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"Leave this vase by the fireplace for me, would you?"

It's the only warning Kara gets before a porcelain vase is hurled at her exposed back, Lena almost huffing with the exertion. As expected, Kara turns within a split second of the warning, catches the vase with steady hands, and deftly places it on the side table. 

"No problem, Lena!"

Lena almost groans aloud at the response. It had been months since Mercy's attack, when Lena was certain she'd seen her best friend let out a sneeze that sent oncoming attackers flying backwards. It only confirmed her budding suspicions, and matching Supergirl's heroics to Kara's shoddy excuses was only all too easy. She'd been angry, at first, but then Supergirl had flew in at the nick of time and proclaimed, "The Luthor name doesn't deserve Lena.", and the righteous anger had melted away into something more manageable for the time being.

Over time, she'd seen the strain of worrying about Alex, J'onn, all the people who knew Kara's secret, begin to wear down on the superhero, and began to understand just why Kara had hidden from her for so long. So she decided to be patient, wait for Kara to come to her. She just hadn't expected it to take so unbearably long.

She sends what she hopes is a knowing look in her best friends' direction. "Your reflexes really are impeccable. Any tips you can give us regular humans down here?"

Kara huffs a laugh and reaches around to rub the back of her neck. "Oh, you know." A pause. "Cardio."

Lena flashes a smile to cover the exasperation she knows is flitting across her expression. "Of course."

The blonde nods decisively in return and claps her hands together. "Well, I think that's the last of it. Anything else you need help with?" The multiple moving boxes that had been full to the brim that morning now laid piled neatly in the corner, contents organized and placed in their proper positions throughout Lena's new apartment. 

"No, but thank you, really. This would have taken days without your help", Lena says sincerely. "Can I treat you to dinner to show my gratitude? I'll order double the usual potsticker order from that place you love?"

The blonde's face lights up but just before she can respond in affirmative, the smile drops and she cocks her head to the side, focused. Listening. Oh.

Kara flashes an uneasy smile. "I would love that! Except, except I forgot to feed my dog. My neighbour's dog. And he gets really, very hangry, so I should go do that. I'll be right back though, and then we could eat?"   

Lena sighs and mentally places this excuse at the very bottom of the Kara's Excuses list. Seriously, she'd been told that the aforementioned dog had died last week, and it's funeral was the reason Kara was late to brunch. Her best friend had less continuity than a shoddy CW show.

"Of course, darling. I'll put in the order while you're out." If anything, she'd ensure the heroine had a pile of her favourite foods to inhale after saving the city. 

Lena is tackled into a hug so quickly she stumbles back a few steps. "You're the best, Lena! I lo- I'll see you soon!"

After that, it seems like Kara can't get out the door fast enough. Lena locks the door behind her and goes to turn on the tv, where she knows that breaking news will soon be announcing that Supergirl has arrived on scene.

She places the takeout order and then watches with increasing concern as Supergirl is thrown backwards by this week's lizard monster. When the heroine lands and doesn't stir, Lena watches with bated breath and fingers itching to call Alex to demand the DEO intervene. As the lizard rears up for a final blow, Supergirl rolls away at the last second and twists upwards to beam lasers directly into the monster's midsection. She's visibly panting with exertion but the monster has stopped it's approach for the time being. After what must be a minute of constant lasering, both Supergirl and the monster collapse to the ground. Everyone on scene is dead silent, and then erupts into near hysterical cheers when Supergirl slowly sits up to pump an exhausted fist in the air. Lena resists the urge to clap. 

The DEO rushes into the scene to restrain the monster, closely followed by a herd of reporters to make a beeline for the hero. 

"Supergirl! Supergirl, are you alright?"

"Do we have more alien attacks like this to worry about?"

"After a save like that, what does a superhero like you spend the rest of her day doing?"

The hero looks more like Kara than ever as she rises unsteadily to meet the reporters. Lena barely catches her tucking shaking hands behind her back.

"I'm alright, thank you. Nothing a good nap won't fix. Rest assured, I will do everything in my power to protect the city from any future attacks, as will the DEO. As for the rest of my night, well, today's danger has convinced me that I should come clean about something I've been keeping from a close friend for too long now. So, if you'll excuse me..." 

She smiles and winks and shakes hands, but strangely, allows herself to be herded away by DEO personnel instead of flying away. Perhaps for a briefing? Lena pays the situation little mind, instead focusing on the blonde's last words. Coming clean to a close friend? It was her, it had to be. Finally, her friend would trust that Lena could take care of herself, and she could give Kara her notes on More Efficient Alibis. Her phone chimes and she goes to get the food delivery, setting it out on the table and practically buzzing with anticipation as she waited for Kara to return.

After a tense half hour, a knock sounds at her door. Lena practically skips to answer it, throwing open the door with a teasing smirk.

"How was the hangry dog?"

She expects some spluttering on Kara's part, maybe a well, actually before she spills her secret. Instead, her friend nods distractedly and she walks in, fiddling with her glasses. 

"Good! I think he was about to start a riot, so it seems I made it just in time. Lucky me." 

Oh, so we're still on.

An unexpected fury rises up in Lena fueled by annoyance and pure exasperation. She brushes past Kara, calling, "I actually have another box to empty, if you would help me out", as she storms into her office without waiting to see if Kara is following.

She rips open a box of office supplies that she had left for tomorrow and begins tossing things out at random, too furious to hear Kara's hesitant, "Lena, can we talk? I have something-"

"Could you use your normal human reflexes to put those away? I'd rather just get this over with, and you can go back to tending to your neighbour's dead dog." Lena pulls out the last item in the box, a heavy ornate stapler, and throws it haphazardly over her shoulder before turning around, expecting Kara to be holding an armful of miscellaneous supplies.

"Lena, what-"

However, instead of catching the item, it hits Kara in the collarbone with a resounding thud , and joins the rest of Lena's stationary on the floor. 

Kara, her best friend, Supergirl , on the other hand, winces and puts a hand to her sternum, stumbling back. Kara, who she's seen balance 10 bags of food and maneuver her way up stairs, trips over her own feet and falls backwards, shoulder colliding painfully with a drawer by the door, and finally comes to rest on the floor.

"Ow." 

Lena can't take it anymore. "What is this, a joke? Seeing how long you can make up terrible excuses and make a fool out of me? Stop it, Kara, because I know you're Supergirl!"

"I love you!"

Time stops.

Priorities, Lena. Focus. What's more important, Kara or Supergirl?

 

 

 

"You love me?"

The blonde eyes her distrustfully. "Depends, are you going to throw more stationary at me?"

------

They're sitting side by side on the floor where Kara fell, thighs touching and hearts racing. Lena had seen fit to slide down the wall next to Kara, seeing how her friend winced when she had attempted to get up.

"So...how'd you find out?" Kara speaks softly, as if going above a certain decibel would scare her off.

Lena exhales and leans her head back against the wall with a soft thud. She's too tired to be angry, now. And too confused to be much of anything else.

"It wasn't hard. I've never seen you sick, scraped, or with so much as a bruise, with seems an occupational hazard for a reporter chasing stories. But what largely gave it away was the sneeze that blew four Cadmus thugs away. Allergies, I believe you said."

Kara huffs a laugh and smiles sheepishly. "Yeah, I wouldn't have believed it either."

The businesswoman only hums in response, then gestures towards the stapler lying innocently on its side a foot away. "Care to explain?"

"It happens sometimes, if I exert myself too much. I went a little too hard with the lizard monster earlier and blew out my powers. It leaves me pretty much human, weak immune system and all. But listen, what I said earlier, I meant it. I need you to know that."

Lena finds herself growing annoyed once again. "So you thought what, you'd go defend the city and then come here and proclaim your love for me? I'm not mad that you hid being Supergirl from me, Kara, I'm furious that you'd start a relationship under false pretenses. Assuming I didn't know your secret identity, when would you even break the news to me? When we got engaged? Would you have made it part of your vows? Told me over our-" She cuts herself off with a choked little noise, realizing what she's insinuating. Kara realizes too, if her rapidly reddening face is anything to go by. But she's quick to reassure.

"No! No, Lena, I swear I was going to tell you soon. I just needed to know, I needed to make sure-"

"I understand perfectly. You don't need to explain yourself any more", Lena cuts her off coldly. After all this time, Kara still didn't trust her. Would never trust a Luthor.

"No, listen , Lena. You of all people deserve an explanation." Kara turns to face her, despite the pain movement must have caused. She reaches out for her hands and Lena can't find it in herself to pull away. "This wasn't on you. It was about me, being a coward, and afraid to share my feelings about you. I figure-I figured if I could find out whether or not you liked Kara- I've seen what worrying about me does to people. To Alex, to Eliza. I couldn't- I didn't want-"

Kara is breathing heavily now, eyes brimming with tears, the threat of losing Lena overtaking all coherent thought. But she gathers herself enough to meet Lena's eyes, speaking her sorrow with every fiber of her being.

"I needed to know if Kara was enough to accept the burden of loving Supergirl."

When Lena doesn't respond, Kara rushes to backtrack. "If you'd said you felt the same way, I would have flown us straight to the DEO where Pam is ready and waiting with an NDA. I swear, Lena. Please, you have to believe me. And now that I'm saying this out loud I'm realizing how insane it sounds and it was a horrible plan because I can't even fly right now and Alex would never trust me behind the wheel and this is why I need you in my life, Lena. Please."

But Lena still doesn't answer. She's too busy thinking about something else Kara had said, something that makes any remaining anger, or betrayal, drain out of her immediately.

"You're just as vulnerable as any human right now."

The blonde stills. "Yes."

"And you came here?"

"There's nowhere I'd rather be", Kara says with absolute conviction.

She leans over to the first sharp object she can find, a letter opener, and unsteady hands press it to Kara's palm with a featherlight touch. "If I pressed, you'd get hurt?"

Kara doesn't move a muscle. "Yes."

Lena goes to pull away, but her shaking hands slide a shallow gash across Kara's hand. The blonde hisses at the sudden pain, but Lena can only stare, entranced, at the blood blossoming underneath in fingers. Supergirl is bleeding. She made Supergirl bleed.

"Oh god. Oh my god, I'm so sorry." She makes a futile attempt to wipe at the blood with her sleeve, but Kara stills her with a calm hand to her wrist.

"Don't bother. It'll be healed by morning."

"I'm so sorry, I never meant- I would never-"

"I believe you. I'm okay, I promise."

Lena looks up and sees only truth in Kara's eyes. Reluctantly, she lets Kara's hand slide out of her grasp, but her eyes catch on the angry red mark on the heroine's collarbone.

"Okay, that, not so much."

Lena's chest twists with guilt. Kara had come to her, vulnerable in all senses of the word, and she'd hurt her. Almost on autopilot, she stumbles to her feet and nearly trips on her way out the door. When she returns with a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, understanding lights in Kara's eyes. She reaches up with her good arm, smiling dryly.

"I thought you'd made a run for it."

Lena shakes her head minutely, sinking back down to the ground. 

"Love you too much", she practically mumbles. It's quiet, but it's there, and it's as good a declaration as any. Kara grins in response, shifting closer and resting her head on Lena's shoulder. Lena's mind shoots into overdrive as she carefully interlocks their pinkies.

She's vulnerable. She's here. She's vulnerable. I hurt her. Do I even deserve to love her? She's vulnerable.

"I can hear you thinking. Shh..."

"You're vulnerable." Lena blurts.

Kara's eyes are closed. "Mhm."

"And you're here."

The blonde cracks open an eyelid.

"I'm relatively sure I am. Maybe check Find my friends to be sure."

"You shouldn't- you shouldn't be here. Anything could kill you right now! A burglar, a stray bullet, your- your immune system! It could be compromised, and you don't have tolerance built up. It's worse than a child's!"

Still, her mind is running at a million miles an hour. A new suit, just for when Kara's blown out her powers. Maybe mimicking a fraction of her powers so she could cover for herself? Sterile areas around town, so Kara would be safe wherever she blew out her powers. Blinking back into the present, Kara stares at her, wide-eyed in shock. However, all she says is:

"Wow, you're almost as bad as Alex."

"Alex! Where is she, why isn't she protecting you? Why isn't the DEO? A sneeze could kill you! My sneeze could kill you-"

Kara leans over and kisses her. All her thoughts come to a stuttering halt. The blonde pulls away, smug.

"I've got any germs you might have had, now. Sneeze away, Lena."

"Kara-"

"And, I got a cold last time I blew out my powers. So I have like...5% of an immune system. Probably. Now take a breath. I'll be okay. I will kiss you again."

Defeated, Lena slumps against the wall. Rationally, Kara would probably be okay. There's just one other thing Lena wants to know. "...hug me. Hug me as hard as you possibly can right now." And it's terrible, truly one of the worst hugs Kara has ever given. Lena lets out a teary laugh and buries her face into Kara's good side. "That was downright feeble. So you do need your powers to give such amazing hugs."

"No fair! I'm injured, too, so this doesn't count as an official Kara Danvers hug."

"Fair enough. So where is Alex?"

"Probably really pissed that I ditched my saferoom."

As if on cue, thunderous knocks echo into the apartment. The pair peek their heads into the hallway in tandem. 

"Lena, open up! I know Supergirl is in there!"

Kara slips a hand over her mouth before she can respond.

"No I'm not! Go away!"

"I will  bust down this door! You've got 5 seconds!" Lena pulls out of Kara's grasp and goes to fling open the door. She quite likes her door. Alex and a small team of agents stand intimidatingly on the other side, the redhead's eyes nearly bugging out of her head when Kara lies halfway out of the office door and waves halfheartedly from her position on the floor.

"Lena Luthor, what the hell did you do to my- Supergirl?"

Lena turns to fully appraise Kara and winces. The mark on her collarbone has flared and started to purple, glaringly obvious even at a distance. 

"Lena, no. Don't you dare feel guilty again."

"Supergirl, what did she do?"

"I hurt her!" Lena blurts. "You need to- to arrest me, or something. I'm sure you could even pull off a lawsuit, I'll fire my lawyers-"

"Lena, I love you, shut up. Alex, she threw a stapler at me, call off your men. Also she knows, so no point in being subtle."

Alex turns to her with fury in her eyes. "Are you kidding me? I was rooting for you! What, she comes clean and you try to hurt her with the first thing you get your hands on? Maybe I will arrest you!"

The four agents sweep their eyes between the three women, two edging towards Lena and the other two making frantic eyes at the door. Kara finally lifts herself to her feet and stumbles over to stand between Lena and the agents.

"Alex, stop. You're blowing this way out of proportion. Call off your agents and we'll talk this out."

After a tense moment, Alex nods her head towards the door. Three scramble out of the danger zone, but the last braves Kara's glare to hand her a sheaf of papers. 

"The NDA. Regards from Pam", she whispers, before following her colleagues out the door. 

Alex crosses her arms, still glaring at Lena. "I'm waiting."

"Okay, basically Lena figured it out ages ago, and was waiting for me to come clean. I assume she's been testing my physical abilities to catch me out on a lie, which is what she was doing before she knew I blew my powers." Kara turns to look at her appraisingly. "Hey, is that what the vase was about earlier? I think you almost pulled something throwing that at me." 

"Yeah, I should have stretched first", Kara throws her a brilliant grin at her attempt to lighten the mood. 

"See? Small misunderstanding, she thought I was invulnerable. And, I did it! I told her I love her!"

Alex harrumphs, but lowers the heat of her gaze slightly. "If you ever, hurt-"

"Never", Lena says solemnly. "I will spend the rest of my days protecting her, invulnerable or not. I'm truly sorry, I never wanted to hurt her. I love her." 

Kara reaches out to squeeze her hand, turning the force of her grin on Alex until her posture relaxes, arms uncrossing. "Fine. Took you guys long enough."

The blonde lets out a whoop and pulls Lena into a hug, wincing ever so slightly as she does, prompting Lena to press the forgotten pack of peas back to her chest.

"But you", Alex starts, turning to Kara, "need to stop disappearing every time you blow out your powers! You know the drill."

Kara shakes her head, shifting so that Lena is between them. "No idea what you're talking about. I came here to come clean about everything, and proclaim my love for Lena! A noble and honourable cause."

"Liar", Alex states, pulling a packet from her tactical vest. At Lena's questioning gaze, she elaborates. "We've started giving her vaccines whenever she blows out her powers, just as a precaution. There have been no adverse effects so far. Kara, get over here."

"I don't need it! There's no sickness that could kill me before my powers came back, and I can take a couple days with a stuffy nose!"

"Do you want  chicken pox, Kara? One exposure while you're vulnerable is all it takes! Remember how miserable I was when mom tied socks to my hands? You called me a muppet wannabe for weeks!"

Kara looks like she's just about to jump out the window, powers or not, but Lena presses a quick kiss to her cheek to grab her attention. "She's right, darling. Even a couple days with chicken pox isn't an experience I would wish on anyone. How about this? You can get your shots, and I'll get started on my NDA's. Call it a bonding exercise."

Pouting, Kara allows herself to be led to the dining table, where she buries her head into Lena's chest and lets out some choice not-swear words as Alex, to her credit, injects her quickly and efficiently. 

"You could say fuck, you know. Might make you feel better."

"Frick you, Alex."

----------

"Hey, I wonder what happened to the takeout I ordered. It's been hours."

Lena is seated on the couch, Kara's head in her lap and swatting at the blonde's hands as she pokes at her bruise in curiosity.

Alex looks up from where she's checking over Lena's forms. "Oh, I can have them brought up. I forgot we confiscated them from the delivery guy."

Kara lets out an affronted noise as she sits up. "You arrested my takeout? What was it going to do to me? I was with Lena!"

"You went MIA while vulnerable! I wouldn't care if you were with the pope!"

"How about I reheat them, pop some popcorn, and we make it a movie night?", Lena cuts in. "We can even make some grotesquely sweet sundaes. You're welcome to stay, Alex."

Kara stares at her with pure adoration in her eyes. "You're the best thing that's ever happened to me."

"No thanks, something here's already grotesquely sweet", Alex coughs as she packs up.

When it arrives, Kara's eyes widen at the sheer amount of food Lena had ordered. "Maybe I should blow out my powers more often."

"Great, we're onto the meningitis vaccine next", Alex says on her way out the door.

"Nevermind!"