Explosions surround Kara on all sides. Powers fly wildly, with little remorse, and it’s all Kara can do to keep herself out of the line of fire, unknowing who may be sending each blast of energy or volley of bullets her way. Is Kara being struck by friend or foe? As the battle descends further into chaos, it becomes harder and harder to tell.
The longer the fight rages on, the less Kara knows who she can trust. Anyone could turn on her at any moment, even these people who have fought by her side so many times before, who she has come to call family. Every one of them could be a disguised enemy, plotting her demise. And if they are… she may have to attack the very people she’s sworn never to hurt. She may even have to kill them.
If that’s what it comes down to, she prays to Rao she has the strength.
“I need everyone to focus their fire on Brainy!” Alex calls out, above the raucous noise of the room. “He’s too powerful. He’s completely unhinged!”
“It would be futile to attempt to stop me at this point, Alex,” says Brainy. “I assure you, I will not rest until every single one of you is— demolished? Annihilated?”
“I like annihilated,” Lena chimes in.
“Alex, you must flank Brainy before his powers recharge,” J’onn commands, voice booming louder than the echoing explosions surrounding them. “Only then will we be able to take him down.”
Kara hears Lena’s voice in her ear, whispering, “If you hold your lasers until Alex moves, you’ll have a clear shot at J’onn.”
Kara chuckles to herself, crouching around a wall to avoid the torrent of blasts being launched her way. Right as Alex ducks away from one of Brainy’s heavy attacks, Kara lets loose a sudden explosion of energy, right at J’onn.
The blast staggers him, knocking him past Brainy. J’onn stumbles, injured, to the ledge behind him, and Brainy doesn’t even hesitate before lunging forward, slamming into him and knocking J’onn off the edge. Confused and unprepared for the surprise attack from his own ally, he’s unable to grab on to any purchase. J’onn plummets to empty space below, an explosive boom marking the moment of his impact.
“J’onn!” Alex cries, whipping around to face Kara. “You… why? How could you… you’re my sister, Kara. How could you betray us like this?”
Kara shrugs. “Family only means so much, Alex. Also, Lena thought it would be funny.”
Alex’s fists clench, her face contorting in a convoluted caricature of rage and disbelief. “Luthor. ”
Lena raises her arms in quick surrender. “Whoa, Danvers, I’m not even in there.”
“Maybe so, but I swear, next game I’m gonna kick your ass so hard you’ll be feeling it for—”
A bright, multicolored barrage of Wii Fit Trainers suddenly overtake the TV screen as Brainy pops his ultimate, promptly sending both Kara and Alex’s characters careening off the side of the map.
“Brainy, come on!” Kara yells. Alex smashes her controller on the floor.
“It’s not my fault you three stopped paying attention to trash talk each other,” Brainy says, passing his controller off to Nia, who takes it and vaults over the side of Kara’s couch to take a seat in front of the TV.
“Sweet!” Nia yells, as Kara, Alex and J’onn all pass off their controllers. “Let the wives show you guys how it's done.”
“Lena isn’t my wife,” Kara blurts out, defensive, before she can stop herself. The entire room shifts to look at her, all sporting a menagerie of incredulous, skeptical expressions— but Lena just looks amused.
“Right,” Nia drawls, “And Briany’s not my husband.”
“I’m not.” Brainy frowns. “Unless we got married without me knowing.”
“Well, not legally,” Nia amends, placing a hand on Brainy’s arm. “Spiritually, I mean.”
“Ah, I understand. You’re saying Kara and Lena are also spiritually married. Makes sense.”
Alex, seeming to forget that Kara and Lena are still in the room, hums in dissent. “Oh, please. Like Kara would ever have the balls to ask Lena out on a date, much less propose. Spiritually is the only married those two could ever be.”
Kara frowns. “Hey, that's not true, I—”
Alex shoots her a look. “Kara, it's okay to admit Lena is miles out of your league.”
“More like all of our leagues,” Kelly agrees, laughing.
Before Kara can argue, the next game starts. Lena takes the controller from her hands, settling down between Kara’s legs on the floor in front of the couch. As everyone selects their characters, Kara leans down to wrap her arms around Lena’s shoulders, dropping her chin onto the top of Lena’s head with a sigh. She breathes in the scent of Lena’s shampoo, sweet lavender, familiar as home. It soothes her.
“They're just teasing you.” Lena murmurs as she cycles through the menu. “Although, I do agree that if one of us were to ask the other to get married, I think I would probably be the one to propose first.”
“What? No way! I mean, think about when we first met—I used to ask you on lunch dates all the time, and I invited you to game night before we even knew each other that well—”
“But I asked you to that gala first,” Lena interjects. She finally settles on Daisy, and the match begins. “I think that’s more intimate than a lunch date or a game night. And I would always show up unannounced at your apartment, so clearly I’m the more forward one. I’m just saying, out of the two of us, I’d be more likely to spontaneously propose.”
“Hey, I’m spontaneous! I do lots of spontaneous things! I decided to be Supergirl spontaneously, and that first time we met at Noonan’s, I—”
Lena is laughing softly at her, and Kara can feel the buzz of it where Lena’s back presses into her thighs. She huffs, irritated. “You want spontaneous? Fine.” She reaches down to Lena’s hand, currently maneuvering her controller, and slips the ring off her thumb. “Here.”
Lena cranes her neck away from the TV to stare up at Kara, thumbs stalling on the buttons. “Hey, that’s my—what are you doing?”
Kara presents the ring before her. “Lena Luthor,” she starts. “You’ve been the love of my life for almost as long as I can remember and my best friend for even longer. And I would be… beyond happy to spend every moment of the rest of our lives together. Marry me?”
She doesn’t say it loudly, but the end of her words catch a slight lull in the conversation, and suddenly the room goes perfectly silent, six pairs of eyes focusing in on them. The plucky arcade music of the ongoing battle echoes from the TV, aggressively upbeat in the quiet.
“Uh,” says Lena, staring wide-eyed at the ring, her controller hanging limp in her lap. She looks up at Kara, opening her mouth as if to say something, then looks back at the ring and closes it again. Her hand scratches self-consciously at her collarbone. “You—what? Kara…”
“Holy shit,” Kara hears Alex whisper to Kelly. “No way did she just—”
Brainy leans across the couch to Nia, gesturing in their direction. “I feel as though we missed something important in this conversation.”
With a booming explosion, a pink flash overtakes the screen as Nia’s Kirby desimates Lena’s fighter in an instant. “I didn’t miss anything.” Nia grins, clapping Kara on the arm in excitement. “Thanks for the assist, boss!”
Lena’s eyes narrow. “Are you two scheming against me? Is that why you—?” Her face is red, flushed all the way down to her neck.
“No! No, not at all, I wasn’t—”
“Then…” she glances back down at the ring and back at Kara, incredulous, “you were actually asking me to—”
“I was— no , I mean, I wasn't… gosh, sorry, just. Here.” She takes Lena’s hand and places the ring back in her palm, closing her knuckles around it. “There, um. Sorry. Dumb joke.”
“Yikes,” whispers Alex.
Lena stares down at her closed fist for a few long moments, then nods slowly. “It’s smart.” She looks over at Nia, smirking. “Since Nia would have no chance of beating me without someone else’s help.”
Nia whips toward Lena, fuming, which distracts her just enough for Kelly to sneak up behind her and unleash a volley of attacks. “Lena, you better watch out, because if you mean that, we’re gonna have to one-v-one it out after this—”
Brainy prods gently at her shoulder. “Nia, my love, Kelly is kicking your ass, currently.”
“Oh, shit,” Nia mutters, refocusing her energy back to the TV just in time to watch Kelly blast her off the edge of the map, as M’gann similarly hits a wrong button and falls to her doom.
“Hah!” says Kelly, clapping her hands together. “Hah, I won! I never win, babe, did you see—?”
Nia scoffs. “Dumb luck. If Kara hadn’t fucking proposed to Lena in the middle of the game—”
“Oh, did I die?” M’gann asks, frowning down at her controller. “I still don’t quite understand how this game works.”
Everyone starts trying to explain the game to M’gann, voices overlapping, and the conversation shifts away from Kara’s horribly failed joke proposal, although the embarrassment of it still burns at her ears. Lena pats her knee, leaning in close.
“Smooth move, Supergirl,” she says, low and velvet-rich, for Kara’s ears alone, and it sends a shiver up Kara’s spine.
“Hm. Yeah,” Kara says, with an awkward chuckle. “Funny joke. On my part. I mean, can you even imagine that? Us… getting engaged?”
Lena gives her a tight smile and squeezes her knee, then turns back to Nia. “Hey, Nia, rematch?”
“Oh you’re on,” Nia says, immediately repositioning herself for battle again.
Kara watches as Lena and Nia start up a new game on the screen. Their carefully strategized gameplans quickly fly out the window and dissolve into the both of them furiously smashing the buttons of their controllers, throwing blast after blast of Nintendo-brand explosions—and the occasional curse—at each other. Lena can’t stop laughing, that unrestrained full belly laugh of hers that Kara hadn’t become acquainted with until months into their friendship, the one that makes her eyes crinkle at the edges and dimples her cheeks. Kara still remembers the shock of pleasure at hearing it for the first time, the knowledge that she had made Lena Luthor laugh , not just out of politeness but for real.
Can you imagine that? Us getting engaged?
When Lena wins the game and jumps up to throw her arms victoriously around Kara’s shoulders, pressing her grin into the curve of Kara’s neck as Nia swears at her, Kara thinks yeah, maybe she could.
After her first proposal, Kara lasts approximately three weeks before The Jenga Incident.
Game night is at Alex and Kelly’s this week, and they’ve already cycled through several rounds of Super Mario Party and Codenames before settling on Jenga. The evening is wearing into the hours where everyone is starting to lose their concentration. J’onn and M’gann went home an hour ago, and Esme, who was extremely eager to participate in everything despite her difficulty understanding all the rules, is now curled up around her stuffed zebra in the corner of the couch, her mouth propped open as she snores softly.
Kara has long since lost track of how many times she’s seen Lena refill her wine glass, and has been trying her hardest not to get distracted by the way Lena has been giggling at everything for the past twenty-five minutes, bubbly and half-stifled. She keeps swaying to the side to bump her shoulder against Nia’s or Kelly’s, and it’s making Kara wish that Lena was her teammate instead. Drunk Lena is extra cuddly, and Kara is always willing to capitalize on that, but right now it's the other two who are receiving the attention.
Kara is not jealous of this, because that would be irrational, and would probably mean she has some very serious self reflection to do.
Jenga is a game that Kara excels at, most of the time. Well, she’s gotten good at all the games, really, but as long as she’s focused and not too drunk, Jenga is one of her best. She’s good at keeping her hands very steady, and choosing the right blocks to keep the structure upright. The only person anywhere near as good is Lena, which is why they’re always on separate teams.
Tonight, that is not playing to her advantage. Usually, she and Lena can play off of each other’s competitive natures, bringing their Jenga game to Olympic-levels of intensity for both teams. Lena will throw Kara a silly challenge, and Kara will complete it with flair, issuing Lena an equally amusing Jenga-themed dare. Tonight, however, Lena is too tipsy to seriously engage in their usual games, and Nia is using Lena for a very specific purpose against the opposing team—against Kara, most specifically.
Every time it’s Kara’s turn, Lena will lean over the coffee table, fluttering her eyelashes, speaking in that deep alto tone that makes Kara’s fingers tremble, or Kara will feel the softest caress of a foot against her ankle as Lena looks innocently away, a mischievous smile tugging at her lips.
This is all fine, of course. Kara is being so normal about it. Just so fucking normal. Until.
The tower is teetering more dangerously with every block they remove. Kara knows it's only due to her and Lena’s extreme prowess at Jenga that it's even still standing. Even so, there’s no way it will last longer than another turn or two. Alex and Brainy have already let her take the last three turns, and if Kara can get this block out without the whole thing toppling, the game will probably be theirs.
That's when Kara overhears it. Nia leans across the couch, head dipped to Lena’s ear, and Kara doesn’t mean to eavesdrop, really, it’s just she can’t help it—
“Fuck, she’s going to get it. They’re going to win,” Nia hisses, as Kara focuses in on a block. “Quick Lena, do something to distract her. Flash her, or something, I don’t know.”
The words don’t really register in Kara’s brain—Lena has been trying to distract her all evening anyways—until she catches a flash of Lena’s grin out of the corner of her eye, the way she shifts to the front of the couch and grabs the hem of her shirt and—
Those are Lena’s boobs. Like right there. On the other side of the Jenga tower. And Kara really shouldn’t be staring, she’s not staring, except they’re right there and she definitely is staring and Alex shrieks and Kara’s arm collides with something solid and the entire Jenga tower clatters to the floor.
Nia is already cackling as Lena lowers her shirt again, smirking. Kara looks back and forth between Lena and the fallen Jenga tower, face burning, jaw still hanging stupidly open, but she can’t seem to remember how to close it. Kelly has her hand over her mouth, clearly trying very hard not to laugh. Brainy is covering his eyes.
“Lena, holy fuck, I didn’t think you would actually—” Nia gasps out, between laughter.
“Luthor, there is a fucking child in here!” says Alex, jabbing a finger in Esme’s direction.
Lena waves her off, swaying a little and still grinning. “Oh please, she’s been out for the whole game, it would take more than that to wake her up. Besides, she can’t even see me from over there.”
“I think she’s fine, babe,” Kelly says, leaning across the table to pat Alex’s arm.
Kara’s lagging brain finally catches up to the moment, and she opens her mouth to say something, anything, to prove she’s not a total creep who has been rendered fully speechless by her best friend’s boobs. But unfortunately her brain-mouth filter is not working at all, and what actually comes out is, “Please marry me.”
Nia positively howls, falling sideways onto the couch and clutching her middle, tears of mirth running down her face. Kara thinks maybe she should move out of her apartment and go live at the bottom of the ocean. She buries her face in her hands.
Lena sounds incredibly pleased with herself when she says, “We won.”
“Yeah, at the cost of your dignity,” mutters Alex.
“I hate all of you,” says Kara, muffled into her hands.
“Well, that was quite a, uh—” Brainy stammers, a hand pulled over his eyes still, long after Lena’s shirt has been returned to its proper resting position. “Well, Lena, I— congratulations on your—”
“Brainy.” Nia deadpans. She reaches over to pull his hand back down.
Even with his hand lowered, Brainy still seems to be avoiding eye contact with everyone in the room. “Right, well, what a game to end the night on.”
“True that,” Nia grins, nodding. “This has been fun, gang, especially the part when Kara short-circuited from seeing Lena’s boobs, but me and Brainy should probably head out.”
“Yes,” Brainy agrees, standing up and reaching over to Nia, helping to pull her to her feet. “As Esme says, it’s bedtime.”
Kelly glances over at Esme, still curled up on the couch. “Better put the little one to bed,” she says through a yawn, scooping Esme up in her arms and gently carrying her back to her room. As she steps through the door frame, she glances over her shoulder at Alex. “Babe, can you—”
Alex turns to Brainy and Nia. “Let me walk you guys out,” she whispers, as though she’s just remembered to be careful not to wake Esme, and just like that, Lena and Kara are alone in the living room.
It takes several more deep breaths for Kara to start to feel like her face is no longer on fire. On the couch, Lena has started humming some sort of tuneless melody with her eyes closed, still swaying slightly. She looks relaxed and wine-flushed and happy, and it tugs at something irreplaceable in Kara’s chest. It’s always seeing Lena looking like this—like she’s finally found home, family—that makes Kara the most certain something inside her is going to explode from the way it makes her heart swell up.
Kara clambers onto the couch, and Lena opens her eyes, mouth curving up into a mischievous grin. She shifts over to Kara and snuggles into her side, pressing their shoulders and thighs together and slipping her hand under Kara’s so their fingers intertwine, and Kara is maybe a little bit in love with her.
“Hi,” Lena says, quiet enough that even if there was anyone else in the room they wouldn’t be able to hear. “Everything good? That all wasn’t… too out of line, or anything?”
“No,” Kara whispers, “everything is perfect.”
Lena hums. “Good. M’tired. You going home soon?”
“Can I come with? I told my driver that he could go home for the night like four hours ago.”
“You wanna sleep over?”
“Mmhm. If that’s okay? Might be easier.”
They are both well aware that it would be just as easy for Kara to fly Lena back to her penthouse on the way home, and there’s really no necessity for her to sleep over. Neither of them says as much. Even if Lena does spend one or two or three nights a week sleeping over in Kara’s bed, it’s something that they don’t talk about.
“Of course,” Kara says. “It’s always okay.” She manages not to say, I sleep better with you there anyways or you might as well just move in at this point or you didn’t actually respond when I accidentally asked you to marry me again.
And Lena tugs her to her feet, her smile bringing out those dimples that Kara is definitely not totally and completely obsessed with.
“Then take me home, Supergirl.”
Brainy’s face is etched into a tense line of fierce determination. His hands are balled tightly into fists, stacked one on top of the other, and as he stands, feet spread apart, stance wide, he swings his arms out in a massive arc. A moment passes, Brainy staring off into the middle distance with rapt attention, until he finally drops his arms and nods to himself, satisfied.
“Oh! Um—Braveheart!” Nia shouts, bouncing in her seat. Brainy’s look of satisfaction immediately falls to frustration, and he shakes his head.
“I don’t think that’s how you're supposed to swing a sword, Nia,” Alex mutters, appraising Brainy’s charade alongside his partner.
“Alex, stop helping them,” Kara groans. Her and Lena are already trailing the bottom of the scoreboard for tonight's game of charades, and it doesn’t help that Nia and Brainy are about to tie it up with Alex and Kelly if Nia can guess correctly this round, leaving Lena and Kara to scrape the bottom of the metaphorical game night barrel.
“Shh,” Nia shushes. “Brainy, start over, I know I can get it.”
Brainy pantomimes rolling the film on an old video camera— “Yes, movie, I know,”— then holds up five fingers— “How did you get Braveheart if it’s five words?” “ Shush, Alex. ”— then, for the first time in the round, Brainy points at Nia.
“Me?” Nia glances down at herself. “Dreamer? Oh, is it Inception?”
Brainy shakes his head, pointing at Nia again, then himself, and then once again begins his elaborate mime of swinging something around.
Nia’s brows scrunch together as she racks her memory for whatever movie Brainy might be trying to pantomime. As the final seconds on the timer tick down, Nia jumps up from the couch, practically vibrating. “Back to the Future Two!” she yells, grinning at Brainy expectantly.
Somberly, Brainy shakes his head no, his arms drooping.
“And that's time,” J’onn calls out, silencing the timer on his phone as it beeps the end of Brainy and Nia’s turn.
Nia looks around at the room, bewildered. “What? What was it supposed to be?”
Brainy holds up his notecard. “A League of Their Own.”
A chorus of ohhs echoes around the room. Nia groans and flops her head back against the top of the couch, and Kara gives her shoulder a sympathetic pat. J’onn stands up to retrieve the card from Brainy, tossing it down with the rest of the discards before pulling another one from the deck and sliding it face-down across the table to Kara.
“Last round,” he says, nodding to her. “Good luck, Supergirl.”
Kara glances to her right, where Lena is already starting to sit up at attention in anticipation of their final round. As she stands, Kara holds out her hand to Lena, hoping for a high five or a friendly handshake to kick off the round. Instead, Lena, gaze meeting Kara’s only briefly, takes Kara’s hand in both of hers and presses a feather-light kiss to her palm. It sends a shock like touching a live wire up Kara’s arm, and she blinks down at Lena, mouth open.
“Bring it home, Kara,” Lena whispers, her smile brushing warm against Kara’s fingers, the fierce spark of competition bright in her eyes. It’s a look that always makes Kara feel braver, even in the most arduous of crises. Bolder.
“Okay, you two are taking this way too seriously,” Kelly cuts in, breaking the electric tension shimmering between them. She’s clearly stifling laughter, evidenced by the tight crinkles at the edges of her eyes and the hand pressed over her mouth.
“Yeah, come on guys, it’s not the Olympics,” Nia says. “It’s literally just charades.”
Kara turns to Nia with her sternest boss expression, and, quickly adopting her Supergirl voice, says, “This is a matter of life and death, Dreamer. I expect you all to take this extremely seriously.”
It makes Nia—and the rest of the room—snap to attention for a split second, a reflex refined by years of fighting together. Then Nia bursts out laughing, leaning over to muffle it into Brainy’s shoulder, and the others can’t help but join in at her choked hiccups, chuckles fading hazily into an easy silence.
“Alright, Kara.” J’onn’s deep voice reorients everyone. “Two minutes on the clock.”
The timer starts, and Kara flips over her card to reveal a single word: Knighting .
Okay. Easy enough. Taking a similar stance to the one Brainy had adopted earlier to mime out his baseball swing, Kara stacks her fists together and brings them down in two clean lines about shoulder width apart.
Lena watches her, contemplative. Her thumb brushes idly over the rim of her whiskey glass, a habit Kara recognizes from when she’s deep in thought. Her eyes trace Kara’s stance and figure, focused and intense, and the look in her eyes is almost…
Kara can’t say. If she had to name it, she might say it was something close to hunger.
Lena hums. Her eyes widen, and she leans forward a little bit, off the edge of the couch.
“Are you cooking something?” she asks, and—
Okay, wrong kind of hunger, apparently. Maybe this is not as easy as Kara thought.
Breaking free of her sword-swinging stance, Kara stretches her legs out gently before dropping down to one knee. She lowers her head, bowing before the couch where Lena sits, like it’s a royal throne and Lena is the reigning monarch.
She could imagine it, Kara thinks. Lena as a queen. In emerald green, or purple maybe, dark hair tumbling wavy over her shoulders and a crown nestled in her curls. Lifting a sword to anoint Kara as a knight, solemn expression fighting to contain her pride.
Hm. That’s a thought that should really not be doing things to her.
Kara hears a gasp, trembling, fall from Lena’s lips. She raises her head, looking up at Lena questioningly. Lena’s hand, once idly tracing the lip of her tumbler, is now clutching the edge of the couch with an irremovable grip. Her eyes have gone wide.
Alex mutters something that sounds like, “Again?”
Lena’s eyes roam Kara’s face, searching. “Right now, Kara?” A small smile tugs at the corner of her lips. “We're on the same team.”
Kara frowns. “What are you—”
“No talking!” yells Nia.
Kara looks down at her position. She’s miming getting knighted, down on one knee before Lena, which—oh .
Kara immediately launches up to her feet, hands shaking as she raises them up to defend herself. “No, Lena, I swear I wasn’t—well, I was, but I wasn’t trying to propose—”
“Oh my god,” Alex groans. “Do we have to do this every time? ”
Kara turns to look at her sister, just in time to watch her slip something into Kelly’s hands. Her cheeks heat up. “Are you guys betting on whether or not I accidentally propose to Lena?”
“You couldn’t have waited one more game night?” Alex says. “I thought it would at least take another week before the next one. You just cost me ten dollars.”
Kelly waves the bill, grinning. “I’m going to use this to treat myself to a cappuccino from that fancy place across from my office on Monday. Maybe a croissant. They’ve got these chocolate ones that look really nice.”
“Wait, you guys have a betting pool running on this?” Nia asks. “I want in!”
Brainy peeks over Nia’s shoulder. “Me as well,” he chimes in, fishing around in his pockets for his wallet.
“Hey, this is my personal life you’re betting on!”
The timer goes off, cutting loud and blaring through the argument, and everyone jumps. Kara had forgotten they were even still playing. J’onn holds up his phone. “Time is up, Kara.”
Kara groans, collapsing down onto the couch in a huff. “I didn’t even get to finish.”
Lena drops a hand to Kara’s knee, her thumb rubbing comforting circles around the skin there, and it takes all of Kara’s self control not to reach out and take the hand in hers. Lena glances over at Kara, eyes softly reflecting the yellow lights of her apartment. “So, what was it supposed to be?”
“Oh.” Lena considers it for a moment, then nods to herself. “Oh, I get it. I was knighting you. I was trying to think of other reasons that you would be on your knees for me, but I can’t say that was one that occurred to me.”
Alex spits out her drink. “Hey, watch it Luthor, that is my sister you’re talking about.”
Lena raises her hands in surrender, but when Alex has finally turned her suspicious glare away, she flashes Kara a teasing grin and winks.
Lena Luthor is truly going to be the death of her, one of these days.
It’s actually quite easy, Kara realizes, to not accidentally propose to your best friend every other weekend.
All she has to do is stop the secret glances at Lena when she knows Lena isn’t looking. She quietly goes through the steps of Kryptonian breathing exercises when Lena traces her thumb along the inside of Kara’s wrist, pausing over the flutter of her pulse. One time, when Lena is a little too wine drunk to hold herself back, she presses a lingering kiss to the edge of Kara’s cheek, ghosting the outline of her lips, in celebration of them crushing a game of pairs Monopoly. Kara excuses herself to the kitchen to get some more water, hands trembling as she brings the glass under the tap. As she takes a sip, Kara prepares herself to reenter the fray, mentally fortifying herself from letting any unexpected proposals fly loose. She takes four deep breaths, her grip on her glass of water slowly easing, until she feels ready enough to return to her friends— to return to Lena.
When she turns around, she nearly drops the glass in shock as she sees Lena, arms crossed and eyebrows raised, leaning against the doorframe and watching her with a heated sort of intensity.
“Everything okay?” Lena asks, and even through the taunting lilt in her tone Kara can still make out the deep-seeded, underlying concern that weaves through her words.
“Yeah, sorry, everything’s fine,” Kara chuckles, because really, it is, everything is fine. “Can I get you something?”
“Just some water for me is probably best,” Lena says, and she finally smiles at Kara, a soft, ducking smile, almost like a concession, and it makes Kara want to take Lena’s face in her hands and tilt her chin up and lean in and—
Kara shoves her glass of water towards Lena, a few droplets sloshing out onto the wooden kitchen floor. “Here,” she says, suddenly breathless. “You can just take mine.”
Lena raises her eyebrows, taking the glass from Kara’s hand, and without breaking eye contact, takes a slow sip from the spot still tinged pale pink with Kara’s lipstick. “Thanks.”
“Okay,” blurts Kara, and she’s definitely not staring at Lena’s mouth, because that would not be at all in accordance with the strict rules she has set herself to avoid announcing her feelings to the entire room at any given point. “I mean, you’re welcome. I mean, I’m going back to the game—to. Because that’s where everyone else is. Yeah. Goodbye.”
Lena’s laughter, muffled into the rim of her water glass, follows her out of the room.
As Kara exits the kitchen, a hand latches on to her shirt sleeve, and before she can pull away, she’s aggressively yanked into her bathroom. The door slams shut behind her, engulfing her in darkness.
“Whoa!” Kara says, swatting away the hand still gripping her shirt. “Wha—Nia?”
The bathroom light clicks on, revealing, true to Kara’s inference: Nia, eyebrows furrowed as she regards Kara with a look that Kara immediately recognizes as intense judgment.
“Kara, what the fuck was that in there?” Nia hisses, gesturing sharply towards the kitchen. “Were you hit in the head in your last fight? Are you concussed?”
“No, no—” Kara pushes away one of Nia’s hands in its trajectory to knock on her skull. “No, I'm fine. Nia, stop that.”
“Okay, Kara” —Nia takes her by the shoulders— “I say this with all the love in my heart, but you are a mess. You need to get it together.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Nia rolls her eyes. “Kara, everybody in a three mile radius has noticed how… weird you’re acting around Lena, okay? What I just witnessed in the kitchen had enough awkward sexual tension to fuel a jet plane, and it is honestly overpowering any time the two of you are in a room together. You have proposed literal marriage to Lena during not one, not two, but three separate game nights, and you haven’t even kissed her!”
“How would you know that?” Kara asks, indignant. “For all you know, I could have. And Lena isn’t… I don’t…”
The end of the sentence evades her. Lena isn’t… what? The person she daydreams herself into little scenarios with to help her fall asleep at night? That would be a lie. She doesn’t… accidentally spill entire full cups of near-boiling coffee on herself when she gets distracted by that mole on Lena’s neck? No, that would also be a lie.
“Okay, have you kissed her?” Nia says.
Kara scowls. “No, but—”
“But you want to?”
“There are two ways I see this going,” Nia says. “Either you aren’t actually embarrassingly into Lena, in which case you should stop subjecting everyone in the group to your weird flirting every time you're in the same room, or you are embarrassingly into her, in which case you should get your shit together and actually express those feelings to Lena instead of whatever this is.”
Kara shoves Nia’s hands off her shoulders. “Nia, if I get my shit together , Alex is going to make me start a ‘proposed to my best friend’ jar, and I’m gonna be in debt within the next month!”
Nia’s whole face lights up, her grin going deviously wide, and Kara realizes the implications of her words too late. “Aha!” She jabs a finger into Kara’s chest. “So you do have feelings for Lena! Those proposals weren’t jokes, were they? They were real!”
Kara sighs, slumping back against the bathroom door. “Yeah. Well. I mean, the first time it was supposed to be a joke, and the second time I kind of just… well. You remember what—anyways. But I wasn’t just—the way that I feel about Lena is—it’s not not real, I guess.”
Nia takes a minute to absorb Kara’s egregious ramblings, and she blinks once, slowly. Then she lets out a small, disbelieving breath, like she’s just made the final step to cracking the code of an equation that she’s been trying to solve for years.
“Oh my god.” She shoves Kara’s shoulder, hard, which doesn’t affect Kara at all but does make Nia wince. She shakes out her wrist as she speaks. “Oh my god, you really do… So all of that wild sexual tension between you two, it’s actually—”
“Alright, alright, I’m sorry,” Nia says. “But I was right? That’s actually the reason you’ve been acting weird around Lena?”
“Well—” Kara starts, going to push her glasses up her nose and poking herself between the eyebrows instead. Right . She doesn’t need to wear glasses anymore. She drops her hand, balling it into a fist, and sighs. “You know it’s exactly why.”
Nia looks concerningly delighted with this news. Like she may start cheering out loud at any second. “Then you should say something,” she says. “Let her know that all those weird, fake proposals you’ve been making actually mean something. Do it again with feeling this time. Lena already looks at you like you saved her from falling off a building, I honestly don’t think you have much to worry about.”
“I have saved her from falling off a building.”
Nia stares at her. “What, when? ” She shakes her head. “You know what? Doesn’t matter. Point still stands.”
“It’s not that easy!” Kara says. “Lena is… she’s my best friend, Nia. We’ve gone through so much. There was a time when I thought that I had ruined what we had forever and I don’t want to go through that again! This isn’t just anyone, this is— this is Lena.”
Nia gives her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “I know,” and in her eternal empathy, she says, “but me and Alex have forty bucks riding on you popping the question tonight, so get it together, because I am not letting Brainy pick our restaurant for date night this week.”
When Nia leaves the bathroom, shutting the door behind her to give Kara some privacy , Kara makes eye contact with her reflection in the mirror over the sink and tries to steel herself for the rest of the evening. She is Supergirl. She is a survivor of a planet torn to shreds. She can lift a plane over her head like it's a stack of books.
She can endure another game night with Lena without completely losing her mind.
So, her friends are betting on her proposing again tonight, in some form or other. They’re probably expecting it to be by accident, blurted out in the heat of a moment where the tug of Lena’s presence gets too strong for her to bear. She thinks of that game night a few weeks ago, when Lena had spent an entire game of Jenga distracting her and flirting with her and flustering her until her brain short circuited, and thinks okay, Lena. Two can play at that game.
They want a proposal? She’ll give them one.
Maybe if she lets Nia win the bet tonight, she’ll use some of those forty dollars on treating Kara to some potstickers or something. As a thank you.
When Kara rejoins the party, it’s with a renewed sense of confidence, a playful bounce in her step. The group has regathered into a tight circle around Kara’s coffee table, and as she squeezes in to wedge herself between Lena and Alex, she shoots Nia a wink across the way.
“Hey gang,” Kara says as she sits down. “What’re we playing next?”
“Alex and Lena’s favorite!” Kelly says, as she eases a large cardboard box down from the shelf of boardgames, dusting it off.
Kara recognizes the illustrations on the outside quickly: they’re setting up Clue, which is perfect, because Lena loves Clue. Every time they play, everyone ends up battling it out in a Holmes-ian cacophony of evidence-gathering, theorizing, and deduction, but Lena usually is the one to become most engrossed in uncovering the clues. She watches every interaction like a hawk, her eyes never leaving the hands and faces of those sitting around her—a fact which Kara plans to completely take advantage of.
As Kelly begins to pass out the sheets of paper used for taking notes, Lena leans over, her shoulder delicately brushing Kara’s. Before, this kind of proximity with Lena might have made Kara flinch away or freeze, heartbeat catching in her throat. This time, she leans back willingly into the touch.
“Hi you,” Lena whispers, seemingly a little taken aback by Kara’s forwardness, but she recovers quickly. “You okay? I saw Nia intercept you on your way out of the kitchen.”
Kara smiles shyly. “Oh—yeah, you know Nia. Always something with her.” She shifts closer, looping an arm around Lena’s back and tucking her into her side. Her thumb finds the knob of Lena’s hipbone, rubs over it gently. She turns to Lena, whose cheeks are now flushed pink, her eyes curious. “Everything okay with you?” she asks, voice lowering a timbre.
“Of course,” Lena says, head dropping as the heat continues to travel across her cheeks and down her neck. A few stray strands of dark hair tumble free from her bun.
Kara is struck with the sudden, inalienable urge—a familiar urge—to reach up and tuck the fallen hairs behind Lena’s ear. The hand still resting by her side twitches, and she hesitates only a moment before remembering what she came here to do. What she wants—so desperately craves to do.
With a tentative breath, Kara gives in. She brings her hand up to Lena’s cheek, fingertips a touch away from brushing her pale skin. Curling her fingers, Kara takes the loose strands of hair and eases them up to rest behind Lena’s ear. Lena’s eyes, never breaking eye contact with Kara’s, glaze over slightly, pupils slowly growing as Kara pulls back, letting her fingertips brush an almost imperceptible trail over the edge of Lena’s ear.
“Sorry.” Kara smiles, laying her hand to rest on the coffee table, fingers drumming against the wood grain. “They were distracting me.”
“Oh, it's—well, thank you,” Lena stumbles over her words, and Kara wants to smile at how the tides have suddenly shifted between them from their moment in the kitchen. Fine-tuning her hearing, Kara can hear Lena’s heart stuttering, and then Kara does smile, bashful at the hope that she can make Lena feel the same way she does. Yeah, two can play at this game, Lena.
“Right in front of my salad?” her sister mumbles, again abruptly breaking her and Lena from the moment.
Even Kelly is compelled to join in the teasing this time. “I know the rituals are intricate, Alex,” she whispers, leaning into her wife’s side. “I just know it.”
“Okay!” exclaims J’onn, clapping his hands together to gather everyone’s attention. “Let's get this started. Lena, you go first.”
As the game trips into a start, Kara keeps up her gentle teasing of Lena all throughout. Every time Lena pauses to write down a clue or mark off one of her suspicions, Kara is there to trace ghostly lines up her arm or nuzzle her chin into Lena’s shoulder or intertwine their fingers under the table, occupying the space of her palm so she’s forced to take notes with her non-dominant hand. At one point in the game, right as Lena is about to make an accusation, Kara simply takes her hand and begins etching circles over the knuckle of Lena’s thumb, which causes her to fully retract her guess if only, it seems, to keep Kara’s hand bound to her’s for a moment longer.
When Lena finally gathers up enough brain power to make a formal accusation, her card is significantly less filled out than it usually would be at this stage in the game, and she’s the last person really engaged in playing—Alex and Brainy have already eliminated themselves with incorrect guesses, J’onn knew it the moment Alex read the card, accidentally glimpsing into her mind, and Kara—well, Kara has had one singular focus this entire game.
“You’re being very touchy tonight,” Lena finally tells her at one point, as Kara is nuzzled comfortably into her side. It isn’t an accusation, said with no skepticism. She delivers it plainly, with a hint of curiosity, and when Kara turns to see the last few words spill from her mouth, she’s smiling.
“You’re just… very touchable,” Kara replies. Lena’s legs are folded beside her, and Kara brushes one hand up her bare calf, squeezes slightly. As proof. “And I’m happy you’re here.”
Kara whispers the words almost into Lena’s neck, breath warm on supple skin, and Lena twitches like she’s suppressing a shiver. She looks down at Kara then, lips parted and pretty and pink and expression indecipherable. Kara watches Lena’s eyes roam across her face, searching for something—
And she breaks into a smile, turning away. “Don't you dare, Kara Danvers,” Lena whispers, just to her, and Kara laughs as she pulls her hand from Lena’s, taking one of her rings with her.
“Lena Luthor—” Kara starts, adjusting her position so that she’s crouched onto one knee and pulling both of Lena’s hands into hers, leaning in so her whole field of vision is wide green eyes, “—you are one of the most important people in my life. The best friend I’ve ever had, and my favorite lunch date, and you always smell really nice, and I… I was wondering, no pressure, if you might want to do the honor of becoming my wife?”
Lena breathes out a half-formed laugh. “Kara…”
And for a suspended moment, Kara forgets the ruse. Lena is staring at her like that , with soft wonder in the crinkles of her eyes, like despite the concocted nature of Kara’s proposal, she’s found sincerity among words. Like she doesn’t quite know what to do with it, but she truly wants it all the same, and something inside Kara swells, stealing the breath from her lungs.
“Oh my fucking god ,” Alex says. A card hits Kara in the side of the head, and when she whips her head towards her sister, glaring, Alex throws another one and boos at her. “Stop that. I am throwing tomatoes at you right now. Lena, it is literally the middle of your turn .”
“Uh, right,” says Lena, turning back to the game and sliding her hand out of Kara’s. It trembles a little against the table as she picks up her notecard again, and the paper crumples between her fingers. “My accusation is, um. My guess—shit. Uh—”
“You’re taking too long!” Nia says, gleeful. “Hurry it up!”
“What?” Lena looks up at her sharply. “There’s no time limit, what are you—”
Nia starts counting, “Ten, nine, eight, seven—”
“Oh for fuck’s—it’s…” Lena looks down at her notecard, her eyes frantically scanning for what the clues will tell her is the potential murder. “Fuck. I can’t remember,” she hisses. “I don’t know, okay, it was Professor Plum, in the dining room, with the rope.”
The whole room waits in bated breath as Lena reaches across the board for the tiny sachet holding the three Clue cards that illustrate the crime. She runs a manicured nail under the flap, then, with slow fingers, removes the three cards and looks at them.
Lena’s face falls. She shoves the cards back into the envelope, her head shaking no, and she places it back on the board with a heavy sigh.
“Oh my god,” Nia mumbles to herself, eyes oscillating between the Clue board and her notes sheet. “Thank you, Lena. I wasn’t sure if it was Professor Plum… or Mr. Green.” Taking a deep, determined breath, she pushes away the dice Lena has left on the table for her, and reaches for the sachet.
“I would like to accuse Mr. Green, in the dining room, with the rope,” Nia says, and then, with steady hands, she opens up the sachet and reveals the cards. Her eyes immediately widen with delight, and with a whooping yell, Nia slams down the three Clue cards: Mr. Green, the dining room, and the rope.
“Yes!” Nia yells, reaching over to high-five Alex. “Won the game and forty dollars, baby! Suck it!” The suck it is directed at Brainy and Kelly, who both look varying degrees of amused and unimpressed. Then Nia turns to Kara, and grabs her hand to high-five as well. “You too, Kara! Nicely played!"
“Nicely…?” Lena’s eyes narrow. “Wait, you were in on their bet? You did that so Alex and Nia would win a bet that they made on you?”
“No, of course not,” Nia says. “She did it to distract you from the game, obviously.”
“You—” Lena looks down at her crumpled sheet. Kara doesn’t remember the last time she lost a game of Clue. “Wait, is this all payback from that time I flashed you a couple weeks ago?”
“Oh, god, don’t bring that up again,” says Alex. “Traumatized me enough the first time.”
“Uh, yeah,” says Kara, and doesn’t think of Lena’s expression from the brief millisecond where they both believed that it was real, this time. “Absolutely. You make me lose Jenga, I make you lose Clue. It’s the only fair trade off.”
Lena shakes her head. “You’re starting a war here, Supergirl. I hope you’re prepared to fight it.”
The rest of their friends oooh at them, and then Nia slides over to the other side of the table and starts bugging Brainy and Kelly for her forty dollars. Lena spares one last disappointed look at her notecard before she starts to gather the pieces of Clue, and the conversation moves on.
Kara gets the final word in, though, when they’re cleaning up in the kitchen at the end of the night. Lena is drying dishes as Kara washes them, leaning back against the counter and watching Kara get bubbles everywhere.
“Okay, yes, Nia told me about the bet,” Kara concedes. “But that wasn’t why—that wasn’t the only reason why I did it. I did it because I… I did it because you…”
At her stuttering, Lena laughs out loud, sweet and ringing. “Kara Danvers,” she says, face stern but voice teasing. “One of these days you're going to propose to me, and I’m going to say yes. What are you going to do then?”
Kara glances away, shrugs. “Marry you, probably.”
There’s nothing joking about her words.
Lena’s hand slows on the cup she’s drying, and her teasing expression fades in Kara’s peripheral. “Careful,” she says. “I might think you’re serious. And you know I don’t trust people who don’t tell me the truth.”
“I know.” Kara drops the last rinsed dish into the empty sink and shakes the remaining water and soap from her hands. She steps towards Lena, resting one damp hand on her arm, and leans forwards to kiss her cheek.
When she pulls back, Lena is looking at her like she just picked up the world and flipped it upside-down.
“I’m going to go see if they need any more help cleaning up in the living room, okay?” Kara says. “I’ll see you in a minute. Love you.”
As she steps back into the living room, and so quietly she wouldn’t be able to hear it without her super-hearing, Lena whispers, “Love you, too.”
The bottle of Aldebaran rum Kara has been cradling like a baby through the night has lost all of the chill on the glass, having been thoroughly warmed by Kara’s radiating body heat. She’s in quite a precarious situation, now—the controller gripped in her (admittedly, slightly damp) hands has to contest with not only the multitude of shots currently making their presence known through a sudden, fuzzy warmth in the front of Kara’s head, chest, and fingers, but also her baseline instinct to protect the precious cargo cradled in her arms.
When, halfway through their match, Alex’s arm slams into Kara’s as she reacts to one of Kara’s virtual attacks with a real life dodge , Kara frantically abandons all focus on her game to ensure the bottle of rum doesn’t fall from her grasp and collide with the floor.
“Careful, darling,” someone hums, a gentle hand coming to rest on Kara’s shoulder, and— oh, right. Lena. Lena, who’s sitting behind her. Lena whose legs Kara is resting between, Lena who will probably get a kneeful of Aldebaran rum if Kara isn’t more careful with her… sloshing, and such.
Kara turns her head to see Lena, smiling behind her, head tilted curiously sideways, and beams. “ Lena ,” she slurs, drawing out the ah until she thinks she might run out of breath, and then she breaks into a fit of giggles. “Lena, Lena, Lena—”
“Kara, Kara,” Lena mimics, repeating Kara’s name, and Kara laughs again, because Lena is so silly, why would she say Kara’s name so many times? “Kara, you’re losing the game.”
What? Kara whips her head back towards the TV, vision shaky as she struggles to force her eyes to focus on the colorful images emanating from the screen. Alex’s Super Smash character, some anime girl with a bunch of guns, is annihilating Kara’s Kirby, who has been sitting idle for the presumably twelve seconds to thirty minutes she had been talking with Lena.
“Oh, shoot.” Kara fumbles her arms over the bottle, warm fingertips bumbling over the buttons and knobs of her Switch controller as Alex continues her relentless assault on Kirby. She manages to gather enough mobility to slam the buttons that mean away and jump , and secures her Kirby a brief moment of repose from Alex in a spot on the top of the map.
“Here, Kara, let me—” Kara feels an arm reach across hers, dipping towards her stomach. Lena’s long fingers curl around the stem of Kara’s bottle, and pull it free from where she grips it tightly between her forearms.
“Hey—hey,” Kara stutters, once again distracted by the presence of Lena, but this time, for an entirely different reason. “Give that back, don’t—you can't even drink that, Lena, you're too squishy.”
Lena angles an eyebrow, and the movement draws Kara in even further, pressing her back into Lena, faces close enough that she could sit here and count the flecks of gold in Lena’s blue-green eyes if she wanted to—and she kind of does want to, so maybe she will.
“Kara,” Lena says, and she only says Kara’s name, but she says it in a way that makes Kara’s heart flutter a little bit and makes her breath skip a beat and fills her chest with something that bubbles out like laughter. “What are you doing?”
“Your eyes are—they’re two different colors,” Kara blurts out, completely unhinged. She thinks the way she’s looking at Lena right now could only be described as dreamy . “Did you know that? About—about your eyes?”
“I did know that about my eyes.” Lena smiles. “I have looked into a mirror recently. Are you just now discovering this?”
Kara tries to think. Is she just now discovering this? Is this the first time Kara has felt safe enough to get so close to Lena and just… observe? She thinks she must have noticed before, or at least realized—or maybe she never let herself notice until now.
“You’re going cross eyed, dear,” Lena mumbles, and it sounds like she’s trying to hold back a laugh as she says it. “And Alex is about to kill you again.”
“Rao, not again,” Kara hisses, just in time to watch the victory cutscene play out across the screen. Alex’s character does a pose next to the number one symbol, while Kara’s mopes in a sad number two box below it.
“Wow, Kara, you really put up a fight there,” Alex drawls, and even through Kara’s severely inebriated brain fog she can tell her sister is being sarcastic. “Rematch?”
Kara says, “Sure,” but she’s already distracted by the feeling of Lena’s forehead pressing into her shoulder, the wisps of her curled hair that brush along the side of Kara’s arm. The Aldebaran rum has cranked Kara’s normally overhauled senses even higher, and it’s— it's a lot. Like a lot, a lot.
When she feels the plastic start to crack under her grip, what surprises her even further is the fingers that come up to slip beneath hers and pry the controller from her hand.
“Careful,” a voice whispers in her ear, quiet and understanding. Kara shuts her eyes, tries to focus on Lena’s voice alone, and as Lena’s fingers spread beneath Kara’s, she lets her grip slacken. Lena takes the controller from her hands.
When Kara looks back, Lena looks like she’s going to ask if Kara’s okay, or if there’s something wrong, which isn’t exactly a bad question to ask right now, it's just… not time to crack open that coconut.
So Kara falls back on a familiar excuse. She pushes off from the couch, mumbling a hurried sorry to Lena, then addresses the rest of the group, all in various states of blackout drunk.
“I’m gonna go get some water,” she says, nodding in the direction of the kitchen.
Alex’s face rips into a scowl, gesturing at the TV. “What about our game?”
“I’ll play for her until she comes back,” Lena covers, and Alex grumbles for just a moment before she’s seemingly satiated with her response.
Lena edges over to the side of the couch, catching a bit of Kara’s sleeve in her grip and tugging on it for her attention. Kara glances down, eyes swimming as Lena traces her face.
“Do you need any help?” Lena asks, like she hasn’t already committed to tapping in for Kara, like she isn’t holding the controller in her hand while Alex loads up the next game beside her.
Kara shakes her head. “I’ll be right back.” She leans down to—she isn’t sure really, maybe press a kiss to Lena’s forehead, or the soft crinkle below her eye from the gentle smile she’s been soothing Kara with—but she thinks better of it. Instead she redirects her movement so her lips are level with Lena’s ear, and whispers, “Can I—do you want me to grab anything for you?”
Lena’s eyes flicker from Kara’s lips to her forehead, to the tip of her nose and back again. “No, that's alright,” she finally replies. “But… come back soon.”
Kara smiles, overlaying her hand upon Lena’s, a few of their fingers tangling together. “‘Course,” she hums. “I’ll be back before you even notice I'm gone.”
As Kara stumbles into the kitchen, she thinks she hears Alex mumble you two are sickening , but the blood rushing around in her ears and the dog barking three blocks over and the constant, companionable thumping of Lena’s heartbeat drown out her sister’s words before she can completely make them out.
Regardless, Kara makes it to the kitchen, secures a glass and allows herself a moment to catch her breath. This love that she has for Lena—she’s carried it for so long, and still, it sometimes floods between her fingertips like running water.
She hadn’t known how to describe it before; now she does, and it’s all she can think about whenever she’s with Lena.
Kara returns back to the living room on steadier feet. Approaching from behind the couch, she can see the backs of Lena and Alex’s heads as they battle their way through the ongoing Super Smash game. It looks like Alex has resorted to methods of physical assault to distract Lena at this point in the match, her elbow never leaving the space before Lena’s face. Lena, to her absolute credit and not at all to Kara’s surprise, is deftly avoiding all attempts from Alex to sabotage her gameplay with quick, deft dodges rivaling Kara's own super speed.
Kara creeps up to them with silent, selfish steps. She doesn’t want Lena and Alex to notice her, to break the levity of this moment. The two people she loves most in the world, laughing and shoving and cursing at each other. For just this moment, Kara is content to watch.
Lena is still playing as Kara’s Kirby, her discomfort with the unfamiliar character quickly overcome as she launches combo attack after combo attack at Alex.
“Just give up already, Luthor,” Alex growls through clenched teeth, and Lena—
Lena turns to her and smiles. “Sorry, Danvers. But I can’t let Kara down,” and she says it all soft and easy, like the breeze through the curtains of Kara’s window at night. It warms Kara to the tips of her toes.
Lena won’t let her down. Lena doesn’t let her down. They’ve come so far to get here, and now there’s this deep innate trust that’s woven between them, this understanding , a sort of bond that’s incomparable to any other Kara has.
She squeezes herself quietly onto the couch beside Lena, snuggling in close and resting her head on Lena’s shoulder as Lena continues to vigorously pummel the buttons on her controller, gaze fixed intently on the TV. Unlike with Kara, Alex and Lena are fairly evenly matched, and the concentration is coming off Lena in tense waves. She doesn’t even pause to give Kara a kiss on the head or anything. Is that something she normally does? In her hazy state, Kara can’t quite remember.
Alex must be gaining the advantage, because she goes hah! at the same moment that Lena mutters shit and leans forwards, face scrunching in even more intense concentration. She’s so unbearably cute when she’s concentrating on things, when she gets too competitive in a game or sucked into some project that has her staying at the lab past midnight. Her face goes all scrunchy in a way that makes Kara want to poke her cheeks.
So she does.
“Whatcha doing?” Lena says distractedly, tilting her head away.
“I like your face,” Kara says, reaching to touch the end of Lena’s nose. It’s a bit cold. Maybe if she kissed it, that would warm it up. “It’s a very good face. Might be my favorite face, actually.”
Lena flashes her a quick smile, her eyes only leaving the TV for a split second. “I like your face too, darling. Very much.”
Alex makes a gagging noise.
Kara lifts her head to frown at her. “You’re just jealous because you don’t have a Lena. That’s why you’re always…” she gestures vaguely, trying to give her formless words form, “bullying us. I’m keeping this Lena, though. This one is mine.” She wraps both her arms around one of Lena’s like she’s a teddy bear, without much concern to how it impedes her playing.
“No,” says Alex. “I bully you because you’re gross. Case in point—that was gross. What you just said was gross.”
Kara makes a face at her, and tucks her head back into Lena’s shoulder. It’s warm there, relaxingly warm, and Lena smells so nice, and a strand of her dark hair is brushing against Kara’s nose, tickly. There is always something intoxicating about being this close to Lena, touching her, and it makes Kara’s head swim a little. Even after five years of friendship, it hasn’t faded. Maybe it never will.
She should get to snuggle with Lena at least once a day, Kara thinks. There should be a law requiring it. They could probably arrange that, actually—Kara knows the president and Lena probably has enough money to buy the White House, so.
“I actually probably couldn’t,” Lena says, glancing down at Kara, because apparently Kara’s been monologuing all her thoughts out loud instead of keeping them in her head where they belong. “I mean, for you , if I wanted to, I could probably liquify a lot of assets, but—it's largely unlikely.”
Kara zeroes in on the one part of that her brain understands. “But you do want to.”
“Well, sure,” Lena responds. “Who wouldn’t want legally mandated snuggles with you? You’re practically a huggable alien heat generator.”
Kara giggles into her shoulder. Lena suddenly fixes her attention solely on the screen in front of her. Her hands become more rapid in their movements, the clicking of the buttons blurring together into a wall of unrelenting sound, and Kara watches the bright colors flash by absently. Legally mandated snuggle time would probably be best in the mornings, she thinks, making sure the thoughts are staying firmly inside her head this time. It’s always lovely when they wake up at one of their sleepovers with their legs all tangled together. Or maybe in the evening, as a way to unwind after a long day. Might be easier to work in if she and Lena just lived together, actually.
Wouldn’t that be nice. Getting to wake up next to Lena everyday. Like they were family.
“Let’s get married,” Kara blurts, not really focusing on what’s happening right now—she’s just thinking about Lena, and snuggles, and a million more mornings together.
This, apparently, is actually a really bad thing, because Lena’s elbow jerks and nearly hits Kara in the face as she smashes at her controller. “Kara, this is literally the worst possible time!”
Kara looks up at the TV. In a game that has largely been a stalemate between Lena and Alex, Kara watches as the game-making moment occurs—from the corner of the screen, a small, shimmering ball begins to descend. Lena races to the falling Smash Ball, exploding it into a burst of rainbow light, and the massive sword that appears in Kirby’s hands overtakes the screen as Lena slices Alex’s character to pieces.
“Yes!” Lena yells, dropping her controller to pump her arms up victoriously. Alex huffs and slumps back against the couch.
“This feels unfair,” she groans, tossing her controller onto the table. “I don’t really know how , but it feels unfair.”
“Stop whining,” Lena berates good-heartedly. (“Yeah, stop whining,” Kara mindlessly tacks on, just out of habit.) “If you want to wake up Kelly and get the two of you home, I'm sure you can cry on her shoulder about it in the morning.”
“Sheesh!” Alex hisses, exaggerating a recoil at Lena’s words. “Maybe I will! But no, you’re right.” Alex glances over at Kelly, currently curled up with Nia on Kara’s armchair, with Brainy nestled in at their feet. “I better get everyone up and home.”
“Drive safely,” Lena murmurs, once Alex has guided the small group of sleepy superheroes to the door. “Text us when everyone makes it back.”
“Will do,” Alex agrees, giving Lena a mock salute. “Take care of Kara, yeah? And you get home safe. Although—” Alex glances at Kara and Lena, still cuddled together on the couch. “I doubt you’re heading home tonight.”
“No.” Lena pulls forward to look at Kara, and reaches a hand up to brush away some of the blonde hair loose in Kara’s face. Kara’s eyes droop at the warmth of Lena’s touch across her brow. “Probably not.”
When the door shuts behind them, leaving Kara’s loft in ringing quietness, Lena stands up and reaches for Kara’s hands. “Alright, time to get you to bed.”
She manages to coax Kara into brushing her teeth and drinking another large glass of water, then disappears into the bathroom to change while Kara clumsily puts on her own pajamas. When she emerges, Kara is sitting in bed, waiting for her. Lena smiles, perching on the edge of the mattress as Kara settles in, and tucks the covers gently around her shoulders, taking her time smoothing them out. Kara blinks up at her, sleepy, warm, fond.
“I can take the couch,” Lena murmurs, squeezing Kara’s shoulder, and starts to get up. Kara grabs her hand.
Lena hesitates for a moment, then swallows and nods, sliding under the covers beside Kara and reaching over to switch off the light. In the darkness, Kara can just make out the outlines of her features, the flutter of her eyelashes.
“You’re not getting off that easy this time, you know,” Lena says softly, her fingertips brushing against Kara’s under the covers.
“Hmm?” Kara hums, already half asleep.
“Don’t think I forgot what you said there. Only so many times you can ask a girl to marry you without there being a conversation about it, hey?”
“Oh,” Kara mumbles into her pillow, the words blending together. “Yeah, right. I’ll ask again in the morning.”
“Will you?” Lena asks, and she sounds amused for some reason. Kara is too sleepy to figure out why.
Lena whispers okay , and then Kara is asleep.
She wakes up before Lena.
It's the soft, creeping sunlight through her blinds that first rouses Kara from her deep-seeded slumber. As the light filters in through the large windows in her loft, flooding across her bedsheets and over her shut eyelids, Kara blinks her eyes slowly open to the image of Lena, backlit beautifully by the morning glow. Her chest rises and falls, relaxed, rhythmic.
Kara takes a moment, just a moment, to bask here. She’s tempted to reach up and brush away the tangled strands of dark hair splayed across Lena’s face and shoulders, but she doesn’t want to wake her; she knows Lena is still catching up on decades of missed rest.
So Kara leaves her, wrapped up in the covers of her bed, the yellow light of the morning casting angular shadows across her face and neck. She carefully removes her hand from Lena’s, having found each other in the middle of the night, and glides silently off of the bed and into the kitchen.
Mornings with Lena means seven grain bread in the toaster. It means eggs cooked two ways—scrambled with handfuls of cheese, an omelette stuffed with spinach—and crispy bacon in the pan that Kara knows she’ll be the only one eating. It means two mugs of dark coffee, one black, the other with enough creamer in it for Lena to tease her that she might as well drink milk. Fresh fruit that Kara spends the rest of her time alone cutting, each slice down on the countertop like meditation spent ruminating on what to say to Lena when she wakes up.
Apples. You’re my best friend, my number one. You mean more to me than anyone I've ever met before.
Strawberries. Since the moment I met you, it feels like my goal in life has shifted to making you smile and bringing you happiness.
Bananas. I feel most comfortable with you by my side. You know me better than anyone else.
Nectarines. I love you, in whatever way that matters, in whatever way you’ll have me. If you’ll have me.
Kara gathers the sliced fruit, heaps it into a glazed bowl on her island, and rinses the sweet juice from her fingertips just in time for Lena to stumble out of her bedroom.
She likes Lena in the mornings, the way she looks a little rumpled and unpolished, an abandoned flannel of Kara’s thrown thoughtlessly over her shoulders. Lena yawns and stretches before sliding into a chair at the table, and even that’s cute, somehow.
“Are you planning to feed the whole apartment building?” Lena asks, grinning a little blearily and propping her chin up in her hands as Kara sets the bowl of fruit on the table.
“They’re not invited,” Kara jokes, sliding the mug of still-steaming coffee in front of Lena. “And you know I’ll just eat whatever you don't finish. Here, I made you an omelette, too. With lots of spinach.” She wrinkles her nose.
Lena laughs, picking up her fork. “You know me too well.”
“I do know you,” Kara says, mostly to her eggs, but when she looks up Lena’s eyes are soft. She clears her throat. “Lena—”
“Eat your eggs first, before they get cold, okay?”
“But I—” Kara starts, and Lena’s head whips up from looking down at her plate to glare at her. They hold each other’s gaze for a tense second.
“Eggs. First,” Lena says.
“I just really want to—”
“Kara.” Lena drops her fork onto her plate, the metal cutlery clanging onto ceramic. “At least let me finish this lovely omelette you so painstakingly made for me before I say yes.”
Kara swallows. “Before you say yes to—?”
“Finish your breakfast, dear. Then we’ll talk.”
It’s vaguely threatening.
With a fervor never before seen, even in the hungriest of Kryptonians, Kara digs into the eggs, fruit, bacon, and toast laid before her. Usually, she would savor her food a little more (breakfast is the most important and one of the most delicious meals of the day), but today she doesn’t bother. She has something better waiting. Lena just shakes her head and smiles at her omelette like she's in love with her eggs.
Kara finishes eating in record time. She waits exactly eleven minutes for Lena to catch up, and when she finally takes the final sip of her coffee and pushes her empty plate away with a contented sigh, Kara is ready and waiting, leaning across the table in anticipation.
“So,” Lena repeats softly.
Kara rubs a nervous palm across her thigh. “Can I ask?”
“Just like that? Don’t you want to… I don’t know, talk about it, first?” Lena chuckles, shaking her head.
Kara glances away, bashful. “I was just going to ask if I could take your plate.”
“Oh.” Lena blinks. “Yeah, of course, sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed—”
“I’m just teasing, Lena.”
“Oh. Right.” Lena’s cheeks go a little pink, and she ducks her head, and Kara realizes—she’s nervous too.
Somehow that makes Kara feel braver.
“So, um…” She shoves her plate aside and reaches for Lena’s hand across the table. “I know I’ve asked… I mean, I know I’ve said… that thing , a few times, and um—”
Lena squeezes her hand. “Kara. Relax.”
“Right.” Kara takes a deep breath, and focuses on Lena—the pale morning green of her eyes, the smile crinkled around them. This is Lena , and no matter what happens in this conversation, she knows Lena will still be beside her at the end of it. They’ve gone through too much together for it to be any other way.
“I know we haven’t actually talked about what we are yet,” Kara begins again. “But then I feel like conventional has never really suited us anyways. And unless I’ve completely misread a whole lot of things, I think we’re more or less on the same page, and I just need you to know that…” she swallows, “I meant it, you know, when I asked you. Every time.”
“I know,” Lena says, and her smile doesn’t falter for a single second, even as the tears begin to gather in the corners of her eyes. “I know, Kara.”
Kara reaches her other hand across the table, palm up, an invitation for Lena. “So? What do you think?”
Lena chuckles, bringing a hand up to wipe one of her errant tears away before letting her other hand rest on top of Kara’s. “I think you’re my best friend, and—everything else there is to be. There’s no one else I’d want to share a life with. And whenever I think of my future, it’s… it’s always with you.”
“Me too,” Kara whispers. “So is that… does that mean we’re going to get married?”
“Well, there might be one or two things that need to happen first but… yeah, I really think we are.”
Kara grins so wide her cheeks hurt. She feels like she’s about to start floating. “Yeah? What kinds of things?”
“Well, for starters, you haven’t even kissed me yet.”
“You know, it’s kind of a miracle that that’s never happened by accident.”
“I think there have been some close calls.”
“Like when I saw your—you know, your—”
Lena rolls her eyes. “Kara, just get over here and kiss me already.”
Kara knocks her chair over in her hurry to get up, and then she’s pulling a laughing Lena up by the hand and tangling her fingers in dark hair and they’re kissing like they’ve done it a thousand times before.
She’s not sure how long they stay like that, morning sunlight pooling bright around them. Both in pajamas, tasting like eggs and orange juice, and Kara thinks if every morning can be like this one, she’ll be content. Lena touches her jaw and smiles and smiles into her mouth and it feels like home.
When they pull away, Lena breathes out another laugh and lets their foreheads come to rest together.
“Did I mention I’m in love with you?” Kara asks, lips ghosting over the edge of Lena’s.
“No,” Lena whispers, fingertips still gently grazing Kara’s jaw. “But you always made sure I knew it. And I love you, too, for what it’s worth.”
“It’s worth a lot.”
They linger there, for a moment. Foreheads pressed together, arms wrapped tight. Just Kara and Lena, somehow turning an end into a beginning. It only feels natural that they would do it again, when they’ve done it so many times before.
“So how much money do you think Alex will make me put in the proposal jar when she finds out we’re actually engaged?” Kara asks.
And Lena just throws her head back and laughs.