Kara blames Barry. Technically she knows the blame lies with the man who shot, whatever kind of stupid ray, at her suit at some ridiculously perfect angle to break the teleporter Cisco built for her. But, ultimately, she never would have been in the line of fire if Barry hadn’t sent some terrifyingly short SOS message at three in the morning when all she really wanted to do was sleep.
So Kara blames Barry. And what does she blame him for? The fact that the second she gets shot, she wakes up somewhere she definitely shouldn’t be.
It takes a second for it to click with Kara. The lack of fighting, the disappearance of Barry, the fact that her mouth feels like it’s full of cotton in the same way it always does when she portals from one earth to another. Oh, and the fact that, whilst she was on a street on Earth One, she was definitely inside a building on Earth Something or Other. A building that was full of wide-eyed people outright staring at Kara like she’d grown a second head.
(She may or may not check to make sure that isn’t the case).
“Are you alright, Supergirl?” One of them eventually speaks, hovering like she’s debating helping Kara to her feet but also is highly aware this is a superhero in front of her, and so she simply remains in limbo with a half outstretched hand and a concerned look on her face.
Kara attempts to put her at ease by bouncing to her feet with a wide grin, announcing, “Yes, I’m fine. Super!” The polite chuckles from both sides proceed accordingly and Kara has never been more thankful to see Jessica Huang in her life than when she looks around the room sheepishly and spots her handing over files covered in a slightly different to usual, but no less familiar ‘L’ logo. “Jess!”
“Supergirl,” she greets, like this wouldn’t be the first time they’d had a conversation, nor the first time Kara had appeared dressed for a fight in these offices. “Did you forget that Miss Luthor’s office is on the floor above this one?” Kara doesn’t miss the whisper about whether or not she also forgot the balcony Lena spent so much for her to land on. Maybe she should read into that. Instead all she feels is calm because that meant her and Lena were friends here too.
“Right, of course. My bad. I apologise. I’ll just…” Kara trails off, offering a salute to the startled workers and drifting towards the open elevator doors. She tries not to pay attention to everyone else in the elevator in their monochromatic suits because they’re adamantly trying to pretend they’re not paying attention to her either – clad in a dirty super suit and tapping her foot to the elevator music like it wasn’t the most monotonous thing she’d ever heard.
It’s awkward but completely worth it when she arrives on Lena’s floor and sees the woman working away diligently at her desk. It was all going to be okay because Lena would help her. Lena who was the smartest person Kara knew and she had a feeling some things were always true. No matter what earth she found herself stranded on.
“Lena, hey, funny story-“
“Let me guess. You forgot we made lunch plans and then flew here as fast as you could, got really disorientated because you know you’re not supposed to be flying in your condition, and ended up in the middle of one of the lower labs scaring my employees?” That did sound like Kara behaviour. And Lena was like half completely right about the turn of events. But-
“Have you hit your head? Or are you just doing that thing where you pretend not to remember that you’re pregnant so that I’ll say the words and you can smile giddily for five minutes. Because we’re pregnant and you’re an idiot.” Pregnant? Lena is grinning at her so softly and apparently that’s because she’s pregnant. Except, Lena is grinning at her so softly and the words she used were we’re pregnant and that would totally mean that… oh this was a lot.
A whole lot.
Too much lot, some might say.
And just like that, Kara can’t think straight for the life of her, can’t force a smile onto her face, or work out how to explain to Lena, this Lena that she wasn’t her Kara because apparently Kara was hers to be had here and that was… that was something.
So Kara can’t think straight, and she’s well known for not thinking things through before she does them, and that’s totally why instead of saying a thing she just slams the emblem on her chest and hopes the teleporter will take her back to Barry. Or home. Either would be fine. Anything else would totally be preferable to this.
(She was going to hit Barry so hard).
Kara wakes up in her bed.
It takes her less time to figure out something’s wrong this time around - mostly just because yes, she’s in what seems like her bed, and yes, if she looks around for the most part it seems to be her apartment. But there is no way in hell her bed sheets were ever this soft.
She feels like she’s being hugged by a cloud and she’s not mad about it.
Not in the slightest.
“Kara, you here?” She’s not mad about hearing Alex’s voice echo either. Safe, reliable Alex who would always be her sister and not the mother of her unborn child. Alex, who was the smartest person she knew alongside Lena and could totally figure out how to get her home home.
Kara’s all but ready to barrel into Alex head first with an alarmingly strong hug when another voice sounds through the apartment, much softer than Alex’s call. “Shh, don’t wake her. She’s been out of it for hours, didn’t even manage to take her suit off before climbing into bed. I only just managed to pull the cape from under her deadweight.”
Kara looks for her cape first. Picks it up from where it’s folded perfectly on the chair in the corner of the room that definitely doesn’t exist in her apartment on Earth-38, slips it over her shoulders, and glides towards the door to gently peek through the gap.
She’s not quite sure what she expects to see but she finds she’s not all too shocked that her apartment is a ‘their’ apartment with a mismatch of her and Lena’s things littering the shelves. A certificate on the wall that she knows isn’t hers. A coat next to hers on the hook that looks like she could never afford it. Pictures everywhere of them. Lena and her. The two of them and friends. The two of them and family. The two of them being a family.
Kara’s eyes fall on actual Lena then, sat at the breakfast bar with her laptop open on something ridiculously confusing, thick-rimmed glasses on her face and, what looks like Kara’s college jumper, on her body.
Lena hugs Alex without a second thought and Kara vaguely thinks that she’s never seen her so soft. She’d never seen Lena so uninhibited and happy and sure of herself in a room that wasn’t about business, or just filled with her, Kara, and a ridiculous amount of food for lunch. It’s all she’d ever wanted for her. To feel like she had a place. To know that, that place was with Kara and her friends. It makes her feel, for lack of a better word, fuzzy - like an old TV stuck blasting static.
“She’s been so out of it lately. All she had to do last night was a sweep of the city and she smacked into three separate billboards,” Alex laughs, stealing some bacon from the plate in front of Lena in such a practised move, it can’t have been the first time.
“She’s hiding a ring under the creaky floorboard in the bedroom. I found it when I finally got so annoyed that I tried to fix it.”
“That floorboard is ridiculous.”
“I know. The ring is beautiful though. I put it back and pretended I’d never looked - that was a month ago.” She shouldn’t look. Kara shouldn’t use her x-ray vision to survey the floorboards and figure out which one is the asshole floorboard, nor should she gently pry said floorboard out so that she can inspect the ring box. She definitely shouldn’t take the ring out to see what it looks like, to see if she can imagine it sitting on Lena’s finger for the rest of her life.
(Spoiler: she does all those things.
Spoiler two: she totally can).
“That would explain the mindlessness. She hasn’t been like erratic since the first time she figured out she liked you. She paced for like five minutes before I got it out of her. I still really don’t understand how she thought you taking her for a midnight stroll in the park, hand-in-hand, sharing an ice-cream cone was platonic. ” Okay, but friends totally went on walks with each other. Time didn’t matter. And sometimes you just happened to hold hands because one of you was perpetually cold and the other was a solar-powered alien. And sometimes, sometimes, you thought you wanted vanilla but really you wanted chocolate and your friend was nice enough to share.
Not all friendships were the same.
“At this rate, I’m half willing to just take the ring out, put it on my finger, and wait to see how long it takes for Kara to realise we’re already engaged,” Lena laughs. Kara thinks both her and Lena adopt the exact same look of fear when Alex doesn’t join in.
“I know you were only joking but we’re totally doing that. Like, right now. My maid of honour speech will be unparalleled.”
“Ah, so this is all about you beating Sam then?” Lena teases.
“Yes,” Alex hits back without missing a beat, and they both chuckle but there’s no doubt in Kara’s mind that they’re making their way towards her right now and she can’t be here. So she slams the ring back in the box, slips the floorboard back into place, hopes to Rao that this earth’s Kara won’t take too long to notice Lena wearing the ring for the sake of her multiverse reputation and smacks the emblem on her chest just in time to escape before she needs to explain herself.
She really just needs a normal world.
A nice, not emotionally confusing, world.
It goes like this. Kara slams the emblem to avoid being caught as a creeper and wakes up somewhere that definitely isn’t her apartment and risks being a creeper all over again. The thing is, she almost relaxes (the key word being almost), when she realises that there’s a journal with her initials engraved and her handwriting littering the pages on the table. When she notes a picture of her and Alex framed on the wall from some game night or another and one of them being squished into Eliza at Alex’s graduation that Alex hates but Kara loves to no end.
She almost relaxes when she realises that this is her house - other her’s house - and if she couldn’t get Alex or Lena to help her then clearly herself was her next best bet (if only so she could take Kara to Lena or Alex to get them to help her out of this incredibly confusing situation).
Unfortunately, the relaxation never comes because when she hears the door creep open and she prepares to blurt her explanation at an above average speed, it’s not herself that she sees coming into the house. It’s Lena. Now, usually that wouldn’t put Kara on edge, you know, beyond some mild sweaty palms and a slightly faster heart rate, but this wasn’t her usual earth, and plenty of unusual things seemed to be happening all of a sudden.
“Kara, thank god you’re home. I’ve had the worst day and I need you to make me forget all about it.” Unusual things. Unusual like Lena taking her top off throughout that sentence and carelessly dropping it over the back of the couch. Unusual like her bra quickly following. Unusual like Kara is currently staring at her best friend’s boobs and has Lena always had that adorable freckle on her lef-
She shouldn’t be looking, or analysing, or accidentally committing it to memory because that’s not a thing that friends do. Except they’re not friends here, or anywhere else apparently, and regardless of what Kara is supposed to be doing, she’s actually just standing stock-still, laser-focused and slack-jawed because she always knew that Lena was pretty, or like, the most beautiful woman she had ever seen in her entire life (objectively or whatever) but this. This was something else entirely.
“It always nice to see that look of confusion and shock whenever you remember I have boobs.” Boobs. Lena’s boobs. Lena’s incredibly lovely boobs and since when did she start thinking that boobs were lovely and since when did she suddenly think it was okay to keep looking at boobs that weren’t technically hers to be looked at. Kara spins quickly and, for the first time on this journey, actually attempts to explain what the hell is going on.
“I’m not, oh Rao, I’m not Kara. I mean I am Kara obviously but not boob Kara, I mean, your Kara who should be seeing your boobs. Lovely as they are.” Kara immediately cringes. Why did she say that? She didn’t need to say that. That was so weird. Rao, was Lena still topless behind her? And why was the room suddenly like thirty degrees hotter? Did this earth have some kind of radiation problem? Should she check that out when she gets back? Was Lena still topless?
Kara doesn’t stay to find out.
Kara wakes to a weight pressing down on her chest. She almost thinks she’s made it back to Barry’s world just in time to save herself from being crushed to death before she opens her eyes.
Everything’s so dark at first that it doesn’t really help, but then she finds the weight revealed to be a small child crawling over her, whisper shouting to get her attention, in case the tiny hands prodding her side aren’t enough to will Kara into the land of the living.
“Mama, wake up! I’m scared.” It takes Kara a second to get over the words spoken to realise they’re in Kryptonian. The tiny, blonde haired, child pressing on her ribcage is speaking in her native language. Her native language that she never thought she’d ever hear another living soul speak so perfectly and yet here it was. Here she was. All blonde hair and light eyes and Kryptonian words and Kara finds herself so overwhelmed that all she can think is she really hopes this little girl can’t see the tears trickling down her cheeks because she doesn’t know how to explain them.
Instead of even trying to figure that out, she sits up against the headboard and pulls the child closer until she can firmly tuck her head into Kara’s neck, be surrounded by her embrace, calmed by the soft press of lips to her forehead and the whispered, “what’s wrong little one?”
“The sky’s clapping. I don’t like it.” The words mark the first time Kara even bothers to take note of the weather outside. The booming thunder, the electric lightning. It’s intense and almost constant and Kara finds herself soothed by it in the way she always had since coming to earth.
She remembers her first storm with the utmost clarity. Eliza had warned her it would be loud, told her not to be scared and that, should she still find herself afraid, that she was always welcome in her bed. Alex had watched over her with more care than Kara knew she could hold for the annoying alien who was now her roommate (the same kind of care Kara knew nothing less than now).
But Kara felt no fear as the storm rolled in, only an odd sense of… calm. Kind of like that moment in the shower when so much water was running over your ears that every other sound was muted, distorted, there but not really there all the same. The storm made her head less messy. It took up so much room that she didn’t need to think about not listening to the couple argue down the street, or the stray dog in the park whimper, or the ticking of every clock within a mile radius, never quite in sync with one another.
It was all just thunder and Kara loved it.
Apparently she hadn’t passed on said love to her kid however, because the next time it sounds, she feels the grip on her shirt tighten. Kara runs her hand soothingly down her back until the death grip lessens slightly into a severely maim grip. Not quite calm but better.
“You’re fine. It can’t hurt you in here, I promise.”
“Can I stay in here? So you and mom can protect me?” Kara hadn’t dared to look at the other side of the bed until those words are out, until she dares to think who ‘mom’ is and is proved right when she finds Lena, fast asleep, by her side. She looks peaceful, and beautiful, and somehow nothing like Kara has ever seen her before.
They’d spent hours together - on lunches, at game nights, going to art exhibitions that Kara was desperate to see and science shows that Lena had spent days talking about, and spent days talking about after as she picked Kara’s brain for how different knowledge was on Krypton and Earth. But Kara had never seen her like this.
She’d never seen Lena without her makeup on. Never seen peach lips devoid of whatever shade of perfectly applied lipstick. Never seen marble skin free of powders and creams. Never seen bare eyelashes or untouched brows or cheeks pink simply because Kara burned like a furnace.
It’s a little startling and wholly beautiful and Kara wonders what she did to deserve it. She wonders how this Kara managed to scale the walls to the Luthor Castle so perfectly that she got to see Lena like this - trusting, and soft, and so completely free of the liquid armour that she wore around every day. Kara thinks she could look at her forever, even if doing so makes all the air squeeze from her lungs. She could make do without breathing for the rest of her life.
“Of course you can. Snuggle in but don’t wake mom.” The girl nods and follows Kara under the covers and suddenly all Kara can think about is what her name is. Did they name her after a lost family member? Was Kara’s family even lost here? Did Lena grow up as loved and appreciated as she deserved? Did they follow the ‘L’ pattern or pick something else entirely as a screw you to the Luthor tradition? Was the Luthor tradition even something to be screwed?
Kara’s halfway through a mental breakdown, and just finished settling her sort-of child against her chest when she finds green eyes watching her softly - somehow more luminescent than the moon peeking through the crack in the curtains. Kara wonders how she never noticed how bright they were before, how one was just a little more green than the other.
“She okay?” Lena mouths, brushing a stray hair from their daughters face and releasing a deep breath when Kara wordlessly nods in response. “Are you okay?” Comes the second question, in an almost silent whisper this time, and Kara remembers the drying tracks of tears that she has no way to explain, wipes them away with another small nod.
“Never better,” Kara affirms and feels like its true when Lena shuffles closer, embracing the two of them in her arms and settling back into sleep. Kara drifts off a little while after, not even debating pressing the emblem on her chest until she wakes up the next morning to the sounds of Lena and their daughter laughing away over the sound of sizzling batter.
Pancakes would have to wait.
Kara appears in a park. Warm wind whips past her ears, the sun beams familiarly on her skin, the air is clear in her lungs and she takes a moment to be thankful that everywhere she’s ended up has been relatively normal. She doesn’t even want to think about some of the earths Barry had told her about - namely the one entirely comprised of cyborgs and the one where day never comes.
This she would accept. A warm, sunny world filled with the vague sound of laughter through the patchwork of trees she’s found herself in. Maybe it’s because it looks so much like her own home. Maybe it’s because this park is earth-whichever’s version of the same park that resided between L-Corp and CatCo. The one she had spent so many lunchtimes with Lena in over the years that she’d started to get a little annoyed if someone else dared sit on their bench.
“When I said you better hurry, I didn’t mean you couldn’t get changed first.” Kara doesn’t even startle at the sound of Lena’s voice, though she does take the time to look down at herself and the suit she’d been parading cross-world. It was so much like a second skin at this point that she hadn’t considered she wouldn’t even wear it so casually in the real world.
Kara must look more than a little helpless because Lena chuckles as she ushers her to a somewhat secluded bush and politely shoves her into it. “You’re lucky I have a spare outfit for you in my bag. Hurry up.” Kara follows the orders without a second thought, not even sparing a moment to wonder exactly why Lena has a spare change of clothes for her. At this point she knows where it’s going.
She’s learned it’s better to simply follow along.
And, for some reason, she always does follow along. It would be so simple, to just keep pushing the emblem every time she landed somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be, to just keep pushing and pushing, hoping the next place would be the right place so she could get back to living her usual life. But, if she’s being honest, she likes seeing what her life is like in these places. Likes seeing what their lives are like. Hers and Lena’s. Maybe it’s finally helping her figure out what’s been right in front of her this whole time. Helping her understand what she’s been feeling for years.
“Where are we going?” Lena eyes her strangely at the question but grabs Kara’s hand in hers regardless as she pulls Kara in the opposite direction to the way she was trying to walk. Kara intertwines their fingers without consideration – enjoys the weight of Lena’s hand in her own, barely there but present, enjoys the way their fingers slot together like pieces of a puzzle.
(She’ll think about how it’s a breach of trust later, when she’s finished living off the high).
“What’s up with you today? Usually you’re the one who has to remind me of every little thing.” That Kara could relate to, but she stills finds herself floundering for an excuse and thankful when Lena cuts her blank mind off with a chuckle. “It’s Ruby’s birthday party. Please don’t tell me you’ve also suddenly forgotten everything you spent the past two weeks learning about making balloon animals, because I was just singing your praises, and I don’t want to be embarrassed in front of a bunch of children. They’re getting to that mean age.”
“I’d never let you embarrass yourself like that.” Kara was most definitely going to embarrass her like that. Frankly, she doesn’t even think she could figure out a sword, and that was pretty much just an ordinary balloon, in and of, itself.
“My hero,” Lena jokes, squeezing Kara’s hand and Kara delights in the feeling as she attempts to continue on, instead finding herself stopped in her tracks. “There’s one more thing you’ve forgotten.” Kara starts panicking as she wonders if she’s supposed to have Ruby’s present. What if someone asks her what it is and she has no idea? And who even is Ruby to her in this world? Is Alex still with Sam? Are the two of them close? Is she just here because she’s with Lena and Sam was still her best friend even on this earth because people always gravitated towards each oth-?
Lena kisses her.
Lena kisses her and it’s kinda life affirming in that it’s both amazing and terrible.
Amazing because it makes her heart race, and colours burst behind her eyelids like tiny fireworks blasting her brain, and tingles run down her spine because she wants this. She finally understands that she wants this, really, truly, wants this. Terrible because this isn’t Lena, her Lena, and she can’t stop thinking about what it might be like with her. She can’t stop thinking about what it would be like, what it would feel like, if her Lena wanted this too.
In the end, it’s not even Kara who presses the emblem this time. Lena, not-Lena, lets her hand drift over Kara’s chest and accidentally pushes it and she’s off, wondering if she ever should have kissed back, wondering if she even could have stopped herself and thanking her lucky stars that she made her escape quickly because she has no idea how balloon animals work.
Like, at all.
Kara goes through earth after earth - on one she has a dog, on another she spends hours painting by the sea and another few painting Lena (both on the canvas and all over her skin). On a different earth she finds herself about thirty seconds away from getting Lena’s name tattooed on her skin and another sees her teaching a raven-haired boy how to ride a bike as a pregnant Lena watches on, begging them both to be more careful.
Every earth brings something different, and yet, they’re all exactly the same. They all have Lena. It’s always Lena and Kara starts to wonder if they can exist apart, or if the existence of one always means that the other must exist too in close proximity.
By some miracle, some unknown numbered try at pushing the button has her waking up in the DEO, her DEO, with Barry, Cisco and Alex messing with some contraption or another and breathing a collective sigh of relief when Kara appears in front of them, visibly no worse for wear. Not physically anyway.
“Thank God that worked. We’ve been trying for hours and Alex’s murder threats started to feel really real,” Cisco sighs, grinning widely before he attempts to rest his arm on Alex’s shoulder and finds it swiftly moved out of the way and his body careening towards the floor.
“You lost my sister to the multiverse; they were real from the beginning.”
“It was actually more of a time force problem than a multiverse one,” Barry chimes in, immediately withering under Alex’s glare. Kara stills. “But that’s not the point and now Kara is safe, we really should be going. Thanks for the help, both of you. And sorry about the…” He makes a vague gesture in the air towards Kara and the suit and, yeah, she gets the gist. “We’ll portal a new one over when we figure out how to make it less time-peramental.” Alex sighs at the pun and Kara can do nothing much more than offer a tight nod, her brain running faster than Barry ever could trying to figure out what in the hell was going on and Rao her mouth tasted weird.
“What did Barry mean?”
“It turns out you got shot with some kind of homemade time acceleration ray, which, mixed with the portal technology and your distinctly non-human biology, turned it into more of a time-travelling device.” No. No. No, that couldn’t be right because Kara saw so many things. So many things that couldn’t possibly be from one life. Except maybe they could. But her life? That was her- No.
“What do you mean a time-travelling device?” Maybe it meant something else. Maybe Kara’s English was finally failing her after all these years and it didn’t mean what those words would mean it meant. It couldn’t possibly be what they mean it meant.
“Exactly what it sounds like. Are you alright?” Alex asks, attempting to rest her hand on Kara’s shoulder to calm her down, or make her look her in the eye, or both maybe but neither can be achieved because Kara can’t calm down, and she doesn’t know how to look Alex in the eye because she’s afraid she’ll read her like a book and honestly she can’t even read herself right now.
“So everything I saw is real? Like real, real? Not just real for a whole host of different Kara’s, real for this Kara, for me?” She couldn’t breathe. Not like the air got sucked out of the room. It was more like Kara had woken up without lungs and she knew the air was there but she couldn’t quite reach it.
“Why do you look so terrified? Did something happen?” She can’t stop pacing and, at this point, she’s fairly sure she’s genuinely burning a hole in the floor but she can’t bring herself to stop because this was a lot, like a lot, a lot. “Kara, will you stop pacing, you’re freaking me out,” Alex snaps. Usually it would knock Kara out of her stupor. Not today.
“I don’t know how to-“ Stop? Breathe? Think? Explain?
“Okay, how about I guess and you just nod?” Sharp nod. “Did someone get hurt?” Shake. “Die?” Harder shake. “Okay, um, did you see yourself?” Confused, conflicted shrug. “Something about how your life will turn out?” Quick nods. “What could possibly happen that has you this worked up?”
“Lena. Me and Lena. Lena and I.”
“Like me and Lena getting engaged, and being married, and flashing each other when we get home, and having kids that look like her and look like me. Together. Everywhere. Every time I pressed this stupid button, I found myself somewhere else with her and I thought it was different versions of us, but it was just us. What we could be.” Kara finally breathes, finally halts her movement, finally looks Alex in the eye, finally finds the words. “I didn’t even realise I wanted what we could be.”
“Oh, Kara. I hate to break it to you but you’ve been in love with Lena for years. I’ll probably regret admitting this, but I had a momentary childish sibling moment and maybe read your journal - you know, the one that’s basically a love letter dedicated to Lena Luthor.”
It wasn’t a love letter. It was more like a back-up plan. She started a new journal the day she met Lena. The day Clark accused her of something Kara instantly knew she never could have done and the day Kara realised Lena Luthor was going to be one of the most important people in her life. It was articles, and newspaper clippings, and every beautiful thought that ever passed through Kara’s head about Lena just in case Lena didn’t feel worthy, or lost herself, or found herself not believing that Kara cared about her more than either of them could fathom.
It was an ode to Lena Luthor.
An epic. A legend. A history.
Proof that Lena Luthor existed as perfectly as passed down rumours suggested. And, okay, maybe it was somewhat of a love letter. A love letter to their friendship, and their partnership, and their belief in one another that had overcome more adversity than most. A love letter to the person Lena made Kara feel like she could be and the person that Lena was.
It was more than a love letter.
But love was the reason it existed.
“I thought… I thought we were just friends. She needed friends.”
“Well, now, thanks to you, she has plenty. She could probably stand to lose one.”
Kara chews her lip, reaches for glasses that aren’t there. “You think?”
“I know. Go make your future a reality,” Alex pushes and Kara tries.
She really does.
Or maybe she doesn’t really at all.
It’s more like she tells herself she’s going to do it. Hypes herself up when she wakes up, and in the shower, and on the elevator riding up to Lena’s apartment or office. Tells herself she’s finally going to build up the courage to just say something, anything, even if the words weren’t in the right order, Lena was smart enough to decode them. Like you I. You I like. I like you.
Except, every time she gets close enough, she sees Lena and flees. Like honest to god runs in the opposite direction, sometimes to the soundtrack of Lena calling her name. At first it came with laughter, now all Kara can hear is the thinly veiled annoyance and poorly disguised sadness - she still can’t figure out how to stop.
So now, inevitably, she’s at the point where she’s avoided Lena’s texts for like two days (too afraid she’ll accidentally type ‘I love you’ instead of ‘brunch sounds great’) and is refusing to open her door when anyone knocks on it because she’s pretending she’s now busy leading, yet another, secret life (in reality she’s just knee deep in her Netflix queue, feeling completely not chill).
But, in her defence, how do you express to someone that you have a forever kind of love? How do you not completely scare someone off like that, especially someone who had been walked over time and again? And what if this wasn’t how it was supposed to happen? Barry had altered the timeline before; what if Kara did something wrong and it all came crumbling down?
What if it didn’t?
What if the two of them were always inevitable? No matter the circumstances, no matter the sequence of events, no matter the time or the universe or anything else.
(Wasn’t that a little bit terrifying?
How much Kara wanted it definitely was).
It was only a matter of time before Kara couldn’t avoid it anymore. Arguably she thought she might be able to squeeze a few more days out of it than she does but it was always inevitable. Partially because Kara can’t stay away from Lena for the life of her and partially because Lena is too stubborn, too strong-willed, to be avoided for too long.
It’s probably kinda stupid that the real reason it comes to blows is because Kara, half asleep, had ordered a pizza, and doesn’t even think to check who’s at the door when she hears a knock accompanied by the delicious smell of cheese and pepperoni.
She jumps when she realises it’s Lena (she can’t even begin to imagine what the pizza boy looked like when Lena Luthor offered to take the pizza up for him, slipping him a far more than generous tip). Lena who she can’t help but smile softly at because she’d missed her, and her face, and the soft slope of her neck, and everything else. And Kara lets her in without a second thought; momentarily disorientated enough to forget what that means as she eyes the pizza now sitting on the counter until Lena starts talking.
“Have I done something? Because if I have I can fix it.” Lena was always no fuss when it came to things like this. Feelings. She treated them like business deals because that’s what she was comfortable doing, because that’s what she knew far better than anything else. It makes Kara remember how fragile she is, how much she never wanted to be the one who made Lena insecure like this, how all she wanted was to protect her from everything.
(She thought that was just what friends did.
Maybe it was once).
“Can you sit down please?” Kara asks, a little because she’s stalling and a little because she wished that Alex had told her to do the same when she dropped this particular bomb on her. She thankful that Lena obliges wordlessly, resting herself precariously on the couch like she’s half ready to run if the conversation goes in whichever horrible way she’s obviously imagining.
For a second Kara is silent. Unsure of how to start. Unsure of how to even look Lena in the eye because all she can’t think about is the freckle on her left breast, and how her soft lips tasted like honey and mint, and how cute she looked in Kara’s jumper, the arms a little too long and the chest just tight enough to make Kara’s stomach clench. All she could see was their kids that looked just like them and the tender way Lena rested her hand on Kara’s stomach like she was both terrified and in awe of the child to come, and the gleam of the ring on Lena’s finger that she put there, and the way her smile, coated in pale moonlight, outshone anything else she’s ever seen.
Kara can’t stop thinking. Lena doesn’t take her thoughtful silence so well. “So something has happened? Kara I-“
“Lena, stop right there. You haven’t done anything wrong. It’s me. Well, it’s many mes and also many yous. Except they’re all the same us.” So she was doing this (and doing it badly).
“I’m afraid you’ve lost me.”
“Barry, the Flash, you know the one that was here a couple years ago?” Lena nods, no doubt thinking back to when Kara spent three days recanting all her tales to Lena as part of her post-reveal apology. “Well, he and his friend made this teleporter for me, so that if they needed me or I needed them I could easily get to different worlds of the multiverse. But, the other day, I went to help and my suit got hit by some kind of ray and no matter how hard I tried to get back here, I kept waking up in different places.” Not so different at all, yet still very different places.
“Alright, so you took the scenic route home. That still doesn’t explain why you’ve been avoiding me like the plague the last few days.” No, it didn’t. But this was it, now or never, Kara needed to explain herself. Which is why she goes back to pacing so hard she’s sure she’ll receive a noise complaint from the old lady in the apartment downstairs by the morning.
“It turns out the different places, weren’t anywhere new at all, just… places in time. And, everywhere I went, I kept finding you. Or you kept finding me. Or maybe we just never left each other’s side in the first place. Whatever it was, there was us, and situations I had no idea how to handle because they made me realise things I’d been pushing down for a long time and I didn’t know how to look at you and know I’d realised them.”
She doesn’t know how to look at her now.
Not when she can feel Lena’s tender gaze on her.
Not when she’s sure that if she looks she’ll forget the words she’s supposed to be saying.
“Kara, darling, just breathe. What did you realise?”
“I care about you. That’s not news. I’ve always cared about you, and admired you, and wanted to protect you – knew that I would no matter the cost. And I thought it was because we’re friends, and friends have each others backs but it’s more than that. It’s always been more than that. Since the second I first saw you I knew there was something special about you, and I blamed curiosity for not being able to stay away from you, told Alex and Clark that it was to keep an eye on you at first, but it never was. It was attraction. And then it was friendship. And then it was this thudding in my chest that I couldn’t get to stop even if I tried because I’ve wandered like ten years into our future, our future, and there wasn’t a second when you weren’t with me because we’re like magnets. We’re like magnets and I don’t want to fight it any more. I’m tired of fighting it.”
Kara takes a breath.
Looks at Lena.
Looks away again just as quickly, blurting, “Unless you want me to fight it, in which case I can totally move across the country and pretend I never put you on the spot like this.”
“Can you sit down please?” Lena says quietly. Kara obliges just as quickly as Lena did, just as nervously. “Thank you,” Lena whispers, and then, with a movement swifter than even Kara can comprehend, she swings one leg over Kara’s and presses their lips together.
Lena’s kiss lands like she’s practised it a thousand times in her head. Their mouths slot together without thought and Kara feels like her entire world shifts, tilts, simultaneously crumbles and rebuilds in a second. Lena’s kiss is gentle, and hard, all consuming.
All Kara can see are the dots dancing in the darkness of her closed eyes like fireflies. All she can smell is the perfume she once complimented and never found Lena without again and the scent of expensive scotch that she knows is the only way Lena talked herself into coming here tonight. All she can hear is the blood rushing in her ears, the parting and meeting of their lips, the breaths Lena gulps in between in an attempt for this to never end.
All she can taste is honey chapstick. All she can feel is the slight vibration of Lena’s tongue as she whimpers, her soft thighs tightening around Kara’s with each passing second, each passing kiss. The soft hand on her neck, drawing her in, keeping her close. The gentle brush of her hair against Kara’s cheek and the more purposeful press of her chest into Kara’s as she tries to get closer, closer, closer.
And Kara wants to devour her.
To be devoured by her.
In the end, it’s Lena who stops the kiss. Lena who draws back to witness the devastation her lips have caused. Kara doesn’t think she’d ever have had the willpower to pull away herself. Almost doesn’t as she peppers kisses to Lena’s cheek, and her jaw, and her neck.
“I definitely didn’t see that one coming,” Kara jokes.
“We can discover our future. Together.” Kara liked the sound of that. Almost as much as she likes the quick kiss Lena punctuates it with and the longer one that follows when Kara chases her lips - she thinks she finally understands addiction because she’s already hooked on the full body euphoria Lena delivers. “But first I’d like to discover the inside of your bedroom.”
“That can be arranged,” Kara husks, picking Lena up with ease.
(She couldn’t wait to see how their future pans out first hand…
Or that freckle).