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I Love You: A S5 Fix-it Fic

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“No, Lena. Don’t. Please. I love you.”

 

Lena’s hand lingers over the keyboard, her skin close enough to feel the heat coming from the keyboard, her finger so close to hitting the final keystroke to end Kara’s transmission into the bunker.

 

“I wanted to tell you for so long. But… but I needed to tell you about being Supergirl first.”

 

Lena still doesn’t turn around as her entire body intakes air, trying to process the meaning behind Kara’s words.

 

But Lena also doesn’t hit that final key, the one that would cut her off from Kara, forever pushing Kara away and completely putting up all the walls again, the ones she has slowly been building back up these past few months. She looks down at her hand, trying to figure out whether she is willing it to stop or willing it to push, her body, mind, and heart all fighting each other in that moment. A moment that feels like an eternity.

 

“Ms. Luthor?” Hope cuts in, breaking the prolonged silence, which is only filled by Kara’s crying gasps as she waits for Lena to decide what to do. Kara keeps trying to control them, trying to mute them as best she can.

 

Lena takes in another breath and lets it out slowly as she turns to finally face the hologram of her former friend, her dearest, closest… friend. She sees Kara standing there, chest heaving as she tries to keep herself under control. It’s not like that night at the award ceremony, this is a side of Kara that Lena has never seen. And she looks all the more ridiculous because she is in her super suit. Supergirl, standing before her, sobbing. It’s a strange juxtaposition, the always calm, stoic, superhero, appearing before her in complete shambles. Lena stares at her, and Kara stares back, as silent as she can despite her body’s reaction to her potentially losing the most important person in her life.

 

“What do you mean?” Lena finally asks, the words coming out firm but in a whisper.

 

“I… this isn’t how I wanted to tell you,” Kara stutters as her eyes look down.

 

“It’s too late for that, don’t you think,” Lena says, her voice rising. “Tell me what you mean,” she demands this time.

 

“I… I’m in love with you.” Kara says, her eyes flittering up to look at Lena as she says it, before they drop back to the ground.

 

“When?” Lena asks. She is surprised by how stern her voice sounds, considering how much she is quivering on the inside.

 

“I… I figured it out when I tried to tell you the first time… in Kasnia.”

 

“That was… Kara that was months ago.”

 

Kara winces. “I know, I just… I didn’t know how to tell you. I… I wanted to tell you after… after I told you about being Supergirl. But… but I was so scared that even if you were okay with me being Supergirl that… that this would break us and… and I didn’t want to lose you.”

 

Lena cannot help the exasperated sigh that escapes her as she stares at Kara, astutely aware of the conflicting emotions coursing through her body. “Look at me,” she says resolutely.

 

Kara slowly raises her head, blue eyes connecting with green. Tears still falling down Kara’s face as she sniffles and wipes her nose quickly with the back of her hand.

 

“You kept two very big secrets from me,” Lena says pointblank. “I have been hurting for months. My heart has been shattered since Lex… since I killed him.”

 

Kara opens her mouth but doesn’t say a word as Lena raises her hand, signaling that she isn’t finished speaking yet.

 

“Do you know how differently I would have done things, had I known? At any point with Reign and Sam, you could have come clean. But instead,” Lena says with a barking laugh, “Instead you used James to spy on me. You, as Supergirl, didn’t trust me, while you, as Kara, paraded around like I was still your best friend. God, Kara. How do you even know what you feel when your two personas, your two halves, act completely difference from each other?”

 

Kara’s frown deepens as the reality of her own actions really settle on her.

 

“And not only that, but then we went after Lex and… God, I thought you had gotten blown up! I have stood in front of you, in front of Kara, again and again and… and you let me!” Lena says, ramping up. “You let me protect you when you didn’t need it. You kept pretending. Why? I mean, my god, Kara. What am I supposed to think? This is like some long con that Lex would do.”

 

“No, no I swear it was never like that!” Kara says, unable to stay silent any longer. “Please, Lena, please believe me. It was never like that… I just… it was a snowball that kept building as more things happened and it felt so… so big… I didn’t know how to deal with it… with all the lying I did… and then it was… it was easier to keep lying… to keep avoiding the confrontation.”

 

“Well, am I reacting exactly like you thought? Like a Luthor?” Lena asks, the snark she had in the Fortress just hours ago seeping back into her voice.

 

“I never thought you’d react badly because you are a Luthor,” Kara says with a sad, regretful expression. “I knew about your family and your history and… and I knew how hard it was for you to trust again. I didn’t know how to make you understand that I wasn’t trying to betray your trust. I don’t tell people because knowing who I am is dangerous.”

 

“Please.” Lena says, clearly frustrated. “As a Luthor, I have an assassination attempt on my life several times a year. You know this.”

 

“You’re right. Ok? I know that. I just… By the time I knew I wanted to tell you… it felt too late. I was so scared. More scared than I have ever been to tell someone my truth. More scared than I’ve ever been when facing an enemy as Supergirl.”

 

Lena’s chest rises as she takes in a deep breath, trying to keep herself calm despite Kara’s words. It all felt like too much, she knew what she had planned to do. But looking at Kara, really seeing her, seeing the pain etched on her face and through her body… Lena suddenly realizes that she doesn’t have it in her. The energy to follow through with Project Non Nocere and using Myriad. It would require her to cut off the one person she has felt a deep connection with from the moment they first met.

 

“I… I need some time,” Lena finally says, making a decision in that moment, “and space. I’m… I’m going to go away for a while.”

 

“Lena. Please,” comes Kara’s final plea.

 

“I… you don’t have to worry about me using Myriad. It’ll be here in the bunker for you to get. I’ll leave the defenses all turned off. Goodbye, Kara.”

 

Kara’s eyes widen as she sucks in a breath, unsure when or even if, Lena will come back.

 

“I will return… eventually,” Lena says, answering Kara’s unsaid question. With her final words, Lena nods and turns, activating the portal watch. Hope follows silently, giving Kara a curious expression as she walks by.

 

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Two months. It was eight, agonizing, tear-filled weeks that Kara waited. She did as Lena asked, not calling her once or even sending a single text message or email. Some days, when the urge to reach out was too much, Kara had to leave her phone with Alex. And she has over a dozen emails in her drafts folder, all of them her way of saying to Lena what she wanted to say. But she knew she couldn’t actually send them. She knew she needed to respect Lena’s wishes. Even if on the inside, she was barely holding it together. As she usually does, Kara threw herself into her Supergirl duties, and even stopped an apocalypse with her fellow superheroes from Earth-1. But even during the after-crisis celebration, Barry could tell something was off with her. When he probed, Kara smiled sadly and said she needed to get back to her Earth, quickly making a departure in the most un-Kara-like way – no farewells from their “favorite Kryptonian.” It worried Barry so much that he had Caitlin reach out to Alex and check in. Alex responded simply with a “she isn’t ok right now, but she will be,” and left it at that.

 

Alex of course was there that night that Kara finally confessed that she is in love with Lena. She was the one who rushed into the room and held her sister as she crumpled to the floor, sobbing profusely. She was the one who stayed with Kara for days after Lena’s departure, making sure Kara was eating and sleeping. She held her sister whenever she awoke, yelling out Lena’s name as her nightmare bled into reality. Alex was the one who finally coaxed Kara to go back to work at Catco and as Supergirl. They never directly talked about any of it. Alex just knew she had to be there for Kara as she processed her own biggest regret and massive heartbreak she had ever experienced. Alex would go on to tell Kelly that she didn’t realize Kara could react in this manner. Sure, she was standoffish and cold, sometimes even kind of mean, after Mon El. But this, this was an entirely different kind of broken. And Alex knew all she could do was be there. So, when Kara started leaving her phone at the DEO, on days she was clearly struggling, Alex didn’t question it. She knew it was intentional. And so, she took it and put it in her pocket, giving it back when Kara finally asked about it. It was an unspoken bond between the sisters that strengthened greatly during Lena’s absence.

 

Alex never told Kara, but she did send one message to Lena, about five weeks after her departure.

 

I hope you are ok, Lena. And I hope you come back soon. You are her sun.

 

Alex didn’t expect a response, and nearly dropped her phone when she saw it.

 

I’m ok, Alex. I have some personal matters to take care of, but I will be back as soon as I am finished. I hope you are well. And I hope she is doing ok, despite everything.

 

Alex didn’t feel a reply was necessary but did try to give Kara hope from that moment on. She would tell Kara regularly that Lena will be back, that she just needs more time. And while Kara would smile sadly at her and just shrug, she knew it meant the world to her sister that she had faith in Lena’s return.

 

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It was a random Tuesday evening, when Kara heard the sound that she had wanted so desperately to hear these past two months. It was the moment her superhearing picked up on a particular heartbeat in the city that Kara’s head shot up from the couch where she had been laying down – moping really, as she laid in pj pants and a tank top, two empty cartons of ice cream sitting on her coffee table. She focused and homed in, picking up on Lena from across the city.

 

She was back.

 

Kara chewed her lip anxiously. What does she do? Does she call her? Just show up at her penthouse? Does she do nothing and pretend like she doesn’t know that Lena has returned?

 

Across town, Lena pulls her suitcase into her penthouse and lets out a tired sigh. It feels good to be home, but she also knows that this means she has to face Kara. Someone who she has been actively avoiding as she sorted her own emotions and thoughts out. She leaves her luggage by the door as she kicks off her shoes and makes her way to the kitchen, pulling down a bottle of scotch and pouring herself a double.

 

She carries the glass over, sliding her balcony door open, letting out a sigh. After she downs the drinks, she says into the night wind. “Kara, can you hear me? I’m back.”

 

Lena counts. Mostly out of curiosity. Ten seconds. It took ten seconds for Kara to appear before her, landing lightly on the far end of the balcony, an unsure expression on her face.

 

“I thought you would be here in under five seconds,” Lena says, eyebrow raised as she smiles playfully.

 

“I um… I wanted to change my clothes,” Kara says, cheeks reddening slightly as she pulls down on her blue shirt nervously.

 

“Would you like to come in?” Lena asks.

 

Kara’s eyes widen. “Yeah… sure… I mean, I’d love to… if you want me to.”

 

Seeing this side of Kara is almost alarming for Lena. She is so unsure, so uneasy, so afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. Lena offers a small smile as she steps aside and signals for Kara to enter. Kara swallows as she walks slowly into Lena’s penthouse, giving her a tentative smile.

 

“You flew here in your normal clothes,” Lena comments as she turns from closing the door.

 

Kara shrugs. “It was you.” She says it plainly, so simply, like it was the easiest answer in the world.

 

A memory flashes through her mind in that moment. “Oh you… you did carry me… when I was poisoned. That was you.”

 

Kara’s chest heaves as she nods, the memories of that day rushing to her mind. She was so scared that she was going to lose Lena that day. Lost in the memories for a moment, Kara starts talking, telling Lena about that day. “After you collapsed, I flew you to the DEO, to Alex, in my normal clothes. And then I used my freeze breath to help cool your body down. Alex figured out what poison it was and gave you an antidote for it. And then I flew you back to Catco so you’d wake up on the couch. J’onn, he… he didn’t want you to wake up in a secret government facility.”

 

“I see,” Lena says cautiously. “That does explain your over-the-top reaction when I said I dreamt that we were flying.”

 

“I’m… I’m honestly kind of a terrible liar,” Kara says as she twists her hands in each other, still standing, like a stranger in a new place.

 

Lena hates it. She hates the distance between them. She hates it all. “Come, sit,” Lena says as she makes her way over to the couch, patting the seat next to her for Kara. Kara again gives her a tentative smile and follows her to the living area. Both women well aware of the last time they were here, together, and how Lena was pretending to be her friend then. How Kara had flown all over the world for Lena’s favorite food and drink. How Kara had shown up later that evening with Lex’s journal because she thought it would help Lena’s nightmares. Instead, it was to help fuel her plan for revenge. A plan that she almost followed through on.

 

Kara sits and looks at Lena, waiting, unsure of the new protocol in their… well, whatever there was left between them now.

 

“I know I’ve been gone for a while,” Lena says, starting the speech she had rehearsed on the flight back earlier that day. “I… I had to clear my head after… after what you said. And then…” Lena says, letting out a small sigh, “And then I went on a little… quest of my own.”

 

“What do you mean? What quest?” Kara asks, curiosity in her voice.

 

“I went to learn more about my birth mother. And… well, I learned quite a lot, actually.”

 

“Lena, that’s so great,” Kara says sincerely. “I’m happy for you.”

 

“I needed to do it,” Lena says, getting to the part of her talk that she was dreading most. “I… I knew I needed to find some answers and some… closure if I was going to be able to come back here and face you.”

 

“I… I don’t understand,” Kara says, the crinkle on her forehead forming from confusion. “What does that have to do with me… with us.”

 

“You have come the closest to… to breaking down all my walls, Kara. As you know, my… my mother drowned when I was four and… well, because of that, I think a part of me always expects those that love me will go away anyway.” Lena lets out a small chuckle. “The only people who have stayed were the Luthor’s and… well, we know how they are. But… that’s what I learned. The people you love leave you. And the only people you can depend on are the one’s using you. You use them and they use you. Whoever does it better is the winner.”

 

“Oh, Lena,” Kara says, tears brimming her eyes.

 

Lena’s shoulders sag as the weight of her own words pulls her down. “When I found out you had been lying to me… for years… I… It was like the lessons I learned growing up were true. You stayed around because I was a Luthor and you wanted to use me, use my intellect. Or worse, just to spy on me because I am a Luthor and therefore just like Lex, simply by association. Either way, you loving me, was not an answer my mind could fathom.”

 

The two women fall into silence after that as Kara processes Lena’s words and Lena finally breathes, having shared the most emotionally vulnerable parts of herself.

 

“What… what do you think now?” Kara asks, finally breaking the silence.

 

Lena sucks in a deep breath and lets it out slowly. “I think I am ready to listen and hear things from your perspective.”

 

“Why I didn’t tell you sooner?” Kara asks for clarification.

 

“I want to talk about it all,” Lena says. “I need to understand what was going on in your mind, when you made these different decisions that impacted me. I… I want to know why you sent James to spy for you… I want to know why you went to Kaznia with me as Kara instead of Supergirl… I want to know why you did what you did, Kara, all of it.”

 

Kara swallows the lump in her throat. “Ok. I can do that. Where do you want to start?”

 

“Let’s start from the beginning.”

 

And they do. Lena and Kara start from their first meeting as Kara, and as Supergirl. And they go through each key moment in their history of the past four years. They talk about when Kara’s urge to protect her own identity changed into protecting Lena instead. They talk about why Lena didn’t tell Supergirl or Kara about Sam/Reign. They talk about why Kara freaked out about the kryptonite and her rash actions to have James spy for her. They discuss Lena experimenting with the Harun-El. They talk about the betrayal by Eve, and how that rocked Lena to her core, though she didn’t show it after returning from Kaznia. And they also talk about how Lena managed to extract Hope from Eve while she was gone.

 

It’s well past midnight by the time the conversation finally starts to die down. Lena finishes off her glass of wine, pouring the last of the (second) bottle. She can tell Kara wants to say something by how she is suddenly squirming around on the couch. As Lena leans back, she gives Kara a soft smile, urging her silently to speak.

 

Kara clears her throat before speaking. “Lena, I… I wanted so badly to be the one to tell you. Not… not Lex. I’m sorry that it happened that way. I am sorry that I put it off, thinking it was better to deal with your brother first. I’m sorry that we didn’t get to have this conversation ages ago.”

 

Lena nods, tears shimmering in her eyes. There have been rounds of apologies throughout the past several hours. On both sides. Each one seeming more and more heartfelt than the last.

 

“I’m sorry I reverted back to doing what my family does best, instead of talking to you.” Lena knows she could say more, that she could explain more. But the way Kara is looking at her, with understanding and compassion, she knows she doesn’t need to say more.

 

“I um… I know it is getting very late,” Lena says, a hint of sadness in her voice. “If you need to go…”

 

“No, Lena. There is no place I’d rather be. Besides, we still haven’t exactly talked about the big elephant in the room… you know… what I said… at the bunker.”

 

Kara’s hand rotates her cup, the last bit of wine swirling around as she stares intently at it. “If… if you want to talk about it, that is.”

 

Lena reaches out and puts her hand on top of Kara’s, gently stopping the anxious twirling of the glass. “Kara, how can you not know?”

 

Kara’s head slowly rises, her eyes meeting Lena’s. “Wh… what do you mean? Know what?”

 

Lean gives Kara a soft smile. “How I feel about you. I mean, I feel like we had the biggest breakup ever at the Fortress.”

 

“That was far worse than anything that happened with Mon El, that’s for sure,” Kara comments offhandedly. “I felt my heart shattering, not just for me, but because I realized what all the secrets and lies had done to you. And I knew it was my fault.”

 

Kara slowly turns her hand over, and Lena lets a small smile slip out as she takes the initiative to interlock their fingers. “Exactly. When I broke things off with James, I literally just kicked him out of the car on a street corner.”

 

“You didn’t,” Kara says with a small chuckle. “No wonder he was so tight lipped about how things ended between the two of you.”

 

Lena laughs softly. “Well, we both know which of us was running things in that relationship.”

 

The two women fall into an easy conversation after that, talking about their previous relationships. Though Kara had known about Jack, Lena was able to really process the fact that she not only saved Supergirl that day, but she also saved her best friend. And more than that, Lena revealed to Kara the truth about what ended their relationship originally. Even before she ever met Lena, back when Lena was still in Metropolis, Lena was choosing Supergirl, choosing Kara, over Jack.

 

Kara even tells Lena about her first love. And how tragically it ended before it ever really began.

 

Eventually, they talk about the sillier moments from their pasts – Kara breaking toes and noses as she tried to reign in her powers despite her anxiety about dating getting the better of her. Lena’s “experimental” phase in boarding school that never quite ended then, much to Lillian’s chagrin.

 

And eventually, finally, the conversation comes back to the present.

 

“So… you haven’t dated anyone since James?” Kara asks gingerly.

 

Lena shrugs, “I’m a Luthor, Kara. Dating… has always been difficult. And one of the things that isn’t exactly on the forefront of my mind.”

 

“Too busy saving the world?” Kara says with a half-smile.

 

Lena’s cheeks redden slightly, “What about you, Kara? Anyone since Mon El?’’

 

Kara lets out a frustrated sigh. “One of my colleagues at Catco has asked me out but… I told him I wasn’t interested.”

 

“Oh?” Lena says, trying to sound casual, but clearly failing to keep the jealousy out of her voice. “Why is that?”

 

“Lena,” Kara says her name like it is a secret oath to be reveled in. “It’s you. It’s always been you.”

 

When Lena doesn’t respond, just simply stares intently at Kara, Kara says softly, “Are um… are you going to say anything?”

 

Lena smiles at her, brightly, happily, a true smile that Kara knows she hasn’t seen since before the ordeal with Lex.

 

“Kara, dear, I’m tired of talking.” With those final words, Lena squeezes Kara’s hand and pulls Kara towards her on the couch.

 

Kara’s expression shifts rapidly from disappointment to surprise to bliss as she realizes what Lena is doing. She immediately lets herself be pulled in by Lena, not breaking eye contact until they are mere inches apart, when she finally glances down at Lena’s lips, before looking back up.

 

“Are you sure?” Kara asks in a hushed tone.

 

Lena responds by wrapping her other hand around Kara, entangling it in her blond hair, and then gently urging Kara forward.

 

That’s all the pushing Kara needs, really. As soon as Lena’s hand touches her neck in the slightest, Kara takes the cue and closes the distance, her lips connecting softly against Lena’s. And while the kiss may be gentle, it is nothing like what is happening internally for either of them. It’s like two planets colliding in space. Their bodies erupting with an entirely new level of feelings and desires that neither thought possible.

 

When they pull apart, Kara’s eyes flutter open, her smile wide as she sees Lena looking at her in an entirely different way now.

 

“That was… wow,” Lena says softly, her forehead resting against Kara’s.

 

Kara hums in agreement as a playful smile forms on her face. “But you know, I think we can do better.”

 

“Oh, you do now?” Lena says as she smirks and raises an eyebrow.

 

As they kiss again, this time Kara wraps her arms around Lena and pulls her into her lap, Lena letting herself be easily moved. And then, Kara begins to hover, twirling them around ever so slowly. They stay like this for several minutes, focused on only each other, wrapped up in one another. When they do finally pull apart again, this time to catch their breaths, Kara slowly lowers them back down to the couch.

 

“You were right, that was better,” Lena says teasingly.

 

Kara half-smiles, fighting the blush creeping up her face. “So… um… now what?” she asks cautiously.

 

“Now…” Lena says slowly, enjoying the buildup as Kara bites her lip nervously, “I invite you to stay the night.”

 

“Really?” Kara asks in surprise. “Are you sure?”

 

Lena nods, her eyes full. “I think we’ve both waited long enough,” she says breathily, before quickly following it up with a husky, “Shall we?”

 

As an answer, Kara is immediately pulling Lena into her arms, purposefully walking this time as she carries Lena back to the bedroom.

 

Fade to black...