A handsome man with a thick, well-gelled mop of hair on top of his head and his hands shoved boyishly into the pockets of expensive pants turned around as Kara approached her CatCo desk.
"Can I help you?"
He glanced her up and down curiously, before breaking into a smile. "You must be Kara." Kara tilted her head, mouth opening slightly in confusion, and he continued, still grinning, "Lena never shuts up about you."
Kara felt the pieces click together at his thick English accent, and her frown moved into a grin as well. "You must be Jack," she said, extending her hand, and Jack shook it eagerly, his smile and his grip warm and reassuring. "She talks about you a lot too."
Jack tilted his head to the side, his eyes still smiling as he considered. "Somehow, I don't think I'm quite at your level." Kara frowned in confusion, opening her mouth to ask what, she wasn't sure, when they were interrupted.
"Kara!" They both turned to see Lena approaching, eyes fixed on a file in her hands, "I was wondering where you got off to, have you seen this--Jack! I didn't realize I'd be seeing you." Lena smiled as she accepted his hug, stepping back to brush against Kara's side thoughtlessly.
Jack smiled something a little mischievous than his last smile. "Well, you forced my hand. I had to ambush you if I ever wanted to meet the illustrious Ms. Danvers."
Lena's smile was something between sheepish and forced. "Well." She clapped her hands together. "Now it appears you two have met. Was that the sole purpose for your visit?"
Jack's smile deepened a little wickedly, and Kara had the funniest feeling Jack was up to something. Lena seemed more resigned than concerned for whatever his antics were, so Kara ignored the tiniest tingling in her stomach as Lena's shoulder pressed into hers a little more firmly. "It might have been, it might not have been. But what is it you always say Lena?" He tilted his head back in apparent thought until it came to him. "Ah yes. You've never really met someone until you've shared a meal with them?" Kara glanced at Lena to see her frowning and opening her mouth to refute the statement, but Jack plowed over her. "Well, unless you want me to file a lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Danvers, I must insist you allow her a duly earned lunch hour. You can come with us if you like, but I'm taking you out, and that's final. I've gone long enough hearing Kara this and Kara that without putting a face to a name."
Kara felt a smile creeping up on her face. "Do you like burgers, Jack?"
Jack smiled hugely as Lena sighed at Kara's side. "I think we're going to be excellent friends, Ms. Danvers. Lead the way." He extended his arm in a gentlemanly gesture, and Lena groaned dramatically, at odds with her impeccable blouse and heels. "You're welcome to come, Lena, I told you." he insisted. "Chaperone us if you must."
Kara giggled as she took his arm. "Please, Lena, we haven't eaten together in forever! And you guys can tell me all your old stories!"
Lena huffed and dropped her file on Kara's desk. "Fine, but you owe me a sit down about the holes in that source you dug up this morning."
Kara tried not to smile too big and held up her free hand in a conciliatory gesture. "Done." Lena bit her lip to suppress a grin and followed Jack and Kara out of the building.
"So, Ms. Danvers, please, do tell me exactly how you came to replace me as Lena's Number One."
Kara blushed. "Please, it's just Kara," she insisted.
Lena's eyes narrowed slightly at the pair of them. Lena and Kara sat facing Jack, and somehow in the minute since they'd sat down, Lena's chair had migrated a couple inches closer to Kara's. Jack seemed well aware of this. Lena and Kara did not. It was cold outside! Nearly seventy five degrees! Everyone knew Lena ran cold. She forgot to bring sweaters places. It was only because Kara was her best friend, Lena was allowed to be cold and huddle for body heat and not just suffer around her. So yeah, sometimes she sat a little closer to Kara than was probably expected. Whatever.
"Alright, Just Kara--" Lena rolled her eyes nearly audibly, and Kara grinned at the joke, "--tell me the story."
"She was my first interview," Kara started. She adjusted her glasses. "Well, my first real interview. And the one I tagged along for before that. I tried to run a hatchet job on her, my editor made me rewrite it, and when he did, I wrote something much better. I learned a valuable lesson in the process too, about not judging immediately and continuing to dig instead, and when the article ran, she called me in to thank me for not, you know running the hatchet job. I told her I tried to, and then we just… ended up talking. We kept up a professional relationship from there that slowly turned into a friendship, and it just… kept growing." Kara shrugged. "I wish it were more dramatic for you, but I mean, it's not like I saved her life a few times or anything, that'd be ridiculous."
Kara finished with a slightly nervous chuckle, and Lena snorted loudly. "Sorry," she said. "Something caught in my throat."
Kara's hand found hers under the table, Kara suppressing an eye roll. She squeezed once before letting go. Behave, Kara seemed to say.
Jack smiled knowingly. "What's that saying? 'We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.'"
Kara smiled, enchanted. "That's lovely. I think I've heard that somewhere before and I love the phrase."
Jack smiled back. There seemed to be a lot of smiling going on between the two. Not that they weren't both naturally big smilers. Just that they smiled a lot at each other for two people who had never met. Lena was, naturally, suspicious. Their burgers thankfully arrived at that moment.
Kara bit into hers (the first of two extraordinarily large ones, she was limiting her appetite around company) and moaned. Jack looked up at the sound and grinned his most devious smile. Lena narrowed her eyes. This was going to be a very trying lunch for her.
"You want to tell me what was going on at lunch?"
Kara posed the question casually, skimming her fingers along the table in the secluded tech workshop of the DEO, and Lena felt her insides do something between a sigh and a total freeze up. "Mmm?" she managed, examining the tech she was holding a little more carefully, even though she had already inspected that part.
"Lunch with Jack," Kara clarified needlessly, propping herself against the table in a way Lena would never, ever admit was attractive and examining the edge of her cape with nonchalance that Lena knew was feigned. "I mean, between the not-even-wanting-to-go-at-first and all the weird looks whenever we laughed and occasional comments…" Kara wound her fingers together and tugged, glanced up, her gaze partially obscured by a curtain of hair. "I'd almost think you were jealous." Kara paused for a beat, dropping the cape and brushing off her hands. "But that's ridiculous, right?"
Lena glanced at her before selecting the next piece of broken tech for inspection and picking up a small screwdriver. "Right," Lena echoed. "Ridiculous." She slipped the screwdriver under the small flap she was trying to wedge open and pushed in vain. Kara took the piece and the screwdriver out of her hands and flipped the flap off effortlessly. "Thanks," Lena muttered, peering at the contents of the inside as Kara handed them back, trying to ignore how Kara's fingers left trails of warmth on hers where they touched. It was cold in here. Really. Ask anyone.
"So, nothing was up at lunch?" Kara confirmed, sounding like she knew she was catching Lena in a lie.
"Nothing at all. No jealousy or anything like that," Lena promised, lying through her teeth and depending on her gaze being captured by the device in her hands to do it. "Just... weird having you two meet each other."
"Why, though?" Kara asked, and Lena bit her lip, poking at a wire pointlessly with her screwdriver. "We're both your best friends and somehow we've never met?"
"Jack lived very far away for a long time." Lena pulled the wire free for no particular reason. "It wasn't practical."
"And now… he's lived in National City for nearly two months and today was the first time we met."
"It can be hard to arrange the schedule of a superhero and two CEO's sometimes."
"Lena, would you please look at me?"
Lena ignored the butterflies in her stomach and put the device and screwdriver down reluctantly, turning to face Kara. Kara gave her a small smile, more a quirk of lips than anything else. "You know why I didn't want to tell you I was Supergirl at first? Because then I'd have to share. I'd have to share you with everyone here, I'd have to share you with myself, I wouldn't get to come to you as the me that you already knew. I didn’t want things to change." Lena resisted the urge to stare at the ceiling like a petulant child as the backs of her eyes grew hot. Kara smiled softly. "I didn't even want to share you with Alex or Winn, who I knew would both love you just as much once they knew you. So I get it."
Lena closed her eyes. Thank god. We can finally have this talk. "He's always been your number one--" Lena's eyes flew open, she couldn't be serious, could she "--and he keep being your number one, I'd never, never ask you to choose or to put me first--" apparently, she was totally serious "--just being in your life is enough for me, really, I promise it is. Jack and I can take getting to know each other slow. But Lena."
Kara took Lena's face in her hands, infinite power contained in infinite gentleness, and apparently, infinite oblivion, "I'm not going anywhere. No matter if I'm number two or number a million, and neither is Jack, okay? But Jack and I we're both part of your life, and he and I could be really great friends too. And," she cocked her head to the side in mock thoughtfulness, "he's a billionaire CEO with a lot on his plate and a heart of gold who could perhaps use a friend or two in the new city he just moved to? Does that sound just the teensiest bit familiar?"
Lena rolled her eyes lazily in an attempt to get a hold on her emotions, the stupefied disbelief that Kara could be so close yet so off-base warring with her heart shredding in tired disappointment that Kara clearly didn't feel the same. It shouldn't feel like this. It shouldn't hurt this much to share her. I love him too. She nodded slightly and the corner of Kara's mouth lifted in approval.
"It doesn't matter that he and I are probably gonna eat burgers together like every Friday lunch for ever and ever now, the same way Alex is still my game night partner. You're always invited. I always want you there, and he always wants you there, I know that. I will back off the instant you ask and you two can have your time together, I get how important that is. Nothing has to change. Okay?"
Lena closed her eyes, knowing that no matter what Kara could probably see written on her face anyway, she'd evidently misinterpret it in a delightfully incorrect way. "Okay," she whispered.
"Okay," Kara whispered back, and pressed her lips to Lena's forehead for a long moment. Warmth and guilt rushed through Lena in equal measure, and then Kara pulled back. Lena opened her eyes to see Kara smiling that smile with warmth unreserved at her, her head down with eyes up and something uninhibited in her face that Lena didn't get to see too often. "Now," Kara gestured with fake importance and urgency at the mess covering the table. "Get back to work, you slacker."
Lena laughed, and Kara grinned. "Go save the world, Zor-El," Lena shot back, pushing at Kara's shoulder. Kara rolled her eyes, rubbing at her shoulder like she was wounded and biting back a grin. She stepped out of the room lazily.
"See you later, Luthor," she called back. Lena felt her smile fade slowly in Kara's retreating presence.
Number One. More like Number One Liar. Lena sighed heavily and leaned herself against the desk Kara had been against.
Being in love with someone that wonderful--and that oblivious--could really, really suck ass sometimes.
Kara leaned against the door she closed behind her, Lena inside doubtless saving Kara's ass in some future fight with that wonderful mind of hers. Being in love with someone that wonderful--and that oblivious--could really suck sometimes.
CatCo was publishing a big issue today.
Lena felt important as she paced the halls, smiling at employees. She had approved all of it personally a couple days ago. No crashing the cover, no dramatics, just good journalism about good things. They didn't get to do that too much anymore. That was what made it a big issue.
It was called "50 World-Changers" and was a catalogue of the biggest game changing inventions, innovations, politicians, and discoveries that the year had seen. Jack was on the cover, and Lena couldn't be prouder. She hadn't even suggested him or been a part of the decision at all.
Kara had written the article on Jack. Well, she shared the byline with Snapper. Their collaborative process had been… interesting to watch, Lena would say that. James had done the photos, and Kara and Lena had sat to the side during the shoot, keeping Jack comfortable and the three of them laughing. Jack and James had exchanged numbers and a promise for drinks at the end of the shoot, and Lena had felt a little glow when Kara nudged her arm happily at James and Jack striking up a friendship.
Jack had been thrilled when they sent him the advanced copy. "BioMax was always meant to help people, and thank you so much for getting the word out. This is going to help people understand it too."
Kara had beamed back at him, her smile getting impossibly bigger when he said he positively needed to take the journalist who made his invention look so good out to dinner to say thank you. Ignoring Lena's mumbled aside about is that ethical and also the one about Snapper Carr wrote half of it too right?, Kara and Jack made plans to go to the fanciest rooftop restaurant in National City next month.
Kara and Jack were friends. Really, really good friends. Lena had to admit they could even make her laugh fairly effortlessly with their banter. And Jack had come to the most recent game night. And he'd been really helpful to Lena's sinister designs by insisting that he pair up with someone new each game night, "because I already know Lena and it's no fun to win at Monopoly if I didn't earn it". The problem was, his first team up was with Kara.
And they had won almost everything. Winn had announced that their chemistry was "off the charts", their teamwork and communication was "spectacular", and when Winn got halfway to drunk to offset his remarkable loss at charades, that "they might as well just date already". Lena hadn't particularly appreciated the way they'd both laughed at that, not like it was a ridiculous notion, but more like it was funny Winn had said it in the first place. Alex had narrowed her eyes slightly at Lena at that comment, like she was expecting a reaction or something, but Lena ignored it diplomatically.
Lena strolled through CatCo now, signing a form her General Counsel handed her without breaking stride and talking to Eve about her meeting the next hour at the same time. She was on top of her game. Nothing could stop her. Not even her mother. Not even--
That could stop her. That being Jack in the middle of the CatCo floor, standing next to Kara. Laughing. Her hand on his arm, for a moment, his hand chasing hers, their hands clasping each other as they both wheezed. Lena couldn't hear a word of what they were saying. But there were flowers on Kara's desk. Lena couldn't see what they were, but she'd guess they were roses. Probably.
The flowers weren't there this morning, was the point. And now Kara was laughing like Alex told her Kara used to when James made a bad joke and Kara was crushing on him. Yeah, the loud laugh. And there was Nia, sidling up with a question for Kara. Lena blinked. She didn't realize she'd gotten this close. Jack looked up and smiled at the sight of her, and Lena felt the sound come rushing back into her ears.
"Lena! I came to say thank you again to everyone for running the story on the pub date!" He glanced at Kara and Nia. "That's what it's called, right?"
Kara grinned. "Yeah, you got it right," she chuckled. "By the way, this is one of our junior reporters, Nia Nal."
Jack extended his hand, smiling charmingly. "Nice to meet you, Ms. Nal." Nia smiled, charmed, and Lena resisted the urge to tell Jack to stop flirting with women ten years his junior just to get under his skin. Mostly because she wasn't sure Nia was actually ten years younger than them. Kara looked up and beamed at Lena.
"Good morning, boss," she said, and Lena couldn't resist rolling her eyes.
"Morning, Kara," she said. "Already have rabid fans gathering at the gates, do we?" she asked, gesturing to Jack and Nia chatting.
"They're all for you," Kara promised with a wink. "My fan club is empty at the moment."
Lena scoffed. "Not with me around, it isn't." Kara smiled that smile she always did, the one with the half-laugh, when something wasn't funny, but made her happy enough she had to make noise to go with her grin. "Good start to your day?" Lena asked.
"Well, the bakery told me since this was my dozenth pastry this week, they'd give me one free, and then they gave me this flyer for the annual National City pie-eating contest this weekend, and I don't know," Kara adjusted her glasses in that way that meant she was going to ask for something and Lena already knew she'd say yes, damn her weakness for Kara Danvers, "I personally think it'd make an excellent story about community building."
Lena rolled her eyes affectionately. "Of course you think it would. What's your pitch, Ms. Danvers?"
"A first-person account of the camaraderie among competitors and generosity of local businesses." Kara said it so fast Lena was pretty sure she'd been working on the excuse all morning.
Lena pondered oh-so-thoughtfully for a moment in front of what she called Kara's 'work puppy eyes', meaning, her pretty-please-I'm-very-convincing face. "Hmm. I like it." She smiled at Kara's subtle fist-pump, "I think Nia should write it."
"What?" Kara all but wailed, and Lena snorted.
"I should write what?" Nia asked, popping her head in Lena's direction. Jack raised an eyebrow as Kara stared at Lena, crestfallen and heartbroken and all sorts of betrayed.
"I'm kidding, Kara. Run it by James."
Jack's second eyebrow joined his first as Kara all but melted into a puddle of relief, murmuring thank you thank you thank you and giving Lena a brief but tight hug as she rounded the corner to sit down at her desk.
The pie-eating contest, Lena observed, sitting at a table a little ways away but still with a good view of the stage where preparations were being made, was exactly the sort of atmosphere she had expected. Jack leaned back dangerously in his chair and Lena smiled lazily at him. The sun was shining, their classy sunglasses were on, they were dressed almost casually (like, a rich person casual, but still), and they had a good slice of pie in front of them. Kara was going to eat her heart out for free in about twenty minutes. Life was good.
"BioMax innovations still going strong?"
Jack smiled that excited-about-his-inventions smile he had. "It should be able to be effective on not only dogs and cats, but also the three most populous species of aliens on earth by next week. I'd like to get horses and cattle and other farm livestock as the next priorities, but the smaller animals just went way faster through the troubleshooting. It's really just tweaks, since we know so much about animal biology. It's the alien biology that takes so long to make." Jack took a thoughtful bite of his pie. "There are just not a lot of alien scientists that came here, you know? And there isn't like, a literally universal solvent. We're also talking about alien diseases. That's an entirely different category. As it is, I'm lucky if I can help them when they contract human diseases."
Lena poked at the crust. "Have you talked with Kara's sister about this?"
"Alex? No, why?"
Lena smiled ruefully at him. "I don't know what I'm at liberty to say, but you'll want to talk to her. Trust me."
"Okay," Jack said, looking doubtful. "I'll ask her at the next game night. Tomorrow night, right?"
"Yup," Lena said, taking a delicate sip of water. Jack groaned at her expression. Lena grinned wolfishly. "Yes, it is Monopoly night. No teams, just takedowns. And I have plans to murder you all."
Jack groaned again. "Winning that often can't seriously be fun for you, can it? It's the same game over and over."
"Winning is always fun," Lena corrected.
"Just admit you hate the usual teams," Jack muttered, and Lena narrowed her eyes, blocking Jack's next bite with her fork. He sighed. "Lee. I know whose team you want to be on. But they have a near-permanent team member that's not going to change anytime soon. It's okay."
Lena could feel her face heating up. "The numbers aren't ever even--"
"We're playing Monopoly tomorrow night because it's the only night we have an odd number--"
"--Hey guys." Lena looked up to see Alex approaching their table, looking cool and collected as ever in her leather jacket. "You ready to be disgusted at how many pies Kara's gonna put away? They're starting the announcements soon, if we wanna get a good spot."
Lena bit her tongue on her next argument. "Wouldn't miss it," she promised. "Give us a minute to finish our one slice here and we'll be on our way." Alex nodded. "Jack," she said, in a tone that made it clear they were changing the subject, "Didn't you have something to ask Alex?"
Alex was, unsurprisingly, very, very helpful with BioMax and alien biology. By helpful, Lena means Alex literally just handed Jack her mother's card and said Doctor of Astrobiology Eliza Danvers would be more than thrilled to contribute and to call her anytime. And with that, they gathered at the stage.
The three of them cheered louder than any professional adults with multiple graduate degrees should cheer at a rigged pie-eating contest as Kara swept the floor by eating two and a half pies in ten minutes with her hands tied behind her back. (Lena definitely did not notice how loud Jack was cheering for Kara. How into the contest he was. She was not jealous of one best friend's friendship with another, she was not, she was not--) Kara looked up, a little bit woozy, at the end, and smiled dizzily at Lena, standing in between Alex and Jack. There was strawberry and raspberry and blueberry sugar all over her face, covering her mouth and cheeks and nose, speckling her glasses liberally and dotting her forehead.
But she was happy. Lena had never seen anything so beautiful.
(She admits to keeping the picture James took of Kara afterwards, the one with her face, and frankly her dress as well, a beaming, sugary fruity mess, on her fridge. It was high quality and Kara had laughed loudly when she realized despite the braids she had used to keep her hair out of the way, the ends of some of her hair had dipped in the blueberry. Lena claims she keeps it on her fridge because she likes the colors staining Kara's face. Because Kara's never looked so happy on assignment. Because that's the one they actually printed in the magazine.
It's not because Lena enjoys the memories associated with the photo, of how she was the one who ended up going home with Kara afterwards and helping her scrub her face, Kara sitting propped on her bathroom counter and Lena cradling Kara's face in her hands while attacking her with a washcloth and lava soap--Seriously Lena there's no pain at all, scrub as hard as you need to to get the stain out of my face, I promise you won't hurt me--, of Kara chuckling as she recounted how she was worried she'd actually pass out in a food coma during the pie-eating. Of Kara changing into pajamas and scrubbing at her dress in the sink while Lena watched, amused. Of Lena asking if she thought the stain would come out of the end of her hair or if she'd cut it, a question that led to a long conversation about Kryptonian biology and then about Krypton itself, a conversation where Lena changed into a spare pair of sweats and Kara's old high school t shirt while she listened to Kara speak endlessly about her home planet.
The kind of conversation where they ordered pizza three hours later and Kara inhaled an inhuman amount--probably because she was inhuman--before diving back into an explanation of a childhood game popular on Krypton, the kind of conversation where Kara got frustrated at her own words and said you know what, hang on for a sec, and grabbed some paper and a pencil and drew out several different scenes with a skill Lena didn't know she had to illustrate. The kind of conversation where Lena keeps the sketches tucked away privately but keeps the picture of Kara covered in pie on her fridge to remind her of that day, the day where she spent the night because they stayed up too late talking and Kara flew her home while half-asleep in the morning and laughed off Lena's concerns of falling because I'm still Supergirl, Lena, don't you trust me? and left her with a tighter-than-usual hug.
But she keeps the picture because she likes the colors, she insists to Jack. Because she has pictures of all her friends displayed, or she would if she really had any worth printing. Get James to take some photos. And then she'd hang them. It's not like she had this one framed or anything.)
(Note to self, Lena thought absently at two am one night, get the picture of Kara framed.)
wouldya look at that the chapter numbers appeared it's a christmas miracle
jk it's february
Chapter 3: BioMax, BaeMax
Lena wasn't particularly sure what happened. All she knew was one second she was laughing with Jess about the latest investor's antics and flipping on the news, the next she was staring with her heart caught in her throat. Supergirl was facing down the monster of the week, and was getting her ass kicked. Lena watched for another half-second only to see Kara stabbed.
Kara's lips parting in surprise as a green blade slid into her body, her eyes flying wide.
Lena flew out the door, racing for the elevator. Everything was a blur from there.
She made it to the DEO, to the medbay, the singular thought of Kara Kara Kara pushing her forwards, but Alex appeared in the door, stopping Lena from entering. Lena pushed thoughtlessly at her, but Alex caught at her and shoved her back, relentlessly focused and singularly driven. Lena could somehow see Jack inside, Jack, who didn't know about her secret identity despite Kara's plans to tell him. "Lena, Lena, I know, I know, but I need you to--" Alex caught Lena's face in her hands, and Lena couldn't think of anything but Kara, Kara holding her face like it was precious, Kara laughing with Jack, Jack, who was in there where she should be--"Lena, listen to me, she needs Jack right now, she needs him. Him. Him and BioMax. We'll fix her, but right now I need you somewhere not in my operating room, okay? I'm sorry. Go."
And with that, Alex was gone, shutting the door behind her. Lena could feel her control slipping, her perfect composure sliding away as she pressed to the door, staring as Jack bent over a table in the corner, hands flying, while Alex adjusted a million lamps around Kara and made preparations with needles Lena didn't want to know about. Screens flashed numbers, she could hear the beeping from out here--
It was Winn, quiet and somber, fear in the back of his eyes, subdued. "Lena, come on, you don't want to watch this."
"I need to."
"No, you don't." Winn's voice was quiet but firm. "Come on. I need you somewhere else."
Lena tore her eyes away slowly. "You need me…?"
"Somewhere else." Winn confirmed. "Helping me with repairing her anti-Kryptonite armor for when she has to go out there again. I might miss something alone, and no one else has the background. It has to be you." He looked both desperate and calm. "It has to be you, Lena. She needs you, with me. Doing this." Winn held out his hand.
Lena took it.
Kara woke up in stages.
Something soft was always in her hand. She couldn't tell what it was. In the beginning, the only thing her mind could think of was teddy bear and it was so funny for some reason she almost giggled her way back into consciousness, but that didn't quite seem to be how that worked, apparently.
The something soft didn't always seem to be the same something soft, either. Sometimes it squeezed her hand, sometimes it felt like silky strands and a warm weight. Still. She could feel it, and she liked it. It gave her something to focus on. Other than the pain.
When she finally came around with a groan, the soft thing was gone. In its place was a concerned-looking Alex, who nodded at her groan and immediately began tapping away at the tablet in her arms. Alex finished her taps in nanoseconds and placed a hand on Kara's forehead. "You okay, kiddo?"
Kara closed her eyes. "Ask me again in a couple hours," she moaned, and opened her eyes to see Alex grin.
"You gave us quite the scare, Ms. Danvers," came a familiar voice with a thick accent, and Kara rolled her head.
She smiled at the sight of her friend. "Jack."
Jack smiled back warmly. "Kara," he said. "Glad to see you awake," he added sincerely.
Kara felt a frown slip onto her face as something didn't make sense. "Wait," she said slowly. "You…"
"Are in on the secret now, I'm afraid," Jack said apologetically. "Alex told me you had a lovely reveal planned out for me. Very dramatic, I appreciate that, and maybe you can act it out later. But they had me come in for help this time. BioMax needed a couple modifications to help you out, I hadn't gotten to finish the Kryptonian settings yet, and I apologize for that."
Kara shook her head minutely. "Don't apologize," she murmured. "Thank you for saving me."
Jack took her hand, his warm and rough against her skin. "It was an honor, my friend."
Lena didn't leave Kara's side for maybe fourteen hours.
She wasn't entirely sure. Time was hard in that room. She was pretty sure she got a bit of a tan from all the sunlamps, which imitated the sun's yellow light perfectly, but the important part wasn’t her skin. It was Kara's, shredded with Kryptonite fragments from what was effectively a cross between a knife twisting in her gut and a cluster bomb of special K. Lena had fixed the anti-Kryptonite armor with Winn and spent fourteen hours holding Kara's hand under the lamps.
Alex and Jack took turns sleeping in the comfier room next door while monitoring her vitals. Lena shifted between holding Kara's hand and resting her head in Kara's palm. She knew Kara would be fine. But still. She wasn't leaving. Or at least, she wasn't until Winn and Alex double teamed her while Jack was asleep and carried her sleeping body into a separate room. All she knew was, she fell asleep with her head in Kara's hand and woke up on a couch.
Lena jolted awake and after confirming she was still at the DEO, yanked open the door on the other side of the room to see the main floor. She made her way quickly back to the medbay Kara was in, spotting the window to the room.
Only to see Kara awake, smiling at Jack, holding his hand.
Kara was awake.
And smiling at Jack.
Holding his hand.
Lena couldn’t hear. Her vision narrowed. For three heartbeats, that image burned itself into her brain as her stomach sank down to her toes and she fought every nerve in her body with the urge to collapse.
Lena took a deep breath. Kara's alive. That's all that matters. She forged forwards.
Alex met her at the door with a relieved smile. "She's okay," Alex said, the words a whoosh coming out of her. "She's asking for you," she added, her smile a little warmer, and Lena forced her mouth upwards in return. Lena stepped inside.
Kara rolled her head back at Lena's entrance, bleary smile growing slightly wider at the sight of Lena, hand having been disconnected with Jack's sometime in between Lena's first sight of it and now. Kara lifted a weak hand, and that was the all summons Lena needed. Everything else washed away as she rushed forwards to take Kara's hand with both of her own. Kara's whole, untouched, perfect hand. Lena hung on tight, afraid to touch any other part of her.
"Hi," Kara murmured, the smallest of smiles on her face, and Lena fought back a sob.
"Hi," she said back softly. The door closed with a quiet click, and they were alone. Lena could feel tears welling at her eyes, like it was permission.
"Please don't cry," Kara said softly, pleadingly. "I can't hug you right now and it's a rule that I have to hug you if you cry and I really--" she coughed but continued, "--really don't wanna break that rule." Lena hiccupped a laugh against her will, and Kara smiled a small triumphant smile. "You can cry later?" Kara tried.
"I probably will," Lena admitted. "It's a rule you have to hug me if I cry?"
"Well, duh," Kara said, squeezing her hand and adjusting painfully on the bed. "I'm fine, I'm fine," she promised at Lena's stricken expression as she winced, squeezing again. "It's like best friend rule number one."
"Mm. I'll have to keep that in mind."
Lena watched Kara for a long several moments, perfectly content to just be in the space of this woman who was alive. "Hey," Kara said, and the words looked a little bit painful, "speaking of best friends," Lena frowned just a little, unsure of where she was going, "Yours is quite the keeper. Jack saved my life."
"Lena, I'd be dead without him. Him and BioMax. And I…" Kara took a deep, shuddering breath, "I just wanted to say thank you," Lena was horrified to see Kara was crying, one tear rolling gracefully from the corner of each eye, "thank you for bringing such a wonderful person into my life."
Lena ignored the horrible, plunging feeling in her stomach that came from what she was sure was the equivalent of Kara declaring she was halfway to having feelings for Jack and took a deep breath to focus. On the love she felt for Kara. Her heart. The city's heart. "Oh Kara," she murmured. "It's an honor to find you anything that brings you good." Kara's sob burst at that, and Lena felt her heart shudder and fracture at Kara's pain, at her own. Lena kissed Kara's knuckles and cradled her hand, moving closer to smooth back Kara's hair, to whisper reassurances until Kara had cried herself out.
Anything. It didn't matter if Kara was in love with Jack or anyone else or no one else. Lena would do anything for Kara. Unconditionally. That was how much she loved her. Lena resigned herself to her fate. Happily.
"Lena, hang on," Kara said, catching at Lena's shoulders and hopping in front of her, pushing Lena back into the light spilling from the windows of Kara's apartment with fingers pressing at arms, and Lena resisted the urge to hyperventilate. "Lena Luthor," she repeated, and her voice turned teasing as she reached for Lena's head, cradled it in her palms and turned it this way and that, ever so gently, "Did you get some sun while I was out or something?"
"Oh," Lena said dumbly, feeling faintly embarrassed, reaching up to feel her own forehead. "I guess I was right." Kara frowned quizzically, her blue eyes unburdened and questioning, her t shirt soft-looking and her jeans bluer than Lena thought anything had a right to be. "Um, the sunlamps," Lena said. "The ones in the medbay." Kara's frowned deepened, her head tilted, her mouth opened in question. "They're not designed to burn humans, but that wasn't really taken into account, I guess. I, umm, was under them. Sort of."
"Sort of? What do you mean you were under them?"
Lena felt herself blush. But it didn't matter. Kara was oblivious the last time she had come close to confessing her feelings. Kara would be this time, too. "I was sort of under them. Well, just my head and arms, really."
"Why were you under them--" Kara cut herself off as understanding dawned on her face, and she held up the hand that hadn't suffered any damage (though Lena was beyond thankful that two days after the incident Kara looked as whole and clean as ever before) with a dawning realization. "You were the soft thing." Kara said quietly.
"Something soft was in my hand the whole time," Kara said. "I could feel it. It was amazing, it gave me something to focus on other than the pain." Lena felt her heart bubble and thunder. Kara took her hand with what looked like a cross between reverence and a desire to prove her theory. Kara nodded slowly as she took Lena's hand, shifting it around to a couple of different positions experimentally, her smile growing bigger as she nodded. "You held my hand the whole time?" Kara asked quietly.
"To be fair, I fell asleep on your hand a couple times." Kara chuckled and reached out slowly. Lena nodded, and Kara's hand shifted through her hair. Lena could feel every single one of her nerve endings lighting up as Kara smiled a smile full of light, hand sliding down to cup at Lena's cheek.
"Well well well," Kara murmured. "A Luthor holding a Super's hand all through the night." Lena tried to scoff, but it didn't come out quite right with Kara's hand holding her face so gently. "Thank you," Kara said sincerely. "It means a lot, that you were there for me the whole time."
"You're welcome," Lena said, managing to mean it. "Try not to make a habit of it though, alright?"
Kara grinned. "Scout's honor," she promised with a wink, retracting her hand. "Now come on, let me make you lunch to say thank you. Anything you want," she announced, spreading her arms as she faced her kitchen. She opened the fridge. "Um, as long as it doesn't require eggs." Lena snorted, and Kara stuck her tongue out.
Chapter 4: self sacrificial blistering idiots
"Jack, this is too nice."
"We picked it together!"
"Still," Kara murmured, squeezing his arm, and he smiled.
"I promise it's nothing off a billionaire's salary. Would you give Lena grief over taking you to a place like this?" Kara bit her lip, a storm of she would never take me to a place like this and god I wish he meant that in a different way swirling in her. Jack squeezed her arm back, guiding Kara to the table in the center of the empty room with the spectacular view of the city. Jack had bought out the most prestigious restaurant in the city--and warned the waitstaff they were going to eat a lot, he promised--as a thank you for the article she wrote a month ago.
"It seems a little suspicious, in terms of journalist ethics," Kara finally settled on, adjusting her glasses.
"Well then," Jack said, holding out her chair for her, "Let's say it's a thank you for letting me in on something big about your life, and all the good you do. You deserve a nice dinner."
Kara shook her head, not quite knowing what to say in the face of his sincerity as he sat down across from her. "You saved my life, Jack," she said quietly. "I'm the one who should be thanking you, both for that and for," she gestured uselessly, "not freaking out, I guess."
"Me? Freak out?" Kara chuckled, and he grinned. "But I do have to ask just one thing--"
Jack cut himself off as the waiter arrived with the first course.
"Just one?" Kara teased, once they had been served and were left alone again.
"Okay, just one, before I bombard you with questions at every waking hour about all the science you must know and the childhood you can tell me about now, if you want, of course," Kara smiled fully, thinking of Rao how much she loved this brilliant friend sitting across from her and how much she couldn't wait to tell him, "Okay, my question is:" Kara leaned forward, not sure what to expect, and he grinned that devious grin he'd had since their first meal together, "How did Lena react when she found out?"
Kara groaned and laughed at the same time, and Jack laughed. "It was… it was unique, I'll tell you that," Kara said. "It was like it had been long enough in our friendship to pretty good friends, and more importantly, for me to have made some truly ridiculous coverups, and she happened to be there when this alien went berserk on the street near our favorite café, and it literally shot me." She threw up her hands and sighed as Jack wheezed with laughter. "I'm serious! I didn't get to plan it out at all! No heroics involved," she sliced in her hands in a nada gesture. "It was very disappointing," she chuckled. "Obviously, the shot didn't affect me, but it caught some street post next to me, which melted, very helpfully, and Lena put it together in like two seconds flat that clearly I wasn't human, but I still don't think she put together that meant I was Supergirl immediately."
"She said she got it right away though, right?"
"Oh, of course!" Kara laughed as Jack collapsed into a fresh fit of laughter. "I don't think so, though. I definitely spelled it out for her a little bit later and she seemed just as stunned all over again."
"So what'd you do when the street post melted?"
"Oh," Kara waved her hand. "It was just, like, this stop sign. Seriously, no chances for me to show off the super strength, so," she slumped dramatically in her chair, playing it up for Jack, who always enjoyed her stories, and he laughed again. "Very disappointing reveal scenario, if you ask me." She chuckled and adjusted her glasses. "But I whisked Lena out of there and to a side alley pretty fast, and she was panicking a little bit because she thought I was probably about to die, you know, and I told her to go inside, I'd be right behind her. I changed into my suit and dealt with the situation as fast as I could before running back into the café as Kara and pretending I'd been in the bathroom. Pretty awkward though, I had this huge hole blown in the side of my shirt. Luckily it didn't reveal anything, but," Kara made a face as Jack raised an eyebrow, grinning, "The shirt was still smoking, I couldn’t just get rid of it, Lena and plenty of others had seen it happen. So I had to deal with that for an hour or two."
(Kara pushed off memories. Memories of Lena's horrified scream as Kara was hit, Lena's terror fading into wonder as Kara turned to her, hair falling out of her bun and glasses in hand, fully intact. Of Lena's hands reaching desperately to run over the skin in Kara's side, from rib to hip, where the shirt had a huge smoking hole. Almost as if to reassure herself that Kara was still there.
Of Kara being completely unable to stop Lena from being essentially, well, all over her in the hours following. Kara wished it hadn't been from the adrenalin of nearly seeing someone die in front of her, that Lena would usually want to be all over her. But that wasn't important. What was important was that Lena was safe, that Lena wasn't the one who had been hit by an alien blast, that Lena knew now, which meant that when Kara wanted to fly Lena to her favorite spot overlooking the city, Lena wrapped her arms obligingly around Kara's shoulders and let her take off.
What was important was Kara could show Lena the DEO. Could tell her about Krypton. What was important was how much it meant to Kara when Lena snuck the sketches Kara had used to illustrate that day after the pie-eating contest home when she thought Kara wasn't looking. What was important was Winn's thrilled jump in the air when Lena showed up at the DEO the first time with Kara, Lena's delighted and flattered smile when Winn crashed into her for a hug, when Alex smiled genuinely and hugged her too, when J'onn gave her a sincere welcome. The way Lena traced the sigil on Kara's chest with reverence the first time Kara landed on her balcony after she knew. The way Lena let her show some self-defense moves now she knew Kara's combat training. The way she constantly asked about Kara's home, not with scientific interest, but with interest in Kara.
What was important was not the bulleted list of possible dramatic-but-not-heart-stopping reveal ideas dated months ago that Kara threw in the trash, but the way Lena had seen them, pulled them out of the trash, and laughed her way down thirty-eight hare-brained schemes and hugged Kara so tight at the end of them. What was important was where they were now.)
Jack was smiling at her. "Sounds fun," he said. "Dealing with only half a shirt and a half-crazed Lena--" he cut himself off with another bout of laughter. "Oh, Kara," he said, leaning back in his chair, "You two are perfect for each other."
Kara nearly choked on her fancy fish dish. "What?" she gasped, coughing. "Where did that come from?"
Jack was looking at her in a way that reminded her eerily of Cat trying to matchmake her and James. "The two of you talk the same way about each other," he said slowly, like he was trying not to spook her. "You both zone out when the other isn't there but they come up in conversation. You gravitate towards each other, and I have eyes. Kara," he leaned forward, placing his elbows delicately on the table and looking at her with such kindness Kara honestly wanted to cry a little bit, "You can tell me, if you want to. Are you in love with Lena?"
Kara swallowed and cast her eyes around the restaurant, the food, the view, but nothing gave her an excuse. She took a deep, shuddery breath. This was Jack. Jack who saved her life last week. There was nothing to be afraid of with him. She had been this afraid to tell Alex months ago, it was still just as scary this time. She let the air out slowly. "Yes," she whispered.
Jack didn't say anything for a long moment, just smiled gently and reached across the table to take her hand. "Okay," he said simply. "Thank you for telling me," he added. Kara smiled a watery kind of smile and nodded. "We can talk about something else if you want," he continued. "Or we can keep talking about this."
"No, a subject is change is great," Kara latched on to the escape route. Jack smiled.
"Okay, Supergirl. Tell me about that alien last week."
Kara really, really loved this man. He reminded her of Clark, in some ways.
(The conversation wound back to Lena, as it always seemed to.)
The press caught photos of Kara and Jack outside the restaurant.
They looked cozy, Lena thought, examining them clinically as she chewed on the tip of her pen. She leaned back in her office chair. There were several photos from the evening, of Kara and Jack exiting the restaurant, Jack looking perfectly sober--Lena knew he only drank when he wanted to get through unpleasant conversations, so they'd had a good time, she surmised--and Kara smiling at him.
There was a shot of them laughing, a shot of Kara leaning into Jack as they giggled. They were both dressed to the nines, Jack looking dapper in his dark suit and Kara's (heart stopping, in Lena's opinion) dark dress matching him well. They looked wonderful. And most of Lena was deeply, truly happy that they had found companionship in one another.
If the press could just not shove photos of one of the 50 Change-Makers out on a date with an up-and-coming reporter in her face, that'd be the key to Lena's joy being complete. Photos of Jack and Kara hugging, melting into each other and hanging on tight. Of Jack's arm securely around Kara's shoulders while her arm captured his waist. Of Jack kissing the side of her head, Kara's face looking something between grateful and calm. Reassured?
Lena clicked out of the photos.
So Jack and Kara were both forehead kissers. It was a thing, she supposed. Some people were more physically affectionate than others, she knew that. Kara kissed Alex's forehead all the time. She was pretty sure. Lena pulled up her email before she could dig any more deeply into a wormhole of self-doubt and self-loathing.
They were happy. They both were. They were the most wonderful people in her life, and they deserved happiness. Lena forced herself to be happy.
Lena had been hanging out with Winn a lot. Like, a lot a lot.
Kara watched them nerd out from the deck above Winn's workstation with a faint frown. Lena had come over on her lunch hour and Kara had heard her voice, only to come out and see them working enthusiastically on a side project Winn had been fiddling with for weeks.
"Hey," Alex said, coming up next to her. "Moping?"
"I don't mope," Kara said indignantly.
"Crinkle," Alex retorted, tapping her fingers to Kara's forehead, and Kara groaned. Alex peered down below. "Ahh," Kara groaned. Alex peered down below. "Ahh," she said knowingly. "Not moping, I see. Stalking."
"I don't stalk," Kara said haughtily. "I observe."
"Maybe," Kara admitted sullenly, and Alex dropped the teasing act to wrap a comforting arm around Kara's shoulders. "She's in love with you, kiddo. I know you don't believe me, but she is."
Kara leaned her head against Alex's shoulder, feeling defeated. "I told Jack," she confessed, feeling Alex stiffen in surprise. "Well, I said yes when he asked over dinner."
"Like a friend thank you dinner we had planned before he saved my life. For the CatCo article." Alex nodded. "He's a really, really good friend. I really like that guy."
"And he can see right through you."
"Apparently so can everyone."
"Well," Alex said ponderously, "yeah." Kara huffed, and Alex yelped, jumping back. "Watch the freeze breath, yeah?"
"Sorry," Kara said sheepishly. Alex shook her head in resignation, and they both glanced back down to see Winn and Lena looking up at the commotion, Lena breaking into a brilliant smile at the sight of them.
"Kara! Come see what Lena helped me with!" Kara flashed a rueful smile at Alex before nodding and flipping over the balcony to float down and join Winn and Lena.
Chapter 5: bad day
Let's turn the brain down a few notches more. Just for fun.
Kara was having a pretty bad day. Like, she did four interviews today, all of them were dead ends, Nia's article didn't pan out either and Kara didn't know what to say except it happens sometimes, James was no help, and her favorite bakery was closed. She got her ass handed to her in another fight during her lunch hour, and the DEO was working now to figure out some tech that could help her beat them next time. It was anyone's guess if Winn could figure something out in time, they had almost nothing to go off of. She probably was gonna get whooped tomorrow too.
And now this. Kara stared at her empty fridge with disdain. Grocery shopping was the one thing she really didn't like getting behind on. She usually never was. But eating out more than once or twice a week with her appetite was a surefire way to go into debt, and she wasn't about that life. Kara slammed her fridge shut. Lena could help. She had before, and had told Kara that my fridge is always, always open to you, whether I'm there or not.
Kara was there in seconds, knocking on the door and fumbling for the spare key Lena had given her just in case. Luckily, she didn't need it. Lena answered the door in seconds, still in business dress but barefoot and smiling when she saw Kara.
"Hi," Kara mumbled, crashing forward involuntarily and collapsing into Lena's welcoming hug, warmth rushing over her as Lena wrapped her arms around her automatically.
"Hi yourself," Lena said, rubbing her back. "I thought you were going to bed early tonight?"
"My fridge is empty," Kara said, trying not to sound too pitiful as she pulled back to give Lena what she hoped weren't too guilt-inducing puppy dog eyes. "Is there any chance you--"
"I stocked up yesterday," Lena said, rolling her eyes with a smile. "What can I get you?"
"Anything and everything," Kara sighed gratefully. "Can I cook for you as a thank you?"
"I wouldn't be opposed," Lena admitted. "I came home early but still have plenty to do."
"Personal chef while you work at your service," Kara promised. "Whatever you want."
"Surprise me," Lena said, pulling off her blazer and moving towards her bedroom. Her phone rang. She glanced at it and sighed. "I have to take this."
Kara zipped her lips shut. "Silent personal chef." Lena chuckled and picked up the phone. Kara moved towards the kitchen gratefully and started pulling things out, smiling delightedly when she realized Lena had stocked up on not just healthy things, but Kara's favorites too. Kara got to work on making a breakfast buffet that could probably feed six, eggs and bacon and sausage and toast, comforted by Lena's voice in the next room.
This was worth the crappy day, Kara thought, taking off her glasses and leaving them on the island countertop just because she could. She kicked off her shoes and left them by the door next to Lena's. Coming home to Lena-- nope. Stop that thought, Zor-El. You did not come to her, this is not a romantic relationship, she is your best friend who has another best friend, you are just lucky to be around her extreme generosity. You're not coming home to her.
Stilllll, a little voice in her head whispered. She was so happy to see you at the door. Kara considered the thought as she worked, pulling spoons and spatulas out thoughtlessly, mixing seamlessly and knowing exactly which burner to avoid because it was faulty but Lena didn't care enough to have it fixed. Okay, she decided. She probably meant a decent amount to Lena. She considered how panicked Lena was when Kara might have died, how Jack said that she had replaced him as Lena's Number One, how Lena talked about her. How 'I've never had friends like you,' how 'you are my hero, Kara Danvers,' how a million other times Lena had smiled at her, unrestrained, told her personal things.
Yeah. She decided, smiling. She was probably in the top five of Lena's favorite people. Top ten for sure. What a blessing, honestly, to be one of Lena Luthor's good friends. Kara hummed to herself delightedly as she stirred the eggs. She'd take what she could get. Happily.
Kara spun to see Lena leaning against the wall by the fridge, one eyebrow raised and lips quirked upwards. Kara swallowed down her surprise--her heart-thundering, jaw-dropping, mouth-turning-dry surprise--at seeing Lena in a tank top and sweat pants smiling at her.
"I love your kitchen," Kara confessed weakly.
"I never would have guessed," Lena said dryly. "Sometimes you even come over with your own ingredients to use it."
"Well it's not like you give it enough love!"
"Fair," Lena admitted, unhitching herself from the wall to sit down at the island counter. She picked up Kara's glasses idly, examining them this way and that before putting them on her own face. "How do I look?"
Kara hazarded a glance her way and felt warmth and longing hit her in a twin blast at the sight of Lena in her glasses. She swallowed again as she turned back to the eggs. Hot as hell. Like someone I'd want to marry. Like you should be reading storybooks to children for forever and ever. "Gorgeous, Lena, you always do." Kara threw another glance over her shoulder to see Lena looking pleased with herself, and Kara smiled. This was enough. "I thought you had work," Kara said, reaching for another subject and the pepper at the same time.
"You're more important," Lena said simply. "It can wait forty-five minutes."
Kara nearly dropped the pepper. She turned around fully to smile at Lena. "I am?"
"You are," Lena promised, still wearing Kara's glasses. "And far more fun," she added conspiratorially, winking. Kara blushed, unable to help it. "What?" Lena asked, her gaze trained on Kara's.
Kara shook her head and shrugged. "You're important too," she mumbled.
There was a knock on the door. Lena frowned slightly in confusion, and Kara x-rayed the door. "Jack," she told Lena, who nodded and got up to answer it.
(Jack looked entirely too delighted at the sight of Kara barefoot in Lena's apartment, cooking dinner, still in professional dress while Lena was in sweats. He looked far too delighted when he realized those were Kara's glasses on Lena's face. Kara avoided eye contact with him the entire time he was there in case she gave herself away now that he knew. It was only two minutes, to drop something off, but still, it was awkward.)
(Oh my god, Jack can't stop grinning at Kara because they're totally in love and she won't look at him because she feels guilty like she stole my best friend from me or something else which is ridiculous, she's my best friend--)
"Dinner is served."
Lena smiled gratefully at Kara and pushed it all aside. They could have a nice dinner together without Lena badgering Kara about who she may or may not be in love with. She wouldn't bring up Jack or that interaction at all. No need to make Kara uncomfortable.
Chapter 6: mischief
"You're an idiot."
Only two years under Cat Grant's constant verbal abuse kept Kara from reacting as Jack swung the chair across from her around to sit on it Uncle Jesse style. "Nice to see you too, Jack."
"Sorry," he said shortly, pulling the menu she was examining out of her hands. "Why are you even looking at this, you get the same thing every time, I already placed our orders up front, Kara--" Kara looked at him resignedly, knowing his tone and knowing the general direction this was going and not wanting to hear any of it, "--You know what I'm talking about, why are you avoiding this?"
"She doesn’t feel the same, Jack," Kara said helplessly. "You are," she hesitated and tried not to stumble over her words as they caught in her throat, "A very good friend, for trying to make me happy, and I trust you, I know you're not lying to me, but you…" she sighed. "You can't be right about this."
"Is it so hard to believe you deserve to be happy? Is that what this is about?" Jack leaned forward, watching her intently, and all of the sudden their usual table at the diner for Friday burger lunches didn't feel secure enough, private enough, for this conversation.
Kara shook her head. "It's not going to happen," she hissed, wishing he'd drop it.
Jack pressed. "Why not? What is it about your friendship that you think it's so fragile it wouldn’t survive even if you were wrong? You'd forgive her anything, why do you think she wouldn't forgive you even if I was wrong, then--"
"Because I'm scared, okay?"
Jack softened, leaning back. "Kara," he said softly, taking her hand across the table, "I get it. I know. But you," he glanced around quickly, and lowered his voice even more, "are Supergirl, you can leap buildings in a single bound and catch bullets and fly, Kara, you're indestructible, and I've seen you be braver every single day than anyone I've ever met."
Kara swallowed, looking around the restaurant helplessly. "Jack, if she doesn’t feel the same, I will lose something. She will lose something. Our friendship, it won't be the same, no matter how hard we try. And I am not in a place to lose anything."
Jack sighed and rubbed his thumb across her knuckles, looking frustrated. "Okay," he said. "I'll stop meddling. I'll stop. But Kara." He sighed again, running his hand through his hair, casting around for the right words. "Okay, look. She keeps precisely one photo in her house. Do you know what it is? It's the one of you after the pie-eating contest. She loves you that much. She's opened up to precisely no one before you. She ranted to me plenty of times in grad school, but she didn't tell me how it made her feel, about her family and the world, and Kara, you are the only one that makes her open up, makes her light up, when was the last time she didn't see you and smile?" Jack squeezed her hand and let go, smiling at the waiter as their burgers arrived. "Just think about it, alright?"
"So what's up with you and Kara these days?"
Lena ignored the clench in her stomach at the question and focused on the screw she was trying to twist out of the half-melted robot monkey, salvaged from the attack on the DEO months ago. "What do you mean?" she asked, extracting the screw and looking up at Winn, who had asked her for help on unlocking the last few mysteries of the monkey this afternoon.
He waved his screwdriver in the air. "You know. Kara, your best friend in the entire universe. And yes, I do use the term universe literally, she's been to twelve planets."
"Twelve? Hang on, has she told you about all of them? Because I've only heard about Krypton--"
"Chill, Luthor," Winn said, hip checking her gently. "She barely talks about the planets she's been to, though I think it's at thirteen since that incident last year. You can ask her if you want, I'm sure she'd love to talk to you about them." He adjusted his safety glasses and peered back into the monkey. "You think that's another induction coil there?"
"Yeah," Lena said, poking it to the side to be sure. "What do you mean, she'd love to talk to me about them?"
"Just that Kara doesn't nerd out about the same stuff I always do. She never nerds out with Alex, they're in totally different spheres. Kara likes the space, the cultures. I'm more mechanics and engineering and physics, you know, and Alex is bio. You," he gestured with his screwdriver, "You get all of the above, which is one of the many things that makes you special, hold that for me will you, thanks, but besides, Kara wants to talk to you about everything."
Lena turned the wire over in her hands. "This one looks a little damaged, wait, what?"
"Yeah, it is," Winn said, picking it up to hold closer to the light. "Hmm. Oh, you know," he said, setting the wire down carefully and diving back into the monkey's guts, "It just always seems like Kara's got the galaxy's hugest crush on you. Lena Lena Lena. Not that I don't love hearing about you, by the way." Winn glanced back under his arm to grin at her from the awkward angle, and she smiled back automatically, her grin fleeting and perfunctory.
"Galaxy's biggest crush?" she repeated faintly.
"I mean, she hasn't confided in me or anything, do you think these grooves are filled in with paint or with copper? Hm. Anyway, yeah, it's not like Kara really comes to me with crushes since the whole she feels bad she didn't return my feelings thing, but we're totally cool, oh, look, it's just copper colored paint, I'll analyze that later, make sure it's really just paint…"
"Right. But you know, I've heard Alex tease her about it plenty of times, and Kara always just blushes. Laughs it off. You know, does her fake laugh." Winn did an imitation of Kara's fake awkward laugh that Lena had heard before, and Lena had to admit it was a pretty good copy. "But like, what do I know? She wasn't really like that with James I don't think…" he tilted his head, considering. "You know, Alex did tell me a couple stories… huh. Oh hey, look at that circuitry hidden there, can you tell what model that converter is?"
"Isolated forward transformer," Lena said automatically, and Winn grinned.
"You're the best." Lena nodded mechanically, her mind spinning.
Alex, teasing. Winn, overhearing. Kara, like the way she was when she was mooning over James. Best friend in thirteen planets, talking about everything, biggest crush in the galaxy. It couldn't be. Why didn't they teach this shit in engineering school?
Lena pushed the thoughts carefully into a box and shoved it aside. "Don't forget to check that the power's out before you go pulling on that converter," she said.
Winn scoffed. "Pshhhaw, girl, I got that under control--ouch!"
"Told you," Lena singsonged.
Winn rolled his eyes as he sucked on his fingers.
Lena left his lab in the DEO forty-five minutes later, monkey demystified, her mind spinning.
"Jack? Yeah, I'm pretty sure I broke three different rules at least of friendship, but I told Lena the stuff… Yes, it was all true. ..I know I didn't lie, but still, I wouldn't usually say that stuff about Kara to anyone, it seems pretty uncool. ..I know. I'm sure it'll be worth it."
Chapter 7: I should have remembered to write in Sam but oh well
It was game night a week later and Lena had been distracted all week. Something Kara hadn't failed to notice.
"You okay?" Kara asked, dropping down next to Lena on the couch, polishing off her fifteenth chocolate chip cookie that hour and eyeing Lena with mild concern.
Kara sucked the chocolate off her fingers and Lena felt part of her soul leave her body momentarily as Kara held her gaze innocently while she did it. Honestly, this girl is going to be the death of me. "You've been a little off all week," Kara said slowly, wiping her fingers on a napkin and tossing it expertly into the trashcan across the room, propping her elbow on the back of the couch as she turned towards Lena more fully. The others moved around loudly in the kitchen, fighting about which game to start the night with, and Kara leaned her head against her hand in a way that was unfortunately attractive, affixing Lena with wide, sincere eyes. "Do you want to talk about anything?"
Lena found herself shaking her head in a detached kind of way, slowly. "No," she managed, coming back down to Earth and smiling in a hopefully reassuring way. "I'm good."
Kara narrowed her eyes, glasses-free and piercing. Lena made another attempt at a convincing grin before patting at Kara's hand briefly as she got up. "I'll be right back," she promised. Kara opened her mouth to protest, but Lena was gone. "Jack," Lena said sharply, and his head sprung up. She motioned with one finger, and he nodded and followed her out the front door. "One second," she told a suspicious Alex. "Strategizing."
Alex nodded like it wasn't the lamest excuse she had heard this week. "What's going on?" Jack asked once the door had closed behind them. Lena shook her head and pulled out her phone.
She can hear us, Lena typed into a fresh note, and Jack snorted with laughter. Lena shook her head again. I know it's ridiculous. Not willing to risk it.
"Okay," he mumbled. "What's this about, then?"
I know the two of you are close. Lena hesitated, biting her lip. I have to ask--
Jack pulled the phone out of her grasp. Stop. I have never looked her way and she's never looked mine. Lena breathed a sigh of relief, guiltily. "Seriously?" Jack whispered. She slouched back against the door, not bothering to deny it at this point. She shrugged. "Did it look that way?" Jack asked incredulously. Lena gave him a face that said sort of, and he sighed. "No, Lena. Never."
She nodded, leaning her head back against the door for a few deep breaths. One obstacle down, several more, potentially worse ones to go. Jack handed the phone back to her with a new line typed out. Why are you asking this right now?
Lena bit the inside of her cheek, feeling nothing like her everyday CEO self and everything like a seventh grader with a hapless crush on the babysitter that was way out of their league. Because she's killing me and I want to try something tonight.
Jack's eyes were the size of quarters. "How can I help?" he asked immediately. "I've been waiting for this for years, literal years,"
Lena slapped his arm, stepping away from the door to hiss at him, "It hasn't been years--"
"It totally has been years--"
"Hey." The door opened to show Kara, eyes narrowed and watching Lena, her curious gaze flickering to Jack. "Is your dream team ready to start?"
Jack looked at Lena, his expression pleading minutely to just fucking do something. Lena glanced at him for a long moment, building her resolve, before nodding. She slowly turned to Kara, who was still watching her, one hand on the doorframe as she leaned out of the apartment. Lena let the expression she usually used in the boardroom take over her face slowly, sultry confidence and one eyebrow slightly raised, her arms crossing deliberately.
The reaction was immediate. Kara's eyes widened and her expression dropped from curious to something with just a hint of… fear? "Yes," Lena said, smiling slowly at her. "I'm ready to go down--sorry, to take you down."
There was an abrupt crunch of splintering wood and Kara startled, looking at her handprint in the door frame blankly, like she couldn't quite believe it had betrayed her. "Okay," Kara said, her voice unnaturally high pitched. "Cool." She didn't face them again as she turned back into the apartment, but Lena could see the red creeping up her neck.
Confidence roared through her veins in a rush that nearly made Lena see stars as she turned to face Jack, elated. Jack was doing his best impression of a roaring football stadium, both fists pumping as he danced around, ecstatic.
"I told you," he hissed, seizing her shoulders, "I told you, I told you, I told you--"
"Shhh," Lena managed, "I told you about the hearing," Jack pshhawed and rolled his eyes "But Jack," Lena clutched at his hands. "Jack, I, she--"
"I know," Jack said, glowing with reflective joy. "Okay, now stop freaking out and go in there and make her swoon."
"Shhhhh," Lena hissed again, still grinning fiercely, and he smiled and wrapped her in a tight hug before pushing her towards the door.
Alex slipped up to Lena's side as they walked in. "Do you want to tell me why my sister brushed wood splinters off her hand after speaking to you for half a second?" Lena eyed her, one eyebrow raised, and Alex grinned slowly. "Got it."
Lena sat down next to Kara, smiling, and patted her knee absently. "Let's get this game night started!" she said, and Winn and James cheered.
(Kara twitched violently under her touch and passed it off as a hacking cough, grabbing Lena's hand in reassurance that she wasn't shaking her off. Oh, Lena was going to have fun with this.)
Kara wasn't sure what had changed.
All she knew was that one second, her relationship with Lena was totally normal, Lena's heart steady in her ears, the next, Lena was dragging Jack out of the room to have a conversation even Kara could barely hear, irritatingly enough, and when Kara went to get them for the games to start, something had changed. Her brain had totally short-circuited when Lena had looked at her like that, and the next thing she knew, Lena had said something unintentionally suggestive and--boom. Kara had broken her own doorframe.
Now Lena was sitting next to her, no, pressed up against her, and Kara felt like a live wire. She was very determinedly not reacting whenever Lena touched her, but then she started overthinking everything.
Why wasn't there a google article on how to not let your best friend know you're in love with her? Your very attractive, apparently now more affectionate than usual, determined to drive you crazy best friend? Kara twitched violently in surprise, again, as Lena's fingers dragged from Kara's mid-thigh to her knee on Lena's way to grab the dice.
Lena diplomatically ignored it, small smirk still firmly in place. Across the table, Jack coughed, and Kara shot daggers at him. Winn and James seemed oblivious, and Alex was looking thoughtfully at Lena. Lena shook the dice in her hand, getting ready to roll, and a thought seemed to occur to her. She held the dice up a couple inches from Kara's mouth.
"For luck?" she asked, eyebrows raised in an innocent question.
For the love of Rao. "I'd probably freeze your hand," Kara mumbled, trying to get out of it.
Lena smiled teasingly. "I think I can trust you to control yourself, Supergirl."
Sweet god. Kara carefully exhaled in the general direction of Lena's hand, and Lena smiled. "Thanks," she murmured, squeezing Kara's knee with her free hand, and rolled the dice. It was exactly the number she needed. I'm gonna die, Kara thought. I'm literally going to die. Lena turned back to her, triumphant. "My lucky charm," she all but purred, and Kara hated herself that that was the word she used to describe Lena's voice. Yup. Literally going to die. Please for the love of all that is holy let there be an emergency before I rip a hole in this couch, so help me--
"Okay, we need more snacks. Kara?" Kara looked up to see Alex standing and looking at her expectantly.
"Yes!" Kara yelped. "More snacks. Coming right up." Kara leapt off the couch and scrambled to join Alex in the kitchen. Alex promptly hauled her into the back pantry. "What?" Kara whispered.
"Lena is flirting with you," Alex hissed, slapping her shoulder. "Blatantly. And obviously. And you need to do something about it."
Kara slumped against the washer, wincing as it dented. She'd fix that later, she'd done it a dozen times before. "What am I supposed to do?" she hissed back, still nervous all over. "She's never done this before!"
Alex rolled her eyes to the moon. "She's not a glitching computer program or a puppy to be trained, Kara. If she's deciding to flirt now--which she is, do not deny that--it means something changed. She probably got tired of hiding being into you and decided to do something about it. And since you are also obviously into her, you need to flirt back, and asap."
"Okay," Kara nodded, pretty sure Alex was delusional but still choosing to trust her. She stood up straight, nodding still. "Okay, I got this." She punched the air a few times. "I got this, I can do this, I'll--"
"Do not plan it," Alex cut her off. "You do horrible when you plan flirting. Sorry. Just go out there and stop being scared and I'll cut you off if you say something really bad."
"Right," Kara said, nodding more fervently than before. "Thanks."
"Stop nodding. Grab the chips and let's do this."
"Not nodding. Got it." Kara grabbed the chips and walked back out into the room.
Game night was going well, James thought happily. Kara was a little jumpy, but she was probably just tired and on frayed nerves trying to hide the way she was ridiculously in love with Lena, she had been for months. He was bummed he couldn't finish that draft he was working on before he had to leave for it, but still. Maybe he'd get new inspiration for writing about Valentine's Day while he was here.
Chapter 8: *laughs maniacally*
"She's going to get her game face on, Alex is making her--"
"What does that even mean--"
"Shh shh shh, she's coming!" Lena glared at Jack in warning and he dutifully zippered his mouth shut over a dirty joke as Kara and Alex walked back out, both suspiciously only holding one chip bag, but no one mentioned it.
"What's next?" Kara sat back down next to Lena. Just as close. Lena felt butterflies zing through her stomach as Kara glanced over and quirked an eyebrow at her. On the other chair, Alex, watching them appraisingly, smiled approvingly. "We're not seriously sitting here waiting for Lena to win Monopoly again."
"What are you gonna do about it?" Lena asked, half-flirting and half genuinely curious.
Kara snorted. "I'm Supergirl. Do you really want to see the number of creative ways I can wreck this board?"
"Maybe I do." Kara looked over, eyes narrowed, mouth open to reply, when Winn cut them off.
"Ooookay, let's table the Super-Luthor feud for the night, you two. We can switch." There was a murmur of agreement, and Alex and James pitched in to help Winn switch games. Kara leaned back, stretching her arms over the back of the couch.
"Would you seriously have wrecked your own game board?"
Kara faced her, the smallest of smiles on her face. "Don't tempt me," she said lazily. Kara's new confidence was rolling off her in waves she usually only projected as Supergirl. Lena watched warily, hoping Kara wasn't listening to the heavy beating of her heart. "Besides," Kara said airily, brushing some imaginary lint of Lena's shoulder, fingers lingering, and Lena felt her breath catch momentarily, "We can pick something else you're good at, don't worry. You're good at everything, anyway."
Lena frowned, mouth opening to ask why Kara thought she was so good at everything, but Kara just flashed a grin and turned back, reaching over to grab the new bag of chips, retracting her arm from around Lena's shoulders and dragging a finger along the width of Lena's back as she did. Lena froze in surprise, nerves erupting anew.
She couldn't be.
Kara glanced at Alex, almost nervously. Alex gave a subtle nod and Kara's shoulders relaxed minutely. Oh my god, she is. Lena felt a smile grow on her face. She bit down on her lip, but she couldn't quite contain it. It just felt too good. Clumsy and stuttering and not-quite-innocent but still pure, somehow.
Lena tucked her feet up under Kara's thigh, raising her eyebrows to confirm it was okay, and Kara smiled, patting her knee in reassurance. Kara turned towards her and wrapped her arm around Lena's legs easily, fingers tapping through her jeans mindlessly as Kara propped her chin on Lena's knee. "Feeling better?" Kara asked.
Lena rolled her eyes, having a little trouble focusing with Kara's fingers tapping on the side of her thigh. The rest of game night faded away for a few moments, until Jack and Winn slapping each other's arms repeatedly and whispering excitedly was just background noise. "I told you I was fine."
Kara rolled her eyes back at Lena. "And I stand by my judgment of you seeming off for the last week."
Lena smiled softly at her, touched that her well-being was still a concern despite the palpable shift in their dynamic. "Yes," she said quietly. "I'm feeling better."
"Good," Kara smiled back. "I'm glad. But," her tone edged into teasing, "I have some bad news for you." Lena raised an eyebrow, and Kara bit her lip like she was reluctant to say it, "Alex and I are still gonna kick your ass at charades."
Alex could have done without Lena doing her level best to distract Kara during charades, but Kara bravely pulled through to capture another Danvers sisters win. Honestly, her sister really deserved that Supergirl title sometimes. Now, Alex was going to go home and drink bleach to forget what Lena and Kara's awkwardly charged goodbye hug looked like. Maybe J'onn would help.
"Alright Kara, pretty sure that was a false alarm, sorry, you can circle back."
"10-4. Coming in."
"Kara, we're not the NYPD."
"But Brooklyn Nine-Nine is so good, Alex. And you have to admit you're totally Rosa!"
"Does that make you Amy?"
There was a hesitation, the sound of the wind blowing through Kara's comms. "Unsure. I only got as far as you being Rosa and J'onn being Holt."
"Oh my god, he's totally Holt."
"Right?? Ok my next surefire theory is Pam from HR being Gina, what do you thi--"
Lena's voice cut across the comms smoothly. "Don't tell me you watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine without me again, Kara."
There was the telltale sound of Kara doing a flip in the sky. "I would never!" she promised, laughing. "What are you doing in the DEO, Lena?"
"Winn asked me last night after we lost charades to come in and help him with something, your guess is as good as mine."
J'onn's voice crackled to life. "Supergirl, how long does it take you to get back here? We need to debrief, this is not a social hour."
"Grumpy," Kara muttered, to Alex and Lena's stifled giggles. It was a good day. The sky was clear and blue, Lena was giggling, even Alex was laughing, and J'onn's fake grumpiness was fooling no one. "Five seconds out, Poppa Be--"
An alarmingly loud high-pitched noise cut across Kara's comms. Kara cried out in pain, and then there was static.
"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--"
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."