Travel brings power and love back into your life.
The was something completely awful as well as relaxing at knowing that she was going to die and nothing will change in consequence of it.
Earth was still mourning Lex, their “lost hero”- the one that she had killed when he tried to enslave them all, not that they’d ever find out about that.
She had left Luthor Corp to Andrea and Sam. Maybe as an apology, maybe as a thank you- she’s not really sure.
She had signed the contracts to name the company L-corp, as well as the instructions for the new direction it will take.
It all felt repetitive, boring- like she had done this before (and she had, but not on this earth).
She didn’t die. But she might as well have.
She just… packed and left.
There was nothing left for her in Nacional City.
No company to redeem. No crisis to solve. No threat to humanity that couldn’t be handled by someone else.
No friends. No Kara.
And so, she leaves.
She found her drunk and lazily walking down the street.
She laughed lightly when Lena tried to talk and ended up throwing up on the side of the street.
She helped her up and asked her where she lived.
Twenty minutes later, she was in front of her apartment building.
“What do you want? For helping me,” Lena clarified.
The woman laughed and shook her head, “Nothing, there was a group of guys behind you and I was worried.”
“Why were you worried? What do you want?” Lena snapped, but the words came out with more sadness than bite.
“I swear, I don’t want anything.”
Lena looked into the woman’s eyes and didn’t find any lies in them.
But, how could she know? She hadn’t found any in Kara’s either.
“What’s your name?” she asked instead.
“Mara. Well, actually,” she took out a small ID out of her pocket, “It’s Ashley when I’m here.”
“Earth,” she explained, “I was just delivering some stuff.”
She didn’t say how she shouldn’t have told her she was an alien. That her brother had killed, and tried to, kill millions of them.
“Would you like to get coffee tomorrow?” she asked, “as a thank you.”
She met her escape plan there.
She does a thorough search on Mara.
She calls one of her private investigators and gives them the name and ID number in the card she had shown Lena.
(She was drunk but she can still remember a sequence of numbers.)
The search, as Lena expected, was a dead end. She didn’t exist.
When she tells them to look for an alien named Mara, the pictures convince her to actually show up to the coffee shop.
Mara’s work was delivering alien medicines to different planets.
Her family, her planet (Lena’s not sure there’s a difference) develops them and travelers, such as Mara, take them to the corners of the universe for the ones that don’t have them.
“But how do you know which ones you need to take?”
There’s three empty cups on the table (one from Mara, two from Lena), and the remains of the lemon cake the alien had asked for. They were in one of the tables on the side of the wall, almost at the furthest away corner of the coffee shop, Lena had her elbows pressed on the table as she listened to Mara speak, somehow there wasn’t a single thing that hadn’t enchanted Lena- from the landscapes of old planets, to economic systems, to technology and jobs.
“I bring all of them. A bit more for people we know will probably be here.”
“And how do they pay you?”
Mara laughed, she did that a lot- especially when Lena said something too human , but there wasn’t a part of her that ever took offence.
“They don’t have to pay me. I forget how weird this planet is.”
“What’s your planet like?”
“I could take you there, if you want.”
She thinks about planets and stars, and technology she can only imagine. About leaving this place and leaving all her pain behind her.
She agrees without much thought.
Mara laughs from Lena’s bed as she watches her. Her image inducer is off, leaving her pale violet skin on display, the three extra fingers on her hands and the bright orange irises in her eyes surrounding a white cuadrangular pupil.
Lena stopped herself from a second when she first saw her and then smiled at the thought of Mara trusting her, or at least liking her, enough to take the image inducer off.
If she noticed Lena stopping her words for a second, she didn’t mention it- and Lena was thankful for that.
“You know, I can just get you some clothes in whatever planet we’re in.”
“You’re wearing jeans and a jacket, I think my clothes will be fine.”
Mara raises her hands in surrender as she looks at her with amusement.
There’s a lightness in Lena, one she thought she wouldn’t feel again. All she can think about is new planets, new technology, new people, no Luthor name, no liars walking around. Some peace , finally.
She’s grabbing her laptop and tablet from her living room when the sound of feet on her balcony take her eyes away from the devices to Supergirl, hands on her hips- her eyes betraying the confidence she wants to pull off with that.
Lena sighs, “What is it now?”
“We need to- I wanted to talk to you,” she answers.
“Is anyone dying?”
Supergirl frowns, “Well, no.”
“Is the world about to end?”
“Then you can leave the same way you came in.”
It shouldn’t shake her so much, to hear her say her name, to look into her eyes and pretend they weren’t her life line a couple of months ago- before everything.
But now she looks at Kara and all she feels is pain, the pain her last name had always brought her- because she thinks of you as just a Luthor, too.
“Please, Kara,” she feels the sting of tears in her eyes and she hates how that feeling has always been so familiar that she knows how to easily push it down, “I want to stop fighting, I’m tired of it.”
“So am I,” she says, taking a step forward- her hands clenching on her sides as if she’s trying to control them from shaking, “I-”
“I so want to get burgers before we leave- oh hello,” Mara’s voice stops Kara’s words.
When Lena looks back at the hero, she sees a frown on her face- she’s looking almost angrily at Mara but when she looks back at Lena, her eyes look sad.
“You’re leaving? Where?”
Lena wants to pretend her voice didn’t sound small, that she was still talking to Supergirl- the fearless, confident hero. The one she can be angry with, not Kara- the girl she always wants to touch and comfort.
“I don’t know,” she whispers.
“When will you be back?”
When my heart feels like it’s not breaking anymore, “I don’t know.”
“Will you be back?”
“I don’t know,” she doesn’t look at Kara, she can tell by the sound of her voice the blonde is crying- that if she looks up her blue eyes will be shining with tears, maybe a few will be falling down her cheeks.
Those big crocodile tears.
Lena scoffs, looks up to Kara and finds her exactly like she imagined. She notices Mara is gone and she doesn’t know whether to be thankful or sad.
“Why wouldn’t I? I have no reason to stay here.”
Kara looks hurt, and then angry, “That’s not true.”
Her voice sounds strong, and sure of what she’s saying. And it reminds Lena so much of their last conversation at the fortress it makes her snap.
“Really?” she asks as she steps closer to the hero, “Why would I stay? L-corp? That’s not mine anymore, it’s Lex’s. I didn’t rebuild it, I didn’t change it, I did nothing .”
“It’s yours now, it can be like before.”
“Don’t you get it?!” she screams, her arms raised, “there is no before! I have no job, I have no friends, I have no life here.”
Silence falls between them. Kara is looking at her like she used to do when Lena was telling her about her mom or about the Luthors. Softly and openly.
Lena knew those eyes meant a hug was coming and she wasn’t sure that if Kara hugged her now, she wouldn’t break down in her arms.
The blonde looks down and brings her hand to her face, a small tick to adjust her glasses- she stops and puts a strand of hair behind her ear when she remembers she’s in the suit.
“You could stay for me,” she whispers defeatedly, “so we can fix this.”
“There’s nothing to fix,” Lena says, taking a step back when she notices how close they are, “We’re not friends, you made that very clear.”
“We can,” she walks over to Lena, her hands reaching but never grabbing hers, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry I never told you I was Supergirl-”
“This isn’t about you being Supergirl!” she points her finger at her chest, where the S stands proudly, “it’s about you acting like two people so I could always be at your call, so I could be there- willing to help, willing to do whatever the fuck you wanted. And if Supergirl couldn’t change my mind, well, Kara Danvers certainly could. And I lo- trusted the both of you.”
“I’m sorry,” Kara repeats, “I know nothing will change your mind but… I swear to Rao, that I wasn’t a lie- our relationship wasn’t a lie.”
“You’re right,” Lena says after a moment, “nothing will change my mind.”
Kara nods as she wipes the tears from her face. She breathes in and out, looking at Lena- she knows she’s taking her in, maybe to remember her face for longer in the future, maybe to remember one last time what they could have had and both fucked up.
Lena knows because she’s doing the same. It’s hard not to think about all the great things they could have done together, a Luthor and a Super- if only they had talked more, if they had trusted more.
And then Kara’s shoulders tense, the wrinkle between her eyebrows disappears at the same time her mouth goes into a straight line.
With one last nod, Supergirl flies away.
“So, should we talk about that talk you had with your girlfriend?” Mara asks as she places Lena’s last bag inside of what she assumes is the trunk of Mara’s ship.
“She’s not my girlfriend.”
“But she was?” Mara smirks teasingly.
Lena glares at her, “No.”
“Well, with all those heart eye-”
“Can we not talk about it?” she interrupts.
She tries to focus on the ship in front of her, on the fact it’s like a dream come true- that she’s going to space, she’s going to get into a box of metal and wires and she’s going to defeat gravity and most of the laws of matter she knows and fly into deep space with Mara.
“Of course,” she says when she notices the somber look in Lena’s eyes, “but, if you ever want to talk about it, I’m here.”
The brunette looks over to her somewhat in surprise, a warm feeling spreading through her.
She wasn’t used to say things in her own time, she had with Kara- she doesn’t really know if that counts now that she knows the blonde was always so kind so she could keep an eye on her.
She thinks of Andrea and Sam, how they hadn’t pushed either and how they had gotten pushed away in return.
She was used to Lex and Lillian knowing things before she could even finish doing them, understanding her feelings enough to find a way to manipulate her with them.
She knows Mara’s words are sincere and she finds comfort in knowing she’ll be able to tell her when she’s ready.
“Ready to leave?”
“You’re probably gonna throw up,” Mara says as she shows Lena how to place all the different belts around her.
“‘I’m not going to throw up,” she answers annoyed.
Mara laughs and looks at her, with an affirmative nod from Lena she pushes a button.
Not only does she throw up after the space jump from earth, she throws up the next three times they do it.
First, they go to Mars.
The journey takes about five minutes, so Lena doesn’t really get to enjoy the view before they ship is touching down and she has the sudden urge to empty her stomach.
Mara is handing her a bucket as soon as she puts her hand in front of her mouth.
“Told you,” she says, rubbing softly on Lena's back, “do you want to stay here while I deliver this one?”
She’s shaking her head half way through the question. There’s no way she’s missing Mars . She stands on shaky legs and goes to the small bathroom to wash her teeth.
Mara is holding a small vase in her hands, inside it there a two small blue dots moving.
“These, are your new best friends,” she extends them to Lena, “put them in your nose.”
“They’ll allow you to breath in any atmosphere we might go.”
“How does that work? Isn’t it dangerous? Is their system some kind of exchange of gases-”
“I have absolutely no idea, I’ll tell my fathers to explain it all to you. Just put them in your nose.”
Lena takes the vase in her hands and looks at it with distrust. After a few seconds she takes it close to her nose and inhales. The small beings jump into her and she feels scared for a second when she feels them moving through her body- she relaxes once it stops and she notices how less thicker the air feels.
When she looks up to Mara, she finds her in the round table in the middle of the room- looking intensely at a hologram, a serious expression on her face.
“It’s the coordinates from the base of operation of the rebellion, but something must’ve gone wrong because there’s nothing here.”
“Rebellion?” Lena asks confused. She had been so enwrapped in the idea of new worlds and people, she hadn’t considered they’d have problems like Earth, maybe worse ones.
“Oh gods, I forgot you don’t know these things,” she says, looking at Lena, “long short story: there used to be two kinds of martians, green and white ones. The white ones lived underground until they went to the surface and killed all the green ones, now the white ones that were against the genocide of the greens, the rebellion, are trying to take control and create a better world.”
Lena takes a moment to let the information sink in. There was literally a war happening one planet away from them all her life and people of earth were worried about things like fashion trends and social media.
“What do we need to do?” she asks Mara.
The orange eyed woman smirks at her and then turns back to the hologram.
“First, we need to find where the rebellion is and where the military bases are. If they see us they’ll try to take away any kind of aid to the rebellion,” she explains, “once we do we’ll have to walk there with the medicines.”
“Walk?” she asks, “can’t we just fly on the ship to their base?”
“We’re cloaked right now, if we move the ship they’ll be able to detect it,” Mara explains, “I don’t suppose you’re in the mood to get ripped apart by white martians.”
It takes them four hours to get to the rebellion is.
One in which they use finding them.
Two more walking there while carrying what Lena thinks are the heaviest three boxes she ever carried.
Her arms and back ache by the time they reach the opening of the cave. She feels the relief in her bones the moment she sees a figure inside it, knowing her and Mara’s calculations were right and they hadn’t been walking for nothing.
There’s a prick of fear on Lena’s spine when she sees two tall white martians running towards them, until Mara smiles and hands them the box.
Before she can notice two big hands are grabbing the boxes from her as she hears what she assumes is martian being spoken quickly. She looked over to Mara, who was talking back just as fast.
The walk back takes only an hour without the boxes.
And when they jump back into space, and only after throwing up again, Lena can see the small silhouette of Earth from where they are.
She whispers a small goodbye its way.
She sees waterfalls of gold and purple rivers and eight moons on the same sky, one bigger than the next. She sees entire communities living under the same roof and others fighting over the last habitable piece of land on the planet.
What she sees every single time, though, it’s the moment they realize why her and Mara there for, and hope shines in their eyes.
For a moment, she understands why Kara does what she does every day.
She thinks about Kara a lot- more than she’d like to admit.
She thinks about her when every time she sees a red sun and wonders if she misses her home- that’s a stupid question, of course she does.
She thinks about Kara when they reach a new planet and she wonders if she had been there once or if her only journey had been from Krypton to Earth.
She thinks about Kara a lot- more than she’d like to admit.
She thinks about her so much, sometimes she feels like people can feel the love she still feels for her- even when she doesn’t want to.
They delivered a big package once, to a planet that was on the brink of dying, they’d been struck by another planet’s virus and they could not find a cure.
The people there couldn’t lie- Lena snorted when Mara told, she would have loved to live there a year ago.
Not only they couldn’t lie, they could also dig out hidden truths- the ones people always wanted to know.
“It’s a very old tradition, takes years to master and not everyone can do it,” Mara explaines on their way there, “and it’s not really as enlightening as it sounds, honestly.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, they can tell you anything, it kinda shows up in their mind but they don’t always know what it means. Maybe they say something like on that day it rained and it could just be the answer to your question about what happened on your birthday-”
“Okay, I feel like that was personal,” Lena laughs.
“Yeah, they gave me a shitty answer,” Mara rolls her eyes, “let’s see what they tell you.”
The words keep echoing around her mind, over and over again.
She can barely focus on how amazed she was by the place, the technology and the shapes of the people walking around- this time she can’t even feel the pain of the people dying around her and she can’t think in that small second she saw the hope in their eyes.
All she can think about is how, after they handed over the medicine to the high priest, he took one long look at her and said “she wasn’t lying” and then turned around.
The words bang in her head and in her heart and all she can think about it’s Kara- and in how it doesn’t hurt as much now.
How much she gets her now, maybe not all the lies and all the deceiving- but at least her reasons, some of her feelings.
She thinks of Kara and instead of thinking of pain and betrayal, she thinks of potstickers and lazy afternoons.
It took her so long, so many months, to talk about it with Mara- and when she did, she couldn’t stop.
And now she can look back at their relationship and not feel like her heart is tearing apart.
“You’ve got that look on your face again.”
Mara says from the other side of the ship as she checks how many packages they have left before having to go back to her planet for more. Lena sits on the command’s chair as she swiftly moves the ship through an asteroids belt.
“I don’t have any look on my face.”
“Yes, you do,” Mara groans, “you’re thinking about what the priest said again.”
Lena says nothing, they both know it’s true- Mara always knew when she lied even though she rarely felt like she had to lie to her.
“Confusing? Annoying? It makes you want to cry and scream at the same time?” the woman says as she throws herself into the chair in front of Lena’s, “so you’ve said.”
“Smartass. I just wonder… if I would have believed her at some point, if I had stayed.”
Mara’s teasing smirk leaves her face, as it always does when the subject demands it. As much as she loved annoying Lena, as much as she loved jokes, if there was one thing Mara was good at: it was knowing when a situation demanded being serious and when someone needed to be told something directly.
“You also wouldn’t have healed.”
“Tell me the truth, what were you going to do if we hadn’t met?”
Lena doesn’t want to say it, mostly because it was just an idea at the back of her head at the time- she wasn’t actually going to do it. She focuses on the asteroids and avoids Mara’s eyes.
“Overwork myself, probably,” she says instead, “maybe ask for forgiveness at some point.”
“That’s just the thing, you didn’t have to ask for forgiveness- you hadn’t done anything wrong!”
“I did- I created non nocere and-”
“And you scrapped it as soon as you realized how wrong it was.”
“Lena,” she moves closer and gently squeezes her hand, at this point in their lives she knows that means look at me so she does, “you had to heal, even if the words he said are real. You had to heal.”
“I did, thanks to you.”
Mara shakes her head, “I didn’t do anything, I just took a drunk to her house and ended up with a stray puppy.”
And just like that, Mara’s smirk is back in place. And then Lena punches her in the shoulder, making the ship move out of place and almost hit an asteroid- both bursting out laughing after.
So, yeah, maybe thinking of Kara doesn’t hurt anymore.
She finds a note on her suitcase- the one she had told Mara was completely necessary and then haven’t used at all.
She didn’t want to use her old earth clothes and think of the cold CEO she used to be.
Instead, when they arrived at a trading planet right after the delivery on Mars, she changed two of her rings, one bracelet and the suit she was wearing for clothes.
They were good clothes, Mara told her- made by a species that considered handmade clothing one of their many talents (her friend only smirked and wiggled her eyebrows when she had what the others were).
Her clothes now are dark blue pants with too many pockets that she surprisingly always uses, always keeping tools to fix something or snacks for when Mara got antsy or small healing devices in case something happened.
She matches it with a black jacket made of what seemed to be the equivalent of leather- the first time they went to Mara’s planet, it got emblemed the small symbol of their people: a small triangle with a small circle in the middle.
“You’re part of us now,” Mara had said, hugging her with one arm. She had never felt so proud to be part of something.
So Lena never takes it off, and as months passed her suitcase got pushed farther and farther back into the small closet of her room. Until now, that she’s craving reading one earth book soon or she might combust- instead she opens it and finds a small envelope on top of her clothes.
She instantly knows who it’s from.
She almost doesn’t open it.
But she hadn’t seen Kara’s handwriting in so long and it only reminded her of the dumb notes the blonde used to leave on her desk or the ones that came along with food.
With shaking hands she starts to read.
I know you might not want to read this. I know part of the reason you’re leaving is because you’ve been hurt so much the pain is consuming you.
I know the feeling, I’ve tried to run away from my feelings before too.
I want to tell you that I’m sorry again, that I was never a good enough friend for you to want to stay- among a lot of other things.
You deserve better than an apology through a letter, though.
I never told you this, I guess there are a lot of things I never told you. And I’m realizing, now that you’re leaving, that I never told you how much you mean to me- how much I love you.
So, I’ll make sure to follow what I stand for and hope for you to come back.
And when you do, I’ll make sure to tell you in person.
She’s crying. She knows she’s crying, the little drops of water on the page are proof enough but she just can’t stop.
I never told you how much you mean to me- how much I love you.
She can’t stop the what ifs and maybes that show up in her mind. All of them, every single one at the same time but all she does is cry.
She cries until Mara shows up to check on her, takes a look at the open suitcase and the letter in her hand and runs to her side to hug her.
And Lena cries harder.
Lena 's bored.
She’s absolutely, completely and annoyingly bored.
They had two more days of travel and empty space before they get to their next destination, and Lena is bored .
She thinks she got too used to the craziness that it is moving from planet to planet, finding new technologies to fix and help with as they move around space- that now that she’s been in the ship for more than four days, she feels like a cat in a cage.
She keeps walking around the ship, trying to find something to fix or clean- she’s considering tearing the perfectly functionable hair dryer when the view out of the window takes her breath away.
“What is that ?”
It’s not a pretty look, not at all.
It’s a planet, teared in half. One half is mostly standing while the other one just seemed like it was formed by all the rocks moving in space around it.
It’s not a pretty view, it’s heartbreaking- the planet orbits a small red sun and the color makes the image just more painful because it just seems like the few parts left standing are bleeding.
“That’s Krypton, well, what used to be Krypton.”
“Yeah, it was bad. I don’t really know much about it- I think kryptonians were a bit snobbish, but dad had met a few and always speaks highly of them.”
Her heart keeps screaming Kara, Kara, Kara.
That was her home. The place she grew up in. The place her family rests. All in pieces. Destroyed forever, no home to come back to.
Lena can’t even imagine how much it must hurt.
“Usual, I think,” Mara says, unaware of the rollercoaster of feelings Lena is going through, too focused on commanding the ship, “they took too much from their planet and it eventually gave up on them. I think they had some kind of drilling system? I’m not really sure.”
“Can we go down?”
“What?” she quickly looks back at her, “I don’t think much was left. Why?”
“Kara- uh, she’s from Krypton.”
Mara’s eyes widen, “Oh, okay, we have to be really careful though.”
Lena just nods and instead looks as some still standing, but extremely destroyed buildings, come to view.
Even as they step off the ship to what probably was some kind of square, they could see Krypton used to be impressive when it was in its glory.
There’s some standing structures of what probably were tall buildings and carvings on walls and floors that looked beautiful even as the dust and cracks on the floor made them unrecognizable.
They walk around in silence. They’re walking through a graveyard, they know that. The bones they see as they walk around are proof enough of that.
Lena had seen many deaths since she was with Mara, the alien had seen even more- but there was something different about walking around people that had died and had not received any help at all.
“That part over doesn’t look as destroyed,” Mara breaks the silence as she points to a building.
She was right, it was tall and it was destroyed as all the rest. But the carvings were still visible and you could almost see it used to be painted as some light yellowish color.
They walk inside and find a laboratory, bones scattered around the floor, their clothes more well preserved then the people outside.
“Look,” Mara calls her over, “see these pillars, they’re shield eminators- they probably tried to protect this city, it failed but that’s why it’s still in place. And look at this ramp, they’re the size of an small scape pod.”
Realization hits Lena like a truck. This is where Kara escaped from. This is her family.
She’s too shell shocked to do anything but look for something to prove her wrong, a small thing to tell her she’s just crazy.
Instead she finds confirmation.
She reaches down and picks up the ring, it’s heavy and golden, it shines when she cleans the dust off.
She sees the familiar S on it.
They don’t stay for long.
They still have a delivery and Lena is too emotional to do anything other than ask to leave.
She keeps the ring, puts it in the envelope along with Kara’s letter and her tears- and promises herself she’ll give it to Kara when she sees her again.
She also shuts down any of Mara’s ideas of sending keepers, a long species that worked as collectors of information about old and lost civilizations. If that was going to happen, Kara should be the one to decide it.
She knows then that it won’t be long until she sees Kara again.
She can tell something is different the moment she walks out of the ship.
Or maybe nothing on Earth is different and she is.
Maybe the difference right now is that she’s walking around National City and doesn’t feel pain anymore, doesn’t see anyone looking her way- she’s someone else.
They walk into the alien refugee on the outrisks of the city and there’s no whispers of “Luthor” anywhere and no one is looking at her with distrusts in their eyes.
Instead they smile when Mara and her give them the packages and nod vigorously when Lena offers to fix the broken computer they have in the room.
When she finishes is already night time so they decided to go into a Big Belly Burger not far from where they left the ship.
If anyone asks, Lena is absolutely not on her second burger- she is, but in her defence she hasn’t eaten a big belly in almost three years and she was craving them.
“Sooooo,” Mara says, looking expectantly at her, Lena just raises an eyebrow, “are you going to?”
“Going to what?”
“Going to see Kara, give her the ring,” she says like it’s obvious.
Lena bites her lip, “What if.. she’s still angry or- or annoyed or maybe, maybe she just doesn’t want to see me anymore.”
Mara groans and throws her head back until it hits her chair, “Look, if she’s still holding a grudge after three years then she’s an idiot. And if she doesn’t want to see you, then what do you have to lose?”
She knocks on Kara’s door before she has a chance to convince herself otherwise.
There aren't that many differences outside Kara’s place, the lemon tree in the sidewalk is a little taller and the painting in the hallway had been changed for a new one.
But Kara’s door looks the same and it’s almost as if traveled back in time and it’s another random day before movie night.
She has to admit, she imagined how Kara would react when she sees her again.
She thought of Kara smiling, that big and brilliant Kara smiled she always threw her way, and then hugging her so so so tightly.
She thought of Kara looking at her angrily for one second and then turning around, not interested in seeing Lena ever again.
She thought of Kara moving on from her and just hanging out with her out of pity when she returns.
She never thought Kara would open the door, take one look at her, her eyes swelling up with tears and starting to shake her head.
She never thought Kara would take her hands to her head and kneel to the floor, muttering “Not again, not again” over and over.
By the time Lena took herself out of her stupor, Kara had curled up besides the wall- hugging her knees to her chest as she sobbed, she was breathing so heavily Lena wasn’t sure she wasn’t having a panic attack.
“Kara,” she speaks softly as she knees in front of her.
“Stop,” she chokes out, closing her eyes tightly as if she doesn’t want to see her. Lena’s hand stops half way to Kara’s knee, had she misread their situation so badly?, “you’re not her.”
The small whisper brings Lena to a stop, it sounded so utterly broken.
“Kara, please look at me. Kara, hey, I don’t know what happened but it’s me, it’s Lena.”
She finishes speaking as she brings her hand to Kara’s and squeezes her fingers. The blonde looks up then.
Her eyes, red with tears, move around her face for a few minutes before sticking to her clothes- she frowns.
“You’re not wearing your usual clothes,” she says.
“These are my usual clothes, I got them at a market two galaxies from here.”
The blonde frowns even more, and Lena doesn’t understand why. Before she can say anything else, Kara is standing up hands in her hips and looking down on Lena.
“You really think a change of clothes will fool me?” she says, and she sounds angry and Lena can’t understand for the love of God why a change of clothes will make Kara so angry.
“Stop,” the blonde hisses, “talking with her voice. It's not yours.”
“It is my voice. What the hell happened?”
“Stop acting dumb! I know you’re not Lena.”
“Yes, I am,” she walks closer to Kara, their chests almost touching, “why won’t you believe?”
The blonde closes her eyes and breathes out slowly, “Lena’s gone- she left.”
“Kara,” she puts her hand on the woman’s chests as the blonde takes a deep breath and her eyes go wide, “I’m right here. Who do you think I am?”
Kara’s looking at Lena’s hand, mouth slightly open as she looks back up to her.
“It really is you,” she whispers, “I- how- are you real?”
“Yes, Kara,” she moves her hands to her cheeks and wipes away the tears, “what do you need me to do to believe me?”
“Can you tell me something only you would know?” The request is so soft, and Kara’s voice sounds so so little, Lena’s heart almost breaks in half.
“Something like how you love to snuggle?” she says teasingly and Kara smiles a little, “or something like how you stole my favorite MIT hoodie-”
“I did not steal it-” the blonde starts what used to be their weekly argument.
“Or something like that time I told you nothing would make me believe our relationship wasn’t a lie?”
Kara tenses, her shoulders go stiff and her eyes are wide with worry again.
“Please, don’t apologize, I don't believe that anymore,” she takes her hands away and takes a step back from Kara. She hasn’t even been with her for half an hour and she has already touched her like she used to before finding out the truth. Kara is intoxicating, she had forgotten that. “Why did you think I was someone else?”
“Oh,” Kara takes her hand to the back of her neck and smiles awkwardly, “there was this.. alien like a year ago, they could shapeshift and, you know.”
She gestures awkwardly as she blushes and tries not to look at Lena.
“She transformed into me?”
“Okay? You’re not gonna ask any questions?”
Lena raises her eyebrow, “Is there something I should know?”
Kara blushes again and shakes her head rapidly, “Nope, none at all.”
And it’s something so Kara, the only thing Lena can do is laugh, she’s laughing as she sits on the couch and touches the spot next to her for Kara to take.
“I have something for you.”
Suddenly she’s nervous, she doesn’t really know why, but Kara can tell because her voice sounded stiffer than before and she’s playing with the ends of her jacket.
Kara nods and watches as Lena takes the old envelope from her pocket. It’s wrinkled and you can tell it had been cried on a couple of times.
“Wait,” she interrupts, “It’s- it’s not about the letter.”
She slowly takes the ring from inside it and hands it to Kara. She looks at it confused for a moment before realization hits. Her mouth opens and closes a few times, she’s not blinking- Lena’s not sure she’s even breathing.
The tears that were forming in the blonde’s eyes start to fall and it takes everything in Lena not to get closer and wipes them away- instead she sits quietly until Kara is ready to speak.
“How did you get this?” She says, eventually, “This is- this was my father’s.”
Kara looks so broken, there’s tear stains on her cheeks and her hair is messy- and she’s looking at Lena with the most confusing face she has ever seen Kara wear.
“We went past Krypton on one of our deliveries,” she starts and holds out her hand to Kara, who quickly takes it, “there was a part of it that wasn’t completely destroyed-”
“That’s not possible, it all blew up. I saw it,” the last words are quiet, almost like an afterthought to herself.
“There were some protective shields around a specific city, it probably was what kept it standing for this long. We found them inside a building, along with a scapepod ramp and.. that ring.”
“Argo,” she breathes out, “you were in Argo.”
“Most of it was destroyed, but I’m sure it was beautiful.”
Kara nods as she looks again at the ring and Lena finally craves as she moves closer and wipes the tears from Kara’s cheeks. She’s almost in her lap, she doesn’t really care and by the way Kara grabs her thigh when she tries to move away, she doesn’t either.
“Every science guild member had one ring that was used as a key to enter the facilities,” Kara explains quietly, “I used to have one but I wasn’t wearing it that day.”
She doesn’t have to explain what that day means, Lena simply moves her hand and starts to play with the hair behind Kara’s ear.
“You were in the science guild?”
“Not officially,” she laughs a bit, “but I was always there with my father and sometimes I’d get lost and wouldn’t be able to open some doors so the council decided to make my ring earlier since I was going to be a member in a couple of years.”
“That’s impressive,” Lena says and tries to stop the million questions she has because Kara was going to be a scientist?
“My father and uncle were thrilled, my mother didn’t like it much because she thought I would get behind on my readings because I’d always be in the science guild.”
She sighs as she puts the ring on her middle finger. She looks back at Lena for a second before throwing her arms around her in a crushing hug.
“Thank you,” she whispers in her ear, “so much.”
She decides there that Kara has had enough for one night, she can ask her about the keepers another time. She can talk about her feelings another time, today she will just hug the blonde and try to put all her feelings into it.
“I kissed the shapeshifter,” Kara says a couple of minutes into their hug.
Lena pulls back, confused at the randomness in the words, “What?”
“I kissed them,” she says again, her eyes looking directly at Lena’s, “because I thought they were you.”
“You wanted to kiss me?”
“Rao Lena, I’ve wanted to kiss you since the moment I realized why my heart broke the moment you weren’t by my side anymore.”
Lena’s hands find the base of Kara’s neck and she can feel the quick heartbeat under her fingers.
“And why is that?”
“Because I love you,” she says, voice strong and firm, “and I beat myself up for not telling you before you left but you’re here now and I love you, I love you.”
She expected many things before knocking on Kara’s door. She expected shouting and anger and maybe some crying.
She did not expect to see Kara in front of her, telling her she loved her. And when you do, I’ll make sure to tell you in person. She laughs a little, of course Kara would follow on the promise she made years ago through a letter.
She smiles widely and rested her forehead against Kara’s.
“Was it nice?” she asks.
“What was?” Kara’s eyes are much more intense this close, and Lena can’t get enough of them.
“Kissing the clone, or do you think the real deal will be better?”
Kara says nothing, instead she surges forward and puts her lips against Lena’s.
She feels herself relax as she tangles her hands on Kara’s hair, forcing their bodies closer together. The kiss stops being gentle and becomes fierce, all in a single moment like everything else when it comes to them- at first it’s calmness and stillness and then it’s explosive and intense.
Kara's hands move from her shoulders and slide down her spine, Lena feels a small squeeze on her hips as the blonde pushes back until her back is against the couch.
There’s not much Lena can focus on except Kara’s weight on top of her, the blonde’s lips on hers, on her neck, on her cheek.
She can’t do anything except smile at Kara when she pulls away breathless and with her eyes closed.
“You’re really here,” she breathes out here and then laughs a little, almost if she can’t really believe it.
“I’m here,” Lena says, “always.”