Lena isn’t naive.
When she made the decision to set up a discord server for her plant vlog’s followers, she knew there was a possibility things might get messy. After all, even while remaining anonymous — she can practically hear her PR team screaming at the idea of Lena Luthor running her own verified social media account — her comment section has always been 45% earnest compliments and questions from beginner botanists and 55% unabashed thirst over her sexy hands and sultry voice. Lena imagined any possible frustration caused by having to sidestep the occasional untoward overture would be worth the satisfaction she gets from teaching fellow hobbyists to take better care of their plants. It’s nice to feel like she’s being appreciated, for a change, to be allowed to play hero in a small way, different from L-Corp’s high-stakes idealism or Supergirl’s histrionic stunts.
(She still hasn’t managed to set up a meeting with National City’s super-powered alien in residence, but she’s certain it will be any day now.)
Lena couldn’t have predicted that the most aggravating individual on her server wouldn’t turn out to be a persistent suitor, but rather a member of the plant-loving minority.
If the violence this ‘Kvers’ person routinely inflicts on their houseplants can be considered love.
Why are my plant’s leaves yellowing? had been this idiot’s first, innocuous ask. Moments later, they’d followed it up with a picture of the brown, crisp remains of what Lena had only vaguely recognized must at one point have been a vibrant green ZZ plant.
Because it’s fucking dead, Lena had wanted to reply, suggesting instead Is it possible it’s near a window where it gets too much direct light?
My place does get a good amount of sun, Kvers had responded. I kind of prefer it that way. Lena had given her a list of plants that would fare better in those conditions, and hoped that would be that.
But it didn't end there. It’s actually only gotten worse. Kvers is in Lena’s notifications what feels like every other day now with fresh doubts and queries. Why do you even have plants, Lena is tempted to respond half the time, when it’s obvious you’re too much of a moron to even be trusted to take care of yourself?
Are banana plants supposed to tear this easily? comes the next question, combined with a picture of a Dwarf Cavendish that looks to have been ripped to shreds by a wind stronger than the average tornado.
“What the fuck,” Lena mumbles to herself. Some tearing is to be expected, they’re pretty frail, she replies, before snapping and adding I advise placing it a little further away from that jet engine you must have set up in your living room, however in a disgruntled huff.
Kvers sends her only a 😳 in response.
A fresh victim is presented to her a few days later, along with Kvers’s desperate plea of Can this little guy still be saved?
Pictured is the saddest Boston fern Lena has seen in her entire life: it’s bruised grey-brown and beige where it should be a vivid emerald, and when Lena clicks the image to enlarge, she finds herself frowning at what looks like a dusting of frost still clinging to the fronds.
Ferns can recover from freezing conditions but only if their roots weren’t also affected, Lena replies very professionally, her fingers shaking with silent outrage. Though I don’t understand why you’d keep a potted fern outdoors when it’s that cold. She’s beginning to wonder if this Kvers person is a genuine imbecile or an abusive prankster. Where do you live that you’re dealing with these weather conditions in August? she demands.
Oh, um, Kvers replies and then, after a few starts and stops, Southern California.
So Kvers is absolutely fucking with her.
It takes a week before they’re asking for Lena’s input again. This buddy is looking a little rough today, they post, do you think a good soak could help perk it back up?
The miserable money tree pictured is barely clinging to life. Lena peers through the furious red haze descending over her vision and swears it looks like its few remaining leaves are singed.
Lena’s patience has run out. Are you serious? she asks. Did someone burn your building down?
Small kitchen accident Kvers has the audacity to reply.
It’s the final straw in every sense of the word. Lena will not stand for this blatant abuse a moment longer, especially if it’s done exclusively for the purpose of getting her attention. Before she can think too much about it, before her rage recedes, she sends Kvers a direct message announcing she’s coming by for a home consultation.
Where in SoCal are you exactly?
As it turns out, Kvers is right here, in National City.
She’s also a bafflingly attractive — though fidgety — blonde.
Blue eyes widen and pink lips part when she answers the door, her shoulders so broad and her arms so beefy she takes up most of the space in the doorway to her loft. Lena probably wouldn’t be able to see past her, at her endangered plants beyond, if she still wanted to.
But she can tell her loft is well-lit, like she’d mentioned; she’s framed by the sun’s dying rays, her hair and skin golden and shimmering in a way not entirely of this earth.
This explains so much, Lena realizes, relieved. The wind. The frost. The burns.
Her would-be adversary is wearing glasses and her hair is up, and her flustered demeanor seems so awkwardly genuine that Lena wonders briefly if the image this woman projects when she’s dressed in her more familiar reds and blues is the act — if this awestruck, faded-jeans-clad cutie is the real person that’s hiding underneath.
She looks far more human than Lena would have imagined.
“You’re Lena Luthor,” she finally manages to stutter out.
Lena regards her evenly. “Good to finally meet you,” she says, and, dropping her voice a little, “Supergirl.”