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The feeling of her powers seeping out of her body had Kara falling to her knees. Her body was already bloodied and bruised despite the yellow sun doing it’s best to heal her. Though she can’t feel it, her arm looks bent in the wrong direction and head pounds with her pulse. 

 

Nyxly’s ice wraps around her feet, slowly climbing up her body. Her useless arms get covered until all that one could see of Supergirl’s body was her head, golden blonde hair falling over magical ice, red decorating the roots. 

 

Lex uses a device to pick up the helpless superhero, levitating her body so her head is dragged down with gravity. The weight of the ice feels too heavy on Kara’s chest. Her breathing is labored, a slight wheeze escaping her parted lips. 

 

“Supergirl brought down to her knees at last,” Lex says, circling his catch. “Or frozen, at least.”

 

He raises Kara’s body so she’s upright, head now lolling to the side.

 

“Looks like the Superfriends have other business to attend to,” Nyxly says. “No one here to save you now.”

 

Kara looks around. The only thing she hears beside a loud ringing in her ear is the destroyed building coming to rest. Her earpiece is dead, obliterated by whatever Lex used to surprise and confusticate her. Nyxly was right. Nobody knows she’s here. No one is coming. She is alone. 

 

Lex approaches, his face getting too close to Kara’s. His finger wipes at Kara’s cheek where she’s still bleeding from an open cut. 

 

“How does it feel to be reduced to a human?” He asks. “To feel the pain humans experience everyday, to have your godship taken away from you?”

 

Kara doesn’t answer but Nyxly does. “She’s terrified. I can feel it.” Her high pitched laugh rings through the room. “Terrified of being alone. Poor thing.”

 

The two villains share a loving look with each other, adoring smiles sprawled across their faces. 

 

“Well, shall we go?” Lex asks, opening a portal. 

 

Nyxly steps through, then Lex who levitates Kara’s body through. She’s transported to wherever their base of operations is. It’s dark and another man is there, excitedly looking over at Kara. 

 

“You caught her!” the man says. 

 

“Indeed,” Nyxly says. “Now you can make all the money in the world, Mitch.”

 

Kara does speak up now, confusion surfacing over her other thoughts. “You’re not going to kill me?”

 

Nyxly laughs again. “No, no, no!” she says. “I’m going to destroy the earth and everyone on it. National city, your friends. And you are going to watch. I want you to feel every bit of pain as each of your friends are killed off, one by one.”

 

Kara’s eyes burn. She can’t focus on anything as they blur the world around her. Her muscles ache but she struggles to break free. The ice feels too tight, too heavy. The feeling of being stuck makes her heart hammer faster against her chest. 

 

Nyxly’s words repeat in her head. I’m going to destroy the earth and everyone on it. And you are going to watch. Pictures of her parents flash through her mind, how they sent her away. Memories of her pod, how it was too small, how it made her chest feel like this. Memories of Krypton, her home, exploding, and everyone on it dying. 

 

Her head spins and the world goes sideways until all she sees is darkness. 

 

***

 

Cold is all Kara feels. Cold and dark. For a moment, she thinks she could be back in the Phantom Zone. 

 

Forcing her eyes open, she sees she’s in a room, much like the one Nyxly and Lex brought her to initially. Her feet are frozen in Nyxly’s ice along with one of her hands, which is pulled tightly up toward the ceiling. The other arm hangs limp. Her whole body shakes, the thought of a broken arm making her queasy. If she doesn’t think about it, it’s not broken and she still has a perfectly healthy arm. 

 

The last time Kara had broken anything was during her battle with Reign. The difference now is that she’s completely conscious. Her adrenaline-fueled body from earlier was merciful. Now she was subject to all the pain from her fight. 

 

None of her physical pain was close to the pain she felt in her chest. Kara tries to tell herself that they still have time, but for the first time ever, she’s not hopeful.

 

Nia would tell her she’s wrong, that there is time and that they have to keep their hopes up. Brainy might finally create a device strong enough to take on Nyxly. J’onn might be able to lead them to victory after all. And Alex… Alex might come for her. 

 

Her thoughts are interrupted when a door opens and Lex steps into the room. “Supergirl!” He walks closer, looking up at her. Anger fills her veins as she tries to lash out at him, only to be completely restrained by the ice. A small sob escapes her lips as her arm is jostled by the movement. 

 

“Tsk, tsk, tsk.” Lex shakes his head. “You know there’s no getting out of that ice. You may think yourself a god but fortunately for us, you’re not magical.”

 

“What do you want, Lex?” Kara manages to croak out. 

 

He smiles a billionaire’s smile before replying. “To put it simply, Supergirl, I want to see you suffer.” He pulls something from his pocket. Pushing a button, a glowing red knife extends from the hilt. “There’s something I’ve always wanted to do to your cousin but since he’s off playing house on Argo, I think you’ll do.”

 

He takes the glowing knife and hooks it under Kara’s suit collar, tearing the fabric too easily. “See, everytime I see that awful crest I’m filled with unnecessary rage!” Lex’s laugh is boisterous, echoing in the room. “So let’s just remove that…” 

 

He slowly cuts off the emblem of the House of El until the upper part of her chest is bare. The knife collapses back into the handle before Lex tucks it back into his pocket. He pulls something else out, almost in the shape of a small flashlight. 

 

“…and replace it with something I like more.”

 

A switch is flipped and Kara can feel it before she sees the sickly green glow of Kryptonite. Her skin immediately prickles, burning as Lex gets closer to her. Bile rises in her throat and suddenly it hurts to breathe. 

 

Lex grabs her shoulder and points the device at her chest. “Hold still, Supergirl. Wouldn’t want to ruin my masterpiece.”

 

He holds down a button and something like a green torch comes out of it. Without hesitation, he sears it into her skin. 

 

Kara’s guttural screams fill the room. Her vision goes white and her body spasms, an instinctual attempt to get away from the pain. But the pain doesn’t stop, not even when Lex finally pulls away and turns off the device. She feels needles pump through her veins and her skin feels like it might fall off. 

 

When her vision finally comes back, she sees Lex admiring his work, a satisfied smile stretched over his face. “Wow I wish you could see this,” he says. “You know what? Wait here, I’ll get you a mirror.” The man speeds away, leaving Kara in a moment of peace. 

 

Kara looks down but her eyes are flooded with tears. In the blurriness, all she can see is green glowing from her chest. 

 

Lex returns, a handheld mirror in hand. “Take a look,” he says, holding the mirror up. “What do you think?”

 

Right where her crest used to be is a vibrant green L , much like the one Lex puts on all of his buildings. Bits of green escape the letter, snaking out like veins into her skin. Mixed with the green is her hot red skin. She can feel it throbbing as the poison invades her body. 

 

“The lines aren’t as straight as I’d like but, hey, I’m no artist,” he cackles. “Anyway, I’ll leave you to it!”

 

Lex struts out of the room, leaving Kara to her pain. She wishes her body would give her mercy and go unconscious. The Kryptonite poisoning doesn’t dull, only seeming to get worse. 

 

She thinks about the time she and Lena were arguing about Kryptonite, back when their relationship was straining at best. Kara tries to convince herself that the pain of their friendship breaking apart was worse than any Kryptonite poisoning, that if she could get through that, she could get through this. 

 

Her mind wanders to Nyxly’s promise. Her friends would die. Lena would die. And Kara would watch helplessly from the imp’s bindings and Kryptonite searing through her blood. 

 

A thought in the back of her mind haunts her. 

 

Kara would rather die than watch her world be obliterated again. 

 

***

 

“Supergirl!” Nyxly’s voice rings through the hallway before she appears in the chamber Kara’s being held in. “Good news, we’ve got another totem. Your friends are really putting up a fight! No matter though. Without you they’re a mess.”

 

Kara’s heart sinks, feeling guilty for letting her friends fight this alone. She should be there, by their side. 

 

“That Lena girl, Lex’s sister, she really is giving us trouble. But she’ll be dealt with soon enough.”

 

At that, Kara yells, lashing out and swinging her broken arm out at the imp. She regrets it immediately as a new pain flares up.

 

Nyxly easily dodges the weak superhero’s attempt. “I was leaving that arm out of the ice out of pity, but I can’t just as easily…” she snaps her fingers, “hang it up too.” Kara’s hand shoots up and is frozen in ice with her other hand. 

 

“You must like Lena, hm?” Nyxly asks. “I heard from Mxy you wanted to change the timeline for her. She must be a really good friend.”

 

“If you touch her…” Kara threatens. 

 

“What, you’ll hit me with your broken arm?” Nyxly laughs. “You’ve lost, Supergirl. And I’ll make sure she dies first.”

 

Kara screams as the imp leaves. She’s frustrated for being so useless. Her friends are out there risking their lives while she’s here, powerless and unable to help. She feels pathetic. 

 

Meanwhile, she can feel Nyxly’s glee at her supposed victory over Kara. That paired with the Kryptonite still beating through her veins makes her sick. 

 

Lena can’t die. Not before Kara can… There’s so much Kara hasn’t told her yet. 

 

She promised Lena she’d take her to a red sand beach she found, one that reminds her of Krypton. She wants to tell Lena that sometimes, when she focuses, it almost feels like she’s back on her home planet, like Earth doesn’t exist. She was going to tell Lena about the creatures that used to live in Krypton, creatures so mind-blowing Lena would never believe her. 

 

They had only just gotten back to where they were, before Red Daughter and Lex and Kaznia. They were finally starting to heal. 

 

What Kara would give to be home right now. Lena had been spending the night, sometimes more than one night in a row. Kara never thought she’d get to come home to Lena after a long day, ready for a movie night or sometimes to fall asleep on the couch together. In all honesty, the last few weeks have been heaven on earth for them. 

 

Time passes by, the only thing keeping her mind away from the fire ripping through her skin is picturing crystal green eyes and pink lips smiling at her. 

 

***

 

There’s commotion. 

 

Kara’s eyelids feel heavy. She tries to open them but her mind calls for her to resign to the darkness. 

 

She hears zaps and shouting. They seem so distant. But she barely hears it… Alex’s voice. 

 

Kara forces her eyes open. It takes all of her strength to lift her head up. Her neck strains with the endeavor. 

 

Kara watches the entryway. No one comes through. Her neck shakes with the effort until eventually she can’t hold it up any longer. Her chin hits her chest and her eyes fall shut again. The Kryptonite was making her hallucinate. This was a new level of poisoning Kara hasn’t experienced yet. 

 

“Kara!”

 

Lena’s voice rips through her mind. She sounds so worried, scared even. Kara wonders why, needing to fix whatever it is she’s upset about. 

 

A gentle hand touches Kara’s cheek. 

 

“What did he do to you?” Lena’s voice says quietly. 

 

Kara won’t believe she’s here. Forcing open one eye, she sees dark hair and pale skin. It’s not her. It can’t be. 

 

Her other eye opens and her vision clears. Lena’s face is so close, close enough that if Kara just pushed forward an inch…

 

Nyxly’s angry emotions force their way into her mind. Their intensity makes her whimper involuntarily, scared for what will come of it. 

 

“Lena, you have to l-leave,” Kara rasps. 

 

The younger woman shakes her head. “I won’t leave you.” Kara thinks she sees a tear fall from Lena’s cheek, though it’s hard to tell as her vision has a staticky black around the edges. “I’m not going to lose you ever again, Kara.”

 

Kara’s head drops and her breathing becomes labored. An ache deep in her chest pushes a sob from her throat she can’t contain. “Sh-she’s g-going to kill you, Lena!” she shouts, raising her voice causing her to cough. “I w-won’t w-watch you d-d…” She can’t even say it. 

 

Kara closes her eyes, forcing the image of Lena away. Tears fall freely and her body spasms with loud sobs. Kara feels Lena step away. She must be taking Kara’s advice, leaving while she still can. Leaving Kara alone in this chamber. 

 

In reality, Lena’s withdrawal hurts more than any amount of Kryptonite. It feels like her heart might completely fall away. Her lungs can barely keep up with the intensity of her wails. Maybe if she cries long enough, the darkness will take her and she will be numb to the overwhelming emotions. 

 

“… in here,” comes Lena’s voice. 

 

There’s the sound of running footsteps and then Alex’s voice. “Oh my g-… I’m going to hurt them.”

 

“The team is handling them right now,” Lena says. “Can you hold her while I cast a spell!?”

 

Kara feels Alex wrap an arm around her waist. “It’s going to be okay, Kara,” Alex whispers. “I’m so sorry I wasn’t here sooner.”

 

Lena chants something Kara’s muddled brain can’t understand. She feels the ice melt around her hands until she’s suddenly released and falls. Alex catches her, holding her up while the ice around her feet melts away. 

 

“Kara, your arm…” Lena says as she circles to the other side of Kara. 

 

“We gotta go, Lena,” Alex says. Lena hooks Kara's broken arm around her shoulder, trying to be gentle. The bone digs into Kara’s flesh and she whines. 

 

“I’m so sorry. We’ll be out soon, I promise.” 

 

The two women hoist Kara out of the chamber, the superhero’s feet dragging the whole way. The sounds of fighting get louder. Kara should be there, helping them take on Nyxly and Lex. She doesn’t know how long she’s been gone. What if the city has been completely destroyed? How many people might have died while Kara’s been stuck here?

 

“We’ve got her! Time to go!” Alex yells. 

 

The sound of a portal opens and she feels the familiar feeling of being instantly transported. The sounds of fighting stop and all she hears for a moment is heavy breathing. 

 

“We have to get her to the sunbed!” Alex orders. 

 

Multiple hands lift Kara up prone. She manages to crack her eyes open. Alex and Lena are closest, holding her shoulders. Down the line she sees Brainy, Nia, Kelly, and J’onn. She’s overcome with relief. They all made it. 

 

Everything seems to move in slow motion. Kara looks up at Alex, who’s shouting orders as they get into the infirmary. Then at Lena, whose eyes are locked onto Kara’s. Beautiful green eyes. Kara can’t look away. Only hours ago she thought she’d never get to see them like this again. 

 

Kara doesn’t know when sleep takes her, but she succumbs to it thinking only of Lena. 

 

***

 

Everything hurts. Kara’s foggy mind no longer protects her from the pain of her injuries as she feels completely aware now. Her chest burns, but not the feeling she associates with Kryptonite. Her broken arm is held tight to her body in a sling, a constant throb pulsing through it. But most of all, there’s a dull ache all over her body. She’s afraid that if she moves she might break apart. 

 

There’s a pressure in her hand. 

 

Kara opens her eyes to a bright yellow light. She rolls her head to the side. Lena’s head rests on the side of the bed, her hand clasped in Kara’s. The other woman is asleep, looking so peaceful in her slumber. Her wavy hair is tucked into a low bun. She’s wearing a familiar sweater, almost like it came out of Kara’s closet. 

 

For the first time in what feels like forever, Kara feels a small smile grow on her lips. 

 

She basks under the yellow sun lamps, feeling her body try to heal. It’s warm, a stark contrast to the cold ice she was subject to. 

 

Footsteps approach and Alex walks in. When the older sister sees Kara awake, a huge smile spreads across her face. “How are you feeling?” she whispers excitedly. 

 

For a moment, it feels like something is blocking her throat and Kara struggles to speak. “It hurts,” she eventually whispers. “B-but I feel much better.”

 

Alex looks over some charts and feels Kara’s pulse. “The good news is you’re healing,” Alex whispers. “You might just have some… you know...” Alex gestures to her chest. “Some things might not heal completely.”

 

Kara nods, looking back up at the sun lamp. She takes a shaky breath, willing herself not to cry. 

 

“Kara… I’m so angry,” Alex says softly. “I want them to hurt. Nyxly and Lex won’t get away with this.” Kara sees her fist clenched around the tablet she’s holding. 

 

The sisters share a look with each other. “Th-thank you for g-getting me out,” Kara says. 

 

It’s Alex’s turn to cry. She sniffs and wipes her eyes. “I was so worried about you. Don’t ever leave me like that again, okay?” The two of them laugh. 

 

“I’ll try.”

 

Alex composes herself, clearly not wanting anyone to see her cry. “Anyway, it was all Lena’s plan. We were all struggling, but she found a way.” They look over at the sleeping woman, who hasn’t moved, hand still holding Kara’s. “She won’t leave. I had to go get her new clothes.”

 

“M-my clothes?” Kara jokes. 

 

Alex chuckles. “Kara, can I tell you something?” At Kara’s nod, she continues. “Some days, when life gets busy and I don’t get to see Kelly very much, I start to miss her. Sometimes I find an old shirt of hers to wear because it makes me feel closer to her.”

 

What Alex is insinuating sinks into Kara. She looks over at Lena. Could Lena really feel that way about Kara?

 

Lena’s hand twitches and her eyes flutter open. 

 

“I’m gonna go check on Esme. Call me if you need anything,” Alex says, rubbing Kara’s shoulder before leaving the room. 

 

Lena takes a moment to process as her mind wakes up. “Kara?” The superhero squeezes her hand in greeting. “Thank god!” Thick tears pour from Lena’s eyes. 

 

“H-hey! Don’t cr-cry,” Kara soothes, squeezing her hand again. 

 

“I don’t know what I would have done if I… if we lost you,” Lena says. Her delicate hand comes up to tuck a strand of hair behind Kara’s ear. 

 

“Y- you would ha-have been okay,” Kara stutters. 

 

Lena shakes her head. “I would have broken into a million pieces.”

 

They’re both quiet, holding each other’s hand with a strong grip. Lena’s emotions show on her face. Kara can see that her eyes are puffy and cheeks are pink, a sign of previous crying. Kara’s heart clenches at the thought of Lena in distress.

 

“L-Lena,” Kara starts. “I th-thought y-…” Kara shuts her eyes, taking a frustrated breath at her inability to form a sentence. 

 

Lena rubs her arm. “Take you time.”

 

When she opens her eyes, Lena looks at her with understanding, encouraging her to continue. 

 

Kara speaks slowly, carefully forming her words. “I thought Nyxly w-was going to k-kill y-you.” Lena squeezes her hands. “I would have… I’d rather d-die than w-watch that ha-happen.”

 

Lena’s shaking her head before Kara finishes. “I’m so sorry, Kara. I’m never letting you go again.”

 

***

 

A few hours later, Kara is rolled into her apartment. It still smells like the candles she lit a few days ago. Alex pushes her to the couch and drops a bag full of meds in her lap. “Remember what I said. Anytime you feel any pain at all…” 

 

“Take the medicine,” Kara finishes. “I know, Alex.”

 

Her older sister nods. “I just want you to heal because I love you.” She turns to Lena who’s putting a few things away. “I better get home to Kelly and Esme. Can I do anything else before I go?”

 

Kara shakes her head, but as she does, Lena speaks up. “Oh, I’ll head down with you.”

 

Kara’s stomach drops at the thought of being left alone. 

 

“You’re not staying?” Alex asks.

 

Lena looks between Alex, then Kara. Though the superhero tries to mask her disappointment, she’s sure Lena can see it on her face. 

 

“I just didn’t want to invite myself…” Lena starts to explain. 

 

“Lena, you’re literally here all the time. Even when Kara’s not home,” Alex says. Lena’s cheeks flush a soft pink and she fiddles anxiously with her hands. “Anyway, I’m gonna head out. Lena, make sure Kara takes her meds. She’ll try to be strong but don’t let her. She needs to get better.”

 

With that, Alex leaves, closing the door behind her and leaving the two other women alone in Kara’s apartment. 

 

“I’m sorry for being awkward,” Lena blurts. “I just didn’t want to overwhelm you or annoy you by being here.”

 

Kara shakes her head and holds her good hand out to Lena. “Not at all. I n-need you he-here,” Kara says. Lena walks over and holds Kara’s hand tightly. 

 

“Then I will be here, however long you need me.”

 

Kara doesn’t say she needs Lena with her always

 

“Can I make you something to eat?” Lena offers. “I know my culinary skills are subpar but I know how many calories you need. Mac n’ cheese?” 

 

Kara nods, the idea of box mac n’ cheese suddenly very appealing.

 

“Let’s get you comfy on the couch then,” Lena says, making to help Kara go from the wheelchair to the couch. The second Kara’s body hits the couch is a huge relief. She didn’t realize how much she missed the soft cushions. Lena tops it off by throwing a blanket over her too, making sure it’s tucked in and covers her toes. 

 

“Okay, I’m going to attempt to make a gourmet meal.” They both giggle. Lena hands over the remote to the TV before parting. 

 

Kara switches on something easy to watch, something mindless so she doesn’t have to think about her time in captivity. She decides on Princess and the Frog, smiling fondly when she hears Lena softly humming along in the kitchen. Lena had never seen it before Kara showed it to her a couple years ago. 

 

It’s not long until Kara needs to use the restroom. She can definitely smell herself too, having not showered since…

 

Taking a deep breath, Kara stands, leaning her weight on her good arm. Her legs stay strong underneath her. Taking one step, then another, she can feel herself get shaky, but the bathroom is only a few feet away. Kara tells herself she can make it. 

 

She gets almost to her bed when all of her energy seems to run out and she succumbs to gravity. Her knees hit the hardwood floor with loud thuds, followed by her good arm. When she can’t dampen her fall and the shoulder of her broken arm makes an impact, Kara shrieks with pain.

 

“Kara?!” Lena calls out before running out of the kitchen. 

 

“M’fine,” Kara mutters, holding her broken arm. The pain that had almost subsided earlier now ignites again. 

 

Lena rounds the corner, now seeing Kara curled up on the floor in the dark. “Wh-?” is all she says before kneeling down to help Kara sit up. 

 

“I’m okay,” Kara says. 

 

Lena let’s out an exasperated laugh. “Then why are you on the ground?”

 

“N-needed to go t-to the…” Kara takes a frustrated breath. “Bathroom.”

 

“Okay, why don’t I help you?” Lena asks, holding out a hand. The blonde nods, taking it, letting Lena help her up. The brunette stays solid, letting Kara lean on her confidently. 

 

They make it to the bathroom. Lena makes sure she’s stable before retreating back to the kitchen to let Kara have her privacy. Kara manages to relieve herself, sitting back in the lid of the toilet when she’s done. 

 

Kara still wants to shower but knows the act of standing for even a couple minutes isn’t a good idea. Instead, she puts a stopper in the bathtub and runs the water. She makes it hot enough that the mirror fogs quickly. Even with it so hot, her alien skin can barely feel it on her hands. 

 

Pain shoots up her bad arm, making her whimper and hold it close. Alex’s words ring loudly in her ears: Anytime you feel pain, take the medicine .

 

Kara takes a deep breath. “L-Len-Lena!” she stammers as loudly as she can manage, yet it still only comes out a bit louder than if she were just talking. 

 

There’s a few moments where Kara’s not sure Lena heard her. She prepares herself to call out again when there’s a knock on the bathroom door. 

 

“Everything okay, Kara?” comes Lena’s muffled voice. 

 

In the tight bathroom, Kara easily leans over from her seat on the toilet to open the door. 

 

Kara asks for the medicine and waits patiently for Lena’s return. The bathtub finally fills to the top and Kara turns the faucet off. The air is thick with steam. 

 

Lena’s arrival is announced by pills rattling in a bottle. She has a glass of water in her hand that she hands off to Kara, then shakes out a red gel pill that she drops in Kara’s hand. 

 

“The mac n’ cheese is almost done and I haven’t managed to burn it yet,” Lena says. “Want to eat it during your bath?”

 

Kara nods, swallowing the thick pill. She’s never had to take any medicine before so the sensation of swallowing something whole has her cringing. She gladly downs the whole glass of water. 

 

Lena takes the glass and comes back with a bowl and a spoon. 

 

“I’ll just leave this on the counter, okay?” Lena says, one hand already on the door to give Kara privacy again. 

 

The blonde frantically reaches out a hand. “H-help me, please?” She’s embarrassed to ask, but the combined task of undressing herself and being alone are enough to sway her. 

 

And Lena, with all the understanding in the world, says “of course.”

 

Lena holds onto Kara while the latter pulls her pants off. The sight isn’t completely new for them, as they’ve changed in front of each other countless times before, but with Kara so helpless to take care of herself, the whole ordeal is so much more intimate. Lena respectfully averts her eyes as Kara’s bottom half becomes bare. She gently sets Kara back on the toilet lid so she can sit again. 

 

Lena removes the sling and Kara holds her good arm up so it’s easier for Lena to pull off the loose sweater. As the shirt comes up, Lena can’t hide her expression as Kara’s chest is revealed, where a burning red L scar still heals. Gently, she pulls the rest of the sweater off and around Kara’s cast. 

 

Kara looks down, barely able to see what Lex gave her. She can still feel the sting of the Kryptonite, though Alex assures she’s removed all of it. Kara knows she’ll probably never wear anything low-cut again. 

 

Lex’s manic grin flashes in her eyes coupled by his mocking laugh ringing in her ears. For a moment, her hands and feet feel cold, like they’re still stuck in Nyxly’s ice. 

 

A squeeze of pressure on her thigh and Lena’s voice telling her she’s okay surface through the laughter. “You’re safe, Kara. You’re in your apartment. We’re home.”

 

Kara’s cheeks are wet with tears. Wiping them away, she focuses on Lena in front of her. 

 

“You’re okay,” Lena reassures. Kara nods, taking a few deep breaths and centering herself in Lena’s eyes. 

 

“M’ready,” Kara says, turning her attention to the warm bath. 

 

Together, they manage to get Kara safely into the water. The warmth doesn’t quite seep through Kara’s skin as much as she wants it to, but the idea of comfort is there. 

 

They don’t talk much, but a lot is said in the way Lena cares for Kara. Kara scoops large bites of macaroni into her mouth while Lena scrubs her body. Bubbles slowly form in the water. Lena even scrubs Kara’s feet with a pumice stone. It’s revealed to be completely ineffective with Kara’s alien skin, even in her weakened state, but manages to make the blonde giggle as the scratchy rock tickles her feet. Water sloshes over the side, splashing Lena and soaking her shirt. Kara was about to apologize when Lena splashes Kara’s face, starting a war. 

 

The bathroom looks an absolute mess by the time they’re done. Lena finds spare towels to soak up the water before helping Kara out. They get to the bed, Kara curled up in her towel while Lena finds her some clothes. 

 

“Which shirt do you wanna wear? NCU or Midvale High?” Lena asks, knowing those two T-shirts are Kara’s favorites to wear to bed. 

 

Kara thinks about it, thinks about what Alex said about Lena wearing her clothes. “Neither. I w-wanna wear o-one of yours,” Kara answers. 

 

Lena chuckles, opening the next drawer down where Kara cleared a drawer out for her weeks ago. She picks one out, a soft green shirt that still probably costs more than Kara’s paycheck at CatCo. “This one okay?” Lena asks. At Kara’s nod, she brings it over. “Fine, but then I’m going to wear one of your shirts.”

 

Kara can’t help the grin on her face. “You’re al-already w-wearing one of m-my shirts,” Kara points out. 

 

Lena tries to hide her own smile. “Well this one got wet.”

 

Lena helps Kara get dressed before changing her own clothes. Kara tries not to stare, but finds herself doing it anyway, thinking about how open they are with each other. Her mind even dares to think there’s no one she’d rather have with her right now. 

 

Lena throws the sheets over so they can get into bed. They’ve done it countless times for countless sleepovers, but for some reason, Kara’s heart beats faster this time. She watches Lena fix her pillows, the way she does every night, needing them to be in the perfect position. 

 

Kara herself would normally be laying with her stomach down on the bed, but with her broken arm, it’s impossible to sleep like that. Instead, she lays on her back, watching Lena get situated. When the brunette finally does, they’re facing each other. light from the city cascades onto Lena’s pale face. 

 

After a beat of silence, Kara whispers, “thank you.”

 

Lena scoots a little closer. “No need to thank me, Kara. I’m just glad you’re home.”

 

“You s-saved me,” Kara says. 

 

“Alex and the rest of the team were there too,” Lena contends. “They did the real fighting.”

 

Kara shakes her head. “N-not like that. You’re th-the only one wh-who was… who was with me.”

 

Lena searches Kara’s eyes. “I don’t understand.”

 

“Th-thinking of you k-kept me alive.”

 

Lena’s lip quivers and her eyes become watery. Kara uses her good hand to rub her warm cheek. Lena’s hand comes to rest on top of it. 

 

“I’m so glad you’re back,” Lena whispers. 

 

“Me too.”

 

Kara does her best to scoot closer until their bodies are touching. 

 

“L-Lena…” Kara says, taking a deep breath in preparation for what she’s about to say. “I’m in love with you,” she confesses, speaking slowly. 

 

“Oh, Kara.” Lena’s shaky breath brushes over her face. “I’ve been in love with you for so long.”

 

It’s Kara’s turn to cry. Hot tears quickly slide down her cheeks. 

 

Lena leans in, lips so close to Kara’s, but she waits, waits for Kara. But Kara doesn’t wait, she closes the gap, finally feeling Lena’s soft lips. Kara feels all of the weight on her shoulders being lifted as all of her troubles are swept away, even if only for a moment. Everything feels right, like the way it’s meant to be. She thought she’d feel a void being filled, but Lena has been here all along, filling that void. No, what she feels is explosions of every color inside her chest, igniting her body in a way the yellow sun could never. 

 

They part, both looking at each other with wide eyes before slowly descending into soft laughs. 

 

Kara rests her forehead on Lena’s. “I l-love you, Lena.”

 

“I love you, Kara.”

 

Kara’s not sure how much longer she can stay awake with the comfort of her bed and the smell of Lena lulling her to sleep.

 

“Get some sleep, love,” Lena says, stroking Kara’s hair. “I’ll be here when you wake up. Always.”

 

That’s all Kara needs as her eyes slip closed, giving into the warmth her body craves.