Lena Luthor hates Christmas.
Judging by the noise that comes from a few floors down and penetrates her supposedly soundproof office, the annual L-Corp Christmas party is in full swing. She clicks a few screens closed and taps on the keyboard before impatiently waiting for her computer to shut down before slipping on the Louboutin heels that she had kicked off hours ago so she could fold one leg under her on the seat of her desk chair.
The weather outside is frightful, made endlessly worse by the never-ending news notifications that have been plaguing her phone and the Breaking News banner on the NCTV channel, something about a snowstorm grounding all planes. She had never been a fan of snow, never mind snowstorms, but even Lena Luthor’s disdain reached a new height tonight as a thick blanket of snow covered the office’s private balcony and caused her bay windows to condense.
Lena is going to sneak out of the building before anyone, probably Sam, spots her and drags her into this god-awful Christmas party. She makes it to the office door before pausing and looking back at her side cabinet. Andrea Rojas had been on the phone to her mere hours before, inquiring about her private jet and Lena pieces together quickly that this storm means there is no way Andrea is going to make it down to Argentina. She did leave it very late this time round.
The side cabinet is house to two of her favorite things: a well-stocked liquor collection and a small vault that safeguards some essentials and a wad of crisp dollar bills. She looks through the bottles on display, most of them business gifts Jess has neatly arranged with the label forwards; bottles that Lena herself wouldn’t buy but can use as an impromptu gift or decide to drink on a whim if she runs out of Scottish malt. She halfheartedly selects one of the finer riojas and grabs half of the money stack, counting out two even piles of ten hundred-dollar notes each and slipping the money into two small envelopes that she carefully puts into her clutch.
With a final sigh, she switches off the light to her office and swings open the door. She doesn’t know exactly why she would be surprised at the sight of Jess sitting at her desk but there she is, typing away in a similar fashion to Lena ten minutes earlier.
“Jess,” she sighs, and the younger woman immediately looks up from her screen, “why are you still here?”
Jess gives her the same conspiring smile Lena often gives her, “I could ask you the same.”
“But you won’t because I am your boss.” Lena smirks, approaching the neatly organized desk and putting her clutch down on the very edge of it, “I’m going to call it a night,” she adds casually, “could you call Frank and get him to drive the car out front please.”
“Of course, Ms. Luthor.”
Lena watches her pick up the phone and press a few buttons, faintly hears the dial tone before Frank picks up and mumbles a response to Jess’s instructions. She puts the rioja down on the desk and waits for Jess to hang up the phone, one hand resting on the clutch.
“He’s on his way,” Jess says as soon as she has hung up, “is there anything else I can do for you today?”
Lena shoves her hand into the clutch and takes out one of the envelopes, “In matter of fact, there is,” she looks up and can already tell Jess DiSanto’s on the verge of rejecting whatever she is offering, “I would very much like it if you would call it a day too and either head to this Christmas party I’m paying for, or go home and spend Christmas Eve away from this office.”
“Okay?” Jess drawls, eyeing Lena suspiciously, “I guess I can do that. Anything else, Ms. Luthor? Oh, oh no, no no.” She adds as soon as Lena slides the envelope across the desk toward her, “I could never.”
Jess can, and she should. Lena knows this - she had not spent an entire lunch sifting through employee information she made Sam gather in a neat little file with Jess’s name on it. There was a credit card and student debt to pay off, a boyfriend called Trevor who had recently been laid off by his firm, and a rent increase that had infuriated Lena so much she had been close to buying the real estate agency Jess was contracted with for her lease. The thousand-dollar Christmas bonus had seemed like a good idea then, and still did so now.
To her credit, Jess had always known not to push her once she insisted. With a sigh that both reflects annoyance and gratitude, she mouths a thank you and picks up the small envelope. She doesn’t open it, not that Lena expects her to.
“Merry Christmas, Ms. Luthor,” Jess smiles, “thank you, again.”
“You are worth it in hundredfold,” Lena nods at the envelope before picking up her clutch and her bottle of rioja, “pack up, Jess, go have fun with Trevor.”
She is just about to press the elevator button when Jess clears her throat behind her.
“Ms. Arias paid me fifty dollars to let her know when you were ten minutes away from leaving so she could intercept you,” her assistant pauses, “I will ring her in five minutes.”
Lena turns around and gives the Asian woman a wink. “I’ll take the shortcut to the garage.”
Jess DiSanto is worth a thousand Christmas bonuses, Lena thinks when the elevator starts going down and the sound of generic Christmas music and her employees cheering fills her ears.
* * *
The car ride to CatCo is longer than expected. Frank, never one to be thrown off by weather conditions, actually struggles navigating through National City on Christmas Eve. The snow has obviously made the good citizens of National City feral as they are trying to get wherever they need to be, and Lena finds herself fighting the urge to open the rioja in the backseat of the Rolls Royce, just to take the edge off.
“Frank,” Lena leans forward toward the partition as soon as he pulls up in front of the CatCo building, waits a few seconds for it to roll down, “you don’t need to wait for me, I can get a taxi to Park Place once I’m done here.”
“I don’t mind waiting.” Frank gives her a reassuring nod in the rearview mirror, “I don’t think there will be many taxis running later on, not with this weather.”
“True as that may be,” Lena tries, “Colleen must want you home, it’s Christmas Eve.”
“She’s working overtime at the hospital tonight,” Frank taps the steering wheel, “the kids are meant to fly in tomorrow but I’m not sure they will manage to make it - I really am alright waiting for you, Ms. Luthor.”
“You’re a good man,” Lena sighs, “I won’t be too long.”
She regrets wearing the Louboutin heels as soon as she steps foot outside of the car. Her heel immediately sinks into the thick carpet of snow, and she clasps the faux fur coat a bit tighter as the icy wind hits her in the face. She can barely feel the hand she’s holding the bottle of wine in but clutches her bag under her arm and stalks across the small plaza, desperate to get into the warmth again.
“Merry Christmas, Ms. Luthor.”
God, she wishes people would stop wishing her a merry Christmas. She gives the security guard (Beck?) a polite little smile and wave as she makes her way through the security gate, grateful that she’s no longer expected to flash him her permanent visitor’s pass Andrea had given her a few months ago.
The CatCo building seems quieter than her own, bar the presence of a cackle of young interns that almost fall out of the elevator when she’s about to get in. The elevator music plays a tune she recognizes as a Christmas classic and fuck, she has never been this desperate for a night (and another whole day) to be over this badly.
She gets out of the elevator and steps into the CatCo bullpen which is delightfully empty with the exception of a handful of reporters at their desks working on something Andrea undoubtedly decided was extremely important the second she realized she wouldn’t be able to fly to Buenos Aires. Lena’s heels on the marble floor echo obnoxiously as she walks across the bullpen; the blonde reporter closest to Andrea’s office looks up from her screen as she walks over and averts her eyes right when Lena walks past her, focusing on her work at hand.
“Lena,” Andrea looks up as she raps her knuckle against the glass door gently, “what a surprise, what are you doing here?”
“Figured you could use a pick-me-up,” Lena sighs, taking off the faux fur and carelessly tossing it onto one of the large chesterfield couches, “misery needs company.”
“Por dio,” her friend groans as Lena uncorks the bottle and pours them two glasses, “I even called uncle Elon but there is no way to fly out of the country, never mind this goddamn city. Gracias chiquita.” She adds with a grateful sigh as Lena hands her a glass and turns back to sit on one of the couches.
“You will come around to my theory that Christmas is the most overrated day of the year.” Lena hums as she takes a sip of the rioja. It’s decent but not something she’d buy herself - and judging by Andrea’s expression as she too takes a sip, it’s a mid-tier pick. “It’s needless hassle and low-brow commercialism.”
“It’s also magical.” Andrea smirks.
Lena snorts, “Magical! The entire month’s been dictated by societal pressure over an interpretation of some made-up religious nonsense nobody truly cares about.” She shakes her head, “That and inflated prices for very mediocre, thoughtless gifts.”
“Some people actually like their family, you know.”
“Not me,” Lena takes another sip, “I’ll be happy when the 27th rolls around.”
“Are you doing anything tomorrow,” Andrea inquires before looking at the door, “Ms. Danvers, why are you standing there gawking like a fish out of the water?” Lena glances over at the door and true enough, the blonde reporter that watched her walk over earlier is standing in the doorway clutching a piece of paper. “Let me see.”
“Oh, er, sorry,” the blonde mumbles, quickly walking over to Andrea’s desk and kicking Lena’s clutch down the carpet in her haste, ‘oh - oh, I’m so sorry.”
“Can you watch out,” Andrea snarls as she snatches the piece of paper out of the woman’s hands, “what is this?”
“You wanted me to write an article on the best eggnog in the city so,” the blonde pauses awkwardly, “I did? Did you - was I not supposed to do that?”
“Of course you were supposed to do that,” Andrea responds with a saccharine-sweet lilt to her voice, “that’s why I pay you. It’s not great but it will do for now.” She sighs, slamming it down onto her desk, “Send it over to publishing.” There’s a brief pause as Lena looks at the blonde in amusement as the latter pushes her glasses further up her nose and bends down to pick up Lena’s clutch, “Ms. Danvers,” Andrea lashes out, “don’t just stand there, don’t you have some hideous sweater convention to go to?”
“Just my sister’s Christmas party,” the journalist doesn’t skip a beat and Lena cocks her eyebrow, surprised at the sudden bravery of this girl to talk back to her Latina friend, “do you need me to do anything else before I go, Ms. Rojas?”
“Please leave before I change my mind,” Andrea grunts, “and take those photos over there with you when you head to publishing, make yourself useful.”
Lena watches from the corner of her eye as the blonde walks over to the table to gather the pictures Andrea must have approved earlier as she reaches out for her wine again and focuses back on her friend.
“Where were we?” Andrea sighs, “Right - any plans for tomorrow?”
“Frankly I’m hoping to get shitfaced enough tonight to sleep through tomorrow,” Lena smirks, “I hate everything about Christmas, it can’t be over soon enough.”
There’s a loud thud behind her and it takes Lena a second to figure out what’s happened; she pieces it together when Andrea gets up and starts cussing in Spanish and looks around to check whether her assumptions are right. Sure enough, the blonde (Danvers?) has somehow dropped the photos Andrea had laid out and is now scurrying to pick them up under Andrea’s relentless stream of cussing.
“Andrea, leave her alone,” Lena sighs, reaching out to grab her friend’s forearm, “come on.”
“Danvers,” Andrea clenches her jaw, “out. Now.”
“Yes, of course, I’m so - sorry, Ms. Rojas. Merry Christmas, um,” she glances over at Lena and for a second, Lena’s not sure whether the blonde is actually going to be able to speak at all, the way she’s looking at her, “Merry Christmas, Ms. Luthor, er - have a good evening.”
Lena raises her half-drunk glass to the blonde as she rushes out of the office, before reaching for the bottle on the table and topping her glass off before refilling Andrea’s.
* * *
Her feet hurt.
The ride to Park Place is silent, despite the partition between her and Frank not even being up this time of night. There are no calls to be had, no passengers with her and thus she doesn’t bother with the darkened partition between them, not for a car ride that she suspects will be little under twenty minutes now that traffic has died down.
Andrea -bless her- had opened another two bottles from her cabinet and Lena had gratefully accepted the cabernet sauvignon and the merlot, both better picks than what she had brought to the table. By the time she left CatCo and stepped into the Rolls Royce, she had finally started to feel a bit merrier, just in time for her to head home and get into bed.
There’s a partygoer that jaywalks across the street and Frank has to brake rather abruptly, causing Lena to slightly shift on the backseat. Frank’s on the verge of apologizing when she waves him off. It hardly matters. Christmas might be a pain in her ass, the fact other people enjoy it so much never really bothers her. She checks her phone (more reports on this storm, more Christmas nation addresses by foreign world leaders, more statistics on Christmas shopping expenditure this year) until Frank drives into the underground garage of her building and parks in her dedicated parking spot at the far end of the garage.
“Thank you.” She suppresses a yawn and waits for Frank to walk around and open the door for her, “Sorry it took longer than expected.”
She suspects Frank knows by now her ‘not too long’ when she visits Andrea always tends to turn into a couple of hours. The driver gives her a small smile and offers his forearm for her to hold onto as she gets out of the car.
“Don’t you worry, Ms. Luthor,” he says gently, “I had my crosswords. Do you need me to accompany you to the elevator?”
Lena pats him on the arm gently, “I’m alright, thanks Frank,” she murmurs, opening her clutch and rummaging for a few seconds until she grips the envelope between her fingers, “here,” she pauses, pulling out the envelope and holding it out for him to take, “Merry Christmas.”
Much like Jess, Frank looks at the envelope before looking back at her.
“There really is no need, Ms. Luthor.”
“Lena, please,” she mutters, despite knowing Frank Beccaria would rather drop dead than use her first name in a professional context, “it’s the least I can do for your loyal service all year round.” She adds, starting to feel stupid holding out the envelope mid-air, “Buy something nice for Colleen?”
That seems to do the trick. Frank takes the envelope out of her hands and purses his lips together before smiling at her. “Thank you.” He says gently, “Merry Christmas, Ms. Luthor.”
If she was more touchy-feely, if she would have had maybe two more glasses of wine at Andrea’s, Lena thinks this would be the moment to hug Frank. Instead, she pats him on the forearm again and slowly makes her way to the private elevator. Her feet hurt and as soon as she enters the small cubicle, she contemplates taking her shoes off, only to reconsider it as soon as she glances down and notices a dark stain on the elevator floor.
She scans her fingerprint on the small pad beneath the elevator buttons and waits for the elevator voice to confirm it is riding up to Lena Luthor’s Penthouse in a metallic voice she knows all too well. The ride up takes less than half a minute and she barely waits for the elevator doors to slide open entirely before kicking off the Louboutin heels and dumping her faux fur onto the Eames chair in the lobby. She punches in the code of her security system to switch off the alarm countdown and walks down the hallway, excited to maybe have a final drink and get into bed. There’s a dim glow coming from underneath the door that leads to the open space dining room and kitchen and for a second, she wonders whether she’s somehow left the light on before she left her home that morning.
Then there’s a jingle.
Her mind races immediately, considering every possibility from one of Lex’s goons trying to kidnap her (on Christmas Eve - a classic) to a burglar trying to steal her riches on one of the busiest nights of the year. Lena glances around the hallway and reaches for her fencing sabre that she once got mounted onto the wall as a remnant of her youth and subsequent (almost) Olympian prowess. It feels light enough to wield, even after all these years, and she quickly tries out some advance lunges and en garde stances before taking a deep breath and trying to ignore the semi-drunk rush of adrenalin that is running through her veins. Next, she opens the door to her living room with a supple swing.
“What the fuck?”
Of all the things she was mentally preparing herself for, the current view is not one she was expecting. With one hand clutching her sabre and the other on the light switch to bathe the room in light, she suddenly finds herself opposite someone that… resembles Santa?
“Oh,” the stranger gasps as Lena suddenly finds her fright replaced by pure anger, “oh no.”
Lena stands still for a moment when she realizes the stranger in front of her seems to be some sort of Santa, only the most unconventional representation of a jolly old man she has ever seen. Where she would expect a somewhat corpulent man with grey hair in a fluffy red outfit and a hat, she’s confronted with a woman who is wearing a bodysuit that clings onto her skin so tightly Lena can literally count her abdominal muscles. Instead of a hat with a pompom, there’s blonde hair cascading down in waves and the belt she would expect a normal dressed-up Santa in the mall to wear is perhaps more the size Jane Fonda would have worn in her 80s work out videos. The leather boots are a far cry from the Ugg-like shoes she would expect for a geriatric benefactor from the north pole to don and frankly, the entire thing looks like a fever dream.
Maybe she’s had too much to drink.
“Who the fuck are you?”
“Right,” the blonde woman coughs, “I, um - I am Santa.”
“Santa isn’t real,” Lena squints, holding her sabre out in front of her, almost automatically slipping into her en garde pose, “try again.”
“I swear,” Santa holds her hands defensively, “I just wanted to bring you some Christmas cheer this year and um, I was going to just pop in and out and leave you a Christmas present under your tree, but then I couldn’t help but notice you don’t have a tree, so um, I was trying to find a good spot and then you showed up.”
“How did you bypass my alarm?”
The blonde grimaces. “Your alarm?”
“My state-of-the-art alarm right outside the elevator,” Lena frowns, “I designed it myself, there’s pressure pads, there’s lasers - nobody has ever made it past it. I didn’t even get an alert; how did you bypass it?”
“I came through the chimney.” The blonde smiles.
Lena sighs. “There is no chimney,” she clenches her jaw, her patience running thin, “I will ask you one more time, Santa.”
“The balcony,” the stranger gives in immediately, “your door wasn’t locked.”
The absurdity of the situation throws Lena for a second. Here she is, after three shared bottles of wine, on Christmas Eve, holding a sabre in her living room while some blonde in a bodysuit insisted on forcing a present onto her after breaking into her home through the balcony door which she apparently left unlocked. Would she have? Unlikely. Her grip on the sabre tightens as she looks between the blonde and the neatly wrapped box on her dining room table.
“Wh- oh!” The blonde smiles, “Your present.”
“Don’t want it,” Lena mumbles although she lowers the sabre for a mere moment, “look, I’m really not in the mood for this, can,” she takes a deep breath, “can you leave?”
Stranger Santa stares back at her for single second before admitting defeat, “Sure. Sorry for the intrusion, Ms. L-” Lena squints as the blonde suddenly shakes her head, “I’ll go.”
“Take that with you.” She points the sabre at the present on the table, “Please.” She adds as an afterthought.
The blonde frowns just for a second before regaining her composure and grabbing the small box. There’s an awkward moment of silence when she looks at the balcony door and the raging snowstorm outside before she looks back at Lena who is giving her -what she likes to think- an intimidating glare.
“Right,” the blonde says with finality lacing her voice, “I’ll leave you to it. Merry Christmas.”
Lena doesn’t say a word as the slightly taller woman carefully moves past her, not taking her eyes off the sabre she’s still holding. She doesn’t notice she’s been holding her breath until she watches the blonde climb up the drainpipe on her balcony that leads to the summit of the roof with the air conditioning vents are.
When Lena wakes up the next morning, she wonders why she didn’t call the police. She wonders how this idiot burglar somehow bypassed her alarm, and how she managed to get out of the building after climbing onto the roof. Her security cameras refuse to play any recordings from Christmas Eve after six in the evening and the doorman claims he hasn’t seen anyone either.
Lena spends a solid ten minutes on Christmas morning looking around her living room, trying to find any evidence of what happened the night before - and finds none. That leads her to the one logical conclusion she can draw about the entire ordeal.
She has to stop drinking.
“The latest iPhone,” Sam exclaims as Ruby unwraps her present and gasps loudly, “oh my God, Lena, you shouldn’t have.”
The slightly higher pitch of her voice and the death glare she gives Lena behind her daughter’s back while Ruby yelps excitedly and throws her arms around Lena’s neck tell Lena she has maybe overdone it.
“Thanks Lena, you’re the best.” Ruby presses a kiss on her cheek before pulling back, “Can I go set it up? Please?”
“Course you can.” Sam smiles because despite Lena breaking her ‘no big presents’ rule, seeing her kid this happy on Christmas Eve does pull at her heartstrings, “Dessert at nine.”
Lena waits for Ruby to leave the Arias household’s dining room before reaching for the bottle of Syrah she brought for Sam earlier.
“An iPhone is a pretty big gift for a teenager that gets a ten-dollar weekly allowance,” Sam sighs as Lena tops her glass up, “Here I am, trying to teach her the value of money, and -”
“And there I am, buying your daughter’s love and respect with my tech gifts.” Lena smirks, “I’m sorry, Sam. I just know she cracked the screen on the one she has and the one thing I don’t hate about Christmas is how happy kids tend to be when you give them something they really wanted.”
“You know my thirteen-year-old doesn’t actually believe in Santa, don’t you?”
“And that’s why I reward her with an iPhone.”
Sam snorts and sits back, swirling the Syrah in her glass as Lena takes a small sip herself.
After last year’s fiasco, she made herself a promise to not overdo the drinking. Instead of going around to Andrea’s, she had chosen to instead have dinner at Sam’s, who traditionally had a quality-time Christmas Eve with Ruby and then saw family on actual Christmas Day. The CFO had not quite forgiven her for sneaking out on the L-Corp Christmas party the year before but had promised Lena that she would let her get out of it again if, as a compromise, Lena would have dinner with her and Ruby. Begrudgingly, Lena had agreed although part of her enjoyed the fact it was abnormally normal to have dinner with the duo. The fact Sam had gone down the untraditional route and ordered sushi instead of the catered Christmas dinner Lena had had to sit through during her teenage years, had definitely helped.
“Dessert’s tartufo by the way,” Sam says with a grin, “think I’ve got a bottle of Moscato somewhere to go with it.”
“Divine,” Lena responds, “Sam, can I ask you something weird?”
The brunette grins, taking another sip of her glass, “Sure.”
“Did you play a prank on me last year?”
The thought wasn’t a new one. After realizing her alarm functioned as it should, the doorman had not seen anyone and Andrea had sworn she had nothing to do with any Santa appearances in her penthouse, Lena had eventually decided Sam had somehow pulled off the prank of the year and had let it go. Throughout the year she’d maybe thought back of Christmas Eve a few times but never had she felt like bringing it up with her best friend. A bottle of Syrah and Ruby’s cheerful demeanor had brought back the weird memories of the year before and in true Luthor fashion, she decided there was no time like the present to ask.
“I had such a good one planned for the Christmas party,” Sam chews her bottom lip mischievously, “that’s why I paid Jess fifty bucks, to make sure you actually showed up but then you were gone before I could actually make you do an impromptu speech for two hundred employees.”
Of course. Lena shakes her head.
“No, I mean the one at Park Place.” Lena clears her throat, pauses for Sam to interject but brown eyes look back at her in confusion, “The woman in the suit?”
“Oh my God,” Sam exclaims, sitting up so abruptly the Syrah splashes out of her glass and onto the shaggy grey rug underneath the table, “oh shit - hold on. Who the hell sent an escort to your house?”
“No escort,” Lena sighs, throwing her clean cloth napkin at Sam to dab at the stain, “you need salt for that,” she adds, waiting for her friend to run into the kitchen and come back with the salt shaker, “I went to see Andrea after I snuck out of L-Corp last year, and by the time I made it back here, there was this woman in my living room, wearing some sort of Santa bodysuit, and she had a present for me.”
“A present,” Sam laughs, wiggling her eyebrows as she dabs at the faint red stain on her rug, “What was it?”
“I don’t know, I told her to take it with her when I threw her out. It’s just,” Lena nervously spins her glass, realizing just how insane it all sounds now she is saying it out loud, “she was just there, and my alarm hadn’t gone off, the doorman hadn’t seen her, my security tapes just didn’t record, she claimed she’d come in via the balcony and then left the same way, I just - I figured it was your doing or Andrea’s, but she swore to me it wasn’t her, which leaves-”
“God, I wish,” Sam stands up, tossing the wine-stained napkin onto the kitchen counter behind her and tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, “Wasn’t me, babe.” Sam looks at her in mild bewilderment for a moment, before clearing her throat, “Maybe you had a bit too much?” she suggests, “You know what you are like when you and Andrea start drinking. Maybe,” she pauses, “maybe let’s just finish this bottle and leave the Moscato? Just in case?”
“Yeah,” Lena mumbles pensively, “you’re right, yeah, I must have had too much to drink last year.”
* * *
The tartufo had been delicious and Sam had been kind enough to change the subject from mysterious Santa’s to nanotechnology and the El Salvadorian economy, something Lena had gratefully accepted. She’d hugged both Sam and Ruby goodbye around ten and got into the car with Frank who had -as per usual- dutifully waited for her to finish up her Christmas Eve tradition.
The Park Place penthouse is quiet when she enters.
This time, there is no glow beneath the door and she almost, almost sighs in relief when she opens the door, flicks on the light switch, and sees there is nobody there.
Oh, thank God.
It’s been a one-off, she decides. One of Andrea’s bottles must have had an alcohol content too high for comfort and she must have been a bit confused when she got home - a sensible, logical explanation. Lena could live with that.
She makes her way to her drink cabinet and decides to celebrate with a single finger of Scottish malt, the nice, imported vintage she kept for special occasions only. She grabs a tumbler and pours some of the amber liquid into it, ready to take a sip when she suddenly hears a soft thud outside.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Lena mutters, putting her drink down straight away.
There, in the middle of her balcony, this time without any snow but still dressed in an impossibly tight red bodysuit, stands an all-too-familiar blonde. Lena doesn’t even think about the danger or getting her sabre or anything she could wield as a weapon as she stalks over to the balcony door and glares at the blonde who gives her a small wave in return.
“You are not real,” Lena points out, “fuck off.”
“Are you saying Santa is not real or I am not real?” The blonde asks.
There’s a mischievous glint in her blue eyes but despite it, in spite of it, Lena thinks she might actually be serious. She watches the blonde’s breath come out in small visible puffs as she exhales in the cool night air before realizing the blonde asked a question.
“Both.” She blurts out, “Neither. I don’t know!”
“Right,” the woman bounces on the balls of her feet lightly, “um, any chance I can come in? It’s kind of cold,” she waits for a second, looking at a very unimpressed Lena, “I got you a present, look.” She adds, holding out a box that doesn’t look like the one she brought last year. Is this even real?
Lena takes a deep breath, closes her eyes for a few seconds and opens them again. The blonde is still there, now looking at her confused and Lena can’t help but feel disappointed at the fact willing the woman to disappear hasn’t somehow magically worked.
“I’m going to bed,” she says matter-of-factly, “goodbye, Santa-girl.”
She’s sure the blonde yells at her through the window for a few more minutes. Lena makes a point of walking out of the living room and switching the lights off, takes perhaps way more time in the bathroom getting ready for bed than she usually would, but when she returns maybe fifteen minutes later, the blonde has gone. Or maybe, maybe she was never there. Lena eyes the tumbler with whiskey she poured prior and with a disgusted shake of her head, grabs it and dumps the tumbler’s contents into her sink.
No more drinking.
Christmas Eve rolls around again and this time, Lena makes sure to not have any plans. She politely declines the wine flight option during her business luncheon with Maxwell Lord, manages to convince Sam to please let her bail on yet another L-Corp Christmas party and doesn’t seek out Andrea’s company -or anyone else’s- to get shitfaced enough to forget about the agony that is Christmas Eve.
She is stone cold sober when she takes a seat in her lounge chair and opens up the book Ruby had bought her for Christmas, earned with money she made working at an ice cream shop at the weekends - Sam had sent her weekly updates about Ruby’s ventures into the real-life world of working for money and Lena had made a mental note to maybe buy Ruby a MacBook Pro for Christmas, just to tick Sam off.
It's an interesting book, delving into the chronicles of Russian tsars and in any other circumstances she would be captivated but tonight, her mind (and line of vision) keeps drifting to a certain blonde in a certain red suit. She keeps a close eye on her balcony, eager not to miss the moment this Santa imposter visits her. Part of Lena hopes nothing or no one will show - if anything, that will prove she was just hallucinating and that would be an easier explanation than any of its alternatives.
Her hopes are dashed when, around ten at night, there’s an all-too-familiar soft thud on her balcony and the blonde gives her a small wave before holding out an even smaller box than the two years before. Fuck. Lena closes her book slowly, repeating the page number mentally while she puts the book down. It takes her eight steps to stand in front of the slightly taller woman, separated from her only by the windows.
“Hi,” the woman smiles, “merry Christmas.”
Lena sighs. “I didn’t drink this year.” Then, “I thought I was making you up.”
“Nope,” the blonde pops her p as she gestures at the balcony door, “can I come in?”
In the end, Lena’s curiosity gets the best of her. She punches in her security code and unlocks the balcony door, then steps aside as the blonde enters the penthouse and walks past her. Lena watches her carefully as she places the small box on top of her drinks cabinet, then moves to close the door. By the time she turns back, the blonde is standing there with her hands on her hips and Lena, for the first time ever, feels like she may be out of her depth.
“Who are you exactly?” Lena asks quietly, “I - I don’t understand.”
“I’m Santa,” the blonde smiles, “but I guess you can call me Kara, if that’s easier.”
Kara. It suits her, Lena thinks. It’s a name that fits her, with her blue eyes and bright smile and a little scar near her brow. She watches Santa -Kara- move around the living room for a few moments before she points at the couch.
“Can I sit down for a bit?”
“Sure,” Lena follows suit, choosing to sit on the adjacent couch, legs neatly crossed the way she was raised to do, calm and collected, exuding an air of total control, “can I ask questions?”
“If you want to, sure.” The stranger, Kara, says gently, leaning back and crossing her legs, one hand casually resting on the ankle of her top leg, “What do you want to know?”
Later, she doesn’t tell Andrea or Sam about her encounter with Kara because she is fairly sure neither of her best friends will actually believe her if she tells them she sat down with her Christmas-themed trespasser and had a full-ass conversation with her. She learns that Kara has a day job although the blonde doesn’t tell her what she does (“It would ruin the magic, Ms. Luthor”), she forces her to call her Lena after she explicitly calls her Kara a few times (“If you insist” - she did), she ends up telling the blonde about Christmases at Luthor mansion before she decided to just skip the holiday altogether, chess games with Lionel, traditional Christmas breakfast with Lilian at the club and spending the entire afternoon in comfortable silence with Lex, reading the books they got each other that year.
When Kara bids her goodnight a couple of hours later, she’s not sure why she has basically had a therapy session with a stranger who keeps trespassing, but she feels oddly at peace. Kara gives her a small wave as she makes her way to the balcony and Lena almost, almost calls after her to tell her she’s free to use the elevator if she prefers.
Kara’s climbed the drainpipe before she manages to say a single word.
It’s her own fault she misses out, really.
Jack invites her to London on the 22nd and on a whim, she decides to accept the invitation. It’s not like she even thinks about Christmas Eve until she’s made to wait for Jack to pay at a jeweler’s on Bond Street and the London Christmas illuminations suddenly throw her back to what now seems like a tradition of having her evening disturbed by Kara.
“Sorry love, ended up buying another watch - what’s up, you look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
A ghost, perhaps, but definitely no Santa.
“Ignore me,” Lena sighs, “I was just thinking of Christmas Eve.”
Jack links his arm through hers as he walks her down the street, his bag swinging wildly in his free hand, “Is this the year you finally want to do something Christmassy?”
“God no,” Lena grimaces, “I’ve just got into the habit of seeing someone on Christmas Eve and I just realized I won’t see her because I’ll be here, and I doubt she’s going to show up in London.”
“Luthor,” Jack sounds positively shocked, “What do you mean, seeing someone on Christmas Eve, you minx?”
“Not like that,” she’s quick to shut him down, “actually, never mind.”
“I do mind, as it goes,” Jack stands on the curb and raises his hand to flag down one of the black cabs slowly making its way towards them, “tell me everything.”
She ends up telling him about Kara. She tells him about the first time Kara showed up, how she sent her away the second year and how she sat down with her the third year. Jack laughs at first because it’s absurd but by the end of it, he looks actually intrigued. He insists on trying to get her a flight back to National City and they sip on gin and tonics for a while as they browse through plane tickets and get in touch with private airports but there are no cross-ocean flights with this short a notice.
“It’s fine,” Lena waves him off, “the entire thing is stupid.”
When she finally gets back to Park Place the 28th, there’s a neatly wrapped present waiting for her on the kitchen counter. It’s the first time in four years she actually smiles at the fact Kara seems to be able to bypass her security and leave a little signature gift. She abandons her luggage in the middle of the room as she hops onto one of the bar stools of her kitchen island and pulls the present closer to her. There’s a small tag attached to the bow, and Lena is quick to flip it over. There’s loopy handwriting on the back of it. Maybe we can play next year. :) x Your Secret Santa? It’s ludicrous, of course it is, but the promise of seeing Kara again the next year almost makes her giddy. She pulls at the silver bow without waiting a second longer. If she tears the wrapping paper open a bit too excitedly, it is undoubtedly down to her jetlag and her urge to get into bed and get this over with.
Kara has bought her Chess for Dummies.
It’s silly and so, so Kara, and it annoys her that she even thinks something is so very like someone she hardly knows. With no way to thank Kara or reach out to her, Lena sits at her kitchen island flipping through the pages for a few minutes before she realizes she actually is jetlagged.
She gets into bed twenty minutes later and for the first time in forever, the holiday season doesn’t fill her with dread.
The Christmas tree looks ridiculously out of place in her otherwise pristinely minimalistic living room. Jess had been surprised at the request and had let her professional poker face slip for just a second when Lena requested that she arrange for a crew to put up a tree in her home, but had muttered a quick ‘Of course, Ms. Luthor’ and left the office. By the time Lena got home, the pine monstrosity had been put up in the corner of the room, right next to her lounge.
It looks so out of place that she herself feels like an anachronism in her own home. The tinsel, the baubles, the bright lights illuminating her otherwise dim room, the tree topper reminiscent of the one she and Lex would always hide to piss Lillian off because it was her favorite.
It’s hideous, but it’s Christmas.
Lena carefully lays out her chess set and puts the pieces into place before pouring herself a glass of wine and perching herself on the couch. It’s madness, she knows it. Sam had invited her over, hoping that she would get lucky twice and Lena would actually take her up on her offer and spend the evening with her and Ruby, but Lena had politely declined, telling her she was tired - there was no way she was going to admit she was going to spend her evening sitting next to a goddamn Christmas tree, waiting for Kara to show up or not.
Luckily, she doesn’t have to wait long.
A familiar flash of red draws her attention and sure enough, Kara is standing on her balcony, a wrapped present under her arm and a bright smile upon her face.
“It’s open,” Lena mouths, and Kara doesn’t waste a second opening the door and stepping foot inside of the penthouse, “you came.”
“Of course I came,” Kara says like it’s the most evident thing in the world, “I wasn’t sure you would be here after last year but I was hoping you would,” she adds, walking over to where Lena is sitting, “I’m glad to see I was right. You put up a tree!”
“I had someone put up a tree for me,” Lena gently corrects, “I figured if you keep bringing presents, I may as well give you a tree to put it under.”
“See,” Kara flashes her a smile, “you’re coming around to the idea of Christmas already.”
Lena wants to laugh at her use of ‘already’, as if this isn’t the fifth year that they are doing… whatever this is.
“I read your Christmas present from last year,” Lena says coolly, pulling the book from underneath one of the throw pillows and tapping the cover with her perfectly manicured nails gently, “Riveting.”
“Thought you could do with a refresher course before I kicked your ass,” Kara smirks, adjusting the belt on her red bodysuit before pointing at the chess set, “Wanna play?”
“You can play white.” Lena smiles, spinning the board around so Kara gets the head start.
The blonde hums in approval and touches a couple of pawns, moving them minutely before grabbing a knight and holding it up, “How does this one move again?” Lena actually gasps in dismay before she explains and Kara grins throughout the entire explanation, “I was kidding, I did actually look up how to play chess before I came here to play Lena Luthor.”
Lena feels a blush creep into her cheeks which does not make any sense, so she promptly ignores it, focusing on the chess board as Kara moves a pawn and mumbles a gentle ‘your turn’ as she looks up at her.
Lena ends up winning three games to one (but will not ever admit she threw the last game to make Kara look less upset at her losing streak) before Kara looks at her watch and then back at Lena.
“Almost midnight,” she says softly, “want to open your present? This is the first time I, like,” Kara gestures mindlessly, “am here for it?”
Lena nods and like lightning, Kara is up from the couch to retrieve the one present under the Christmas tree. It’s -quite obviously- a book and Lena mutters a soft thank you when Kara holds it out for her to take. It’s hefty, and as soon as she unwraps the gold paper and spots part of the title, she raises her left brow just slightly. She tears at the paper slightly less delicately until the book cover is staring back at her. Principia Mathematica. There are two more books of the same title underneath and for the first time that year, Lena is truly speechless.
“I’m sorry it looks a bit shoddy,” Kara breaks the silence, “but this is the only first edition copy I could find.”
“You got me the original works by North Whitehead and Russell,” Lena states softly, thumbing the pages of the book on top, “where did you even - how did you even know I wanted these? I,” she pauses, suddenly slightly alarmed, “I’ve never told you.”
“Christmas magic?” Kara tries, quickly giving up her spiel when Lena doesn’t crack a smile, “You did an interview with CatCo when you took over the company,” she elaborates, “said you had been looking for it for years and couldn’t find it, so…” the blonde drawls out.
“So, you decided to look for it and actually found it.” Lena squints, “It - I can’t accept this, it must have cost a fortune.”
Kara frowns, “You must accept it.” The crinkle between her brows gets more solemn and for a weird, inexplicable moment, Lena thinks she’s seen it before, “Please.”
“Alright,” Lena runs her fingers over the spine of the book, plucking at the hard ridge from where it’s been bent a few too many times, “thank you, Kara.”
“You’re welcome,” the blonde says happily, frown long forgotten, “merry Christmas, Lena.”
“I feel bad,” Lena blurts out after a moment, “You keep showing up for whatever reason and I have not ever - I’m getting you something. Where do I send it to?”
“North pole.” Kara stands up, “Or you can just hold onto it until next year.”
“You’re coming back next year?”
“D’uh,” the blonde smiles, gesturing for Lena to stand up, “where else would I be?”
Almost automatically, Lena follows her to the balcony door. Kara bounces on the balls of her feet for a moment, glancing in between Lena and the drainpipe before breaking out in a smile.
“You can come earlier next year, you know,” Lena mutters, crossing her arms to brace herself from the possibility of rejection, “it’s not like I ever make any plans.”
“I wish I could,” Kara chews her bottom lip in a way that makes her look oddly human, and it throws Lena off for just a second, “I, eh - I always do my entire route of gift giving first, you’re sort of my last stop of the night.”
Lena stares back at her, unsure whether this is part of the entire Santa gimmick Kara has been adamantly maintaining the past few years, or whether she’s actually lost her marbles and has somehow struck up a friendship (is it?) with Santa.
“Right,” Lena says slowly, not knowing whether she should inquire more, “okay, that’s - okay, yeah. I guess I’ll just,” she nods, more to reassure herself than anything, “see you next year.”
“See you next year,” Kara smiles warmly, “bye Lena.”
Before she knows what’s going on, Kara’s stepped into her personal space and hugs her, despite her defensive stance with her arms crossed. Kara smells like Christmas, although she would not dream of ever saying something that stupid out loud. She drops her arms and reciprocates the hug for a few moments and it’s like she literally feels feel-good hormones rushing through her. It’s ridiculous and so not scientific, although part of her brain tries to reason whatever she’s feeling with the blonde’s arms tightly around her is down to a delicious cocktail of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine.
When Kara lets go, she tugs at the sleeves of her bodysuit for just second, adjusts the belt that’s snug around her waist and Lena can’t help but follow with her eyes. Kara, she realizes, is sculpted like some sort of Milo-carved Greek goddess; being able to count abdominal muscles isn’t something that she thinks should be possible but here she is, and she’s pretty sure the blonde’s even managed to get an eight-pack and -
Kara doesn’t waste any more time. She mouths a quick bye and before Lena can mention the elevator -again-, the blonde’s got a firm hold on the drainpipe and climbs up. Lena tries to listen to footsteps on the rooftop but there’s nothing.
Maybe next year, she’ll get a chimney built in. Just in case.
Christmas Eve is a disaster. Sam doesn’t show up for work on the 24th because Ruby has to go to A&E after a particularly violent football game in which she twists her ankle quite badly and as a result, the L-Corp Christmas party is even more chaotic than usual. Lena delegates the work to Jess (she gets two envelopes) and tells Sam she is more than welcome to come to Park Place in the evening instead, not even thinking about Kara’s visit until she hangs up the phone.
The catering shows up at seven and Sam rocks up with Ruby soon after.
“God, you’ve made this all look very festive for someone who supposedly doesn’t like Christmas,” Sam says suspiciously as she ushers Ruby inside on her crutches, “a tree? Presents?”
“Couldn’t ruin Ruby’s Christmas, could I.” Lena lies point-blanc, “There’s Airén and Garnacha, which do you want first? Ruby, coke?”
It’s all surprisingly pleasant, having Sam and Ruby over at hers, drinking their drinks and opening presents. Sam seems more than delighted with her limited edition Bottega bag, and Ruby looks over the moon with her new MacBook Pro (Lena masterfully ignores Sam’s glaring when Ruby opens the present).
“Ruby and I wondered what to get the woman who’s got everything and by everything we mean,” Sam smirks, “us and a lot of money, so we got you this.” Sam holds out an envelope, “Because we love you, and because we love you’re getting around to Christmas.”
Lena suppresses the upcoming eyeroll and tears open the official looking envelope, reading the first two lines quickly.
Dear Ms. Luthor,
Thank you for becoming the patron of National City’s Children Hospital, we appreciate your generous donation of -
“Sam,” Lena looks up alarmed, “absolutely not.”
“Too late,” the brunette grins, “they named a wing after you, we made a donation in your name, and I may or may not have accounted for a repeat financial boost in your accountancy for L-Corp to support the hospital with their scientific trials and fundraisers.”
“You guys,” Lena wraps one arm around Ruby and holds out her free hand for Sam to take, “thanks, you shouldn’t have.”
“You’re welcome, babe,” Sam smirks, “hey - who’s that one for?”
It’s a segue only Sam Arias gets away with. Lena lets go of Ruby and glances at the direction in which Sam is pointing - the small present left under her tree. She had wrapped it herself and, after four attempts, finally decided it was neat enough to gift to Kara.
“Remember I told you about that um,” Lena looks between Sam and Ruby for a second, “friend that visited me a few Christmases ago?”
“Ruby,” Sam immediately catches on, “I’ve hid another present for you in Lena’s guest room, go look for it.”
“What,” the teenager frowns, “why would you -”
“If you find it, Lena will give you a hundred dollars,” Sam deadpans, “go on.”
She waits until Ruby is out of earshot before shuffling closer to Lena.
“You’re going to have a lot of explaining to do when she realizes there’s no present in my guest room,” Lena says drily, “really, Sam?”
“I’ll deal with that later,” Sam pats her thigh conspiringly, “what about your friend?”
“Her name is Kara,” Lena tries to ignore the heated flush in her cheeks, “and I’m pretty sure she’s going to show up within the next hour.”
“Okay,” Sam drawls, “and you need me and Ruby to stay to verify you’re not trapped in some weird hallucination, or you need us to go so you can have some fun?”
“Sam.” She swats her friend’s hand away, “Don’t fucking start.”
“I’m sorry,” the CFO gestures, “but here I was thinking this was either a burglar or an escort, and now we’re a few years down the line and you put up a Christmas tree, you got presents - whoever this is has somehow un-Grinched you and I want to know who she is.”
“Shit,” Lena mutters under her breath as she suddenly spots an all-too-familiar silhouette on her balcony, “looks like you’re getting what you wished for.”
Sam almost gasps. “Shut up,” she smirks, “is she here?”
“Kara,” Lena calls out, “door’s open.”
She watches Sam turn her head around fast enough to get whiplash as the door opens and Kara sets foot in the penthouse, looking somewhat confused.
“Hi?” She looks a bit wary, glancing over at Sam before looking back at Lena, “I’m sorry, did I - is this a bad time?”
“It’s a perfect time,” Sam jumps up, “hi! I’m Sam!”
Kara barely gets the chance to put her present down before Sam thrusts her hand forward for her to shake.
“You look so familiar,” Sam blurts out, not letting go of the blonde’s hand, “I can’t quite place you, but you look so -”
“Santa costume.” Kara interrupts her, “Obviously.”
Only then Lena realizes that Sam must be having the time of her life, being face to face with Lena’s mystery Santa who is dressed in a red bodysuit and nothing else. The brunette looks at her friend with an all too suggestive glance before she looks back at Kara and smirks.
“Obviously,” she agrees, “Lena, this has been lovely, but Ruby and I really need to leave, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“Don’t leave on my account,” Kara tries, “I’m sorry, I didn’t check -”
“Ruby,” Sam yelps, “I was wrong, Lena’s extra present for you is in my home office, let’s go.”
Lena and Kara stand in awkward silence until Sam slips her coat on and chucks Ruby’s at the teenager, ushering her out of the door into the hallway, not bothering to explain to the very confused young girl what Kara’s presence was all about. There’s a loud bye sounding from the hallway before Lena hears the mechanical buzz of the elevator going down and she turns to look at Kara.
“I’m so sorry,” Kara blurts out, taking a step closer and pulling the shorter woman into a hug as way of greeting, “I didn’t think you were going to have guests.”
“I didn’t plan on it,” Lena mumbles in response, closing her eyes as she wraps her arms around Kara, “how was your evening? Busy?”
“The busiest,” the blonde pulls back, “dropped off quite a few presents across the city but,” she says triumphantly, “here is yours.”
Lena unceremoniously tears off the wrapping paper to reveal a small rectangular box and opens it to find a small fountain pen.
“It’s not much but it’s the same one that one female scientist you love so much uses,” Kara breaks the silence, “I thought you’d like it.”
God, the thoughtfulness of it.
“Thank you,” Lena mutters, running her fingers over the cool metal, “I um, I got you something.”
“Neat,” Kara smirks, “very untraditional to buy Santa a present. Is that it?” She gestures at the one single present under the tree, “Can I?”
Lena nods, then watches Kara carefully open the present. It takes her a moment or two to do so and when she does, she looks at the object she’s holding in her hand before looking up at Lena.
“Is this what I think it is?”
“Elevator access,” Lena smiles, “thought maybe you’d like to use it instead of the drainpipe.”
“This is the most thoughtful thing, thanks Lena.” Lena doesn’t think she’s ever heard anyone thank her this sincerely. She smiles as Kara looks at the elevator pass like it’s a golden ticket and then, much to her shock, shoves it inside of the slit down the bodysuit. “No pockets.” Kara excuses, “Costume flaw. Oh.” She exclaims, pulling out a small branch out of what Lena assumes is her bra, “For your expanding Christmas decoration collection.”
Kara’s brought mistletoe. Lena looks at it for a second before bursting out in laughter, taking the small branch out of the blonde’s hands, and looking around her living room.
“Where do I put it?”
“Anywhere you like,” Kara shrugs, “probably easiest to hang it off a door frame.”
Lena smirks. “Balcony door it is then.”
She reaches up to hang the mistletoe only to realize there is no way she can actually reach high enough. Lena turns to grab one of the dining chairs, but Kara is quick to step in, giving her a quick smile before wrapping her arms around her waist and lifting her. It takes her by surprise, but Kara is oddly capable of keeping her steady, as if she’s not holding up her weight at all. The mistletoe gets hung and Kara lets her down gently, putting her down on the floor before stepping back with her hands on her hips.
“Great job,” Kara smiles as she looks up, “Very Christmassy.”
It’s like Lena can see the sudden realization dawn upon the blonde as she stares up at the mistletoe. Kara’s eyes go wide for a fraction of a second before she glances at Lena. For the first time in however many years Kara’s standing in her living room on Christmas Eve, Lena decides to take a leap of faith or at least, a small step of bravery. She points at the mistletoe herself and inches closer to Kara who seems to be frozen on the spot.
“It’s tradition, isn’t it.” Lena says quietly. “If you end up under the mistletoe together? Right?”
“Are you traditional?” Kara mutters, a far cry from her usual confident self, “I mean, is that something you -”
Maybe she takes two small steps of bravery.
When stands on the tips of her toes again, it’s to reach for Kara’s lips this time round. Making the first move seems to be enough for the blonde to jump into action herself. She angles her head enough to slot Lena’s top lip between hers as the shorter woman kisses her gently. It’s brief, but Lena feels weirdly warm and for a moment (which she will deny years later), she’s grateful for Christmas and its dumb, dumb traditions.
Sometimes, throughout the year, Lena finds herself hoping that she will randomly bump into Kara during her day job. She finds herself paying more attention to strangers in the street, hoping to make eye contact and find familiar bright blue eyes staring back at her. Sometimes she leaves Park Place, not locking the balcony door - just in case. When the elevator maintenance crew fixes a technical issue with the elevator and offer to issue new access passes, she refuses because what if Kara tries to use her card to surprise her.
Despite it only being August.
This year, she almost finds relief when National City starts illuminating its streets with colorful displays and puts up Christmas trees in most of its squares late October. It prompts her to tell Jess to clear her schedule from the 23rd until the 27th of December, something that takes her assistant by surprise if her facial expression is anything to go by.
By the morning of the 24th she is pleased her entire penthouse is doused in Christmas. She got the decoration crew to put up the tree, add some wreaths, she even got some mistletoe from a florist to hang up near the balcony entrance with the help of her dining room chair. If she ventures into the city on the busiest day of the year to buy a specific black dress by Black Halo, it’s merely a whim to do some retail therapy and not at all a gut feeling Kara might like the outfit in question.
This time, after six long years, she likes to think she’s prepared.
She turns on the TV and watches the local news report on a Santa visiting the National City Children’s Hospital and handing out presents while keeping a close eye on the clock. It’s almost six when the doorman calls the penthouse and informs her there’s a delivery from a Kara for her and whether she’d like to come down to sign off on it. Odd. Lena doesn’t immediately think anything of it - after six years, maybe Kara’s deciding to finally use the elevator and didn’t make it past security. Lena smooths out her dress and rides the elevator down to the lobby.
A UPS delivery driver is looking at her impatiently, his arms loaded with three big presents.
“Lena Luthor?” He asks, “E-signature here please.”
She signs off almost in a daze, “Why is she not delivering these herself?”
The man blinks in confusion, “Sorry?”
“Kara,” Lena hands back the tablet, “Santa.”
“Because” the driver looks between her and the doorman who, very professionally, tries to look like he’s not listening in, “Santa doesn’t exist?” He pauses, “Merry Christmas, have a good one.”
She must seem like a madwoman. She mumbles a quick thanks and grabs the parcels before stalking back to the elevator. It takes her exactly twenty-four seconds before she’s back in her penthouse, and another five before she sets foot into her living room.
Kara looks at her in confusion as Lena unceremoniously drops the presents and closes the distance between them. The blonde chuckles as the darkhaired woman wraps her arms around her and buries her face in Kara’s neck.
“I thought you weren’t gonna be here tonight.” Lena mutters, “UPS just brought your presents and I just, I thought -”
“Ah,” Kara pulls back slightly, “I realized I am always way too busy and this year, I wanted to delegate the present duties so I could be here with you instead. Didn’t know UPS would take its sweet time delivering these.”
“Delegate?” Lena echoes, looking at the TV as Kara points at it mindlessly, “What do you mean?”
“That’s my sister and her girlfriend.” Kara smiles, pointing at a modern-day redheaded Santa and a woman in an elf costume presenting a child at the hospital with a massive Lego set, “Usually that’s me. I’ve just started to take on more and more Santa things the past few years and then I started to come here and I just - needed a bit of help.”
“Why did you?” Lena asks, running her fingers over Kara’s forearms over the red bodysuit, “Start coming here?”
Kara laughs, “You really don’t recognize me?”
“No?” Lena mumbles, “Should I?”
“Okay,” the blonde inhales deeply, “right. Don’t freak out. What if I say this,” the taller woman reaches for Lena’s hands, “Merry Christmas, Ms. Luthor.”
Oh. It sounds familiar. Lena blinks, looking into baby blue eyes while Kara stares back at her expectingly. The shorter woman shakes her head softly and Kara mutters something under her breath, reaching into a pocket -new addition- of her bodysuit and pulling out -
“Hmmm,” Kara says gently, putting the glasses on and puts her hair up with the hair tie around her wrist, before looking at Lena, “how about now? Merry Christmas, Ms. Luthor?”
“You,” Lena gasps, “You! Andrea’s - Danvers!”
“You looked so done with Christmas, Lena,” Kara says gently, “And I saw you walking down the bullpen that night and I just - I wanted to make it better.”
“Does she know? Andrea? Is this some sort of joke?”
“No,” Kara interrupts, “no, no. Absolutely not. Just a little Christmas magic. And maybe I’m a bit extra.” She pauses, “And maybe a little crush.”
Lena smirks, raises her brow inquisitively. “A little crush?”
“Big,” Kara sighs, “so big.”
This time it’s Kara who kisses her. Lena is faintly aware of the fact she kicks a present into the side cabinet as Kara backs her up against it. Kara kisses her, really kisses her, and she lets it happen; lets Kara wrap her arms around her waist and lick inside her mouth and whisper a hushed 'merry Christmas' against her lips between kisses. Her dress gets wrinkled again, her lipstick smudged but Lena Luthor, for the first time ever, could not care less - it's like all of her Christmases have come at once.