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and we'll start a fire, and we'll shut it down ('til the love runs out)

Chapter Text

"I sort of feel like I’m El Chapo now," Kara says, face smashed against Lena's soft, soft green sweater since she decided like six or twenty-five seconds ago that her eyes were just too pretty. Just like her face and her mouth and basically Lena's too pretty of a person to look at.

"You accidentally ate one edible, that was legally purchased. That doesn't even make you Piper Chapman."

"I almost ate two," Kara confesses, enjoying the way it feels to rub her lips on Lena's sweater, panicking a bit when she realizes it's making a wet patch. So she lifts her head quick and, crap, there are Lena's eyes again. "I think I'm high."

"Oh, yeah?" Lena laughs, bright beam of sunshine that she is, and then she cups Kara's cheek, soft soft soft warm, and says, "Thought we said we weren't going to eat random things anymore. I thought we agreed on that."

Right. Kara frowns. She messed up, she did. "I'd just never seen gummy bears shaped like that before."

"Those weren't gummy bears, those were gummy squares. Different."

"Evil," Kara pouts. "Their rectangular form makes them less innocent and unfit for consumption. Gonna write an Amazon review."

"Really?" Lena asks, smile somewhere between fond and incredulous, then she sighs, dropping her head like it physically pains her to be in Kara's presence. Which would be offensive if Kara weren't well-versed in Lena. She's a proper Lena expert, she'd say, being her girlfriend and all. Not too high for that. "You can keep snuggling my sweater if you want, even though you're slicking it with your spit."

"It's soft," Kara informs her, which she probably knows since she's like, in it. But Lena still smiles and leans in to give Kara a kiss--short, sweet, a little wet probably from Kara's own lips, and like, wow. Lena's lips are soft too. Kara would much rather snuggle those. "Wanna make out?"

"Depends. You gonna be any good at it, or are you just gonna drool all over my face?"

"Porque no los dos?" Kara asks, and watches, mesmerized, as an even wider grin splits across Lena's face. She'd really like to get her mouth on her lips, preferably like, yesterday morning or something. "Besides, you like it when I drool, never been an issue before."

"To be fair, I like it when you do anything," Lena says, sneaking her hand under Kara's shirt and trailing her fingernails along her side. "But there's a ranking list, and some things are lower down."

"Well I don't have a ranking list," Kara decides, struggling to hide her giggles because Lena's fingers are all tickle-y now. "I just have my things I really, very much love about Lena list, and there's just one spot that says everything." She finally cracks and curls into Lena, laughter spilling out of her, warm even to her own ears. "Stop tickling meee, just wanted kisses not torture."

"Promise no more eating random things, and I'll stop," Lena says, voice even, despite the fact that Kara's gasping for air and trying her best not to elbow her. She's a good, well-behaved ticklee, prides herself on it.

"Promise," Kara says, breath wheezy, but Lena just adds her other hand.

"Like the time you promised after you got food poisoning from eating things out of the shared fridge? Or the time you got the flu when you took someone's drink off the lounge table?"

Oh no, this was an ambush. Kara presses her weight on Lena, gently, she swears. And it effectively gets her to stop moving her hands. And also gets her to laugh. "Sorry, this time I mean it. I won't eat anything not approved by you, honest."

"It's a shame we've come to this," Lena says, nuzzling her nose against Kara's hair, freeing her hands and taking a second to smooth down Kara's shirt before she nudges her. "Okay, okay, get up. We can make out."

"Thank you," Kara hums, and it's important to note that her heart rate doesn't pick up.

And it's important to note that her heart being calm is a very big development.

Because when she first started kissing Lena, it was a lot lot lot, the biggest rush she'd ever felt before. And for a while afterwards she'd pretty much have a miniature heart attack every time she knew they'd kiss or thought about kissing or went into a make-out sess.

Her heart was just in a constant flutter, always thump-ump-umping, but now it's slowly, so slowly gotten to a point where it's not.

Which is kind of a Big Deal because she has #HugeFeelings and she's so in love with Lena, she thinks the universe might explode if she actually couldn't have her anymore.

Which is why it's immensely important to her that, lately, their kissing hasn't necessarily been stopping the world, or stopping Kara's heart even; lately when they kiss it just feels like them.

It feels normal, natural, like it's what they're meant to be doing, like something that's a given, like sparking fireworks over it every time would be too much because it's always always always going to happen again.

And Kara thinks she likes that infinitely more than her heart jack-rabbiting every time they swap spit.

It's a little weird to compare, maybe, but she still remembers freshman year, when she started dancing after her very first rugby goal and her coach told her, 'act like you've been here before, and know you'll be here again,' but that's exactly what it's like now, kissing Lena.

She's been here before, and she'll be here again. And she loves knowing that.

(Not that Lena's kisses aren't firework worthy, okay; Kara's not opposed to doing an entire Magic Kingdom nighttime show after every single one, but she just. She feels comfortable, is the thing, and settled and... she is definitely taking too long to lift her head.)

"Are you sleeping?" Lena asks, massaging her hands over Kara's back.

"No, just thinking about how much I love you," Kara says, finally looking up. Then she puts on her best smile when she adds, "I know, 'm sorry, it's annoying since I see you all the time, but--"

"Hey," Lena squints at her. "Only I'm allowed to make fun of you for being too gay. I'll fight anyone else that does it, even you."

Kara can also sense, generally, that most things are just a lot easier for them now. They're no longer dying of anxiety when they touch each other, no longer scared they'll do or say something weird that'll make the other one leave.

Honestly, they're practically the two weirdest weirdos on the team now, and they love each other all the more for it. Even when Lena insists they have a glow in the dark skeleton in the corner of their room during spooky season.

Even when Kara gets super into kissing Lena's thighs or eating her out, and Lena laughs and points out she's humping the bed again. Even when Lena's like, so how do you feel about ropes and spanking ha ha, and Kara has a mini panic attack.

They just get each other in a good way, and... crap, she's doing it again. It must be because she's high. "Sorry 'm just like, staring at you. I keep, in my head, I'm just... keep thinking about you. Love you so much."

"I know," Lena says, snugging her fingers in Kara's shirt and tugging her closer, her jaw clenching in that way it does, sharp and pretty, like something Kara wants to hold in her hand.

Her lips are pretty too, red and plump, glistening since she keeps licking her tongue over them. Which. They should probably be kissing by now.

"We should probably be kissing by now," Kara decides. "Stop holding us up."

"You're holding us up, weirdo," Lena giggles, and then Kara kisses her, a bit unceremoniously and clumsy, but they get into it easily nonetheless.

Which pretty much means as soon as Lena sighs into it, Kara leans in more and licks her mouth open--or rather, licks her lips until Lena smiles and playfully knocks her knees against her ribs before opening her mouth.

Which, okay, maybe Kara does drool or whatever, but why would she waste her time with closed mouth kisses when she could be tasting Lena. Especially when she's cute and her cheeks are flushed and she tastes like candy, and they could do this all night.

Which Kara very much plans on.

So they kiss heatedly for a good ten minutes, Kara spreading out on top of Lena, Lena's hands roaming under her shirt and over her back and sides and inside her joggers to cup her butt--

Before Kara pulls up suddenly because she remembers, god, there was this thing she was supposed to tell Lena, and it's been three days now and she hasn't mentioned it and Lena hates secrets and now is probably a crap time to finally bring it up, but.

Ugh. Later is worse.

"Hey, what if like--" she starts, and then chokes off because her voice is all weird from the kiss, and also because Lena kisses her again and now she has to re-separate, this hooligan. "I, um, you feel really nice right now. Your hands, on me. Dunno, it's like, you just feel really good."

Which, is dumb, and not what she wanted to say.

"It's okay, I won't stop," Lena assures her, lifting up and nibbling at Kara's lip.

But that's... it's not what Kara's angling for, and well, sort of forget what she said earlier about not being nervous, because now her heart is thumping.

"No, I was just. I need to tell you, um. You know at team practice a few days ago when I stepped away and took that call, and I came back all weird-like, but said it was nothing. Well, it wasn't nothing and Cat Grant offered me a job across the country, even though--"

"I want to stay here," Lena finishes, and it's weird but it's like the air gets sucked out from between them. Because now they're both trembling a bit--whether it's nerves or anticipation for what's next--and this feels like A Moment. "You should've told me sooner."

"I know," Kara says, sort of out of breath and edgy, so shaky. "Was gonna tell you yesterday, but--"

"No, Kara," Lena snaps, and then she makes Kara's whole, entire world crumble when she says, "You should have told me you applied. I feel like, like you were just planning to leave me and not say anything. You're planning your whole future without me."

"I didn't apply," Kara says, and it feels like her ears are burning and her eyes, because she didn't apply. Cat just called, she called out of nowhere, and she said she wanted Kara, and for the first time in a while Kara felt like, good

She felt like Lena, like, smart. Valuable.

Which Lena must catch on to, because her face softens instantly and she pulls Kara in so they're nuzzling. "Hey, sorry, I--fuck, you wouldn't do that, and I'm sorry I assumed. I just really want us to be together."

"Yeah, me too," Kara says, and for some weird reason her heart's still frantic. "We'll figure it out, though, won't we?"

"Yeah," Lena says, hugging her tighter. "Of course we will."


Kara knew heading into senior year that things would be a bit different. She knew she'd be both more and less stressed, knew she'd be congratulating Lena constantly for the whole world chasing after her, knew it'd be a heck-ton sadder without Alex or Sam around.

And she knew, just from how bittersweet their last summer of frisbee was, that some things were just going to hurt to say goodbye to.

But so far she's been managing, and so far Lena's been an absolute life-saver of a girlfriend.

"Seriously, thanks for trekking half-across campus for this," Kara says, grabbing her project folder from Lena and giving her a kiss once she's sure no one's looking. "Prof said they'd let me present last and still get full-credit, but really. Thanks."

"No worries, I'm mostly just in lab now, since credits aren't a thing."

"I know, baby," Kara smiles, trying her best not to get trapped in Lena's presence, especially considering she's already on the crap side of the professor, what with showing up late and unprepared for her class presentation. "But it's a cold October so, appreciate it."

"I said no worries," Lena blushes, and well.

Since Kara's already got her in a good mood. "Speaking of October--"

"We weren't," Lena says in a hurry. "We were speaking of you getting back to class so you can actually graduate."

"Okay, but if we don't talk about your birthday, I'll just do something super embarrassing for you."

"You'll probably do something super embarrassing anyway," Lena says, swatting her chest. "I just don't like to make it a big deal, so just. Don't. Okay?"

"Okay," Kara says.

"Okay," Lena smiles.

Then she kisses Kara and turns around, leaving just as fast as she came. As if Kara wouldn't get just as distracted watching her walk away.


"She said don't make it a big deal, so I'm not?" Kara says, feet pressed against her desk as she lifts the front legs of her chair off the floor. Alex makes a huffy noise on the other end of the phone, and. Maybe that's wrong? "Is that not the best plan? Last year I accidentally went too big."

"So don't go too big," Alex says. "It's like Goldilocks, find the happy medium."

Kara reaches forward and scratches at the patch of weird red dots on her leg, practically tipping her chair over, as she considers that. "Makes sense, but I don't know what medium looks like, or happy even, when it comes to her birthday. I think it's a--" she looks around just to make sure things are clear, then still makes sure she whispers, " thing. And I don't want to overstep any boundaries, but I still want to like, turn this into a happy time instead of a sad one."

"You're doing great, sweetie," Alex says, and it actually sounds sincere, so Kara won't pick at it. She just scratches at her leg again, instead. "I think you should just tell her that. I took a psych thing last year, and part of rewriting bad memories associated with certain times of year is creating new traditions. Happy ones. So say that, maybe?"

"Right," Kara says.

Then instead of actually preparing a speech, she panics and sits at her desk bouncing her hand-ball against the wall until Lena gets home and announces herself by yelling, "I hate today, I wanna die."

So Kara jumps to her feet instantly and runs to meet her in the living room, quickly forgetting anything that has to do with Lena's birthday or making their own traditions or everything she was already nervous about bringing up without Lena being in a bad mood.

"What can I do?" she asks, taking Lena's bag and jacket and tossing them before pulling her into a hug so she can bury her face in Kara's shirt the way she likes.

"I don't know, let me die in peace an option?"

"No, but we got those fancy scented oils for massages," Kara says, tangling her fingers in Lena's hair and gently stroking out some of the knots. "I can also make you dinner, or set up a bubble bath and choose something on Netflix you'd like. Wanna tell me what's up?"

"Everything went to shit in lab," Lena mumbles. "Don't wanna talk about it. Bubble bath sounds nice if you join me. How was your day?"

"Was nice. Presentation went okay. I shaved with that dull razor again, like you told me not to, and now I have these weird itchy bumps on my leg. Pretty uneventful, though, just missed my sweetheart. Don't want her to die."

"I'm not gonna die, I promise," Lena says, actually melting a bit in Kara's arms. "And I'll lotion you after the bath, on your legs, then we can eat and watch more Netflix?"

"Yeah, of course. Can have sex before dinner if you want," Kara says, then realizes that may sound too stressing or something, when what she really means is, "Or, I mean, I can go down on you 'til you feel bit more relaxed, and then we can eat and cuddle."

Lena pulls back and scrubs at her eyes, face soft and tired, then she blinks up at Kara as pretty as ever. "Could we just, you know, have sex right before bed. In the dark. With me on my back, like an old boring couple."

"Whatever you want, baby," Kara says, can't help the smile stretching over her face.

And now Lena's smiling, too. Never takes too much to pull her down. "But also, just, promise me we'll never become an old boring couple that doesn't have exciting sex? Because I'd hate that."

"Hey, of course we won't," Kara assures her. She'd never let them become something Lena hates. That's pretty much her number one goal in life. "Remember that time you were like, just push your undies to the side and make it quick, then you fell asleep half-way in, anyway? We'll always be exciting, I think."

"Stop it," Lena groans, smile lighting up the entire apartment. Kara feels like her chest is swelling just thinking about the fact that she's making Lena laugh. There're just some things she'll never get used to. "It was finals, get over it."

Kara got over it the second she heard Lena's cute little snores and Lena turned to snuggle her face in her chest. But Lena doesn't need to know that. "No way, it's going in the wedding vows, gonna put it in a powerpoint for the reception. Everyone's gonna remember this one thing."

"You're insufferable," Lena says, trying to disconnect herself.

But she's cute and smiling and soft and every other good adjective in the world, so Kara pulls her back in, not done just yet. "Think you mispronounced lovable, sweetheart. But it's okay, 'm a forgiving soul."

"You can be both," Lena points out, leaning up and trailing her lips along Kara's jaw. "No one said they had to be mutually exclusive."

Kara's practically thrumming with happiness right now--Lena pressed against her, Lena's mouth hot and wet on her cheek now--so much happiness coursing through her that she accidentally forgets Lena's birthday is a no-no topic. "Gonna make you so happy, have the best birthday you've ever had, with everything from--"

"Kara," Lena says, slightly annoyed but mostly tired, and then suddenly there's icy-cold air on Kara's cheek where Lena's mouth used to be. "What part of what I said about my birthday aren't you understanding?"

"The part where I can't make you happy?" Kara goes for broke, slipping her hands underneath Lena's sweater and kneading at her usual sore spots. "The part where I can't love you and be happy it's the day the best part of my life was introduced into this world?"

Fudge, no, she was supposed to talk about happy traditions, not challenge Lena's right to not like her birthday.

"I mean, crap, sorry. I just wanna make it so you don't have days that make you unhappy, is all. And I--I don't know. Birthdays are sort of big for me, so. I'm sorry."

Kara's not thrumming with happiness anymore, more like anxiety, heart in her throat as she waits for Lena to answer. But, miraculously, Lena's face softens. "Fine, but just us. No one else. It'll be our day, and it'll be. We'll make it a happy day. Okay?"

"It'll be good, honest," Kara says, curling herself around Lena because it feels a little like she messed up. "And if you tell me again to just drop it, promise I will, no misunderstandings. It's dumb, maybe? But I think a lot about making you happy, and I never do anything, or like, try to--"

"I know. Babe. I know. I'm just having a bad day," Lena says, and she's being genuine, Kara can tell. She's not just saying it to drop things. "But I'm home now, which means food and bath and you, so it's looking up, just need a sec. Have to decompress."

"So I should make the bath, then?"

"Yeah, you should make the bath, then," Lena says, but Kara doesn't quite let her go for another few minutes.