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From Krypton with Love

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The World Killers were a top secret group of assassins for hire. Governments, especially rouge governments in particular, used the World Killers to enact their plans.

 

They were ghosts, shadows, dead in the eyes of the rest of the world, only those in the know had access to their services and they would pay whatever the asking price was to get it. They were elite, they were powerful, they were undetectable and they wreaked havoc across the world. Whenever, a major event happened: murder of a dictator, mysterious disappearances, leaking of classified information, the overthrowing of governments, you should bet a World Killer would be behind it.

 

They had sleeper agents in almost every government in the world, feeding headquarters information and sowing seeds of uncertainty, breeding chaos; ready to be activated at a moments notice.

 

They had unlimited money, unlimited resources and an elaborate skill-set: not just assassins but hackers, thieves, multi-linguists, experts in every martial art and fluent in all weaponry. They could blend into any and all environments, you could be sat next to one on the subway and you would never suspect a thing.

 

You see, every member of the organisation was a woman and society is still learning not to underestimate women. They still see them as weak, feeble creatures, whose purpose is to shut their mouths and look pretty. Little did society know that a select group of dangerous women were working to cripple the world and bring society to it’s knees.

 

Lena Luthor had grown up at The Academy, specifically designed to forge her into a weapon. She didn’t even know whether Lena was her real name. They weren’t allowed to know very much about their previous lives, in fact, all she knew was that she was left in a church on a cold, wet night in October and she was taken in by Talia Al Ghul.

 

Talia was the head of their organisation, daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul, she used his vast wealth to fund her growing empire. She was harsh, brutal at times, especially towards the recruits, she only wanted the best of the best.

 

She acted as a pseudo-mother, mentor, teacher. The closest thing Lena had to family, growing up. Of course, she grew up around a group of girls but not everyone graduated from The Academy. The final graduation ceremony was particularly gruelling and there wasn’t a high survival rate.

 

Lena grew up believing their ethos, that the world needed to be cleansed, the only way to save it, was to burn it to the ground and rebuild from the ashes. She would do anything it takes to fulfil that vision. She was a genius, she was cunning, she was strategic, she picked up on every small detail and could tell exactly what a person was thinking, just from a glance.

 

After her initiation, she was introduced to the rest of the women and they were a tight knit group, all focussed on one aim. They all got along well, like some kind fucked up family, they had to, not all assignments were solo missions, some required a partnership, some required a whole team: Talia hand-picked the Killer that would be used based on their skills and what the mission required.

 

Lena was the femme fatale, the black widow; she was excellent in all fields but there was something about her sultry voice, endless charm and wicked good looks that could make anyone drop to their knees. Personally, she didn’t mind playing that role, it made her feel powerful, in control and she thrived.

 

“Lena,” Talia called, interrupting her workout, “you have an assignment, briefing room, 15 minutes!” Lena tilted her head in acknowledgement. She grabbed a towel and wiped her face, taking a swig of water before going to get changed.

 

__________

 

“It seems the little princess has finally been released from her tower.” Talia mused.

 

“The last daughter of Krypton? Interesting,” Lena smirked, Talia handed her a dossier, which Lena flicked through, her eye was drawn to the small picture attached.

 

“She hasn’t been photographed since she was a baby.” Lena leant forward, elbows on the desk and stared intensely at the picture, she had long, dark brown hair and bright blue eyes: she had a strong, square jaw with soft features giving her an innocent look. She was tall, athletic but held herself in regal manner, perfect posture. “Why has she suddenly been allowed into the public eye?” she murmured.

 

“It seems Mommy and Daddy have finally decided to loosen the reigns a little, she’s completed her education and they’ve agreed to let her go wild for her birthday.” Talia tone took on a dark playfulness.

 

Krypton was a small European country, rich with natural resources. They were ruled by a Monarchy, King Zor-El and Queen Alura Zor-El, but they were selfish and greedy. They housed some of the greatest minds on the planet and had successfully found a way to power their entire country without fossil fuels, but they refused to share their knowledge with the rest of the planet.

 

They were an extremely well-protected country, there was no tourism and barely anyone was allowed to emigrate: you had to prove, without a doubt that you would be able to provide, economic or scientific wealth. They didn’t provide aid for countries in need, they weren’t apart of the UN or NATO, they didn’t compete in any international sporting events. Almost nothing was known about them.

 

They kept their only daughter, Kara, hidden from the world, not an ounce of information was known about her apart from her name and her date of birth.

 

It was time to take Krypton down a peg.

 

“Where did the photo come from? It’s not like Krypton to slip up like that.” Lena asked.

 

“Our contractor is some kind of disgraced family member, looking to remove the Zor-El’s for good, that was taken while the Princess was in the castle gardens,” Lena nodded in understanding, flicking through the information provided.

 

“So, why me?” Lena looked up and Talia sneered.

 

“Our contractor has seemed to have stumbled across a very interesting bit of information,” Talia smiled, devilishly. “Little, innocent, Kara Zor-El is gay.”

 

“Ahh, so that’s why they kept her hidden away.” Homosexuality wasn’t illegal but the Zor-el’s prided themselves on a pure bloodline, that couldn’t be done with a same-sex couple.

 

“So, honey pot? Have her caught in the act and disgrace the Monarchy. They’d never let her be Queen if it got out, their pure bloodline, dirtied,” Lena guessed.

 

“No, Krypton have enough power that blackmail isn’t guaranteed to work. No Princess, no heirs, no bloodline. It’s a kill order.” Talia said, simply.

 

“Aww, it almost seems cruel to kill her on her first night out,” Lena mocked.

 

“Think you’re up to it, Little Spider?” Talia purred.

 

“It would be my genuine pleasure,” Lena smiled.

 

__________

 

 

Kara was beyond excited! She was elated. After 24 long years kept in the palace walls she was finally allowed to let her hair down. Of course she was accompanied by security but not as much as she expected. The rest of the world didn’t know anything about her, nor what she looked like, huge teams of security would only draw more attention to herself.

 

She was flying out to Monaco for the weekend, being cooped up for so long meant she was an expert in all card games, there was nothing else to do after her extensive days of lessons. She was well socialised with the Palace staff and had begged them to teach her every card game there was, she soon became an expert. Kara was going to play the most prestigious casinos in Monaco, she wouldn’t be recognised so her parents weren’t opposed and she would have fun.

 

She loved her parents and her country with all her heart but she couldn’t help but feel incredibly alone. She was kept inside for majority of the day, only allowed out to roam the palace gardens, she was sheltered from the world and her own people. She had begged her parents to let her at least explore Krypton, insisting she needed to know her country if she was going to be a Monarch one day. They just insisted that everything she needed to know could be found in the books they provided.

 

Kara dressed in her nicest suit: royal blue, tailored to perfection. Crisp, white shirt and a black tie, she couldn’t draw attention to herself too much but, she wore gold cuff links in the shape of the House of EL crest. Her brown hair was curled loosely around her shoulders and she was wearing a pair of black framed glasses.

 

The Princess made her way down from her hotel room, to the casino. She was excited but anxious, fidgeting nervously with her glasses. She chastised herself, she was a Princess dammit, she was Kara Zor-EL future Queen of Krypton and she could do this. She took a deep breath and made her way over to the baccarat tables. Her bodyguards stayed within sight but backed off, leaving her to have her freedom.

 

Little did they know she was about to be led to her death.

 

__________

 

 

“Go over your orders, Little Spider.” Talia’s gruff voice filled her ear.

 

“Head to Casino de Monte-Carlo, intercept the target, execute the kill order.” Lena replied simply.

 

“Good, now follow through with the final preparations and check in within 18 hours. If you fail to do so, you are on your own. If you are captured, you are on your own. If you are killed you will be buried in an unmarked grave. Do you understand these terms as I read them to you?” Talia said, it was the same terms they were read before every mission. Secrecy is vital to their operation, they were nobody’s and they would be treated as such.

 

“I do.” Lena confirmed.

 

“Good luck, Little Spider, may you go forth and conquer,”

 

“Endure and thrive,” Lena finished. The line clicked and she was on her own. She unscrewed the outlet, placed her communicator inside and put it back together. She burnt her dossier and all the information she had on her target. She then got ready: hair curled over one shoulder, tight, black satin dress, that finished a few inches above the knee; just modest enough for the casino but, short enough to attract attention and enough cleavage to make a holy man weep. She wore red ‘fuck me’ heels and fire engine red lipstick.

 

She went over her alias one more time in her head.

 

Kieran Doyle: 24 years old, single, from a small, coastal town called Kinvara in Ireland. She’s a well-respected, head engineer for a fortune 500 company, in Monaco for a business meeting with the CEO of Ciratex, a company specialising in nanotechnology.

 

She was the youngest of three daughters, studied at Oxford University in London. She has three degrees in Chemistry, Astrophysics and Biomedical Engineering. A black Labrador called Benjie, whom she adores. She loves to read and is a keen rock climber in her spare time.

 

She was ready, time to go to work.

 

__________

 

Lena arrived at the casino about an hour after the target. She would only refer to Kara by her name when she was talking to her. It helped to disassociate from the kill, she wasn’t a person without her name, just an object.

 

Kara had missed her grand entrance down the staircase, she was about the only person, too engrossed in her poker game. Lena felt all eyes on her when she headed to the bar, but not the pair she so desperately needed. Lena sat on a stool and ordered a Martini, she stared across the room over the rim of her glass, trying to get a read on the brunette, there’s only so much you can get from a picture.

 

She watched her play for a few rounds. She was humble when she won, not cheering loudly or making obnoxious comments, she just collected her chips, readjusted her glasses and started again. She was gracious when she lost, sipping her drink, readjusting her glasses and starting again. It seemed Lena was the only one who caught onto her tell, whenever she was bluffing her right eye would twitch slightly, she covered it by another adjustment of her glasses; something she did often enough that it wasn’t suspicious to the other players. But, Lena caught it.

 

She sat with perfect posture, she tipped the waiters that brought her scotch, smiled and the card dealers and made small conversation, drawing laughter from those around her; her behaviour practically screaming princess, no one was that perfect especially when they were gambling. But, she was shy, reserved, she never started a conversation but she would indulge if someone spoke to her. She did seem particularly interested in the Russian diplomat sharing the table but that was probably due to the fact that his wife was ridiculously attractive.

 

Lena would have to go to her, the Princess wouldn’t have the confidence to approach her.

 

Her clothes were expensive, yet understated, clearly as to not warrant unwanted attention. Lena rolled her eyes when she caught sight of her cuff links, what idiot let her wear those? Well, not everyone was a clued up as Lena an average person wouldn’t think twice if they saw them, probably more impressed that they were 18 carat solid gold.

 

Lena watched her until she deduced all she could. Now it was time to strike.

 

She ordered another Martini and placed her empty glass behind the elbow of a man leaning against the bar next to her. When he got his drink he pushed up, sliding the glass behind the bar and smashing it.

 

The target’s eyes shot up, as did most people’s, she could feel her eyes on her. Perfect. She crossed one leg over the other, her short dress riding further up her thigh, she could practically feel the gaze searing into her skin as the target’s eyes travelled with Lena’s hand from her thigh, caressing her body and finishing at her neck. It was only for a second and then she leaned over the bar to direct the bartender to the glass, there it is, eyes straight to her ass.

 

You can say what you want about women being more polite and subtle, they usually were but they were human too and we all have the same basic needs, Princess or not.

 

Lena sat back on her stool and turned towards her target, their eyes locked for less than a second and the mark looked down, adjusting her glasses. She looked back up and it was Lena’s turn to look bashful, eyes dropping to her drink. She had to play this the right way, if she came across too confident, she would scare the target, this required a delicate hand.

 

The Princess hadn’t even looked in the direction of roulette or the slot machines, her poison was card games and by the looks of her winnings she was good at it. She had already been here for a while and she was on a winning streak at the table, which meant she would stay there for a little longer before backing out and heading to another table. By Lena’s deductions it would be blackjack. It could be considered the game with the highest risk, players typically only winning 48% of their hands, the target had everything to lose and she could afford to risk it all, that was the thrill.

 

Lena sat down at the blackjack table and placed her bet. She was an expert at counting cards, and as this was such an easy she could stand to make a profit.

 

Just as she expected the target sat down next to her a few moments later. Lena won her hand and the dealer dealt the mark’s cards next, she lost. Lena glanced up and saw the Russian Diplomat leaving with his wife, followed by his security team. Perfect, all of Kara’s attention would now be on her.

 

They played in silence but Lena could feel her eyes on her, roaming her body every few moments. Lena played with the pendent around her neck, drawing the princess’ eyes to her chest, teasing, Lena heard the hitch in her breath and smiled inwardly. The misdirection worked wonders and the target was so distracted that Lena could tell she was about to hit on 19 and she knew the next card was going to be high, majority of the low cards had already been dealt. Lena’s hand darted out and squeezed her knee before retreating just as fast. The target jolted slightly and looked down, catching sight of her cards and sticking instead. The next card dealt was the King of Diamonds.

 

Lena collected her chips and backed out of the game, heading back to the bar, the target’s eyes followed and she swayed her hips enticingly.

 

5-4-3-2-1.

 

“Good evening,” she said into her ear, Lena startled turning into the brunette causing her to spill her drink all over Lena. “Oh, golly, I’m so sorry!” the target grabbed some napkins from the bar and started patting her down.

 

“Oh gosh, this is satin.” Lena grabbed some napkins herself and started dabbing at the fabric. The mark started dabbing her chest without a second thought. Lena cleared her throat and the brunette looked up realising what she was doing, she backed off immediately.

 

“I’m so sorry! Gosh, I only came over here to offer my thanks and I’ve acted completely inappropriately, I offer my sincere apologies.” Her accent was thick, European it almost sounded Russian but to Lena’s trained ear it was quite clearly Kryptonian.

 

“It’s fine, it’s just a dress, I can have it dry-cleaned.” Lena said, she’d hinted at her Irish accent when they were playing the table, but now she really laid it on thick.

 

“Can I buy you a drink to make up for it?” she fidgeted with her glasses again and smiled, it was innocent, almost endearing, such a shame she had to die.

 

“Sure, that would be lovely, thank you.”  The princess ordered two glasses of champagne and turned towards Lena.

 

“I should be thanking you,” Lena hummed questioningly, “you saved me €250,000,” she whispered.

 

“Did I?” Lena tilted her head, smirking slightly. The target huffed out a laugh and adjusted her glasses again.

 

“Can I give a name to my hero?” Lena looked down blushing and the target ducked her head, meeting Lena’s eyes and smiled.

 

“Kieran,” she stuck out her hand,

 

“Kara,” she took her hand, squeezing lightly. The bartender brought their drinks and Kara handed Lena her glass, “do I detect an Irish accent?” Kara asked.

 

“You have a very good ear,” she drawled.

 

“Well, I wouldn’t go that far, your name partly gave you away.” Kara said, smiling again.

 

“Of course,” Lena nodded, taking a sip of her drink, “what about you? Are you Russian?” Lena asked, perplexed look on her face.

 

“I understand why you would think that but no, I am Kryptonian.” She explained. Stupid, stupid mistake, Princess.

 

“I’ve never met a Kryptonian before,” Lena purred, “what brings you to Monaco?” She readjusted her position, crossing her legs again. Kara’s eyes flickered down briefly, but Lena caught it.

 

“Birthday celebrations,” she took a sip of her drink, “and yourself?”

 

“Boring old business,” she rolled her eyes. “Is it your birthday today?” Kara tilted her head in confirmation, “I feel It should be me buying the drinks, happy birthday,” Lena raised her glass to her, it would certainly be a birthday for the history books. 

 

Kara waved her off, “I ruined your dress, drinks are on me,” she insisted, politely.

 

“Well then, keep them coming, Kara.” She rolled the ‘r’ slightly, purring at the unsuspecting brunette. Kara’s eyes sparkled and she smiled from ear to ear. It was the first time Lena had used her name all night. It felt strange on her tongue, coppery, it tasted like blood. Every mark’s name tasted the same up until the point of death, then it tasted sweet, like honey, it tasted of gratification, a job well done.

 

They sat at the bar for a while, chatting. Lena told her all about Kieran’s company, her family, her dog. She lived the lie, fully captivating the Princess, Kara even suggested she visit Krypton and collaborate with their scientists. Lena almost broke character; the suggestion was laughable.

 

They had grown closer during the time they spent together, both leaning in, faces only inches apart. Kara didn’t seem bothered by the fact that her bodyguards were probably somewhere witnessing the whole encounter. She could tell that the girl was tipsy, there was a desperate, longing look in her eye and her gaze flickered to Lena’s lips every few seconds. Lena studied her closely, she was sweet, charming and polite; she asked Lena inquisitive questions and seemed genuinely interested in her response. She wasn’t anything like the targets she’d killed in the past, they were usually slimy, lecherous men only interested in one thing. Lena never let them get that far, of course, the chase was far more important to them and they were only ever allowed so far before Lena killed them.

 

Kara was so different, she was kind, interesting, innocent.

 

“This has been lovely Kara, but I have to go, I have an early flight in the morning.” Lena smiled apologetically.

 

“Please stay, just a little bit longer,” Kara pleaded, “you’re-you’re the first person I’ve been able to have a real conversation with for-” she shook her head, “for- such a long time. Please just one more drink?” Lena shook her head.

 

“I can’t,” she whispered, stroking Kara’s jaw.

 

“Y-you could up to my room? We could have a drink and I have my car take you back to your hotel,” Kara’s eyes were begging her not to leave.

 

“I don’t think it would be smart to come up to the room of someone I barely know,” Kara nodded in understanding, “plus, I have to get out of this dress, the alcohol has soaked through to my underwear,” she giggled. Kara looked defeated, Lena pressed a soft, lingering kiss to Kara’s lip, “I’m sorry, Kara.” She slipped off the stool, leaving her at the bar.

 

She slipped away into the cold night, back towards her hotel. The sound of her heels echoed in the empty street and she wrapped her arms around her body, sheltering herself from the bitter wind.

 

She heard running behind her.

 

“Kieran! Kieran, wait!” she stopped and turned around, allowing Kara to catch up with her.

 

“You don’t give up, do you?” Kara shook her head, grinning.

 

“It’s late, and you’re in a dangerous foreign country, I couldn’t allow you to walk home alone.” Kara said, offering her arm. She had no idea what she was doing.

 

“Is Monaco a dangerous country?” Lena narrowed her eyes slightly, smirking.

 

“Just let me, please.” Lena took her arm, Kara had sealed her own fate, walked straight into her trap and now the Little Spider would lead the insect back to her web.

 

__________

 

 

“Scotch?” Lena offered. Kara accepted the glass and sat down in one of the armchairs by the balcony. Lena took her earrings out and undid the clasp on her necklace, setting it on her dresser. Kara caught her hand,

 

“I was serious about you coming to Krypton, the science guild could use someone like you.” Kara looked at her, her eyes full of sincerity.

 

“Could you get my zipper?” Kara nodded and stood up, standing behind Lena. It was an invitation to the brunette, a challenge and Lena could sense her internal battle: indulge in her desires or stick to what she’d been taught. Lena knew what the decision would be, it was always the same. Kara brushed her hair away from the back of her neck and pulled the zipper down, her knuckles brushing the soft skin. Lena shuddered, “As I understand it, Krypton is highly selective of who is allowed into their country?” Kara sat back down in the armchair.

 

“One good word from me and you’ll be across the border in a shot.” Lena let her dress pool on the floor leaving her in a black, lace corset and panties, she made her way to the bathroom and put on her silk bathrobe, leaving it open. Something niggled in Lena’s brain, that didn’t seem like something the quiet princess, Lena had spent all night with, would say. It could be down to the fact that she was tipsy, or now she was away from prying eyes she felt like she could be herself but, it didn’t sit right with Lena and she decided to test her theory.

 

“Oh, and what would I have to do to get a good word?” Lena sauntered over to Kara, swinging her hips with every step, she watched as Kara’s eyes darkened.

 

“C’mere,” Kara tugged her closer by her robe and Lena put one knee either side of Kara’s hips and straddled her lap. She brushed her hair back, away from her chest, leaving it exposed to Kara’s hungry gaze.  

 

“What do you do to hold so much control over the Kryptonian border? Are you high up in government or something?” Lena tilted her head to the side questioningly, she rubbed her hands up Kara’s chest.

 

“Something, like that.” Kara said reaching up to adjust her glasses but Lena caught the twitch. Interesting, she was technically bluffing but Lena knew she had to tread carefully.

 

“So, what do you want from me?” Lena drawled, playing with her tie.

 

“You. I just want you, just for one night.” Kara kept eye contact with Lena, her voice barely a whisper, they were so close, lips almost touching. She put a shaky hand on her thigh, almost afraid to touch. But, she’d fucked up. Lena caught the twitch.

 

She started by undoing Kara’s tie, sliding it from her neck. She put her hand on Kara’s jaw, stroking the soft skin of her cheek. She brushed her lips against Kara’s and then gripped the back of her neck, slamming the knuckles of her right hand into her nose. Not hard enough to break, but her eyes would automatically water, compromising her vision long enough for Lena to take one knee and drive it into her diaphragm, causing her to choke and splutter.

 

Lena pushed her to her knees on the floor. Lena stepped behind her and used the tie to strangle her. The girl on the floor, whatever her real name was, grabbed the tie with both hands, trying to pull it away from her throat. She was still recovering from Lena’s early attacks and couldn’t overpower her strength. Lena had the higher ground and more leverage.

 

She spluttered. Unable to speak. Soft squeaks escaped her throat, her face turning red from the lack of oxygen.

 

The girl made a very clever choice, she wrapped her arms around the back of Lena’s legs and threw her weight back while pulling Lena’s legs from under her.

 

Lena fell backwards, her head cracked against the coffee table behind her. She was disorientated for long enough for the fake Kara to pull a gun from her waistband, aiming at Lena. Kara coughed, tears streaming down her cheeks as she gasped for air, trying to recover from the attempt on her life.

 

“Fuck me,” pseudo-Kara gripped her neck, “do you always strangle your victims?” her voice was hoarse. Lena instantly recognised the American accent. She was CIA.

 

“Well, you didn’t drink your poison.” Lena tilted her head towards the untouched scotch. She kept her Irish accent not wanting to give this woman the upper hand. The woman produced a pair of handcuffs from under her suit jacket, she nodded at Lena and she got to her feet presenting her hands. Copy-cat Kara spun her around and cuffed her hands behind her back, she dragged a chair over from the table and sat Lena down opposite the bed and then sat down on the foot of the bed, facing her.

 

“So this is how it’s gonna go, you’re gonna tell me everything and then I might decide not to kill you.” She said, aiming the gun at her again. Lena smiled, was it this girl’s first day on the job? The arrogance of this woman.

 

“Let’s start with your name and who you work for,” good God did she really think it was that easy? She couldn’t tell whether the cockiness was pissing her off or turning her on.

 

“My guess would be Russian intelligence,” Lena quirked an eyebrow, and the agent smirked, “that’s what I thought, you’re KGB.” Typical American, always blame the Russians when things go wrong. If only she knew the truth.  

 

The agent stripped off her jacket, folding it and placing it next to her; she undid her cuff links, slotting them in the inside pocket of her jacket, and rolled up her sleeves.

 

Well, Lena might as well indulge her, feed her ego and see what information she could gather.

 

“You will let me go, if you know what’s good for you.” Lena adopted a soft Russian accent. Knock-off Kara smirked and stood up, leaning down whisper in her ear.

 

“You’re a highly trained KGB agent, set yourself free,” her voice was smoky, deeper due to her injuries. Definitely turning me on.

 

“That was a very good Kryptonian accent, you had me fooled.”

 

“I’m very good at my job,” she smiled, Lena almost scoffed but bit her tongue.

 

“So why is a CIA agent posing as a Kryptonian princess?” Lena already knew the answer but she figured she see how easy this girl was to rile up, the agent sat back on the bed, sighing.

 

“Tell me your name.” Counterfeit Kara murmured.

 

“You were tipped off,” Lena smirked knowingly. Talia was going to lose her shit when she found out. Lena was in the clear to do whatever she wanted right now, she couldn’t fail the mission because there was no mission, they were compromised from the very beginning.

 

“Tell me your name or I won’t hesitate to put a bullet in your head.” She stood up again and pointed the gun at the centre of her forehead, the cool metal pressing into her. The brunette was clearly angry that Lena had her figured out already.

 

“You think I’m afraid of death?” the agent looked her in the eye, challenging her, “go on, I dare you.” The women huffed, and lowered her weapon, “coward.” Lena said under her breath.

 

Sham Kara whipped around and grabbed her by the face roughly, tilting the chair backwards.

 

“Don’t you dare call me that,” she spat, fire blazing in her eyes. Interesting. “Sparing someone’s life does not make you a coward!” She let Lena go.

 

“That depends on what side you’re on.” Lena said.

 

“Tell me your name.” Mock-up Kara whispered again,

 

“Tell me yours.” Lena whispered.

 

“Kara Danvers,” there was no twitch. Oh that’s laughable.

 

“Oh God, did they pick you because you can’t stay in character? Afraid you’d forget your alias?” she laughed. That riled Real Kara up even more.

 

“You’re one to talk, I saw right through your little act.” Can’t see through this one though.

 

“No, you didn’t.” Lena shook her head, “I’ve been watching you all night, I know you, Kara Danvers, and that’s driving you insane,” Lena stared up at the ceiling. Go on, ask me. You know you want to.

 

Kara scoffed, “You don’t know shit, I had you fooled the whole time.”

 

“You had me for some of the time I’ll give you that, but you fucked up, you dropped your act, you’re arrogance gave you away. My guess, is you had no clue I was the assassin until you smelt the poison I put in your scotch, only people who have a nose for whiskey could tell the difference between straight scotch and when something extra had been added. You drank scotch the whole time you were at the casino, until you came to speak to me, then you ordered champagne. Now why would you do that? Hmm?” She looked up at Kara, watched as she attempted to remain composed.

 

“You were celebrating, show-boating; you thought the assassin was the Russian diplomat you were playing against at the poker table and that’s why you stayed there for so long. You were deducing and when you had come to your miraculous conclusion, your “bodyguards” escorted him from the casino. They’re probably beating him half to death as we speak. You should probably let them know by the way.”

 

Her voice adopted a sultry tone, “You were celebrating a job well done and you decided you wanted to do it with me.” she looked up at the ceiling again away from Kara’s face and took a deep breath, pushing her chest out, Kara’s lingered on her chest and she bit her lip subconsciously. Lena grinned devilishly,

 

“Tell me, do you do that on every mission?” Kara just scoffed,

 

“You’re one to talk. How many people have you fucked just to kill them afterwards?” Lena rolled her eyes, typical response.

 

“None, I don’t have to, one flutter of my lashes and they’re putty in my hands, easy kill. You know we’re on different sides and yet. you still want to fuck me and you hate yourself for it,” she watched as Kara shifted, uncomfortably.

 

“Every ounce of your being is telling you no, to remember your training. You were a soldier, that explains how you maintained perfect posture all night, so disciplined, so in control, until I called you a coward. You can’t be a coward you fought for your country, you’re a hero.” Kara’s chest puffed out slightly, so proud. “A marine, specialising in controlling or inciting political imbalance, that’s why they sent you” Kara’s eyes flickered. Lena kept her voice level and her tone neutral the entire time, making her analysis that much more painful. Lena had got it spot on.

 

“Bullshit.” Kara said. Lena genuinely laughed.

 

“What’s bullshit?”

 

“Everything you just said,” Lena huffed out another laugh.

 

“I’m handcuffed to a chair, you were big enough and strong enough to beat me, just admit I’ve got you,” the brunette just raised her eyebrows, clenching her jaw, stubbornly. “That arrogance isn’t going to get you far.”


Kara leaned in to whisper in her ear, “maybe not, but you like the arrogance,” Lena smirked and spread her legs slightly, biting her lip. Kara let out a deep breath.

 

“Take off the disguise, Kara. You’ve seen my face, show me yours,” Kara looked surprised but pulled off the wig to reveal long, wavy, golden hair and peeled off the prosthetic chin to uncover a sharp, chiselled jaw-line. Oh, this Kara she could get on board with.  

 

“Not bad, I suppose,” she said nonchalantly, but Kara could tell she was faking the mask of indifference.  

 

Ask me Kara.

 

“What did you mean when you said ‘it depends what side you’re on’?” Bingo! So predictable.

 

“You take orders Kara, same as me. But you’re not on a battlefield any more and you cannot even begin to understand the world you’ve stepped into. You think you’re better because you live by some moral code, you know when to take a life and when to spare it. In reality, by saving them, you’re not showing mercy, you’re allowing the scum to thrive,” Lena explained.

 

“Is that what you are?” Kara turned away, unable to look at her. “Scum, that needs to be put down?” she put her gun down on the bed. Always so easy, it almost wasn’t fun any more. Lena slipped out of the cuffs, she’d unlocked them, what felt like, hours ago.

 

Darling,” she purred, “I’m a work of art.” Kara turned and before she could react, Lena had swung the chair she sitting on into her ribs so hard, it shattered. She stumbled back onto the bed with a cry of pain, but quickly rolled to dodge Lena’s next attack. The gun made a thud as it hit the floor.

 

Lena launched herself at the blonde, her fist aiming to connect with Kara’s jaw. The blonde leant back, dodging the punch and Kara grabbed her wrist, her own fist burying itself in Lena’s kidney, she grunted.

 

They grappled with each other.

 

Kara slammed her into the wall. Lena’s elbow smashed into Kara’s jaw, giving her time to pull the knife she hidden in her corset and push it to Kara’s neck.

 

Everything stopped.

 

They were both panting, erratically. Faces centimetres apart, eyes locked. Kara’s eyes flickered down and she smiled, Lena looked down and saw the knife Kara had pressed against her abdomen.

 

“Truce?” Kara breathed.

 

“Truce.” Lena nodded.

 

They both dropped their weapons and their mouths crashed together in a brutal kiss, their tongues battling for dominance. Kara pressed her into the wall harder, slotting her knee between Lena’s legs.

 

Lena pulled at her hair, biting and nipping her lips, swallowing her moans. Kara lifted Lena and placed her on the dresser, kissing down her neck. She sucked on her pulse point and bit into her shoulder, Lena cried out and clawed at Kara’s back. The blonde kissed down Lena’s body kneeling down between her legs, she nipped at the inside of her thighs; reaching back she grabbed her knife.

 

Lena’s eyes fluttered shut in pleasure but they quickly shot open when she felt cool steel against her neck.

 

“Tell me your name,” Kara whispered.

 

“Lena, Lena Volkova,” she breathed. Kara smiled, accepting the answer. She removed the knife and sliced down the front of Lena’s corset, throwing the weapon and the garment next to her.

 

“What the fuck?” Lena said, outraged.

 

“It was in the way.” Kara shrugged, she lifted Lena again, placing her on the bed. Kara ground her hips into Lena’s centre while she kissed down her neck. She sucked on Lena’s chest, leaving dark marks across her breasts.

 

Kara’s hand travelled down and dipped into the waistband of her panties. She was soaked and Kara groaned into her mouth,

 

“So fucking wet, is that all because of me, Lena?” the ravenette growled and bit on her lip hard.

 

“Don’t push your luck,” she spat. Kara pushed two fingers inside her and Lena’s mouth dropped open in a moan. Kara grinned against Lena’s jaw and god how she longed to sucker-punch her stupid face.

 

Kara fucked her mercilessly, driving her fingers into Lena and curling them upwards, massaging the spongy spot inside of her. Lena bucked her hips up involuntarily, small moans escaped her lips and she ripped open Kara’s shirt to drag her nails down her back. Kara gritted her teeth and fucked her harder.

 

“You’re so fucking tight!” Kara growled. Lena’s pussy was making obscene noises as Kara fingered her, pushing her closer to the edge.

 

“Close, keep going.” Lena moaned. Kara curled her fingers again and rubbed her thumb in tight circles on Lena’s clit. She came with a loud cry, her walls clenching around Kara’s fingers, coating her hand in her cum.

 

Kara flipped her onto her stomach and tore her underwear off her body, thrusting her fingers back into Lena and fucking her through her first orgasm, straight into the second. Lena screamed into the mattress her clit brushing against the bed, providing glorious friction.  Kara fingers pumped into her slowly, bringing her back down gently, she pulled her fingers out and smacked Lena’s ass, receiving a groan in response.

 

Lena turned over and pulled at Kara’s belt buckle. Getting the CIA agent out of her clothes was so much more difficult, for starters she had that stupid tactical holster strapped to her back. They finally managed to strip Kara down to her underwear. Lena rolled her onto her back and straddled Kara’s waist, kissing her harshly; she nipped her jaw and down her neck, soothing the bites with her tongue and leaving red marks in her wake. She pulled down the cups of Kara’s bra and sucked at her nipples.

 

Kara moaned and thrashed underneath her, “don’t stop, feels good,” she arched her back to push her chest further into Lena’s mouth.

 

“Do you always make this much noise.” Lena said, her teeth still wrapped around Kara’s nipple.

 

“Just feeding your over-inflated ego,” Kara gasped. Lena smirked and ripped Kara’s panties off. Lena knelt down on the floor and and pulled Kara’s hips to the edge of the bed.

 

She teased Kara’s clit with the tip of her tongue, small flicks of her tongue, barely any stimulation at all. Kara whined, she couldn’t buck her hips, Lena had such a tight grip on her; she was already wound up from fucking the ravenette, it wouldn’t take long she just needed something.

 

Lena would thrust her tongue into Kara’s aching centre for a few moments before pulling back and going back to teasing her clit with small swirls of her tongue. She kept this up for so long Kara thought she was going insane, Lena brought her to the edge and pulled her away again over and over and over.

 

Kara finally snapped and grabbed the back of Lena’s head pulling her mouth flush to her centre, until Lena got the message. She smirked against Kara’s pussy and sucked her clit into her mouth hard.

 

That combined with the image of Lena, a Russian spy, her enemy, with her tongue between her legs threw Kara into the most powerful orgasm of her life. She screamed Lena’s name, jerking and writhing on the bed. Lena thrust two fingers into her and curled them upwards grazing her teeth against Kara’s clit, she came again, her walls clamping around Lena’s fingers. Lena licked at her slit, cleaning her up while Kara moaned, hips bucking weakly; she pushed Lena’s head away, unable to take any more.

 

Lena wiped her mouth and dropped her legs against the bed. She stood up and headed towards the bathroom to clean up, she entered the bedroom again and Kara was still laying on the bed, she slipped into the robe that had been discarded on the floor.

 

“My legs feel like jelly,” Kara groaned. Lena smirked proudly, “do you have any water?” she was holding her throat, her voice was croaky and hoarse, probably due to the strangulation and all the screaming she’d done. Lena fished two bottles of water from the mini bar and handed one to Kara who had managed to get to her feet.

 

“You promise it’s not poisoned?” Kara joked. Lena smiled slyly and narrowed her eyes, she kissed Kara and the blonde could taste herself on her lips.

 

“Promise.” Lena whispered, a gentle, almost sweet look on her face. Kara drained the bottle in a matter of seconds and Lena smiled taking a few sips of her own drink.

 

Lena walked around the room and collected their clothes.

 

Kara didn’t feel so good,

 

“L-Lena,” the ravenette turned around and hummed innocently, “what did you do?” Lena strolled over to her, casually.

 

“Little tip, Kara. This hotel only stocks one bottle of water in the mini bar.” She stroked Kara’s jaw and her whole body slumped into Lena.

 

“Y-you p-promised.” Kara’s vision was blurry and her legs wouldn’t work.

 

“Shh, don’t fight it,” she hushed. Lena effortlessly lifted Kara and placed her on the bed. Kara was fighting to keep her eyes open, trying to force out her words. Lena pouted and dragged her finger across Kara’s lips.

 

“I warned you. You have no idea who you’re dealing with,” she whispered into Kara’s ear and watched as her eyes finally closed.

 

__________

 

Lena began clearing up the room, folding her clothes, righting the furniture and clearing up any trace of evidence. She unscrewed the outlet and checked in with Talia.

 

“Codename,” came the gruff tone.

 

“Little Spider.” Lena sat in the armchair across from the bed and sipped on, non-toxic, scotch.

 

“Verification.”

 

“Whiskey Kilo Lima Lima- 2 0 1 1” Lena replied.

 

“Were you successful?” Talia asked.

 

“In a way,” Lena hummed, “we were set up, it was a trap. The CIA had an agent posing as the Princess, they knew we were going to be there.” She heard Talia let out a string of curse words in multiple languages and huffed out a laugh.

 

“Are you okay?” Talia sounded concerned, Lena was the best after all.

 

“Of course, I’m fully capable of handling the CIA.” She said, sarcasticly and she heard Talia chuckle.

 

“I should hope so,” she mused, “and the CIA agent?”

 

Lena’s eyes flickered to the body on the bed, “all taken care of.”

 

“Do you need a clean-up crew?” Talia asked, clearly amused.

 

“No, just an extraction,” Lena said polishing off her scotch.

 

“Tomorrow morning would probably be best. Leaving a hotel room at 3am would only arouse suspicion.” Talia said.

 

“Tomorrow morning.” Lena confirmed, hanging up. She got dressed and packed her bag, wandering over to Kara’s body, “now, what to do with you.”

 

__________

 

 

Kara awoke the next morning with a pounding headache.

 

“Finally, I thought I have to leave before you woke up,” Lena purred. Kara squeezed her eyes shut and tried to sit up but failed, Lena had hand cuffed her to the headboard. She tried to kick her legs but they were tied to the bottom corners of the bed.

 

She was essentially naked and tied spread eagle to the bed.

 

“Let me go,” Kara demanded.

 

“You’re a highly trained CIA agent, set yourself free.” Lena reiterated the words Kara had said last night. Kara pulled against her bindings but they failed to budge, she flopped back down against the bed. Lena sauntered over and dragged a finger across her jaw.

 

“You didn’t poison me?” Kara whispered.

 

“No, just a simple muscle relaxant and tranquilliser. You were so dramatic,” she rolled the ‘r’ in her thick Russian accent.

 

“We’re not so different, you and me,” Lena hummed in confusion, “you spared my life” Lena laughed and stood up.

 

“Not for the reason you think,” she chuckled. “You see your diplomat will be able to prove he’s not the assassin and you, having mysteriously disappeared with a stranger, still posing as the Princess, I might add, will head back alive and well. Your ‘tip off’ will seem completely inaccurate and your source incompetent. And the CIA will look like fools to the Kryptonians, not that it’s hard for you people.” Lena smiled, tilting her head in celebration. She had her hook line and sinker.

 

“What’s to stop me telling them all about you?” Kara growled.

 

“What? How you fucked a Russian spy or how you were tricked and drugged by said Russian spy? Yeah, try that.” she patted Kara’s cheek, “how many times do I have to tell you, you’re out of your depth.” Lena stood up, picked up her bag and headed towards the door.

 

“Please, don’t leave me like this,” she gestured to the fact she was completely naked from the waist down. Lena smirked and draped her ruined corset over Kara, well she wouldn’t be needing it now. “I will find you Lena and I will bring you down,” Kara promised. Lena pressed her lips to Kara’s.

 

“I look forward to it, darling.” She drawled, leaving the room. She strolled past the housekeeper, making her rounds.

 

Excuse me, miss, my friend is in room 708, she said to go straight in.” the housekeeper thanked her and made her way to the room. Lena heard the shriek of shock while she was waiting stepping into the elevator.

 

Good morning madam-” Kara’s formal tone sounded just as the doors slid shut.

 

 

Chapter Text

Kara slammed her hand down on the desk.

 

Nothing.

 

4 months she had been searching for this girl and she’d come up with nothing.

 

Lena was right, the CIA looked like complete idiots. It wasn’t Kara’s fault per se, it wasn’t her tip off, she was just the one chosen to lead the mission. However, they were not happy that they had to pay for the hefty hospital bill of one, very pissed off, Russian diplomat. The Kryptonians, predictably, cancelled their security contract. Kara wanted to fight it but she had no proof, this girl was an extremely, irritating ghost and she wasn’t about to tell her boss about what happened between them. In hindsight, Kara should have fought the decision: 2 weeks after Kara got back from Monaco, the Princess of Krypton was shot dead, along with her entire security team before they’d reached the entrance of the casino.

 

Long-range bolt-action rifle, only one shot needed. No witnesses, no suspects and no one claimed responsibility. Kara watched as Krypton was mourning the loss of their Princess, the King and Queen were mourning the loss of their daughter and now they were fighting a coup.

 

The Kryptonian government had refused to accept a deal with the CIA, insisting that they could handle the insurgency on their own. Kara was an expert in inciting political imbalance and she knew it was only a matter of time before Alura and Zor-El would be forced to step down. Zor-El’s brother Jor-El and his wife Lara were the next in line, their son Kal-El would continue their pure bloodline.

 

Kara kept a close eye on the situation, she felt responsible, if she had just arrested Lena instead of fucking her, the Princess would still be alive.

 

She’d run her details through every database she could find but nothing, it wasn’t uncommon, they didn’t have every KGB agent on file, that would make their jobs incredibly easy. But they did have informants in Russia, not necessarily in the KGB, that information is classified, but no one had heard of an agent with the last name Volkova. Kara knew Lena wasn’t lying to her about her name, at least part of it, she could see it in her eyes.

 

Kara had become obsessed with finding this girl. She told herself that it was because she wanted to bring her to justice but in reality, she wanted to prove she could. Lena was so arrogant about the fact she knew everything about Kara and it angered the blonde to no end.

 

The agent trawled through every unsolved assassination they had on file and there was a lot. She then cross-referenced the results with the ways she knew in which Lena operated. She found six cases in the past three years, always powerful, high profile men, always an exclusive event, always no trace of evidence. Three of the cases Kara had actually worked on, which just added salt to the wound. Although, she couldn’t be certain whether they were Lena, she just knew the Russian was responsible.

 

What she had learnt was that Lena was smart, extremely methodical and strategic. She could blend into any surroundings and could charm and manipulate anyone: there were instances when she was caught on CCTV but it only worked in her favour, providing her with an alibi or showing that she never even interacted with the victim. There were witness statements but if she was even noticed, there were only good things to say, she never aroused suspicion. Kara would never have looked twice at this girl until they came face to face.

 

Lena hadn’t lied to her when she said Kara had fooled her, as far as the CIA agent could tell, no one had even got close to catching Lena, which just made her all the more dangerous. Kara was confident in saying she was the only person to go toe to toe with her and still be alive.

 

If Kara didn’t know any better, she’d say that Lena enjoyed getting caught. Lena could still consider her mission perfect, she had managed to seduce Kara easily, it just so happened that Kara wasn’t the person she thought she was. But, Kara’s true identity added that unexpected thrill of danger plus, Kara knew she was hot, of course Lena wanted to fuck her.

 

Kara had no evidence as of yet, linking the girl to anything, if she brought all she had to her boss she’d look like an idiot. This was an investigation she needed to conduct on her own for now, it was dangerous to get tangled in Lena’s web but, she couldn’t help herself. She’d joined the CIA for a reason: to stop people who threatened the security of her country, the world and who threatened the lives of the innocent.

 

Lena was her mission. She would find her and she would bring her down.

 

__________

 

 

Lena told Talia everything that had happened, there was no room for lies in this family.

 

To her credit, and Lena’s slight relief, she laughed it off. She thought it was a well-thought out decision to leave the agent alive and it paid off for them, Pestilence was sent out 2 weeks later and the kill order was executed.

 

Talia then made the executive order to batten down the hatches for a few months. They needed to put some new procedures in place so that the same situation could never happen again. It was Lena’s quick thinking that had saved them, their entire organisation relied on trust and secrecy. The contractor swore that they had nothing to do with the leak and insisted they would pay triple if they successfully fulfilled the kill order. They agreed to put the whole thing down to the Monarchy believing there could be a potential threat rather than the CIA receiving a tip off.

 

Lena was sent to The Academy to help train the new recruits. She was in charge of teaching the newbies about details, deduction and rapid response. Most of the recruits didn’t believe that anything other than how hard they could hit was important, and that would be their downfall if they didn’t change their mindset. 9 out of 10 times, Lena could complete a mission without the use of her fists, she put in the groundwork so that there were no unexpected surprises later.

 

She likened her work to performing a dance routine: you put hours of work in the the gym, memorizing the steps, perfecting the timing, repeating each step so many times that it’s permanently ingrained in your mind. If you put in the work before hand, preforming the routine looks effortless. That’s what they needed to learn, if you put in the preparation the end result is effortless.

 

One of the main tasks the recruits had to take part in was the Stake Out. They were paired up and set up on the edge of a woodland area, observing a deal going down between two people. It was masked as a reconnaissance mission, track and report every single person going in and out of the warehouse: what they looked like, what they were wearing, what they were doing, what snack they were eating, every little detail they saw they had to note down. They were left for a good 4 hours unsure as to when the deal was going ahead. Lena wanted to test whether they had taken on board anything she had said.

 

It was cold, it was wet, they were laying in the mud for a long time, but their concentration could not falter. If they were paying attention, they would notice that there position had been compromised, they only had three minutes to pack up and move before all hell broke loose. Only two pairs noticed the cues and passed the test, the rest tried to fight their way out, but going up against 11 highly trained assassins was not going to end well for them. Lena had those who failed repeat the task night, after night, after night until they finally got the message.

 

__________

 

Kara was heading to The Baccarat Hotel to meet with Anthony Despinali. He was a nasty piece of work, involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking and the sale of black market weapons. He would do just about anything to get ahead and Kara couldn’t quite believe what she was about to do.

 

The CIA were about to do a deal wherein his vile spawn would be released from jail in exchange for classified information Despinali had acquired. They’d selected Kara because they knew he was jumpy, afraid that he would be double crossed: sending a women made it seem like that was less likely to happen and he was partial to blondes apparently. It made her feel icky but she followed orders anyway, she just wanted to get this over with as fast as possible.

 

She was heading to the entrance of the hotel when she collided with a blonde woman, she seemed rattled, in a hurry to be somewhere.

 

“I’m sorry, excuse me” she squeaked.

 

“No, problem” she tugged on the lapels of her suit jacket and carried on. She caught a whiff of the woman’s perfume and a wave of nostalgia washed over her, she’d smelt that before but she couldn’t pin down where. She turned, but the woman was gone. Kara pushed it to the back of her mind, re-focussing her thoughts on the mission ahead.

 

“Good evening, I have a meeting with Mr Despinali” she smiled at the receptionist.

 

“If you would like to head to the bar, I will call up to his room” she gestured for Kara to go through.

 

Kara settled at the bar and ordered a drink, she waited for a while but Despinali was a no show. She looked around the room, trying to catch a glimpse of him; despite the late hour, the restaurant was busy, couples enjoying dinner, business meetings being conducted. The Baccarat was a prestigious place, it wouldn’t surprise her if they were busy up until the restaurant closed.  

 

She checked her watch and finished her drink, deciding not to wait any longer. She went to grab her wallet to pay her tab when she pulled out a hotel key card.

 

Her mind flashed back to the women she bumped into.

 

“No…” she ran to the front desk, “what room is Mr Despinali in?”

 

“I’m sorry, ma’am. I can’t give out that information, I can try calling him again but he didn’t answer before” the receptionist replied.

 

“Tell me his room number” she demanded, flashing her badge. The women looked taken aback but immediately searched her computer.

 

“Room 503”

 

“Get me the security footage for that floor,” she called, sprinting to the staircase. Kara climbed the stairs two at a time and when she reached the room, she took a deep breath: please, please, please, not again. She pulled out her service pistol and unlocked the door. Greeting her was the sight of Despinali sprawled out on the floor, she checked his pulse.


“Fuck!” she yelled.

 

 She secured the room before pulling out her phone and calling it in. “Have you secured the package?”

 

“Someone got here before us, he’s dead, the laptop and flash drive both gone” she sighed, one hand rubbing her head, trying to stave the pending migraine.

 

“How? How has this happened?” her boss was absolutely furious. “We only secured the meeting today! For this exact fucking reason!” Kara held the phone away from her ear as he yelled.

 

“I know, sir. I’ve secured the scene and I’m about to head back down and check the security footage” she locked the door and headed back downstairs.

 

“Lock down the hotel, no one leaves. I’m sending back up now”

 

__________

 

 

Lena was finally called up for another mission. Not the kind of mission she wanted but she was out of The Academy, she’d only managed to convince a few students that her way was best; most of them were pissed that she made them repeat the exercise in all weather conditions. It doesn’t bother her, once they get shot the first time they make a reckless decision, they’ll realise she was right.

 

Reconnaissance was vital but so boring. Lena was forever grateful for the information gained from this: CCTV, security patterns, blind spots, entrance points, escape routes. If she was going to be confined to a building she wanted to know every possible detail. But sitting on a rooftop in New York, in winter, freezing her ass off is not where she wanted to be; she had been taking photos and jotting down notes for the past three hours when something of particular interest caught her eye.

 

“Slingshot, come in” Lena said, hand pressed to her ear.

 

“Go ahead, Little Spider” came the reply.

 

“Can you get me Talia,please? I have some information she’d be very interested in,” Lena’s tone was unforgiving, no room for argument.

 

“Patching you through,” Lena waited for a few seconds, taking in the scene unfolding in front of her.

 

“This better be good, I was enjoying a nice, relaxing evening” Talia sighed.

 

“Well, I can’t feel my fingers” she chuckled, “so, I’m currently witnessing a business transaction between our man Mahomes and Anthony Despinali.”

 

Despinali? Now why would a state senator be meeting a notorious Drug Lord?” she mused.

 

“Elections are coming up fast, what if Despinali is funding his campaign?” Lena hypothesised.

 

“Do you have photos?”

 

“Hello? Am I an amateur? Of course I have photos” she scoffed.

 

“Follow Despinali, he doesn’t crawl out of his hidey hole very often, if we can get to him now it could be a large pay day for us. I’m assuming you have a alias with you?” Talia said.

 

“I refer back to my earlier comment,” she sassed, packing up her kit and heading down the fire escape, Talia snorted.

 

“I’ll get on the phone to as many contacts as possible, someone is going to have to want this scum bag dead and if not, I’d happily have him killed for free. Observe and report from a distance, this is not someone we want onto us” Talia warned.

 

“Got it. He’s on the move, I’ll check in when he’s stopped” Lena said, cutting the phone off. Lena tailed him for a few blocks and watched as Despinali’s car pulled up outside a flashy hotel. Strange, his security isn’t going in with him, he’s either an idiot or extremely arrogant.

 

She snapped a photo of him heading into the hotel and then searched through her bag, the alias she had wouldn’t fit, a journalist is always a good shout, they’re nosy fuckers who can get away with it but Despinali is not someone the papers should be snooping around.

 

The blonde wig would still work though.

 

“Little Spider, checking in,” she said into the earpiece.

 

“Go, ahead” came Talia’s voice.

 

“Baccarat Hotel,”  

 

“Urghh, of course he can afford to stay there” came Talia’s disgust. “Hang on, I’ve got someone hacking the system now,” Lena hummed and began going through her tactical bag while she waited, “okay, we have a problem, Despinali checks out tomorrow morning, this could be our only window”

 

“What do you want to do?” Lena asked.

 

“He’s a high profile target, if we can take him out, we take out a major player and not just in drug trafficking,”

 

“Just say the word, Talia” Lena pushed.

 

“We go. But, your communicator stays in, we have no information about the building or the purpose of his visit. We’ll give you as much tech support as possible.” Talia said.

 

“Fair enough” Lena responded.

 

“It’s a unplanned mission but I still have to say it…”

 

“It would feel unlucky if you didn’t”

 

 “Little Spider, you must check in within 18 hours. If you fail to do so, you are on your own. If you are captured, you are on your own. If you are killed you will be buried in an unmarked grave. Do you understand these terms as I read them to you?”

 

“I do” Lena confirmed.

 

“Good luck, Little Spider, may you go forth and conquer,”

 

“Endure and thrive” Lena finished. She shut the communicator off while she changed, so grateful she had the van, rather than the back seat of a car. The Baccarat was one of the most prestigious hotels in New York and a short skirt wasn’t going to pass. She strapped a holster onto her calf, knowing she was going in blind she fixed as many gadgets to her body as possible. She slipped into black, wide leg, formal pants and a tight, white shirt, just enough cleavage to be acceptable. She tied up her hair and pulled on the blonde wig combing through it and topping the look off with her signature red lip. It wasn’t perfect but it would have to do, she didn’t have the time, but she looked damn good in everything.

 

 Lena climbed out of the van and walked to the entrance of the hotel, straight to reception, she smiled at the girl behind the desk, “good evening, I’m supposed to be meeting someone tonight, for dinner”

 

“If you want to go straight through, the maître-d will show you to your table.” Lena thanked her and headed through to the restaurant.

 

“Hi, I’m meant to be meeting my friend here, Veronica White? The reservation should be under her name?” she smiled, warmly.

 

“I’m sorry, I have nothing under that name I’m afraid” she replied, apologetically,

 

“Huh, I could have sworn she said here” Lena stopped for a second, pretending to think, “she has the confirmation and she’s normally right on time” she checked her watch, “I am a little early, I guess” she gasped. “Those earrings are beautiful!” the hostess smiled at Lena.

 

“Thank you, they were a gift from my husband” she replied.

 

“A special occasion?” Lena asked, tilting her head, knowingly.

 

“My 50th birthday” the maître-d blushed.

 

“No-” Lena looked shocked.

 

“-4 years ago”

 

“No! There’s absolutely no way you’re 54, you look absolutely stunning” Lena complimented. The woman nodded and grinned. “Well, I hope I look as good as you when I’m that age” she smiled, “listen, I’m going to go wait outside until Veronica gets here, I don’t want to take up any more of your time” she turned around, ready to leave

 

“Look, it’s cold outside and it’s probably just a technical error, why don’t you wait at the bar until she gets here?” she gestured for Lena to go ahead.

 

“Oh, you’re a star! Thank you so much!” Lena headed to the bar and caught sight of the mark, sipping on scotch, she ran her eyes over him, beginning her process.

 

“Do you flirt with everyone?” came Reign’s voice.

 

“Everyone loves to be flirted with, makes them feel good” she looked down, her hair covering her face.

 

“You never flirt with me”

 

“Feeling left out?” she muttered, “call my phone in 12 minutes”

 

She sat a few seats down from him and ordered some fruity cocktail, playing the blonde bimbo always worked with men.

 

Lena gave him a subtle once over. He was nervous, twisting his wedding ring around his finger and bouncing his knee on the stool. This was not what she was expecting when she came face to face with the man responsible for supplying half of the country with cocaine. He was far from the man she’d seen confidently meeting with a state senator at his campaign headquarters as if he was a legitimate businessman.

 

She placed her purse behind her elbow and leant on the top of the bar, arching her back into the perfect bow, chest out, ass out, parading herself off. She felt his eyes on her, so fucking easy, she smirked to herself. She sipped her drink, plump lips wrapping around the straw, while she pretended to scroll through her phone, it rang after exactly 12 minutes. Perfect.

 

“Hey, I’m at the hotel, where are you?”

 

“Is he staring at your ass yet?” she could hear the smirk in Reign’s voice.

 

“Oh god,” Lena put her palm on her forehead, “I’ve done it again, haven’t I? I’ll be right there, I promise” she hung up the phone and got up, tipping her purse on the floor and spilling it’s contents on the floor. She knelt down, scrambling to collect her things. The target knelt down and helped her, “oh, you’re so kind, thank you so much” he was too busy staring down her shirt to notice her slipping his room key from the inside pocket of his jacket.

 

She gathered her things, thanked him again and left the restaurant, “it was me.” she said, flustered, “I was meant to meet her at The Four Seasons. Honestly, I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on” she chuckled as she walked past the maître-d, “thank you so much for your kindness” she opened the door to the restaurant and then stopped and turned back, “54? Really?”

 

“Swear to God” she crossed her heart.

 

“You are such a liar” she teased, smirking as she left. She hurried down the steps of the hotel and round to the employee entrance.

 

“Did you just leave?”

 

“He’s meeting someone” she said, firmly.

 

“So?”

 

So, he had a briefcase earlier when he met with Mahomes. Now? No briefcase and only his room key in his jacket, his security detail are nowhere  to be seen and he nervous about something…”

 

“You think he’s drinking for Dutch courage?”

 

“Which means the meeting is happening in his room and I wanna know what it’s about” Lena said, she pulled the wig off of her head and put it in her purse, letting her natural hair down.

 

“You wanna clear this with Talia at all?”

 

“How long will it take you to get permission?” she huffed.

“Fair point, but I want it on the record that this is not a good idea”

She wiped off her lipstick and headed through the employee entrance. “Noted. Now please shut up!” she hissed just before she ran into an awkward looking bell boy.

 

“Oh, thank god! It’s my first day and I’m so late, where can I get changed?” she put on a thick New Yorker accent and began undoing the buttons of her shirt. The poor boys eyes almost fell out of his skull.

 

“T-through here,” he lead her to a small locker room, there were spare uniforms folded on a shelf in the corner. Thank god, that would have been inconvenient.

 

“You’ve saved my life, thank you!” he hurried away, his entire face red. She got changed into a maids uniform and headed up to the targets room.

 

“Do you even know his room number?”

 

“Why do you think I flirted with the maître-d? Not only did it get me in, but they keep a list of the guests and their room numbers so they know which room to charge the bill to” she said as if it was obvious.

 

“I love listening to your brain work” Lena smirked and took the stairs to the 5th floor.

 

“Can you hack the CCTV?”

 

“Consider it done”

 

“Then I need you to find everything we have on the mark, every important date in his life, I bet you a month’s salary, he uses one for his passwords.”

 

“I’m not stupid enough to bet against you” Sam scoffed. Lena smirked, “okay so, I’ve sent the blueprints to your phone,” Lena pulled them up, the target’s room wasn’t far from where she was now. “If you come out of the service entrance, there’s a blind spot of around 4 seconds as the camera moves, you’ll have to be quick or, I could just switch them off?”

 

“We can’t tamper with the CCTV, it will look too suspicious, quick it is” she took a deep breath.

 

“Okay, get ready to go in 3… 2… 1… Now” Lena opened the door and confidently but casually sauntered to the door, slipping the card into the lock and watching as the light turned green, letting out the breath she didn’t know she was holding.

 

“And, we’re in” she murmured. Lena walked further into the room and looked around, it was tidy, a small suitcase on the bed, laptop on the table and his briefcase was placed on the chair. Whatever he was selling, it had to be in the safe, she headed straight to the closet, the small safe sat on the bottom shelf.

 

“What numbers do you have for me?”

 

“Okay, so I have 06/07/63, 17/03/74, 29/11/89 or 03/12/93”

 

“I’m in,” Lena said, money, passports, drugs, a pistol and a flash drive. Bingo!

“Which one was it?”

 

“The last one” Lena mumbled, heading over to the laptop, no password? Dumb fucking idiot. She plugged the stick in and searched through the files.

 

“Huh, his son’s birthday?”

 

“You sound surprised?” she was quickly skimming the information.

 

“I had him down for only remembering his own birthday”

 

“He’s selling the information he has on Mahomes, he has pictures, receipts of donations, documents regarding his influence on government policies,” she listed everything she could see, ignoring Reign’s last comment.

 

“Why would he do that? He has so much power over Mahomes, why would he sell it?”

 

Lena closed the files and looked at the background image: the mark and his son.“Because little Tony Junior is serving a prison sentence for drug charges” she remembered the news coverage at the time, it was huge. “He’s selling the information in exchange for his son’s freedom”

 

“Who has that kind of power?”

 

“Any criminal organisation? They have access to enough resources to break anyone out. But he’s a drug lord he wouldn’t be nervous to meet another crime boss,” Lena was thinking out loud as always, “I mean he could be afraid that it would go south but if that was the case, he would have the whole building filled with his own security. They also tend to deal in cash or merchandise exclusively, not information and especially not in exchange for something as risky as a prison break. No, he’s doing this by the book, which means -”

 

“He’s selling it to the CIA”

 

“You don’t get the points for that” Lena said, clearly unimpressed.

 

“Oh, I think I do” Lena secured the flash drive and the laptop in it’s case and looked for anything else of value. She grabbed his briefcase and emptied it into the laptop case, not having the time to look through the documents- “Target is on his way up, do you have a plan?”

 

“Yep”

 

“What is it?”

 

“Umm, improvise?” Lena slipped on her cleaning gloves and grabbed the gun that was in the safe, slipping it into her waistband.

 

“Lena hurry, he’ll be at the door in 3…2…1” Lena opened the door and the target looked up in surprise, hand halfway into his jacket.

 

“That was good timing,” she giggled.

 

“I thought I said, I didn’t want housekeeping” he said, barging past her, he didn’t seem to recognise her at all, just proves what he was really focussed on when he’d helped her.

 

“I’m sorry, sir. It’s my first shift, I was told to clean every room on this floor” he waved her off and walked further into the room, back to her. It’s now or never.

 

Lena grabbed the gun and hit him on the back of the head. He, predictably, fell to the ground like a stone, the alcohol in his system gave her an advantage. Shooting him would make too much noise so Lena grabbed a pillow from the bed and smothered him instead.

 

“Target is down”

 

“That was fast”

 

“Hmm, not my best work but, it’s done” she left him where he was, stripped the comforter and bundled up the laptop case. She checked the blueprints, the laundry shoot was at the end of the corridor, fuck.

 

“I can’t get to the laundry shoot and back to the staircase without being caught on camera. I can’t take the bag down the stairs, if I get caught, there’s no way to justify it” she tapped her forehead, trying to come up with a plan.

 

“We can still switch the cameras off”

 

“Can we switch them off for a second and then reboot them? Make it look like some kind of power surge? Or like some idiot flipped the wrong switch?”

 

“It’s worth a shot, you think you can do it in 5 seconds?”

 

“We’ll see”

 

“Well, once I switch them back on, the cameras will be straight back on. The monitors will take some time but the cameras will still be recording, so you need to make it back” Reign talked her through the process, warning her. “Okay, I’ll count you down, you ready?” Lena had her hand on the door handle and hummed her confirmation, “the corridor is clear and your window starts… Now”

 

Lena left the room and headed to the other end of the corridor, she dumped the sheet down the laundry chute and started to jog back to the other end of the hallway.

 

“... 2… 1… cameras off-” Lena crashed through the service door and slammed her back against it, “cameras on, did we make it?” Lena let out a deep breath.

 

“We made it!” Lena could hear Reign’s sigh of relief.

 

She headed back down the stairs and went to the locker room first, grabbing her clothes.

 

“Okay time to get out of there before our friends show up” 

 

“Yup I’m on it, I don’t want to leave any evidence behind,” Lena headed to the laundry room and got changed, tying her hair back up and slipping her wig back on.  “Are there any cameras facing the street?” she asked, grabbing the laptop case and burying the uniform in one of the laundry bins.

 

“Just at the entrance, covering the front door and the parking lot at the back, minimal street coverage, if any.”

 

Lena hurried out of the side exit into the street, heading back towards her van. She was very flustered, Lena hated improvising, she somewhat liked the unpredictability but would prefer to cover all the angles and have two or three back-up plans before starting a mission. She wasn’t paying attention, too wrapped up in her thoughts and collided with a hard body just down the street from the entrance of the hotel.

 

“I’m sorry, excuse me” she kept her head down and brushed past the person, calmly walking across the road to the van. She heard a faint response, but didn’t look back.

 

She drove for a few blocks before parking up to take a deep breath.

 

“I take back my earlier comment, that was outstanding, Lena”

 

“Thanks, Sam” she breathed, “who knew reconnaissance could be so interesting?” she joked.

 

__________

 

 

Kara rushed back down to the lobby to comb through the CCTV. She had hotel security shut down all entrances and exits to the building, before the investigation team arrived.

 

 She saw the victim walking from the elevator to his room, the camera moved before she saw him enter but he was on his own and he was definitely in there now. There was a blip in the footage ten minutes after Despinali entered his room.

 

“What was that?” the receptionist re-wound the footage and played it again.

 

“I’d have to check but it looks like a glitch in the system,” she explained.

 

“Did he go straight to his room when he got back?”

 

“Only for a few minutes, he came back down and sat in the bar for about an hour” she replied.

“Okay, show me that” Kara caught sight of the blonde, “who’s that? Is she staying here as well?” The receptionist shook her head.

 

“No, she came for a meeting but didn’t stay for long”

 

“You have CCTV in the bar?” she nodded again, “show me” Kara saw her face. So now she knew for sure that it was Lena.

 

“Oh, Kelly you spoke to the blonde women in the bar, right?” Kara’s head snapped up. The maître-d looked at the screen.

 

“Oh yeah, she was lovely”

 

“What was she here for?” Kara asked.

 

“She was meeting a friend for dinner but, she didn’t have a reservation-”

 

“That didn’t seem odd to you?” Kara genuinely questioned.

 

“We had a system update recently, they’re still ironing out the kinks, sometimes the reservations  don’t show up on the system right away, she said her friend had the confirmation. I let her sit at the bar, she got a phone call from her friend a few minutes later, realised she was at the wrong hotel and left,” she shrugged as if it was nothing. “Really nice girl” she said before leaving to head back to the restaurant.

 

Kara was fucking furious that she hadn’t spotted it before, she was wearing the same perfume the night they met. Lena knew exactly what she was doing when she slipped that key card into her pocket.

 

She was showing off. She was probably sat somewhere right this second laughing about it, with that damn, sexy- no not sexy- utterly infuriating smirk on her face.

 

“We’re going to need copies of this footage” the receptionist nodded. It was at that point that back up arrived. Kara filled the team in and a higher ranking agent took over as senior investigator.

 

The blonde went back over the security footage and printed off a screen cap of Lena sat at the bar, that fucking smirk on her face. There’s no guarantee that Kara would be allowed on the case, she was just the delivery girl after all, which meant this could be the last time she would get access to the footage.  It was fairly obvious to Kara that no one would suspect the newly turned blonde, she was at the hotel for less than 15 minutes and all the staff spoke highly of her, she wouldn’t even be on their radar.

 

She was on Kara’s radar and the more they interacted, the more Kara learned. They didn’t even speak this time but Kara learnt something.

 

Lena definitely wasn’t KGB.

 

__________

 

 

Of course Lena knew what she was doing when she collided with Kara, she’s not stupid. She spotted Kara as soon as she turned the corner. Okay, so maybe slipping her the room key wasn’t her smartest move but she’d forgotten to leave it in the room and she wanted to squash that ego, wipe that smug smile off her fucking pretty face.

 

She sat in the van, waiting for her extraction point, she was reading through the documents that were in the briefcase.

 

Oh fuck, Despinali was on the KGB’s payroll, he was an informant. The KGB  had no reason to kill him and Lena had a feeling that Kara knew this information.

 

Which means Kara now knew she wasn’t a Russian spy.

 

Fuck.

Chapter Text

Lena was sat in a briefing, bored out of her mind. This was one of the most elaborate missions the World Killers had ever attempted, it involved every active agent that they had. They had been sat here for almost four hours, Lena’s part was over at the very start and now she had to sit through everybody else’s instructions. She understood why, she could be re-deployed at any point if something went wrong but it was getting really difficult to look like she was paying attention.

 

They were going after one of the worst men Lena had ever come across and they needed every single asset they had to pull it off.

 

Martin Caddel.

 

Caddel, supplies the majority of Europe with drugs. He uses his furniture company as a cover to ship drugs overseas and across borders, most intelligence services know all about him but he’s clever in the way that he operates. He keeps his money wrapped up in off-shore accounts, mainly Swiss accounts, no one can get any solid evidence on him and he has contacts in many European governments which means he slips through the net every time.

 

He’s destroyed so many lives, his factory workers are pretty much free labour, paying them little to nothing. He infiltrates perfectly healthy communities, dropping in his own dealers and flooding it with drugs, killing anyone who tried to block his path.

 

This was an operation that had been years in the making and it was all happening in one night. It was either going to be one for the history books or an absolute shit show.

 

Majority of the operation was taking place in Geneva and they were counting on the fact that there was a UN meeting taking place on the same day. All that extra security would be focused on the UN ambassadors rather than them, any kind of attack would be somewhat of a surprise and would leave the security services and the Swiss emergency services scrambling.

 

_________

 

Lena was partnered with Sam on this particular mission. They were dropped off in Geneva and were now in the back of a van parked on the street by the National Bank of Switzerland. They were double checking they had all the equipment and went over the blueprints one more time.

 

There were two separate vaults in the basement of the bank, one housed over €50 million in cash and gold bullion, the other was filled with safety deposit boxes. It was considered as one of the most secure places in Europe but Sam and Lena were the best at what they do.

 

The place was littered with thermal imaging CCTV, complete with facial recognition, the vault they were aiming for was lined with pressure pads and an intricate laser network which made it almost impossible to get across the room. The walls were reinforced with titanium and there was a network specifically designed to shut down steel grilles if any of the security protocols were tampered with or the bank was compromised.

 

There was, of course, a fail safe, there’s always a fail safe in case of an emergency. A power surge would cut out the alarm circuits for exactly 9 minutes, while the system rebooted. Every security system would be offline except the pressure pads, they ran on a different network that could only be accessed from inside the security office.

 

“So, this CIA agent, she any good?” Lena scoffed.

 

“At her job? No.” Lena ran her eyes over the security plans for the bank one more time.

 

“What about the other stuff you did?” Sam said smugly, she shoved the rest of the equipment into her bag and zipped it up. “Ready to go when you are.”  Lena pulled open the door, ignoring her question, and stepped out into the street. The pair were dressed in all black, long, brown hair pulled back, they grabbed their backpacks and slung them over their shoulders before heading to the underground car park.

 

Lena picked the padlock on the service shaft and they crawled through the vent into the car park, they hid behind a concrete pillar just across from the service door.

 

“Two cameras facing us, we have approximately 14 seconds to get there and get through the door,” Sam whispered.

 

“Balaclavas on,” Lena muttered. She pulled hers over her head and Sam set her watch.

 

“Get ready, 3… 2… 1… go!” They sprinted across the car park. Lena pulled the de-coder from her bag and attached it to the wiring of  keypad. “9 seconds…” Lena punched in the code and the door unlocked, she disconnected the wires and they both headed through the door. They climbed the stairs and hid inside a supply closet just outside the entrance of the bank and waited until they were given the go ahead. They pulled their masks off, taking the time to catch their breath while they could.

 

“So, you never answered my question,” Sam said, examining her nails.

 

“What question?” Lena feigned confusion, she set her watch for 9 minutes.

 

“Is our little CIA friend good in bed or not?” Sam poked her sides, Lena smiled uncontrollably. “That’s a yes.”

 

“That’s nothing, you poked me in the ribs what do you expect?” Lena bent down and put the de-coder back in her bag.

 

“Oh, come on, we could die tonight, you might as well tell me.” Lena looked back at her and quirked an eyebrow.

 

“Fine” she sighed, “it wasn’t the worst I’ve ever had,” she articulated with an eye roll.

 

“Is she your type?” Lena didn’t like the teasing tone Sam was using. Suddenly, the lights went off in the stair well and then could hear the doors buzzing as they unlocked.

 

“Oooh too late, time to go.” Lena grabbed her bag, pulled her mask back down and headed out of the closet and in through the door to the basement. She started her watch, they only had 9 minutes to complete their mission and get out undetected.

 

“Just give me a number on a scale from 1 to 10,” Sam hissed, following her through the door. The whole system was down meaning the cameras were off and they no longer had to worry about the electrical door locks. Whatever happened to a good old lock and key?

 

Sam and Lena were stood outside the vault that held the safety deposit boxes.

 

“Reinforced titanium walls, six inch thick, steel door with four combination locks,” Lena whispered in awe and looked over at Sam.

 

“Piece of cake,” they both said at the same time. They opened the vault door in no time at all, Lena used spray paint to mark where the could step.

 

“Everything from there onwards is a pressure pad,” she murmured.

 

Lena pulled out a crossbow like machine: it was basically like a giant, grappling hook designed to grip the wall on the other side of the room. Sam fixed the holster to the inside wall of the vault just above the door, holding up the wire.

 

Lena fixed the trolley to the wire and lifted Sam bridal style so she could connect her harness. “Time for the moment of truth.” Lena let her go slowly, making sure the wire held up. “You good?” Sam nodded and Lena pushed her across the room. She made it across to the other side, hooked her legs onto the wire and dangled upside down, she immediately set to work, picking the lock of box 332.

 

“So, on a scale of 1-10?”

 

“Really? Now?” Lena huffed, she was trying to set up the next part of the plan. “We have 5 minutes by the way.”

 

“I need something to distract myself from all the blood rushing to my head,” Sam groaned. Lena sighed, fixing gas cannisters to the walls of the vault.

 

“Like a 6, 6.5.” Lena shrugged.

 

“Liar,” Sam chuckled, “is she hotter than you?” Lena scoffed in outrage.

 

“Of course not! She’s good looking in her own way, I guess. Her cockiness irritates me though,” Lena said and Sam laughed.

 

Hello, look who’s talking.” Sam felt the lock click. “I’m in” Lena slid the duffel bag down the line.

 

“Yes, but I’ve earned that right, darling,” Lena purred, she watched as Sam filled the bag with the contents of the box and pushed it towards Lena, who unhooked it and threw it behind her. “Come on, time to go.” Sam put the box back and pushed off the wall, across the room and into Lena’s arms.

 

They cleared up quickly, each piece of equipment was designed to be easily removed. They shut the vault and all but ran through the corridors of the basement, lugging the heavy bag between the two of them. The pair made it through the door and into the stairwell with seconds to spare.

 

“The system should be up and running by now,” Sam panted, “holy shit, this shit is heavy.”

 

“I think we should wait until we’re in the service shaft, we’ll never make it if we detonate them now.” Sam nodded. They caught their breath and then headed down the stairs. Sam checked her watch.

 

“3… 2… 1… Go!” they raced out of the door and across the car park, careful to avoid the cameras. They clambered into the vent and took a second to recover. “Now?” Lena nodded and pulled a remote detonator from her bag she flicked a switch to activate the explosives and then pressed the button to detonate.

 

The gas cannisters in the vault triggered and filled the room with smoke, which alerted the security guards and they raised the alarm. Sirens sounded throughout the building and the assassins could hear the racket from where they were in the shaft. Lena and Sam scrambled out of the chute and onto the street, they could hear the alarms and they knew it was only a matter of time. They sprinted to the van, Sam ran to the drivers side and Lena dumped the duffel bag and backpacks into the back, she shut the doors and signalled for Sam to go, they could both hear the police sirens in the distance.

 

Lena turned, put her helmet on and climbed onto the custom matte black, motorbike. It was Lena’s baby, it was fast, agile and quiet, perfect for evading capture. Lena took off in the opposite direction to Sam, just as the first police car skidded around the corner. Lena counted three cars initially, one stopped outside the bank and the other two followed her.

 

She picked up speed down the long stretch of road before taking a sharp right, leaning into the turn, she slid round the corner before righting herself and accelerating again.

 

She ran the red light at a busy crossroad causing cars coming from the left and right to break harshly, tires screeching against the tarmac, blocking the police cars in pursuit. Lena knew that wouldn’t be the end of it.

 

Blaring sirens chased her down the streets of Geneva. A glance in her mirror informed her she now had four police cars hunting her down.

 

Wind whipped through her jacket, the icy blasts should have chilled her to the bone but the adrenaline running through her veins lit a fire inside of her.

 

She saw three cars heading straight towards her, she accelerated hard, she needed to reach the turning before the cars speeding towards her or she’d easily be in a head on collision. She hit the rear break and threw her body to the left, skidding hard around the corner, her left knee grazed the road giving her serious friction burn, it would be worse if she wasn’t wearing thick riding pants.

 

She heard the cars behind her hit the breaks, stopping before they hit each other. It wouldn’t be long before they followed her so Lena made quick vital turns, confusing even herself, and she had memorised every street within a 10 mile radius of the bank. If she didn’t know where she was, she doubted they would catch her. Regardless, she turned off into an ally and switched off her bike, she then hid under an archway, she couldn’t be seen from the street but she was close enough to her bike that if she needed to, she could make a quick getaway.

 

Lena waited for at least 15 minutes, listening to the sirens fade as they moved further and further away from her current location. She got back onto her bike and headed back onto the main road, respecting the speed limit this time. She was on her way to the rendezvous point when a large black SVU pulled out in front of her, she hit the brakes hard and her back wheel skidded. She lost control, her bike sliding out from underneath her and she rolled to lessen the impact.

 

She watched as her beloved bike cartwheeled into the side of a building. Lena looked, took a moment to mourn her bike and then turned and ran, immediately recognising that she was no longer in the clear and she needed to get out of there as fast as possible.

 

She sprinted down the cobbled streets, she glanced back and could see a blur closing in on her, the pounding of boots against stone seemed to be on top of her at this point. Lena needed to be precise with her next moves, she had minor injuries from her impact with the road and the combination of the helmet and the balaclava she was still wearing meant breathing was really fucking difficult.

 

This was going to end in a showdown, she knew that and it was going to be on her terms. She thought back to the maps she’d studied, there was a series of buildings undergoing restoration.

 

She could lose them on the roof.

 

Lena ran to the end of the street and turned right, there, at the end of the road a large building with scaffolding covering the entrance and the opposite side. The assassin ran at the wall, making it up a few feet before pushing off the side and grabbing hold of the metal railing. She vaulted over the side and down to the end toward the ladder, the unstable wooden flooring rattled underneath her feet. Whoever was following her was quick and she knew she wasn’t going to get away, could practically feel their breath on the back of her neck.

 

Lena made it to the final level, she spotted the rooftop entrance to the building and made it halfway to the door before she heard the distinct sound of a pistol being pulled.

 

“Stop! CIA don’t move!” Lena stopped. For fuck sake, anyone but her. Her head almost hurt from how hard she rolled her eyes.

 

“Get on your knees!” Kara panted, worn out from the chase, Lena slowly bent down, one knee at a time, hands up in surrender. Kara approached her as one may approach a wild animal, cautiously, looking for a sign of sudden movements.

 

“Okay, now take the helmet off, slowly,” Kara’s tone was forceful. Lena reached up and unclipped the buckle, pulling the helmet off gently. Kara stepped forward and tore the balaclava off of her head, smirking when she recognised the brunette assassin.

 

“Oh, this is too good.” Kara smiled, Lena stilled her features, her face like stone. Now, she was going to have to kneel here in front of this absolute moron while she gloated about how superior she was. “I thought you’d be faster than that to be honest, I barely broke a sweat…” Lena tuned out whatever the fuck the irritating blonde was saying and gave her the once over instead.

 

She would only admit it to herself but Kara Danvers looked damn good in tactical gear, those pants fit her perfectly in all the right places. A tight black t-shirt that accentuated her glorious biceps, she bet it showed off those tight abs as well but her view was blocked by that stupid kevlar vest, she almost whined. Why do they all wear kevlar? If they just thought things through instead of running in guns blazing they wouldn’t need to wear a bulletproof vest.

 

She was rambling about something but Lena didn’t really care to listen, she was horny and worked up from the nights events and she needed release. She wanted to lick Kara’s abs and suck on her neck and bite that bottom lip, oh fuck, Kara asked her a question but she had no idea what it was. Lena made a non-committal bored sounding noise and the blonde chuckled.

 

“I said, how does it feel to know I beat you?” she crouched down so she was eye level with Lena.

 

Idiot.

 

Lena swung the heavy helmet, she was still holding and smacked Kara across the face with it. The gun she was holding clattered to the ground and Lena’s leg shot out to kick it away.

 

“Do you ever shut up?” Lena said, exasperated. Kara hit the floor but rolled away, reaching for her weapon. Lena let her grab it, pulling her own gun and aiming it at the CIA agent.

 

“Did you have to hit me so hard?” Kara whined, holding her face.

 

“Yes, you were being an asshole,” Lena said. Kara stood up slowly, she took her hand away from her face, oh she was going to have a nasty bruise tomorrow. She pouted and tilted her head in mock concern.

 

“You know I have to arrest you.” Kara looked into her eyes.

 

“For what?” Lena said with a head tilt, feigning innocence. “As far as I’m concerned, I was driving through the streets of Geneva, minding my own business when you pulled out in front of me, wrecking my bike by the way, and then instead of helping me you chased me.” Kara scoffed.

 

“Innocent people don’t run,” Kara’s tone was hard and unforgiving.

 

“They do when they’re scared,” Lena voice was dripping with sweetness. The pair were walking slowly in a circle, guns still pointed high.

 

“The police reported a black motorcycle, with a rider dressed in all black travelling at a ridiculous speed away from the National Bank of Switzerland, which just so happens to fit your description and you were wearing a balaclava for fuck sake!” Kara made a face at her.

 

“It’s cold.” she shrugged. “I bet there are thousands of black motorcycles in the city, it’s not uncommon. What exactly am I supposed to have done?” Lena tilted her head and pouted again.

 

“There was a break-in at the bank,” Kara sighed. Lena embellished a gasp and Kara rolled her eyes.

 

“Really? And I thought that place was impenetrable?” Kara sneered at her. “So why is this a case for the CIA?”

 

“Oh, it’s not, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.” Kara gave her a smarmy look. They were dancing around each other, the circle was getting smaller and they were getting closer to each other.  

 

“Do you have any actual evidence? It seems to me like you have nothing once again and you’re just trying to pin everything on little ol’ me.” Lena pouted again, she could see how much she was riling Kara up. She knew the blonde had absolutely nothing, Lena stepped back and holstered her weapon, unzipping her jacket and turning around.

 

“Do I look like I have anything to rob a bank with, I have no money, no tools, nothing! Just. Like. You.” Kara was right in front of her now and she poked her chest with every word. The blonde put her gun away and gripped Lena’s jacket, pushing her backwards against the wall. Lena grunted when she was slammed against the brick, the air was knocked out of her lungs and she wasn’t able to recover because Kara’s lips crashed against hers.

 

“I hate you,” Kara growled, biting at Lena’s lip.

 

“I hate you more,” Lena shot back, she pulled Kara closer, teeth clashing in a hard kiss. The blonde pushed her tongue into Lena’s mouth, fighting for dominance. Lena moaned and Kara smirked against her mouth.

 

Lena undid Kara’s belt and unbuttoned her pants, shoving her hand into her underwear and feeling how wet she was.

 

“You fucking love this, don’t you?” Lena smirked, she turned them and pushed Kara against the wall, attacking her neck. Lena sucked her long, tanned neck and slid her fingers through Kara’s folds, she could feel the blonde’s moans against her lips. She kept up the teasing, coating her fingers in Kara’s slick.

 

“Fuck, do something!” Kara said through gritted teeth.

 

“What do you want?” Lena purred, Kara whined as Lena’s index finger brushed her clit lightly, teasing her mercilessly.

 

“Fingers, inside” Kara gasped. Lena slipped two fingers into Kara’s pussy, it was hot, wet and tight. She dropped her head onto Lena’s shoulder and moaned.

 

“So tight,” Lena hummed into her ear. She curled her fingers, thrusting them as deep as she could from the awkward position. She spread her fingers, stretching her out, Kara whined and bucked her hips.

 

Lena pushed her pants down and hooked her arm under Kara’s knee, spreading her her legs as far as she could. Kara pulled her closer, hands slipping underneath her shirt clawing at her back.

 

“What do you need? Hmm?” The blonde whined and her hips jolted when Lena’s thumb rubbed her clit in small circles. “You need me to tell you how good you are? How smart you are?” Kara’s walls clenched and she smiled.

 

“So smart,” she cooed into Kara’s ear, “so strong,” Kara gasped, soft mewls and moans escaping her throat. “You got me,” she groaned, licking around the shell of her ear. Kara cried out her walls squeezed Lena’s fingers and coated her hand in her cum.

 

Lena didn’t let up, she thrust harder and the leg Kara was standing on buckled, Lena caught her pressing her knee in between her legs. Lena curled her fingers and Kara clung to her.

 

“You can give me one more, can’t you?” Lena’s smoky voice surrounded Kara, she let out a breathy moan, shaking her head slightly. “Yes, you can. Come all over my hand and I’ll let you win, I’ll let you arrest me,” Kara’s eyes shot open, “prove to everyone how good you are Kara,” she rolled the ‘r’ in Kara’s name. The blonde looked down watching Lena’s fingers pump in and out of her. Her jaw dropped open and Lena captured her lips in a bruising kiss, swallowing her moans and fucking her through her orgasm. Kara’s hips jerked causing her clit to rub against Lena’s palm, prolonging her orgasm.

 

Lena let her leg drop back to the floor. She crouched down slowly, dragging her hands down Kara’s legs and wiping her cum on her thighs. The ravenette helped her back into her pants and pulled them up slowly, brushing her knuckles against her soft skin. She pressed a kiss to Kara’s centre, her tongue darting out to flick her over sensitive clit, Kara’s hips bucked into her mouth. Lena pulled away and buckled her pants, standing up to kiss her again, Kara sucked her lip, moaning at the taste of herself.

 

The blonde recovered, gripping Lena’s arms tightly, she spun her around and pressed her face into the wall, snapping cuffs onto her wrists.

 

“What the fuck, Danvers?” Lena growled.

 

“You promised, remember,” Kara whispered into her ear, taking Lena’s earlobe between her teeth. Lena squirmed in her grip, she was uncomfortably turned on and desperately needed Kara to touch her. “Is there something you want?” Lena pushed her hips back into Kara, the blonde ran her hands all over Lena’s body. She slipped a hand between Lena’s legs, cupping her centre, squeezing lightly. “Beg me,” she ordered.

 

“Please fuck me!” Lena moaned, she gave in, happy to beg for what she wanted, no one else would hear it.

 

“Good girl,” Kara hummed, she undid the cuffs, as much as she hated Lena, she wanted this to be enjoyable for her. “Hands on the wall.” Lena did as she was told. “Keep them there, or I’ll stop,” she demanded, slapping her ass for affect. Lena could only nod, Kara had one hand working the button of her pants and the other was under her shirt, pushing her sports bra up. Kara pulled her pants and underwear down to her ankles, exposing her sopping slit to the cold, night air.

 

Lena hissed as Kara slapped her ass again, she pulled at her stiff nipples and ran her fingers through the wetness, she brought them to her mouth moaning at the taste. She made a mental note to taste Lena again after she was finished making her scream.

 

“Please, Kara.” Lena pushed her hips back, trying to get Kara’s fingers where she needed them.

 

“It’s not fun being teased, is it?” Kara mumbled into her ear, Lena whined, shaking her head. Kara dipped the tip of her finger into Lena’s entrance and moaned when she felt how tight and hot she was. “So needy. Look at you, you’re dripping.” she thrust her finger deep inside Lena.

 

“More,” Lena panted, Kara obliged, sliding another finger inside. She immediately began fucking her hard, curling her fingers and pressing in as deep and she could. Lena crossed her arms and pressed her face into them, collapsing forward, Kara pulled her hips back still thrusting relentlessly while twisting Lena’s nipples. Lena could hear the obscene noises her pussy was making as Kara fucked her. She felt Kara’s lips against her neck, she bit down and Lena cried out, the cold air and Kara’s tongue soothed the bite.

 

Kara knew she was close, she stopped playing with Lena’s tits and used her free hand to circle her clit once, twice and Lena was cumming around her fingers with a cry. Kara brought her down slowly before pulling out and dropping to her knees.

 

“Spread your legs,” Kara said and Lena spread them as far as she could with her pants still on. Kara put her arms around Lena’s hips and pulled her to her mouth. She licked her pussy with abandon, tasting her cum and moaning, the vibrations were driving Lena wild. Her knees buckled and she tried to hold onto Kara for support, Kara immediately stopped, dropping her arms and pulling her mouth away.

 

“Don’t stop,” Lena begged. Kara just sat back on her heels until Lena got the message.

 

“Wall,” she growled. Lena put her hands back on the wall and Kara dived back in, sucking Lena’s clit into her mouth, she pushed three fingers into Lena and curled them, massaging the spongy spot inside her. The ravenette screamed into her arms, walls clenching and a fresh wave of wetness gushed out of her. She groaned as Kara cleaned her up, she was so sensitive the feel of Kara’s tongue was making her squirm.

 

Kara stood and fixed Lena’s pants but left them unbuttoned. She turned Lena around and kissed her, playing with her chest for a few moments, she pulled her shirt up and sucked her stiff nipples before fixing her bra and pulling her shirt back down.

 

“Mmm, I’m gonna miss this,” Kara said against her lips.

 

“What?” Lena frowned, Kara snapped the cuffs on one wrist before spinning her and roughly pushing her into the wall, cuffing the other wrist.

 

“You seriously thought I wouldn’t arrest you?” Kara scoffed and turned her around again. “You’re not that hot.” Lena narrowed her eyes and sneered at her.

 

“We both know you’re lying,” Lena leaned up and whispered in her ear. Kara slipped her hand back down the front of her pants, stroking her swollen clit.

 

“One for the road?” Kara said. She rubbed in tight circles and pressed her body against Lena, who panted and whimpered into her neck. Kara pulled out her phone and dialled for transport.

 

“Hey, Olsen, I’m gonna need you to send transport to my location, I’ve got one of our bank robbers in custody.” Lena was putting on the performance of a lifetime, moaning into her ear, sucking and biting her earlobe, grinding down on Kara’s hand.

“Hang on one second.” Kara put the phone on hold and glared at Lena, who was biting her lip. “So desperate, aren’t you?” She rubbed her hand back and forth faster, shoving her tongue in Lena’s mouth and swallowing her moans as she flooded her panties. Kara went back to her phone call, stroking her slowly, bringing her back down before finally closing Lena’s pants.

 

“15 minutes,” she said when she hung up the phone, Lena had an icy look on her face, Kara cupped her face but Lena pulled away. “Oh come on, you knew it had to end like this one day. I warned you, you played the game and you lost.”

 

As if on cue a series of loud explosions sounded close to where they were. Instinctively, Kara positioned her body in front of Lena, shielding her from any potential debris. The assassin wanted to shove her off but she was still working on the handcuffs. The explosions lasted a few minutes, Kara had one arm around Lena’s back, the other cradling Lena’s head against her chest. It was oddly intimate and they didn’t do intimate, Lena pushed her away with her shoulder.

 

“Sorry,” Kara cleared her throat. “Force of habit”

 

“I don’t need your protection,” Lena spat, Kara’s expression hardened.

 

“What have you done?” she whispered, turning around and taking in the damage: smoke billowing across the sky, sirens blaring, fires raging. “What did you do?!” Kara whipped around, screaming at Lena.

 

“I was here with you!” Lena screamed back. She felt the lock click on her handcuffs, she let them drop to the floor and pulled her gun, firing twice into Kara’s chest while she was distracted. Is she ever not going to fall for that? 

 

Kara grunted and fell to the floor.

 

Lena collected her helmet and balaclava, sauntering to the scaffolding and climbing down easily, not looking back at Kara.

 

__________

 

 

Lena made it to the rendezvous point an hour later, having to walk the whole way because her bike was wrecked, thanks Kara.

 

“Oh, finally! I thought we’d lost you” Sam said, pulling Lena into a hug.

 

“I had to double back and change routes because of all the emergency vehicles.” She rolled her eyes. “Did everything go as planned?” Sam nodded.

 

“I had some trouble but the police have a lot of shit to deal with tonight.” Sam tilted her head.

 

“Huh? Weird.” Lena smiled. They climbed into the van and waited for further instructions.

 

“Soooo… did you have a good time?” Sam smirked.

 

“You know me, I love a good car chase.”  Lena closed her eyes, back resting against the door.

 

“I didn’t know you could get hickeys from a car chase,” Sam said smugly. Lena’s eyes shot open and she pulled down the sun visor, catching sight of the bruise Kara made when she bit her neck. “Looks like you had a better night than me,” she snorted.

 

I’m so fucking glad I shot her.

 

“It was adequate.” Lena shrugged.

 

__________

 

Debriefs were even more boring than briefings. Lena loved being told how good she was, I mean, I’m damn good at my job, but, did it need to be so long?

 

Talia caught her before she left the room, she pulled her aside.

 

“So, are we on?” she murmured.

 

“I don’t know just yet.”

 

“She’s let you go twice now,” Talia said, “what more do you need?” Lena thought back to the way Kara held her on the rooftop.

 

“I don’t think she’s informant material just yet, if she could have incarcerated me, she would have.” Talia sighed. “There’s potential but, I need more time”

 

“I can get you all the information you-”

 

“No, I need to do this in the right way, if I learn everything about her now, I go in with tainted vision, she needs to believe the lie,” Lena said.

 

“You’re sure you can make her fall for you?”

 

“Have I ever failed before?” Lena’s lips curled up into a smile.

 

“Looks like your heading to Virginia.” Talia smirked and Lena returned the look, a devilish twinkle in her eye.

Chapter Text

Lena had basically been left to fend for herself, fully in charge of her own mission. This had never happened before. Talia and, second in command, Rhea organised everything, plans, back-up plans, routes, equipment, extraction plans, everything. Of course, there were times when they had to improvise, just like with Despinali, or if intelligence didn’t quite work out but, to have the freedom to plan and execute her own operation, that didn’t happen very often. Lena needed this to be perfect, she needed to prove to Talia that she was just as good as her and then maybe she could have this kind of freedom more often.

 

Lena was currently sat trying to come up with a plan to deal with Kara. When she told Talia she could get Kara to fall for her she hadn’t really thought about what that actually entailed. She could make a man or women fall for her in just an hour but, well, they ended up dead by the end of the night so it was never a long-term thing, probably more lust than love.

 

However, Kara knew her real identity (sort of) she knew that they were on different sides and, she knew Lena was strategic, cunning and manipulative. It would be difficult for her to play a believable character and changing Kara’s perceptions would be a real challenge.   

 

If she was truly honest, Lena knew nothing about falling in love. She was taught that love was not something to be desired, it made you soft and World Killers weren’t allowed to show weakness. No one she knew had fallen in love, they didn’t do it, they didn’t stray far enough away from Talia’s hold to try. She knew about familial love,  Lena would do almost anything for the girls she grew up with because they were such a close knit group. Sam was her best friend and she knew that she loved her, despite how annoying she could be. Apart from that, she knew nothing.

 

She tried googling it, that was no fucking help. Lot’s about love in relationships, nothing about how to get someone you’ve tried to kill, at least twice, to fall in love so you could use them for your own personal gain.

 

She decided to think about what she did know and go from there. What she did know was that Kara found her attractive, alluring, intriguing. There was something about her that interested Kara enough that she kept her alive, maybe it was just the sexual attraction, but it had kept Lena alive and out of a CIA black site. She knew Kara had strong morals and she saw Lena as a threat, but she was naive, clearly she liked to see the best in people and she was cocky, she always thinks she has the upper hand when really, the rug is being ripped from underneath her.

 

To make contact with Kara she needed to be more useful to her free than locked up. She concluded that she needed to get to know Kara first, needed to get her to trust her and then everything would fall into place, or at least she prayed it would. She needed to show Kara that they were on the same side, they both wanted a safe and secure world, Lena just happened to be willingly to go a little further to achieve to her goal.

 

Kara knew her somewhat, and trust wasn’t going to be an easy thing to build. Going into this being sweet and vulnerable and open wasn’t going to work, Kara wouldn’t believe it if she came on too strong, this was going to be the long game, which means she gets to fuck with Kara for a bit longer.

 

__________

 

 

Kara’s apartment was very Kara.

 

A converted warehouse, decorated to compliment the industrial fittings: exposed brick walls, high steal beams, wooden flooring  and industrial style lighting; large windows lined the walls, letting in masses of natural light. The downstairs was open plan, a chocolate brown, quilted leather couch and matching armchair faced the TV with a large wooden coffee table in the middle. There were posters covering the walls that gave a pop of colour to the space, along with the house plants littering the room and the red punching bag sat in the corner.

 

The kitchen sat underneath a platform that held up the bedroom, dark black, metal counters, a metal dining table but, with quilted leather bar stools and chairs to give a hint of comfort. The iron staircase split in the middle, one side going to Kara’s bedroom and the other going to a small workspace, complete with a desk, laptop and a cork board on the wall.

 

Lena had tailed Kara for the first two weeks she was in Virginia, trying to get a read on her. Kara went to work Monday to Friday, the hours varied, clearly depending on her case load. She always took her dog for a walk in the morning, to the park close to her home, but a dog walker came to take him in the afternoon, because Kara worked odd hours. The one thing consistent aspect of Kara’s routine was that she went to the gym every other day, always on a Saturday morning and always for two hours.

 

Lena watched her leave and then headed up the fire escape and through the window. Kara’s dog was an all black Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a patch of white on his chest, he even fit with the aesthetic of the whole place. He was stocky, compact, muscular, powerful. Oh, but he was such a softie, he barked at Lena when she entered the apartment but she crouched down and held her hand out for him to sniff. He decided he liked her and rolled over exposing his belly for her to rub.

 

“Hey, buddy. Hi, you’re just the cutest boy, aren’t you?” Lena cooed at him, she checked the tag on his collar ‘Hero’. He didn’t seem at all bothered by the intruder, she supposed that his bark was meant to scare people off. Lena looked around the apartment although it looked like more of a bachelor pad, there were soft blankets and cushions scattered on the furniture, colourful mugs and crockery that screamed Kara.

 

Lena stood, leaving Hero, so she could look around, she headed upstairs, it was all very neat and tidy and if anything was out of place it was because that’s how Kara wanted it. Her bed was perfectly made, but her closet doors were left open, a hoodie hung on one of the doors and a CIA cap hung on the other. Hero followed her and laid down on his bed, in the corner, just looking at her. She was dying to properly root through Kara’s stuff but, there was a part of her that felt almost uncomfortable with invading her privacy like that, which had never happened before. Lena shook herself back to reality and focused on finding the information she needed instead of battling with her skewed moral compass.

 

She went to the office space and found exactly what she was looking for, all the research Kara had on her. There was a picture of her in the centre of the board, a picture that looked like it was taken the night Lena killed Despinali and underneath it:

 

Lena ?

Not FSB

 

So Kara had worked it out, there were cases on one side of the board labelled under ‘Sure’ and cases on the other side labelled under ‘Unsure’. It was clear that Kara was trying to work out the way she operated. To her credit, Kara was right about most of the cases on the ‘Sure’ side, Lena took down the note that said ‘Kara Zor-El’ and put it on the desk. She had also made a list of organisations and people she thought Lena was associated with, she scanned it quickly but there was no mention of the World Killers.

 

Hero pawed at her leg and whined, she looked down and he had a toy rope in his mouth, “you wanna play huh?” she played tug of war with him for a while, fuck he’s strong. Her arm ached but, he seemed sated and went to go lay back down.

 

Lena left after that, Kara had some idea of who she was but no real evidence and no solid leads, which she already knew because she was always so careful. Hero followed her to the window and whined when she climbed out “don’t tell your Mom I was here, okay.” With that she left, heading to Kara’s gym just in time for her session to finish.

 

She was leaning against the wall and watched as Kara walked straight past her.

 

“Hey, Danvers” Lena fell into step next to her. Shock evident on her face, Kara took in her appearance, this was a completely different Lena to any she’d seen in the past. She was wearing ripped, black, skinny jeans, a black crop top,  leather jacket and black converse, with aviators and a CIA cap? She looked normal.

 

“W-What?” Kara was so confused, she couldn’t believe that the girl she had been hunting for months was just walking next to her, talking to her as if she was just some old friend on the street.

 

“Should you really be working out in your condition?” Lena almost sounded concerned. She pressed a hand against her ribs where she’d shot her, Kara tried to to mask it but she winced in pain, “Oooh, good job you were wearing kevlar huh?” Lena pouted. Kara still couldn’t believe Lena was stood right in front of her, she had a unnerving feeling she was going to be the next to die.

 

“Come back to finish me off?” her tone was defensive, Kara was making a plan in her head, if things went south she had her firearm in her car.

 

Lena scoffed, “if I wanted to kill you, believe me, you’d be dead” she looked at Kara’s face, smiling at her, “was it really humiliating? Having your friends show up, only to find you all alone, having been outsmarted… again” Lena needed to tease her a little, rile her up. That was the dynamic they had and she needed to keep it up in order to sell the lie.

 

“It won’t happen again” Kara said through gritted teeth.

 

Cute dog, by the way” Kara’s eyes immediately darkened and she grabbed Lena’s arm tight enough to hurt, dragging her back and slamming her against the wall. Wrong move, wrong move, wrong move.

 

“What the fuck did you do to my dog?” she growled, arm pressed against her throat. Lena held her arms up in surrender.

 

“Nothing!” she took her sunglasses off so Kara could see her eyes, “I swear, he’s fine. I’m not a monster, jeez” Kara clearly accepted her answer, somewhat, because she removed her arm.

 

“Aren’t you?” she bit, eyes still hard and unforgiving.

 

“Ouch” Lena hissed but there was a twinkle in her eye. Kara looked up at her hat.

 

“Is this mine?” she ripped the cap of Lena’s head and she made a noise of protest.

 

“Hey! I like that hat!” Lena went to take it back but Kara held it out of her reach,

 

“You seriously have been in my apartment, haven’t  you?” She growled. Lena just cocked her head and smiled.

 

“I needed to know just how much you had on me… Nothing” she muttered. Kara huffed dragging her away from the building, towards her car. “Where are we going?”

 

“I’m going to go check on my dog and you’re coming with me, cos if he’s hurt in any way I won’t hesitate to put a bullet in your head, got it?” Kara face was as hard as stone, no room for Lena to say no.

 

“What? You don’t trust me?” Kara opened the door and she got in willingly.

 

“Not in the slightest” she growled, slamming the door.

 

“So… How was your gym session?” Kara just glared at her and started the car. “Not one for small talk then?” Lena sucked her teeth.

 

Kara was very tense the whole way back to her apartment. She opened the door and Hero came bounding over to her jumping on her, excitedly. Kara checked him over and when she was happy she turned back to Lena, that was when Hero caught sight of her and ran over. She crouched down and scratched behind his ears, he flopped onto his back and she rubbed his belly. Kara looked dumbfounded.

 

“Traitor” she said to him. Kara dropped her gym bag and pushed Lena back against the wall, patting her down, looking for weapons, Lena sighed.

 

“If you wanted to touch me, you could have just asked,” Lena purred, she was languid and relaxed, head lolling back against the wall, waiting for Kara to finish her inspection. Kara stood up straight, perfect posture the exact opposite of Lena’s, Hero was nosing at Lena’s legs and that pissed Kara off even more.

 

“Come on” she said, grabbing her jacket and pulling Lena out of the door.

 

“Where are we going now?” Not happy with being dragged around all day.

 

“We’re not staying here where you can brain wash my dog.” Oh, Kara was not happy and Lena was loving it. Kara escorted her out of the door and straight into the path of one of her neighbours.

 

“Hi Kara, how are you?” the short brunette asked, tucking her hair behind her ear.

 

“H-hey Lucy, I’m good, how are you?” Lena silently watched the interaction between them, oh there was definitely something between them. Kara was nervously scratching the back of her neck and fiddling with her fingers, she’d clearly forgotten that Lena was stood right there. Lena looked down at the floor, trying to hide her smirk.

 

“Aren’t you going to introduce me, babe?” She slipped one arm around Kara’s waist and the other hand rested on her abs stroking softly. Kara jumped slightly and her jaw tensed, looking down at Lena and smiling, tightly.

 

“Lucy,” she said through gritted teeth, “this is Lena,” she stuck her hand out and Lucy took it.

 

“Oh, I had no idea, Kara never mentioned a girlfriend” the neighbour was now glaring at Kara who looked halfway between uncomfortable and royally pissed off.

 

“Really? Huh?” She looked up at Kara, who was clearly trying her best not to throttle her. “Well, I work overseas for a lot of the year so, I have to leave this one all alone” she reached up and pinched Kara’s cheeks, “not for much longer though right, baby?” Kara forced a smile onto her face.

 

“We really have to go,” she grabbed hold of Lena’s hand, “bye, Lucy” she mumbled, pulling Lena along.

 

“Lovely to meet you, Lucy” she called over her shoulder. Lena burst out laughing as soon as they made it out onto the street.

 

“What is wrong with you?” Kara hissed.

 

“Well, I couldn’t exactly say ‘hi, I’m the highly trained assassin your neighbour fucks any time she can’ or do you think that would have gone down better? I could go back and tell her the truth-” she turned to go back, but Kara grabbed her and spun her back.

 

“Could you not try and ruin my life for one day?” Kara fumed.

 

“You know, you get this crinkle in your forehead every time you get angry,” she poked her forehead, Kara batted her hands away.

 

“Just stop. Stop whatever this is. It’s freaking m-” Lena cut her off with a kiss, pulling her down by the back of her neck. A soft moan escaped Kara’s throat, Lena smiled and bit down on her bottom lip, tugging it into her mouth, she nibbled on it softly before letting go and stepping back. Kara’s eyes fluttered open and she let out a soft sigh. Kara caught sight of Lucy crossing the street and understood exactly why Lena had done that, she glared at her.

 

“So how close were you to sleeping with her?” Kara pinched her brow, “oh, you already have, haven’t you?” Kara just sighed and Lena gasped, one hand on her chest, “you cheated on me? How could you?”

 

“You’re insufferable!” Kara threw her hands in the air and stormed off down the street. Lena laughed and jogged down the side walk  to catch up with her.

 

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry. I’ll stop” Lena said through her laughter. Kara carried on walking, through the entrance to the park where she walks her dog.

 

“Why are you here, Lena?” Kara sighed.

 

“Well, you destroyed my bike for starters” Lena sneered.

 

“Yeah, and you shot me!” Kara snapped back, “and hit me in the face with a helmet” Lena  snorted, she’d forgotten about that bit.

 

“Remind me to give you some tips on how to not so gullible,” Lena grinned at her.

 

“Lena, I’m about this close to dragging you into that bush-”

 

“-Ooo kinky,” she waggled her eyebrows.

 

“-and killing you” Kara finished.

 

“I’m here to help you out” she said simply. Kara narrowed her eyes and made a face, “what?” she asked, innocently batting her eyelashes.

 

“How on earth could you ever help me?”

 

“Watch your tone, Danvers” Lena warned. “I know you investigated the incidents that took place a few weeks ago, tell me what happened” Kara looked at her and sighed deeply.

 

“A series of break-ins on the premises of one Martin Caddel, all his warehouses were destroyed, not just in Geneva but all over the world. Drugs, weapons, transport, factories, all of them gone. All of his bank accounts and safety deposit boxes were cleared out, but he’s still alive and well” Kara explained, Lena was practically skipping next to her.

 

“And how many casualties?” She smiled sweetly.

 

Kara looked over to her, acknowledging the small, knowing smile on her face, “none” she lightly shook her head. “You stripped him of all his assets but you didn’t kill him, why?”

 

“Some people don’t deserve death” she shrugged.

 

“The point was to make him suffer” Lena nodded, “you know he’ll be back, it might take a while but he has so many contacts that he’ll find a way”

 

“That’s why I’m here. My particular mission was very lucrative, there’s always a paper trail and I have it” she pulled a memory stick from her pocket and handed it to Kara.

 

“Why are you giving it to me?” She eyed her, suspiciously.

 

“Because as you keep pointing out, you have the power to arrest people, I don’t. My employers want him to rot and the CIA can provide that.” They had been walking slowly around the park when Lena spotted the chess boards and an idea sprung to mind.

 

“How do I know that this doesn’t contain some kind of virus that’s going to infect our computer network?” Lena rolled her eyes.

 

“I can bring you the paperwork if you’d prefer? I just thought this would be easier”

 

“I want everything you have” Lena nodded, “what do you want in return?” she raised an eyebrow at Kara, “oh come on, there’s no way you’re doing this just because you want justice”

 

“That’s actually all I want” she said sincerely. Kara looked at her, the more time Kara spent with her, the more confused she got. Then again what did she really know about Lena? “Do you know how to play chess?” Lena gestured towards the table.

 

“I do,” Kara sat down, playing as the white and Lena sat opposite, playing as black. “What are the stakes?” Kara leaned forward, Lena leaned in their faces only inches apart.

 

“If you beat me,” Lena glanced down at her lips briefly, “I’ll tell you who I work for” Kara sat back and laughed a little.

 

“And if you win?” Lena shot her a flirtatious smile,

 

“I want that hat” she pointed to that hat she’d attempted to steal earlier today. Kara contemplated the offer for a moment, it was clear Lena thought she didn’t have a chance, she stuck her hand out but recoiled at the last second.

 

“I want to raise the stakes” Lena tilted her head in intrigue, “for every piece captured you get to ask the other person a question and you have to answer” she stuck her hand out again.

 

“It can’t be about work” Lena said.

 

“Deal” Lena shook her hand and Kara moved her first pawn beginning the game. The first few moves were uneventful.

 

Kara took Lena’s pawn first, “what’s your last name?”

 

“Straight in with that” Lena sighed and sat back,

 

“You have to answer” Lena knew that if this was going to work she had to give up parts of herself so Kara would trust her.

 

“Luthor. My last name is Luthor”

 

“Lena Luthor” Kara tested it out on her tongue, “it fits you”

 

“Better than Volkova?” She smirked, Kara narrowed her eyes, playfully and watched as Lena’s knight took her pawn, “the night we met, how much of what I said about you was true?”

 

“I told you, none of it” Lena pushed her sunglasses up to her head and raised her eyebrows. She shouldn’t find that as attractive as she did, but almost everything Lena does makes her squirm and it’s infuriating. “Fine, pretty much all off it” she huffed, looking down to consider her next move.

 

“Why does it bother you so much?” She said, gently.

 

“I don’t remember you taking one of my pieces” Kara looked up, Lena’s eyes were so green. One was slightly more green than the other, they were oddly disarming. Don’t get sucked in! She’s probably wearing contacts, “it bothers me because I know nothing about you and yet, you seemed to know absolutely everything about me from one evening and I wasn’t even being myself”

 

“It’s my job, Kara. I pick up on the details and I read people and I’ve worked hard to make sure people can’t do the same to me.” Kara looked at her, trying to get a read on her.

 

“Doesn’t that make you sad? Never really being yourself around anyone?” she watched as Lena shifted, clearly uncomfortable. Lena had never really thought about it until then, her identity didn’t matter, she played the role of whoever was desired at the time and that was the way it had always been.

 

“Now who’s breaking the rules?” She smiled but it was strained, she made her move. It was clear Lena wasn’t going to answer but her silence gave Kara all the answers she needed.

 

“What’s your favourite movie?” she asked after taking Lena’s knight.

 

“I don’t have one” she said simply, Kara’s head shot up.

 

“Okay, so what are some of your favourites?” Lena thought back to every movie she’d seen, they didn’t watch movies growing up. In fact, she saw her first Disney movie on a plane on the way to her first mission, it was Sleeping Beauty and she rolled her eyes almost the whole way through.

 

“Um,” Lena looked down, why couldn’t she think of a single fucking movie? Just say something, “Miss Congeniality” not that, for fuck sake. Kara’s eyes widened,

 

“Not what I was expecting” she tilted her head, “but, it’s still a good one… wait are you lying?”

 

“No… I mean I’ve seen it” Kara looked at her with curiosity.

 

“How many films have you seen?” Lena held a breath and looked up trying to count how many she’d seen.

 

“Seven?” She squeaked, quickly moving her next piece. Kara’s jaw dropped, “but, give me any main stream movie and I’ll be able to tell you plot,” Kara looked at her strangely, she’d never met anyone like Lena before,

 

“The Empire Strikes Back”

 

“Oh, you’re not one of those nerds are you?” She grimaced, “In summary, Princess Leia leads the Rebel Alliance, hiding out on the ice planet Hoth while Darth Vader and the Imperial Fleet try to hunt them down. Yoda trains Luke to become a Jedi Knight. Lots of fighting yada, yada, yada, Luke fights Darth Vader, loses his hand and gets a brand new, shiny robot replacement,” Kara looked gobsmacked.

 

“And you haven’t seen that movie?” Lena shook her head. “Is that like your party trick?” still looking at her as if she had three heads.

 

“No, I was taught to memorize the plots of popular films and TV shows so I can make conversation with the people I… need to make conversation with,”

 

“God, you’re really boring, aren’t you?” Lena’s head whipped up in outrage.

 

“Well, you’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done with you so far” Lena shot back, taking Kara’s rook in revenge.

 

“You’re lucky you’re hot, cos you’ve not got much else going for you” Kara murmured, leaning back in her chair.

 

Lena gasped in mock shock, “you think I’m hot? I’m flattered,” she fluttered her eyelashes and Kara huffed out a laugh.

 

“Ask your question” Lena tilted her head and looked her up and down, catching a glimpse of metal under Kara’s shirt.

 

“Why did you join the Marines?” Kara let out a deep sigh.

 

“I finished high school and I didn’t want to go to college. I needed a job and there aren’t many where I’m from so, I joined the Marines instead.” Lena knew there was more to the story but she wasn’t going to push. She’d managed to build a rapport with Kara that wasn’t ‘I hate you, let’s fuck’ but it was fragile and she couldn’t risk ruining it.

 

Kara moved another piece, “check” Lena looked down at the board and took Kara’s bishop.

 

“How long have you had Hero?”

 

“Almost 5 years” Kara was back to smiling again, “I got him just after I got back from my last tour of duty” she made her move and captured Lena’s rook,

 

“Favourite place you’ve ever been?” Lena thought for a moment, she had to be careful, as much as she wanted to pretend Kara was stupid, she wasn’t. If she gave too much away she could end up not just blowing her own cover but threatening the safety of everyone involved in her organisation.

 

“Budapest” she lied and moved her queen, “checkmate” she smiled smugly.

 

“What? How did you-” Lena was making ‘come here’ motions with her hands, Kara sighed and took off her hat handing it to Lena, who happily put it back on and stood up.

 

“Why do you want my hat so badly?”

 

“Cos it’s the only time the CIA are ever gonna get this close to me,” she winked and bit her lip before turning around and walking away. Kara scrambled to follow her, catching her up easily.

 

“Umm, are we forgetting how close I’ve been to you?” Kara murmured.

 

“Yeah, but you don’t count” Lena turned and wrapped her arms around Kara’s neck, leaning up to whisper in her ear, “you wouldn’t turn me in, you’d miss me too much” Kara stayed frozen in place and watched as Lena sauntered away, “plus, you owe me one now” she said over her shoulder.

 

Kara had a feeling Lena was going to be around a lot more often.

 

The next morning, Kara woke up to a knock on her door and when she answered it there was a cardboard box on her doormat. Lena came through, the box was full of everything they needed to arrest and charge Caddel.

 

She caught a whiff of Lena’s perfume and smiled unconsciously, immediately chastising herself for it. Lena was dangerous and Kara needed to keep her at arms length until she could figure out why she was here.

 

After the last time they had crossed paths, Kara had realised she had been drastically underestimating Lena’s abilities and she needed to work smarter. Kara decided that she would indulge in whatever game Lena wanted to play. She would extract the information she needed and use it to figure out who Lena worked for and bring the whole organisation down. It was a simple plan, it as a good plan and it was going to work.

 

__________

 

Kara saw Lena jogging in the park later in the week, she cut her off and pulled her over to the chess tables.

 

“Sit.” Kara demanded. She moved her first pawn, “same stakes as last time”

 

“I’ve already got your hat,” Lena huffed, sitting in the chair opposite.

 

“Fine, if you win... I’ll buy you an ice-cream” Lena rolled her eyes and sighed.

 

“Go on then” Lena made her first move and leaned forward. Kara hadn’t thought about this properly, she was angry at the fact that even with Lena’s last name she still couldn’t find anything on her. Then she saw her leisurely jogging in the park and she got even more annoyed and figured this was the best plan she had to get more information about her.

 

She was bound to slip up at some point.

 

Except Kara hadn’t looked at what Lena was wearing and now she was sat opposite her all her eyes could focus on was the unholy amount of cleavage on show due to the tight sports bra she was wearing. Her hair was pulled back into a high ponytail, exposing her long, pale neck and there was a light sheen of sweat glistening on her skin. Oh this was such a bad idea.

 

“Hmm, what’s your favourite thing to do on your day off?” Lena asked, Kara shook her head slightly and realised she had made some stupid moves, giving Lena the opportunity to take her queen.

 

“I like spending time with my dog, obviously, I watch a lot of movies and I have a sparring session once a week at my gym.” Kara made her move, “I work a lot so when I have time off, I tend to just relax as much as possible.”

 

“Who do you spar with?” Lena murmured, considering her next move. Kara eyes drifted down again, mesmerised for a moment before she mentally chastised herself, up you horny moron! Focus on her eyes! She observed Lena as she contemplated her move, she always seemed so tense, jaw clenched, eyes hard she was always calculating. Kara wondered if she ever let that façade down, she wanted to see the real Lena.

 

“One of the trainers, he’s not very good though” she chuckled.

 

“Well, that doesn’t sound very fair” Lena smirked.

 

“You should come by some time, if you’re sticking around, give me a real run for my money.” Any extra time she spent with Lena could only be beneficial to her investigation and if they happened to fuck afterwards, well Kara wouldn’t complain.

 

“Bored of chess already?” Lena moved her piece.

 

“I just think I’d have more of a chance at winning if it were something more physical” Lena raised her eyebrows and watched as Kara took her pawn.

 

“Where are you from?” Kara eyed her reaction carefully but Lena’s mask stayed firmly in place.

 

“I’m not too sure, I grew up in an orphanage near the mountains,” she looked down, it was clear to Kara that she was uncomfortable with the topic.

 

“Did you enjoy growing up mountains?” the corner’s of Lena’s mouth turned up. Kara wondered how far she could push this. She employed a technique where you take two or three words from an answer to a generic question and use them to ask another question. It was one of the techniques they were taught for interviews, it opened people up, shows them you’re listening and the more it’s used the more they talk, usually dropping an important detail.

 

“I loved it, still to this day being near the mountains feels like home to me.” Lena smiled wistfully.

 

“I love the Blue Ridge Mountains, whereabouts was your home?” Lena opened her mouth and Kara could almost see her brain working.

 

“Stop.” Kara give her an innocent look, “don’t use that ‘effective listening’ bullshit on me” Lena was furious at herself, almost giving up some vital information, maybe Kara wasn’t as stupid as she first thought.

 

“It almost worked, didn’t it?” Kara smirked. Lena looked at the board, ignoring her question, and made her move, capturing Kara’s knight.

 

“Would you rather have muffins for feet or carrots for fingers?” Kara laughed and made a face at the question.

 

“What? It’s a valid question, shows what type of person you are” Lena said.

 

“Carrots for fingers, I would definitely eat my feet if they were made of muffins” she chuckled, she made her move and Lena smiled devilishly.

 

“Checkmate” Lena smiled.

 

“How do you keep doing that?” Kara was actually very good at chess, but she didn’t think as far ahead as Lena did and she was easily distracted she could only focus on one thing at a time, the conversation, the game or, to Lena’s amusement, her boobs. It was the same thing she did in life, she only thought one step ahead and ploughed head first into situations.

 

“Can I give you a tip?” Lena asked, genuinely. Kara nodded, “take a moment before you  make a move and never be afraid to sacrifice pieces in order to protect the queen” Kara couldn’t tell if this was just a chess lesson or a life lesson as well, but she nodded taking everything Lena said on board.

 

“Come on, I’ll buy you ice-cream” she rolled her eyes playfully, Lena joined her, walking along side her. “What flavour do you want?”

 

“What flavour do you recommend?” Kara looked across and narrowed her eyes, immediately recognising the role reversal.

 

“Lena, you’ve had ice-cream before, right?”

 

“Yeah of course, but only vanilla” she mumbled.

 

“You’ve had a deprived life” Kara said walking over to the ice-cream vendor. She came back with two cones, she got Lena two scoops of chocolate, easing her in to ice-cream flavours with an obvious favourite while she had one cookie dough and one scoop of chocolate. She watched Lena closely until she caught her.

 

“I like it, thank you” she murmured.

 

“Hey, you earned it” Kara said, the walked together slowly, the earlier tension had been diffused and Lena was waiting for her to ask what she wanted to ask. “I’m still a little confused as to why you’re here, Lena. You have to understand why I’m worried,”

 

“What’s to say I haven’t been living here the whole time and you’re only just now noticing me?” Lena teased. I would have definitely noticed you.

 

Kara shook her head, “You’re never gonna tell me are you?”

 

“I’ll let you figure it out” she hummed, turning the opposite way, “later, Danvers” she called over her shoulder.

 

________

 

“Codename”

 

“Little Spider” Lena sighed, waiting for the response. She was running the operation but, she still needed to check in every week, let the boss know how she was getting on.

 

“Verification”

 

“Whiskey Kilo Lima Lima - 2 0 1 1” she swirled her drink, staring into the glass.

 

“How’s it going?” Talia asked.

 

“Slowly,” Lena sighed. “But, I’ve managed to build a rapport and the info on Caddel resulted in an arrest” she was worried that Talia would be angry at her lack of progress.

 

“Good”

 

“She’s still very suspicious about my motives”

 

“Makes sense,” Lena let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding, she looked up to Talia so much that disappointing her wasn’t as option. “This isn’t something that will come easily, it will take time and effort. Changing someone’s perception of you, especially when they work in the same field is difficult but, I have every confidence in you Little Spider.”

 

“I won’t let you down,” Lena promised.

 

“I know. I’ve got another assignment for you”

 

“Won’t that impede on my current mission?”

 

“I think it will aid you, it’s right there in Virginia which gives you a real reason to be there. Hopefully, it will give our friend the idea that you’re not just there for her.” Talia explained.

 

“Tell me more” Lena smirked.

 

__________

 

 

“Danvers!” Lena called to her when she was leaving the gym.

 

“Oh God,” she pinched her brow, “why do I have a bad feeling about this?”

 

“Aww,” Lena pouted, that shouldn’t be attractive, why was it so attractive? “Didn’t you miss me?”

 

“No, you cause way too much trouble” Kara said.

 

“Something tells me you like trouble,” she purred and watched as Kara squirmed. Lena could so easily disarm her, Kara wanted to stay angry, she wanted to stay wary and keep Lena away but, all it takes is one bat of those eyelashes and they fell back into their flirty relationship. “How did it go with Caddel?”

 

“Very well, they think he’s gonna go away for the rest of his life” Kara crossed her arms over her chest, putting a barrier between her and Lena. She wasn’t going to fall for this again. She couldn’t.

 

“Good, because I’m here to cash in” Kara sighed.

 

“What is it?”

 

“Albert Roscoe” Lena said, Kara scoffed pushing past her.

 

“No way, Lena.” Of all the things Lena could have asked for it had to involve him, Roscoe is not someone Kara wanted to go anywhere near. Nothing Lena could say to her could get her to change her mind.

 

“Kara, he’s in town this week, accepting a shipment at one of his warehouses by the river. This is huge!” Lena followed her.

 

“I’m not going anywhere near him and neither should you,” she turned around and faced her, “he’s dangerous, you could get seriously hurt”

 

“Umm, have we met?” Lena said, sarcasm dripping through her voice.

 

“This isn’t some random arms dealer who gets other people to do his dirty work, this is-” she looked up as if to check who was around, “this is The Butcher we’re talking about”

 

“Uh huh, I’m well aware” Lena rolled her eyes. How dare Kara insinuate that she couldn’t handle someone like Roscoe, Lena was exceptionally good at her job and no snobby CIA agent was going to tell her otherwise.. “I wasn’t asking you to come with me, I’m asking for intel”

 

“No, Lena, I don’t want anything to do with this” Kara threw her bag on the back seat and slammed the door.

 

“You owe me” Lena growled.

 

“No, I don’t.” Kara said with finality.

 

“I gave you the information you needed to get Caddel” Lena grabbed her arm and pulled her back.

 

“Did you? When I work with informants a contract is in place beforehand. I don’t owe you anything” she pushed Lena away from her.

 

“I was right, you are a coward” Lena spat.

 

“And you’re a fucking idiot” Kara spat back. Lena turned around and stormed off. Kara slammed her door and drove away.

 

Well, that didn’t go as planned.

Chapter Text

Lena scoffed, she didn’t need Kara’s help, she doesn’t even know why she bothered trying. Kara was weak, pathetic and she only cared about herself, she proved that when she went back on her word. She didn’t want to even think about her any more.

 

She picked up her dossier with the information on the mark. This wasn’t just an assassination, Talia wanted the shipment destroyed as well, she sipped on her coffee and flicked through the folder absorbing the information.

 

She looked at the crime scene photos and almost threw up her breakfast, this guy was an absolute psycho, there was a valid reason for why he was called ‘The Butcher’. People that crossed him or got in his way ended up chopped up into small pieces and by the looks of the pathologists report, they were alive when he started.

 

Lena knew that this guy was dangerous. This was going to be one of the most risky missions she had ever been asked to do, it also wasn’t a mission she would usually do alone, this is something you do with back up. Lena knew Talia and she wouldn’t sacrifice multiple people, if Lena was killed she would go back to the drawing board, come up with another plan and try again. She’d seen it happen, they were a family but there was a clear underlying message that anyone could be replaced. Lena looked over the plan and her heart sank.

 

She was going in as live bait.

 

The plan was to be captured and work out a way from the inside to take out the mark. Lena’s stomach churned at the thought, she was all on her own and she was going into the belly of the beast. At least, if she had Sam watching her back she could rely on someone to pull her out if things went wrong. Lena loved working on her own, it was when she felt she did her best work but going into this mission without back up and with limited intel made her feel sick. One wrong move and she was going to end up the same way as every other one of his victims but, this had to be done.

 

Roscoe needed to be taken out for good, she wouldn’t allow someone like him to roam the streets. She was scared but she focused on the fact that she would be saving more lives by doing this.

 

She pulled herself together, took a deep breath and went back to memorising the file, she could do this.

 

__________

 

Kara was still absolutely furious. Lena thought she was so fucking smart, she was going to get herself killed. Kara didn’t care, that would mark the end to all her problems and she could get back to work without worrying about looking over her shoulder every day.

 

The Caddel case did give her major career boost, Kara now had the opportunity to lead her own team, she didn’t get to pick what they worked on but she could pitch cases to her boss, delegate tasks to her team and run her own operations. It was essentially what she did when she was in the Marines and she finally felt at home in her job. The long hours and hard work were paying off, her brain immediately reminded her that without Lena, she wouldn’t be here.

 

“What’s up with you?” Winn asked, scooting his chair over to hers, half a gummy worm hanging out of his mouth.

 

“What’s to say there’s something wrong?” she said, nonchalantly, eyes still focused on her computer.

 

“You get this crinkle in your forehead every time you’re upset” he pointed to her forehead. Fucking crinkle, fucking Roscoe, fucking Lena.

 

“What do you know about Albert Roscoe?” She asked, turning her screen towards him.

 

“He deals in every black market trade you can think of, has done for over 30 years. Mostly weapons but now Caddel is permanently out of the picture, kudos by the way,” he high fived her, “he’ll probably expand further into drugs. He’s well known to all intelligence services but no one really dares touch him. He’s nicknamed ‘The Butcher’ and he lives up to that name whenever he can, doesn’t matter who you are, who you work for, how useful you are to him, if he sees you as a threat, you will end up dead.” Winn reeled it off like he was reading Roscoe’s damn Wikipedia page, mouth full of gummy worms.

 

“If he’s so prolific and so dangerous, why has the CIA never gone after him?” Kara pondered.

 

“We have,” Kara looked at him, shock evident on her face, “multiple times, actually” Winn gestured to the computer and Kara moved over. She watched as he pulled up four files, “Operations: Mouse Trap, Bulletin, Green Finch and Paperclip. All failed to bring the target in and resulted in a massacre of the agents involved. The agency shut down all involvement with Roscoe, they see him as someone who is untouchable, he always knows when someone is onto him. He took out an entire KGB team, in the end the Russians decided working with him would be easier and struck an arms deal.”

 

“How did he know?” Winn shrugged, “you think he has someone on the inside?”

 

“It’s certainly a possibility, why the sudden interest?” He asked.

 

“The name popped up when I was meeting an informant. I knew he was off limits but, I didn’t know that we’d gone after him before.”

 

“If they know something about Roscoe, they’re probably all ready as good as dead,” Kara looked at him and could tell he was being serious.

 

“Could you do some digging for me?” He nodded, “Lena Luthor” she wrote the name down on a piece of paper and handed it to him. “I couldn’t find anything but you’re better than me at all this stuff. It’s not urgent, just whenever you have the time,” if there was anything out there even remotely relating to Lena, Winn would find it.

 

“You think she has something to do with Roscoe?”

 

“I have no idea,” she said truthfully. “It’s just a name that keeps popping up, could be significant somehow.” He left her alone and she turned back to her computer, desperately trying to focus on her work.

 

Those crime scene photos stayed in her head all day, Kara didn’t want to care, she really didn’t but she had some weird kind of connection with Lena and she couldn’t bare the thought of her ending up the same way. One last shot, she was going to try one more time to convince her not to do this.

 

__________

 

Lena was going through her last minute preparations, checking her bag and fixing weapons to her body. She knew they would be stripped from her but, she had to at least look the part.

 

If she was honest, she felt physically sick but she took a few moments to compose herself before checking in with Talia for the final time.

 

“Go over your orders, Little Spider” Talia’s voice filled her ears.

 

“Head down to the target’s warehouse by the river, execute the kill order and destroy the shipment” Lena spoke slow, trying to keep the tremble out of her voice.

 

“Have faith, Little Spider. Things may have not worked out with the CIA agent but I wouldn’t have chosen you if I didn’t think you could do this.” it filled her with confidence. She didn’t believe that Talia would send her on a suicide mission, not yet, surely.

 

“Check in within 18 hours. If you fail to do so, you are on your own. If you get captured, you are on your own. If you are killed, you will be buried in an unmarked grave. Do you understand these terms as I read them to you?”

 

“I do.” Lena had the feeling that this may be the last time she heard these terms.

 

“Good luck, Little Spider. May you go forth and conquer,”

 

“Endure and thrive.” Lena finished. She shut the communicator off and burnt the dossier, getting rid of the evidence.

 

She was Lena fucking Luthor and ‘The Butcher’ should be afraid of her. She was coming for him and she was going to stamp him out like an ant under her boot.

 

__________

 

Lena drove down to the river, under the cover of darkness and parked a few blocks away from the industrial estate, she grabbed her backpack and jumped out. She was in the zone, ready to go to work and get this done as quick as possible.

 

Kara intercepted her.

 

“Get off me!” Lena struggled against the hold but Kara pulled her back, she dragged her into alley.

 

“No, Lena, don’t you get it? If- when you get caught, he is going to cut you up into little pieces” Kara was trying to scare her into leaving, but what she didn’t understand is Lena didn’t have a choice, she can’t say no, there’s no other option for her.

 

“I’ll be fine.” She pushed past Kara but the agent didn’t give up, she grabbed her again and Lena huffed, turning back around, “what is your problem? You said you didn’t want to be involved so I left you out of it.”

 

“I can’t let you do this” Kara said, she couldn’t live with herself if she allowed Lena to go through with her stupid plan without at least trying to stop her. She told herself that it was the good Samaritan in her.

 

Let me? I’m not someone you can control. You made your position quite clear, how dare you come here and try to order me around when you refused to help.” Lena wasn’t going to let her fear show, she didn’t need Kara’s help she could do this on her own. Kara pulled a folder out of her jacket and shoved the photos into Lena’s face.

 

“Look at these. This is how you’re going to end up! You don’t get it, people don’t come out of there alive.” Kara pressed Lena against the wall and dangled the pictures in front of her face. Lena avoided looking at them, turning her head to the side. “Look at them!” Lena hardened her stare and turned to look, clenching her jaw to stop herself from retching.

 

“So what?” Lena needed to get out of this situation, she was already trying to fight her fearful internal battle, she couldn’t allow Kara to get in her head.

 

“Lena, this was a team of highly trained agents, all of them were captured and killed. Look at these photos and stop pretending you’re not affected” Lena had never seen Kara act like this before, she almost looked desperate.

 

“I’ve told you before, stop underestimating me.” Lena’s voice was low but she kept eye contact with Kara the whole time.

 

“You have someone watching your back?” Lena closed her eyes and sighed, dropping her head back against the wall. Kara couldn’t help but laugh, “you have a fucking death wish” Lena didn’t need or want to hear this right now, she pushed past Kara but the blonde wasn’t having that and she grabbed her arm. “No, you don’t get to walk away from this-”

 

“I don’t need anyone to watch my back” Kara crowded her against the wall and dropped her head to meet those emerald eyes. She saw the uncertainty, the fear but, Lena blinked and it was gone.

 

“Your plan better be water-tight, or you won’t walk away at all” she whispered.

 

“I get it, Kara. You’re scared of Roscoe” Kara shook her head, she wasn’t getting through to her at all. “Why do you care?” Kara blinked, “we don’t have any kind of relationship, we’re not even friends for God sake! Why does my potential death matter to you?” Lena pushed a finger against her chest and her breath hitched. She looked at Lena again and backed away, allowing her to go.

 

“You’re right, there’s nothing between us. I don’t care. Go ahead, get yourself killed.” Kara gestured for her to leave.

 

“I suggest you get out of here. Now.” Lena said with finality, she left her stood in the alley.

 

“I don’t know why I fucking bothered,” she watched as Lena walked away. Kara went back to her car and drove away. If Lena wanted to do this, fine. Kara never should have tried to stop her, she was too fucking stubborn to see that she was walking into a trap.

 

Lena didn’t know she was walking into a trap.

 

Kara hadn’t mentioned the theory surrounding informants.

 

Fuck.

 

No, she shook her head, Lena made her choice, she chose not to listen and if Lena thought she could do this on her own, then Kara would happily watch her fail. She stopped at a red light and looked at her passenger seat, those horrible images stared back at her, Kara threw them in the back seat and slammed her hands against the steering wheel. If Lena failed, she’d end up dead and Kara would lose the only lead she had on the organisation Lena worked for.

 

“I fucking hate her!” She turned her car around and drove back. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

 

__________

 

Lena ignored the altercation, she needed to get her mind focused on the mission, she wasn’t going to allow Kara to throw her off.

 

Lena climbed to the top of the warehouse parallel to the mark’s. There were a lot of guards, all armed with heavy assault weapons, she watched them for a while, figuring out their patterns when a large lorry pulled in. So this was the shipment they were expecting.

 

That was when she got her first glimpse of the target. He was a short, middle-aged man, with greying hair, well put together and dressed in a three piece suit. He was unassuming but, the people Lena dealt with never look the way you would expect, they don’t look like the classic comic book villain: large, muscular men with sharp, sinister smiles and cunning schemes. They were ordinary people, but Lena could always spot them in a group, it was the eyes, they always had dark, soulless eyes that contained all the dark secrets of their past.

 

Lena sometimes looked at herself in the mirror and caught a glimpse of that same darkness, she had so many things in common with the people she killed, she had to constantly remind herself that the she had good intentions. The reason she did what she did was because she was working to fix the world, she was doing this for the greater good but, she can’t lie, sometimes it hurt to look at herself.

 

She watched as all the guards immediately set to work unloading the crates. This was the opportunity she needed. She slid off the roof and shimmied down to the ground. She waited until the coast was clear and slipped through the shadows towards the warehouse, she set to work rounding the back of the building. Luckily, the lighting was limited and she had the chance to crouch behind a dumpster in time to avoid being caught. She unzipped her back and began attaching blocks of C4 to the structural supports, she held her breath when the patrol rounded the corner again. The path was small, around four feet wide, meaning Lena had to pray that they didn’t notice her, she screwed her eyes shut and felt a slight breeze against her face when they passed her.  She took a breath to compose herself and made her way to the other side.

 

Running straight into two armed guards.

 

Well, shit

 

“Oh, look what we have here,” Lena gulped but played the part perfectly, holding her hands up in surrender. One of them grabbed a hold of her chin and looked her up and down, “you stumbled into the wrong territory, sweetheart, what a waste” he sneered.

 

One guard stripped her of her backpack and weapons, zip-tying her hands behind her back while they other pointed the gun at her face. They grabbed her arm and pulled her round to the front and into the lion’s den.

 

__________

 

Kara’s legs set off before her mind could catch up. She just had a bad feeling about the whole situation and she knew that if Lena went in there alone, she wasn’t going to come out again. For some reason she couldn’t let this go, the argument she’d had with Lena had infuriated her but, she wasn’t going to abandon her. Lena was a fucking asshole but no one deserved to face Albert Roscoe without some form of back up.

 

Kara followed her discretely, setting up her perch in a multi-storey car park across from the industrial park. She came primed and ready for a stake out. Watching Lena work was going to be fun if she ignored the imminent death factor, she watched her observing the situation. Kara also took note of guard patterns and watched as Lena moved out of sight, Kara heart beat a little quicker until she caught sight of her again, scurrying across to the side of the warehouse.

 

“What the fuck is she doing?” Kara mumbled.

 

Kara’s breath caught in her throat when she saw Lena being man-handled into the front of the warehouse. She tried not to panic, she knew Lena, she’d dealt with her first hand. That girl can get herself out of any situation.

 

But, time was getting on, Lena had been inside that warehouse for half an hour and Kara was getting antsy.

 

“Come on, Lena” she said through gritted teeth. “Come on” Kara paced back and forth, the longer Lena stayed in there the closer she was to death, she could already be dead for all she knew. She needed to call it in, she could have the full force of the CIA here in less than 20 minutes. Could she really take that risk? That warehouse was full of heavy artillery, it would be a blood bath.

 

Kara made the decision and moved so she could get a closer look.

 

“I should be at home right now.” She exited the car park and crossed the street, “I could be on my couch, in my jammies cuddling my dog and eating potstickers. But noooo… I have to go rescue some dumbass who has tried to kill me at least twice” She hopped the wire fence boarding the industrial complex, “I swear to God, she better be dead or I’m gonna fucking kill her.”

 

There was a window on each side of Roscoe’s warehouse that lead to a catwalk above the floor of the building. There was only two guards patrolling the perimeter and the others were tasked with unloading the shipment. Kara easily climbed through the window and onto the catwalk below, she crouched in the shadows and looked around, the warehouse was littered with construction equipment, shipping containers and large crates that created a kind of maze. Approximately, twenty armed men surrounded the entrance, the lorry had backed into the loading dock and it took at least four men to unload each crate. She could see that one of them had been opened: packed with at least a dozen assault rifles.

 

Then she saw Lena on the other side of the room; tied to a chair, her face was beaten and bloodied. defiantly staying silent no matter how hard she was hit.

 

“Tell you what,” Roscoe bent down so he was at eye level with her, “I’ll give you one more chance to tell me who you are or I’ll cut your fingers off one at a time until you do” he finished with a sweet smile? Lena stayed silent but she smiled slightly, Kara could see it from where she was crouched. She can’t just be serious for once, she always has to wind people up.

 

Kara looked away but she could feel the slap Lena received, the sound echoed off the metal walls. To her credit, Lena didn’t make a sound, wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

 

Kara scurried across the catwalk, towards where Lena was being held and dropped onto the wooden crates below, she landed silently and watched as Roscoe and his henchmen followed him, he looked livid. Lena was making him look like weak in front of his employees. Kara needed to be quick, he was probably going to fetch some kind of tool to torture her with. She dropped to the floor and quickly rounded the corner to where she was.

 

Lena’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped when she saw Kara.

 

“Kara,” she hissed looking around for any signs of trouble, “what are you doing here?” Kara moved round to cut the ties holding Lena.

 

“I’m your back up” she said simply.

 

“Kara, no! Get out of here” she whisper-shouted. “You’re gonna get caught” Kara ignored her, “I’m serious, you’re messing up my whole plan”

 

“Oh, you planned to get the shit kicked out of you?” Kara hissed back, she wasn’t going to get into an argument right now. “Just let me help you”  

 

“Kara, stop-”

 

“Well, well, well. You brought company” Kara’s blood ran cold. She felt two pairs of hands grab her and haul her away from Lena, she looked back and saw Roscoe stood there with fucking pliers in his hand. Kara felt like she was going to vomit.

 

She was strapped to a chair and positioned next to Lena. She didn’t know what was worse, her fate with Roscoe or her fate with Lena if they got out of this because from the look she was giving her, if she didn’t die now she would definitely die later.

 

“So, this is how things are gonna go-” Roscoe was interrupted by a phone call, he tossed his phone to a guy behind him and strolled over to Kara gripping her chin and grinning widely.

 

“Boss, you should take this,” he sighed and let her go, taking the phone, clearly someone told him something he didn’t like because he growled and threw his phone against the wall.

“Right!” He yelled. “I don’t give a fuck who either of you are any more, you’ve got 5 minutes to figure out amongst yourselves who dies first”

 

He left them to argue, storming off to deal with whatever problem he had. Kara could feel the icy glare Lena shot her way.

 

“Okay, my bad-”

 

“Shut the fuck up for once and just scoot over here” Lena demanded. Kara did as she was told and shuffled her chair over, “pull the ties as tight as possible and-”

 

“I know how to get out of zip ties-”

 

“Shut the fuck up, Kara” she growled, Kara pulled her ties as tight as possible. Lena couldn’t pull her arms apart because of the position, so she twisted her wrists and grunted as the plastic dug into her skin. She twisted her arms until she felt them snap under the pressure, she stood up and shook herself off, turning to look at Kara.

 

She scoffed and turned, walking away.

 

“No,” she hissed. “Lena, no, don’t go, please! Please don’t leave me here” Kara begged, Lena could hear the terror in her voice but she continued walking. “Lena!”

 

Lena needed to find her bag before she left. She heard Roscoe shouting and it was getting closer, which meant she needed to hurry.

 

She crept around the warehouse, she couldn’t get caught again, there would be no opportunity for escape if that happened. There was a small office in the corner of the building and Lena would bet everything she had on her stuff being in there. There were two guys sitting in there, she looked around and grabbed a crowbar that was laying on a workbench next to her.

 

She stood up and flattened her back against the wall, banging on the door of the office, one of the guys came out to see what the commotion was and Lena hit him square in the face. He fell forward and she caught him, lowering him to the floor as not to alert the other goon. She stepped into the office and brought the bar down onto the back of his head, taking out the second guy, she dragged the first body into the office and grabbed her bag.

 

Lena strapped her holster around her waist and pulled the silencer from her bag, screwing it onto her glock. She rolled her shoulders, slung her bag onto her back and opened the door a crack, she peaked outside and saw pairs of guards patrolling the floor, looks like the shipment was now unloaded. Lena knew she needed to get out soon and all guns blazing seemed like the best option right now.

 

Sneaking out of the office, she used a concrete pillar as cover and used two bullets to take out patrols coming from her left. She waited to see if anyone came to investigate but she remained undetected, slinking away from the pillar, she hurried down to the end of the room straight into to more guards, emptying her clip into both of them. She reloaded and carried on, ignoring the sound of Roscoe’s yelling.

 

__________

 

Kara was terrified, her whole body was numb. She never thought Lena was leave her, she came back for her,  she tried to save her, she’d risked her job for her. Yet here she was, sat in front of ‘The Butcher’, regretting every decision she’d ever made and desperately trying not to shake with fear.

 

She should have called it in, if she had, she wouldn’t be in this situation right now. Kara would just have to make peace with her shitty decision. She wasn’t going to show her fear, wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. She was a soldier and she would stay composed to the very end.

 

“So, your friend skipped out on you?” Kara was trying to twist her wrists but, her ties weren’t tight enough to snap. Roscoe had already demanded that Lena be found but Kara knew that she was already gone and had probably killed half of his men while she escaped.

 

“Things are only gonna get worse for you.” She watched him roll out a tool kit, choosing a pair of pliers and holding them out, “these are my favourite, so sharp, barely any force is needed” he held them in front of Kara’s face. She just clenched her jaw and remained strong.

 

Kara heard three soft pops, Roscoe slumped across her lap and his henchmen fell to the floor. She twisted her neck around and sighed in relief when she saw Lena stood there.

 

“You didn’t really think I’d leave you, did you?” She smirked, pushing Roscoe’s lifeless body off Kara’s lap, grabbing the pliers he had in his hand.

 

Lena was fully intending to leave Kara, it was her stupidity that got her into that situation, she could find her own way out, Maybe she would finally learn to listen, stop playing the hero and think first instead of running in.

 

Then those gruesome photos flashed through her mind. She wouldn’t wish that on her worst enemy- Kara. Of course Lena had to go back for her,

 

“Careful they’re really sharp!” Kara hissed, Lena just rolled her eyes and cut the ties.

 

“Move” Lena said. She had caused a lot of trouble on the way back here and people finally noticed. Shouting echoed through the warehouse and armed guards rounded the corner, Kara managed to pull them behind a shipping container before the shooting started.

 

“How much ammo do you have left?” Kara asked, she pressed her body against Lena’s, the position similar to the night in Geneva.

 

“Maybe, 5 rounds. Not enough to take out all of them” Lena looked around, spotting the catwalk above them, “we have to get to the windows up top.” Kara looked up.

 

“Agreed,” she shifted to give Lena a boost and she climbed on top of the container. Lena laid down and reached out to grab Kara’s hand and pull her up. They laid next to each other, taking a moment to plan their next move. There was a huge amount of heavy weaponry surrounding them and if they weren’t careful, they end up looking like Swiss cheese. Lena turned to look at her.

 

“If we don’t move soon they’re gonna be right on top of us,” Kara made eye contact with her.

 

“On 3?” Lena nodded, “1… 2… 3!” They stood and ran across the line of shipping containers. Lena gave Kara a boost and she pulled herself up onto a steel beam that ran across the ceiling, she then grabbed Lena’s hand and hauled her up beside her. They darted across the beam and vaulted the railing to land on the catwalk, avoiding the bullets ricocheting of the metal.

 

“They can’t aim for shit!” Lena joked, Kara had no clue how she could still be cracking jokes while they were getting shot at but, she couldn’t help but laugh slightly, adrenaline pumping through her veins.

 

They crouched and ran across the platform. “What’s the plan?” Kara asked once they reached the window.

 

“Do you trust me?” Kara turned and looked at her.

 

“Fuck no” Lena smiled,

 

“Good” she shoved Kara out of the window and watched as she narrowly missed the concrete and landed in the river. It was half to help her, half revenge for screwing up her plan. Stay down, Kara.

 

Lena crouched down and rifled through her bag, grabbing her final wedge of C4 and attaching it to the wall, arming the detonator before standing again.

 

She hadn’t realised just how close the guards were and she recoiled as a bullet lodged itself in her abdomen, of all the fucking people and this one actually knew how to aim.

 

She whipped around and emptied her clip into the guy. She crouched and held her stomach, she pulled her hand away and it was soaked in blood, she only had a moment to collect herself before more armed guards fired at her.

 

Time to go, she grunted in pain, throwing herself out of the window and into the icy water, triggering the explosives as she did so.

 

The warehouse lit up the sky, Lena hadn’t used much C4 but the huge amounts of weaponry and explosives already in the warehouse only aided the endless inferno. Lena felt sorry for the fire crews that would have to spend half the night putting it out.

 

She stayed under the water trying to avoid the shrapnel, she just hoped Kara did the same, she didn’t need her death on her conscience.

 

The water was ice cold but the pain in her stomach sent searing hot stabs of pain through her body. The burning ache in her lungs convinced her to resurface for air, holding her stomach with one hand and trying to swim with the other. She was struggling to stay afloat with only one arm, unable to catch her breath. Lena knew she was in serious trouble now, she’d either bleed out, freeze to death or drown.

 

She felt an arm wrap around her torso, holding her up.

 

“Plan?” She heard Kara’s voice in her ear.

 

“Boat” Lena choked out. Kara looked around and spotted a black, inflatable speed boat on the other side on the river.

 

“Okay, hold on” Kara leaned back and kept hold of Lena, they both swam as quickly as they could. “When did you wire the place?” Kara asked, trying to focus on anything but how numb she was from the cold.

 

“Before I got caught” Lena replied.

 

“You mean you had explosives in your bag when I slammed you against that wall?” Lena chuckled lightly.

 

“Yeah,”

 

“You could have blown up the entire block!” Kara exclaimed.

 

Lena huffed, “can we not get into this again? I’ll let you yell at me if we both survive, okay?” She could tell Kara wasn’t happy but, she didn’t say anything.

 

They reached the other side and Kara pushed her up and onto the boat. Kara hauled herself up and over the side, she now realised why Lena was struggling, she lifted her shirt and Kara could see the blood pouring from the gunshot wound. Kara thought she’d just landed badly and the cold water shock prevented her from catching her breath. She knelt down next to her but Lena waved her off.

 

“I’m good, just get us out of here.” Kara stood back up and started the ignition. She looked back at Lena who was desperately trying to staunch the bleeding. She moved so she was sat against the side of the boat, she stripped off her jacket and balled it up pressing it against her abdomen. Her eyes were screwed shut and it was clear she was trying to breathe through the pain.

 

Kara kept looking back, making sure she was still alive. “How’d you get one of these?” Kara called, trying to keep Lena talking so she stayed conscious.

 

“I got connections, remember” Lena groaned.

 

“You’ve always got things figured out, huh?” Kara felt like a bit of an idiot, yet again she had underestimated Lena’s skill set and she was probably going to end up paying for it. Lena appreciated that Kara was trying to keep her conscious but, she really needed her to just shut up so she could focus on not bleeding out, she felt the boat slowing down.

 

“Why are we stopping?” Lena eyes shot open.

 

“There’s a CIA safe house close to here” Kara explained pulling up against the bank.

 

“No. No way, I’m not going there.” Lena tried to push Kara away but she was weak and could only use one arm. Kara picked her up easily, setting her on the river bank, she grimaced still pressing her jacket tightly against her.

 

“If you fight, it’s gonna hurt more and I need to look at that wound, so stop being stubborn and fucking move or I’ll carry you and I’ll make it hurt” Kara left no room for argument and Lena looked like a scolded child but she accepted Kara’s help.

 

They walked from the river bank to the street, that was a struggle in itself, unstable and water-logged ground meant they had to battle to get onto the street. Lena’s body got heavier and she was stumbling trying to keep herself up but she’d lost a lot of blood.

 

“No, no, come on Lena, stay awake! We’re almost there” Lena just groaned in response, dropping her blood soaked jacket and fully expecting to hit the floor but Kara scooped her up and cradled her.

 

Lena was limp in her arms, her breathing was laboured, Kara searched her face and watched as her eyes fluttered close.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Lena was limp in her arms, her breathing was laboured, Kara searched her face and watched as her eyes fluttered close.

 

Kara all but ran to the safe house, shifting Lena in her arms so she could punch in the code and unlock the door. She pushed the heavy door open and took the stairs two at a time, entering the kitchen area and laying Lena on the table. She sighed deeply, which Kara took as a good sign. Kara had patched up friends while she was in the Marines, they were usually dropped deep behind enemy lines and getting medical attention was difficult. They either did it themselves or they wait and potentially lose a friend.

 

She collected assorted supplies: gauze, bandages, antiseptic, tweezers, gloves and various other things and went back to Lena, “Lena? Can you hear me?” She made a small noise, “you’ve lost a lot of blood, can you tell me your blood type?” Kara couldn’t give her pain relief while her blood pressure was so low, she needed a blood transfusion. She should have taken her straight to the hospital but, a gunshot wound is difficult to explain and the police would have been called immediately.

 

She slammed her fist down on the table when she didn’t get an answer, Lena’s eyes shot open, “Hmm?”

 

“Blood type? A,B,O? Positive? Negative?” Kara looked in her eyes, she’d taken quite the beating, which could mean she had a concussion, another reason she couldn’t give her any pain relief.

 

“Yep, it’s definitely one of those, or AB, could be that too,” she shrugged. Kara took some gauze and pressed it against her stomach.

 

“You don’t know?!” Lena shook her head, flinching at the volume, “why the fuck not? You have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world!”

 

“Stop lecturing me,” she whined. Kara just huffed and kept pressure on her stomach, Lena winced slightly.

 

“I can’t give you anything for the pain so this is gonna hurt,” Kara warned her.

 

“Doesn’t this place come equipped with a mini bar?” Lena quirked her eyebrow.

 

“I can’t give you that,” Kara shook her head. Lena sat up and swung her legs over the side of the table, blocking out the painful throb.

 

“Fine, I’ll get it myself,” Kara stopped her quickly, holding her shoulders and urging her to lay back down.

 

“Okay, okay, I’ll get you something just lay back down,” she sighed and Lena smiled, triumphantly. Kara came back with a bottle of scotch and Lena pretty much drained half of it before collapsing back onto the table, “Lena! That’s like 70%” she just waved her off.

 

Kara had enough, Lena was the most stubborn person she’d ever met there was no point in trying to reason with her so, she set to work instead. She cut Lena’s t-shirt to uncover the bullet wound and grabbed a lamp from the front room, plugging it in so she could finally examine the injury. She could see the bullet, it didn’t looked too deep but it was lodged in her abdomen.

 

She picked up the tweezers, preparing to remove the shrapnel, “brace yourself-” she said, Lena jerked and sat up, pushing her away slightly.

 

“Wait! Give me your belt,” Kara looked down and stripped her belt off, folding it a few times and placing it between Lena’s teeth. She bit down and gripped the sides of the table. Kara picked the tweezers back up and set to removing the bullet.

 

“I’ll be quick, I promise.” Kara had done this so many times she was swift, precise and accurate, hand steady as a rock.

 

She’s unbeatable when it comes to Operation.

 

Lena’s eyes screwed shut and she bit down on the belt as hard as she could, growling, Kara could see the muscles in her arms flexing as her fingers dug into the wood, her knuckles turning white. She kept the lower half of her body still and Kara was able to quickly remove the bullet.

 

“All done,” Kara straightened and used clean gauze to put pressure on the wound. Lena still grimaced but removed the belt from her mouth to take another swig of scotch, “you think you’ve had enough?” Kara chastised.

 

“Tell you what, I’ll shoot you for real next time and you can go through the same thing without anaesthetic,” she snapped back.

 

“Why can’t you just be grateful? I saved your life!”

 

“You’re right! Thank you for ruining my mission and getting me shot, I’m so grateful to you,” Lena shot back. Kara bit her tongue and sat back down. She removed the gauze and poured antiseptic onto some fresh gauze so she could clean the wound.

 

“This is gonna sting,” she mumbled. Lena hissed when it was placed on her stomach, Kara would usually find a little pleasure in causing Lena some kind of pain, she’d kicked the shit out of Kara enough times but, the guilt had begun to ensue. Lena was right, it was her fault that she was in this position and that was something Kara would have to carry, something she would have to come to terms with and something she would have to learn from.

 

Kara dabbed at the wound clearing the dried blood away, “I’m gonna stitch you up now,” she murmured, not even waiting for a response, going ahead and sterilizing the needle.

 

Lena looked at her face, she was clearly feeling guilty about what happened, she looked like a kicked puppy, bottom lip jutting out in a killer pout. Lena rolled her eyes and dropped her head back on the table. Her head was throbbing and she didn’t really care about Kara and her feelings at this point, she just wanted to get patched up and get out of here. She wasn’t going to let Kara worm her way out of this by guilt tripping her.

 

The silence between them was deafening, Lena was trying to focus on ignoring the pain and Kara kept her mouth shut, working with speed and precision, Lena at least deserved her best work. She placed the final piece of gauze over the neatly stitched bullet hole and taped it to her skin to keep it clean and protected. Kara cleaned up and went to go get a bag of ice for her face.

 

“Can you sit up?” Kara asked, voice still void of any emotion, Lena nodded and gently eased herself up. She kept her eyes cast down so she didn’t have to look at Kara’s face, stupid damn pout. That was apparently unavoidable, Kara tilted her chin up and shined a light in her eyes to check whether her pupils dilated. She removed the torch and began looking at her facial injuries: a black eye, a split lip, copious amounts of bruising and a nasty cut on her forehead.

 

Lena had to look at her, unable to let her head drop down. Her perfect posture had dropped and her face was down-turned in a frown, her lips still pouty. It tugged on Lena’s cold, dead heartstrings, she blamed the fact that she was probably 80% scotch at this point.

 

No, she’s not going to win, ignore it, do not crack. New mission objective: remove the pout.

 

“Hey, what am I gonna do now?” She joked, Kara hummed in confusion. “I’ve got nothing going for me without my looks, remember?” Her tone was humorous but, she got no response from Kara.

 

“I don’t think your head is gonna need stitches,” she gently cleaned her face, wiping a damp cloth across her face, her fingers gently gripping her chin and keeping her head in place while she worked.

 

She handed her the ice pack, “you should ice your face, it’ll help with the bruising,” Kara looked bleak, her tone full of sorrow. She turned and mumbled something about getting Lena another shirt.

 

Lena groaned, internally, fine you win, Danvers. She actually felt bad for the way she’d spoken to Kara. She didn’t have to help her, Kara could have just left her to die.

 

“Kara, wait,” she lightly gripped Kara’s wrist, it didn’t take much strength to turn her around, just a soft tug and those sad, blue eyes met apologetic, green ones. “I’m sorry,” Lena said, sincerely. “I didn’t mean it, I was just in pain… and probably slightly drunk,” Kara raised an eyebrow. “Okay, a lot drunk, but it’s only ‘cos I have, like, no blood right now. Any other time and I would drink you under the table.” She pointed at Kara and smiled, “thank you for being my back up and thank you for saving my life.” It was a tough pill for her to swallow but she’d come to the realisation that without Kara she would most likely be dead right now. “It wasn’t your fault, shit happens,” she shrugged.

 

“Maybe you should start wearing kevlar,” Kara teased, the smile creeping back onto her face. Lena huffed out a laugh,

 

“I’ll think about it,” she whispered, Kara shuffled closer to her and looked down, catching sight of her wrists, they were cut up due to the zip ties. She picked up the antiseptic and cleaned her wrists, bandaging them gently, Lena watched her closely, observing the care she was taking. “Thanks” she murmured when Kara looked up again, Lena met her intense gaze.

 

“You okay?” Kara asked, voice barely above a whisper and Lena nodded, their faces were mere inches apart. Kara lifted her hand and tucked Lena’s hair behind her ear, her thumb lightly brushing her cheek. Kara glanced down at her lips and her tongue darted out to wet her own. She desperately wanted to lean in and kiss her, make sure she was real, that this was real but, she was reminded of just how much scotch Lena had drank. She stepped away and went to the refrigerator, grabbing her a bottle of water and tossing it to her.

 

“Promise you haven’t spiked it?” Lena teased and Kara rolled her eyes.

 

“Would you even believe me if I promised that?”

 

“Nope,” Lena said, opening the bottle and draining it easily. Kara left her to it and went to find some spare clothes, passing them to her and then going to take a shower.

 

Kara leaned her head against the tiled wall, letting out a deep sigh. She couldn’t figure out why Lena had such a hold on her, she was genuinely worried when she saw how badly Lena was injured.  It was like being sucker punched in the gut, desperately trying to stay composed. Lena had integrated herself into her life and in the short time Kara had known her it felt like she had physically embedded herself into Kara’s mind. She didn’t want to let her go just yet, she’d seen something in those eyes, a level of uncertainty, a flash of something real. She wanted to dig deeper, find the real Lena.

 

She’d seen the softer side to her, the way she interacted with Hero, managed to build a connection with him in a matter of minutes. The way she had apologised a few moments ago, it was real, it was honest, it was Lena. She didn’t have to do that, she could have left Kara to wallow in her guilt but, instead, she comforted her.

 

She shook off her thoughts and continued to get washed up.  

 

Lena felt awkward, sat on the edge of the table swinging her legs back and forth. She got changed and was itching to leave, she knew the CIA would have been alerted that the safe house had been accessed. She just hoped that they had been informed of who’s warehouse was ablaze and would be too focused on that to investigate.

 

The alcohol in her system was really hitting her and the paranoia was setting in, she needed to get out of here. The longer Kara stayed in the bathroom, the more anxious Lena became. She couldn’t stop the thoughts running through her mind, she kept picturing Kara calling in an entire SWAT team to detain her. Her head was fuzzy and she suddenly felt as if the walls were closing in on her, making the decision to leave, she bolted for the door.

 

Kara emerged from the bathroom a moment later and Lena looked like a deer caught in headlights. She kept glancing between the door and Kara.

 

“You’re okay, Lena. You’re safe here” Kara gripped her arms and squeezed lightly, she ducked her head and made eye contact with her, “no one is going to come here.”

 

Lena felt dizzy, she couldn’t really think straight. She was overwhelmed and the last place she wanted to be was in a CIA safe house. She tried to make her way to the exit but Kara stopped her, holding her back.

 

“Lena, hold on a second. You can’t go out there on your own, not in your condition-”

 

“I’m not staying here, Kara!”

 

“Okay,” Kara kept her voice low and steady, “so we’ll go somewhere else, someone needs to keep an eye on you, I don’t think the bullet ruptured anything but, that’s still a possibility and something tells me you’re not gonna agree to go to the hospital?” Lena shook her head. “So, I’ll take you home”

 

Lena scoffed, “I’m not telling you where I live”

 

“What about my place? You can hang out with Hero,” she smiled, Lena bit her lip and contemplated her decision. Kara was right, she could have some kind of internal bleeding and she’d rather not die tonight, today had already been exhausting enough already.

 

“Okay.” Lena said. Kara smiled and they cleaned up the safe house, removing any trace of them being there. They stepped out onto the street and Kara wrapped her arm around Lena’s hip pulling her close. Lena looked at her strangely,

 

“It’s a bit of a walk to the car and you’re wasted,” she whispered into her ear. Lena snorted but, allowed her to keep her arm there. They walked for around half an hour, Kara held her close but, was extremely careful of her stomach. Kara helped her into the car and drove them back to her apartment.

 

“Why are you being so nice to me?” Lena asked.

 

“Are people not usually nice to you?” Kara replied.

 

“Don’t avoid the question,” Lena stared her down and Kara laughed.

 

“I’ve always been that way, I like helping people, plus I kinda got you shot.” Lena looked at her and went to say something when Kara’s phone rang through the speakers. “It’s my boss,” she said before answering the call, “Danvers.”

 

“Where the fuck have you been? I’ve been calling you for an hour.”

 

“Sorry, I had a late gym session and then crashed as soon as I got home,” she lied.

 

“There’s been an incident. Warehouse explosion down by the river,”

 

“What does that have to do with us?” She asked, feigning confusion.

 

“The warehouse belonged to Albert Roscoe. I need you down here ASAP, I’m sending you the address now.” Lena tensed, waiting for Kara to say she had the perpetrator in custody already.

 

“On my way.” She ended the call and looked over at Lena.

 

“Thank you,” she murmured, Kara waved her off.

 

“They don’t need to know about you, Roscoe was a piece of shit. I guess that means you owe me now,” Kara said, raising her eyebrows. The tension in Lena’s body immediately turned into outrage.

 

“No way, you didn’t help me, you hindered my progress,” Lena said, indignantly and Kara laughed, loudly.

 

“I’m kidding.” Kara said, Lena pouted. They pulled up outside of Kara’s apartment building and Kara helped Lena out of the car and up the stairs to her apartment. Hero bounded over to her and jumped up excitedly, “hey, buddy!”

 

She made a huge fuss over him and he soon spotted Lena behind her and went to jump all over her but, Kara grabbed his collar at the last second, pulling him back. “No, Hero. You have to be gentle.” Lena carefully crouched down and stroked him, while Kara held onto him. He licked her hands and then flopped over onto his back.

 

“You’re such a softie” Lena cooed, rubbing his belly. Kara smiled softly, watching the way Lena interacted with her dog. Kara knew she’d made the right decision.

 

“I gotta go get changed and then head to work, but, um, make yourself at home, I guess?” She shrugged and stood up. Hero followed her up the stairs to her room and Lena was left to stand awkwardly in front of the door until Kara came back down, dressed in suit pants and a white shirt. “Have you moved at all?” Lena shook her head, slightly.

 

Kara grabbed her hand and led her to the couch, pushing her to sit down, “bathroom is upstairs off the bedroom, there’s food in the fridge, I’ve cancelled my dog walker for the day so, you won’t be disturbed. Sober up, I’ll be back soon.” She grabbed her stuff and headed to the door,

 

“Wait,” Lena said, Kara turned to face her, “how do I know you’re not gonna turn me in?”

 

Kara understood her concern, “well, for starters I can’t arrest you without implicating myself which would probably get me fired. Secondly, I’m not letting some other asshole arrest you, that collar,” she pointed at Lena, “is mine.” She said, sincerely. Lena ducked her head so Kara couldn’t see her grin. She was just going to have to trust her.

 

Kara took her silence as a good sign and made her exit, “make sure she behaves herself,” she said to Hero as she was leaving.

 

Lena sat bolt upright on the couch, this was quite possibly the strangest situation she’d ever been in. She should leave, she should definitely leave but, she also didn’t want to reject Kara’s hospitality and she still had a mission to complete. She took a deep breath and tried to relax, it was uncomfortable to sit with her stitches so, she kicked off her shoes and laid on the couch. The events of the night had taken its toll on her body and Kara’s couch was surprisingly comfortable, she fell asleep quickly. Hero curled up on the floor next to her and napped.

 

__________

 

Kara took a detour on the way down to the river. She called an old friend on the way, cashing in on a favour.

 

“This is the last time, Kara”

 

“I know, I know. I can’t thank you enough, Em.” Kara greeted, she handed her the sample, “I’ve really got to go, thank you again!” She turned and jogged back to her car.

 

“I’ll text you” she called.

 

Kara hopped back into her car and sped away. She pulled into the industrial complex and watched as the fire crews drove away, the warehouse was pretty much a pile of ash at this point. Kara jumped out of the car and hurried over to where her boss was standing.

 

“Danvers,”

 

“Sir,” she nodded in greeting, “do we know what happened?” J'onn turned to look at her.

 

“No, witnesses heard a loud explosion at around 2am, they saw the flames and called the fire department, they’ve been battling the blaze for the past three hours. No witnesses to the explosion itself and no survivors” J'onn explained.

 

“Was Roscoe inside?” Kara asked, she put her hands on her hips and surveyed the area.

 

“We’ll find out soon, forensics are on the way,” J'onn turned to her again, “Schott told me you had an informant that talked about Roscoe?”

 

“Yeah, they mentioned something about a shipment arriving last night, I thought it was a good lead but, then Winn showed me the past operations, so I didn’t follow up on it.” Kara explained, it technically wasn’t a lie, she had nothing to do with the warehouse explosion she was just a witness but, a witness that shouldn’t have been anywhere near there.

 

“Have you heard from them since?” He asked.

 

“No sir, I’ll check in with them,”

 

“Get a list of Roscoe’s known premises and get surveillance teams on them. If Roscoe isn’t here, he’s going to be out for vengeance and who knows who will end up in the firing line.”

 

“Yes, sir” she got back in her car and drove to headquarters. She drew up the list and organised the surveillance but, she knew it was redundant, Roscoe was dead, she just needed forensics to confirm the DNA. Consequently, it was a long, boring, unnecessary day of work.

 

__________

 

Kara got home that evening, exhausted from having been up all night and working all day. Lena was asleep on the couch, Hero was curled up by her feet, his head popped up when he heard the door open. “Hey, buddy, have you been good?” He yawned and rested his head on the arm of the couch, “what, no greeting?” She held her arms out and looked at him. He stood, stretched and jumped off the couch, trotting over to her, “well, I’m sorry I’m such an inconvenience” she whispered, leaning down to pet him.

 

Kara had formed a plan in head on the drive home, if she was going to get Lena to open up then she would have to use the one thing that made her soften, Hero.

 

Lena stirred and stretched languidly, forgetting about her stitches, she hissed in pain as they pulled. “Whoa, hey, be careful,” Kara went over and sat on the coffee table opposite her, “can I?” Lena nodded, still groggy. Kara lifted her shirt and peeled back the gauze, checking the stitches. “You’re good,” Kara watched her as she slowly woke up, her cheeks were flushed, her hair was mussed and she looked so soft and sleepy.

 

“Hey,” she said, her voice thick with sleep.

 

“Hey,” Kara whispered, “what kind of trouble have you got yourself into today?” She joked.

 

“None, Hero and I have just slept all day,” she replied.

 

“What?” She looked between Lena and Hero, jealous of the pair, “you let her sleep all day? Huh, lazy boy? Are you trying to get her to pick up your bad habits?” She wound him up, getting him all excited, playing with him. Lena smiled softly at the pair, Kara looked up and caught the smile.

 

Kara wasn’t acting any differently towards Hero but, she knew that if she wanted to get Lena to stick around, a cute dog was the way to go. “Have you eaten?” Lena shook her head, “well you’re in luck, ‘cos me and Hero make the best chicken alfredo, don’t we, buddy?” She stood up and walked towards the kitchen.

 

Lena stood up and followed her, pinching her brow, “how’s your head?” Kara teased.

 

“It’s pounding,” Kara laughed, handing her a bottle of water and tossing her a pack of aspirin. “Thanks.” Kara set to work gathering the ingredients for the food.

 

“We’re in the clear, by the way” Kara said over her shoulder, Lena hummed, currently downing the water as quickly as she could. “No witnesses, no evidence. The warehouse was completely destroyed.”

 

“See, that’s what happens when you work with me. Things get done right,” Lena noticed the fact that she’d used ‘we’ instead of ‘you’.

 

Kara scoffed, “I do things right, we just work… differently” Lena laughed and Kara looked over her shoulder, “What?”

 

“Yeah, but I’m always right,” Lena stepped behind her and leaned over her shoulder, “for example,” she murmured into her ear, Kara’s hand stopped when she heard Lena’s sultry voice in her ear, before recovering quickly, “you’re chopping the chicken wrong.” Kara’s head dropped forward and she chuckled lightly. She put the knife down and turned around.

 

“Are you always this fucking annoying?” Kara asked, backing her up against the counter.

 

“It’s one of my very few personality traits,” Lena said, batting her eyelashes.

 

“Of all the traits you could have developed, that’s the one you picked?” Lena nodded. Kara would only admit it to herself but, even with a face that was currently black and blue, Lena was still beautiful. Kara, cupped her chin lightly and inspected her face. Kara was desperately fighting her instinct to kiss her, Kara still didn’t fully trust Lena, they were two very different people and on the complete opposite sides of the law. Kara was toeing the line but, there was something so alluring about Lena and Kara may have a little bit of a hero complex.

 

“What’s the verdict? Am I still pretty enough to be interesting?” She pouted.

 

“Hmm, you’ll do.” Kara said, “you don’t have anyone else to impress, right?” Kara looked down at her lips, ignoring all the her rational thoughts and leaning in to kiss her when her stupid, loud fucking stomach growled and ruined the moment. Lena laughed and pushed her away.

 

“Go make your food,” Lena said. She eased herself onto a chair and played with Hero while Kara cooked dinner. It felt strange, almost domestic but, Lena played her part, perfectly. She could see that she was getting under Kara’s skin, knew that Kara wanted her, it was just a matter of time.

 

Kara was halfway through making dinner when she got a text.

 

Em: O+

 

“O Positive.” Kara said over her shoulder.

 

“What?” she asked, eyes still focused on Hero.

 

“Your blood type, it’s O Positive” Kara said. Lena’s brow furrowed and she stood up.

 

“How do you know that?” Lena’s tone was icy and Kara froze, immediately knowing she’d fucked up. She switched the gas off and turned to face Lena.

 

“I asked a friend to… test a sample of your blood,” she winced when Lena recoiled.

 

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Lena hit the roof, yelling at Kara. “You took my blood, without my permission and had it put on some fucking system?”

 

“No, no, it’s not going on any kind of system, they don’t even know your name, the sample was destroyed as soon as they identified the type, I swear.” Kara held her hands up in surrender.

 

“Oh, and I’m supposed to trust you?”

 

“Lena, you need to know your blood type! This life is dangerous, you can’t run around without knowing vital information about yourself, do you know how lucky you were? How much blood you lost?” Kara was getting heated now.

 

“Don’t act like you did me a favour-”

 

“This was more than just a favour! This could save your life one day!” she pulled her tags out from under her shirt, “why do you think I wear mine around my fucking neck?”

 

“Fuck you, Kara” Lena’s voice was low. Every time she thought she was getting through to Kara, she pulled some bullshit like this. Lena stormed out of the kitchen and pulled her shoes on, wincing as pain shot through her stomach. She ignored it and she ignored Kara calling her name.

 

“Lena, wait,” Kara grabbed her elbow and pulled her back, “don’t go, this isn’t a big deal”

 

“It is to me.” Lena’s eyes were dark and cold. Kara watched as she walked, slamming the door behind her. She ran her hands over her face and through her hair.

 

“Fuck!” She shouted, the sound echoing through the apartment.

 

__________

 

Lena was so angry, her stomach hurt, her head was throbbing and now she had to walk home, not to mention she was late to check in and Talia wasn’t going to be happy. She couldn’t understand what was going through Kara’s head and why she thought she had the right to do that.

 

Lena got back to her apartment and realised she was around three hours late for check-in.  Lena went through the security check and waited for Talia to speak.

 

“Were you successful?” Talia gruff voice came through the speaker.

 

“Yes, Roscoe is dead and the shipment has been destroyed. No witnesses, no evidence.” Lena reeled off easily.

 

“Well done.” She said, simply, void of any emotion. “Why were you late for check in?” Talia asked.

 

“I took a bullet to the left side of my abdomen on the way out, I had to get medical attention,” she explained.

 

“You went to the hospital?” Talia accused, her voice low.

 

“No. Danvers showed up, she stitched me up after we got away”

 

“Interesting,” she perked up. “She’s obviously developed some form of feelings towards you,” Lena rolled her eyes, she didn’t want to talk about Kara right now, “I want you to come back to base and get checked out properly.” 

 

“Of course, I’ll head back now.” She shut the communicator off and packed up the stuff she would need, her stitches twinged every time she moved and it was driving her crazy.

 

__________

 

Lena had been back at base for over a week now, she’d had her wound looked at and every scan available to make sure she wasn’t bleeding internally or had any organ damage. Kara was right she was lucky, her blood pressure was low due to the heavy loss.

 

She felt fine now, her face was almost healed and she was kept on bed rest for the past week. Finally, finally she was free to go, she still needed to keep her stitches in but, she was allowed pain relief now so she could go back to active duty although, she still needed to be careful.

 

Currently, she was sat in briefing for yet another mission with a large team, it wasn’t as long as the Caddel briefing but it was still boring.

 

They were branching out into private security, which Lena found strange but, she knew better than to question it. They were going undercover on a train to protect members of the Royal Family of  Denmark. The Crown Prince and Princess, they were travelling from Copenhagen to Stockholm for some kind of meeting and they had received threats to life. Lena zoned back in towards the end of the meeting.

 

“Any questions?” Rhea asked.

 

“I have one,” Leslie ‘Livewire’ Willis piped up. Lena bit her lip and turned to Sam, there is a reason she’s called Livewire and this would be good. Rhea nodded for her to continue,

 

“If they are part of the Royal Family, why are they using us? Don’t they have their own damn secret service or something they can use instead?” The best thing about Leslie was she said what everyone was thinking. Rhea sighed,

 

“They will have their own security on the train. However, we are familiar with the terrorist organisation who have made the threats and therefore, are better equipped to deal with it.” Rhea explained.

 

“Which terrorist group?” Leslie asked.

 

“You don’t need to know that information.” Leslie scoffed and Lena sat up, of course we need to know.

 

“Wouldn’t it be beneficial to know who we’re up against? Then we would know what we’re dealing with.” Leslie held her arms out like it was obvious, she needed to be careful of her attitude. “Look, I just think there’s something we’re not being told. I don’t want to go into this without knowing all the information,” Leslie explained.

 

“You have been given all the intel we have,” Rhea said with finality but Leslie couldn’t let it go.

 

“It just makes no sense to me-”

 

“Are you refusing this mission, Livewire?” Talia boomed and the room went deathly silent. Talia had been leaning in the doorway, observing the whole situation and the older woman did not look happy.

 

“No.” Leslie said, “I just want to know, if we are familiar with this group, is there a chance that one of us could be recognised and the whole operation blown?” Leslie asked, politely this time.

 

“Not to our knowledge no,” Talia said, honestly. “We don’t even know whether the terrorists will show up, it’s just a threat. You could, potentially, just get paid for sitting on a train for five hours,” Talia made it sound like it was going to be easy, it clearly placated Leslie, she backed off and sat back down.

 

Two days later and Lena was boarding the train alongside Sam. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were already on board. The train was an old fashioned steam train disguised as a tourist event to avoid suspicion, the aim was to look like a group of tourists travelling through Scandinavia. The doors were guarded by secret service members and they were checked before they were allowed to enter the train.

 

Lena knew using a steam train posed so many security risks, but it’s not like she had a say in the matter, they would just have to be on high alert at all times and keep up the communication via radio because moving between carriages wasn’t logical.

 

They were paired off into Strike teams covering the entrance and exit of each carriage, Lena was paired with Sam and they sat facing each other, a table separating them, Sam had brought a deck of cards, insisting that, 1) they needed to look like real passengers and 2) if they were sat here for five hours, it was going to be fucking boring.

 

“How’s it going with your fuck buddy?” Sam teased, shuffling the deck. Lena rolled her eyes hard and groaned, “that good, huh?” She laughed.

 

“She’s not my fuck buddy, not even close” Lena didn’t want to talk about Kara, she didn’t want the think about Kara. Admittedly, she’d begun to trust her and Kara threw it back in her face. “Do you know what your blood type is?” She asked.

 

“No, of course not.” Sam frowned, “the docs have all that information, I’ve never needed to know, do you know yours?” Lena nodded, softly.

 

“When I got shot, Kara made a big deal about me not knowing, she said it was vital information,” Lena said and Sam looked ridiculously confused. “Right? She has hers on the tags around her neck,”

 

“Yeah, but, that’s military procedure they have to have that, it makes it easier for them to get treatment quickly and it’s probably difficult to find the relevant documents when they’re abroad.” Sam said, dealing the cards. “We don’t need to know because they have our medical records on file,” Sam said.

 

“Exactly! So she takes a sample of my blood and has it tested, acting as if she’s done me a favour!” Sam’s eyes widened. “We argued about it and I left,”

 

“Ah, you think she’ll be begging for forgiveness,” Sam joked. Lena laughed and shook her head.

 

“I don’t think she’s the type but, I reckon if she really cares, she’ll work hard to rebuild the trust.” Lena was trying to come up with a plan to handle the situation with Kara. She really shouldn’t have flown off the handle like that, she should have faked it but, it was getting harder and harder to keep up a persona around Kara. Quite frankly, it was exhausting, pretending to be someone else all the time.

 

“Well, regardless of the severe breach of trust, she obviously cared enough to find out your blood type,” Sam said.

 

“Well, this may be easier than I thought,” Lena laughed.

 

They were around three hours into the journey when the driver radioed them.

 

“We will be stopping at Norrköping in 30 minutes,” Lena and Sam looked up from their cards.

 

“I thought we weren’t supposed to be stopping until we get to Stockholm?” Sam said.

 

“We’re not.” Lena replied. They heard Rhea reply, questioning the decision.

 

“We’ve had communication from the Piketen, they’ve requested we stop so they can investigate the train.” He explained.

 

The Piketen are similar to a SWAT team, they are the Reinforced Regional Task Force. They are usually called upon when a situation is deemed too dangerous for the police. It made sense as to why they would want to be on board, the train was in their jurisdiction but, something didn’t sit right with Lena.

 

The Piketen are a specialist task force dealing with counter terrorism, riot control, high-risk arrests and hostage rescues. Lena knew the National Task Force was probably better equipped to deal with a terrorist situation, they specialised in this kind of stuff and they operated in the areas the Piketen couldn’t reach as they were based in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo. They were two hours away from their closest headquarters in Stockholm and Lena could feel the unrest bubbling in her stomach.

 

“I don’t get it, the train doesn’t need to stop, we should just go straight to Stockholm and deal with the consequences later. As long as the Prince and Princess get there safe what does it matter?” Lena said.

 

“They must have got clearance beforehand?” Sam said, she was just as confused as Lena.

 

They heard the confirmation from the Danish Secret Service and Rhea followed with her own. Lena could see the unease in Sam’s eyes.

 

“Rhea’s not even on this fucking train and she’s giving confirmation, that doesn’t sit right with me,” Sam said and Lena agreed. “Do you think she consulted Talia at all?”

 

“This was Rhea’s operation, she’s the lead. She doesn’t have to consult Talia but, for an operation as big as this? I would have,” Lena said.

 

“There’s something not right about this,” Sam shook her head.

 

“I don’t know about you but, I’m going to be prepared when they get on this train,” Lena said, un-holstering her weapon and loading a bullet into the chamber. Sam nodded and did the same. The pair called down to the Strike Team and the end of the carriage and they stayed on guard. No one radioed the rest of the teams, simply because Rhea was on the same frequency and it would be undermining her authority.

 

Lena tensed as they pulled into the station. Ten heavily armed guys were waiting, dressed in full, black tactical gear, face masks, helmets and kevlar vests.

 

“They couldn’t have gone with a little subtlety at all? This is a public station and they’re dressed like that,” Sam said, Lena had an uneasy feeling about this situation.

 

“Why only ten?” She pondered.

 

“Maybe they know about all the extra security,” Sam shrugged, but, she too was on the edge of her seat. Lena did a quick sweep, since when did they carry AK-74s?

 

They watched as the group split up and boarded different carriages. “The Piketen carry LWRC M6’s not AK-74’s” she whispered.

 

Sam turned and pulled her weapon. “You’re sure?”


”I’d bet my life on it.” Lena said pulling her weapon and calling it in. “We are compromised. We are compromised, the terrorists are on board. The terrorists are dressed as the Piketen. Repeat, the Piketen are a threat to life, shoot to kill.” 

 

After that things were a little hazy. Close contact gun fights were always messy. The good news was that there were only ten terrorists on board. The bad news, they had nothing to lose and the World Killers were unprepared, out-gunned and without body armour.

 

Sam stood while Lena called it it and fired a bullet straight into the neck of the guy entering their carriage.

 

“Nice shot,” Lena said, she yelled to the to girls down at the end of the carriage to guard the exit. “No one comes through that door, unless they’re one of us,” she ordered. Sam and Lena picked up the assault riffles and moved to proceed up to the front of the train.

 

“Two teams in carriage one, stay and protect the driver. The rest of the Strike teams begin moving to the centre of the train and protect the Prince and Princess,” Rhea demanded. Sam and Lena moved up to the next carriage. The train was still moving at high speed, Lena held the door open, wind whipping through her hair. The problem with the steam train was that it didn’t have a gangway connection, which meant moving from carriage to carriage was dangerous.

 

Fucking steam train.

 

They could hear the bullets being fired and could see Templer and Baroness taking cover behind the final row of chairs. The second team were caught in the crossfire, crouched on the seats of the middle row.

 

Sam threw a smoke grenade into the carriage and the two girls used the opportunity to crouch down low and run down the aisle and fire at close range taking them out. Sam instructed them to stay behind and take care of the other two girls who were wounded in the fight. Sam and Lena moved on to the next carriage which was empty but, they could hear a gun being fired close by. They hurried to the next carriage but that was also empty.

 

Lena and Sam could hear screaming coming from somewhere, they ran down the aisle, taking less care than they should have. The door at the end of the carriage slammed against the wall and quite possibly the biggest guy Lena had ever seen came barrelling through the door. He was at least a foot taller than Lena, built like a house, he made his assault rifle look like a fucking pistol.

 

Oh, shit.

 

They both froze but the terrorist reacted first, he lifted his weapon and fired. The gun clicked and Lena flinched, holy shit, he’s out! Maybe I really am lucky.

 

She ran at him, lodging her knee up into his groin, he pushed her away and crumpled, Sam took the opportunity to raise her weapon and aim it at his neck. He recovered quickly, sticking one hand out to grab her wrist and swung his other, his right first connecting with Sam’s face. She hit the floor and Lena flew at him, she landed an uppercut and an elbow to his gut but this guy was strong. She reckoned he could get hit by a bus and do more damage to the bus. He fisted his hands in her shirt and dragged her out into the cold air, she threw every she had at him but, he brushed it off, if anything it made him angrier. He lifted her easily, he’s gonna throw me off this fucking train.

 

She gripped his hands and tried to pull them off of her, attempting to scratch at his face, she pulled the mask off and he smirked dangling her over the edge.

 

“Fine, but if I’m going, you’re coming with me.” 

She pulled her gun and fired her last bullet into his knee cap, he screamed and collapsed forward and the both toppled off the train.

 

__________

 

Lena must have a guardian angel watching over her because, she fell from a moving train, off a bridge and into a lake below.

 

I fucking love Sweden.

 

She hit the water at an awkward angle, all the breath rushing from her body. She kicked her legs and resurfaced a few moments later, she had difficulty breathing but she swam far away from where she’d hit. Lena wasn’t sure where the other guy landed and he could easily still be alive and he’d be really fucking pissed.

 

Slowly, she regained control of her breathing and swam to the bank, hauling herself up and out of the water. Her first thought was that she was freezing, the water was ice cold and Sweden wasn’t exactly the warmest place she’d ever been. She lifted her shirt and sighed, she’d torn the stitches in her stomach, she was bleeding but, not as badly as when she was first shot.

 

Lena had no clue where she was but, she figured that if she could find a road, she could make her way to the city and get to the rendezvous point.

 

Her thoughts turned to what happened on the train. That was an ambush, they knew exactly what they were doing and they were going to take out everyone they could. Lena couldn’t get over the fact that Rhea had given the confirmation without hesitation, it was completely against procedure and out of character. Something was very wrong.

 

When Lena got into the city centre, she realised they hadn’t made it out of Norrköping however, she was soaking wet and shivering, she had to avoid people and security cameras because, she would stick out like a sore thumb and word about the attempted hijacking would have already spread to the Swedish authorities. So, she hot wired a car and drove to Stockholm, turning up the heat all the way, she reached the Capital in record, breaking a few speed limits on the way.

 

Lena pulled up a few streets away from the station and walked the rest of the way, it was absolute chaos. Ambulances and police cars blocked off the entire street, Lena immediately turned and left, not wanting to get caught up in that. She drove to the rendezvous point, a disused airstrip and got out of the car.

 

Sam saw her and immediately ran over, throwing her arms around Lena’s neck. “I thought we lost you,” she whispered in her ear.

 

“It will take a lot more then that to kill me,” she joked, hugging her back. “Did we lose anyone?” Sam let her go and they returned to the group.

 

“No, a few injured but no loss of life and the Prince and Princess are also alive and unharmed so overall, it was successful.” Sam said.

 

“It was an utter shit show,” Lena said. She checked in with the other girls, making sure everyone was okay, before changing into some dry clothes and warming up.

 

The group was shipped back to base shortly after and were led straight into a debrief. Lena was praised for her quick thinking but, she couldn’t bask in the glory like she usually would. She looked around at the faces surrounding the table, there were a few missing due to them being treated in Medical, she couldn’t help but focus on the chilling thought that if she hadn’t called it in there would be a lot fewer people here tonight.

 

Rhea was acting as if this mission was a raving success, she said it was a prime example of how their intense training worked so well. Lena observed the facial expressions of the other women, they kept a neutral stance but, Lena could see the unrest in their eyes. The debrief ended quickly and they got up to leave, she received pats of the back and thanks from the entire team and waited until the coast was clear to drag Sam into a dark corner.

 

“Please tell me you’re thinking the same thing?” Lena whispered.

 

Sam nodded, “it was a set up, a sloppy one, but a set up all the same. They were there for an ambush, someone tipped them off.”

 

“It’s happened before, the night I was set up with the CIA. We put it down to Krypton being paranoid but, now I’m not so sure,” Lena hummed. She looked around to see if they were being watched.

 

“Do you think we have a mole?” Sam asked.

 

“I don’t know just yet but, I’m not staying here. I’m heading back to Virginia, tonight.” Sam nodded. They agreed that she would go to her place in Italy, keeping away from Headquarters for as long as possible until they could figure out what was going on.

 

__________

 

Kara hadn’t seen Lena since she stormed out of her apartment. Hindsight is a beautiful thing and Kara knew that she’d crossed a line when it came to Lena but, in the moment, she thought she was doing what was best for her.

 

Kara felt like she’d seen Lena everywhere in the past few days.

 

Hero was whining at something when she took him for walk in the park but, every time she looked around she couldn’t see anyone. She swore she saw Lena at the grocery store but it was just some woman with the same dark hair. It was frustrating, Lena still aggravated the shit out of her but, she still wanted to make sure that Lena was okay, that she was recovering well.

 

She’d heard absolutely nothing until almost three weeks later when Lena came crashing through her the window and onto the floor at 1am. Hero startled and started barking, Kara was wide awake in a matter of seconds and reached for her firearm. Hero ran down the stairs, growling, which turned into a whine when he nosed at the figure on the floor. Kara switched on the light and let out a breath.

 

“What the fuck are you doing?” Lena groaned. “Are you drunk?” Kara asked.

 

“Are you wearing Superman boxers?” She snorted. Kara looked down and noticed she was clutching her stomach.

 

Lena had been in Virginia for a week but had developed a nasty cold from her brief dip in the lake. She’d been in bed, suffering for the past seven days and, with all the commotion, had completely forgotten about her ruptured stitches. She felt like death and the, now infected, wound on her stomach was making her feel even worse. She desperately needed medical attention but, the hospital was out of the question. That only left one option.

 

“What happened?” She asked, pulling Lena to her feet. She immediately buckled and doubled over in pain. Kara caught her, one arm under her shoulder, holding her up. She lead her to the couch and laid her down, lifting up her shirt. Kara could see she’d torn at least three stitches and now there was a nasty infection. The wound was red and swollen, it looked angry and painful, Lena was clearly suffering.

 

“I didn’t know where else to go,” Lena said.

 

“Lena, you need to go to the hospital-”

 

“No! No hospitals. No doctors. If you can’t help me, I’ll go somewhere else,” she went to sit up but Kara pushed her back down.

 

“I’ll do what I can. Stay there.” Kara gathered her first aid kit, and rounded the couch, pulling the coffee table closer to Lena. “These should have been removed a while ago,” Kara said. She started snipping at the stitches removing them gently. Kara felt her forehead, she had a fever which meant the infection could be worse than it looked.

 

“I have a cold. That’s why I have a fever,” Lena murmured, turning her head away from Kara.

 

“What happened?” Kara asked. The would had healed well however, it was open where the last three stitches were.

 

“It involved a train, The Thing and a freezing, cold lake,” she said. Kara had obviously heard about the attack on the Danish Royal Family.

 

“What did you do?” Kara tone was accusatory.

 

“Don’t judge me, I was part of the security detail,” Kara looked up at her, “I’m not always the villain,” she chuckled.

 

“So, how did you end up in a lake?”

 

“This guy was huge, he was like 6’7, 300lbs of pure muscle, pretty much the poster boy for steroids.” Kara laughed at the image. “He brushed off every attack like it was nothing. He lifts me off the ground like I weigh nothing and he goes to throw me off the train. So, I shot him in the knee and we both went over the side.” Kara couldn’t help but laugh. “I always win,” she chuckled.

 

“I have no words,” she cleaned up her wound and applied some adhesive strips to keep it clean and then dabbed some antiseptic cream on it before, covering it with a dressing. “You’re good to go,” Lena sat up and watched as Kara cleaned up.

 

“Thank you,” she whispered, Kara smiled but Lena could tell it was fake. “I’m serious, I knew I’d be able to rely on you to help me,” she grabbed Kara’s arm, “and I’m sorry for leaving the way I did” Kara took a deep breath.

 

“I’m sorry for taking your blood and having it tested, I understand why you reacted the way you did.” Hero stepped onto the couch and ducked his head under Lena’s arm, crying softly. Lena fussed over him while Kara cleaned up, “he missed you, yanno”

 

“I missed him too,” she cooed at the dog. Hero climbed onto the couch and laid down, putting his head in her lap. She stroked him and Kara sat on the arm of the couch and watched the interaction, maybe they weren’t so different.

 

Lena stood and made her way to the door, “I should leave you to sleep, thanks again.”

 

“Are you going to disappear on me again?” Kara called, Lena stopped and turned.

 

“See you around, Danvers,” she shot her a wink.

 

“Don’t do anything reckless!” Kara called after her.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The whole thing began with a call from Sam.

 

“Is the line secure?” Sam asked.

 

“Of course, what happened?” Lena had been out of the loop for a bit, she hadn’t been called up for a mission in a few weeks, Talia had said she needed to rest and re-cooperate, which she was grateful for.

 

“Purity and I were sent to Moscow on a reconnaissance mission, we were there for literally ten minutes before the full force of the FSB were on top of us.” Lena was bewildered, never once had they been caught on a surveillance mission. The point of those missions was to observe from afar, they didn’t get caught, it just wasn’t possible.

 

“Are you okay?” Lena’s voice was full of concern.

 

“I’m fine, but Julia took two bullets to the chest, she’s in surgery right now. We barely got out alive.” Sam’s voice was shaky.

 

“What the fuck is going on?” Lena said, sighing deeply. “This is the third mission, that we know of, that has gone wrong. Talia must be furious, nothing like this has ever happened before.”

 

“Whoever is doing this, they’re escalating quickly, within the space of a few months multiple missions have been compromised.” Lena hummed in agreement. It was almost as if they knew that they would be caught any day now, they were trying to acquire as much capital as possible before they were caught.

 

“I’m going to take some vacation time, do some investigating, see if there’s anything I can find out.” Lena would use every associate she had to find out the truth. Someone is trying to wipe out her family and she would not stand for it, she was going to hunt the perpetrator down and make them pay.

 

“Stay safe. I’ll try to see if I can push from the inside.”

 

“Be careful, go forth and conquer,”

 

“Endure and survive.” Sam finished. Lena ended the call and immediately called base, putting in her vacation request which was granted straight away.

 

__________

 

Kara was walking Hero through the park when she spotted Lena jogging on the other side of the field, thankfully she was wearing a shirt this time.

 

Kara crouched down and faced Hero, “okay, you’re gonna have to do your best impression of a lost dog. It’s all on you buddy.” She patted his head. “Who’s that?” She pointed behind him, his head whipped around and he spotted Lena, he took off at full speed across the grass to where Lena was jogging.

 

Kara just happened to forget to keep hold of his leash, whoops.

 

She gave him a few seconds head start and then went after him. By the time she got over there, Hero had stopped Lena and she was crouched down, stroking and petting him, his tail was wagging so much that the back end of his body was wiggling along with it.

 

“Hero!” Kara wheezed, having sprinted the whole way. “I’m sorry, he’s never done that before,” she said, as if she hadn’t instigated the whole thing. Lena looked up from under her cap and Kara could see in those bright, green eyes that she didn’t believe a word of it. Kara shot her a blinding smile and grabbed Hero’s leash with one hand and Lena’s with the other, helping her up.

 

“Did you plan that?” Lena, quirked an eyebrow.

 

“Of course not, I would never use my dog in that way, how dare you?” Kara said, with mock outrage and Lena smiled, looking down at her shoes. She wasn’t planning on seeing Kara, too focussed on her unauthorised mission but she was technically in the park by her home, it’s a nice park, okay?

 

“Do you want another chance to beat me at chess again?” Lena asked, they walked slowly towards the tables, Hero happily trotting between the pair.

 

Kara shook her head, “no, it’s too hard,” she whined, “how about you take me up on the offer of a sparring session? I’m heading to the gym after I drop Hero off at home, why don’t you come along?” Lena contemplated the offer, it would be good to blow off some steam and it would also be fun to beat Kara again.

 

“Okay, I’ll meet you there in half an hour?” Kara nodded and Lena jogged away, going home to get changed. Kara turned and made sure the coast was clear before bending down.

 

“High-five, buddy!” Hero put his paw up to her hand, “good boy, shall we go home?” She stroked his head and walked him home.

 

__________

 

Okay, so beating Kara isn’t as easy as I first thought.

 

They were on a level playing field now, no weapons, no armour, no surprises and Kara was really giving her a run for her money. Kara’s fighting style was precise, she aimed to inflict the largest amount of damage in the lowest amount of moves, her reflexes were fast and she was incredibly,almost deceptively, strong  

 

However, she wasn’t as agile as Lena, she had dodged many of Kara’s hits but, the ones she did land hurt like hell and it took her a few seconds to recover. Lena’s fighting style was fast, complicated moves that were difficult to predict and avoid. She landed more hits on Kara but they weren’t as powerful, she didn’t have as much strength behind her.

 

Kara was currently winning, having pinned Lena more times but, Lena didn’t give up easily, she flicked herself back to her feet and prepared to go again.

 

She kept her guard up and blocked Kara’s right hook but missed the left fist that slammed into her ribs, knocking the wind out of her. She shoved Kara away, using the space to plan her next move. Kara grinned, stepping in and swinging an elbow at her jaw. Lena ducked, punching Kara’s exposed stomach. She hunched over but recovered, grabbing Lena’s flying fist. She threw her own into Lena’s shoulder and she recoiled in pain. Kara spun, still holding Lena, and threw her over her shoulder. She landed with a slam on her back.

 

Kara straddled her hips and captured her wrists, pinning her to the mat. “Okay, you win. I’m out,” Lena said. To her surprise, Kara didn’t parade around the ring like Lena expected; instead she helped Lena off the floor and passed her a water bottle.

 

“You’re good,” Kara said. “I mean, not as good as me but, still good.” Kara said, taking a swig of water.

 

Lena rolled her eyes, “I’m still recovering, remember” Kara scoffed.

 

“You’re fine,” Kara said, poking her side. Lena winced and hissed in faux pain, Kara laughed, “Shut up, I just threw you around this ring and you didn’t even flinch.” Kara pushed her and Lena chuckled.

 

“This was fun, thanks.” Lena said, taking a sip of water.

 

“So, I won. You know what that means,” Kara teased, brushing her shoulder against Lena’s.

 

“Uh uh, no way. We didn’t agree to those terms before we started, you have to beat me at chess to get that information,” Lena said turning away, Kara groaned and dropped her head against the ropes. That was never going to happen and they both knew it.

 

“Okay, so can I give you a few tips then?” Kara proposed.

 

“Go ahead,” Lena said, allowing Kara to say what she wanted to say.

 

“Great, so remember your sted head opponent?”

 

“Vividly,” Lena said, she hoped that guy drowned in the lake because she did not want to run into him ever again.

 

“How did you fight him?” Kara asked.

 

“The same way I fought you.” Lena shrugged.

 

“That’s your problem.” Kara said, “you have to adapt your fighting style to fit your opponent,” Kara had listened when Lena had given her advice, she hadn’t taken it on board, but, she would give Kara the same respect. “You can be a master of any and all martial arts, which I’m sure you are,” Kara smiled, “but, if you don’t use your knowledge to your advantage, it’s useless.”

 

Lena nodded, she usually didn’t have to fight, she relied on her careful, calculated way of working, but it was clear that she was rusty. Recently, with every mission somehow going awry, she could use all the help she could get, “so what would you do if you were in the same situation?”

 

“You’re fast and agile, so when faced with someone bigger than you, use that to your advantage. Fast, powerful strikes in certain places will make them drop like a stone. The throat is always a good one to go for,” Kara brushed her knuckles against Lena’s throat.

 

“What if that’s a hard area to reach? He was over a foot taller than me,” Lena asked.

 

“Then under the arm is the perfect spot to go for.” Kara pinched Lena’s tricep.

 

“Ow!” Lena was genuinely surprised by how much that hurt, she looked at Kara’s smiling face, her eyes wide rubbing the sore skin.

 

“See.” Kara said excitedly.

 

“Okay, so I just go around pinching people?” Lena raised an eyebrow.

 

“Or you can punch their underarm, it’s never protected by body armour and is one of the most dangerous and painful places you can hit someone,” Lena did not look convinced, “raise your arm,” Lena did as she was told and Kara place a light but, precise, swift strike under her arm. Lena yelped and buckled, Kara caught caught her with an arm around her waist.

 

“Holy shit!” Lena groaned, holding her side.

 

“Now, imagine the pain you could inflict if you put all your power into the strike,” Kara continued to support her, lugging her over to the edge of the ring.

 

“Why does that hurt so much?” Lena said, still catching her breath.

 

“There’s a nerve plexus in your armpit, all the nerves for your arm run through it and it is exposed when the arm is raised. So, it hurts a lot, can bring a grown man to his knees.” Kara stepped on the ropes and gestured for Lena to exit the ring.

 

“I’m definitely taking that move and running with it.” Lena took a swig of water.

 

“No problem, I’m glad I can help you out.” Kara packed up her bag and slipped her jacket on.

 

“Aw, are you trying to protect me from getting hurt again?” Lena teased, Kara rolled her eyes playfully.

 

“Do you know how much of a nightmare patient you are? I don’t need you breaking into my apartment in the middle of the night again.” Lena snorted, they exited the gym and headed to the parking lot.

 

Kara walked towards her car but Lena stopped her, grabbing her wrist and turning her around. “Thank you, I appreciate the fighting tips.” She leaned up and curled her fingers around Kara’s neck, pulling her down so she could whisper in her ear, “do I get to return the favour now?” Lena’s nails scratched lightly against the nape of her neck. Kara gulped and her eyes fluttered shut, Lena dropped back down onto her feet and smiled devilishly,

 

“What did you do?” Kara whined, when she saw the look on Lena’s face. Lena produced Kara’s wallet from behind her back, Kara snatched it and put it back in her jacket pocket. “Come on then, tell me how you did it.”

 

“When your brain is registering this-” Lena stepped close to her and stroked her fingers down Kara’s cheek and down to the back of her neck, “-it’s not registering this-” Lena tilted Kara’s head down and she watched as Lena slipped a hand into Kara’s jacket and pulled her wallet out again.

 

“You know I’m never going to trust you again after this,” Kara said and Lena chuckled.

 

“Now, you’re getting it.” She joked.

 

“Is that you’re lesson for the day?” Kara asked as they headed to her car.

 

“Nope, but, our lesson takes place at the park, so let’s go.” She dragged Kara along, “I’ll drive,” she said, dangling Kara’s keys in front of her face.

 

“Hey!” Kara reached out and tried to grab them but, Lena turned and skipped away. “Give them back!” Kara called, chasing after her.

 

“You still have a lot to learn,” Lena said when Kara caught up to her.

 

“Just get in the damn car,” Kara ordered when she finally got her keys back.

 

__________

 

“Okay, I’m here, what’s the lesson?” Kara asked.

 

“Don’t get mad but, from my observation, you lack restraint-”

 

“Hey, I was in the Marines.” Kara protested.

 

“So, you keep pointing out. I never said you weren’t disciplined. However, you run into situations without thinking and one day you may come up against an opponent who would expect that.” Lena had a point, Kara knew that.

 

“So, what do you suggest?”

 

“When, I do things I focus on details because, I can read people so easily that I know what a person is thinking before they do. You have to pick up on the details, for example, why did you change your mind and come back for me at the warehouse?” She asked.

 

“There was a theory that Roscoe had informants in every secret service in the world and that’s how he knew about all the operations conducted on him.” She sighed, “I thought he knew that you were going to be there and then when I saw you being dragged into the warehouse and the way he was beating you, I was sure he already knew everything and was preparing to kill you.” Kara explained.

 

“Think back, what did you hear when we were there?” Lena was waiting for the penny to drop.

 

Kara sighed and thought about it, “umm, he was asking you all these questions about who you were and-” Kara stopped, there it is. “He didn’t know who you were… and therefore, he didn’t know you would be there,” she pinched her brow. “That whole situation could have been avoided.”

 

Lena hadn’t intended to dredge up Kara’s feelings of guilt, she stopped them and pulled Kara over to a bench. “Don’t worry about it, I’m okay. Like I said, shit happens but, you have to learn.” Kara nodded her head in agreement.

 

“Teach me your ways, o wise one.” Lena looked at her blankly, “you don’t get it- the Yoda meme,” Lena blinked slowly. “No? Okay, moving swiftly on, what are we doing?”  

 

“Do you know what cold reading is?” Lena asked.

 

“Yeah, it’s what psychics and fortune tellers use to scam people. They pick stuff up about clients and use it to make deductions and convince them that what they’re saying is true.” Lena tilted her, she wasn’t wrong.

 

“It’s a very useful skill, I used it on you the night we met and it worked like a charm,” she purred, Kara stretched and ignored her, Lena would probably try to steal something from her again. “Look at the guy across from us, what can you tell me about him?” Kara shook herself off and looked at the guy, wanting to prove this detail stuff was a piece of cake.

 

“Okay, okay, he’s a guy-”

 

He’s a guy” Lena laughed, Kara shot her a glare.

 

“His name is Daniel.” She looked at the ID badge on his jacket, a security pass. “He works in some kind of bank and he’s interested in finances?” She deduced from the Financial Times newspaper he was reading.

 

“Hypothetically, this man is a mark, you have to relate to him, get him to trust you by either being similar to him or by becoming someone he desires. Look at his left hand, there’s a tan line where he’s missing a ring-”

 

“He’s divorced,”

 

“Exactly. You were right about the bank, his suit is expensive enough that he clearly had a good job. I would conclude that he recently lost his job: the divorce, child maintenance payments and only seeing his kids on the weekends in fast food restaurants has really taken it’s toll, he’s lost weight due to the stress and his financial instability.” Lena said, Kara looked bewildered, her jaw dropped, she recovered quickly.

 

“Nope, I call bullshit.” Lena laughed, “explain it to me, then.” Lena shifted her entire body to face Kara, not wanting to alert the poor man she was scrutinising.

 

“Look at his badge, he’s a security guard at a department store. He most likely lost his job recently, a good job, probably a bank judging by the quality of the suit, which sparked the divorce. His skin is oily and breaking out-”

 

“That’s from the fast food,” Kara said.

 

“That’s right, the child maintenance payments are huge, look at the top right corner of the newspaper,” she looked at Kara expectantly.

 

“It’s a different colour,” Kara mumbled.

 

“My guess? The Racing Post, he’s a gambler, trying to raise the money he needs. He keeps losing but, we know that when you’re on a losing streak you keep trying to win back the money you lost. All the added stress and pressure has caused the weight loss.” Kara looked at her, realising just how close Lena was to her now.

 

“Okay, two questions: how do you know he had kids in the first place? And how do you know he’s lost weight?” Lena curled her hand over Kara’s shoulder.

 

“His socks say ‘World’s Best Dad’ on them,” she whispered in her ear, Kara’s eyes glanced down and caught the words on his socks. “Back to that suit, if you can afford a suit like that, you’re going to get it tailored. See how ill-fitting it is plus, there’s a indent exposed on his belt because, he had to pull it in a notch.”  Lena explained, Kara checked all the details and Lena was right about every single thing.

 

“Wow,” Kara said, “you got all that from just a glance?” Lena nodded. “Okay, I get it, details are important.” Kara surrendered.

 

“Always remember that everything can be a clue. People don’t realise just how much they give away.” Lena shrugged, looking over at Kara.

 

__________

 

Lena had been compiled the files of the operations that had gone wrong in the past year, surprise surprise majority of the missions had been overseen by Rhea. There were nine missions that ended in fatalities in the past three years and Rhea had been the lead on every single one.

 

Lena soon realised that she couldn’t use her informants to scope out information on the organisation she worked for without it getting back to Talia. She didn’t want Talia to find out about any of this until she had concrete proof, which means she needed to use the one person she wanted to keep the furthest away from her employers.

 

Kara.

 

“Hey, Danvers” Lena said as she hopped through the window and onto her living room floor, Kara just stared at her hands in the air.

 

“So, you’re just making a habit of breaking an entering now?” Hero ran over to her skidding to a stop and jumping up at her.

 

“It’s not breaking and entering when you keep leaving the window open, is it buddy?” she cooed at Hero who was rolling over, begging for attention.

 

“You could just use the door?” Kara gestured to the door of her apartment.

 

“Yeah, but if I did that I might ruin your chances with your lovely neighbour” she smiled.

 

“Pretty sure you’ve already done that” Kara mumbled.

 

“Oh, good so I can shoot my shot with her then?” Lena said, continuing to play and coo at the dog.

 

“Ha. Ha. You’re so funny” Kara rolled her eyes and sat on the couch.

 

“See, I do have more going for me than just my looks” Lena quirked an eyebrow, Kara just shook her head and huffed slightly.

 

“So, what did I do to deserve this visit?” Kara looked over at her and she finally stood up and left Hero in favour of vaulting over the back of the couch and landing next to Kara.

 

“I expected you to have kicked me out by now,” Lena said, poking her side.

 

“You’re interrupting my day off, what do you want?” Kara whined, pushing her hand away but, Lena could see the smile creeping onto her face.

 

“I’m here to cash in on my favour-”

 

“Your favour was repaid when I took that bullet out of you,” Kara said, standing up to get the popcorn from the microwave. Lena followed her to the kitchen,

 

“I didn’t ask you to to that though,”

 

“So, you would have rather died?” Lena tilted her head and shrugged, “shut up.” Kara scoffed.

 

“Kara please, I really need your help,” Kara ignored her and rounded the couch, sitting down again. “Fine, I’m going to go do something reckless then,” Kara continued to ignore her, “maybe I’ll try underground street fighting, or maybe I’ll join a gang.” Lena said loudly as she climbed out of the window.

 

Hero, trotted over the window and watched her disappear before going back over to Kara and whining. “Oh for God’s sake, fine! Lena get your ass back in here!” It didn’t take more than two seconds for Lena to be back on her couch, playing with her dog.

 

“So-”

 

“Nope, I have some conditions,” Kara said, Lena groaned.

 

“Why is there always something with you?” Lena dropped her head back against the couch.

 

“You need some real movie knowledge and I need my day off so you’re gonna sit here, quietly and have a movie marathon.” Kara why? She didn’t have time to sit here and watch TV but, she desperately needed Kara’s help so she would gladly sit and suffer for a few hours. Especially, if it meant that she could find out what was going on and save her friends from getting hurt or worse.

 

“Fine, what are we watching?” Lena asked.

 

“Well, since you know it so well, you’re finally going to experience Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” Kara observed Lena’s reaction but, she kept her expression neutral and gestured for her to start the movie.

 

Two hours later and Lena was bored out of her mind, she didn’t know what was going on, she didn’t really enjoy the story, she didn’t think Sci-Fi was really her thing but, she promised Kara she would be quiet and so she paid attention to the movie.

 

Hero sat between the two of them so she pet him and watched the screen until the ending credits when Kara turned towards her.

 

“So, what did you think?” Kara asked excitedly, her eyes were so bright and happy that Lena couldn’t bring herself to tell her she hated every second so, she did what she does best, she became the people pleaser and lied through her teeth.

 

“I enjoyed it,” she said, she plastered a fake smile on her face and Kara bought it.

 

“We can watch the rest some other time, but, I think we should try a different genre. So, we’re going to watch The Hobbit next.” Kara said, getting up to go to the kitchen.

 

“That’s the prequel to The Lord of the Rings, right? The one with the dragon?”

 

“What, you can’t reel off the whole synopsis and cast list?” Kara teased.

 

“Well, I could but, you kindly pointed out that it was weird,” Lena called back. Kara came back and handed her a beer.

 

“It is weird and kinda sad, please stop doing it.” Kara said playfully.

 

“Play the movie so I don’t have to,” Lena shot back. Lena settled into the couch, taking a sip of her beer and preparing to suffer for another 2+ hours. Hero, as if almost sensing her discomfort, stood and repositioned himself so his upper body was in her lap. Lena froze, she knew that Hero loved seeing her but he’d only ever laid by her feet so, this was an entirely new situation for her and she was uncomfortable. Kara looked over and could see the tension in Lena’s body.

 

“You okay?” Lena looked over and nodded, “If you don’t want him there just tell him to move-”

 

“It’s okay,” she rushed out, “I don’t mind, I just don’t want to disturb him,” Lena said, stroking his head.

 

“Just relax, he’ll settle.” Lena readjusted her position so she was comfortable again. Hero lifted his head and waited until Lena stopped moving to put it down again. Kara smiled at the pair and watched as Lena turned her attention to the screen.

 

Lena was actually enjoying herself, she understood the story, became invested in the characters, by the end of the movie she became really emotional, she could feel the tears pricking in her eyes because she could relate to the idea of not having a home. Lena had been a World Killer since she was just a few days old, as much as the were some kind of dis-functional family, she always felt like they were just pushed together a forced family made up of rejected kids who didn’t have a home because they’re parents didn’t want them. She would still do everything in her power to protect them but, it would be nice to know where she came from, why she wasn’t wanted, what it felt like to be held by her mother.

 

Fuck this movie… I still wanna see how it ends, she thought discretely wiping her eyes. Kara had been watching her for the duration of the movie, she could tell Lena was enjoying it. She had perked up when the Dwarves began singing and from that point forward, she was sucked in. It was interesting for Kara to see, this was the longest she’d seen the real Lena: she watched the micro-expressions that flickered across her face, she watched the sadness in her eyes, the joy, the wonder. She could see the smile that threatened to invade her expressionless face.

 

Kara waited for the credits to start rolling, ordering food while she waited, before she turned to Lena and asked her what she thought. Lena didn’t want to admit just how much she enjoyed the movie because, she didn’t want to expose her vulnerability, she couldn’t allow Kara to see how emotional she was in regard to where she came from.

 

“It was okay, I liked it.” she shrugged, nonchalantly.

 

“Don’t do that,” Kara shook her head and frowned, “don’t pretend like you didn’t enjoy it. I watched you, Lena.” Kara moved closer to her, “you’re allowed to express your opinion on things,  it’s just me. You’ve told me that you hate me on multiple occasions and I still let you hang out with my dog.” She gestured towards Hero who looked back at her. “Just- be honest with me, please.” Kara practically begged. Lena looked at her, Kara was right, she was safe here and she didn’t want to be a people pleaser any more, she wanted to be herself.

 

“Okay,” she murmured.

 

“So, Lena, what did you think of The Hobbit?” Kara asked.

 

“I-I loved it.” Lena said, she didn’t want to reveal any more than that just yet.

 

“Great,” Kara was proud of her, “what did you think of Star Wars?”

 

“Hated it, don’t ever make me watch it again, please!” Lena begged, Kara barked out a laugh.

 

“We’re making progress,” Kara thought of her next question, “did you like the chocolate ice-cream I picked for you?”

 

“I did but, it got a bit sickly after a while,” Kara smiled.

 

“Noted. We’ll try a different combination next time.” Next time, that struck a chord within Lena. “What do you think of Hero?” Keeping up with the rapid fire questions.

 

“I adore him, don’t I, buddy?” Hero lifted his head, “you’re the best boy, you’re the only reason I come here,” she cooed at him.

 

“Hey!” Kara swatted her arm.

 

“You told me to be honest,” Lena shot back.

 

“What do you think of me?” Kara whispered, she avoided looking at Lena and scratched Hero’s ears instead.

 

“You’re an asshole and I hate you,” Lena deadpanned.

 

“Hero, go to your bed.” Hero huffed but jumped off the couch, eyeing Kara while he trotted into the kitchen. “Don’t look at me like that, I don’t want you watching me throttle your new favourite pillow.” Kara launched herself at Lena and pulled her legs out from underneath her, pinning her to the couch, squeezing her sides. Lena squirmed and tried to push her away. “Be. Honest.” Kara growled, through gritted teeth.

 

Lena laughed and looked up into those electric blue eyes, sparkling above her, “you’re a pain in the ass and you cause a ridiculous amount of trouble but, you have some good qualities.”

 

“Name my good qualities,”  Kara said with a smile.

 

“Now, you’re pushing your luck. Get off.” Lena smirked, pushing Kara away. Kara brushed her off and captured her lips in a soft kiss. They had been dancing around this moment since Lena kissed her outside of her building all those weeks ago.

 

The kiss was unlike any other they’d shared before, it was slow and gentle. Kara had been waiting for this moment for so long, she’d been teetering on the edge for weeks, contemplating whether this was a good idea or not but, she ignored her rational thoughts and was currently running on instinct.

 

“Sorry,” Kara said against her lips, “you have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that,” she whispered. Lena pulled her back down, connecting their lips again, kissing her until she was breathless and panting. Lena sucked and nibbled on her lips, taking full control of the kiss while Kara moaned into her mouth. Lena broke away for air and Kara kissed down her her jaw and sucked on her neck, Lena clawed at her t-shirt, trying to bring her closer.

 

Kara continued to kiss Lena, trying to soak up as much of her as she could while Lena allowed it. As much as she enjoyed the passionate, anger fuelled kissing, she adored calm, pliant Lena who tugged her closer and moaned into her mouth. Kara pressed her body into Lena’s keeping her hands on her hips.

 

Lena pulled away to catch her breath, Kara observed her kiss swollen lips, flushed cheeks and blown pupils.

 

“I knew you liked me,” Kara smirked.

 

“No, I don’t.” Lena shoved her but Kara was solid as a rock.

 

“Oh, yeah? I bet if I put my hand in your underwear right now, they would be soaked.” The confidence dripping in Kara’s voice alone, flooded Lena’s panties. Kara looked at her for permission, Lena nodded and Kara popped open the button on Lena’s jeans, slowly pulling the zipper down. She tugged at the waistband of her underwear, dipping her fingers inside…

 

They were interrupted by a knock at the door, Kara pulled away and Lena eyes were wide and filled with panic. “It’s okay, I ordered pizza. It’s just the delivery guy,” Kara pecked her lips, she relaxed when Kara answered the door and paid for the food. Lena buttoned her pants and sat up, running her fingers through her hair in an attempt to smooth it out.

 

“Here,” Kara handed her the boxes, “don’t let him eat them.” Hero had smelt the food and run in from the kitchen to slobber all over Lena.

 

“Hero, no! Not on me,” he was licking her face and she couldn’t push him away because her hands were full. Kara came back from the kitchen and laughed at Lena, who was battling a hungry Hero.

 

“Come on, Hero. You’re dinner is in your bowl, get off of her.” Kara pushed him away and he jumped off the couch. “So, do you still adore him?” Kara teased in a sing-song voice.

 

“I’m going to clean the slobber off my face,” she announced, ignoring Kara’s question. Lena joined her on the couch and Kara had pulled up the second Hobbit movie.

 

“Do you like pineapple on pizza?” Kara asked, her mouth full of a pizza.

 

“Never tried it but, it sounds gross.” Kara raised her hand for a high-five and Lena indulged her, before grabbing her own slice. They ate in silence and watched the movie, Hero joined them after a while and re-assumed his position on Lena’s lap. Admittedly, she was a little freaked out when it came to the giant spiders, she didn’t let it show, couldn’t deal with the relentless teasing she knew would ensue.

 

By the end of the movie she was tired and ready to sleep, she waited for the credits to finish before standing up and preparing to leave. Maybe it was because she was tired and didn’t want to walk home or maybe it was because, subconsciously, she really wanted to stay but, when Kara grabbed her wrist and pulled her into a heated kiss, Lena let her. She melted into Kara’s arms and kissed her back, she pulled her closer by her hips and lifted her so Lena could wrap her legs around her waist.

 

Lena kissed down her neck and Kara carried them upstairs, “you seem like an expert at this, how many times have you carried women up these stairs?” Lena said against her ear, sucking her earlobe into her mouth.

 

“Shh, don’t ruin the moment,” Kara said, relishing in Lena’s small giggle. She laid Lena down on her bed and kissed her again. Kara pulled her t-shirt over her head and Lena scraped her nails down her abs, God I’ve missed them.

 

Lena flipped Kara onto her back and straddled her hips. She kissed down Kara’s neck, nipping lightly and sucked bruises onto her collarbones. She moved down her body and licked Kara’s tight abs, grazing her teeth against them, she pulled the waistband of her sweatpants down to bite and suck at her hips. Kara writhed against the bed, moaning and arching her body further into Lena’s mouth.

 

“C’mere,” Kara mumbled, dragging Lena back up to her mouth. She pulled Lena’s shirt up and over her head, unsnapping her bra and laying her on her back. She threw Lena’s bra somewhere behind her and attacked her breasts, pulling a nipple between her teeth and pinching the other. Lena moaned and dropped her head against the pillow.

 

Kara unbuttoned her pants and pushed them down, “why are you wearing jeans?” Kara complained, peeling them down her legs and throwing them behind them. Starting at her ankle, Kara kissed up her leg, running her tongue against her soft skin. Lena whined and tried to drag Kara to where she wanted her but Kara refused to give in and took her time, wanting to rile Lena up.

 

“Kara,” she panted, Kara placed a soft kiss to the inside of her thigh.

 

“Lena,” she replied, smirking up at her. “Is there something you want?” Lena groaned and arched up into Kara. Now, Lena prided herself on the fact that she doesn’t beg, when it came to Kara, however, Lena found herself giving in so easily.

 

“Please fuck me,” she begged. Kara smirked again and Lena seriously wanted to punch her, or kiss her. She chose the latter, pulling her down into a heated kiss. Kara slipped her fingers into Lena’s underwear and slid them through her silky, wet folds. Slowly, she circled Lena’s stiff clit, battling her tongue for dominance, twisting her tongue to slide against Lena’s.

 

Kara pushed one finger into Lena and swallowed her moans, curling it against her front wall. Lena broke the kiss to catch her breath and Kara thrust another finger inside her, Lena let out a choked sob and Kara took the opportunity to suck on the pale skin of her neck.

 

Kara brought her free hand up to play with Lena’s breasts, massaging them and twisted her nipple until Lena hissed in pleasure. She knew Lena was close, her walls tightening around her fingers; Kara rubbed tight circles on her clit with her thumb. Lena’s back arched as she came, she whined softly as Kara continued to fuck her through her orgasm.

 

Kara slipped a third finger into her and Lena’s eyes flew open, she shoved her own hand into Kara’s soaking wet underwear and rubbed her clit. She dropped her head into Lena’s neck and groaned, she continued to thrust her fingers into Lena, pushing her into her second orgasm, Lena’s hand faltered slightly but she recovered and dragged Kara along with her.

 

“Fuck!” Kara cried, shuddering on top of her. Kara rolled off of her and Lena immediately straddled her hips, pulling Kara’s sports bra over her head. Lena kissed down her neck, sucking a bruise onto her skin in revenge for Kara leaving her own mark on her. She pulled Kara’s right nipple between her teeth, biting softly, Kara moaned and arched into Lena’s mouth. She released her nipple with a wet pop and sucked her other breast, leaving dark marks all over her chest.

 

Lena moved down to lavish those perfect abs with attention, licking, nipping, biting at them, relishing in the fact that Kara couldn’t keep her hips still. Lena tugged at the waistband of her sweatpants and Kara kicked off her pants and underwear, desperately wanting Lena to touch her again.

 

Lena smirked and settled between her legs, hooking her arms over Kara’s hips and pinning her to the bed before burying her face into Kara’s centre. She licked a strip and moaned at the taste, Kara’s hips bucked but she didn’t get very far, Lena held firm. She kissed her clit once before stiffening her tongue and thrusting it inside her, Kara gasped and gripped her hair, pulling tightly.

 

Lena licked at her slit, completely devouring Kara, who was writhing against the bed. Lena pushed two fingers into her, massaging her front wall and sucked her clit into her mouth, running her tongue over it. Kara screamed and came all over Lena’s fingers thrashing wildly against the bed, she cleaned her up and slid up her body, kissing Kara who moaned at the taste of herself on Lena’s tongue.

 

Kara recovered and rolled them back over, starting a new round.

 

__________

 

Lena was laid facing Kara, sleepy. This was the longest she’d ever stuck around after sex, she didn’t want to move but, she knew she couldn’t stay. Kara held her fist up, “rock, paper, scissors?” She said. Lena looked up at her, bewildered, “play against me, whoever wins gets to ask the other a question.” Lena shook her head.

 

“I don’t do pillow talk,” she said.

 

“It’s not pillow talk it’s… information gathering via the medium of… competition,” Kara nudged her, urging her to play.

 

“Fine,” she sighed, holding up her fist, “but, only because you managed to come up with that ridiculous alternative on the spot.”

 

“1-2-3, shoot.” Kara held up rock while Lena picked paper.

 

“What’s your favourite colour?” Lena murmured.

 

“Hmm, I like red,” Kara held up her hand and they played again. Lena won again,

 

“Where are you from?”

 

“Midvale, it’s a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.” She smiled.

 

“When was the last time you visited?” Kara shook her head and held her hand up again, Lena sighed but did the same and Kara finally won after three drawn games.

 

“What’s your favourite food?” She asked, settling deeper into her pillow. Lena could see that she was tired, there was something about laying in the dark, in the middle of the night that  made it so easy to be truthful.

 

“Pierogies,” she whispered.

 

“What are they?” Kara asked.

 

“They’re a kind of filled dumpling, usually with something savoury but we have them filled with raspberries and blueberries, and then dusted with icing sugar. We have them on our Name Day’s.” Lena explained.

 

“What’s a Name Day?” Kara whispered, Lena held up her hand paired with a cheeky smile but, Kara pushed it down, “please tell me.” Lena basked in the comfort of the darkness for a few moments.

 

“It’s a tradition in some countries in Europe, mainly Eastern Europe, and it’s to celebrate the day when you were given your name. It’s a Catholic and Orthodox thing but, I celebrate my Name Day instead of my Birthday because… I don’t know the day I was born- so I celebrate the day I was given my name,” Lena sighed, deeply. Her words hung in the air and she desperately wanted to take them back but, she couldn’t.

 

“When is your Name Day?” Kara asked.

 

“Too much, back to you.” Lena said, she felt uncomfortable and she didn’t want to talk about herself any more.

 

“Shoot,” Kara said, rolling onto her back. Lena saw her tags laying on her chest and took a risk; shuffling closer, she picked one up and rubbed her thumb over the cool metal.

 

“What’s the real reason you joined the Marines?” Kara looked down at her and took a deep breath.

 

“I told you the reason,” she tried to argue.

 

“I know you lied,” Lena whispered, meeting Kara’s eyes in the dark.

 

“My parents were killed when I was 13,” she mumbled. Lena hadn’t expected that and now she wished she hadn’t pushed it, she leaned up and pressed a soft kiss to Kara’s neck. “I went off the rails, got sent to multiple care homes-”

 

“You didn’t have any family to take care of you?” Kara shook her head softly.

 

“And no one wants an angry, confused teenager, they want a cute baby they can raise and pretend it’s their own. I was frustrated and it got me into trouble, I got into fights, I couldn’t focus and I couldn’t control my temper. I dropped out of school without getting my diploma. I couldn’t go to college and had no job prospects so, I joined the Marines and it saved my life, put me back on the right track. They helped me to learn how to channel my emotions and find my purpose. I found a family.” She finished simply.

 

They laid there in silence for a few moments, Lena squeezed her shoulder. They both had damage that they were battling but, they’d become desensitised to it all. Lena ignored her past, refused dwell on it in the fear that it would consume her entirely. Kara told her story and her voice was void of all emotion, it was clinical as if she was telling someone else’s story and not her own.

 

“Why were you so angry?” Lena whispered.

 

“Because their murder was never solved, I never found any answers and I never received justice or closure… it still haunts me today,” Lena ran her hand up her arm in a comforting gesture.

 

“Are you okay?” Lena asked, she wasn’t the best at comforting people but, she would try because, well, she pushed Kara to tell her.

 

“Mhm, I have ways of coping,” Kara brushed it off like it was nothing, Lena knew from experience that you don’t get over things like that, wounds like that leave scars but, Lena wasn’t going to pry any further tonight. Instead, she kissed Kara deeply, Kara reached up and cupped her cheek, stroking jaw.

 

“When you came here, you said you needed my help. What do you need?” Lena sighed, she didn’t really want to do this right now but, she was trying to save her family.

 

“The night we met, did the CIA receive a tip off?”

 

“Lena,” Kara sighed.

 

“That’s already answered my question, I need you to tell me who it was.” Lena said, urgency in her voice. Kara groaned and rubbed her hand over her face,

 

“You know I can’t tell you that-”

 

“Please, Kara. I really need to know, lives could be at risk.” Lena didn’t beg. But, she would plead with Kara if it meant keeping her people safe.

 

“Whose lives? The people you work for?” Lena didn’t like her tone. I don’t know why I even tried.

 

“You know what? I don’t need this,” Lena threw the blankets off of herself and sat up, gathering her clothes.

 

“Wait,” Kara sat up and followed her, grabbing her waist and pulling her back onto the bed, “I’m sorry, we’ve had a good day, I don’t want to ruin it.” Kara mumbled into her ear, “but, I could lose my job if anyone found out.”

 

Lena turned her head to face Kara, “who’s going to find out?” Lena had a point but, Kara needed to know more before she was willing to give up the information she had.

 

“Whose lives are at risk?” Kara managed to wrangle Lena back into the bed, she pulled her back so they were spooning.

 

“I think the mission involving the Royal Family was a set up. We were ambushed. Everyone on that train would have been killed if it hadn’t been for one detail they got wrong.” Lena swallowed hard, she didn’t want to reveal any more then that but she would have to.

 

“My best friend was ambushed a few days ago and another one of my friends ended up needing surgery. The night we met the CIA were acting on a tip off and lets be honest, if you had arrested me, I’d be in some CIA black site right now.” Lena hated being vulnerable but, she was desperate. “I’m afraid that if I slip up, if I’m not on top of my game, I’m going to lose someone I care about-”

 

“-I have people I can go to but, I’m afraid that my employers will find out before I can find the evidence I need. I can’t fire out accusations without some kind of proof.” Kara had never seen Lena afraid and she could tell the woman was scared right now, this was clearly a dangerous situation and Kara didn’t want her to get hurt again.

 

“It was an anonymous tip,” Kara mumbled, Lena spun around with a hard look on her face.

 

“You made me tell you all that for-” Kara put her hand over Lena’s mouth.

 

“Did you really think they would have given a name? We paid them for the tip, I will give you the account details but, that’s all I have.” Kara said and she removed her hand.

 

“Thank you,” Lena said.

 

“Now, are you going to stop being grumpy and threatening to storm out again?” Lena rolled her eyes, but stayed where she was. “Good, because I’m done with the mushy shit so, shut up and come here, we both need a distraction.” Kara said, rolling on top of her and kissing her.

 

__________

 

Kara woke up to an empty bed but, there was a note from Lena saying she had to go to work so Kara didn’t feel like she’d been totally abandoned. In reality, Lena didn’t have anywhere to be but, she couldn’t face waking up with Kara in the daylight and having to deal with that awkward situation, she left as soon as Kara fell asleep.

 

Lena intercepted her while she was walking Hero the next day. “Hey,” Lena said, she ducked her head and buried her hands in the pocket of her hoodie. Kara noted the CIA hat perched on her head.

 

“Hey.” Kara replied, “how was work?”

 

“Everything is good so far.” Lena had checked in with Sam and Julia was out of surgery and was recovering well.

 

“Here.” Kara hand her a note and Lena had the account details used to make the payment, “but, the rest is up to you, Lena.” Kara looked at her and Lena nodded her head in understanding.

 

“Thank you,” Lena said, genuinely. “You have no idea how much this means to me.”

 

“You’re right, you can buy me ice-cream to make up for it.” Kara insisted.

 

“Fine, but you pick the flavours.”

 

“Deal,” Kara said, they went over to the ice-cream cart and Kara avoided anything too chocolatey, going the opposite way and picking strawberry this time. She stuck with the classic chocolate and cookie dough combo. Obviously, she got a puppy cone for Hero he’s not one to be left out.

 

They sat on a bench and Kara handed Lena the puppy cone, “Hero, sit.” He did as he was told and stared at Lena’s right hand, “good boy! You can give it to him,” she nodded towards Lena who held the cone out and watched Hero demolish the ice-cream in less then five seconds.

 

“Aw, he gets his eating habits from his Mom.” Lena joked.

 

“He appreciates good food, I’ve taught him well.” They ate their ice-creams and Kara practised her cold reading.

 

“Tell me about her,” Lena said, nodding towards a women sitting across from them. Kara gave her a quick glance.

 

“Okay, she’s middle-aged, divorced,” she took another glance, “her ex didn’t live up to her incredibly high standards. She has a good job, which she loves, something where she can really show her organisational skills, she’s a perfectionist possibly has some form of OCD and is incredibly cautious,” another look. “She prefers the company of animals over humans but, is a old romantic at heart and is waiting for the perfect guy.” Kara looked over at Lena, searching for any kind of praise.

 

“How did you come to those conclusions?” Lena asked, narrowing her eyes not giving anything away.

 

“So, there’s a ring on her left ring finger but, it doesn’t look like a wedding ring or an engagement ring. My guess is she wore a wedding ring for so long that it felt strange not wearing one after the divorce, she’s wearing a perfectly pressed, expensive pant suit and Louboutins on a Sunday in the park and that’s the fourth time I’ve watched her pull non-existent fluff off of her sleeve.” Lena glanced over and caught the movement.

 

“It’s a sunny, cloudless day and she’s carrying an umbrella because there is a slight chance of rain. She has a snow, white pedigree poodle who is sat next to her on the bench instead of the ground like Hero and she’s tucked into the corner of the bench with closed posture, walled off from the rest of the public. She’s reading Wuthering Heights for the upteenth time, by the look of the book, she’s read it so many times it’s falling apart.” Kara finished reeling off the details as if she was reading it off a sheet of paper.

 

“Damn, Danvers. That was good, I’m impressed.” Lena said, high-fiving her. “Now you just have to get it down to a split second, one glance thing” Kara beamed, clearly incredibly proud of herself.

 

__________

 

Lena left Kara once they finished walking Hero, she had bigger things to deal with. She went back to her apartment and hacked into the bank account, noting that it was registered to a company called Galaxy Haulage, it was clearly a shell company. Lena couldn’t find anything on the company itself, no head office, no employees, no registered CEO.

 

Lena slammed her fist on the desk when she drew a blank.

 

Her phone began ringing.

 

“Hey, Sam.” She sighed, running her fingers through her hair, “what’s up?”

 

“There were complications after the surgery, Julia didn’t make it.” Sam said, solemnly, Lena’s eyes closed and she bit back her tears.

 

Julia was a close friend, she was family.

 

“Thank you for letting me know, I will find out the truth, Sam. I’ll find whoever is responsible and I’ll make them pay.” Lena said through gritted teeth.

 

“We both will.” Sam finished. Lena was determined, this will be the last time she loses anyone. “Have you found anything?”

 

“I got the bank details of the person who tipped off the CIA the night I attempted to assassinate the Kryptonian Princess but, I couldn’t find anything of significance, the account was registered to a shell company.” Lena explained, flicking through the research she had gathered.

 

“I found something similar, MI6 made a payment of £100,000 into the bank account of a shell company by the name of North Star Insurance.” Lena made a note of the name, intending to see if she could find anything herself. “Do you think you can get anything else out of Kara?” Sam asked.

 

“I don’t think so, she’s still so walled off although, I think I’m slowly getting somewhere with her.” Lena thought back to the way Kara acted when she was injured. Maybe, if she played up the risk to her safety, she could get Kara to give her what she needed.

 

“Are you coming back for the ceremony?”

 

“Of course, I’ll head back as soon as I can,” they said their goodbyes and Lena began packing her bag.

 

Lena wasn’t expecting to find anything and she was right, North Star Insurance was just a shell company, she dug a bit deeper and managed to find out that North Star Insurance was owned by a parent company called Daxam Distributions. She researched the company and was intrigued to find that Daxam Distributions also owned Galaxy Haulage and four other companies Lena hadn’t heard of.

 

Delving deeper into the parent company she found that it had been set up three years ago and was owned by a woman called Hera Garland.

 

Yet again, Lena drew a blank when trying to find out anything about this woman. She was frustrated and grieving, she wanted nothing but justice for her friend, Julia was a good person and fantastic agent, she didn’t deserve to be die this way.

 

Lena scoured all known databases but found nothing that seemed relevant. Realistically, she knew it was an alias but she couldn’t find anything linking the name to anyone she knew.

 

It was late and Lena was staring at the name, circling it repeatedly, digging the pen into the paper and clenching her jaw.

 

Then it hit her.

 

Hera Garland.

 

Rhea Largand.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Lena didn’t like flowers.

 

To her, it was just beauty on a time limit. Once picked, they only lasted a few days before they shrivelled up and died. She didn’t like flowers because, to her, they represented death. A constant reminder that all things, good or bad, no matter what they had accomplished in life would all end up in the same place.

 

Lena stood, looking over the blooming field. She didn’t like flowers because they reminded her of these ceremonies, the loss of family.

 

She took a few moments to gather herself, to think of her fallen sister before she went to say her final goodbyes.

 

****

 

Lena was buzzing with excitement, this was her first assignment with a partner and she was with Purity, Julia Freeman.

 

While Lena grew up shy and timid, Julia was always a powerhouse, she was strong and had confidence in herself from the very beginning. She was a natural born leader and Lena, being only a couple of years younger, looked up to her and saw Julia as her own role model. 

 

This was the second assignment she’d been given after graduating The Academy. It was a simple mission; Julia, being the more experienced agent having graduated two years earlier, would be sent to distract the mark and Lena would swoop in and switch the briefcases. One briefcase was filled with newspaper and the other with highly sensitive information regarding Iran’s nuclear missile program.

 

Lena watched in awe of Julia as she schmoozed the Iranian scientist, charming him easily. She was disguised as a waitress and waited until Julia gave her the signal, before wheeling the dessert cart to the table opposite. She watched as Julia sucked him in, stroking his cheek and leaning in to whisper in his ear, blocking his line of sight. Lena bent down and grabbed the decoy case resting under the cart, she placed the cases next to each other and looked up as she heard a glass smash across the room.

 

She quickly swapped out the case and wheeled the cart away. She crept out the back of the hotel kitchens and into the van. Julia joined her soon after and Lena handed her the case with a proud smile on her face.

 

“Lena, is this a joke?” Lena’s head shot up and looked at her.

 

“Huh?” Julia turned the case and showed her the newspaper, Lena’s hand flew up to her mouth and her eyes widened in fear.

 

“No. No, no ,no. I switched them! I swear I-” she thought back to that moment in the hotel restaurant, she had looked up briefly and had lost track of which case she needed to pick up. “Oh god!”

 

“It’s okay-”

 

“No, it’s not! I messed up, he left with the documents, Talia is going to kill me!” She cried, tears filling her eyes.

 

“Hey!” Julia yelled, “it’s okay, people make mistakes, little one. I’ve messed up more times then I can count, we can fix this, we still have time to get the case before we have to check in and if we do things right, Talia need not know a thing.” Julia reassured her, taking her hand. “The mark is going to the airport right now, he doesn’t know your face which means we still have time but, it’s down to you Lena.” She nodded, understanding that she needed to be perfect.

 

They came up with a plan on the way to the airport. Lena grabbed a fake passport and was to buy a ticket, swapping the cases before they reached airport security. Julia pulled up outside and handed Lena an ear piece.

 

“I have to stay here but, you can do this, act like you’re supposed to be there and no one will question it, exude confidence and keep things simple.” Lena nodded. “Go forth and conquer, little one.”

 

“Endure and thrive.” Lena jumped out of the van and took a deep breath, squaring her shoulders and sauntering towards the entrance. Lena graduated top of her class but it’s a very different experience, from learning in the classroom to applying her knowledge in the real world.

 

She went to the check in desk and bought a ticket to Turkey, it didn’t matter where she was going she wasn’t going to get on that plane. From across the room, she could see the target checking in, he kept his briefcase close to his body. She thanked the attendant and picked up her case, following him.

 

“Target acquired. I’m going to intercept now.” Lena slipped into the line behind him, the line for security was long which gave Lena enough time to build her confidence.

 

You’ve got this, little one. ” She heard Julia’s voice in her ear. The mark put the case down and pulled out his phone. Lena knew this was her chance, she unbuttoned the top buttons of her blouse and fell forwards, hitting the mark in the back, effortlessly she placed her case next to it’s twin. The mark turned and looked at her curiously.

 

“I’m so sorry, I’m terrified of flying, the nausea just hit me.” She fanned herself and watched as the mark glanced down her shirt, Lena fought the urge to roll her eyes.

 

“It’s quite alright.” He said with a small smile.

 

“I think I’m going to go get some air before I get stuck in the airport for hours,” she giggled, picking up the right case this time, she made sure of it, and turning walking away, swinging her hips with every step.


That was the moment Lena knew, without a doubt, she could do this.

 

She left the airport and joined Julia in the van, who congratulated her before they took off, getting as far away as possible.Julia never did tell Talia how Lena had almost cost them the entire mission, she simply said that they had succeeded in acquiring the documents.

 

Lena had never forgotten what Julia had done for her, she learnt that even if things go completely off the rails, there is always a way out. The plan didn’t always go the way they wanted it to and she had to learn to adapt her skills.

 

****

 

Sam gripped her hand and brought her out of her trance, “it’s time.” She announced softly. Lena turned and smiled sadly at her, they walked down the path together and joined the group.

 

They surrounded the shallow grave and watched as Julia’s ashes were placed in the ground.

 

Talia made a speech, she spoke about how it was like losing a daughter but, mentioned nothing about finding her killer. The FSB agent wasn’t responsible for putting those bullets in her chest, it was Rhea’s fault.

 

Lena watched her, stood next to Talia, her stony face showing no emotion. Salty tears pricked at Lena’s eyes but, she knew she couldn’t let them fall, she couldn’t show any sign of weakness. Standing tall, she jutted her chin out, clenched her jaw and stared at Rhea throughout the entire ceremony, her eyes dark with anger.

 

She averted her eyes only to place her daffodil into the grave. The World Killers didn’t believe in traditional funerals, they placed daffodils in the grave to represent rebirth, the flowers bloomed over the year and created a plot overflowing with flowers, which created the field that laid before them. Lena brushed her fingers against the headstone.

 

Julia Freeman

“Purity”

 

She watched as the group dispersed, heading back to HQ. Lena and Sam stayed behind and they strolled through the field, many of the headstones had names but their bodies were buried in unmarked graves across the world. Agents, sisters, friends lost in the line of duty. But, it was the oath they took, the vow they made before every mission, a consequence of not being good enough.

 

They were living in different times now, you could be the best of the best and still fail, having suffered betrayal from someone who was supposed to be looking out for you.

 

The pair stopped at the largest headstone in the field.

 

Nyssa Al Ghul

Leader, Sister, Ally.

 

The World Killers lost Nyssa almost six years ago, Lena remembered the day vividly. It was a simple mission but, something went wrong and Nyssa was killed in action. Talia became secluded, they barely saw her for over a year, she grieved silently in her room, she didn’t oversee operations or The Academy. Rhea stepped up after the death of Nyssa, she lead the World Killers when Talia couldn’t and clearly she didn’t like losing that power.

 

There are four leaders of the World Killers, almost like a council. Talia was the head of the whole organisation, that much was clear, she was the Master of Operations; she chose the missions, chose the agents, planned how things would go. She sourced the girls that the organisation adopted and raised in The Academy.

 

Selina Kyle and Helena Bertinelli ran The Academy and ensured that the next generation of agents was better than the last. Many of the agents go back to The Academy to lead classes and pass on their own wisdom but, Selina was the Master of Hand to Hand Combat, one of the parts of the graduation stage was to beat Selina in a fight. She was an Olympic standard gymnast and was the lead in making sure the girls’ athletic ability was unmatched.

 

Helena Bertinelli used to be an active agent, ‘Huntress’, she filled Nyssa’s role as the Master of Weaponry, it was her responsibility to make sure that the recruits were experts in every weapon known to man. Lena had never trained under Helena, she became a full agent long before Nyssa’s death but, she knew Helena was exceptionally good at her job, she’d seen it first hand. She was the only person capable enough to fill Nyssa’s role.

 

Then there was Rhea. Rhea was the Master of Manipulation, she taught the recruits how to use words to get what they wanted rather than their fists. Lena resonated with her lessons the most, perfected her entire craft around Rhea’s teachings, she’d even taught an entire class about the importance of detailing. Rhea was her mentor, she trusted her, and she prided herself on her ability to read people and that’s what hurt the most. Rhea had manipulated her along with everyone else.

 

Talia was giving her more responsibility, training her to become the next leader of the World Killers. Talia wasn’t old but, she was growing tired, she built this organisation from the ground up and it took the best part of four decades to get to where they were now. She’d lost many people, daughters she’d raised, they weren’t related by blood but Talia claimed to love them all as if they were her own. She lost her last remaining blood relative and as much as she still truly believed in her cause, with all her heart, she couldn’t help but want to rest, take a step back and relinquish some of the control she had held onto so tightly.

 

They used to joke that the four women resembled the four riders of the apocalypse, they would destroy the world and rebuild it in their image, the right way.

 

“What did you discover?” Sam asked.

 

“Both Galaxy Haulage and North Star Insurance are owned by a parent company called Daxam Distributions, the CEO is registered as Hera Garland-”

 

“Rhea Largand.” Sam said, Lena chuckled but her eyes were void of any emotion.

 

“You figured it out much faster than I did.” She said, staring into the distance.

 

“You don’t think this has been going on longer than we thought and somehow Rhea had something to do with Nyssa’s death?” Sam asked, Lena stared at the headstone.

 

“I honestly don’t know any more.” She said.

 

“We need to more evidence, this is all circumstantial, Talia will never take us seriously. We are, after all, going after her Second, the one she’s supposed to trust unconditionally.” Sam said. They heard footsteps behind them and Sam’s head whipped around, she spotted Grace, ‘Pestilence’, approaching them.

 

“It was a lovely day for it, Julia deserved the best send off possible,” Grace said as she reached the pair, Sam hummed in agreement.

 

“It shouldn’t have happened in the first place.” Lena growled, she turned and faced Grace, fire blazing in her eyes. ”Julia should still be here, it was supposed to be a reconnaissance mission.”

 

“I know,” Grace said calmly, “it was strange to me how the FSB knew exactly where you’d be.” Sam briefly glanced at Lena, a silent conversation between the pair concluded that the information would stay between the two of them.

 

“It’s just one of those things,” Sam said, brushing it off, “sometimes operations don’t go to plan.”

 

“Julia knew the risk she was taking, we all do. To survive in this world you have to be on your game, the whole time.” Grace said.

 

“That explains why you have one of the best clean-up rates in the whole organisation,” Sam joked.

 

“Well, it’s simple. I am a God.” Grace said, her tone was teasing and Sam laughed it off. Lena remained still as a statue, not really listening, contemplating all the ways she could catch Rhea in the act. She needed to be work smarter.  

 

They left the field soon after that. Lena couldn’t stay in that morbid place for much longer, surrounded by her fallen comrades.

 

There was only one place she needed to be.

 

__________

 

The sky was grey and dark, storm clouds covered the rays of sunlight that desperately tried to break through. It had been raining continuously in Virginia for almost three days. The days were wet and bleak and miserable. She watched as heavy rain drops bounced off the pavement, not really able to focus on much else right now.  

 

Lena didn’t want to think about how her entire world was crumbling around her so she threw herself into her work, knowing it was the only thing that she could do to take her mind off of things.

 

“Hey, stranger.” Kara greeted when she saw Lena taking shelter from the rain under the canopy of the gym’s entrance.

 

“Hey,” Lena plastered a fake smile on her face, hopping down from the railing and falling into step beside Kara. “Ready to get your ass beat?”

 

“I’m ready to watch you sad attempts at trying,” Kara shot back.

 

“Ohhh,” Lena hissed, “I would be worried if I was you.” She teased. They entered the gym and dropped their bags before climbing into the ring.

 

Lena needed this, she needed to relieve some stress, think about something other than the crippling loss she was feeling.

 

She couldn’t focus, Kara kept landing blow after blow, pinning her to the mat time and time again. Lena hunched over when Kara punched her stomach and she groaned as she was yet again slammed onto her back. “What’s going on with you?” Kara asked when she got back onto her feet. She was getting more and more agitated each time she failed block an attack.

 

“Nothing, I’m fine.” She said, readying herself again.

 

“You’re all over the place,” Kara said, keeping her hands by her sides. “Let’s take a break, get some water. You need a rest.” Lena hardened her gaze and shook her head. She saw red and there was no going back now.

 

She feigned a right hook and then swung her foot round and landed a hard kick to Kara’s head. Kara grunted, clearly dazed and Lena took the opportunity to land a punch to Kara’s ribs.

 

She gasped, trying to catch her breath but Lena didn’t let up, grabbing her under the arm, swiping her legs out from underneath her and slamming her onto the mat. Kara stayed on her side, breathing heavily.

 

The veil lifted and Lena soon realised what she’d done.

 

“Kara-” she choked out, kneeling by her side and checking her over.

 

“M’okay, just winded.” Lena moved her sweaty hair away from her face and watched Kara’s face scrunch up in pain.  “At least you took my advice, even though it hurt like a bitch.” Kara hauled herself to her feet and Lena saw the bruise beginning to form on her jaw.

 

“I have to go.” She hurried out of the ring, grabbing her bag and taking off out the door. She was ashamed, she let her emotions get the better of her and she’d taken it out on Kara. Kara was a lot of things: she was arrogant, naive, annoying and cocky but, she wasn’t the cause of Lena’s problems and she didn’t deserve to receive the brunt of Lena’s anger.

 

“Lena, wait!” Kara caught her in the parking lot, she spun her around, holding her by the arms. They ignored the rain as it cascaded down, drenching them in just a few seconds. “Please don’t go,” Kara looked into her eyes but, Lena avoided her gaze, unable to look at her. “I’m not hurt, come on, you’ve done a lot worse to me in the past.” Kara joked, Lena didn’t laugh she looked up and Kara could see the turmoil she was battling.

 

Lena’s eyes were no longer bright and full of mischief, they were dark and lifeless, “what’s going on?” Kara asked. “Talk to me,” she whispered when Lena didn’t respond.

 

Kara led her to the car, sheltering them from the rain, somewhere more private where she thought Lena would feel safer. Kara didn’t start the engine but, she turned on the heater so they would stay warm and faced Lena, waiting for her to speak. The brunette just stared at her hands, wringing them together. The silence was filled with the loud clinking of heavy rain drops bouncing off the metal bonnet.

 

“I can’t help you, if you don’t tell me what’s wrong.” Kara prompted.

 

“I didn’t ask for your help.” Lena said through gritted teeth. She didn’t want Kara’s help and she certainly didn’t need it, “I’m sorry I took it too far today, I lost control for a moment but that’s it.” She stated firmly. Kara didn’t take offence to Lena’s harsh tone, she could recognise the grief and anger plaguing her. She’d seen it in her own eyes her entire adolescence.

 

“Okay, well I assume you’re not going to let me take you home and you’ll get sick again if I let you walk, do you not own a coat? What is this?” Kara tugged at her flimsy jacket, “anyway, Hero will be grumpy if he knows I’ve seen you and he hasn’t, so I guess I’ll have to take you to my place instead.” Kara reasoned, starting the car.

 

“No, I don’t want to go with you.” Lena said, trying to open the door but, Kara had locked them.

 

“Shame. Looks like you don’t have a choice.” Lena needed a friend right now and Kara would be that person, if Lena would just let her. “Put your seatbelt on.” Kara ordered, pulling out of the parking lot. Lena huffed but did as she was told, sulking the whole way back to Kara’s apartment.

 

__________

 

Kara pulled a reluctant Lena up the stairs of the building and into her home. Hero got up and welcomed them excitedly as always, but Lena didn’t greet him with the same enthusiasm she usually did. Kara peeled her coat off and helped Lena tug her ridiculous excuse for a jacket off and didn’t miss the shiver that shuddered through her body.

 

“Go get in the shower,” Kara said. Lena opened her mouth to protest but Kara gave her a stern look that made her swallow her sour retort. Kara pushed her towards the stairs, “I’ll get you some clothes to change into.” She murmured, following behind her. She passed her a pile of clothes and gestured for her to go into the bathroom.

 

Lena stayed under the warmth of the water, letting it run over her body and wash away her salty tears. Lena stayed in the shower until she couldn’t cry any more. She didn’t want Kara to see her like this, she vowed to herself that she would stay strong, that she wouldn’t break down.

 

Lena stepped out of the shower and dried herself off, changing into the clothes Kara had given her scoffing when she saw the CIA logo embroidered on the sweatshirt and pants. Kara turned and looked at her when she entered the kitchen, she smiled when she saw Lena’s raised eyebrow and gesture towards the clothes.

 

“What? You liked the hat so much I figured why not give you the full outfit,” she shrugged. Lena still didn’t say anything, Kara never thought she would actually miss the back chat. Kara grabbed the hem of her sweatshirt and tugged her over to the couch, “do you want some tea?” Lena shook her head lightly, “are you sure? My Mom used to say that any problem can be solved over a cup of tea.” Lena was then reminded of the fact that Kara had lost people too and she knew exactly what Lena was going through.

 

“Okay,” she breathed. Kara sent her a soft smile and stood squeezing her shoulder as she passed. Hero trotted over and dropped his stuffed penguin into her lap, it was worn and covered in dried dog slobber but Lena thanked him any way, kissing his head.

 

“I’m sorry, he’s had that thing since he was a puppy, it’s the only toy he hasn’t destroyed, he absolutely loves it.” Kara said, handing her a mug.

 

“Thank you,” Lena said. She held the warm mug between her palms and took a sip.

 

“So, movie day again?” Kara asked, nonchalantly as if the whole exchange earlier hadn’t happened, as if it was just a normal day. Lena blinked and nodded, “anything in particular?” Kara knew first hand that being pushed into talking about something when you’re not ready, only makes you shut down more. When Lena was ready, Kara would be there.

 

“I don’t mind,” Lena said honestly. Kara decided that comedy was the best way to go, starting with Mrs Doubtfire. Kara even thought she may have seen a smile creep onto Lena’s face but, she still stayed silent slowly stroking Hero’s soft ears.

 

__________

 

“Right,” Kara announced, clapping her hands together, “food. I assume you have no preference?” Lena shook her head, “great. I get to choose then.” Kara ordered, probably way too much food, but she didn’t know what Lena liked so she had to guess.

 

Kara played We’re the Millers while they waited. Lena tucked her feet underneath her and buried deeper into the sweatshirt, trying to make herself as small as possible. She understood why Kara was choosing light-hearted movies but Lena didn’t want cheering up, she didn’t want to be here. She needed to be coming up with a plan to stop Rhea not sitting here, wallowing in her own self pity while Rhea was out there scheming away.

 

“I’m sorry, Kara. I can’t stay any longer.” Lena stood but, Kara followed her.

 

“No, you don’t. You can’t deal with this on your own, trust me, I’ve tried and I know it doesn’t work. Talk to me and I’ll do what I can to help you.” Kara held her arms.

 

“So, now you want to help? After all the times I’ve come to you in the past, you either refused or demanded something in return and now you want me to believe it’s unconditional.” Lena was hurt, she was scared and there was only a handful of people she could trust. As far as she was concerned, Kara was more of a hindrance than an asset.

 

Kara didn’t let her go, she pulled her closer dropping her head so her cheek brushed against Lena’s. She knew this was only a defence mechanism, a way of shutting her out when she needed her support the most. Kara brought her hand up to cup Lena’s face, their cheeks still pressed together, “don’t push me away.” Kara whispered in her ear, “you’ll always be safe here, I promise.”

 

The dam broke and Lena began crying all over again, Kara caught her wrapping her arms around her body and hugged her close. Lena cried silently against her chest and Kara stroked her hair. Lena didn’t need to stay strong around Kara, she didn’t know of the high standards Lena must abide by. She didn’t need to be the cold-hearted assassin, she could be herself, except she was still trying to figure out what that looked like exactly. “My friend, the one I told you about… she didn’t make it,” she whispered.

 

“I’m sorry.” Kara said, sincerely. They may be on different sides but Kara knew what it was like to lose team mates.

 

“I knew something was wrong and I did nothing about it and now it’s too late.” She choked out.

 

“Lena, no. None of this is your fault, you can’t take the blame for other people’s actions, you can only accept responsibility for you own.” Kara murmured.

 

Lena didn’t know which one was worse.

 

“Did you ever find out who was behind it?” Lena nodded.

 

“Someone I trusted with my life.” She breathed, still trying to process the betrayal. Kara didn’t pry any further, she wanted Lena to feel supported, not interrogated.

 

Kara held her until the food arrived, she pulled away and looked at Lena, “you’re not going anywhere, right?” She shook her head and Kara left her standing there while she went to answer the door.

 

__________

 

“Try that,” Kara said, shoving a potsticker towards Lena’s mouth, Lena turned her face away, “come on, it’s basically a pierogi.” Lena sighed and took a bite out of a the fried dough.

 

“It’s nothing like a pierogi, I’ve ever tasted,” she said, Kara pouted. “But, they’re not bad.” She smiled, popping the rest into her mouth.

 

“Rating out of 10?”

 

“7?” Lena responded, Kara took great offence to that.

 

She spent the rest of the evening shoving food into Lena’s face and making her rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, completely disagreeing with everything Lena said.

 

“No, you’re wrong. There’s no way, duck pancakes beat potstickers,” Kara argued.

 

“Why does it matter so much to you?” Lena argued back.

 

Because, potstickers are the greatest food on the planet and you gave them a 7!” Lena shook her head at Kara’s dramatics.

 

“Well, why don’t we let Hero decide?” Lena suggested.

 

“No.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because hmpf pmf muck,” she mumbled.

 

“I’m sorry, what was that?” Lena asked.

 

“Because he’ll pick the duck, okay! I already conducted that experiment… multiple times.” Lena laughed loudly, “shut up!” Kara swatted her arm.

 

“See, even Hero knows I’m right,” she wheezed, Hero’s ears perked up and he walked over to see what all of the commotion was about.

 

“Well, this is all your fault, obviously.” Kara aimed at Hero who licked her cheek, enthusiastically. “Why is your allegiance never with me?” She whined, Hero left and came back with his penguin, dropping it into her lap. “Thanks buddy.” Kara chuckled.

 

Lena helped her clean up, she turned to face Kara once she was done putting the leftovers in the refrigerator, “thank you,” she said and Kara looked at her, “for not giving up on me today.”

 

“What are friends for?”

 

“Is that what we are?” Lena asked.

 

“Is that what you want us to be?” Kara looked at her while she contemplated her answer.

 

“I’d like that,” Lena smiled.

 

“But, like, friends who fuck, right?” Lena rolled her eyes and left the kitchen to go back to the couch, “Lena?” Kara called, “we can still be fuck buddies?”

 

“You had to ruin the moment, didn’t you?” Lena called back, Kara hopped over the back of the couch and landed next to her.

 

“You didn’t answer my question-” Lena’s phone began ringing and she stood up to answer it,

 

“Do you speak Korean?” She asked.

 

“What? No, why?” Kara furrowed her brow and Lena walked towards the window taking the call.

 

Korean only, I’m not alone.” she said.

 

Lena, they’re sending me on a solo mission and Rhea is my handler,” Lena could hear the tremble in Sam’s voice.

 

It’s going to be okay. I’m not going to let her take another life, I promise.” They may be speaking another language but Kara could sense the rising panic.

 

No, it’s not. I can’t refuse, not again.” Lena could hear the choked sob.

 

You don’t have to. I-I’ll come with you. They don’t have to know, I’ll be watching your back and I won’t let anything happen to you, no one else. We’ll get through this mission and we’ll go to Talia, if she doesn’t listen, I’ll finish Rhea myself.” Lena voice didn’t waver, she was determined that she would not lose Sam, she couldn’t.

 

Lena, I’m scared.” she whispered.

 

Don’t be. You are strong and smart and brave. On your own you’re one of the best but together, we’re unstoppable and I’m going to be there, no matter the consequences. Send me the location and I’ll be there.” Lena meant every word.

 

Thank you,” Sam breathed. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.

 

Stay calm, stand tall and don’t let them sense your fear.” Lena said, she heard Sam take a deep  breath.

 

I’m okay, I can do this.” Sam said with confidence filling her voice.

 

Send me the information when you can. Now go forth and conquer-

 

Endure and thrive.” Lena waited until she heard the line click before pulling it away from her ear.

 

Kara stood and made her way over to where Lena was standing, “Lena?” She asked, softly. She gently touched Lena’s arm but recoiled when she saw her flinch. “Sorry.” she said.

 

Lena took a breath and turned to face her, smiling. “I’m okay,” she said.

 

“You don’t have to pretend around me,” Kara whispered. Lena looked up, her eyes shining with unshed tears.

 

“I will be okay.” Kara pulled her back towards the couch and they sat down.

 

“What was that about?” Kara asked, Lena shouldn’t tell her, they were enemies. However, there was something about Kara’s presence that Lena found comforting and inviting. Lena’s mission had been to turn Kara into an informant and yet she’d probably given away more of her own secrets. She’d over analyse that later but, for right now she told Kara everything.

 

“My best friend could be headed to her death and I’m going after her.” Kara sat up and leaned towards her.

 

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Kara asked.

 

“I have no other option.”

 

“Of course you do! There’s always another way, go to your boss, tell them the truth! Tell her to refuse to accept the assignment until there’s been a full investigation-”

 

“We don’t work that way, we rely on a bond of trust.” Lena was sitting there calm as anything while Kara was getting more and more riled up.

 

“Lena, that bond has been broken! Just tell her not to go, tell her to refuse!”

 

“I can’t!” Lena yelled. “No, is not an option,” she whispered.

 

“You can’t risk both of your lives. You can’t-”

 

“No one knows that I’m going to be there, okay. They won’t expect it-”

 

“You’ve already lost one person Lena, you can’t fight the system on your own!” Kara shouted. Lena buried her head in her hands.

 

“Kara, I’m going through with this and there’s nothing you can say that’s going to convince me otherwise.” She stood, facing off against Kara.

 

Sam would always come first.

 

Her phone buzzed, Sam had sent the location to her phone, “I have to go.” She murmured, making her way towards the door.

 

“Wait,” Kara scrambled to find a pen. She grabbed a sheet of paper and scribbled her phone number down and pressed it into Lena’s hand, “if I can’t get you to reconsider, then call me and I’ll be your back up, no one will expect a rogue CIA agent.” Lena stared at her for a moment and leaned up to kiss her softly. “Don’t do anything reckless.” Kara whispered against her lips.

 

Lena nodded briefly and left.

 

__________

 

Sam’s mission was a simple robbery, one that they had been planning for months. It was a huge mansion that housed the British Ambassador for Cuba. This man had wealth unlike the World Killers had ever seen for a simple ambassador, their intelligence suggested that he was on the governments payroll supplying the Cubans with state secrets which funded his lavish lifestyle and ensured he had the best personal security money could buy.

 

Sam was to go in and gather any evidence that could be used against the ambassador and then anything else that was considered valuable, what they couldn’t make a little extra profit on the side?

 

Lena had promised Sam that she would be there but they hadn’t been able to iron out the details with each other beforehand. They couldn’t use the communicators because Rhea was on the same frequency and Lena was supposed to be in Virginia. Sam had a bad feeling about this operation and she prayed that Lena wouldn’t let her down.

 

The mansion was on top of a hill, surrounded by rocky mountains, which was the perfect cover for Lena to set up her sniper nest. The driveway was at least a mile long with a large security gate guarding the entrance. Lena laid on the ground and scoped the place out as best she could from her perch, covering all points of entry and potential blind spots.

 

The ambassador was away on business which meant he’d be on a private yacht somewhere, partying.

 

She watched as Sam broke into the underground garage, the security panel was on the outside of the house so it was easy for her to hack. Lena lost sight of her after that but, she had been sent the plans so she knew whereabouts Sam would be.

 

Sam had no idea where Lena was or if she had shown up, her heart was racing but, she knew Lena was the only person she would trust to back her up. She slipped into the garage and marvelled at just how many vehicles this man owned, he lived in Cuba and yet he had a fucking snowmobile, he had more money than sense and he could afford to lose a little of that vast wealth.

 

Sam checked her plans and knew that once she opened the door to the house she would have fifteen seconds to disarm the alarm before it would send an alert to a private security firm. She pulled the de-coder from her bag, took a deep breath and opened the door, running to the alarm panel. Sam was exceptionally good at her job, especially when it came to technology, the alarm was a simple system, no doubt there would be more extensive security protocols throughout the house but this man was arrogant and with arrogance always comes naivety.

 

There was a main security panel in the kitchen which Sam easily hacked. She reset the security codes for every alarm panel in the house to 1234 meaning everything was now accessible to her. She wiped the security footage and switched off the cameras, finally able to remove her balaclava.

 

The mansion had four floors, ten bedrooms and thirteen bathrooms. Not to mention four studies, a library, two swimming pools, a cinema room and a vault in the basement.

 

Sam first priority was to find the evidence they needed and then to access the vault and take anything she could carry. She made her way to the office located on the first floor in the eastern wing, she was rifling through the drawers when she noticed a light flickering outside. She looked up in panic for a second before she realised that someone was communicating via morse code.

 

Little Spider

 

Lena.

 

Sam smiled to herself, she knew, subconsciously, that Lena wouldn’t let her down. She immediately felt safer knowing she had someone watching her back.

 

She found nothing in the first office so quickly moved onto the second. It wasn’t until she checked the final study that she found what she was looking for, it’s always the last place you look. She rolled her eyes but searched his computer. Finding all the evidence she needed, she downloaded it onto a flash drive and gathered any files she could throwing them into her bag.

 

The final office was, luckily, on the eastern side of the house which meant she could communicate with Lena.

 

Heading to basement vault

 

Lena sent back an affirmative and meticulously searched the perimeter of the house, looking for any signs of movement, any flicker of danger. She no longer had Sam in her line of sight so if there was any sign of trouble she would have to get into that house as fast as possible.

 

Sam typed in the code for the door leading down to the basement and hurried down the stairs, coming face to face with the vault door. It was a simple two combination lock, and it didn’t take her very long to get the door open. Her eyes widened when she saw the contents of the vault: jewellery, diamonds, cash and gold bullion lined the walls.

 

She swept her arms across the shelves like it was Supermarket Sweep, pushing the jewellery and bags of diamonds into her duffel bag. Sam took a lot of the cash and a few bars of gold but she needed to make sure the bag was light enough should she need to make a quick getaway.

 

Lena  was just starting to relax when her ear picked up the sound of gravel crunching. She looked down the driveway and could see four large, black SUV’s travelling at high speeds up the road. Lena shot out the tyres and saw as they swerved off the driveway, one tipping onto it’s side.

 

Lena dismantled the sniper rifle quickly, knowing that whoever was in those cars, she guessed it was a hit squad, wouldn’t stay down for long and switched to an assault riffle with a silencer. Lena slid down the mountain side and round to the back of the house, she kicked open the door and ran to find the door to the basement.

 

She met Sam just as she was coming out of the door, “mask on now, there’s a hit squad making their way to the house.” Sam nodded and pulled her balaclava back over her face. Lena dragged her up the staircase knowing that the entrances and exits would be surrounded any minute.  

 

Lena pulled her into an empty bedroom, “do you have a gun?” Sam nodded and pulled out a pistol.

 

“It’s all I could carry knowing I’d have to drag this along,” she gestured to the duffel bag. Lena moved her body so she was directly in front of Sam.

 

“I don’t want you to shoot unless you absolutely have to, we’re outnumbered so let’s try to stay undetected for as long as possible,” Sam nodded silently.

 

They heard boots hitting the stairs, Lena peaked through the crack in the door, “standard tag team formation but they’re splitting to check rooms individually.” She whispered. Lena tapped Sam’s arm and they moved so they were hidden behind the door, they held their breath as the door creaked open and the muzzle of a rifle peaked through. Lena waited for the man to enter before firing at the back of his neck, he fell forward and Sam stepped in to catch him lowering the body to the floor.

 

Lena stepped out of the room and flew across the corridor into the bedroom opposite, surprising the guard in there, she landed a powerful kick to his stomach and then ended him with two bullets. They moved into one of the sitting rooms at the end of the hallway, taking out two more men on the way.

 

Sam looked up and stopped Lena, “they’ve rearmed the security panel.” Lena looked up and saw the camera blinking, “they know exactly where we are!”

 

“Well, there goes the element of surprise!” Lena kicked over the two couches and positioned a table between the two, creating a barricade. “Open that window and throw the bag out, when you get the chance slide down the drainpipe and head to the back of the house and down the hill. They’ll be a car waiting for you.” Lena couldn’t keep Sam with her while she was carrying that heavy bag, they needed to split up just like they had done in Geneva, it would work better that way.

 

“What about you?” Sam said, opening the window and dropping the bag, which landed with a heavy thud.

 

“I have a plan,” Lena said.

 

“Lena! We’re ridiculously outnumbered, they’ll kill you-”

“I have a ridiculous amount of ammo and I’m extremely pissed off, so let them try!” Lena exclaimed just as the door burst open and the shooting began. They both ducked for cover and sheltered their heads as wooden splinters began flying everywhere.

 

She waited until they were reloading before standing and taking out three enemies. Lena ducked back down and pulled a smoke grenade from her belt, throwing it behind her.

 

“Go!” She yelled to Sam, standing to provide covering fire while she scrambled across the room and out of the window. She slid down the drainpipe and looked around but she could see no one, the smoke had covered the cameras meaning no one had seen Sam slip away.  She looked back up at the window and said a silent prayer for her friend before grabbing the bag and taking off down the hill.

 

Sam knew that if Lena hadn’t been there than she would be dead already.

 

She sprinted down the hill, taking great care as it was steep and she really didn’t need to fall and break something when she had to drive her and Lena away from here. She made it down to the disused dirt path below and scanned the surrounding forest, spotting a land cruiser hidden in the foliage. She ran over, throwing her bag in the back and moved round to the drivers side, pulling her gun when she realised the seat wasn’t empty.

 

“Who are you?” She demanded.

 

Kara held her hands up in surrender, “your getaway driver. Where’s Lena?” she asked when Sam lowered the gun.

 

“She’s back at the house, she said she had a plan,” Sam said, rounding the front of the car and climbing into the passenger seat.

 

“Any idea what the plan is?” Sam shook her head.

 

“If I had to guess I’d say she’s going to lead them in the opposite direction to where we are, so head to the road towards the front of the house.” Kara nodded and started the car, pulling out into the dirt track.

 

“So, you must be Kara.” Sam said, knowingly.

 

“The one and only, and you are?” Kara looked over and saw the raised eyebrows, “I mean it was worth a shot, right?” She grinned and then went back to staring at the road.

 

“Huh, I can’t believe Lena said you were a six.” Kara slammed on the breaks and the car screeched to a stop.

 

“A six?! Oh, she better be dead, ‘cos I’ll kill her if not,” she set off again. “a fucking six,” she muttered under her breath, Sam smirked, maybe she shouldn’t have stirred the pot after Lena just saved her life but hey, it’s what she’s best at.

 

__________

 

Lena watched as Sam climbed out of the window, she just hoped Kara had got her message in time. She turned her attention back to the business in hand and reloaded her gun, she crawled around to the side of the couch and managed to take out seven more men before they realised she’d changed position. She re-evaluated the situation and knew she had to get out of the room as her cover wouldn’t hold up for much longer.

 

She sent another smoke grenade over and climbed out of the window during the confusion. She shimmed across the ledge and into the bedroom that laid three rooms down.

 

Fuck it, she thought and threw a grenade down the hallway, taking cover behind the bed as she heard it explode, taking out the team that surrounded the room she was in previously.

 

Lena knew that wasn’t the last of them, she finished off the few remaining enemies that had taken shelter from the explosion before crouching behind the bannister at the top of the stairs, hearing orders being barked out in Spanish.

 

She stood and fired down on the team climbing the stairs. She swiftly moved down the stairs and shot out the cameras before hopping the railing and landing in the foyer, she shot two men who were running out of the kitchen and reloaded.

 

Turning around at the sound of boots, she hid behind a wall and peaked out, she saw the formation of men guarding, who she assumed was their Captain scanning the remaining cameras for a glimpse of her, two knelt down and three stood behind them. Lena pulled a flash grenade from her belt and leisurely threw it into the kitchen, she heard them try to scramble before it detonated.

 

The flash bang disorientated the final wave of men and Lena was able to pick them off easily before coming face to face with their leader. She sent him a sweet smile before running at him, she threw a left hook which he grabbed easily exposing his underarm, she slammed her fist into his armpit and he collapsed onto the floor in a world of pain. Huh, maybe I should stop giving Kara such a hard time.

 

She crouched down and grabbed his shirt, “I’ll let you live and you shall pass on a message to the person that tipped you off, tell them ‘I’m coming, and this time I won’t be merciful.’” She pulled a knife from her belt and pinned him to the table while he groaned in pain.

 

Lena ran to the underground garage, knowing that reinforcements were likely to have already been called.

 

She saw the bike and almost cried with joy, she heard more footfalls entering the house and took off, the garage door worked on an sensor and she threw a grenade behind her blowing up the exit and crushing many an expensive car.

 

Hearing the engines roar to life behind her she took off at top speed down the long, winding driveway. She swerved left and right to avoid the bullets that were being fired from the windows of the cars in pursuit. They must have called ahead because as she reached the end of the driveway and saw the gate slowly sliding shut, she accelerated and slid through the gap easily, leaving the SUV’s to screech to a stop on the other side.

 

But as they say, out of the frying pan and into the fire, she raced onto the main road only to be intercepted by more vehicles heading towards her. Lena slammed on the breaks, placed a foot on the ground and spun the bike, taking off in the opposite direction.

 

__________

 

Sam and Kara had caught up with the convoy and were following closely behind.

 

“Damn, she really is good on that thing,” Kara said when she saw Lena execute the manoeuvre perfectly. Sam just smiled and rolled down the window, hanging out of it to fire at the cars in front. “Good to know you’re all just as foolhardy,” Kara murmured, accelerating to try and catch up with them.

 

Sam managed to blow out the tyres of the car in front, Kara dragged her in with one hand and rammed the side of it watching as it swerved off the road and rolled.

 

“Nice one!” Sam said, reloading and going back to her previous position.

 

Lena felt the wind whipping through her hair, she was in her element, racing down the road at top speed weaving in and out, avoiding the gunfire. She knew her luck would run out and being as exposed as she was, she needed to lose the convoy as quickly as possible. Lena reached the end of the private track and took a sharp right, heading towards the city, hoping she could lose them in the traffic.

 

She joined the main road and moved in and out of the cars.

 

Glancing in the mirror, she counted four more cars following close behind her and then she caught sight of the land cruiser, particularly Sam hanging out of the land cruiser.

 

Okay, time to think. Think, think, think.

 

She had a plan, it was a risky plan, but it was plan.

 

Speeding down the street she made her way towards the Bacunayagua Bridge. The highest bridge in Cuba, 110m above the valley floor. Distraction it is.

 

She veered off to the very right side of the road.

 

“What is she doing?” Kara asked.

 

“I have no idea,” Sam was just as wide eyed as Kara was.

 

Lena hit the front break and basically catapulted herself over the edge of the bridge, the bike smashed into the barriers and fell over the side, following Lena.

 

Kara slammed on the breaks as did the rest of the convoy, they got out of the car, used the doors as cover and took out the rest of the armed guards while they were searching for Lena. Kara checked the rest of the cars for any straggles while Sam sprinted to the edge of the bridge and almost vaulted over it herself.

 

“You’re insane, you know that?!” Sam called down.

 

Lena was hanging from a rope attached to which was a grappling hook, clinging to the tapered concrete beam.

 

“Did it work?” She called back. Lena began pulling herself up the rope, she could see Sam nodding and then Kara’s face appeared over the side.

 

“So, how’s it hanging?” She grinned.

 

They pulled her up and over the side, Sam threw her arms around Lena’s neck, hugging her tightly. “Thank you,” she murmured into her ear, Lena just hugged her back, she didn’t need to be thanked, not yet, it wasn’t over yet.

 

“Time to go.” Kara said, ushering them back to the car, “we’ve attracted a lot of attention.” She was right, they could hear the sirens on the way. They clambered into the car and Kara drove them away from the scene.

 

__________

 

They dropped Sam off within walking distance of the extraction point, they couldn’t tell Kara exactly where to go for obvious reasons. Lena got out of the car with Sam and they moved out of listening range.

 

“How are you getting back?” Sam asked.

 

“I have a friend who owes me a favour,” Lena said, she looked at the ground. “I sent a message to Rhea, she should receive it soon and she probably thinks it’s from you, so be careful when you get back to HQ. Stay in a group until I get there, don’t go anywhere on your own.” She warned.

 

“I won’t, thank you for watching my back,” Sam said.

 

“I don’t plan on losing anyone else,” Lena said sincerely. Sam embraced her again, “you should go check in but, be careful.” Lena made eye contact with her and she nodded.

 

“She’s actually pretty good,” Sam nodded towards Kara.

 

“Urgh don’t tell her that, I’ll never hear the end of it.” Lena rolled her eyes, playfully.

 

“You’re not half bad,” Sam called over to Kara, smirking at Lena.

 

“See,” she gestured towards Lena, “thank you,” she held her hands out as if that was already obvious, Lena raised an eyebrow at her.

 

“Thanks again,” she called and Kara waved her off, she pulled Lena in to a final, goodbye hug, “see you soon. Go forth and conquer,” she nodded her head towards Kara.

 

“Endure and thrive,” Lena finished, flipping her off as she did so. Kara frowned at the interaction but looked away when Lena turned and got back into the car.

 

__________

 

Kara drove them to a secluded area while they waited for their own extraction. “So, you’re not going to speak to me at all,” Lena said when Kara continued to ignore her. She’d tried making conversation throughout the journey but Kara refused to respond. “Is this because of the bridge thing? It wasn’t that reckless, besides I had no other choice-”

 

“You gave me a six out of ten!” Kara turned to her, full pout on her face.

 

“Oh for God sake, that’s what your issue is?” Lena was going to kill Sam when she got back. Kara turned and looked out of the window instead of at Lena. She sighed and reached over, rolling Kara’s seat back.

 

“What are you doing?” Kara asked as Lena climbed over the console and straddled her lap.

 

“Making you talk to me,” Lena husked. She kissed up Kara’s sharp jawline and mouthed at her ear, “please talk to me,” Lena cooed pushing her hands under Kara’s shirt and raking her nails over her abs, Kara shifted but refused to say anything. “It’ll be a long four hours if not,” she hummed, nibbling on Kara’s earlobe.

 

“You did so well tonight,” she ran her hands up Kara’s chest, “you bumped yourself up to at least a seven.” Lena joked but, Kara didn’t seem impressed. “Come on, it was a stupid comment I made months ago back in Geneva. You might as well speak to me because I’m not moving,” she murmured, grinding her hips onto Kara’s lap.

 

“I’m at least a nine!” Kara finally burst, Lena snickered and pressed a kiss behind her ear and moved down to her neck.

 

“Fine, you’re a nine, are we done with this now?” Lena asked, exasperated.

 

“No, now we’re going to talk about the bridge stunt.” Lena groaned and dropped her head onto Kara’s shoulder. “That was awesome!” Kara exclaimed.

 

“Right?!” Lena said, equally as giddy. Kara grinned and high-fived her.

 

Lena bent down and captured her lips in a passionate kiss. Kara moaned and gripped Lena’s hips pulling her closer, she slipped her tongue into Lena’s mouth and they battled for dominance.

 

Kara broke the kiss to catch her breath and Lena continued down her neck, sucking on her pulse point. Kara moaned and tilted her head back, exposing more of her skin for Lena to mark. She nipped at her skin, soothing the bites with her tongue, Kara panted and squeezed Lena’s hips tightly.

 

“Mmm, back seat, now.” Kara managed to choke out. Lena smirked against her neck and Kara urged her to move. Lena climbed into the back and Kara hurried after her, pouncing on her and kissing her feverishly.

 

Kara unbuckled Lena’s pants and rubbed slit through her underwear. Lena moaned and bucked her hips up into Kara’s hand. She hooked her finger in the fabric and pulled Lena’s panties to the side, sliding a finger through her wet folds. Lena dragged her down and kissed her again, biting her lower lip.

 

Kara slipped two fingers into Lena, her eyes shot open and she gasped, Kara sucked on her neck and curled her fingers, massaging her front wall. Lena whined and hooked a leg around Kara’s hips pulling her closer.

 

“Fuck, Kara!” Lena cried when she used her thumb to circle her clit. Kara leaned back and tugged Lena’s pants and underwear down to her knees so she had more room to work with. Kara licked her clit once and Lena’s whine turned into a moan when she tasted herself on Kara’s tongue.

 

Kara curled her fingers again and rubbed Lena’s clit. She could tell Lena was close, she bit her neck and Lena cried out her walls clenched around Kara’s fingers and she came hard. She arched into her body and Kara continued to suck on her neck, gently bringing her down.

 

Lena flopped back onto the seat and panted, Kara pulled away and smirked at Lena. She rolled her eyes and pushed her stupid, smug face away but Kara was relentless as usual, grinning widely at her. Lena tugged her pants back up and unbuttoned Kara’s, shoving her hand down the front of them and sliding her fingers between her folds.

 

Kara groaned and dropped her head onto Lena’s shoulder.

 

Lena circled Kara’s clit slowly, never quite giving her the satisfaction she needed, Kara squirmed but Lena continued the same slow movement.

 

“Lena, come on!” Kara whined.

 

“What’s wrong?” Lena cooed.

 

“Do something.” She growled, Lena tutted and removed her hand.

 

“Be nice or I won’t do anything,” Lena stroked her jaw, teasingly.

 

“Please touch me, Lena.” She pleaded, Lena grinned devilishly and flipped them over, pulling Kara’s pants and underwear down. She kissed down Kara’s body and pushed her shirt up to nip and suck at those insane abs, leaving dark marks all over her stomach.

 

Kara’s abs make up six of those nine points.

 

Lena left two bruises on the inside of each of her thighs. She licked a strip up to her clit and gently brushed her tongue over it. “Fuck Lena,” she gasped, threading her hands through Lena’s hair and tugging her closer. She sucked Kara’s clit and thrust one finger into her curling it upwards.

 

Kara whined and dipped her head back against the seat, bucking her hips up into Lena’s eager mouth. Lena flattened her tongue and ran it over her stiff clit, she slipped another finger inside Kara and picked up the pace, fucking her hard. Kara panted and one hand shot out to clutch at the front seat, her nails dug into the leather and she thrashed against the seat.

 

Lena pinned her hips down, using her free arm and blew cool air onto her aching clit. Kara whimpered and tried to move closer.

 

Lena took pity on her, sucking her clit into her mouth and hummed lightly. Kara whimpered and her eyes shot open as she came hard, the slight vibration driving her crazy.

 

“That was amazing,” Kara panted while she recovered.

 

“We have three more hours yet,” Lena grinned.

 

Lena spent the next two hours making Kara see stars, by the time she was done Kara couldn’t feel her legs. Lena laid across her chest smiling proudly, “I can’t feel my… anything.” She panted, Lena kissed her jaw.

 

“Thank you for coming with me tonight, you have no idea how much it means to me.” Lena mumbled, Kara squeezed her hand in response.

 

Lena sat up to check her phone.

 

“I have to go, my transport is here.” She whispered, fixing her clothes. Kara sat up quickly and did the same. “You know, with a bit more work you could make a really good field agent,” she joked, Kara scoffed.

 

“I’m a perfectly good field agent!” Kara said, outraged.

 

Lena arched an eyebrow, “keep working on your cold reading,” she tried to laugh it off but her heart wasn’t in it. Kara could tell something was wrong.

 

“Wait,” Lena looked back at her, “why did this feel like a goodbye?” Kara asked.

 

“It’s probably not,”

 

Probably?” Kara frowned, clearly not accepting the answer.

 

Lena sighed, “look, I don’t know what’s going to happen next… I don’t know what will happen to me.”

 

“Let me help you-”

 

“No, Kara. This is my fight.” Lena said firmly. Kara looked into her eyes and could see that there would be no stopping her this time.

 

“Just make sure you come back, I don’t want to have to tell Hero why his best friend doesn’t come to visit any more,” Lena smiled softly and hopped out of the car.

 

She stopped and turned to Kara, “well aren’t you going to say it?”

 

Kara looked up, “say what?”

 

“The whole, “don’t do anything reckless” thing.”

 

“Nah, I’m pretty sure you don‘t listen anyway.” Kara joked.

 

__________

 

 

Lena was stood, in the briefing room beaming at Sam from across the room.

 

She was currently being praised by Talia in front of the rest of the agents for her outstanding work in the field. Sam stood at the front of the room, Selena and Helena to her right, Talia and Rhea to her left.

 

“This was an incredibly difficult assignment, one that has been in the works for months. I knew it would take an incredibly talented and highly skilled agent to make it a success. Not only did Reign succeed, she also managed to take out an entire hit squad by herself!” Talia clapped her on the back and started a round of applause, Sam looked proud but she smiled and nodded towards Lena, knowing she wouldn’t have managed it without her.

 

Lena looked at Rhea but she didn’t seem at all phased, or agitated. Lena knew the message would have gotten back to her, her Spanish was perfect. There was a reason why Rhea was the master of manipulation and Lena knew not to trust her look of nonchalance, she would be squirming on the inside, she would know that the walls were closing in.

 

She made her way over to Sam, giving her a tight hug.

 

“I’m so proud of you!” Lena said.

 

I couldn’t have done it without you.

 

Sam tapped onto her shoulder.

 

Lena moved out of the way so the others could congratulate her, she looked over at Grace and frowned when she saw the look of her face. She looked absolutely furious, her eyes fixed on Sam.

 

“Hey,” Lena said, touching her arm gently, “what’s up?”

 

“Nothing, I’m happy for Sam but… that was supposed to be my mission.” She turned to Lena, “it’s just annoying, Rhea pulled me off active duty and stuck me on clean-up, so I missed out. I put in all the ground work, did all the reconnaissance and I reap none of the benefits.” Lena understood the frustration, if an agent fails more than three consecutive missions they’re placed on clean-up until they can prove their worth again. As soon as Rhea was dealt with, Grace could go back to active duty.

 

“Yeah but, now you have the highest clean-up rate in the company-”

 

Oh shit.

 

Apparently, that means nothing.” Grace said, her voice full of spite.

 

“Would you excuse me for a second?” Lena smiled sweetly and Grace just waved her off. Lena walked normally out of the room and then raced to the computer lab.

 

Suddenly, everything made perfect sense.

 

It was too easy. It was all too easy.

 

Someone as smart as Rhea wouldn’t be stupid enough to use her own name when registering a company, anagram or not. She should have figured it out before, Lena just thought she was incredibly arrogant, that perk came with the job.

 

Lena thought back to what Grace had said at Julia’s ceremony, ‘Well, it’s simple. I am a God.’ The name of the CEO was ‘Hera’, Grace was angry and was clearly trying to set Rhea up should someone make the connection. At the same time, historically, Hera ruled over Mount Olympus as queen of the gods and one of her defining qualities was her jealous and vengeful nature. Lena couldn’t comprehend it all, Grace endangered the lives of her fellow agents and caused the death of a friend just to get back at Rhea.

 

Not to mention, everyone knew that Grace had been gunning for Helena’s job, always pointing out her flaws and belittling her to others. Pestilence is, after all, the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, Grace saw it as her right, by name alone.  

 

Lena searched the database, until she found what she was looking for. Rhea took Grace off of active duty six months ago, she’d never seen an agent be put on clean-up for that long, Grace must have really fucked up.

 

She scanned the records, Grace had been sent to rectify every mission that Lena and Sam had identified to be sabotaged, starting with the Princess of Krypton, no doubt she received a huge payout at the same time. She had a 98% clean-up rate and as soon as Rhea was out of the way, Grace now had the best statistics in the organisation, mainly because she’d skewed everyone else’s.

 

She didn’t hear the footsteps until it was too late.

 

“So, it was you that sent me that message, not Sam.” Lena whipped around and saw the gun aimed at her head.

 

“You did all of this just to get back at Rhea?”

 

“She deserved it.” Grace shrugged.

 

“People died Grace-”

 

“Sacrifices have to be made when fighting a war,” she cocked the gun and Lena gave her a warning look.

 

“Go ahead, shoot me. Everyone will know exactly what you are, a traitor.” Lena snarled. Grace stepped closer to her and shot her an evil smile.

 

“That would make too much noise,” she hit Lena across the face with the gun and her whole body twisted at the impact.

 

Lena grabbed at the cord wrapped around her throat but, it was pulled tight. She choked and tried to fight back, “You just had to look didn’t you? You couldn’t just leave it.” Grace growled.

 

Lena slammed her elbow into Grace’s ribs and she faltered. She managed to slip her fingers between the cord and her throat, sucking in as much air as she could. Using her foot to push off from the desk, they crashed into the wall.

 

Lena threw her head back and head-butted Grace. She grunted in pain and Lena threw her head back again until she let go, Lena coughed and spluttered.

 

She swung her leg around but Grace dodged it easily, the lack of oxygen had made her dizzy and disorientated. Lena aimed to land a punch to her throat but, Grace caught her fist and punched her until she was on her knees.

 

Grace knelt behind her and pulled the cord across her throat again. Lena tried to pull it away from her neck but, Grace was too strong. She scratched at Grace, trying to fight her off but she wrapped her legs around Lena’s torso and pinned her. Lena kicked her legs against the desk closest to her, trying to make as much noise as possible, hoping someone would hear her. Her eyes were watering and her limbs began to feel limp, her muscles burned with every movement she made.

 

There was a bang and suddenly Lena could breathe again.

 

“Lena!” Sam ran over to where she was lying, coughing, spluttering and clutching her throat. Sam cupped her face and called for a medic.

 

Lena’s eyes cracked open and she saw that Talia was the one holding the gun.

 

__________

 

Lena didn’t want to think about the events of the past few days she just wanted to be somewhere she felt safe.

 

Kara opened the door late that night and saw Lena’s beaten face. She immediately, pulled Lena inside and into her arms.

 

“I brought your clothes back,” she mumbled, her words were hard to understand as she was crushed against Kara’s body

 

“What happened?” she breathed.

 

“Just another attempt on my life, no biggie.” Lena murmured. Kara pulled away and cupped Lena’s face, inspecting her bruises. She caught sight of the nasty burn and bruising across her throat, she stroked her thumb across it gently and softened her gaze. “Can I stay here tonight?” She asked nervously.

 

“Of course,” Kara said, nodding. Lena moved away from her arms and collapsed onto the couch: sharing a bed, without having sex beforehand, was too intimate.

 

“If you need anything, just yell.” Kara called. She didn’t really want to leave her but Hero curled up on the floor next to Lena and she dropped a hand to stoke his head.

 

Kara tossed her a blanket from her room and it landed on her face. Lena held a thumbs up and mumbled a thank you.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Kara placed a steaming cup of coffee on the table in front of Lena’s sleeping form. Her phone began ringing and before Kara could silence it, Lena stirred.

 

“Is that coffee I smell?” Lena sighed softly but kept her eyes shut. Kara hummed in confirmation and Lena slowly sat up.

 

“You’re bed head is something else,” Kara grinned, looking at the nest on top of Lena’s head.

 

“Shouldn’t you be at work?” She grumbled, running her hands through her hair.

 

“I had to take time off to go to Cuba,” Kara explained. “I thought I might as well take a few extra days.” Lena grabbed her mug and took a sip. “Do you need some ice?”

 

“Please,” Lena winced and held her head. Kara swapped her coffee for an ice pack. Lena held it to her head and laid back, Kara caught sight of that nasty mark on her neck and brushed her fingers gently across her throat.

 

“Hold still,” she whispered. Kara moved her hair away from her neck and dabbed antiseptic cream on the burns. “Are you going to tell me what happened?”

 

“Isn’t it obvious?” Lena said, gesturing to her face.

 

“Did you do what you needed to?” Kara asked, taking a little longer than necessary on her neck.

 

“Can we not? I don’t want to talk about it,” Kara let it go, Lena had been through a hell of an ordeal and Kara really didn’t want to piss her off.

 

“Okay, now come on I have to walk Hero, he’s getting restless.” Lena hadn’t noticed until now but, Hero was pacing back and forth and wagging his tail. He yapped when they both looked over at him and began whining.

 

“You want me to go to the park, looking like this?” Lena raised an eyebrow.

 

“It’s fine, we’ll put a hoodie on you, stick on a hat and some sunglasses, it’ll just look like you had a heavy night.” Lena sighed and threw the blanket off. She headed up to the bathroom to make herself look presentable.

 

“Use whatever you want, I have tons of spare stuff in the cabinet!” Kara called up to her.

 

Lena came back down ten minutes later and Kara handed her the disguise. The hoodie was a little big but it was soft and warm so she wasn’t going to complain. They walked through the park and Hero ran around, happily.

 

“You know this is all your fault right?” Lena said.

 

Kara laughed. “Oh, I can’t wait to hear this. Go on, how is this my fault?”

 

“You didn’t say the reckless thing, it’s like a good luck charm. You can’t just decide to not say it when you feel like it, I almost died!” Lena explained and Kara snorted.

 

“Fine, I’ll take responsibility for not saying the reckless thing,” Kara held her hands up. “I’ll buy you breakfast to make up for it.”

 

“Well, I should think so, it’s the least you can do.” Lena said, matter of factly. Hero bounded over proudly showing off the Frisbee he’d found.

 

“Where did you get that?” Kara looked up and saw the family across the park waving and shouting at them. “Shit! Hero, get back here!” Lena laughed as Kara chased after the dog. Hero refused to stop, too invested in the new game of cat and mouse.

 

Eventually, Kara managed to grab his collar and wrench the Frisbee out of his mouth, she gave it back to the family, apologising profusely.

 

“Don’t start,” Kara wheezed when she made it back to where Lena was standing and still laughing. It felt good to genuinely laugh at something again, the pair never failed to make her smile. “Come on,” Kara hooked his lead onto the collar and pulled him home, “you’ve had enough of a run around.”

 

“I thought he was trained,” Lena snickered.

 

“He is! This is your fault, you took too long this morning!” Kara said.

 

“Yeah, okay.” Lena’s tone was laced with sarcasm. “Hurry up, I’m hungry,” she whined.

 

“God, you’re just as bad as him.” Kara gestured down to Hero who was sniffing at trash. “Don’t eat that!” She chided.

 

Kara and Lena returned to Kara’s apartment with bags full of food and tall cups of coffee. Kara gave Hero his breakfast and joined Lena on the stool next to her. Kara opened her mouth to say something when Lena’s phone began ringing again, she’d watched her decline someone’s call all morning.

 

Lena sighed and ignored Talia’s call for the fifth time. She really shouldn’t be ignoring her boss, but she wasn’t ready to discuss everything that had happened, she needed time to think, to regroup. She had left in the middle of the night when she was supposed to be receiving medical attention but she’d deal with the consequences later.

 

“Someone really wants to speak to you,” Kara said. Lena switched her phone off and turned, smiling at her.

 

“Well, I’m very desirable,” she husked, “now, which one of these is mine?” Lena gestured to the many paper bags filled with pastries, bagels and all other kinds of breakfast foods.  

 

“Ah, well. I think we still have to expand your rather… lacklustre palate,” she said, tearing open the paper bags.

 

“Hey, my palate is not lacklustre!” Lena said, outraged.

 

“Lena, you like kale.” Kara dead-panned.

 

“So? It’s good for you.”

 

“My point exactly,” Kara shoved a Belgian chocolate twist into her mouth when she tried to protest.

 

“Schop doming tha!” Lena said, her mouth full of pastry. Kara laughed and took a bite out of her own. Kara made her try absolutely everything, croissants, scones, muffins, bear claws, bagels smothered in cream cheese and smoked salmon.

 

“This one next,” Kara said, holding out something new.

 

“No, leave me alone. I’m full.” Lena couldn’t eat another thing, she batted Kara’s hand away. She gave up, gathering the remaining food and putting it away. Kara pulled her off the stool while she was pliant and malleable.

 

“Game time.” Kara said, pushing her onto the couch.

 

“What?” Lena murmured, watching as Kara dug through a wooden blanket box in the corner of the room. She came back with her arms full of board games and a wide grin on her face. “You’re kidding right? I’m not doing that.” Kara’s face fell.

 

“Oh, come on, Lena! Please, I haven’t had anyone to play with in years.” Kara pouted and looked down. Lena groaned internally.

 

“Fine! What are we playing?” Kara squealed and Hero rushed over to join in the excitement. Kara sat down in front of the coffee table and gestured for Lena to take the spot opposite her.

 

“Battleships!”

 

“How do you play?” Lena asked and Kara stopped setting up.

 

“You’ve never played battleships?” Lena shook her head, “my god, it’s worse than I thought. We have so much work to do. Right the basic concept is…”

 

__________

 

They spent the rest of the morning playing board games until they lost the lethargic feeling brought on by the mountain of food they’d eaten earlier. Lena had won a few games and she was actually enjoying herself, Kara was incredibly competitive and watching her flip out was more fun than the feeling of winning the game itself. The Jenga melt down was one of the best things Lena had ever witnessed.

 

“Time for the ultimate test,” Kara rubbed her hands together and lifted Twister, Kara had to explain how to play every game they’d played and figured this would be no different. “Now, in this game you have to-”

 

“I know how to play Twister,” Lena said, standing up and going to move the furniture out of the way.

 

“I’m sorry,” Kara stood up to help her, “you know how to play Twister but not Connect 4?”

 

“Well, I’ve played Twister before,” they lifted the couch and moved it back. “I had just finished a mission and I met some girls who were on a gap year travelling in Bali. Although, if I remember rightly, there was a lot more paint and a lot less clothing.” Kara choked and her eyes twitched uncontrollably. Error. Error. Brain cannot compute.

 

Lena hadn’t noticed there was anything wrong and laid out the mat, before turning to look at Kara, who was stood stock still replaying that particular scenario over and over again in her head. “Hello,” Lena waved in front of her face, “are you malfunctioning?” Lena smirked.

 

Kara rebooted quickly, “No, shut up. Spin the thing.” She gestured towards the spinner.

 

“Right hand yellow.”

 

And the game began.

 

“Ha! There’s no way you can get your foot on red!” Kara said. She’d had a stroke of ridiculous luck, all four of her limbs were on red spots and Lena already had her right foot on the green corner spot.

 

“You underestimate how flexible I am.” Lena said, looking back. She spread her legs and easily dropped into a box split, one hand between her legs on blue and the other in front of her on green.

 

Kara’s brain malfunctioned again.  

 

It continued to malfunction the more they played this game. At one point Lena was bent backwards in a bridge and Kara was across the top of her, trying to avoid burying her face in her chest. Hero was having a great time running between the two, licking their faces because they couldn’t move their hands without losing.  

 

Lena flicked the spinner again, “Left foot blue.” Kara moved her foot, knocking Lena’s knee and pushing it out from underneath her. Lena had been holding up her own weight plus majority of Kara’s meaning, she collapsed onto the mat and Kara fell on top of her.

 

“Ow.” Lena groaned.

 

“You okay?” Kara asked, pushing herself up. She grabbed Lena’s hand and pulled her up.

 

“Yeah,” she patted Kara’s cheek. “Shame you lost.”

 

“What do you mean? You lost, you fell first!”

 

“Because you pulled my foot out from underneath me!” Kara thought for a moment.

 

“We’ll call it a draw,”

 

“No, we won’t. I won!”

 

“I’m not fighting with you on this.” Kara ignored her many, many protests. “So, moving swiftly on… Wanna play again?”

 

__________

  

Lena eventually won Twister, so many times. Kara kept demanding a re-match, mostly because she wanted to see how many ways Lena could bend. It was a lot.

 

They spent the afternoon playing with Hero in the park until he was too tired to walk home. “Come on, buddy.” Kara tugged at his lead but he refused to move, Kara had to carry him home. Lena cooed at him and stroked his ears while he wagged his tail happily.

 

“I need food.” Kara announced after putting Hero down, “God he’s heavier then he looks.” She stretched her arms out.

 

“Aww, it’s all muscle, isn’t it buddy?” She stroked his head and he licked her hand. Kara started gathering ingredients from the fridge, “what are you making?”

 

“Well, since you walked out last time, you missed out on my famous chicken alfredo,” she started boiling the water for the pasta and chopped up the chicken.

 

“If I remember rightly, it was your fault-”

 

“No, we’re not arguing today, so don’t even try it,” she turned and pointed the knife at Lena, she held her hands up in surrender.

 

“No fighting, got it.”

 

Kara made the food quickly and handed a plate to Lena. She watched her carefully as Lena ate, she noticed a few minutes in. “What?” She asked.

 

“Well, what do you think?” Kara asked, wide eyed.

 

“It’s really good, definitely the best I’ve ever had.” Lena nodded.

 

“You’ve never had it before, have you?” She dead-panned.

 

“Well… no, but I guess that makes it the best.” Kara tilted her head and seemed to accept the answer.

 

“What did they feed you growing up?”

 

“Normal stuff,” she shrugged. “They were really focused on giving us a healthy diet, lot’s of fruit, vegetables and protein, not a lot of sugar or fat.” Lena explained.

 

“I guess that’s good, not exactly fun though.” Kara said. Lena’s childhood wasn’t meant to be fun, her childhood was meant to build her into the person she was today.

 

“Name days were fun, we got to have pierogies after dinner. There was so many of us though so, we didn’t really celebrate, you just got the day off and then we would all sing and that was it.” Lena explained, Kara faltered but Lena carried on eating, avoiding her eyes.

 

“You never celebrated, no presents, no cake, no party?” Lena shook her head. “That’s… really sad.”

 

“Well, I never knew any different so there was nothing to miss,” she shrugged. “I don’t really celebrate my Name Day, it’s not a big deal to me.” Kara left it, not wanting to ruin the day by making Lena feel like she was backing her into a corner.

 

They finished their food and Lena insisted on doing the dishes. Kara watched her from where she sat, Lena was so confusing and Kara shouldn’t want anything to do with her but, she couldn’t stay away. She didn’t want to stay away, she wanted to learn everything about her, she wanted to teach her about all the small pleasures in life. There was no one in her life like Lena.

 

Lena knew that she had to at least call Talia back tonight, she didn’t want to go back but, she couldn’t ignore her for too long, that would be insubordination.

 

“Where are you going?” Kara asked when Lena put her shoes on.

 

“I have to make a call,” she stroked Hero’s head when he looked at her.

 

“Are you coming back?” She looked hopeful.

 

“I don’t know,” she said honestly. “I won’t leave without saying goodbye.” Kara nodded.

 

Lena stepped out into the street and turned her phone back on, seeing the nine missed calls from Talia and thirteen from Sam. Oh, this wasn’t going to be good.

 

She decided to call Sam first, she figured that would probably hurt less.

 

“Where the fuck have you been?” Sam answered.

 

“Hello, to you too,” she sighed, rolling her eyes.

 

“Lena, where are you?”

 

“Stockholm,” she lied. “I’m sorry, I just couldn’t be there. Not after everything. Is Talia angry?”

 

“Well, you left in the middle of the night, refusing medical treatment and then didn’t answer her calls, she’s not exactly happy.” Lena cringed at thought of having to make that call. “Are you okay at least?”

 

“Yeah, I’m okay. My head still hurts but, I just needed a break, I didn’t feel… right being there.” Lena explained.

 

“I get it but, we’re all worried about you, check in with Talia, you know she holds a special place for you.”

 

“I will. Thank you, Sam.” They said their goodbye’s and Lena braced herself before making her second call. She went through the security protocols and was immediately put through to Talia.

 

“So, you decided to grace me with a phone call.” Her tone was unforgiving and she winced.

 

“I’m sorry, but after everything that happened, I didn’t feel safe back at HQ. I wanted to be on my own.” Lena was standing firm on this issue, she had almost been killed in the one place she should have felt safest.

 

“Little Spider, you can’t refuse medical treatment and go AWOL, I understand this situation was a completely new but, the threat had been neutralised-”

 

“Are you sure about that? Are you sure Pestilence was the only traitor?” She shouldn’t have interrupted Talia, it was disrespectful but she didn’t care at this point.

 

“We’ll discuss it when you get back, I want you back at HQ by midnight tomorrow and that’s an order, Lena.” She rolled her eyes but agreed. “Go forth and conquer,”

 

“Endure and thrive.” Lena ended the call and then groaned. She climbed the stairs and entered the apartment again.

 

“Hey,” Kara looked over, “you were gone for a while.”

 

“I had to make a few calls in the end,” Lena sat down on the couch and Hero curled up on her lap. “I have to go,” Lena sighed.

 

“Right now?”

 

“I have to be back by midnight, tomorrow-”

 

“You’ve still got time, stay here tonight, please?” Kara asked. Lena shouldn’t stay, she really shouldn’t, but this was her safe place.

 

“Okay,” she agreed.

 

Kara put a movie on and they watched it together, Lena’s eyes were heavy by the time it was over and she’d almost fallen asleep once or twice. Kara grabbed her hand and tugged her towards the stairs, Lena stopped her. “Where are we going?”

 

“To bed?” Kara said, as if it was obvious.

 

“I’m gonna stay on the couch,” Lena said, looking down.

 

“Come on, Lena. We’ve shared a bed before-” no we haven’t, “-and the couch isn’t going to be good for you. I mean if you want to stay on the couch, that’s fine but, don’t feel obligated.” Kara continued up the stairs.

 

Lena was conflicted, she felt like sharing a bed was an intimate act but, her mission was to make Kara fall for her and if she wanted them to share a bed, then that’s what she would do.

 

She followed Kara up the stairs and they got ready for bed. Lena laid on her side dressed in a t-shirt and a pair of Kara’s boxers. She waited for Kara to get into bed dressed in a sports bra and boxers.

 

“See, the world is still spinning,” Kara said, Lena rolled her eyes.

 

“Just stay on your side, I don’t do cuddling.” Kara snorted.

 

“I think you do, I think you’re a big softie at heart,” Kara said.

 

Lena raised her eyebrow, “you remember when I shot you, right?”

 

“Vividly.” Kara nodded.

 

“Good, I’m just double checking that I don’t have to do it again,” Kara chuckled, she watched as Lena closed her eyes, Kara brought her hand up to brush Lena’s throat again, drawn to that line across her neck.

 

“How close?” She whispered.

 

“Too close.” Lena whispered back. Kara leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her neck. Lena didn’t protest and Kara kept a hand there, stroking her thumb across the raised skin, she could feel her pulse strongly thrumming.

 

Kara used the cover of darkness to build her confidence and then she put herself out there, “I’m going to away for a few days, to a cabin in the mountains. Why don’t you come with me?” Lena’s eyes shot open and the question hung heavy in the air.

 

“You want me to come away with you?” She whispered.

 

“Well, yeah. It’s just gonna be me and Hero, you once told me that the mountains are your home, why not come have fun with us? It might be good for you to get away from the city for a while,” Kara said, hopefully. “Come with me,” she pouted for affect.

 

“You don’t have any other friends to go with you?”

 

“Nope,” she said, popping the ‘p’. “Oh my God, I think you’re my best friend,” Kara said, just coming to the realisation.

 

“And you say my life is tragic,” Lena snorted.

 

“Your life is tragic,” Kara joked, pushing her shoulder. “So, what do you think?”

 

“Are you gonna take me to the mountains and kill me?”

 

“Come with me and find out,” Kara teased.

 

“I’ll have to let you know, I did technically go AWOL, but if I can get away I will come with you.” Kara grinned and leaned forward to kiss her.

 

She continued to stroke her skin and Lena drifted off to the feeling of Kara’s soft ministrations.

 

Kara woke up alone again. She expected it but that didn’t stop the feeling of disappointment filling her.

 

__________

 

Lena had to leave before Kara woke up, she had to get back to HQ and she really didn’t need a long drawn out goodbye.

 

She made it back with plenty of time and was immediately directed to Talia’s office. She knocked on the door and Talia called for her to enter, she was typing something up on her computer but she gestured for Lena to sit down.

 

She felt like a child that had been sent to the headmistresses office, sitting silently and waiting for Talia to speak.

 

“So,” Talia looked up and clasped her hands together, “I want to start by saying thank you for working so hard to discover that we had a traitor within are midst, Grace managed to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. It just goes to show how good you are, you’re one the best Lena, you have the potential to take over from me one day.” Lena nodded.

 

“Thank you,” she said, graciously.

 

“That being said, I will not accept it when you directly disobey orders.” Lena bit her lip and looked down. “If I let this go without repercussions, I’ll look to be showing favouritism and look where that got us last time,” Lena nodded, knowing she had to accept the consequences for her actions. “I have taken into account that the circumstances were unusual and that you are involved in an active mission. Therefore, you will be put on prep work and reconnaissance missions only for the foreseeable future.”

 

Well, that could have gone a lot worse.

 

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

“Give me an update on your current mission.” Talia requested.

 

“Things are going well,” Lena took a deep breath, to keep something from Talia would only hurt her in the long run. “I followed Sam to Cuba, I was concerned that something may happen to her. As you know, the hit squad showed up,” she nodded, “and Danvers was there too.” Talia tilted her head to the side, her eyes narrowing.

 

“My my, you have been busy.” Lena shrunk under her gaze.

 

“Our initial thoughts were that Rhea was the traitor, Grace had set her up, and I didn’t want to risk any more lives. Danvers offered to come and act as back up,” that piqued Talia’s interest. “She even took time off of work to help me.”

 

“Did you give her any intel?” Lena shook her head.

 

“She was only there as the getaway driver, she didn’t find out Sam’s name, the reason she was there, she didn’t even see her face. Sam kept a mask on the entire time.” Talia leaned forward.

 

“So, this girl risked her job, received no real gain and had no idea what she was helping you achieve and yet, offered her help unconditionally?” Lena nodded, “well, you may be closer then you thought,”

 

“You think so?” Talia chuckled lightly, “I don’t know much about love.” Lena admitted.

 

“You’re very close, keep doing what you’re doing, let your guard down a little more, be more open with her and she’ll do the same for you. Go back to Virginia tonight but, answer your phone when I call.” Lena nodded obediently and Talia dismissed her.

 

Lena stopped on her way out, “permission to speak out of turn, Ma’am.”

 

Talia looked up, “go ahead.”

 

“Did you know or have a feeling that something was going on?” Lena needed to know whether Talia risked her life and the lives of her family.

 

“I had my suspicions that something was going on but, no solid evidence or leads. I wouldn’t have risked the lives of my agents if I knew who was responsible. I’ve lost too many of you to contribute to it myself.” Lena accepted her answer, Talia had never lied to her before and she knew she wasn’t lying now.

 

“Will there be a ceremony for Grace?” Talia sighed, a tight, perplexed frown on her face.

 

“I don’t know, that hasn’t been decided yet. There is a lot of anger towards her in the group, I don’t know whether now is the right time, I think it would cause more unrest.” Lena looked at the floor.

 

“If it goes ahead, I would like to be there,” the shock was evident on Talia’s face for a few seconds before she schooled her emotions again. “She was one of us, once, and she lost sight of the vision but, I’d still like to pay my respects.” Talia nodded.

 

She turned on her heel and left.

 

__________

 

“How did it go?” Sam asked when she left the office, Lena jumped slightly.

 

“Have you been waiting there this entire time?” Sam nodded, linking her arm with Lena’s, “it went better than I thought, I’m pretty much on desk duty.”

 

“Well, that sucks but, there are worse things that could have happened,” she shrugged and they made their way down to the mess hall to get some dinner. “So, Kara’s kinda hot,” Sam said when they sat down, Lena scoffed.

 

“You deal with her then, she’s an absolute fucking nightmare.” Lena rolled her eyes and Sam barked out a laugh.

 

“I know when you’re lying, Lenaaa,” she teased, “and she definitely isn’t a six.” Lena slapped her arm.

 

“Thanks for that by the way. That’s the last time I come to save your ass.” She grumbled.

 

“Oh, come on, I bet the sex is good,” she grinned and Lena couldn’t help but smirk, “I knew it!” She poked Lena’s side.

 

“Get off!” Lena batted her hands away. Lena looked around the room and saw the sullen faces of the girls, there was small murmurs but no one was having fun. Lena suddenly felt uncomfortable acting this way with Sam, “what’s going on?”

 

Sam looked down at the table, “word spread quickly about Grace’s betrayal. People are, quite rightly, upset about what’s happened. She hurt a lot of people.” Lena nodded in understanding.

 

“When are you heading out?” Lena asked.

 

“I’m being shipped out to The Academy tomorrow morning,”

 

“I’m heading back to Virginia tomorrow,” Lena sighed. “You wanna go to the overhang tonight?”

 

“Definitely!” Sam smiled.

 

The pair got changed and left HQ, hiking up the mountains and onto the overhanging cliff. They spread a blanket out and laid down, staring up at the sky.

 

“How long do you think it will be before we fulfil the vision?” Lena asked. Sam was someone she could always confided in, they’d had that bond ever since childhood.

 

“I have no idea, every time I think we’re close, someone crawls out of the woodwork. My fear is that there will always be people like that in the world.” Sam said.

 

“What will you do, once this is all over?” It was a question they’d always asked, it was the only way they stayed on track as children, they talked about their dreams and aspirations. Sam turned to look at her,

 

“I’m going to build a gingerbread house, decorate it with candy and live there with you.” Sam and Lena laughed, Sam’s favourite story as a child was Hansel and Gretal, she became fixated on the gingerbread house. That’s what Sam always said when Lena asked that question, they’d planned their entire lives together when they were children.

 

“But, for real, I want to go somewhere quiet and secluded. Live of the land and just rest.” Lena knew how exhausting this job can be. “What will you do?”

 

Lena thought about everything she had been through over the past few months, “I don’t know,” she said honestly.

 

“Can I ask you something?” Sam whispered.

 

“Of course,”

 

“Do you have feelings for Kara?” Lena didn’t really know how to answer. Her feelings had changed towards Kara but, she knew none of it was real. It couldn’t be.

 

“Kara’s just a friend. I won’t let myself develop feelings for her, she’s a target, that’s all.”  Lena knew what would happen if she fell for Kara, “she also annoys the fuck out of me,” she joked, Sam laughed.

 

“Do you ever think about settling down with someone?” Sam asked.

 

“Not really, it’s not something we do.”

 

“I think about it sometimes, it must be nice to have someone to come home to every night, someone who takes care of you when you’re hurting, or knows how to cheer you up. I just always thought it would be nice to have someone to love and be loved.” Sam spoke openly and honestly, staring at the starry sky. Lena watched as she was speaking and she couldn’t help but think about all the times Kara had taken care of her, she quickly ignored those thoughts.

 

Kara is a target, nothing more.

 

“I’m sure it is nice. I’m not sure I want someone to know everything about me,” Lena said, mostly to herself but Sam understood, being vulnerable it’s not something that comes easy to them. They were taught to hide behind a mask, never let anyone get too close.

 

They stayed there until it got too cold, talking things through, staring up at the stars.

 

__________

 

“Hey,” Lena greeted, Kara looked up from where she was packing up her car.

 

“Hey,” she grinned, “you wanna put that in here?” She gestured to Lena’s bag.

 

“That depends, am I still invited?” Kara grabbed her bag and threw it in the back of the car. Lena could hear Hero whining.

 

“Well, he knows you’re here now, it would just be cruel,” Kara nodded her head towards the dog and Lena smiled.

 

Lena helped her pack the rest of the car and then they started the drive to the cabin. Lena mocked Kara’s terrible choice in music, but the car ride was smooth and uneventful.

 

They were a few hours into the drive when Kara pulled into a parking lot, “where are we?” Lena asked.

 

“We have to get groceries or we’ll starve, dummy.” Kara said, playfully. “Oh, and put the hat and sunglasses on, you’re still black and blue.” Lena hopped out of the car and joined Kara on the other side.

 

“’Come to the cabin with me Lena, it’ll be fun Lena.’” Kara shoved her away, laughing. They left Hero in the car and entered the store, Kara pushed the cart towards Lena.

 

Lena followed Kara down the aisles while she filled the cart with junk food she insisted was essential. “What are those?” Lena’s eyes widened at the sight of the huge bag of marshmallows that she’d thrown into the cart.  

 

“What? We need them for toasting.” She replied simply. “What do you usually eat for breakfast?” Kara continued on.

 

“Uhh, usually like fruit or oatmeal, I guess.” Kara raised an eyebrow.

 

“Okay, but, you’re on vacation now. You can finally eat whatever you want, what do you want to eat?” Lena thought about it for a moment.

 

“Waffles,” Lena answered.

 

“Great, I can do waffles.” Kara gathered the ingredients for waffles and put some fruit in the cart to placate Lena.

 

Kara had planned absolutely everything, she hadn’t been away with anyone but her parents and Lena was a special case because she hadn’t had the freedom to truly enjoy herself. Kara wanted so badly for her to have a good time.

 

They went to checkout and went back to the car to greet a restless Hero. “Hey, buddy. We’re back,” Kara cooed, she gave him a treat and he calmed down. Kara started the car and they started driving again, it didn’t take much longer to get to the cabin.

 

It was absolutely beautiful, it was a large, wooden cabin overlooking the forest. There was a huge porch with a canopy overhead, that housed a spacious seating area, barbecue and open fire pit. The interior was all hard wood walls and flooring, with dark wooden beams overhead. The sitting room had a big corner couch that faced a flat screen TV and the kitchen was open plan with black, marble counter tops .

 

“Wow, this place is amazing,” Lena looked around in awe, Kara hauled the bags in from the car.

 

“Thanks, I don’t get to come up here as often as I want.”

 

“It’s a big cabin for just you and Hero,” Lena said when they were putting the groceries away.

 

“Well, my parents left it to me, we used to come up here all the time but, I don’t have anyone to share it with now,” Kara said, the sorrow was evident in her voice.

 

“Well, I’m happy I came with you,” Kara smiled at her.

 

“I’m happy you’re here,” Lena gave her a soft smile back.

 

“So, I was thinking we should fire up the barbecue tomorrow but, tonight I thought we could make something easy like mac and cheese. What do you think?” Kara proposed.

 

“Sounds good. How about I take the bags up?” Lena suggested, “I want to see the rest of the place.”

 

“Go ahead, pick whatever room you want,” Lena nodded and carried the bags upstairs, she investigated the rooms and noticed the dog bed in one of them. She assumed that this was the one Kara usually used, not the type to leave her dog alone, Lena put her bags in that room and then chose the one across the hall for herself.

 

When she came back down, Kara was playing with Hero, “you wanna come with me and Hero for a little walk? He’s been cooped up all day he needs a bit of a run around.”

 

Lena nodded, “sure.” They strolled through the surrounding forest, Hero bounded around, looking very at home and occasionally bringing them a stick to proudly show off.

 

“So, what is the plan?” Lena asked, while they were idly wandering around.

 

“Well, I was thinking that we could have an easy night tonight and then maybe go hiking tomorrow, there’s a really great trail near here. Then we’ll go from there I guess,” Kara shrugged, like she hadn’t planned everything already.

 

“I look forward to it,” they shared soft smiles on the way back to the cabin, the sun was setting in the background and the sky was a burnt orange. Lena went and got changed into some more comfortable clothes and joined Kara in the kitchen.

 

“You want to fry the bacon?” Kara asked.

 

“Yeah, sure.” They sat and ate together, making small talk.

 

Kara put on some movie that Lena hadn’t seen, almost every movie ever made, but they didn’t pay much attention, eyes heavy the entire time. They went to bed soon after, it had been a long day already and they were both tired.

 

“Knock, knock.” Kara said, Lena turned and smiled at Kara who was leaning on the door frame, ”I just wanted to say good night and if you need anything just yell.”

 

“I will, good night, Kara.” She smiled warmly at her, “and good night, Hero.” She cooed at the dog, sitting by her feet.

 

__________

 

Lena woke up early the next morning and made herself a cup of coffee, she leant against the railing on the porch and looked out at the view. It was so serene and peaceful here, it was easy to organise her thoughts without the noise of the city.

 

“Mornin’” Kara said, stumbling sleepily out of the door, with her own coffee mug, an excited Hero in tow.

 

“Does he ever get tired?” Lena chuckled, bending slightly to greet him.

 

“He never really grew out of his puppy phase,” she grinned. “How did you sleep?”

 

“Really well, thank you. What about you?” She took a sip of her coffee.

 

“Mm, it always takes me a few days to adjust, I think I’m too accustomed to traffic noise.” She rubbed her eyes.

 

“I love it here, already,” Lena said, honestly. “It’s secluded and peaceful and…”

 

“Safe?”

 

“Safe.” Lena nodded, “I like it.”

 

“Good,” Kara smiled. She liked having Lena where she could keep an eye on her, she liked to make sure she was safe. No, you like to make sure she’s not doing anything illegal, that’s why you invited her, you useless lesbian. “You wanna come help me make waffles?” Kara said, trying to distract herself from her thoughts. Lena nodded and grinned.

 

Lena mixed the batter for the waffles and Kara cooked them. Lena stacked them up and cut up some strawberries, and dusted some icing sugar over the top, “wow, look at that masterpiece!” Kara said when Lena put the plate down in front of her.

 

“You were right, waffles were such a good idea.” Lena said after the first bite.

 

They ate quickly and then went to get changed, “remember to wear your bathing suit.” Kara said, before they split off.

 

“Wait, what? We’re going hiking, what do I need a bathing suit for?” Lena asked.

 

“It’s a surprise, just trust me.” Kara grinned.

 

“Fine,” Lena sighed, shutting the door.

 

The pair set off, Kara insisted they leave Hero behind and that made Lena even more suspicious, “are you going to kill me?” Kara laughed.

 

“Stop saying that! I promise not to kill you… on this trip, as long as you do the same.” Kara looked over at her and stuck out her hand, Lena narrowed her eyes and went to shake her hand. Kara swapped to a pinky promise at the last second, “it means more,” she shrugged. Lena huffed out a laugh but accepted the promise.

 

They hiked through the woods for about an hour before they came to the edge of the trees and to a cliff edge, at the bottom of a 30ft drop was a clear, electric blue pool. Kara stripped off her shirt and Lena just stared at her.

 

“This is your surprise? You want me to jump off a cliff?” Lena asked with a raised eyebrow.

 

“Yeah, now take off your shirt.” Kara ordered, pulling off her shoes and unbuttoning her pants. Lena had to admit that she did look ridiculously good in that bikini. The abs. 

 

“What if there are eels in there?” Lena said, pulling her shirt over her head. Holy crap, this may have been a bad idea, Kara’s breath caught in her throat when she saw Lena in a bathing suit. The boobs.

 

“Shut up, there’s no eels,” Kara snorted, “You’ve thrown yourself off a train and into a lake but you won’t jump off one small cliff?”

 

“Well, I did my research, I knew there were no eels in there,” Lena shrugged as if it was obvious.

 

“Are you scared of eels?” Kara smirked.

 

“No, I’m just messing with you,” she giggled. Kara grabbed their clothes and bags, putting them under a nearby tree.

 

“Do you trust me?” Kara asked, grabbing her hand and pulling her to the edge.

 

“Yes, but if I see one eel, I’m not going to be happy.” Kara laughed and they moved to stand on the very edge, “on three?” Kara nodded.

 

“One… two… three!” They both jumped, hand in hand, into the pool below. They resurfaced and Lena moved the hair away from her face, Kara grinned widely at her, “see, it was fun!”

 

“Okay, point made, it was fun.” Lena gave in.

 

“That’s not even the best part, follow me.” Kara began swimming in the direction of a crack in the wall of the cliff. Lena swam after her and they slipped through the crevice and into a cave below the mountain.

 

“Wow,” Lena breathed, the ceiling was high and the water was crystal clear. The sunlight seeped through the holes in the walls, illuminating the cave. Kara swam over to where the water was shallow, and climbed out of the pool. She turned and pulled Lena out of the water.

 

“It’s cool, right?” She led Lena to the back of the cave and to a smaller pool that was steaming.

 

“Is that a hot spring?” Lena asked.

 

“Uh huh,” she stepped in the pool and helped Lena in. The water was warm but not too hot and Lena moved over to wear Kara was standing.

 

“How did you find this place?” Lena asked, she wrapped her arms around Kara’s neck and Kara looped hers around her waist. Lena finally felt like they were alone, no one was around, no one knew they were here, she could just be herself and maybe be a little more open with Kara. Maybe she lied just a little bit when she said Kara was just a friend.

 

“I was just walking one day and stumbled across it.” Kara shrugged. Lena tucked her hair behind her ear.

 

“By jumping off a cliff?”

 

“You have no room to say anything, you threw yourself off a bridge less than a week ago. Besides, I thought it would be fun and it was,” Kara shrugged.

 

“Touché.” Lena said. Kara dropped her head onto Lena’s shoulder and pressed a small kiss there.

 

“I’m really happy you’re here.”  Kara whispered.

 

“Me, too.” Lena swallowed the lump in her throat and held onto Kara. They spun slowly, holding onto each other. Neither woman knew what to think: Kara was always cautious when it came to Lena because of who she was but, she was tired of being alone, she’d been alone for so long that having someone else around truly was a blessing. She was willing to trust Lena, to open herself up to being hurt just so she could keep her.

 

Lena wasn’t supposed to be in this deep, she was supposed to stay on the outskirts, draw Kara in and use her for her own personal gain, but along the way she had grown attached. Attached to the freedom, attached to becoming her own person and finding out who she was. Kara was an escape from her life, which was ridiculous because spending time with Kara was, technically, her job. It was effortless.

 

She thought about what Talia had said, ‘open up to her.’ Fuck it. She’d allow herself to feel something and when she completed her mission she would get over it.

 

“How did you get this scar?” Lena brushed her thumb against her forehead.

 

“Fighting a shark,” Kara said, immediately. Lena giggled and gave her a look, “well, the real story is kind of embarrassing.”

 

“I promise it will stay between us,” Lena prompted.

 

“You promise you won’t laugh?” Kara said.

 

“I can’t promise that,” Lena snickered.

 

“Fine,” Kara sighed. “So, it was the first week of basic training and we were doing these endurance exercises. We had to do this 30 mile run with all our kit which weighs almost 80lbs altogether. So, we start this exercise and I’m doing well and then, like, 7 miles in, I tripped and smacked my head off the floor, in front of everyone. Then because it was a head injury I had to be carried back to base, bleeding fucking everywhere.” Lena tried to stifle her laugh but a little giggle escaped.

 

“It’s not that bad,” she said once Kara had finished speaking.

 

“My nickname was Bambi for my entire service,” Lena snorted. “You get the reference?”

 

“Yeah, the Disney movie, Bambi on ice, duh,” Kara high-fived her and spun them around again, “that’s not the worst nickname I’ve ever heard.” Lena murmured into her ear and nuzzled the skin there.

 

“You’re right, there was a guy we called Skidmark,”

 

“Tell me, everything!” Lena squealed.

 

__________

They spent a good long while in the pool, Kara told her lots more stories about her time in the Marines. “We have to go soon, I don’t want to leave Hero for much longer,” Kara mumbled, she was having such a good time with Lena.

 

“We’ll find him a log on the way back and he’ll forgive us,” Kara chuckled, “can we come back here before we leave?” She asked.

 

“Of course,” Kara replied, she placed one, two kisses to her neck before pulling away and moving to the edge of the pool, hauling herself up and out before helping Lena up.

 

Hero was very excited to see them when they got home, his tail was wagging so hard his whole body moved with it, “look what we brought you, buddy!” Lena gave him the stick they had found and he wandered around the cabin with it hanging from his mouth and wagging his tail.

 

Lena and Kara took a quick shower, washing off the lake water and Kara made them sandwiches, insisting she was hungry but she was planning a huge dinner later on. “We should probably take you out for a run around huh? You’ve been cooped up all morning.”

 

The pair walked Hero through the woods, until he was tired out and they were hungry again. Kara fired up the barbecue and started cooking chicken wings, burgers, hot dogs, ribs and corn on the cob while Lena prepped a green salad and potato salad to go with it.

 

“Do you think this is a little excessive? There’s a lot of food here,” Lena looked at it all wide-eyed.

 

“Hello, have we met? My stomach is a bottomless pit, plus we can save the leftovers.” Kara piled her plate with everything. She insisted that Lena have at least one of everything. Kara looked so proud of herself and Lena didn’t want to disappoint.

 

“Oh my God, the chicken and the ribs are incredible!” Lena moaned.

 

“I know, the secret is to marinade them over night,” Kara said.

 

“Who taught you to cook?” She asked.

 

“I taught myself, we would get dropped in various different environments with just ration packets and if you wanted to eat something nice, then you had to get creative. So, I guess it started when I was serving overseas but, after I got back I had to learn how to make proper meals.” Kara explained.

 

“Well, you’re very good. I don’t cook that much.” Lena broke off part of her hot dog and held it out for Hero, “sit.” He did as he was told, “good boy!” She handed him the sausage.

 

Kara finished her food quickly and went to grab another plate, “do you want anything else?” Lena stood up and grabbed some more chicken wings and ribs. Kara smiled, loving the fact that Lena was enjoying the food. They sat on the porch and watched the sunset, it was another intimate moment between the pair but, Lena was past the point of caring at this point. She was happy.

 

“I think this may be the most I’ve eaten in one sitting,” Kara pulled Lena over to one of the couches and they collapsed onto it, Lena shifted so she leaning up against Kara’s body and Kara threw an arm around her. Kara was itching to make a joke about the cuddling but she didn’t want Lena to move, so instead she held up her fist.

 

Lena took the hint and they played rock, paper scissors.

 

“What’s your favourite animal?” Kara asked.

 

“Umm, well obviously it’s Hero,” at the sound of his name he jumped on the pair, “ughh,” Lena groaned, “I love you, but that’s my bladder,” Kara snorted and pat the cushion and he curled up next to them. “I grew up around wolves though, that was fun,”

 

“Wait really?” Kara sat up and jostled her and she grumbled in protest, pushing her back down.

 

“Yeah, I grew up in the mountains and there were wolves everywhere, they keep to themselves though and as long as the pack doesn’t feel threatened they’re really calm animals,” Lena explained.

 

“That sounds amazing,” Kara said in awe.

 

“What about you?” Lena asked.

 

“Well, aside from my best boy,” she cooed. “I love orcas. I really want to see them in the wild.” Lena agreed.

 

“Going to Iceland and seeing them would be incredible.” She said, Kara held up her hand and they played again. “If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?”

 

“No, that’s too hard, pick another question.”

 

“No, that’s my question, you have to answer,” Lena prodded her.

 

“Well, I would say potstickers but if I’m thinking logically then it would have to be pizza, it’s pretty much a balanced diet,” Lena sat up and turned all the way around.

 

“This I have to hear, how is eating pizza every day a balanced diet?”

 

“Think about it, the base is dough, that’s carbohydrates. Tomato sauce, that’s vegetables, cheese equals dairy and then stick some pepperoni on top and that’s protein. Done. That wheel thing they teach about in school is complete.” Lena just raised an eyebrow at her, “What? It’s true, you’re just too stubborn to admit it.”

 

“Okay, so would you make your own pizza every day or order in?” Lena asked.

 

“Order in obviously,”

 

“Well then, your whole argument just became redundant.” Kara found it hilarious that Lena was so passionate about this.

 

“What would you pick?” Kara grinned.

 

“Maybe like a stir fry, something you can change up every time you make it,” Kara groaned and flopped around on the couch.

 

“Of course, you’d pick something like that, you’re healthy I get it!” Lena grinned and pushed her.

 

“I’ll make dinner tomorrow and I promise you’ll like it,” Kara cracked one eye open and saw Lena’s smiling face.

 

“Do you promise not to put kale in it?”

 

“I won’t put kale in it,” Lena stuck out her hand.

 

“Deal.”

 

They went inside when it got too cold. They’d had such as nice day and Kara wanted to pull Lena into her room and continue their evening but, she let her go instead.

 

__________

 

“This better be the best stir fry I’ve ever eaten,” Lena insisted that Kara leave her alone while she was cooking  

 

“Will you shut up? I’m trying to concentrate!” Lena called over her shoulder, Kara snorted and continued playing with Hero. They were playing tug of war with his favourite rope toy when Lena served up, Kara quickly washed her hands and then sat down.

 

Lena waited for her to take a bite, staring at her, “You know what? It’s actually really good,”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah, did you use the marinade trick with the beef?” Lena nodded, “up top!” Kara high-fived her again, Lena smiled and started eating.

 

“I told you.” She said, tilting her head in celebration.

 

“I mean, I’d still pick pizza but, I may be converted.”

 

They finished dinner and moved out onto the porch again, Kara lit the fire pit and brought out the bag of humongous marshmallows and two toasting forks.

 

“Have you ever toasted marshmallows?” Kara asked, Lena shook her head. “It’s easy, just stick it on the end and put it in the fire until it’s caramelised, just don’t burn it.” Kara handed her the fork and they toasted marshmallows together.

 

“Oh my God, this is so good!” Kara loved watching Lena try new things. She looked like a child on Christmas, those vibrant eyes lit up and her smile was wide and, most importantly, real. Kara stared at her, taking in every small micro-expression. “Kara?”

 

“Hm?”

 

“Your marshmallow is on fire.”

 

“Oh shit!”

 

Useless fucking lesbian.

 

Kara just let it drop into the fire and started a new one. “Hold this, I’ve got to get something else,” she said handing Lena her fork.

 

“What more could we possibly need?” Lena asked when she got back. Kara held up graham crackers and chocolate bars. Lena watched as she laid out two graham crackers and placed two pieces of chocolate next to each other, her tongue was stuck out in concentration as she perfectly placed the marshmallow on top the chocolate and topped it with the second graham cracker.

 

Her eyes sparkled as she presented her creation to Lena.

 

“It’s a s’more,” Kara watched as she took a bite.

 

“I want s’more,” Lena moaned.

 

“Hey, look, you made a pun that was actually funny,” Kara teased, Lena batted her arm. Lena had two more s’mores before she was full. Kara pulled her up and grabbed a blanket from the back of the couch.

 

“Where are we going?” Lena asked.

 

“This is the perfect place for stargazing,” Kara laid the blanket out and laid down, gesturing for Lena to join her. Lena felt a little strange, this was her thing to do with Sam but Kara was pouting at her so she laid down.

 

The sky was clear and the sky was littered with beautiful stars, “do you know any of the constellations?”  Lena asked.

 

“You see those three stars that are in a diagonal row?” Lena hummed, “that’s Orion’s belt,” she pointed out the rest of the constellation, “that’s Orion the Hunter, most experts agree that he is the grandest of all the constellations. The belt points down to the brightest star in the sky, Sirius.” Lena turned her head to the side and watched Kara as she talked passionately about the stars.

 

“Where did you learn all of that?” Lena whispered.

 

“My dad taught me.” Her voice took on a sombre tone, “he knew everything about the stars.”

 

“Was he an astronomer?”

 

“No, but he was a scientist, both of my parents were scientists. He just really liked the stars, navigators have used the stars to find their way for centuries. My dad taught me how to find my way home, wherever I am.” Lena could feel her heart aching for Kara, she had been alone ever since she’d lost her parents. She rolled over and brought a hand up to cup Kara’s neck, brushing her thumb against the skin, she could feel her tense as she tried to hold back her tears.

 

“Did you mean what you said, about me being your best friend?” Kara nodded, “you don’t have anyone else?”

 

She shook her head, “I lost everything that day, my… behaviour meant that I moved around so much and I lost all of my friends. I walled myself off, I didn’t want to be that close to anyone ever again. I have friends that I served with but, they’re scattered across the country. I have friends at work but, I don’t have people I can talk to, or go out to dinner with or even just to hang out with. I have Hero, that’s it.” Lena moved closer to her, resting on Kara’s chest and pressing soft kisses onto her neck.

 

A single tear rolled down Lena’s cheek.

 

“Well, you have someone now,” she whispered, not trusting her voice not to crack.

 

Something had changed in Lena, she had seen moments of vulnerability in Kara what she just said broke Lena’s heart. Even she had someone who she could rely on and Lena was no one. She really understood just the kind of person Kara is. She had been alone for the majority of her life, she had been hurt in one of the most painful ways imaginable and yet she was warm and kind and she had taken care of Lena on multiple occasions.

 

It was time for someone to take care of Kara.

 

They went inside when Lena started shivering and Kara grabbed her hand pulling into her room instead, “stay with me tonight?” She almost begged, Lena nodded and followed her.

 

They got ready for bed in silence and climbed in together, facing each other. Lena shuffled over to Kara and cupped her cheek, kissing her softly. “Are you okay?”

 

“Yeah,” she hummed, “things just got away from me tonight. I’m sorry, I can usually keep a lid on it,”

 

“You don’t have to be sorry, it’s okay to be emotional, you don’t have to keep things bottled up all the time.” Lena pressed her forehead against Kara’s.

 

“You’re telling me that? You’re the worst at being open with your feelings, I have to force it out of you,” she joked.

 

“That’s not true, I tell you I hate you all the time,” she giggled.

 

“Do you really hate me?” Kara asked.

 

Lena shook her head, “No, I don’t hate you.”

 

“I don’t hate you, either.” She smiled before pressing one last kiss to Kara’s lips.

 

__________

 

Kara smiled when she woke up, Lena was still in bed next to her for once. She looked so carefree and relaxed, Kara almost didn’t want to wake her up. Eventually, Lena stirred and rolled over to block out the light, settling in Kara’s arms.

 

“I thought you didn’t ‘do cuddles’?” Kara said.

 

“Do you want me to move?” She grumbled.

 

“No,” Kara whined, holding her tighter. Hero jumped up on the bed and greeted them with lots of excitement and kisses. Kara giggled and showered him with attention, he curled up next to her and placed his head on her lap. Kara had her dog on her left and the girl she was… sleeping with? Kara didn’t have a term to describe it yet, it was unlike any situation she’d ever been in but, she was happy.

 

“Your view is so much better than mine,” Lena mumbled, turning to look outside. Kara’s room had an entire wall of windows that looked out over the mountain: hundreds of tall trees covered the landscape, the sky had a few soft, rolling clouds but it was mostly clear and the sun glistened off of the lake in the distance. It was beautiful.

 

“Well, you’re welcome to stay here until we leave,” Kara kissed her forehead.

 

“Aww, you’re going to switch with me? That’s so sweet,” she patted Kara’s cheek.

 

“No, as always there are some conditions, namely: I’m in here too and you’re naked.” Lena chuckled and leaned up to kiss her.

 

“You have a knack for ruining the moment.” She said, against her lips. “What do you want for breakfast?” Lena asked, sitting up.

 

“Are you going to make it for me?” Kara grinned.

 

“Well, I have to thank my host in some way,”  Lena brought a hand up to smooth Kara’s messy hair, “and you say my bed head is spectacular,”

 

“It is,” she smiled. “What about eggs and a little bacon?”

 

“Coming right up. Are you going to come help me out, Hero?” He jumped off the bed and followed Lena into the kitchen. Kara smiled and flopped back on the bed, smiling like an idiot. She couldn’t stop, for the first time in so long, she had someone in her life, someone completely unexpected, and Kara couldn’t help but want to be close to her.

 

“Are you feeding him my bacon?” Kara accused.

 

“Busted.” Lena said, but still continued to feed Hero, “he’s on vacation too and he’s so cute,” she cooed.

 

“Stop feeding him my breakfast!” Kara scooped him up and placed him on the couch, away from the food. They sat down and ate together, “thank you.” Kara said but, Lena waved her off.

 

“What’s the plan for today?” Lena asked.

 

“I’m thinking paddle boarding?” Kara suggested.

 

“Sounds like fun.” Lena said, taking a bite of her food.

 

They cleaned up and grabbed the boards, heading down to the lake. Hero came with them because he loved the water. They made it onto the centre of the lake easily, Lena stayed on her knees to start with, getting used to it. Hero stood on the end of Kara’s board, the wind in his fur, looking incredibly majestic.

 

Kara decided to show off her skills by standing on the board and paddling along. Hero got really excited about that and jumped over Kara, essentially pushing her into the water. She yelped and Lena couldn’t help but laugh.

 

“Dude! What the hell?” She spluttered when she resurfaced, not in anyway angry at the excited puppy. Hero jumped off the board and landed on top of her, “Hero!” Lena was howling at the whole interaction, “are you trying to drown me?” Hero barked happily and Kara laughed at him.

 

Kara caught sight of Lena in hysterics, “oh, you think this is funny?” Kara swam over to her board.

 

“Don’t you dare! Kara!” She grabbed Lena around the waist and pulled her into the water. Lena hit Kara’s shoulder, “you’re the worst, get off me!” Lena yelled. Hero barked at them, wanting to be involved in the chaos and Kara was laughing.

 

Kara stopped suddenly and gasped, “what was that?”

 

“What?” Lena spun around trying to see what is was.

 

“I think there are eels in here.”

 

“What? Where?” Lena tried to scramble out of the water onto the board, when she heard Kara sniggering behind her. “You’re such an asshole!” Lena spun around and tried to dunk Kara but she resisted.

 

“You’re scared of eels,” Kara howled.

 

“I’m not scared of eels,” Lena scowled, “I just don’t like them, they’re slimy and weird,” she huffed. Kara held onto her board and looped her arm around Lena’s waist, pulling her back into the water. “No.”

 

“Yes, c’mere.” Kara tried to kiss her but she turned her head, Kara kissed up her neck and over her cheeks, “I’m sorry,” she murmured.

 

“No, you’re not.”

 

“No, I’m not,” she snorted, Lena actually managed to dunk her this time and escape her grasp, getting back onto her own board with Hero joining her. Kara was still laughing when she climbed back onto her board. They spent the morning on the lake, paddle boarding turned into more of a wrestling match, who could push the other in the lake the fastest.

 

__________

 

They went back to the hot spring on their last day. They held each other closely, Lena had her legs wrapped around her waist and Kara held her tightly. “Is it bad that I don’t wanna leave?” Kara whispered into her ear.

 

Lena shook her head, “I don’t want to go either, I like it here.”

 

“You’re welcome back here any time.” Kara said. Lena played with the baby hair on the back of Kara’s neck. They felt like the only two people in the world, not having to worry about anything else.

 

Kara turned them in circles slowly almost as if they were dancing. Lena didn’t want to go back, her thought process had entirely changed this trip and all she wanted to do was show Kara the same kindness and consideration that she had shown her. Kara was just like her, lonely and without a place in the world, just a pawn in someone else’s game.

 

Lena clung onto her desperately, trying to commit every second to memory before she had to go back and face her reality.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Something had drastically changed within Lena and she didn’t quite know how to deal with it. She understood now where that arrogance and cockiness in Kara came from, it was a defence mechanism to keep people away. The Kara she knew was warm, cheeky and had an incredibly big heart that she desperately just wanted to share with someone.

 

LL: We’re having dinner tonight

 

KD: Can’t wait, see you later

 

LL: Wear something nice

 

Lena made reservations for the best restaurant in the city.

 

She wore a floor length, deep emerald, green satin dress. It had a plunging v-neck with spaghetti straps and a high slit going all the way up to the top of her thigh. It was the perfect dress to show off all of her best assets. She curled her hair up in an elaborate bun and paired the outfit with tall, black heels and her vibrant, red lipstick.

 

Kara opened the door that night and her jaw hit the floor, she kept trying to close it or say something but, she just looked like a fish bobbing.

 

“Wow.” She finally managed to force out. Lena smiled softly and then noticed what Kara what wearing.

 

“What is this?” She gestured to Kara’s outfit. Kara was wearing her work clothes, nice (boring) suit pants and a white shirt. She looked good, but it wasn’t nice enough, “I said wear something nice!”

 

“This is nice.” Kara defended.

 

“Nope,” she turned Kara around and pushed her towards the stairs, “move it!” She pushed Kara onto the bed and went over to her closet, looking through the clothes that Kara had, “you need help.” Lena turned to look at her.

 

“My clothes are fine.”

 

“No, they’re not.” Lena argued, there were two suit carriers at the end of the closet. Lena unzipped the first one and found Kara’s ceremonial military uniform. She ran a hand over the fabric. “When was the last time you wore this?” Kara stood up and looked at the uniform.

 

“An award ceremony, I think.”

 

“You can only wear this with permission, right?” Kara nodded so Lena zipped up the carrier and skipped to the next one, it was a beautiful, rich, navy blue suit. “This one!” Lena pulled the suit out of her closet and handed it to her.

 

Kara got changed quickly and Lena grabbed a tie and shoes for her to wear. “Do you have cuff links?”

 

“The box on my dresser, there’s some in there.” Kara fixed her tie quickly. Lena opened the box and picked a simple, silver pair with a blue stone in the centre that perfectly matched the colour of the suit.

 

Lena helped put them on and Kara put her jacket on. Lena smoothed down the fabric and fixed her hair, stepping back to admire her handiwork. “Give me a twirl?” Kara spun on her toes, “perfect.” Lena pecked her softly and then wiped the lipstick off her lips.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Yes, now come on, we’re going to be late.” Lena took her hand.

 

“We’re going out?” Kara frowned, Lena stopped and turned around.

 

“Are you broken?” She giggled, cupping her face, “you said you don’t have anyone to go out to dinner with, so I’m taking you out to dinner.” Kara couldn’t stop the wide grin that spread across her face as Lena pulled her down the stairs. “What did you think was happening?”

 

“I don’t know, I just thought that we would get dressed up and have dinner here like we usually do.”  Kara shrugged. “Be good, Hero!” She called as they left.

 

They stepped out onto the curb and Kara’s eyes widened when she saw the car: a chauffeur driven Bentley. They slid into the back seat and the driver pulled away from the curb.

 

“I wanted to make sure we could drink,” Lena shrugged.

 

“We could have just taken an Uber,”

 

“When you see where we’re going, you’ll know why we couldn’t show up in an Uber,” Lena grinned. The chauffeur opened the door when they arrived at their destination and Kara’s jaw dropped for the second time that night, she got out of the car and helped Lena out, her eyes blue eyes sparkling brightly. They were greeted at the door by the maître d'.

 

“Countess Arison, we’re so happy you could be here tonight.” He greeted them both warmly, “we have reserved the best table in the restaurant for you,” he led them up to the rooftop. Kara held Lena’s hand the entire time, helping her climb the stairs in her heels. The table was intimate and cosy but, they had a beautiful view of the entire city.

 

“Thank you, so much.” Lena responded, warmly. They were seated and left alone for a few minutes.

 

“You lied to get us in here didn’t you?”

 

“Well, Lena Luthor doesn’t hold as much weight as Countess Eugenie Arrison of Arransail.” Her eyes held a mischievous glint and Kara grinned.

 

“Is that a real place?” Lena shook her head and Kara laughed.

 

“This place has a waiting list of 10 months but they always keep a few tables free for any… last minute celebrities or, I don’t know, the god daughter of the Queen of England, 15th in line to the throne.” Kara tried to hold in her laughter but failed.

 

“You didn’t have to do all of this,” Kara said.

 

“I did. You deserve to have someone to do this stuff with and you love food and cooking so, you should taste the best food in the city.” Lena reasoned.

 

“Thank you,” Kara murmured.

 

The waiter arrived and read them the specials. Kara was a little overwhelmed, everything sounded so good, they ordered and the sommelier came to bring them a bottle of champagne and the wine that complimented the dishes they had chosen.

 

“We should make a toast, to… new beginnings,” Kara said, raising her glass.

 

“And not hating each other,” Kara grinned, they clinked glasses and both took a sip.

 

“So, what have you been up to today?” Kara asked, taking a sip of wine.

 

“Paperwork,” she groaned. “I’m still not allowed to do anything fun.” She pouted.

 

“At least paperwork means you’re not getting beat up all the time.” Kara chuckled.

 

“I never usually get hurt, you just caught me at a bad time,” Lena defended. “How has your day been?”

 

“Pretty good, I made a big breakthrough on a case so, I’m excited to complete that.” Kara couldn’t give away too much and Lena knew that.

 

“It’s hard for us to talk about work, I know that.” She took Kara’s hand, “but, you can talk to me if you’ve had a bad day, I’ve done it enough times.” Lena said, playfully.

 

“Thank you,” Kara whispered, squeezing her hand. Their food arrived soon after and they tucked in.“This is so good,” Kara moaned.

 

“Do you think you could recreate it?” Lena smiled.

 

“Oh, I don’t know about that. Try this,” Kara held up her fork and fed Lena some of her chicken.

 

“That is so good. I’m surprised you didn’t shove it in my face like you usually do,” she giggled.

 

“Well, I wouldn’t want to insult her royal highness.”

 

They ate in mostly silence, enjoying the food, sharing their dishes because the food was so good. When it was time for dessert Kara insisted there were too many options, Lena chose something she knew Kara would like and they split each others dessert half and half. “You have the best ideas,” Kara said around a mouthful of chocolate torte.

 

“Remember that for next time you try to argue with me.” Lena said, grinning cheekily.

 

“I take it back,” Kara immediately backtracked.

 

“Nope, it’s out there now, you can’t take it back!” The waiter came to clear their plates, “one more drink?” Kara nodded. One more drink turned into a bottle of champagne. Kara moved her chair round to sit next to Lena and they looked out over the city, admiring the view. Kara draped an arm around Lena and they sipped champagne, this definitely didn’t feel like a friendship to Kara any more but she didn’t know how to label… whatever this was.

 

Lena paid the bill and they left the restaurant. Kara helped her into the car and slid in next to her. She put her arm around Lena and pulled her closer, Lena placed a hand on her knee.

 

“You look so beautiful.” Kara said into her ear. Lena blushed and looked down, they were both a little tipsy and feeling warm from the food and the alcohol. Kara planted a kiss behind her ear, “so beautiful.”

 

Lena turned and kissed her softly, Kara brought a hand up to cup her face. “Thank you, for tonight.” Kara said against her lips.

 

Lena pulled away, “you’re welcome. But you can’t mess up my lipstick until we get back,” she giggled, wiping the red off of Kara’s lips. “I have to keep up appearances, remember?”

 

“Oh, yeah? That’s fine by me.” Kara went after her neck instead, placing open mouth kisses up and down the pale skin, sucking marks onto her throat.

 

“My bruises just healed and you’re going to give me more?” Lena moaned, tilting her head back to expose more of her skin.

 

“Only small ones,” Kara murmured. She grazed her teeth against Lena’s neck. Kara dragged a hand up her body and slipped her fingers inside the fabric of her dress, brushing them against her nipple. Lena was a panting, dishevelled mess by the time they got back to Kara’s apartment.

 

They acted as if nothing untoward had happened when they said good night to the driver. Kara, helped her up to her apartment but, as soon as that door closed she pressed her against the door and kissed her senseless.

 

“I love this, but if you don’t take this dress off in the next two seconds, I’m going to rip it off.” Kara growled.

 

__________

 

Kara was desperately trying to focus on her work but her mind kept drifting back to last night, the sex was absolutely mind blowing.

 

She shook her head, trying to focus on the computer screen in front of her. She was currently investigating Anisah Contreras, she is referred to as ‘The Godmother’. She has powerful connections and is the leader of one of the biggest drug cartels in the world, smuggling drugs and, conflict diamonds into the United States through her art company Deqo. She smuggles the diamonds in by sewing them into the canvases of the paintings she sells, the drugs are almost always shipped in, hidden inside magnificent sculptures.

 

For years the DEA have been unable to find any solid evidence to prove how she gets the drugs into the country. The CIA are more focused on the conflict diamonds because they are not only funding rebel groups, but the profits Contreras makes on the diamonds funds her business which is used to traffic the drugs. It’s a brutal, never ending cycle.

 

The CIA were bringing her in for interview, which basically meant they would do whatever it takes to get the information they needed.

 

J’onn called her into his office. “This is a very delicate situation and not one that I’m very comfortable with but from the intel that we have received. The best course of action is ‘The Honey Pot’, Contreras has been known to have both male and female partners. Our analysts believe that a female will always come off as less threatening.” Kara nodded in understanding: women are never seen as dangerous because they’re supposed be polite, submissive housewives. At least that’s how society sees them.

 

“I understand, however, I’m going after a woman not a man and I’m concerned that her suspicions may be aroused easily.” Kara explained, she didn’t want to say it but, men never suspect women because they don’t see them as a threat and they believe they’re too smart to be manipulated. She was more than happy to accept this mission she just didn’t want to tip the target off.

 

“You don’t have to accept this mission, Kara, by all means you may refuse. But, you are one of my top agents and I believe that you can do this.” He said, sincerely. J’onn wasn’t a very emotional man, in fact, he came off as cold most of the time however, he had a soft spot for Kara and he was a role model to her. If J’onn thought she could do this then Kara would accept.

 

“I’m happy to take on this mission.” Kara said, confidently.

 

“Excellent. I will get you set up with a dossier and we’ll organise a briefing for tomorrow,”

 

“Yes, Sir.” Kara nodded and J’onn dismissed her.

 

KD: Hey, I need your help with something. Will you come over tonight?

 

LL: Of course.

 

__________

 

“Hey, you finally learned to use a door!” Kara greeted when Lena came over later that night.

 

“See, this is what I expected last night.” Lena chuckled.

 

“I was a little distracted last night,” Kara admitted. Lena greeted Hero and sat on the couch, “I ordered Chinese food,” Kara said, heading to the kitchen. “You want a beer?” She called.

 

“Sure,” Kara came back and sat next to Lena. “What do you need my help with?” She asked.

 

“So, I’ve got a mission coming up and we’re going with the honey pot,” Kara explained.

 

“Ah, you need my expertise,” Lena nodded, taking a sip of her beer. “Who’s the guy?”

 

“Not a guy, a woman.” Lena slid her mask easily into place and smiled, “smuggler of drugs and conflict diamonds-”

 

“Ah, ‘The Godmother’” Lena said knowingly, fucking bitch.Kara looked like a mixture between surprised and conflicted, “it’s okay, you don’t have to confirm it, I know exactly who you’re talking about.” Lena said.

 

“Well, hypothetically, if it was her. How would you approach it?” Kara asked.

 

“Well, hypothetically, I wouldn’t. Anisah Contreras is a dangerous woman, lots of powerful friends.” Lena said. It was the truth, the World Killers would definitely go after someone like Contreras however, it would be a long, drawn-out operation and they certainly wouldn’t use the Honey Pot.

 

“Okay so… if it was a different woman, what would you do?” Lena sighed, as much as she hated the fact that Kara would have to seduce another woman, she wanted her to do it right so she wasn’t in any danger.

 

“Well, for starters, you have to reign in that cockiness of yours,” Lena said, Kara gasped in faux outrage, “you want her to come to you. Make an effort to get her to notice you but stay on the outskirts of the room if you can. It makes you seem mysterious. The more effort you make, the more suspicious she’ll become, everything has to come from her, do you understand?” Kara nodded.

 

“If I go in over-confident and seek her out, then I’ll blow my cover.” Kara said.

 

“Good. You’re going to go in there with a lot of information about this woman, you have to forget all of that because as soon as you ask one intrusive question you’ll tip her off. Whatever identity you’re given, you have to become that person.” Lena said.

 

Lena was cool and serene on the outside but on the inside there was a teeny-tiny Lena yelling about how bad of an idea this was. Why are you teaching how to seduce women?!

 

“Do you know what you’re going to be wearing?” Kara shook her head and Lena sighed.

 

“Why? What does that do?” Kara was starting to realise she was ridiculously unprepared for this mission.

 

“You need to know what your wearing in order to know how to act, what kind of presence you’re going to bring.” Kara looked like a deer in headlights. “When is your briefing?”

 

“Tomorrow.” Kara swallowed and ran a hand through her hair.

 

“Okay, I’ll come over tomorrow and you can talk me through it. I’ll help you out.” Lena suggested.

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah, I don’t mind helping you get laid,” Lena joked, meanwhile, teeny-tiny Lena was running around screaming hysterically, if she touches you, I’ll kill her.

 

“Wait, what? I’m not going to sleep with her?” Kara said, her face contorted into a frown.

 

“You’re so cute. Darling, you know what the honey pot is, right?” Kara didn’t even have time to swoon at the term of endearment, she was so taken aback by how casual Lena was acting about this.

 

“Yeah, I know what it is, but that doesn’t mean I have to sleep with her. You told me you’ve never slept with any of your marks.”

 

“They were all men, men are easy, they just like the attention of a beautiful woman,” she shrugged. “Women are different. If it helps, I know she’s gorgeous,” Lena laughed. Before Kara could protest, there was a knock at the door.

 

Lena was a very intelligent woman, she prided herself on that particular fact, she was pretty much a certified genius. However, she wasn’t very… ‘life smart’, in fact, when it came to things like relationships and the do’s and don’ts, Lena was a complete and utter fucking moron. Stupidly, she thought it was a good idea to basically tell Kara that it was fine for her to sleep with another woman. In her head she justified it by arguing that Kara wasn’t hers to be possessive over and she was a single woman who could do what she wanted. Clearly, social cues were also not her strong point because she didn’t pick up on Kara’s distress at all.

 

Kara went and collected the food but, she was uncharacteristically silent throughout dinner.

 

Lena looked over at her and she was just pushing the potstickers around her plate, she didn’t even interact with Hero when he was begging for food.

 

“Okay, what’s up?” Lena finally gave in.

 

“What do you mean?” Kara mumbled, not looking up.

 

“Come on, I’ve seen you eat twenty potstickers in under ten seconds.” She tried to lighten the mood but Kara didn’t find it funny. “What’s wrong?” Lena softened her gaze.

 

“What is this Lena? Because I thought we were getting somewhere, I thought after that trip we were closer but, you seem fine with the fact that I might have to fuck someone else!” Kara stood and threw her plate on the coffee table, before storming into the kitchen and leaning over the sink, letting out a deep sigh.

 

Oh, Lena didn’t expect that outburst. I’m an utter fucking moron.

 

Hero, looked between the pair, Lena cupped his face and stroked him to calm him down. “Don’t worry, I’ll fix it,” she whispered. Lena stood up and entered the kitchen, but kept her distance.

 

“Hey,” she said. Kara didn’t look at her, “Kara, please look at me. I’m sorry,” Kara sighed deeply again. Lena reached out and tugged at her arm, turning her around. She cupped Kara’s face and lifted her chin.

 

“I just never know where I am with you, I thought after last night… I don’t know, it felt… different.” Kara looked so sad and confused.

 

“I’m sorry. I don’t really know what I’m doing, this is all very new to me,” Lena gestured between the two of them.

 

“Me too,” Kara mumbled. “But, I know I don’t want to do anything with anyone else. I just want… this, whatever it is.” Kara sighed, “so, we’re going to have to find another way to do this.” Kara dropped her head and Lena pulled her into a hug.

 

“There’s always another way,” she said, stroking her hair softly. “Are you okay?”

 

“Mhmm, I’m sorry, I lost it. That wasn’t right.” She sighed.

 

“It’s okay, I did tell you to be more open with your emotions,” Lena said. They swayed slowly and Kara relaxed in her arms.

 

“Yeah, but I didn’t, did I? I bottled it up and let it get out of hand.” Kara sounded miserable.

 

“It’s a habit that’s going to be hard to break. Years and years of keeping your feelings under wraps is not going to change overnight, it’s something you have to work on.” Lena felt her nod. “Do you want to come and finish dinner? We don’t have to talk about things until tomorrow and Hero might be eating your food already.”

 

“Okay.” Kara breathed. Lena took her hand leading her back to the couch.

 

They ate dinner and, as promised, they didn’t broach the topic again. Kara put some show on and they watched it together, Hero laid on Kara’s lap and she stroked him, finding comfort in his soft fur.

 

It soon came time for Lena to leave.

 

“I’m sorry I can’t stay, I have work to late. Let me know when you get back tomorrow and we’ll come up with a plan, okay?” Lena pecked her lips and said goodbye to Hero before leaving.

 

__________

 

Kara sat in her briefing and looked at her dossier. It was chocked full of information about the target and after what Lena had said, she was reluctant to read it but, she did.

 

Anisah Contreras was a strong, powerful woman, who refused to take shit from anyone. She had friends in high places, their intel suggested she had links to politicians in multiple governments, at this point, who didn’t? Not only that but she also had links with other organised crime groups including, Martin Caddel and Anthony Despinali. She was in spotted in Washington DC and is staying there on business. The theory is that she is looking to form a business relationship with Paddy O’Neal to replace the ones they had both lost.

 

Kara’s mission was to seduce Contreras and bring her in for interview. The reason it had to be done this way was because she was always surrounded by huge amounts of personal security. The only time she was virtually alone was when she was in her hotel room and even then, every room on the floor was filled with her men.

 

“Agent Danvers, this mission certainly has a lot of risks, no one would blame you if you chose to deny it.” J’onn said.

 

Kara cleared her throat, “I want to do this, Sir. It’s important that this woman is off the streets, we can’t have her making deals with O’Neal. He has links with multiple terrorist groups.”

 

Kara got home that night and asked Lena to come over.

 

“Back to the window?” Kara grinned, when Lena landed on the floor.

 

“Well, your mom shouldn’t leave it open all the time, should she? Hey, buddy, have you been good?” Hero wagged his tail happily. “He expects it now, I don’t like to disappoint.” She greeted Kara with a kiss on the cheek.

 

“Have you eaten?” Kara asked.

 

“Depends on what you’re making,” Lena teased.

 

“Tacos.” Kara started stuffing the taco shells with the beef.

 

“Then I have not eaten.” Kara giggled and Lena helped her plate up the food, making her own taco because Kara uses a shred of lettuce and then buries it in cheese.

 

“Do you like guacamole?”

 

“No, it tastes like soap,” Lena grimaced.

 

“Oh, but kale tastes good?” Kara asked.

 

“Shut up.”

 

They sat at the bar and ate their food, before Lena pulled her over to the couch, “come on, let’s get this done now and then we can do something more fun.” Lena said.

 

“Okay,” Kara sighed, she grabbed the dossier with her identity in it and sat next to Lena, “I’m a stock broker in DC for a business meeting with a client.”

 

“Where did you go to school?”

 

“Berkeley.”

 

“Okay, what about hobbies?” Lena asked.

 

“Um, I play soccer on weekends and I frequent the gym?” Lena raised her eyebrow.

 

“Are you asking me or telling me?”

 

“Telling you, I go to the gym three times a week.” Kara nodded.

 

Lena grabbed the dossier, “you have to learn this, become this person because if you mess up just one small detail, you may ruin the whole mission.” Kara nodded, “do not underestimate this women, she’s on top of her game for a reason.

 

“So, how do I approach this?” Kara asked.

 

“You’re really good at playing the nervous, bumbling idiot,” Kara pouted. “Don’t pout, you know you’re good at it. You had me fooled the night we met. Me. That’s hard to do. You’re going up against a confident women so, let her lead the interaction, Make her come to you.” Lena said.

 

“How do I do that?”

 

“So, you need to stay within her eye line at all times but, don’t look at her unless it’s absolutely necessary. I like to draw their eye and then ignore them. Wait for her to come to you. Pay her lots of compliments, innocent compliments, nothing too suggestive.” Kara nodded, she felt like she should be taking notes, but she listened intently to everything Lena said.

 

“I’m having another suit tailored for me. It’s grey check,” Kara said.

 

“Statement piece, I like it. Wear a bright coloured tie, something like red, it will subtly draw the eye. Also wear glasses, it makes you look smart but also vulnerable, it looks like a sign of weakness.” Lena said.

 

“is that everything?” Kara asked, looking slightly overwhelmed.

 

“We’ve not even scratched the surface,” Kara groaned, “this is a crash course. I can’t teach you everything in such a short amount of time so listen up; when you start the conversation, you have to be interested in her life but don’t jump straight to work, wait for her to ask you first and then you can ask. Now, follow me.” Lena dragged her up to the bar and sat her down on a stool. “You’re a terrible flirt-”

 

“What the hell? No I’m not!” Kara said indignantly, Lena giggled.

 

“I’m kidding, but you’re going to have to dial it down,” Lena said. “You can’t openly flirt with someone in a high end place. Soft, gentle touches,” she grazed Kara’s knee with her index finger. “whispering in someone’s ear is also a good one,” she leaned in, “It’s intimate and the ear is so sensitive,” Lena drawled every word. “Don’t be afraid to let your lips brush against the ear,” Lena heard the hitch in Kara’s breath when she demonstrated.

 

“You could potentially get anything out of someone.” Her tongue darted out and licked the shell of Kara’s ear. “For example, what happened to Martin Caddel?” She nibbled on her earlobe.

 

“He’s at a CIA black site, singing like canaryyyy... whoa, how did you do that?” Kara turned to Lena, watching her giggle. “Don’t tell anyone what I said,” she pointed at Lena.

 

“I won’t, I promise.” Lena surrendered.

 

“So, do I do that?”

 

“No, that was a warning because we want her to put in majority of the work, so don’t fall for it!” Kara nodded, vigorously. “One more very important thing. Do not carry your gun on you, she will be looking for it.”

 

“Can we do something else now, I don’t want to talk about this any more.” Kara pleaded, she didn’t even want to think about Anisah Contreras right now.

 

“Okay, what do you want to do?” Lena asked. They moved over to the couch and Kara pulled Lena onto her lap.

 

“More of the ear thing, please keep doing that.” Kara turned her head. “Just don’t try to have a conversation with me,” Lena smirked but leaned in and pressed her lips against Kara’s ear.

 

__________

 

Kara was going through her final mission preparations, she was leaving for Washington DC that night. She’d gone through two more briefings about the layout of the hotel, more background information on Contreras and a final suit fitting.

 

She sighed walking into the building after coming back from the tailors, “Hey, Mark.” She greeted the security officer at the entrance.

 

“Good afternoon, Kara.” He nodded, “your next meeting is waiting in your office,” he smiled. Kara internally groaned, what more could they possibly need to tell me about.

 

Kara frowned when she approached her office, she never closes her blinds, must be really important.

 

“Hi, darling.” Lena husked, annnnd I’m having a heart attack.

 

“Wha… h-how… hmm,” Kara looked around and locked her door, “what are you doing here?” She finally choked out.

 

“Well, I just wanted to see if I could get in here. The security is really lax-”

 

“Hey!”

“I flashed a fake ID and said I had a meeting with you, it’s not exactly Fort Knox.” She sniggered.

 

“Well, they don’t exactly expect criminals to walk in here.” Kara defended. “Show me the ID.” Kara held her hand out, Lena passed it to her. “Homeland Security? That’s how you got in.” She deadpanned.

 

“Okay, I made it super easy for myself but, it’s still fake.” Lena argued.

 

“What are you doing here?” Kara asked.

 

“Now you’re asking the right questions, darling.” Lena smirked, Kara was loving the pet name. She stood and Kara moved backwards until she fell into her chair. Kara looked up and watched as Lena opened the long coat she was wearing.  

 

Kara let out an honest to God squeak, like some tiny, gay mouse.

 

Lena was wearing matching black, lacy lingerie with fucking stockings and suspenders.

 

“Well, you’re leaving soon and I thought might need a little… refresher course,” Lena purred. Kara’s eyes were almost black with desire as she watched Lena drop her coat  and straddle her lap.

 

“Lena, I can’t-” the words died in her throat when Lena started kissing down her neck and unbuttoning her shirt. Kara gripped her hips and pulled her flush against her.

 

Lena began nipping at her neck, “hey, no marks.” Kara gasped.

 

“You can cover them.” Lena murmured, continuing to mouth at her neck.

 

“Are you marking your territory?” Lena could hear the grin in her voice.

 

“No.” Yes. “I’m trying to make you feel good, so shut up.” I’m just making sure you have something to remember me by. Lena dragged her nails down her body.

 

“What’s your name?” She husked.

 

“Harley Copeland,” Kara swallowed hard. Lena pushed her bra up and pinched her nipples.

 

“Where did you grow up?” Lena whispered against her neck. Kara was dying, she was definitely dying because this was far too good to be true.

 

“Denver, Colorado.”

 

“Do you have any pets?” Lena said while unbuttoning her pants. She shoved her hand in her underwear, Kara was soaked.

 

“A-a rescue- a rescue dog called Cooper!” She rushed out, bucking her hips up into Lena’s hand.

 

She moaned when Lena’s thumb brushed over her clit. “Shhh,” Lena whispered, “we don’t want everyone to know the boss is getting fucked in her office,” Kara whimpered.

 

Kara gripped her hips and attacked her mouth, sucking her bottom between her teeth. Lena rubbed tight circles on her clit and enjoyed Kara squirming underneath her. “I’m gonna cum.” Kara panted.

 

“So soon?” Lena asked. Kara was already worked up, just having Lena on her lap, looking like that had her close to the edge. Lena picked up her pace and Kara dropped her head into her neck to muffle her moans.

 

“You just ruined my underwear,” Kara groaned.

 

“No, you ruined your underwear,” Lena giggled. Kara growled and lifted her, placing her on her desk. Lena wrapped her legs around Kara’s waist and she slowly dragged her hands up Lena’s legs and grabbed her ass, pulling her against her body.

 

“God, you look incredible,” Kara’s eyes raked over her body. She leaned down and kissed her passionately, she almost didn’t want to take anything off, but she also wanted her as naked as possible. She unsnapped Lena’s bra and pulled it off of her, she cupped her breasts and tweaked her stiff nipples. Lena moaned into her mouth and arched into Kara’s hands.

 

Kara kissed down her neck, sucking the skin. Lena cupped the back of her head, encouraging her to continue. She sucked bruises onto her collarbones and across the top of her breasts, moving down to take a nipple into her mouth. Lena made an obscene noise when her teeth grazed across her nipple, Kara pulled away and put a finger to her lips.

 

“The same goes for you, be quiet.” Kara growled, Lena sucked her finger into her mouth and Kara’s eyes darkened. “Can you be quiet?” Lena shook her head slowly. “Well, we’ll have to find a way to keep you quiet,” Kara kept eye contact with her and unsnapped her suspenders, before sliding her underwear down her legs. She balled them up and pushed them into Lena’s mouth. “Good girl.”

 

Kara pulled her off the desk, “if you change your mind, or you want to stop, tap on the desk twice,” Kara kissed her cheek before turning her around, bending her over the desk.

 

“God, this is the best day of my life,” Kara said, mostly to herself, admiring the view. She ran her finger through Lena’s folds, she was soaking wet. Lena’s soft whine turned into long moan as Kara slipped two fingers into her, she thrust in slowly to start with before speeding up quickly. As much as Kara wanted to drag this out, logically she knew that she couldn’t keep Lena in here for much longer without it looking suspicious.

 

Lena squirmed, pushing her hips back into Kara’s hand. Kara twisted her fingers and thrust them as deep as possible, pressing against Lena’s front wall. She moaned through her orgasm and Lena gripped the edge of the table, her knuckles turning white.

 

Kara pulled her up and spun her around, she lifted Lena up and onto the desk again. Kara would stop there, but she had to taste Lena. She got on her knees and kissed up her stocking clad leg, sucking marks onto her her inner thigh, she licked a strip up to Lena’s clit and moaned at the taste of her. Lena wrapped her legs around Kara’s neck and laid against the desk, bringing her hands up to play with her nipples.

 

Kara licked, kissed and sucked at Lena’s gushing pussy, savouring the taste of her. She grazed her teeth against Lena’s swollen clit and relished in the shudder of her body. Kara wrapped her lips around Lena’s clit and sucked, Lena cried out around her panties, arching off the desk and coming into Kara’s eager mouth.

 

Kara stood and wiped her face, grinning at a blissed out Lena who was trying to catch her breath, she pulled her panties out of her mouth so she could breathe easily.

 

“This was supposed to be your present,” she panted.

 

“Uh huh and you were a perfectly wrapped gift.” Kara cupped her face and kissed her softly. Lena stood and Kara smacked her ass, “come on, my meetings never take this long,” she teased.

 

She put her bra back on and clipped her suspenders back on and then grabbed a dress from her bag and pulled it on. “Wait, you’re going out there with no underwear on?” Kara asked.

 

“Well, I can’t wear these any more,” Lena picked up her ruined underwear and shoved them into her bag. Don’t think about Lena not wearing underwear. Do not think about it. You’ll never get any work done. “Anyway, I only really came here to wish you good luck.”

 

“That was wishing me good luck?” Kara chuckled, re-buttoning her shirt and tucking it into her pants before closing them.

 

“Did you not enjoy it?” Lena raised an eyebrow.

 

“Are you kidding? This has been the best day I’ve ever had at work!” Kara grinned.

 

“Good. I have to go but, I’ll see you soon, okay?” Kara nodded and kissed her, “you’ll be fine,” she whispered. Kara pinched her ass on the way out, giving her a cheeky smile when she narrowed her eyes.

 

__________

 

Kara was stood in her hotel room going through her final mission preparations, she went over her identity but, ignored the dossier with the information on the target in order to not become overwhelmed. She put on her tie, red, like Lena suggested, tied her hair back and put on her glasses.

 

She knew she looked good. She allowed herself a minute of admiring herself before she slipped into her character. She was already slightly nervous so it was easy to become Harley Copeland.

 

She burnt her dossier and then left the room, heading to Contreras’ hotel. She smiled at the concierge, “good evening. I have a reservation with Mr Sandoval, for 8:30.”

 

“Mr Sandoval is running a few minutes late but, I will show you to your table.” The concierge replied, she led Kara through the bar and towards the restaurant. She was seated at a table a few rows over from the mark who was alone for now.

 

“Thank you, so much.” Kara said. She picked up her menu and looked through it, she took a quick glance around the room, Lena had said that to avoid looking up, or at someone seems unnatural. She made eye contact with the mark and gave her a small, polite smile before withdrawing again.

 

She ordered a scotch to calm her nerves and flicked through her phone while she waited for her non-existent dinner guest.

 

It got to around 8:45 and the concierge came to her table, “we’ve just received a call that Mr Sandoval won’t be able to make it, he asked us to pass on this message,” she handed her a note.

 

Kara thanked her, “Am I allowed to keep the table? I have some work I can be doing instead.”

 

“Of course! I’ll have someone come take your order.”

 

“Thank you,” Kara smiled, she pulled out a tablet and some paper work from the briefcase she carried with her, and pretended to know what the fuck all the numbers meant. She ordered her food and went back to her work, readjusting her glasses and taking a sip of her scotch every so often. She sat back in her chair, facing the mark and crossed one leg over the other, it wasn’t comfortable but she could hear Lena’s nagging about her “man-spreading”.

 

She looked up from where she was and saw Contreras stand to greet O’Neal. She kept an ear tuned into the conversation happening close to her but, didn’t look over, keeping herself to herself.

 

Kara was worried that she hadn’t done enough and she’d missed her chance, she watched as O’Neal left and Contreras still hadn’t made contact with her. She was starting to wonder whether Lena had set her up to fail, when the waiter put a glass of champagne down in front of her, “I’m sorry but, I didn’t order this.”

 

“This is from the lady at the table over there,” the waiter gestured towards Contreras, who raised her glass towards Kara. She matched the gesture and said thank you, reaching up to adjust her glasses, blushing slightly. Bingo!

 

She did what Lena told her to do, she played the nervous, shy character and made sure Contreras made all the moves. A few minutes after she was gifted with the champagne, the mark came over to her table, “would you mind if I joined you?”

 

“Not at all, please sit.” Kara stood and gestured for her to take the seat across from her. She would have to give Lena credit, maybe not too much, her ego doesn’t need to be stroked much more. “Harley Copeland.” She stuck out her hand.

 

“Anisah Contreras.” She smiled and shook Kara’s hand. Now she could see Anisah up close, Lena was right, she was stunning. Not Lena stunning, but she was gorgeous in her own right: long, brown hair, so dark it was almost black, she had big, brown eyes and golden skin. She had high cheekbones and a sharp jawline, but she wasn’t Lena.   

 

“Wow, what a beautiful name. Thank you for the champagne,” Kara smiled and adjusted her glasses again.

 

“You’re very welcome, I don’t like to see such a beautiful woman eat alone.” Kara giggled and blushed, looking down at the table.

 

“Well, I was supposed to meet someone but he cancelled at the last minute, his wife went into labour,” subtly dropping into the conversation that she wasn’t waiting for a date.

 

“Well, I guess that excuse is valid,” Anisah shrugged and Kara giggled like a schoolgirl.

 

“Exactly and I love this place, so why waste a perfectly good dinner reservation, when you can work through it instead?” Kara gestured to the paperwork and smiled, “I’m sorry, I’m rambling, I’m sure you don’t want to hear about my work.”

 

Anisah chuckled, “don’t be sorry. It’s endearing. What do you do?” She asked.

 

“I’m a stockbroker, so I buy and sell shares on behalf of clients and companies.” Kara explained, Anisah seemed intrigued by this.

 

“Really? I actually have my own business but, I don’t have a stockbroker.”

 

“Where are you based? I have a few contacts I could put you in touch with,” Kara said.

 

“Why don’t we discuss things over a bottle of champagne?” She purred.

 

Kara blushed furiously and adjusted her glasses again, “I-I would like that,”

 

They ordered a bottle and talked about business, “so can you show me what my stock prices are looking like?”

 

“Of course,” Kara nodded enthusiastically, she moved over to the seat next to Anisah and pulled up Deqo’s statistics, “so your shares have gone up by three points, that’s excellent.” Anisah leaned closer to her.

 

“So, you would invest?” Kara nodded. “Do you have any tips for my own portfolio?” Anisah took the opportunity to pick some non-existent fluff from Kara’s arm and rest her hand there, stroking softly.

 

“Well, Volte is a new, up and coming engineering company, from my knowledge they have a few big contracts for new condos in New York, which means they’re share price is likely to sky rocket very soon.” Kara had no clue where that came from.

 

“Well, thank you for the tip,” she grazed her fingers up and down Kara’s arm. “Let’s not talk about business any more, I’ve been talking about business all night. Tell me about you.” Kara fidgeted with her glasses again.

 

“Um, well. There’s not much to tell. I grew up in Colorado, I moved to California for college and I moved to DC a few years ago for work.”

 

“Oh, there must be more to you then that, what did you study?” Anisah leaned closer to Kara.

 

“I studied business at Berkeley,” Kara readjusted her glasses for the upteenth time that night.

 

“Berkeley is a very prestigious school,” she leaned into Kara’s ear, “you must be very smart.” Mm, Lena does it better.

 

“Just lucky I think,” Anisah ran her hand up Kara’s arm and curled it around her neck, pulling her closer.

 

“I’m going to be honest with you,” she purred, “I want you to come up to my room with me.” Kara choked a little at that.

 

“Um, I-I don’t know-”

 

“I just have a little more business to discuss,” Kara swallowed as she felt a hand run up the inside of her leg. She nodded and quickly threw some bills on the table, while Anisah pulled her up and out of the restaurant. She pushed Kara into the elevator and attached her lips to hers, huh? Lena kisses better too. Kara would have felt uncomfortable at this moment but, Harley, kissed her back. Anisah’s hands roamed her body and Kara felt her falter slightly but, recover quickly.

 

It was easy for her to become Harley because Kara didn’t want anything to do with this. She moaned when Anisah attacked her neck, sucking and biting. Oh, that’s gonna leave a mark.

 

The doors of the elevator slid open, Anisah smiled mischievously and pulled at Kara’s hand, leading her to her room. She pulled Kara into the room and pushed her into a chair, straddling her lap and kissing her again.

 

She bit Kara’s lip and then stood up, “I’ll be right back, don’t go anywhere,” she gripped her chin and pecked her lips, turning to go to the bathroom.

 

Kara immediately grabbed the burner phone she kept in her sock.

 

Unknown: I think I fucked up.

Unknown: I need back up.

 

She shoved her phone back in her sock and relaxed, acting if nothing was wrong. There was just something about the situation that didn’t sit right with Kara, she had her service weapon on her person and she was sure that’s why Anisah’s hands faltered in the elevator. Yes, the gun Lena had told her not to bring, as always, Kara thought she knew better.

 

Anisah had felt her gun, now, she was taking forever in the bathroom.

 

Suddenly, the door burst open and eight huge, armed guard filed into the room. Kara held her hands up in surrender, “whoa, w-what’s going on?” Contreras came out of the bathroom at that second.

 

“You almost had me,” she said. “You played a very good game but, you lost.” She kissed her teeth and cooed, “such a waste.”

 

Kara knew that she needed to be clever about this if she wanted to live, so she allowed them to grab her and drag her out of the hotel, she was bundled into the back of a car and Anisah followed. “It’s such a shame, I hoped to at least get your shirt off,” she pulled Kara’s head to the side and injected something into her neck.

 

It didn’t take long for Kara to pass out.

 

__________

 

Lena had been working on a plan for yet another reconnaissance mission when she got a text from Kara’s burner.

 

Unknown: I think I fucked up.

Unknown: I need back up.

 

Lena knew not to respond or try to call her, in case it alerted the mark. Instead she brought up a program on her computer and traced Kara’s phone. She saw that she was in Washington DC, she transferred the tracking information to her phone and grabbed her keys and her gun, heading out the door.

 

She drove to DC as fast as she could without being stopped. She watched as the dot on her phone moved and she still had no communication from Kara, she quickly concluded that Kara was in trouble and they were most likely taking her to a second location.

 

__________

 

Kara’s eyes fluttered open, she didn’t know where she was, or how long she had been out but something felt very wrong. Then she realised she was hanging upside down from a chain, in some abandoned warehouse. Her head felt woozy and she felt like she was going to throw up any second, she wriggled but her hands were bound behind her and now she was spinning.

 

Well, shit.

 

“Hey, Bambi, how’s it hanging?”

 

“Lena!” Kara squirmed, trying to spin herself around, she could hear Lena laughing behind her. “Stop laughing!” Kara said once she’d spun back, “help me down, I feel like I’m going to throw up.” She started spinning again.

 

“I will, one second, I need a photo of this,” she could her the shutter of the camera clicking.

 

“Lena, stoppp, get me down, please.” Kara whined.

 

“Okay, I’m doing it calm down,” Lena ran over to the other side of the room and pulled at the chain, she lowered it slowly. “Tuck your head in.” She called. Lena waited until Kara was on the floor and then hurried back over. She untangled the chains that were wrapped around Kara’s legs and went to sit her up, she slumped forward onto Lena.

 

“Thanks,” she murmured, all of her blood had rushed to her head while she was upside down, her body ached and she had been drugged. Kara was not in a good way right now. “Need a minute.”

 

“Okay, but, we need to get you out of here,” Lena sat her up and looked at the rope binding her hands, it was thick and tied tightly. Lena got up and grabbed the axe she put down when she came in.

 

“You brought an axe!”

 

“I had it in my car,” Lena shrugged. “Hold still.”

 

“No, what the hell?” She tried to move away but she was very dizzy.

 

“Kara, shut up and hold still.” Lena hissed, “I grew up chopping wood on a daily basis. I won’t miss, trust me!” Lena lifted the axe and swung, slicing through the ropes easily.

 

“Watch where you’re swinging that thing!” Kara yelled.

 

“Oh, you’re fine.” Lena scoffed. Then they heard the boots pounding against the ground and the shouting.

 

“You didn’t take out the guards?!”

 

“Oh, I’m sorry! I was too busy looking for you!” Lena defended. Kara was still trying to get her balance when the first man ran into the room. Lena had enough of this already and pulled her gun, shooting the guys that were running into the room. “Come on you’re losing, I’ve already taken out five!” Kara was on her hands and knees and she held up her hand, trying to stop the nausea. Lena took out the first wave of guards but knew there would be more coming.

 

“They took my gun,” Kara said. Lena stopped and turned to her. Shit, that was the part I wasn’t supposed to say.

 

“You brought a gun with you! When I specifically told you not to, what the fuck-”

 

“Look out!” Kara pushed off the ground and barrelled into two guys coming through the door. Lena took them out easily.

 

“Grab one of theirs and move it!” Lena ordered. She helped Kara move, taking most of her weight, “my God, no more potstickers for you.” She lugged Kara’s dead weight.

 

“S’all muscle,” Kara mumbled. Lena dragged her outside and pulled them behind a stack of crates. Kara eventually regained some of her composure, ignoring her physical discomfort, mostly because she didn’t want to lose to Lena.

 

“I’m on twenty!” Kara called.

 

“That’s nothing, I’m on thirty-two, which makes me Legolas, because I’m better.” Lena teased.

 

“No way, I’m blonde with blue eyes, taller than you and you brought an axe! I’m Legolas, you’re the dwarf.” Kara reasoned, still taking out enemies as if this were just paintball.

 

“Well, your ears are kinda pointy,” Lena said.

 

Kara gasped in outrage, “my ears are not pointy!”

 

“Why do you think you’re only a nine?” Kara shoved her and then had to pull her back, she didn’t want to be blamed for Lena getting shot again. Lena laughed and reloaded, taking out the remaining guy, while Kara pouted and felt the tips of her ears. “I think we’re good.” Lena said, scoping out the area.

 

They crept out and Lena moved to where she parked her car, “I can’t believe you said my ears were pointy,” Kara hissed. Lena sighed and turned back to face her, finally looking at her properly.

 

“Is that lipstick on your face?” She thought it was bruising, “and a hickey on your neck?” Lena stopped and grabbed her face, inspecting the mark on her neck.

 

“I gave it to her.” Lena whipped around and saw Anisah Contreras standing behind them, holding a gun to their heads. Oh, you should not have said that. Contreras was walking towards them and Kara felt a little bit sorry for her, Lena was not someone she would want to rile up while she was already pissed. “She enjoyed it as well,”

 

Kara cleared her throat and leant over Lena’s shoulder, “no, I didn’t.” She pointed out.

 

“Don’t lie to yourself, darling-” oops, very bad move, “I heard the way you moaned-” Lena punched her hard in the face and knocked her out.

 

“Oh, fuck off.” Lena said, she aimed her gun at the women.

 

“Wait! I need her alive!” Kara stepped in.

 

“Just one small bullet hole? Please?” Kara gave her a stern look. “Fine, but you’re carrying her.” Kara hauled Contreras over her shoulder and put her in the back seat of the car.

 

Kara stayed silent while Lena drove, “sooo-”

 

“No.” Lena said.

 

“Seems like you were a little… dare I say jealous,” Kara smirked. Lena turned and shut Kara up with just a look.

 

“I will push you out of this car while it’s still moving.” Kara stayed silent for the rest of the drive.

 

Lena dropped Kara off at a safe house in DC, so she could detain Contreras and left without a word. She would go see Kara when she was back and Lena had figured things out in her head. Lena wasn’t sure why she felt so angry about someone else touching Kara. She wasn’t a jealous person and Kara definitely wasn’t hers to be jealous over. It was just a job and Lena knew that, but seeing that mark on her neck and the smug way Contreras claimed it made her see red.

 

__________

 

“You can’t come in without saying the password,” Kara greeted when Lena knocked on her door a few days later.

 

“Um, I’m not wearing any underwear?” Kara hesitated for a second and Lena almost thought she’d gotten away with it.

 

“Nope.”

 

“Fine,” she sighed. “Your ears are perfectly shaped and aren’t, in any way, pointy like an elf’s.” Lena said and Kara moved out of the way, granting her entrance. Hero ran over, skidding to a stop in front of her, “hi! I missed you,” she cooed. She straightened and faced Kara, “how are you?”

 

“I’m okay, my head is still a little fuzzy.” Lena leant up on her tiptoes and kissed Kara’s forehead.

 

“I’m sure your knees are killing you, hanging from that ceiling for so long?” Kara nodded, Lena took her hand and sat her on the couch. “I’ll get you some ice.” Lena came back and picked up Kara’s legs and placed them on her lap, “you have to elevate your legs,” Lena mumbled.

 

Kara smiled softly and put on a movie, “so now I have you trapped,” Lena groaned and dropped her head back onto the couch. “No, just listen. Thank you, for coming to get me. I know it was my fault, I just felt that I wouldn’t be able to detain her without a weapon.” Kara explained.

 

“Kara, you’re fully capable of detaining someone without a gun, you’re hand to hand combat is on another level, have confidence in your skills.” Lena reached over and tucked her hair behind her ear, her hand faltered when she revealed the mark on her neck.

 

“I didn’t enjoy it,” Kara caught her hand and played with her fingers.

 

“I know.” Kara was clearly still dealing with the effects of the drugs, she was sluggish and clearly very sleepy.

 

“You broke her nose, by the way.” Kara laughed.

 

“Good. I hope she learned something,” Kara held up her hand and Lena high-fived her as always. Lena played with Kara’s hair and watched her relax further into the couch, “am I a better kisser?”

 

“Hmm, well, I don’t know.” Lena batted her shoulder, “of course you are. I told you, I don’t want to do anything with anyone else.”

 

“I don’t either,” Lena replied, they shared a soft smile.

 

“So, are you wearing underwear orrr…?” Kara grinned.

 

“Every time!” Lena threw her hands up, exasperated.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“Come on, Kara. It’ll be fun!” Lena pleaded.

 

“It sounds like the complete opposite of what I find fun.” She deadpanned.

 

“Pleaseee?” She pouted. “We can do something you find fun after we get back,” Lena tried to reason with her.

 

“Fine! If it will stop your whining.” Kara huffed, Lena squealed and Hero joined in the excitement, jumping up and down.

 

“Yes! Let’s go!” Lena grabbed her hand and dragged her out of the door.

 

“We’re going now?”

 

“No time like the present,” Kara got into the car, grumbling like a child.

 

“Do you even have a licence?” Kara looked at her warily. Lena smirked and pulled a wallet out of the glove box. Lena had a drivers licence for every country in the world, all under different alias’. “Okay… but how many of these are real?”

 

Lena thought for a moment, “one… two… three…” she counted on her fingers. “Oh that’s right! None of them,” Lena scoffed. The drive didn’t take long and soon they were outside the one place Kara did not want to spend her Saturday, the shopping mall.

 

“The sooner we go in there, the sooner we can leave.” Lena promised, Kara had a half grimace half frown on her face, dragging her feet alongside Lena. “What’s wrong with your face? Why do you look like that?” Lena used her thumbs to push the corners of Kara’s mouth up into a smile. Kara kept the smile up but it looked pained.

 

“Do you own any jeans?” Lena asked, raising her eyebrow at Kara’s outfit: grey sweatpants and a loose white t-shirt. She knew Lena was going to dress her up like her own personal Barbie doll and this would be the easiest outfit to do that in.

 

“Um, I think I have like one black pair.”

 

“Right, we have to get jeans first then.” Lena dragged her into American Eagle and thrust multiple pairs of jeans into her arms.

 

“Lena, I don’t go anywhere where jeans are a good idea.” Lena pushed her towards the fitting rooms.

 

“Well, I have plans and you need jeans. Go.” Lena said. Kara got changed into her first pair and came out to show Lena. “Oh my God, turn around,” Kara gave her a quick spin. “They make your butt look incredible, those are a yes.”

 

“But they’re so tight.” They were skin-tight and accentuated Kara’s long, well defined legs and her perfect ass. Those pants looked amazing on her.

 

“I know and they look so good!” Lena gushed, she quickly reeled it in after sensing Kara’s discomfort. “But, if you don’t like them that’s absolutely fine, try a different style.” Kara pulled the curtain across and got changed again.

 

“Okay, I like these ones.” Kara came out in a pair of relaxed skinny jeans. They were loose but not too baggy and grouped a little at her ankles but, she had such long legs that they didn’t cut her off.  

 

“I like those ones too.”

 

“Really?” Kara asked, looking unsure.

 

“Really.” Lena stood and pulled on the belt loops. “Are you comfortable?” Kara nodded, “well, then that’s all that matters.” She leaned up and kissed her softly.

 

Kara ended up getting that pair in two different colours and the pair Lena liked, because well, Lena liked them.

 

“Okay, we need shirts,” Lena said.

 

“Do we?”

 

“Kara, you own like five white t-shirts and the rest are work shirts.” Lena said. She knew that Kara’s style was simple, comfortable clothes and so she didn’t want to force anything too different on her. Lena picked up soft cotton t-shirts she knew Kara would love, in a few different colours and maybe a size too small to show off Kara’s arms.

 

“I like these, they’re soft.” Kara said, coming out of the fitting room. I’m a genius. “Is this the right size?” Kara asked, trying to find the label, Lena could see her abs flexing through the fabric.

 

Lena quickly stood and fussed with the fabric. “Yep. I got the size you said, small, right?” She ran her hands across Kara’s broad shoulders and down her well-defined arms. “Perfect fit.” Kara didn’t question her again, “do you like the colours?”

 

“Yeah, I’m going to get a few of the white, black and grey. I quite like the blue as well.”

 

“Mmm, I like you in blue,” Lena said. Kara paid for the t-shirts and they moved onto the next store. “You need new work clothes.”

 

“My work clothes are fine.” Kara protested.

 

“Darling, you wear the same black pants and white shirt combo every day, it’s boring.” Lena pulled her towards a suiting store. “You don’t have to buy anything, just try some stuff on, please?” Lena begged.

 

“Fine,” Kara sighed a small smile crept onto her face when she saw how happy Lena was.

 

“Pick up anything you like the look of, it can’t hurt to try things on,” Lena followed Kara through the store and watched as she felt the fabrics and looked at the style of every suit. She picked a electric blue suit, a charcoal grey and a navy check suit.

 

Lena loved all of them, “you look so good!” Kara looked down at her outfit, she’d put one of her new white t-shirts on and tucked it into the electric blue pants, pairing it with the matching jacket as more of a casual look.

 

“You think?” It was so strange for Lena to see this side of Kara, she was usually so confident and Lena half expected her to be parading around showing off.

 

“I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think that.” Lena would speak to her about it later, she didn’t want to upset Kara by bringing up the topic while they were still in a public place. “Put the navy one on!” Lena said enthusiastically.

 

Lena went and got her a white shirt to try on with it. Kara came out and Lena tilted her head, “you don’t like it?”

 

“I do but I feel like it’s missing something. Stay there for a second, don’t change.” Lena hurried back onto the shop floor and grabbed the matching waistcoat and a black tie for her to try as well. Lena tied the tie for her and buttoned up the waistcoat before Kara put the jacket on again. Lena stepped back and clasped a hand over her mouth, “I’m a genius. That is perfect! Look at yourself.” Kara turned and looked in the mirror.

 

“Whoa! It’s different… but I like it.” Kara admired herself in the mirror.

 

“The waistcoat is a game changer.”

 

“Do you think I should get one to match the other suits?” Kara tilted her head, questioning the decision. Good Lord, please!

 

“I mean, I think it’s a good idea.” Lena said. Kara ended up buying the three suits with the matching waistcoats. Lena could have honestly skipped out of the store she was so thrilled. They took the suit carriers straight out to the car so they wouldn’t get ruined and Lena dragged Kara, kicking and screaming back into the mall, insisting they still weren’t finished.

 

Lena took over fully this time, picking outfits she wanted to see Kara in. She bought her a thick, fleece lined denim jacket, it was getting colder in Virginia and she wanted to make sure Kara was warm. She also picked out three button up shirts and a few pairs of khakis so she had some smart casual outfits, of course she made sure that Kara was comfortable and happy with the choices before she bought them.

 

Kara ran towards the car when they were finally done, that was the longest she’d ever spent shopping and God was it exhausting.

 

As soon as they entered the apartment Kara collapsed onto the couch. “Oh, Hero, it was awful! She made me try on clothes for six whole hours. Six hours!” Hero fussed over her, wagging his tail and licking her hand.

 

“Don’t be so dramatic, it wasn’t that bad.” Lena climbed the stairs and put her suits straight into the closet before placing the rest of the bags next to her dresser. She didn’t hear Kara follow her upstairs and gasped when she felt her arms wrap around her waist.

 

“You said I could pick something fun to do now,” Kara whispered.

 

“What do you have in mind?”

 

“A nap, a walk for Hero and then a mountain of food.” Kara stepped backwards and pulled her onto the bed.

 

“That I can do.” Lena kicked off her jeans and they crawled under the covers. She turned to face Kara, “can I ask you a question?”

 

“Nope.” Kara shut her eyes and Lena grinned.

 

“Please?”

 

“No, nap time rules.”

 

“What the fuck are nap time rules?” Lena sat up on one elbow.

 

“No talking, no clothes, lots of cuddling.” Lena snorted and Kara cracked one eye open, “you’ve already broken all of them.”

 

“Well, in my defence I didn’t know there were any rules.” Lena stripped off her bra but kept her t-shirt and underwear on.

 

“It’s like you don’t even care about the rules!” Kara flopped back down on the bed and sighed. Lena smiled and laid down, resting her head on her chest, Kara smiled softly and wrapped her arms around Lena’s body pulling her closer.

 

They woke up around an hour later, Kara stretched languidly and Lena followed grumbling when Kara moved too much, “can I ask my question now?” Lena’s voice was thick with sleep, Kara hummed in response. “You seemed really… unsure today about the clothes you were wearing, did I make you uncomfortable?” Lena tensed, unsure whether she’d forced Kara into doing something she didn’t want to do.

 

“No! It wasn’t you at all. It’s just… I’ve worn the same thing for the last ten years and I was a little worried about changing things up. I wanted to make sure… that you liked what I was wearing.” Kara squirmed.

 

“Darling, you can wear whatever you want,” Lena stroked her hand up and down her neck, “I wasn’t trying to change you but, majority of your clothes are worn out, you deserve some new ones.”

 

“I know, I desperately needed new clothes, but I also hate shopping.” Kara laughed.

 

“Do you like everything we got today?” Lena whispered.

 

“Of course, I wouldn’t have spent all that money if I didn’t,” she joked. Lena relaxed again, burying deeper into the warmth.

 

__________

 

Lena was sat at her desk, flipping through a stack of reports, sighing deeply. Her phone began ringing and she looked at the caller ID, Nikolai Konstantinov. “And to what do I owe this pleasure?” She answered and heard him chuckle.

 

“Lena, my darling, how are you?” His accent was thick, his voice deep and raspy.

 

“I’m very well, thank you. And you?” Nikolai was an old friend of hers, they worked together in the past but she hadn’t heard from him in a few years. He was an ex-FSB agent, who now worked as a freelance private detective in the Netherlands.

 

“I’m good. Listen, I don’t have long but, I need your help. Do you remember Lars Dreeson?” 

 

“The Colonel who defected to Russian in 1996, right?” Lena remembered learning about the case when she was little, it was a huge scandal at the time.

 

“Exactly right. Well, now he is an enemy of the Russian state. He has stolen a list of FSB agents and their personal files, I need your help to find him. My name is on that list and all my personal information, he’s planning to sell it, ” Nikolai sounded really concerned and rightfully so, Nikolai had to leave Russia because he accepted the fact that he was gay. He had to leave before they found out, for obvious reasons, but if his name and face was leaked, there was potential for information about his current activities to get back to the FSB and Nikolai’s life would be in serious danger.

 

“Of course I’ll help you, but I do need to clear it with Talia first. I’m sure it’s something she would be interested in but, I’m technically on the naughty step at the moment.” Lena admitted.

 

“What did you do?”  He teased.

 

“Urghh, it was stupid but, I went MIA for like three days and I’m almost a month into my punishment.” She rolled her eyes.

 

“I’m going to need you to fix it because I need my best girl on this.”

 

“Don’t worry, I’m very good at my job, I’ll convince Talia.” Lena knew very well that Talia had a soft spot for her and she would be able to persuade her to let Lena do this.

 

“Let me know, either way.” She promised to call him back. As soon as she put the phone down, she called Talia.

 

“Little Spider, I was just about to call you for an update.” Talia’s voice was void of emotion as usual.

 

“Things are progressing well but that’s not what I was calling about.” Lena said, she bit her lip, trying to think of a way to convince Talia.

 

“Is that so? Then what are you calling about?”

 

“I’ve been contacted by one of my informants. He told me that Lars Dreeson has stolen a list of FSB agents and is preparing to sell it on. My thought process was that is we can find him first-”

 

“We can take the list and sell it back to the Russians.” Talia finished.

 

“Exactly. We have to act soon, the Russians have rescinded his personal protection which means both Russia and America will be out for blood.” Lena was proud of herself for coming up with that on the spot.

 

“Do you know if this list contains active agents?” Talia questioned, she was intrigued and Lena knew that she was already formulating a plan in her head.

 

“As far as I know, it contains everything from active agents to retired agents.” Talia hummed.

 

“If this is true, the FSB can’t send their own people, Dreeson would recognise them immediately. I will get in touch with my contacts and see if I can’t get them to commission our services.” Lena silently celebrated, “you’ve done well, Lena.”

 

She cleared her throat, “if we were able to get a contract, could I be the one who gets the mission?” Her tone was full of confidence but she was internally screaming, it was a big ask and Talia is the one who decides when a punishment is over, requesting a mission may end up making things worse for her. Hey, you don’t ask, you don’t get.

 

“I will call you back.” Talia put the phone down and Lena winced slightly, at least it wasn’t a straight up no.

 

Lena didn’t have to wait for very long, apparently the Russians were desperate to get this list back and Lena would be the one to do it. They agreed that the Honey Pot was Lena’s strength and that would be the quickest, most effective way of getting what they needed.

 

She called Nikolai and they got started right away, hacking hotel records, flight records, any kind of record. They trawled through thousands and thousands of reservations, looking for any sign of him.

 

“I think I may have found something,” Lena said. It was currently 2am and her vision was blurry from staring at a screen for almost ten hours straight.

 

“What is it?”

 

“I have a reservation at Hotel de Crillon for a Mr Serendo, he’s charged the bill to a company called ‘Rydenhag’.”

 

“Hang on,” she could hear him typing in the background, “I’ve got nothing registered to that name.”

 

“That’s what I thought, if my memory serves, Dreeson received honours for an operation early on in his career. Can you check it out for me?” He confirmed and Lena began to hack into the hotel’s CCTV.

 

“You were right, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor… six years into his service. I bet they regret that now,” he joked. “Um, it was for an operation called Grey Hand.”

 

“Bingo, there’s always an element of sentiment, Rydenhag is Grey Hand and Serendo is…”

 

“Dreeson”

 

“I’m checking the CCTV now just to be sure.” Lena searched through the camera footage on the day ‘Mr Serendo’ checked in, “got him, he’s in Paris.”

 

“Perfect, when do you ship out?” He asked.

 

“I’ll check in but I would guess tomorrow.”

 

“Do you want me to come to Paris?”

 

“That won’t be necessary plus, he might already know your face and I don’t want you to risk your safety. I will let you know as soon as I have the list.” They said their goodbyes and Lena crashed almost as soon as she hung up the phone.

 

__________

 

Kara wore one of her new suits to work on Monday. She could feel all eyes on her, it made her a little uncomfortable but, kept her head held high. People she never really spoke to were approaching her and striking up conversations. Kara wasn’t a moron, she could tell when people were flirting with her she just didn’t know why. It couldn’t just be the suit, surely not.

 

It got to lunch time and Kara couldn’t take it any more, she sat down at Winn’s desk and huffed, “what’s going on?”

 

“What do you mean?” He asked.

 

“Everyone is staring at me, strangers are talking to me and I’ve been asked out three times already. Is this some kind of prank?” Kara was getting more and more uncomfortable as the day went on.

 

“Um no, it’s because you look hot!” He cleared his throat, realising he just told his boss she was hot, “I’m sorry, that was inappropriate.”

 

Kara waved him off, “are you kidding? That’s the reason everyone is being so weird?” He looked at her as if she had two heads.

 

“Did you look in the mirror before coming to work today?”

 

“Well, yeah but, I didn’t think anyone would really notice.” Kara said.

 

“You’ve worn the same black pants and white shirt everyday since you got here and now you’re slapping us in the face with this? We all noticed, It’s all positive, I promise.” Kara felt reassured after speaking to Winn, she stood a little taller, puffed her chest out a little more, relishing in the extra attention.

 

She was called into J’onn’s office just as she was about to leave for the day.

 

“I’ve just received word from one of our surveillance teams, Lars Dreeson is in Paris.” Kara tilted her head.

 

“I thought he had defected to Russia?”

 

“He was considered an ally of the Russians up until a few days ago. He left Moscow with a list of all known FSB agents and is selling it to the highest bidder.” Kara was stunned. Lars Dreeson was a well known military Colonel who defected to Russia in the 90’s, selling military secrets to secure his security.

 

“So, now he’s an enemy of the two most powerful countries in the world?” J’onn nodded. “Poor guy.” She joked.

 

“As you can probably imagine, the Russians want him dead, he’s already an enemy of the United States and a lot of organisations want that list. You’re mission is to find him and take him out.” Kara nodded.

 

“It would be my pleasure.” There was nothing Kara hated more than a traitor. She’d been told all about Lars Dreeson when she was in the Marines, he was the perfect example of what not to be. He betrayed the uniform and he betrayed his country, Kara wouldn’t lose any sleep over his death.

 

“Good, we’ll talk more tomorrow but, we have to move quickly before others get wind of this information. You’ll be shipped out tomorrow.”

 

“Yes, sir.” J’onn dismissed her and she went to leave the room.

 

“And Kara?” She turned, “I like the new look,” he said, not much expression but Kara knew he meant it.

 

“Thank you, sir.”

 

__________

 

“It’s open!” Kara called when Lena knocked on the door that night. “I’m in the kitchen,” she greeted an excitable Hero and made her way to find Kara. She stopped to catch her breath for a moment; Kara was stood at the counter, she’d taken her jacket off and was in just her waistcoat and shirt with the sleeves rolled up, exposing her forearms.

 

“Hey,” Kara turned and greeted her.

 

“Hey, you look great, have I mentioned that I’m a genius?” Lena ran her hands up and over her chest.

 

“You know, I think you might have said that on multiple occasions,” she looped her arms around Lena’s waist. “You were right, I got lots of extra attention from the people at work today, three people asked me out.”

 

“Oh, good.” Lena smiled but, it was pinched and quite clearly forced, she separated herself from Kara. The jealousy rose within her and it was getting harder to hide her true feelings around Kara.

 

“Come here!” Kara grabbed her again and pressed kisses into her neck. “I’m sorry.”

 

“Get off!” Lena protested, pushing at her shoulders, “go find one of the many people who have been drooling over you all day.” Kara laughed loudly.

 

“Shut up,” Kara held onto her tighter while Lena squirmed. “I don’t care about them, as long as you’re also drooling.”

 

“Well, I don’t drool but, I am loving the new look.” Lena gave in and allowed Kara to kiss her. “You’re the worst, you know that?”

 

“What, why?”

 

“You were clearly trying to rile me up.”

 

“No, I wasn’t.” Kara feigned innocence, “I was telling you about my day, like you asked.” Kara grinned when Lena glared at her. “I’m going away for a few days, so be nice. I know how much you’re going to miss me,” Lena scoffed. “I know right, it’s going to be unbearable for you.” Kara teased.

 

“Well, I’ll have a distraction because I’m finally back on active duty.” Lena was so excited to do something other than paperwork.

 

“Oh yeah?” Lena escaped Kara’s grasp and went to get a beer from the fridge, Kara resumed chopping the vegetables.

 

“Yeah, my expertise is required,” Lena smirked when she heard Kara falter.

 

Her stomach twisted into knots and she cleared her throat, “your expertise? So you would be doing the…”

 

“Honey pot? Yep.” Lena took a sip of her beer, “I’m very excited.” Kara frowned at that.

 

“Well, you’re getting back to it, doing what you do best. I’m very happy for you.” Kara lied through her gritted teeth, it was fun to tease Lena about it but now it was the other way around the feeling was horrible.

 

“No, you’re not.” Lena grinned, Kara turned her back and continued to make dinner.

 

“So, where are you going?” Kara ignored her previous statement and Lena giggled.

 

“Where are you going?” Kara turned and looked at her, they both narrowed their eyes simultaneously. “Avoid the topic altogether?” She stuck her pinky out.

 

“Deal.” Lena linked her finger. They had a quiet evening together, cuddled up on the couch with Hero, enjoying each others company and definitely not talking about work.

 

“Darling, I have to go.” Lena said, sitting up from where they were laid on the couch, Kara pouted at her. “I have to go to work,” Kara sighed but got up to walk her out.

 

“Just don’t enjoy his company too much,” Kara said.

 

“I thought we weren’t talking about it?” She quirked an eyebrow and Kara pouted again, “fine, I promise not to enjoy her company too much.” What, she couldn’t have a little fun as well? Kara froze on the way towards her lips, images flashed through her mind, reminders of what she had done with Contreras, possible scenarios of what Lena would get up to. Lena closed the distance and gave her a quick peck before turning and leaving the apartment.  

 

Kara waited half a second before running out the door and grabbing Lena, throwing her over one shoulder. “Kara!” She squealed, Kara kicked the door shut and took the stairs two at a time before throwing her on the bed.

 

A few hours later, Lena was naked, panting and curled around a pillow. Kara was sat up against the headboard, smug smirk plastered across her face. “Shut up.” Lena mumbled.

 

“I didn’t say anything,” she protested.

 

“I can hear you thinking.”

 

“Just remember this when you’re flirting with some other woman,” Kara slapped her ass and Lena yelped. She bit her lip, trying to hold back her laughter.

 

“What?” Kara frowned.

 

“It’s a guy,” she grinned.

 

“What?! You mean I gave you my best moves for a guy!” Lena laughed at Kara’s outrage.

 

“I was leaving! I didn’t think you were going to get all jealous and possessive,” Lena defended, she gathered her clothes and began to get dressed, ignoring Kara’s noise of protest.

 

“That’s it? You’re just gonna go?” Lena pulled her shirt over her head and turned to say goodbye.

 

“I still have to pack,” she kissed her gently, “but that was amazing. I’ll see you in a few days, darling,” she mumbled against her lips.

 

“Don’t do anything reckless!” Kara called, collapsing against pillows.

 

__________

 

Lena didn’t have a proper briefing for this mission, everything was quick, not so much rushed, she felt prepared but, she didn’t get to talk everything through with Talia as usual. She landed in Paris and headed straight to her hotel to get ready.

 

Lars Dreeson was an older man, who had been in the military his whole life until he betrayed his country and joined the Russians. No one really knew the real reason why he defected but, Lena reckoned it had something to do with a whole lot of money.

 

Lena had discovered that the target was heading to a charity gala that night at a ballroom in the centre of Paris. It was a very public place with huge amounts of security and no one would suspect anything untoward, the perfect place to sell information.

 

Lena wore a beautiful burgundy ball gown: off the shoulder, sweetheart neckline and an open back. The bodice was layered with intricate lace, the skirt tapered out from her slim waist and kissed the floor. Simply stunning, simply perfect. Lena pulled her hair up with intricate braid and loose curls, choosing dark, dramatic make-up to make her eyes pop but a subtle lip colour.

 

She flashed her fake invitation and glided down the main staircase, feeling all eyes on her. Lena thrived under the attention, sweeping through the room, chatting and laughing with the other guests. She spotted the mark within two seconds of being in the room, she stayed away, only took quick glances here and there. She knew that the buyer could show up at any moment so she couldn’t wait as long as she usually would.

 

The target had been leaning against the bar the whole time Lena had been there, observing the room, possibly looking for any threats. Lena made her way to the bar, loosening an earring on the way over, she stepped into the space next to him and ordered a glass of champagne. She thanked the bartender and turned just a little too quickly, feeling the earring slip from her ear.

 

“Excuse me! Excuse me ma’am,” the mark touched her arm and she turned back, he held out the earring she had dropped.

 

“Oh my gosh,” her hand flew up to her ear, “thank you so much!” She plucked her earring out of his palm and put it back in his ear. “Can I buy you a drink?” She gestured towards the bar. The target looked around the room and Lena knew he was going to decline. “Oh, are you with someone?” She looked around the room, “I wouldn’t want to intrude.”

 

He gave her a subtle, totally obvious, once over and smiled, “one drink wouldn’t hurt.” One drink turned into four and the Colonel was very tipsy, Lena was giggling at something he said.

 

“Did that really happen?” Lena giggled again.

 

“Hand to God, I slipped on a banana skin, like in a cartoon, and broke my arm in three places.” Lena laughed again and placed her hand on his arm. Everything was running smoothly.

 

__________

 

Kara had also received the same intel and sauntered down the main staircase, dressed in a sharp, black tuxedo. Her particular mission was to kill Lars Dreeson, obtaining the list was a bonus, not a necessity. She tugged at the lapels of her jacket and adjusted the cuffs of her shirt before making her way around the room, searching for the mark.

 

The sight she was presented with made her blood boil, that slimy traitor had his hands all over her girl and Kara was not happy. His hand was on her waist and his mouth was next to her ear, Kara growled wanting to march over there and punch his stupid face in. She glanced around the floor, coming up with a much better idea.

 

Good evening Madame,” Kara approached a group of women and greeted them individually. She blended easily into the group, making conversation and jokes. Kara touched one of the guest’s arms, Florence, and leaned into her ear, “that necklace is beautiful.” Florence thanked her and Kara continued the conversation for a few more minutes before excusing herself and heading to the bar. She was itching to start a fight, Lena was even closer to Dreeson than before. Kara clenched her jaw and put her plan into action.

 

“Cupcake! This is where you’ve been all night?”

 

__________

 

Everything was going smoothly, Dreeson was leaning into her laughing and joking. She ran her hand up his arm, “wow, that’s rock solid.” She cooed, squeezing his bicep while slipping her hand into his jacket and swiping the key card in his pocket. She just about got her hand away before-

 

“Cupcake! This is where you’ve been all night?” Lena froze, what the fuck is she doing here? She felt Kara’s arm slide around her waist and tug her away from Dreeson and into her body. “I know these functions can get a little boring but can I at least have a dance with my beautiful wife?” Lena turned and forced a smile onto her face, scrunching up her nose. Oh God she’s in a tux. Kara owns a tux! Nope, focus.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realise you were… married.” He looked down and saw Lena’s bare left hand.

 

Kara reached into her suit pocket and pulled out a dazzling, diamond ring. “Here you go sweetie pie!” She booped Lena’s nose and slipped the ring onto her finger. “She takes it off to change the twins’ diapers and always forgets to put it back on.” Kara said, nonchalantly.

 

I take it back, I’m going to throttle her with her own fucking bow tie.

 

“Oh, children too?”

 

“Yes, we’re very lucky to have two beautiful daughters, right pumpkin?” Lena hummed, still completely bewildered by the whole interaction. “I’m so sorry, I haven’t introduced myself, Hannah Stanton.”

 

“Dan Serendo.” Lena watched as they shook hands.

 

“You don’t mind if I whisk her away for a dance, do you?” Kara asked, politely.

 

“By all means,” he gestured for them to go. Kara gripped her waist and turned them away, leading her to the dance floor. She spun Lena around and into hold, grinning like an idiot.

 

“What the hell are you doing here?” Lena hissed.

 

“Working. Quite clearly ruining your mission as well,” she teased. “Wasn’t my quick thinking amazing?” Kara was being cocky and annoying, Lena huffed and pushed away from Kara but she caught her hand and kissed her new diamond ring, “where are you going, wifey?”

 

“Back to work.” Lena growled, but Kara pulled her back into her body.

 

“If you go back there now, he’ll realise something is wrong and get spooked,” Lena sighed, the last thing she needed was the target going back to his hotel room.

 

“I hate you,” Lena said, she allowed Kara to take the lead and whisk her around the dance floor. She looked over Kara’s shoulder, mostly so she didn’t have to look at the smug look on her face.

 

She caught sight of the target and their eyes locked, Lena smiled and took Kara’s earlobe into her mouth, nibbling on it. She felt Kara’s gasp against her chest, she saw the reaction of Dreeson and smiled, typical man.

 

Kara spun and dipped her, “I knew you’d enjoy it,” she whispered.

 

“Shut up, it’s not for you, I’m working.” Kara did not like that response, she twirled Lena three times and brought her back into hold easily. Lena was shocked, she had no idea that Kara could dance this well. Kara was doing everything she could to draw all of Lena’s attention onto her, spinning, twirling, dipping.

 

Kara caught sight of the mark over Lena’s shoulder, his behaviour had changer dramatically, he was clutching his chest and breathing rapidly. “And that will be the deadly toxin, I slipped into his drink. Time to go muffin.”

 

“Stop with the pet names,” Lena growled. A group of people surrounded the mark and tried to save him. Kara slipped out the side door and into the corridor, tugging Lena along behind her.

 

“You don’t like them, baby cakes?” Kara grinned, pressing her up against the wall. “You can drop the act now, I know you love the tux.” Lena groaned and looped her arms around her neck.

 

“I’m still mad at you.” Lena tucked her face into Kara’s neck, relaxing slightly. Was she a tad grateful that Dreeson’s hands were no longer on her body? Yes. Would she tell Kara this? Hell no.

 

“I know but, you have to admit, I was pretty awesome back there.”

 

“I didn’t even see you slip something into his drink and where did you get the ring?” Lena asked.

 

“Uhh, I slipped it off one of the guests hands,” Lena recoiled and looked at her, “what?”

 

“Kara, you can’t take it!”

 

“I’ll hand it in at reception when we leave,” Kara shrugged, Lena accepted the answer and pulled Kara back again. “You look so beautiful,” she murmured, her hands slid up the sides of her body.

 

Lena hummed, “you look very handsome.” She ran her hands over Kara’s shoulders, admiring the cut of the suit.

 

“I didn’t like seeing someone else touch you,” Kara dropped her head pressed her cheek against Lena’s.

 

“I noticed,” Lena giggled. “By the way, I would never change diapers, that would be your job.”

 

“Planning our future together already?” Kara teased.

 

“You started it when you fake married me,” Lena narrowed her eyes and flashed her ring. Lena played with the hair at the back of Kara’s neck, Kara stroked the exposed skin on Lena’s back.

 

She spotted the security guard across the room, he was fixated on the ring Lena was wearing, oh fuck.

 

Kara hadn’t noticed at all, “Lena, I-” Lena pushed her away and slapped her across the face, Kara’s eyes widened in shock and she brought her hand up to her cheek.

 

Cubic zirconia?! How dare you?” Lena wrenched the ring off her finger and threw it across the room. The security guard immediately dropped his head, the situation was awkward but he still wanted to listen.

 

Princess, please listen to me!” Lena stormed off down the hallway without looking back, heading to the exit as fast as possible. Kara turned to the guard, “women, am I right?” She immediately chased after Lena.

 

She made it out into the street a few seconds after Lena, she looked around but couldn’t see her. Kara hurried down the steps and turned left, hearing a whistle she turned and saw Lena at the side of the building. She grinned and jogged over, taking hold of Lena’s waist and kissing her, Lena cupped her cheek, stroking the one she’d slapped.

 

“Did you have to hit me so hard?” Kara said when they broke apart.

 

“I had to make it look real.” She cooed and kissed her cheek. “Plus, I really hated the pet names.”

 

“Don’t lie, wifey.” Kara pouted, Lena rolled her eyes.

 

“I have to go, darling. My mission isn’t over just yet.”

 

“What do you mean?” Kara frowned.

 

“He only had his room key on him, which means the list is at his hotel.” Lena left her standing there and set off in the direction of Dreeson’s hotel.

 

“Wait, you’re going after the list?” Kara caught up with her and fell into step beside her.

 

“That’s my mission,” Lena was in heels but Kara was the one who was struggling to keep up with her fast pace.

 

“You weren’t here to kill him?”

 

“Nope, just you apparently.” They continued to walk down the street, “are you coming with me?” Lena turned to look at her.

 

“Well, I’m following you, aren’t I?”

 

Lena stopped and turned to Kara, “you do everything I say, when I say it, got it?”

 

Kara nodded and saluted, “yes, ma’am.” It only took them a few minutes to get to the Hotel de Crillon.

 

“Put your arm around me and drop your head,” Kara did as she was told, Lena put her hand on Kara’s stomach and giggled. They entered the elevator and Lena pressed the button for Dreeson’s floor.

 

“How do you plan to get in?” Lena locked eyes with Kara and pulled the room key out of her cleavage. Kara swallowed and pulled her closer looking down the front of her dress, “got anything else down there you want to show me?” Lena laughed and shoved her away.

 

“Don’t get carried away,” she warned. The doors slid open and the pair located his room, Lena unlocked the door and turned to Kara, “keep watch, no doubt they’ll be someone else on the way.”

 

“You think he was planning on selling the list tonight?” Kara asked, standing by the door. Lena rifled through his suitcase but found nothing.

 

“I thought that was the plan, but now I think he was planning on meeting a buyer, potentially striking a deal,” she moved to the safe but the door was open and it was empty. She stood and looked around the room, where would I hide it? “Do you have a swiss army knife on you?”

 

“Why would I have a-” Lena raised an eyebrow, “I mean yes I do but, I don’t like the implication.” Lena brushed her off and took it from her. She unscrewed the outlets but they were all empty. “Check the mattress,” she looked up and Kara shrugged, “it’s where I would hide it.”

 

Lena pulled the sheet off the mattress and examined the top of it closely. Nothing. She flipped it over and checked the other side. On the bottom left hand corner there was a small stitch, the colour of the thread didn’t match the rest of the mattress. Lena used the knife to split open the stitch and she fished out the flash drive.

 

“You’re a genius, darling.” She fixed the bed and kissed Kara’s cheek. “Let’s go.” They left the room, hand in hand. Lena heard the elevator ding and she pulled Kara’s body close to hers, backing up against the door of another hotel room. Kara put her hands against the wall to steady herself and accepted the greedy kiss, she didn’t even notice the people walking past them, too busy sucking on Lena’s tongue.

 

“What was that for?” Lena nodded to the people walking down the hallway,


“People. We need to remain undetected.” They continued on towards the elevator.

 

“Are you sure you didn’t just want to kiss me?” Lena scoffed and ignored her, dragging her into the elevator.

 

They made it out of the hotel without a hitch, “you know I will have to commandeer that flash drive.” Lena looked up and noted the serious tone.

 

“You can try, by all means, but I will kill you for it.” Their eyes locked, expressions hard and unforgiving.

 

Kara broke first and Lena followed, laughing along with her.

 

They strolled hand in hand through the streets of Paris, it was intimate and romantic. Both of them were slightly uncomfortable, not wanting to think about the implications.

 

“I’m hungry,” Lena whined.

 

“Well, we’re in the food capital of the world, what do you want?” Kara said.

 

“Burgers.” Kara stopped and gave her a look.

 

“We’re in Paris, some of the best chefs in the world live and work here, people come here to perfect their craft and you want… a burger?” Kara was clearly judging her.

 

“Yes.” She replied simply.

 

“Right, fine. Let’s go find somewhere that does burgers,” Kara huffed, exasperated. Lena smiled and skipped along beside her. By some miracle, they found a food truck that was still operating at the late hour. Kara bought four burgers because Lena insisted she was starving and the owner insisted he made the best burgers in Paris.

 

They walked aimlessly until they came across a patch of grass, opposite the Eiffel Tower. Kara shrugged her jacket off and laid it on the floor, “darling, you’ll ruin it,” Lena said.

 

“That’s what dry cleaners are for, besides your dress looks really fucking expensive.” Kara pulled her down onto her makeshift blanket and set up their food.

 

“I take it all back, burgers was the best idea,” Kara moaned after the first bite.

 

“You should never doubt me,” Lena said. They ate quickly, Lena could only managed half of her second burger but, Kara finished it for her. She laid back and tugged at Lena’s arm until she joined her.

 

“It’s beautiful.” Kara mumbled, staring up at the great monument, Lena hummed in agreement. “Can I ask you something?”

 

“Sure.”

 

“When is your Name Day?” Kara asked.

 

“October 28th.” Lena said, without hesitation. Whoa, that’s new. 

 

“That’s pretty soon,” Kara commented.

 

“I guess,” Lena shrugged. “When’s your birthday?”

 

“September 22nd.” It only took Lena a few seconds before she sat up.

 

“That was a week ago!” Kara nodded, “why didn’t you tell me?” Lena smacked her shoulder.

 

“Ow! What’s with the hitting tonight?”

 

“You went on and on about me not celebrating my Name Day but you didn’t tell me it was your birthday?” Kara pulled her back down, ignoring her protests.

 

“I’ve done all that before, you haven’t,” Kara reasoned.

 

“I still feel bad that we didn’t do anything special.” Lena pouted and buried further into Kara.

 

Kara cleared her throat, “I meannn, I’ve always wanted to bang some chick in front of the Eiffel Tower?”

 

Lena pulled away and raised an eyebrow, “oh so now I’m just ‘some chick’?” Kara snorted at Lena’s look of pure rage.

 

“You’re so easy to wind up.” She laughed.

 

“Be serious for once, we didn’t do anything to celebrate your birthday,” Lena looked genuinely upset by the whole conversation, Kara hadn’t meant for that to happen when she brought up the topic.

 

“Well, to make it up to me: stay with me tonight and have breakfast with me in the morning.” Kara proposed, Lena smiled against her neck.

 

“Okay.” They laid there until they got too cold and then Kara brought her back to her hotel.

 

The sex was different that night, it was still passionate but not rough and fiery as usual. It was slow and gentle, they undressed each other slowly sharing long, deep kisses. Kara worshipped her body and Lena couldn’t think properly, so enraptured by what Kara made her feel. She panted into Kara’s mouth, re-capturing her lips and moaning as Kara fucked her through her orgasm.

 

They kissed slowly after everything was over, Kara stroked her skin softly and Lena tried to stay in the moment, afraid that if she thought about it in more depth her whole world would fall apart around her.

 

Lena couldn’t sleep. She felt the shift between them and it terrified her. An unknown feeling bloomed and spread throughout her chest, something she’d never felt before and Lena didn’t know how to process it.

 

She leaned up on her elbow and stared at Kara’s sleeping face. She looked calm, serene and so beautiful, she was also much less annoying when she was asleep. It was baffling to her that this was the same woman she’d met almost eight months ago, the same woman she despised all those months ago. But, Lena wasn’t the same person either, she was no longer the cold, hard assassin that didn’t care about anything other than her work. Lena shuddered when she thought about how much she’d changed, how much she’d changed because of Kara, for Kara?

 

This was no longer a mission, this was no longer work for Lena. She couldn’t care less what Kara did at work, what the CIA was doing, as long as Kara came home again. She hadn’t thought about it properly, buried the feeling at the time; but the day she got the text from Kara, asking for help, was the most scared she’d been in a long time. Her body went onto auto-pilot and Lena couldn’t recall how she’d even made it to Washington DC, her only thought was that she had to get to Kara, had to save her.

 

Lena stroked Kara’s cheek and leaned down to kiss her, she felt her lips twitch and it made her smile.

 

Deep down Lena knew what she was feeling, she just didn’t want to admit it.

 

In fact, she wanted to bolt, run as far away as she could possibly get.

 

__________

 

The sun seeped through the gaps in the drapes and Kara stirred, stretching slowly, she reached out for Lena but was met with cold sheets instead. She listened but couldn’t hear the shower in the background.

 

“Lena?” She called. The room suddenly felt deathly silent and Kara realised she was all alone.

 

She wasn’t stupid, she had recognised that their relationship had changed, she just thought that Lena was on the same page. Then she thought back to the conversation they had after Contreras, they didn’t really talk about what they were, it was just established that they didn’t want to sleep with other people. That doesn’t mean anything, that was never the issue in the first place.

 

Kara didn’t think Lena would spook that easily, but then she’d never experienced anything like this. Lena had lived a sheltered life and this was all new and probably terrifying for her. Kara promised herself that she would have the conversation with Lena the next time she saw her. If she ever saw her again.

 

She sighed and threw the blankets off, deciding to get changed and enjoy the day by herself. She pulled on a t-shirt and underwear, she turned to tell housekeeping to leave when she heard the lock click.

 

Lena crept through the door and stopped when she saw Kara stood there. “Shit, I didn’t think you’d be awake just yet.”

 

“Uh, yeah. I thought- I thought you’d gone.” Screw what Kara in the past promised, present Kara was clearly a coward. All the things Kara wanted to say died in her throat as soon as she saw her.

 

“I didn’t think I’d be gone for that long, but I had to go back to my hotel, I realised I had nothing to wear besides my dress,” Lena was wearing leggings and a t-shirt, with Kara’s new denim jacket thrown over the top, completely swallowing her. “Get back in bed.” Lena pushed her backwards, until she sat down.

 

“I thought we were going out for breakfast?”

 

“We are, just get back in bed for a minute.” Kara did as she was told, Lena took the jacket off and then fiddled with something for a minute. Kara heard her strike a match and then Lena turned around and presented her with a cupcake with a candle sticking out of it. “Happy Birthday!” She looked so proud of herself and Kara felt a flutter in her chest, “don’t forget to make a wish.” She whispered.

 

Kara couldn’t stop the wide smile that invaded her face, she closed her eyes, wishing for courage before she blew out the candle. Lena removed the candle and climbed into bed next to her, she tucked herself into Kara’s side, “do you know how hard it is to get birthday candles here? I went to three different stores before I found them!” Kara giggled.

 

“Well, I really appreciate it, thank you.” Kara kissed her and then took a huge bite out of the cupcake. “Oh my God, it’s so good. Try some.” Kara pushed the cake towards her and Lena broke off a small piece. She was content to curl up against Kara while she finished her birthday treat, her hand snuck under her t-shirt and scratched the skin softly.

 

Lena wanted to run, every instinct she had was telling her to get as far away from this whole situation as possible. And yet, every time she thought about leaving Kara, her heart ached. Instead she decided she would indulge and savour every moment she could, after all, people like her didn’t have happy endings. She’d take what she could while it lasted.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Lena dropped onto the hardwood floor of Kara’s apartment, she’d gone back to entering through the window again. It made no sense to Kara but Hero found it incredibly exciting, often sitting by the window and waiting for her arrival. He always heard her footsteps on the fire escape, no matter how light they were. This time he didn’t run to greet her like he usually did; instead he watched her from where he was curled up on the armchair, stuffed penguin tucked under his head.

 

“What’s wrong with him?” A deep frown etched onto her face, voice full of concern. She headed straight over to her favourite boy and cupped his face, stroking his soft ears.

 

“Nothing, he’s just sulking because I left him for two days and didn’t bring him back a present like I usually do.” Kara sat on the couch, scrolling through her phone, deeply invested in something.

 

“Aw, you poor thing.” Hero grumbled and put his head back down, “I got you a present.” Kara’s head perked up.

 

“Wait, you did?” Lena hummed and unzipped her bag. She pulled out a t-shirt and showed it to Kara, “oh my God…” Kara tried to contain her smile but couldn’t manage it. Lena dressed him and Hero wagged his tail, running around the apartment in a t-shirt that said: ‘Best Boy’.  

 

“I also got him this,” Lena pulled out a squeaky frog, he bounded over and grabbed the toy, taking it to his bed to tear it to pieces.

 

“Stop trying to steal my dog,” Kara grumbled.

 

Lena chuckled and went over to sit next to her, “don’t be jealous because he loves me more.” Kara gasped in outrage,

 

“He does not.”

 

“He does too,” Lena giggled, she was goading Kara and she would usually bite back but she was too engrossed in something on her phone. “What are you doing?” She asked.

 

“Hmm?” She looked up, “oh, nothing.” She put her phone into her back pocket. Lena eyed her suspiciously but let it go. She had planned a whole afternoon revolving around Hero because he’d been left alone while they were working, well he was left with a sitter but it’s not the same.

 

Lena stood up and pulled at Kara’s hand, “come on, darling, we’re going out, go get changed.” Kara grimaced.

 

“I kinda wanna hang out with Hero today, I missed him.” Kara sounded very apologetic.

 

“I figured that would be the case, he’s coming with us, if you want to go. Or we can stay here, I don’t mind.” Lena shrugged.

 

“What have you planned?” Kara asked.

 

“Well, you clearly need to rectify your betrayal so, I thought we could go to the dog park. Maybe get some ice-cream and then go to the pet store; get him some treats, probably some new toys.” Kara thought about it for less than half a second.

 

“What do you think, buddy? You wanna go to the park?” Hero’s head shot up from where he was sat, “huh? Do you want to go to the park?” He nails clicked on the floor as he scrambled to get up and jump up at Kara. “Well, I think we have an answer.” Lena got him ready and Kara went to get changed.

 

She took longer than necessary to get ready, she was considering what to wear but she was mostly thinking about whether to bring up their relationship status now or later. Kara had been thinking about it since that morning in Paris, she didn’t know if this was the right time but she’d finally worked up the courage to talk to Lena about everything. It would either go really well and then they would have a nice day with Hero, or it would be really bad and they would have to use him as a distraction.

 

“Come on, Kara! He’s getting restless.” She quickly got changed and headed back downstairs in some loose jeans, a white t-shirt and white sneakers. Lena’s smile quickly turned into a frown when she saw how unsure Kara looked, “you look great!” Kara scratched the back of her neck, “what’s wrong?” She leaned up on her toes and looped her arms around her neck.

 

“Can we talk for a minute?” Lena’s stomach tightened and she dropped back onto her feet.

 

“Yeah, sure. You wanna sit on the couch?” Kara nodded, Lena eyed her warily and sat down next to her. “So… what’s going on?”

 

“I did some thinking while we were in Paris. I thought about the conversation we had after everything that happened with… she who shall not be named. We agreed that we wouldn’t “do anything” with anyone else, but what does that mean exactly?” Kara’s palms were sweaty and she was avoiding Lena’s eyes.

 

“Well, I would assume that it means we don’t sleep with other people, or I guess date other people,” Lena was just as uncomfortable with the topic.

 

“Is that what we’re doing? Dating?”

 

“I don’t know, Kara.” Lena sighed, “this is all new to me, I know literally nothing about any of this.”

 

“Okay, it’s okay… I just feel like we should label… this, so that we’re both on the same page.” Lena was so confused, surely they had done this before.

 

“We’ve had this conversation, haven’t we? I thought we established it was a… “fuck buddies” situation?”

 

“Oh, right. Of course, yeah- that’s what we said.” Kara couldn’t help but feel a tad disappointed. She was the one who came up with the whole fuck buddies thing and now it had come back to bite her in the ass.

 

“Is that… okay?”

 

“Yeah, I just- I forgot we’d had that conversation.” Lena seemed to accept the answer. She smiled and stood up, going to placate Hero who was pacing back and forth, getting more and more fidgety.

 

Kara really thought they were more than that, she thought their relationship had developed. She wanted them to be more than that. “Idon’twannabefuckbuddies.” Kara rushed out, before she couldn’t even think about what she’d said.

 

Lena froze where she was stroking Hero, “oh, well that’s okay-”

 

“I want to be more than that.” Kara said, quietly. Lena turned and looked at her, Kara was staring at the floor and wringing her hands.

 

“So, what do you want to be?” She stood up slowly and took a step towards her, Kara looked up.

 

“I want you to be my… “girlfriend” seems a little juvenile but I don’t like “partner”. I want you…” Kara was getting more and more frustrated with herself, she huffed. “I want you to be mine...” Kara trailed off, looking sheepish. “And I… yours, I guess.”

 

Lena swallowed hard, she stepped closer to Kara and pulled her down into a hug. She felt her sigh deeply, “okay.” Lena said.

 

“Really?” Kara mumbled, she felt Lena nod against her neck.

 

“Just a warning though, I have no idea what I’m doing.” Lena said.

 

“Me neither, we’ll figure it out together.” Kara basked in the moment, holding Lena close to her body. Hero whined loudly, capturing both their attention, “okay buddy, I’m coming.” She chuckled, Lena took hold of her hand and led her out the door.

 

They walked hand in hand through the dog park, Hero ran around playing with every other puppy they saw. Kara couldn’t keep the grin off her face, the sun was shining, her dog was no longer mad at her, she was with her girl and Lena was wearing distractingly short, denim shorts. What more could I possibly want?

 

After, Hero tired himself out they walked him to the pet store, he ran towards the rope toys and picked out a red and black one.

 

“What else do you want, buddy?” Lena led him around the store and he grabbed a squeaky duck, Lena pulled it off him before he tore it to shreds on the shop floor. He whined and Lena promised he could have it later, “I think we should go find your Mom before you get me into trouble.”

 

They wandered back around, Kara was stood scrolling through her phone and chewing her lip. “What’s got you so distracted?” Lena went to look over her shoulder, but Kara swerved easily and put her phone away again. Lena gasped in mock outrage, “are you texting another woman?” She teased, “and after I just promised to be yours,” she faked a choked sob.

 

“Shut up,” Kara scoffed, she grabbed Lena and pulled her close, “I don’t have the mental capacity to do that. Do you know how hard it is to talk to you about my feelings?”

 

“Like everything inside is telling you not to do it and there’s a lump in your throat while you force the words out? I know exactly how hard it is, trust me.” Lena kissed her cheek, “let’s go checkout and get some ice-cream.” Kara trailed behind her, incredibly relieved she had been the one to broach the subject, waiting for Lena to do it may have meant waiting a lifetime. Kara would have patiently waited. She was quickly realising she’d do just about anything for Lena.

 

“Do you want to try cookie dough this time?” Kara asked, Lena nodded. Kara got her one scoop of cookie dough and one scoop of vanilla so it wouldn’t be too sickening for her. Hero finished his puppy cone in two seconds flat and rolled around on the grass, entertaining himself with his new toy.

 

“Today has been so much fun,” Kara murmured, she rested her head on Lena’s shoulder.

 

“Good and it looks like he’s had a good day too,” Lena grinned, watching Hero throw the duck up in the air. They shared a cool, sweet kiss and Kara was back to smiling like an idiot.

 

“Finish that.” Kara gestured to her ice-cream cone. “I wanna see what those shorts look like when you’re bent over my bed,” Kara growled into her ear.

 

__________

 

Lena groaned loudly when she entered the apartment a few weeks later.

 

“So, how did it go?” Lena could hear the grin in her voice and she really wasn’t in the mood for Kara’s smug attitude right now.

 

“What’s the biggest toy you have?” Lena heard the knife clatter on the counter top, she smirked and unzipped her dress on the way to the kitchen. What she really needed, was for Kara to distract her, she stepped out of the dress and rounded the corner.

 

“Uhh… umm, I-I, big?” Kara’s jaw hit the floor when she saw Lena stood there in only her underwear and 6-inch heels. She grabbed Kara’s tie and played with the end, pulling it down so she could whisper in Kara’s ear.

 

“So, you have about ten seconds to get up those stairs, get naked and strap it on, before I do it all myself.” She husked. She’d never seen Kara move so fast in her life, the blonde blur sped past her and ran up the stairs.

 

She heard Kara moving around upstairs, she guessed that she’d just tripped over her pants from the sound of the loud thud and subsequent moan. Lena smiled and turned off the stove, giving her a few extra seconds before following her up the stairs.

 

To her credit, Kara was ready in the time limit, clothes strewn all over the floor and everything was pulled out of the bottom of her closet.

 

She slid her panties down her legs and climbed onto the bed, straddling Kara’s thighs. She was still panting from getting ready so fast, Lena slid her hands up Kara’s body and cupped her breasts, rubbing her thumbs over her nipples until they stiffened. She kissed her hotly, sucking on her bottom lip, Lena felt her chase her lips when she pulled away.

 

She smirked and captured her lips again, she bit down on her lip and pinched her nipple simultaneously. Kara gasped and moaned, Lena enjoyed feeling Kara writhing underneath her.

 

She mouthed at her ear, nibbling on it softly. Kara shivered and whined when Lena left a final kiss behind her ear and moved down to suck on her neck, leaving dark bruises on her skin.

 

“Are you nervous?” Kara teased. Lena may have bitten off more than she could chew, or accommodate, but she wouldn’t let Kara know that.

 

“No.” Lena bit back.

 

“Then what are you waiting for?” Kara challenged.

 

“I just want you to enjoy this as well.” Lena didn’t need foreplay, she just needed to be fucked, but that doesn’t mean she should neglect Kara.

 

“Believe me, I will.” Lena was soaking wet, she lifted her hips and placed the tip at her entrance, sliding all the way to the hilt. Kara’s eyes widened as she watched Lena take all 9 inches in one go, moaning as she did so. “Oh my God,”

 

Lena only took a few seconds to adjust before she rolled her hips and began grinding against Kara. “Fuck, it’s so big.” She choked out.

 

“Mmm, you’re taking it so well,” she gripped Lena’s hips and helped her bounce up and down, Lena cried out. The burn of the stretch was so delicious and the strap was hitting all the right spots inside her, this was exactly what she needed.

 

Kara sat up against the headboard and bent her legs, thrusting up into her. Lena screamed, the new angle caused the tip to press that special spot inside her, she was panting hard and her breasts were barely contained in her bra. Kara used one hand to unsnap her bra and pull it off her, taking a nipple into her mouth. She swirled her tongue around the stiff peak and bit down, Lena moved her hips in circles while Kara worshipped her breasts; kissing and sucking marks into her skin.

 

Lena couldn’t say anything, she just let out a litany of filthy moans and lewd noises. Kara’s hand snaked down and found her stiff clit, she cried out and collapsed onto Kara’s chest, clutching desperately. Kara took the opportunity to thrust her hips and hammer the strap into Lena while pinching her clit between her fingers. Lena’s jaw dropped and she came with scream.

 

“Good girl,” Kara panted, she kept her hips still, but continued gently rubbing her clit. Lena squirmed and pushed Kara’s hand away, she got off of her and flopped onto her back. Kara moved in between her spread legs and tapped the head against her clit.

 

“Mm, need a minute,” she groaned. She leaned up and grabbed the plastic shaft pulling it down so she could rub Kara’s clit. She grunted and pressed her face into Lena’s neck, she was so turned on by watching Lena, it didn’t take very long before she was cumming onto her hand. She groaned into her neck and Lena clutched her shoulders, keeping her close to her chest, she shifted her hips and began grinding against the hard cock.

 

Kara pulled back and narrowed her eyes, “ready to go again?” Lena nodded and bit her lip. Kara grinned and flipped Lena onto her hands and knees, she pushed her ass back into Kara and wiggled her hips. “Oh, fuck” Kara groaned.

 

She pressed the head against her entrance and pushed inside, she watched as Lena’s walls stretched around the girth of the toy. Lena pushed her hips back, taking more of the shaft, Kara gripped her waist and thrust all the way to the base.

 

“Fuck me, Kara.” Lena begged. Kara whimpered and pulled out until only the tip was inside and then slammed all the way back in. She set an unforgiving pace and Lena couldn’t hold herself up any longer, dropping onto her elbows and burying her face in the pillows. She whimpered and whined, almost tearing through the sheets she was gripping them so hard, the sound of their skin slapping and heavy breathing filled the room.

 

Kara’s gaze was fixated on watching the strap move in and out of Lena’s quivering pussy, the base of the toy was pressing against her clit with every thrust, driving her closer to the edge.

 

She was so close, but she wanted Lena to come first. She bent over Lena’s back, keeping up the brutal pace, she reached around and rubbed her clit. Lena screamed Kara’s name and her walls clenched around the shaft. Kara bottomed out and ground against the base, prolonging Lena’s orgasm and falling head first into her own. Her hips bucked uncontrollably through her orgasm and Lena whined as the dildo was pushed deeper with each judder.

 

Kara groaned and rolled them onto their sides, she threw an arm around Lena’s waist and slipped out of her. She unclipped the belt and threw it on the floor, “did I say I was done?” Lena mumbled.

 

“You’re done.” Kara confirmed with a roll of her eyes, she pulled the sheet up and over their sweaty bodies, “so what happened?” Lena had been on a reconnaissance mission of sorts, she had been sent to meet someone the Talia believed was involved in a potential bomb threat.

 

“Complete waste of time. He had nothing, said nothing but felt he was completely within his rights to feel me up the entire time.” Kara could feel the frustration that was building in her body.

 

“And that made you horny?”

 

“No, it made me angry and the best way to cool off is-”

 

“For me to fuck your brains out?” Kara finished, she kissed the spot behind Lena’s ear and noted the slight shiver. Kara had often used sex to deflect from her true feelings and it was clear that Lena was doing the same. Kara wished she had asked more questions before she jumped into bed, she didn’t feel like sex was the best course of action now.

 

“Well, are you complaining?” Lena teased.

 

“Did he hurt you?” Kara ignored the attempt at deflection.

 

“No, it just makes me feel... grimy. I know every vile thing they’ve ever done. When I’m in character it doesn’t bother me, because I become that person, but when it’s over, when everything is said and done…  I feel like I have to take ten showers to get the feel of their hands off of me.” Lena had never declared the fact that she wasn’t entirely happy with her line of work, she’d rather die than express her dissatisfaction.  

 

“So why do you keep accepting those kind of missions?” Kara asked, to hear Lena confess this, both broke her heart and made her blood boil. Kara had one mission like that and struggled to hide her discomfort, Lena had been suppressing this for the entirety of her career.

 

“Because I don’t get a choice, it’s what I’m best at,” Lena shrugged.

 

“Lena, you’re a genius! I’ve never met someone with the same level of intellect as you, you could rule the world if you wanted to. It’s an insult to your high-level of skill, for your employers to just rely on the way you look.” Kara furrowed her brow and stroked Lena’s arm.

 

“It’s not just the way I look…” Lena sighed, this was the first time she had ever felt ashamed of what she was, but once Lena told Kara, there was no going back. “I’m a master manipulator, I can get pretty much anyone to do what I want, or think what I want them to think…” Kara knew what she was implying, it was a warning, a “get out of jail free card” of sorts.

 

She wasn’t going to take it.

 

“It’s just a job, Lena. It doesn’t define who you are, I know the real you and the real Lena is nothing like work Lena. I’ve been on the receiving end of her, remember,” Kara nuzzled her ear. “This Lena, is nothing like her.” Lena sighed softly, “do you want to take a shower?”

 

“Yeah,” she whispered. Kara got out of bed and helped Lena to the bathroom.

 

“Now who’s Bambi?” She giggled when Lena stumbled.

 

“Shut up,” Lena pushed her playfully, Kara switched on the water and grabbed Lena by the waist, pulling her under the spray. Kara undid her hair and it fell down her back in waves, she then pulled her into a hug and Lena sighed into her neck.

 

“Let’s get you feeling yourself again,” Kara said. She took her shower gel and passed it to Lena.

 

“What? You’re not gonna offer to help?” Lena’s light-hearted tone may have fooled someone else, but Kara knew that she was deflecting again. Kara didn’t want to push her on it in case she shut down altogether.

 

“Well, I would, but you would probably end up dirtier, I’m happy with just watching,” Kara grinned at Lena’s raised eyebrow. She stared as Lena lathered her body in soapy suds.

 

“Will you get my back?” Lena asked, Kara nodded and she turned around. She poured some soap into her hands and covered Lena’s back, making sure to get every inch of her skin. She massaged her shoulders and her neck, before running her hands down the back of her arms. Lena washed the soap suds away and turned to shut the water off.

 

“Do you wanna go again?” Kara gestured to the shower gel.

 

“I don’t want to use all your soap,” she mumbled.

 

“It costs me like $2, you can use the whole bottle if it’s going to make you feel better,” Kara handed her the bottle with a reassuring smile.

 

“Will you get my back?” She looked so small and reserved, her arms crossed over her chest.

 

“Every time you need it.”

 

Lena ended up washing her body four more times before she finally felt clean, Kara gave her the same thorough treatment every time. She wrapped her up in a fluffy towel and tossed her some clothes to wear. “I’m gonna finish dinner, just come down when you’re ready?” Kara sat her on the bed and kissed her forehead.

 

Lena took a moment to compose herself, she thought about everything that had happened. She’d never felt so vulnerable, she had delved into some topics she didn’t even like to think about when she was alone. Yet, Kara made her feel safe and reassured, she didn’t really know how to handle it. She decided to shove the feeling down and ignore it, she got dressed and pulled her wet hair up into a bun.

 

Kara had put on some soft music and was humming along while she stirred the sauce. Lena cleared her throat and Kara looked over her shoulder, “hey, are you feeling any better?” Lena had moved next her and Kara lifted her free arm, Lena wrapped her arms around Kara’s waist and rested her head on her shoulder.

 

“Mhmm, thank you.” Kara kissed her head.

 

“Well, dinner is almost ready, you wanna get the plates set up?” Lena nodded and pulled her into a soft kiss, Kara knew exactly what she was trying to say. They plated up the food and Kara put some show on in the background.

 

“Do you wanna come over here?” She lifted her arm and Lena scooted over from where she was sat and snuggled into Kara’s body. Hero wandered over and climbed onto her lap, as if knowing she needed all the comfort possible.

 

“Are you staying tonight?” Kara whispered.

 

“Please.”

 

They headed up to bed shortly after, she bundled Lena up in her cosiest sweatpants and sweatshirt. Kara curled around her body holding her as close as possible: they were connected from their feet, that were tangled together, all the way to where Kara had her lips pressed against Lena’s shoulder.

 

“How are you doing?” Kara whispered.

 

“I’m okay, just a little drained.” She mumbled.

 

“Are you comfortable?” Lena nodded, “if you ever feel this way again, you can talk to me. I don’t feel right… having sex, when you feel like that.” Kara was trying to organise and articulate her thoughts, but it wasn’t going so well. “I mean, if you feel uncomfortable with people touching you in that way… and then I touch you in that way… it doesn’t seem-”

 

“I get it,” she whispered. “I’m sorry, I just don’t know how else to deal with the frustration.”

 

“I have a punching bag in my living room?” Kara suggested.

 

“I don’t want to hit something. I like sex because… I know that I’m in control and I can stop whenever I want… but I also feel good after.” Lena felt the lump in her throat, she forced the words out before she could choke on them. She hated the fact that she’d made Kara feel like she’d done something wrong. “I’m sorry.”

 

“You don’t have to be sorry, I just want to do things right,” Kara said.

 

“Me too.” Lena replied, she held Kara’s hand and pressed it to her lips.

 

“Do you feel safe?”

 

“I always feel safe here.”  

 

__________

 

KD: Come over?

 

LL: I can’t I’m working :(

 

KD: Blow it off

KD: Pleaseeee

 

LL: It’s not that easy, darling

 

Lena couldn’t get back to HQ, so she was on a conference call with Talia, Rhea, Selina, Helena and a bunch of other agents, including Sam. Lena was subtly trying to text Kara and pay attention to what they were saying.

 

“Little Spider, what information did you gain from your mission?” Talia asked.

 

“Not much, I think the intel may have been wrong. The man I met knew nothing about the threat. I searched his apartment afterwards but, there was nothing to suggest he had any other premises either.” Lena said, she could feel her phone buzzing in her lap.

 

“Well, that’s not what I wanted to hear. We know the threat is real, we just need a solid lead. It is vital that we figure out the where the target is. Reign…”

 

Lena bit her lip trying to stop the grin that was forcing it’s way onto her face.

 

KD: Wifey?

KD: Babe?

KD: Sweetheart?

KD: Snuggle muffin?

KD: Cutie pie?

KD: Honeybun?

KD: Pumpkin?

KD: I can do this all night, Princess…

 

LL: Yes?

 

KD: You know what I want…

 

LL: I’ll come over when this meeting is done.

 

“I’m sorry, Little Spider, are we distracting you from something?” Rhea accused.

 

Lena’s head snapped up, “not at all, I just got some information from an informant. A potential lead on the threat.” She recovered easily.

 

“Check it out and let us know.” Talia accepted her lie, but Rhea glared at her.

 

Sam: What did Kara say?

 

Lena: Shut up.

 

Sam: Point made.

Sam: Happy Name Day

 

Oh shit! She forgot that was today.

 

She managed to stay focused on the call no matter how many texts Kara sent telling her to hurry up. It only took her a few minutes to get ready before she was on her way to Kara’s apartment, she climbed up the fire escape and through the window as usual and was met by a loud celebration from a party blower. She looked up, speech failing her when she saw both Kara and Hero stood there, party hats on their heads and a party blower hanging out of Kara’s mouth.

 

“Happy Name Day!” Kara enthused, wide grin on her face. Hero looked at Kara who gave him the go ahead, he was finally allowed to run over and greet her, Lena stroked him but not with her usual vast enthusiasm. “What’s wrong?” Kara said, concern filled her voice, “you look like you’re about to bolt.”

 

“No, nothing. I’m just surprised. This- I-I’ve never-” Lena shook her head trying to find the words. Kara had been planning this since she’d finally got it out of Lena, she just hoped that she hadn’t crossed the line.

 

“Are you happy?” Kara asked, stepping closer to her.

 

“Yeah,” she breathed. Kara pulled her into a hug, that’s all she wanted.

 

“Happy Name Day,” she whispered into Lena’s ear.

 

“Thank you, and thank you, Hero. I love your matching hats,” she cooed.

 

“Oh, you want one? I have like ten more,” Lena furrowed her brow, “they only come in packs of twenty,” she shrugged, “and Hero may have destroyed a few before you got here.” Kara led her to the kitchen and grabbed her a hat, positioning it on her head.

 

Lena looked around the kitchen and her jaw dropped, there was a mountain of Chinese takeout on the counter, plus a birthday cake and… “are those pierogi?” She breathed.

 

“They’re my attempt at pierogi. I don’t know how good they’ll be,” Kara sounded nervous, she was scratching the back of her neck. Lena turned and pulled her down into a passionate kiss.

 

“You didn’t have to do all of this,” Lena mumbled against her lips.

 

“I mean, I kinda did. Now come on, the food is getting cold.” Kara pecked her lips once, twice more before grabbing the food. They ate together on the couch, feeding Hero prawn crackers occasionally.  

 

“So it’s pierogi time now, right?” Lena’s eyes lit up and she clapped her hands together.

 

“Uhh, no. Presents before dessert, always.” Kara stood up, taking her plate and Lena turned to look at her.

 

“Presents?”

 

“Yeah, it’s a celebration of your life which means presents.” Kara placed a small bundle of perfectly wrapped gifts in front of her.

 

“Kara-”

 

“I don’t want to hear it.” She said firmly, “just open them, babe.” Lena’s brain short-circuited, Kara had called her many ridiculous things since that night in Paris, but that one didn’t make her cringe compared to the others. Maybe it was because Kara sounded serious for once, the term of endearment rolled off her tongue so naturally it almost seemed like an unconscious decision.

 

Lena reached out for the smallest package, tied with ribbon, “not that one.” Lena gave her a confused look, “seriously, that one you have to open last.” She grabbed the biggest one instead, unwrapping it carefully so not to tear the paper. It was a bottle of 30-year-old scotch, an expensive bottle of scotch.

 

“Holy shit, Kara! Thank you!” She examined the back of the bottle, “this is a special occasion kind of bottle only. Can I keep it here?”

 

“If that’s what you want,” Kara said. Lena stood and placed the bottle next to the others in Kara’s drink cabinet.

 

“You bought it, it’s only fair that you get to enjoy it as well. You have to promise you won’t drink it without me though.” Kara pinky promised without a second thought. She picked up the next present and Kara began wringing her hands. Lena didn’t notice, she just continued to carefully unwrap the gift.

 

It was a DNA testing kit, Kara cleared her throat, “it’s not what you think,” she held her hands up in surrender, but Lena didn’t seem upset.

 

“What is it?” She was staring at the kit.

 

“Well… it’s a DNA test- of sorts. It takes your genetic profile and shows you your ethnic mixture, where your ancestors are from and such. I thought you could find out a little bit more about your background. You don’t have to register it under your name, you could register it under my name or a pseudonym, or you can just throw it away. The point is, you have the option.” Kara observed her cool, calm persona, knowing how she had reacted in the past when Kara had interfered with things like this.

 

“What does it tell you exactly?” Lena was trying to figure out whether or not this would be something she was interested in.

 

“So, for example, it could come back and say that your DNA is 70% Dutch, 20% Irish, 4% French, 6% Romanian. In layman’s terms, it tells you what countries your ancestors are from.” Lena nodded, lips slightly parted as she took in everything Kara was saying.

 

“Okay, I like the sound of that,” the Lena from a few months ago would have thrown it at her head and then stormed out, but this Lena would really like to know where she came from. It would be an act of complete disrespect and Talia would probably kill her, but she was keeping so much from her at this point, what’s one more thing?

 

Kara gave her a soft smile and let out a sigh of relief, “so do I get to open this one now?” Lena teased. She turned to face Kara who looked more nervous then Lena had ever seen her. “What’s wrong?” Kara had put all of this together for her and yet she’d looked anxious all night long.

 

“Nothing,” she squeaked, “just open it.” Lena opened the last present slowly, untying the ribbon and unwrapping a small box. She opened it and found a silver, circular pendant, “I just thought it was something simple and I wanted you to have something from me, but also, no one would recognise that it was from me and well… do you like it?” Kara stopped her rambling when she watched Lena pull the necklace from the box.

 

“Duh, help me put it on?” Kara shot her a blinding smile and clasped the pendent around her neck, pulling her hair out gently, she pressed a small kiss to Lena’s neck. “I love it,” she whispered.

 

“Good.” Kara cleared her throat, “so… you want pierogi now?” Lena chuckled, Kara could never stay in an intimate moment for long. It was strange to Lena, if anything, she thought she would be the one to shy away from those moments.

 

“Sure.” She followed Kara into the kitchen. “Is that what all the secretive phone activity was about?”

 

“Yeah. I didn’t know what kind of jewellery you liked, if any. So I’ve been doing a lot of research.” She threw a bowl of chocolate into the microwave to melt and then pulled the tray out of the oven where they had been keeping warm. Lena shot her a look, “I’m not making fancy schmancy chocolate sauce, this-” she gestured to the tray, “-was hard enough already.” Lena snorted and Kara grinned.

 

Kara positioned the pierogi on a plate and drizzled the “chocolate sauce” on top, they sat on the couch and Kara got up again, “we still have cake!” She called.

 

“Do we need both?” Kara’s face popped out from the kitchen again.

 

“Lena! It’s a tradition!” Hero curled up on the couch next to her and she stroked his soft fur.

 

“I don’t know what’s she’s doing either,” she whispered. Kara emerged a few minutes later, holding a cake with five lit candles. She placed it in front of Lena and she glanced at it properly for the first time, Kara had even made sure that it said ‘Happy Name Day’.

 

“I don’t know the song and ‘Happy Birthday’ is inappropriate.” She leaned into Lena’s ear, “so, I’m just gonna say, Happy Name Day and I’m really grateful that you’re here.”  Lena looked down and blushed, “make a wish,” Kara whispered. Lena made a wish and blew out the candles.

 

Kara had made sure that everything had been tailored to her and her traditions. Even if Lena had been at home, it would have been nothing like this, she would have had pierogi and some kind words from her friends, but that’s all. If she didn’t have Kara she would have been sat at home doing nothing. If it wasn’t for Sam, Lena would have forgotten about it altogether.

 

Lena turned and threw her arms around Kara’s neck, “you okay?” She whispered, Lena nodded.

 

“Just need a moment,” she mumbled, she needed her anchor. This was the most cherished she’d ever felt, the World Killers were a family, but a fucked up kind of family: like, “I love you but don’t come near me,” kind of love. Loving Kara was like, “hold me and don’t ever let go, you’re the only thing holding me together.” It was terrifying and yet Lena couldn’t imagine her life without Kara in it. That thought, honestly, scared her more then anything else.

 

Lena sucked it up, “okay, I have to judge your cooking now,” she deflected easily. Kara gestured for her to go ahead, Lena tapped her fingers on her lips, pondering her choice. She picked up a pierogi and inspected it closely.

 

“Oh my god! Just put me out of my misery!” Kara exclaimed.

 

Lena smirked and took a bite, immediately tilting her head back and moaning, “so good!” The dough was perfect, the filling was made up of strawberries and blueberries, exactly the same filling Lena had told Kara about all the months ago.

 

“Really?”

 

“It’s like I’m being taken back to my childhood,” Lena said.

 

“Thank god,” Kara let out a genuine sigh of relief. “That was my fourth batch.” Lena looked up in surprise, “I know, it was a fucking battle.”

 

“Well, that just makes them even better,” Lena said, planting a sugary sweet kiss on her lips. “You have to try one now.” Kara picked one up and popped it into her mouth, Lena watched her reaction carefully. “What do you think?”

 

“It’s kind of like eating fruity ravioli,” Lena giggled. “I do like them though.” They finished the perogi and Kara insisted they have cake.

 

 “Okay, but only a small piece, darling. I’m stuffed.” Kara knew that chocolate would be too much for Lena so she chose a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. Lena had Hero on her left, Kara on her right and cake in the middle, she felt well and truly spoilt.

 

“Are you two coming?” Lena was sprawled out on the couch and Hero was laid against her side.

 

“Carry me?” Lena pouted and stretched her arms out. Kara rolled her eyes playfully, but leaned down and let Lena hook her legs and arms around her body, carrying her effortlessly up to her bed.

 

Lena tossed on one of Kara’s t-shirts and climbed into bed. Kara crawled in next to her, Lena rolled and faced her as they always did,“thank you, darling. You have no idea how amazing tonight has been, it’s easily been the best Name Day I’ve ever had.” Lena was completely bowled over by everything Kara had done for her.

 

“Well, you deserve to be spoilt once in a while,” as always, the darkness was where Kara found her courage, “and… I- well, I…” she sighed, not that much courage. “You know, right?”

 

“I know.” They weren’t quite able to say it out loud just yet, but that’s okay, they were better at showing how they felt than talking about it. “Me too.” Lena whispered. Well, it’s out there now.

 

Kara cupped her face and kissed her softly. They remained silent after their little revelation and when they woke up the next morning, they went back to normal, acting as if nothing happened.

 

Kara rolled over and reached out to stroke the bare, exposed skin. Lena inhaled deeply and Kara knew she was on the verge of waking: that perfect moment, half-way between dreamland and consciousness. Basking in that warm, soft glow of the early morning, where nothing feels truly real. Kara shuffled over and hid her face in Lena’s neck, laying across her chest. She sighed and stirred; bringing one hand up to card through Kara’s hair, the other drawing circles on her hip.

 

“I could stay here all day,” Lena mumbled, eyes still closed.

 

“Me too,” Kara said against her neck. They stayed like that until the beast in Kara’s stomach interrupted them.

 

“Oh my God,” Lena snorted, “how are you hungry? You ate more than me last night!”

 

“I don’t know, I need food though.”  Kara kissed her neck and got up, “you want cake for breakfast?”

 

Lena looked grossed out for half a second before she truly thought about the option, “actually, yeah I do.”

 

“I’m rubbing off on you,” Kara sing-songed as she got up.

 

“Don’t remind me,” Lena groaned. Hero jumped up on the bed once she had left and curled up next to Lena, resting his head on her lap. “Morning, buddy. Did you sleep well?” He stretched out and nuzzled her hand, “you’re such a good boy.”

 

Kara appeared a few seconds later with two plates of cake. “Here you go,” she handed Lena her “breakfast” with a kiss. “Hero, your breakfast is downstairs,” Hero lifted his head, but didn’t move settling back on Lena’s lap instead.

 

“This cake is really good,” Lena said.

 

“Cake for breakfast is hands down the best thing,” they sat in silence, enjoying the domestic bliss. Kara ruined the moment, yet again, by swiping some frosting across Lena’s face and starting a food fight.

 

__________

 

“Kara!” Lena called, she’d already been greeted by Hero, but Kara was nowhere to be seen.

 

“Up here!” Lena climbed the stairs and found Kara sat on the floor, clothes strewn everywhere.

 

“Hey,” she knelt behind Kara and wrapped her arms around her shoulders.

 

“Hi, babe.” Kara sighed and slumped back into Lena’s hold.

 

“Whatcha doin?” Lena teased.

 

“I’m trying to clean out my closet, figuring out what I want to keep and what I’m throwing away.” Kara said, gesturing between two of the exact same white shirt.

 

“Oooh, let me help!” Lena exclaimed.

 

Kara’s head whipped around, “no way! I’ll have nothing left and you’ll make me go shopping again. Go sit over there,” Kara gestured to the bed behind her. The bed was cluttered with boxes that had come from the bottom of the closet.

 

Lena grumbled and stood up, going over to sit next to Hero, “have you been banished as well?” He sighed deeply.

 

“You can look through the boxes if it will keep you entertained long enough to leave me alone,” Kara chuckled. Lena shuffled forward and grabbed the first box, inside was a collection of memorabilia from Kara’s time in the Marines. Lena sifted through the photos: pictures of Kara before she left for training, pictures of when she graduated, pictures with her team mates in some dusty desert, dressed in full tactical gear.

 

“Why don’t you have these on display anywhere?” Now that she thought about it, Kara had one photo in her apartment and it was a picture of Hero as a puppy on her desk.

 

Kara turned to see what she was talking about, “I meant to, I just never got round to getting the frames.”

 

“We should fix that.” Lena mumbled. She continued to look through the boxes, learning every little detail she could about Kara, she’d written journals throughout her time in the Marines, no details about missions: just day to day tasks, recipes, conversations with her friends, animals she’d seen. It was kind of adorable and very Kara.

 

12 th  March- The rations we have left are completely garbage. Could I make pear crumble with pears in syrup and a pack of oatmeal biscuits?

 

13 th  March- Update: pear crumble doesn’t work, the thought of pears now makes me sick.

 

“What are you laughing at?” Kara asked.

 

“Pear crumble,” Kara gipped at the very name and that just made Lena laugh more.

 

“Don’t.” Kara closed her eyes, trying not to re-live the memory, “I threw up like twelve times.” Lena shook her head and went back to the journal.

 

3 rd  April- The guys got care packages today: Clarky got a picture of his son, he’s walking now. Wolfie’s daughter passed her driving test and Skidmark got a letter from his parents, they celebrated their 20 th  wedding anniversary last month.

 

Lena didn’t fail to notice that Kara hadn’t mentioned what she had gotten, it was just another reminder that she didn’t have anyone else. Lena couldn’t read through any more, so she moved onto a smaller box that had two medal boxes and more photos in it. She took the box and slid off the bed, filling the empty space next to Kara. “What’s this?”

 

“Oh, that’s my Silver Star Medal and Navy Unit Commendation.” Lena opened the boxes and looked at them in awe, brushing her thumb over the cool metal. She placed them in front of her and looked at the photos next: Kara dressed in her Marine Corps Dress Blues, shaking hands with a taller, older looking man, presenting her with her commendation.

 

“That’s a big deal, Kara. What did you get them for?” Lena asked.

 

“The Silver Star Medal was for service during an ambush on a convoy when we were deployed in Libya. The Navy Unit Commendation I got for going above and beyond the call of duty: on the way back to base, I noticed some strange activity in a disused factory. I gathered my team and we stormed the place: turns out we caught the kidnapper of a government official’s daughter, before they even knew she was missing.” Kara spoke about it as if it were nothing, but Lena knew how prestigious those awards were, she leaned against Kara’s side and kissed the corner of her mouth.

 

“Why did you end up leaving? It seems like you were incredible at your job.” Lena asked.

 

“There are a lot of people who spend their entire lives in the military, but it takes its toll and it just wasn’t for me. The Marines did a lot for me, saved my life even, I had to go back to school and get my high school diploma before I was allowed to serve. For me, I had been alone for the majority of my life, I wanted to build some sense of a normal life for myself. It was hard, coming home to nothing, but I got Hero and then I was snapped up by the CIA almost immediately.” Kara said.

 

“They recruited you?”

 

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure my commanding officer put in a good word, she knew all about my home life. A lot of veterans who come home to nothing find it difficult to adjust, so it was a blessing for me.” Kara took the photos and looked through them, smiling at the memories. “Umm, now we’re on the topic, I have a reunion coming up in about a month. Would you want to come with me?” Kara fiddled with the shirt in her hands.

 

“I would love to come with you,” Lena replied, she watched as the smile crept onto Kara’s face.

 

“It’s a date. Now, go away, you’re distracting me.” Lena collected the box and went back to sit on the bed.

 

She watched as Kara tossed one of her t-shirts into the donation pile, “you can’t get rid of that one, I sleep in that one.” Lena protested.

 

“I thought you wanted me to get rid of my old clothes?” Kara turned to look at her. Lena didn’t even bother meeting her eyes, she just picked up another box to look through. Kara huffed but grabbed the t-shirt and threw it in her “Keep” pile.

 

Lena had found a box of Kara’s baby stuff, it was filled with her baby photos, some clothes, a baby blanket and a cuddly polar bear. Lena smiled looking through the photos, Kara looked like the happiest baby, always smiling. She came across a picture of her when she was around eight years old: she was at the zoo, grinning widely, sat on the shoulders of a man, Lena assumed, was her father and a smiley, blonde woman stood next to them, Kara’s mother.

 

Lena’s stomach dropped when she looked closely at the faces in the picture. She looked at Kara, sitting there trying to pick between two pairs of joggers, completely oblivious to what was going on behind her.

 

She took a deep breath, “darling, I’m so sorry, I have to go.” She got off the bed and Kara tilted her head back to pout at her. “I’m sorry, I have a meeting I forgot about. I have to run,” she knelt down and kissed her deeply. She savoured the moment, not knowing when she would get to do it again.  

 

“I’ll see you later?” Lena smiled and nodded. She hurried down the stairs and climbed out of the window. Immediately, she crouched down, hot tears rolling down her face. She choked on her sobs, trying to keep them as quiet as possible.

 

She knew those faces.

 

She recognised Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers instantly.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Lena had left Kara’s apartment and hadn’t been back in over a week. She knew it was wrong, but she couldn’t face Kara and pretend that everything was okay when she knew it wasn’t.

 

She can’t lie to Kara any more.

 

Instead, she hid, like a coward. She went back to HQ and tried to avoid the feeling of dread that settled in her chest. She didn’t ignore Kara, she just actively avoided talking to her.

 

KD: Did I do something wrong?

 

Lena sighed, she didn’t want to lie to Kara but she couldn’t tell her the truth just yet. It was something she had to talk to her about in person.

 

LL: Of course not, darling. I’m sorry, I was pulled away by something important. I’ll be back soon, I promise.

 

KD: Be safe, don’t do anything reckless.

 

Lena rubbed her hands across her face and threw her phone to the end of the bed. She came back to base in order to find answers to the hundreds of questions she had, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Once she looked, she couldn’t go back. She couldn’t keep it from Kara, if she ever found out that would be the end of them, not to mention she wouldn’t be able to even look Kara in the eyes without wanting to blurt it all out.

 

She was scared. She was already leading a double life, living on borrowed time when it came to her relationship with Kara, once the truth came out she didn’t expect Kara to stick around for long.

 

Lena clutched the pendent around her neck, trying to hold onto the last glimmer of hope she had. They loved each other, they had yet to say it out loud properly, but Lena had never felt like this before. They had overcome so much adversity, they came from two very different places, on the complete opposite sides of the law and yet they needed each other. Lena had discovered a life outside of her isolated world and Kara had finally found someone to share her life with. It was easy for them to look past their differences, their connection was deep and powerful, built on rocky foundations to begin with, but was now firmly rooted. It was pure and it was real, it was everything Lena didn’t know she wanted. 

 

There was a soft knock on her door, “it’s open.” She quickly slipped the necklace back under her shirt. Sam entered her room and jumped on the end of her bed, Lena allowed the smile to creep onto her face.

 

“I heard you were back, why didn’t you tell me you were coming?” Sam frowned, shooting her a soft glare.

 

“It was a spur of the moment kind of thing,” Lena shrugged.

 

“Oh, you came back for Grace’s ceremony as well?” Lena didn’t know that was happening until Talia had mentioned it two days ago. Apparently, the outrage had died down, the hatred was still there but there was no immediate threat of revolt.

 

“Is anyone else going?”

 

“I think it’s just you, me and Talia.” Sam said. She moved to sit next to Lena and rested her head on her shoulder.

 

“I didn’t think you would want to go, after what she did to you.” Lena mumbled.

 

“Yeah, well, I didn’t want you to be alone.” she said, softly. “How are things with the stupidly hot blonde?” Lena huffed out a laugh. She really didn’t want to talk about Kara, but she trusted Sam with her life and she knew she couldn’t avoid the topic for much longer. She needed to talk to someone about what was going on, plus she missed Kara and she didn’t want to be away from her for much longer.

 

God, maybe I have gone soft.

 

“Things are progressing well.” she parroted, simply. It was the same clinical, professional answer she gave Talia every time she’d asked for an update. Sam knew her well enough by now, she knew that Lena wasn’t herself and she also knew it had nothing to do with Grace’s burial. “I’ve run into a bit of a problem,” she mumbled.

 

“Can I help at all?”

 

Lena looked down at the book in her lap, Sam gasped, “I remember this! The first time you read this book I couldn’t get your attention for over a week. How many times have you read it now?” Sam asked.

 

“Too many times to count,” Lena giggled. She remembered the first time she’d found this book in the little library at The Academy, The journey to save our Earth, by Drs Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers. Lena read that book until it feel apart and Talia had to find her a new copy. She was devastated when she found out they had died, she had never known the truth, hadn’t even made the connection until she’d seen the picture at Kara’s.

 

“Do you remember these two scientists?” Sam looked at the picture on the back and shook her head.

 

“I remember you being really upset when they died…” she trailed off and Lena saw the realisation in her eyes, “holy Danvers. That Danvers?” Lena nodded. “Do you know who killed them?”

 

She shook her head, “what if one of us killed them?” She voiced her deepest fear. “What am I supposed to do then?”

 

“It won’t have been us, they were the good guys, we’re the good guys,” Sam tried to reassure her. “Do you need to know? Can you not carry on like nothings wrong?” Sam asked, Lena rolled her eyes at the mere suggestion.

 

“I can’t do that.” She said sternly, Sam now understood just how deep Lena had fallen, “I know that we will have the file on the system and I also know that this has tortured Kara for her entire life. I could finally give her the closure she so desperately needs.”

 

“Or you send her into a tailspin…” Lena chewed on her nails, that was a very real possibility and the very reason why Lena was so conflicted. This could potentially destroy Kara and mark the downfall of their relationship. Lena didn’t know what she would do if that happened, what she would become.

 

“Cliff, tonight?” Lena looked over at Sam, a look concern etched onto her face, she silently nodded. “We’ll figure it out.” Sam slung her arm around her shoulders and rubbed her arm in a comforting gesture.

 

__________

 

Kara was bored and lonely. She’d grown accustomed to seeing Lena all the time now, in fact, unless they were both working Lena was at her place pretty much everyday. Of course, she was a grown woman she could spend a few days alone, but she missed her best friend. The nature of Lena’s job meant that she couldn’t text or call her either which just made the separation more difficult for her.

 

Kara never thought she’d have this, a person to share her life with. Not only that, but it was someone who had completely blind-sided her, Lena had bulldozed her way into Kara’s life and embedded herself in Kara’s  heart.

 

She tried to distract herself with work, but she couldn’t get Lena out of her mind, she just wanted to see her, talk to her, make sure she was okay.

 

She took Hero for walks in the park and he actively searched for his favourite person, as it turns out Hero’s judgement was right from the very beginning and he was just as smitten with Lena as she was. He sat by the window and whined every so often, “I know, Hero. She’ll be back soon, she promised. Come here,” she patted the spot next to her and he curled up on her lap, sighing deeply. “I miss her too, buddy.”

 

Kara put on a film, deciding to pout and wallow in self pity with her dog, who was also pouting and wallowing. Who knew one person could be the key to her current state of pure bliss?

 

__________

 

Lena stood on the hill, looking over the flower field. Here again, the circumstances slightly unorthodox, just the three of them surrounding the small grave. Grace’s headstone had the World Killer sigil engraved at the top, the rest of the black stone was blank. It had been agreed that Grace had died a traitor and therefore, would be laid to rest in an unmarked grave.

 

Even though she had tried to kill Lena and was very nearly successful, she couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Lena recognised that desperation in Grace, the desperation to become one of the four senior women, to direct rather than to have to go out and risk your life every other week. Lena still believed in the cause she was fighting for, but she was tired, she wanted to rest, she wanted all of it to be over so that she could be free. She wanted so badly to believe that she could have a future with Kara, that she could wake up to her every morning and not have to come up with another lie to tell Talia.

 

Talia said a few words, mostly just the cursory speech she usually gave before actually talking about their many accomplishments and good qualities. Grace didn’t get that treatment, she got a moment of silence and three daffodils placed in her grave.

 

Once the ceremony was over, she didn’t stick around for long. Lena decided she had to bite the bullet, she felt like it would bring Kara closure if anything. At least, she could give her the choice.

 

She headed to the records lab and searched up the Danvers’ file.

 

What she read, shattered her heart.

 

“So, you finally found out?” She whipped around and saw Talia leaning against the door frame.

 

“You knew?” Lena asked.

 

“Of course I knew. Why do you think I had the Kryptonian Princess killed?” Talia said.

 

“I thought we were hired for that job?” They had gotten the information about the Princess from a leak in the Royal Family, Lena was sure of it.

 

“I don’t like to keep secrets from my agents,” she sighed, “that particular mission we were given a tip off about the whereabouts of the Princess, however the mission was to fulfil our agenda, not because we were hired,” she explained.

 

“Why didn’t you go and get Kara after her parents died? She could have been one of us.” If Talia knew what had happened, why would she allow Kara to grow up alone?

 

“I tried, social services got there first. They moved her from home to home all over the country, my applications must have got lost somehow. She was also 13 at the time, it would have been difficult to integrate her into the group, but I always kept tabs on her so I knew she was okay.” This came as a shock to Lena, Talia knew exactly who Kara was the whole time.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

 

“Lena,” she sighed, pinching her brow, “I didn’t think telling a 10 year old that her idols had been killed in a politically motivated assassination was the most sensible thing to do.” Fair point, she nodded her head in understanding. “So, now you know, what are you going to do about it?”

 

“I have to tell her,” Lena said, she quickly justified the bold statement. “If she ever found out I knew, I’d lose her trust completely, we never get anything.”

 

“Yes, but how are you going to use this to your advantage?” Lena didn’t want to use it for anything other than to give Kara closure. “What if I said to you, I never wanted an informant in the CIA? I want you to use this information to make Kara one of us.”

 

That hit Lena like a ton of bricks.

 

If she pulled this off, Kara would work for the World Killers, she wouldn’t have to lose her at all. Talia had just given her a lifeline.

 

“Can you do that, Little Spider?”

 

“I can.” She nodded.

 

“You have to do it in the right way, Lena. Wait until her walls are down, when she’s weak and can’t see a way out, at her most vulnerable, and then propose a job opportunity.” Lena suddenly had second thoughts about the whole plan, she wanted Kara to fight by her side but she couldn’t manipulate her. She couldn’t.

 

“I don’t- I don’t know whether that will work,” I’m not doing that.

 

“You care about this girl right? You’ve developed a relationship with her?” Talia prompted.

 

“We- have a friendship.” Lena lied.

 

“You could give her a family Lena. You could give her a place in the world, a purpose. She would be the first person to ever join this organisation from the outside and she would be welcomed with open arms.” Lena felt wrong even considering the idea but in the back of her mind, all she could think was: I could keep Kara, I could keep Kara, I could keep Kara.

 

“I can do it.” She could find another way to convince Kara, tell her the truth, do it the right way.

 

Talia cupped her face, “bring her home, Lena.”

 

“She can really become one of us?” Lena asked, the hope in her voice did not escape Talia.

 

She nodded, “once she graduates, of course.”

 

__________

 

She met Sam up at the cliff that night, she was uncharacteristically quiet. Sam let her stew for a few minutes before she couldn’t take it any more. “So did you find the answers to your questions?” Lena hummed an affirmative. “And… what’s the plan?”

 

“Talia wants me to make Kara one of us,” she trailed off, staring up at the stars.

 

“That’s huge, Lena. We’ve never had someone be brought into the fold this late in the game.” Sam leant up on her elbows, but Lena was chewing on her lip. “You know she’d fit right in.”

 

“She would need to graduate first,” Lena’s voice was stone cold and Sam understood why.

 

“Do you love her?” Sam whispered.

 

Lena swallowed hard, she could trust Sam. “Yeah, I do.”

 

“What’s it like?” Sam looked over at her, catching the soft smile that ghosted her lips.

 

“It’s… it’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before… it’s hard to put into words, but it’s amazing. It’s like I’ve found my missing piece, everything I’ve never had, I found in Kara. She makes me a better person; given me a safe space to be myself, to be Lena rather than Little Spider.” Lena waved her hands above her head, trying to articulate her thoughts, failing miserably.

 

“Does she know about all of this?”

 

“No,” Lena went back to gnawing on her bottom lip, “I’m afraid that if I tell her about this, I’ll lose her.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Come on, Sam. Our upbringing wasn’t exactly normal. This whole thing isn’t normal.”

 

“It’s our normal.” Sam was right, most of the agents in their organisation had never experienced half of the things Lena had in such a short amount of time.

 

“Maybe I don’t want our normal any more,” Lena was thinking out loud now, “and bringing Kara here, she wouldn’t fit in: she would question things, refuse missions, disobey authority. It would take a lot to change her, I don’t want to force her to be something she’s not.”

 

“Well, you have a choice, you either recruit her or Talia finds out you refused and pulls you out altogether.” Those are crappy choices. “Or, you play for time, tell her you offered and Kara refused.” And that’s why you go to Sam for advice.

 

__________

 

Lena headed back to Virginia straight away. Hero heard her before Kara and scampered over to the window, whining loudly. Kara looked up and heard the footsteps herself, she raced to the window and they both waited there, like eager puppies. Lena was taken aback when she saw the welcome party, waiting to greet her.

 

“Me first!” Kara yelled, fighting with him to get to Lena first. She scooped Lena up in her arms and swung her around in a circle, “hi.” She whispered.

 

“Hey,” Lena relaxed in her arms and held onto her tightly, Kara inhaled her scent and basked in the knowledge that Lena was safe. Hero, jumped up and pawed at them, whining. They broke apart and Lena crouched down to give Hero the attention he deserved, “what a welcome that was!”

 

“We missed you.” Kara said, simply.

 

“I missed you, too.” She kissed Kara, a hot, fiery welcome home kiss. Kara gripped her hips and Lena cupped her face, she moaned into her mouth. She missed her comforting presence, her warm hugs, her stupid jokes, God she missed her so much. Lena broke the kiss, tucked her head under Kara’s chin and sighed deeply, she knew she had to cut the reunion short.

 

“Are you okay?” Kara asked, holding her close. Lena shook her head, “what’s wrong? What happened?” Kara’s voice was full of concern.

 

“I need to tell you something,” she mumbled. Lena stepped back and looked up into Kara’s bright, disarming, blue eyes. “That day you were clearing out your closet, I was looking through the boxes and I saw a picture of you with your parents and well… I recognised them.” Kara stepped back and her eyes searched Lena’s face, almost as if she was waiting for Lena to say she was joking.

 

“I swear to you, I didn’t know who your parents were before I saw that picture, I promise. Well, I knew of them, but I didn’t know they were your parents.” Tears began to fill Lena’s eyes, Kara’s lips were parted slightly. “I had to leave so I could find some answers,” she pulled a folder from her bag and placed it on the coffee table behind her, “you can read it, burn it, tear it to pieces or I can take it away and we never have to speak of it again. It’s your choice.” Kara swallowed hard, her eyes fixed on the folder behind Lena.

 

“Is that what I think it is?” Her eyes were glassy, face void of any emotion.

 

“Yes.” Lena whispered.

 

This is what she had been waiting for, all she’d ever wanted was to know the truth and she finally had that opportunity.

 

“Take Hero and go somewhere, anywhere.” Her voice was cold and clinical, still staring at the folder.

 

“Kara-”

 

“Go. I don’t want either of you here right now,” she finally met Lena’s eyes and she could she the tears threatening to fall. “I don’t know how I’m going to react,” she breathed.

 

Lena nodded and leaned up to kiss Kara’s cheek, “come on, buddy.” She hooked up his lead and took him out of the apartment.

 

Kara took a deep breath and sat down on the couch, her hand ghosted over the folder. Once she did this, there was no going back. She could burn the file, she could shove it down the garbage disposal, but then she would continue to walk around with this heavy weight dragging her down. The same weight she’d been carrying for almost two decades.

 

It could all end today, Lena had given her a gift and she could finally get justice for her parents.

 

It would all end today.

 

She picked up the folder and read through the document inside.

 

Just like that, her whole world fell apart around her, she choked on the air she was trying to force into her lungs. “No…” she gasped.

 

“No. No. No!” She shouted.

 

Kara saw red, she flipped her coffee table and kicked a hole through the bottom of it. She threw her lamp across the room, watching it break against the wall. She wrecked everything in her apartment: mugs, glasses, furniture, she ripped the artwork of the walls, breaking the frames. Anything she could get her hands on, she destroyed out of blind rage.

 

“No! No! No!” She screamed until her throat was sore and her voice was hoarse.

 

When there was nothing left to destroy, she turned her attention to the punching bag in the corner. She threw blow after blow until her knuckles were bruised, her body was weak and her tears blurred her vision. She stumbled backwards and collapsed against the back of the couch, sobbing into her arms.

 

Lena heard everything from where she was sat against the door in the hallway. She cradled Hero against her body and sobbed into his fur as she listened to the woman she loved fall apart. Once she realised Kara had stopped, she grabbed Hero’s collar and opened the door. Her heart shattered when she saw what Kara had done, she lifted Hero and took him upstairs, shutting him in the bathroom. It wasn’t safe for him to be wandering around right now. The glass crunched underneath the weight of her footsteps, if Kara noticed her presence, she didn’t acknowledge it.

 

She brushed the glass away from the spot next to Kara and sat down next to her. “I told you to go,” she mumbled.

 

“When have I ever done what you said?” She wrapped her arms around Kara and she turned to sob into her neck, “oh baby, I’ve got you. I’ve got you.” She didn’t fail to notice the blood pouring from Kara’s palms. “I’m so sorry,” she whispered. Kara threw her arms around her neck and Lena pulled her to sit on her lap so she was away the broken glass.

 

“I broke all my stuff-” Kara choked.

 

“Shhh, it’s okay, it can all be replaced.” Lena stroked her face and pressed a kiss to her hairline. She tucked Kara into her body and began rocking her slowly, she’d tried her best to comfort Kara just as she had done for her so many times before.

 

She waited until Kara’s tears stopped, she was shaking still and hicupping from all the sobbing. “Let’s get you cleaned up.” Kara stood on shaky legs, Lena brushed the remaining debris off her clothes. She lifted her easily and carried her to the kitchen before placing her on the counter. She grabbed the first aid kit and cupped Kara’s shaky hands and inspected her palms, she’d clearly cut herself on the glass when she’d sat down. Lena pulled out the shards of glass before cleaning the wounds and covering them in bandages, she then wiped away the blood she’d smeared across her arms.

 

She grabbed a face cloth and wiped her face, she tucked Kara’s hair away from her face; observing her red, blotchy skin, watery eyes and tear tracks down her cheeks. Her bottom lip quivered as Lena gently washed her face, she would do anything to relieve Kara of her pain.

 

She checked her bare feet and, thankfully, found no more injures. She lifted Kara again, carrying her up the stairs and laid her on the bed, “I’m going to get Hero, I’ll be right back.” She kissed Kara’s forehead, opened the bathroom door and crouched down to stop him from trampling Kara in his panic. “Be gentle, buddy.”

 

He climbed onto the bed and laid down in front of her, Kara curled around his small body. Lena joined them and nestled against Kara’s back, she stroked her arm and nuzzled the back of her neck. Kara’s body jerked and jolted every so often, a result of all the crying. Lena held her until she her body gave out and she fell asleep from exhaustion, Hero stayed with her but Lena got up and began clearing up the apartment.

 

She picked up the larger shards of glass and pottery throwing them in a trash bag, she then swept the entire apartment, gathering all of the remaining pieces. She righted the furniture and moved anything that couldn’t be fixed next to the door ready to be thrown away. Lena picked up Kara posters, taking them out of the broken frames and laying them across the coffee table, ready to be re-framed. She looked around, the apartment looked almost normal.

 

“Lena? Lena!” Kara was clearly in distress. She took the stairs two at a time and saw the relief in Kara’s eyes when she caught sight of her.

 

“I’m here, I’m here. I’m sorry,” she climbed onto the bed and gathered Kara into her arms, planting kisses on the side of her head. She laid back and carded her fingers through Kara’s soft hair, “you’re not alone. I won’t leave you alone, I promise.” She continued to murmur soothing words into her ear.

 

Kara was a broken woman, great sobs racked her body until she was gasping for air. “Kara, breathe with me, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Take a few deep breaths for me, okay?” Kara sucked in a few shaky breaths, “good, keep doing that. Focus on your breathing, feel the air going in and out of your lungs.” Lena kept her voice soft and level, Kara soon managed to get her breathing under control.

 

“T-they only t-took me because they f-felt g-guilty.” Kara sniffed, Lena felt her tense up again. “I feel so stupid,” Kara growled through her gritted teeth.

 

“Hey, hey.” Lena rolled her onto her back and leaned up, cupping her face. “You are not stupid, Kara. They kept it well hidden.”

 

“What am I going to do? I can’t go back there.” Lena stroked the hair away from her face and kissed her forehead. Talia’s voice floated through her mind, “wait until her walls are down, when she’s weak and can’t see a way out, at her most vulnerable, and then propose a job opportunity.”

 

Lena loved Kara and that was astonishing, spectacular, beautiful even, but it was bitter sweet. Ultimately, she knew her time was limited; she was no one, she was a thief, a manipulator, a murderer. People like her didn’t get fairytale endings, it just didn’t work that way. She didn’t want to betray Kara’s trust but she was selfish, she wanted to keep Kara for as long as possible. Lena knew that if she didn’t give Talia something soon then she would quickly learn the truth and Lena would lose everything. She thought it would be easy, she thought she could complete the job and get over her feelings, but she understood that to be impossible now. She couldn’t bare to lose Kara, she just hoped that Kara could forgive her.

 

“Kara, I…” I may have a job opportunity, “I… I don’t know.” She sighed, “it’s up to you and whatever you decide, I will be right here with you.” Lena laid back down and Kara rolled, to settle on her chest.

 

Lena couldn’t do it.

 

Lena loved Kara because she was nothing like her: Kara was loyal, honest and noble. Kara was everything she wasn’t and Lena couldn’t allow her to get involved with the World Killers, she was already perfect and Lena wouldn’t let them taint her.

 

She held Kara tightly, inhaled her scent and treasured every moment she had left with her. She kissed her forehead and Kara curled into her body, hands tightly fisted in Lena’s shirt.  

 

__________

 

Lena cleaned up Kara’s apartment and gradually replaced her furniture: she got her a new coffee table, lamps, colourful mugs, plates and bowls so they all matched.

 

Kara had taken time off of work, spending her days either in bed or on the couch. “Hi, darling,” Lena bent down and kissed Kara’s lips. Hero’s head popped up from where he was wedged between the back of the couch and Kara’s body. She kissed his head and he snuggled back down. “How are you feeling?” She stroked Kara’s cheek softly, she knelt on the floor next to the couch.

 

“M’okay,” she shrugged. “I got off the couch today,” Lena looked at the dark circles under her eyes, she hadn’t been sleeping properly. Kara had been plagued with nightmares since the day she had found out the truth, Lena had been up every night trying to comfort her though her terror. Kara hadn’t had these nightmares since she was a child, every night she woke up heart racing, breathing heavily. She could never really remember what happened in her dreams, only that she was too afraid to go back to sleep.

 

She hadn’t eaten a full meal in days. Lena couldn’t help but feel responsible for this, she should have just kept her mouth shut, she should have ignored the feeling of dread in her stomach.

 

“Well, that’s progress,” Kara had switched from her bed to the couch every day for the past week. “I got some more frames, we can re-hang your posters.” She tried to give her something to smile about.

 

“You don’t have to do all of this,” Kara said, staring aimlessly at the TV. “It’s my fault, I destroyed everything.”

 

“I want to and… well, I feel partly responsible, if I hadn’t told you, this never would have happened.” She mumbled, looking down at the floor.

 

“I’m glad you did. I’ll be fine… soon. It’s like a weight has been lifted, but it just brings up things I haven’t allowed myself to feel in a while. That mixed with… the betrayal. It’s a lot,” she whispered.

 

“I know,” Lena threaded her fingers through her hair and scratched her scalp. “I’m right here, always.” She kissed Kara’s forehead and stood up. Kara watched as she carefully placed her posters into their new frames and hung them on the wall. “Good?” She nodded.

 

“Babe?” Lena looked over, “can we get potstickers?” Lena smiled, this was the first time Kara had expressed any interest in food for over a week.

 

“Of course we can, you can have anything you want,” Lena promised, Kara shot her a genuine smile. “As long as you shower first, I could smell you from down the hall,” she joked, kissing Kara’s pout. Lena pulled her blanket away, “come on.” Kara groaned, unwilling to move from her comfy spot on the couch. “It will make you feel better I promise,” she hauled Kara up and over her shoulder, easily carrying her up the stairs.

 

“You shower and I will make up the couch with blankets and pillows and we can have a movie night, okay?” She put Kara down and pushed her towards the bathroom.

 

“You’re becoming domesticated,” Kara teased.

 

“No, I’m not… I’m just trying to…” she waved her hands around and watched as Kara sniggered. “Oh, shut up.” She scoffed.

 

“I was right, you are soft!” Kara called shutting the door quickly, avoiding the pillow Lena launched at her head. She ordered the food and got Kara some clothes ready for when she got out of the shower. Then, she gathered Kara’s pillows and comforter, she’d gotten really good and what Kara called, ‘Nest Building’. Three blankets laid across the couch to soften the cold, hard leather, fluffy pillows tucked into the corners and against the back of the couch, then another blankets and the comforter on top.

 

She heard the water shut off and Lena hurried up to the bedroom. Kara emerged from the bathroom, wrapped in towel. “Better?” Lena smiled. Kara nodded, “you smell better,” Lena stepped towards her and kissed her.

 

“Shut up,” Kara rolled her eyes. She got dressed into the soft t-shirt and sweatpants Lena had laid out. Lena pulled her damp hair up into a bun, planting a kiss behind her ear before going to answer the door.

 

They settled on the couch, Kara managed to finish two boxes of potstickers, it wasn’t her usual three but it was a vast improvement on the few mouthfuls she’d managed recently.

 

Kara draped herself over Lena’s body, buried so deep under the blankets that Lena could only see the top of her blonde hair. She’d wedged her leg between Lena’s, snuck her hand under her t-shirt and pressed her cheek against her breast.

 

Lena caressed the side of her face and wrapped her arm around her back, rubbing soothing circles. She continued to watch the movie but could feel Kara’s body getting heavier as sleep took over, small puffs of air turned into long, steady breaths. Lena didn’t move, she continued her ministrations, trying to make sure that she was uninterrupted. She pressed kisses onto Kara’s hairline every time she flinched or tensed, making her presence known seemed to calm her slightly. Lena dropped off in the early hours of the morning, she couldn’t fight her exhaustion for long.

 

Lena stirred a few hours later, Kara was nosing her neck. Lena inhaled deeply and opened her eyes, immediately on alert. “Mmm s’okay m’here,” she rubbed her eyes and went to sit up.

 

Kara stopped her with a hand on her chest, “shhh sh shh. I’m okay, don’t worry.” Lena settled back into the pillows, closing her eyes again. When she opened them Kara was looking down at her, grinning widely.

 

“Did you sleep well?” Lena mumbled, still a little groggy.

 

“Best sleep I’ve had in ages,” Kara hummed, laying back down and twirling Lena’s hair around her fingers. Hero chose that exact moment to stand on the couch and greet her good morning by licking her face, “yes, hello to you too, Hero.”

 

“No dreams?” Lena asked, stroking Hero’s ears.

 

“Nope, nothing.”

 

“Good. Do you want some breakfast?” Lena asked.

 

“If I remember rightly, I have a box of potstickers left?” Lena’s head perked up, could we have made a breakthrough? 

 

“You’re right,” Kara scrambled to get up and Lena giggled.

 

She disassembled the nest, taking the pillows and the comforter back up to her bed. Something caught her eye on the way back down. Kara had closed her investigation on Lena months ago and had apparently opened a new one. Well, that explains the new lease of life. Across the landing she saw the document she’d given Kara pinned into the centre of the cork board.

 

Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers.

 

Killed by Agent Otis Graves, orchestrated by the CIA.

 

Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers were the greatest scientists of their time, a shoe in for the Nobel Prize. Their field of expertise was renewable energy and they had made a major breakthrough.

 

Funnily enough, the Kryptonians began their research into renewable energy a few weeks after the Danvers’ death and the whole country was running on a singular clean energy source just under a year later. Incredibly quick to say the program was brand new and climate change was something the world’s greatest scientists were still struggling to find solutions for. Of course, they kept their research hidden from the rest of the world.

 

The truth of the matter, if the Danvers had been able to continue their research, the entire planet would be running on clean energy: fossil fuels would become redundant and the oil industry would collapse.

 

The CIA couldn’t have that. The world would descend into chaos.

 

Instead, the CIA arranged for Eliza and Jeremiah to be killed and their research was then sold to Kryptonian government, they could have just destroyed it, but that would mean zero profit and Krypton was a valuable ally to have. The country was disconnected: closed off from the rest of the world and therefore, their vital research would never see the light of day. The CIA signed a deal with King Zor-El and Queen Alura, as long as the Zor-El’s were in power, they would keep the source of their renewable energy a secret. In return, the CIA would protect the Royal Family and prevent any attempts at a coup.

 

Talia had ordered the assassination of Kara Zor-El as she was next in line to the throne and was under oath to continue with the arrangement that was agreed. Her death sparked a coup, one that the CIA were powerless to stop. The Zor-El’s were ruthless and they no longer had the support of their people. Kal-El the nephew of King Zor-El now reigned over the country, he was under no obligation and openly promised to share the knowledge of his people.

 

Kara was the one who had suffered the most. Not only lost her parents that day, but she’d also lost their legacy, no one would know that it was their brilliance that would one day save the planet. The CIA left her to fend for herself for all those years, to struggle on her own before picking herself up and making something of her life. Only then did they welcome her with open arms.

 

“I’m gonna find him.” Lena’s head whipped to the side and she saw Kara standing at the bottom the stairs, fire blazing in her eyes.

 

“Otis Graves?” Kara shook her head.

 

“No, he was just following orders. I’m going to find the man who ordered my parents death, who sold their research and left me all alone. I’m going to find him and I’m going to kill him.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Lena stirred one night and reached out, hitting Hero’s soft fur, instead of Kara’s warm skin. She sat up and saw the desk lamp illuminating the office space across the landing, she sighed and got up, stroking Hero’s head when he perked up. She padded down the stairs and up the adjacent set towards Kara’s office.

 

“I thought I dragged you to bed hours ago?” Kara could hear the disapproving tone in her voice.

 

“Yeah, well I couldn’t sleep and I had an idea I needed to check out,” Kara muttered, not even bothering to look at Lena. “Do you have any more information about my parents about my parent’s death?”

 

“Kara-”

 

Kara whipped around, “no, I need to know if you have anything else.” Lena didn’t like what she was implying, or the tone she was using.

 

“I gave you everything I had.” Lena shot back, she tried to keep the bite out of her voice. She easily recognised the attempt at deflection and she was desperately trying to not let it get to her.

 

Kara growled and settled back at her desk, hunching over her computer again. “My parents had a lab assistant, kind of like an apprentice, I need to find him.” Kara mumbled.

 

“I’ll help you look in the morning, just come back to bed.” Lena pleaded.

 

“I’ll be there in a bit,” Kara waved her off. “My parents didn’t get a chance to publish their work, so someone must have been feeding the CIA information-”

 

“Darling, come on. You can’t keep doing this, your mind and body can’t function properly while you’re sleep deprived, trust me.” Lena pulled her chair away from the desk and spun her around.

 

“Lena,” she growled. Lena arched her eyebrow dangerously high, the perfect warning. Kara was apparently feeling brave enough to ignore it, she jutted her chin out in defiance. “I’m fine. Just go back to bed, I don’t need you fretting over me all the time,” Kara spun back around.

 

Bad decision Danvers.

 

She spun Kara back and held onto the arms of the chair, “don’t you dare shut me out.” Lena’s clipped tone made Kara squirm, she looked down at her lap. “You’re having nightmares again, aren’t you?”  

 

“No, I just- I-” Kara finally looked up, faltering under Lena’s soft gaze. “Yeah,” she admitted.

 

Lena crouched down and placed her hands on Kara’s knees, “why didn’t you tell me?” she asked. Kara had gone at least a week with peaceful sleep, but as soon as she hit a wall in her investigation, things had clearly taken a step back.

 

She shrugged, “It’s stupid, I shouldn’t be having them, I’m a fucking adult.” Kara huffed in frustration.

 

Lena stood and pulled her against her chest, “darling, it’s okay.” She cradled the back of Kara’s head and planted multiple kisses to the top of her head. “It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.”

 

She eased Kara out of the chair and switched off the light, looping her arm around Kara and guiding her back to bed. She fluffed Kara’s pillows and eased her into bed, climbing in and snuggling up next to her. She leaned up on her elbow and brushed the stray hairs away from her face.

 

“I’m sorry,” Kara whispered.

 

“It’s okay, darling. I understand-”

 

“It’s not okay, you cleaned up my apartment, replaced all of my belongings, comforted me through my nightmares and I keep throwing it back in your face.” She closed her eyes, ashamed of her recent behaviour. “I-I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” she said, her voice full of fear.

 

“Grief affects us in different ways,” she stroked her thumb across Kara’s face softly. “This is clearly how you process it, it’s the same way you handled it when you were a teenager, right?”

 

“Yeah, but you’d think I would have matured by now, found a better way to handle things.” Kara was so angry: with herself, with the CIA, with the man who killed her parents, with the person who orchestrated the whole thing. She was just so angry at everything.

 

Then there was Lena, her sweet Lena, who had stuck by her through all of her temper tantrums and mood swings. There was only so long she could keep pushing before Lena gave up, just like everyone else. Kara could recognise that her behaviour was wrong, she wasn’t stupid, but it was like she had no control over it. It was like a red mist descended and Kara became someone entirely different, someone she despised but couldn’t stop.

 

“Once this is all over, once you have justice, everything will go back to normal.” Kara wiped her hands over her face, trying to rub her exhaustion away.

 

“What if it doesn’t? What if I don’t go back to normal? What if I lose myself?” Kara looked like she was on the verge of tears.

 

“I won’t let you,” Lena pressed her forehead against Kara’s. “I promise, I won’t let you become something you’re not.” Kara’s lip trembled and a single tear escaped her eye. “We’ll figure it out, together.” She captured Kara’s lips in a delicate, loving kiss.

 

“Now, you need to sleep and I miss my personal space heater, so come here.” Lena cupped her face and kissed her forehead, her hand absentmindedly found it’s way under her shirt to scratch her toned stomach.

 

Kara hissed, “your hands are freezing, get off!” Kara wriggled away, Lena smirked and pressed her hands against every inch of skin she could reach.

 

“That’s payback for leaving alone!” Lena teased, Kara grabbed her wrists and pinned her hands to the bed. Lena raised her eyebrow and Kara shot her a goofy grin.

 

“I- thank you… for sticking with me, I know I haven’t been the easiest person to be around,” she leant down and kissed her.

 

“Yeah well, I… you know,” Kara captured her lips again.

 

“Me too,” Kara whispered.

 

Lena laid down properly and tugged at Kara’s arm until she rolled onto her chest. “Come on, sleepy time!” Hero let out a loud sigh from across the room, “see, even he agrees.”

 

“So, bossy,” Kara grumbled. She sighed against Lena’s neck and felt the rumble in her chest as she let out a small chuckle. Lena threaded her fingers though Kara’s hair and scratched her scalp gently. Kara tried to fight it, but she eventually drifted off in Lena’s arms.

 

“So stubborn,” Lena murmured before falling asleep herself.

 

__________

 

Lena woke up to the smell of pancakes, she threw on one of Kara’s hoodies and padded down to the kitchen. “How long have you been up?” She hummed, she snaked her arms around Kara’s waist and planted a kiss on her shoulder.

 

“Not long, I thought I’d make breakfast to make up for last night,” Kara said, she turned and saw a very cute looking Lena, snuggled into Kara’s hoodie. The hood up, framing her sleepy face, the hem just covering the bottom of her sleep shorts and the sleeves just a little too long for her hands. Kara hooked a finger into the front pocket and tugged her into a hug, kissing her forehead.

 

“Well, I won’t say no to pancakes,” Lena murmured, hugging her back. She kissed Hero’s head while Kara plated up the food. “So, what’s the plan?” Lena asked while they were eating.

 

“I found no record of my parents research or the lab assistant. Not surprising, pretty much everything but the news articles about their death has been wiped.” Kara pushed her food around her plate.

 

“Do you remember his name?”

 

“They just referred to him as Holt, I don’t think I ever knew his first name.” Kara sighed, “I think I’m going to have to go back home, there might be something at my parent’s house… well my house now I guess.”

 

“And where is that?” Lena asked, leaning her head on Kara’s shoulder.

 

“Midvale, California.”

 

“Right, well, you finish that,” Lena gestured to her breakfast, “and I’ll start packing.” She left Kara with a kiss on the cheek and went upstairs, Hero trailing behind her. Kara smiled fondly, taking a small bite out of her final pancake. Quickly realising Lena would be picking out her outfits for the next few weeks, she shovelled the rest into her mouth and hurried up the stairs.

 

“What?” Lena asked, nonchalantly. Kara grabbed the bag and eyed the contents suspiciously.

 

“Just checking you packed sensible clothing,” Lena snorted.

 

“I won’t pack anything you won’t be comfortable in, don’t worry.” She gripped Kara’s chin and pecked her lips softly.

 

Kara sat on her bed and leant up against the headboard, watching as Lena packed her bag. “Shouldn’t you be doing this?” Lena looked down and then quirked her eyebrow.

 

“You said, you’d do it.” Kara defended with a cheeky grin.

 

“I said, I’d start. Besides, I need to go home and pack.” Kara smiled softly, happy that Lena was coming with her. Lena tossed the bag over and kissed her, “I’ll be back in an hour,” Lena said against her lips.

 

Lena was back within the hour with two duffel bags, “jeez, how long are you planning to go for?” Kara joked.

 

“This one is clothes,” she lifted one of the bags, “this one is… essentials,” judging by the weight of it, Kara could guess what was in it.

 

__________

 

A day later and the pair were pulling up to the old farm house Kara had grown up in. The shred of police tape still caught in the door frame, blew in the light breeze: clearly indicating that no one had stepped foot in the place for years.

 

Kara took slow, tentative steps up to the porch, her hand brushing the wooden handrail. Lena stayed a half step behind her, letting her lead the way, she looked around and smiled at the gnomes sat on the grass. Kara leaned against one hand against the door frame and took a deep breath, her brow pinched together.

 

Lena could sense that she needed a moment and left her to investigate the yard. Kara, on the other hand, had other ideas, she took a step back and tilted her head, like a confused puppy, before swiftly kicking the door open.

 

“You don’t have a spare key?” Lena teased.

 

“Can’t remember where we kept it.” Kara called over her shoulder.

 

“Under the gnome,” Kara turned and saw Lena shaking the keys at her.

 

“It’s my house,” she shrugged, wandering inside. Lena followed quickly, the home had clearly been ransacked: broken furniture, broken glass on the floor, paperwork strewn everywhere.

 

“No one ever thought to clear this place up?” Lena asked.

 

“Why would they? No one was going to be coming home to it.” Kara said, as if she wasn’t talking about herself. Lena slid easily into Kara’s body, wrapping her arms around her waist and resting her head on her shoulder. “I always meant to come back and sort everything out, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

 

“Well, lets start right now.” Lena kissed her, “you start with the paperwork, have a look for your guy and I’ll see if I can make this look more like a sitting room.” Lena pat her stomach and left her to go and sort the bookcase in the corner.

 

Kara sat on the couch and gathered a handful of paper, searching through it. Lena piled up the books on the floor, smiling at the copy of The journey to save our Earth. “You know this was my favourite book as a child,” Kara turned and saw what Lena was referring to.

 

“Really?” Kara frowned.

 

“Mhmm, I read it so often the pages fell out.” Lena laughed softly, still looking at the book.

 

“Of course you did,” Kara smirked.

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Lena said, Kara held her hands up in surrender and Lena leant on the back of the couch, “what was your favourite book?”

 

“Peter Pan” Kara said.

 

“Mischievous flying boy, whisking children away to a magical far away island with fairies and pirates? Explains a lot.” Kara snorted and Lena kissed her cheek, going back to the books.

 

Lena re-shelved all the books and gathered the broken ornaments into a pile, ready to be thrown away. There was a side table at the back of the room, everything had been swept onto the floor, Lena crouched down and picked up the frames. It was clear that the table had once been overflowing with pictures of the small family, fortunately not every frame was broken.

 

“What was the point of all this?” Lena asked, “surely there was nothing of importance here?” Lena couldn’t see the point, they’d already destroyed a family why go to the trouble of ruining all their belongings as well?

 

“Sometimes my parents brought they work home with them, they tried not to, but if they thought they were close to a breakthrough or if they had something to finish, they’d work in their study.” Lena arranged the photos and removed the pictures from the broken ones.

 

“So, why do all of this?”

 

“Well, they have to check everything to ensure nothing was left behind. Plus, I’ve seen Graves’ work before, the guy is an animal and subtlety is not in his vocabulary.” Otis Graves didn’t just kill people, he wrecked their lives and he didn’t show any remorse. That’s why he was always chosen for these particular missions, he didn’t care who was left behind.

 

Kara might not be bothered with going after Graves, but Lena might have to pay him a visit.

 

Lena continued sifting through the photos when she came across one without Kara in it. “Where did your parents work?”

 

“They had a lab space at the university, they held a few lectures from time to time.” Kara murmured, not looking up from the papers she was reading. Lena opened the back of the frame.

 

Jeremiah, Konrad and I. Outside the university, the day we made the discovery.

 

“Konrad Holt.” They both said at the same time. Kara looked over her shoulder and Lena held up the photo, Kara showed her the receipt for a delivery he’d signed for.

 

“I remember the face, he was nice. Always gave me sweets whenever I saw him.” Kara smiled at the bittersweet memory.

 

“Do you think they got to him as well?”

 

“I don’t know, but I’d like to find him, regardless.” Kara couldn’t stay there for much longer, too many memories in a short space of time and Lena could see that it was becoming too much for her. They secured the door and headed back to the hotel.

 

“I can put in a call, see if I can trace Holt?” Kara nodded. Lena bent down and captured her lips, “decide what you want for dinner, I’ll be right back.” Kara ordered pizza and sat back waiting for Lena. She returned after a few moments, her contact had promised to get back to her.

 

Lena crawled onto the bed and nestled in Kara’s arms, it had been a long day of travelling and Lena just wanted to sleep. “I took something… from the house, I hope you don’t mind?”

 

“What did you take?” Kara asked. Lena reached across her body and grabbed something from her bag, it was a photo of Kara and her family. Kara was grinning from ear to ear, she was in Jeremiah’s arms and Eliza was kissing her cheek: her parents were in Christmas jumpers and little Kara was dressed as an elf. It made Lena both smile and laugh when she saw what Kara was wearing. She handed Kara the photo and chewed on her bottom lip while she watched her reaction.

 

“You don’t have any out at your place and well… you look really happy.” Kara smiled fondly at the photo. “Did you make the frame?” It looked to be handmade, covered in pasta and painted in a variety of colours.

 

Kara chuckled, “yeah, it was a school art project. Christmas probably, the picture was taken the same year.”

 

“They asked you to decorate things with pasta?” Lena tilted her head.

 

“You never made macaroni art?” Lena shook a head, “what a tragedy.” Kara teased, raising her eyebrows.

 

“Shut up,” Lena rolled her eyes. “Well, your macaroni art is a masterpiece.” Lena praised, she settled back into Kara’s arms and closed her eyes.

 

“Thank you for this, it’s a happy memory I’d almost forgotten.” Kara said softly.

 

“Good, I also thought the elf costume was very fitting,” Kara shot her a glare, Lena’s eyes were closed but there was a large grin on her face.

 

“I do not have pointy ears!”

 

__________

 

Lena’s phone rang, waking her up the next morning. She answered it quickly so not to wake Kara, the blonde stirred when Lena moved, but she settled again.

 

“Good morning,” Lena murmured.

 

“Good morning, Little Spider. I trust you are well?” Lena hummed, “I’ve got some answers for you, it seems Konrad Holt is now a lecturer at Stanford University, has been for just over 10 years.” Talia explained. “I’ll send you his current address.”

 

“Thank you,” Lena replied.

 

“Any progress on your new assignment?”

 

“Not as of yet,” Lena cleared her throat, “I’m working on it.”

 

“Keep me informed. Go forth and conquer-”

 

“Endure and thrive.” Lena said, the phone clicked and she sighed in relief clutching it to her chest. Lena turned and found Kara looking at her with a sleepy gaze. “Just my boss,” Kara nodded.

 

“Got any jobs going?” She joked, Lena shot her a weak smile. She brushed the question off and climbed back into bed.

 

“I’ve found Holt, he now lectures at Stanford apparently so I guess that’s where we’re heading next.” Lena said, stroking Kara’s face.

 

“Definitely, we’ll head up there after breakfast.” Kara climbed out of bed and went towards the shower. “What’s that thing you say at the end of your calls?” Lena frowned, “that little ‘endure and thrive’ thing.”

 

“Oh, it’s just something we say at the end of conversations, something other than goodbye.” Kara tilted her head to the side. “What?”

 

“I just feel like I’ve heard it somewhere before.”

 

“Well, I say it at the end of most conversations I have with my people. You probably heard my friend say it, the agent in Cuba?” Kara didn’t look convinced, but she also had no inkling as to where she’d heard it before.

 

“Yeah, that’s probably it. You coming?” Kara nodded towards the shower, Lena nodded and followed her.

 

__________

 

It took them half a day to get to Stanford University. They waltzed right in after Kara flashed her badge, no questions asked, probably started a lot of rumours though. They waited outside of the lecture hall while he finished up.

 

“Konrad Holt?” Lena asked. Kara stayed back, she wanted to observe before she confronted the guy.

 

“Yes, how can I help?” He was a cheery man, with a kind face. He had signs of ageing: his face was worn and he looked tired, his dark hair was greying at the sides. He was upbeat and happy but his eyes deceived him, they were dull almost lifeless, like life hadn’t treated him well.

 

“We like to ask you a few questions about the death of Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers.” Lena watched as his face dropped.

 

He cleared his throat and shifted, “one of the worst days of my life.” Kara looked up, keeping her expression neutral.  “They were my mentors, I re-discovered my passion for science because of their lectures.”

 

“What do you mean by that?” Lena said, Holt leaned back and perched on the edge of his desk.

 

“Well, I only went to college because my parents forced me. My first three weeks were hell, I wanted to drop out and then Jeremiah covered my usual lecturer and he changed my whole perspective on things. I wanted to help them save the world, I worked hard until I graduated and then got a job as an assistant in the lab to work through my PhD.” He explained, he looked at Kara, his eyebrows scrunched together as if he recognised her.

 

“So, you helped with their research?”

 

“Not exactly, I just set up the lab for experiments, cleaned up, wrote up reports, the small stuff. The Danvers did all the leg work.” His gaze was now fixed on Kara.

 

“In the weeks after they made their discovery, there must have been quite an interest in their research.” Lena said.

 

“Do you know the details of their research?” Konrad asked. She did, but she played dumb and shook her head, “they were researching cold fusion: it’s a nuclear reaction producing huge amounts of energy by splitting atoms, but at room temperature. Making it a cleaner, cheaper and much more efficient source of energy.” Lena could see his eyes light when he spoke about the theory.

 

“I thought that scientists agreed there is currently no possible way cold fusion could occur?” Lena asked, eyebrows knitted together.

 

“The Danvers’ found a way to make it possible,” Lena’s lips parted in shock, “ of course after you make a discovery like that, you need proof and lots of it. Nothing is going to change based on just a theory-”

 

“But, the theory was right! Krypton’s entire country runs off sustainable power, using my parents research.” Kara interjected, realisation dawned on Konrad’s face.

 

“Kara,” he gasped. Lena looked over at her, “I never thought I would see you again.”

 

“Yeah well, when you’re orphaned with no family, you tend to be pushed from pillar to post.” Lena observed the interaction.

 

“I’m so sorry about what happened,” Konrad said, Kara waved him off.

 

“You didn’t kill them,” she shrugged, but Lena continued to watch him. There’s a courteous ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ and then there is was the way Konrad acted, he almost seemed remorseful. “Listen Konrad, I want to find out what happened to my parents and I need your help. Is there anything you remember from the few weeks before their death? Anyone sniffing around? Asking questions?”

 

“Not that I can think of, I’m sorry. It was just the three of us in the lab. The project wasn’t top secret, but your parents liked to do their own work, it was their life’s work. They only hired me because… well because they wanted to spend more time with you.” Kara looked down at the floor, “what do you do now?”

 

“I’m a private investigator,” she lied. “As, I’m sure you’ll understand, it’s extremely important to me to find out the truth.”

 

“I do. If anything comes back, I’ll give you a call.” Kara’s shoulders slumped in disappointment but she nodded and wrote down her number for him.

 

“Wait,” Lena stopped her, “you and the Danvers’ had a picture taken outside the university on the day you made the discovery. Who took the picture?” Lena had a theory, surely you’d remember every detail of the day you discovered a cure for the world.

 

Konrad pondered for a moment, “one of their students I think, he transferred half-way through the semester. He cleaned beakers for a scientist in one of the other labs.”

 

“Do you remember his name?” Kara asked, eagerly but Konrad shook his head.

 

“He had a really generic name, possibly Sam? But I don’t have a last name, I didn’t know him very well.” Konrad looked apologetic that he couldn’t give more detail.

 

“Well, thank you for your time, Konrad.” He shook Kara’s hand and turned to leave, when she heard him huff out a laugh.

 

“The student, I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but… he looked nothing like a guy who would be interested in science.” He said.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Well, he was huge, he looked more like a football player than a scientist. Everyone else in that class was small, skinny, forgive the term, but they were nerds. This guy stuck out like a sore thumb,” Lena and Kara looked at each other, Otis Graves. “It might be nothing.” Konrad looked between the pair.

 

“No, that’s great. Thank you.”

 

“You should come round for dinner one night, meet the family.” Kara stopped and looked at him, “I always wondered what happened to you,” he looked down at the floor, shame, Lena identified. “I should have made more effort to stay in touch.” Kara didn’t respond, “Well, you’re always welcome.”

 

They left after that, “are you okay?” Lena asked, once they were back into the car.

 

“We need to find this student, once we confirm it’s Graves, I’ll track down his commanding officer and kill the bastard.” Kara’s eyes were cold, staring straight ahead at the road.

 

“Well, we can do that tomorrow, we’ve made good progress today-”

 

“I’ll make a few calls, get confirmation tonight and then we can start tracing him tomorrow.” Kara said.

 

“Did you listen to a word I just said? We’re calling it a day, I know you want this done and dusted as soon as possible, but you’re overwhelmed and you need a break.” Lena’s tone left no room for argument, not that Kara would even try, Lena was keeping her grounded just as she promised, she still  needed a firm reminder every so often.

 

Lena made her turn off her phone and computer, they had a quiet dinner together and Lena held her until she fell asleep. Then again when she woke up from her fitful sleep, wide-eyed and breathing heavily, she coaxed her back to sleep every time.

 

__________

 

Lena woke up to Kara creeping back into the hotel room, brown paper bags and takeaway coffee cups in hand. “Morning, babe.” She said softly.

 

“G’morning, that coffee?” Kara handed her the cup and kissed her forehead. Lena sat up, bleary eyed and took a sip.

 

Kara leant her head on her shoulder, “I called Caltech, the university my parents worked at. They’re sending over their class list for the year my parents died.”

 

“Well, that’s some good news at least. What’s for breakfast?”

 

“Bearclaws,” Kara grinned, handing Lena a paper bag.

 

The list came through to Kara’s laptop about an hour later, they scanned the list of names. They’re were three Sam’s and two Samuel’s. They researched them all and only one seemed to have disappeared, “hold on, I’ll hack the college records see if I can’t get hold of the student ID.”

 

It didn’t take her long, Lena was really good at her job, “is this Graves?” Lena showed her the screen and Kara frowned and sighed deeply.

 

“No, that’s not him. Fuck! I thought we had something.” Kara stood up and frantically ran her hand through her hair.

 

“Hey, just because it’s not Graves, doesn’t mean he wasn’t involved. He quit school two weeks after your parents were killed and fell off the radar afterwards, that’s too much of a coincidence for me.” Lena watched her pace back and forth.

 

“He clearly used a fake name, how are we supposed to find him?” Lena grabbed her hand and stopped her, directing her to sit on the end of the bed and crouching down in front of her.

 

“Darling… you do realise we both work for intelligence services?” Lena tilted her head and Kara groaned, dropping her head into her hands.

 

“I promise I’m not that stupid,” came the grumbling response.

 

“Well…” Lena teased, Kara huffed through a small chuckle. Lena cupped the back of her neck and kissed the side of her head. “You’re exhausted and stressed, maybe you should take a nap.” She felt Kara shake her head, face pressed against her shoulder. “Well, we need to do something.”

 

Kara lifted her head, “did you bring your running shoes?” She asked, a sly grin on her face. Lena set up a computer program to run while they were out: using the ID photo and facial recognition software, the program searched all known databases for a match.

 

They headed out onto the street and jogged to a local park to warm up, stretching when they got there. “Ready to pick up the pace?” Kara challenged.

 

“Bring it on,” they took off down the path, keeping up with each other easily. Every so often one of them would pull ahead and force the other to stretch their legs a little more. Kara almost tripped the first time Lena overtook her, eyes glued to her ass rather than the branch blocking her path. Lena giggled when Kara made her awkward leap over the almost log.

 

They ran a couple more laps of the park before making their way back to entrance. “Race you back to the hotel?” Kara suggested.

 

“You’re on.” Kara pushed her one way and took off in the other direction. “Kara Melanie Danvers! You get back here this instance, you cheat!” Lena sprinted after her.

 

Kara stopped and looked back, “Melanie?” Lena zoomed past her laughing. It was a tight race but Kara was quick and ended up winning.

 

“Ha!” Kara gloated.

 

“You have longer legs than me,” Lena protested.

 

“Oh, you’re just bitter ‘cos you lost.” Kara waved her off, “where the hell did Melanie come from?” She giggled.

 

Lena shrugged, “I don’t know your middle name, so I guessed,” she said, simply.

 

“I don’t have one.”

 

“Great, I can keep making them up then,” Kara snorted. “Plus, you look like a Mel,”

 

“Shut up,” Kara laughed. She grabbed Lena’s waist and tugged her closer. “Thank you, I needed this.” She leant down and kissed her.

 

“You’re welcome.” Lena kissed her again, “come on, you need a shower.” She pat her on the butt and she walked into the hotel.

 

i need a shower? Have you seen yourself?” She followed Lena when she didn’t respond.

 

The computer had found a match by the time they had finished in the shower. “Well, there’s a reason he appeared and disappeared so quickly, he’s a military man, black ops apparently. At the time he was a Captain at the time and now, he’s General Samuel Lane.” Kara ran over and looked at the photo.

 

“You’re kidding.” Lena looked over at her.

 

“What?”

 

“He presented me with my commendation.” Kara scoffed.

 

“What’s he like?” Lena was pulling up his entire service record.

 

“Ughh, horrible, he’s a racist, homophobic pig. To be honest, it was really hard to smile while shaking his hand.”

 

“Well, we now know that he was planted by the CIA, to gather information on your parents.” Lena nibbled on her bottom lip.

 

“He’s next on the list.” A new fire was ignited in Kara’s eyes.

 

__________

 

It took them a week to figure out that General Lane was now based at Fort Riley, Kansas. Their motto, “No mission too difficult. No sacrifice too great. Duty first.” It was almost laughable, in the end it just made Lena more angry. Lena hacked the General’s schedule and found out that he had a meeting with the senator later in the week.

 

Lena intercepted Lane’s driver on the way to work and incapacitated him, laxatives work a treat! She got into the car and drove to pick up the General.

 

“Where’s Charles?” He grumbled.

 

“He called in sick this morning, food poisoning. I hope you don’t mind my stepping in to replace him for the day?” He clearly wasn’t too upset that his regular driver had been replaced from the way he leered at her. It had to be her, there was a small possibility he would recognise Kara, plus she needed to secure a second location.

 

They had to make sure he clocked into work so no one got suspicious. Lena was to wait in the parking garage until twenty minutes before the General was due at the restaurant. She drove around to the front of the building and got out to open the door for him.

 

He was fine until Lena drove in the opposite direction to the restaurant, “you were supposed to turn left,” he said, his tone disapproving. Lena ignored him, “you need to turn around if we are to arrive on time.” Lena looked, in the rear-view mirror and closed the divider. “Are you listening to me? You stupid bitch! I said turn around!” He yelled.

 

Lena continued driving , ignoring the man who was yelling erratically, he began banging on the divider but Lena just turned the music up, drowning him out. She pulled into an empty lock-up that Kara had broken into and secured.

 

“He doesn’t seem happy,” Kara commented, greeting Lena with a kiss.

 

“Like a toddler having a tantrum,” she rolled her eyes. “Are you ready to do this?”

 

“I’ve been waiting almost twenty years for this, let’s go.” General Lane was banging on the window when Lena opened the door and he fell out onto the floor.

 

“Tut tut, clumsy. Here let me help you,”  Lena pulled him up.

 

“Get off of me.” He stood and righted his jacket, “where the fuck have you brought me you dumb bitch?” He shouted.

 

“Oooh, you shouldn’t have said that,” Lena chuckled. He pushed her away and was met with Kara’s fist, knocking him to the floor again.

 

“You don’t want to play nice? That’s fine.” Kara grabbed the back of his jacket and dragged him along the floor. Lena helped bind him to the chair and stepped back, allowing Kara to take over.

 

“What is this?” he spat out the blood filling his mouth.

 

“We need to ask you a few questions.” Kara sat backwards on a chair, staring down the man who was responsible for her parents death. Lena stayed behind him, watching to make sure he wouldn’t break free. “Tell me about Eiiza and Jeremiah Danvers.”

 

He scoffed and Lena slapped the back of his head out of reflex. He yelped, “I don’t know anyone by that name.”

 

“That’s funny,” Kara held up a document, “because that’s you,” she pointed to his ID photo. “And that, is your name registered for Eliza’s class. So, don’t even bother lying to me!” She yelled.

 

Lane wasn’t scared, all three of them had been trained to withstand these kind of conditions. Kara didn’t really care, Lane was going to die regardless, she was just giving him a chance to clear his conscience.

 

Suddenly, something clicked in her brain, the only way they would stand a chance of getting him to talk is if he thought they were on the same side.

 

He chuckled lowly, “you do realise who I am? As soon as I don’t show up to that restaurant, a whole search party will be sent out. In fact their probably tracking the car already.” He laughed.

 

Kara joined in, looking between him and Lena, she pinched her nose. “Hello, is this the office of Senator Simpson? Yes, I’m just calling to let you know General Lane has to cancel lunch today, unfortunately an important meeting has come up. I’m sure he’ll reschedule soon.” Lane’s face dropped, “see, what you should be asking is who we are? We just managed to abduct a high ranking General in broad daylight and without a trace.”

 

“You’re CIA.” He sighed.

 

“Yes, we are.” Kara stated simply, she flashed her badge, solidifying her cover.

 

“Why didn’t you just say that? I’ve worked with the CIA before, all you had to do was say something.” He rolled his neck, loosening up immediately.

 

“With all due respect, you flew off the handle before I was able to explain the situation.” Lena said, she’d caught on to Kara’s plan and kept her tone professionally neutral.

 

“Yeah, sorry about the jaw, but I couldn’t risk you getting away before we had the chance to talk to you.” Kara said, it took every ounce of strength she had to not gag while saying that.

 

“Are the bindings necessary now we’re on the same page?” Kara looked at Lena and nodded, she untied Lane and then reached for the weapon hidden under her jacket. She held it behind her back in case things went south. “So, what’s this all about?” He leaned back in the chair.

 

“We’re part of an elite task force, set up to investigate high-level corruption in the CIA,” the General tilted his head, this had clearly piqued his interest.

 

He laughed, “where has this come from?”

 

“It’s part of a new initiative introduced by the President, clean up, making things more ethical.” The General laughed again.

 

“God, this is why I vote Republican,” he rolled his eyes. Lena gagged behind his back and Kara bit back a smile.

 

“We’ve looked through the files but we’d like you to tell us about the Danvers.”

 

“Well, I don’t know why you’re looking into the Danvers assignment, Dwight did everything by the book.” Dwight Richards, ex-Airforce Colonel, joined the CIA and became a commanding officer, retired four years ago and died from a heart attack eighteen months ago. Well, that’s that then, the guy is already dead. “He was thorough, we had multiple briefings, especially after I first made contact with Holt…”

 

Everything stopped. Kara and Lena shared a look and Lena stepped in while Kara processed what she’d just heard.

 

“That’s Konrad Holt, correct?”

 

“Yes, he was easy to get on board. I got talking to him in a bar one night and he told me everything, I reported everything he said back to Dwight and he assigned the mission to… Otis Graves I think? As you know from the file, he intercepted them on the way to their daughter’s school. Lucky girl really, Graves wouldn’t have left any survivors,” He actually had the audacity to laugh. “Anyway, we bung the guy a couple of thousand every month and he’s kept his mouth shut ever since.”  Kara was staring off into the distance so Lena covered for her.

 

“So, you just asked him and he told you? You didn’t use any interrogation techniques.” She pried, trying to find some kind of justification for Konrad’s actions. She may have got a odd feeling from Holt, but she didn’t peg him for a grass.

 

“No, I just asked. The idiot told me everything,” He laughed again, clearly not able to read the room.

 

Kara pushed her chair away.

 

She stood.

 

Pulled her weapon.

 

And fired.

 

Job done.

 

Kara stormed out of the warehouse, Lena followed close behind, “Kar?”

 

“Has everyone in my fucking life lied to me?!” She screamed, her knees gave out and she collapsed. Lena caught her before she hit the ground, she lowered her slowly, kneeling down with her.

 

“I’ve got you. I’ve got you, just let it out.” Lena whispered, she cupped the back of her head and Kara cried into her shoulder.

 

She wept, her whole body wracked with sobs, Lena held her together, a strong, secure arm wrapped around her body and soft hand holding her head.

 

“H-he l-lied to m-me.” Kara was gasping, forcing her words out. “They t-trusted h-him and h-he got th-them k-killed!” She managed to ground out.

 

“I know, just try to breathe for me okay? We’ll figure it out, I just need you to focus on breathing first.” Lena encouraged. “In through your nose, out through your mouth,” she hummed, rocking her gently. It was the same routine they went through each and every time Kara fell into this mindset.

 

Kara calmed down eventually, she was still shaking and occasionally hiccuping, but Lena managed to get her in the car. She held her hand across the console for the whole journey back to the hotel, “he invited me to dinner! Invited me to meet his family! And all the time he knew! He knew that he was the reason I no longer had a family!” Kara had been pacing back and forth, getting more and more worked up.

 

“Darling-”

 

“I’m going to kill him, I’m going back there and I’m going to kill him!”

 

“Darling, maybe we should do some research, before we go in guns blazing?” Lena tried to placate her, calm her down.

 

“Why are you defending him? General Lane had no reason to lie, Konrad Holt betrayed my parents, he was the mole and I’m going to kill him!” There was no reasoning with this Kara, she’d reached the precipice and she was about to throw herself off of it.

 

“I’m not defending him, I just think we need all the facts-”

 

“No! I need to do this Lena.” Kara said firmly, her eyes were cold and dark. Lena was losing her, she could see her Kara fading. Lena could still bring her back, she’d done it before.

 

“Kara, look at me baby.” She cupped Kara’s face, brushing her thumbs against her cheeks, “you need a break, remember what we talked about? Let’s go home, let’s go and see Hero. Come on, we’ve been away long enough. You’ve waited this long and he’s thinks he’s in the clear, Konrad Holt is not going anywhere. You can wait a little bit longer.” Lena was pleading with her desperately, Kara was becoming obsessive and quite frankly, it was scaring her. “Please.”

 

Kara faltered when she looked into Lena’s eyes, this was the first time Kara had ever seen her look unsure. Kara thought she’d seen a hint of fear in Lena’s eyes when she’d confronted her about going up against Roscoe alone, but this was true fear and she was the cause.

 

“Okay,” she said. “I’m sorry,” Kara pressed her forehead against Lena’s. “I’m sorry,” she whispered again. Lena threw her arms around Kara’s neck and hugged her tightly, “I’m so sorry.” Kara knew she would never admit it, but Lena was scared.

 

Kara knew she needed to fix this, not just for Lena but for herself. She couldn’t go on allowing herself to be consumed by her anger, it wasn’t getting her anywhere. “Just give me two days to look into Holt,” Lena murmured. “Two days and we can go after him, I promise.”

 

“Two days,” Kara confirmed.  

 

They undressed each other slowly, pressing soft kisses to the exposed skin, they stripped down to their underwear and climbed into bed. There was nothing sexual about it, they had figured out early on that the quickest way to get Kara to relax was touch, it brought her out of her thoughts and back to reality. Kara liked to feel Lena’s skin against hers: a soft, warm, comforting presence that Kara could latch onto. A reminder that she had someone who loved her, something to continue striving for.

 

Lena stared at the ceiling, holding Kara as close as possible. Kara ran her fingers over Lena’s toned stomach, the soft ministrations were making her sleepy. Lena was just as exhausted as Kara, they had been staying in hotels for a few weeks, eating takeout almost every night. Not to mention, Lena had been coaxing Kara to sleep every night and staying up with her when she woke up a few hours later. Not that she was complaining, she was happy to do it, but she couldn’t deny the fact that it was taking a toll on her physically.

 

She felt her eyelids grow heavier, she relaxed further into the soft pillows and embraced the feeling of Kara’s soft touch and gentle kisses pressed sparingly on her neck. Lena would much prefer to stay awake until she was sure Kara was asleep but she couldn’t, she was just so tired. She fell asleep within ten minutes.

 

Kara waited until she felt her breathing even out, recognising that she’d fallen asleep. In the back of Kara’s mind there was a voice telling her that Lena was right, she needed a break. Unfortunately, there was a much louder voice, a child’s voice, screaming at her. She truly appreciated what Lena was trying to do, but Lena hadn’t been through what she had, hadn’t waited for as long as Kara had, she needed to do this. Regardless, of the circumstances, Konrad Holt had traded information on her parents for financial gain and had been benefiting from it ever since.

 

Kara had already made her decision, she got dressed, kissed Lena goodbye and left.

 

__________

 

Lena let out a long, deep sigh, slowly waking up. It was the best sleep she’d had in weeks, she hadn’t stirred once, she woke feeling rested and refreshed. She thought that meant Kara had gone without a nightmare but when she opened her eyes, Kara was no where to be seen.

 

“Kar?” No response. Lena assumed she’d gone out for breakfast, God she was sick of eating things out of paper bags, It was a fun at first, like being on vacation but the novelty had quickly worn off. She got up and decided to shower before Kara got back.

 

Lena got dressed after her shower and noticed a note atop the dresser:

 

I’m sorry.

 

“Kara Juliana Danvers!”

__________

 

Kara knew she had to work fast, it wouldn’t be long before Lena figured it out and then she’d be in real trouble. Her phone began ringing, Lena, well shit. She declined the call and shoved her phone in her pocket. Well, six hours isn’t ideal but it’s doable.

 

She’s managed to get a flight from Kansas to California in the early hours of the morning. Immediately after landing, she rented a car and drove up to Stanford; she was running on nothing but caffeine and adrenalin.

 

She parked up and dialled Konrad’s number.

 

“Konrad Holt.” He answered.

 

“Hey, Konrad, it’s Kara Danvers,” she put on a fake chipper tone.

 

“Kara, hi! I was wondering if I would hear from you, what’s up?” He was upbeat, cheery and it made Kara sick to her stomach.

 

“I-well, you’re the only person I can talk to about my parents. I was hoping that we could meet up for coffee or something?”

 

“Of course! My last class of the day finishes at 3, I could probably meet you at half past?”

 

“Great! I don’t know any good places so text me an address?”

 

“I will, see you later.”

 

Kara ended the call and immediately started looking for places to take Holt. She found abandoned warehouse just outside of the city, nice and remote. Holt had sent her the address and Kara parked a few streets away, where there was no CCTV.

 

She rang him again, “Hey, Konrad. I’m close, but I don’t exactly know where I am.” She said.

 

“No problem, have you got a street name?” That same cheery, sickening voice.

 

Kara hummed for a few seconds, “Oak Street.”

 

“Oh, you’re only a few streets away. Stay there, I’ll come get you.” The phone clicked and all she had to do now, was wait.

 

Konrad came around the corner a few moments later, she waved to him and he jogged over smiling.

 

Kara slammed her fist into that obnoxious smile and knocked him spark out. She hauled him into the back of the car and drove him to the warehouse she’d found. She was working on auto-pilot at this point, not even thinking about what she was doing any more. He groaned when she dragged him out of the back seat, Kara tied him to a chair and waited for him to wake up.

 

He groaned again, slowly waking up. He was groggy and clearly in pain, the bruising had already begun to form on his face, “K-Kara?”

 

“You betrayed my parents,” she said lowly.

 

“W-wha?” His rolled his head back and scrunched his eyes together in pain. Maybe, I hit him just a little two hard. Nope, the bastard deserved it.

 

“Think back, around twenty years ago. That student you said you’d didn’t remember, Sam? Turns out you lied, you did know him and you told him all about my parents’ research!” He tipped his head back again, Kara grabbed his chin and watched as his eyes struggled to focus on her, “you’ve been taking money from the government ever since!” She snapped.

 

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled. “So sorry,” in Kara’s mind, that was a clear admission of guilt, she punched him again. Blood poured from his split lip, “s’not wha you think,” he murmured.

 

“So, how did it happen? Huh?” Kara growled.

 

He took a deep breath and looked up, “I didn’t know until the first payment turned up in my bank,” his breathing was laboured, but he composed himself. “The project wasn’t secret, thought I was just talking to a friend.” He mumbled.

 

“I don’t believe you,” Kara pulled a gun from her waistband. “I have to admit, I also lied to you.” She released the magazine and pulled out a handful of bullets, “I’m not a private eye, I work for the CIA, which means no one will ever know what happened here today.” He couldn’t tear his eyes away from her hands as she loaded the magazine. “Your family will have no idea what happened to you and just like me: they’ll have no answers, no justice, only pain and anger and confusion.” Kara’s face was screwed up in fury, tears blurring her vision.

 

“Kara please, don’t do this-”

 

“No! No, you lied to me!” She yelled, she cocked the gun, loading a bullet into the chamber. She suddenly became eerily calm, “tell you what, I’ll give you one last chance.” She pressed the gun into his knee, “tell me what really happened. You’ve got five seconds.”

 

He panicked, becoming hysterical, tears streaming down his face. “I’m telling you the truth!”

 

“5… 4…”

 

“I swear, I didn’t know anything!”

 

“3…”

 

“Kara, please! I didn’t know!” His face was red and blotchy, his whole body was shaking, jerking, struggling against the tight bonds.

 

“2…”

 

“No, no. Please! I’m telling you everything!” He begged.

 

“1-”

 

“Kara Danvers! Don’t you fucking dare!” Kara whipped around and saw Lena storming over, rage burning in her eyes.

 

“Lena-”

 

“No,” she said lowly, “no. It’s time for you to listen to me! I’m not gonna let you do this!” She marched over to Kara and positioned herself between her and Konrad.

 

“Move.” Kara growled.

 

“Or what?” She challenged, “you’ll shoot me?” Kara was taken aback, her head jerked.

 

“N-no-”

 

“Go ahead,” Lena said. “I’m not going to let you kill him.” She said firmly.

 

Kara shifted again, getting riled up, “you were there when we spoke to Lane, you know what he did.” She snarled.

 

“Kara, he has children!” She turned and rifled through his pockets, finding his wallet. She fished out a picture of his family: a gorgeous wife and two beautiful daughters. “Think about them! Jasmine is 9 and Maia is 5.” Kara turned away from the photo and huffed, “Look at them!” Kara’s eyes flitted to the picture for half a second before she looked away again. “They’re waiting for their Dad to come home.”

 

“Lee-”

 

“Just like you were, all those years ago. Waiting for your Mom and Dad to pick you up from school.” Kara turned and held her arms above her head, desperately trying to shelter herself.

 

“Stop, please stop.” She begged, she didn’t want to be brought back to that time, she didn’t want to re-live it.

 

“No, I’m done with the soft approach, you need a reality check! I read the files, Konrad Holt was a 21 year old graduate student, working for the people who made him re-discover his love for science. He was plied with alcohol. He was a young man, who was passionate about his work, Lane approached him asked about his job and Holt was well within his rights to talk about it. They paid him so it would look like he was involved, so he would keep quiet. It was part of the cover-up.” Lena paraphrased.

 

“He still kept the money! He still deserves to die!” Kara screamed, hot tears rolled down her cheeks.

 

Lena stayed calm and in a steady, level voice, “he’s anonymously donated every payment to charity for the last twenty years.”

 

“Then why lie?!”

 

“Because for two decades, he’s had to live with the fact that he had one conversation with a guy in a bar and unintentionally caused the death of the people he admired most. The guilt will have caused more damage then you ever could. Then after all this time, their daughter shows up wanting the truth, how do you even go about starting to explain what happened?” Lena watched Kara’s reaction, she knew she was close.

 

Kara was a wreck, but she still had a tight grip on the gun, “your Mom and Dad were good people, they wouldn’t want this, they wouldn’t blame Konrad.” She stepped closer to Kara and cupped her face, “they loved you.” Kara let out a strangled sound.

 

Lena’s own eyes filled with tears, “they would want you to be happy. This crusade of yours isn’t going to bring them back.” She reached out her hand and wrapped her fingers around Kara’s shaky hand, still clutching the gun tightly. “Sam Lane was the mole, you’ve done it Kara. You’ve completed what you set out to do, you found out the truth, got the justice you deserve. You can stop now.” Kara loosened her grip and Lena took the gun away from her.

 

Kara stumbled backwards, she finally saw what she’d done, Konrad was beaten, bloodied and weeping. She glanced down to the photo Lena was still holding.

 

Her hands flew up to her mouth, a look of horror filled her eyes.

 

The veil had lifted.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry.” Fresh tears flowed from her eyes.

 

“Go home, Kara. I’ll sort this.” Kara choked on her sobs, “go home!” She turned and hurried out to the car.

 

Once Kara had left, Lena let out a breath and turned to help Konrad. She untied the ropes and he slumped forward, “she’s right,” he mumbled. “It was my fault.” Lena tilted his head up, he’d have a nasty black eye and a bust lip but nothing was broken.

 

“You were 21,” she murmured, cleaning the blood from his face. “I can see that you’ve been beating yourself up ever since. The government wanted them dead, Lane targeted you, if he couldn’t get anything out of you, he would have found another way.” He looked down and shook his head, Lena handed him the picture from his wallet, “you have to forgive yourself, if not for you, for them.”

 

Lena helped him to the car, promising to drive him home. She started the engine but stopped, turning to face him, “Kara has suffered enough. I have to warn you, if her name comes up in connection to any of this, I will come back here,” she hardened her gaze. “And I don’t hesitate,” she warned.

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Konrad pulled out his wallet and phone, tucking the photo into his pocket, before chucking them in the back seat, “I was mugged.” They shared a soft smile, Lena knew he wouldn’t say anything.

 

“Thank you,” she turned back to the road and started away from the warehouse.

 

“I should be the one thanking you, you saved my life.” He said.

 

“Don’t mention it,” Lena said. She dropped him off home, suggesting that he ice his head.

 

__________

 

Lena stayed in California for a few days, call her paranoid but she wanted to make sure Konrad stuck to his word. To his credit, he made a police report at his wife’s insistence, stating he had been mugged and was back at work the next day.

 

If Lena was being honest, she was still furious with Kara, she’d promised that she would wait before going after Holt. It took Lena two hours to find out that Konrad wasn’t responsible, clearly Kara didn’t trust her enough, that hurt and Lena couldn’t face her just yet, she needed to calm down.

 

She found a bar, it was quaint, lively, plenty of personality. A good place to nurse a drink and figure out what to do about Kara, “what’s a girl like you, doing in a place like this?” A deep, rough voice said next to her ear.

 

She turned and smirked, “drowning my sorrows,” she husked.

 

The man let out a throaty chuckle, “need some help?”

 

“I could use some help forgetting someone,” she bit her lip, the man put his hand on her knee and leaned into her ear.

 

“Baby, you give me one night, I’ll make you forget all about him,” Lena’s eyes sparkled when he pulled away again. “Can I buy you a drink…”

 

“Lena,” she said, “Lena Luthor.”

 

“That’s a beautiful name, Lena. I’m Otis, Otis Graves.” It was also the perfect place to corner CIA hit-men.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Kara got home and picked Hero up from the dogsitter’s, he was ecstatic to see her as always. His upbeat, enthusiastic energy never failed to cheer her up. But, she came home to an empty apartment and it just served as a reminder that she had fucked up immensely.

KD: I’m sorry.

She sighed deeply, she hadn’t been hopeful of a response but it didn’t stop the disappointment that sat deep in her gut. She thought that after everything was over, she would be able to rest but she couldn’t. She couldn’t sleep until she knew that Lena was safe, regardless of whether Lena hated her or not.

Kara sat up waiting for her, only sleeping when she couldn’t keep her eyes open any more and not for very long.

Four days after Kara got back, Lena walked through the door.

Kara’s head whipped around, she almost couldn’t believe her eyes, she considered it to be a hallucination at first but then Hero skidded to a stop in front of her, dancing around her feet and whining in excitement. “Hey, buddy. I know, I missed you too,” she cooed.

Kara stood and hurried over to her. Lena looked up and took in Kara’s appearance, it was obvious she hadn’t slept at all, Lena wanted to berate her but what would be the point? It was clear to her now that Kara doesn’t listen to anything she says. She leant in to kiss her, but Lena turned and Kara’s lips met her cheek instead.

“Lena, I’m so so sorry-”

Lena held her hand up to stop her, “I don’t… want to talk about it.” Kara looked down in shame but nodded. Kara expected her to leave but Lena took her hand and lead her up the stairs, she riffled through Kara’s dresser and handed her a pair of boxers and a t-shirt. “Go get changed,” she nodded to the bathroom.

She arranged her pillows so that they formed a sort of nest, a halo made up of fluffy comfort. She peeled back the comforter, ready for Kara to crawl under. She came out of the bathroom a moment later and climbed into the bed, Lena tucked the blankets under her chin and sat on the edge of the mattress. Kara looked at her through tired, curious eyes: Lena knew she was probably sending her mixed messages and Kara didn’t really know how to act.

“It’s over Kara, you can rest now.” Lena combed her fingers through her hair and planted a kiss on her forehead.

“Are we okay?” Kara asked.

Lena paused in her ministrations, “we will be,” she finally said. Kara accepted the answer, knowing they had some things to talk about.

“Will you stay?” She shifted onto her side, looking up at Lena.

“I’ll take care of everything, you get some sleep. You’ll feel better once you’re fully rested.” Kara nodded, she snuggled into the pillows, “I’ll be here when you wake up.” Lena may be mad at her, but she wasn’t going to confront her while she was still so fragile. That wouldn’t make things better and she loved Kara, she wasn’t going to beat her down; they built each other up, made each other better. That’s just how they worked.

Kara snaked her hand out from under the blankets and grasped Lena’s, she closed her eyes and stroked the soft skin of her hand until she fell asleep and her hand limp. Lena kissed her forehead and left her to sleep.

Kara slept for almost three days, only waking to use the bathroom or eat a small meal. Lena stayed at the apartment the whole time, making sure that Kara stayed undisturbed: she worked in Kara’s office, trying to close some of the active operations she had, she made food for Kara for when she woke up, she fed Hero and took him out for walks everyday. He slept on the bed with Kara, but Lena took the couch.

On the third day Kara woke up, stumbled out of bed and got in the shower. Lena started on breakfast and Kara came downstairs dressed in sweatpants and a hoodie. “Morning sleepyhead,” Lena cooed.

“M’not sleepy any more,” Kara mumbled, the shower had woken her up a bit but she was still a little groggy.

“You look sleepy,” Lena teased. She manoeuvred Kara into a chair in front of the table and kissed her forehead. She couldn’t help it, Kara looked so cute. Lena gave Hero his breakfast and plated up the waffles she’d made. She smiled as Kara shovelled food into her mouth, clearly her appetite had returned. Lena pushed her plate over, “you can have mine.”

“You sure?”

Lena nodded, “I didn’t know how hungry you would be, it’s good to see that you have your appetite back.” Kara wolfed down the rest of the waffles. They took Hero out for a walk but they didn’t speak much, in fact they kept a large distance between them, so much so that even Hero could sense the sudden tension.

For the past three days, Lena had been trying to figure out whether now was the best time to tell Kara about the lies their relationship was built on. She was just starting to see her Kara again and she didn’t want to ruin it, plus there was still a small part of her that was angry at Kara. It would start a fight whereby they would both be screaming at each other for what they’d done wrong and that was the last thing Lena wanted.

They loved fiercely but they also fought with that same passionate fire, it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Lena didn’t even realise they were back at the apartment until she looked up and Kara was shuffling awkwardly, fiddling with her fingers. How could Lena possibly stay angry at Kara when she had been lying to her this whole time? She was a hypocrite. Once Kara found out there would be no recovering from this, she’d seen the way Kara had reacted when she thought Konrad had lied to her. Lena wasn’t scared of anything, but she was terrified of losing Kara.

She looked at Kara, her Kara. Her kind, loving, perfect Kara. Who only did what she did because she was hurting.

“Ooof,” Kara huffed, she caught Lena when she launched herself at her. Lena clung onto her in a tight hug.

“Are you feeling any better?” Lena asked when she let go.

Kara nodded, “turns out sleep helps, who would have thought?” She joked. Lena smiled weakly, “I’m really really sorry.”

“You said. Plenty of times,” Lena suddenly became very interested in her shoes. Kara took her hand gently and led her round to sit on the couch, Kara gave her an out but Lena followed.

“I need to explain-”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Lena shook her head.

“Well, I need to talk about it!” Kara insisted. “I didn’t mean to leave you out of the loop, I just- in my head, Konrad was guilty. I tried to let it go, I really did, but I was blinded by my rage… my grief.” She whispered the last part.

“Do you know how long it took me to find out the information about Konrad?” Kara shook her head, “two hours.” Kara swallowed hard and dropped her head into her hands.

“So stupid, I was so stupid.” Kara said into her hands.

“Yeah you were,” Lena said coldly, she warned Kara. She didn’t want to have this conversation and now she was wound up. “All you had to do is listen to me! But, you never do, do you? Do you still not trust me?”

Kara looked up, wide-eyed, “Of course I trust you!”

“I asked you to give me two days, so you could go in there with a clear mind. You couldn’t give me two hours!” Lena yelled, she stood and made her way to the kitchen. See this? This is why I didn’t want to talk about it.

“I trust you, I didn’t mean to hurt you! I thought I could end things quicker!” Kara stood and followed her, “I thought I would go back to being myself again- the person you… want to be with…” she trailed off. “Not the obsessive monster I became.” Lena was leant against the counter, facing away from her, “and I listen to everything you say!” Lena scoffed.

“I know that you look at the detail in everything, analysing every person you come in contact with. I know that your favourite food is perogi! I know that you hate showing any kind of emotion, that crying in front of me is the most uncomfortable you’ve ever felt!” Lena straightened. “I know, that you’d do anything for the people you care about: you’re the pawn and you’re willing to sacrifice yourself to protect the queen!” Lena turned, her eyebrows furrowed together, lips slightly parted.

Kara was loud, punctuating every word up until this point, “I know that sometimes you hate your job, you hate being touched by people and you feel like you have to scrub your skin ‘til it’s raw to get their hand prints off of your body.” Her voice was low and gentle this time.

“I know, you lied to me during that second chess game, you said your favourite place is Budapest. That was a lie, you didn’t have a favourite place… you didn’t feel you had a place in the world at all. I know now, that your favourite place is wherever you feel safe,” Lena’s breathing hitched and her eyes began to water.

“I know that you used to feel safe with me and… I ruined that.” Kara took a cautious step towards her and fished out the pendent Lena wore around her neck, “I also know that however mad you are at me, you’ll never take this off because it reminds you of home.” Lena sniffed and wiped her eyes

“Okay, so I don’t always apply everything you tell me to my actions, but I always listen.” Kara finished her speech and pulled Lena into her body, cradling her.

“I’m sorry,” Lena sobbed.

“I’m sorry too,” Kara kissed the side of her head. “Come on, let’s take a break.” They went back to the couch, Kara put on a movie and Lena laid on her chest.

“You weren’t a monster,” Lena murmured about half way through the movie.

“Hmm?” Kara looked down at her.

“You said you became an ‘obsessive monster’. You weren’t a monster, you were hurt, betrayed and angry. You reverted back to the same 13-year-old girl who just lost her parents. I just wanted to keep my promise to you,” she stretched up and pecked Kara’s lips.

“You did.” Kara mumbled before kissing her again, “and I can’t thank you enough for that.”

“We’re a team, Kara. We work better together.” Lena settled back in her arms, basking in the warmth and comfort. In the back of her mind she knew she needed to tell Kara the truth, the longer she waited the worse it would be. But, she could finally see her Kara again and she didn’t want to lose that.

So, she swallowed it down.

“Are you going to join me tonight?” Kara asked when it got late, it hadn’t gone unnoticed, in her sleepy state, that Lena wasn’t sharing her bed. Lena was nestled in her arms, they hadn’t strayed more than an arms length away from each other since they hashed things out. Kara had her arms wrapped around Lena’s waist and Lena had her arms looped around her neck, they were swaying gently. Kara nuzzled her neck, pressing a soft kiss there.

“Mm, I don’t know, it’s really comfortable.” She pat the back of the couch for emphasis. Kara scoffed and lifted Lena with one arm, in an impressive show of strength, and carried her up the stairs. “So, I don’t get a choice now?” Lena giggled when she was thrown on the bed.

“You took too long, so I decided.” Kara huffed, crawling on top of her. “How am I still tired?” She yawned and settled on Lena’s chest.

“You’ve had an overwhelming couple of weeks,” Lena used this as an another excuse not to tell her the truth, she considered not telling Kara at all. They were on the same page now, what did it matter if there was deception at the start? The guilt. That’s what mattered, the guilt would continue to eat away at her.

She made a promise to herself. Three days, she gave herself three days to tell Kara the truth. Two days to enjoy the time she had left and one day to watch it all come crumbling down.

__________

Those two days were perfect.

Lena made sure to soak up all of Kara’s love and to pay Hero as much attention as possible. She stayed awake for their final night together. Hero had wormed his way in-between them and Lena stroked his fur, paying particular attention to his ears, just the way he liked. He soon got too warm and went back to his own bed, Kara stirred and rolled closer now the blockade had moved.

“You awake?” Kara mumbled.

“Mhmm,” Lena ran her hands through Kara’s hair.

“I want Big Belly Burger,” Lena laughed.

“Right now?” She felt Kara nod. “Okay,” Lena reached for her phone and placed an order. It was late so their food arrived quickly, Kara was apparently ravenous, it wasn’t surprising, her appetite had returned fully.

Kara was sat in between Lena’s legs, happily chomping on her food. Lena sipped on her milkshake, occasionally kissing the back of her head. Kara managed two burgers and a large portion of fries before she was full, she rested against Lena’s chest, not willing to move back to bed. Lena didn’t mind, she hadn’t planned on sleeping anyway and Kara was soft, warm and content to stay where she was.

“How did you end things with Konrad?” Kara asked.

“He filed a police report, claiming he had been mugged. He probably blames himself more than you ever could.” She threaded her fingers through Kara’s hair, scratching at her scalp.

“I want to go back soon, make things right and sort the house out, but I still have no idea what I’m going to do about work,” she mumbled into Lena’s chest.

“It’s your decision, but you don’t have to make it right now. The CIA don’t know you know what they did,” Kara nodded and considered her options.

“I don’t even know where I would go from here.”

“My advice, don’t make any rash decisions.” She felt Kara nod against her chest, she soon fell asleep and Lena continued to stroke her hair, taking in every small movement she made.

Lena had given herself until 3pm to tell Kara the truth. Kara had slept in and then she wanted to have a movie day, so she waited until the credits started rolling, “Kara, I need to talk to you about something.” She forced out.

Kara sat up, “sounds serious,” she joked. Her face fell when she saw Lena tremble, “hey, you can tell me anything, you know that.” Kara took her hand.

“I… I’ve been-” she was interrupted by her phone ringing. She looked at the caller ID and sighed, “I need to take this.” Kara gestured for her to go ahead. “Hello?”

“The bomber has struck again,” Lena sighed.

“Where?”

“A hotel in Charlottesville.” Talia said. “Lena, this was your mission! Where have you been?” Lena gritted her teeth.

“I’ve been working on it, but I hit multiple dead ends and I’ve been wrapped up in so many other things, I’ve been a little distracted.” She growled.

“I’d watch my tone if I were you, Little Spider.” Talia said lowly.

“Yes ma’am. Send me the address.” She hung up the phone and growled.

“What was that about?” Kara asked, then her work phone began ringing.

“My guess is you’re about to find out,” Kara took the call and five minutes later they were out the door and in the car, both having forgotten all about the conversation they were about to have.

“So, this was something you were working on?” Kara asked.

“Yeah, there have been three other bombs with the same MO over the past four months.” Lena explained.

“And this was your mission?”

“Sort of, because of the amount of work that goes into investigating a bombing, there was a few of us. There was a long time between the incidents so they got pulled off and put on different assignments. I thought it had stopped, I was still searching for the bomber but I didn’t think it was a priority.”

“You know the CIA is going to be all over the site, you won’t be allowed within a mile of the hotel.”

“Yeah, but I have you.” Lena smirked.

“Oh, so you think I’m going to give you all our information?” Kara teased.

“If you want this to stop, you’re going to need my help and you know it!” Lena sing-songed. Kara shook her head and turned back to the road.

In just over two hours they were in Charlottesville, Kara dropped Lena off and headed towards the hotel. She was right, the place was crawling with CIA agents, she pulled up and got out of the car heading over to meet her boss.

“Danvers, it’s good to have you back.” J’onn greeted, shaking her hand.

“It’s good to be back, sir.” It was half true, she was glad to see J’onn again, but she still hadn’t decided what she was going to do about her job yet.

“I know you still had some time off, but I could really use your expertise on this one,” Kara nodded.

“So, what’s going on?” Kara stuffed her hands in her pockets.

“Three buildings have been blown up in the last four months, same MO each time: public place, lots of victims, the bomb is almost always in the basement taking-”

“Taking out the foundations and bringing the building to the ground.” Kara finished.

“Exactly.”

“Any obvious motives?” Kara asked.

“Not that we can figure out.”

“Do you have a list of all the victims from the previous bombings?” J’onn shook his head.

“We’re still recovering and identifying bodies.” He said.

“Do we have an office set up here?” he nodded. “Right, well I’m going to try and figure out the motive.” She headed away from the site and back to their current base.

__________

Lena had come up with absolutely nothing, this wasn’t really her strong point, she wasn’t a detective and she didn’t know where to start when it came to bomb plots. She was spinning in the desk chair, head tipped back, sighing deeply.

Kara came through the door and chuckled at the sight, “this looks productive,”

“I’m stuck,” came the response. Kara cupped the back of her head and pressed a kiss to her forehead and then to her lips, “please tell me you have something new?” She whined.

“Three bombs over the past four months just as you said-”

“Oh, they finally put two and two together then?” Lena asked as she continued to swivel on her chair.

Kara snorted, she no longer had the same loyalty towards the CIA as she had a few weeks before. “Basically, they have no motives, no suspects-”

“Oh, well, I’m glad I decided to shack up with a CIA agent,” Lena mumbled sarcastically.

“God, you’re really grumpy, aren’t you?” Kara chuckled.

“I don’t like not knowing things,” she grumbled.

“Well, lucky for you,” Kara booped her nose, “I have a hunch.”

“Why didn’t you say so?” Lena perked up. Kara grabbed the files from her bag and spread them out over the desk, she dragged another chair over and sat down next to Lena.

“Why do people set bombs?” Kara asked.

“Well, they’re usually acts of terror, to kill as many people as possible, target a building, an organisation, a country.” Lena reeled off, “but not a single group has come forward to claim responsibility, as far as I can tell the targets are random. I can’t find a connection.” Lena huffed, running her fingers through her hair.

“I think their using the bombs to cover up the fact that their targeting one person,” Kara said.

“Okay, but how would you know you’re going to kill the person you’re targeting?” Lena asked.

“Because they destroy the building. It a professional job, large amounts of C4, remote detonation, it’s not a home-made bomb. They know that by taking out the foundations, you ensure that you bring the whole building down. Even if you don’t kill the target during the initial explosion-”

“-They still won’t get out in time before the whole structure comes down.” Lena finished.

“Bingo!” Kara grinned.

“You’re a genius!” Lena exclaimed, kissing her cheek.

“Yeah, well don’t start celebrating just yet, I don’t know who the targets were, but I do have employment records for the office building and the hotels, plus the reservation records.” Kara said.

“Hopefully, from them we can figure out who the target is?” Kara nodded. “So, paperwork?” Kara nodded sheepishly. “Dibs on the hotel,”

“Fine,” Kara didn’t realise just how long the list of employees for the office block was, “oh my god.” She murmured, flipping over page after page of names, Lena sniggered. “Shut up, you’re doing the rest of them,” Kara shoved the other three files over to Lena.

Hours went by and Lena closed her third file, “I’m going to get some food.” Kara made a non-committal noise, continuing to research the names on the list. Lena kissed the side of her head and left.

Kara hadn’t noticed that she’d gone.

She couldn’t find anything that would warrant someone wanting to kill these people. Maybe she was wrong, maybe they were just random attacks. She turned to the last page and one name stuck out to her, Noah Daley, Kara had served with him in the Marines and he became the head of security at the office block that was destroyed.

He was the only person Kara could find that may be targeted. She grabbed Lena’s files and searched through them, she found one other name she recognised, “I think I found the connection!” Kara spun around, “Lena?” Huh, where did she go?

Now, Kara had found a potential connection she searched military records and found another ex-Marine. Lena came through the door ten minutes later, “where have you been?” Kara whipped around.

“Pizza,” Lena held up two boxes. “I did tell you I was going,” she chuckled.

“I found the link!” Lena quickly hurried over and sat down next to her, “Noah Daley, Peter Mason and Laura Peace are all ex-Marines,” Kara gestured to all the names she’d found.

“I found Peter Mason but nothing came up for Laura Peace?”

“That’s because she served under her maiden name, Walsh.” Kara showed her their service records.

“So, you think these people were the targets?” Kara nodded.

“If I’m right, there should be another one in the latest attack but I can’t find them,” Kara said, staring at the list of names.

“So, they changed their name.” Lena suggested.

“Potentially, I’ll get onto it tomorrow.” Kara stretched and put her hands behind her head.

“Mm, well I think you’ve earned some pizza.” Lena said, handing her a box.

“Oh yeah? You glad you picked this CIA agent to ‘shack up with’?” She grinned.

“You have some good qualities,” Lena hummed, she pulled Kara out of her chair and kissed her.

__________

Kara went back to her make-shift office the next day, “Winn! I need you help.” She plopped down in the seat by his desk and stole a handful of gummy bears.

“Shoot!” He said cheerily.

“This is the list of people that I think were the targets of the bombs, I need you to pull up their service records,” Winn had them up on the screen before Kara could finish her sentence.

She searched through their records, “they all took part in the same mission: Armitage. Can you find out what happened to the other two soldiers who were also apart of the mission?” Kara asked and Winn scoffed, “okay, smarty pants. Tell me what happened to the others.”

“Well, Darell Hammond works for us he is currently deployed on an undercover mission and Jack Clayton works for a private security firm.” Winn supplied. Kara searched her list, she couldn’t find either name.

“Darell Hammond, what is his undercover identity?” Winn searched the computer.

“George Benson.”

“He’s on the list.” She said, unsure of the implications.

“So, we’re dealing with professionals, people who can access CIA records?” Winn asked.

“Not necessarily, just someone who’s very good at tracking. They may not have even known what Hammond was up to, they might have just followed him.” Kara explained. “Pull up the mission report for Armitage.”

“So, they were targeting a cartel, smuggling drugs through Columbia to the US. A lot of the file has been redacted, can you get me the full version?” Winn shook his head.

“I can put in a request with the MOD but it’s up to them whether they decide to send it over.” Kara was doubtful that they would do that.

“Do it and in the mean time send me Clayton’s current address and his work address.” She would have to find him and move him to a secure location before the next attack.

“Sure thing, boss. You want me to request back up?” Kara shook her head.

“I’ll be fine,” Kara had her own back up, he frowned at her. “If he’s being watched like we suspect, sending a full team is going to alert the bomber and we may lose him.”

He nodded, accepting the answer. “Do you know how long you’ll be?”

“No, why?” Kara furrowed her brow.

“I’m just wondering whether I should let J’onn know you won’t be there for Graves’ memorial.” Kara froze and Winn raised his eyebrows. “You didn’t know about Graves?” Kara shook her head, “he was found dead in his apartment last week, looks like a robbery gone wrong… Did you know him?”

Kara shook herself out of her trance, “only by reputation, it’s just sad to see a fellow agent be killed,” she gritted out. “Send me the addresses.” She ordered, turning on her heel and leaving.

__________

Kara got back to the hotel and Lena’s face lit up when she entered the room, “Hey, did you find anything out?” Lena slid off the bed and she pecked Kara’s lips.

“Otis Graves,” Kara said, Lena stepped back and looked down at the floor. “So, it was you.” Kara sighed.

“Darling, I-” Kara held her hand up.

“Just tell me what happened.”

****

“What’s a girl like you, doing in a place like this?” A deep, rough voice said next to her ear.

She turned and smirked, “drowning my sorrows,” she husked.

The man let out a throaty chuckle, “need some help?”

“I could use some help forgetting someone,” she bit her lip, the man put his hand on her knee and leaned into her ear.

“Baby, you give me one night, I’ll make you forget all about him,” Lena’s eyes sparkled when he pulled away again. “Can I buy you a drink…”

“Lena,” she said, “Lena Luthor.”

“That’s a beautiful name, Lena. I’m Otis, Otis Graves.” It was also the perfect place to corner CIA hit-men.

Graves bought her drink after drink and Lena pretended to be affected, she swayed slightly, giggling and hiccuping. “I think you’re trying to get me drunk,” she slurred.

“You said you wanted to drown your sorrows,” he joked. He wrapped an arm around her waist to steady her, “you wanna get out of here?” His tone was low and suggestive. Lena bit her lip and nodded, he helped her off the stool and they walked back to his apartment.

They stumbled through the door and he pressed her up against the wood, he kissed her neck and she struggled not to cringe. His stumble was rough on her skin, his lips chapped, nothing like Kara’s soft skin and plump lips. She refused to kiss him, this felt wrong enough already, she already felt like she was betraying Kara.

He pushed her dress up and squeezed her ass, he stumbled backwards, leading her to his bedroom. She followed him into the centre of the room and he lifted her onto the dresser. She grabbed the heaviest thing available and struck him over the head with it, he fell to the floor with a grunt.

“Ughh, gross.” Lena groaned, pulling dress back down. She wiped down the ornament she used and looked around the apartment. He destroyed Kara’s childhood home because he could, Lena would repay the favour.

She ripped the photos from the walls, smashed up the furniture, destroyed his possessions, swept everything off the surfaces and onto the floor. She took whatever was small and looked valuable so that it looked like a home invasion that was interrupted.

Then she escaped through the window and didn’t look back.

****

Kara stared at her the whole time she told the story, Lena looked at the floor. Of course she hadn’t meant to keep it from Kara, but she hadn’t really felt like there was a right time on top of everything else she had to tell her.

“I’m sorry,” she said when she’d finished. “I know you said that he was only following orders but… I couldn’t get over the unnecessary destruction he caused just because he could. The thought that if you were there he would have… killed you without a second thought, I couldn’t bare the thought of him wandering the streets.” Lena explained. “I’m really sorry, I didn’t tell-”

Kara cut her off with kiss, both hands cupping her face, her lips pressed against Lena’s desperately, she soon got the message and kissed her back just as desperately. Kara pulled away and pressed her forehead against Lena’s, still cupping her face. “You didn’t have to do that,” she mumbled against her lips. “I know how it makes you feel.”

“It was my choice this time, I wanted to do it.” Lena’s voice was low but steady. Kara gathered her In her arms and tucked Lena into her chest.

“We’re a team, remember.” Kara pressed a kiss to the top of her head.

Lena huffed out a laugh, “I knew that would come back to bite me in the ass,” she groaned.

Kara laughed and squeezed her tighter before letting go, “come on. I figured out the next target and you’re my back up.”

__________

Kara filled Lena in on the way to Clayton’s workplace, “so where does he work now?” Lena asked.

“Private security. He works for a country club.” Kara said.

“So, you think the next target is the country club?”

“It makes sense, they’re not targeting these people’s homes. They’re hiding the targets by killing as many as possible.” Kara pulled up in the parking lot and they climbed out of the car. “Whoa, where are you going?” Kara grabbed her elbow when Lena tried to walk away.

“To get Clayton?”

“Not like that you’re not,” Kara tossed her a vest from the back of the car, Lena held it at arms length and raised her eyebrow. “You’re about to go into a potentially volatile situation, under my jurisdiction, put it on or stay in the car.” Kara said firmly, not that I’d ever tell her but the whole ‘I’m in charge thing’ kinda doing it for me.

“Fine,” Lena slipped the vest over her head and Kara fastened the straps and then looped a holster around her waist and clipped it around her thigh, keeping eye contact with Lena the whole time. “You know, I can dress myself.” Lena quirked her eyebrow.

Kara smirked and tightened the straps of her vest, dragging her closer. “I know, it’s turning you on though,” Kara leaned into her ear, “I can tell.”

“Whatever, Danvers.” Lena rolled her eyes.

“That’s Agent Danvers, to you. I’m going to go find Clayton, can you do a perimeter search for me?” She started putting her own gear on.

Lena saluted, “yes, ma’am!” She spun on her heel and headed off.

“Wait!” Kara tossed her a radio, “channel nine.” Lena attached it to her belt and headed round to the back of the building.

Kara headed up the front entrance and flashed her badge, “I’m looking for Jack Clayton.” She said to the girl on reception.

“I think he’s in the office, I’ll call down and someone will come up and get you.” She was greeted by another security guard and taken down the office.

“Jack Clayton?”

“That’s me,” he shook her hand. “what’s all this about?”

“You took part in the military operation, Armitage, right?” The man turned pale at the mention of the name.

“Yes, uhh,” he cleared his throat, “yes, I was part of the team.”

“Sir, we have reason to believe that members of that team are being targeted. I’m here to escort you to a safe house until we catch the person responsible.” Kara explained.

“You-you think it has something to the mission, with what we did?” He was trembling.

“I think it most definitely does, what happened on that mission?” Kara asked.

“We made some poor decisions, I always knew it would come back to haunt me.” He wiped the sweat off his brow.

“Sir, I need to know the details of this mission if we have any hope of finding the perpetrator.” She insisted.

“Kara, we have a problem.”

__________

Lena left Kara at the car and headed round to the side of the building, the place was huge. People were milling around everywhere, carrying golf clubs, socialising in groups, playing tennis. Doing whatever rich people with too much time on their hands do. They didn’t seem at all bothered by Lena’s presence, well why would they? They’ve got no worries in the world.

She wandered around the perimeter, looking for anything that may be considered suspicious. She was just about to head around the the front of the building when she spotted a large, black van by one of the service entrances. She’d never seen a delivery van without a company logo on it before and she definitely hadn’t seen one with blacked out windows.

Well, I guess we’re doing this.

She headed down the small staircase and through the service door, she ended up in the sub-basement of the country club, nowhere near the kitchens where she would expect a delivery to be unloaded. She un-holstered her weapon and kept it close to her side.

Lena crept down the corridor silently, she opened the doors on her left and right making sure they were clear before moving on. Suddenly, a man dressed in overalls emerged from a room at the end of the corridor.

“Hey, do you own the van that’s parked outside?” The man didn’t even look at her, he pulled his hat down to hide his face and took off down the corridor and round the corner. “Hey!” Lena chased after him but lost him in the winding passages.

She made her way back to the room he had run from and prayed that he just thought she was a cop and was scared into running. She turned the handle and opened the door.

It’s never that fucking easy.

“Kara, we have a problem.” She spoke clearly into the radio.

“Where?” Came Kara’s crackly response.

“Boiler room, as fast as possible.”

Lena observed the scene in front of her: every corner of the room was wired with enough C4 to blow up a building three times the size of this one. Lena slowly stepped into the room, there were four boilers lining the wall and four pillars holding up the ceiling, all hooked up. Lena could see what looked liked the base in the centre of the room: ten blocks of C4 wired to a cell phone. Oh, great. This thing could go up at any time.

She heard a door crash against a wall and heavy footsteps down the stairs, “Holy shit!” Kara panted.

“I think I saw the bomber: dressed in overalls, brown hair, he has a scar on the left side of his face. He ran out the way you came in.” Lena said.

Kara shook her head, “I didn’t see anyone on the way over. What are you doing?” Kara was still staring wide-eyed at the room when she saw Lena crouched down in front of the base.

“I’m going to see if I can disarm it,” Lena mumbled.

“Lena, no. We need to get out of here now.” Kara left no room for argument.

“They could blow this place at any moment, I can’t leave. I have to at least try to stop it.” Kara searched her face desperately, looking for a sign that she was joking, that she was going to get up at any second and leave like Kara wanted her to.

If Lena was staying Kara was staying to, “okay. What can I do to help?”

Lena stood and walked over to her, “I need your swiss-army knife.” Kara handed it to her without question, “and now I need you to get out of here-”

“No way! I’m not leaving without you.” Kara shook her head, clenching her jaw.

“I’m not asking you to, I’m asking you to evacuate the building. You need to get these people as far away from this place as possible. If… if I can’t stop it, the blast radius will be huge.” Kara couldn’t help the worry that was etched onto her face, but she nodded.

Lena pushed at her shoulders, trying to get her to move, Kara cupped her face and kissed her, her lip trembling slightly. “Be careful,” she whispered.

“You too,” Lena said. Kara took off up the stairs and into the lobby. She looked around to make sure there was no sign of the mysterious man in overalls, she didn’t want to alert him.

She walked back over to the reception desk, “this place is wonderful, do you happen to have a brochure or a prospectus?” She smiled warmly. The receptionist gave her a wide smile and passed her a thick booklet, Kara nodded and shot her a wink.

She headed towards the kitchens, “unscheduled health inspection! I’m going to need you to clear out,” the workers all groaned, “I know, I know, go take a break! You’ll be allowed back in a few minutes!” One of the chefs eyed her suspiciously and she looked down at kevlar strapped to her chest. “Occupational hazard,” she shrugged, “some people really hate their ratings.”

She waited until they filed out of the kitchen, as soon as they were gone she clambered onto the counter and grabbed the pamphlet from her back pocket. She set it alight and held it above the smoke detector, in a matter of seconds the fire alarm was blaring and the sprinklers drenched her. She knew that if she just pulled the fire alarm there was a chance the centre would believe it was a hoax but, when the sprinkler system is activated in one area of the building, it’s activated in all areas.

She ran out of the kitchen and climbed the stairs to the very top of the building, making sure to systematically clear every floor on the way down.

Meanwhile, Lena was trying to understand the set up. She inspected the boilers, she’d set up a few explosions in her time and was able to disarm the packs of C4. She carefully separated the wiring on the first block, before cutting the red wires. It’s always the red.

She almost slipped up when disarming the third pack, the fire alarm startled her and seconds later she was drenched, she barely noticed, wiping her eyes and making sure she cut the right wire.

The central base of operations was a little trickier, she quickly established that if the phone was switched off, it would set the whole thing off.

Or, I could just take the sim card out.

She pried off the plastic covering and saw that the whole thing was wired up, it was intricate, they’d soldered new wiring into the phone and if Lena tried to remove it or tamper with it, the whole thing would blow. She figured that was the point, even with the boilers no longer connected the amount of explosive wired to the phone would do more than enough damage.

It was possible that if she interrupted the signal she could prevent the phone from receiving calls, therefore stopping the detonation.

“Any luck?!” Kara yelled over the blaring siren and consequently, scaring the shit out of Lena.

“What the fuck?!” Lena turned to her and Kara cringed.

“My bad,” she said as if she hadn’t just almost got them killed, again. Lena saw the glint of the chain around her neck. She reached under Kara’s shirt, “you think now is the time for that?”

“Shut up,” she smirked. She took Kara’s tags off and slipped one off the chain, handing the other one back. “Huh, AB Negative, interesting. Do you have a lighter?” She had an idea and ran over to the wires she’d already disconnected, snipping off two strips of wire.

“Do you not bring anything useful, ever?” She fished a lighter out of her back pocket.

“Yes, myself. Then I brought you, you’re basically a glorified purse at this point.” Kara shoved her shoulder. Apparently, they can’t be serious even in the face of certain death.

Lena sparked the lighter but it immediately went out because of all the water. She cleared her throat and shot a pointed look towards Kara, she sighed and crouched over Lena, sheltering her from the water.

“And umbrella,” Lena mumbled. She stripped the plastic coating off the wire and melted it, using it to hook up Kara’s tag. Military tag are made from stainless steel, which is a poor conductor of electricity and theoretically would block the phone signal. “Okay, I’m done. Let’s get the fuck out of here.” Kara helped her up and they made it to the entrance of the room.

Lena looked back and saw the screen light up, her stomach dropped and she pulled Kara out of the door and pushed her against the wall. She heard a small pop, there was a flash from a spark but that was it, “what was that?” Kara asked.

Lena peeked back into the room, the contraption she’d made had somehow short-circuited and blown the cell phone. “I-I think we’re okay,” Kara went back into the room.

“Oh fuck!” She grabbed the phone-

“Kara wait-” too late, she ripped it off the wall.

“You fried my tag!” Lena inspected the now black ID tag. “What the hell, Lena?!”

“Oh, I’m sorry, would you rather we were blown to smithereens?” Lena shouted.

“You couldn’t use anything else?”

“I needed a poor conductor!” She defended.

Kara pulled her own necklace out from under her shirt, “you couldn’t use your own? This is silver!”

Lena gasped in outrage, “you’d rather I use the necklace you bought me, for my Name Day, then an ID tag you have two of?”

Kara stopped and swallowed, “well it was my favourite one,” she pouted like a small child.

“I’ll buy you a new one,” Lena rolled her eyes. “Is this your doing?” Lena gestured to the water still pouring down on them.

Kara grinned, “clever right?” She put her hands on Lena’s hips and tugged her closer, “it’s a romantic cliché to kiss in the rain right?”

“Kara, darling.” Lena husked, “we’re surrounded by live, compromised explosives and this isn’t rain. In fact, it’s been in the pipes so long it smells like cabbage. This is the most unromantic situation we’ve ever been in.” She deadpanned. Lena all but ran from the room, wanting to get as far away from this place as possible, Kara snorted and followed her.

Soon, they were up in the entrance and making their way out, “I put Clayton in the car and told him to keep his head down while we figured this out…” Kara trailed off when they made it out of the front doors and were confronted by a group of heavily armed, angry looking men at the bottom of the steps.

“You think they’re here for us?” Lena whispered as they slowly raised their hands in surrender.

They heard the distinct sound of bullets entering the chambers. “Yes, they most definitely are.” Kara responded.

“So, uh, do you think they know who we are?” Lena turned and smirked at her. They looked at each other and immediately split: Lena took cover in the cubby on the right and Kara the left. The group open fired, hitting the the concrete walls and showering them with shards of sharp rock.

Lena looked over at Kara, “Why?” She mouthed.

“Let them have their fun,” Kara mouthed back.

The rounds stopped, “cover me!” Lena yelled and Kara emerged to fire on the group, using the wall as cover. She managed to take out one or two before the rest of the group reloaded. Kara returned to the safety of the cubby, she looked over and Lena was nowhere to be seen.

“What the fuck?!” Kara managed to get a few more shots off but the group continued to advance up to the front entrance. She was soon pinned down.

Lena ran through the country club and down into the maze of corridors below, she ran past the boiler room and through the service entrance she’d used earlier. She sprinted around to the entrance and saw the group ascending the stairs towards Kara.

Lena crouched and moved across the drive, the sound of machine gun fire covered up the gravel crunching under her steps. Eight shots. Bye bye hit squad.

The firing stopped, Kara chanced a peak around the corner and saw Lena, hand on one hip, smirking. “Are you gonna stay there all day or?”

“You could have warned me that I would be live bait!” Kara said, shuffling down the stairs.

“Where’s the fun in that?” Lena grinned. Kara rolled her eyes but grabbed her hips and kissed her anyway. “Aww did you think I left you?” Lena cooed, pinching her cheeks.

“No, shut up,” she grumbled, “would have been nice to be in the loop though,” she added a pout for effect.

“I’ll draw up a detailed plan, next time,” she patted Kara’s cheek. “Eight to two, not your best performance,” she sucked her teeth, observing the chaos: the fire alarm was still blaring, she could hear sirens in the distance, there were ten dead guys on the floor and they definitely smelt of cabbage.

They made their way around to the van Lena had spotted earlier. They needed to make sure that there was nothing dangerous still active on site.

The pair were giggling and joking around, “yeah well, you flanked them before I had the chance. That was the slowest flank ever by the way.”

“Like you could have done better.” Lena defended.

“Uhh, we both know I’m faster than you.” Kara said, a smug look on her face.

“Whatever, I knew the layout of the place.” Kara continued to argue with her whilst sliding open the door of the van. The man Lena had seen earlier, the bomber, swung out and kicked Kara, sending her flying away from the van. Lena went to pull her gun and he fired twice into her chest and took off in the opposite direction.

Lena fell to the floor, Kara raised her own gun and shot him twice in the back, watching as he collapsed. “Eight to four,” she said, “he counts for double.” Kara grabbed Lena’s hand and pulled her up, “this, by the way, is why we wear kevlar.”

“’This is why we wear kevlar,’” Lena mocked, wincing when Kara pulled the bullets out of the vest.

“Hurts doesn’t it?” Kara grinned.

“Shut up,” Lena groaned.

They walked back to Kara’s car and found Clayton cowering in the back seat, “I need to call this in, if I give you the address of a safe house, can you take him there?” Lena nodded, “I’ll come get you as soon as I’m done.” Kara kissed her forehead.

__________

Lena drove them to the safe house and gave him a glass of scotch to calm him down. “So, Armitage,” she said, watching as his hand trembled, “what the fuck happened with that?”

“We-we were sent to take out a consignment of drugs from one of the largest drug cartels operating in Columbia. Everything was going well: we destroyed almost two hundred kilos of cocaine, took out all the goons, we even managed to capture the main guy, Jorge Rogelio.” He clutched the glass and took a small, shaky sip.

“So where did it go wrong?” Lena leant forward, elbows on her knees.

“We-” he took a breath. “Rogelio offered us money to let him go.” Lena sighed and closed her eyes.

“And you all took it. So, what? He’s coming back for revenge? For the shipment?” Lena sat back again and finished her drink.

He shook his head, “there was a shoot out between Rogelio’s cartel and another, about a month later. Rogelio ordered it as warning to the cartel trying to infringe on his business. Multiple members were shot dead… as were… there were a lot of civilian casualties.” Lena shook her head and pinched her brow.

“So who then?”

“A relative of the people who were brutally slaughtered because you picked money over duty!” Lena whipped around and Kara was stood in the doorway. “That man I killed,” she chuckled towards Lena, “or I should say boy, targeted your team because his parents were killed by the man you should have captured!” Lena stood and moved over to where Kara was standing, she stared in horror at the man in front of her.

“We didn’t know, we didn’t know that would happen.” Tears filled his eyes.

“What are the core values of a Marine?” Kara asked, her voice low and steady, Lena took her hand and squeezed.

Clayton looked up. “Courage… Commitment… Honour,” he whispered the last one, so quietly Kara almost didn’t hear it.

“Honour!” Kara yelled. She flew at him, grabbing him by his jacket and hauling him up. “Never lie! Never cheat or steal!” Kara pushed him up against the wall, she gritted her teeth. “Honour compels Marines to act responsibly, to fulfil our obligations and to hold ourselves and others accountable.” She made sure to punctuate every word.

He was shaking with fear, tears rolling down his cheeks, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” he whimpered. Kara let go and watched him slide down the wall, repeating his apologies over and over again.

“I hope it was worth it,” she spat. She walked over to where Lena was waiting by the door, “someone will be here within the hour to get you, what they do with you after that? I couldn’t care less.” Kara said over her shoulder.

Kara locked the door and took a deep breath once they stepped out onto the street. Lena took her hand and led her to the car, “I’m proud of you,” she said, kissing her neck, her cheek and finally her lips.

“You didn’t think I was going to hurt him?” Kara murmured.

“Not for a second.” Lena was genuine and sincere, “I would have stepped in if I did.” Kara smiled softly and Lena kissed her again.

“How’s your chest?” Kara asked, her hands dropped to Lena’s ribcage.

“Bruised, but I’m okay.” Lena cupped her face, “this is over right? We can go home?” Kara nodded. “I’ll drive.”

“Are you sure? I know how much getting shot hurts, remember?” Kara teased.

“Well, I’m clearly just tougher than you,” Lena smiled. “And I’ve been shot for real, remember?” Lena teased back, climbing into the driver’s seat.

“Hey, I’ve been shot for real!” Kara climbed into the car and they both stopped for a second, “my car smells of cabbage.”

“Yeah, let’s shower at the hotel first.”

__________

It was a two hour drive back home. It gave Lena time to think about what she was about to admit before this whole thing happened. The way Kara reacted to Clayton gave Lena hope, made her think that perhaps, if Lena explained herself properly, maybe Kara could forgive her.

She already broke her promise to herself and she made the decision that she needed to tell Kara today.

They picked Hero up and he was overly excited to see them so soon, wagging his tail so hard, his whole body moved with it. Kara insisted they walk him back through the park so he could run around, she bought them ice-cream and a puppy cone for Hero so, he wouldn’t be grumpy with her any more.

“You don’t like cookie dough?” Kara asked. Lena was staring straight ahead, she felt sick to her stomach, Kara nudged her when she didn’t respond.

“Huh?” Lena asked. She looked at Kara but her eyes were glassy, she wasn’t really there.

Kara turned her full body towards Lena, “are you okay?” She cupped her face in both hands, she frowned and those beautiful, blue eyes were full of concern. Lena blinked and shook her head, refocusing her eyes.

“Hm? Yeah, sorry. I’m just tired, it’s been a stressful day.” She gave Kara a weak smile.

“Okay, lets go. We’ll go home, get you an icepack and then you can sleep.” Kara said, she grabbed Hero’s lead and wrapped an arm around Lena’s waist holding her close the whole way back. Kara’s worry and careful touch made her feel even worse.

Lena felt like she’d blacked out, she couldn’t remember the walk home, or walking through the door, or Kara sitting her down on the couch. It was the cold shock of the ice pressed against her ribs that finally brought her back to reality.

She batted Kara’s hands away and stood up, “what’s wrong?” Kara stood and tried to follow her.

“No! Kara, just stay there. I need to talk to you,” Kara held her hands up and sat down.

It was time to bite the bullet.

“I’ve been lying to you… this whole time.” She took a shaky breath. “Nine months ago, before I moved here, I was given a mission… to sed-seduce you, get you to fall for me so, I could use you for information on the CIA.” Lena bit her lip and tears welled in her eyes. “But, I didn’t. I didn’t tell them anything, I swear! I couldn’t. It started off as a mission, but I got to know you, the real you. I couldn’t go through with it.” Lena looked up for the first time.

Kara was uncharacteristically still and silent. Lena could almost see the conflict raging in her head, she knew Kara’s biggest fear was being alone, that was much was clear. There was one thing Kara hated more, liars. She despised being lied to. It was almost funny, Kara worked for the intelligence services, her job was to lie to people on a daily basis, but never to those she cared about.

But, this was Lena. Her Lena. Who she also knew had to lie for a living, Kara could understand it. When she first moved to Virginia, she had no loyalties to Kara, she had a job to do and Kara understood that. Kara, herself, had aimed to use Lena for her own gain in the beginning, things had changed for her and the same could be said for Lena.

“When?” She eventually asked.

“When what?”

“When did it stop being a mission for you?” Kara asked. This was the moment of truth, the make or break.

“Um, well, like I said, I never actually gave them any information, I kept putting it off. But, it stopped being a mission in Paris.” As soon as Lena said that, Kara let out a pained noise. A noise like nothing Lena had ever heard and it shattered her heart. Kara composed herself and Lena saw her eyes darken, her face became stoic and hard.

“Paris.” She forced out. “Paris was only three months ago,” Lena swallowed hard and nodded. “So, the whole time I was sleeping with you, caring for you, falling for you, you were lying to me. Laughing at me. Manipulating me.” The tears in Kara’s eyes blurred her vision.

“No, it wasn’t like that!”

“Yes it was! You even told me that’s what you do, you manipulate people, it’s what you’re best at. I was stupid enough to believe that you were trying to push me away. You’ve been laughing at me this whole time, using me this whole time!” Kara could almost feel her heart breaking. Lena was crying now, hot tears, uncontrollable sobbing.

“Kara, I’m sorry.” She choked on her sobs, “I wasn’t using you, I promise. Paris was when I accepted my feelings but they were there long before that. That was just where I made the decision. I never betrayed your trust, I wouldn’t do that. I lov-”

“No! No, don’t you dare say that! Don’t you dare even think it!” Lena took a few steps back as Kara launched herself from the couch to a standing position, pointing an accusatory finger towards Lena. “You have no idea what that even is, you’re cold and calculated. You’re barely even human.” Kara snarled.

That hit Lena harder then any punch, kick or bullet she’d ever taken, she cowered. “I didn’t have a choice.” She sobbed.

“That’s what you always say, ‘I can’t refuse’, ‘I don’t have a choice’. There is always a choice! You just chose wrong.” Lena shook her head.

“It’s not like that, Kara, please. I’m sorry.” Lena pleaded.

“I don’t want to hear it,” Kara wiped her eyes. “You gave me so much grief about the way I acted a few weeks ago, accused me of not listening to you, made me feel as if I was the one doing something wrong! All that time, you were faking it for you’re own gain.” Lena was shaking, just as she predicted, her whole world was falling apart right in front of her.

“You’re a selfish hypocrite! You knew all about my betrayal, everything I went through and you continued to lie. I went against my better judgement and decided to trust you and I’m clearly just an idiot.” She let out a self-deprecating laugh.

Lena couldn’t defend herself, she didn’t even try. Kara was right, she was all of those things. “I’m sorry.” She whispered.

“I don’t care,” Kara ground out. “Get. Out.” She stared out of the window and waited for Lena to walk to the door. “You better hope I never seen your face again,” Kara turned to face her. “If I do, I won’t hesitate.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The door clicked shut and Kara felt well and truly alone. Again. Hero looked between Kara and the door, he let out a breathy whine and then began trotting between the two, the whining getting louder and louder when he realised Lena wasn’t going to walk back in.

 

“Come here, buddy.” Kara turned and sat on the floor, he ran over and nosed at her hand until she slung an arm around him. “We’ll be okay, we don’t need her.”

 

__________

 

The anger boiled in her. Kara spent days being angry, but she didn’t react in the way she thought she would. She didn’t destroy things, she didn’t cry, scream, or hit things. She just sat on her couch and she stewed. Kara could have wrecked her entire apartment again, it would be cathartic, but then she’d have to pay to replace it all and she found it quite hilarious that she was surrounded by furniture Lena had paid for. Plus, she quite liked the colourful crockery and she doesn’t actually know where Lena got it from.

 

No, she wouldn’t lose it like she always did, she was better than that. Instead she just sat and thought about everything that had happened over the past year.

 

All those months, all that time she’d spent working to get to know Lena, she’d turned a blind eye to everything Lena did because she loved her. The whole time Lena had been lying to her.

 

Kara had loved her long before Paris. Perhaps that was what hurt the most, that Lena had only been genuine for a fraction of the time Kara had known her. How was Kara supposed to know whether the things she loved about her, qualities that made her fall for Lena in the first place, were real and not just a fabrication, a manipulation?

 

Kara had risked her life, her career for Lena. She’d allowed her into her home, taken her to places she’d never shared with anyone before.

 

In her eyes, Lena’s lack of defence made her guilty. Kara concluded that Lena had been trying to control her, mould her into the perfect weapon to use whenever she wanted. Kara would have done it, Kara would have done anything.

 

She’d lost herself, become something she wasn’t. Hell, she actually believed that she deserved the happiness she felt, only for it to be ripped out from under her.

 

Then she realised, her initial anger was aimed at Lena, but the way she felt now it was all directed at herself. It was her own fault, she had gotten herself into this mess. She’d questioned Lena’s intentions at the very beginning, but her pretty eyes and her fake smile had won her over. Now, she sat here with a broken heart.

 

She locked the window for the first time since Lena broke in and headed off to work. She was questioning everything now, had Lena poisoned her mind against the CIA? Was it her organisation all along that was behind the death of her parents? Kara’s mind was all over the place, she didn’t know what to believe any more.

 

Filling up her coffee cup, she plopped down at Winn’s desk, “Winn, give me something to do. I’m itching for an assignment.” Kara couldn’t even sit in her office any more, Lena had tainted that as well.

 

“Well, I finally managed to research that name you gave me, Lena Luthor? I think I found something,” fuck sake! Is she everywhere?

 

“Nope, not that one. Anything else.” Kara took a gulp of coffee and relished in the burn as it scolded her throat, allowing her to feel something that wasn’t emotional turmoil.

 

“It’s actually really interesting, I think you’ll-”

 

“I said no.” She warned.

 

“R-right, well it seems Theo Dubois is up to his old tricks: underground street fighting, we have intelligence that he’s using them as a cover for drug running. The fentanyl he’s selling has already killed four people and hundreds more have over-dosed.” Winn explained.

 

“Fantastic, I’ll get right on that.” She patted his shoulder.

 

“You’re not gonna clear it with J’onn?” Winn asked.

 

“Umm, no, I don’t think I will.” Kara smiled and her eyes widened erratically.

 

“Can I continue to work on the Luthor thing?” He said nervously.

 

“Do whatever you want,” she shrugged, “but I don’t wanna know about it.” He nodded, she turned on her heel and left.

 

Dubois isn’t a hard person to find, he was known to the CIA, an informant most of the time. His father was rich and stupid, he had no idea that his son was a petty criminal. They didn’t see Dubois as anything but a troublemaker, he had friends in high places so whenever he was caught he would trade information for his freedom.

 

He liked attention and he liked to gamble so, from time to time he would set up underground street fights. It was a source of entertainment and he put his own bookmakers in to gain a profit. Drugs were not his thing though.

 

Kara intercepted him on his way into a restaurant for lunch, “Theo Dubois, fancy seeing you here, got anything you’d like to tell me?” She said rather loudly. His bodyguards grabbed a hold of her and patted her down, checking for weapons.

 

“Ms Danvers! How wonderful to see you again. Please join me,” he waved his hands and she was allowed through. “So, what brings you to see me?” They were seated at a small table in the corner, private and secluded.

 

“I think you know,” Kara said. She leaned back in her chair and crossed one leg over the other.

 

“Is this about the fight club? ‘Cos you know what the first rule is right?” He chuckled and she joined in for half a second.

 

“No, this is about the fentanyl you’ve been distributing.” His face dropped slightly but he still had a mischievous look on his face. “Now, for as long as I’ve known you, you’ve never been interested in drugs,” he squirmed in his seat. “No, you were always interested in guns. So, tell me, whose dirty work are you doing?”

 

“You’ve changed,” he pointed at her, “new suit?” She nodded, he reached across the table and tugged at the lapel of her jacket, “good quality, better then the other crap you used to wear.” She exhaled and rolled her neck, “don’t get me wrong, you always looked hot but this is much better.”

 

“I’m flattered,” Kara deadpanned.

 

Theo snorted, “it’s not just the clothes though, something is different, you’re tense, uptight, angry?” Kara pursed her lips.

 

“If you want me to be honest, I’m not exactly overjoyed with the idea that you’re causing innocent people to overdose,” she deflected.

 

No, it’s not that.” He gestured to her whole body, “there’s an overwhelming air of, dare I say sorrow?”

 

“You can say what you like, doesn’t make it true,” Kara said.

 

“Yeah that’s it, sorrow. Did someone break your poor heart Kara?” He cooed.

 

“Shut it, Theo.” She ground out, he could be a real bastard at times, he surrendered.

 

“Touchy subject.”

 

“You’re deflecting.”

 

“So are you.” He challenged, “do you want an escape?”

 

“I want you to tell me who’s making you do this,” she clicked her tongue.

 

“Can’t do that just yet, I trade information for things remember?”

 

“You’re a slimy, little shit is what you mean,” he sniggered and pursed his lips, tilting his head to the side.

 

“Women. They sting like a bitch, don’t they?” Kara clenched her jaw and jutted her chin out, “shall we stop this back and forth now? I’m getting bored.” She gestured for him to continue, “I’m willing to give you the address of where the next event is taking place,” she scoffed at the word ‘event’. “If I remember correctly, you were always very good at hand to hand combat,” she actually laughed at the idea.

 

“You want me to fight?” He grinned and leaned across the table on his elbows.

 

“Just think of all the money we could make,” she gave him a pointed look, “alright, alright, you fight and I’ll give you a name.”

 

Kara pretended to think, “no, I don’t think I will. I think I’ll bring you in now and we’ll see just how well you cope in questioning.” She stood and gestured for him to get up

 

“On what grounds?” He stood and challenged her.

 

“On the grounds that I work for the US government and I can pretty much do what I want,” she shot him a sickly sweet smile.

 

He waved off the body guards who attempted to step in, “my, my, what did she do to you? Sit down, Danvers, you’re outnumbered.” She turned and smirked at the goons behind her, giving up and sitting down slowly. “I kinda like this new version of you, no nonsense Danvers is fun. You’re dying to feel something though,” he grinned. “Come on,” he coaxed, “it’ll give you an adrenaline hit like nothing else.”

 

That’s how Kara found herself stripped down to almost nothing and locked in a shitty metal cage opposite a guy with no front teeth.

 

Fucking great.

 

__________

 

“Is the outfit really necessary?” Kara looked down, she was in a sports bra and tight shorts, her ankles and hands were wrapped but that was all she was allowed.

 

“Stop complaining! You have a six-pack, not all of us are that gifted.” He patted her shoulder and pushed her through the opening of the cage. It was made up scrap metal: wire fencing and sheets of corrugated metal, the bottom was lined with gritty sand just to make things that little bit harder. Kara made a mental note to get a tetanus shot after she was done here.

 

She came face to face with her opponent, he was over six feet tall, broad chest, huge shoulders, no front teeth and two tear drops tattooed under his eye.

 

“Okay guys, you know the rules,” Theo eyed them both and smirked. “Anything goes. You tap out? You can’t get up? You die? You lose.” He clapped his hands together and left the arena, locking the cage behind him. They began circling each other.

 

“You’re going to die in here, little girl.” Her opponent shot her a toothless grin.

 

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” Kara smirked. He looked shocked that she could speak the same language the surprise quickly disappeared and he swung a heavy right hook, Kara ducked avoiding it easily. The thing about big fighters is they are strong and powerful, but slow and sluggish; Kara danced around trying to understand his fighting style. It seemed that he had no real pattern except raw power: swing until you hit something.

 

Kara dodged every attack, the crowd were baying for blood, bodies pressed up against the fragile wall of the cage, screaming and shouting. Kara ducked to avoid another flailing fist and countered with a swift punch to his ribs. The man grunted and stumbled back, she placed another fast strike to his jaw.

 

No rules apply. He ran at her, wrapping his arms around her body and slamming her into the wall of the cage. She scrambled as he laid hit and hit on her body. The first explosions of pain across her ribs hurt so good. Theo was right, she was desperate to feel something, but she didn’t need broken bones.

 

She hooked her legs around his body and drove her elbow into the top of his head, he groaned and threw her off. She landed on her back and immediately rolled, the big guy was trying to stamp on her as if she were an ant under his boot.

 

She scooped up a handful of dirt and threw it in his face. A quick heel to the jaw when she spun to her feet and he was the one against the cage wall. She kneed his groin and then his stomach when he bowled over. She spun and hooked the back of her knee around the back of his neck and drove his face into the floor. He laid flat on the floor and groaned. Yeah, he ain’t getting up any time soon.

 

Theo tossed her a towel on the way out. “That was hot.”

 

“I know,” Kara wiped her face and sat down on a bench at the back of the room. Her body was buzzing, it was like she was on fire; she could feel the bruises forming on her ribs and the pain felt so good.

 

She unwrapped her hands and shoved them in her bag. “Hold on, hold on. Kara, this is winner takes all!” Theo said, excitedly, “you could win the whole tournament!”

 

“This is an illegal street fight, not the Olympics! I only came here for a name which you owe me,” she started unwrapping her other hand.

 

“You came for a lot more than that,” he raised an eyebrow at her. “Felt good, didn’t it?” Kara stopped and looked up, “these people are all criminals and no one will know who you are.”

 

It was Kara’s turn to raise an eyebrow, “I’m supposed to trust you? The criminal.” She deadpanned.

 

“Kara, come on! I’ll give you the name and you get to ride this rush!” Kara caught a flash of black hair. I told her to stay away.

 

She watched the girl walk across the arena, Kara stood trying to keep sight of her, “Kara?” She waved him off and pushed her way through the crowd until she caught up with her.

 

Kara grabbed her elbow and spun her around, she stared into fearful eyes. “S-sorry, I thought you were someone else.”

 

“What was that?” Theo asked when she got back.

 

“Nothing.” She grumbled, she slumped back down on the bench and started wrapping her hands back up,

 

“There you go! I’ll get you some ice, you’re on after this next fight.” He clapped her on the back.

 

Four hours and six fights later, Kara accepted her wad of cash and Theo gave her the name she needed. “Call me the next time you have one of these scheduled.”

 

__________

 

Two weeks and Kara had bagged her collar, pulling a major supplier off the streets and she’d earned $5000 from the fights.

 

She took one hell of a beating from the last guy though. She limped through the door and threw her stuff down, grabbing an ice pack and collapsing on the couch. Hero licked her hand before going back to the window, he’d been sitting there, waiting, for the past few days. Occasionally, he’d whine or cry, but mostly he’d just sit patiently and wait for the sound of her footsteps.

 

“She’s not coming back, Hero.” Kara was sick and tired of these little reminders, she just wanted to forget it ever happened.

 

The anger she had towards herself had dissipated and now she just felt hollow, like a piece of her had left with Lena.

 

Kara strapped up her ribs and curled up on her side of the bed, but she couldn’t sleep, hadn’t bee able to for days. Of course Lena could ruin absolutely everything for her, including her physical health.

 

She stayed awake for the majority of the night, tossing and turning, never venturing across the invisible line separating the two halves of the bed. After the third hour of no sleep, she huffed like a small child and scoffed. “This is whole bed is my fucking side!” She stretched out like a starfish, her muscles groaned and finally relaxed at the lack of restriction. Her hand reached up, sliding under the cool side of the pillow and curled around something soft and worn.

 

She pulled out the t-shirt Lena wore to bed, the one she insisted Kara couldn’t throw away. Her fingers clenched in the material, she should have thrown it across the room or torn it to shreds. Instead, she brought it up to her face and inhaled deeply. Memories flooded her mind: fisting her hands in this t-shirt, dragging her closer, kissing and nuzzling her soft skin. This old army recruitment shirt was sometimes the only thing she wore to bed, the only flimsy barrier between them. Kara could strip her of it so easily, with promises of loving kisses and sweet bruises to cover her instead. This was the only piece of Lena she had left.

 

Kara clutched the t-shirt close to her chest and wept. Uncontrollable sobbing that made her whole body shake and convulse. Hero, sensing her pain, climbed onto the bed and nosed at her face, whining softly. She held onto him desperately and cried until she exhausted herself and fell asleep. Her dreams were filled with dark, black hair, vibrant, green eyes and delicate touches. Never really seeing her face and always just a whisper of a kiss.

 

Kara woke up more exhausted than she had been before she went to sleep. She opened her closet and put her nicest suit on, navy blue check. It always gave her a confidence boost, maybe because it was Lena’s favourite and she used to gush over Kara whenever she wore it.

 

“God, you look like shit,” James chuckled, handing her a cup of coffee, Kara mumbled her thanks. “Are you hobbling?”

 

“No,” she scoffed, “so, shut up.” She sneered and he snorted.

 

“J’onn wants a word with you,” he said over the brim of his mug.

 

“Shit.” Kara strolled into the office and smiled at J’onn’s disapproving look.

 

“Agent Danvers. Kara. I didn’t want to have to do this, but I will have to incite disciplinary action. You’ve been AWOL for the last two weeks-”

“I haven’t been AWOL, I’ve been working undercover-”

 

“Yes, on an unauthorized operation-”

 

“That resulted in the capture of multiple dealers and drug suppliers!”

 

“And it’s because of that, that you still have a job!” He slammed his fists on the table, “I’m taking you off  of active duty as of now!”

 

“You can’t do that!”

 

“Watch me! Listen, Kara I don’t know what’s going on with you, but we have support here if you need it,” he spoke with genuine concern.

 

“Family issues,” she murmured.

 

“What?”

 

“I’m having a family issues, oh wait!” She chuckled darkly and snapped her fingers, “I don’t have one of those, do I? Wonder what happened there?” Kara raised her eyebrows, challenging him. I could resign right now, fuck this stupid job. I’d love to see the look on his face.

 

“Whatever it is Kara-” she just stood and left, going back to her own office.

 

She spent the day filling out paperwork and forcing herself to stay awake by drinking multiple cups coffee. She stayed at the office for as long as she could, deciding she didn’t like being at home any more.

 

“Fancy coming for a drink?” Her head snapped up and she saw James leaning in the door jam.

 

“Why not?” She shrugged her jacket on and headed out with him. They went to a nice bar in the centre of the city, a place they used to frequent a lot.

 

“Where have you been Kara? You used to be my best wing-woman.” James put a beer down in front of her.

 

“I’ve been a little distracted, but I’m on the right track now,” Kara said, sipping her beer.

 

“Really? ‘Cos you’ve been an irritable prat for the last few weeks. The worst I’ve seen you in years.” Kara shot him a glare, considerably worse than death. He leaned over the table, “if I didn’t know any better-”

 

“You don’t, so don’t even go there.” She warned.

 

“You need to get laid,” he grinned.

 

She huffed out a laugh, not expecting that response. “I don’t know, I’m not really in the mood.”

 

“Good, I don’t need the competition, you can help me out though.” She readjusted her tie and smoothed out her jacket. Picking up women in Lena’s favourite suit…

 

“Deal.”

 

“Good, ‘cos that girl has been staring at you since we came in- don’t look you moron!” He rumbled when she went to turn around. “What are you, an amateur? She’s exactly your type though: short, athletic, dark hair. Anyway, her friend is hot so I’m gonna offer to buy them some drinks and you’re going to be nice, got it?” She nodded. “Smile!” She did as she was told and he left the booth.

 

“This is my friend Kara, Kara this is Imra and Christie,” she shook their hands and Imra gave her a shy smile.

 

“It’s nice to meet you both,” Kara smiled politely and Imra slid into the seat next to her. The group got to know each other and soon Kara was actually enjoying herself.

 

“Oh, Kara has a dog!” James said.

 

“You do?” Imra’s eyes lit up.

 

“Yeah, he’s a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.” She smiled.

 

“Those are powerful dogs,” Christie commented.

 

“Oh yeah, but Hero’s just essentially a teddy bear.” James said.

 

“Do you have a picture of him?” Kara nodded and fished out her phone. The first photo she was confronted with was a picture of him and Lena taking a nap: Lena was curled around a cushion, fluffy blanket tangled around her waist, Hero was stretched out next to her and Lena had one arm slung over him. Kara took the photo only a few days before everything went down: the sun was shining into the apartment just right, highlighting one side of her face, her lips were slightly parted as she released small puffs of air. She looked so beautiful and Kara’s heart felt so full that she needed to capture the moment.

 

Now, she didn’t feel anything.

 

“Kara?” James prompted.

 

She quickly scrolled to another picture. “Mhm, this is Hero.” Kara showed them the picture.

 

“Oh, he’s adorable!” Imra gushed.

 

At some point, James took Christie to play pool and Imra ended up on Kara’s lap. They talked and flirted some more, James was right, she was exactly Kara’s type. “This dress is beautiful on you,” Kara complimented her and she blushed.

 

“Thank you, I feel like it’s a little revealing though.” She tugged at the material.

 

“Here,” Kara shrugged off her suit jacket and draped it around her shoulders. Kara turned, her lips brushed against the Imra’s, “I don’t want you to be uncomfortable.” Imra blushed and Kara rucked up the sleeves of her dress shirt, exposing her thick forearms.

 

“You know, you caught my eye as soon as you walked in.” She ran her hand up Kara’s chest and played with her tie.

 

“Oh yeah?” Kara smirked.

 

“You have a different kind of confidence,” Kara laughed and nodded.

 

“Mhm, yeah it’s cockiness. I’m incredibly arrogant.” Kara sipped her beer and Imra laughed.

 

“No, you’re really sweet,” Imra said into her ear.

 

“And incredibly hot,” she giggled again.

 

“And incredibly hot,” she confirmed. She licked the shell of Kara’s ear, “and funny,” she nipped on her earlobe, “and smart.” Kara sighed, leaning back to drape her arms across the booth, enjoying the attention and the ego boost. Imra squeezed her biceps, “mmm, so strong,” she moaned into her ear.

 

“You’re making my head even bigger,” Kara slipped an arm around her waist. Imra surged forward and kissed her, Kara cupped her face and took control of the kiss, slowing it down and tugging her bottom lip into her mouth. James looked over and smiled proudly when he saw the pair making out.

 

“You wanna get out of here?” Kara asked when they finally broke away, she observed Imra’s flushed cheeks and dark, lust filled eyes. She looked contemplative, “I’ll let you play with my dog.” Imra grinned and kissed her again.

 

“I’ll just let Christie know I’m leaving.”

 

Eventually, she stumbled through the door way past midnight, Imra’s legs wrapped around her waist. She closed the door and pressed her against it, Imra gasped into her mouth and Kara pushed her dress up.

 

Hero spotted the dark hair and began yipping excitedly, essentially tap dancing on the hard wood floor, “here he is,” Kara chuckled. She set Imra back on the floor and turned around, as soon as Hero saw that it wasn’t Lena he growled lowly.

 

“Hi, Hero.” Imra cooed. He immediately began barking loudly at them, stood perfectly still, but barking constantly.

 

“Whoa, whoa buddy, it’s okay.” Kara said, she stood between him and Imra, but Hero kept barking.  Kara grabbed him by the collar and tried to move him, but he stood stock still. Eventually, she had to lift him and he growled until she set him down in the bathroom.

 

“He, doesn’t like me very much, does he?” Imra looked down at the floor.

 

“Oh, he’s just protective, mindful of strangers that’s all.” Kara said, she reached out and stroked her arm, “he didn’t scare you, did he? I promise he won’t hurt you.”

 

“No, no, I was just a little shocked.” Kara tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and kissed her neck.

 

“How about I take your mind off of it?” Imra bit her lip and nodded. Kara lifted her, carrying her over to the couch, she pushed the jacket off of her shoulders and laid her down, never breaking the kiss. Kara moved down to her neck, sucking and biting, relishing in the noises she was eliciting. She reached around her back to unzip her dress and Hero chose that exact moment to start howling and scratching at the door.

 

They were noises Kara had never heard him make before, “he sounds distressed, Kara.” Imra sat up. “Is he okay?” He howled, barked, whined and clawed at the wood.

 

“Maybe you should go? I don’t know whether he’s sick or hurt or something. I’ll call you a cab.” Kara got up and helped Imra get sorted, all the while Hero was still trying to break down the door. “I’m really sorry about this.” Kara apologised.

 

“It’s absolutely fine, he’s your dog, I understand.” She handed Kara a business card and kissed her goodbye. Kara immediately sprinted up the stairs and opened the bathroom door.

 

“Hey, buddy, what’s wrong?” She crouched down but he ran straight past her, sniffing around the whole apartment to make sure that there was no one else there and then he grabbed his stuffed penguin and sat in front of the window again.

 

“Are you serious? She’s not coming back!” Kara shouted. She’d just been cock-blocked by her fucking dog.

 

__________

 

Kara came home the next night, but Hero didn’t greet her, he lifted his head but stayed laid down in front of the window. “So, I don’t mean anything any more? You’re going to choose her over me?” He let out a low whine, which she ignored heading up to bed instead. I always said she was brainwashing my dog.

 

She climbed into bed and unconsciously reached out for the t-shirt.

 

Irritatingly, the only way she could sleep now was when she gathered Lena’s t-shirt in her hands, drifting off wrapped up in her only source of comfort. She’d reverted back to a child dependent on a security blanket. Quickly, she learned that she had to limit herself, Lena’s scent was starting to fade; she only allowed herself a few precious minutes before she shoved it back under her pillow.

 

There were nights like this where just a few minutes wasn’t enough, Kara reached out and held a small piece of the shirt and began crying. Was it from the exhaustion? The stress? No, as much as she tried to ignore it, Kara was still suffering from her broken heart. She whimpered softly, biting her knuckles to stop the sobs. Hero trotted up the stairs and climbed up, laying down in front of her as he always did.

 

“I’m sorry,” she choked out. “I’m so sorry,” she stroked his fur and apologised again. She just wasn’t quite sure who she was apologising to.

 

__________

 

Kara was getting ready for her reunion, although she wasn’t looking forward to it any more. She had originally wanted Lena to come with her, wanted to show her off to all her friends, instead she’ll show up alone, again. She considered calling Imra but it was too intimate an affair, so she put on her sharpest suit, hardened her features and climbed the steps of the ballroom alone.

 

“Kara!” She whipped around and saw Alex walking towards her, arms outstretched.

 

“Alex hey!” Kara accepted the tight hug.

 

“I haven’t seen you in so long, where have you been?”

 

“Oh, you know, work keeps me really busy.” Kara served with Alex for her whole career: she’d trained as a medic, patching them up in some of the most dangerous places in the world. “How’s your lovely wife?”

 

“Oh, she’s great! Mags! Come over here,” Alex waved her over.

 

“Kara!”

 

“How did you know?” Kara asked, accepting the hug.

 

“Oh, Alex has photos of you all everywhere, plus I’ve heard the Bosnian rainforest story more times then I can count.” Maggie smiled.

 

“Oh, she makes it seems like a bigger deal than it actually was,” Kara waved her off.

 

“This one,” Alex wrapped her arm around her shoulders, “carried me-”

 

“Twenty miles through the rainforest, battling the elements and enemy insurgence to a rescue helicopter, saving your life as a result. I know, babe.” Maggie pinched her cheeks, “and I’m very grateful to you Kara.” Maggie gave her a mega-watt smile, dimples included.

 

“Well, it’s what we all signed up for.” Kara clapped her hands together, quickly changing the subject. “Can I get either of you a drink?”

 

Alex and Kara were stood at a table sipping on a beer, “who knew Dr. Richards would become Dr. Sawyer?” Kara caught the warm smile Alex sent across the room, “never thought I’d see the day.”

 

“Yeah, well she’s amazing and we’ve all got to settle down at some point. Which reminds me, have you got anyone special?” Alex nudged her and Kara looked into her beer, “oh that doesn’t look good. Tell ol’ Alex what happened?” Kara snickered.

 

“I had someone, but it didn’t work out,” Kara shook her head. “Is it just me or has Maggie only been drinking water all night?” Kara tilted her head and narrowed her eyes.

 

“God, how did you notice that? You met her for two minutes!”

 

“My deduction skills have drastically improved,” Kara smirked, not thinking about the person who taught her that. “So, when is she due?”

 

“July,” Alex looked at her wife with so much love. “I’m so excited, Kara.”

 

“Well, I’m very happy for you, you’ll be a great Mom.” Kara smiled warmly.

 

“Don’t think I didn’t notice the deflection, tell me about her,” Kara sighed and dropped her head into her hands. “Come on, it’ll make you feel better.”

 

“Well, when we first met it was fireworks,” Alex giggled.

 

“That good?”

 

“No, seriously, we tried to kill each other a lot.” They both started laughing. “Um, but we got over it and… she’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever met,” Kara sounded almost breathless. “She’s- was my best friend, we were a really good team, she kept me grounded. She likes to pretend she’s big and tough, but, uh, she’s hands down one of the softest people I’ve ever met.” Alex didn’t miss the look of longing on her face.

 

“I meant tell me all the stuff that annoyed you…” Alex fought the smile creeping onto her face.

 

“Annoyed me?”

 

“Yeah, you know, the stuff you won’t miss like, uh, she steals all the blankets at night, or she snores, or she leaves the wet towels on the floor.” Alex looked at her again.

 

Kara cleared her throat, shaking off the embarrassment. “Uhh, no, she didn’t do any of that.”

 

“It sounds like you love her.” Alex was soft and gentle, Kara looked up and bit her lip to fight the tears. “What happened?”

 

“She wasn’t who I thought she was,” Kara took a sip of her beer.

 

“Did she cheat on you?”

 

“No,” Kara shook her head, “she lied to me.”

 

“And it changed the way you saw her?” Kara nodded.

 

“I thought she cared about me.” Kara said, exasperated.

 

“Why did she lie?”

 

“Why does that matter?” Kara’s head snapped up.

 

“Whoa, hey,” Alex held up a hand. “I just mean, what were her intentions? Did she do it maliciously? Did you ask her?” Kara thought for a moment, “you didn’t, did you?”

 

“Of course I did!” Kara couldn’t remember exactly what went down, but what she did know, was that Lena knew exactly how she felt about liars, “I would have done anything for her Alex, but I see now that she wouldn’t do the same.” Kara said.

 

“You know, it’s easier to say you hate someone and be angry at them, than it is to admit you love them and that you miss her.” Alex murmured.

 

“God, where did you get that from?” Kara chuckled. “A fortune cookie?”

 

“I can see it in your face, you miss her.” Alex said gently.

 

“I don’t miss her, I miss the idea of her. I’m starting to think it wasn’t love at all, she used me and I used her.” Kara said blankly.

 

“How do you mean?”

 

“You don’t lie to someone you claim to love, not for as long as she did. I think I just enjoyed the feeling of having someone with me, of not being alone for once. That’s what I miss, I’m sure of it.” She said it with such conviction that she actually believed it.

 

“I heard the way you talked about her. Of course it was-”

 

“Oh, Clarkey’s here and little Jonathan, who is not so little any more. I’m gonna go say hi.” Kara walked away, not wanting to talk about Lena any more.

 

“Kara Danvers!” Clark swept her up in tight hug.

 

“Clark Kent, how are you?” Kara asked.

 

“I’m very well and yourself?” She nodded, “have you met Ben Lockwood?”

 

“I haven’t, but I’ve heard a lot of good things. It’s very nice to meet you, sir.” They shook hands and he gave her a tight smile.

 

“And you.”

 

“I served under Ben during my last tour, one of the best commanding officers in the job.” Clark praised and patted the stiff man on the shoulder. “Have you heard about Noah?” Kara nodded solemnly, he may have been corrupt but the man she had known wasn’t.

 

“That man was one of the most promising soldiers I had ever met, I served with him in Columbia.” Lockwood said.

 

“We served with him in Bosnia,” Kara said. Just then a small boy came running up to them crashing into Clark, he laughed and swung him up into his arms.

 

“Have you met my son?” He nodded to the small boy in his arms.

 

“I have, but he was a lot smaller, hi Jonathan.” Kara gave him a wide smile.

 

“This is my friend Kara,” he grinned and shook her hand.

 

“What a strong handshake you have.” Clark put him down and he looked up at her with an inquisitive stare.

 

“Can I ask you some questions?” Jonathan pulled out a notepad and a pen.

 

“Um, of course,” she shot him a bright smile and looked up at Clark.

 

“He’s doing a school project on role models,” Clark ruffled his hair. “He also wants to be one of us when he grows up,” he was clearly very proud of that, puffing out his chest even more.

 

“Oh, well in that case, I have lots of stories to tell you about your dad. Follow me kid, I’ll buy you a soda.”

 

“No, Kara wait-”

 

“Bye Clark, have fun!” Kara said, cheerily leading his son away to corrupt him.

 

“So, Kara,” the 7-year-old looked at her with such an intensity that Kara felt like she was about to be interrogated, “what do you think is the most important quality of a role model?”

 

Kara thought for a moment, “having respect for others: you have to treat everyone with kindness and show gratitude. Everyone will notice if you take others for granted.” Jonathan listened intently, writing down every word she said. He was a perfect combination of Clark’s intensity and Lois’ unrelenting passion for the truth.

 

Kara stopped and thought for a moment, she was telling a 7-year-old how to behave and yet she had said some foul things to Lena in a fit of rage. That confirmed her earlier thoughts, their relationship was a means to an end. It wasn’t love. That was too much to think about right now and Jonathan was asking another question.

 

“What do you think the most important part of being a Marine is?” He asked.

 

“You have to be honourable. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, how brave you are, how disciplined you are; if you’re not a good person at heart then you won’t make a good soldier. You have to be responsible and hold other people accountable when you know what they’ve done is wrong.” Something was niggling in the back of her head.

 

She almost had it when her phone began ringing, she pulled it out of her pocket:

 

LL calling…

 

She almost caved. It wasn’t love. It wasn’t love. She declined the call.

 

LL calling…

 

Kara took and deep breath and switched off her phone, turning her attention back to Jonathan. “Right kid, let me tell you some stories about your dad…”

 

She missed the barrage of warning texts.

Chapter Text

Lena knew what would happen: the waiting, the dreading, the guilt was almost worse.

 

Almost.

 

The look on Kara’s face, that noise she’d made, it would haunt Lena for the rest of her life.

 

Kara was right, she was selfish, she was manipulative and she didn’t deserve her but, she was wrong about something.

 

Lena did love her, she knew that for sure because it wouldn’t hurt this much if she didn’t. Like there was a crater in her chest, the one and only thing that made her good, that made her human, was Kara. Now, she would go back to the killing machine she was bred to be.

 

She allowed herself to hurt for three days. Three days and then she would switch off and block it out.

 

The only thing she had of Kara’s was the stupid hat she’d won in a game of chess. There was no need for anything else, she barely slept at her own place and she hadn’t dared to take anything of Kara’s with her when she was on assignment. All she had left to cling onto was a baseball cap and necklace to remind her of how badly she had messed up.

 

She stayed cooped up in her apartment for three days and thought about how perfect her life had been before she destroyed it.

 

****

 

Lena stretched languidly and felt Hero shift next to her, “m’what are you doing?”

 

“Nothing.” Lena could hear the smile in her voice.

 

“Doesn’t sound like nothing,” Lena’s eyes were still closed, she felt Hero get off the couch and Kara moved closer to her.

 

“Move. You look cute and I want a hug.” Lena looped her arms around her neck and Kara lifted her, sliding underneath her and dropping Lena on top of her.

 

“And you say I’m soft,” Lena mumbled. She was sleepy and pliant, snuggling deeper into Kara’s arms and melting into her embrace.

 

“You’re proving my point right now,” Kara argued, gesturing to Lena’s actions.

 

“Doesn’t count, m’sleepy.” Lena slipped her hand under Kara’s shirt and scratched her tight abs.

 

“You’re handsy when you’re sleepy.” She grinned and kissed the top of her head. Kara held onto her tightly as Lena slowly woke up, “do you, um, do you still want to come to my reunion?”

 

“Of course,” Lena murmured, “I said I would.”

 

“I know, but after everything- I didn’t know whether you still wanted to come.” Kara fidgeted nervously.

 

“What’s the attire?”

 

“Formal, military blues are optional. Usually they take place in pretty high end places, this time it’s a ballroom.” Kara sighed and kissed her head.

 

“Can I pick your outfit?” Lena lifted her head to look at her, mischievous glint in her eyes.

 

“Um, if you want?”

 

“Then I’m definitely coming,” Lena grinned and pressed a kiss to her neck. They stayed wrapped up in each other, the sun softly gazing through the window keeping them warm.

 

Hero eventually began whining and fidgeting, trotting from one end of the room to the other. His claws clicking rhythmically against the wooden floor. Kara lifted her head and gave him a pointed look, “no, it’s my cuddle time.” His whine turned into a low rumble. “Oh, so you get to sleep for three hours, wake up and now you’re dictating what we do? Huh, is that it?” Hero yipped, “don’t take that tone with me, mister.” Lena chuckled lightly, watching the pair, somehow, have an argument.

 

“Come on, he’s stubborn. He won’t stop until he gets what he wants.” Lena got up and pulled a pouting Kara to her feet. They got changed and Lena hooked up Hero’s lead.

 

“What are you wearing?” Lena looked down at her sweater and jeans combo.

 

“Um, clothes?”

 

“Babe, it’s winter! You’ll freeze!” Kara ran upstairs to rifle through her closet.

 

“What are you doing? Darling, I grew up in the mountains, the cold doesn’t really affect me!” She called.

 

“Oh yeah? Except at night when you cling onto me because you’re cold.” Kara deadpanned, coming down the stairs with a handful of stuff.

 

“Fine, I’ll stay on my side from now on then,” Lena raised an eyebrow.

 

“Nooo, don’t be mean,” she whined. Kara tossed her a thick padded jacket and glared at her until she put it on, Kara whipped off her hat and tossed it over her shoulder.

 

“Hey!”

 

“Shush, you can’t wear a baseball cap.” Kara swapped it out for a beanie, pulling it over her ears. Lena looked down the jacket was a bit big, the sleeves hiding her hands and the hat flopped down over her eyes slightly, she scrunched up her nose. Adorable. “Come on, babe.” Hero dragged them out of the door.

 

****

 

Lena curled up on her bed and allowed herself to feel everything, she cried, she screamed, she whimpered. She mourned the fact that she would never see Kara or Hero again, she mourned the life she could have had: she felt the overwhelming grief, the crushing guilt and the suffocating sadness.

 

On the final day she packed up the little amount of stuff she had and headed home. Back to where she belonged, back to where there were people just like here. She slipped her mask firmly into place: cold, hard and firmly unaffected.

 

She couldn’t tell Talia, not yet, she wasn’t sure if she was able to even have the conversation without breaking down. She’d already failed more times then she could count recently, her relationship with Kara had taken priority over everything else. Not any more, Lena had been neglecting her duty and it was time for her to get back to work.

 

Sam found her in the gym, taking out her frustrations on a punching bag, “you look like you could use a drink,” Sam called. She’d just watched her punch the bag until her knuckles were bruised. She held up a bottle of scotch and two glasses, “cliff, twenty minutes and make sure you take a shower first!”

 

Lena unwrapped her knuckles and grabbed her stuff.

 

“I said twenty minutes,” Sam chided, Lena just shrugged and accepted the drink, swallowing it in one. She poured herself another large whiskey and drank it all in one go. “God, what happened to you?” Lena filled her glass again.

 

“I told Kara that I’ve been lying to her.” Lena voice was soft and steady, she took a sip and winced, “I’m sure you can guess how that turned out,”

 

“Did you offer her the job?” Sam asked.

 

“No, I didn’t even tell her about that part. Not that it matters, now.” Lena finished her glass and poured another. “Talia’s going to kill me.”

 

“You might want to slow down,” Lena shot her a look. “Or, I could just open the second bottle?”

 

“Atta girl,” Lena toasted to her and took a sip.

 

“Talia won’t kill you, she has-”

 

“A soft spot for me, I know. That can only go so far.” Lena said, worrying her lip.

 

“Well, we’ll just have to do something incredibly significant and dangerous before she gets back.” Sam said.

 

“She’s not here?” Sam shook her head, Lena let out a visible sign of relief.

 

“She shipped out on assignment yesterday, one of the newbies messed up, she’s gone to get them.” Lena hissed in sympathy.

 

“That’s not good. Do you remember the first time you messed up?” Lena asked.

 

“I learnt not to do it again.” Sam nodded over the brim of her glass.

 

“We all do it, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. You just learn to fix them yourself,” she shrugged.

 

“Yeah, ‘cos the alternative is facing Talia’s wrath,” Sam snorted.

 

It took her 3/4 of the bottle before Sam finally managed to get her to crack a smile.

 

“S-so, I juss need to clarify a thing: if Karaaa loved you then why can’t she just forgive you?” Sam slurred.

 

“She’s… been through a lot,” Lena mumbled. “Lying is a big deal to her.”

 

“She works for the CIA!” Sam exclaimed.

 

“It’s different.”

 

“S’not different, if s-she really loved you, ssshe’d forgive you. Love is unconditional, right?” Sam turned to face her.

 

“I don’t really know.” Lena stared up at the sky and finished her drink.

 

“Maybe, it wasn’t love at all.” Lena whipped around, Sam held her hand up while she swallowed the rest of her drink. “Hear m’out. If you love someone, you forgive. Maybe you just loved the freedom… loved being away from this place, it can be suffocating.” Lena thought about it for a moment.

 

“No, no, it wasn’t like that.”

 

“You sure? Maybe she used you too, to ‘scape something shitty in her life.” Sam hiccuped, “maybe, it was just a relationship of convenience.”

 

“What are you saying?” Lena narrowed her eyes.

 

“I’m saying, I’d forgive you because there’s love ‘tween. I’m saying, she used you too, there was no love in the first place.” Lena readily admits that she knows absolutely nothing about love and in her drunken state it made sense in her head. Surely, you don’t threaten to kill the person you claim to love.

 

“She did say some horrible stuff to me…”

 

“Well, there you go. That’s not love, you were infatuated with the lifestyle, with the freedom.” Lena wasn’t convinced.

 

“I don’t think so, I am selfish. It took me so long to tell her because I wanted to hold on to what I had. I am manipulative, we both know that-”

 

“Bullshit! You came to Cuba after one phone call! I-I didn’t even have t’ask, you went against everything we were taught ‘cos we have that love. At the drop of’a hat you risked your life for me. So we’re not “conventionally” kind and caring, but I know you would lay down your life for me and that speaks louder than anything else.” Sam spoke clearly and genuinely.

 

“Wow, you almost made it through that whole speech without slurring your words,” Lena raised her eyebrow and laughed.

 

“Took a lot of brain power, haven’t got much left.” Sam swallowed the rest of her drink, she slapped the rock beneath them, “so tell me, what we’re going to do when this is all over!”

 

“We’re gon’ live together in a gingerbread house, decorated with candy!” Lena giggled.

 

“You don’t need her! Fuck her!” Sam yelled.

 

“Yeah, fuck her!” Lena copied, followed by a lot of laughing. They, somehow, managed to build a fire to fight the biting cold. Sam only almost fell into it twice, that was good for her.

 

“What’s that?” Sam asked.

 

“Huh?” Lena was glassy eyed.

 

“That thing,” Sam rolled and pulled the necklace out from under her shirt.

 

“Oh, Ka- she got it for me, for my Name Day.” Lena fiddled with it, running her thumb over the cool metal.

 

“We don’t receive presents on our Name Day, jeez she really changed you, made you break our traditions.” Sam scoffed, she took a swig straight from her bottle and winced slightly. “You should throw it off the cliff.” She laughed.

 

“Um, I don’t know whether I could do that.” Lena shook her head.

 

“Of course you can,” Sam stood on shaky legs, “take it off,” she picked up a rock, “throw it away,” she proceeded to launch the rock and lose her footing at the same time. Lena had to grab her by the waistband and pull her back to stop her going over with it.

 

“Careful!” Sam just exploded into a fit of giggles.

 

“Bye bye blondie!” She fell onto her back, arms outstretched, still laughing. Lena joined in, “go on, it’s cathar- catharic- cathariac… feels good.”

 

Lena reached back and undid the clasp, she never felt it was there before; it was just a constant comforting presence, but when she felt the weight drop it was almost like a relief. She looked at it in her palm, it was once a symbol of everything Lena loved the most, now it was just a reminder of everything she’d lost.

 

“Throw it away, then we can finish the rest of this,” Sam held up the bottle. Lena got to her feet and stumbled, falling onto Sam. They laughed again and Sam pulled her to her feet, “don’t think about it, just do it!”

 

Lena leant back and threw it as hard as she could, feeling the last reminiscence of Kara fly with it.

 

__________

 

“I’m never drinking again.” Sam groaned and sat up, dirt and gravel stuck to one side of her face. They’d been up until the early hours of the morning and had passed out on the overhang. The dwindling embers and fiery alcohol in their blood had enabled them to stave off hypothermia. Lena snorted when she saw Sam’s face and immediately regretted it holding her head.

 

Sleeping on rock was not good, she arched her back and rubbed her sore neck. Her hand flew up to her chest, “oh fuck!”

 

“Why so loud?” Sam was on her knees, head pressed against the cool rock.

 

“Why did you let me throw it away?” Lena scrambled to the edge of the cliff and looked over, desperately trying to find it.

 

“Lena! Oh my God, stop!” Sam pulled her back from the edge and into her lap.

 

“No! I wasn’t ready,” Sam gathered her shaking form and rocked her, shushing her. “I wasn’t ready,” she whimpered.

 

“You were, you just miss the presence of it,” Sam would do anything to protect her friend. In fact, Kara was lucky Sam didn’t know where she lived. “She doesn’t care, remember? She threatened your life Lena, that’s not love.”

 

“But, I do. I care,” she whispered.

 

“Then we fix it.” Sam insisted, still rocking gently, stroking her hair. “You just need a distraction,” Lena nodded. Sam slipped a hair tie from her wrist and gave it to Lena, “every time you think about her snap it against your wrist.”

 

“Aversion therapy? Really?” Lena raised an eyebrow, the tears had stopped but her eyes were still red and watery.

 

“It might work,” she shrugged. “Plus, I need you at your best, I have a plan to get you back into Talia’s good books.”

 

“What is it?” Lena sniffled.

 

“I’ll explain later, I need painkillers, a shower and my bed. In that order. I also need to throw up.” Lena got up and Sam hurried into the trees.

 

Lena did the same, except she couldn’t sleep, she sat up snapping the hair band against her wrist. She ended up swapping it for a tighter, rubber band: the sting was sharper and more pronounced.

 

Sam came to her room that evening, looking less like death and more like the underworld had spat her back out again, that meant slightly more colour in her cheeks.

 

“So, I got the go ahead from Rhea. We ship out tomorrow.” Sam crawled onto Lena’s bed and collapsed onto her pillow.

 

“Where exactly?” Sam lifted her head.

 

“Have we not had this conversation?” Sam asked and Lena shook her head, “oh yeah, the vomiting.” Sam grimaced. “Okay, so we had intel centred around Simon Crane-”

 

“The property developer?”

 

Sam nodded, “that’s the one. Anyway, he bought some land that houses an old WW2 army base. Apparently he plans on knocking it down and building some kind of spa. Anyway, there’s been reports of armed guards, so we did a fly over and recorded abnormally high levels of infrared radiation.”

 

“So, drugs?”

 

“That’s what we’re thinking,” Sam said.

 

“So, we’re going to flatten this guy’s land for free?” Lena said, clearly amused.

 

“Exactly! You and me, back together! Partners in crime!” Sam was grinning from ear to ear.

 

__________

 

The next night found Sam and Lena huddled in a ditch, scoping out the base. It was miles away from the nearest town which meant they had to abandon the car, trek through the forest and swim through a river. It was safe to say, they weren’t exactly happy.

 

“We’ve been here for twenty minutes and I’ve already counted over thirty heavily armed guards.” Lena commented. Sam was squirming in the dirt, trying to shimmy into some dry clothes.

 

“Well, it’s a meth lab, that’s a huge investment. It’s not surprising they want to protect it.” Sam huffed, finally getting the dry sweater over her head. Lena hummed, not quite convinced. “What?”

 

“It’s just, there’s nothing around for twenty miles, we just walked here completely undetected. I don’t think they’re keeping people out, I think they’re trying to keep something in.” Lena worried her bottom lip.

 

“You think they’re trafficking people?”

 

“I think it’s a possibility, all the infrared radiation could be their combined body heat and who cooks up drugs in the barracks?” Snap. “There’s no way I’m destroying that building without knowing for sure what’s inside.” Sam tilted her head to the side.

 

“Fair point. So, we find out what’s in the building and if it happens to be people. We leave and come back with more agents to carry out a rescue operation.” Sam nodded, good plan.

 

“Look at those vans, they look like they’re going to be moving something soon-”

 

“It could just be a changing of the guard, like you said, there’s no one around and it’s not exactly like there’s a parking lot!” She hissed.

 

“Sam, we can’t take that chance, we need to go now! If there are people in there, I’m not leaving them for another second. If they get moved that’s it! Game over.” Lena’s eyes were hard, it wasn’t up for discussion, Lena was doing this whether Sam stayed or not.

 

“Andrea and Leslie are waiting for an extraction a few miles away?” Lena looked at her questioningly, “four gives us a better chance than two. I’ll call them, give them the co-ordinates and while we wait for them to get here we can find out what’s in that building.” Sam pulled out her phone and Lena smiled.

 

“Okay, they’re on their way. Let’s go.” Lena emptied one of their duffel bags, “what are you doing?”

 

“I have an idea.” They scurried across to the fence, cutting a hole in the wire and crawling through. They crouched behind one of the lorries.

 

“There’s so many of them,” Sam whispered, everywhere they looked they’re were guards patrolling. She waited until a pair walked past them and blew a short whistle, “get ready.”

 

When they were close enough, Sam and Lena each knocked one out and changed into their uniforms. Snap. They carried on with the patrol, keeping their caps low but nodding to other people when they passed, they made it to the back of the building.

 

“Give me a boost?” Sam whispered. Lena braced herself against the wall and hoisted her up, Sam grabbed the window ledge and pulled herself up to look into the building.

 

“So?” Lena asked once she’d jumped back down.

 

“You were right, as always, there’s close to a hundred people in there. Men, women, children all huddled together, that building isn’t big enough for them all.” They marched off, continuing their ‘patrol’. They checked the other buildings to make sure there was no one else.

 

“Okay, back to the lorry. We need to get some supplies.”

 

Once there, Lena grabbed the duffel bag and dragged Sam over to another building. “What are we doing here?”

 

“Well, with this amount of security, you’d need a lot of fire power. Hence, the armoury.” Lena gestured to the building in front of them, she wandered round to the back where there was a small window. “Boost me?” Sam leant against the wall.

 

“Wait hang on a second,” she stood back up, “how do you know this is the armoury?”

 

“Army regulations forbid storing ammunitions within 500 yards of the barracks. This is the only building outside that range.” Sam’s jaw dropped.

 

“You spent too much much time with Commander Barbie,” Sam mumbled. Snap.

 

“She was a Captain.” Snap. Lena winced, that was an especially sharp one. “And I didn’t learn it from her… I learnt it from Captain America,” Sam snorted. “Shut up,” she snapped.

 

“Okay, but how do you know there are weapons in here?” Sam repositioned herself against the wall.

 

“There’s a brand new padlock on the door,” Lena said simply, scrambling up the wall and through the window.

 

Once inside, Lena filled the bag with all the plastic explosives she could and tried not to think about all the times she’d done this kind of stuff with Kara. She thought about putting on a kevlar vest for a fraction of a second. She huffed and climbed back up to the window and dropped the bag to Sam, not bothering to tell her what was in it.

 

“Jeez, you could have warned me.” She hissed.

 

“Serves you right for being a dick!” Lena dropped to the floor and snapped her band three times to make up for her previous indiscretions. She’d used the band so many times that it had broken the sensitive skin of her wrist. In a sense it was what she needed, a more intense, painful sting.

 

“We have explosives!” Sam said and then hurried back to their cover.

 

“Enough for one building, this is for the distraction.”

 

“Distraction?”

 

“Yes. Once the other two get here I’m going to distract the guards and you’re going to lead the people out. Tell them that only one of them should cross the river, the other needs to stay on the other side and wait to escort them out.” Sam nodded and passed on the communication. “When they’re in position, we’ll move. Wait for my signal before you attempt anything.”

 

They got word from the second team a few minutes later, Sam turned to Lena. “Go forth and conquer-”

 

“-Endure and thrive.”

 

“Don’t do anything stupid,” Sam said as she left. *Reckless. Shit. Snap.

 

If Lena made a mistake, if she died during this escapade she knows who would mourn her, who would be saddened by her death. All their faces flashed through her mind, Kara’s wasn’t one of them, she slipped the band off her wrist and left it in the dirt.

 

It wasn’t love. It never was.

 

She grabbed her bag and got to work.  She placed the explosives onto both transport vans, the guard post, the armoury and the front gate. That was the hardest barrier to overcome, luckily the watch towers were looking for dangers from the outside rather than looking for a threat from within. She set the timers so there would be a few minutes between detonations, just enough time for the cavalry to arrive.

 

Meanwhile, Sam had managed to get into position at the back of the barracks. She’d signalled for Leslie to stay hidden for now and waited.

 

Lena set her traps and then moved back to where they’d left the guards. She double checked her weapon was fully loaded and then fired a distress flair, taking cover behind the administration building.

 

__________

 

Sam saw the flair. “I guess that’s the signal,” she uttered. She watched as the guards by the fence ran towards the distress call.

 

“Check the cargo!” One barked at her as he was leaving.

 

Sam shot him and he crumpled to the floor. “’Cargo’. Disgusting.” She signalled to Leslie who moved forward to cut the wire.

 

“Where’s Lena?” She loudly whispered. A loud explosion sounded in the background quickly followed by orders being barked.

 

“Umm, somewhere over there.” Sam pointed behind her, there was another loud explosion. “Cut the wire!” Sam ordered, running back to the barracks.

 

She smashed the lock and opened the door. It was pandemonium in there: shouting, screaming, pure panic. “Excuse me!” Nothing. “Can you all just calm down!” Nothing. She fired once into the air and they all stopped and ducked, cowering away. “Oh shit. Right, okay, does anyone speak English?” They all stared blankly, terror in their eyes. “No? Okay. Italian? Francais? Español? Portuguese?”

 

“Español.” One brave woman said, her voice trembling.

 

“Great! I’m not going to hurt you. I’m going to take you to somewhere safe.” Another explosion, panic started again. “Time to go. Everyone out! Go to the angry looking peroxide blonde over there.” She ushered them out.

 

“I heard that!” Leslie yelled.

 

“It was said with love!” She shouted back.

 

__________

 

So, Lena may have underestimated the amount of time she needed to get from one area to the next. In the chaos, no one noticed that she was out of place. That was until the men in the watch towers shined the spotlight on the escapees, then all hell broke lose. Lena took out as many guards as she could when they ran over to the barracks.

 

She needed to obstruct their way so she attached more explosives to the two buildings in the closest proximity to the one they were evacuating. That was when she began receiving a lot more attention.

 

She sprinted across the grounds and back to the safety of the admin building, from there she had a clear shot of anyone else trying to get past.

 

__________

 

Sam made sure the building was cleared and then helped Leslie get them out of the grounds, “you go. Take them to the river, but don’t cross until Lena and I get there. I don’t know how many of the kids can swim.” Leslie nodded.

 

“Everyone grab a buddy and stay together! Follow me!” Sam handed Leslie her assault rifle.

 

“I’m going to get Lena!” Sam sprinted through the gap between the buildings. She could see Lena when she reached the main grounds and Lena saw her.

 

Her eyes widened, Sam would never clear the blast zone.

 

“Sam! No!” Lena ran towards her and tackled her to the ground, she threw her body across Sam’s just as the explosives detonated.

 

Shards of brick, lumps of rock and a cloud of dust rained down on the pair. They curled up tightly: Lena sheltered her own head with one arm and covered Sam’s with her other arm and upper body. Lena managed to avoid any major injuries, only obtaining minor bruises from the flying debris. The important thing was to make sure Sam was safe, it was her fault they were in this situation after all.

 

She waited until the dust settled and poked her head up, “you good?” Sam nodded, still a little bewildered. Their ears were ringing and they were disorientated but they weren’t out of danger yet. “Stay down!” Sam covered her ears and Lena finished off the rest of the stragglers.

 

Lena grabbed her arm and hauled her up, slipping an arm around her waist and helping her to the exit. “Selfish, my ass.” Sam mumbled.

 

“Huh?”

 

“I said, how are your ears?” She lied.

 

“Awful.” They hobbled out of the base and into the forest, reaching the edge of the river soon after.

 

“What the fuck happened to you?” Leslie grinned.

 

“We got a little bit blown up,” Lena said.

 

“No big deal,” Sam finished, waving it off. They helped the people swim across the lake, keeping the non-swimmers afloat.

 

They met a grinning Andrea on the other side, “I’ve called out an extraction, we’re going to get these people to safety.” She pulled the group out of the river. “You two look like shit!” She laughed.

 

“Lena, don’t you think it’s a little unfair that Andrea is the only one who hasn’t been in the water?” Sam turned and gave her a mischievous look.

 

“You know, I do think that, Sam.” They smirked and each grabbed one of Andrea’s arms.

 

“Don’t you dare!” She screamed.

 

They ignored her and threw her in the river.

 

__________

 

Two weeks later and Lena was back on top form. She completed mission after mission with exceptional accuracy, after she’d been checked for tinnitus of course. She hadn’t thought about she who will not be named the entire time. It felt incredible, a little lonely, but she felt like herself again.

 

“Lena! I need you to get back to Virginia as soon as possible,” Talia popped her head through the door of the training room. “Meet me in the briefing room in five minutes!” She called. Oh yeah, and she hadn’t told Talia that Kara knew everything, well, almost everything.

 

“You didn’t tell her?” Sam hissed, batting her arm.

 

“Ow!” Lena glared at her. “You know… somehow, it just didn’t come up.” Sam hit her again. “She was so happy, what was I supposed to do?”

 

“You’re such a kiss ass,” Sam rolled her eyes, Lena blew a raspberry.

 

“Whatever, I have to go.” Lena grabbed her stuff.

 

“Try not to get murdered!” Sam called.

 

“Try not to get blown up!” Lena shouted back.

 

Lena entered the briefing room and Talia gestured for her to take a seat. “Your work has been excellent recently.” Lena gave her a tight smile and nodded her head. “And, as much as your help is greatly appreciated, I don’t want you neglecting your other assignments.” Lena swallowed thickly.

 

“I agree,” she said.

 

“Also, we’ve had intel come in about a storage unit in a boatyard in Virginia. Someone hasn’t been paying their rent. The unit was leased just before the first bomb and the rent stopped just after the attack you prevented.” Talia put up satellite pictures of the site onto the board.

 

“So, potentially it’s the hideout of the guy who set them.” Talia nodded. “But, he’s dead?”

 

“The hit squad that showed up at the country club must have been arranged by someone. I think this man was working for an organisation and the unit will provide us with some information as to who. Or, potentially, the group may still be there, in which case you know what to do.” Talia handed her a dossier of information.

 

“I’ll head back tonight.” Lena nodded.

 

__________

 

Lena didn’t exactly feel safe in Virginia, but she would have felt less safe had she told Talia the truth. The woman could be absolutely terrifying when she wanted to be. The boatyard was located on the outskirts of the city, it was unlikely that she would run into Kara but she wasn’t taking any chances: she bought a brand new bike, her newest baby and wore all black so she would blend in easily.

 

She pulled up and took off her helmet, scoping out the place. She broke the lock on the door and entered the unit, gun raised high. “Hello? You in assholes?” She yelled. No response, thank god for that.

 

She looked around but couldn’t see anything that linked this place to the attacks, “great, so I potentially risked my life for some old boat parts.” She put her gun away and leafed through the documents of the desk. It was just blueprints for a old tug boat and some unpaid bills from the previous tenant.

 

Lena turned, ready to get the hell out of there, when she heard a quiet whistle. She turned and listened carefully. She heard the whistle again, there was definitely a breeze coming from somewhere.

 

There was a metal equipment container in the corner of the room. When she went over to investigate, she could see there was a gap in the wall that she had missed before, oh fucking amazing!

 

Lena pulled the cupboard along the floor, trying not to cringe at the sound of metal scraping against the concrete. There was a small gap in the wall, just wide enough to slip through: someone had knocked through to the lock-up next door.

 

Oh, shit.

 

The whole room was filled with schematics and building plans, there was a laptop on the workbench in the corner. Lena pulled up a video and played it in the background while she searched for any mention of a name or an organisation. The man Lena had seen at the country club appeared on the screen.

 

“H-Hello, 8 years ago my parents were killed in a shoot-out, my brother and I…” Lena flicked through the plans on the wall. This was definitely the place they had been searching for.

 

It was all here, the plans for the hotels, office block, country club and one more… Lena turned her attention back to the computer. The guy on the screen didn’t have a scar on his face, which meant… brothers… not just brothers- Twins!

 

There were two bombers.

 

And one of them is still alive.

 

“We have to punish those responsible: Lance Corporals: Laura Walsh and Noah Daley, Corporal Peter Mason, Sergeant Jack Clayton and Lieutenant General Ben Lockwood.”

 

There’s a fifth one, there’s a fifth plot!

 

Lena searched the wall for the final building plan, Corinthian Ballroom. Lena recognised that name, but she couldn’t remember where. Think, think, think.

 

Kara’s reunion!

 

Without a second thought, Lena pulled out her phone and called Kara. She was sent to voice mail.

 

No, come on. Pick up, pick up, pick up.

 

Lena called her again, but it went to voice mail again.

 

LL: BOMB

LL: GET OUT

LL: THERE’S A FIFTH MAN

LL: KARA GET OUT

 

She tried her once more but it was clear Kara had switched her phone off.

 

Lena googled the address, twenty minute drive.

 

She took off, shimmying through the gap and running out into the boatyard. She clambered onto her bike and flew out onto the open road. She drove at the bike’s top speed the entire way into the city, only one thought on her mind:

 

Have to get to Kara.

 

Her heartbeat thudded in her ears, a constant reminder that while she may be alive, Kara was in serious danger. She turned onto the city street and came skidding to a stop almost flying over the front of her bike.

 

Gridlock. The traffic was at a standstill.

 

She looked at her phone, the ballroom is a fifteen minute walk away from where she was. Or a five minute sprint!

 

Lena needed to get there as soon as possible, she pulled off her helmet and climbed off her bike. The sidewalk was rammed with people milling about. The road it is then.

 

She climbed onto the nearest car and ran across the top of them, jumping from one car to the other, clambering across the top to get down the street as quick as possible.

 

One- two strides and a leap.

One- two strides and a leap.

 

Ignoring all of the honking and swearing, she skipped off the top of each car before the driver’s could get out and berate her. She jumped off the last car and turned left, her feet pounding against the concrete, her legs burning from all the climbing and unstable terrain.

 

Keep breathing: in and out. In and out.

 

Have to get to Kara.

 

Have to get to Kara.

 

There were still people everywhere and they wouldn’t move, no matter how loud she shouted or how hard she pushed through the crowds. She took a quick glance at her phone, short cut, alleyway.

 

She took a right turn and sprinted down the alley, she ripped off her jacket and pulled herself over the wire fencing, using the leather to flatten the barbed wire.

 

She landed wrong and her knees hit the floor with a painful flood. Lena ignored it and clawed her way to her feet, nails scraping the floor as she stumbled. Hurt and unbalanced she continued her unrelenting struggle.

 

Have to get to Kara.

 

Now onto a less crowded street, Lena picked up her speed and sprinted as fast as she could. Sucking in desperate lungfuls of air, ignoring the pain in her legs.

 

In and out.

 

In and out.

 

Have to get to Kara.

 

She ran across the road, avoiding swerving cars, she slid across the bonnet of a car who failed to stop for someone who was clearly in a rush! Fucking asshole.

 

Turning the corner again, she could see it! The ballroom. The back entrance was just at the end of the road. She ignored her screaming lungs and pushed as hard as she could.

 

Have to get to Kara.

 

Have to get to Kara.

 

She climbed the stairs two at a time.

 

Almost there.

 

She could do it.

 

The force of the explosion sent her flying away from the door and across the street.

 

She hit something hard and blacked out.

Chapter Text

Lena could hear the shouts and screams of the bystanders before she opened her eyes. Pain shot from the base of her skull all the way up to her forehead in strong waves, her mouth tasted of copper, she concluded that at some point she must have bitten her tongue or bust her lip. Something was on fire, not surprising, she could smell the earthy, richness that is produced when wood burns.

 

Lena’s eyes fluttered open and she groaned, moving all her limbs ever so slightly, checking for broken bones. Her ears were ringing, but she could hear car alarms blaring and the faint sound of sirens in the background. She slowly dragged herself up to her hands and knees, shards of glass dug into her palms and forearms. She blinked slowly, ignoring the pain and the dizziness, she clutched her head feeling the lump that had formed there.

 

She suddenly remembered why she was here.

 

Have to find Kara.

 

She clambered to her feet, stumbling before righting herself and taking the stairs two at a time. Barging her way through the door she was confronted by a cloud of dust, coughing and spluttering she climbed over the rubble, praying that they building wasn’t housing asbestos.

 

“Kara? Kara!” She yelled.

 

“Help! Please! Over here!” Lena followed the sound of the voice. Instead of Kara, she found a young girl,  who couldn’t be much older than eighteen, trapped underneath a lot of debris. “Please, I’m stuck!” She cried desperately.

 

“Okay, don’t worry, I’ll get you out!” Lena desperately needed to find Kara, but she couldn’t leave this girl, she just couldn’t. I’ll be quick.

 

“Please, I’m scared.” She sobbed.

 

“Hey, hey, don’t worry. I’m going to get you out, you’re going to be fine.” Lena said calmly, with a new vigour she hauled the large rocks up and behind her. She needed to get this girl out so she could go on and find Kara. She wasn’t going to lose her, not like this.

 

The building was falling apart, Lena didn’t have long until the whole thing collapsed. A chandelier fell from the ceiling and shattered next to them, the girl screamed and continued sobbing, hyperventilating.

 

“I don’t want to die,” she cried.

 

“You’re not going to die.” Lena tried to comfort her. “Tell me about yourself. Why were you here tonight?” She mumbled, moving more rubble.

 

“I was waiting o-on the p-party,” she let out a scream when Lena moved the piece on her leg. “I’m j-just trying to save some money for c-college.” Her leg looked bad, Lena would have to carry her out.

 

“What are you going to study?” She strained, trying to lift the large piece of timber, it was laying across her hips and there was a heavy chunk of the ceiling laying across the top.

 

“Criminology,” she let out a self deprecating laugh.

 

“Well, hopefully, you’ll be the one to stop this next time,” Lena joked. “I’m going to lift this and I need you to move, I won’t be able to hold it for long so you need to be quick.” The girl nodded. “On three. Ready, one, two, three!” Lena heaved the wooden beam up, closing her eyes and blocking out the pain in her legs and biceps. She gritted her teeth and growled, she could hear the girl scrambling to move, crying out when she had to use her leg.

 

“I’m out.” Lena immediately let go, letting the wood crash to the ground. She took a second to recover, knowing she didn’t have long at all.

 

“Hold onto me,” she slipped an arm under her legs and the girl threw an arm around Lena’s neck. “This might hurt a bit,” she lifted her and the girl whimpered. “Alright, you’re gonna be okay, you’re gonna go to college and you’re going to have a wonderful life.” Lena hurried over to the exit and down the stairs. She slowly placed the girl onto the sidewalk, “the paramedics will be here soon.”

 

“Thank you!” The girl called but she was already gone.

 

Lena ran back up the stairs.

 

Have to find Kara.

 

She made it up to the first floor this time, climbing what was left of the staircase. “Kara!”

 

Lena found what she thought was the entrance to the ballroom but the ceiling above the door had completely caved in and there was no way she could move all the debris in time. She would have to find another way around.

 

There was a loud banging coming from somewhere, she pushed the broken furniture out of the way and hurried over to where the sound was coming from.

 

The bathroom were located in the corner, “hello? Can anyone hear me? I can’t get the door open!” Lena knew it wasn’t Kara but again, she couldn’t leave someone trapped in this derelict hell hole while it collapsed.

 

The building shook and the ceiling continued to fall apart. Lena grabbed the debris and threw it behind her, creating a pathway to the door. There was a huge chunk of concrete pressed against the door, Lena grunted as she tried to shift it. “It won’t budge!”

 

She could hear the person, slamming their body against the door desperately trying to move it. There was a small gap that Lena could just peak through when the woman pushed the door against the slab.

 

Lena saw wide, panic-stricken eyes, “this whole place is going to crumble soon and I’m going to die in a shitty! Fucking! Bathroom!” She slammed her shoulder against the door in anguish.This was taking too long and Lena still had no idea where Kara was or where the fuck the emergency services were. There were people trapped in this building and Lena needed to be quick, she had to work faster. The majority of the people would be trapped in that ballroom and she knew, in her gut, that’s where Kara was. But, she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she let this woman die and Kara would never forgive her if she found out.

 

“I’m going to see if I can find something to wedge in the gap. See, if I can’t make sure kind of lever.” Lena slipped her fingertips through the door and the woman brushed her own against them, “I’ll be right back, I won’t leave you,” she promised.

 

She scrambled around the floor, feeling the whole building creak and crack. The ceiling was caving in and the floor would fall through if Lena put too much weight on it. Eventually, she found a large piece of timber, she hauled it up onto her shoulder and lugged it back towards the bathroom.

 

“I’m back, I’m going to have to block you in for a moment,” she slid the long plank between the door and the concrete. Please don’t snap! Please don’t snap! She sat as far along the makeshift lever as she dared, planting her feet on the wall as she pulled. Lena grunted and clenched her teeth, pulling as hard as she could when finally, she felt the slab shift. Just enough to create a large enough gap for the woman to slide through.

 

Lena collapsed backwards, panting. The woman dragged her to her feet, “where is the way out?” Lena led her out, thankfully she wasn’t hurt so they made it onto the street in a minute.

 

She turned, intending to go back in and find another way into the ballroom when she was pulled back, she whipped around and pushed at the strong arm. The man held firm, “it’s not safe. The building is about to collapse.”

 

“No, you don’t understand. My- my partner is still in there! I have to get her!” Lena yelled and fought him, but he pulled her down the stairs. “I have to get her! Let me go!” The stranger wrapped his arms around her body and held her, kicking and screaming. She had tears streaming down her face as she came to the realisation that she’d failed, she wasn’t going to save Kara.

 

“No, no, no, please!” Lena begged.

 

She watched in horror as the building crumbled before her.  

 

__________

 

Lena didn’t really know what happened after that. At some point, the man holding her let her go and Lena had crumpled.

 

She wasn’t fast enough, she’d let Kara down. Again.

 

She was sat, back against a car, knees pulled up to her chest. Lena watched as fire crews sifted through the wreckage, searching for survivors or bodies. The police had cordoned off the area and were taking statements. Paramedics were running around, treating the wounded, someone had tried to look at her once or twice, but she brushed them off. Apart from that, no one really noticed she was there.

 

Lena was staring blankly at the remains of the building, waiting. Waiting for Kara’s body to be discovered, she’d sit there all night if she had to. Someone had to be there for her when she was found.

 

She doesn’t like being alone. Lena wouldn’t leave her alone.

 

If I had just been faster, stronger, smarter, I could have saved her.

 

Lena went over and over the events in her head, questioning whether she should have helped the other people. No, I can’t be selfish any more. If Kara knew someone else had died so she could live, she would have never forgiven herself.

 

Deep down she knew she’d made the right decision, but she couldn’t help but hate herself, all of this was her fault and now she’d lost Kara forever.

 

Her heart ached, it was sharp and painful, a constant throbbing. Lena reached up to her neck, but it only served to remind her that, in her drunken haze, she’d carelessly thrown away the last piece of Kara.

 

Sam was wrong. Lena was wrong. She loved Kara with her entire being, her whole body, her whole heart yearned for her. In her anger and hurt, she’d confused love for hate. She knew now that it had always been love and she’d been too scared to say the words out loud. If she could go back, she would tell her, she’d tell her everyday just how much she loved her.

 

It was too late now.

 

“I’m sorry, Kara. I’m so, so sorry,” she dropped her head into her arms. She trembled while trying to keep her sobs as silent as possible, Kara was right: she hated crying in front of people.

 

“Hey,” a soft voice said. Lena cleared her throat and looked up.

 

“Hey,” she was met with a gentle smile, the woman had short, red hair but that was all that caught Lena’s attention. She was staring straight past her, still searching for a flash of blonde in the wreckage.

 

“You saved my life,” it was the woman who was trapped in the bathroom. Lena focussed her gaze and gave her a weak smile in return. “I just wanted to say thank you, I don’t think I did when we were in there.” She crouched down to make eye contact with Lena.

 

“Don’t mention it.” Lena said. Please don’t make me think about how I picked you over her.

 

“No, seriously. My wife is pregnant, I-I’ll get to meet my child because of you,” she reached out and squeezed her shoulder. “Are you okay?” She looked at Lena’s arms.

 

“Mm? Yeah, I’m fine.” She deflected.

 

“Okay, well, I have to go find my wife, let her know I’m safe. Can I at least get your name?”

 

“Lena.” She mumbled.

 

“Lena, I’m Alex.” Lena accepted the handshake, “thank you again.” She left after that, left Lena to her own thoughts.

 

She knew that once the news crews got there, she would have to leave. She couldn’t allow her face to be seen, that was the first rule. They hadn’t found Kara yet, but Lena knew she had to get out of sight, she would wait in the shadows or in a building nearby.

 

Kara didn’t like being alone.

 

Lena wouldn’t leave her alone.

 

She stood and leant against the wall of an alley, she still had a good view but she wouldn’t be caught on camera. Out of sight, finally she allowed herself to cry properly, tears rolled down her cheeks and she sobbed uncontrollably. She slid down the wall unable to hold herself up any longer. She’d been so stupid, she should have fought for Kara, she shouldn’t have let her go so easily.

 

She felt no hope now, only despair.

 

Her phone began buzzing in her pocket. Talia calling to check in, no doubt that she had heard all about what had happened, she let it ring out. For a fraction of a second, she thought about abandoning everything, leaving her whole life behind. Make them think she had died in the blast, she could do some living or whatever Kara always preached about. She would go to Iceland and see orcas in the wild, just like Kara dreamed of.

 

Her phone rang again, breaking her out of her infeasible thoughts. Talia was nothing if not persistent, if Lena ran Talia would follow her, if she tried to hide Talia would find her. No, this was her life and it would be her life until the vision was complete or she was dead.

 

She wiped her tears, took a deep, shaky breath and answered the call.

 

“Hello,” she croaked.

 

“Lena? Lena, where are you, baby?” Kara said, her voice wobbly, panic-stricken.

 

****

 

Kara was halfway through telling Jonathan about his dad and how they once stole all his trousers as a practical joke, when she looked over and saw Ben Lockwood’s smarmy face. There was something about him that didn’t sit right with her. She thought back to their meeting, she had been distracted by her conversation with Alex.

 

Something had stuck in her mind, what was it?

 

“Kara, Kara, what happened to my dad?” Kara looked up.

 

“Well,” she chuckled. “We had these inspections every night to make sure that everything was clean. You have to line up in front of your cot and your dad had to stand there in only the top half of his uniform and his boxers.” The little boy laughed hard, his head thrown back. It made Kara smile, seeing someone so happy and carefree.

 

She looked over at Clark, who was glaring at her, she smiled smugly.

 

She saw Jack Clayton walk through the entrance, looking around, searching for someone desperately. He locked eyes on his target, Ben Lockwood.

 

It clicked in her head.

 

Columbia.

 

Lena was trying to warn her.

 

“Time to go back to your dad.” She scooped Jonathan up in her arms and pushed her way through the crowd. She handed him to Clark, “you need to get out of here now!” Kara ordered. Clark gave her a funny look, but the fire in her eyes told him not to argue and he went to find Lois.

 

She marched over to Lockwood, “you were in Columbia?” He stared blankly at her, ready to chide her for insubordination, she turned to Clayton, “he was your commanding officer?” He nodded and looked down. “Right, well first of all,” she punched Lockwood square in the jaw, as hard as she could. “Secondly,” she ran to the fire alarm and pulled it, “everyone out!”

 

Kara cleared out the ballroom, making sure everyone got out. She just managed to descend the stairs herself, when the bomb detonated. The force of the explosion sent her to the ground.

 

After that, it was pandemonium, people were crying, screaming, running around trying to find friends and family. Kara’s ears were ringing, it almost felt as if they were bleeding. She slowly got to her feet and stumbled while trying to gain her bearings, Kara held her head and wiped her face with one hand.

 

She looked around and saw Clark holding his family close, Jonathan was crying, clearly shaken up but, thankfully, he was unharmed. She made her way through the crowds, checking in and making sure everyone was alright.

 

“Kara!” She turned and found Maggie who was in hysterics, “I can’t find Alex!” Maggie was hyperventilating.

 

“Okay, take a deep breath, tell me where you last saw her.” Maggie sucked in a shaky breath.

 

“S-she said she was going to the bathroom, I told her to be careful of the door, it sticks. Kara, what if she’s still in there?” She was clutching onto Kara’s jacket so tightly her knuckles were white. “I can’t lose her.”

 

“I’m going to see if I can find her, stay here.” Kara turned and ran up the stairs, back into the building. The floor had begun to fall through, each step could have sent her through the ceiling below. The bathrooms were located through the doors at the back of the ballroom, she raced to the back of the room, but something was blocking it from opening. Kara desperately pushed against the door, throwing all her weight behind each blow. It was no use the door didn’t move an inch, there must be another way around.  

 

She ran back through the ballroom, checking the other doors, but they didn’t lead to the bathrooms. The building shook and she knew that any second now, it would fall down around her.

 

She prayed that Alex had found an exit somewhere.

 

On the way out, she heard coughing and groaning. She found Lockwood on the floor, seems she’d knocked him out when she hit him, she wanted to leave him but she couldn’t. He’d suffered his punishment, she dragged him out from under the rubble and threw him over her shoulder.

 

She carried him down the stairs and passed him off to a medic just moments before the whole building collapsed.

 

She let out a choked breath, if anyone else was in there, it would be a miracle if they survived. She bit her lip and went to find Maggie.

 

“Alex?” She sobbed. Kara caught her before she fell to her knees. “No, no, no, no.” She shook her head and cried. Kara slowly lowered them to the floor.

 

“Shh sh shh, we don’t know anything for sure yet. She will have heard the alarm, think positively.” Kara spoke softly, cradling her shaking form. Kara tried to reassure her, but she wasn’t sure even she believed it. Maggie cried, her body wracked by grief, Kara couldn’t help but let a few tears escape. Maggie made such pained sounds at the thought of losing the love of her life, each one stabbed at Kara’s chest. She did her best to comfort her through the pain, she rocked her back and forth, cooing softly.

 

Maggie eventually stopped, she couldn’t cry any more, had no tears left. “I need to get you checked out, make sure everything is okay.” She didn’t mention the baby, but the implication was there. Maggie nodded, her eyes hollow and soulless. She allowed Kara to pull her to her feet and Kara sheltered her face from the fire-fighters searching through the remains of the building.

 

Kara took a step back and allowed the paramedics to take over, she gnawed on the pad of her thumb while Maggie told the medic about the baby. She tried not to cry again.

 

“Kara!” She whipped around, her eyes widening when she saw Alex running towards her. The tears began falling again. “Hey, where’s Maggie? Is she okay?” Kara nodded in the right direction and watched their sweet, frantic reunion. Maggie cried again, Alex gathered her in her arms and held her tightly. “I wouldn’t leave you,” she whispered, kissing Maggie’s forehead.

 

“We t-thought you were t-trapped,” Maggie trembled.

 

“I was. I heard the alarm but the bathroom door got stuck, like you said, so I couldn’t get out. Then… after the explosion, something blocked the door. A woman came and rescued me, I’m sorry I took so long getting to you,” she cupped Maggie’s face. “I didn’t mean to scare you, a medic pulled me aside and I couldn’t get away, I’m sorry.” She kissed her face as Maggie clung onto her.

 

“Wait- Alex, did you say it was a woman that saved you?” Kara asked, Alex nodded.

 

“Yeah, she pulled someone else out as well-”

 

“What did she look like? Did you get her name?” Kara’s eyes were wild and unruly.

 

“Yeah, her name’s Lena.” Lena

 

“Where is she?!”

 

“She’s sat against a car around the back of the building, I think she’s in shock!” Alex had to yell the last part because Kara had already taken off, running in the direction Alex had said.

 

She sprinted around what remained of the building, pushing through the crowds of people. She searched every car in an uncontrollable frenzy, hoping to grasp just a glimpse of her face, eyes darting over every person. She couldn’t see her.

 

Of course Lena had come to save her, that was just who she was, constantly putting others before herself. Kara was the biggest idiot in the world. She needed to find her, she needed to make sure that she was okay, that she was safe.

 

Kara switched on her phone and was met with three missed calls and a torrent of messages, warning her of the danger she was in. She needed to find her.

 

She dialled her number but it went to voice mail.

 

No, come on. Pick up, Lena! Please!

 

She tried again, waiting with bated breath.

 

Pick up, pick up, pick up.

 

The line clicked. “Hello,” came the hoarse greeting

 

****

 

“Lena? Lena, where are you, baby?” There was a long pause, “Lena?”

 

Lena was speechless, she let out a harsh breath, “K-Kara?” Tears welled in her eyes.

 

“It’s me. Tell me where you are.”

 

Lena wouldn’t believe this was real until she saw her, touched her. She stood and turned the corner, her eyes combing over the crowd.

 

“Baby?”

 

Lena saw her, she was stood tall, phone pressed to her ear, crystal, blue eyes roaming the faces of the crowd. She shoved her phone in her pocket and ran towards Kara.

 

“Kara!”

 

Her head whipped over to the sound of the voice, her eyes lit up and she sprinted to Lena, she couldn’t get there quick enough. They collided in a tangle of limbs, Kara caught her and held her as tight as she could. Lena allowed herself to cry again, allowed the relief to wash over her.

 

“I’ve got you. I’ve got you. It’s okay.” Kara kept her on her feet while she broke down into raw sobs, shaking as she tried to breathe. Kara couldn’t help but cry, the relief she felt when she saw Lena was okay was overwhelming. She would have never forgiven herself if Lena had been hurt while trying to save her.

 

Lena hiccuped, “I thought-t, I th-thought-t-”

 

“Shh, you’re okay, I’m okay. Just breathe, in and out, baby. I’ve got you.” Kara loosened her hold in an attempt to help Lena get her breathing under control. Lena let out a sharp whine and held on tighter, “I won’t let go, I promise. Can you take a few deep breaths for me?” Lena managed to take some deep, shaky breaths. Her body was still convulsing, but her breathing was finally under control.

 

“I’m so sorry, baby. I’m so sorry.” Kara whispered, she cupped the back of her head and Lena ducked her face into Kara’s neck, feeling her pulse.

 

Kara let her go just enough that Lena could see her face, their bodies still connected all the way to their toes. Lena swallowed and her hands slid across her shoulders, shakily cupping her face, almost afraid to touch, as if Kara would disappear if she pressed too hard.

 

“I love you,” she said, her eyes full of fear, almost shocked at her own confession.

 

“I love you, too.” Kara said, sending her a goofy smile when Lena’s eyes shot up. She pressed their foreheads together and cupped Lena’s face, wiping the tears away.

 

Of course it was love. They had both been foolish to think that it wasn’t real. Their love was deep, powerful and explosive, so maybe they weren’t the best at the whole “relationship” thing, but they could work on that. They had found something in each other that was unmatched, they needed each other. Their connection was unbreakable, their love everlasting.

 

Kara surged forward and kissed her, desperate to make sure this was real. Lena let out a small moan as Kara kissed her slowly, but with purpose. Lena melted into the kiss, her lips soft and pliant, allowing Kara to explore freely. Kissing Kara felt like coming home, finally she was in the right place, in her arms. The briefest hint of Kara’s tongue across her lips caused her to gasp, allowing Kara to slide into her mouth. She pulled away to catch her breath and watched Lena keep her eyes closed, she sighed softly and opened her eyes, searching Kara’s face.

 

“I t-thought you were in there, I tried to warn you- I thought I’d failed- I thought…” She choked on the last sentence.

 

Kara pulled her back into her chest, cradling the back of her head. “You didn’t fail. Because of you, everyone got out.”

 

“I thought you were dead, Kara. I was waiting for them to pull your body out!”

 

“Hey, look at me.” She tilted Lena’s chin up, “I’m okay. Not a scratch on me.” Lena sniffled and Kara finally looked at her properly. “You, on the other hand, do not look good.” Kara inspected her arms, the blood was mostly dried by now, shards of glass embedded in her forearm. “You didn’t let anyone look at this?”

 

“I thought you were dead! I had other things on my mind!” Lena defended.

 

“So, now you know I’m okay, will you let someone look at you?”

 

“Of course not,” she scoffed. “Medics ask lots of questions that I can’t answer,” she said simply. Kara chuckled, she’d almost forgotten how stubborn Lena could be.

 

“Can I clean you up?” She asked, gently. Lena nodded and Kara kissed her forehead, “stay here.” Kara jogged away, Lena watched her talk to one of the medics for a moment before he handed her a kit from the back of the ambulance. She thanked him and ran back over to where Lena was standing.

 

“Sit down.” Lena sat on the curb and Kara followed.

 

“What did you say to him?”

 

“Told him you were petrified of doctors, bad experience as a child and the sight of a stethoscope makes you cry.” Kara grinned.

 

“You’re such an asshole,” Lena grumbled. Kara chuckled and snapped on some latex gloves, she poured saline solution over her arm. With the blood washed away Kara could see where the glass was, she meticulously pulled out the pieces one at a time before cleaning the wounds properly and bandaging her arm. She repeated the same process with her other arm, taking great care, fingertips brushing lightly against her skin.

 

“Lena, I’m so sorry, I was a complete an idiot. I said some horribly, hurtful things that were unfounded and- and-”

 

“Stop.” Lena leant forward, cupping the back of her neck and pulling Kara towards her. “Not here, not now.” Kara dropped her head onto Lena’s shoulder. Lena had only just got her back, she didn’t want to talk about it now.

 

“Okay,” she nuzzled Lena’s neck and pressed a kiss to her pulse point. “Come on, I’m taking you home.” Kara helped her to her feet and tucked Lena into her side.

 

__________

 

Kara opened the door to her apartment and put a finger to her lips, Lena’s face softened when she saw Hero sat in front of the window, staring longingly.

 

“Hero, look who’s here!” She said excitedly. He turned his head, ears perking up as soon as he saw Lena. He sprinted over, tail wagging so hard it was a blur, he whined and yipped and howled. Lena was on her knees in instant, welcoming him into her arms.

 

“I missed you!” He yipped, “I did! Have you been good?” He licked her cheek and rolled onto his back. She rubbed his belly, just the way he liked and his whole body wiggled on the floor.

 

Kara joined them on the floor, “so good.” She praised, of course Hero had known all along that Lena was true.

 

“Oh, you are just the best boy!” She cooed. He jumped between the pair, licking whichever face he could get to. He continued to chat happily and Kara could see the light return to his eyes. Kara stood and left them to play on the floor, Hero had brought over his rope toy and they were fighting over it. Whenever, Lena tugged him too close he stopped to lick her face until she pushed him away again.

 

Kara got changed into something comfortable and ordered some food, she smiled fondly at the pair. It was cruel of her to split them up and stupid of her to think Hero would just get over it. Kara hadn’t even managed it, no matter how many times she told herself she had.

 

Lena finally stood up and Hero followed her to where Kara was, “I put some clothes on the bed for you, if you want to change.”

 

“Thank you, I have to wash my face now anyway,” Kara chuckled and Lena moved past her to go upstairs, Hero followed close behind.

 

“He’s going to be at your side for at least a week, I reckon.” Lena smiled at him.

 

“I don’t need your help getting changed, Hero.” He yipped again.

 

“That means, ‘yes, you do’.” Lena giggled and it sent butterflies straight to Kara’s stomach. “Come on, buddy. Stay with me for a minute.” He whined, but trotted back down the stairs.

 

Lena came back down a few minutes later dressed in a pair of sweatpants and the t-shirt she always wore to bed. She half expected Kara to have thrown it away but apparently not. Kara’s breath caught in her throat: Lena looked so soft stood there in her clothes, she tugged at the hem of her shirt pulling her into tight hug. She inhaled her scent, God I’ve missed this so much.

 

Kara wanted nothing more than to spend the night soaking up everything she’d missed, but her conscience wouldn’t allow that just yet. “Lena, can we talk, please?”

 

“Can we talk tomorrow? I just- I really thought I’d lost you today and I just need... you.” Lena ran her hands up Kara’s arms and up to her neck. “Please, just one night?”

 

“Whatever you want,” Kara had a lot she needed to say and she didn’t want an air of tension between them, but if Lena wanted one night, Kara would give her that. She pulled Lena into a hug and felt her sigh softly, melting into Kara’s arms.

 

Kara had nothing to worry about, there was no tension, they fell into their normal routine effortlessly. They teased each other, Hero and Lena ganged up on her when it came to duck pancakes vs. potstickers, everything almost felt normal. Kara cherished every moment, she felt like herself again, like a piece of herself had come home. However, she also knew that she had a lot to make up for, yet again, in the heat of the moment she’d said some stupid things. Yes, it had hurt at the time, but it was clear to Kara now that she had been wrong, Lena would do anything for her.

 

Kara put a movie on and Lena laid on her chest, ear pressed against her chest, listening to her heartbeat. Hero was settled at the side of them, as close to Lena as he could possibly get, every so often he’d look up and just make sure she was still there. It amused her to no end, but she didn’t understand the emotional turmoil the poor guy had been through. Kara rubbed her back and brought one hand up to thread it through her hair.

 

“Have you got a lump on the back of your head?” Kara’s head perked up.

 

“Mhm, I got a little bit blown up, I think I hit a car?” Lena had a hand on Kara’s neck, stroking the skin softly.

 

“Why didn’t you say anything? I need to get you some ice,” Kara moved and Lena whined, pushing her back down.

 

“I don’t need ice, I didn’t even blackout for that long.”

 

“You blacked out?!” Lena pressed a hand over her mouth.

 

“Shh, too loud, ears hurt.” Kara relented, with a grumpy pout on her face, “I’m fine, darling. Stop. With. The. Pout.” She emphasised each word with a kiss and then laid back down. Kara allowed a small smile to creep onto her face and went back to stroking her hair, albeit more delicate this time. “I’ve missed this.”

 

“Me too,” Kara kissed the top of her head.

 

They finished the movie and Kara carried her up to bed. She laid her down and Lena dragged her down into a kiss, nibbling on her bottom lip. Kara sighed into the kiss, relishing in the feel of Lena’s lips moving against her own. They kissed slowly: Kara brought a hand up to cup her cheek and stroke the skin with her thumb, she deepened the kiss, sliding her tongue against her lips. Lena gasped and Kara slipped her tongue into her mouth, Lena threaded her hands into Kara’s hair and moaned.

 

Kara pulled back and placed two kisses on her lips, Lena’s eyes opened and she stroked Kara’s cheek.

 

“I’m gonna go wash up,” Lena said, she pecked Kara’s lips twice more before getting up.

 

“M’kay, babe.” Kara watched her go into the bathroom and she beamed, running her hands over her face. She’d gone from a miserable, wallowing, shell of a human being to her normal, happy, sunshine like self in the space of a few hours and having Lena here just felt right.

 

She grinned again when she heard the door open, “what happened to the door?” Lena asked.

 

“Hmm?”

 

“The door? All the paint has been scratched off at the bottom, did Hero do that?” Lena had a confused look on her face.

 

“Oh,” she cleared her throat, oh shit! “Uhh, yeah, that was Hero.”

 

“Why? He never does stuff like that?” Hero looked at Kara, he tilted his head almost expectantly, as if to say, ‘if you won’t tell her, I will’.

 

“Well, I may have brought someone home and Hero didn’t like her very much,” Lena raised an eyebrow and Kara squirmed. “I shut him in the bathroom and he went bananas.” Lena bit her lip and looked down, a slight frown on her face. “I’m sorry, Lena. We never actually got anywhere, Hero made sure of it!” Lena was still looking at the floor, “I just- I was hurt a-and-” she heard Lena let out a small squeak before her body convulsed with laughter, “-and you’re an asshole! I thought you were upset!” Kara launched a pillow at her.

 

“I am upset!” Lena caught the pillow and threw it back, “probably not as upset as you were though,” she uttered. “Well, at least I know that someone has my back,” she scooped Hero up and kissed his head. “Were you defending my honour? You’re such a good boy!”

 

“Oh great, so he ruins my door and gets praised for it,” Kara was talking to herself at this point, Lena too focussed on petting Hero.

 

“Did your mommy bring a stranger home? Shall we make her sleep on the couch?” Lena rubbed his belly and Hero wagged his tail, yipping excitedly. Lena turned to Kara, “That means ‘yes’.” She smirked.

 

Kara’s jaw dropped, “I’m not sleeping on the couch. You sleep on the couch.” She said firmly.

 

“Fine. Come on, Hero!”

 

“No, wait!” Kara grabbed her around the waist and pulled her back onto the bed. “Listen to me, you’re staying here and I’m staying here, no couch. Not again,” She growled. Lena grinned, she had missed No Nonsense Danvers.

 

Kara propped herself up on her elbow and cupped Lena’s face, “I didn’t plan it, I promise. I went out with a friend from work and it just kind of happened. It was a mistake... You know what they say: get over someone by getting under someone else. I’m happy that Hero messed it up, he knew I was being an idiot.”  

 

“I’m not mad, I don’t really have the right, we weren’t together. It hurts a little bit-”

 

“-is it the raging jealousy?” Kara joked, Lena glared and hit her shoulder.

 

“Pfft, I don’t get jealous.” Kara snorted, “I don’t! Shut up!” Kara ducked her head and kissed her neck before going back to seriousness. “I don’t blame you. I know I hurt you and I’m so sorry.” Her lip trembled and Kara leaned down to kiss her softly.

 

“We’re not talking about that tonight, remember? It’s just you and me… and Hero tonight.” Lena let out a breathy laugh, Kara pressed kisses to her cheeks and then her forehead before excusing herself.

 

Kara left to use the bathroom. When she came back, Lena was settled on her side of the bed, her eyes were heavy and she looked about half a minute away from falling asleep. Kara crawled into bed and curled her arms around her pillow, not really sure whether they were at the cuddling stage.

 

“Rough day?” She murmured.

 

Lena nodded, “it ended pretty well though.” She gave Kara a small smile. “Can I?” She nodded towards Kara.

 

“Of course, c’mere.” She opened her arms and Lena burrowed into her, throwing her leg over her hips. She clutched Kara’s shirt and slid her other under the fabric, resting it against the warm skin. She laid her head over Kara’s heart, listening to the rhythmic thumping; it was the perfect lullaby, reminding her that she didn’t fail, Kara was alive.

 

It had been an emotionally exhausting day and they both fell asleep within a few minutes.

 

__________

 

At some point in the night, Hero had climbed onto the bed and Lena had become the filling in a puppy and human puppy sandwich. She was warm, comfortable and at peace.

 

Kara stirred first, it was the most restful night sleep she’d had in weeks, she was curled tightly around Lena’s body nuzzling the back of her neck. Lena was warm and soft and she looked so beautiful in the early morning light.  

 

Kara didn’t want to move, but she also really wanted to do something special for Lena before she woke up. She pressed a kiss behind her ear and slid out of bed, Hero raised his head and Kara stroked his ears, “stay here,” she whispered.

 

She came back with a tray full of waffles, Lena was still sound asleep, nestled deep into the pillow. Kara’s heart swelled, Lena was exactly where she belonged: in her bed, wearing her clothes, safe and warm. She let out a soft sigh when Kara draped herself over her body to leave a trail of kisses from her shoulder up to her neck.

 

“Good morning,” Kara cooed.

 

“Mornin’.” Lena’s voice was thick with sleep, she rolled and Kara stroked her face, “do I smell waffles?” Eyes still closed, Kara leaned down and kissed her.

 

“Mhmm, and if you wake up now, I might save some for you.” Lena’s eyes slowly opened. “Hi,” Kara breathed.

 

“Hey.” Lena said, she sat up. Kara placed the tray across their laps and looped an arm around her waist tucking Lena into her side. They both knew they had to talk about everything that had happened but for right now, they had found their way back to each other and they had hope that everything would be okay again.

 

__________

 

They had a slow morning, sweet kisses and soft touches but eventually, they had to talk. Kara couldn’t go much longer without apologising properly, she was itching to just blurt everything out, Lena may be able to brush it under the carpet but Kara couldn’t.

 

She sat Lena on the couch and made them both some tea. Lena cupped her mug and stared into it, Kara cleared her throat. “Can I start?” Lena really, really didn’t want to do this but she knew Kara wouldn’t let it go so she nodded.

 

“We both said that we didn’t know what we were doing in the beginning, and it’s clear to me now that I certainly didn’t handle that situation in the right way. I was angry and abrupt, I was hurt and a little bit embarrassed that it was only after Paris when things became real for you. My own feelings developed much earlier and I was stupid, just because I was falling for you, it doesn’t mean that you felt the same, everyone is different and I should have remembered that.” Kara looked down at her hands.

 

“Paris was when I accepted the fact that I loved you, it wasn’t the time when my feelings first developed. I was terrified of my feelings towards you and I ignored them until I couldn’t any more.” Lena ducked her head to meet Kara’s eyes, “it’s not about that though, I lied to you for months and I knew it was wrong, I knew it was one of the worst things I could do to you.” She shrugged, “but I did it anyway because, you’re right, I am selfish-”

 

“No,” Kara took her hands, “I was wrong. I have never been so wrong in my life,” she took a breath and looked up. “You are one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met, you are good and kind and selfless. You put everybody before yourself and work Lena may have to be a little manipulative but you are compassionate. You are my favourite person and I will keep showing you who you are, if you need me to- if you want me to.” Kara took her hands, she spoke with such sincerity that Lena was starting to believe it. Maybe she did deserve someone like Kara.

 

“I keep saying that I’m working on how I handle my anger and I’m so ashamed of the way I acted and the things I said. I know it probably doesn’t look like it, but I’m really really trying to be better. In that moment, I thought I hated you, but I’m learning that there is a fine line between love and hate… and I don’t think I could ever hate you. You gave me the answers I have been searching for, for years and you saved me when I lost myself. I can’t believe I ever doubted you when you’ve shown me time and time again who you really are. I’m so sorry and I can’t apologise enough.” Lena leant forward and kissed Kara’s forehead and then her temple before pulling her into a hug.

 

Lena didn’t really believe she deserved an apology from Kara but she would happily accept it. “Before I met you, before all of this… I wasn’t living, I thought I was, but then you showed me what living is really like. You gave me the freedom to choose who I wanted to be, to find out who I am.”

 

“So, I lied and I kept on lying because  I didn’t want to lose this new life, the life I had built around you. You showed me that I could be… loved because of who I am and not how good I am at killing people. I didn’t want to go back to being that cold, heartless killer. I was being selfish-” Kara went to protest, but Lena cupped her face, a silent ask to let her finish. “I was being selfish and I deeply apologise for lying to you, but at the same time, I can’t find it in myself to regret it.” Kara frowned slightly.

 

“I think if I had confessed earlier, I don’t know whether we would have found our way back to each other. Although, it was heart-breaking, it showed me that the love between us was real, even when I tried to doubt it. Now, I hope we can rebuild, with a foundation of love instead of lies. I’m going to earn your trust again Kara, I promise. I’m going to start right now.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“I’m going to tell you everything,” Kara knew it would be a heavy day, she hadn’t realised just how heavy it would be for Lena.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Lena was born a fighter.

 

She had been fighting since the day she was born. Almost two months premature, her mother was young and couldn’t cope. In a moment of pure panic and fear, she left Lena in a basket outside of a church. Not only was her tiny body not fully developed, she was left vulnerable on a cold, wet October night.

 

Talia had received a call from the pastor, he knew they ran a orphanage, he didn’t know the full extent as to what went on at The Academy but, he knew they cared for babies.

 

Talia always said from the moment she saw Lena, she knew that she was special.

 

She may have been small but her lungs were powerful, she cried and screamed loudly, flailing her tiny fists. Talia picked her up, the small baby was freezing. She cradled her against her chest, warming her with her body heat, crying was a good sign she would have been worried if the baby was silent. Talia waited until her body temperature was up before wrapping her in a blanket and carrying her to her new home.

 

Lena weighed in at just 4lbs 2oz.

 

“I’m telling you, Talia, she won’t make it. Take her to the hospital and give her up now.” Nyssa was adamant that the baby would only be a burden. She needed to be monitored 24/7 for at least the first few weeks, they didn’t have enough people to look after the children they had, let alone one who didn’t have a fighting chance.

 

Talia cradled her and watched as she eagerly drank from the bottle, “I think she will. I have a feeling she’ll exceed all our expectations.” She murmured.

 

“We don’t have the experience or the capacity to look after her! We need to focus on the healthy children we already have. She won’t last a week in these conditions!” Nyssa argued.

 

“If she survives the week, will you consider her then?” Nyssa sighed and pinched her brow, “she has no one else.”

 

“Fine, one week. But, she’s yours to take care of, on top of the others allocated to you.” Talia nodded.

 

She accepted the challenge, she finished feeding the baby and placed her in a cot. Talia watched over her the first night, making sure that she had no problems. She woke up multiple times, Talia fed her and changed her diaper before rocking her back to sleep.

 

She was given the last name Luthor due to where she was found, The Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. She would be baby girl Luthor until they figured out what her first name would be.

 

That first week, Talia was on edge constantly, the baby was so small and so delicate, Talia was afraid she might break if she held her wrong.

 

She had read about the importance of skin to skin contact and spent many nights with the child on her chest, quietly reading her book aloud. The baby girl made soft, content noises, stretching out her little hand. Talia was reading a story about a strong, young woman who lived in a dystopian future, she destroyed the corrupt government and rebuilt a fairer society from the ashes, ironic really. The baby squirmed whenever Talia read out the characters name, Lena.

 

 “Lena Luthor.” She tested it out loud, the baby kicked her legs and made a breathy noise. “Do you like that name? Do you want to be Lena Luthor?” She kicked her legs again and cooed. “Well, alrighty then. October 28th, Happy Name Day, Lena.”

 

__________

 

Lena defied all expectations, by two years old she was walking and talking, her limited vocabulary reached over four languages already. Their carers spoke to the small children in multiple languages, helping them to pick it up easily.

 

She was much smaller then the other girls, still fitting into 6-9 month old clothing, but everyone could see that she was incredibly smart, she could already hold conversations, name colours and shapes, even read full sentences. However, Lena was very introverted, while the other girls played together, Lena would sit on her own, usually in the corner of the room and entertain herself.

 

It worried Talia at first, Lena was so much smaller than the others that she thought the girl was afraid she would get hurt. In reality, Lena just liked to play by herself, usually making elaborate creations out of the building blocks before knocking it down and grinning gleefully.

 

Talia let her be, but she always kept a close eye on her.

 

__________

 

How do you raise assassins to be ruthless and yet considerate of others? The same way Talia and Nyssa were raised, they were raised to be fighters. They received a minimal, brash kind of love from their father: he loved them but kept them at arms length to build their strength. They found solace in each other, building an unbreakable bond that pulled them through their own training. They designed their program so that the girls would do the same.

 

By the time they started school every single moment of their day was planned from the moment they woke up to the moment they went to sleep. It was important for them to be in an established routine:

 

6am: Wake up call

6:30am: Breakfast

7am: School: Maths, English, World History

Languages, Science

12pm: Lunch

1pm: Exercise

4pm: Extra-curricular/recreational

5:30pm: Dinner

6:30pm: Wind-down time

7pm: Bedtime

7:30pm: Lights out

 

Age four and they were allowed out of The Academy. They were deep in the heart of the mountains where it was bitterly cold. The World Killers needed to get the recruits acclimated to the environment they would be living in for the next fourteen years. They were sent out into the woods for hours at a time, there wasn’t an objective exactly, it was just to get them used to the colder weather.

 

They were given thermals and a thin jacket, it wasn’t appropriate clothing, but the children were resilient, Talia and Nyssa wanted to see who would adapt and who would struggle.

 

They weren’t regular children, they hadn’t been coddled, in fact, from age two they had gone from carers to mentors and that’s they way it would stay until they graduated.  

 

The girls were left to play, the group electing to play tag. It was hard for the three adults to keep track of thirty unruly children running around, which was why it was so easy to lose the smallest one.

 

Lena, as usual, stayed by herself, quite happy to wander through the forest exploring. She hadn’t realised just how far she’d walked until she realised she couldn’t hear the childlike screams of excitement. Lena realised this was the first time she’d experienced true peace and quiet, she may only be four, but the noise was always a little overwhelming, she liked the quiet.

 

She ambled through the snow, the sound of the crunching underfoot was satisfying and she couldn’t feel the cold air at all. She hadn’t really thought about getting lost, she was a smart girl, she just followed her own footprints and tagged onto the group as they were walking back.

 

Her first time adventure into the forest hadn’t amounted to much, but Lena had experienced her first true taste of freedom and it was exhilarating. They had to do the exercise three times a week, a different trail on every occasion and each time, Lena would disappear from the main group and explore her surroundings. No one noticed when she left, no one noticed when she came back, no one noticed she was missing at all.

 

Lena reckoned she’d mapped out at least three miles east of every trail.

 

She always made it back before the group left and never alerted the attention of Talia, Nyssa or Rhea. She did happen to twig someone else’s attention though, Samantha- Sam Arias, she was a few months older than Lena, her light, brown hair a contrast to Lena’s black.

 

They were led back to The Academy, Lena slipped in at the back as usual and Sam dropped back to fall into step next to her.

 

“Hi,” she said. Lena turned and saw Sam looking at her expectantly.

 

“Hi?” No one spoke to Lena, she was the outcast, the weird kid who liked to be by herself.

 

“I’m Sam.” She shot Lena a small, reassuring smile.

 

“I know?” Lena said blankly, still wondering why this girl was talking to her.

 

“Do you wanna be friends?” She asked.

 

“Why?”

 

“Because you don’t really talk to anyone and you look lonely.” Lena looked down at the floor.

 

“I’m not lonely.”

 

The next session in the woods was two days later and Sam came running up to her before their game of tag started. “Lena! Will you play with us today?”

 

“I play with you every time?”

 

“No, you don’t. I watch you. You leave when we start and come back when we leave.” Lena’s eyes widened, “I noticed ‘cos you’re the smallest here.”

 

“No, I’m not!” Lena furrowed her brow and crossed her arms, grumpily.

 

“Yes, you are.” Sam pointed out, looking around at the group of regular-sized four year old girls. “Come on, silly billy.” She tugged on Lena’s arm and forced the girl to play with the group for the whole session. It’s not that Lena didn’t want to play with the rest of the group, it was just that she stuck out like a sore thumb, she was half the size of the others. How was she supposed to keep up with them when she was much slower and weaker?

 

Lena stayed away from Sam the next time they went into the woods, spending two hours surrounded by screaming girls and always been ‘it’ was not her idea of fun. She pretended like she was going to play again, then snuck off when no one was looking.

 

Only a few weeks into her little venture and she’d already seen a family of brown bears catching fish in the river and a herd of moose gathered in a large clearing. She always kept her distance, never interfering with them, she just observed. She liked animals, they were calm, quiet and regal and she enjoyed watching them.

 

What she didn’t want to come across were the wolves. She could hear them howling, communicating with each other, whenever she heard them she walked in the opposite direction. Lena wasn’t stupid, she knew that wolves were territorial and incredibly protective when it came to their pups.

 

Alas, one day she was frolicking through the trees as usual when she stumbled across the entrance to a cave. Noticing, the tufts of fur tangled in the bushes next to the opening, she knew she was in trouble. Lena backed away slowly, keeping her footsteps light and her gaze fixed firmly on the cave. Hearing a low growl behind her, she froze, unable to move her limbs, she almost felt the animal sniff the air and the subsequent pant on the back of her neck.

 

Lena slowly turned around and was met with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth, the wolf approached, dark eyes pinned on her. Lena began shaking with fear, she closed her eyes eyes and held her breath, turning her face away. She felt a cold, wet nose brush against her cheek. She let out a small squeak as the animal nuzzled her face, clearly not seeing her as a threat. She took a deep breath and reached her hand up to touch the wolf’s fur, she stroked his ear and he leaned into her touch.

 

She smiled, clearly she had a way with animals.

 

Sam cornered her in their recreational time, she plopped down next her and Lena looked over at her, confused again.

 

“Lena.” She greeted with a smile.

 

“Sam.” Lena nodded back, turning back to the chess board.

 

“Can I play with you?” Sam asked, moving to sit on the opposite side of the board.

 

“Um, I guess.” Sam moved her first piece.

 

“Where do you go?” Sam asked. Lena looked up from the board and tilted her head, questioning. “You know what I mean,” she huffed. Lena looked up at the mentor watching over them, Sam turned and saw what she was looking at, “I won’t tell, I swear.” Lena didn’t look convinced. “You’ve been gone for weeks and I haven’t said anything.”

 

That was true, “I pinky swear,” she held out her finger. Lena looked at it and decided a human friend might be nice.

 

“I don’t go anywhere, I just walk through the woods and explore.” She mumbled lowly, making her next move and taking Sam’s knight.

 

“That sounds…” Sam thought for a moment, she didn’t want to upset the sensitive girl, “like something you would enjoy.” She heard Lena’s small giggle and patted herself on the back for her good decision.

 

“It’s quiet. I like the quiet.”

 

“I noticed. Sometimes it’s nice to have friends though,” Sam commented.

 

“I don’t have any of those.”

 

“I could be your friend?” Sam suggested.

 

“I think, I’d like that.” Lena ducked her head to hide her smile.

 

“How do find your way back, aren’t you scared of getting lost?” She asked.

 

“Not really. I just follow my own footprints in the snow,” she shrugged.

 

Sam gasped, “like Hansel and Gretal?!” Lena furrowed her brow again.

 

“Who?”

 

“You haven’t read Hansel and Gretal? It’s my favourite!” Sam wanted to drag her to the library then and there, but they were called away to dinner. Lena sat at Sam’s table that night and the girl chatted happily with the others, occasionally bringing Lena into the conversation. It was nice, Lena enjoyed it.

 

But, she didn’t enjoy it enough to stick with the group the next time they went into the forest. She enjoyed her freedom too much.

 

Apparently, she strayed too far away from her boundaries this time, she was skipping through the trees when she ran slap bang into a solid body. She landed on the floor and looked up. This would be the first time she had a gun pointed at her face, Lena was staring down the barrel of an AK-47.

 

“Looks like someone strayed too far away from the pack,” the man said to his partner. “Call it in, I’ll take her back.”

 

“Umm, sir?” He turned back, but Lena had already turned and run in the other direction. She knew this part of the forest like the back of her hand, she ran to the edge of the path and slid into a snowdrift before scurrying into the hollow of a tree.

 

She could hear the chatter of the radio. “What did she look like?”

 

“Small, approximately 2-3 years old,” I’m four! “…dark hair.”

 

“How did you lose her?!” Lena was in so much trouble when she got back. She heard the footsteps fade as the men walked in the opposite direction, and she ran all the way back to the group. She waited until it was time for the group to leave and then slipped in unnoticed again.

 

She almost thought she’d gotten away with it, but as they walked back she felt Talia’s hand clamp down on her shoulder. A subtle way to let her know that she knew what she had done. The waiting was almost worse, she wished Talia would just yell at her, instead she tortured herself over the crippling disappointment she felt from her mentor.

 

She waited and waited, but Talia didn’t speak to her all night and neither did Nyssa or Rhea.

 

The incident in the forest had really terrified her, to the point where she woke up sweating and shaking from vivid dreams about cool metal pressed against her forehead. She tried but she couldn’t fall back to sleep, she was too afraid. Lena threw the blankets off and slid out of bed, she tiptoed to the door onto the other side of the room, she intended to go to the library and fall asleep reading her favourite books.

 

“You really quite good at sneaking around, aren’t you?” Lena froze and turned slowly, she saw Talia at the end of the corridor, book open in her palm. Talia had a stern look on her face, but she refused to look at the small girl.

 

“I… I had a bad dream.” Lena tried to be strong, but the corners of her mouth down turned into a frown.

 

Talia looked up, her face immediately softened at the small girl. “Come on, Little One” she scooped the small girl up in her arms, Lena rested her head on Talia’s shoulder. “We’ll get you some warm milk and you’ll fall right to sleep.”

 

Talia carried her into the mentors side of The Academy, she made her a mug of warm milk before sitting in a comfy armchair and placing the small child onto her lap. Lena sipped on her drink, “why did you run away today?”

 

“I don’t like playing with the others.”

 

“Why?” Talia prompted.

 

“’Cos I’m small, I’m an easy target. I can’t keep up with them.” Lena grumbled.

 

“It’s not about how big you are Little One. You have to learn to adapt the skills you have: you’re smart, calculated, you could easily beat the others if you just thought about it. But, you can’t run away like that, you’ll get lost and then what will you do?” Talia’s voice was stern, trying to get her lesson to stick in Lena’s head.

 

“I won’t get lost,” Lena defended. “I always come  back.”

 

“What do you mean, you ‘always come back’?” Talia said, she raised an eyebrow and Lena squirmed and suddenly became very interested in her milk, “Lena,” she warned.

 

“I’vebeenleavingthegroupeverytimewegointotheforest,” Lena blurted out and then drank the rest of her milk in one go, needed something to do.

 

What she didn’t expect was Talia to snort and then laugh loudly, Lena looked at her wide eyed, a little afraid. “Of course you have,” she was right, Lena was definitely one they would have to watch. “What have you been doing?”

 

“Just exploring, watching the animals. I met some moose… moooses? Moosi?” Lena waved it off, “I saw some bears at the river… oh, and I made friends with a wolf!” She added excitedly. Talia stared at the tiny child, completely bewildered.

 

“I… I have no response to that. But, Lena you can’t keep doing that, the exercise is not just about getting used to the cold; it’s about building a strong bond between the other girls. Listen to me carefully, you will need allies further down the line.” Talia was trying to get the message across to her.

 

Lena huffed, “no one notices when I’m gone.” She made a fair point, Talia hadn’t even noticed she was missing. Talia put an arm around her and gave her a hug. “I’m too small and weak to be an alle- ally.”

 

“Lena, you won’t be this small forever, you’ll grow, it will just take a little while longer. You’re smarter than most, let people see that.” Lena sulked, not wanting to give up her peaceful afternoons. “What was your dream about?”

 

“The man in the woods, he pointed a gun at me,” Lena frowned, curling into herself.

 

“That’s why you ran?” Lena nodded. “They won’t hurt you, I promise. They’re there to protect you.” She cradled Lena close and rocked her to sleep just like she did when she was a baby.

 

She was just about to carry Lena back to bed when Nyssa came through the door. “You’re too soft with her.” Talia rolled her eye.

 

“The guards left their posts today and pointed a gun at her. What was I supposed to do? She’s four!” Talia said in a harsh whisper.

 

They employed mercenaries to guard the perimeter of The Academy. Their job was to keep everyone else out, by any means necessary. They weren’t allowed to interfere with the wildlife or interact with the girls. They were paid enough to not ask any questions and they were very good at what they do.

 

The guards very rarely had to use violence against any wandering visitors. In fact, they hid in the trees and made creepy noises, terrifying any hikers or tourists and giving the mountain a ghostly reputation. A haunted mountain usually frightened away any unwanted visitors.

 

“I’ll speak to them tomorrow,” Nyssa shook her head. “Did you talk to her about what she did?”

 

“Apparently, she didn’t run away. She’s been sneaking away from the group for months and no one has noticed her absence.” Nyssa scoffed.

 

“I don’t believe that. There’s no way we wouldn’t have noticed, she’s lying so you’ll be impressed and not angry.” Nyssa argued.

 

“Well, she told me details that she would only know had she been at least two miles east of the Hocking Hills trail. Which as you know, we were no where near today.” Talia shot back.

 

“This is about you trying to prove you were right about her.” She kept her voice low as not to wake the child, but it was full of venom.

 

“Has she not proved that herself? She outsmarted all of us!”

 

“If you keep treating her like this, she won’t last long at all. She needs to build a thicker skin.” Nyssa stared her down.

 

“I’m taking her back to bed.” Talia sighed, knowing better to argue with Nyssa when one of the recruits was present. She carried Lena back to the nursery and placed her in her bed, pulling the blanket up to her chin.

 

The next day, Nyssa changed up the plan, taking the group up to a clearing in the woods. She had them line up and then called Lena out of the group and made her stand at the front, Talia looked at her sister trying to figure what she was doing.

 

“I just have a couple of things I need to clear up. This exercise is about bonding as team mates, but one of your team mates has separated herself from the group on multiple occasions. You’ve also all been working on you attention to detail so I want to know, who here noticed that Lena was missing?” Nyssa scanned the line, Lena looked at Sam but she just stood there silently. “No one? Well, all of you will be punished for Lena’s insubordination.”

 

Now, Talia realised what she was doing. Nyssa was going to turn the group against Lena, make her the collective target to see how she handled it. Lena stared at the floor, “all of you will lose your recreational time for the next month-” there was a collective groan, “-and you will be having extra lessons on your attention to detail since you all seem to need it.”

 

Lena may have been young, but even she knew that there was a target on her back. They were allowed to play tag as usual, Lena didn’t dare try to leave. Of course, she was tripped, shoved and pushed to the floor by almost everyone, disguised as rough play.

 

“This is just cruel,” Talia directed towards Nyssa.

 

“She needs to learn.” Nyssa watched as she got to her feet once again. Lena knew not to cry, it would only make the situation worse, she would look weak.

 

She was soaked to the bone, having landed in the snow so many times, she shivered violently. Sam lingered, taking off her own jacket to give to Lena, but she refused to take it.

 

“It will only make things worse.” Lena mumbled.

 

Lena was shunned away from her new dinner table, she sat on her own in the corner. It also didn’t help that she was given almost twice the amount of food as the others, the apparent aim was to help her growth.

 

She waited until lights out and allowed herself to cry, silently so not to alert the others. She sobbed into her pillow, feeling more alone then she ever had.

 

“Hey, Lena.” Sam pulled back her blanket and climbed into her bed next to her, “it’s okay, Lena.” She patted her shaking shoulder. “They’re just annoyed because you’re smarter than them.”

 

“W-why didn’t y-you ad-admit you knew?” Lena choked out, she turned to face Sam.

 

“Because, I promised I wouldn’t.” Sam said, as if it was obvious.

 

“T-they all hate me.” Lena wiped her eyes.

 

“So what? You have me.” Sam gave her an awkward one-armed hug, it was hard when they were laid down. “You want me to tell you a story?” Lena would usually say something like, ‘I’m not a baby’ but she could really use a story right now, so she nodded.

 

“Once upon a time…” Sam told her the story of Hansel and Gretal, describing in great detail what the gingerbread cottage looked like. Lena questioned how it would survive in the rain, Sam shushed her and carried on talking.

 

By the time she was done, Lena had calmed down and was listening intently. “It will be okay, I’ll protect you.” Sam said. “Just ‘til you’re big enough to defend yourself.” She quickly added.

 

__________

 

Age five and they swapped out the acclimating exercise for martial arts. Lena still hadn’t shaken her reputation for being the spoilsport, so she didn’t have many friends.

 

She was also still a lot smaller than the rest of the group.

 

They didn’t get to pick their own pairs, Lena was paired up with girls who were bigger and stronger than her, she got beat up a lot. Day after day she had new bruises on her body. She tried to put as much strength behind her hits as possible but that didn’t equate to much. She told herself that every hit would make her stronger, embrace the pain and wear it as armour.

 

Sam sat with her at meal times and made sure that she was okay, Sam was friends with pretty much everyone which meant if Lena was with her, she would be left alone.

 

Nyssa was right, she had built a tough skin. She hadn’t cried herself to sleep since her fifth Name Day, that was an accomplishment for her. Now she just brushed it off and worked harder to be better next time.

 

When they weren’t fighting, they had started gymnastics and ballet. It was a delicate training regime, they couldn’t work the kids too hard in the gym because they were prone to injury. Just enough for them to build up their strength and endurance.

 

Lena excelled, she was flexible, light on her feet and brave. Always ready to prove herself, she made a promise that she would never refuse to learn a new move.

 

__________

 

As a sort of “gift”, on their Name Days they were excused from any of the activities that were planned for the day and given extra recreational time.

 

On her eighth Name Day, Lena was excused from the cold water survival exam. Everyone knew the relationship that Talia and Lena had, word soon got around that the exam was planned for that specific day because there was no way Lena would survive it. She had exceeded all expectations so far and she wasn’t about to fail now.

 

“I want to take part in the exam,” Lena said. She was stood tall in front of Talia’s desk, hands clasped behind her back.

 

“You know you’ll still be taking part in the exam, just not today?” Talia said,

 

“I know, but I want to do it in front of everyone, I need to prove it to them.” Lena said, vehemently. Talia tilted her head, she thought that this was an example of Lena’s dedication and hard work. It was actually for her own survival, if she postponed her exam and passed, the girls would say that Talia helped her somehow. The only way to conserve her integrity was by completing the exercise at the same time.

 

“Well then, go get ready.” Talia said with a smile.

 

The exam consisted of the recruits being pushed into the freezing river, they had to fight the cold water shock and stay in there for five minutes before they were allowed out. They repeated this three times, it was important they learn how to cope in the harshest conditions.

 

“What are you doing?” Sam hissed when Lena lined up next to her on the riverbank.

 

“I have to do this now, I can’t wait.” Lena didn’t even look at her, she stared straight ahead into the water. They would be pushed in the water at random, so no one could truly prepare. Lena took a deep breath to keep herself calm, she watched the first girl, Anna, get pushed in. Once the first group of girls were in the water, the rest had to turn around, so they didn’t have to witness anything.

 

They were encouraged not to look at anyone else while they were in the water.

 

Once the first group clambered onto the riverbank, Lena was immediately pushed into the water. The water was so cold, her body began convulsing immediately. She knew the affects of cold water shock were dangerous as soon as she surfaced she would be gasping for air. Taking an extra second to compose herself, she surfaced immediately laying onto her back, she kept her head above the water so she wouldn’t inhale any.

 

She closed her eyes and focused on her breathing, in through her nose and out through her mouth. She tried to think about anything other than how cold she was, moving her arms and legs only slightly to make sure she still had feeling. The time went quickly and soon she was swimming over to the bank, pulling herself up and out. Immediately, she rolled in the fresh snow, trying to soak up some of the water.

 

She needed to keep her internal body temperature up, so she ran over to the trail and ran as fast as she could through the trees. She managed at least 2km before heading back.

 

She lined up again, shivering along with the rest of the girls. The last group were still in the water. Lena closed her eyes and felt herself be pushed in the cold water again, her body convulsed again and she swallowed a mouthful of water this time. Coughing and spluttering, she made sure to float on her back and not to panic.

 

The time went quicker this time and soon she was out of the water and rolling in the snow. Her next run was hard but in the back of her mind, she knew it was the best way to keep herself warm.

 

The third time in the water was the worst, she squeezed her eyes shut tightly and tried to ignore the sounds of the girl drowning next to her. She shouldn’t have looked, they told them not to look, but she did.

 

Age eight, Lena saw her first dead body.

 

Time felt like it slowed to a stop, her body was shaking violently and it wasn’t due to the cold this time. She now understood why they weren’t supposed to look, she felt sluggish and empty, it was hard to pull herself out of the water. She rolled in the snow, but stayed on her knees struggling to get up.

 

That was until she saw Sam lying in the snow, barely breathing. She looked up but the staff were setting up tents, ignoring the fact that there was a girl on the floor. Lena felt renewed, there was no rule to stop them helping other recruits they were just advised to focus on themselves. Lena got to her feet and ran over to where Sam was laying.

 

“Come on, get up!” She grunted, hooking her arms under Sam’s shoulders and pulling her up to her feet.

 

“Can’t. M’too cold,” she slurred. Most of the other girls were doing burpees as a way to keep their internal body temperature up, only Lena and a few others had chosen to run the trail.

 

“You have to run.” Lena kept an arm around her and dragged Sam until she picked her feet up and stumbled along with her. By the time they got back to the group, Sam was running by herself, it wasn’t her normal pace but it was good enough and her breathing was better.

 

When they arrived back, the tents were up and they scrambled inside to get changed out of their wet clothes into dry ones. Lena felt better but not warmer. They were told to line up and then had to run back to The Academy. Once there, they were wrapped in tinfoil blankets and led inside, Sam and a few other recruits were taken straight to the medbay.

 

Lena later found out that they had lost four girls in the exercise.

 

Dinner was silent.

 

This was the first time the group had experienced loss, there were no tears, they knew better than that. The atmosphere was gloomy, the air thick with sorrow. The staff didn’t seem affected at all and the group realised that this was just the beginning, they would be experiencing this feeling more and more until they also became disassociated.

 

Lena grabbed Sam’s favourite book from the library and her serving of perogi and went to visit her in medical.

 

“Hey,” Lena greeted, climbing onto the bed next to Sam.

 

“Hey. Happy Name Day.” Sam said.

 

“Thanks, I brought you this.” Lena handed her the plate.

 

“My favourite!” She squealed, “thank you for today. You saved me.”

 

“You’ve been saving me since I was four.” Lena said, incredibly grateful that Sam had decided she wanted to be friends with her even when she had been so standoffish. She had made a promise to herself, Sam had protected her when she needed it most and she would repay the favour as many times as needed. Sam rested her head on Lena’s shoulder. “How are you feeling?”

 

“Tired, very drained.” She gestured to the IV pumping fluids into her. “You really showed them what you’re made of. If you had the same physicality that the rest of us have, you’d be unbeatable.”

 

“I’m trying, my biology just sucks.” They both giggled.

 

“Did you look?” Sam whispered, the tone suddenly became sombre.

 

Lena nodded, “did you?”

 

“Yeah, I couldn’t help it. I think that’s what wiped me out.” Lena took her hand a squeezed it tightly. “It all became real,” she uttered.

 

“Don’t think about it. Look, I brought your other favourite.” Lena grabbed the book from the night stand and read it softly to her. “The candy cottage does look amazing,” she commented when they reached the picture in the book.

 

“I want to live in one,” Sam said sleepily.

 

“You’d just eat it,” Lena laughed softly.

 

“You should live with me, you’d make sure I wouldn’t eat it.”

 

“Okay.” She agreed.

 

Sam held up her little finger, “when this is all over, we will build a gingerbread cottage, decorate it with candy and live happily ever after.”

 

“Happily ever after,” Lena linked their fingers. Sam fell asleep soon after, still resting on her shoulder. Lena grabbed the other book she brought, it was one she’d found in a dusty corner of the library, The journey to save our Earth, by Doctors Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers. Naively, when she first found it, she thought it contained all the answers they needed to fix the world and complete the vision, it was really about how they were working to cure climate change.

 

Lena was hooked.

 

__________

 

Age twelve, Lena excelled in everything except the physically side of things. More specifically, strength and martial arts, she had good endurance, excellent flexibility and acrobatic skills; plus she was exceptionally light on her feet due to all the ballet training. She was still much smaller than the rest of the group, meaning she couldn’t lift as heavy or hit as hard.

 

Sam had to clean her up after each and every martial arts session. “She really hit you hard this time,” she dabbed her split lip. Lena was paired with Mercy Graves and she never held back.

 

“I mean, she has to. If Selina found out she was pulling punches, we’d all be punished.” Sam hummed.

 

“I’m starting to think this black eye will never heal.” Sam pressed the ice against her eye, she’d already had to ice it three times this week to stop it from swelling shut. “You might have some kind of permanent damage,” she fussed.

 

“I’m fine,” Lena waved it off. She’d been getting her ass kicked since she was five, this was nothing. “I can’t be good at everything, I’ll let you be the fighter and I’ll do everything else.” Sam snorted.

 

“Come on, let’s go to dinner.” Lena had made progress in the friends department, there was now a whole group of them that sat together at meal times and hung out during their recreational time.

 

“Jeez, Mercy won’t cut you any slack,” Andrea leant across the table and inspected her face.

 

“At least it doesn’t hurt any more, my pain tolerance is incredibly high now.” Lena smiled, trying to be optimistic, the group didn’t look convinced.

 

“Well, you could have gone easier on me, my rib cage is black and blue.” Sam said to Leslie, changing the subject.

 

“Selina was glaring at me again, I can’t do another punishment. She made me do-”

 

“-a hundred and fifty pull-ups for pulling punches against Andrea, we know.” Sam rolled her eyes.

 

“I couldn’t lift my arms for like a week!” Leslie defended. Lena listened to the group bickering, there was a time when Lena thought this would never be her reality. She used to sit on her own in the corner, and now she had friends, a support system. Talia was right, she really needed them.

 

Talia called her over after dinner, “come on Little One, we need to make sure your eye socket isn’t fractured.” Lena was taken to get an x-ray.

 

“I’m fine, I just never get the chance to heal,” she mumbled, definitely no bitterness in her tone.

 

“Regardless, I just want to make sure.” She sat on the medical table, waiting for the results and Talia sat next to her. “So, how’s the krav maga working out for you?” Lena gave her a pointed look from behind the ice pack, there was no heat and Talia snickered softly.

 

“I don’t think I’m ever going to get it,” her shoulders deflated. Lena pretended everything was fine when she was with the others, but she knew it wasn’t, she was barely keeping her head above water.

 

“You will. You need to use the skills that you have, you’ll never beat Mercy if you fight on her terms, think smarter.” Talia always dropped little clues when she gave her these little pep talks. She’ll never tell her what to do outright, she’ll have to figure out the answer herself.

 

“Why can’t I be on the same weights program as the others?”

 

“Because, I’m hoping that you still have some growing to do. If we work you too hard now, it will put too much strain on your muscles. It’s a delicate process and we need to make sure we do what’s best for you, keep up with your strength training and you’ll get there.” Lena sighed, she knew Talia was right, but it didn’t make her feel any better.

 

“I feel like I’m always three steps behind,” her head dropped forward.

 

“Maybe, that’s not such a bad thing, people have been underestimating you since the day I brought you here. Let them believe you’re not a threat, keep working hard and you’ll get there.” Lena nodded, she’d just have to find another way. “I know that once you graduate, you’ll barely use these skills at all. All you have to do is pass and know how to defend yourself should you need to.” Talia squeezed her shoulder and went to collect the results. “Well, good news, there’s no fracture.”

 

Lena was sent back to the dormitory, ready for lights out. She waited until she thought most of the girls were asleep before crawling into Sam’s bed, “not broken?” Lena shook her head, “good.”

 

“I need to do something Sam, I can’t do the same thing everyday,” she whispered.

 

“Maybe you just need some extra training.” Sam shrugged.

 

“When am I going to do that?”

 

“No time like the present,” Sam had a mischievous glint in her eye. She climbed out of bed and pulled Lena with her, they crept out of the dorm and across the compound to one of the training rooms. “We’ll run through some drills quickly and go back to bed.”

 

Sam pulled on the pads and they ran through as many drills as they could. “You’re fast, so if you can’t get powerful hits in, go for quick strikes, the more the better. Mercy won’t know how to handle it.” They worked until Lena’s drills were quick, sharp and precise.

 

Lena still got beat the next day, but she managed to wind Mercy and give her a matching black eye and that felt good. If that was the progress she’d could make in one night, she would happily carry on with the extra training sessions.

 

__________

 

The recruits were learning the importance of reconnaissance. The girls were paired up and instructed to write down everything they saw. Sam and Lena were laid on top of a hill overlooking an area of the compound, concealed in the bushes.

 

“I can feel something crawling up my leg,” Sam murmured.

 

“Ignore it. If you move, they might clock the bushes moving.” Lena uttered back, she was staring through a pair of binoculars, reeling off details that Sam had to write in a notebook. “They’re moving, perimeter walk.” The two people disappeared around the back of the building, they came back into view a couple of minutes later.

 

Lena did a quick scan and something was off, “one of the guys is different,”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“When I gave the description earlier, what colour were the watch straps?” Lena asked, Sam flipped through the pages of her notebook.

 

“One guy had a black watch and the other was orange.” Sam reeled off.

 

“Well, now they’re both wearing a black watch strap.” Lena said.

 

“So what do we do?” Sam asked.

 

“Move.” They packed up their stuff and shimmied out from their hiding place. Lena took off her jacket and threw it as far as she could, Sam did the same.

 

“River?” Sam suggested, Lena grabbed a handful of dirt and wiped it across Sam’s face and neck, “or dirt, I guess.” She did the same to Lena. “Get up that tree,” Sam pointed behind her. Lena gave her a boost and Sam pulled her up to the first branch.

 

They climbed high enough that they were hidden by the foliage below, but so they could still see the compound had Lena been wrong about the whole thing.

 

Of course, she wasn’t.

 

They heard the dogs first, picking up their scent, within seconds a team of guys gathered round their lookout. Lena took a quick glance down, orange watch strap.

 

They waited with bated breath as they searched the surrounding bushes, the dogs then picked up another scent and they carried on deeper into the woods. Sam and Lena huddled together on the branch until they heard them come back.

 

“Team Echo successfully evaded capture.” They looked at each other, so it wasn’t a reconnaissance exercise? They didn’t dare move until they saw the group return to the compound.

 

“So… it wasn’t recon.” Sam said, clearly shocked.

 

“No.” Lena shook her head, staring straight ahead.

 

“Shall we get out of here?”

 

“Definitely.” They climbed back down and trudged back to their rendezvous point.

 

“I mean we really should have expected things to be a little complicated,” Lena suddenly stopped, “what?”

 

“What if the rendezvous point is also a trap?” Sam paused, lips slightly parted.

 

“Shit.” She ran a hand through her hair. “How do we get back?”

 

“I can get us back.” Lena knew these woods like the back of her hand and she could get them back to The Academy easily. They trekked through the trees and even in the dark, Lena knew exactly where they were. It took them an hour to get back, Talia and Nyssa were waiting for them, arms crossed. Lena swallowed hard, she wasn’t stupid she knew Nyssa didn’t think she belonged here.

 

Nyssa stared at them, that powerful glare burrowing into Lena’s soul. “Good work tonight.” The corners of her mouth twitched upwards into a barely there smile before she turned sharply on her heel and left. That was probably the best she was going to get from Nyssa and Lena would take it and run.

 

“You’re the only pair that passed the exercise.” Talia informed them, Sam and Lena shared a look. “But, you also stink so please go take a shower.” The pair chuckled and Talia moved aside so they could go inside.

 

__________

 

Age sixteen and Lena killed someone for the first time.

 

She had finally hit a growth spurt and caught up with the others, she may have only been 5’5 but it was progress at least she was average height now. She also hit the gym every day and every night, needing to catch up with the rest of the girls. Sometimes she practised with Sam, but it wasn’t fair to keep Sam up every night, so Lena trained on her own most of the time.

 

Nyssa came to observe one of their martial arts sessions, their teams were switched up every few weeks and Lena was now paired with Sara Lance. She was good, but Lena had improved and was able to block most of her hits and land a few herself.

 

“Gather round girls, I have an announcement.” Nyssa called. “We only want the best of the best here. I’m done carrying dead weight. Next month you will be paired up in a fight to the death.” There was collective gasp, even the staff looked shocked.

 

She read out the pairs, Lena was paired with Mercy. A deep, unsettling feeling sat deep in the pit of her stomach. Yet again, Lena had to fight for her survival.

 

Lena headed to the training room that night, she needed to really up her game. The rest of the pairs were evenly matched, but Lena was still considered the weakest and Mercy was easily the best of them.

 

Lena knew she was going to die.

 

“Shouldn’t you be in bed?” Lena looked over and saw Talia leaning against the door frame.

 

“Well, I just found out I’m going to die in a month sooo,” she shrugged and turned back to the punching bag.

 

“It won’t be to the death, you can tap out.” Talia said, “she just said that to scare everyone. It’s just another test.”

 

“Regardless, if I tap out she’ll make my life hell.”

 

“You better make sure you win then,” Lena started hitting the bag again. “Do you ever follow the rules?”

 

“Not really, I’ve been doing these late night sessions since I was twelve.” Lena casually mentioned.

 

“Oh, I’m well aware, who do you think has been leaving the door unlocked the whole time?” Lena stopped and looked over, Talia had a smug smile on her face. “But, did you have to drag poor, innocent Sam into it?” Lena snorted.

 

“This was her idea, actually.”

 

“Oh god, you’ve corrupted her as well.” Lena was probably the only one Talia showed her fun, playful side to. “We’ve had this conversation before, Little One, you can beat Mercy. Nyssa is testing you, she’s annoyed at the fact that every challenge she’s thrown at you, you’ve overcome. She will never outright say it, but you’ve have impressed her every step of the way. Keep proving yourself.”

 

“I’m trying my hardest every day and it’s never enough, I’m tired.” Lena rested her forehead on the bag.

 

“It’s hard being here. No one said it was going to be easy, but I didn’t raise a quitter so you need to keep going. Before, you had the excuse that you were physically smaller and weaker than the other girls, now you’re all grown up what are you going to do about it?” This was the usual soft pep talk Talia had given her in the past. This was a wake up call, Lena didn’t want to be the underdog any more, she wanted to be the front runner.

 

__________

 

It was judgement day. Lena had worked every spare second she had and was ready for this. She had concealed her improvement from the others, taking many a beating in the run up, but she wanted Mercy to underestimate her.

 

Mercy had been taunting Lena since the day the announcement was made, trying to psyche her out and Lena allowed her to think that it was working.

 

They stood opposite each other, Nyssa in between them, “you know the rules, a fight to the death, you may tap out, but the consequences may be worse than death.” Nyssa looked at Lena while she said the last part, sickly sweet smile on her face; Lena quirked an eyebrow at her, a clear act of defiance. “Go forth and conquer,”

 

“Endure and thrive.” They both uttered, not taking their eyes off each other.

 

Nyssa stepped off the mat and the fight commenced.

 

Mercy stepped forward and threw a right hook towards her face, Lena blocked it and returned her own to strike Mercy’s jaw.

 

Lena had to become someone else, she couldn’t go on allowing herself to play the victim. Talia was right, she had to decide who she was going to be, she wasn’t a quitter, she was ruthless, cold and calculated.

 

No one saw it coming.

 

Mercy recovered quickly grappling at Lena’s neck and driving her knee into Lena’s stomach. She recoiled, Mercy took the opportunity to sweep her feet out from under her and threw her back into the mat.

 

She slammed her fist into Lena’s face repeatedly and Lena knew that, despite her name, she would show no mercy. Lena wouldn’t either. She grunted and used her flexibility to slam  her knee into the back of her head. Mercy was dazed and Lena struck her with an elbow to her nose.

 

She rolled backwards and Lena flicked herself to her feet. She waited for Mercy to get to her feet, Mercy had always intentionally made sure that she hurt Lena in the worst way, never giving her a break, hitting her in the same place every time so her wounds couldn’t heal; keeping Lena at her weakest so she couldn’t fight back.

 

Lena sent her to the floor again with a swift roundhouse kick to head, she kicked her again and Mercy struggled to get to her knees. Lena wrapped an arm around her neck and pulled tight, lying on her back to gain more leverage. Mercy clawed at her arm. Lena grabbed one arm and hooked her leg around her torso, keeping her pinned.

 

Lena fought back the tears as Mercy made choked, desperate sounds.

 

Tap out! Tap out! Tap out!

 

Lena couldn’t let up, Nyssa would crucify her. It was Mercy’s choice.

 

She didn’t tap.

 

Lena wiped the blood from her face and stood, slotting back into the line of girls.

 

She missed the look of shock on Nyssa’s face and the proud smile on Talia’s.

 

Sam found her after the test was over, Lena was sat balled up in the corner of the library, clutching her knees. Sam took her hand and led her out of the library, out of The Academy and into the woods. They hiked silently, until they emerged onto the top of an overhanging cliff.

 

“How did you this was here?” Lena asked.

 

“Well, when you saved my ass two years ago by leading us through the woods, I thought it was about time I learnt my way around as well. I found this a couple of weeks ago.” They sat down and Sam wrapped an arm around her, “you did good today.”

 

“I know and I know this is what we’ll have to do all the time once we graduate, but-”

 

“-the first time will always be the hardest,”

 

“Yeah,” Lena breathed.

 

“It was you or her. Mercy was a proud person, she never would have tapped and she wouldn’t have let you either.” Lena nodded.

 

“You were impressive,” Lena nudged her shoulder and Sam grinned.

 

“Oh, I wouldn’t have tapped either. I was surprised that Leslie tapped out though.” She said.

 

“I wasn’t, Leslie is the toughest of us all, she’ll survive anything they put her through.” Lena stared up at the sky, “things are changing, you can tell we’re coming to the end.” Sam hummed.

 

“I’m excited to get away from this place, see the world. But, I know you had a rough day, so I brought your favourite.” Sam produced Hansel and Gretal from her backpack.

 

Lena let out a small laugh, “that’s your favourite.”

 

“Shut up and listen, I’m not reading some boring science book,” Sam ignored her noise of protest and opened the book. Lena had heard this story over and over, but it always provided a level of comfort she couldn’t quite explain.

 

__________

 

Eighteen, time for the graduation ceremony.

 

They had already passed the first two tests: hand to hand combat against Selina and marksmanship with Nyssa.

 

The remaining girls were split into four teams and dropped into a remote location, they were given a mission objective and a rendezvous point to get to. The rest was up to them, Lena’s group: Sam, Leslie, Andrea, Sara and Jess were dropped into the middle of a random forest somewhere, inside enemy lines, with forty pounds of equipment each.

 

“So, what’s the objective?” Andrea asked. Jess pulled out the dossier.

 

“We have to pick up the package at these coordinates and then drop it off at the checkpoint and make our way to the rendezvous point without being detected.” She said.

 

Lena pulled out the compass, the only bit of useful kit they were given, and they began their trek. They walked the thirty miles easily, chatting away. Everything had been a little tense between the girls in the build up to this point, but this was the easiest part of the ceremony. The air was light and the finish line was so close they could taste it.

 

They picked up the package and headed to the checkpoint, “does anybody feel like this has been just a little bit too easy?” Leslie asked.

 

“Don’t say that, you’ll jinx us.” Sam said.

 

“Lena, you’re the detail person. Don’t you think it’s weird that we haven’t seen any patrols?” She turned towards Lena.

 

“Don’t answer that, you’ll jinx us as well!” Sam said. Lena really didn’t want to admit it out loud but she also thought it was strange.

 

“Just stay on your guard and expect the worst.” She replied.

 

“Maybe, they’re occupied with one of the other teams,” Sara suggested. They trudged on and made it to the checkpoint. Lena and Jess buried the package while the others kept a lookout. Once that was done, they marched off towards the rendezvous point.

 

They never made it to the rendezvous point.

 

The group was ambushed about a mile away from where they needed to be. They tried to fight, but these people were professionals and there was a lot of them.

 

They were blindfolded, hands and feet zip tied and bundled into the back of a van. The drive wasn’t very long and then they were dragged out of the van and pushed through a doorway.

 

They were forced to stay standing, still blindfolded and they were dragged out one at a time and interrogated.

 

Lena was thrown into a chair and the bag was pulled off of her head, a cruel looking man, with a twisted smile and dead eyes looked at her from across the table. “Why were you in the forest today?” Lena knew better than to give anything away.

 

“We were on a camping trip.” The man chuckled.

 

“With bags full of military equipment and assault riffles?” He gave her a disapproving look.

 

“Can’t be too careful with all the wolves and bears roaming around.” She gave him her best innocent look.

 

“I know, you were there to pick up a package, just tell me where it is and I’ll let you all go,” he threaded his fingers together and leant his elbows on the table, “and I’ll even guarantee your safety, I won’t harm a hair on your head.”

 

“I’m really sorry, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” He slammed his fist on the table and Lena faked her fear.

 

“I don’t think you understand who you’re dealing with! I have ways of making grown men squeal and tell me every detail of their lives. I will do the same to you.” Lena shivered in her chair.

 

“If I knew anything, I’d tell you, I swear.” He nodded to the guard behind her, the bag was put back over her head and she was led out of the room. Lena knew she wasn’t going back to the place she was held before, she was directed right this time, not left.

 

Lena heard what sounded like a heavy, metal door open and she was directed inside with a gun to her head. She was placed in the corner of the room and the door was locked, sealing her in.

 

That was when the real pain began, a composition of metal scraping against metal, women and children screaming and crying filtered into the room. A continuous, painful sound that made her head throb. Lena wanted to clasp her hands over her ears, but they were still bound, the noises drilling into her skull. There was something about hearing a child scream and cry that just made panic rise in her chest.

 

She thought back to her training and tried to block out the noises by singing something different at the top of her voice, trying to drown out the horrible track. She started by singing the Name Day song and when that got too repetitive she switched to every nursery rhyme she could remember. Rotating the song choice every so often, there was nothing more maddening than repeating the same thing over and over.

 

__________

 

She couldn’t tell how long she’d been in the room, it could have been hours, it could have been days. She was subdued, disorientated and had completely lost track of time.

 

Her muscles ached, her joints were on fire, her voice hoarse from all the shouting. She was losing her grip on reality; she kept herself together by naming things she could see, hear, taste, touch and smell.

 

There was a little light in the room and if she looked down she could see the mud caking the soles of her black boots, she could smell the dampness of the cell, feel the zip ties digging into the skin of her wrists, taste the sweat that had beaded on her forehead and ran down her face, hear the tapping of her foot; anything that wasn’t the blood curdling screaming.

 

Lena knew that keeping a person sleep deprived long enough meant you could basically get a person to do whatever you want. They were going to break her mind and extract every little bit of information.

 

Lena was grasping at her sanity, softly thumping her head against the wall, trying to feel anything.

 

Suddenly, it all just stopped. The noise stopped and Lena dropped to the floor in relief. The door opened with a heavy clunk and the bag was pulled off of her head; she recoiled at the bright light, screwing her eyes shut. The same man who had spoken to her the first time crouched down next to her limp body and gripped her chin.

 

“Ready to talk yet?” If Lena was going to get out of this she needed to act as if they’d already broken her.

 

“Tell Mommy, I won’t be home for dinner?” She murmured, eyes rolling back into her head.

 

“What were you doing in the woods?” He growled.

 

“Woods.” She croaked

 

“Where did you leave the package?”

 

“Package,” Lena started giggling for no reason. The man snarled and threw the bag down.

 

“Increase the heat, make them all sweat.” Lena whimpered when the door was shut, unable to determine how long she’d been here she didn’t know how long it had been since her last drink of water. Her mouth was dry, tongue like sandpaper and her lips were starting to chap, so it’s been a while.

 

She somehow managed to prop herself up against the wall opposite the door. Twisting her wrists back and forth until the ties were worn enough that they snapped easily, she then worked at the ties on her feet. She was free, but there was no where she could go.

 

She sat there for what felt like days, the heat meant there was no fresh air in the room. Her head lolled to the side and she panted softly, almost like a dog. That’s what she felt like, a caged animal.

 

Lena was clinging onto her reality, she listed everything she knew was real. She recited the story of Hansel and Gretal, grasping at her dream of freedom, but it was fading fast, she couldn’t even cry. Lena was a shell, waiting to die, she would welcome her death.

 

Eventually, she heard the door open again. “Good news, one of your friends confessed. This will all be over soon.” Lena’s lifeless eyes followed his hand as he placed a G19 pistol on the floor. “Obviously, I can’t let you go but, I’ve provided you with a way out.” He gestured to the weapon on the floor. Lena’s eyes flicked up and watched him leave, that cruel smile still on his face.

 

She stared at the gun until her vision went blurry, voices whirring around her head. She could do it, it would be quick and painless.

 

She was tired of fighting.

 

She was exhausted.

 

But, Lena was born a fighter and she would continue to survive until she got what she wanted.

 

She reached out for the burlap sack and used the last of her strength to rip it into one long strip.

 

“What is she doing?” Nyssa asked, staring at the screen. What the girls didn’t know was this was the final part of the graduation ceremony. They wanted to see if the girls could survive under the harshest torture techniques without breaking, or spilling their secrets; the truth had to be kept from them so they believed it was real. They needed to see how long they could last. It was brutal and barbaric, but necessary. It separated the strong from the weak.

 

“Leave her,” Talia insisted when Nyssa reached for the radio. “I want to see what she’s doing.” They watched intently.

 

Lena would not go out like this, she’d worked too hard and so had her team. Her friends were here somewhere, presented with the same ultimatum and she would not allow that to happen. Sam was in one of these cells and Lena had made a promise that she would protect her, by any means.

 

Lena picked up the weapon, checked it, one bullet typical. She rolled her eyes and cocked it firing at the floor. She hid behind the door, wrapping the sack around her knuckles, she waited until the door was pushed open. Launching herself at the guard, she pulled the sack around his neck and choked him until he sank to the floor.

 

With her freedom within her reach, Lena stood with a new fire ignited inside her. She grabbed the guards keys and unlocked the door directly opposite hers: she found Andrea rocking back and forth, staring at her own weapon. Lena kicked it out of sight and crouched down, approaching her cautiously.

 

“You’re not real, you’re not real, you’re not real.” She repeated.

 

“I’m real. I’m very real. You’re Name Day is April 4th 1993. You’re favourite colour is blue and you hate broccoli…” Lena reeled off everything she knew about Andrea and reached out to touch her arm.

 

Andrea’s eyes were wide and full of panic, “We’re going to get out of here, but I need you to help me save the others. Can you do that?” Andrea nodded. Lena pulled her to her feet and they worked their way along the corridor, opening every cell and coaxing out whichever poor, fractured soul was inside. Lena’s own suffering was pushed to the back of her mind for a moment, distracted by the fact that she needed to get her team out.

 

Lena rushed over to Sam, “Lee?” She croaked.

 

“It’s me. I’m here. Can I touch you?” Sam nodded and Lena immediately gathered the shaking girl in her arms. “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to get out of this. We’re going to finish the job and then we’ll build our gingerbread cottage and I’ll decorate it however you want.” Lena’s voice trembled but no tears came, she was too de-hydrated for that.

 

The team stumbled out of the building and across the yard. Jess was carried out by Sam and Lena unable to stand on her own two feet.

 

They were met at the gate by Talia, Nyssa, Rhea and Selina. “Congratulations. You graduated with flying colours, you are officially fully fledged World Killers.” Lena could have dropped to her knees with relief.

 

Nyssa stepped in front of Lena, “I was wrong about you. Exceptional work, Lena.” Nyssa actually shook her hand and Lena had never felt a feeling like it. An immense sense of pride filled her body, she had done it. She had proved all her doubters wrong.

 

Out of thirty girls, only fifteen became World Killers.

 

__________

 

Kara felt the tears begin falling just minutes into Lena’s story and they continued to roll down her cheeks until she finished. She cried silently, her heart breaking as Lena relived every painful memory of her past.

 

Lena had warned her at the beginning that she wouldn’t give her any specific details: names or places. The less Kara knew, the safer she was. Lena made it explicitly clear that she was keeping Kara safe and not that she didn’t trust her.

 

“I didn’t think any of it was wrong. They kept me in that room for days, it felt like my mind was being poked and prodded, pulled out and played with. I saw nothing wrong with it, it was a necessity so that I wouldn’t break under any form of torture.” Lena was barely holding herself together, but she needed to get through this.

 

“I thought I was living. When you grow up not knowing anything different, when that is your reality, you don’t question the morality of it. I thought I was doing good.” She took a shaky breath, “I keep saying that ‘I don’t have a choice’ because I don’t.”

 

“We’re allowed to fail missions, but we can’t refuse. If you refuse a mission, you’re thrown into one of those cells and… and they repeat the same process until you’re basically a zombie and then they simply reset your brain. I’ve refused two missions my whole career and don’t think I can survive a third.”  Kara brought her fist up to her mouth, to stop the sob threatening to escape.

 

Lena finally looked up, “my missi