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The Arctic Station

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It all starts with a portal, a gun, and a madman.

That said madman is her brother and said gun is held in her bruising grip and aimed at his head is irrelevant. Well, for now.

The critical, most important set piece in her brother's elaborate scheme is the portal. And it’s not even a new one. This isn’t even a new ploy.

The audacity is as remarkable as it is exasperating.

The super-friends came rushing regardless.

Her life is a comedy.

But this is still his stage.

She came here with a gun and a plan and now stands between her brother and a super with that ever-critical portal blazing at her back. At its center is a well of gravity that whips her hair and promises to yank her from her feet and swallow her whole. It would, of course, if it weren’t for a single hand on her back. It’s firm and grounding, and warm where the palm presses on her spine.

Lex’s eyes flash over Lena’s shoulder to Supergirl. When he looks back at her it’s with a tilt of his head and an unspoken; for fucks sake, really?

She may be embellishing. Okay, simplifying. He’s clearly unhinged, cornered, and utterly betrayed.

All his own fault. She wouldn’t be standing here pointing a gun at him if he had any shred of humanity left in his vindictive little heart.

His patience thins further when Lena forgoes a response. What could she even say?

Sorry, Lex, you’d have been long dead by now and this whole mess could have been avoided if Kara Danvers had just listened and trusted me.

But she hadn’t and so here they are. One not-dead brother seething in quiet rage holding their lives in his treacherous hand.

“One last chance,” he says, offering his phone forward. Absolution.

She refuses to cater to his whims anymore. Lena’s jaw clenches tighter.

“Okay then.” Lex taps a corner of his phone.

The portal groans, intensifying.


Cracks form on the floor against the force of Kara’s boots digging for traction behind her.

Lena’s watch alerts her that she's late for a meeting.

She breathes in sharply. Behind the containment glass stands the super-calvary. Alex is the only one pressed up close. Lena ignores the way the glares from their audience jumps from her to Lex and back with equal hostility. “Shut it down,” Lena tells him.

“Or what, Lena?” He says with a laugh, because again; a comedy. “You’ll shoot me?”

It would be so easy, she thinks, to just press her finger that tiny fraction of a space and end his life forever. End all his lies, his madness… this stupid, stupid game.

Instead, he swipes his thumb a tiny fraction of a space and takes hers.

Theirs, actually. Because it’s Supergirl who’s taken first.

Green light engulfs the blue and the portal buckles under the pressure of a kryptonite infusion.

So he had done something new. Fuck.

She can still remember his smile. The glint of… of vicious arrogance in his eyes.

He’d won. Ages ago, if she’s honest. The minute Kara flew into this hellhole bunker in Latvia on some misguided justice crusade and instead unearthed a mountain of fresh guilt and one not-new portal positioned just so.

One giant undertow of assured annihilation.

Lex’s words, not hers. God, he was such a dramatic asshole.

She should be in spinning class. Furiously pumping her legs to Lizzo while thinking of seventeen different ways to reject Kara’s latest attempt at atonement.

But she's here. The steadying hand on her back is gone. She doesn’t remember when her feet leave the ground, but she does recall the feel of the gun recoiling in her grasp.

Her other snatches a blue glad wrist.

All of it happens in less than a second.

It’s telling, really, she’ll think back months and months later. There’s a chorus of screams for Kara as they’re pulled into the green vortex, yet all she hears is one awed whisper of “Lena?

They’re dumped on their backs exactly three feet from where they’d been standing mere seconds before. Kara takes longer to get up and once she does it’s with a loud groan and an even nastier crack of her neck. The vortex is gone. With it all the light in the bunker.

All the heat too.

What little adrenaline had been coursing through Lena fades fast. The cold bites her ears first, followed by her arms. She folds them close, hugging them to her chest and pulling tight on her suit sleeves as she turns toward Kara.

They speak at the same time.

“Are you okay?”

“Little light, please?”

“Oh… sure, yeah,” Kara breathes out, still winded and standing somewhere to Lena’s left. Lena shuffles toward her voice as Kara sends a blast of heat vision into the ceiling above. It’s low enough in power not to crumble the entire facility on top of their heads but worrisome when fractures appear on the metal plates regardless.

They’re in exactly the same room.

Same containment glass; though now frosted and starting to melt some with the added warmth pouring from Kara’s eyes.

Same light fixtures, the same pattern of rivets on the walls.

Missing one egomaniac though, so vast improvement there.

But the dust. There’s so much of it that clouds drift into the air at her slightest step. The particles swirl up, drawn to the pressure of Kara’s beam.

“Lena,” Kara calls for her, sounding pained but keeping her gaze rooted skyward. “You didn’t answer me. Are you okay?”

“Hold on,” Lena squints, drawing closer to Kara as another dust trail floats up from where she’s rubbed her arms. It singes to nothing on contact with the blaze. She curls her fingers through some, smudging tiny dark flakes across her fingertips. Soot.

Had there been some kind of fire? A leak from the furnace exhaust?

She sneezes as some hits her nose.

“I don’t know how long I can keep this up.” Kara’s neck muscles are straining. There’s a noticeable flicker in her beam. “I’m not feeling so great after taking that kryptonite bath.”

Lena nods, humming an acknowledgment as she grabs Kara’s arm. “I’m not feeling so great about this residue. Think you have enough juice to get us topside?”

“Hang on,” is the only warning she gets before she’s scooped into Kara’s arms and flown from the room.

They are standing outside under a grey sky in what could only have been a war zone and yet all Lena can manage to think is how alarmingly fast they’ve fallen back together in a crisis.

Kara’s expression is drawn, calculating their surroundings as she drapes her cape over Lena’s shoulders for warmth.

Lena mutters a quick thanks, stepping away from her touch before the cape has fully settled. She doesn’t know what kind of threats could be lurking or even possible with everything in sight burnt to an absolute crisp. Even the old Soviet jeep flipped on its side looks extra well done.

Her mind whirls as she turns back to the bunker entrance. Just there, another USSR emblem beside the… Well, that’s not a biometric scanner anymore. She hasn’t seen a keypad like that since college.

“So Lex, there’s no way he—” Kara begins to say, brushing snow from another overturned Soviet relic of a car. She turns to Lena with wide eyes. “That wasn’t a time warp, was it?”

Lena shakes her head. “No, no way. This has to be now just… some other Earth.”

“Lena I don’t hear anything; or anyone.”

That is… definitely not great news.

They are also in very, very remote Latvia.

Before Lena can even ask Kara supplies a stomach dropper. “Anywhere.”

The soot. The destruction. The silence.

Her throat dries. Kara stares at her with such concerned intensity she’s sure her heart has stopped too. They rush toward one another, Lena’s left foot barely makes contact before she’s engulfed in Kara’s arms again and they shoot straight up above the grey clouds.

They were absolutely not spending another second touching ground she’s now afraid could rival Chernobyl in toxicity.

The sky above is blue and clear and so, so cold. Lena curls impossibly closer to Kara, still wrapped in her cape. They hover, uncomfortable and silent. Kara squirms as imperceptibly as a train roaring through downtown.

Not at all, Lena thinks, feeling arm muscles quiver at her back.

She sighs, shivering. “There should be somewhere a few miles away we can hold up at.” Somewhere they can start a fire, stay safe, and, most importantly, not be pressed together anymore.

“We shouldn’t have to wait too long, I’m sure Alex and Brainy are working on getting us back.”

“I’d rather not be waiting a mile above a possible n-nuclear hellhole.” Damn, now her teeth were starting to chatter.

“They’ll get Lex to talk.”

Lena resists rolling her eyes. “Because Lex Luthor is nothing if not forthcoming with info that would help a Super.”

“You’re the one who shot him!”

Had she? How wonderful.

“Lena, that is not something to smile about.”

If he’s not already lying dead back on their Earth, she will murder him twice over for this once she’s back.

Kara sets them down at the edge of a dense forest close to the sea. There’s no hint of destruction for miles and miles before they settle on the spot. Just crashing waves against tall dark cliffs and grey skies stretched to the horizon.

It’d be beautiful if there also wasn’t the risk of it being contaminated.

Lena gets right to work.

“First, we’re going to need a Geiger counter.”

“Good call. I can get one.” Kara nods, watching Lena pace expertly in heels over a thick layer of pine needles and soft soil.

“Second, we need to try and establish contact with someone who can help us.”

Kara nods again. “I’m sure I can find somebody who will.”

Lena can’t ignore the lack of ‘we’ in Kara’s statements anymore.

“Lastly, I haven’t survived this long just to die of exposure at the edge of a cliff in fucking Latvia so please start a fire before you leave.”

A grin splits across Kara’s face before she’s a blur of color and a torrent of air rushing through the trees. In a snap, there’s a neat cluster of dry firewood erupting in flames a few feet away.

Kara’s even cleared a patch of the ground and dropped a circle of assorted rocks in a ring around the fire.

“Safety first!” She says before lifting back into the air. “I’ll be back in five to ten minutes tops. Just um, shout really loud if you need me.”

She won’t.

Old Lena would have wished her luck, would have asked her to stay safe.

The version of her standing in a forest, cold and aggravated only bothers with a dismissive wave of her hand.

They may still work well together but she’ll be damned if she gives Kara any hope of reconciliation.

It’s the first time Kara has been alone with her thoughts in ages. She never thought she’d be relieved to be flying away from Lena.

Lena, of all people. Her best friend, biggest ally, greatest confidant.

Once upon a time, that is.

She’s tried everything under the sun and stars to express her remorse and seek forgiveness. Nothing was ever enough, if anything most attempts just made Lena angrier. This is the most they’ve spoken to each other in months. Granted it’s all been very situational and mostly Lena barking instructions. Except when she brought up Lex which is something they desperately need to talk about once she’s back.

Something has to give soon and it makes her stomach churn dreading just what that will entail.

They’ll be found before then at any rate.

She hopes Alex isn’t too worried for her back home. This isn’t the first time she’s been stranded in a strange place. Certainly won’t be the last either, she thinks.

It would be nice if she could catch a break from any more parallel universes for the rest of the year.

Maybe even take a vacation.

Ugh, yes, a nice long vacation where they serve you drinks with fruit speared on umbrellas and no one judges you, reclined on your poolside lounger, when you snort and laugh at the latest quantum physics book you picked up because this dummy has string theory all wrong.

Clark has stopped her from writing more than a few correction letters to publishers and PhDs alike.

“They’ll get there,” he always says. “Just give them time.”

She wants so much to share this part of herself with Lena.

Sometimes she thinks she’s the only one who’d understand.

Geiger counter, she reminds herself before getting too lost in thoughts of her ex-best friend.

She flies over what should be the Kremlin and Red Square beside the Moskva River. There’s nothing but a gaping crater and she hovers, confused, wondering if she’s flown too far. With a burst, she skims the underside of the low-hanging clouds, following what little remains of the city. She can’t even make out the grid of streets. The river has flooded most of the capital.

Buildings lie in collapsed heaps reclaimed by weeds.

She hears nothing but the steady stream of water pouring through the ruins.

That and her heart pounding with disbelief in her ears.

Paris proves no better. Worse even.

Because at least in Moscow bodies weren’t thrown over streets, or what was left of bodies after years of sustained exposure and decay.

She sprints for London (decimation), Amsterdam (underwater), Munich (ashes) and in absolute desperation breaks several of her own speed records before coming to a deafening halt above National City.

A sob catches in her throat.

There’s nothing left to even mourn.

She finds a shred of hope in a still-standing military base far outside Saint Petersburg.

Signs point the way across an airfield littered with abandoned jetliners to fallout tunnels.

A dispirited kick crumbles the hanger doors from their hinges. No one is going to miss them. No one exists anymore. Kara blows a gentle blast of air to clear the dust and debris as she enters. She halts mid-flight above a sight that will be burned forevermore to the memory of this terrible place. Bodies everywhere. Skeletal remains covering every square inch of the mile-long structure. People that once laughed and loved and lived reduced to a huddled mass grave.

Mothers with arms still wrapped around their babies. Fathers pressed like shields overtop their children. Couples everywhere, hands still twined, faces clutched in desperation.

Geiger counter, Kara repeats the mantra like a salve. Geiger counter, Geiger counter, Geiger counter.

For Lena.

So Lena can be safe.

So Lena does not become another body on a floor like this.

Tears cloud her vision as she darts to the nearest hall and collects herself. How could this world set down a path of so much death and destruction? So much utter devastation with so little regard for life. Worse yet, how many more are like it? Wiping her eyes she sets back on task, hoping to find some hint of storage rooms. She blinks her eyes to clear her tears and adjust to the darkness. With a burst, she’s checked through twelve rooms. Nothing.

Another sprint of twenty and only more heartache. The hospital bay was empty.

There hadn’t been time to even treat the most mundane of injuries.

She breaches a fortified sector with a punch through several feet of concrete and iron. She steps through the rubble with a grin.

Counters, finally. Hundreds of them in untouched, lead-lined crates and duffle bags. She hurries to test a few, wanting to make sure Lena has plenty in working order. As she loads up a duffel bag and then a second, just to be sure, she spots the name stamped across a shipping container nearby.


Behind it, countless more.

An inkling of dread fills her chest, cold and sharp. Please no, she thinks as she pries off the lock and the whole door in one yank. The container is stacked high and wide with wooden boxes. Boxes Kara knows are filled, yet desperately hopes otherwise, with munitions.

Her heart sinks as she opens the nearest box and finds it neatly packed with rocket artillery. She doesn’t bother to open any others.

The shipping manifest is in Russian and, try as she might, she can only pick out obvious things like names and dates.

And boy, is the date off.

Like, decades off.

Nov, 12th 1989.

Kara rips open another shipping container and tears the manifest from the wall.




Fifteen more.

All the same.

She doesn’t know how she’s going to tell Lena that her father may be partially responsible for the annihilation of all living beings on this Earth… but to not tell her would somehow be worse.

She promised herself no more secrets.

So with a whispered krypton prayer for the souls who perished in this compound, Kara takes to the sky, barreling headlong back to the only other living soul left to save.

Lena greets her with a scowl that rivals even Alex’s most contemptuous. “You were gone an hour and a half.”

“Sorry,” Kara mutters, slumping down to the ground. “I know I said five, ten minutes tops, but I got to Moscow and it’s gone. You can’t even tell there was a city there. Paris, Munich, all of them look the same. And National City…it’s…”

She never does get to tell Lena what happened to their home.

“I did find a military base and it was—” The mounds of entwined bodies flash into sharp focus in her mind. She has to shut her eyes and take a steady, long inhale before continuing. “It was a mass grave, Lena. Thousands of lives were destroyed instantly and they knew; they knew they were all about to die.”

Kara’s voice is raw and far more broken than Lena’s ever heard. She feels herself shrink a bit beneath the weight of Kara’s cape.

“I got the counters though,” Kara says quietly after a minute. She unzips one of the bags over her shoulders and pulls the last working counter she tested from inside. Lena’s shoulders raise, tense once more as Kara turns the device on and waits for a solid pattern of clicks to develop.

Inside the military base, the clicks were erratic and loud, echoing from every surface.

The relief she feels when the clicks steady into safe harmony is nearly blinding. Even Lena lets out a shaky laugh.

“Ready?” She asks, holding the wand out. “I didn’t know if you wanted to, or maybe I should? As someone—“

“Lucky enough to be a sponge for most radioactive forces?”

It’s a joke. A really poor, half-true, fully hurtful one. Lena sighs; the new way she apologizes, Kara has learned.

So Kara gives her a brave smile and steps closer, “I hear some sponges are pretty cool you know. They even live in whole pineapples and wear pants and everything.”

Lena is trying so hard not to crack a smile, and her eyes even harder to mask such terror that Kara’s heart breaks just that little bit more.

“C-can you…”

“Breathe with me, Lena.” Kara places a hand on her shoulder, the other keeping the wand pointed down at her side. The clicks are still steady, occasionally broken by a flare-up in the campfire. Lena does her best to match Kara’s long, even breaths.

Kara can still hear Lena’s heart, thumping fast, two breaths more and it’s barely slowed down.

Lena’s eyes meet her own, all pretense gone. Kara doesn’t think she’s ever seen the green so pinprick sharp. Lena is scared and pissed and justifiably so. Kara wants to pull her into her arms and tell her everything will be okay but that would be a huge fat lie cherry on top of the huge secret shake she’s still apologizing for.

“No matter what happens, we’re going to figure this out together okay?”

It’s all she can promise and yet it still doesn’t feel like enough.

Her hand shakes as she brings the wand up over Lena’s thigh.

There’s no mistaking the sound from the counter. The frequency of clicks has increased.

Further up Lena’s arms, the needle in the meter shifts higher.

Lena,” Kara has so much she wants to say and only manages to choke out her name.

Lena grabs the device from Kara's hand, shaking her head, muttering curses as she moves the wand across her body, eyes glued to the meter. The clicking is more agitated near her feet, hands, and back, all the places once, and in parts still, coated in black soot. Lena strips from her suit jacket in a frantic shuffle of her arms. She tosses it to the ground and points the wand over her shoulder to her back.

There is a clear drop in the urgency of the clicks.

It’s not great, but it’s also notably —scream to the sky levels of wonderful— not a death sentence.

“Okay,” Lena breathes out. “I’m not dying anytime soon so that’s good news.”

Kara is near tears again. “Super awesome, best, greatest news ever.”

“But these clothes have to go.”

Was that the bad news?

Hold on.…

Lena is staring at her, expectant.

Kara blushes. “I don’t have extra pants on Lena!”

“What are you talking about? You’ve always got something on under that thing,” she gestures vaguely at Kara’s body while stepping out of her heels. Her hands move to undo the fly of her slacks.

“Lena!” Kara whirls around on her feet, face heating. A soft plop heralds Lena’s contaminated pants hitting the ground. Kara runs a hand through her hair, chancing a peek over her shoulder to find Lena standing there, defiant, hands firmly planted on her hips.

“I’m serious, Kara. You don’t even need the suit right now.”

A very true, very scary statement. She turns back around. Lena is already starting to shiver again.

Now she feels terrible.

“So Supergirl, just going to let a girl freeze her ass off then?”

“No, of course not. I just—“ To finish that sentence would dredge up feelings and thoughts and things she’s been avoiding. Of course she doesn’t want Lena to freeze. She doesn’t want that the same way she doesn’t want her to be poisoned, hurt, upset, or alone. She cares about her so much it’s hard to face most days knowing she’s not there anymore. That she won’t be greeted with a smile of absolute relief and joy when she enters Lena’s office after she knows Lena’s had a terrible day. That they don’t spend hours bouncing ideas off one another in the D.E.O in hopes of thwarting a villain du jours plan and then celebrating when it’s foiled by their work in mere seconds. That the Lena-shaped hole in her sofa is as big as the one in her heart and nothing has been able to fill it. Not even a little bit. Because at the end of the day Lena Luthor despises Kara Danvers and that fact alone utterly devastates her.

The hole feels like it swallows her entirely when all she's able to say is, “It was the middle of the night back home before I had to rush out and save you from making a huge mistake.”

The absolute dumbest and worst of all things she could have uttered.

Lena is fuming.

“For fucks sake Kara, I really don’t care what’s under there. And for the record, I didn’t ask to be saved. I was doing fine before you showed up.”

“You were going to kill Lex!”

“Yes, yes I was.” Lena’s tone leaves no room for doubt. Her gaze pierces Kara’s, daring. “You’re welcome.”

Everything bubbling in Kara deflates at those words. “I just…Rao, really? You’re welcome? Geez, Lena— do I even know you anymore?”

“Oh my god, you’ve got to be kidding me. That’s fresh coming from you. Truly,” Lena snaps, hands furiously working on the buttons of her blouse. “I cannot wait to never revisit this conversation and I still need your suit.”

“We are one hundred and ten percent revisiting this conversation.”

“Kara, my pants are literally radioactive.”

“Yeah, I should probably destroy them.”

“I’m sure you’d like that.”

They stare at one another over the fire, bristling and hurt.

“That was a pretty terrible burn,” Kara says.

“You’re hilarious.”

“Like Hallmark movie-of-the-week bad.”


“Here.” The suit unfurls around Kara, leaving her in an old baggy *NSYNC nightshirt and pair of small boy shorts. She’s not embarrassed anymore, she’s proud and angry and frustrated beyond belief.

Lena smirks. “Cute.”

Kara glares over at her as she plops down to the ground and draws her knees up to her chest.

Lena’s watch alerts her she’s late for another meeting.

They’ve only been stuck here for two hours.

Kara checks back at the Soviet bunker every fifteen minutes. It takes her roughly ten seconds every time leaving them the better part of fourteen minutes and too much change to continue ignoring each other in hostile silence.

Lena can sit here seething comfortably for ages. She has decades of practice.

Kara looks as though she wishes they'd found a spot further away even if it only meant she could be gone a second longer.

She’s clearly torn between being at the bunker when her super-posse arrives and how exactly to spit out the words she’s been meaning to say to Lena for hours now.

Supergirl is always, or at least most of the time, a mask of poise. But Kara Danvers, she is an open book and right now, a damn wreck of one with pages spilling out the cover.

She also hasn’t bothered to look at Lena since the suit activated around her. Almost as if she can’t, as if she refuses to see that part of her wrapped around someone who continuously disappoints her.

Kara pokes at the fire with part of a satellite antenna she brought back on her 12th trip.

When Lena raises an eyebrow in question she can only shrug and prod some life back to the fire in response.

It’s not lost on either of them the absolute worthlessness of the prop. Kara could just as easily poke the fire with her bare hand and foot and suffer no consequences.

Lena thinks Kara needs something to keep her hands busy but she doesn’t care enough to ask why.

On her 22nd trip, Lena mentally notes that she’s starting to get a bit thirsty. The smoke and sea air are not playing nice with her sinuses and throat.

“You okay?” Kara asks when she touches down. “You don’t feel a headache coming on or nausea do you?”

Lena shakes her head, willing the warmth in Kara’s voice from settling too deep under her skin. It does anyway. She hates herself for being so affected.

“Will you tell me if you do?” She asks gently, sitting cross-legged beside her. Right beside her.

She’s a warmer balm than the fire.

“Sure,” Lena says with closed eyes.

“I um, found this at that base.” Kara places a slip of paper on the ground. The top corner is stamped with a Luthor Industries logo she’s never seen before. “All the artillery was… it was from your family.”

“Congratulations,” Lena mutters. “You’ve just succeeded in making this situation worse.”

“No, that’s not what this is about.”

“Then why bother bringing this to me?”

“I kept a secret from you before Lena and it ruined us,” Kara tells her softly. “I’m never letting that happen again.”

Lena’s watch chimes the quarter hour alarm.

The longest ten seconds of her life drag out between hurried sobs and the burning of a piece of meaningless paper.

It’s nearly dark by the time Kara takes off for the 40th time.

She returns an hour later, soot smeared on her knees and eyes red.

Lena lifts a corner of the cape in one arm.

Wordlessly, Kara settles against her.

She’s too numb to let Kara’s silence mean anything other than what it is.

No one is coming for them, not anytime soon.

They wake to rain and a dying fire.

Kara holds the cape over their heads as Lena ensures no radioactive particles fall on them from the sky.

The needle holds steady and safe.

This Earth is healing, slowly, gradually, but not near enough that Lena would trust a drop on her tongue.

“We can’t stay here,” she says, securing the counter back into one of the bags around Kara’s shoulders. A twig is caught beneath the strap and she pulls it free. Kara has bits of forest stuck to her bare legs and pine needles sprinkled in her hair. She smells like summer camp.

“I think I have an idea of where we can go,” Kara tells her.

Clark had given her instructions once. A safe place if there was nowhere else for her to turn.

Lena takes hold of the cape for her. “Let me guess, five to ten minutes tops?”

Kara gives her a shy smile. “Two and that’s a promise.”

When she’s back in less than thirty seconds Lena is hopeful. Until she sees the crushed look in Kara’s blue eyes.

“There’s a giant whirlpool where Themyscira used to be.”

Lena gasps. “There has to be somewhere.”

Her suit is keeping Lena from freezing but even it’s not enough to stop the way her nose has reddened and lips have begun to blister.

It must be so cold without the fire.

Kara turns her gaze out to the sea. To ice shelves beyond.

“Lena,” she says slowly. “Can I ask you to trust me, just this once?”

Green eyes narrow up at her. “Where exactly are you thinking of taking us?”


Lena balks. “Where it’s even colder?”

“Please, Lena,” Kara implores as she takes the cape and wraps it over Lena’s head and arms like a protective shawl. The rain beats down on her though, soaking through her blonde hair and muddling what’s left of the faces of the boyband on her shirt. “Just this once.”

Lena feels she has no choice. “Let’s go then, Supergirl.”

Kara will eventually tell Lena she’s been trusted with taking them to a place that was briefly mentioned during a polar bear documentary she watched once.

Watched as in settled on after skimming Disney+ for what felt like forever at two in the morning with four pints of ice cream to commemorate the four weeks since Lena had kicked her to the proverbial curb.

She’ll leave those other parts out. Claim journalistic integrity.

The Arctic research station is remote, peeking out from dunes of snow and looking like a beacon of promise beneath stormy skies.

Kara melts them a path to the only visible entrance they’re able to immediately spot from above. One shove of her shoulder buckles the door inward.

They each keep a Geiger counter running as they step further inside.

Lena’s held in a shaking, cape-bundled grip. Kara’s in a bare, steady grasp.

Both counters register the same, safe, normal level of radiation.

Kara turns to Lena in the dim light spilling in from the broken door, grinning beautifully and swelling with pride.

Lena manages a wobbly smile. “Way to g-go, S-Supergirl.”

Kara drops her counter to a snowdrift along the wall. Lena freezes as heated hands rub up and down her arms. “Let’s find you ten layers of sweaters and a hot glass of scotch.”

Lena laughs.

Her life is a divine comedy.