Lena was meeting her fiancée today, for the second time. In a dress with a frankly impractical cleavage and lipstick picked out by her mother, but at least they allowed her the boots. There was to be walking involved in this playdate, and no one was willing to risk a faked injury in heels.
Her fiancée arrived exactly on time, holding her hands unnaturally at her sides, giving off an incessant nervous energy that would’ve put Lena on edge even in better circumstances. Lena knew very little about her, but one thing had been clear from the start: she was weird.
Weird, and alien, and mandatory .
“Hello Miss Lena, pleasure to make your acquaintance,” the alien said, the same exact greeting as the last time, as if she’d memorised the one English line and refused to update it.
She was wearing the same tweed jacket, too, the same overly starched shirt, the same tight and hopeful smile. Holding out a bouquet in yellows and reds that may as well have been the very same one.
Only one thing was different, a greenish-yellowish smudge blooming on her cheek. It might have had something to do with alien anatomy. Might have been an alien fashion trend. Might have been there all along, and Lena simply hadn’t noticed.
“What’s wrong with your face?” Lena demanded.
“N-no!” the alien stammered, forceful and defensive. “Nothing! What’s wrong with your face?”
Lena frowned. She had never encountered such a horrendous liar. “Rude.”
The alien seemed to shrink. “Apologies. Thank you for being me here. Would you like we go to walk?”
“No,” said Lena. But she got up and walked toward the gardens, as per the El-Washington treaty, signed and filed and legally binding.
The botanical gardens around Luthor Manor were extensive and impeccably maintained. Lena had walked these paths since infancy, was intimately familiar with their rose bushes and fountains and orchid rows, all the corners lifted straight out of a made for TV romcom set. Perfect backdrop for bartering your daughter off for political gain.
“Every all your animals are very beautiful on this planet,” the alien blurted out. She’d wandered off to, apparently, stick her face into a hydrangea bush.
Lena held off on a lesson in taxonomy. “They have their moments.”
The alien suddenly snapped upright, looking Lena straight in the eye. Her cheeks were flushed behind the bruising. “You are very beautiful,” she said.
Lena turned right around and headed for the water lily pond.
She’d crouched in the mud—leather boots clean up easily—staring at a frog’s vocal sac expand and deflate when the alien inevitably caught up with her. Lena could hear her dithering for a moment, and then she came over, plopping right on her ass in the mud next to Lena.
Their murky reflection rippled gently, uneasily side by side.
“You don’t really think that, do you,” Lena said.
“That you are very beautiful? I don’t think that. I was telling you reality.”
Lena shot her a sideways glance. “Right.”
The alien drew her knees closer to her chest. The frog went quiet for a beat and caught a fly.
“I don’t want this,” Lena confessed quietly.
“This?” the alien asked.
“You,” Lena clarified.
“Oh,” said the alien. “Uhh.”
Lena turned to face her. “Do you?” she asked.
The alien swallowed, looked at Lena, looked away. Nodded.
Horrendous, horrendous liar.
Lena rocked back to face the frog. “What’s your name? I forgot.”
The alien swallowed again. Lena likely should’ve offered her a drink. Likely, the treaty had a clause for that. “Kara,” the alien croaked. A bit like the frog. A bit like a person in an unfair and inescapable situation.
She didn’t provide a surname. But of course, Lena was well aware of that one.
“Kara,” Lena repeated quietly. Did they hurt you because of me, Kara? Are you as angry as I am, Kara? Or are you scared, instead? “I’m sorry, Kara.”
Kara hunched down further into her knees. “I’m sorry, Miss Lena.”
Lena held out her hand. Without looking, Kara took it. They stared at the pond in silence as their palms got sweatier.
When the mandated forty five minutes were up, Lena looked over to find Kara had fallen asleep. She seemed both exhausted and serene, cheek smooshed against her knee. Lena tugged on her hand and she jumped, head snapping up, blinking furiously. She shook her head, and looked at Lena, and her face melted into the sweetest, dopiest, most unselfconscious smile.
“Time’s up,” said Lena.
“Okay,” said Kara. “Thank you for giving me from your time.”
Lena let go of her hand. They stood and looked at each other, two fiancées surrounded by flowers. Kara lifted her hand, opened and closed her fist, an awkward imitation of a toddler’s goodbye.
She turned to walk away, back to her spaceship or wherever the fuck. The ass of her pants was caked in mud, a lovely brown apple-shaped stain.
Well, fuck, thought Lena. I might like her.
“We’re going to need to take these out for the wedding,” Lillian said, proprietary ‘we’ to go along with the proprietary touch to the piercings in Lena’s ear as she tidied up her hair.
“I can’t marry her,” Lena said offhandedly. Maybe if she was flippant enough about it, it would stick.
Lillian’s reflection came just short of rolling her eyes. “The tongue one will have to go too, of course.”
"I can’t marry her,” Lena repeated. Even if—even if she could—Kara didn’t want it, either.
“Lena, please. Only you would whine this much over saving the world.”
Saving the world. As if it hadn’t been Lillian trotting out a medieval solution to a decidedly modern problem, leveraging xenophobia and ignorance to get something for nothing. Well. Something for Lena.
“And I made sure to give you a woman, too. Well, as close to it as they come, at least."
Lena’s teeth clenched over the edge of her tongue.
“Is she really not to your taste? I was fairly sure you’d find her appealing.” Lillian’s fingers smoothed through the hair at Lena’s nape, making the skin there prickle. “Oh, well, there’s no need to consummate. This isn’t the middle ages. All I need from you really is a signature.” She patted Lena’s hair and stepped back. “God only knows what’s underneath those corduroy pants, anyway.” She gave a theatrical shudder.
Lena focused her entire strength of will to keep her fists from clenching until Lillian had left the room.
Kara was dressed exactly as usual, and Lena had to work very hard not to glance down at her corduroy pants. She kept her eyes on Kara’s face instead, where the bruise had since faded, but in its place, luridly, conspicuously red, was a cut in her lip.
"Hello Miss Lena, pleasure to make your acquaintance,” Kara recited quickly, nervous. “How are you, I have something special for you today.”
Kara was holding something shiny and colorful in her hands, but Lena could not take her eyes off the red swollen mess of her lip. “You’re hurt,” she accused. “You’ve been hurt.”
“Pleasure to make your acquaintance here today,” Kara repeated insistently. “Would you like that we drink some tea?”
“We’re already acquainted, idiot. Come on.”
Lena reached to grab Kara by the arm, then thought better of it. Kara gave no visible flinch, but the marks peeking from under her sleeve were very blue and very finger-shaped. And anyway where Lena went, Kara followed, so—there was no need to touch.
Lena bypassed the lavish guest bathroom with its sunken tub and no privacy for the small second-floor toilet where the drugs were. Kara clutched her crinkly square present to her chest as Lena rifled through valiums and adderalls for the first aid supplies.
She closed the toilet lid and gestured at it. “Sit.”
“Did you get hurt in a fight?” Lena asked as she gently applied antiseptic cream to Kara’s lip with a cotton swab.
“Not a hurter,” Kara muttered.
“You’re not a fighter,” Lena corrected absently.
“I’m not a fighter,” Kara repeated.
“You’re a lover, not a fighter."
"I’m a lover, not a fighter,” Kara repeated dutifully.
Lena’s mouth twitched.
“When did it happen?” she asked.
“Three days before today.”
Three days ago. Right after their last meeting. Was somebody unhappy with their progress? And Lena had been so much less of a bitch.
Lena extended her hand, and Kara extricated hers from its tight grip around her gift to grasp it, allowed herself to be pulled to her feet.
She was just tall enough for Lena to have to look up at such a short distance. Her shoulders were hunched, but they were—substantial. She had a scar above her left eyebrows and laughter lines that Lena had a sudden, intense craving to see earned.
“Can I give to you my gift now?” Kara asked quietly.
Lena nodded, and Kara handed it to her. It was less of a handing over when they were this close, more of a flip from Kara’s chest to Lena’s.
Lena accepted the gift, and tossed it right into the sink. “Thank you so much, I love it,” she said.
Kara glanced at the sink, at her empty hands, back to Lena. And then she laughed.
Her whole face lit up with it, creases making good on their promise and sliding perfectly into a picture of delight. Her busted lip stretched over a grin as bright as the fucking sun, an incongruous red stain in the middle of a masterpiece.
Lena rocked to the tip of her toes, stretched up, gripped Kara by the shoulders—firm and solid as they looked—and pressed her lips very precisely to Kara’s cheek. She drew back, appraising the stark red lipstick mark on Kara’s face with a satisfied eye.
Kara stared back, letting out a last, hiccuppy giggle.
“There,” Lena said. “For protection.”
As she turned back to the medicine cabinet, she caught Kara’s reflection reaching careful fingers to touch the smudged outline left behind by Lena’s mouth.
I can do the fighting, Lena found herself thinking. I can do it.
Lena opened the present late that night, finally alone in her pjs, in her bed, in her own damn apartment.
Inside the garish red and blue wrapping was a brand spanking new… baseball glove.
It took a couple solid minutes for her laughter to die down. She placed the mitt on her bedside table next to her glasses and turned off the light.
The ships had arrived in the night, abrupt as a lightning strike, seven months ago. Just like in a self-centered disaster movie, dotting the skies over North America, Antarctica and Russia; cold and sprawling areas.
They came with weapons and technology beyond imagining, with scared and tired children in brightly colored robes. Somewhere on the precipice between conquerors and refugees, and before the line could be crossed in either direction, came Lillian Luthor with an inventive, convenient solution: a daughter of Krypton’s most powerful family, and a daughter of Earth’s. In place of charity or diplomacy or surrender, a union.
The president had a daughter too, of course, but politics have an unimpressive half-life while wealth only grows and grows.
“Hello, Miss Lena, pleasure to make your—uh!—pleasure to be see you now again.”
This time Kara, beautifully bruise free, was carrying a McDonald’s takeout bag. Lena grabbed it from her and peered inside. Sure enough, a single cheeseburger and a packet of fries.
"You didn’t bring one for you?” Lena asked through a suppressed chortle.
“It’s customarily that I give to you food,” Kara said earnestly. “It’s very important for me."
A Kryptonian courting ritual with Earth’s most American food. "So, what? You want to sit and watch me eat?"
Kara nodded eagerly. "Would you like we will sit in the eating—"
“Shh!” Lena pressed her finger to Kara’s chin, just missing her lips. She glanced around. “Come on. We’re sneaking out.”
She let her hand trail down Kara’s arm to her hand, and Kara intertwined their fingers.
Lena wondered idly about alien customs and societal norms as she swallowed against the heartbeat in her throat.
She dragged Kara to her four favorite hole-in-the-wall spots and picked up everything Kara’s eyes lingered on. They ended up hauling six bags of every fried food imaginable. Lena’s hands shook with the giddy, juvenile excitement of petty rebellion as she unlocked her apartment door and spread out their selection of empanadas, samosas, gyoza, and other doughy packets from around the world on her living room table.
No cutlery, no plates; just the variety of restaurant napkins and two beers Lena had grabbed from the fridge. Kara’s eyes were the size and shape of flying saucers.
“All right!” Lena announced, clapping her hands together. “Dig in.”
The burger had long since gone cold, but that was alright. Lena bit into it with all the enthusiasm warranted for such a fucking adorable gesture, and Kara, as promised, watched.
“It’s very filling,” Lena managed through her mouthful, and made a point to finish the whole thing and the limp fries too.
Kara had been rapt, hands folded in her lap, body angled forward, and by the end she was beaming.
“Thank you for the food,” Lena told her. “Your turn.”
Under Lena’s pointed stare, Kara tentatively picked up an eggroll. Lena gave her a resolute nod, and, maintaining eye contact and an odd tension, Kara brought it to her mouth and bit down, the crunch perfectly articulated in the quiet between them.
And that was that. Lena had never seen someone so hungry nor so enamored with food. Kara ate methodically, vigorously, chewing with passion and precision, demolishing their piles of comfort food like it was a god damn art form.
And Lena—Lena got it. She totally got it now. Maybe not such an alien courting ritual, after all.
Five takeaway bags later, they collapsed on the couch together, stuffed and lazy. Lena turned on Netflix and queued up a show at random. At some point Streaky emerged from the bedroom to join them, no doubt looking to diversify his napping locations.
“This is your living place?”
“Mm hm,” Lena hummed. “Not as manory, right?”
“And this?” Kara asked, gesturing at Streaky. “Your… kin?”
Lena let out a cackle. “Cat,” she provided. “Maybe I’ll get you a picture book.”
Streaky jumped unceremoniously onto Kara’s lap and she froze, beer bottle halfway to her mouth, shooting Lena an awed and apprehensive look.
Lena sipped her beer and sunk back into her side of the couch. "He likes you,” she said as Streaky gave Kara’s thigh a few requisite kneads and settled down. “Big surprise."
“Big surprise,” Kara repeated softly, raking careful fingers along the top of Streaky’s head, her body relaxing a visible degree into the sofa cushions. “I like you same,” she murmured to the cat.
Lena took a swig of her beer and trained her eyes on the television.
Twenty minutes into the show Kara had tipped sideways, propped diagonally across the couch, knees bent at an uncomfortable angle, anchored by the ball of cat in her lap. She was snoring softly, shallow. Dead on her feet. Or, her ass, really.
Lena inched closer and gave Kara’s hip a gentle nudge. "Hey. Scoot back for me, alright?” She guided Kara’s upper body to lie flat, mindful of the cat. “Legs up, there you go. Human custom, you know how it is.” She got Kara’s feet on the couch, wrinkling her nose at the shoes. She considered taking them off for her, but it seemed… overly intimate. She could just vacuum later.
Streaky grumbled over being jostled but settled back into the warmth of Kara’s body just fine. Cats had an uncanny knack for comfort. Kara could certainly use some.
Kara finally let her head drop onto the throw pillow, nuzzling her face into it just a little. Her fingers went slack around the empty beer bottle, lips subtly parted, a strand of hair sticking to them.
Lena draped a blanket over Kara’s legs, a respectful distance from the reigning cat, and stepped back. She could get used to this, this image of perfect ease, dozing buzzed and warm and sated on her couch, with her cat, under her blanket. She could, but, much more horrifyingly—she wanted to.
“Humlm,” Kara mumbled in her sleep.
“Yeah,” Lena agreed softly. “I know. Time’s definitely up. Wanna spend the night anyway?”
Lena folded herself into the armchair opposite with her tablet and a pillow. Just to have something to hold. “For the cat’s sake, of course.”
The tender sounds of sleepy breathing were her only response.
Lena woke up with a crick in her neck and a horrible taste in her mouth, to the repeated sound of clapping.
She groaned as she rolled her head and straightened her stiff legs from where they were folded awkwardly in the armchair, one hand sliding into her hair to finger comb it back to approximate shape. Her eyes stung; she hadn't taken her contacts out. And she'd fallen asleep in her latest pony show dress.
What a shitty slumber party.
Clap. Thud. Clap.
The couch was now Kara- and Streaky-free, housing only Lena's blanket, folded into a neat little triangle. Like half a sandwich.
Lena stumbled into her kitchen, flicking on the coffeemaker and staring at her pantry. She thought of Kara the day before, closing her eyes in near orgasmic bliss as she chewed her mouthful of fried dough and mango chutney.
Sweet and junky , she decided, and pulled out white bread, chocolate spread and a couple bananas.
Clap. Thud. Clap.
Was that a grunt?
A plate of sandwiches and two precariously balanced coffee mugs in hand, Lena followed the noise into her bedroom.
First she spotted the tweed jacket and white shirt, wrinkled from having been slept in, discarded on Lena's desk. And then—bare feet braced on the floor; damn corduroy pants rolled up below the knee, exposing squarish calves with a dusting of golden hair; a ribbed white undershirt soaked through at the back with sweat, clinging to a straining torso; long silky hair knotted around itself to form a makeshift ponytail; and arms, pumping away, bulging with effort, coming together at the end of each rep.
Clap. Thud. Clap. Grunt.
Kara, practically nude and breathing heavy, eyes fixed on the floor, had invited herself into Lena's bedroom to perform motherfucking clapping push ups.
Well. This was Lena's bedroom. She would be completely justified in leaning against her own damn bedroom wall, sipping her damn coffee, and enjoying the damn show.
Surely, she would be, but—fuck.
Lena pointedly cleared her throat.
Kara immediately scrambled onto her heels and hands, staring up at Lena, looking like a beefy, startled rabbit.
"Shit." Lena swallowed. "Sorry. Breakfast?" She held up the sandwich plate.
Kara wiped a forearm over her sweaty face, a bright smile seeming to follow the motion. Said something in her language, probably—it had a strong zh sound—and sprang to her feet. Like a beefy, happy rabbit.
She smelled like greasy food and fresh sweat, but there was an underlying, almost metallic hint to it. She looked so human, but she was foreign down to the biochemical level. Her chest heaved as she picked up two sandwiches off Lena's offered plate. She bit into them both, stacked on top of each other, and moaned.
"Whash ish tha?" Kara asked through her mouthful.
"Toasted chocolate and banana sandwich."
"Ish beau'iful." Kara reached out and plucked a coffee mug out of Lena's hand. The one Lena had drunk from. She made a face at the flavor. The one Lena had meant for her had sugar in it. "Thank you, Miss Lena."
Lena sipped the overly sweetened coffee. "You're welcome."
Kara was warm from the workout, body radiating heat in a tight, exciting radius, and she was standing close enough for Lena to breach it.
"Sleep alright?" Lena managed behind her mug.
"I loved to sleep with your cat," Kara said, swaying closer, the whole sweet, sweaty mass of her. "And with you."
"Ohh-kay," Lena said brightly. "We'd better get you back to your ship. I have to get to work sometime today and you probably—"
“Shh,” said Kara, reaching out and carefully brushing Lena’s chin with a finger. She glanced over her shoulder, to Streaky on the bed, silently observing the proceedings. “We’re sneaking out.”
She had such a dopy smile on her face. Lena put her coffee down and texted in late to work.
The ship was as big as a shopping mall, with the sleek and overwrought design of men’s deodorant. Not exactly the stuff of a baby engineer's dreams, but Lena would be lying through her teeth if she said she wouldn't give up all her material possessions for a glance at the blueprints. All strictly forbidden by the El-Washington accord, of course.
All the ship’s residents wore traditional Kryptonian robes, woven into bold, pleasing symbols at the front. They greeted Kara warmly, and several drew her into hugs. Now, with other Kryptonians to contrast her with, it seemed so clear that she was stiff and ill at ease in human clothes, with human language; with her people, she spoke rapid-fire, and seemed to grow a couple inches taller.
Lena only knew her as a lion in a zoo, she realized. She felt a sudden intense desire to see her wearing her own clothes.
In the largest chamber, surrounded by monitors, sat a man in a dramatic black robe. Kara’s body stiffened noticeably as they approached him. “That’s my uncle, Non,” she told Lena, voice subdued.
He didn’t rise to greet her; said something, short and sharp, and Kara seemed to lose the inches she’d gained. She started replying, but he cut her off, and she—flinched. Caged lion again.
Lena itched to reach out, take her hand, but they were both held so stiffly at her sides, like those first dates. Untouchable.
Non’s eyes landed on Lena. Looking at her, he said something else in Kryptonian. Kara ducked her head, mumbled her goodbyes, and led Lena to the sleeping quarters.
Kara's cabin consisted of a pile of mattresses and a pile of bags. Kara claimed the bags, so Lena plopped down on the mattresses. Surprisingly fun and springy. Kara rubbed absentmindedly at her pile of bags, squeezing them in her hands. The gesture felt deeply familiar.
Lena gnawed on her lip. "He's the one who hurt you, isn't he?" she blurted out.
Kara jumped, looked at Lena, looked away. Nodded.
"Has he been doing that for a long time?"
Kara shook her head, a little frantic. "He's only scared," she said. "We're only scared, Miss Lena."
But your scared makes you give yourself up for your people, Lena thought, and his scared makes him…
She clenched her fist, curling her tongue over and over her piercing.
“If I talked to him,” she said slowly. “In an unkind and threatening manner, to be clear. Would that make things worse for you?”
“I don’t know.”
"I want to tell him if he touches you again in anger, I will rip his fucking throat out with my bare hands. What do you think?"
Kara stared at her in horror, furiously shook her head.
"I can be diplomatic about it."
"Miss Lena, I don't know that really you can."
Lena rubbed over her mouth with a knuckle. Chewed on it a little.
If Lillian had ever been confronted on Lena's behalf, it would've been disastrous. Lena knew that. But the powerlessness burned.
She looked up at Kara. “Kara. I’d like to hug you.” She swallowed. “Can I?”
Kara slid off her bag pile and slammed into her all in one fluid motion, melting against Lena’s body as if she’d simply been waiting for the invitation. She tucked her face under Lena’s jaw, arms snaking beneath Lena’s armpits to perfectly encircle her back, cheek and nose and what must have been a sliver of lip pressing into the skin of her throat. A tile sliding in to complete a tactile mosaic Lena hadn’t realized she was missing.
Kara shifted her head, nuzzling closer into the crook of Lena's neck, and yes, those were definitely Kara's lips, hot and electric on her skin.
Lena let out a controlled breath. It’s not a kiss, she scolded her bloated heart. Those are lips but this is not a kiss.
They were two rooms away from Kara’s abuser, on this ship of so many desperate survivors who’d lost a world, come seeking refuge, and found their future hanging on Kara’s fucking marital status. This was a relationship under extreme duress, which Kara hadn’t wanted, hadn’t asked for, and could not refuse. It was no relationship at all.
And this was not a kiss.
Lena wrapped both arms around Kara's back in its scratchy jacket, bulky body made compact to fit within her arms, and squeezed.
Their breathing had managed to sync up by the time Kara rubbed her face in Lena’s neck one last time and drew back.
"And then," she said, “would you like you meet him?”
Lena had to clear her throat twice before she could produce sound. “Who?”
Kara gave her the softest smile, pure crystallized affection. “My cat.”
The cat was black haired and bright eyed, with an understandably wary look about him, eyeing Lena with equal parts curiosity and suspicion. Perhaps more pertinently, the cat was an eleven year old boy.
The boy said something in Kryptonian, still staring at Lena, and Kara laughed, said something back. He turned to her finally, looking skeptical, and she advanced on him, hands held in front of her in cartoonish threat. He held up a forearm and backed up, serious expression cracking into a smile, and Kara pounced, picking him up by the waist and wrestling him over her shoulder like a toddler to the sounds of his laughter and presumable protests.
“This is Kal,” Kara said once she’d put him down, brushing his deep red robe with a hand he immediately batted away.
“Kal-El,” he corrected primly.
“Lena Luthor,” said Lena, pressing a palm to her own chest like an idiot.
Fittingly, Kal-El rolled his eyes. “I know.”
Kara said something else in their language, and he rolled his eyes some more.
He looked at Lena again. “You will want to marry Kara,” he said, and for a moment it hit Lena like a prophecy, and she stepped back, reeling, instinctive denial on her tongue.
Then she remembered the situation they were in, and his meaning registered. “Uh—yes. I will.”
“Why?” he asked.
Because I have no choice, Lena thought. Because my mom’s a bitch. Because I’ve seen her shirtless, and I could eat her up . Because I think we could make each other laugh, and maybe make each other happy. “Because I like being around her,” she told the literal child who didn’t need to hear any more fucked up bullshit about marriage than he might have already been exposed to.
He stared at her for another moment, then looked aside, suddenly shy. “Okay,” he said. “Would you like watch my... playing system?”
And thus Lena found herself spending the next two hours losing very badly at alien video games to an eleven year old boy/cat while her fiancée cheered decidedly against her.
"So… your cat, huh?"
Kara flashed her a proud smile.
"I think 'kin' would actually work better in this context." Lena scratched uncomfortably at her neck. "You take care of him?"
Kara nodded seriously. "Now as…" She trailed off. "Now I do. Trying."
Lena's first thought was, We're gonna need a bigger house.
Her second, once she'd brushed that one off, was that there'd been a lot of unspoken tragedy in that statement.
She glanced at Kara. Steady and calm, always ready to smile, stuck in uncomfortable alien clothes in an uncomfortable alien world, never anything less than careful and kind.
What a ridiculous person to be engaged to Lena.
They reached the main chamber, and there was that bastard Non on his technocrat's throne, and he looked up from his monitor and said something to Kara which had her back stiffening minutely, and before Lena could register her own intent, she'd clasped Kara by the arm and drew her into a hug without asking.
She pressed Kara's body against her own, a sudden possessive urge, staring at Non over Kara's shoulder.
"I like my wives to be healthy and whole," she said, conversational, eyes trained on Non's. "Just a thought."
She released Kara, but grabbed her hand, fleeing for the exit, a flush catching up with her.
At the outer hatch, Kara rubbed a thumb over Lena's wrist, said, "Umm."
Lena couldn't quite meet her eye. "I'm sorry, did I scare you?"
Kara shook her head. "You're not scary, Miss Lena," she said earnestly. "You're wonderfully."
Lena almost tugged on her hand just then, almost leaned in and pulled her close and braced a hand at the small of her back and kissed her and kissed her and kissed her.
Instead, she bit down on her tongue, teeth scraping against her piercing, swallowing the presumptuous saliva that had gathered in her mouth.
"Lena," she forced out. "Could you call me Lena, please."
Kara squeezed her hand, leaned in herself, the villain. "You're wonderfully, Lena," she said.
She squeezed again, and smiled, golden affection haloed by messy golden hair, and let go.
I'm wonderfully fucked, Lena thought, and tumbled out the hatch.