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kiss me on the mouth and set me free

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She knows she shouldn’t touch Lena. She can’t. She won’t- more like. 

 

She knows she shouldn’t because once she does, she might never want to stop. 

 


 

At first her powers are a little out of shape. She breaks her pens when she picks them up and the wine bottles when she’s pouring wine.

 

The chopsticks disintegrate under her fingers before she has the chance to pick up a potsticker. 

 

The table at the towers have small dents on their wood courtesy of her fingers, and her bathroom sink has a crack that she doesn’t remember making. 

 

So, no. She won’t touch Lena. She can’t touch Lena. She shouldn’t touch Lena. 

 

Not when Lena looks so soft with her brand new sweaters and her adorably curly hair. 

 

Not when Lena smiles at her as if she’s sure Kara won’t break her again. And who is she to make such a promise, when she has done so before?

 

She, Kara, who figuratively took Lena’s heart in her hands and shattered it to pieces when she kept her secret- who says she won’t do it again, this time literally, and have her fingers touch Lena and feel the woman’s slender fingers break under her touch. 

 

It’s a manta she repeats to herself. One that she has to do daily, as she watches Lena open more and more to everyone in the tower- sees Lena become the tactile person she had always been with Kara, with every single one of her friends. 

 

Lena puting her hand on top of J’onn’s when he squeezes her shoulder in congratulations after getting a spell right. 

 

Lena hugging Nia hello and goodbye on every game night. 

 

Lena high fiving Alex from across the tower table and fist bumping Kelly. 

 

Lena playfully shoving Kelly to the side while they’re laughing together about something. 

 

Lena quietly resting her head on Brainy’s shoulder when she’s tired and he’s the closest object to her. 

 

But Kara won’t do it. She won’t get too close. Her hands still shake from the memories of the phantom zone and she won’t subject Lena to any kind of pain. 

 

So, she won’t touch Lena. She can’t touch Lena. She shouldn’t touch Lena.

 

And Lena, sweet, understanding Lena, seems to get Kara’s need for space. And doesn’t push further than Kara goes. She lets Kara take the lead, and in those moments where Kara’s body acts in autopilot and she finds the blonde’s arms around her before she can realize it- Lena overjoys herself in those moments too. 

 

She should get a better hold of those moments, she knows. But who can blame her, when she hadn’t seen Lena in so long and she had been deprived of her best friend? Lena definitely doesn’t. 

 

And so, she lets Kara take the lead. And her lead, so far, has been minimal touching.

 


 

Except that it gets harder and harder to not do it. Because, in exchange of not touching the woman, she conceded with herself- in her 4am sleep deprived mind- that she could watch her instead. 

 

Which only ended up serving as fuel to the fire because it’s like she’s seeing Lena for the first time all over again- after that terrible year of being apart. 

 

Because Lena looks softer now, more free too. Long gone are her tight business dresses and her high heels, replaced instead by wavy blouses and comfortable shoes- shoes which give away just how much smaller Lena actually is. The perfect height for Lena to rest her head above Kara’s chest when she hugs her- but she can’t think of that. Won’t think of that. 

 

She won’t touch Lena. She can’t touch Lena. She shouldn’t touch Lena. Because if Lena rests her head above her then she might hear the rapid drums of her heart, and how can she explain that without giving away her deepest secret? A secret that gets harder and harder to hide in the light of day?

 

So she watches as Lena pays close attention to what J’onn is saying. Watches Lena’s jaw clench as she wonders what it’d be like to cup it in her hands. And watches the woman put a strand of hair behind her ear, wonders what it’d be like to run her hands through it. Watches as Lena turns to face her and smiles, because what else can she do when Lena looks at her with a clear question in her eyes? What can she do except give her a reassuring smile? 

 

Part of her wishes she could reassure her completely, squeeze Lena’s hand as she promises it’ll be okay and that the plan is good. And she won’t touch Lena. She can’t touch Lena. She shouldn’t touch Lena. And Lena seems to understand what her smile means, so, she doesn’t touch anyway. 

 


 

She guesses, after, that quality time might be the solution to quench the thirst of her need to touch Lena. 

 

She invites her to her apartment for cake. Brings chinese food for just the two of them. Goes with Lena to every mission she can tag along, even if her reasons seem to be weaker and weaker by the day- once Lena has gotten full control of her powers and she could protect herself, rendering Kara’s bodyguard status useless. 

 

But Lena smiles every time she walks beside her. And she groans in appreciation when Kara shows up to the tower with lunch for two. And she always, always, accepts Kara’s invitation back to her place- no matter how tiring the day had been and how exhausted her eyes look.

 

So, she thinks quality time will do. It has to do. Her hands might no longer shake from the nights but they shake with need, and if she finds a solution to the problem- a simple and quick solution like touching Lena, who’s to say she won’t get addicted to it? Who says she’ll ever be able to stop?

 

So, no. She won’t touch Lena. She can’t touch Lena. She shouldn’t touch Lena. Because if the shake of need in her hands is a small needle of kryptonite in her veins and Lena is the sunlight, what will happen when the sun sets and the night sets in and her quick solution is long gone. 

 

Because who’s to say that if she touches Lena, she won’t scare her away? Who’s to say her touching and hugging won’t give away her feelings and those feelings won’t scare Lena away? She won’t do it. She won’t lose her again. 

 

So, no. She won’t touch Lena. She can’t touch Lena. She shouldn’t touch Lena.

 


 

But as days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months and Kara keeps insisting that the sessions with the alien therapist had, in fact, helped- Lena is the one to break the invisible barrier of no-touching that Kara had created. 

 

Kara’s watching the tv on the far corner of the tower, looking for any sign of casualty that might need her help, when she feels it. The touch sneaks up on her and yet, it only warms her body. Makes the electricity run from her shoulder blade to the tip of her toes- and that, unfortunately, does make her jump.

 

“I’m sorry,” Lena says, quickly shoving her hand away, looking almost ashamed- and Kara wants to kick her own body’s automatic reaction for it, “I said your name a couple of times and you didn’t hear. Everything okay?”

Lena sits down by the table, placing her book and laptop on the table-now long forgotten as she gives her attention to Kara and Kara only. The blonde sighs, following the woman’s steps and taking place on the other chair. 

 

“I’ve been a little tired, sorry.”

 

“No need to be sorry, darling,” Lena’s words are out before she finishes uttering her own and Kara smiles kindly at them before hiding it behind a curtain of hair as she lets her head fall down. “Wanna talk about it? Do you feel like you’re depowering? Maybe you should have stayed longer under the sunlamps yesterday, that alien seemed-”

 

“No, no,” Kara cuts her off, her words almost a chuckle as she shakes her head. Lena tilts her head, waits for Kara to explain, her eyebrows burrowed in worry. “I just- I’ve uh… I’ve missed you.”

 

Lena’s expression instantly changes. Her brows unfurrow and her tight lips slightly turn up. Kara watches, as the geers that were working behind Lena’s eyes, the ones already trying to stop whatever problem Kara might be having, stop moving and instead Lena’s eyes start to shine with that small tingle of something that Kara loves so much.

 

Kara clears her throat, perhaps such a bold statement, I missed you, is a little too much when her best friend had only been gone for a weekend. A weekend that Kara had tried to clear her mind away from all Lena-thoughts by spending it with Esme- and while her niece is the perfect distraction while there’s daylight, she goes to sleep at a time Kara’s mind is still on overload. And she softly leaves Alex’s and Kelly’s apartment after catching sight of the women curling up on the couch, and wishes she could find Lena on her own couch when she gets to her apartment. 

 

She knows what it means, wanting to have Lena with her the same Alex has Kelly. But she can’t say it, won’t say it. Because her movie nights with Lena had been touchless, too. Because, she knows, that if she wraps her arms around Lena’s waist as a movie plays in front of them, she’ll want to do it again. And again. And again. And she’ll never want to stop. 

 

So, no. She won’t touch Lena. She can’t touch Lena. She shouldn’t touch Lena. Because Lena will be able to put two and two together and what if the chance of touch will ruin the mere opportunity of having Lena around her at all?

 

“I think something can be arranged if you missed me that much,” Lena says, a smirk on her lips, “movie night tonight?”

 

She watches, quietly and entranced, as Lena’s hand moves out from under the table and gets closer and closer to Kara’s. But they don’t land on top of Kara’s like the blonde had hoped- as she had hoped Lena’s warmth and electricity would go through her again. Instead they stop just right to where her hand is, fingers curling into an uneven fist as Lena breathes out. 

 

And Kara’s hand almost moves on its own, feels her finger jump on its own- her own body begging her to just touch Lena. And she almost does, but she catches herself before the act. Moves her eyes away from their hands and looks up, finding Lena focused on the same thing she was focusing on a moment ago. 

 

She smiles and clears her throat again, “sounds like a plan.”

 

She leaves with a flimsy excuse, flies out of the tower before she does something ridiculous like hug Lena goodbye and wrap her in her arms for over ten minutes or, worse, kiss her on the crown of her head. 

 

She won’t touch Lena. She can’t touch Lena. She shouldn’t touch Lena. Even if her own excuses get worse by the minute and it takes longer and longer to convince herself every night that she’s doing the right thing by not touching Lena.

 


 

“Are you mad at me?”

 

Lena’s words snap her away from Chidi stirring chili on her tv. The question sends dread through her body, the fear creeps up on her because what could warrant such a question? Lena looks small, smaller than usual. She’s in her place, her side of the couch, her legs tucked under her and her hands covered by her long sweater. Her hair falls into her shoulders in the wavy way Kara loves so much. But her eyes, Lena’s eyes, look sad. Almost scared. Almost in pain.

 

“What? No! Of course not, why do you think that?” she says quickly and her hand moves on its own again. Reaching for Lena’s thigh, ready to run up and down on it to give the brunette the comfort she needs. To wipe away whatever worry is tugging in her mind with every swipe of her hand on Lena. But she changes directions at the last second, remembering her own sworn promise that she knows holds no weight as Lena scoffs at the action and looks away from it. 

 

“That’s just it,” Lena says, mumbles it in a long breath but Kara’s ears pick it up perfectly anyway. 

 

“What do you mean?” Lena’s eyes stay on the floor, the show on the tv long forgotten by now, but a soft call of her name makes the woman look up at her again. She smiles in what she hopes it’s a reassuring smile, hopes it doesn’t give away the fear she’s feeling right now- that one more fight could be the one thing that finally breaks them and Lena leaves and she’s alone. Alone. Alone.

 

“You…” Lena bites her lip, a small blush goes into her cheeks, but her eyes never wavering away from Kara’s now- she looks determined, although shy, in understanding what Kara’s eyes might give away. “You- you haven’t touched me, since you came back.”


“Oh,” is her answer. Which probably sounds dumb. After all, it’s not really an answer. But she never thought Lena would notice- that Lena would care.

 

“It’s just- you don’t have to, obviously,” Lena rushes out, one of her hands going up to her hair to play with the ends of it, a new nervous tick Kara had picked up on, “But you used to hug me a lot more. And you’d touch my arm or shoulder when you wanted my attention. Or… you know, just, be closer to each other during movie night.”

“Lena, I-”

“-Like I said, you don’t have to,” Lena interrupts and Kara is half glad about it because she’s not really sure what she was going to say, “but I don’t understand why you stopped and I can only think the reason is I might’ve done something wrong.”

Lena looks so small. So unsure. It almost breaks Kara’s heart, that by trying to keep her own feelings in check, she might have hurt Lena’s- again- instead. 

 

“No. No. You’ve done nothing wrong, you’re perfect,” it’s a little breathless, the way she says it. It feels charged and special and something- even more so when Lena’s eyes soften again. “I- I promise, it has nothing to do with you.”

 

“Then what’s wrong?” She whispers, her hands reaching for Kara’s, stopping only a movement away from touching- giving Kara the chance to do it herself. And Kara looks at them, Lena’s hands, and thinks of how easy it’d be to grab them, hold them and make sure they’re always slotted together somehow.

 

“I just…” she promised no more secrets, didn’t she? It wouldn’t be fair to make up an excuse about trauma or her powers. Lena deserves the truth, even if the aftermath might be Kara losing the last chance with Lena she ever had. “I- I’d never stop.”

 

“What?” 

 

“If- If I touched you, I’d never want to stop,” she breathes it out again, more surely this time. Her eyes find Lena’s, preparing herself even if it's just for defeat. But she says it, surely anyway- in case it might make a difference.

 

“Why would you ever have to stop?” Lena asks, her eyes tingling with confusion and something akin to… hope. “Kara,” she breathes out then, like when she does when she figures something out, “I’m not going anywhere, okay? I’ll be here and we’ll always be friends, you don’t have to worry about me… leaving or something.”

It’s close. So close to the truth. She could easily get away by following this line of thought. By letting Lena think it’s just her abandonment issues again. Her fear of being alone and losing people. But it’s not the truth. It’ll never be the truth, not if it’s Lena. 

 

“But I don’t want to touch you like that,” she says, “like a friend, I mean.”

 

“You- you don’t?”

 

“Rao, no,” she breathes out and now that it’s out, she doesn’t think it’ll stop, “I don’t want to hold your hand to tell you to follow me only to drop it, I want to hold onto it. I don’t want to hug you hello and goodbye for a couple of seconds when those hugs only leave me aching for more. I don’t want to touch you like a friend , Lena."

 

Lena is quiet. Kara can her the upbeat sound of her heartbeat as the words slip out of her mouth. Lena’s eyes are bright and a single tear falls from her eye- and all it does is bring Kara back to the last time she spilled a secret in front of Lena, that last secret that almost broke them. She begs to Rao, to God, to anything- she hopes-that this won’t ruin them too.

 

“I’m- I’m sorry,” she says, her heart going up to her throat, stopping her airflow just like the thought of Lena leaving her stops her heart, “We can forget I said that, it’s fine. I’m-”

 

“-Kara,” tender hands find hers, stopping her from getting up from the couch and flying away. Lena, her tether back to earth. “Kara…” she repeats, “don’t.”

 

Lena’s fingers squeeze on her hands and had she been human, it might have hurt. But to her, right now, it almost gives her hope. Hope she tries to squish one more time, just so she’s let down softly. 

 

“Don’t want?” 

 

“Don’t touch me like a friend,” Lena says.

 

Her words are quiet as she leans forward on the couch, moves until she's in the middle of the couch and her knees are touching the side of Kara’s thighs. And Kara looks at her, mouth open and eyes full of hope, at the fact that Lena not only didn’t go away, but got closer. 

 

Kara nods, her hand untangling itself from Lena’s grip and moving up her arm, slowly, softly. She reaches one of Lena’s strands of hair, holds it between her fingertips for a second, takes into the fact that it’s as soft as she had imagined, and then puts it behind Lena’s ear. 

 

The woman’s head moves on its own, her head turning itself into Kara’s hand, her cheek finding its place against her hand and resting there, just for a moment- as Kara takes in the way Lena has closed her eyes, a small smile covering her features, and it’s the most relaxed Kara has ever seen her.

 

But her lips, her usually dark red lips, the ones that are now void of lipstick, call out to her fingers and Kara’s thumb is on Lena’s bottom lip before she can stop herself. It seems to wake Lena out of whatever stupor she had been in because suddenly she’s moving even closer to Kara- her leg moving to the other side of Kara’s legs until she’s straddling the blonde on her own couch. Kara’s hand remains on her lip while the other one finds its place at the side of Lena’s waist.

 

Lena’s heart is rapid and frantic, just as Kara’s is. And the blonde only looks up from Lena’s lip one more time, just to check if the woman will be okay with her next movement, only to find Lena with her eyes closed again- waiting for her to do the last move. 

 

And so, she does. And she knows, then, that she was right. Because as she kisses Lena under the dimmed lights of her apartment, with Netflix asking them if they were still watching and her beating heart aligned with Lena’s, she knows she shouldn’t have touched Lena. Because now, she never wants to stop. 

 

But, as Lena kisses her and kisses her and kisses her and then asks for more and more and more, she knows, Lena never wants to stop either.