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Here Comes the Sun

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Lena scowled at the sunrise beaming through her glass patio doors. She should have chosen somewhere less irritatingly sunshiney

The ocean was supposed to be calming. In a way it was, but buying a two-story, periwinkle blue house with a white porch and matching balcony was much less of a distraction than running an entire company had been. L-Corp had taken over Lena’s life, and now… now there was nothing but free time, which left Lena uneasy as opposed to relaxed.

Lena needed a change—that much she knew. The constant late nights and endless battle with her public image were not healthy for her, nor was her determination to pull her entire family name out of the mud and single-handedly rebuild it into the mountain it had once been.

Lena simply couldn’t do it. It was an impossible task. 

She couldn’t convince the world that not all Luthors were bad, and she understood that people had a right to think otherwise. Historically, they were ; Luthors were vile, and having one Luthor that wasn’t couldn’t erase every bad thing Lena’s family had ever done.

Lena needed a fresh start—something entirely new. She researched areas that were the polar opposite of where she had spent her life thus far. 

She spent weeks searching for small towns in rural areas, where there were no skyscrapers or nosy and biased reporters running about determined to drag Lena’s name through the mud. Lena researched what type of dwelling was the most relaxing from a scientific standpoint, and before she knew it she had resigned from her position as the CEO, hired the most capable person she could find and left Sam in charge. Beyond owning L-Corp, Lena had very little to do with it.

After her break, Lena would return to Metropolis and work in the R&D labs—doing something that she knew made her happy, and that she was good at. But that was her plan for after she figured out how to take a mental health break , and until she succeeded in that impossible task, Lena found a home in the small town of Midvale.

Or at least what was supposed to be home.

Lena released a slow, frustrated sigh after opening her front door to gather her empty garbage bins.

She hadn’t had the best of luck with her new house. The salty sea air had aged it and doors creaked, the windows stuck, and seagulls had torn up her garbage bags and littered the street with Lena’s refuse.


Lena ground her teeth as she stomped down her painted wooden steps and cut across her perfectly manicured lawn. Why the stupid birds had to tip over her recycling too, Lena didn’t know. It wasn’t like there was food in there. Lena didn’t know why the seagulls only seemed interested in her garbage. Everyone else’s was left alone, week after week. Perhaps the universe was trying to tell her that she didn’t deserve a break or a nice house by the beach. Maybe seagulls were just evil.

Lena scowled as the empty-headed birds flew off, their cries sounding suspiciously close to laughter.

The sun beat down and Lena thought, not for the first time, that she ought to have chosen a place with a little (or a lot) less sun.

As she gathered the strewn about cardboard and newspapers, Lena wondered if she should be grateful that her biggest issue in life now was seagulls. It was better than assassination attempts by most people’s standards.

Then again, Lena wasn’t most people, and she felt much more adept at dealing with the droves of people who tried to kill her than she did facing a relentless flock of annoying birds.

Lena straightened up—arms full of recycling—and turned to bring the cardboard back to its bin. Lena gasped, jolting in surprise while everything she had gathered toppled back out of her arms.

“Sorry!” the woman who startled her said. “Sorry, I just thought I should give you these.”

Lena put a hand to her chest and glared at the woman. 

Or tried to glare. 

The woman’s nervous shifting and pleading blue eyes didn’t exactly invite wrath. She looked like she’d never been yelled at in her life. She looked sweet with her blonde hair and the way she bit her bottom lip, cheeks flushed a delicate pink.

Lena sighed, looking down at what the woman offered. Lena frowned and raised an eyebrow, certain she was getting hazed as some girls had been back in boarding school.

“Garbage bags?” Lena asked. “I don’t understand.”

“They’re seagull proof,” the woman said with a grin. She adjusted the box so Lena could see the image of an angry seagull. “So you don’t have to collect your garbage twice every week.”

“You’re kidding,” Lena said as she eyed the box. She’d never heard of bird-proof garbage bags, and she was a scientist. She shook her head at herself. Lena probably could have invented some in her basement if she’d thought of it, but she hadn’t. “That’s a real thing? 

“Of course!” the blonde said. “How else do you think only your garbage gets torn apart every week?”

“I thought the universe was playing some sort of cruel joke,” Lena said with a self-deprecating scoff.

“You’ll believe that, but not in seagull-proof garbage bags?”

Lena had to suppress a smile, settling for a good eye roll. She held out her hand and the woman beamed as she handed the box over. Lena asked, “What do I owe you?”

“Huh? Owe me?”

“For these.” Lena raised the box in the air. 

“Oh, don’t worry about it! It’s nothing,” the woman waved off. “Consider it an apology present for not bringing you a welcome gift after you moved in. I did try to bake you a cake, but… well, let’s just say it’s for the best that there were no witnesses to that disaster.” The woman scratched the back of her neck with a chuckle, and if Lena had not been so suspicious of the kindness, she might have been endeared.

If there was one thing Lena knew with absolute certainty, it was that nothing in this world was free. She had learned that lesson time and time again, and she played the game well. She couldn’t figure out what this woman could want, though.

“Regardless, I’ll pay you back in equal measure when the time comes,” Lena assured as she plastered on her businesswoman smile.

“There’s no need,” the woman said again, and then glanced down at the pile of cardboard Lena had dropped. The woman picked it up—ignorant of Lena’s indignation—and started walking toward the bins. “I’m Kara, by the way. Kara Danvers. I live next door.”

The yellow house next door was a third the size of Lena’s, and the lawn was a little overgrown. The garage needed a fresh coat of paint, and the basketball net in the driveway seemed to have scarcely survived through years of Midvale storms, but compared to Lena’s house, Kara’s had some degree of greater appeal.

There was a beat-up blue truck in the driveway, and flower beds ran across the entire front of the house, creating explosions of colour that might have had an order at one point, but had grown into well-loved chaos. There were lilies and sunflowers, tulips of many colours, daisies, chrysanthemums, and a few Lena couldn’t name. It was charming and beautiful, much like the woman who lived there.

A woman who gave away boxes of seagull-proof garbage bags and helped pick up other peoples’ trash without any apparent expectation for reward or repayment.

Lena didn’t believe it for a second. 

She frowned at Kara, who smiled even though she was herding loose saran wrap and balled-up blueprints that weren’t hers to clean up.

“So… are you going to introduce yourself too?” Kara asked after they had returned everything to Lena’s bins. “I’m friends with all the neighbours, and I’d hate to break tradition.”

Lena tilted her chin up, ready for the inevitable. “I’m Lena Luthor.”

Lena was a lot of things, but a coward wasn't one of them. She wouldn't hide from her last name. It was her burden to bear, even if people ran from it.

But Kara Danvers did not run.

“It’s nice to meet you, Lena Luthor. See you around, I hope!” Kara smiled, the creases beside her eyes growing behind her glasses before she turned on her heel and walked toward the little yellow house with the colourful flowers.

Lena frowned after Kara, her confusion growing with each step the woman took.

People weren’t nice like that for no reason. Not for no reason, and especially not to Lena.

She glowered down at the unimposing box in her hands and wondered what exactly Kara was trying to get out of this. Lena was no fool, and she wouldn’t let some cute blonde get the upper hand by having Lena indebted to her.

Lena wouldn’t stand for it.

She stormed back toward her house (odd to be wearing white running shoes instead of dark heels—it made the impact of her annoyance much less impressive) determined to do something nice for Kara so that they would be even, and then they could both forget about the whole thing. Lena could get back to relaxing, or whatever it was she was supposed to be doing in Midvale.

So maybe figuring out a single nice thing to do for a stranger wasn’t Lena’s strong suit. It had been a week, and she still hadn’t thought of a single thing. 

The internet wasn’t exactly helpful. Everything seemed too random or too personal, and Lena wasn’t sure what was appropriate. Nobody had ever welcomed her as a new neighbour when she had moved into penthouses, and generally speaking, Luthor mansions were designed to keep people out. She had no experience in this.

There was one thing to do, really.


Lena would have to study Kara to find some small gift that was both valued similarly to garbage bags and useful to Kara.

Lena did consider that it might be a bit strange that she was essentially spying on her neighbour, but she didn’t see a way around it. It was unavoidable.

Kara started it, and Lena would finish it, and if that meant noticing that Kara went for a jog at six in the morning during the week and stretched in her backyard after, or that Kara knew enough about cars to change a tire, or that Kara ordered way too much fast food, then so be it.

By the second week, Lena had learned all she could from simple observation alone and was no closer to gaining any useful intel. Kara was often coming and going, but she didn’t seem to have a set schedule, so Lena didn’t know where or if Kara worked.

Lena would have to get closer without giving herself away.

She would have to infiltrate her way into neighbourly small talk, and perhaps gain some insight that way.

Late afternoon, Lena dressed in her least favourite pair of jeans and an old college hoodie, slipped on her runners, and slid open the patio doors at the back of her house. The barren garden boxes that framed the edge of her porch left Lena feeling like them; empty, but she pushed through the metaphor for her life to look at the ocean.

From the height of her porch, Lena could see into Kara’s backyard where the woman knelt in the sand beside her own garden boxes which were thriving with tomatoes, peppers, and various other vegetables.

Kara wasn’t alone this time.

A woman with cropped reddish hair leaned against the box with one hand on her hip and a glass of amber liquid in the other.

Lena pursed her lips. Maybe she would overhear something useful. She glanced at her garden boxes and ambled closer to them so that she could pretend to be rummaging around in the dirt.

Out of the corner of her eye, the red-haired woman gestured with the nearly empty glass, and Kara turned toward Lena. Lena couldn’t help but glance up at the movement, and Kara beamed and waved when their eyes met. Lena looked away as fast as she could, fighting the blush that threatened to spread across her cheeks at being caught.

In Lena’s peripheral, Kara stood and wiped her dirty hands on her already stained jeans before she sauntered off toward the shabby yellow shed at the edge of her property.

Lena hazarded a glance and regretted it immediately when the red-haired woman raised her empty glass in some sort of greeting.

Lena ignored that too.

She didn’t look up again until the back gate of Kara’s rickety, wooden fence creaked open and Kara herself bounded over to the bottom of Lena’s deck with a worn cardboard box.

“Hey, Lena! Thinking of gardening?” Kara asked, panting slightly. The sun hit Kara’s hair in a honey-glow light that surrounded her smile like sun rays. Lena shook her head and cleared her throat.

“Yes. Gardening.” Lena nodded. “Sure.”

“I couldn’t help but notice that you weren’t using any tools, and I thought that might mean you didn’t have any. You can borrow my old spares for now until you can get your own if you like.” Kara set the box on the bottom step and rubbed her sweaty forehead with the back of her glove, leaving a line of dirt behind. 

Lena opened her mouth to refuse—she already owed Kara for the garbage bags, and she couldn’t be double in debt!

Kara continued before Lena could speak. “It’s a bit late in the season for vegetation, but you could probably get some nice fall flowers if you start them soon!”


“I can help! I love to garden!”

“Real smooth, sis. Subtle,” the red-haired woman hollered from Kara’s yard, and Kara grimaced before she turned back.

“Shut up, Alex!” Kara tried to shout and whisper at the same time, which made for an interesting combination. The blush that spread across Kara’s lightly freckled cheeks wasn’t distracting to Lena at all. No, not at all.

“My sister-” Kara scowled at the woman “-likes to embarrass me in front of new friends. Anyway, return the tools whenever!”

Kara smiled through her blush, adjusted her glasses, and scrambled back over to her yard where Alex doubled over in laughter.

Not only was Lena in double debt with Kara, but now she needed to learn how to garden?

What was her life coming to?

It wasn’t that hard. 

Lena knew how to test PH and made sure her soil was optimal for flowers. That part was scientific, and it wasn’t exactly a challenge to put seeds in dirt and water them when the ground seemed too dry.

Lena was used to the near-immediate results of her lab work, though. In the lab, she would know right away if her latest project worked or not. With the seeds, Lena coils only wait. She had half a mind to dig them up every day to see if roots had sprouted yet, but knew that would be counterproductive.

What if she waited and cared for the seeds as directed by their packaging, and they decided not to grow anyway? She’d have waited and done all that work for nothing. 

Lena sighed, frowning over at her garden boxes. She’d taken to checking on them every morning and had set up a table and chair next to the seeds where she drank her coffee before watering them.

The sun was already too bright, even that early, so Lena hid under a large umbrella.

“You know,” said a voice Lena was beginning to recognize, “most people move into a beach house so that they can enjoy the sun.”

“Good morning, Kara.” Lena set her hot mug of coffee on the side table and turned to Kara, who stood in tight spandex pants, running shoes, and a dark blue sports bra. Anything else Lena was going to say, she forgot. It wasn’t fair for Kara to stand there with that smile and those abs. Actual abs. 

The nerve.

Lena shook her head to clear her thoughts.

“It’s game night at my house on Friday,” Kara said.

“Oh, that’s… nice.” Lena stared over the banister as Kara shifted from foot to foot.

“Yeah, it’s really fun,” Kara said. “Everyone on the lane is coming, and I thought it would be a good time to introduce you.”

“Introduce me?” Lena asked. She had never been invited to a game night or any other sort of social event in any other place she’d lived. Perhaps nobody in Midvale knew what being a Luthor meant, but that seemed unlikely.

One thing was certain; Kara was up to something.

Lena had half a mind to say no, but the combination of Kara fidgeting with her glasses and the prospect of gaining intel was much too promising for Lena to refuse.

Lena cleared her inexplicably dry throat. “What time?”

“Seven!” Kara beamed. “You’ll have fun, I promise!”

Lena smiled as politely as she could before Kara waved and turned to begin her jog down the beach.

If Lena’s eyes traced over Kara’s broad shoulders as she ran away, well, nobody else was around to see it.

If Lena spent more time in front of the mirror than she usually did as she got ready that Friday, she blamed it on meeting a group of new people.

She absolutely was not trying to impress any blonde women. No. This was about getting revenge for Kara’s incessant kindness.

Lena attributed her sweaty palms to her nerves about the Game Night, and certainly nothing more. As per the recommendation of the internet, Lena brought a bottle of wine along, though she didn’t consider it a Nice Thing to make herself even with Kara. It was what one did when they were invited over to someone’s house, apparently. They brought a gift. Lena tightened her grip on the bottle before she knocked on Kara’s door. Its pine green paint flaked off a little more.

The door opened quickly, jarring Lena.

“You came!” Kara exclaimed and opened the door wider so that Lena could step in.

The light hardwood floors suited the beach house, and Kara had more than a dozen plants in hanging baskets by the large bay windows and in pots around her small house.

Several people sat nearby in the living room, where Kara had three couches surrounding an unusually large coffee table. A small, brown-haired man waved to Lena excitedly, though Lena didn’t know him.

“I brought wine.” Lena raised the bottle toward Kara, but it was snatched out of her hand from the side.

“Awesome!” the red-haired woman, Alex, said as she snagged the bottle. “I’ll take that.”

“Alex!” Kara complained as her sister sauntered over to the kitchen, but Alex stuck her tongue out and continued on her search for glasses. Kara rolled her eyes before smiling back at Lena. “Sorry about that.”

“It’s fine,” Lena said. 

“Come meet everyone!” Kara grabbed Lena’s hand and pulled her further into the house. “Lena, this is Winn, James, Nia, Brainy, Kelly, and my sister Alex stole your wine.” Kara pointed to each person in turn, and they either waved or nodded at Lena. “Guys, this is Lena.”

“Yeah!” Winn said. “Your work on nanogenes was amazing! I was sad when you slowed down on science to focus more on the business end of things.”

So they did know what being a Luthor meant, then. That just proved that Kara was trying to get something out of her. Befriending a billionaire… for what? Lena had no idea.

“When I go back, I’ll be in the lab again,” Lena said, and Winn’s smile grew. 

“That’s great! What kind of projects will you-”

“Winn,” Kara interrupted, kind and quiet. “Maybe she didn’t resign and buy a beach house across the country so she could talk about the work she left behind.”

“Oh, right. Sorry, Lena,” Winn said. He seemed genuine and polite, which was much more disconcerting than the fake smiles and frequent attempts at backstabbing Lena was used to. It was almost like nobody in Midvale knew what her family had done.

“Who wants fancy wine?” Alex called from the kitchen. Everyone raised their hand and Lena chuckled.

Nia got up to help Alex carry over the glasses, and soon everyone sat on the couches around the coffee table. Several board game boxes were teetering next to it. 

“Where do we want to start?” Kara asked as she settled in beside Lena on the smallest couch. Lena took a sip of wine to cover the blush that spread across her cheeks when Kara’s muscular thigh pressed into her own.

“Settlers?” Winn suggested.

“Tokaido?” Nia countered. 

Lena glanced over at the staggering tower of boxes and swallowed. She didn’t know how to play any of them. She hadn’t even heard of most.

“We should let Lena pick because she’s new,” Kelly said. “She’ll think we have no manners… and she’ll be right.”

“Oh, I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. I’ve never played any of those,” Lena admitted.

“What?” Kara squeaked. “You’ve never played monopoly? Oh gosh, okay. Well, we’ll partner up so I can teach you. Don’t worry, I’m the best.”

Alex threw a corn chip at Kara’s face. “You are not . You suck.”

“History suggests otherwise,” Kara grinned, and then ate the corn chip.

They started with Settlers of Catan. 

Lena had to fight to keep her face impassive as Kara leaned in close to explain things, whispering suggestions in her ear so that nobody else would figure out their strategy, Kara’s hair and breath tickling Lena’s neck, so she had to stifle shivers. Being pressed so close to Kara’s surprisingly chiselled form was distracting, and Lena’s mind wasn't at its most efficient.

They didn’t win, but Kara didn’t seem bothered for someone who had been so competitive before. She kept smiling at Lena and had endless patience with Lena’s questions and distraction (though Lena hoped Kara didn’t know the cause of it).

“What else do you have to eat?” Nia asked after they had lost their third game in a row.

Kara frowned over at her. “Just… this.” She gestured to the chips and dip on one side of the table.

“I thought you said you were going to bake mini muffins for our guest,” James said with a teasing grin.

“As if,” Alex snorted out. “When does that ever work out? You guys should know to bring your own snacks at this point.”

“Hey!” Kara complained. “I can make food!”

“Tell that to mom and the several fires you started in her kitchen,” Alex snorted.

Hey!” Kara repeated through a blush.

So Kara couldn’t bake or cook. That explained the multitude of food deliveries and Kara’s comments about being unable to bake Lena a welcome cake when they’d first met. Maybe Lena could use that to her advantage and finally get even with Kara’s favours.

Lena groaned internally. 

Not only had she learned how to garden because of this stupid game Kara was playing with her, but now she had to learn how to bake? Lena knew how to cook well enough, but she hadn’t baked much in her life.

Still, if it made her even with Kara, Lena would do it. Anything to get out of her debt. And… Kara really liked food if the way she demolished the chips was any indication, and it might be nice to see her smile like that because of something Lena made. 

Ridiculous, Lena chastised herself. Get a grip.

Despite Kara’s invitation and kindness being an obvious ploy to get something, Lena did have a nice evening.

Brainy and Winn were smart, and they enjoyed talking about science, but Nia reigned them in to keep the conversation fun for everyone. Alex was kind of sarcastic, but Lena liked that about her. It offset Kelly’s kindness nicely, and they made a cute couple—the adoration between them was the sort of thing Lena never let herself believe in.

James was a bit aloof at first, but warmed up quickly, though Kara kept interrupting him when he’d try to get to know Lena, which was… odd.

Kara wasn’t even upset when they lost every single game by the end of the night. Lena took that as a sign that Kara was absolutely biding her time and only acting this kind so she could get something out of Lena later.

Despite that, everyone welcomed Lena to the neighbourhood with no ill wishes for her last name, or the crimes her family had committed. It was almost like having friends, and Lena thought—just for a moment—that perhaps this was what she’d been missing in her life. Human connection.

Lena even laughed, really laughed, when Brainy overtook the entire Monopoly board and did a celebratory stilted, wiggling dance, and Nia tucked her fake one-dollar bills into his belt.

Kara had gaped at Lena for a moment after that; as if she’d never heard anybody laugh before, but she quickly shook her head and turned back to the coffee table to argue with the gang.

Lena almost regretted that the night was a ploy to gain intel on Kara.

What would it feel like to be close to Kara in a way that was real? What would it feel like to have Kara care genuinely, and care for her in turn?

Lena peeked out of the corner of her eye to find Kara already smiling at her. Lena offered a small, confused one in return.

Kara waved to Lena every morning as Lena sat on her back porch waiting for her flowers to grow. It had been jarring at first, to have someone give Lena the time of day, but after the few weeks they had been acquaintances, Lena found she rather enjoyed being considered worthy of that simple morning wave as Kara started her jog.  

One morning, when tiny, green stems with the littlest leaves Lena had ever seen started poking out of the ground in her garden boxes, Lena couldn’t help but smile when Kara waved.

Kara tripped over her own feet but steadied herself before she fell, then blushed as she stared at Lena. Kara then shook her head and jogged toward the road with wide eyes and a bright red face. Odd.

Lena turned back toward her garden boxes to admire the little saplings, glad she'd been patient enough to care for them even when she couldn’t see their small growth.

It was rewarding to see all of her efforts turn into those little, slow-growing leaves. It was real, tangible proof that Lena could care for a living thing and succeed in that without killing it. Maybe if she could do that, there was hope she wouldn’t always be seen as only a Luthor who destroyed everything she touched.

Maybe she could learn to take care of herself, too, even though she still wasn’t quite sure how to start.

Lena caressed the infinitesimal leaf of the nearest plant before she finished her coffee and decided that she’d go into town for ingredients for some sort of dessert to bake for Kara.

Her debt had gone on long enough.

Small towns were nothing like Metropolis. 

Lena was used to people averting their gaze, ignoring her at best, or screaming at her and throwing hot coffee in her face at worst. Well, the assassination attempts were worse, but the point still stood. Lena was not accustomed to people on the sidewalk smiling and greeting her.

She wasn’t used to people introducing themselves for no other reason than because Lena was new in town. She didn’t expect an older gentleman to hold the door to the small grocery shop open for her, or for the attendant to show her where everything was because he’d never served Lena before.

The people of Midvale seemed to do each other favours at every turn, and Lena wondered how they kept up with who owed them in exchange for each favour, since so many Nice Things happened in never-ending tandem. Did these people have notebooks filled with kind acts they had done? How did they value each task? It seemed too complex a currency to keep track of.

The man who had held the door open for Lena stood in line behind her, but he only had a loaf of bread and a couple of bananas, so Lena suggested he skip her in line. At least she could repay her debt to him immediately.

He smiled brightly at her. 

“I knew you’d be a good addition to town. So polite,” he said as he put his items on the counter. There was no conveyor belt like there were in chain grocery stores. Instead, there was a plain wooden counter decorated with pins and bumper stickers for Midvale, along with maps for hiking trails in the surrounding forest, and good spots for surfing along the beach.

The loud ding of the old cash register startled Lena, and she jumped a little as the cashier gave the old man his change.

He said how nice it was to meet Lena before taking his leave, and Lena considered the likelihood that she somehow accidentally transported herself to an alternate dimension.

“Ah, I was wondering when you’d stop by! I’m Bonnie,” the elderly woman behind the counter said as Lena placed down the various baking items in her basket.

“You were?” Lena asked with suspicion.

“Of course! It’s not every day a beautiful woman moves into town,” Bonnie said, grinning as if she and Lena had known each other all their lives. “And it looks like you’re baking. How lovely. Is it for anyone in particular?”

Lena blushed as images of Kara’s smile flashed through her mind, and then turned a deeper red at the woman’s knowing smile. Lena cleared her throat. “Repaying someone a favour.”

“That’s not really how favours work around here, honey, but I’m sure Kara will appreciate it anyway.”

“What? How did you know it was for-”

“Oh, she’s always out and about helping everyone. Fixed my solar panel last week, and brings old Mr. Miller his groceries every Monday. I knew it wouldn’t take long for her to be over at your place helping out there too, especially since you’re neighbours.”

“Oh.” Lena’s face fell before she forced it into a carefully blank mask of indifference that she did not feel at all. So Kara was just… like that? Lena struggled to hide the odd sensation of disappointment she had as she handed her items over to Bonnie.

If not for repayment, then why would Kara go out of her way to be so kind to everyone? To a Luthor ? Lena understood the compulsion to help others intimately, but she knew it only on a grand scale.

She was compelled to solve world hunger, get clean drinking water across the globe, and cure cancer. She hadn’t considered she could help out with something as simple as seagull-proof garbage bags. Lena had never considered that she could improve any number of peoples’ lives by the simple act of being kind.

“No need to look so troubled, dear,” Bonnie said. “The way I hear it, she’s been going extra out of her way to make you feel welcome if you catch my meaning.”

Lena’s eyes widened, and she cursed her fair skin as it heated. “I’m not sure what you mean.”

Bonnie chuckled as she packed Lena’s groceries into brown paper bags. “Of course not, dear. Good luck with the baking. Kara likes cake, so I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.”

“Thank you,” Lena said, determined to pretend her face wasn’t red as she gathered her bags and rushed out of the store.

One of the good things about Midvale was that everything was nearby. There was no traffic, no horns blaring, and no crosswalk lights to wait at. There was only one traffic light in town, eternally blinking its cautioning yellow. Anything Lena needed was tucked into the main street, aptly named Main Street, which was a five-minute walk from her house.

The little used book store that doubled as a library sat next to a coffee shop. There was a seamstress instead of a clothing outlet, and a hardware store with the letters of its name faded from time. Every one of the small shops was local, and the quaintness of it all endeared Lena to the small town more than she could have anticipated.

She never thought she would know what that homey feeling people talked about felt like, but Midvale made her feel a peace she’d never known before—an odd sort of contentment that was both unknowable and strangely familiar. 

As Lena walked home, she passed a young redheaded girl with an ice cream cone in one hand and a leash in the other—an obedient border collie with wide brown eyes looking up at her human with adoration as they walked together.

The sounds of sea waves—audible throughout the town—reached Lena’s ears, and she smiled.

The last time Lena lived by the sea, she was four years old. It was a small town, and Lena was loved by the kindest woman in the world. She was always discovering new things in the fields or cliffs surrounding their cottage or cuddled up inside, her hands around a warm herbal tea, leaning against her mother as she read to Lena.

Across the road and down a way, there was a sheepherder and his border collie named Earnest, who may as well have belonged to the entire town because they all cared for him. They all cared for each other, too.

How had Lena let herself forget that feeling? How had she forgotten that small village she’d spent the first years of her life loving so much?

As Lena walked down the dry, sunshiny sidewalks of Midvale, she remembered the shining, wet pavement of thin streets, almost always glistening from rain or sea spray. She remembered stone houses, and ones painted lilac or yellow, with flower baskets and fresh pies on windowsills. She remembered the short stone walls edged along walkways, full of moss and weeds, each looking as if it were on the cusp of crumbling but never allowing itself to.

And Lena remembered the peer—looking out to a lighthouse standing strong in the face of a raging sea, surrounded by neighbours that felt more like any family Lena had known since then. A kind family, built on unselfish kindness instead of blood relation—a community not unlike the one that exists here on the other side of the world next to an entirely different ocean.

Like home, the people of Midvale simply cared for one another because that was how it worked. A small group of kids helped a woman pile wood while her husband greased the chains of their bikes. If someone opened a door, they checked to see if they could hold it for someone. People bartered jars of pickles in exchange for eggs or paintings, and Lena… she wanted so badly for that to feel as familiar as it once did. She wanted to find a home in that again. Home in a place like this.

Midvale had its own small subculture written with kindness and Lena, for the first time in far too long, wanted to be a part of that, but she couldn’t help but wonder how these people could be so kind to her—an outsider and a Luthor.

What had Bonnie meant when she said Kara was going extra out of her way to be kind to Lena?

Lena sighed as she approached her house and struggled to tuck both of her grocery bags under one arm so she could fish her keys out of her pocket.

Kara, as she often did, knelt in front of the colourful flowers at the front of her house, trimming and singing something Lena couldn’t quite catch the words of. There was a pile of flowers in the grass beside Kara, and she looked up at the sound of Lena’s jingling keys.

“Oh! Let me help you with those.” Kara picked up the bundle of flowers before she walked over to Lena, taking one of the paper bags from her. “I was just about to head over to your house to see if you were home!” 

“You were?” Lena asked as they walked up her front steps. “Why?”

“Um,” Kara blushed, and had her hands not been full, Lena thought she might have adjusted her glasses. “To give you these.” Kara lifted the bouquet of daisies and sweet pea flowers. 

“You… wanted to give me flowers?” Lena asked, and the light pink of Kara’s cheeks deepened to red.

“Yes. Well, they’re going out of season anyway, and I thought they might look nice in your house since your flowers aren’t quite grown enough yet.”

Lena glanced between Kara and the bouquet, aware that she should take it, but her hands were full, and nobody had ever given her flowers before, and was Kara only being friendly again, or was the bouquet some sort of romantic gesture?

Oh god, Lena hoped it was a romantic gesture. When the hell did that happen?

Lena blushed too before she turned and opened her door so that she could lead Kara into the house. She put her bag on the kitchen island and rushed to say, “I’ll get a vase for them.”

Kara followed Lena through the house as if she’d been in it before, and Lena thought she probably had been if Bonnie’s intel about Kara helping everyone out was correct.

Kara deposited her grocery bag on the island too, biting her lip as Lena searched the cupboards. Lena quickly learned that she did not own a vase.

“Will this work?” Lena asked as she pulled a large crystal pitcher from her cupboard.

“It’s perfect.” Kara grinned, so Lena filled it up with water and set it on the table next to the bags. Kara placed the flowers in the jug and nodded.

“Um… thank you,” Lena said, cringing at herself for not knowing what to say. “For the flowers.”

“Psh, it’s the neighbourly thing to do,” Kara waved off.

In all the research Lena had done, bouquet giving was not on any lists for casual neighbourly gifts, but she wasn’t exactly an expert in the field.

“Right.” Lena nodded as she tried to rid herself of the uncomfortable weight she felt pressing down on her stomach. “Neighbourly.”

Lena knew disappointment well, and it shrouded her like an old friend.

Lena bit her lip, looking down at the lovely pink and white flowers as she tried to get her heart rate under control.

It would have been better if Kara were trying to get something out of Lena. It would be less painful than Kara being, well… a beautiful woman whose kindness extended to friends and strangers in equal measure, who had actual abs, and an air about her that was so kind that it seemed to breathe life into everything in the vicinity.

But there was no way Kara could ever care for Lena beyond that. There was no way someone so good and so kind could ever want someone like Lena—a jaded pessimist with trust issues and a family history so terrible that people celebrated Luthor deaths.

No, Kara could never want her.

“Any luck with your daisies?” Kara interrupted Lena’s downward spiral.

Lena brightened at the memory of her newly sprouted flowers. “Yes actually. They’re starting to poke out of the dirt.”

“That’s awesome! See, I knew you had a green thumb.” Kara put both of her thumbs up and Lena chuckled. “I did notice your front hedges are a bit overgrown. Do you have a hedge trimmer?”

“You lent me some in that box of gardening tools,” Lena said. “I was going to go into town again tomorrow to see if anyone was offering yard work services on that notice board near town hall, but I can research how to do it instead, so it’s done faster. It is a bit of an eye-sore.”

“Oh, you can’t use those trimmers, Lena. It’ll take ages!” Kara explains.

“I’ll hire someone soon, then-”

“No need,” Kara waved off with another one of her pleased grins. “I’ve got electric hedge trimmers. I’ll stop by to help you with it tomorrow. All you need to do is hold the ladder, and I’ll take care of the rest.”

Kara’s smile was entirely too earnest.

Maybe the universe was playing some sort of cruel joke on Lena after all—moving her so close to someone like Kara, but unable to be with her because, of course, Kara wouldn’t be interested. Lena fidgeted with her fingers as Kara rambled on about proper hedge care and how she liked to trim them, and how she did it for the old family that used to live in Lena’s house.

Fine, maybe Lena couldn’t befriend Kara properly because Kara was simply that kind to everyone and emotional connection was not a practised Luthor skill, but Lena could still try to make sure Kara got what she deserved.

She could bake Kara a nice cake, and any number of other niceties while she stayed in Midvale.

The prospect of entering an arms race of niceness with Kara was daunting since Lena was already so far behind, but if Lena could run a Fortune 500 company, she could certainly bake a cake.

“I should get back to clearing my gardens. I’ll see you later?” Kara asked as she backed toward the door.

“Hope so,” Lena agreed with a smile—a genuine one, she realized.

Oh, no.

If Lena thought holding the ladder would be an easy job, she was sorely mistaken. 

Kara had elected to wear a grey tank top with her usual gardening jeans, and the material pulled so tight over her abdomen that Lena could make out the contours of her muscles. Kara had gloves on and brought them both dorky lab-like goggles ‘ for safety, Lena. Don’t you think they’re cute?’ and dammit, Lena did. At least on Kara, anyway. 

Kara’s bare arms flexed as she held the hedge-trimmers over her head, and though Lena was supposed to be focusing on holding the ladder, she couldn’t keep her eyes away from the way Kara’s jeans clung to her powerful thighs and the shapely curve of her ass.


Lena started out of her thoughts and tore her eyes away from Kara’s butt as fast as she could, red-faced. “What?”

“I said you can let go. We need to move the ladder now.” Kara grinned, and Lena breathed a sigh of relief, thankful she hadn’t been caught.

Kara climbed down the ladder and wiped the sweat on her brow with her forearm, which Lena thought she shouldn’t find so attractive, but she did. She really did—found Kara’s gleaming skin distracting to no end, and wanted to run her fingers along those exerting veins that ran down Kara’s biceps, or lick the ones pulsing in her neck.

“Do you think I could have some water?” Kara asked.

“Mhm,” Lena breathed out and then cleared her throat because she was Lena Fucking Luthor, and nobody reduced her to a response as pathetic as that. “Um, yes. One moment.”

Kara grinned and Lena turned on her heel as fast as she could, stalking into the cool air of her house and glad to be able to blame her red cheeks on the sun. She filled two glasses with water and downed hers in an attempt to cool her out-of-check libido before she brought the second one out to Kara.

Any work the water had done to cool Lena was immediately erased as Lena’s fingers brushed Kara’s while handing over the glass. The condensation leaked down as Kara drank, gathering at the bottom until a drop fell to Kara’s neck, sliding down, down, down her chest, and disappearing into her sweaty tank top.

Lena licked her lips.

“Thanks,” Kara said after she downed the water, but her smile faded into a frown as her brows pulled together in concern. “Hey, you look a little red. Are you feeling okay?” Kara pressed the back of her hand to Lena’s forehead. “Oh wow, you’re really hot. Maybe you should go lay down? I forget how much this heat can affect people who aren’t used to it. I’ll get Alex to help with the rest. We’re almost done anyway, and she’s coming over soon.”

“I…” Lena’s brain was not working.

All that played on a loop in her mind was the tantalizing water droplet, and how Lena longed to follow the trail with her tongue. Kara stared down at Lena through the ridiculous goggles, but the absolute concern there could not be faked.

Kara licked her lips, and Lena wanted to lean in, to taste and feel Kara, to know what it was like to be with someone so genuine.

Instead, Lena shook her head and murmured, “I should go lay down.”

Lena took the glass back and, ignoring Kara’s look of worry, shuffled back to her house as fast as she could.

As soon as the door closed behind her, Lena turned to press her forehead to its cool surface. Why did she have to start to actually like Kara?

Kara’s warm smile as she offered Lena those garbage bags on the day they met flashed in Lena’s mind, and she groaned, frustrated at herself for letting her heart be so vulnerable.

How could she make it stop? 

It seemed impossible to keep Kara out of the walls Lena suffocated herself behind. As the stone cracked around her, she wasn’t sure how much longer those walls would hold, and Lena was not at all equipped to find her way out of the rubble they’d leave behind.

She sighed and pressed off of the door, intent on washing both her arousal and her… admiration for Kara down the drain of a cool shower.

Lena had searched up cake recipes before going to the grocery store and thought a nice lemon drizzle cake would go well with beach life. She had never made it before but had followed the instructions to the letter. The cake looked good, but Lena couldn’t even check to see if it was or not because that would defeat the purpose of having made it for Kara. 

Giving a cake with a bite taken out of it was probably frowned upon. 

She should have made two. She hoped it wasn’t terrible. That would put her even more in debt to Kara. A reverse favour.

As it was, Lena had resolved to give Kara the cake, leave, and then cut all ties. She couldn’t handle getting distracted while she was supposed to be on an extended vacation—supposed to be focusing on her mental health or whatever. She was supposed to be focusing on herself and her needs (whatever that meant), not thirsting after the kindest, most beautiful woman she’d ever met who had a smile like sunshine and the body of a goddess.

Lena had to cut ties as soon as possible, and the cake was her final goodbye before she would start to ignore Kara as much as she could, favours be damned.

She was dressed in jeans and a green silk blouse, and she didn’t have any heels to give her a height advantage. Lena missed how her business attire made her feel like she was wearing armour that would make her the winner of any conflict.

She was not prepared for battle—in a boardroom or with a cute blonde—but regardless of that fact, Lena took a deep breath, grabbed the cake, and squared her shoulders before heading over to Kara’s house.

Kara had already replaced the flowers she had pulled a couple of days before, and the new purple ones thrived the same as everything around Kara seemed to. Was she naturally good at taking care of everything? 

Lena shook her head. It didn’t matter. She was going to give Kara the cake, and they would never talk again if Lena could help it.

She knocked gently on the door so as not to chip any more paint, and Kara opened it, confused at first, then beaming. “Lena! Hi!”

“Hi,” Lena breathed. Kara wore a knee-length yellow sundress, and her hair was plaited with loose curls hanging down her back. The few flyaway hairs she had only added to the sunshine effect, making Kara glow, and for the first time in her life, Lena wanted to bask in the light of a rising sun.

“Is that cake?” Kara asked, pointing to the plate and breaking Lena from her fog.

“Yes. I made it for you as a thank you for helping me with… everything. So, we’re even now, right?” Lena asked, ready to hand the gift over and then close herself up in her bedroom and try not to think.

“Not even close!” Kara grinned. Lena’s face fell. “We’ll be even after you come in and eat a slice with me! C’mon, I just put on a pot of coffee!” Kara seized the cake and walked over to her kitchen island, leaving Lena alone in the open doorway with no other choice than to follow.

“Oh!” Kara said, “let me give you a tour first! I didn’t get a chance last time you were here.”

There were only two more rooms other than the open space kitchen and living room, and the bathroom in the hall.

Lena pretended not to look too interested in Kara’s queen-sized bed, with fluffy white sheets that she wanted to ruin. 

Lena pretended she didn’t find Kara’s blush adorable when Lena noticed the multitude of glow-in-the-dark star stickers Kara had fastened to the ceiling of her office. She pretended that the old type-writer sitting on Kara’s desk next to her laptop wasn’t entirely endearing.

“I write about space,” Kara bashfully explained, and then Lena’s worldview tilted so completely she thought she might topple over.

She had read dozens of articles published under the elusive DNVRS. K, but Lena had never met them in person. They’d written amazing astronomy papers and had helped propel science forward, just as Lena had. Sure enough, every article Lena had read by DNVRS. K was lined in a perfect row on the bottom shelf of one of the bookcases.

“Kara Danvers. Astronomer and gardener extraordinaire,” Lena murmured.

Kara ducked her head in a failed attempt to hide her blush and reached for Lena’s hand to pull her back to the kitchen.

Kara could live anywhere. She was a well-respected (and well-paid) scientist. She was considered an expert in the field, and she chose to stay in Midvale of all places, in a yellow house with barely enough room for her. Kara let go of Lena’s hand and smiled as they stopped at the painted blue kitchen table.

Kara pulled plates down from her cupboard before slicing them both a large piece of cake and pouring them some coffee into mismatched mugs decorated with bees or wildflowers.

“What do you take in it?” Kara asked after filling Lena’s blue mug, decorated with yellow daisies.


Kara’s nose wrinkled, and she didn’t say anything, but Lena saw the abhorrent amount of sugar Kara added to her own green mug, and Lena knew when she was being judged. She took a sip anyway. She could always rely on bitter coffee to give her an edge.

Kara stabbed her fork into the cake and tore off a large bite that Lena couldn’t have chewed.

“I should warn you that it’s my first-” Lena tried to explain as Kara stuffed a mouthful of the fluffy yellow cake into her cheeks. Kara’s eyes widened and then closed as she sighed and chewed her first bite, immediately going for another.

“Oh my god, Lena,” Kara moaned around her second mouthful of lemon cake. Lena felt like she should leave the room to give Kara a moment alone with the cake, but she didn't want to miss any other way Kara might moan her name (even if it was because of the dessert).

God, when did she become so pathetic? Her white-knuckle grip on the mug was almost painful as she watched Kara lick the icing off of her fork.

“Aren’t you going to try it?” Kara asked around another bite, prompting Lena to put her mug down and stop staring at Kara’s mouth.

Lena had to admit to herself that she had done an acceptable job. It was sweet with the right amount of zest and density, even if it was a tad overcooked.

It was only cake, but Lena had accomplished something outside L-Corp, outside of science and business, or being a Luthor. Maybe it was silly, but she’d done something for the fun of it, and she enjoyed it.

Lena enjoyed baking and gardening and walking to the small grocery shop to talk with Bonnie. There was no pressure of monetization or profit. Instead, Lena was left with all the room she had never had to find out what she actually enjoyed.

And what she enjoyed about Midvale most of all, above the neighbourly waving, and the quaint little shops, or the people who acted as if they’d known Lena for years, was Kara Danvers. Kara Danvers who was too kind, too genuine, and too soft for a Luthor to love.

That was it. Lena would have to move somewhere far away from Midvale, far away from Kara, and away from her sapling daisy flowers.

“I have to go,” Lena uttered as she put down her fork with a jarring clink, swallowing to keep the tightness in her throat at bay.

“What?” Kara said, her brows furrowing in concern. “Where?”

“I… need to go… bag those hedge clippings.” Lena pointed over her shoulder and turned to the front door to escape.

“Oh, sorry! I forgot! Alex brought her new puppy over, and I got distracted halfway through. Let me help you.” Kara abandoned her food to follow Lena. “It’s supposed to rain later, so we should get it done now.”

“It’s really fine, Kara. I can do it alone,” Lena said. God, was there no escape from this unrelenting kindness?

“Yeah, I know you can, but you don’t have to.”

And Kara’s smile was too bright and too earnest, and Lena was too weak to refuse.

So Lena was back where she started—watching Kara’s unfair muscles pull and flex as she bent to pick up handfuls of shrubbery, putting them in seagull-proof compost bags that Lena hadn’t even been aware of, all the while wearing that yellow sundress that stole Lena’s breath and heart at the same time.

It wasn’t fair. It really wasn’t, so Lena did the only thing she knew.

She left.

She left Kara standing in the fading sunlight in her lovely dress and beautiful hair, picking up trimmings with her gardening gloves on, and staring after Lena with more care and more worry than Lena had experienced in any and all moments of her life before meeting Kara Danvers.

Lena sat at her kitchen table an hour later, researching houses she could buy on the other side of the world. She thought London might be nice, or perhaps Ireland again, where she could return to her roots.

No matter what little town or city she researched, nothing called to her like Midvale. In a few short months, without Lena even realizing, it had become home.

Still, she couldn’t handle living next door to Kara.

The wind picked up outside, and the white, fluffy clouds from that afternoon had turned into angry purples and greys that instigated a war of ferocity with the raging green sea below.

Lena hoped her little daisies would make it through the storm. It didn’t matter either way. She was moving. They would be left behind. 

Would Kara take care of them? Lena shook her head. She could grow new flowers somewhere else, but deep down Lena knew that any time she grew flowers, any time she felt the sun warming her face, she would remember Kara Danvers.

Just as Lena was about to click to the next page of Irish mansions she could buy, there was a surge of power before everything went dark. The silence was filled only by the beginning pelts of rain against her windows and the crashing waves beyond.

“Great,” Lena grumbled. She didn’t have a flashlight.

As if aware of Lena’s plight, there was a knock at her front door not five minutes after the power went out.

Lena didn’t need to answer it to know who it was.

Kara had swapped the dress for jeans and an NCU hoodie, and she shuffled from foot to foot, holding several white candles. The rain was barely heavy enough to leave droplets on her glasses, but Lena still remembered the water droplet from when Kara trimmed the hedges, and how she’d longed to follow it. How she never could.

“What are you doing?” Lena asked.

“The power’s out. I thought you might not have any lights,” Kara lifted the various candles and Lena was about to turn her away, she was, but then the sky cracked in a roar of thunder Lena felt in her chest, and the rain began to come down in sheets.

Lena grabbed Kara by her sweater and yanked her into the house.

Seconds ticked by as Kara lit the candles with a lighter from her pocket but having the dim orange glow did not improve Lena’s mood.

“Why are you doing this?” Lena demanded, trying hard not to get distracted by Kara’s askew glasses or the pinkness in her cheeks.

Kara tilted her head and frowned. “What do you mean?”

Lena crossed her arms, raising an eyebrow that dared Kara to try to lie to her. “I mean, what do you want from me?”

“I don’t want anything from you, Lena. I want to be your friend.”

“My friend?” Lena scoffed. She couldn’t believe that. Nobody ever wanted to be friends with a Luthor, and Lena levelled Kara with all the suspicion she’d been trying to hide.

Kara blushed before she looked down, mumbling something that Lena didn’t quite catch.

“I can’t hear you,” Lena complained. She was tired of whatever secrets Kara had, and Lena wanted answers before she left.

Kara took a deep breath, straightened her shoulders, and adjusted her glasses as if that would help her gain some semblance of confidence. “Okay, maybe I like you more than a friend, but I didn’t know how to say anything! I don’t even know if you like women, and Alex says my gaydar is beyond dysfunctional, but then she told me to go for it, so I thought you might like me, maybe. But you’re so, I mean… have you seen yourself? And you’re so smart!”

“What?” Lena asked. She felt frozen. Of all the schemes she’d imagined Kara might have, a crush wasn’t what she’d suspected. She hadn’t even entertained the thought. She blinked at Kara several times, unable to think of anything to say.

“It’s just that… you were so cute fighting those stupid seagulls every week,” Kara grinned as Lena tried to glare at her for bringing it up. “Then I got to know you a little better, and you’re so kind, too. Then you smiled, like actually smiled, not that little fake polite one you do to impasse people, but actually smiled, and-” Kara paused as her cheeks flooded with blush “-I only want to get to know you better, Lena. That’s all. I promise.” Kara drew a little X over her heart and lifted her hand in some sort of salute.

“Kara,” Lena could only whisper her name, but her voice cracked.

It had been so long since someone looked at Lena like Kara was that she’d forgotten what it was like. She’d forgotten what it felt like to fall for someone, forgotten what it was like to have someone try to woo her. But like any good gardener, Kara had been patient, kind, and gave all the warmth and tenderness Lena might need. 

Lena fidgeted with her fingers, unsure of how to proceed and more out of her depth than she had ever been.

Kara bit her bottom lip before she put the lighter on the counter with a small clack, and bathed in the orange glow that surrounded them, Kara was more beautiful than any sunset Lena had ever seen.

Lena had let her hair down after she’d stormed off earlier, and it hung in loose waves around her face. Kara timidly reached up to caress a lock of it before tucking it behind Lena’s ear. She slid her fingers under Lena’s chin to tilt her head up, captivating Lena with glinting blue eyes.

Kara stroked Lena’s cheek before saying, “I really like you, Lena. I wanted to show you because I couldn’t find the right words. None of them seemed good enough. That’s all.”

Lena didn’t remember putting her hands on Kara’s hips to tug her closer, but they had a mind of their own. With their torsos flush together, Lena rose on her tiptoes to press her lips to Kara’s the way she’d wanted to for months.

Their mouths met in a hard press, Kara kissing her as if they were lovers long-lost.

Kara gasped, and Lena took the opportunity to deepen the kiss, breathing fast and hard for each small moment their lips separated before meeting again. Lena was rough and claiming, but Kara gave as good as she got. Kara tangled her fingers into Lena’s hair and made a fist to hold Lena still, while her other hand slid up Lena’s ribs to rest below her breast.

“I… really… like you… too,” Lena panted between kisses. She slid her hands around Kara’s hips to grab her ass, and Kara groaned, bucking into Lena as a result.

Lena gasped as Kara pressed her back into the cool surface of the fridge, and Kara moved her kisses from Lena’s mouth to her jaw and neck, biting lightly in between. “ God, Kara.”

“Is this okay?” Kara pulled back to ask. “We can stop if you-”

“Don’t you dare,” Lena huffed. “Is it okay with you-”

“God, yes,” Kara hissed before grinning, and Lena pulled her back down into another kiss.

Lena wrapped one leg around Kara’s hips in search of any sort of friction it might give her, but Kara slid her hands under Lena’s thighs, lifting her from the ground completely. Pressed so close to Kara’s muscled form, Lena groaned into Kara’s mouth before she was placed on the counter.

Lena tried to focus through the kisses Kara was leaving on her neck and pulled at Kara’s damp hoodie.

With a final kiss and an impatient huff, Kara backed up and started to bring the garment over her head, only for her glasses to get tangled.

Lena breathed a laugh and reached over to pull the glasses out of Kara’s hair, put them on the counter, and then helped tug Kara’s sweater the rest of the way off.

Skin. Kara’s skin was golden-toned and smooth everywhere, and Lena had to stifle a moan because Kara wasn’t wearing a bra.

Lena dragged Kara closer by the hem of her jeans, then gently brushed Kara’s soft hair away from her chest and over her shoulders. Kara was a delicious mix of soft curves and hard muscle, and Lena bent forward to press a light kiss to Kara’s collarbone, disbelieving that Kara wanted this too.

“You’re so beautiful,” Lena whispered, in awe of the sight before her and of the woman contained within.

Before Kara could respond, Lena cupped Kara’s cheeks and kissed her slowly, with as much tenderness as she could, before she let her hands drop to Kara’s shoulders. She traced the muscles of Kara’s arms with all the reverence she had until she got to Kara’s hands.

Lena caressed up Kara’s stomach, kissing a path across Kara’s chest until her mouth met her hands in the middle. She sucked one of Kara’s puckered nipples into her mouth while she massaged Kara’s other breast with the palm of her hand, enjoying the way Kara’s breath hitched.

“Lena,” Kara gasped as she shuddered, “I want to see you, too.”

Lena bit down just enough to make Kara groan before pulling away.

“What do you want to see?” Lena asked. Kara bit her lip as her eyes glazed over before peering down between their bodies as if Lena was the most decadent thing Kara had ever touched.

“Gosh, Lena, I – anything you wanna show me.”

Odd that Kara could say ‘gosh’ and still be so hot, but Lena wasn’t complaining.

“Bedroom?” Lena asked. She wasn’t opposed to kitchen sex, but she planned to take her time with Kara, and that required a more comfortable setting.

Kara growled out an impatient complaint, but backed away before offering her hand to help Lena off of the counter. Kara had the presence of mind to blow out all candles but one, which she brought with them.

Kara didn’t let go of Lena’s hand on their way up to the master bedroom. Even in the throes of passion, Kara was sweet.

Once in the room, Kara set the candle on the dresser before her arms wrapped around Lena from behind, her hands on Lena’s hips, fingers slipping underneath the material of her shirt.

“Can I take this off?” Kara asked.

Lena nodded, soon frustrated by the slowness with which Kara unbuttoned her silk blouse. Lena tilted her head to the side when Kara nuzzled into her neck, and Lena began to breathe heavier as Kara kissed below her ear. 

The slower Kara’s fingers moved, the faster Lena’s breathing became, until Kara pulled her blouse open—the soft material sliding down Lena's arms and into a pool on the floor.

Kara kissed Lena’s shoulder then bit where it met her neck, causing Lena to gasp and grind her ass back into Kara’s hips.

Kara’s hands slid up Lena’s stomach, over the black lace bra where she teased Lena’s nipples through the material. Lena pressed her thighs together, wanting so much to turn around and tug Kara to the bed, but determined to take her time and enjoy any slow torture Kara wanted to give her.

Kara pulled her hands around to unclasp Lena’s bra, which she discarded somewhere near the shirt.

As Kara’s bare chest pressed into Lena’s back, they both sighed, and then Kara was undoing the button to Lena’s jeans.

Kara slid one hand up to cup Lena’s full breasts, while her other slid into Lena’s panties to find how wet and needy Kara had made her.

Lena tossed her head back onto Kara’s shoulder with a groan as Kara dragged her long fingers through Lena’s wetness and began to make languid circles around her clit.

Lena’s inner thighs twitched and her knees threatened to give out, but Kara’s arm wrapped around her like a safety line, letting Lena lose herself in a sea of bliss.

Lena ground her hips, but no matter the angle, her pants were too much of a barrier for her to get the deep pressure she needed, and Kara seemed fully aware as she chuckled into Lena’s ear. Lena whined, already aroused beyond belief but unable to find enough friction.

Kara pulled her hand out of Lena’s pants and drew it up to Lena’s mouth, who sucked Kara’s fingers without question. They both groaned, and Lena licked Kara’s fingers until Kara pulled them away, leaving only the taste of Lena’s need behind.

Lena’s heart thundered stronger than the storm outside, and Kara grasped Lena’s hips, squeezing her there before Lena turned around. Kara kissed her deeply while they both worked Lena’s pants over the curve of her hips, easing the jeans to the ground.

The slick between Lena’s panties and her skin drove her mad with arousal, and she wanted nothing more than to be rid of the final barrier. The cool air was a stark contrast to the heat of her need, and it caused her to gasp as Kara tugged Lena’s underwear down her legs.

Kara kissed Lena so fiercely that Lena had to tangle her hand in Kara’s hair while the other grasped around her shoulders, in desperate need of Kara’s steadiness.

Kara hummed and guided them toward the bed.

The back of Lena’s thighs hit the mattress, and she sat on her grey duvet, pulling Kara forward by the hem of her pants.

Lena whispered, “Can I take these off?”

Kara nodded, letting Lena undo the button and zipper. Kara’s jeans fell from her hips, revealing purple boxers with happy little avocados that had wings and halos, some with speech bubbles exclaiming, ‘ Holy guacamole!’

Lena puffed out an airy laugh because even as the most beautifully sculpted person Lena had ever seen, Kara still found a way to let her dorky self shine through. Lena kissed the elastic hem, trailing her fingers along it with equal amounts of adoration and desire.

Kara tugged her boxers down her toned legs, letting Lena appreciate how Kara’s thighs and calves flexed as she kicked her clothes to the side.

With immediate urgency, Lena’s hands pressed into the hard muscle that decorated Kara’s stomach, following her fingers with her mouth. Kara’s abs twitched beneath Lena’s attention, before Kara’s body began to sink lower to the floor.

“What’re you doing?” Lena mumbled in a daze as Kara’s stomach and chest lowered too far for her to taste.

“Let me show you what I’ve been wanting to do for you since the second I saw you,” Kara said, confident in her position between Lena’s legs.

Lena groaned and nodded, reaching to the head of her bed to grab a decorative pillow that Kara could kneel on. Kara smiled up at Lena, placing a gentle kiss on her knee before settling the pillow beneath her own.

Kara caressed the back of Lena’s calf from her ankle to her knee, then back down to lift Lena’s leg over her shoulder. She kissed and nipped, glancing from Lena’s eyes to her dripping core as she bit a slow path up Lena’s inner thigh.

With Kara’s eyes tracing over her, Lena thought she might have felt insecure, but with the way Kara’s pupils expanded and the way she gazed at Lena with hunger, Lena had never felt more desirable or more beautiful than she did under Kara’s delighted scrutiny. Kara’s gaze trailed fire in its wake, and instead of an all-consuming blaze, Kara left behind warmth so comfortable Lena felt she might melt in it.

As soon as Kara got close to the apex of Lena’s legs, she pulled back to lick a trail down Lena’s other thigh and began another long journey of nips and kisses.

Lena’s legs quivered hard enough for her toes to curl by the time Kara had both of Lena’s thighs over her shoulders, moaning as she licked Lena’s clit in one broad stroke.

Lena’s head fell back as Kara finally, finally, began to circle her clit, learning which speeds and patterns caused Lena to pant the hardest. If the mischievousness in Kara’s eyes was any indication, she was giving Lena just less than what she needed on purpose.

Kara built Lena up so her stomach coiled and her inner walls clenched around nothing, but then, as Lena was about to succumb to bliss, Kara pulled back, easing Lena away from the edge with small chuckles, leaving Lena to whine and writhe in desperation.

“Kara,” Lena breathed as Kara pulled her away from the edge for the fifth time, “Kara, please. I need… I need -”

Lena was not the sort of woman to beg. She walked into every room as if she owned it, and she demanded. But Kara had worked Lena up so thoroughly that Lena’s commanding exterior melted away, and she got lost in her thoughts of need, was pushed far past the point of constant control, and all Lena wanted was to plead, lost in the desire, yet certain Kara would bring her back.

Kara, always eager to help, dove back in with vigor so strong that Lena’s thighs flexed to cage Kara’s head as Lena rode out the waves of pleasure Kara’s tongue created. Lena threw her head back as her moans mixed with the heavy rain pattering against the windows and the rolling thunder that shook the walls.

Kara moaned as she grasped Lena’s wriggling hips, sucking Lena’s clit and circling it with her tongue until Lena came.

Kara’s calloused hands squeezed Lena’s inner thighs before travelling over the stretch marks on Lena’s hips and lower stomach with the kind of reverence Lena had only ever seen someone admire art with. Her mouth trailed up the softness of Lena’s stomach, her hands palming Lena’s heaving breasts as she paused to kiss or lick every freckle splattered across Lena’s skin.

Lena had been sated—and well—but her core still throbbed with the need for something she hadn't been given, and Lena was left with an emptiness there that she wanted to fill with Kara. Her head fell back as Kara kissed the freckle on Lena’s neck, and though her limbs were left boneless, Lena wanted more, more.

Kara gently guided Lena back to lie further up on the bed before straddling Lena’s hips and bending down to kiss her. At the taste of her own arousal, Lena moaned, grabbing Kara’s sides and rolling them both over.

“You’re a tease,” Lena murmured, and Kara’s grin confirmed that she already knew. Lena bit Kara’s grin away, licking into her mouth to silence any response Kara might have.

“Let me make it up to you,” Kara whispered as she tapped Lena’s thighs to signal that Lena should straddle Kara. Lena followed the instruction and they both sat up, Lena’s arm around Kara’s shoulders and her wetness sticking to both of their thighs. “Do you have anywhere to be tomorrow?”

Lena tilted her head. “No, why?”

“You might have trouble getting there.” Kara smirked.

Lena wasn’t sure if Kara meant that they would be up late, or if she meant Lena’s legs would be too sore to walk, but she wanted to find out, and she hoped the answer was both.

Kara squeezed Lena’s ass, causing her to thrust forward into Kara’s stomach, where she left a string of wetness when she pulled back.

“Gosh, Lena, you’re perfect,” Kara groaned as her hands slid up Lena’s back to tangle into her hair. “So beautiful. Gorgeous.”

Lena could only blush, and for the first time, she didn’t bother trying to hide it. Kara’s smile was gentle as she caressed Lena’s cheek, then Lena’s collarbone, down between their bodies and into wet heat.

Lena gasped as Kara entered her. She wanted to look down at the fullness she felt and see how many fingers Kara was using, but Kara’s other hand was still tangled in Lena’s hair, pulling her head back as Kara began to pump her fingers in and out of Lena’s core, gazing at Lena in awe—as if she were the most desirable woman in the world, and Kara couldn’t get enough of her.

Lena ground her hips forward into Kara’s hand, and Kara followed the rhythm of her body as if Lena was an instrument Kara knew intimately, all the while tugging Lena’s hair and watching with wonder.

The muscles of Kara’s back flexed under Lena’s palms, and Lena fell forward, burying her face in Kara’s neck to try to stifle her moaning.

“No, no, don’t do that. I want to hear you,” Kara breathed, pulling Lena’s hair and making her groan louder. Kara’s eyes flashed with wicked delight as she pulled Lena’s hair again, gaining another guttural moan when Lena’s inner walls clenched around Kara’s pumping fingers. “You sound so good.”

Like a champion claiming their prize, Kara bent forward to lick and then bite Lena’s breast hard enough to leave a mark.

Lena whimpered, too busy grinding her hips and enjoying how Kara was reading her body to care enough to feel embarrassed about her noises anymore.

“You like that?” Kara asked, a perfect mix of curious confidence.

“Yes,” Lena moaned, digging her nails into Kara’s back.

“Where can I leave marks on you?” Kara whispered into Lena’s ear before nipping at it.

Lena almost came right then, but Kara stilled her fingers enough to ward it off, which was both a blessing and a curse.

“You’re supposed to be making up for teasing me,” Lena complained as she bucked her hips down harder into Kara’s hand, searching for the stolen pressure. Kara chuckled and gave Lena an open-mouthed kiss, reminding Lena of the other things Kara wanted to do with her mouth. “Anywhere. Mark me wherever you want, I don’t care. Make me yours, Kara. I’m yours. Wanna be yours.”

At Kara’s winning smile, Lena knew she had given the right answer. Though in some small part of her brain that was barely audible through her blissful delirium, Lena knew she might regret her answer later. But the thought of someone seeing marks on Lena’s neck—the thought of them knowing it was Kara who put them there—made Lena feel connected in a way she never felt before. Made her feel like she belonged.

The thrill of arousal that rushed down her spine to settle low in her belly far outweighed any embarrassment she might face later.

Lena wanted documentation of Kara written across her body for as long as possible. She wanted proof, evidence—as much as any scientist would.

And Kara didn’t disappoint. As she fucked Lena with her fingers, Kara’s mouth latched onto Lena’s chest like a vice, leaving splotchy red patches in her wake—the pain of them feeding into the pleasure building within Lena’s body.

She let go of Lena’s hair with one final tug so she could reach down and rub Lena’s clit while her other fingers continued to pick up their pace, and when Kara bit the pulse point of Lena’s neck, Lena had to hold onto Kara for dear life as she came so hard she wondered if she would ever fully recover from it.

Kara eased her motions, but she didn’t stop them until Lena’s trembling faded. Kara pressed kisses to Lena’s temple, stroked her sides with soft touches, and looked at Lena as if given a precious gift to treasure.

Lena pushed Kara to lay back on the bed, and they adjusted until they could lie together comfortably. Lena’s whole body was heavy and weightless at the same time, and she felt tethered to consciousness only by Kara’s strong arms, which hugged Lena to her chest.

Kara rubbed Lena’s back and kissed her hair as they caught their breath, and slowly, Lena regained some semblance of control over her sated body.

Lena lifted her head to press appreciative kisses on the underside of Kara’s jaw, content with the sigh that she heard.

For however Kara had sated Lena, Lena wanted to reciprocate tenfold. She wanted the image of Kara writhing on Lena’s clean sheets burned into her memory. She wanted to know how Kara’s stomach clenched when she came, what Kara would sound like, and how her eyes would flutter. Lena wanted to know if Kara liked her hair pulled, if she liked eye-contact, if she liked it gentle or rough, or if she looked as beautiful getting fucked as she did while doing everything else.

Lena rolled, easing her thigh between Kara’s legs as her hand trailed down Kara’s chest, down her twitching stomach, and between her powerful legs to find that Kara’s arousal had spread to her thighs and leaked to the sheets below them.

She pressed down on Kara’s clit, earning a deep, throaty groan in response. Lena immediately wanted to hear it again, and as often as possible.

She bent to suck Kara’s chest, zeroing in on her nipples as Lena began steady strokes between Kara’s legs. Lena pulled away to blow on the wetness she left behind on Kara’s chest.

“Lena,” Kara gasped in a plea that Lena understood as a desire beyond words, and what kind of monster would Lena be if she ignored it?

She decided to get payback instead. The slow ministrations of her fingers weren’t enough for any real pleasure, only enough to cause Kara’s stomach to twitch and her hips to shift in the search for more.

“You’re so wet,” Lena whispered.

Kara bit her lip to stifle her whimper, but it hardly worked. Kara’s hands fisted in the sheets before spreading her legs more to encourage Lena’s hand. Lena smirked but wasn’t done with her revenge.

“Tell me what you’d like, Kara. I want to hear you beg for it,” Lena murmured before she stilled her movement altogether.

Kara whined in complaint at the loss of sensation before she blinked at Lena and seemed to process what she said.

“Please, Lena. I want… your fingers-” Kara blushed an even deeper shade of enticing red “-I want you to fuck me with your fingers – ah!” Kara’s sentence cut off with a moan as Lena thrust the requested fingers into her, pumping them at a speed that Kara’s hips struggled to match. She scissored her fingers within Kara, and every time they bottomed out, Lena flicked Kara’s clit with her thumb.

The sounds she was pulling from Kara made Lena’s chest swell, with pride or admiration, she wasn’t sure, but she loved the noises Kara made. She wanted to give Kara everything, everything all at once—to build, to break, to catch her and do it again and again .

“God, Lena! Y- yes! ” Kara struggled to pant out between moans. Her eyes rolled back and Lena began to kiss Kara’s chest once more. She wanted to please Kara; to make her feel better than she ever had before.

“Tell me how good it feels,” Lena asked, her voice hoarse with arousal. She loved the sounds Kara made, loved the sound of her voice, and of her exertion.

Though Kara was a wordsmith and a scientist, Lena had reduced her to monosyllabic words. “S-so good. Don’t stop. Please don’t— oh god, please don’t stop, Lena. Lena, Lena.

Kara’s orgasm washed over her body in waves and Lena enjoyed every second of seeing the way Kara’s muscles flexed, but she was apt at following orders, and she did not stop.

Lena pulled her hand away for a moment to add another finger and thrust back into Kara with the same rapid pace she had used before, determined to bring Kara into a second powerful release before the impetuous waves of Kara’s pleasure ceased.

Kara moaned her name as if chanting a prayer. Kara opened her eyes, looking from Lena’s face to the way Lena was fucking her and though Lena would never admit it, the fact that Kara came a third time from watching herself get fucked stroked Lena’s ego more than it should have.

Kara wrapped her arms around Lena’s body, clinging to her for some sort of tether as she rode Lena’s fingers into oblivion.

After the fluttering around Lena’s fingers stopped, she pulled them out, intent upon bringing them to her mouth to clean them off, but her wrist was caught before she could.

She looked up to find Kara watching her, and without looking away, Kara brought Lena’s hand to her mouth and sucked her own arousal from them before promptly closing her eyes and moaning.

She cleaned Lena’s slippery fingers, then kissed her palm, snuggling deeper into Lena’s pillows with a contented, blissful sigh.

Lena blinked down at Kara, wondering what sort of enigmatic person could wear avocado underwear but also do something like that.

She let herself collapse on top of Kara, pulling her comforter around them both before their bodies could get too cool. She would allow herself a few minutes of indulgence before she had to clean up, and besides, Kara was too comfortable to leave.

Kara’s breath slowed down into a steady rhythm that threatened to pull Lena into sleep.

Though Lena’s legs were wobbly and promised to be sore the next day, she kicked them over the side of the bed without waking Kara and threw on the loose X-Files t-shirt she often used as pajamas. She took the candle and padded over to her bathroom to pee and clean herself up.

Lena went to the kitchen to get water and washed a bunch of grapes for them to share.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Lena gently stroked Kara’s cheek to wake her.

Kara grumbled before she pouted and opened her eyes. It was the most adorable thing Lena had ever seen.

“I brought you a glass of water and some food,” Lena murmured. Kara lifted her head, frowning a little when she saw the grapes. Lena chuckled and handed the glass of water to Kara, helping her sit up before placing the green grapes between them.

Maybe the silence should have been awkward, but with the rain and the low rumble of thunder fading away, Lena was comfortable. Content.

“I put out some things in the bathroom for you to clean yourself up with,” Lena interrupted their silence after they were done eating.

“Mmn, don’t wanna get up,” Kara complained as she leaned back on the pillows, wiggling further into them.

Lena grinned. “I know, but you’ll feel better tomorrow if you do.”

Kara grumbled again, pouting harder, and Lena leaned in to kiss it away before she could even think about it.

“I’ll be here when you get back,” Lena said against Kara’s swollen lips, then she pulled away, her eyes growing wide and worried. “I mean, if you want to come back. You don’t have to. You could want to go home and-”

“Hey,” Kara interrupted Lena, sitting up to silence her worries with another kiss. “Of course I’m coming back. The most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen just invited me to sleep over, so yeah, I’ll be right back.”

Lena smiled and looked down with a nod, and Kara squeezed her hand before getting out of bed with a dramatic groan. Kara sauntered out of the room completely naked, and Lena’s eyes followed her ass until it was out of view.

Lena settled into the bed, leaving room for Kara and trying in vain not to let her heart swell when Kara returned.

Lena was glad the power had gone out because it hid how red her cheeks got when Kara called her beautiful and kissed her goodnight.

It couldn’t hide how Lena reached for Kara’s hand, though, or how Kara’s hand was already there, waiting to pull Lena closer.

Lena woke to something tickling her nose, sore muscles, and a deep pressure on her chest. At some point, Lena had rolled off of Kara and onto her back, and they had switched positions.

In the golden light that streamed through the curtains, the freckles across Kara’s nose popped. Her honey hair was a mess, but it still looked good splayed across Lena’s chest and sheets, glowing yellow in the warm sunbeams.

Kara’s face was always kind, always serene, even in sleep, and Lena thought that spoke to how genuine Kara was as a person while awake. Sleeping didn’t expose Kara’s vulnerability—Kara was simply kind, always earnest. Always her wonderful self.

Lena rubbed slow circles into Kara’s back, content to lay there all day. Her legs were wonderfully tender, and her lips still felt kiss-swollen. She blushed at the marks that littered her chest, wondering just how far up they went.

Even though Lena’s arm tingled with pinpricks of sleep, she didn’t have the heart to wake Kara and move it. She was too peaceful, too beautiful to ruin so early in the morning. Kara glowed, and if people could be made of sunshine, Kara would have been one of them.

Lena gently traced Kara’s jaw, then her lips, her cheekbone, and across her eyebrow, wondering how Kara got the small scar there. Kara hummed and smiled in her sleep, kissing the skin above Lena’s heart before her breathing returned to a slow rhythm.

Lena had moved to Midvale to take a step back from all the paths of life she’d been forced into. 

She was meant to find what she had been missing—what she truly wanted—and for the first time, with Kara in her arms, and in a town that was built on caring, Lena thought she finally, finally, found it.

All those times she’d spent at boarding school while her peers packed to go home for the holidays, every time her colleagues’ families showed up at work to surprise them, every bouquet on desks that weren’t Lena’s, and every single person who ever treated her like a Luthor before treating her like a person—it all faded away under the light of what Midvale had reminded her.

Midvale had given Lena the patience to grow real living flowers, had shown her how much she liked to bake, had taught her that it was okay to do something simply because she liked it, not for profit, and that losing to every single board game was the definition of fun.

And most of all, Midvale had proved to Lena that people like Kara Danvers could exist—people who helped where they could, who would care for a perfect stranger like they were a best friend, and bring over seagull proof garbage bags for no other reason than because it looked like someone needed them.

At that moment, Lena felt—for the first time she could remember—as if she were home.

And maybe she still didn’t know exactly what she needed or what to do, but Lena knew what she wanted, and a large part of it slept peacefully in her arms.

More than anything, Lena wanted to stay. She finally found a place she was eager to grow—a place she’d happily face each rising sun.