Kara doesn't spend her days fantasizing about necks, okay, she doesn't.
Sure, she's a vampire, with everything that comes along with it--the blood drinking and fangs and the whole undead thing. And, sure, she still gets the urge--every once in a blue moon--to sink her fangs into something fleshy.
But the inherent neck fetish isn't a part of her identity. It's not even a common occurrence in vamp culture. It’s just something overhyped B-Movies sell to make money because humans think it’s entertaining. Because no one wants to pay to watch a non-violent vampire that vows herself to never drink human blood, and actually means it.
But that's exactly what Kara is, and she's never once found it difficult or challenging to stick by that. So, she would like to make it very, very clear that being a vampire has nothing to do with this situation.
Being a vampire has absolutely no bearing on the fact that... god, as much as she hates herself for noticing or scolds herself for staring, or tries to force other images in her head, she can't shake the thought that Lena Luthor has a really nice neck.
And, no, okay--it's not just because she's a vampire that she's saying it; it's because it's quite literally immaculate.
It's so beautiful it makes her stomach twist in knots, makes her chest squeeze up, makes it feel like she can never get enough air to just breathe properly.
It's so beautiful it makes Kara notice things she otherwise wouldn't, like how it's corded with muscle when Lena strains it, how it's dotted with the most adorable freckles. How it's long and pretty and always mid-winter pale, like it's straight from a jewelry spread in a high-end magazine, like it's something that deserves its page ripped out, blown-up, framed and hung on the living-room wall.
Kara always feels like she's two seconds from losing herself when she thinks about it, like she's always on the edge of falling too far into Lena, like her heart would be in a constant state of beating too fast if she still had a fucking heart beat.
And just, she god-honest doesn't know what to do, because she can't stop thinking about Lena's neck, can't stop thinking about Lena in general--the way she walks and talks and smiles, and curls her hand in Kara's when they cuddle.
She's officially in the danger zone, officially stuck in with no exit. Officially admitting to herself that she's in love with Lena Luthor and there is absolutely nothing she can do about it.
But she doesn't have a neck fetish.
"That one looks perfect," Kara says, looking down at her socks again and toeing at the carpet. She's always doing that around Lena, always looking away, mind always going wild and confused whenever it hits her how truly beautiful Lena is. "Where'd you say you're going?"
"My ex-boyfriend," Lena says, bright like it's a date, like she's looking good for him. "We're meeting up tonight, he has some things of mine I need back."
"And you need to wear a choker for that?" Kara asks, hoping she doesn't sound disappointed, but keeping her eyes on the floor just in case she does. "Thought you said he was a jerk."
"Yeah, he's a real dick," Lena says dryly, and Kara glances up just in time to catch her fiddling with the choker, adjusting it on her neck--black leather with a small heart carved out right in the center.
Kara isn't obsessed with necks, she isn't, nonono, but she's not imagining the fact that Lena only wears low-cut shirts now, or the fact that she only sends selfies with her full-neck in view.
Like the one she sent angled upwards to showcase her earrings, or the one she sent right after hot yoga, where her skin was glistening and Kara could practically taste the salt from how slick she looked.
But, not like, in a creepy way. She's not weird about it, or at least she thinks she's not, it's just... ugh, maybe she's reading too much into it, maybe she is weird about it and needs to shove it to a faraway corner of her mind.
"The choker's just the first part of my plan to drive him crazy," Lena goes on, fingers still dancing on the leather even now that she's got it positioned perfectly.
"What's the next part?" Kara asks, shoving her hands in her pockets and looking away again. Lena would never be interested in her in that way, anyway, let alone want Kara's fangs in her neck. Besides, Kara's not even into that, so. "Why do you need to drive him crazy?"
"He was a dick, Kara, did you not hear that part?" she asks, like it logically follows that she should look good for him as a punishment. "The next part is the hickey I'll have from my new boyfriend. The choker is just to draw his attention to it."
"Your what?" Kara asks, lifting her head fast enough that her bangs tumble over her forehead. "You have a new boyfriend?"
"No, you'd be the first to know," Lena says, lips pressed together as she rolls her eyes. It's intense and sassy, but it's playful, like there's a fire dancing behind her eyes and both her and Kara are in it together. She always makes Kara feel so included. "The hickey is just to make him think I have a new boyfriend, that's it."
"Oh. But you don't have a hickey," Kara points out, and Lena just smiles. Like it's a silly thing to say, like there's something Kara's not getting that should be painfully obvious. Then she tilts her head and drops her eyes to Kara's lips, and suddenly it is painfully obvious. "Lena, I can't--"
"Kara, it's like six seconds of licking my neck, not the end of the world." But i'm a vampire, Kara wants to say out loud, but that gives them a bad reputation. Really, she should say, but i'm in love with you. "You're my best friend, who else am I gonna ask to do this? I need you."
She pauses like she's waiting for Kara to speak, but Kara's mind is still stuck on lovelovelove, so Lena shrugs and says, "Fine, I'll just grab a guy in the lounge."
"No," Kara blurts, like her mouth processes that faster than her brain. "I'll do it."
"Awesome," Lena says.
"That's what friends are for," Lena says.
"Um," Kara sputters.
And then suddenly Lena's close in front of her, with her flowery perfume and long lashes and exposed neck delicately craned in the direction of Kara's mouth. Suddenly Lena's heart's beating so fast, so loud, that Kara feels like she has a heartbeat herself, feels like it's practically thrumming out of her chest.
Suddenly, crap, Kara's fangs pop out, and she--god, she knows Lena knows what that means when it happens involuntarily, and she's so incredibly embarrassed.
"I'm so sorry," she says, trying her best to bury her fangs in her bottom lip.
She spent so many years telling herself they're perfectly okay, but now they just seem so offensive and unwanted and why does she have them--she drinks blood from animals that's packaged and uncontaminated. She'll never, ever have to hunt for her food it's such an ancient concept, ugh.
"For what?" Lena asks, as if she's not even fazed, head still tilted as if Kara's still supposed to like? Give her a hickey. With her fangs out, with her fangs that are trying to either express i want to eat you or i'm so turned on right now i could just... eat you or a combination of the two.
"I can't like, I mean it's too dangerous if my fangs 're out. Could puncture the skin or something."
Again, Lena just shrugs, like even that isn't a big deal, like Kara sinking her fangs in her neck isn't weird or creepy or like, at the very least, slightly painful. "We have to hurry, need to leave soon so I can be just slightly late."
Her voice sounds calm, low and even in that dreamy way that just screams Lena Luthor, but... Kara can hear her heart beat. Kara can hear the cadence of her breathing, can see how tense she is and how her chest is rising and she can smell, god, she can smell Lena, and fuck.
Lena has been sending her pictures, Kara's not imagining it, and sometimes it just. Sometimes it feels like they're more risque than they should be, or like, more revealing or something. And they're always always always accentuating her neck, even when Kara's actively trying not to think about it.
And she could be crazy, could be batshit losing her mind so horny she's making crap up crazy, but right now she can swear that Lena's (at least a little, tiny bit) turned on.
And that, that's a lot to process, let alone figure out what to do with it.
Kara could go with her gut and explain that, what? That she's not interested in drinking Lena's blood, if that's what she's searching for.
But that wouldn't be honest, would it? She's been fantasizing about that for a while now, is the truth of it. Kara Danvers doesn't spend her days fantasizing about necks, plural, she spends them thinking about Lena's.
And now it's right there, in front of her, angled towards her, and--christ, what is she even thinking. "Lena, I'm not drinking your blood, you know that. Stop this."
"Oh, um, I - I mean that wasn't, like," Lena stumbles, and then just settles on pouting before she decides, like absolutely nothing just happened, "That's fine. Um. I'm gonna get ice cream from the store, wanna tag along and get a blood-pop?"
Which is giving Kara major whiplash, but she's excellent at going with the flow when it comes to Lena, so.
"Yeah, of course," she says, and then listens closely to the decrescendo of Lena's heart beat, just hoping it'll calm her imaginary one.
Kara knows it's an actual thing; she isn't oblivious about it.
She knows there are people who're more than okay with offering warm blood straight from the source, ones who don't mind the fangs or maybe even like them. Knows there are even non-violent ways to drink human blood like donations and whatnot.
But it's all a slippery slope if you ask her. It's like X-Men, where the mutants have to protect the typical humans or else they're the bad guys--always straddling the line between safety and one small slip, between freedom and losing all rights and autonomy.
The moment vampires show an increased interest in human blood consumption, is the moment they get hunted again.
And Kara's not interested in that, already lost her entire family in the last war, already spent twenty-four years in a sleep chamber just praying she'd wake up in a time where stake and bake parties weren't a popular passtime.
And she did, weirdly and miraculously, she did. She woke up in a world on the cusp of change, one that took nearly two decades to iron out the kinks. But one she can finally exist in mostly peacefully, nonetheless.
She doesn't want to mess that up for a sweet drink or a couple seconds with her fangs in some cute girls neck. She doesn't want to go back to the way things used to be all because Lena Luthor is rich and beautiful and soft in a way that shows she's never had to fight in her life.
She doesn't want to do that, no, is perfectly happy with the way things are.
Because there’s always an except, and in this case it’s that Lena isn’t just any regular girl. Because, ugh, besides being smart and amazing and generally heart fluttering, she’s also incredibly brave.
Because even though her mother pretty much leads the current anti-vamp crusade, Lena’s been adamantly and publicly against her.
Lena’s spoken out and protested and aligned herself in a way that alienates her from her entire family. Lena’s gone on the front lines and gotten smoke-bombed and given blood to animal-allergic vampires.
Lena’s different, Kara knows that. Knows, on some level, that she’s not just another girl that wants her blood sucked, knows maybe she thinks she’s trying to help, or maybe.
Okay, just maybe, even she has a thing for Kara, but it’s complicated. It’s complicated in way that maybe Lena can’t comprehend, no matter how well-intentioned she is.
"Hey, Ms. Danvers," Lena greets, rolling Kara’s name out like it’s candy in her mouth, plopping down close in Kara’s space on the library couch. She’s wearing the choker casually now, and Kara hasn’t taken a breath since she started. "Lunch date?"
"Can’t, right? Your mom’s minions are occupying our usual spot, and you know I hate the blood at Carson’s."
"Not an issue," Lena says, leaning in and draping herself over Kara, jasmine bodywash suddenly filling up every inch of Kara’s brain. "Already snuck in and got your favorite, can picnic it under the oak tree?"
"I have work," Kara says, but she’s already shutting her book and turning so Lena’s face slides toward the nook of her neck. "Some of us don't have a big, genius brain."
Lena rolls her eyes, but they bright up afterwards in a way that hits Kara hard in the belly. "Some of us are immortal, Ms. Danvers. Trust, half this shit will be debunked a hundred years from now. Don't waste your time."
"It helps it pass faster," Kara comments, but Lena's already tossing her book in the general direction of her backpack.
"I can think of at least a million better ways to pass the time faster, using my big, genius brain and all."
Kara's half-tempted to ask like what, but the other half of her is a bit afraid of the answer. Particularly if it involves Kara's mouth on Lena's neck, which she shouldn't even be thinking about no one brought that up.
"Oak tree sounds great, didn't forget my sun protection this time." She shifts again on the couch, this time her face angling towards Lena, close enough she could kiss her without even having to lean down much. "Lillian's really ramping up, don't you think? Haven't seen this much unrest since right after the peace accords."
"She's just bark," Lena comments, except six vampires have been murdered since the start of the year and there haven't been any repercussions. "I just—I mean, I know it's scary, but we're on the right side of this, and—"
"The right side always wins?"
"It does when it has me," Lena assures her, and it looks like she actually means it. "I mean, I'm just a smarter version of her, aren't I?"
Kara shifts her arm and wraps it tight around her, considering for a second how to answer that. She knows Lena has a precarious relationship with her family, and it's hard not to stray too far to either side, but Lillian's been as shit as possible to vampires, and it's also hard to ever get on board with that.
Family or not.
"I think you're a lot more than that. But if I had to pick a Luthor to be on my side, it'd always be you, okay?"
Lena nods, and closes her eyes, and Kara lets herself think of the Krypton settlement, the sound of it burning and her being snatched from her bed, the thought that chaos could ever erupt like that again, and decides thinking about the picnic is better than that. "Anyway, let's go eat, yeah?"
It's a bright, bright day at the park, they figure out, so Lena offers they can use the tent. Probably since the last time they picnicked, Kara was sunburnt for two weeks, and Lena spent the entire time pouting and over-using the medicated lotion to make it better.
Kara did bring her sun-blocker this time, though, so she's not as worried, but she still doesn't turn down the chance to be in the tent with Lena again. Pretty sure she could spend all day lounging with her, cuddling to the sound of the wind blowing and just enjoying her company.
She's in love with Lena, of course, but she doesn't even mean it in that way, not really.
She's just never experienced anything like the way Lena looks at her and talks to her, the way Lena's gentle when she touches Kara and considerate with her feelings.
It's like Kara's this delicate, fragile being that needs to be loved and protected, like she's something to be handled carefully because she's important and matters and means a lot.
Kara's used to being the beast, branded the killer, highlighted for speed and strength in the most negative of ways, so. It's like, in a way, Lena's the only person that's ever let Kara feel even a little bit human, even a little like she blends in, and it's nice to have that feeling.
"Don't you have super speed?" Lena asks, leaned against the oak tree in her sleeveless shirt and wide-brimmed black hat, not bothering to help Kara set up the tent.
Kara does have super-speed, is the thing. But it's one of the first things they learned during integration—don't use your abilities around the humans, because it scares them. The more that vampires look like them, the more they can be trusted.
She hates bringing that up around Lena, though, hates talking about all the ways she has to blend in and limit herself. And it's not even that Lena wouldn't understand, but that she would. Whenever Kara's brought it up before, it's always sparked a flare in Lena, a rage, an indignation at how shitty things are. And as much as Kara would like to feel that too, she's just grateful vampires have gotten where they are now.
"I'm immortal, remember?" she says, securing the tent loops in the ground with the stakes, trying not to think negatively about it. "There's no use in moving fast, when you've got all the time in the world."
"I guess so. But, I think I'd use my powers all the time if I were a vampire," Lena says, slinking down on the tree a bit more, knee-caps pinking from grazing in the sun too long. "I'd be a thousand times more efficient. Like, could you imagine being a daughter of Alura? Heard all her progeny could fly. I'd love to fly."
"All of her progeny are dead," Kara comments, before she can stop herself, and then adds, quickly, "But yeah, I mean, flying sounds cool."
"You never talk about your maker much," Lena comments, lifting off the ground now that the tent's set up. "And, you know, not to pry or anything like that, but I'd be really interested in hearing about them. Even if they weren't that great or something. After all, Lillian isn't exactly the Hallmark of care takers."
"Yeah, of course," Kara says, feeling the suns' heat particularly now, like the more they talk about Alura and makers and flying and powers, the more it sears into her skin. "One day, yeah? Right now we have the picnic."
It's not much of a picnic, as it turns out, just Kara barely finishing her blood drink and Lena barely nibbling on a sandwich.
But Lena tells Kara a little bit about her childhood, about horse-riding and how she'd always opt to ride the prospects instead of the broken in school horses that Lillian paid for her to have lessons on. How she learned how to ride well, but never learned how to be pretty about it.
Kara tells her she thinks she's pretty, anyway.
Then Lena tosses the rest of her sandwich in her bag, waits for Kara to top off her drink, and proceeds to tackle her into a cuddle that's too warm for the hot day. But neither one of them are complaining about it.
"Didn't mean to offend you earlier," Lena says, locking legs with Kara and resting her chin on her shoulder. "I didn't want to invade your space with talking about your maker. I just know we talk about my fucked up family a lot, and wanted you to know you can talk too."
"I know," Kara says, fingers dancing at the edge of Lena's shirt, her mind daring her to slip them under and trail them up her back, wondering wondering wondering how Lena might respond to it. "It's just a little complicated and I want to figure out the right words first."
"But you do wanna tell me?" Lena asks, nibbling her lip hopefully, the red of it slipping beneath her white, white teeth.
And... ah, Kara decides it's probably not the best time to try anything, so she just rests her hand on the band of Lena's shorts instead. "Yeah, more than anything."
thanks everyone for reading and commenting and making me feel comfy having the creative freedom to write some cray shit. hope everyone enjoys!
The first time Kara saw Lena, she thought she was made of moonlight; like she was ethereal and unfathomable and cut from the cloth of something not quite of this world.
Which would be cute and poetic, if Kara didn't mean that in literally the most terrifying way possible—she assumed Lena was made of evil and darkness and the stuffs that vampire legends warned about (cue Bane voice shrilling vampires merely adopted the darkness).
She assumed Lena was coming to haunt her or take her soul or something equally nefarious, you know, things that generally come with being in the woods at half-past midnight.
But Lena was really just some human weirdo that was unafraid and trekking home from a long night of synthesizing some new plant breed in the greenhouse, using the world's scariest shortcut as if things don't actually go bump in the night.
Which left Kara in the awkward position of explaining that she was in the woods past-darkdark hunting for small animals to drink because she was too nervous to enter the campus restaurants alone; and that she hissed at Lena because vampires are a bit terrified of… well, demons.
Which isn't even true, it's mostly just Kara that's terrified of demons, but that's what twenty-four years alone in a cramped chamber will do to a mind.
Either way, Lena just smiled at that, big and wide and all teeth, untying her sweat-damp bandana from around her forehead and reversing it as she said, "You thought I was a demon, and your gut reaction was baring your fangs and doing a kitten screech?"
Which made Kara pout, ridiculously, killing machine that she is, and explain that, "Vampires are only kittens insofar that we're the height of apex predators. That wasn't a screech, it was a warning noise, and my fangs were out in defense preparation."
Which, for some reason, made Lena smile even wider and say, "Sure, but that's the exact thing my cat does whenever I bring out the vacuum cleaner. You know, definitely screams top of the food chain."
And they've been friends ever since.
Really, though, it's as black and white as that, have had each other's backs through thick or thin since the moment they met each other.
Even through Lena figuring out her mother, no, her family has a long history of being staunchly anti-vampire, even through Lena making the decision to cut them off, even through Kara freaking out every day for weeks before she finally had the courage to let a human in, and…
Kara supposes they're going through a new thing now, whatever the heck it is—whatever makes her feel like all the human functions she lost are somehow malfunctioning, whatever makes her keep wiping her palms on her jeans even though they can't sweat, whatever makes her chest ache even though her heart can't beat… whatever makes her stomach fluttery, even though, well.
Actually, that one isn't completely lost on vampires. She'd just probably get shit for it.
Her bigger point is, at the end of the day, her and Lena have been through a lot, so they'll get through this.
They'll get through whatever makes Lena pout when Kara's sad, and makes Kara's fangs pop out unnecessarily, and makes them act weird around each other when they've been nothing but comfortable right from the start.
They are probably, however, not going to get through it today. Today they're still weird.
"I'm not just reading too much into it, right? This is... what do you think this is? It's weird, right?" Kara asks, handing her phone over to James as they sit on the park bleachers.
They're waiting for the others to arrive so they can start up a game of basketball, and maybe, hopefully not have it turn into a full-contact sport this time.
But that's always a moot point when it comes to wolves; since they're sort of always aggressive and quick tempered, and always always always play like it's the last game they're ever going to have in their lives. Which, honestly, is exactly why Kara loves playing with them.
James takes the phone from her hand and only looks at the screen a few seconds before he snorts, brown eyes darting from the phone to Kara playfully.
"You know, she didn't even send me texts like this when we were actually dating," he says, and Kara feels like that's partially a joke, but her heart still swells thinking there's something exclusive about her and Lena. "She likes you, Kara."
"As a friend, yes, I know," Kara says, nodding her head for emphasis. "But friends don't just--"
"No, they don't," James cuts her off, laughing in that way that's mocking and familiar at the same time. Like Kara's being laughed at, but she still feels like she can laugh with him. "Look, Lena's confusing and hard-headed at the best of times, which is why we clashed. But when she likes you, she's clear about it."
"She's not confusing or hard-headed," Kara defends. "You just didn't get her."
"No, I didn't," James shrugs. "But it seems like you do. And it seems like you like her, too. So, what's the hold up?"
He hands her back her phone and Kara twists it in her hands, considering that. She doesn't exactly know how to phrase it, but, "You know how you couldn't tell her you were a wolf, and you felt like that hurt the relationship a bit?"
"Yeah, but everyone already knows you're a vampire, so that shouldn't be an issue, right?"
"That wouldn't be," Kara says, tucking her phone in her bag as she glimpses the others coming. "But there are some things I... There's some stuff I'm not sure I can be honest with her about, and--god, I'm not even sure if she really likes me."
"You're hopeless," James says, shoving her shoulder, smiling wide. "Look, Kara, I love you and you're one of my best friends, but i'mma need you to get it together with this Lena thing. Especially if you're gonna be on my team today. Don't need you moping and groaning while we're tryna win."
Kara laughs, shoving him back. "Shut up, whatever, bet I put up more points than you today, anyway."
"Twenty dollars, you're on."
"Make it thirty," Kara says, and then shoves James once more for good measure, before she gets up and skips down the bleachers.
"How was basketball today?" Lena asks, rosy-cheeked and tired, naked except for her black hip-hugger undies and Kara's old Pearl Jam t-shirt. Which should be absolutely illegal. "You win?"
"Yah, was fun," Kara slurs around her toothbrush, doing her best to keep her eyes on Lena's face and not her perfect, amazing, creamy thighs. Fuck, Kara's staring again. "Won most of the games, but lost a bet with James. Thirty dollars. Could you spot me money for lunch tomo?"
"I'm gonna murder him, and you," Lena says, rolling her eyes, but Kara just smiles. She says that every week when Kara inevitably loses the bet. It's sort of tradition now.
Lena joins her at the sink after fixing up her hair in a bun, and grabs her toothbrush. And Kara thinks that like, maybe it's weird Lena has a toothbrush in her personal bathroom, and about what James said, and that moment they had a few days ago, and all the neck texts.
And decides it's all a massive coincidence.
"You're coming with me to trivia tomorrow night, right?" Lena asks, inspecting her teeth in the mirror and spot picking with floss. "It's mostly just me and Sam and a straggler, but you haven't met Sam yet, and I think having a vampire might be nice. On the team."
"Yeah, course. 'm a vamp of my word, aren't I?" Kara thinks about flossing herself, but decides it's too tedious. "Besides, I'd help out any time you needed, don't have to convince me."
"Thanks," Lena says, cheeks decidedly a bit rosier, if Kara says so herself. "It'll be fun, promise. You wanna cuddle a bit and watch AHS before bed? Um. I mean, like, cuddle because this season's scary and I like that you let me maul your arm each time."
"Love a good arm maul," Kara laughs, knocking shoulders with Lena. "And a good cuddle, so. You've sold me."
"Sarah Paulson is so attractive," Lena says, inching backwards so her shoulder blade is pressing against Kara's chest. Truthfully, Kara's never seen Lena afraid even once during their horror watching sessions, but she's never going to object to having an arm wrapped around her. "I mean, so is Angela Bassett. I feel like this show is half me being in love with the actresses, and the other have is trying to figure out if it's actually quality content."
"What a dilemma," Kara says. "Back in my day, we didn't even have these moving picture boxes."
She itches her cheek against Lena's arm and waits for her to laugh, hopes she'll laugh. And she does, but it's right as a body shows up on screen, burnt crispy and hoisted up. So Lena's laugh is cut off by her twisting up her lips to say, "Ew, gross. But also, I really appreciate their dedication to the gore."
Kara doesn't mind the gore, but she doesn't know if she appreciates it, and she really doesn't appreciate the idea of spirits or demons zooming around and causing mass havoc.
But she appreciates Lena, is the thing, loves watching with her. And like, how could she not, when Lena's nice and positive and encouraging about everything, when she's always the first one willing to right a problem for Kara, when horror stuffs makes her laugh or intrigues her or makes her start spouting off on a twenty minute rant/analysis of why certain things shouldn't happen, getting worked up to the point where she apologizes, and blushes about it.
Kara's just a little smitten, maybe, just a little bit.
"Looks like this one's ending, still wanna pace them out?" Kara asks.
Lena looks like she considers that for a second, then she places her hand warm on Kara's thigh and says, "Just one more."
Kara's not sure what time they fall asleep, but she knows she wakes up with a startle; wakes up with an arm around her waist and is half-into gripping her hand around the sweat-slick skin of it, when Lena's voice wafts against her ear. "Is okay, just a storm, 'm here with you."
Which does shit-all to reorient Kara, until there's a crack of thunder loud enough to shake the entire room, and oh. Storm. There's a storm. Lena's here, in her room, cuddling her. "I hate thunderstorms," she grumbles, turning and shoving her face into her pillow, finally letting Lena's wrist go.
They share a campus apartment, so they technically have their own rooms, but that's never really stopped them from finding reasons to sleep together.
But it's just like, innocently really, both really rather not sleep alone. Especially when it comes to storms, especially when it comes to thunderstorms in particular.
Maybe other times are accidents or convenience, but storms are when they need each other most.
"Yeah, me too," Lena says, shifting a little behind Kara, smooth skin rubbing against the backs of Kara's thighs. "Hey, don't freak out or anything, but I think you were having a nightmare before the thunder-crack, and then the noise made you jump and like, um, think you hurt my wrist a bit. But, don't freak out, like I said. I can still flex my fingers, it's just, um, sore?"
Oh. It feels like the air and the heat and everything else gets sucked out of the room all at once.
"Um," Kara says, breathless and incoherent because it feels like her world's stopping. It's the first time she's ever hurt Lena, and--
"I said don't freak out. It's nothing, just wanted to point it out in case you saw bruising in the morning, and--fuck." Lena nudges Kara until she's on her back and Lena can roll on top of her, warm and pretty, so pretty even when she's shrouded in the darkness. Greens of her eyes flicking with the lightening strikes. Kara doesn't have a heart beat, no, but her chest is shaking like she positively does, breaths shallow and quick. "It's okay. I promise it's okay."
"I'm sorry," Kara whispers, glad she doesn't have a heart beat, actually, pretty sure it'd be shattering through her chest wall right now. "Do you wanna go back to your room, could sleep alone so I don't--"
"Not a chance," Lena says, pressing her full weight on Kara so she can tug at her arms until Kara lifts them above her head. Then she trails over her biceps, over her forearms until she's gently gotten Kara's wrists pinned, the entire time Kara fighting the urge to like, hump up against Lena. Because that would be weird, really super weird. "Just watch your hands, and it's alright."
Kara flexes her fingers and presses on the weight of Lena's hold, swallowing in a dumb way that's too damn audible. "Yeah, of course. Sorry, I--um, think maybe we, um. God, I'm so sorry, Lena. Don't know what happened, I was--"
"Hey," Lena says, dropping her arms so she's hugging Kara's sides. Kara makes sure she keeps her's up, wishes they could at least cuff them to the headboard or something, because ugh. "Hey, I said it's okay, alright? So, it's okay. Let's get some sleep."
Except they don't get sleep. Except Kara finds Lena in the bathroom half-an-hour later, with a wrist that's three times its normal size and stained with red and purple bruising. Kara tries her best not to throw up her dinner with how hard her stomach drops.
"We should get you to emergency services," she says, voice low to match her spirits.
"Yeah," Lena says. "Think that's a good idea, or like, maybe another idea may be better. Considering the circumstances."
"Like what?" Kara asks, scratching her fingers at her legs and looking down down down, because she hates the terrible dread in her chest, hates she fucked up so bad.
Vampires don't even need to sleep, is the thing. Most don't, not really, but they can. And they can even get good at it, and it can even feel refreshing. It's just something Kara perfected in the sleep chamber, and it's always helped her be a little less weird when she needs a roommate, and now.
"Lena, I'm so incredibly sorry," she says, looking back up, twisting her hands together, scraping her nails across her palm. "Whatever it is, I'll do it. Whatever you need me to do. I'll even run us there, if it's faster. Or pay for the Uber, or--"
"I don't think we should go," Lena says softly. "Or, at least, you shouldn't go with me."
"I'm going with you," Kara steps forward, but then takes a tiny step back so she's less predatory. "I'm not letting you go alone, not when I--Just, no. Lena, I'll take you, promise. I won't... I can keep my distance if you feel better, but I wanna make sure--"
"No, it's not that," Lena says, eyes big and concerned when she looks at Kara. "It's just, um, you remember in the news? The vamp that hurt his wife, accidentally, and they had to make the statement in the emergency room and the police got involved and he ended up getting sun-flashed, and... st--" Lena swallows. "--I just don't want that to happen."
Kara swallows, thick thick thick, because she's scared shitless by what's been happening in the news lately, terrified. But Lena's hurt, and she's not letting that get in the way of getting her help. "We'll cross that bridge when--or like, if--we get there. I'm sure it'll be fine. Look, just--"
"Just let me drink your blood," Lena says, and Kara feels like she's suspended in time. "Not in some weird way, but vampire blood has crazy healing properties and this could all be over by morning and we wouldn't need to gamble on... having to cross bridges."
"I, um, that," Kara stutters, because like, um, what, huh, her mind stutters, too. "It's also as addicting as sugar," she goes with. And it also makes Kara able to sense whoever drinks it for as long as it's in their system, and it's - it's just something she's never thought about doing.
"Right," Lena says, and looks like she wants to argue, but instead she continues with, calmly, "The bruising is pretty hand-shaped and the fracturing is probably consistent with being squeezed, rather than falling. So if I go alone, I can make something up about, I don't know. I'll figure it out. But if you go with me, it'll be pretty obvious who's strong enough to do this, and they'll just. Assume it's you."
"That's right, though. It was me. We'll just tell them it was an accident, that it happened in my sleep, and--"
"Pray we don't get a doctor that hates the idea of vampire-human relationships?"
"They're way more common than you think now," Kara says, because she read a statistic somewhere, because she's so obsessed with Lena she Googles obscure things about species crossing. Whatever, not important. "We aren't even in a relationship, we--"
"Then why were we sleeping together?" Lena asks, firmly, and she's just being so frustrating, when all Kara wants to do is help her. "I'm going alone. I'll be back in a few hours. Everything will be fine. Don't worry."
She shoulders past Kara, back into the bedroom, and heads for a pair of Kara's joggers on the floor. Kara feels like her head's positively whirring when she says, "Okay, but just this once. You can drink it this once, but I don't want you hooked on it."
"I don't want that either," Lena says, letting the joggers fall to the floor as she stands up straight, back stiff as a board. And for a second it feels like things are sueprcharged between them, neither on of them saying a word--Kara filled nerves and anticipation, Lena looking the same--before Lena broaches the topic again with, "So um, how do we do it?"
"I can just let you from my wrist, if that's okay," Kara says, voice high and weird and airy and crap, she's always making things so awkward. "I'll wash it first, if you want. Um, I took a shower beforehand, but--"
"It's fine, let's just. We can, and then we can go back to sleep."
"Right," Kara says, wiping her palms on her sleeping shorts. Which reminds her of a thought she had earlier: Lena and her have gotten through everything together, and they'll get through this too. Maybe it's high time Kara stopped being so weird. "Won't take much, just a few seconds and done. I've never, but I've seen it done before."
"I trust you," Lena ensures her, neck stretching out in that way it does when she's a little on edge, but otherwise calm in the face of uncertainty. Just like the night they met, just like how she is whenever she's worried more about Kara being comfortable than she is herself.
"Good, good, nice," Kara gushes, because that actually makes her feel better, hearing that. They're just them. They're okay.
She walks over to Lena, closeclose for the first time in the past ten minutes, and she doesn't know why, but she reaches for her wrist--hands too big and clumsy and in the way, but she wants to see it, see the damage she's done.
Except she keeps shaking as she pulls Lena's arm towards her, so much so that she's actually breaking the tension. Lena looks up at her face, head cocked and cheeks scrunched like they get whenever she's failing to suppress a smile.
Don't suppress it, just smile at me, Kara thinks, feeling her blood heat up reflexively. Love your smile so much. "It's not as bad as you thought it was, is it?" Lena asks. "You haven't looked at it again since you first entered the bathroom, so you're probably playing it up in your head."
It's not, actually, Kara realizes. It's not as swollen as she thought or as purple. It's definitely, probably fractured, but it looks fairly minor. "Yeah, it's not as bad as I thought, but um, still sorry for hurting you. Won't let it happen again."
"I know you won't," Lena finally lets her smile break free. Then she lifts her good hand and flips Kara's arm over, trailing her thumb along the veins on the inside of her wrist. "If it's too weird, you don't have to."
"No, it's fine," Kara smiles back, calmer now that she's closer to Lena. It's just a little blood, not a huge, huge deal.
"Yeah, okay," Lena says, licking out over her lips and stepping a little closer, until she's nearly pressed against Kara, radiating a magnetic, intoxicating heat.
Kara can smell her, is the thing, dried sweat and body wash and sleep breath mixed with the remnants or her mint fresh toothpaste. She smells human and alive and electric, and god Kara wants to kiss her so bad she feels light-headed just thinking about it, wants to sink her fangs in her own bottom lip and let Lena suck at her blood until Kara's mouth feels raw from it.
But right now, her wrist - her wrist is a much better option. So she lifts it and sinks her fangs in it, waits until she sees the blood prickling through, and then she offers it to Lena.
And maybe she's focused a little too much on Lena's mouth--the pretty curve of her lips, how they look soft and chapped and perfect, how, fuck, warm Lena's mouth is when she finally licks wetly against Kara's skin before latching on to it. How her teeth feel clamping down, and how warm her saliva is pooling around the fang marks, and how she smells a little bit turned on again like, fuck, Kara can't handle this.
She can't handle this - this feeling tugging in her belly, not sure she'll ever get over this, get through it.
She's not sure, anymore, how they're going to get through whatever this is, because now that she's had Lena's mouth on her once, she's pretty sure it's all she's going to think about for the rest of her existence.
Lena's hand is as good as new in the morning, though, so at least there's that.
"Um, 'm pretty nice, I think," Kara slurs, twisting her glass bottle round in her hands, listening to it scratch across the wood table. She's supposed to tell Sam three interesting things about herself before the trivia starts, but she's coming up short.
She swears it has nothing to do with Lena's head casually resting on her shoulder, nothing to do with Lena's mouth on her this morning, probably a little to do with being too drunk.
"And 'm a people person, and I have a nice singing voice, and. Oh. That's three isn't it?"
"That's adorable, you're adorable," Lena says, reaching up and flattening out her warm hand on top of Kara's hands so she can snag her bottle.
She's wearing eyeliner and mascara and burgundy lipstick tonight, and she's sitting close enough that Kara can smell her Very Sexual by Michel Germain perfume—and whatever scent that is that she uses for her hair shampoo, the smell of heaven, maybe—as she inspects Kara's drink.
"Alright, let's see, what BAC are we at tonight?" Lena asks, twisting the bottle around. There's a hint of playfulness to her voice, but it's just clipped enough that Kara can tell she's not happy with something. "Haven't seen you this disoriented since Laurie's party, when she did the blood mixing weird."
"S'not high, I swear," Kara defends, but Lena's already twisting her pretty mouth into a pretty frown.
Kara would very much like to kiss it back happy. Or just make her happy with her impressive skills, been up the past twelve hours studying trivia since it's Lena's favorite night at the bar.
But Lena's just getting unhappier by the second. "Fuck, Kara. This is a .45," she says, dropping one of her hands to Kara's thigh and squeezing a bit, pretty much making her words incomprehensible for Kara.
Or rather, Kara never much comprehended it in the first place.
"That's good isn't it? Bartender said it's what all the cool vamps 're drinking. Think 'm a cool vamp."
"It's like drinking from an animal with alcohol poisoning," Lena says, anger flickering in her eyes, fiery, just like the time she cursed out the waitress for nearly giving Kara human blood without informing her. "You're gonna be sick."
"Isn't that the point?" Kara asks, since alcohol, in its essence, is just a mild form of poisoning. But also, like, she needs to keep the mood light so Lena doesn't burn the bar down. A blood-beer at .45 probably is too high, but Kara's shit at turning things down when people are adamant she try something. Blend in, be human, be approachable, easy and sociable, flicks through her head. "We make ourselves sick to be happy?"
"They shouldn't be selling this; it's irresponsible and dangerous," Lena says, crease settling between her brows, making Kara wish more than anything she could kiss Lena there just to smooth it out.
Or rather, um.
Sigh. Lena's probably right.
She's too drunk, and being too drunk has never really worked out well for her. Especially when she keeps staring at Lena and forgetting why she shouldn't. Especially when she can't get that night out her head when her fangs were so consensually close to Lena's neck, god.
"Like we don't have access to Bacardi 151 or Everclear?" Sam quirks a brow across the table, nudging Kara's calf with the toe of her shoe to let her know she's on her side. "It's alright if vampires have the means to fuck themselves up just like humans do."
"That's not the point," Lena says, but her face is relaxing, anger melting away into a quiet resignation.
And maybe it's weird, but. Kara sort of likes when Lena gets worked up over her, likes when she's ready to start shit just for Kara's safety. Like, Kara could lift a car or punch a hole in a building if she wanted, but she feels a special kind of safe when Lena steps in front of her if they pass a particularly nasty group of drunk vamp-haters.
"It's okay," Kara says, placing her hand on top of Lena's under the table, hoping she'll put her head on her shoulder again. "Could also buy a stake or a hand-held concentrated sunlamp at ye old local Walmart, so 'm pretty sure too alcoholic beer is the least of vampire worries."
"I know, babe," Lena says, and then she does turn to snuggle her face into Kara's shoulder again, right when Kara's pretty sure her lungs are filling with cement or something. She's had people call her petnames before, of course, but it's never hit her square in the chest and taken her breath away the way it does whenever Lena says them. "Just think it's shit that—"
"Heey," Kara interrupts, because whatever Lena's going to say probably is shit, and Kara's probably already spent a considerable amount of time feeling like crap about it, so she's not going to let it ruin Lena's favorite night at the bar. "Deep red looks really good on your lips, you know. Maybe you'd make a decent vampire after all."
Lena smiles. And Kara feels like she can breathe again, for just a second, before the force of how stunning Lena is hits her all over again.
The bartender announces it's vampire themed night and Sam's face lights up like the fourth of July, since, apparently, tonight's the night they finally win. Kara's only a bit distracted by Lena, but she tries her hardest to focus on the questions.
"According to the vampire Book of Lilith, in what year did the vampire-faerie Great War start?" the bartender asks first.
"Do faeries even exist?" Sam asks, offhandedly, smashing a peanut with the side of her hand as a baby-vamp from another team spouts off 300AD.
"Actually, it was 315AD," Kara says, infinitely more focused on her cheek, that's pressed against Lena's hair, that's warm and comfy and lovely.
The bartender shouts off wrong! And then Sam shouts back, "315AD," and they get the point.
"Dunno, it was way before my time," Kara says, addressing Sam's point, trying not to move her jaw too much so she doesn't agitate Lena. "Wouldn't be completely out of the realm of possibility, though, would it?"
"I'd love to just, hold the Book of Lilith at some point," Lena says. "Like—to think that the vampires that were writing it were able to live long enough to know if certain things actually happened, I—" She cuts off and snuggles closer in to Kara. "Just think it'd be cool to hold something like that in my hands."
"So do most vampires," Kara says, wrapping her arm around Lena's waist. Which is entirely more bold than she's used to being, but she'll blame it on the .45. "We'd love to get our hands on it too, but it apparently, legally, belongs to the Smithsonian."
"Spolia," Sam says, pressing her mouth into something sympathetic. "Gotta love the spoils of war. I say you guys storm it and take back what's yours. I'd help in that fight."
Lena sighs, just as the baby-vamp at the other table spouts off something about vampire physiology, and Kara tightens her grip around her waist. They apparently missed an entire question.
"It's not that serious," Kara waves it off, and Lena sighs again, fuller and deeper this time.
Before Kara gets to acknowledge that, the bartender shouts, "Alright, next question," through the microphone. "This is a good one, okay. If we're not including Alura herself, how many members were there in the Daughters of Alura army?"
"Ten," Kara says, not at all meant to be out loud, and Sam shouts ten, and the bartender shouts wrong, and the baby-vamp shouts nine and gets it right, and then Lena lifts her head and looks at Kara a bit funny. "Sorry, think the beer's really getting to me."
"Get it together, KD," Sam laughs, launching a peanut at Kara's lips. "These vamp questions are all you, babe."
But Lena keeps glaring at Kara for one, two, three seconds, and then finally, finally, drops her head again before she says, "We should both stop drinking, I think. Not very good for us."
They do actually end up winning, Kara would like to point out.
Sometimes Kara has a dream.
And she doesn't know if that's weird or supposed to be a thing for vampires. Doesn't know if its even right to call it a dream at all, but. She has it; and it's always of the same thing, same moment, same point in time that sticks out like a sore thumb in her memories for no real reason why:
Sometimes she closes her eyes to sleep and then... it's just her.
It's her before the war, before the sleep chamber, before the peace accords and bottled blood and vampire senators. It's her in the forest again, after the settlement burned, after she lost everything, starving and afraid and desperate, staring up at the stars in the night sky and... hoping.
Hoping against all evidence that she was destined for something greater than death and terror and being constantly hunted.
She wasn't sure what something greater was, exactly, but on particularly bad days, she'd let herself think it meant freedom, late-night campfires and singing happy songs. Bright clothes and flower crowns, food security, laughing loudly, someone to hold hands with on pretty nights.
Someone to hold in general, actually, someone who loved her and she loved back. Someone who understood her and took care of her and guaranteed her there was no more bad shit, that everything was over, everything was happy.
Someone who – who was just there, always there whenever she needed them. No matter what. Someone she could look at and not fear they could die at any moment or be taken away or made a bloody example of, and fuck.
It was mostly just that--having the security, the comfort, the assurance that she could hold someone close and love them and give them every piece of herself and sleep safely at night knowing the whole world wasn't out to kill them, like god, that thought was like gold.
The pinnacle of freedom, the evidence that she'd made it, that things were better, that it'd be okay, that the world was a place she could exist comfortably in for the first time in ever, really, because her human existence was as much of a shitshow as her undead one.
She liked to think that, maybe, one day, she was destined for something that wasn't quite this, that wasn't quite so bad, that was something--anything--a little bit different than what she was going through.
She just - she really loved to think about that.
But she never in a million years thought it would ever actually come true.
So some nights she feels like her chest is constricting. Some nights she wakes up gasping for air and blinking the dots out of her pupils in the darkness of the room. Some nights she clings onto the sheets so hard she tears them and Lena has to hug her until she's okay.
Because some nights she closes her eyes and remembers that moment, painful and vivid and uninvited, when the world felt like it was turning too fast for her to catch her breath, when every day felt like her last and she had nothing to show for it, when she couldn't even imagine a world where she just existed and no one cared about that.
When she had nothing going for her internally, no positives or lights-in-the-darkness or reasons to believe in something better. When even Alura, herself, would stare at the moon with nothing but sadness in her eyes.
When all she had to go on, her only saving grace, was her will to survive and the smallest bit of hope.
Some nights she closes her eyes and she remembers that, when nothing felt right in the world.
And now, unfathomably, through the grace of something divine, whether it be god or the spirit of the universe herself...
She has Lena.
"The moon looks so bright tonight," Kara says cheerfully, blinking away the haze in her eyes so the stars stop blurring together.
"Yeah," Lena agrees, shooting her a grin, acting like it shouldn't make Kara's knees weak when she blinks up through her lashes and adds, "It's really pretty."
Just like you, Kara thinks. Miraculous really, that it doesn't slip out of her mouth with how her drunk, drunk thoughts are swirling through her head, with how nearly every ounce of her attention is focused on her feet not stumbling.
With how her fingers are laced with Lena's, how they're walking home slow, how Kara's thought on at least six occasions tonight to tell Lena that she's falling in love with her. Which isn't even true, considering she's been in love with her for quite some time now.
"It's nice when it's full," Lena goes on, cicada's singing in the background, somehow louder than the whoosh of the cars on the street right next to them. "When I was in high school, I went camping in Anza Borrego State Park during the wolf moon, and it was such a magical experience."
"We should go sometime," Kara thinks out loud, letting the natural tilt of her drunk equilibrium press her against Lena's shoulder. "Camping, yeah? Or just like, stargazing or something. Used to do that all the time."
"You like the stars?" Lena asks.
"I like them when I'm with you," Kara admits, mind flitting through the handful of times she can match stargazing with something positive, and realizing it's all been with Lena.
She thinks about backtracking or clarifying, since maybe that's too obvious, but she's drunk enough to be comfortable with leaving it.
Either way, Lena just says, "Me too," and Kara scrambles for a second trying to figure out what exactly that means. She knows what it is for her, but she can't be sure it's what it is for Lena, and, ugh.
Conversation for another time, maybe.
"Was a little nervous about trivia," she changes the subject, "but don't think I've ever been so happy than when they gave us the trophy after winning."
She holds it up in her hand, light from the moon bouncing off the bright gold and making it look more distinguished than it is. It's really just six inches worth of cheap, Party City plastic, but to Kara it represents the fact that she was useful tonight.
It represents something she can't quite put her finger on, but she knows she never wants to let it go.
"Got you smiling in at least a dozen pictures, gonna put it in my scrapbook under the happy dork section," Lena says, and then she presses in warmwarm against Kara, cuddling her bicep like she wants to fuse them together. "We can put it on the nightstand, reminder of how we dominated every time we wake up."
"We can win a bunch and build, like, a statue thingy," Kara says, palming the trophy in her hand again like she's discovered a golden nugget out river digging. "Between me and you, could be unstoppable."
"We will be unstoppable," Lena corrects, pulling them to a halt as the numbers count down to a red hand on the crossection light. Then she snuggles in a little more and hums as she says, so low Kara nearly misses it, "Stick close to me."
Kara just hums back, happy and content, because she'll always stick close to Lena, as long as forever.
Then she notes the officer standing next to them and the other two on the surrounding corners, and... wonders why they have to be so close.
It seems like a waste of funds, really, or at the very least poor allocation. The whole thing is sort of a waste of funds at this point, if Kara's being honest, and she was someone that was actually on board with it at first.
Truly, she didn't--doesn't--think the Night Patrol Initiative was a bad idea, in theory, at least. Like having officers on each corner to monitor the campus at night, make everyone feel safe, make sure drunken students get home and whatnot isn't a terrible idea.
Except, that's only what it was sold as, and not what it actually is.
Now, just about everyone is well aware it's really a glorified State-Funded Patrol for Wicked Vampire Activity initiative. One that employs vamp-hating extremists and allows lethal weapons and fosters an all-means necessary to subdue innocent vampires culture.
But Kara must have forgotten that somewhere between the first sip of her beer tonight and her last, somewhere between her mind being vigilant and it being a Lena-absorbed mush.
Because, right about now, she's wobbling on her legs as she leans in close to the officer next to them, smiling wide and lifting her trophy right beneath her nose to parade her accomplishment.
Because who wouldn't be proud she won on her very first night.
"Got me first place in trivia tonight," Kara informs her. And Lena gets an arm around her waist and snatches her back so fast, she actually loses her breath. "Okay, Lee?" she asks, confused and a bit stunned.
But Lena ignores her, eyes glued to the officer as she says, "Please excuse us, sorry, she's had a bit to drink. But we're on our way home."
"It's okay," the officer says, brown skin beautifully lit in the moonlight. Kara wants to tell her that, but Lena's hand is fisting in her shirt and she can sense, maybe since Lena drank her blood earlier, that Lena's sort of... scared? "But, not all of us are okay with vamps in our personal space."
Lena's eyes follow the officer's head nod to another officer across the street, and Kara's eyes trace the outline of Lena's jaw and her neck and the way she swallows a thick lump before she says, "I know, she's just excited. But harmless, really. I swear."
"Yeah, 'm like a kitten, is what Lena says." Kara smiles, letting her fangs flex out. "Even got m' canines... or is it felines," she wonders out loud, beaming proudly at Lena because she did a funny.
But Lena's eyes are wide and big and green and decidedly not amused.
Kara's smile fades on reflex as Lena steps around her and positions between Kara and the officer, inching them further away as the opposing crossection light turns yellow.
"Might want to put those away," the officer says, which makes Lena's heart rate spike, makes her mind go a bit frantic, makes Kara dizzy just second-hand feeling every emotion that's rushing through her veins.
And it just - it makes no sense at all because the officer is being friendly, calm and relaxed and comfortable, and Kara only wants to talk to her and show her the trophy and her kitten fangs and that's all okay, she thinks. It's harmless, just like Lena said.
"It's okay, 'm really harmless," Kara says, trying her best to step around Lena and get close to the officer again. She just wants to show her. "You can even touch them, m'fangs, won't hurt you I promise."
But the officer looks at Lena, and Lena tightens her hand on Kara, and then there's like, this weird-icky-eerie feeling that settles inside Lena, Kara can feel, and she finally decides maybe she should just retract her fangs back in.
"She really just gets excited sometimes," Lena says again, and Kara can't figure out why she's being so weird. Then she huffs out, "Sorry," again, before she turns to grab Kara and starts dragging her away, stumbling her across the street so fast Kara nearly trips several, several, so many times.
"Lena, wait," she says, giggling a little because everything feels so funny and clumsy and she can't properly right herself so the toes of her shoes keep scuffing on the ground. "It's okay, is a nice night, we can go slow."
"Fuck, just shut up and walk, Kara, christ," Lena grits out, and.
It sounds mean, is the thing--clipped and angry and tense and distant in a way that Lena's never been with Kara before. So Kara feels like her ears are ringing, like they're on fire, like maybe she did something wrong and she can't figure out what.
But she does her best best best to just shut up and walk the rest of the way home.
It's no better once they get home--Lena drags them both to Kara's room and lets Kara go, doesn't even look at her, paces back and forth as she shoves her eyes against her palms, and then shakes her hands out frantically before she locks herself in the bathroom.
And then Kara hears the water start running.
And then Kara hears Lena start crying.
And her heart, it just - it sinks. Both because she fucked up, obviously, and because somewhere along the walk-drag home she accidentally snapped the stem of the trophy, so now it's in two pieces in her hand and she really, really keeps messing up.
She wants to go in the bathroom and say sorry, wants to hug Lena until she feels dizzy from how close they are, from Lena's smell and her softness and her presence in general, but she can't.
She doesn't know how to do that, how to do it without messing up. Because she's drunk and it's late and she feels exhausted and defeated and overwhelmed, and maybe if she could just fix the trophy, then it would all be okay again.
So she goes with that, busies herself with finding their Gorilla super glue and getting it set up on the kitchen table. She even gets the paper down underneath it and makes sure she opens a window so she doesn't get stingy eyes from the glue fume. Then she places everything carefully, tongue stuck to her top lip as she tries her best to get it perfectly lined up without getting it sticky on her fingers.
And once she's done, she brings it back in the room and Lena's just… standing there. Waiting. Messy black hair and smudged eyes, smeared lipstick and splotchy red cheeks. She looks, feels, is radiating sad.
And it's Kara's fault.
"Um, I fixed it," Kara says, holding up the trophy with one hand while shoving her free hand in her pocket and looking down at the floor. Because that's just what she does around Lena. It's what she does. "Sorry about tonight, ruining it."
"You didn't," Lena says, and Kara nearly looks up, but she still feels ashamed. Still gets stung in the chest by how thick Lena's voice sounds. "It's my fault, I'm sorry. Shouldn't have let you have the rest of the drink, and then it all happened so fast. And you could've gotten hurt, and I – Kara I know you just want to make friends, but—"
"I'm a vampire, I know," Kara says, feeling like, maybe if she could, she'd just let herself sink through floor and the ground and all the way through the earth, down to hell where they say she belongs. "I'm dangerous and I break things and hurt my friends, and—"
"No," Lena says, and she's so close now that Kara's chest squeezes in on itself.
Her voice isn't sharp anymore like it was outside, no, now her voice is soft and lovely and laced with so much sweetness, Kara thinks she just might pass out.
Especially when Lena fits her arms around Kara's waist in a hug, when she snugs her face against Kara's chest, heart beating fast fast fast as she says in a rush, "No, that's just what they think about you, and it scares me because that's how they'll treat you, and sometimes it's a little like you don't realize that."
"I do," Kara says weakly, chest still sinking for some reason.
"I don't know," Lena huffs, hands twisting in Kara's shirt so hard they're shaking. Or maybe she's twisting them hard because they were already shaking. "Sometimes I think maybe you think they're all like me, and I wish they were, honestly, but they aren't and vamps get hurt everyday because of it. Like, fuck, just, on this campus alone, three have been sun-flashed in the past month by night-patrol for like, existing or being drunk or standing too close. And I was scared for you, Kara, not because of you. I just wanted to get you home safe, but you're so tall and clumsy and curious and it's cute when it's just me, but. I was panicking, and I'm sorry. You didn't do anything wrong."
"Oh," Kara says, letting her hand fall with the trophy in it because it feels so insignificant now. Wrapping her other arm around Lena's back and leaning against her hair. "I know they, I know. But sometimes I think, like, maybe if I'm nice enough, it'll just change their minds."
"Babe," Lena whispers, rolling her face against Kara's shirt and snuggling in tighter. "It doesn't work that way, I'm sorry."
And Kara knows that, somewhere deep down she knows that. She's been through the bad shit. She's been through the bad shit. But they're so close, so fucking close she can smell the equality in her morning cup of blood. So close that vampire senators, plural, have been elected and there was buzz at one point about one running for president.
So close that sometimes they even get justice in high-profile discrimination cases, and yet. They're just. They're so far away.
"Think I'll grab something from the fridge," Kara says, and she doesn't really want to let go of Lena, but she also doesn't want to think about that, so. "I'll be right back."
And then she's just. In the kitchen. Alone and sad with her stupid fucking trophy and all the hope she had for shit being better splashed in her face.
And she's just so... dumb, is what it is, really.
Things are better than before, she knows that. Keeps telling herself that. Keeps telling herself at least we aren't being murdered at high rates while everyone laughs about it.
At least there aren't public viewings of vampire burnings that people take their children to, or comics printed weekly about them dying and being the joke of the week.
And she knows vamps have done fucked up shit, too, she knows. Knows the peace accords only came after the Daughters of Alura murdered so many humans it shook the world to it's core.
But she also knows they had no choice, also knows that vampires have been peaceful despite what history sells, knows they were cornered into defending themselves, cornered into setting an example of what actual violent vampires looked like, but.
Maybe Alura was wrong. Maybe when she put Kara in the sleep chamber and told her there was something she needed to do, and that Kara would wake up in a better world, she was wrong. Maybe she was wrong.
Maybe she didn't make the world better.
Maybe she just crapped it up even more, Kara thinks, defeatedly, and then toes the little mechanism on the trashcan that makes the lid pop open so she can throw the dumbstupiddumb trophy away.
But then she hears Lena's voice, and it's amazing how much of her tension melts away.
"Don't throw it out. We're putting it on the nightstand, remember? Or like, if you don't want it, at least I'll take it."
"I broke it," Kara mumbles, flipping it in her fingers, not sure why all her frustration's being channeled into a piece of plastic that already has chips in the #1 black paint on the front. But she is and she hates this trophy and all she wants is to throw it away, so she turns around and says, "It's upsetting me."
For some reason Lena's eyes get bigger, so Kara reflexively lifts her shoulders and sinks herself, in case she's being too threatening.
Then, a bit unexpectedly, Lena says, "You were crying?"
"No," Kara says, but when she wipes her face, there's blood on her shirt sleeves, and. So maybe she was, no big deal.
"It's alright," Lena says, holding out her hand, keeping herself back like she's letting Kara come to her. Which makes Kara feel small and breakable and, honestly, a bit validated.
"Sorry, 'm like, tired and still drunk and 'm not having a good time right now."
"That's okay," Lena whispers, taking a small step forward, but still keeping her hand outreached. "Let's get you changed and we can sleep and the night'll be over. Can even wake up early and read books on your fav library couch until we fall asleep and get kicked out again."
"Yeah?" Kara asks.
"Yeah," Lena says, and Kara takes her hand.
Kara takes her hand and let's Lena lead her to the room, lets her press her down on the bed and wipe her face with a warm towel. Let's her pick out an old t-shirt from her closet and unbutton the shirt she has on.
And then there's a bit of a charged moment, because Kara's never properly had her shirt off in front of Lena, and it feels a little like she's staring.
"What's that?" Lena asks, pointing at the spot on the left side of Kara's ribcage, right underneath her bra. "D'you have a brand?"
"No," Kara says, looking at the red design on her otherwise clear skin. "If it were a brand, it'd heal, I think? Pretty sure it's a birthmark."
"You were born with an octagram?" Lena asks, brow creasing. "When you were human?"
"A what?" Kara asks, actually smiling a little, because Lena's so smart. "No, didn't have it as a human and then I died, but when I was reborn it's just... it's always been there. I don't know what an octagram is."
"It's an eight-pointed star," Lena says, and she smiles back as she rolls her eyes, sitting on the bed across from Kara. Then she sets the t-shirt beside her instead of helping Kara put it on. "You have a perfectly drawn eight-pointed star on your ribcage, and your best guess is birthmark? What am I gonna do with you?"
Kara wants to say something dumb like, anything you'd like, but she holds it in. She's good. As far as the birthmark, she's really unsure. She asked Alura once, but she didn't really give a straightforward answer. Just said all the Daughters had it.
"Dunno, no one really ever told me, just woke up and had it. It's like, not important? Though. I've had it forever and barely notice it's there."
"Can I touch it?" Lena asks. "Is that okay?"
"Of course," Kara says, because what else is she supposed to say.
And then Lena crawls forward until she's on side of Kara, lifting her brow in a question one last time. Kara nods, smiles awkwardly, nods again, and then Lena touches it.
And it's not a super huge deal at first, like her hand is soft and warm and Kara's heart is in her throat--right where she can feel herself swallow, it's pretty much lodged there--but that's all par for the course.
Then something weird happens.
Kara isn't sure how to describe it coherently, but a few seconds into Lena tracing the birthmark with her thumb, Kara... rips the sheets.
She rips the sheets and mouths oh god, head dropping low low low as her eyes flutter shut.
Because it's, holy shit, it's like nothing she's ever felt before.
Like, whatever it is, it's starting at Lena's finger and spreading throughout the birthmark, but it's not stopping there. Whatever it is, it's overloading all of Kara's senses, sending waves of heat radiating through her diaphragm like an aftershock with each touch. Whatever it is, it's going from being slightly uncomfortable to really, really good, in no time at all.
Whatever is happening right now, Kara can't even properly describe it, but it feels like it's a lot more than her just being touched by Lena. It feels a lot more like her world being absolutely destroyed.
"You okay?" Lena asks, but she's not really taking her hand off the star, so all Kara can do is hum mmm and try her best not to drool.
It hurts a little, the heat from it, hot and lingering all over her skin, but it's also intoxicating--like a rush slowly flooding her entire body, making it hard to think, making it hard to remember her surroundings, making it hard to do anything other than nibble her lip and pant awkwardly because she's so fucking out of breath.
It's like she's floating, like she's dreaming, like her head's blasting off in space and leaving her body to fend for itself. It feels like - like she's being consumed by a flame, a flame that doesn't burn or sear or char or damage, a flame that's gently licking her skin instead of burning her, warming and illuminating her right to her core.
Which is dizzying to think about already, without the fact that this whole thing is making her foggy, so fucking foggy and muddled and bleary. And it, god, it takes every ounce of willpower she has to crane her neck and look at Lena, to focus her eyes a little to get a clear picture of her, to see her pretty fucking face, and wow.
Kara can't be sure, not one-hundred percent, but she gets the feeling that... Lena feels it too? Mostly because Lena's flushed and nibbling her lip and staring intensely at her hand, pupils expanded in her irises so the green is mostly black.
She's also just, not stopping.
Which isn't technically the worst thing in the world, because it feels good. But it actually absolutely is the worst thing in the world, because it feels good.
It's just--the longer it goes on, the more the heat feels, like, focused--concentrating in Kara's head and chest and between her legs.
It's dumb and weird and she doesn't know why it's happening, but she can't stop moving her hips on the sheets, everything going from good to pleasurable, like her brain's clicked off and the only thing that makes sense is closing her eyes and getting some sort of friction.
It's such a fast, such a sudden shift, that she keeps feeling her breath catch, keeps stuttering and gasping, and she's not entirely sure but she might also be mumbling. But Lena's thumb is relentless, like she keeps tracing and tracing and tracing and there's wave after wave after wave shooting through Kara's body like a pulse, like a tsunami, like a volcano erupting lava, and--
After not a terribly long time of it happening, Kara's pretty sure she comes.
If that's the proper word for it.
She's, um, never even had an orgasm before, she doesn't think, but her entire body contracts and her breath gets sucked out of her, clenched like every inch of her soul is being ripped from her in the best possible way, and she slumps forward and her thighs shake.
And suddenly the heat in the room is gone and she feels cold and weird and her head is too clear for this painfully awkward moment, but.
Here they are.
She doesn't really know what to say after that, but she says yes when Lena asks if she's okay again, and then this weird thing happens where neither one of them acknowledges it.
They just sort of, go to sleep.
Kara's pretty sure her life is over.
She's not even two-hundred years old yet, hasn't even reached the first significant power increase for vampires yet, and she's pretty sure it's ended.
Hell, she hasn't even graduated college for the first time yet, and she's gone and fucked up her whole entire future.
Things were going well, vampires are integrated, she has friends, and--okay, she hasn't talked to Alex in forever, but, ugh, that's a whole other story--she has Lena.
Had Lena, maybe, but then she went and did a weird thing. And then Lena left bed early in the morning before Kara woke up. And now it's two in the afternoon and she's still not back.
Kara's pretty sure this is it.
She actually ends up visiting Alex. And it's weird, in maybe a ha ha way, that the thing that pushes her closer to her sister is having her first surprise orgasm.
Kara squints at the sun behind her aviators before she finally takes a sip of the blood wine Alex gave her, swishing it around in her mouth for a second before wishing she could spit it out. But she doesn't, because she's civilized, and they're standing half-in Alex's garage and she doesn't want to stain the ground and start multiple fights.
"It tastes better chilled," Alex comments, grabbing the glass bottle from her hand, and Kara quirks a brow behind her glasses. "Yeah, they put some sweeteners or something in it, I don't know. Doesn't sit right when it's warm."
"I'm not here to talk about wine sweeteners," Kara says, as dry as she possibly can.
"No, now that you're here, you're not talking at all, I don't want to hear it," Alex says back, and Kara realizes she's getting nowhere if she tries to go toe-to-toe with Alex on maintaining a not-giving-a-shit attitude. "You're here to listen, and I plan on making you do that one way or another."
"You want another war, right? That's the gist of it."
"No." Alex twists her mouth up like she intends on saying something really mean, but instead she just goes with a milder, "What I want is for you to shut up so I can talk about how we need to protect ourselves."
"By starting a very visible vampire army? Good job, you've put more targets on our backs."
"Oh god, here we go." Alex runs her hand over her face, through her hair, clenching her jaw and breathing shallowly, like Kara's the one being frustrating. "Shit, Kara, you're Alura's last fucking progeny--have you ever stopped to think that there's a reason she didn't let you go to war with them."
Kara shrugs. Maybe she has, and maybe she hasn't. "Because she knew I'd think it was a crap idea and not help out."
"Sure," Alex snaps, "or maybe she knew she needed to leave someone to lead once she was gone. Maybe she knew vampires would need--"
"For the thousandth time, I'm not helping you lead your crusade to get all vampires murdered, so would you just stop asking and actively ruining our relationship? Please."
"Fine," Alex says. "Fine. Fine. It'a not an army, by the way, it's a coalition. Why did you call me?"
"Nevermind," Kara says, shoving her hands in her pockets. "I'm just gonna--"
"Please, come on. It's important, you came all this way."
Right, fuck, ugh. It is important, and Alex is both the only one she can mention it to, and the one that would give the best advice. "It's just that Lena and I--"
"Luthor?" Alex asks, like the name is sand in her mouth. "The family that was integral in bringing down Alura, but--"
"Christ, whatever, I'm leaving."
"No, I'm sorry," Alex says, putting the glass down and running to grab Kara's hand. "If you trust Lena, I'll stand out of your way and still be there if things go wrong. Let me worry about you, I'm your sister."
Which, fine. God. Fine. "She's different, okay? And like, god it's so stupid, but we were hanging out and touching a little, not even that much, but it felt really good and I got pretty into it, and then I accidentally like... you know? and we haven't talked since."
"Did you orgasm?" Alex asks, and it's such an ugly word and that's such an ugly smirk on Alex's face.
"If you want to call it that, it's your prerogative."
"You need to talk to her about it."
"I know," Kara says.
"We need to talk more, too. Without yelling or insulting or pushing each other away."
"I know," Kara says.
And then, for the first time in probably a year, she actually hugs her sister.
So Kara's going to talk to Lena about it.
So Kara waits at home in the living room for Lena to get back. And when Lena finally does, Kara just walks straight up to her, right between the kitchen and the open space with the couches, stands stiff as a board and looks her in the eyes, and they. Both apologize at the same time.
Which is dumb, because, well, Lena didn't have an o-word. Unless she did, which changes things, but Kara's pretty sure she didn't.
"No, um," Kara starts to clarify, tugging at the collar of her shirt, because air. She needs air. "Last night, you, I -- um, we didn't say anything, but I think we both know this thing happened, and--"
"Yes, I know," Lena says, like the spark from her eyes is simmering out. "And I'm so sorry, I swear, I - I've been thinking about it all day, and I -- I'm just, I'm so sorry, okay? I didn't mean for it, didn't want--" She clears her throat and looks just, so forlorn. "I don't know how to describe it and not be weird or something."
Kara isn't even sure why Lena's apologizing, but she wants her to describe it, wants to know, so she says, "Just try and, I'll like, I'll understand. It's me, Lee. I get you."
"I know," Lena says, twisting her hands together. "I know, I just. Last night. I knew, like, on some level what was happening. But I couldn't--I wasn't sure. I can never be sure with you. And I figured you'd just tell me if it was too much, but you didn't, and—"
"Because it wasn't," Kara says, chest so full it feels like she's suffocating, because she's - she's openly admitting to Lena it wasn't a miscommunication that she didn't speak up about it being too much. Because it wasn't too much.
Because she enjoyed it.
And that's maybe the weirdest thing she can ever possibly say, but she'll gladly admit to the most embarrassing fact of her unnaturally long existence, if it means Lena's eyes will light up again. "It wasn't too much, was just scared I was being too weird."
"You weren't too weird, you were perfect," Lena says, and Kara can see the blood flooding to her cheeks and her chest and even her forearms as she keeps keeps keeps twisting her hands together, like she's nervous or scared or too overwhelmed.
And she's just - she's so incredibly beautiful. Which isn't surprising, Kara's always known this, but right now it's almost too hard to handle, almost too much to process. It feels like Kara's world is stopping, like time's standing still around them, like the center of the earth is opening up and threatening to swallow her to its core.
Which is maybe why, without much forethought or preparation or any ability to stop herself, Kara finds herself crashing toward Lena like a shooting star or falling meteorite, fast and purposeful, her heart a blazing trail of fire--
And she kisses her.
She kisses Lena.
She kisses Lena.
She kisses Lena; is actively kissing Lena, actively tangling her hands in Lena's hair and tilting her head back as she thinks please, fuck, finally, actively demonstrating that she knows shit-all about kissing as she opens her mouth and licks out at Lena's lips, tasting her lip-gloss and saliva and feeling her plush, soft, amazing skin beneath her tongue.
She's sloppy and uncoordinated and messy and too eager, but Lena's lapping it up like it's the best kiss in the world, fists tangling in Kara's shirt, body pressed in so snug she'd fall face-first if Kara took a step back.
Lena's moaning and humming and sighing and breathing so hard, Kara's getting frantic with it, and.
She's just so good - tastes so good, Kara almost wants to cry, wants to sob right on the spot because never in a million years did she think she'd be standing here doing this. With a human, no less.
With someone who protects her and loves her just as fiercely and wants to keep her healthy even if it means the blood from her own body.
With someone who gets her to let her guard down, gets her to open up, shows her that there actually does exist a better for Kara and it's right smack-dab there in reaching distance.
No, not even in reaching distance; it's in her hands. Lena is in her hands.
Lena's sliding her hands beneath Kara's shirt and gripping her blunt nails in Kara's skin, sniffing in Kara and nibbling her jawline with her teeth. Lena's opening herself up and letting Kara fuss in her hair and forgetting her good angles, mouth devouring every inch of Kara she can get it on like it's her last supper. Lena's so intoxicating that Kara's brain short-circuited at least some time before they started and now it's stuttering in a white haze, flickering in and out every so often just long enough for her to be overwhelmed by how pretty Lena is, because--
Lena is... well, she's Kara's. Kara has Lena. She has her.
Which is an incredibly dangerous thought, because it makes Kara's fangs pop out.
Which should have been obvious in hindsight, seriously, and she definitely should have planned for it. But it's too late for that now, considering Lena's lip is currently bleeding into Kara's mouth, considering Lena's blood is laced in their shared saliva and it's on Kara's tongue.
She retracts her fangs as fast as she can, but it's too late. It's too late, it's too late, it's too late. Because she's already tasted Lena's blood, and. It's everything.
Which, thinking that is even more dangerous than than the kiss itself, so Kara tries to pull away, but Lena pulls her in in in and fuck, she's already tasted it and it's just right there, and--
Lena moans, "It's okay, don't stop," against her mouth, so.
Kara kisses her again.
She kisses her again, and then there's--god--there's Lena's blood spreading throughout her whole mouth and, fuck, if she thought the belly thing felt good, then she doesn't even know how to describe this. But it's like she can feel it traveling through her body, down her throat, in her chest, like every inch of her it touches is radiating warmth.
And that's not even mentioning the taste, like, not even exaggerating, Lena's blood is like maple syrup, like vanilla--from what Kara can remember--like sugary and good and perfect, and christ.
Lena's blood is like - like what folktales say faerie blood tastes like.
A thought that strikes Kara as peculiar for just a second, before she's pulled back to how sweet Lena is again, intoxicating and invigorating, like moonlight and honeysuckle. Like what Kara imagines cheesecake tastes like when it's pooled on the corners of Lena's mouth after she takes a bite too big.
Lena's just, god she's more than Kara could ever ask for, would ever ask for, and yet... she's here.
Kara pulls back, trembling and tingling, chest rising like she's trying to catch air that's just out of her reach, and she nearly tears up at the sight of Lena--her glassy eyes, blown pupils, redred cheeks, and puffy lips that're a beautiful mixture of red and bruised and blood-covered.
And then she's pretty sure she actually tears up when Lena buries her face in her neck, when Lena hides her sweat-damp forehead against where Kara's pulse would be and toys with the waistband of her joggers as she whispers, "I love you. So much. I love you."
"Me too," Kara says, hugging Lena in tighter. "More than anything."
Kara's not exactly ashamed of being a vampire, but most days she does spend the lot of it hating and avoiding her reflection. And she doesn't know if she should call it a self-esteem issue or something other than that, but.
She knows it's what she feels inside, knows it's what makes her stomach sometimes turn against itself, knows it eats at her and feeds off all her other insecurities, knows that...
God, it's just complicated.
She's beautiful, of course, in a way vampires can be; forever solidified in stone as a fit, blonde, twenty-something.
But the thing she gets caught up on is that she used to have these blue eyes. And it's dumb, maybe, to be stuck on that, but they used to be something to write home about, something people got lost in, something she liked seeing in the mirror.
They were something her mother, her real mother--before Alura and Eliza and anyone else that's ever taken care of her--had as well. Kara had her mother's eyes, everyone used to say it, remind her of it, pull her on their lap and tell her a story about them.
It's what kept her connected even though her mother was long gone by the time Kara was five years old.
But now Kara's eyes are golden and reflective and apparently help her see at night. And they're definitely beautiful in their own right, but no one gets lost in them because mostly they fear them.
Fear them so much that vampire contacts are illegal in forty-eight states. Fear them so much that the first and only guy she ever matched with on Tinder jumped back and said freaky when she got too close and blinked up at him on the walk home.
So some days she gets a little caught up on her reflection, and most days she doesn't like seeing herself in store glass or puddles or her phone screen, and definitely not in mirrors, but.
But, then this moment happens.
Today of all days. On a random Thursday, mid-semester, after waking up twenty minutes late and stumbling haphazardly into the bathroom to brush her teeth, she looks in the mirror and...
She likes what she sees.
Which really sets it up like it's going to be a good day, but things always find a way to go downhill.
"You free?" Lena asks, rounding the side of the couch so she can squeeze in next to Kara, thighs perfectly hugged in her tight dark blue joggers. "Please say you're free; it's an emergency. I impulse bought tickets to this concert tonight, just some indie singer, but 've listened to her EP a thousand times so I need to go. And you're pretty much the only one invested enough in me to be dragged along."
"You need to go?" Kara teases, splaying her hand over Lena's thigh, scratching her nails against the soft fabric. "And you only want me to go because I'm invested, huh?"
"Yes, need, and of course I want to preferably go with you. But right now you just happen to be my first choice and the only one I can charm into it without a money bribe," Lena smiles, big and like, illegally.
Then she leans her head on Kara's shoulder, green eyes shooting daggers in Kara's heart, and ugh. Kara would very much like to kiss her again, but she's sort of flubbed everything up since their first one.
It feels like she gave off the impression that she's comfortable initiating physical things with Lena and, to be clear, she is not. She would much rather Lena kiss her, please and thanks. But she couldn't help herself the first time, couldn't stop herself from doing it.
And now they've fallen in this weird routine where they'll cuddle and stare at each others lips and wrestle in bed and giggle until Kara's breathless and turned on and wants Lena's lips so much just looking at them feels like drowning.
But then, it's just, neither one of them ever actually kisses the other. It's been a week of that, a week of them being too close and touching just a little too much and staring just a little too obviously, and Kara's starting to figure she was maybe supposed to initiate all along.
"Volunteer coordinator emailed I should call, but I'm free after that, I promise," she says, turning so she can nose against Lena's hair, because she's apparently comfortable doing everything but.
Which. Is dumb. She kissed her once, and it was great. Why can't she just do it again??
"Call about what?" Lena asks, tilting her head like she's pressing into Kara, and god, literally why aren't they kissing right now? There's no logical explanation. "You in trouble before you even had your first day?"
"No, stop, maybe, actually, um," Kara says smiling wide and accidentally getting a hair strand in her mouth. "Was supposed to send in theme ideas, like, Tuesday, but I'm not finished yet and now i'm a couple days late."
"What are you thinking, then? Maybe I can help," Lena says, shifting up so she can look Kara in the eyes. "It's just arts and crafts with the third graders, right?"
Kara shifts too, so she can wrap an arm around her, and. Lena's so warm and pretty and impossible, and Kara's so in love, it's probably unhealthy.
"Yeah, was thinking i'd do a theme on diversity and acceptance, like doing art to appreciate others' cultures. But i'd want to do it in a tasteful way, you know? I don't want to go down the road of being offensive or appropriating. So it's been a bit hard to iron everything out."
"What was last year's theme?"
"I think it was just freestyle," Kara says, pinching her lip and rolling it between her fingers. Freestyle was really an excuse for the last volunteer to not have a theme, but Kara's been gunning for the afterschool arts and crafts slot for two years now, and like hell she's going to crap it up with freestyle now that she's got it. She loves kids, is really invested in their education being as well-rounded as possible, leaders of the future and whatnot. "It involved a lot of glitter and getting glue everywhere. And they didn't even use the glitter-glue pens, just old-school dumped it on Elmer's on paper. And, i don't know, I guess it was fine. But I can do better than that, just want it to be perfect."
Lena nods like Kara's the most interesting person in the world, reaching out to touch her knee gently. "I love that you're thinking so much about it. Pretty sure most people just call the theme the first word that comes to their head, then proceed with finger painting."
"Yeah," Kara says, and then sort of gets stuck staring for a second, struck dumb by the way Lena's mouth moves when she. Says words. Or just sits there licking out at her lips so they're moisturized, probably, not as a tactic to turn Kara on. "Right, um, I know. But last year i did a multicultural theme for the senior center and a bunch of people talked about how they were seeing new perspectives and how hard it is to change thinking and ideology when you're older. So, i'm excited to work with kiddos because they're like, not tainted yet."
"Oh yeah?" Lena asks, and there's a playful grin on her face, so Kara smiles back, not sure what she said to make Lena bright up so much, but enjoying it anyway. And then. Lena's - she's twisting on the couch and crawling on top of Kara, pressing Kara back into the cushions as she straddles her lap; just does it easy as anything, as if it's a natural part of the conversation. "Could listen to you talk about multiculturalism and arts and crafts and diversity and shit forever, you know that?"
Kara, um, hands. She doesn't know what to do with her hands, but Lena's legs look so good in her joggers, so good wrapped around Kara--because, god, they're wrapped around Kara--so she just. Places them on her thighs, chest squeezing so tight she wonders if her heart came back alive just to have an attack. "Could talk about it all day if you want me to, have a lot of things I want to say and incorpor--"
This time Lena kisses her.
Or rather, she presses in and licks into Kara's mouth right in the middle of her dumb sentence, messy and unceremoniously, so hot Kara's toes curl in her socks.
This time it's Lena's hands gripped in her hair, holding her steady and tilting her head back so she can nibble on Kara's lip all sweet and careful and head-rushingly. This time it's Lena that initiates, and Kara's both thrilled and overwhelmed at the same time.
"D'you want me to, um, keep talking about arts and crafts, or...?" Kara says dumbly, mostly to distract herself from Lena's thumb circling over her ear lobe.
"Only if you can while still kissing me," Lena says, laugh in her voice, shifting her hips on Kara's lap so they're pressed flush together. "If that's what you want? Been trying to give you your space in case I was - if - um, if you were regretting last time, but couldn't--i can't wait any longer, so if you don't want this, just let me know and I'll--"
"No, I want it," Kara says, lifting up to kiss Lena so she's more convincing, but mostly just knocking their noses together.
Thankfully, Lena rights them quickly, kisses Kara soft and open-mouthed, letting out the smallest little noise--like a breath, like a sound that Kara just sucks down her own throat. Hands twitching because Lena's tongue is basically the softest thing ever, hot and silky and slick, exploring places in Kara's mouth that Kara didn't even know existed. Kara can barely make sense of anything, just knows she can taste Lena's saliva, tangy from too much cranberry juice because she found it in the back of the fridge today and Kara if I don't drink this today I never will. Knows she can feel the flex of Lena's thighs underneath her hands every time she leans in, every time she shifts her hips or presses up, or fuck, just, anything.
Which is absolutely making Kara's head spin for some reason, so she pulls back a bit and tries to blink the stars from her eyes, tries to catch her breath and stop rubbing her hands on Lena's joggers. Because she doesn't sweat, her palms aren't sweaty. "Sorry, um, just. This is nice. I like it when you start, get nervous about it sometimes when I have to like, when we're waiting on me."
Then Kara makes the mistake of blinking up at Lena and seeing her tarry-black eyes and glowy skin and lips, that are somehow swollen and pinkpinkpink and even prettier than they normally are.
"I could kiss you more, if you want. If that's okay," Lena says, heart actually thudding in her chest, Kara can hear now, since her ears are apparently tuning back in. "Always want to kiss you, been thinking about it since, well, before it happened but way more since then. You can even touch me more, if you want, don't mind," she goes on, taking Kara's hand and pressing it underneath her shirt, trailing it up until Kara's fingertips are nudging against her bra and Kara's hand... is shaking.
Which is incredibly embarrassing, so she pulls away and makes a good situation bad. "Hey, um, I um. I have to make the call, remember? And then I'm free, um, is that okay?" Lena just frowns like the idea of Kara leaving is physically painful, but Kara's already made an ass of herself, so it's no problem at all digging her hole a little deeper. "It's just quick, make sure 'm not fired or anything, then i'm all you--yours-- for the night, swear it."
"Finee," Lena groans out, crumpling into Kara dramatically, and yeah okay, that's the girl Kara knows. No need to be nervous around her, it's Lena, her Lena. "But you're all mine after, no take backs. Holding you to it, alright?"
"Of course," Kara says, and then she just goes for broke, leans up and kisses Lena one last time on the lips. Quick, chaste, soft soft soft, so lovely. Lena is very lovely. "Be right back."
Lena nods and climbs off Kara's lap. Kara doesn't exactly run to her room afterwards, more like gracefully skips. She hears Lena turning on the TV once she's inside, but she shuts the door behind her anyway.
Then she takes a calming breath, and. It hits her, a jolt to her whole body, like she's vibrating, electric. She kissed Lena again--wait no--Lena kissed her this time, and wow. Just. She doesn't know how she ever got so lucky.
She's more jittery than nervous now, trotting to the window to open it for fresh air, because it feels like she's on fire, feels like she's going a hundred miles a minute. Which is probably why she doesn't even wait for the volunteer coordinator to say hello, before she's off on a rant.
"Hi Elise, I know my theme is late, I'm working on it, promise. And I know the only thing Alice did last year was macaroni necklaces and glitter art and the kids loved it anyway. But I was thinking of taking it a step--"
"Kara," Elise says, firm enough that Kara stops pacing the room and grabs her necklace to suck into her mouth.
"Yes?" she slurs, mouth watering around the metal.
"Slow down for a second, alright? Don't worry about the theme. We're not having you in the schools this year, there's been a complaint."
"Couldn't be about me, haven't even started yet," Kara says, letting her necklace slide from her mouth, toeing her sock in the carpet. "And i couldn't imagine it's from the senior center, like. Betty made me cookies and a cake, day I left. And John said I was the best volunteer they'd had in years, said I was nice and respectful and kept it interesting. I'm gonna do great in the schools, promise."
"I know you'd do great," Elise says, like it's hypothetical, like Kara's not going to get that chance. "No one complained about you in particular, just. About vampires. And look, to be frank, I don't buy into that shit, wouldn't organize the program around hatred and discrimination. But one of the parents complaining is a police officer and he's making a lot of noise about what the schools are exposing his children to. Plus, with the protests on campus and the--Kara, we're doing this for good, I don't want to make us controversial."
"I don't know what that means," Kara whispers, and it's stupid because it's just a dumb volunteer slot, but it feels like her heart is breaking. "What do you mean exposing children to? Like, vampires exist everyday, and. I - I'm not doing anything wrong."
"Kara, don't make this hard," Elise sighs, like she's the one being denied opportunities for just like, wanting to help. "You know I support all the vampire causes, alright? I'm always signing petitions and donating, but my hands are tied here. Don't pretend you don't get it, because I know you do. Just take the senior center again, we'll double up there. They loved you like you said. You'll do great. I have to go."
"Right," Kara says. "Yeah, sure, I'll. Okay."
And then she hangs up.
When she stumbles back to the living room, Lena's on her back on the couch, scrolling through her phone above her face. And even though all of Kara wants to crawl in a hole right now, she still trudges her way over and sits on the floor next to Lena.
"Got it all figured out?" Lena asks, setting her phone down on her sternum, eyes big and more green than they were a few minutes ago.
Kara wants to open up and talk about what just happened, how shit it is, say it's not fair or we should file a complaint since it's blatant discrimination.
But when she opens her mouth her throat seizes up, and her chest and her brain, and the only thing that doesn't hurt to say is, "Yeah, she was just checking in. On the theme. Like I thought. When's the concert tonight?"
Lena curls on her side on the couch, phone sliding on the floor, which she doesn't pay attention to because she's combing a hand in Kara's curls. It's so caring, Kara nearly starts tearing up, chest too full of whatever dark thing is currently filling it. "Starts in two hours-ish, but i'd rather talk about what actually happened on the phone call?" Kara feels like her throat clumps up, only thing keeping her put together is how soft Lena's hands are. "You're a terrible liar, always have been, so we're not going anywhere when you look this upset."
Fine, then. She always talks to Lena about everything, anyway.
"I'm not working arts and crafts in the schools this year," Kara whispers, saying each word carefully, making sure her voice doesn't crack, making sure she keeps it even because it feels like she's on a steady drop, and - and this shouldn't even be a big deal. She's not hurt or dead-er or out of living accommodations or anything important. She doesn't even have to volunteer, is the bigger thing; it's just a courtesy, something she likes doing, she hasn't even been robbed of a real opportunity. So she wishes it weren't currently dunking on her so fucking hard. "They don't want a vampire around children."
"Fuck that," Lena says harshly, spits the words out like gunshots that ring through Kara's ears, turning fast until she's clumsily sliding off the couch. Then she crawls over until she's in Kara's lap again, kissing against Kara's cheek, shaking like she's so angry she just might snap. "What do you - what do you want me to do? What do you need?"
"I feel not good enough," Kara says, taking a slow, slow breath, telling herself she at least should hold her tears so she doesn't get blood on Lena's shirt. "I feel like no matter how hard I try, I'm not good enough for anything."
"Hey, don't let this get in your head like that," Lena says, scrunching her hands in Kara's shirt. "You - I'd be outraged in your position, anyone should be. But don't let this be something that defines you. It's just a shit situation perpetuated by shit people, and you're not one of them."
It's not just this though, Kara's realizing. It's everything, everything that's ever happened her whole life, down to losing her mother's eyes and Alura, and fucking shit up with Alex and just. She's not meant for anything it seems, and it stings. But it stings the most because - because maybe she's just not meant for Lena, either. Maybe, fuck, she knows how she feels about Lena--so gone for her she would risk it all just to be close to her. Knows when she looks at Lena it's like watching living poetry, like every beautiful word that's ever been written or spoken is tangled-up in her existence. And she knows Lena likes her, loves her even, but what Kara feels is beyond that, and.
This isn't trivial for her or just a relationship or a trial-and-error in the love game. Lena's her whole entire world.
So. Maybe they should stop this before it starts, because if Kara's learning anything about herself from the past few weeks, it's that all she has to do is exist to shit up everything around her. She even hurt Lena, even made it impossible for Lena to seek healthcare, made it a shitty experience for them walking home, made her bleed while kissing. She's just - maybe this - maybe she's just better off alone.
"We shouldn't do this," she says, trailing her hands along Lena's thigh. "I can deal with the world being shit, I can. I've done it my whole life and maybe internalized it a little too much, but I can handle it. But you--and I know the volunteer thing has nothing to do with you, but--I've only kissed you twice and I already feel like i don't know what I'll do when I can't do that anymore. And I know I'm maybe fun for you, or exciting, but if we go any further, I think how shitty society is will be the least of my worries."
It feels like the entire room takes a breath as soon as she gets the words out, and suddenly they're suspended in nothingness, neither one of them having the air to speak for a while.
But then, finally, Lena says, "I wanna show you something, if that's okay?" turning herself in Kara's lap so her shoulder's pushed against Kara's chest, pressing her hand against herself low on her belly, toes curling and uncurling in her socks. "You want to know how much I want you, is that it? D'you need to be sure? Because this isn't just fun for me, Kara, and I really want you to get that."
Of course Kara wants to know, wants to be sure, wants to more than anything else, wants to so much it feels like she's shivering from the tension. Of course she wants--god--if there even is any chance Lena wants her even a fraction as much, then she wants to know.
Hell, she spent their entire first year as friends freaking out because Lena was so beautiful she could barely look at her without her stomach flipping, so. There's a very obvious answer to that question.
Still, Kara doesn't answer it, doesn't know how to answer it or even get a chance to, because - well, because a lot of reasons - but the most important one is that Lena's hand is trailing lower and lower down her belly, and Lena's palm is pressing her shirt up just a little bit, and Kara's hands are tensing against Lena just watching and trying to stay as still as possible.
"God, Kara," Lena's saying, pupils expanding as she undoes the strings on her joggers, as her fingers fumble with the material before she finally slips the knot open and then sinks her hand below the waist of her pants.
It takes Kara a second to realize what's happening, to process what's going on, but there's no mistaking the way Lena's hand starts twisting against herself, bulging tight against the fabric, the way her breath's catching, the way Kara's suddenly filled with nerves and excitement and arousal. Lena's scent filling her nose and overriding every single inch of Kara's body and mental space.
"I want you so much, it's hard to articulate it properly," Lena breathes out, voice low and smooth and broken. "But, i don't know, sometimes all it takes is me sitting next to you for me to feel like I can't breathe, like i'm caught up in you so much i couldn't figure my way out even if I had a map. And some days I'm delusional enough to convince myself you feel the same, but most days it's like--i just don't know."
I do feel the same, Kara wants to say out loud, but her tongue sticks to the roof of her mouth when Lena's heart rate picks up, when Lena moans the next time she exhales, when she hears the unmistakable schlick of Lena's fingers sliding in how wet she is.
How wet she is.
Lena's actually wet and touching herself and the entire time she's holding Kara's eye contact--eyes so beautiful, they're like an endless ocean off the coast of an island, burning a hole right through Kara's heart, refusing to look away or be bashful or make this moment any less intense, refusing to be watered down or muddied or even a little more palatable.
It's like a warm scotch, straight up, no chaser that Kara's taking straight to her fucking head right now. Like she absolutely cannot take this right now.
Which, literal, honest to god, results in her... fangs popping out, because of course it does. But then she also growls and smashes her face against Lena's hair, chest still pressed against Lena so she's feeling the vibrations of her heart beating double-time, but also hearing it echo through her head like there's nothing but cacophonous cave-space between her ears.
"Lena," she finally manages to grit out, but her voice is so raspy, it's like sandpaper in the air.
Because she growled, she actually growled, actually did the thing vampires do when they're like... fuck, she's never even heard a vampire properly do that before, didn't even know her throat could produce that sound. Which is like, a massive amount of evidence that what Lena said is completely ridiculous.
"You have to know how much I want you," she continues after a second, hand fisting in Lena's shirt careful careful careful not to grip her fingers in her skin at this point, because it's like she can't control herself or her feelings or for the life of her retract her fangs. "...like it has to be obvious by now. I don't know how you'd be confused or unsure. Don't know how you'd assume there's a chance that I don't, god--" Kara feels so flushed, she's dizzy with it. "--that I would even know how to live without you."
And she can still hear Lena, is the thing, hear Lena touching herself, and it has her head positively swirling; her eyes zoning in and out to the point she has to keep them forced shut as her brain flicks through filthy thoughts like imagining Lena curling her fingers inside herself, imagining her own fingers curled inside Lena. Imagining actually having her mouth on her, maybe, but.
Fuck, she doesn't know if that's even possible, because she doesn't want to hurt Lena, accidentally, with her fingers, or like.
She just - she doesn't want to hurt Lena. She doesn't want to hurt Lena, and she knows the solution is maybe to just talk about it, but she also doesn't want to draw attention to the fact that she's a vampire. That she's shit and no one trusts vampires for a reason, probably, and she probably will hurt Lena again at some point, and maybe she shouldn't be trusted with or let around kids, apparently, and...
It's - it's like there's just so many factors and barriers floating through her mind that, no, okay--it's not that she doesn't want to be with Lena, but she feels like she can't or shouldn't or at the very least should not be allowed to.
But, fuck. Fuck. What is Lena doing right now.
"I don't know, somtimes, like, you just - you make me feel like I'm crazy," Lena says, letting her head tilt back, making Kara actually open her eyes and look at her, cheeks flushing enough as she twists her wrist in her pants that it's making Kara feel crazy too.
Especially when Lena flutters her eyes shut and let's them slowly lift back open, when she finally pulls her hand out and spreads her fingers apart, when Kara realizes that her fingers are slick enough that there's still a glistening filament joining them even as they separate. "I don't know how else to show you how serious this is for me, what you do to me. And, i don't know, just, if you know what you're doing to me, then I don't know why you don't want me. Because I'm all yours, you've had me right from the start, of course you have, and I thought I was obvious about it, but all you do is push me away. So i don't know at this point."
"Christ," Kara says, low under her breath because she can feel a rumble in her chest again, feel her whole body shaking like she's vibrating with energy and just might make a weird noise again.
And then--jesus fuck, she was never meant to resist this, she's only a fucking vampire--she grabs Lena's wrist, as gently as she can at this point, and sucks her fingers right into her mouth. Being careful of her fangs, of course, tongue stuttering through the slick as she takes in the taste; trying her best to process why Lena tastes sweeter than anything online has ever described this as, slobbering and choking over her fingers as she sucks them too far into her throat trying to get more more more. Keeps going even when Lena tries to pull her fingers away, because it's like nothing else matters anymore.
"Hey," Lena says, gripping her hand in Kara's shirt to anchor her as she pulls her fingers out. Then she twists in her lap so shes straddling her waist, lifts her hands and massages them in her curls until Kara's forced to lift her head and actually look in her eyes again. "Could you just talk to me about what you're thinking? You're always caged off and mysterious about certain things and it's real endearing until it's not. I don't know what you think I know, because you don't tell me."
Right, Kara thinks; she needs to talk, she knows it. But -- no, actually, there's not a but, there's just that fact.
"I want you, I do. I swear," she says, letting Lena cradle her head, letting Lena drink her in like she's some impossibly beautiful thing, like she doesn't have the eyes of a vampire and probably no soul. "I'm just, m'nervous about how it might - about like, I don't want to hurt you, you know? And please don't dismiss that like I won't because I might. And i've already hurt you twice before, so can we just acknowledge that? So, 'm not pushing you away, just think a little caution is in order."
"Right," Lena says, but it looks like she's not happy with that, because her nose twitches as she twists her mouth up. "If you're not gonna talk to me, this isn't going to work. It's that simple."
"I don't know, 've just," Kara starts, nervous enough that she's trembling a little. "I think you're too good and too pretty and too smart with too much going for you to want a long term with me, okay? And I've like, dreamed of having someone like you my whole life, or being safe enough to even entertain it, so it feels like i'm grasping at water now that you're finally here, and it just makes my chest feel hollow wondering when it'll stop being real. And the volunteering thing, it just, it really makes me sad because I wanted that a lot, and. I don't know. It's just, all the - all the crap happening to me and in the country and in the world just scares me a little more each day, because what if--"
"There is no what if," Lena says, pulling Kara closer and pressing their lips together. "I want you forever, and I'm gonna protect you no matter what, I swear it. That's the only what if you have to think about. And all this shit, everything that's happening, we're gonna figure it out. And even if we don't, I'll be with you every step of the way while we're trying. I hope that's clear, because, fuck Kara, I don't know how to be more clear."
Fuck, Kara thinks, god fuck. She's in so deep there's no way out without getting hurt, so it's - it's not even all or nothing anymore, it's just all.
"Alura was my maker," she says out of nowhere, like it's just been perched in her throat all this time, right against Lena's lips, right into the air, speaks it into the world like something's taken over her vocal cords. "And I - it's not that exciting because she made me long, long after the other daughters, and i'm not sure why she even did. So i never really felt like one of them, and I've never been able to fly like them, and Alura never told me anything about anything. No one ever tells me anything, like. I don't even know what this thing is on my ribs, but all the daughters had one, apparently, and--"
"It's a faerie rune," Lena says, extra fucking soft, but so matter-of-factly that Kara nearly accepts that faeries actually exist without question, but. What? "All the daughters had one, you're right. It's the reason they could fly and do things other vamps couldn't. They were channeling faerie magic."
Which, again. What? That's ridiculous. It - that - what? Kara's read the Book of Lilith, has read all the ancient texts, every significant vampire writing that anyone can think of, and none of it has ever mentioned that. And, until a week ago, Lena didn't even know she had this, let alone--
God, nothing is adding up. "Where are you getting that from, Lee? I've seen a lot of things, but I've never even seen faeries mentioned other than in the Book of Lilith. So I don't--where'd you hear that?"
"Um," Lena says, shakily, clearing her throat as she flexes her thighs against Kara. "It's just something that all faeries know."
hi all, i have this story planned out at ~60k words (for now), so ignore me playing with the chapter count, just figuring out how i wanna space it. as always, all typos are my fault, just try to imagine what things should say ;p
i also wanted to say thank you(!!) all so much for the support so far on this story, and special thanks to lisamar1exo for THIS lovely picture of Lena. it's been really fun writing it, an i really do appreciate everyone!!
im over on tumblr: here if you wanna talk to me/send me anything/various other whatnots (((8
In all fairness, Kara has no reason to not trust what she's hearing. After all, Lena's never lied to her.
And they're having a rather Serious Talk so far, so it doesn't feel like Lena's taking a left turn and making a random funny right this moment. Not to mention Lena's shaking, her hands and thighs, trembling right up against Kara's waist as she straddles her lap, but... faeries?
It's not even that they can't exist, because Kara knows they can, knows they did.
But--faeries runes magic jesus fucking christ--the whole lot of it is hard to process and at the same time... suddenly the only thing that makes sense to adequately explain it all: Alura and flying and her birthmark and all the daughters sharing that one thing.
So Kara's open to that whole idea, she is. It doesn't even go against her thinking--she's always, at the core of her, assumed faeries still existed in some capacity, one way or another.
So she doesn't need more evidence than Lena saying it, to make her believe it's true. Hell, she can even put two-and-two together and fathom the logistics of it all, considering how old Alura was, and the secrecy around the origins of their abilities.
It just - it makes sense, is what she's saying.
But thats not the flustering piece of this whole thing.
What's really stomping Kara, really flabbering her gast, is trying to figure out how Lena knows that. It's that part of it that she can't wrap her head around. It's that little piece of it, that minor detail, that has her absolutely floored.
Kara nibbles the inside of her cheek and considers, for a really long second, what Lena might've meant by all faeries know. Then, after no good answer comes to her, she decides on just voicing her confusion because there's no possible way for her to rationalize that.
"I don't get it," she mumbles, voice dragging carefully over the syllables of each word like even the sound of herself speaking is an absolute conundrum now. "I mean I get it, but I still don’t get it. If it's something all faeries know, then how do you know it? D'you know a faerie?"
"Yeah, I mean, I guess you could say it like that. It wouldn't be technically wrong," Lena says, reaching up to scrunch her fingers in her hair, devastatingly flushed and gorgeous as she ducks her head, eyelashes fanning over her cheeks as she blinks up from beneath them.
Then she does that thing she does when she's nervous, presses her lips together and clenches her jaw, outline of her cheekbones sharp enough to cut a fucking salad. Fingers linking together as she keeps shake shake shaking right in Kara's hands.
Kara, she--fuck, she loves her so much, and that's probably why it's only now that her mind lights up with an oh my god, fuck lightbulb, only now that it wraps around what Lena's trying to admit to her.
It's only now that she realizes maybe Lena Luthor is too unfathomably perfect for a human, because she's not human.
"I mean, like, you know one, too," Lena trails off, then adds, "You know her really well."
And even though everything was already starting to sink in, it still hits Kara like a stiff wind to the face, because that's an admission, isn't it? She's interpreting this right, she's pretty sure.
Or, well, she at least thinks she's maybe right, and.
That's okay, Kara thinks, that's confusing and perplexing and a headscratcher but Lena's never, ever lied to her especially when she looks this serious, Kara thinks. So that's okay, Kara thinks. In the grand scheme of things this isn't what breaks them.
Lena can be a faerie all she wants, do whatever it is faeries do--eat fruit and prank unsuspecting humans and masquerade as butterflies, jesus christ, what do faeries even do? Maybe Lena isn't actually one and it's like, Sam or something.
They both know her. It could be Sam. Kara needs to be surely sure before she starts littering the kitchen with succulents to make the house more forest-y so Lena feels more at home. Because faeries like flowers, right?
Game Plan. Okay. Step one: figure out if Lena's a faerie. Step two: figure out what she likes.
She's got this.
"So um, this faerie we know, does she happen to be sitting on my lap?" Kara asks, and it's weird, but she's so jittery right now, so tense and weird and fluttery in her stomach.
And she keeps licking her lips, over and over and over, until there's a thick layer of saliva coating them because she's buzzing with enough nervous energy to power a whole fucking city right now. And, god, she knows at least one other person feels it too, because Lena keeps getting redder and redder and huffier, to the point it's almost too alarming not to point it out.
So Kara does the only thing she knows how to do to cut the tension, and asks, as steady as she can, "Does she also happen to be the girl 'm in love with no matter what species she identifies as? 'specially if she's fae, by the way, because that means I can actually love her physically forever."
Lena nods. She slumps against Kara and nods, pressing her face against Kara's cheek and ear and hair and neck, so hot that Kara would swear she was running a fever if she didn't just admit to the existence of a species no one's ever encountered before.
Kara figured it out, was already sure a minute ago, but now thats it's confirmed, she - she's not sure what to do. Lena's still warm and still pretty and still wrapped around her, and she can barely process that, but now there's this.
But, fuck if she'll let her confusion get in the way of her helping Lena. Because Lena's half-way to a panic attack and Kara's number one concern, above it all, is that Lena's healthy and safe and calm. "Tell me what you're thinking. Let me help."
"I don't know, just, fuck," Lena groans, muffled against her neck, heart jackrabbiting in her chest--against Kara's chest, fingers digging fiercely into Kara's biceps with more strength than Kara's ever felt her have. "So many things I want to tell you, but don't know where to start."
Okay, that's easy. Kara can start. She's good at questions, could ask them all day if she needed to, so.
"How about, um," she says, trailing her hands over Lena's thighs so she can lace them behind her on the small of her back, trying to think of where she would want Lena to start. There's one very obvious question at the forefront of her mind. "Are all the Luthors fae? Is Lillian fae?"
"Yes," Lena says, stiff as a board, as if the Luthor family being fae magically taints Lena's character, as if the Luthor family name wasn't questionable already, as if this is their biggest offense--being born a certain way. "There's a fae word for what Lillian--Luthors--are, that you wouldn't understand. But it very, very roughly translates to royal dark fae. She's not my mother, though, not my biological one. My real mother was light fae and Lionel--god can we not start there, it's messy and I hate it and it makes me feel gross."
"Okay," Kara says, gladly dropping that topic, since it seems it was getting real complicated real fast. She sort of blanks on what to ask after that, though, so she ends up being a potato and going with, "Do faeries like flowers?"
"Depends on the faerie, to be honest. But a lot of our magic is nature-based, so I suppose we're inclined. God. I think i'm just--know i'm just--nervous because i broke cardinal rule number one of fae law just now," she goes on without Kara's prompting, thank god. Kara's like a fucking fish out of water here. "We're not supposed to expose ourselves. But I couldn't not tell you i'm fae, not with how i feel about you. So I thought if you drank my blood you'd figure it out on your own, and I'd just fess up, but you didn't, and--"
She takes a big gulp of a breath, takes a second to swallow and loosen her grip on Kara, takes a second to steady herself and her shaky voice, then continues.
"I've tried to shake it, I've tried, but I can't, I physically cant, because the more I love you, the more my magic loves you--and it's like, it's so drawn to you, is the thing. So every time I touch you or i'm near you, it wants to spill out of me and consume you--consume you so you're mine, so I have you, so we're entangled. It wants you so much it's hard for me to control it sometimes. And I - I needed to tell you so you know what's happening, because it's not just me that wants you, it's my magic too, and that means sometimes I can affect you in ways i'm not intending, but. This is a part of me, and I can't change that, so if you don't want that, just tell me."
Kara has no idea what to say. Part of her realizes this is supposed to be a big revelation, but the larger part is mostly thinking she doesn't care, because it's Lena. She'd accept Lena in any way, shape or form and--
It's not even that big of a deal for other reasons, either, like she already accepted the Luthor family was central to bringing down Alura.
So, seriously, the only thing this does is make it make more sense.
Importantly, though, it doesn't change the way she feels about Lena, because she doesn't think anything ever will. Especially not Lena saying her magic--jesus christ--is drawn to Kara, to the point she can't contain it.
"So," she starts slowly, deciding to not even entertain the idea of not wanting Lena, because that would never cross her mind, and ugh. They don't need to go over that again. They're both here and it's pretty clear now they're both staying. "What happens if you just let it flow out?"
"What?" Lena asks.
"Your magic," Kara says. "I don't mind if you just, i don't know, let it do what it wants? As long as it doesn't hurt me. Or at least not hurt me a lot."
"Oh." Kara can feel the tension melting from Lena. Feel her body relaxing in her arms, soft and limp and heavy against Kara's chest as she finally, finally takes a deep breath that doesn't sound concerning. "I don't think you understand what you're asking for."
"Is what I'm asking for something you want to do?"
"It's all I think about," Lena says, so calm and resolute it's like she's speaking the words directly from her soul. "I want it so much, so bad, wanna claim you for my own so I never have to worry again, but it's not something you do on a whim, it's permanent."
Kara hums. "But we're also permanent, aren't we? In one way or another. Like a tattoo."
"No," Lena says, dragging her hand down slowly to tuck underneath Kara's shirt, trailing up up up until she's grazing Kara's birthmark with her fingertips. "More like a rune."
Kara tries to think calming thoughts, reading books on stormy days, strolling through flower fields at nighttime or stargazing in dark spots with no city lights. Definitely not whatever it is that Lena has to do to leave a permanent mark on her body that's laced with faerie magic.
"I think I'm definitely interested."
Lena runs her nose against Kara's jaw, back and forth back and forth, like she's nervous, and then she lifts her head, eyes flickering a bright bright green, assessing Kara like she's too good to be true.
"Are you sure?" she asks. "God, we're not talking about this. I just wanted to voice what I'm going through, but it's not--I want to, but we don't have to, okay? That wasn't what I was saying. I don't want you to feel like I'm pressuring you, or like you have to do it because you love me."
"I don't feel pressured, but I do love you, so I wanna know about it. Because, if it's something you want so much you can barely hold it in, then it's something I want too. I'm being honest. So can you go over it for me, explain it?"
Lena looks, for a second, like she might fight that, but then she just nods her head. Swallows thick and licks her lips and takes a shaky breath and nods her head again.
"Yeah, I can - I can definitely go over it," she says, leaning back and pulling Kara's hand into her own, flipping it palm-up and spanning out Kara's fingers as she holds it between them. "Can even demonstrate it a little bit, so it's - so you can see it's not so daunting. But, again, it's no pressure."
"I know, no pressure," Kara repeats.
"Good, okay, good. Just want to be clear," Lena breathes out, nibbling her lip like she's nervous. Or maybe not nerves, per se, but anticipation--anticipating what's to come. Then she clears her throat and lifts her eyebrow in that way she always does when she's checking with Kara.
Kara clears her own throat and nods her head because she's always sure with Lena.
And then things take a sharp left turn, because good god on a stick--if Kara had any lingering doubt about Lena's fae heritage, it gets flatblasted out of her the second she sees Lena's fingertips glowing-up bright white and mesmerizing and absolutely fucking impossible. The second Lena presses them against her skin and Kara gets consumed with the warm buzz of energy radiating out of them.
The second the energy dissolves into a slow thrum of heat, constant and consistent, reverberating throughout her entire hand and arm and chest as Lena traces the lines of her palm.
And, fuck, it's all only intensified by the fact that Lena's focused, and her hands are so steady and slowslow and meticulous, gliding against Kara as if she's ingraining the magic right into the indentations, slipping it right in the grooves and letting it linger there.
Which, holy hell, this is crazy, for lack of a better word. Kara's head is zooming, thinking magic faeries magic faeries magic faeries on repeat like a shitty chorus line.
"It's like, sometimes your magic latches on to someone," Lena starts, casually, like this is an everyday magic stroll down Kara's palm-lines, like they aren't actively making history with this entire fucking interaction. This was not in the books!!
"It singles out your soulmate, is best I can put it in English, and when it does you just go with it, you trust it always, because the one undeniable Truth that all faeries agree on is your magic never leads you astray." She looks up when she says it, eyes big and dark and fuck. Kara's never had magic inside her, she doesn't think, but she can sense from Lena's expression and glowy fingers that it can maybe? be trusted, wholeheartedly. "So, in fae culture, once your magic latches on to someone, you give them your family rune. It's how you bond, how you're able to sense them at all times, how you're able to be closer than close."
"I wanna be close," Kara whispers, like it's involuntary, warmth spreading throughout her hand like Lena's magic is trying to guide her too. Which is probably dumb, she's probably just--well, not probably; she is--massively turned on right now. "Always wanna be close to you."
"I know," Lena says, still tracing her fingers in slow, slow swirls, lips pretty and pinkpinkpink when she smiles. "My birth mother taught me how to give the one from her side before she died. We used to trace it on paper and trees and in the dirt together for fun," she goes on, fingers tracing a more intricate pattern like she's mapping it out as she says it. "And I never thought I'd get the chance to pass it on, but I want to. With you. But if I'm making you feel obligated--"
Kara shuts her up with a kiss. Because she's had enough of that. Because she's been sure about Lena for a long time now, and she's even more sure now that they're not just a possibility but pretty much an outright guarantee if only she'd stick her hand out and accept it.
So she kisses her, deep and hard and loving. Kisses her as passionate as she feels about her, until the room starts spinning, until she nearly forgets their conversation, until her mind is blanking from happiness, until it doesn't matter anymore that she's a vampire and Lena's a faerie.
Because they're just them, and Kara doesn't know how many times she needs to think that before it solidifies as a concept.
"You're not pressuring me, you're not, okay? I want that too," Kara says, pulling back and shrugging, because she's head over heels for Lena and she doesn't see this going any other way. To make it even more blatantly fucking clear, she lifts her hand up between them and grabs at her necklace, then presses a quick kiss to Lena's lips, before she adds, "Vampires don't bond or anything, but Alura gave me this necklace last time I saw her, and it means a lot to me. I'd want you to have that? If it's not too weird."
Lena just looks at Kara, really looks at Kara, expression stuck somewhere between bewildered and amazed, and just when Kara feels maybe she should explain herself more, she says, "I love you. So much."
Oh. Good. Oh. Kara feels herself smiling too big, too wide, too goofy. "You told me that already, not too long ago."
"Yeah, and I'll probably tell you again in like, ten minutes. Get used to it, 'm not stopping."
"I don't want you to stop, not ever," Kara says, kissing her again, and then again and again and again, before telling her, "I love you too, by the way. Enough to take this magic journey with you, inject foreign unexplainable forces into my body."
"Okay," Lena says, soft and bashful and red, eyelashes fluttering as she looks down, like it's suddenly impossible for her to look into Kara's eyes. Then, she clears her throat, loud and unnatural, fingers knotting between their bellies, and stumbles out, "So, um," awkward transition galore, so cute and so flushed and so fumble-y that Kara could swear they switched places. "...we have some options now, I think, for what to do next--could sit here and make-out, or eat something, maybe, or do the concert--"
"Or give me a rune?"
"Right. Yeah, we could do that too," Lena says, calmly, slowly, heart thumping at a solid hundred-twenty beats per minute like a Spotify running playlist. "That's also an option if you want it to be."
"Of course I want it to be," Kara says, and because she still remembers her awkward o-word, she adds, "But, um, is it weird? What happened last time you touched my other rune? That was magic too, right? Must've been."
"Yeah, it was. And. No, not at all, you're not weird, babe," Lena says, and kisses Kara immediately, fast and sticky since Kara's lips are still damp. "When you don't have magic coursing through your body, it's - I guess it's just foreign to you. And there's no telling how your system's going to process it once you try it. So, it was only natural."
Oh, there's a thought. Except, that doesn't make it any less... weird, really. "So my natural response was sexual, is what you're saying? You're sure that's not weird?"
"Right, um, so," Lena smiles, still awkward and fidgety and Kara could watch her like this forever if she was into torture. "It's just, okay, so you--there's how your body processes magic and also what the magic is conveying, and I think we both just really... like each other, so, um. Sorry for springing it on you like that, should have explained it sooner. Not let you think you were weird or something."
"It's fine, only the most embarrassing moment of my life," Kara jokes, leaning forward so she can press their noses together, just to stay close and touching, but also as a peace offering since it's safe for them to go back to Kara being the nervous one. "But now we're both prepared for it, so let's give it a chance? I want to. I mean, of course I'd want to wear your family rune, would be honored. Gonna love every second of it, I swear, and even if I don't get all the connections that another faerie might get, like feeling you more or feeling bonded, I'd still feel connected. Because it's from you, and that's what makes it special more than anything else."
But it's more than that, is the thing, more than Kara's willing to say because she doesn't want to sound weird. She'd probably touch it all the time, just to feel the magic coursing or whatever, if she can even do that, or just to feel overwhelmed, to feel Lena. God, she wants it.
"Jesus," Lena mumbles. "I really do love you."
"I know," Kara laughs, resting her hands on Lena's waist to squish her closer. "It hasn't even been ten minutes yet, though, for the record."
"Oh my god, stop," Lena blushes, swatting Kara's chest like she wants to push her off, but failing miserably. Kara sprinkling kisses all over her warm-rosy cheeks, until Lena's calm enough to settle comfortably in her arms again. And then she kisses her more, because she can.
And when she's finally satisfied with how well-kissed Lena is, she pulls up and asks, "So where are we doing this?"
So that's how they end up in the bed, how they end up with Kara on her back and Lena pressed against her, with Kara's mind spinning like one of those dangerous roundabout things kids risk their lives on at the playground. "Go over it again?"
Lena stretches lazily against her side, warm and snuggle-soft, lips still tinted a mouth-watering shade of red. Maybe from the cranberry juice, or maybe from their kissing earlier--god, their kissing. Kara was kissing a real-life... faerie? Seriously? How's it even possible for Lena Luthor to exist?
Kara's been wracking her brain for years over this singular question and it just gets more and more complicated to answer each week that passes.
"It's okay, look, it's simple," Lena says, pressing her nose against Kara's cheek and sneaking a hand underneath her shirt, fingers roaming until they find Kara's birthmark-octagram-faerie rune thingy. Then she starts tracing it delicately with her fingertips. "D'you feel that? It's my magic, same as last time. But this time I'm controlling it more, so it should feel more focused."
Kara sucks a deep breath the second she does feel it, static flooding her brain even faster than it did the first time. Maybe that's what focused means. "Yeah, can feel it," she mumbles, voice shaky as she tilts her head back and lets her eyes slip closed. "Feels nice."
"Good," Lena whispers, breath brushing against Kara's cheek, shockingly cool against how warm Lena's magic is making her. "But when I'm ingraining one, it'll probably be more intense. It's focused, but it's also lacing my magic into your body."
"Intense like how?" Kara asks, because her minds already whirring just from Lena swiping her magic over an old rune, not sure how much more intense she can take without accidentally hurting Lena or breaking something. "Intense enough, I might hurt you? On accident?"
She thinks about the night she crushed Lena's wrist, and reflexively curls her hands against her sides. But Lena stays close, still tracing her octagram, apparently undeterred by Kara's ability to control herself. "I know a good rope charm, could use it if that makes you feel better?"
It's dumb, but rope charm bounces around in Kara's head in a weird way, like she's getting squirmy just thinking about Lena tying her up. And she should not be turned on by that, considering the whole point is Lena's safety, but she's just. Dumb. Apparently.
And chewing her lip now, fuck, she needs to stop.
"Yeah, i'd love that--like that--would feel better knowing you're safe from me grabbing you on reflex or something."
"Yeah, I'd love that, too," Lena says, and Kara can tell she's smirking even with her eyes closed.
"Stop," she whines, wiggling her hips like that does anything but hurt her point. "i can't help it. You don't know what your magic, like, how it feels against me. It's a lot and it fogs up my head, and it's also nice and good and other stuff, and don't make fun of it, please."
"You're right, sorry, just keeping things light," Lena says, and somehow Kara's cheek gets rewarded with a kiss, right before Lena pulls her hand off entirely. Kara does everything she can not to cave in on herself, not to feel disappointed. Lena's coming right back, of course, the whole reason they're lying here in the first place. "But, I do want to talk a little while you're not foggy, before we start. So we're all on the same page."
Oh. Kara perks up, then shifts over and looks at Lena. "Still don't feel pressured, if you're checking in. And i'm really okay with the rope, honest."
"That's good," Lena says, "But, are you sure?"
Kara nods. "I'm sure."
"I'm not taking advantage of you, am I? Is there any other way I can give you the option to say no?"
"You're not, okay? Not even a little bit," Kara smiles, curling her finger against Lena's belly. "And there isn't, not really, because I'm just not gonna say it. I'm yes all the way for this, alright?"
"I already know you love me," Lena says, like she's still not convinced, hand falling hot on Kara's belly where her shirt's pushed up. "I know I'm annoying you with my apprehension, but this is a big deal for faeries, and I want to give it the weight it deserves.
"I know it's big deal, never thought otherwise," Kara says, tugging at Lena's shirt so she falls into a chaste kiss. Then she shifts more on her side and presses Lena back on the mattress, drops her shoulder and makes sure she's at a good angle to properly splay her hand over Lena's heart. She's a sucker for romantic gestures, and this is the perfect set-up if she's ever seen one. "I've lived for a pretty long time compared to most beings, and even with that, i've still seen more crap than there has a right to be packed into one vampires lifetime. So, i want you to know I'm not speaking from a lack of life experience when I tell you i've never been more sure about anything than I am about you. There isn't a single millimeter of me that's having second thoughts about this rune, because i'm with you through thick or thin, no matter what, for however long our forever is. And that's just the truth. So, yeah, i'm sure."
"Okay, you don't have to be so gay about it," Lena says, swatting at her arm to push her hand away. But her cheeks are red enough that Kara knows she got her point across. "Okay, god, sorry, okay. I've just wanted this so long, you know? And it's happening. It's happening?"
"It's happening," Kara assures her, and just because she responded to Kara's big gesture, hand on heart and everything, with a dumb come-back, Kara starts to tickle her.
A dumb decision, to be honest, in hindsight, since Lena's got multiple advantages--mostly that she's smaller and more fragile so Kara has to watch herself, but also that she's ruthless and will completely over-power Kara when Kara's just trying to be careful.
Which is how, like five minutes later, they end up with Kara on her back guarding her ribs, and Lena straddling her thigh still holding up her curled offensive fingers.
"Shouldn't we get started," Kara giggles, out of sheer self-preservation at this point. "I mean, think 'm ready, and we shouldn't push it off since we both want this."
"Fuck, yeah, I just - we should start," Lena agrees, smiling and clapping her magical hands together, then she tells Kara to ready herself as she lifts her shirt up to her armpits.
In which Kara notices that Lena's hands, they just - they seem so much larger, somehow, larger than Kara's ever realized.
Kara's always noticed her own hands, always getting in the way and clumsy, but Lena's are big and purposeful right now, careful and sure and delicate and full of magic. Roaming against Kara's skin like she's a vast land of unexplored territory.
"We're gonna do it right here, on the hip," Lena settles on, thumb pressing hot against Kara, sending shivers up her belly and the magic hasn't even started yet. "You'll love it, gonna be pretty just like you."
"Even prettier, I bet," Kara says, letting her head drop back because she's getting a rush just thinking about magic being pressed into her body by Lena of all people--er, faeries. "It's coming from you, after all, never known you to do anything that's not immaculate."
Lena just rolls her eyes, probably because Kara's being a massive nerd again, then she starts circling her wrist as she instructs, "Hands above your head, crossed at the wrist, please."
Kara complies, and not even five seconds later, the hand that Lena's swirling starts to glow, and Kara can feel something cool and firm lacing across her skin, working it's way into the mattress until it's secured her down to it.
"Sure these'll hold?" she asks, pressing up against the ropes to test. "I get pretty strong when I'm, like, out of it."
"Nothing stronger than fae magic," Lena says, confident enough that Kara doesn't feel the need to worry about it. "As a final warning, though--once I start the rune process, I can't exactly stop. I have to finish or it'll leave something fucked on your body. But it only takes like, two minutes to trace it on, so you just have to get through that. Understood?"
"Understood," Kara says, nods, nibbles her lip, because just minutes from now Lena and her will be forever connected.
"Great, nice, I love you so much," Lena says, nibbling her own lip, and then she pulls the waistband of Kara's sweats down and touches her glowing finger to her skin without another second of hesitation.
Kara instantly thinks two things at the exact same time: the first is holy shit that was quick, and the second is roughly along the lines of holy fucking shit i'm not going to survive this.
Because more intense was an understatement.
When Lena said she was lacing her magic into Kara's body, she apparently meant it literally.
The feeling, the one Kara won't dare try to grace with an adequate descriptor, starts right at Lena's fingertip, but as soon as it spreads against Kara's skin, it branches out like lattice-work, trailing it's way over her body like it's on a mission, like it's rewriting the structure of her DNA.
Kara's first instinct is to snatch her hand down and bite her knuckle, but she can't because the rope-work is just as strong as Lena said it is. Her second instinct is her fangs, and not even in a sexual way this time, it just feels like she's under attack, like she needs to protect herself.
There's hardly anything sexual about Lena's magic this time, just white hot and searing, like she's branding the rune right into Kara's skin, like she's searing it into the memory of Kara's every fiber.
It's overwhelming and stinging and blinding and frustrating. But it's also weird and tingly and numbing and it hurts but doesn't hurt. And it's making Kara muffled and fuzzy and jittery and, god, she's losing herself.
It's like ice water shooting through her system, like a fire trying to purify her from the inside out. She feels it acutely everywhere, brain splish-sploshing like a particularly turbulent day out white-water rafting.
"God, Lena, I'm not - don't know if I can," Kara mumbles, choked off and incoherent because she's being ripped apart, wrists flexing against the magical rope, only finding more resistance the harder she struggles.
"If I stop now, it'll be something else entirely," Lena says slowly, fanning her free hand over Kara's ribs and pressing her into the mattress. "You're doing so good, though. It's a lot of magic for a non-fae, but you're taking it so well."
"I'm like, 'm trying, fuck," Kara gasps, digging her fangs in her bottom lip, since the magic is officially spreading through her chest now, gripping her up and taking her breath away with each one she tries to take. Two minutes, jesus fucking christ, two whole minutes of this.
"I've wanted this, fuck, I've wanted this so much, Kara," Lena says, the pinnacle of cool and collected as she re-traces the magic over a sharp edge, Kara vaguely feeling the glide of her finger as she tries to block out the lava coursing through her veins, just so she can hear Lena's voice. "But I kept panicking about telling you i'm a faerie, or thinking you'd take it bad, or worse, that - that you'd say no to this, and I'd just be stuck on you forever, but never really having you. So i'm so glad you said yes, and i promise once I'm done I'll make everything better, but we just have to get through this part."
"Please," Kara breathes out, because she can't process it all--between Lena's voice and the ropes and the magic, she feels like she's getting lost in a fast-moving tsunami of feelings. But still, it's important Lena knows - "I love you, course m'gonna do it, gonna make it."
She lifts her hips up, after she says it, unsure why, but loving the feeling of moving, like it's dissipating some of the pooling energy.
But Lena's quick to keep her pressed down, and god. She just feels so hot and filled and raw and frantic. She just wants her hands on Lena, wants to grab her thighs or her wrist, hold on to it as she traces the lines.
She just wants to touch her, to hold her, to have Lena help her through this, but she can't, knows she can't. And it's driving her insane, driving her crazy, making her heart pump too fucking thickly in her chest, thump-tick-thump, cycling blood like thick ketchup through a small straw.
Even worse, it's making her head--
Is that, fuck, is that what that is? In her chest, that feeling. Is her heart beating?
How is her heart beating?
"Lena, think m'heart's beating?" she half-asks, not enough energy to be panicked, but brain flickering through a thousand possibilities all the same. Chief among them the idea that something is going wrong. "Mm, s'that okay?"
"Um," Lena hums, so calm in Kara's storm of emotions, that it feels like her metaphorical boat stops shaking for one small, lovely beautiful second. "I've never been bonded before, so I can't say for certain, but faeries always say they can feel their runemate's heart beat, so. It could be that. It could be mine. Plus, I'm almost done, so that makes sense, I think."
"What?" Kara asks, out of breath, brain stopping short like the next thing Lena says will be the most important words ever uttered in history, entire world stopping because she's pretty sure, pretty confident, she just heard Lena say that correctly. "What did you say?"
"I'm saying I don't think you have a heart beat, I think you're feeling mine," Lena says, like it's a simple explanation, like there's nothing to it, like Kara isn't legitimately feeling Lena's heart beat right now.
"Oh," she says, letting herself melt against the sheets.
And she's pretty sure she doesn't think of anything else, doesn't feel anything else--not the heat or the magic or the ropes or the cold air in the room, nothing--except the press of each one of Lena's thump thump heart beats for the remainder of the rune.
Which is barely even another thirty seconds, sure, but it could've gone on forever, for all Kara cares.
Because she has Lena, on her hip and in her life and in her chest, thumping away non-stop right where she can feel her. It's like the haze is clearing up, the static, everything she was going through--because nothing is more familiar, more grounding than this.
She's listened to Lena's heart for so long for so many things--to help herself sleep, to calm herself down, to let herself know everything is okay--and now it's there, inside her, pumping as if it's her own.
"You're okay," Lena says, and she's so close suddenly. Kara must've zoned out, because now Lena's stretched on top of her, kissing against the side of her mouth while one of her hands is cupped over the fresh rune. "I'm here, you're okay. You're okay, babe."
"That wasn't fun like before," Kara confesses, voice barely making a sound in the still air of the room. But she remembers how much this means to Lena and thinks about her heart beat and knows she'd do it a thousand times over again.
"I know, it's even a lot for me, so can't imagine what it's like for you, but--we never have to do that again," Lena assures, then she kisses Kara again, full-on the mouth this time, not just the side.
Kara's pretty certain she's smiling now, the stretch of her lips making it burn where she dug her fangs earlier. Completely worth it, though, because she's so happy.
She wants to tell Lena that, but she doesn't really have it in her to have a proper conversation, already feels her eyes getting heavier and her breathing slowing down, feels herself drifting drifting drifting without even trying to, dozing off.
She's falling fast, but before she slips completely away, she does make sure to listen to Lena's heartbeat, compare it to the one in her chest, and it makes her feel warm inside--realizing they actually do match up.