minions help you, plus those couple interns who ran around, but like, whatever. You also were the one at the very beginning warning people that making robots that way was wrong. You did the super-technical speak then whipped off the lab coat and hacked some robot arms so you could murder the evil robots. It was the most empowering feminist action movie, like, ever.”

“Kara.” Kara looked at her to see Lena watching her with slightly wide eyes. “Did you maybe have a slight crush on my robot-murdering persona?”

“And then,” Kara continued, completely ignoring the question, “One of your little robot minions went evil! The poor baby got corrupted by some older robots spreading viruses! And my favorite one! You had to shoot him! It was the absolute worst, I cry every single time I watch it–”

“Precisely how often do you watch this movie?”

“But then you fix him! Like, that’s the perfect ending of the movie, is there’s like this rebuilt world with no robots at all, but like, we just have this awesome zoom in shot of you working all intently and it’s clearly years later and you kept him, and that just rips your heart open with some rusty pliers right there, you’ve got this poor little baby robot that wasn’t ever really evil and you had to kill him, which was a heart-breaking scene, and just like that, you’ve got him all patched up and he’s still a little scuffed, but you hit a button and hold your breath, and he opens his eyes! And then you smile, and it’s like, the best ending. Seriously. No better movie. …What?”

“Nothing,” Lena insisted, holding up her hands. “I just thought that this was going to be like, a, you just thought I was hot with the improvised robot weapons type thing, not a huge nerd thing. You clearly have a minor thing for me, but much more of a thing for my baby robot.”

“Oh.” Kara adjusted her glasses. “I, um, yep. Definitely just the nerd thing. And a female action lead. Totally.” Lena raised an eyebrow delicately. Kara refused to meet her eyes.

“Kara,” Lena said, in that tone that meant Kara was in for an interrogation. Kara glanced up for a quick moment and flinched away from Lena’s narrowed eyes. “Am I going to have to force the truth out of you, or are you going to tell your fiance like an adult?”

“There’s no more truth,” Kara said feebly. “That was it. I really did love all those things. Dessert?” Kara rose to her feet quickly and cleared the coffee table of dinner dishes, doing her best to escape the situation. Lena let her go for the moment, wondering how Kara had ever made it as an actor when she was such a terrible liar.

Lena waited until Kara was nearly passed on the couch, lying across it sleepily while she finished cleaning up the kitchen. “Hey, Prince Charming,” she murmured, sitting down next to Kara’s waist and pushing a gentle hand through her hair. Kara smiled with her eyes shut and readjusted, squirming to make room for Lena on the couch. Lena shifted a little closer. “I’ve got a question for you.”

“Mmkay,” Kara yawned, curling in more so her face pressed against Lena’s hip. Lena laced her fingers with Kara’s before adjusting her hold so it was a little firmer, leaning back more heavily against Kara’s waist against the couch.

Lena leaned down just a little more. “If I were to call your sister, what would she tell me about you and my robot-murdering role?”

Kara’s eyes flew open, her whole body straightening abruptly and jerking back into the couch, then forward, before realizing Lena had trapped her. Lena pushed the hand she was holding into the couch above Kara’s head, grabbing for Kara’s other and pushing it down as well. Kara’s eyes went wide as Lena adjusted so one knee was planted on either side of Kara’s body, smiling dangerously. “Tell me what I want to know and there’s no need to call Alex,” Lena promised. Kara shook her head.

“There’s nothing to tell,” she insisted weakly. “Don’t you trust me?”

“In everything,” Lena returned instantly, and Kara relaxed minutely. She smiled. “Everything except that I know there’s more to tell about this.”

Kara squirmed against her hold, once, ineffectively, before sighing. “It’s really non-consequential, okay?”

Lena narrowed her eyes. “Except every time I bring it up you turn redder than the hickeys you put on me two months ago.” Kara managed to look both sheepish and a little proud at that, and Lena rolled her eyes. “So that makes me, your fiance, really want to know what you’re hiding.” She tilted her head. “As I imagine you might if the situations were reversed. So I mean, we could stay here for a while, or we could have much more fun doing something else. What’s it gonna be, superstar?”

Kara swallowed visibly. “I think this breaks the Geneva Convention,” she muttered under her breath, and Lena let the comment slide. She sighed deeply, eyes darting around. “Fine. Let me up, demon-witch.” Lena released her and sat back, dignified. Kara curled up on the far end of the couch, and Lena resisted the urge to snort at her intentionally pitiful posture as Kara wrapped her arms around her knees and buried her face.

There was an indistinct mumble. “Sorry? I didn’t catch that, love.”

Kara huffed. “I said, I maybe had–” the rest was entirely incomprehensible.

“Would it help if you whispered it to me?” Lena asked diplomatically, like she might talk to a five year old. “That way it won’t be out loud. It’ll be our little secret."

Kara glared, only her eyes visible above where her mouth was still hiding in her knees. Lena raised her eyebrows expectantly. Kara closed her eyes. "I had a huge celebrity crush on you from the second you showed up on screen as a robot murderer, okay!” Lena felt her eyes go wide and her smile split open in delight as Kara all but shouted into her knees, her words muffled but distinct. “That was the first movie I ever saw you in, and I immediately found everything else you were ever in and watched it all like a bunch of times over even though I had to pirate a couple episodes of that sitcom you guest-starred in, and I saw the robot movie like once a week when it was in theaters, and I got totally obsessed with you, and it was only to justify going to see it every week that I realized all the other cool stuff! Except the baby robot,” she added, much more quietly, picking her head up and staring very determinedly at the wall opposite Lena. “He stole my heart the very first time.”

“Kara.”

“It only lasted for like, a month and a half.” Kara was still staring at the wall, the back of her head all Lena could see. Her voice was a little smaller. “I was really impressed with how you acted the whole thing, especially because so much of it was green screen, I know that’s rough, and I was in between films so I pretended it was for studying other actors’ style, I also got obsessed with Anna Kendrick and Amanda Seyfried and maybe Lily James for like a couple days each at the same time, but, like, you were my celebrity crush, always, okay? Why do you think I stuttered so hard the day I met you in that police station?” Kara dropped her head back onto her knees, muffling her voice again. “That’s the full truth. Are you happy?”

Lena bit her lip, ignoring momentarily the urge to go to Kara. “Did you know,” she asked quietly, clasping her hands in her lap, “That three of the plays you did in high school are on youtube? Shitty quality, too, but you can still see you going ballistic when your sister shows up after your bows in the one from your senior year. But so are two of the musicals you did in college, those are much better quality. And that short film you helped your friend Adam with, which really shows off your good side, by the way. And the insurance commercials you did before you got cast in your first indie film. And your audition for the one season you did on that fairy tale show. Kara Danvers,” Lena said softly, moving towards her fiance, who had frozen on the other end of the couch.

Lena slid a hand onto her back, letting it creep onto the base of Kara’s neck, slide into her hair. “Since the moment I first saw you smile on my too-bright netflix screen at three-thirty in the morning on a friday night, I have never not been completely obsessed with you.”

“There’s no way you’re not lying,” Kara said, muffled and into her knees once again, though she didn’t move to shake Lena’s hand off. “You found those things recently.”

“Check my search history,” Lena dared her. “I’m sure Maggie has the logs in evidence even now, they went through everything. I’m not lying. I found everything that has you in it. I was a mega-fan before you were big. Who else could make me smile after I’d just spent the night in prison?"Kara sighed, scooting around slowly.

"Meryl Streep?” she tried, and Lena laughed, throwing her head back. Kara smiled the smallest of smiles as Lena giggled.

“Maybe,” Lena admitted. “But to be honest, she’s a little out of my age range.”

“Anne Hathaway,” Kara tried again.

“Pretty sure she’s straight,” Lena countered, and Kara chuckled. “Is this your way of telling me you want to rewatch Devil Wears Prada?”

“I mean, always. Is this your way of telling me we wouldn’t have been friends if I was straight?”

“Well, we certainly wouldn’t be here, engaged to be married, if you were, I’ll say that."Kara snorted. She pushed her face back down to rub her forehead on her knee, and Lena waited. Kara picked her head up after a moment.

"So you’re okay marrying a superfan?”

“I’m more than okay marrying you,” Lena corrected, smiling, and was rewarded with Kara’s gentle smile in return. “Embarrassing crush on me and all.”

“Ha ha,” Kara huffed. “At least I wasn’t watching your high school plays.” She twisted her lips to the side. “They aren’t on youtube. I checked.”

Lena laughed. “Maybe I’ll talk to the props guy from the robot movie for you, see if we can get a baby robot prop.” she said, and Kara’s face lit up.

“They can do that?”

“I can probably pay them to do that,” Lena said, amused. “But don’t get your hopes all the way up. And it certainly won’t be the actual robot with programming and all from the movie.”

“Well I know that,” Kara said sullenly.

“Had to check, dear,” Lena said, patting her knee. “Your logic levels seemed to be a little on the low side this evening, thinking I’d leave you for liking me before we met and all.”

“I blame Giada,” Kara muttered. “She made me do crazy things. Like burn myself.”

Lena reached for her burned hand, and Kara gave it up. Lena pressed a kiss to the burn, already calmed down from this morning. “Don’t blame Giada,” she murmured. “You just need practice. You’re still Prince Charming.” Kara cast her eyes to the ceiling lazily. Lena motioned her closer with a single finger, and Kara smiled, pushing her down gently onto the couch cushions.

Chapter Text

“You don’t have to do this.”

“No,” Kara said, watching nervously. She swallowed. “I want to.”

“Kara, look at me.” Kara tore her eyes away from the preparations being made to look into Lena’s eyes, who was smiling with a combination of gentleness and amusement. “I think it’s really, really cute and and you’re super hot and all that, but you need to promise me that you’re doing this for yourself, and not for me.”

Kara scoffed, not believably. “Puh-lease. This is definitely for me. I’ve wanted this for forever. I just can’t believe I waited until we were in New Zealand to do it.”

“Mhm,” Lena said, still smiling. She slipped a strand of hair behind Kara’s ear. “So if I were to call Alex…”

“Why would you bring my sister up on our honeymoon?”

“Mm, probably because I’m worried you’re getting this tattoo on impulse.”

“You’ve gotten plenty of tattoos on impulse!”

“First of all, I only have four, and I told you I regretted one of them, and that was the only one I got on impulse.”

Kara shook her head. “You don’t regret it now, though.”

“True,” Lena said, watching how Kara’s eyes had gone back to the needle preparation. “But you’re not me, Prince Charming.”

Kara didn’t even blink at the nickname anymore, her hand reaching for Lena’s unconsciously and squeezing tightly. Lena let her, resigning herself to the fact that her fingers would be blue by the end of this. “Lena,” Kara started, her voice an unconvincing shade of unconcerned. Lena hummed in response, and Kara’s head turned towards her slightly, eyes still glued across the room. “How, um, how much do tattoos hurt?”

Lena reached down with her free hand to rub her thumb lightly over the area in question, just over Kara’s hip, Kara twitching in surprise before relaxing under her touch. “It won’t be too bad,” Lena promised. “Robot Murderer’s honor.” Kara glanced over and smiled gratefully. “Besides, what you’re getting is very small. It’ll be over soon.”

“Right,” Kara nodded furiously, twice, as the tattoo artist turned around. “Right.”

“Ready?”

Kara plastered a smile on her face. “Totally. Let’s do this.”

Kara and Lena hissed in pain together at the first sting of the needle as Kara’s grip tightened impossibly on Lena’s fingers. “Jesus Christ,” Lena muttered.

“Sorry,” Kara gasped, her grip loosening.

“It’s fine,” Lena assured her, smoothing back Kara’s hair. Kara relaxed fractionally. “I’m here.”

Chapter Text

Maggie spewed her drink halfway across the polished dark wood of Kara and Lena's farmhouse kitchen table. "She. Did. Not."
Sam picked her forehead up off the table, still wheezing, her whole face red. "I shit you not."
Maggie shook her head, still sputtering. "She brought up the tongue ring? Told her she could put it back in?" Sam nodded. "And Lena... didn't say anything? Jesus. Those two are the worst. Can't believe it took them this long to figure it out."
"What are you guys talking about?" Sam spun in her chair to see Ruby entering, closely followed by Lena and Kara, fingers gently tangling, an absent motion after all this time.
"Nothing," they said in unison, and not at all suspiciously. Lena raised an eyebrow but let it slide. Ruby narrowed her eyes.
"Well," she announced, sliding into a chair next to her mom and grinning mischievously, "Kara said she'll teach me how to drive."
"Ohh no she won't," Lena said quickly. "I still get scared every time Kara gets behind the wheel. She doesn't get enough practice to be able to teach someone else how to drive."
"Hey!" Kara protested. "I'm not that bad."
"You have other strengths, dear," Lena promised. "And you'd be good at this too if you didn't spend half your time in pedestrian cities without access to a car."
Kara rolled her eyes. "Whatever. I'll practice."
"Or you could let a cop teach her," Maggie suggested innocently. Ruby's eyes lit up.
"Or you could let her mother," Sam suggested pointedly.
Maggie chuckled. "Preparations going well?" she asked Lena and Kara.
Lena beamed. "We're all set." Kara grinned her megawatt smile. "The day after tomorrow we will officially be married."
Ruby cheered, and Sam grinned. "I'm good to go for the ceremony. Neither of you are changing your last names, right?"
Kara shrugged half a shoulder carelessly. "The names aren't what's important to us. Plus there's too much paperwork attached to our current names already. What's important is that we're married."
"Married you will be," Sam promised.
"Thanks, Sam," Lena said, smiling at her in that soft, genuine way that made Maggie wonder how she ever starred as a robot murderer. Kara smiled just as softly, and Lena leaned up to kiss her.

---

Kara pulled back from doing her very favorite thing when the phone rang. Well, rang for the second time. Which meant it was important. They ignored it when their phones rang for the first time when they had days off together as a rule. Kara closed her eyes for a long moment, praying for patience, and Lena smiled gently. Kara sat up to see Alex's caller ID.
"What, Alex?"
"I interrupted, didn't I?"
"Golly," Kara said, voice dripping acid, "How'd you know?" Lena, lying on her back, giggled, and Kara rolled her eyes with a smile, pressing a couple fingers to Lena's lips in a gentle attempt to silence her. Lena kissed her fingers and Kara's smile deepened.
"Sorry," Alex said, sounding half-genuine. "Listen, Mom really needs a picture of that painting you guys like in your living room. Preferably next to a measuring tape."
Kara twitched as Lena rolled a little closer and slipped her fingers just under the hem of Kara's t shirt, tracing gently in the way she knew made Kara squirm. "Why?"
"Reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with a frame for a certain gift giving holiday fast approaching."
"Now? Really?" Lena smiled into Kara's hip.
"Yup. She said it's urgent. Sorry." Kara sighed deeply, and Lena pressed a kiss to her hipbone with a murmured it's fine.
"Gimme two seconds, I'll be right back," she promised Lena, and Lena smiled lazily. Kara trudged into the living room, unable to help her irritation. Living in their renovated farmhouse together on their joint time off meant cooking shows in pajamas in the middle of the day that turned into making out on the couch in the middle of the day that turned into Kara carrying Lena to bed in the middle of the day. And despite the sizable reduction of their professional schedules compared to the last few years, Kara still hated the interruptions.
Lena didn't seem to mind nearly as much. She had shrugged when Kara asked her why. "At least they're from people that love us now. Better than someone trying to arrest you. Changes your perspective a little bit." A little bit, Kara had to admit. Still.
Kara stomped into the kitchen, grumbling the whole way. Alex endured her whining with good grace. Kara measured the painting and hung up and left her phone deliberately in the kitchen, on silent. She headed back into the bedroom to find Lena in a different spot on the bed, looking nothing short of devious in her pajamas.
Kara narrowed her eyes as a familiar excited fear zipped through her. "What did you do?"
Lena looked at her, all innocence somehow. "What do you mean?"
"You only look like that when you have something up your sleeve."
Lena lifted a single eyebrow, and Kara felt a familiar, wonderful shiver go down her spine. "Why don't you come find out, Prince Charming?"
Kara could have sworn gravity usually worked vertically, but it decided to be horizontal today. Maybe her gravity was just Lena-centric. It had always seemed to be anyway. Kara slid across Lena's body in one quick motion and met her in a kiss happily. Kara smiled into the kiss, still curious about her wife's deception but willing to wait. She trusted Lena. She'd find out what she needed to in due time.
Kara pulled back abruptly after several moments. Lena's eyes sparkled. "You put your tongue ring back in," Kara breathed, feeling her mouth go dry.
"A different tongue ring," Lena corrected, and Kara dropped her head to Lena's chest, taking a shaky breath. "The old one was a little rusty. Probably literally. I found it the other day and decided to get a new one instead of putting that back in." She carded her fingers through Kara's hair, sweeping strands out of Kara's face as Kara picked her head up slightly to look at Lena with large eyes. "Speaking of rusty, I definitely am with this. I know we've never done anything real when I had it in, but if you wanted to help me remember..." Kara whipped her head all the way up. "Or if you don't," Lena added hurriedly, "I can--"
"Don't even think about it," Kara cut her off. Lena grinned on her exhale, and it wasn't quite that smoky-eye drive-you-crazy smile Kara had been gone for since day one. It was something a little older, a little surer, a smile that didn't hide in any way.
"Okay," Lena whispered, smiling softly, and Kara grinned dopily down at her best friend. Lena beamed at her for another long moment, before her smile slipped back into something more mischievous. "Then hang on tight, darling."

---

Chapter Text

 

“There’s no way you haven’t had more professional roles than me,” Kara said idly, twirling her plastic fork around. “You started earlier. You’ve got the robot murdering, the sitcom and the one, two, three, four supporting roles from earlier, the fantasy trilogy, even if the second one is still in editing and you haven’t filmed the third yet,” she counted off. “That documentary one, the two action ones you did while I was on Broadway, that kinda creepy straight romcom from the start of your career that we all hope rots in hell, ugh,” she shivered, and Lena snickered. “And that side character role in that high school trilogy from when you were just starting out, right? From earlier? That’s...” she counted on her fingers. “Sixteen?”

Lena pulled a magazine out of the airplane pocket in front of her and ripped a mostly-blank sheet of paper out, twirling her pen. “Maybe. I forget. But you... you’ve got—“

“The insurance commercials don’t count,” Kara said sternly.

“Did you get paid for them?” Lena asked, not even looking up. Kara grumbled something unintelligible. “That’s a yes, I take it. So one, you did, hm, six indie films?”

“Something like that,” Kara admitted.

Lena tallied them absently, already talking about the next. “Our trilogy, don’t forget, plus your three Broadway leads,” she tallied those in bold, “and that fantasy show you did for a season. And the musical adaptation. And of course, Marlene Davies. Did I get it all?”

Kara tilted her head. “I think so. So you’re at sixteen, I’m at sixteen?”

Lena slapped her sheet of paper on Kara’s tray table. “You’re at fifteen much more impressive ones, darling, so if it were a competition, I wouldn’t even count.”

The side of Kara’s mouth lifted up in a smile. “I see that this could be a dangerous game, yes,” she admitted. She leaned a little closer to examine Lena’s tally marks, smiling slightly as she did. Kara carefully folded the paper a couple times and slipped it into her shirt pocket.

“Keeping a memento?” Lena asked, picking up her own fork and taking a bite of Kara’s meal.

“Something like that,” Kara said with a wink. “Here, take it,” she added, shoving at the tray. “I hate airline food more than anything else. I’ll eat the graham crackers we brought and starve til we touch down.”

Lena chuckled. “It's not that bad, darling. And it's nine more hours anyways.”

“Right. Why did we pick New Zealand again?”

“Because when you came to visit me while we filmed the last bit of the first of the fantasy trilogy you said it was the most beautiful place you’d ever seen and we should go on our honeymoon there,” Lena recited for the umpteenth time, and Kara nodded.

“You’re so smart,” she said, matter of fact. “I’m really glad I married you.”

“I’m so glad,” Lena said wryly. “We said our vows just not even two days ago, I’d hate to think you were regretting this already.”

Kara’s eyes widened. “Never,” she promised. She leaned in to whisper in Lena’s ear. “If we were anywhere else I think you know exactly what I’d do to prove it, but something tells me that grouchy flight attendant would not appreciate us joining the mile high club.”

Lena raised an eyebrow. “What, are you gonna let a grouchy flight attendant stop you? Are you scared?”

Kara leaned back, eyeing Lena intently, her heart starting to pound loud and excited in her ears. “You’re serious?”

Lena shrugged delicately, poking at her food in a show of disinterest. “Well,” she said nonchalantly, with a little shrug. “I mean I've sort of always wanted to." She looked at Kara in a semi-innocent way from through her lashes. "And it is our honeymoon.”

That was all it took to make Kara start to unbuckle her seat belt.

 

///

 

Lena dropped the groceries onto the kitchen table and stared at her wife, propped against the wall precariously. “What are you doing?”

Kara didn’t look at her, tongue stuck out (rather dangerously, in Lena’s opinion) between her teeth in concentration. “Practicing my handstands, obviously.”

Lena didn't know whether to sigh or smile. "Any particular reason?”

“Alex bet me I couldn’t hold one for over a minute. I have to practice before I embarrass myself.” Kara swayed dangerously, and Lena rushed forward to catch her legs and steady her. “Thanks.”

“Mhm.”

Lena moved her hands slowly towards Kara’s knees, having caught her by the ankles, trying carefully for a more comfortable grip before she could let Kara handstand on her own power. “Um,” Kara said, her voice suddenly hitched, “whatcha doing?”

"Adjusting my grip. Why?"

"No reason," Kara said, her voice a little higher pitched as Lena's hand moved more downwards--or upwards, depending on your angle.

"Really?" Lena asked, raising an eyebrow, letting one hand settle back on Kara's shin for stability and the other keep drifting towards more dangerous territory. "No reason at all?"

"Yup, I don't have a--ahhh, okay. Maybe there was a, ah, reason."

"Problem, darling?"

"Oookay, I think we're beyond pretending this is not in any way a compromising situation," Kara said, her face very red as blood continued to pour into her head.

"Compromising? I don't know, I was starting to enjoy myself."

"Because of how red my face could turn?" Kara asked, her voice half a grunt now as speaking got harder. Her arms wobbled.

"Well, that might be a bonus."

"Uh huh." Kara's speaking voice was definitely not normal anymore. "Okay," she said after another moment, looking like she was doing some heavy pondering with her head so close to the ground, "Not that I don't think we shouldn’t have fun with this later--" she wheezed in a breath and her leg not held to the wall by Lena's hand  waved in the air a little dangerously. "But I've been like this for a couple minutes before you got home--and right now I gotta get right side up."

Lena stepped back to let her up, smiling amusedly at her wife as the blood slowly drained from Kara's face. "Always an adventure with you," Lena commented, totally content to watch Kara catch her breath and hold her likely spinning head in her hands while she recovered, face screwed up in mild disorientation.

"Just for you, babe," Kara said distractedly. "Though I don't think you're too good for my handstand practice."

Lena pressed a hand to her chest, feigning offense. "Moi? I thought I helped immensely."

"Depends on your definition of help," Kara grunted, squeezing her eyes shut for a moment. "Yep, this is why I practice. I gotta keep up the practice. Do you think there's, like, a handstand regimen online somewhere or something? I should ask Winn, he did Newsies, right? Lots of dancing and stuff, he probably knows someone."

Lena chuckled and moved to unpack the groceries. "I'll get right on that."

"You're the best."

 

 ///

 

They had been married for just over a year and it was the premiere for the first movie Lena had done since the wedding. Kara had drifted away after about a half hour on the red carpet, hoping for Lena to get more of the unfiltered spotlight that she deserved.

"Hey, Kara Danvers!"

Kara turned, smiling easily at one of the junior reporters she'd seen around. The kid had good questions, honestly. She always appreciated his little jokes. "Hey! How's it going, Julio?"

Julio smiled. "Pretty good. Your wife's killing it, by the way." Kara beamed proudly in reply, and he chuckled. "Why aren't you by her side? Usually you're sticking to her hip like glue. I can't remember the last time I caught you without her."

Kara waved a hand. "It's her premiere. We're trying not to stick so close now we're married. To be honest, it used to be more of a grounding thing, but now we've been to so many, it's a little easier."

Julio nodded. "That's awesome. Hey, wanna answer just one question for me tonight?"

Kara chuckled. "Sure thing."

"Great," Julio said, beaming. "My question is, would you like to be the interviewer from our little outlet tonight, and go snag a few answers from the star of the premiere, Lena Luthor?"

Kara burst out laughing, her giggles slowing down when she realized Julio wasn't laughing with her, only smiling patiently and hopefully. "You're kidding," she said. He just tilted his head. "You are kidding, right?" she asked, but Julio shook his head. Kara bit her lip. Why not?

 

"Hey, Mrs. Luthor!"

Lena turned at her wife's voice, already rolling her eyes fondly at Kara--only to frown in confusion as Kara looked at her with inquisitive innocence, holding a microphone near to Lena's face. Lena opened her mouth, caught between laughter and asking what the fuck are you doing, dear?

"Mind answering a few questions for the National City Tribune?"

"Depends," Lena drawled, very aware that about sixteen cameras were catching the interaction. "You're the interviewer?"

"That'd be a yes, ma'am."

Kara's grin was cheeky, and Lena felt resolve settle in her shoulders. She looked Kara up and down with a sultry drag of her eyes, obvious and open, and was pleased to see Kara's cheeks pink when she got back up. "Well," she said, with the air of someone who didn't really have to be convinced but was choosing to make a show of it, "Only since the interviewer is so adorable."

Kara coughed. "Awesome."

"What did you say your name was again?" Lena asked, laying a deliberate hand on Kara's arm in an absurdly flirtatious manner, and was rewarded with the smallest of Kara's exasperated smiles.

"K-Kara. Kara Danvers," Kara said, only slightly tongue-tied after all this time and looking at her fondly but with a touch of please let me do this.

"Kara," Lena purred, cranking the flirt up to nine. "That's a beautiful name, fits a beautiful woman." Kara blushed, and Lena smirked. "Tell me, are you taken, Kara?"

"What?" Some of the camera people filming were chuckling along with Lena now.

"I asked," Lena said, brushing imaginary lint off Kara's shoulder (Kara who was, thankfully, wearing a sleeveless dress this evening) and let her fingers shamelessly trail down her arm in a the way that never failed to make Kara shiver. "If you were single. You are incredibly attractive, Mrs. Danvers, and I'm awfully tempted to take you home this evening."

Kara's ears were red, and she coughed again before closing her eyes for a moment, like she was praying for patience. Lena smiled, the gesture reminiscent of all the years Lena was flirting accidentally and Kara was the only one who knew she was in love. "Taken, actually," Kara said, eyes open and apologetic. The assembled reporters gave an ooooh, and Kara glanced at them, melodramatic and playing it up with all her theater chops. "Yes, and to the love of my life, I'm afraid. If I didn't love her so," she glanced at Lena, and took her hand, raising it to her lips to give Lena's knuckles a courtly kiss, "I would be in your arms in an instant, Mrs. Luthor."

Lena suppressed a chuckle, ignoring the ridiculous phantom jealousy before her brain kicked in and reminded her you're the love of her life, dummy. "Shame," she said, pressing her hand to her chest in an affected way. "Well, I suppose you'd best get on with the interview then. Though--" she leveled Kara with a serious gaze, and Kara swallowed a grin, "--if that love of your life is ever foolish enough to let you go, come to me immediately."

"You'll be the first to know," Kara promised seriously, and Lena smiled a small smile of satisfaction. "Our questions, Mrs. Luthor?"

"I suppose," Lena drawled, and Kara grinned.

"Okay, first question. How's your wife?"

The assembled reporters let out a hearty laugh, and Lena smiled genuinely. "You could be a reporter in another life, you know," she said, tapping a finger against Kara's collarbone, before hooking a hand around the back of Kara's neck and pulling her close. She kissed Kara on the middle of the red carpet, in front of the whole world, smiling through the whole thing. She pulled back to see Kara's eyes had fluttered closed, a matching smile on her lips. Lena tilted her forehead to press briefly against Kara's.

"I don't know, Kara,” she murmured, “How are you?"

 

Chapter Text

Kara: you're not gonna believe this

Lena: hit me

Kara: I LANDED SOMETHING

Lena: OF COURSE YOU DID

Lena: WHAT IS IT

Kara: umm

Kara: I think you know it, actually

Lena: ???

Kara: I get murdered in a car

Lena: in the show RIGHT

Kara: lol yes

Kara: then some plucky detectives of a certain rural precinct come investigate

Kara: the chief medical examiner is flaming gay

Lena: SHUT UP

Lena: SHUT. UP.

Lena: YOU'RE ON MY FAVORITE COP SHOW??

 

Lena was waiting for her when Kara walked up to her door. "Hi," Kara said, nervous at the way Lena's eyes were trained on her.

"Hi," Lena said, blinking forcefully before smiling innocently.

Kara grinned as Lena tried to pretend she wasn't here just for the script. "Good day?" Kara asked, nonchalant, fiddling with her key in the door.

"Oh you know, it was--okay, give me that," Lena said, giving up all pretense once the door opened and reaching towards Kara's purse to snatch up the script. "I fucking love this show, I need to see this."

"No!" Kara yelped, dancing back. "It's confidential!"

Lena raised an eyebrow, stalking towards Kara with an expression that set of all sorts of dangerous feelings in Kara. Not best friend feelings. "Confidential?" She asked sweetly. "Even for your best friend, who is also in the business and understands the importance of keeping these things secret?" Kara kept backing up as Lena moved towards her steadily, swaying her hips as she put one foot in front of the other in a manner that was somehow seductive.

This was not fair.

"Y-yes," Kara stuttered. "They told me I-I-I'm not supposed to share the plot with any--with anyone."

Kara's lower back hit the couch, and her backwards motion halted. Lena's eyes held a preemptive victory. And god, Kara hated losing, but she could learn to love it like this.

"I don't want the plot," Lena insisted, her voice gentle and soothing now, and Kara didn't dare relax, despite her body telling her she should when Lena sounded like that. "I just want to see the part you're in. That's not part of the plot."

"Yes, it is," Kara said meekly, pushing her purse behind her.

"No, it's not," Lena said, pausing to adopt a mock-thoughtful look. "I could miss that part of the show, plot-wise, and still enjoy it just as much. It's like how you can take part of a sentence out if there's a comma on either side."

Kara swallowed as Lena kept walking towards her. Three steps between them. Then two. Then one. Lena stepped directly into her space, planting her feet between Kara's. Kara shook her head resignedly, not quite giving in yet, and dropped her head to rest in her palm. Lena ducked her head so she caught Kara's eyes still, and Kara glared, weakly. Lena's eyes somehow perfectly impersonated those of a puppy, and Kara groaned.

"You know I'm not supposed to…"

"I won't tell," Lena promised. "Scout's honor."

"You're not a scout."

"Were you?" Lena sounded genuinely curious, and Kara nodded. "Oh, there better be pictures of Little Kara in a vest selling cookies," Lena said, sounding delighted, and Kara groaned. Lena laughed. "But if you're the scout, then you don't tell. No one will know. Everyone shares these things."

"I'm not everyone," Kara groused.

Lena's smile was huge. "No, you are most certainly not. But neither am I."

Kara glared, but a beaming Lena was too much to resist. Especially when she knew full well that Lena would tackle her onto the couch to get the script if Kara didn't hand it over now. And Kara's crush might have been pretty bad, but she wasn't that much of a masochist. Yet.

"I could help you practice?" Lena suggested innocently.

Kara groaned, loudly, and Lena's smile grew ten times bigger. "Fine!" Kara said, yanking the script out and thrusting it towards Lena, whose scream of delight was nearly ear-shattering. Lena practically ripped the script out of a wincing Kara's hands and leaned forward to wrap her arms around Kara, planting a kiss to the side of her jaw. Kara smiled grudgingly, and Lena held the script up in front of her face, grinning like a little kid.

"You wanna do a read-through?" she asked, and the magic in her eyes was too much to resist.

Kara held a warning finger up at her. "I get to be my character," she said.

"Pfft, of course. Come on," Lena said, still giddy, moving around to sit down on the couch. Kara shook her head at herself as she followed Lena. You didn't last sixty seconds, Danvers. Lena examining the front page of the script with a look of uncontained glee was worth it, though. Kara sat down next to her.

Lena looked up at her, uninhibited joy shining from every pore, and shit, this was what love felt like, wasn't it?

"You ready?" she asked, and Kara took a moment to brace herself before nodding. Lena opened the script. Kara wasn't braced enough for her yell of "You get murdered while getting halfway to third base with your boyfriend?"

Kara slowly opened her eyes to see Lena looking all sorts of excited. "That is the role, yes," Kara managed dryly. "Wouldn't be very rural if I was sitting in my jacked-up truck alone, would it?"

Lena looked far too delighted. "Oh, this is going to be fun," she said. Kara felt ten different kinds of anticipation sizzle through her as Lena turned her eyes to Kara. "Are you ready--" she consulted the script, "--Miss Marlene Davies?"

Kara realized what was going to happen in a surge of adrenaline. She wasn't positive they had more than six cheesy lines of dialogue before they started making out, then Lena was going to fake unbuckling her seat belt and push her against the car door--side of the couch, whatever--and they were going to be making out for several long, intense moments before shucking off jackets, wrestling off pants in the urge to get closer. It was supposed to be panting and cramped and incredibly heterosexual in a way Kara hadn't thought about lately (she was bi, that didn't mean she was into men who were painfully straight) but with Lena sitting across from her, Kara felt more in character than she thought she ever might with whatever bland actor they hired to sit across from her in that truck.

"Good lord," Kara said quietly, nearly a whisper. What was that about not being a masochist?

Lena frowned down at the script. "I think the line is, Lord help us if Jack drives this way too."

"Yeah," Kara managed, her voice nearly a squeak. Her whole body was thrumming, running on high alert, her brain fritzing out with all the electricity that was Lena, Lena in her space, Lena smiling, Lena looking at her, Lena excited. "That."

Lena chuckled. "Okay, from the top, Marlene. Or," she paused, looking genuinely at Kara, "Did you not want to do this?"

"No!" Kara said, too quickly, and Lena looked a little alarmed. "No, this is good. I do need to, uh, practice."

Lena's grin was something between laughing and charmed. "Okay, Marlene," she said. "Did you want to check your lines first?" Kara gave them a cursory glance--they were already memorized, she had always had a head for it, not that it'd particularly help her right now.

"I'm good," she said. "Let's go."

Lena nodded, looking back down at the script and adjusting her seat so they more imitated what it would look like if they were sitting in a truck. "Ready?"

"Lord help us if Jack drives this way too," Kara answered, and Lena leaned back with country swagger all at once, one arm slung over an imaginary wheel. Kara bit back the urge to giggle at her.

"He won't," Lena promised, sultry, and oh, there was that shot of fire again, licking up Kara's insides.

"How do you know?" Kara asked, rotating to lean back against the couch-door.

Lena rolled her head over at Kara, grinning confidently. "I told him not to."

"What made you so confident?" Kara asked, trying for a play of outrage.

Lena glanced down at the script. "Darlin'," she said, mock-unbuckling a seatbelt and leaning over, "You don't wear that when you don't want me."

Kara looked down at her 'outfit', mouth opening in question, and Lena was on her.

Kara's whole body short-circuited and she was halfway to heaven under Lena's weight, hands pressing heavily on her shoulders, thigh slipping slowly but surely between her legs. What she truly was was halfway to orgasm, and Kara gasped in a deep breath to try and steady herself. Lena was kissing down from her jaw to her neck, and Kara realized dimly that Lena had never actually kissed her lips.

"I don’t think that was the script," Kara gasped, and Lena's lips smiled against the hollow in her collarbone.

"I thought the country boy might go right for that jawline," she murmured into Kara's skin, and Kara whimpered. "But if you're a stickler for the canon--" Lena moved upwards abruptly, and Kara was confronted with Lena's green eyes all at once. Kara inhaled sharply, and Lena smiled, hovering closer at a deadly glacial pace. Kara could feel Lena's breath on her skin, washing across her lips, oh my god oh my god oh my god she's gonna kiss me, Lena's lips ghosted a touch onto her upper lip--

The front door opened loudly, and Lena looked up.

Alex was walking in, looking at her phone and talking at the same time, "I don't know what Maggie's talking about, but--oh. Oh my."

"Hi, Alex," Lena said, pushing up off Kara, who was cold and uncomfortably turned on all at once.

"Hi, Lena," Alex said automatically, clicking off her phone and dropping the takeout bag on the counter. "Ravishing my little sister, Luthor?"

"Something like that," Lena said, unperturbed. She dusted off her knees and stood. "For the record, I'd do a much better job than whatever hick they hire to play your boyfriend."

"Sure," Alex said, still staring. "Kara," she said, and Kara sat up in a daze, hair looking much worse for wear. Lena chuckled and smoothed it back down, unconscious in her habit, and Kara barely noticed. "I brought Chinese."

"I'll take that as my cue," Lena said, bending down to pick up the script. Kara looked up at her, still completely out of it, and Lena sighed. "Fine," she said, exasperated and good-natured, dropping it back on Kara's lap. She walked back around the couch, moving to give Alex a one-armed hug before heading out the door. "Call me to rehearse, Marlene," she called back, and Kara gave a weak, automatic thumbs-up, and she was gone.

Alex was silent for the count of six. Then, "What the fuck, Kara?"

Kara flopped back down on the couch. "Blame Marlene."

Sister's night was spent with Kara in a daze, and Alex left early after hearing the story to give Kara space to explode in private.

 

---

 

The male actor was some guy named Winn, who, while attractive enough and fitting the image of a grass-fed hick when he put on a trucker hat and some boots, made Kara feel absolutely nothing. Kara smiled politely when she met him, and he smiled back.

"Not to make this awkward or anything," he said when they were sitting in the truck, preparing to film, "But I'm a big fan of your work." Oh no, Kara thought dimly. Here we go. "Like, if I were straight, I'd totally ask you out."

"Thank you--wait, what?"

"Oh my god," he said. "I'm so sorry. That was way too much information and totally awkward. I'm so sorry. My roommate told me not to make it awkward but I'm the worst at that, I--"

"Don't even worry about it," Kara said, laughing. "My sister's super gay and makes the worst comments like that, like, all the time. I guess us bi people are blessed with none of the awkwardness, huh?" she brushed some imaginary dust off her shoulder, and Winn laughed, sounding relieved.

"You're the lucky ones," he agreed jokingly. He tilted his head. "Do you wanna go get drinks after we get murdered? Just like, as queer friends? I meant it when I said I loved your work and there are so few people I know in the business who are willing to be even the slightest bit open about their sexuality--"

"Only if you're willing to hear about my obnoxious ten-minute crushes on everyone whose work I've ever admired," Kara said, grinning as she cut him off.

Winn smiled. "I know a place with really good fruity mixes," he said.

"First round's on you, Johnny."

 

---

 

 

Winn took a long drag of his fruity drink, twirling the umbrella idly in deft fingers. "You're telling me," he said slowly, not quite slurring, "That Lena Luthor, the Lena Luthor of the Robot Murdering movie, is your best friend as of six months ago, and she wanted to help you practice. For the scene. Where you and I go nearly all the way."

"That's what I'm telling you," Kara said helplessly, taking a sip of her matching drink. "Do you want to see pictures?"

"Of her trying to eat you alive?"

Kara pushed at Winn's shoulder. "Of her and I, period. For proof."

"Oh." Winn blinked. "Hell yeah!"

Kara pulled up photos on her phone, clicking past a text conversation with Lena, and Winn smiled as he saw Lena's string of texts: have fun with your new best friend, don't mind me I'll sit home alone, and for real though text me if you need a pickup I do not want you getting into an uber drunk and alone Kara Danvers. "Here," Kara said, pushing the phone towards Winn.

Winn flicked through them slowly, his face looking more and more soft. "Oh honey," he said finally. "You're completely in love with her, aren't you?"

Kara stirred her straw in her drink slowly, biting her lip. "Maybe," she said. She looked at Winn, who looked totally understanding. She sighed, dropping her forehead to the sticky bar top. "Yes," She admitted.

Winn's hand landed on the back of her shoulder, gentle and warm and reassuring. He squeezed tightly, and Kara picked her head up to look at him. He smiled, easy and inviting. He tilted his head to the side. "Do you want to tell me about her?"

Kara looked at him morosely. "Are you sure? I don't want to talk your ear off."

"Are you kidding? I finally get to hear from another queer person and they're crushing on Lena Luthor, who actually probably totally likes them back? This is like winning tickets to the Superbowl, or whatever else straight people get excited about. Lay it on me, Danvers. Leave no detail untold."

Kara felt herself begin to smile.

 

---

 

"No," Lena was saying loudly into the phone, talking over Kara's protests. "I don't want to hear it. You're coming over and you're bringing your new friend Winn, I already invited Alex and Maggie and tell Winn to bring his roommate and whoever else he wants. Because you're feeling stage fright I refrained from asking anyone else, but we're having a party and we're watching this, Kara."

"Lena," Kara said weakly. "You're holding a party to watch me get murdered."

"Horribly, gruesomely murdered," Lena confirmed, sounding far too giddy about the prospect. "In what is hopefully a long and drawn-out death scene, and then we're going to watch my favorite country cops try to figure out why and track down your killer. I have gobs of popcorn."

"Lena," Kara protested once more, but it was lacking in gravitas.

"What? I can't hear you over the sound of you landing a professional role on a wildly popular primetime television show. And you're breaking up."

"I'm not--"

"Ok, see you here tomorrow night!"

Kara groaned into the dead line. Her best friend was a piece of work.

"It won't be so bad, Little Danvers," Maggie said, patting her on the back the next evening as they moved towards Lena's door. "You're only in it for a minute. Besides, this is a big deal! You should be excited!"

"Can you just promise to call out all the bad cop tropes?" Kara asked her.

Maggie smiled. "Can't stop me," she promised. "Come on, Alex will be here five minutes late on purpose so doesn't have to watch her little sister's almost-sex scene." Kara smiled grudgingly and Maggie clapped her on the back. "I have no such reservations."

"Thanks," Kara muttered.

"Oh come on, it's super dark and in a truck anyway. No one can really see anything, and that's the point, right?" Maggie said, reaching up to knock on the door. "You never see the murderer coming."

Kara shrugged. "I guess."

"But you had fun filming it, right?" Maggie asked, looking marginally more serious.

Kara thought about Winn, about screaming for half of a night shoot, about how funny and professional and constantly-checking-he-wasn't-grabbing-her-too-tight the murderer stunt guy was, about how cool the crew was, how nice the director had been. Cramped, exhausting, and filthy.

She had loved it. "Yeah," Kara said, smiling, and Maggie smiled back.

"Good," she said genuinely, and Kara was overcome all at once with a rush of affection for her sister's fiance. Then the door opened, and Kara was face to face with a flushed Lena.

Lena beamed at the sight of her. "It's the star!" Lena exclaimed, reaching out with her free hand--the other was holding a cup of something that looked suspiciously like honey whiskey, and Kara felt all her fears briefly resurface, before she shoved them back down forcefully. Kara let Lena take her hand and yank her inside with a flourish and some force.

Kara pushed her fears deep down. If Lena wanted to watch her show, Lena could watch her show.

Lena was pushing at her back, an open hand landing in the center of her upper back and a fist closed around a cup pushing into Kara's lower back. "Come on," Lena said, "You need food."

Kara glanced at Maggie, who flashed her a thumbs-up and migrated towards the alcohol. A few other people were milling around--Winn, the someone who was presumably his roommate, who looked a little on the young side--Lena pushed Kara towards the counter. She gestured grandly at the spread.

Kara raised an eyebrow. "You had this catered?"

"I may have ordered from your favorite taco truck," Lena admitted, looking at the guacamole dish thoughtfully. "Thought it would help."

Kara felt a rush of warmth and smiled at Lena. "Thank you," she said sincerely.

Lena smiled back. "Eat," she urged. "I need a refill."

"Are you drunk already? It's like not even five."

"I am not drunk," Lena said, aghast, and Kara giggled.

"You kind of are. How many of those have you had?"

"This is my first," Lena said diplomatically.

"How full was it when you started?"

Lena glared without any heat to it. "Fine. I'll switch to water. But only," she brandished a finger at Kara, "Because I need to be sober for this."

"Okay," Kara muttered, and Lena stuck her tongue out. Kara ignored her and focused on loading up as many tacos as she could fit onto one plate.

"Do you not drink?" Lena asked, pulling a water bottle out of the fridge. "I've never seen you go for the alcohol."

"It never really did much for me, and I don't really like the taste of most of it," Kara answered absently. "And I don't love being drunk, actually." She glanced up to see Lena looking at her thoughtfully. "I like my memories, my full senses. I never really wanted it once I had tried it. I'll do a buzz off something fruity every now and then, but I never feel great afterwards and it's expensive and everything, so I never got into it." She shrugged. "I never minded going out with people who do drink, it's always really fun, but unless there's something that tastes really good and won't get me hammered, I don't even want it."

Lena nodded, leaning her elbows onto the counter with all the food spread out. She took a long sip of water and Kara was momentarily distracted by how mind-numbingly hot her best friend was. "Good for you," Lena said, swallowing. Kara tilted her head in question. "I think a lot of people who don't like drinking do it anyway," Lena clarified. "To fit in and stuff."

"Oh," Kara said. She paused, thinking. "I don't think I've ever felt pressured to, really. Even when I was hanging out with frat guys and stuff, they might have pushed me to take a sip to prove I was cool once or twice, but mostly they were just thrilled to have a designated driver, you know?"

Lena nodded. She took another sip of water. "Well," she said, tipping her bottle towards Kara, "If you're not drinking, I won't when I'm around you." She tilted her head to the side. "Unless you are too."

"You don't have to do that," Kara said immediately. "It's a personal preference of mind, I'm not here to tell you not to, there's nothing wrong with it as long as you're careful. You're at home, you should have a good time however you want to."

"I have a good time with you," Lena told her gently. "I don't need to be getting drunk to enjoy myself when you're around."

Was she trying to make Kara melt? Like, seriously?

Kara felt her face heating up, and Lena reached across to push at Kara's shoulder. "Eat," she urged, gesturing at the food. "I didn't triple the usual steak order for Winn, you know."

She was the perfect woman. Truly.

Winn sidled up to Kara as Lena left with a wink and joined Maggie. "Listen I know," Winn said, quietly and without preamble, "That you think this is one-sided and all, but I happened to hear some of that, and that is, without a doubt, the gayest shit I have ever heard and I ship you two with my entire gay heart. Seriously, my whole ass gay soul is in love with this pairing."

Kara huffed as she reached for the salsa. "You can see how she makes it so hard on me," Kara grumbled back.

"Yeah," Winn said thoughtfully, turning to lean his hip on the counter, his eyes tracking Lena across the room. "She's not straight, is she?"

"Uhh," Kara said. She hadn't told Winn, not wanting to out Lena.

Winn nodded understandingly. "Of course she totally is whatever she is and it's none of my business unless she chooses to make it so," he said, then winked. "But girl, she is into you whether she knows it or not."

"What she is is killing me," Kara said.

Winn nodded seriously. "Yeah, that doesn't look too easy, gotta admit." He swirled his beer, looking contemplative. "You could tell me if you need a rescue, ever."

"Seriously?" Kara asked, looking up from the chopped onions and cilantro. "You'd do that?"

"Easy peasy fresh and squeezy," Winn promised. "We just need a signal."

"Super-secret crush emergency signal," Kara muttered, and Winn grinned. "I'll do the same for you, if it ever happens," Kara promised.

"Girl, I know," Winn said. "Okay, uh, something subtle though. Hmm… you could like, click your tongue, you know?"

"Too much noise," Kara said, shaking her head, and starting to eat her platter of tacos. She turned to lean against the counter, watching the room with him. "I like where it's headed, though."

"Something quieter," Winn mused. "We could… oh! Click your teeth together. Twice."

"That should work," Kara said, looking at him and deliberately clicking her teeth. Winn nodded.

"No one else should be able to guess what's going on," he said. "Click your teeth twice and I'll insert myself promptly." Winn grinned a dirty little smile, and Kara groaned. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to put that in there, it just fit so nicely! Oh! I did it again!"

"I'm leaving," Kara told him, laughing.

Kara found herself nearly an hour later, slotted in between Lena and the side of the couch, leaning back as the show started. Winn's roommate Carter was watching dubiously, and Kara had been right to think he was a little young. Winn put a hand over his eyes as the first of the cheesy lines started.

"I know you're eighteen and all kid, but your mom will kill me if you see this one. You can watch the murder part if you really want to."

(Carter didn't move to remove Winn's hand until the scene was fully over, proof of his attending-college-early-intelligence.)

Lena, on the other hand, was glued to the screen, hand pushing more popcorn in her mouth on an automatic motion. When Marlene and Johnny started making out, Lena seemed to lean closer. Kara didn't say a word, her anxieties about Lena watching this drained away after downing nearly a dozen tacos. Lena would see what she wanted to see. Kara was proud of her work.

Lena's leg started bouncing up and down as Johnny pushed Marlene's jacket off her shoulders. Maggie, on the other side of Lena, glanced over but didn't comment. Lena leaned forward slowly as Marlene--Kara--moaned, reaching for Johnny's hair. Maggie looked over again and made eye contact with Kara, whose eyes were a little wide but gave nothing else away. Kara watched the back of Lena's head, Lena's eyes trained intently on the screen as Kara and Winn's characters' breathing grew steadily more ragged. Lena shifted her weight.

Kara had never been more thankful for a murderer's appearance. Maggie texted Alex a quick it's safe, and Alex emerged from the bathroom where she had been hiding right as Winn's Johnny was stabbed in the back.

Lena tensed slightly as the murderer went for Kara's Marlene, and Kara watched her onscreen herself fling her head to the side, dodging, and scream as she rolled out from under Johnny's dead body, landing on the truck cab's floor with a thunk, scrambling out the door. Marlene raced for the woods, the murderer running after her. Footsteps pounded, and Lena's hand with the popcorn was frozen halfway to her mouth. Alex put her hand on Kara's shoulder, and Kara glanced up to smile briefly at her sister, Alex grinning as Kara was chased down.

Onscreen Kara gasped as she flung herself forward, aiming for a tree. She hit it and started climbing rapidly, but the murderer grabbed her and threw down to the ground, hard. Lena winced, sucking in air through her teeth. Kara kicked out savagely, and the murderer reeled back as she landed a hit on his chest. Kara was up and running again, sobbing and crying and gasping, but the murderer tackled her from behind.

One, two, three stabs, and Marlene was convulsing under the knife, and it was over. It held the shot of her face, definitely dead in the night, left on the forest floor, for several seconds, and then faded into the theme.

Winn uncovered Carter's eyes. "Okay, now it's safe." Carter reached for the popcorn, clearly unaffected.

Lena let the bowl go without any resistance. "Christ, Kara," she muttered. "Did you have a stunt double for that?"

"No."

Lena turned to face her. "And you're alright?"

Kara shrugged. "They teach you how to fall. It didn't really hurt, my body hitting the ground was a sound effect."

Lena shook her head slowly, in a slight daze. "Christ," she repeated, turning back to the screen. "When you said you had a role I didn't realize it would be this intense. Holy shit." Kara glanced up at Alex, who was watching Lena with a funny expression, eyes narrowed. Lena shook her head to clear it as the theme drew to a close. "You were fucking amazing," Lena added, sounding a little less affected. She looked across the room at Winn. "You too, Johnny."

Winn beamed at her.

The rest of the show passed without incident, Maggie and Alex's annoyed a cop wouldn't do that commentary punctuating every other minute. Lena's exaggerated oh my god Kara you did that? Came across every time the true nature of Kara's character was revealed, and Carter's Winn, you really got the short end of the stick at the end made Lena snort water up her nose she laughed so hard.

Kara went home with a lingering hug from Lena on the brain. She buried her face in her pillow and screamed.

Fuck Johnny and Marlene. Kara spent the whole night thinking about how badly she wished that were her and Lena. Or that she could just kiss Lena. Press her backwards into the couch and swallow her smile and--stop doing that to yourself, Kara.

When the hour was up Kara didn't even remember why she had gotten murdered. She just knew that Lena pressing her into the couch and whispering sly little comments in her ear made fire slip down her spine and turned her bloodstream to an electric goo.

And she didn't want to let that feeling go.

 

Chapter Text

“Hold on,” Lena said, looking devious and young and focused. It was really not helpful, in this moment, that Lena never drank around her anymore. Kara was touched, but currently she was considering suffering through a beer or something so Lena would drink too. “Kara Danvers has a crush?”

Kara squirmed, wishing the New Year's party around them would swallow her. “No.”

Lena looked absolutely delighted. “Yes you do,” she said, edging closer on the couch. “You know you can’t lie to me Kara, I’m your best friend. You gonna tell me who it is?”

Kara leaned back, farther from Lena. “No. Because there is no crush.”

“There is no crush,” Lena mimicked, edging closer. “Come on, Kara. Please? I wanna hear all about them.”

Kara shook her head. Lena looked at her imploringly. Kara cast around desperately, spotting Winn. Winn didn’t see her.

“Oh look,” Kara said, her voice false, moving to stand. “It’s Winn.”

Lena’s fingers circled her wrist and yanked her back down. Lena scooted closer, looking mischievous. Kara groaned. “I’m not done with you,” Lena said, her voice edging on needy, holding back a laugh. “Please, Kara? Pretty please?” Kara eyed her, thinking fast for ways to get out of this. I could... or I could... nothing was coming. And then it hit her.

“Okay,” Kara said abruptly, laughing. She leaned in. “I’ll tell you. But only if you promise to keep it a secret.” She pretended to glance around at the party, their friends and friends of friends, to try and make sure no one was listening.

Lena glanced around too, suddenly looking more serious. Apprehensive. “Kara,” she said quickly, “I’m sorry for pushing, you don’t need to tell me anything if you’re uncomfortable—“

“No,” Kara said, waving it aside, but Lena looked bothered now.

“No, I know I pushed you into the watch party for the show, too, I was just so excited—“

“Lena, it’s fine,” Kara said genuinely, taken off guard by Lena’s sincerity. “I know, and I’m super grateful we actually did it, okay? I was just nervous because I was halfway to a porn star in that one and...” Kara trailed off, and Lena squeezed her hand.

“Kara, you were amazing,” she insisted.

Kara shook her head bashfully, the music of the party pulsing loud in her ears. Another half-hour, tops, of this noise and she was gone. “You flatter me. And I do appreciate you pushing, I know everything you want for me is good.”

Lena ducked her head for a moment, smiling. “Just tell me if I’m ever pushing too hard?” She asked, and Kara nodded, thinking privately she was going to have a hard time doing that. Especially when Lena really was so right about everything. “Okay,” Lena said, looking satisfied. “Then would you pretty please tell me about your crush, if you want to?”

Kara made a show of biting her lip and looking around. “Alright,” She drawled, and Lena grinned delightedly and bounced closer. “She,” Kara began, and Lena honest-to-god squealed in excitement. “She,” Kara repeated, “has dark hair. Long.”

“Promising beginning,” Lena said, and Kara grinned.

“She’s absolutely gorgeous,” Kara said, putting on an air of gushing. “Stunning beauty and stunning wit.” Lena smiled encouragingly. Kara shot her a lazy grin. “She’s here at this party, actually.”

“What?” Lena gasped, sitting up and looking around. “No way. Who is it? We have to—“

“Sitting on this couch with me,” Kara cut across her, rolling her head lazily to raise a single eyebrow at Lena.

Confusion, then calculation, then realization crossed Lena’s face. “You’re totally messing with me,” Lena sighed, slumping.

“What? No! I’m totally crushing on you!”

“I’m sure you are, darling,” Lena said, shoving at her. “And I’m head over heels for you too.” Kara grinned, and Lena rolled her eyes. “You don’t actually have a crush on anyone,” Lena said, looking at her for confirmation.

“Nope,” Kara said, apologetic.

Lena sighed. “Boring,” she told Kara, and Kara smiled apologetically. “I guess I’ll have to make do with just your charming company.”

Kara giggled, leaning back into the couch. Oh, she had this figured out now.

Lena slumped into the couch, looking put out, and Kara grinned. They sat in companionable (relative) silence together, watching the party, the few dozen people there talking and laughing loudly over the music pounding. Lena glanced over after a couple minutes when Kara’s leg started jiggling. “How’s the music?” Lena asked. “Too loud?”

Kara shrugged. “Maybe a little.”

Lena bit her lip. “Come on,” she told Kara, standing up and holding out a hand. Kara frowned but took it, letting Lena lead her off the couch. Lena led her towards the edge of the party, sliding open the balcony window and climbing through to the thankfully empty fire escape. Kara followed her, and Lena turned to shut the window.

“You’re a godsend,” Kara murmured as the noise died away.

Lena smiled thinly. “I'm sorry. I should have seen it earlier.”

“What?” Kara frowned. “Lena, I’m a grownup, you know. I know I don't always act like it, but I am okay. I don’t like loud places for a prolonged time, but you don’t need to take care of me. I've been handling it since I was a kid, it gets better with time and practice and all that. " Kara looked at Lena, who had wrapped her jacket around her in the LA winter--meaning, fifty-three degrees Fahrenheit. "I do appreciate you looking out for me," Kara said, softer. "But I don't want you thinking it's your responsibility."

"The last time someone said that to me," Lena said, a little shaky, a little heavy, and Kara's heart stuttered in time with her voice, "My brother was arrested for embezzlement and a Ponzi scheme." Lena sank to the steps, sitting down on one, curled up and small, and Kara felt a surge of protectiveness. "I'm sorry," Lena said softly into her knees. "But it was my fault. I should have seen it sooner. I should have seen it sooner."

"No," Kara said vehemently, sinking down next to Lena. The party thudded dully on inside as Kara wrapped her arm around Lena. "No, Lena, his choices are not on you."

Lena took a deep, shaky inhalation, nodding. She sucked in another breath through her nose, still nodding. "I got a letter from him today," she admitted.

"What?"

Lena's lips twisted bitterly. "Yeah. He told me that he wished he had made better choices… though we all know that means he wishes he hadn't been caught." Her head tilted onto Kara's shoulder. "He told me he'll be making his way overseas to stay once he gets out of prison. He doesn't expect to be in there through the next New Year."

Kara tightened her grip on Lena's shoulder, leaning her head on top of Lena's gently. Lena took another couple steadying breaths. "He's gone, Kara," she whispered, miserable. "He's gone and I barely feel a thing because I feel like he stopped being my brother a long time before I noticed it."

"And that's what hurts?" Kara guessed.

"Yeah," Lena said, and Kara felt a tear drip onto her shoulder. "And I'm a shitty person, so, there's that."

"Hey," Kara said, an edge in her voice, and she forcibly softened it. "You are not."

"Well I feel shitty," Lena said petulantly, and Kara bit back a smile. "I feel shitty for barely feeling anything."

"That doesn't make you shitty," Kara said. "It makes you a person."

"What kind of person?"

"The kind that doesn't torture themselves over other people's fuckups."

Lena chuckled, watery. "That kind of person feels shitty."

"Then feel shitty," Kara said frankly. "Let that run its course. And then feel like you again." Lena absorbed that in silence for several long moments, pushing her forehead into Kara's shoulder heavily before picking her head back up.

"When did you get so wise?" Lena asked, her voice a little more normal.

"I didn't, actually," Kara said. "That's what Alex told me when I came to live with the Danvers."

"Ahh," Lena murmured. "I hope you know that if you ever want to tell me about coming to live with the Danvers, or your parents, or anything, I want to listen. But you don't have to."

"I know," Kara said softly. She took a deep breath. This felt like the night for it. "Just, can you promise me one thing, first?"

"Anything," Lena said, turning to look at her.

Kara gave her a small smile. "Be my friend. Not my guardian, or caretaker, or anything else." Lena tilted her head in question. "I'm not your responsibility, Lena. No one is. Not unless you've got legal guardianship of a secret child I know nothing of." Lena chuckled, and Kara smiled a little bigger. "Just… stop worrying so much about how everything you do affects me. Pushing me into a watch party last month because you were so excited for me is a good thing, Lena. I need a little push sometimes. I'll tell you if it's too much, if it's too much noise or too much pressure or anything else. I promise you that I'll ask for help, okay? It's not on you to read my mind and make sure I never trip and fall. Just be there when I need help getting up, and I'll do the same for you."

"Okay," Lena murmured, her eyes softer than anything Kara had ever seen. "I don't think I've ever had a friend like that."

"Well," Kara said, completely flummoxed. "Now you do."

"Now I do," Lena parroted. She smiled gently at Kara. "I like it."

"Me too," Kara said softly, and felt something warm drop into her heart. Warmer than a crush or a fluster-induced panic. Just a rush of affection for her best friend. She leaned her elbows back on the step above her on the fire escape. "Did you want to hear about my adoption and all that tonight?"

"I'd love to," Lena said softly, leaning back as well, and Kara nodded, and took a deep breath.

She told Lena all about the car crash that had killed her parents, left thirteen-year-old Kara sitting nearly unharmed in the backseat, orphaned. The crash that sent her drifting in the foster care system for a timeless twenty-four days before they could track down her elusive older cousin. The elusive older cousin who was in no way fit to take care of a child, so he brought her to the Danvers, left her with a hug and not much else. How she and Alex struggled at first, before they both sat down in front of the same cop show and realized that while Kara loved the acting, Alex loved the police. And from there it was easy.

"Don't get me wrong," Kara said, chuckling, "It was struggle and you know the acting business. But the Danvers never minded taking me to audition after audition, always. They pushed me to get a steady job and double major in college, which is why I have this degree that I hate in business."

"You have a degree in business?" Lena interjected, speaking for the first time since Kara started her story. "You?"

"I know," Kara groaned. "And I hate myself for it." Lena laughed. "But I have a steady job on the side, and it lets me work whatever weird hours I need, which is like, a godsend. I know the struggling actor thing is all chic and stuff, and Eliza and Jeremiah are wonderful, but none of us would tolerate me living out of their basement." Kara tilted her head. "Alex might. Just so she could give me crap for it, though."

Lena tipped her head back as she laughed. "Well, I appreciate their sense. Thank god the Luthors considered the industry glamorous, or I wouldn't have gotten anything by way of help from them."

"Do you still talk with them at all?" Kara asked. "Other than Lex, I mean."

Lena shook her head, frowning down at her hands. "God, no. Once I took the movie route rather than the high-flying theatre route they told me I'd be cut off. There was a reluctant reunion when Lex followed me into the industry a few months later, but once he was arrested, what… four years, later?" Lena shook her head. "We haven't spoken. It's better that way. My stepmother always made me feel like shit, and I'm not positive I ever really knew my father…"

"Your mother?" Kara asked gently.

"Died when I was four. Taken in by the Luthor household," Lena said, reeling it off like she'd rather it be done. She gave Kara a half-lazy, half-sad smile. "I just feel a lot better out here on my own. With you," she added, and Kara smiled gently.

Lena glanced inside as the dull noise rose. "I do believe it's the countdown," she said, smiling.

"Nine seconds to the New Year," Kara sighed, leaning back and looking at the few stars available in the LA sky.

"I'm glad it was spent like this," Lena said, and Kara picked her head up to look at her. "Here, with you," Lena clarified, and Kara felt her chest expand with warmth.

"Me too," she said softly. Lena smiled, and there was a huge cheer from inside. Kara pushed the errant thought of kissing Lena away. The moment didn't feel remotely right.

But Lena moved forward.

Kara closed her eyes as Lena's lips pressed gently to Kara's hairline. "Happy New Year," Lena murmured.

"Happy New Year," Kara said quietly. The moment was quiet, it was perfect, it was Kara's favorite New Year she'd ever, ever had, it was--filled with Winn, shoving the window open and shouting loudly.

"Ladies! Stop being gay for a moment! I need you!"

"Hi, Winn," Lena said, graceful and smiling resignedly at him.

Winn pointed at her. He was definitely drunk, and Kara smiled at him, endeared by his slurring for some reason. "Lena. Lena. Lena Lena Lena. You are wonderful. But I am very gay, and I need someone who is not totally gay to come check out this man for me, and tell me if I'm drunk or if I'm right and he's hot."

"Kara's your girl," Lena confirmed, looking unperturbed.

"I--wait, what?" Kara looked between Lena and Winn rapidly. "You told him already? You just met like three weeks ago!"

"She told me nothing," Winn said, gesturing with a beer bottle he picked up from the windowsill, probably empty. "But I am gay, and I sense her gayness as well." He tilted his head, and pointed his beer bottle towards her. "And you just confirmed it."

"I did," Lena said, nodding. "And if you remember this in the morning, please don't go shouting about it. I don't need people hiring me just because I'll be someone 'diverse'," she said, making air quotes. "They should be hiring whoever's best for the job."

"You got it sister," Winn promised, gesturing widely, and Kara shook her head. "Come on, Kara, I need your bisexual common sense."

"Not sure she has any of that," Lena said, raising an eyebrow, and Kara shoved her shoulder, affronted. Lena laughed. "I'll see you Monday?" Lena asked Kara as she stood, and Kara nodded. Winn ducked back inside, and Lena let a little sincerity creep back into her eyes. "And thank you for sharing with me," Lena added softly.

"Thank you for sharing with me," Kara replied, and Lena nodded. Kara leaned down and pressed a kiss to Lena's forehead, smiling softly.

"Hey! Kara! Come on!" Winn was halfway out the window again.

"Alright," Kara said, rolling her eyes and turning towards him.

"Hey!" A new thought seemed to occur to him. He raised his definitely-empty beer bottle towards Lena. "Congrats on your sexuality."

Lena laughed, warm and genuine. "Why thank you. Congratulations on yours."

"Damn right!"

Lena's laughter followed them inside as Kara checked out a tall, dark, and handsome man with a winningly warm smile, and confirmed for Winn that he was indeed hot. Winn, very drunk, swooned when the stranger--James, Kara learned, and also drunk--burst into song in a lovely deep baritone when his jam came on the speakers and he pulled Winn to dance.

Kara slipped out the front door of the party and shot Winn a text saying definitely hot, definitely into men, definitely go for it. She sent Lena another with a single heart, and Lena replied back with three.

 

Chapter Text

 

Kara was nervous.

Really, really fucking nervous.

She chewed on the edge of her plane ticket absently as she boarded the flight for New York, nodding along vaguely as flight attendants welcomed her and every other passenger. It was going to be a five hour-flight, and Kara was pretty sure she'd be bouncing her leg up and down the whole way. Noise cancelling headphones, the audition script, her favorite songs--nothing helped.

Well. Nothing except Alex's hoodie, still smelling like her, which Kara was wearing instead of her own. And the long voice memo Lena had snuck onto her phone last week when she learned she had a long flight to her audition. It was nearly twenty-six minutes of Lena rambling about random topics as she went about her day, and Kara relaxed as Lena's voice filled her ears, warm and familiar, starting with a rant about tomatoes and filtering into a philosophical questioning on why people were so naturally afraid to die, before she got distracted by a cute puppy photo on the internet and dove into a million other topics.

Lena was honestly the best friend in the entire world.

Kara's heart eased down from its heavy pounding slowly as the plane took off. When Lena's recording ended with a okay, you're gonna crush it babe, and I'll see you soon, Kara hit replay without hesitation, no longer keeping track of the words, just focusing on the steady cadence of the way Lena spoke.

After four run-throughs, Kara managed to fall asleep, and woke up when the plane landed. She made her way to the hotel and checked in when she heard a familiar voice.

"Kara? No way."

Kara spun around to see Winn, who she hadn't seen since he'd moved out here a few months before her and Lena's movie had started filming. Not long after New Year's, actually, when he had asked her to check out James for him. She wondered if that had ever panned out.

Kara grinned widely and opened her arms without saying a word, and Winn all but pranced towards her, the pair of them colliding in an epically gay platonic hug. "Winn!" Kara said, pulling back and holding onto his arms. "You didn't have to come see me here, you know!"

Winn brushed this comment aside. "You told me where you were staying, you had to know I would, girl!" Kara laughed, and Winn reached around to pick up her room key and her duffel. "Let's go, Danvers. We've got some rehearsing to do."

Kara smiled and followed him happily. "You don't have to run lines with me, you know, though I do appreciate it."

Winn pursed his lips mischievously. "Who said it's just me helping you?" he asked, pausing in front of the elevator.

"Wait," Kara said, turning to him. "You said your last role was up… are you?"

Winn grinned. "Maybe," he said, and Kara squealed and hit him on the shoulder.

"We're auditioning for the same show! Shut up!"

Winn hopped inside the elevator with a huge smile. "I know!" He hit the button and leaned over towards her, conspiratorially. "Girl, we are gonna crush this and be queer besties in New York, and this is gonna be the epic-est shit you've ever seen."

Kara laughed, completely delighted. "Bring it on, Johnny," she told him sincerely, leading the way out of the absurdly-fast elevator. They found her room and stepped inside, and Winn shut the door behind them, dropping her bag on the floor.

"Okay," he said, much more serious. "We'll practice in a minute. We have plenty of time, they don't start til tomorrow morning and I'm sure you're ready to go anyway, right?" Kara nodded. "Great," Winn said, pushing Kara to sit down on the bed and standing over her, hands on hips, like a stern parent, and Kara swallowed down the feeling that she'd somehow stumbled into an interrogation. "Lena."

"Lena," Kara repeated, knowing exactly where this was going. "What about Lena?"

"Kara," Winn said, dropping into a squat and taking her hands gently, "I know I haven't seen you in person, which is why we haven't talked about this, and you've been on that fantasy show which looks super fun, by the way, and it's probably been over a year since you filmed now, but sweetie," Winn squeezed her hands, "I saw the movie. It was uh-mazing, b-t-dubs. But you--"

"Got to do all that with Lena, yes," Kara said, squeezing his hands back before extracting hers and flopping back on the bed. She patted the space beside her, and Winn flopped down next to her. Kara covered her face with her hands. "I think about it all the time, Winn. All the time." She looked over at him to see him gazing back sympathetically. "And it's not as bad right now because, like, she's not flirting with me all the time, so it's not like I'm on fire, but she really is my best friend in the whole world and like, okay--" Kara pulled her phone out of her pocket. "Look at this. She knows I get nervous on the way to auditions so she made me a recording of her voice that I could listen to to relax. And I did. What the fuck, right?"

Winn took her phone, his sympathy torn into incredulousness. "That's so gay," he whispered, reverently. "I love it."

"Right?" Kara said. "It's easier like this, when she's not flirting. But…" Kara searched for the words. "It feels so… domestic, I guess. Like, we already had a relationship--the fake one you saw on screen--and now it's mellowed out and we're still in it, but it's not as physical."

"It doesn't hurt so much as it aches?" Winn guessed, tearing his gaze away from the recording, and Kara nodded.

"I'm doing fine. I really am. I'm just so grateful to have her in my life and be doing everything she does but then it's like, it's like--"

"Wha-pow," Winn said, nodding wisely. Kara nodded, grateful he got it.

Kara stared at the ceiling while Winn hit play on the recording. Lena's voice washed over Kara, still soothing. "I didn't tell her what this was for," Kara admitted quietly, and Winn looked over. "I just said audition and let her think movie."

"Why did you?" Winn asked.

"I don't know," Kara said quietly. "I was just afraid, I think."

"Of?" Winn prompted.

"I don't know," she said again. "Things changing?"

"Hey." Winn paused the recording. He put the phone down and took her hand again. "Change is okay. Change is good. I miss Carter, but he's off doing his own thing, and we're both doing better than we were, because of change." Kara nodded, willing it into existence. "Trust me," Winn said. "We're gonna be okay."

"Yeah," Kara said, and took a deep breath. "Okay," she said. "Let's rehearse this thing. We are both gonna crush that audition."

"Hell yeah."

 

Kara: headed back to LA, see you soon

Lena: how'd it go???

Kara: I saw Winn!

Lena: I know, I saw the photos

Kara: there were photos?

Lena: sweetie, you're a movie star in New York and he just finished a broadway run. Of course there were photos. The two of you are very cute.

Kara: ;)

Lena: but how did the audition go??

Kara: they're telling me to turn off devices BYE

Lena: wait just one word

Lena: don't go

Lena: it's called airplane mode and wifi still works for that airline

Lena: I checked

Lena: Kara

Lena: KARA sERIOUSLY

 

When Kara got the call a week later while early to lunch at Lena's apartment, she nearly broke the couch jumping on it and screaming. Lena was still screaming I knew it! While Kara cried with happiness when Maggie and Alex showed up. 

 

Winn put his hands on Kara's shoulders, trying to be serious but grinning hugely in the dark anyway.

"You ready?" Kara nodded mutely, bouncing on the balls of her feet. She rolled her head back and forth, stretching out her neck. Winn squeezed her shoulders. "Girl, I am so hyped for this show. This is our--your--Broadway debut!"

"No pressure," Kara muttered, and Winn grinned wider.

"You're gonna do amazing," he promised. "Standing ovation, guaranteed. You'll blow them all away."

Kara frowned. "Quit with the Hamilton references. You know Philip dies."

Winn winked. "They wouldn't have picked you if you couldn't do it, Kara. Blow them all away."

And then it was time to go.

The music started, nice and loud, and Kara waited backstage for eight measures as the ensemble made their entry. Without moving from her spot in the wings, she let out the first vocal note of the show--a heart-stopping, vocal-powerhouse-belt that would make Mercedes from Glee proud.

The crowd cheered (politely, because it was Broadway, but still loudly) and Kara made her entrance, beaming.

 

Winn was the first to get to her as the curtains began to close, giving the still-roaring-and-on-their-feet house a view of her character's best friend tackling her with a hug. Kara collapsed into his arms, tears still leaking as the curtains slid shut.

He rubbed her back, and she felt several other hands patting her shoulders as congratulations and cheers echoed, the crowd still going wild on the other side of the curtain. "You did it, Kara, we did it, you were so fucking amazing, holy shit, that was epic, that was incredible, that was so much fun."

Kara looked up, holding on to Winn's shoulders. "That was the best night of my life," she told him sincerely, and Winn's whole face smushed into the world's biggest smile. "Oh my god, I can't wait to do that again."

Winn laughed. "If you want to give them an encore, I'm sure they'd love it."

"Aha," Kara said, chuckling. "I don't think I have anything left in the tank."

"Then you did it right," Winn informed her softly, and she smiled helplessly. She really loved this man. Kara pulled Winn in for another hug, and they rocked back and forth. The pair of them got separated into hugs and congratulations all around the ensemble, everyone crying, the director beaming, the crew laughing and high-fiving, and Kara made sure to go around and thank everyone she could see for their hard work. She was just wondering how she was supposed to get down to the pit to thank the orchestra when she spotted Alex's distinctive red hair just a little ways away.

Kara moved towards her sister like gravity, the waterworks starting back up again, and she collapsed into Alex's arms, Alex pressing a long kiss to the side of her head, both of them shaking.

"I am so fucking proud of you," Alex whispered, and Kara hiccupped, pulling back and smiling at her big sister. "You big Broadway star," Alex said proudly, and Kara grinned, watery and self-conscious.

"Kara."

It was soft, quiet in the hubbub of the backstage, but Kara heard it immediately, and looked over Alex's shoulder to see Lena, her eyes suspiciously red, her hands held together almost stiffly. Kara glanced at Alex once, who squeezed her and let her go, and Kara pulled away to move towards Lena, her pace picking up into a run in an instant.

Kara crashed into Lena, whose arms came up around her solidly, hanging on tight. "You were amazing," Lena breathed into her ear. "You were so incredible. Even before we saw you, when I heard you, I got chills. You completely took my breath away." Kara shook her head into Lena's shoulder, and Lena squeezed her tighter. "You are brilliant, Kara Danvers."

"Alright, alright, let the superstar get changed." Winn. Winn was back, changed into street clothes and  waving his hands like a crabby old man who hated emotions. "Kara," he said, pointing at her, and Kara pulled back from Lena fractionally. "You. Change. We're going out to dinner, no arguments. Go. Now."

"Okay," Kara said, grinning and holding up her hands. Lena moved to follow her as she headed towards the dressing rooms, but Winn shook his head.

"Luthor, I haven't seen you in how long and you don't even say hi?" Kara glanced over her shoulder to see Lena moving back towards Winn, gracefully reprimanded, smiling at Winn as she moved to hug him. Alex followed her instead, the pair of them leaning into each other as Kara heard Winn say "Let them have a sisters' moment, she'll be right back for ya."

 

"Okay," Kara said, hiccupping slightly. She'd been borderline-assaulted with fans' love outside the theater and definitely assaulted with her family's love the whole night. Alex and Maggie were still humming the show tunes, poorly but with enthusiasm that made Kara's heart sing along. Winn was grinning ear to ear and had been stuffing chicken wings in his face all night, as befit a man of his stature. Fans kept recognizing them and coming up and asking for autographs and photos.

It was probably Winn's fault for choosing such a popular Broadway hangout as their place to eat, but it was still a good time. It was nice to be recognized for all her hard work sometimes.

Lena sat smushed into the side of a booth, smiling gracefully when fans recognized her too, always game to slip out of the side of the booth with Kara and smile with some girls who were clearly into girls. Though they were interrupted close to two dozen times throughout the night and every single interruption had been a joy, Kara was hitting the wall. She waved her hands. "No more. I am going home, I have a show again tomorrow night, you are going home too Winn, the rest of you are welcome to stay and do whatever you like of course, but I am out."

Maggie chuckled and slid an arm around Alex. "I think we'll explore for a little bit before heading to our hotel. Get some rest Kar, you deserve it."

Kara nodded as she and Winn pulled themselves out of the booth, both pulling out their wallets, and Alex waved them off like she was offended. "You're not paying for dinner, you got us free tickets to your opening night, and your second night too. Put those away."

Winn grinned and leaned back into the booth, kissing both Alex and Maggie on the cheek loudly. "I love you lesbians," he announced. "You are very fun." He pointed at them. "Be sure to cheer extra loud for my solo tomorrow night."

Maggie grinned, and Alex mimed fainting dramatically. "Winslow, you are the reason we are going again."

Winn turned to Kara, smiling happily. "They're good eggs, Danvers. You got yourself a good family."

Kara grinned, slinging an arm around Winn and squeezing tight. "I'm glad you like them, Winn. They're your family now too." Winn sniffled suspiciously, his face crumpling, and Kara chuckled. She looked at Lena, who'd been quieter than usual most of the evening. Kara extended a hand. "Ms. Luthor? I hear the chauffeur already dropped your things at my place? Would you like to stay or go?"

Lena rolled her eyes, taking Kara's hand and slipping out of the booth. "You know very well I do not have a chauffeur, Ms. Danvers."

"Yeah. Okay," Kara said, making it obvious she thought Lena was lying. Lena rolled her eyes again, biting back a smile. Kara pointed the hand slung around Winn's shoulder at Maggie and Alex. "You two crazy kids have fun. Don't be idiots. Text me when you're home safe."

"Yes ma'am," Alex said, saluting. Kara grinned dopily and pushed her trio towards the door, but Alex's calling of her name stopped her. "I'm really, really proud of you," Alex told her, one more time, and shit, Kara was going to ugly-cry in this restaurant just like Winn.

Lena wrapped an arm around her waist. "Come on superstar," she murmured. "Let's get you home before the waterworks start."

"I'm fine," Kara insisted, for the fifteenth time, once Winn was safely home and Lena had unlocked the door of Kara's apartment. "I cried enough times, I really just want, like, some tea and my pajamas and to go to bed."

Lena smoothed some errant strands of hair behind Kara's ear. "I think that can be arranged," she said, smiling gently. "Go get changed. I'll start the tea."

Kara gave a half-grin back sleepily, and Lena rocked forward and kissed her forehead. Kara felt an easy, warm kind of peace steal over her, and she slipped off her shoes and kicked them to the side, padding past Lena to go change.

"You've been quiet tonight," Kara observed a few minutes later, the pair of them settled into the couch in soft pajamas.

Lena shifted, pulled from a deep thought, and smiled at Kara, slightly unconvincingly. "Winn gave me a lecture," she said conspiratorially.

Kara leaned forward, frowning. "Winn. Gave you a lecture?"

"While you were changing." Kara narrowed her eyes, and Lena heard the unspoken question. "To be easy tonight." Kara raised an eyebrow, and Lena amended, "Gentle. He said you'd be super fried after the show. Frazzled. That you needed a gentle friend tonight more than another super-excited friend."

Kara took a thoughtful sip of her tea, Lena stirring her own. "He's not wrong," Kara said after a moment, and Lena smiled wryly. "But," Kara continued, "You shouldn’t feel like you have to restrain yourself around me, ever."

Lena smiled, her eyes filled with softness, and Kara felt another little piece of her already-melted-heart start dripping like a crayon in the sun. "I wasn't restraining myself," Lena said softly. "I was just putting you first. At least ahead of my own, selfish, Kara-hugging agenda."

Kara put on an incredulous, outraged face. She leaned forward and set her tea down. "I do not get enough hugs in New York," she announced. "I take your selfish Kara-hugging agenda and raise you my desperate needing-hugs-from-my-best-friend agenda." Kara held out her arms, and Lena giggled, moving forward to set down her own tea before leaning into Kara's hug.

Kara wrapped her arms around Lena, tight, and without warning, yanked them down, pulling Lena on top of her. Lena's small gasp of surprise turned into a giggle, and Kara chuckled, enjoying the feeling of Lena wrapped up in her. Of being wrapped up in Lena.

"We should have had the tea in bed," Lena murmured, and Kara groaned in agreement.

"You're gonna have to carry me there at this rate," Kara moaned, and Lena laughed.

"Come on," she whispered, climbing to her feet and reaching for Kara's hand. Kara let herself be tugged into bed, and Lena curled a gentle arm around her waist as she climbed in after, wrapping Kara up tight.

Shut up, voice in my head, Kara told herself silently, thinking the voice in her head sounded an awful lot like Winn. We are not married. We are not.

It didn't help matters when Lena pressed a kiss to the back of her head as she murmured a goodnight and one final I'm so proud of you. Kara fell asleep a little too easily.

 

Chapter Text

It was two and a half months later, and the time had passed in a blur of interviews and shows and the days slipping by in between.

Winn had moved in with Kara for a week while the plumbing in his apartment had been redone, and the pair of them had had regular dinners together before the show after that, cooking together and laughing to the most ridiculous harmonies they could come up with to their favorite songs in the kitchen. Maggie had come to town nearly a month ago for a couple days, testifying in an old case she had made the arrest on, and had seen Kara's show all of the three nights she was there. She also tried to make Kara and Winn eat vegan the whole time she was there, and they bore it with all the grace of fifth graders being denied dessert. Maggie laughed for hours at their antics before ordering in a pizza.

And now Lena was coming to town. Lena, who Kara was still hopelessly in love with, and was staying for a week.

"I have a photoshoot-slash-interview thing with that airline magazine, an audition that will take two days, and a radio interview with those all-things-queer podcasters who interviewed us when we did the movie." Lena's voice took on a sly note over the phone. "Any chance you'd want to join me on their show?"

Kara groaned, dramatically. "You're asking me to give up my little free time?"

"For time with me," Lena pointed out. "I'll buy you ice cream," she said, sing-songing. "They were fun last time, remember? They had all the best gay jokes."

"I also remember you dancing around your sexuality quite a bit," Kara said pointedly. "You could have just avoided the topic, they'd never make you answer, but you kept making comments that had them wondering, like, violently."

"Nothing wrong with a little mystery," Lena said airily. "We were on set anyways, we were supposed to be acting the part of women loving women."

"We are, though," Kara pointed out unnecessarily. "I just don't really talk about it, but I think people kinda know, but you, you just like being shrouded in mysterious allure."

"Mysterious allure," Lena mused. "I like that one. I think I'll put it in my twitter bio."

"You don't have a twitter," Kara reminded her.

She could almost hear Lena's frown over the phone. "I don't have an instagram either… perhaps it's time I make one."

Kara laughed. "I'll help you when you get here."

"Then we have something to talk about on the podcast?" Kara hesitated, and Lena pushed a little farther. "Please, Kara, they'd love to have you so much. It would make everyone so happy, and it would so boost your brand. And your show."

Kara sighed. "Send me the details."

Lena's squeal of delight still echoed in her ears when Kara went to pick her up from the airport three days later, dressed in a Captain-America-in-the-mall style disguise. Kara hopped from foot to foot in the baggage claim, semi-regretting not taking Winn up on his offer of coming with her. He would diffuse any tension or nervousness she was bound to feel.

But the concept of being alone with Lena, of not having to share her attentions, it was too intoxicating to let go. All the nervous tics she'd been feeling, Kara pushed aside. In love or not, Lena was still her best friend. And if Kara was a bit of a glutton for punishment with the way Lena flirted and touched her and it never went anywhere… well, it wasn't drugs. It wasn't illegal. Something about what Lena had should probably be illegal, but that was beside the point. Kara would take all the time she get with Lena in her airspace.

Kara shifted as she spotted Lena on the escalator, butterflies filling her stomach as she struggled to keep a straight face and stare ahead, unaffected. She pulled the paper she had scribbled on hastily out of her back pocket, Tomato Debate Champion scrawled across it in her bold print.

Lena's laugh echoed across the claim and Kara grinned, looking over. Lena had spotted her, sure enough, and was pulling out her phone to snap a photo of her. Kara glared stoically for the camera and broke back out into a grin as Lena put it away, crashing into Kara's arms and hanging on tight, swaying on the spot.

"Who knew I'd have such a handsome chauffeur this time?" Lena teased, tugging on Kara's cap bill.

Kara rolled her eyes. "So you admit you have a regular chauffeur service?"

"A lady never tells," Lena said, winking, and Kara's stomach did a flip. Lena hugged her again before turning to watch the baggage carousel, her shoulder pressing into Kara's. "Good show last night?" she asked, pulling the paper from Kara's hands idly. Kara answered in the affirmative, and Lena smiled. "Of course it was. I can't wait to see it again tonight."

"You're sure you want to see it every single night?" Kara asked. "I can give my understudy a show."

"Of course I do," Lena said, leaning into her shoulder. "We'll hang out during the day and afterwards. You've wanted to do this your whole life. I'm not missing a single performance." Lena folded the paper back up and slipped it into Kara's back pocket. Kara resisted the urge to slap her own hand over her back pocket, just to get rid of the tingly feeling that Lena's fingers had left. Honestly, this woman was killing her. "Oh hey, there's my bag," Lena said, and Kara stepped forward to lift it off the carousel.

"You ready?" Kara asked, and Lena nodded. "Let's go."

 

"Hello, ladies and gays, and welcome back to another fabulous episode of Here, Queer, and Puppeteers: the all-things-queer podcast that started out with making fun of puppet shows and turned into your weekly rant on heteronormativity and queer representation on screen. I'm Jess, this is Eve, and this week we are thrilled to welcome back two very special guests that you all loved last time, the stars of the lesbian blockbuster that blew us all away, Kara Danvers and Lena Luthor!"

Kara giggled into the mic, and Lena smiled. "Hi, everyone."

"I have to say," Eve said, smiling hugely at Kara in the soft lighting of the studio and twirling a pen in her fingers, the four of them around the round table covered with mics, "I was so surprised when Lena called and asked us if you could join too today, Kara. Thrilled, but surprised. I hear you are tearing it up on the Broadway."

"I had to beg her," Lena drawled, and Kara shook her head, groaning into the mic.

"Not this again," she said.

Lena flashed a sultry smile at the table at large, and Jess and Eve looked to be on the verge of swoonery. "Bribery was involved, and lots of begging."

"You're going to give them nightmares, stop it," Kara said, fighting back a laugh. "All she did was promise me ice cream afterwards." Kara winked at Eve, who'd been watching her closely this whole time. "I'm a very easy woman, all truth be told." Eve dropped the pencil she'd been swirling.

"The two of you always give us the content we are here for," Eve said dreamily. It was probably a good thing she was sitting. She cleared her throat. "But Kara--can I call you Kara?"

Kara laughed, her of course you can! Cut off by Lena's "Absolutely not, she responds only to Your Grace."

"Ignore her," Kara said, laughing and shoving at Lena's shoulder, causing her rolly chair to slide a little and Lena's indignant protest to be half-picked up by the microphones. "What would you like to know, Ms. Tessmacher?"

"Oh, just Eve is fine!" Eve insisted, blushing a little. "I was hoping you could tell us a little about your Broadway show! I mean, Broadway! Who knew you were so multi-talented? I went back and rewatched everything you've ever been in--" (A commitment, Lena muttered, and Kara kicked her under the table, awkward angle inhibiting her ability to inflict damage) "--and you've never sang on screen!"

"Well, I've always been singing, you can ask Lena, I literally never shut up," Kara said, and Lena muttered true. Kara shoved her again. "I'm always singing. I took a lot of singing lessons when I was really young, and in high school I did choir and show choir--"

"No way," Lena cut across her excitedly, Kara shut her eyes in horror as she realized her mistake. "You were in glee? No way, no way, no way. How did I not know this?"

"Yup, I sing," Kara said, lamely. Jess and Eve looked like they were watching a tennis match. "I've always wanted to do Broadway, but somehow a singing thing never came up--"

"Do not change the subject," Lena said, looking like Christmas had come early. "You were in show choir! How does the world not know this?"

"They do now," Kara muttered, leaning sideways as she spoke into the mike to glare half-heartedly at Lena.

"As they should! I’m texting Alex immediately, there better be so many pictures."

"I'm starting to rethink ice cream afterwards," Kara said. "I don't know what you got into, but you are hyperactive as hell right now and it's starting to scare me. Seriously, did you find Winn's energy drinks or something in my apartment?"

"You're staying in her apartment?" Eve squeaked.

"Something like that," Lena answered vaguely, sultry drawl still in place, mysterious. Kara closed her eyes.

Jess seemed to sense Kara's distress. "So Kara, can you tell us what the show is about?"

"Yes!" Kara said, latching on. Lena chuckled as Kara launched into the plot, trying not to give it all away.

Lena seemed to sense Kara was getting into verbal stumbling ground a minute later, trying not to put in any spoilers. "All you need to know is that she is marvelous and you have to go see it," Lena cut in smoothly. "She will absolutely take your breath away and sweep you off your feet. If you weren't gay before going to see her, you are now."

"And Ms. Luthor, have you seen it?"

"Four times already," Lena fired back, her smirk audible.

"So you're…"

"Four times gayer for one Kara Danvers," Lena confirmed, then laughed. Kara rolled her eyes. That wasn't going to make people speculate on anything at all. "But all jokes aside, the score is incredible, it's beautifully staged, the ensemble and cast are magnificent, the story is wonderfully told, and Kara is the shining jewel in it all. If you can, you need to go see it."

"Aww," Kara said, smiling at Lena. "You're making me blush."

"Excellent," Lena said, her voice a fake-mischievous. "My twelve-step plan to seduce you is working."

A chorus of laughter echoed around the studio. "So Ms. Luthor," Jess started again, and Kara interrupted her this time.

"Sorry, but Lena only answers to her proper title," Kara informed her. "Satan's mistress."

Laughter rocked Lena's frame. "Does that make you Satan?"

"The thug life chose me," Kara shot back, choosing to ignore how Jess and Eve were both laughing and staring incredulously. "Sorry, Jess, what was your question?"

"Just that, speaking of seduction, there were a lot of spoilers you couldn't give away about your movie the last time we interviewed you. But now that it's out, what was your favorite part about falling in love with another woman on screen?"

"Nice segue," Lena said, grinning. "Hmmm…" Lena swiveled from side to side in her chair, tapping on her upper lip, Kara watching with a fond little smile on her face. "I'd have to say, it felt much… softer. Gentler. We could still have passionate fights and disagreements, but I never felt like we were forcing the two characters to be together, you know? Like, in a lot of straight romcoms, especially the ones we grew up watching, it feels like the plot was, how incompatible can we make these two people? How much can they drive each other crazy? And then the guy does one single, caring thing, and the girl leaps into his arms even though he's done horrible things to her. And we just took that narrative and chucked it in the bin. And I think that's lovely, because I just don't think that's a good way to go about finding someone you want to be with.

"And now," Lena glanced at Kara, smiling softly, "To see it on screen, it's a good relationship, period. It's none of this 'good for two women, I guess,' crap, it's like, whoa, that's a good relationship. Girls and guys and everyone in between should be in healthy relationships with whoever they want, if they want. And because I was with someone so wonderful, and such a wonderful creative team, there was no one to fight on that. No one to say, mmm, that's too sappy, or oh, that's unrealistic. I think the best part of it, actually, was working with an all-female creative team who cared so deeply about the individual characters."

"Wow," Eve said softly, and Kara leaned over to kiss Lena's temple gently. Lena smiled like she was used to it, because she was. "Oh, that's so sweet," Jess whispered. "For those of you that can't see, Kara just kissed Lena's forehead. Oh, my little bisexual heart."

"Kara, anything to add?" Jess asked, sniffling.

"Yeah," Kara said, smiling. "Literally everything Lena just said, but also, I was more comfortable with her than I have ever been with a man on screen. And I have been, like, not to badmouth any man I've ever played across, they've all been so wonderful, I love them all, but like, there's something about having a woman across from you in any situation, you know? It's like, there are things about doing love scenes, you're so vulnerable in a lot of ways, and it's scary, and men, they get that, but they don't get all of it, you know? There are just things they've never had to deal with so they don't think about. But the privilege of having another woman across from you, that's a gift from above during those kinds of scenes. I've heard this from other women when it was two women, or two women and a man or whatever in a scene, but it made me so much more comfortable, and feel so much more into the character, who was supposed to be, you know, head over heels in love, not any kind of scared. I always feel like during scenes like that with guys, there's a tiny bit of fear, and we play it as anticipation, but there was like, zero, seriously none of that when I was with Lena."

Lena smiled and reached for Kara's hand, planting a kiss on her knuckles.

Eve sniffled loudly. "The two of you go from fifth graders to sincerity and sweetness level ten in a heartbeat. You just kissed her hand! This is the dream."

Lena and Kara both laughed. "Okay, okay," Jess said, cutting across the feels. "Next question." She focused on Lena. "We're going into our rapid-fire round before starting with the serious stuff again. Lena, you ready?"

"Ready," Lena said.

"Do you call it a lollipop or a sucker?"

"Lollipop," Lena said without hesitation.

"What?" Kara said, incredulous. "It's a sucker."

"Favorite snack food?"

"What's in Kara's mouth," Lena said, and there was a short silence, before Kara coughed, the cough edging on a splutter and her face edging on flaming red. "Whatever Kara's got in her pockets," Lena clarified. "The woman always has snacks on her. I always mooch."

"Okay," Jess said, looking like she was about to float away. "Umm. Duvet or blanket?"

"My duvet, Kara's blanket," Lena answered again, without hesitation.

Kara closed her eyes. "Would you, perhaps, at any point," Kara said, delicate and deliberate, "Like to clarify that we are not, in fact, sleeping together?"

"You don't have a good duvet!" Lena protested. "But your homemade quilt is--"

"Is not helping," Kara said loudly. "What's the next question?"

"Uh, final one for Lena," Jess said, eyes wide but halfway delighted. "The one thing you'd sneak into a movie."

"Mm," Lena said, frowning thoughtfully. "Red Vines. I know they sell them there, but they're never fresh. I would sneak in an industrial tub of the stuff. Especially with this one next to me."

"I'm not that bad!" Kara yelped, and Lena just laughed.

"Okay," Eve said, tearing her eyes away from a giggling Lena. "Kara, you ready?"

"Hit me."

"What meal do you hate the most?"

"Quesadillas."

"Which is absurd, since you love tacos," Lena muttered.

Kara sighed as Jess coughed gay, and glared at Lena. "We've been through this, melted cheese only belongs on pizzas and grilled cheese. Inside a tortilla, the cheese needs to be cold."

"Okay," Eve said, her voice a little higher than usual, "Favorite kind of chocolate?"

"Anything milk, preferably with peanut butter, but none of the holiday special stuff."

"Learned that the hard way," Lena muttered. "Here I thought Valentine's Day sales would be helpful to filling your bottomless pit of a stomach, but noooo."

"Goats or sheep?"

"You can't ask me to choose that, but sheep. No, goats. Wait. Sheep. Ugh. Don't ask me that."

"And final question, are tomatoes a fruit or a vegetable?"

Lena gasped. Kara groaned. "You really, really shouldn’t have asked that. Here we go." Lena launched into a lecture.

Jess shook hands with Kara over bottles of water in the corner of the room at the end, Eve gushing over Lena on the other side of the room, who was chuckling along. "The two of you are absurdly cute," Jess said in a low voice.

Kara bit her lip thoughtfully, watching Lena and Eve. "Can I ask you something? Just between us?" Jess nodded, giving Kara her full attention. "Do we seem like a couple?"

Jess hmm'ed. "Honestly?" she asked. Kara nodded. "You seem like you will be." Kara frowned, turning to her, and Jess tilted her head. "It's pretty obvious you're both into each other, but the way Lena dances around her sexuality and everything… it's like, it's not the right time, but I don't get a single feeling other than the fact that you two are gonna be together for a long, long time once you get there."

"What gives you that impression?" Kara asked, not feeling the slightest bit uncomfortable with Jess, for whatever reason. The woman had an A+ gaydar, a great relationship sense, made her living talking all things queer, and didn't seem to take any bullshit. Kara trusted her implicitly.

"The two of you play well in the press in a way that can't be faked," Jess said bluntly. "Your press tour for the movie? The lesbian internet blew up. Lena does a good job of keeping it a mystery, so no straight person can really guess, but to a queer person? She says and knows things that are a dead giveaway that she's at least a little bit in the culture." Jess shrugged. "You two can't act on all of that. Especially seeing you in that interview just now? You know that we don't quite have a million subscribers. We'll probably pull a few million for your interview today, but…" Jess tilted her head to the side, turning back to watch Lena and Eve, still laughing. "You were both more comfortable in front of a smaller audience is the point, and in your comfort, you got closer. I could tell you were best friends, but even though you hid it really really well, it's also kind of obvious to me that you want more."

"That bad, huh?" Kara said, leaning back against the counter.

Jess shook her head. "This is kind of my job," she said apologetically. "If it helps, I can tell two other things, clear as day." Kara looked at her, and Jess took this as an invitation to continue. Jess leaned in a little closer. "One, that you'd never do anything to pursue her unless she expressed a genuine interest that wasn't all easily misconstrued joking and flirt. That you're actually happy being her friend."

"And two?" Kara asked, not sure she wanted to hear the answer.

Jess put a hand on her shoulder. "That Lena sure as hell isn't into anyone else right now."

Kara watched as Jess went to thank Lena for her time, chewing her lip, lost in thought. Jess's assessment… she could do that right now. She could do that for a while.

 

 

"Okay, lesbians! Look alive, we've got a crisis!"

Kara groaned, light filtering in through her curtains, Lena's head pillowed on her shoulder. It was three and a half months after their podcast debacle, which the lesbian internet had deemed 'the gayest podcast ever to gay', and Lena was visiting again, this time after finishing up shooting her supporting role in a period drama.

"This better be a genuine crisis Winn," Kara moaned, her eyes still shut.

"Shh," Lena said, her fingers patting around until they found Kara's mouth, clamping over it, and Kara smiled against her fingers instinctually. "Too early," Lena groaned. "Go away, Schott. Why do you have a key?"

"Because I lived here for a week, duh," Winn said, throwing the curtains open. "Quit pretending you're not in love with each other for five minutes and listen to my problems, cause I am fuh-reaking out, my dudes."

"Okay," Kara said, eyes still shut tight. She took a deep breath and pushed at Lena gently until she rolled off, blinking several times as she sat up. "What's going on?" She asked, reaching for her glasses.

"Oh, I'm so glad you asked, wow thank you--uh, James is in town."

"James?" Kara frowned. "The guy you had me check out last New Years'?"

"No, the eighteen year old I lived with--yes, the guy I made out with drunk on New Year's!"

"Hang on," Lena said, a smile curving her lips before she opened her eyes and sat up, looking delighted. "You made out with James Olsen, drunk, on New Year's?

"And a little bit at Alex and Maggie's wedding," Winn admitted, pinking.

Lena looked more delighted. "Lead with that next time."

"You know James?" Winn asked, sitting down on the edge of the bed. "Outside of where I've seen you interact with him, I mean."

"We did a film together a few years before I met you two," Lena said, yawning and scooting herself up to lean back against the headboard next to Kara. "He's a really, really good guy. Bi as fuck, so you know he's good people."

"I'm bi as fuck," Kara said, raising an eyebrow.

"You're the best people," Lena told her sincerely, and Kara melted.

Winn groaned. "Lesbian! Bi woman! Over here! My crisis!"

"Sorry," Lena said. "Did you talk to him afterwards?"

"What part of drunk make out on New Year's did you not understand? Do you know how hammered I was that night? I had to have someone else check him out for me! I remembered it literally a week after!"

"Was it good though?" Kara asked, and Winn actually blushed.

"Ooh, it was," Lena said, elbowing Kara and pushing at Winn's thigh with her foot. "I'm not sure I've ever seen you blush, Mr. Schott."

"He has the most beautiful mouth," Winn said pathetically. "But I literally haven't spoken with him in a year and a half! I never got his number, but apparently he got mine somehow, and left me a voicemail twenty minutes ago telling me he was landing in New York tomorrow morning, asked if we could hang out! He said he has an audition!"

"Oh, I hope it's for Burr, I hear they're replacing him," Kara said excitedly. "He was the one that sang super gorgeously, right?"

"Like an angel," Lena said, nodding. "Oh! You two should do a duet, I think your voices would go really well together--"

"HEY!" Winn yelled. "Focus!" Lena and Kara bit down forcibly on matching grins and looked at him repentantly. "What do I do?" Winn asked desperately.

"You go to eat with him. Brunch, so it's casual but also classy," Lena said, shrugging like it was no big deal. "We go with you if you're nervous. You have a good time and you reassess from there."

"You'd do that for me?" Winn asked, hesitantly.

"Winn," Kara rolled her eyes. "When I said you were family, this is part of the deal."

Winn's face crumpled, and Lena pointed a finger at him sternly. "Do not cry. It is too early. If you want to express gratitude, you can go cook breakfast and let us sleep for another twenty minutes."

"Okay," Winn said quietly, still sniffling. "I'll text James in a bit. You'll help me--"

"Compose the text, of course," Kara said. "This isn't amateur hour. Breakfast first."

"On it," Winn promised, darting for the kitchen. Kara and Lena looked over at each other, and burst into laughter at the same moment.

"Aww," Kara said, giggling uncontrollably. "This is going to be so awkward, and I love it."

"It's going to be so worth it, though," Lena agreed, and Kara nodded.

"Come on though," Kara said, sliding back down in the bed and dropping her glasses on the nightstand. "More sleep while our boy cooks." Lena slid back down without hesitation and curled into Kara, who suppressed a full body shiver and before falling back asleep in two minutes.

 

James was charming. He was just as tall and dark and handsome as remembered, and in another life, Kara might go for him herself.

But then she glanced at Lena. Lena, all giddy excitement sparkling in her eyes. Lena, squeezing her arm tight in suppressed laughter as Winn tripped over his own words. Lena, stunning in the sunlight, her dark blouse and tight jeans accentuating every curve and her updo showing off her impeccable facial structure and it was not fair. Lena, gorgeous. Lena, taking up all Kara's focus when she looked at her like that. Lena, enthralling her for hours on end when she talked about one of her charities she sponsored or a project she was excited about or a book she had read.

James was eyeing Kara, a little suspiciously, but he blinked the expression away as he focused on the question Winn was asking. Kara shook her head slightly to clear it. Lena glanced at her from across the table, eyebrows furrowed in a slight question, and Kara shook her head. Fine, she mouthed, and Lena narrowed her eyes for a second longer before turning back to Winn's question.

James' baritone laugh burst out loudly, and Kara looked at Winn, who was grinning proudly as he looked at James. The tips of his ears were pink. Oh, this boy had it bad.

 

"Any plans for the big finale?"

Kara shrugged, biting her lip as she swung through the crowded street market she had discovered only last month. "Triple encore, thank the director, convince the pit to join me on stage, drink my face off?"

"Kara Danvers, drunk? This I have to see."

"You said you weren't coming," Kara said, focusing on the selection of strawberries.

"Title of your sextape," Lena deadpanned, and Kara groaned. "Come on, you just set me up for that one," Lena said, laughing.

"I most definitely did not," Kara said, handing over some cash and focusing on getting the strawberries into her bag. "But are you seriously gonna fly out just to fly back with me?"

"It's the finale, Kara," Lena said, a petulant note in her voice. "I think I have to."

"You most definitely do not have to," Kara said. "You have a thing."

"I have four things, all of which can be rescheduled."

"You have four things, each of` which multiple people have moved heaven and earth to have a few minutes of your time. Don't be that celebrity that cancels on everyone last minute."

"I'd be postponing, first of all," Lena shot back. "And second, I am not a celebrity, thank you very much. I am an acclaimed artiste."

"Yeah, I can hear that," Kara snorted.

"Do you, um, not want me to be there?" There was a slight note of fragility in Lena's voice, and Kara stopped in her tracks, her heartstrings tugging painfully.

"Of course I want you here," Kara said forcefully into the phone. "But I also have to be making sure that my apartment is safe in Winn's hands, Alex is already coming out, everyone's gonna be wanting to talk to me, I'm flying back to see you for two weeks not two days after, and I'm still trying to learn the new music for the show I'm filling in for next so I don't look like a total idiot when I show up to rehearsals."

"I'd just be another thing on your plate, I get it," Lena sighed.

"No," Kara said, "I'd chuck my plate across the room to be with you all day, and that is not a good plan. For anyone."

There was a silence, and Kara listened hard, despite the sounds of the street rushing past. There was finally a short sigh. "Adult up?" Lena suggested.

"Absence makes the grow fonder?" Kara tried.

"I hate both of those," Lena said quietly. "Why don't we go with, I'll see you in ten days."

"I'll see you in ten days," Kara repeated dutifully. Some days, Lena made her wonder…

"And don't get drunk without me, Ms. Danvers. I have full dibs on seeing you hammered."

Kara thought privately that Lena seeing her drunk would be the biggest mistake of her life, if she wanted to keep Lena's friendship. "Mhm," Kara retorted dryly. "I'll have you know I am not an object to be called dibs upon, Ms. Luthor."

"I would never objectify you, Kara," Lena said, and she sounded insulted and sweet, and Kara pushed back another groan as Lena played her like a fiddle. "I just want to be there for your every experience."

"I make no promises," Kara told her.

"Boo."

 

After a tear-jerking finale in which Kara coaxed the orchestra members up on stage during the final song and they all jammed together, and after a six-minute sob session with the ensemble, Alex and Winn got her good and hammered on her favorite drinks from the big Broadway-style bar downtown. Lena sent her a picture the next day of a shot from social media, one of her and Winn doing karaoke, clearly plastered, with a crying emoji.

Lena: I feel replaced
Lena: why do you get drunk with HIM and not me
Lena: you don't even LIKE being drunk
Kara: someone's feeling needy today
Lena: I HAD DIBS OK
Kara: you can't call dibs on me
Lena: I WOULDN'T NEED TO IF YOU DRANK MORE THAN ONCE EVERY OTHER YEAR. I THOUGHT A GAY MAN WOULD RESPECT THE DIBS
Kara: so you're upset that I got drunk?
Lena: no
Lena: you should do whatever makes you happy
Lena: I'm upset you got drunk without me when I've only seen you drunk ONCE and then I CALLED DIBS ON BEING THERE NEXT TIME
Kara: to be fair, you know I've been drunk maybe four times in my life. You were THERE for one of them.
Lena: I am well aware. I respect your reasons entirely and I admire this. bUT WHY WHEN I'M NOT THERE. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN LAST TIME
Kara: maybe I just don't need the alcohol with you
Lena:…that's MY line, Ms. Danvers
Kara: ;)

Lena sent her another barrage twenty minutes later, all of which Kara ignored.
Lena: did you have fun though?
Lena: because we all know I'm more fun than Winn, drunk, I mean
Lena: and sober
Lena: not to say anything against Winn
Lena: I'm just more fun than everyone
Lena: at least you seem to think so
Lena: or you DID
Lena: but physical question how much did you drink
Lena: did you get hungover
Lena: WHAT did you drink
Lena: what's your poison, Ms. Danvers? I know what you had last time but you didn't seem to love it
Lena: can I pretty please be there next time
Lena: next time can be in twenty years or whenever but for the love of GOD don't leave me out of it again
Lena: pretty please
Kara: ALEX AND I ARE TRYING TO PREP MY APARTMENT FOR WINN'S CARE IF I SAY YES WILL YOU LEAVE ME ALONE
Lena: Yes!
Kara: then sure
Lena: YYYYYEESSSSSSS
Lena: seriously what's your drink I wanna make this a good experience for you
Kara: for the love of god
Lena: I haven't heard of that one
Lena: I'll find it don't worry
Kara: shit wait no

 

 

Maggie picked up Alex and Kara at the airport with a huge grin. Kara got an even bigger hug, and then pretended to say eww for a moment as Maggie kissed her wife before darting off to the bathroom to let them have a moment.

"Good finale?" Maggie asked Kara when she got back, looping an arm around her waist, another around Alex's.

"Yeah," Kara said, smiling and tearing up a little just thinking about it. She leaned into her sister-in-law. "Thanks for letting me borrow her for a week."

"Anytime, Little Danvers. And for the record, I'm proud of you too."

"Jeez, Maggie," Kara muttered. "You're gonna make me cry again."

Maggie shrugged, grinning and unrepentant. "Hey uh," Maggie added, "I practically had to duel someone for the right to pick you two ladies up at the airport."

"Let me guess," Alex drawled, stepping onto the escalator and turning to look up at them. "Little Luthor was all in a tizzy for Kara's homecoming."

Kara felt herself blush. "How'd you know?" Maggie asked dryly.

"Wild premonition," Alex shot back, and Kara rolled her eyes.

"Kara, I know you don't think so, but that girl's got it bad for you," Maggie said. Kara looked at her, defenses worn down after such an emotional week. She wanted a recharge, not a big change. "I only got to be the one to pick you up because I promised she could come over for dinner, take you home afterwards, and her manager told her in no uncertain terms she was not allowed to miss the meeting she had previously scheduled."

Kara chewed on her lip as they stepped off the escalator, and nodded vaguely as Alex headed for the bathroom while she and Maggie headed for the correct carousel. "I know," Kara said slowly, "That the objective facts make one picture, but the friendship really just means a lot, Maggie, I don't know what else to tell you and I really," Kara sighed heavily, looking at her desperately, "I really need things to not change right now. I'm going back in two weeks, and we don't have any plans beyond the next job--no home city, no promise of when we'll see each other after the first time she comes to visit me, nada."

"I get that," Maggie promised, looking nothing but wise and kind as Kara sat heavily on the edge of the carousel, slumping down. "But Kar," Maggie said, and Kara looked up. "Promise me, that if the time ever comes, if one of you ever goes for it, promise me you won't give up. Promise me you'll fight."

"I promise," Kara whispered, and Maggie nodded, looking satisfied in that.

"I see the way you look at each other. I know your reasons for not going for it right now, and I respect them. But we should kiss the girls we want to kiss," Maggie said softly, and Kara forgot about the noise of the terminal for a moment, leaning forward until her head knocked softly into Maggie's stomach. Maggie's arms wrapped around her shoulders and squeezed tight and quick, and let her go.

Kara looked up at her again and nodded. "Not this time," she said. "Not anytime soon. But I promise you that if it happens, I won't let her go."

"Okay," Maggie said, then smiled, that soft, save-the-world smile, like that was enough for now. "I'm proud of you, Kara."

 

Kara put the knife down as she scooped the freshly-chopped lettuce into the bowl. "I'm just saying!" she told a laughing Maggie over a protesting Alex. "It's impossible to take her anywhere!"

"I hope you're not talking about me," came a drawl from the door, and Kara looked up, recognition and joy flooding her system as she saw Lena stepping through the door.

"Lena!" Kara flew from behind the counter to sweep up her best friend, Lena laughing as she caught her, squeezing back just as tight.

"Sorry I'm late, darling," Lena said, one hand on her hair, holding Kara close. "They were determined to stop me from leaving."

Kara chuckled, moving to pull back but held still by Lena's arms. "It's fine," Kara promised. "You didn't miss anything."

"On the contrary," Lena said, finally releasing her to squeezer her arms, look her up and down in a way that made Kara flush slightly, tugging lightly at Kara's apron, "I seem to have missed you cooking."

"She picked up a new vegan salad recipe she promised me," Maggie supplied from the kitchen, where she was watching the exchange with a carefully nonchalant look that matched Alex's. "Apparently roasted kale is the trick to making the Danvers eat something green."

Lena raised a delighted eyebrow. "It tastes good this way!" Kara spluttered.

"I see," Lena said, and yep, there it was. That Lena-ness that made Kara fall every time. Kara rolled her eyes and headed back to the kitchen, Lena following. "I'll have to try some," Lena promised. "Is there anything I can help with?" And just like that, they were back in their easy rhythm, Lena making Kara's heart stutter and pound and leap with delight every time she glanced her way.

 

Chapter Text

"You haven't dated anyone in a while, have you Lena?"

Lena gave Ruby a slightly withering glare, but Ruby seemed unaffected. "I've had a lot on my plate, Rubes."

"So has Kara, but she's been on a bunch of dates."

"None of them went beyond the first date," Lena shot back, looking like she was resisting the urge to stick her tongue out.

Kara rolled her eyes, keeping her mouth shut. They were out to lunch with Sam and Ruby, and Ruby brought up some excellent points. Kara had tried dating. She'd actually probably been on a dozen dates since she'd met Lena, which was a dozen more than she wanted to go on. But Winn had pushed her into most of them, and it hadn't taken much pushing. She'd met some really lovely people. But between her borderline-celebrity (ok, actually a celebrity, not that she liked that word, the crews and the other creative directors deserved just as much if not more attention) status and something else mysterious, she just hadn't even wanted to try.

Ok, she knew what the something else was. It was Lena.

But getting ready for dates, it was fun, being wanted, it felt good. And she had always had a bounce in her step for a couple days surrounding the date, then she got there, and it was like… ugh. A person, looking at her with stars in their eyes, and she only wanted one person looking at her like that. And her date was most unfortunately never Lena.

But why hadn't Lena dated?

"What if you and Kara dated?"

Kara zoned back into the conversation to see Lena choke on her own spit just as Sam came back from the bathroom. Sam raised an eyebrow as Lena continued to splutter, Kara's concerned hand steady on her shoulder. "Kara, you know CPR, right? Cause I haven't brushed up on my skills in a while and I'm not particularly in the mood to do mouth to mouth with Lena today."

"I'm fine," Lena gasped, recovering, no one caring how Kara’s heart was stuttering at the fictional concept of doing mouth to mouth with Lena. "Fine."

"Does the idea of dating Kara make you want to die?" Ruby asked, and Sam's eyes went wide.

"What?" Sam asked, her mom voice coming on, and all three of them reacted, though they had no idea who it was directed at. "Ruby, what did you just ask her?"

"I was asking Lena what if she and Kara dated, and she just choked! I didn't do anything!"

"Okay, sweetie, we don't ask people about their dating lives like that."

"But they'd be so good together! You made a whole movie about it!" Kara was silent, though she agreed with Ruby entirely.

"That was them acting, not being themselves, and we've gone over the difference."

"But--"

"Drop it, Ruby," Sam said, an edge to her voice as she eyed Ruby meaningfully. "We'll discuss this at home." Ruby snapped her mouth shut, looking more thoughtful than reprimanded, and Kara watched them for another long minute as Lena took a drink of water. Kara picked up her menu, mind whirring. If Ruby was seeing things…

 

 

"That was fun," Lena said, pulling out of the restaurant parking lot.

Kara grinned and stretched in the passenger's seat, nodding. "Yeah. It was good to see them. Ruby's grown."

"She's grown a mouth," Lena muttered.

"She was fine," Kara said, waving her off. "She just enjoys getting under your skin because you let her. Sam would say something if she wasn't so busy trying not to laugh at how red your face was getting."

"Asking about my dating life before we had drinks?"

"Is an act of bravery and inquisitiveness," Kara said firmly. "Besides, it's not like we don't all want to know the answer."

"You want to know the answer?" Lena asked, glancing at her in surprise.

"Well, yeah," Kara said, feeling brave and relaxed at Lena's mild discomfort, sleepy in the California sunshine through the windshield. "We talk about my love life or lack thereof all the time and yours never comes up."

"You could bring it up," Lena pointed out.

"The way you never talk about it makes me think you don’t want me to bring it up," Kara pushed back. "You seem to sense the second I have a date and pry every detail out of me. I can't get anything out of you."

"There's nothing to get," Lena said, her response automatic. Kara angled herself in the seat, folding her legs up under her like a little kid, watching Lena drive. Lena glanced at her for a quick moment before focusing back on the road, hands slightly tense on the wheel, posture stiff. She was beautiful in the sunshine, truly. Her hair was down and everything shone. "Why are you staring?" Lena asked.

"I'm not allowed to stare at my best friend?" Lena huffed, and Kara kept staring. "A best friend is supposed to help, you know," Kara said softly after a moment, after Lena swore for the third time as someone cut her off again. "With your dating life too. If you needed someone to talk to."

"You'd be the first one I'd talk to," Lena said, frowning as she made a turn. "You know that."

"But you haven't talked to me," Kara pointed out unnecessarily.

"Because there's nothing to talk about!" The words jumped out of her, loudly. Lena winced at her own volume, but Kara remained calm. "Sorry." There was a long pause in which Kara continued to watch her, waiting. "Maybe I have…" Lena took a deep breath, pressed down on the gas as the light turned green. "Maybe I have been a little…"

"Lonely?" Kara suggested softly, and Lena shook her head.

"Pent up," Lena corrected her firmly, and Kara bit down on a grin, warmth buzzing in her chest. "Pent up is the term you are looking for," Lena said, looking a little more relieved she had that off her chest, and she glanced at Kara, her expression dry.

"Have you been with anyone?" Kara hedged carefully, and Lena shook her head, blowing hair out of her face.

"Not since before Lex got arrested. I broke up with my girlfriend maybe a month before then and wasn't ready to move on. The thought of dating… flew out the window with that debacle. Then I was all caught up in trying to rebuild my career and…" Lena bit the side of her lip, looking frustrated. "I was going to go out one night with someone I had met on set of my last role, but she called last minute and had to cancel. She said it was a family thing, but it was like…" Lena's eyebrows tugged lower before she forcibly cleared her expression, shaking her head as she pushed the car a little faster. "What if it was just her finding out about Lex, you know? He definitely wasn't afraid to sleep his way to the top, and I think that was part of the reason he was so successful, though I never looked into that."

"Okay, stop," Kara said, her chest aching at the thought of Lena dressed up and hopeful in a foreign country only to be blown off. "Just, stop. First of all, if anyone who was going to meet with you said family thing and it wasn't for a date, you'd believe them, right?" Lena nodded. "Trust her too, okay? Why didn't you try again?"

Lena rolled her eyes along her head towards Kara. "I didn't like her that much, Kara. I didn’t intend to see her again after that evening anyway."

"You were--oh. Oh."

"Oh," Lena mimicked fondly, grinning wryly as Kara blushed.

"But that's the only time you've ever put yourself out there, even a little?"

"Haven't even had any bedroom scenes to shoot," Lena confirmed. She paused, tilting her head to the side. "Well. Other than the one with you." Lena looked at her as she pulled up to a red light, raising her eyebrow in that way that always made Kara blush. "Congratulations, you've been my most intimate partner in years."

Kara tried really, really hard to tamp down the overwhelming smugness she felt at that. She failed. It just felt right, Lena being with her.

But. Lena wasn't hers. She was her friend.

"We barely made it to second base," Kara pointed out.

"I'm well aware," Lena said under her breath, and Kara frowned.

"What?"

"Nothing," Lena said, pulling into the garage. She glanced over at Kara with a sultry grin though, fake but no less appealing. "It was pretty good though." She winked, and Kara huffed and rolled her eyes in an attempt not to blush. They got out of the car, Lena swinging the keys around her ring finger. "It wouldn't be the worst idea, you know," Lena said suddenly as they stepped into the elevator.

"What?" Kara asked, watching the elevator doors close her and Lena in the same small space, feeling a tingling of dread coming up from her toes at Lena's tone.

"Me and you." Lena shrugged, nonchalant. "We're both women into women, we've kissed like a million times, we obviously have chemistry… I'm just saying. Maybe Ruby had a point."

"Maybe I live in New York," Kara managed, not quite believing Lena was saying this now. There were literally a million better days when they could have had this conversation. She couldn't believe Lena was saying this at all, like she'd considered it, like she thought about Kara. "You're seriously bringing this idea up now?"

Lena shrugged again. "I didn't say it had to be long term," Lena pointed out, still facing the elevator doors, and Kara stared at the floor number rising.

Kara laughed. "You mean break up after two weeks--" she realized it all at once, and feelings slammed into her. All kinds of feelings. Feelings that made her want to pin Lena to the wall and take advantage of her sudden willingness. Feelings that made her want to curl into a ball and cry until she passed out because Lena didn't want her like that, she wanted her like that. Feelings that made her feel powerful, because Lena did want her in some way. A way that would give Kara a lot of what she wanted to. And more feelings. More than she knew what to do with. "You mean friends with benefits," Kara said flatly, quietly.

Lena was quiet for a moment before turning to face Kara, leaning back against the side of the elevator, watching Kara with an eyebrow raised. "What do you think?" Lena asked.

"I think," Kara said, one feeling in particular rising to the surface, and her voice turned cold against her will as the elevator door dinged open, "That we both deserve better." Kara stalked out of the elevator, not waiting for Lena.

"I--wait!" Lena scrambled after her, cool dignity and allure washed away in the storm of Kara’s displeasure. "Kara, I--"

"Of course it would have its benefits," Kara said loftily, her voice nearly a sneer, tinted with something cruel in her hurt, that Lena saw her as a potential partner like that and only like that, feeling incredibly distant from Lena right now. Maybe she could go bother Alex and Maggie, maybe she'd go for a walk to cool down, she didn't know, she didn't know why she was so mad about this-- "I'm sure we'd fit together incredibly. We do have chemistry, as you pointed out. We'd have a lot of fun. Release a lot of… how did you say it?" Kara glanced back towards Lena, trailing her down the hall towards Lena's door, and didn't see her even though she was right there. "Pent up tension. It would be, gosh, just mind-blowing, no doubt. For a while.” Kara paused, pushing back a hysterical laugh. “But in the end, is that seriously what you want to do to us?"

"Kara, wait," Lena pleaded, and Kara pivoted to a stop as she reached Lena's door, staring at it. "That's not what I--"

"Not what you meant?" Kara cut her off, and shook her head, swiveling her head to face Lena, still cold in her hurt. "Try again."

"I'm sorry," Lena said, looking desperate and sincere, and there was real apology in her eyes. "I didn't--I didn't think it through. You do mean more to me than that," she insisted. "Much more. So much more." Kara watched her for several breaths, drank in Lena’s fear that she had mortally offended, that she'd lose Kara, and Kara felt herself calm down slowly. She’d be okay soon, Kara knew. But in the meantime... There was no use letting Lena know every part of why she was so upset about the suggestion.

Kara sighed as Lena's eyes darted back and forth between hers, sincere and afraid and waiting. Kara turned her whole body to face her, and smiled gently, ruefully. "I know," Kara said softly. "I know. It's okay." Lena's shoulders relaxed in a heavy exhalation. "I just--I get scared when I think about us changing in a way I don't know where it would go. I need this. I need us. I can't--I can't do that, especially not right now. I can't think about us changing. Everything in my life is changing."

"We won't," Lena promised, her insistent words an echo of the conversation they’d had long ago. "I'm sorry. I didn't think. That's not what I want, I promise."

Kara gave her a half smile and held her hand out, palm up, and Lena put her hand in it without hesitation, squeezing gently. Kara chuckled. "Thanks, but I was asking for the keys."

"Oh!" Lena handed her the keys, blushing, and Kara watched her fumble for a moment, still flustered and upset.

Kara sighed. "Alright, c'mere." Lena melted gratefully into her hug, and Kara could have almost sworn she was shaking. "For the record," Kara whispered in her ear, "I care about you far too much to risk losing you to the status of fuck buddy."

 

“Alright,” Maggie said, pushing all the cards on the table into a neat stack and sliding them out of reach. “You’ve been off ever since you got back from Lena’s. What happened?”

Kara stared hollowly at the table. “Ruby asked Lena why she wasn’t dating me during lunch,” she recited without emotion. “I guess that made her think about it. Lena admitted she hasn’t been with anyone since before Lex got arrested. Admitted she was lonely.” Maggie’s face was impassive as she listened to Kara’s toneless voice. “Actually, she said she was more pent up than she was lonely. Made a joke about how our filming was the closest she’d been with someone in a while.”

“And?” Maggie prompted gently when Kara broke off.

“She sort of asked if I wanted to be fuck buddies,” Kara said heavily.

“Seriously?” Maggie sounded disgusted. Kara nodded miserably. “That’s in poor taste,” Maggie declared, and Kara felt a little bit lighter. “You said no, right?”

“I kind of blew up at her,” Kara admitted.

“That’s my girl,” Maggie said approvingly, smiling when the praise wrung a grin out of Kara. “What’d you say?”

“I told her we both deserved better than a friends with benefits situation. That sure there’d be benefits but then what would happen?”

“Good,” Maggie said, nodding emphatically. “What did she do?”

“She was horrified. Said she didn’t think it through. I think she almost cried, actually. Especially when I calmed down and told her I couldn’t lose her.”

“Way to put emotion into it,” Maggie said, reaching for the popcorn bowl on the side of the table, spellbound. “Reunion hug?”

“For her sake,” Kara admitted, and Maggie nodded sagely. “Maggie,” Kara said after a long minute of considering, “How bad is it that I wanted to do it for a second?”

“Hey,” Maggie said softly, reaching for her hand. “It’s not bad at all. You want her. You always have. But you were right to say you both deserved better. You do. She just got confused for a second. Don’t hold it against either of you, alright?” Maggie squeezed her hand. “We all want physical closeness, especially when the person we want it from the most is offering it. That’s why she offered. She just didn’t know she wanted more yet, okay? She’s got her head halfway up her ass but she’ll get it eventually. I promise.”

 

Chapter Text

Lena ordered Kara’s favorites for dinner. Kara had disappeared, saying she was going to a local studio with a stack of sheet music for several hours after lunch with an excuse of having to practice that was probably true, but Lena still felt bad. She hadn't really been thinking when she floated the friends with benefits of idea, but nor had she expected Kara to react so violently. One second she was feeling a little risky, a little like she was taking a leap towards something that had the potential to be good, and the next, Kara was furious.

Kara had never been furious with her before. Not once.

Lena wiped her hands on her pants and smiled tentatively as Kara entered the apartment, frowning down at her phone and typing away, sheet music stuffed under one arm. Kara took several meandering steps into the kitchen, still not looking up or noticing Lena standing by the kitchen table, still frowning at her phone as she dropped the books onto the corner of the table.

Kara finally looked up to see her. "Hey," Kara said cautiously, clicking her phone off and dropping it on top of the books.

"Hey," Lena parroted. "Good practice?"

Kara grimaced before her face smoothed back out into a blank neutrality that Lena hated. She'd always felt she'd been able to read Kara easily. But Kara had surprised her that afternoon, so that just went to show she clearly didn't know everything about her best friend. "Not really," Kara said, her gaze dropping to the food. "You ordered potstickers and tacos from my favorite truck?" She dropped into a chair heavily. "Whatever could you want from me?"

Lena winced as the immediate answer, a joke the idea that hadn't quite exited her brain yet, popped into her head. No. Kara is not a toy, to be used however you want. Especially when she doesn't want what you do. "Nothing," Lena said, too quickly, sitting down opposite Kara. Kara looked at her dryly, one eyebrow raised. "To say sorry," Lena amended.

"You already said sorry," Kara reminded her, focused on constructing a taco. "Repeatedly."

"Would you prefer I not say sorry?"

"I would prefer," Kara said delicately, reaching for the guac, "That we don't discuss this."

"Okay," Lena agreed meekly, and reached for the bag of potstickers. But that wasn't precisely right, was it? No. Lena snuck a glance up at Kara, who was still radiating disappointment and something else Lena couldn’t put her finger on. No. Her best friend should not be feeling like this. And especially not because of her.

"You know what, no," Lena said abruptly. "We're going to talk about this, because I upset you, and it's not better yet." Kara sighed, putting her taco down without a bite taken out of it yet, and wiped her fingers slowly on a napkin. "Kara," Lena pleaded, "Talk to me. I'm sorry, but I also don't understand why you're so upset. I know that's crappy of me, but I've had these relationships in the past, two different times, and they worked out."

"And where are they now?" Kara asked, angry. Lena opened her mouth and realized Kara had a point. "Not here, huh?" Kara asked, her voice nearly a sneer. "What happened to them?"

"One was during college for a little bit. We graduated and went our separate ways. One was just for a few months, during a movie. The movie finished and I haven't seen her since."

Kara shook her head. "And how strong was your friendship before you entered the friends with benefits part?"

"Not as strong as us," Lena said, feeling the need to fight back.

"But was it worth it?"

"Yes," Lena said, genuinely confused. "We had a good time, and we were happy, and it was fine. It wasn't anything more."

Kara pursed her lips, clenched her jaw. "I don't know how to say this, then."

"Just say it," Lena urged, leaning forward.

"I--fine." Kara took a deep breath. "I want something more," Kara said, and Lena felt her heart stutter in confusion. Surely Kara wasn't talking about her, was she? Not that Lena would be opposed, she actually--she wouldn't be opposed at all, now that she thought about it. Why hadn't she thought about it? Well, she had, it had just always seemed so far outside the realm of possibility-- "I want something more out of my relationships," Kara continued, and Lena felt her stomach sink back down in disappointment. Not talking about her, then. "I don’t want my friendships to be about sex, I don't want my sexual relationships to be one of convenience. I want them to be real, I want them to be based off mutual desire. I want to be with someone I want, in every way, to be with someone who wants me back in every way, just the same. I don't want to cross lines just because I feel lonely one day."

Lena sat back, chewing her lip as Kara's words washed over her. "I understand," Lena said softly. And she did. Kara was a better, healthier person than her, with better, healthier ideas about relationships.

"I'm not saying anything against fuck buddies," Kara continued, sounding exhausted. "If it works for you, it works for you, as long as you're not hurting anybody, right? Consenting adults and all that."

"It would hurt you," Lena realized quietly, and Kara's jaw clenched tighter as she met Lena's gaze, something unreadable in her stony gaze. "Why would it hurt?" Lena asked. "Just, not pushing for it, completely off the table, I just want to know--"

"Can't some things stay private?" Kara asked abruptly, loudly, cutting her off, and Lena blinked in surprise.

"Of course they can, you don’t to tell me anything, I just want to understand--"

"Lena, the whole world already thinks we're sleeping together!"

Lena blinked again at Kara's outburst, staring in surprise. Her mouth gaped open. "Since when do you care what they think?"

"You don't think a lot of little girls like us are looking up to us? You think you can turn off the way you look at someone once you've been with them in bed, once you've seen them naked? Once you've loved them like that?" Kara shook her head. "People watch us, Lena. I know it's not fair, but they do. Our families, our fans, everyone who works with us or sees on the street. Girls who have no role models. Homophobic people who are just waiting to say we don't make sense or we live some kind of messed up life of lust, one slip up where--"

"You're opposed because of what people will say? People see what they want to see, Kara."

"Fine," Kara hissed, and she stood abruptly with a harsh scrape of her chair against the kitchen floor. "Then that's not what I want to see."

Lena stared at Kara, shocked at the depth of her emotion. Kara was breathing heavily, jaw tight, anger in her eyes.

"I'm going for a walk," Kara announced. "I'll be back later." Lena could only watch as she stalked out the door.

Lena sank in her seat and dropped her head into her hands. "God," she moaned. "What have I done?"

 

Kara returned just after dark nearly two hours later, looking a lot calmer but still exhausted. Lena looked up from the book she'd been pretending to read on the couch and watched Kara carefully.

"Hi," Kara said cautiously, toeing off her shoes and hanging her jacket on the hook by the door. Her cheeks were flushed, and Lena's heart ached at the sight of her.

"Hi," Lena echoed softly, watching Kara come closer in the dim light of the apartment. Kara sat down quietly across from her on the couch. Lena marked her page and closed the book, folding her hands in her lap.

"I'm sorry for storming out," Kara said, lips twisting as she stared out the window, back straight. "I'm also sorry for leaving my phone and stuff so you had no idea where I was in case something happened. I'm sorry if I worried you." Lena's heart thudded dully as she bit back the urge to say you did, you ass. "I'm sorry for yelling," Kara continued, though she hadn't really yelled. "And for probably making you feel dumb or bad for your past choices. I don't disapprove or even have a say over any of that, and I'm sorry if I made you feel bad."

Lena watched her in the dim light, Kara rocking back and forth so slightly Lena doubted she realized she was doing it. Lena waited for more words, but Kara had clamped her mouth shut, and it was clear the ball was in Lena's court. "I'm sorry for pushing," Lena returned quietly. "You don't have to explain yourself, I shouldn’t have--"

"You just wanted to understand," Kara said, shaking her head and finally turning to look at Lena. Kara hesitated, then draped her arm across Lena's tucked-up knees, scooting closer. "I shouldn't have blown up at you." A rueful grin crossed her face. "Twice."

"I still pushed," Lena whispered, feeling guilt swirl around at the upset she had caused Kara.

Kara examined her thoughtfully for several moments. "If I tell you the rest of what had me so upset, will you please forgive yourself? Because I already have." Lena nodded, the backs of her eyes burning, feeling helpless in the face of Kara's kindness. Kara nodded back thoughtfully. "Lena, have you seen yourself?"

"What?" A laugh startled out of Lena, and Kara gave her a gentle half-smile.

"Yeah, genius. You're hot. And you're all over me, all the time." Lena felt her face turn red as Kara emphasized her words with a gentle nudge to her knees.

"I'm not--" Lena started, but Kara cut her off.

"Uh uh. You so are. Don't deny it."

"I--"
"And it's fine," Kara soothed. "You know I love cuddling and all that. I'm a tactile person too, and it doesn't bother me, okay? Really, I like it. But Lena," Kara looked a little more serious, "We sleep in the same bed and we've filmed a romcom with sex scenes and all and we cuddle all the time, and all that's great, that's tight best friend actress type stuff… but then you do this thing where you flirt with me." Lena felt herself frown at Kara's words. Kara nodded solemnly, like she had been pretty sure Lena didn't know, and her suspicions were now confirmed. "Yeah," Kara said. "You make these declarations of love, we both do, and it's awesome, I love it, but then you flirt."

"And you…" Lena trailed off, not knowing what she was going to say.

"Let me put it like this," Kara said, leaning back against the couch. "A gorgeous woman is all over you, all the time, and you're best friends, and everything is clear. You love her, she loves you, and it's great! It's platonic."

"Sounds familiar," Lena quipped, and Kara's eyes bored into her.

"And then she flirts," Kara said, her tone dropping lower, and Lena fought a shiver. "She wants you to say or do romantic things with her and doesn’t seem to realize they are. She stares into your eyes for abnormally long periods of time. She tells you how gorgeous you are and never lets you forget she's into women. What's stopping you from sleeping with her, immediately?"

Lena could feel there was a right answer, a specific one Kara wanted her to find. She searched for it. "We're best friends," Lena hedged, and Kara watched her, expressionless. "That's not how we are."

Kara nodded slowly. "It might be a good idea in another world," Kara said, her voice drifting off into something a little more wistful, a little more melancholic. "A world where you and this woman lived in remotely similar geographic locations, for very basic starters. But there are reasons why you never looked into pursuing a relationship. I assume you have yours, and she has hers. Right?"

"Right," Lena answered mechanically. Wait, I had reasons for never looking into pursuing a relationship? No one told me that. What were those reasons, again?

"Right," Kara echoed. "But then, this woman suggests one day, out of the blue, she thinks it would be a good idea if the two of you fucked." Lena felt a jolt go through her as the word rolled casually off Kara's tongue. "Like she's thought about you. Like that." Kara made the innocent words bear the full weight of the concept, skillfully. "And your whole relationship with this woman, what do you think of it now? Is this how she's been thinking of you this whole time? Is that all she sees you as? A shoulder to cry on or a body to fuck? What happened to your best friend? The woman who would always encourage you to only accept the best for yourself, especially in relationships? Now suddenly she's saying, what? That she wants your body but not you? That you're not worth a relationship in some sense?"

Lena could feel a lead weight sinking deeper into her body in shame with each question Kara asked. She was shaking her head desperately.

"No, Kara,"  she begged. "No, no, that's not what--that's not what I meant at all, I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry--"

"Lena, I know," Kara said gently. "But you asked why I was upset, and that's why."

"Please," Lena said, leaning closer, "Please, you have to know, I never, ever want you to feel like that, you are so much more, you are worth so much more, I was so fucking dumb, I'm so sorry." Lena reached up blindly to cup Kara's face. "I'm sorry, I didn't see that my previous experiences in no way translated. It's different and you're right and I'm sorry."

Kara reached up and caught at Lena's hands, removing them gently from her face, squeezing. "I know," Kara promised. "I know, and it's okay."

"It's not okay," Lena said forcefully, feeling she was getting off the hook far too easily.

Kara was watching her, lip caught between her teeth. "Yeah," Kara said slowly, "It is. It wasn't before, but it is now. You do understand now, I know it."

"Kara, I'm--"

"Your head is out of your ass," Kara announced, squeezing her knees and suddenly looking much happier. "You'll never ask me that again, you understand why it's dumb for us to consider that, and why I blew up at you. That took even less time than Maggie thought it would."

"Maggie?"

"I wasn't at the studio for six whole hours," Kara said, looking amused. "But now it's nearly nine, please tell me you didn't eat all the tacos, that would be… very gay of you." Kara laughed at her own joke, and Lena stared dumbly.

"Fridge," she managed, and Kara nodded, standing up and stretching. "Kara, I really don't think--"

"You're sorry, right?" Kara asked, and Lena nodded. "Then I forgive you," Kara said sincerely. "But I would also really like to leave this conversation in the past, alright?"

"Alright," Lena managed.

"Good. Now if you want to cement your apology, you can come eat dinner with me. I know you have all my favorites, so come on." Still in a slightly horrified daze, Lena followed Kara to the kitchen, doing her best to shake off her lingering shame. Kara hummed happily as she pulled out all the untouched food, Lena having not been able to eat once Kara walked out. "Ooh, you got the good stuff," Kara said, delighted as she pulled the lids off containers, scattering them across the counter.

Lena shook herself. "Only the best for you," she managed. Kara grinned at her. Lena pushed aside her guilt and let Kara's happiness wash her away, the pair of them making jokes as Lena loosened up, eating a late, cold dinner standing up at the counter in the semi-darkness.

"I really am sorry," Lena whispered one more time as they climbed into bed a few hours later. "And dumb. Sorry and dumb and a sorry excuse for a best friend."

The sheets rustled and Kara's arms slid around Lena's waist, wrapping her up in a tight hug. "I know," Kara whispered in the darkness. "I know, and I forgive you. You're not dumb, you just didn't know. Now would you please forgive yourself?"

Lena shook her head into Kara's collarbone, tears threatening at her throat. "Kara, I made you feel like that, what kind of person am I---"

"You're someone who knows better now," Kara said softly. "Look, I'm kinda a fan of education being the solution to everything," Kara said, and Lena sniffled. "And it's not your fault for wanting to get your hands all over this gorgeous body--" Lena gave a watery chuckle against her will, "But now you know that's not the way with us. You have been educated, Lena Luthor. It won't happen again. The problem is fixed. Okay?"

Lena sniffled. "Okay," she whispered finally.

"Good," Kara said, thankfully not moving to release Lena. "Now let me sleep in peace, woman, I've only got another week of vacation." Lena laughed again, and Kara's arms squeezed her once before relaxing. Lena counted twenty-two breaths before Kara's breathing deepened, and just like that, she was asleep.

Lena took a deep breath herself and looked at the ceiling. Okay. Just like Kara said. Time to forgive yourself.

 

Chapter Text

"I can't believe my mom let you take me trick or treating," Ruby said, fishing around in her pillowcase for the right candy. "She loves doing this."

"I had to beg," Kara said seriously. "And she had a promotion meeting she couldn’t miss."

"The Round Table," Ruby remembered, and Kara nodded. "Women in film?"

"Something like that," Kara agreed. "Got a Kit-Kat in there?"

Ruby handed one over, semi-reluctantly. "You know you could get your own, right? Your costume is awesome. Adults would be so shocked it's you they wouldn’t hesitate."

"It's me? Like it's Supergirl?"

"No, like it's you. Kara Danvers." Ruby waved vaguely at her. "This is LA. People would know you on sight."

"That seems like cheating," Kara said, still not used to the idea of people knowing her.

"You're asking for candy, not holding them at gunpoint. Chill."

"Fine, then," Kara said, bristling at the challenge. "I'll go up with you to the next house." Ruby grinned, and Kara knew she had just been played. She sighed. She really did want candy. And her Supergirl costume was awesome.

Kara reached out a minute later to ring the doorbell, leaning from foot to foot in nervous anticipation. There was a dog's bark, a harried yell of just a sec! and then the door opened to reveal a young woman of maybe twenty-two, holding back an enthusiastic Golden Retriever, still yelling over her shoulder at someone named Mel to "come hang on to your precious child for two seconds so he doesn’t bowl over the trick-or-treaters again, will you--oh, shit."

Kara smiled nervously as the girl's eyes trailed from her boots up to her face, her mouth falling open. Kara stuck one hand up in greeting, and Ruby snickered. "Trick or treat?" Kara tried.

"Uh, yeah," the girl said, shaking her head, still with a firm grip on the bounding dog, keeping him back. "Chill, Broccoli."

"Broccoli?" Kara asked, holding back a laugh.

The girl winced, eyes still glued to Kara. "We let my niece name him. She was four." Kara grinned, charmed with the image of a four year old declaring his name to be Broccoli and two adults groaning. "You're, um, you're Kara Danvers."

"Told you," Ruby sing-songed softly, and the girl's attention slid to Ruby, wincing as Broccoli made another bound for Kara, panting excitedly.

"Nice costume, Batgirl."

"Thank you," Ruby said, puffing her chest out. The girl grinned and held out the candy bowl.

"Kit-Kat?"

"Score!" Kara said softly, and the girl blushed. "Can I, uh, can I pet Broccoli?" Kara asked tentatively, watching him drool and leap, still held back.

"What? Oh, oh yeah. He doesn’t bite or anything, but he'll fur you up and drool all over you, so, uh, be warned and all that."

Kara grinned, dropping to her knees without caution and extending her hands eagerly towards Broccoli, who only got more excited at her touch. "Hi Broccoli," she murmured, smiling as she buried her hands in the soft thick fur, and Broccoli slowly stopped jumping, still trying to get closer to her.

"Sorry babe, just trying to convince my boss it was a very bad idea to keep everything--holy shit, it's Kara Danvers."

"Right again," Ruby said softly, a distinct note of smugness in her voice, and Kara rolled her eyes.

"Hi," Kara said cheerily, glancing at Mel but keeping most of her attention on Broccoli.

"Hi," Mel said, eyes glued to Kara. "You're, um, you're trick-or-treating? Here?"

"Yep," Kara said, smiling and moving closer to let Broccoli lick her face, grinning with her lips shut tight to make sure she didn't swallow dog slobber.

"My dog is licking Kara Danvers' face," Mel said dumbly. "Wow. Okay. This is the best night of my life." The first girl kicked at her, one hand still trapped in Broccoli's collar, making sure he didn't decide to run away with Kara. "Um, can we get a picture with you?"

Kara chuckled. "Only if Broccoli's in it. Ruby, wanna take it?"

Mel's eyes slid to Ruby and narrowed. "Hang on, I've seen your photo before. Aren't you that director's kid? Sam Arias?"

"Yep," Ruby said unconcernedly. "But my mom doesn't like me being in photos without her, so I can take it for you."

"Uh, okay. Thanks," Mel said, fishing her phone out and handing it to Ruby as Kara stood, still rubbing at Broccoli's head, the dog going crazy under her attention. "Oh, chill, Broccoli," she added as the dog let out a whine when Kara moved away from him. "You get plenty of love around here, you don't need your own movie star." Kara blushed lightly as she smiled, stepping in between the two women in the entry way and smiling at the camera.

"We really loved your movie, by the way," the first girl said breathlessly, her free hand fluttering. Kara took pity on her nervousness and took her free hand, squeezing gently. The girl latched on gratefully for a moment before releasing her. "It was, it was incredible, to see people like us on screen."

Kara smiled gently at her sincerity. She and Lena had gotten fan mail practically by the truckload after the release, and she still hadn't read it all, but each heartfelt letter had affected her deeply. It still meant a lot to meet these people. "I'm glad," Kara said softly, smiling at them both and shaking Mel's hand too. "It was really good to meet you," Kara promised. "I'd also really appreciate it if you could wait until tomorrow to post that picture," she added, remembering her triple-promises of Ruby's safety to Sam. "Just so we don't attract anyone not as cool as the two of you in the area."

"Yeah!" they both promised, tripping over each other to promise her. "We don't even have to post it," Mel said, and Kara shook her head.

"Nah, please do! Just hold off until morning. Gotta make sure I get to my next appointment without a superfun flash mob, you know."

They both nodded vigorously, and with another round of candy and a flurry of thank you's and goodbye's, Kara petted Broccoli once more and the door shut reluctantly behind them.

Ruby grinned smugly at her as they stepped out onto the sidewalk. "Shut up," Kara muttered.

"God, I love being right all the time."

Kara bumped her with her hip, pulling her phone out of her waistband to see four texts from Lena.

Lena: I found the club we're going to
Lena: text me when you're done trick or treating and I'll pick you up
Lena: got an eta actually? Just for reference
Lena: hang on I never found out WHAT ARE YOU WEARING
Kara: just wait and see. I don't know what you're wearing either, so
Kara: also
Kara: my day was just made
Lena: what kind of dog was it
Kara: A GOLDEN RETRIEVER HIS NAME WAS BROCCOLI AND HE WANTED TO GO HOME WITH ME

Lena: of course he did, everyone does AND THAT'S SO ADORABLE IS THERE A PICTURE
Kara: not right now but I did take a picture with the nice girls who owned him so I'm sure they'll post it tomorrow
Kara: eta is another half-hour, Ruby has a pretty good haul and Sam's thing should be done so she'll be heading back

Lena sent back a string of emojis Kara grinned at, and Ruby tugged at her elbow. "Who's got you grinning?"

"No one," Kara said, feeling defensive, and Ruby's eyes narrowed. "Hey look, go get more candy." Kara pointed her towards the next house, and Ruby rolled her eyes before running up to the door.

Lena rolled up in front of Sam's a half hour later, just as Kara and Ruby made it back, still giggling over the costume party they had seen at the last house and poking around in Ruby's candy sack. The driver door opened, and Kara looked up at the sound to see Lena slip out of the car slowly. Kara felt a thrill run up her spine as boots landed against the pavement in the dark, beat up and familiar, for some reason. Tight, dirty pants followed, and then a thick belt buckled loosely, and then a slightly-torn black tank top and holy shit.

Kara felt like the lesbians who owned Broccoli as she stared dumbstruck at Lena. Lena, who was adjusting the Iron-Man-esque robot arm prop on her left arm, grinning as it lit up. Lena, who was dirty and had some stage makeup in the form of a couple bloody cuts on her face. Lena, who was hot as fuck and looking just as good as the first time Kara fell in love with her character on screen.

Shit.

Kara felt another thrill run up her spine, and she was pretty sure she was drooling. Ruby was still chattering as she walked, but Kara's steps stuttered to a stop as she stared at Lena, her best friend, mouth-wateringly hot, and all sorts of inappropriate thoughts ran through her head. Kara didn't even attempt to stop them, mouth slightly open as thoughts of  pinning Lena up against her dark sedan ran rampant, thoughts of seeing exactly how tight those pants were, thoughts of seeing how dirty she could get if she was pressed up against the dirt on Lena--

"That good, uh?"

Lena was grinning, three feet in front of her.

"You look just like you did in the movie!" Thank god the first thing out of her mouth wasn't outrageously creepy.

Lena grinned wider. "And you look amazing," she said, reaching out to run her non-robot-arm hand over the material of Kara's suit, skimming across shoulders and down her arm, fingers sifting through Kara's hair to tug at a loose curl, smiling a dangerous smile. "Very sexy, Supergirl," Lena told her with a grin, and Kara suppressed a whimper. Lena's touch left trails of fire where her fingers had been, and Kara took a deep inhale as Lena looked over her shoulder to see Ruby. "Looking good, Batgirl!" Lena called, and Ruby struck a pose. Lena laughed.

Sam's car pulled up, and Lena smiled, waving. "No costume?" Kara asked as Sam got out.

Sam stuck her tongue out. "It was a professional event, dork."

"Lame," Ruby said, and Sam chuckled.

"How was trick or treating?" Sam asked, holding her arms out, and Ruby hugged her.

"It was awesome!" Ruby said. "We met a dog named Broccoli and some lesbians who were totally in love with Kara."

"I see," Sam said, looking at Kara, who smiled sheepishly as Lena laughed and elbowed her.

"It went really well," Kara promised. "They're waiting to post the picture and Ruby got tons of compliments and candy."

"Mmkay," Sam said. "Get out of here, then, and have some adult fun. Drive safe."

"I'll be designated driver," Lena promised. "Or get us an Uber." Sam nodded, and pulled Ruby towards the house. Lena turned towards Kara, who felt a good kind of buzz seeping over her at Lena's grin. "You ready?" Lena asked. "I found a club that's opening tonight and it's free drinks if your costume is up to par."

"I think we're up to par," Kara said, grinning, and Lena's answering smile sent another thrill shooting through her.

The club was packed. There were writhing bodies dancing everywhere, adults shamelessly dressed up in high quality costumes and laughing, and the music was loud and good.

"Is it too loud?" Lena asked, close to her ear as they walked in. "We can leave anytime if it is."

Kara shook her head. "The music's good," she shouted back. "I want to stay." Lena nodded, pulling back for a moment before taking Kara's hand and tugging her towards the VIP section.

"There's someone I want you to meet," Lena said. She led Kara up to the cordoned off platform in the corner. "This is Jack, Jack Spheer. He was one of my costars in--"

"It's your quarterback!" Kara said delightedly, and Jack laughed.

"I see you've seen our early work," Jack said, his voice lower than it was in the high school trilogy he had starred in with Lena years ago. "Lena, you're finally letting me meet your lover?"

Kara blushed as Lena squeezed her hand and planted a deliberate kiss, just for show, on her cheek, a little on the close side to her mouth. "Be nice, Jack," Lena said warmly, releasing Kara to hug him. "She's not my lover, she's my onscreen lover."

Jack grinned, reaching out his hand, and Kara shook it eagerly. "Well," Jack said, pretending to look her up and down critically, "Can't blame you if you do make her your lover," Jack said, slurring slightly. "There are a few girls in the VIP section alone who would kill to get their hands all over Ms. Danvers here."

"Behave," Lena warned sternly, and Jack raised his hands, winking at Kara. "Jack's gay," Lena explained, and Kara released a breath she didn't know she was holding. "And while that made him my gay best friend when we lived in the same state, he also has the unfortunate character trait of forgetting his manners when he drinks."

"Sorry," Jack said, looking half-apologetic. "But if you want me to set you up, I'm sure Ms. Lance--" he pointed with a drink in his hand towards a shorter blonde woman who looked more ripped than Kara, "Would be more than happy to show you a good time, for starters."

Kara watched her for a long moment, looking back to see Lena watching her carefully. "I'll keep it in mind," Kara said evenly, not knowing where her courage came from. Lena's eyes slipped from her eyes down a little lower before jerking back up, and Kara swallowed before facing Jack again. "What are you drinking, Jack?"

"You hate drinking," Lena said.

Kara shrugged. "I do it sometimes."

Jack smiled. "I'll find you something you like," he promised. "Only because you make Lena so happy." Kara followed him to the bar, feeling Lena's eyes drilling into her back. "Nice costume, by the way," Jack told her. Kara smiled in thanks. Jack ordered something fruity sounding after examining her critically, and then leaned closer. "You know," he shouted over the music, "I've always had the sneaking suspicion Lena's into you."

Kara whipped her head towards him and felt her eyebrows lower. "We work together. We're best friends."

Jack shrugged. "Still."

Kara hesitated, turning to lean her back against the bar. "I'm moving to New York."

"Ah, yes, the Broadway," Jack said, grinning. "Congratulations, by the way. But still. I'm pretty sure Lena's into you. She hasn't even looked at anyone since you came along. So the question, Supergirl, is," Jack pointed at her with his bottle, "Are you in love with the fair maiden as well?"

Kara shrugged, picking at her fingernails. "Lena's had a lot going on. And why do you care who she's into?"

"I like matchmaking," Jack said simply. "But more importantly, I like seeing people happy. Lena especially. I still feel bad I wasn't there for her when her brother was arrested. Though I hear you were--thank you for that, by the way." Kara nodded, touched he thought to thank her for looking out for Lena in the middle of a bar, not two minutes after meeting her. "The only difference between me and the rest of everyone else though, is I'm not afraid to get in the middle of her business and push to get her to happy. But you didn't answer," Jack said sternly. "Just tell me whether or not to push and I'll push."

"I…" Kara's trailing uncertainty was interrupted by their drinks arriving. Kara frowned at the drink, feeling completely lost. How did she get here? Screw it. Kara pushed the straw aside and took a huge gulp, gasping as it burned its way down.

"Whoa," Jack said, putting a warm hand on her shoulder. "Slow down, Supergirl, we don't have to do any pushing."

Kara frowned, the world already a little lighter. She really was a lightweight. "Do whatever you want. It's cool. We'll just see what happens."

"You're sure?" Jack looked hesitant, and Kara softened.

"I am moving to New York," Kara said. "I don't want to change things when I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. But if I were to be on the drunk side…."

"You could not remember but still have some fun tonight," Jack said, nodding. Then he frowned. "I'm a terrible influence and I've barely met you. Lena literally just said you hate drinking."

"Yeah, sometimes," Kara said, shrugging. "But Lena looks like that tonight."

Jack shrugged, conceding her point. "I won't put you in a situation you regret," he promised sincerely. “If anything happens, I promise it won’t go farther than a kiss.” and Kara smiled. Jack was weird and pushy and forward, but she liked him. She liked that someone wasn’t tiptoeing around her when it came to Lena, for once.

"You're better than your first impression, you know?" she told him, and he laughed, pulling her into a hug. Kara took another drink, ordered one more, and the night started to get blurry.

Kara was dancing with Sara Lance for several songs, Sara grinning and shouting the lyrics with her, the two of them pressed close. Kara was having a really good time, and everything was loose. She had to pee. This was one of the reasons why she hated drinking, she remembered now. It was a waste of water, the toilets flushing so often. It wasn't the drinking that bothered her as much as the after-drinking. Not worth it.

Lena was catching at her waist outside the bathroom, and she was fuzzy around the edges, smiling, but it wasn't her full smile. "Are you alright?" Lena was asking, and then Kara was up against a wall. Kara's head knocked back against it lazily.

"Pushing me up against a wall so early in the night?" Kara asked, her words definitely slurring, and Lena blushed in the dim light. "How very forward," Kara said, and giggled, because the words were funny.

She was sitting next to Lena and someone lovely named Felicity who was speaking to them. Kara was leaning back in the booth, and her fingers wouldn’t stop moving--against Lena's thigh, against the velvet of the booth, tracing along the dirt makeup patterns against Lena's arm, poking at Lena's robot arm.

Lena, pushing her robot arm into Kara's hands like a mother wanting her five year old to leave her alone for ten minutes, Kara looking up at her in absolute delight at this gift, and Lena started to laugh. Kara examined it thoroughly, her buzz fading away in increments, and when she looked at Lena again, who was watching her as Felicity left to go dance with Sara, Kara felt that dangerous attraction pulling in her stomach. Lena's eyes were dark in the club's lighting, and Kara was afraid of what she might do.

"More drinks," Kara decided abruptly. "I need more drinks."

Lena just looked at her. "Are you sure?"

"Very sure," Kara said, nodding vigorously. "Can you please get me a more drink?"

Lena didn't bother biting down on her smile. "Okay," she said. "Stay right here."

The night got blurrier. Kara went to the bathroom again after dancing with Sara and Felicity, who both loved her cape, and stumbled back to Lena, misjudging the distance and crashing into Lena's warmth. Kara tucked her face into Lena's neck, definitely accidentally, and Lena wrapped her arm around Kara's waist, steadying her.

"I have some good pictures of you," Lena was saying, and Kara mmmm'ed.

"Sit," Kara was saying into Lena's neck, lips brushing against skin, and god Lena tasted good. Like sweat and there was something perfume-y and Lena and Kara was in love. "You're so perfect," Kara mumbled into her neck, and Lena staggered into the booth under her weight, Kara nearly falling down on top of her. Lena huffed under her weight, a laugh rumbling through her, and Kara thought that she liked feeling Lena's laugh all pressed up against her like this.

"You're fun drunk," Lena said.

Kara was dancing with Jack, spinning around and around and something was hilariously funny to both of them, something to do with Lena.

Kara was drinking something else, and she didn’t like the taste, but she kept drinking.

Kara was staring at Lena, the world pulsing in bright lights around her, Lena steady.

Lena was leaning in close, her eyes green again, her lips were moving but Kara couldn't hear. "She's incapacitated Jack, I'm not kissing her. Not even for your Instagram or one of your dares."

"Definitely kiss me," Kara mumbled, blinking to clear her head, but it didn't work. "Good idea."

Jack's laughter echoed into her ear tunnels. "Good idea, see?"

Lena's face swam back into her vision, fingers running along Kara's face. "No. She's drunk."

"'M not," Kara said. "I wanna kissyou."

Lena smiled and huffed at the same time. "You're drunk, darling."

"So? We kissed allthetime onset."

"That was pretend, sweetie."

Kara shook her head. "Istill missit. Your lips are the sfotest. Kiss me."

Lena smiled and moved closer. Kara smushed her eyes shut in anticipation, but Lena's lips landed on the corner of hers, still on cheek territory, smiling gently into her. "I'm not kissing you when you're drunk," Lena whispered into her skin. "You won't even remember this in the morning."

"Why are yo uso hot," Kara groaned, and Lena's lips vibrated against her skin in laughter, and the best kind of chill went down her spine.

"No more drinking," Lena told her sternly, pulling back, but Kara didn't hear her.

Kara convinced Sara to get her another drink, not sure why she needed it but knowing that she did.

 

Kara woke up with no memory of the previous night, a smashing headache, and her face pressed into Lena's hip.

"Hi," Lena said softly, her voice already tinged with laughter for so early in the morning. "I was wondering when you'd wake up."

"I haven't yet," Kara groaned, and Lena laughed. "Shh," Kara said, reaching up blindly to push at Lena's mouth, trying to stop the noise. "'Stoo loud."

"Sorry," Lena said quietly, laughter still in her voice. A wave of nausea rolled up in Kara and she moaned, rolling over Lena unceremoniously in a desperate run for the bathroom. Lena scrambled after her, barely restraining more laughter as she held Kara's hair back. Kara leaned back into Lena's gentle touch in relief, infinitely grateful for her best friend in that moment. Lena chuckled in sympathy as she flushed the toilet and maneuvered to grab Kara a glass of water, still brushing Kara's hair off her forehead.

"Ugh," Kara managed, thumping her head back on Lena's thigh.

"You went pretty hard last night," Lena agreed, smiling at the memory. "Pretty sure you had five drinks, and none of them were light in any sense. Jack said you got some of the strongest stuff on the menu every time because you, and I quote, 'liked the taste'."

"Sounds like me," Kara groaned, leaning further back into her, and Lena laughed again. "God, this is why I don’t drink. Why am I still wearing literally everything from last night?"

"I didn't know how to get any of it off," Lena admitted. "Not for lack of effort. I was going to just take the boots and cape off so you were more comfortable, but I couldn’t figure it out, and you were tangled up in the sheets."

"Sorry if I got them dirty."

"Don't worry about it," Lena soothed, and another wave of nausea rose up. Kara groaned again and surged forwards, Lena's hands steady in her hair. Kara leaned back after a long half-minute, weakly accepting the glass of water. "You really don't do drunk at all," Lena mused, flushing the toilet and closing the lid, sitting down on it. Kara turned herself on the tiles and leaned her head back in Lena's lap, closing her eyes under Lena's cool fingers. "Like, you weren't kidding."

"No I was not," Kara said in a low voice. "I do feel better now, though. I think that's it."

"Good," Lena said softly. "Then can I torture you over what you did while you were drunk?"

Kara's eyes flew open to see Lena watching her, grinning devilishly. "No," Kara decided. "Definitely not."

Lena laughed again as Kara slammed her eyes shut. "I don't know, I think you could use a teaser at least, of what's ahead."

"Why are we friends," Kara groaned, trying to get up, but Lena hauled her back down easily. "I'm uninviting you to Alex and Maggie's wedding," Kara said weakly. "You are no longer my plus one. You are minused."

"Tell me how to get the cape off and let me give you a massage."

"You're plussed again."

Lena's smirk was nearly audible as she leaned forward to whisper in Kara's ear. "I'll make you breakfast while you shower if you let me give you a teaser of what you did."

Well. How was she supposed to resist that offer? Kara reached up and pressed the release on one shoulder of the cape, and Lena made a sound of comprehension, deft fingers reaching to replicate Kara's motion. Lena pushed at her gently, and Kara slumped forward, giving Lena room to work. Lena pressed her fingers into Kara's shoulders, and Kara moaned.

"You definitely have several new admirers," Lena began, sounding delighted. Kara made a noncommittal noise as Lena kept working out the knots in her shoulders, and Kara felt herself begin to come alive under Lena's touch the way she always did. "Mm, Ms. Lance was certainly most taken with you, Ms. Felicity Smoak will definitely be watching all your movies as we speak, and both of them as well as Jack asked me for your number."

"Yay," Kara managed, her blood flowing now. Flowing inconveniently.

"Mm," Lena agreed. "I think one of my favorite parts of the night, though, was you begging me to kiss you."

Kara sat bolt upright as horror shot through her. "I did not."

"You did so," Lena said, her voice filled with mirth. She pushed a hand at the back of Kara's head, forcing her to slump back down, sedating Kara once again as her fingers kept working. She really was kind of evil sometimes. Kara's back arched as Lena slid a hand down her spine slowly and dragged it back up. "I believe your words were, 'your lips are so soft, I miss kissing you, and you are unattainably hot this evening'."

Kara huffed a laugh. "There's no way I said that if I was as drunk as you say," she said, and Lena made a noncommittal noise, pressing her fingers into a pressure point so Kara squirmed uncomfortably.

"I must admit, it certainly puffed up my ego, having a drunk Kara Danvers all over me, just begging me to kiss her. I'm certain half the people in that bar would have given their right arm to be in my shoes," Lena said smugly, and Kara shook her head.

"Nope. No way. That did not happen." Kara said, taking a deep breath as Lena resumed her steady, oblivious seduction of Kara's body.

"Which one of us remembers the evening?"

"Fine," Kara groaned, trying to keep a steady head. "But no one's going to believe you."

Lena's laugh echoed off the tiles. "Just wait until you see the photos."

 

 

 

Kara stared hazily at her reflection, feeling drugged.

"You've been in there for a little while, you okay?"

Kara gripped the counter and leaned back, groaning at the vertigo. She squinted through the open door. "I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be doing my hair, right?"

Lena chuckled and joined her in the bathroom. "Is this you, hungover? This is great."

"Please stop talking so loudly," Kara said weakly. "It hurts."

"Sorry," Lena whispered, her grin shit-eating. "Do you need help with your hair though?"

"Please," Kara moaned, handing over the rubberband off her wrist.

"Sit down, Supergirl," Lena said, thankfully still softly, and Kara plopped herself on the toilet lid, trying not to moan again as Lena sifted her hands through Kara's freshly-washed hair gently. "Are your hangovers always this nasty? You've had food and plenty of water, I made sure you brushed your teeth last night…"

"I think that's the fourth time I've been drunk ever," Kara said, eyes shut tight as the brush started to move through her hair. "And the last times were never anywhere near that bad."

Lena hummed, pulling Kara's hair this way and that. "Why'd you go so hard last night?" Her voice turned teasing. "Did a pretty girl make you nervous?"

"Something like that," Kara said, privately thinking it was a miracle Lena hadn't figured it out yet. If Lena was still treating her like this, she probably hadn't said or done anything to give herself away.

"There were lots of pretty girls," Lena mused. "The problem is, all of them were all over you. Care to tell me which one it was?"

Kara blanked for a second before she remembered her tried and true tactic of throwing Lena off the scent. "You," Kara said easily, leaning her head back to grin dopily at Lena.

"Oh please," Lena said, her scoff gentle and her smile a touch flattered. She pushed Kara's head forward, and Kara let her. "Ms. Lance was all over you. Ms. Smoak was quite endeared. You danced with everyone there."

"First of all," Kara said, holding up a finger sternly, "Felicity was into you. I was drunk off my ass and I could still tell that. Are you really that bad at telling when people are into you?"

"Felicity was not into me!"

"Oh please. Lena this, Lena that. She never stopped scooching closer to you. She asked you about your entire filmography, the in-depth kind of questions, too. You should have seen her face when you laughed. That woman is already in lo--" Kara was cut off as Lena pressed a hand over her mouth, her fingers damp with the water from Kara's hair, and Kara laughed.

Lena jerked her hand back as Kara deliberately pushed her tongue against Lena's palm. "Seriously?"

Kara shrugged, unrepentant. "You lick my hand all the time when I do that to you."

"It's an effective defense," Lena muttered, resuming her ministrations. "I'm glad to see you're regaining some memory from last night, but Felicity was not into me. She's straight. There's no way she's not."

"She's ninety percent straight at best. She'll definitely marry a dude, she kept getting texts from some guy named Oliver, but." Kara leaned back again, meeting Lena's fond exasperation. "That doesn't mean she wasn't into you." Lena rolled her eyes, putting both her hands on either side of Kara's head and tilting it forward again. Kara bit her lip, grinning. "You flustered her. Without even trying."

"And what would you like me to do this information?"

"Nothing," Kara said, shrugging. "Isn't she only in town for a couple more days? We could hang out with her again, if you wanted, but the point isn't to do anything. It's just so that you know."

Lena was quiet for several moments, starting a braid in Kara's hair. "I suppose I've still got it, then," Lena said lightly, and Kara felt her stomach flip. She had liked Felicity. A small part of her, a part she didn't necessarily like, knew it was because Felicity posed no threat--she was easily flustered by Lena, but she also was by Sara. Lena would never go for someone so far gone for someone else, whether Felicity knew she was or not.

"Just don't go getting a big head," Kara warned, trying for light, her anxieties soothed by Lena's fingers working dexterously through her hair.

"Me? Never." Kara chuckled, and Lena finished off her braid. "All finished, Supergirl." Kara leaned back into her, and Lena dropped a kiss to her hairline. Kara let her eyes drift shut, smiling sleepily. "You want to go back to bed?"

"Yes," Kara groaned, and Lena chuckled. Kara let herself be tugged to her feet and led back to Lena's bed, curling up gratefully. Lena made to move away, but Kara's hand snaked out and grabbed her wrist. "Stay?" Kara asked, feeling pathetic but too comfortable to care.

"Needy, aren't we?" Lena asked, no bite to her voice. Kara forced her eyes open to look at Lena pitifully, intentionally putting on the puppy dog eyes. She just needed Lena's warmth right now and didn't care how she got it. Lena gave her a resigned smile, one filled with tender love and fond exasperation, and Kara felt her heart melt happily as Lena climbed in next to her. Kara moved closer, cuddling in top of her and feeling filled to the fullest. "Comfortable?" Lena asked, halfway to a gentle sarcastic and laughing.

"Mmm."

Lena's silent laugh rumbled through her and she smoothed Kara's braid down. "Go back to sleep, you big baby."

So Kara did.

 

Chapter Text

Alex and Maggie had their wedding the second week of November, and it was beautiful.

Kara stood by Alex's side for the whole thing, her tears streaming down her face. She caught the eye of Maggie's aunt, standing by Maggie's side, the only family member of Maggie's who had shown up. Just for today, Kara's heart didn’t clench in sympathy and anger when she thought about Maggie's family. It squeezed in happiness as Kara thought about how Maggie's family got so much bigger today.

Kara glanced at the front row, a mishmash of guests that didn't betray how few people Maggie had here for her side and didn't ask their friends to choose sides. They didn't have aisles, they just sort of diagonally arranged the seats and they both walked down the same way, Eliza giving Alex away with happy tears and Winn beaming uncontrollably because he had won the honor of giving Maggie away. He had won her agreement to give her away with several long heart-to-hearts, many loud declarations, and a carefully prepared emotional speech of why precisely he should be allowed to give her away that reduced Maggie's usual stoic front to tears and nodding, a sight Kara had cried to see.

Lena caught her eye, her own eyes misty, and winked, smiling gently, and Kara hiccupped, smiling a watery smile back at her.

The elderly lesbian officiate was finishing up. Maggie and Alex had met her at the courthouse when they went to get the papers and immediately had asked her to officiate. She'd been married for forty-five years and they insisted she was good luck, though Kara privately thought they just liked her because they'd never had any older lesbian role models, which was just as good a reason, in her book.

"Then by the power vested in me by the State of California, I now declare the two of you married," the officiate told them, smiling with so much love at the women she had just met that Kara thought her heart might burst. "You may each kiss your bride." Kara led a round of half-crying enthusiastic cheers as Alex met Maggie's lips, everyone sobbing. Kara caught Winn's eye, Winn sobbing openly and dabbing at his face with a hand-embroidered handkerchief. Eliza had tears streaming down her face, clapping and cheering, and Lena was watching them with such a look of love Kara thought she might combust right there.

It really was the perfect wedding.

Kara found herself seated next to the elderly lesbian officiate and her wife, who Maggie and Alex had invited immediately as well, sometime after her speech. Cake was being served and Lena had left the table with a squeeze of Kara's shoulder and a murmured promise in her ear to grab her at least three slices. Lena was a good egg.

"So," Jane the officiate said, leaning forward, her eyes all kind crinkles set in a stern and weathered face, and Kara could see why her sister liked this woman so much. "When are you and your girl getting hitched? I'm happy to officiate your ceremony as well."

"What?" Kara asked, taken completely off guard.

Jane's wife Maura laughed. "Your girl, sweetie. The one that just went to get you cake? Lena, was her name?"

"Yeah," Kara said numbly, thinking in the back of her mind it was so funny that she'd meet lesbians who didn’t know who she and Lena were these days. "Um, Lena's not my girl. Not my girlfriend, I mean. She's just my best friend."

"That's what they all say," Jane said, winking. She turned to Maura. "What do you think? Two more years?"

Maura traced a perfectly manicured finger along the rim of her glass, smiling back at Jane. "Mm. I do so love it when all the girls in the family are gay."

Kara grinned despite herself. "We got lucky on all of us being queer," she agreed. "But I'm bisexual."

Jane waved a hand. "My bad. But that doesn't matter. You're completely gone for Lena, aren't you?"

Kara glanced towards where Lena was waiting by the cake, laughing with James, who was Winn's (platonic! Winn insisted) plus one. "Yeah," Kara sighed. "I am. And she doesn't know."

"How long?" Maura sounded sympathetic.

"Since before I even met her."

"How did you know before met her?" Jane asked, sounding like she was impressed.

Kara turned back to them, starting to grin. "Sorry, I don't mean to sound stuck up, but you don't really know who we are, do you?"

"Should we?"

Kara shook her head. "Well, um, you might actually enjoy some of the work Lena and I have done together."

"Couldn't resist advertising our famous chemistry, dear?" Lena was back. Kara blushed, and Lena laughed, slipping back into her chair and pushing an extra-large slice of cake in front of Kara, elegant and stunning in her deep blue dress that matched Kara's. Kara couldn't resist running her eyes down Lena one more time. Lena could only possibly look better if that dress was white.

Kara shook her head. "They don't know our work," Kara explained. "Being lesbians, I think they might enjoy it."

Lena turned to smile charmingly at Jane and Maura, who were watching the exchange with matching knowing expressions. "I think they'd enjoy the trailer at least," she agreed.

Lena pulled up the trailer and handed the phone to Maura, smiling as she watched Jane and Maura grow steadily more amazed while Kara ate her cake. "They let this play now?" Jane asked, incredulous and delighted. "Why didn't we hear about this?"

Lena shrugged. "It did get pretty big. We had a very good studio and a very good creative team."

Maura handed the phone back to them in wonder. "We're going to find a copy of that movie, tonight."

"Redbox still has it," Lena said, winking, and both Maura and Jane nodded seriously. "And neither of us die at the end," Lena added seriously, making Kara laugh.

Kara finished off her cake just in time to hear a familiar beat pumping from the direction of the dance floor. "Oh man," Kara said. "Where's Winn? This song is our jam. We sang this, like, fifteen hundred times during the filming of my murder scene."

"Your what?" Maura asked incredulously, but Kara was gone, spotting Winn, who was looking for her, and they were off, leaving a laughing Lena to explain. Kara grinned as Winn took her hand, the pair of them elegant in gray and blue, giggling uncontrollably.

"Aww," Kara said, catching sight of the photographer sneaking a shot of their joined hands. "We'll have a cute, heterosexual couple-y photo now!"

Winn beamed back at her, pulling her to a formal waltz stance as they both stood up straight, the pair of them regal. "Aww! Our very own queer besties stealing heterosexual couple things shot!" Kara threw her head back in laughter, ignoring the photographer taking another shot as Winn started to move them, waltzing them perfectly to Cascada's Everytime We Touch.

Kara and Winn tore up the dance floor for several songs in a row, laughing as they cycled from the waltz to the famous dance between Anna and the King, to seeing if they could do the Funky Chicken, to swinging to a jazz song that came on, Charleston and all. They had just imitated the opening number of A Chorus Line (poorly) when Alex and Maggie appeared at the edge of the (thankfully) nearly empty dance floor. They beamed as Alex and Maggie joined them. "Yes lesbians!" Winn shouted. "Work it!"

"Winn!" Maggie yelled back. "We can't dance like you two can! You're literally going on Broadway next month!"

"Here," Winn said, detaching himself from Kara with a spin, and Kara spun into Alex's arms. "We gotchu." Maggie laughed as Winn caught hold of her arms, drawing her up and leading her away with grace, despite Maggie's lack of training, both of them beaming at each other.

Kara caught at Alex's hands. "Hey," Kara said, rocking them from side to side in a basic swing step, Alex keeping up easily after years of being her sister. "I'm really, really happy for you."

Alex smiled back at her, fresh tears gathering at the edge of her eyes. "Don't make me cry again," Alex said. "I already did during your speech."

"Okay," Kara said, grinning dopily at her older sister, her heart thud thud thudding away in her chest, proud and fuller of love than she thought it was possible to be. "Dance with me, then."

Alex smiled. "High School Musical routine?"

"Uh, duh."

Alex laughed, loud and vibrant, and Kara grinned as they pulled the steps of the High School Musical We're All In This Together routine they had built years and years ago, the New and Improved Version, the one that transitioned into Work This Out, the one they'd spent hours giggling over, and they giggled just the same now. Winn and Maggie slowed to a stop to watch them, laughing as well. When it finished, Kara blushed at the applause from the gathered watchers, pulling a laughing Alex into her arms and trying not to cry.

"I love you," Alex said in her ear, and Kara nodded into her shoulder. "I'm gonna go dance with my wife now," Alex said, and Kara pulled back to beam at her.

"You have a wife," Kara said, poking at her side, and Alex did that same smile she did the day she had first called Maggie her girlfriend.

"I do," she said, scratching her head. "I kind of have a wife."

"Get out of here, you dork," Kara told her fondly. Alex pressed a kiss to her cheek and smiled once more before holding out her hand to Maggie, spinning her around clumsily, full of love.

Kara looked for Winn, but Winn was tugging a dark-suited James onto the dance floor, grinning and blushing at the same time as James smiled at him. Kara glanced around the edge of the dancefloor, thinking of maybe Eliza, or saying hi to Maggie's aunt, who was wonderful--but her gaze landed on Lena.

Lena, who was leaning against a high-top table elegantly, so beautiful she made Kara's heart leap, and watching her with such love in her eyes there was no mistaking it.

Kara moved towards her like a magnet, grinning enticingly and holding out her hand. "Come on," Kara said, grabbing Lena's forearms and slipping her hands down to hold Lena's. "You're dancing with me, Miss Plus One."

"Kara," Lena said, the easy expression of love gone, replaced with an anxious look Kara didn't see on her too often. "I can't dance!"

“Yes, you can,” Kara said calmly, pulling her firmly towards an uncrowded corner of the floor. “With me leading.” Lena shook her head, but Kara could see her resolve shattering. "Hand on my shoulder," Kara instructed, slipping one of hers onto Lena's waist, gripping their hands together and pulling Lena close. "See, it's a slow song now," Kara soothed. "Just hang on to me, keep your arm stiff and your legs loose. I'm gonna move us. Ready? Go."

"Kara!" Lena cursed as Kara moved them all at once, Lena following automatically. Kara guided her easily, Lena loosening up after a long minute of fumbling.

"See," Kara said, biting back a laugh at Lena's unease. "You just need a good lead." Lena shot her a glare, and Kara laughed for real. "Don't tell me you've never danced," Kara said, not quite able to believe that Lena, with all her fancy upbringing, couldn't waltz.

"I was always bad at it," Lena admitted. "So I intentionally ditched lessons and made instructors hate me. Lillian gave up soon enough. Lex would stand me on his feet when I was little if we really needed to dance, but for the most part, this is the one thing I convinced them wasn't happening."

"Why, though?" Kara asked. "You don't like it?"

Lena bit her lip. "Sometimes, when everything's out of your hands, you just need to feel some measure of control. Dance was the one thing I could fight even a little bit. So I fought it like hell."

Kara felt a wash of sadness crash over her at the thought of little Lena screaming so she didn’t to do even one more thing she didn’t want to. "Lena, I'm sorry--"

"Hey," Lena said softly. "It's your sister's wedding. Plenty of things are in my control now. I’m not who I used to be. And I don't feel out of control with you. I don't mind this."

"You're sure?" Kara asked, quiet and careful.

Lena took a deep breath and smiled. "I mean, a club or a rave might be more my speed, but yeah, I'm sure."

"Oh, so you can dance?" Lena rolled her eyes, smiling good-naturedly. "Hang on, you let me get drunk and dance with all those strangers and didn’t once come down to dance with me?"

"You were having plenty of fun!"

"I would have had more fun with you," Kara asserted, and Lena smiled that smile she reserved for Kara, the one with closed lips and love in her eyes, the one that said she couldn’t quite figure Kara out and that was okay, she loved her anyway, deeply and truly. It was Kara's favorite smile to coax out of her.

Unseen by either of them, the photographer snapped a photo, and they continued to dance the night away.

 

When the photographer sent Alex and Maggie the photos a few weeks later, Kara missed the email they sent out with the link, knee-deep in Broadway rehearsals.

She did not miss it when Lena sent her and Winn a care package to the theater, which she and Winn opened during a break, curious and missing Lena. Lena had left a large envelope with Kara's name on the top in her looping handwriting, and Kara felt a jump in her stomach as she tore it open, ignoring Winn's knowing grin.

Kara smiled as she leaned back against the piano, chewing at her fingernails to clamp down on her smile as she read Lena's letter to her, drinking in Lena's words.

  Kara,

I thought about addressing this like they do in the Victorian Age, "My dearest Kara, I do so lament our time apart and feel your absence with every passing breath, like a pain in my ribs that will not ease up"--but that seemed a tad dramatic. (only a tad.) I feel like a kid writing a letter to their best friend at summer camp. I want to tell you about all the fun things I've done without you to make you feel bad that you've gone and left me here for somewhere cooler, but I'm more mature than that. And I've done nothing fun without you, and you are undoubtedly having the time of your life up there, and I’m happy for you. Everything I have done I've already told you about over the phone.

   I actually thought it seemed kind of silly to write you a letter, but I know you love it when people write letters, so I thought I'd indulge you. It's been forever since I wrote something this long by hand. I gave up journaling ages ago, probably because it got depressing once Lex started being my agent. I'm sure it wouldn't have been quite so depressing had I started again once that was all dealt with and you came into my life, but… I'm still fundamentally lazy about certain things. That, and you're not here anymore. *Victorian era longsuffering sigh* I shall try my best to keep from writing sad poetry about missing you. I’m sure it would be awful.

   I do miss you. I know it's only been a month, but I keep going to text you for dinner before remembering you're in a different state and everything sucks again. Maggie said I'd get used to it. Did I ever thank you for bringing her and Alex into my life? Because I should. Odd thing to say about the cop that once arrested me, but I suppose that's life with Kara Danvers, huh? Grateful for every little thing. They got back from their honeymoon last week and I didn't realize how bad I missed them too. It was lonely without all the wonderful queer people here. Even James has moved, and Jack isn't in town anymore, his film finished.

    Anyway, I included your mom jeans with all the paint stains you left by mistake, and I think I got all your favorite candy. Don't worry, none of it is the holiday sale stuff you hate. I also included an I Heart LA shirt I BETTER see you wear in rehearsal photos or something. Don't forget your roots, Ms. Danvers.

    Can't wait to see you perform opening night in FOUR MORE WEEKS love!

 Lena

 

Kara thunked her head against the piano, biting her lip and grinning at the letter, the weight of missing Lena sitting heavy in her chest, Lena’s scent in her nose, faint from the letter, but she was touched it had travelled all this way to be with her. It was easier during rehearsal, so wrapped up in what she loved, sweat and she dance and song and a million new things she loved. Workshopping scenes, laughing with her new friends, it was wonderful. It was her dream, and she loved every second. But then rehearsal ended, and she usually called Lena, and it was good until the call ended or she got home and remembered that she couldn’t hug her best friend. God, she missed Lena. It might be pathetic, but she did.

Kara reread her letter, hearing Lena's voice in the page, smiling at her handwriting. Kara made to slide it back in the envelope and realized there was still something in there. She tugged it out gently, smiling as she saw a familiar setting, a familiar blue dress--

Kara burst into surprised laughter, her face turning red as she took in the whole photo. It was Lena's smile, the one she reserved just for Kara, the one that always made her feel tingly butterflies and a warmth from head to toe. To make it even better, Lena had kissed, with very deep, dark, red lipstick, the bottom corner of the print, and signed it in silver sharpie, To My Biggest Fan, Love Lena Luthor, with a big obnoxious heart and several x's. Kara turned it over to see Lena's handwriting on the back. Made you laugh. Consider this a makeup present for not kissing you on Halloween.

"What did she say--oh my god." Winn started laughing as he leaned forward and snatched the photo out of her hands, holding it closer for inspection. "Oh my god, this is the gayest thing I've ever seen, I love it--"

"Hey!" Kara leaned forward and snatched it back, feeling defensive, like a twelve year old with a love note from her crush. 

"Kara," Winn said breathlessly, "That is like, 1000% extra gay with rainbow sparkles on top."

"It's also a joke, Winn," she told him, and Winn just shook his head, still chuckling.

"If it's a joke, why didn't you share it with the class?"

"They wouldn't get it. It has layers," she sniffed disdainfully, and Winn just threw his head back, howling with laughter. Kara pushed the photo carefully back in the envelope, blushing. It was a joke. But she still wanted it. More than she would admit. "What did Lena put in the care package?"

Winn shrugged, sliding the box towards her. "Some movie tickets for the both of us, a bunch of my favorite snacks, a DVD of A Chorus Line I've been trying to track down for ages, that girl is a godsend, and the rest is for you. Your jeans and your chocolate."

"Yeah," Kara said, poking into the enormous stash of Kit Kats. "She's the best, huh?"

Winn rolled his eyes and pushed at her thigh with his toe. Kara ignored him.

 

Chapter Text

Kara came barging in to her trailer, without knocking, early the morning of their first filming day. "Lena, have you seen my favorite sweatshirt of Alex's?"

Lena stood up from where she had been fixing her makeup in the mirror, turning to face Kara, and felt a smile push at her lips for no particular reason as Kara climbed up the steps absently, checking her phone. Kara was back in her lesbian-powerhouse-lawyer look, the one her character had grown into over the course of the movie, and Lena couldn’t pretend she hadn't missed it. The dark blazer sat very well on her shoulders, white blouse unbuttoned just on the edge of one too many, Kara's hair curled gently and resting casually, elegantly, across her shoulders. "And why would I have seen it?" she asked, her smile growing as Kara frowned at her phone, texting rapidly. Kara's face looked almost abnormally gorgeous today, more than usual, like the makeup department had just cranked her beauty up from its usual ten to a healthy twelve or thirteen.

"Thought I'd ask," Kara said, frown deepening as her thumbs flew across the screen. "Alex is asking where all of her hoodies went and Maggie's texting me telling me Alex is three seconds from searching through her side of the closet and obviously that's a bad idea because Alex's birthday is coming up, and we all know I'm the one who took them. So if I don't want Alex's birthday ruined, I have to turn up proof of at least three hoodies and I've only found two so far… Whoa."

Kara had clicked her phone off and slid it into the back pocket of her exquisitely-tailored slacks, these pants fitting her even better than they had for the last movie. Lena made a mental note to send the costuming department flowers for the work they had done on both of them as Kara's lips parted, eyes trailing almost hungrily up Lena's form. Lena was wearing her usual style for her character, but a touch nicer, like her look had matured in the time that had passed in between stories. Instead of her usual ripped-blue-jeans-working-in-a-casual-lab vibe, her look had matured into one of tight dark pants and a classy (but laboratory-safe, the costume department checked) button down, sleeves rolled up. The messy bun she had gotten away with for most of the last movie was replaced with a sleeker, neater ponytail.

"Not bad, uh?" Lena asked, trying not to preen under the attention as she set the mascara down. "They made me grow up a little."

"Something like that," Kara agreed, wide-eyed and still staring. "They upgraded me too."

"I'll say," Lena muttered under her breath, her eyes flickering between Kara's hips and her face. Lena shook her head to clear it. "I, uh, might have seen one or two of Alex's hoodies."

Kara's eyes narrowed, fond and exasperated and knowing. "Seen? Or stolen?"

"They're soft," Lena defended. "But I'm not sure the ones I have are yours or hers."

"Would you please get them?" Kara asked, looking like she was restraining herself. "So we can check?"

Lena hesitated, feeling defensive over her newly-reacquired hoodie collection she had worked hard to steal back over the last few weeks of preparation for shooting. She had been forced to give most of them back for Kara's move to New York, and regaining access to the collection was one of the best parts of her best friend moving back for the movie. "Are you going to take them all?"

Kara tilted her head, a mildly incredulous expression on her face. "Are you serious?"

"Maybe."

"Please go get them, Lena. Before I search your closet."

Lena felt her stomach flip at her words. Kara was a lot more intimidating in her lawyer getup, which was something she did not need Kara cottoning onto. "Fine," Lena said, turning to pull open her closet. She pushed through the scant few options in the small trailer closet, very aware of Kara moving up closer behind her. "Is this one?"

"That's mine," Kara said, sounding amused, her shoulder pressing into the back of Lena's as she reached over her. Kara pulled out another two items. "These are both Alex's, though. And this one."

Lena felt her breath hitch, quietly, as Kara pressed in closer to grab one more offending sweatshirt, muttering a how many did you steal? "Is that all you need, then?" Lena asked.

"For now," Kara said, pulling all the sweatshirts off their hangers and pulling her phone back out to shoot a photo to Alex. "In the future, for the sake of Maggie and Alex's marriage, could you please refrain from taking Alex's sweatshirts?"

"Whose am I going to take then?" the question was out of her mouth before she could stop it, and Kara gave her a fondly martyred look, scooping the sweatshirts up on one arm.

"You can go crazy on mine, alright? You little thief." Kara pushed the trailer door open before remembering something important, dropping Alex's hoodies on the table and crossing the few steps back to Lena. "And happy first day of filming," Kara breathed in her ear, wrapping Lena up in a soft, warm hug and pressing a kiss to Lena's hair. Kara released her and was out the door with her repossessed sweatshirts in a heartbeat, yelling a "See you in five, love you!" over her shoulder.

Lena took a deep, shaky breath as the trailer door shut. This woman was going to be the death of her. Lena focused back on her makeup, touching up the already-flawless job the makeup department had done, killing five minutes by checking on her still-new instagram account, set up with Kara's help. Diehard fans of the movie were commenting on her last photo, the one of her and Kara and Sam grinning in black and white at a script reading, asking when filming was starting, if there were any behind the scenes photos.

Lena held up her phone when she stepped out of the trailer, smiling deviously at Kara. "The fans are asking for a behind the scenes photo. It's the first day of filming." Lena tilted her head. "I think we can give them a little something, don't you?"

Kara grinned, reaching for Lena's phone. "Gimme that." Kara pulled up the camera in selfie mode, and tapped her cheek twice, like she had Lena wrapped around her finger. Well… she wasn’t wrong. Lena leaned in and resisted a smile as she breathed in Kara's familiar scent, tinged with the light, wonderful perfume Kara sometimes wore. God, she was going to be resisting sniffing Kara like some kind of lovesick puppy all day, wasn't she? Lena focused and pressed her thankfully lipstick-free lips to Kara's cheek, and Kara clicked the shutter button. "Looks good," Kara said, and Lena pulled back.

Lena laughed as she looked at the photo, her chest feeling warm. Kara had made a classic surprised face at the camera, her eyes betraying her happiness as Lena smiled against her cheek. They looked good in the early morning light. "Come on," Lena said, taking the phone back, "We need a full-body shot for the wardrobe." Kara rolled her eyes but let Lena take her photo, stuffing her hands in her pockets and looking at her with a little half-smirk that made Lena want to snap more photos than a suburban mom at a track meet, just to look at them later.

"Hand it over," Kara said sternly as Lena made to put her phone away. "We need one of you too." Lena blushed as Kara raised an eyebrow, looking her up and down again, wiggling her fingers impatiently. Lena handed her the phone. "Everyone'll love it," Kara said, handing her the phone back a minute later. "Post them in a series."

"A series?"

"Or I'll do it for you," Kara said, taking the phone back with a fond roll of her eyes and bumping her shoulder to Lena's as they made their way towards the main set. "You know less about social media than Alex."

Lena glanced at the caption as Kara typed. Your favorite lesbians have returned! Filming starts today and we PSYCHED to be coming back for ya. "Nerd," Lena said fondly, and Kara ignored her.

 

Once Lena got the hang of social media, she did not leave her fans thirsty. Kara's instagram account was littered with aesthetic photos that gave away her inner artist side, black and white shots framed with such beautiful light that nobody ever looked bad when she took photos of them. Lena had always seen Kara sneaking photos, but she hadn't ever realized where the shots had gone. Getting social media, she had made sure to stalk Kara and comment something obnoxious on every. Single. Photo. It was just to annoy Kara, but it was something the lesbian internet had definitely picked up on, but Lena didn't care. They seemed to love it too.

Kara had rolled her eyes when she had seen the blowup of notifications from Lena's online attentions but said nothing. Lena had only worked harder to get under her skin, not knowing entirely why she wanted to get Kara's attention. She had it all the time, after all. She still wanted more. It was infuriating.

Lena's instagram account, however, looked nothing like Kara's.

Lena's was a veritable trash heap of behind the scenes shots that fans called "the gold mine" and "a gift from Sappho herself", naming Lena "not the hero we deserve but the hero we need". Lena couldn't help adding more photos when they said that on every photo, sharing their genuine joy at each shot. Lena filled her instagram with more and more photos of Kara--Kara glaring at her as she drank hot chocolate, Kara pointing at something in the distance with her eyes lit up in excitement, Kara making a face at her absently as she ate a donut and talked on the phone to Alex. Kara, giving the camera a martyred look as Lena kissed her temple with her arms wrapped around her from behind that time she coaxed Kara into giving her a piggyback. Kara, walking backwards in front of her, mouth open midsentence, one hand flipping her hair to the side in a way that was just so fucking hot Lena hadn't been able to resist looking at it all the time. Kara, laughing in the night, her beanie slouchy over a band t shirt and her jeans tight, slightly blurry and all the way beautiful.

Lena couldn’t adding more and more photos. She just loved the photo-sharing game more than she thought she would. And it's not like her family was ever one to enjoy sharing photos. So her fans liked them, so she shared them. It wasn't rocket science. Why should she resist? And on top of that, it wasn't her fault her best friend was insanely gorgeous! And constantly did things that begged to be documented!

Like when Kara stacked two slices of pizza together to eat them during a short lunch break. Or started singing during breaks, her voice still incredible and making Lena miss going to see her on Broadway. Or when she started pulling Red Vines and milk chocolate out of the pockets of incredibly expensive coats, humming unconcernedly as she snacked in between takes.

(The days when Kara snacked and they had kissing scenes usually turned out quite well for Lena. "Licorice?" Lena guessed after they yelled cut, and Kara grinned and blushed.

"Uh, maybe. Did you want some?"

Lena shrugged like it didn't matter. "Looks like I'm getting some either way.")

(She caught Sam rolling her eyes in the background at that one as Kara flushed a darker red.)

There were of course things that begged not to be documented for the way they made her feel. Things that made her recall their friends with benefits conversation and Kara's I'm sure you had your reasons not to pursue a relationship and wonder why they'd never actually had a talk about not pursuing a relationship. Things that made her feel like maybe they should be having a talk, because Lena was running out of reasons. She ran out of reasons faster every time Kara did something that made her heart beat faster. Like fall asleep on top of her.

“No,” Kara whined, fingers curling possessively in Lena’s sweatshirt as she tried to move, snuggling in closer, still more than half asleep. Her head was pillowed in Lena’s stomach, and Lena’s breath hitched as Kara’s movement caused her sweatshirt to ride up and Kara’s breath washed across her bare skin, nose brushing.

Kara smiled sleepily into her skin, murmuring nonsense. “You’re the softest,” Kara slurred into her. “It’s the best.”

Lena exhaled shakily as Kara’s breaths deepened again. This girl was going to kill her.

 

 

"Aaaand, cut. Ok guys, that's a wrap for today. Nice job, everyone, we'll see you tomorrow for the last day of this location filming before we head up North to the next location. Lena, can I see you for a sec?" Lena trotted over to Sam obediently, hating that a tiny part of her mind was, as always, very aware of exactly where Kara was going in the periphery. "Just wanted to discuss tomorrow's set up real quick," Sam said, flashing her a grin. "Five minutes?"

Lena nodded. "Sure thing. What did you have in mind?" Five minutes became fifteen, and by the time Lena was free, Kara was already cleaned up for the day, sitting on the steps of Lena's trailer, going through her phone. "Kara Danvers, my my," Lena drawled as she walked up, and Kara's head jerked up, lips curving into a smile at Lena's tone. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"

Kara held up a set of car keys, and Lena felt a familiar fear spike through her at the thought of Kara's driving. "Take you to dinner?" Kara asked. "I found a cool spot yesterday."

"Depends," Lena said, nudging Kara's foot with her own so Kara would get up and let her in, "Do I have to let you drive?"

"Rude," Kara huffed. "And yes, chicken." Lena stuck her tongue out as she opened her trailer door, and Kara looked unimpressed with her display of maturity. "It's a surprise. Would it help if I blindfolded you too?"

Lena's foot missed the top step and she nearly tripped as Kara's words rolled over her. Pushing aside the annoying thought that she very much would like Kara to blindfold her, thank you, Lena gave an awkward laugh. "I think I'd like to see my death coming." She winced again at the innuendo in her own choice in words.

"Have it your way," Kara said, shrugging, unaffected and following Lena into her trailer. "Hurry up though, I've got us on a schedule."

"Oh you do, do you?" Lena asked, shucking her jacket.

"Mhm." Kara dropped onto Lena's couch, leaning her head back and closing her eyes. She gave no more explanation, and Lena huffed, changing quickly and sneaking glances at her best friend's profile. "Ready?" Kara asked a minute later, opening her eyes, and Lena resisted the urge to make a grab for the keys. "I promise not to kill you on the road and all that," Kara said, eyes narrowing. "It's our last night here, we have to do something fun."

"Oh? And what constitutes fun this evening?"

"You'll see," Kara answered cryptically, biting her lip in an unaffected way.

The butterflies really weren't going to stop anytime soon, were they? Lena was genuinely falling in love, wasn't she? She wasn't sure she liked it. She let Kara lead the way to her car anyway. Kara opened the door for her, and Lena chuckled at the familiar chivalry, the chuckle blooming into a full laugh as Kara slid across the hood like a sixteen year old boy on a date. Kara grinned her familiar dopey, extra-happy and extra-relaxed grin at her, cranking up the radio and rolling the windows down in the cool wet air.

"I don't want to hear about it your hair and the windows," Kara said warningly. "It is nice out, we are going to enjoy it, and your hair is beautiful in every state."

"Bossy," Lena mumbled, trying to cover up her blush.

Kara glanced over and smirked.

Kara drove them to a drive through, the good old kind that gave you food in a box, the kind that was In-N-Out on crack and made you wish you lived locally. She dropped the bags in Lena's lap. "Hang on to those, and don’t touch my fries. We're not eating here."

"Then where are we going, pray tell?"

"Pray harder, I'm not telling."

Lena snorted with laughter, and Kara's smirk returned. "Is there anything I can do to make you tell?" Lena asked.

Kara's neck turned red, almost imperceptibly. "You can sit back and let the driver navigate in peace."

"That's literally the opposite of what the Navigator is supposed to do," Lena said, bemused.

"Good thing you're not the Navigator then."

"I'm sitting Shotgun, of course I'm the Navigator."

"No, you just said it yourself, you're Shotgun. Navigator is a position bestowed upon the most worthy, regardless of seat selection in the car."

"And I'm not the most worthy?"

"Not with navigating, you're not. You're terrible with maps."

"Then why aren't you navigating, and I'll drive? I'm terrified of your driving."

Kara shot her an annoyed look. "But did you die?" She deadpanned, and Lena bit down hard on her tongue to stop from laughing. Kara seemed to know it. "Friendship manual," Kara said sternly, barely holding in a laugh. "If I make you laugh, you have to laugh, you can't hold it in."

"That's not in the manual," Lena said indignantly.

"It's like you didn't even read the manual," Kara said, looking over in outrage, and Lena forcibly restrained herself from grabbing the wheel to steady them, but by some miracle, they were still firmly in their lane. Their deserted lane, on a small country highway. Where was Kara taking them?

"You didn’t give me a manual."

"It's not my job to!"

"That sounds an awful lot like a lame excuse, Prince Charming," Lena said, shaking her head.

"Ugh," Kara groaned, punching at Lena's shoulder half-heartedly and making a face. "You're impossible."

"Says the woman determined to give me nerve damage before I'm thirty."

"You are twenty-nine," Kara snorted. "Your birthday is in like, less than a week."

"Still," Lena said disdainfully. "You could cement the nerve damage in four days. I have faith." Kara snorted with laughter again, and Lena felt the familiar glow in her chest get a little warmer. "Speaking of," Lena said, nonchalant, and Kara raised an eyebrow in interest, "Since my birthday's coming up…"

"Oh?" Kara asked, her tone teasing, and Lena's insides squirmed. "You want a big surprise party or something? You better not tell me what you want now, because I've already got something and I am not returning it."

"You didn't have to get me anything," Lena said automatically, and Kara frowned, glancing over at her.

"Lena, we've been getting each other birthday gifts since the first year we knew each other. I had to cancel on you because Alex was taking me out and you got mad I didn't tell you it was my birthday. Ever since we've always done gifts. Of course I'm taking you out and I have something for you."

Kara glanced over again, her eyebrows raised slightly, and Lena fought a rising blush. The certainty with which Kara talked about them still made her feel good. "Okay," Lena said, trying to push that aside. "Thank you. But I was actually talking about something else." There was a pause as she tried to think of the most offensive way to phrase the question.

"Yeah?" Kara asked, open.

"What's it like to be over the hill and old?"

Kara hit her shoulder a little harder this time as Lena burst out laughing at her own question. "You immature little monster," Kara said, lips twisting as she bit down on a grin. "I am four months older than you, for the love of god. Some days I swear it's four decades, the way you act."

"Old lady," Lena teased. "God, if the fans knew the age gap. My character is practically dating a cougar."

"Oh please. You're loving every second." Kara reached out blindly for her hand and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. Lena's hand immediately started sweating, naturally, the spot where Kara's lips had been tingling. "As if I'm not way too good for you anyway."

"Puh-lease," Lena said, scoffing. "We all know I'm way hotter."

"Ain't that the truth," Kara muttered under her breath, turning off the road. Lena frowned, not sure she heard that correctly, but Kara was leaning over the wheel to see out the windshield better, and Lena knew better than to disrupt her when she was actually focusing on driving. Kara navigated them carefully through a tree-lined off road trail for several hundred feet.

"Where are we?" Lena asked.

Kara pulled the car through a sudden break in the trees. "Turquoise Lake," she announced, swinging the car around to park across three spots in an empty gravel lot. Lena was honestly impressed--usually she could only manage to take up two spots. "Locals love it and say the sunsets are the best from this lookout point."

"That's why we were on the schedule," Lena realized.

"Give the girl a prize," Kara said in a fake-announcer voice, grinning out the window. "Come on, we're eating outside." They ended up seated on the hood, Lena pushing the food up first and Kara lifting her by the waist onto the slippery slope. Kara hopped up after her, sliding so they were sitting side by side. "I admit this hood is not built for sitting upon," Kara said after a minute. "I think it'll get better if you sit with your legs crossed, or lean back against the windshield."

Lena chuckled. "It's perfect, Kara, don't worry about it."

"Yeah?" Kara actually sounded a little bit nervous. But that was ridiculous--this wasn't a date or anything.

Lena made a show of looking at the sunset, beautiful over the lake, the sky turning wondrous colors and the water reflecting them. "Yeah," she said sincerely, and Kara relaxed minutely. "Now hand over the burgers."

They fell into easy conversation about the movie as they watched the sunset. "I don't know," Kara was saying. "I love my character and all, you know I've learned so much from her, but in the end, she's not someone I personally would want to be with."

"Yeah," Lena said nodding. "Who is someone you'd want to be with, though? What would they be like?"

Kara was silent. Lena needed to know the answer, more than she thought she would. "I don't know," Kara finally mumbled, eyes glued to the sky, though it was almost back to a plain deep blue. "Just someone I really knew, I guess. Someone who both makes me feel understood and turns me on, and that it goes both ways. I don’t think I have a type. Just someone I know for sure I'm in love with, who's in love with me too." Lena digested that slowly. No type--that was good. She was pretty sure she made Kara feel understood. But could she-- "What about you, anyway?" Kara asked, and Lena jolted back to the present.

"Me?" Kara nodded, and Lena shrugged, not wanting to answer when the answer was slowly and steadily presenting itself as being right there in front of her. "Just, someone I can feel comfortable with, who I like loving, like they don't make it a chore or a burden or something I have to work at," Lena said slowly, working out the answer for herself. "I don’t care if we're opposites or just the same. But someone who I don’t have to try to love. And who would love all of my sides. Someone who would love me even in my pajamas."

Kara's smile was soft and a little wistful when Lena glanced over. And god Lena wanted nothing more than to kiss her on the hood of the car, to press Kara down against the windshield and make sure that girl understood that she was loved, that she was wanted, that Lena loved her in all her sides and wanted to give her everything she wanted. To prove to her that she was someone Lena was comfortable with, who Lena had never had to work at loving, who Lena wanted to spend an eternity in pajamas with. Lena wanted to curl up with her and watch the stars and talk about nothing and be able to kiss her, for real, whenever she wanted.

She wanted to be a normal teenager with a crush on a pretty girl. She wanted to act on it.

But the universe didn't let her be that today.

A crunch of gravel alerted them to another car, and Kara flipped her hood up, her public avoidance persona coming up in a flash. "You good to go?" Kara asked, and Lena nodded. She didn't really have a choice. Kara crumpled up the trash and stuffed it neatly into the bag, sliding off the car hood, walking around to her door with her chin tucked low. Kara was usually totally game to meet fans. Lena guessed something about tonight had her feeling vulnerable enough she didn't want to run the chance, would rather keep her privacy tucked close to her chest.

Kara glanced at her as she started the car, pausing to reach for Lena's hand, gold hair spilling out of her hood, blue eyes bright in the last of the dying light. "Thanks for coming with me tonight," she said softly. "This was great."

Lena smiled at her best friend, because there was nothing else to be said or done.

Not when she was sure now she was falling in love.

 

Chapter Text

The farmhouse turned into an oasis. A place where Kara could walk in the door and kick off her shoes, sneak pictures of an oblivious Lena humming off-key and stirring at the stove. Where Kara could coax Lena onto the couch, pleading with Lena to read to her, curling up across Lena's lap and let the steady cadence of her wife's voice soothe her into a doze, no matter how many times Lena threatened to stop reading if she kept falling asleep. Where Lena could coax Kara into giving her a massage, a massage that never ended with either of them fully clothed, Kara laughing that she had gotten played again and didn't do anything to stop it.

"If this is going where I think it's going, I feel like I should start demanding reciprocity," Kara said, her thumbs digging in to Lena's spine carefully.

"Someone sounds like they were in contract negotiations all day," Lena deflected.

"Do not change the subject," Kara said, faux-stern.

"Sorry. How about all the times I read to you?"

"How about all the times I sing to you?"

"Touche, Danvers."

"Hey. That's Luthor-Danvers to you."

Lena leaned forward and twisted around, leaning against Kara on the couch again. She smiled a brilliant smile, their faces only inches away. "You're right," she said, her voice close to a purr. "How could I forget?"

"I have no idea, honestly," Kara said, pushing a strand of hair back behind Lena's ear.

"Must have been the fact that a beautiful woman had her hands all over me," Lena mused, and Kara rolled her eyes with a smile. "It does things to your mind," Lena insisted, her eyes wide and innocent.

"I am well aware," Kara told her, trying hard to ignore how Lena had started tracing fingertips up her arms. "Do you not remember your tactics for the first five years of our friendship? The second you wanted something from me you weren't sure you could get with just asking, you'd pull me into a massage."

Lena leaned back. "I did not."

"You did so," Kara said. "Remember Halloween of 2017?"

"I don't think I will ever forget Halloween of 2017."

"I threatened to uninvite you to Maggie and Alex's wedding, and you were like, boom, massage. You used it like a weapon."

"I did not," Lena repeated, laughing. "You probably just associate--"

"Don't even finish that sentence with your hands all over me right now," Kara cut across her, a smile spilling out of her. "You don't even know you do it, look at yourself!"

"What--" Lena glanced down to see her hands on Kara, one slipping into her hair, the other sliding back and forth across her bicep. "I," Lena said, partially at a loss for words. "Did I do this to you before we were dating?"

"Oh," Kara said, and she was really laughing now. She threw her head back, wiping her eyes with a shaking hand. "Only all the time."

"I couldn't have given you that many massages," Lena said, horrified.

Kara rolled her eyes again. She pushed Lena off her, making Lena sit back as she sat up. "Oh Kara," she said in a bad imitation of Lena's voice, "You're so tense after your big Broadway show, sit down, let me make you feel better, superstar."

"I did not," Lena insisted, and Kara laughed again.

"Kara, why are you slouching? C'mere, I can fix you up in just a minute."

"Tell me I didn't."

"You did," Kara promised. "And that's not even counting what you were doing to me just a minute ago, either."

Lena's eyes flickered from her biceps to her neck, settling back down on her own hands in horror. "That's like, not fair," Lena said, clearly stunned.

"Give the girl a prize," Kara said wryly, and Lena looked back up at her face.

"I am so sorry," Lena breathed. "That was so deeply uncool of me."

"Lena, it's okay. It wasn't uncool, it was unknowing. You were deeply oblivious. And I won't say I didn't enjoy it, either." Kara's smile was understanding and gentle. "I've been that way around a girl before, we all have. When you can't keep your hands off them and you don't know why. I just thought you were tactile for a while before I realized you weren't really like that around anyone else, then I figured you were just really comfortable around me."

"But still," Lena whispered. "How did you ever manage to keep your feelings a secret from me when I was doing that?"

"I relied on your obliviousness," Kara admitted. "I hate to say it babe, but you're half-blind sometimes. Especially when it comes to me, it seems."

"So everyone else saw it?"

"Remember when I asked you to burgers two minutes after we met?" Lena nodded. "Alex and Maggie literally thought it was a date and you said yes."

"What?" Lena half-yelled it, and Kara's face scrunched, half in a smile and half at the noise level. "Sorry. What?"

"Did you need me to say it again?" Kara asked dryly, "Or did you not believe it?"

"The second one," Lena said dimly, leaning back and placing a shaking hand over her eyes. "I knew it had been a while longer for you realizing your feelings, but I didn’t realize… Kara, we've been married for over a year and you're just now telling me this?"

"Are you genuinely upset with me for not telling you I was in love with you a week after we met while you were dealing with your brother's trial?" Kara asked, watching her wife, brow furrowed and mouth slightly open.

Lena sat up, frowning back. "Obviously not that part. But Kara, we filmed a movie together, we slept in the same bed, we were best friends, I had my hands all over you… and you never once thought to tell me you were into me?"

Kara twisted her lips to the side, looking at her sheepishly. "Uh, no?"

"Kara! Why would you let yourself suffer like that? Was I really so scary?"

"So you are upset," Kara said, and Lena leveled a glare at her.

"Yes. That you let yourself be miserable and hide. You didn't owe me anything, but you owed yourself, Kara--"

"Do you not get how unattainable you are?" Kara cut across her, and Lena snapped her mouth shut, looking shocked. "Lena, this isn't just me who thinks this. Every freaking internet poll, you're in it. You are universally loved. You turn heads on the street when you're keeping your head down. You have one of the most incredible minds and beautiful souls I've ever seen. You are the kind of person--no," Kara shook her head, searching for the words, "You were the person I would do anything to keep in my orbit, okay? You are unpredictable and tenacious and wondrous, and my biggest fear for years was losing you if you didn't feel the same."

"Kara," Lena said softly, reaching for her hand.

"It wasn't suffering," Kara said, focusing on a spot over Lena's shoulder. "I mean, it sort of was? But being your friend more than made up for it. I thought we wouldn't ever be the same, no matter how gracefully you turned me down, and I…" Kara bit her lip and seemed to find the words. She looked directly at Lena. "The way you looked at me," Kara said slowly, "Was the most important thing. In the beginning, it wasn't the right time. For a long time. And then not screwing up our working relationship. And then I was moving away and then it was…" Kara shrugged. "I had excuses upon excuses, that were all pretty valid, even in hindsight. But it all boiled down to not losing the way you looked at me. I couldn't lose that Lena, I just couldn’t."

"And how did I look at you?" Lena asked softly.

Kara shrugged. "Same way you do now."

Lena sighed, closing her eyes. "So I'm the idiot here. For not knowing I was in love with you the whole time, for not realizing you were in love with you."

"In your defense," Kara said, rubbing her index finger along the inside of Lena's palm, and Lena twitched. "I am a very good actress."

"Against your own interests, it would seem," Lena said wryly, and she opened her eyes, taking a few deep breaths while Kara waited. "I want you to promise me something," Lena said, focusing intently on Kara.

"Okay," Kara said, thinking how funny it was that she didn't freak out when Lena focused on her like that anymore. She just felt warm and the tiniest bit fluttery, in a good way.

"Tell me things," Lena pleaded. Kara frowned in confusion, and Lena kept going. "Do not let yourself suffer in silence again. Whether it's something about me, about work or family or the press or, or like a home repair, or just anything. I'm your wife, Kara. I'm still your best friend, right?" she asked, tilting her head, and a smile grew on Kara's lips as she nodded. "Then talk to your best friend. When you're having trouble. Don't just tell me about the good stuff or the stuff you think I want to hear. I didn't marry you for the Supergirl you put out there for the world. I married you for you. For all your sides. Let me see them?"

Kara leaned forward and kissed Lena, long and gentle. "Okay," Kara murmured into her lips. "I promise." She kissed Lena one more time. "Pinky promise." Lena exhaled a breath of relief. "In that spirit," Kara said, leaning back, "Would you like to hear about the several things I didn't tell you because I was afraid I'd scare you off?"

"Absolutely," Lena said, scooting back on the couch and intertwining her legs with Kara's. She poked her toes against Kara's thigh and smiled reassuringly.

"Do you want to start with the freakout I had after the time you helped me 'practice' for the cop show, how you made me feel when you said you wouldn't drink around me, the times Winn or Alex or Maggie told me you were into me and I didn't believe them, or how the reason I stopped journaling is because I thought it would be depressingly gay like a month after I met you?"

Lena's eyes were wide and her mouth was slightly open. "I'm the reason you stopped journaling?" She sounded horrified.

"I was also worried Alex would find it," Kara admitted, thinking about it. "I was pretty bad at it anyway. I wrote like pages the first few days I met you and then I read them back and was like shit, I don't want to be reading this in the future, this is awful. So I quit." She shrugged.

"You still keep a journal though," Lena pressed, looking slightly scrambled. "I've seen it."

"I kept one for big events," Kara said, shrugging again. "But I sort of made it a rule to myself that I wouldn’t write about my crush on you. And there wasn't much I wanted to write about for a really long time that weren't about you. You ended up in it anyway."

"I don't know whether that's sweet or awful," Lena said, dropping her face in her hands. "Kara, there is more to your life than me."

"Of course there is," Kara said, realizing what Lena was so upset about. "Not to diminish you, but there is so much more to my life than you. My problem was I'd go to write what I wanted to remember about the day, and it started and ended with you. I'm a huge romantic sap, Lena. I journaled a lot more in New York when we were apart and it'd be like, Broadway, Broadway, Winn, Winn, I love my life, etc., and a great journal entry, and then just as much about the thirty minute phone call I had with you that day and when you were next coming to visit." Kara squeezed her knees around Lena's calf. "I promise I wasn’t obsessed with you, okay? I have a life, I always have. I just have an unfortunate romantic streak and when I couldn't be with you the way I really wanted, I'd write more."

"I quite like your unfortunate romantic streak," Lena muttered, but then shook her head. "You promise," Lena said, still looking worried. "You promise you'd be okay if I died tomorrow?"

"Of course I wouldn’t be okay," Kara said, horrified. "You're my wife, and the love of my life regardless. You are my best friend and you're my family, Lena, you always have been. But if you mean I wouldn’t curl into a ball and quit living, then yeah, I'd be okay. It'd take a long time, and I'd of course literally never forget you, but I would keep living."

Lena nodded slowly. "That's what I want. For you to keep living."

"Why the morbid?" Kara asked.

"I worry about you," Lena said simply. "I always have. But being married…" Lena twisted her fingers. "My parents never had a healthy marriage. I just want to be sure, in every way, that I don't control you the way my parents tried to control each other. That includes you being okay if I'm gone."

"Hey," Kara said, leaning forward to wrap her arms around Lena's knees. "There's more to me than how I feel about you. I know that. I always have. I hope you do. You're not controlling me. You're not my whole world. You're a big, wonderful part of it, but the good you brought in won't go away even if something happens to you. I will keep living. I promise."

"Okay," Lena said softly, shakily.

"Don't consider that permission for something to happen to you," Kara said sternly. "I have plans for you, Mrs. Luthor-Danvers."

Lena smiled, slow and soft and sure. "Okay," she said again. She reached out, and Kara caught her hand, bringing it to her lips. Lena's smile got a little wider. She leaned back as Kara did. "Do I even want to hear about the other things you didn't tell me because you were worried I'd scare off?"

Kara smiled back slowly. "Maybe. You think you can handle them?"

Lena leveled her with a game face. "Bring it on, Luthor-Danvers."

 

Chapter Text

Lena felt like a third grader waiting desperately for the lunch bell to ring as Ruby slurped her milkshake slowly. "I swear that's it, word for word," Lena said. "Can we go yet?"

Ruby took a disastrously slow sip of the last of her milkshake, straw-sucking sound echoing in the glass. She faced Lena slowly and examined her for a long moment. "Why? Don't you like hanging out with me?" Lena shot her a dry look. "I know, I know," Ruby sighed. "You're eager to get back to your girlfriend."

"Gee," Lena said sarcastically. "What gave it away?"

Ruby watched her for a moment, a smirk playing at the edge of her mouth, looking far too much like her mother. "Okay," Ruby drawled, and Lena let out a sigh of relief, sliding off her stool.

Lena sped them back.

 -

"Hey," Kara greeted her with a grin when Lena knocked on her hotel door, reaching out and yanking her in. Something warm slipped into the place of her yearning, and her breathing eased for just a moment.

"Hi," Lena said, breathless all over again.

"How'd the interrogation go?" Kara asked, closing the door behind her, one hand steady on Lena's waist.

"Do you really care?" Lena found herself asking, and Kara shook her head with a small grin, pressing Lena backwards steadily.

"Not at the moment," she murmured, and Lena's back hit the door. "There's something I really want to do first."

"Oh? And what's that?"

"Kiss you," Kara breathed, and then she was. It was something wonderful, Lena thought distantly, to get to know a person all anew, when they opened another side of themselves to you. Like when Kara had shared about her past, Lena had seen her in a new light--not a different Kara, but a more whole picture of her. And now, Kara was letting her see a whole new side of her. And goddamn, this felt good.

Kara pulled back. Lena opened her eyes to see Kara examining her with something soft, something wondering, something amazed in her gaze. "What?" Lena asked, a slight self-consciousness creeping into her bliss.

Kara shook her head slightly, her gaze still intense and her face still close. "You're beautiful," Kara said simply, and Lena felt heat creep up her cheeks. Kara leaned forward and kissed her once more, softer. "And I'm really glad you're back." Lena smiled, and Kara pulled back, catching at Lena's hand, tugging her into the room. "How did Ruby take it?"

"She's over the moon," Lena said, smiling as Kara led her to the couch. "Furious no one captured the moment, though."

"That was kind of inconsiderate of everyone not to invade our privacy like that, huh?" Kara said, tilting her head and raising a cocky eyebrow.

Lena sat down with a roll of her eyes. "I didn't really give them much warning."

"No you did not," Kara agreed, moving towards the minifridge. "Did you want a drink?"

"I'm fine," Lena said, eyes tracking Kara as she pulled out a water bottle. "Just had a milkshake and all."

"Yeah, I tasted that," Kara said, her grin cheeky. "Chocolate?"

Lena tried to glare, but she was blushing. Kara sat down, still grinning. "You're lucky you're cute," Lena said, and Kara's grin got a lot wider. "What'd you do while I was gone, anyway?"

"Hung out with Alex," Kara said, taking a sip of water. Lena watched the column of her throat shamelessly as she swallowed, and Kara caught her. Kara smirked. "Have you always been this blatantly checking me out?"

"I don't think it was quite this bad," Lena said, hoping that was true.

"Mm," Kara said, her hum suspicious. "You know we should probably talk about this," she said, taking Lena's hand.

"We should," Lena agreed. "But something tells me we're on the same page."

"And what page is that?" Kara asked, thumb running along the length of Lena's index finger, tantalizing and comforting all at once.

Lena inched closer, watching Kara's eyes watch her. "I like you. You like me. We want to be together, so we are?"

Kara tilted her head in mock thought, pursing her lips. "I don't know," she said, shaking her head, but the tease in her tone was enough to set Lena at ease. She leaned forward and set her water bottle on the table. She sat back up and faced Lena, a challenging sort of cockiness on her face. "I think I require more convincing."

"Oh you do, do you?" Lena asked, grinning at the cheesy line, and Kara nodded slowly, biting her lip over a grin. "Well," Lena said, inching closer a little faster, "I think that can be arranged." Her lips met Kara's slowly, and Lena couldn't help but smile into her when she felt Kara smiling. "Stop smiling," Lena murmured against her cheek. "I'm trying to convince you."

"Sorry," Kara said, not at all apologetic. "I think you're doing a good job, though."

“Yeah?” Lena breathed, and Kara nodded, hands sliding up to Lena’s shoulders.

“You should keep trying, though,” Kara said, halfway breathless, and Lena laughed.

“Okay,” she murmured,  pushed back against Kara’s shoulders, suddenly. Kara yelped, and Lena grinned, following her down, enjoying the very deliberately non-platonic press of her body against Kara’s. She pushed into Kara again, completely caught up in her, breathing in her scent—

“Hey, Lena?” Kara’s voice was slightly strained.

Lena pushed up immediately, examining her in concern. “No no,” Kara rushed to say, smoothing her hands over Lena’s shoulders, tugging her back down. “This is, um, this is great. This is amazing," she reassured Lena. "I just," Kara sighed, looking at her intently, softly, nervously, and Lena's heart thumped. "I like you so much, Lena," she said. "I just, I don't want to rush this with you. I don't want to make a mistake." Kara looked up at her, shy all of the sudden. "Do you think we can take this slow?"

Lena could feel something warm and expansive in her chest, like a real physical manifestation of her feelings taking root. "As slow as you want," Lena promised. "You're right. We shouldn't be rushing."

Kara's chest fell with a relieved exhale. "Good," she said, and smiled at Lena.

"Are you opposed to making out like teenagers on the couch?" Lena asked, her lips curving up in a smirk.

Kara tried to roll her eyes, but her smile was too big. "I'm all yours, Luthor."

And god did it feel good to press her down on the couch, Lena thought. To pin Kara down securely in her grasp. Like Kara had been dancing out of her reach for so long, and she was finally here, hands curled into Lena's and pinned against the couch, completely wrapped up in her. "You keep smiling," Lena informed her, whispering into her cheek.

"Sorry," Kara said. "I can't help it."

Lena hovered over her. "Are you sure?" she asked, eyebrow raised, reveling in Kara's impish smile. "It's making it very hard to kiss you."

Kara giggled, fingers curling to tap against the back of Lena's hand, Lena's still pressing Kara's into the couch fabric like she was worried about her control if she let Kara's hands wander. "I can try," Kara said, schooling her face like the highly-paid actress she was. Then she burst out laughing.

Lena started to laugh too, completely unable to help it. "What am I going to do with you, huh?" she asked.

Kara shrugged helplessly, still pinned and looking completely delighted by the fact. "I'm sure you can find a way to shut me up."

Lena chuckled. "Tempting in the short term, but I like your voice too much."

Kara's grin got a little wider. "You could always keep trying your current method."

 

 --

 

Being completely wrapped up in Lena was Kara's new favorite place. Every single iota of Lena's attention was on her, and there was nothing platonic about it, and it was wonderful.

Kara leaned her head back, thoroughly enjoying every gram of weight pressing down on her. Her eyes fluttered shut as Lena kissed her again. It was entirely new this way, wasn't it? When Lena wasn't kissing her for the cameras. When it was just them, it wasn't their characters. It felt better, deeper, truer. Because Lena wanted to be with her, not character with character. They were completely different.

And Lena was so much better than her character.

Kara couldn't help but smile again as Lena pressed her hands a little deeper into the couch on either side of her head. Lena's silent laugh pressed against Kara's chest, and yeah, okay, that was her new favorite way to experience Lena's laugh.

 

 ////

 

There were hiccups as they started to find their footing as a romantic pair instead of a convincing-no-one-but-themselves-they-were-platonic-pair. Like how Kara was anxious. How she picked up this habit pretty soon where she seemed singularly determined to pull every sound and smile out of Lena.

"So what?" Kara asked, her gaze half-challenging and half-impish over her breathless smile, when Lena observed it teasingly a few weeks in. The pair of them were happy to finally be back in LA as of earlier that day, sitting in Lena's apartment, having deemed it less likely to be crashed by Alex and Maggie on a surprise visit. "You don't want me to make you happy?" Lena let Kara push her down onto the couch cushions, still thoroughly frazzled by having Kara like this. Her brain was so wrapped up in how good it felt to finally have this girl in her grasp.

It probably feels even better for her.

The thought rose unbidden, and for a moment Lena didn't know what to make of it. Happiness, for Kara's happiness, maybe. But something else was under there too. She thought of Alex's words all at once. There has never been a moment that Kara knew of your existence that she wasn't hopelessly in love with you.

Oh.

Oh.

Kara was worried. Anxious, self-conscious, paranoid, whatever it was. She was working double time on a relationship that had never been supposed to be about work, because she was worried. Worried she had to prove herself. Worthy of Lena, or her attention like this, or something else ridiculous--that had to go. Now. Lena couldn't let her best friend feel like that. Not ever.

"Kara," Lena murmured, tapping on Kara's shoulder gently.

"What?" Kara asked, eyes hazy, pulling her upper body up. "Are you okay?"

"Yes," Lena reassured her, sitting up partially, and further words were stopped for a moment as Kara kissed her again, gently, and Lena frowned. "Darling," Lena whispered, pulling her face back and cupping Kara's. Kara opened her eyes slowly as Lena sat them up, frowning.

"What?" Kara asked, and for no particular reason that Lena could put her finger on, she looked small. "Are you--do you not want--"

"I love being with you." Lena cut her off abruptly, and Kara's shoulders relaxed partially, her face softening. "I love kissing you," Lena continued, knowing she had hit the right note now as she tugged a small smile out of Kara. "You are wonderful. I don't know how to make sure you know that I'm not going to regret this, or, or be unsatisfied. There's nowhere else I'd rather be than with you. Like this," Lena emphasized. "But I want you to be happy with this too, not just focused on my happiness."

Kara looked down at where Lena was hanging on to one of her hands. "That obvious, huh?" she asked in a low voice.

"A relationship is about more than one person, love," Lena said softly, brushing a strand of Kara's hair behind her ear.

Kara took a deep breath and sighed heavily. "I…" she said quietly, frowning at their joined hands. "I've liked you for so long, Lena. It's… it's scary, getting what you want. It's scary, changing our relationship."

Lena felt her heart squeeze as Kara twisted her lips anxiously. "I'm scared too," Lena admitted, and Kara met her eyes. "You're, you're you, Kara. You've always been the light in every room. And having you gravitating towards me was crazy enough when we were just friends. To think of you thinking of me like that?" Lena shook her head minutely, very aware of Kara's eyes on her. "It doesn't make sense. I always used to worry I'd drive you away, that you'd slip through my fingers. I've always been afraid of that. I still am sometimes."

"No, Lena," Kara murmured, her voice soft and her gaze softer, pleading. "You're never going to drive me away. I'll always be here."

"You saying things like that helps," Lena pointed out, and Kara gave her a small smile. Lena squeezed her fingers. "So what can I do or say to help show you I'm not going to be the one pulling away? To show you that you are not a passing fling?"

"You don't know that," Kara said, and Lena ached at the heaviness in her tone. "It's only been a few weeks."

"Longer than my flings on record already," Lena quipped, and Kara bit her lip.

"We could break up tomorrow," Kara pointed out.

"Or you could break my heart tonight," Lena shot back. "It wouldn't change that I'm absurdly into you and I'm not going to get over you any time soon. It wouldn't change that you're my best friend. It wouldn’t change that you're the person I want to be around before anyone else, always. Or that I've been steadily falling for you for at least…" Lena squinted. "When did your last show start?"

Kara gaped. "Over a year ago?"

Lena smirked, somehow feeling powerful in her vulnerability, in the way Kara was blown away by her truth. "It's certainly been a while."

"Shit, Alex was right," Kara mumbled, and Lena frowned. "Uh, nothing." Kara looked at her intently for several long moments, and Lena held still under the inspection, wanting more than anything for Kara to relax. "You're sure," Kara said finally. "You're sure that you're into me? That this isn't a, a fling? Or being pent-up? Or a proximity crush, or a wanting to make me happy because it's so obvious I've been into you for so long? Because all of those would be fine, we could leave this right here and go back to being best friends, I'd never hold it against you."

"Kara," Lena said firmly, putting her hands on Kara's shoulders and squeezing lightly, "Shut. Up." Kara's mouth snapped shut, her eyes following Lena's. "No," Lena said firmly. "You are not a fling. I am not pent-up. This is not a proximity crush. I do want to make you happy, but it's not because you're into me. This isn't a pity date, Kara, for christsakes, look at yourself. You are stunning." Lena's hands cupped her face again. "Your entire being and the way that you are just blows me away all the time. I am into you. I promise. For real, for sure, I am not mistaken. Trust me, okay?" Lena brushed her thumbs against Kara's cheeks. "Trust your best friend."

Kara closed her eyes, nodding slowly, her fingers reaching up to hang on to Lena's arms. "Okay," she breathed after a long moment. "Okay." She opened her eyes. "I do trust you."

"And you trust me to trust myself?"

Kara took a long, deep breath. "I do," she said quietly. Lena nodded, and Kara tilted her head to press a kiss into one of Lena's palms. "Thank you," Kara whispered.

"Does it help?" Lena asked, and Kara's smile was slow like the dawn, and just as brilliant.

"It helps," she promised.

 

Chapter Text

“Where have you been?” Lena asked, trying to sound like she didn't mind Kara being later coming home than expected.

Kara pressed a hasty kiss to her cheek, smiling distractedly. “Maggie called just as I was getting out. She needed help with a thing.”

“A thing?”

“A thing for Alex’s birthday." Kara clarified, rummaging in the fridge. "She thinks she’s gonna top last year.”

“That’s quite the Everest.”

“Mm.” Kara pulled some water from the fridge and put it down on the counter, tapping her chin thoughtfully. “Do you think Alex would like it if there were cameras there while she was surprised?”

"I don't really think so," Lena managed to say, the unease that had been simmering in her for the past couple weeks rising. They were starting to prepare to move back to LA, and they were talking about apartments. Together. Lena had been subletting her apartment while she was here, this had been a much more temporary move for her. Their current plan was to sublet this apartment and stay in Lena's in LA while they looked for something bigger, if they hadn't found somewhere they wanted to stay in by the time they got back. It was perfect on paper--organized but also chaotic and so very them.

But now Lena was doubting. And it was the worst time to doubt, too. They had a third movie lined up, and it wasn't too far down the line now.

Kara hadn't been around in the past few days, had been nearly pulling away in the past few weeks, and it had been nearly eighteen months of endless late nights of Kara's third Broadway run, of long days and weeks of Lena travelling for her roles. Lena thought they were serious. She thought Kara thought they were serious. They'd talked about marriage before, you don't do that unless you're serious, right? But they'd been separate and cohabitating but exhausted and caught up in separate projects, and it had been so long since they'd had a night in.

It was kind of impossible to have a night in when your girlfriend was the main entertainment for everyone else's night out. Eight shows a week, and Kara had to be close to breaking a record for fewest shows missed.

"Mm, you're right," Kara was saying, tapping her water bottle against her chin before taking a couple long pulls of it. "We could hide the cameras though, huh?"

“Is this where you’ve been for the past three days?”

Kara frowned in confusion at her tone as the words bubbled out of Lena. "Huh?"

"Getting home late," Lena said, not really wanting to say the words but needing them out. "Always somewhere else, even when you're here. It's been happening for weeks, Kara, is something else really going on?"

"What are you talking about?" Kara asked, the water bottle halfway back down to the counter, frozen.

Lena took a deep breath, closing her eyes, trying so hard not to feel distant from Kara that she was pretty sure she was spinning herself in circles. "Are you tired of me?" Lena asked quietly.

"WHAT?" Kara yelped, spluttering, and her volume surprised Lena. It probably should have reassured her that Kara reacted with such shock. It had the opposite effect, for some reason.

Lena stood up from the stool she'd been sitting on, facing Kara across the island counter. "You haven't been around," Lena explained tersely, feeling her storm of upset feelings rise without her consent. This had been building for weeks. "You've been happy but I don't think we've done more than kiss in nearly a month. I miss you," Lena continued, her throat closing up in anguish, and it made her angry as everything flooded out. Her voice rose. "Are you tired of me or something?" She demanded. "Is it because I was something you wanted for so long and now that you finally have me I'm not what you thought?"

"Lena, stop," Kara said, a near-dangerous light in her eyes.

"I was something you thought you couldn't have and now it's lost its thrill?" Lena tried desperately. "I'm running out of explanations, Kara, I don't think we've gone farther than a kiss on a cheek in days and we certainly haven't had sex since the last time you let your understudy take a show, which was at least a month ago, you don't have to be sorry, I just need you to explain--"

"No!" Kara yelled loudly, abruptly slamming the bottle down on the counter, water spilling everywhere, and Lena fell quiet. "I'm sorry," Kara said, quieter but still heated. "I'm sorry I haven't been here, but Lena," Kara shook her head, looking miserable. "I'm not tired of you."

"Then what is it?" Lena asked, exhausted all of the sudden. Kara's jaw clenched, her eyes sad. "Did you cheat on me or something?" Lena asked, and Kara winced, scoffing at the same time in disgust.

"Stop guessing. You are the worst guesser. Your guesses are only getting worse."

"Then talk to me," Lena growled, and Kara sighed, her shoulders dropping.

"I'm not cheating on you," she promised heavily. "I would never. I'm…" Kara hung her head, hands white-knuckling the counter. "I'm scared of you," she admitted in a whisper.

Lena stared. "I'm sorry, what?"

Kara picked her head up, eyeing Lena warily. "Come on, Lena. We just went to another red carpet where you were the star not too long ago. You just got back from another movie shoot in an exotic location, stretching your acting abilities, stepping out of your comfort zone and blessing everyone there, while I stayed here doing the same thing I've been doing for a year."

"That's--" Lena was completely nonplussed, staring at Kara, at an absolute loss for what to say. "That's completely--"

"I know you'll tell me it's stupid," Kara said, shrugging like she hated herself, and Lena felt the familiar squeeze of her heart at Kara's pain. "But I just, I wanted you for so long, okay, and I couldn't tell you, and every time we visited each other, I had to extra-remember. Like I had lost all my resistance to you." Lena softened, the faintest smile rising to her lips at the idea. "I'm sorry," Kara repeated, raising her head to meet Lena's eyes, and Lena softened a little more, knowing that Kara hated looking someone in the eye during hard conversations, but knew it meant a lot to Lena. "I have a bad habit of hiding from you, and I'm really good at it, and it's really hard to break, and I forget that I shouldn't do that anymore."

Lena sighed and sat back down, patting the stool next to her, and Kara rounded the counter to sit next to her. Kara was wearing the loose casual clothing she wore to the theater that night, her ponytail was sloppy and loose, and she smelled like clean sweat and the theater. Lena's heart tugged. "Talk to me," Lena said again, gentler this time. "Why did you feel like you had to hide from me? What sparked it this time?"

Kara twined her fingers together and tugged, frowning down at her hands. "I don't know," she said quietly, her voice the slightest bit hoarse. "You got back from that last shoot and I was just so excited to see you…"

"That's a good thing," Lena reminded her softly.

"I know," Kara said, frustrated as she tried to work it out. "I just, it felt like when you'd come to visit me during my first shows. I was running on fumes because there were a few changes we made, so I was more frazzled, and it all just felt so much like back then. And after a couple days, I kicked back into the way I was. I just wanted to be so careful not to smother you, not to make you tired of me. I was also genuinely busy, but I…" Kara took a deep, heavy breath and let it out. She picked her head up and looked at Lena, her jaw working miserably. "That's no excuse. I found excuses in the busy-ness. I could--I should--have been better to you. And you're right, I have been somewhere else. I don't know where, but I'm sorry." Kara sighed, shaking her head. "I’m so sorry, Lena."

Lena sighed, watching as Kara hung her head again, looking like a kicked puppy. After a moment, Lena pushed her chin into her hand on the counter, and took a deep breath. "I need to let go, too," Lena said slowly, and Kara tilted her head, still not quite looking at her, though Lena knew she was listening intently. "You have been here, it hasn't been anywhere near as dramatic as necessitated yelling at you, but I did anyway, and I'm sorry for that."

Kara shook her head. "I felt young and scared and acted dumb and made you feel neglected. You were right to yell. To snap me out of it, if nothing else."

"I do need to learn to let go, though," Lena said, biting her lip. "You don't get home on time and I start to think you don't want to come home to me."

"Okay, first off, I always want to come home to you," Kara told her.

Lena gave her a small smile. "Except when I scare you."

Kara took a deep breath, looking around at the ceiling. "Okay, so we're both being dumb right now, but it's because of emotions, so it's not emotions we can turn off. So we need an intellectual solution to tell our emotions it's okay, right?"

"I think," Lena said, not totally following but trusting her.

"Okay, so for me, we can't really fear what we understand. I got scared because I felt distant from you, like I admired you but didn't know you, so I made more distance, which was shitty of me, and I'm sorry. I think I felt like, like if you knew me, you'd think I was less than you. So I didn't want you to know me."

"Kara," Lena said softly, hating those conclusions, but Kara shook her head, focused on the next step. That was something else Lena loved about her. She was solution-oriented.

"But to have less distance, I think what I need is to know you. To know you more, again."

"Okay," Lena said hesitantly. "What does that mean?"

Kara shrugged, something like hope in her eyes. She eyed Lena with a small smile. "How do you feel about playing an extra-invasive or extra-silly game twenty questions every night?"

Lena grinned despite the seriousness. "I think I can manage," she said, warming to the idea already.

Kara smiled back. "Okay, something like that should help me. What would help you?"

"I don't know," Lena answered, frustrated again, and Kara tapped her chin, watching her thoughtfully.

"You get nervous when I'm not on time, right? When I'm not here when I normally would be?"

"Yes," Lena admitted, hating it in those words.

"Okay," Kara said, no judgment in her tone. "And if I text you to say I'm held up and why? If we make more plans with our free time?"

Lena thought about it for a few moments. "I… I think that would help me feel better," she said hesitantly, and Kara smiled, satisfied and sweet.

"Just tell me if it works or not and we’ll find something new to make it work. There is, of course, one other solution we both could use," Kara pointed out, and Lena tilted her head in question, already put more at ease by Kara's lighter tone. Kara held out her hand, and Lena took it, Kara's fingers curling reassuringly around hers and squeezing, warm and tight. "We can spend more honest time together right now," Kara whispered, and Lena felt the last of the tension leak out of her.

"Are you sure?" she asked. "It's late, and you have a show tomorrow--"

"I'll have my understudy take it," Kara said, in a tone that brooked no argument, and Lena felt a rush of warmth. "We can spend all day tomorrow together, too. It's a Tuesday, not a Saturday." She made a face. "I do need a shower at some point, for your benefit, but you and I are going on a date, tonight, Ms. Luthor."

Lena grinned, that familiar flutter of pleased anticipation that came from when Kara's eyes looked like that lighting her back up. "We could always start with the shower," Lena offered, and Kara's face split into that megawatt grin Lena was so fond of.

"Yeah?" Kara asked, tilting her head, and Lena grinned back, crooking a beckoning finger towards her.

"Get over here and kiss me."

 

Kara tugged Lena out of the apartment an hour and a half later, looking tired but raring to go. "I said tonight," she said firmly, locking the door behind them. "Now come on, there's a late night arcade and a 24 hour diner calling our names."

"Are you planning to keep us out all night?" Lena asked, amused as they trotted down the stairs to push out onto the near-empty streets.

"Maybe," Kara said, shrugging. "You got a problem with it?"

Lena considered it for a moment, and only felt a bone-deep joy at the prospect of spending that much time intentionally with Kara, amplified by the way she'd been missing her for weeks. "Not a one," she promised, and Kara grinned, threading forward to press Lena against the side of the building and kiss her, hard. Lena smiled and pressed back after a minute. "Unless you want to head back upstairs," she murmured, eyes still closed as her hands wandered under Kara's leather jacket, "We should start walking."

Kara groaned good-naturedly. "She's hot and she's smart," Kara sighed, leaning back and looking Lena up and down. "You're gonna have a hard time keeping me off you tonight, so you know," Kara said, taking Lena's hand and guiding them down the street. "And every night, for that matter."

Lena felt a skip in her heartbeat as Kara glanced over with a wink. "You say that like it's something I'd want to do," she replied easily, her body thrumming with Kara pressing her shoulder. Lena let go of her hand and curled both of hers around Kara's arm.

Kara grinned and leaned into her as they kept walking. "I'm glad we had that chat," Kara said quietly. "I really am sorry, and," she bit her lip and turned to look at Lena, smiling that young, dopey grin that Lena had fallen in love with. "I really missed you."

"I missed you too," Lena murmured, and just like that, Kara was pulling them to a stop on the deserted sidewalk and kissing her, really kissing her, and Lena never thought she'd be into the cliches, but there was something to be said for having the girl you love kiss you in the middle of the street and not care if anyone was watching.

"Eyyyyyy lesbians! Go get 'em!"

Kara raised her hand and waved to the homeless guy that they saw around sometimes without looking. He raised a hand in a mock salute, grinning toothily at them as he walked in the other direction on the other side of the street. Lena giggled as Kara sighed. "Come on," Lena whispered, reaching for Kara's hand and tugging her along again. "I've got a hot date tonight and I don't want to miss it."

Kara's laughter echoed off the buildings.

It was a good night. A really, really good night. The kind of good night that had Lena creaming Kara in air hockey until Kara swore so badly that a passing eighteen-year-old, clearly high out of his mind, looked at her, scandalized. Kara blushed and smiled apologetically at him, while Lena howled with laughter, Kara cursing colorfully again as she tried to take a cheap shot while Lena was distracted and missed so badly the puck rocketed into her own goal. Lena threw her head back, tears of laughter streaming down her face.

"Sore loser," Lena teased once she got her breath back, and Kara stuck her tongue out.

"I usually rock at this game, okay."

"Mhm," Lena said. "Says the woman who just lost the eighth game in row. I don’t think you've scored more than a point per game."

"But I did score tonight," Kara said, wiggling her eyebrows, and Lena laughed again, something warm in her chest as Kara wrapped her up in her arms tight, walking them backwards. Lena kissed her in the middle of the arcade, twisting Kara's disguise of a baseball cap backwards to give her more room, smiling against Kara's lips as neon lights flashed and cartoon sounds played. Lena bit her lip as Kara pulled back, smiling at the look of Kara in the backwards baseball cap, lips red and cheeks flushed, eyes bright despite her monumental losses. "What?" Kara asked, eyes still on her lips.

"Nothing," Lena said, shaking her head. She kissed Kara again. "I just really love you."

Kara's eyes got a little brighter and her smile a little wider. "I really love you too," she said, her voice soft in the middle of the loud sounds of the arcade. She kissed Lena one more time before letting her go, holding onto her hand. "I'm totally going to kick your ass at skee-ball though."

Lena laughed and let Kara tug her towards them, feeling light and unburdened. "Good luck with that, babe," she said, and Kara glared lazily, no heat to it. Kara shucked off her jacket with a challenging glance towards Lena, and Lena just watched, smiling, as Kara's blue-and-white baseball tee settled over her blue jeans. "Feeling baseball today, were we?" Lena asked, reaching out to adjust Kara's still-backwards cap, entirely endeared.

Kara glanced down. "I didn't think about it, actually," she admitted. "I was a little distracted."

"Mmm." Lena smiled again, happiness curling loose and easy in her chest. "Was that why you lost air hockey too?"

Kara's eyes narrowed. "You little--" she took a deep, dramatic and calming breath. "I'd watch the trash talk, Luthor. I'm gonna own your ass at this."

Kara picked up a skee ball, swinging it in preparation, and Lena giggled again, completely unable to help herself. "Don't you already?"

Kara missed that first shot by a mile.

She still won, as promised, and swept Lena off her feet, kissing her again in exhilaration.

They ended up in a 24 hour diner, thanking a nice waitress named Angie who was probably sixty and didn't react at all when she saw their faces, thankfully. Kara's cap was forwards-facing again, and she let Lena twist it backwards once more with a knowing kind of smirk that Lena thought sat a little too easily on her face. It was nearly four in the morning by that point, and Lena could hear Kara's stomach growling.

Kara pulled open the menu, humming, her leg jiggling in the vinyl booth, and Lena watched her fondly across the table. This. Lena thought it, watching Kara's eyes light up as she saw their milkshake options. This is what we're supposed to be.

"You're staring," Kara told her, not looking up, a smirk still on her face.

Lena let a deliberate finger trace on the back of Kara's hands, and Kara eyed her, one eyebrow raised. "Can't help it," Lena drawled. "I've got a really hot date."

"You mentioned earlier," Kara said, eyes going back to the menu. "How'd said hot date go?"

"I think it went pretty well," Lena said noncommittally, biting down on another smile, and Kara raised her eyebrow again.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah," Lena said, leaning back. "She's got a filthy mouth on her, though."

"For the last time, that game was rigged!" Lena laughed as Kara rose to the bait again, and Kara sighed resignedly, a faint smile playing on her lips. "Hey," Kara said suddenly. "I've got an idea." Lena hmm'ed and Kara grinned. "I'm gonna order for you. You get something for me."

"Are you sure?" Lena asked. "This feels like a bad idea. You are very particular about your shake cravings, especially late at night. And your burger toppings."

Kara looked at her for a long moment, twisting her lips side to side, and there was something in her eyes, a something that felt like a Friday afternoon in elementary school, that felt like ice cream on a cool day in spring, felt like right before she pushed Lena down onto the bed and made her scream. "I trust you," Kara said simply.

It seemed mildly uncool to make out with someone over a sticky table at four in the morning, and Angie was really nice, so Lena settled for reaching out towards Kara's legs with her feet, hooking her ankles around Kara's shin and squeezing. Kara got that scrunchy-face grin she got when she was really happy, easing into that same dopey smile from earlier. The look only returned when Lena ordered the double-bacon cheeseburger with a large chocolate-peanut butter milkshake, smiling innocently when Angie stared as she tacked a double order of fries on the end. Kara ordered a California Club that Lena hadn't even spotted on the menu but instantly started craving once Kara said it, cheesy fries, and one of their recommended vanilla-based milkshakes.

Kara looked at her, delighted, as Angie walked away. "So, have I told you lately that you're literally the perfect woman?"

"I could stand to hear it again."

"You are the perfect woman," Kara repeated sincerely, and Lena grinned.

"So I got the order right?"

"So right everything else seems wrong," Kara promised. "How'd I do?"

"You know me better than I know myself," Lena told her, and Kara smirked victoriously. "Wanna watch Pitch Perfect after this?"

"Is it cause I just quoted it?" Lena nodded, and Kara chuckled. "How about we go to bed when we get back, and watch it in the morning?"

Lena slumped in the seat dramatically, sighing. "I suppose that's acceptable."

Kara grinned, reaching under the table to hook her ankle around Lena's calf. "I'm sorry," she said. "I just want to be awake enough to watch it with you, and I can feel a food coma coming on after the perfection you just ordered me."

"Well, when you put it like that."

Lena half-carried Kara back to the apartment--thank god it was close--after they finished, both of them moaning borderline-indecently at the incredible diner food that had interrupted their game of twenty questions. They left a tip for Angie and stumbled out the door, Kara's arm slinging heavily over Lena's shoulders, a welcome weight. "Come on, Charming," Lena huffed, opening the door to the building. "I'm not carrying you up these stairs."

Kara eyed them warily before starting to climb. "Thank god we don’t live on the fifth floor," she muttered, eyes still heavy lidded. Lena chuckled as she let them into the apartment, following Kara's lead and leaving their jackets on the couch, toeing off sneakers and shucking off jeans as they stumbled into bed. Kara curled her arm around Lena, pulling her in close and pressing her nose to the back of Lena's neck. Kara huffed a laugh. "You smell like diner and arcade," Kara informed her.

Lena huffed. "Like you smell any better."

"You make it smell sexy," Kara promised, and despite having had sex, multiple times, only a couple hours ago, Lena flushed at the words. Kara nosed in a little bit closer. "But hey," she murmured, slurring with sleep. "Thanks for coming tonight."

"Title of your sex tape," Lena said, and Kara laughed loudly, rolling onto her back before curling back into Lena, tighter this time.

"God, I love you."

Lena twisted in her arms to press one more kiss to Kara's lips. "I love you too," she told her. "And thank you for tonight."

Kara made an effort to open her eyes, smiling back. "Anytime," she promised, and then her eyes drooped closed, and her breathing evened out instantly.

 

Chapter Text

It was one-thirty in the morning, moonlight was shining through the window, and Kara was giggling madly, rolling side to side in the bed as laughter shook her frame. The sheets were completely askew, but not from any adult activities. Lena sighed as Kara pressed her forehead to her shoulder, gasping in breath as she practically cackled with laughter. "For the last time--"

"Title of your sex tape," Kara giggled, and Lena groaned.

"Not again--"

"Title of your sex tape."

"Kara, don't make me--"

"Title of your sex tape."

"I swear to God--"

"Title of your sex tape."

Lena groaned, trying to stifle a laugh. "That one didn’t even work. If you say that one more time, I'm putting you on the couch."

"Nope," Kara said, still completely overcome with giggles. "Nope. You can't make me and I'd like to see you try--"

"Title of your sex tape," Lena cut across her, deadpan.

"LENA!" Kara shot bolt upright, giggles cut off as she stared at her wife in utter delight, and Lena burst into laughter. "I love you so much," Kara told her sincerely, still grinning ear to ear in the dark.

"Title of your sex tape."

"Every minute and you give me another reason to love you more."

"Title of your sex tape."

"You're literally perfect," Kara told her, grinning, and Lena's next title of your sex tape was cut off by Kara's smiling kiss. Kara broke away after a moment as laughter bubbled out of her again, and Kara flopped back down onto the pillows, still giggling.

"Seriously, is something wrong with you?" Lena asked, propping her head up on her elbow to watch Kara, giggling away in her loose tank top and pajama shorts, hair wild in the night. Kara had had a long few days of work and commuting, but Lena was pretty sure she wasn't this sleep-deprived.

"Title of your--"

"That will never be the title of my sex tape, thank you." Kara's laughs turned breathless as she nodded in agreement. "There is nothing wrong with you," Lena added, sliding a suggestive hand up Kara's stomach, and Kara stopped laughing to beam at her. "You do need to sleep, though," Lena informed her, and Kara started chuckling again, her stomach flexing under Lena's hand and oblivious to Lena's attentions as she was carried away on another bout of near-hysterical laughter.

"'M sorry, I'm trying," Kara whined through her breathless giggles. "Okay," she said, taking a deep breath, then two, then three, Lena's hand still anchored on her stomach. "Okay," she repeated, taking another deep breath--only to start laughing again.

"It wasn't that funny," Lena told her, watching her wife fondly in the dark, exasperated but still completely in love.

Kara eyed her with a clamped-down grin, going quiet for a half second only to say the now-predictable, "Title of your sex tape."

Lena chuckled, the sound pulled out of her. "Kara," she said, and Kara struggled to focus on her, quiet but her frame still wracked with silent laughter. "Do you need help going to sleep?"

"I don't know what you're gonna do about it," Kara said, still uncontrollable, wiping tears out of the corner of her eye now.

"Title of your sex tape," Lena sing-songed softly, and Kara threw her head back, howling with fresh laughter. Lena thanked the heavens for the umpteenth time they didn't have neighbors within the mile, smiling at Kara's laughter despite the late hour. Lena shifted towards her. "Trust your wife," Lena whispered, taking ahold of the mood and forcibly shifting it to her favor.

Lena planted a knee on either side of Kara's hips, shifting her hair to the side in the way that never made failed to make Kara's eyes go wide. Predictably, Kara went quiet, her breath catching, and Lena smirked. She leaned down to kiss Kara, and trailed her fingers down Kara's arms to catch at her fingers, squeezing her hands.

Finally, Lena thought, moving to kiss across Kara's cheek and down her jaw, enjoying Kara's labored breathing as she made her way down her neck. Lena had just reached her collarbone when she felt Kara's stomach flex abruptly beneath her.

"Don't," Lena growled warningly, but it was too late.

Kara burst into laughter again beneath her, and Lena sighed as she sat up on top of Kara, looking down as her wife shook with mirth. "My wife is trying to stop me from laughing about sex tape titles by seducing me," Kara gasped, still wheezing. "I'm sorry! This is just the best and funniest thing that's ever happened to me."

"It could be even better if you let me seduce you," Lena offered, but it was no use.

Kara threw an arm over her head, completely incapacitated now. Lena sighed and watched her laugh, feeling Kara's frame keep shaking beneath her, completely unaffected by Lena's weight on top of her. Her wife was unfairly hot, and now that Lena had been thinking about seducing her…

Lena rolled off, half-irritated but smiling despite herself.

They could have sex any other night. Kara giggled for another twenty minutes before hiccuping herself into sleep, holding Lena's hand and grinning even as she finally slipped into a doze.

 

-----

 

“It’s hilarious, dear,” Lena said lightly, dropping the groceries on the kitchen counter and turning to face Kara’s petulance. “Oh, c’mere.” She reached out and hooked her fingers in Kara’s belt loops, tugging her wife closer. “Now. Do you want me to be jealous or something? A fifteen year old fan is into you. I’m sure they’re one of tens of thousands.”

“Lena,” Kara whined, and Lena kissed her.

“It’s a crush,” she soothed. “They’ll get over it, and if they don’t, big deal.” Lena shrugged. “You’re mine, babe. I’m not letting you go.”

Kara looked at her almost shyly, lips twisting to the side. “Yeah?” She asked tentatively.

“You want me to smack down the fifteen year old for you?” Lena asked, putting on a serious voice, and Kara giggled. Lena smiled, and leaned forward to press her lips below Kara’s ear. “You’re stuck with me, Danvers,” she said. “No fifteen year old crush is going to change that one bit.”

Kara blushed. “Okay.”

 

“Ohhh, so kids have crushes on me and you think it’s hilarious, but one gets a crush on you and suddenly we don’t like this?”

“We don’t like that it’s another actor’s kid and the child won’t speak to me,” Lena groused. “Am I really that petrifying?”

“Honestly? Yes.” Kara shrugged, wrapped her arms around Lena’s waist from behind, propping her chin on Lena’s shoulder. “You need to show them your inner nerd side. They know you’re married, they just want you to smile at them.”

Lena groaned, leaning back into her. “Why can’t my wife just come terrify them into not being weird around me?”

Kara’s chuckle rumbled low in her ear. “Because your wife would never take away the joy of having a child begin to trust you from you.”

“Stop being so perfect,” Lena moaned.

“Title of your sex tape,” Kara quipped, and Lena jabbed an elbow into her side.

“I take it back.”

----

Kara wandered out of the bedroom, rumpled and disoriented, to find Lena on the couch, watching a cooking show turned down low and scrolling through her phone instead of checking emails.

"You're up," Lena said in surprise, clicking off her phone to examine Kara with a skeptical glance. "You feeling better?"

"No," Kara said grumpily, crawling on top of Lena's sprawled-out body. Lena giggled as Kara hit a couple ticklish spots. Kara tucked her head under Lena's chin, curling into Lena's chest, sprawling her legs out.

"How about now?" Lena asked, a tease in her voice.

"Maybe," Kara admitted.

"And now?" Lena asked, carding her fingers through Kara's hair.

"I think you should keep doing that," Kara said, her voice muffled in Lena's collarbone.

Lena laughed, the vibrations shaking the both of them, and Kara smiled into her skin. "Mmkay," Lena said softly, a smile in her voice. "Blanket or no blanket?"

"Blanket, please," Kara said, and Lena fluttered it over the both of them, settling back down to keep watching the cooking show.

Kara fell asleep on the steady cadence of Lena's easy breathing.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Kara was filming the fantasy show on a location and fans found her. She slipped away to go say hi during a break and grinned as fans cheered at the sight of her walking over. There were more than a few filming, and the familiar flip went through her stomach at the thought of the videos making their way to Lena's eyes. Kara decided to lean into it this time.

"Hey," Kara said, smiling as she approached. She leaned on the barrier they had put up to cordon off the set, grinning as she took in the dozen assorted fans. "How's everyone doing?" There was a general laugh, and a five-year-old jumping up and down caught at Kara's attention first. "What's up, little one?" Kara asked, and the girl stopped jumping, smiling shyly and thrusting a pink and purple notebook and matching pen towards Kara wordlessly. "You want me to sign it?" Kara asked, taking the proffered items, and the girl nodded. "Sure thing. What's your name?"

There was a mumbled "Kyla," and Kara smiled.

"That's not too far from my name. Alright, to Kyla," she said, speaking out loud as she wrote, and handed it back with a flourish that had the girl grinning before she ran off to show her parents, watching not too far away, and they waved in thanks. Kara waved back and picked up the next notebook shoved in her direction, smiling at a boy of eleven and complimenting his spiked up hair.

"Kara!" Kara glanced over as two teenage girls pressed close to the barrier. They weren't holding anything, but a third girl about their age was filming and biting her nails.

"What's up?" Kara asked, handing back the notebook with a smile at the eleven year old's solemn handshake before he scrambled away. "Did you guys want a picture?"

"No," one said breathlessly. "Well, yes, but we also had a question?" Kara nodded, keeping her face open, and the girl's friend pushed at her in an excitement, nodding. "Um, it's about Lena?"

"Lena Luthor?" Kara asked, trying not to laugh. "You guys fans of hers or something?"

All three of the girls blushed, and Kara couldn't hold back the laugh this time. "I am too," she told them easily. "She's pretty cool, huh?"

"Yeah," the second girl said breathlessly, the third one holding the camera nodded furiously. The second girl nudged the first with her elbow. "Ask her," she hissed.

"Ask me what?" Kara quipped, accepting a third notebook and signing it for a three-year-old, pausing to ask the boy's name from his father, who was holding his hand.

"Um," the first girl said, clearly nervous out of her mind. "Um, we had a question about something that we thought we saw in your movie, there was like this glint and we wondered if you knew…"

"Lena and I are like best friends," Kara said easily, handing back the notebook and focusing her full attention on the girls. "If anyone's gonna know it, it's me."

"Does she have a tongue ring!" Girl number three had rushed out the question, the words coming out in a spill. She promptly looked horrified at herself as the other two girls straightened in shock.

Kara threw her head back and laughed. She grinned at the girls, still chuckling, mirth spilling out of her as they only grew more nervous with her reaction. "Yes," Kara told them. "Lena Luthor most definitely does have a tongue ring," Kara promised them, and her laughter grew anew as they all yelped, dancing up and down and generally have a meltdown. "I'm gonna catch hell from her for that later," Kara said, laughing. "So I might as well get my miles out of it. Please post that everywhere and tag it with every Lena Luthor tag you can find, alright?"

"Oh my gosh! We so will!" The first girl answered this time, still clearly out of her mind with delight at this fact. The third one was still filming, and that fact alone caused Kara to clamp down on her deeply immature and self-destructive urge to ask if they had any good fanpages about Lena they could recommend. She didn't need to torture Lena--or herself--with those. "Can we--can we still get a picture?"

"Sure thing."

 

Lena texted her not four hours later.

Lena: WTF
Kara: What?
Lena: YOU KNOW WHAT KARA
Kara: ;)
Lena: don't play cute
Lena: you are cute in general but not right now
Kara: they already knew
Kara: everyone already knew
Lena: you don't need to give teenagers heart attacks! They're clearly young impressionable lesbians! I don't want every mother of a gay girl out there blaming me for their daughters getting a tongue ring!
Kara: slow down
Kara: first of all, I guarantee at least half of them don't want a tongue ring, they just want to fangirl. Second,
Kara: you think you're going to give them a heart attack? That's sort of egotistical, don't ya think?
Lena: it's not ME, it's the character I played
Kara: omg chill
Lena: no
Lena: you owe me an apology
Kara: for what? Telling them something they already knew? I didn't say anything about your tattoos.
Lena: .… for. For.
Lena: goddammit you just do
Kara: ok, you figure out what I'm supposed to be sorry about, and I'll be sorry about it
Kara: is your PR person even upset?
Lena: you little shit
Kara: hehehe yeah
Lena: you're bringing me dinner.
Lena: I want Chinese
Lena: I want ALL the potstickers
Lena: and a massage. It has been a very long day of handling the lesbian internet
Kara: that's YOUR internet, babe
Kara: you don't even have to go on it
Lena: Chinese. Massage. 7:00 at my place.
Kara: sure thing, boss.

 

Kara laid back on the couch as Lena sank gracefully to her knees on the floor. Kara ignored all the things her mind was screaming Lena could do from that position. "Just hold still," Lena said, pulling Kara's shirt up. Kara twitched predictably as Lena's fingers trailed lightly up the bare skin of her stomach where she dragged the fabric away. Lena quirked an amused eyebrow at her and Kara glared. "Ticklish?" Lena asked.

"No," Kara answered quickly, and Lena swallowed a smile.

"Sure you aren't. You ready?" Kara nodded, taking a deep breath, and Lena grinned. "You know I'm not actually giving you a tattoo, right? It's just a sharpie pen, Kara."

"It's sensitive," Kara mumbled lamely, and Lena bit back another smile for her sake.

"I'll be gentle," she promised, and Kara's stomach, already in knots, gave another swoosh at the thought of every other situation those words could be used in. Lena's fingers touched her skin and Kara nearly rocketed off the couch again. Lena held her down easily as she twitched, warm weight settling across the tops of her thighs and ribs where Lena's arms pressed down. Lena pressed her fingers into the skin above her hipbone, holding it down against the rise and fall of Kara's breathing, making sure it was still and steady as she placed the pen tip.

How did we get here? Kara thought weakly. Oh, right. Interrogations about why she had told fans about piercings turned into interrogations about tattoos turned into what would you get if you got one turned into Lena offering to draw a design on her and here they were. With every nerve ending on fire and trying to hide how hard she was breathing.

Lena's pen tip traced excruciatingly slowly along her skin, tickling and ever-so-slightly smarting. "It'd hurt a bit more if this were a real tattoo," Lena murmured, her voice low and focused on the task and hand. "But this is a similar position. It'd also probably cost a bit more."

"So you're a cheap date," Kara quipped, and it took a moment for the comment to register on Lena's face, absorbed as she was. She paused and looked at Kara, unamused.

"I cost more than you could dream of affording, Danvers," she sniffed, focusing back on Kara's skin. There was a long half-minute of quiet in which Kara tried not to get used to the weight of Lena pressing her into the cushions and also tried doubly hard not to imagine what Lena's weight would feel like if she were, say, drawing a tattoo somewhere else on Kara's body. "There," Lena said, leaning back to admire her work. She blew a breath of cool air onto the skin and Kara shivered involuntarily.

"Wow," Kara said, looking down at the work, a little impressed despite herself. "That looks good."

"I know, right? Hang on," Lena said, capping the pen and reaching for a full size sharpie. "I want to darken up that one line--" Lena drew a huge, haphazard swirl across Kara's entire stomach before Kara realized what she was doing and yelped, batting her hand away indignantly.

"What was that for?" Kara yelled, pulling her shirt down and sitting up.

"Saying I was a cheap date," Lena said, like it was obvious. "And telling those teenagers about my tongue ring."

Kara huffed, yanking the sharpie out of Lena's hand. "Is that all the revenge you plan to enact?"

"Maybe," Lena said, making a mock-threatening face at her. Kara pretended it did nothing to her insides.

Just like it did nothing to her to step in the shower that night and see the marks Lena had left on her. She didn't scrub very hard at them and hoped no one noticed when it took nearly two weeks for the thick swirl to fade. She couldn't quite help it. Having a physical reminder of the time spent with Lena never failed to make her feel warm.

 

---

 

"Hey, remember that time I gave you a fake tattoo?"

"You mean, the time you marred me with a sharpie?" Kara huffed. "Yes, I remember."

Lena laughed. "It took a while for that to come off, didn't it?"

"I… yes. Yes it did."

"Kara," Lena said slowly, advancing towards her with that look that always meant trouble. She looked considering and downright delighted. "Are you sure it took a while for it to come off?"

"Positive," Kara said breezily, pretending her wife did nothing to her insides.

"Really?" Lena asked, catching Kara by the waist. She slid a hand up Kara's shirt slowly, and Kara twitched. "Are you sure?"

"Y-yes," Kara said, breath catching as Lena's hand flexed against her stomach. "Why do you ask?"

"Why do you stutter?"

"I'm not stuttering."

"Really?" Lena's fingers swirled on her skin, devastatingly distracting. Kara's back arched and she twitched as Lena's nails skimmed across her ribs lightly. "Are you sure about that, darling?" Lena's other hand joined her first as she backed Kara into the wall slowly. Kara's breathing shallowed out as Lena wreaked havoc on her body with ease. "I just want to know," Lena continued, lightly stroking the spot on Kara's stomach that she knew was ticklish, and Kara squirmed, "If you are one hundred percent sure that there's nothing left in that memory to share."

"I, uh," Kara said, things going hazy for her now, "Yes. Yes."

Lena seemed a little disappointed with that answer, but didn't seem to concede defeat. "Is like the time you told me about your crush on me?"

"Yes. Wait."

Lena's eyes held victory; Kara's were heavy lidded as her head thumped back against the wall, completely at Lena's mercy as her hands continued to wander, torturously slowly, barely even skimming her waistband or sports bra. "Mmm," Lena mused thoughtfully, her voice low. She lifted Kara's shirt and examined the skin beneath it with a mock-clinical gaze. Kara shivered slightly under her gaze as Lena traced a wandering finger in a large swirl. "If I were to draw something else, how long do you think it would take for it to come off?"

"Depends on what you--on what you use," Kara managed, breathing a little rapidly.

"Lipstick?" Lena asked innocently, and Kara felt a rush of heat. Lena smirked. "We can do this the fun way," Lena breathed, her hands resuming their motion as she leaned closer to Kara, "Or we can do this the not-so-fun-way."

"Fun way," Kara breathed. "Please."

"Then tell me what I want to know, and we can commence the fun."

"You don't play fair," Kara gasped, and Lena smiled, evil.

"I know, baby."

"Fine," Kara groaned. "I barely tried to wash off the sharpie. I liked seeing it on me."

"Did you want a tattoo like that?" Lena asked. Her hands had stopped moving, but her fingers tapped against Kara's ribs lightly.

"No," Kara said, closing her eyes. "I liked it because you drew it."

There was a deafening silence as Lena's hands stilled abruptly under her shirt. Then, "Kara," came the soft reply. "Open your eyes." Kara opened her eyes to see Lena's face, impossibly soft for the seductive torturer she was playing in the moment. Lena leaned forward and kissed her gently, once, twice. "I'm gonna give you a million marks to leave on your skin, okay?"

Kara swallowed down six different kinds of wonderful anticipation, her whole body tingling. "Only if you start now," she breathed, and Lena's smile made the truth worth it.

 

"Oho," Lena said, laughing as she came out of the shower the next morning to see Kara lying there in a sports bra and sweats, lazy and lounging. "I really marked you up better than I thought."

Kara sat up and examined her stomach as though this was the first she was seeing of them. "Well," Kara said, smug. "Would you look at that."

Lena smiled as she slid onto Kara's lap, tracing one of the stray marks high on her collarbone. "Marked up is a good look on you," Lena told her.

"You're a good look on me," Kara told her, grinning dopily, and Lena couldn't help but laugh.

"Smooth talker," she accused. "Your makeup artist is going to hate me."

"My costume covers it," Kara said, waving a hand and wrapping Lena up, pulling her down. "And even if it didn't, it'd have been so worth it."

 

 

 

Lena flew back into town from a two week shoot and Kara drove to the airport to pick her up just as the sun was starting to set.

I miss you was sent following Lena's flight information, just a couple powerful words that made Kara's heart tug and a smile slip permanently on her face as she navigated airport traffic. She had cleaned the house and still arrived earlier than anticipated and parked the car, walking in to meet her wife with jittery fingers and a bouncing heart. Two years of marriage and she still got nervous when going to meet Lena, and she hoped it never stopped.

After ten minutes of waiting, Lena emerged in the baggage claim, her face tucked under a baseball cap she'd stolen off of Kara before she left, looking exhausted and drawn and so, so beautiful. She ambled in with her hands stuffed in her pockets, chatting with a few others on her flight when she caught sight of Kara. Kara broke into a grin as Lena's gaze snapped to her and stayed there. The corners of her mouth lifted in a minute grin, held back as she bid her coworkers a hasty goodbye and made a beeline to Kara.

Kara's nerves jittered and sparked excitedly as Lena slipped through the crowded terminal and into her airspace. Lena crashed into her softly and Kara's nerves gave a sigh of relief and relaxed as Lena sagged into her, arms wrapped tightly around her waist. Lena heaved a deep breath into her neck as she dropped her bag, and Kara shivered. Lena smiled into her collarbone.

"I missed you," she murmured, directly in Kara's ear, her words meant for Kara and only for Kara, hidden away from the rest of the terminal, and a familiar warmth spread through her.

"I missed you," Kara replied, pressing a kiss to Lena's temple, and Lena pulled back minutely, eyes closed and a small smile on her face. Kara didn't bother to wait. She threaded forward and kissed her wife, cupping her face in her hands, and Lena hummed in satisfaction, her arms wrapping impossibly tighter around Kara's waist, tugging her closer and mashing them together. Kara pulled back after several long moments, trying to control her breathing. "Ready to go home?"

Lena pressed a quick kiss to her jawline. "Take me away, Prince Charming."

Kara chuckled, bending to pick up Lena's bag and taking her hand. "How was the shoot?" Kara asked, pulling her towards the baggage carousel.

"It was really good," Lena said, smiling. "You have a couple fans, by the way."

"What?" Kara glanced over to see the people Lena had flown with, a couple assorted cast and crew from the movie, watching them not at all discretely. "Oh."

Lena chuckled, squeezing her hands. "If it helps, they might be fans of your work, but they much more likely want to meet you because you're my wife."

Kara grinned. "My favorite kind of people. Shall we go say hello?"

"You can," Lena said, sounding amused and halfway sleepy. "Or I might have agreed we'd go to dinner with them tomorrow night. We could just have them over and you can meet them all then." Lena twisted up to whisper in her ear. "We could just wave and head home now."

"That is entirely unfair," Kara said, her body reacting to Lena as always. She jerked her hand up in a wave, and they all waved back. "Get your bag and I'll carry it out for you, Madam Robot Murderer." Lena's laugh made her warm all over as she stepped out of Kara's grasp to pick up her bag. Kara took it off her hands and slung it over her shoulder, holding out her hand, and Lena laced their fingers together securely as they walked out of the airport with a final wave to Lena's coworkers. "What?" Kara asked, feeling Lena's eyes glued to her as they crossed the streets towards the car.

Lena merely raised an eyebrow with a half-smile, and Kara blushed at the suggestive way Lena's eyes dragged up and down her body. "Keep it in your pants," Kara muttered, still flushed, and Lena laughed, bringing Kara's hand to her lips to brush a kiss across her knuckles, eyes sparkling.  "How charming," Kara said, rolling her eyes, and Lena laughed again, the sound filling up the cracks in Kara's heart that had formed in Lena's absence.

Kara threw Lena's bags in the trunk and slammed it shut, turning around to have Lena pressing her up against the back of the car, smiling and breathing in deeply. "It smells like home here," Lena informed her. "And you smell good."

"I do, do I?" Lena nodded, and Kara grinned, letting Lena kiss her for a long moment before she pulled back. "Hang on, what does home smell like?"

"You," Lena said simply, kissing her again, and Kara giggled against her. Lena smiled. "LA smog," she continued, punctuating it with another kiss. "A few other things my human nose can't pick up that I know are in the air."

"Like what?" Kara asked, feeling happier in their little sphere in the half-empty parking garage than she could ever remember being, in the calm they had created.

"Ocean," Lena said, running her hands up Kara's arms and smelling divine herself despite her long day of traveling. "Takeout. Orange blossoms and desert plants." Kara smiled as Lena continued to punctuate each thing with a kiss. "And hey," Lena added, her hands sliding up to Kara's neck, and she kissed her, long and deep, the kind of kiss that sent Kara's brain fizzling down to her feet in a happy melted slosh under the onslaught of love, "Thanks for picking me up."

Kara's eyes slowly fluttered open to see her wife smiling at her, her eyes full of that clear love and adoration that always made Kara feel nothing but gratitude for her lot in life. "I love you," Kara breathed back, and Lena's smile got wider, scrunching her face. "Let me take you home," Kara said, pushing off the car and stepping Lena backwards. Lena let her, pushing her face into Kara's shoulder.

"Mmkay," Lena said after a long moment, picking her head up. "Can we go to In-N-Out for dinner?"

"What is this, amateur hour? Of course." Lena laughed, and Kara opened the door for her, sliding into her own seat and reclaiming Lena's hand. A deep sense of rightness settled into her. Lena was by her side again.

 

Lena moaned in satisfaction, leaning back and tossing a napkin onto the table. "I needed that." She tilted her head, considering. "And I overate."

Kara chuckled, clearing the trash and tossing it away. There was another rustle and a few clicks, and gentle music started playing in the background. "How badly did you overeat?"

"Umm." Lena patted her stomach. "Pretty bad." She tilted her head back to eye Kara upside down. "It'll be at least two hours before I can move."

"Two hours, huh?" Kara slid her chair out and knelt down, tapping her fingers on Lena's knees and looking up at her wife. "You can't move at all?" Lena grinned tiredly, halfway apologetic. "I can work with two hours."

"What do you have planned?" Lena asked, tilting her head the other way and regarding her.

Kara stood and slid her hands under Lena's knees. Lena smiled and slipped an arm around Kara's shoulders as Kara straightened, and carried them both to the couch. Kara set her down gently, settling on top of her carefully. "You don't need to move at all," Kara promised, and Lena smiled lazily, her eyes lidded and full of affection. "Just let me feel you again." Kara kissed her long and slow. "Let me love you."

Lena's fingers slid down her arms to curl into Kara's, squeezing gently. "Take it slow," she breathed, and Kara smiled into her forehead.

"Strong and soft and slow," she promised softly, and Lena closed her eyes, breathing her wife in.

 

Chapter Text

The first year Kara played Elsie Fest, she was in the middle of her first Broadway run. The show had been running for ten months and she was, as Eliza described it, 'in hog heaven'. Kara ran over in full costume (ran, had someone drive her, whatever) after her show finished and was the last act before the finale.

"Hey Elsie Fest," Kara boomed into the mic, grinning as they screamed back at her. Kara chuckled into the mic, looking around at the band. "Did you guys want me to sing a few songs for you?" The screaming got louder, and Kara's face scrunched with the intensity of her smile. "I think we can arrange that," she teased, laughing at the resulting cheer. The crowd quieted slowly, and Kara took in the stage lighting, the complicated cables to the side of the stage, the buzzing crowd at her feet. The New York October night was hot and disgustingly humid, but she loved it. Loved it all. It felt like the best kind of carnival, the best party she'd ever been to. And she was both the entertainer and the entertained, high off the buzz off her show and the crowd's electric, ecstatic energy.

"I've just come from a show," Kara said slowly into the mic, sighing gratefully as someone tossed her a water bottle. "Ran all the way to be here." She giggled as someone in the crowd screamed we love you! "Aww," she said, tilting her head. "I love you too. Okay," she clapped her hands. "I think we should start with a song from my musical, yeah?" The crowd cheered, and she chuckled again. "You guys are lively tonight, huh? Alright, so, in this number, what's going on is--hang on, has anyone seen the show?" There were a surprisingly high number of cheers spread throughout the crowd, and Kara smiled in surprise. "Oh, that's awesome. Ok, well I'll try not to spoil it for the rest of you, but if you know it, feel free to sing along… this one's a bit of a revelation piece. It's called Don't Need a Man."

The crowd let loose another ear-splitting scream, and Kara laughed as the band started the music. Kara hammed it up, playing air guitar whenever there was a musical break, laughing with and winking at the crowd, jamming the whole time and loving it. She played off the crowd, enjoying her set list.

 

Lena texted her less than an hour after the show. They loved you at Elsie, I hear.

Kara texted back immediately. ????

Lena: videos are already up. You were amazing.
Kara: haha thank you! They were so much fun!
Lena: they want you back next year? Because I will totally come if you do that again.
Kara: title of your sex tape
Lena: ...I have to admit that was a good one
Kara: pssh, I know. Yes! I do want to again! I was informally invited back but they haven't started planning and who knows where I'll be in a year
Lena: I'll get tickets immediately
Kara: I can probably get you backstage, you know
Lena: I might just take you up on that.

 

The next year saw Lena backstage, Kara giggling like she was drunk as she ran over after her musical finished, still in full costume--a different one, as she was filling in for Lucy Lane's show.

"Go get 'em, tiger," Lena told her, pushing at her shoulder. "I'm kind of jealous."

Kara frowned, something in Lena's eyes pulling her back. "You want to go on with me? I won't make you sing."

"I--they're calling your name, Kara, go." Kara frowned at her once more, an idea forming in her head, but she jogged out on stage anyway.

"Heeeeyyyyy ELSIE!" They roared back at her, and Kara laughed into the mic, throwing her head back. "It's so good to see you guys again!" Kara grinned, holding her hand over her eyes to take in all the smiling faces back at her. "Before I sing, I might have brought you guys a bit of present." There was a cheer, a couple errant I love you!'s throughout the crowd. "Do you guys want to meet her?" The crowd roared again, and Kara paused thoughtfully. "You know, I should warn you, this is not a musical guest. She cannot and will not sing. Do not ask."

There was an awww and Kara chuckled, spinning on her heel to spot Lena glaring at her with murder in her eyes from the sidelines. "Come on," Kara said, motioning her over, and Lena's glare softened slightly, like she was trying not to laugh, but her feet stayed planted. "Ohhh," Kara said, glancing conspiratorially at the crowd. "I may have forgot to warn her she was my victim--guest! Sorry! Guest of honor this evening." There was a raucous laugh at her antics, and Kara smiled winningly, not apologetic in the slightest. "Come on," Kara wheedled, stepping closer to Lena and holding out a hand enticingly. "They don't bite, come meet the nice musical theater fans."

Lena glared, and shouted, sans-mic, "I hate you."

Kara laughed loudly, still walking closer. "You do not hate me. You looooove me."

"No, I don't." Lena was close enough that her voice was picked up by the mic. Kara glanced at the crowd in surprise as a couple people screamed in recognition, though Lena was still out of view.

"I think a couple people heard your voice, it's a little too late now…"

Lena gave a martyred sigh, snatched Kara's mic, and brushed past Kara onto the stage to a round of excited screams so loud even the band winced. "Hi, everyone," Lena said, sitting down on Kara's stool good-naturedly. "Kara did not inform me I would be on stage for you all this evening, or else I would have looked a little nicer for you all." Kara's yell of you look great! Was picked up by the mic, and the still half-cheering crowd screamed again. They died down quickly as Lena glared at Kara without any heat to it. "Mhm," Lena said dryly. "What was the point of having me on stage, again? You know I can't do anything musical."

"Oh, um," Kara said, thinking fast.

"Can we get the superstar a mic, please?" Lena asked, a smile in her voice, and Kara and the crowd laughed as someone ran out to hand her a mic.

"I had an idea," Kara said, conspiratorial, pacing over to the piano.

"That's never a good sign," Lena drawled, drawing a bout of hysterical laughter from the crowd.

"Rude," Kara said dryly, sitting down on the bench and pausing in her adjustment of the mic to shoot Lena a harmless glare. "As I was saying, I had an idea. What if we redid our movie as a musical?"

"Kara," Lena said lightly, making herself heard over the crowd's screams, they were really lively or really drunk or both, "We both know I can't sing."

"Autotune," Kara said, a duh in her voice. "Isn't that what everyone's doing these days?" There was a laugh from the crowd. "But here, I've got the first song. I didn't write it, but I'll sing it to you. Just pretend I'm my character, and you're yours, and it'll go great!"

Lena had that face she sometimes did around Kara, the one that looked like she was praying for the ground to swallow her up whole, but she shook her head gracefully and tilted the mic towards her. "So my whole job is to sit still, look pretty?"

The crowd laughed, and Kara blinked. "Umm. Yep!"

"That's not a promising start. Did you even watch the movie?"

Kara sighed dramatically. "Just shut up and let me sing to you."

"Bossy," Lena said, raising her eyebrows to the crowd, and several disproportionately loud laughs drifted back to her. "Alright superstar." Lena made a show of arranging herself on the stool and settling in. "Sing to me."

The youtube video of that song got more hits than the rest of the show that went up combined.

 

It was four years later, and Kara was back at Elsie Fest.

She laughed as she took the stage and the crowd screamed wildly.

"Some of you might remember when I brought my costar Lena Luthor on stage a few years ago…" Kara chuckled at the resulting cheer. "Well, she's not exactly my costar anymore…" Kara laughed again at the yell of girlfriend! "No, not my girlfriend. Not anymore." Kara paused, beaming. "She's my WIFE!"

They broke Elsie Fest.

Chapter Text

It started like this: the camera was zoomed in on Kara's eyes, brows furrowed in concentration. They slowly zoomed out to see the lower half of Kara's face obscured by a federal tax form, and the half of Kara's face that was showing was growing more and more frustrated by the microsecond.

Kara threw the form down. She was still dressed for work, like the powerhouse lawyer she played in the lesbian blockbuster, but she was sitting at a kitchen table.

Lena entered. She was wearing something a little more comfortable, still trendy. She sat down next to Kara and slid her free hand across Kara's shoulders. "How are the taxes going?"

Kara glared at the forms scattered on the table. "I don't want to talk about it."

"Mm. Have you tried Tax Slayer?"

"What?"

Lena set a laptop down on top of the scribbled on forms. "Tax Slayer. I did all mine during my lunch break. It's that easy."

Kara pulled the laptop closer, her frustration vanishing. Lena smiled and pressed her face into Kara's cheek, planting a kiss on her jawline. "So if you wanted to finish up, we could do something a little more your speed?" Kara turned to her, one eyebrow rising with a devilish grin, and they both scooted their chairs back and raced for the staircase.

The screen cut to Tax Slayer's logo. Slay your taxes. Have more time for doing the things you love.

It cut back to three seconds of Kara and Lena making out in the bedroom in slow-mo, Lena jumping to wrap her legs around Kara's hips, hands in her hair, drinking her in greedily, and Kara kissing her back with just as much passion.

 

Lena had laughed at the idea of the commercial when Sam had mentioned she'd already gotten offers during the shooting of the first movie. But she had read the contract, and it was a decent deal for only a day's work. A day's work of hanging out with Kara, too. Kara, grumbling about living expenses in New York, hadn't even read the script before agreeing to it. They got the offer and shot it in the same week, a few days after Kara's successful Broadway audition. And once it came out, the lesbian internet had giffed every second of it before dawn.

 

 

 

Lena smiled when she entered Kara's New York apartment a few months after the commercial shoot. Kara had mailed her the key and made sure she was clear to go up so Lena could get in while she was in soundchecks. Lena's flight landed inconveniently close to the hour of Kara's Broadway premiere--inconveniently meaning not enough time for her to see Kara before she went on. They had tried to make it work to no avail. But she'd just get to see her the same time the rest of the world did.

Lena was trying to enjoy the suspense.

Kara's apartment here was slightly smaller than her LA one, but still homey. It was brick walls and old, creaky wooden floors, and Lena loved it. Kara didn't have a ton of furniture--just a couch, a beat up armchair, and a coffee table to go with a small kitchen table and four old chairs--and it all mismatched and clashed horribly. Lena giggled. She loved it. Most of it was familiar from LA, but some was new. Kara hadn't ever really cared about how nice things looked, just how good they made a space feel.

The one new thing though, was the piano. It was clearly a well-loved old upright, but the keys looked well-taken care of. Lena hit a few of them experimentally and was pleasantly surprised at the sound. She didn't know the first thing about playing an instrument, but she liked this one already. The thought of Kara playing it late at night put a smile on her face.

Kara had left her old upright piano with Alex and Maggie. Lena had heard her playing it plenty of times--had asked Kara to play and just enjoyed listening more than once--but she'd never tried. Maybe that was something that would have to change too.

 

"So I'm assuming you saw where everything is," Kara said the next morning, tying up her hair and holding a toothbrush between her teeth, her words slightly muffled. "Except the kitchen, which is still a work in progress."

"I did," Lena said, watching her water in the microwave heat up. That was something else she'd have to get Kara--a hot water heater. She was running up a list. "I also saw the new piano."

"Oh yeah," Kara said, grinning. "Cute, isn't he? I got him from the nice lady who was leaving this apartment. She said it was her ex-husband's and she didn't want it anymore. She said he had it in pretty good shape. It's an Acrosonic and it sounds awesome up against the wall."

"You lost me on the last sentence," Lena admitted, pouring hot chocolate mix in the water and thinking how cute it was Kara called the piano him. "But the rest of it, I was with you."

Kara chuckled, disappearing to the bathroom for a minute. "Basically," her voice echoed, muffled, "When you put something up against a wall, its sounds get louder cause it echoes against that surface. The piano's the same. And Acrosonic is a piano maker I haven't seen too often but I like a lot. They have a very warm sound," she added, coming back in. "See, listen." Kara sat down at the bench and struck a couple chords with a flourish, warm and vibrant sounds filling the room. "The neighbors haven't complained yet, so I'm living the high life."

Lena laughed. "Have you thought about teaching lessons or something in your free time ever? I'm sure you could make money, you're pretty good."

Kara made a face. "First of all, what free time? And second, I'm good for a singer," she said, looking like Lena's idea was ludicrous. "I learned so I could sight-read my vocal music easier, and I had a classical teacher for a while. I'm good enough to teach someone the basics, but my repertoire is miniscule and my understanding of literature is laughable. I can't sight-read anything harder than, like, early intermediate stuff, maybe. I'm really not teacher-level-good."

"I hope you know I didn't follow any of that," Lena told her, sitting down next to Kara on the bench, which pressed their sides together. "But I still think you'd be a good teacher if you wanted to."

Kara's face eased into an exasperated fondness. "Okay, but I've never taught anyone anything."

"So teach me," Lena said simply.

"What?"

"Teach me," Lena repeated. "Come on, think of the easiest song you know and teach me to play."

"I--are you sure?" Kara looked halfway to excited at the challenge of the prospect, and Lena felt the familiar warmth that came with Kara's excited smile.

"I'm sure," Lena promised. "I know absolutely nothing though, so it's going to be much harder for you than it is for me."

"We got this," Kara promised. "Um, okay, I learned Twinkle Twinkle Little Star first. You know it?" Lena nodded, and Kara gave a half-grin, focused. "Um, okay, we're probably gonna need to teach you notes first." Kara put her finger on a white key. "This is Middle C."

It took forty-three minutes, two sheets of paper covered with Kara's thin script, and a couple key smashes of frustration, but Lena learned to plunk out the elementary school song. "You did it!" Kara declared, beaming. Lena was half-surprised she wasn't filming it.

"Poorly," Lena huffed.

"Well, yeah, that's how everyone starts. That's what practice is for," Kara said, looking amused. "But you did it!"

Lena frowned at the keys, at the letters on the page, lining up with the sticks and circles Kara had drawn on the page. Their meanings were slowly starting to stick to her mind, like a goo that would eventually drip into her mind's inner circuitry. Right now it mostly just looked like Kara had had fun with a pen. "Can you play it one more time?" Lena asked. "I think I can do it better if I have the example."

Kara grinned, putting her hand on the piano, and played the melody through slowly, with considerably more grace than Lena had done. Lena watched her fingers move carefully. "I got this," Lena said, nodding. She replicated it slowly, with a little more success this time.

"You wanna see something cool?" Kara asked, looking a little too excited for a one-note-at-a-time nursery rhyme musical accompaniment. She stood up, angling herself behind Lena to put one hand on either side of Lena's on the keys, her front pressing against Lena's back. "Play it again, and I'm gonna fill it in a bit."

Lena was dubious, but she pressed her fingers to the keys again, and let Kara play chords and notes around her until they made something beautiful in the morning.

 

 

 

 --living together in NY, after the second movie--

"So," Kara announced, peeling her gloves off of numb finger with her teeth as she wandered into the bedroom on frozen feet, "It is cold outside."

Lena grinned lazily into her pillow, watching Kara tug her beanie off with lidded eyes. "Still enjoying New York, dear?"

"Yes," Kara said honestly. "But today was a little too cold."

"You had a twenty minute commute to an hour-long meeting," Lena reminded her. "I know you took the subway and had to walk some, but surely it wasn't that bad?"

"I may have stopped to get us donuts and walked the final three blocks on the way back," Kara admitted, pulling off her coat, and Lena smiled.

"My hero," she murmured, reaching out to press a poke a couple lazy fingers into Kara's hip as Kara clumsily unlaced her boots at the edge of the bed. Kara hmm'ed. "Shit, you're actually freezing," Lena told her, like it wasn't already obvious. "Get in here and let me warm you up."

"You just want me in your bed, Ms. Luthor," Kara accused, and Lena shrugged, unbothered.

"The two aims do not have to be mutually exclusive." Kara laughed and stood, shucking her sweater and pants, slipping in beside Lena with a slide of cold skin. Lena hissed as she crawled fully on top of Kara, moving to cover Kara’s body with her own. "Have you heard of warmer pants than jeans?"

Kara shivered. "It's not too bad."

"Ok, someone's getting an early birthday present." Kara tried to look suggestively at her, but her full-body shiver undermined the effectiveness of it. "One that will be entirely comprised of warmer clothes," Lena said sternly, pressing her warm palms to Kara's red-tipped ears, clucking her tongue in disapproval.

"I'm fine," Kara insisted.

"You're literally shaking," Lena shot back, adjusting to cover more of Kara's freezing skin with her own.

"It'll stop after a minute," Kara said, her teeth chattering. "I just need to adjust. This isn't necessary." She wrapped her cold arms around Lena as she said it though, undermining her words.

"Mhm," Lena said dryly. She hissed as Kara's freezing fingers found their way under the hem of her shirt. "Whatever kind of gloves you were wearing, they weren't warm enough."

"Sorry," Kara said, sounding completely unrepentant. "See, look, I've already stopped shaking." Another shiver wracked her body.

Lena sighed, covering Kara's face with her hands, smiling as Kara giggled. "Shut up and let me warm you up."

"How very forward," Kara muttered through chattering teeth.

"Hypothermia isn't sexy, Kara. Neither is CPR, for that matter. I mean warm you up in a literal survival manner, you wouldn't make it another ten minutes out there."

"Yes, I would," Kara argued, her words muffled against Lena's palm. "It's cause I stopped moving that my body's freaking out now. I wasn't shaking when I walked in. It'll stop after a minute."

"Okay, Prince Charming, then you can spend that minute reflecting on your poor choices this morning."

Kara laughed, a little weakly, breath puffing against Lena's hands. "You'll change your tune when you try those d-donuts."

"I think that if you're stuttering, even the inside of you is cold."

"Good thing you know a very effective method to warming up my insides," Kara quipped, and Lena rolled her eyes.

"When you aren't in danger of freezing to death, we can get to that."

"They said it in Game of Thrones," Kara argued, her eyes swimming into view as Lena shifted her hands back to cover Kara's ears again. "Stay warm. Walking is good, fighting is better, fucking is best."

"Did you really just quote that line at me right now? And you're going to trust Game of Thrones over me?" Lena delivered the question with an eyebrow arch.

"You think Game of Thrones would lie to us?" Kara asked, sounding wounded and skating over the first question.

"I think you should shut up and focus on warming up."

"That's what I'm trying to do," Kara whined, and Lena rolled her eyes.

"If I kiss you, will that get you to stop talking?"

"Maybe," Kara said, her eyes excited. "I think a full on high-schooler make out session would be playing it safe, though."

"Ah," Lena said, smiling exasperatedly. "Well, you know I'm all about playing it safe."

"Especially when it comes to my health," Kara pointed out helpfully.

Lena shook her head. They'd been together for a year and had just moved to New York together. It was one of their rare mostly-free days off, and of course Kara had to start it with a horrible case of flirting that wasn't impeded by her borderline-hypothermia. "What am I going to do with you, huh?"