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"Five seconds out at the rate she was flying means a seven mile radius," Winn was speaking at light speed, running after J'onn, who was transforming as he moved towards the balcony, fast, Alex shouting Kara's name into the comms desperately. "She was coming in from the Southwest, she could be as far out as a mile over the coast, where the ocean can be over three thousand feet deep, it's highly likely with her velocity that if she fell she hit a civilian populated area, she's probably still in the air--"

J'onn took off, flying out fast towards Kara's last signal, her tracker on the big screen having blinked out.

Lena paced frantically, staring at the screen, her senses full of the race to get to Kara while she sat here, useless, helpless, drowning in fear. "What can I do?" she asked sharply.

Alex shook her head, angrily. "There's nothing I can do," she growled. "Winn!"

Winn was typing furiously but shook his head, panicky. "I can't get her tracker back online, something must have fried her tech, it's on J'onn--"

Alex cut him off with a frustrated growl, "I want a strike team ready to go in thirty seconds, I am moving out the door with or without the full team, let's move, people, move!"

Lena felt like screaming as iron bands wound round her chest, constricting her breathing. Not when they were so close. Forget the city for half a second, forget the world. Kara was hers, was finally within her grasp, one clumsy night of flirting and nervously feeling their way forward through a change in their relationship, it wouldn't be fair, to have this shining, smiling girl with the weight of worlds on her shoulders to finally get to be free and suddenly fall on the cusp of having it all, it wasn't fucking fair--

Kara swooped onto the balcony in what had to be the galaxy's most beautiful flash of red and blue.

The bands constricting Lena's chest loosed immediately and she almost collapsed with relief. Winn collapsed into his chair immediately with an audible sigh of relief, his face in his shaking hands, while Alex dropped the extra rifle she had summoned, her hands moving to press at her comm and yell at J'onn she's here, she's good, come back, her voice shaky. Lena stared at Kara, golden and whole, feeling faint.

Kara didn't seem to be feeling faint. She looked angry. She stalked into the DEO, pulling a half-conscious man dressed in black behind her by the scruff of his neck, dropping him on the floor halfway to the main table. "Caught him," she said, her voice sounding thoroughly irritated. "You'll want to interrogate him, I'm sure." She held up her other hand, still walking towards the table, and dropped the remains of a device, fairly crushed and pulverized, onto the lit table. "This was a sound device, designed to incapacitate me. Similar to the one Lillian used. It only overwhelmed your earbuds for a second, Winn. I brought you the remains in case you," she gestured, searching for the words without much success, "uh, wanted it." She frowned at her own word choice, but shrugged like it didn't totally matter.

"Oh wow," Winn said, deadpan, getting up to stare at the pieces blankly, "you shouldn't have."

"Jesus fuck, Kara," Alex mumbled weakly into the table as J'onn flew back in.

"What?" Alex just shook her head, pulling Kara into a rough hug. Kara hugged her back automatically, rubbing Alex's back with a small frown. "I'm okay," she said, looking confused. "Why do you guys looked so freaked out?"

"It took out your comms and your tracker," J'onn said, transforming back and giving her a once-over as Alex released her. "And all our abilities to read your vitals and everything else. Are you alright?"

"Oh," she said lamely, looking vaguely apologetic. "Sorry. Yeah, I fell most of the way down and caught myself. Tracked him down in half a second, he was right there. Sorry if I scared you guys."

Alex sighed and tiredly waved down the strike team that was scurrying down the stairs behind her. "Just another day," she muttered tiredly as Winn hugged Kara, who was still frowning slightly but accepted his hug.

"Cool. Am I good to go, then?"

J'onn shook his head in exasperation. "Go," he said tiredly. "We'll make sure there aren't any more of those devices out there, Agent Schott--"

"On it."

Lena watched the scene with a strange detachment. She felt like she was swimming in her own body with the adrenalin and relief combining in such a heady mix it left her dizzy and swaying on her feet. She blinked several times and Kara came into focus, her concerned face in sharp relief, inches away. Lena blinked once more, clarity seeping in.

"Are you okay?" Kara asked lowly, one hand hovering near Lena's elbow. Her hair was wind tousled in a way that tugged at Lena's heart, her face the tiniest bit red from the exertion of falling and flying at such sharp angles, and Lena's brain slowly woke up. She nodded. Kara continued to regard her with concerned eyes.

"I…" Lena glanced around, and shook her head. Made a decision. She grabbed Kara's hand. "Come with me." Kara let Lena tug her away without protest.

 

---

 

"Tell me something didn't change last night."

Kara blinked. Lena's composure was nearly pristine; her dress flawless and her heels clicking perfectly as she pulled a willing Kara down to the training room and shut the door behind them, not a hair out of place and makeup perfect. But there were cracks. The slightest waver in her voice, the slightest red in her eye, the slightest shake in her hands.

Kara opened her mouth slowly. "What do you mean,--"

"Kara. Did something change between us last night or did it not?" For all her courage, Kara couldn’t quite answer the yes that she knew Lena was looking for, the yes that was true. Lena seemed to see it in her face though, and nodded. Stepped closer, minutely. "Kara," she said quietly, "I've seen you nearly torn to shreds, fall from the sky, and everything in between, it feels like. You've rescued me from my mother's kidnappings and a million other things. We've seen each other through a lot. So trust me when I say that losing you for twenty seconds in there? That was the hardest twenty seconds I've been through in a very long time."

"I know, and I'm sorry--"

"No, Kara, you don't get it," Lena said, her voice somehow both soft and desperate, and she took one of Kara's hands in both of her own, squeezing tight. Kara squeezed back automatically, gently. "It hurt because for the first time, I had let myself dream there might be more between us." Lena sighed as Kara stared, mouth slightly open, completely struck dumb. Lena couldn't be--not the same way--Lena looked down at their hands for a long moment. Took a shuddering breath. "It doesn't-- we don't--" she took another breath and shook her head. "I am not trying to pressure you into anything. We can go back to being best friends with nothing else and I will take that, gladly. I just want to let you know that if there is something more between us…" She bit her lip and met Kara's eyes fully, vulnerability and determination on equal display, "I think we owe it to each other to find out. To ourselves. I know we both lead dangerous lives. I just… don't want to leave behind any question marks."

Lena kissed Kara's knuckles once, carefully, almost reverently, like she was worried she would never get to again, and released her. Lena stepped back, nodding once to herself. "I'll leave you to, um, think." Lena was searching for words. Lena. Who had words for every situation. Lena turned on her heel slowly and began to click out of the room, chin still high but shoulders slightly drooping--

That wasn't right.

I don't want to leave behind any question marks. Kara heard her words again, and frowned. They weren't a question mark, were they? She couldn't think that, could she? Not after a broken doorframe and everything else? Not after Lena finally seemed to reciprocate her feelings?

Kara was moving before she had the chance to think about it. Lena hadn't moved five steps from her when Kara was suddenly behind her, holding her hand and pulling, and Lena's breath left her with a surprised oh, Kara caught her up all at once. There were a million things to say that she'd never get out, Kara knew, as she saw the surprise and tentative hope in Lena's eyes. A million things to say that would never get the message across.

She was always much better at doing anyways. So Kara kissed her.

 

---

 

Kissing someone else had never felt like this. That was Lena's second thought. Her first thought was something along the lines of Karaohmygodit'sactuallyKarathiscan'tberealisthisreal?Ithinkthisisirealohmygodthisisdefinitelyreal. But kissing someone else--she had done that from time to time, and didn't particularly care for it. There was spit and there was another person, there wasn't much to get excited about. But this was being kissed. Being loved. It wasn't about the contact of lips, it was about someone who couldn't get enough of her and they were trying this method to get their fix, to show them how much they adored her, and they were doing it with the full knowledge that it wouldn't satisfy them.

It was infinitely better. It was something she wanted to get used to.

Lena sank into the feeling like she would her bed after the longest day she could imagine. There was only complete comfort, relief, and excitement without fear. She couldn't remember the last time she felt this.

"You can't seriously think we're a question mark, can you?" Kara murmured, pulling back to cradle Lena's face in her hands. "Lena. I like you so much. I have for so long."

"Well that's good," Lena managed, breathless. She was having trouble taking her eyes off Kara's lips. Kara chuckled, still holding her, and Lena found her arms had wrapped around Kara. She looked up into Kara's eyes to see nothing but sincerity. "All that awkward half-flirting?" she asked.

"I spent a year and a half trying not to flirt with you because I thought you'd never be into me, I'm a little off my game," Kara said defensively, grinning uninhibited when Lena giggled.

"You managed to get me just fine by just being you," Lena promised, and Kara turned pink. Lena smiled. "I like you too, by the way," she added, feeling the need to make sure Kara understood that.

Kara's eyes lit. "Yeah?" she asked, and Lena nodded. "Good," Kara said. "I'd hate to think I wrecked my doorframe for someone who doesn't like me."