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take my mask, i'm home now

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Kara woke slowly; things around her felt different. Firstly, she was warm, warmer than she usually was when she woke up. Secondly, there was something tickling her nose. Thirdly, something warm was underneath her shirt.

Everything became clear when she opened her eyes, and she couldn’t keep the smile from stretching across her face. She was lying in the middle of the bed, and Lena was asleep on her chest, breathing softly. Lena’s usual bird’s nest of bed hair was what was tickling her nose as she breathed in, and Kara had to suppress her laughter as she thought about how hard Lena was going to find pulling a brush through it later. She had no idea how it got as messy as it did, but Kara found it endearing. Thirdly, the something underneath her shirt… it was Lena’s hand.

She’d reached underneath Kara’s shirt as if it belonged right there on Kara’s skin.

In her sleep, Lena’s hand was moving as if she were typing something slowly on her laptop, tapping on a key every now and again against the bottom of Kara’s ribcage. Her arm was stretched across Kara’s stomach, the weight of it pleasant and comforting.

Their lower legs were tangled together as well, and Kara felt her whole body flood with contentment as she realized that in her sleep, Lena had gravitated towards her. As well as that, in Kara’s own sleep, she’d seen fit to wrap Lena up in her arms and hold her against herself. She’d wrapped one of her arms across Lena’s shoulders, and the other was on Lena’s upper arm.

Lena snuffled and stretched in her sleep, making it obvious that her other arm was underneath Kara’s neck, as if Lena too had tried to hold Kara as she slept. The thought warmed Kara’s heart further, and as she lay there, wrapped up in Lena, she couldn’t pinpoint a morning where she’d woken up quite as happy as this in a long time.

She didn’t think she’d ever woken up this happy.

When Lena had finished stretching, she snuggled closer to Kara, her body relaxing, and she breathed a wakeful sigh. “Kara?” she murmured, her voice heavy with sleep.

“Hmm?”

Lena shifted a little, and then her fingers on Kara’s ribs seemed to freeze as she realized where her hand was. Kara really didn’t want her to remove it though, so as Lena started to withdraw it, Kara slid her hand down Lena’s arm and stopped her before she’d moved too far. Kara felt Lena smile against her chest; she relaxed again, stroking her fingers across Kara’s skin so gently that it almost tickled.

“Hi,” Lena said, her voice low and gravelly. “You don’t mind me being under here?” she asked, sliding her hand further around Kara and pulling it back, the gentle scratch of her nails causing goosebumps to erupt in their wake. Kara shivered, and Lena chuckled, kissing the underside of Kara’s jaw.

“I don’t mind at all, as I think you-” Kara blew out a shaky breath as Lena ran her nails down Kara’s side “-can tell.”

Lena gave her a wicked grin, before experimentally raking her nails fully across Kara’s stomach. Kara groaned deep in her throat, and before Lena could do anything else, Kara flipped them. Lena squeaked in sleepy surprise, gripping on to the soft part of Kara’s waist as Kara repositioned herself. Her knees were straddling Lena’s waist, the blankets pooled around her hips. She balanced herself either side of Lena’s shoulders, careful not to accidentally pull her hair.

It was a mistake, but absolutely not a mistake at the same time, to look down. Even without her glasses, Lena was close enough for Kara to be able to take her in. Lena was still giving her a devilish smile, but her eyes were soft and filled with clear affection and warmth. The desire was there, too, but as bold as Lena had been with her nails, Kara knew, somewhere deep down in the bones of herself, what Lena really wanted.

She traced a fingertip down Lena’s jawline, making sure to brush her thumb over Lena’s cheekbone as she passed, before she cupped her hand around the back of her neck. Lena got the hint immediately and leaned up towards Kara, reaching for her face with both hands.

Before anything could happen though, Kara sat back on her haunches, pulling her face away from Lena’s. Straight away, Lena’s face almost crumpled with disappointment, and Kara scrambled to undo it.

“I’m conscious of my morning breath,” she said, and Lena let out a startled laugh as her expression cleared when she realized that it wasn’t a rejection.

Oh,” Lena said, leaning back on her elbows, a relieved smile on her face. “I- well, shall we brush our teeth?”

Yes,” Kara replied emphatically, coupled with nodding, which just made Lena laugh even more. Kara felt like her chest would burst with how wonderful the sound was. She couldn’t believe that she’d known Lena for years but never heard her genuine laughter until this week. The thought seemed criminal.

Kara shuffled backwards and then climbed out of bed, holding her hand out for Lena to take. “To the toothbrushes, dear lady?”

Lena, her hair a mess and one of her sleeves bunched over her shoulder, gave Kara a soft smile and allowed herself to be pulled to her feet. “Thank you. How chivalrous you are.”

“I won’t be very long,” Kara promised, picking up her phone and her glasses before wandering into the bathroom. Before she closed the door, she poked her head around it for a last look at Lena, who was standing at the end of the bed and looking adorable.

“See something you like?” Lena asked in an overly seductive voice, gesturing to herself.

Kara blushed and hurriedly shut the door, the sound of Lena’s laughter following her through.

She sorted herself out in the bathroom and was standing in front of the mirror, brushing her teeth, when she turned her phone on. She was shocked to discover that it was already 10:45am. They’d slept really late today. It must’ve been all that fresh air the day before, at least, that was probably Lena’s excuse. What was Kara’s?

Was the secret to a truly great rest sleeping in the arms of someone she wanted to be with? She brushed her teeth a little harder when the thought crossed her mind that really, sleeping next to Lena should’ve been difficult. It should’ve been really hard to sleep next to someone she desperately wanted to kiss, and yet, it was the easiest thing in the world. They weren’t really together, but the day they’d had filled Kara with some dangerous hope that there might be something more for them that what they already had.

The panic that she’d had in the alley the night before resurfaced, and Kara frowned at herself in the mirror. They did need to talk, but the somewhat traitorous part of her heart told her that they still had time before they had to make a decision about what they wanted. They had to get through the interview first; they would have a much better understanding of where they might stand with each other once they’d passed the massive hurdle in their way.

Kara felt like she had two parts of her body at war with each other; her sensible mind versus her impulsive heart that just wanted someone to love.

Her mind screamed at her that they could end up separated by a whole ocean, that they should stop before one or both of their hearts got broken. That putting a stop to whatever was happening between them was the safer option, since the consequences of them failing the interviews were so dire. Deportation for Lena, prison for Kara. Even though the way that Lena looked at her, the way she kissed her, told her that Lena most likely felt the same, was risking failing the interview worth the heartbreak that could ultimately follow if they did?

Her heart said something different. While you’re still here in Midvale, it whispered temptingly, make it real. The kisses that they’d shared already were all real ones, that much was clear when Kara thought back on them. What if they leaned into what was growing between them? What if they passed the interview, and they were happy? The crush that Kara had had on Lena had only grown in the time they’d spent together, and Lena… Lena had kissed her. Lena had initiated every kiss the day before, even when there were no cameras on them. Even when there was nobody to see them.

Damn, Kara thought as she clutched the side of the sink. She wanted to kiss Lena. She wanted to take her on picnics in her favorite spots. Kara wanted to go for long drives at night, singing to whatever came on the radio, go for walks on the beach, get a dog. She wanted to spend whole days doing nothing but loving the wonderful woman she’d discovered beneath the mask, in all the ways she could.

You’ve been waiting your whole life for a person like Lena. Do you really want to pass up the chance to see where this could go?

It didn’t take Kara long to realize that when she thought of Lena, she saw far into the future. She saw them curled up on the sofa twenty years from now, arguing over the inevitable future Star Wars Episodes XVI, XVII, and XVIII. She saw them teasing each other about grey hairs. The time she was spending with Lena now only made her want to spend even more with her.

The thought should’ve scared her. A month, heck, even a week ago, it would’ve scared her.

It didn’t.

Instead, it just made her feel warm inside. Lena’s soft smile floated across her mind, and she sighed in such a way that Alex would’ve laughed and called her lovesick if she’d heard it.

She rolled her eyes at herself and put her toothbrush back in the holder, catching the silly smile on her face in the mirror as she did so.

Kara couldn’t deny that she was conflicted over what they should do. She told herself that they shouldn’t pursue whatever was happening, but at the same time, she knew, deep inside herself, that there was no way she was going to be able to push Lena away. Her heart had chosen Lena; indeed it seemed to have chosen her long before she’d realized it. It really hadn’t taken much for Kara’s feelings to accelerate far past a mere crush to… something close to… no, surely not this soon? She shoved the thought away.

The rate at which her feelings had developed led her to think that she’d felt more strongly about Lena than she’d thought. That her feelings had run deeper than she’d realized.

Something else that she couldn’t deny was the fact that she wanted to leave the bathroom and wrap her arms around Lena Luthor, the secret softie.

Lena was sitting in the large armchair by the open balcony door once again when she came out. She’d opened the blinds so that the sunlight streamed through the glass, turning the tips of her dark hair almost golden. Lena had brushed it while she’d been gone, and the breeze ruffled it slightly as she turned a page in her book. At the sound of the bathroom door opening, Lena looked up and over at her, her face wearing a look of slight trepidation.

“Kara? Are you alright? You were… quite a while,” Lena said hesitantly, tucking the book down the side of her thigh against the armrest.

“I was?” Kara asked, pulling out her phone and checking the time.

“Yeah,” Lena replied, standing up and facing her. “Do you want to go down for breakfast?” she asked. Kara heard the insecurity in her tone, though Lena tried to hide it. Even if she had managed to hide it, the fact that she was pulling on her thumb and index finger was indication enough to Kara that Lena was feeling somewhat anxious.

Wanting to reassure her, even though she didn’t know what had changed since she’d gone into the bathroom and come back out of it, Kara walked over to her and took both of Lena’s fidgeting fingers in hers.

“Did you know that you twist your fingers around when you’re nervous?” Kara asked quietly, sliding her fingers along Lena’s gently, making sure to touch each knuckle as she passed it, before she locked both of their hands together.

Pink tinged Lena’s cheeks. “I- I did know that. But I didn’t realize that other people had noticed.”

Letting go of her hands and wrapping her arms around Lena’s waist instead, Kara felt Lena relax against her. She fit perfectly in her arms, almost as if she was made to be held by Kara. Her hands were still high up on her chest, and she felt Lena’s breath on her neck as she slotted herself into the space above her collarbone.

“You don’t need to be embarrassed about it, if that’s why you’re blushing,” Kara said into Lena’s hair.

“I’m not- no, that’s a lie. I am. I hadn’t realized that I was being so obvious,” Lena replied, her voice muffled as Kara held her tighter.

“I don’t think it’s obvious to anyone but me.”

Lena pulled back slightly so that she could look at Kara, splaying her fingers out over Kara’s shoulders, brushing off imaginary lint. “Oh? And why is it obvious only to you?” Her question was curious, but her voice was pitched low and her smile was mischievous. Kara recognized it as the other nervous trait of Lena’s that she’d uncovered the day before; Lena covered her nerves with flirtiness.

But why was she feeling nervous, now?

“Because I’ve been paying attention to you,” Kara admitted, and immediately, it was as if Kara had said exactly what she needed to hear, because Lena smiled absolutely radiantly.

“Is that so?”

“Yeah,” Kara replied, ducking her head and kissing Lena on the cheek, and was rewarded by feeling her shiver in her arms. “But I do want to ask you something. Will you tell me why you felt nervous just now?”

Lena’s fingers stilled on her shoulders. “If you’d like me to,” she answered.

“I do,” Kara replied, rubbing soothing circles against Lena’s back. “I want us to be honest with each other, even if we aren’t with anyone else. And also I- I want to know you as best as I can, and not… not just because of this situation.”

Lena’s radiant smile returned. “Really? In that case… can I tell you when I come back out of the bathroom?” she asked.

“Whenever you’re ready to tell me,” Kara said seriously. “Never before, okay?”

“Thank you, darling.” Lena tapped her on the shoulder, and Kara let her go.

Once the door had shut behind Lena, Kara climbed into bed, her arms crossed behind her head.

A few days ago, if Kara had asked Lena to bare some part of her soul, she was pretty sure that Lena would’ve been far more defensive about it. It was a testament to how much they’d grown to trust each other, especially in Lena’s case with trusting Kara, that she was willing to let her walls down far more easily than she had before.

Lena’s growing trust in her, though, meant that her heart wanted to wander down a dangerous path. At this point, even this early in their… relationship? Close friendship? Fake-but-real-feelings relationship? Kara didn’t know what to call it. But even so early into whatever it was, Kara couldn’t bear the thought of being away from Lena permanently.

Lena being deported would just about be one of the worst things that could happen.

When Lena came back out of the bathroom, some of the worry must’ve shown on her face, because Lena was immediately climbing into bed beside Kara and asking her what was wrong.

“Aren’t we both deep in our feelings today?” Kara tried to tease, but her voice belied her tension and Lena noticed straight away. Lena was sitting cross-legged on the bed and looking down at Kara, her hands rubbing at her own knees. She was obviously concerned, and the nerves that she’d displayed before she went to the bathroom were visible again.

“Hey,” Kara said, sitting up herself and stilling Lena’s hands. Perhaps a touch hypocritically, she thought, since she wanted Lena to be honest, Kara sidestepped her own worries about the possible consequences of their situation and just stated what was on her mind. “it wasn’t anything that wasn’t solvable. I was… I was just thinking that if we failed this interview and you got deported, I would really, really miss you.”

“You would?” Lena asked in a wavering voice, looking away from Kara and down at their hands. The insecurity in her voice was very clear.

Of course I would! Lena,” Kara admonished, waiting to continue until Lena’s worried green eyes met hers before she spoke again. “Of course I would miss you. Don’t you understand how I… I- after we… golly,” she spluttered incoherently. “After the way we- how could you think I wouldn’t miss you? Wait,” she said, and she let go of Lena’s hands to prop the pillows up against the headboard so that they could get really comfy. She lay back against them and opened her arms. “Come here?”

Lena gave her a shy smile before she lay down too, aligning herself perfectly along Kara’s body and wrapping her arm over her waist, but over her clothes this time. Kara cocked an eyebrow at her before she reached down and lifted her shirt until Lena’s hand was resting on her bare skin.

“Much better,” Kara said, and Lena chuckled against her. “Where’s this insecurity coming from?”

“In the name of total honesty,” Lena said, stroking the skin of Kara’s side a little, “I’m not used to people wanting me in their life. Or saying they’d miss me and actually meaning it. And I believe you when you say that you would, which is strange for me. I’ve told you that I decided not to trust people any more, and I’ve also admitted my loneliness, which I’ve never done before. I feel… comfortable, being vulnerable with you. I trust that you won’t hurt me the way others have.” She scratched her nails gently on Kara’s skin, and even at the strange angle, Kara could tell that Lena’s expression was both somber and thoughtful. “And being who I am, with Lex and Lillian being who they are, I guess it’s… maybe it’s difficult for me to think that someone would actually want to be with- I mean, would actually want to get to know me, and not just to use my friendship against me later.”

“I would never-”

“I know you wouldn’t, darling,” Lena said, and Kara felt her smiling against her collarbone. “I’m just saying that it’s hard for me to think that someone would actually… I think earlier, I was possibly just…” she sighed and snuggled closer. “I don’t know how to say this without it sounding not the way I want it to, so I’ll just say it. Earlier, I think the thought that yesterday was a one-off crossed my mind, or that the… the kisses weren’t real, just a product of the situation. But… they were for me. And I’m scared that they weren’t real for you.”

Kara twisted around so that she was facing Lena. She looked slightly sheepish, but the undercurrent of truth in her words was obvious. For a moment, Kara just gazed at her, their faces close enough on the pillow they shared that she could feel Lena’s breath on her skin. She wondered how she could address Lena’s fears without adding to them, but maybe overthinking wasn’t the best approach. Lena appreciated directness, and maybe that was the way to go.

She lifted her hand from Lena’s waist and brushed the backs of her fingers along Lena’s jaw, before she did something she’d wanted to do since they’d arrived in Midvale. Slowly, she pushed her hand into Lena’s hair, not to pull her closer, not to scratch soothingly at her scalp, but simply to feel how silky soft it was.

“I’ve always loved your hair, you know,” Kara whispered, and Lena’s eyes, which had closed at Kara’s gentle touch, snapped open to meet hers with an intense gaze. “It’s always so sleek at work, and to be honest I’ve genuinely wondered how you don’t give yourself hair headaches with how tightly wound it is sometimes. But since we’ve been here and I’ve seen it loose, I’ve been wondering how it would feel between my fingers. I’m very tactile and I’ve wondered how soft it would be, because it looks so soft, and I’ve just wanted to dig my hands into it. It’s kind of… wild, especially in the mornings. And I’ve wondered whether you like having your hair played with, whether you’d like it if I was the one who was twisting strands of it around my fingers.”

To emphasize her point, Kara lifted Lena’s hair away from her scalp, allowing herself to give Lena a gentle head massage before each time she did it. It wasn’t long before Lena made a quiet noise in the base of her throat and pushed her face deeper into the pillow, pleasure written all over it.

“Until we came here, I’d never seen a genuine smile on your face. And now that I know you have so many smiles, for so many different kinds of things, I can’t imagine not knowing them,” Kara continued, shifting a little closer to Lena while still playing with her hair. “My favourite one is a soft smile you seem to reserve just for me. It makes my heart feel so warm and you get these dimples just here,” she said, tracing Lena’s face at the right spot and feeling those wonderful dimples form beneath her fingertips. “And don’t get me started on your laughter. I love the sound of it; it makes you seem so free and unrestrained.”

Kara stroked Lena’s cheekbone with her thumb. “You’re so brave. You carry such a huge weight on your shoulders, and you do it all alone. You’re braver than anyone else I know, and I admire you for your strength. I’ve admired you for a long time, actually. But this week has been special so far. I’ve never enjoyed getting to know someone as much. And even though I know the reasons why you behave the way you think you have to at work, I think that… that it’s such a travesty that people don’t know the Lena that I do, now. Because the person you are is wonderful beyond anything I’d ever imagined.” She pushed Lena’s hair back behind her ear and let her hand rest lightly on Lena’s cheek.

Lena swallowed. “Kara-”

Kara ran her thumb along Lena’s bottom lip and the corner of her mouth, effectively silencing her. “I love the way you say flirty things because you like the way it flusters me. You always know just what to say to throw me off, and you always look so pleased with yourself when you’ve done it. And you know what else? Something I’ve noticed since being here is just… you love life. You love to cook. You love taking walks. You threw yourself into painting the other day and didn’t mind that you looked like you’d done the whole thing with your hands instead of the roller. You’re very playful. You’re attentive when we’re learning about each other, and you bought five bottles of scotch just so that you could make Alex happy. You pay attention to all the flowers we have growing outside. You love art, and you love so many different kinds of music. You can’t really sing, but you do it anyway. Your eyes light up when you’re talking about scientific things with Eliza and Winn, and there’s passion behind your words and in your voice when you speak about things you love.”

The hand that Lena had underneath Kara’s sleep shirt was trembling.

“And none of this is false,” Kara said. “I… I’m aware of how I’m feeling, but until now, I- I wanted to be sure that you thought it was real. I never wanted to push your boundaries beyond anything you’re comfortable with. What you think, and how you feel, is so important to me. And… for me, our kisses have been real, too. All of them. How could you possibly think that they weren’t?”

“Kara…” Lena said, her hand sliding slowly up and down Kara’s back, leaving fiery trails in her wake. Her voice was quiet, pleading, and when she finally settled against Kara’s lower back and pulled her closer, Kara gave her what she wanted.

She closed the distance between them and pressed her lips to Lena’s, and she heard Lena’s breath hitch. Lena sighed against her mouth, clutching desperately at Kara’s back. Kara’s whole body shivered at the feel of it, and Lena broke the kiss. Kara opened her eyes and found Lena looking intently at her. There was something in her gaze that she couldn’t read, but she knew how it made her feel; her mouth felt dry as all the moisture in her body shot downwards. Lena’s eyes darkened, and a shy smile graced her lips.

While one of Kara’s arms was wrapped around the back of Lena’s shoulders, the other had danced between touching Lena’s face and settling on her hip. Lena pressed another kiss to Kara’s lips before she looked down, taking the hand that was on her hip and slowly sliding it under her sleep shirt and onto her stomach. Shifting a little, Lena lay on her back, and still with Kara’s hand beneath hers, encouraged Kara to explore.

Kara almost felt like she could cry at the intimacy of it, at the trust on Lena’s face as she looked up at her. Only when Kara began to move on her own did Lena return to Kara’s face, pulling her gently back down for another kiss.

Kara’s hand drifted over Lena’s stomach, and the memory of holding her the other morning flashed across her mind. Lena was just as soft as Kara had thought, had imagined, and she had a slight tummy, which Kara instantly wanted to press kisses all over. There was a spot just to the side of her belly button that she discovered was ticklish, and Kara felt Lena smiling into their kisses every time Kara passed over the spot and making her jump.

When she felt the first tentative brush of Lena’s tongue against her lower lip, Kara groaned into her mouth, the hand on her stomach sliding to her hip and tightening.

In a second, Lena had broken the kiss, pushing Kara back a little. For a moment, Kara was confused, but when Lena sat up a little and grasped the hem of her shirt, she understood. With one quick movement, Lena pulled her shirt off and tossed it to the side, leaving her in a lacy black bra. And suddenly, Kara was confronted with what seemed like miles and miles of beautiful, pale skin, dotted with freckles.

“Lena… god, Lena, you’re so…”

Kara slowly ran her fingertips up from Lena’s stomach until she was almost touching her bra, watching in fascinated wonder as goosebumps erupted wherever she’d touched her. For a moment, Lena did nothing but breathe, but then she yanked her back down. Lena instantly took advantage of Kara’s surprise to kiss Kara even more deeply, pushing her tongue straight into Kara’s mouth, a relieved noise coming from her throat.

The kiss had rocketed past their shyer ones from just before, and Kara felt heat surge through her as she felt the pain-pleasure of Lena’s nails at her back. Kara wasted no more time and straddled Lena, kneeling over her lap as she pulled her upright. Breaking the kiss only long enough to pull her own shirt off, she gasped as the Lena slowly ran her nails from Kara’s hairline all the way down to her lower back with both hands.

Oh god, do that again,” Kara burst out, wrapping one arm over Lena’s shoulders and the other around her waist. Lena did, and this time when she reached the bottom of Kara’s back, she spread her hands around, sliding her nails up Kara’s side as well.

Now, Kara was the one who was trembling. She pressed her forehead to Lena’s before holding her hand above where Lena’s heart was. She could feel it racing beneath her fingers, and she looked up to find Lena’s eyes smoldering, darker than Kara had ever seen them.

“You make me feel…” Lena said, her voice hoarse.

“Feel what?” Kara whispered, stroking Lena’s side, loving the way she could feel Lena shaking with the desire to do more, with desire for her.

Lena’s answer was a slow, languid kiss, all hot tongue and wet exploration. If they’d been standing, Kara’s legs would’ve turned to jelly in an instant. Lena was doing something absurd with her tongue in Kara’s mouth, reducing Kara to mere whimpers as she expertly stoked the fire burning under Kara’s skin. One of Lena’s hands was tangled tightly in her hair, keeping Kara exactly where she wanted her, while the other slid down Kara’s back and dipped just below Kara’s waistband. She stayed there only for a brief moment, before she raked her nails up Kara’s back once more and cupped Kara’s neck.

Lena’s kiss was firmly between loving and possessive, vulnerable and bold. It was almost a mirror of her personality; that beautiful, contrasting mixture of shyness and seduction, and Kara couldn’t get enough of it, couldn’t get enough of Lena. Couldn’t get enough of the feel of the soft skin of her stomach beneath her fingertips. If just kissing Lena made her feel like this, what would it feel like if she kissed her somewhere else? How happy would it make Kara, how happy would it make Lena, if she were to press her lips against Lena’s stomach, her collarbone, her chest? Or… Kara groaned into Lena’s mouth, and she felt Lena grip her tighter.

Kara’s stomach chose that moment to growl, loud and insistent, and Lena looked up at Kara in astonishment, her eyes still clouded with arousal. For a moment neither of them said anything, but then her stomach growled again, and they both started to laugh. Kara sat up, and Lena placed the flat of her palm against where the noise had come from.

“I think we need to feed the beast,” Lena said, her voice a little husky, but she laughed again, sitting up herself and draping her arms around Kara’s hips and lower back. Kara shuffled closer when she felt Lena give her a gentle, encouraging squeeze, wrapping her arms around Lena’s shoulders. Being able to feel Lena shake with silent laughter in her arms made Kara feel indescribably happy.

“I think you’re right,” Kara replied when they’d both quieted, pressing a kiss to Lena’s forehead.

Kara, however, was reluctant to move, and so, it seemed, was Lena. Their passion had cooled to something much gentler, and Kara, having the advantage of sitting in Lena’s lap, reveled in the feeling of being able to tip Lena’s face up and kiss her softly. Their kisses now were unhurried, more about just being happy with the closeness of each other than with exploring. Kara cradled Lena with one arm and stroked her hair, traced her fingertips along her collarbone, across her shoulder, down the top of her arm. Kara mapped every freckle that she came across, loving how much they stood out against the pale skin that surrounded them.

Lena, for her part, seemed to be enjoying herself by touching every centimetre of Kara’s lower back and sides. She could feel Lena’s fingers moving over her spine, across her ribs. But sometimes, she was content only to rest her head on Kara’s chest, listening to her heartbeat. Kara could feel her breathing, the gentle cadence of it making her feel warm inside. The way that Lena touched her with quiet, reverent tenderness made her feel cherished in a way she’d never felt before.

“I could touch you forever,” Lena whispered against Kara’s skin, pressing a lingering kiss to the middle of her chest. “I would be happy forever if I could hold you just like this.”

Kara’s breath hitched at Lena’s words, the rush of hope and affection they brought filling her chest and making her heart race. Lena’s arms tightened around her waist, and Kara looked down to find Lena’s beautiful green eyes brimming with contentment and happiness as they met Kara’s. Lena’s smile was shy, but she looked absolutely elated. Kara wasted no time in ducking down and kissing Lena, one hand on her cheek and the other around her shoulders, basking in the feeling that Lena wanted to kiss her just as much.

She wondered just how deep Lena’s feelings really ran.

She wondered, once again, about her own.

Her stomach growled once again, and Lena put her palm over the sound, laughing into Kara’s mouth. “I can almost feel it telling you that it wants food!”

“Alright, alright! We hear you!” Kara said to her stomach, struggling to contain her own laughter. “Let’s go and eat something. I can’t remember the last time I waited for so long before breakfast or… I guess it’s brunch, now.” She gave Lena one more quick kiss before moving backwards and away from her, and she felt her breath leave her body when she looked back at Lena.

She was now sitting cross-legged, her dark hair disheveled from all the ways Kara had had her hands in it. Her lips were redder than usual from all the kissing they’d been doing, and Kara felt herself flush at the thought of it. But most of all, she was sitting there in only her pajama bottoms and her bra, looking all kinds of seductive. Kara felt that pull towards her again, wanting nothing more than to gather Lena up in her arms and not let her go for the next several hours. To spend time worshiping every inch of her body, to learn what her skin tasted like. To know what she tasted like, and to learn it felt like to have Lena gasp her name.

Kara’s body clenched with pleasure at the thought of it.

Something of it must’ve shown on her face, because Lena’s eyes narrowed playfully. “Kara, we have to eat,” she said, her voice a mock warning. She climbed out of the bed and standing by the side of it, her hands on her hips, a smirk on her face, and one eyebrow raised. The commanding pose was not unlike something Lena would do in her office sometimes, but now, paired with bedroom Lena and the fact she wasn’t wearing a shirt…

“Lena,” Kara choked, taking a step towards her.

“You have to eat,” Lena said, pointing at Kara, before putting her hand back on her hip and giving her a stern look. Her eyes were dark, though, and Kara could see the minute way that Lena was biting her lip.

“I want you so much,” Kara blurted, restraining herself from closing the small gap between them. Normally, Kara might feel embarrassed at saying something so blatant, but not this time. She did want Lena, and she wanted Lena to know it.

Lena’s eyes roamed over her torso, slowly and deliberately, and Kara felt it almost like a physical touch. It was on Kara’s face, though, that Lena’s gaze settled, and it was with understanding in her eyes that she stepped forward and caressed Kara’s face. “The feeling is mutual, darling,” she said, “but you have to eat. And I’m not going anywhere.” Lena brushed her thumb across Kara’s bottom lip, leaning in and following it a second later with her lips and the barest hint of her tongue. And then she was stepping around her, picking up her ripped jeans from the top of one of her suitcases and a tshirt at random before disappearing into the bathroom.

Kara instantly flopped backwards onto the bed, letting out a low groan at the ceiling and squeezing her eyes shut tightly.

Lena was going to be the death of her in the very best of ways.

Wandering over to the closet, she pulled out some sweatpants and a green long-sleeved shirt, pulling them on hastily before Lena came back out of the bathroom. The slip slide between her legs told her that she needed a shower, and to probably change her underwear, but if she wasn’t dressed by the time Lena came back out of the bathroom, she had a feeling that they wouldn’t be eating nor dressing any time soon.

She shook herself out like she imagined a dog would, feeling ridiculous but a little better, and was just about to start some energetic star jumps when Lena came back out of the bathroom. She froze at the image of Kara standing with her arms and legs outstretched.

“Is there something I should be aware of?” she asked, her voice laden with amusement.

“Nope!” Kara replied, standing up straight, swinging her hands behind her back and rocking up on the balls of her feet. “Nothing at all. I just thought, you know… I’m, um, full of energy.”

“Full of energy?” Lena repeated, walking closer and running a fingertip up Kara’s arm until she shivered. “You could always save it for later.”

Oh.

Kara nodded several times, making Lena laugh, before she caught sight of her science pun tshirt for the day. It was red with a beaker half-full of green liquid in it, surrounded by the words once I told a chemistry joke, but there was no reaction. She groaned, and Lena’s face dimpled at Kara’s response to her shirt.

“How many of these do you have?” Kara asked, gesturing at it.

“Half a closet full,” Lena replied. “In all sorts of colors!”

“I think I’m scared of how large your closets actually are.”

“Probably something you should know for the interview,” Lena said coyly, reaching up and straightening Kara’s collar. “I should draw you a diagram of my apartment so that you know where everything is. And so you know where your own clothes should be living.”

Kara briefly wondered whether Lena had meant to say should instead of would, but was distracted by Lena wrapping her arms around her and nuzzling her face into her neck. “Come on cookie monster,” Lena said, before Kara could reciprocate, releasing her and linking their fingers. “Let’s go and see what we can find you for brunch.”

She let herself be led by Lena all the way downstairs and into the kitchen, where Lena sat her down in one of the chairs. She poured them both a glass of orange juice, straining the pulp out for Kara but leaving it in her own drink, and set about looking in the fridge to see what she could make. Ten minutes later, Lena was humming to a song on the radio that she’d switched on after she’d mixed flour, baking powder, sugar, and a little salt in one bowl. She was currently whisking milk and egg in another bowl, telling Kara that she was making pancakes, and thereby fulfilling one of Kara’s hitherto unknown dreams.

Trying to distract herself from the idea of having some clothes in Lena’s place, a place she’d never been, never even seen, Kara picked up her phone. Her phone had largely been ignored since they’d been up in Midvale, and she had unread messages building up. There were several messages from work colleagues, some of them not being very complimentary, but there were several other messages that weren’t as unpleasant to read.

Jess Huang: Hi, Kara! I heard on the grapevine that you and Lena are actually engaged! Congratulations! I had no idea you were even dating, but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense. You two are quite perfect for each other and I’m really pleased for you both. Can’t wait until you’re back in NYC and we can catch up!

Kara smiled. She’d always liked Jess, and she also knew that Jess really liked Lena. It was really nice too, Kara thought, that Jess has said that she thought Kara and Lena were perfect for each other. Kara was under the same impression, after all. She tapped out a reply.

Kara: Thanks Jess! Yeah, we kept it quiet just because of Lena’s job etc, but we’re really happy and having a good time up here in Midvale! Pick the time and place when we’re back next week and I’ll be there! :)

There was also a message from Nia, which had been sent the day before and Kara hadn’t even noticed.

Nia: Hey girl, how’s it going up there in Midvale?

Kara: Hey! It’s going really well thanks. Lena’s fitting right in with everyone and she bought Alex five bottles of scotch the other day, so it’s safe to say that Alex was pretty happy!

To Kara’s surprise, Nia replied immediately.

Nia: FIVE bottles of scotch? I’ve met your sister and she’s no lightweight, but FIVE bottles of scotch?

Kara: Yeah, she didn’t know which kind Alex would like, so she bought a selection

Nia: You can’t hear me, but I just whistled loud enough for the whole office to look over at me. So did it work?

Kara: It was Alex, what do you think?

Kara: She told me it was lucky that Lena was already engaged otherwise she’d be marrying her herself

Kara: Hands off sis, she’s taken

Nia: I can feel your possessiveness from here. Did Alex give her the shovel talk?

Kara: You know what, I’ve no idea actually. I should probably check

Nia: I’m pretty sure that Lena can look after herself

Kara: She’s softer than you think she is! And Alex is pretty scary

Nia: You’re right there

Kara: So how’s it been in the office? Is my name mud yet?

Nia: Nah, not really. Like I said the other night, I think people are just surprised. It definitely made the news and I’m not sure how much of it you’ve got up there, but the tabloids are having a bit of a field day now that Lena’s out of the closet. Apparently, nobody had any idea, except for you obviously

Nia: And like I said before, some morons are having some issues imagining the fact that anyone would want to be with Lena, let alone marry her, so I’d expect some crude jokes when you get back to the office. I’ve tried to shut them down but you know how some of the shitty people in this office are

Kara: Ugh. Thanks for defending our honor!

Nia: Hey, if you’re engaged to her and you love her, then she’s good enough for me too, okay? And I look forward to getting to know her better. And to apologizing for calling her names this whole time. And to you. Noonan’s when you’re back?

Kara: For sure! I’ve got to go though now, Lena’s making me pancakes for breakfast and I think I’m going to be coming back to the office needing bigger clothes!!

Nia: Hahaha alright lovebirds, see you soon!

Kara laughed, putting the phone back down on the table. The other messages could wait, because Lena was just plating up a large stack of pancakes. Kara’s eyes widened when she saw them; they were thick and fluffy, and there were tons of them.

Lena,” Kara exclaimed, agog at the teetering pile of pancakes that Lena set down on the table, along with a plate and some cutlery.

“For you, darling,” Lena said, bending over to give Kara a quick kiss before heading back to the cupboards. “What would you like on them? Do you have any maple syrup?”

“Y-yeah, it’s… it’s in the fridge,” Kara said, still staring at the pancakes. She poked the top one carefully with the fork Lena had left on the table, and it sank into it perfectly. Kara let out a little squeak of excitement and was about to lift one of them onto the plate when she suddenly had a brainwave.

“Hey, do you want to have breakfast out on the porch?” she asked, turning around in her seat to watch Lena pull the maple syrup out of the fridge.

“Sure,” Lena replied, her eyes lighting up at the suggestion.

“Let me go get us some hoodies. That storm will be moving in and it won’t be as warm as the last few days have been. And I don’t want you to get cold!” Kara said, standing up from the table and dashing upstairs. Out of her closet, she pulled one of her warmest hoodies. It was one Alex had brought home from the UK after she’d gone there on vacation with a few friends. It was made by a company Kara didn’t recognize, called Animal, but it was thick and warm, and was very fluffy on the inside. It was her favorite one, far too nice to get ruined in New York’s polluted streets, so she kept it here. Kara ran her hand down the inside of it, feeling how soft it was; it would be perfect for Lena, and she loved the idea of Lena wearing her favorite hoodie.

She chose one for herself and carried them both downstairs, along with the vase of flowers so that they could get some more sun during the daytime. But it was mostly so that she could look at them while they spent some time in the kitchen today. There was a soft look in Lena’s eyes when she saw Kara carry them into the kitchen, and immediately Kara was glad she’d done so.

“You really like the flowers,” Lena said, moving over to them and leaning over, breathing in their gentle scent.

“I do,” Kara said. “I especially love them because you picked them for me.”

Lena smiled, but there was a look in her eyes that was sadder than Kara expected, and immediately she dropped the hoodies on a chair.

“Hey,” she said. “What’s up?”

“Oh, I was just thinking about all the other flowers I’ve given you over the years,” Lena said in an offhand manner. “I don’t think you liked those ones quite as much, somehow.”

“What flowers?” Kara asked, feeling a little stupid. Lena had never given her flowers before, had she? She racked her brains, but came up with nothing.

Lena looked at her a little incredulously, as if she’d just proved her point. “Have you… never noticed the flowers on your desk each week?”

Kara cast her mind back to her desk and to the small vase of flowers that was always on the far corner of it. They arrived each Monday, and always lasted the whole week without wilting. The next Monday, a new bunch would be there. Kara had no idea who put them there or why, and nobody else had seemed to know when she’d asked, but they were pretty, and they were fresh, so she’d left them there. They were always very pretty, and Kara liked to look at them.

“Those were from you?” she asked, putting two and two together.

“Yes,” Lena replied, fidgeting with her fingers. “I know I wasn’t a very good boss in many ways. I wasn’t very… personable, but I always tried to brighten your week with flowers. I’d thought you’d realized they were from me, especially since they matched the ones in my office, but… well, it doesn’t matter. I never knew how to say just say thank you to you for being such a wonderful assistant, and because I- well, because the office is always full of people when I’m there. I thought the flowers might say it for me. Evidently not,” she said, poking Kara in the stomach. “Maybe I should’ve said it with pancake deliveries every morning instead.”

Somehow, Kara knew that missing the message of the flowers had hurt Lena a little, even if she didn’t say it. “I’m sorry that I didn’t realize,” she said, stepping up to Lena and wrapping her arms around her waist. “They are beautiful every week, and I did try to find out where they came from, and nobody could tell me. But I look at them all the time, and they do make me smile.”

“Really?” Lena asked hopefully, and Kara smiled.

“Of course!” She gave Lena a kiss, a sweet one, and then pulled back. “Right! These pancakes aren’t going to eat themselves!”

“No, they aren’t. I’ve taken out a plate for us each and the cutlery, as well as a can of whipped cream I found, and the maple syrup. I chopped up some fruit earlier, but I wasn’t sure how you would… feel…” she trailed off, looking at Kara’s horrified face at the thought of healthy pancakes. “Clearly, the fruit’s for me,” she finished, rolling her eyes good-naturedly.

“The fruit’s for you,” Kara nearly sang, “and the sugar is for me. Let’s go!”

Lena picked up the plate with the stack of pancakes and gestured with Kara to follow her outside. Lena had piled everything up on the table near the swinging porch bench. It was chilly outside, and there was a brisk breeze whistling through the trees, making the branches around the house creak. The hair whipped around their faces, and Kara knew instantly that it would be difficult to eat comfortably.

“I’ve got an idea,” Kara said abruptly, causing Lena to halt halfway to sitting down. “Let me get a backpack, a Tupperware box, and some paper towels!”

“Alright MacGyver,” Lena said, looking confused. “But don’t be too long, the pancakes will be getting colder!”

“Good point,” Kara said, picking them up and dashing back inside the house. She yanked a Tupperware box out of the cupboard that was filled with nothing but boxes with too many lids, and carefully piled the pancakes up inside one, carefully sealing it with the right lid. Placing it inside a backpack that was in the cupboard under the stairs, she swung it carefully onto her back. She stuffed some kitchen roll in her pocket, and tied both hoodies around her waist before she went back outside. She stuck the cutlery in her pocket too, and got Lena to slide the plates into the backpack beside the box, as well as the fruit that Lena had already, luckily, put in a box.

“What are we doing?” she asked, as she zipped the bag up for Kara.

“We’re going for a pancake picnic in the treehouse,” Kara replied, loving the way Lena’s eyes brightened at the thought. Lena fetched the blanket out of the box they’d left it in, and tied it around her neck like a cape. Within minutes they’d climbed into the treehouse and spread the blanket on the ground, as well as the food and the plates.

“Here you go,” Lena said, dishing out several of the warmest pancakes and putting them on a plate, and passing them over to Kara. “And your maple syrup and cream.”

Kara gleefully drenched the pancakes, lifting each one up for maximum syrup spreading, and took her first bite. They had been cooked to absolute perfection, and she moaned around the taste and the fluffiness of the breakfast Lena had cooked for her.

“Good?” Lena asked, glancing over at her before putting some chopped bananas and strawberries between two of her pancakes.

So good,” Kara said around her mouthful, barely managing to swallow it before shoveling in another mouthful.

“Don’t choke,” Lena advised, taking smaller, more dainty bites of her pancakes.

It was more sheltered in the treehouse, but Kara had opened up the window, and it was chilly. After they’d finished eating, Kara pulled on her hoodie and passed Lena over the one she’d brought for her. She watched out of the corner of her eye as Lena pulled it on and settled it properly on her shoulders, flipping her hair out, zipping it up, and snuggling down into it with a happy smile on her face.

Kara shifted closer to her so that they were both leaning against the wall, and wrapped an arm over her shoulders so that Lena could lean up against her comfortably. Lena linked her hand with Kara’s as it dangled down over her shoulder, and then she looked at it a bit closer.

“Hey, I forgot to ask you yesterday. What was this scar from?” she asked, running her finger along the scar on Kara’s little knuckle and making her skin tingle.

“Oh,” Kara said, peering over at it. It was a C-shaped scar, almost like a crescent moon. “Before we got a dishwasher installed, I was washing some glasses from dinner. The water was hot, and the glass was thin. I shoved my hand into the glass with the sponge, and on the way down, the glass shattered. But my hand kept going and the glass… it damn near sheared off the top of my knuckle.”

Lena winced. “Ouch!”

“To be honest I didn’t even notice the pain to start with. The cut was so clean that all I saw was blood everywhere. The skin and the flesh from above my knuckle was hanging off in this zombie-like flap, and I was so panicked about that that I hadn’t noticed I’d sliced my palm open right the way across as well. I left bloody handprints all the way to the bathroom, as well as blood all over the floor. Alex freaked when she came back in from the garage to find blood all over the place. I had to use paper stitches to keep the wound closed and so it would heal flat.”

“That must’ve been painful,” Lena said, tracing her finger over the scar from one end to the other, before giving it a little kiss and sending a thrill running through Kara.

“It was more annoying than painful, although it did hurt,” Kara said, her voice a little wobbly from the feel of Lena’s lips on her skin. “The scar’s a lot smaller than the cut was, luckily. But it made it really awkward to paint because it was right where my hand would bend, so it kept re-opening. I kept getting blood on my paintings and on anything I was writing on. It sucked! Do you have any scars, I mean, aside from this one up here by your eyebrow?”

Lena touched it with her finger. “I got this one because I got a little too close to a spinning part in a robot I was building once. Luckily my glasses took the brunt of it. Otherwise, I have some chicken pox scars, some on my hands from accidentally touching the top or the side of the oven while pulling things out of it carefully enough. I’ve got one on the bottom of my left foot where I was changing a lightbulb in bare feet, and it shattered all around me on a carpet. I couldn’t see all the pieces and I guess I just stepped in the wrong place. Wearing heels after that was… unpleasant.”

Excuse me, I cut my foot before and my shoe is filling up with blood,” Kara quoted in an accent not quite her own, and then laughed when Lena gave her a blank look. “Aw, come on. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion? You can’t tell me you’ve never seen it!”

“I certainly can.”

“Oh, we’ll have to watch it. We’ll watch it later,” Kara said eagerly, tightening the arm around Lena’s shoulders. “That is, if we don’t lose power. There’s going to be a storm soon, after all.”

“A storm,” Lena repeated quietly, turning to Kara. “I like storms. Can we watch it from your room? Will it be like your painting, do you think?”

“Yeah, we can see it pretty well because of the balcony doors,” Kara replied, trying to keep herself on topic despite the distraction of Lena nosing through her hair. “We’ll have to have the lights down low though.”

“Sounds fine to me,” Lena said, her voice muffled from nuzzling against Kara’s neck.

Kara gave up all pretense of trying to concentrate when she felt Lena’s lips and the tip of her tongue on her neck, before Lena brushed her hair back and pressed a kiss to the sensitive skin behind her ear. Kara let out a little whimper and instinctively tilted her head to give Lena better access. She was rewarded when Lena started kissing a trail from behind her ear and down her jaw, until she felt fingers turning her face towards Lena’s.

Up in the relative quiet of the treehouse, wrapped up in only each other, the kisses they shared were warm and open-mouthed. Kara forgot to worry about their situation, or the oncoming storm, or anything else. The wind in the trees was silenced as the atmosphere they created settled around them. Her mind was consumed by the woman sitting next to her, wearing her hoodie, and kissing her like the only place she wanted to be was where she was right now. Kara dug her hand into Lena’s inky dark hair and let Lena overwhelm her senses.

The spell they found themselves under was broken by a shout from down below. “Kara? Lena?

Lena pulled away from her, turning her head. “Is that Eliza?”

“Yeah,” Kara said, reluctantly letting go of Lena and climbing to unsteady feet. Somehow, Lena’s kisses fried her brain no matter whether they were passionate and full of fire, or full of unhurried gentleness. Again, the thought crossed her mind that Lena had ruined her for ever kissing anyone else. Not that she wanted to kiss anyone else, when Lena existed in the world.

She crossed over to the window and waved at Eliza, who was standing below and looking up.

“The wind’s picking up,” Eliza called. “Do you girls want to come inside and help me bake the cake and cookies?”

“Cake and cookies?” Lena said from behind her, still curled up against the wall. “How could Kara Danvers say no to those?” she joked, smiling up at her.

“The simple answer is that I can’t,” Kara replied, helping to pull Lena to her feet. She didn’t let go, though. Instead, she pushed Lena up against the wall, prompting a squeak from her as Kara pressed herself up against her and kissing her firmly. She licked against Lena’s bottom lip and was given entrance straight away, giving Lena a deeper kiss at the same time as she gripped her hips, pulling them even closer together. Lena made a low whining noise in her throat at the dual sensation hit her, and it made Kara only kiss her harder. Lena threw her arms around Kara’s neck, burying her hands in her hair and clutching at it desperately as she fought to keep herself upright under Kara’s unexpected, but clearly welcome, onslaught.

They broke apart, and Kara’s chest was heaving. “But you make it so hard for me to want to leave. Even for cookie dough,” Kara said, her voice almost a growl. She reached between them and swept her thumb across Lena’s bottom lip.

“I’m- uh, I’m glad I rank somewhere near cookie dough at least,” Lena said, seemingly unable to come up with any thoughts deeper than that. Kara chuckled, and together they gathered up the crockery from the kitchen, filling the backpack with it. Kara closed the window, making sure it was locked tightly before the storm, and they climbed down out of the treehouse.

Kara carried their things into the kitchen while Lena stowed the blanket away in the box under the stairs, and she filled the dishwasher with their dirty plates. Just as she was turning it on, Eliza came into the kitchen.

“Hi there,” she said, giving them each a quick hug. “Have you eaten?”

“Lena made us a huge stack of pancakes,” Kara said happily, and Eliza gave Lena an appraising look.

“She knows the way to your heart,” Eliza said, and Lena laughed.

She certainly does, Kara thought. She’s somehow found her way in and filled all the empty spaces in my heart with her laughter and her smiles and her soft kisses.

“Does it mean though, that you’re not going to make off with the bowl of cookie dough and hide in the house with it and a spoon? That’s what she used to do when she was a teenager,” Eliza said with a conspiratorial wink at Lena. “She’d be up in the attic on that bed of hers, or in the treehouse. There’d barely be any dough left by the time we got the bowl back.”

“Oh god,” Kara said, covering her face with embarrassment.

“I think the solution,” Lena said, giving Kara an amused look when Kara peeked through her fingers at her, “is to give her a small bowl of cookie dough that’s all her own, leaving us to make actual cookies with the rest of it.”

“What a good idea!” Eliza exclaimed. “Let’s do that.”

“Oh,” Kara objected, uncovering her face. “But-”

“No buts from you,” Lena said, leaning over and kissing her on the cheek. “If you’re good and only eat the dough out of the small bowl, when we get back to New York I’ll take you to the cookie dough shop in Brooklyn.”

“There’s a cookie dough shop in Brooklyn?!” Kara practically screeched. “Are you serious? Why haven’t you told me this before? And more importantly, how on earth do you know about it when I didn’t?!”

“A girl’s allowed her sweet treats,” Lena replied, folding her arms over her chest while Eliza laughed at Kara’s indignation. “They do all sorts of flavors, and you can have as many scoops as you want.”

Kara threw her arms up in victory. She might have lost this battle, but she knew she’d win the war if she could just contain herself and not eat the entire bowl of dough.

The chocolate chip cookies that Eliza had made since Kara joined the family were very quick to make, once the dough was mixed. Between them, Lena and Eliza mixed up two large bowls of cookie dough, knowing that they’d have to make extra both to satisfy Kara’s enormous appetite for sweet things, and because Eliza and Alex would take boxes of cookies to work with them. Aside from the dough, the reason why Kara loved these particular cookies so much was because they only took just over ten minutes to bake in the oven. The cookies never came out uniformly, but they were oaty and chocolatey and delicious, and Kara loved them.

And because they baked so quickly, whenever they made them, the kitchen and all the surfaces became covered with trays of warm, fresh cookies, and it was very easy to steal several of them and disappear to the treehouse.

There was almost nothing Kara loved more, now, than sitting in the kitchen while cookies were being baked, the scents and tastes of it still a comfort after all these years. She’d have to remember to tell Lena; it seemed like something she should know. Not because she needed to, but because Kara wanted her to know.

The thought forefront in her mind, she caught Lena’s hand as she walked past with a spatula in her hand. Lena looked down at her questioningly, but smiled when Kara pulled her down to sit sideways on her lap.

“Hello darling,” Lena murmured, pressing a kiss to Kara’s temple.

“Hi,” Kara replied, wrapping her arms around Lena’s waist. “I just wanted to talk to you about cookies.”

“Do you like them more or less than cookie dough?”

Kara pretended to think for a moment. “Umm, probably both about the same if I’m honest! No, I just wanted to tell you why baking cookies here means so much to me.”

Lena looked intrigued and her eyes were soft. “Alright.”

“Baking cookies have kind of become a symbol of me joining the Danvers family. I guess it was pretty obvious when I arrived that I really loved sweet things.” Kara caught Eliza’s eye and grinned at her. “So, she would often bake cookies or cakes or something else if I was feeling a little less skittish on whatever day. I remember quite a few occasions where, not long after I arrived here, I’d creep into the kitchen because the sweet smells coming up the stairs were too much to resist. At first, I just kind snatched treats off the trays and retreated, but slowly, I started staying longer. Sometimes I’d bring a book down here and read. Other times, if I was feeling bolder, I’d bring my homework and do it at the kitchen table while everyone else talked and baked. And eventually, I started to join in on the conversations, or I helped with the simpler baking tasks. And that’s why we always have cookies when I come home, but especially on the anniversary of my adoption,” she finished.

Lena’s eyes were a little misty. “That’s… really sweet, Kara,” she said, giving Kara a chaste kiss. “Thank you for telling me.”

“I wanted you to know.”

Lena smiled at her, and lay her forehead against Kara’s.

“You two are adorable,” Eliza said from the other side of the kitchen, gazing over at them with fondness on her face.

“We are,” Lena replied with a smile and a look over at Eliza. “I’m going to go and help her,” Lena said to Kara, before she climbed off Kara’s lap with a brush of her hand across Kara’s shoulders.

Kara pulled out the drying racks for the cookies, stacking the tiered ones on top of the stove cover and next to the fridge. There wasn’t much else that she could do while Eliza and Lena prepared the dough; she’d just be in the way, so once she’d set up the trays, she sat back down at the table. She was content to just watch and listen as Eliza talked to Lena about her experiments at work, and Lena asked the appropriate questions and made suggestions when she thought of something that could be done differently.

Lena’s eyes were shining and her smile was bright when she talked about her own experiments in the L-Corp labs; Eliza was an interested audience, and Lena talked with her hands while she explained some kind of new search and rescue robot that she and her scientists were developing. Kara sat with her chin resting on her hand and wondered, watching Lena, how anyone could ever think her indifferent if they ever saw her like this.

Lena caught Kara’s eye, doing a slight double-take when she saw the almost dopey way that Kara was looking at her, and gave her a radiant smile. Kara gave her a lazy smile back, and Lena put her mixing bowl down with a clunk. She made her way quickly across the kitchen, her fuzzy socks sliding on the floor in her haste, and wrapped her arms around Kara’s shoulders from behind, her chin on her left shoulder. “Hi,” Lena murmured. Kara leaned into the embrace, squeezing her eyes closed and feeling happiness rising in her chest.

“Hi,” she replied, lifting her hand to stroke the back of one of Lena’s hands, before meeting Lena’s warm lips with her own in a closed-mouthed, but lingering, kiss.

“What was that look for?” Lena asked, her voice affectionate.

Kara smiled, nuzzling her nose against Lena’s. “You just looked happy, that’s all. I love seeing you like this.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Kara confirmed, playing with a lock of Lena’s hair. “You’re… glowing.”

Lena hummed in her ear before letting her go. “I am,” was her simple response. “And I know what’ll make you happy.” Lena wandered back over to the mixing bowl she’d left behind and scooped out a very large spoonful of dough, tipping it out into a smaller bowl and sticking a spoon into the side of it. “Here,” she said, setting it down in front of Kara with a flourish that made both Kara and Eliza laugh.

Kara dug her spoon into the dough and chewed on it, groaning. “I can feel the sugar flowing through my veins,” she said dramatically, before spooning another dollop into her mouth.

“Well, that’ll be her for the next while, Lena,” Eliza said, picking up a tablespoon and digging out a little dough, putting the blob of it whole on the baking tray.

“Aren’t you going to measure them equally?” Lena asked, looking worriedly at the haphazard way that Eliza was spooning the dough onto the tray.

“Nope,” Eliza replied, while Kara ate another mouthful of dough. “We like them coming out whichever way they want to. Some will be huge, some tiny, some oddballs will have no chocolate chips. And they’ll all be lumpy.”

Kara smothered a laugh at Lena’s almost distressed look. She was sure that Lena was one spoon and a set of weighing scales away from attempting to construct the perfect chocolate chip cookie. As she watched, Lena tentatively dropped a dollop of dough on the tray, and then tried to pick up the exact same amount afterwards, huffing in amused frustration when she couldn’t get the amount right.

Eventually, Eliza left Lena to it and got started on mixing the ingredients for a cake, a plain Victoria spongecake; Kara’s favorite, to the surprise of everyone who knew of her sweet tooth. Two trays of cookies were about ready to come out of the oven, and once she was finished with her cookie dough, Kara got up and grabbed the oven gloves.

“Careful,” Lena said, watching Kara take the hot trays out of the oven.

“Oh, I’ve got precious cargo. I’m not about to drop cookies on the floor,” Kara replied, pressing her spare hand to her heart and pasted a wounded expression on her face.

Lena sidled up close to her. “I was more worried about your fingers,” she said, leaning against her side and keeping her voice low and husky, so that Eliza wouldn’t hear.

Kara choked. The tray of cookies slid out of her grasp and hit the countertop corner first, sending a shower of cookie crumbs everywhere.

“Kara!” Eliza chided from the other side of the room while Lena threw her head back and laughed.

“I- um, I’m sorry,” Kara spluttered, swiftly righting the tray and narrowing her eyes at Lena, who was gripping the countertop and giggling helplessly. With a spatula she placed the cookies on the closest drying rack, before she added more dough to the tray, shoving it back in the oven. Lena was sweeping the crumbs up with shaky hands, a smirk still on her face, and when she turned back around from the sink, Kara saw that her eyes were sparkling with mischief.

“I’m going to get you for that,” Kara warned her, one hand on her hip.

Lena raised an eyebrow and stepped up, placing one hand on Kara’s upper arm and leaning up until Kara could feel Lena’s lips brushing her ear. She shivered in response, reaching out to steady herself with her hands on Lena’s waist. “I’m counting on it,” Lena whispered in Kara’s ear. Lena’s voice sent a jolt right between her legs, and she tightened her fingers in response, still aware that Eliza was in the room.

Lena stroked her hand down Kara’s arm before moving away from her, concentrating on spooning out more dough onto trays for baking. Her face was tinged pink though, and Kara knew that she was nowhere near as unaffected as she was pretending to be in front of Eliza.

Not being able to touch Lena the way she wanted to because they weren’t alone was a new kind of torture that Kara had never felt before. As much as she had loved Mike in the special way she’d had for him, she’d never needed to hold herself back from saying what she wanted to. She’d never had to squeeze her fists closed to the point she could feel her short fingernails digging into her palms in order to stop herself from reaching out to touch the object of her affection the way she wanted to. Instead, she settled for hugging Lena from behind while she spooned out cookie dough.

Since this morning, she’d been in a state of constant anticipation, tempered only by the presence of Eliza. The way that Lena had been almost brazen, yet shy, in bed earlier had just left Kara desperately wanting more, and their kisses in the treehouse had not helped. The fact was, now that she knew what it was like to kiss Lena, and especially now that she knew that Lena wanted the same thing that she did, it was doubly hard to keep her hands off of her. Not just in a sexual way, but also just to touch her, just to be near her.

She wanted to play with Lena’s hair, lie on the sofa with her head in Lena’s lap and read books, take baths together. Kara knew that her feelings were moving fast, but the truth was, all that soft mushy stuff was her favorite; she loved to spend days doing nothing with the person she was with. Kara loved the coziness and the snuggling and the quiet, lazy mornings spent doing crossword puzzles over a shared plate of pastries.

The truth was that Kara loved the quiet side of romance. Big, grand gestures were all good and well, but coming home after a hard day to find a bath run for her with her favorite takeout ordered, followed by cuddling under a blanket watching a movie beat lavishness every time. Taking care of someone, and being taken care of in return, and doing her best to make someone happy? That was what Kara considered the basis of love, along with deep trust and a willingness to always listen.

Kara glanced to her side, at Lena, and felt her heart skip a beat when Lena looked over at her too, a soft smile on her face when her eyes landed on Kara’s.

Kara already knew that Lena was one for the smaller gestures. Oh, Lena was a multi-millionaire, a billionaire if the stock levels of L-Corp were to be believed, but Lena was far more understated in the way she presented herself in private, and in private was what mattered. Lena liked to cook, and liked to cook for Kara, out of pure enjoyment. She brought Kara flowers, and had in fact been giving her flowers for years, even if Kara had never noticed. Despite getting off on the wrong foot, Lena had listened to her and brought casual clothes to Midvale, and was far more comfortable in them than Kara had expected. Lena was perfectly willing to be seen with her hair a mess, sleep in her eyes, and her pajamas twisted around her legs, even from the very first morning. Lena had put her trust in Kara about being in a boat when she was afraid of the sea, and couldn’t swim.

This situation concerning Lena’s deportation had thrown them together in a way that forced them to really see each other. They could have approached it in a clinical way. They could’ve studied, provided answers to each other, and pretended it was a business deal.

Instead, they’d decided to do it as friends. And despite the crush she’d nursed for years, in Lena, she’d found someone whose company she truly enjoyed. She’d found someone who made her laugh, who valued the same things that she did, and who appreciated the same things that Kara herself loved. The idea of coming home to Lena at the end of a day came to her so easily. She could see her persuading Lena not to work on a Saturday so that they could go for a walk in the park.

Lena made her laugh, made her think, and kept her on her toes. Lena was continually surprising her with her bold nature hidden beneath a shyness Kara had never expected Lena to possess. She was confident and forthright at work, but at heart, she was quiet and tender, and Kara felt that knowledge pluck at her heartstrings.

She glanced again at Lena, who was now helping Eliza pour the cake batter into the cake tins, and felt her stomach swoop. Lena had tucked her hair behind her ears and was frowning in concentration, but then her brow cleared and she smiled at Eliza, laughing at something she’d said. And once more Kara was struck by the desire to touch those dimples with her fingertips, to press kisses against her lips, to see those lovely eyes shine with laughter.

Kara could no more stop herself from falling in love with Lena than she could stop herself from breathing. She was falling, she knew it, and Kara welcomed the gentle hand that Lena was holding out to her, knowing that to reject it would shatter more than one heart.

In any case, Kara had no wish to reject anything that Lena offered to her. There was still so much she didn’t know about Lena, and yet, there was nothing in this world she wanted more than more.

A loud boom that rattled the windows in their frames started Kara out of her reverie, and to the side of her she saw both Lena and Eliza jump. While Kara had been lost in her own world, Lena had spread the cookies around the kitchen and Eliza had put the cake halves in the oven. Had Kara helped them while she’d been thinking? She didn’t even know. She shook her head in a physical attempt to clear her thoughts, and found Lena giving her a concerned look.

“I’m fine,” she said, holding out a placating hand, which Lena took in both of hers.

“The storm’s getting closer,” Eliza said, pulling back the kitchen curtain to take a better look at the ever-darkening sky. “It’s going to be a big one. I’m a bit concerned about Carole the other side of the road, in case the power goes out. Since her husband went, she’s been all alone, poor dear.”

“Carole’s an elderly neighbor of ours who lived on the other side of the woods,” Kara explained to Lena, before she turned her attention back to Eliza. “If you left now, you’d have time before the storm hit,” Kara said, taking a look out of the window herself. It was already evening, and now the sky was an ominous dark grey, the clouds heavy with rain. Cracking the window open, she could smell the ozone in the air. “But if you’re going to go, you should go now, so you can easily get back in time before it hits.”

“Where are your batteries?” Lena said, realizing what was going on, and snapping into her efficient business mode. “And a spare flashlight?”

Kara pointed at the drawer in question, and Lena immediately set about preparing a package of supplies for Carole. Kara fetched their backpack from earlier, taking it into the lounge and picking out some candles and a spare box of matches. When she got back to the kitchen, it was to find Lena piling the table high with a packet of batteries that fit the large flashlight she’d found, a plastic bag full of ice packs, another bag with some duct tape, a wind-up radio Eliza had fetched from the garage, and a few other useful bits and bobs.

“Take her some of the cookies, too,” Lena said, opening a Tupperware box and filling it with the warmest, freshest cookies. Kara’s heart expanded even further as she watched Lena snapping the lid onto it, tucking the box carefully into the top of the backpack. Holding up a hand in thought, Lena suddenly dashed from the room and upstairs; Kara could hear a few things hitting the ground as Lena looked for something, before she came back downstairs holding a mobile battery bank and a multi-plug charging wire. “I have no use for this right now and I don’t know what kind of phone she has. Obviously she shouldn’t really be using it in a storm but I know that if I had a phone, I’d rather it not be plugged into a socket right now,” she said, stuffing the battery and the wire into the side pocket of the bag. “You never know. She might need to call someone.”

“Thank you, Lena,” Eliza said, taking the bag from her. “That’s really thoughtful. I’m sure her kids will want to call to check on her. They live over in Anchorage these days.”

“Do you need us to come with you?” Lena asked as she and Kara followed Eliza down the hall.

“No, I’ll be alright,” Eliza said, putting on a heavy waterproof coat and sliding her feet into her rainboots.

“Be careful,” Kara implored, casting an eye at the sky through the open front door. The wind howled through it, causing all of them to shiver, and rain soaked the welcome mat. “Let us know how things are when you get there?”

“I will,” Eliza replied with a smile, giving them both a hug before disappearing out of the door and heading for the woods. Kara watched her until she was out of sight, and then closed the door. As she did so, her phone rang, Alex’s name on the screen.

“Hey, Alex,” she answered, following Lena down the hall back to the kitchen.

Hey, are you both okay there?

“Yeah we’re fine. Eliza’s just gone off to see Carole and check if there’s anything she needs before the storm hits,” she replied, sitting down at the kitchen table after snagging a cookie from one of the drying racks. Lena mimed smacking her hand with a spatula, and Kara stuck her tongue out at her. “Are you and Maggie both on duty tonight?”

We’ll both be around yeah, in case anyone needs assistance. We’re both at the station now with Maggie’s laptop and her hard drive full of movies. Everyone here is pretty used to storms anyway, I think we’ll be fine if people just stay indoors. We’ll probably have some downed trees, boats getting damaged in the harbor, that kind of thing.

“Oh, shit, the boat,” Kara said, standing up quickly. She couldn’t believe she’d forgotten it! “I’d better get Streaky into the boathouse before the water starts getting really choppy. I think Eliza’s put hers in already. Can I text you when I’m done? I’d better go do it now.”

Sure. Be safe, both of you. Love you, sis!

“Love you too. Watch Star Wars!” she shouted down the phone, hearing Alex and Maggie laugh as she hung up.

She turned to Lena, who was just putting the last of the cookies into a fourth Tupperware box and sealing it. “I’m going to have to go and get Streaky up the slipway and into the boathouse,” she said.

Lena nodded, opening the oven and taking both halves of the sponge out, setting them on cooling racks as well. “Do you need my help?”

“If that’s okay? I’ll just need you to stand on the slipway and make sure I’m lining the boat up to the trailer, is that okay?”

“Sure. Can I borrow some rain boots? I didn’t bring any. And not surprisingly, none of my coats are quite good enough for this kind of weather.”

Kara gave her a wry smile before she headed down to the cupboard under the stairs, yanking out a pair of boots for herself, then looking back at Lena. “Come and choose the size you think will fit the best?” Lena did, and Kara pulled out a heavy coat each for them.

Luckily for them now, although it was something Kara loved to make fun of Alex for under normal circumstances, Alex liked to go to the army surplus store and buy old camouflage coats, among other things. The coats were large, made of gore-tex, and extremely tough. Kara passed one to Lena, and immediately cracked a smile; the coat absolutely drowned her. It was one of the largest ones, so it went three quarters of the way to her knees, and Kara was sure that it would have fit both of them in it, if they had the time to try it.

Kara got herself ready, and just as Lena turned around with the rain boots she’d picked out, Kara snapped a photo of her in her coat, before she started laughing helplessly. Lena rolled her eyes at her, but Kara showed her the photo before she left her phone on the hall table, and Lena’s eyes crinkled with amusement. A moment after they left the house, they were stumbling down the rain-drenched lawn, their boots sinking into the already-boggy ground, and clutching onto each other as laughter shook them both. Unused to the boots, Lena slipped just before they reached the pier, and Kara caught her around the middle, pressing a wet kiss to her lips. Lena looked absolutely ridiculous in the coat, but it only endeared Kara more to her.

“Come on,” Kara said loudly, raising her voice to be heard over the driving rain splattering their coats and the wind howling around them. “I’ve got to get the winch hitched up to the trailer and get that down into the water.”

With fumbling fingers in her haste, Kara unlocked the boathouse, rushing inside and hooking the winch up to the trailer. Eliza’s smaller boat was already up on its trailer, wheel chocks preventing it from rolling back out towards the sea. Kara hooked the winch to Streaky’s trailer, opened the garage-style door, then pushed the trailer out and down the slipway towards the water. Heedless of the way the water sloshed over her boots and into her socks, she walked the trailer into the water. It had to be deep enough that the propeller wouldn’t hit the slipway, and she was in the water up to her waist before she reached the correct depth. She locked the wheels in place, then waded back out of the water and onto the pier to fetch Lena, who had been watching her with a worried, but fascinated, look on her face.

Taking Lena’s hand, she led her to the top of the trailer. “I just need you to stand here and let me know if I’m lining the front of the boat into this part of the trailer,” she pointed at the partially-submerged v-shaped part of the framework, above the rubber bumpers, “okay? Just wave at me like I’m doing some seriously bad parallel parking or something, okay?”

“Bad parallel parking? That seems plausible,” Lena joked, but then she nodded, her face serious. She stood where Kara had told her to, the water lapping over her boots, and put her hands on the top of the bow stop.

“When I tell you to, attach the winch strap here, like this,” Kara demonstrated, “and then give me a thumb’s up. Alright?”

“Okay!” Lena called over the wind, just as thunder rolled overhead.

Kara cast the boat off from the bollards and stepped onto the deck, being careful not to slip on the slick surface. She couldn’t believe that she’d known the storm was coming and that she’d forgotten to put the boat away. Turning on the engine, she eased the boat forward in the choppy water, being careful not to let it hit the pier nor move forward too quickly. She wiped her glasses with the back of her hand and squinted through them, easily able to see Lena, but not the sides of the trailer. Driving the boat forward until Lena was more or less in front of her, she tried to guide it home. Lena waved to her left, so Kara inched the boat starboard until Lena held up her hand in a stop signal, waving her forward again.

Slowly, the boat moved into the trailer, Kara all the while cursing herself for not doing this earlier when it would’ve been much easier, and she didn’t have to contend with the angry waves. One moderate one hit the starboard side of the boat, pushing it port, and Kara heard the side of the boat hit the top of the wheel fender. Kara winced, patting the dashboard in a wet apology, but she knew the damage wouldn’t be too bad; the bonus was that she now knew exactly where the rest of the trailer was, and she was able to drive the boat successfully into the trailer.

“Now, Lena!” she shouted, and she watched Lena lash the winch strap to the boat and then the trailer, giving her a double thumb’s up and a smile. Kara turned the engine off.

Next came getting off the boat. Normally, Kara would just jump off into the water, but with the storm moving in fast, she didn’t know what the waters might have brought in close to shore. The pier was too far away for her to safely reach, so instead, she gingerly made her way onto the bow, trying her best not to slip sideways and hurt herself on the gunwale on the way into the water. The trailer wasn’t large, but she didn’t want to land on that either, and she couldn’t see it under the water. Sitting on the gunwale, she eased herself into the water, gasping at how cold it was as it made its way up her chest.

She could see Lena’s panicked eyes as she moved forward to help her, and Kara knew that it was an extension of Lena’s own fear of the water. Kara was a strong swimmer though; she didn’t try to keep her feet on the bottom as a wave hit her in the face, she propelled herself forward with a few strong strokes until her knees hit the slipway.

“Refreshing,” she quipped as Lena crouched down to help her up. Thankfully, the wave hadn’t swept away her glasses. Her clothes were waterlogged and heavy, and she squelched up the slipway, Lena following her, until she was in the dry of the boathouse.

“Are you alright?” Lena asked, her teeth chattering with cold.

“I’m okay,” she replied, turning the switch to start the winch and watching as it kicked into life, slowly pulling the boat up the slipway. “Are you?”

“I’m fine, just freezing,” Lena said, giving her a shivery smile.

“I’d hug you, but that would just make it worse,” Kara joked, shaking a leg and watching the water cascade out of it onto the floor. Lena’s eyes widened and she took an exaggerated step away.

When the boat had made its way into the boathouse, Kara made sure it was parked correctly, turned the winch off, then kicked the chocks behind the wheels.

“Ready to get back inside?” Kara asked, flicking the switch to close the garage-style door the boat had come through.

“Are potstickers your favorite food?” Lena replied.

Kara grinned at her, and they stepped back out into the pouring rain. The sky was much darker now, and Kara could hear the thunder more frequently. No lightning yet, but she didn’t want to take the chance of getting caught outside, so she locked the door as quickly as she could. Their boots sank into the sodden lawn even more than before, and they squelched up to the garage. Inside, they shook off their coats, hanging them up on hangers near the work bench, and they both kicked their rain boots off. Kara set hers upside down on the boot rack to let them drain a little easier.

Lena led them into the utility room through the back door in the garage, and next to the washing machine, Kara started to undo her jeans. Her phone rang on the hall table just as she’d got the first button undone, and she sighed. “Lena, could you get that? I don’t want to track these soaking jeans through the house.”

Lena slipped through the kitchen and down the hall, and Kara heard her answer it, her low voice drowned out by the sound of the storm outside. While she waited, she peeled her trousers down her legs, along with her socks, and shoved them into the washing machine. Kara pulled off her shirt as well, wrapping herself in one of the towels on the sideboard. She was pretty cold and needed a hot bath or a shower to warm up, but being out of the wet clothes helped. She was just patting herself dry when Lena came back, holding Kara’s phone in her hand.

“That was Eliza. She said that she’s going to stay at Carole’s house. The line was quite bad, but she said something about the electricity going; she didn’t want to leave her alone. I’ve put the sponge cake halves in airtight boxes, so they’ll be good for the party tomorrow once I’ve made the filling. And you’ve got a text from Alex as well. I didn’t want to read it because… well, privacy,” she said, holding the phone out to her.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” Kara said, wiping her glasses before taking the phone and opening the message. “She just wanted to know if we got the boat inside alright.” Kara’s fingers flew over the screen, responding to tell her that everything had gone fine. “Okay. Did you want to leave any wet clothes here?” she asked Lena, looking down at the wet legs of her pants. “I’m not going to turn on the washer now because of the storm, but it’s better we leave them here.”

Lena raised an eyebrow at her before she undid her pants, pulling them down her legs and handing them to Kara with a subtle clear of her throat. Kara snapped her eyes away from the pale skin that had just been revealed, feeling heat rise in her cheeks at being caught looking, and shoved Lena’s pants into the washing machine as well.

“Come on, I’ll run you a bath. You look like a drowned rat,” Lena said, holding out her hand.

“Uh,” she said dumbly, taking Lena’s cold hand in hers. “Do you, um, not need a towel too?”

“No,” Lena replied, her eyes sparkling. “I’m alright. I wasn’t the one who went for a swim in the sea today.”

Kara huffed out a laugh and let Lena pull her through the house and up the stairs, sitting without complaint when Lena pushed her into the armchair, turned only one lamp on, and went into the bathroom. She left the door open, and Kara watched as Lena first washed her hands, before turning to put the plug of the bath in and twisting the hot tap on. Kara tried valiantly to keep her eyes above Lena’s waistline, but she couldn’t help it whenever her eyes dropped to the sway of Lena’s hips.

Or to the expensive-looking lace-trimmed hipster panties she had on.

Or to the long expanse of pale skin and defined calf muscles, no doubt strengthened by the years of wearing the fuck-me heels around the offices she worked in. When Lena stretched over the bath to turn the cold tap on as well, her shirt rode up, exposing a sliver of skin at her stomach, and Kara felt herself ache with want.

When Lena stood up straight again, Kara snapped her eyes up to her face, but the pink tinge to Lena’s face and the knowing smirk on her face told her that Lena knew that Kara been staring. There was a pressure in her chest and in her abdomen that made it hard to breathe; she swept a hand through her damp hair and shrugged with a smile. She wasn’t really sorry for getting caught. Lena’s smirk morphed to a shyer smile as she made her way over to Kara, her hands tangling in the hem of her shirt. Kara kept her eyes fixed on Lena’s even when her instinct was to let them fall to her soft lips, her gentle hands, her perfect waist, her pale legs that Kara wanted to run her hands up the back of…

“Lena,” Kara choked as she reached her, long fingers trailing across Kara’s bare shoulders. “H-how much of the bath is run?”

Fingertips traced her collarbones from behind. “Mm, not much of it,” Lena murmured, and Kara felt the tips of Lena’s hair tickle her skin as Lena bent over.

“I want to take a bath. I do,” Kara said, her voice wavering. “But maybe after- I think right now a shower might be, uh…”

Kara heard Lena chuckle in her ear, the low sound rolling right through Kara and down between her legs. Lena’s hands toyed with the top of Kara’s towel, but very deliberately didn’t touch Kara’s upper chest. “Do you need a cold shower?”

Kara leaned her head back onto the chair and squeezed her eyes shut. If she couldn’t see Lena, maybe the words would come out less shakily. “Any kind of shower. Hot. Cold. Lukewarm. Anything to wash the sea off me as quickly as possible.”

“Oh?” Lena said, her voice sultry. “Are you in a hurry?”

She caught one of Lena’s wandering hands and pulled it to her face, kissing her palm and flicking her tongue out. Behind her, she heard Lena take a sharp breath, and the hand Kara wasn’t holding gripped her shoulder. “Yes,” Kara said hoarsely, opening her eyes and twisting around to look at Lena, finding her beautiful face only inches from hers. Her pupils were dilated and her eyes were locked on Kara’s. The air was thick between them, and when Lena’s eyes dropped to her mouth, Kara crushed their lips together with a whimper. The hand on her shoulder tightened and without breaking the kiss, Kara pulled Lena around the chair and into her lap. Kara felt her towel pull a little and Lena let out a little oof sound as she landed between Kara’s legs. Kara smiled into the kiss, wrapping her arms around Lena’s waist. Lena’s legs dangled over the armrest, and Kara gave in to her desire, trailing one hand up the outside of Lena’s thigh.

Kara could feel Lena’s hot breath on her lips as she cupped her face in her hands; her breathing was slightly ragged, and she slid her hands along the bottom of Kara’s jaw and into the hair at the back of her neck. Kara felt shivers skitter down her spine, and she could feel Lena trembling against her. Lena touched her forehead to Kara’s as Kara inched her hand up her thigh. When her fingers brushed lace, Lena huffed out a frustrated breath and shot off her lap.

“In the shower. Now,” Lena commanded, her face flushed and her voice unsteady, and Kara felt a bolt of arousal shoot through her at the fact that Lena was just as flustered as she was. Lena’s eyes flicked down, and as the cooler air hit her stomach, Kara understood why.

Lena’s sudden movement had dislodged her towel, and it sat open, revealing her whole left side. Aside from her underwear, Kara was naked, and when she stood up, she left the towel behind. A choked sound came from Lena’s throat, and wordlessly, she pointed to the bathroom. Kara didn’t need to be told again.

It was one of the most hurried showers she had ever had. She scrubbed herself from top to bottom with hasty movements, making sure to remove the salt water from her skin, and shaved her legs so quickly that she was surprised that she didn’t nick herself. When she was satisfied, she stepped out of the shower and turned the water off, before using a bit of deodorant and wrapping a spare towel around herself.

Kara opened the door, steam from the bathroom curling in tendrils around her ankles. She found Lena by the balcony doors looking out at the storm, which was well and truly underway. The balcony was solid, so Kara couldn’t be seen from outside when she walked up behind Lena and put her hands on her hips. Lena lay her head back against Kara’s shoulder and breathed out a sigh as Kara’s hands, warm from the shower, slid under her shirt to rest on her waist. Kara raised her arms slowly, feeling the material of Lena’s shirt pool around her wrists, but she slipped her hands higher, taking the shirt with it, pulling it over Lena’s head and tossing it behind her.

Lena turned around in her arms, now just in her underwear, and gave Kara a look that was full of arousal, but underneath it there was clear vulnerability. Slowly, deliberately, Kara dragged her thumb across Lena’s lower lip, and green eyes darkened further as Lena’s gaze met Kara’s in an intense look that held no secrets.

“This means something,” Lena whispered, catching Kara’s hand and holding it in hers. “If we do this it’ll… it’ll mean something to me.”

“I want it to,” Kara replied quietly, “because… because it’ll mean something for me too.”

Lena’s answer was a slow, open-mouthed kiss, and she pulled Kara’s arms around her waist before settling hers over Kara’s shoulders. The kiss might have been slow, but it was heavy in feeling, and Kara felt the pull of arousal building within her, making her clutch desperately at Lena’s back, trying to pull her closer.

“I need to shower too,” Lena said, her voice low and gravelly, removing her arms and stepping backwards. She was closer to the cold glass than she realized, and as her bare back made contact with it, she jumped back into Kara’s surprised arms, uttering a surprised “shit! That’s freezing!”

The moment broke through the air of anticipation between them, and Kara kissed her again, laughing into it as she picked Lena up gently and turned around, setting Lena down away from the window. “I hope that wasn’t a mood-killer,” she said, still giggling as she let Lena go.

“Definitely not,” Lena replied, chuckling at herself. Her eyes were still dark, and they raked over Kara; Kara felt it just as surely as Lena had followed her look with her hands, and she took a half step towards Lena.

“I’m going in- in the shower,” Lena said, looking very much like she wanted to step back towards Kara herself, but was forcing herself not to. She backed up towards the bathroom, and then disappeared behind the door.

Kara found herself shaking both with laughter and with anticipation, the adrenaline running through her body at the thought of maybe going further with Lena, with maybe… touching her. Kara shook herself out, and looked out at the storm in the sky. Now that Lena wasn’t in her arms, the rest of the world came back to her.

The thunder rolled across the sky, and lightning crackled across the sky, highlighting the angry water that crashed against the shore. In the brief illumination provided by the lightning, Kara could see the branches of the trees whipping around in the fierce wind, and she wouldn’t be surprised if they lost power.

With that thought in mind, Kara pulled her pajamas on quickly and slid her feet into her slippers, before heading downstairs and into the kitchen. She pulled a box of matches out of one of the kitchen cupboards, then took some of the lightly scented candles. She carried them back upstairs, smiling as she heard the shower still going in the bathroom, then set a candle on each of the nightstands, and another on the table. She was in the process of lighting the last one when the lights flickered, and then went out altogether.

“Kara?” Lena called straight away from the bathroom.

Kara crossed over to the door and opened it slightly, resisting the urge to look through it. She wanted Lena to choose the moment to let Kara see all of her, and Kara wouldn’t take that from her, no matter how much she wanted to cast her eyes on the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen. “We’ve just had a power cut. I’ve got some light out here though, so we’re alright.”

“Okay,” Lena replied, and the scent of Lena’s body wash floated through the door, causing Kara to sigh. “I’m not going to be much longer. And… I’d like to see the storm.”

“Take your time,” Kara said, closing the door again. From behind it, she thought she heard Lena say something under her breath, but it evidently wasn’t meant for her ears.

Kara climbed into the bed, settling the blankets over her legs, and looking out. The candles didn’t cast much light, so she could still clearly see through the glass into the outdoors. This had been one of her favorite things when she lives here; looking out of the windows and out at the storms. The open view from her window down to the Sound allowed her a perfect vantage point to observe the power of nature and she had always felt awed by it, while still being safe inside. That was why she had painted the storm that time, the painting that Lena so admired on the wall.

Maybe she’d give the painting to Lena. Or… perhaps a new one?

She relaxed against the pillows, her body still thrumming with energy, but she was a little calmer now, and as she lay there, she thought about Lena. About how beautiful of a person she found her to really be. About how much she enjoyed her company. About how they still didn’t know each other inside and out, but what Lena had told her had only whetted her appetite to know even more. Until this week, Lena had been enigmatic, but with gentle (and sometimes not so gentle, Kara admitted to herself), prodding from Kara, she had let Kara into her life and had done so with open arms.

Once Kara had taken the mask from Lena, she’d been given a gift. The woman behind the mask was nothing like the indifferent boss that Kara had known in the office. It was truly as if Lena pretended to be a different person at work, and she had worn the Lena Luthor mask for so long that she seemed to have forgotten how to just be Lena. But once she let go of her tight hold on it, the mask had fallen, and it was like rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds in the storm outside.

Lena was a bright light. She was a burst of laughter in a quiet crowd, a gentle brush of fingers relaxing tense shoulders. Lena was a burst of flavor in the middle of a bland meal Kara hadn’t realized she was eating.

The bathroom door opened and Lena stepped out barefoot, having left her slippers in the bedroom. Her hair was up in a loose bun for the shower, and when she caught Kara’s eye, she reached up and pulled it out, letting it fall messily around her shoulders with a smile Kara’s mind could only describe as sultry. Lena wandered over to the balcony, her eyes on the storm outside, and Kara was transfixed by the pleasing sway of her hips. She was helpless to get out of bed, making her way to Lena as she stood there, a silhouette against a sudden flash of lightning.

The rain pelted the glass and thunder shook the sky as Kara reached Lena, wrapping her arms around her waist from behind and laying her head on her shoulder. She gave Lena a little squeeze, and Lena ran her hand over Kara’s forearms as she gazed out at the angry sea and sky before them.

“All of life is a storm,” Lena said quietly, resting her head against Kara’s. “You jump from one hard thing to the next, resting in the eyes when you reach them. And then you forge out into it again, taking with you the lessons learnt from the last adventures, and hope that they’ll help you understand where to go next.” Lena’s voice trailed off as lightning flashed again, making her pale skin look even more ethereal than usual.

Lena glanced over to the painting Kara had done of the storm, hard to see in the darkness of the room. The candle flickered on the table, throwing a little light over the painting and making it look like the painting was as alive as the storm outside. Another flash of lightning lit the room, and Lena waited for the answering thunder before speaking again.

“But sometimes,” she said, “you’re lucky enough to find someone to wander through the storms with you. A hand to help you up when you stumble over something you didn’t see coming. Someone to hold a lamp up for you to see through the rain to the shelter.” She turned in Kara’s arms. “Someone who makes you feel safe even when you’re afraid. Someone who makes you feel protected, when you never have before.”

Kara didn’t know how to respond to Lena’s heartfelt words, but it seemed Lena didn’t expect one, because she raised herself up and pressed a gentle kiss to Kara’s lips, and then again, before she walked Kara back a step. Lena stepped out of her embrace, and lifted a hand to the towel’s knot at her chest.

“I don’t want to wait any longer to know how it feels to be yours,” Lena whispered. She looked almost shy, but with a quick flick of her fingers, she loosened the knot and dropped the towel to her feet. The candlelight cast shadows over her body, but Kara could see enough to know that Lena was… she was…

Kara stepped up to Lena and smoothed a hand over the hair draped over her shoulder and giving Lena a soft, but firm, kiss. She wasted no time before sliding her hands down over Lena’s behind and to the back of her thighs, stooping slightly and picking Lena up. Lena squeaked a little, but got the message and wrapped her legs around Kara’s waist while Kara supported her. She carried her over to the bed before laying her down on it, climbing up onto the bed after her.

Lena shifted up the bed towards the pillows, pulling Kara after her and down onto her, Kara’s hips pressing hers into the mattress. Both of them groaned at the close contact, Lena’s fingers fisting the material of Kara’s sleep shirt. Lena’s mouth was hot and wet on hers, and she locked her legs around Kara’s back, pulling her down even more firmly against her.

“You’re wearing-” Lena gasped out as Kara rolled her hips, “you’re wearing too many clothes,” she finished, pushing Kara’s hair behind her ears.

“Oh,” Kara murmured, looking down at herself briefly before glancing back up, swallowing audibly at Lena’s dark eyes. Lena reached down to the hem of Kara’s shirt, a question in her eyes before Kara nodded, and Lena pulled her shirt up and off. She sat up briefly, intending to do something about her pyjama bottoms as well, but the sight in front of her was too much to resist.

Lena was looking up at her, one arm across her stomach and the other behind her head. Her inky hair was spread across the pillow, and she was wearing that soft, dimpled smile that Kara loved so much. Reaching down, Kara rested her hands on Lena’s hips, her fingers reaching around, and sliding her hand all the way up the side of Lena’s torso. She inched up and into the dip of her waist, the bottom of her ribcage, her thumbs brushing the sides of Lena’s breasts as she made her way up and back down. She was content, just in this moment, to feel Lena’s soft skin under her fingers, see the way that goosebumps flared in some places but not others, and to smile at the flush of pink on Lena’s upper chest and her neck. Kara felt like her hands were made to be devoted to Lena’s body. 

She ran the flat of her palm up from Lena’s stomach and slowly slid it upwards, past her belly button, between her breasts, up the side of her neck and into her hair. She pulled gently, and Lena sat up, never taking her eyes off Kara’s.

Kara knew, could tell from the look in her eyes, that Lena rarely exposed herself this way. That she had rarely let herself be so vulnerable, with either her body or her feelings. Trust was hard for Lena to give, but she gave willingly it to Kara. She put her trust in Kara’s heart, her mind, her hands. It was all right there for Kara to read in those lovely green eyes.

Her words about finding her way in a storm were about more than just a storm, and Kara knew it.

“As much as you want to know how it feels to be mine,” Kara whispered, ghosting kisses over Lena’s cheeks, her forehead, the tip of her nose, “I want to be yours, too. You are lovely, Lena Luthor. And I can’t believe that I get to kiss you like this, that I get to see you like this.” Kara heard her voice crack in the last words, but she didn’t care. She shimmied her pajama pants down her legs, kicked them off her, and pressed Lena back down to the mattress.

At the first touch of full-body contact, something in Kara broke. She surged forward, giving Lena a kiss as desperate as it was heartfelt. She needed to taste her, to feel her, and she pushed her tongue into Lena’s mouth as soon as Lena’s lips parted. She took one of Lena’s hands, locking it with hers under the pillows, and fully gave in to the pull she’d been feeling all week. Lena was here, with Kara, and it was as real as anything Kara had felt.

She pressed Lena hard into the mattress with her hips, and Lena gasped into her mouth, nipping at Kara’s bottom lip before soothing it with her tongue. With her other hand, Lena dragged her nails down Kara’s back and Kara hissed in pleasure. Lena kept going until she reached her ass and, gently digging her nails in, she encouraged Kara to move against her.

Kara’s breath hitched as she began to rock her hips into Lena’s, and she gripped at Lena’s waist, watching as Lena’s chest heaved. She moved her hand up to touch Lena’s breast for the first time. Lena arched into her hand as Kara palmed it, tightening her hand around Kara’s under the pillow. Kara felt her nipple hard against her palm, and skimmed her thumb across it. Lena made a soft sound of approval at the back of her throat, and with no hesitation, Kara lowered her head to take Lena’s other nipple into her mouth.

The reaction from Lena was immediate. As Kara dragged the flat of her tongue over Lena’s nipple, her hand shot up and Kara felt fingers tighten in the hair at the back of her head, keeping her where she was. When she grazed it with her teeth, the hand in her hair tightened almost painfully, and she answered it with a squeeze to Lena’s other breast.

Kara,” Lena breathed, and Kara looked up to find Lena with her head thrown back into the pillows, the candlelight catching the mahogany in her hair, and Kara didn’t think she’d ever seen a sight more beautiful in her life.

“You’re so beautiful,” Kara said, before kissing Lena once more. Kara knew that she was slick between her own legs, could feel it every time she rocked up into Lena’s hips. She ached with the need to touch Lena, and for Lena to touch her. Sitting up slowly, Lena whimpering at the loss of pressure on her lower abdomen, Kara knelt between Lena’s bent knees.

Lightning flashed through the room, Lena’s pale skin glowing for a moment before the light from the candles took over once again, making her look soft once more. Lena watched her as Kara’s eyes moved down her body, followed by the reverent touch of her hands. Every freckle she came across, she touched with a fingertip. There were many of them, and Kara loved each of them. When Kara’s hands reached Lena’s hips, she put a gentle pressure on the top of one of Lena’s thighs, and Lena lowered it, allowing Kara to swing one of hers over it. The other, she pushed to the side, encouraging Lena to spread her legs wider.

Lena was wet, so wet, for her. She could see the dampness on her inner thighs, could see the soft folds between her legs glistening. Lena was still watching her, and with a sense of awe and privilege, Kara ran her fingertips down from Lena’s knee. She could feel Lena shaking with anticipation under her touch, and the temptation to just rush in, to bury her fingers or her tongue between Lena’s legs, was almost overwhelming. She forced herself to go slowly. To savor this.

When her fingers met the slick wetness on Lena’s inner thigh, she brought it up to her mouth and, making sure Lena could see, slipped her fingers into her mouth, tasting Lena for the first time. She was salty-sweet, and she could hear Lena’s breathing quicken at the sight. Kara trailed her wet fingers back down Lena’s thigh, and Lena pushed her head back into the pillow, blindly reaching for one of Kara’s hands. Kara held it, and this time when she reached Lena’s inner thigh, she didn’t stop.

She swiped two fingers through Lena’s slick folds, and Lena’s body almost folded in on itself, a low, relieved groan coming from deep in her chest. Kara felt an answering throb between her legs at the sound of it.

Lena’s hand twitched on her stomach as Kara moved through Lena once again, wetness coating her fingers as she passed Lena’s entrance and moved up. She found Lena’s clit and gave it a quick brush with her index finger. Lena’s body jerked, and Kara loved how responsive she was under her fingers, even though she’d barely touched her.

Kara leaned down to kiss Lena once more, a kiss that was as languid as the exploratory movement of her fingers between Lena’s legs. Lena’s hips bucked impatiently, and Kara smiled into the kiss, feeling the frustration in the way Lena moved, the way she breathed, in the way that Lena let go of her hand so that she could dig it into her hair.

Fuck,” Lena blurted when Kara brushed her clit again, and Kara felt fingers wrap around her wrist. The leg that was flat on the bed came up to push between Kara’s legs and oh, she could feel how wet she was by the way Lena’s leg slipped against her, and judging by the gratified look in Lena’s eyes, so could she. “Kara, you’re…” she said, in a tone that was full of the same awe that Kara was feeling herself. Kara rocked against Lena’s thigh, leaving neither of them in any doubt as to how wet she was.

Lena crashed their lips together again, and it was hot and messy, her tongue pressing into Kara’s mouth. Lena’s hand moved down to where Kara was stroking her, their fingers slipping together, before Lena moved her down slightly. “Please, please,” Lena whispered, “please-”

Kara felt the increase of moisture as Lena rocked her hips up, and she was so wet, it was so easy, to feel the way that Lena parted beneath her fingers as she pushed two inside her.

Lena’s whole body seemed sighed in relief as Kara filled her up, pushing her fingers as deep as they could go, before she pulled them almost all the way out, before pressing them in again. Awe turned into urgency when Lena started to move her hips in a rhythm Kara followed with her fingers, increasing the pressure and speed, delighting in the gasps she was pulling from Lena’s throat every time her thumb pressed against her clit. Kara curled her fingers, pressing into Lena’s g-spot, and Lena let out a throaty moan into Kara’s mouth, the hand in her hair tightening every time Kara hit the right spot.

When Kara added a third finger, Lena bit her lip and looked up at Kara, her green eyes wide and dark, before she shut them and wrapped her leg around Kara’s back. As Kara curled her fingers inside her, she could feel Lena tightening her muscles as if she wanted to hold her there, and Kara increased the pressure on her clit. Lena’s hand scrabbled around Kara’s back, her nails digging into her as she gave in to the pleasure Kara was giving her. As Kara sped up, Lena’s voice climbed higher. Kara loved that Lena was not quiet; her breathing was heavy and labored, every yes and fuck and fuckyesrightthere only making Kara throb and curl her fingers more, hitting the spot every time and causing Lena to moan. Lena’s body was writhing beneath her now, their kisses messy and less coordinated as Lena rocketed towards the edge. Kara wished she could draw it out, but she could feel Lena fluttering around her and she knew Lena wouldn’t last much longer.

When Lena came, she was surprisingly silent, a sudden intake of breath as her body arched in tension, jerking whenever Kara’s thumb bumped her clit as Kara coaxed her through her orgasm. Lena breathed her name, her hand on Kara’s between her legs, holding her there, before she chased Kara’s mouth for a kiss. Kara kissed her softly, tasting salt in the slight sheen of sweat on Lena’s skin.

As Lena’s breathing slowed down, Kara made to pull her fingers out, but Lena stopped her. Kara looked down at her in question, and found Lena’s eyes almost mischievous. Lena kissed her quickly, before indicated that she wanted Kara to roll onto her back. “Gently,” she murmured, and, her fingers still buried in Lena, Kara did carefully as she asked until Lena was on top of her, her knees either side of Kara’s hips and her messy dark hair hanging over her shoulders.

Outside, lightning crackled across the sky and illuminated the room for a moment, and Kara knew that the image it let her see would stay in her mind forever. Kara gazed up at the sight of Lena sitting back on her haunches, Kara’s hand between her legs, her fingers glistening with Lena’s slick release. The look on Lena’s face was caught somewhere between sultry and blissful, and when she started to rock her hips again, Kara’s eyes widened. She latched a hand to Lena’s hip as Lena ground against her, the candlelight casting shadows across her skin and making her look like nothing less than a goddess.

Lena bent forward slightly, increasing the pressure on her clit as the angle changed, and she groaned, her hands gripping Kara’s waist tightly. Kara didn’t have to do anything except keep her hand as still as she could, watching the glorious sight in front of her, feeling Lena’s walls clench around her fingers as Lena rode her fingers, chasing a second orgasm. Kara could tell by the tightness of her fingers that it wouldn’t take long, and sure enough, within seconds Lena had arched her back a second time, Kara’s name escaping her lips in a breathless sigh. Kara’s fingers were wetter than ever and when Lena gently pulled herself off them, Kara groaned at the sight of Lena sitting back, Kara’s fingers in her mouth, tasting herself as her tongue lapped at the slickness that coated her skin.

Kara felt herself clench at the sight as her body reminded her that a world existed outside of Lena’s exquisite pleasure. Lena was still breathing harder than normal, but it was with determination in her eyes that she leaned over Kara, slowly licking along Kara’s bottom lip and moving back when Kara tried to chase her. “Lenaaaa,” Kara whined, reaching for her face and pulling her down into a hot and messy kiss, trying to buck her hips up into Lena, who was still sitting in her lap.

Lena pulled away from her, running a single finger down the side of Kara’s neck and her chest, circling her nipples slowly as Kara squirmed under her. A single fuck breathed out of her when Lena cupped both of her breasts, running her thumbs over her nipples at the same time. Kara pushed her head back into the pillows as Lena bent over her, feeling Lena’s hair tickling her torso as she kissed her way down from Kara’s jaw. She nipped the soft skin of Kara’s breast with her teeth, before soothing it with her tongue and Kara just knew it was going to leave a mark. Her hand dug into Lena’s hair, keeping her there as she mumbled “again” into the pillow at the side of her face. She felt Lena smile against her chest as she did as requested, nipping and sucking marks into Kara’s upper chest and dragging her nails down the side of Kara’s ribcage hard enough to cause Kara to hiss in pleasure.

“I want to taste you,” Lena murmured into Kara’s skin, nipping it once more. Kara whimpered at Lena’s words and at the pinch of pleasure-pain that Lena was inflicting on her. Lena continued her movement downwards, her hot tongue licking a trail down Kara’s abs before she sucked a bruise into her side, long fingers gripping Kara’s hips. “You smell so good,” Lena said in a thick voice, nosing at Kara’s lower stomach before she pushed Kara’s legs further apart. Kara chanced a look down and her breath caught in her throat as she watched Lena kiss her way up her inner thighs and tucking her hair behind her ears. Kara jumped as she felt the tip of Lena’s tongue against her thigh as Lena pressed a gentle kiss there.

Kara started to tremble when she felt Lena’s thumbs tenderly pull her wet folds apart, sliding against the slick skin she found there and spreading her out. She whined when Lena’s thumb deliberately brushed her clit, once, twice, before her fingertips found her entrance, dipping in briefly before withdrawing.

At the first sure touch of Lena’s tongue between her legs, Kara let out a low groan and buried one hand into Lena’s hair, pulling her closer. Lena licked a broad stripe up from her entrance to her clit, circling it with the tip of her tongue before pressing the flat of her tongue against it. She moved slowly, almost torturously, taking her time and finding the places that made Kara shake with pleasure. When Lena dipped her tongue into Kara’s entrance, Kara looked down to find Lena looking back up at her, her green eyes intense; Lena didn’t break eye contact when she slipped her tongue back up and wrapped her lips around Kara’s clit, sucking gently. Kara’s eyes squeezed closed and her fisted grip in Lena’s hair tightened.

Lena sped up slightly, more familiar now with what Kara liked, and she worked Kara up into a frenzy. Her tongue, so sharp in the office, was gentle and loving as she worked Kara closer to the edge. Kara felt Lena’s fingers around her entrance, and when Lena slipped one finger inside her, curling to bring Kara even more pleasure, she groaned, long and low. She reached down and held the hand that Lena had wrapped around her thigh, locking their fingers together and jerking when Lena pressed the flat of her tongue against her clit again. The pressure of her tongue just like that coupled with her finger curling just so rapidly pushed Kara closer to the edge, and her breath came in short gasps as Lena moved her tongue, increasing the pressure as much as she could.

Kara was rocking her hips against Lena’s mouth, faster and faster, her voice climbing in pitch as pleasure coiled tightly in her abdomen. The pressure within her was building quickly, and lost in her pleasure, she pulled on Lena’s hair until Lena pushed a second long finger inside her. She curled them both, pressing exactly where Kara needed her. At the same time, she flicked her tongue over her clit and sucked on it, hard. Kara tumbled over the edge with a strong orgasm and a loud cry of Lena’s name, moaning as Lena coaxed her through the aftershocks with her tongue.

While Kara got her breathing under control, Lena lay her head on Kara’s thigh, looking up at her with clear adoration in her eyes. A moment later, she felt Lena licking gently around her inner thighs, cleaning her up a little, before she scooted up a little and smiled up at Kara from her stomach.

“Come up here,” Kara managed, unwinding her fingers from where they were still tangled in Lena’s hair. Lena obliged her and crawled up her body, trailing kisses over her abdomen and chest, before she settled into that perfect spot between Kara’s neck and shoulder. Kara tipped her head up a little and kissed her slowly, softly, her tongue meeting Lena’s and tasting herself in Lena’s mouth. She groaned, and Lena smiled again, resting her hand on Kara’s cheek and smoothing her thumb over her cheekbone.

Kara gathered Lena up against her, winding their legs together, before pulling the blanket up over them to warm their cooling skin. Lena snuggled into her, pressing kisses to any part of Kara she could reach; her collarbone, the dip of her throat, the very top of her breast.

They lay there together, and Kara felt Lena breathing against her. She could feel the rise and fall of her chest against her, feel her breath on her skin, and she stroked one hand down Lena’s back. Lena sighed against her, her body relaxing. In the quiet, Kara was happy just to lie there and hold Lena, to touch her and know that they’d just told each other more than words could say.

A flash of lightning lit the room, followed immediately by a loud clap of thunder, making them both jump with the nearness of it. It set both of them giggling before they settled back down, Lena smoothing her hand over Kara’s side.

“Some storm, huh?” Kara asked, kissing the top of Lena’s head and playing with her hair, lifting it away from her scalp and twisting it around her fingers.

Lena hummed in pleasure, shifting against Kara. “Mhmm,” she agreed sleepily, closing her eyes.

They’d made love, Kara thought. They hadn’t had sex, they’d made love with, and to, each other. And now there was no door for her to hide behind anymore. There was no coming back from the fact that Kara’s heart had tumbled off the fence it had been sitting on and landed firmly on the side of love.

She loved Lena. She was in love with Lena, and she wanted to be with her.

As happy as she felt right now, though, there was a nagging feeling at the back of her mind. The interview plucked at her happiness, reminding her that it was there. Lying next to Lena like this, hugging her close after having made love to her, was the best thing in the world. She knew what Lena’s face looked like when it was full of pleasure. She knew what it felt like to make Lena shake with want, and she knew how Lena tasted. Lena had made the choice to jump forward into the next part of… whatever their relationship was now, and Kara had been there to catch her with her arms wide open.

But they hadn’t talked about where they could possibly be going with each other. She was sure it was at the back of Lena’s mind as well; there was no way that she could’ve missed what was happening between them. If they had spent this week together for any other reason than the one they had, Kara would be telling Lena right now that she loved her, that she wanted to be with her for as long as Lena would have her. But without it, she might not have got the chance to get to know Lena like this.

Kara simultaneously cursed, and was glad for, the reason they were even here. Lying to her entire family, committing fraud against the government, risking her career and her future for someone was one thing. Doing the same things for a woman she loved and respected was a different thing altogether. It was still wrong, but because of it, Kara had found the woman she wanted to be with.

And she couldn’t even tell her that. It was like the elephant in the room. It would almost have been easier if they hadn’t become close because at least then her heart wouldn’t be as in as much danger as the rest of her was. She could’ve remained detached, viewed it as a job, something to focus on, get past, and try her best to forget about. But her heart was in danger, because she loved Lena, and on Monday they could be ripped apart from each other if they failed the interview.

Unconsciously, she pulled Lena closer to her. Lena’s breathing was deep and even now; she’d fallen asleep curled up against Kara, and Kara felt like her heart was bursting with love for her. This beautiful, wonderful woman, who’d asked her to do an immoral thing, but then turned out to be the person she’d been looking for her whole life. She was funny, smart, bold, thoughtful, caring, seductive, and a big, cuddly softie.

Kara felt her eyes prickle with tears from her worries. She wasn’t going to tell Lena that she loved her, not right now. It was just going to make it too hard for them both when they hadn’t even done the interview yet.

They were stuck in this little bubble up here in Midvale where everyone believed they were a couple. And in many ways, they were a couple. But outside their happy bubble, the federal government existed. Lena didn’t hold an American passport. Their jobs were in jeopardy. And as much as Kara didn’t want to think about it, as much as she wanted to hold onto this perfect week, the real world was out there. They could have this week, enjoy this time they had together, but come Sunday, they would be on their way back to New York.

Right now, they were in their own eye of the storm. Kara wanted to protect Lena as best as she could, but she felt panic settle over her heart at the thought of what they had to do, and what would happen if they didn’t manage to do it well enough.

But now, this moment, Lena was in her arms, and she was determined to enjoy it. She shuffled down the bed a little, and the movement woke Lena, who snuffled a little before nosing into Kara’s hair.

“Hi,” she mumbled, her voice heavy from her short nap, but happy.

“Hi yourself,” Kara replied, fitting her lips to Lena’s and loving the feeling of Lena yielding to her instantly, her body sinking against Kara’s. They shared slow, loving kisses, and Lena brushed Kara’s hair behind her ear. When she pulled back, Lena’s eyes were gentle.

“You make me happy,” she said simply, giving Kara a soft smile.

“You make me happy too,” she whispered. Kara couldn’t tell if her heart was bursting with love or cracking with heartbreak, so she did the only thing that she could; she pulled Lena on top of her and held her, feeling her settle between her legs and letting the weight of her comfort her as she lay there with her. She imagined she could feel Lena’s heart beating against her own chest, and she tightened her arms around her waist.

What were they going to do?

Some of her worry must have shown on her face because Lena ran her thumb across the frown lines on Kara’s forehead. “What’s wrong?”

Kara sighed. “I’m just- I’m just worried about Monday. And we- I’m not sure what we’re…”

“I’m worried too,” Lena interrupted, her thumb moving from Kara’s forehead to her lips. “I’m trying not to think about it, but I’m worried about what’ll happen if on Monday we don’t do well enough. I feel so much for you. I care for you Kara, so much, more than I have for anyone in a very long time. I don’t feel lonely any more, not when I’m with you, and I’m scared to lose that. And I’m afraid that- I’m afraid of what’ll happen to us if…” Lena abruptly sat up on her knees, the blankets going with her and falling around her waist. She made no move to cover herself up, instead swinging her legs over the edge of the bed.

Lightning flashed at that particular moment, and it illuminated Lena sitting there, her shoulders hunched, her arms wrapped protectively around her stomach. It was a profoundly lonely image, and Kara scrambled to move to sit next to her, draping her arm around Lena’s shoulders. “Hey,” she said. “Hey, I’m here.”

“You’re here,” Lena repeated sadly. “You’re here, and we’re here together. And later, I’d like for us to be- for there to be-” Lena shook her head, as if even saying the words was too much. Kara knew exactly how she felt. Lena was echoing the words that she had herself been thinking only minutes before.

“I’d like that too. I’d like for there to be an us after this, Lena. We’ll just take each day at a time, okay?” Kara said, reassuring her, even though she felt far from reassured herself. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“Promise?” Lena asked, her voice sounding more broken than she’d ever heard it.

“I promise,” Kara said, and Lena laid her head on her shoulder.

They sat there in silence for a few minutes, their back to the windows and the storm that was still raging outside. Rain still hit the glass, the wind still howled, and the thunder rolled overhead. But they were here, inside, with each other. For now, they were safe, and they were warm, and they were together.

“I just keep thinking about how much of a toll this is going to take on you,” Lena said finally, running her hand up and down Kara’s thigh almost mindlessly. “About how much you stand to lose if this all goes wrong. I don’t- I only have Sam, and Ruby, and they’ll understand. I have L-Corp and CatCo, and I’ve been thinking that… well, I own L-Corp. It’s mine, regardless of what the board says. I bought all their shares when I took over. I own 80% of the shares. I gave Sam 15%, and the other 5% I could buy back. I could relocate the headquarters to Dublin, make it an Irish company instead of an American one. Everyone in the New York office would keep their jobs, it just would become an Irish company. I could buy a building in Dublin. Build some labs, hire a whole new staff. I could take the running of the company out of the board’s hands altogether. Build a board that I would trust, and who would trust me.”

“That’s a drastic move,” Kara said, Lena’s serious words echoing in her head. “That’s a really drastic move.”

“I know,” Lena said, smiling briefly before her face turned pensive. “I know. It’s not ideal by any means. CatCo is… Cat Grant could find someone else to run it in my stead. I could sell my shares in it. You could have them. I don’t care. But what I do care about is taking care of you,” Lena said, as if she hadn’t just been talking about an obscene amount of money as if it were nothing.

“Lena-” Kara started, but she realized she had nowhere else to go.

Lena just glanced at her, holding her gaze for a moment, before looking back down at the twisting fingers in her lap. “Ever since we came here and I’ve seen what you’re risking for me, when I didn’t even ask you, I feel sick. You’ll never want for anything, not ever. I’ll give you whatever you want.” Lena looked up, and Kara could see even in the dim light that her eyes were full of tears. “Ever since we’ve been here, and I’ve been able to be just Lena, not Lena Luthor, I’ve been… happier than I’ve been in my life. I haven’t really thought about work in days, because I know Sam’s taking care of it. I knew how much the expectations of my life weighed, but I didn’t realize how heavy they really were until I had them taken away from me, and until you- until you helped me see past the person I had to be. Until I was given a chance to be the person I am. And I don’t know if I can go back to how it was,” she said in a whisper. “I don’t know how to live with myself, asking you to put your whole life and all your relationships on the line for me like this. And I’m terrified that it’ll all be for nothing. What if we fail? What if I’m deported, your family and your friends all find out that we lied to them? What if you go to prison, Kara?! I am terrified for you. How on earth can you bear to sit with me like this? How could we have-” she gestured to the bed behind them. “How could we have been together, like this, after what I did? How do you not hate me for doing this to you?”

If Kara had thought that Lena was vulnerable earlier, it was nothing to how she was now. Not only was she sitting completely naked, having given herself to Kara completely and let herself be made love to in return, she was sitting here baring her soul.

Kara could feel Lena’s spiraling panic and stood up, moving in front of her. Kara stepped between Lena’s legs, pulling Lena against her, and Lena’s arms wrapped around her waist. Kara could feel Lena’s tears spilling down her cheeks. She could feel them on her chest as they transferred from Lena to her.

“Hey, hey,” Kara said, this time knowing that her heart was cracking. “I’m not going to pretend that I’m not worried, okay? I’m not going to say I’m not also terrified, and that the guilt of lying to everyone I know and love hasn’t been taking a toll on me. I’m not going to pretend I’m not guilty of choosing to do that, even though you didn’t ask me. Lena, don’t forget that I chose to help you. I could’ve said no. I could’ve told Eve Teschmacher in her office what you’d asked me to do. I could’ve saved myself, and I didn’t. I chose to help you. And yes, lying to my family hurts. But Lena, Lena,” Kara said, her own voice shaking, and wiping the tears from Lena’s cheeks.

“I want you to listen to me very carefully,” she said, not saying anything more until Lena looked up at her, her eyes shining with more tears and the self-loathing of her speech. “I am not lying to my family when I tell them that I care for you. That is not a lie. I- Lena, I feel more deeply for you than I ever expected to. I’m in- you’re not just my boss to me. You’re so much more to me than I ever thought- I found you,” Kara said, not sure whether her words were making any sense at all. “I found you, Lena, and you’re such a good person. Getting to know you has been such a wonderful journey and I don’t want it to stop. I don’t hate you, I could never hate you. How do I hate the person who calms my storm?”

Lena’s arms tightened around her waist, and she lay her head back on Kara’s chest.

“I don’t deserve someone like you in my life,” Lena mumbled against her skin. “But I’m- I’m ever so glad you’re here.”

“So am I,” Kara replied, stroking Lena’s hair with one hand and her back with the other.

They stayed like that for a few moments, each drawing comfort from the other. The dam had burst, and they were now at a more honest place than they’d ever been. Kara was desperately sorry that Lena was taking the majority of the blame, that she was feeling so terrible about everything. But equally, there was nothing that Kara could do to truly calm Lena’s fears, not when her own were exactly the same and she didn’t even know how to tell herself what to do.

She cradled Lena against her, this soft woman who’d claimed her heart without knowing it. Kara still couldn’t bring herself to tell Lena how she truly felt. Maybe Lena already knew. But now, when things were raw and uncertain, wasn’t the time to tell her. The burden of Kara’s feelings would only make Lena feel worse.

Instead, there was the next best thing.

“Lena?”

“Hmm?” Lena replied, pulling away from Kara and wiping the last of the tears from her face.

“What would you say to some dinner and cookies?”

Lena huffed out a surprised, wet-sounding laugh. “I love cookies,” she said, giving her a watery smile.

“Alright,” she said, pulling Lena to her feet. “And hey. We’re in this together, okay? I want you to remember that. Lena and Kara.”

“Lena and Kara,” she repeated, stepping into Kara’s arms and giving her a hug. “I like the sound of that.”

“And,” Kara said, running her hand down Lena’s bare back. “I love that we made love with each other. I loved every single moment of what we did together, and yesterday, and every other day. Everything with you is real and I wouldn’t change any of it. I just want you to know that.”

When she leaned up to meet Kara, Lena’s lips were warm and soft on hers. It was a tender kiss, and Kara felt Lena’s hands on the sides of her neck.

“Also… nobody has ever complained about your efficiency,” Kara murmured, half-remembered words from the start of their trip coming back to her suddenly. “And neither will I.”

Lena was silent for a moment before the words registered in her memory. She pressed a kiss to Kara’s cheek and chuckled. “I didn’t exactly mean that situation, but if you’re not complaining either, then I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“Oh, it’s definitely a compliment,” Kara confirmed, brushing her fingers over Lena’s lips, and then looking down at herself. “I look like I’ve gone a round with a boxer with… very tiny fists.”

“What?” Lena said, before she looked at Kara’s torso as well. Even in the low light, the bruises that Lena had made in Kara’s skin were obvious, and Lena started to giggle, finally leaning against Kara again and laughing into her chest. “I’m sorry!” she said, running her finger over one near Kara’s collarbone.

“I’m not. I didn’t really realize that I liked it that much until today.”

“I’ll remember that,” Lena replied, laughter still in her voice. “We should probably put some pajamas on. Just in case Eliza comes home.”

“Oh, that’s a good point!”

Kara found her own pajamas easily enough, but Lena’s were another matter. They searched for them and found them kicked to the bottom of the bed, sandwiched between two of the blankets. Lena pulled them on, Kara mourning the loss of Lena’s nakedness even if she understood the reason why. They both put on some fuzzy socks and, taking care to blow out the candles and pick up the matches, they made their way downstairs hand in hand.

The storm was still going on outside, and it was dark in the kitchen until Kara turned on a flashlight. She knew her way around well enough, but Lena didn’t, and she didn’t want her to stub her toes on any of the furniture. She could see by her phone that it was past 8pm, but with the electricity out, there wasn’t any way to cook anything. Opening the fridge, Kara peered in it to see what they could possibly eat.

To Lena’s amusement, and Kara’s horror, the only things that were in the fridge that they didn’t need to cook were salad ingredients and some ready-cooked chicken breasts.

“Chicken salad for you then,” Lena said, plucking the lettuce and other greens out, as well as a packet of tomatoes.

“Leaves,” Kara said, suppressing a shudder.

Lena snorted. “It’s a salad, Kara. It’s not going to kill you!”

“It’s leaves, Lena!” she protested. “You can’t make a meal out of leaves!

“My fiancée is a child,” Lena muttered good-naturedly, setting everything out on the counter. “Hey, could you get me a candle or something please, darling? Otherwise you’re going to have to stand there and watch me chop lettuce.”

“Sure,” Kara replied, leaving the torch with Lena and going carefully into the lounge. She picked out the first candle she felt, one in some kind of tin, and carried it through into the kitchen. She lit it, and Lena fetched a knife to start chopping the lettuce up.

For a few minutes, everything was fine. Kara hopped up on the counter and watched Lena’s hands as she worked, halving the avocado and scooping the stone out with a spoon. And then-

“Kara?”

“Yes?”

“What is that smell?!” Lena asked, sounding disgusted and burying her nose in the crook of her elbow.

“What sm- oh,” she said, eyeing the candle. “I think it’s that.”

Lena hastily blew it out and Kara wordlessly passed her the flashlight.

“It smells burnt! Like some… like some centuries old wooden house that had a fireplace nobody ever bothered to clean and then lit fish oil lamps in,” Lena said, shining the flashlight on the label.

“That’s oddly specific.”

Resident Evil 4D candle,” Lena read off the label. “The scent of horror, fear, and adrenaline. Kara! This candle smells gross! Why would anyone own this?” Lena said, shoving the lid on the candle as quickly as she could to mask the smell.

Kara was at a loss for words for a moment before it clicked in her head. “Oh! It was for when Alex was playing Resident Evil VII here. She said the ambiance was better here than at her place on the mainland. She’d sit in here with her VR headset on and we lit this candle so that I guess she could smell the place she was in in the game. The best part was sneaking up behind her while she was playing and scaring the shit out of her though. I tapped her on the shoulder once and she threw her controller across the room and smashed one of Eliza’s vases!”

“I can imagine that she wasn’t very happy with you afterward,” Lena said knowingly.

“She didn’t see me for a second. I dived behind the sofa.”

“Of course you did,” Lena said fondly. “If you ever do that to me though while I’m working on some VR tech, I won’t be held responsible for whatever I throw at you!”

Kara laughed. “I value my life. Although Alex does have a gun.”

“I’m an expert markswoman,” Lena said casually, when Kara looked over at her. “I’m not just a businesswoman. I could most likely beat Alex in a shooting competition.”

“Now that is something I would love to see!” Kara crowed. “Let me get you another candle that doesn’t smell like some kind of death. Do you mind being here in the dark for a moment? I’ll take the flashlight and pick something nicer.”

Lena didn’t, so she went back to the lounge and searched the candle cupboard for something that smelled a little better. She pulled out a tall vanilla candle and a rose scented one, bringing them back into the kitchen for Lena to choose between.

Lena sniffed them both dubiously, before her expression cleared. “The rose one,” she said decisively. “It smells like one I have at home.”

Kara lit it and it was, indeed, much nicer than the Resident Evil candle, which Kara pushed far away from her.

Lena continued chopping up the salad ingredients, throwing things into the bowl when they were ready. She seasoned things as she went with whatever she could find in the cupboard. She found peri-peri salt in one of them and ground it all over the cucumber and tomatoes, mixing it in together. On the avocado, she ground a little salt and black pepper, before squeezing some juice from a lime over it, tossing that into the bowl as well. “This is going to be the weirdest salad ever,” Lena commented, fetching some strawberries and shrugging, chopping them up and putting black pepper on them too before throwing them into the bowl.

“Black pepper on strawberries?!” Kara said, aghast.

“You’re going to like it, don’t worry,” Lena said with confidence, mixing everything together with a huge spoon before separating it into two bowls. Next, she removed the skin from the chicken and sliced that as well, adding black pepper and a drop of soy sauce to the top of each slice. Putting the chicken on a separate plate, she put it all on the table and gestured at it. “Voilà,” she said. “Weird chicken salad.”

To her surprise, Kara did like it. The salty extras Lena had added to almost everything made the usually boring leaves, in Kara’s opinion, much tastier. Even the strawberries mixed with the black pepper and lime juice from the avocado tasted good, although she doubted it would be something she’d make at home. That being said, she thought as she chewed some lettuce, she’d probably eat anything that Lena prepared for her.

When they were finished, Kara dumped all their dishes into the sink, and Lena borrowed the flashlight, heading upstairs and coming back down with one of her work laptops.

“What’s that for?”

“It’s for us to watch a movie on,” Lena said, producing a USB thumb drive from her pocket. “I wasn’t expecting to actually watch any movies on my laptop while we were here, but it’s always in the bag for emergencies. I’m not exactly sure what’s on it.”

“I bet Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion isn’t one of them,” Kara muttered with a wry smile, picking up the candle from the counter, as well as a box of cookies.

Lena laughed and followed Kara into the lounge. Lena held the candle while Kara pulled the coffee table over to the sofa, and put the candle down on it along with the laptop. She sat down, sinking into the perfectly worn sofa cushion, and Lena sat down next to her, switching her laptop on and logging in with her fingertip. When it was loaded, she put the USB into it and waited for it to boot up.

To Kara’s surprise, none of the files she could see in the lists Lena clicked through were work-related. They seemed to mostly consist of folders of travel photos, music, tv shows, and movies. Lena answered Kara’s silent question. “I can’t save non-work-related things on my laptop for security purposes,” she said, opening a folder full of movies. “But every now and again, I just want to look at something more fun on my lunch break, when I remember to take one. Choose whatever you’d like.”

Kara picked the laptop up and set it on her lap, looking through the list of movies. “The Mummy, why am I not surprised?” Beside her, Lena laughed, leaning against her. “Cold Mountain, too sad. Star Wars, what looks like all of them, you’re such a geek. Ready Player One; I’ll read the book first. My Cousin Vinny… What’s that?”

Lena smiled mischievously. “You haven’t seen it?”

“Nope. It’s not a horror movie is it?”

“No, it isn’t. It’s a comedy, one of my favorites. Would you like to watch it?”

“Sure,” Kara said, putting the laptop back down and getting comfortable while Lena pressed play on the movie and leaning against Kara’s side, opening the box of cookies.

Not ten minutes into the movie, Kara was already loving it and laughing uproariously at the dialogue while Lena chuckled along, seeming to derive happiness out of Kara’s enjoyment of it. Kara lifted her arm up and Lena snuggled against her. They got comfortable, although Lena was constantly jostled by Kara laughing so hard she had to sit up to get herself under control. It was a very funny movie, and Kara couldn’t believe she’d never seen it before.

Halfway through it, she paused the movie and made them each a hot chocolate with a candy cane in it, and they sipped them happily as the movie continued.

When Vinny appeared in court in a purple suit, Kara was helpless. Rarely had a movie made her laugh quite this much. Although she would never have imagined Lena watching this before, looking across at her and seeing the wide, dimpled smile on her face now, Kara could see her turning this on after a particularly bad day at work. Lena was mouthing the words along with the movie, just as she did with the Mummy, and Kara wondered just how many movies Lena knew all the dialogue to.

When the movie was finished, Kara was wishing it was longer, and had already memorized some of the dialogue. Carrying the candle up to the bedroom, they quotes parts of the movie to each other like a couple of movie geeks, Kara starting to laugh again whenever something funny rolled through her mind. She was definitely going to recommend the movie to Alex, and she thought Maggie especially would love it.

In a show of domesticity, she and Lena did their teeth together at the bathroom sink. Whether it was residual humor from the movie or not, Kara didn’t know, but she kept getting the giggles while she was brushing her teeth, causing Lena to bump her in the hip with her own and roll her eyes at her.

Kara had never felt so comfortable with anyone else in her life as she did with Lena.

She left Lena to finish using the bathroom on her own before she used the guest room downstairs, making sure the garage door was locked before she came back upstairs.

The rain was still pelting the balcony doors and windows, the thunder loud. Lena came out of the bathroom just as a particularly large fork of lightning split the sky, making her jump.

“I haven’t seen such a prolonged storm in a long time,” Lena said, wandering up to the windows and looking out at it. Kara stood by the bed, trying to memorize the way Lena looked as she gazed out at the wild darkness outside. It was too late now, but she could definitely try to paint Lena into a storm painting at some point.

Judging by how much she loved the one that she’d already done, Kara knew that Lena would appreciate it.

“Do you want to close the blinds tonight, or leave them open?”

“Open,” Lena said, raising her voice over the thunder that rumbled overhead.

“I was hoping you’d say that,” Kara replied, and Lena smiled at her. “I love watching storms, when I can.”

“Me too,” Lena said, sitting on the edge of the bed. “Some of the windows in my apartment overlook Central Park. It’s the room where I like to do my reading, and whenever there’s a storm, I open the windows and sit in there, watching it happen. I don’t think there are many places in the city with such an unobstructed view of the sky, unless you’re very high up, and I use it to my best advantage.”

“If you ignore the telephone wires, the view from my apartment isn’t too horrible either,” Kara said, climbing into bed and trying to smother a large yawn. She took her glasses off, setting them on the nightstand, and blew the candle out.

“I believe you,” Lena replied, getting in beside Kara and curling up against her immediately, like she belonged there. With a jolt Kara thought, Lena did belong there, sharing the same space as her. “I’d like to visit your apartment again under… better circumstances. Maybe we could watch a storm together there,” Lena said, hope in her voice.

Kara’s heart warmed. “You can come over any time you like, storm or no storm,” she said, crooking a finger under Lena’s chin and tipping her face up for a kiss.

The kiss was tender, slow and open-mouthed, the barest hint of Lena’s tongue on her lips. It was the kind of kiss that made Kara want to smile, so she did, and soon enough, Lena was smiling too. Kara gave in to her desire to touch Lena’s dimples with her fingertips, hesitating only a moment before leaning over and pressing her lips to them instead. She pulled Lena against her and squeezed her gently, still hardly able to believe that she could do that any time she wanted.

Lena peppered Kara’s face with soft, lingering kisses, before kissing her once more on the lips and laying her head down in her favorite spot on Kara’s chest. Lena slipped a leg between Kara’s and one hand under her shirt, resting on her ribcage. “Sweet dreams,” Lena whispered.

“And to you. Goodnight Lena,” Kara replied, kissing her forehead before closing her eyes. It didn’t take long for the day to catch up to her, Lena’s quiet breathing soothing her, and she fell asleep with a smile on her face.