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When Kara woke up, the first thing she noticed was the silence. The storm was over, and the weak morning sunlight was just beginning to light the room. She was surprised that the sound of the rain and thunder hadn’t kept her awake during the night, but in some ways, she found storms quite relaxing.

And maybe… maybe it also had something to do with the woman she was sharing her bed with.

Kara was facing away from the window, and Lena was sprawled over her as if she was the coziest pillow ever made. Kara must’ve got hot in the night because she’d somehow lost her sleep shirt, and Lena was breathing softly into her shoulder blades, deeply and evenly. One of Lena’s hands was curled possessively across her side, her fingers were twitching slightly like they’d done before, as if she were playing the piano. Kara idly wondered whether Lena had ever played; she seemed to have the hands for it. She tried to make a mental note to ask her when they were both awake.

One of Lena’s legs was sandwiched between Kara’s, and although it wasn’t quite high enough to be pressing against her, she found that the thought of it was enough to make her want to flip over and wake Lena up. It had been far too many hours already since she’d last kissed her; Kara thought that Lena deserved a lot of kisses, for many different reasons, and she still couldn’t believe that she was the one that Lena wanted to share her kisses with.

Lena shifted in her sleep, the arm around her waist tightening a little before it slackened again, and Lena nuzzled into Kara’s back even more closely than she had been before. Her breathing was still the same, and Kara felt warm and safe, wrapped up in Lena’s arms.

It was still too early to get up, so Kara decided to let herself enjoy this peaceful, quiet moment. Slowly, so as not to wake Lena, she shifted a little, pulling Lena’s hand around to settle on her stomach and linking their fingers. Lena didn’t wake up, but she let out an adorably happy sounding mmm and sleepily pulled Kara against her. They were lying so close together that Kara doubted you could fit tooth floss between them. Lena’s leg was now firmly pressed up against Kara, and she suppressed a groan. Short of waking Lena up, there was nothing she could do about it.

Maybe it would bring her the best kind of dreams?

Grinning to herself, Kara turned her face into the pillow and closed her eyes. It didn’t take long before her breathing was as even as Lena’s.

 

* * * * *

 

When Kara next woke up, it was to someone gently shaking her shoulder. Kara yawned widely, blearily rubbed her eyes, and fumbled for her glasses on the nightstand. Lena’s smiling face came into view, and Kara peered sleepily up at her as she stood by the side of the bed, a mug between her hands.

“Good morning,” Lena said, bending forward to give Kara a brief kiss.

Kara hummed into it before, “oh, no fair, you’ve already brushed your teeth!”

Lena chuckled before she stood back up. “I did. I’ve actually been up for a while. Did you know that you talk in your sleep?”

“I do not!” Kara protested, her voice still hoarse from sleep.

“You do too,” Lena said fondly, reaching down to stroke Kara’s hair with one hand. “I definitely shouldn’t tell you any secrets.”

“Oh yeah? I’m usually pretty good at keeping secrets, unless they’re my own. What did I say?” Kara asked, letting out a throaty groan as Lena scratched gently along her scalp. It just felt so good

To her surprise, Lena flushed a little, although whether it was from what Kara had said while asleep or from the sound Kara had just made, she wasn’t sure. “Let’s just say that you said something very… nice, about my- about my tongue.”

Oh,” Kara said. From her words, then. It seemed that having Lena’s thigh wedged between her own legs had made a difference to her dreams after all. So much, in fact, that she’d apparently talked to Lena about it in her sleep. “Well, as I recall, you do have a very talented tongue,” she husked, watching with delight as Lena’s blush deepened.

“I’m very glad you think so,” Lena replied, her voice a little shy, but Kara could tell she was pleased from the way her eyes were crinkling at the corners.

Kara smiled so widely that her cheeks hurt. Lena’s bashfulness made her feel kind of giddy because she knew she was one of the few people who got to witness it. “I definitely think so,” she said, reaching up and resting a hand on Lena’s hip. “If I had brushed my teeth, I would kiss you right now and remind you how much I love doing that.”

Lena looked down, red-faced, into the mug she had in her hands, before holding it out to Kara. “I made this for you,” she said. “And, for the record,” she added in a much quieter voice that was full of sincerity, “I love kissing you too.”

Kara took the mug off Lena, her heart warming at what was in it; Lena had made her a hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream, and put a candy cane in it. It was just the way that Kara loved it best, and for some reason the knowledge that Lena had taken notice of that made her feel like her breath was hard to find.

She set it carefully on the nightstand and swung her legs out of bed, not missing the way Lena’s eyes widened at the fact she wasn’t wearing anything on top. “Give me just a minute?”

Lena nodded, climbing into Kara’s side of the bed and immediately wrapping herself up in the blankets, her eyes peeking over the top. “Don’t be long,” she said, her voice muffled.

As requested, Kara didn’t take long in the bathroom. She brushed her teeth, finger-combed her hair, and made herself as presentable as she could in her old pajama bottoms and no shirt. But then, she reminded herself, she had certainly been less than presentable the evening before, since she’d been wearing nothing at all, and Lena had not seemed to mind one bit.

The knowledge and memory of that gave Kara a boost of confidence. She put a little swagger into her walk on her way back over to the bed; Lena looked up and coughed slightly into her own hot chocolate as she watched her approach over the rim of her mug. Kara made sure to maintain eye contact with Lena while she crawled across the top of the blankets towards her. When she reached her, she took the mug out of her hands and plucked her reading glasses off, leaving them both on Lena’s nightstand, and gave Lena a searing kiss. It was one that had Lena cupping her hands around the back of Kara’s neck and pulling her closer, and Kara leaned into it, tasting chocolate on Lena’s tongue.

“What was that for?” Lena asked breathlessly when Kara pulled back, wiping the corner of her mouth with the pad of her thumb and smiling.

“For being you,” Kara said, passing Lena’s glasses back. She propped herself up against the pillows, pulled the blankets up over herself, and reached over for her mug. “Plus, you brought me a hot chocolate just the way I love it, and I think that deserves some extra appreciation.”

She scooped some of the cream out with the candy cane and ate it. “This doesn’t take like the cream from the can…” she said, looking down at it. It looked much thicker than usual, and she looked over at Lena in question.

Lena hummed as she took a sip out of her own mug. “I whipped the cream.”

“What, yourself?” Kara asked, scooping more of it up.

“It tastes better that way,” she stated, but then she looked a little more hesitant. “Do you like it?”

“Yeah!” Kara confirmed, gleefully taking another mouthful of the cream and groaning in bliss.

Lena gave her a dimpled smile. “I’ll keep that in mind for the future,” she said, leaning over to kiss Kara on the cheek, then shuffling over so that they were sitting next to each other. Kara hadn’t noticed, but Lena had Gone With the Wind open on her lap, and once she was settled, Lena picked the book back up, resting it against her knees.

Kara watched her for a moment, then tried some of the hot chocolate. It was dark, rich and creamy, and almost sinful in how good it tasted. It was the liquid equivalent of a hug from a lover, and made Kara feel almost as good. With a jolt of humor, she thought that thanks to the candy cane, the fact that she had just brushed her teeth didn’t make her hot chocolate taste weirdly of toothpaste.

This was nice, Kara thought. She glanced over at Lena with her glasses perched on her nose, her pajamas wrinkled and soft-looking, reading a book in bed. She looked more comfortable than anyone had any right to be, considering that she’d only spent a few nights sleeping in this bed, and a wave of longing crashed over Kara. She wanted mornings like this with Lena, both of them happy enough to not need to talk, content just to be next to each other. In some way, she wanted to tell Lena that, without actually saying it. And just because she didn’t feel the need to talk, didn’t mean that she didn’t want to touch her so much that her fingers almost ached with it.

With one hand, she brushed some of Lena’s hair behind her ear, before stroking her fingers down Lena’s jaw and across her lips. Gently, she traced her eyebrow, sighing when Lena’s eyes fluttered closed at the tender attention. She trailed a fingertip down Lena’s nose, bopping the end of it playfully and laughing when Lena opened her eyes only to narrow them at Kara in mock annoyance. When Kara stroked her lips again, though, they parted slightly beneath her touch, and gradually, Lena closed the distance between them.

The way that Lena kissed her then, slowly and quietly, was without a doubt a kiss that Kara would hold in her memory forever. It was soft, full of a simmering heat, Lena’s fingers curling almost possessively under her chin. Lena was kissing her not because she wanted to push it further; she kissed her just because she wanted to, and Kara surrendered to Lena’s gentle theft of her heart.

When they parted, Kara could feel Lena’s breath touching her lips, and she leaned their foreheads together. Lena pressed her warm lips against Kara’s once more before she pulled back. Her expression was shy, and there was something fleeting in her expression that Kara couldn’t place. It was almost as if Lena was willing Kara to understand something, but when she didn’t, too lost in the way Lena’s eyes looked like galaxies when they were thoughtful like this, Lena didn’t look disappointed or hurt, she just looked fond. She stroked Kara’s cheek with her fingertips, before she cuddled up against her, sighing when Kara wrapped her arm around her waist and pulled her closer.

Kara was lucky that she hadn’t tipped her hot chocolate all over the sheets thanks to the purely distracting nature of Lena’s heartfelt kiss. Having Lena snuggled up against her now was all kinds of wonderful, and she was determined to remember every moment of it and keep it close to her heart.

“This makes me happy,” Lena murmured, kissing the underside of Kara’s jaw before picking her book back up again. “Being here with you like this. It makes me happy,” she continued, glancing back up at Kara before back down at the pages of her book and finding where she’d left off. Kara squeezed her gently, letting her know that she’d heard her, before she settled against the pillow and finished her hot chocolate.

Kara contentedly scrolled through her phone, playing a game one handed while she listened to the birds outside and the rustle of pages next to her. Lena read very quickly, if the speed at which she was turning the pages was anything to go by. Kara wondered how many books Lena got through a year, or even if she ever had time to read fiction books, what with all the work she had to do.

“Hey, Lena?” she asked, waiting until Lena made a small hum of acknowledgement when she finished the sentence she was on. “How many books do you read in a year?”

Lena closed the book around her finger and looked into the middle distance. “Not as many as I’d like. Work keeps me busy, and you noticed that I often forget to even have lunch at CatCo, never mind taking an actual lunch break.”

“You need to take better care of yourself,” Kara chastised her, no heat in it at all.

“I know,” Lena replied. “When I go to my cabin up near Salem, I read there. It’s peaceful, and when it’s cold out, I just pile blankets around me and sit outside, reading, as long as I can before I freeze to death. There’s just something about reading outside surrounded by the snow, breathing in the fresh air, that’s just sort of… perfect, you know?”

“I’ve never done that, actually,” Kara admitted.

“Well if you wanted- if you’d like to visit my cabin,” Lena began, before clearing her throat and looking up at her, “you’re certainly welcome to. But I’m still not letting you drive my car.”

Kara let out a laugh at that, pretending to be offended and pressing a hand over her heart. Lena smiled indulgently and folded her arms over her chest, not minding at all that she’d lost her page in her book.

“Not even a short test drive?” Kara wheedled.

“After hearing what you’ve done while behind the wheel of a car, you’re not even going to be allowed to turn the key,” Lena said, struggling to keep a stern look on her face even while her mouth was twitching with laughter.  

“Don’t you trust me?”

“I do. Just not with my car,” Lena replied with a mildly derisive snort.

Kara lifted the side of Lena’s shirt and tickled her just in the right place, causing Lena to splutter with laughter and squirm away from her and out of bed. “Hey!

“You’re no fun.”

“I’m lots of fun,” Lena protested, standing with her hands on her hips at the side of the bed, looking down at Kara who was now sprawled across it.

Kara scooted over to the edge of the bed until Lena was standing between her legs. Carefully, Kara planted her feet next to Lena’s, and then slowly stood up, making sure to slide her body against Lena’s every inch of the way, until her hands were in Lena’s hair and wide green eyes were locked on blue as Lena gazed up at her. “I take it back,” Kara whispered, ghosting a kiss on Lena’s cheek. “You’re fun in every way I never expected, and then some. And I’d love nothing better than to stay in here with you all day and have one very specific type of fun, we do actually have quite a lot to do today.”

Lena huffed when she realised Kara was right, and stepped away from her. “If you want us to get anything done, you need to put some kind of shirt on, otherwise I’ll not be responsible for my actions,” she rasped, causing Kara’s stomach to clench at the sound of her voice. She flicked a finger around Kara’s bare torso.

“See something you like?” Kara said, echoing Lena’s words to her from the day before.

“Yes,” Lena said simply, biting her bottom lip and not hiding the desire in her eyes when she let her eyes travel down Kara’s body and back up to her face. “Very much so.”

Electricity crackled between them, and Kara took half a step towards Lena, who held up a hand. “You said we have a lot to do,” she said, pointing a finger at Kara.

“That’s true…” Kara said, allowing a whine into her voice. She saw Lena’s already wavering determination falter even further, and she took another step towards her. Lena walked straight into her arms, ducking her head under Kara’s chin and scratching her nails down Kara’s back, causing her to groan into Lena’s hair.

Quick as lightning, Lena twisted out of Kara’s embrace. “You need to get dressed,” she said, her voice heavy and her eyes dark. “We have tonight,” she added, punctuating her words with a cocky raise of her eyebrow.

Kara laughed, even though there was an insistent throbbing between her legs that called for Lena’s attention. “Alright.” She looked around the room for her bra, finding it on the back of the chair, and pulling it on. “Better?”

“…vaguely,” Lena said, trying and failing to keep her eyes on Kara’s face. Knowing that Lena wanted Kara as much as she wanted Lena was a really, really good feeling, and Kara wanted nothing more than to ignore the obligations they had this morning and let them both give in to what they obviously wanted. Kara could tell Lena was struggling with it as well from the way she stepped from foot to foot while looking at Kara.

“We’ll have tonight,” Kara promised.

Lena nodded, a soft smile on her face. “What do we have to do today?” she asked, watching as Kara pulled yet another hoodie out of the closet and yanked it over her head.

“I have to get Streaky back into the water for a start,” Kara said. “Because of the storm yesterday, I didn’t rinse her hull off like I should’ve, so the best thing for me to do is to get her back into the water as soon as possible. After that, we have to check around the house for any storm damage, downed trees in the woods, things like that. Make sure there’s no smashed windows, check on the treehouse. I should really check the fridges as well-”

“Oh,” Lena interrupted. “I checked them already. I think the power came back on not long after we fell asleep, because the electric clock on the lounge wall is only a couple of hours behind what it should be.”

“Eliza made that clock in the lab,” Kara said, thinking of it, “specifically so that she would always know how long the fridges in the lab had been off after a power cut until the generator cut back in. It was so she could factor in that loss into any sensitive experiments. It worked so well that she brought one home, so that if our fridge and freezer had been off in a power cut should it happen overnight, we could check our stuff. I’m still not exactly sure how she made it, but it’s always been very helpful.”

Lena looked impressed. “I should ask her to make me one for my cabin,” she said thoughtfully.

Kara laughed. “I’m sure she’d do it for you. She likes you.”

Lena’s cheeks flushed. “Do you think so?” she asked in a hopeful voice.

“I know so,” Kara replied.

Lena looked both happy and relieved. “It’s been a long time since I’ve met the family of someone I’m da- since someone’s family has liked me at all, to be honest. As we’ve discussed, I haven’t really been able to date much, and after Lex… well, it’s been a long time. And as unconventional as this has been, the fact that Eliza likes me… that means a great deal to me.”

Kara held a hand out to Lena, who took it, and she rubbed her thumb over the back of it. “She does like you. Alex does too. Everyone who’s met you has liked you. You’ve defied the terrible reputation I gave you that I still feel awful about,” she said, kissing Lena when she looked like she was about to protest and say something silly like I deserved it, “and they all love you. And I- I still can’t believe that I’m lucky enough that you seem to genuinely like me, too.”

Lena regarded her for a moment, before she smiled. “Aren’t we a pair of saps?”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

After that, both of them finished getting dressed. Lena pulled on a pair of sweatpants, before rooting through her shirts to find something to wear. She seemed to have a never-ending supply of terrible science pun shirts; today’s was a dark blue one that complimented her eyes nicely and had a picture of a robot posing. The caption said, if a robot does the robot, is it just dancing? Kara let out an undignified snort at that one. “You are actually the geekiest person I know, and I’ve known Winn for a long time.”

Lena looked pleased, and preened a little at the compliment. “I have always been a geek,” she said proudly.

“I should put you two in front of a Star Wars marathon and see which one of you out-geeks the other.”

“Now that sounds like a challenge I’d be glad to win,” Lena said, and Kara smirked at how clearly she could hear the competition in Lena’s voice.

Kara handed Lena a thick hoodie for her to wear. The storm had definitely passed, but a quick glance out of the window told her that the warm weather they’d been experiencing was definitely over now. Lena pulled it on gratefully, and once they were both ready, they linked fingers and headed downstairs. In the garage, Kara inspected her rain boots and found that they’d luckily dried overnight. They both pulled their respective boots on, and Lena stepped through the door and onto the lawn. Immediately, she shivered.

“Damn,” she said, wrapping her arms around herself.

The air was much colder, the muggy warmth having been swept away by the storm. It was much fresher, and Kara could smell the salt in the air as the breeze tossed her hair around her head. Lena had sensibly tied her hair up in a messy bun, but Kara had no such forethought. She shoved it roughly down the back of her hoodie and pulled the hood up, pulling on the strings to tighten it, and ignoring the amused looks Lena was shooting her direction.

There were few trees on the Danvers’ lawn, and luckily, none of them had fallen over in the storm. Kara could see one bollard on the pier had broken, but it had been on its way out for a while, and Kara had just never had time to repair it. That would be a job for future Kara; at least the storm hadn’t taken the whole pier out. They squelched across the soggy lawn, puddles sitting in the flatter areas; the water table had risen overnight, but hopefully it would lower quickly.

The boathouse was completely unharmed by the storm. Kara unlocked the boathouse door, satisfied at how well their paint had held up in the storm; it had been a baptism of fire for it, and it had held up very well. Lena was a good painter, it seemed, and more than ever, Kara wanted her to come back for Midvale’s Big Paint in the summer. She could just see Lena, a scarf wrapped around her hair, wearing paint-covered overalls and laughing at something stupid while halfway up a ladder Kara was steadying for her.

Smiling at the image in her head, Kara pressed the button to open the larger boathouse door, grateful when it opened without any issues.

Thankfully, getting a boat into water was much easier than getting one out of it in a hurry. “So what’s going to happen,” Kara said, catching Lena’s attention, “is essentially the same as we did yesterday, but in reverse. One of us needs to let the winch go, and the other direct the trailer with the boat into the water. I’ll do that, because I’m more used to it. Once it gets to the right depth, I’ll tell you to stop. I’ll get into the boat, and you’ll unlash the winch strap when I tell you to. I’ll basically just have to reverse the boat backwards. You can give it a little push if it’s not going anywhere fast.”

“Alright,” Lena said, moving around the boat to where the top of the winch was. Kara showed her how to operate it, and in no time, Kara was walking the boat down the slipway. She’d done it so often that it was second nature, and really all she was doing was keeping a hand on the hull as it made its way slowly towards the water. Once the trailer and the back of the boat hit the water, Kara shouted for Lena to slow down a little on the winch. Kara watched until the back of the boat started to float satisfactorily, and she waved at Lena to stop. Kara made her way up onto the pier, judging the distance carefully before she took half stride, half leap into the deck of the boat.

She landed sure-footed, and checked to see that the back of the boat was, indeed, floating the way she needed it to. It was important that the propeller wasn’t anywhere near the slipway, and she was sure it wasn’t. She started the engine of the boat, relieved despite herself when there weren’t any jarring noises from the back.

“You can unlash it now,” she said to Lena, who had come down the slipway and was standing with her boots in the water. Lena unlashed the winch strap from the boat, and Streaky floated cleanly backwards into the water with no issues at all. Kara let out a little cheer and out of the corner of her eye, saw Lena throw her arms up in victory on the slipway. She’s so cute, her mind tossed at her, and she agreed with herself as she threw the mooring ropes around one of the undamaged bollards. Once the boat was moored, Kara turned the engine off and climbed back out onto the pier, winding the winch back up and locking the boathouse up tightly again.

“Good job, chief mate,” she said to Lena with a salute, whose surprised laughter seemed to spill out of her, uninhibited and lovely.

“That’s a title I never thought I’d have, considering my love of the open water,” she said, smiling in a proud sort of way when she got her breath back. Kara wrapped her arm around her shoulders, Lena winding one around Kara’s waist, and they made their way back up to and around the house.

It was a good time to check whether there were any fallen trees near the house. Kara always did a check after a big storm, because fallen trees could be a safety issue if they were on any of the paths through the woods. If they fell within the woods themselves, often the people who lived on the island would chop it up for additional firewood, or for crafts if the wood was good quality.

As they rounded the house, Kara could see that the treehouse was undamaged, and none of the windows were broken either in the treehouse or on their actual house, which was another relief. A lot of the wildflowers hadn’t been so lucky. The colorful petals that had greeted them previously had all been blown who knew where, and the woods seemed far more bleak without them there. There were several downed trees, mostly the smaller, younger ones, and Lena was silent as she looked around the woods as they walked, taking in the signs of destruction that the storm had wrought.

“We’re so removed from certain parts of nature in New York,” she said, before she shook her head. “I know we’re at risk from the sea. Hurricane Sandy was absolutely horrific. I was in my late teens when that happened; Lex and I helped with recovery efforts in Brooklyn and the devastation we saw there was just… beyond words. In fact the street you live on was one where I… I thought about it, after I left your apartment. I know you love it there, but I think now I’ll… worry.”

There wasn’t much she could say to assuage Lena’s worry; acts of nature were nothing that people could one hundred percent prepare themselves for, so she just squeezed Lena’s hand to let her know that she’d heard her. Growing up here, though, surrounded by nature, Kara knew that it always found a way to repair itself. The wildflowers would be back within a few days with new buds, the fallen trees would be made into something else or left to form new habitats for the species that lived nearby. It might feel more dreary now, with the breeze cold on their faces and the lack of any colors but brown and green, the stumps of the fallen trees jagged and sharp, but it would be back to normal very soon; Kara took heart in that. She made a mental note to ask Eliza to take some photos for them so that she could show Lena once it was all back to normal.

In the meantime, she allowed herself to enjoy their slow walk around their part of the woods. Who knew how often they’d be able to have mornings like this, walking hand in hand, in any kind of woods once they were back in New York? For one, the only real large patch of trees was the North Woods. The rest of the city was just forests made of buildings, and even where there were parks, they were always full of people. No, Kara liked the quietness and the privacy here on the island, being able to hear the fresh breeze blowing through the trees and not a single car horn being pressed in rage.

And then something Lena had said earlier floated back through her mind.

“Your cabin near Salem,” she said, glancing over at Lena. “Do you go for walks there?”

“All the time,” Lena replied, looking a little pensive. “I don’t get to go out there as often as I’d like to, thanks to work. And I’m a little worried about what’ll happen to it if the interview doesn’t go well. My apartment would be easy to give up, it’s just a shell where I spend time I have to. I wouldn’t miss it, except for the view. But my cabin is where I go to live, you know? I’d have to hire someone to look after it for me.” Her voice was sad, and Kara stopped them both on the path, tugged her closer, putting her arm around her shoulders again to comfort her. Lena leaned into the touch. “I bought it after everything went to hell with Lex, so that I could have somewhere to just escape, be away from everyone. It was a good decision, in the end. I spent quite a lot of time there until the trial, like some hermit in the woods, and then I had to come back to run LuthorCorp. L-Corp, now. But I try to get up there every chance I get.”

“You don’t go too often,” Kara stated, knowing that she didn’t. Kara was the one who organised Lena’s calendar after all. She knew that Lena took a disturbingly low amount of personal time off, and until this week, she’d never really thought about what it was that Lena might actually do with her time.

“That’s true,” Lena replied, standing back from Kara and folding her arms over her chest. Her eyes were faraway. “Sometimes, late on a Friday, if the week has just been too much, I’ll have had enough of the city and just need to get away. I take the city car I have and drive the four or whatever hours to get there, through the dark. I take my work with me, those times. If I’ve planned the trip in advance, I’ll take the train and no work with me. It’s a several hour trip, and I just read and catch up on whatever book or books I’m reading at the time. I spent Thanksgiving there, and it was very… peaceful. I can take long walks and admire the trees; I learnt all their names, and the names of the native flowers. If I need to, I can go into town. There’s a café there that does the best waffles, I’m sure you’d love them. Perhaps, if everything goes well with the interview, and we… if you still want to be with- if we make a trip up there, maybe I could take you there,” she finished, hope in her voice. “We’ll see if you can actually finish one of them, because goodness knows, I can’t. They’re too large.”

It was the second time this morning that Lena had mentioned them both visiting her cabin. “I’ve never met a waffle I couldn’t finish,” Kara joked. Lena’s face fell a little at Kara’s response, though, and as she looked at her, Lena’s eyes slid away from Kara’s to look around the woods instead. She was still smiling, but the smile was tight, and something in it told Kara that Lena was, at the very least, a little bit upset.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” she asked immediately, not wanting the sad expression that was lodging itself on Lena’s face to stay any longer than it had to.

“It’s just-” Lena started, before blowing out a huge breath. “It’s just that I know our situation means that we can’t really make plans with each other beyond Monday.” When her eyes met Kara’s again, they were intent. The breeze blew wisps of hair around her face that had worked themselves loose from her bun, and Kara wanted to reach forward and push them back behind her ears. Before she could, though, Lena had brushed them off her face herself with jerky, frustrated movements. “It’s like Monday is some sort of barrier that I can’t see beyond, do you know what I mean?”

Kara did, absolutely. It was like a malevolent sort of fog that she couldn’t see though. “Yes. I know what you mean, and I feel the same about it.”

“I’m going to be bluntly honest,” Lena said, a humorless laugh escaping her lips. “I haven’t been afraid to be vulnerable with you. Until this week, I’ve been lonely, you know that. I’ve been alone out of some kind of masochistic sense of self-preservation, but for the first time in a long time, I’ve… I’ve let someone in. And I trust you, implicitly. I don’t need to tell you that that really doesn’t happen very often.”

Kara thought of the way that Lena had laid herself bare before her; emotionally, physically, and mentally. For someone so rigidly private, Lena was certainly happy to share herself with Kara now.

“I love the time that I’m getting to spend with you,” Lena continued, “but it feels like there are some devils on my shoulders whispering to me about how I’m going to ruin your life, about how we could fail on Monday… about, and I know that I shouldn’t feel this, but I’ve struggled so long with my last name being a barrier to any kind of relationship that it’s almost hard for me to believe that we really have this,” she said quietly, trailing her fingers slowly across Kara’s shoulders, “that you’re real. That what we share together isn’t just some elaborate fantasy that I created and that I’ve been holding onto. Which is ridiculous,” Lena said with a scoff. “I guess there’s this little voice in my head that’s telling me I don’t deserve you.”

Kara leaned against the side of the house, pulling Lena against her. “It isn’t an elaborate fantasy,” she said. “And what we have is real, I can’t say that enough. I may not have expected it, especially given how things were between us before we arrived here, but what I feel for you is real. You deserve happiness. And I don’t want this week to be the only week that I get to spend with you.”

“Me neither,” Lena said, and finally, her smile relaxed into something much more genuine. “You make me happy. I wish that the circumstances were different, that I could’ve taken you out properly. Taken you on dates, like you deserved. Got to know you organically instead of it being forced like this. But fate wasn’t on my side.”

“Would we have got to know each other, if not for this?” Kara wondered out loud.

“I wanted to,” Lena said quickly, then bit her lip as if she hadn’t meant to say it. Kara looked at her in surprise, and Lena blushed, shrugging her shoulders. “But you didn’t even realize that the flowers on your desk were from me, or that the treats in the break rooms were always your favorites, or that the gala invites weren’t work-related.”

Kara’s mind flew back to the conversation that they’d had with her family the first night they’d arrived. How Kara herself had joked that Lena had been confused why Kara had shown up to the galas that Lena had invited her to and had worked instead of dancing with her. Kara spluttered wordlessly as she realized that Lena had apparently liked her a lot longer than she’d thought she had. “You- you really asked me to those for… not for work reasons?”

Lena let out a thoughtful hmm as she looked at Kara, wrapping her arms around her waist. “Yes. I suppose I was too subtle whenever I asked, but maybe it was a way of testing the waters to see if you were interested, but… no. I wanted to dance with you,” she said, simply.

Kara mentally kicked herself. “And the trip to Paris?”

Lena was silent for a moment, as if she were embarrassed at her own intentions. “I’d overheard you talking to Nia about how much you love art. And being here, I can see just how good you are at it. I thought you would’ve liked to have gone to the art museums there. There are some beautiful ones, and I know several of the owners. We could’ve gone at night, taken our time, and looked at anything you wanted. And I thought that… I did have to go for work, but it would’ve only been in the day. And it’s stupid, stupid really, because we weren’t friends and I shot down the only personal conversation you tried to have with me, but I thought that you might’ve gone with me, anyway. And… talked to me outside of work.” She huffed out a breath and looked up at Kara with frustrated eyes, but Kara could tell the frustration was directed internally, rather than at Kara.

“I just wanted to get to know you. But over in New York, where my… where I was the way I was at work, I can see why you didn’t… well, anyway. When you told me at the start of the week what you thought of me, I won’t lie, I was hurt; I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t deserve it because I did, but it hurt nevertheless. I’m only human on the inside, after all, and I’m not very good at personal relationships. I didn’t know how to talk to you, and my subtlety went right over your head. It’s probably for the best, actually,” she said with a small self-conscious laugh that hurt Kara’s heart, “because otherwise everyone at CatCo would’ve noticed how their horrible boss was pining pathetically over her assistant, who never noticed her the way she wanted to be. It would’ve given them one more reason to laugh at me.”

“Lena, no,” Kara said, but apparently Lena wasn’t done.

“And plus,” she continued, picking at a loose thread on Kara’s hoodie and not meeting her eyes, “I wasn’t out. Although… this week has changed the way I think about a lot of things. Being removed from L-Corp and CatCo has given me a new perspective on the way that I run my own life. And knowing what I know now, how we feel about each other, I would’ve done things differently. I would’ve… tried harder.”

Now it was Kara’s turn to be silent. This was… a lot. What Lena had said was a lot, and Kara knew that her surprise was clearly written all over her face. It wasn’t often that Kara was truly stuck for words, but this was definitely one of those times.

Lena had liked her all this time. Lena had legitimately liked her all this time. It was with another jolt of realization that Kara thought back on their cover story of Lena having hidden feelings for Kara; apparently, there was more than a grain of truth in it. And Kara only had herself to blame for not noticing that Lena had been trying, in her own subtle and constrained way, to get her attention. It said a lot about Lena that she had been protecting her own heart with one hand while making too-subtle overtures with the other, and it made Kara feel terrible that she just… hadn’t noticed. Maybe she just hadn’t wanted to see? Had she been too blinded by Lena’s reputation to not see the woman in front of her? Had Lena’s professional mask just been too good, too tightly held, for Kara to see through it?

Kara dipped her head and kissed Lena, wrapping one arm around her lower back and the other around her shoulders. She felt Lena sigh against her, lips parted enough for Kara take the invitation she was given. Warmth rushed through Kara as Lena kissed her with as much need as she felt herself. Lena’s hand came up between them to grip the front of Kara’s hoodie, the other at the small of her back, pulling her closer. They leaned there against the house, letting their kisses say everything they couldn’t.

“I liked you too, you know,” Kara breathed against Lena’s lips. Green eyes opened and looked up at her, surprised but hopeful. “I admired you so much. I was always so impressed by you and the way that you’re just some force of nature,” she said, slipping her hands underneath Lena’s shirt to rest on the bare skin of her waist. “I thought you were beautiful in an untouchable sort of way. But knowing you now, you’re even more lovely like this. But… I’ve been nursing a crush on you since the very first day we met.”

“What?” Lena whispered, her voice hoarse.

“Yeah,” Kara sighed, kissing Lena once more. “Ever since we got here, I’ve been trying to keep my crush under wraps, because I was so sure somehow that you didn’t feel the same. I’ve been- it was so hard not to say something. I always thought you were so intelligent, so brave, so impressive. And getting to know you here has only made me like you even more. My crush got so wildly out of control that every kiss we shared, I wished was real. Every soft smile you sent my way made me melt. It’s ridiculous how much I like you. And… maybe you’re right and your hints were too subtle, but… and I know how stupid this whole situation is, but I got you out of it. And I want you so much, Lena, in every way, and now that I know what it’s like to be with you, I don’t ever want to be without you. And it was really weird to hope that something would happen between us, to hope that you felt the same, but at the same time be terrified that you did because… because I didn’t want to lose you if Monday went to hell.”

Lena leaned her forehead against Kara’s for a moment, before she let her back fall against the wall of the house with a thud. “Being with you is what I want, but this situation… if it goes badly, I-”

“We’ll deal with it when it comes, okay? There’s nothing we can do about it until then. We still have several days to learn even more about each other. I know today is going to be busy, but we have tomorrow, and the day after, and the whole flight back on Sunday. And I think we know each other pretty well now, right?”

“Right,” Lena conceded, sounding as sad as Kara felt about the fact that their trip was coming to an end. And then she smiled. “How many closets do I have?”

“Too many,” Kara said in a deadpan manner, and Lena burst out laughing. Kara swallowed it with another kiss, feeling the laughter still in the shape of Lena’s lips, before she pulled her against herself in a tight hug.

“It’s you and me,” Lena said, her voice muffled against Kara’s hoodie.

“Yeah,” Kara said, swaying Lena gently from side to side. “It’s you and me.”

Kara felt her phone buzz in her pocket, and pulled it out to look at it. It was hard to concentrate on the screen when Lena was pressing soft kisses against her cheek and along her jaw, but when it buzzed a second time, she sighed and looked at it. It was Alex, reminding them that they would be arriving in a few hours for the little get-together they were having that evening for the anniversary of Kara’s adoption.

“Oh wow, it’s late,” Kara burst out when she saw that it was just after midday. Kara didn’t want to move from this spot, but reluctantly, she stepped back onto the path. “I had no idea the time had gone so quickly. I must’ve been really tired, huh?”

“Tired you out, did I?” Lena said with a wink and a sly smile.

“Oh damn, you’ve been flirting with me the whole time we’ve been here and it was killing me!” Kara exclaimed loudly, and next to her, Lena burst out laughing, an unrestrained and lovely sound that filled Kara’s heart to bursting.

“Well, I have to admit that I indulged myself a little,” Lena said between breathy laughs, opening the garage door for Kara to walk through.

“A little, she says,” Kara replied, kicking her rain boots off and putting them on the stand. “A little.”

“If it was going to be the only chance I got to flirt with you before being deported all the way to Ireland then I was definitely going to have a good try!”

They were still laughing when they came across Eliza in the kitchen, who smiled fondly at both of them.

“You’re both very happy today,” she commented, putting the kettle on. “Would either of you like something to drink?”

“Hot chocolate please,” Kara and Lena both chorused, sending them into fits of giggles once more. Eliza rolled her eyes at both of them before setting about making their drinks.

“Oh to be young and in love,” she said quietly to herself.

Kara’s rumbling stomach interrupted them, and Lena patted it before getting up, making her way over to the cupboard to pull out pancake ingredients once more, to the delight of Kara.

“Eliza, would you like some?”

“Yes please, Lena, if you don’t mind? Carole didn’t have much in the way of food over there.”

“Oh? How was Carole?” Kara asked, taking a sip from the glass of orange juice that Lena set down in front of her with a gentle brush of her fingers along the back of her hand.

Lena chopped fruit before beginning to expertly cook pancakes on the stove while Kara and Eliza discussed Carole and the state that her property was in. She hadn’t been too badly hit, and that morning, they’d both called around the other residents on the island, checking up on them and making sure that there was nothing needing doing. Apparently, including the trees that Kara and Lena had spotted, there were nine trees downed on the island that were going to need chopping up.

“We’ll have to send Alex around with the chainsaw again,” Kara said, remembering the last time they’d had a storm this large.

“Alex and a chainsaw?” Lena replied from the stove, turning around with two teetering stacks of pancakes in her hands, putting one each in front of Kara and Eliza.

Kara groaned at the sight of them, reaching for the bottle of maple syrup that Lena was holding out to her from the fridge.

“These look wonderful, Lena dear, thank you,” Eliza said, giving Lena a warm smile as Lena set down the bowl of chopped fruit on the table as well.

“You’re welcome,” Lena replied. “I love to cook. It’s actually one of my favorite things to do. It’s kind of like messy science, in a way. Put raw materials together in certain ways, add heat, hope things don’t explode, and see what happens!”

Kara choked with laughter around a mouthful of fluffy pancakes and Eliza chuckled across the table.

“W-what’s the worst cooking disaster you’ve ever had?” Kara asked, once she’d swallowed.

Lena hummed thoughtfully while she poured more pancake batter into the pan. “Well, it wasn’t exactly all my fault, but once I made a pizza from scratch. I made the dough myself, cut the tomatoes and other vegetables out of my garden. Aside from the cheese, I’d done it all myself. I made the most wonderful-looking pizza, and I asked my friend Sam’s daughter Ruby to put it in the oven for me while I went to check on something else. I came back ten or so minutes later to take it out of the oven to find that she hadn’t put it on a tray, so the entire thing had fallen in pieces through the racks, only to cook on the bottom of the oven.”

“Oh no,” Kara said, her hand over her mouth.

“Oh yes,” Lena replied in a mournful tone. “All that hard work, and only the oven enjoyed it. We had to order in, in the end. I didn’t have enough patience to make a second pizza.”

“I wouldn’t have either,” Eliza commented, adding more strawberries to her pancakes.

“That wasn’t as bad as the time I got hungry after one very long day at L-Corp. I got home, kicked my heels off, and put fries and chicken kievs in the oven. I promptly fell asleep on the sofa and woke up the next day with a bad back and the blackest food I’ve ever seen in my oven. It took weeks to get the smell of burnt garlic out of the furniture.”

Eliza winced while Kara tapped her lip with her fork. “What does burnt garlic smell like?”

Lena chuckled as she slid a small stack of fluffy pancakes onto her own plate, taking care to turn the stove off before sitting down. “We aren’t burning some just so that you can smell it. Trust me, you really don’t want to.”

“And I don’t want to be sitting here with all the doors and windows open for the next week to air the place out,” Eliza said, pointing a finger at Kara, who held her hands up in surrender.

“It doesn’t smell as bad as that candle from last night though,” Lena said, raising her eyebrows as she spread slices of banana between the pancakes, adding a little maple syrup and topping it off with whipped cream.

“The Resident Evil one?” Eliza asked with a feigned shudder.

“That’s the one.”

“Hey, it’s not that bad-” Kara started, before being silenced by a look from the other two women. “Fine.”

The three of them sat around at the kitchen table, discussing the storm, the cleanup, and other cooking disasters that they’d had in the past. Eliza and Lena also shared stories about various explosions they’d caused in their labs over the years, some accidental, some not, if Lena’s evil little smirk was anything to go by. Kara could just imagine Lena in her white coat and goggles, adding too much of one chemical to a test tube and then retreating behind a shield to watch it go up in flames, cackling maniacally. The fact that she could imagine it at all was a testament to just how drastically her opinion of Lena had changed in the last few days, and she gave Lena a fond smile over the table.

It wasn’t too long before Eliza was standing up and collecting their plates, explaining that she had to take her boat into Midvale to bring back Alex, Maggie, J’onn, and M’gann for their little party later.

“Oh,” Lena exclaimed, standing up as well with a frown on her face. “I still have to make the buttercream for the cake.”

“You don’t have to do that,” Kara said.

“Kara, darling, have you ever seen a Victoria sponge without any kind of filling? It’ll be as dry as old boots if we don’t put anything in it!” Lena replied, shaking her head and fetching the ingredients she needed from the cupboards, as well as a huge mixing bowl.

“I’ll see you later ladies,” Eliza called over her shoulder as she stopped by the kitchen door. “I’m going to bring some more vodka and things back as well. Do either of you need anything from town?”

“I don’t think I do,” Lena said, “but thank you.”

“Me neither,” Kara said. “Do you need help getting your boat out of the boathouse?”

“Oh, yes please,” Eliza nodded, smiling gratefully.

Eliza slung her bag over her shoulder and picked up a pair of sneakers in the other. They both headed out to the boathouse in their rain boots, Kara having pulled on a light coat to keep her warm, since she was only wearing a hoodie on top. It was still quite fresh outside, and the breeze whipped the hair around her head once more. But not being in front of Lena now, she didn’t feel the need to try to keep it tidy. Let her look like Medusa on a bad hair day.

“Lena is a lovely girl,” Eliza commented, glancing at Kara as she waited for her to open the boathouse door.

“I know,” Kara replied, hearing the happiness in her own voice. She pulled the door open and gestured for Eliza to go ahead of her.

“That much is really obvious,” Eliza told her, walking over to the winch behind her own boat. “I know I said it earlier in the week, but she’s very different to how you used to talk about her. And I’m really happy for the two of you. It’s obvious how much you both care for each other and that’s all I wanted for you.”

“I know,” Kara repeated, an uneasy sense of guilt and happiness mixing in her stomach. They’d managed to avoid too many conversations where they’d actually have to lie to people, simply because most of the time they’d been here, Kara and Lena had been alone in the house. But later, the house would be full of people. And whereas they might have admitted their feelings for each other, making the fact that they cared for each other not a lie, they were still committing fraud against the government. The basis of the relationship that they supposedly shared was all false, even if the feelings were real. The line between truth and lie was being heavily blurred, and while Kara was beyond thrilled at just how much truth she and Lena shared now, the thought of the lies between her and everyone else still made her very uncomfortable.

Kara let the winch unwind while Eliza walked her boat down the slipway and into the water, and Kara watched her with a feeling of foreboding. She wasn’t sure what had brought it on, only that she felt like a rock was sitting in her stomach. Lying didn’t sit well with her no matter who she was lying to, and this particular lie went all the way to the government.

She shook her head forcefully, as if doing so could shake the thoughts from her head. There was no real use worrying about it now. She and Lena would just have to do their best on Monday and hope for the best. If they did well and got to stay together, they could always just come up with some other kind of plan later, fudge some details. The engagement story would always have to stay the same, but they could just keep the real one to themselves.

The real one. Her mind shot back to the moment on the boat where Lena had got down on one knee in front of her. The real one. How real had it been? There was no way that Lena would actually propose marriage after just a few days, not when she didn’t yet know how Kara really felt, but the words behind it, what she’d said when she’d asked? There was truth in those words, and they hit Kara like a sledgehammer. Lena had been trying to tell her then how she felt, and Kara had missed it, again, thinking that it was just another part of their fake relationship situation.

But Lena’s words had been so heartfelt, so genuine.

And yet… even if Kara’s head had thought they weren’t real at the time, her body had thought they were. She remembered feeling choked with emotion, remembered the way she’d sunk to her own knees and kissed Lena for real for the first time.

She wanted to kiss Lena again. Once. Twice. A hundred times. A thousand times.

Once the idea of kissing Lena again flashed through her mind, the thought of all the times they’d kissed the day before played like a movie in her mind’s eye. Her hands tingled with the memory of touching Lena’s skin, and she crossed her legs reflexively when she thought of when Lena had-

“Kara stop!

Jolted out of her thoughts by Eliza’s shout, she slammed her hand on the button to stop the winch, only to look up to see Eliza trying to pull the boat back up the slipway, the water almost over her rain boots.

“Shit,” she mumbled, reversing the winch and guiltily pulling the boat back up a little so that Eliza could get into the boat without it floating away and crashing into the pier.

She stopped the winch when Eliza waved at her, and Kara walked down to the bow of the boat. “Sorry about that,” she said.

“I’ve never known you to not pay attention while letting a boat out,” Eliza said, the scolding very light. “What was on your mind?”

“Lena,” Kara replied honestly, looking up at her adoptive mother with a sheepish grin and a blush rising on her face.

Eliza smiled gently at her. “Well, I suppose I can’t get mad at that. No harm done here, anyway. Think you can manage to unlash it?” she joked.

“Har har,” Kara replied with a roll of her eyes while Eliza walked up onto the pier and put her feet in her sneakers. She stepped gracefully into the boat, leaving her rain boots on the pier, and when Eliza let her know, Kara unlashed the winch strap from the bow and the boat floated cleanly into the water.

“Perfect!” Eliza called. “Text me if you need anything!”

Kara waved at her before giving her a thumbs up, picked up her discarded rain boots, and headed back up to the house. The whole thing hadn’t taken much longer than ten minutes, but somehow, she’d run the emotional gamut, ending with her feeling distinctly hot under the collar at the thought of the beautiful green-eyed woman waiting for her in the house.

Not wanting to wait any longer before seeing her again, she walked quickly up the still-sodden lawn. She could feel her excitement growing, the cold wind biting through both the hoodie and the coat she was wearing. The thought of being alone with Lena again was intoxicating, and she kicked her rain boots off gleefully. She washed her hands at the sink in the garage, using plenty of soap; the winches weren’t exactly the cleanest of things.

Heading back into the kitchen, she found Lena standing almost where she’d left her. She had her back to Kara, and was beating the buttermilk mixture while whistling off-key to an upbeat classical piece on the radio that Kara didn’t recognize. Lena didn’t hear her approach, and Kara took a moment to appreciate the sight in front of her. Lena was swaying her hips from side to side while she finished up what she was doing. Kara swallowed hard when her loose, wavy hair spilled over her back from her shoulders and she caught a glimpse of that sharp jawline. Her mouth felt dry and her hands twitched as desire rocketed through her so quickly that she squeezed her legs together.

All of a sudden, it was like the air had been sucked out of the room. Kara could practically hear the blood pounding in her ears, could feel her body pulse with the overwhelming need to have Lena come undone at her hands once more.

Lena jumped when Kara wrapped her arms around her waist from behind, the bowl clattering the last couple of inches to the kitchen counter. “Kara!” she burst out in surprise. Whatever she was going to say next was choked back when, in one swift movement, Kara swept her hair back and pressed her lips to Lena’s neck. Her right hand snaked down and spread against Lena’s stomach, pulling her back against Kara’s hips. One of Lena’s hands gripped the end of the kitchen counter; the other landed on the hand on her stomach, pushing it down until they hit the waistband of Lena’s sweatpants.

“Kara,” Lena whispered, as Kara’s fingers slipped under the waistband to touch the top of Lena’s panties. Kara moved her lips down to that soft part between Lena’s neck and the start of her shoulder, kissing it and tasting her skin briefly. She started to rock her hips into Lena from behind.

“You looked so beautiful, dancing to the music just now,” Kara murmured against Lena’s skin, nipping it for good measure and drawing a hiss out of Lena. “I just had to touch you again.”

She lifted the edge of Lena’s panties with her ring ringer, slipping it and her pinky finger beneath it, stroking her hand back and forth across Lena’s lower stomach. She delighted in the quickening of Lena’s breath, the way she leaned her head back onto Kara’s shoulder.

“God, Kara, please-” Lena stuttered out, taking in a shuddering breath as Kara’s middle finger dipped below her panty line as well. Kara could feel the beginnings of the neat, dark hair beneath her fingers, and she couldn’t help it; she bucked her hips even more strongly into Lena. “Fuck,” Lena hissed. “Fuck.

“I bet you’re wet,” Kara said, licking a stripe into Lena’s skin before biting down on it gently. She felt Lena’s hand skitter across the top of her own. “I bet if I touched you right now, you’d be so wet for me.” She heard Lena whimper as she spread her legs, wordlessly telling Kara what she wanted. Kara pulled her fingers out of Lena’s panties and cupped Lena from the outside, feeling her fingers slide easily along the fabric. In less than two minutes, Lena was already soaked, and Kara groaned. While she stroked Lena through her underwear, she used her other hand to slide up and under Lena’s shirt until she reached her lacy bra, rubbing her thumb over a rapidly hardening nipple.

Kara could see Lena’s knuckles tightening on the counter, and Lena dropped her head down as she let out a low moan from her throat. Kara could feel Lena trying to press herself into Kara’s fingers, so she pulled them away from Lena, who groaned in frustration. Kara’s fingers left damp trails across the bare skin of Lena’s abdomen as she teased her, her fingers flicking the front of Lena’s panties again. “Fuck, Kara, I’m- please-” Lena ground out, her hand tangling with Kara’s and dragging it downward again.

“Is there something you want?” Kara said, bending forward so that her whole body was along Lena’s, then pulled her back upright, pushing her bra roughly upwards so that she could have better access to Lena’s breasts.

Yes there is,” Lena hissed, her breath stuttering again when Kara’s fingers slipped under her panties again, this time holding off from touching her. Along the backs of her fingers, she could feel she slickness of Lena’s arousal on the material of her underwear.

“Do you want me to touch you?” she asked, rolling one of Lena’s nipples between her thumb and forefinger.

Lena sucked in a rattled breath, spreading her legs even more and pressing her ass back against Kara. A jolt ran through Kara; she was the one making Lena feel want like this. Kara felt a surge of wetness between her own legs at the thought. She pressed her hand over Lena’s heart, and she could feel it beating wildly under her touch.

“Please, my love, please,” Lena uttered quietly, her voice hoarse with desire.

And maybe it was the words Lena had said, maybe it was the needy way she’d said them, or maybe it was the way she felt Lena shaking with want against her, but Kara stopped her teasing. She slipped two fingers through Lena’s slick folds, spreading her apart with them. Lena’s whole body seemed to sigh in relief at the contact, but it wasn’t long before her body went taut as Kara slid her fingertip across Lena’s clit. Lena let out a choked sound and when her knees threatened to buckle beneath her, Kara wrapped her other arm around her middle.

“I’ve got you,” she whispered as she stroked through her again, her fingers coated in the evidence of Lena’s arousal. “I’ve got you.” Lena’s breath came quickly; she was already close, Kara thought with amazement. She grazed Lena’s clit again and felt Lena’s body shudder with pleasure.

She slipped her fingers back and pushed two inside of Lena up to her second knuckles, feeling Lena hot and wet around her. Lena groaned, her hand wrapped around Kara’s wrist as she pulled out and stroked through her again. Kara moved her fingers up and ran them over Lena’s clit, applying pressure and loving the way that Lena bucked forward into her hand. She could feel Lena’s body tightening in her arms, felt her fluttering in her hand, and when she felt Lena start to spasm, Kara slid her fingers quickly along her clit, and Lena fell hard over the edge. She cried out, throwing her head back against Kara’s shoulder and panting through her orgasm. Kara heard her name twice, among yes and fuck, she knew she would never get enough of hearing her name falling from Lena’s lips like that.

When Lena finally relaxed, Kara pulled her fingers out of her panties and Lena turned around her arms, burying her face in her neck. Kara chuckled, still painfully turned on, but she wrapped her arms around Lena and hugged her.

After a moment, Lena pulled her face down and kissed her, soft and gentle. Kara could feel her smiling into it, and so did she. They swayed together in the kitchen, happy to just hold each other.

Eventually, Kara let Lena go and stepped back. Lena’s face was flushed, her eyes wide and beautiful, and Kara wanted nothing more than to call Eliza, tell her to stay in town, and take Lena to bed. She wanted to take Lena to bed and make love to her, take her time, and press her tongue into every soft place she could find.

Lena clearly read the look on her face, because she smiled, slowly and knowingly. Her dimples deepened on her face, and Kara smiled. “I just… couldn’t help myself,” she heard herself say.

“You’ll find no complaints from me,” Lena replied, stepping up to Kara. “I don’t know what got into you, but whatever it was…” she pressed her warm lips against Kara’s in a brief kiss, “I liked it. Who knew you had that in you?”

Kara shrugged, but the truth was just that there was something about Lena that made her want to touch her, that made her want to find out each different sound Lena could make if she touched her here, and there.

Lena’s smile turned predatory, but when she pushed her fingers into Kara’s hair behind her ears, the words she whispered into her ear were not let’s go upstairs, but “I still have to finish the buttercream.”

Kara let out a surprised laugh, the pent-up energy inside her making it loud and desperate, and soon enough they were both giggling. Lena stepped from foot to foot, her blush deepening as she no doubt felt just how soaked her panties were, and Kara’s heart turned over in her chest. How was Lena this adorable? Kara felt insanely lucky that she was the one that Lena turned her soft smiles on, who Lena let see her blushes. Who Lena let give her a reason to blush in the first place.

“We still have tonight,” Lena said quietly, a promise in the way her hands ran over Kara’s shoulders and in the way her eyes darkened as she let her gaze run down Kara’s body and back up. Lena bit her bottom lip and hid none of the desire from her face, letting Kara see exactly what she needed to in order to understand that Lena wanted her right now as much as Kara wanted Lena.

“I know,” Kara replied, giving Lena another hug before stepping back again. “Do you, um, do you need any help with the buttercream?” she asked, pushing her glasses up her nose and rocking a little on the balls of her feet.

“No, it’s ready actually. Or, it was,” Lena said, eyeing it, “before you…” she smiled at Kara. “Let me just give it another stir. It’s ready to put on the cake. Could you fetch me both halves, along with whichever kind of jam you’d like in the middle?”

“Sure!” Kara said cheerfully, still trying to shake the way her name sounded coming from Lena’s lips in the middle of an orgasm from her mind. She washed her hands before she pulled both halves of the cake out of the fridge, setting one half on a serving plate on the counter, the other staying on the small plate it was already on. She opened the cupboard that held the preservatives and pulled out a jar of strawberry jam. It may be the most common, but it was a favorite for a reason, and you could never go wrong with a classic. “Does the jam go on first, or the buttercream?”

“It doesn’t matter,” Lena replied, tasting the buttercream with a teaspoon, nodding to herself as she judged the taste. “It’s your cake, you can have it any way you want.”

“As long as it’s full of both, I don’t mind either.”

Lena passed her a butter knife and a large spoon from the drawer at her hip. “Spread as much as you like then, and I’ll add the buttercream to the other half.”

Kara opened the jar and, to Lena’s horror, stuck the knife in it, swirling it around a bit, and poured the jam onto the cake. “Kara…” she trailed off, staring at the way Kara gleefully spread the jam around with the back of the spoon. “That’s going to be really thick!”

“I like a double stuffed cake,” Kara commented, catching the look on Lena’s face and laughing. “If it spills out the sides, it doesn’t matter.”

Lena looked like she very much wanted to say that it did matter, but didn’t have the heart to. Instead, she gave Kara a look that was somewhere between exasperated and fond. She turned the other half of the cake over so that she could access the flat side, and picked up the spoon, and dug it into the buttercream. Kara watched as Lena carefully spread the buttercream very neatly around the cake, adding more and more and making sure that it was of an even thickness the whole way around.

If a drip of buttercream went over the side, Lena diligently removed it with another knife. The end result was as if Lena had got a computer to do it for her; it was so perfect that it could’ve been a piece of art. Looking at their two halves of the cake, Kara had to laugh. Lena had listened to her and used quite a lot of buttercream, but it was so very neat, and then there was Kara’s; the jam was messily dripping down the sides of the cake, and the symbolism struck Kara as funny. They’d have to join the two pieces together, and each of their halves reflected a little about their personalities. Lena’s tidy, carefully constructed half, and Kara’s more carefree side.

Lena eyed them both as if she were evaluating what the best step forward was. She pointed her spoon at her half, then at Kara’s, and back again, before she licked the rest of the buttercream off it and stuck it in her mouth. The sight of Lena Luthor standing in her kitchen, hair disheveled, hands on her hips and a spoon dangling out of her mouth struck Kara in a way that she couldn’t name. She pulled out her phone and took a photo of her just as Lena’s eyes flickered over to her, and Kara smiled down at the image. Within a few clicks, she’d made the photo her lock screen. Lena was still watching her when she looked back up at her; her green eyes were sparkling, and Kara shrugged, giving her a wide smile.

“You looked cute,” was all that she said, and Lena pulled the spoon out of her mouth to beam back at Kara.

With difficulty, Kara dragged her eyes away from Lena and cleared her throat. “Right, these halves. Which way round should we do them?”

Lena snorted. “Given that your half looks like it’s bleeding, I think mine should go on top.”

“You on top, eh?”

Lena smacked her lightly across the upper arm, but Kara certainly didn’t imagine the quirk of her eyebrow, or the hard swallow. “Yes, mine on top. Otherwise, it’ll just look like it’s bleeding upwards and that’s just weird.”

“We can just cover the sides with more buttercream,” Kara said slowly, looking at Lena out of the corner of her eye.

“I’m not sure we have enough buttercream to cover all that mess,” Lena said in a ponderous tone. “We actually don’t, though, and I don’t have time to make more, so we’ll just have to get this right straight away.”

“Alright,” Kara said, clapping loudly then rubbing her hands together. “Let’s do this.”

Lena lifted her half of the cake slowly, and with great care, set it on top of Kara’s, moving it gently this way and that until it sat perfectly on top with almost no oozing out of the sides.

“Well, that was a little anticlimactic,” Kara observed.

Lena chuckled. “What were you expecting? Me to drop it and cake to go everywhere?”

“A few splashes of jam, at least!”

“I can always throw some jam at you, if that would make you feel better,” Lena said, reaching for the jar of jam in question.

Kara slid it quickly away from her. “I think I’ll be alright, thank you!”

Lena passed her a sieve and a box of powdered sugar. “The last thing is to get this on the top of it. I really need to start getting ready for this party; do you think you can do this without making this kitchen look like a cocaine lab?”

“I’m not completely hopeless you know!”

“I think the poor cake begs to differ.”

Kara swept Lena out of the kitchen. “It’ll look perfect, you’ll see!”

“Alright, I believe you,” Lena said with a smile, standing on the bottom stair. She swept her hands down her body, as if she were brushing off dust. “Well, I certainly need a shower,” she murmured, glancing up at Kara with a smirk, and Kara felt herself flush. “What should I wear for this party?”

“It’s not so much a party as it is just a sort of small get-together, so it’s not too formal. Eliza will probably be taking photos though, so wear something you don’t mind being put into a photo album for the next however many years…” she trailed off, clearing her throat again at the thought of Lena being in her family photo albums. “Wear whatever you like. You always look beautiful,” she finished, gazing up at Lena.

Lena’s expression was soft. “So do you,” she said. “Okay, I’ll see what I’ve got with me. No Diane von Furstenberg, as promised.”

Kara stepped up to her. “I know I said you would’ve stuck out like a sore thumb if you wore something like that here,” she said, “but I’ve always thought that you looked… stunning, in them.”

Lena stepped down and put her hand on Kara’s upper arm. “After being here, I can see how they’d have looked quite out of place. Truthfully, I’m much more comfortable in what I’m wearing right now, and it’s what I wear when I’m at the cabin,” she tilted her head to the side and smiled, “when I’m in my happy place. However, I’m glad to know that you noticed them because,” she leaned up and Kara shivered when she felt Lena’s breath on her ear, “I always wore my favorite ones when I knew I’d be seeing you.”

At that, Lena headed up the stairs, a sway in her hips, as Kara was left standing at the bottom of the staircase, gaping after her like a fish out of water. Lena’s low, bedroom voice echoed in her ears and she felt it all the way down to her core.

Lena is going to kill me with her flirting and I’m going to enjoy every damn second of it.

She wandered back into the kitchen and pulled her phone out of her pocket again, looking at the lock screen. She could see the crinkles at the sides of Lena’s eyes in it, and Kara felt such a rush of love for Lena that she had to restrain herself from heading up the stairs after her, just to hug her.

It was ridiculous. Kara knew she was tactile, but never before had she had such a desire just to be around someone, just to hold their hand or wrap her arms around their shoulders. She felt a pull towards Lena that she’d never felt before; it was insistent. It was ever-present in the same way that the engagement ring was; she had quickly grown used to its presence, but every now and again, it caught her attention, and she’d see it sparkling on her finger. She’d remember the way it had felt to have Lena slide it home on her finger, the tears in their eyes as she’d done so. And every time she looked at Lena, that insistent pull was there, whether she acknowledged it or not.

Kara had no idea, none at all, how it would feel to go back to work and not be able to be with Lena like she was with her here. If everything worked out, she had a feeling that they’d be sharing a lot of secret glances, late takeout meals at CatCo, and long weekends at the cabin whenever Lena could manage to get away. Kara figured that she’d be trying to persuade Lena to stay at her place or prompting cabin trips at every opportunity.

Still daydreaming of the future, while simultaneously kicking herself for doing so because everything hinged on Monday, Kara picked up the sieve and poured some powdered sugar into it. She winced when immediately a cloud of it settled over the part of the kitchen worktop that had no cake on it, resolving to clean that up later before Lena saw it. She sieved the powder onto the top of the cake, making sure that it was a relatively even coating, and then put everything that she was finished with into the dishwasher.

When she headed upstairs to fetch what she needed, Lena was still in the shower. Kara picked what she was going to wear out of her closet; some clean jeans, a tank top to go under a nice shirt, and a pair of comfortable loafers that she only wore indoors. To her, they were basically glorified slippers; she was sure that people wouldn’t really mind if she kept wearing her fuzzy slippers, but she’d like to make an effort.

She picked up her hairbrush, a spare towel out of the closet, and made her way down the hall to the room that Alex or Maggie usually stayed in, if they were over too late to go back to the mainland. There were spare razors and things under the sink for Maggie’s use if she forgot her toiletry bag, so Kara took a razor, stripped off her clothes, and jumped into the shower. Alex’s was far less temperamental than her own, and before long, she had washed her hair, shaved her legs, and climbed back out of the shower. She used some of Alex’s deodorant before pulling her underwear and jeans on.

Sending a mental thank you to Maggie, she used the hairdryer that was stored in one of the cupboards and dried her hair, before using the curling irons to wave her hair as nicely as she could do it. She was so used to making her hair presentable, what with being Lena Luthor’s assistant, that it took her hardly any time at all to get ready. There were no hair products to use, but she didn’t really miss them. She had a funny feeling that Lena probably wouldn’t want to run her hands through hairspray anyway, and her body felt warm at the thought.

She was so efficient at getting ready quickly that she was done within three quarters of an hour. The only thing she had yet to do was put some light makeup on and she’d be ready. Kara checked the time on her phone and saw that she still had at least half an hour before Eliza would be back. Neither Kara nor Lena had thought of anything else that they’d needed, so there was no reason for Eliza to delay in town.

With that in mind, she went back towards her own room, pausing to knock on the door before entering. The shower was no longer running, and no matter what their relationship was now, she didn’t want to burst in on Lena and invade her privacy. When she heard Lena call out, she turned the doorknob and headed inside.

Lena was sifting through the closet, a towel wrapped around her body and her wet hair hanging around her shoulders. She looked over her shoulder when Kara walked in. “Hi darling,” she said, before turning her attention back to the clothes. “I’m just deciding what’s best to wear. I seem to have brought what you would call boardroom clothes, casual clothes, and not much in-between. Except for maybe this dress…” she plucked at a dress bag that Kara hadn’t noticed her hanging up when they’d first arrived and looked back at Kara. “It’s nothing really special, just one block color. But it won’t look like I’m heading to the boardroom, or anything, I promise.”

Kara let out a fond laugh at Lena trying to justify her reasons for wearing the dress as if Kara had the final say. “I’m sure I’ll love it however it looks, unless it’s actually a dress that says that potstickers suck, and then I’m afraid the engagement is off.”

Lena turned around and pouted at her. She actually pouted; bottom lip out, furrowed brow, sad expression. Kara felt her heart kick into overdrive. “Noooooooo!” she wailed, enveloping a still-damp Lena in a hug. “I promise not to call it off, even if that’s what your dress says! Wait,” she said, holding Lena by her upper arms. “I’m pretty sure that that pout is something I’m never going to be able to say no to, isn’t it?”

A smirk slowly spread across Lena’s face at Kara’s words. “I suppose that time will tell,” she said cryptically.

“Well I- um, yeah,” Kara spluttered, and Lena smirk softened into a smile at Kara’s inability to form words. “I’m sure the dress is lovely,” she said. “Did you bring shoes?”

“Would Eliza mind if I wore shoes in the house?” Lena asked.

“No, not at all. I’m pretty sure you don’t wear them to go like, farming in or anything, so they’ll be fine.”

“Great,” Lena replied. “I’ll just… finish getting ready then,” she said, indicating the table, where she’d laid out her hairdryer, straighteners, and curling iron.

“Sure! I’ll just grab my makeup,” Kara said, dashing into the bathroom and pulling out everything she needed. “I’m just going to go downstairs and make sure that everything is set up. I know Eliza pulled the table out in the lounge earlier so it’s just a case of me pouring chips and things into bowls, as well as some of that biltong, and putting the cake out. We won’t bother with the pizza until people arrive and we know what they want.”

“Okay,” Lena said, pressing a soft kiss to the corner of Kara’s mouth, stroking her cheek with her fingertips. “I don’t think I’ll be too long. I’m quite good at getting ready in a hurry.”

“It’s all those early-morning meetings,” Kara joked.

“Ugh, don’t remind me. I’m not looking forward to them starting up again. Truth be told, I’m quite enjoying my break from them. It’s been a while since I was last able to wake up when my body was actually ready to.”

“I’m glad you feel relaxed here, really,” Kara said, the sincerity in her voice clear even to her own ears. “I’ll just head out and let you get ready. Eliza will be back soon with Alex and Maggie, and J’onn and M’gann will be coming at the same time.”

Lena nodded, and Kara left her to it. Back in Alex’s bathroom, she applied light makeup; a bit of mascara, a little eyeliner, a touch of eyeshadow. Dabbing at any smudges with a makeup remover wipe, she judged herself ready, and made her way downstairs.

Just as she was walking into the kitchen, her phone buzzed in her pocket.

Alex: Hey! We’re just at the harbour now. We won’t be too long. J’onn and M’gann are just closing up the shop and they’ll be right behind us

Kara: Great! Can’t wait to see you all!

Alex: Maggie found a dartboard in the storeroom at the station. I don’t know what it was doing there, but we’re bringing that. We’ll set it up in the garage and see whether Lena can improve her game or not. And M’gann said she’ll bring some Guinness!

Kara: Amazing! She’ll love that :) thank you! I’m just going to pour all the chips out and stuff

Alex: See you in a bit!

Kara slipped her phone back into her pocket, taking a moment to look at Lena’s spoon photo again with a smile.

You’re whipped, her mind tossed at her, and she rolled her eyes at herself. It’s not like she didn’t know that already.

Kara switched the radio station to a pop one and busied herself with pouring chips into bowls and placing them on the table in the lounge, singing along to Love On Top by Beyoncé as she did so. She took some of Lena’s biltong out and put that in a bowl as well, but not before eating quite a few pieces and savoring the flavor. It tasted so good that she still couldn’t believe it was actually a healthy snack.

Out of the drinks cupboard she pulled various bottles of soda, putting them in the lounge alongside the glasses Eliza had set out earlier. Kara deliberated for a while over which of the bottles of scotch Lena had bought to put in the lounge; she didn’t know much about which one might be popular, so she just brought them all out, leaving them on the mantelpiece above the fireplace.

The cake she and Lena had decorated went into the middle of the table, and Kara had to resist doodling a happy face right into the middle of the sugar on the top. As she was staring at it, she wondered why she shouldn’t do it; reaching out, she gave it two eyes and a wide smile, grinning to herself at the thought of Lena’s face when she saw it.

She also set out a huge plate of their cookies, taking one to nibble on while she poured herself a drink of lemonade. She was just taking a sip when she heard Eliza’s boat outside, and she opened the front door to wave.

It was still only early evening, but the air was chilly, and it nipped at Kara’s face as she watched Eliza, Alex, and Maggie clamber out of the boat. None of them hung about, coming quickly up towards the house.

When Alex reached her, she flung her arms around Kara, and Kara staggered backwards under the sudden weight of her. “Happy fifteenth anniversary of being adopted into the best family on the planet!” she exclaimed, squeezing Kara even tighter.

“Thank you!” Kara squeaked, struggling to breathe but laughing at the same time. Alex relaxed her arms a little, but then Eliza joined in, and they had a Danvers group hug right there on the porch. Kara was dimly aware of Maggie taking a few photos of them, but she was too lost in being embraced by her family to think anything of it.

She was grateful, had always been grateful, that she had been adopted by the Danvers. They’d taken in a girl who’d lost everything and given her a home, waiting her out when she was still reticent, and opening their arms for her to just walk straight into when she was ready. Although her relationship with Alex had been rocky to start with, they were now as close as if they’d been blood related. Kara felt that everyone deserved an Alex in their life, and of all the blessings that being a Danvers had brought into her life, Alex was the greatest.

“I can’t believe it’s been fifteen years already,” Eliza said, letting go of them and dashing a tear out from under her eye.

“Neither can I,” Kara said, wrapping her arms around Alex’s shoulders and smiling when Maggie pointed her phone in their direction. “Fifteen years of annoying Alex and it’s still never got old!”

Alex laughed and gave her a gentle shove. “Just for that, I’m taking an even larger slice of your Victoria sponge,” she said in such a serious tone that Kara pressed a hand over her heart.

“You wouldn’t!”

“Oh, I would!”

Kara saw Eliza and Maggie roll their eyes at each other, well-used to the Danvers’ sisters teasing each other by now, and led the way into the house. Kara and Alex followed just behind them.

“I brought Mario Kart,” Alex said as she kicked her dirty boots off in the hallway and slid her feet into slippers.

“No way, really?” she asked, an edge of excitement in her tone. “I still need to get Maggie back for that blue shell she shot at me in the last tournament we had.”

“Has Lena ever played?” Alex asked as they made their way into the lounge. “Oh, great! You made the cookies!” She picked one up and bit into it, joy spreading across her face. “It has been a long day and they are just what I needed.”

“We always have these cookies,” Kara replied, picking another herself and giving Alex an affectionate sisterly glare. “And, I’m not sure actually. She’s upstairs getting ready; I’ll ask her when she comes down.”

Once the four of them had grabbed a plate of snacks, Kara making sure that everyone had at least one piece of biltong on their plates they all settled into sofas and armchairs around the lounge and talked. The anniversary of Kara’s adoption was something they always celebrated, but in a low-key kind of way; it was mostly just an evening they tried to spend with family, or those who were honorable members of the Danvers. Sure, they baked Kara’s favorite cookies and sometimes made a cake, but it was essentially the same kind of evening as they would normally spend; they just made an effort to spend it together as if it was another birthday. Kara supposed that, in a way, it was.

After ten minutes or so talking, Maggie got up, and a few minutes later Kara heard a banging coming from the garage, followed by the sound of something falling over. She got up to investigate and found Maggie balancing precariously on a rickety old table while she knocked a nail into the wall. The dart board was on the floor near the table; that must have been what had fallen over. Kara rushed over to steady the table for her when she saw it wobble and heard an ominous cracking sound.

“Thanks,” Maggie said over her shoulder when the table stopped moving beneath her, giving Kara her signature cheeky smile. “Can you pass me the dart board?”

Keeping hold of the table with one hand and her hip, Kara picked up the dart board which Maggie had brought and passed it up to her. Maggie hung it up, making sure it was straight, and accepted Kara’s hand when she offered it to help her down.

“There!” she exclaimed, as she and Kara looked at her handiwork. If anyone missed the board, the darts would just embed themselves in the wooden wall or the table, and it wouldn’t matter. She figured that Lena would be the one to cause the most holes in the wall, and the thought of Lena making a permanent mark on her home made her smile.

“I think we should leave this here, what do you think?” Maggie asked, turning to look at Kara. “It’s not like anyone will miss it at the station; I think it had been there since before Alex started her medical training, judging by the amount of dust that was on it.”

“Ew, I’m glad you cleaned it before you brought it over,” Kara said, tugging Maggie back out of the garage and walking with her back to the lounge. Someone had turned on a music player somewhere and All the Small Things by Blink-182 was playing in the background, reminding Kara of high school.

She made her way over to the table of food once again. “I really want to have some cake! I’m just waiting for Lena to come down so she can see what a mess I made of it.”

“Something tells me that Lena is one of those women that’s perfected the unimpressed eyebrow raise,” Maggie laughed as she looked over at the happy face Kara had drawn on the cake.

“You tell me, Maggie,” came a low voice from the doorway she and Maggie had just come through. Kara whirled around to see Lena leaning against the doorframe, the eyebrow in question raised, but very quickly a soft expression settled over her face as her gaze landed on the cake. “You just couldn’t help yourself, could you?” she asked, walking over to the table.

Kara felt her stomach do somersaults as she watched Lena approach. Her hair was loose, hanging in dark waves and curling around the ends. She’d tucked it behind her ear on one side, showing off some teardrop diamond earrings. The dress was dark green and uncomplicated, as Lena had said, but it was no less striking for that. It hugged her shape and the green of it suited her pale skin and dark hair. Her eyes were sparkling as they met Kara’s; she’d added a light amount of eyeliner and smoky dark eyeshadow that drew eyes to hers instantly.

Kara couldn’t look away, couldn’t believe that of all the people in the world, their eyes only fell upon each other.

Time seemed to slow as Lena crossed the short distance to her. The thought that Lena looked so classically beautiful she could star in an old-time Hollywood movie skittered across her mind. She seemed absolutely timeless, and when Lena was finally standing next to her, Kara felt all her breath leave her body in one go. When Lena’s fingers danced up the bare skin of her wrist, breathing was something she had to remember how to do.

“You look- you look beautiful,” Kara managed.

A shy look crossed Lena’s face. “You don’t think it’s a little bit too much?” she asked, brushing her hands over her hips in a self-conscious manner and looking around the room to see how everyone else was dressed. “I feel a bit overdressed, but it was this or the boardroom clothes and I don’t want to look like I’m about to conduct a meeting-”

“You look perfect,” Kara interrupted. “Really,” she emphasized when Lena looked less than convinced. “You’re beautiful.”

The apprehension left Lena’s face, and she leaned over to press a kiss to the corner of Kara’s mouth, wiping her lipstick away when some of it was left behind. “And you look pretty dapper yourself,” Lena said, stepping back to take Kara in. “I mean, I know I saw you a little earlier but I- there’s something about the way you roll your sleeves up in a shirt that… does something for me,” she finished in a whisper.

“Oh really?” she asked, pushing them up a little further.

“Mhmm,” Lena confirmed, her eyes on Kara’s forearms. When Lena looked back up, she raised an eyebrow at Kara, and her face was mischievous. What happened between them in the kitchen earlier raced through Kara’s mind. She felt a blush creep up her face, and from the way Lena’s eyes darkened slightly, something very similar was crossing her own thoughts.

Kara’s mouth felt dryer the longer she and Lena looked at each other, and the air between them felt thick, as if the rest of the world dissolved around them. Somewhere in the background, music was still playing, but for the life of her Kara couldn’t tell what it was. There was only Lena, the very telling uptick in the sound of her breathing, her fingertips sliding lightly up Kara’s forearm to rest just under her elbow. There were her eyes, looking like green and blue nebulae… Kara thought she could get lost in them, given enough time.

Before she could start waxing lyrical about Lena’s eyes in front of other people, Lena cleared her throat softly and glanced over Kara’s shoulder. “We still have later,” Lena murmured, only loud enough for Kara to hear, and she felt her blush intensify.

Just then, Maggie startled Kara by throwing her arm around her shoulders and wolf-whistling in Lena’s direction. Kara resisted the temptation to stick her finger in her ear as the sound rang in it. “Damn, Lena, you scrub up well,” Maggie said, not being shy about the once-over she gave her.

Lena’s lips twitched as she bit back a smile. “Thanks, Maggie, I think,” she replied, looping her arm through Kara’s. “You look pretty smart yourself, but unfortunately for us both, I’m a taken woman.”

“What do you mean, unfortunately?” Kara asked pointedly, poking Lena teasingly in the stomach with her spare hand.

“Come on, lovebirds, we’re going to play Mario Kart before J’onn and M’gann get here and we get pizza grease all over the controllers,” Maggie said, and Kara gave an exaggerated shudder at the thought of it.

Kara passed Lena a plate, and when she’d filled it with a few snacks, mostly biltong, they headed over to the TV where they’d set out a few footstools and turned an armchair around.

“You look lovely, Lena,” Eliza said as she and Kara reached them.

“Yeah, you really do,” Alex said, raising a glass of scotch in Lena’s direction. “Hope you don’t mind, but I decided a glass of Octomore was just about perfect for this competition we’re about to have.”

“Not at all,” Lena replied, “it’s yours. And thank you both. I’m really glad to be here for this.”

“And we’re happy to have you,” Alex said, swinging her legs around and patting the seat they’d just been resting on. “Take a seat. I hope you’re better at this than you are at darts.”

A few minutes later, Kara, Lena, Alex, and Maggie were heavily involved in their race around Bowser’s Castle, one of Kara’s favorite tracks, laughing loudly whenever someone got hit by a red shell or slipped on a banana skin. Kara was actually winning for a whole thirty seconds until Alex hit the other three with a thunderbolt, rendering them all tiny and shooting past them. Only a few moments later, Maggie let out a maniacal laugh when she used a mushroom to zip past Alex. Lena was mostly silent, watching the screen intently with a furrowed brow and her hands barely moving on the controller. She was sitting primly, one leg crossed over the other, her eyes focused. She proved to be the dark horse, however, when a blue shell slammed into Maggie’s Bowser character before she quickly followed it up with three red shells. She let out an evil little cackle before crossing the line in second place, but ahead of the other three.

“What?!” Alex said, slapping her hand to her forehead, her controller dangling next to her face.

“Oh it’s on, Luthor,” Maggie said, settling in for their next race.

Kara said nothing, just gaped at Lena as she sat up straight and flicked her hair over her shoulder. She looked every inch the CEO of L-Corp right then, and Kara just shook her head as Lena relaxed her posture, beaming at her before turning her attention back to the screen.

“Rainbow Road, ladies?” Lena asked airily.

“150cc or bust,” Maggie muttered, pressing the button to select the race.

The four of them played race after race, Alex and Lena splitting most of the wins between them, Kara none, and Maggie battling one of the others for second place. Lena was excellent at placing bananas at the exact right spots to make everyone else spin out, as well as holding on to red shells to use at the best possible time. Lena explained in a break between races that she and Lex had used to play Mario Kart on an old Nintendo 64 years ago, and that she could never quite let go of the nostalgia of the game and its various versions. In a surprising turn, Lena informed her that she in fact owned a Switch, and took it up to her cabin to play with sometimes. Kara could just imagine Lena sitting in her cabin, blanket wrapped around her knees, trying to perfect strategies for winning races.

“What?” Lena asked when Kara stared at her in amazement for a little too long. “I keep up with current gaming technologies. In a lot of ways, gaming is driving a lot of technological advancements. Also, when I have to put in my appearances at L-Corp family days, I can’t look like a complete loser when we hook a Switch up to the cinema screen and hold competitions. And, I always make sure to lose at the last possible moment. Kids may like sticking their tongues out when they win, but they’re generally too young to care who I am. They just want to beat an adult at a game, and I’m happy to let them.”

“When Jess told me about those competitions, I just thought you must’ve been rubbish at the games. When actually, it turns out you’re just really sweet,” Kara said, leaning over to kiss her on the cheek.

“Not so sweet that I’m not going to kick your ass in this next race,” Lena smirked, letting out a laugh at the mock-offended look on Kara’s face. “I don’t have to pretend to be crap at this in front of you!” They played a few more races, Lena true to her word and not letting Kara even get past her, but Kara didn’t mind one bit. Seeing Lena this free and happy was more than enough for her, and she silently made a note to buy a Switch when she got back to New York, hoping that they’d be able to play games on it together. That is, if everything went well on Monday.

The thought threatened to pop her good mood, so she pushed it away and focused on the race at hand. Maggie was attempting to sabotage Alex by bumping into her shoulder under the guise of terrible fake sneezes, to the point where Alex was elbowing her every time she got too close. Eliza was calling encouragement over their shoulders and laughing whenever someone used a thunderbolt.

So far, this was the best adoption anniversary Kara could remember having.

After stocking up on snacks and refilling their glasses, they all made their way into the garage so that they could set up a darts competition. Since there was an odd number of people, they teamed up in pairs and whoever scored the lowest points of the losing pair was swapped out so someone else could have a turn. Eliza turned out to be a shark at darts, and Lena was useless at it; Lena spent most of her time on the sidelines sipping a glass of wine and laughing at everyone’s attempts at poor sportsmanship. There were badly timed coughs, poking people just as they were about to let go of the darts, and random loud noises that made people jump. Lena also took on the role of photographer, using Kara’s phone to take photos of her with her family and friends.

When the doorbell rang, Lena wasn’t playing, so she got up to go and answer it. Kara heard the jovial voice of J’onn at the door, greeting Lena loudly and introducing M’gann formally, even though they’d already met at Martians. There was, though, an additional voice that Kara didn’t expect or recognize; straining her ears, she tried to listen, but she couldn’t make out any words that anyone was saying.

When J’onn and M’gann came into the garage, Lena wasn’t with them.

Kara greeted them both, giving them a big hug each and letting them know about the snacks in the lounge. She let them both take over her spot in the darts, curious about why Lena hadn’t come back, and who the extra voice was.

M’gann answered her question before she asked it, though.

“A friend of Lena’s came into Martians this evening,” she told Kara, picking up one of the darts and throwing it towards the dart board, effortlessly sinking it into the triple twenty and rubbing her hands together in anticipation of a good game. “Real pretty. Said her name was Sam and that she needed to speak to Lena really badly. I hope you don’t mind, but we brought her with us. We can take her back to town later, if she’s not staying here with you all?”

“Oh,” Kara said, scratching her neck thoughtfully. “She works with Lena. I’ve never actually met her, but I’ve talked to her a lot on the phone. I should go and introduce myself, and we’ll bring her down here in a bit. She must be exhausted with that flight.”

“Go, go,” J’onn said, picking one of the darts up, his massive hand dwarfing it. “Alex, I hope you’ve brought you’re A-game!”

Kara left them to it, J’onn’s booming laughter echoing through the garage and out into the kitchen as she stepped into it. She could hear Lena and Sam talking in the lounge, and wondered why on earth Sam had flown all the way out to Midvale. Her stomach lurched at the possibilities. When she turned the corner into the lounge and saw the somber look on Lena’s face, her fears were not assuaged in the slightest.

“Hi,” she said, giving them both a small wave when two sets of eyes turned to her.

“And you must be Kara Danvers,” Sam said, her voice warm and friendly. She stood up from the armchair she was leaning against, holding out her hand for Kara to take when she reached them. Her handshake was firm, but polite, and she had an easy smile on her face.

“I am. And you must be the famous Sam Arias,” Kara said, wrapping one arm around Lena’s waist, stroking her hip with her thumb. Lena leaned her head on Kara’s shoulder, a happy sigh escaping her.

Sam laughed, a very pleasant sound, and Kara relaxed slightly. “I don’t know about famous, but it’s lovely to put a face to the name at last. And I hear congratulations are in order? May I see the ring?” she asked, looking between them.

“Of course!” Kara exclaimed, letting go of Lena briefly so that Sam could examine her hand.

“It’s beautiful,” Sam said, turning Kara’s hand so that the tanzanite shone a deep purple and light danced off the diamonds. “Really stunning. I can’t believe Lena didn’t tell me she proposed. I’m not going to say I’m entirely surprised, Lena is one for her privacy after all, but when I saw the news this week I-”

“Sam,” Lena admonished lightly, “you’ve already given me enough grief over this!”

“Yeah, and then you threw your phone in the sea so that you wouldn’t have to talk to me anymore,” Sam said with a chuckle, bumping Lena’s shoulder with her own. It was nice, Kara thought, to see how familiar Sam was with Lena, and was glad that Lena did have a real friend who was close enough to her to tease her like this. Judging by the look on Lena’s face, she didn’t mind one bit.

“I could’ve guessed, anyway,” Sam said, turning a sly eye on Kara. “She’s had a crush on you for the longest time and even though I had no idea you were even dating, I was not surprised to see that you were engaged.”

“Oh?” Kara asked, putting her arm back around Lena’s waist and raising her eyebrows questioningly. “A crush on me for the longest time, eh?” she asked, laughing when Lena prodded her in the side. “I’m just glad you finally got around to asking me to marry you, swamp witch.”

Swamp witch?” Sam spluttered, coughing inelegantly into her glass of wine.

Lena rolled her eyes, but sank in closer against Kara, who pressed a kiss to her temple. “It’s a nickname that Kara’s had for me since the proposal. I dropped the ring in the pond and had to go swimming after it.”

“Romantic,” Sam said with a snort.

“So what brings you all the way up to Midvale?” Kara asked, curiosity getting the better of her at last. “Not that I’m not glad to meet you at last, but Midvale is quite a long way to come to see Lena when she’ll be back in in New York on Sunday night.”

“True, true,” Sam said with a smile, but Kara could hear the hesitation in her voice, and for some reason, she was speaking louder than before, as if she wanted her words to be overheard. “Well, I needed to get Lena’s signature on some important documents, and I couldn’t get hold of her. Unfortunately, for this only a wet ink signature will do. I was hoping to get them tonight and fly back tomorrow, because it really can’t wait.”

“That sounds absolutely hellish,” Kara commented. “It’s a long flight.”

“It is, but I made sure to book first class on L-Corp, considering it was for business reasons,” Sam said with a wink, her posture relaxing as she leaned back against the sofa again.

“Why are we all standing?” Lena said suddenly. “Should we… go upstairs?” she asked, giving Kara a look that said she wanted this conversation to be private.

“Sure,” Kara shrugged, letting go of Lena and folding her arms.

She could tell that there was some kind of tension in the air that was going unvoiced, and it made her feel quite nervous. Despite Sam’s friendliness, something about the way that her eyes kept looking between them made the hairs on her arms stand up.

A minute later, they were all sitting in Kara’s bedroom with the door closed, Sam and Lena on the sofa at the end of the bed and Sam on an armchair. They were sitting somewhat close together what with the way Sam was leaning forward towards them on the sofa. Giving them a shrewd look, Sam cleared her throat and spoke in a low voice. “So, I did need to get Lena’s signature, that’s not a lie. But the truth is that it could’ve waited until she got back. All of Lena’s emails indicated that she was taking a short leave of absence and that I should take over as acting CEO for the time being, which is fine. But imagine my surprise when I ask her to sign some documents and she states that she can’t because she’s in some sort of trouble with Immigration.”

Kara and Lena shared a worried glance.

“First of all, although I was aware that you were an Irish citizen, I had no idea you had some issue with Immigration,” Sam said, shooting Lena a somewhat hurt look. Lena bowed her head a little in acquiescence of Sam’s gentle rebuke, and Kara squeezed her hand. “There’s not much more to say about that, but I want you to understand that I will help you no matter what happens. From what Lena’s said, she’s in direct violation of her visa terms, and that she can no longer work for an American company while this is all being sorted out. And while that’s problematic, I can handle L-Corp in her absence. But…” she trailed off, looking down at the wine in her glass as she swirled it around, “but what concerns me more is that yesterday I had a call from an Eve Teschmacher.”

Kara sucked in a breath loud enough for Sam to look curiously at her.

Sam sighed. “You'd told me that you were on a leave of absence," she said to Lena. "Eve didn't elaborate on the terms of your visa violation in regards to L-Corp and what you can or cannot do. I had a meeting to get to anyway, and the call was brief. The long and short of it was that she wanted to ask me about you two, as a couple. She seemed to be under the impression that you two were committing fraud against the government, that your relationship is a sham, and that you’re only doing this so that Lena won’t be deported.”

Lena gripped Kara’s hand so tightly that Kara had to fight off a wince, although nothing showed on Lena’s face at all other than polite shock. Sam gave no indication that she’d noticed anything untoward, because she kept talking.

“I’ve known Lena for a long time. Given that I haven’t been able to get in contact with you, I decided the best course of action was to fly up here myself and talk to you both. Ruby is at a friend’s for the night,” she said to Lena, who looked satisfied at the answer to her unasked question. “Kara, we’ve only spoken on the phone but you’ve always been lovely. And I don’t mean to be awkward about this, but I’ve known about Lena’s feelings for you for a long time. She rarely opens up about this kind of thing, as I’m sure you know, but one too many glasses of wine two years ago and it all became painfully obvious. Her voice is soft when she speaks about you,” Sam said.

Despite the feeling of ice sliding down her spine, Kara felt warm at Sam’s words. “I know,” she replied softly, shuffling even closer to Lena until there was no space between them. “We just… we just wanted to keep it quiet. Lena’s so private, and I wanted to respect that in turn,” Kara said. Sam nodded.

“What I just wanted to ask was… the timing of this obviously seemed suspicious to this Eve person. And I love you Lena, and I trust you Kara; whatever you tell me, I’ll believe. Is this relationship real?”

“It’s real,” Lena announced without hesitation, her voice strong and steady. Kara detected no trace of a lie anywhere in it. “It’s real. I sometimes can’t quite believe it, but it is. I’ve been keeping up with the news at home. The tabloids seem to be having a field day with the fact that I’m gay, but nobody else seems to give a damn. I haven’t had a single email from any board member about it, much to my own surprise, so I have to conclude that they either don’t care or that they’ve decided that there’s nothing they can do about it as yet. Which is, frankly, more than I expected from that nest of vipers, and I suspect that has something to do with your presence, Sam.”

Sam raised her glass to Lena with a wink. “You know I’ll always defend your honor.”

“Lena’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Kara blurted out, startling the other two women with her vehemence. “It’s been hell not being able to talk to people about how happy she makes me, and this is just… I wish that- I wish Eve would just stick her nose in someone else’s business,” she finished huffily.

Both Sam and Lena laughed. “Amen to that,” Sam said. “On the phone she sounded like some kind of high, evil Disney princess.”

“She looks like one too, to be honest,” Kara mused, and Sam laughed into her glass of wine.

“Shall we rejoin the party?” Lena asked, suddenly seeming a lot happier than she had been when they came upstairs. Kara knew that her fears weren’t assuaged, and that they’d need to talk about this later, but for now they had each other, and there was cake to eat.

“Yeah,” Kara said, standing up and pulling Lena to her feet, giving her a mostly chaste, but lingering kiss. When they broke apart, Lena’s eyes were shining and Kara couldn’t help it; she pressed another quick kiss to Lena’s lips. Behind her, she heard Sam clear her throat, and she felt Lena smile. Lena’s eyes went to Sam for a moment, before they focused back on Kara.

“I’d say I’m sorry, Sam, but I’m not at all,” Lena said, her eyes still on Kara. She felt Lena’s thumb brush over the back of her hand and Kara melted.

“You two are adorable, but I’m hungry, and I saw food downstairs,” Sam said, and when Kara glanced over at her, she rubbed her hand over her stomach.

The three of them laughed, and Kara led the way back downstairs. Kara was quite hungry herself; it had been a while, at least in Kara’s estimation, since she’d last eaten anything substantial, and there was pizza to be cooked. As they headed down the stairs, she tried to let go of the knot of tension that was trying to settle in her stomach after Sam’s warning about Eve poking around. There was nothing they could do about it right now, and nothing specific had changed either. They’d still have to leave their little bubble of happiness up here in Midvale. They’d still have to do the interview on Monday. They’d still have to face the scrutiny of their colleagues.

Hopefully, they’d still have each other.

Kara popped her head into the kitchen when she spotted Eliza in there by herself.

“Hi girls,” Eliza said, gesturing for them to come in and holding her hand out for Sam to shake with a smile. “I’m Eliza, Kara’s adoptive mom.”

“I’m Samantha Arias, I work with Lena at L-Corp in New York,” Sam said, stepping forward to shake Eliza’s hand as well. “I’m sorry to have just shown up like this on a day during some kind of occasion.”

“Oh no, the more the merrier, especially if you’re a friend of Lena’s,” Eliza said kindly. “What kind of pizza would you all like? I’m about to start putting them in the oven. We’ve got pepperoni, vegetarian, meat feast, four cheese and the most controversial of all, Hawaiian.”

“Pineapple absolutely belongs on pizza,” Lena stated firmly, smiling when Kara grimaced. “What? You have pineapple on your gammon steaks, don’t you?”

“Yeah but that’s different,” Kara almost whined. “That’s not on bread!

Lena rolled her eyes and chuckled. “I’d love the Hawaiian, if that’s alright Eliza?”

Kara voted for the pepperoni. After some persuasion from Kara and Lena, and insistence from Eliza, Sam elected to go for the meat feast. “Same as Alex, you two can share,” Eliza said, dutifully pulling all the wrapping off the huge pizzas.

“Do you need any help?” Lena asked her.

“No, no, you all go ahead into the lounge. The rest of them are in there,” Eliza said, turning the oven temperature up.

They filed out of the kitchen and into the lounge. Maggie was sitting next to J’onn on the sofa, showing him how to play Mario Kart. The tiny Switch controller had almost vanished in J’onn’s large hands, and M’gann was laughing so helplessly that she could barely hold herself upright on the armrest of the sofa she was sitting on as she watched. Alex was in the middle of pouring herself another glass of scotch, before she put the cork back into the bottle and turned around.

When her eyes landed on Sam, Kara saw her fingers on her glass slip a little, and to Kara’s astonishment, a slight blush rose up her cheeks. It seemed that Lena had noticed as well, because she squeezed Lena’s hand and tilted her head towards Sam, who had apparently clocked Alex too.

“Hey,” Alex managed, unsticking her feet from the floor and moving away from the fireplace. “I’m Alex, Kara’s sister. I don’t think we’ve met?”

“I’d have remembered,” Sam replied, her lips curving up into a wide smile. “I’m Sam, I work with Lena.”

They shook hands, holding on for a moment longer than necessary, and Kara suppressed the urge to make a comment about how obvious both of them were being. Lena must have been thinking along the same lines, because she dragged Kara over to the table with the food on it. She didn’t say anything, but there was a knowing smirk on her face when she glanced back towards them. When she looked up at Kara, there was a mischievous expression on her face.

“Interesting,” Kara murmured.

“Isn’t it?” Lena agreed. “Come on, let’s cut some of your happy face cake.”

“Dessert before pizza? Miss Luthor, how scandalous,” Kara laughed, reaching for the knife to the side of the plate while Lena picked up two small plates and bumped her with her hip.

The evening was one of the most fun that Kara could remember spending in the last while. She was up here, at home in Midvale, with all of her favorite people. Lena was by her side, and Alex and Sam seemed to be getting on like a house on fire judging by the way they kept gravitating towards each other to talk. When Maggie caught sight of them sitting together on the sofa and talking, she sent Kara a wink and raised her glass in a salute.

There were multiple tournaments of Mario Kart, Sam being better than all of them; she modestly explained that it was thanks to a large amount of practice playing with her daughter. She fit in with their group instantly, especially when Winn appeared later halfway through pizza having taken a water taxi over to the island. He gave Lena a shy wave and everyone stood around chatting for a while, but before long he was subsumed into video games; he, Maggie, and Alex put Smash Bros on and spent a long while laughing loudly.

Kara and Lena spent a long time talking to J’onn and M’gann, the latter wanting to swap travel stories with Lena. They’d been to a lot of the same places, albeit at different times, and they shared their favourite hot spots and restaurants on several continents. After a while, Winn joined them and he and Lena got talking about more technical things while Kara teamed up with M’gann in a game of darts against J’onn.

They shared a couple of pizzas out in the garage before they made their way back into the lounge, Kara beelining to the food table for more cake. She looked around for Lena, finding her absorbed in a conversation with Eliza. They were discussing nanobots that Lena had been developing, gesturing with her hands as she seemed to draw diagrams in the air.

Kara was just cutting herself a second slice of the delicious Victoria sponge, which had some of the best buttercream she’d ever had (she briefly wondered whether she was just biased since Lena had made it, but dismissed the thought when Maggie voiced the same thing). As she slid the slice onto the plate, Sam sidled up next to her, another glass of wine in hand.

“Hi!” Kara said brightly, taking a bite of the cake and letting out an approving hum.

Sam smiled at her. “Hey,” she said, “may I have some cake?”

“Sure!” Kara mumbled around her mouthful, gesturing at it with her fork before she swallowed. “Lena made the buttercream.”

“She is excellent at making cakes actually; she makes all of Ruby’s for her birthdays. If you don’t mind me asking, what’s this party for?” Sam asked her, cutting herself a slice of cake.

“It’s the anniversary of when I was adopted by the Danvers family. It’s been fifteen years.”

“Congratulations,” Sam said warmly. Her eyes flicked over to where Alex was sitting next to Maggie. Sam shifted uncomfortably, and Kara had a flash of understanding.

“Oh, don’t worry about them, they’re just friends,” she reassured Sam quickly. “I mean, they used to be together years ago, but they wanted very different things. They’re best friends now, but Alex is single. And, in case you were curious…” she trailed off to see Sam angling herself towards her, attention fully on Kara’s words even if she tried to look relaxed, “she applied to work for the NYPD. She’s hoping to move to New York within the next few months if it can be managed.”

Sam’s brows cleared, a hopeful look now on her face. “That’s… that’s interesting,” she murmured.

“That’s what I said,” Kara said, having another mouthful of cake.

Both of them silently observed the room and the people in it while they ate. Kara felt surprisingly at ease in Sam’s company, even though they’d never spent any time together and had never met before today. Sam had a welcoming, cheerful presence, and although Kara had the feeling that she was no-nonsense, her impression was that she was a sincere and pleasant person. She had to be, if she was one of the only people that Lena trusted.

“All of the… other business aside,” Sam said, leaning closer to Kara so that only she could catch the words, “I really do just want to say that I have never seen Lena as happy as this, ever. And I know that has a lot to do with you, and the fact that she’s finally able to be open with someone about both herself, and about your relationship. I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like to outside of work, but it’s really wonderful for me to see her happy. She doesn’t open up to people very often, and most of those who she’s trusted have let her down in a really bad way. She wouldn’t say it to my face, but I know that she was afraid to get close to someone in case they broke her heart. But she got close to you, and I feel… I feel that you’ll keep her safe no matter what, and that’s all I can really ask of you.”

Kara was silent for a moment, absorbing Sam’s kind words. “She makes my heart happy,” she said, eventually.

Sam laughed. “That was corny, Kara, but I understand the sentiment.”

A smile crept across Kara’s face. “I can’t help it. She makes me feel like I always imagined it was supposed to feel like, you know?”

“I’m glad that you two found each other,” Sam replied. “She deserves to be happy, and if you make her happy and you treat her well, then that’s all I care about.”

“You’re not going to give me the shovel talk?” Kara asked.

“No. I feel like that was implied,” Sam laughed, her eyes sparkling. “But if it makes you feel better, I’ll tell you this. If you break her heart, if you let her down in any way, I will make you wish that you’d never even looked in her direction.”

“Understood,” Kara replied weakly.

“Don’t worry,” Sam said, straightening up and smiling at her. “I can see how much you love her from the way you look at her like she hung the moon and all the stars in the sky. I’ve got the feeling that you’d rather chop your own hand off than hurt her in any way, so any threat I could make towards you on her behalf would be nothing to what you’d do to yourself. And that in itself is enough for me to know she’s in safe hands,” Sam said. Her voice was warm, and the words rang true in Kara’s heart. Something of it must have shown on Kara’s face, because Sam was suddenly taking hold of her upper arm. “Just take care of her. She acts tough, but she’s a big ball of mush on the inside.”

“I will take care of her as long as she wants me to,” Kara promised, hoping against hope that she was speaking the truth, her mind flashing to their upcoming interview. The knot in her stomach made itself known once again, and she rubbed her hand over it surreptitiously.

“Good,” Sam said. “This cake is amazing, by the way.”

Kara laughed, feeling a little appeased by her conversation with Sam. “Isn’t it? Thankfully for everyone here, I only had anything to do with the jam, otherwise you’d all be in the ER tomorrow.”

“Oh, don’t, I don’t want to get ill on a flight,” Sam said, squeezing her eyes shut in mirth at the thought.

“Do you want to play a bit of Smash Bros?” Kara asked.

“Sure!”

Soon enough, Alex had wandered over and joined in, and Maggie sat the other side of Kara. Maggie teamed up surreptitiously with Kara, leaving Sam and Alex to shyly pair up against them. Maggie elbowed Kara, nodding towards the other two and winking. Kara stifled a laugh. They began their match with Winn shouting encouragement to both teams over their shoulders. It was fairly evenly matched, but midway through their second game, Kara felt a warm hand slide down the back of her neck and rest on her bare shoulder under her shirt.

She could smell Lena’s gentle perfume as she leaned over the back of the sofa, and shivers skittered down her spine when she felt Lena’s lips against her ear. “Are you happy, darling?” she whispered, stroking her fingers over Kara’s collarbone. Kara was distracted enough to let Sam knock her off the edge of the map with a giant hammer, and she didn’t even care.

“Yeah,” she said, turning her head to look at Lena while her character reloaded, and peppering her cheek with kisses until Lena laughed.

“Any chance you can… sit the next round out?” she asked in a low voice.

Kara scrambled out of her seat so quickly that Maggie jumped. “Maggie, hold down the fort for a minute. Defend my honor and don’t let me die!”

“What?” Maggie asked in an aghast voice. “Not a chance. Winn!” she called. “Come and take over Kara’s spot for a minute!”

Winn eagerly took the controller off Kara and wedged himself onto the sofa, easily taking over Kara’s character. Before Kara and Lena had even left the lounge, Kara heard a howl of outrage from Alex as Winn knocked her off the map.

Lena pulled Kara down the hall towards the guest bathroom, pushing the door open and pulling Kara in after her. She heard the snick of the lock behind her.

Kara had no time to ask what was up before Lena was pushing her against the door and pressing herself up against her. Any words that she had been about to say were swallowed when Lena tugged at her bottom lip with her teeth. “I missed you,” she whispered when she let it go.

Kara didn’t waste any time in wrapping her arms around Lena’s waist and dipping her head down to capture Lena’s lips. Their kisses pushed straight past soft and right into the messy, dirty kind of kiss that usually ended with ripping clothes off. Lena clutched at handfuls of Kara’s shirt, untucking it so that she could slide her hands up Kara’s sides. Kara had just about enough self-restraint to not get Lena’s dress in disarray, but the same couldn’t be said for her hair. Kara dug her hands into it, slipping her fingers through it when their kisses slowed, and gripping it tightly when they were more intense. Lena groaned when Kara’s fingers tightened in her hair, her tongue doing something obscene in Kara’s mouth. It was as if she were conducting magic, making Kara’s legs weak and her chest breathless. There was an insistent ache between her legs that only grew in intensity the longer they stayed pressed together. Lena tasted like the scotch she’d been drinking, and Kara’s back arched against the door as Lena scratched her nails down her side.

Kara broke the kiss with a gasp when Lena shifted slightly to the side and she felt Lena’s fingers dip below her waistband. When had Lena even undone her pants? Lena pushed her hand deeper, stroking Kara through her underwear and making Kara’s hips jump towards her.

“I see you missed me too,” Lena said wickedly, her voice husky and sounding like dark chocolate and sex. Her fingers slowly moved against Kara, and she spread her legs a little to give Lena better access.

Lena-” Kara stuttered when her fingers brushed over her clit. Even though her underwear, she was sensitive, and she dropped her forehead to Lena’s shoulder and groaned.

Just as soon as it seemed she’d started, Lena withdrew her hand, bringing her slick fingertips to her mouth and slowly licking them. Kara’s eyes widened at the sight, and her hands gripped Lena’s hips even harder. Lena seemed to relish it, her eyes darkening, and she ran her wet fingers over Kara’s lips.

“As much as I’d like to stay in here with you all night, darling, you have guests,” Lena murmured, pushing herself off Kara. When Kara reached out for her, Lena linked her hands with hers and pushed them against the door to the sides of Kara’s head. “Keep them there,” she whispered, before reaching down to cup Kara once more, before slowly doing Kara’s trousers up. The friction of Kara’s pants against her sensitive skin causing her to huff out a frustrated breath at Lena, who had backed away from her. She could feel that she was very slick, a testament to the speed at which Lena had pushed her from zero to sixty in no time flat. She desperately wanted to take Lena upstairs, ruck her dress up around her hips, pull her underwear down and press her fingers or her tongue between her legs…

“Oh really?” Lena asked, a hint of smugness in her tone.

“Did I say that part out loud?”

Lena nodded, reapplying her lipstick in the mirror before she stepped up close to Kara. “You’ve got one thing wrong, though. I’m not wearing underwear,” she said, right into Kara’s ear.

Fuck, Lena,” Kara groaned.

Lena raised an eyebrow at her and unlocked the door. “You’ve got quite a bit of my color on you. You might want to… clean yourself up,” Lena said, before she smiled devilishly and walking out of the door.

Kara listened to her heels clicking down the hall, before she shut the door and leaned back against it, trying to get her breath back under control. Lena is going to melt me into a puddle and I’m going to enjoy every second, she thought to herself. When she stepped in front of the sink, she saw that, yes, she had Lena’s color on her. She wiped the lipstick off her lips as best as she could while trying to keep the silly grin off her face.

When she eventually got back to the lounge, Lena smiled knowingly at her from across the room, and Kara had to stop herself from dropping her eyes below Lena’s waist. Knowing that she wasn’t wearing anything under that dress was doing something delicious to Kara’s body, and she was sure that Lena could read it in her face.

So, apparently, could Maggie.

“Keep it in your pants,” she smirked as she stood next to Kara by the food table.

Kara startled. “What?”

Maggie folded her arms and gave Kara a look which plainly said, really? “You look like you want to stalk across the room, pull Lena upstairs, and rip her dress right o-”

She felt Maggie laugh when Kara clapped a hand over her mouth to stop her from finishing that sentence within earshot of Eliza. “Alright, alright,” Kara hissed.

“You have got it bad,” Maggie observed when Kara removed her hand. “Both of you do. I’m happy for you both, really. It’s awesome.”

Kara sighed happily. “Thank you. And you’re not wrong, I just don’t want certain people in this room to hear… that.”

Maggie clapped her hands together with glee. “Oh, Kara, if you think they don’t already know what you two were just doing, you’re a fool.”

She felt a blush creep up her chest and neck. Looking down, she realized that while she had been concentrating on getting Lena’s lipstick off of her face, she’d forgotten to tuck her shirt back in. It was extremely rumpled, especially around the lapels where Lena’s hands had been gripping the fabric between her fingers. She caught Sam’s amused eyes from where she was standing next to Lena.

“I should… uh, I should change my shirt,” Kara said to herself, avoiding everyone’s eyes while she made her way to the door. She heard Lena’s laughter chasing her as she rushed upstairs, throwing the shirt into the corner of her bedroom before choosing one that didn’t look as if they’d been doing… exactly what they’d been doing.

The rest of the evening was more chilled out. Everyone was happy to sit around and watch a film of Kara’s choosing, as per tradition. She picked Some Like It Hot, because it was a classic and one of Eliza’s favorites. Everyone draped around the room on various sofas and armchairs, except for Winn who was happy on the floor, propped up on some spare cushions. Sam and Alex sat together, talking quietly to each other. In her dress, Lena couldn’t lie back or curl up against Kara like she obviously wanted to if the little huffs of annoyance she was letting out were any indication. In the end, she settled for sitting primly on the end of the sofa with Kara sat cross-legged on the floor in front of her, while Lena played with her hair for the majority of the movie.

Kara enjoyed the movie, as she always did, but she enjoyed Lena laughing at the dialogue even more. Lena’s fingers in her hair sent her into a tailspin of relaxation, and she felt herself slump against the sofa as Lena’s hands worked her into a state of bliss.

When the film was over, everyone laughing at the iconic last lines, J’onn stood up and stretched.

“I think we’re going to head back to the mainland,” he said, looking at his watch. “I hadn’t realized it was so late.”

“Okay,” Kara said, standing up and brushing herself off. “Thanks so much for coming, J’onn, and you M’gann, it really means a lot.”

J’onn folded Kara into a hug. “You’re welcome, you know you’re like family to me Kara,” he said, his voice uncharacteristically emotional. He cleared his throat when he let her go. “Does anyone need a lift back over the water?”

Winn and Sam both put their hands up.

“I’ve drunk too much scotch to drive us back tonight,” Alex said apologetically to Maggie.

“No problem. I figured we were staying here anyway,” Maggie replied soothingly.

“Lena, that scotch is… something else,” Alex called across the room to Lena, holding her nearly empty glass up.

“I know,” Lena said with a smile, picking her own glass up from the side table and holding it up in salute.

There were plenty of hugs to go around, everyone happy to have been able to spend the afternoon and evening at the Danvers’ place. Kara saw Sam and Lena talking quietly to each other, heads close together in the kitchen before they hugged; whatever they were talking about made Lena smile so widely that her double dimples were visible, and Kara’s heart expanded in her chest. Sam rubbed Lena’s upper arms before she gave her another quick hug and starting down the hall towards Kara, who was near the front door.

“You’re not going to be staying longer?” she asked, when Sam stopped next to her.

“Unfortunately no, I have to get back to the office; I’ve got a flight booked for the morning,” Sam replied glumly, looking as if she wished she could stay.

“That’s a shame, but it was lovely to meet you at last, Sam,” she said sincerely.

“And you too, Kara,” Sam said as she wrapped Kara in her arms. “Don’t forget to take care of our ball of mush.”

“I’ve no intention of letting my swamp witch go,” Kara said with a laugh that was shared by Sam when she stepped back. “Shall we plan to meet when we’re back in New York? I think Lena would like that.”

“Definitely,” Sam replied. “Give me your number and we can set something up?”

“Sure,” Kara said, fishing her phone out of her pocket.

Sam made a grab for it before she could unlock it, though. “Oh my god, this photo of Lena!” she crowed. “I love it! Lena, have you seen this?”

“Hmm?” Lena said, wandering over to them. She peered at the screen, cocking an eyebrow up at Kara once she realized that it was her lock screen photo. “That was earlier today.”

“This is the best photo of you I’ve ever seen in our entire friendship,” Sam said excitedly. “Kara, please make Lena put that on her Instagram page. I know Ruby would absolutely love it.”

“I will,” Kara promised, taking her phone back off Sam so that she could unlock it. Sam keyed her number into it, giving herself a quick call so she could get Kara’s number as well.

“Perfect. Well, I’ll see you both when you’re back in New York!” Sam said, giving them each a last hug.

Kara, Lena, Eliza, Alex, and Maggie stayed on the porch until the others had climbed into J’onn’s boat, which he’d moored at the end of the pier. They all waved until he’d turned it towards the mainland, and retreated back inside.

In good spirits, they all helped to tidy up the lounge, wrap up the snacks that hadn’t been eaten and refrigerating anything that needed to stay cold. Kara was eyeing up the leftover pizza for breakfast the next morning. That is, unless Lena planned to make pancakes again. They moved the furniture back into place and tidied up any of the mess that had got on the floor.

By the time they were done, they were all yawning, and said their goodnights to each other in the kitchen after pouring themselves glasses of water to take upstairs with them. They’d all had a couple of drinks, and hydration was a thing, Kara reminded herself.

Back up in their bedroom, Kara set their drinks on their nightstands and plugged her phone in. She started to yawn, but swallowed it when she turned around to see Lena looking at her with a heated expression on her face.

“Any chance you could unzip me?” she asked.

Kara almost fell over her own feet on the way to Lena, causing Lena to laugh, and gently turning her around. She slowly unzipped the dress, making sure to press a kiss to the back of Lena’s neck. She trailed her fingertips down each inch of skin that was revealed to her as the zip crawled down her body, sliding her hand around to Lena’s stomach when she was able to. When it was far down enough that it reached her waist, Kara let her go. Lena stepped forward, lowering the dress just enough to prove that she wasn’t wearing any underwear before pulling it back up and heading to the bathroom with a smirk.

While Lena was in the shower, Kara peeled off her own clothes, throwing them into the washing basket and picking up her shirt from earlier. The thought of what they’d been doing while she was wearing it caused a blush to rise to her face as she remembered Lena licking the taste of Kara off her own fingers. Clenching her legs together, Kara tossed the shirt into the washing basket as well, stripping off her underwear too.

Two can play at this game, she thought.

A short while later, Lena came back out of the bathroom, the ends of her hair damp from her shower and her face pink from the heat. She was still midway through knotting her towel when she caught sight of Kara, sitting naked on the edge of the bed with her legs crossed, her eyebrow raised, and a wicked smile on her face. Lena’s eyes darkened, and she made her way over to Kara, pushing herself gently between her legs.

“Hi.”

“Hi, Lena,” Kara replied, settling her hands on Lena’s waist over the towel. Gods, Lena smelled so good. She tutted and leaned back when Lena tried to kiss her. “Oh no you don’t,” she said, standing up and swiveling them round so that Lena was the one standing against the bed.

“And you’re not going to be needing that towel,” she said, stepping back and holding her hand out for it.

Lena gaped at her for a second before she pulled her towel off, leaving them both as naked as each other. “No touching,” Kara said, draping the towel over the edge of the sofa. “And if we’re going to do this, we’re going to need to be as quiet as possible.” Standing back in front of Lena, who was nodding her assent, she slid her hands slowly up Lena’s body. She stroked them up Lena’s thighs, over her behind, hips and waist, up her sides, over her chest, before finally sliding them into Lena’s hair. On her way up, she’d made sure to brush her fingers over Lena’s soft stomach, circling her nipples with her thumbs and her lips, and pressing her tongue into the pulse point in her neck. By the time she stopped, Lena’s hands were fisted by her sides, shaking with the effort to keep from touching Kara.

“I’ll be right back,” she said teasingly, stepping away, picking up the towel, and leaving Lena standing by the edge of the bed.

“Kara!” Lena burst out, goosebumps evident on her arms and her green eyes almost desperate with desire.

“That was for earlier.”

“You’re evil.”

“I don’t think you mean that,” Kara said, standing by the bathroom door, flexing her bicep just a little as she propped herself against the frame with her arm.

A choked sound came from Lena, who took half a step towards Kara before Kara held a hand up. “Nope. You’ll just have to wait until I’m finished in here. And then I’m coming back out, and I’m going to kiss you for hours.”

After her shower, Kara made good on her promise. She did kiss Lena for hours, covering as much of her skin as she could with her kisses and soft touches. She trailed her fingers across Lena’s skin, mapping the freckles she found, scratching just deep enough to make Lena hiss with pleasure.

Kara stroked Lena, paying gentle homage to her body with her fingertips, her hands, her mouth, and her tongue. She pressed into soft places wet with need, brushed that spot inside that made Lena’s back arch. She kissed her most sensitive parts until Lena was gripping Kara’s hair hard in her hand, her legs over Kara’s shoulders.

Gentleness gave way to a breathless intensity after Lena’s second orgasm when Kara pressed her into the bed with her hips, their skin salty with sweat and their bodies pressed and rocking together. Lena’s hands gripped the back of Kara’s neck and her shoulder blade, and their eye contact as Kara brought Lena to the edge once more was almost blistering in its heat.  

When Lena had to bite into her pillow to stop herself from crying out, Kara fell over the edge too, panting Lena’s name into her hair.

Lena wasted no time before crawling down Kara’s body, sucking marks into her skin and scratching her the way she knew by now that Kara loved, before she made love to her with her fingers and her tongue. Kara groaned deeply when Lena tapped her on the thigh; she looked down to see Lena’s mouth coated in her slick arousal and giving her a wolfish smile before ducking her head back down.

Lena worked Kara up until she was seeing white as her body released the tension within it that Lena had so expertly wrought with her tongue.

Afterwards, Kara lay with her head on Lena’s chest as they tried to get their breathing under control. Lena gently stroked her hair, working her fingers through the tangles that had made their way into it from their activities. Kara idly drew patterns in Lena’s skin with her fingertips, smiling whenever Lena twitched if it tickled too much. There was no need for words; their kisses had said everything for them, as well as the possessive marks they’d left on each other’s bodies. Kara rubbed her thumb over a small, blooming lovebite that she’d made on Lena’s left hip, marveling once again at the facts that she could do this, that Lena would let her do this to her, and most incredible of all, that Lena wanted her to.

She wrapped her arm around Lena’s waist, her hand coming to rest on Lena’s side as she listened to Lena’s heart beating.

After a while, they both dozed off, their bodies exhausted, but it was less than an hour before Kara had Lena writhing under her once more. Three of Kara’s fingers were buried inside the warm wet of Lena as she pressed herself against Lena’s back, coaxing her upright for a moment so that they could kiss, messily, over Lena’s shoulder. It wasn’t long before Lena was panting into the pillow once more as Kara worked her into oblivion, Lena’s cry muffled by the pillow as she came hard around Kara’s fingers.

It was only ten minutes after that that Kara was approaching her own cliff once more, Lena’s fingers buried deep inside her and curling exquisitely as she straddled Lena’s hips. Her other hand gripped Kara’s thigh, her nails digging deliciously into her skin. Kara’s hands were tightening in Lena’s hair, holding her close to her chest as heat rushed through her and she saw stars behind her eyelids.

All the while, they loved each other silently, unspoken words formed on their lips but lost to the night as they chose to share their emotions through touch instead. Every stroke of Kara’s fingers down Lena’s cheek, every affectionate brush of Lena’s hand through Kara’s hair, told a story. Every time their eyes met with heat or with tenderness, words passed between them that had no need to be voiced.

And when Lena finally pulled the blankets up around a nearly sleeping Kara, tucking her in and snuggling up against her, there was no need for words. Soft sighs and gentle hands as they held each other were all either of them needed to drift into sleep.

The last thing Kara remembered was Lena pressing her warm lips against her forehead; one last wordless declaration of the love and trust they’d placed in each other, before sleep claimed them both. The night’s silence fell around them as they lay wrapped in each other, their breathing even, content in the peace and safety that they’d found in each other’s arms and hearts.