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heaven knows what you do to me (you could chain me up or set me free)

Chapter Text

At birth, every human is assigned a guardian angel. These angels are created especially for this purpose by God. Each angel is as unique as a fingerprint, but every angel shares one thing: the innate drive to protect and defend their assigned human. Some angels take their job very seriously, while others take a more…tough love approach. Angels love their humans and take guiding and protecting them to heart no matter the approach. Human assignments are not always consecutive. Sometimes an angel can go a decade or even a century without an assignment depending on the populations of both groups. To lose your human before their ethereally assigned death is considered a failure and risks a one-way ticket to Down Below; every angel is equipped with the ability to protect their human until their assigned death date, so losing a human beforehand would imply laziness or worse: carelessness. There is no excuse for the loss of human life before the assigned death date. If such an event would happen to occur, angels are subject to trial, assessed by their peers and the archangels and cast out of Heaven forever. Angels could also Fall, which usually is a result of falling in love with a human (rare), or choosing to end their existence and assume a mortal lifespan until their eternal rest. Any angel could become a human, but no human could become an angel. This process was different than being cast out due to failure at Guardianship. One resulted in eternal damnation, the other in a short mortal lifespan. Neither were preferable. But should a human make it safely to their assigned death date, a celebration is thrown and the guardian angel is the first to greet their human as they cross over into Heaven. A star for every human protected until the end is emblazoned on the sash of each angel and are symbols of honor amongst angels.

Things work very different on the other side of this cosmic chess game. The Underworld takes a more leisurely approach to things. Demons are able to come and go as they please to wreak havoc among humans and guardian angels alike. There are no assignments, no “higher calling”. Demons are made for the sole purpose of luring pure souls away from the light and assigning demons to humans would only muddle the pot. Like angels, demons take their jobs very seriously and come equipped with all the necessary tools to lure unsuspecting humans from the light. Unlike angels, demons are nasty, wicked things that will use any means necessary to trick humans away. Things aren’t as organized in the Underworld, and The Boss is a bit unsavory, of course, but they all want the same thing so who’s really keeping score? Most demons are stupid and eager to please. They bring souls down to the Underworld and lay them in the laps of the ruling family like hunting dogs to their masters, tails (sometimes literally) tucked between their legs, big, puppy dog eyes, words of praise spilling from their lips like blood from a new soul. Frankly the process is disgusting and redundant, but if it works, it works.

Due to the nature of the game, there is a lot of overlap in the jobs of angels and demons, usually to the dismay of the angel and the delight of the demon.

Guardian Angel Kara Danvers is no stranger to the wicked ways of demons. Standing in the mirror, she admires her brightly shining sash that represents the humans she has safely seen to their death dates. At just over 150, Kara stands as the most decorated regular angel in the department. Most angels are offered management positions before they reach 100, but Kara has turned down every offer. She knows this is where she’s supposed to be. Helping people, protecting them until they can join Heaven for an eternal reward. She clutches her sash tightly, running her thumb over the rows of stars. She remembers each life she has protected, no matter if it was a thousand years ago or last week. She carries them all in her heart, and sometimes she even visits them on her days of rest.

It had been several decades since she had had an assignment. It wasn’t personal, she knew, but watching her sisters and brothers with their assignments had made her long for her own. It wasn’t a sin to want to do a good job, she reasons. She just wants to help people! Nothing wrong with wanting to fulfill your Heavenly purpose. Kara straightens her halo one last time before heading out the door.

As she approaches the transport station, a familiar voice calls out from the crowd.

“Kara! Over here!” Alex, her most favored sister waves at her from a nearby bench.

Kara grins as she hurries to meet her. “Good morning! How are you today?” She asks politely. They were best friends and sisters, but it was only polite to inquire about the wellbeing of another angel upon first meeting, especially in public.

“Well, thank you. How are you?” Alex responds in a calm, easy voice. When they’re in public, Alex is a model of purity and grace. When they have slumber parties, her personality is far from.

“Very well.” There’s a beat of silence, and finally Kara can’t hold it back anymore. “Do you think today I’ll get another assignment?”

“Oh Kara, it’s been nearly three decades since your last! Surely they will assign you a new human soon. You certainly are the most qualified angel in the department.”

Kara blushes at the praise and bows her head. “We all have our talents, sister. You are too kind.”

“You know I’m right.” Alex pokes her side, making Kara giggle and flinch away. “If I were you, I’d enjoy my time off. You deserve it, and besides it could be worse. The human I’m assigned to seems determined to die at any given time. If I have to miracle her out of any more bars Heaven may run out of miracles!”

“You blaspheme!” Kara gasps but she’s laughing right along with Alex.

Their chat is cut short by the sound of the transport arriving at the station. The crowded station surges forward to enter the train. The train stretches to accommodate the influx of angels, leaving enough room for each angel to sit and be a comfortable distance from others while accommodating for wingspan. There were many perks of being an angel, and miraculously comfortable public transportation was certainly a big one.

At the next stop their friends Lucy, James, Nia, and Brainy join them. They sit in a close circle, chatting excitedly about their assignments, a new fruit that was recently invented and being tested among the angel population before its release on Earth, and even a little bit of drama that happened at an angel house party. This line of conversation was extremely limited—gossip was a grave sin that many an angel had been punished for. Nia had stuck very closely to the facts when relaying the story and was careful to say that she only had a limited view of the situation, which was relatively safe. Still, they changed course quickly after the facts had been relayed.

The transport ride was only half an hour long. Really, it wasn’t necessary. Angels could manifest themselves anywhere, but the social aspect is the reason angels chose to ride it. It’s almost considered rude for an angel to simply manifest themselves home. But the transport wasn’t so bad. Kara enjoyed the time before work with her friends and it gave her time to clear her mind and ready herself for the day.

They pulled into the station in front of the Guardian Angel office. Kara and her friends got off the bus and headed into the building. Alex immediately had to run off to check on her human, and James took Nia to check on the proper paperwork to allow Nia to finish her apprenticeship and become a full Guardian. Nia had transferred over from the Reception office after her Overseer reported that she wasn’t handling the damnation of souls well. But Nia never let the fact that she started late slow her down. James had nothing but words of praise for her and she had assimilated into their friend group as easy as a miracle. Brainy also seemed to have a strong affection for her, but Kara didn’t want to start gossip there, so she just observed them from a distance and wondered if they’d ever ask for permission to date from the Relations office.

Kara padded over to her desk and tried to quell the excitement growing in her chest. What if today was the day? She could almost picture the file resting on her desk, a big red “ASSIGNMENT” stamp on the front with her name scrawled below it. She tried to quiet her racing heart. She didn’t want to get her hopes up only for them to be dashed if nothing was there. As she approached, she kept her eyes on the ground until she stood before the desk. With a deep breath, she looks up.

And there’s a vanilla folder resting on her tidy desk, a big red “assignment” stamp on the front and her name underneath, just as she imagined.

Before she can stop herself, Kara snatches the file from her desk and opens it with so much force that the papers scatter across her desk. She pours over the files, wanting to know every detail about this human named Kelly Olsen. She was an adult, previously assigned to another Guardian who had recently chosen to retire into Eternal Rest. Kelly looked to have a long and full life ahead of her as a corporate psychologist and a death date at 81.

A voice startles Kara out of her reading. “Finally got an assignment?” Lucy asks excitedly.

“That’s great, Guardian Kara. I’m really happy for you.” Lucy smiles. Kara doesn’t miss the way she uses their formal title rather than her own name.

“You’ll get an assignment soon, Lucy. I know it.” Lucy was a recent transfer out of the Justice department and while she went through training quickly, she was yet to receive an assignment.

Lucy’s happy expression disappears and is replaced with one of uncertainty. “You think so?”

Kara stands and places her hand on her friend’s shoulder gently. “I know it, Lucy. You’re a good Guardian and a better angel.”

“Thank you, Kara. That means a lot.” Lucy smiles gratefully.

“Of course. I’ll see you tonight for game night?”

“I’ll be there.” Lucy smiles once more before leaving for her own desk, where she processes assignment paperwork while she awaits assignment.

Kara decides to see Kelly with her own eyes. She tidies up the papers that were scrambled in her haste to read and leaves for the Viewing Room. Any angel is able to see and visit their assignment in times of need, but the act of manifesting on Earth is incredibly draining and requires millennia of practice. Even Kara was only able to manifest for a few hours at most, and trainees like Nia could only manage a few seconds. This was unfortunate due to the rate at which demons and other temptations were appearing from the Underworld, but it was a sort of check in an angel’s tendency to get too infatuated with life on earth and end up Falling.

The Viewing Room consisted of individual screens for angels to be able to watch their humans. Alex was already in the Room, watching her human. Kara takes the empty seat beside her and waves a hand in front of her screen to turn it on.

“How is your human doing today, Guardian Alex?” Kara inquires politely.

“Well, I haven’t had to miracle her out of anything in the half hour I’ve been here.” Alex scoffs. “How about you? I’ve heard you got a new assignment?”

“I did!” Kara drops her gaze to the ground in an effort to stay humble, but continues, “Her name is Kelly Olsen. Her Guardian retired recently, so the Guardianship was passed to me.”

“I’m happy for you!” Alex smiles and places a gentle hand on Kara’s shoulder, before turning back to her monitor. “Oh, Heaven help me, here she goes. Now that I think about it, you’ve never seen my human assignment. Allow me to introduce you. This is Maggie Sawyer, a police officer in National City and chronic partier on her downtime.”

Kara studies the screen intently. The first thing she notices is how beautiful Maggie is. Even in her inebriated state, Maggie’s tan golden skin shines in the club lights, and her eyes are bright and happy as she whirls around the dance floor with various dance partners.

“She’s the one you keep having to pull out of bad situations?”

“Nearly every night.” Alex nods. “She’s a good cop during the day but unfortunately doesn’t handle the stress well when she comes home.”

“What’s her Death Age?”

Alex grimaces. “Thirty-seven.”

“How old is she now?”

“Twenty-nine.” Alex sighs. “She deserves better. Hopefully she will see that before her time comes. In the end it’s a bad sting operation that takes her. Dirty cop mixed with gang activity.”

Kara lays a comforting hand on Alex’s shoulder. She understands how seriously Alex takes her job. It feels like failure to Alex to get an assignment that doesn’t live out their entire lifespan, especially when they’re taken in such violent ways. She also knows how much Alex cares for her humans, even if she complains and doesn’t show it.

The unspoken comfort is understood between the two of them, and the moment passes when Alex says, “Well, let’s see this new assignment.”

They turn to Kara’s monitor. A beautiful woman sat at her desk before them. She had dark brown skin, wide set brown eyes and a slender nose and her full lips were accentuated with a beauty mark on her upper lip. She was hard at work on various files, writing notes in them and breaking every so often to type something on her laptop.

“What did you say she did?” Alex asks, and her tone makes Kara turn sharply.

“She’s a psychologist, why?”

“She’s gorgeous .” Alex says, mostly to herself. “She should consider modelling.” She says louder, trying and failing to make her voice even. Kara shoots her a look, but the Viewing Room isn’t the place for this type of conversation.

“I agree, she is very lovely.” Kara nods once. “Her records indicate that she is well liked in her social group. No enemies, a few female lovers. One serious one, but she reached her Death Date a few years ago.”

“That’s too bad for her.” Alex says, because it’s not really a bad thing for them. To angels, a human reaching their death date is just another job well done. Kelly’s fiancée was resting peacefully in Heaven and her Guardian had received a star for completing their job.

“Kelly’s previous Guardian had noted that things had been rocky for her during the months after her fiancée’s Death Date and was worried they would have to intervene to keep Kelly on course, but she powered through. She’s a fighter.”

Alex’s eyes were still glued to the screen. They sat there in companionable silence until movement on Alex’s monitor caught Kara’s attention.

“Uh, Alex? Maggie seems to be in a bit of a scuffle.”

“Oh, shoot!” Alex turns to her own monitor and presses a few buttons. After a few heartbeats, the fight Maggie had found herself in ended with the other guy backing off and Maggie taking a drink of beer through her now swollen lip.

Alex sighs and puts her forehead down on the table in front of the monitor. “Why couldn’t I have been assigned the beautiful psychologist?” she whines dramatically, earning laugh and a playful nudge from Kara.

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Unfortunately for Kelly, the peaceful existence didn’t last long. Demons walked the earth with humans, eager to tempt whatever soul they could get their claws on. Falling into too many temptations meant that the demon could claim the soul of the human after they had reached their Death Date and passed on. It was horrible to watch humans fall into their clutches, and angels did everything in their Heavenly powers to prevent the temptations. But every so often a human would succumb to the sinful pleasures that a demon offered them, and while a Guardian Angel would continue to watch over them, they knew that when the human passed on they would not pass through the Judgement unscathed. No one sin was enough to condemn a human, so demons had to be persistent in their tactics. Usually it took multiple different demons to tempt one human, because demons were prone to boredom and would quickly move on if a human was too much of a struggle to tempt.

Usually demons knew to stay away from Kara’s humans.

She had created such a reputation for herself through her one hundred and fifty successful Guardianships that demons didn’t bother to try and tempt those under her protection.

Kara had been almost relaxing in the Viewing Room when an unfamiliar voice caught her attention. At this point, Kara had been Kelly’s Guardian for several months in Earth time. She knew Kelly’s schedule, what she liked to do, who she hung out with, which alcohol was her weak point after a long day at work, who her clients were and why they saw her. Kara was feeling pretty confident that this would be the easiest assignment she had ever been given.

Until this newcomer arrived. Kara watched the screen intently as this woman entered Kelly’s office. She had never seen her before, but Kara immediately knows exactly what she is. A demon.

Before the demon can get two words out, Kara manifests herself in the office, using her power to pull the demon in the space between time where Kelly is unable to see them but they speak freely. This had taken thousands of years to perfect, and Kara was currently the only angel able to do it in the entire office.

“Who are you?” Kara asks forcefully, crossing her arms tightly across her chest.

The demon raises a single, perfect eyebrow. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me.”

The demon scoffs and fixes Kara with a cold stare. “Oh angel, if I wanted to, I could have your human begging for Hell’s warmth like it was her mother’s side and there would be nothing you could do to stop me.” Kara shudders at the idea of such manipulation, and it fills her with a swelling need to protect this human at all costs.

“I’ll have you know that this is my human to protect, and she’s off limits. So why don’t you back off?” she says forcefully.

“Someone certainly takes their job a bit too seriously.”

“I do not!” Kara snaps. “Protecting humans is a very important job. You will not get in the way of that.”

The demon raises her hands in mock surrender. “Don’t get your wings in a ruffle. Wouldn’t want any natural disasters taking off outside.”

Kara sputters but can’t quite make her mouth form a retort.

In the beat of silence that follows, Kara realizes for the first time that this is the most beautiful demon she has ever seen in her entire eternity. She has sharp green eyes that make Kara feel like the demon can see into her soul and hair the color of the darkest ink in Heaven. Her pale skin is a stark difference from the fiery-scorched look that most demons usually wore, as if their hideous skin was barely able to be contained under whatever body they wore in the human world. This demon’s skin seemed to be hidden deep beneath the surface, giving her a smooth complexion. Almost self-consciously, Kara fluffs out her wings before she remembers herself and straightens her back and lifts her chin.

“I haven’t seen anything like you before,” Kara says, and the double meaning makes the blood rise to her cheeks before she can stop it. She clears her throat and tries to regain her composure. “What are you doing here?”

“What else would I be doing here?” The demon shakes her head, and Kara can’t help but notice the way her silky hair bounces and catches the watery sunlight. “Tempting humans, securing souls, the usual demon things.”

Kara feels herself growing frustrated with the games that this demon is playing. She tries to remember her purpose in coming here. The hold she has on this bubble of time is slipping, and she begins to hear the murmurs of the world outside. It’s time to return to Heaven.

“Stay away from my human’s life.”

“If you’re finished throwing empty threats at me,” The demon studies her nails as if this was the most boring exchange in the world, “I really must get back to business. Souls won’t tempt themselves, you know.”

Kara opens her mouth, then closes it. Then opens it again, but the demon cuts her off.

“See you around, angel.” She says with a smirk, and then she’s gone.

Kara huffs in frustration and manifests back in the Viewing Room significantly more tired than she was when she left. Dealing with demons was always tricky business, but she had never met one so…nonchalant about the whole thing. Usually the demon was looking for a fight, or some of the braver ones would try to confuse an angel with different riddles and bargains. Lesser angels had Fallen due to these tricks. But this demon…she seemed annoyed by Kara’s presence and really made no attempt to talk her out of protecting the human. Instead, she had let herself be stalled out of her temptation until both of them were forced to retreat.

A hand on her shoulder startles her out of her thoughts. “Kara, are you okay?” Alex asks.

“I’m fine, thanks.” The exhaustion suddenly threatens to overwhelm her. She had never held a time bubble like that for so long before. Manifesting on earth was easy, time bubbles were a whole new ball game. She stumbles to a chair and collapses into it.

“What happened?” Alex asks, taking the seat beside her.

Kara tiredly relays her interaction with this new demon, who Alex as also never seen before based on Kara’s description of her. After Kara’s finished telling her the story of what happened, they sit in silence while Kara regains her strength. Kara splays out her arms on the desk and lays her head down and puzzles over this mystery demon. Why was she so calm and collected? Why hadn’t she fought harder over the right to tempt the soul? And how was she so beautiful?

Kara’s head snaps up at that last part. Beautiful? Demons weren’t beautiful. They were hideous, horrible creatures that delighted on inflicting pain on innocent souls. They were an angel’s mortal enemy. Kara herself had ended the existence of multiple demons in her lifetime for tempting her human and refusing to back down. She hated to do so—she despised killing anything unless there was no other way. And even then she felt dirty and sinful for years afterwards. But this demon was something different.

That night, she and Alex hung out at Kara’s place to catch up outside of work. When she relayed her thoughts about the demon, Alex gave her a stern look.

“Kara, demons are bad news. They torture innocent souls. They kill people! This demon just so happens to be wearing a very attractive mask. It’s not worth your time to keep thinking about it. You’ll probably never run into it again, and if you do you know how to handle yourself. You should be focused on protecting your human. You don’t even know her name! What’s so different about this one from all the others you’ve faced?”

“I don’t know, Alex! She was just so…calm about things. It was almost like she didn’t even want to tempt Kelly’s soul. Sure, she wasn’t exactly friendly, but she wasn’t very forceful either.”

“Maybe she’s heard about your reputation as a Guardian.” Alex nudges Kara’s shoulder with her own playfully.

“I doubt that.” Kara blushes and looks down at the ground. “She probably just wanted an easier soul to steal.”

“Now you’re on the right track.” Alex nods more seriously. “Don’t let this one demon ruin your eternity of Guardianship. You’re better than that.”

Kara nods in agreement and Kara lets Alex change the subject to Nia’s upcoming Guardian promotion ceremony that was to take place later that week. She tries her best not to keep thinking about the demon and mostly succeeds. There were more important things to think about. Like protecting Kelly Olsen and Nia’s promotion. Certainly not dark-haired, gorgeous demons.

Definitely not that.

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Two months pass without so much as a whisper from the green-eyed demon. Kara works hard at protecting Kelly, although it’s not much of a job. She lives a quiet life, only going out with friends every so often and even then mostly opting to be their designated driver. The most Kara has to do is miracle away a few impending car crashes.

In all honesty, Kara was proud of Kelly. She was kind, empathetic, and understanding. She was everything one could want in a friend or therapist. If Kelly had been an angel, Kara most certainly would have been friends with her. Perhaps once Kelly joins them after her Death Date passes, Kara would seek her out and request that she be made an angel. Sin isn’t really a factor in whether or not a human is made an angel, since sin is wiped away once a human enters Heaven (which is the reason that the Judgement office is outside the gates), it’s more that an angel must like a human enough to vouch for them. Most angels outside of the Guardian department find humans whiny and annoying and almost resent having anything to do with them and Guardians don’t usually get emotionally invested in their assignments, making a promotion from human to angel incredibly rare.

But Kelly’s Death Date is a long way off, and so Kara keeps an eye on her in the Viewing Room during the workday and hangs out with Alex, Nia, Brainy, James, and Lucy during their time off. Sometimes when Alex had time, they play cards in the Viewing Room. This mostly happens when Maggie is asleep or otherwise preoccupied and can’t throw herself into any life-threatening situations.

Kara is just about to finally win one of these aforementioned card games when Alex suddenly stops and jerks her head toward the screen. “Who is that?”

“Oh no, don’t try to get out of losing at cards by distracting me. You’re going to lose fair and square.”

“No, Kara, I’m serious,” Alex says, leaving her cards forgotten on the table face up. “Maggie went out to the store to get groceries alone, now someone’s there talking with her.”

“I’m sure it’s just someone making friendly conversation and not at all trying to get out of losing at cards, Alex.” Kara gives her a pointed look and gestures to her face-up cards.

Alex watches the screen intently for a few moments, ignoring Kara.

“I’m sure it’s nothing—”

“Wait, Kara, weren’t you saying a while ago that you met a demon with really pale skin?”

“Yeah, she had black hair and green eyes.” Kara says nonchalantly, to which Alex raises an eyebrow.

“I’m going to let the fact that you remember her exact description slide for now, because I think this is her.”

“What?” Kara nearly knocks her chair over in her haste to get to the screen.

“Christ, Kara. Don’t break the screen! Is it her or not?”

Kara studies the screen intently, noting the way the moonlight bounces off the woman’s inky hair and the slight way she turns her head to the side. Even without hearing her voice or seeing her face, Kara would know it was her demon.

“That’s her. That’s the demon I met a few months ago. I wonder where she’s been.”

“Probably back in Hell where she belongs.” Alex grits out. “I’m going down there.”

“No, Alex, you’ll show yourself.” Kara says quickly. It’s not untrue—Alex can’t hold a time bubble the way Kara can. But it’s not exactly the only reason Kara doesn’t want her to go.

“I can handle myself. I’ll just miracle myself and the demon to be invisible, or I’ll just appear nearby and call the demon away.” Alex crosses her arms across her chest and narrows her eyes. “But that’s not the only reason you don’t want me going down there, is it?”

Kara can’t help the heat that rises to her face. “I just want you to be safe.”

Alex narrows her eyes. “And Lucifer wants to come back to Heaven.”

“I do want you to be safe!” Kara protests, but Alex isn’t having it.

“Fine, go down there if it means that much to you. But if anything happens—”

“You’ll be able to see Maggie the entire time. You can miracle her out of there if you need to.” Kara promises.

“Be careful, Kara.”

“Always!” Kara says, and then she manifests herself down onto earth’s surface. She tugs gently at the threads of time until they bend to her will, and the sound dies around her and the demon.

“You again? I thought Guardian Angels only got one human to chase after.” The demon asks.

“Yes, me again. If you must know, this isn’t my human to protect.”

“So you just wanted to, what, come down here for fun? That sounds dangerously close to Falling, angel.”

“That’s not what I meant. This human happens to be assigned to a friend of mine, and I asked if I could come down here instead of her. I know your tricks.”

The demon takes a step closer to her, and Kara swallows hard. They’re uncomfortably close, and she can feel her skin crawl at the proximity.

“You have no idea what tricks I can play, angel.” The demon’s voice drops low and Kara’s stomach swoops in response, but she forces herself to stay planted in one spot. “You’re different than the rest of them.” She says, stepping back and letting her voice return to normal. “Most angels would have already tried to kill me for getting this close to them.”

“I’m not most angels.” Kara rasps awkwardly. She clears her throat and says, “And you obviously aren’t most demons.”

A weird look comes across the demon’s face, but before Kara can pinpoint what it is, it’s gone. “You could say that.” She replies.

“I still don’t know your name.” Kara says as calm as possible, but she’s almost desperate to know what to call this demon that has been a near-permanent fixture in her mind for months now.

The demon seems to consider for a second, which strikes Kara as odd, but she doesn’t have too much time to dwell on it, because the demon finally responds.

“My name,” she says finally, “is Lena.”

Kara thinks her world pauses for a moment—which is sort of accurate, considering their time bubble—but her mind just stops. This beautiful monster that has haunted her for months now has a name, and it may just be the most beautiful name Kara’s ever heard in all her eons of existence.

“Well?” The demon—Lena—asks. “What’s your name?”

“Kara,” she responds quickly. “My name is Kara.”

“Well Kara, I do believe you should be going now.” Lena nods her head towards Maggie, who Kara suddenly realizes is moving—an indicator that Kara’s angel magic is slipping.

“Wait,” Kara says almost desperately. “You won’t hurt her, will you? When I go?”

Lena gives her a small half-smile, and it’s not the threatening smirk she got earlier, it’s almost a true smile, and Kara’s traitorous heart speeds up. “I promise.”

Kara has no choice but to believe her, because she barely has enough time to reappear in the Viewing Room before her magic gives out completely and the world continues to spin.

Alex is beside her in an instant. “Well? What happened?” Alex asks, but Kara suddenly lurches to one side, exhausted from the effort of stopping time for so long but Alex catches her arm and helps her to a chair.

“Her name is Lena.” Kara whispers in a daze.

“Okay, so the demon has a name,” Alex says, the frustration evident in her voice. “But what did she say? I couldn’t see anything except Maggie.”

“She won’t hurt Maggie.” Kara explains. “She’s not like that.”

Alex snorts. “Alright, she’s definitely done something to you.”

“No!” Kara says hoarsely. “She didn’t do anything. ‘m just tired from the time bubble.”

“Okay,” Alex sighs. “If you say she won’t hurt Maggie, I’ll believe you. But don’t make me regret this, Kara. If anything happens to this assignment, I’m dragging you Downstairs with me.” She stalks away, pinching the bridge of her nose as she goes.

If it meant seeing more of Lena, Kara thinks that Hell may not be so bad after all.

Chapter Text

Teaching Alex how to manifest herself on Earth was surprisingly easy. Alex picked up on it the nuances of looking human rather quickly. The hardest part—at least in Kara’s mind—was adjusting your posture to accommodate the sudden lack of wings. Angel wings were heavy, but when they appeared human, the wings just…disappeared. They could recall them at any time in an emergency, but by some miracle they just went somewhere else. Or maybe they were there, just weightless and invisible. Kara didn’t think too hard about it. It was best to just let things work the way they intended. Once the weight was gone, one tended to overcompensate for weight that was no longer there.

This results in several spectacular wipeouts and one destroyed boulder by the time Alex finally manages to stay on her feet for longer than thirty seconds, but she falls to the ground and flashes back into her angel form before she makes it a full minute.

Kara is watching her from several feet away. “You’re getting better!”

“I didn’t realize wings accounted for so much weight.” Alex huffs indignantly. “How am I supposed to manage in front of humans if I can’t even stand up?”

“You only just started, Alex. You’ll get better, and you’re already doing better than me when I started.”

“You said your Guardian mentor taught you this?”

“She said that a good Guardian should be prepared for anything.” Kara shrugs. “She thought it’d be useful, and well, here we are.”

“Well, we can’t all be Guardian Cat Grant, can we?” Alex pulls herself off the ground and brushes herself off. “Show me.”

Kara nods and closes her eyes. She lets the magic wash over her and settle into her skin. It feels like bubbles fizzing gently against her skin, and the weight on her back vanishes. She rocks on her heels to balance herself and opens her eyes. Shifting this way requires constant effort to maintain the look, but as time goes on, the effort is moved into the back of your mind to leave you free to do other things.

“How do I look?” Kara asks.

Kara’s skin prickles at the way Alex is studying her so closely. She forces herself to keep her arms at her sides rather than crossed over her chest.

Alex steps back. “I’m ready.”

“You got this!” Kara says encouragingly.

Alex gives her an anxious smile before she steps a bit deeper into the open field. Kara stays in place and in this human form in order to strengthen her hold on it. Already she was beginning to sweat at the effort of it, when at her prime she could stay this way for several hours. Magic was like a muscle—you had to work it every once in a while.

There’s a small flash from Alex’s direction that has Kara blinking her sensitive human eyes, and then—there’s Alex, in human form, on her feet.

“You did it!” Kara yells excitedly and runs over to her.

“I did it!” Alex says excitedly when Kara reaches her. “Except,” she says a bit more seriously, “I don’t think I can walk.”

Kara laughs brightly. “We can work on walking later. Baby steps, Alex. Today, you stood! Tomorrow, you’ll be walking.”

They stand there for a few moments, and finally Alex says, “Okay, I don’t think I can hold it anymore. I’m going to change back.” Kara steps back to give her some space. In the blink of an eye, Alex’s wings return, her skin becomes smooth and perfect and the ethereal light that seems to shine from inside her returns.

“Wow,” Alex comments as she looks at Kara’s human form. “I didn’t think the change would be so different.”

“I’ll try not to take that as an insult.”

“That’s not what I meant.” Alex pokes her tongue out at her. “I just meant that, when we protect humans and we see them in the Viewing Room they don’t look that much different than us. But standing next to you, I can see why they were shouting ‘Do not be afraid’ at those shepherds in the field.”

“I guess we can be pretty intimidating.” Kara concedes. “But it comes in handy when we’re up against demons.”

“Speaking of demons, are you ready to look for yours?”

A rush of excitement fills Kara suddenly. “Let me change back.”

It’s finished in an instant, and Kara and Alex head out of the field and make the short walk to Kara’s dwelling. They decide to begin by checking in with other Guardians to see if they had seen or heard anything about Lena. First they start with tracking down each other their friends, who are mostly at work. Brainy and Nia are together, which makes things faster, but neither of them had seen a green-eyed demon with dark hair. Then they head to James.

“Yeah, I think I’ve seen her hanging around my human’s life. She’s never said or done anything to him though, so I’ve left it alone for now. She’s been absent recently, so I guessed she’s just moved on. What do you need with her?”

“Oh, nothing important.” Kara says awkwardly. It’s not exactly a lie, but it’s not exactly the truth. “She’s been messing with my human and Alex’s. We just wanted to see if she’s been bothering anyone else. If you see her can you let me know?”

James gives her a weird look, but all he says is, “Sure. But be careful, Kara.”

“Of course!” Kara replies cheerfully, but quickly turns and hurries away from James to where Alex is standing nearby.

“Well, we know she’s been busy lately. But James said she hasn’t interfered with his human’s life, just that she’s been hanging around. She only spoke to Kelly when I caught her, and she hadn’t said anything tempting to Maggie when we found her last time. Every time I’ve talked to her, she hasn’t fought me or tried to trick me. Why isn’t she tempting them? Or attacking me?”

Alex tilts her head thoughtfully. “Well, both times you interfered before she had a chance to really tempt them. But it is weird that she wasn’t going for James’s human, and she wasn’t fighting you.” Alex pauses, then says, “Maybe next time, you shouldn’t interfere right away. See what she does.”

Kara looks at her in shock and shakes her head incredulously. “I won’t put Kelly or Maggie in danger.”

“No one will be in any danger. You’ll be listening and watching the entire time, and if things get sketchy you can jump in.”

“The plan was to find her so I can talk to her, not find her and ask her why she is the way she is.”

“Oh, it’s not?” Alex raises her eyebrows suggestively.

Kara glares at her but can’t come up with a retort. What was the point of seeking out this demon if not to get to know her better? Lena was beautiful, but most demons appeared that way to better tempt their victims. It didn’t usually work on angels. Lena was different—she wasn’t openly hostile, and she didn’t actually try to steal souls. Kara wanted to know why, that was all. Right?

“I think we should call it quits for today. I’m tired after all that practice earlier, and I don’t think we’re going to find anything tonight.” Alex says with a yawn.

Although reluctant to give up her search, Kara nods. She couldn’t expect to find Lena after a few hours, could she? “You should go home and get some rest. Thanks for your help, Alex.”

“You’re going to go home too, right?” Alex asks suspiciously. “You need to rest, Kara. You’re not going to find her in one night. Kelly needs you to be at your best to protect her.”

Now it was Kara’s turn to be suspicious. “You’ve never doubted my protection when I pulled an all-nighter before.”

Alex’s tone changes immediately. “I’m not doubting you. You’ve been working all day and then helping me and searching for Lena. That’s draining for anyone, not just you.”

Kara doesn’t buy it. “I don’t think you’ve ever brought up my human’s life before now, actually. What’s going on?”
“Nothing, okay? I just want you to take a break. I know how you get when you put your focus on something.” Alex looks so sincere Kara almost believes her. She decides to let it go, for now.

“Alright, I’ll go home. But you’re acting weird.”

“I’m not acting weird. You are the one chasing after a demon.”

“You keep saying that like it’s going to change my mind.”

“I’m hoping at some point it’ll at least bring you to your senses!”

“It hasn’t worked yet.” Kara reminds her.

“Don’t worry, I have all of eternity to convince you.” Alex rolls her eyes dramatically and spins on her heel, hurrying out the door before Kara can say anything else.

Sighing, Kara heads home too. Alex is right—she’s not going to get anything done by herself. It’s late and most Guardians are going home for the night. Lena was likely asleep wherever she was. Tomorrow Kara would resume her search for answers and, hopefully, find some.

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Lena Kieran Luthor, second heir to the throne of Hell, daughter to the current Queen of Hell, was not having a good day.

Her day had started off normally. She had awoken in her chambers to the screaming of damned souls, dressed, and resumed her studies from the night previous. Her mother and brother never understood her need to be connected to the human world this way, but Lena was naturally curious. Humans had so many things -- science, engineering, languages, social etiquette. So many things that demons didn’t have but could certainly benefit from.

Normally, Lena was left to her own devices, allowed to roam Hell and do whatever she pleased. She was not chained to the normal soul quotas that other demons were, but she was allowed to bring them in whenever she felt like it (not that she ever did). Lena preferred to stay in her chambers, away from prying eyes and jealous demons that want to take their frustrations out on her.

Until today. A pounding at her chamber door jerks her out of her readings. “Come in,” she calls without asking who it is, because only two people dare to interrupt her here. Neither are preferable options.

“Dear sister,” her brother Lex, the current heir to the throne of Hell and a royal pain in her ass, greets her cheerily.

“Brother,” Lena nods politely, “To what do I owe this…displeasure?”

“You wound me, Lena. Really. But anyways,” he continues, because nothing could ever wound this arrogant, selfish prick, “Mother wants to speak with you. It sounded important.”

While she hated when her mother summoned her, she wasn’t able to refuse. She follows Lex quickly down the halls of Hell to the throne room, where her mother Lillian lounged on a throne made of sharpened bone and obsidian. It chilled Lena to the core every time she saw it. It just felt so…wrong.

“Lena, how wonderful of you to finally join us.” Lillian says in a saccharine voice.

Lena drops into a curtsy. “You wanted to speak with me Mother?” she keeps her head bowed respectfully until Lillian states otherwise. Lesser demons had been killed for making that mistake.

“You haven’t brought in any souls this quarter.” Lillian states point-blank.

“We agreed that—”

“Silence. I didn’t ask for your excuses. I want you to bring in some souls. Pitch in with the family business. Other demons are starting to question your usefulness here.”

Lena knows she has no argument here. Whatever Lillian commands is done. There were consequences to doing anything else. Lena tries to ignore the hollow feeling in her heart as she replies, “Yes, Mother.”

Lillian doesn’t say anything else but rather begins to order around some servants, so Lena excuses herself from the throne room, and Lex is waiting for her outside the door.

“So, souls huh?” He grins like it’s a game. Like humans are just toys to play with, souls to steal. It sickens Lena to her core.

“Drop it, Lex.” Lena growls as she stomps past him in the direction of her chambers.

But it’s not enough to shake him. “C’mon, sis! This is exciting! Finally joining in on the fun!”

“If you want to call it ‘fun’.” Lena mutters, still stomping towards her room.

“I could help you, you know. We could work together. Imagine all the souls we could steal from those Heavenly assholes up above! We’d be the greatest team Hell has ever seen.”

“I don’t need your help, Lex. I just want to be left alone. I’ll do this job, then I’m done.”

Lex sighs and stops in front of her door to her chamber, blocking her path. “Fine. But don’t say I didn’t offer my help. If you need me, I have some souls to torment.” With that, he turns and paces away towards the ever-growing sound of screaming souls.

Lena unlocks her chamber door and heads inside. She’ll have to collect at least one soul, and soon. Lillian knows this is the one thing that Lena cannot stand to do. She did collect souls in the beginning, when she first came to Hell, but only because it was required of her. She had wanted to make a good impression and do a good job as a thank you for saving her. Lillian’s husband Lionel, the previous ruler of Hell, had had an affair with a human woman. He was supposed to be stealing her soul—and rest assured, he did steal it in the end—but not before he impregnated her. Lena supposed she was literally the spawn of Satan. She remembered little of her human mother: a warm hug, soft dark curly hair, snippets of a song. They were her most treasured memories, something that not even Lillian could take away from her. Once Lionel returned to Hell and Lillian discovered his affair, she killed him and would have killed Lena’s mother too, had Lionel not already stolen her soul for Hell. And there left little Lena, who witnessed every moment of her father’s murder at the hands of her new stepmother.

The short few years that Lena had spent living with her human mother had softened her heart to the fragile beings. She had learned how to steal their souls at the behest of Lillian, but never quite felt the joy that Lex had seemed to feel. Once she was old enough, she requested to be left to her own devices, and Lillian had been happy to oblige if only to get Lena out of her hair. They had existed in an uneasy truce ever since. Until today.

Lena decides that the best thing to do is to go to earth and get this assignment over with as soon as possible. Her skin crawled with the idea of tricking some poor human into a deed so bad that they would be condemned to Hell, but she was left with no choice. She changes into some relatively normal earth-like clothes, takes a deep breath, and in a blink she’s standing on the side of some road on Earth.

At first the noise is deafening. In Hell, she’s used to the sound of screams, the clanking of chains and other various metal devices, and the shrieks of pleasure coming from demons as they torment humans. On earth, the sound of cars, planes, music, and talking were so foreign they make her head spin for a moment. She has to squeeze her eyes shut and take a few deep breaths through her nose to center herself. Get in, steal a soul, get out. She tells herself over and over. You can do this.

She finally opens her eyes, and turns around. The building she’s standing in front of is CatCo Worldwide Media, which Lena assumes is as good a place as any to get a soul to steal. Most reporters were soulless anyways, right?

Lena enters the building easily enough and makes her way to the directory. It seems that CatCo has recently merged with one Obsidian North, a tech company. She scans the directory on the wall and stops at a random name. Kelly Olsen, floor 103. Lena closes her eyes, and when she reopens them, she’s standing in front of a door that reads “Kelly Olsen, M.S, NBCC”. Lena takes a second to steel herself. It’s just a character to play. You can do this. she thinks. Lena’s demon side is rather…unsavory, and not a side she likes to interact with often.

She opens the door without knocking and finds Kelly Olsen alone at her desk. The woman is rather pretty, with dark brown skin and black hair and a petite frame. The kind of woman who settles down with a nice man—or woman, Lena wasn’t judging—and raises a few kids and adopts a dog or two. Not the kind of woman who deserves to have her soul tricked into going to Hell. She can’t do this. Before Lena can open her mouth to come up with an excuse to leave, an apology maybe, she’s lost and could she possibly tell her the way to this office here, time just…stops.

“Who are you?” An angel asks rather abruptly.

Lena can’t help but raise an eyebrow. Dealing with angels is something she prides herself on being rather good at. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me.”

Lena scoffs at this angel’s hubris. “Oh angel, if I wanted to, I could have your human begging for Hell’s warmth like it was her mother’s side and there would be nothing you could do to stop me.” The statement, although perhaps not entirely true, has the intended effect. The angel is visibly uncomfortable.

“I’ll have you know that this is my human to protect, and she’s off limits. So why don’t you back off?” she says forcefully.

“Someone certainly takes their job a bit too seriously.” Lena retorts.

“I do not!” The angel snaps. “Protecting humans is a very important job. You will not get in the way of that.”

Lena raises her hands in mock surrender. “Don’t get your wings in a ruffle. Wouldn’t want any natural disasters taking off outside.”

The angel sputters but can’t quite make her mouth form a retort. Interesting. Lena notices that this angel is more beautiful than any other angel she’s ever seen. She has golden blonde hair, deep blue eyes, and freckles that sprinkle across her cheekbones in a way that makes Lena want to trace constellations with her lips. Wait, what?

“I haven’t seen anything like you before,” The angel says, and Lena notices her cheeks turning a brilliant shade of pink. She clears her throat. “What are you doing here?”

Lena tries not to stare. “What else would I be doing here?” Lena shakes her head dramatically to hopefully distract the angel. It’s best to play coy with these overly eager Guardian angels. “Tempting humans, securing souls, the usual demon things.”

“Stay away from my human’s life.” The angel snaps.

“If you’re finished throwing empty threats at me,” Lena studies her nails as if this was the most boring exchange in the world, “I really must get back to business. Souls won’t tempt themselves, you know.”

The angel opens her mouth, then closes it. Then opens it again, but Lena doesn’t give her the chance to say anything else.

“See you around, angel.” She says with a smirk, and then she’s gone. Lena teleports herself about a block away from CatCo, far enough that the angel wouldn’t follow her.

She hadn’t expected to run into a Guardian Angel so quickly when trying to tempt a soul. Usually they at least allowed her to speak to the human, maybe even tempt the human into a little sin, but they never interrupted before she could even speak. Even though Lena hadn’t really planned on tempting Kelly Olsen, she hadn’t expected such an abrupt interruption. She resented the angel stopping her. If she hadn’t, Lena could be back in her chambers, reading her books, a soul secured for Hell and Lillian off her back by now. Instead she now had to find another soul to steal.

Lena decides to wander around National City for a few hours trying to reacquaint herself with human customs. She definitely wasn’t procrastinating the damnation of a human soul. It was better to know your target, right? And so she visits a little coffeehouse on 7th street that’s completely themed around random barn animals, complete with statues of roosters and mugs with photos of old red barns printed on them. After she finishes her latte, she finds an art studio a few blocks over. Plants stretch across the big bay windows that face the street and gentle harp music floats through the air. Inside, paint splattered picnic style tables crowd the open floor. The place has a distinct feeling of home about it. Handmade canvas art hangs for sale on the wall. Lena skims over each piece in detail. She spends too long deciding the theme of each piece and trying to feel what the artist felt when they painted it.

“Can I help you?” a kind voice pulls Lena out of her thoughts on a particularly dark piece. The colors were dark and dreary, but there was something almost…hopeful about it.

“Oh, no,” Lena says quickly. “I’m just looking.”

“Okay, well let me know if you want to buy anything.” The woman pauses and takes a long look at the canvas on the wall. “You know, I painted this when I was eighteen. I had just run away from my horrible mother after our nightly screaming match. Not a penny to my name. I didn’t even own the shoes on my feet. Mom always wanted me to go to school to take over the family store, but my heart has always been in art. This painting is of me leaving, but the little yellow light? That’s my hope for the future. And now, ten years later,” the woman looks around the shop proudly, “this is mine.”

A lump forms in Lena’s throat as the woman tells her story. It’s too close to Lena’s own story, her own dreams of being a human scientist rather than a ruler of Hell reflected in this woman’s history of her art studio.

“Sorry, I’m rambling again.” The woman says sheepishly. “Most people don’t look at this piece very much. It doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the colors in here. I really should take it down.” She reaches across Lena to grab the canvas.

“No!” Lena says quickly, causing the woman to freeze in place. “It’s beautiful. Don’t take it down.”

The woman gives her a confused but happy look. “Oh, okay. If you really think so.”

Lena just nods. She needs to get out of here. It’s all too much. She has to get back to work.

“I have to go.” Lena says quickly, and races out of the studio before the woman can get another word in.

This was a horrible idea. Coming to the human world after so long had re-awakened the yearning inside her to be like them. To just be normal, not a half demon mistake that tortured souls and served the Queen of Hell.

Somehow, Lena’s mind turns toward the golden-haired angel that she met earlier. She was so perfect. Lena bets that she never doubted her place in Heaven or hated her job. She probably had tons of angel friends, all just as perfect and cheery as her. Even the freckles on her cheeks were perfectly placed. Lena wonders briefly if the angel was thinking of her, too, but then she scoffs at the idea. That angel was probably thinking of her head on a stake, not how pretty she was.

All at once angry and sad, Lena storms back down to the Underworld. She would resume her attempt to steal a soul tomorrow. She retires immediately to her chambers and locks the door behind her. Not even Lex bothers her tonight.

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Lena puts off returning to the human world for as long as she can. She hides in her room, studying her books and trying not to think of a certain blonde-haired angel. But the ruse doesn’t last long enough.

“Sis?” Lex’s voice asks from the other side of the door one day while Lena is in the middle of teaching herself differential equations.

Lena stops and holds her breath. Hopefully he’ll think her gone to Earth if she can stay quiet enough. A few thunderous heartbeats pass, and Lex says, “I know you’re hiding in there. I can hear your heartbeat.”

Lena lets her breath out in a long sigh. “What do you want, Lex?”

“Lillian knows you’re not out tempting souls. She sent me to remind you that your presence here is a gift and blah blah blah, you know, the usual threats. Basically, you should get back to stealing souls.”

She gets up silently and opens the chamber door to reveal her brother in a midnight-black suit and a serious look on his face. “You’ll have your souls soon.”

“Hey it’s not me that wants you do bring in souls.” Lex throws his hands up in mock surrender. “I could care less if you want to lock yourself in your room with some moldy old books. It’s Mother that wants you to contribute.”

“I know, but sending you here every five seconds isn’t helping.” Lena sighs.

“Lena, it’s been months since you last went to earth.”

Months? Is that how long she had been hiding? “I’ll go today.” She decides before she can let her stupid human heart fight against her.

Lex nods, but gives her a skeptical look and hurries away. Lena immediately transports herself back onto earth. Thankfully this time it’s a less overwhelming experience. Even though she hadn’t been on Earth for months, apparently, the sounds were less disorienting than last time. It was night this time, and the streets were mostly deserted. Lena started walking down the sidewalk, determined to tempt the first soul she came across.

As she passes a 7/11, a woman carrying several bags of groceries crosses her path. Lena stops her. “Excuse me.” She says politely.

“Can I help you?” The woman asks. Lena can read her instantly. One of the so-called perks of being a demon is the ability to see what would work best to tempt their mark. Lena can also tell that she’s a cop, so she has to play this carefully. Not that handcuffs could hold her, but it would certainly cause more of a fuss than Lena’s looking for.

“I’m trying to get a—”

And then time just…stops. The frustration of being interrupted claws its way across her skin and she tightens her fists. Yet another angel prolonging her work. She turns, ready to give her enemy a piece of her mind, but she stops dead when she sees who it is.

“You again? I thought Guardian Angels only got one human to chase after.” Lena asks. It feels stupid and awkward, but Lena hadn’t expected to run into the beautiful angel so soon.

“Yes, me again. If you must know, this isn’t my human to protect.”

“So you just wanted to, what, come down here for fun? That sounds dangerously close to Falling, angel.” Taunts are easier than what Lena really wants to say. That she’s been on Lena’s mind for months, her ocean-blue eyes appearing in her dreams at night and distracting her from her studies during the day.

“That’s not what I meant. This human happens to be assigned to a friend of mine, and I asked if I could come down here instead of her. I know your tricks.”

Lena takes a step closer to her, and the angel swallows visibly. They’re uncomfortably close, and Lena can feel her heart speed up at the proximity. The move has the opposite effect on the angel, and Lena decides to toy with her a bit.

“You have no idea what tricks I can play, angel.” Lena drops her voice into a low, sensual growl.
She waits a moment, and when she doesn’t get the expected response, Lena is pleasantly surprised. “You’re different than the rest of them.” She says, stepping back and letting her voice return to normal. “Most angels would have already tried to kill me for getting this close to them.”

“I’m not most angels.” The angel rasps. She clears her throat and says, “And you obviously aren’t most demons.”

Lena hesitates. “You could say that.”

“I still don’t know your name.” The angel says in a rush.

Lena pauses. Should she tell this angel her name? There was power in naming a demon, after all. If said in the proper way, it could summon a demon from wherever they were in the world into a trap. Quickly, Lena decides being trapped by this angel wouldn’t be so bad.

“My name,” she says, “is Lena.”

The angel doesn’t respond for several heartbeats, and at first Lena thinks she did something wrong.

“Well?” Lena asks, trying to keep her tone one of cool annoyance rather than panicked fear. “What’s your name?”

“Kara,” she responds quickly. “My name is Kara.”

Kara. It meant “love” in some languages, and Lena thinks that those ancient civilizations must have modelled the word after just a glimpse of this angel.

Lena tries to play cool. “Well Kara, I do believe you should be going now.” Lena nods her head towards Maggie, who Lena sees is moving—an indicator that Kara’s angel magic is slipping.

“Wait,” Kara says almost desperately. “You won’t hurt her, will you? When I go?”

Lena gives her a small half-smile. Lena would never do a single thing to hurt Kara . If that meant not stealing this soul, Lena would do it. “I promise.”

And then Kara was gone, leaving Lena alone on the street with this human.

“Sorry, were you saying something?” the woman asks, oblivious to the conversation—and revelation—that Lena has just had.

Lena has to recover quickly to not let this human catch on to the supernatural goings-on that she was just a background character to. “No, sorry, I was just looking for the closest…bus stop.”

“Oh. It’s about half a block that way,” The woman gestures further down the street in the opposite direction of the way they were facing.

“Thanks!” Lena says quickly, and hurries off in that direction.

When she’s out of sight, Lena transports herself to another side of town. She lets herself rest against a brick wall momentarily. Demon magic didn’t face limits like angel magic. She could teleport and influence things at will. The lust for unending power is one of the things that caused the original demons to Fall. The limits on angels were imposed to keep them from Falling. No, Lena’s weariness was caused by one Guardian Kara, who had haunted her thoughts and dreams for months on end. Learning her name was like the ground shifting beneath her feet to form a perfect landscape. Lena wanted to see her again like Lillian wanted souls in Hell. But she had to play this right. She couldn’t go looking for an angel. People in Heaven would start asking questions, and Lena didn’t want her to get in trouble.

Lena lets herself slide down the brick wall until she’s sitting on the sidewalk, knees to her chest and head resting on her knees. This was a bad idea. Demons didn’t mix with angels. Her stupid human heart was complicating things again. The demon side of her wanted to destroy the threat and claim the soul, but her human heart wanted to pursue Kara wholeheartedly, even if it led to her own destruction.

She doesn’t know how much time she spends crouched on the sidewalk in the dead of night, debating on what to do about Kara. She decides that the best thing to do is actively avoid her. Lena would hunt for souls in a different city, away from any humans that Kara may be looking after. It was best if she never saw her again. She should just try and forget about this whole thing. She could do that, right?

Right?

Chapter Text

Kara and Alex had been searching for Lena for weeks now. Kara was still teaching Alex how to appear human every day after they got off Guardian duties, and she was an excellent student. Once she was able to stand, it was all downhill from there. She quickly picked up walking, running, and even skipping. She still hadn’t revealed to Kara why she wanted to learn this particular skill, but Kara trusted her. It wasn’t a sin to learn this, and maybe Alex really just wanted to know how to do it to protect her human. And now that Alex was practicing, Kara worked alongside her and could stay in human form for hours on end.

However, Alex was increasingly watching over Kara’s shoulder when they were in the Viewing Room watching over their humans. She wasn’t neglecting Maggie, but she seemed to be very interested in the inner-workings of Kelly’s life for some reason. It was strange, but again, Kara trusted her. And as long as no one died or got hurt, it wasn’t a big deal.

At least something was going right for someone. They had had no luck finding Lena anywhere. No other angels had met her, no one had reported their human’s soul lost to a green-eyed demon. It was as if she didn’t exist. Kara was starting to believe it had all been a fever dream and there had never been any demon to begin with. The lack of results was disheartening to say the least.

Their search went on for another few weeks. Teaching Alex had turned into a competition of who could hold their human form the longest (Kara) and who was the most agile in that form (Alex) and who could beat the other in hand-to-hand combat (usually a tie, not that Alex would ever admit it). Sometimes they invited Nia and Lucy along, and Kara offered to teach them to appear human too, but they politely declined and rather preferred to watch the two compete. Nia and Lucy were still oblivious for their search for Lena. Kara felt like the less people that knew, the safer they would be in case of any trouble.

Kara’s working one late afternoon in the Viewing Room with Alex and Nia when she catches a snippet of a familiar voice from a different monitor. She’s standing in an instant, chair falling over backward as she races over to the monitor. The angel there, a Guardian named Jedediah, is watching the screen intently.

“It’s her!” Kara tells Alex excitedly when Alex catches up.

Guardian Jedediah narrows his eyes. “It’s who?”

Kara’s so focused on Lena she forgets for a moment that there are other people in the room with her, ones that probably shouldn’t know about Kara’s mission to find Lena. “Uh,” Kara sputters quickly, “a demon I’ve been looking for a while. She-um- messed with my human’s life pretty bad?” the last part of her sentence comes out as a question, and Kara mentally cringes.

On the other side of Jedediah, Alex gives her a look that says, “Really?” and Nia just hangs her head with a defeated shake. She may not know why Kara’s so excited, but she certainly knows just how unbelievable that just sounded. Kara’s entire body tenses, and she braces herself for the worst. She can’t lie, so if he asks a direct question, she’ll have to answer honestly and expose her mission.

The room is pregnant with tension and unasked questions. Kara’s eyes flicker to the screen, where Lena is speaking with Jedediah’s human while casually leaning against the counter of a coffee bar. Jedediah follows her glance.

“She messed with your human’s life pretty bad?” He asks skeptically.

“She came for my human at her work.” Kara answers. It’s as close she can get to lying. “I can stop her. She’s…tricky.”

“Well it’s a good thing I’m one of the best-trained Guardian Angels, isn’t it?” Jedediah stands and stretches dramatically, and Kara can see Alex and Nia rolling their eyes across the screen. “Don’t worry. I can handle myself.”

Before Kara can argue, he’s gone. The three women crowd the screen even though Jedediah and Lena are invisible. Kara feels an overwhelming rush of panic and desperation. Would Jedediah kill Lena? It was a common occurrence among other Guardians to kill demons. But Lena didn’t really want to tempt souls. Kara had convinced herself of this over the weeks and months of searching for her. She had never once tempted a soul from Heaven, nor had she killed or attempted to kill any humans, at least that Kara knew. She was different.

It feels like eons pass before Jedediah reappears suddenly in the Viewing Room. He stumbles toward the chair, and Alex, Nia, and Kara have to scatter out of the way to avoid him. Kara’s blood turns to ice in her veins. Was Lena hurt? Dead? Jedediah’s human was fine—totally oblivious as usual to the goings-on of the supernatural—but Lena was gone.

“What happened?” Kara demands.

“You were right about her tricks.” Jedediah groans as he falls into the chair.

Kara tries to hide the confusion she feels. She had been stretching the truth about Lena to get him to let Kara go down there rather than him. She had never actually seen Lena trick anyone.

“What did she do?” Alex asks.

“She…” Jedediah’s eyes are shut and sweat beads at his hairline. He looks almost…sick. But angels don’t get sick.

“Jedediah?” Nia steps over to him, but then he’s just…gone.

The chair where Jedediah sat was empty. There wasn’t even an impression in the cushion where he would have rested.

“Kara,” Alex says worriedly, “I think your demon just stole the soul of an angel.”

Kara can’t respond. She’s frozen in place, in time. This isn’t happening. There had to be some explanation as to why Lena would do something like this. All the evidence pointed to her being different—being good . Why would she let Kara live twice, but Jedediah never had a chance?

“Nia, go report this to Management.” Kara hears Alex tell Nia, watches Nia nod and turn away from somewhere outside her body.

When Nia’s gone, Alex grabs Kara’s arm and jerks her away from Jedediah’s empty seat. “Kara, what are you thinking? I told you demons were bad!”

Alex’s angry tone shakes Kara out of her stupor. “There has to be some explanation, Alex!” she responds forcefully. “Lena’s not like this, she wouldn’t do,” She gestures wildly at Jedediah’s empty seat, “This!”

“The explanation is that she’s a demon, our mortal and eternal enemy, and we are angels. She is born into hating us. Maybe she was having an off day when she met you. Maybe the Creator was watching over you that day. But whatever it is, you need to let this go before you’re next.”

“Do you really think I’m dumb enough to be tricked into losing my soul?”

Alex gives her a long, hard look. “Kara, you aren’t dumb, but we have spent the last several months trying to track her down. Have you ever stopped to consider she’s tricked you into being, I don’t know, obsessed with her?”

Kara is too stunned to respond. Alex really thinks that’s what this is about? Lena had never done anything to her. Made her uncomfortable, sure. But that was in a demon’s nature. Even Lena had been surprised that Kara hadn’t reacted to her tricks. The way Lena had looked when she told Kara that she had no idea what tricks she could play still appeared in Kara’s dreams and, embarrassingly, sometimes during the day. But Kara didn’t think she was obsessed with Lena.

“I’m not obsessed with Lena.” Kara says firmly. “I just want to talk to her again. She’s not like this, and I’ll prove it to you.”
“Oh yeah? And how are you going to do that? You can’t even find her, let alone talk to her. And have you forgotten you have a job here? Your first priority is protecting Kelly, not chasing demons down!”

“You keep telling me that I’m the one obsessed with a demon, but you seem to be obsessed with my human. What is it with this human that has you so interested? You’ve never cared about any of my assignments before. And why do you so suddenly want to learn how to look human? We’ve known each other since the dawn of time and you’ve never shown an interest.” Kara crosses her arms across her chest and glares at Alex.

“I’m not interested in Kelly,” Alex says, crossing her own arms. “I’m interested in you keeping your job here and not being cast into Hell.”

“Sure you are.” Kara says sarcastically. “You don’t have to tell me. And you don’t have to help me look for Lena anymore. If you don’t want to help me, just stay out of my way.” She pushes past Alex, brushing her shoulder gently and leaves the Viewing Room.

Kara doesn’t know where she’s going, just that her feet are moving. She had to find a way to get in contact with Lena. There had to be an explanation for this. She was different, right? She didn’t steal souls. Jedediah must have done something to make Lena act this way.

There was only one way to find out. She had to find Lena. And soon.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lena stumbles into her chambers and lets herself flop onto her bed. This was not how she had planned her day going. She had just been making a last-ditch effort into stealing a human soul. An easy mark, the man had basically one foot in Hell already. He just needed the extra push, and Lena had been there to provide. She hadn’t expected a Guardian to show up. Well, she had, but she hadn’t expected them to be such a challenge. Usually she could just confuse them until they went back to Heaven where they belonged. This angel had been so...arrogant. Wasn’t that a sin? He had come down, taken one look at her and decided to start bragging about how he had “fought so many demons” and “is this really what they’re sending out now?” so really, it wasn’t much of an argument within herself to take his soul.

It took an embarrassingly short time for Lena to claim his soul for Hell. Embarrassing for him, not for her. In Hell, a human soul was expected, but an angel’s soul was the grand prize. This would get Lillian and the other demons off her back for a while.

Maybe in all of her newly returned free time, she could get around to forgetting about Kara. Not that that had ever worked before.

Lena wanders around her room restlessly. She should get back to studying ancient Greek. She tries for a few hours, but after a few minutes the words blur together. Frustrated, Lena shoves the book aside and stands up. She needs to do something. Being in the human world had made her jumpy and restless. Before she can think better of it, Lena is roaming the halls of Hell looking for Lex. It’s a bad idea. Lex is the perfect demon: cruel, cunning, delights in all forms of torture. But, in some ways, he is her brother. When Lena came to Hell, it was Lex that showed her around. He was the one that told her which halls to avoid and which demons were the nastiest. While Lillian was perfectly content to throw her to the wolves, it was Lex that led the pack.

Unsurprisingly, Lex is lingering around the Throne Room, chatting with various high-ranking demons. When he catches sight of Lena, the surprise is evident on his face.

“Sister, how nice of you to join us.” Lex says as Lena approaches where he stands with another demon named Haures.

“Brother, Haures,” Lena greets them. “Anything big happening in the world of demon politics these days?” she asks, hoping they can hear the thinly veiled disinterest underneath the polite tone.

“I was just telling Lex here that I should be allowed to unleash my twenty legions upon earth. They would be much more effective at capturing human souls.” Haures gives Lena a hopeful look, obviously looking for her support in the matter.

Lex opens his mouth to respond, but Lena cuts him off smoothly. “Haures, no demon or angel could dispute that you and your legions are the most feared in all Existence,” she says, and Haures preens at the praise, giving Lex a I-told-you-so look. “But the human world is fragile.” She continues. “Humans are like clay. One right word and their souls are ours. Your legions, while effective, would only serve to provoke the angels into a war.”

Haures’s proud look morphs into one of anger. “If human souls are so easy to capture,” he sneers, “how is it that you haven’t brought in a single human soul in years? You come in here under the protection of the Queen and in return you provide nothing?”

“Haures, I’ll remind you that Lena here just brought us a delightful angel soul not two days ago.” Lex steps in, drawing Haures’s wrath away from Lena, to which she is infinitely grateful. “How many of those have you captured, exactly?”

The slight has the intended effect, and Haures bows his head slightly. “None.” He mutters angrily.

“Lena here was sent on a mission to bring in human souls and she went beyond orders to bring us something better.” Lex claps his hands together and says in a bright tone, “Anyways, Haures, why don’t you go tend to those twenty legions of yours while I have a word with Lena?”

Haures glares at Lena, who forces herself to gaze back at him. If she shows the slightest amount of fear, she knows it will only serve to make him more aggressive. And a powerful, angry demon is the last thing she needs. But Haures nods to Lex, and without another word turns and paces away.

When he’s gone, Lex says, “Well sis, you have more of Mother’s skill for politics than I thought.”

Lena gives him a cold look. “Demons are all the same. You throw them a bit of a bone and they’re practically begging at your feet for all eternity.”

“Oh Lena, the fun we could have if you’d just let your demon side out to play more often. We could have the whole universe at our will.”

Lena rolls her eyes, but inside she cringes at the thought. The demon side of her—there was a reason that she never let that side out. It was a monster. A monster that stared her in the face every time she caught sight of herself in a mirror. She had spent years pushing those horrible thoughts and urges deep inside her brain, locked tightly in boxes where she would never think them, let alone act on them. The mere idea of letting that demon out of its cage chills her to the bone.

“What has you out and mingling with the locals, anyway?” Lex asks, shaking Lena out of her thoughts.

Lena has to tread carefully. She doesn’t want him to know about how going to earth affects her, and she certainly doesn’t want him to know about Kara. On the other hand, she doesn’t want to make it sound like she’s too eager to get into the family business.

“What is it that Mother has you doing these days?” Lena asks as nonchalantly as she can manage.

“Oh, this and that in different departments.” Lex answers. “Why?”

“You’ve been gone more often than usual.” Lena shrugs.

“And you’ve never noticed me being gone before.” Lex narrows his eyes suspiciously. Lena is rapidly losing control of this conversation. Lex is about to start asking questions Lena won’t—can’t answer.

“I’m going to Earth.” The words spill out of her before she can stop them.

Lex’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “Wow, sis, I didn’t expect you to take to soul stealing so well. You’ve never liked it before.”

Lena takes a deep breath. Obviously she wasn’t going to steal souls. But Lex couldn’t know that. He may be her brother, but Lena didn’t trust him. She trusted him enough to tell him she was going, but not to tell him why.
“The human world is much changed since the last time I was there.” Lena says, which isn’t a lie. It had been hundreds of years since she had last been on earth before recently. “Souls are easier to come by. More fun to steal. There’s so much to tempt them with now.” She gives him a smirk, one that practically drips with confidence and power.

“Well then,” Lex says in a tone Lena can’t read, “I have to say I’m surprised. But if this is what you want, I won’t stop you.” He puts his palms up and takes a step back dramatically.

“I don’t know when I’ll be back.” Lena says, and Lex just nods.

“Good luck out there.” He says and turns and paces away. Lena didn’t exactly expect a farewell party, but Lex’s entire attitude left her confused and a little on edge.

Pushing Lex out of her mind, Lena decides now’s a good time as ever to go to Earth. Without another word to anyone, she closes her eyes, and in a few heartbeats, she’s greeted with the sound of car horns and yelling. Opening her eyes, Lena finds herself on the sidewalk next to a busy road in the center of National City. She can smell something yeasty and sweet, and turning to her left she sees a donut shop. Across the street, a hot dog vendor is serving lunch to men in suits.

Lena’s mouth waters at the possibility of human food. She hadn’t eaten any in literally hundreds of years, and back then the food was bland and had questionable food safety. Not that demons could get sick, but the idea of eating parasite-infested beef really turns her stomach. With a snap of her fingers, a full of money appears in her pocket. Being a demon comes in handy sometimes—especially when being an Heir gives you access to Hell’s considerable treasury.

She gets a burger from a nearby burger joint, which is probably the greasiest thing she’s ever seen. It’s absolutely delicious. She had gotten almost every single topping available, except mushrooms (because the last time she had touched mushrooms, a man had gone around burning women in Salem, Massachusetts, which an event she wasn’t eager to repeat) and had eaten all of it plus the fries on the side. Then she had gone to the donut shop she had spotted earlier to get a chocolate sprinkled donut.

After she had eaten, Lena decided she would try and find the little art studio she had stumbled into the last time she had come to National City. She had never been much of an artist, but something about the place had made her feel welcome, which she didn’t get often. She wandered around for several hours, heading in a direction she thought was the right way. Sure, she could just teleport herself there. Even if she didn’t know the exact location, if she pictures it, she could be there. But she wants to see the city for herself, without the anxiety of capturing souls hanging on her back.

The sun is still high in the sky by the time Lena passes a building that she recognizes. It’s the huge skyscraper that she first tried to steal a soul, where Kara interfered for the first time. Just beyond it she sees the coffee shop that she stopped in. A few blocks later and she makes it back to the art studio.

The same lady greets her when she comes in. “Hey, I remember you.” The lady says. “You liked my painting. The darker one.”

Lena smiles, and it’s genuine. “I still do. You have such a lovely shop, I just had to come back.”

“Well if you ever want to try anything out, we have an open studio on Saturday afternoons, or if your interests are more specific,” she hurries over to a desk and plucks a brochure from an acrylic holder and holds it out to Lena, “I do teach classes during the week. Closed Sundays, of course.”

Lena takes the brochure and skims it. Pottery, painting, jewelry making—if Lena was being honest, nothing she was particularly interested in. She was more inclined to work with books and research rather than paint and clay. But she could appreciate art, and company.

She lingers at the studio for a few hours, getting to know the owner—whose name is Sarah, she learns-- and the few patrons that come in to pick up their pottery that was fired in the kiln overnight or paintings that Sarah had kept for them from their classes until they dried. They were more of a family than shop owner and patron, something that Lena had never known. The people here took classes weekly and often visited outside of class just to catch up on lunch breaks. It was a friendship that Lena could scarcely believe existed.

After Sarah closes down shop, Lena finds herself on the sidewalk outside without anywhere to go. She wasn’t hungry, nor did she have anyone she wanted to visit. It was still early afternoon, around four, so she heads to the library. Since she had learned more about how art had changed, she was interested in seeing how literature had changed as well.

Lena spends several hours in the library, going through each section and reading the most interesting books. The classics she had read before they had become “classics”—in fact, she specifically remembers reading Charles Dickens’s work in the weekly publishing of the newspaper. She was more interested in new genres and books. Young adult was a particularly newer category that Lena hadn’t seen before but finds herself enjoying immensely, and entire shelves dedicated to published books about television shows.

After the library closes at 5:30, Lena finds herself sitting on a park bench. People are milling about around her: some jogging, young families pushing strollers, teenagers skateboarding and kids shrieking on the playground. People-watching like this told her enough about the state of the world. The new idioms, slang, polite greetings people were using these days could all be learned by just eavesdropping on the people around her. As Lena settles, she feels the tension and anxiety leave her body. Things were peaceful here. There was no pressure to be the best, to be the heir to a throne she didn’t want. No hateful Mother to torture her with expectations and cruel words.
She supposes it was inevitable that her thoughts would turn to Kara. Now that she was away from the watchful eye of her family, would she see her again? Lex and Lillian would never find out while Lena was here on earth. They couldn’t see, hear, or follow her here. The only thing they could do is send demons to spy on her, which Lena would sense in an instant. And besides, she could lie and say she was trying to steal Kara’s soul. But that would imply that at some point, Lena would actually have to steal her soul.

Would Kara want to see her again? The question poses itself before Lena can stop it. Lena was a demon. An angel’s eternal enemy. And Lena hadn’t been exactly friendly the last time they talked. If Lena did find her again, would Kara try and strike her down on sight?

A little voice tells her that Kara was different. She wasn’t an “attack first, ask questions later” kind of angel, unlike that Guardian from before. Kara was friendly to her in a way that most angels weren’t. Sure, she had threatened her, but that was to protect her human. What was she like outside of that?

She makes her decision and stands up. She was going to find Kara again, on her own terms. Hopefully Kara would be willing to talk with her. She has no clue how to go about finding a Guardian Angel without personally attacking a human, which Lena was very much not going to do. She thinks over how she met Kara last time. She had entered a random office in Catco, which she passed earlier. Kara had referred to the woman as her human, and Lena knew every Guardian only got one to protect. If she finds this woman, she’ll find Kara.

She asks a passing human the time as she goes—it’s five thirty. The human must have gone home for the day by now. Deciding that if she goes and only finds the office again, she’ll come back first thing in the morning when the human comes to work. Lena hurries through the streets, hoping that Catco at least won’t be locked so she can look at the directory. She thinks she remembers the woman’s name. She would teleport there, but she can’t really envision the office or hall outside. She hadn’t thought to pay attention before, because she never thought she’d need to come back.

Thankfully Lena makes it to Catco and the doors are unlocked. It’s nearly six now, and the sun is hanging low in the sky and rush hour traffic is starting to die down. There are still a few workers in the lobby of Catco, but none of them really pay attention to Lena walking in. She heads over to the directory and looks for last names beginning with “O”, which is what Lena remembers for certain. She knows she’ll remember the name of the woman if she sees it. Catco is a huge building, so it takes her a few minutes to flip through the pages of names and offices. Luckily last names beginning with “O” aren’t too common, so Lena spots it quickly. Kelly Olsen. That’s the woman Kara is protecting. Against her better judgement, Lena hits the “up” button on the elevator and is going up to see Kelly Olsen.

To her surprise, Kelly is still in her office. Lena stands outside, waiting. She doesn’t want to be rude to whoever Kelly is with. She can hear her talking with someone, and after a few minutes the office door opens and closes, and Lena comes face to face with a familiar head of golden-blonde hair and deep blue eyes.

They’re too stunned to speak for a moment.

“I’ve been looking for you!” Lena blurts out, at the exact same time Kara says the same thing.

Kara laughs and covers her mouth in surprise, and it may be the cutest thing that Lena has ever seen in her entire existence. “Where have you been?” she asks. “I’ve been looking for you for months.”

“You have?” Lena asks, shocked. Lena had only decided to start looking for Kara today.

“Yes!” Kara says loudly, then seems to remember where she is. She pulls Lena back to the elevator and smashes the down button. Only when they’re inside does she explain. “You took an angel’s soul. I need to know why.”

She was looking for her because of that rude Guardian? Lena can’t help the swelling of disappointment in her chest. “He attacked me. And he was incredibly rude about it. I had no choice.”

Lena can see Kara physically relax at the explanation. “I told Alex you weren’t like other demons.” She says, mostly to herself.

“I’m sorry, who?” Lena asks, crossing her arms. She didn’t know if she liked the idea of angels discussing her.

“Alex, my best friend. Well, sister, if angels had sisters.” Kara explains quickly. “She’s the closest thing to human family I’ve got.”

Lena nods. “And what exactly were you two talking about me for?” She can’t help but feel suspicious after growing up with Lex and Lillian.

Kara rubs her neck and doesn’t look her in the eye. “I didn’t want her to think you were like all those other demons. Just in it for the souls. She seemed to think you were evil.” She answers sheepishly.

“And you told her I wasn’t?” she asks bewilderedly. No one had ever stood up for her like that. If she ever had Lex defend her, he always asked for something in return.

“Yes! Because you aren’t!” Kara says, and the ferocity in her voice startles Lena. Kara really seems to believe in her, even though Lena had been nothing but rude to her in the past.

“Why?” is all she can think to ask. Kara hesitates for a beat, then says, “Because even though you had every opportunity to kill me, to take my soul, you didn’t. That means something. Any demon would have taken that chance. But not you.”

Lena doesn’t answer. She feels uncomfortably known . She wasn’t like other demons, that was true. But no one had ever noticed her lack of a drive to maim souls as anything other than annoying at best and thinking she was a coddled brat at worst. But within moments of meeting her, Kara saw she was different. Lena was caught between the rush of relief at finally being understood and the uncomfortable feeling of having her secrets being told.

While she’s looking at Kara, she notices something…off. Kara’s hair is duller, her eyes not as deeply blue. Her skin seems to lack it’s usual ethereal glow, and her movements are jerkier and uncoordinated. She looks almost…

“Human.” Lena says out loud. “You’re in human form.”

“Oh, this,” Kara says, a blush lighting her cheeks as she ducks her head. “Well I couldn’t come down here looking for you in full angel regalia. Didn’t want anyone thinking the world was ending.”

“You learned how to appear human just to look for me?”

“Well, I already knew how to do this.” Kara explains with an awkward flick of her hand. “I was teaching Alex and decided to get back into practice. I can look like this for hours now.”

Hours? Lena thinks. Since Lena isn't really doing a lot of thinking lately, she opens her mouth. “Kara,” Lena starts, and now that she’s started, she can’t stop. “Would you be interested…in getting coffee with me? Right now?”

Kara furrows her eyebrows. “Right now? I think it’s like, nighttime.”

“We aren’t exactly effected by caffeine either, Kara.” Lena reminds her. “It’s just a social convention. We don’t have to if you don’t want to.” Lena’s heart is thundering in her chest. It was stupid of her to ask. She doesn’t even know what she wants out of this…acquaintance-ship? She didn’t even know what to call it. She just knows she wants to be closer to Kara.

While Kara thinks it over, the elevator dings and the doors slide open to reveal the lobby of Catco. Lena is infinitely grateful Kara is in human form and can’t see how nervous she is.

“Yes. I’ll get coffee with you.” Kara says finally. “Except, I have a better idea. Are you hungry?”

Lena nods, even though she really isn’t. “What did you have in mind?”

Lena would fight wars for Kara’s answering grin.

Chapter Text

“Where exactly are we going?” Lena asks about ten minutes and two blocks after they’ve started walking. But with Kara in human form and a lot of prying eyes, they couldn’t exactly teleport.

“I promise it’s going to be worth it.” Kara replies without looking back at her.

The sun is well past set by now, and the first stars are starting to shine over National City. The city is settling into its nightly routine, and only a few lights are on in the offices high above their heads. A damp cold sets into Kara’s bones and she tries not to shiver as she leads Lena for several more blocks until they come up to a Chinese restaurant right in front of National City Park.

“Chinese food?” Lena asks in an uncertain voice.

“Uh, only the best Chinese food in National City!” Kara protests. “At least, it was the last time I was here.”

“Kara, you’re an angel. You don’t even need to eat.” Lena points out, and Kara scrunches her nose.

“Hey! I like eating. It’s fun. And besides, my taste buds work just fine, so I like to try them out sometimes.”

“You’re ridiculous.” Lena rolls her eyes, but Kara catches the smile on her face when Lena thinks she’s not looking. She tries not to let her heart flutter, but dang it -- her human heart betrays her.

The Chinese place is open late, and Kara orders in perfect Mandarin. She doesn’t know what Lena likes, but she guesses demons aren’t too picky about what they consume. Besides, demons also didn’t need to eat, so it wasn’t an acquaintanceship ending move if she ended up not liking it. At least, Kara hopes not.

Thirty minutes later, Kara is juggling three bags stuffed with Chinese food, carrying one in her mouth, and two sodas as they walk into National City Park.

“Do you want help?” Lena asks and holds her hands out to take a bag.

“I got it!” Kara replies around the paper bag. “I’m just a bit more awkward in human form.” She continues, except it sounds more like “um just uh it ore akerd in hummun orm”, and Kara wants to die of embarrassment. She forces herself not to disappear to Heaven and forget this ever happened.

“Okay,” Lena laughs, and suddenly Kara doesn’t feel like going anywhere anymore. She wants Lena to laugh more. Maybe always. She shakes her head to clear the dangerous thoughts.
Kara leads them to the center of the park, where a large stone fountain sits in a wide circle of benches. The fountain and the bushes around it are lit, providing gentle, warm light for them to eat by.

“Pick a bench!” Kara mumbles excitedly, although she’s pretty sure all she said was “ick uh ench!” but Lena’s laughing, so it’s not so bad. Lena picks a random bench and Kara’s practically drooling from the bag in her mouth. Lena may have thought the inability to talk was funny, but drooling all over yourself was definitely not cute. She quickly places the bags and drinks on the bench, cringing when she sees the lip print on the top of the bag.

“It’s not your food, I promise.” Kara says awkwardly as she takes the bag. Lena just shakes her head and takes one of the other bags.

They eat in silence for a few minutes, Kara too lost in enjoying her first human food in a few decades to talk. And if she was being honest, she was a bit nervous. She didn’t think she’d ever get this far, and especially not this fast. Lena was much more beautiful in person, and Kara couldn’t wait to tell Alex how wrong she was about Lena. Thinking of Alex made her stomach twist a bit. She hadn’t left on the best terms with her, and she felt bad about calling her out in front of everyone like that.

Determined not to let her sour thoughts ruin their night, Kara turns to Lena. “So…what do you like to do for fun?” Kara asks, then immediately realizes she just asked a demon what she likes to do for fun.

“Actually, I like to read.” Lena says, taking a sip of her soda.

“Oh?” Kara asks, feeling her entire body sag in relief that her answer wasn’t “tormenting souls” or “eating flesh” or something. Kara would’ve felt bad for getting her the wrong dinner. “What kind of books?”

“The classics, mostly. I’ve been working on perfecting my Ancient Greek recently. I did visit a library today and I was thinking about expanding my horizons.”

“I’ve read a bit in my time. We don’t get a lot of down time, especially since time works differently in Heaven, but every so often I can get into the Collections building a check out a book.”

“Collections building?” Lena asks, tilting her head slightly in a way that Kara can’t help but for a minute.

“Yeah, um, we have a building. That we keep a copy of every human work ever written. Angels can check them out if they want.”

“But…why?”

“It’s a celebration, in a way. Humans are such creative, emotional creatures. Even now, I can feel an entire range of emotions in this body that I can only feel at surface level as an angel. For example, a couple get together, one writes an entire book of poems about the other. They break up, and a song is written. Movies are centered around the power of friendship or a wronged lover. It’s beautiful. But what about you? Why do you like the classics so much?”

“Much of the same, I suppose. Humanity’s great works. The primitive versions of what they have today. Language, medicine, art. It’s man’s most desperate way to understand themselves. They don’t know anything smaller than a grain of sand, and yet they try to cure sicknesses by using leeches or bloodletting. Doctors thought the heart was where emotion originated from, because when they were sad their chests hurt. Skeletons danced in paintings during the Black Death because they were surrounded by death and had no other way to catharsis. They loved themselves to the point of trying to understand how they worked.”

Kara can only blink to that response. She had seen the art from the medieval period and had shuddered and looked away. Their medicine had been frustratingly ineffective, and more than once Alex had had to stop her from going down to help the people as they suffered from the Black Death or various other illness. But the way that Lena had put it… it didn’t change her heartache at the way people had died, but it put it into a new perspective.

“I…never thought of it that way.” Kara says quietly. “I’ll have to give it another chance.”

“Of course, not everything from that period is romanticizable.” Lena points out. “There was a lot of horrible crimes against minorities. Much of it goes undocumented because they simply didn’t see them as people or worth chronicling.”

“That was a difficult time to be Guarding people.” Kara nods seriously. “Things are better now, at least slightly. No one’s going around hunting single women for practicing witchcraft.”

Lena coughs and suddenly takes a drink. “Yeah,” she mutters.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes.” Lena replies quickly.

They sit in awkward silence for a minute, Kara picking at her chicken while Lena pretends not to look at her.

Kara breaks the silence with a deep breath and finally asking the question that’s been haunting her. “Why didn’t you kill me?”

“Excuse me?”

“When we first met. You could’ve easily caught me by surprise.”
“Oh. That.” Lena says, suddenly finding her rice very interesting. “I’m not in the business of killing people unless I have to.”

“I could’ve killed you!”

“But you didn’t.” Lena points her fork at Kara. “You aren’t like most angels either.”

“Also…” Kara fidgets with the lid of her take out. “You’re very beautiful. Not like the other demons. Less ‘eat your face off’ pretty and more…naturally pretty.”

Lena doesn’t respond, and Kara is ready to make her exit back to Heaven again. She shouldn’t have said anything. She should have just accepted that Lena was a beautiful demon and left it at that. Beauty as a weapon, to attract the attention of her targets.

“It’s because I’m only half demon.” Lena says so quietly Kara has to ask her to repeat herself. “I said, I’m only half demon.”

“Half?”

“Yes, half. My mother, she was a human.”

“Oh.” Kara takes a moment to process this new revelation. Half demon. Half human. The reason that Lena didn’t strike, didn’t steal souls. Because she was one of them. She was good , in the way that humans were to predators before they realized how dangerous they were. Lena’s predator just so happened to live inside her.

“I should go.” Lena stands abruptly and sets her food and drink on the bench. “Thanks for the food, but I—”

“No!” Kara leaps up and grabs Lena’s wrist tightly. “Please don’t go. Please. I’m sorry, I just needed a second to process!”

“Process? Process what? How I’m an abomination? Never meant to exist? Go on, I’ve heard it all.” Lena brings up the arm Kara’s holding like a weapon.

“What? No!” Kara says, holding onto Lena’s arm tighter and stepping closer. “That’s not what I was thinking at all. Don’t put words into my mouth. That’s not fair.”

They stand there in tense silence, Kara still holding the arm that’s now at chest level and both of them glaring at each other. After Lena realizes that Kara’s not backing down, Kara can see her take a deep breath and feel her relax. She loosens her grip slightly and steps back.

“Okay, I’m sorry.” Lena says with a heavy sigh. “You’re right. I shouldn’t just assume that you were thinking those things.”
Kara releases her grip on Lena’s arm and takes a deep breath. She wants this potential friendship to work out, and it’s obvious Lena hasn’t had the easiest time in Hell and --oxymoron aside—she deserves to have someone safe to come to. But Kara won’t let herself be treated unfairly.

“Apology accepted.” Kara replies, then sits back down on the bench. “Come on, lets finish eating.”

Lena sits, but she seems more hesitant to say anything now. She picks at her rice and doesn’t look at Kara. Kara wants to remedy the situation, to fix whatever just happened but she knows that 1. It’s not her fault, and 2. Lena needs to meet her in the middle here. She may be an angel, but she’s not without logic and feelings.

So they sit in silence. And gradually the silence turns from awkward, to calm, to finally comfortable. It takes longer than Kara’d like, especially since the strain of remaining in this form is starting to weigh on her, but she’s willing to wait for Lena.

“Kara…could we just, start over?” Lena asks finally, still staring at her food.

“I’d like that.” Kara replies evenly, like someone that’s faced with a stray cat they desperately want to pet. “My name is Kara. I’m an Angel, but I’d really like to get to know you.”

Lena laughs again, and it makes Kara’s heart do that fluttery thing like before. “My name is Lena, and I’m a half-demon, and I’d really like to get to know you too.”

Kara laughs, excitement springing up in her stomach and making her jumpy and impulsive. She suddenly doesn’t know what to do with her hands, and her leg starts bouncing up and down. This human body is so excitable, something that she had never realized before now. She never thought it’d be a problem, since the human form is usually used to get humans out of sticky situations and then immediately disappear.

“Are you okay?” Lena asks, amusment written all over her face.

“Yes, sorry,” Kara laughs nervously. “Human emotions. They’re…intense.”

“Sometimes,” Lena nods seriously. “You don’t have much experience with these things, do you?”

“None. Is it that obvious? I mean, besides the leg bouncing.”

“Kara, you look like you could explode at any second.”

Kara does her best to still her leg and keep the blush from her cheeks. God, this was so embarrassing. She was making a total fool of herself in front of Lena, who was so calm and collected. Besides the whole outburst earlier, of course. But Lena looked so put together, and Kara couldn’t even handle her limbic system.

She decides to pay attention to something else. If she had to guess, she had about an hour left in her human form before the angel side of her decided to make a grand (and destructive) appearance. She could pay attention to the way the decorative lights in the bushes cast a warm light on Lena’s pale skin, making her features look sharp and dangerous. Her dark hair lay loosely on her shoulders, the top shining in the silvery light. The contrasting palettes would make anyone else look weird or awkward, but Lena looked ethereal; demon-like but in the best ways possible.

“You’re beautiful,” Kara blurts out.

Lena looks genuinely shocked, like it was the absolute last thing she expected Kara to say. “Oh, well. Thank you.” A pale pink blush is just barely visible on her cheeks in the awkward light.

“You’re welcome.” Kara replies, fidgeting with her hands in her lap. “You know what, we should take a walk!”

“A walk?” Lena’s eyes narrow in confusion.

“Yes!” Kara tries to sound more enthusiastic than she feels. At least walking, she won’t have to fidget.

Lena reluctantly agrees, and they gather up their mess and toss it in a trash can as they start on the path away from the fountain. Kara walks ahead slightly, kicking rocks and pinecones just for something to do with all her nervous energy.

The path is darker than Kara had thought it would be, and her human eyes don’t adjust to the darkness. Which is why she doesn’t see the giant brick paver sticking out of the ground until she’s falling and hitting the ground hands and knees first.

“Oh, shoot ,” She breathes as she registers that she’s hurt. The sting of the rocks digging into her hands and knees is a new and unwelcome sensation and she half falls into a sitting position to get her weight off her injured knees.

“Kara, are you okay?” Lena asks, hurrying over and kneeling down beside her.

“Yeah, I just tripped.” Kara says, gripping her knee.

Lena looks her over and a little gasp escapes her. “You’re bleeding!”

“Am I?” She pulls her hand away from her knee and it comes away wet. Even in the dim light, she can see the dark stain on her palm.
“Let me see your hands.” Lena commands, and Kara holds her hands out, palm up. The skin is ripped and raw, but not bleeding. Lena takes her hands in her own, one hand hovering slightly above the wound and the other supporting the underside. A white light shines briefly, and a warm, watery feeling fills up her hand.

“You…you’re healing me?”

Lena doesn’t answer, she just puts her hand down and moves on to the other hand while Kara flexes and waves the newly healed hand. When she’s done with the other hand, she moves to each knee and heals them too, even taking care to wipe away the blood running down Kara’s shins.

“Thank you. You didn’t have to do that.” Kara says when Lena finishes.

“Consider it an apology. For earlier,” Lena rocks back to rest on her heels. “I know your human form won’t heal while you’re in your angel form. You have to do things the long way around as a human.”

“Should we continue our walk?” Kara asks.

“As long as you promise not to procure anymore life-threatening injuries.” Lena jokes. “My powers only go so far.”

“I’ll try to be more careful. Maybe you should go first in case of any danger.” Lena stands and offers her hand to help Kara up, which she accepts gratefully.

“Oh so you’re going to ask me on this dangerous journey, then make me go first to protect you from any danger? That hardly seems fair.”

“It’s only fair because you have demon sight.” Kara defends. “If I was in my angel form, this whole forest would be lit up and it would be way less interesting of a walk.”

“So you’re in it just for the danger?” Lena raises an eyebrow at her. “First you befriend a demon, then you take walks in dark, wooded areas for fun. I can’t tell if you’re a masochist or just naïve from being stuck up in the clouds all day.”

“Are you planning on killing me?” Kara asks in a half-serious voice.

“No?”

“Then I don’t see how dangerous my extracurriculars could be. You don’t plan on killing me, and you’re the scariest thing in this forest right now. I doubt anyone or anything would mess with us with you here.”

“Except that brick back there.”

“Except that brick,” Kara agrees. “I’m very offended you didn’t destroy it as vengeance for injuring me.”

“Oh should I go back and give it the full Hell treatment?”

“That’s the only way I’ll regain my honor!” Kara says in an overly dramatic voice. “It has committed a most grievous act of violence.”

Lena bursts out laughing at that, and Kara can’t help preening a bit at her success in making Lena laugh again and again. Kara’s laughing too, because the image of Lena taking a brick back to Hell and torturing it for her is absolutely absurd, even if the idea of torture makes her skin crawl.

They walk farther, poking fun of each other and laughing about the brick incident as they go. They talk about everything and nothing; what they like, what they hate, the general state of the human world. It’s…relaxing. It’s something that feels good, feels right in the way that protecting humans was something that Kara was created to do or that Heaven and Hell were equal opposites. It was balanced, new, and decided before the beginning of time.

Unfortunately time ticks on whether she wants it or not. The pressure on her had grown as they walked, and she was losing her control on her human form. It was time to return to Heaven before she leveled this park in an uncontrolled transformation.

“Lena, my human form. It’s time.”

“Oh,” Lena sounds almost…disappointed?

“I want to see you again.” Kara says quickly. “Will you meet me?”

“I want to see you again, too.” Lena replies just as quick. “But we have to be careful. If either side gets suspicious…”

“Okay,” Kara agrees, even though she hates the idea of not seeing Lena for a long period already. “A few weeks?”

“When the moon is new.” Lena says decisively. Time works differently in their respective homes, and there’s not exactly human calendars available to them because they generally didn’t care about human time. But the moon was visible from Heaven and Hell.

“Let’s meet at the fountain.” Kara says quickly, desperately. She can feel her angel form just beneath her human skin, stretching and threatening to break out.

“Goodbye, Lena!” she calls, and she barely catches the tail end of Lena’s goodbye as she flings herself back to Heaven.

She transforms as soon as her feet hit the Heavenly grass. It rushes over her like sweet relief, and she collapses on the ground while she reorients herself. She’s exhausted but so, so happy. A grin plasters itself across her face and her heart thunders in her chest. Even though she’s regained the less intense emotions of an angel, she’s still unspeakably happy. If she didn’t have wings, she still would’ve sworn she could fly.

She lays on the grass for a while, letting the warmth of Heaven seep into her bones. She dozes off at some point, still smiling. She sleeps for several hours until something sharp pokes her in the ribs. Her eyes fly open, and Alex’s blurry form comes into view.

“Where the heck have you been?” Alex demands.

“Alex?” Kara asks groggily.

“Don’t Alex me.” She hauls Kara off the ground, much to Kara’s dismay. “You’ve been gone for hours! I’ve had to watch Kelly and Maggie and cover for you to everyone else.”

“I was just…taking a nap.”

“A nap.” Alex nods sharply, and Kara can feel the sarcasm coming off her in waves. “You took a nap in the middle of the day, in the middle of a random field after watching your demon steal the soul of an angel? Do you want a foot rub next?”

Kara tries not to let the words your demon get to her head and instead tucks it away to think about later. She sighs, “Okay, so I went looking for Lena. Just for an explanation!” Kara explains quickly when she sees Alex’s features twist in annoyance and mouth open for what is sure to be the scolding of a lifetime.

“You went…to earth…to look for a demon. A demon that just so happens to be the most wanted demon in Heaven.”

“Lena’s not—wait, what? Most wanted demon?”

Alex growls in annoyance. “Yes, Kara! She stole the soul of an Angel! She’s not exactly on top of the entrance list for Heaven! There’s talk of sending out a task force to hunt her down.”

Kara’s blood freezes in her veins. A Heavenly task force to hunt down Lena. They would most certainly kill her on sight, without stopping to ask what lead to the soul stealing. Lena was powerful, Kara would give her that, but these Angels had trained since the Dawn of Time to fight demons in case of a war between the two sides. They were ruthless, righteous, and wouldn’t stop until they achieved victory. And who would stand on Lena’s side? Demons were selfish and self-preserving to a fault. It didn’t matter who was under attack. Unless the Queen of Hell ordered an army to attack, which was highly unlikely based on Lena’s reaction to telling Kara she was only half demon, Lena was on her own.

“They can’t,” Kara whispers hoarsely.

“They can, and they will.” Alex’s voice is harsh. “They have every right to.”

“No!” Kara yells back, making Alex step back in surprise. She obviously hadn’t expected Kara to defend Lena so staunchly. “Lena is good . She’s doesn’t deserve this. She’s not even a full demon! Her mother was human!”

“She’s half-human?” Alex gapes at her.

“Yes! And if an entire legion of angels comes after her, she won’t stand a chance.”

Kara can see Alex war with herself. She knows that Alex doesn’t trust demons, doesn’t trust Lena, but she made a vow to protect humans at all costs, even if that human was mixed with her enemy. Kara balls her hands into tight fists. It doesn’t matter what Alex decides. Kara was going to fight for Lena, alone if she has to.

“Alright.” Alex decides. “I’ll help you find Lena a way out of this.” She doesn’t look particularly happy or excited about this, but Kara doesn’t care. She throws her arms around her sister, grateful to have her on her side.

“If we get caught, it’s over. We’d get Cast Out at best and killed at worst.” Alex says quietly.

“You don’t have to do this.” Kara steps back from their hug and looks her in the eye. “I can find a way myself. Spare you the punishment if I get caught.”

“I just said I’d help you, didn’t I?” Alex reminds her. “I know the cost. But you’re my sister. I’m not going to let you do this alone.”

“I don’t deserve you.” Kara puts her hand on Alex’s shoulder.

“Maybe, but I’m here anyway.” Alex jokes and pokes Kara in the side, making both of them laugh. “We’re stronger together. Not even Heaven will be able to stop us.”

Kara grins. With Alex on her side, they’d find a way to save Lena from Heaven’s wrath. Whatever it takes.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------

Lena spends the weeks after her meeting with Kara looking for things to do with Kara at the new moon. She doesn’t want to mess it up this time, like she almost did last time. The subject of her being a half demon is a touchy one, and she hadn’t meant to snap at Kara. She hadn’t deserved it. But Lena appreciated the way Kara stood up for herself without also insulting her, something that Lena didn’t get a lot of in Hell.

So she healed her that night when she scraped her hands and knees like a clumsy human. Lena actually wasn’t sure if her human form would heal if Kara wasn’t in it, but it felt like a better explanation than “I wanted an excuse to be close to you and make sure you never feel any pain ever again”, which is what Lena’s real intention was. Another thing she was sure of was that Kara was beautiful in both human and angel form. Sure, her eyes weren’t as deeply blue and she didn’t literally glow, but she was still unnaturally gorgeous. She still had the same smattering of light freckles across her nose, same golden curls, same strong arms. If Lena’s demon half was attracted to Kara’s angel form, then Lena’s human form was attracted to Kara’s human form. Lena had come to the conclusion that whatever form Kara was in, Lena would be hopelessly and completely in love with her.

Love . A funny word. She had only met Kara for real once, and only for a few hours and here her traitorous mind was, using the L-word. It was way too early to decide whether Lena was actually in love with her or not, but they had a good start on the decision.

A few weeks pass, and their second meeting comes and goes. Lena takes Kara to the National City pier, where a temporary carnival is set up. They eat cotton candy and play stupid rigged games, where Lena wins her a teddy bear and Kara’s fragile human form doesn’t manage to win a single thing. Kara’s pout is incredibly cute, and Lena finds herself thinking about it way more often than she should. The night ends in an incredibly stiff and awkward hug, but their closeness has Lena walking on air for the next week. She can still smell the sweet floral scent of whatever perfume Kara had used, still feel her strong arms wrap around Lena’s shoulders. It was a feeling Lena could get used to.

They decide to meet again at the next waning crest, which was several weeks away. The time drags on, and Lena wishes they didn’t have to be so careful. The hours she spends with Kara basically once a month is just not nearly enough. With Kara in Heaven, she knows the time moves a lot differently than Lena on earth, doing things the long way around. But she wonders if the time between their meetings drags on as slowly for Kara as it does for her.

On their third date, Kara brings a gift. “What is this for?” Lena asks.

“I thought it would be cool if we exchanged books!” Kara says excitedly as she holds the book out. “You like classics, I like more modern fictional works. It’d be fun to get to know each other on a different level. People’s favorite novels say a lot about them.”

“Oh,” Lena says, her heart doing flips in her chest. “I didn’t bring anything.”

“That’s okay! If you just tell me what to read, I can get it from Heaven’s archives.”

Lena thinks for a moment. There’s too many to decide. “I’ll tell you before you leave this time.” Lena says finally.

“Okay!” Kara replies excitedly as Lena takes the book from her.

The pair end up laying on the grass in an open field, looking up at the stars. Lena’s got her head on Kara’s shoulder, and Kara’s arm is lying on the ground beside her. She tries to keep still, to not let Kara even imagine that she’s uncomfortable. Their proximity makes her head spin. She could lay in this field forever, letting Kara use her as a pillow.

As they lay there, Kara starts naming the stars for her. When Lena comments that she’s a nerd, Kara just blushes and tries to explain that she doesn’t know all of the names, at least not yet, but she wants too. Lena just lets her talk, content to hear her drone on about something she outshines by at least a trillion watts.

At the end of their third date, Kara hugs Lena goodbye like normal, but as she pulls away Lena swears she feels the brush of Kara’s lips on her check. It sets her whole body aflame in a way she knows it shouldn’t, but her traitorous human emotions betray her again.

“I’ll see you at the half moon.” Kara says quietly. “What book should I read?”

And Lena tells her Arthurian Romances, because she’s a hopeless romantic and desperately in love with her friend.

Kara smiles, bright and wild, then she’s gone in a blink. Lena spends an hour calming down from their date, the feel of Kara’s lips on her skin seared into her mind like a brand that says, “Property of Kara”, and Lena wouldn’t be mad if it actually did say that.

Lena’s walking down the sidewalk when she suddenly feels a strong pull in her chest. She tries to ignore it, knows exactly what it is, but no . She won’t, can’t go home. Not back to Lex and Lillian and the eternal game of chess that Hell plays. Not when she’s so happy, so free on Earth. But the pull is insistent and grows into a sharp pain in her chest. She can’t ignore it. She takes a deep breath and teleports herself back to Hell.

“Lena,” Lex greets her in a fake cheery voice. “How’re things on earth?”

“Just fine,” Lena replies in a guarded tone. “Why am I here?”

“Oh, no big reason.” Lex waves a hand. “Just a few interesting reports from some demons talking about you hanging around a certain human.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Lena responds automatically. Lex can’t know. He can’t know about Kara.

“Oh Lena, let’s not play games.” Lex laughs like it’s the funniest joke in the world. “I already know it’s an angel in disguise.”

“You don’t know anything.” Lena grounds out.

“Come on, Lena, really?” Lex sighs.

Lena doesn’t offer any more information.

“Alright, I’ll bite. What are you doing hanging out with an angel?” Lex asks.

“She’s not an angel.”

“So you admit there is someone.” Lena wants to smack herself. She needs to keep quiet, not let Lex think there’s anything going on.

“You say it’s not an angel, but I have it from a reliable source that your mystery date just…disappears after a few hours. Care to explain?”

She doesn’t have an answer. Of course she doesn’t have an answer. Lex knows, he knows about Kara and their dates-not dates thing because he always knows. She was stupid to ever think that her family wouldn’t find out.

“I’ll take your silence as an admission.” Lex says after Lena just stares at the floor. Because what could she say? What she wishes she could say, wishes Lex was someone she could tell is: I met this angel and she’s perfect and beautiful and I’m absolutely and completely in love with her after only spending the equivalent of three days together spread out over four months and I don’t know how to tell her or what to do because we’re supposed to be enemies.

But Lex was never going to be that person.

“Well, I have to say, sis, I am surprised.” Lex chuckles, and Lena furrows her brows in confusion before quickly forcing her face back to emotionless. “You take the soul of one angel and decide to go for more. I gotta say, I didn’t expect it.”

“Her…soul. Right.” Lena agrees, even though that was obviously not the plan. But she can’t see any way out that would lead to Lex not immediately going to earth and ending Kara.

“If my sources are correct, she’s pretty powerful too. Her soul will be worth a lot. May even snatch the Throne right out from under me.” Lex sounds proud, too proud for something so horrible.

Lena just nods.

“The next soul quota is due at the end of the month. Make sure you’re in line.” The humor in Lex’s face disappears, and suddenly the picture of a demon is standing in front of her. Lex isn’t asking. He’s simply offering a way out. The threat on her own life is clearly understood.

Lena has to steal Kara’s soul, or they both die.

Chapter Text

Kara spends weeks leading up to her next meeting with Lena searching for a way to save her from a legion of angry and righteous angels. Alex pitches in to help, and Kara’s even managed to rope in Nia and Brainy. They still know the bare minimum for their own protection, thinking that Kara’s trying to save a human that’s recently died from being Damned. She doesn’t really think they bought her story, but they’re willing to help and that’s all Kara needs.

It feels like they’ve asked every angel in Heaven about how to stop the legion from trying to smite Lena. She’s blessed that Kelly is such an easy human, otherwise Kara’s pretty sure she would have been called up to Management for “slacking off” on duty.

But with all of the stress of trying to help Lena, there is good news. “Kara,” Nia says one day, a giant smile on her face, “Brainy and I are officially going to be approved as a Match!”

“Congratulations!” Kara yells and throws her arms around Nia. She’s deeply happy for her friends. Brainy and Nia had been courting all these months and Kara had never seen either of them happier. She pushes down the little pinch in her stomach when she thinks of Lena, alone on Earth. How she wishes Lena could be here, be a part of her family.

“The Match day is next week, and you and Alex are invited of course. I haven’t seen Alex today, so I was hoping you could give her the message.”

Kara opens her mouth to explains to her where Alex is, then she realizes that, for the first time, she doesn’t know? Wait, Kara always knows where Alex is. Since they became as close as sisters, Kara has always known everything about her.

“Where is Alex?” Kara asks, mostly to herself.

“You don’t know?” Nia asks, voice pitched up in worry.

“Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen her all day.”

“Huh, weird. Maybe she decided to request time off.”

Kara seriously doubts that. Alex has never once, in their entire existence, asked for time off. Her human was too much work this time around, and angels didn’t exactly get sick.

But not wanting to let on just how confused she was, Kara just nods. “Yeah, maybe.”

As if Lena wasn’t enough to worry about, now Alex has disappeared. Kara starts asking around, much to many of the other angels’ chagrin. At this point, Kara has barely looked at Kelly. She does feel kind of bad for ignoring her duties, but between Lena and now Alex, she just has too much going on. Besides, there were plenty of other angels that could glance over and make sure Kelly was okay.

When the end of day bells chime to announce that they could go home, Kara’s the first one out the door. She doesn’t bother to take the Transportation, deciding instead to go out and look for Alex. She manifests herself at Alex’s house first. Kara knocks on the door, and when she gets no answer, she tries the door, which is locked. Peeking in the window, the house is quiet, untouched. All the lights are out and Kara can’t see any signs that Alex had even been there today. Taking deep breaths to try and control her growing panic, Kara decides to try the field where they had practiced appearing human. A single thought has her standing at the entrance of the field. It’s silent, the long grass swaying gently in a breeze as Kara’s heart drops to her toes. There’s nowhere else Alex would be. It wasn’t like Heaven had a shopping mall or a little diner to hang out at like Earth did. Angels went to their assigned jobs and then home, with the occasional hang out/game night with friends. But since Alex and Kara shared a friend group, and they all went to work today, there was no place for Alex to be except here.

Kara sinks to her knees. She had no idea where Alex could be. What if a demon had got her? Maggie was a tough case, maybe Alex had had to intervene? But without a definitive, Kara wasn’t giving up. She would keep looking until the Creator themselves came down and stopped her. Maybe not even then.

She’s just getting up when a loud thud stops her in her tracks. There, in the middle of the field, was none other than her sister, frazzled, covered in dirt, and beautifully, gloriously alive.

Well, at least until Kara can cross the field.

“Where the heck have you been?” Kara demands as she stomps up to where Alex is just pulling herself off the ground.

Alex brushes her--now stained-- white dress off with a grin. “Oh, you know, just practicing my demon fighting skills.” She says nonchalantly.
“Uh huh and I’m on my way to get my wings cut off,” Kara crosses her arms. “I was so worried about you!”

For the first time, Alex looks at Kara and seems to realize the gravity of Kara’s anxiety and worry. The smile drops off her face and is replaced with something close to remorse. “Okay, so I was on Earth.” She says sheepishly.

“For?” Kara leans forward.

“Gosh, okay, what are you, the Justice department?” Alex snaps. “I may have…introduced myself to Kelly.”

“You what ?”

“You would’ve known that had you been actually doing your job!” Alex fires back.

“I was too busy worrying about you!”

Alex pauses and takes a deep breath. “Alright, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have just disappeared like that. But you can’t act all high and mighty, because you did the exact same thing when you and Lena went on your first date.”

Kara sighs. “Okay, that’s fair. I guess we both kind of suck at communicating, huh?”

Alex laughs. “Yeah, you could say that. Promise to trust each other from now on? No more secrets and disappearing?”

“Promise.” Kara nods.

There’s a pause, then Alex asks, “So…do you want to hear about her?”

“Of course!”

“Okay, okay, so, first of all, she’s amazing. She’s just as kind as you made her out to be, but the Viewing Room screen doesn’t do her justice. She’s so much more beautiful up close. And, like, maybe I broke a very expensive vase because human limbs are so clumsy and weird but she wasn’t even mad! She just laughed and asked if I was okay! Then we cleaned it up, of course.”

“That’s great, Alex. I’m really happy for you!” Kara smiles and puts her arm around her sister as they start walking back to their houses. She listens to Alex ramble on about her time on earth with Kelly, which was just a few hours, but Alex is already making plans to go back. Kara just smiles and listens.

That night, Kara lets the gravity of her situation with Lena hit her. She wants what Alex has with Kelly. The potential to someday soon get to see her in Heaven, when Kelly’s made an angel after Kara requests it. That day when Kelly gets to meet Brainy, Nia, Lucy, James, becomes a part of their family. The knowledge and comfort that Kelly will be with her forever. Kara would never have that comfort with Lena. They would forever be confined to playing for opposite teams in the oldest rivalry in existence. It makes Kara angry and sad at the same time. She feels like screaming that it’s not fair, that deserves to be happy too. But she’s an angel, she’s supposed to be happy with what she has serving the Creator and being with her sister and friends. Why can’t she just be happy? She has everything she could ever want here in Heaven. It’s literally in the name, “Heaven”.

Kara seems to have a lot of questions she can’t answer lately. The feeling of being helpless and powerless is crushing. She wants to help Lena, wants to be happy for Alex, for Brainy, Nia. But it was just so hard . They have everything she wants, and she feels like she has to just take what she’s given and be happy. She lays down on her bed and stares at the ceiling. Kara hates feeling so helpless. She decides to give herself exactly half an hour to wallow in her self-doubt and sadness, and then it was back to finding a solution for her problems. This thing wasn’t going to solve itself, and Lena was counting on her. Even if she didn’t know it yet. Acknowledge the hurt, then let it go. She needs to be strong. She deserves to be happy, and Lena makes her happy.

It doesn’t stop the tears from flowing, though. Because she also deserves to feel her emotions. Tomorrow, she promises herself, tomorrow she would be okay.

She doesn’t know when she eventually falls asleep, only that she wakes up the next morning feeling like her eyes are glued shut but a lot less emotional. The release that crying gave her makes her feel lighter and more in control. She still acknowledges the pain, pokes at it like a sore muscle, but it doesn’t feel as overwhelming or painful in the daylight. Today, she would keep fighting to save Lena. Tomorrow, she realizes with a start, she’d get to actually see Lena.

She gets to work on time, goes through her morning routine fairly normally. On her midday break, she decides to go to the Records office. She doesn’t really know what she’s looking for. Records of people being killed by legions of angels? The material on that subject was decidedly lacking. Half demon hybrids? Also empty. A giant book of laws on Divine Right? Kara hefts the gigantic book off the shelf and sets it on a large oak table with a loud thud that makes her cringe. It has to be at least several thousand pages long, and she has no clue where to start. She couldn’t just ask it her specific question. It was a book, not a fortune teller.

Kara spends her entire break searching various versions of the same “what if” question. What if a demon has a child with a human? What if a half human kills an angel? What if an angel falls in love with a demon?

There were too many questions and not enough answers these days. It was frustrating to say the least. She shoves the book back onto the shelf and heads back to finish her day. Kelly seems happier after Alex’s visit. Not that she was sad before, but there’s a different type of spring in her step. In the interest of free will, human files don’t contain the human’s future spouses, they only appear after the marriage is finalized. Kara has no idea how Alex explained her prolonged absence to Kelly, but whatever she did, Kelly didn’t seem to mind too much.

“Hey, where were you at midday break today?” Alex asks when Kara sits back down in her chair in the Viewing Room.

“Oh I went to the Records department to see if they had anything that would help us.” Kara says.

“I could have come with,” Alex says, concern in her voice. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, why wouldn’t it be?”

“You don’t usually disappear and come back looking so…defeated.”

“Oh.” Kara can’t really offer a whole run-down on all her emotions the last two days in the middle of their workplace. “I guess I’m just frustrated with not finding anything for Lena.”

Alex gives her a Look, one that Kara knows means “I don’t believe you”, but Kara ignores it. She’d tell Alex everything after she found something for Lena. But until then, she wasn’t going burden anyone with the emotions she wasn’t even supposed to be feeling.

“Didn’t we just promise to be better at communicating?” Alex asks.

Kara sighs. “I’ll tell you everything, just not right now, okay?”

Alex’s tough act cracks, and she rests her hand on Kara’s arm. “Hey, if you need anything, I’m here okay? I know you pretend you can handle everything alone, but please, let me be there for you.”

Kara cradles Alex’s hand on her arm. She knows Alex means it, maybe more than anything she’s ever meant in her life. “Thank you, Alex.”

“Of course.” Alex says. “You’re my sister. I’d do anything for you.”

It makes Kara almost want to start crying again, but she shoves it down. She was going to find a way to save Lena, to be with her forever, and she was going to help Alex be with Kelly. And everything was going to be okay.

Thankfully the rest of the day passes without anymore emotional outbursts. Kara hurries home, feeling a bit giddy at the idea of seeing Lena the next day. They were going to meet at the fountain where they had their first meeting and go for a walk down to the bayfront. Kara planned on telling her about the angry angels that were currently trying to track her down, and she had planned on telling her she had a solution to the problem but that was kind of down the toilet. Either way, Lena had a right to know about the threat on her life.

The night drags on agonizingly slow, and Kara hardly sleeps in her excitement and worry. But the sun does eventually rise, and Kara takes off to work, where she shows her face and then makes some horrible excuse about helping her human, says goodbye to Alex, and manifests herself onto earth.

Lena’s already waiting for her by the fountain. As soon as Kara sees her standing there, hair pulled back into a slick ponytail, hands tucked into the pockets of her leather jacket, she pulls her into a hug.

“Well, hello to you too!” Lena laughs hugs her tightly. “What’s all this?”

“I just missed you.” Kara mumbles into her shoulder.

“I missed you too.” Lena whispers back.

Kara holds her tightly for another few minutes, then lets her go. Lena’s got a thousand watt smile, and Kara never wants to see anything else. She studies her, memorizing every line of her face and the way she looks. She hates to tell her…but Lena deserves to know. “So…I have to tell you something.”

Lena’s smile disappears. “What is it?”

“The angel, Jeremiah, the one you—took,” Kara doesn’t say killed, because that makes what she did sound worse than it was, “Heaven is angry. Like, really angry. They’re sending a legion of warriors to kill you.”

“They—They’re what ?” Lena asks, voice pitched up in disbelief. “Kara, tell me you’re kidding.”

Kara shakes her head.

“I only took his soul because he was trying to kill me! You have to do something! Tell them what really happened!”

“I know, Lena, I—I’ve spent the last month or so searching everywhere. I’ve read all the books, I’ve asked everyone. I don’t know what to do.” Kara’s voice cracks at the end and tears sting her eyes.

Lena crosses her arms, seemingly collapsing in on herself. “One mistake, one accident out of self-defense and I deserve to die for it?” she whispers.
“No! No , Lena. You don’t deserve this. This was a mistake, a misunderstanding on their part. I just can’t seem to find a way to stop it.”

“It’s funny,” Lena says, stronger now, “I’ve spent my entire life fighting against my family’s legacy, fighting against that demonic side of me, but maybe I didn’t do as good of a job as I thought. All I am in the end is a demon.”

“Lena—” Kara puts her hand on Lena’s shoulder but Lena shrugs it off.

“I should have just stolen a human soul like I was told and been done with it.” Lena snaps, looking up at the sky like she could fight the Creator themselves.

“Listen to me.” Kara commands, and surprisingly, Lena stops. “You are not the demon side of you. You aren’t your family or their actions. You are good, and kind, and amazing. Heaven is the one in the wrong, and we will find a way to fix this. On my eternal soul, we will find a way to save you. Or we go down together.”

Lena, to her credit, looks genuinely taken aback by the anger and ferocity in Kara’s statement. But Kara meant every word. She was not going to let Lena die because of a misunderstanding.

“But, right now, we’re together. We’re alive. We should go on that walk to the bayfront, and we can talk about the plan of action afterwards.” Kara finishes.

Lena nods, still looking a bit stunned. “Kara, I… no one’s ever stood up like that for me before.”

“Well, I’ll always stand up for you.” Kara says simply.

Without another word, Kara takes Lena’s hand turns and starts down the paved path towards the bayfront.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

To be honest, Lena doesn’t know what to think. A whole legion’s worth of angels coming to kill her? Over an angel who attacked her first? It wasn’t fair, but angels didn’t care about fair. They wouldn’t give her the chance to explain herself. To be honest, she’s surprised she’s even lived this long. Usually whenever a demon incurred the wrath of Heaven they were dead in days. Lena had lasted several months, and they were currently taking a leisurely stroll through the park. What was holding them up?

She lets Kara pull her along the wooded path, trying not to think too hard about her impending death. She had faith in Kara, and she knew she meant what she said about fighting for her, but stopping an entire legion? They were both going to get killed.

As the path became darker, Kara suddenly turns to her. “Make sure you keep an eye out for any loose bricks,” She jokes, holding Lena’s hand tighter. “Wouldn’t want to trip again!”

“Oh yes, Hell might be full of bricks if your human form has anything to say about it.” Lena laughs.

Lena holds onto Kara’s hand like a lifeline. Whatever the cost, she wouldn’t change meeting her, or this time spent together. Kara was her best friend. How she wishes they could meet more often than every few months. And then there was that other problem. The whole “steal Kara’s soul or you both die” problem. That was an issue she wasn’t ready to broach yet. She guessed that again, it didn’t make that much of a difference since Lena was going to die either way.

They’re about halfway to the bayfront when a rustling in the woods distracts Lena from Kara’s story about her sister disappearing to meet a human. She stops dead in the middle of the path and cocks her head towards the sound, hoping to better pinpoint what it is. At this time of night, there shouldn’t be any dogs or squirrels out. A light thud and a muttered curse has Lena turning towards the woods.

“Stay here.” She tells Kara, who thankfully listens and stays in on the pathway as Lena approaches the treeline.

She only gets a little way into the trees before a hand grabs her forearm and yanks her behind a large tree.

“What the f—” she yells, but another hand is quickly slapped over her mouth.

“Shut up!” a voice, one she knows, hisses at her.

A human shaped form steps closer, and Lena’s night vision kicks in. It’s Haures, the demon who wanted her support to go to war and take Earth. He’s wearing a human skin, one that barely fits him. There’s parts of his true form showing through in the form of grotesque cuts and burns. They make eye contact, and Lena can feel anger growing in her belly. Haures narrows his eyes and lets her go, and Lena spits the taste of his hand on the ground.

“What are you doing here?” She hisses at him.

“Just making sure you’re following orders,” Haures replies coldly.

“Oh so your little plan for your army fell through and what, you’re assigned to enforcement duty? If I didn’t think you were pathetic before,” Lena rolls her eyes.

“I volunteered, actually.” Haures snaps. “Your brother just wanted to make sure you were doing as asked.”

“Well I am, so you can go run back to my brother and kindly tell him to fuck off.”

“He’ll have your tongue for that. Probably for the better, anyway.”
“I’ll have your head for even being here,” Lena snaps. “Now scurry back down to Hell where you belong.”

A demonic grin stretches across Haures’s pitful human face. “You know, Princess,” he spits the title like it disgusts him, “your little angel is a beauty. Maybe I should bring her in myself, save you the trouble. That would certainly sway the Queen to see my side on things.”

A thrill of fear races down her spine, but Lena forces it down, determined not to let him see just how much that threat affected her. Kara was completely defenseless in her human form.

“I suggest, for your own safety, you leave now.” She grinds out.

Haures just ignores her, rather pushing past her and heading towards the edge of the trees, right where Kara is waiting on her. Before she knows what she’s doing, Lena runs after him and tackles him to the ground. They hit the ground with a thud, and someone’s yelling, and maybe it’s Lena or maybe it’s Haures or maybe both of them. It’s over before it starts, really. One moment, she’s kneeling on top of Haures, yelling curses and threats in every language she knows, and the next moment he’s just. Gone. The only thing that lingers is the smell of burnt flesh.

Lena falls back off her knees. She hears footsteps, but she doesn’t look up to see who it is, instead fixing her eyes on her hands.

Her very red, very demonic hands.

“Lena!?” Kara yells.

Lena tears her eyes away from her hands and looks up to Kara, who’s standing about five feet away, a look of shock and worry on her face.

“Don’t look at me!” Lena shouts, pulling her jacket sleeves over her hands and ducking her head to hide her face.

“Lena,” Kara breathes, coming over to kneel down next to her. “Lena, what happened?”

“The noise,” Lena whispers, still keeping her head down as hot tears start to fall. “It was a demon. He was going to steal your soul, like I was commanded to.”

“Oh, Lena,” Kara whispers, wrapping her arms awkwardly around Lena’s shoulders in an attempt at a hug.

“What are you doing?” Lena asks, hating the way her voice breaks. “I’m hideous. Why aren’t you running?”
Kara pulls her arms away and grips Lena’s chin, pulling it up into the dim light. “Lena, you can’t honestly think that you would ever scare me away.” She says, studying Lena’s face intently.

“Kara, just look at me. Look at what I just did .” She gestures harshly at the burnt mark on the ground where Haures was wiped out of existence.

“I am looking at you, Lena.” Kara replies, and it’s gentle-- so gentle that Lena thinks her heart might break in two. “And I see a woman that was just defending herself and her—friend, no matter the cost.” Lena tries not to read into how Kara stutters over ‘friend’. How could she be friends with something like her?

“I see you, Lena. I see every part of you, and I am not afraid.” She releases Lena’s chin and instead cradles the sides of her face, then leans forward and gently presses their foreheads together. “Whatever form you’re in, whether Heaven or Hell or both is against us, I love you , Lena. Nothing will ever, ever change that.”

Lena’s outright sobbing now, and she pushes herself off the ground and throws herself into Kara’s arms. Even in her human form, she catches Lena easily. Lena buries her face into Kara’s shoulder as she sobs, and Kara rubs soothing circles into her back. She doesn’t know how long they sit there, Lena crying and Kara holding her, but eventually Lena pulls back and wipes her eyes.

“You truly don’t think I’m a disgusting monster?” She asks softly as she wipes the last of the tears away.

“As true as there are stars in the sky,” Kara nods seriously.

There’s a heartbeat of pause, then Lena says, “I love you too, Kara.”

A grin cracks across Kara’s face. “You do?” she asks excitedly.

“As true as there are stars in the sky,” Lena parrots, her own smile growing.

“Then I guess we’d better get back to our date.” Kara stands and holds her hand out to help Lena up, which she accepts gratefully.

They start walking along again, hand in hand. “Oh, about the whole “I was commanded to steal your soul thing.” Lena starts, but Kara shushes her.

“So we have the entire cosmos looking to kill us.” She waves her hand flippantly. “That’s tomorrow’s problem. Tonight, it’s just us, being in love and taking a walk in the park.”

Lena returns her smile and tries to push the worry and stress away. “Tomorrow’s problem,” she agrees.
They finally make it to the bayfront after walking in silence, just enjoying each other’s company. They lean against the guard railing, and Kara looks at her.

“So…horns, huh?” She reaches up and runs her fingers along a ridged curve.

Lena smiles and looks sheepishly towards the ground. “Yeah…they’re kind of a status symbol.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah…about that.” Lena sighs. “So I may not have been totally truthful with you. My father…was kind of the King of Hell. And my stepmother is kind of the current Queen of Hell, and my brother is in charge of delivering Punishments. Making me…”

“The Princess.” Kara finishes, eyes wide.

Lena winces. She’s already been called that more tonight than in her entire existence. “Yeah,” she breathes.

“So not only do you have to steal my soul, and I have to stop an entire legion of angels from kill you and probably me for helping you, but your stepmother is the Queen of freaking Hell and your brother is the most notorious demon in existence.”

Lena just nods.

“Well,” Kara looks out over the quiet, dark bay. “At least we’re together.”

Lena’s heart stops. All that, and she still wants her? Wants to be with her?

“I love you,” she whispers, because now she can and who knows how much longer she’ll be able to? They’ve just begun this…relationship, and already it was on a time limit. She may as well get in as much as she possibly can before the end.

“I love you too, Lena.”

Chapter Text

Kara escapes down to Earth more often after the news that they were both going to die comes to light. May as well spend as much time as they can together if they’re going to die, right? But not to be mistaken: Kara uses some of her time checking on Kelly from Earth, rather than from Heaven. She runs into her at bars (where Kara definitely does not have anything stronger than a glass of wine), bumps into her while on a date with Lena in the park. They end up striking up some sort of friendship, and if Kelly suspects anything weird, she doesn’t show it.

Kara lets Lena show her earth. In her human form, Kara can’t Manifest them anywhere, so she relies on Lena to teleport them. They take a grand tour of Creation. Victoria Falls, Iguazu Falls, the Grand Canyon, the Hagia Sofia. If they thought it, they were there. They did Pride in New York City, then in Los Angeles. They ate lunch on the top of Mount Everest.

Kara finally gets up the nerve to kiss Lena on top of the Eiffel Tower. It’s something she’s wanted to do for weeks now, but she wanted to make it absolutely perfect. They’re standing against the railing at the top of the tower, looking out over Paris. Lena’s wearing a gorgeous low-cut black dress that hugs her curves, while Kara’s elected to wear a black three-piece suit. The lights of the city cast a brilliant soft light over Lena’s already sharp features and makes her pale skin glow a warm golden pink. It reminds Kara of their first date by the fountain, except far softer.

Kara wraps her arms around Lena from behind and rests her chin on her shoulder so that they’re both facing the city. She rocks them gently for a few moments, and she hears Lena sigh contentedly.

It takes Kara a few minutes to work up the nerve to ask her. Objectively, she knows Lena won’t say no, but the anxiety is still there. Finally, she just takes a deep breath and whispers, “Can I kiss you?”

From where her head rests on Lena’s shoulder, she can’t see Lena’s face, but she can feel her smile. “I thought you’d never ask, darling.”

She twists around in her arms so Kara’s pinning her up against the railing. Kara leans in, and suddenly their lips are touching and Lena’s so soft and warm under, Kara’s heart is thrumming wildly in her chest and her hands slide instinctually over Lena’s hips as Lena pulls her closer by her lapels. It’s too much all at once her grip on this form is slipping and—

The music dies suddenly, and sudden honking from cars below them has both of them opening their eyes and pulling away harshly. Kara looks around in a daze, half worried that the warrior-angels found them, half not caring because she’s still drunk on the taste of Lena. It takes her brain a moment to connect that the lights were out on the balcony, and a full minute for her to realize that the entire city was pitch black . The buildings were almost indistinguishable in the foggy night, and horns were still going off below.

Lena turns to her and raises an eyebrow at her, and it has Kara wanting to go right back to kissing her. Restraining herself becomes a thousand times harder, because those lips quirk up into a smirk that’s all at once playful and impressed.

“Did I…just cause a blackout?” Kara whispers.

“I suppose I do have that effect.” Lena teases, pressing a kiss to Kara’s blushing cheek. “Do try to keep a handle on your human form though. If every time we kiss you cause a citywide blackout, people will start to ask questions.”

Kara cups Lena’s cheek with one hand and gently pulls her into another kiss—one that’s just as tender and passionate, but without the intensity the first one brought. She pulls away just a hair to say, “One day, we’ll be together in our true forms.”

Lena shuts her eyes and nods. They stand there, holding each other, the whole world fading away around them as they soak in each other’s presence and try not to think of the time they have together ticking away with each heartbeat.

 

When Kara gets back to Heaven that night, Alex is waiting for her at her house. “Hi, Alex,” Kara greets her.

“Hey,” Alex says cheerfully. “So, I went to earth today and saw Kelly.”

“Oh, how is she? I haven’t heard from her in a while.”

“She’s amazing,” Alex gushes , and Kara has to hold back laughter. In all their millennia, Kara has never once seen Alex gush. “But that’s not what I wanted to tell you. I also sort of…met Maggie.”

“Maggie, like your assignment Maggie?”

“Yeah,” Alex looks nervous and guilty and it makes Kara’s stomach turn.

Kara groans. “What did you do, Alex?”

“I didn’t tell her how she was gonna die or anything,” Alex says quickly. “I just kind of…warned her, I guess.”

“How did you manage that without her thinking you’re insane?”

“Oh, she definitely thought I was insane. But I may have hinted at details that would lead her to the proof she needs.”

“Alex!”

“What? I didn’t tell her I was an angel or anything! And I couldn’t take watching her drink her life away anymore!”

“You could’ve, I don’t know, sent her to Kelly for therapy or something!”

Alex blinks. “I didn’t think of that.”

“You’re literally dating a therapist, and you didn’t think to recommend her?”

“Oh like you’re miss perfect here! You took one look at a pretty face and decided to date her even though she’s your enemy!”

“Okay but I feel like one of these problems could’ve been solved a lot easier than the other!” Kara points out, but laughter bubbles out of her and Alex can’t help but laugh along.

“Oh well. I guess we’re all making mistakes lately.” Alex rolls her eyes playfully. “We’ll see what she does with it. And as long as we don’t tell anyone, Management shouldn’t notice.”

“Let’s hope not. Hey, we should double date sometime. Me, you, Kelly, and Lena. You can get to meet her!”

“Okay.” Alex says after thinking it over for a moment. “Next week?”

“Great!” Kara says excitedly. “I can’t wait for you to meet Lena, Alex. She’s amazing. She’s smart and funny and—”

“Okay, okay, I get it you’re in love with her.” Alex waves her hand dramatically, making Kara laugh.

When they finally stop laughing, there’s a beat of silence. “I kissed her tonight.” Kara says softly.

“Hey, congratulations!” Alex pats her arm affectionately. “But why do you look so upset?”

“Because, Alex,” she sucks in a breath, “how am I ever going to live without kissing her?”

“Oh, Kara,” Alex pulls her into a tight hug. “We’re going to figure this out.”

“How Alex? We’ve tried everything.” Kara whines miserably.

“There’s got to be something we haven’t found. Come on, Kara,” Alex pushes her away from the hug and holds her at arms, fixing her with a stern glare. “Where’s my annoyingly optimistic sister?”

Kara pulls away and sighs. “You’re right. I just hate this. I wish we were just humans that found each other. Or both angels. We’d be Matched already. Sometimes it just feels so unfair, you know?”

“I know.” Alex’s agrees sympathetically.

Kara sighs. “I know you don’t have it easy either. Your sister did get you into this, and now you’re kinda-sorta dating a human? Which is also technically against the rules.”

Alex chuckles softly. “Yeah…it’s okay though. If I was going against every rule that’s ever been written, I’d want it to be with you.”

“Aww shucks,” Kara scrunches her nose up in mock embarrassment. “I love you too.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Alex rolls her eyes but the grin on her face betrays her. “Don’t let it get to your head.”

The conversation dies off, each of them lost in their own thoughts. Finally, Kara says, “Well, I should get some sleep. I have Guardian duty tomorrow.”.

“Yeah, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Alex turns and starts heading down towards the sidewalk.

“Goodnight!” She waves as Alex heads down to her own quarters a few houses down.

Kara heads inside and flops onto her bed, falling asleep thinking of Lena.

--------------------------------------------------------- 

The next day, Kara’s sitting at her desk when Nia and Lucy approach her.

“Greetings, Guardian Kara. Do you have a moment?” Sometimes Kara hates the formality that is required of her friends at work.

“Greetings, Guardian Nia, Guardian Lucy. What did you need?”

“I think Guardian Lucy may have a solution to your problem.” Nia gives her a knowing look.

“What problem?” Kara asks, confused. She hadn’t had any problems with Kelly recently.

“You know, the…extracurricular problem?” Nia tries, and after a moment it clicks.

“Oh! Oh,” Kara says awkwardly. “How do you know about that, Guardian Nia?”

“Is that really important right now?” Nia asks quickly. “Lucy has something to tell you!”

Kara glares at Nia then turns to Lucy. “You have a solution to my…problem?”

“I don’t know why you didn’t just ask me before, Kara. I would’ve told you from the beginning that it’s against the law for an angel to kill a human.”

“Even when that…human did something bad?” It’s awkward talking about Lena like this, in their workspace where they have to hide the nature of their conversation.

“Even then.” Lucy confirms. “If the Justice department found out, they’d be Condemned.”
“But the Justice department is the one who ordered it.” Kara asked confusedly.

“How many people know of your human’s…circumstances?”

“How do you know of my human’s circumstances?” Kara challenges.

Lucy sighs deeply. “Alex told us, okay? Can we focus now?”

“Alex told you?”

”Kara!” Both Lucy and Nia exclaim at the same time, and Kara sinks back into her chair.

“Okay, I’m listening. I’m sorry.”

“Anyways. No one except us knows about these circumstances. But it could save your human if they did, no matter what happened. They can’t kill a human in any form.”

“Are you sure?” Kara whispers, unwilling to let herself get her hopes up.

“Positive. There’s never been a case like this before, but the laws are crystal clear.” Lucy explains. “We just have to get a message to the commanders, and they should call the hunt off. Although, I don’t know how they didn’t expect that something was up when it took them so long to track her down. Usually the Justice department executes their missions the same day they’re assigned, and this one has been open for months.”

“Then let’s go!” Kara stands up abruptly, shoving her chair back in the process and garnering a few confused stares from the angels around them. “We have to tell them!” she says, softer this time.

“Whoa, slow down.” Lucy puts her hands out to block Kara’s path. “We need to do this right. Prove that the circumstances are legitimate.”

“We’re angels, we can’t lie.” Kara points out.

“But humans and demons can.” Nia says gently.

“She’s not lying!”

“We know, Kara. But just because we believe her, doesn’t mean the Justice department will.” Lucy explains firmly but gently.

Kara hesitates. She knows Lucy and Nia are right. And the fact that Alex broke her trust stings, but that’s a later problem. Lucy may be handing Kara the key to a future with the person she loves, and right now, that outweighs everything. She takes a deep breath and pulls her chair up and sits down.

“Tell me what I have to do.”

 ---------------------------------------------------

Lena’s lingering around the art shop, lazily sketching a portrait of Kara on a small canvas when she feels Sarah looking over her shoulder.

“Is that your wife?” Sarah asks.

“Oh, no,” Lena blushes and a shy smile creeps across her face. “My…well, I suppose you could call us girlfriends.”

“Well, she’s very beautiful.” Sarah says in a motherly sort-of way. “You should bring her by the shop one day.”

Lena hums noncommittally, and Sarah paces away to gather the paint brushes left over from a child’s birthday party that she hosted earlier in the day. As Lena traces the delicate lines of Kara’s cheekbones out, she thinks on what they could’ve had if their circumstances were different. A real relationship, one where they’d go on dates every Friday night, have sleepovers, find an apartment together in the city. Maybe get a dog, or cat, or both, if that’s what Kara wanted. After a few years, they’d get married and move to the suburbs. Or maybe Kara was more of a rural person that wanted to own a ranch or something. She’d have to ask her when she saw her again.

Lena carefully shades the lines of Kara’s neck as she thinks about what dog breed they would get. She’s just in the process of picking out names when she hears what sounds like glass shattering. Dropping her pencil, she hurries over to the counter where Sarah keeps the cash register. There’s an entryway behind the counter that’s covered in strings of beads. Lena knows that the back room is where Sarah keeps the kilns for the pottery and sometimes they break during firing, but it’s worth checking.

“Sarah? Is everything okay?” she calls.

The silence that follows has the hair on Lena’s arms standing up. She runs behind the counter and through the beaded doorway, her heart starting to pound.

“Sarah?” she yells. The kilns are firing loudly, but there’s no sign of her.

Lena takes in the room, desperate for any sign of her friend. She’s just rounding the second kiln when a man steps out from behind it. He’s tall, with dark brown skin and shaved hair. Even though he was standing between the two kilns, there’s not a speck of dirt on his pure white suit. Lena instantly understands.
A thread of fear runs through her, but she pushes it down. “Just one of you? I thought there was supposed to be a whole legion.” she tries to sound snarky, but it comes out weak and she knows it.

“You have been summoned to stand before the Justice Council of the Creator.” The man says, and his voice sounds like ten different voices speaking simultaneously.

“What? I thought you were sent to kill me?”

“You have been summoned to stand before the Justice Council of the Creator.” He repeats.

“What have you done with my friend?”

“No harm has come to the human.” The angel says.

“Why would I be summoned to the Justice Council?”

The angel steps forward, and Lena takes a tiny step back. “You will come willingly.” He commands.

“Well this doesn’t exactly feel like a consenting situation.” Lena quips. “I don’t have much of a choice.”

“You will come willingly.” He says and moves until he is standing in front of her. This time, Lena doesn’t move back. Instead, she lifts her arm and opens her hand in front of her.

The angel grabs her wrist and they disappear.

Kara files her paperwork, humming a tuneless melody to herself. It’s only a few more days until she and Lena have their next date. Kelly’s life is moving swimmingly. She’s seen Alex on her screen in the Viewing Room a few times, but she turns away to give them some privacy and instead checks on Maggie while Alex is out. If anyone was going to protect Kelly, it’d be Alex. She still needs to talk to Alex about telling Lucy and Nia what was going on, but things have been good recently, so she hesitates to bring it up.

Lucy has been helping her draft an appeal to the Justice department in their spare time. It’s nearly finished, and Kara was planning on presenting it to Lena on their next date to get the angels off their back. The whole “Lena has to steal her soul” was a problem that still sat on the board, but one step at a time she guesses. Once they have Heaven off their backs, they can focus on Hell.

Just as she signs her last paper, the doors to the shared office space fling open. The Guardians that are working at their desks snap their heads to see who is causing the intrusion.

“Guardian Kara.” A strong voice commands. Kara stands instantly, almost against her will. Angels are bound to obey their superiors, so even if she wanted to stay sitting, she would be unable to.

Her heart pounds as the angel approaches her. His uniform proclaims him as a member of the Justice department. What would they want with her? She hadn’t submitted the appeal yet. There was no way they could know about Lena. Even though Alex had told Lucy and Nia, Kara knew there was no way any of them would ever betray her to the authorities.

She tries to stand tall and square her shoulders. She keeps her chin up and eyes level. She would not let this angel know she was afraid.

The angel stops an arms-length away from her. “Guardian Kara, you have been summoned to stand before the Justice Council of the Creator.”

Kara starts to protest, but she clenches her jaw shut against it. She would not yield, would not give anything away that could hurt Lena.

“I will come willingly.” Kara says in a strong, commanding tone and raises her arm.

The angel grips her wrist, and the next thing she knows they’re standing in a grand room. The floor is made of solid pink and gold clouds. The room is at least half a football field wide and circular. In the front half of the circle sat an ornate raised podium. There was a half wall that covered the raised part like a box on either side of the center, and Kara assumed there were chairs behind the wall. In the very center of the wall was a higher raised pulpit, and the carved head of a lion and a lamb sat on the front as décor. On the lower level, two slightly raised podiums that had caged railings around the front sat ten feet apart from each other. These podiums faced the center pulpit at and were angled to the center. Behind those were benches that could only be for an audience of some sort.

The angel led Kara to one of the caged podiums below the center platform. Kara stares up at the carving of the lion and the lamb. Why had she been called here? She was committing a crime by being with Lena, but they couldn’t know. Besides, they wouldn’t call a Justice Council meeting for this. Justice would typically be executed swiftly and without a full trial. Angels couldn’t lie, after all.

Kara doesn’t know how long she stands there staring at the court’s walls and carvings when she hears a door open and shut. Before she can even turn around, a familiar voice rings out.

“Get your hands off me!” Lena snaps.

Kara spins around. “Lena?” she calls.

Lena stops struggling against the angelic guards when she hears Kara’s voice. “Kara?”
They lead Lena to the podium opposite of Kara. They’re far apart, but they can still talk.

“What are we doing here?” Lena asks in a whisper-yell.

“I don’t know,” Kara says nervously. “I’ve never heard of this happening.”

“What do we do?”

“I don’t know that either. We had a plan. We were going to appeal for your life. But we hadn’t finished it yet. I was going to show you the next time we…”

Lena gives her a watery smile. “Kara, whatever happens…I just want you to know that I—”

Just then two hidden doors above the raised pulpits open and angels dressed in brilliant white pantsuits with badges on the sleeves and front denoting what department they hail from file out and take their places along the wall. Finally, a single angel steps out. Her uniform is devoid of badges or regalia, and her hair is a silver gray and shines softly like starlight. She steps up to the highest platform and lifts her arms. The lesser judges sit as one, but the High Judge remains standing. The side doors open again, and out steps a man and a woman, and judging from Lena’s resounding gasp, Kara can only guess it’s her family. They take their places in two throne-like chairs that have suddenly appeared beside the High Judge’s pulpit.

“Guardian Angel Kara, Princess Lena of Hell, Second Heir to the Throne, you have been summoned to the Justice Council of the Creator to answer for the crimes of conspiring against Heaven and Hell.” The High Judge’s voice is like rain and lightning at once. It demands attention but holds authority that makes you want to listen. “And you, Guardian Kara, are accused of abandoning your Guardian duties on more than one occasion.”

“High Judge, your Honor, we would never conspire against Heaven and Hell.” Kara pleads. The second accusation Kara has no excuse for. At least, not one the High Judge would accept.

“Silence.” The High Judge commands. “Accusations state that the two of you were seen meeting on Earth on several occasions. In the process, an angel’s soul was stolen and a demon’s existence was ended.” The High Judge looks directly at Lena as she speaks. “The punishment for these crimes is severe. Do you have anything you would like to say?”

Kara opens her mouth, but it’s Lena who speaks first. “Please, I don’t know what they told you,” she gestures at the man and woman beside the High Judge, face contorted in panic. “They’re lying. We never conspired against anyone. Take me, not Kara. She’s innocent. I tricked her into meeting with me.”

“No, she didn’t. I met with her willingly.” She looks over at Lena for the first time. “She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

“This is all very romantic,” The woman beside the High Judge says sarcastically. “But the mingling of angels and demons are strictly forbidden. And you, dear daughter, are such a disappointment. You could have had everything if you had just taken her soul when you were told to, and you chose to throw it away.”

Kara can tell the blow hit its mark by the look of hurt on her face. Lena had never spoken much of her mother, and Kara never pushed it. She assumed the Queen of Hell wasn’t exactly the type to meet the girlfriend.

“Silence.” The High Judge commands to the Queen. “Reports also state that you two aren’t the only ones involved in this scheme. Guards,” she commands, and the angels in the back give a stiff nod and open the double doors in the back.

Kara watches in horror as Alex, Nia, Brainy, and Lucy are led into the courtroom. They all march in a line. Alex looks defiant, as usual, but Nia, Brainy, and Lucy look nervous. Kara wonders why Brainy was dragged into this. She hadn’t really gone to Brainy for anything. Nia must have told him, making him an accomplice.

“Guardian Alex, you are summoned before the Justice Council of the Creator for the crime of interfering with human lives.”

Alex looks like she wants to say something, but Nia puts a warning hand on her shoulder and she keeps her mouth shut.

“Guardians Nia, Lucy, and Querl, you are summoned before the Justice Council of the Creator for the crime of assisting in a crime.”

Kara knows she’s going to lose this battle. The evidence is stacked against them. Whatever the Queen and Prince have told the High Judge, she has obviously chosen to believe them without listening to what Kara and Lena have to say. She tries to come up with a solution, any solution where they all get out of this alive.

“Your Honor, please, we were not meeting to conspire against Heaven and Hell,” Kara tries. “We were meeting because we are in love. I love Lena with all my heart. She did not trick me. She took that angel’s soul out of self-defense, and the demon was trying to attack me. This is all a big misunderstanding. Please, you have to understand whatever they told you isn’t true. And my friends,” Kara gestures back to Alex, Brainy, Nia, and Lucy, “they were just trying to help me. I didn’t even mean to drag them into this. I just wanted to see Lena. And Alex loves Kelly like I love Lena, surely any interference was unintentional.”

The High Judge gives her a long look, but says nothing.

“Princess Lena, Second Heir to Hell, how would you like to plead?” The judge asks as if Kara hadn’t spoken.

Lena looks directly at her mother and brother as she says, “Not guilty.”

“Guardian Kara, how would you like to plead?”

“Not guilty.” She responds sullenly.

The same answer is echoed when she asks Alex and the others behind them.

“The council will now deliberate and return with a decision.” The High Judge swings her gavel down, and all of the judges disappear, along with the two demons.

Kara immediately spins to face Lena. “Lena, I am so sorry.”

“It’s not your fault, Kara. It’s going to be okay.”

“Kara!” Alex calls from behind them. “I’m sorry too. I don’t know how they found out. We didn’t talk, I swear it.”

“I know you didn’t, Alex. Just like I didn’t say anything about Kelly. Whatever happens, we’re sisters until the end.” Alex nods, tears shining in her eyes. “Nia, Lucy, Brainy…I’m so sorry. I never meant for any of you to get involved with this.”

“We chose this, Kara. We wanted Alex to tell us, even if it meant this.”

“I’m so grateful to have all of you in my life.” Kara’s eyes burn with tears. Her heart feels like it’s ripping apart in her chest. She came so close to having everything she could ever want just for it to end like this.

She turns back to Lena. “No matter what, I love you. I wouldn’t take back a second of the time we spent together.”

“I love you, too.” A tear falls down Lena’s cheek. “I wouldn’t change anything, either.”

“No matter what happens, as long as we’re together, it’ll be okay.” Kara sniffs and wipes the tears from her cheeks.

The judges return then and take their places on the bench. Kara tries desperately to pull herself together and stand tall.

“Judges, what is the final decision?” The High Judge asks, voice devoid of emotion.

One judge, a man sitting closest to the Queen stands and noticeably shifts away from the Queen of Hell, who smiles at him. “We, the High Court of the Creator, find Princess Lena, Second Heir to Hell, guilty on all accused counts and sentence her to pay for her crimes with her life.”

No! ” Kara’s voice tears out of her in a painful scream, and she sees Lena take a shaky step back in shock. She looks desperately at Kara, but Kara can’t offer her anything other than tears and a mouthed “I love you”.

“We, the High Court of the Creator, find Guardian Kara, guilty of all accused crimes and sentence her to pay for her crimes with her life.”

Kara barely hears her sentence. It doesn’t matter. Anything life without Lena would be worse than death. Knowing she was the reason for her death, that she couldn’t stop it…the idea was unbearable. Her mind goes numb as the judge read the sentences of her friends out.

Just as she’s about to give up, let whatever happens, happen, a moment of lucidity lets a single thought through.

“Cast us out.” She whispers.

“Guardian Kara? Did you have something to say?” the High Judge turns her attention to Kara.

“Cast us out.” She says, louder this time. “Make us human.”

“You would choose to live among humans?” The High Judge asks incredulously.

“Anything, to stay together.” Kara says, voice still shaking.

The High Judge hesitates and glances around at the lesser judges.

“Oh come on, you can’t seriously be considering this?” Lena’s brother pipes up, but the High Judge silences him with a wave of her hand.

Kara risks a glance back at her friends, and Alex gives her one quick nod. She will take this route with her.

The High Judge tilts her head and shifts her jaw. “Very well.” She says, and Kara nearly sinks to her knees. “Guardian Kara, Princess Lena. You have been granted leniency by this court. You are hereby cast out of Heaven to live as a human for the rest of your natural lives. Provided you will never, ever speak of Heaven, Hell, or any of its innerworkings, you will be allowed to keep your memories. Anyone wishing to follow them may. You have two hours before you will be Cast Out.” The High Judge slams her gavel, and Kara thinks her heart stops. “The Justice Council of the Creator is adjourned.”

The judges file out, and the Prince and Queen of Hell growl angrily and disappear, not bothering to speak to Lena. Released from their places, Kara runs to Lena, who meets her halfway and they fall into a hug. They’re both crying, and Kara gives her a sloppy kiss on the cheek.

“We’re going to be okay,” Kara whispers into Lena’s hair.

“We’re going to be together.” Lena replies, pulling back to look at Kara’s face. “I don’t care what form that takes.” She smiles, bright and happy.

Alex, Lucy, Nia, and Brainy come up behind them, and Kara releases Lena from their hug but keeps one arm wrapped tightly around her shoulders.

“Thank you, all of you.” Kara says, looking each one of them in the eyes. “I don’t deserve friends like you, but I am eternally grateful.”

“Don’t sound like you’re saying goodbye,” Alex warns. “I’m coming with you. To earth.”

“You are?”

“It’s either this or death, so it was a pretty hard toss up, but I think I’ll go with earth.” Alex jokes, and then Kara is wrapping her arms around Alex.

When she lets go, she looks at Brainy and Nia. “We’re coming too.” Brainy states plainly, holding Nia’s hand tightly. “We were given the option to stay and be transferred, but we would like to see earth.”

“And Heaven wouldn’t be the same without you guys.” Nia finishes.

Finally they turn to Lucy, who looks a bit sheepish. “Well, this is awkward. I won’t be coming to earth with you. They’re going to let me stay here and work as a Guardian, but they’re making me go back to train under James. Which won’t be so bad, I guess. I kind of like him.”

“That’s wonderful for you, Lucy.” Kara says, and she wholeheartedly means it. She gives Lucy a brief hug and thanks her for her help.

Kara returns to Lena and takes her hand. “So, I guess dreams do come true.” She says.

“What do you mean?” Lena asks.

“I kept dreaming of being able to just be with you, all the time. And how unfair it was that we were destined to spend eternity apart.”

“Well, now we’ll never have to be apart, my love.” Lena says, and cradles Kara’s cheek in her palm before pulling her into a long, slow kiss. “You are my miracle.” Lena whispers against her lips.

After they pull away, Alex, Brainy, and Nia step up to them and link their hands together. They stand, forever stronger together, and step into their future.

Chapter Text

The group finds themselves in the middle of National City park. Miraculously, they have backpacks full of supplies, such as clothes, wallets with money, and the necessary identification they would need to function as members of society. Nia and Brainy look around, bewilderment on their faces. They’d never been to earth before, Kara remembers suddenly. This was all brand new to them.

Kara is searching through her pack when Lena grabs her shoulder tightly. She follows Lena’s gaze to a bald man in a suit blacker than night is sauntering towards them.

“Ah Sister, look at this mess you’ve made of things.” Lena’s brother sighs as he approaches them.

“As I recall, I wasn’t the one going around telling Mother my business.” Lena hisses, and it’s just as frightening as if she were still a demon.

Her brother tsks and Kara has to clench her fists to keep from punching him in the middle of the park, “Actually, you can thank Haures and his little minions for that one. Got a little suspicious when he didn’t come back from whatever errand he was on. I did a little digging and it led straight to you.”

“You turned me in?” Lena gasps.

“It’s nothing personal, sis. It’s business. You were favored for the throne, I wanted it. Simple as that. Look, I even gave you your girlfriend. You’re alive! That’s something to celebrate.”

“If you ever --” Kara starts, but he merely raises his hand and the air is ripped from her lungs. Kara crumbles to the ground, choking and gasping.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. You’re human now, remember?” He lowers his hand and the air rushes back into her, making her cough and heave.

“Look. You got what you wanted. Leave us alone, and don’t come back.” Lena growls.

“I get it. You’re pissed at me. But I have given you one gift. For as long as your mortal life, you both will have my protection. And protection from a certain Guardian trainee Lucy and Guardian James. No demons will come within a five-mile radius of you.”

“How kind.” Lena deadpans.

“I knew you’d see it my way.” He says. “See you around, Sis.” And he disappears before Kara can blink.

“Are you okay?” Lena asks Kara as she helps her to her feet.

“Fine.” Kara snaps. “Glad that bastard is gone.”

Lena gasps playfully. “Did you just…curse?”

Kara seems to realize what she said and gasps. “Oh my God ! I did! And I said God!” She laughs brightly. “Oh, Alex is going to love this.”

“Speaking of Alex, we should probably go find them and tell them what just happened.” Lena glances around the park.

Kara slips her hand into Lena’s and squeezes. “We have time.” They start along the path, not at all in a hurry to find their friends. They’d get there in the end.

Together.

------------------------------------------------

“Kara darling, don’t forget your keys on the counter!” Lena calls to her wife as she runs frantically towards the door, tugging one shoe on as she goes.

“Shoot.” Kara mumbles, then redirects herself to the kitchen instead of the front door.

“Where would you be without me?” Lena chides as she smooths the fabric of Kara’s cardigan down and presses a quick kiss to her lips.

“Hmm, probably at work on time.” Kara teases. “If you hadn’t kept me in bed for an extra thirty minutes, I wouldn’t have this problem.”

“You weren’t saying that two orgasms ago.” Lena fires back.

Kara hums and kisses Lena again. “I guess you’re right. But now I really need to go.” She makes for the door again.

“Don’t forget, it’s game night tonight. Brainy, Nia, Alex, and Kelly will be here at six.”

“I’ll be there!” Kara calls. “I love you, have a great day at work, Ms. CEO.”

“You too, miss Pulitzer Prize winning reporter.” Lena grins as Kara spins out the door.

Adjusting to life on earth with no added powers was difficult at first. They had stumbled around on the streets for a few days, before Alex could talk Kelly into taking them in. Kelly had been wonderful, as always. She helped Kara get a job as an assistant to Catco Worldwide Media’s editor in chief, Cat Grant, and helped Lena allocate funds to start her own startup tech company. That company had blown up into one of the biggest tech giants in the United States, with branches in both Metropolis and National City. Kara had been promoted to reporter six months after becoming Cat’s assistant, and a year later became a senior reporter. After a terrorist attack hit the city, Kara’s investigation into the CEO of a tech conglomerate (with sources provided by Lena, of course) revealed he was funding the group earned her a Pulitzer Prize.

Two years after coming to earth, Kara asked Lena to marry her, and her resounding “yes” could have shattered eardrums.

They don’t talk much about Heaven or Hell. Alex and Kelly continued to have a great relationship. Kelly really is the perfect woman for Alex. She let in a group of strangers on the word of a girlfriend she had been dating for only months at the time. She folded into their friend group just as easily. Brainy and Nia rent an apartment across town, and there’s talk of a baby soon.

Overall, it’s a life Lena never let herself dream of for fear of getting too hopeful. It’s more than she could ever ask for. A life away from the horrors of Hell, away from Lex and Lillian and all the petty dramas of Heaven. Her life here allows for time to do all of the studying and tinkering she wants, and the fast-paced life of a CEO suits her, as long as she can come home to her beautiful wife at the end of the day. And when their time on earth is over, they’ll be able to spend eternity together in Heaven and catch up with Lucy and James. Lena wouldn’t change a thing.

Oh, and they ended up rescuing a dog from the shelter. Her name is Winnie. She’s maybe the ugliest thing Lena’s ever seen, but Kara picked her, and “how could you say no to that face?”.
So, she didn’t say no, and now they have a dog that looks a little like Frankenstein’s monster. But Lena wouldn’t change that, either.

On Saturday afternoons, without fail, Lena visits Sarah at her art shop. She rarely ever makes art—preferring to sit and watch the craftsmen at work or chatting with the nice ladies that come in to throw pottery or paint. She brings Kara sometimes, and Kara likes it, but she doesn’t seem to understand art in quite the same way Lena does. Lena is sharp angles and dramatic lighting and intense emotion, while Kara is soft lines and warm light and comfort. Both are equally important and maintain a balance that life needs to be complete. But sometimes Lena likes to come alone. When Sarah’s lease is up, Lena buys the studio and the land it’s on without second thought and hands the deed over to Sarah. “Art is meant to change your life,” she says when Sarah protests and offers to pay. “And you’ve changed mine. It’s the least I can do.”

Maggie ends up retiring from the police force at thirty-six, a year before her Death Date. Alex often wonders what it changed to. They end up exchanging numbers and meet up for drinks every once in a while, but Maggie’s managed to dial the drinking back with the help of a friend’s referral for a great local therapist.

Things turned out pretty amazing for a half-demon and a Guardian Angel that were never even supposed to meet. Some might call it fate.

Kara and Lena just call it love.