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Cruelty of Love

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Kara resolves to tell Lena her secret he next day after game night. Though an adept liar Lena was, Kara wasn't quite fooled by her nonchalant attitude throughout the night. Alex is sure she's just paranoid because of her own guilt, but Kara knows. She could see that Lena was just...off. The entire night. There was a pained edge to her smiles and laughter. She knows in her heart that something wasn't right.

And that's how Kara finds herself at Lena's ridiculous penthouse apartment the next night, waiting in front of the door for Lena to return.

She picks up on the familiar cadence of a heartbeat entering the building, steadily growing louder until it's almost deafening as the elevator dings and the doors slide open. She feels her own heartbeat in the pit of her stomach as the anxiety that has been bubbling over the years over this secret just threatens to suffocate her.

The clacking of Lena's heels start, then stop as she decides to take them off after stepping off the elevator. Kara watches almost in slow motion with her breath subconsciously held as Lena takes them off and rummages through her bag to find her cardkey while walking toward the door and herself.

Lena halts with a start when she manages to get a grasp on her keys and looks up to see Kara not five feet in front of her.

"Christ, Kara! You scared me."

Kara releases the breath she's been holding in as she sputters a true-to-form, "Sorry! Sorry. Um. Hi."

Weak start. Way to go , Kara, she mentally berates herself.

"Hello to you, too," Lena says with a smile, but Kara can see that it's forced. She's caught too off guard to be able to school her features well enough to fool Kara.

"I- um. I'm sorry to drop in on you like this; I - I know you're probably just getting home from the office but I..." She trails off, eyes looking down and frustrated with herself at not being able to just spit out the words she needs to say. She begins to bounce a little with the worst kind of energy as she fidgets and fumbles for the words to say. "Can I talk to you for a second?"

When she looks up, she sees a glazed over look in Lena's gaze. Like she's staring through her like she doesn't exist. Her heart almost stops at what that could mean.

"Lena?"

Lena blinks back into focus. "What? Of course, Kara. Let's get inside first so i can change out of these stiff clothes and we can talk."

Kara steps to the side as Lena swipes her card, enters a pin, and does an eye scan before entering her apartment after Kara once the door opens and she gestures for Kara to go in first.

Lena feels her heart pounding in her head. She wasn't ready to face Kara alone just yet, but here she was and she knows that she won't be able shake Kara. Not with that kicked puppy look on her face. Not with her just being Kara. Supergirl, she tries to chastise herself. It's only half-effective.

Kara awkwardly makes her way in and stands to the side as Lena closes the door behind them and heads to her room to change out of her stiff work attire. As she finishes changing into an oversized shirt and a pair of shorts, there's a knock at her bedroom door.

"Sorry," Kara apologizes. "Is it...can we talk in here? I'm not entirely comfortable talking in the main area."

Lena wants to deny her that. She wants to be angry at her for never trusting Lena with her secret in peace. But Kara is here and she can't say no in spite of herself. Instead, she sits at the foot of her far too large bed and nods. "Sure."

Kara gives a huge sigh of relief but instead of spitting out what she wants so she can leave and Lena can scream to the powers that be for leading her to this situation, Kara starts to pace back and forth in front of her, muttering unintelligible words under her breath. Long, tedious seconds pass, before Lena can't take it anymore.

"Kara," she warns.

Kara halts in place at the tone in Lena's voice then faces her best friend. Perhaps soon to be ex-best friend. "Right," she says, slowly dragging her eyes to meet Lena's emotionless expression. She swallows a thick nothing before speaking again.

"I… I'm not really sure where to begin, so I'll guess I'll start with this: I'm not good with change. I haven't been for a very long time. I like being in control - I need to be in control. It's how I cope with all of the bad things that have happened in my life."

Lena's jaw twitches in annoyance, her anger rising, but she says nothing as Kara starts to pace again and continues.

"I try to control things to minimize any suffering that can be done to those around me, but that's really just an excuse to protect myself." Lena's fingers curl into fists in her lap, bunching the ends of her shorts, but Kara doesn't seem to notice at all and keeps going. "In doing so, I steal the ability to chose or have a say in anything from those closest to me. In the end, I tend to hurt them the most and...I can't do that anymore. Especially not to you."

Kara stops and faces Lena again. "I have been a selfish and cruel friend to you, and I'm sorry. Truly sorry, and I will regret being such a thing to you for the rest of my life because you don't deserve that. You deserve better."

Lena's throat thickens with a choked back scream, standing up slowly with her fists still clenched. She doesn't want to hear what Kara has to say. She doesn't want to hear the excuses or reasons. She doesn't even want to look at her. Because that means she has to face the truths about her own feelings towards Kara that she wasn't ready to face after Lex's last ditch effort to tear her down and tear them apart. Her words still betray her, prodding Kara to spit out what she has to say. "What are you saying, Kara?"

Kara looks down and lets out a shaky breath. "I'm saying… Well. First, I'm saying if you want to hate me or not have anything to do with me after this, that's okay. But you will know the only secret I have ever kept from you, and it will be the last secret I ever keep from you. Second… I never kept this from you because I was scared of what you might do in retaliation. I kept this because you were the one person that didn't expect anything of me and I selfishly wanted keep that all to myself. Keep you and me as we were all to myself."

She reaches for her glasses and takes them off with one hand, lets her hair down with the other. She goes to unbutton the top of her shirt but Lena is suddenly standing right in front of her, slapping a hand down to stop her from popping that first button.

"No," Lena growls. She brings her other, still-fisted hand up and lightly hits Kara's chest. "No." She lightly hits Kara's chest again. "No, no, no!" she repeatedly hits Kara. "You don't get to do this, too. Not like Eve!" her voice cracks, tears streaking down her face as she brings her forehead to rest on Kara's collarbone. The accusation of betrayal kills Kara inside, but she bites the inside of her cheek and remains still.

She allows Lena continuously strike her for a while before bringing her chin down to rest on the crown of Lena's head. She gently brings a hand up to grab one of Lena's as her hits slow and weaken, moving it aside so she can unbutton her shirt. Kara can almost hear Lena's heart shatter as she quietly speaks:

"I'm Supergirl."