There are many things in this world that are Kara’s fault.
She can’t dispute this. Things like, for example, the Danvers family’s lifelong ban from the Midvale Fun’n’Bounce Trampoline Park after an unfortunate incident involving an overexcited Kryptonian and a rather large hole in their ceiling. Things like the hand-shaped gouge in Alex’s marble countertop. Or the crack in Alex’s oak table. Or the scorch marks on Alex’s freshly painted walls.
But there are some things for which Kara is simply not responsible. Some things that are squarely outside of her control, for which she will not take the blame. And one of those things is the fact that Lena Luthor is just so damn touchable.
Kara can hardly be blamed for the fact that Lena’s hair is shiny as spun silk and twice as soft, or that Lena’s creamy skin is pliant and warm against her own. Kara is not accountable for Lena getting stray eyelashes on her cheek that are begging to be carefully wished away, or for the sleeves of Lena’s sweater falling cutely over her hands to envelop them entirely. To not push them back for her with gentle touches to her fingers and wrists would be to ignore a potential health hazard and Kara, as National City’s resident superhero, simply cannot let such a risk go unchecked.
None of this is Kara’s fault. So it seems a little unfair when, after Lena and the others have said their goodbyes, Alex rounds out game night by slamming an empty jar onto the counter and demanding Kara empty her wallet into it.
“No,” Kara pouts. “Why? You’re the director of the DEO. Get your own money.”
“Because,” Alex all but growls, “I am sick to death of watching you grope your best friend in public with no consequences. Maybe a financial penalty will curb your handsy urges.”
Kara’s mouth drops open. “Grope— Alex, I do not—”
Her sister continues as if she hadn’t spoken, massaging her temples. “If nothing else, the money can buy me the booze I’ll need to get through the next game night.”
“You’re being ridiculous.”
“No, you’re being ridiculous,” Alex snaps. “You’re clearly in love with the woman, but instead of just acting on it like a rational Kryptonian, you subject everyone else in your life to your audition for the Kara/Lena sex tape every damn time you’re around her.”
“I— the— what?” At some point, Kara would sure like to remember how to form full sentences. “I’m not in love—”
“Yeah, whatever,” Alex sighs, waving a dismissive hand. “Kelly says I have to let you come to the realisation on your own. But I don’t see why I can’t make a profit in the meantime.”
“I don’t— I barely even touched her tonight,” Kara manages at last, cheeks flaming.
Alex quirks one unimpressed eyebrow. “A dollar for holding her hand all the way through charades.”
Kara gapes. “We, we were a team, that was solidarity—"
Alex is ticking off her fingers as she goes. “Another for massaging her feet.”
“She had a board presentation; she’d been wearing heels all day—”
Alex ignores her. “Five bucks for pulling her into your lap during Uno.”
This is just plain unfair. “All the seats were taken!”
Her sister levels her with a firm stare. “You owe me thirty bucks. Pay up.”
“Alex, come on.”
“Kara, I’m serious.” Shockingly, it seems she really is. “My house, my rules. Every time you get nasty with Lena in my presence, you’re gonna pay for it.”
Even Kara’s most earnest puppy-dog eyes are unsuccessful in softening the determined set of her sister’s jaw. Pouting so hard her face hurts, Kara deposits three crinkled bills into the jar.
“I hope you enjoy this,” she grouches at Alex’s smug grin. “You won’t be getting any more money out of me for a while.”
So. It’s possible Kara may have overestimated her own self-control. Or underestimated Lena’s touchability. Or both.
It’s been a week, and she’s already lost over a hundred dollars.
Lena, consulting on Alex’s nanotechnology project, spends a morning at the DEO. Kara subsequently spends nine dollars on placing a hand on the small of Lena’s back to lead her to the labs, opening every door for her on the way, and wiping a smudge of ketchup from her mouth over Big Belly Burger takeout.
Alex demands further compensation upon discovering the little red heart after Lena’s name in Kara’s contacts, as well as their nightly routine of calling one another and staying on the line until they fall asleep.
Kara makes an immediate resolution to change her phone’s passcode to something other than the numbers corresponding to the letters of Lena’s name, and vows to be more careful.
In hindsight, then, movie night with both Lena and Alex probably wasn’t her best idea. Because, what is she supposed to do? Not drape a blanket over their entwined legs? Not card her fingers through dark curls when Lena’s head tilts against shoulder? Not gently lay the young woman down to rest in her lap when Lena falls asleep before the end credits?
Impossible, unthinkable, and just plain unrealistic. Alex should understand that. It still costs her seventeen dollars, though.
She loses twenty bucks in one fell swoop when a paparazzi photo emerges of Supergirl and Lena Luthor tucked tight together on a rainy sidewalk, the iconic red cape extended gallantly over the young CEO’s head to shield her from the deluge.
When Kara protests, Alex just taps tiredly through her phone, holding out a photo for inspection. It’s a snap of her and Lena at last year’s Christmas market, pink-cheeked and giggling and wrapped around each other and okay, fine. Maybe there are some similarities between this and the rain-cape photo, but still. Still. Twenty bucks is a hefty price.
She drops the bill into the gleefully-named Handsy Jar with a huff.
“Look on the bright side,” Alex hums, smirking. “If people start figuring out who you are and your entire secret identity side-hustle goes up in flames because you simply cannot keep it in your pants, we’ve got the start of your disappearance fund right here.”
Inevitably, Lena notices the jar.
How could she not, when it now surely contains half of Kara’s monthly paycheck?
Lena quirks an inquisitive brow in her direction and Kara flushes. “S’nothing,” she mutters, mouth dry and heart pounding. “Alex just— she wants me to admit something. Something that isn’t true. And I won’t, so she’s making me pay.”
“Oh,” Lena murmurs. Her gaze turns thoughtful, contemplative with the barest undertone of uncertainty. So really, Kara is left with no option but to slant her body toward Lena’s on the couch and wrap both arms around her, pressing a cheek to the crown of her head and a lingering kiss to her hairline.
Again, this is not Kara’s fault. The softness of Lena’s curves beneath her sweater and the intoxicating floral scent of her hair are the real culprits here.
But they don’t seem inclined to foot the bill, so at her sister’s pointed eyebrow-raise Kara digs into her pocket for the crumpled singles she’d stashed there earlier and throws them right at Alex’s shit-eating grin.
She doesn’t let go of Lena, though. Not for the whole rest of the night. And the double digit tab she racks up by the time she leaves feels wholly and indisputably worth it.
“I don’t know why you won’t just give it up already,” Alex hums a week later, thumbing obnoxiously through the fat stack of bills in her hand. “Not that I’m not enjoying my own financial gain. But why won’t you just tell Lena how you feel?”
Kara huffs. Maybe she’ll implement a damn jar, for every time Alex brings this up. “There’s nothing to tell.”
“Kara.” Alex’s voice takes on the firm tone she employs whenever she’s trying to convince Kara not to drink washing up liquid so she’ll burp bubbles, or eat a shiny rock because it’s pretty. “In two weeks I’ve made two hundred bucks from the number of times you’ve gotten handsy with your best friend. I think there might be something to tell.”
“No,” Kara squeaks, embarrassed. Has anyone ever died from blushing too hard before? Maybe she’ll be the first. What a legacy. “I just— I like being close to her.”
Alex’s expression is one of endeared irritation. “Mmhmm. And touching her.”
Kara almost swallows her own tongue. “Sure.”
“And being around her as much as possible.”
“Yeah?” If Alex is shooting at a point here, she’s missing Kara by a clear mile. Obviously, she wants to be with Lena all the time. Who wouldn’t? Lena is amazing. And perfect. And so damn touchable.
Alex sighs, the picture of gentle exasperation. “What does all that sound like to you, Kara?”
Alex squares her shoulders. “Do you want to do other things with her, too?” she manages at last, looking physically ill as the words leave her mouth. “Do you want more? Because I’m pretty sure it’s there if you’d like it.”
“More?” Kara blinks. “You mean, like, three lunch dates a week instead of two?”
Alex deflates, sighing as she takes a long sip of beer. “Well, I tried. You’re on your own, kid.” She glances back down at the stack of money on the counter. “God, I’m gonna be so rich.”
She can’t stop thinking about Alex’s words.
Does she want more? Kara’s not entirely sure what her sister was implying but whatever it was, she thinks the answer is probably yes. How could she not want more with Lena? How could she not want anything Lena wanted to give her?
Kara contemplates the notion as she shovels pot stickers into her mouth. Is there anything she wouldn’t want to do with Lena?
She wracks her brain, but. She really doesn’t think there is. She wants it all. Sleepovers and lunch dates and spa weekends. Couch cuddles and hand-in-hand strolls and kisses in the morning and again before bed, and maybe all through the day too, and— oh. Oh, crap.
She’s going to need a bigger jar.
It’s all she can focus on at game night.
Lena is objectively touchable, which is not Kara’s fault. But Kara wants to touch her – like, really wants to – which may, in fact, be her fault. Or at least, the fault of these feelings she can’t believe she hadn’t noticed before. Feelings that whisper at her to hug Lena, to hold her, to kiss her senseless.
Lena is as cuddly as ever, tucking herself into Kara’s side and smiling at her with a depth of affection that knocks the breath from her lungs and she thinks again of Alex’s words. I’m pretty sure it’s there if you’d like it.
She’s still mulling it over as she wraps an arm absentmindedly around Lena’s shoulders. Across the room, Alex smirks and rubs her fingertips together in the universal gesture for pay up and Kara thinks, actually. If she’s already paying for it, she may as well enjoy it.
Very slowly and very deliberately, she sits up. Reaches into her wallet and pulls out a fifty, maintaining eye contact with her sister as she slides it across the coffee table towards her.
Lena hums inquisitively and Kara ignores the way the room has fallen silent to focus solely on her. “Lena,” she says calmly, tilting so she can slide her hands up to cup Lena’s jaw. “I’d really, really like to kiss you.”
Lena’s eyes go wide and she’s barely squeaked her acquiescence before Kara’s pulling her in, slotting their lips together like the final missing piece in the puzzle of her life. Lena is beautiful and warm and just as touchable as ever, and the feeling of her tongue in Kara’s mouth is worth every cent in her bank account.
When they at last break apart to a symphony of wolf whistles and muttered finallys, Lena looks as thoroughly undone as Kara feels. She blinks up at her, wide-eyed and panting.
“Did you— did you just pay your sister so that you could kiss me?”
With a level of smooth composure she hadn’t known she possessed, Kara grins. “It’s a long story. Want to hear about it over dinner tomorrow night?”
Lena nods, caught somewhere between joy and disbelief, and Kara’s heart does a backflip.
“After all,” she beams, kissing Lena’s nose and reaching over to pluck the heavy jar from the coffee table. “We’ve got one hell of a first date fund.”